Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
September 10, 2007
WCR Letters to the Editor
Your home is waiting, Mr. Dostie
Re: "This Catholic Father wants to come home" (WCR letters, Aug. 27).
Gaston Dostie would like to come home to the Catholic Church, but says that he cannot because of the behaviour of other people.
I would like to encourage Mr. Dostie and his wife to return to the Mass regardless of such behaviour, no matter how difficult they may find it to be.
They might even consider offering up any suffering it might entail for the deeper conversion of those in our parishes with such lukewarm faith. I agree that the Church today is indeed in bad shape, but there is hope, Mr. Dostie!
Just look at the edition of the WCR in which your letter was printed. Along with the dark and tiresome self-justifications of those who have lost faith in God and Holy Mother Church (columnists and correspondents alike), choosing instead to put their trust in political activism, socialistic dissent and New Age propaganda, there are flickerings of light to be found within its pages as well, though few and far between these may be.
The Church you seek still exists, Mr. Dostie, waiting quietly but patiently for you to find it, a Church both orthodox and faithful to the magisterium and consequently to our Lord.
Therefore, do not focus on those who have degenerated to the point where they are Catholic in name only, while utterly ignoring the great commission with which we are entrusted, to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19).
Rather, set your sights on the final goal that looms so large and near before us, and do not lose hope. The path may be narrow, but it is there Mr. Dostie, waiting to lead you safely and surely home.
Return to the Church and be a light to others
In response to Gaston Dostie's letter from theAug. 27 WCR, yes there are people who call themselves Catholic but are "cafeteria Catholics" - they pick and choose what they want.
We also have Christmas and Easter Catholics and the hatched, matched and dispatched Catholics. This is their choice.
As in every walk of life, there are people who break all the rules of their profession, religion or whatever else and bring disgrace to themselves and whatever they represent.
But there are also saints coming out of our Church today, Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II for starters.
None of the people who make up our Church are perfect. The only perfect person was Jesus and look what happened to him.
At the message to the general audience on Aug. 26, the holy father said that "the message of Christ is that everybody has an equal chance of entering through the narrow gate, but it is 'narrow' because it is demanding, it requires commitment, self-denial and mortification of one's own egoism."
I know many holy men and women who try hard to practise their Catholic faith to the maximum by trying to live the morals, teaching and traditions of the Church using commitment, self-denial and mortification on a daily basis.
I, for one, am proud to be a member of the Roman Catholic Church and promote the Church on a regular basis. I thank God for my gift of faith and the people who have nourished the faith through the years of my life.
To Mr. Dostie, I say "Come back home and be a light to your family and friends. You will never regret it."
Live as a true Catholic
Re: "Catholic father wants to go home" (WCR, Aug. 27).
I wonder what Gaston Dostie's problem is. Why is he so concerned about what other people are doing? It seems his niece who admits she goes to the Saturday evening Mass so she will be able to sleep in Sunday morning is being honest.
Why is he making so many excuses not to return to the Catholic Church? Returning to the Catholic Church would give him the opportunity to lead by example, to the "non-Catholics." Living his life as a "true Catholic." What could be better?
"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged" (Matthew 7:1).
Tridentine Mass could preserve the faith
I welcome Pope Benedict's decision to loosen restrictions on the use of theLatin Mass. Vatican II, in fact, never called for the elimination of Latin. The pope's decision, therefore, is meant to foster a more comprehensive and profound understanding of the Church's liturgy.
Latin is the official language of the Catholic Church. It is a "dead" language that prevents Church liberals from translating words into the vernacular using ambiguous terms that undermine Church doctrine such as the use of inclusive language.
Perhaps, the greatest advantage of the Latin Mass, then, is that it is not open to the numerous abuses presently experienced on a regular basis with the new Mass.
The universality of Latin makes it conducive to all believers experiencing more fully the mystery of the Mass. It imbues a heightened reverence and sense of the sacred. It complements well the Latin rites' traditional Gregorian chant with its moving meditative cadence that touches the depths of the soul.
The Tridentine Mass is also more uniform and consistently Catholic in its theological and Christian-cultural aspects. A wider implementation of the Latin Mass will no doubt be an effective means of both preserving the Church's faith and identity while at the same time allowing her to carry out her mission of evangelization.
I hope the pope's new directive will encourage bishops to actively and aggressively promote the Latin Mass throughout their dioceses and beyond.
This can be done by initiating schools of formation to train priests in the Latin rite. In addition, since a great number of the faithful are now unaware of the Roman liturgy prior to the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, each bishop may want to make this option known by way of personal directive or notification printed in all the parish bulletins each Sunday.
Letter to the Editor - 10/01/07
Pluralism is about tolerance and respect
TheJune 29 doctrine document on Vatican II created a reaction that makes it necessary once again for the Catholic Church to defend herself. Since Vatican II there has been steady pressure on the Church to move the doctrine on the Church to embrace pluralism.
The Church has rejected pluralism.
We are told that other religions "suffer from defects" however the doctrine confirms that, although we cannot comprehend how he does it, God will use other religions as "instruments of salvation."
Am I to believe that God will see those other religions as having merit in the "mystery of salvation" but I must regard them as "lacking"?
Pluralism is about tolerance and respect for those who hold different beliefs.
I believe that what I, as a Catholic, choose to believe in is the one true path to salvation. However if someone else claims to believe that Allah is the one true path to salvation why must I believe that their beliefs suffer from defects?
My faith leads me to believe in a merciful God but neither my human intellect nor my Catholic Church can claim to know, comprehend or describe God. Does God reveal himself to other believers under a different name and different comprehension in the eyes of the believer? Is God really God to me, but Allah to my Muslim friends?
As different societies developed in the struggle to contemplate life after death did God find different inspirational messengers and messages to comfort them and guide them in the mystery of salvation?
Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ established here on earth the one true, apostolic Catholic Church and I believe that he was the Son of God, but query whether God in his infinite wisdom chose another way to introduce the mystery of salvation to Taoists?
Keep the seminary in St. Albert
We recently found out Newman and St. Joseph Seminary are moving (WCR, Aug. 27). My wife Bernice and I will certainly miss the present site as we spent many hours there doing mailouts, attending Mass and enjoying their wonderful meals.
We hope the new location will be St. Albert, probably the oldest settlement in Alberta and home of the first diocese and an old centre of Catholic life.
Bishop Grandin and Father Albert Lacombe would certainly approve St. Albert.
The name says it all.
Bernice & Emile Lema
Nurturing an ongoing communication with God is our responsibility
When I am following the discussions about the so-calledreinstallation of the Tridentine Mass, I wonder why is this such a big topic?
What causes Catholics to "go back" to this older form of liturgy? I think, while worshipping our God believers are looking for three things in the liturgy: solemnity, reverence and mysticism.
All these are deeply rooted in the human longing to communicate with our Lord, God, Creator. When people are looking for such things in an older form of the Holy Mass, they seem not to get it enough in the current order of the liturgy.
However, my sense of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of the Holy Mass is such that these elements are not lacking there, but perhaps they are lacking in or for the people attending Mass.
I am reminded of a Muslim, unknown to me, who said once in an interview if God is present in the Eucharist, he would prostrate every time coming into a church (paraphrased). Does the liturgy prohibit or even undermine such a sense of holiness?
Maybe the reforms of Vatican II gave us understanding too much of the intellect and too little of the heart, thus focusing on the proper performance of outward rituals and missing the inward essence of the sacraments.
In my understanding, Vatican II focused on the use of our conscience as the meeting place with the Holy Spirit. This puts the responsibility of nurturing communications with our God into our lap.
That means for me, attendance at Mass is not a sacrifice of one hour a week of my time, or a service I may want to receive but the active participation of God's redemptive plan for the whole world through Jesus' eternal sacrifice of himself so that we might live.
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