Tradition: A Different Worldview

By Patrick Pierce, Traditius

And be not conformed to this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.”

– St. Paul, The Epistle to the Romans, 12:2 (DR)

“For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?”

– Jesus Christ, The Gospel of Saint Matthew 16:26-27 (DR)

The modern point of view seems to be that there is the Now, the things being done and discussed around us, and there is the Unimportant—history, tradition, and anything else generally found outside the scope of our immediate ambitions.  This view is bolstered by the undeniable fact that by the time we’ve worked through our day and returned home we have maybe two hours to do whatever it is that relaxes us, and that combined with whatever we need to do to prepare for the next workday.  Turning our attention to history, tradition, and away from the topics of the public square–entertainment, sports, gossip–is simply a luxury most would rightly claim they don’t have time for.

What this viewpoint misses, though, is that history informs every moment of the now, tradition suggests views of life that can help you wisely through the day.  More than that, the ideas we discuss have a genealogy we might not even know, our presumptions about life are for the most part borrowed or suggested from the outside world more often than from our faith or family.  Our way of looking at things is largely dictated by our education, by the media and by the contemporary culture if we don’t make the time to become better grounded.

Every age, in a way, has a worldview, and the worldview of our age is identifiable.  Some might label it postmodern, or modernity or even, as we will do here, modernism.  But whatever the label, it is all around us, it can be witnessed and, if you know enough about it, actually stepped back from to take an objective look at it.  And, at that pivotal point, you are free to do something quite remarkable—you can reject it.

The modern worldview, whether you realize it yet or not, is basically that everything should be separate.  That is, it takes things apart and “atomizes” them, sealing everyone into their own little bubble world.  In this age there is, few are to believe, no objective truth.  There is only your truth, the things you alone in your experience have decided to be true based on your thoughts and experiences.  Entertainment, media, academia all suggest it, spin it, enforce it:  Your truth is to be kept separate, that is, it should not interfere with anyone else’s version of the truth, and you certainly shouldn’t go around declaring that there is one truth that applies to everyone.  It is very important that your truth become separate, because the modern age seeks to keep the peace by making certain there is no judgment–that is, that you do not impose your truth on the next person, since they are also entitled to live in their own bubble world.  To force them to consider truths beyond it is a dangerous business because it can tempt you to commit the cardinal sin of the modern age: judgment.  By asserting that your truth is more correct, you are telling someone else that theirs is less so, and this can make them feel bad.

If you are able to see it clearly you’ll see that we’ve constructed a whole society on this idea.  Saying what you believe, if indeed you dare to really believe anything at all because believe nothing is quite cool as well, can harm you at school, at your job and sometimes even in your home.  So, to keep the peace, the pursuit of truth has become subjective in our time, something you consider in your own little atom of a universe, your own private truth bubble where you can believe things as a personal hobby, like stamp collecting, as long as you don’t try to press the matter and start blathering on about what is universally true.

On a grand scale this attitude towards the world feeds into many other modern philosophies, for example, multiculturalism and its core idea that no culture has better truths than any other, that they are all just different and equal, or moral relativism, that no set of moral beliefs is any better than another.  The key to the modernist view, the “liberal” view, is that everything should be kept quite separate, and to accomplish that we all need to reduce our beliefs to a pastime, or to keep them to ourselves no matter the cost.

This was not always the case, and even modernists will eagerly tell you so.  They will tell you that in ages past people killed each other because they had different religious beliefs they thought were true, and that this even caused wars.  The worst actor in this drama they speak of is often the Roman Catholic Church, which tried to assert its truth everywhere, causing division and violence until the glorious Enlightenment which led to modern governments that were themselves atomized in that they weren’t to deal at all with religion or faith either.  Government should be separate from all of this, in more ways than one.  (A reasonable study of history will of course show that communist atheists killed far more than noble rulers of the past, and that the corrupt rulers of the past cause violence on neighbors because of their own ambitions, politics or inclination toward evil.  But that kind of thinking just doesn’t fit the current age.  It’s too judgmental.)

This separateness of modernity in each aspect of life, where everything is a choice and judgment is bad form, has created a slippery slope.  If nothing is true then nothing is right or wrong.  If judging is the ultimate sin, then one man’s virtue is another man’s vice and we all slowly slide down the slope toward doing precisely what we want, whether it has implications for the culture or not, whether it degrades society or not.  Slowly, then, you get what we see in the culture today: perversion, vice, freakishness on every channel and front page.  And regardless of your own personal belief system, you likely deep down know this truth: without being held to virtue, people will lean toward vice, what feels good, what’s easy, and they will create a world in their head where everything they want to do is justified.  This little trick is much easier to accomplish, of course, if there is no objective truth around to judge your actions against.

We all long to be a part of something, we all long to know our part in the whole, and the fact is that these human longings are a part of our very soul, and that beginning to address them is simply a matter of looking at things differently.  Jesus and his apostles called us to step out of our age, to follow Him.  He not only claimed that there was truth, he claimed to be that truth.

You do not have to take my word for any of this.  But as you watch television, or listen to the media, look for these presumptions that try to separate you from others, from a world that we are all in together, that we must keep out of the sewers together.  Imagine that we all are in this together, aimed at the truth that is our salvation and ponder it at the back of your mind.  Gather evidence for or against the idea that we all might be better off in a world where everyone’s bubble is popped and we are out in the open once again, left to wrestle with ideas and truths again, a society aimed at creating a world aware of the great good of salvation, which can even be discussed without shame in public, at work, or even in our homes.

It is my hope that this column provides you with a simple pin, and that you will one day, after some reflection and consideration, reach out with it, pop your bubble, and let the truth rush in.  As uncomfortable as the idea might be at first, as all of your personal justifications and ego defenses float out and away, you will I think discover, perhaps for the first time, that you are not so separate after all.

Prayers in Latin II: The Hail Mary

Tonight Traditium continues its series of resource-based articles supporting those wishing to learn the Rosary prayers in the language of the Church with the Hail Mary.

The Hail Mary / Ave Maria

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of our death.

Amen.

Áve María,
grátia pléna,
Dóminus técum.
Benedícta tū in muliéribus,
et benedíctus frúctus
véntris túi, Iésus.

Sáncta María,
Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae.

Ámen.

Audio: The Hail Maria in English from the Boston Catholic Journal:

Audio: Ave Maria in Latin from the Boston Catholic Journal:

Things To Be Said

st-jerome-writing.jpgPlease pardon the dust as the Traditium, the personal blog site of Patrick Pierce, aka Traditius, is revived and restored.  The effort of creating and dismantling the Traditian Order took a lot of mental energy, and then some respite, but alas there are things to be said, and this is where I will be saying them once again.

– T
Instaurare Omnia in Christo

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Satan in the Light

“I saw the torments of hell and those of purgatory; no words can describe them. Had poor mortals the faintest idea of them, they would suffer a thousand deaths rather than undergo the least of their torments during a single day.”

— St. Catherine of Siena

devil cloakedModernism is the coming together of many heresies, but if you look carefully you will see that they all share a disbelief in, or disdain of, the supernatural. The supernatural, of course, is the belief in angels and devils, heaven and hell, sin and salvation. It is composed of that which is above the natural, that which we can feel only with the soul, and know only through the highest of reason.

Many moderns believe these unseen matters to be foolishness, ignorance, and in so doing they distance themselves from them, endangering their soul for the sake of honor and pride, for the satisfaction of thinking they are the highest authority over their own lives.

Looking at these latest scandals in the Church is to see this principle in action. If someone believed in heaven and hell, sin and salvation, would they commit these awful sins for years? Would they do so without remorse, without removing themselves from occasions of sin, without recognizing that they are on the path to Hell? It is hard to believe, but the fact is that once you cut yourself off from supernatural truth, you are simply an unprotected soul behind enemy lines.

Continue reading “Satan in the Light”

Prayers in Latin I: The Apostles Creed

Tonight Traditium begins its series of resource-based articles supporting those wishing to learn the Rosary prayers in the language of the Church with the Apostles Creed.

The Apostles Creed / Symbolum Apostolorum

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ,
His only Son
Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell;
the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God,
the Father almighty;
He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Catholic Church,
the Co
mmunion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body
and life everlasting.

Amen.

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem,
Creatorem caeli et terrae.

Et in Iesum Christum,
Filium eius unicum,
Dominum nostrum,
qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto,
natus ex Maria Virgine,
passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus,
mortuus, et sepultus,
descendit ad infernos,
tertia die resurrexit a mortuis,
ascendit ad caelos,
sedet ad dexteram Dei
Patris omnipotentis,
inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos.

Credo in Spiritum Sanctum,
sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam,
sanctorum communionem,
remissionem peccatorum,
carnis resurrectionem,
vitam aeternam.

Amen.

Audio: The Apostles Creed in English from the Boston Catholic Journal:

Audio: Symbolum Apostolorum in Latin from the Boston Catholic Journal:

In The Garden of Charlemagne

Medieval Horticulture, Part 2: In The Garden of Charlemagne
A sequel to: Medieval Horticulture, Part 1: Monastic Herbalism

In 476 A.D. the Emperor Romulus Augustus was overthrown by the germanic hordes and any order that the Roman Empire had brought to Europe for centuries was finished.  The fall of Rome in the west would cast the former territories of the Empire into centuries of ignorance and squalor, we are told, particularly the areas farthest from it.  This is the accepted history, and it is an enormous oversimplification.

Landtag beraet ueber Klage des Freistaats gegen den Laenderfinanzausgleich
“Imperial Coronation of Charlemagne”  by Friedrich Kaulbach, 1861

Just a few decades later, after all, one of the germanic tribes, the Franks, were unified under one king, named Clovis I. Unlike the other tribes, which were mainly Arian, the Franks were Catholic due to Clovis’ wife insistence and his conversion on Christmas Day in 508 A.D.. The germanic tribes would continue their chaotic rule over much of the former Empire in the west, for a time, but in 768 A.D. a man named Charles rose to lead the Franks and re-establish order. Charles would go on to conquer the other tribes, and became Holy Roman Emperor. Even during his life he was referred to as “Charles the Great” which translates in French, of course, to Charlemagne.

Continue reading “In The Garden of Charlemagne”

A Choice Against Creation

The events in Ireland this week have been much discussed. While there are a thousand perspectives on it, though, one truth cannot be denied: Abortion is an unnatural act. That is to say, it is literally an act against creation, and writ large it exposes a terrible failure of humanity itself.  We have so distanced ourselves from the nature of God that we, collectively, think we can deny it, blind ourselves to it, overrule it.  But we cannot, and the evidence of that fact is everywhere, if we care to look for it.

Continue reading “A Choice Against Creation”

Prayers for the Battle

Put ye on the armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take on the armor of God, that ye may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.

Ephesians 6:11-17

The passage above, from The Epistle of St. Paul to the Ephesians, seems on the surface to be comparing, in metaphor, aspects of the Christian faith to the various pieces of armor a warrior might wear.  Each item protecting or arming the faithful in the way that a breastplate or sword might.  As metaphor, and as spiritual truth, it is powerful.  However, it also speaks to a later tradition.

It speaks to the Lorica.

Continue reading “Prayers for the Battle”

God Is Life – The Via Fecunditatis

Life is springing up around you every moment of the day. The trees that surround us, the animals that make them home, the people of all ages passing under them. It is filling gardens, pushing through the cracks in the pavement, living and thriving in environments all around the globe, both urban and remote. All of this life abounds because God is growing, fecund, spouting, twisting life.

In this Age they say that we are made up of spinning atoms and maybe even twisting strings, ever in motion, bumping into each other, splitting and whirling about. If everything needs a cause, and everything was caused by something else, we still need the unmoved mover, the uncaused cause, God, and if the world is evidence, he is not only the Creator, He is ever creating, ever in motion, ever causing.

Continue reading “God Is Life – The Via Fecunditatis”

The Tridentine Fallacy

trent.png
What most people call the “Latin Mass” seems to have a bewildering number of names and many of them are imprecise for one reason or another. Perhaps surprisingly ”Latin Mass” is the least precise of all. But another label, Tridentine, can be used by some naysayers in a way that is downright troublesome.

Among the many names for it, calling the liturgy conducted in Latin and pursuant to the 1962 Missal the “Extraordinary Form” is certainly accurate since Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum formalized the term, along with the term Ordinary Form for the form of the Mass commonly seen today. Pope Francis seems to prefer calling the Extraordinary Form the Vetus Ordo, or Old Form, which lines up nicely given that the Ordinary Form is also called the Novus Ordo, or New Form. So, regardless of any possible connotations, the benefit of the labels Extraordinary Form or Vetus Ordo for the so-called Latin Mass is that they are precise, accurate and used by popes. Many, though, prefer to call the Traditional Latin Mass/Old Form/Extraordinary Form the “Tridentine Mass,” which, historically speaking, can be both right and wrong, and which is often a springboard to an increasingly common and often deliberate fallacy.

Continue reading “The Tridentine Fallacy”

Monastic Herbalism

Medieval Horticulture, Part 1: Monastic Herbalism.
(Also see the Part Two: In The Garden of Charlemagne)

Some say the monastics of the Middle Ages merely kept good records of the classical era, preserved them, copied them, and made use of them. Others say they developed many skills and a great deal of information themselves through trial and error. What cannot be doubted, though, is that monks and nuns of medieval times had records, gardens and medicines for the practice of herbalism. Indeed, they were the masters of it, particularly the Benedictines, and they held and built this treasure of knowledge for over a millennium, with many continuing to do so to this day.

herbs
Sage, rue and rosemary.

Ancient Rome used herbs as part of its medical system. Indeed, the Roman Army took seeds with them along the way so they could plant and use them when they dug in at a particular location. The system itself came mainly from Greek discoveries, particularly Hippocrates and his followers, and it is well recorded that the Hippocratic humeral system was used by Ancient Rome. This system held that an excess or deficiency of any of four bodily fluids in a person, called humours, had a direct effect on their health and attitude. Herbs were among the things that they thought could restore balance to the humours. While the system was flawed in its foundational assumptions, the trial and error involved in it led to discovering many herbs and plants that helped the body to heal itself.

Continue reading “Monastic Herbalism”

You Are Right To Be Concerned

precious bloodTurn Your eyes to the most prominent place and there You will find the face of suffering. It is not hidden, not swept away, not tucked into a corner. There is pain, all of the pain, beaten and bloody. It is a tangible suffering You are quixotically invited to join with Your own. It is blood You are bizarrely asked not to turn away from but to wash Yourself in. It is anointed flesh and that same precious blood You are preposterously told to believe is eternally offered as sustenance. Imagine such a scene. Do not look away from it. And know one thing: Truth such as this will never submit to the times.

It is an age where the people’s seers wear labcoats, and all that can be seen can be measured and categorized, but You know that there are echoes at the very depths of Your being, parts of You that understand that all of the explanations They offer are not enough, parts of You that instinctively know that not everything can be measured, not everything can be seen, not everything can be explained. There is always a piece of You, a piece which They would deny even exists, an indispensable piece that looks at their explanations, smiles knowingly and says “there is more than just this.”

The efforts by many to explain the Faith in terms the current age will understand, these are valiant and necessary efforts, but to the degree the World considers them subversive efforts, They are precisely right. The Faith is not of this world, it is beyond the natural, it includes all that You admit and all that You deny. The dogma it declares, dimly here, loudly there, should be among the gravest of concerns to those who breathe deeply of the times. Because We are out to change this world, to make straight the path to the new one. As many times as needed, as difficult as it may be. Forever and ever.

Continue reading “You Are Right To Be Concerned”

The Tridentine Fallacy

trent.png
What most people call the “Latin Mass” seems to have a bewildering number of names and many of them are imprecise for one reason or another. Perhaps surprisingly ”Latin Mass” is the least precise of all. But another label, Tridentine, can be used by some naysayers in a way that is downright troublesome.

Among the many names for it, calling the liturgy conducted in Latin and pursuant to the 1962 Missal the “Extraordinary Form” is certainly accurate since Pope Benedict XVI’s Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum formalized the term, along with the term Ordinary Form for the form of the Mass commonly seen today. Pope Francis seems to prefer calling the Extraordinary Form the Vetus Ordo, or Old Form, which lines up nicely given that the Ordinary Form is also called the Novus Ordo, or New Form. So, regardless of any possible connotations, the benefit of the labels Extraordinary Form or Vetus Ordo for the so-called Latin Mass is that they are precise, accurate and used by popes. Many, though, prefer to call the Traditional Latin Mass/Old Form/Extraordinary Form the “Tridentine Mass,” which, historically speaking, can be both right and wrong, and which is often a springboard to an increasingly common and often deliberate fallacy.

Continue reading “The Tridentine Fallacy”