When studying the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, we are given the knowledge that one of the amazing gifts is known as piety. According to the Oxford dictionary, Piety is: “The quality of being religious or reverent.”
This is what we explicitly express in the traditional liturgies of the Catholic Church that were handed down by the apostles and the saints since they do not only bring attention the divine truths of our faith, but it also gives the respect due to our dear Lord, Jesus Christ, since He becomes present in the consecrated elements of Bread and Wine.
This explains why Pope Pius V and the Council of Trent explicitly codified the ancient rites for all time and why new ones cannot be constructed, under the pain of anathema.
“If any one saith, that the received and approved rites of the Catholic Church, wont to be used in the solemn administration of the sacraments, may be contemned, or without sin be omitted at pleasure by the ministers, or be changed, by every pastor of the churches, into other new ones; let him be anathema.”
Again, These ancient rites in themselves are handed down from the apostles when they went and preached the gospel to each and every corner of the earth as Christ commanded. Matthew 28:18 – 20:
“And Jesus coming spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”
For those of you who are not aware of what the ancient rites are, these are the Latin, Armenian, West Syrian, East Syrian, Byzantine, and Alexandrian liturgies that are used by the 23 (now 24) Sui Juris Churches of the Catholic Church. While different and diverse in culture, all of these ancient apostolic rites are equivalent in reverence and holiness and should be treated as such.
When examining all the ancient rites of the Catholic Church, both eastern and western, it explains why all of the liturgies are identical in their essence and reverence. Even though they are diverse cultural wise, they unite the Church because of their nature, excluding all innovation. This is because Christ commanded that this be done and explains why the apostles and early church fathers passed them down, something we know as Apostolic Tradition or Sacred Tradition. As Saint Paul stated: “Now I praise you, brethren, that in all things you are mindful of me: and keep my ordinances as I have delivered them to you.” ( 1 Cor 11:2)
When we look at the state of the Church today within her liturgical celebrations, one thing we most likely see are things that contradict tradition. We see many abuses such as communion in the hand, altar girls, extraordinary ministers, contemporary music and bands in church, and charismatic praise and worship music that is identical to a heretical Protestant service; something that is especially seen within the Neo Catechumenical way, life teen, and many other charismatic movements that are all heretical in their nature due to their modernist theology and philosophy which is clearly shown in their worship.
Even though the Charismatics constantly repeat that we need a “renewal of the Holy Spirit” and that they “Feel the Holy Spirit” in their worship, can we honestly conclude that this is the same Holy Ghost of the Divine Trinity, or a devil that deceives the flock by convincing them that they are receiving gifts from heaven that inspire a feel good atmosphere and reckovation of Catholic identity? While many of these abuses are done out of ignorance and most likely innocence due to the misleading teachings of the conciliar hierarchy, can we honestly say that these new and heretical practices are from the Holy Ghost, God Himself? Absolutely not! To say otherwise would be blasphemy. The Holy Ghost is God, equivalent in Nature to The Father and The Son, and cannot change! “Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.” (Matthew 24:35). And since the Holy Ghost is God and Is Christ: “Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same forever.” (Hebrews 13:8).
So where am I going with this? This same Holy Ghost, my dear brothers and sisters, is the same Holy Ghost that inspires the Gospels, the infallible statements of the Popes, the Councils and its anathemas. This same Holy Ghost stated the following at the Second Council of Nicea:
“Let everything that conflicts with ecclesiastical tradition and teaching, and that has been innovated and done contrary to the examples outlined by the saints and hereafter at any time be done in such a fashion, be anathema.”
But don’t take my word for it, Pope Pius X repeats this by stating the following:
“But for Catholics nothing will remove the authority of the second Council of Nicea, where it condemns those ‘who dare, after the impious fashion of heretics, to deride the ecclesiastical traditions, to invent novelties of some kind . . . or endeavor by malice or craft to overthrow any one of the legitimate traditions of the Catholic Church’. . . . Wherefore the Roman Pontiffs, Pius IV and Pius IX, ordered the insertion in the profession of faith of the following declaration: ‘I most firmly admit and embrace the apostolic and ecclesiastical traditions and other observances and constitutions of the Church’.” – Pope St Pius X, Encyclical Against Modernism (Pascendi)
So my Charismatic friends.. who are you really praying to? Let us continue to pray that our hierarchy and mislead brothers and sisters return to Tradition.
St. Thomas Aquinas
“It is absurd, and a detestable shame, that we should suffer those traditions to be changed which we have received from the fathers of old.” – The Decretals (Dist. xii, 5) Cited by St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica, II, I, Q. 97, art. 2.
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