Author Topic: How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis  (Read 1322 times)

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Offline Matthew

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How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
« on: May 25, 2016, 12:23:00 PM »
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  • First of all, we need to be simple and down to earth enough to remember the BASICS. Namely, we need to keep the Faith and save our souls. Regardless of the Pope, regardless of the Church authorities and fallible churchmen.

    We need to stay Catholic, both in doctrine AND in practice. So we need to know our Faith (which we can get from good faithful priests, as well as pre-Vatican II Catholic literature), and PRACTICE the Catholic Faith as much as we can. To keep the Faith in practice, we need to attend valid, doubt-free Masses and partake of valid, doubt-free sacraments.

    But I think this is a key point which is often overlooked:

    We need to spend a certain percentage of our waking hours on the positive elements of Catholicism, or JUST BEING CATHOLIC. That is to say, we must occasionally just kick back and enjoy the Catholicism we've fought so long and hard to keep.

    If we can't do this anymore, we are close to a fall.

    I will endeavor to explain.

    Think about all the distractions and negative elements we have to deal with today:
    Struggling against error, fighting, defending good priests, watching friends/family go astray, watching fellow parishioners disappear from our chapels (for various reasons), watching fellow Catholics give up and go various directions, temptations, attacks from fellow parishioners, attacks from rival groups, attacks from Modernists, attacks from Pagans around us, polemics we read online, reading the words of people who are in error and/or honestly confused, etc.

    These things can be dealt with, but not unless we have a BASIC CATHOLIC CORE of just being Catholic. Once in a while we have to IGNORE the attacks, IGNORE the evils in the world, IGNORE the Talmudic Jews and Freemasons, PUT DOWN the pen and keyboard, and just ENJOY the Catholicism! Bask in the Catholic Faith we are still blessed to have. Talk (pray) to Our Lord and Our Lady.  Go on a traditional silent retreat, or at least a 1 day recollection. Pray to your patron saint(s). Read Lives of the Saints and early Church martyrs. Read Holy Scripture. Pray a Rosary. Make a meditation or the Stations of the Cross. Make a spiritual communion. Volunteer to help out at your local chapel if you have one. Do something constructive for the Church. Try to convert someone to the Catholic Faith, if you can find someone the least bit interested (talking about a protestant or pagan here, not a Feeneyite, sedevacantist, or non-sedevacantist!). Listen to a CD of Gregorian chant or polyphony. Look at some beautiful Catholic art. Read the Doctors of the Church. Go to Mass. Go to Benediction. Go on a pilgrimage. Stay after Mass and talk with fellow Catholics, or at least visit another Catholic family. Enjoy some of the good things the Faith has to offer -- the smells and bells, as it were. These must be the consolations that God had in mind to keep us going during this Crisis. If we deny ourselves these sources of strength and consolation, it's no wonder we will fall. That is why I am so vehemently against dogmatic home-aloneism.

    Without some of these positives, it's easy to DROWN in all the confusion and evil, and be tempted to despair.

    I am sharing with you my secret for staying a faithful soldier -- a Traditional Catholic -- for so many years. All glory be to God, of course. But it doesn't help anybody to ignore/deny the fact that SO MANY Traditional Catholics are tempted to give up after X number of years. This has been true in the SSPX for a long time. Priests and faithful become tempted to end the war early by surrender -- by compromise with the world. They raise the white flag and negotiate a personal truce with the enemy, because they can't handle a war that lasts decades.

    I know from personal experience that after I perform several items in that "Catholic activities" list above, I am ready to get back out there on the battlefield. But I really benefit from those breaks from the constant fighting.

    In short, you just have to know when to call it a day, put down the books on the Crisis, take a break from CathInfo, etc. Better to withdraw from CathInfo for a week  or two, than to lose your Faith! (Or maybe restrict yourself to the "The Sacred: Catholic Liturgy, Chant, Prayers" subforum for a week, if you have the discipline)

    Different people can handle different amounts of "staring evil right in the face", and I think it has to do with how much "just being Catholic" they do in their spare time.


    Some people it seems are ALWAYS fighting and never just enjoying the Catholicism they fought for. It's as if they've forgotten what they were fighting for. The fighting has become an end in itself. They can't see the forest because of all the trees in the way.

    It's like a man full of anger who goes on vacation, but is constantly frustrated, upset and angry throughout his vacation. He is so stressed out, he has forgotten how to let go and just "enjoy the trip". He is so used to being negative, he can't enjoy his vacation at all because the hotel's breakfast buffet ran out of bacon, someone cut him off on the highway, he left the lights on in his rented car, or other minor inconveniences. He has forgotten how to let go of things.

    What's the point of spending money/time on a vacation, if you've forgotten how to let go and have fun? What's the point of fighting hard to keep the Faith, if you've forgotten how to practice and live a normal Catholic lifestyle?
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    Offline Franciscan Solitary

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 12:41:24 PM »
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  • Excellent advice, Mr. Matthew.  Most excellent advice.


    Offline Matthew

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #2 on: May 25, 2016, 12:52:06 PM »
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  • P.S.

    If we are practicing those Catholic activities (we still know how to enjoy the "smells and bells") but fail to EVER get back out there into the fight, reading and thinking about the controversies, looking at the ugliness out there, keeping up with the news in the Church, etc. then we risk becoming a conservative, compromised "smells and bells only" Catholic, which is almost as bad.

    This is what happened to the neo-SSPX and many of its parishioners. Sure, they're practicing the Catholic Faith, which is good. But they are unaware of the errors, the perfidy of the Jews and Freemasons, and they never visit any Traditional Catholic forums. What are they doing instead, really? Can they really not spend ANY time, just because it's kind of unpleasant at times? Does the topic of "the Catholic Faith" not interest them at all? Is the Faith not worth a bit of trouble? Are they ONLY after the "nice internal feelings" NIFs that the Faith has to offer?

    It's good that they remember what good things the Faith has to offer, but by focusing on those positives EXCLUSIVELY, they are becoming ignorant, 1950's Catholics with a foundation built on sand.

    Fighting might not be pleasant, but it's an integral part of keeping the Faith -- also known as The Spiritual Combat. That is why at Confirmation we become "soldiers of Jesus Christ".

    There has to be a balance -- a middle ground -- between
    overload/obsession with the Crisis and evils in the Church/world, to the point of forgetting what we're fighting for,
    and
    failing to fight at all, completely ignoring the evils like an ostrich, with your personal motto being "ignorance is bliss".
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    Offline SanMateo

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #3 on: May 25, 2016, 01:08:49 PM »
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  • Well said, Matthew.  I wish every Traditional Catholic would read this!

    Offline Cantarella

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #4 on: May 25, 2016, 02:28:21 PM »
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  • We should not forget that it is Our Lord Jesus Christ, and not us, who is ultimately in control of His Church on earth lest we fall into despair. Our Lord does not need us, we need Him. He knows best, not us. This is a comforting thought so we do not lose hope and obsess about the crisis at the expense of our personal holiness in God's service. In the meantime, we have this day, May 25, 2016:

     1. To serve God by keeping His commandments.

     2. To imitate Jesus Christ by practicing the Christian virtues.

     3. To honor and invoke the angels and saints.

     4. To save a soul.

     5. To avoid Hell.

     6. To gain Heaven.

     7. To slight transitory things.

     8. To expiate sins.

     9. To subdue evil inclinations.

     10. To perform good works.

     11. To edify your neighbor.

     12. Perhaps, to die and to stand  before the judgment - seat of Jesus Christ.
     
    If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ" Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit" (Jn 3:5) let him be anathema.


    Offline Matthew

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 04:48:53 PM »
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  • In my experience, not enough Trad Catholics have meditated on these ideas.
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    Offline Gerard from FE

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 05:04:22 PM »
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  • Well stated above.

    I treat my whole perspective on the faith and life as being reflected in the Rosary.  

    One third Joyful, One third Sorrowful and One Third Glorious.  

    Count all of your natural blessing and the aids the faith gives us in Life, art music, philosophy, poetry, humor, food, shelter, etc.  


    The crisis in the Church has to be dealt with in the Sorrowful section and it has to share space with all of the other sorrows of life in the fallen world, sin etc.  


    The Glorious part is getting a foretaste of and anticipating the final and eternal victories, the death of pain and suffering,  This is where your prayer life and devotions should be leading you.  


    The Church and the faith is far more than the current crisis.  If it ended today, would we get bored with a well-run Church because we are so used to battle?  


    Offline VTG

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    How to stay sane and balanced in this Crisis
    « Reply #7 on: June 05, 2016, 06:03:36 AM »
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  • Well said, Matthew. It is too easy to only focus on the evils of this crisis and walk around full of anger. We need to remember Christ is in control and be like children in the arms if Our Lady and go to her for consolation and comfort. This rejuvenates the soul and helps us go back out and fight.


     

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