Friday, March 11, 2016


Where Catholics once were very disciplined in observing the ascetical practices of our Faith, this has all but collapsed since Vatican II and under the lame leadership of the Church.

Need I remind the good Cardinal about how scrupulously Catholics prior to the Council observed the midnight fast before Holy Communion which in 1958 was reduced to a more reasonable but nonetheless strict three hour fast. But after Vatican II to a mere one hour before Holy Communion.

Need I remind the good Cardinal that every Friday of the YEAR it was prescribed that we abstain from meat/pork/ fowl products and Catholics were scrupulous about doing so prior to Vatican II but after the law was relaxed and became fiercely individualistic rather than communal that discipline collapsed.

Need I remind the good Cardinal that prior to Vatican II there were additional days of fast and abstinence for ember days and rogation days. Gone today!

Need I remind the good Cardinal about the strict fasting during the entire season of Lent save Sundays which today has become a bit of a joke.

Yes, Cardinal Dolan makes some good points. But only he, his brother bishops and the pope can change the laxity of Catholics today and reinvigorate the ascetical discipline of the Church. We are waiting:

March 10, 2016
Have We Lost It? Timothy Cardinal Dolan

One of my favorite memories of baseball is about the pitching legend Sandy Koufax. This cherished recollection about one of the game’s greatest pitchers did not occur on the mound, however, it came in 1965, when Sandy informed the manager of the Dodgers that he would not be able to pitch on the Jewish high holyday, Yom Kippur. For Sandy, his faith was more important than even baseball.

Last week I was taking a walk in Central Park and stopped at a cart for a bottle of water. But, the attendant was not to be seen. I walked around the cart hoping to find him, and there he was, a faithful Moslem, on his knees for his duty of prayer.

How about the movie Chariots of Fire, the true story about the committed Christian Olympic runner, Eric Liddell, who would not compete on Sunday, the Sabbath? Remember?

And now I understand the Jewish members of the senior class at Baruch University have asked that their late Friday afternoon graduation ceremony be rescheduled earlier so as not to interfere with Sabbath. God bless them!

What about us Catholics?

From what I can detect, instead of fidelity to communal acts of penance, we write in for “dispensations” for the measly eight days of fasting left – – Ash Wednesday and the Fridays of Lent.

We continue to schedule celebrations, parties, and fundraisers during what should be forty somber days of penance.

As for observing the Sabbath, only 25% of us attend Mass, instead of loyalty to Sunday, when we seem to prefer Starbucks and sporting events – – even sponsored by the CYO!

Our Catholic colleges will compete in “March Madness” even on Good Friday, and coaches in our parishes will complain that CYO games cannot be scheduled on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.

The Bible tells us we need fasting, penance, holy days and the Sabbath.

Sociologists tell us that a religion needs what they call “markers” to flourish, external signs (like Sabbath observances and fasting) to flow from internal conviction.

Am I exaggerating when I ask if we Catholics have lost it?

Where’s the Catholic Sandy Koufax?


TJM said...

Well when you have weak kneed bishops who allow fake catholic politicians to masquerade as practicing Catholics, i.e., Nancy Pelosi, what can you say. I believe the bishops have incurred excommunication for themselves by allowing this scandal to go on. A young, confused pregnant girl would assume abortion is fine since Pelosi hasn't been excommunicated. After all, if it was a big deal, she would have been long ago, right? Sign me thoroughly disgusted

Mark Thomas said...

Timothy Cardinal Dolan said that "sociologists tell us that a religion needs what they call “markers” to flourish, external signs (like Sabbath observances and fasting) to flow from internal conviction. Am I exaggerating when I ask if we Catholics have lost it?"

Sorry, but the time for talk over. Our Churchmen must either act now to restore Catholic "markers" or accept that the Church will continue to collapse.

Cardinal Dolan has rehashed simply a column that he (then-Archbishop) had offered on August 16, 2011A.D.

Excerpts: "Every Catholic mid-fifties and older can recall how abstinence from meat on all Fridays was a constant of our lives. This modification–the pros and cons still being debated–almost became the symbol of “change” in the post-Vatican II Church. Whether one agrees with that decision or not, all must admit that penance and mortification–essentials of Christian discipleship, according to Jesus Himself–have sadly diminished as a trait of Catholic life.

"Another reason that usually surfaces in any discussion of this issue is the value of what are called external markers enhancing our religious identity. But what about us Catholics? Lord knows, there used to be tons of them: Friday abstinence from meat was one of them, but we recall so many others: seriousness about Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation; fasting on the Ember Days; saints names for children; confession at least annually; loyal membership in the local parish; fasting for three hours before Holy Communion, just to name a few.

"But, almost all of these external markers are now gone. Besides the black smudge on our foreheads on Ash Wednesday, is there any way we Catholics “stand out” as distinctive?

"Debate it you may. But, the scholars tell us that, without such identifiable characteristics, any religion risks becoming listless, bland, and unattractive."


Okay. So far, so good. But then, Cardinal Dolan offered the following: "Is it fair and timely to ask if we “threw out the baby with the bathwater” when we got rid of so many distinctive, identifying marks of Catholic life five decades ago. I’m not saying we should re-introduce any or all of these markers. The toothpaste is probably out of the tube."

Then what is Cardinal Dolan's point? He offered us reasons to believe that Catholic "markers" are of vital importance to the health of the Church. But then he declared that he didn't suggest that "we should re-introduce any or all of these markers. The toothpaste is probably out of the tube."

Again, what is his point? Sorry, but it's all empty talk. I am sad to say that that is what I've come to expect from a great many Churchmen. They refuse simply to take concrete action to reverse the crisis of faith that they...THEY...have inflicted upon the Church.


Mark Thomas

Anonymous said...

Dolan is not concerned about traditional Catholic practices. He is involved in a lot of bad things in the Church. You can always tell when he is lying, his lips are moving.

Rood Screen said...

The Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday. Christians call Sunday the Lord's Day, but we've never referred to it as the "Sabbath".

gob said...

Gosh Dialogue...the third Commandment says that we should keep holy the "Sabbath Day"...If that's Saturday, we Catholics have been doing it wrong all these years.

Anonymous said...

Looking for a stand up Catholic Man? look at the church custodian from Omaha Cathedral who " cleansed the Temple. SEE Fr Z's Blog.
Saint Michael the Arch Angel defend us in battle...

Rood Screen said...


Saint Ignatius of Antioch to the Magnesians: "We have seen how former adherents of the ancient customs have since attained to a new hope, so that they have given up keeping the Sabbath, and now order their lives by the Lord’s Day instead, the day when life first dawned for us, thanks to Him and His death".