Don't forget about the Plenary Indulgence!
As most of you will already be aware, a plenary indulgence may be gained by those – meeting the usual conditions – who, in a church or oratory, take part in a recitation or solemn chant of the hymn Veni Creator on the first day of the year, imploring divine assistance for the whole of the coming year, or the Te Deum, on the last day of the year, in thanksgiving to God for the favours received in the course of the past 12 months. (See Fr Z.) So, why not release a Holy Soul into Heaven this New Year?
Thank God for Pope Benedict XVI
The past year has been one full of graces for the Church. Pope Benedict XVI has again provided the faithful with clear leadership – furthering the holy goal of correcting error within the Church, for the benefit of all: Catholics and non-Catholics alike. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also been active in reminding certain groups, such as the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, that obedience to the truth is not something that can be dispensed with (see the CDF's Doctrinal Assessment). There is only one magisterium in the Church – not several. Modernism is slowly, but surely, being dismantled and removed from the Church – but there is a very long way to go, yet. And after the war, comes the laborious process of reconstruction.
A bright future: three groups among many wonderful movements
Thankfully, the future looks bright! During the past year, I have got to know more and more about the work of Juventutem (especially Juventutem London and Juventutem Bristol) – a movement I urge all young Catholics to join! These bright, happy, and well-informed young devotees of traditional Catholicism form one of the many orthodox and faithful building blocks upon which the Church of the future will be firmly established. They are here to stay – and thank God for them!
Other groups, usually attracting younger Catholics, are to be commended, too. The list is far too long for this short blog post, but I would like to mention a couple, the first being 40 Days for Life (of which 40 Days for Life London is a part). This movement is growing from strength to strength, and is a real and powerful tool of the new evangelisation. Not only do those who stand in vigil and prayer outside abortion clinics save physical lives, but they save eternal souls, too! I urge every Catholic to support pro-Life movements like this one. In generations to come, many will ask: why did people stand by and let the horrendous crime of abortion happen? Hopefully, they will also know by then that the Catholic Church stood up for what is right when hardly anyone else did!
Another movement I would like to highlight is a Spanish one, called Impulso Joven -- a wonderful new group started by young people who wish to save Spain from the attacks against life, love, the family, and the Faith currently besieging that part of the world. I happen to know one of the organisers of this group – a young man called Norberto, whom I met once at a traditional Mass in London. He sent me an email the other day mentioning some of the other activities he and his friends have been involved in, which include: a CROSSROADS pro-Life pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (see Flickr) and Our Lady of Częstochowa's current visit to Spain (the From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage – see my post, here – has now reached Valladolid.) If you speak or read Spanish, please visit the Impulso Joven website.
Traditional Catholicism and the New Evangelisation
It really is a joy to see these movements spring up in the Church, many -- if not all -- of which are inspired by traditional Catholicism. I firmly believe that the saints of this century will be men and women who live lives like the saints of our previous centuries: wedded to the complete adoration of Almighty God in the Sacred Liturgy. Man-made religion gets us nowhere. That worship which comes to us from God, and has Him as its cause and end, as well as its primary focus, is humanity's true garden of sanctity. Orthodox teaching, truth without compromise, preached in pure love, is also a must for any man or woman who seeks complete unity with Jesus Christ: the One with clean hands and pure heart (cf Ps 24:4).
The new evangelisation requires only three simple things: sound teaching and preaching, holy God-centred liturgies, and hearts willing to be consumed by Divine Love.
Good-bye dissent, hello truth! Good-bye grey sky, hello blue!
Finally, I think the end is nigh for many dissenting groups within the Church. The days of disobedience and false teaching are over – or nearly over! In that sense, I predict that this coming year will be a good one for those who have been praying for the restoration of Catholic teaching in the Church. I also think it’ll be a good one for other sacred projects, such as the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham here in England and Wales. But, keep praying, for the Devil never rests, and dissenters are not usually known for their ability to conform themselves to the truth -- choosing instead to continue causing chaos from within.