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As the offering of the Mass of All Ages and all that goes with it, is expanding in all parts of the civilized Western World (latest here and here and here), and in opposition of the strong headwind coming from the land on the Tiber, the below Holy Gospel passage comes to mind:
1.The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in Isaias the prophet: Behold I send my angel before thy face, who shall prepare the way before thee. 3. A voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. 4. John was in the desert baptizing, and preaching the baptism of penance, unto remission of sins. 5. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all they of Jerusalem, and were baptized by him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. 6. And John was clothed with camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7. And he preached, saying: There cometh after me one mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8. I have baptized you with water; but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. 9. And it came to pass, in those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10. And forthwith coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened,and the Spirit as a dove descending, and remaining on him. 11. And there came a voice from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Mark 1:1-11)
Which raises the question, who will fill all these pews?
Hold that thought for a minute…
Over the last few months, I have been following the online presentations of Dr. Jordan Peterson. I have found myself attracted to his work, looking forward to each and every new video of his that he or anyone else puts up on youtube.com.
I’ve also been thinking about why this is the case. To be more specific, I have tried to understand what it is that draws me to Dr. Peterson’s work and the relevance of his message would hold with an audience whose primary interest is salvational, and secondly in the affairs of the only means of salvation given to man, i.e. Holy Roman Catholic Church.
To be more specific, your humble blogger has been focusing on the fact that the Catholic Faith is unique in that it draws its beliefs from two sources, one of which comes from observing the natural order. This point of emphasis, I have been presenting ad nauseum in my posts. Most times to the detriment to the primary source of our Faith, i.e. divine Revelation. But given that there are so many other great blogs who focus on the later (see here and here and here just to name three), I can afford this luxury.
By focusing on the part of our Faith that comes from the Natural Order of His creation, the door becomes opened to examine and write about subjects, events and processes, parallel process at that, which are transpiring in the secular subset of the Visibilium Omnium. The reason why this is important is that those processes and subjects and events, appear to be converging with the basic tenants of the Catholic Faith.
Case in point, if one examines any of the Dr. Peterson videos that I have been linking to of late, one notices certain aspects of the presentations that can be described as Thomistic. One example of the classical Thomistic aspect of Dr. Peterson’s presentations, specifically his methodology, is the setting out of definitions before any general or specific discussion in subsequently undertaken.
Of further importance of the methodology of inquiry represented by Dr. Peterson is that it is effective, i.e. objectively measurable and verifiable. One example of the effectiveness of Dr. Peterson’s methodology is the anecdotal evidence contained in two letters received by Dr. Peterson, wherein the writers, both combat veterans claimed that they were cured of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by just listening to Dr. Peterson’s videos on the nature of good and evil. A discussion on a theological/metaphysical subject matter if there ever was one (link here, starts at the 46:00 minute mark).
I realize now that it was through a series of such observations as described above, which initially drew me to look closer at Dr. Peteson’s work.
What I have also found by looking at Dr. Peterson’s work, and what had attracted me to it since, is that Dr. Peterson’s methodological approach, at it’s foundation, is essentially built upon a Catholic dogma that was defined at the First Vatican Council. The Catholic dogma I am refereeing to is stated as follows:
Deum, rerum omnium principium et finem, naturali humanae rationis lumine e rebus creatis certo cognosci posse. (Dogmatic Constitution “Dei Filius”, First Vatican Council)
Here is a good translation and summary of the above claim: (see here)
Chap. 2. Revelation
The same Holy Mother Church holds and teaches that God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certitude by the natural light of human reason from created things; “for the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” [ Rom 1:20]; nevertheless, it has pleased His wisdom and goodness to reveal Himself and the eternal decrees of His will to the human race in another and supernatural way, as the Apostle says: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all, in these days hath spoken to us by His Son” [Heb 1:1 f].
Returning to Dr. Peterson’s methodology of enquiry, what can be clearly observed is that Dr. Peterson is doing nothing more than using the “natural light of reason” and the knowledge that is presently known. The consequence of his work was that two individuals who were having what can be defined as “problems of conscience” – suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, have had their suffering alleviated.
Using a religious context, what Dr. Peterson did in the above case is transcending the divide between clinical psychology and moral theology, i.e. the Natural Moral Law as contained in the Catholic Faith.
Let this sink in for a second or two…
If you are not sure, dear reader, go back and re-watch that 5 minute fragment. Excuse the digression…
Follow up observation:
If those two combat veteran would be practicing Catholics and took advantage of the Sacrament of Confession, would they not have attained an equivalent, if not better effect and sooner?
Again, let that sink in for a minute or two…
I would venture to say that they would be better off (physically and mentally) Confessing to a priest, than they were from just watching a series of Dr. Peterson videos.
Concluding, what we are in fact observing above is the positive case being made for
the new evangelization some good old fashioned Catholic proselytization. What Dr. Peterson and others like him are doing, are actually paving the way for the return to that which in the Church is known as Scholasticism and specifically Thomism. And not for the first time either.
Furthermore, it is this above that reminded me of the above passage from the Holy Gospel according to St. Mark. This passage deals with St. John the Baptist, as the Precursor to the coming of Our Lord. It would appear to me that people like Dr. Peterson and others like Stefan Molyneux might just be the precursor to the coming of the next manifestation of St. Thomas Aquinas.
And when that event occurs, what we will be a witness to is the final element of the Restoration of all things in Christ falling into place, and filling up the pews of the churches and chapel who are introducing the proper Mass of All Ages and Catholic dogmatic moral teaching.
And speaking of the spread of the Mass of All Ages, today’s example of its spreading comes from the land of the JPII “the great” personality cult, namely Poland. The below post appeared at the Una Voce Poland (UnaCum.pl) website which I translate and present for your information below…
Is the Traditional Mass available already in all the diocese in Poland?
Can we say that the traditional (Sunday) Mass, commonly known as Tridentine, is available throughout Poland? Definitely not. Has it reached every diocese in Poland? Yes! And given that 10 years ago this situation existed in just 9 dioceses and today exists in all 41 dioceses, this is a reason for joy.
Only in 26 dioceses of the 41, Mass is available every Sunday. In the other dioceses on our map, we notice less frequent celebrations. In some dioceses the Mass is offered only once a month
The last dioceses where the Tridentine Mass is now being offered are:
Diocese of Kielce – celebrations in Kielce are already regular, but still without a regular schedule.
Archdiocese of Warmia – yesterday Archbishop Józef Górzyński appointed Fr. Bartlomiej Koziej is a chaplain of the faithful attached to the extraordinary form. Masses will soon be celebrated in the church of N.S.P.J. in Olsztyn.
Diocese of Wloclawek – for one week a year in the sanctuary of Lichen is celebrated even a dozen Masses a day (Ars Celebrandi workshops). However, there is no place in the diocese with a regular celebration. There is, however, no shortage of faithful who wish to participate in the traditional liturgy.
Groups of faithful are organized in the following locations:
Sieradz: e-mail, facebook
Wloclawek: – facebook, www, email.
We encourage people from the area to contact the Summorum Pontificum groups from the Diocese of Wloclawek.