Catholic Candle note: We received this article from a reader:

As a general rule, attending Mass every Sunday (or even every day) is excellent. But in your particular circumstances right now, if there is no Mass you can attend without compromise, then it is God’s Will that you do not attend Mass. (A Mass involves compromise—among other ways—when it is said by a liberal fraternity or priest.) Attending a compromise Mass is a sin and harms your soul. Attending such a compromise Mass because “I need my Sacraments” is merely an excuse to take the easy path and not stand firm out of love for Christ the King.

By you refusing a Mass involving compromise, God will bless you now through other means. He is not abandoning you. He is merely changing His means of sanctifying you to fit the circumstances into which He lovingly put you.

Not only now but also at various other times in history God has sanctified souls without giving them regular access to the Sacraments. Sometimes, physical persecution caused the absence of good priests and the true Sacraments. God called Japanese Catholics to this type of life for almost 300 years (1587-1873). See, Catholic Encyclopedia, article: Japanese Martyrs.

During that period,

Japan was a forbidden land, and it seemed that for once persecution had been successful in crushing out Christianity. But from time to time there came strange rumors that the Japanese Christians, deprived as they were of altars, priests, and sacrifice, were still here and there holding fast to the faith that had been preached to their fathers by St. Francis Xavier.

Victories of the Martyrs, by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Benzinger Bros, 1887, Appendix, p.455.

At other times, it has been God’s Will that Catholics in some places have been without regular access to the true Sacraments because of travel difficulties and great distances to remote locations. For example:

In one area of Ecuador which was sparsely served by priests, ... Redemptorist priests went two-by-two on horseback, among a population which was completely hidden in the forests or on the crests of volcanoes. Many people, as soon as they heard [that a Catholic mission was planned], closed their cabins and walked as far as 30 miles to take part in the exercises. Where there was no church, they hastily built “green tents” made of tree branches, under which the instructions were given and enthusiastically received for fifteen days, concluded by everyone receiving the Sacraments and consecrating himself and his family to the protection of the Blessed Virgin.

When the Redemptorist Fathers had to leave, the parting was often quite heartrending—the poor people imploring them with tears to remain among them.

Quoted from: Latin America: A Sketch of its Glorious Catholic Roots and a Snapshot of its Present, by the Editors of Quanta Cura Press, p.119, © 2016.

To those whom God Wills to be without the Sacraments for a time, He gives the incalculably precious gift of a great increase in Faith. We see that illustrated in the love and devotion of the faithful in the Ecuadorian wilderness, as recounted above.

We also see this in the Catholics living during the Masonic French Revolution, as recounted by Bishop Bruté, who lived through that period in France. Here is how Bishop Bruté described this priceless increase in Faith among the French Catholics living without the Sacraments:

How strong and imperishable was [the Catholic Faith’s] hold upon thousands of hearts; how fervently did every true Christian family pledge its love and life to our blessed Lord; how constantly did Christian mothers require of their offspring, that, no matter what happened, they would never forget their duty to God. With how much anxiety, and yet fidelity, did they endeavor, especially on Sundays, to supply the want of public exercises of Religion and sanctify the day in their family.

Quoted from Memoirs of Bishop Bruté, by Bishop James Bayley, from the chapter called Our Sundays in 1793, p.169, Sadlier & Co., New York, 1861.

Thus, in some times and places, it has been for the good of their souls that Catholics have been without the benefit of good, uncompromising priests to regularly provide the true Sacraments.

This is true now. Most of you do not have any Mass without compromise, on most Sundays and Holy Days. This will last for as long as God pleases—for the good of your own souls! St. Paul teaches us this comforting truth: [T]o them that love God, all things work together unto good. Romans, 8:28 (emphasis added).

Out of love for God and the Faith, we stand against the liberalism of the “new” SSPX and refuse to attend their Masses. But God is never outdone in generosity! In “return” for our sacrifice (losing weekly Mass), God has palpably and greatly strengthened our Faith, as Bishop Bruté experienced and described (above).

The “new” SSPX’s current betrayal is not the first time I have found myself without weekly Mass and the Sacraments. When I was a boy in the 1970s, my family sanctified Sundays without the Mass for a period, because Mass was unavailable without compromising.

Now we are again without weekly Mass, because it is again necessary to make this sacrifice to avoid compromise. For anyone wanting to know how to sanctify the Sunday at home, I will briefly recount what we do now (and did in the 1970s) to sanctify our Sundays for the love of God and the Faith.

Just as the family of (young, future) Bishop Bruté [Id., p.170], my family gathers together to pray the Mass prayers. One of the men reads the Mass prayers slowly and prayerfully, in Latin —which works out surprisingly well. Meanwhile, everyone else reads the translated prayers in his own missal. Many of you might choose that the Mass prayers be read out loud in English, although reading them in the Roman Church’s own language (Latin) is a great idea and allows everyone else to use his own missal’s translation.

As was true of Bishop Bruté’s family, we find that these Sundays without the Sacraments not only strongly increase our Faith but also are the means by which God bestows the priceless gift of a much greater and enduring thirst for Mass and the Blessed Sacrament. As Bishop Bruté recounted about those Sundays:

The King of men and angels was indeed present, invisibly, but not, alas! to be present in the divine Sacrament of love. No, alas! no Priest—no altar was there. Young as I was, I remember how sad, how desolate everything seemed without that living presence; but how strongly did even this desolation seem to bind my heart to our holy religion.

Id. p.171 (emphasis added).

Bishop Bruté referred to that period as a time when all those virtues [viz., Faith, Hope and Charity] acquired additional merit, by the test they were put to. Id., p.171.

We do what the Bruté family did during their own Sundays without the Sacraments: viz., we invite other Catholics to sanctify the Sundays with us. Everyone is welcome! Praying together is an occasion for fulfilling our Lord’s promise to bless in a special way the prayers where two or more of you are gathered in My Name.

Further, inviting people outside our family (to sanctify the Sunday with us) provides moral support and Catholic camaraderie for all of us, as well as helps us to be punctual. We tell them to “come at 9am” and their arrival helps us to start on schedule.

We think it is better to sanctify the Sunday in the morning, when possible. The saints especially emphasized morning as a time for prayer and this is the usual time for Sunday Mass.

During the reading of the Mass prayers, one of the men reads the Epistle and Gospel in Latin and then in English, at the usual time when they occur at Mass. As was true of the Bruté family, we stand at the reading of the Gospel (Id., p.171)—both in Latin and in English.

We kneel, stand and sit during the Mass prayers, whenever we would do so at Mass. This helps us more fully participate in the prayers—with our entire selves—and helps us to unite ourselves with the true, uncompromising Masses occurring elsewhere in the Mystical Body of Christ.

After the Gospel, we do what the Bruté family did during their own Sundays without the Sacraments: viz., we read aloud (for about thirty minutes) an instruction in the Faith. Id., p.171. This is in lieu of the sermon we would have heard had we been able to attend Mass.

We read one of the excellent, challenging sermons of a Father or Doctor of the Church, keyed to the particular Sunday’s Gospel. We are using sermons from the superb four-volume set Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers, (translated by M. F. Toal).1

Although there are plenty of pre-Vatican II sermon books, we especially urge you to read the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. The Church recommends their sermons above others because they are better than others. They are the greatest because they are the most accessible means of attaining the greatest Catholic wisdom and knowledge of the Faith. It is astounding how beautifully they weave the riches of Sacred Scripture into every paragraph!

Those excellent sermons not only continue the Catholic custom of hearing a sermon on Sunday morning, but they also are part of fulfilling our Catholic duty to continue the study of our Faith throughout our lives.

These sermons are an important reminder to us and to our children that doctrine (the Faith) is paramount and that the problem in the new conciliar religion and now in the “new” SSPX is primarily a problem of the Faith. These sermons are also a good reminder that having the Faith is more important than having the Sacraments. Further, those other problems with the conciliar religion and in the N-SSPX are caused by their problems with the Faith.

When the Mass prayers reach the two consecrations and then the distribution of Holy Communion, we pause (as did the Bruté family, Id., p.171) in silent adoration and for heartfelt Spiritual Communions.

After the Mass prayers, we sing a hymn. This is our second hymn, having sung one before beginning the Mass prayers. As St. Augustine teaches: He who sings, prays twice.

Our Faith is wonderfully rich in traditional Catholic hymns, especially Gregorian Chant. Challenge yourself! Expand your repertoire! Learn beautiful traditional hymns you never knew before. Be generous and sing all of the verses. Our Lord is never outdone in generosity!

Following the Mass prayers and this second hymn, we recite a Rosary as Our Lady requested and then sing a third hymn.

The total time for the above prayers and hymns is usually about 2-2¼ hours, finishing with our souls refreshed and better prepared for the week ahead!

Three final notes:

  1. Here is a small sample of other excellent (and free) sermons available:

    Note: Beware! Use Catholic translations, not translations by the heretics, since they distort the meaning to fit their own heresies.