Rorate Caeli

"The one you are looking for, He is not here"

I am here, as it has often happened recently, by my mother's sickbed as she is deeply asleep.

There is something that has struck me today, and I think it should be said.

There are two priests who, in recent months, have been in a kind of Rorate-trance. Those priests feel the need to criticize us, and attack me personally - even though I do not know them -, no matter what. It is clear that both follow the blog as great fans, since they seem to react to almost every single thing we write. If we wrote "the sky is blue", than one would try to gauge the malicious motivation behind the statement, with exclamation marks and requests "in goodness and kindness", while the other would say grayly and chivalrously, "a statement such as 'the sky is blue' proves what is wrong and evil with traditionalists". They seem even to read each comment, which even we cannot do, since we are several moderators with other activities, working freely in this small blog with hundreds of comments left for moderation each day. 

Anyway, this got me thinking. In the past few months, I took the unusual step of bringing a very personal matter to the blog and asking you for prayers for the health of my mother. Now, despite the fact that I am positive that these two priests could not have missed these requests, since they were made repeatedly, not once did they mention it in their blogs, nor once did they (like so many other priests who read us) contact me in private to give me words of comfort and offer me their prayers, putting their differences with us (we have no disagreement with them) to the side. No, they just kept their unrelenting and - in many ways - deeply and puzzlingly personal attacks.

Disconcerting, is it not? Sometimes one really does find greater faith, and charity, with pagan centurions than in all of Israel, particularly some Levites...


  1. Fatimist11:26 AM

    Dear NC ...Please know that you and your dear mother are in my rosaries. Thank you so much for all you do here at Rorate Caeli.. this blog is a Bastion of Truth!,much needed at times such as these.

  2. Ligusticus11:34 AM

    Tua Mamma è nelle nostre preghiere!

    An Italian reader

  3. It is possible, N.C., that these "priests" aren't priests at all. Just basement dwelling troublemakers. That is a down side to the internet. A writer can appear to be whatever the writer WANTS to appear to be. Forget these people. Continue forward.
    Keeping you in prayer in this difficult time.

  4. Unfortunately, they are. Corruptio optimi pessima...

  5. Thoughts11:47 AM

    There's never going to be a time when it's over, is it? When you come to a point after which you are "holy." A threshold of sorts. Not once I am a priest, or a religious, or married, or have my first child, or suffer my first heavy loss. Never. I'm always just going to be me - sinful, selfish, petty me, struggling and striving. What a terrible thought.

  6. These are dark and confusing times, but... courage, NC, the Truth is on our side.
    Keeping you and your mother in my prayers.

  7. One of my favorite movies is Sokuov's Mother and Son, a very moving movie about a son's unfailing love and devotion to his ailing mother.

    My mother just had major surgery, but survived, barely.

  8. A. M. D. G.12:01 PM

    Well, take heart, NC, we'll continue to pray for your mother and for you! With friends like those two "priests" who needs enemies?

  9. Ligusticus12:13 PM

    Yes, Malta, moving indeed, that movie. And for many reasons.

  10. Dear NC: Pray to St. Philomena for your mother. She never fails. On first Friday in February, I lay dying of a rare, sudden and deadly blood disorder in an emergency room, when 3 days before I was the picture of health and fitness. My physician husband and 3 teams of doctors could not improve my grave outlook, as this disorder carries a 95% mortality rate. My priest arrived and administered the traditional last rites in latin. That is the last thing I remember. All day prayers were offer to Philomena whom my husband knows I have a devotion to. After 20 hours hovering very close to death and as pale as white marble, I awoke in the ICU. After 4 days of treatment I was able to go home with absolutely no sign of the blood disorder. Many medical friends still don't understand how I could possibly have recovered. I am running on my treadmill again! My physician husband still says to me almost daily, "I can't believe you are alive. There is no explanation." Philomena, Philomena, Philomena!

    1. Amen! She is indeed a wonder worker! My first-born daughter, who we named Philomena, is proof of that!

  11. May Holy Mary and all the saints intercede for you, your mother, and these priests, with the Lord, that you all may deserve to be succored and preserved by Him Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. Amen.

  12. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your mother.

  13. Yours is the most fair and accurate Catholic blog I have ever come across.
    Thank you ever so much for your charity towards the Catholic Church and continued prayers for your mother.

    God bless

  14. nanetteclaret12:33 PM

    If you aren't getting flak, you aren't over the target.

    "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:18-19 D-RV

  15. God bless your mother NC and you for all your work.

  16. Ligusticus12:37 PM

    A musical thought (and prayer), if i may..

    (I discovered this Spanish masterpiece last night, and conducted by the much regretted, died a year ago, Gustav Leonhardt. A Dutch Calvinist, yes, but a great "Centurion", so to say..)

  17. GIFT

    Have you received
    Christ's Body dead
    Like the sorrowful Mother
    Who cradled His Head?

    Christ's Body dead
    Is the death of a child
    Deformed or sickly
    Did you feel beguiled?

    Christ's Body dead
    Is the gift of disease
    Physical, mental
    Can't do as you please.

    That's because Christ
    Wants to be close
    To you who accepts
    The sixth sorrow's dose.

    He chose you of hope
    To cradle His Head
    You know the True Faith
    And the works that are dead.

    Climb Golgotha hill
    For you can handle
    So others can see
    Your light like a candle

    That Christ is with you
    Before and behind
    And they'll follow your path
    To the tomb quite resigned

    Where quietly gently
    All suffering will rest
    And your head will be cradled
    At our Lady's breast.

    Oh sons of sorrow
    The gift - your breath…
    You'll breathe at your birth
    Due to Christ's Body's death.

  18. Dearest N.C., please be assured of our prayers for you and your dear mother. She is so blessed to have such a devoted son. It must console her greatly, together with the many prayers of the followers of this wonderful blog.

    "Thoughts," the very same thought occurred to me this morning when I got up and looked in the mirror. To "work out our salvation""in fear and trembling" is sometimes discouraging, but it is heartening to know we are not alone in this endeavor and to know (even if we don't feel it) that God will supply the grace to continue.

    Thank you N.C. for all that you do.

  19. Torkay12:56 PM

    I myself have stopped blogging altogether (well, except for this comment) since the Conclave and the election of Pope Francis, for one reason: I am sick of all the pontificating emanating from the traditionalist camp(s). There are too many "experts," including the usual prominent talking head suspects, who are entirely too busy making their pompous pronouncements about every little move in the Church, as if they know better than the Holy Ghost what the Church needs and should do. And there are entirely too many people acting like Twitter followers, nodding their heads in agreement. RC is the only traditionalist website I know of that has not strayed into this Pharisaical attitude, so kudos to you and may God bless the SSPX.

  20. Well, NC, as someone once used to say, "molti nemici, molto onore", a phrase that evidenty one can find still inscribed in the Foro Italico in Roma. In any case, please be assured of my prayers, too, for you and your mother. And for the clerical adversaries as well.

  21. New Catholic, it pains me to read this. It pains me most of all because I suspect I know which priests you are referring to. One of the two I have great admiration for and pray for daily. I pains me because though I do not know him personally, he always seems to try to be balanced. This is why I am rather perplexed with what has happened here. I think the election of Papa Francesco has unfortunately brought a "dividing line" to the fore. This becomes more obvious with each passing day. I have chosen since the election of the Holy Father to pray an extra 5 decades of the rosary for him. I have great confidence in the work of this blog and am grateful for its existence. God bless you and your dear mother and Mary keep both of you.

  22. Well this is one traditionalist priest who is ever thankful for a blog site such as this. Keep it up and may God continue to bless your work.

    NC...You and your dear mother are still in my daily prayers, especially as I offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
    Father G

  23. Benedicta1:43 PM

    I am very grateful for your blog. We also want to know about your mother's health. Take good care of her, these are precious moments. But as one of your readers said :"when we think the battle is over, it starts again". Again thank you for this blog.ymense 172


  24. I am going to Holy Mass in a few minutes. I will remember your intentions for your mother, and all your readers, and for the rights of Tradition to be increasingly recognized and lived.

  25. My senior Latin class is reading St. Augustine's Confessions. We are now at the death of St. Monnica. My students are mainly secular but are quite moved by Augustine's words about his mother and what death means for a Christian. Your mother and you are in my prayers at the altar. Father Richard Cipolla

  26. Praying for your mother and for you. It would be better not to read the blogs of those priests, especially as you are at a low ebb because of the sickness of your mother. A priest told me recently, "don't worry about what others are doing or saying, just concentrate on your own sanctification" and I have found that to be great advice. Somehow it puts everything into perspective when I concentrate on my own prayer life and place my cares into the hands of Our Lady. It comes naturally after a while. Once when I was very upset over the declining health of my mother I got the overwhelming impression that God was leaning down from heaven to listen to me, something I had never experienced before. I had an overwhelming sense of His complete love for us. And I have heard others say something similar. It is in suffering that He makes His presence felt. So tell Him how you feel and He will comfort you. God bless.

  27. MarkA2:03 PM

    "Remember my word that I said to you: The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my word, they will keep yours also."
    "They will put you out of the synagogues: yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will think that he doth a service to God."

    Please be assured of my prayers to our lady for your mother and you.

  28. Jan is so right, every one of his/her words is true.

  29. Father G -- thank you for writing that.

  30. Susan2:33 PM

    N.C: These vigils at your mother’s bedside are precious gifts to her, but also to yourself. They are holy. And their holiness will stay with you forever, lifting you up, warming you, lighting up your soul in hours of darkness. God is so good to us, knowing that our love and devotion to others — His love and devotion — comes back around to nourish us. Both you and your mother are in my prayers, New Catholic.

  31. Ora et Labora2:38 PM

    New Catholic I don't think I'm wrong in saying that we the readers of Rorate are with you, and your mother in these difficult moments.

    Your mother is in my prayers, and so are you.

    Most importantly know that the Risen Christ is with both of you!!!

    Do not discourage, you and all the people at Rorate Caeli must be doing something right.

    The enemy viciously attacks those who are doing the work of Our Lord Jesus Christ, trust me you are not alone.

    We who love our Catholic Faith and defend Holy Mother Church at every cost know what you are going through.

    Attacks come from everywhere.

    The confort you and all of us should take is in Our Lord's words to his apostles:
    John 15:18
    "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you."

    And remember this passage from Matthew 10:16-25

    Coming Persecutions.
    “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves. 17* But beware of people,k for they will hand you over to courts and scourge you in their synagogues,l 18and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake as a witness before them and the pagans. 19When they hand you over, do not worry about how you are to speak or what you are to say. You will be given at that moment what you are to say.m 20For it will not be you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21* n Brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; children will rise up against parents and have them put to death. 22You will be hated by all because of my name, but whoever endures to the end* will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to another. Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.* 24o No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul,* how much more those of his household!"

    Courage under Persecution.
    “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.* q 27What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. 28And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.r 29Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. 30Even all the hairs of your head are counted. 31So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32* Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. 33But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."

    Mary Help of Christians pray for us!!!

  32. New Catholic,

    Please be assured that your mother will continue to remain in my prayers!

    Pax tecum!

  33. Anonymous3:19 PM

    I always take criticism seriously if it comes from a sober person with good judgment. In this case, the priest who likes to say "goodness and kindness" is wacky and has often shown poor judgment. He issued a prophecy about the Medj. Commission given to him (supposedly) by Blessed Mariam Baouardy that did not come to pass. He always claims that US intelligence services and the Vatican are always checking up on his blog, and so he seems to have an exaggerated sense of his importance in the world. He also publishes a staggering number of posts for a hermit. I let myself read one wacky, over-the-top blog just for kicks, and so his blog was my guilty pleasure (it was Abbey Roads before that). But it was too crazy even for a guilty pleasure! My prayers for your Mom. Regards,


  34. For the two priests: "The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”
    -St. John Chrysostom

    NC-Unfortunately, I find more charity from the pagans than some of my own Catholic brethren. I love your blog and if others criticize, well maybe they act out of pride and envy; sour grapes type of thing. I will continue praying for your mom and you. God Bless.

  35. May God fortify you.

  36. Lynda4:05 PM

    As I commented on another blog today - a blog that has been unjust to Rorate Caeli recently - I think Satan is more in control of humanity now than at any other time in history, and how can it be any other way with most of the state and international fora promoting and overseeing child murder on a jaw-dropping scale, the destruction of marriage and the family, the persecution of the Faithful, the wholesale stealing and indoctrination of our children? This demonic activity has become so widespread and deep because it has infiltrated the episcopate and priesthood of Christ's Church on earth. The more a person stands up for the eternal truth as espoused by the Deposit of Faith, the more he will be personally attacked. The attacks are personal as they cannot argue with the truth. It is their wicked MO. Rejoice when you are thus calumnied as Christ exhorted us. I sympathise with your suffering for your standing up for the truth. May God sustain and console you. Prayers for your mother. We are the suffering Church Militant.

  37. Brian4:25 PM

    New Catholic,

    God bless you for this blog; and I trust He will bless you a thousand-fold more for sitting at the bedside of you ailing mother. A sad, precious, holy time.

    You and she are in my prayers (as are those two darn priests)

  38. Prayers for your mom, can you imagine being a serious holy priest having to deal daily with some of these clown priests, it must be heart-breaking.

  39. Father G said, "Well this is one traditionalist priest who is ever thankful for a blog site such as this. Keep it up and may God continue to bless your work."

    I share Father's sentiments of gratitude and appreciation for all of your hard work and diligence at bringing us a such a great blog as this. Nowhere on the 'Net is there a site like this with the scope and the reach such as this.

    The quality of this blog is evident in the nature of the attacks. There are always the tares with the wheat, but that these are coming from priests is evident they care more about their liberalism (because this is how liberals behave--vicious self-centeredness) than their priesthood. "By their fruits shall ye know them."

    New Catholic, you have my prayers and good wishes for your mom. God bless you both.


  40. Polemarchos4:56 PM

    Dear NC

    My best friend (an agnostic of protestant origin from the former GDR - one of the world´s most atheistic regions) once said about the amazing (this phenomenom puzzles people from outside) bitterness, harshness, even hatred of NOM clerics towards traditional catholics in general, but especially towards the SSPX, that they are "hit hounds".

    This alludes to a German proverb saying "only a hit hound does bark".

    And, as this fine agnostic gentleman said about this matter, to him all those "critics" merely display their bad conscience or even guilt, because traditional catholics show what they ought to be and how they ought to act.

    However, they would never admit this, let alone change their minds; they prefer hysteria and insolence to honesty and obediece to God and His laws.

    Never mind those priests and their fiecy entourage - the world was always full of odd persons (to put it mildly).

    There are enough lay-people and good priests who appreciate the unique work You are doing here and I am convinced our dear Saviour does, too.

    God bless You, Your mother and all of Your dears.

  41. Anonymous5:20 PM

    Sadly it is all too true all too often, that it is from the Levites and the Priests that one is most bitterly attacked.
    As I believe I've mentioned before, a wise old priest gave me advice just prior to my ordination. He said: "Father, the heaviest cross you must expect to carry is jealousy from other priests...and it is manifested in many and often cruel forms."
    While, obviously, these two priests are not attacking you as a priest, nor do I believe it to be jealousy (though it could be), it is, I sincerely believe, a manifestation of a disordered interior life; or one that is simply non-existent. And as we all know, nature abhors a vacuum. If a priest is not filled with the spirit of Christ, then it will be filled with another spirit.
    Please know of my own poor prayers and support for you, your dear mother, and the wonderful work you do on Rorate Caeli! I as well as many other diocesan priests are indebted to you! May God reward you! I will remember your dear mother in my Masses.

  42. Texana5:36 PM

    Dear NC,
    Our prayers continue to be with you and your mother as you meet life's challenges together.

    I pray that Our Lord surrounds you both in His strong arms to comfort you and protect you from the world.

    Thank you for giving your time to this blog--it is a bastion of strength and sanity for us!

    All the prayers, scripture, and words of kindness and Catholic charity are so inspiring! In the dark days ahead we need to rely on each other for encouragement and cling to the Mass of All Ages. Our Lady calls us to the scapular and the Rosary.

  43. Cassandra6:24 PM

    @NBW (or anyone else),

    Is there an extant text of Chrysostom where that quotation can be cited from? A while ago I tried an internet search for the source document and found none (at least in English).

    I don't doubt it, but like to have citations filed away if someone calls me on it.

  44. This posting shows just what is so wrong with Traditionalists ...



    Just Kidding NC! I thought you could use a good laugh.

    You and your mother will be in my Rosary intentions today. My youngest child turns 16 today - please keep us in yours.

    Not a priest! :-)

  45. Dear NC

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your beloved mother.

    Know that Rorate is a beacon to many of us, trying to make sense of a confused and confusing landscape; that your integrity and hard work are appreciated by thousands, and that there are those who, sadly, will allow themselves to be motivated by envy and fear, rather than charity and courage as do you and your fellow editors.

    Keep up the good work - we need you!

  46. JulieColl7:22 PM

    Sorry to hear this, but not surprised at all. In my experience it's often the people who should be your best friends and allies who become your adversaries and foes.

    Please take heart, New Catholic, and be assured you have many online friends and admirers because of your measured words and your fairness and kindness to your commenters.

    All I can say is that assuming that you are a convert because of your name, I hope we have many more "New Catholics" like you in the Church someday.

    Praying for your mother and you.

  47. I am not familiar enough with Catholic blogs to know who the two priests are who have felt the need to criticize Rorate Caeli and to attack New Catholic personally, nor do I know what motivates their criticism.

    A post by Fr. Z today, however, might provide some insight.

    Fr. Z, in his "nuanced" lengthy "Response to critics on the left and right" wrote, "my adversaries – liberals and conservatives – are trying to paint me as a Francis-bashing rad-trad, and therefore to take me down." (his emphasis)

    Take me down . . . goodness gracious.

    In light of our new Holy Father, I wonder if the two adversarial priests similarly fear being labeled "extremist rad-trads."

    One way for such frightened priests to desperately establish their "non-rad-trad" credentials would be to lob public attacks at Rorate Caeli.

    In other words, the motivation behind the attacks might just be cowardice.

    Just a thought.

    (Of course, that would not explain a lack of prayer for your precious mother.)

  48. Brian, I think you are right in your analysis. And it is exactly what Pope Benedict XVI said in his famous March 2009 letter quoted by us yesterday.

    I know you are not implying it, but just to make clear: we were certainly not speaking about Father Zuhlsdorf, I do not remember any post of his critical of us, much less personal attacks against us. All our best wishes to him.


  49. Common Sense10:50 PM

    With sufficient natural resourcefulness and healthy self esteem, a day doesn't go by without agonizing over misery of others and our dear Holy Church. It made me even more determined and zealous. Courage man, our combat is just and noble. Let's savour that undeserved priviledge to be able fight under the Lords' banner. The spoils are certainty and peace of Christ and that's more ,what we can hope for.

  50. Correct, I was not implying that Fr. Z was making such attacks. Thank you for making that explicit.

    Nor, was I implying that Fr. Z is acting out of cowardice. He is walking a fine line, but always strikes me as being a principled man and priest.

  51. Patrick11:21 PM

    New Catholic, if I may offer this bit of desert wisdom to you as consolation:

    "The dogs bark but the caravan moves on."

  52. Gregorian Mass12:38 AM

    Silent prayers from a far away place for you and your Mother.

  53. George3:13 AM

    I am not alone, I'm sure, in not having a clue who these priests are. Or caring.

    Prayers for your mother....

  54. May Our Lord and his mother and St. Joseph be near you both at this time. You are both included in my rosaries. And I, as so many others have said, thank RC for a truly Catholic site---a great comfort for so many.

  55. Gratias6:21 AM

    What Patrick said in Español:

    Ladran Sancho, señal de que cabalgamos.43

  56. No Sect Please We're British8:14 AM

    Dear New Catholic,

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers. Having lost both my parents I fully understand the agony of seeing a parent ill and helpless. It is only hope, love and faith which sustain us in the darkest times of our lives.

    Sadly, I also fully understand your distress at being at the receiving end of an absence of charity from priests, but wish to emphasise that whether a priest is Traditional or not bears no relation a priest's demeanour in this regard. Until a few years ago we had a truly wonderful, loving generous priest at our local chapel. He was replaced by a priest whose lack of charity beggars belief. His superior and bishop have proved themselves deaf to the all too justified complaints. Glories of the liturgy notwithstanding, there is a very dark underside to the SSPX.

  57. I am deeply saddened to hear about your mother. Both of you will be in my prayers tonight. I wish you and your mother well and I hope and pray for your mother's fast and healthy recovery. May God bless you.

  58. Anonymous1:38 PM

    Dear Friend,
    You are surely blessed by taking care of your mother.
    I am a physician who cared for my ailing father with dementia for 5 years. In the early stages, we would go to Mass together and these are some of my most beautiful memories. On his last ambulatory Good Friday, he refused to have the Cross brought to him but insisted on walking to the Cross, making a deep, reverential bow and kissed the Wood of the Cross for the last time in a liturgical sense.
    This is the man who raised his daughter to be a servant, a strong servant, a bold Catholic. This road of caring for our parents is a lonely one. Friends and family, priests and many others are not there when you need them and the pain of this abandonment is excruciating. We embrace the Cross, we are fixed to the Cross. I can assure you that Jesus and Mary are always with you and you will accept that eventually. The human pain is something Our Lord shared. I promise He will show you the way to forgive those who have abandoned you.
    God Bless You, my friend.

  59. Dear NC:

    My mother-in-law passed away in our home 3 months ago after years of severely debilitating Alzheimer's Disease. We kept vigil during her last days at her bedside.

    We never knew when Our Lord would take her, because she had been ill for so very long already. However, I found comfort in reading out loud at her bedside from The Pieta Prayer Book: Three Very Beautiful Prayers" for the dying person.

    I prayed aloud these prayers over another friend who passed away in December.

    I would want someone to pray on my behalf, when I can no longer do for myself.

    I will say the prayers for your mom and send my guardian angel to be by her side too.

    May God give you added strength during this difficult time.

    In Christ,


  60. NC, I am dealing with corrupt priests myself in my own way. I know how demoralizing it can be when all you want to do is the right thing. I am so sorry. I wish I had more to say in terms of consolation. All I can offer is my empathy.

  61. I looked at the blog of one of the priests mentioned. Something about Rorate Caeli really bothers him.

  62. chupa7:04 AM

    Why do priests have blogs anyway? Find something better to do!

  63. Ora et Labora1:25 PM

    Chupa you are absolutely right, I think priests are better off praying their Breviary every day and going to confession themselves more often.

    We need praying priests, holy priests who can offer Holy Mass and give the Sacraments in a state of Grace.

    So much good would come from that alone.

    New Catholic I have asked my family to pray for your mother and yourself, as many have said do not hesitate to ask for prayers any time you need them.

    Ligusticus that was an exceptional piece of music, I enjoyed it very much!

    A blessing indeed!!!


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