It’s been 395 days since I started this blog and with each passing day there are convictions in me that grow stronger. It is, as if by some sort of magical ensnarement (the truth of Christ’s words in John 6 perhaps?) that the communal cup is calling me to go on a crusade.
I’ve shared the meme below a few times on my social media accounts, mostly for laughs, but in reality, it often seems that Jesus himself is reaching out from the tabernacle and saying “Psst..HEY Jason..Wanna liberate the Holy Land?”
I’m sure you’re thinking “What does that have to do with the blurb of Latin the title?”
The blurb of Latin in the Title is the opening of the corporate confession in the penitential rite.
I can hear my protestant friends thinking now “Oh no, not confession again. JESUS IS THE ONLY PRIEST I NEED!”
No, I’m not going to bring up John 20:23 and talk about where Jesus gave the Apostles the right to forgive or not forgive sins in others AFTER the resurrection. Nor am I going to bring up how Judas office had to be filled in the beginning of the book of Acts indicating that this apostolic authority to forgive and retain sins passed on from one apostle to their successors. That’s not what this is about.
This is about how the “Confiteor” and what we say in it, is a clear indication as to how we, as Christians, are to called to live.
The full latin is below, with the parts I want to focus on emphasized:
Confiteor Deo omnipotenti, et vobis fratres, quia peccavi nimis, COGITATIONE, VERBO, OPERE et OMISSIONE: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper Virginem, omnes Angelos et Sanctos, et vos, fratres, orare pro me ad Dominum Deum nostrum.
Translated, it is as follows:
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my THOUGHTS and in my WORDS, in what I have DONE and in what I have FAILED TO DO: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God
All Christians, regardless of the shore of the Tiber they reside on, acknowledge that there is sin in this world. While the many different camps on the Protestant side differ in exactly what constitutes sin, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church is absolutely authoritative on this.
Growing up a Baptist and then as a Presbyterian, I knew that my evil thoughts, words and deeds were sinful but I can’t really say that I gave the idea that my “in-actions” were just as sinful a whole lot of consideration, nor do I recall it being taught often.
In the late Spring of 2018, after we began our conversion publicly, my new conviction in the authoritative teaching of the Church gave me a sense of purpose and mission that I never knew as a Protestant. The newly formed conviction that there is absolutely right and wrong emboldened me.
It compelled me to not just fight against my sinful thoughts, my sinful words and my sinful actions but to also not be inactive in opposing in-justice and evil in this world.
Catholicism has called to me and to us to crusade.
“But Jesus came to bring Peace man! He said live and let live. Thou shalt not cast the first stone and stuff!” I can hear you saying.
Jesus actually said quite the opposite in Matthew 10:
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
The sword he brought is the cup of his communion. The cup of his body and blood. You can see it in John 6, where Jesus starts by speaking to as many as twenty thousand people and by the end of John 6, it’s just the 12 remaining. What caused 19,988 followers to abandoned him? The most difficult teaching in the Bible: that of the Holy Eucharist.
Every time I read that passage and I read Christ’s words to the disciples (“Do you want to leave too?”) I realize the truth of the passage and that is this, to borrow from Fr. Mike Schmitz:
If I don’t want the Eucharist, I don’t want Jesus.
Every time I hear the priest say the words of consecration and raise the host and the chalice I feel compelled not just live a holy life off by myself like a hermit who practices Christianity in an ineffectual way, but I feel convicted, no, summoned to crusade.
In order to partake in the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity we are required to be Holy in thoughts, words and actions, but even more than that:
We are summoned to Crusade.
Peace Be With You!