(Note: Copied with minor additions from the “About Me” page on this site.)
TxTradCatholic is both my Twitter handle and a shorthand clue to what I’m about. I am a Texan (transplanted from the Midwest 20-plus years ago by my then-employer), and a Catholic of traditionalist orientation. My name is Frank, and I’m a retired, inactive attorney. I practiced law (and never got it right) for 34 years, most of it as an in-house lawyer for a Fortune 50 corporation. I retired in the spring of 2014, and my waking hours now are mostly spent trying to be a good husband to my wife of 38 years, praying and attending Mass, playing golf, reading and writing about the Catholic faith, cooking, enjoying what I and others cook, playing computer games, and watching movies and TV shows that match my other activities. The TV’s where we live are tuned to EWTN about 70 percent of the time.
I became Catholic after a somewhat dramatic intervention in my life by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps someday I will post an account of my conversion. In the meantime, suffice it to say that in 2004-2005 I morphed very quickly from the Buddy Jesus (“I believe God exists, and Jesus is His son and died so we can all have fun in life and go to heaven when we die, and you only go to hell if you are a really bad person”) to believing in everything the Holy Catholic Church teaches and proposes, including all the difficult stuff. Since then I have been deeply involved in learning what it means to be Catholic and trying to live up to what God wants me to be. If we meet in Heaven you’ll know I somehow managed to get it right.
I say my Catholicism is of the “traditionalist orientation” because in the years since my conversion I have discovered that a number of big changes occurred in the Catholic Church during the last century, the biggest and most disruptive of which began with the convening of the Second Vatican Council. Whatever your opinion of where the Church has gone since then, no one can deny there were major changes wrought to both the teachings and the practices of Roman Catholicism. From what I’ve been able to see first-hand and learn from studying many sources, including the documents of Vatican II itself and previous infallible proclamations of the Magisterium, it’s my personal opinion that most of the changes were not for the better, in terms of their impact on the rank and file Catholics. In other words, as I see it, Vatican II and the subsequent revisions to the Liturgy had an overall negative impact on the people who look to the Church for teaching, guidance, inspiration, and most importantly, the Sacraments instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ as channels of sanctifying grace for us who wish to follow Him. While I wish my wife and I could attend a parish where the so-called Extraordinary Form of the Mass is offered daily, that is not a practical option for us. We therefore attend the Ordinary Form of the Mass at least weekly, and have been blessed to have parishes at both our Texas home and at our summer vacation home in Illinois where the priests reverently celebrate the Mass without deviation from the universal rubrics laid down by the Holy See. We both pray the Rosary at least once daily, and I pray the traditional Divine Office under the 1960 rubrics at least one “hour” per day as well, usually Matins, in an effort to mold my sinful ways into something at least vaguely resembling holiness. We trust in our Lord that the Church he founded on the rock of St. Peter will prevail, no matter how hard we sinful humans try to ruin it. As the great English Catholic writer Hilaire Belloc famously said:
“THE Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.”
~Hilaire Belloc: a comment made to William Temple and quoted by Robert Speaight in The Life of Hilaire Belloc.
This blog is my feeble attempt to make sense out of what we see every day as we try to live in this fallen world as faithful Catholics. I may reflect on Scripture readings from Mass, saints and events commemorated in the liturgical calendar (either traditional or post-Conciliar), Church-related events making news in the contemporary world, or the writings of other observers of the Catholic scene. I hope this project will prove interesting and sometimes amusing, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, perhaps even of some small value to someone who reads it. God bless all who come here.
Laudator Jesus Christus!