Speaker Series: Liturgy 101

St John Bosco Latin Mass Community Presents:


Speaker Series: Liturgy 101

This Saturday 10:00 AM

Father Roberto Cano, FSSP will present the topic, Liturgy 101 in three short presentations:

1. Theology of Worship

2. Operative Principals of the Traditional Roman Rite,

3. The Liturgical Yr/Liturgical Prayer

The morning will begin with Low Mass at 9:00 am and then the topic, Liturgy 101 at 10:00 am at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Cicero, IN (6 miles North of Noblesville)


Perfect Joy

 Fr. Roberto Cano, FSSP


…And you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy – Jn. XVI, 20

             It is said of St. Francis of Assissi that on a certain trip he made during the harsh cold of winter with his faithful companion Brother Leo that he cried out to the brother who was walking in front of him and said, “Brother Leo, write and let it be known that even if the Friars Minor were to give great example of sanctity and edification, in these perfect joy does not consist.”  And then a second time St. Francis called to his companion, “Brother Leo, and even if the Friars Minor were to give sight to the blind, cure the crippled, cast out demons, make the deaf hear, the dumb talk, or even raise the dead after four days, write and let it be known that in these perfect joy does not consist.”  Then soon afterwards St. Francis raised his voice and said, “Oh Brother Leo, even if the Friars Minor would know all the languages, sciences and the Scriptures in such a manner that they would have the gift of prophecy and could reveal, not only all future things, but likewise the secrets of all consciences and all souls, write that this would not be perfect joy.”  A little later he cried out again, “O Brother Leo, if the Friars Minor had the gift of preaching so as to convert all infidels to the faith of Christ, write that this would not be perfect joy.”  And the saint continued speaking this way for the length of two miles until finally Brother Leo asked the saint in what did perfect joy consist?  St Francis responded, “If, when we shall arrive at St Mary of the Angels, all drenched with rain and trembling with cold, all covered with mud and exhausted from hunger; if, when we knock at the convent-gate, the porter should come angrily and ask us who we are; if, after we have told him, `We are two of the brethren’, he should answer angrily, `What ye say is not the truth; ye are but two impostors going about to deceive the world, and take away the alms of the poor; begone I say’; if then he refuse to open to us, and leave us outside, exposed to the snow and rain, suffering from cold and hunger till nightfall – then, if we accept such injustice, such cruelty and such contempt with patience, without being ruffled and without murmuring, believing with humility and charity that the porter really knows us, and that it is God who maketh him to speak thus against us, write down, O Brother Leo, that this is perfect joy.  And if we knock again, and the porter come out in anger to drive us away with oaths and blows, as if we were vile impostors and if we accept all this with patience, with joy, and with charity, O Brother Leo, write that this indeed is perfect joy… And now, brother, listen to the conclusion. Above all the graces and all the gifts of the Holy Ghost which Christ grants to his friends, is the grace of overcoming oneself, and accepting willingly, out of love for Christ, all suffering, injury, discomfort and contempt; for in all other gifts of God we cannot glory, seeing they proceed not from ourselves but from God, according to the words of the Apostle, `What hast thou that thou hast not received from God? and if thou hast received it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?’ But in the cross of tribulation and affliction we may glory, because, as the Apostle says again, `I will not glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Amen”  (cf. Flowers of St. Francis, p. I, c. 8).

            This story is taken from a work called the Flowers of St. Francis and although it makes for a somewhat lengthy introduction it highlights, nevertheless, what it is that the Church wishes us to consider on this the 3rd Sunday after Easter.  I would suggest that there are essentially two points we need to consider today: 1) that the world is not our home and thus pursuits of worldly joy by the Christian are done in vain 2) perfect joy consists in our union with God and consequently with our detachment from worldly things.  Both the Epistle and Gospel remind us of our human condition as viatores— wayfarers, pilgrims.  In fact this why St. Peter tells the Romans whom he is amongst, “Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul” (I Pt. II, 11).  And why Our Lord tells His disciples at the Last Supper, “A little while, and now you shall not see me: and again a little while, and you shall see me…” (Jn. XVI, 16).  This ‘little while‘ which Our Lord is referring to is our earthly life and existence according to St. Augustine.  Is it not clear then that man has a final end, a final destiny for which he has been created?  According to the ancients and to the Scholastics this final end is happiness or beatitude which is found only in God. 

            Earlier in the same Last Supper discourse Our Lord tells His Apostles, “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” (Jn. XV, 18-19).  The message is quite obvious; Our Lord is telling His disciples that although they are in the world they are not of the world and this is not only true for the Apostles, but for every baptized Roman Catholic.  By Baptism we have died to the world and have since vowed to denounce Satan and his works.  Not only do we fool ourselves, but even much worse, we risk condemning ourselves by compromising our Faith by the standards of the world whose prince is the devil.  For the world would have us think that because God is in His Heaven, man is free to do what he wishes here below.  The world would say that as long as a certain person, place or thing makes us ‘happy’ it cannot be that bad.  Therefore, there are no absolutes or truth except that we must tolerate everything regardless if is truly good or evil.  Is it any wonder then why we live in a world so steeped in sin? 

            To be Roman Catholic in our day means to be counter-cultural, in other words, to go against the culture of the day which promotes disorder and licentiousness by promoting sin as if it were virtue.  The moment, dear friends, that we begin to ‘dialogue’ and accept such a culture as normal we have begun to terminate our existence as Catholics.  And this is a truth we need to instill in our children.  All too often the Catholic youth of our day are caught up in the spirit of the world and their focus becomes anything and everything but that which is most essential-the glory of God and the salvation of their soul.  Dare we ask: who are their heroes?  Who are their friends and confidants?  Who do they seek advice from?  What do they watch, read and listen to?  If the answer to any of these questions is anyone but Christ and His Holy Church then there is a problem.  It is a sign that they have begun to live their lives from someone else than God.  And a life not lived for God, is anything but that— a life.  It falls terribly short to the vocation they have received as baptized Catholics and is a sure recipe for a life of hardship and torment.  What parent here would not wish to see to his child to possess perfect joy?  I would say that everyone here would want that for their children, then if that is the case we need to begin teaching them even more diligently that perfect joy cannot be had in this life, but only in the next life. And if we are to possess perfect joy we must follow and conform ourselves to the Holy Will of God.  For the path to Heaven is through the narrow gate and the way to that Gate is the Way of Our Lord Jesus Christ!

            This brings us to the second point we need to consider that perfect joy consists in our union with God and detachment from worldly things.  Why is this so?  Because joy is had whenever the will rests in the object that is sought, that is to say, whenever the will has come to possess its object.  Think of the natural world whenever a man sets a goal for himself joy is not had until he has acquired it.  Now in the supernatural life God is only possessed when there is sanctifying grace in the soul which allows the soul to participate in the divine nature.  When the soul is filled with sanctifying grace a number of supernatural habits are infused into the soul, namely, the infused theological virtues (faith, hope and charity), the infused moral virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance) and the gifts of the Holy Ghost (fear of the Lord, fortitude, piety, counsel, understanding, knowledge and wisdom).  The most important of these being the theological virtue of charity for as St. Paul says, “And now there remain faith, hope and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity” (I Cor. XIII, 13).  And St. John elsewhere, “God is charity: and he that abideth in charity abideth in God, and God in Him” (I Jn. IV, 16).  Charity is the supernatural virtue by which we love God and neighbor for God’s sake and in order to love Him supernaturally we need a habit infused into our soul to do so and this is what the virtue allows us to do.  Thus, when we possess the virtue of charity, we possess the Blessed Trinity in our souls and the effect of that possession is spiritual joy.  It is not yet perfect joy as that can only be had when one comes to possess the very vision of God known as the Beatific Vision which is only possible in Heaven.     

            That having been said, what is the logical conclusion from these principles?  First and foremost, a soul that is without charity is a soul that is empty of the joy of God.  The natural consequence is that such a soul will seek to fill that void with a joy that is passing and false.  Is there any suprise then why we see so many broken homes and relationships, drug use and depression in our society?  St. John of the Cross teaches that, “The more a person rejoices over something outside God the less intense will be his joy in God.”  Which is catastrophic for any soul since each and every soul is created by God and for God.  The same saint tells us that desires beget desires meaning that once a person begins to lead a life of sin it will only lead to further sin until that person humbly accepts the grace of conversion.  The second point to consider is that a soul who does posses charity and therefore spiritual joy will also experience sorrow and trials.  This is clear from Our Lord’s words, “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you…you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy…in the world you shall have distress” (Jn. XV, 20; XVI, 20, 33).  No matter how much we try or attempt to kick against the goad, we cannot and will not escape that dreadful word: suffering!  Yet as we noticed in the life of St. Francis of Assissi and indeed all the saints suffering is their crown of glory.  For in suffering do we imitate and participate in the Passion of Christ, but just as importantly we are purified and detached from the things of this world.  And this brings us to our final point if our joy isn’t continuing to increase it is because our charity isn’t increasing either.  This is often the result of human attachments to created goods.  To define it in simple terms we can say that an attachment is a willed seeking of something finite for its own sake.  The word attachment often has a connation for only sinful things but it is possible to be attached to a thing which is good in of itself as would be food, a spouse, children, parents, a job, a home etc.  The solution is detachment which frees the soul from lesser goods that are not God.  Granted this does not mean to not love the things mentioned, but always with a love that is ordered and subordinate to the higher love which we owe Almighty God.  Detachment has as its finality perfect charity and is a holy indifference towards created goods.  Thus, whatever trials or tribulations that can befall us or our loved ones has to be viewed with a certain indifference that it will be as St. Paul says, “We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good: to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints” (Rom. VIII, 28).  A dread for suffering, then, has to be alien to us because it is through suffering that we find our joy.

            As we approach closer to the month of May, the month dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, we cannot fail to invoke and contemplate her, who is Causa nostrae laetitiae—the cause of our joy.  Our Lady who had the great joy to bring the Savior into the world also had her soul pierced by a sword of incomparable suffering.  If then we are weary or better yet afraid to embrace the Cross of Christ let us then have recourse to her.  The Easter season in a most fitting manner unfolds the divine plan for us, namely, resurrection through crucifixion. 

Anger & Its Remedies

Fr. Roberto Cano, FSSP


For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. – Js. I, 20

             There is not a man, woman or child amongst us here today who at some point in their life has not been angry.  For many of us this may be an understatement, as we may spend a majority of our time brooding thoughts of anger towards others.  While for others it seems that very few things if any can ever make them angry.  The point is: anger is very much part of our human experience, it affects everyone at one moment or another and this is not without reason.  We might dare to say that if such a person existed who never got angry he would hardly seem human.  And so we see even in the life of Christ, Who is perfect God and perfect Man, that when He cleansed the Temple from the moneychangers and vendors He manifested a “holy anger” — which was really a zeal for the house of God.  What is clear then is that if in the life of Christ Who is absolutely sinless there was anger, it cannot be said that all anger is sinful.  Hence, the difference between godly/holy anger and the anger of man which according to St. James “worketh not the justice of God.”  Let us then discuss anger in further detail and the virtues which serve as its remedy.

            First and foremost, it must be said that anger is a passion or what is more commonly called an emotion.  Anger as a passion causes a bodily transmutation in the person who is undergoing the action due to the presence of the sensitive object.  This is why say we feel “anger” towards certain persons who may have caused an injury towards us when they are in our presence.  Anger always considers two objects, namely, vindication and the bad or harm of the one causing the sorrow.  Reason is what announces the cause of the anger because it judges the injustice or harm done.  Although an act of reason is necessary for anger to be present, the emotion of anger does not always listen to the command of reason.  The emotion may not always cease when the vindication is being fulfilled and so even if one may correctly judge the injustice, the passion may go beyond what justice requires.  It is here where we get into the realm of sin.  If we are driving on the highway and someone is about to cut us off, our natural reaction is to become angry because our intellect recognizes an evil present namely the danger of crashing and of our bodily life.  Reason would dictate for us to grab the attention of the other driver by honking or some other method, but if we begin to curse, yell and berate the other driver then we have certainly exceeded what is just and therefore have sinned.  On the other hand, if we see someone physically harming one of our loved ones, and here again the natural reaction would be to become angry because we recognize the evil being committed against the person we love.  In this case, reason would dictate to act in a manner in which the culprit would stop even if that means physically hurting the other because what we are doing is defending the innocent.  It should be kept in mind that in this instance, only that force which would stop the threat is permissible and to go beyond that is to certainly sin. 

            The whole discussion on anger is so important because we must realize that the emotion or feeling in and of itself is not sinful.  Nor is to seek the vindication sinful unless we try to usurp the authority of God Who has said that, “Vengeance is mine.”  We usurp the authority of God when we ourselves become the judges of what is just and what is not and then seek out the vindication in accord with our subjective standards.  As Catholics, we know what is just by following the law common to our nature that is the natural law, but also that law which has been revealed by God through the Church.  Simply put, anger is sinful when either because of the object such as when a person wishes to exact vindication against the order of right reason or out of hate desires an end in and of itself evil or by the mode or manner when anger boils up exceedingly in the individual either interiorly or exteriorly.  Moralists tell us that when the anger is disordered on account of the object it is generally speaking a mortal sin because it goes against the order of justice while disordered anger by the mode or manner tends to be a venial sin.  Therefore, what should be clear is that to return an evil with an evil is wrong no matter what the circumstances may be or how justified we may feel.  This is a point that cannot be overlooked by parents and spouses.  In the case of parents, it is often the experience that the children will disobey and that as a result the emotion of anger may arise and rightly so.  However, the pitfall with most parents does not come in recognizing the need in disciplining the children because of their disobedience, but rather the manner in which they do it.  All too often, parents become angry and lose their control when they have failed in their past to be consistent with the discipline of the children.  At times it seems that they feel compelled to shout louder or spank harder in order for them to be heard even if the offence continues being the same.  However, what is really necessary is a discipline that is consistent and which seeks to inform the child that what they have done is wrong and therefore intolerable.  In most cases, this should not require an increase in force or in shouting.  In the case of spouses, there are any number of reasons it seems to become angry at the other whether it be the grave instance of infidelity to the lesser instance of pride and stubbornness of one of the spouses.  And here again there may be legitimate reasons to be angry, nevertheless, this does not excuse the offended spouse to treat the other spouse like an enemy or some expendable part of the family.  By the holy bond of matrimony the two have become one flesh and the souls of the couple are spiritually united to one another when they have received the Sacrament.  Therefore, to be angry and harm the other spouse by coarse words and indifference really only serves the purpose to hurt oneself.  We should heed the words of St. Augustine who said, “It is better to deny entrance to just and reasonable anger than to admit it, no matter how small it is.  Once let in, it is driven out again only with difficulty.  It comes in as a little twig and in less than no time grows big and becomes a beam.”  It is precisely here where the remedies for anger become so important not only for the common good of spouses and the family, but also of the individual.

            Christ, the 2nd Person of the Blessed Trinity, when He assumed a human nature unto Himself never ceased being God.  And as God he is Omniscient, that is all-knowing, and thus it was fitting that His disciples would call Him Teacher because indeed He was and is the Perfect Teacher for He knows all that can be known.  Ironically, however, but one time in Scripture do we read these words, “Lean of me, because I am meek and humble of heart” (Mt. XI, 29).  This is the one time that Christ said, “learn of me” not that the other things He did and taught were not to be followed, but especially in this point where His disciples to learn from Him.  For as the spiritual authors remind us humility is the foundation of the spiritual life.  It is the fertile ground which makes the other virtues flourish in our souls.   And it is particularly these two virtues of meekness and humility which temper the anger we find ourselves often combating.

            Meekness is the moral virtue which moderates anger according to right reason.  In other words, it tempers within our soul the desire for vengeance or revenge so that its desire never becomes an end in itself or becomes so great that we harm the order of justice.  According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “meekness makes a man master of himself.”  This is because the anger that might be felt never exceeds what is right and just and is manifested as such in our actions towards others.  We see this in a perfect manner in the life of Christ, Who as the Scripture tells us “came as a king, meek and sitting upon an ass” (cf. Mt. XXI, 5), in His desire for the salvation of sinners corrected and at times rebuked them severely not for an end in itself but because of the evil they were committing, namely, rejecting Him as the Son of God.  The question arises: we should we do when our anger becomes inordinate?  Here the counsel of St. Francis de Sales proves to be so valuable, “I constantly advise you that prayers directed against present and pressing anger must always be said calmly and peaceably and not violently.  Moreover, as soon as you see that you are guilty of a wrathful deed, correct the fault right away by an act of meekness toward the person you were angry with.  We must repair our anger instantly by a contrary act of meekness.  Fresh wounds are quickest healed, as the saying goes.”  And although practicing meekness towards others is always laudable we must be willing to practice this virtue with ourselves.  What do I mean?  That many souls often get upset with themselves when they see that they have sinned or acted in a disordered manner.  Thus, a person gets angry at the fact that they became angry or angry that they continue to commit the same sin over and over again.  And this serves no purpose whatsoever as it steeps our hearts in passion and if anything causes anxiety and lack of peace in our souls.  Here again our patron St. Francis de Sales has the adequate insight, “We must not fret over our own imperfections.  Although reason requires that we must be displeased and sorry whenever we commit a fault, we must refrain from bitter, gloomy, spiteful and emotional displeasure.  Many people are greatly at fault in this way.  When overcome by anger they become angry at being angry, disturbed at being disturbed, and vexed at being vexed…It may seem that the second fit of anger does away with the first, but actually it serves to open the way for fresh anger on the first occasion that arises.  Moreover, these fits of anger, vexation and bitterness against ourselves tend to pride and they spring from no other source than self-love, which is disturbed and upset at seeing that it is imperfect.”

            It remains now to say a few things about the virtue of humility.  Like meekness it is a moral virtue by which a man considering his own defects holds himself in the lowest place according to its mode.  Humility has basically two functions: 1) to restrain an inordinate desire of our own excellence, in other words, to think of ourselves more than we are 2) to subject us to God by acknowledging all the goods we have received whether material or spiritual have their source from God.  To admit that we possess certain talents or gifts is not necessarily a lack of humility, unless we hold ourselves as the source and reason for these gifts as if we had not received them from God.  Humility has truth at its very center for the virtue allows us to see things as they truly are and not as they appear or we think them to be.  Humility is entirely opposed to pride which is the inordinate desire of our own excellence and this is where anger fits into equation.  What is often the cause of our anger is the insult or injury our self-love receives.  As we said earlier, not only is humility the sine qua non (the indispensable principle to grow in sanctity) of the spiritual life, but also the very foundation of it.  There is a great need to practice this virtue because we have received a command or precept from the Our Lord Who said, “learn of me.”  We can be assured that in Heaven there are saints who do not have the same excellence in all the virtues.  For example, no one has the same purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary nor can everyone fast like St. Catherine of Siena, practice poverty like St. Francis of Assissi, or detachment like St. John of the Cross, however, every saint we know has practiced the virtue of humility and to a heroic degree.  There is no saint in Heaven that is not humble!  We must convince ourselves that although we might be destitute of some of the virtues the saints possessed, we can never attain eternal glory without the virtue of humility.  Humility like all the moral virtues is not only infused into the soul in the state of sanctifying grace, but is a virtue that can be acquired through the assistance of actual grace.  Which leads to a very important principle: if we wish to be humble, we have to be willing to be humiliated.  There is no other way.  This does not mean that we become a door mat or a kick me sign to others, for every man has a right to a good name and to be respected because of his dignity as a creature of God.  But it does mean accepting and bearing the humiliation when it comes and with an intention that is supernatural meaning for the sake of God’s glory.  In humiliation we have the perfect opportunity to resemble Jesus Christ, Who though entitled to all the honors and praise the world could offer Him, nevertheless, bore humiliation and scorn for the salvation of souls and the glory of the Father. 

            Non nobis, Domine, non nobis—not to us, O Lord, not to us but to thy name give glory (Ps. 113, 1) this indeed is the cry of the humble man.  And we must ask ourselves when we are angry: are we angry because God is insulted or are we angry because our love of self has been wounded?  If it is the former then there is room for authentic zeal to do an arduous action, in this case, to defend the rights of Almighty God as did Christ when He cleansed the Temple.  However, if we grow angry due to self-love then we only seek to protect our own honor and to glorify ourselves.  The saints are quick to point out that of the numerous merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary that which made her most suitable to be the privileged Mother of God was her humility.  To use the words of St. Bernard, “By her virginity she pleased God, by her humility she conceived Him.”  What is clear from all our discussion today is that we need to grow in humility and meekness if we seek to work the justice of God.  Indeed, we must be as St. James admonishes us, “swift to hear, but slow to speak and slow to anger.” (Js. I, l9).  For truly it will be as Christ said, “unless we are converted and become as little children, we shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. XVIII, 3).


Ice and Cold Don’t Discourage Indiana Faithful

Elevation of the Sacred Blood

LAFAYETTE, Ind., Dec. 15, 2007 — Despite severe winter weather, Fr. Roberto Cano’s homecoming to St. Boniface on December 9 was a rousing success.

Braving a storm that left a layer of ice on sidewalks, trees and vehicles, over 650 Catholics attended the first Solemn High Mass in the traditional, now called extraordinary, form of the Roman rite in Lafayette, Indiana in forty years. And extraordinary it was.

Thanks to the generosity of Fr. Timothy Alkire, pastor of St. Boniface in Lafayette, Fr. Cano, FSSP, was able to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, commonly referred to as the Latin Mass, in his home parish, just weeks after his ordination by Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska.

“I’m very thankful to Father Alkire for his many years of support and inviting me to return to the parish to offer this Solemn Mass.” said Father Cano.

The large crowd, some traveling upwards to 100 miles in inclement weather, followed the ancient rite, parts of which date back to the time of the Apostles, from hand missals provided specifically for the occasion. The demographics of the crowd were mixed, from young couples with numberless children in tow to gray-haired women donning mantillas, a type of lace head covering which was common before the 1960s, and immigrant families of various ethnic backgrounds.

“It’s rewarding to see such a diverse group of people attending Mass together,” commented Michael Hughes, a Catholic who made the drive to Lafayette with his wife and four children from Noblesville, Indiana. “The Mass schedule in most parish bulletins seem to segregate the community’s worship based on age, the type of music they like or their native language. With the Latin Mass, we put aside our differences and gather to worship as one family, the way Catholics have done for centuries.”

68-70, O ye dews and hoar frosts, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O ye frost and cold, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O ye ice and snow, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.

Fr. Cano was ably assisted by four seminarians from Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, run by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right established by Pope John Paul II in 1988, to provide priests for those Catholics wishing to participate in the traditional liturgy of the Catholic church, as well as other forms of prayer and popular piety, that existed for centuries before the innovations of the 1960s and 70s.

Deacons Paul J. McCambridge and Dennis Gordon served as Deacon and Subdeacon, respectively, for the Mass, while Deacon Jonathan Romanoski sang Gregorian chant with the schola, which was led by seminarian Brian Austin. Deacons McCambridge, Gordon and Romanoski will be ordained to the priesthood next year in Lincoln, Nebraska. Also in attendance were a number of priests from the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.

Over one hundred people attended the reception in the gymnasium of St. Boniface School afterwards, the majority of them availing themselves of the opportunity to receive a personal blessing, and a memento of his ordination, from Fr. Cano.

Also in attendance were the members of Una Voce Carmel, a lay organization dedicated to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite and to restoring the use of Latin, Gregorian Chant, sacred polyphony and sacred architecture in Catholic liturgy.