Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Author Archive

Still Waiting for the Spiritual Reset?

May 15th, 2021, Promulgated by Hopefull

When will our Spiritual Reset Happen?

It’s when our hunger for God, and for His Eucharistic Banquet, outweighs our concerns about “catching covid.”

It is also when the presbyters of the Church stop fearing for themselves, and start to remember that “it’s all about souls.”

It took a Quarantine (to get me to do this!)

May 9th, 2020, Promulgated by Hopefull

After scrubbing down everything in sight, and in evaluating each item from the supermarket on how it can be disinfected (if we throw away the outside packaging, a lot can get by with a wipe down before and after storing) I then looked at one of the most difficult to disinfect items which arrives nearly every day: the mail! Especially the religious solicitations (and soon a political avalanche as well.) Time to start with the religious “stuff” which has been a problem I’ve avoided for a long time.

A lot of items won’t stand up to water or alcohol, and a lot I don’t even want to handle. But I finally decided to take on the solicitations, especially of a religious nature. I have friends who think that throwing a holy card (probably unblessed) into the garbage should be confessed. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I do know that I feel guilty for doing so. But what am I to do with all the “stuff” they send me? So far virtually no not-for-profit has seemed to honor my request not to receive mail or phone calls (which have accelerated since the tie-down.)

Well, I finally took on the imposing pile of “stuff.” I’ve sent the following letter to ever singled solicitor, and now, even if they don’t honor my request, responsibility for the discarded so-called holy cards and other paraphernalia are on that sender. They can take wasting donor funds to the confessional. But I no longer will feel any guilt at all. Here’s the letter I wrote and have been copying all day, mailing on my stamp, and never going to open again. Plus, my desire to disinfect now applies to much less volume. (I’m thinking UV light for that). Feel free to copy whatever fits your circumstances:

Letter to unsolicited ‘charitable’ solicitors:


Dear Not-for-Profit entity,

I have been on your mailing list for sometime now, and I may even have made a donation or two in the past. However, with the changes in the world and in my own life, needs and focus, I will no longer be donating to your organization or to a number of other not-for-profits I may have supported in the past. It is not that you have done anything wrong, nor can you change my decision, which is made for my own intentions.

This last mailing from me is a goodwill gesture to help you avoid needless mailing expense. I don’t want address labels, wrapping paper, ribbon, holy cards, notepads, rosaries, medals, scapulars, Christmas and other seasonal cards,  stickers, little candles to return for melting, mini prayer books, sticky nickels, scraps of fabric to sign and return, raffle tickets, calendars, imprinted ball point pens, linty gloves and socks, mini-manicure sets, or any of myriad other gimmicks I receive constantly. And I surely do not want donations made in my name to other not-for-profits which will merely add to the problem.  I simply want much less mail to receive, open and dispose of, which is clogging my recycling bin and, worse, using up my time and energy. If I am on your calling list, please move me to your “Do not call list.”

Please cancel all your mailings to me, __________ (insert name and variations)

and variations thereof, at this address:

123 xxxxxxxxxx

yyyyyyyy, ZZ     (Add other addresses like an office if applicable, and to avoid another stamp.)


Beginning NOW, I will no longer open any mail from your organization or from dozens of others to whom I am sending this letter. DO NOT write to me, because I will never see it; it’s going straight from mail box to garbage. And you would simply be wasting the funds you get from other donors. Thank you for your anticipated compliance and cooperation. This is not a first warning; it is a final warning. Please respect my decision and your responsibility.



Divine Mercy April 28, 2019 in Stockbridge MA

April 26th, 2019, Promulgated by Hopefull

Click here for a Whirlwind Tour 

Cheapening Mass by Peter Kwasniewski

April 3rd, 2019, Promulgated by Hopefull

Excerpts from:

“Why Mass is cheapened when human elements like socializing are emphasized”

 by Peter Kwasniewski

March 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – “The liturgy of the Church has for its primary aim to honor and glorify God, and … to sanctify our souls, leading us to an ever deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ …”

“It is good and fitting for us to pray to God as a people and to be conscious of our neighbors as fellow citizens of the household of God. ”

“…we must make sure that our grasp of the meaning of community is sufficiently in tune with the real nature of the Church.”

“… Reverence, solemnity, and majesty belong to worship precisely because it is no mere human gathering, but a momentary opening up of our world to the life and grace of the heavenly Jerusalem  ….  It is not just “our” worship, the action of this particular local community; it always has a cosmic, universal, transtemporal dimension to it.”

“The liturgy in itself is not—and will only be cheapened if it becomes—a gathering for waving to your neighbor, exchanging news, shaking hands, “dialoguing” with an improvisatory priest, or the like. This sort of thing may have its rightful place before and after Mass and outside of the place of worship, but it is certainly not of the essence of the thing, and more often than not it is a serious impediment to participating in the mysteries of the liturgy….”

“The experience of community proper to the liturgy is an experience of common adoration, all faces, all hearts turned towards the sanctuary, … when we most forget ourselves and our neighbors in our intense concentration on the Mass….”

“The words one speaks should be a response to something one has had opportunity to hear in the silence of the soul; the songs one sings should enrich and instruct rather than fill up gaps in time or give one ‘something to do.’”

“…  there should be much space for silence, for meditative reflection… it would be an easy and vast improvement if we could have a quiet church before Mass, a holy stillness during the Canon, and an atmosphere of peace after Mass for those who wish to linger in their thanksgiving (with the celebrant setting the example). Sitting still for five minutes with one’s mind on God requires and fosters more spiritual maturity than singing for an hour.”

Read full article here:

Nehemiah ordered by God to build a Wall

February 11th, 2019, Promulgated by Hopefull

Looking for id of this beautiful site

February 2nd, 2019, Promulgated by Hopefull

Someone sent me this picture. Neither of us has any identification of this magnificent sanctuary and what seems likely to be a solemn high Latin Mass at the Consecration?  Help! Can somebody identify the site for us?


We received an answer early this morning, from a very helpful friend, that the Sanctuary is located at The London Oratory (link).  It is actually called the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And we stand corrected about its likely being a Traditional Latin Mass. It actually may be an ad orientem Novus Ordo. Other comments are most welcome. 

Reality … no ‘nice’ way to say it.

November 21st, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

VIGANO = Victory is God’s Act, Not Ours!

November 11th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

Sometimes there is a great big “truth” sign; sometimes we just have to figure it out.

Thank you, Abp. Vigano for all you are suffering for the people of God.

Oath Against Modernism

October 13th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

This oath against modernist errors was required to be sworn by all Roman Catholic clergy and educators from 1910 as a means of rooting out the poisonous errors of Modernism. It was abolished in 1967 by Pope Paul VI, 2 years after Vatican II. Those who took the oath before that time are still bound by it.


Pope St. Pius X’s “Oath against Modernism”

Extracted from the motu proprio, Sacrorum Antistitum; September 1, 1910

To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I [name] firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day.

And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:19), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that therefore, His existence can also be demonstrated.

Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time.

Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when He lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time.

Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same explanation. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another, different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely.

Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, Our Creator and Lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas.

I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion.

I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality?that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful.

Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm.

Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historical-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic Tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact?one to be put on par with the ordinary facts of history?the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages, a school begun by Christ and His apostles.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God, and these holy Gospels of God which I touch with my hand.

For more and related information on this subject, enter “Modernism” in the search bar.

Pope issues statement re McCarrick etc.

October 6th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

Pope Francis has issued a statement regarding Abp. McCarrick: 

Abuse and cover-up “can no longer be tolerated,”
Clericalism “is no longer acceptable”?  Huh?

Two Popes Consecrated Vatican to St. Michael the Archangel

September 29th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

On July 5, 2013, Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI together consecrated the Vatican to the protection of St. Michael the Archangel. From Patheos of the same date we read:


Today, September 29, 2018, is the Feast of the Archangels, Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, and a Perfect Day to begin saying the St. Michael prayer daily. A number of dioceses in the U.S. have re-instituted the former practice of praying the St. Michael prayer after Mass, especially in light of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church.  It appears that even more dioceses will do so very soon, but there is no reason to wait. For the importance of St. Michael, read Revelation (Apocalypse) Chapter 12: 1-17.

For several years, small pockets of daily Mass laity have held onto the practice of praying the St. Michael prayer together after Mass, even if necessary to whisper. But now this most worthy practice is coming out in the open, as more and more priests and laity realize the importance of St. Michael’s protection. Pastors can add the practice in their parishes, and need not wait for a whole diocese to do so together. What is most important is “start praying.” There are several versions, mostly synonyms in vocabulary (e.g. “roam” or “wander” for “prowl”) but the essential prayer is the same.


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle
Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares
of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and
do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of
God, cast into Hell, Satan and all other evil spirits who
prowl through the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

A Letter from Young Clergy

September 26th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

A beautiful, thoughtful and seemingly inspired letter has been published by First Things from recently ordained young priests. It is an encouragement that sometimes out of the worst soil the most lovely flower blooms. (Thank you to “G” for calling this to our attention). The letter begins:

Reverend Synod Fathers, 

On our ordination days, each of us was asked by his ordaining bishop: “Do you promise respect and obedience to me and my successors?” Each of us answered in the affirmative, confident not in his own merits, but in the grace of God, who called each of us to priestly ministry in his Church. We are young Catholic clergy, and so we answered this question only a short time ago—some of us within the past year. And it is in the same spirit of respect and obedience that we write today. We wish to express our concern about the unfolding crisis of sexual abuse in the Church, especially the Church in the United States. Specifically, we are concerned about how this crisis relates to the Synod on the Faith, Young People, and Vocational Discernment, which is to take place in Rome in October.

Though the Synod Council could not have foreseen this when the topic was chosen three years ago, the Synod on Young People comes, to say the least, at an inopportune moment. The events of the past year demonstrate ….

Letter continues here:

Buffer Zone Against 5th Commandment

September 22nd, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

Did the 10 Commandments carved by the Finger of God have a footnote for buffer zones in which any of the commandments could be violated without penalty? No they didn’t, least of all the 5th Commandment against the unjust taking of life — of all life, including babies in the womb.

But the City of Rochester and the State Attorney General’s “office” have decided differently against the highly effective protests led by Jim Havens and the ROC Sidewalk Advocates, dedicated people who pray their hearts out monthly at Planned Parenthood’s death facility on University Avenue.

Read it here, and pray for those who pray for life in the womb:

Why the big guns against prayer and discussion? Because the ROC Sidewalk Advocates are carrying with them the two most dangerous weapons in the world: the Word of God and words of truth.

A Day of Penance by Priests

August 27th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull


As Cleansing Fire becomes aware of other prayerful events dedicated to the cleansing of God’s Church and purification of the priesthood, we will be honored to give space on this website. The first one to occur, for which we recently became aware, will be a Traditional Latin Mass at St. John the Evangelist Church in Spencerport at 9AM on the First Saturday, September 1 st, asking our Blessed Mother to obtain graces from her Son in order that the Church may be purified.

The next four First Saturdays will also have the Latin Mass offered by Fr. Peter Mottola at St. John the Evangelist for the same intentions, and to comply with Our Lady’s request to St. Lucia at Fatima.

Baptism and Exorcism?

July 31st, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

A few years ago, Msgr. Charles Pope introduced the subject as a question in one of his posts:

Should the Church Consider Reintroducing the Exorcism Prayers in the Rite of Baptism?

I don’t remember any follow-on discussion, let alone conclusions, so I’d like to invite the subject here on Cleansing Fire. With the way evil has run rampant in our world and, sad to say, even among the hierarchy, perhaps the question is timely. My own preference is that I’d rather not be living in a house with family members who have not received the exorcism rite in their baptism, and I can’t see how reintroducing the rite can possibly have a negative impact. At least it should be optional, shouldn’t it? Is it possible to “add it on” now for people who didn’t receive it? Anyone know?

Looking for others’ opinions on the subject.

A “New-Man”

July 16th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull


Weekday Philosophy

July 9th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull












Lilac Musing

June 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

ScreenShot443Years ago, the little country church, of which I was a member at the time, had no budget for flowers, or much else either. If Sunday Mass had flowers in the Sanctuary it was usually because members had cut some from their own backyards.  I rarely brought flowers because the deer always seemed to eat what was at its peak, and left debris not very attractive to offer to God. Then, the thought occurred that perhaps I could at least cut some lilacs, which were still relatively intact. “Everybody has lilacs,” I thought, “so this won’t be very special.  But at least I can bring something.”

With that thought, and vase and clippers in hand, I went out on Friday afternoon to the white bush which is only about 5 feet from the corner of the house. After clipping a spray or two, I stepped behind the bush, into a clump of tall grass, clipped, and then a tiny brown mound caught my eye, about 4 inches from the tip of my shoe. Peering down, I was surprised to see a new-born fawn, asleep. Now it became clear what the mild grunting noise around midnight had been.



I tiptoed away, but must have awakened it, for a few minutes later it had raised its head, waiting for its mother. I called a knowledgeable friend: “Has this fawn been abandoned?” “No,” she assured me, “The mother leaves the fawn for the first day, but always comes back and will then take the fawn with her.” I was still worried, but decided the best thing I could do was leave the spot and the fawn alone, and hope for the best.

Then, about 24 hours later, I revisited the spot. The grass was still matted, but the fawn was gone. The mother indeed did come back. Just as Christ has left us in the world, for what may only be a day in the time of timelessness, He will indeed return to take us to Himself. What a beautiful gift from Him, to remind me again of His Faithfulness. What a beautiful gift to see the newborn fawn. What a beautiful gift to have the burden of concern for the fawn lifted from my heart. And I thought I was bringing HIM a gift of lilacs.

Tolton: From Slave to Priest

May 9th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

Monday, May 21, 2018 performance of

“Tolton: From Slave to Priest” at Aquinas Institute of Rochester 1127 Dewey Ave., Rochester NY

7:00 PM; Admission $10


Saint Luke Productions

585-328-3210 Tickets and Info


What is your opinion….

May 5th, 2018, Promulgated by Hopefull

… of the New York Archdiocese’s being on-air sponsors of the NY Yankees? Several times I’ve heard them announced as one of the sponsors on the radio broadcast. Does it matter? Does it hurt or help evangelization? Is it suitable for a Cardinal? What do you think?

There is some history:
ScreenShot447             ScreenShot424 ScreenShot436