Saturday, November 09, 2002

And now for something a bit less controversial
Vespers—Saturday- Translated by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
Jam sol recedit igneus.

THE red sun is gone,
Thou Light of the heart,
Blessed Three, Holy One,
To Thy servants a sun
Everlasting impart.

There were Lauds in the morn,
Here are Vespers at even;
Oh, may we adorn
Thy temple new born
With our voices in Heaven.

To the Father be praise,
And praise to the Son
And the Spirit always,
While the infinite days
Of eternity run.
Dear, dear...
I'm afraid he just doesn't get it. What's really a bit odd about the post is this part:

Frankly, I find it quite egotistical that any person/church/denomination would refuse fellowship to a fellow believer in Christ over a man-made interpretation of what actually transpires during communion. Don't you think if it was that important an issue, the Bible would have something to say about it?

48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; 50 this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." 52 The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us (his) flesh to eat?" 53 Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever." Gospel of St. John, 6:48-58

I think that does say something about it.
One could also argue that having a closed communion is charitable, citing First Corinthians Chapter 11:
29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself.

What's really fascinating though is that this blogger is presuming to criticize churches with a closed communion without understanding that for the largest Christian bodies which have closed communion (Catholic and Orthodox), the teaching on the Real Presence is not considered a man-made teaching but a non-negotiable fact believed since the time of the Apostles and no more expendable than the teaching on the Resurrection.

Response to Another Blogger
I was a trifled miffed by this post. While I do eat and have a roof over my head, I've been out of work for quite some time and 'comfortable' I'm not. I don't own a car, or a computer, and I blog from the library. Nevertheless, the babies come first, always. I would disagree that other issues are 'equally important.' IMHO, as long as legalized slaughter of the innocents is public policy, poverty, horrendous a problem as it is, must take a back seat. As Flannery O' Connor put it in a title of one of her stories, you can't be any poorer than dead.
St. Philip Post- Part Nine
Santa Maria in Vallicella

This incident helped Philip see just how vulnerable the ministry of the Oratory was. At San Giovanni, one man had kept the entire ministry from being destroyed, while at San Girolamo they were dependant on the goodwill of the confraternity. Without having a church and a house of their own, the work of the Oratory could be stopped by the whims of outsiders. Also, the numbers of young men who wanted to follow Philip's way of life in community was growing, and it was decided that having a permanent place of their own was a necessity. After the community had looked into several possibilities, the Holy Father suggested that they take over the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella. It was located near the crowded center of Rome, and particularly close to the Papal Court. As many members of the Court, including a great many Cardinals, were now coming to Philip for advice and sometimes for Confession, the Pope believed having Philip in close proximity would be a good thing.
Unfortunately, Santa Maria in Vallicella was a tiny, dilapidated church, and it was decided that it should be torn down and replaced. This was done and construction on the new Santa Maria in Vallicella was begun in1575. While the first Mass was offered in February of 1577, construction on parts of the church continued until after Philip's death. Since it was replacing the former building, it became known as the 'New Church' or 'Chiesa Nuova'. The church is still generally called the Chiesa Nuova,even though it is now over 400 years old.
At the same time, the community was canonically recognized. After the Chiesa Nuova was available for Mass, members moved into various houses in the area. The first official assembly of the Congregation of the Oratory took place March 15, 1577, in the church itself. On May 8, 1577, Philip was officially elected "Provost", or superior, of the community. From the beginning, the crucial feature of having all the members vote on important matters was present. There were still problems. The Oratory had some trouble keeping vocations, partly because of a lack of housing. Another problem was that while the rest of the community had settled in around the new church, Philip was reluctant to leave San Girolamo, where he had lived for so long. It took six years and an order from the Holy Father to get Philip to move, and he continued to visit San Girolamo until he died.

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"Let young men be cheerful, and indulge in the recreations proper to their age, provided they keep out of the way of sin."
"Nothing is more dangerous for beginners in the spiritual life than to want to play the master, and to guide and convert
"There is nothing the devil fears so much, or so much tries to hinder, as prayer."
"If God be with us, then there is no one else left to fear."

Friday, November 08, 2002

Good advice from Steve Mosher
I got this article from Chris Lugardo . Thanks a lot for blogging this, Mr. Lugardo.

St. Philip Post- Part Eight

Some Setbacks to Ministry

Philip endured various types of problems affecting his ministry. Some were relatively minor, such as the two unfriendly sacristans he had to put up with early on, who gave him the worst vestments, hid the tabernacle key from him, and created other petty annoyances. Some were much more serious, as when Cardinal Rosario of the Holy Office temporarily forbade Philip to hear confessions or hold the Visit to the Seven Churches, and accused him of attempting to form a new sect. Through it all, Philip remained patient and obedient, silencing his followers when they criticized those who were against him. Despite the various difficulties, the Oratory continued to take form. One major turning point occurred when Philip was asked to take over the ministry at San Giovanni dei Fiorentini, the church in Rome that was built by, and ministered to, Florentine expatriates. Philip agreed to help, though only because a Florentine delegation visited the Holy Father and requested that he indicate that Philip was to undertake this. Philip acquiesced, but did not leave San Girolamo himself. Instead he sent several of his young followers there, after they had been ordained. This small community lived at San Giovanni for ten years, living lives of prayer and service of many types. However, a member joined the community there who did not live peaceably with the others. After great deliberation, and Philip's own repeated intervention, he was expelled. He then went about spreading lies about the community,and, incredibly, managed to get the trustees of San Giovanni on his side, with the exception of one man. This one loyal trustee was all that kept the Oratorians from being
thrown out of San Giovanni.

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"He who wishes to be wise without true Wisdom, or saved without the Savior, is not well, but sick-is not wise, but a fool."
"Nothing unites the soul to God more closely, or breeds contempt of the world sooner, than being harassed and
"We ought to pray to God persistently to increase in us every day the light and heat of his goodness."
"We ought to remember what Christ said, that not he who begins, but he that perseveres to the end, shall be saved."

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Since it seems I came up as "Quenya"...
I might as well blog this. It's actually a very familiar text, but I think it translates into Quenya beautifully. Thanks to the amazing Helge Fauskanger who did this lovely translation (He has a wonderful site called
Ardalambion .). Thanks also to the Professor himself, who thought of it all.

1 I yessessë Eru ontanë Menel ar Cemen. 2 Cemen né cumna ar lusta, ar ëanë mornië or i undumë, nan Eruo Súlë willë or i neni.3 Ar equë Eru: "Eä cálë!" Ar ëanë cálë. 4 Eru cennë i cálë né mára, ar Eru ciltanë i cálë i morniello. 5 Ar Eru estanë i cálë Aurë, ar i mornië estanéro Lómë. Ar ëanë sinyë, ar ëanë arin, i minya aurë. 6 Ar equë Eru: "Eä telluma endessë i nenion, ar ciltuvas nén nenello." 7 Ar Eru carnë i telluma ar ciltanë i neni or i telluma i nenillon nu i telluma. Ar nés ve ta. 8 Ar Eru estanë i telluma Menel. Ar ëanë sinyë, ar ëanë arin, i tatya aurë.9 Ar equë Eru: "Ána i neni nu menel hostainë minë menessë, ar ána i parca nór cénina!" Ar nés ve ta. 10 Ar Eru estanë i parca nór Cemen, nan i hostainë neni estanéro Eär. Ar Eru cennë ta né mára. 11 Ar equë Eru: "A cola cemen salquë, olvar carila erdi, yávaldar colila yávë nostalentassen, mi cemen." Ar nés ve ta. 12 Cemen collë salquë, olvar carila erdi, nostalentassen, ar aldar colila yávë yassë ëar erdentar, nostalentassen. Ar Eru cennë ta né mára. 13 Ar ëanë sinyë, ar ëanë arin, i nelya aurë.14 Ar equë Eru: "Eä calmar tellumassë menelo ciltien aurë lómello, ar yévantë tannar asarion ar aurion ar coranárion. 15 Yévantë calmar tellumassë menelo caltien cemenna." Ar nés ve ta. 16 Eru carnë i atta altë calmar, i analta calma turien auressë ar i pitya calma turien lómessë, ar i eleni. 17 Ar Eru panyanë te tellumassë menelo caltien cemenna 18 ar turien auressë ar lómessë ar ciltien cálë morniello. Ar Eru cennë ta né mára. 19 Ar ëanë sinyë, ar ëanë arin, i canya aurë.20 Ar equë Eru: "A ëa úvë cuinë onnolíva i nenissen, ar a wila aiweli tellumassë menelo." 21 Ar Eru ontanë i altë ëarcelvar ar ilya úvë cuinë onnaiva i rihtar i nenissen, nostalentassen, ar ilyë rámavoiti onnar nostalentassen. Ar Eru cennë ta né mára. 22 Ar Eru laitanë te ar quentë: "Ána yávinquë ar ána rimbë, quata nén i ëarion, ar i aiwi yévar rimbë mi cemen!" 23 Ar ëanë sinyë, ar ëanë arin, i lempëa aurë.24 Ar equë Eru: "A cola cemen cuinë onnar nostalentassen, lamni ar celvaller ar cemeno hravani celvar, nostalentassen." 25 Ar Eru carnë cemeno hravani celvar nostalentassen, ar i lamni nostalentassen ar ilyë celvar i vantar mi cemen, nostalentassen. Ar Eru cennë ta né mára. 26 Ar equë Eru: "A caralmë Atan venwelmassë, canta ve me; ar turuváro ëaro lingwi ar menelo aiwi ar i lamni ar ilya cemen ar ilyë celvar i vantar mi cemen." 27 Ar Eru ontanë Atan venweryassë, Eruo venwessë ontanéros; hanu ar ní ontanéro te. 28 Ar Eru laitanë te, ar equë Eru na te: "Ána yávinquë ar ána rimbë, quata cemen ar panya ta nu le, ar tura ëaro lingwi ar menelo aiwi ar ilyë cuinë onnar i vantar mi cemen." 29 Ar equë Eru: "Cena, antan len ilyë olvar carila erdi, ilya i ëar ilya palúressë cemeno, ar ilyë aldar carila yávi yassen ëar erdi. Ta ná ya mantuval. 30 Ar ilyë hravani celvain ar ilye menelo aiwin ar ilyan i vanta mi cemen, ilya cuinan, antan ilyë laiquë olvar matië."31 Ar Eru cennë ilya ya carnéro, ar cena, nés ammára. Ar ëanë sinyë, ar ëanë arin, i enquëa aurë.

The repetiton of the words may have given it away by now, but in English this is "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..."...

St. Philip Post- Part Seven
Growth of the Oratory

Philip became more and more sought after as a confessor, and the Oratory meetings grew larger and more popular. Yet Philip faced opposition as well, which the jokes and such he was famed for did little to discourage. Some of it was from people who seem to have been less than enthusiastic about living the Gospel, but much of it was from people who thought his methods were too radical and extreme. Philip encouraged Confession and Holy Communion on a much more frequent basis than was then customary. Indeed, many of the early Oratorians went to Philip for confession every day, and to Communion several times a week, in an age when confession andCommunion a few times a year were the norm. Also, there were those, some of them in positions of authority, who thought the huge numbers of people assembling for the pilgrimage to the Seven Churches might be dangerous. Some distorted information seems to have been bandied about as well. Since Philip allowed laymen to give talks at the Oratorian meetings, someone said he was allowing laymen to preach at Mass, which was, of course, not true.

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"A man ought to set about putting his good resolutions into practice, and not change them lightly."
"Nothing helps a man more than prayer."
"Where there is no great mortification there is no great sanctity."
"Even in the midst of the crowd we can be going on to perfection."

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

I should have guessed...

what foreign language are you?

brought to you by Quizilla

I actually prefer Sindarin, but High Elven is fine, too.... What I don't understand is why the quiz maker chose Haldir to illustrate Quenya when he would have spoken Silvan-accented Sindarin. Surely Elrond or Galadriel would have been a better choice ?
St. Philip Post- Part Six
St. Philip and Humor

Perhaps what Philip is best known for in many circles is his sense of humor. Yet few people seem to understand the motivations behind many of his eccentricities.
These were twofold, yet intertwined. One reason was connected with Philip's intense and profoundly mystical prayer life. This led to him having difficulties in keeping himself from going into an ecstatic state, in which he was unaware of anything around him, whenever he celebrated Mass, read Scripture or the lives of the Saints, or even looked at certain crucifixes or other works of sacred art. Philip found that contact with the mundane, particularly the humorous, could help him 'keep his feet on the ground', so to speak. This led to such things as his reading of a book of funny stories before he began to celebrate Mass, to take the most famous example. Even this
measure sometimes failed to keep him from losing touch with his surroundings, and eventually he received permission to celebrate Mass privately, which, some noted, tended to take him hours.
The second, and more important, reason was Philip's fear of pride, either the various forms of secular pride that were rampant in Renaissance Rome or the more insidious spiritual pride which can ruin the life of any Christian. Here, humor was his tool for keeping this deadly poison from infecting his life, and the lives of the many people whose lives he influenced. As his reputation for holiness of life spread, he took pains to make himself, not respected or revered, but a figure of fun, thus discouraging people who wanted to 'canonize' him while he was still alive. How could a priest known for sometimes showing up in church with his cloak inside out, or for occasionally wearing a cushion on his head through the streets, be a saint? Thus, he surrounded the deep mysticism and burning charity within his heart with an exterior which drew the humble, the simple, and those who could laugh at themselves, while tending to repel those who cherished pride in rank, dignity or external 'holiness'.

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"He who desires ecstasies and visions does not know what he is desiring."
"Let the young man look after the flesh, and the old man after avarice, and we shall all be saints together."
"The fruit we ought to get from prayer is to do what is pleasing to the Lord."
"The true way to advance in holy virtues, is to persevere in a holy cheerfulness."

On the election
I have mixed feelings about the result. From what I've seen, it seems that a good many pro-life candidates won across the country, which is, of course, wonderful. On the other hand, the voters of my state have given the governorship to a man who once called Kate Michelman 'a saint' . What is really sad is... it wasn't even close. We handed power to a pawn of the baby-butcherers on a silver platter. God have mercy on the state of Pennsylvania.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I guess I ought to be used to it by now...
but I'm afraid I'm not.
What is up with the people who try to make Venerable Newman (though they seldom use that title for him) into some sort of icon of theological dissent ?
I'm saying this after reading the November issue of First Things. The first part of the section "The Public Square" is entitled "Mr. Wills For the Prosecution". In it, a description is given of the recent book by Mr. Garry Wills entitled Why I am a Catholic . The book is apparently supposed to be a response to those who said one of his previous books was not Catholic. Unfortunately, if this review it accurate, he is proving their point in spades.
The basic thrust of the book appears to be that the papacy has been pretty much ruining things since the beginning of the Church. Among various theological and moral bizarreness of the type which is all too familiar (abortion is OK, the Assumption of Our Lady never happened, the Virgin Birth was not a 'biological fact', etc.), Mr. Wills apparently added a new wrinkle which really floored me. He seems to have stated that the Catholic martyrs of England and Wales were really traitors and deserved what they got...beheading, hanging, drawing and quartering, and so forth. Lord, have mercy on this deceived soul. How can somebody calling himself a Catholic dishonor the witness of those who who were murdered for celebrating the Sacraments or for hiding priests from the butchers of Tyburn ?
Mr. Wills has the gall to claim that his heroes are Venerable Newman and, believe it or not, G.K. Chesterton (!). I leave the defense of Chesterton's honor for another day, but here are a few quotes from the Venerable Mr. Wills seems to have missed:
"Deeply do I feel, ever will I protest, for I can appeal to the ample testimony of history to bear me out, that, in questions of right and wrong, there is nothing really strong in the whole world, nothing decisive and operative, but the voice of him, to whom have been committed the keys of the kingdom and the oversight of Christ's flock. The voice of Peter is now, as it ever has been, a real authority, infallible when it teaches, prosperous when it commands, ever taking the lead wisely and distinctly in its own province, adding certainty to what is probable, and persuasion to what is certain. Before it speaks, the most saintly may mistake; and after it has spoken, the most gifted must obey." - Cathedra Sempiterna , 1852
"Conscience has rights because it has duties; but in this age, with a large portion of the public, it is the very right and freedom of conscience to dispense with conscience, to ignore a Lawgiver and Judge, to be independent of unseen obligations. It becomes a licence to take up any or no religion, to take up this or that and let it go again, to go to church, to go to chapel, to boast of being above all religions and to be an impartial critic of each of them. Conscience is a stern monitor, but in this century it has been superseded by a counterfeit, which the eighteen centuries prior to it never heard of, and could not have mistaken for it, if they had. It is the right of self-will." - Letter to the Duke of Norfolk 1875
Can we religiously suppose that the blood of our martyrs, three centuries ago and since, shall never receive its recompense? Those priests, secular and regular, did they suffer for no end? or rather, for an end which is not yet accomplished? The long imprisonment, the fetid dungeon, the weary suspense, the tyrannous trial, the barbarous sentence, the savage execution, the rack, the gibbet, the knife, the cauldron, the numberless tortures of those holy victims, O my God, are they to have no reward? Are Thy martyrs to cry from under Thine altar for their loving vengeance on this guilty people, and to cry in vain? Shall they lose life, and not gain a better life for the children of those who persecuted them? Is this Thy way, O my God, righteous and true? Is it according to Thy promise, O King of saints, if I may dare talk to Thee of justice? Did not Thou Thyself pray for Thine enemies upon the cross, and convert them? Did not Thy first Martyr win Thy great Apostle, then a persecutor, by his loving prayer? And in that day of trial and desolation for England, when hearts were pierced through and through with Mary's woe, at the crucifixion of Thy body mystical, was not every tear that flowed, and every drop of blood that was shed, the seeds of a future harvest, when they who sowed in sorrow were to reap in joy? " - "The Second Spring", 1852
" I rejoice to say, to one great mischief I have from the first opposed myself. For thirty, forty, fifty years I have resisted to the best of my powers the spirit of liberalism in religion. Never did Holy Church need champions against it more sorely than now, when, alas! it is an error overspreading, as a snare, the whole earth; and on this great occasion, when it is natural for one who is in my place to look out upon the world, and upon Holy Church as in it, and upon her future, it will not, I hope, be considered out of place, if I renew the protest against it which I have made so often." - Biglietto Speech, 1879

Monday, November 04, 2002

From Meditations and Devotions
I think this is appropriate for a day when the Gospel was about Christ as the Good Shepherd.

Jesus our Guide and Guardian by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
There are men who think that God is so great that He disdains to look down upon us, our doings and our fortunes. But He who did not find it beneath His Majesty to make us, does not think it beneath Him to observe and to visit us. He says Himself in the Gospel: "Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings? and not one of them is forgotten before God. Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows." He determined from all eternity that He would create us. He settled our whole fortune—and, if He did not absolutely decree to bring us to heaven, it is because we have free will, and by the very constitution of our nature He has put it in part out of His own power, for we must do our part, if to heaven we attain. But He has done every thing short of this. He died for us all upon the Cross, that, if it were possible to save us, we might be saved. And He calls upon us lovingly, begging us to accept the benefit of His meritorious and most Precious Blood. And those who trust Him He takes under His special protection. He marks out their whole life for them; He appoints all that happens to them; He guides them in such way as to secure their salvation; He gives them just so much of health, of wealth, of friends, as is best for them; He afflicts them only when it is for their good; He is never angry with them. He measures out just that number of years which is good for them; and He appoints the hour of their death in such a way as to secure their perseverance up to it.

Let us pray for ourselves and for all our needs.

O my Lord and Saviour, in Thy arms I am safe; keep me and I have nothing to fear; give me up and I have nothing to hope for. I know not what will come upon me before I die. I know nothing about the future, but I rely upon Thee. I pray Thee to give me what is good for me; I pray Thee to take from me whatever may imperil my salvation; I pray Thee not to make me rich, I pray Thee not to make me very poor; but I leave it all to Thee, because Thou knowest and I do not. If Thou bringest pain or sorrow on me, give me grace to bear it well—keep me from fretfulness and selfishness. If Thou givest me health and strength and success in this world, keep me ever on my guard lest these great gifts carry me away from Thee. O Thou who didst die on the Cross for me, even for me, sinner as I am, give me to know Thee, to believe on Thee, to love Thee, to serve Thee; ever to aim at setting forth Thy glory; to live to and for Thee; to set a good example to all around me; give me to die just at that time and in that way which is most for Thy glory, and best for my salvation.

St. Philip Post- Part Five
St. Philip and Followers

Philip and his followers were known for many good works, including continuing to assist pilgrims, and most of all working in the hospitals. The hospitals of the day were places where those who were ill, but not wealthy enough to be nursed at home, were warehoused, with little in the way of care or nursing given to them. Thus, Philip's followers were providing a much-needed service in giving basic care to those who were ill. One of his penitents, an ex-soldier named Camillus de Lellis, was especially devoted to this work, and eventually founded a community to serve the sick. He was later canonized, and his community, now known formally as the Order of St. Camillus Servants of the Sick, informally as the Camillians, continues to minister to the ill all over the world.
Another activity, and perhaps the one which attracted the most attention, was Philip's practice of praying at the seven basilicas of Rome. He began to take his followers on these mini-pilgrimages of prayer, and eventually they grew to huge sizes, with thousands of people. Philip was especially eager to have these excursions available as a prayerful alternative to the Carnivale (the customary citywide celebration immediately before Lent, which was rife with various types of immoral behavior).

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"Men are generally the carpenters of their own crosses."
"Obedience! Humility! Detachment!"
"Let us think of Mary, for she is that unspeakable virgin, that glorious lady, who conceived and brought forth, without detriment
to her virginity, Him whom the width of the heavens cannot contain within itself. "
"To pray well requires the whole man. "

Feast of St. Charles Borromeo
Today is the feast of St. Charles Borromeo . Some might think it strange, but this great reformer of the Church, with his reputation for being terribly stern, was a good friend of my own beloved St. Philip Neri, renowned for his gentleness. Their personalities may have contrasted to a certain extent, but each recognized and loved the holiness of Christ shining through in the other.Thus when St. Charles was drawing up his rule for the Oblates of St. Ambrose, it was St. Philip he consulted, and when St. Philip was asked to describe St. Charles. he simply said, "He is radiantly beautiful." For anyone who reads contemporary accounts or looks at less idealized portraits of St. Charles, that comment makes it pretty obvious that St. Philip was seeing his holiness rather than his face.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

A Note on the "From the homily" Posts
I would just like to say that these notes are not often not reflective of all the points, or even the main point, made in any homily on any particular day. They are based on what struck me as memorable from a given homily. Since I don't have a tape recorder with me at Mass, any quotes are as I remember them and may not be completely accurate.
Also, I do ask permission from the priest or deacon before using his homily in a blog. I think it only fair that I should do so.

A Post That Will Mean Nothing To People Who Aren't Up On The Life of Venerable Newman
While I was volunteering at the front desk of the Oratory yesterday, one of the priests asked me to copy a document. He remarked that "you might want to make a copy for yourself as well." And I certainly did. The document was a copy of the journal Maria (later Sr. Maria Pia) Giberne kept as she traveled to Italy to find witnesses to butress Venerable Newman's case in the Achilli trial. It is not a printed version, but a photocopy of the original, handwritten journal, in Miss Giberne's lovely 19th century script and her sometimes idiosyncratic spelling. (For example, she remarks that one of the witnesses fell and broke her 'ancle'. )
Yes, I know. It's probable most of the few people who read the blog won't have a clue what this is about ("Achilli who ?") , but I still think it's cool, so I'm blogging it anyway.....
St. Philip Post- Part Four
Answering the Call

Fr. Persanio Rosa, Philip's confessor, was convinced that Philip should become a priest. After much persuasion, Philip finally consented, and he was ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1551. He was not quite 36 years old, but that was considered a 'very late vocation' by the standards of the time. He lived at San Girolamo as a secular priest, and soon began to attract both many penitents and some followers. There began to be meetings in Philip's room for discussions of the Scriptures and the Lives of the Saints, and also for prayer. Soon the meetings grew too large for the room, and were moved next door. By 1557 a small loft had been built over one of the side aisles of San Girolamo. Philip called the room 'the Oratory', meaning a place of prayer. This could be seen as the beginning of the Congregation of the Oratory, though at the time, and for a long time afterward, Philip had little notion that a community of any kind was being founded at all. Later, he often said that the Blessed Virgin must have founded the Congregation because he did not plan to found anything.

St. Philip Neri Quotes:
"There is nothing more displeasing to God, than our being inflated with self-esteem."
"Let us reflect that the Word left heaven, and stooped to become man for us."
"In the warfare of the flesh, only cowards gain the victory; that is to say, those who run."
"The cheerful are much easier to guide in the spiritual life than the melancholy."

From the homily
Fr. Drew was preaching today. There were a lot of interesting points in the homily, but the one I remember most was one which concerned the reading from Malachi. He explained that in the verses just preceding the reading, the Lord speaks of the poor, polluted offerings which were being given in sacrifice. "They were giving, not the unblemished lambs and the firstfruits, but the blind sheep, the lame animals, and the leftover grain rotting in their barns. They were giving to God what they would not dare to give an earthly ruler. Yet when we come to worship Him, what are we giving to Him who has given us all ? Too often it's boredom, inattention, and sloth."
Ouch. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa !

Music at noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell"
Offertory: "Benedic Anima Mea" - Claudin de Sermisy (1495-1562)
Communion: "Domine, Non Sum Dignus" - Tomas Luis da Vittoria (1540-1608)
Recessional Hymn: "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name"