Saturday, March 15, 2003

For Saturday
Mary is the "Regina Martyrum," the Queen of Martyrs"

by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" Why is she so called?—she who never had any blow, or wound, or other injury to her consecrated person. How can she be exalted over those whose bodies suffered the most ruthless violences and the keenest torments for our Lord's sake? She is, indeed, Queen of all Saints, of those who ' walk with Christ in white, for they are worthy; ' but how of those 'who were slain for the Word of God, and for the testimony which they held? '

To answer this question, it must be recollected that the pains of the soul may be as fierce as those of the body. Bad men who are now in hell, and the elect of God who are in purgatory, are suffering only in their souls, for their bodies are still in the dust; yet how severe is that suffering! And perhaps most people who have lived long can bear witness in their own persons to a sharpness of distress which was like a sword cutting them, to a weight and force of sorrow which seemed to throw them down, though bodily pain there was none.

What an overwhelming horror it must have been for the Blessed Mary to witness the Passion and the Crucifixion of her Son! Her anguish was, as Holy Simeon had announced to her, at the time of that Son's Presentation in the Temple, a sword piercing her soul. If our Lord Himself could not bear the prospect of what was before Him, and was covered in the thought of it with a bloody sweat, His soul thus acting upon His body, does not this show how great mental pain can be? and would it have been wonderful though Mary's head and heart had given way as she stood under His Cross?

Thus is she most truly the Queen of Martyrs. "

Meditations and Devotions

Great articles
on music over at Catholic Educator's Resource Center . (WARNING: The second article contains quotes from some vulgar lyrics. )

Friday, March 14, 2003

The Effects of Sin
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"1. My Lord, Thou art the infinitely merciful God. Thou lovest all things that Thou hast created. Thou art the lover of souls. How then is it, O Lord, that I am in a world so miserable as this is? Can this be the world which Thou hast created, so full of pain and suffering? Who among the sons of Adam lives without suffering from his birth to his death? How many bad sicknesses and diseases are there! how many frightful accidents! how many great anxieties! how are men brought down and broken by grief, distress, the tumult of passions, and continual fear! What dreadful plagues are there ever on the earth: war, famine, and pestilence! Why is this, O my God? Why is this, O my soul? Dwell upon it, and ask thyself, Why is this? Has God changed His nature? yet how evil has the earth become!

2. O my God, I know full well why all these evils are. Thou hast not changed Thy nature, but man has ruined his own. We have sinned, O Lord, and therefore is this change. All these evils which I see and in which I partake are the fruit of sin. They would not have been, had we not sinned. They are but the first instalment of the punishment of sin. They are an imperfect and dim image of what sin is. Sin is infinitely worse than famine, than war, than pestilence. Take the most hideous of diseases, under which the body wastes away and corrupts, the blood is infected; the head, the heart, the lungs, every organ disordered, the nerves unstrung and shattered; pain in every limb, thirst, restlessness, delirium—all is nothing compared with that dreadful sickness of the soul which we call sin. They all are the effects of it, they all are shadows of it, but nothing more. That cause itself is something different in kind, is of a malignity far other and greater than all these things. O my God, teach me this! Give me to understand the enormity of that evil under which I labour and know it not. Teach me what sin is.

3. All these dreadful pains of body and soul are the fruits of sin, but they are nothing to its punishment in the world to come. The keenest and fiercest of bodily pains is nothing to the fire of hell; the most dire horror or anxiety is nothing to the never-dying worm of conscience; the greatest bereavement, loss of substance, desertion of friends, and forlorn desolation is nothing compared to the loss of God's countenance. Eternal punishment is the only true measure of the guilt of sin. My God, teach me this. Open my eyes and heart, I earnestly pray Thee, and make me understand how awful a body of death I bear about me. And, not only teach me about it, but in Thy mercy and by Thy grace remove it. "

Meditations and Devotions
A thank you
to Jeff Miller who sent me a web address for a site with information on Daeron's Runes, or the Cirth , Fëanor's Characters, or Tengwar , and Rúmil's Characters, or Sarati . I have added these links under "Tolkien Sites".

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Probably my favorite Lenten hymn...
We sang it at Vespers Sunday evening...

" The glory of these forty days
We celebrate with songs of praise;
For Christ, by Whom all things were made,
Himself has fasted and has prayed.

Alone and fasting Moses saw
The loving God Who gave the law;
And to Elijah, fasting, came
The steeds and chariots of flame.

So Daniel trained his mystic sight,
Delivered from the lions’ might;
And John, the Bridegroom’s friend, became
The herald of Messiah’s Name.

Then grant us, Lord, like them to be
Full oft in fast and prayer with Thee;
Our spirits strengthen with Thy grace,
And give us joy to see Thy face.

O Father, Son, and Spirit blest,
To Thee be every prayer addressed,
Who art in threefold Name adored,
From age to age, the only Lord. "

Part of a letter
written by Venerable John Henry Newman, in February of 1846, a few months after his reception into the Catholic Church...
" Catholicism is a deep matter—you cannot take it up in a teacup.

Any dogmatic or sententious proposition would too surely be misunderstood. If I said, for instance, 'I have become a Catholic, because I must be either a Catholic or an infidel,' men would cry out 'So he has flung himself into the Catholic Church to escape infidelity,' whereas I should only mean that Catholicism and Christianity had in my mind become identical, so that to give up the one was to give up the other.

I do not know how to do justice to my reasons for becoming a Catholic in ever so many words—but if I attempted to do so in few, and that in print, I should wantonly expose myself and my cause to the hasty and prejudiced criticisms of opponents. This I will not do. People shall not say 'We have now got his reasons, and know their worth.' No, you have not got them, you cannot get them, except at the cost of some portion of the trouble I have been at myself. You cannot buy them for a crown piece—you cannot take them in your hand at your will, and toss them about. You must consent to think—and you must exercise such resignation to the Divine Hand which leads you, as to follow it any whither. I am not assuming that my reasons are sufficient or unanswerable, when I say this—but describing the way in which alone our intellect can be successfully exercised on the great subject in question, if the intellect is to be the instrument of conversion. Moral proofs are grown into, not learnt by heart. "

From the homily
Fr. Joseph was the celebrant at noon Mass today. The point I remember best from the homily is that, as the prophet Isaiah says, the Word of God does not return void. This is even more true for us as Catholic Christians. Not only do we hear the Word in the Scriptures, but we receive the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ Himself, really present in the Holy Eucharist.

Monday, March 10, 2003

From the homily
Fr. Drew was the celebrant at noon Mass today. The point I remember best in the homily was that there are two kinds of forgetting and two kinds of remembering. Forgetting ourselves and remembering God and others , like the 'sheep' in the Gospel, leads to eternal life. Forgetting God and others, and remembering ourselves, like the 'goats' in the Gospel, leads to the eternal death of Hell.

Remember that litany I said I would work on ?
Last month, I posted about a Jesuit-focused blogger and a Jesuit-focused litany she blogged. I mentioned that I was thinking of writing an Oratorian Litany. Well, I did it. This is, of course, not for public use, and I have not run it past anybody. I included only my two favorites from the Oratorian venerabili , since finding information on the others in English is tough. I used the magnificent Litany of St. Philip Neri by the Venerable John Henry Newman as a template and swiped some of his titles for the founder. If you click on the names of those mentioned, you will find information on them.

Oratorian Litany

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for us.
Our Lady of Vallicella, pray for us.
St. Philip Neri, Apostle of Rome, heart of fire, light of holy joy, pray for us.
St. Luigi Scrosoppi , tireless worker for the poor and infirm, pray for us .
Blessed Juvenal Ancina , martyr for true Catholic reform, pray for us.
Blessed Anthony Grassi , child of Our Lady and beloved Provost, pray for us.
Blessed Sebastian Valfre, radiating joy in the midst of spiritual dryness, pray for us.
Blessed Joseph Vaz , Apostle of Sri Lanka, faithful in the midst of persecution, pray for us.
Venerable Caesar Baronius , brilliant historian with child-like humility, pray for us.
Venerable John Henry Newman , follower of the Kindly Light at all costs, pray for us.

From all pride, deliver us, Lord Jesus.
From lack of charity, deliver us, Lord Jesus.
From putting ourselves first, deliver us, Lord Jesus.
From brooding over our faults, deliver us, Lord Jesus.
From scruples and sadness, deliver us, Lord Jesus.
From taking ourselves too seriously, deliver us, Lord Jesus.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O God, Who in Thy merciful plan established the Congregation of the Oratory through St. Philip, and Who hast continued to give us examples of holiness among his children, grant that, as we rejoice in their commemoration, so we may profit by the example of their virtues, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Feast of St. John Ogilvie, S.J.
is today. There is information on him here. Since I say so much about the English and Welsh martyrs, it's only fair that I should mention this Scottish one.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Two little notes...
I have a lot of interviews this week, so blogging may be sporadic. We'll see whether I get a chance to blog or not.
Also, on the left side of the blog, I have added a listing of the Internet quizzes I have taken and the results.
It's a day late...
but the Professor wrote this in a letter to his son, Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien, on March 8, 1941.
"I put before you the one great thing to love on earth:the Blessed Sacrament.... There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves upon earth, and more than that: Death, by the divine paradox, that which ends life and demands the surrender of all, and yet, by the taste (or foretaste) of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires."
From the homily
Fr. David celebrated noon Mass today. The point in the homily I remember best is that Our Lord, who in the passage immediately preceding today's Gospel, was called 'beloved Son' by the Father, proceeds, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to go into the desolate wilderness and face the Enemy. This is because He is the beloved Son, and love and obedience are inimately connected.
Lane Core
has a good Venerable Newman link again.
Music at noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days"
Offertory: "Scapuli Suis" - Gregorian Chant
Communion: "Scapuli Suis" - Gregorian Chant
Recessional Hymn: "Lord Jesus, Think On Me"

Yes, the Offertory and Communion were both chant, and both the same words. However, it was different music to each.