Saturday, March 22, 2003

St. Philip in himself
(A Song.)

by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

The holy Monks, conceal'd from men,
In midnight choir, or studious cell,
In sultry field, or wintry glen,
The holy Monks, I love them well.

The Friars too, the zealous band
By Dominic or Francis led,
They gather, and they take their stand
Where foes are fierce, or friends have fled.

And then the unwearied Company,
Which bears the Name of Sacred might,
The Knights of Jesus, they defy
The fiend,—full eager for the fight.

Yet there is one I more affect
Than Jesuit, Hermit, Monk, or Friar,
'Tis an old man of sweet aspèct,
I love him more, I more admire.

I know him by his head of snow,
His ready smile, his keen full eye,
His words which kindle as they flow,
Save he be rapt in ecstasy.

He lifts his hands, there issues forth
A fragrance virginal and rare,
And now he ventures to our North,
Where hearts are frozen as the air.

He comes, by grace of his address,
By the sweet music of his face,
And his low tones of tenderness,
To melt a noble, stubborn race.

O sainted Philip, Father dear,
Look on thy little ones, that we
Thy loveliness may copy here,
And in the eternal Kingdom see.

The Oratory.
This article is just too cool....
The Eldar Hair Color Genome:
or Hair Color Genetics for Tolkien’s Elves
by Laura Luchau .

Friday, March 21, 2003

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

" 1. My God, I know that Thou didst create the whole universe very good; and if this was true of the material world which we see, much more true is it of the world of rational beings. The innumerable stars which fill the firmament, and the very elements out of which the earth is made, all are carried through their courses and their operations in perfect concord; but much higher was the concord which reigned in heaven when the Angels were first created. At that first moment of their existence the main orders of the Angels were in the most excellent harmony, and beautiful to contemplate; and the creation of man was expected next, to continue that harmony in the instance of a different kind of being. Then it was that suddenly was discovered a flaw or a rent in one point of this most delicate and exquisite web—and it extended and unravelled the web, till a third part of it was spoilt; and then again a similar flaw was found in human kind, and it extended over the whole race. This dreadful evil, destroying so large a portion of all God's works, is sin.

2. My God, such is sin in Thy judgment; what is it in the judgment of the world? A very small evil or none at all. In the judgment of the Creator it is that which has marred His spiritual work; it is a greater evil than though the stars got loose, and ran wild in heaven, and chaos came again. But man, who is the guilty one, calls it by soft names. He explains it away. The world laughs at it, and is indulgent to it; and, as to its deserving eternal punishment, it rises up indignant at the idea, and rather than admit it, would deny the God who has said it does. The world thinks sin the same sort of imperfection as an impropriety, or want of taste or infirmity. O my soul, consider carefully the great difference between the views of sin taken by Almighty God and the world! Which of the two views do you mean to believe?

3. O my soul, which of the two wilt thou believe—the word of God or the word of man? Is God right or is the creature right? Is sin the greatest of all possible evils or the least? My Lord and Saviour, I have no hesitation which to believe. Thou art true, and every man a liar. I will believe Thee, above the whole world. My God, imprint on my heart the infamous deformity of sin. Teach me to abhor it as a pestilence—as a fierce flame destroying on every side; as my death. Let me take up arms against it, and devote myself to fight under Thy banner in overcoming it. "

Meditations and Devotions

Thursday, March 20, 2003

This may seem small in light of recent events...
but I have a set of interviews this week, and prayers that they go well would be appreciated.
More importantly, my friend and fellow Secular Oratorian Ed would be thankful for prayers as well. His wife is seriously ill and currently hospitalized.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Well, I think it's funny...
Back in March of 1956, the Professor got a letter ...from a gentleman whose name was... Sam Gamgee ! It seems Mr. Gamgee had heard that his name was, ahem, mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, though he had not read the book. On March 18th, the Professor replied with a letter which ran, in part :
"Dear Mr. Gamgee,

It was very kind of you to write. You can imagine my astonishment when I saw your signature ! I can only say, for your comfort, I hope, that the 'Sam Gamgee' of my story is a most heroic character, now widely beloved by many readers, even though his origins are rustic. So that perhaps you will not be displeased at the coincidence of the name of this imaginary character of supposedly many centuries ago being the same as yours."

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter

He proceeded to send Mr. Gamgee signed copies of all three volumes of the book. However, this entire incident did start a bit of a worry, as recorded in his biography.
"For some time I lived in fear of receiving a letter signed 'S. Gollum'. That would have been more difficult to deal with. "

Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter
If anybody's wondering
I don't blog about the War because I am ambivalent about it. No sense ticking people off if you don't even have a strong opinion.
The Feast of St. Joseph
is today. There is information on him here. A blessed nameday to Fr. Joseph of the Pittsburgh Oratory and to all others who bear the name of this great saint.

"And when I speak of the Holy Family I do not mean Our Lord and Our Lady only, but St. Joseph too; for as we cannot separate Our Lord from His Mother, so we cannot separate St. Joseph from them both; for who but he was their protector in all the scenes of Our Lord's early life? "

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

The Feast of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. There is a link to a preface to his catechetical lectures written by Venerable Newman here . ( NOTE: The Venerable wrote this years before he entered the Catholic Church, and some of it is not entirely in line with a Catholic viewpoint.)

Monday, March 17, 2003

The Ancient Irish and the Ancient English
From The Rise and Progress of Universities by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"The seventh and eighth centuries are the glory of the Anglo-Saxon Church, as are the sixth and seventh of the Irish. As the Irish missionaries travelled down through England, France, and Switzerland, to lower Italy, and attempted Germany at the peril of their lives, converting the barbarian, restoring the lapsed, encouraging the desolate, collecting the scattered, and founding churches, schools, and monasteries, as they went along; so, amid the deep pagan woods of Germany and round about, the English Benedictine plied his axe and drove his plough, planted his rude dwelling and raised his rustic altar upon the ruins of idolatry, and then settling down as a colonist upon the soil, began to sing his chants and to copy his old volumes, and thus to lay the slow but sure foundations of the new civilization. Distinct, nay antagonistic, in character and talent, the one nation and the other, Irish and English, the one more resembling the Greek, the other the Roman, open from the first perhaps to jealousies as well as rivalries, they consecrated their respective gifts to the Almighty Giver, and, labouring together for the same great end, they obliterated whatever there was of human infirmity in their mutual intercourse by the merit of their common achievements. Each by turn could claim pre-eminence in the contest of sanctity and of learning. In the schools of science England has no name to rival Erigena in originality, or St. Virgil in freedom of thought; nor among its canonized women any saintly virgin to compare with St. Bridget; nor, although it has 150 saints in its calendar, can it pretend to equal that Irish multitude which the Book of Life alone is large enough to contain. Nor can Ireland, on the other hand, boast of a doctor such as St. Bede, or of an Apostle equal to St. Boniface, or of a Martyr like St. Thomas,—or of so long a catalogue of royal devotees as that of the thirty male or female Saxons who in the course of two centuries resigned their crowns, or as the roll of twenty-three kings, and sixty queens and princes, who, between the seventh and the eleventh centuries, gained a place among the saints. Yet, after all, the Irish, whose brilliancy of genius has sometimes been considered, like the Greek, to augur fickleness and change, have managed to persevere to this day in the science of the saints, long after their ancient rivals have lost the gift of faith. "
Today is, of course
the Feast of St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland. There is information on him here .
However, this is also the Feast of St. Gertrude of Nivelles, who is invoked against the fear of rodents. As the Ratmaiden, I ought to link to information on her here .

Sunday, March 16, 2003

La Festa del Miracolo
is today. Other people have already blogged about it.

Lane Core
has two interesting posts with Venerable Newman links: one on repentance and one on the War .

A true classic at Mass today....
The reader said that God commanded Abraham to take Isaac to "the land of Moria"......
From the ancient Middle East to the Third Age of Western Middle-earth in under three seconds....
Music at noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "The Glory of These Forty Days"
Offertory: "Crux Fidelis" - King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656)
Communion: "Miserere Mei, Domine" - Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)
Recessional Hymn: "Turn Back, O Man"