Saturday, May 31, 2003

Interesting paragraph...
from "A Popular History of the Catholic Church" by Philip Hughes ( 1947)

" A more hidden force than this militant company (ed. the Jesuits), and one just as vital to the ultimate success of Trent and all that Trent stood for, was the influence of the Florentine priest St. Philip Neri (1515-1595), who for forty years, from his obscure room in Rome, directed the salvation of the great world of the Curia. To his work, the personal direction of innumerable souls, as much as to the violence of Paul IV, is due the final banishment of sinful life from those high places. The terrible pope cast out devils, and in the clearance St. Philip Neri worked, simply, unostentatiously, jestingly almost, building a new type of spiritually minded clerical official, a new race, whence were to come nuncios, cardinals, legates and popes. In the work of the Roman Oratory, which St. Philip founded, the best of the old humanist tradition was preserved, and a refuge provided for such religious spirits as the forbidding Theatines failed to attract, or the barrack square efficiency of the great Spanish company. "

Second day
of the Novena to the Holy Spirit. Once again, here is the link to the prayers provided by Gerard Serafin.

"My God, I adore Thee, as the Third Person of the Ever-Blessed Trinity, under the name and designation of Love. Thou art that Living Love, wherewith the Father and the Son love each other. And Thou art the Author of supernatural love in our hearts—'Fons vivus, ignis, charitas.' As a fire Thou didst come down from heaven on the day of Pentecost; and as a fire Thou burnest away the dross of sin and vanity in the heart and dost light up the pure flame of devotion and affection. It is Thou who unitest heaven and earth by showing to us the glory and beauty of the Divine Nature, and making us love what is in Itself so winning and transporting. I adore Thee, O uncreate and everlasting Fire, by which our souls live, by which alone they are made fit for heaven. " - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Meditations and Devotions

This is important...
Prayer for our priests !

The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
is today. There is information on it here. (Note: the article linked to was published in the early 20th century, and some of its information may be slightly outdated.)

Friday, May 30, 2003

Today is the beginning
of the Novena to the Holy Spirit . Mr. Serafin has wonderful prayers for this here.

Nunc Sancte nobis Spiritus.

Translation by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Come, Holy Ghost, who ever One
Reignest with Father and with Son,
It is the hour, our souls possess
With Thy full flood of holiness.

Let flesh, and heart, and lips, and mind,
Sound forth our witness to mankind;
And love light up our mortal frame,
Till others catch the living flame.

Now to the Father, to the Son,
And to the Spirit, Three in One,
Be praise and thanks and glory given
By men on earth, by Saints in heaven.

Verses on Various Occasions

A Elbereth Gilthoniel !
Eru save us from this ! ( I'm a Tolkien nut and a musical theater fan, but they do not go together! )
Lane Core
posted links to sermons by the Venerable yesterday.
Happy Blogoversary
to Karen Marie Knapp at From the Anchor Hold .

The Feast of St. Jeanne Darc
is today. There is information on her here. I would also recommend checking out the St. Joan of Arc Center. One of the best books on her I've come across is Joan of Arc: Her Story . I am rather fond of this picture of St. Jeanne .

St. Jeanne is my confirmation name patroness. I came as her to my very first All Saints Day Party, and I still have my "sword of St. Catherine" in the closet. ( I bought a plastic sword, and scratched five crosses into the blade.)

A few quotes, courtesy of the St. Joan of Arc Center....
Asked by the priests at Poitiers, who questioned her before she was permitted to set out, why God needed soldiers: "In the name of God! The soldiers will fight and God will give the victory!"

"In the name of God! I have not come to Poitiers to give signs but take me to Orleans and I shall show you signs for which I have been sent!"

Asked what language her Voices spoke: "They speak better French than you!" (This one has always made me chuckle, as I picture the look on the priest's face ! )

Joan's refusal to use a charm to heal her wound: "No friend, I cannot. I would rather die than do a thing which I know to be a sin."

Joan's request for surrender to the English commander Glasdale: "Classidas! Classidas! Yield, yield to the King of Heaven! You called me harlot, but I have great pity on your soul and for the souls of your men."

Asked at her trial if she was in God's grace: "If I am not, may God put me there, and if I am, may God so keep me! I should be the saddest creature in the world if I knew I was not in His grace."

And her final words...
"My Voices did come from God and everything that I have done was by God's order."

"Hold the crucifix up before my eyes so I may see it until I die."

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"

Thursday, May 29, 2003

I'm late
but happy Blogoversary to Lane Core. (He also was good enough to link to some sermons by the Venerable.
Thank you, Mr. Serafin..
for reminding us that it's Gilbert Keith Chesterton's birthday.

Great set of G.K.C. links here

A few quotes....

" If a man cannot make a fool of himself, we may be quite certain that the effort would be superfluous. "
"Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it. "
"Books without morality in them are books that send one to sleep standing up. "
"The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."
"You cannot make a success of anything, even loving, without thinking. "
"Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere. "
"Man is an exception, whatever else he is. If he is not the image of God, then he is a disease of the dust. If it is not true that a divine being fell, then we can only say that one of the animals went entirely off its head. "
"A new philosophy generally means in practice the praise of some old vice."
"We are fighting about God: there can be nothing so important as that. "

and, just for my own satisfaction, this quote...
"The Oxford Movement: a bow that broke when it had let loose the flashing arrow that was Newman..."

May God have mercy...
on the deluded souls perpetrating this blasphemy.
Link courtesy of Mark Shea. (Direct link not working. )

The Feast of the Ascension of the Lord
is today. ( I am happy to say that my diocese is one which continues to observe it on the proper day.) There is information on it here.

" He Ascended
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

1. My Lord, I follow Thee up to heaven; as Thou goest up, my heart and mind go with Thee. Never was triumph like this. Thou didst appear a babe in human flesh at Bethlehem. That flesh, taken from the Blessed Virgin, was not before Thou didst form it into a body; it was a new work of Thy hands. And Thy soul was new altogether, created by Thy Omnipotence, at the moment when Thou didst enter into her sacred breast. That pure soul and body, taken as a garment for Thyself, began on earth, and never had been elsewhere. This is the triumph. Earth rises to heaven. I see Thee going up. I see that Form which hung upon the Cross, those scarred hands and feet, that pierced side; they are mounting up to heaven. And the Angels are full of jubilee; the myriads of blessed spirits, which people the glorious expanse, part like the waters to let Thee pass. And the living pavement of God's palaces is cleft in twain, and the Cherubim with flaming swords, who form the rampart of heaven against fallen man, give way and open out, that Thou mayest enter, and Thy saints after Thee. O memorable day!

2. O memorable day! The Apostles feel it to be so, now that it is come, though they felt so differently before it came. When it was coming they dreaded it. They could not think but it would be a great bereavement; but now, as we read, they returned to Jerusalem ' with great joy.' O what a time of triumph! They understood it now. They understood how weak it had been in them to grudge their Lord and Master, the glorious Captain of their salvation, the Champion and First fruits of the human family, this crown of His great work. It was the triumph of redeemed man. It is the completion of his redemption. It was the last act, making the whole sure, for now man is actually in heaven. He has entered into possession of his inheritance. The sinful race has now one of its own children there, its own flesh and blood, in the person of the Eternal Son. O what a wonderful marriage between heaven and earth! It began in sorrow; but now the long travail of that mysterious wedding day is over; the marriage feast is begun; marriage and birth have gone together; man is new born when Emmanuel enters heaven.

3. O Emmanuel, O God in our flesh! we too hope, by Thy grace, to follow Thee. We will cling to the skirts of Thy garments, as Thou goest up; for without Thee we cannot ascend. O Emmanuel, what a day of joy when we shall enter heaven! O inexpressible ecstasy, after all trouble! There is none strong but Thou. Tenuisti manum dexteram meam: et in voluntate tua deduxisti me, et cum gloria suscepisti me. Quid enim mihi est in cœlo, et a Te quid volui super terram? Defecit caro mea et cor meum; Deus cordis mei, et pars mea Deus in æternum.— 'Thou hast held me by my right hand; and by Thy will Thou hast conducted me, and with Thy glory Thou hast received me. For what have I in heaven? And besides Thee what do I desire upon earth? For Thee my flesh and my heart hath fainted away: Thou art the God of my heart, and the God that is my portion for ever. ' "

Meditations and Devotions

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

From the novel, Callista- A Tale of the Third Century
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" 'There is but one Lover of souls,' cried Cæcilius, 'and He loves each one of us, as though there were no one else to love. He died for each one of us, as if there were no one else to die for. He died on the shameful cross. Amor meus crucifixus est . The love which He inspires lasts, for it is the love of the Unchangeable. It satisfies, for He is inexhaustible. The nearer we draw to Him, the more triumphantly does He enter into us; the longer He dwells in us, the more intimately have we possession of Him. It is an espousal for eternity. This is why it is so easy for us to die for our faith, at which the world marvels.' "

Poor bird !
Swan falls in love with pedal boat

Birds aren't the only critters to make this type of mistake. I was once given a pair of slippers that looked like sheepdogs. I had to put them away when I went to visit my aunt, because her dog would growl at my feet whenever I wore the darn things.....

Thanks to Zorak for the link.

Quotes from St. Philip Neri ...
were blogged by Gerard Serafin .

The Feast of Blessed Margaret Pole
is today. There is information on her here.
I came as her to an All Saints Day party years ago, so I feel I really ought to mention her feast day....

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

It was a lovely feast day...
Here's the music list:
Processional Hymn: "O God Beyond All Praising"
Offertory: "Firmly I Believe and Truly"
Communion: "Iste Confessor" - (Sung by a small choir, including yours truly...)
Recessional Hymn: "Rejoice, the Lord is King "

The Mass was celebrated at 10 am, in the Oratory's own chapel...the Fathers thought there would be a smaller congregation this year, since many people are out of town for Memorial Day. It turned out that there were so many people that the Oratory's small chapel was absolutely packed. There were six priests, the Oratorians, plus their friend Fr. Maurer from the Cathedral. Fr. David was the main celebrant, as was only appropriate, since he is the current Provost. However, it was Fr. Joseph who preached- a fine homily on St. Philip as 'man of primitive times'- how our saint lived the life of the Gospels, like the early Christians, in a complex and difficult era, and did it with the spirit of joy so recommended by St. Paul in Philippians 4....

Afterwards, there was a brunch upstairs. Good food, good conversation... and a lot of laughter !

In the early evening, I headed over to a cookout at the house of some friends. Many of the same people who had been at the Oratory in the morning were there. The partying continued up until about 9 pm... it would have gone on longer, but people had to get some sleep before they went back to work today.

All in all, a great day !

Thank you, thank you , thank you !
Many thanks to all the bloggers who made note of it being the Feast of St. Philip Neri while I was pretty much computerless yesterday. Some were kind enough to mention, and even link to, my blog. Here is a list of the links. (I may have left a few off by mistake. I was unable to direct link some, and some have multiple St. Philip-related posts, so scrolling may be necessary. ) :
A Catholic Blog For Lovers
A Saintly Salmagundi
From the Anchor Hold
HMS Blog
And Then ?
The Curt Jester
Gaudete Semper
A Catholic Point of View

Sunday, May 25, 2003

St. Philip's Day, that is....

Here are the final prayer and meditation by Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, C.O. .....

" May 25
Philip's Miraculous Gifts

Philip's great and solid virtues were crowned and adorned by the divine Majesty with various and extraordinary favours, which he in vain used every artifice, if possible, to hide.

It was the good-pleasure of God to enable him to penetrate His ineffable mysteries and to know His marvellous providences by means of ecstasies, raptures, and visions, which were of frequent occurrence during the whole of his life.

A friend going one morning to confession to him, on opening the door of his room softly, saw the Saint in the act of prayer, raised upon his feet, his eyes looking to heaven, his hands extended. He stood for a while watching him, and then going close to him spoke to him—but the saint did not perceive him at all. This state of abstraction continued about eight minutes longer; then he came to himself.

He had the consolation of seeing in vision the souls of many, especially of his friends and penitents, go to heaven. Indeed, those who were intimate with him held it for certain, that none of his spiritual children died without his being certified of the state of their souls.

Philip, both by his sanctity and experience, was able to discriminate between true and false visions. He was earnest in warning men against being deluded, which is very easy and probable.

Philip was especially eminent, even among saints, for his gifts of foretelling the future and reading the heart. The examples of these gifts which might be produced would fill volumes. He foretold the deaths of some; he foretold the recovery of others; he foretold the future course of others; he foretold the births of children to those who were childless; he foretold who would be the Popes before their election; he had the gift of seeing things at a distance; and he knew what was going on in the minds of his penitents and others around him.

He knew whether his penitents had said their prayers, and for how long they were praying. Many of them when talking together, if led into any conversation which was dangerous or wrong, would say: 'We must stop, for St. Philip will find it out.'

Once a woman came to him to confession, when in reality she wished to get an alms. He said to her: 'In God's name, good woman, go away; there is no bread for you'—and nothing could induce him to hear her confession.

A man who went to confess to him did not speak, but began to tremble, and when asked, said, 'I am ashamed,'for he had committed a most grievous sin. Philip said gently: 'Do not be afraid; I will tell you what it was'—and, to the penitent's great astonishment, he told him.

Such instances are innumerable. There was not one person intimate with Philip who did not affirm that he knew the secrets of the heart most marvellously.

He was almost equally marvellous in his power of healing and restoring to health. He relieved pain by the touch of his hand and the sign of the Cross. And in the same way he cured diseases instantaneously—at other times by his prayers—at other times he commanded the diseases to depart.

This gift was so well known that sick persons got possession of his clothes, his shoes, the cuttings of his hair, and God wrought cures by means of them.


Philip , my holy Patron, the wounds and diseases of my soul are greater than bodily ones, and are beyond thy curing, even with thy supernatural power. I know that my Almighty Lord reserves in His own hands the recovery of the soul from death, and the healing of all its maladies. But thou canst do more for our souls by thy prayers now, my dear Saint, than thou didst for the bodies of those who applied to thee when thou wast upon earth. Pray for me, that the Divine Physician of the soul, Who alone reads my heart thoroughly, may cleanse it thoroughly, and that I and all who are dear to me may be cleansed from all our sins; and, since we must die, one and all, that we may die, as thou didst, in the grace and love of God, and with the assurance, like thee, of eternal life. "

Meditations and Devotions

You might wish to check out a twelve- part life of St. Philip Neri.

There is also a picture of his body (with a mask of silver and silver mesh gloves) under the altar in the Chiesa Nuova , and a few paintings.

Finally, here are links to posts with the Litany of St. Philip Neri by the Venerable, and the Oratorian Litany , by me....

No computer on Memorial Day.....
so no blogging....

If it were not Sunday
today would be the feast of, among others, St. Bede the Venerable , Doctor of the Church. It is also the anniversary of the ordination of Fr. Drew of the Pittsburgh Oratory to the priesthood. Ad multos annos !