Saturday, June 21, 2003

From The Present Position of Catholics in England
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"All the world knows that Catholics hold that the Apostles made over the Divine Revelation to the generation after them, not only in writing, but by word of mouth, and in the ritual of the Church. We consider that the New Testament is not the whole of what they left us; that they left us a number of doctrines, not in writing at all, but living in the minds and mouths of the faithful; Protestants deny this. They have a right to deny it; but they have no right to assume their denial to be true without proof, and to use it as self-evident, and to triumph over us as beaten, merely because we will not admit it. Yet this they actually do; can anything be more preposterous? however, they do this as innocently and naturally as if it were the most logical of processes, and the fairest and most unexceptionable of proceedings. For instance there was a country gentleman in this neighbourhood in the course of last year, who, having made some essays in theology among his tenantry in his walks over his estate, challenged me to prove some point, I am not clear what, but I think it was the infallibility of the Holy See, or of the Church. Were my time my own, I should never shrink from any controversy, having the experience of twenty years, that the more Catholicism and its doctrines are sifted, the more distinct and luminous will its truth ever come out into view; and in the instance in question I did not decline the invitation. However, it soon turned out that it was a new idea to the gentleman in question, that I was not bound to prove the point in debate simply by Scripture; he considered that Scripture was to be the sole basis of the discussion. This was quite another thing. For myself, I firmly believe that in Scripture the Catholic doctrine on the subject is contained; but had I accepted this gratuitous and officious proposition, you see I should have been simply recognising a Protestant principle, which I disown. He would not controvert with me at all, unless I subscribed to a doctrine which I believe to be, not only a dangerous, but an absurd error; and, because I would not allow him to assume what it was his business to prove, before he brought it forward, and because I challenged him to prove that Scripture was, as he assumed, the Rule of Faith, he turned away as happy and self-satisfied as if he had gained a victory. That all truth is contained in Scripture was his first principle; he thought none but an idiot could doubt it; none but a Jesuit could deny it; he thought it axiomatic; he thought that to offer proof was even a profanation of so self-evident a point, and that to demand it was a reductio ad absurdum of the person demanding;—but this, I repeat, was no extraordinary instance of Protestant argumentation; it occurs every other day."

Interesting posts on campus ministry and such
over at Pro Deo et Patria.

The Feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, S.J.
is today. There is information on him here.

Friday, June 20, 2003

From "Neglect of Divine Calls and Warnings", Discourses to Mixed Congregations
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"No one sins without making some excuse to himself for sinning. He is obliged to do so: man is not like the brute beasts; he has a divine gift within him which we call reason, and which constrains him to account before its judgment-seat for what he does. He cannot act at random; however he acts, he must act by some kind of rule, on some sort of principle; else he is vexed and dissatisfied with himself. Not that he is very particular whether he finds a good reason or a bad, when he is very much straitened for a reason; but a reason of some sort he must have. Hence you sometimes find those who give up religious duty altogether, attacking the conduct of religious men, whether their acquaintance, or the ministers or professors of religion, as a sort of excuse—a very bad one—for their neglect. Others will make the excuse that they are so far from church, or so closely occupied at home, whether they will or not, that they cannot serve God as they ought. Others say that it is no use trying to do so, that they have again and again gone to confession and tried to keep out of mortal sin, and cannot; and so they give up the attempt as hopeless. Others, when they fall into sin, excuse themselves on the plea that they are but following nature; that the impulses of nature are so very strong, and that it cannot be wrong to follow that nature which God has given us. Others are bolder still, and they cast off religion altogether: they deny its truth; they deny Church, Gospel, and Bible; they go so far perhaps as even to deny God's governance of His creatures. They boldly deny that there is any life after death: and, this being the case, of course they would be fools indeed not to take their pleasure here, and to make as much of this poor life as they can."

BTW, this passage was written in 1849 !

So odd-looking he's cute...
The current Rat of the Week over at The Rat Fan Club.

You can't win...
Woman paid $1,000 not to abort
Abortion advocates decry pro-life tactic of paying expectant mothers

These are undoubtedly the same kind of people who say that pro-life advocates 'only care about fetuses and ignore the needs of women'...

Link courtesy of Jeff Miller

I found this quote..
over at El Camino Real . A bit of cheer for all us single Catholic women, especially those of us who are over 30 and not really looking very hard for a spouse ...
I should have done this a while ago...
I've added Disputations to my links. He has, among other excellent things, a good post on a post I also commented upon.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

For Thursday..
My favorite Eucharistic hymn..(actually, my favorite hymn, period...)

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the Body and the Blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own Self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six wingèd seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the Presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!

Oh, dear Lord....
The post labed "Semi-legal thoughts" at what is at what is supposedly a Catholic blog nearly made me retch. I'm glad I have never been confronted with Ms. Weddington- the temptation to get out the rotten tomatoes would be more than I could bear....

A warning note....
from The Idea of a University by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" Truth has two attributes—beauty and power; and while Useful Knowledge is the possession of truth as powerful, Liberal Knowledge is the apprehension of it as beautiful. Pursue it, either as beauty or as power, to its furthest extent and its true limit, and you are led by either road to the Eternal and Infinite, to the intimations of conscience and the announcements of the Church. Satisfy yourself with what is only visibly or intelligibly excellent, as you are likely to do, and you will make present utility and natural beauty the practical test of truth, and the sufficient object of the intellect. It is not that you will at once reject Catholicism, but you will measure and proportion it by an earthly standard. You will throw its highest and most momentous disclosures into the background, you will deny its principles, explain away its doctrines, re-arrange its precepts, and make light of its practices, even while you profess it. Knowledge, viewed as Knowledge, exerts a subtle influence in throwing us back on ourselves, and making us our own centre, and our minds the measure of all things. "
You can tell that Fr. Bryan was born (and raised) in Canada...
At Mass today, we prayed that there would be an end to this insanity .

Today is the Feast of Blessed Thomas Woodhouse, S.J, Priest and Martyr..
There is information on him here. Even being thrown in jail didn't stop him from doing all he could to spread the Faith....

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

An interesting bit of speculation...
on Sauron's settlement of Dol Guldur

From the homily
Fr. Michael was the celebrant. In his homily on he brought up a classic quote dating from the 1600's- the comment of a representative of the Holy See who was sent to Port Royal, France, to try to deal with the community of nuns there, which had become a hotbed of the heresy of Jansenism. The mission did not go well, and the prelate was left to comment on these nuns, "They are as pure as angels- and as proud as demons !"
Perhaps I'm just easily amused...
but Reginald the Tiger Quoll makes me laugh ... .
Hmmm...just before St. Thomas More's feast day...
it seems the British Government is eliminating his job....

Link courtesy of The Antipodean

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I've added two blogs..
to the list on the left : Gaudete Semper and The Antipodean .

From The Idea of a University
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man. "

The Feast of St. Herve of Brittany
is today. There is information on him here. I mention him because he is responsible for a great quote I have blogged before..." He who obeys not the rudder will obey the reef"...

Monday, June 16, 2003

On this date, 170 years ago....
Venerable John Henry Newman wrote what is probably the most famous of his verses, while on a boat returning to England...

The Pillar of the Cloud

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home—
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene—one step enough for me.

I was not ever thus, nor pray'd that Thou
Shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path, but now
Lead Thou me on!
I loved the garish day, and, spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will: remember not past years.

So long Thy power hath blest me, sure it still
Will lead me on,
O'er moor and fen, o'er crag and torrent, till
The night is gone;
And with the morn those angel faces smile
Which I have loved long since, and lost awhile.

At Sea.
June 16, 1833.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Lane Core
has links to sermons by the Venerable for Trinity Sunday here.

What a difference a liturgical year makes !
Last Trinity Sunday, Michael was a newly-ordained deacon, preaching his very first homily... Now he's Fr. Michael, and he was the celebrant at today's noon Mass. Where does the time go ? ..sigh.....
And on the secular calendar...
it is Father's Day. God bless all fathers, living and deceased, physical or spiritual.
Today is Trinity Sunday

Essenen Atarwa, ar Yondova, ar Ainasúleva. Amen. - The Sign of the Cross... in Quenya....( I sometimes pray it that way, privately- it helps me keep from merely rattling it off and makes me think about the words....)

"The Trinity is our Maker. The Trinity is our Keeper. The Trinity is our Everlasting Lover. The Trinity is our Endless Joy." - Blessed Julian of Norwich

"What mind of man can imagine the love which the Eternal Father bears towards the Only Begotten Son? It has been from everlasting,—and it is infinite; so great is it that divines call the Holy Ghost by the name of that love, as if to express its infinitude and perfection. Yet reflect, O my soul, and bow down before the awful mystery, that, as the Father loves the Son, so doth the Son love thee, if thou art one of His elect; for He says expressly, 'As the Father hath loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love.' What mystery in the whole circle of revealed truths is greater than this?

The love which the Son bears to thee, a creature, is like that which the Father bears to the uncreated Son. O wonderful mystery! This, then, is the history of what else is so strange: that He should have taken my flesh and died for me. The former mystery anticipates the latter; that latter does but fulfil the former. Did He not love me so inexpressibly, He would not have suffered for me. I understand now why He died for me, because He loved me as a father loves his son—not as a human father merely, but as the Eternal Father the Eternal Son. I see now the meaning of that else inexplicable humiliation: He preferred to regain me rather than to create new worlds.

How constant is He in His affection! He has loved us from the time of Adam. He has said from the beginning, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' He did not forsake us in our sin. He did not forsake me. He found me out and regained me. He made a point of it—He resolved to restore me, in spite of myself, to that blessedness which I was so obstinately set against. And now what does He ask of me, but that, as He has loved me with an everlasting love, so I should love Him in such poor measures as I can show.

O mystery of mysteries, that the ineffable love of Father to Son should be the love of the Son to us! Why was it, O Lord? What good thing didst Thou see in me a sinner? Why wast Thou set on me? 'What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that Thou visitest him?' This poor flesh of mine, this weak sinful soul, which has no life except in Thy grace, Thou didst set Thy love upon it. Complete Thy work, O Lord, and as Thou hast loved me from the beginning, so make me to love Thee unto the end. " - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. , "Hope in God-Creator", Meditations and Devotions

"If there is one question which the enlightened and liberal have the habit of deriding and holding up as a dreadful example of barren dogma and senseless sectarian strife, it is this Athanasian question of the Co-Eternity of the Divine Son. On the other hand, if there is one thing that the same liberals always offer us as a piece of pure and simple Christianity, untroubled by doctrinal disputes, it is the single sentence, 'God is Love.' Yet the two statements are almost identical; at least one is very nearly nonsense without the other. The barren dogma is only the logical way of stating the beautiful sentiment. For if there be a being without beginning, existing before all things, was He loving when there was nothing to be loved? If through that unthinkable eternity He is lonely, what is the meaning of saying He is love? The only justification of such a mystery is the mystical conception that in His own nature there was something analogous to self-expression; something of what begets and beholds what it has begotten. Without some such idea, it is really illogical to complicate the ultimate essence of deity with an idea like love. If the moderns really want a simple religion of love, they must look for it in the Athanasian Creed. The truth is that the trumpet of true Christianity, the challenge of the charities and simplicities of Bethlehem or Christmas Day never rang out more arrestingly and unmistakably than in the defiance of Athanasius to the cold compromise of the Arians. It was emphatically he who really was fighting for a God of Love against a God of colourless and remote cosmic control; the God of the stoics and the agnostics. It was emphatically he who was fighting for the Holy Child against the grey deity of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He was fighting for that very balance of beautiful interdependence and intimacy, in the very Trinity of the Divine Nature, that draws our hearts to the Trinity of the Holy Family. His dogma, if the phrase be not misunderstood, turns even God into a Holy Family. " - G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man