Saturday, June 28, 2003

I found a blogger who liked some of my favorite books as a child- "The Girl with the Silver Eyes", "A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver" , books by E.L. Konigsburg and Edward Eager,and Joan Aiken's Arabel and Mortimer tales. (I also liked some of Aiken's other work, particularly the short story "Smoke from Cromwell's Time" and the Armitage family stories- how can a kid not love a family which handles raising a baby gryphon so very matter of factly ?) I shared her fondness for the Bagthorpe clan as well- I've sometimes wished for Grandfather Bagthorpe's ability to be 'selecitively deaf' !

Then I came across a little blog review of one of the odder books I've read recently- "The Eyre Affair". Some of the language in the novel is needlessly coarse, but it is certainly a very fun read. ( Personal favorite scenes- the production of "Richard III", the kids trading Henry Fielding character cards, and the scene in which the heroine repairs a hole in the spacetime continuum- with a basketball . Really ! )

I think I'll have to keep a closer eye on these two bloggers.

The Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary
is today.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"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, "
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,

Heart of Mary, Pray for us.
Heart, after God’s own Heart, "
Heart, in union with the Heart of Jesus,
Heart, the vessel of the Holy Ghost,
Heart of Mary, shrine of the Trinity,
Heart of Mary, home of the Word,
Heart of Mary, immaculate in thy creation,
Heart of Mary, flooded with grace,
Heart of Mary, blessed of all hearts,
Heart of Mary, Throne of glory,
Heart of Mary, Abyss of humbleness,
Heart of Mary, Victim of love,
Heart of Mary, nailed to the Cross,
Heart of Mary, comfort of the sad,
Heart of Mary, refuge of the sinner,
Heart of Mary, hope of the dying,
Heart of Mary, seat of mercy,

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.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

V. Immaculate Mary, meek and humble of heart.
R. Conform our hearts to the heart of Jesus.

Let us Pray

O most merciful God, who for the salvation of sinners and the refuge of the wretched, hast made the Immaculate Heart of Mary most like in tenderness and pity to the Heart of Jesus, grant that we, who now commemorate her most sweet and loving heart, may by her merits and intercession, ever live in the fellowship of the Hearts of both Mother and Son, through the same Christ our Lord.—Amen. "

Meditations and Devotions

Blessed blogging feast day to the gentleman at Immaculate Heart.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord...
and let perpetual light shine upon him....

Please pray for the repose of the soul of John da Fiesole's father, and the comfort of his family.

The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
is today. There are interesting posts about this feast here, here, here, here, and here. (Sorry about any I have missed..)

The Sacred Heart
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" 1. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I adore Thee in the oneness of the Personality of the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Whatever belongs to the Person of Jesus, belongs therefore to God, and is to be worshipped with that one and the same worship which we pay to Jesus. He did not take on Him His human nature, as something distinct and separate from Himself, but as simply, absolutely, eternally His, so as to be included by us in the very thought of Him. I worship Thee, O Heart of Jesus, as being Jesus Himself, as being that Eternal Word in human nature which He took wholly and lives in wholly, and therefore in Thee. Thou art the Heart of the Most High made man. In worshipping Thee, I worship my Incarnate God, Emmanuel. I worship Thee, as bearing a part in that Passion which is my life, for Thou didst burst and break, through agony, in the garden of Gethsemani, and Thy precious contents trickled out, through the veins and pores of the skin, upon the earth. And again, Thou hadst been drained all but dry upon the Cross; and then, after death, Thou wast pierced by the lance, and gavest out the small remains of that inestimable treasure, which is our redemption.

2. My God, my Saviour, I adore Thy Sacred Heart, for that heart is the seat and source of all Thy tenderest human affections for us sinners. It is the instrument and organ of Thy love. It did beat for us. It yearned over us. It ached for us, and for our salvation. It was on fire through zeal, that the glory of God might be manifested in and by us. It is the channel through which has come to us all Thy overflowing human affection, all Thy Divine Charity towards us. All Thy incomprehensible compassion for us, as God and Man, as our Creator and our Redeemer and Judge, has come to us, and comes, in one inseparably mingled stream, through that Sacred Heart. O most Sacred symbol and Sacrament of Love, divine and human, in its fulness, Thou didst save me by Thy divine strength, and Thy human affection, and then at length by that wonder-working blood, wherewith Thou didst overflow.

3. O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still. Now as then Thou savest, Desiderio desideravi—'With desire I have desired.' I worship Thee then with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will. O my God, when Thou dost condescend to suffer me to receive Thee, to eat and drink Thee, and Thou for a while takest up Thy abode within me, O make my heart beat with Thy Heart. Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness. So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it, but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. "

Meditations and Devotions

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Series of good posts
by Chris Burgwald on anti-Catholicism.

The one thing that really leaves me scratching my head: the title of Mr. Swift's blog..."Vessel of Honour " ! Doesn't he realize that title simply reeks of "Mariolatry" ? I'll be praying the true "Vessel of Honour" brings him to conversion- or at least a bit of sanity- through her powerful intercession.

BTW, my beloved Venerable wrote a classic on the subject of anti-Catholicism- Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England . It is a trifle dated in its examples, but is intensely wise in its principles- as well as being hilariously funny in parts. ( If you read no other section, at least check out this parody of the anti-Catholic rallies common in the England of Venerable Newman's day.)

"The Laughter of the Saints"
by F. Drouet, C.M. can be found here.

It has, of course, several mentions of St. Philip, including this one:

"In this gallery of cheerful Saints, a particularly honorable mention is due to St. Philip Neri, whom Goethe justly calls the 'humoristic Saint.' He was fond of playing...tricks on his novices, and if he saw one of them a bit proud of his new habit, he would send him out on some errand, with a ridiculous appendage, like, for instance, a fox tail, hanging over his back. The following anecdote, the authenticity of which is guaranteed by the best authorities, will suffice to illustrate this amusing feature of his character. One day he was sent by the Pope himself to some neighboring convent to inquire into the life of a nun who had the reputation of a Saint. The weather was horrible, and when Philip dismounted he was bespattered with mud from head to foot. The good Sister was brought before him, and judging at a glance that her air of compunction was rather overdone, Philip said abruptly while stretching out his leg: 'Pull off my boots, won't you?' The would‑be Saint assumed at once an air of offended dignity, and without any further inquiry the Pope's envoy put on his hat, went straight to his master, and told him that a religious so devoid of humility had no claim whatever to the saints' aureole. "
God have mercy on this country !
Yet another legal decision for 'tolerance' of sexual perversity.

Link courtesy of Mark Shea

Oh, great...
With this new blogging system, my post signatures are screwed up. Anybody know how I can fix them ?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Wow ! ...
It seems Mr. Roberts has seen more drama at his parish in his few months as a Catholic than I've seen in almost 33 years !

Of course I'm against driving while intoxicated...
but isn't this going a bit far ?

Thanks to Zorak for the link.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

From the sermon "Omnipotence in Bonds"
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" My Brethren, it is plain that, when we confess God as Omnipotent only, we have gained but a half-knowledge of Him: His is an Omnipotence which can at the same time swathe Itself in infirmity and can become the captive of Its own creatures. He has, if I may so speak, the incomprehensible power of even making Himself weak. We must know Him by His names, Emmanuel and Jesus, to know Him perfectly."

Over at Envoy Encore
Mr. Longenecker nails it in two fine posts. He nails it again over at Catholic Educator's Resource Center.
The Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
is today. There is information on him here. Lane Core has provided a link to a wonderful sermon by the Venerable for this feastday.

Monday, June 23, 2003

From Difficulties of Anglicans
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" Such being the extreme difference between the Church and the world, both as to the measure and the scale of moral good and evil, we may be prepared for those vast differences in matters of detail, which I hardly like to mention, lest they should be out of keeping with the gravity of the subject, as contemplated in its broad principle. For instance, the Church pronounces the momentary wish, if conscious and deliberate, that another should be struck down dead, or suffer any other grievous misfortune, as a blacker sin than a passionate, unpremeditated attempt on the life of the Sovereign. She considers direct unequivocal consent, though as quick as thought, to a single unchaste desire as indefinitely more heinous than any lie which can possibly be fancied, that is, when that lie is viewed, of course, in itself, and apart from its causes, motives, and consequences. Take a mere beggar-woman, lazy, ragged, and filthy, and not over-scrupulous of truth—(I do not say she had arrived at perfection)—but if she is chaste, and sober, and cheerful, and goes to her religious duties (and I am supposing not at all an impossible case), she will, in the eyes of the Church, have a prospect of heaven, which is quite closed and refused to the State's pattern-man, the just, the upright, the generous, the honourable, the conscientious, if he be all this, not from a supernatural power—(I do not determine whether this is likely to be the fact, but I am contrasting views and principles)—not from a supernatural power, but from mere natural virtue. Polished, delicate-minded ladies, with little of temptation around them, and no self-denial to practise, in spite of their refinement and taste, if they be nothing more, are objects of less interest to her, than many a poor outcast who sins, repents, and is with difficulty kept just within the territory of grace. "
I really like the title of this article...
Make Room for Dragons by Michael Martinez
A bit of trivia that I forgot to mention yesterday..
The man who was the Bishop of Birmingham for most of the years Venerable Newman was there, William Bernard Ullathorne, O.S.B., was a descendant of St. Thomas More .

From the homily
Fr. Michael was the celebrant. What I remember best was this quote: "Humility is a fruit of true Christian discipleship, as well as a requirement for it. "

Sunday, June 22, 2003

It is also the anniversary...
of the ordination to the priesthood of Fr. Bryan Summers of the Pittsburgh Oratory. Ad multos annos, Fr. Bryan, and may the next 31 years of your ministry be even more blessed and fruitful than the last 31 !
(BTW, it is no coincidence that his ordination date was June 22nd, normally the feast of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More. As a former Anglican, he chose that date as being only apropos !)
If it were not Sunday..
today would be the feast of Sts. John Fisher, Bishop, Cardinal, and Martyr, and St. Thomas More, Martyr. There is information on them here.

"Did You find many stones, that is to say, many constant people when You began to build Your Church ? Were not those You set in the foundation soft and unstable earth ? Yes, truly, until the time You made them hard as stones by the virtue and strength of Your burning charity. Did not Peter, the head of all the others, out of fear of one handmaid or woman servant, give place and deny Your Son Jesus Christ his Master ? Was there not also contention and debate among others of the apostles which of them should be chief and have the sovereignty among them ? Furthermore, they all fled for fear when their Master Christ was taken and brought to judgement. See what great pusillanimity, cowardice, and unsteadfastness was in them. But as soon as the heat of Your charity descended on them in the similitude of fire, they were then made so constant and sure in their minds that from that time forward no dread, threatening, or persecution could make them afraid to declare You message and commandment. They pronounced and expressed Your Gospel to kings, princes, and other wise men of this world, overcoming them by the virtue of Your word, and turned innumerable to the Faith and to the acknowledgement of Your Holy Name.

So, good Lord, do now in like manner again with Your Church Militant. Change and make the soft and unstable earth into hard stones. Set in Your Church mighty pillars that can suffer and endure great labours, watching, poverty, thirst, hunger, cold, and heat, and who will not fear the rebukes of princes, persecution, or death but always persuade themselves and think with a good will to suffer slanders, shame, and all kinds of torments for the glory and praise of Your Holy Name. In this manner, Good Lord, the truth of Your Gospel will be preached throughout all the world: et timebunt gentes nomen tuum, Domine, et omnes reges terre gloriam tuam, by this not not will the ordinary common people fear Your Name but also the kings and princes of this word dread Your magnificence and glory. " - From Exposition of the Seven Pentitential Psalms, by St. John Fisher (The language has been somewhat updated from that of the original edition published in 1508, for the sake of readability.)

The Solemnity of the Body and Blood of the Lord, also known as Corpus Christi
is today- in the United States.

" 1406. Jesus said: 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; . . . he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and . . . abides in me, and I in him' (Jn 6:51, 54, 56).

1407. The Eucharist is the heart and the summit of the Church's life, for in it Christ associates his Church and all her members with his sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving offered once for all on the cross to his Father; by this sacrifice he pours out the graces of salvation on his Body which is the Church.

1408. The Eucharistic celebration always includes: the proclamation of the Word of God; thanksgiving to God the Father for all his benefits, above all the gift of his Son; the consecration of bread and wine; and participation in the liturgical banquet by receiving the Lord's Body and Blood. These elements constitute one single act of worship.

1409. The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ's Passover, that is, of the work of salvation accomplished by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, a work made present by the liturgical action.

1410. It is Christ himself, the eternal high priest of the New Covenant who, acting through the ministry of the priests, offers the Eucharistic sacrifice. And it is the same Christ, really present under the species of bread and wine, who is the offering of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

1411. Only validly ordained priests can preside at the Eucharist and consecrate the bread and the wine so that they become the Body and Blood of the Lord.

1412. The essential signs of the Eucharistic sacrament are wheat bread and grape wine, on which the blessing of the Holy Spirit is invoked and the priest pronounces the words of consecration spoken by Jesus during the Last Supper: ' This is My Body which will be given up for you. . . . This is the cup of My Blood. . . .'

1413. By the consecration the transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is brought about. Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ Himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real, and substantial manner: His Body and His Blood, with His Soul and His Divinity (cf. Council of Trent: DS 1640; 1651).

1414. As sacrifice, the Eucharist is also offered in reparation for the sins of the living and the dead and to obtain spiritual or temporal benefits from God.

1415. Anyone who desires to receive Christ in Eucharistic communion must be in the state of grace. Anyone aware of having sinned mortally must not receive communion without having received absolution in the sacrament of penance.

1416. Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.

1417. The Church warmly recommends that the faithful receive Holy Communion when they participate in the celebration of the Eucharist; she obliges them to do so at least once a year.

1418. Because Christ Himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, He is to be honored with the worship of adoration. 'To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord' (Paul VI, MF 66).

1419. Having passed from this world to the Father, Christ gives us in the Eucharist the pledge of glory with Him. Participation in the Holy Sacrifice identifies us with His Heart, sustains our strength along the pilgrimage of this life, makes us long for eternal life, and unites us even now to the Church in heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints. " - Catechism of the Catholic Church

Here is a link to an earlier post on St. Philip Neri and the Blessed Sacrament.

Anima Christi
(Translated by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.)

"Soul of Christ, be my sanctification;
Body of Christ, be my salvation;
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins;
Water of Christ’s side, wash out my stains;
Passion of Christ, my comfort be;
O good Jesu, listen to me;
In thy wounds I fain would hide,
Ne’er to be parted from Thy side;
Guard me, should the foe assail me;
Call me when my life shall fail me;
Bid me come to Thee above,
With Thy saints to sing Thy love,
World without end.

A Short Visit to the Blessed Sacrament before Meditation
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

I place myself in the presence of Him, in whose Incarnate Presence I am before I place myself there.

I adore Thee, O my Saviour, present here as God and man, in soul and body, in true flesh and blood.

I acknowledge and confess that I kneel before that Sacred Humanity, which was conceived in Mary's womb, and lay in Mary's bosom; which grew up to man's estate, and by the Sea of Galilee called the Twelve, wrought miracles, and spoke words of wisdom and peace; which in due season hung on the cross, lay in the tomb, rose from the dead, and now reigns in heaven.

I praise, and bless, and give myself wholly to Him, who is the true Bread of my soul, and my everlasting joy."

Holy Communion
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"1. My God, who can be inhabited by Thee, except the pure and holy? Sinners may come to Thee, but to whom shouldst Thou come except to the sanctified? My God, I adore Thee as the Holiest; and, when Thou didst come upon earth, Thou didst prepare a holy habitation for Thyself in the most chaste womb of the Blessed Virgin. Thou didst make a dwelling place special for Thyself. She did not receive Thee without first being prepared for Thee; for from the moment that she was at all, she was filled with Thy grace, so that she never knew sin. And so she went on increasing in grace and merit year after year, till the time came, when Thou didst send down the Archangel to signify to her Thy presence within her. So holy must be the dwelling place of the Highest. I adore and glorify Thee, O Lord my God, for Thy great holiness.

2. O my God, holiness becometh Thy House, and yet Thou dost make Thy abode in my breast. My Lord, my Saviour, to me Thou comest, hidden under the semblance of earthly things, yet in that very flesh and blood which Thou didst take from Mary. Thou, who didst first inhabit Mary's breast, dost come to me. My God, Thou seest me; I cannot see myself. Were I ever so good a judge about myself, ever so unbiassed, and with ever so correct a rule of judging, still, from my very nature, I cannot look at myself, and view myself truly and wholly. But Thou, as Thou comest to me, contemplatest me. When I say, Domine, non sum dignus—'Lord, I am not worthy'—Thou whom I am addressing, alone understandest in their fulness the words which I use. Thou seest how unworthy so great a sinner is to receive the One Holy God, whom the Seraphim adore with trembling. Thou seest, not only the stains and scars of past sins, but the mutilations, the deep cavities, the chronic disorders which they have left in my soul. Thou seest the innumerable living sins, though they be not mortal, living in their power and presence, their guilt, and their penalties, which clothe me. Thou seest all my bad habits, all my mean principles, all wayward lawless thoughts, my multitude of infirmities and miseries, yet Thou comest. Thou seest most perfectly how little I really feel what I am now saying, yet Thou comest. O my God, left to myself should I not perish under the awful splendour and the consuming fire of Thy Majesty. Enable me to bear Thee, lest I have to say with Peter, 'Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!'

3. My God, enable me to bear Thee, for Thou alone canst. Cleanse my heart and mind from all that is past. Wipe out clean all my recollections of evil. Rid me from all languor, sickliness, irritability, feebleness of soul. Give me a true perception of things unseen, and make me truly, practically, and in the details of life, prefer Thee to anything on earth, and the future world to the present. Give me courage, a true instinct determining between right and wrong, humility in all things, and a tender longing love of Thee. "

Meditations and Devotions