Saturday, July 19, 2003

For Saturday
Mary is the "Sedes Sapientiae," the Seat of Wisdom
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"Mary has this title in her Litany, because the Son of God, who is also called in Scripture the Word and Wisdom of God, once dwelt in her, and then, after His birth of her, was carried in her arms and seated in her lap in His first years. Thus, being, as it were, the human throne of Him who reigns in heaven, she is called the Seat of Wisdom. In the poet's words:—

His throne, thy bosom blest,
O Mother undefiled,
That Throne, if aught beneath the skies,
Beseems the sinless Child.

But the possession of her Son lasted beyond His infancy—He was under her rule, as St. Luke tells us, and lived with her in her house, till He went forth to preach—that is, for at least a whole thirty years. And this brings us to a reflection about her, cognate to that which was suggested to us yesterday by the title of 'Mirror of Justice.' For if such close and continued intimacy with her Son created in her a sanctity inconceivably great, must not also the knowledge which she gained during those many years from His conversation of present, past, and future, have been so large, and so profound, and so diversified, and so thorough, that, though she was a poor woman without human advantages, she must in her knowledge of creation, of the universe, and of history, have excelled the greatest of philosophers, and in her theological knowledge the greatest of theologians, and in her prophetic discernment the most favoured of prophets?

What was the grand theme of conversation between her and her Son but the nature, the attributes, the providence, and the works of Almighty God? Would not our Lord be ever glorifying the Father who sent Him? Would He not unfold to her the solemn eternal decrees, and the purposes and will of God? Would He not from time to time enlighten her in all those points of doctrine which have been first discussed and then settled in the Church from the time of the Apostles till now, and all that shall be till the end,—nay, these, and far more than these? All that is obscure, all that is fragmentary in revelation, would, so far as the knowledge is possible to man, be brought out to her in clearness and simplicity by Him who is the Light of the World.

And so of the events which are to come. God spoke to the Prophets: we have His communications to them in Scripture. But He spoke to them in figure and parable. There was one, viz., Moses, to whom He vouchsafed to speak face to face. 'If there be among you a prophet of the Lord,' God says, 'I will appear to him in a vision, and I will speak to him in a dream. But it is not so with my servant Moses ... For I will speak to him mouth to mouth, and plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord.' This was the great privilege of the inspired Lawgiver of the Jews; but how much was it below that of Mary! Moses had the privilege only now and then, from time to time; but Mary for thirty continuous years saw and heard Him, being all through that time face to face with Him, and being able to ask Him any question which she wished explained, and knowing that the answers she received were from the Eternal God, who neither deceives nor can be deceived. "

Meditations and Devotions
This sort of thing is inevitable...
once you start seeing children not as blessings from God, but as either designer accessories or accidents...
Doctor must pay to raise boy

The contraceptive culture continues its sinking spiral into nihilistic insanity.... though I must say that the dissenting opinion quoted is a bright light in the darkness of this ruling.

In a strong dissenting judgement, Justice Dyson Heydon said: "A child is not an object for the gratification of its parents, like a pet or an antique car or a new dress . . . the child has a 'value' which must be fostered whether it pleases its parents or repels them. "

"It is contrary to human dignity to reduce the existence of a particular human being to the status of an animal or an inanimate chattel . . . It is wrong to attempt to place a value on human life or a value on the expense of human life because human life is invaluable - incapable of effective or useful valuation."

Link courtesy of Envoy Encore .

The Feast of St. John Plessington
is today. There is information on him here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Real Life intrudes...
No blogging until Saturday.
Oh, please... not again !

I believe Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Shea are going down a bit of a blind alley here, as Mr. Halsall is a questionable source at best. , as a perceptive commenter noted. (As to the question of SSA and ordination now- I have no doubt such ordinations would be valid. Whether they would be prudent in a society as massively oversexualized as ours is another matter. )

Did the Venerable struggle with this type of temptation ? God only knows, as even the people who claim he did admit that if so, he did not give in to the temptation. However, using him to further the agenda of sexual perversion (as Mr. Halsall has done) is simply stupid.

" The graces of the Spirit cannot be separated from each other; one implies the rest; what is love but a delight in God, a devotion to Him, a surrender of the whole self to Him? what is impurity, on the other hand, but the turning to something of this world, something sinful, as the object of our affections instead of God? What is it but a deliberate abandonment of the Creator for the creature, and seeking pleasure in the shadow of death, not in the all-blissful Presence of light and holiness? The impure then cannot love God; and those who are without love of God cannot really be pure. Purity prepares the soul for love, and love confirms the soul in purity. The flame of love will not be bright unless the substance which feeds it be pure and unadulterate; and the most dazzling purity is but as iciness and desolation unless it draws its life from fervent love. "- Discourses to Mixed Congregations- Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
What ?
It says I'm only 24.06312% Geek ?
They ought to have subcategories on this thing- Computer Geek, Gaming Geek, etc. Then I'd at least get a Super Geek score in the Tolkien Geek test.....

Lovely little bit of inspiration
courtesy of Zenit.

Quadriplegic Priest Carves Out an Apostolate on Internet

Father Luis de Moya a Point of Reference on Euthanasia

PAMPLONA, Spain, JULY 15, 2003 ( A Spanish Web page that opposes euthanasia is manned by someone who, according to the promoters of a "gentle death," should have died years ago.

Father Luis de Moya lost the use of his limbs in an accident more than a decade ago, but he manages to run the Web site through technology that allows him to dictate to a computer.

He began to study medicine in Madrid in 1971. The following year, he applied for admission to the Opus Dei. After his studies, he went to Rome to study theology and then returned to Spain for his priestly ordination.

In addition to being a physician, Father de Moya has a doctorate in canon law. He has been in charge of several chaplaincies at the University of Navarre. He still keep at this work today, combining it with his Web pages dedicated to the struggle for life and the dignity of the person.

"I had a traffic accident in April 1991 and, as a consequence, remained quadriplegic," he explains in the book "Along the Way." The book is published in Spanish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

The Internet phenomenon was a discovery. "I soon realized that the concept 'border' hardly exists on the network," he told ZENIT. "I thought it would be terrible, therefore, if I did not reach as many computers as possible with the best content I could contribute."

Father de Moya's battle in defense of life is now spreading throughout Europe. He is currently engaged in a lengthy debate, after posting on his Web page a letter from the mother of Carolina Bustos Flores.

Bustos, who lives in Rotterdam, is accusing the doctors of the Dutch Dijkzigt Ziekenhuis Hospital of letting her 25-year-old daughter die. The letter is entitled "Chronicle of a Forced Euthanasia."

Father de Moya also has, in Spanish, a Web page on spirituality, philosophy and theology ( and a personal page (

The Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
is today. There is information on it here. (The link is to a nearly-hundred year-old source, and may be somewhat dated. ) Happy Feast Day to all the Carmelites out there, including certain bloggers. My own thoughts and prayers are particularly with the wonderful nuns at the Carmel of St. Therese of Lisieux in Loretto, Pennsylvania, including my friend Sr. Claire Benedicta of the Cross, O.C.D. (though I still tend to think of her as "Gwen", her name before she entered Carmel.)

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

From Certain Difficulties Felt by Anglicans in Catholic Teaching, Volume 1
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" We may entertain most reasonable hopes that vast multitudes are in a state of invincible ignorance; so that those among them who are living a life really religious and conscientious, may be looked upon with interest and even pleasure, though a mournful pleasure, in the midst of the pain which a Catholic feels at their ignorant prejudices against what he knows to be true. Amongst the most bitter railers against the Church in this country, may be found those who are influenced by divine grace, and are at present travelling towards heaven, whatever be their ultimate destiny. Among the most irritable disputants against the Sacrifice of the Mass or Transubstantiation, or the most impatient listeners to the glories of Mary, there may be those for whom she is saying to her Son, what He said on the cross to His Father, 'Forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Nay, while such persons think as at present, they are bound to act accordingly, and only so far to connect themselves with us as their conscience allows. 'When persons who have been brought up in heresy,' says a Catholic theologian, 'are persuaded from their childhood that we are the enemies of God's word, are idolaters, pestilent deceivers, and therefore, as pests, to be avoided, they cannot, while this persuasion lasts, hear us with a safe conscience, and they labour under invincible ignorance, inasmuch as they doubt not that they are in a good way?' "
Just because
" Thus in after days, what by the voyages of ships, what by lore and star-craft, the kings of Men knew that the world was indeed made round, and yet the Eldar were permitted still to depart and to come to the Ancient West and to Avallónë , if they would. Therefore the loremasters of Men said that a Straight Road must still be, for those that were permitted to find it. And they taught that, while the new world fell away, the old road and the path of the memory of the West still went on, as it were a mighty bridge invisible that passed through the air of breath and flight (which now were bent as the world was bent) and traversed Ilmen which flesh unaided cannot endure, until it came to Tol Eressëa, the Lonely Isle, and maybe even beyond, to Valinor, where the Valar still dwell and watch the unfolding of the story of the world. And tales and rumours arose along the shores of the sea concerning mariners and men forlorn upon the water who, by some fate or grace or favour of the Valar, had entered in upon the Striaght Way and saw the face of the world sink beneath them, and so had come to the lamplit quays of Avallónë , or verily to the last beaches on the margins of Aman, and there had looked upon the White Mountain, dreadful and beautiful, before they died. "
- "Akallabêth" , The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Feast of St. Bonaventure, Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. To all the Franciscans out there, and all others who have him as a special patron, Happy Feast Day !

Monday, July 14, 2003

I should have done it a long time ago...
but I've finally added a link to The Blog from the Core on the left.
Thank you
to Mrs. Lively and Gaudete Semper for posting about my birthday.

Since I can no longer blog on Sundays....
I'm a day late with this: On July 13, 1852, at the first Provincial Synod of Westminster, Venerable John Henry Newman preached what is considered by many to be his finest sermon, The Second Spring.

The part about it being an uncertain, English spring is especially poignant when one remembers that when he was preaching this, Fr. Newman had just been through the harrowing ordeal of the Achilli Trial, a classic miscarriage of justice in which the word of one man prevailed over massive amounts of testimony, simply because he was perceived as being a victim of a "Romanist plot". (Even the Times of London, no friend of Catholicism, said that the proceedings were " indecorous in their nature, unsatisfactory in their result, and little calculated to increase the respect of the people for the administration of justice or the estimation by foreign nations of the English name and character. We consider that a great blow has been given to the administration of justice in this country, and that Roman Catholics will henceforth have only too good reason for asserting that there is no justice for them in cases tending to arouse the Protestant feelings of judges and juries." ) The Venerable had been enduring the storm, and it was not yet over- he had to wait months for sentencing, wondering whether or not he was going to end up in jail. (He made arrangements to celebrate Mass there, just in case, but as things turned out, he was not sent to prison- merely fined.)
The Feast of Blessed Kateri Tekawitha, Virgin
is today. There is information on her here. It is also the feast of St. Camillus de Lellis. There is information on him here. Although he seems to have been bumped from the American calendar by our 'local' Blessed, I can hardly let a saint who was one of my own St. Philip's penitents go without a mention .