Wednesday, August 06, 2003

No blogging until Monday
Real Life will be keeping me computerless for a while. On Saturday I will be going on a Day of Recollection for Secular Oratorians out at Rednal, the Pittsburgh Oratory's retreat house. (Yes, it is named in honor of the Rednal which is the retreat house of the Birmingham Oratory.) On Sunday I will be heading to St. Mary's, Pennsylvania to watch my friend Clare become a Benedictine novice. Prayers for both trips, and for my friend, would be most welcome.

A quote, just because.

"The Incarnation is the most stupendous event which ever can take place on earth; and after it, and henceforth, I do not see how we can scruple at any miracle on the mere ground of its being unlikely to happen. No miracle can be so great as that which took place in the Holy House at Nazareth; it is indefinitely more difficult to believe than all the miracles of the Breviary, of the Martyrology, of Saints' lives, of legends, of local traditions, put together; and there is the grossest inconsistency, on the very face of the matter, for any one so to strain out the gnat, and to swallow the camel, as to profess what is inconceivable, yet to protest against what is surely within the limits of intelligible hypothesis. If, through divine grace, we once are able to accept the solemn truth that the Supreme Being was born of a mortal woman, what is there to be imagined which can offend us on the ground of its marvellousness? Thus, you see, it happens that, though First Principles are commonly assumed, not proved, ours in this case admits, if not of proof, yet of recommendation, by means of that fundamental truth which Protestants profess as well as we. When we start with assuming that miracles are not unlikely, we are putting forth a position which lies imbedded, as it were, and involved in the great revealed fact of the Incarnation. "- Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England

It is Day Five of the Novena for the Canonization of Venerable Newman.

I really ought to mention...
Moving Godward: the Desert Blogs, since she was kind enough to link to me and recently commented on a post of mine.

Perhaps it was inevitable...
but it is still terribly sad.

Gay Bishop Wins in Episcopal Vote, Threatening Split .

I was slightly heartened to see that the local Episcopalian bishop had this to say : "This body willfully confirming the election of a person sexually active outside of holy matrimony has departed from the historic faith and order of the Church of Jesus Christ."- Robert Duncan, Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh.

There is commentary all over the Blogosphere, but I especially appreciate a post by the redoubtable Lane Core:
Suggested Reading for Episcopalians Troubled in Conscience

Mr. White posted some prayers for the intercession of Our Lady of Walsingham.

If any of my readers are in the situation referred to above, the following prayer may help:

Prayer for the Light of Truth

by Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman, C.O.

I should like an enquirer to say continually:

O my God, I confess that Thou canst enlighten my darkness. I confess that Thou alone canst. I wish my darkness to be enlightened. I do not know whether Thou wilt: but that Thou canst and that I wish, are sufficient reasons for me to ask, what Thou at least hast not forbidden my asking. I hereby promise that by Thy grace which I am asking, I will embrace whatever I at length feel certain is the truth, if ever I come to be certain. And by Thy grace I will guard against all self-deceit which may lead me to take what nature would have, rather than what reason approves. Amen.

The Venerable sadly predicted in 1864 that the Anglican Church, tied as it is to the nation, would eventually sink to the nation's level. Here, the Episcopalians are not established, so instead they import American-style voting into doctrinal and moral issues- a procedure which seems to destroy respect for Scripture, Tradition, and morality even more quickly.

Prayers requested
for this intention. Mom's House does very good work.
The Solemnity of the Transfiguration of Christ
is today. There is information on it here.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Happy Blogoversary
to Swimming the Tiber !

It slices and dices Scripture and Tradition....
Courtesy of Jeff Miller, it's THE DOCRINE-O-MATIC !

Mr. White
has an interesting post, and an excellent suggestion.
Today is Day Four of the Venerable Newman Canonization Novena.
Also, if you can, tune in to EWTN Live ! on August 13th. The guest will be Fr. Paul Chavasse, C.O. Provost of the Birmingham Oratory and postulator of Oratorian Causes, speaking on the Venerable's life, his works, and the progress of his Cause for Beatification. ( I will be at a Secular Oratory meeting that evening, but will be taping the program.) I have met Fr. Chavasse and heard him speak- it ought to be good !
The Feast of the Dedication of St. Mary Major
is today. Mr. Serafin has information on it here.
It is also the feast of St. Nonna whose prayer and example led to the conversion of her husband, St. Gregory Nazienzen the Elder. Together, they raised three sainted children. Never underestimate the power of a holy wife and mother !

Monday, August 04, 2003

From "Christ Upon the Waters", in Sermons Preached on Various Occasions
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"He came to His disciples in the passage I have read to you, walking upon the sea,—the emblem or hieroglyphic among the ancients of the impossible; to show them that what is impossible with man, is possible with God. He who could walk the waters, could also ride triumphantly upon what is still more fickle, unstable, tumultuous, treacherous—the billows of human wills, human purposes, human hearts. The bark of Peter was struggling with the waves, and made no progress; Christ came to him walking upon them; He entered the boat, and by entering it He sustained it. He did not abandon Himself to it, but He brought it near to Himself; He did not merely take refuge in it, but He made Himself the strength of it, and the pledge and cause of a successful passage. 'Presently,'another gospel says, 'the ship was at the land, whither they were going.'

Such was the power of the Son of God, the Saviour of man, manifested by visible tokens in the material world, when He came upon earth; and such, too, it has ever since signally shown itself to be, in the history of that mystical ark which He then formed to float upon the ocean of human opinion. He told His chosen servants to form an ark for the salvation of souls: He gave them directions how to construct it,—the length, breadth, and height, its cabins and its windows; and the world, as it gazed upon it, forthwith began to criticize. It pronounced it framed quite contrary to the scientific rules of shipbuilding; it prophesied, as it still prophesies, that such a craft was not sea-worthy; that it was not water-tight; that it would not float; that it would go to pieces and founder. And why it does not, who can say, except that the Lord is in it? Who can say why so old a framework, put together eighteen hundred years ago, should have lasted, against all human calculation, even to this day; always going, and never gone; ever failing, yet ever managing to explore new seas and foreign coasts—except that He, who once said to the rowers, "It is I, be not afraid," and to the waters, 'Peace,' is still in His own ark which He has made, to direct and to prosper her course? "

If anyone is interested in joining in the Novena for the canonization of Venerable Newman, it is here. Today is Day Three.

From the homily
Actually, these quotes are from yesterday's homily. Fr. Bryan was the celebrant at noon Mass yesterday, and it was excellent. A few quotes.... (these are not exact, as I did not have a tape recorder at Mass.)
" We might be astonished at the Israelites grumbling. After all, they had just been led out of slavery in Egypt, with God manifesting Himself in many miracles. However, we do the same thing.... Jesus suffered and died for us, and He gave us the Eucharist, His Own Self in His Body and Blood, and we spend our time grumbling..."
"Many people complain that the Church does not fit in with the current century, especially in her moral teachings. However, the current culture is on the road to Hell. I know I don't want to go there, and you probably don't either. "
"The pollsters say that 50% of Catholics do not believe that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Well, He is. It is not a mere sign or symbol; He is there. He said so. "
The Feast of St. Jean Marie Vianney, Priest
is today. There is information on him here. Prayers for all priests, particularly diocesan priests in parishes, would be especially appropriate today.