Saturday, August 30, 2003

For Saturday
"Now, as you know, it has been held from the first, and defined from an early age, that Mary is the Mother of God. She is not merely the Mother of our Lord's manhood, or of our Lord's body, but she is to be considered the Mother of the Word Himself, the Word incarnate. God, in the person of the Word, the Second Person of the All-glorious Trinity, humbled Himself to become her Son. Non horruisti Virginis uterum, as the Church sings, 'Thou didst not disdain the Virgin's womb'. He took the substance of His human flesh from her, and clothed in it He lay within her; and He bore it about with Him after birth, as a sort of badge and witness that He, though God, was hers. He was nursed and tended by her; He was suckled by her; He lay in her arms. As time went on, He ministered to her, and obeyed her. He lived with her for thirty years, in one house, with an uninterrupted intercourse, and with only the saintly Joseph to share it with Him. She was the witness of His growth, of His joys, of His sorrows, of His prayers; she was blest with His smile, with the touch of His hand, with the whisper of His affection, with the expression of His thoughts and His feelings, for that length of time. Now, my brethren, what ought she to be, what is it becoming that she should be, who was so favoured? "- Venerable John Henry Newman. C.O. Discourses to Mixed Congregations
Today is the feast of various saints and beati.....
including the hermit St. Fiacre, St. Margaret Ward, Blessed Edward Shelley, Blessed John Roche,Blessed Richard Leigh
and Blessed Richard Martin, all of whom belong to that wonderful category of saints, the English martyrs, and Blessed Jeanne Jugan, who founded the Little Sisters of the Poor, which order is represented in my diocese. However, it is a most special day for Oratorians, as it is the feast of Blessed Juvenal Ancina, C.O.. Invoking his intercession may be particularly appropriate these days, since while he did not become a bishop willingly, he proved to be a true Bishop With Backbone- and died in the cause of cleaning up his diocese.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

The Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. It is also the feast of several English martyrs, including St. Edmund Arrowsmith, Blessed Hugh More, and Blessed James Claxon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Mixolydian Mode
was kind enough to post
a link to this cool children's book !
And there's a 'birth announcement' (of sorts) over at Catholic and Loving It ! (Cong-rats to Peter !)

The Feast of Blessed Dominic Barberi, C.P., Priest
is also today. There is information on him here. While he accomplished much in his mission to England, what he is best known for to many, and what especially endears him to me, is what happened on October 8, 1845. Fr. Dominic, en route to Belgium, had decided to call on John Dalgairns, whom he had recently received into the Church. When Dalgairns met him, he informed the priest that he knew of someone else who wished to be received into the Church, out at Littlemore, a village near Oxford... someone for whom this step had been a long time in coming, but who was now, finally, sure....

The coach was late, and it was close to midnight when Fr. Dominic arrived at Littlemore, drenched from riding on top of the coach in the pouring rain. (It was cheaper than riding inside.) He stationed himself by the fire, and he himself recorded what happened next in a letter to his superiors:
"The door opened- and what a spectacle it was for me to see at my feet John Henry Newman begging me to hear his confession and admit him to the bosom of the Catholic Church ! And there by the fire he began his general confession with extraordinary humility and devotion. "

It was so very late that Newman's general confession was partly heard that night, and partly the next day. He was reconciled with the Catholic Church, at Fr. Dominic's hands, the next day, October 9. 1845.

The Feast of St. Monica
is today. There is information on her here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

The Power of the Cross
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"1. My God, who could have imagined, by any light of nature, that it was one of Thy attributes to lower Thyself, and to work out Thy purposes by Thy own humiliation and suffering? Thou hadst lived from eternity in ineffable blessedness. My God, I might have understood as much as this, viz. that, when Thou didst begin to create and surround Thyself with a world of creatures, that these attributes would show themselves in Thee which before had no exercise. Thou couldest not show Thy power when there was nothing whatever to exercise it. Then too, Thou didst begin to show thy wonderful and tender providence, Thy faithfulness, Thy solicitous care for those whom Thou hadst created. But who could have fancied that Thy creation of the universe implied and involved in it Thy humiliation? O my great God, Thou hast humbled Thyself, Thou hast stooped to take our flesh and blood, and hast been lifted up upon the tree! I praise and glorify Thee tenfold the more, because Thou hast shown Thy power by means of Thy suffering, than hadst Thou carried on Thy work without it. It is worthy of Thy infinitude thus to surpass and transcend all our thoughts.

2. O my Lord Jesu, I believe, and by Thy grace will ever believe and hold, and I know that it is true, and will be true to the end of the world, that nothing great is done without suffering, without humiliation, and that all things are possible by means of it. I believe, O my God, that poverty is better than riches, pain better than pleasure, obscurity and contempt than name, and ignominy and reproach than honour. My Lord, I do not ask Thee to bring these trials on me, for I know not if I could face them; but at least, O Lord, whether I be in prosperity or adversity, I will believe that it is as I have said. I will never have faith in riches, rank, power, or reputation. I will never set my heart on worldly success or on worldly advantages. I will never wish for what men call the prizes of life. I will ever, with Thy grace, make much of those who are despised or neglected, honour the poor, revere the suffering, and admire and venerate Thy saints and confessors, and take my part with them in spite of the world.

3. And lastly, O my dear Lord, though I am so very weak that I am not fit to ask Thee for suffering as a gift, and have not strength to do so, at least I will beg of Thee grace to meet suffering well, when Thou in Thy love and wisdom dost bring it upon me. Let me bear pain, reproach, disappointment, slander, anxiety, suspense, as Thou wouldest have me, O my Jesu, and as Thou by Thy own suffering hast taught me, when it comes. And I promise too, with Thy grace, that I will never set myself up, never seek pre-eminence, never court any great thing of the world, never prefer myself to others. I wish to bear insult meekly, and to return good for evil. I wish to humble myself in all things, and to be silent when I am ill-used, and to be patient when sorrow or pain is prolonged, and all for the love of Thee, and Thy Cross, knowing that in this way I shall gain the promise both of this life and of the next. " - Meditations and Devotions
Mel Eru !
Mixolydian Mode turns up some scary images. .
Note: The second image has been removed, but it seems that Mattel is still planning to issue Aragorn-Ken and Arwen-Barbie. Can you say, "crass and tasteless" ? Yes, I knew you could....

Oh, wonderful....
A fine example of how the current aesthetic devastation in the Catholic Church is costing us converts.

Link courtesy of Mixolydian Mode.