Saturday, September 06, 2003

For Saturday
Ave Maris Stella
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" Hail, Star of the Sea

Truly art thou a star, O Mary! Our Lord indeed Himself, Jesus Christ, He is the truest and chiefest Star, the bright and morning Star, as St. John calls Him; that Star which was foretold from the beginning as destined to rise out of Israel, and which was displayed in figure by the star which appeared to the wise men in the East. But if the wise and learned and they who teach men in justice shall shine as stars for ever and ever; if the angels of the Churches are called stars in the Hand of Christ; if He honoured the apostles even in the days of their flesh by a title, calling them lights of the world; if even those angels who fell from heaven are called by the beloved disciple stars; if lastly all the saints in bliss are called stars, in that they are like stars differing from stars in glory; therefore most assuredly, without any derogation from the honour of our Lord, is Mary His mother called the Star of the Sea, and the more so because even on her head she wears a crown of twelve stars. Jesus is the Light of the world, illuminating every man who cometh into it, opening our eyes with the gift of faith, making souls luminous by His Almighty grace; and Mary is the Star, shining with the light of Jesus, fair as the moon, and special as the sun, the star of the heavens, which it is good to look upon, the star of the sea, which is welcome to the tempest-tossed, at whose smile the evil spirit flies, the passions are hushed, and peace is poured upon the soul.

Hail then, Star of the Sea, we joy in the recollection of thee. Pray for us ever at the throne of Grace; plead our cause, pray with us, present our prayers to thy Son and Lord—now and in the hour of death, Mary be thou our help. "

Some help, please ?
My Latin, alas, is not as good as it could be. Would someone please help me with a bit of translation ?
"On the journey from Rome to England a visit was paid to Monte Cassino; and in the Visitors' book at that high place of St. Benedict may still be seen this entry: 'O Sancti Montis Cassinensis, unde Anglia nostra olim saluberrimos Cathohicae doctrinae rivos hausit, orate pro nobis jam ex haeresi in pristinum vigorem expergiscentibus.—J. H. NEWMAN, September 6, 1847.' "

From Cardinal Newman by Wilfrid Meynell.

I believe it's something about asking for prayers that England return to the Catholic Faith and that heresy there be expunged...

Prayers requested...
For my mother, as she continues to recover from back surgery...
For Fr. Michael of the Pittsburgh Oratory, who is ill...
And for the repose of the soul of Fr. Michael Day of the Birmingham Oratory, who went to his reward on August 11, the anniversary of Venerable Newman's death.
This woman needs prayer. And counsel. And a swift kick in the you-know where wouldn't hurt...

Birthday Party Gone Bad :Mom Accused of Stripping for Boys
At least her son had enough sense to be embarassed, poor kid.

Link courtesy of The Old Oligarch.

The Feast of St. Magnus of Füssen
is today. There is information on him here.
While the real work he did and the real prayers he prayed are important, I'll admit that I'm posting on him because I find the legends around him interesting. (How can one not like a saint said to have adopted a baby dragon ? )

Friday, September 05, 2003

For Friday
" Well, my brethren, your God has taken on Him your nature, and now prepare yourself to see in human flesh that glory and that beauty on which the Angels gaze. Since you are to see Emmanuel, since 'the brilliancy of the Eternal Light and the unspotted mirror of God's majesty, and the Image of His goodness,' is to walk the earth, since the Son of the Highest is to be born of woman, since the manifold attributes of the Infinite are to be poured out before your eyes through material channels and the operations of a human soul, since He, whose contemplation did but trouble you in Nature, is coming to take you captive by a manifestation, which is both intelligible to you and a pledge that He loves you one by one, raise high your expectations, for surely they cannot suffer disappointment. Doubtless, you will say, He will take a form such as 'eye hath not seen, nor ear heard of ' before. It will be a body framed in the heavens, and only committed to the custody of Mary; a form of light and glory, worthy of Him, who is "blessed for evermore," and comes to bless us with His presence. Pomp and pride of men He may indeed despise; we do not look for Him in kings' courts, or in the array of war, or in the philosophic school; but doubtless He will choose some calm and holy spot, and men will go out thither and find their Incarnate God. He will be tenant of some paradise, like Adam or Elias, or He will dwell in the mystic garden of the Canticles, where nature ministers its best and purest to its Creator. 'The fig-tree will put forth her green figs, the vines in flower yield their sweet smell;' 'spikenard and saffron'will be there; 'the sweet cane and cinnamon, myrrh and aloes, with all the chief perfumes;' 'the glory of Libanus, the beauty of Carmel,' before 'the glory of the Lord and the beauty of our God'. There will He show Himself at stated times, with Angels for His choristers and saints for His doorkeepers, to the poor and needy, to the humble and devout, to those who have kept their innocence undefiled, or have purged their sins away by long penance and masterful contrition.

Such would be the conjecture of man, at fault when he speculated on the height of God, and now again at fault when he tries to sound the depth. He thinks that a royal glory is the note of His presence upon earth; lift up your eyes, my brethren, and answer whether he has guessed aright. Oh, incomprehensible in eternity and in time! solitary in heaven, and solitary upon earth! 'Who is this, that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozra? Why is Thy apparel red, and Thy garments like theirs that tread in the wine press?' It is because the Maker of man, the Wisdom of God, has come, not in strength, but in weakness. He has come, not to assert a claim, but to pay a debt. Instead of wealth, He has come poor; instead of honour, He has come in ignominy; instead of blessedness, He has come to suffer. He has been delivered over from His birth to pain and contempt; His delicate frame is worn down by cold and heat, by hunger and sleeplessness; His hands are rough and bruised with a mechanic's toil; His eyes are dimmed with weeping; His Name is cast out as evil. He is flung amid the throng of men; He wanders from place to place; He is the companion of sinners. He is followed by a mixed multitude, who care more for meat and drink than for His teaching, or by a city's populace which deserts Him in the day of trial. And at length 'the Brightness of God's Glory and the Image of His Substance' is fettered, haled to and fro, buffeted, spit upon, mocked, cursed, scourged, and tortured. 'He hath no beauty nor comeliness; He is despised and the most abject of men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with infirmity;' nay, He is a 'leper, and smitten of God, and afflicted'. And so His clothes are torn off, and He is lifted up upon the bitter Cross, and there He hangs, a spectacle for profane, impure, and savage eyes, and a mockery for the evil spirit whom He had cast down into hell.

Oh, wayward man! discontented first that thy God is far from thee, discontented again when He has drawn near,—complaining first that He is high, complaining next that He is low!—unhumbled being, when wilt thou cease to make thyself thine own centre, and learn that God is infinite in all He does, infinite when He reigns in heaven, infinite when He serves on earth, exacting our homage in the midst of His Angels, and winning homage from us in the midst of sinners? Adorable He is in His eternal rest, adorable in the glory of His court, adorable in the beauty of His works, most adorable of all, most royal, most persuasive in His deformity. Think you not, my brethren, that to Mary, when she held Him in her maternal arms, when she gazed on the pale countenance and the dislocated limbs of her God, when she traced the wandering lines of blood, when she counted the weals, the bruises, and the wounds, which dishonoured that virginal flesh, think you not that to her eyes it was more beautiful than when she first worshipped it, pure, radiant, and fragrant, on the night of His nativity? " -
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. , Discourses to Mixed Congregations
Since I'm blogging there...
I've added a link to Catholic Pundits.
Cool !
The Holy See's website is currently featuring a section on the Swiss Guard.
I've felt for a long time
that a certain 'singer' is being influenced by the Enemy to sully the Catholic Faith, particularly things connected with Our Lady whom he hates so deeply since she was God's means of coming to us and saving us. The fact that this 'musician' is now not only indulging in pseudo-lesbianism on stage but is using her innocent daughter to further mock Catholicism is further evidence to feed my suspicions. When the words "Madonna" and "Lourdes" call to mind not our loving Mother who gave birth to the Savior, but a mother who exploits her own child for shock value, it's a sign of how depraved we've become. May the true Madonna, Our Lady of Lourdes, intercede for this woman and her children.

Link courtesy of Mark Shea.

The Feast of St. Joseph Canh, Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Intercession of the Saints
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"While Moses on the Mountain lay,
Night after night, and day by day,
Till forty suns were gone,
Unconscious, in the Presence bright,
Of lustrous day and starry night,
As though his soul had flitted quite
From earth, and Eden won;

The pageant of a kingdom vast,
And things unutterable, pass'd
Before the Prophet's eye;
Dread shadows of th' Eternal Throne,
The fount of Life, and Altar-stone,
Pavement, and them that tread thereon,
And those who worship nigh.

But lest he should his own forget,
Who in the vale were struggling yet,
A sadder vision came,
Announcing all that guilty deed
Of idol rite, that in their need
He for his flock might intercede,
And stay Heaven's rising flame. "

September 4, 1835

From The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
An excerpt from a letter , dated September, 1995, in reply to a reader who took exception to the archaism of some of the language in The Two Towers....

"Take an example from the chapter that you specially singled out (and called terrible) : Book iii, 'The King of the Golden Hall'. ' "Nay, Gandalf !" said the King. "You do not know your own skill in healing. It shall not be so. I myself will go to war, to fall in the front of the battle, if it must be. Thus shall I sleep better. " '

That is a fair sample- moderated or watered archaism. Using only words that are still used or known to the educated, the King would really have said: ' Nay, thou (n)wost not thine own skill in healing. It shall not be so. I myself will go to war, to fall...' etc. I know well enough what a modern would say. ' Not at all, my dear G. You don't know your own skill as a doctor. Things aren't going to be like that. I shall go to the war, in person, even if I have to be one of the first casualities. ' and then what ? Théoden would certainly think, and probably say, 'thus shall I sleep better !' But people who think like that just do not talk a modern idiom. You can have 'I shall lie easier in my grave' or 'I should sleep sounder in my grave like that rather than if I stayed at home' - if you like. But there would be an insincerity of thought, a disunion of word and meaning. For a King who spoke a modern idiom would not really think in such terms at all, and any reference to sleeping quietly in the grave would be a deliberate archaism on his part (however worded) far more bogus than the actual 'archaic' English that I have used. "

And from the same letter....
"I am sorry to find you affected by the extraordinary 20th C. delusion its usages per se and simply as 'contemporary'- irrespective of whether they are terser, more vivid ( or even nobler !)- have some peculiar validity above those of all other times, so that not to use them (even when quite unsuitable in tone) is a solecism, a gaffe, a thing at which one's friends shudder or feel hot in the collar. Shake yourself out of this parochialism of time ! Also (not to be too donnish about it) learn to distinguish between the bogus and the genuine antique- as you would if you hoped not to be cheated by a dealer ! "
For any Catholic Harry Potter fans out there...
today is the feast of St. Hermione.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

I'm not a lawyer...
but wouldn't the statute of limitations have run out on this one quite a while ago ?
Then again, if it they succeed, maybe then the Catholic Church could try to get back all those stolen parish churches in England....

Link courtesy of Mirablilis. ca

The Feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. Prayers for the Holy Father and all those who have St. Gregory as a special patron would be appropriate, as well as prayers for the more widespread use of Gregorian chant in the liturgy.

"One would have thought that in the age of St. Gregory, a Pope had enough to do in living on from day to day, without troubling himself about the future; that, with the Lombard at his doors, he would not have had spirit to set about converting the English; and that, if he was anxious about the preservation of learning, he would have looked elsewhere than to the Isles of the North, for its refuge in the evil day. Why, I repeat, was it not easier, safer, and more feasible for him to have made much of the prosperous, secure, and long established schools of Alexandria, when the enemy went about him plundering and burning? He was not indeed on the best terms with Constantinople; Antioch was exposed to other enemies, and had suffered from them already; but Alexandria was not only learned and protected, but was a special ally of the Holy See; yet Alexandria was put aside for England and Ireland.

With what pertinacity of zeal does Gregory send his missionaries to England! with what an appetite he waits for the tidings of their progress! with what a relish he dwells over the good news, when they are able to send it! He wrote back to Augustine in words of triumph:—' "Gloria in excelsis Deo," 'he says, ' "et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis!' for the Grain of corn died and was buried in the earth, that It might reign with a great company in Heaven,—by whose death we live, by whose weakness we are strengthened, by whose sufferings we escape suffering, by whose love we are seeking in Britain brothers whom we know not of, by whose gift we find those whom, not knowing, we were seeking. Who can describe the joy, which was caused in the hearts of all the faithful here, on the news that the English nation, by the operation of the grace of the Omnipotent God, and by your labours, my brother, had been rescued from the shades of error and overspread with the light of holy faith! If on one penitent there is great joy in heaven, what, think we, does it become, when a whole people has turned from its error, and has betaken itself to faith, and condemned the evil it has done by repenting of the doing! Wherefore in this joy of Heaven and Angels, let me say once more the very Angels' words, "Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis." '

What were these outer barbarians to Gregory? how could they relieve him or profit him? What compensation could they make for what the Church was then losing, or might lose in future? Yet he corresponds with their king and queen, urges them to complete what they had so happily begun, reminds Bertha of St. Helena, and what St. Helena did for the Romans, and Ethelbert, of the great Constantine; informs them of the satisfaction which their conversion had given to the Imperial Court at Constantinople, and sends them sacred presents from the Apostle Peter. Nay he cannot keep from talking of these savages, apropos of anything whatever, for they have been running in his head from the day he first saw them in the slave market; and he makes the learned Church of Alexandria the special partner of his joy upon this contemptible victory. The Patriarch Eulogius had been telling him of his own success in reclaiming the heretics of Alexandria, and he sends him a piece of good news in return:—'As I am well aware," he says, "that in the midst of your own good deeds, you rejoice in those of others, I will repay you for the kindness of your tidings by telling you something of the same sort.' And then he goes on to speak of the conversion of the English, 'who are situated in a corner of the world,' as if their gain was comparable to that of the educated and wealthy persons whom Eulogius had been reconciling to the Church. Nay, lest he should take too much credit for his own success, and grow vain upon it, he attributes it to the prayers of the Alexandrians, or at least of their Bishop, all that way off, as if the Angles and Jutes were anything at all to the city of the Ptolemies! 'On Christmas Day,' he says, 'more than 10,000 of them were baptized. I tell you of it, that you may know, that, while your words avail for your own people, your prayers avail for the ends of the earth. For you are by prayer where you are not, while you manifest yourself by holy labours where you are.'" - The Rise and Progress of Universities- Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Now this is sad....
An article was posted on Catholic Pundits about growing Hindu anti-Catholicism in the state of Goa in India. This is particularly troublesome to me as one of Goa's native Catholic sons happens to be an Oratorian beatus. Prayers for his intercession for his native state would be welcome.

William Luse
has a lovely passage from the Venerable on his blog.
Jeff Miller
has done it again with a brilliant guide to the Liturgy.
Deo gratias!
The surgery went smoothly and I am now waiting to go meet my mother in the recovery room.
From the Sermon "Preparation for the Judgement"
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"That indeed will be emphatically our evening, when the long day of life is over and eternity is at hand. Man goeth forth to his work and to his labour until the evening, and then the night cometh when no man can work. There is something inexpressibly solemn and subduing in that time, when work is done and judgement is coming. O my brethren, we must each of us in his turn, sooner or later, arrive at that hour. Each of us must come to the evening of life. Each of us must enter on eternity. Each of us must come to that quiet, awful time, when we appear before the Lord of the Vineyard, and answer for the deeds done in the body, whether they be good or bad. That, my dear brethren, you will have to undergo. Every one of you must undergo the particular judgement, and it will be the stillest, awfullest time which you ever can experience. It will be the dread moment of expectation, when your fate for eternity is in the balance, and when you are about to be sent forth the companion of saints or devils without possibility of change. There can be no change, there can be no reversal. As that judgement decides it, so it will be for ever and ever. Such is the particular judgement. The general judgement at the end of the world will be a time of dreadful publicity, and will be full of the terrible brightness of the Judge. The trump of the Archangel will sound, and the Lord will descend from heaven in lightning. The graves will open. The sun and the moon will be darkened and this earth will pass away. This is not the time of evening, but rather it will be a tempest in the midst of the night. But the parable in the Gospel speaks of the time of evening, and by the evening is meant, not the end of the world, but the time of death. And really perhaps it will be as awful, though very different, that solitary judgement, when the soul stands before its Maker, to answer for itself. O who can tell which judgement is the more terrible, the silent secret judgement, or the open glorious coming of the Judge. It will be most terrible certainly, and it comes first, to find ourselves by ourselves, one by one, in His presence, and to have brought before us most vividly all the thoughts, words and deeds of this past life. Who will be able to bear the sight of himself? And yet we shall be obliged steadily to confront ourselves and to see ourselves. In this life we shrink from knowing our real selves. We do not like to know how sinful we are. We love those who prophesy smooth things to us, and we are angry with those who tell us of our faults. But then, not one fault only, but all the secret, as well as evident, defects of our character will be clearly brought out. We shall see what we feared to see here, and much more. And then, when the full sight of ourselves comes to us, who will not wish that he had known more of himself here, rather than leaving it for the inevitable day to reveal it all to him!"

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

J.R.R. Tolkien went to his reward on September 2, 1973, at the age of eighty-one.
Here is the Oratio of the Tridentine Mass for the Dead...

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur: ut animam famuli tui, John Ronald Reuel , quam de hoc saeculo migrare jussisti; in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et Sanctorum tuorum jubeas esse consortem. Per Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus
C: Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R: Amen.

And a translation of the same....

C: Incline Thy ear, O Lord, to the prayers with which we suppliantly entreat Thy mercy, and do Thou, in a place of peace and rest, establish the soul of Thy servant, John Ronald Reuel, whom Thou hast called out of this world; and cause him to be joined to the fellowship of Thy saints. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who being God, lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost
C: For ever and ever.
R: Amen.

Eru gala, Professor. Uireb sed.
I pray that David Warren
finds a faithful welcome..

Link courtesy of Midwest Conservative Journal

Chris Burgwald
thinks it's weird that he associates an Osbourne song with eating pizza pockets at a friend's house back in high school.
Mr. Burgwald, that's nothing. When I hear the 80's song, "Total Eclipse of the Heart", I get a memory of reading the chapter "Of Beren and Lúthien" in The Silmarillion for the first time. Now that's weird- not to mention geeky...
Not something I expected to see...
Another St. Blog's parishoner knows Brave Combo.. I heard them play a few years ago- fun performance. My friend Randy, who plays the accordion, actually knows them better than I do- they met at a polka festival years ago...

Interesting article
on why many faithful Catholics tend to be somewhat wary of theological inquiry these days.

The hospital has computer access in the Surgical Waiting Room...
so I can blog a bit from here while I'm waiting for my mother.

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Objectively speaking, this may not have been musically glorious...
but this wedding at what is, for me, a local parish was certainly unforgettable.

Link courtesy of HMS Blog .

On August 31, 1843....
Venerable Newman wrote this letter to his sister, after she had written to him, protesting his decision to leave his position as a Anglican clergyman.

"I am sorry to put you to such pain. Your letter and ——'s to you, would have brought me to many tears unless I had so hard a heart. You must take what I do in faith at least; if not, I fear I cannot find a better way of consoling you.

I wonder my late letters have not prepared you for this. Have you realised that three years since I wished to do it; and that I have said so in print, and that then only a friend prevented me?

It has been determined on since Lent. All through Lent I and another kept it in mind; and then, for safety, I said I would not act till October, though we both came to one view. October is coming! (ed. He had resolved that his final days as Vicar of St. Mary's would be in October.)

No time is 'the' time. You may have thought as you read, 'three years ago it would not have mattered.' Will three years hence be easier? The question is, Ought it to be done?

I mention a great secret, because I do not wish others to share in the responsibility; but I will say this, that I have always said, 'I cannot go wrong when A [Keble] and B [Rogers] agree that I should do a thing.' These two men agree in this. I have not persuaded them.

I wrote to one of them the other day, whether I should assign some reasons. He answered to this effect: 'No one who knows the history of No. 90 can be surprised at it. Anyone but you would have taken the step before.'

My dearest Jemima, my circumstances are not of my making. One's duty is to act under circumstances. Is it a light thing to give up Littlemore? Am I not providing dreariness for myself? If others, whom I am pierced to think about, because I cannot help them, suffer, shall not I suffer in my own way?

Everything that one does honestly, sincerely, with prayer, with advice, must turn to good. In what am I not likely to be as good a judge as another? In the consequences? True, but is not this what I have been ever protesting against? the going by expedience, not by principle? My sweetest Jemima, of whom I am quite unworthy, rather pray that I may be directed aright, rather pray that something may occur to hinder me if I am wrong, than take the matter into your own hands. "

I'm always happy to find someone..
who appreciates The Silmarillion
Here's my favorite Silmarillion quote:
" 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 Straight 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
Wow !
Check out A Catholic Point of View's set of Blessed Fra Angelico pictures !. And more are promised in the days to come .... I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Blessed John da Fiesole, O.P., painted some of the loveliest images this side of Heaven....

Prayers requested
for my mother, who will be going into the hospital for back surgery on Tuesday.
Baby rattie pictures over at The Rat Fan Club !
From the homily
Fr. David was the celebrant at the 10 am mass today. The part of the homily I remember best was the point that while Our Lord in the Gospel had to stress that one cannot be defiled by what goes into our bodies, but what comes out of our hearts, today many of us are under the even worse ( I believe he used the word 'diabolical' ) delusion that nothing defiles us. He then proceeded to go through the list given in the Gospel, and our current sugarcoatings for them. "Unchastity is a 'lifestyle'. Greed is ' planning for retirement'. Murder is 'reproductive freedom' and 'compassion for the terminally ill.' The most deadly sins of all, pride and arrogance, hide under the label 'self-esteem'. "
Now if people were sensible and followed the Church's teaching....
the whole issue would be moot.

Why Adoption of Frozen Human Embryos Could Be Acceptable :2 Bioethics Experts Discuss a Lifesaving Means