Saturday, November 08, 2003

For Saturday
From "Our Lady in the Gospel" by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" The Holy Fathers have ever gathered the exact obedience and the sinlessness of the Blessed Virgin from the very narrative of the Annunciation, when she became the Mother of God. For when the Angel appeared to her and declared to her the will of God, they say that she displayed especially four graces, humility, faith, obedience and purity. Nay, these graces were as it were, preparatory conditions to her being made the minister of so high a dispensation. So that if she had not had faith, and humility, and purity, and obedience, she would not have merited to be God's Mother. Thus it is common to say that she conceived Christ in mind before she conceived Him in body, meaning that the blessedness of faith and obedience preceded the blessedness of being a Virgin Mother. Nay, they even say that God waited for her consent before He came into her and took flesh of her. Just as He did no mighty works in one place because they had not faith, so this great miracle, by which He became the Son of a creature, was suspended till she was tried and found meet for it—till she obeyed. "

Faith and Prejudice and Other Unpublished Sermons
Welcome home
to this blogging Southern gentleman.

Link courtesy of Mark Shea.

Prayers requested
for your humble webscribe, who is both recovering from a cold which robbed me of my voice yesterday (it's coming back now) and dealing with a somewhat more difficult problem as well, which I am not about to discuss on the Internet.
The Feast of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.
is today. There is information on her here. To all the Carmelites out there, happy feast day!
It is also the feast of two Welsh saints, Cybi and Tysilio. (Strictly speaking, Cybi was born in what is now Cornwall, but he lived in Wales and was said to be a relative of Dewi Sant, St. David, the patron of Cymru.) Gwyn dygwyl !

Thursday, November 06, 2003

OK, I'd better put in a Paypal button...
I'd need a substantial sum for this.

Link courtesy of Mark Shea.
The Feast of St. Théophane Vénard, Priest and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here. A happy feast day to all who have him as a special patron, especially a young friend of mine who is named Peter Theophane !

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

has a story on St. Martin dePorres which involves rats. Cool!
Excellent article
over at Catholic Educator's Resource Center, on how sexual perversion, divorce and contraception are linked :

A 'Culture of Inverted Sexuality.
The Feast of St. Charles Borromeo, Archbishop and Founder
is today. There is information on him here. If there are any Oblates of St. Charles reading out there, happy feast day !
As I have mentioned before, St. Charles and my own patron St. Philip Neri were friends. The biography Philip Neri: The Fire of Joy, by the late Fr. Paul Türks, C.O., actually has a chapter called "Charles Borromeo and the Oratory". Though they were good friends and each had a great regard for the other's holiness, they had some sharp disagreements- mostly because St. Charles, like any good bishop, tried to get some of the best priests and young men considering the priesthood to come to his Archdiocese of Milan. The conflict came because some of these men he was attempting to recruit were already part of the nascent Congregation of the Oratory. In an surviving, unsent draft of a letter, St. Philip somewhat jokingly called St. Charles ma ladra- a thief !

Monday, November 03, 2003

It truly is sad...
what is happening to our Anglican brothers and sisters , that is.

" Doubtless the National Church has hitherto been a serviceable breakwater against doctrinal errors, more fundamental than its own. How long this will last in the years now before us, it is impossible to say, for the Nation drags down its Church to its own level..." - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. , Apologia Pro Vita Sua

Link courtesy of Fr. Rob Johansen

The feast of St. Martin de Porres, O.P.
is today. There is information on him here.
Happy feast day to all the Domincans out there !
It is also the feast of St. Winifred of Wales. I came to an All Saints Day party as her some years ago.

Sunday, November 02, 2003

From "The Dream of Gerontius"
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.


Now let the golden prison ope its gates,
Making sweet music, as each fold revolves
Upon its ready hinge. And ye, great powers,
Angels of Purgatory, receive from me
My charge, a precious soul, until the day,
When, from all bond and forfeiture released,
I shall reclaim it for the courts of light.


1. Lord, Thou hast been our refuge: in every

2. Before the hills were born, and the world was:
from age to age Thou art God.

3. Bring us not, Lord, very low: for Thou hast said,
Come back again, ye sons of Adam.

4. A thousand years before Thine eyes are but as
yesterday: and as a watch of the night which
is come and gone.

5. The grass springs up in the morning: at evening
tide it shrivels up and dies.

6. So we fail in Thine anger: and in Thy wrath are
we troubled.

7. Thou hast set our sins in Thy sight: and our
round of days in the light of Thy countenance.

8. Come back, O Lord! how long: and be entreated
for Thy servants.

9. In Thy morning we shall be filled with Thy
mercy: we shall rejoice and be in pleasure all
our days.

10. We shall be glad according to the days of our
humiliation: and the years in which we have
seen evil.

11. Look, O Lord, Upon Thy servants and on Thy
work: and direct their children.

12. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be
upon us: and the work of our hands, establish
Thou it.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.


Softly and gently, dearly-ransom'd soul,
In my most loving arms I now enfold thee,
And, o'er the penal waters, as they roll,
I poise thee, and I lower thee, and hold thee.

And carefully I dip thee in the lake,
And thou, without a sob or a resistance,
Dost through the flood thy rapid passage take,
Sinking deep, deeper, into the dim distance.

Angels, to whom the willing task is given,
Shall tend, and nurse, and lull thee, as thou liest;
And Masses on the earth, and prayers in heaven,
Shall aid thee at the Throne of the Most Highest.

Farewell, but not for ever! brother dear,
Be brave and patient on thy bed of sorrow;
Swiftly shall pass thy night of trial here,
And I will come and wake thee on the morrow. "

The Oratory.
January, 1865.

In case anyone is wondering..
the wedding yesterday was lovely. What I remember from the homily was Fr. Joseph stressing that matrimony, just like the other sacraments, is meant to bring those who participate in it to holiness, to make them saints.

The reception was a lot of fun, both for what it omitted and what it included. It omitted the always embarassing throwings of the bouquet and the garter ( a definite plus ! ) It included an open microphone during the luncheon, at which people could tell various stories about the new couple- and the ones we heard were both touching and funny. ( In lieu of a story, I sang "Ubi Caritas" for them- which, as it turns out, happens to be a favorite of the bride !) Instead of the usual DJ, friends of the couple provided the music. Here is the list:

Piano : Mr Richard Greco
Accordions: Mrs. Anne Principe and Mr. Randal Koslosky
Irish Bodhrán: Mr. William Schneiderman
Irish Fiddle: Mr. Peter Schovlin, Sr.
Bagpipes: Br. Gregory Montagna, O.S.B.

Something tells me that not many wedding receptions have Latin chant and a Benedictine with bagpipes.... Anyhow, the happy couple attended the 11:30 am Mass today, and then left for the airport. They are honeymooning in Rome- complete with attendance at the periodic newlyweds audience with the Holy Father. Prayers for Brenda and Rob, both for their safe travel and for their marriage, would be most welcome.

After the reception, my friend Patty and I met up with our friends Godfrey and Alison, who had come to town from Baltimore for the wedding. They were married themselves in August, but they just got back from their own honeymoon- they had delayed their trip to Rome so that it would coincide with the beatification of Mother Teresa. (Godfrey's aunt is a Missionary of Charity, so they managed to get some excellent seats.) Godfrey showed Alison some of the local sights,such as the spectacular view of the city from Mt. Washington, and we all enjoyed both a good dinner and good conversation. All in all, an exciting, busy (and tiring) day....
Like many in St. Blog's ...
I got a serious kick out of this story. Let's just hope these young ladies A. did this from a sense of outraged propriety B. keep a healthy sense of propriety into adulthood.
At Mass today...
I liked the fact that in the petitions that we not only prayed for the poor souls , but also thanked God for His great mercy as shown forth in Purgatory.

Here's a quote from Msgr. Ronald Knox. He is talking about the descent of Christ to the dead.

"And with His coming a new hope came to the souls in Purgatory and has remained there ever since. They were souls bound for heaven. What light, what rest was given to them when our Lord came and told them that! If you and I go to Purgatory, we may have much to suffer there, but it will not be a place of despair or of doubt. We shall be able to say, Descendit ad inferos; Jesus Christ has been here, and he has made a door in this prison house through which, not now but later on, I shall follow Him to heaven. "

And from The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

958 Communion with the dead. "In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and 'because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins' she offers her suffrages for them. Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective.

959 In the one family of God. For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity - all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ - we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church."

Music at the 11:30 am Mass for the Feast of All Souls
Processional: "Lord of All Hopefulness"
Offertory: "Cantate Domino"- Giuseppe Ottavio Pitoni (1657-1743)
Communion: "Ave Verum"- Edward Elgar (1837=1934)
Recessional: " I Know That My Redeemer Lives"