Saturday, November 15, 2003

For Saturday
"If one drop of corruption makes the purest water worthless, as the slightest savour of bitterness spoils the most delicate viands, how can it be that the word of truth and holiness can proceed profitably from impure lips and an earthly heart? No; as is the tree, so is the fruit; 'beware of false prophets,' says our Lord; and then He adds, 'from their fruits ye shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?' Is it not so, my brethren? which of you would go to ask counsel of another, however learned, however gifted, however aged, if you thought him unholy? nay, though you feel and are sure, as far as absolution goes, that a bad priest could give it as really as a holy priest, yet for advice, for comfort, for instruction, you would not go to one whom you did not respect. 'Out of the abundance of the heart, mouth speaketh;' 'a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good, and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil'.

So then is it in the case of the soul; but, as regards the Blessed Mary, a further thought suggests itself. She has no chance place in the Divine Dispensation; the Word of God did not merely come to her and go from her; He did not pass through her, as He visits us in Holy Communion. It was no heavenly body which the Eternal Son assumed, fashioned by the angels, and brought down to this lower world: no; He imbibed, He absorbed into His Divine Person, her blood and the substance of her flesh; by becoming man of her, He received her lineaments and features, as the appropriate character in which He was to manifest Himself to mankind. The child is like the parent, and we may well suppose that by His likeness to her was manifested her relationship to Him. Her sanctity comes, not only of her being His mother, but also of His being her son. 'If the first fruit be holy,' says St. Paul, 'the mass also is holy; if the mass be holy, so are the branches.' And hence the titles which we are accustomed to give her. He is the Wisdom of God, she therefore is the Seat of Wisdom; His Presence is Heaven, she therefore is the Gate of Heaven; He is infinite Mercy, she then is the Mother of Mercy. She is the Mother of 'fair love and fear, and knowledge and holy hope'; is it wonderful then that she has left behind her in the Church below 'an odour like cinnamon and balm, and sweetness like to choice myrrh'?" - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. , "On the Fitness of the Glories of Mary", Discourses to Mixed Congregations
I haven't done the silly quiz thing in a while...
so here are the results of two of them:
Well, I hope this is somewhat true:

Virtuous: Your answers show that you have
the virtue of faithfulness and steadfastness.

Virtuous or Vicious?
brought to you by Quizilla

The Professor isn't available, so I'm happy with this result:
Flannery O'Connor
Flannery O'Connor wrote your book. Not much escapes
your notice.

Which Author's Fiction are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Links courtesy of Mixolydian Mode.

I admit, I'm not averse to a Tolkien allusion or two in a homily...
but this is certainly over the line. Actually, if they want to have a Mass the Professor would have appreciated, they should ask the local bishop for permission to celebrate a Tridentine Solemn High Mass.

Link courtesy of Michelle at And Then ?

The Feast of St. Albertus Magnus, O.P., Bishop and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. To all the Dominicans out there (including a certain blogger), and to all who have him as a special patron, happy feast day !

Friday, November 14, 2003

For Friday
" 1. His bodily pains were greater than those of any martyr, because He willed them to be greater. All pain of body depends, as to be felt at all, so to be felt in this or that degree, on the nature of the living mind which dwells in that body. Vegetables have no feeling because they have no living mind or spirit within them. Brute animals feel more or less according to the intelligence within them. Man feels more than any brute, because he has a soul; Christ's soul felt more than that of any other man, because His soul was exalted by personal union with the Word of God. Christ felt bodily pain more keenly than any other man, as much as man feels pain more keenly than any other animal.

2. It is a relief to pain to have the thoughts drawn another way. Thus, soldiers in battle often do not know when they are wounded. Again, persons in raging fevers seem to suffer a great deal; then afterwards they can but recollect general discomfort and restlessness. And so excitement and enthusiasm are great alleviations of bodily pain; thus savages die at the stake amid torments singing songs; it is a sort of mental drunkenness. And so again, an instantaneous pain is comparatively bearable; it is the continuance of pain which is so heavy, and if we had no memory of the pain we suffered last minute, and also suffer in the present, we should find pain easy to bear; but what makes the second pang grievous is because there has been a first pang; and what makes the third more grievous is that there has been a first and second; the pain seems to grow because it is prolonged. Now Christ suffered, not as in a delirium or in excitement, or in inadvertency, but He looked pain in the face! He offered His whole mind to it, and received it, as it were, directly into His bosom, and suffered all He suffered with a full consciousness of suffering.

3. Christ would not drink the drugged cup which was offered to Him to cloud His mind. He willed to have the full sense of pain. His soul was so intently fixed on His suffering as not to be distracted from it; and it was so active, and recollected the past and anticipated the future, and the whole passion was, as it were, concentrated on each moment of it, and all that He had suffered and all that He was to suffer lent its aid to increase what He was suffering. Yet withal His soul was so calm and sober and unexcited as to be passive, and thus to receive the full burden of the pain on it, without the power of throwing it off Him. Moreover, the sense of conscious innocence, and the knowledge that His sufferings would come to an end, might have supported Him; but He repressed the comfort and turned away His thoughts from these alleviations that He might suffer absolutely and perfectly.

O my God and Saviour, who went through such sufferings for me with such lively consciousness, such precision, such recollection, and such fortitude, enable me, by Thy help, if I am brought into the power of this terrible trial, bodily pain, enable me to bear it with some portion of Thy calmness. Obtain for me this grace, O Virgin Mother, who didst see thy Son suffer and didst suffer with Him; that I, when I suffer, may associate my sufferings with His and with thine, and that through His passion, and thy merits and those of all Saints, they may be a satisfaction for my sins and procure for me eternal life."- Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Meditations and Devotions

Thursday, November 13, 2003

On November 13, 1841
Venerable John Henry Newman, already shaken in his Anglicanism, wrote the following letter to his bishop to protest an early attempt at false ecumenism, in which various Christians in Jerusalem were to be 'united' under the Anglican bishop there- without any attempt to have them have the same theology.


It seems as if I were never to write to your Lordship without giving you pain, and I know that my present subject does not especially concern your Lordship; yet, after a great deal of anxious thought, I lay before you the enclosed Protest.

Your Lordship will observe that I am not asking for any notice of it, unless you think that I ought to receive one. I do this very serious act in obedience to my sense of duty.

If the English Church is to enter on a new course, and assume a new aspect, it will be more pleasant to me hereafter to think that I did not suffer so grievous an event to happen without bearing witness against it.

May I be allowed to say that I augur nothing but evil if we in any respect prejudice our title to be a branch of the Apostolic Church? That article of the Creed, I need hardly observe to your Lordship is of such constraining power, that if we will not claim it and use it for ourselves, others will use it in their own behalf against us. Men who learn, whether by means of documents or measures, whether from the statements or the acts of persons in authority, that our communion is not a branch of the One Church, I foresee with much grief, will be tempted to look out for that Church elsewhere.

It is to me a subject of great dismay that, as far as the Church has lately spoken out, on the subject of the opinions which I and others hold, those opinions are, not merely not sanctioned (for that I do not ask), but not even suffered.

I earnestly hope that your Lordship will excuse my freedom in thus speaking to you of some members of your Most Rev. and Right Rev. body. With every feeling of reverent attachment to your Lordship, I am, &c.


WHEREAS the Church of England has a claim on the allegiance of Catholic believers only on the ground of her own claim to be considered a branch of the Catholic Church:

And, whereas the recognition of heresy, indirect as well as direct, goes far to destroy such claim in the case of any religious body:

And, whereas to admit maintainers of heresy to communion without formal renunciation of their errors, goes far towards recognising the same:

And, whereas Lutheranism and Calvinism are heresies, repugnant to Scripture, springing up three centuries since, and anathematised by East as well as West:

And, whereas it is reported that the Most Rev. Primate and other Right Rev. Rulers of our Church have consecrated a Bishop, with a view to exercising spiritual jurisdiction over Protestant, that is, Lutheran and Calvinistic congregations in the East (under the provisions of an Act made in the last session of Parliament to amend an Act made in the twenty-sixth year of the reign of His Majesty King George III., intituled, 'an Act to empower the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Archbishop of York for the time being, to consecrate to the office of a Bishop persons being subjects or citizens of countries out of His Majesty's dominions'), dispensing at the same time, not in particular cases and accidentally, but as if on principle and universally, with any abjuration of errors on the part of such congregations, and with any reconciliation to the Church on the part of the presiding Bishop; thereby giving in some sort a formal recognition to the doctrines which such congregations maintain:

And, whereas the dioceses in England are connected together by so close an intercommunion, that what is done by authority in one immediately affects the rest:

On these grounds, I, in my place, being a Priest of the English Church, and Vicar of St. Mary's, Oxford, by way of relieving my conscience, do hereby solemnly protest against the measure aforesaid, and disown it, as removing our Church from her present ground, and tending to her disorganisation.

The Feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka, S.J.
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Brice, Bishop. Happy name day to a certain blogger!

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Over at Catholic Educator's Resource Center
there is an article on a part of history which must not be forgotten.

Many thanks
to Mr John Cahill of The Inn at the End of the World, who answered my plea for information on the rubrics of subdeacons. I have passed along the links and contact numbers he gave me to Fr. Michael, and will, (with Fr.'s kind permission, of course) let everyone know how things turn out.
The Feast of St. Martin of Tours, Bishop
is today. There is information on him here. I have something of a connection with this saint due to my personal history, as I blogged last year.

Monday, November 10, 2003

The Feast of Pope St. Leo the Great, Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

A plea
My friend Fr. Michael is going to be acting as the Subdeacon at a Tridentine Nuptial Mass this Saturday. Does anybody out there know of some online resources for rubrics that could help him ?
For today's feast
" A Temple there has been upon earth, a spiritual Temple, made up of living stones, a Temple, as I may say, composed of souls; a Temple with God for its Light, and Christ for the High Priest, with wings of Angels for its arches, with Saints and Teachers for its pillars, and with worshippers for its pavement; such a Temple has been on earth ever since the Gospel was first preached. This unseen, secret, mysterious, spiritual Temple exists every where, throughout the kingdom of Christ, in all places, as perfect in one place as if it were not in another. Wherever there is faith and love, this Temple is. " - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. "The Visible Temple", Parochial and Plain Sermons
An article on music
and its power in the area of morality.

Link courtesy of Destination: Order.

Posts like this one
make me thank God for the Oratory. No one would dare sing that kind of nonsense here.
One of the Sleepy Mommies
has some wonderful strong words on one of my personal pet peeves: "inclusive language".
Music for the 11:30 am Mass
Processional Hymn: "The Church's One Foundation"
Offertory: "Ave Maria"- Jacob Arcadelt (1505-1568)
Communion: " There's a Wideness in God's Mercy"- Calvin Hampton (1938-1984)
Recessional: "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken"

Unfortunately, the University had a concert in Heinz Chapel this weekend. Consequently, the beautiful, handcarved pulpit was displaced and risers and a harpsichord were stuck in front of the sanctuary. Things will be put back in place- tommorow. After all, we're just doing what the Chapel was made for- worshiping God. Why should they go to the trouble of getting workers to come out on the weekend for our sake ? (End of rant.)