Saturday, January 17, 2004

The Feast of St. Anthony the Abbot
is today. There is information on him here.
"His doctrine surely was pure and unimpeachable; and his temper is high and heavenly,—without cowardice, without gloom, without formality, and without self-complacency. Superstition is abject and crouching, it is full of thoughts of guilt; it distrusts God, and dreads the powers of evil. Antony at least has nothing of this, being full of holy confidence, divine peace, cheerfulness, and valorousness, be he (as some men may judge) ever so much an enthusiast. " - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. Historical Sketches, Volume 2

Friday, January 16, 2004

by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"I have been honour'd and obey'd,
I have met scorn and slight;
And my heart loves earth's sober shade,
More than her laughing light.

For what is rule but a sad weight
Of duty and a snare?
What meanness, but with happier fate
The Saviour's Cross to share?

This my hid choice, if not from heaven,
Moves on the heavenward line;
Cleanse it, good Lord, from earthly leaven,
And make it simply Thine. "

Lazaret, Malta.
January 16, 1833.

Sweet story, cute picture of the current Rat of the Week at The Rat Fan Club.
The Feast of Blessed Joseph Vaz, C.O.
is today. There is information on him here, courtesy of the Oxford Oratory.
Prayers for his canonization would be most welcome. Here is a form which could be used:
O God of infinite goodness ! Full of confidence in Your kindness and the mercy which You showed to Your faithful servant, Blessed Joseph Vaz, we humbly implore You to inspire Holy Church to take into consideration the meritorious life and apostolic works of this servant of God and to grant to him the full honors of the altar and public devotion, if this be for Your greater glory and for our salvation, so that imitating his virtues and placing ourselves under his patronage, we will reach eternal glory. Amen.

O God, through the intercession of Blessed Joseph Vaz, grant me the grace of (name your request here).

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Prayers for the Church in Sri Lanka would also be appropriate, especially as things like this are starting to happen there.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

On January 15, 1847...
Venerable John Henry Newman wrote a letter to one of his followers, J.D. Dalgairns. They were still deciding how serve the Church which they had recently entered. The letter began with the sentence " How would it suit us to be Oratorians?.... "

On this date, ten years ago....
A member of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Pittsburgh was made a priest forever. Ad multos annos, Fr. David ! God bless you, now and always !
The Feast of St. Macarius of Egypt
is today. There is information on him here.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

From "Prospects of the Catholic Missioner"
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"We act according to our name; Catholics are at home in every time and place, in every state of society, in every class of the community, in every stage of cultivation. No state of things comes amiss to a Catholic priest; he has always a work to do, and a harvest to reap.

Were it otherwise, had he not confidence in the darkest day, and the most hostile district, he would be relinquishing a principal note, as it is called, of the Church. She is Catholic, because she brings a universal remedy for a universal disease. The disease is sin; all men have sinned; all men need a recovery in Christ; to all must that recovery be preached and dispensed. If then there be a preacher and dispenser of recovery, sent from God, that messenger must speak, not to one, but to all; he must be suited to all, he must have a mission to the whole race of Adam, and be cognisable by every individual of it. I do not mean that he must persuade all, and prevail with all—for that depends upon the will of each; but he must show his capabilities for converting all by actually converting some of every time, and every place, and every rank, and every age of life, and every character of mind. If sin is a partial evil, let its remedy be partial; but, if it be not local, not occasional, but universal, such must be the remedy. A local religion is not from God. The true religion must indeed begin, and may linger, in one place; nay, for centuries remain there, provided it is expanding and maturing in its internal character, and professes the while that it is not yet perfect. There may be deep reasons in God's counsels, why the proper revelation of His will to man should have been slowly elaborated and gradually completed in the elementary form of Judaism; but that Revelation was ever in progress in the Jewish period, and pointed by its prophets to a day when it should be spread over the whole earth. Judaism then was local because it was imperfect; when it reached perfection within, it became universal without, and took the name of Catholic."

Discourses to Mixed Congregations
Why is it ..
that things like this and this are buried, and 'historical fiction' like The DaVinci Code becomes a bestseller ?

Link courtesy of Christus Victor.
I'm probably one of the last to post this...
but please continue to keep Fr. Groeschel in your prayers !
Oh, this is just great .....
A major motion picture is to be made which, it seems, will glorify Muslims and depict Catholic Christians as vicious invaders. Nothing said here indicates that this will be anything but a hachet job.

Link courtesy of The Curt Jester.

The Feast of St. Macrina the Elder, Widow
is today. There is information on her here. I find it particularly interesting that her son, daughter-in-law, and four of her grandchildren are also saints.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Yet another old post got had various special characters messed up
by Blogger. So I am reposting the Lord's Prayer and the Hail Mary in Sindarin. The translations were done by Ryszard Derdzinski over at Gwaith-i-Phethdain.

Ádarem egor aerlinn na-Eru Phainadar

Ádarem i ne menel,
aer ess lîn aen,
árdh lîn tolo,
iest lîn aen
ne menel a ned amar.
Si anno i mast vîn órui ammen
ah ammen aranno raegath vîn
be arannam an raegdain vîn,
ah ú-dogo na-vael ammen
dan leithio ammen ed ulug!


Ai Meri, meleth-phant,
Hîr ah-le; daethannen im bessath phain
a daethannen iaf e-huvech - Iesus.
Aer Meri, Eru-odhril,
hero ammen raegdain
sí a ned lú e-gurthem.


From The Idea of a University
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"Knowledge is one thing, virtue is another; good sense is not conscience, refinement is not humility, nor is largeness and justness of view faith. Philosophy, however enlightened, however profound, gives no command over the passions, no influential motives, no vivifying principles. Liberal Education makes not the Christian, not the Catholic, but the gentleman. It is well to be a gentleman, it is well to have a cultivated intellect, a delicate taste, a candid, equitable, dispassionate mind, a noble and courteous bearing in the conduct of life;-these are the connatural qualities of a large knowledge; they are the objects of a University; I am advocating, I shall illustrate and insist upon them; but still, I repeat, they are no guarantee for sanctity or even for conscientiousness, they may attach to the man of the world, to the profligate, to the heartless,-pleasant, alas, and attractive as he shows when decked out in them. Taken by themselves, they do but seem to be what they are not; they look like virtue at a distance, but they are detected by close observers, and on the long run; and hence it is that they are popularly accused of pretence and hypocrisy, not, I repeat, from their own fault, but because their professors and their admirers persist in taking them for what they are not, and are officious in arrogating for them a praise to which they have no claim. Quarry the granite rock with razors, or moor the vessel with a thread of silk; then may you hope with such keen and delicate instruments as human knowledge and human reason to contend against those giants, the passion and the pride of man. "
The Feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here.

Monday, January 12, 2004

From The Present Position of Catholics in England
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"I allow there are true charges which can be brought against us; certainly, not only do I not deny it, but I hardly could deny it without heresy. I say distinctly, did I take upon me to deny everything which could be said against us, I should be proving too much, I should startle the Catholic theologian as well as Protestants; for what would it be but implying that the Church contains none within her pale but the just and holy? This was the heresy of the Novatians and Donatists of old time; it was the heresy of our Lollards, and others, such as Luther, who maintained that bad men are not members of the Church, that none but the predestinate are her members. But this no Catholic asserts, every Catholic denies. Every Catholic has ever denied it, back to the very time of the Apostles and their Divine Master; and He and they deny it. Christ denies it, St. Paul denies it, the Catholic Church denies it; our Lord expressly said that the Church was to be like a net, which gathered of every kind, not only of the good, but of the bad too. Such was His Church; it does not prove then that we are not His Church, because we are like His Church; rather our being like the Primitive Christian body, is a reason for concluding that we are one with it. We cannot make His Church better than He made her; we must be content with her as He made her, or not pretend to follow Him. He said, 'Many are called, few are chosen;' men come into the Church, and then they fall. They are not indeed sinning at the very time when they are brought into His family, at the time they are new born; but as children grow up, and converts live on, the time too frequently comes, when they fall under the power of one kind of temptation or other, and fall from grace, either for a while or for good. Thus, not indeed by the divine wish and intention, but by the divine permission, and man's perverseness, there is a vast load of moral evil existing in the Church; an enemy has sown weeds there, and those weeds remain among the wheat till the harvest. And this evil in the Church is not found only in the laity, but among the clergy too; there have been bad priests, bad bishops, bad monks, bad nuns, and bad Popes. If this, then, is the charge made against us, that we do not all live up to our calling, but that there are Catholics, lay and clerical, who may be proved to be worldly, revengeful, licentious, slothful, cruel, nay, may be unbelievers, we grant it at once. We not only grant it but we zealously maintain it. 'In a great house,' says St. Paul, there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some indeed unto honour, but some unto dishonour.' There are, alas, plenty of children of the Church, who by their bad lives insult and disgrace their Mother.

The Church, it is true, has been promised many great things, but she has not been promised the souls of all her children. She is promised truth in religious teaching; she is promised duration to the end of the world; she is made the means of grace; she is unchangeable in Creed and in constitution; she will ever cover the earth; but her children are not infallible separately, any more than they are immortal; not indefectible, any more than they are ubiquitous. Therefore, if Protestants wish to form arguments which really would tell against us, they must show, not that individuals are immoral or profane, but that the Church teaches, or enjoins, or recommends, what is immoral or profane; rewards, encourages, or at least does not warn and discountenance, the sinner; or promulgates rules, and enforces practices, which directly lead to sin;—and this indeed they try to do, but they find the task not near so pleasant as the short and easy method of adopting strong, round, thorough-going statements, which are not true. "
Prayers are being requested all over the Catholic Blogosphere..
for the recovery of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., who was hit by a car, and I wish to add my own promise of prayers. I have been blessed to hear Fr. Groeschel speak on several occasions, and I also have read a good many of his books. (One of them, A Priest Forever, brought me to tears the first time I read it- which got me a lot of funny looks from the other people on the bus !)

Sunday, January 11, 2004

On January 11, 1850....
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. gave a catechetical instruction, of which the following notes survive.

Vitam Eternam- XIX
" 1. INTROD.-The Creed begins with God, it ends with ourselves; the last articles have reference to us.

2. Eternal life. Life means more than existence, for the lost live.

3. It means blessedness or beatitude; and this is called life, because there is no word which can fitly describe it; so we must use such words as occur.

4. By blessedness is meant our greatest good, and this from the nature of man can be nothing temporal, but must be something eternal. If a man thought his happiness to end, or were not sure, he would not be happy.

5. It consists in seeing God; not only seeing His glory, or a likeness of Him, but Himself. Since it is His nature or essence which will be seen, no likeness will do, for no likeness is there of His essence.

6. It is seen by means of the lumen gloriae, which raises the soul above itself-'In Thy light shall we see light.' It is by an immediate union to God, and our intellect is raised above itself in order to it.

7. This light of glory raises the soul above itself. It [the soul] is what it is, but it is bathed and flooded with a heavenly light; it puts on a divine form, so that men are called gods. A red-hot iron, etc.

8. Such is essential blessedness-consisting in the possession of God. The soul ever sees God present, wherever it is-the rapturous nature of this privilege. We (most men) know so little of intellectual joys here, that few illustrations can be given. Most intense, yet continuous. (Happiness in itself-happiness of convalescence-happiness of tears; soothing, etc.-happiness of coming before the Blessed Sacrament-not happiness merely of success, etc., as on earth, i.e. of having gained, at possessing-saints' raptures.)

9. So much so that the soul could dispense with everything else-the blessed would not want friends from the earth. Each could well bear to lose the memory of everything else for God.

10. But God has added these additions: all the blessed will see each other, and rejoice in each other's glory,

11. And the honour of each other.

12. The glories of the heavenly palace.

13. Let this thought comfort us in the troubles of this life, and the prospect of purgatory. "

If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of Blessed William Carter, Martyr, who would make a fine patron for Catholic publishers.
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord
is today.
"You know that God had appointed John, the son of Zachary and Elizabeth, as the Forerunner charged to announce to the Jews the coming of the Incarnate Word.

After a life given up to austerity and when in about his thirtieth year, John, urged by divine inspiration, had begun his teaching upon the banks of the Jordan. All his teaching was summed up in these words: 'Do penance; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand' (Matth. III, 2). To these urgent exhortations he joined baptism in the river, thereby to show his hearers the necessity of purifying their souls in order to render them less unworthy of the Saviour’s coming. This baptism was only conferred on those who acknowledged themselves to be sinners and confessed their faults.

Now, one day when the Precursor administered 'baptism for the remission of sins' (Marc. I, 4; Luc. III, 2), Christ Jesus, Whose hour had come to leave the obscurity of the Hidden Life and manifest the Divine secrets to the world, mingled with the multitude of sinners and came with them to receive from John the purifying ablution.

When we ponder on this thought that He Who thus proclaims Himself a sinner and voluntarily presents Himself to receive the baptism of penance, is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, before Whom the Angels veil their faces, singing, “Holy, holy, holy" (Isa. VI, 3), we are confounded at such a prodigious abasement.

The Apostle tells us that Christ is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners” (Hebr. VII, 26), and here Jesus Himself comes asking baptism for the remission of sins! What is this mystery?

It is that in all His states, the Word Incarnate fills a double office: that of the Son of God, in virtue of His Eternal generation, and that of the head of a fallen race whose nature He has taken, and this race He has come to redeem.

As Son of God, He can claim to sit on the right hand of His Father and enjoy the glory and splendour of heaven.

But as Head of fallen humanity, having taken flesh, guilty in the rest of the human race, although wholly pure in Him, In similitudinem carnis peccati (Rom. VIII, 3), He can enter Heaven at the head of this mystical body only after having passed through the humiliations of His life and the sufferings of His Passion: Nonne haec oportuit pati Christum, et ita intrare in gloriam suam (Luc. XXIV, 26)?

Possessing the Divine nature, says St. Paul, Christ thought it not robbery to declare Himself equal to God in perfection (Cf. Philipp. II, 6.); but for us, for our salvation, He descended into the depths of humiliation; and, on this account, the Father exalted Him, giving Him the name of Jesus which signifies our redemption; in exalting His Son, the Father has raised us up together with Him to the heights of heaven: Consedere fecit [nos] in caelestibus (Ephes. II, 6). It is truly to prepare the way before us that Christ enters into heaven: Ubi praecursor pro nobis introivit Jesus (Hebr. VI, 20).

However He will enter there only after having, by His Blood, paid off all our debt to Divine Justice: Per proprium sanguinem introivit... in sancta, aeterna redemptione inventa (Ibid. IX, 12). " - Blessed Dom Columba Marmion, O.S.B. , Christ in His Mysteries