Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Feast of St. Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church,Patron Saint of Writers
is today. There is information on him here. It is possible, though not proven, that he met my founder, St. Philip Neri, and it is certain that he was a good friend of Blessed Juvenal Ancina, C.O.
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., took his motto as a Cardinal from the writings of St. Francis deSales- Cor ad cor loquitur - "Heart speaks to heart. "

Friday, January 23, 2004

On January 23, 1875...
the Reverend Charles Kingsley went to his reward. While a noted novelist and essayist in his time, what fame he has now mostly rests on some incredibly insulting words he flung out in an anonymus article....

"Truth, for its own sake, had never been a virtue with the Roman clergy. Father Newman informs us that it need not, and on the whole ought not to be; that cunning is the weapon which Heaven has given to the saints wherewith to withstand the brute male force of the wicked world which marries and is given in marriage. Whether his notion be doctrinally correct or not, it is at least historically so."

Rev. Kingsley's refusal to properly retract this outrageous statement led to the writing and publication of Apologia Pro Vita Sua, the book considered by most to be the masterpiece in the many volumes written by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
The Venerable himself wrote a comment on Kingsley' death, in a letter to a friend.
'As to Mr. Kingsley, much less could I feel any resentment against him when he was accidentally the instrument, in the good Providence of God, by whom I had an opportunity given me, which otherwise I should not have had, of vindicating my character and conduct in my "Apologia." I heard, too, a few years back from a friend that she chanced to go into Chester Cathedral and found Mr. K. preaching about me, kindly though, of course, with criticisms on me. And it has rejoiced me to observe lately that he was defending the Athanasian Creed, and, as it seemed to me, in his views generally nearing the Catholic view of things. I have always hoped that by good luck I might meet him, feeling sure that there would be no embarrassment on my part, and I said Mass for his soul as soon as I heard of his death.
'Most truly yours,

Quiz time...

You belong to the kindred of the Noldor. Their
tale is one of great tragedy and heavy burdens.
Great craftsmen possessing vast knowledge, it
was Feanor, son of the High King Finwe, who
forged the Silmarils. After they were stolen
by Morgoth, and Finwe slain, Feanor and his
sons pledged a terrible oath to reclaim the
Silmarils from whosoever possesed them at any
cost. The Noldor then left Aman and returned
to Middle Earth, slaying their own kin in the
process. They were doomed to fight a futile
war against Morgoth's armies and a great
majority of them were slain.

Which Race of Elves from The Silmarillion are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

My full 'online name' is actually Nârwen o herth o Fëanor- Nârwen of the House of Fëanor-which would make me not only Noldo, but of the most 'difficult' of the Noldor's three branches.

Link courtesy of Mayor Samwise over at The Southfarthing Soapbox.
Fr. Bryce Sibley ....
found this:
What if The Lord of the Rings had been written by somebody else ?
My personal favorites ?
Sauron vs. Frodo the Lawsuit

Ogden Nash

And best of all, one I will post in full....

Captain Amazing's "Excerpt from the Summa Tolkiena"

III C 2 Whether Balrogs have Wings

i. It would seem that Balrogs do have wings. The Professor states 'the shadow about it reached out like two vast wings' and 'its wings were spread from wall to wall'

ii Further, a Balrog is, like a Dragon, an evil creature associated with the element of fire, and it is clear to everyone that Dragons do have wings.

I assert that Balrogs do not have wings. For, it is a natural impulse to act to preserve one's life, and in doing so, to make full use of one's capabilities. If the Balrog did have wings, it would not allow itself to fall to its death in the mines of Moria, but save itself by the use of its wings

Reply to Objection i. It is clear from usage that the Professor was using a metaphor here, and not being literally descriptive

Reply to Objection ii. Dragons and Balrogs are alike in that they are both servants of evil and of flame, but they differ in their accidential traits. Because two things are alike in one way, it is not proper to argue they are alike in other ways.

Something tells me...
that this baby boy needs prayers for protection, considering the warped environment he has surrounding him. ( The fact that he is a boy is even more worrying- how is a male to grow up with any sense of worth, when he not only has no male figure in his life, but also has circumstances surrounding his existence which practically scream 'Males are not necessary, important, or wanted. " ?)
Link courtesy of Mark Shea.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

There is one good thing
that happened on a January 22nd. January 22nd, 1991 was the day Servant of God John Henry Newman, C.O., was declared Venerable. There is a link to the decree here.

A song for the innocents...

Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
By, by, lully, lullay?

Herod the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor child, for thee!
And ever morn and day
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.

Lully, lulla, thou little tiny child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

-15th Century carol

Prayers for all the children under threat, the mothers under pressure, and those so deceived by the Enemy that they can actually take innocent lives for pay, are requested- make that begged for.....

I blogged earlier about a particular reason all of us at the Pittsburgh Oratory have for finding the legal killing of helpless children appalling.

It is also the first anniversary of the death of George Summers, father of Fr. Bryan Summers, C.O. Prayers for the repose of his soul would be welcome.
The Feast of St. Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here. It is also the feast of his bishop, St. Valerius of Saragossa. In addition, this day is also the feast of three other saints named Vincent. (To any Pallottines out there, happy feast day !) There are also three beati commemorated this day- Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Blessed William Patenson and Blessed Laura Vicuna. The last is particularly interesting as she was a young girl who was a victim of her mother's sinful lifestyle- appropriate on this day when we in the United States must mourn slaughtered innocents.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The Confederation website adds a series of letters by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., on the Oratorian vocation- but it only posts them in Italian ! Wouldn't it make sense to post them in the language they were written in, as well as in translation ? Oh, well, it gives me an excuse to send the folks at the Confederation yet another "why can't you make the site available in other languages ? " e-mail...
The January 2004 First Things
is now online. I was particularly struck by this short article by Fr. Neuhaus.

A New York Times story refers to the war in Sudan as a 'pet cause of many American religious conservatives.'Imagine, writes Allen Hertzke, political scientist at the University of Oklahoma, the Times describing the plight of Soviet Jewry as a 'pet cause' of American Jews or apartheid in South Africa as a 'pet cause' of African Americans. For twenty years, the civil war in Sudan has killed two million people, displaced five million, and revived the slave trade. The war is between the Islamic regime in Khartoum and the mainly Christian south of Sudan. Under intense pressure from Christian human rights groups in this country, a pact has recently been signed that may end the war. One might think that would be headline news, but it is buried in the back pages, if it is reported at all. After all, it is only a pet cause of religious conservatives.
The Feast of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr
is today. There is information on her here. It is also the feast of several English martyrs: St. Alban Bartholemew Roe, Blessed Thomas Reynolds and Blessed Edward Stransham.

Monday, January 19, 2004

On January 19, 1851
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive.

" On the Name of Jesus
1. It has been from the beginning the order of Providence—nay, even verbum—not to create without giving a name. As grace is necessary to keep things together lest they dissipate, so a name is, as it were, the crown of the work, as giving it a meaning and description, and, as it were, registering it before Him. Henceforth it lives in His sight, as being in His catalogue.

2. Thus 'day' and 'night,' 'earth' and 'seas.' Hence Adam named his wife and the beasts, etc. Hence Abraham's name changed; Jacob's, Sarah's, Isaac's; Isaac's given, Jacob's changed; St. John Baptist; St. Peter and St. Paul. These names are descriptive.

3. Hence anxiety of men to know God's name. They are born in ignorance. They have a sense there is a God, but what is He? The heavens and earth do not condense and concentrate His manifold attributes, etc. They give hints, glimpses, snatches, but what is He? Hence He is the unknown God, and men are but 'feeling after Him' by what they see. They are in God; He surrounds them, but they want to gaze on Him objectively.

4. Thus Jacob about the angel, 'What is thy name?' And to Manue, 'Why askest thou my name, which is mirabile?' Judg. xiii. 18. Moses bolder. God had been called 'God of Abraham,' etc. Adonai.

5. Hence you see a meaning why the Eternal Son would reveal this, that the Name of that Son was of consequence; it was a manifestation of the nature and attributes of God—Admirabilis, Isa. ix. 6 ; Emmanuel, Isa. vii. 14. Still, however, the name was not told. At length Gabriel said it, Luke i. 31; circumcision, Luke ii. 21; angel to Joseph, Matt. i. 21, His name was called Jesus. And hence the devils: 'Jesus the Son of God'; 'I know thee who thou art.' On the cross. The first miracle of St. Peter and St. John, Acts iii.—'in the name,' 'this name,' 'no other name'—and St. Paul in Phil. ii. 8-11 . The two great apostles, the angels from Gabriel, devils from the possessed, and men from the circumcision.

6. For in this the whole history of salvation, the whole creed—how God would save men, how He loved them, etc., recounting the Christian doctrine . Thus when we would know who God is, we answer, Jesus. We see God in the clouds, in the mountains, etc., and who is He? Jesus. Who then rules? Who is looking, the ruler of bad men? Who is looking, the guardian of the virtuous? Who, etc.? and we answer, Jesus. He is the one word containing in itself all power, etc., because in it we thereby have in our minds the full description of Almighty God.

7. And in it an answer to all objections and difficulties. It surpasses all (this is the point of the sermon): whatever difficulties, whatever mysteries in religion, this comprehends and protects them. What is more wonderful than that God should become man. Real Presence, power of Mary, purgatory, eternal punishment, intercession of saints, election, original sin. The whole Catholic system bound up in it.

8. Hence, and since Protestants have the name of Jesus on their lips, it is the test whether or not they understand it, i.e. their taking Catholic doctrine or not. If they don't, if they stumble at it, they don't understand Jesus. On invincible ignorance, as alone hindering Catholicism.

9. Let us then rejoice in the fulness of this Name. Let us use it as the Name of virtue against devils, bad thoughts, evil men, the world, dangers and frights. It is our banner. "

Sunday, January 18, 2004

From Sermons on Subjects of the Day
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

" Nay, may we not say that our Lord Himself had commenced His ministry, that is, bade farewell to His earthly home, at a feast? for it was at the marriage entertainment at Cana of Galilee that He did His first miracle, and manifested forth His glory. He was in the house of friends, He was surrounded by intimates and followers, and He took a familiar interest in the exigencies of the feast. He supplied a principal want which was interfering with their festivity. It was His contribution to it. By supplying it miraculously He showed that He was beginning a new life, the life of a Messenger from God, and that that feast was the last scene of the old life. And, moreover, He made use of one remarkable expression, which seems to imply that this change of condition really was in His thoughts, if we may dare so to speak of them, or at all to interpret them. For when His Mother said unto Him, 'They have no wine,' He answered, 'What have I to do with thee?' [John ii. 3, 4.] He had had to do with her for thirty years. She had borne Him, she had nursed Him, she had taught Him. And when He had reached twelve years old, at the age when the young may expect to be separated from their parents, He had only become more intimately one with them, for we are told that 'He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.' [Luke ii. 51.] Eighteen years had passed away since this occurred. St. Joseph (as it seems) had been taken to his rest. Mary remained; but from Mary, His Mother, He must now part, for the three years of His ministry. He had gently intimated this to her at the very time of His becoming subject to her, intimated that His heavenly Father's work was a higher call than any earthly duty. 'Wist ye not,' He said, when found in the Temple, 'that I must be about My Father's business?' [Luke ii. 49.] The time was now come when this was to be fulfilled, and, therefore, when His Mother addressed Him at the marriage feast, He answered, 'What have I to do with thee?' What is between Me and thee, My Mother, any longer? 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.'[Mark i. 15.] "