Saturday, March 27, 2004

How cool!
I've stumbled across a link to the Professor's "On Fairy Stories" !

Link courtesy of Fiat Lux !

For Saturday
Mary is the "Vas Insigne Devotionis," The Most Devout Virgin
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
" To be devout is to be devoted. We know what is meant by a devoted wife or daughter. It is one whose thoughts centre in the person so deeply loved, so tenderly cherished. She follows him about with her eyes; she is ever seeking some means of serving him; and, if her services are very small in their character, that only shows how intimate they are, and how incessant. And especially if the object of her love be weak, or in pain, or near to die, still more intensely does she live in his life, and know nothing but him.

This intense devotion towards our Lord, forgetting self in love for Him, is instanced in St. Paul, who says. 'I know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.' And again, 'I live, [yet] now not I, but Christ liveth in me; and [the life] that I now live in the flesh, I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself for me.'

But great as was St. Paul's devotion to our Lord, much greater was that of the Blessed Virgin; because she was His Mother, and because she had Him and all His sufferings actually before her eyes, and because she had the long intimacy of thirty years with Him, and because she was from her special sanctity so ineffably near to Him in spirit. When, then, He was mocked, bruised, scourged, and nailed to the Cross, she felt as keenly as if every indignity and torture inflicted on Him was struck at herself. She could have cried out in agony at every pang of His.

This is called her compassion, or her suffering with her Son, and it arose from this that she was the 'Vas insigne devotionis.' "

Meditations and Devotions
While I personally have little experience of such things....
I've heard enough horror stories from others that this
is a welcome development.

Link courtesy of Annunciations.

A candidate I can back without reservations !

The Feast of St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Short Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
The Ninth Station
Jesus falls the third time

" V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Satan will have a third and final fall at the end of the world, when he will be shut up for good in the everlasting fiery prison. He knew this was to be his end-he has no hope, but despair only. He knew that no suffering which he could at that moment inflict upon the Saviour of men would avail to rescue himself from that inevitable doom. But, in horrible rage and hatred, he determined to insult and torture while he could the great King whose throne is everlasting. Therefore a third time he smote Him down fiercely to the earth. O Jesus, Only-begotten Son of God, the Word Incarnate, we adore with fear and trembling and deep thankfulness Thy awful humiliation, that Thou who art the Highest, should have permitted Thyself, even for one hour, to be the sport and prey of the Evil One.

Pater, Ave, &c.

The Tenth Station
Jesus is stripped of His Garments

V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Jesus would give up everything of this world, before He left it. He exercised the most perfect poverty. When He left the Holy House of Nazareth, and went out to preach, He had not where to lay His head. He lived on the poorest food, and on what was given to Him by those who loved and served Him. And therefore He chose a death in which not even His clothes were left to Him. He parted with what seemed most necessary, and even a part of Him, by the law of human nature since the fall. Grant us in like manner, O dear Lord, to care nothing for anything on earth, and to bear the loss of all things, and to endure even shame, reproach, contempt, and mockery, rather than that Thou shalt be ashamed of us at the last day.

Pater, Ave, &c. "

A quiz....
which is actually appropriate for a Friday in Lent....

You are the Corpus Christi Crucifix: The cross that
bears the body of Christ is the most venerated
of all the crosses. It hangs in the most sacred
places in the world and inspires the faithful
to contemplate the suffering of Christ.

What Kind of Cross are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Quiz courtesy of The 7 Habitus
Happy Blogoversary....
to Vociferous Yawpings !
The Feast of St. Ludger, O.S.B, Bishop
is today. There is information on him here.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Great !
I'm on Moloch's Enemies List !
The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
is today. There is information on it here.
"Our sweet Christ, the Word Incarnate, has given Himself to us for every thing that was necessary for us, even to the hard and ignominious death upon the Cross. " - St. Philip Neri
Mary is the "Mater Creatoris," the Mother of the Creator
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
"This is a title which, of all others, we should have thought it impossible for any creature to possess. At first sight we might be tempted to say that it throws into confusion our primary ideas of the Creator and the creature, the Eternal and the temporal, the Self-subsisting and the dependent; and yet on further consideration we shall see that we cannot refuse the title to Mary without denying the Divine Incarnation-that is, the great and fundamental truth of revelation, that God became man.

And this was seen from the first age of the Church. Christians were accustomed from the first to call the Blessed Virgin 'The Mother of God,' because they saw that it was impossible to deny her that title without denying St. John's words, 'The Word' (that is, God the Son) 'was made flesh.'

And in no long time it was found necessary to proclaim this truth by the voice of an Ecumenical Council of the Church. For, in consequence of the dislike which men have of a mystery, the error sprang up that our Lord was not really God, but a man, differing from us in this merely-that God dwelt in Him, as God dwells in all good men, only in a higher measure; as the Holy Spirit dwelt in Angels and Prophets, as in a sort of Temple; or again, as our Lord now dwells in the Tabernacle in church. And then the bishops and faithful people found there was no other way of hindering this false, bad view being taught but by declaring distinctly, and making it a point of faith, that Mary was the Mother, not of man only, but of God. And since that time the title of Mary, as Mother of God, has become what is called a dogma, or article of faith, in the Church.

But this leads us to a larger view of the subject. Is this title as given to Mary more wonderful than the doctrine that God, without ceasing to be God, should become man? Is it more mysterious that Mary should be Mother of God, than that God should be man? Yet the latter, as I have said, is the elementary truth of revelation, witnessed by Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles all through Scripture. And what can be more consoling and joyful than the wonderful promises which follow from this truth, that Mary is the Mother of God?-the great wonder, namely, that we become the brethren of our God; that, if we live well, and die in the grace of God, we shall all of us hereafter be taken up by our Incarnate God to that place where angels dwell; that our bodies shall be raised from the dust, and be taken to Heaven; that we shall be really united to God; that we shall be partakers of the Divine nature; that each of us, soul and body, shall be plunged into the abyss of glory which surrounds the Almighty; that we shall see Him, and share His blessedness, according to the text, 'Whosoever shall do the will of My Father that is in Heaven, the same is My brother, and sister, and mother.' "- Meditations and Devotions
There are posts on this feast all over the Catholic Blogosphere, including HMS Blog, Gerard Serafin, and Fiat Mihi. Mark Shea's post is especially notable, as it also remarks on this being a important anniversary in the Tolkien-verse: the day the One Ring was destroyed and Sauron defeated- a 'sub-created' echo of the True Eucatastrophe which began with a humble woman saying 'yes' to God.
"In Gondor the New Year will always now begin upon the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, and when you were brought out of the fire to the King."
Gandalf to Samwise Gamgee, "The Field of Cormallen", The Lord of the Rings

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

On March 24, 1850
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
On Our Lord's Agony
"1. INTROD.-We naturally seek to be told something of the death and the deathbeds of those we know and love. We are drawn to the deathbed of the saints and holy people; and much more if anything remarkable about it, and much more if a man be our benefactor, parent, etc. How much more the death of the great God?

2. Thus, above all, our Lord's death-how sudden it was! One day brought into the city in triumph, the next plotted against, betrayed and seized.

3. God from eternity-the Holy Trinity. Each person all God; the Son the only God, as if only Person.

4. God most happy; Son all happy-bliss, peace, calmness, glory, beauty, perfection from all eternity.

5. And now look at that one only God, as we contemplate Him at this time of year. He is still one, sole, and alone. He was one in heaven; He is one in the garden, one on the tree. He trod the winepress alone. When He went into the garden He took but a few with Him, and separated Himself from them; and afterwards the disciples 'left Him alone,' and fled. Easy for the traitor to take Him, for He was alone.

6. But though one and alone, how different! He who was glorious is become a leper; He who was so peaceful has lost His rest.

7. It is said that nothing is so fearful as the overwhelming sorrow of man as contrasted with woman, of a hero or great and firm man overcome by adversity or bereavement; for it being more difficult, it bursts more [violently]; it is like a storm rending and shattering. What, then, in the most peaceful and serene? What a conflict in the sinless!?(enlarge).

8. It is said that 'the wicked are like a boiling sea'; what means this in the innocent? Yet so it is. He began to grow weary, sad, frightened. (Explain.) On the devil, who was foiled in the wilderness, to his surprise finding our Lord in the garden agitated as a sinner. He had gained his point-his eternal enemy vanquished. On the apostles sleeping for sorrow, but Christ praying more earnestly.

9. Pain of mind greater than that of body, though we are more conversant in bodily pain-grief, fear, anxiety, terror, despair, disappointment-poena damni of the lost greater than poena sensus. On the effect of mental pain-hair turning white; Nabal . So effect on Christ-agony of blood.

10. Let us gather round and look at Him whom God has punished; but in no idle way, for His pain is from our sins. Address to sinners. "

Quiz result...

which art movement are you?

this quiz was made by Caitlin

Appropriate enough... this is the era in which the Chiesa Nuova was finally completed.

Link courtesy of Mystique et Politique.

The March 2004 First Things
is now online. Here's a short article from that issue, by Fr. Richard John Neuhaus's "While We're At It" section.

"I don’t mean to pick on Wesley Clark. On this question there is no substantive difference between him and other politicians who strive to prove their impeccable pro-abortion credentials. But the language is different. “I’m not going to be appointing judges who are pro-life,” he told the Manchester Union Leader. One imagines an aide whispering, 'Our people do not say "pro-life," General.' Clark also told the paper, 'Until the moment of birth, the government has no right to influence a mother’s decision on whether to have an abortion.' That would seem to go beyond Roe v. Wade, which allows that there is a government interest in unborn life, at least in its later stages, if the mother has no 'health' reason for wanting an abortion, which includes psychological health, which means she has a right to an abortion if she would be distressed by not having an abortion. Again, the difference is not substantive, but the general’s language is strikingly blunt. Then, on the allegedly complex but obviously obvious question of when life begins, the general accepts the price of medical and metaphysical incoherence in order to win the Most Candid Candidate Award. He says, 'Life begins with the mother’s decision.' (Unless, presumably, she later decides to have the child killed.) Clark’s statement does have the quasi-Cartesian clarity that drives the pro-abortion movement, even if most of them hesitate to put it so unequivocally: I decide this is not a human life; ergo this is not a human life. More generally stated: I think it is not; ergo it is not. The principle has breathtakingly large potential for the alleviation of inconvenient reality. Yes, there is a price to be paid, but is sanity really so important? "
The Feast of St. Catherine of Sweden, C.SS.S.
is today. There is information on her here.. To any Bridgettines out there, happy feast day !

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

On March 23, 1851...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
On the Strong Man of Sin and Unbelief
"1. INTROD.—'The strong man' represents the sinner in his strength and security. It represents him fortified by his three friends—the world, the flesh, and the devil. 'The old man,' Eph. iv. 22 , the old Adam, the evil spirit who has taken possession of him.

2. He has a 'house.' It is a castle: nor is it the work of a day. How long it takes to build a castle! and buildings grow up about it, fort after fort, treasure house after treasure house, viz. by habits. (Explain about habits.) No one remains without them; they are intended to be a defence for the good. They also become a defence in wickedness. Supernatural habits and natural habits.

3. Absence of faith—'The light that is in them.' His standard of things—scoffs at things supernatural; does not think himself a bad man because he does not pray; is in 'peace'; perfectly satisfied with his standard; may not come up to it; is firmly seated. He may be educated, learned, able, etc.; this only increases the evil.

4. Enormous strength of a bad man. His vis inertiae, his momentum. In his black panoply, armed cap-à-pie like a knight in story, such the bad man. Then fancy a host of them, the rulers of this world, like a bodyguard of Satan, or his 'guards.'

5. Such are the enemies of Christ, described in the Gospel: 'We wrestle not against,' etc., Eph. vi. 12. Then Christ's grace more powerful: 'A stronger than he,' etc.

6. No one can come up to the strength of God's grace—stronger than the elements; stronger than miracles. It bears up against anything; it overcomes everything. On the wonderful way in which Christianity overthrew the establishment of paganism (vide Döllinger).

7. Let this be your comfort if you feel afraid, and have to do a great work. God's grace can convert; it has converted from sin of whatever kind. "

(Note: The sermon apparently used some of the researches of the famous ecclesiastical historian Johann Joseph Ignaz von Döllinger. Twenty years later, Döllinger was excommunicated for refusing to accept the dogma of papal infallibility. The Venerable was among the many people who attempted to get him to come to his senses, but he refused, and died out of communion with the Church. Sad. )

Over at Mere Comments
Mr.Mills has a great post , with links to another good post and three good articles.
The Feast of St. Turibius de Mongrovejo, Archbishop
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Rafqa al-Rayes. To any Maronite Catholics out there, happy feast day !

Monday, March 22, 2004

The odd phenomenon
of certain people who are able to explain away any and all Scriptural and historical that Catholicism might be true is, alas, not a new thing....
"I say, the more numerous and striking are the evidences of the divinity of the Church, so much the more conclusively are they retorted against her, when men assume at starting that she comes, not from above, but from below. Does she claim to be sent from God? but Antichrist will claim it too. Do men bow before her, 'and lick up the dust from her feet'? but on the other hand, it is said of the apocalyptic sorceress also, that the kings of the earth shall be made 'drunk with her wine.' Does the Church receive the homage of 'the islands, and the ships of the sea'? The answer is ready; for it is expressly said in Scripture that the evil woman shall make 'the merchants of the earth rich by the abundance of her delicacies.' Is the Church honoured with 'the gold and frankincense of Saba, the multitude of camels, the dromedaries of Madian, and the flocks of Cedar"? Her impious rival, too, will be clothed 'in purple and scarlet, and gilded with gold,' and enriched with 'beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots.' Does the Church exercise a power over the soul? The enchantress, too, will be possessed, not only of the goods of this world, but of "the souls of men.' Was it promised to the sons of the Church to do miracles? Antichrist is to do 'lying wonders.' Do they exhibit a meekness and a firmness most admirable, a marvellous self-denial, a fervency in prayer, and a charity? It is answered: 'This only makes them more dangerous. Do you not know that Satan can transform himself into an angel of light?' Are they, according to our Lord's bidding, like sheep, defenceless and patient? This does but fulfil a remarkable prophecy, it is retorted; for the second beast, which came up out of the earth, 'had two horns like a lamb's, while it spoke like a dragon.'Does the Church fulfil the Scripture description of being weak and yet strong, of conquering by yielding, of having nothing yet gaining all things, and of exercising power without wealth or station? This wonderful fact, which ought surely to startle the most obstinate, is assigned, not to the power of God, but to some political art or conspiracy. Angels walk the earth in vain; to the gross prejudice of the multitude their coming and going is the secret plotting, as they call it, of 'monks and Jesuits.' Good forsooth it cannot, shall not be; rather believe anything than that it comes from God; believe in a host of invisible traitors prowling about and disseminating doctrine adverse to your own, believe us to be liars and deceivers, men of blood, ministers of hell, rather than turn your minds, by way of solving the problem, to the possibility of our being what we say we are, the children and servants of the true Church. There never was a more successful artifice than this, which the author of evil has devised against his Maker, that God's work is not God's but his own. He has spread this abroad in the world, as thieves in a crowd escape by giving the alarm; and men, in their simplicity, run away from Christ as if Christ were he, and run into his arms as if he were Christ."- Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. Sermons on Various Occasions
Disgraceful news from up north....
Medical Student Being Failed at University of Manitoba for Not Providing Abortion Option
And to think that not all that long ago, doctors took an ancient oath which
forbade abortion.

Link courtesy of Mayor Samwise.

The feast of St. Deogratias of Carthage, Bishop
is today. There is information on him here.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

"The very best that can be said of the fallen and redeemed race of Adam is, that they confess their fall, and condemn themselves for it, and try to recover themselves.... "
A sermon from Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., on today's parable. (Note: the sermon is from his Anglican years, hence the lack of a mention of the Sacrament of Penance. )
On this day in 1889
Bishop William Bernard Ullathorne, O.S.B., went to his reward. He is not particularly well-known now, although many people have heard of one of his ancestors. I am posting about him because he not only went out of his way to defend the Venerable when the latter was under attack, but wrote the following quote:
“I felt annihilated in his presence, there is a saint in that man.”- Bishop Ullathorne on Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
I rather like this picture
of a scene from The Silmarillion:
The saving of Maedhros
The fact that it is depicting part of the life of one of the more sympathetic members of the House of Fëanor is definitely a plus in my admittedly biased book.

Music at the 11:30 am Mass
Processional Hymn: "There's A Wideness in God's Mercy"
Offertory: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" - Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Communion: "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy" - Calvin Hampton (1938-1984)
Recessional Hymn: "O God, Our Help in Ages Past"

The text of the Processsional Hymn and Offertory were close, but not quite the same, and the tunes were completely different. The text, in its original form, was written by Fr. Wilfrid (Frederick) Faber, C.O.