Saturday, July 10, 2004

Fine article at CERC..
on St. John Fisher and his defense of marriage.

For Saturday

If the Mother of Emmanuel ought to be the first of creatures in sanctity and in beauty; if it became her to be free from all sin from the very first, and from the moment she received her first grace to begin to merit more; and if such as was her beginning, such was her end, her conception immaculate and her death an assumption; if she died, but revived, and is exalted on high; what is befitting in the children of such a Mother, but an imitation, in their measure, of her devotion, her meekness, her simplicity, her modesty, and her sweetness? Her glories are not only for the sake of her Son, they are for our sakes also. Let us copy her faith, who received God's message by the angel without a doubt; her patience, who endured St. Joseph's surprise without a word; her obedience, who went up to Bethlehem in the winter and bore our Lord in a stable; her meditative spirit, who pondered in her heart what she saw and heard about Him; her fortitude, whose heart the sword went through; her self-surrender, who gave Him up during His ministry and consented to His death.

Above all, let us imitate her purity, who, rather than relinquish her virginity, was willing to lose Him for a Son. O my dear children, young men and young women, what need have you of the intercession of the Virgin-mother, of her help, of her pattern, in this respect! What shall bring you forward in the narrow way, if you live in the world, but the thought and patronage of Mary? What shall seal your senses, what shall tranquillise your heart, when sights and sounds of danger are around you, but Mary? What shall give you patience and endurance, when you are wearied out with the length of the conflict with evil, with the unceasing necessity of precautions, with the irksomeness of observing them, with the tediousness of their repetition, with the strain upon your mind, with your forlorn and cheerless condition, but a loving communion with her! She will comfort you in your discouragements, solace you in your fatigues, raise you after your falls, reward you for your successes. She will show you her Son, your God and your all. When your spirit within you is excited, or relaxed, or depressed, when it loses its balance, when it is restless and wayward, when it is sick of what it has, and hankers after what it has not, when your eye is solicited with evil and your mortal frame trembles under the shadow of the tempter, what will bring you to yourselves, to peace and to health, but the cool breath of the Immaculate and the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon?

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Discourses to Mixed Congregations
quoted from one of my quotes of Venerable Newman. (I see that he calls him "Bld. Cardinal Newman "... a hopeful bit of jumping the gun !)

Sandra Miesel
posted about domestic animals, and has a kind word for my favorite furballs.
"Fancy rats are actually cute and intelligent with a considerable variety of forms and colors....."
The Feast of St. Almaburga, O.S.B.
is today. There is information on her here.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Please pray...
for the soul of Eugene Mills, and for the consolation of his family.
For Thursday
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., on the wedding feast of Cana and the Last Supper

To His Mother He had said, "What have I to do with thee?" and now to His Apostles, "Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say unto you." On this, "Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou?" and when our Lord answered him, that whither He went, he could not follow Him then, the zealous and impatient Apostle persisted, "Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now?" [John xiii. 33, 36.]

On the other hand, He promised that the separation should be but for a season. As to St. Mary, He had said, "Mine hour is not yet come;" so He said to St. Peter, in the passage just cited, "Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards." And as at His first feast, He had seemed to turn from His Mother's prayer, while He granted it, because of the time, so to His Apostles He foretold, at His second feast, what the power of their prayers should be hereafter, by way of cheering them on His departure. "Ye now therefore have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. In that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you." [John xvi. 22, 23.] And again, "Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you." [John xv. 14, 15.] In the gifts then promised to the Apostles after the Resurrection, we may learn the present influence and power of the Mother of God.

Such seems to be the connexion between the feast with which our Lord began, and that with which He ended His ministry. Nay, may we not add without violence, that in the former feast He had in mind and intended to foreshadow the latter? for what was that first miracle by which He manifested His glory in the former, but the strange and awful change of the element of water into wine? and what did He in the latter, but change the Paschal Supper and the typical lamb into the sacrament of His atoning sacrifice, and the creatures of bread and wine into the verities of His most precious Body and Blood? He began His ministry with a miracle; He ended it with a greater.

Sermons on Subjects of the Day
The Feast of Pope St. Adrian III
is today. There is information on him here.
The feast of the Martyrs of Shanxi is also today. Prayers for the persecuted Church in China would be appropriate.
In addition, it is the feast of Pope Blessed Eugene III, and Blessed Adrian Fortescue, Martyr.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Speaking of Venerable Newman....
there's a gentleman over at Mark Shea's blog who draws a comparison between himself and the Venerable at a particularly trying time of said Venerable's life. (Prayers requesting Venerable Newman's intercession for him would, IMHO, be incredibly appropriate !)
On July 7, 1867
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., wrote to his friend Dean Church, and mentioned a gift that Church had made to him:

Your violin improves continually; I cannot desire a better one. I have got it at Rednal (ed. the Birmingham Oratory's retreat house), where I make a noise, without remonstrance from trees, grass, roses or cabbages.

One of his early biographers commented on his playing.

From the days when he played the violin as a young boy, his brother Frank playing the bass, down to the Littlemore period when he played in company with Frederick Bowles and Walker, string quartets and trios were his favourite recreation. Mr. Mozley in his 'Reminiscences of the Oxford Movement,' thus describes his playing of Beethoven with Blanco White in 1826: 'Most interesting was it to contrast Blanco White's excited and indeed agitated countenance with Newman's Sphinx-like immobility, as the latter drew long rich notes with a steady hand.' When the gift of a violin from Rogers and Church in 1864 made him renew acquaintance with his old love after a long interval, the manner of his playing was somewhat different. 'Sphinx-like immobility,' writes Mr. Edward Bellasis 'had made way for an ever varying expression upon his face as strains alternated between grave and gay. Producing his violin from an old green baize bag, bending forward, and holding it against his chest, instead of under the chin in the modern fashion, most particular about his instrument being in perfect tune, in execution awkward yet vigorous, painstaking rather than brilliant, he would often attend the Oratory School Sunday practices between two and four of an afternoon, Father Ryder and Father Norris sometimes coming to play also.

The Life of John Henry Cardinal Newman, Based on His Private Journals and Correspondence by Wilfred Ward.
On July 7, 1944
the Professor wrote a letter to his son Christopher, in which he talked about one of his favorite languages:

Finnish nearly ruined my Hon. Mods, and was the orginal germ for the Silmarillion.

Later in the same letter, he comments on the modern ignorance of classical literature:

Even if people have heard of the legends (which is getting rarer) they have no inkling of their portent. How could a maker of motorbikes name his prodcut Ixion Cycles ! Ixion, who was bound forever in hell on a perpertually revolving wheel !

I've come across a modern parallel- whoever came up with the name Toyota Cressida obviously hadn't read his Chaucer, or even his Shakespeare.
The Feast of Pope Blessed Benedict XI, O.P.
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of Blessed Maria Romero Meneses, F.M.A., Virgin.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

O how great a good will it be, if, when this troublesome life is over, we in our turn also enter into that same rest,—if the time shall one day come, when we shall enter into His tabernacle above, and hide ourselves under the shadow of His wings; if we shall be in the number of those blessed dead who die in the Lord, and rest from their labour. Here we are tossing upon the sea, and the wind is contrary. All through the day we are tried and tempted in various ways. We cannot think, speak, or act, but infirmity and sin are at hand. But in the unseen world, where Christ has entered, all is peace. There is the eternal Throne, and a rainbow round about it, like unto an emerald; and in the midst of the throne the Lamb that has been slain, and has redeemed many people by His blood: and round about the throne four and twenty seats for as many elders, all clothed in white raiment, and crowns of gold upon their heads. And four living beings full of eyes before and behind. And seven Angels standing before God, and doing His pleasure unto the ends of the earth. And the Seraphim above. And withal, a great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." [Rev. vii. 14.] "They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat." "There is no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither any more pain; for the former things are passed away." [Rev. xxi. 4.] Nor any more sin; nor any more guilt; no more remorse; no more punishment; no more penitence; no more trial; no infirmity to depress us; no affection to mislead us; no passion to transport us; no prejudice to blind us; no sloth, no pride, no envy, no strife; but the light of God's countenance, and a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the Throne. That is our home; here we are but on pilgrimage, and Christ is calling us home. He calls us to His many mansions, which He has prepared. And the Spirit and the Bride call us too, and all things will be ready for us by the time of our coming. "Seeing then that we have a great High Priest that has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession;" seeing we have "so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight;" "let us labour to enter into our rest;" "let us come boldly unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." [Heb. iv. 11, 14, 16; xii. 1.]

Lengthy post on authority at
which happens to include a quote from the Venerable.

The Feast of St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr
is today. There is information on her here. Prayers for her intercession for all those who are victims of the sexual sins of others, as well as for all those who are tempted to sins of impurity, would be appropriate.