Saturday, August 21, 2004

I probably won't be able to blog tommorow...
since the time when I am usually online will be taken up by a baby shower. Prayers for Brenda, Rob, and the little one due to make his or her appearance next month would be most welcome.
On August 21, 1864
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

The Life of Grace

1. Nothing is more common than to think that natural virtue, what we do by nature, is sufficient for our salvation.

The state of most men is sin, but as to those who go the highest [it is] natural virtue. Put it in the way of an objection. Why is not this enough? Two things confused with each other—the improvement of things in this world, which natural virtue can do, and the salvation of the soul by grace.

2. What most men consider enough is this—if they follow what they think right, if they do the duties of their station, if they do what their conscience tells them, and so live and die. As to prayer, the best prayer is to do their duty here; they think the next world may take its chance.

3. Now most men do not get so far as this. They live in sin; but the utmost they think of is to be saved mainly by their own strength, and by doing the common duties of life without thinking of religion, though they may acknowledge that on great occasions God helps them, within or without, but is it when dignus vindice nodus . They do not see the necessity of thinking of God, but they say that the best service is to do those duties which come before them.

4. Particularly at this day. When men think that religion is unnecessary, that the world will advance merely by its own powers.

5. On the other hand, the life of grace—virtues through grace.

6. Natural virtues bring on the world—doubt1ess social science, political economy, science of government, etc., etc.—but I want to be saved.

For those of you who are better at baking than I am...
a lembas recipe.

Link courtesy of Republic of Virtue.

The Feast of Pope St. Pius X
is today. There is information on him here.

The Pittsburgh Oratory has a certain connection to this saint- one of the relics of St. Philip there was once owned by this holy Pope. Thus it is simultaneously a first-class relic of St. Philip Neri and a second-class relic of Pope St. Pius X.

Unfortunately, the writings of the Venerable were misused by the Modernists during his pontificate to attempt to justify their errors. An essay defending Newman's reputation was written and was approved by the Holy Father.

Friday, August 20, 2004

On August 20, 1854
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Rejoicing with Mary

1. INTROD.—This, we know, is one of the most joyful weeks of the year. Our Lord's Resurrection is, of course, pre-eminently [joyful] (and in like manner His Nativity), as He is above all. But this week is unlike most other feasts connected with Him, and rather stands at the head of the saints' feasts, and this is its peculiarity. I will explain.

2. The one idea is congratulation. Congratulamini mihi, quia cum essem parvula. Congratulation is a special feeling. Not in Christmas, or [in] any act of His economy [or of] His Passion, not in Pentecost [nor] Corpus Christi, nor in the Sacred Heart, [do we congratulate]. We congratulate when some great good has come to another. We do not (strictly speaking) congratulate ourselves, though we may each other. We congratulate martyrs and saints, etc.

3. Now this life tells us what congratulation is. We congratulate persons on good fortune, which does not concern us [ourselves], on preferment, on a fortune, on escaping danger, on marriages and births, on honours, etc.

4. On Catholicity only [i.e. alone] realising unseen things and carrying human feelings into the supernatural world. Hence care of those who [have] departed—purgatory—heaven.

5. Now consider St. Paul's words. Gaudere cum gaudentibus, flere cum flentibus—congratulation and compassion, or pity [opposed to] two bad states of mind, [epichairokakia] and envy. Congratulation and compassion both disinterested and unselfish, but congratulation the more. What is so beautiful as to see in the case of brothers and sisters, (e.g.) where a younger rejoices in the gain of an elder, etc.

6. Now we congratulate Mary at this time of year, after her long waiting—sixty years. What a purgatory! This very circumstance that all her life was God's, made the trial longer. But now, as Christ ascended, so has she.

7. But again, even this congratulation has often something selfish in it; men hope to get something for themselves through their promoted friend. This is true also in the supernatural order, but with this difference, that the one desire is good, the other evil.

8. We cannot covet unseen good. Again, we do not deprive another of it.

9. Hence we may rejoice unselfishly in Mary's triumph.

10. We have a friend in court. She is the great work of God's love.

11. Foolish objection, as if [we asserted] she were more loving than God—a ring, e.g. a pledge of favour to a person, any favours will be granted.

12. Conclusion.

Oh, I pray...
that this has happened !

Link courtesy of Jeff Miller.

The Feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist., Abbot
is today. There is information on him here. I doubt that there are any Cistercians reading this blog, but blessed feast day to them anyway !

Thursday, August 19, 2004

On August 19, 1860
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

God the Stay of Eternity

1. INTROD.—The gospel says, 'What shall I do to inherit?' etc. Here this man, whatever his own character, asks an all-important question.

2. He implies the soul will live for ever.

3. What is eternity? Why, it is awful. I cannot call it good in itself. Some good and wise people have said so, but for me it is the most awful thought in the world.

Consider it. Time breaks to pieces everything; much more does eternity. Our soul can never die, but it can get older and older. Fancy this—older and older, colder and colder, so that the longer we lived the more miserable [we should become]. Therefore, when I look at eternity itself, it is a sort of living death to creatures such as man, and no good. Who can bear the weight of eternal years?

4. The scribe, then, does not ask for 'living for ever,' but for 'eternal life.' Life is something more than living; it is to live vigorously, to be always young, etc., etc. Many have no youth, as some years have no spring. It is therefore to be happy, and happier and happier as time goes on.

5. This being the case, it is plain also that nothing but what is infinite can sustain eternity. We read in romances of two persons determining to die, and die together, and care for nothing else, not even God—vain thought! We want something more than ourselves, something more than the creature. We must be associated then, and one with the Creator.

6. God then, the Almighty and the Infinite, is the only stay of eternity.

7. Now then we see the meaning of our Lord's answer to the scribe, of loving God, for He alone is eternal, and unless we are conformed to Him, we shall be miserable in eternity.

8. Let us learn to love. We know what it is on earth to love a person. Signs of love—liking the presence, speech, etc., of the loved person; taking up his opinions, etc., etc.

Catholic Light
has a quote from the Venerable.

Also, Cacciaguida has a post on Elgar, whose most famous work was based on a poem by the Venerable.

The Feast of St. John Eudes,C.J.M., Priest and Founder
is today. There is information on him here. To any Eudists out there, happy feast day !

( A note: The community to which he belonged for a long time, and which gave him problems, was the French Oratory, which was a different type of community than the orginal Oratory, particulary in the fact that it was more centralized. I'm not sure if the French Oratory still exists. I do know of an Oratory in France, but it was only established in 1995, and it has no connection to the French Oratory as it existed in the saint's time.)

It is also the feast of Blessed Hugh Green, Priest and Martyr and Blessed Christopher Robinson, Priest and Martyr.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

On August 18, 1887
William Bernard Ullathorne, O.S.B.,, the retired Bishop of Birmingham, wrote to a friend.....

I have been visiting Cardinal Newman today. He is much wasted, but very cheerful. Yesterday he went to London to see an oculist. When he tries to read black specks are before his eyes. But his oculist tells him there is nothing wrong but old age. We had a long and cheery talk, but as I was rising to leave an action of his caused a scene I shall never forget ... He said in low and humble accents, "My dear Lord, will you do me a great favour?" "What is it?" I asked. He glided down on his knees, bent down his venerable head, and said, "Give me your blessing." What could I do with him before me in such a posture? I could not refuse without giving him great embarrassment. So I laid my hand on his head and said: "My dear Lord Cardinal, notwithstanding all laws to the contrary, I pray God to bless you, and that His Holy Spirit may be full in your heart." As I walked to the door, refusing to put on his biretta as he went with me, he said: "I have been indoors all my life, whilst you have battled for the Church in the world." I felt annihilated in his presence, there is a saint in that man.

Here is a picture of the Venerable taken the next year.

Even the Orthodox....
have a limit to their liturgical stamina.

Link courtesy of Jeff Miller.

Please pray....
for the continued protection of human life in Brazil.

Link courtesy of Lane Core.

Also, prayers for Nathan would, I'm sure, be welcome. (IMHO, It takes guts to write about such a difficult cross.)

Link courtesy of Fructus Ventris.

The Feast of St. Jeanne de Chantal, Widow and Foundress
is today. There is information on her here. To any members of the Order of the Visitation of Our Lady out there, blessed feast day !

It is also the feast of St. Helena. The convert and author Evelyn Waugh wrote a book about her.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

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

At another time He spoke thus: "Sell that ye have, and give alms." "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor." "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." "Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant." "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." And, in a word, the doctrine of the Gospel, and the principle of it, is thus briefly stated by the Apostle, in the words of the Wise Man. "Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons ... If ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons." [Luke xii. 33. Matt. xix. 21, 24; xx. 27; xvi. 24. Heb. xii. 6-8.] Can words speak it plainer that, as certainly as temporal prosperity is the gift of the Law, so also are hardship and distress the gift of the Gospel?

Take up thy portion, then, Christian soul, and weigh it well, and learn to love it. Thou wilt find, if thou art Christ's, in spite of what the world fancies, that after all, even at this day, endurance, in a special sense, is the lot of those who offer themselves to be servants of the King of sorrows. There is an inward world, which none see but those who belong to it; and though the outside robe be many-coloured, like Joseph's coat, inside it is lined with camel's hair, or sackcloth, fitting those who desire to be one with Him who fared hardly in the wilderness, in the mountain, and on the sea. There is an inward world into which they enter who come near to Christ, though to men in general they seem the same as before. They hold the same place as before in the world's society; their employments are the same, their ways, their comings in and goings out. If they were high in rank, they are still high; if they were in active life, they are still active; if they were wealthy, they still have wealth. They have still great friends, powerful connexions, ample resources, fair name in the world's eye; but, if they have drunk of Christ's cup, and tasted the bread of His Table in sincerity, it is not with them as in time past. A change has come over them, unknown indeed to themselves, except in its effects, but they have a portion in destinies to which other men are strangers, and, as having destinies, they have conflicts also. They drank what looked like a draught of this world, but it associated them in hopes and fears, trials and purposes, above this world. They came as for a blessing, and they have found a work. They are soldiers in Christ's army; they fight against "things that are seen," and they have "all these things against them." To their surprise, as time goes on, they find that their lot is changed. They find that in one shape or other adversity happens to them. If they refuse to afflict themselves, God afflicts them. One blow falls, they are startled; it passes over, it is well; they expect nothing more. Another comes; they wonder; "Why is this ?" they ask; they think that the first should be their security against the second; they bear it, however; and it passes too. Then a third comes; they almost murmur; they have not yet mastered the great doctrine that endurance is their portion. O simple soul, is it not the law of thy being to endure since thou camest to Christ? Why camest thou but to endure? Why didst thou taste His heavenly feast, but that it might work in thee? Why didst thou kneel beneath His hand, but that He might leave on thee the print of His wounds? Why wonder then that one sorrow does not buy off the next? Does one drop of rain absorb the second? Does the storm cease because it has begun? Understand thy place in God's kingdom, and rejoice, not complain, that in thy day thou hast thy lot with Prophets and Apostles.

Yet another blogging Tolkien fan !
and with a Silmarillion parody yet ! How cool !

Link courtesy of Fructus Ventris.

Republic of Virtue
has some Oratorian news, with great pictures to accompany it ! ( I believe that that would be the Fathers of the Metuchen Oratory...)

R.I.P. .....
Onion. Please keep Gerard Serafin in your prayers.

The Feast of St. Hyacinth,O.P., Priest
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Jeanne Delanoue, Virgin and Foundress.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Just because

Yes! if there be on earth a visible image of heaven, it is in the Church collected together in one place; and we come here to drink, from that present source of grace, the strength, and health, and vigour needful for us on our journey thither. When even a fallen servant of God and his satellites entered the company of prophets under the Old Law, and saw them prophesying, and Samuel standing over them, the Spirit of God came upon the intruders, and they too began to prophesy. Again, under the New law, when even an unbeliever came into the assemblies of the infant Church (an Apostle is our warrant for saying it), he was overcome and transformed by the harmony of her worship. Her very presence and action was the sufficient note of her divinity. What, then, my Reverend Brethren, will not be the influence of her ceremonial on us, who, erring though we be as mortal men, still, as we trust, have the grace of God within us, are aiming after meekness, purity, charity, and detachment from the world, and are faithfully though imperfectly fulfilling the high commission severally given to us? May we not believe, through the mercy of Him who has chosen us, that we shall carry back with us a something which hitherto we had not?—a fuller and deeper view of the great dispensation of which we are the ministers, a clearer understanding of the beauty of God's House, a firmer faith in the solidity of that rock on which it stands, a closer devotion to Him who inhabits it, a more subdued, more peaceful, and more happy temper, to encounter the trials which meet us on our course, and which are appointed to lead us forward to heaven.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Sermons Preached on Various Occasions
Shouldn't these folks study Matthew 5:28 ?

Link courtesy of Ales Rarus.

Please pray...
for the Holy Father.

Link courtesy of Michael Dubruiel .

Catholic Light
has a quote from the Venerable on the Rosary.
And TSO quoted me quoting the Venerable.

Fr. Michael
has changed the name of his blog.
The Feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, King
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Roch. There is a website on him which is based fairly close to where I live.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

There may be light blogging ahead...
in the rest of the week,thanks to Real Life. Just a note of warning !
On the Glorious Assumption of Our Blessed Lady

Hark! She is call'd. The parting hour is come.
Take thy farewell, poor world! Heav'n must go home
A piece of heav'nly earth, purer and brighter
Than the chaste stars, whose choice lamps come to light her
While through the crystal orbs, clearer than they,
She climbs and makes a fair more milky way.
She's called. Hark how the dear immortal Dove
Sighs to his silver mate, "Rise up, my love!
Rise up, my fair, my spotless one!
The winter's past, the rain is gone.

The spring is come, the flowers appear.
No sweets but thou are wanting here.
Come away, my love!
Come away, my dove! Cast off delay.
The court of Heav'n is come
To wait upon thee home. Come, come away!
The flowers appear,
Or quickly would, wert thou once here.
The spring is come, or, if it stay,
Tis to keep time with thy delay.
The rain is gone, except so much as we
Detain in needful tears to weep the want of thee.
The winter's past.
Or, if he make less haste,
His answer is, 'Why, she does so.
If summer come not, how can winter go?' "

On the golden wings
Of the bright youth of Heav'n, that sings
Under so sweet a burthen. Go,
Since thy dread Son will have it so.
And while thou goest our song and we
Will, as we may, reach after thee.
Hail, holy queen of humble hearts!
We in thy praise will have our parts.
Thy precious name shall be
Thy self to us, and we
With holy care will keep it by us.
We to the last
Will hold it fast
And no Assumption shall deny us.
All the sweetest showers
Of our fairest flowers
Will we strow upon it.
Though our sweets cannot make
It sweeter, they can take
Themselves new sweetness from it.

Maria, men and angels sing,
Maria, mother of our King.
Live, rosy princess, live. And may the bright
Crown of a most incomparable light
Embrace thy radiant brows. O may the best
Of everlasting joys bath thy white breast.
Live, our chaste love, the holy mirth
Of Heav'n, the humble pride of earth.
Live, crown of women, queen of men.
Live mistress of our song. And when
Our weak desires have done their best,
Sweet angels, come and sing the rest.

Richard Crashaw (1613-1649)
This makes me furious....
Harassment plagues teen rape victims.

These girls did the right thing. They came forward, faced the public humiliation of telling the world what these sickos did to them, and their reward ? To be treated like dirt by their "friends" at school. God give those poor girls comfort and strength in their time of agony, and may He give the brutal perpetrators and those stupid, cruel tormentors the grace to repent of their actions.

Link courtesy of El Camino Real.
The Pontificator
quoted the Professor again.
to Zorak and the Old Oligarch on their little one !

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord...
and let perpetual light shine upon her.

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Joshua Claybourn's mother, and for the comfort of her family and friends in this time of grief.

The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
is today. There is information on it here.

It became Him, who died for the world, to die in the world's sight; it became the Great Sacrifice to be lifted up on high, as a light that could not be hid. But she, the lily of Eden, who had always dwelt out of the sight of man, fittingly did she die in the garden's shade, and amid the sweet flowers in which she had lived. Her departure made no noise in the world. The Church went about her common duties, preaching, converting, suffering; there were persecutions, there was fleeing from place to place, there were martyrs, there were triumphs; at length the rumour spread abroad that the Mother of God was no longer upon earth. Pilgrims went to and fro; they sought for her relics, but they found them not; did she die at Ephesus? or did she die at Jerusalem? reports varied; but her tomb could not be pointed out, or if it was found, it was open; and instead of her pure and fragrant body, there was a growth of lilies from the earth which she had touched. So inquirers went home marvelling, and waiting for further light. And then it was said, how that when her dissolution was at hand, and her soul was to pass in triumph before the judgment-seat of her Son, the apostles were suddenly gathered together in the place, even in the Holy City, to bear part in the joyful ceremonial; how that they buried her with fitting rites; how that the third day, when they came to the tomb, they found it empty, and angelic choirs with their glad voices were heard singing day and night the glories of their risen Queen. But, however we feel towards the details of this history (nor is there anything in it which will be unwelcome or difficult to piety), so much cannot be doubted, from the consent of the whole Catholic world and the revelations made to holy souls, that, as is befitting, she is, soul and body, with her Son and God in heaven, and that we are enabled to celebrate, not only her death, but her Assumption.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Discourses to Mixed Congregations

It is appropriate that today would also be the feast of Blessed Isidore Bakanja , who was tortured to death because he refused to discard his scapular.