Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Tablet usually annoys me...
but this piece on a member of my spiritual family isn't half-bad, although it doesn't mention his status as a Secular Oratorian. (They seldom do... sigh... At least they did mention that his spiritual director was an Oratorian...)

Link courtesy of Gerard Serafin.

comments on the Venerable and his sermons, as well as giving a fine quote from An Essay in aid of a Grammar of Assent

Dawn Eden...
notes a planned TV show. The premise ? That making men act like women will make them 'more sensitive' and thus better people.

Shouldn't the radical feminist types be up in arms about this? After all, it is playing to the image of 'woman-as-sweet-and-caring', which they claim is phony.

Continued prayer
for Terri Schiavo would be welcome.
I was not able to blog yesterday...
so I was unable to note that it was the feast of St.Monica, Widow. Venerable Newman preached a sermon for her feast day back in 1856.

I was also unable to note that it was the feast of Blessed Dominic Barberi, C.P., Priest, who, as I mentioned last year, received the Venerable into the Catholic Church in 1845.

The Feast of St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop, Founder, and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. To any Augustinians out there, blessed feast day !

Let me speak of another celebrated conquest of God's grace in an after age, and you will see how it pleases Him to make a Confessor, a Saint and Doctor of His Church, out of sin and heresy both together. It was not enough that the Father of the Western Schools, the author of a thousand works, the triumphant controversialist, the especial champion of grace, should have been once a poor slave of the flesh, but he was the victim of a perverted intellect also. He, who of all others, was to extol the grace of God, was left more than others to experience the helplessness of nature. The great St Augustine (I am not speaking of the holy missionary of the same name, who came to England and converted our pagan forefathers, and became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, but of the great African Bishop, two centuries before him)—Augustine, I say, not being in earnest about his soul, not asking himself the question, how was sin to be washed away, but rather being desirous, while youth and strength lasted, to enjoy the flesh and the world, ambitious and sensual, judged of truth and falsehood by his private judgment and his private fancy; despised the Catholic Church because it spoke so much of faith and subjection, thought to make his own reason the measure of all things, and accordingly joined a far-spread sect, which affected to be philosophical and enlightened, to take large views of things, and to correct the vulgar, that is the Catholic notions of God and Christ, of sin, and of the way to heaven. In this sect of his he remained for some years; yet what he was taught there did not satisfy him. It pleased him for a time, and then he found he had been eating as if food what had no nourishment in it; he became hungry and thirsty after something more substantial, he knew not what; he despised himself for being a slave to the flesh, and he found his religion did not help him to overcome it; thus he understood that he had not gained the truth, and he cried out, "O, who will tell me where to seek it, and who will bring me into it?"

Why did he not join the Catholic Church at once? I have told you why; he saw that truth was nowhere else; but he was not sure it was there. He thought there was something mean, narrow, irrational, in her system of doctrine; he lacked the gift of faith. Then a great conflict began within him,—the conflict of nature with grace; of nature and her children, the flesh and false reason, against conscience and the pleadings of the Divine Spirit, leading him to better things. Though he was still in a state of perdition, yet God was visiting him, and giving him the first fruits of those influences which were in the event to bring him out of it. Time went on; and looking at him, as his Guardian Angel might look at him, you would have said that, in spite of much perverseness, and many a successful struggle against his Almighty Adversary, in spite of his still being, as before, in a state of wrath, nevertheless grace was making way in his soul,—he was advancing towards the Church. He did not know it himself, he could not recognise it himself; but an eager interest in him, and then a joy, was springing up in heaven among the Angels of God. At last he came within the range of a great Saint in a foreign country; and, though he pretended not to acknowledge him, his attention was arrested by him, and he could not help coming to sacred places to look at him again and again. He began to watch him and speculate about him, and wondered with himself whether he was happy. He found himself frequently in Church, listening to the holy preacher, and he once asked his advice how to find what he was seeking. And now a final conflict came on him with the flesh: it was hard, very hard, to part with the indulgences of years, it was hard to part and never to meet again. O, sin was so sweet, how could he bid it farewell? how could he tear himself away from its embrace, and betake himself to that lonely and dreary way which led heavenwards? But God's grace was sweeter far, and it convinced him while it won him; it convinced his reason, and prevailed;—and he who without it would have lived and died a child of Satan, became, under its wonder-working power, an oracle of sanctity and truth.

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

It is also the feast of St. Edmund Arrowsmith, S.J., Priest and Martyr, Blessed James Claxton, Priest and Martyr, Blessed William Dean, Priest and Martyr, and Blessed Hugh More, Martyr.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Science of Middle-earth series

On August 26, 1855
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Thankfulness and Thanksgiving

1. The gospel of the day. Were not ten cleansed? etc.

2. Does not this event seem strange? Yet how thankless we are. We have all to condemn ourselves. There is nothing in which our guilt comes more home to us.

3. How we pray beforehand; how we petition again and again. Do we return thanks even once?

4. I think this feeling comes upon men, that they are not equal [to the task]; that words will not do; and so they do nothing from being overpowered. And this grows into a habit; and thus, when we gain our object, we suddenly leave off our prayers and coldly accept the favour. But still we may show our gratitude by deeds and by recurrent remembrance. We might remember the day; we might perpetuate our gratitude.

5. 'Where are the nine?' and he, the tenth, was a Samaritan! (Other instances—woman at the well; good Samaritan.) It is a paradox which is fulfilled, that the less a man has the more he does. The centurion and the Syrophoenician.

6. When we have a number of blessings, we take them as our due. We do not consider that they are so many accumulated mercies. Thus the Jews especially, etc.

7. Now let us think what we can claim of God, and what He has done. Preservation perhaps implied de congruo in creation. But how much He has done for us! for each one in his own way—yet so much to every one, that every one is specially favoured—favoured as no one else.

8. Survey your life, and you will find it a mass of mercies.

9. Hence the saints, three especially—Jacob, David, St. Paul—are instances [of thanksgiving].

10. Close connection with hope and love. This gratitude is the greatest support of hope, and hence those saints who have been patterns of gratitude were patterns of hope.

11. On setting up memorials.

12. Gratitude is even a kind of love, and leads to love. Against hard thoughts of God. Not [being] too proud to admit to ourselves, 'At least He is good to ME.'

Yet another pro-life measure struck down...
because it dared to have the tiniest little bitty amount of teeth.

Link courtesy of Amy Welborn.

I stumbled across....
an interesting site wih some fascinating articles on the laity.
The fact that the Venerable is referred to in three of these articles (and the Professor in one) is a bonus.

In their ongoing struggle to make sure that no child anywhere in the world remains sexually innocent...
the folks at Planned Parenthood are trying to recruit Harry Potter to their cause.
Jeff Miller has some further commentary on this bizarreness.

Actually, one can see the books as pro-traditional family, inasmuch as poor, orphaned Harry is mistreated by his aunt, uncle, and their single spoiled brat of a child. He is then taken in and loved by the Weasleys, a family with a homemaker mother and seven children, where money is tight but love is is abundance. (In the films, this angle is downplayed. Gee, I wonder why ?)
Please keep praying...
for Terri Schiavo.
The Feast of St. Jeanne Elizabeth des Bichier des Anges, Virgin and Foundress
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars, Virgin and Foundress.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The attacks on Christians in India
continue. Please pray for the recovery of these priests.

Link courtesy of Katolik Shinja .

Happy Blogoversary
to Aliens in This World !

On August 25, 1843
Venerable John Henry Newman received a shock- one which gave him additional impetus to give up his position as an Anglican clergyman. (At this time he was living at Littlemore, with a small community of followers.) He wrote about it to his friend, John Keble.

I have just received a letter from Lockhart, one of my inmates, who has been away for three weeks, saying that he is on the point of joining the Church of Rome, and is in retreat under Dr. Gentili of Loughborough ... You may fancy how sick it makes me.

He wrote in more detail to his sister a few days later.

Perhaps you know already from your proximity to Loughborough that Lockhart, who has been living here with me for a year past, has, at Dr. Gentili's at that place, conformed to the Church of Rome.

It has taken us all by surprise ... When he came here I took a promise of him that he would remain quiet for three years, otherwise I could not receive him.

This occurrence will very likely fix the time of my resigning St. Mary's, for he has been teaching in our school till he went away.

… These are reasons enough to make me give up St. Mary's, but, were there no other, this feeling would be sufficient, that I am not so zealous a defender of the established and existing system of religion as I ought to be for such a post.

Newman sent in his resignation from the Anglican ministry, and preached as an Anglican for the last time, the very next month.

It is often said....
by fundamentalists looking to discredit Catholicism, that there was a pagan feast in late December, and that the Church chose the date of Christmas to compete with that feast. According to Mr. Tighe, they've got it backwards.
'Living wills'...
are misnamed.

Link courtesy of Laudem Gloriae.

It would be a good thing...
to continue to pray for Terri Schiavo.

The Feast of St. Louis IX, King
is today. There is information on him here. To all those who have him as a special patron, blessed feast day !
Among other achievements, St. Louis had La Sainte Chapelle built. (Link courtesy of Fr. Sibley.) The building where I usually attend Mass was modeled on La Sainte Chapelle to a certain extent.

It is also the feast of St. Joseph Calasanz, Sch. P., Priest and Founder. Blessed feast day to any Piarists out there !
Finally, Catholic fans of the Professor will note that today is the feast of St. Peregrin.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Please keep praying
for Terri Schiavo.
Steve Kellemeyer
on Muslim family values.
Now even pregnant women...
are not exempt from the pressure to look 'hot'.
The Cherokee National Tribal Council...
has more sense than certain judges.

Link courtesy of Dawn Eden, who also has a great post on the cluelessness of a major newspaper.

The Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.

When Philip told him that he had found the long-expected Messiah of whom Moses wrote, Nathanael (that is, Bartholomew) at first doubted. He was well read in the Scriptures, and knew the Christ was to be born in Bethlehem; whereas Jesus dwelt at Nazareth, which Nathanael supposed in consequence to be the place of His birth,—and he knew of no particular promises attached to that city, which was a place of evil report, and he thought no good could come out of it. Philip told him to come and see; and he went to see, as a humble single-minded man, sincerely desirous to get at the truth. In consequence, he was vouchsafed an interview with our Saviour, and was converted.

Now, from what occurred in this interview, we gain some insight into St. Bartholomew's character. Our Lord said of him, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" and it appears, moreover, as if before Philip called him to come to Christ, he was engaged in meditation or prayer, in the privacy which a fig-tree's shade afforded him. And this, it seems, was the life of one who was destined to act the busy part of an Apostle; quietness without, guilelessness within. This was the tranquil preparation for great dangers and sufferings! We see who make the most heroic Christians, and are the most honoured by Christ!

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

Monday, August 23, 2004

From A Letter Addressed to the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Recent Expostulation
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Did the Pope speak against Conscience in the true sense of the word, he would commit a suicidal act. He would be cutting the ground from under his feet. His very mission is to proclaim the moral law, and to protect and strengthen that "Light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world." On the law of conscience and its sacredness are founded both his authority in theory and his power in fact. Whether this or that particular Pope in this bad world always kept this great truth in view in all he did, it is for history to tell. I am considering here the Papacy in its office and its duties, and in reference to those who acknowledge its claims. They are not bound by the Pope's personal character or private acts, but by his formal teaching. Thus viewing his position, we shall find that it is by the universal sense of right and wrong, the consciousness of transgression, the pangs of guilt, and the dread of retribution, as first principles deeply lodged in the hearts of men, it is thus and only thus, that he has gained his footing in the world and achieved his success. It is his claim to come from the Divine Lawgiver, in order to elicit, protect, and enforce those truths which the Lawgiver has sown in our very nature, it is this and this only that is the explanation of his length of life more than antediluvian. The championship of the Moral Law and of conscience is his raison d'être. The fact of his mission is the answer to the complaints of those who feel the insufficiency of the natural light; and the insufficiency of that light is the justification of his mission.

In case anyone is wondering
the baby shower I attended yesterday went well. A very neat touch was that Brenda showed us the baptismal gown the child will wear. It is very old, and was worn by her husband, her husband's father, her husband's grandfather, and her husband's great-grandfather. Now that is one cool heirloom !
Prayers requested
for the intentions of my friend at Ales Rarus.
Amy Welborn
has a post with links to several articles on Servant of God Antoni Gaudí. Unfortunately, none of them mention that he was a secular Oratorian, although the postulator's article at least mentions that his spirirtual director was an Oratorian priest.
Happy birthday...
to Victor Lams !
Also, happy blogoversary to the blogger at The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian !

Fr. Johansen
keeps us updated on Terri Schiavo and what we can do.

The Feast of St. Rose of Lima, Virgin
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Philip Benizi, O.S.M., Priest. To any Servites out there, blessed feast day !