Saturday, September 04, 2004

For Saturday

Mary is the "Vas Spirituale," the Spiritual Vessel
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

To be spiritual is to live in the world of spirits—as St. Paul says, "Our conversation is in Heaven." To be spiritually-minded is to see by faith all those good and holy beings who actually surround us, though we see them not with our bodily eyes; to see them by faith as vividly as we see the things of earth—the green country, the blue sky, and the brilliant sunshine. Hence it is that, when saintly souls are favoured with heavenly visions, these visions are but the extraordinary continuations and the crown, by a divine intuition, of objects which, by the ordinary operation of grace, are ever before their minds.

These visions consoled and strengthened the Blessed Virgin in all her sorrows. The Angels who were around her understood her, and she understood them, with a directness which is not to be expected in their intercourse with us who have inherited from Adam the taint of sin. Doubtless; but still let us never forget that as she in her sorrows was comforted by Angels, so it is our privilege in the many trials of life to be comforted, in our degree, by the same heavenly messengers of the Most High; nay, by Almighty God Himself, the third Person of the Holy Trinity, who has taken on Himself the office of being our Paraclete, or Present Help.

Let all those who are in trouble take this comfort to themselves, if they are trying to lead a spiritual life. If they call on God, He will answer them. Though they have no earthly friend, they have Him, who, as He felt for His Mother when He was on the Cross, now that He is in His glory feels for the lowest and feeblest of His people.

Meditations and Devotions
mentions an odd parallel in the life of the Venerable. (BTW, that Jesuit visited Newman twenty years later- to congratulate him on his reception into the Church. )

What's really sad...
is that, in a bizarre way, this actually makes sense. The culture of death is already built on a foundation of sterile, pointless sex- why not sustain it thus ?

Link courtesy of Zorak.

God have mercy...
on those who committed these sacrileges.

Links courtesy of Fr. Sibley.

The Feast of Pope St. Boniface I
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Rosalia, Virgin.

Friday, September 03, 2004

On September 3, 1854
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Disease the Type of Sin

1. INTROD.—About the ten lepers in the Gospel.

2. Description of leprosy as a disease. What it was.

3. It made the person (1) deformed—(describe)—swollen and disgusting; (2) it was lasting, not like a fever; (3) incurable.

4. Lepers were driven out of society, they were so loathsome; and they became like beasts. Travellers describe them now as outside the cities in troops.

5. Now all this is sin. Go through the particulars, as the angels see it. Describe our souls.

6. Since we are one and all sinners, we do not understand it. But the angels must revolt from us, but for their love. We are an exception to the intellectual creation—except the devils.

7. Parallels: (1) a person with a bad temper; (2) a vulgar person—we shrink from them.

8. Yet our Saviour loved us, in spite of all this.

9. Enlarge on this. Take the cases of saints: (1) tending the leper; (2) sucking sores; (3) Father Claver with the Blacks; yet all this is nothing to Christ['s charity to us].

10. Here, to say nothing else, [is] difference from our Lady. She had never seen heaven.

But He came [from heaven] among us, and now gives Himself to us in the Holy Eucharist. You know how we shrink from dirt, etc.

11. Thus we have at once two thoughts—humility and thankfulness. How can we be proud of anything we are? How can we not love Christ?

Yet more evidence
that this world has gone off the deep end.

Link courtesy of Mark Shea.

Fr. Johansen
continues to be informative on the subject of the fight for the life of Terri Schiavo.

quotes the Venerable again.
God have mercy...
on the souls of all those who died as a result of this evil act. May He bring comfort to the grieving families and the wounded or terrorized survivors, and repentance to the hearts of the perpetrators.

Link courtesy of Zorak.

The Feast of Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here. Prayers for the Holy Father and for the more extensive use of Gregorian chant at Mass would be most welcome.
Last year, I posted an extensive quote from the Venerable on this Saint.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Deo Gratias !
Militants Release 31 Hostages in Russia.
Please keep praying for the rest of these victims !

Link courtesy of Laudem Gloriae.

Interesting article...
on the one figure in the CCM scene whom I truly respected. (Although I've never gotten why "Awewsome God" is so popular, when so many of his other songs were a great deal better.) Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

Link courtesy of Zach Frey

On September 2, 1855
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., put down notes for a sermon:

Service of God Contrasted with Service of Satan

1. No man can serve two masters.

2. This is true, even because they are two, but much more if [they are] opposed. In all things we must throw our heart into our work. It is the only way in which any work is done well. This is how men succeed in any line.

3. Yet, though this is certain, men forget it as to religion. They think to serve God without taking His service exclusively.

4. What is meant by exclusive service? Is it going out of the world? No. There are persons so called—but it is not that.

5. But [it is] subordinating all things to God's service. Whether we eat or drink, etc.

Parallel of worldly matters. A worldly man carries his aim into all things. He is thinking of his business wherever he is.

6. So in religion. And this is what is meant by loving God above all things. And this is why such love alone keeps us in God's favour.

7. To be religious, then, is not merely to have a respect for religion, to do some of its duties, to defend it, to profess it, but

8. It is to live in God's presence; to know the whole economy of redemption.

9. Hence the necessity of meditation.

10. Warning, because the world is likely to crush out our religion.

Apparently, these notes were not preached from, though why is unclear.

The Pontificator
quotes the Venerable. (The quote is from the Venerable's Anglican years and represents a position he later repudiated to a certain extent, inasmuch as it is 'anti-Roman')
Fr. Johansen
keeps us updated on the continued assault on the life of a helpless woman.
On September 2, 1973
The Professor went to his eternal reward. Here is the Oratio of the Tridentine Mass for the Dead.

Inclina, Domine, aurem tuam ad preces nostras, quibus misericordiam tuam supplices deprecamur: ut animam famuli tui, John Ronald Reuel , quam de hoc saeculo migrare jussisti; in pacis ac lucis regione constituas, et Sanctorum tuorum jubeas esse consortem. Per Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum, Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus
C: Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R: Amen.

And a translation of the same....

C: Incline Thy ear, O Lord, to the prayers with which we suppliantly entreat Thy mercy, and do Thou, in a place of peace and rest, establish the soul of Thy servant, John Ronald Reuel, whom Thou hast called out of this world; and cause him to be joined to the fellowship of Thy saints. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who being God, lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost
C: For ever and ever.
R: Amen.

Eru gala, Professor. Uireb sed.

The Feast of the Blessed Martyrs of September
is today. There is information on them here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

On September 1, 1865
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., wrote to an old friend, who had recently resumed contact with him.....

My dear Keble,—I have a great shrinking from pledging myself, for sometimes I cannot fulfil, and therefore disappoint the parties to whom I have pledged myself—but, please God, if all is well, and if it suits you, I propose to be with you on Thursday morning next, and spend the day with you. I leave you for the H. Bowdens at Ryde.
Ever yours affectionately,

Due to the fragility of Mrs. Keble's health, the visit did not occur until several weeks later, and as it happened, another old friend was also there. He wrote about this meeting to Fr. Ambrose St. John, C.O.

Here I am, very comfortable, and if I had my dear fiddle with me, I might sing and play, "recubans sub tegmine fagi," in full content. Scarcely had I left Birmingham when it struck me that, since Pusey was to be at Keble's that evening, he would, no manner of doubt, get into my train at Oxford and travel down with me. But he did not. I determined to go to Keble's next morning to see him.

So I did. I slept at the Railway Hotel at Southampton Dock, a very reasonable house, and good too, (they are building an Imperial Hotel), and yesterday morning (Tuesday) retraced my steps to Bishopstoke, left my portmanteau there, and went over to Hursley. I had forgotten the country, and was not prepared for its woodland beauty. Keble was at the door; he did not know me, nor I him. How mysterious that first sight of friends is! for, when I came to contemplate him, it was the old face and manner, but the first effect or impression was different.

His wife had been taken ill in the night, and at the first moment he, I think, and certainly I, wished myself away. Then he said: "Have you missed my letter?" meaning, "Pusey is here, and I wrote to stop your coming." He then said: "I must go and prepare Pusey." He did so, and then took me into the room where Pusey was.

I went in rapidly, and it is strange how action overcomes pain. Pusey, being passive, was evidently shrinking back into the corner of the room, as I should have done, had he rushed in upon me. He could not help contemplating the look of me narrowly and long. "Ah," I thought, "you are thinking how old I am grown, and I see myself in you,—though you, I do think, are more altered than I." Indeed, the alteration in him startled, I will add pained and grieved, me. I should have known him anywhere; his face is not changed, but it is as if you looked at him through a prodigious magnifier. I recollect him short and small, with a round head and smallish features, flaxen curly hair; huddled up together from his shoulders downward, and walking fast. This as a young man; but comparing him even as he was when I had last seen him in 1846, when he was slow in his motions and staid in his figure, there was a wonderful change in him. His head and features are half as large again; his chest is very broad, and he is altogether large, and (don't say all this to anyone) he has a strange condescending way when he speaks. His voice is the same; were my eyes shut, I should not be sensible of any alteration.

As we three sat together at one table, I had a painful thought, not acute pain, but heavy. There were three old men, who had worked together vigorously in their prime. This is what they have come to,—poor human nature! After twenty years they meet together round a table, but without a common cause or free outspoken thought; kind indeed, but subdued and antagonistic in their language to each other, and all of them with broken prospects, yet each viewing in his own way the world in which those prospects lay.

Pusey is full of his book (the "Eirenicon"), which is all but published, against Manning, and full of his speech on the relations of physical science with the Bible, which he is to deliver at the Church Congress at Norwich; full of polemics and hope. Keble is quite different; he is as delightful as ever, and it seemed to me as if he felt a sympathy and intimacy with me which he did not show towards Pusey. I judge by the way and tone he spoke to me of him. I took an early dinner with them; and, when the bell chimed at 4 o'clock for service, I got into my gig, and so from Bishopstoke to Ryde, getting here between 7 and 8.

Another letter adds a few more details:

When I got to Keble's door, he happened to be at it, but we did not know each other, and I was obliged to show him my card. Is not this strange? it is imagination mastering reason. He indeed thought, since Pusey was coming, I should not come that day—but I knew beyond doubt that I was at his house—yet I dared not presume it was he—but, after he began to talk, the old Keble, that is, the young, came out from his eyes and his features, and I daresay, if I saw him once or twice I should be unable to see much difference between his present face and his face of past days . As Mrs. Keble was ill, we then dined together tête-à-tête—a thing we never perhaps had done before—there was something awful in three men meeting in old age who had worked together in their best days. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity, was the sad burden of the whole—once so united, now so broken up, so counter to each other—though neither of them of course would quite allow it. Keble has since written to me, "when shall we three meet again? soon—when the hurly burly's done."

Keble is deaf—but, what is worse, his speech is much impaired—and I think he thinks more slowly. Pusey was full of plans, full of meetings. He has since made an important speech at Norwich on the interpretation of Scripture, which will do good, and of this he was full. Then, he was just on publishing his book which he calls an Eirenicon, and he was full of it, though he was cautious of letting out all that was in it. Have you seen it? It is anything but an Eirenicon—it is likely to make Catholics very angry—and justly angry.

The Venerable ended up having to answer Pusey's Eirenicon with a book of his own- A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D.,on Occasion of His Eirenicon.

Prayers needed immediately....
for these hostages.
May God move the hearts of those who have done this, and may they repent of these evil deeds.

Link courtesy of Laudem Gloriae.

Happy anniversary...
to the Riddles!

Just try to imagine telling your insurance company...
"Our airplane was eaten by a herd of cows. No, really !"

Link courtesy of Zorak

Check out...
the first of these two letters to the editor. The writer was probably appealing to reductio ad absurdum, but I happen to think it's a great idea. (And an apology for 200 years of persecution wouldn't hurt either, especially since the Holy Father took the initiative some years ago of reqesting pardon for persecutions initiated by members of the Catholic Church...)

Link courtesy of Midwest Conservative Journal.
Prayers continue...
for the protection of an innocent life.

At daily Mass...
I took notice of a young man. He spoke to Fr. David before Mass, for about a minute. When Communion time came, he waited until the rest of us had received, then went up and received the Precious Blood. Little fuss, and no brouhaha.

Some priests across the Pond...
are fighting the Culture of Death. Glad to see Fr. Chavasse mentioned. I met him a few years ago. He's not only the Venerable's successor, but the postulator of his Cause.

Link courtesy of Mark Shea.

The Feast of St. Beatrice da Silva, Virgin and Foundress
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Giles, Abbot, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, and of several Biblical personages- Joshua, Gideon, Abigail, and Anna the Prophetess.

Doubtless there have been many widows in Israel, serving God in fastings and prayers, like Anna; but she only is mentioned in Scripture, as being in a situation to glorify the Lord Jesus. She spoke of the Infant Saviour "to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem."

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

On August 31, 1851
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

On Christ the Good Samaritan

1. INTROD.—Go through the parable briefly, applying it in a secondary sense to the sinner and Christ.

2. In the parable the traveller was robbed against his will, the sinner with his will. Satan cannot conquer us against ourselves. Eve—temptation, etc.; it is a bargain.

3. Thus he gets from us justice, habitual grace, etc., nay, part of our mere nature, for he leaves wounds. Thus he may be said to suck the blood from us. A vampire bat sucking the blood out. All terrible stories of ghosts, etc., etc., are fulfilled in him who is the archetype of evil.

4. He has the best of the bargain, as is evident. What have we to show for it?—there are improvident spendthrifts who anticipate their money, and get nothing for it. What have we to show if we have given ourselves to Satan?

5. (1) Those who commit frauds—ill gains go. (2) Anger, swearing and blasphemy—what remains? (3) Sensuality is more rational, because men get something.

6. Yet in a few years where is it all? Let a man enjoy life, let him be rich, but he gets old, and then! Wisdom [v. 8]. 'What hath pride profited us?'

7. Thus Satan has the best of the bargain, and we lie like the traveller.

8. Nothing of this world can help us—priest or Levite: there we should lie for ever, etc.

9. Christ alone, by His sacraments.

10. Mind He is a Samaritan—so Nazareth—because the Catholic Church is hated. She is the good Samaritan to Protestants. Observe again the text, 'He who showed mercy to him.' Has the Catholic Church or Protestantism done this for us?

Ales Rarus
managed to beat me to the punch. The price of not having Internet access at home !
Also he links to an article on stem cells, written by a mutual friend.

The folks at Zenit...

The direct link won't work, so here is the entire article.

Pope Joins in Celebration of Disciple of St. Philip Neri

Marks 400 Years Since Death of Blessed

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 30, 2004 ( John Paul II put forward as an “example of holiness to the men of our time” the person of Blessed Giovanni Giovenale Ancina.

Celebrating the 4th centenary of the death of the blessed, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, sent a letter on behalf of the Holy Father to Bishop Giuseppe Guerrini of Saluzzo, Italy.

Blessed Ancina, a native of Fossano, was born on October 19, 1545. He arrived in Rome in 1574, where he came into contact with teachers such as St. Robert Bellarmine who helped him to acquire extensive theological knowledge and cultivate his literary and musical talents.

He met St. Philip Neri in 1576, who Cardinal Sodano said “first enlightened his mind and later warmed his heart.” The meeting led him to request admission to the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, within which he developed his ministry as "esteemed and appreciated preacher, confessor, and theologian," said the cardinal.

Ten years later St. Philip Neri invited then Father Ancina to Naples as rector of the Oratory school. In that city, he became a "promoter of several pastoral and cultural activities," eliciting "the affection of the people," the cardinal stated.

He was consecrated bishop in 1602, and during his brief episcopate in Saluzzo he convoked the diocesan synod, established the Seminary and initiated pastoral visits, "faithfully applying the dispositions of the Council of Trent" with "humility and fortitude."

Despite the "enormous quantity of work" he did every day, it was not to the detriment of his prayer "to which he dedicated much time" spending "hours in adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament," Cardinal Sodano emphasized.

His sudden death on Aug. 30, 1604, "put an end to his intense activity for the reform of the Christian clergy, religious, and laity."

Uniting himself to the thanksgiving of the Saluzzo diocese and the Oratorian Family for the life of Blessed Giovanni Giovenale Ancina, the Holy Father expressed in the letter the desire that "the anniversary of the entry into eternity of such an illustrious pastor and worthy disciple of St. Philip Neri may give the clergy, religious, and faithful the opportunity to relive the commitment to personal improvement and tireless apostolic dedication."

Please continue in prayer...
for Terri Schiavo.
The Feast of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne,Abbot
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Raymond Nonnatus,, Priest. To any Mercedarians out there, happy feast day !

Monday, August 30, 2004

On August 30, 1843
a lady wrote to the Venerable's sister, Jemima, expressing her dismay over his withdrawal from the Oxford Movement and the rumors that he was considering Roman Catholicism. Apparently, he himself received many, many similar letters, and they were one of the great difficulties along his path into the Catholic Church.

I have been thinking that among all the opinions and feelings your brother is called upon to sympathise with, perhaps he hears least and knows least of those who are, perhaps, the most numerous class of all, people living at a distance from him, and scattered over the country with no means of communication with him as with one another, yet who all have been used to look up to him as a guide. These people have a claim upon him: he has witnessed to the world, and they have received his witness; he has taught and they have striven to be obedient pupils. He has formed their minds, not accidentally: he has sought to do so, and he has succeeded. He has undertaken the charge and cannot now shake them off. His words have been spoken in vain to many, but not to them. He has been the means under Providence of making them what they are. Each might have gone his separate way but for him. To them his voluntary resignation of ministerial duties will be a severe blow. If he was silenced, the blame would rest with others; but, giving them up of his own free will, they will have a sense of abandonment and desertion. There is something sad enough and discouraging enough in being shunned and eyed with distrust by neighbours, friends, and clergy, but while we have had some one to confide in, to receive instruction from, this has been borne easily. A sound from Littlemore and St. Mary's seems to reach us even here, and has given comfort on many a dreary day; but when that voice ceases, even the words it has already spoken will lose some of their power; we shall have sad thoughts as we read them. Such was our guide, but he has left us to seek our own path; our champion has deserted us—our watchman, whose cry used to cheer us, is heard no more.

In spite of the sorrow and the fear that such a step may excite, I know it may be right to do it—and if your brother does so, I shall try to think it is; but it seems right that he should know all the consequences. We shall not leave the Church as others may. We have no longings for Rome; but it is a strong step to make our home feel cheerless, and this will tend to do it—at least for a time. But it is a large subject and you will say it far better than I. I have said this as a sort of relief to my feelings; you will judge whether this view of the subject is worth noticing.

Fr. Michael...
on humility.
Laita Eru !
Elliot Bougis seems to be on the way home !. Prayers for his journey are forthcoming!
Please keep praying
for Terri Schiavo.
The Feast of Blessed Juvenal Ancina, C.O., Bishop
is today. There is information on him here. There are two very good reasons for me to mention this great man of God, even if he were not an Oratorian.
1. This year is the 400th anniversary of the day he went to his reward.
2. Even though he did not want to be a bishop, when ordered to become one he quickly began to clean up his diocese. This resulted in his death, due to a certain friar preferring to commit murder rather than give up his sinful ways. Blessed Juvenal is thus a fine example of a bishop who would not compromise with evil.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Please persevere in prayer...
for Terri Schiavo.
If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. John the Baptist, Precursor of Christ and Martyr.

Herod the Tetrarch had taken his brother's wife. John the Baptist protested against so heinous a sin; and the guilty king, though he could not bring himself to forsake it, yet respected the prophet, and tried to please him in other ways; but Herodias, the proud and cruel woman whom he had married, resented his interference, and at length effected his death. I need not go through the details of this atrocious history, which are well known to every reader of the Gospels.

St. John the Baptist had a most difficult office to fulfil; that of rebuking a king. Not that it is difficult for a man of rude arrogant mind to say a harsh thing to men in power,—nay, rather, it is a gratification to such a one; but it is difficult to rebuke well, that is, at a right time, in a right spirit, and a right manner. The Holy Baptist rebuked Herod without making him angry; therefore he must have rebuked him with gravity, temper, sincerity, and an evident good-will towards him. On the other hand, he spoke so firmly, sharply, and faithfully, that his rebuke cost him his life.

We who now live have not that extreme duty put upon us with which St. John was laden; yet every one of us has a share in his office, inasmuch as we are all bound "to rebuke vice boldly," when we have fit opportunities for so doing.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Parochial and Plain Sermons
Music at the Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"
Offertory: "Here, O My Lord"- Horatius Bonnar (1808-1889)
Recessional Hymn: "Come, Holy Ghost"