Friday, November 26, 2004

I've posted on the the National Shrine of Our Lady in England before, but I just stumbled across the website of the National Shrine of Our Lady in Wales.

The Professor's house at 20 Northmoor Road has been given protected status.

Link courtesy of Thunderstruck.

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

After trial and temptation; after sorrow and pain; after daily dyings to the world; after daily risings unto holiness; at length comes that "rest which remaineth unto the people of God." After the fever of life; after wearinesses and sicknesses; fightings and despondings; languor and fretfulness; struggling and failing, struggling and succeeding; after all the changes and chances of this troubled unhealthy state, at length comes death, at length the White Throne of God, at length the Beatific Vision. After restlessness comes rest, peace, joy;—our eternal portion, if we be worthy; —the sight of the Blessed Three, the Holy One; the Three that bear witness in heaven; in light unapproachable; in glory without spot or blemish; in power without "variableness, or shadow of turning." The Father God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God; the Father Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord; the Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate; the Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost; and such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost; and yet there are not three Gods, nor three Lords, nor three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated; but one God, one Lord, one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

David at Sed Contra
has posted a fine quote from the Venerable.
The Feast of Pope St. Siricius
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. John Berchmans, S.J. and St. Leonard of Port Maurice, O.F.M., Priest.
In addition, it is the feast of Blessed Hugh Taylor, Priest and Martyr, and Blessed James Alberione, Priest and Founder. To all members of the Pauline family of religious, blessed feast day !

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I probably won't get to blog tommorow...
so I'd like to wish everyone a blessed and happy Thanksgiving !
On November 24, 1844...
Venerable John Henry Newman, still Anglican but no longer a clergyman, wrote a letter to his sister:

I knew very well I should have a kind letter from you, as has been the case; but really you did—I don't say, consciously, but from an unconscious feeling—in the most pointed way pass over various things I said about my feelings, taking hold of one half sentence, leaving the other half; speaking of Bowden, not of myself, when I spoke of both at once. I knew how very painful the whole matter was to you, and was far indeed from blaming you, but when it had gone on some time I sincerely thought you wished me to drop the subject, and I did drop it.

As to late reports, I did not properly hear them till they were over—that is, I heard that there was a paragraph, but did not realise its preciseness and plausibility. When I did, I wrote to several friends, and should have written to you but that I thought you had really, so far, given me up. And I thought you would hear from James. It is astonishing what little feeling certain people have. Golightly and the newspapers would think it very wrong to put out a statement on doubtful authority to the effect that I had broken my leg, yet they have no remorse in circulating what is adapted to shock friends indefinitely more. But the said G. is a man literally without bowels. I doubt whether he has any inside, or is more than a walking and talking piece of mechanism .

I have gone through a great deal of pain, and have been very much cut up. The one predominant distress upon me has been this unsettlement of mind I am causing. This is a thing that has haunted me day by day. And for days I had a literal pain in and about my heart, which I suppose at any moment I could bring on again. I have been overworked lately. The translation of St. Athanasius is, I am glad to say, just coming to an end, and I shall (so be it) relax. I suppose I need it. This has been a very trying year.

… Besides the pain of unsettling people, of course I feel the loss I am undergoing in the good opinion of my friends and well-wishers, though I can't tell how much I feel this. It is the shock, surprise, terror, forlornness, disgust, scepticism to which I am giving rise; the differences of opinion, division of families—all this it is that makes my heart ache.

… I cannot make out that I have any motive but a sense of indefinite risk to my soul in remaining where I am. A clear conviction of the substantial identity of Christianity and the Roman system has now been on my mind for a full three years. It is more than five years since the conviction first came on me, though I struggled against it and overcame it. I believe all my feelings and wishes are against change. I have nothing to draw me elsewhere. I hardly ever was at a Roman service; even abroad I knew no Roman Catholics. I have no sympathies with them as a party. I am giving up everything. I am not conscious of any resentment, disgust, or the like to repel me from my present position; and I have no dreams whatever—far from it indeed. I seem to be throwing myself away.

Unless something occurs which I cannot anticipate I have no intention of any early step even now. But I cannot but think—though I can no more realise it than being made Dean of Ch. Ch. or Bishop of Durham—that some day it will be, and at a definite distance of time. As far as I can make out I am in the state of mind which divines call indifferentia, inculcating it as a duty to be set on nothing, but to be willing to take whatever Providence wills. How can I at my age and with my past trials be set upon anything? I really don't think I am. What keeps me here is the desire of giving every chance for finding out if I am under the power of a delusion. Various persons have sent me very kind letters, and I really trust that many are bearing me in mind in their prayers.

I say to myself, 'What have I done to be given up to a delusion, if it be one?' It is my full intention to give up my Fellowship some time before anything happens. And now what a deal I have said about myself! I wonder how many I's are in this letter.

This is a most abrupt letter, but I have no time, and am tired and out of spirits...

The 45th Christian Carnival...
is now up.
The Feast of the Martyrs of Vietnam
is today. There is information on them here.
It is also my mother's birthday. Prayers for her intenions would be most welcome.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Gift of Perseverance
by Venerable John Henry Newman

Once, as I brooded o'er my guilty state,
A fever seized me, duties to devise,
To buy me interest in my Saviour's eyes;
Not that His love I would extenuate,
But scourge and penance, masterful self-hate,
Or gift of cost, served by an artifice
To quell my restless thoughts and envious sighs
And doubts, which fain heaven's peace would antedate.
Thus as I tossed, He said:—"E'en holiest deeds
Shroud not the soul from God, nor soothe its needs;
Deny thee thine own fears, and wait the end!"
Stern lesson! Let me con it day by day,
And learn to kneel before the Omniscient Ray,
Nor shrink, when Truth's avenging shafts descend!

November 23, 1832.
The Feast of Pope St. Clement I, Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Columbanus, O.S.B, Abbot and Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J., Priest and Martyr .

OK, now I'm really ruining my rep!
My friend Eric was kind enough to host a picture of yours truly.
The Fifth Catholic Carnival
is now online.
Fr. Michael
has posted two homilies, and Michael the aspirant has changed the name of his blog.

Monday, November 22, 2004

OK, I may be ruining my rep....
but for once I have a self-centered post ! I have a job interview tommorow at 10 am EST, and prayers would be very greatly appreciated !
From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman:

Let us lend to Him a few short hours of present ease, and we shall receive our own with abundant usury in the day of His coming. There is a Treasury in heaven stored with such offerings as the natural man abhors; with sighs and tears, wounds and blood, torture and death. The Martyrs first began the contribution, and we all may follow them; all of us, for every suffering, great or little, may, like the widow's mite, be sacrificed in faith to Him who sent it. Christ gave us the words of consecration, when He for an ensample said, "Thy will be done." Henceforth, as the Apostle speaks, we may "glory in tribulation," as the seed of future glory.

As I have noted before...
November 22 is the anniversary of the day one of the Professor's best friends, C.S. Lewis, went to his reward.

So far I have felt the normal feelings of a man my age- like an old tree that is losing all its leaves one by one: this feels like an axe-blow near the roots.

- J.R.R. Tolkien to Priscilla Tolkien, November 26, 1963

The Feast of St. Cecilia, Virgin, Martyr, and Patroness of Musicians
is today. There is information on her here. I posted about her last year and the year before that. Dryden wrote a poem about her- the last verse, especially the last line, is probably my favorite bit of poetry.

As from the pow'r of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise
To all the bless'd above;
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky.

It is also the feast of the Blessed Martyrs of England, Scotland and Wales and the Blessed Martyrs of Armenia

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Cute puppy pictures...
at the New Gasparian. (And I like the caption on the third one !)

It's about time...
that somebody dealt with the "Celtic Christianity" nonsense.

Link courtesy of Mere Comments.

Our local Catholic paper...
had an interesting article on the six diocesan priests here who came into the Church as adults. I happen to know two of them-Frs. David and Kevin Poecking, who are brothers. (The article only lists converts who are diocesan priests, so the two Oratorians here who came into the Church as adults are not discussed.)
The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King
is today. There is information on it here.

I mean this,—that when we look abroad into the world, and survey the different states and functions of civil society, we see a great deal to admire, but all is imperfect. Each state, or each rank, has its particular excellence, but that excellence is solitary. For instance,—if you take the highest, the kingly office, there is much in it to excite reverence and devotedness. We cannot but look up to power, which God has originally given, so visibly and augustly displayed. All the pomp and circumstance of a court reminds us that the centre of it is one whom God, the Almighty King, maintains. And yet, on second thoughts, is there not this great defect,—that it is all power, and no subjection; all greatness, and no humiliation; all doing, and no suffering? Great sovereigns indeed, like other men, have their own private griefs, and, if they are Christians, have the privileges of Christians, painful as well as pleasant; but I am speaking of kingly power in itself, and showing what a contrast it presents to Christ's sovereignty. Princes are brought up princes; from their birth they receive honours approaching to worship; they will a thing, and it is done; they are on high, and never below. How different the sovereignty of Christ! Born, not in golden chambers, but in a cave of the earth, surrounded with brute cattle, laid in a manger; then bred up as the carpenter's son; when He displayed Himself as the King of Saints, still without a place to lay His head, and dying on the Cross a malefactor's death. He was not a king without being a sufferer too. And so in like manner His followers after Him. He washed His brethren's feet, and He bade them in turn do the like. He told them that, "whosoever would be chief among them, let him be their servant, even as the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many." [Matt. xx. 27, 28.] He warned them that they should receive "houses and lands, with persecutions." [Mark x. 30.] Such is the kingly power of Christ,—reached through humiliation, exercised in mortification.

Venerable John Henry Newman, Sermons Bearing on Subjects of the Day

If it were not Sunday...
today would be the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It would also be the feast of Pope St. Gelasius I.

Music at Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "At the Name of Jesus"
Offertory: "Cantate Domino"- Giuseppe Pitoni (1657-1743)
Communion: "O Jesu, King Most Wonderful"- Jeremiah Clarke (1673-1707)
Recessional Hymn: "Crown Him With Many Crowns"