Saturday, December 11, 2004

Please pray...
for Fr. Adriano Castagna of the Palermo Oratory, who was ordained to the priesthod today. (The ordination happened at Santa Maria in Vallicella, the Oratorian church in Rome, but his First Mass is tommorow in Palermo.)
On December 11, 1849...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., gave some catechetical instructions, of which the following note survives:

Et in Spiritum Sanctum
On the condescension of the Holy Ghost. Creation implies ministration, and is the beginning of mysteries. It passes the line, and other mysteries are but its continuation.

When Santorum said it would happen, he was dismissed as a right-wing loon...
It's happening.

Link courtesy of Godspy.

I believe Freud had a case known as 'the Rat-Man'...
but I doubt that it was anything like this. (These were, of course, wild rats- not the cute domestic kind.

The Feast of Pope St. Damasus I
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. María Maravillas de Jesús, O.C.D., Virgin and Blessed Arthur Bell, O.F.M., Priest and Martyr.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Christmas Friday Ten

1. Egg nog - yum or yuck? As a drink, yuck. Though eggnog cake is delicious.

2. Stay up until midnight on New Years? Of course ! (When the Y2K scare was on, I spent the night at a chapel that has Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, figuring that if civilization fell apart, that was the best place to be. )

3. Prefer white or colored lights? Colors. Lots of colors!

4. Favorite holiday song. "O Magnum Mysterium" by Vittoria.

5. What is your tackiest holiday decoration? A few years ago, our Christmas ornaments were stolen from the apartment building's basement pens. So we are currently without anything really tacky.

6. Do your kids have too much and you wonder just WHY you are getting more?? No kids to get stuff for....sigh...

7. If you celebrate Christmas, when does your tree go up and come down? Third or fourth week of Advent/week of Epiphany.

8. Christmas again- open presents on Christmas eve, morning, or other? - Christmas Eve, right before heading out to Mass.
9. Favorite holiday tradition? Singing "O Magnum Mysterium" at the Christmas Vigil Mass.

10. What do YOU want for Christmas? I got it already- a job !

Thank you to Peony.
This is a step in the right direction...
but, considering his age, if he's going to find the truth before the Truth finds him, he'd better hurry up!

Link courtesy of HMS Blog.

Dave Armstrong...
shows what a 'progressive theologian' would do to what is probably the world's most-loved Christmas carol.

Bill Gates has done a lot of less-than-stellar things...
such as donating huge sums of money to promoting the Culture of Death. However, I will admit, this is cool. (The article is a bit syncophantic on his motive, though. I believe getting good publicity for 'diversity' played a big part...)

The Feasts of Pope St. Miltiades and Pope St. Gregory III
are today. There is information on them here and here.
It is also the feast of St. Edmund Genings, Priest and Martyr, Blessed Thomas Somers, Priest and Martyr, Blessed John Mason, Martyr, Blessed Sidney Hodgson, Martyr , and Blessed Brian Lacey, Martyr. A blessed feast day to all who have these Saints and Beati as patrons, particularly Fr. Bryan of the Pittsburgh Oratory !

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Deo gratias !
I begin a new job on Monday. I'm not sure how the blogging will be once I start. Thank you to all those who have been praying for me !
On December 9, 1849...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

On Man as Disobedient by Sin as Contrasted with Mary

1. INTROD.—Our Saviour came at this time of year to bring peace on earth.

2. Prince of peace—leopard and lamb —'on earth peace'; hence, as type, peace in Roman Empire.

3. He reconciled man to man, God to man, but especially the soul to itself. He made peace within—this the great gift.

4. Man created at unity with himself; his different powers, irascible and concupiscible—how are they to be brought together? Only by God's grace. He is not sufficient for his own happiness. Stoics have tried to subject the passions to the reason, without subjecting the reason to God. Sin is self-destructive.

5. Such the case, about eternal punishment—it is not religion brings in the doctrine; it is a fact in prospect before us—for suppose no God, and man immortal, he would be his own eternal torment, and could not free himself.

6. Give a person riches, health, name, power, ability, let him live centuries here, would that be a gain, or the contrary? Would not the very time show that these things had failed?

7. Two great principles, the irascible and the concupiscible. Solomon in Eccles. ii.—indulgence of sensuality; what does mirth and grasping profit? Tired out—sated—the same dishes daily; the same faces; the same servants behind chairs—Lord Byron—the man who killed himself because he had to get up and go to bed. When such men get to the end of life they would not live longer; they want rest, as the man in 'The Siege of Corinth'—'The Giaour.'

8. Satiety would make way for gloom—ill-temper. The misery of ill-temper—gloom; eating the heart out. On kings with unrestrained power, what brutes they become! Their furious passions. Youth is gay, age is crabbed—vain regret of first youthful feelings, gone for ever. Why, such feelings would tend to madness. Oh the awful misery of a man living an eternity in this world!

9. Yet they do not live on, but die. And then, what the additional agony of a soul left to itself! with nothing corporeal; no means of communicating with others; thrown on itself; voluntarily cut off from God, who is our only stay, comfort, then—and so for eternity.

10. Pain of the body great, but pain of the mind worse, though we do not know much of it here. Scaring, bad dreams, hair turning white—what when it comes in its fulness? The wicked is like the troubled sea. Here is your portion, my brethren, if you will not turn to God.

11. Oh, what dreadful thoughts for the future! This is how man, then, will appear before his Maker—covered with wounds, etc. Suppose at the judgment God, without positive infliction, merely left a man to himself.

12. What a contrast our Lady to this—our Saviour is God and cannot afford the contrast. Immaculate in her conception—so sweet, so musical, etc. She holds up to us what man is intended to be, as a type, the most perfect submission of his powers to grace.

13. Instinctive feeling in the Church that it is so.

14. Christ the source, Mary the work of grace.

The Feast of St. Juan Diego
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of the Martyrs of Samosata ,St. Peter Fourier, Augustinian Canon Regular, Priest and Founder, and Blessed John Roberts, O.S.B., Priest and Martyr. To any Augustinian Canons Regular, Daughters of Mary, or Benedictines out there, blessed feast day !

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The Christian Carnival...
is up. (Note: The majority of the posters are not Catholic, so some of the entries are not compatible with the Church's teaching.)
Even when it comes to the lottery...
sometimes the good people win.

Link courtesy of Katolik Shinja.
On December 8, 1955
the Professor wrote to Naomi Mitchison:
I have now got a pestilent doctorate thesis to explore, when I would rather be doing something less useful.

The Catholic Marriage Petition...
is here.

Link courtesy of Recta Ratio.

On this feast day...
A collection for Birthright is taken up after all of the Masses here. I'll be doing the collecting after the noon Mass today. Please pray that Birthright will be able to continue to help many mothers in difficulty!
The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
is today. There is information on it here and here.

It is so difficult for me to enter into the feelings of a person who understands the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and yet objects to it, that I am diffident about attempting to speak on the subject. I was accused of holding it, in one of the first books I wrote, twenty years ago. On the other hand, this very fact may be an argument against an objector—for why should it not have been difficult to me at that time, if there were a real difficulty in receiving it?

2. Does not the objector consider that Eve was created, or born, without original sin? Why does not this shock him? Would he have been inclined to worship Eve in that first estate of hers? Why, then, Mary?

3. Does he not believe that St. John Baptist had the grace of God—i.e., was regenerated, even before his birth? What do we believe of Mary, but that grace was given her at a still earlier period? All we say is, that grace was given her from the first moment of her existence.

4. We do not say that she did not owe her salvation to the death of her Son. Just the contrary, we say that she, of all mere children of Adam, is in the truest sense the fruit and the purchase of His Passion. He has done for her more than for anyone else. To others He gives grace and regeneration at a point in their earthly existence; to her, from the very beginning.

5. We do not make her nature different from others. Though, as St. Austin says, we do not like to name her in the same breath with mention of sin, yet, certainly she would have been a frail being, like Eve, without the grace of God. A more abundant gift of grace made her what she was from the first. It was not her nature which secured her perseverance, but the excess of grace which hindered Nature acting as Nature ever will act. There is no difference in kind between her and us, though an inconceivable difference of degree. She and we are both simply saved by the grace of Christ.

Thus, sincerely speaking, I really do not see what the difficulty is, and should like it set down distinctly in words. I will add that the above statement is no private statement of my own. I never heard of any Catholic who ever had any other view. I never heard of any other put forth by anyone.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Meditations and Devotions of the Late Cardinal Newman

It is also the feast of Pope St. Eutychian.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

The Catholic Carnival
is up at Dunmoose's blog.
The library was closed yesterday...
which is why I couldn't blog.
The Feast of St. Ambrose of Milan, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here.

Did St. Athanasius or St. Ambrose come suddenly to life, it cannot be doubted what communion he would take to be his own. All surely will agree that these Fathers, with whatever opinions of their own, whatever protests, if we will, would find themselves more at home with such men as St. Bernard or St. Ignatius Loyola, or with the lonely priest in his lodging, or the holy sisterhood of mercy, or the unlettered crowd before the altar, than with the teachers or with the members of any other creed. And may we not add, that were those same Saints, who once sojourned, one in exile, one on embassy, at Treves, to come more northward still, and to travel until they reached another fair city, seated among groves, green meadows, and calm streams, the holy brothers would turn from many a high aisle and solemn cloister which they found there, and ask the way to some small chapel where mass was said in the populous alley or forlorn suburb?

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine

It is also the feast of St. Mary Joseph Rosello, Virgin and Foundress. To any members of the Institute of the Daughters of Mercy out there, blessed feast day !

Sunday, December 05, 2004

From Discussions and Arguments on Various Subjects
by Venerable John Henry Newman

St. John the Baptist's character, I am persuaded, would startle most people, if they were not used to Scripture; and when men begin to doubt about the integrity of Scripture, it will be turned against the authenticity or the authority of the particular passages which relate to it. Let us realize to ourselves a man living on locusts and wild honey, and with a hair shirt on, bound by a leathern girdle. Our Lord indeed bids us avoid outward show, and therefore the ostentation of such austerity would be wrong now, of course; but what is there to show that the thing itself would be wrong, if a person were moved to do it? Does not our Saviour expressly say, with reference to the austerities of St. John's disciples, that after His departure His own disciples shall resemble them,—"then shall they fast"? Yet, I suppose, most persons would cry out now against the very semblance of the Baptist's life; and why? Those who gave a reason would perhaps call it Jewish. Yet what had St. John to do with the Jews, whose religion was one, not of austerity, but of joyousness and feasting, and that by divine permission? Surely the same feeling which would make men condemn an austere life now, if individuals attempted it, which makes them, when they read of such instances in the early Church, condemn it, would lead the same parties to condemn it in St. John, were they not bound by religious considerations; and, therefore, I say, if ever the time comes that men begin to inquire into the divinity of the separate parts of Scripture, as they do now scrutinize the separate parts of the Church system, they will no longer be able to acquiesce in St. John's character and conduct as simply right and religious.

The Pontificator...
quotes The Silmarillion.
If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. John Almond, Priest and Martyr.
Please pray...
for Ryan, a freshman involved with the Newman Center here, who has been hospitalized with a collapsed lung.
Music at Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Savior of the Nations, Come"
Offertory: "The Truth From Above"- Ralph Vaughn Williams (1872-1958)
Communion: "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel" - Chant
Recessional Hymn: "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"