Saturday, February 05, 2005

On February 5, 1853...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., wrote to a friend about the outcome of the Achilli trial:

I could not help being amused at poor Coleridge's prose. I have no doubt it gave him pain, and I think he wished to impress me. I trust I behaved respectfully, but he must have seen that I was as perfectly unconcerned as if I had been in my own room. But so it was. Putting aside supernatural views and motives, (of which, alas! I have not overmuch), mere habit, as in the case of the skinned eels, would keep me from being annoyed. I have not been the butt of slander and scorn for 20 years for nothing.

Watch your back, William...
Here's an article on the real Prince of Wales.

The Feast of St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
is today. There is information on her here.

Friday, February 04, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

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.

Thank You, Lord !
It appears that the disgusting thing I blogged about as happening in Germany may have only been a possibility, not an actual occurence.

The Feast of St. Maria de Mattias, A.S.C., Virgin and Foundress
is today. There is information on her here. A blessed feast day to all those who are affliated with the Precious Blood communities, including this blogger.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

From A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D.,
on Occasion of His Eirenicon

by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews, St. Paul introduces, not only Angels, but "the spirits of the just" into the sacred communion: "Ye have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to myriads of angels, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of the just made perfect, and to Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament." What can be meant by having "come to the spirits of the just," unless in some way or other, they do us good, whether by blessing or by aiding us? that is, in a word, to speak correctly, by praying for us, for it is surely by prayer that the creature above is able to bless and aid the creature below.

The Christian Carnival...
is up.
(NOTE: Many of the posts are non-Catholic, and thus may not accord with the teachings of the Church.)
The Feast of St. Blaise, Bishop and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here .
It is also the feast of Blessed John Nelson, S.J., Priest and Martyr.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

On February 1, 1852...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
Present State of Our Oratory

1. INTROD.—This day, commencing with this evening, is a great day for our Congregation, for it is the anniversary of its establishment in England.

2. This day four years [ago in England], and again this day three, in Birmingham.

3. The Purification, though not the greatest feast, [is] a good day, suitable to those who are beginning a work in an heretical country.—

(1) It is a forlorn day in winter.
(2) Christmas gone, Lent coming.
(3) A little child and a poor mother coming to the Temple.
(4) Purification reminds us of necessity of purity of heart.

4. To me especially interesting, for it has been my great feast-day for thirty years. Thirty years this year since I was brought under the shadow of our Lady, whom I ever wished to love and honour more and more. And thus, when I became a Catholic, it was the day of the Congregation, etc.

5. God has blessed us through her intercession for three years in this place (Alcester St.). We have gradually prospered, year after year, and now a more definite establishment at Edgbaston.

6. Everything has come naturally, like a tree growing, and we hope it will still [grow].

7. About the Achilli matter. When it first arose, I said, 'The devil is here. Look not on prosecutor, lawyers, friends, etc. They are all weapons of the devil.' A NET—pulling strings close. Vide Psalter.

8. Therefore the remedy was prayer. What showed this more, was the extreme difficulty [of the case].

9. Eph. vi. 12, 'We wrestle,' etc.

10. Number of prayers offered.

11. The sequel has shown it—a great noise ending in nothing, so as to disappoint—first a roaring lion, then a serpent slinking away; so it is now. People will say, 'Oh, there was no great danger.'

12. If we fail, it will be because we do not pray enough.

13. Therefore commend ourselves to our Lady.

The Catholic Carnival...
is up.
The Feast of St. Brigid of Ireland, Virgin
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Henry Morse, S.J., Priest and Martyr.

Monday, January 31, 2005

This week has not begun well for me...
My mother is having severe digestive problems immediately after she eats, and her legs are swollen. Also, I must, alas, seek employment again. My boss decided to replace my part-time position with a full-time one, which has additional duties I am not qualified to undertake, as I do not have a real estate license. Prayers for both of us would be a great blessing !
On January 31, 1858...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., gave some catechetical instructions, of which the following notes survive:


1. I have now explained what is meant by the word of God, by revelation, and by faith, and why they are necessary.

2. There is great correspondence between things of the body and of the soul. We cannot see without light; and even with light we need eyes, and in the dark we grope our way. Now by nature our souls are in darkness, ignorance, etc. Thus you see how it is there is need of God's word, revelation, and faith.

3. And here you see the reason of a solemn declaration, 'Without which there is no one can be saved.' We are going a journey, etc.

4. Our Lord's words, John iii. 18.

5. And still more if they refuse light, John iii. 19 .

6. This is one great reason why the light of faith is necessary, because we are so ignorant.
7. Now you will say, 'Is ignorance the fault of men in general? if so, how? if not, why are they punished with the loss of salvation?'

8. No one is punished except for his own fault. No one is punished except for rejecting light. God gives light all over the earth—enough to make men advance forward.

9. Explain: from one grace to another, from one step to another—prayer.

10. And thus those who are in a great deal of ignorance may be saved if they are doing their best, and their ignorance invincible.

11. Heathen, heretics (material), may have divine faith.

12. Who these are is secret. All we know is about ourselves. Application to ourselves.

God have mercy...
on the people in Germany who are responsible for this. From 'Let's let the hookers do their thing legally.', they've moved on to "Sell your body or else."
I'm curious, though... what about unemployed men ? Male prostitution also exists. Are men under 55 there required to take jobs as gigolos- or as homosexual prostitutes- if they can't find anything else ?

Link courtesy of Ales Rarus.

The Feast of St. John Bosco, S.C. ,Priest and Founder
is today. There is information on him here. To any Salesians out there, blessed feast day !

Sunday, January 30, 2005

On January 30, 1859...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Blessed Sebastian Valfre

1. INTROD.—The day. Blessed Sebastian born about thirty years after St. Philip's death.

2. General resemblance between the two: (1) St. Philip's early devotion to God; no mortal sin; hard life, long life, and hidden life. (2) Blessed Sebastian the same. More is known of his boyhood—(give instances). Like St. Philip, he labours till the day of his death. Circumstances of his death.

3. Differences from St. Philip: (1) St. Philip without object [in life at first]. Others go to Rome for preferment. He did not aim at being priest; he did not aim at founding a Congregation—like Benedictines, no great work , but [like] St. Vincent of Paul, e.g. works. (2) Blessed Sebastian had the definite object of being a priest.

4. Hence Blessed Sebastian's particular character—of priestly, pastoral work of every kind—(go into details). He differed from other priests [of his time] in his incessant work.

5. Well is it that his feast is this year on a Sunday, for we have just set up an altar to him.

6. And well is his feast at this time of the year, for it is the time we came to Birmingham.

7. We have been now ten years in Birmingham, and when I thank God for what He has allowed us to do, I can suitably do it, for I have had less to do with it than others. You know how many of us have devoted ourselves to missionary work.

8. Pray then for us—(details).

9. And pray for The Oratory at Turin—(details). Subscribing to the Achilli fund; our going there—[their] simplicity of life, etc. Their present troubles. Little to choose between one country and another. All good men persecuted.

If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of Blessed Sebastian Valfrè, C.O.,Priest . Prayers for his canonization would be most welcome.

Grant, O Lord,that, as we work for the good of souls, we may remain steadfast in your love, just as you marvellously upheld Blessed Sebastian so that many found salvation through him. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

The music at Noon Mass...
Processional Hymn: "All People That On Earth Do Dwell"
Offertory: "Ave Maria"- Tomas Luis da Vittoria (1548-1611)
Communion: "Adoro Te Devote"- Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
Recessional Hymn: "Alleluia! Sing to Jesus"