Saturday, February 19, 2005

Sorry for the light blogging...
I've had some technical problems, and I have also been busy with Real Life. My mother will be returning home on Wednesday. Thank you to all who have been praying for her recovery !
The Feast of St. Barbatus of Benevento, Bishop
is today. There is information on him here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The Catholic Carnival...
is up.
On February 16, 1851...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

On Labour—Our Work Here

1. INTROD.—Before Lent the Church begins by setting before us work as an introduction.

2. Epistle and gospel—beginning of Genesis. Even before the fall, and much more after—thorns and thistles.

3. This the contrast between before the fall and after. The ground typifies our hearts—and now we have labour.

4. And this will show us the heinousness of the fall, for before it, the labour, the effort, was to sin—before as difficult to sin as now to be a hero. Grace was so great.

5. But grace being gone, the lower nature rose against the upper as the upper against God.

6. This then, I say, our work—labour of one kind or another. It has different names—self-discipline, self-denial, penance, reformation, mortification—all meaning the bringing under of ourselves. Don't think it hard if you find a thing difficult; it is your work.

7. This implied in the subduing our 'ruling passion,' so called.

8. Also exemplified in particular examination.

9. Also done in suffering. Suffering is a work. On satisfaction and satispassio; on bearing pain with sweetness or patience, with sweet faces, ways, voice, etc., etc. On the discipline when associated with the thought of Christ's sufferings, more meritorious; for the mind goes with it and is not otiose.

10. Thus let us begin this sacred time.
The Feast of St. Onesimus
is today. There is information on him here.

Monday, February 14, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

In the description our Lord gives us of the Last Judgment, He tells us He shall say to them on His right hand, "Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Here we have the same expression. Who then are the heirs for whom the Kingdom is prepared? He tells us expressly, those who fed the hungry and thirsty, lodged the stranger, clothed the naked, visited the sick, came to the prisoners, for His sake. Consider again an earlier passage in the same chapter. To whom is it that He will say, "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord?"—to those whom He can praise as "good and faithful servants," who have been "faithful over a few things." These two passages then carry our search just to the very point which is suggested by the text. They lead us from the thought of God and Christ, and throw us upon human agency and responsibility, for the solution of the question; and they finally lodge us there, unless indeed other texts of Scripture can be produced to lead us on further still. We know for certain that they for whom the Kingdom is prepared are the humble, the charitable, and the diligent in the improvement of their gifts; to which another text (for instance) adds the spiritually-minded:—"Eye hath not seen the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." [Matt. xxv. 21, 34-36. 1 Cor. ii. 9.] Is this as far as we can go? Does it now depend ultimately on ourselves, or on any one else, that we come to be humble, charitable, diligent, and lovers of God?
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord...
and let perpetual light shine upon her.
Sr. Lucia, the last surviving Fatima visionary, went to her reward yesterday.
The Feast of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Patrons of Europe
is today. There is information on them here and here.
It is also the feast of the Sts. Valentine. There is information on them here, here, and here. I blogged a verse by the Venerable on them here.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

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

No one sins without making some excuse to himself for sinning. He is obliged to do so: man is not like the brute beasts; he has a divine gift within him which we call reason, and which constrains him to account before its judgment-seat for what he does. He cannot act at random; however he acts, he must act by some kind of rule, on some sort of principle; else he is vexed and dissatisfied with himself. Not that he is very particular whether he finds a good reason or a bad, when he is very much straitened for a reason; but a reason of some sort he must have. Hence you sometimes find those who give up religious duty altogether, attacking the conduct of religious men, whether their acquaintance, or the ministers or professors of religion, as a sort of excuse—a very bad one—for their neglect. Others will make the excuse that they are so far from church, or so closely occupied at home, whether they will or not, that they cannot serve God as they ought. Others say that it is no use trying to do so, that they have again and again gone to confession and tried to keep out of mortal sin, and cannot; and so they give up the attempt as hopeless. Others, when they fall into sin, excuse themselves on the plea that they are but following nature; that the impulses of nature are so very strong, and that it cannot be wrong to follow that nature which God has given us. Others are bolder still, and they cast off religion altogether: they deny its truth; they deny Church, Gospel, and Bible; they go so far perhaps as even to deny God's governance of His creatures. They boldly deny that there is any life after death: and, this being the case, of course they would be fools indeed not to take their pleasure here, and to make as much of this poor life as they can.

And there are others, and to these I am going to address myself, who try to speak peace to themselves by cherishing the thought that something or other will happen after all to keep them from eternal ruin, though they now continue in their neglect of God; that it is a long time yet to death; that there are many chances in their favour; that they shall repent in process of time when they get old, as a matter of course; that they mean to repent some day; that they mean, sooner or later, seriously to take their state into account, and to make their ground good; and, if they are Catholics, they add, that they will take care to die with the last Sacraments, and that therefore they need not trouble themselves about the matter.

Now these persons, my brethren, tempt God; they try Him, how far His goodness will go; and, it may be, they will try Him too long, and will have experience, not of His gracious forgiveness, but of His severity and His justice. In this spirit it was that the Israelites in the desert conducted themselves towards Almighty God: instead of feeling awe of Him, they were free with Him, treated Him familiarly, made excuses, preferred complaints, upbraided Him; as if the Eternal God had been a weak man, as if He had been their minister and servant; in consequence, we are told by the inspired historian, "The Lord sent among the people fiery serpents". To this St. Paul refers when he says, "Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents;" a warning to us now, that those who are forward and bold with their Almighty Saviour, will gain, not the pardon which they look for, but will find themselves within the folds of the old serpent, will drink in his poisonous breath, and at length will die under his fangs. That seducing spirit appeared in person to our Lord in the days of His flesh, and tried to entangle Him, the Son of the Highest, in this very sin. He placed Him on the pinnacle of the Temple, and said to Him, "If Thou art the Son of God, cast Thyself down, for it is written, He has given His Angels charge of Thee, and in their hands they shall lift Thee, lest perchance Thou strike Thy foot against a stone;" but our Lord's answer was, "It is also written, Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God". And so numbers are tempted now to cast themselves headlong down the precipice of sin, assuring themselves the while that they will never reach the hell which lies at the bottom, never dash upon its sharp rocks, or be plunged into its flames; for Angels and Saints are there, in their extremity, in their final need,—or at least, God's general mercies, or His particular promises,—to interpose and bear them away safely. Such is the sin of these men, my brethren, of which I am going to speak; not the sin of unbelief, or of pride, or of despair, but of presumption.
If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, O.P.,Priest. A blessed feast day to all the Dominicans out there, including these bloggers!
Music at Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Forty Days and Forty Nights"
Offertory: "O Bone Jesu"- Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
Communion: "Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All"- Pius X Hymnal
Recessional Hymn: "Lord, Who Throughout These Forty Days"