Saturday, April 09, 2005

On April 9, 1863
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., wrote to a woman about the reception of her son into the Church:

I have received Eddy into the Catholic Church today. He made it clear to me, that for some months you had been aware of his intention of being received, and of being received at this time. If he has to be received, I felt that you would rather I received him, than another.

I don't write this with any wish or intention of troubling you to acknowledge it; but, as a sort of relief to myself, I wish to explain to you my feelings on one or two points.

1. It stands to reason, I cannot argue, as I should argue, were I in your position. In that case I might say to Eddy, "Wait till your judgment is more mature"; but, as it is, while on the one hand I believe him to be acting deliberately, on right motives, and on rational grounds, on the other, I believe him to have come to a right conclusion, to be embracing what I myself am firmly persuaded is the truth, and what he might not be granted from above an opportunity of embracing, if he did not embrace it now.

2. Nor do I feel, as I should perhaps if I were you, that he is putting himself under a sort of intellectual tyranny by doing an act which he is not allowed to reverse. The ecclesiastical prohibition to doubt and inquire, is not so much a practical rule as a scientific principle, which is laid down to make the theological system logically consistent with itself. A Catholic is kept from scepticism, not by any external prohibition, but by admiration, trust, and love. While he admires, trusts, and loves Our Lord and His Church, those feelings prohibit him from doubt; they guard and protect his faith; the real prohibition is from within. But suppose those feelings go; suppose he ceases to have admiration, trust, and love, of Our Lord and His Church; in that case, the external prohibition probably will not suffice to keep him from doubting, if he be of an argumentative turn.

Thus it avails in neither case; while he loves and trusts, it is not needed; when he does not love and trust, it is impotent.

I expect that, as Eddy experiences more and more what the Catholic Religion is, its power, strength, comfort, peace, and depth, the greater devotion will he have towards it, as the gift of God, and the greater repugnance to put it on its trial, as if he had never heard of it. To bid him authoritatively not to doubt, will be as irrelevant, as to tell him not to maim himself or put his eyes out.

May God in all things bless you, keep you, and guide you.
Terri Schiavo....
was just the beginning.
I find it particularly appalling that the granddaughter refers to starving and dehydrating her own grandmother as sending her "home to Jesus".
The Feast of St. Mary of Cleophas
is today. There is information on her here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

On April 6, 1877...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., wrote a letter to a friend, from which the following extracts are taken:
My dear Mr. Jenkins,
It is, as you say, a most cloudy time—clouds which both portend ill for our religious future and conceal it. What is coming? Yet evil has often before now threatened and passed away. These signs in the sky are doubtless those which will precede the end in all things; yet in former times they have faded away instead of becoming clearer, and so it may be now. But, whether religion is to be utterly cast out or no, anyhow I fear there is coming on us a time of fierce trial for Christianity, and one is naturally led to think with compassion and anxiety on the danger that will come on many of the fresh innocent souls all around us who are now entering into life.

The Pope is the key note, the Bishops the third, the Priests the 5th, the people the octave and the Protestants the flat 7th which needs resolving.
—J. H. N.
The Catholic Carnival...
is up. The Christian Carnival is also up. As always, many of the posts on the latter are by non-Catholics and may not be compatible with the teachings of the Church.
On April 6, 1999...
I became a member of the Secular Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Pittsburgh. In honor of this, here are some prayers invoking St.Philip's intercession:

O holy Father St. Philip, I beseech thee, by the abundance of the gifts thou didst receive from God, both of nature and of grace, and by the glory thou enjoyest in Heaven, to help me to obtain the joys of Paradise.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

O most loving Father St. Philip, I beseech thee, by the gladness which fills thy heart in enjoying the presence of the Most Holy Virgin in Heaven, to obtain for me a true devotion to her, that she may look upon me as her servant and daughter.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

O most glorious Father St. Philip, I beseech thee, by the burning zeal thou hadst for the salvation of souls, to obtain for me the grace to love God truly from my heart, and ever to weep for my sins even to my life's end, that I may at last receive the crown He has prepared for those who love Him.

Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

V. St. Philip, pray for us.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

O Lord, we beseech Thee, let the Holy Spirit inflame me with the same fire with which He did wonderfully penetrate the heart of Blessed Philip Thy Confessor. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Feast of St.William of Eskilsoe, Abbot
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of the Martyrs of Hadiab .

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman:

When Nicodemus doubted about our Lord's declaration, that a birth through the Spirit was the entrance into His kingdom, He said, "If I have told you earthly things, and human nature." Thus the greater Mystery of the Incarnation is made to envelope and pledge to us the mystery of the new birth. As He was in Heaven in an ineffable sense, even "in the days of His flesh," so are we, in our degree; according to the words of His prayer, that His disciples might "all be one; as ThouWhen Nicodemus doubted about our Lord's declaration, that a birth through the Spirit was the entrance into His kingdom, He said, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of man which is in Heaven." In these words our Lord plainly discloses that in some mysterious way He, the Son of man, was really in Heaven, even while, by human eyes, He was seen to be on earth. His discourse seems to run thus:—"Are you offended at the doctrine of the new birth of the soul into the kingdom of God? High as it is, it is but an earthly truth compared with others I, as coming from Heaven, could disclose. It is mysterious how regenerate man should be a citizen of a heavenly kingdom, but I Myself, who speak, am at this moment in Heaven too, even in this My human nature." Thus the greater Mystery of the Incarnation is made to envelope and pledge to us the mystery of the new birth. As He was in Heaven in an ineffable sense, even "in the days of His flesh," so are we, in our degree; according to the words of His prayer, that His disciples might "all be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us." [John xvii. 21.]
Some blogging...
by some rather infrequent bloggers I know in real life...
Fr. Michael has a new post, and so does Rob.
The Feast of St. Vincent Ferrer, O.P., Priest
is today. There is information on him here. A blessed feast day to all the Dominicans out there !
It is also the anniversary of the ordination of Fr. Joseph Sioli of the Pittsburgh Oratory to the priesthood. Ad multos annos, Fr. Joseph !

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Cardinals will be gathering...
so this prayer may be useful....

Holy Spirit, Creator, propitiously help the Catholic Church, and by Your supernal power strengthen and confirm her against the assaults of the enemy; by Your charity and grace renew the spirit of Your servants whom You have anointed, that in You they may glorify the Father and His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
it's also World Rat Day.
The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
is today, since March 25th was Good Friday. There is information on it here.

Mary is the "Regina Angelorum," The Queen of Angels

by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

This great title may be fitly connected with the Maternity of Mary, that is, with the coming upon her of the Holy Ghost at Nazareth after the Angel Gabriel's annunciation to her, and with the consequent birth of our Lord at Bethlehem. She, as the Mother of our Lord, comes nearer to Him than any angel; nearer even than the Seraphim who surround Him, and cry continually, "Holy, Holy, Holy."

The two Archangels who have a special office in the Gospel are St. Michael and St. Gabriel—and they both of them are associated in the history of the Incarnation with Mary: St. Gabriel, when the Holy Ghost came down upon her; and St. Michael, when the Divine Child was born.

St. Gabriel hailed her as "Full of grace," and as "Blessed among women," and announced to her that the Holy Ghost would come down upon her, and that she would bear a Son who would be the Son of the Highest.

Of St. Michael's ministry to her, on the birth of that Divine Son, we learn in the Apocalypse, written by the Apostle St. John. We know our Lord came to set up the Kingdom of Heaven among men; and hardly was He born when He was assaulted by the powers of the world who wished to destroy Him. Herod sought to take His life, but he was defeated by St. Joseph's carrying His Mother and Him off into Egypt. But St. John in the Apocalypse tells us that Michael and his angels were the real guardians of Mother and Child, then and on other occasions.

First, St. John saw in vision "a great sign in heaven" (meaning by "heaven" the Church, or Kingdom of God), "a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars"; and when she was about to be delivered of her Child there appeared "a great red dragon," that is, the evil spirit, ready "to devour her son" when He should be born. The Son was preserved by His own Divine power, but next the evil spirit persecuted her; St. Michael, however, and his angels came to the rescue and prevailed against him.

"There was a great battle," says the sacred writer; "Michael and his Angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels; and that great dragon was east out, the old serpent, who is called the devil." Now, as then, the Blessed Mother of God has hosts of angels who do her service; and she is their Queen.

If it were not the Solemnity, it would be the feast of St. Isidore of Seville, Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and proposed patron saint of the Internet.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


From St. Philip Neri

We must die at last.
The best way to prepare for death is to spend every day of life as if it were the last.
Human language cannot express the beauty of a soul which dies in a state of grace.

God bless you, Holy Father ! May the angels lead you into Paradise!

The late Holy Father gave Oratorians this lovely letter on our founder, canonized an Oratorian beatus, and declared another Oratorian to be "Venerable".
blogs from Rome on the Holy Father's death.
Music at Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"
Offertory: "Dixit Maria"- Hans Leo Hassler (1564-1612)
Communion: "O Filii et Filiae"- 15th century melody and text
Recessional Hymn: "The Strife is O'er, the Battle Done"
There is a note at the bottom of the music list sheet:

"The Feast of the Annunciation normally falls on March 25, which was Good Friday this year. In the Roman Calendar it was transferred to Monday, April 4, hence the use of an Annunciation Motet this Sunday"