Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Pontificator..
posts an extended quote from the Venerable, which includes the V.I.P. !
The Feast of St. George, Martyr, Patron of England
is today. There is information on him here.
When he became a Cardinal, Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., was given a church named after this Saint as his titular church. Appropriate enough for an English cardinal !
I do homage to St. George.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Historical Sketches, Volume II

Friday, April 22, 2005

From Sermons Bearing on Subjects of the Day
by Venerable John Henry Newman

Christ has gone to prepare a place for us; and in His Father's house are "many mansions;" and He is the disposer of them all; and to His good and faithful servants who enter into His joy, He gives to one ten cities, and to another five, according to their works.
The next time some misguided person starts in about the Holy Father's "Nazi past"...
show him these articles from the Jerusalem Post.
has an article by a Father of the London Oratory.
They also have lots of material on out new Holy Father.
Thirty-three days...
before St. Philip's Day !
The Feast of St. Leonidas of Alexandria, Martyr
is today. He was the father of the early theologian Origen.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Holy Father...
has already received a congratulatory letter from "La Famiglia dell’Oratorio di S. Filippo Neri."
On April 21st, 1872...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

The Second Coming

1. INTROD.—'Modicum,' etc. 'A little while' —the disciples were perplexed.

2. Our Lord spoke as if He were to come again soon. And certainly many of His disciples thought He would. They thought not exactly that He would end the world, but that He would come to end the present state of it, to judge the wicked and introduce a holier world. Nay, at one time even the apostles.

3. But no one knows when, not even the angels.

4. It seems to have been our Lord's wish that His coming should always appear near.

5. He gave indeed signs of His coming, but every age of the world has those signs in a measure.

6. The signs were the falling away and the coming of some great enemy of the Truth called Antichrist, who should bind together all the powers of the world; that as there was war between the good and bad angels in heaven, so between the servants of Christ and Antichrist on earth.

7. This then is our state. In every age things are so like the last day as to remind us that perhaps it is coming; but still not so like that we know.

8. Every age is a semblance, a type in part of what then at last will be in fulness.
continues to post from Rome.
The Feast of St. Anselm of Canterbury, O.S.B., Archbishop and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here.

It is also the feast of St. Conrad of Parzham, O.F.M. Cap., Priest.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

I observe, then, that repentant sinners are often impatient to put themselves upon some new line of action, or to adopt some particular rule of life. They feel that what they have done in time past is, as far as this life is concerned, indelible, and places an impassable barrier between themselves and others: happy only if that badge of guilt and shame does not outlast the grave, but is wiped out in the day of account. They feel that they can never be as others are, till the voice of Christ pronounces them acquitted and blessed. And their heart yearns towards humiliation, and burns with a godly indignation against themselves, as if nothing were too bad for them; and they look about for something to do, some state of life to engage in, some task or servile office to undertake. Now it commonly happens that God does not disclose His will to them at once,—and for that will they ought to wait, whereas they are impatient; and when God's will does not clearly appear, they try to persuade themselves that they have ascertained it when they have not. St. Paul should be the pattern of the true penitent here. First he said, "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" then he was "obedient to the heavenly vision;" he waited three days, till God spoke to him by Ananias; and after that he suffered himself to be led about by Providence hither and thither, as though he had been still blind, without apparent method or purpose, and in no regular calling. It was not till years afterwards that the Holy Spirit said, "Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." [Acts xiii. 2.] What a lesson is this for patient waiting on God! "O tarry thou the Lord's leisure;" wait till He speaks. It is impossible but He means to put you on some service; but in His house are many posts, many offices. Be quite sure you are taking the place He would have you take. Since you have gone wrong, and now wish to go right, be sure to ascertain the right; take not only what is good, but what is best. This you cannot do, except by following His call; and for His call you must wait,—whether He will call you forward in your present state of life, or call you to change it. Like the prophet, you must stand upon your watch, and set you on the tower, and watch to see what He will say to you, and what you shall answer when you are reproved: recollecting that "the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry." [Habakkuk ii. 1, 3.] Never regard how long you have to wait; be it for years, suffer it. Say not time is short, for God can make it long. If He use you not, even till the eleventh hour, He can make that hour a thousand, and can reward you in proportion to the years of your patient waiting.
One of the Fathers of the Pittsburgh Oratory...
has covered his office door with a Papal flag, a German flag, and a small sign reading "Gott sei dank !"
Quote of the Day...
from a gentleman I saw going into the Oratory Chapel for Eucharistic Adoration:
"Can I go in and see the Boss ? "
The Christian Carnival...
is up. Many of the posts are by non-Catholics, and thus may not be compatible with the Church's teachging.
from two people I know in real life.
The Feast of St. John Payne, Priest and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Agnes of Montepulciano, O.P., Virgin, Blessed Francis Page, S.J., Priest and Martyr, and Blessed John Finch, Martyr.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

On April 19, 1874...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., wrote a letter to one of his nephews, who had written to his famous uncle with a question: If the Catholic Church was the One True Church, why weren't most of its members intellectually and morally superior to other Christians ?

'My dear John,

I have been so busy since I got your letter that I could not help delaying my answer. Moreover, I was puzzled what I could have said, which has so misled you as to my meaning, for certainly I give up the Catholic cause, if I must rest it either on the intellectual powers which it develops in its adherents, or its manifestation in them of a moral excellence undeniably superior to the results of every other form of Christianity.

My view of the drift of revelation is as follows:—the truths in the natural order, which are the basis of the sciences, are few, clear, and have a ready acceptance in the world at large, though they do not admit of demonstration (as that every effect [fact] must have a cause)—but those which point to a system of things beyond this visible world, as the law of conscience, the sense of religion &c., are delicate, subtle, fitful, mysterious, incapable of being grasped, easily put down and trampled underfoot.

The initial truths of science can take care of themselves—but not so those of religion and morals—and therefore, since in fact they often (though accidentally, in the action of life, not that they need) come into collision with each other, the weaker would assuredly go to the wall, had not the great Author of all things interposed to support them by a direct and extraordinary assistance from Himself. Revelation then is the aid and the completion of nature on that side of it on which it is weak .

It follows that to suppose it will teach or defend those natural sciences, which issue in a large organisation of human society is to mistake the final cause of Revelation—or rather, not to start with anticipating that it will (accidentally) oppose or seem to oppose them, is to fail in apprehending duly its aim and outcome. When Our Lord introduces the rich man saying, "This will I do, I will pull down my barns &c. and I will say to my soul, take thine ease &c." and then commenting on his proceeding, says "Thou fool &c." He brings out emphatically the antagonism between the prosecution of the secular sciences and Revelation—not as if the science of farming, not as if the enjoyment of this life, were in themselves wrong, but that, as men are, that science, that enjoyment will inevitably lead to an obliteration in their minds of what is higher than anything here below, unless the sanctions of Revelation, (or, as I should say, the Catholic Church, which is the embodiment of Revelation,) are present to support and enforce those higher considerations.

Coming back then to your two questions, as to "organisation," "reasoning" &c. I consider these to be natural products of the mind, and therefore the authorities and officials of the Church make use of them, because they are men, for the purposes of that Revelation of which they are the guardians and defenders; but in no sense profess to advance them.

As to your other question, the virtues peculiar to Catholics, I think there are various such—but here we enter upon another large question—I do not think they make a show—that is, are such as to constitute what is called a Note of the Church. Our Lord Himself foretold that His net would contain fish of every kind—He speaks of rulers who would be tyrannical and gluttonous—and it was one of the first great controversies of the Christian Church, issuing in the Novatian schism, whether extraordinary means should or should not be taken to keep the Church pure—and it was decided in the negative, as (in fact) a thing impossible. Now when this is once allowed, considering how evil in its own nature flaunts itself and is loud, and how true virtue is both in itself a matter of the heart and in its nature retiring and unostentatious, it is very difficult to manage to make a "Note of the Church" out of the conduct of Catholics viewed as a visible body. Besides it must be recollected that the Church is a militant body, and its work lies quite as much in rescuing souls from the dominion of sin as in leading them on to any height of moral excellence.

Moreover, in the course of 1800 years it has managed to impress its character on society, so that when countries fall away from its communion, the virtues, which it has created in their various people and civil polities, continue on by a kind of inheritance, and thus the contrast between the realm of nature and the realm of grace has not that sharpness which is seen in the juxtaposition of Romans I, 21-32, and Rom. XII.

And, once more, civilisation itself, that is, the cultivation of the intellect, has a tendency to raise the standard of morals, at least in some departments, as we see in the history of philosophy, e.g. in the Stoics, in Juvenal, Persius, Epictetus &c. and as regards the minor virtues of gentlemanlikeness &c. &c., and this again tends to blur the contrast, which really exists between nature and grace, the special characteristic of the latter lying in the motive on which actions are done.

Lastly, if, after these remarks, I am asked in what I conceive in matter of fact consists the superiority of well-conducted Catholics over Protestants, I should answer, in purity of intention, in faith, in humility, in contrition, in chastity, in honesty, in command of the tongue.
Yours affecly

This led to a more extensive correspondence with the same nephew.
The Catholic Carnival...
is up.
May God bless and strengthen...
Pope Benedict XVI!
The Feast of Pope St. Leo IX
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of Blessed James Duckett, Martyr.

Monday, April 18, 2005

The Feast of St. Pedro de San Jose Betancur, Priest and Founder
is today. There is information on him here. To any Bethlehemites out there, blessed feast day!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

This is the design of Christ, I say, implied in the institution of the baptismal rite. Whether He will be merciful, over and above His promise, to those who through ignorance do not comply with this design, or are in other respects irregular in their obedience, is a further question, foreign to our purpose. Still it remains the revealed design of Christ to connect all His followers in one by a visible ordinance of incorporation. The Gospel faith has not been left to the world at large, recorded indeed in the Bible, but there left, like other important truths, to be taken up by men or rejected, as it may happen. Truths, indeed, in science and the arts have been thus left to the chance adoption or neglect of mankind; they are no one's property; cast at random upon the waves of human opinion. In any country soever, men may appropriate them at once, and form themselves at their will into a society for their extension. But for the more momentous truths of revealed religion, the God, who wrought by human means in their first introduction, still preserves them by the same. Christ formed a body; He secured that body from dissolution by the bond of a Sacrament. He committed the privileges of His spiritual kingdom and the maintenance of His faith as a legacy to this baptized society; and into it, as a matter of historical fact, all the nations have flowed. Christianity has not been spread, as other systems, in an isolated manner, or by books; but from a centre, by regularly formed bodies, descendants of the three thousand, who, after St. Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost, joined themselves to the Apostles' doctrine and fellowship.

And to this apostolical body we must still look for the elementary gift of grace. Grace will not baptize us while we sit at home, slighting the means which God has appointed; but we must "come unto Mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the first-born which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
The Pontificator...
has a quote from the Venerable.
Deo gratias!

Sign here to try to get EBay to add Our Blessed Lord to the list of items not to be sold.

Links courtesy of Fr.. Ethan.
Happy Blogaversary...
to Ales Rarus!
Music at the Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"
Offertory: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say"- Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Communion: "Tantum Ergo"- Theodore Dubois (1837-1924)
Recessional Hymn: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"