Saturday, May 28, 2005

Because of the holiday...
I probably won't be able to blog this weekend.
Sorry I'm late...
Real Life kept me from blogging on St. Philip's Day, so I'm posting various resources on the founder of the Oratorians here.

Some short biographies
Links to previous posts
A two- part sermon by the Venerable.
A magnificent passage from The Idea of a University

But, any how, her (ed. The Church's) principle is one and the same throughout: not to prohibit truth of any kind, but to see that no doctrines pass under the name of Truth but those which claim it rightfully. Such at least is the lesson which I am taught by all the thought which I have been able to bestow upon the subject; such is the lesson which I have gained from the history of my own special Father and Patron, St. Philip Neri. He lived in an age as traitorous to the interests of Catholicism as any that preceded it, or can follow it. He lived at a time when pride mounted high, and the senses held rule; a time when kings and nobles never had more of state and homage, and never less of personal responsibility and peril; when medieval winter was receding, and the summer sun of civilization was bringing into leaf and flower a thousand forms of luxurious enjoyment; when a new world of thought and beauty had opened upon the human mind, in the discovery of the treasures of classic literature and art. He saw the great and the gifted, dazzled by the Enchantress, and drinking in the magic of her song; he saw the high and the wise, the student and the artist, painting, and poetry, and sculpture, and music, and architecture, drawn within her range, and circling round the abyss: he saw heathen forms mounting thence, and forming in the thick air:—all this he saw, and he perceived that the mischief was to be met, not with argument, not with science, not with protests and warnings, not by the recluse or the preacher, but by means of the great counter-fascination of purity and truth. He was raised up to do a work almost peculiar in the Church,—not to be a Jerome Savonarola, though Philip had a true devotion towards him and a tender memory of his Florentine house; not to be a St. Charles, though in his beaming countenance Philip had recognized the aureole of a saint; not to be a St. Ignatius, wrestling with the foe, though Philip was termed the Society's bell of call, so many subjects did he send to it; not to be a St. Francis Xavier, though Philip had longed to shed his blood for Christ in India with him; not to be a St. Caietan, or hunter, of souls, for Philip preferred, as he expressed it, tranquilly to cast in his net to gain them; he preferred to yield to the stream, and direct the current, which he could not stop, of science, literature, art, and fashion, and to sweeten and to sanctify what God had made very good and man had spoilt.

And so he contemplated as the idea of his mission, not the propagation of the faith, nor the exposition of doctrine, nor the catechetical schools; whatever was exact and systematic pleased him not; he put from him monastic rule and authoritative speech, as David refused the armour of his king. No; he would be but an ordinary individual priest as others: and his weapons should be but unaffected humility and unpretending love. All He did was to be done by the light, and fervour, and convincing eloquence of his personal character and his easy conversation. He came to the Eternal City and he sat himself down there, and his home and his family gradually grew up around him, by the spontaneous accession of materials from without. He did not so much seek his own as draw them to him. He sat in his small room, and they in their gay worldly dresses, the rich and the wellborn, as well as the simple and the illiterate, crowded into it. In the mid-heats of summer, in the frosts of winter, still was he in that low and narrow cell at San Girolamo, reading the hearts of those who came to him, and curing their souls' maladies by the very touch of his hand. It was a vision of the Magi worshipping the infant Saviour, so pure and innocent, so sweet and beautiful was he; and so loyal and so dear to the gracious Virgin Mother. And they who came remained gazing and listening, till at length, first one and then another threw off their bravery, and took his poor cassock and girdle instead: or, if they kept it, it was to put haircloth under it, or to take on them a rule of life, while to the world they looked as before.

In the words of his biographer, "he was all things to all men. He suited himself to noble and ignoble, young and old, subjects and prelates, learned and ignorant; and received those who were strangers to him with singular benignity, and embraced them with as much love and charity as if he had been a long while expecting them. When he was called upon to be merry he was so; if there was a demand upon his sympathy he was equally ready. He gave the same welcome to all: caressing the poor equally with the rich, and wearying himself to assist all to the utmost limits of his power. In consequence of his being so accessible and willing to receive all comers, many went to him every day, and some continued for the space of thirty, nay forty years, to visit him very often both morning and evening, so that his room went by the agreeable nickname of the Home of Christian mirth. Nay, people came to him, not only from all parts of Italy, but from France, Spain, Germany, and all Christendom; and even the infidels and Jews, who had ever any communication with him, revered him as a holy man." The first families of Rome, the Massimi, the Aldobrandini, the Colonnas, the Altieri, the Vitelleschi, were his friends and his penitents. Nobles of Poland, Grandees of Spain, Knights of Malta, could not leave Rome without coming to him. Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops were his intimates; Federigo Borromeo haunted his room and got the name of "Father Philip's soul." The Cardinal-Archbishops of Verona and Bologna wrote books in his honour. Pope Pius the Fourth died in his arms. Lawyers, painters, musicians, physicians, it was the same too with them. Baronius, Zazzara, and Ricci, left the law at his bidding, and joined his congregation, to do its work, to write the annals of the Church, and to die in the odour of sanctity. Palestrina had Father Philip's ministrations in his last moments. Animuccia hung about him during life, sent him a message after death, and was conducted by him through Purgatory to Heaven. And who was he, I say, all the while, but an humble priest, a stranger in Rome, with no distinction of family or letters, no claim of station or of office, great simply in the attraction with which a Divine Power had gifted him? and yet thus humble, thus unennobled, thus empty-handed, he has achieved the glorious title of Apostle of Rome.Well were it for his clients and children, Gentlemen, it they could promise themselves the very shadow of his special power, or could hope to do a miserable fraction of the sort of work in which he was pre-eminently skilled. But so far at least they may attempt,—to take his position, and to use his method, and to cultivate the arts of which he was so bright a pattern..

Thanks to any and all bloggers who mentioned the feast day, including:
The Blog from the Core.
Dappled Things
Fructus Ventris
Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.
A Penitent Blogger.
Ut Unum Sint.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Today is Trinity Sunday.
On this feast day, in 1858, Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

The Blessed Trinity

1. INTROD.—This is the everlasting mystery. All other mysteries arise in time, this in eternity.

2. No words of man can explain it. Three are one. Now soul and body are one, all the faithful are one. The soul, when enveloped in the Divine Essence, hereafter is one with it. But no illustration of earth can give the faintest shadow of the truth.

3. Yet though so difficult for the reason, it is not difficult for devotion, and thus is fulfilled the saying, 'Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to Thy little ones.'

4. For each truth concerning the Holy Trinity is easy. It is their combination is the mystery. Exemplify. That there should be one God—that God should be called or be the Father—that He should be the Son—that He should be the Holy Ghost—but that all three propositions [four] should be true .

5. Explain more fully. The Father is absolutely the One God, as if no Son and Spirit, etc. All the attributes, etc. belong to the Father, and to the Son, etc. Whatever the Father does or is, that the Son does or is—not as two, but One.

6. But they divide offices in mercy to our infirmity.

7. Now for devotion. The Father, the Creator, the Preserver, Governor, Judge. Source of all good; the harbour of our rest; heaven, etc.

8. The Son has taken on Him our nature, etc.

9. Holy Ghost Sanctifier, etc.

10. Now while we address each in devotion as the One God, we may leave it to the next world how Each of Three can be the One God.

11. The joy of heaven, when all mysteries will be removed.
Four more days...
until St. Philip's Day !
if it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. Rita of Cascia,O.S.A., Widow . It would also be the feast of Blessed John Forest,O.F.M. Reg., Priest and Martyr , and Blessed John Baptist Machado, S.J., Priest and Martyr.