Friday, July 08, 2005

The Feast of the Martyrs of Shanxi, F.M.M., Virgins
is today. There is information on them here.
It is also the feast of Pope St. Adrian III, , Pope Blessed Eugene III, O.S.C.O., and Blessed Adrian Fortescue, Martyr .

Thursday, July 07, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

If indeed we have faith, we confess what we do not see, and take all that happens as His; but whether we will accept it in faith or not, certainly there is no other way of accepting it. We see nothing. We see not why things come, or whither they tend. Jacob cried out on one occasion, "All these things are against me;" [Gen. xlii. 36.] certainly so they seemed to be. One son made away with by the rest, another in prison in a foreign land, a third demanded;—"Me have ye bereaved of my children; Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me." Yet all these things were working for good. Or pursue the fortunes of the favourite and holy youth who was the first taken from him; sold by his brethren to strangers, carried into Egypt, tempted by a very perilous temptation, overcoming it but not rewarded, thrown into prison, the iron entering into his soul, waiting there till the Lord should be gracious, and "look down from heaven;" but waiting—why? and how long? It is said again and again in the sacred narrative, "The Lord was with Joseph;" but do you think he saw at the time any tokens of God? any tokens, except so far as by faith he realized them, in faith he saw them? His faith was its own reward; which to the eye of reason was no reward at all, for faith forsooth did but judge of things by that standard which it had originally set up, and pronounce that Joseph was happy because he ought to be so. Thus though the Lord was with him, apparently all things were against him. Yet afterwards he saw, what was so mysterious at the time;—"God did send me before you," he said to his brethren, "to preserve life ... It was not you that sent me hither, but God; and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."

Wonderful providence indeed which is so silent, yet so efficacious, so constant, so unerring! This is what baffles the power of Satan. He cannot discern the Hand of God in what goes on; and though he would fain meet it and encounter it, in his mad and blasphemous rebellion against heaven, he cannot find it. Crafty and penetrating as he is, yet his thousand eyes and his many instruments avail him nothing against the majestic serene silence, the holy imperturbable calm which reigns through the providences of God. Crafty and experienced as he is, he appears like a child or a fool, like one made sport of, whose daily bread is but failure and mockery, before the deep and secret wisdom of the Divine Counsels. He makes a guess here, or does a bold act there, but all in the dark.
Please pray...
for those involved in the terrible attack on the capital city of Our Lady's Dowry, which is also the Venerable's birthplace. May those responsible br brought to justice and to repentance. May those who have been injured be healed, and may those who have died rest in the peace of Christ.
The Feast of St. Ethelburga, Virgin and Abbess
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of Pope Blessed Benedict XI, O.P. .

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Feast of St. Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr
ia today. There is information on her here. Prayers for all victims of sexual assault, and for the conversion of their attackers, would be welcome.
It is also the feast of St. Isaiah, Prophet and Martyr, and Blessed Thomas Alfield, Priest and Martyr .

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Catholic Carnival
is up.
From Sermons Preached On Various Occassions
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Surely I have set before you a character of the Church of this day remarkable enough to attach to her the prerogatives of that divinely favoured bark in which Peter rowed, and into which the Eternal Lord entered, on the lake of Genesareth. Her fortunes during eighteen centuries have more than answered to the instance of that miraculous protection which was manifested in the fisher's boat in Galilee. It is hard that I must say more, but not strange; not strange, my Brethren, for both our Saviour's own history and His express word prepare us to expect that what is in itself so miraculous would fail to subdue, nay, would harden, the hearts of those to whom it so forcibly appeals. There is, indeed, no argument so strong but the wilful ingenuity of man is able to evade or retort it; and what happens to us in this day happened to Him also, who is in all things our archetype and forerunner. There was a time when He wrought a miracle to convince the incredulous, but they had their ready explanation to destroy its cogency. "There was offered unto Him," says the Evangelist, "one possessed with a devil, both blind and dumb; and He healed him, so that he both spoke and saw. And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, Is this not the son of David? But the Pharisees hearing it, said: This man casteth not out devils but by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils." So said the Pharisees; and He of whom they spoke forewarned His disciples, that both He and His adversaries would have their respective representatives in after times, both in uttering and bearing a like blasphemy. "The disciple is not above his master," He said, "nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he is as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the good-man of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of His household!"

So it was, my Brethren, that our Saviour was not allowed to point to His miracles as His warrant, but was thought the worse of for them; and it cannot startle us that we too have to suffer the like in our day. The Sinless was called Beelzebub, much more His sinful servants. And what happened to Him then, is our protection as well as our warning now: for that must be a poor argument, which is available, not only against us, but against Him.
The Feast of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, C.R.S.P., Priest and Founder
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of Blessed Elias of Bourdeilles, Cardinal, who wrote a report vindicating St. Jeanne D'Arc, my Confirmation patron saint.