Friday, August 19, 2005

On August 19, 1855
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Our Lady the Fulfilling of the Revealed Doctrine of Prayer

1. INTROD.—In this week we especially consider our Lady as rising to her doctrinal position in the Church. Her first feast and this. The Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, both doctrines.

2. She is the great advocate of the Church. By which is not meant Atonement, of course. We know perfectly that she was saved by her Son. But she is His greatest work, and He has exalted her to this special office.

3. Hence from the first, advocata nostra. St. Irenaeus, and pictures at Rome in St. Agnese, etc.

Now to understand this, we must throw ourselves back into the world as it is by nature. Everything goes by law. This order is the most beautiful proof of God, but it is turned against Him, as if it could support itself.

Hence Revelation is an interruption and contravention—all of it miraculous.

4. Now here we have a most wonderful doctrine of Revelation brought before us in its fulness, viz. the efficacy of prayer.

5. Nature uniform. How has prayer its power? Worship [we understand to be] right, and adoration and thanksgiving; but how petitioning and supplication?

6. This then is the marvel, and the comfort which Revelation gives us, viz. that God has broken through His own laws—nay, does continually.

7. This so much that prayer is called omnipotent.

8. Even Protestants grant all this. (Quote Thomas Scott.)

9. Now our Lady has the gift in fulness; not different from us except in degree and perfection. This is her feast.

10. Hence it is that the more we can go to her in simplicity, the more we shall get.
The Feast of St. John Eudes, C.I.M., Priest and Founder
is today. There is information on him here. To any Eudists or Sisters of Our Lady of Charity out there, blessed feast day !
BTW, the " Oratorians " who harrassed him were members of the French Oratory, which was not directly connected with the orginal or current Congregations of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. (I'm not sure if the French Oratory still exists. The only Oratory I know of in France is in Nancy, is of fairly recent foundation, and has no connection with the earlier institution. )

It is also the feast of Blessed Hugh Green, Priest and Martyr, and Blessed Christopher Robinson, Priest and Martyr.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

On August 18th, 1872...
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

Christ's Presence in the World

1. INTROD.—We have read, Sunday after Sunday, as today, of our Lord's miracles; but did we see Him, I do not think that [the miracles] would most strike and subdue us.

2. Not His works, but Himself.

3. But here I explain something. Strange to say, it was His will that, seen by casual spectators, He should seem like another man, Isa. liii. 3 ; and hence John i. 5, 10 , and Mark vi. 3 [Note 28]. And the Samaritan woman, John iv. And this specially so in the case of bad men, Luke xxiii. 11 , John xix. 9 .

4. When we had seen Him two or three times, if we were not utterly dead to truth we should find that He had made a deep impression on us, on looking back, though we did not perceive it at the time, Luke xxiv. (Emmaus).

5. Next, supposing we could stay and gaze on Him, then what would first strike us would be His awful infinite repose, the absence of all excitement, etc., etc. All that is told us of Him, all His words and works, brings out this—and doubtless His aspect.

6. Next, if we could still look on, if we could see His eyes, two things would strike us; first, His seeing us through and through. Hence He is often said to 'look.' Mark iii. 5, 'And looking round about on them with anger'; ib. viii. 33, 'Who, turning about and seeing his disciples, threatened Peter,' etc.; ib. xi. 11, 'And he entered into Jerusalem, and having viewed all things round about.'

7. Secondly, compassion. Mark x. 21, 'And Jesus looking on him loved him'; Luke xxii. 61, 'And the Lord turning, looked on Peter: and Peter remembered the word of the Lord.'

8. And then when He began to speak! the tones of His voice! John vii. 46, 'The ministers answered, Never did man speak like this man'; Matt. vii. 28, 'And it came to pass, when Jesus had fully ended these words, the people were in admiration at his doctrine: For he was teaching them as one having power.'

9. Hence He draws men. Matt. ix. 9, 'And He saw a man sitting in the custom house, named Matthew: and he said to him, Follow me. And he rose up, and followed him.' Virtue going out of Him. Mark v. 30, 'And immediately, Jesus knowing in himself the virtue that had proceeded from him, turning to the multitude, said, Who hath touched me ?' ib. vi. 56, 'And whithersoever he entered, into towns, or into villages, or cities, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.'

10. All this, even though He did no miracle.

11. This is what we must look for in heaven.

12. And yearn for it in the Blessed Sacrament.
The Feast of St. Jeanne de Chantal, V.H.M., Widow and Foundress
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Helena, Widow, and Blessed Alberto Hurtado Cruchaga, S.J., Priest , who is scheduled for canonization later this year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

From Faith and Prejudice and Other Unpublished Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Observe in the parable the Master of the Vineyard did but one thing. He told his servant to "call the labourers and give them their hire." He did but ask what they had done. He did not ask what their opinion was about science, or about art, or about the means of wealth, or about public affairs; he did not ask them if they knew the nature of the vine for which they had been labouring. They were not required to know how many kinds of vines there were in the world, and what countries vines could grow in, and where they could not. They were not called upon to give their opinion what soils were best for the vines. They were not examined in the minerals, or the shrubs, or in anything else which was found in the vineyard, but this was the sole question, whether they had worked in the vineyard. First they must be in the vineyard, then they must work in it; these were the two things. So will it be with us after death. When we into God's presence, we shall be asked two things, whether we were in the Church, and whether we worked in the Church. Everything else is worthless. Whether we have been rich or poor, whether we have been learned or unlearned, whether we have been prosperous or afflicted, whether we have been sick or well, whether we have had a good name or a bad one, all this will be far from the work of that day. The single question will be, are we Catholics and are we good Catholics ? If we have not been, it will avail nothing that we have been ever so honoured here, ever so successful, have had ever so good a name. And if we have been, it will matter nothing though we have been ever so despised, ever so poor, ever so hardly pressed, ever so troubled, ever so unfriended. Christ will make up everything to us, if we have been faithful to Him; and He will take everything away from us, if we have lived to the world.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord...
and let perpetual light shine upon him.

90-year-old founder of Taize religious community murdered .
The feast of St. Hyacinth, O.P., Priest
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Clare of Montefalco, Virgin and Abbess, and St. Jeanne Delanoue, Virgin and Foundress. To any Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, or Sisters of Saint Anne of Providence of Samur out there, blessed feast day !

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Catholic Carnival
is up.
Deo gratias

for this no-nonsense nun !

Link courtesy of Amy Welborn.
The Feast of St. Stephen of Hungary, King
is today. There is information on him here. To any Hungarians or people of Hungarian descent out there, blessed feast day !

Sunday, August 14, 2005

From The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien
An account dealing with, of all things, hobbit family politics...

The household was not a 'monarchy' (except by accident). It was a 'dyarchy', in which master and mistress has equal status, if different functions. Either was held to be the proper representative of the other in th case of absence (including death.) There were no 'dowagers'. If the master died first, his place was taken by his wife, and this included (if he had held that position) the titular headship of a large family or clan. This title did not descent to the son, or other heir, while she lived, unless she voluntarily resigned....It could, therefore, happen in various circumstances that a long-lived woman of forceful character remained 'head of the family' until she had full-grown grandchildren.

A well-known case, also, was that of Lalia the Great ( or less courteously the Fat. ) Fortinbrad II, one time head of the Tooks and Thain, married Lalia of the Clayhangers in 1314, when he was 36 and she was 31. He died in 1380 at the age of 102, but she long outlived him, coming to an unfortunate end at the age of 119. She was not at the famous Party, (SY (ed. Shire Year) 1401), but was prevented from attending rather by her great size and immobility than by her age. Her son, Ferumbras, had no wife, being unable ( it was alleged) to find anyone willing to occupy apartments in the Great Smials under the rule of Lalia. Lalia, in her last and fattest years, had the custom of being wheeled to the Great Door, to take the air on a fine morning. in the spring of SY 1402 her clumsy attendant let the heavy chair run over the threshhold and tipped Lalia down the flight of steps and into the garden. So ended a life and reign that might well have rivalled that of the Great Took.
It was widely rumoured that the attendant was Pearl (Pippin's sister), though the Tooks tried to keep the matter within the family. At the celebration of Ferumbras' accession the displeasure and regret of the family was formally expressed by the exclusion of Pearl from the ceremony and feast;but it did not escape notice that later (after a decent interval) she appeared in a splendid necklace of her name-jewels, that had long lain in the hoard of the Thains.....

Hmmm... it seems that the Tooks, at least, had a more Machiavellian streak than one would have thought !
At The Fifth Column...
a post on how contraceptive-tainted human waste is polluting the waters of our environment, and could lead to human health and fertility problems.
So much for "what goes on in the privacy of the bedroom doesn't hurt anyone else..."
The Pontificator...
has a fine post, dealing with the Venerable and his views on papal infallibility.
I couldn't make it to the Blogfest....
but a friend of mine did. He ended up on the front page of one of the local newspapers.
If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. Maximillian Kolbe, O.F.M. Conv., Priest and Martyr. To all the Franciscans, and all the members of the Militia Immaculatae out there, blessed feast day !