Saturday, September 24, 2005

The Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham
is today. There is information on it here. One can access the Shrine website here.

There is a lovely poem, of uncertain authorship, but often ascribed to St. Philip Howard, which expresses the sorrow of those loyal to the "Old Religion" for the destruction wreaked upon the principal Marian shrine of "Our Lady's Dowry" in Tudor times.

A Lament for Our Lady's Shrine at Walsingham

"In the wrackes of Walsingam
Whom should I chuse
But the Queene of Walsingam
To be guide to my muse?

Then thou Prince of Walsingam
Grant me to frame
Bitter plaintes to rewe thy wronge
Bitter wo for thy name.

Bitter was it oh to see
The seely sheepe
Murdered by the raveninge wolves
While the sheephards did sleep.

Bitter was it oh to vewe
The sacred vyne
While the gardiners plaied all close
Rooted up by the swine.

Bitter, bitter oh to behould
The grasse to growe
Where the walls of Walsingam
So stately did shewe.

Such were the works of Walsingam
While shee did stand
Such are the wrackes as now do shewe
Of that so holy land.

Levell levell with the ground
The towres doe lye
Which with their golden, glitteringe tops
Pearsed once to the skye.

Where weare gates no gates are nowe,
The waies unknowen,
Where the press of peares did passe
While her fame far was blowen.

Oules do scrike where the sweetest himnes
Lately weer songe,
Toades and serpents hold their dennes
Wher the palmers did thronge.

Weepe, weepe O Walsingam,
Whose dayes are nightes,
Blessings turned to blasphemies,
Holy deeds to dispites.

Sinne is wher our Ladie sate,
Heaven turned is to hell,
Satham sittes wher our Lord did swaye,
Walsingam, oh farewell ! "

Arise, Mary, and go forth in thy strength into that north country, which once was thine own, and take possession of a land which knows thee not. Arise, Mother of God, and with thy thrilling voice, speak to those who labour with child, and are in pain, till the babe of grace leaps within them! Shine on us, dear Lady, with thy bright countenance, like the sun in his strength, O stella matutina, O harbinger of peace, till our year is one perpetual May. From thy sweet eyes, from thy pure smile, from thy majestic brow, let ten thousand influences rain down, not to confound or overwhelm, but to persuade, to win over thine enemies. O Mary, my hope, O Mother undefiled, fulfil to us the promise of this Spring.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Sermons Preached on Various Occasions

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap., Priest
is today. There is information on him here.
A blessed feast day to all the Capuchins and other Franciscans out there !

It is also the feast of Pope St. Linus, Martyr.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Gala Cormarë !

Happy birthday to Bilbo Baggins the Ring-finder and Frodo Baggins the Ringbearer ! My good wishes go to both of you beyond the Circles of this world.....

And to all the inhabitants of the Reunited Kingdom, I greet you with joy on this day of celebration established by the great King Elessar Telcontar to honor the Ringbearers. Gala Cormarë !

(Note to the true geeks out there- I know, I know, I'm ignoring the calendar difference.....)
Great quote from the Professor ...
posted by one of the Whapsters.
The Feast of St. Maurice, Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Ignatius of Santhia, O.F.M. Cap., Priest .

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

has a reference to my blog on his map of Catholic blogs. ( I got a fjord !)
The Feast of St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist
is today. There is information on him here.

This, then, if we may venture to say so, was some part of our Saviour's meaning, when He connects together the having with the trusting in riches; and it is especially suitable to consider it upon this day, when we commemorate an Apostle and an Evangelist, whose history is an example and encouragement for all those who have, and fear lest they should trust. But St. Matthew was exposed to an additional temptation, which I shall proceed to consider; for he not only possessed, but he was engaged also in the pursuit of wealth. Our Saviour seems to warn us against this further danger in His description of the thorns in the parable of the Sower, as being "the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches;" and more clearly in the parable of the Great Supper, where the guests excuse themselves, one as having "bought a piece of ground," another "five yoke of oxen." Still more openly does St. Paul speak in his First Epistle to Timothy: "They that desire to be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the Faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." [Matt. xiii. 22. Luke xiv. 18, 19. 1 Tim. vi. 9, 10.]

The danger of possessing riches is the carnal security to which they lead; that of "desiring" and pursuing them, is, that an object of this world is thus set before us as the aim and end of life. It seems to be the will of Christ that His followers should have no aim or end, pursuit or business, merely of this world. Here, again, I speak as before, not in the way of precept, but of doctrine. I am looking at His holy religion as at a distance, and determining what is its general character and spirit, not what may happen to be the duty of this or that individual who has embraced it. It is His will that all we do should be done, not unto men, or to the world, or to self, but to His glory; and the more we are enabled to do this simply, the more favoured we are. Whenever we act with reference to an object of this world, even though it be ever so pure, we are exposed to the temptation—(not irresistible, God forbid!) still to the temptation—of setting our hearts upon obtaining it. And therefore, we call all such objects excitements, as stimulating us incongruously, casting us out of the serenity and stability of heavenly faith, attracting us aside by their proximity from our harmonious round of duties, and making our thoughts converge to something short of that which is infinitely high and eternal. Such excitements are of perpetual occurrence, and the mere undergoing them, so far from involving guilt in the act itself or its results, is the great business of life and the discipline of our hearts.

Venerable John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

From Parochial and Plain Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman

Thus, in a most mysterious way, all that is needful for this sinful world, the life of our souls, the regeneration of our nature, all that is most joyful and glorious, hope, light, peace, spiritual freedom, holy influences, religious knowledge and strength, all flow from a fount of blood. A work of blood is our salvation; and we, as we would be saved, must draw near and gaze upon it in faith, and accept it as the way to heaven. We must take Him, who thus suffered, as our guide; we must embrace His sacred feet, and follow Him. No wonder, then, should we receive on ourselves some drops of the sacred agony which bedewed His garments; no wonder, should we be sprinkled with the sorrows which He bore in expiation of our sins!

And so it has ever been in very deed; to approach Him has been, from the first, to be partaker, more or less, in His sufferings; I do not say in the case of every individual who believes in Him, but as regards the more conspicuous, the more favoured, His choice instruments, and His most active servants; that is, it has been the lot of the Church, on the whole, and of those, on the whole, who had been most like Him, as Rulers, Intercessors, and Teachers of the Church. He, indeed, alone meritoriously; they, because they have been near Him. Thus, immediately upon His birth, He brought the sword upon the infants of His own age at Bethlehem. His very shadow, cast upon a city, where He did not abide, was stained with blood. His Blessed Mother had not clasped Him to her breast for many weeks, ere she was warned of the penalty of that fearful privilege: "Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul {141} also." [Luke ii. 35.] Virtue went out of Him; but the water and the blood flowed together as afterwards from His pierced side. From among the infants He took up in His arms to bless, is said to have gone forth a chief martyr of the generation after Him. Most of His Apostles passed through life-long sufferings to a violent death. In particular, when the favoured brothers, James and John, came to Him with a request that they might sit beside Him in His kingdom, He plainly stated this connection between nearness to Him and affliction. "Are ye able," He said, "to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" [Matt. xx. 22.] As if He said, "Ye cannot have the sacraments of grace without the painful figures of them. The Cross, when imprinted on your foreheads, will draw blood. You shall receive, indeed, the baptism of the Spirit, and the cup of My communion, but it shall be with the attendant pledges of My cup of agony, and My baptism of blood." Elsewhere He speaks the same language to all who would partake the benefits of His death and passion: "Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple." [Luke xiv. 27.]
The Catholic Carnival
is up.
The Feast of the Martyrs of Korea
is today. There is information on them here.
It is also the feast of Pope St. Agapitus I , and St. Eustachius, Martyr, one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers .

Monday, September 19, 2005

From Sermons Preached On Various Occasions

by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

This is Conscience; and, from the nature of the case, its very existence carries on our minds to a Being exterior to ourselves; for else whence did it come? and to a Being superior to ourselves; else whence its strange, troublesome peremptoriness? I say, without going on to the question what it says, and whether its particular dictates are always as clear and consistent as they might be, its very existence throws us out of ourselves, and beyond ourselves, to go and seek for Him in the height and depth, whose Voice it is. As the sunshine implies that the sun is in the heavens, though we may see it not, as a knocking at our doors at night implies the presence of one outside in the dark who asks for admittance, so this Word within us, not only instructs us up to a certain point, but necessarily raises our minds to the idea of a Teacher, an unseen Teacher: and in proportion as we listen to that Word, and use it, not only do we learn more from it, not only do its dictates become clearer, and at its lessons broader, and its principles more consistent, but its very tone is louder and more authoritative and constraining. And thus it is, that to those who use what they have, more is given; for, beginning with obedience, they go on to the intimate perception and belief of one God. His voice within them witnesses to Him, and they believe His own witness about Himself. They believe in His existence, not because others say it, not in the word of man merely, but with a personal apprehension of its truth. This, then, is the first step in those good dispositions which lead to faith in the Gospel.

And my second remark is this: that, in spite of all that this Voice does for them, it does not do enough, as they most keenly and sorrowfully feel. They find it most difficult to separate what it really says, taken by itself, from what their own passion or pride, self-love or self-will, mingles with it. Many is the time when they cannot tell how much that true inward Guide commands, and how much comes from a mere earthly source. So that the gift of conscience raises a desire for what it does not itself fully supply. It inspires in them the idea of authoritative guidance, of a divine law; and the desire of possessing it in its fulness, not in mere fragmentary portions or indirect suggestion. It creates in them a thirst, an impatience, for the knowledge of that Unseen Lord, and Governor, and Judge, who as yet speaks to them only secretly, who whispers in their hearts, who tells them something, but not nearly so much as they wish and as they need. Thus you see, my Brethren, a religious man, who has not the blessing of the infallible teaching of revelation, is led to look out for it, for the very reason that he is religious. He has something, but not all; and if he did not desire more, it would be a proof that he had not used, that he had not profited by, what he had. Hence he will be on the look-out. Such is the definition, I may say, of every religious man, who has not the knowledge of Christ; he is on the look-out. As the Jewish believers were on the look-out for a Messias who they knew was to come, so at all times, and under all dispensations, and in all sects, there are those who know there is a truth, who know they do not possess it except in a very low measure, who desire to know more, who know that He alone who has taught them what they know, can teach them more, who hope that He will teach them more, and so are on the look-out for His teaching.
The Feast of St. Januarius, Bishop and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.
BTW, it seems that the miracle happened this time.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

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

What a sight it will be, what an unexpected sight, at the last day and public judgement to be present at that revelation of all hearts! How different persons will then seem, from what they seem now! How will the last be first, and the first last! Then those whom the world looked up to, will be brought low, and those who were little esteemed, will be exalted. Then will it be found who are the real movers in the world's affairs, those who sustained the cause of the Church or who influenced the fortunes of empires, were not the great and powerful, not those whose names are known in the world, but the humble despised followers of the Lamb, the meek saint, the man full of prayer and good works whom the world passed by; the hidden band of saintly witnesses, whose voice day by day ascended to Christ; the sufferers who seemed to be living for nothing; the poor whom the proud world thought but an offence and a nuisance.