Thursday, March 16, 2006

From Discourses Addressed to Mixed Congregations
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Now we are all but actors in this world; we are one and all equal, we shall be judged as equals as soon as life is over; yet, equal and similar in ourselves, each has his special part at present, each has his work, each has his mission,—not to indulge his passions, not to make money, not to get a name in the world, not to save himself trouble, not to follow his bent, not to be selfish and self-willed, but to do what God puts on him to do.

Look at that poor profligate in the Gospel, look at Dives; do you think he understood that his wealth was to be spent, not on himself, but for the glory of God?—yet for forgetting this, he was lost for ever and ever. I will tell you what he thought, and how he viewed things:—he was a young man, and had succeeded to a good estate, and he determined to enjoy himself. It did not strike him that his wealth had any other use than that of enabling him to take his pleasure. Lazarus lay at his gate; he might have relieved Lazarus; that was God's will; but he managed to put conscience aside, and he persuaded himself he should be a fool, if he did not make the most of this world, while he had the means. So he resolved to have his fill of pleasure; and feasting was to his mind a principal part of it. "He fared sumptuously every day;" everything belonging to him was in the best style, as men speak; his house, his furniture, his plate of silver and gold, his attendants, his establishments. Everything was for enjoyment, and for show too; to attract the eyes of the world, and to gain the applause and admiration of his equals, who were the companions of his sins. These companions were doubtless such as became a person of such pretensions; they were fashionable men; a collection of refined, high-bred, haughty men, eating, not gluttonously, but what was rare and costly; delicate, exact, fastidious in their taste, from their very habits of indulgence; not eating for the mere sake of eating, or drinking for the mere sake of drinking, but making a sort of science of their sensuality; sensual, carnal, as flesh and blood can be, with eyes, ears, tongue, steeped in impurity, every thought, look, and sense, witnessing or ministering to the evil one who ruled them; yet, with exquisite correctness of idea and judgment, laying down rules for sinning;—heartless and selfish, high, punctilious, and disdainful in their outward deportment, and shrinking from Lazarus, who lay at the gate, as an eye-sore, who ought for the sake of decency to be put out of the way. Dives was one of such, and so he lived his short span, thinking of nothing, loving nothing, but himself, till one day he got into a fatal quarrel with one of his godless associates, or he caught some bad illness; and then he lay helpless on his bed of pain, cursing fortune and his physician, that he was no better, and impatient that he was thus kept from enjoying his youth, trying to fancy himself mending when he was getting worse, and disgusted at those who would not throw him some word of comfort in his suspense, and turning more resolutely from his Creator in proportion to his suffering;—and then at last his day came, and he died, and (oh! miserable!) "was buried in hell". And so ended he and his mission.
Some notes on Oratorian-related posts...
in the Catholic Blogosphere.
First, Zadok has a reminder that today is the anniversary of what is probably the most famous miracle wrought by the intercession of St. Philip.
Second, Summa Minutiae has a quote from the Venerable.
Finally, Irish and Dangerous has some impressive statistics from the Venerable's life. (Those were only in his lifetime - God alone knows how many people his writings have helped along since his death. )
The Feast of St. John Sordi, O.S.B., Bishop and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Leocritia of Cordova, Virgin and Martyr , and Blessed John Amias, Robert Dalby, and William Hart, Priests and Martyrs.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Catholic Carnival
is up.
From A Letter Addressed to the Duke of Norfolk on Occasion of Mr. Gladstone's Recent Expostulation
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

The Church has the office of teaching, and the matter of that teaching is the body of doctrine, which the Apostles left behind them as her perpetual possession. If a question arises as to what the Apostolic doctrine is on a particular point, she has infallibility promised to her to enable her to answer correctly. And, as by the teaching of the Church is understood, not the teaching of this or that Bishop, but their united voice, and a Council is the form the Church must take, in order that all men may recognize that in fact she is teaching on any point in dispute, so in like manner the Pope must come before us in some special form or posture, if he is to be understood to be exercising his teaching office, and that form is called ex cathedrâ. This term is most appropriate, as being on one occasion used by our Lord Himself. When the Jewish doctors taught, they placed themselves in Moses' seat, and spoke ex cathedrâ; and then, as He tells us, they were to be obeyed by their people, and that, whatever were their private lives or characters. "The Scribes and Pharisees," He says, "are seated on the chair of Moses: all things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do; but according to their works do you not, for they say and do not."

The forms, by which a General Council is identified as representing the Church herself, are too clear to need drawing out; but what is to be that moral cathedrâ, or teaching chair, in which the Pope sits, when he is to be recognized as in the exercise of his infallible teaching? the new definition answers this question. He speaks ex cathedrâ, or infallibly, when he speaks, first, as the Universal Teacher; secondly, in the name and with the authority of the Apostles; thirdly, on a point of faith or morals; fourthly, with the purpose of binding every member of the Church to accept and believe his decision.
The Feast of St. Matilda, Queen and Widow
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Leobinus of Chartres, O.S.B., Bishop .

Monday, March 13, 2006

Checke outte
the syte ycleped Geoffrey Chaucer Hath A Blog.

Linke by the courtessee of Summa Minutiae.
Three cheers for Dave Armstrong !
He's done a major update of his mega-links page on the Venerable.
Blogging by request...
A friend of mine has asked me to note that he is trying to revamp the St. Blog's Drinking Game.
The Feast of St. Euphrasia, Virgin
is today. There is information on her here.
It is also the feast of St. Roderick, Priest and Martyr, and St. Heldrad, O.S.B., Abbot, known for, among other things, greatly expanding the abbey library. (A saint after my own heart !)