Saturday, August 20, 2005

Since It Is Our Lady's Saturday

Here is a bonus image of the Annunciation

Opening of Matins of the Hours of the Virgin From the Hours of Anne of Brentagne, France, 1400s

How would You Have Liked to Learned Your Prayers From This Primer?

These next three images come from a French primer from the early 1500s.

The Pater Noster

The Ave, Maria

Prayer To Your Guardian Angel

Saint Bernard

Doctor of the Church, and Abbot of Clairvaux.

Detail from "The Apparition of the Virgin To Saint Bernard" by Fra Lippi c. 1486

More about Saint Bernard from The Golden Legend.

Another brief biography.

Friday, August 19, 2005

This Is Great!

Shawn Tribe at The New Liturgical Movement points out that then-Cardinal Ratzinger said pretty much the same thing I said about adding new saints to the 1962 Missal.

Those who reject the authority of the Church as currently understood might reject this. But there is a name for Christians who reject the authority of the Church: protestants.

Refuting Life In the 1500s

A good read, if only for the medieval images. But it makes good points, as well.

Will Anchorage Be Next To Get An Indult Mass?

An FSSP priest is being assigned to a parish in Eagle River (a suburban-feeling part of the City of Anchorage). However, for now, he is not authorized to say the traditional Latin Mass, only the normative rite.

Anchorage does not have an indult Mass, though there is an active SSPX community up there, and some latin Rite Catholics attend Byzantine Rite Masses, to get a traditional liturgy without falling into schism. This looks like a preliminary step toward establishing an indult Mass, though Eagle River is a poor choice for the location, as it is out of the loop of life in downtown Anchorage.

If the new Archbishop there is worried about the FSSP and the Latin Mass, why not assign the priest to the cathedral where he can keep his eye on him and the Latin Mass community. And Holy Family Cathedral is centrally located and convenient for everyone.

Update: Seattle Catholic has a correction up on this story. The priest assigned to Eagle River is no longer affiliated with the FSSP.

After the Assumption

For the last few days, the heat and humidity have passed, just about the time the Dog Days of August ended. Sirius has set and we are now in the "Cat Nights" with more comfortable sleeping weather. It has been in the 70s with sunny skies, low humidity and light breezes. This morning all over downtown Boston, there was a distinct harbor smell from the mild seabreeze.

Many years, and this appears to be one of them, if the long-range forecast can be believed, just about the time of the Assumption, the heat breaks and late Summer/early Fall weather sets in. There is a time in winter when you can feel the balance tip toward Spring. That is the time when, though there may yet be cold days or even snow, truly bitter cold seems to be a thing of the past. Winter's back is said to have "broken." Some years, in a mild, short winter, you can feel the balance change in mid-late-February. This year, I never really felt any change. Winter's back never really did break, and it stayed cold, often bitterly so, into May.

Assumption often is a corresponding marker for the Summer. The temp might hit 90 or even a little more for a day maybe even several isolated days. But (from my keyboard to God's weather-planning department!) the vicious heat and humidity are over. Summer's back has broken. No more heatwaves, no more feeling beads of sweat run down your leg or across your chest as you try to get to sleep.

The Assumption has been a seasonal marker for me, also because of the growing cycle. The harvest is coming in, reminding me that Fall is on the way, with ripening apples, sweet cider, fresh corn, pumpkins, and those other joys we associate with Fall in New England. I have seen many yellow leaves on the ground, though I can't say I have seen them in the trees.

I make no secret that I love the Fall with its colorful leaves, pumpkins, and harvesting activities that put me in touch with my inner colonial farmer.

But the immediate business after the Assumption is back-to-school shopping. How I cherished my annual trips with my parents to Filene's Basement, Sym's, T.J. Maxx, Ann & Hope, Brooks Brothers, Jordan Marsh, or, going back to Catholic grammar school uniform days, L.H. Rogers. Even buying school supplies could be fun. You started with a basic list, clothes, for instance, and ended up refining it once you were back in class.

In college days, book buying for my history courses was a superb opportunity to stock up the library, as you would often find a used book that, though it had nothing to do with the classes I was taking, was too good a bargain to pass up. I got Garrett Mattingly's Armada that way, for about $3, if I recall correctly. I always made a seperate trip down to the campus about now, two weeks before classes started, to do my book shopping, so that I could beat the crowds.

Boston being the definative college town, with some 72 colleges, junior colleges, community colleges, and universities within a 20 mile radius of downtown, and students being what they are, there is a standing headline one waits for every year at this time with eager anticipation (dread, if you are a driver daily plying the streets of Boston): "Top Of U-Haul Sheared Off By Overpass, Storrow Drive Shut Down."

Ah yes: the joys of back to school. That one should be happening any day now, as the undergraduates are beginning to trickle back into the city already.

And by the time you had aquired all the things needed for back to school, by the time the traffic on Storrow Drive is sorted out, it will be time for apple picking!

Health Benefits Of Chocolate Discussed

Chocolate may be good for you. though there is nothing really solid, yet.

Not all chocolate, though. Forget about milk chocolate. Flavanols are only found in dark chocolate, not milk or "white."

So that Godiva, Ghiradelli, Lindt, Villars, or Valhorna dark chocolate bar is the thing.

Interesting Tidbit

I saw over at Traditio In Radice that SSPX "Bishop" Fellay has an August 29th audience with the Holy Father.

I doubt that regularization of the SSPX will come out of this meeting, but it is obviously a step that might, if they don't take the opportunity to make unreasonable demands, lead in that direction.

If I recall correctly, the leadership of the SSPX, including Fellay, are, or were, excommunicted. So it will be interesting to see how this works out.

For WYD coverage

Keep checking in with Tim Drake at Young And Catholic.

He is doing a great job giving everyone here back home the feel of World Youth Day.

On Juventutem's Agenda for Today

According to the Recovering Choir Director, Pontifical Vespers with Cardinal Arinze.

Mighty impressive.

Today At WYD

Stations of the Cross (pdf format).

The Holy Father Has Been A Big Hit So Far

His visit to the Cologne synagogue allowed him to pursue ecumenical outreach to Germany's Jewish citizens, and was full of symbolic significance.

The Holy Father In Cologne Cathedral

Praying before the Blessed Sacrament and the Reliquary of the Three Kings

Saint John Eudes

Founder of the Eudists, and pioneer of devotion to the Sacred Heart of the Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Read more about Saint John Eudes here. And more here.

Missile Attack On US Ships In Jordanian Port

Katyusha rockets were fired from land at US Navel vessels moored in a Jordanian port while taking part in joint exercises with the Jordanian military. No American servicemen were killed or injured, and the ships were not hit or damaged, though a Jordanian soldier was killed.

The Katyusha rocket is a signiture weapon of Hezbollah. A group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attack. How do you reconcile those two facts? Easy. Hezbollah is just another part of the al Qaeda family. Moslem terror is pretty much Moslem terror. They work together against the common enemy (civilization) even though they have differing (and not always compatible)objectives.

You would think that, after the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, we would be more careful about allowing our vessels to enter port in Arab countries.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Current Reading

I have not had time to go back and count, but I'm probably past the 60-book mark for the year.

Having just finished Russell Kirk's Redeeming the Time, and blown through The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, I have started Haydn Pearson's New England Flavor. Pearson's The Countryman's Year has been an old favorite for many years now. New England Flavor is his memories of growing up in New Hampshire in the early 20th century. Pearson's prose does for rural New England life just as much as Frost's poetry.

Yet none of his books are in print. And it is not easy finding his work even in the best libraries. I hope that someday this will be remedied, that new editions of at least three of his books will be out for the general public to grasp the flinty American decency of the New England we were either born to or adopted.

Who, I ask, when offered the opportunity to enjoy good cider, or pumpkin pie, or baked beans and brownbread will prate about the need for gay "marriage" or a more progressive income tax?

Farm life may be a very distant memory for most of us today. But I grew up within the borders of old Salem Village (in what was at one time Danvers and became West Peabody) hard by a thin slate stoned graveyard that had been used by early New Englanders, one surrounded by a frost-heaved, lichen-covered stone wall and filled with trees that turned a brilliant yellow in the fall. Many of those buried there, members of the Pope, Walcott, and Oakes families primarily, had lived through the Salem Village witchcraft hysteria or the American Revolution and the founding of the Republic. The remains of an old apple orchard were not a hundred yards away. Abandoned meadow not 50 yeards from my parents' home was a frequent place for me to play as a child. At least once a month, an old man in a ramshackle vehicle rode up and down our street seeking knives to sharpen and pots to mend: a tinker! So old New England is not a fantasy to me. Its remaining artifacts were part of the cultural patrimony I took in as a youth. The rural milleau of early New England was even more alive for Pearson, and he does a wonderful job of describing it.

Another "Latin Mass Attracts Young People" Story

The confluence of the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, Juventutem and World Youth Day, and the growth trend of Latin indult Masses throughout the US means, I think, good things for the future of Catholic worship.

And there is a generation of young people out there who have been starved of the transcendent in Catholic worship and starved of certainty in Catholic teaching who will be the foot soldiers in every diocese to restore Catholic worship. This restoration is proceeding on two tracks that are complimentary: partial restoration of the traditional Latin Mass and reform of the reform of the 1970 Missal and in the way the normative rite is celebrated.

Still, there are major obstacles to overcome. Not the least is the shoot-yourself-in-the-foot pig-headed idiocy of many traditionalists, who strive with an astonishing lack of common sense to make the perfect the enemy of the good and reject well-intentioned concessions from Rome because they are not everything they want. They also have an unerring talent for alienating all potential allies, both on a personal level, and through crackpot conspiracy theories.

Then there is the more formidable enemy: priests, religious, and hierarchs who are hostile to the restoration. The men who graduated from seminary in the 1960s and early 1970s are bishops now. They soaked up a lot of hostility to traditional Catholic life, devotions, music, ways of thought, and the traditional Mass. They have a lot of power in most chanceries in the US, Canada, and Europe. They control the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' staff. They are disproportionately represented in "mainstream" Catholic journalism. And folks who share their root hostility and are often more than temperately vocal about the shared agenda (gay priests, married priests, women priests, contraception, abortion, gay "marriage") are running almost every parish, in that they make up the majority of business managers, music ministers, lectors, DREs, CCD teachers, principals, lay teachers, and teaching nuns.

The good news about this opponent is that it is aging. The Age of Aquarius is being gradually pulled off the stage by man's oldest enemy: old age. But still, it is a very formidable opponent for the time being, and for the next 10 years or so. Then a younger and more orthodox generation will supplant them, though, as Michael Rose has pointed out in Good-bye, Good Men, they have done their best to prevent this from happening.

But World Youth Day is a time to celebrate being Catholic. I, for one, cannot celebrate being young any longer. Nevertheless, my prayers are with all the young Catholics who have become pilgrims to see the Holy Father and deepen their faith. And they are especially with the Juventutem group who I think are the real "cutting edge" Catholics of our epoch.

Beautiful Description of A Beautiful Mass

At the Cathedral In Camden, NJ.

Poll Watching

No, not about 2008 or even the congressional midterms next year.

This is more important. It is Musum Pontificalis' poll on the Sign of Peace. It has about 24% support, with 10% indifferent, and a whopping 58% in favor of scrapping it.

Run, Do Not Walk, Over To A Penitent Blogger

Great piece on the masterpiece that is Cologne Cathedral. And if you have not had your fill, then follow the link to the Cathedral's own website, and click on the English language version, and take the virtual tour.

This window dates from about 1507.

Altar of the Poor Clares, which dates from 1350.

The flying buttresses.

Reliquary of the Three Kings

The Altar of Saint George.

Salivating yet?

Saint Jane Frances de Chantal

Read about this spiritual daughter of Saint Francis de Sales at Catholic Forum. And a more detailed, though brief, biography from Catholic On Line.

She is the patroness of those who have lost their parents, of forgotten people, of widows, and of parents separated from their children. She also founded the Sisters of the Visitation.

The Holy Father Has Arrived In Cologne For World Youth Day

And is getting an enthusiasic welcome from the young people on his first homecoming to Germany since becoming pope.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Which Theologian Are You?

What, no Aquinas???

I had to take the quiz results down, as they were pushing the links down to the bottom of the page on some browsers.

I scored as 100% Augustine.

The 1962 Missal Updated

Yesterday, I mentioned the need to keep the 1962 Missal's liturgical calendar up-to-date, by adding new saints (not every new saint, obviously, as Pope John Paul the Great alone added nearly 500 new saints to the Calendar, and Pope Paul was not idle either). I had forgotten that Baronius Press published just that, a Missal that updates the 1962 calendar. I had noticed the ad for it at Seattle Catholic and mentioned it some months ago. The Missal looks great, and is published under the imprimatur of Bishop Bruskewitz.

However, Marcus Scotus at Rome of the West did not make that mistake. He not only saw the ad, but bought a copy and reviewed it.

Nevertheless, organizations like the Latin Mass Society of the UK, which hosts the traditional calendar of feasts, stick pretty much to the calendar as it existed in 1962, without revising the liturgical celebrations to honor new saints.

Perhaps this Baronius Press edition ought to come into general use. Still the issue of the variation of saints' days between the 1970 Missal and the 1962 Missal will remain, until a consensus is reached on the controversial shiftings of certain feasts. However, since most indult Masses are Sunday only, the saints days are not such a big issue as the variance between the liturgical readings for Sunday. With the new three-year rotation of readings under the 1970 Missal, any time that the two rites are reading the same material on any given Sunday would be almost coincidental.

And I don't think all the impetus for bringing about uniformity ought to lie with the 1962 Missal's adherents. The 1970 Missal's departures from the 1962 Missal ought to be examined, and where necessary, reversed.

Tim Drake Is Still Taking the Prize

For the best blogging coverage of World Youth Day!

Juventutem has reshuffled their photos, but not added any more new ones yet. A little disappointing, that.

By the way, we old fogies back home can gain a partial indulgence by praying fervently for an increase in faith for those participating in WYD, and all Catholic youth (as well as for the safety of our Holy Father and all participating) beginning with the Holy Father's arrival in Cologne tomorrow.

Song For the 17th Of August

My mind has been much on Ireland lately, hasn't it? Actually, the Galway Races are now held in July.
The Galway Races
With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

And as I rode out through Galway Town to seek for recreation
On the seventeenth of August, me mind being elevated
There were multitudes assembled with their tickets at the station
And me eyes began to dazzle and they're going to see the races

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

There were passengers from Limerick and passengers from Nenagh
Passengers from Dublin and sportsmen from Tipperary
There were passengers from Kerry and all quarters of the nation
And our member Mr Hardy for to join the Galway Blazers

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

There were multitudes from Aran and members from New Quay shore
The boys from Connemara and the Clare unmarried maidens
People from Cork City who were loyal, true and faithful
They brought home the Fenian prisoners from dying in foreign nations

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

And it's there you'll see confectioners with sugarsticks and dainties
The lozenges and oranges, the lemonade and raisins
Gingerbread and spices to accomodate the ladies
And a big crubeen for thruppence to be suckin' while you're able

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

And it's there you'll see the gamblers, the thimbles and the garters
And the sporting Wheel of Fortune with the four and twenty quarters
There was others without scruple pelting wattles at poor Maggy
And her daddy well contented to be gawking at his daughter

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

And it's there you'll see the pipers and the fiddlers competing
The nimble-footed dancers and they trippin' on the daisies
There was others shoutin' cigars and lights and bills for all the races
With the colours of the jockey and the price and horses' ages

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

And it's there you'll see the jockeys and they mounted on so stately
The pink, the blue, the orange and green, the emblem of our nation
When the bell was rung for starting all the horses seemed impatient
I thought they never stood on ground, their speed was so amazing

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

There was half a million people there of all denominations
The Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew and Presbyterian
There was yet no animosity no matter what persuasion
But fáilte and hospitality inducing Mr Paisley

With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay
With me whack fol the do fol the diddlely idle ay

Another Catholic Church of Dublin

SS. Augustine and John, designed by Edward W. Pugin in 1860 (once Catholics could become more assertive with their worship places in Ireland). I was looking for more on SS. Augustine and John, but the Archdiocese of Dublin does not list it. It may be a closed parish, and that would be a shame.

The contribution of the Pugins to the growth of neo-Gothic architecture in the 19th century is something worth exploring. Augustus Pugin (Edward's father) was a convert to Catholicism, and felt strongly that Gothic was the only morally acceptable form of church architecture for Roman Catholics.

After his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1835, he published Contrasts (1836), which argued that since gothic was an expression of a Roman Catholic society, only such a society could produce true gothic -- a position that he continued to expound in True Principles of Pointed Architecture published 1841.

I wouldn't go that far. Spanish Mission, Roman Basilica, Romanesque, and Baroque are, I think also acceptable. But many of Pugin's arguments might be turned against those Richard Vosko admirers, who want to make our churches indistinguishable from Marriot function rooms, or the space just vacated by an Ann Taylor store in a strip mall.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has a lengthy biography of Augustus Pugin.

UPDATE: Wow!!! This must be Pugin's biggest day ever at Saint Blog's. I just noticed in my perusal of selected blogs (all I have time for today) that Shawn Tribe gives him a mention over at The New Liturgical Movement.

Need Something Uplifting And Encouraging?

After what Gillibrand discovered in Germany, and the news about the senseless murder of Brother Roger (even though Taize is certainly not my cup of tea), me, too!

How about St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Dublin?

Her exterior looks more like an American courthouse than a Catholic church, but Catholics in Ireland were required to keep a low profile in the early 19th century

Not a great photo, I know, but there isn't much available on line. I was reading about her yesterday, and the book had much better photos, but, of course, those are not on line, and are copyrighted.

The title, too, is a holdover from penal times, when the protties took our cathedrals in Dublin, Christ Chuch Cathedral and Saint Patrick's Cathedral, and made them their own. Though the Church of Ireland has about as many worshippers attending services in Dublin as there are men digging for clams in Manchester, New Hampshire, they continue to hold both cathedrals.

So, we were allowed a "pro-Cathedral," which I think was once called a chapel (but it is a big chapel). Papist Dubliners call her, "The Pro."

The funeral of Michael Collins took place there in 1922

Here is a brief history of The Pro.

St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Dublin (Primate of Ireland) is also the home of the Archdiocese of Dublin's traditional Latin Mass, and the famous Palestrina Choir.

Here is a "mystery worshipper's" report of his (her) experience at The Pro. The Palestrina Choir was away at the time, so let us hope that is what accounts for the lack of a "community."

The Sad Thing Is, This Stuff Has A Willing Audience

They say a picture says a thousand words. Catholic Church Conservation has the visual goods on a very bad (probably invalid) Mass from Germany. Every image here depicts practices at least on the borderline of sacrilige, and well past the border of ecclesial decorum.

If you are in Schweinfurt (and hasn't a US Corps headquarters been in that vicinity for the last 40 years?) stay away from Saint Michael's, until things there get cleaned up. If that ever happens.

Things in the US' Catholic churches are bad. But pray to God that they never get as bad here.

Founder Of Taize Murdered

From Zenit:

DIJON, France, AUG. 16, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The founder of the French religious Taizé Community, Brother Roger, was attacked and killed by a mentally disturbed man during vespers, his community said.

Roger, 90, was attacked, probably with a knife, during evening prayer today at Taizé, near Cluny, in the eastern Burgundy region, a member of the community told Agence France-Presse.

The Taizé movement started during World War II, when Swiss-born monk Roger Schutz, living in Taizé, provided a refuge for those fleeing the conflict, irrespective of their religion.

Roger, a Protestant with a degree in theology, devoted his life to the reconciliation between Christian denominations.

Requiescat in pace.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Reform of the 1962 Missal?

Since the adoption of the 1970 Missal, the 1962 Missal, that used at Indult Masses, has been something of a dead letter. Its calendar is frozen in 1962. It is in danger of becoming a museum piece, not a document that makes sense to use today.

I know there are some who attend Latin Masses who like that. There are some who think that there has not been a validly elected Pope since Pius XII died, that Vatican II was just the work of the devil, and therefore they don't recognize anything that the Church has promulgated since then. No one has had authority to proclaim anyone saints since then, or to adopt new devotions (Divine Mercy Chaplet or Luminous Mysteries).

But they are a tiny minority (though unpleasantly vocal) among Latin Mass attendees. Most of us love the traditional Latin Mass the way it is, but are willing to be on the same page liturgically as the rest of the Church. As someone who frequently "double-dips" on Sunday, attending a Novus Ordo Mass first, then the Indult later, I probably notice the liturgical dissonance between the two rites more than most.

Some reform of the calendar of that Missal is called for, I think. Most Latin Mass attendees, I think will recognize Saint Pio and Saint Faustina. But they were not saints in 1962. And the votive Mass way of getting around this might violate the rubrics on certain days.

Why not take the 1962 Missal, and add some important "new" saints to its liturgical calendar, at the same time recognizing some of the less controversial movements of feast days that the Church has made since then? That would bring the two modes of the Latin rite into closer conformity.

Already, the Indult Mass I attend celebrates Corpus Christi not on a Thursday, but on a Sunday (like the rest of the Church), and incorporates the Divine Mercy chaplet after Mass on Low Sunday. I see in my Missal that the traditional Immaculate heart is coming up. but the Universal Church celebrated the Immaculate Heart back in June, the day after the Sacred Heart. This is a standardization that would cause little heartache.

Does it always have to be 1962? Are we frozen there forever? Something that does not react at all to external stimuli is dead. We don't want the traditional Latin Mass to be dead. We want it to be as alive as the rest of the Church. A conservative, Russell Kirk told us again and again, combines a disposition to preserve with an ability to reform. It seems to me that the conservatives who attend the Indult Masses of the world would do well to make minimal prudent reform of the liturgical calendar that they use to keep it a living liturgy based on tradition.

But I also think that some of the reforms ought to be reciprocal. Why not move St. Thomas back to his traditional feast in December? Why not put St. Christopher back on the universal calendar? And Epiphany has to be moved back to January 6th, from the Sunday it is celebrated on in the US. Ascension has to be universally a Thursday, 40 days after Easter.

I do realize that one of the primary beneficiaries of this move would be publishers of Missals. Everyone would have to go out and buy new Missals ("1962 Revised Edition"?) to comply. But new Missals is a small price to pay for more of the Church being on the same page liturgically.

Kansas City's Indult Mass Strengthened

They are getting a new home, and an Institute of Christ the King priest permanently assigned.

Since the church they are being given is within the boundaries of the cathedral parish, they are being given the status of "oratory," which I think might be better than the "chapel" designation being handed out by the Archdiocese of Boston to parishes that have successfully stared the chancery down with vigils and protests. Maybe that is what Holy Trinity ought to be pushing for: oratory status.

Sox Lost, Yankees Won

So our lead is cut back to 3.5 games again.

World Youth Day Has Opened

Many bloggers are there, but so far, the best coverage seems to be at Young and Catholic. Also keep checking with Juventutem. I see they have added a few new pictures to the ones everyone is raving about (or at least there are about a half dozen at the end that I didn't notice before: no one would mistake me for Sherlock Holmes on the issue of discerning what is right before my eyes!).

Karol: A Man Who Became Pope

I don't watch TV myself, but thankfully Gerald at The Cafeteria Is Closed does, and has reviewed the movie quite favorably.

The Holy Father Backs Public Displays of the Crucifix In Italy

Italy is a Catholic nation. It may not be a Catholic state (government-structure), but its people are traditionally nearly 100% Catholic (that is eroding with Moslem immigration). Italy is not only a Catholic nation, it is the homeland of the Church, its headquarters and base of operations.

So it should come as no surprise that the Holy Father endorses the public display of the most crucial of all Catholic symbols, our crucified Lord.

We are back to Belloc. "Europe is the Faith, and the Faith is Europe." The Catholic Church built Europe. Europe has given a home to the Catholic Church. Europe now must throw off the secularist mantra of the modern world, and renew its commitment to the Faith that made it.

Update: I see that Saint Peter's Helpers has more to say about this topic.

Institute Of Saint Phillip Neri

Not the Oratorians, but a new order just recognized by the Holy Father a couple of years ago, which specializes in the traditional Latin Mass. They are based in Germany.

Saint Joachim

In the traditional calendar of feasts, today is the feast of the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joachim. However, in a move that actually made sense, the reformed calendar combines his feast with that of his wife, Saint Anne, on July 26th.

Since we know nothing from Holy Scripture about either of them, and precious little from tradition, and have no idea when they died, why not celebrate a married couple together at the same time? All we know is that they were holy people and worked together to raise and educate the Blessed Virgin so that she was the acceptable flesh to which our Lord condescended to be born.

Read About A Nun's Prayerful Protest of The DaVinci Code

Over at Annunciations.

Monday, August 15, 2005

New Article, Same Template

The Traditional Latin Mass is popular with younger Catholics. We all know that.

This article focuses on Juventutem and World Youth Day.

Sox Rained Out By T-Storms Yesterday

But the Yankees won, and picked up a half game.

Cool Carmelite Paintings

Over at The Inn At the End of the World.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This isn't great art. In fact, I think it is just a blown-up holy card image,
but I like it better than most of the Assumptions I have seen from the great artists. I think it is infinitely superior to El Greco's, and better than Murillo's or Reni's. That is why I reserved it for the feast itself.

Remember, today should be a holy day of obligation (and is in almost all countries other than the US). Make some time to go to Mass today in honor of the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven (and her, presumably instantaneous, coronation as Queen of Heaven).

Saint Alphonsus Liguori preached this sermon on the Assumption.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

V-J Day!!!

I just remembered that August 14th is the 60th anniversary of the death of Japanese militarism in World War II.

No carping about the A-Bombs here. They undoubtably saved hundreds of thousands of American lives, perhaps including my father's, and that is the only thing that counts when you are at war with a power that attacked you first. it got the jog doen with the loss of no US lives. But for that, Japan would have fought on, and we would have had to invade it. And in that process, millions of Japanese would have died, along with many US servicemen.

This is the most low-key anniversary I can remember. Do we lack the guts to stand up, and say, "Yes, we did it. It was necessary. We are proud of it, and would do it again given similar circumstances!"?

Quotes On the Most Blessed Sacrament

Fifteen pages of them.

Adoration on Corpus Christi at Holy Trinity

From the Real Presence Association.

My Counter Is Working Again

It has been non compis mentis since November. It reads 6,593 entries now (since June of 2002). I don't know if that is accurate, and I have no plan to go back and count. At the current pace, I might hit my 7,000th entry by the end of the year, if the counter is accurate. But I won't know it, unless the counter is and remains accurate.

Thought For A Sunday

"A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent in sweet communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament."
Saint Pio

How the Archdiocese Is Trying to Rob A Deceased Woman's Family

Shocking greed.

Bunny Clark wanted to leave a small bequest to her parish where she had grown up. Just $2,500. She put it in her will. Well, the Archdiocese decided to close her parish. She became incapacitated, and was unable to change the terms of her will. She would have liked to give the money to some other charity, since her parish was closing.

The parish was closed, she died, and now the Archdiocese has its dagger out, trying to pick off the $2,500 rather than show some class, and let the family decide where it should go.

Does the Archdiocese really need a lousy, stinking $2,500 so badly?

Were This Not A Sunday

August 14th would be the feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the heroic martyr priest of Auschwitz.

Here is a link to the Militia of the Immaculata, which he founded in 1917.

Read What Cardinal Meisner Has To Say

About 60s-era dissidents like Hans Kung trying to make hay out of World Youth Day.

From The Shrine of the Holy Whapping.

I Know It's August

Boy do I know it. It was miserably hot and humid yesterday and last night, and there is a T-storm in progress. Some pretty big T-storms, in fact, are moving through the area, especially south of Boston, hopefully ushering in a cold front. Right now, it's as dark as if it were 8:30 pm.

But Sacred Miscellany has a great link to a site about elaborate Spanish Nativity sets. You will notice a link to Fontannini among the Catholic Goods links in my ever-lengthening, and probably somewhat daunting righthand column of links (because a proper Nativty set is a sacramental: I used to say my night prayers during Christmas in front of it).

Whether you call them Belens, or Moravian Putzes, nativity sets are cool, and the more elaborate, the better.

Roma Locuta Est Signing Off

The author is entering the Jesuit order, and the novice master wants him to cease the blog. Another fine blog gone.

Just A Thought

Anyone else expect Juventutem, the traditionalist youth group created for World Youth Day to morph into a permanent group for traditionalist youth?

First Evidence All Summer Of Some Episcopal Backbone

From Bishop Olmstead, fast becoming one of my favorites.

Thoughts on Creeping Laxity

Today is the vigil of the Assumption. The Assumption is not even a holy day of obligatin in the US this year, as it falls on a Monday.

Our US Bishops are so solicitous for our convenience that we don't have to go to Mass on Holy Days of Obligation if they fall on Monday (unless it is Christmas).

You know, maybe if they demanded something from us, Catholics would rise to the occasion. Instead, they just give in, more and more to secular society.

Meatless Fridays? Too inconvenient, besides penance reminds us of sin, which is too depressing.

Fast before Communion? Well, given the length of the average Sunday Mass, if you don't nosh on bacon and eggs while you are getting dressed for Mass, or on the way there, you are sure to not fall afoul of the 1-hour fast.

And of course we can't make the little dears go to Mass two days in a row! How horrible! How pre-Vatican II that would be!

Here is a short list of a few things I would change if given dictatorial power over the discipline of the Church in the US:

1) Meatless Fridays

2) All Lenten and Advent Fridays would be days of abstinence and fasting

3) The old 3-hour pre-Communion fast would be back

4) The following would be Holy Days of Obligation no matter where they fall in the week:
a) Immaculate Conception
b) Our Lady of Guadalupe
c) Christmas
d) Holy Innocents
e) Octave of Christmas
f) Epiphany
g) Candlemas
h) Ash Wednesday
i) Annunciation
j) Maundy Thursday
k) Good Friday (though technically, there is no Mass)
l) Ascension Thursday (yes, Thursday!!!)
m) Corpus Christi (restored to its weekday status)
n) Sacred Heart
o) Immaculate Heart
p) Assumption
q) All Saints
r) All Souls

5) Much more preaching about the Four Last Things, Satan, and Sin.

6) Much more emphasis on the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Passion devotions, Marian devotions.

7) Ditch all modern religion textbooks, and either adopt the Compendium of the new catechism, or the old Baltimore Catechism

8) Haugen and Haas out. Palestrina and Faber in.

9) Not only will priests not marry gay "couples" they won't even perform marriages between a Catholic and a non-Catholic, unless the non-Catholic converts.

10) Bi-annual week-long parish missions with intensive traditional devotional practice and a heavy emphasis on reading traditional Catholic devotional liturature, as well as some good moderns like Hahn and Weigel and Shea and Welborn.

11) Intensive missionary work generally reaching aggresively out to convert Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Hindus, and, yes, protestants

12) We won't need to close any churches, because this restoration of discipline and reassertion of certainty and celebration of the true Catholic heritage will refill the pews, and the coffers, and, in 10 years, have the seminaries and monasteries full to bursting. We can regain what we had in, say, 1940. All we have to do is regain our own identity and assert it.

We Are Decreasing

While heathens and heretics are increasing.

The retreat from evangelical and catechetical responsibility billed as a financial retrenchment and ecumenism continues. As the Church in Boston fails to do its job (and has failed for a couple of generations), protestant heretics and utter heathens are taking up the slack, filling in the void, even buying some of our former churches.

This isn't what the Lord meant when He said, "Make disciples of all nations!" We are not supposed to be losing our grip on areas we have held firmly. Obviously, we were supposed to hold onto our base, and build from there.

Wedding Pic Post!

Well, what else do you expect when two bloggers marry?

Congratulations, Dom! Good luck, Melanie!

Check It Out!

Annunciations has a new look!

Today's Assumption Image

By Murillo, c. 1670

Final Day of the Novena To the Immaculate Heart

Today is the vigil of the Assumption, and the last day of the Novena To the Immaculate Heart.

1) State the intention of the novena.

2) Recite the Magnificat.

3) Recite the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Loreto).

Next year, I'll try to remember to start the Novena on the Transfiguration, not on the 5th.

Persistence In Prayer

Today's Gospel in the 1970 Missal is about the Canaanite woman who asked the Lord to cure her daughter. Jesus first ignores her, then the Apostles try to have her sent away. Jesus then basically says she is lower than a dog. Yet the woman persisted in her prayer. Jesus was moved by the persistence of her faith, and granted her request.

To me, this Gospel brings to mind the parable of the widow and the unjust judge. Her persistence won her case, where justice should have. The common thread through the two texts is the need for persistence in prayer.

I heard an excellent sermon on this topic this morning from Father Alan Hall, OMV. He likened it to the many times our prayers are met with a wall of divine silence. We ask and ask and ask, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. And all we get is static. Every route seems blocked. They say that a door is never closed without another one, or at least a window, opening. But nevertheless, no matter how many times we ask for what we think we need, we never seem to get it.

There are two possibilities, Father Hall said. It may be that the time is not right for you to have what you want granted. It may be that, in the divine plan, at some future date everything will come together, and what you want will work out. Then, and only then, will god grant you what you want.

Or, he said, it may be that God just plain does not want you to have it at all, and deems it would not be good for you. Father Hall mentioned an instance where a blind man asked St. Pio to restore his sight (St. Pio did work some miracles in his life). Pio prayed over it, and it was revealed to him that, if the sight was restored, the man would use it for evil purposes, and would be damned, but that if he remained blind, he would most likely reach Heaven. Pio told the man this, and the man opted to remain blind. So he remained blind, but has developed tremendous insight into the Rosary, and many people came to have the mysteries of the Rosary explained by this man whome St. Pio did not heal, but probably saved.

The problem is that for most of us, we don't know whether God just wants us to have it later, when things will work out better for us ultimately, or He does not want us to have it all, and won't grant it no matter how many times we ask. That leaves us with just the need to persist. All we can do is keep plugging, keep praying. We can trust that God will grant what is best for us. He knows what is best for us, and we do not. All we have is our own blindered perspective.

We feel a need, even a crying need for this or that, and ask for it. He will grant it or not, in His wisdom. We have to say, "Let Thy will be done." We have to trust in Him.

How does this tie in with a third Gospel, the "Ask, and thou shalt receive; seek, and thou shalt find; knock, and the door shall be opened unto thee" passage? I am departing from Father Hall here. Again, we go back to what followed the discourse about the widow and the unjust judge. God loves us, His children, and He will give us what is good for us. If we beg for bread, He shall not give us snakes. We may think we are asking for bread (things that will be good for us), but in fact are asking for snakes (things that will be bad for us), which He will not give us. But He will give us something good.

And then, there are even further complications when what you are asking God for involves an alteration in the will, opinions, or faith of another person. Then we have the other individual's free will in play. Their free will is just that, theirs. God won't impose your will on them, no matter how much you pray for it. What He might do, over time, is gradually change the circumstances so that the other person's will comes into conformity with your own. Father Hall used the example of Saint Monica's prayers for the conversion of her son Augustine. She prayed for 30 years or so before Augustine was converted, only a year or so before St. Monica's death.

So, we ask, why couldn't Augustine have been converted earlier, saved St. Monica a whole lot of motherly grief, and done that much more for the Church? I suspect that the reason is that, the preconditions for the conversion to be effective had not been met with, that Augustine was accumulating experiences that made his contribution to the Church much more valuable.

I know that, in my own life, there has been something (several things?) that I have been asking to happen for years, and that I think are vital and must happen. I get the divine "Talkest thou to the hand!" Day after day, week after week, month after month, and now almost year after year I pray and nothing happens. The other free will is not moved. Nothing changes. Oh, I get a little pat on the head with a minor grace now and then, just enough to know that I am not entirely neglected and ignored. But the big thing that I have prayed for every day for almost 2 years now does not happen. Wall of divine silence, and earthly inaction.

Maybe God doesn't want me to have it. Maybe He doesn't want me to have it now. Maybe He thinks I need to make some changes in my fundemental nature before He will grant it. Maybe material circumstances need to alter before He will grant my prayers. Maybe He has something better in store for me, though I can't imagine what.

All I can do is keep pestering Heaven day-in-and-day-out with the same request. The Widow and the Canaanite woman must be the models. All I can do is keep asking. It is up to Him when to grant it, if He grants it. And no matter how many times I beg, "Lord, hear my prayer, let the voice of my supplication come unto Thee, make haste to help me, lest I become as those who go down into the pit!" He will do what He deems best. His will be done.

Just Say No

Rabbits as sex partners.

I suppose this sort of thing has gone on in very small numbers since time immemorial. But there is something really disturbing about this.

Maybe it is because we no longer have a 99% consensus that this is deeply disturbed and evil. It may be only 80% now, with 20% saying "whatever turns you on." Will these numbers slip further in the next decade? What will be next on the "progressive" agenda: legalizing polyamory, lowering the age of consent (or abolishing it), or legalizing bestiality?

Sox Won Saturday

But so did the Yankees, so we stay 5 games ahead.

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