Friday, June 29, 2007
Lord Nelson's fleet giving chase across the Atlantic in the prelude to the Battle of Trafalgar
His covers for Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels caught my imagination. But Geoff Hunt is also a retired Royal Navy Commander, and is President of the Royal Society of Marine Artists. Prints of many, though sadly not all, of his outstanding works can be purchased here.
Spain's giant flagship at Trafalgar, Santissima Trinidad
Three British Three-Deckers!
HMS Active entering Boston Harbor to replenish stores, 1773
HMS Trusty in English Harbor Antigua. The ship in the background is not a wreck, her hull is being cleaned of barnicles.
The cover For Treason's Harbour
The cover for The Ionian Mission
Hunt also has painted some modern scenes, including this from the international naval review held for the 200th anniversary of Trafalgar
We are not sure of the exact date of the publication of the Motu Proprio at this writing. We know that the letter regarding the Church in China is to be released tomorrow (and I doubt that the Vatican would want to muddy that very important pastoral initiative with release of the traditional Mass motu proprio on the same day). The July 7th date is not etched in stone. Release might come before that date, if receipt by all the bishops is assured. If all the bishops have not received it by July 7th, it may wait a day or two longer. And some sources say there might still be last-minute changes.
Pope Benedict has been vilified by leftist "progressives" in and out of the Church consistently, and there is little doubt they will seize on this new initiative to attack again. Recently, while passing some friars downtown, I happened to overhear them saying among themselves: "The only demand for it is in his own mind." I could guess what they were talking about without hearing anything more. The Franciscans downtown are very liberal.
And he has been attacked by sedes and others to my right as insincere. I have seen confident predictions from this set that no motu proprio on the Latin Mass would ever come, and if it did come, it would be meaningless. The conspiracy theorists who will never be satisfied with anything the Holy Father does are to be as devoutly ignored as the heterodox leftists.
But real traditionalists, and conservatives sympathetic to Tradition, have great cause to rejoice and be grateful to the Holy Father and the Church for what is to come. For my own part, for all the frustration over when the document would be released, and speculation about what its exact contents will be, I have never doubted that Pope Benedict was truly sympathetic to the legitimate aspirations of traditionalists, and a lover of reverent liturgy.
So thank you, Holy Father, for this gift. Now we will see what we can do with it.
The Holy Father has dedicated the year June 28th, 2008 to June 29th, 2009 to Saint Paul.
You can pray the traditional Office for this feast here.
Deus, qui hodiérnam diem Apostolórum tuórum Petri et Pauli martyrio consecrásti : da Ecclésiæ tuæ, eórum in ómnibus sequi præcéptum; per quos religiónis sumpsit exordium.
Let us pray.
O God, who didst hallow this day by the martyrdom of thine holy Apostles Peter and Paul, grant unto thy Church, whose foundations thou wast pleased to lay by their hands, the grace always in all things to remain faithful to their teaching.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
What Does the Prayer Really Say?
The New Liturgical Movement
The Hermeneutic Of Continuity
Now the key will be to make sure this does not become a dead letter at the hands of hostile liberal bishops. Remember how they treat Pope John Paul II's request that Ecclesia Dei be given a "wide and generous application:" airport chapels that seat 30 at 5am, one indult Mass in an archdiocese with a half million Catholics, the basement of a church with a hostile pastor at hours that change week to week, moving the indult around the diocese on a weekly basis.
These guys know all the tricks. What can I forsee them doing? How about retaliation against priests wishing to say the traditional Mass. Of course, it would have nothing to do with the priest wishing to say the traditional Mass. It would just be a coincidence that he was Re-assigned from a parish where there are the necessary 30 people who want it, to a smaller and more liberal parish. Or that he was sent off to a new career as a hospital chaplain. Good for his priestly development, and pastoral necessity.
Even worse, those bishops who have grudgingly allowed an indult Mass now have an excuse to break up the indult parishes. Now they can tell them to go back to their own parish and get 29 more people there to petition for the Mass. And if the priests there are hostile? If the parish is not set up for the traditional Mass? Well, too bad. And no re-registering in a parish that is not your territorial parish! We can't have parish shopping, now, can we?
But there is little the Holy Father can do about resistance from liberal priests and bishops. They have been thwarting the will of the Holy See in practice for 40 years. The Holy Father has done what he can. Now it is up to us to be glad, and support his decision, and use every means at our disposal (yes, including the internet and blogs) to hold the bishops' feet to the flames and make what the Holy Father envisions (two modes of the Latin Rite inspiring each other towards better Catholic liturgy: the old inspiring the new towards greater solemnity and reverence, the new inspiring the old towards better celebration and preaching and dialogue) a reality.
And just be glad that trial balloon we read about a while back, a 5-year test period, seems to not be included in this document. Because who knows who will be Pope in 5 years when it would be time to renew?
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Openness to gay "marriage" and gay adoptions, more embryonic stem cell research, hitting at traditional fox hunting, trying to kill the House of Lords, and especially devaluing the votes in the Lords of the hereditary nobility are, referring constantly to British subjects as "citizens," and slashing the military establishment of the Army and the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force beyond the point of reason so that Britain now has about as much military power as Mexico, are, of course the tip of the iceberg, the visible stuff perceived by a particularly myopic fellow this side of the Atlantic.
Gordon Brown, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer now assumes the headship of the Labour Party, and the role of Prime Minister. England has a history of being hostile to Scots serving as PM. Maybe this will be the chance that the Tories have been waiting for, as Brown promises to be Tony Blair in more openly socialist clothing.
We are in a mini-heat wave. Yesterday it was over 90, today is likely to be around 95 with high humidity, and tomorrow it will be almost 90, with perhaps greater humidity as T-storms come through (bringing cooler, more comfortable air for the weekend). We set a record for highest low, when the temp last night got no lower than 76 degrees. It is around 11am now, and already 89 degrees.
CVS has Gatorade on sale this week: buy one, get one free. Just in time.
About the devotion.
My on-line tour of Boston's Mission Church, officially The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, run by the Redemptorists.
Chaplet of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
On the Crucifix say the Hail, Holy Queen.
On the large beads say: Mary can help us, Mary will help us,
Mary wants to help us, Mary must help us.
On the small beads say:
Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us.
End with the Memorare to Mary.
PRAYER OF CONFIDENCE
O Holy Virgin Mary, who to inspire us with boundless confidence, hast been pleased to take the sweet name of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, I implore thee to come to my aid always and everywhere in my temptations, after my falls, in my difficulties, in all the miseries of life, and above all, at the hour of my death. Give me, O loving Mother, the desire and the habit always to have recourse to thee trusting that thou wilt be faithful and come to my assistance. Obtain for me the this grace of graces, the grace to pray to thee without ceasing and with childlike confidence, that I mayest ensure thy perpetual help and final perseverance. O Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for me now and at the hour of my death. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father.
I know it is a little late, but here is the Novena To Our Lady of Perpetual Help:
Mother of Perpetual help, thou art the dispenser of every grace that God grants us in our misery.
For this reason He hast made thee so powerful, so rich, and so kind that thou might help us in our needs.
Thou art the advocate of the most wretched and abandoned sinners, if they but come to thee.
Come to my aid for I commend myself to thee.
In thy hands I place my eternal salvation; to thee I entrust my soul.
Count me amongst thy most faithful servants. Take me under thy protection; that is enough for me.
If thou doth protect me, I shall fear nothing: not my sins, because thou wilt obtain for me their pardon and remission; not the evil spirits, because thou art mightier than all the powers of Hell; not even Jesus, my Judge, because He is appeased by a single prayer of thine.
I fear only that through my own negligence I may forget to recommend myself to thee and so lose my soul.
My dear Lady, obtainest for me the forgiveness of my sins, love for Jesus, final perseverance,
and the grace to have recourse to thee at all times, Mother of Perpetual Help.
3 Hail Marys
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Probably as likely as any date. The Bishop of Graz is planning a commentary (given the state of the Church in Austria, probably to pooh-pooh the whole thing).
Sounds more and more as if something is coming out, doesn't it?
The Church has responded to secular and spiritual crises by adding additional prayers after the traditional Low Mass.
Under Pope Pius IX, in response to the threat the growing Italian national state posed to the Papal States, ordered all churches in the Papal States to say 3 Aves, a Salve, a versicle and collect after every Low Mass.
In 1884, Pope Leo XIII, in response to anti-Catholic nationalist mobs and a very hostile Italian government, made the prayers after Low Mass universal. He also changed the collect, and added the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. These prayers have been known since as the "Leonine Prayers."
In 1904, Pope St. Pius X allowed priests, if they wished, to add a triple invocation to the Sacred Heart. That has been the almost universal custom.
At least here at Boston's indult Mass, the pious custom has been to add the Divine Praises in reparation for the use of profane language at the very end. I have seen that this is not the universal custom in indult Masses, though.
After the settling of the Vatican and Italian governments into a more cordial relationship after the 1929 Lateran Treaty, Pope Pius XI changed the intention of the Leonine prayers to a plea for freedom for the Catholic church in Russia (not really the conversion of Russia, though, since the Faith is the True Faith, if the Church were free to grow in Russia, it would inevitably lead to the conversion of Russia).
Today, since 1990, even before the collapse of the old Soviet Union, there has been a law of religious toleration on the books. Under the Russian Republic, as flawed as that democracy is from a Western perspective, it seems as if the tolerance allowed under the 1990 law has been expanded, and that Russians are able to profess and practice the Faith without much fear of offiial or unofficial sanction.
So it would seem that the Leonine Prayers need a new intention, since one could well argue that their intention has, finally, been achieved.
Well, why not this: that Catholics the world over be free to profess and practice the Faith without governmental interference or private malice, and free to win converts to the Faith.
This would allow the Holy Father to make use of the tradition he has inherited, advance a great cause of the Faith, and link past practice to present. I would suggest that the Leonine Prayers be extended thus, in both modes of the Latin Rite. I would suggest that they come after every Low Mass in the Pian Mode, except where recognized exceptions are in place, and after every Mass without music in the Pauline Mode (your early morning Masses here in the US). And I would further suggest that priest could, at his discretion, say them with the congregation after any Mass in the Pauline Mode.
Today, those professing the Faith are in imminent danger of being murdered by Moslem thugs in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia. In some places, those converting to the Faith are breaking the law and subject to being jailed and perhaps tortured for doing so. In China, the True Church is persecuted, its priests and bishops jailed. Even in Western democracies, the politically correct dogma of abortion, feminism, and gay rights has those professing the Faith and giving true witness to it in the realm of public affairs subject to growing persecution.
It can be argued that the Faith has never been subjected to such harsh persecution in so many places. Is this not a proper object for the prayers of all the Faithful? Is it not right to harness the power of the prayers of the whole Church to this object? The Church still needs the prayers of all the Faithful. Pope Benedict XVI is a lover of tradition, and a very intelligent man. Ought he not harness the power of the prayer of the whole Church and put these traditional prayers to a new intention? I think the time is ripe for this.