Saturday, August 18, 2007

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

As August is dedicated to Our Blessed Lady's Immaculate Heart, August's installments of Our Blessed Lady's Saturday are also so dedicated.

Prayer Of Trust In the Immaculate Heart

TO the refuge of thine Immaculate Heart, O Heavenly Mother Mary,
I come to be enclosed as in a most choice garden of sweetness and
delight. I am the [son/daughter] of thine Immaculate Heart, O Mother
of God. Thou, O Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Daughter of God the Father,
Mother of the Son, in thy loving relationship to the Most Blessed Trinity,
serve as Mediatrix of all grace that comes to me from the Heavenly
throne, flowing forth from the Sacred Heart of thy Son, passing
through the Immaculate Heart of thy Heavenly intercession.

The love of thine Immaculate Heart showing forth in tender care gives
me confidence in thee, O Heavenly Mother Mary. In thee I trust.
Thine intercession, united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is powerful to tend
to every need of body and soul upon earth and to lead me lovingly home
to thine eternal embrace, where thou wilt introduce me to thy Divine Son,
with the Holy Ghost dwelling always in my soul, and the Heavenly Father
forever providing for my every temporal and spiritual need as
all three Persons in the one Godhead see in thee, O Mary ,
the Mother of this thy [son/daughter] upon earth. Amen.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Bell Grinch Alert

This time, bell grinches strike in Holland.

Most American churches hardly ever ring their bells, or they are so muted you'd hardly know they are there.

Via The Catholic Caveman


Recent Developments Regarding Mass According To the Missal of Bl. John XXIII

First, EWTN (which, it might shock some to know, I have never seen) is going to broadcast Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII on September 14th, the date Summorum Pontificum takes effect. The FSSP is going to be advising EWTN on the traditional mode of the Latin Rite, and is providing celebrant, deacon, subdeacon, servers, and master of ceremonies.

Second, the Pontifical High Mass said in the classical mode of the Latin Rite by Bishop Matano of Burlington Vermont for the Feast of the Assumption drew a huge crowd of around a thousand. Bishop Matano is quoted as saying, "If this is what it takes to fill our churches, so be it." Sounds like a good beginning. Fellow Catholic Restorationist Mary Alexander was there, and her sons were servers!

Third, the FSSP is offering another training camp for priests interested in saying the Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII.

Fourth, in the Greenwich and Stamford, Connecticut area, a new society has been formed to foster the traditional Mass. The Society of Saint Hugh of Cluny is getting started, and they have the weekly Mass said by Father Richard Cipolla, and a lovely neo-Gothic church at Saint Mary's of Stamford for starters. And in September, they will be hosting Martin Mosebach and Father Uwe Michael Lang. Here is the speaking schedule for them:

Friday, Sept. 7, New Haven, Connecticut
St. Mary Church Hall, 5 Hillhouse Avenue
7:30 PM: Presentation by Martin Mosebach and Fr. Lang.

Saturday, Sept. 8, New Canaan Connecticut
New Canaan Public Library, 151 Main Street
5:30 PM: Presentation by Martin Mosebach and Fr. Lang.

Sunday, Sept. 9, New York, New York
Church of Our Saviour, 59 Park Avenue at 38th Street
5:00 PM: Solemn High Mass in the Traditional rite.
6:30PM: Presentation by Mr. Mosebach and Fr. Lang in the undercroft of the church.

Fifth, Holy Trinity church here in Boston, once home of the indult Mass for the Archdiocese of Boston, remains in grave danger of closing. The parish's current administrator is resigning for health reasons, and the rector of the Cathedral, a few blocks away, will be taking it over. That is just one step closer to shuttering this extraordinarily lovely neo-Gothic church, and putting it up for sale, so that Moslems can turn it into a mosque, or so that gay couples can move into new condos in what was once home of the most conservative Catholic community in the Archdiocese. Watch. Pray.

Sixth, there is a new traditional Mass directory. Looks like Mary Alexander is a contributor.

Seventh, there is the publication of a new book on serving at Low Mass.

Eighth, the Canons Regular of the Society of Saint John Cantius have launched SantaMissa.org as an on-line tutorial in saying the traditional Mass.

Ninth, don't forget that Baronius Press is coming out either next month, or as soon as possible after September 14th, with a new Summorum Pontificum edition of the 1962 Missal, with the imprimatur of Bishop Bruskewitz.

Tenth, Matthew of A Catholic Life will be beginning seminary in a few days. He is studying for the diocesan priesthood, but hopes to say the traditional Mass once he is ordained. God bless his vocation!

And on a related note, once things at the Oblates' of the Virgin Mary seminary on Boylston Street in Boston settle down for the semester, they will be offering Tuesday and Thursday 7 am Masses in the Novus Ordo in Latin at St. Clement's Eucharistic Shrine, which adjoins the seminary.


Friday At the Foot of the Cross

Ant. Remember not, Lord, our offenses, nor the offenses of our forefathers, nor takest Thou vengeance upon them.

Psalm 37
1 A psalm for David, for a remembrance of the sabbath. 2 Rebuke me not, O Lord, in thy indignation; nor chastise me in thy wrath. 3 For thy arrows are fastened in me: and thy hand hath been strong upon me. 4 There is no health in my flesh, because of thy wrath: there is no peace for my bones, because of my sins. 5 For my iniquities are gone over my head: and as a heavy burden are become heavy upon me.

6 My sores are putrified and corrupted, because of my foolishness. 7 I am become miserable, and am bowed down even to the end: I walked sorrowful all the day long. 8 For my loins are filled with illusions; and there is no health in my flesh. 9 I am afflicted and humbled exceedingly: I roared with the groaning of my heart. 10 Lord, all my desire is before thee, and my groaning is not hidden from thee.

11 My heart is troubled, my strength hath left me, and the light of my eyes itself is not with me. 12 My friends and my neighbours have drawn near, and stood against me. And they that were near me stood afar off: 13 And they that sought my soul used violence. And they that sought evils to me spoke vain things, and studied deceits all the day long. 14 But I, as a deaf man, heard not: and as a dumb man not opening his mouth. 15 And I became as a man that heareth not: and that hath no reproofs in his mouth.

16 For in thee, O Lord, have I hoped: thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God. 17 For I said: Lest at any time my enemies rejoice over me: and whilst my feet are moved, they speak great things against me. 18 For I am ready for scourges: and my sorrow is continually before me. 19 For I will declare my inequity: and I will think of my sin. 20 But my enemies live, and are stronger than I: and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied.

21 They that render evil for good, have detracted me, because I followed goodness. 22 Forsake me not, O Lord my God: do not thou depart from me. 23 Attend unto my help, O Lord, the God of my salvation.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and always will be in the World of Worlds.

Prayer Against Anger
Should man reserveth anger for his fellow man and yet seek remedy from God? Should he that hath no mercy on one like himself entreat God for his own sins? Who shall obtain pardon for his sins? (Sir 28:3-5) By these words Thou hast spoken to me though Thy servant Sirach, O Lord God. And after this dare I foster anger and hate against anyone? Spare me, O Lord, spare me of my malice and stubbornness in which I have persevered even unto now. From my soul I now overlook and forgive whatever anyone has done against me. I humbly beg Thee, O Lord, do not rebuke me in Thy anger. O how would that I be like the deaf who does not hear and the mute who does not speak whenever my enemies rise up in force against me, those who seek my soul. Do not forsake me, O lord my God, do not depart from me, for Thou are my patience. (Ps 70:5)

Ant. Remember not, Lord, our offenses, nor the offenses of our forefathers, nor takest Thou vengeance upon them.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Assumption Of Our Blessed Lady

Prayer of Pope Pius XII
O Immaculate Virgin,
Mother of God and Mother of Humanity,
we believe with all the fervour of our faith
in thy triumphal Assumption
both in body and in soul into heaven
where thou are acclaimed as Queen
by all the choirs of angels
and all the legions of saints;
we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord
who has exalted thee above all other pure creatures
and to offer thee the tribute of our devotion and our love.

We know that thy gaze,
which on earth watched over the humble
and suffering humanity of Jesus,
in heaven is filled with the vision
of that humanity glorified
and with the vision of uncreated Wisdom,
and that the joy of thy soul
in the direct contemplation of the adorable Trinity
causes thy heart to throb with overwhelming tenderness;
and we, poor sinners whose body weights down
the flight of the soul,
beg thee to purify our hearts so that,
while we remain below,
we may learn to see God and God alone
in the beauties of his creatures.

We trust that thy merciful eyes
may deign to gaze down upon our miseries and anguish,
upon our struggles and our weaknesses;
that thy countenance may smile
upon our joys and our victories;
that thou mayst hear the voice of Jesus
saying to thee of each one of us,
as He once said to thee of His Beloved Disciple:
"Behold thy son,"
and we who call upon thee as our Mother,
we, like John, take thee as the guide,
strength and consolation of our mortal life.

We are inspired by the certainty that thine eyes,
which wept over the earth crimsoned by the blood of Jesus,
are yet turned toward this world
racked by wars and persecutions,
the oppression of the just and the weak.
From the shadows of this vale of tears,
we seek in thy heavenly assistance,
tender mercy, comfort for our aching hearts,
and help in the trials of Church and country.

We believe finally that in the glory where thou reignest,
clothed with the sun and crowned with stars,
thou art, after Jesus,
the joy and gladness of all the angels and the saints,
and from this earth,
over which we tread as pilgrims,
comforted by our faith in the future resurrection,
we look to thee our life,
our sweetness, our hope;
draw us onward with the sweetness of thy voice,
so that one day, after our exile,
thou mayest show us Jesus,
the blessed fruit of thy womb.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary.


See also: last year's August 15th Assumption post


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

The founder of the Militia Immaculata, and one of those saints whose canonization after 1962 (along with Saint Pio and Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer) requires at least an addendum to the 1962 liturgical calendar, so that the Mass of the Ages does not become a frozen-in-amber relic.


Saint Maximilian Kolbe's Act of Total Consecration
To the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Lady

Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, N..., a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.

If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.

Commentary on the Consecration Prayer
by St. Maximilian Kolbe

This act of consecration includes three parts: an invocation; a request that she may deign to accept us as her property; and a please that she may deign to make use of us to conquer other souls for her.

In the invocation we first say,

O Immaculata

We turn to her under this name, because she herself deigned to give herself this name at Lourdes: "the Immaculate Conception." God is immaculate, but God is not conceived. Angels are immaculate, but there is no conception with them. The first parents were immaculate before sinning, but neither were they conceived. Jesus was immaculate and conceived, but he was not a conception, for as God he already existed before and to him also applied the words of the name of God as revealed to Moses: "I am who am, who always is and does not begin to be." Other people are conceptions, but stained. She alone is not only conceived, but also a conception and immaculate. This name conceals many more mysteries, which will be discovered in time. Thus she indicates that the Immaculate Conception belongs to her essence.

This name must be dear to her, because it signifies the first grace she received in the first moment of her existence. The first gift is the dearest one. This name is ratified by her life, because she was always unspotted. Hence she was also full of grace and God was always with her, even to the degree that she became the Mother of the Son of God.

Queen of heaven and earth

In a family, the loving parents fulfill the will of the children as much as they are able, insofar as it is not harmful for them. So much more does God, the Creator and prototype of earthly parents, desire to fulfill the will of his creatures, insofar as it is not harmful for them, that is, insofar as it is conformable with his will. The Immaculata did not bend away from the will of God in anything. In all things she loved the will of God, loved God. Hence she is justly called the Omnipotent Beggar. She has influence upon God himself, on the entire world; she is the Queen of heaven and earth. In heaven everyone acknowledges the rule of her love. That group of the first angels that did not want to acknowledge her reign lost its place in heaven.

She is queen also of earth because she is the Mother of God himself, but she both desires and has a right to be freely acknowledged by every heart, be loved as the Queen of every heart, so that through her that heart might become immaculate, similar to her heart and more worthy of union with God, with the love of God, with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Refuge of sinners

God is merciful, infinitely merciful, nevertheless just and infinitely just. He cannot bear the least sin and must demand full satisfaction for it. The stewardess of the infinite value of the Precious Blood of Jesus that washes away sin, the Immaculata, is the personification of God's mercy. Therefore she is rightly called the refuge of sinners, of all sinners regardless of the number and greatness of their sins - even though the sinner would think there is no more mercy left for him. Indeed, every cleansing of the soul is for her a new confirmation of her title of Immaculate Conception. The more deeply the soul is plunged into sin, the more does the power of her immaculateness show itself, by the fact that she gives snowy whiteness to such a soul.

Our most loving Mother

The Immaculata is the mother of our entire supernatural life because she is the Mediatrix of the grace of God, hence our mother in the sphere of grace, in the supernatural sphere. She is a most loving mother, because you do not have any mother so affectionate, so loving, so godlike, so Immaculate, so wholly divine.

God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you

In a family, the father is glad at times that the mother stays his punishing hand over the child by her intercession, because justice is satisfied and mercy is shown. Not without cause is justice suspended. Similarly God, in order not to punish us, gives us a spiritual mother, whose intercession he never opposes. Hence the saints claim that Jesus reserved for himself the order of justice, giving to the Immaculata the whole order of his mercy.

In the second part of the act we say,

I, a repentant sinner

We here admit that we are not as she, immaculate, but sinful. What is more none of us can say that he has reached this day without sin, but feels himself guilty of much infidelity. We also say unworthy, because truly between an immaculate being and one soiled by sin there is in some sense an infinite difference. In all truth we acknowledge ourselves unworthy to turn to her, to pray to her, to fall at her feet, in order not to become similar to the proud Lucifer. Hence we also say,

Cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property

By these words we beg, we beseech the Immaculata to accept us. We offer ourselves to her entirely, in every respect, as her children, and as slaves of love, as servants, as instruments, and under every single aspect, under every title that anyone at any time might be able to express. We become hers as her possession and property, to use us and use us up even to complete destruction, according to her free disposition.

Make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you

To her we give our whole being, all the faculties of our soul, and therefore, intellect, memory and will, and all the faculties of the body - therefore, all the senses and each in particular, our strength, health or sickness. We offer her our entire life with all its experiences, pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent. We give her our death, whenever and wherever and in whatever way it befalls us. We give her our whole eternity. We expect that we will be able to belong perfectly to her, only then beyond comparison. In this way we express a desire and an entreaty, so that she allows us to become hers under every aspect more and more perfectly.

In the third part we pray,

Use all that I am and have without reserve wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and, "You alone have destroyed all the heresies in the whole world"

On the statues and pictures of the Immaculata we always see the serpent at her feet, surrounding the globe of the earth, as she crushes the head of the serpent.

Satan, soiled by sin, endeavors to soil all souls on earth. He hates her who was always unspotted. He waits for her heel in the persons of her children; she crushes his head in the fight in the person of everyone who has recourse to her. We ask her to use us if she wishes, as an instrument to crush the head of the proud serpent in unfortunate souls. Holy Scripture adds, quoting the verse mentioned above, And you shall lie in wait for her heel. The evil spirit really lies in wait in a special way for those who dedicate themselves to the Immaculata; he desires to insult her at least in them. His endeavor against sincerely dedicated souls always ends with his more shameful defeat, hence his fury is more violent, impotently furious.

The words, You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world, are taken from the prayers which the Church orders her priests to say about her. The Church says "heresies" and not the heretics, whom she loves, and because of this love desires to free them from the error of heresy. The Church says "all," without any exception; "alone," since "she" alone suffices. God is hers with all the treasures of grace for the conversion and sanctification of souls. No corner of the earth is excluded in the whole world. In this act of consecration we beg her to use us to destroy the whole serpent coiled about the earth, the serpent representing the various heresies.

Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls

All over the world we see unhappy, erring souls, who do not even know their purpose in life. They love all kinds of earthly goods instead of the one good, namely, God. Many, too, are indifferent to the highest love. We desire the "implanting and developing...in a most eminent degree" of the glory of the Immaculata in those souls. We beg her that we may be instruments in her immaculate and most loving hands, in order that she would not allow us to contradict her, that she constrain us, should we not want to listen to her.

And thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The most Sacred Heart of Jesus is the love of God toward men. His kingdom is the reign of love in the hearts of men, which Jesus manifested in the crib, throughout his life, on the cross and in the Eucharist, when he gave his mother as mother to us, and which (love) he desires to enkindle in human hearts. The implanting and developing of the honor of the Immaculata and the conquest of souls for her is the conquest of souls for Jesus' mother, who will carry the kingdom of Jesus into souls. For as far as possible,

Wherever you enter, there you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus

The Immaculata is the "Omnipotent Beseecher." Every conversion and sanctification is the work of grace, and she is the Mediatrix of All Graces. During the apparition of the Miraculous Medal, St. Catherine Laboure saw rays streaming from the rings on the fingers of the Immaculata. They represent graces that the Immaculata liberally bestows upon everyone who desires them. Alphonse Ratisbonne speaks similarly about the rays of grace in his vision.

Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin
Give me strength against your enemies

When Duns Scotus, a Franciscan, went to Paris for a dispute in which he was to defend the privilege of the Immaculate Conception at the University of the Sorbonne, he passed by a statue of the Blessed Mother and prayed to her with the above mentioned words. As tradition has it, the Blessed Mother bowed her head as a sign of confirmation.

In the first part of this petition Duns Scotus turns humbly to the Mother of God and asks that she permit him to praise her. Acknowledging his great unworthiness for such a sublime work as praising the Blessed Mother, he likewise acknowledges that grace depends upon her, and it is enough that she permit him, and his efforts will be crowned with success.

The second part is strong, unconditional, brave. As an instrument in her hand, he asks for strength to overcome the serpent.

Who is her enemy? Whatever is stained, whatever does not lead to God, whatever is not love, whatever comes from the hellish serpent, he himself is her enemy; hence it includes all our defects, or all our faults. We ask her to give us strength against him. For this one purpose all devotions exist, all prayers, the sacraments: that we receive power to overcome all obstacles in our striving for God in a more and more ardent love, in assimilating ourselves to God, in uniting with God himself. Just as we have come from God through a creature, so also we return to God. All nature tells us this. Wherever we glance, we see after action reaction, equal and opposite, and as it were, an echo of God's operation and his operation also in all creatures.

On the return road of reaction the being endowed with free will meets with difficulties and oppositions, and God permits these trials in order to strengthen that being so much the more in its striving toward him. In order that the being may have sufficient strength for it, it must pray, it must ask for that strength from him, who is the source of all strength and who looks upon the efforts of his creatures with love and desires that it come sincerely to him, for he does not stint his aid. Even if that creature, that dear child of his, stumbles on the way, falls, soils itself, wounds itself, that merciful Father cannot look upon its misfortune. He sends down his only begotten Son, who by his life and teaching points out to him a bright and sure road. By his Sacred Blood of infinite value he washes away the dirt and heals the wounds.

So that the soul from fear of the violated justice of God would not lose hope, God sends a personification of his love, the Spouse of the Spirit of motherly love, the Immaculata, all beautiful, without stain, though a daughter of men, sister of human beings. He commits the stewardship of his entire mercy towards souls. He constitutes her the Mediatrix of grace that was earned by her Son. He makes her the mother of grace, the mother of souls born of grace, reborn, and continually reborn in an always more perfect godlikeness.


A Dramatization of the Persecution of the Church In China

Via The Hermaneutic of Continuity

Still think my brainwave about bringing back the Leonine Prayers after every Low Mass and after every Novus Ordo Mass (where it would be suitable to do so) for the intention that Catholics the world over may practice the Faith without persecution is far-fetched?


Monday, August 13, 2007

Isn't This the Coolest Pic?

Roberto Villarrica's from Fotos Confrades.


Traditional Catholic Sensory Overload and North End News

I've found the Mother Lode.

There is so much good Catholic popular devotional art here, I hardly know where to start.

Well, I'll start by thanking Jeff Smith of the Roving Medievalist for pointing me to it. He calls this compilation by Roberto Villarrica one of the most beautiful blogs he has seen, and coming from him, that is high praise.

"It" is a Spanish language blog from Spain which details photographs of the devotional life of Spanish Catholics. It is called Fotos Cofrades. I don't read a word of Spanish myself (I just recently learned that "agua" means water, so you can see that I am a long way from any sort of proficiency). But you don't need to read Spanish to follow links.

Looking for images of Spanish Holy Week processions? Ceramic tiles devoted to the Crucifixion or to Our Lady of Sorrows? Images of the Holy Face? It is here. And, apparently, so much more. Never overlook the intense devotional elan of the Spanish Catholics, nurtured over so many centuries, through so much hardship and persecution.

I have just begun to search, and so don't yet have a comprehensive idea of what is here. But I wanted to share this resource with you. This blog promises many hours of rapt viewing. And, if you look at the images with devout thoughts and prayers, it may inspire your own devotional life. So far, most of it seems to be devoted to the Passion and Our Lady of Sorrows. But is there a better or richer place to start?

This opportune find reminded me of the saints' festivals in the North End of Boston (there was one to the Madonna della Cava this past weekend). I spend a lot of time in the North End, and often go by the headquarters of these societies.

And that reminds me about further North End news. The bookshop operated by the CMRI nuns on Thatcher Street closed right after Easter, much to my chagrin. I was want to pop in for a TAN title now and then, or for a rosary for a friend. But the rent was too high, and too few people knew about the place. Sometimes, it seemed like I and my friends were the only people who knew about it. Well, it isn't the same (not nearly as traddie: and, yes, I know the CMRI nuns are sedes, but I'd rather buy a TAN book from someone on the right of the Church than not find one at all in a more "mainstream" shop, like that of the Society For the Propagation of the Faith on Franklin), but a new Catholic gift shop has opened in the North End. The St. Francis Giftshop is adjacent to (on the grounds of) Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, a lovely neo-Baroque church on Hanover Street staffed by the Franciscans. The selection seems minimal now. It just opened last week, and hopefully inventory will pick up.


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