Saturday, July 24, 2004

My Imitation of Christ, Book IV, Part 7

Today is the feast of St. Thomas a Kempis, the author of the Imitation.  So it is very fitting that we include the 7th part in our occasional series on Book IV, which deals with the Eucharist. 

Of the Examination of Conscience, and Purpose of Amendment
The Voice of the Beloved

Above all things the priest of God must draw nigh, with all humility of heart and supplicating reverence, with full faith and pious desire for the honour of God, to celebrate, minister, and receive this Sacrament. Diligently examine thy conscience and with all thy might with true contrition and humble confession cleanse and purify it, so that thou mayest feel no burden, nor know anything which bringeth thee remorse and impedeth thy free approach. Have displeasure against all thy sins in general, and specially sorrow and mourn because of thy daily transgressions. And if thou have time, confess unto God in the secret of thine heart, all miseries of thine own passion.

Lament grievously and be sorry, because thou art still so and worldly, so unmortified from thy passions, so full of the motion of concupiscence, so unguarded in thine outward senses, so often entangled in many vain fancies, so much inclined to outward things, so negligent of internal; so ready to laughter and dissoluteness, so unready to weeping and contrition; so prone to ease and indulgence of the flesh, so dull to zeal and fervour; so curious to hear novelties and behold beauties, so loth to embrace things humble and despised; so desirous to have many things, so grudging in giving, so close in keeping; so inconsiderate in speaking, so reluctant to keep silence; so disorderly in manners, so inconsiderate in actions; so eager after food, so deaf towards the Word of God; so eager after rest, so slow to labour; so watchful after tales, so sleepy towards holy watchings; so eager for the end of them, so wandering in attention to them; so negligent is observing the hours of prayer, so lukewarm in celebrating, so unfruitful in communicating; so quickly distracted, so seldom quite collected with thyself; so quickly moved to anger, so ready for displeasure at others; so prone to judging, so severe at reproving; so joyful in prosperity, so weak in adversity; so often making many good resolutions and bringing them to so little effect.

When thou hast confessed and bewailed these and thy other shortcomings, with sorrow and sore displeasure at thine own infirmity, make then a firm resolution of continual amendment of life and of progress in all that is good. Then moreover with full resignation and entire will offer thyself to the honour of My name on the altar of thine heart as a perpetual whole burnt-offering, even by faitfully presenting thy body and soul unto Me, to the end that thou mayest so be accounted worthy to draw near to offer this sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God, and to receive the Sacrament of My Body and to thy soul's health. For there is no oblation worthier, no satisfaction greater for the destroying of sin, than that a man offer himself to God, purely and entirely with the oblation of the Body and of Christ in the Holy Communion. If a man shall have done what in him lieth, and shall repent him truly, then how often soever he shall draw nigh unto Me for pardon and grace, As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted, and live. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him.

Dom Bettinelli Has More On That Terrorist Dry-Run

It appears that this was not an isolated incident, that there have recently been others, and that they are forming a pattern that may point to some other attack on the air transportation system (or an elaborate diversion to focus our attention on that, while something else is attacked;  internet, 911 systems, electrical grid, water supply, government installations, port facilities, LNG, aviation fuel, gasoline storage facilities, nuke plants, schools, maybe several of the above at or about the same time, perhaps in a coordinated fashion, the possibilities are endless).

The terrorists do not need to strike either party convention to have a huge impact on the election.  Just look what they did hitting the Spanish rail system a week before the election.  And while an awful lot of law enforcement and security resources are concentrated on first Boston, then New York, they could hit anywhere else in the country.  But my guess is that they will try for an attack closer to the elections than the summer conventions. 

If such an attack happens, we will know that al Qaeda is casting its own vote in our election, and that vote will be for a Democrat victory.  If everyone is clear about that, the attack will only have the reverse effect. 

But we still have to do what we can to prevent it, even if it means unfortunately massive infringements of civil rights of Moslems, be they citizens, students, workers on green cards, or whatever.   

The Portiuncula Indulgence

From the Confraternity of Penitents (to which I belong):

The Portiuncola Indulgence is a special favor granted by the Pope to St. Francis at his request.
One night in 1216, Francis awoke and felt a strong impulse to enter the chapel of the Portiuncola and pray.  While at prayer, Our Lord and Our Lady appeared to Francis and asked him what he desired.  Thinking of others and recognizing his own sinfulness, Francis spoke.  "0 God, although I m a great sinner, I beseech You to grant a full pardon of all sins to all who, having repented and confessed their sins, shall visit this church."
Our Lord answered, "Francis, you ask much, but you are worthy of greater things, and greater things you shall have."
The Lord granted the Indulgence and Pope Honorius III ratified it.  Originally the Indulgence was attached only to the Porticuncola.  However, subsequent Popes expanded the churches in which the Indulgence can be gained.

The Indulgence, if the person gaining it is free from every sin including venial sin, remits all the temporal punishment due to sin and may be applied to the person himself or herself or to a soul in Purgatory. If there is any adherence to sin in the person gaining the Indulgence, the Indulgence becomes partial. The Indulgence may now be gained in any public or semi-public oratory in the world beginning from noon August 1 until midnight ending on August 2 (that is, any church or chapel open to the public). It cannot be gained in a private chapel. The person wishing to gain the Indulgence must fulfill the following requirements:
a.  Intend to gain the Indulgence
b. Be detached from all sin
c. While in the church pray one Our Father, one Apostle's Creed, and one other prayer of the individual's choice
d. Pray for the intentions of the Pope (prayerfully saying an Our Father and a Hail Mary will suffice although other prayers may be said)
e. Receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist within one week either before or after August 2.

A good indulgence to take advantage of.

Friday, July 23, 2004

The Lavendar Mafia At Work

Michael Rose reports.

If a Pro-Abortion Pol Tries to Receive the Blessed Sacrament in the Baker, Oregon Diocese...

He can forget about it.  Bishop Robert Vasa joins those taking a courageous stand, finally, after 30 years, on pro-abortion pols.

Admittedly, it isn't much of a sanction, since there are so many soft priests and orders that will be more than hppy to oblige the abortion-favoring pol, but it is what we have available, a tool that should have been used years ago.

St. Bridget of Sweden

Also her feastday.

St. John Cassian

His feast today.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Get Your Adoremus While It's Hot!!

The July-August issue is on-line now

Father Shall has some excellent reflections on the Sacrifice of the Mass and adoration of the Holy Eucharist.

And there is a very lively exchange of information in the Letters section, as usual.  Still lots of abuses of GIRM out there. 

St. Mary Magdalene

July 22nd is her feast.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Cardinal Arinze To Liturgical Innovators: Drop the Chalupa and Back Up To the Rubrics

"Not even a priest can add or subtract anything on his own initiative from the approved sacred texts. A lack of fidelity on the part of the celebrant can even affect the validity of a sacrament," said the Cardinal.

See the full article on the Cardinal's remarks at Christendom College last Saturday here.

The Real Presence Association

Some of you may have heard of this before, but I had not, so I thought it a good idea to pass along the link for what appears to be a very, very worthy effort to encourage greater devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, either through perpetual adoration, encouraging Holy Hours, and Benediction. 

The link is also becoming part of the list on the right, as well as at Recta Ratio:  Yahoo Group.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

When I Saw This, I Couldn't Help But Think of Lincolnshire Poacher Pie

A 27-pound rabbit
Here's the recipe for Lincolnshire Poacher Pie.  (though my version calls for apple cider)
Nice with pistachios or calvados, too.

Please Read This Linked Article And Be Aware

Mark Sullivan at Irish Elk called our attention to it.
This sure looked like a rehearsal for a terrorist act
I'm not a regular flyer.  Hate flying.  I white-knuckle and say the Rosary faster than ever on every take off and landing, and have horribly painful pressure problems in my ears and am practically deaf as a haddock for days after a flight almost every time (even with earplanes).
Last summer, my wife and I took our first flights since 1999 for our Anchorage vacation.  All those flights went smoothly.  Almost all the passengers where ethnically African, Asian,  or European Americans.   Not much to worry about.
But the flight described in the WSJ article sure gives me the willies. 
I say f-ck the anti-discrimination rules.  I don't care that there are hundreds of thousands of loyal Moslem Americans. Only Moslems crash airliners into buidlings or blow them up in mid-air, a mindless act of butchery even the thoroughly descipable IRA/Sinn Fein shrinks at.  Just as almost all the pervert priest problem has been caused by homosexual priests, almost all the terrorist deaths of US citizens (Oklahoma City being the exception) have been caused by Moslems.  Ban homosexuals from the priesthood, and hound and closely examine every moslem who tries to access the air transportation system (or anything else sensitive).  I don't care if the Moslems feel so isolated and harassed that they hate the US and leave.  We are, after all, no matter what the Constiution is interpreted to say, a Judeo-Christian nation, an extra-continental European power.  We are not now, and never will be, a Moslem society.  We are the West.  And if Moslems don't like it, they can leave, they are free to do so.  We might be better off without them. 
Discriminate.  It saves lives.  

Bishop D'Arcy On Ordaining Homosexuals

He's against it, having seen the results of Boston's unofficial "don't ask, don't tell policy" of 1950-1990.
The plain fact is that homosexual men, even more than heterosexual men, are attracted to under-age members of the gender they find attractive.  Many heterosexual men pretty much openly admit that any non-repulsive female 15-50 would do in a pinch (as the saying goes, they're all beauty queens 15 minutes before closing time).  But that implies that heterosexual men tend to be  open to sex with any woman, including older women.
What passes for "homosexual culture," on the other hand is disproportionately oriented towards youth.  It has no other way to continue as a politically powerful subculture unless it recruits young men into its ranks by encouraging experimentation.  It certainly is not going to grow by reproduction (except marginally, as homosexuals hold their nose and mate with women in order to produce offspring).  The practice of seeking out attractive young boys has long been known in the homosexual community as "chicken-hawking".  That is what is going on in 87% of the priest sex abuse cases we have heard about in the last 3 years. 
For better or worse, being a parish priest means a great deal of interacting with young boys (not just altar boys, but also every troubled kid in a single-parent household in the parish).  That plus years on end of living in a totally male environment in the seminary, and interacting with male-only fellow priests after ordination make the priesthood a happy hunting ground for predatory homosexuals.  Priesthood  also traditionally has been a place where they can "hide" without acknowledging even to themselves their homosexuality (though one would think that this is less of an issue with the "We're here, we're queer, and we're in your face" public posture of the gay community these days). 
So, even though one can cite scads of good homosexual priests (though in my experience, what he is towers above him bellowing so loudly that I cannot hear his protestations to the contrary, so that a priest, or anybody else, may be a great sermonizer, works well with others, etc., but if he is identifiably homosexual, that is what he is, not a "great priest" which also involves being a role model for the youth of the parish) I think Bishop D'Arcy is correct, and that the risk is too great to allow homosexuals to be ordained.  Quality priests, rather than filling the ranks with anyone willing to don a Roman collar, should be the goal of every diocese and order.  While going though the priesthood root-and-branch and expelling the homosexuals who have already been ordained, especially those who are quietly bearing their cross and not acting it out, even with consenting adults, would be unjust and unnecessary, we need to limit the future damage by proscriptively closing off the priesthood as a career path for homosexuals.
One cannot get past the simple fact that 87% of what we have unearthed over the last 3 years has been predatory homosexual priests chicken-hawking young teenage boys.  Eighty-seven percent is not a hundred percent.  True.  But it is the overwhelming, predominant theme of the Scandal.  It is its sine qua none.  The Scandal would have been far different, and far less destructive without a single instance of homosexual abuse of teenage boys. 
So we have lots of safeguards at the diocesan level ( in some case too many, like CORIs for eveyone working for a parish, even as a volunteer).  More importantly, for the last decade or so, many seminaries have made improvements so that they are no longer the heterodox pink palaces depicted by Michael Rose in his excellent book Goodbye, Good Men.  The liberal nun gatekeepers are, I hope, gone.  The heterodox and borderline fomation staff and theology faculty members, also are or should be rooted out.  The selection process has in many cases been addressed so that decent, morally secure, enthusiastic and orthodox young men are being ordained.
But Bishop D'Arcy is correct.  Unless we formalize the safeguards by effectively excluding homosexuals prospectively from the priesthood, we shall have to relive this crisis again and again, especially after a few years when the precautions have been relaxed.  That is the nature of the thing. 
It is like the scorpion taking a ride on the rabbit's back across the stream.  Assurances are given that the scorpion will not sting the rabbit and kill it.  After all, to sting the rabbit would lead to the scorpion drowning as well.  Nevertheless, midway across the stream, the scorpion does sting the rabbit, because that is its nature.  Both drown. 

St. Wilgefortis

A patroness of difficult marriages
Technically her cult was suprressed and she was removed from the calendar in the darkest days of 1969.   I am starting to regard the changes in the calendar of feasts with the same respect as the French Revolutionary calendar.  Besides, I think we can sorely use another patron for difficult marriages in this day and age.

St. Margaret of Antioch

It looks like Blogger's newest configuration (Obsolete Disaster Ready To Collapse Like A House of Cards 6.8) no longer allows you to make your headline a link.   I thought all these upgrades were intended to improve blogging capabilities.  Silly me. 
So here is the link to the information on St. Margaret.

Monday, July 19, 2004

People In Touch With Their Inner Selves Have the Morals of Murderous Whores

Actually, that is pretty rough on murderous whores.
And Dale Price does a fine job dissecting a particularly loathsome specimen of modern morality over at Dyspeptic Mutterings

Today Used To Be the Feast of St. Vincent de Paul

Not anymore.
BTW:  I have posted a saint's image on the front page of Recta Ratio:  The Yahoo Club.  That saint's feast is coming up.  Anyone want to take a shot at identifying her? 

Big Huge Red Flags

Satanists seeking consecrated hosts.

Thanks For All the Birthday Wishes

Twenty years ago, I thought that was practically dead.  In fact, I thought that ten years ago.  And five.   And one. 
I'm still not sure I wasn't right
I am reminded of an anecdote Winston Churchill told once. 
At the age of 71 he and his scientific advisor Professor Lindemann were sitting in easy chairs in the salon of London's Savoy Hotel, a large room with an immensely high ceiling.  Winston, who was know for his ability to imbibe alcohol (in fact, there was probably not a moment from his 20th birthday until his death that his system was completely free of all traces of alcohol use), asked Lindemann, "Prof, if all the wine, whisky, cordials, brandy, champagne, cider, and beer I have consumed in my lifetime were poured into this room, would it fill up the salon?"
Lindemann took out his slide rule, and made some computations.
"Winston,"  he said, "I believe that if all the alcohol you have ever consumed were poured into this room, the liquid level would rise approximately to your nose."
Churchill thought about that for a moment.  Then he looked up at the vast space between himself and the ceiling, and contemplated his 71 years.
"How much is there to do.  How little time to do it."

George Weigel On the Communion/Abortion Issue

I'm late noticing it, and only spotted it because of the great work of Father Sistare at "Not So Quiet Catholic Corner".

Martyrs For Marriage

I was not previously aware of this, but 5 Spanish Franciscans died in what is now the state of Georgia in the late 16th century because they preached that marriage is a lifetime union between one man and one woman
Thanks to Alicia the Midwife at Fructus Ventris for pointing this out. 

Arnold: Democrat Opponents "Girlie Men"

True.  Not just girlie men, but wholly owned subsidiaries of the trial lawyers, labor unions, homosexual community, tree-hugging environmental whackjobs, pro-abortion feminists, and "civil rights" community (read:  "we want quotas unduly disadvantaging white people" community).

If You Are Anywhere In Boston In the Next Two Weeks

Big Brother will be watching you
Of course, the cameras are not just for the DNC.  As the spokesman said, the BPD will not be putting them away until the next National Security Event, but will be using them day in and day out. 

Michael Dubriel Wants To Know What Bugs You About the Way Mass Is Celebrated Where You Are

I have a feeling that is going to end up being a long comment thread.

St. John Plessington

One of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales

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