Saturday, July 09, 2005

Remember That Vatican Document On Gay Priests?

John Allen reports that it is now in the hands of Pope Benedict.

I think now, in the early days of his papacy, with so much good will, is the time to release it. Make the policy overwhelmingly clear, coming, as it does, from the highest source in Christendom. No wiggle room, no parsing of shades of sexual orientation, no place for re-interpretation. No homosexuals in the seminaries. Period. End of discussion.

I Know It's Only July

But I'm always jumping the gun on Christmas.

Actually, my reading of Visits To the Blessed Sacrament and the Blessed Virgin Mary by Saint Alphonsus Liguori (I've recently begun incorporating his method for visits with my Eucharistic Adoration routine) brought an explanation for the obscure text of one of my favorite Christmas carols.

St. Francis of Assisi used to go to communicate all his labors and undertakings to Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament. But tender indeed was the devotion of St. Wenceslaus, duke of Bohemia, to the Most Holy Sacrament. This holy king was so enamored of Jesus there present, that he not only gathered the wheat and grapes, and made the hosts and wine with his own hands, and then gave them to be used in the Holy Sacrifice, but he used, even during the winter, to go at night to visit the church in which the Blessed Sacrament was kept. These visits enkindled in his beautiful soul such flames of divine love, that their ardor imparted itself even to his body, and took from the snow on which he walked, its wonted cold: for it is related that the servant who accompanied him in these nightly excursions, having to walk through the snow, suffered much from the cold. The holy king, on perceiving this, was moved to compassion, and commanded him to follow him, and only to step in his foot-marks; he did so, and never afterwards felt the cold.

Now I understand the context of the verses of Good King Wenceslaus!

Never read the story before.

Sire the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart I know now how, I can go no longer.
Mark my footsteps my good page, tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage freeze thy blood less coldly.

In his master's steps he trod where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed
Therefore Christian men be sure, wealth or rank possessing,
Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.

Bl. Rose Hawthorne Lathrop

A potential saint with a Salem connection.

Blessed Rose Hawthrone Lathrop was the daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, both of whom were born and grew up in Salem (in fact each lived before they were married within a few hundred feet of the rectory of what is now Immaculate Conception parish).

Their daughter was born when the couple lived in Lenox, though. She converted to the Faith more than 2 decades after her father's death. She went on to found a branch of Dominican sistrs devoted to aiding cancer patients. Read more about here here.

Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Third Day: July 9th

O Queen of Heaven,
thou gave us the Scapular as an outward sign
by which we might be known as thy faithful children.
May we always wear it with honor
by avoiding sin and imitating thy virtues.
Help us to be faithful to this desire of ours.

(State your request here...)

Recite the following prayers...

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
pray for us.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Vatican To the Faithful:

You cannot be both Catholic and pro-choice.

Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Second Day: July 8th

Most Holy Mary, Our Mother,
in thy great love for us
thou gave us the Holy Scapular of Mount Carmel,
having heard the prayers
of thy chosen son Saint Simon Stock.
Help us now to wear it faithfully and with devotion.
May it be a sign to us of our desire to grow in holiness.

(State your request here...)

Recite the following prayers...

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
pray for us.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

We Stand Together

If you mess with the Lion, you mess with the Eagle, too.

Sox Picked Up Another Half Game

By winning in Texas last night while both the Orioles and Yankees were idle.

But I noticed that the Tampa Bay Devil Dogs are 22 games back.

Well, there was a time in the 1950s and early 1960s when the Red Sox were cellar-dwellers, too, so bad they were called "the Jersey Street Jesters."

The Holy Father On the London Terrorist Outrage

From The Vatican Information Service
VATICAN CITY, JUL 7, 2005 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the telegram sent by Benedict XVI through Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano to Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster, Great Britain, after hearing news of this morning's terrorist attacks in London:

"Deeply saddened by the news of the terrorist attacks in central London the Holy Father offers fervent prayers for the victims and for all those who mourn. While he deplores these barbaric acts against humanity he asks you to convey to the families of the injured his spiritual closeness at this time of grief. Upon the people of Great Britain he invokes the consolation that only God can give in such circumstances."

US Terror Alert Level To Orange

For the transit systems only.

"Priestess" Excommunicated

They told her it was the inevitable result of her action. She remained adamant in her sinful error.

And the excommunication is official.

I am reminded of what one of the diarists frequently quoted in Ken Burns' The Civil War, George Templeton Strong, said about the South leaving the Union. The diseased members were so grievously malignant that their act of self-amputation has enhanced the health of the whole body.

War On Terror Not Over By A Long Shot

At this point, we don't know if the series of terrorist attacks that rocked London this morning were the work of al Qaeda and its allies, anti-global trade thugs protesting the opening of the G-8 Summit in Scotland, or the IRA (or some new entrant in the terror game).

We do know that at least 2 are dead, and 90 injured in 4 explosions. One tore a double-decker bus apart, and three took place in the subway system.

God give us the will, means, and opportunity to utterly exterminate those who would bring such horror to civilized societies.

Update: Now over 40 dead and 360 injured.

God, rest the souls of the dead, and give comfort to their afflicted families. Bring speedy and complete recovery to those injured. And the full measure of earthly justice to those barbarians who perpetrated this.

And security on Boston's MBTA has been ramped up in response to the London attacks.

Further Update:
Moslem group that may or not be (officially) a part of al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

And the death toll now stands at 45.

Our prayers and support go out to the British people during this outrageous act of mass murder.

Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel

First Day: July 7th

O Beautiful Flower of Carmel,
most fruitful vine,
splendor of heaven,
holy and singular,
who brought forth the Son of God,
still ever remaining a pure virgin,
assist us in our necessity!
O Star of the Sea,
help and protect us!
Show us that you are our Mother!

(State your request here...)

Recite the following prayers...

Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...

Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
pray for us.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London Wins 2012 Olympics

Usually more trouble than it is worth, especially with security problems in this day and age.

The Olympics are generally among the things I could not care less about.

The American League East This Morning

Boston 47 35 .573 --
Baltimore 44 39 .533 3.5
NYY 43 39 .524 4
Toronto 42 41 .506 5.5
Tampa 27 57 .321 21

Sigh. Blogger raises heck with the fields of a table, unless you do the html for setting up a table, which I have not learned yet. But you get the drift. The Red Sox are in first place by 3.5 games over Baltimore and 4 over the Yankees. May they be in the same place at the end of the season.

Another of the 14 Images That Will Appear In the Compendium of the Catechism

Image courtesy of Amy Welborn.

By Joos van Wassenhove, a Dutch artist active between 1460 and 1480.

Notice how the Apostles are receiving the Holy Eucharist: kneeling and on the tongue, just the way the Blessed Sacrament should always be received.

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

President Bush is 59 today. A fine commander-in-chief for a nation at war. Sound economic (especially tax) policies. And good on the moral issues, too.

Now crown your achievements by putting Judge Emilio Garza, or Judge Edith Jones, or Judge J. Michael Luttig on the Supreme Court, please. And the others as well as more vacancies occur (possible retirements of Chief Justice Rehnquist, Justice Stevens, etc.).

Saint Maria Goretti

A 12 year-old virgin and martyr (really a martyr for the sake of Christian virginity). On her deathbed she forgave her attempted rapist (and murderer). Her mother is believed to be the only woman who has ever attended the canonization of a child of her own.

Prayer To Saint Maria Goretti:
Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth,with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven.

Check out this website devoted to Saint Maria Goretti (the source of the above prayer).

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Coercive Utopians At It Again

Now that the Queer Lobby is establishng gay "marriage" world-wide, woe betide the people out there who want nothing to do with this travesty.

They must be forced to not only tolerate but accept and even embrace every jot and tittle of the queer agenda.

Not only are they "here, queer, and in your face," now they demand at threat of court action that everyone be just fine with it.

If the hosannas are not loud enough, drag them into court.

Sacred Art Incorporated Into the New Compendium of the Catechism

This is very cool.

Fourteen images from a combination of Eastern and Western sources have been integrated with the text of the Compendium.

The pope was just as explicit in this speech that he gave on June 28 during the ceremonial presentation of the new catechism:

"Image and word illuminate one another in turn. Art always 'speaks,' at least implicitly, of the divine, of the infinite beauty of God, which finds its reflection in the icon par excellence: Christ the Lord, the image of the invisible God. Sacred images, with their beauty, are also heralds of the Gospel and express the splendor of Catholic truth, showing the supreme harmony between the good and the beautiful, between the 'via veritatis [way of truth]’ and the 'via pulchritudinis [way of beauty].’ While they give witness to the age-old and prolific tradition of Christian art, they encourage all, both believers and nonbelievers, to discover and contemplate the inexhaustible wonder of the mystery of redemption, continually providing a new impulse for the lively process of its inculturation in time."

Precisely. That is why last year, I opened Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, with a vast selection of sacred art images in the photo albums., and why I have taken to using illustrations here as well.

The tradition of sacred art is part of the patrimony of Christendom handed down to us (the earliest images) from very close to the age of the apostles themselves. It is up to use to enrich it (not cheapen it or degrade it as so much modern art does) and to pass an appreciation of this tradition on to those who will come after us.

Sermon On the Mount by Bl. Fra Angelico


Dom Bettinelli is now not the only St. Blogger about to take the plunge into the matrimonial waters.

Alan Phipps of Ad Altare Dei is also on his way to the altar, pun intended.

Congratulations! And prayers!

What Would July 4th Be Without A Sunburn?

And my legs got a good one yesterday.

The weekend weather was perfect. Crystal-clear cloudless blue skies, a light breeze, practically no humidity, and temps between 75-80F.

Great weather for watching the Boston fireworks last night. Over 500,000 people were on the Esplanade, and the fireworks show featured some 12,000 shells. Wow!

Two books down this weekend. First a very pleasant re-read, the first in 7 years or so, of Patrick O'Brian's The Mauritius Command. Second, a very quick and enjoyable session with Peter Mayle's A Dog's Life.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati

July 4th will be his feast day when he becomes a saint. He died 80 years ago today.

Virtual July 4th Fireworks

Not everyone will be close enough to one of the many public (or private) fireworks displays to enjoy the Fourth as President Adams suggested.

That is why there is Hogpainter's virtual fireworks.

Or, if that is a little boring, try these, though you have to do the work by left-clicking your mouse to get the fireworks to explode.

So kick back in front of the computer, darken the room, have some of your favorite beverage, enjoy a hot dog with all the trimmings, play some patriotic music (or Handel's Fireworks Music, which I like better than the 1812 Overture) and enjoy some virtual pyrotechnics.

Happy Independence Day!

July 4, 1776

For those men who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd, 1776, the odds did not look very good. Public opinion polls, if they existed, probably would have told them that only one-third of the population favored the course upon which they were about to embark. One-third was indifferent. One-third opposed independence. The men gathered from the thirteen colonies in Philadelphia, even without polling, probably had a sense that this was the case.

The army which would be the primary instrument of winning independence was scarcely disciplined, poorly uniformed, badly armed, and ill-supplied with food and ammunition. Pay was a promise (which, in fact, was mostly ignored 7 years later). Its generals had no experience commanding larger bodies of troops than a battalion.

True, there had been some victories. Boston had been rendered untenable for the enemy, and he had evacuated it. Fort Ticonderoga had fallen to a surprise attack, and supplied the heavy artillery that had led the British to evacuate Boston. Montreal had been captured, though that invasion force had been stopped at Quebec, and even now was building an anti-invasion fleet on Lake Champlain. The delegates in Philadelphia probably did not know it, but an enemy invasion of Charleston, SC had been averted a few days before.

But there had also been defeats. Despite inflicting heavy losses on the enemy, Bunker Hill had been captured. The attempt to capture Canada had failed miserably.

Most significant was what was coming. As the delegates debated independence, they knew that the British army that had left Boston was en route from Halifax, probably heading for New York. If their spies were accurate, that army would rendezvous with another escorted by an even larger fleet. Large numbers of British and German troops had driven the American Northern Army from Canada, and were poised to drive down Lake Champlain. These troops who would confront their own tattered, inexperienced army were the best Europe could field. British troops who had conquered an empire just 15 years before would be joined by excellent troops from Brunswick and Hesse Cassel, Frederick the Great's best allies. The enemy was supported by professional artillerists, and by a navy that was (despite peacetime decline and corruption) still, ship-for-ship, the best in the world. Thousands of their fellow countrymen would be happy to take up arms alongside the British army. To make matters worse, the Indian nations were ready to take up arms on behalf of the King, raising the prospect of burned farms, scalped settlers, and women and children abducted into captivity among the savages.

The men in Philadelphia must have found the prospect of declaring independence a daunting task. In the next three months, the most likely outcome was that the British army would take New York, flatten their own army, and then march on Philadelphia to hang them for treason. Their property would be taken from their families. At best they would become fugitives constantly on the run from British authorities.

But the best of them had a vision for the future, and strong reasons to feel the need to break with the past. The vision was that they would govern themselves, as they actually had for the most part, until the Imperial government decided to tap America for revenue to pay for keeping the peace with the Indians. John Winthrop's vision of a city set upon a hill remained a strong one, and merged with Locke's ideas about government, and newer ideas coming from Adam Smith about how an economy ought to be allowed to develop. A unified vision of a new nation which would serve as a beacon of liberty for all nations emerged, and was in the forefront of the minds of the men in Philadelphia. They had in this synthesis of ideas and in adapting to conditions on the American frontier, become a new nationality in need of a new nation.

And yet, despite all the obstacles, it was the vision that prevailed, and not the balance of forces. It is that vision that we celebrate today. John Adams, who did more than anyone to push the cause of independence through Congress, wrote to his wife that July 2, 1776 (the day the Declaration was approved):

"...Will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverence by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."

May it always be so.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

One Fewer Terrorist In the World

A small victory in a big war.

Another Boat Woman "Priestess"

What is it with these nimrods and doing this sacriligious zaniness on a boat?

Found this one via "Not So Quiet" Catholic Corner.

Saint Thomas

Caravaggio, c. 1601-02

An important saint for me, since he is one of my personal patrons.

But I have developed an annoying habit of missing his feast (not liturgically noted because it falls on a Sunday this year) because I have for years relied on Father Omer Englebert's The Lives of the Saints, written before 1950. And St. Thomas feast was in December (22nd) before they started arbitrarily moving saints' days around after Vatican II.

But this year, when the Sunday takes precedence over the saints' day, I remembered.

St. Thomas was a Jew, called to be one of the twelve Apostles. He was a dedicated but impetuous follower of Christ. When Jesus said He was returning to Judea to visit His sick friend Lazarus, Thomas immediately exhorted the other Apostles to accompany Him on the trip which involved certain danger and possible death because of the mounting hostility of the authorities.

At the Last Supper, when Christ told His Apostles that He was going to prepare a place for them to which they also might come because they knew both the place and the way, Thomas pleaded that they did not understand and received the beautiful assurance that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

But St. Thomas is best known for his role in verifying the Resurrection of his Master. Thomas' unwillingness to believe that the other Apostles had seen their risen Lord on the first Easter Sunday merited for him the title of "doubting Thomas." Eight days later, on Christ's second apparition, Thomas was gently rebuked for his scepticism and furnished with the evidence he had demanded - seeing in Christ's hands the point of the nails and putting his fingers in the place of the nails and his hand into His side. At this, St. Thomas became convinced of the truth of the Resurrection and exclaimed: "My Lord and My God," thus making a public Profession of Faith in the Divinity of Jesus.

St. Thomas is also mentioned as being present at another Resurrection appearance of Jesus - at Lake Tiberias when a miraculous catch of fish occurred. This is all that we know about St. Thomas from the New Testament.

Tradition says that at the dispersal of the Apostles after Pentecost this saint was sent to evangelize the Parthians, Medes, and Persians; he ultimately reached India, carrying the Faith to the Malabar coast, which still boasts a large native population calling themselves "Christians of St. Thomas." He capped his left by shedding his blood for his Master, speared to death at a place called Calamine. His feast day i s July 3rd and he is the patron of architects.

From Catholic On Line

I would just add that the silent ejaculation traditionally prayed by the laity at the moment of the consecration of the Host is St. Thomas' own words, "My Lord and my God." ("Remember, O Lord, Thy creature whom Thou has redeemed by Thy Most Precious Blood," traditionally silently prayed at the moment of the consecration of the Chalice, is from St. Ambrose's Communion Prayer).

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