Saturday, August 06, 2005

I Think I See A Pattern Developing

Try it and see if you perceive the same pattern.

And If You Are Trying To Make a Good Confession

Here is an excellent Examination of Conscience by Father Robert Altier, CPO from CatholicParents.org.

This link is taking its place in the Basic Catholic Resources section of the links on the right.

Link via Quodlibeta.

First Saturday

Just a reminder that today is the first Saturday of August (of course it is; yesterday was First Friday, and th eonly time First Saturday is not the day after Frist Friday is when the first of the month is Saturday!). August in particular is a time to remember First Saturday Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, as the month of August is devoted to her Immaculate Heart.

Read about what was revealed to Sister Lucia in 1925 about devoting 5 consecutive first Saturdays to Our Lady and making reparation for insults to her Immaculate Heart.

First Saturday Act of Reparation
O Most holy Virgin and our Mother, we listen with grief to the complaints of thine Immaculate Heart surrounded with the thorns which ungrateful men place therein at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. Moved by the ardent desire of loving thee as our Mother and of promoting a true devotion to thine Immaculate Heart, we prostrate ourselves at thy feet to prove the sorrow we feel for the grievance that men cause thee, and to atone, by means of our prayers and sacrifices, for the offences with which men return thy tender love. Obtain for them and for us the pardon of so many sins. A word from thee will obtain grace and amendment for us all.

Hasten, O Lady, the conversion of sinners, that they may love Jesus and cease to offend the Lord, already so much offended, and will not fall into hell. Turn thine eyes of mercy toward us, that henceforth we may love God with all our heart while on earth and enjoy Him forever in heaven.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think that the confession one might have made on the First Friday for the Sacred Heart of Our Lord will suffice for this devotion, as long as one stays in a state of grace. The confession requirement for many indulgences is flexible in this way, so this one probably is, too. Heaven knows that I can't stay in a state of grace for 15 minutes after I'm out of the confessional, but others are probably better able to keep a strict guard on their mind, eyes, and tongue than I am.

Satanists Torture and Crucify A 12-Year-Old Boy

In Moscow. He went missing July 19th, but only died two days ago. Requiescat in pace.

A Word Of Advice

Book a different band, a Catholic one, for WYD. Short notice, but I'm sure there are many who would be eager for the opportunity.

The Transfiguration Of Our Lord

Transfiguration by Blessed Fra Angelico, fresco on the wall of a monk's cell at San Marco Monastery, Florence, c. 1436

Second 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).

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pray For Father George Ratzinger

The Holy Father's brother, also a priest, was hospitalized with an irregular heartbeat, and had a pacemaker installed.

Lord bless him!

The Holy Father visiting his brother

I'm It

Dale Price has tagged me with the time machine meme.

Ten years ago, I was working at a small general practice law firm in Cambridge as the sole associate. My primary job at the time was recovering a former Catholic seminary in Hingham from defaulted debtors (who were planning on developing it into an assisted living facility, but lacked the means) on behalf of the FDIC. I ended up marshalling a small army of constables, bankruptcy specialists, movers, inventory control people, management company people, FDIC executives, and reporters, and taking the place over, after months of litigation, bankruptcy filings, and piercing the veil of about a half dozen dummy corporations.

Five years ago, I was still dealing with real estate, but this time as the grossly under-paid primary repository of stress for a big mortgage company, coordinating closing attorneys, borrowers, brokers, appraisers, credit bureaus, home inspectors, and loan officers.

One year ago, I had just begun work on my comprehensive Compendium of Traditional Catholic Prayers (the manuscript first draft under my working title, The Fitzpatrick Prayerbook). I was probably only about 50 pages into the manuscript and thoughts of including the weekday hours, the texts of both rites of the Mass, traditional hymn lyrics, information about the seasons of the liturgical year and Catholic seasonal customs and liturgical vestments and vessels, and the Baltimore Catechism as an appendix, as well as illuminating parts of the book to make it resemble, as far as my poor skill could, a medieval Book of Hours, were months away.

Yesterday. I had a great Gregorian chant class, and learned the Salve Regina, and Alma Redemptoris Mater.

Who am I going to tag? How about Bryan Jerabek of Quodlibeta and Father Ethan of Diary of a Suburban Priest?

The Only Good Thing I Can Say About Gillibrand's Latest "Find"

Is that at least the baptismal font is not one of those new jacuzzi models, like the one they just installed at Saint Cecilia's in Boston (the parish church between the two OMV oratories in the Back Bay).

Well, maybe one other thing. It won't take much effort or cost to remove the offending rainbow from the sanctuary. Just the will, though that appears to be lacking at the moment.

In fact, everything that Gillibrand rightly points out as wrong could be set to rights by four strong men in a matter of an hour or two. Pray for it to happen!

Looks Like the Archdiocese Has Been Robbing Peter To Pay Paul a Great Deal

The latest revelation is that the Catholic cemeteries of the Archdiocese have been turning monies over to the general fund of the Archdiocese, rather than setting it aside for perpetual care, resulting in neglected graves for those whose families paid for "perpetual care."

Or does "perpetual care" now only mean until the Archdiocese needs the money for something else?

First Friday of August

Just a reminder that this is the first Friday of the month, in case you are observing nine (or more) first Fridays for devotion to the Sacred Heart.

It is surely a sign of the depravity of our times that a Google search of "First Friday" required going through more than 25 listings (including one for a gay mens' social club in Iowa) before the first item that related to the Sacred Heart.

Here are the 12 promises Our Lord made to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque for those who make confession and worthily take the Blessed Sacrament for nine consecutive First Fridays:
The 12 Promises of Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque Regarding Those Who Receive Communion on Nine First Fridays:

1. I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life.
2. I will establish peace in their houses.
3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
4. I will be their strength during life and above all during death.
5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
9. I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored.
10 I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11 Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12 I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

Ven. Pio Bruno Lanteri

Hopefully, someday August 5th will be the feast of Saint Bruno Lanteri, the founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary. Today is the 175th anniversary of his death. Read more about Father Lanteri here.

The Oblates staff St. Francis Chapel at the Prudential Center, as well as St. Clement's Eucharistic Shrine two blocks down Boylston Street from the Pru.

The Oblates' special mission in the Church is described as follows:
The Oblates of the Virgin Mary are a religious Congregation of priests and brothers. Adhering faithfully to the directives of their founder, the Venerable Pio Bruno Lanteri, they are committed to deepening their communion with the Three Divine Persons and to bring all they meet into that communion.

They propose to do this through:

1. A deep personal relationship with Jesus, nourished and purified by the Word of God, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and especially the Eucharist.
2. A total consecration to Mary.
3. Fidelity to the Holy Father and obedience to the Church's Magisterium.
4. A vowed life in community which is both prayerful and apostolic.
5. Their apostolic labors, responding to Pope John Paul II's call to work for the new evangelization, include:
6. Directing the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and preaching parish missions.
7. Formation of the Clergy.
8. Defending and proclaiming the Catholic Faith - as faithfully safeguarded and authentically expounded by the Magisterium of the Church - and combating modern errors opposed to it.
9. Propagating the Catholic Faith through the printed word and various means of social communication.
11.Formation of the Laity.
12.Continual availability for offering the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

(from the website of the OMV-staffed parish of St. Peter Chanel in Hawaiian Gardens, California).

By the way, the Oblates would dearly love to see their founder elevated to first Blessed, and then to Saint, so, if you have any miracles that need to happen in your life, pray for Father Lanteri's intercession.

Our Lady of the Snows

Read about the origins of Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. Saint Mary Major is one of the most common station churches of Rome during Lent (the other most common one being Saint John Lateran). It is the primary church in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Magnificent altar and baroque canopy

Read more about Saint Mary Major (in Italian, "Santa Maria Maggiore").

Bernard Cardinal Law is currently archpriest of this basilica.

First Day of the Novena To the Immaculate Heart

August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart. Since August 15th is the Assumption of the Blessed virgin Mary, if you begin this novena today, it will conclude on the vigil of the Assumption.

1) State the intention of the novena.

2) Recite the Magnificat.

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

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Have the Liberals No Shame?

First it was Clarence Thomas' video rental history.

Now the NYT is "investigating" Judge Roberts' childrens' adoption records.

The liberal lamestream media...going above and beyond the call of duty and plunging right into the sewer.

Is there no dirty work too petty for them not to undertake on behalf of the left wing?

Well, obviously not. Maybe Ted Kennedy and Dick Durbin will have NYT reporters licking out their toilets for them next.

Yes. I'm genuinely ticked off.

The Cure of Ars

Traditionally, August 4th was the feast of Saint Dominic de Guzman, founder of the Dominicans. But it has recently been the date for the feast of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, the Cure of Ars (formerly August 8th).

This great parish priest took a village that had essentially been corrupted by the French Revolution and pastoral neglect to the point that the inhabitants were scarcely any longer Christian, and made it an epicenter of 19th century Catholic piety. He had the gift of reading hearts and spent enormous amounts of time in the confessional (sometimes more than 18 hours a day).

A very brief biography of this patron of parish priests can be read here.

A better one can be found here.

It would do a soul much good to read Father O'Brien's short biography of the Cure.

I strongly recommend The Little Catechism of the Cure of Ars, available from TAN for only $5.

Even more importantly, if you are not already in possession of it, check out The Sermons Of the Cure of Ars. TAN offers it for a very good price.

Don't forget, the Cure of Ars is an incorruptible.

Homiletic & Pastoral Review offers this excellent adaptation of the methods of Saint John Vianney for parish priests today.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage Image

The Belle Verriere Window at Chartres Cathedral

Requiescant In Pace

14 US Marines and a civilian interpreter killed by car bomb in Iraq. Requiescant in pace.

I See That

The latest Catholic Carnival is up, over at Herb Ely's.

Bishop Sheen's Devotion To the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saint Peter's Helpers has a heart-warming collection of images, anecdotes, writings, and poetry by this one-day saint.

Mrs. Torres Has Been Delivered Of Her Baby

Press release courtesy of Amy Welborn:
Mrs. Susan Torres gave birth at 8:18 am on Tuesday, August 2, 2005 to
Susan Anne Catherine Torres. The baby weighs 1 pound 13 ounces and
measures 13 1/2 inches long. There were no complications during
delivery. The baby is doing well and is being monitored in the
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Virginia Hospital Center.

This is the poor lady who had a stroke, and was kept alive on life support to deliver.

God bless that family!

Today Would Have Been My Mother's 82nd Birthday

O God, Who hast commanded us to honour our father and our mother, in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my father and mother, and forgive them their trespasses, and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting light. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

V. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
R. And may perpetual light shine upon her.
V. May she rest in peace.
R. Amen.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Busy, Very Busy

Working on adding quotations to the right-hand links/archives column.

Makes the column longer, but you can just keep on scrolling to take it all in.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Lammas/Saint Peter Ad Vincula

Today is the feast of Saint Peter Ad Vincula. In Europe, it was celebrated as the first fruits of the harvest. "Lammas" probably comes from "Loaf Mass", and a ritual blessing of loaves of bread made from the first grain harvested was part of the Lammas rite. Harvest queens would be crowned in villages, and harvest suppers would be held.

The Feast of Saint Peter Ad Vincula is the Feast of Peter's Chains. Saint Peter, having been arrested, was held in custody, but miraculously was permitted to escape. Two links said to be from the chain that he was confined in are venerated at the church of Saint Peter Ad Vincula at Rome.

The Feast of Saint Peter's Chains was superimposed over the pre-Christian harvest festivals (but with less success than with Christmas, Easter, and All Saints' Day). Though Lammas has lost much of its significance in the last hundred years, it has more cultural resonance than Saint Peter's Chains.

Even my Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter Calendar simply lists August 1st as a ferial day.

In Western Europe, the harvest is about 3 weeks earlier, on average, than in New England. We think of harvest time as September and October. But even in our own suburban gardens, aren't the first tomatoes ready about now? Raspberries and blackberries are a few days away. Sweet corn is about ready here. Apples will start ripening in a few weeks. Six weeks to fresh sweet cider!

Just because we are no longer an agricultural society does not mean that we need to lose touch with the traditional seasonal tempo of life.

This was also the beginning of the Autumn fair season. One still hears an Irish folk song called "The Oulde Lammas Faire." Think about it--there are 7 or 8 weeks to the Topsfield Fair and other fairs start before that. King Richard's Medieval Faire starts Labor Day weekend. Many towns on the North Shore have their August festivals, probably the equivalent of the medieval fair near Lammas. Salem has its Heritage Days in August, a week-long festival of street fair, parade, and fireworks, along with ice cream "Scooper Bowls and Chowderfests. Beverly has Homecoming Week, and Newburyport has Yankee Homecoming this month.

Many towns in medieval and early modern Europe held large fairs on or near Lammas that brought people from far and near to the closest thing Europe then had to a mall. In medieval Europe, those fairs took on a much greater commercial significance than their descendants do today. The fairs were mobile, spending a few days in a given location (like a modern carnival).

Lammas is the only resting point we have until the Feast of the Assumption in two weeks. It is our chance to assess how the summer is going, whether it will be an early autumn, or whether the heat will persist past Labor Day.

You don't need to be Haydn Pearson (the Countryman essayist in the New York Times 50 years ago) to notice that Autumn is on the way. Some sickly trees will start to change by the end of the month. In fact, I have seen one or two with some leaves turning yellow already. July was a little cooler than average. there does not seem to be a threat of a drought, at least in New England. it is raining right now, n fact. It may still be hot now and then. The "Dog Days," which began July 25thor so, may hold sway until the middle of the month. But the cooler days will start to be noticed more, especially after the fifteenth. By mid-month the growing shortness of the days will be evident.

Autumn-themed decor started showing up in stores a few weeks ago. There were back-to-school displays (stacks of binders) in Walmart in June, a few days after school ended!

Unfortunately, I and my fellow ragweed allergy sufferers will start to be miserable in about 10 days, and will stay that way until the first hard frost in October. It has not bothered me as much in Salem or in Boston. Not much ragweed nearby to trouble me.

May the Lord bless this harvest and provide ample food for all His people. As a practical matter, your local food pantry does not want you to bake a loaf of bread for them. But today, as we celebrate the harvest, it would be great to write a $10.00 check to them, so they can buy bread for ten families for the week.

Breads For Lammas

Since this is the day to celebrate first fruits, why not share a few recipes for bread? After all, grains are the staff of life, and are basic to our culture, indeed to all human survival. And the Bible is full of references to bread and its liturgical significance.

Our Lord decided upon bread as the form His Body would take for us.

The liturgical readings at Mass at this time of year focus on grain, wheat, bread, and the harvest.

And I must admit a terrific fondess for breads. Indeed, you might say that my body has never met a carbohydrate it did not take a serious liking to, and invite to stick around for life in a pleasant spot around my middle.

I'll give three recipes for bread today, all of which I am fond of. All are for a 11/2 pound bread machine, which I use for most of my breads. Bread machine recipes typically offer choices for 1, 11/2, and 2 pound loaves. I'll give the proportions for the 11/2 pound loaf.

Anadama Bread
1 cup warm water
2 Tblspns molasses
11/2 Tblspns vegetable oil
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
11/2 tspns salt
21/2 cups bread flour (regular flour does just fine)
2 tspns active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Use the Basic setting. I'd suggest a Medium or Light crust. It will take 3 hours for your bread machine to prepare this loaf. Pumpkin butter, a staple in this house, is great on this bread. Orange honey butter is also good on it.

Sally Lunn Bread
The name Sally Lunn has been the subject of much speculation. It may be that a lady named Sally Lunn sold this bread in the form of biscuits at Bath in the 18th Century. It may be that the name derives from the light-on-the-bottom, dark- on-top color of the biscuits, and is a derivative of the French words for sun and moon.

Whatever the derivation, the bread is delicious.

The very best Sally Lunn I have ever had was at Gadsby's Tavern in Alexandria, VA (on a re-enactment weekend). With Game Pie and Scuppernog Punch, it was, perhaps, the tastiest meal I have ever had. And the droll fellow in the guise of a strolling minstrel and bard who "entertained" us there by singing The Old Soldiers of the King was a hoot. He pretended to be much perplexed at our appearance, since the Tavern is set for the period 1790, and and we were fully dressed in the uniform of 1775, and there would not be many British soldiers casually strolling into a tavern in Virginia 9+ years after Yorktown.

3/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
11/2 Tblspns butter
3 Tblspns sugar
1 tspn salt
31/3 cups bread flour (regular flour works fine)
21/4 tspns active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Use the Sweet cycle, and a Medium crust setting. Buttered and served with either sweet hot Earl Grey, or mint iced tea (in hotter weather), this is a snack to look forward to.

Cheddar Onion Bread
This one has a vaguely Alsatian hint to it. It is, I think, the combination of onion and cheese, which is typical of Alsatian cooking. Cheddar, though, is Anglo-American.

1 cup + 2 Tblspns Whole Milk
11/2 Tblspns vegetable oil
1/4 cup grated onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
11/2 Tblspns sugar
11/2 tspns salt
1/4 tspn garlic salt
31/3 cups bread flour (regular flour is fine)
21/4 tspns active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Use the Sweet cycle and a Medium crust setting. Great with soup. Makes a great sandwich with roasted turkey and a tart mayo, like Cain's.

Saint Alphonsus Liguori

Founder of the Redemptorists, and Doctor of the Church. His feast was formerly celebrated on August 2nd.

A short biography of Saint Alphonus can be read here.

I have become very familiar with Saint Alphonsus this year. His version of the Stations of the Cross I find to be superior to all others. During May, I read The Glories of Mary as my monthly lectio. His Visits To the Blessed Sacrament and To the Blessed Virgin Mary I have tried to incorporate into my own holy hour practice.

He is the patron of confessors and theologians. He is also the patron of those suffering from arthritis. As I age, and my two trick knees ache when a low pressure area is nearing, I can tell that I will have much need of his patronage in the future.


August Calendar Image From Les Tres Riches Heures de Duc du Barry
(from Christus Rex)
The wheat harvest is going on in the background, while swimmers frolic and the gentry are falconing in the foreground.

Important feasts celebrated during August include:
1st St. Peter Ad Vincula (Lammas) and St. Alphonsus Liguori (formerly August 2nd)
4th St. John Vianney (formerly August 8th)
6th The Transfiguration
8th St. Dominic de Guzman (formerly August 4th)
9th St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
10th St. Lawrence
11th St. Clare of Assisi (formerly August 12th)
15th Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
16th St. Stephen of Hungary
18th St. Jane Frances de Chantal
19th St. John Eudes
20th St. Bernard
22th Queenship of Mary
23rd St. Rose of Lima (formerly August 30th)
24th St. Bartholomew
25th St. Louis of France
27th St. Monica
28th St. Augustine of Hippo
29th Martyrdom of John the Baptist

The monthly dedication for August is to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Since August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart, and the Feast of the Assumption (a holy day of obligation) falls on August 15th, it would be appropriate to make a novena to the Immaculate Heart beginning August 5th, and ending on the vigil of the Assumption.

World Youth Day will take place in Cologne, Germany August 16th-21st.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's intentions for the month of August are:
General: For World Youth Day: may this occasion draw young people everywhere to meet Christ and to welcome Him as Lord of their life.

Missionary: For students from mission Churches in Rome: may their studies in the Eternal City be a time of spiritual enrichment.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Excesses Of Separation of Church and State

Phillip Blosser does the honors over at The Pertinacious Papist.

For Those Who Say I Never Criticize Republicans

Bill Frist is absolutely 100% certifiably insane on embryonic stem cell "research."

He could not be more wrong.

And for a guy who wants ot run for President, what a great way to court the vital Catholic vote, advocate murdering the tiniest of babies. Way to go Bill! What a way to keep that Reagan/Bush coalition together!

Any Republican But Frist in '08!

The Sign of Peace

Musum Pontificalis wants to know what you think about it.

As for me, I loath it. I'm a "Smoke of Satan" man on this one.

Very Interesting

A great step-by-step description of the making of a medieval illuminated manuscript.

Would that I had one quarter of the talent shown in the manuscript being described!

Profile of Archbishop O'Malley

From today's Boston Globe.

We are now about 2 years into his archepiscopate.

The profile mostly focuses on his style as a homilist. I have heard him in person more than once, and he is good. He often hits the right notes, in a quiet way. And one can differ as to whether the quiet approach is preferable in this very liberal area to someone who would preach more forcefully, and perhaps show more anger towards those straying to get their attention.

But where he needs work, in the estimation of many, is in actual pastoral care and in following up the implications of what he preaches with regard to others.

He seems to follow up with regard to himself very well. He found it easy to move out of the palatial Cardinal's Residence and sell it to B.C., reserving for himself much more humble quarters at the Cathedral rectory, and elsewhere. After all, he is a Capuchin, and is bound by a vow of poverty, unlike a diocesan priest.

He said in the interview that he hasn't watched TV in years. All to the good. The Hollywood culture that produces most TV shows is disordered and reflects a distorted and unChristian set of values, the values of hedonism and materialism.

Great! He does walk the walk as well as talk the talk!

Being pastor of a huge Archdiocese (population-wise) is an enormous undertaking. I'm sure it is draining. You can't be all things to all people. It is not humanly possible to be lovingly present to every one of 2 million Catholics all the time.

As I said, one can differ as to whether a more forceful preaching style might not be better.

But one would think that a somewhat harsher tone, followed up by stern action is required for those who publically stray from the teachings of the Church. And the failure to be sterner with politicians who back abortion rights, with Catholics in and out of public office who support gay "marriage" or even civil unions leads to a de facto accomodationism.

If Senators Kerry and Kennedy, virtually the entire US House delegation, and most of both houses of the Massachusetts legislature are allowed to continue to get away with the "personally opposed, but..." dodge, while still receiving the Blessed Sacrament in public, it appears that the Church is overlooking the grave sin of murder that is the essence of abortion, or the grave sin of sodomy, which is what homosexual "marriage" is all about.

The Church must speak with one consistent voice on this. Rome has made its doctrine plain on this again and again. American bishops like Archbishop O'Malley and Cardinals Mahony and McCarrick who claim that the practical implications of that general orientation from Rome can be malleable, can be anything other than separation from the Church of the offending parties until their pattern of public action and advocacy changes are being deliberatly obtuse. In demanding that Rome spell out just what they ought to do, so that the public opprobrium will be Rome's not theirs, they are being unfaithful the mantle of pastoral leadership that they undertook.

A stunning contrast is found in the style of another new archbishop, Archbishop Burke of Saint Louis. He has made it plain that pro-abortion politicians may not present themselves for Communion in is Archdiocese. He views them as no longer being in Communion with the Church. And he preaches on this topic frequently and forcefully, not just during election years. Archbishop Burke has also been generous with the traditional Catholic community under his care, bringing in both priests from the Institute of Christ the King and the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter to serve their needs.

Were the times not so decadent, were millions of babies not being murdered yearly in their mothers' wombs, were many members of society not openly trashing the Sacrament of Marriage and advocating that others trash It, were many perverted gay priests not openly trashing the Sacrament of Holy Orders, were so many among the faithful not swayed by the serpent-like guile of Mario Cuomo and his deceitful justification for voting for abortion again and again, then the times would favor a quiet, humorous, personally holy prelate.

But modern American society makes the most decadent days of the Roman Empire look like Ozzie and Harriet. It cannot get worse without the complete collapse of civilization and Catholic culture. We are only a hairs-breadth better off than almost totally de-Christianized and neo-pagan Europe. And there is continuous, unrelenting pressure from the forces of "progress" to pull American culture right into the abbatoir next to Europe and Canada.

This is a time for preaching loudly, directly, unequivocally. This is a time for plain speaking and direct action. This is a time to hurl excommunications around on all transgressors who have had fair warning and remain unrepentant. They must not be allowed to prosper within the Church, lest the just are tempted by the lack of direct action against them, and reach out their hands to multiply the wickedness by partaking of it themselves.

And at the same time, it is ironic that the Archbishop, instead of throwing out of the Church public sinners like Kennedy and Kerry is busily plotting to throw out of their own church Boston's most faithful Roman Catholics, the Tridentine Indult community at Holy Trinity. Ted Kennedy is given an unhappy look and patted on the head as he takes the Sacrament. But Rome's most loyal soldiers in Boston are to lose their place of worship and be forced to give up solemn High Masses, curtail the activities that make them a growing active parish, not stay too long at church, lest the parking host at its new home take away the little crumb offered, go without an altar rail, just make do with a host parish that is hostile and inimical to its liturgical needs.

There is something fundementally wrong with leadership like this.

Archbishop O'Malley is personally a holy, good man. He does a good job solving crises. He knows the drill of settling lawsuits and retrenching. But any prelate who threatens potentially his best supporters with a 2x4 while snogging away in public with those undermining from within the Faith he is supposed to be upholding has his priorities absolutely wrong.

You Would Expect This From the Globe

One of their freelancers sat down with 5 young Catholics. World Youth Day is coming up, so let's hear from the perspective of youth in the Church.

Most of the 5 seem to be in favor of priestesses, want the Church to change its stance on abortion, birth control, marriage, homosexuality, and married priests. In other words, they are slaves to the culture of the world, and demand that the church conform to the sinful world, just to make them comfortable in their sinfulness.

The two who were vocally not in favor of most of the liberal Catholic agenda were unable to make a good defense of the Faith. Their defense was nothing better than, "Well, the Church has been doing this for 2000 years, so there must be a good reason for it." Don't get me wrong. Not everyone is expected to hit a home run on that kind of question, but it all shows how woeful Catholic catechesis has been for lo these many years (almost these many generations).

Spiritual Reading For Sunday

I had intended to continue with Saint Josemaria Escriva's The Way, but instead, in honor of Saint Ignatius, I think I will merely advert your attention to The Spiritual Exercises, Saint Ignatius' masterpiece, which he wrote to enable others, "To conquer oneself and regulate one's life without determining oneself
through any tendency that is disordered."

It is available here as an e-text.

If Today Were Not Sunday

July 31st is normally the feast of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. My Saint Joseph's Daily Missal(1959) describes him thus:

"After being ordained a priest, he founded the Society of Jesus to fight the forces of Satan as represented by pagans, Mohammedans, Protestants, Jansenists, etc."

Saint Ignatius by Rubens
A short biography of Saint Ignatius can be found here.

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