Saturday, August 13, 2005

It's Hot and Humid Now

But it is a Saturday, and college football season is near. This is B.C.'s first season in the ACC, after many years in the Big East.

Here is the B.C. Eagles 2005 schedule.

Red Sox Widen Lead

Boston-----67 47 .588 --
NYY--------62 52 .544 5
Toronto----60 55 .522 7.5
Baltimore--56 59 .487 11.5
Tampa------44 72 .379 24

The Sox beat the White Sox Friday 9-8 solidifying a 5-game lead over the Yankees, and 7.5-game lead over the Blue Jays. Early AL East leader Baltimore has faded to 11.5 back. Tampa Bay is bringing up the rear, almost mathematically eliminated already.

A Look At A 4th Grade Catholic Religion Text

Shoddy stuff and lots of fluff analyzed over at Res Et Rationes.

As you can see, here’s where the books begin to be just slightly below the level of the age for which they are designed. Amazingly, they seem to remain at this third grade reading level through junior high, although it is often mixed with more age-appropriate language, especially in quotations.

We then get two whole pages on Gandhi, written in probably the most advanced level of anything else in the book.

The only other Sacrament given a large section is Reconciliation. The most notable item in this section is a picture of the aforementioned priests in Indian garb, with one of them apparently smoking a peace pipe. At least, I hope it’s just a peace pipe.

That's the worst of it. But The Baltimore Catechism it ain't.

Bonus Image

Because you never know when you will see an image like this again, and I happened upon it today.

High altar of Saint Alphonsus church, Baltimore.

Breath-takingly beautiful!!!

Update: I notice that the image is not always coming up when I refresh the site. I suggest that, if it does not come up, right-click and select "Show Picture" to see it. It is a shame that anyone should miss it because of the vagaries of Blogger, Internet Explorer, or Photobucket.

Father Faber

Currently, I am finishing off a re-read of Russell Kirk's Redeeming The Time, a collection of his semi-annual lectures for the Heritage Foundation.

But I am also reading a book called A Father Faber Heritage, a compendium of extended excerpts from Father Frederick W. Faber's writings. Now most people know Father Faber as one of Ven. Cardinal Newman's fellow 19th century converts from the Anglican Communion to Rome, and as the author of the hymns Faith Of Our Fathersand Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All.

But in the 16 or so years that Father Faber was a Catholic priest of the Brompton Oratory, he produced a significant body of good Catholic devotional works. TAN has reprinted all of them. From the excerpts I have been reading, I can particularly recommend The Foot of the Cross (Or The Sorrows Of Mary), and The Blessed Sacrament.

If I can find these as e-texts, they will be included in the Lectio Divina links on the right.

Here is an interesting excerpt of Father Faber's Purgatory, from TAN.

Who can doubt that there are, at this hour, thousands and tens of thousands in the bliss of Heaven who never would have been there if there had been no Hell. Alas for the reproach it is to the unloving hearts of men, but after all, the Cross of Christ has had no better help on earth than the unbearable fire of Hell. Verily it is well for our own sakes to think sometimes of that horrid place! As truly as fair France lies across the Channel, as truly as the sun is shining on the white walls and gay bridges and bright gardens and many-storied palaces of its beautiful capital, as truly as that thousands of men and women there are living real lives and fulfilling various destinies, so truly is there such a place as Hell, all alive this hour with the multitudinous life of countless agonies and innumerable gradations of despair. Save the Blessed in Heaven, none live so keen or conscious a life as those millions of ruined souls. It is not impossible that we may go there too. It is not impossible that we may have sent some there already. When we pass along the streets, we must often see those who will inhabit there forever. There are some there now who were not there an hour ago. There are some now in the green fields, or in the busy towns, on comfortable beds, or on the sunshiny seas, who in another hour perhaps will have gone there. This is a dreadfully real truth.

"All Options Are On the Table"

President Bush on what would happen if Iran continues to defy international law and continues to pursue a nuclear weapon.

While we sort of have our hands full right now in Iraq and Afghanistan, it should be pointed out that being in those two countires was partly done to put us in position to get rid of the government of Iran. We could now, if the resources were there, invade Iran on two fronts. Organized military resistance from Iran would collapse in under 6 months. There would be terrorism, as we see in Iraq (though the attacks in Iraq might die down, as they are being supported from Iran). But we would be masters of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, the heartland of Moslem terror since 1979. That would leave just Syria and Libya to mop up.

Iran is a problem we could easily have dealt with, if, in the immediate aftermath of September 11th, President Bush had prudently expanded the Army to 16 divisions (the force level we had under President Reagan) plus more special forces, more independent regiments, more corps-level units, and larger Air Force and Navy (making carriers that were due to be retired serve a few years more). But with the army and other services as small as they are, it is too much for us to take on now, with the insurgency in Iraq still kicking (though with no possibility of military success; that is actually beating the US on the battlefield).

Recruitment has been below the levels we need for a while. I don't support the return of the draft. I don't think anyone does. But a prudent comb-out of the Individual Ready Reserve and a large increase in pay and benefits for military personnel and future veterans is in order. More incentives are needed for military service.

And taking on Iran now, by ourselves (and no one else will do the dirty work) would not be prudent with the threat that North Korea poses to South Korea, and China poses to Taiwan. It is not impossible that these two potential enemies might take advantage of our current situation (we are talking about drawing down units based in South Korea!) to launch attacks to gain long-sought territories, while the US is busy in western Asia.

We should find some other way to bring the mullahs down. Encouraging internal opposition by every means possible (from propaganda to bribes) ought to be stepped up. I am sure we are doing some now, but it needs to be dramatically increased.

We also need many more platforms like the Raptor, that allow us to gather intelligence and launch limited attacks on discreet targets without putting personnel in harm's way. And then there are the little Cyber Bugs I mentioned recently: tiny micro intelligence gathering platforms that operate remotely, like the much bigger Raptors.

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage Image

As tomorrow is the vigil of the Assumption, our Catholic cultural images for the weekend will feature different views of the Assumption.

Assumption by Guido Reni

Cardinal Pell Isn't Australia's Only Tradition-Friendly Prelate

Archbishop Hart of Melbourne incenses the altar at a Solemn Pontifical Mass on July 16th of this year (my birthday).
See a whole gallery of images from this Mass here.

Link via Traditio In Radice.

The Benedictine Nuns of Tyburn Convent

Good BBC profile that I found via Zadok the Roman.

Their website is also linked permanently on the right.

Martyrdom of Saints Edmund Campion, Ralph Sherwin, and Alexander Briant at Tyburn.

Read What Rabbi Friedman Writes About Whether We Have Married the Right Person

From Pontifications.

Which Monty Python and the Holy Grail Character Are You?

Take the quiz: "Which Holy Grail Character Are You?"

The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog
That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

Flannery O'Connor On Jansenism

From If Flannery Had A Blog (quoting from The Habit of Being).

I like Pascal but I don't think the Jansenist impulse is healthy in the Church. The Irish are notably infected with it because all the Jansenist priests were chased out of France at the time of the Revolution and ended up in Ireland. It was a bad day if you ask me. I read a novel by Sean O'Faolain about the demise of the Irish novel. Apparently someone suggested there wasn't enough sin in Ireland to supply the need. O'Faolain said no, the Irish sinned constantly but with no great emotion except fear. Jansenism doesn't seem to breed so much a love of God as a love of asceticism.

A Chaplet For St. Thomas a Becket

Rachel is working on one over at The History Buff's Traditional Catholic Blog.

Check it out.

An Attack On World Youth Day Averted

Not Moslem terrorists, just punks.

Security is a big concern. There will be NATO AWACs planes doing electronic monitoring overhead.

A Vibrant Parish

I have just completed a file I began a few days ago over at the Yahoo Group side of Recta Ratio. I teased about this one the other day: it is about Holy Family parish on the West Side of Chicago, by all accounts a very beutiful church.

Ann Taves, in The Household of Faith quotes extensively from Brother Thomas Mulkerins, S.J, the historian of the parish, who described in detail the physical plant of the church, and the organizations that sprang up within this very active and vibrant parish.

Sadly, I have been unable to get my hands on Brother Mulkerins' original account. But using Taves' recapitulation, one can get a very detailed look at how a parish ought to be designed and how the devotional life of the parish ought to play out.

I found the description so good that I went to the unusual length of re-typing several pages and making it a file at the Yahoo Group.

This parish is what every Catholic parish ought to be. It has lovely interior architecture and devotional decoration designed to bring the Catholic believer as close to Heaven as he can get on earth. I am reminded of what is written on the arch of St. James' (in Salem) sanctuary: "Truly this is the House of God and the Gate of Heaven."

And the array of devotional and fraternal organizations active in the parish nearly leaves one breathless. I have never been a part of a parish that is that active. At Holy Trinity there are the scholae, CCD, the Wieser lectures, and the Holy Name Society. After that, there isn't much more. St. James had almost nothing in this way.

This parish under the direction of Father Damen, SJ in the 19th century was clearly the model on which all Catholic parishes sought to be based. So if you are interestd in what a vibrant parish ought to look like, join Recta Ratio the Yahoo Group, if you are not already a member (its totally free, and I maintain a strict guard to keep potential spammers out), and peruse this file at your leisure. I only ask that, if you cite it, give proper credit to Ms. Taves' work.

And I just noticed in my tardy read-through of recent St. Blog's postings that Amy Welborn is hosting a discussion of what makes a good parish.

Watching A Tropical Storm That Could Become A Hurricane

The Atlantic has had an active season for hurricanes and tropical storms so far. It is only mid-August, and they are already on the 9th storm to earn a name. But nothing has come up the coast and threatened New England, yet. In fact, we have not been bothered by hurricanoes since 1999, and that one proved to be a fizzle.

Now, Tropical Storm Irene is out there, and likely to become Hurricane Irene. It may make it up here next week.

New Hampshire Priest Defrocked

Paul Aube, who admitted to sexually molesting several teenage boys between his ordinationin 1970 and 1980, has been defrocked by the Holy Father.
Aube was ordained in 1970 and worked at parishes in Claremont, Berlin, Nashua and Rochester. According to a 2003 report by the state Attorney General's office, two Nashua police detectives reported in 1975 they'd found Aube parked on a secluded road with an 18-year-old boy, fondling each other.

Former Bishop Odore Gendron later transferred Aube from Nashua to a youth ministry position at a Rochester church.

Aube acknowledged in a 2003 interview with the Associated Press that he molested several boys in their late teens between 1971 and 1980 while assigned to these churches. He said he confessed the abuse to his superiors, and asked for counseling and to be assigned to duties that would keep him away from children.

According to the Attorney General's report, Aube sexually assaulted at least 17 youths and his superiors were made aware of both the 1975 incident in Nashua and a 1981 complaint in Rochester.

My Gregorian Chant Workshop

I don't think I've said too much about the chant workshop I just completed.

Father Tom Carzon, OMV, former director of St. Francis Chapel at the Prudential Center, who is departing this week to become pastor of a parish in Denver, is something of an expert on chant, and for the last 5 weeks, he has been leading a surprisingly large and enthusiastic group in a Gregorian Chant workshop at St. Clement's Eucharistic Shrine.

Now anyone who knows me knows that I don't read music, and couldn't carry a tune in a bucket, though that has never stopped me from singing when I am in the mood to do so. I was a little nervous about participating in a workshop on chant, especially at St. Clement's, because though I do Adoration there frequently, I don't really know anyone there, and besides, it is frequented by many people connected with Berklee College of Music, which is right across the street. Therefore, chances were that most of the people there would know a lot more about music than I did. And at least they would be able to carry a tune.

Well, in 5 weeks, we all struggled with Gregorian notation, which I was relieved to find was so different from regular music notation, that all the music people started on almost the same level that those of us who can't read a note were at.

And the five classes were very profitable. We learned many chants, including the Salve Regina, the Ave Verum, the Tantum Ergo, the O Salutaris, the Alma Redemptoris Mater, the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei from the Missa De Angelis, and the Veni Sancte Spiritus.

Father Tom has a great enthusiasm for chant, and I think it will serve him well in his new parish, where there is a Latin Novus Ordo Mass. He was ably helped by elizabeth, the music director at the Chapel, and by Helen, a Latin teacher from the area.

Who would have thought that a dozen people would meet weekly to learn about chant in a parish where the Tridentine Mass is not said? I think it is encouraging that so many stuck with it, and that over 18 people came to at least one class. And none of the 18 were the seminarians from the Oblates' seminary, either. These were all lay people there on their own time on Thursday evenings.

Elizabeth is planning on working chant into the Advent and Lenten Masses at the Chapel and Shrine, so we may meet again in November to refresh, and learn new chants. As Father Tom said, who knows what fruit this might bear.

Juventutem Has A Website

See this image, and much more at Juventutem's website.

I think these young people will have a great time on their World Youth Day pilgrimage. May they, and all the pilgrims there, be safe.

Great Juventutem Mass image I saw over at Catholic Monarchist.

"Ninth" 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).

"Ninth" is in quotation marks because, as I noticed the other day, I started the novena one day too soon to have it end on the vigil of the Assumption, as I planned. So this "nine-day" novena will have a 10th day, tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2005

While I'm On the Subject of Ireland

Take the Irish Saints Quiz.

I got 12/15 correct for 120 points.

More Views Of the Aulde Sod

It is a quiet Friday news-wise, so here are some more pics of Ennistymon, County Clare, where my grandparents hailed from (my grandmother, my grandfather was born down the road in Ennis.

The pub. The shop fronts of Ennistymon are apparently famous for their quaintness.

The village seen from the graveyard

A modern view of the village seen from the Falls

The graveyard seen from the village
Beyond the village and the graveyard. What a surprise, the sky is cloudy!!!

Dignitatis Felidae

Well, the first encyclical is written, but not quite ready for promulgation.

Congratulations And Good Luck!!!

Dom Bettinelli and Melanie Scott are tying the knot tomorrow.

May God bless their marriage, give them patience, understanding, the ability to forgive, the wisdom to know what they can do without upsetting the other, and peace, as well as lasting love and joy in each other's company.

Bless this couple, Oh Lord, and keep them always forever safe from harm. Bring them together so they can form a family under heaven. Bless this Union, Lord! May their love for each other grow each day like the rose and remain eternal like the evergreen whose leaves are always verdant throughout all seasons.

The Monks Have Run Out Of Beer

They only brew enough to support themselves, but their beer was voted the best, so demand went through the roof.

Eighth 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).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nice Church I've Never Been To

Holy Family on Chicago's West Side

I've been reading about the life of that parish, and am working on a file at the Yahoo Group about it.

Archdiocese Does Not Get To Nab Cash From Closed Parishes

According to the Vatican, it goes with the parishioners to the new parish they have been merged into.

And the Archdiocese' proposed solution flies in the face of parishioners' canon law rights to be full authorized registered members of the parish of their choice (the parish they have been assigned to by the Archdiocese!). So keeping them from registering with the new parishes won't be sustained.

Effect on Holy Trinity? hard to say. I don't know how much the parish has in funds, probably not much. The compelling motive for closing Holy Trinity is to sell its very valuable Downtown/South End real estate to developers, so that gay "married" couples can pay huge bucks to buy condos in which they may perform various disgusting and sinful acts in what used to be the bastion of the most conservative Catholic church in Greater Boston. And those funds, funds from the sale of real estate, are not covered by this ruling.

Hat tip to Catholic Church Conservation for the link.

Seventh 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).

Actually, I realized this morning that I started this novena one day too early. So what do you do? Pray it an extra day, of course! God and the Blessed Virgin Mary are not sticklers for details like that, ticking off the days on some heavenly abacus, and scowling disapproval over mistakes like that. Besides, it never hurts to pray a novena an extra day.

It particularly does not matter with this type of novena, where the prayers are identical each day. Since there are no special prayers for the individual days, there is no repetition of a day's prayers, and no disruption of the "plan" of the novena, as there would be with, say, the Novena For the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost.

Saint Clare of Assisi

Saint Clare's feast used to be August 12th. This spiritual daughter of Saint Francis shares a birthday with me, July 16th (just about 800 years apart). She founded and led the Poor Clares for 40 years.

She is frequently depicted carrying a monstrance.

O wondrous blessed clarity of Clare!
In life she shone to a few;
after death she shines on the whole world!
On earth she was a clear light;
Now in heaven she is a brilliant sun.

O how great the vehemence of the
brilliance of this clarity!
On earth this light was indeed kept
within cloistered walls,
yet shed abroad its shining rays;
It was confined within a convent cell,
yet spread itself through the wide world.

Pope Innocent IV

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Guess He Really Loved Computer Games

May he rest in peace.

A Soldier's Rosary Returned After 62 Years

Interesting story that began at Dunkirk, and ended next door in Ireland.

Indulgence For WYD Participants

The Holy Father has granted a plenary indulgence for those who attend and actively participate in World Youth Day in Cologne. There is a partial indulgence for those who pray fervently during World Youth Day for an increase in faith among young people.

Link via Papa Ratzi Post.

Looks Fishy To Me

A 79 year-old Monsignor and his 46 year-old secretary.

The evidence seems good, but the question why just keeps popping up.

Link via Annunciations.

Well, You Trash The Pope...

...and you don't get to play World Youth Day.

Sounds like a fair cop to me.

Saint Lawrence

Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence by Agnolo Bronzino, from the Basilica of San Lorenzo (St. Lawrence) in Florence. San Lorenzo became the favored burial place for the Medici dynasty.

Read this short biography of Saint Lawrence.

Sixth 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).

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Deo Gratias!

Space shuttle Discovery landed safely early this morning in California.

New Link Category

The Importance of Being Irish.

Scroll down and check it out.

While I was doing that this morning, I came across some photos of Ennistymon, where my grandmother grew up. Here are a few:

Modern Corpus Christi Procession

The Falls as they looked in my grandparents' day

The post office where my grandfather worked

Graveyard where many Fitzpatricks are buried

Words Fail Me

Michael Schiavo: Florida Guardian Of the Year.

That is just so wrong, so depraved, and so evil that I just can't articulate what I am thinking, nor even process that coherently.

Dymphna's Well heard it first.

Lexington May Have Stood Up To British Redcoats

But today its school authorities refuse to stand up to gay brownshirts.

In fact, they are prosecuting a man who wanted to pull his child out of public school classes in which gay-friendly material was used.

Thanks to Father Ethan over at Diary of a Suburban Priest for the link.

Fifth 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).

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Feast of this great convert and Carmelite martyr.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Requiescat In Pace

ABC News reader Peter Jennings, who has been the primary television news announcer for that network since the 1960s, and was a field reporter before that, died from lung cancer at the age of 67. Requiescat in pace.

Growth of the Traditional Latin Mass In the US

Maps from Una Voce.

Every Sunday traditional Latin indult Masses, 1989

Every Sunday traditional Latin indult Masses, 2005

It has been slow growth,certainly not spectacular, unless one considers the inveterate hostility from the typical chancery rat that the concept has suffered from.

"A-Bombed" Mary

The story behind the surviving bust from a statue of the Immaculate Conception that once adorned Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki.

Link from The Shrine of the Holy Whapping.

All New Churches Are Not Ugly Holiday Inn Function Rooms

All Saints church in Covington, Kentucky is not.

Link from The New Liturgical Movement.

Saint Dominic de Guzman

Founder of the Dominicans. His feast used to be August 4th before they started playing ducks and drakes with traditional feast days (especially at the start of August).

This image of Saint Dominic is very familiar to Recta Ratio regulars, as it is often, though not now, the Homepage image at Recta Ratio The Yahoo Group, and is the lead-in image for the Catholic Publishers set of links on the right. It is by Blessed Fra Angelico, and is a detail from The Mocking of Christ.

Here is what The Golden Legend has to say about Saint Dominic.

Here is a shorter biography.

Here are the 15 promises Our Lady made to Saint Dominic and Blessed Alanus:
1. To all those who recite my Rosary devoutly, I promise my special protection and very great graces.

2. Those who will persevere in the recitation of my Rosary shall receive some signal grace.

3. The Rosary shall be a very powerful armor against hell; it shall destroy vice, deliver from sin, and shall dispel heresy.

4. The Rosary shall make virtue and good works flourish, and shall obtain for souls the most abundant divine mercies; it shall substitute in hearts love of God for love of the world, elevate them to desire heavenly and eternal goods. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!

5. Those who trust themselves to me through the Rosary, shall not perish.

6. Those who will recite my Rosary piously, considering its Mysteries, shall not be overwhelmed by misfortune nor die a bad death. The sinner shall be converted; the just shall grow in grace and become worthy of eternal life.

7. Those truly devoted to my Rosary shall not die without the consolations of the Church, or without grace.

8. Those who will recite my Rosary shall find during their life and at their death the light of God, the fullness of His grace, and shall share in the merits of the blessed.

9. I will deliver very promptly from purgatory the souls devoted to my Rosary.

10. The true children of my Rosary shall enjoy great glory in heaven.

11. What you ask through my Rosary, you shall obtain.

12. Those who propagate my Rosary shall obtain through me aid in all their necessities.

13. I have obtained from my son that all the confreres of the Rosary shall have for their brethren in life and death the saints of heaven.

14. Those who recite my Rosary faithfully are all my beloved children, the brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ.

15. Devotion to my Rosary is a special sign of predestination.

I Have A Foot In Both Camps

George Sim Johnston's excellent Living Vatican II is reprinted at Pontifications.

Yes, there were problems in the Church well before the Council. In Ann Taves', Household Of Faith, there was mention of a group of almost-renegade 19th century priests in New York who wanted vernacular Masses and an end to direction from Rome on "discipline" (meaning not defrocking of priests, but the form of devotions). The worst concentration of perverts to graduate from Boston's St. John's Seminary was contained in the Class of 1960, before the Council. The "non serviam" that Johnston mentions did not come from thin air on the day the Council's documents were made public. It had been festering in the hearts of all those who owed the world their primary allegiance, not the Church.

I am of the belief that the Council's motivation was good, its prescriptions also good, but that the implementation, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, was terrible and incredibly destructive. The fact that so many of the people who implemented the Council's guidance were ill-catechized (to be charitable) or ill-motivated and actually harbored a hatred for the Church (to be frank)resulted in the deluge of catastrophe that has followed.

That leaves me neither an enemy of Vatican II, nor a fan of the way things have worked out. It leaves me loving the traditional Latin Mass, but not hating the Novus Ordo Mass. It leaves me loving traditional devotions, but only grinding my teeth lightly when children come up and throng the altar during Mass, or when women read the First and Second Readings. I therefore have a foot in both camps. It leaves me saying both ways are valid, though I life the "feel" of the old ways better. I personally get more out of them.

Financial Disclosure Bill

The state legislature is considering a bill, one that has a lot of liberal Democrat support (well, it wouldn't get anywhere in the Massachusetts State House without that, would it?), that would require the Archdiocese and other denominations to annually report on its finances and owned real estate.

I can't say that I have much enthusiasm for the bill, though with the Archdiocese preparing to close down Holy Trinity (which would probably spell the eventual end of the Indult Mass community), I have no objection to slapping the chancery around a little. A shot across the bow just now might be a great idea. The goal is to save Holy Trinity and keep the traditional Latin Mass there: nothing more, and nothing less. If it can be done by caressing the Archdiocese, I favor that. If it can only be done by pummelling the Archdiocese, I favor that. And if it can be accomplished by a combination of slapping the Archdiocese around and caressing it, I favor that, too.

But I don't like the precedent of greater state involvement in the affairs of the Church (unless it comes with concomitant greater Church involvement in the way society and law function). On the whole, I'd rather see the Church control the state (or at least the lawmakers), especially with regard to abortion, euthanasia, gay "marriage," divorce, and stem cell research, than see the state control the Church, as some in Canada are proposing.

Fourth 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).

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sox Holding 3.5 Game Lead In AL East

Both the Red Sox and Yankees won today.

Sunday Lectio: From Saint Josemaria Escriva's The Way

Chapter 3, On Prayer

81 Action is worth nothing without prayer: prayer grows in value with sacrifice.

82 First, prayer; then, atonement; in the third place, very much 'in the third place', action.

83 Prayer is the foundation of the spiritual edifice. Prayer is all-powerful.

84 'Lord, teach us to pray!' — And our Lord replied: 'When you pray, say: Pater noster, qui es in coelis... Our Father who art in heaven...'

What importance we must attach to vocal prayer!

85 Slowly. Consider what you are saying, to whom it is being said and by whom. For that hurried talk, without time for reflection, is just empty noise.

And with Saint Teresa, I will tell you that, however much you work your lips, I do not call it prayer.

86 Your prayer should be liturgical. How I would like to see you using the psalms and prayers from the missal, rather than private prayers of your own choice.

87 'Not by bread alone does man live, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God', said our Lord. Bread and word! Host and prayer.

Otherwise, you will not live a supernatural life.

88 You seek the company of friends who, with their conversation and affection, with their friendship, make the exile of this world more bearable for you. There is nothing wrong with that, although friends sometimes let you down.

But how is it you don't frequent daily with greater intensity the company, the conversation, of the great Friend, who never lets you down?

89 'Mary chose the better part', we read in the holy Gospel. There she is, drinking in the words of the Master. Apparently idle, she is praying and loving. Then she accompanies Jesus in his preaching through towns and villages.

Without prayer, how difficult it is to accompany him!

90 You say that you don't know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and once you have said, 'Lord, I don't know how to pray!' rest assured that you have begun to do so.

91 You write: 'To pray is to talk with God. But about what?' About what? About Him, about yourself: joys, sorrows, successes and failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petitions: and Love and reparation.

In a word: to get to know him and to get to know yourself: 'to get acquainted!'

92 'Et in meditatione mea exardescit ignis. And in my meditation a fire shall flame out.' That is why you go to pray: to become a bonfire, a living flame giving heat and light.

So, when you are not able to go on, when you feel that your fire is dying out, if you cannot throw on it sweet— smelling logs, throw on the branches and twigs of short vocal prayers and ejaculations, to keep the bonfire burning. And you will not have wasted your time.

93 You are so conscious of your misery that you acknowledge yourself unworthy to be heard by God. But, what about the merits of Mary? And the wounds of your Lord? And... are you not a son of God?

Besides, he listens to you quoniam bonus... because he is good, because his mercy endures for ever.

94 He has become so small — you see: a Child-so that you can approach him with confidence.

95 'In te, Domine, speravi: in thee, Lord, have I hoped.' And, with my human resources, I threw my prayer and my cross into the balance. And my hope was not vain, nor ever will be: 'Non confundar in aeternum! I shall never be disappointed!'

96 It is Jesus who speaks: 'Amen I say to you: ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you.'

Pray. In what human venture could you have greater guarantees of success?

97 You don't know what to say to our Lord in your prayer. You can't think of anything, and yet you would like to consult him on many things. Look: make some notes during the day of whatever you want to consider in the presence of God. And then take these notes with you to pray.

98 Next to the prayer of priests and of dedicated virgins, the prayer most pleasing to God is the prayer of children and that of the sick.

99 When you go to pray, let this be a firm resolution: Don't prolong your prayer because you find consolation in it or shorten it because you find it dry.

100 Don't tell Jesus that you want consolation in prayer. If he gives it to you, thank him. Tell him always that you want perseverance.

101 Persevere in prayer. Persevere, even when your efforts seem barren. Prayer is always fruitful.

102 Your mind is sluggish: you try to collect your thoughts in God's presence, but it's useless: there's a complete blank.

Don't try to force yourself, and don't worry. Look: such moments are for your heart.

103 Engrave in your memory those words which struck you while praying, and repeat them slowly many times throughout the day.

104 'He spent the whole night in prayer to God.' So Saint Luke tells of our Lord.

And you? How often have you persevered like that? Well, then...

105 If you don't keep in touch with Christ in prayer and in the Bread, how can you make him known to others?

106 I well understand you when you write: 'Every day I do my "few minutes" of prayer; if it weren't for that!...'

107 A saint, without prayer? I don't believe in such sanctity.

108 Plagiarising the words of another writer, I will tell you that your apostolic life is worth what your prayer is worth.

109 If you are not a man of prayer, I don't believe in the sincerity of your intentions when you say that you work for Christ.

110 You have told me sometimes that you are like a clock out of order, which strikes at the wrong moment: you feel cold, dry and arid at the time of your prayer, and on the other hand, when it is least to be expected, in the street, in the midst of your daily activities, in the bustle and hubbub of the city, or in the concentrated calm of your professional work, you find yourself praying... At the wrong moment? Possibly; but don't waste those chimes of your clock. The Spirit breathes where he will.

111 I had to smile at the impatience of your prayer. You were telling him: 'I don't want to grow old, Jesus... To have to wait so long to see you! Then, perhaps I won't have a heart as inflamed as mine is now. "Then" seems too late. Now, my union would be more ardent for I love you now with the pure Love of youth.'

112 I like to see you living that 'ambitious reparation'. The world! you say. — Very good, but first of all, the members of your supernatural family, your own relations, the people of your country.

113 You were saying to him: 'you mustn't trust me. But I..., I do trust you, Jesus. I abandon myself in your arms: there I leave all that is mine, my weaknesses!' And I think it is a good prayer.

114 The prayer of a Christian is never a monologue.

115 'Minutes of silence'. Leave silence for those whose hearts are dry.

We Catholics, children of God, speak with our Father who is in heaven.

116 Don't neglect your spiritual reading. — Reading has made many saints.

117 You write. 'In my spiritual reading I build up a store of fuel. — It looks like a lifeless heap, but I often find that my memory, of its own accord, will draw from it material which fills my prayer with life and inflames my thanksgiving after Communion.'

Just In Time For Back To School Preparation

My selection of Catholic homeschooling resources links is now up.

If you know of other good on-line resources for Catholic homeschoolers, let me know about them.

And no, that post below about the Catholic religion textbook and the "Ten Cuddly Commandments" that Rich Leonardi found had absolutely nothing to do with jogging my memory about getting those links up this weekend as I promised. No. That's not why they appeared for the first time late on Sunday afternoon. Never.

Uh, thanks, Rich.

Down From Mount Sinai Came Barney Prancing, While Holding Tablets Of Nerf

Rich Leonardi discovered the Ten Cuddly Commandments in a 2nd grade Catholic textbook.

The dumbing-down and de-Catholicization of Catholic school kids that I mentioned recently in discussing my own Catholic educational experience continues today.

Dedication of Saint Mary Major Leftover

St. Peter's Helpers has a post with a terrific image of the reliquary containing the wood from the manger of the Nativity, which is housed at Saint Mary Major.

Interesting Exercise In Constitutional Philosophy

But Judge Roberts, like Justices Scalia and Thomas, is an originalist. And since the most Catholic members of the Court are originalists, I think Levinson's theory does not hold water, and is just another way to justify getting a liberal result out of constitutional litigation.

Spin the wheels some more, Professor!

Putting the Claims of the Pius X Society In Their Place

Paul Lew does an excellent job in an exchange with an anonymous SSPXer.

Now I, as most of you know, prefer the "Tridentine" Mass. I love its formality, its sense of the sacred, its sheer beauty. But I only attend under the licit auspices of a diocesan indult Mass (or licit Latin Mass order).

I also do not hate the new Mass. I grew up with it. I intensely dislike some of the abuses I have been subjected to in that rite, and have never met in the traditional Mass. But take away the indult, and I won't be traipsing off to a schismatic chapel. I'll just find the most conservative Novus Ordo Mass I can. In fact, 2-3 weeks out of 4, I attend the Novus Ordo Mass exclusively, and often profit much by it.

As Catholics, obedience is the key virtue we owe to the structure of the Church. That is the attribute lacking in the SSPX and the other splinter groups.

A Virtual Pilgrimage

To World Youth Day.

An interesting idea.

The idea of a virtual pilgrimage is one that I find appealing. One undertakes this sort of thing as a means of deepening faith and understanding, not to gain the indulgences that a real pilgrimage brings.

At Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, I have a section of links that allow the reader to take virtual pilgrimages to various important sites.

You can see the sites of Santiago de Compostela, the Vatican, the Arena Chapel, Knock, the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, the Church of the Nativity, Notre Dame de Paris, Mont St. Michael, Lourdes, Fatima, Chartes, and Exeter Cathedral via my links. I know that, for me, looking at good images is more rewarding, often, than being in the actual place, because of my outrageous myopia. Reading about the site, looking at images of it, and praying prayers associated with the site is, for me, often a more rewarding experience than actually being there. If it is for you, too, join Recta Ratio's Yahoo Group arm and make use of these resources.

Everybody Knows About The New Liturgical Movement Blog

I added it to the links as soon as I knew about it, which is my custom with blogs I like anyway. But in checking out the links from this great new blog, I found a new (to me, anyway) periodical that caught my eye, The Institute For Sacred Architecture.

Precious Blood parish, Los Angeles

Quite nice, though I don't care for the presider's chair being in the center (and that represents an entire revolution in my thought, as the parish I grew up in, Our Lady of the Assumption in Lynnfield, has always had that arrangement, and at one time, when I did not know better, I used to look down my nose at churches that did not have the presider's chair in it's "proper" place behind the altar. When all one has to judge by is the usages and folkways of a single parish, one is liable to fall into serious error.

The Sudarium Of Oviedo

Ignatius Insight Scoop has an interesting interview with Janice Bennett, author of Sacred Blood, Sacred Image: The Sudarium of Oviedo.


Read more about the Sudarium here.

Ender's Game

Check out this review and discussion over at Fiddleback Fever.

I read Ender's Game a few years ago at the behest of a loved one. It was alright, even enjoyable. It wasn't Patrick O'Brian, or even Bernard Cornwell, let alone Evelyn Waugh, but for science fiction, it wasn't bad.

Third 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).

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