Saturday, March 11, 2006

Saturday In the Lenten Embertide (Saturday Of the First Week In Lent)

Station Church: St. Peter in the Vatican

Devotions for a Lenten Saturday Holy Hour:

Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrowful Mysteries

Friday, March 10, 2006

Catholic Charities Will Cease Doing Adoptions

No more adoptions in Massachusetts for Catholic Charities after their contract expires in June.

State law in Massachusetts requires that adoption agencies be willing to play children with couples without discrimination. That means if gay couples want to adopt, they cannot be discriminated against by the agency. Since the Church rightly holds that placement of children in gay households would do them irreperable harm, and there is no getting out of either state law or the teachings of the Church, there was nothing else to do but cease doing adoptions.

I hope that children do not go without finidng adoptive families because of this. But we are never wise to assume that, just because one player in the adoption market is out, that many fewer clients will be served. Presumably other agencies will take up the slack. I doubt seriously that it is really the zero-sum game that critics of the Church contend. Besides which, Catholic Charities was a minor player in the adoption arena anyway.

On the whole, this was the only step that could be taken, assuming that the exemption from state law that the bishops sought was a pipedream. And the leaders of the legislature made it clear that they had the votes to prevent the exemption, though Governor Romney favored it.

Rome/SSPX Reunion: Not If Williamson Has Anything To Say About It

Everyone who thought about the situation knew that Williamson would not be welcoming reunion with Rome. And they were right.

The key to winning over traditionalists is not negotiating with intransigents, but showing genuine love and respect for the traditional Latin Mass and other traditional devotions. The Holy Father ought not to either let Cardinal Arinze and the "the Latin Mass people already have everything they are entitled to" crowd prevail, nor tie the fate of a Latin Mass personal prelature (or apostolic administration) to the negotiations with the SSPX.

I have said it before that the excommunications ought to be unilaterally lifted as a matter of charity on the part of the Holy See. Maybe there is still time to rescue the soul of Archbishop Lefebvre.

Next, by all means, promulgate a wider indult, giving any priest anywhere, anytime the right to say the traditional Latin Mass. Take pains that the Latin Mass will indeed be more widely available throughout the developed world. Mandate that every diocese in the developed world designate at least one parish devoted to the Latin Mass. We won't count the undeveloped world yet, for practical reasons like shortages of priests and appropriate facilities. The parish must be generally convenient and have parking/access to public transportation, and the church building be big enough to house a growing congregation. No airport chapels or little inconvenient nooks in church basements.

Then establish the personal prelature with priests from the FSSP, CRNJ, ICKSP and other licit Latin Mass orders staffing it. This would become the arbiter of disputes between local prelates and the faithful with regard to the Latin Mass. Put a Cardinal with clout and favorable to the Latin Mass in charge.

Make the traditional Latin Mass so widely available, along with the full panoply of traditional devotions, that only the most wild-eyed die-hards and sedevacantists will cling to the leadership of the SSPX. In other words, take their membership base away from them, and don't let liberal local bishops like Tod Brown and Sean O'Malley get in the way. Let the SSPX wither on the vine. Let them become leaders whose flocks are back in communion with Rome.

The FSSP Turns 18 Soon

And they have published some data that shows just how much the traditional Latin Mass is loved by the young:

· Total: 300
· Priests: 180
· Deacons: 13
· Seminarians: 107
· Members’ average age: 33 years(my emphasis)
· Deceased members: 4

They started with just 12 members in 1988.

The Image Of Pity

The devotion to the Image of Pity (sometimes also called the Man of Sorrows) was very popular in England before the Reformation.

We see Our Lord out of His tomb, and surrounded by the Instruments of the Passion.

There is a rubric indicating that saying certain prayers while prayerfully gazing upon the Image of Pity, was indulgenced. You will notice the scratching out. The part that is most heavily effaced is that which prescribes the particular indulgence. Much more lightly effaced is the type of prayers to be said. This effacing was part of the protestant rebellion, and indicated, according to historian Eamon Duffy in The Stripping of the Altars, local resistance to the "reforming" decrees.

The local priests were to destroy such images. But most just drew a light line through the rubrics, leaving the image as an object of devotion. When pressed by officials to do more, they made the indulgence illegible. The calculation going on was that young King Edward, under whom most of this iconoclasm happened, was a sickly child and would soon be replaced on the throne by his older sister, the staunchly Catholic Princess Mary. Unfortunately, Queen Mary only reigned 5 years or so and did not produce a Catholic heir, and was replaced by her protestant sister Elizabeth.

This image would make a great Lenten activity for young children. What is this item? Why is it significant? Here is a second version of the image, with descriptions of the items, and the rubric visible.

You will notice that the indulgence is a very generous 32,755 years. Very generous indeed for 5 Paters, 5 Aves, and a Credo (Just once? On a Lenten Friday?) while gazing devoutly on the image. But not very optimistic about the average sentence in Purgatory, is it?

88 More Pervert Priest Claims Settled Here In Boston

The cost, though still unacceptably high, is lower than the last one.

So what are we going to sell to pay off this settlement, Holy Cross Cathedral? Maybe some of our Catholic cemeteries?

And yet, there are still 100 suits pending.

New Allegations Going Right To the Top Of the Church In the US

On one hand, a woman has filed a sex abuse claim against Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane, who happens to be president of the US Bishops' Conference. It allegedly happened 40 years ago. I guess my only surprise is that the accuser is female.

Meanwhile, Father Robert Hoatson, a New Jersey priest in conflict with Cardinal Egan and other Church leaders over pervert priest cover-ups, has filed a lawsuit and among the pleadings is an allegation from Father Hoatson that Egan is "actively homosexual," and that Father Hoatson has personal knowledge of this. His suit also names two other top Catholic clerics in the region as actively gay: Albany's Bishop Howard Hubbard and Newark's Archbishop John Myers.

Hubbard I would believe without much prompting, given his pattern of behavior over the last few years.

Maybe what the Church in the US needs is a complete mucking out of the ranks of our bishops, replacing them with new, younger, more orthodox priests, priests not products of US seminaries from the period 1955-1990. Maybe then, things will get better.

I don't know if our Holy Father actually intended, in his Stations of the Cross meditations of last year (which I notice have now been published as a book), when he spoke of the "filth" that needed to be cleansed from the Church, to make American Catholics automatically think of their bishops, the USCCB, and the staff of a great many chanceries. But I know I do.

In fact, the Holy Father has himself to blame in part, with the recent promotions in San Francisco and Reno. Neither of the bishops elevated to these sees seem to be in the JPII/B16 mold of orthodox, hard-nosed bishops. In fact, the Church in the US is quite heavily laden with worthless bishops, bishops who take their cues from the culture rather than from Rome. Take Cardinal George, Archbishops Burke and Chaput, Bishops Bruskewitz, Olmstead, and Vasa, and maybe a few others to one side. Herd the rest onto a barge, tow it into very deep water (the surface of the Marianas Trench would do nicely), and sink it, and the Church will be much better off.

The Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine

If I place before Thine eyes, O Lord,
My sins and the wounds I have received,
The less I suffer
and the greater I merit.

I feel the punishment for sin,
Yet I do not shun my obstinacy in sinning.

My fragile nature is shattered by Thy scourges,
Yet my evil ways remain unchanged.

My sick mind is wrenched,
Yet my stiff neck is not bent.

My life sighs in pain, and
Yet it does not amend itself.

If Thou waiteth, I do not reform,
If Thou punisheth, I do not last.

When accused, I admit what I have done,
Yet when punished, I forget.

If Thou punisheth me, I make promises.
If Thou holdeth back the sword, I do not carry out my promises.

If Thou striketh me, I cry out that Thou might spare me;
If Thou sparest me, I again provoke Thee to strike me.

If difficulties come, I ask for a time for repentance.
If mercy comes to my aid, I abuse the patience which has spared me.

Even when my wounds are scarcely healed,
My ungrateful mind forgets.

If Thou hearest me quickly, I become haughty from Thy mercy.
If Thou art slow, I complain out of impatience.

I am willing to serve Thee because of what Thou hast done,
Yet I do not fear to neglect what Thou wouldst have me do.

Thou hast in Thy power, O Lord, this guilty wretch who has confessed;
Be merciful, for Thou art kind and loving.

I know that, unless Thou forgiveth me, Thou shalt justly punish me.
But with Thee is much pity and abundant forgiveness.

Grant, without any merit on my part, what I ask,
O Thou, who hast made from nothing him who asks Thee.

Have mercy on me crying out to Thee, O Lord.
May my faithful and tearful voice stir up Thy mercy.

May that forgiveness not consider that I have sinned,
But may it reflect on the fact I am asking.

Since it is a great misery that I am accused,
May the fact that I am miserable make Thy mercy the greater.

I beg Thine help,
And before Thee I place the evils and sorrows of my crimes.

By my prayers I seek Thy mercy,
The very mercy which I have spurned by my sins.

Raise me up in Thy mercy, o Lord my God,
so that in the fellowship of salvation and the joy of charity,
While I long to be saved,
I may rejoice in the faith and peace of all the nations.

Through Christ our Lord,

Friday In the Lenten Embertide (Friday of the Fist Week Of Lent)

Station Church: Ss. XII Apostoli al Foro Traiano

Devotions for a Lenten Friday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotions To the Holy Cross
Stations of the Cross

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Today Is Not An Ember Day

Thursday never is, because of the institution of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Maundy Thursday.

Prayer Request

I mentioned some time ago my friend Jerry, who had first an angioplasty, then a triple by-pass. Please keep him in your prayers as, ten days post by-pass he remains in a coma.

Thursday Of the First Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Lorenzo in Panisperna

Devotions For A Lenten Thursday Holy Hour:

Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion To the Holy Face

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Long Live South Dakota's Abortion Ban!

And may it ultimately prevail!

Though I am sure that it is even as I type, being enjoined by a federal district court.

The Office of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Our fellow Evil Traditionalists the Traditional Radishes have it up.

Life Site News Is Quite Right

Gay priests love Brokeback Mountain, and praise for the gay propaganda film is almost an act of self-outing.

Watch your priest's comments on this film very carefully. If he has anything positive to say about the story line, there is a fair chance anything he has to say about sexual morality is absolutely worthless.

The Church In Ireland Has An Abuse Problem

But it is hard to quantify exactly what we are talking about, because the report speaks of abuse, which includes both illicit sexual contact with children, and physical abuse, which could mean spanking or other corporal punishment.

Now I am a whole-hearted supporter of corporal punishment for children. And seeing it lumped in with homosexual predation on teenagers is not only unhelpful, but dangerous and incredibly misleading. They are two different problems. In fact, one is not a problem at all, unless the discipline gets out of hand. But effete modern European sensibilities classify something as wholesome and necessary as spanking as "abuse."

For all those "physically abusive" Irish priests who disciplined kids seemingly harshly over the years, I say, "Good work, Fathers." But to those who had sexual contact with young boys, "Better for you had you never been born."

I Think Winter's Back Has Finally Broken

Check out our forecast for the rest of the week.

Sixty degrees! Yahooooo!!!!! Break out the suntan lotion, baby!

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage Images

Today, as the Lenten embertide begins, we are keeping it close to home on "Catholic Cultural Heritage Images". In fact, we are just going to Boston's South End to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. This cathedral has been the scene of many moving moments in Boston history, including the funerals of the Boston firefighters killed in the Hotel Vendome fire of the 1970s, and that of Rose Kennedy. It has also been the scene of protests galore, protests of people angry about pervert priests and how they were handled, protests by people ticked off about their parishes being summarily closed by the Archdiocese, and so on.

Holy Cross Cathedral was finished in 1875 and was designed by Patrick Keely, the same architect who designed Holy Trinity (German) church, the beloved home of Boston's Latin Mass community (which is indeed only 5-6 blocks away and is inside the territorial boundaries of the Cathedral parish).

What the Cathedral looked like before it lost its spire.

What it looks like today

The Sanctuary with reredos

Holy Cross is not a giant cathedral, but it suits Boston quite well.

The organ and choir loft

And now, the real reason for the tour, the Cathedral's stained glass, most of which was the product of a German studio c. 1880.

Holy Family, St. Elizabeth, and St. John the Baptist

Exaltation of the True Cross

Saint John the Baptist

St. John the Evangelist

Our Lady of Mercy

St. James the Greater

Triptych of Saint Venantius Fortunatus, who composed the Vexilla Regis. Product of an American studio, c. 1940, a replacement for one of the original windows.

Saint Thomas a Becket

Saint Edward the Confessor

Saint Mary Magdalene

Triptych of Our Lady, the Holy Family, and the Coronation of Our Lady, another 1940s replacement for one of the original windows. Obviously, with World War II raging, even if the original German firm that supplied the stained glass in 1880 was still in business, it was not producing stained glass for the American market

Saint Agnes

Saint Patrick, patron of the Archdiocese of Boston

Discovery of the True Cross, another American window of the 1940s.

Saint Michael the Archangel

Saint Francis de Sales

Saint Vincent de Paul

Saint Rose of Lima

Saint Gregory the Wonder Worker

Rose window featuring King David composing the Psalms

Saint John of God

A patron of booksellers, bookbinders, printers, publishers, heart patients, nurses, and alcoholics.

Here is a brief biography of Saint John of God.

Saint John of God, help us to act out of love as soon as we feel the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Help us learn to fight the little voices in our heads and hearts that give us all sorts of practical reasons to wait or delay in our service of God. Amen.

Wednesday In the Lenten Embertide (Wednesday of the First Week of Lent)

It is the Lenten embertide, probably the most solemn period of penitence until Holy Week itself. In embertide, which occurs four times per year (the week of Gaudete Sunday in Advent, the week after Ash Wednesday in Lent, the week of Pentecost, and the week after the Exaltation of the True Cross in September) the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are set aside as special days of prayer, fasting, abstinence, and almsgiving.

Station Church: Saint Mary Major

Devotions For a Lenten Wednesday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms & the prayers against the Seven Deadly Sins
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer
Seven Prayers of St. Gregory

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Fault Lies Not In Our Stars, But In Our Hyperlinks That We Are B-Teamers, Amateur Catholics

Check out Amateur Catholics. You are probably one. Der Tommissar, Rick Lugari, Julie Davis, and I have the taken the grocery bags off our heads and admitted we are such utterly unnoticeable bloggers that we don't even do public appearances, or get offered writing assignments. You are probably in the same category, assuming you even have a blog.

The Amateur Catholics, the B-Team, the many, the sore-fingered, the insignificant.

Requiescant In Pace

Today I learned of the deaths of two, to me, tragically young people. Former Minnesota Twins player Kirby Puckett, who I recall as one of the real gentlemen of the game of baseball, died of a stroke at age 44. And lung cancer has claimed Dana Reeve, the widow of Christopher Reeve, who was also 44. Requiescant in pace.

Tuesday Of the First Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Anastasia (S. Teodoro) al Palatino

Devotions for a Lenten Tuesday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Seven Last Words

Monday, March 06, 2006

Follow-Up On the "Channel 5 Catholic Charities Rebellion"

Father Carr connects more dots.

Liberal "Tolerance" In Orange Diocese

Bishop Brown first quashed the Latin Mass at this parish, now he is, through the administrator of the parish, telling the conservative parishioners to leave the parish and the diocese.

Bishop Tod Brown was very tolerant of priests who possessed child pornography or were living with homosexual lovers. And he has no tolerance for traditional Catholicism. Maybe this would be a good case for Vatican intervention. Bishop Brown ought to step down, or be ordered to. The Catholic Church does not need or deserve "leaders" like him.

Supreme Pontifical Smackdown Coming

(Let us hope).

For the NeoCatechumenals' refusal to obey the Holy Father's clear orders regarding how they should distribute Holy Communion.

What the ...?

Alistair Cooke's body sold for its tissue.

That such a thing should happen to such a kindly, trenchant man!

Monday Of the First Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Pietro in Vincoli al Colle Oppio

Devotions for a Lenten Monday Holy Hour
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Five Sacred Wounds

Note: This is the Lenten Ember Week. Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday are Ember Days.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The Boston Catholic Men's Conference

Check in with Dom who was there for the details.

Dom Gueranger On The First Sunday Of Lent

Lent solemnly opens today. We have already noticed that the four preceding days were added since the time of St. Gregory the Great, in order to make up forty days of fasting. Neither can we look upon Ash Wednesday as the solemn opening of the season; for the faithful are not bound to hear Mass on that day. The holy Church, seeing her children now assembled together, speaks to them, in her Office of Matins, these eloquent and noble words of St. Leo the Great: "Having to announce to you, dearly beloved, the most sacred and chief fast, how can I more appropriately begin, than with the words of the Apostle, in whom Christ Himself spoke, and by saying to you what has just been read: Behold! now is the acceptable time; behold! now is the day of salvation. For although there be no time which is not replete with divine gifts, and we may always, by God's grace, have access to His mercy, yet ought we all to redouble our efforts to make spiritual progress and be animated with unusual confidence, now that the anniversary of the day of our redemption is approaching, inviting us to devote ourselves to every good work, that so we may celebrate, with purity of body and mind, the incomparable mystery of our Lord's Passion.

"It is true that our devotion and reverence towards so great a mystery should be kept up during the whole year, and we ourselves should be at all times, in the eyes of God, the same as we are bound to be as we are bound to be at the Easter solemnity. But this is an effort which only few among us have the courage to sustain. The weakness of the flesh induces us to relax our austerities; the various occupations of everyday life take up our thoughts; and thus even the virtuous find their hearts clogged by this world's dust. Hence it is that our Lord has most providentially given us these forty days, whose holy exercises should be to us a remedy, whereby to regain our purity of soul. The good works and the holy fastings of this season were instituted as an atonement for, and an obliteration of, the sins we commit during the rest of the year.

"Now, therefore, that we are about to enter upon these days, which are so full of mystery, and which were instituted for the holy purpose of purifying both soul and body, let us, dearly beloved, be careful to do as the Apostle bids us, and cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit: that thus the combat between the two substances being made less fierce, the soul, which, when she herself is subject to God, ought to be the ruler of the body, will recover her own dignity and position. Let us avoid giving offense to any man, so that there be none to blame or speak evil things of us. For we deserve the harsh remarks of infidels, and we provoke the tongues of the wicked to blaspheme religion, when we who fast lead unholy lives. For our fast does not consist in the mere abstinence from food; nor is it of much use to deny food to our body, unless we restrain the soul from sin."

Each Sunday of Lent offers to our consideration a passage from the Gospel, which is in keeping with the sentiments wherewith the Church would have us be filled. Today she brings before us the temptation of our Lord in the desert. What light and encouragement there is in this instruction!

We acknowledge ourselves to be sinners; we are engaged, at this very time, in doing penance for the sins we have committed-but how was it that we fell into sin? The devil tempted us; we did not reject the temptation; then we yielded to the suggestion, and the sin was committed. This is the history of our past; and such it would, also, be for the future, were we not to profit by the lesson given us today by our Redeemer.

When the Apostle speaks of the wonderful mercy shown us by our divine Saviour, who vouchsafed to make Himself like us in all things save sin, He justly lays stress on His temptations (cf. Heb. 4:15). He, who is very God, humbled Himself even so low as this, to prove how tenderly He compassionated us. Here, then, we have the Saint of saints allowing the wicked spirit to approach Him, in order that we might learn from His example, how we are to gain victory under temptation.

Satan has had his eye upon Jesus; he is troubled at beholding such matchless virtue. The wonderful circumstances of His birth; the shepherds called by angels to His crib, and the Magi guided by the star; the Infant's escape from Herod's plot; the testimony rendered to this new Prophet by John the Baptist: are all these things, which seem so out of keeping with the thirty years spent in obscurity at Nazareth, are a mystery to the infernal serpent, and fill him with apprehension. The ineffable mystery of the Incarnation has been accomplished unknown to him; he never once suspects that the humble Virgin, Mary, is she who was foretold by the prophet Isaisas, as having to bring forth the Emmanuel (Is. 7:14). But he is aware that the time has come, that the last week spoken of to Daniel has begun its course, and that the very pagans are looking towards Judea for a deliverer. He is afraid of this Jesus; he resolves to speak with Him, and elicit from Him some expression which will show Him whether He be or not the Son of God; he will tempt Him to some imperfection or sin, which, should He commit it, will prove that the object of so much fear is, after all, but a mortal man.

The enemy of God and men is, of course, disappointed. He approaches Jesus; but all his efforts turn only to his own confusion. Our Redeemer, with all the self-possession and easy majesty of a God-Man, repels the attacks of Satan; but He reveals not His heavenly origin. The wicked spirit retires without having made any discovery beyond this-that Jesus is a prophet, faithful to God. Later on, when he sees the Son of God treated with contempt, calumniated and persecuted; when he finds that his own attempts to have Him put to death are so successful; his pride and his blindness will be at their height; and not till Jesus expires on the cross, will he learn that his victim was not merely Man, but Man and God. Then he will discover how all his plots against Jesus have but served to manifest, in all their beauty, the mercy and justice of God: His mercy, because He saved mankind; and His justice, because He broke the power of hell forever.

Joan Vennochi Asks If Liberals Should Leave the Catholic Church

The better question is whether liberals ought to put their eternal salvation, which can only come through Holy Mother the Church in jeapordy because of their secular political idealogy.

Maybe instead of leaving the Church, they ought to re-think the assumptions on which they have formed their secular idealogy, and do what many thousands from Ronald Reagan to David Horowitz have done: become conservative, at least so far as absolutely required by the dogma of the Church. That impacts abortion, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research, gay "marriage," gay adoptions, gay civil unions (or any civil unions short of marriage), the acceptability of the gay lifestyle generally, divorce, re-marriage after divorce (without even the very thin fig leaf of an ecclesiastical annulment) more-than-two-party "marriages," fornication, pornography, as well as women in the priesthood/diaconate. In other words, they need to jettison the baggage of the feminist and sexual revolutions of the mid-20th century.

First Sunday Of Lent

Station Church:
St. John Lateran

Devotions For a Lenten Sunday Holy Hour
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Psalter of St. Jerome
Threnus Prayer of St. Augustine

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?