Saturday, July 22, 2006
Friday, July 21, 2006
Now for the eye candy.
Wouldn't that look nice in your parish sanctuary?
I like this tabernacle
But there is something nice about this simpler one with adoring angels, too.
This simple crucifix would look nice above your parish's protestant communion table, I mean altar
I like it when our Lord is properly housed for adoration in a splendid monstrance
This altar from Our Lady of Walshingham in Houston is one of theirs.
Why not dress Father up a bit?
OK, that might have been going a little far, as that chasuble is only proper for a bishop who belongs to Opus Dei. But how about a nice simple Gothic chasuble?
And Father "Peregrinator" our favorite new Anglican-use Catholic, once an Anglican minister now on the way to being ordained an Anglican-Use Catholic priest, has had his son Jude Ambrose Josemaria baptized. With Jude, Ambrose and Josemaria as patrons, how can the kid go wrong?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
OK all you whinny--ss crybabies who keep saying the Republican Party does nothing but betray Catholic voters. President Bush has fashioned the original embryonic stem cell policy, appointed two good and conservative Catholics to the Supreme Court, and stood against the prevailing zeitgeist to veto this bill.
The GOP has put up. Now you shut up. Go somewhere else and live out your ridiculous monarchist or multi-party fantasies.
This is the real world. Here, politics is the art of the possible.
When you are offered a choice between two evils, you choose the lesser.
You don't fix it unless it is broken.
And you never let the "perfect" be the enemy of the good.
The entirely satanic Democrats will win, or the usually moronic but occasionally virtuous Republicans will win. No one else will win. Ever. Voting for anyone but the Republican nominee is just as bad as voting for a Democrat.
And the party that wins the White House sets the tone for national policy across the board. And picks all the justices of the Supreme Court and lower federal courts as vacancies occur.
And if any serious Catholic is considering a vote for anyone other than George Allen or Sam Brownback (as things stand right now) in the 2008 primaries, time to get your head examined. Neither McCain nor Guiliani is acceptable when measured against other Republicans. But, in a general election against the likes of a Kerry or a Hilary or a Gore in 2008, I would even hold my nose and hope that they would owe conservatives enough after they win to throw us a bone in the form of that one more Supreme Court vote we need to overturn Roe v. Wade.
And if you are even thinking of voting Democrat, go see a good priest, or better yet, an exorcist, as you are being haunted by the ghost of FDR. The 1940s are sooooo over.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
I think I ought to bring everyone up to date with some background. Apologies to those who are very familiar with the situation. Holy Trinity is technically a German national parish, not a territorial parish. The part of Boston's South end neighborhood where it is located was once home to a thriving German community. But that is gone. There are hardly and Germans left there. Just about the only reminders of those days there are Holy Trinity and Jacob Wirth's German restaurant a few blocks away.
After our late Holy Father Pope John Paul II issued the Ecclesia Dei indult in 1988, Boston's Cardinal Law was fairly quick to comply, and the next year, Holy Trinity, which I understand had been closed, was re-opened with a German/English Novus Ordo Mass on Sunday morning at 10:30, and the Tridentine indult Mass at noon. Slowly, the Latin Mass community grew and gained additonal rights, such as having requiems said, and a CCD program for the many younger families attracted to the Latin Mass. Typically, the Latin Mass is attended by 200-250 people every Sunday, while the German Mass draws some 30-50. Technically, the German community, which commutes from areas around Greater Boston, and from further away, like the Latin Mass community, is the host to the Latin Mass community, but both communities co-exist on very good terms and share control of the parish very cordially.
The parish is administered by the same priest who is the administrator at St. James, an Asian parish located in Chinatown. There is currently no pastor. Technically, Holy Trinity falls within the territorial boundary of Holy Cross Cathedral parish.
Holy Trinity was not originally on the list of parishes to be closed chosen by the downtown cluster. St. James was. When the Archdiocese released its list of parishes to be closed in 2004, suddenly Holy Trinity was on the list, and St. James was not.
Holy Trinity houses two programs for the homeless. In the basement, called the Cardinal Medieros Center, there is a day shelter for homeless people over age 45, with programs, meals, and social services conducted there. This is a vulnerable population of older homeless people, who are much safer in this environment than they would be at St. Francis House, the main day-shelter in downtown, run by the Franciscans from Arch Street's St. Anthony's Shrine. St. Francis House is notorious for random violence and drug trafficking. The second homeless program at Holy Trinity is Bridge Over Troubled Waters, a residential program for troubled youth. It is housed in the former rectory of Holy Trinity.
Originally, the parish was slated to close and the Latin Mass move to the Asian St. James parish in Chinatown, a few blocks away. There are numerous problems with that. Holy Trinity is a commuter parish, with people coming from all over New England to attend its Latin Mass every Sunday, and St. James has almost no parking. Also, the internal liturgical design of St. James is not suitable for the traditional Latin Mass. In addition, St. James has made it clear that the magnificent Latin scholae of Holy Trinity will not be welcome at St. James, thus practically ending the High Mass of the Latin community. While St. James might be knuckled into accepting the Latin scholae by the administrator or the Archdiocese, this stance is indicative that they are not willing hosts, and that the relationship will not work.
Holy Trinity is financially stable, with near or over $200,000 in the bank, and no debt to the Archdiocese or elsewhere. Over 200 people come each week (especially from September to June) for the Latin Mass. Unfortunately, it sits on very valuable real estate, real estate adjoining property owned by business cronies of the former administrator. It was discovered recently that the financial state of Holy Trinity had been talked down by that administrator through accounting $176,000 that belonged to Holy Trinity to St. James, making Holy Trinity look weaker, and St. James look stronger. Recently, that Administrator retired when these financial revelations came to light, and another senior priest living at St. James was named administrator of both parishes.
Holy Trinity was scheduled to close in June of 2005, then in December 2005, then no closing date was named. The reason for these extensions was not the vibrant Latin Mass community, but that the two social services there could not, and cannot, find alternative locations. In December, the financial revelations became public, and the idea of closing Holy Trinity seems to have been put on hold.
Bishop Lennon, former head of the Boston Curia and now Bishop of Cleveland, was no friend to the Latin Mass community, and seems to have been instrumental, along with the former administrator, in getting Holy Trinity on the list of parishes to be closed. Now, Father Erickson has assumed the role of Head of the Boston Curia, and his views on the Latin Mass are not known.
Recently, the Archdiocese's Parish Reconfiguration site had said that "No further parish closings in 2006 were anticipated." Once that was noted in the press, the sentence was withdrawn. Now the Archdiocesan spokesman says that closing of Holy Trinity is not imminent, and that things will stay the way they are for some time. Holy Trinity is planning its Christmas Masses and the 2006-2007 CCD schedule.
I'm guessing that a number of things are happening here. First Father Erickson is settling into his new job and wants to get his bearings before making any hard and fast recommendations to the Cardinal. Secondly, the Archdiocese has been publically held up to national, even international scorn because of the atrocious manner in which Reconfiguration has been done here. Third, even the Vatican has slapped the Archdiocese around on more than one occasion regarding the process of closing parishes. Fourth, the social services closing because the parish is closing would be another black eye for the Archdiocese. And finally, it is likely that Cardinal O'Malley is at least as well informed regarding what the Holy Father has in mind for the Latin Mass as we are, and is putting off making a decision on Holy Trinity until the Holy Father goes public with something for the Latin Mass community worldwide. Cardinal O'Malley is a shrewd fellow, and doubtless doesn't want to close down his Latin Mass parish just at the time when the Holy Father grants a general indult or demands all bishops to give full and generous scope to the traditional Mass. That wouldn't look good and would not be received well in Rome.
So please continue to pray for Holy Trinity. It is the perfect location for Boston's Latin Mass, and I hope and pray that it remains the home of the Boston Latin Mass community forever.
For those of you not familiar with Monsignor Benson, he was an Anglican minister, and the son of the Archbishop of Caterbury, and his conversion to Holy Mother the Church caused quite a stir in the early 20th century. He was a fine writer, and died all too young.
Last summer, I read his Come Rack! Come Rope! about Catholics trying to have Mass said and priests trying to evade the spies of Queen Elizabeth and ultimately dying for the Faith during the penal days in England. I found it moving and not at all stilted, as one might expect from an Edwardian novelist. It is a wonderful read full of priest-holes and traitors and grisly executions. And Neumann Press has it in a beautiful edition.
Strictly speaking, Lectio Divina should be reading of the Holy Scriptures. But current monastic practice has strayed rather far from that, including even non-Catholic, even pagan/New Age/Buddhist/Hindu writings as Lectio! I think the writings I have selected as Lectio Divina are entirely more edifying and more wholesomely Catholic than what is being read in many, if not most "Catholic" monasteries and convents today.
And all the lectio selections I link to are on-line editions, not links to where you can buy the book. So if you are into reading devotional classics on line, my lectio links are the place for you.
This is what the Pater Noster sounded like when it came out of Our Lord's mouth.
Our Father in heaven,
Holy is Thy name.
Thy Kingdom is coming,
Thy will is being done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Af bara hav lan lakma dsoonkanan.
Give us bread for our needs day by day.
Yamana washbook lan
Forgive us our offenses
kavine aykana daf.
as we have forgiven our offenders.
Hanan shabookan lhayavine oolow talahn lanesyana.
Do not let us enter into temptation.
Ela fatsan men beesha
Deliver us from error.
From: Fr. Dale A. Johnson
Monday, July 17, 2006
Now that I have reached this advanced age, the challenge for the next two days is to keep cool, as Boston is supposed to record utterly ridiculous levels of heat and humidity until we get a break on Wednesday. It may reach the mid-90s, with Real Feel temperatures topping 100 today and tomorrow. Nothing but nasty, there.
Check out what I have written about these holy ladies whose bloody executions shocked France briefly into sanity, and follow the link to what John of The Inn At the End of the World had to say about them, too.
While we are on the subject of the French Revolution, check out this brief article on the faith of the martyred Queen of France, Marie Antoinette.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
From The Liturgical Year, by Abbott Prosper Gueranger, OSB.
The Office for the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, which began yesterday evening, reminded us, in its Magnificat antiphon, of a repentance which has never had an equal. David, the royal prophet, the conqueror of Goliath, himself conquered by sensuality, and from adulterer become a murderer, at last felt the crushing weight of his double crime, and exclaimed: I do beseech thee, O Lord, take away the iniquity of thy servant, for I have done foolishly! 1 Sin is always a folly and a weakness, no matter of what kind it may be, or who he be that commits it. The rebel angel, and fallen man, may, in their pride, make efforts to persuade themselves that, when they sinned, they did not act as fools, and were not weak; but all their efforts are vain; sin must ever have this disgrace upon it, that it is folly and weakness, for it is a revolt against God, a contempt for His law, a mad act of the creature, who, being made by his Creator to attain infinite happiness and glory, prefers to debase himself by turning towards nothingness, and then falls even lower than the nothingness from which he was taken. It is, however, a folly that is voluntary, and a weakness that has no excuse; for, although the creature have nothing of his own but darkness and misery, yet his infinitely merciful Creator, by means of His grace, which is never, wanting, puts within that creature's reach divine strength and light. It is so with even the sinner that has been the least liberally gifted; he has no reason that can justify his offences. But when he that sins is a creature who has been laden with God's gifts, and, by His divine generosity, been raised higher than others in the order of grace, oh! then the offence he commits against his benefactor is an injury that has no name. Let this be remembered by those who, like David, could say that their God has multiplied His magnificence over them. 2 They may, perhaps, have been led by Him into high paths which are reserved for the favoured few, and may have reached the heights of divine union: yet must they be on their guard; no one who has still to carry with him the burden of a mortal body of flesh is safe, unless by exercising a ceaseless vigilance. On the mountains, as on the plains and in the valleys, at all times and in all places, a fall is possible; but when it is on those lofty peaks which, in this land of exile, seem bordering on heaven, and but one step from the entrance into the powers of the Lord,3 what a terrific fall when the foot slips there! The yawning precipices which that soul had avoided on her ascent are now all open to engulf her; abyss after abyss of crime she rushes into, and with a violence of passion that terrifies even them that have long been nothing but wickedness.
Poor fallen soul! pride, like that of satan, will now try to keep her obstinately fixed in her crimes: but, from the depths into which she has fallen, let her, like David, send forth the cry of humility; let her lament her abominations; let her not be afraid to look up, through her tears, at those glorious heights which were once her abode?an anticipated heaven. Without further delay, let her imitate the royal penitent, and say with him: I have sinned against the Lord!? and she will hear the same answer that he did: The Lord hath taken away thy sin; thou shalt not die; 4 and as with David, so also with her, God may still do grand things in her. David, when innocent, was a faithful image of Christ, who was the object of the love of both heaven and earth; David, sinner but penitent, was still the figure of the Man-God, as laden with the sins of the whole world, and bearing on His single self the merciful and just vengeance of His offended Father.
In the Mass of this Sunday, which they call the sixth of Saint Matthew, the Greeks read the account of the cure of the paralytic, which is related in the ninth chapter of that evangelist. The preceding chapter, with its episode of the centurion and the two possessed, had furnished them with the Gospels for their fourth and fifth Sundays.
It is difficult to see what connexion there is between the Mass and the Office of this Sunday, as they are at present arranged. Honorius of Autun and Durandus applied the Introit and the other sung portions which follow, to the inauguration of Solomon's reign. At the period when those two writers lived, 5 the Scripture lessons for this Sunday were taken from the first pages of the second Book of Paralipomenon, where we have the account of the glorious early days of David?s son. But, since that time, it has been the Church?s practice to continue the reading of the four Books of Kings up to the month of August, omitting altogether the two Books of Paralipomenon, which were but a practical repetition of the events already, related in previous lessons. So that the connexion suggested by the two writers just mentioned has no foundation in the actual arrangement of to-day's liturgy. We must, therefore, be satisfied with taking from the Introit the teaching of what it is that constitutes the Christian?s courage, viz., his faith in God?s power which is always ready to help him, and the conviction of his own nothing?ness, which keeps him from all presumption.
In the Thirteenth Century, Simon Stock, an Englishman, became general of the Carmelite order. In 1226 Pope Honorious III recognized the rule of the Carmelite order on July 16th. On July 16th, 1251, the Blessed Mother appeared to Simon Stock, and provided him with a brown scapular, with a promise that those who wore it to honor her would be released from Purgatory on the Saturday after they died. This feast was extended to the whole Church in 1726. Simon Stock was later canonized.
I have a special devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For one thing, July 16th is my birthday. For another, when I returned to an active practice of the Faith many years ago, it was largely through the Carmelites. As I started to become active in the Church again, a Carmelite priest heard my first confession in about ten years. At the time I was a bachelor without very much in the way of direction or guidance. And the Carmelite Gift shop at the North Shore Shopping Center was where I bought so many books that fed my hungry soul, books from TAN, Ignatius, Sophia and Liguori.
The Carmelite Chapel at the North Shore Shopping Center became my regular parish for almost two years. Yes, for those not familiar with the area, there is a Carmelite chapel on the lower level of a shopping mall here (and another Catholic chapel-though not Carmelite- on the main level of the Prudential Mall in Boston). It is very well-frequented - SRO for most of its Saturday Masses. It appeals to people who don't want to be attached to a regular parish, dislike the pastor at their own parish, or just don't have the time or resources to seek out a new parish. Though I later settled into a regular parish in Salem, and, after moving to Boston became a regular at Holy Trinity's indult Mass, the Carmelite Chapel is still a very special place for me.
And since then, I have become acquainted with several third order Carmelites, and one cloistered Carmelite who took her final vows some years ago today in Iowa. Today, I wear a very special version of the Brown Carmelite Scapular, one that depicts the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts on the front-piece.
In addition to the images of Our Lady that have appared here during the novena and today, there is a good file of Carmelite images in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel file at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group, the other half of my Recta Ratio project.
sed viri nescia
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum
quae crescis lilium
clavis et ianua,
fac nos duci
quo, Mater, gloria
Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Childbearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.
Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel's children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.
Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.
Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.
Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press'd in the fight,
we call to thee.
Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
You give to those
who turn to thee.
O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.
Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.