Saturday, March 03, 2007

Saturday In the Lenten Embertide

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 02, 2007

Friday In the Lenten Embertide

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 01, 2007

Sox First Game Of Spring Training

A tie with their Fort Myers cross-town rivals, the Twins. Curt Schilling looked very good. He only threw 19 pitches, but 15 of them were strikes.

Am I the only Sox fan who still misses the aptly-named Winter Haven?

The Art of Janssens

As many readers of the old St. Joseph's Daily Missal for the traditional Mass know, the wonderful color pages greatly enhance the user's ability to put himself in the place where the action took place. Even before I understood one thing about the Latin Mass (and you can be sure I wasn't tought one thing about it in 19 years of "Catholic school!") I used to look through my parents' old Missals, especially during Lent, and most especially during Holy Week, and my gave woul dalways rest on the color prints of the Flagellation, the Agony In the Garden, the Crucifixion, and the Ressurection.

But one fault of the Missal is that it does nothing, anywhere that I can see, to credit or even identify the artist, or tell us anything about the piece used, when it was painted, where, etc.

Well, recently, I fell into a lucky break. I bought, for a whopping 90 cents, a booklet on Our Sorrowful Mother, called Queen of Martyrs, Pray For Us, which seems to have been published in the 1930s, and is being re-issued by Keefe's Catholic Gifts, in Minnesota. And prominently featured is a chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Lady. They are all illustrated (in black and white) by the same artist (meaning, most likely, that he did a series on The Seven Sorrows), and at least a last name of the artist is provided: Janssens.

Googling "Janssens" + "Crucifixion," I came up with a Spanish-language site on the Rosary, and 3 of the mysteries are illustrated on the site with some of the same artist's work. At least two pieces from the series are included in the St. Joseph's Missal. Doing some peripheral research, I have come up with a possible identification. The artist may be Hieronymus Janssens, but I am not sure of that.

Detective work. Piecing together little tidbits of information and coming to a tentative conclusion.

These images will probably be familiar, and now, at least we benighted back-pewers can put a name to the artist who originally painted some of the illustrations in the Missal we have used for years.

We Have Photos!

Ginny The Inspired Traditionalist was in attendance, and has recieved and posted some photos from Sunday's Solemn Pontifical Mass at St. Mary's in Stamford, Ct.

It looks like it must have been a most beautiful Mass. I hope it supports Father Cipolla's efforts to keep the indult Mass at St. Mary's, against the seeming desire of a new pastor who is reputedly no friend of the traditional Mass.

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

Today is not an Ember Day, even though we ae in the midst of the lenten Embertide. Thursday is never counted as an Ember Day because of the Institution of the Most Blessed Sacrament on Maundy Thursday.

The Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine I make a part of daily Lenten devotions. It is one of the most penitential, and one of the truest to human nature that I have encountered. Saint Augustine knew what he was talking about when he discussed human sinfulness. I have taken the liberty of re-writing it to put it in the 1st person singular, rather than the 1st person plural, and to break it up, as far as possible, into matched lines. I think this makes it a much more personal prayer. Here it is as I have re-written it:

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,


Last of the winter's snow melting on a hillside in Newton, Massachusetts
1st St. David
2nd Ven. Pope Pius XII
3rd St. Katherine Drexel
5th St. John Joseph of the Cross
6th St. Rose of Viterbo
7th Bl. John Ireland and John Larke (martyrs)
8th St. John of God
11th Bl. Thomas Atkinson (martyr)
15th St. Louise de Marillac and St. Longinus
16th Bl. Robert Dalby and William Hart (martyrs)
17th St. Patrick and St. Joseph of Arimathea
18th Bl. Fra Angelico
19th St. Joseph
20th St. Cuthbert
24th St. Catherine of Sweden
25th Lady Day and St. Dismas
27th St. John Damascene
30th St. John Climacus
31st Bl. Jane of Toulouse

March, 2007 is entirely within the liturgical season of Lent. The Lenten Embertide begins Wednesday February 28th, and continues on Friday March 2nd, and Saturday March 3rd. The Second Sunday in Lent is March 4th, the Third Sunday in Lent is March 11th, the Fourth Sunday in Lent, or Laetare Sunday is March 18th, and Passion Sunday (5th Sunday of Lent) is March 25th. Lady Day (Annunciation) would normally be the 25th, but that feast falling on a Sunday, it is liturgically observed on the next day, Monday March 26th.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's published prayer intentions for the month of March are:

That the Word of God may be ever more listened to, contemplated, loved and lived.

That the training of catechists, organizers and lay people committed in the service of the Gospel may be the constant concern of those responsible for the young Churches.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No Photos Yet...

But here is a story on Sunday's Solemn Pontifical Mass at St. Mary's in Stamford.

Wednesday In the Lenten Embertide

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, February 27, 2007

"The Holy Grail of Baseball Cards"

The best of the 60 or so surviving Honus Wagner baseball cards sold for $2.35 million.

I used to collect baseball cards quite avidly. But I haven't touched one in about 10 years now.

Blogs Abstaining For Lent

In recent years, many Catholic blogs have abstained from blogging during Lent. It seems as if not so many are doing that this year. In years past, if Mark Shea or Amy Welborn decided to take a Lenten hiatus, people would be stratching their heads, trying to figure out what they would do for the duration. Now blogging is more diversified. If they take off, no sweat. Plenty of other great blogs to read. Frankly, I scarcely ever have time for either of the "Big Two" these days. And I am not into getting involved in lengthy discussions in comm boxes. In fact, it is very rare for me to read comments now.

Here are the blogs I have encountered so far which are taking Lent off.
The Lion and the Cardinal
St. Peter's Helpers

More to come, I am sure.

Tuesday In the First Week Of 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

Reports Of His Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Lane Core is back at Blog From the Core, and has posted a number of Cardinal Newman's sermons for Lent.

This must be the Lent for great Catholic sermons. I am reading St. Francis de Sales' Sermons For Lent, and St. John Fisher's An Exposition Of the Seven Penitential Psalms (which were delivered as sermons for the dowager Queen's household).

Vice President Cheney Unhurt After Attack By Moslem Bomber

It happened in Afghanistan, and the attacker never got near Cheney, though he did detonate himself around other people, apparently mostly civilians, and about 14 are dead.

Whatever people say about the Iraq Campaign and how it has played out, hardly anyone doubts that the US was justified in bringing down the Taliban in Afghanistan. And here we are, more than 5 years after the fall of the Taliban government, with the remnants of the Taliban revived and working with other Moslem interests, to try to bring down the democratically elected government that replaced it, and trying to kill a US official on an official state visit.

I know this won't be popular, but again, this sort of thing leads me to the conclusion that this war is very different from every ohter war we have fought. Just beating these people on the battlefield and taking over their country is not enough. Being nice to them and raising their standard of living and bringing them into the 20th century, at least, will not do the trick. The enemy, radical Moslems, are much different in character from the Southern Confederates, the Imperial German Army, the Wermacht or the SS. They carry their hatred for us, and their war on us in their hearts and minds. And no matter what we do, they will nurse these hatreds, and, when they are in a position to do so, strike at us again.

Which raises the issue of what we should do about the prisoners in Guantanamo and elsewhere. Even if the US were to overrun every Moslem dictatorship, and take over every square inch of land now occupied by radical Moslem interests, and hold it for a generation, these radical elements will continue to nurture their venom against us. We can never let these people we have captured in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines, or wherever the campaigns of this war take us, go. Even 30 years from now when they are doughty old men, they will find a way to strike back at us.

There is no event that could happen in this war that will make them accept defeat. We could conquer every Moslem country. We could defeat every Moslem state. Their war is not tied to the fortunes of a nation/state. Their zeal will not be diminished even after Assad, Khadafy, and the Iranian mullahs all join Saddam or Noriega in either death or permanent incarceration. In the Cold War, there was a significant period in which the Communist enemy became demoralized, and disenchanted, and then the Eastern European version of Communism fell from within. I don't see anything like that that could happen with radical Islam. In fact, the more we stomp it down, the more it becomes enraged. That is not an argument against stamping it down, but in favor of holding it down forever, as incompatible with civilization.

The only solution to this type of prisoner is to drain them of every shard of potentially useful information they might possess using the most humane but efficient methods available. And since as fully functioning adults they can never be let go, unlike even the SS prisoners after World War II, because they will always be our enemies, they must be rendered harmless. And the only way I can think of is to either hold them until they die (but there is the risk of break-outs and escapes) or lobotomize them after they can give us no further useful information, and then release them back to their country of origin, where they will be living, but harmless, examples of what happens to the enemies of the United States, the West, and Christendom in general.

I don't see any other way. Even cutting off a hand, the way Saudi authorities deal with petty criminals, will not be enough to render these people harmless to the US. In fact, what is now a sign of dishonor and shame in Saudi society might become a badge of honor if we were to treat jihadists in that manner. Liberals the world over would howl, but the best they can suggest is to pat them on the head, give them a cookie, and let them go, just like they treat murderers and rapists in American society. Then, when a former Guantanamo detainee 20 years from now blows himself up near a US President, or migrates to the US, and does it inside a school, will we then regret our leniency?

Monday, February 26, 2007

The Station Churches Of Rome

A neat interactive map, from the Pontifical North American College.

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage Images

I was hoping to have some pics from yesterday's Solemn Pontifical Mass in Stamford, Ct, with an auxiliary bishop from San Diego presiding, but no one has posted any yet.

So, I turn to another parish on the East Coast that is home to the traditional Latin Mass today, St. Alphonsus Liguori in Baltimore, where St. John Neumann once was stationed. I know, I have featured them before in conjunction with St. John Neumann, but today, it will be some different images.

The following are of the Saints' Chapel:

Clamoring For the Traditional Mass

In Baltimore, at St. Alphonsus Ligouri, which I have featured here in the past.

But it appears that the clamoring will have to continue, since the Holy Father and the Curia are on Lenten retreat this week.

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, February 25, 2007

The 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

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

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.

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