Saturday, July 21, 2007

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Saturday has long been associated with Our Blessed Lady. The Church devotes every day of the week to some blessed object. Saturday is Mary's day. If you say the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it is likely on Saturday (though you can say it whenever you want). In the traditional calendar, some Saturdays are officially designated Our Lady's Saturday (the next one I see is August 11th).

I am starting what I hope will be two regular features here. The first one you read yesterday, "Friday At the Foot of the Cross." "Our Blessed Lady's Saturday" is the second. We kicked off "Friday At the Foot of the Cross" yesterday with the Act of Contrition To the Sacred Heart and the Prayer For Pardon and Grace. We will begin "Our Blessed Lady's Saturday" with one of my favorite medieval Marian prayers, found in almost all Books of Hours, Obsecro Te.

Reclaiming the traditional sacred rhythm of time is important in the work of Catholic Restoration. I think these two new features, and others for other days of the week that I may roll out as time goes by, will help in this process.

Obsecro Te
Obsecro te, Domina Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, pietate plenissima, summi regis filia, Mater gloriosissima, Mater orphanorum, consolatio desolatorum, via errantium, salus et spes in te sperantium, Virgo ante partum, Virgo in partu, et Virgo post partum, fons misericordiae, fons salutis et gratiae, fons pietatis et laetitiae, fons consolationis et indulgentiae, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem laetitiam qua exultavit spiritus tuus in illa hora quando tibi per Gabrielem Archangelum annuntiatus et conceptus Filius Dei fuit, et per illud divinum mysterium quod tunc operatus est Spiritus Sanctus, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem gratiam, pietatem, misericordiam, amorem, et humilitatem per quas Filius Dei descendit humanam carnem accipere in venerabilissimo utero tuo, et in quibus te respexit quando te commendavit sancto Ioanne apostolo et evangelista, et quando te exaltavit super choros angelorum, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem humilitatem qua respondisti Archangelo Gabrieli, "Ecce ancilla Domini. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum."

Et per gloriosissima quindecim gaudia quae habuisti de Filio tuo Domino nostro Iesu Christo, et per illam sanctam maximam compassionem et acerbissimum cordis dolorem quem habuisti quando Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum ante crucem nudatum et in ipsa levatum vidisti, pendentem, crucifixum, vulneratum, sitientem fel apponi, clamantem audisti et morientem vidisti.

Et per quinque vulnera Filii tui, et per contractionem viscerum suorum prae nimio dolore vulnerum, et per dolorem quem habuisti quando vidisti eum vulnerari, et per fontes sanguinis sui et per omnem passionem eius et per omnem dolorem cordis tui, et per fontes lacrimarum tuarum et cum omnibus sanctis et electis Dei.

Venias et festines in auxilium et consilium meum. In omnibus orationibus et requisitis meis. Et in omnibus angustiis et in necessitatibus meis et in omnibus rebus illis in quibus ego sum facturus, locuturus, aut cogitaturus omnibus diebus ac noctibus, horis, atque momentis vitae meae. Et in famulo tuo impetres a dilecto Filio complementum omni misericordia et consolatione, omni consilio, omni auxilio et omni adiutorio, omni benedictione et sanctificatione, omni salvatione, pace et prosperitate, omni gaudio et alacritate, etiam abundantiam omnium bonorum spiritualium et corporalium et gratiam Spiritus Sancti qui me bene per omnia disponat, animam meam custodiat, corpus regat, sensus erigat, mores componat, actus probet, vota et desideria mea proficiat, cogitationes sanctas instituat, praeterita mala indulgeat, praesentia emendet, futura moderetur, vitam honestam et honorabilem mihi tribuat. Et victoriam contra omnes adversitates huius mundi, beatam pacem spiritualem et corporalem mihi tribuat. Bonam spem, caritatem fidem castitatem humilitatem et patientiam. Et quinque sensus corporis mei regat et protegat, septem opera misericordiae complere me faciat, duodecim articulos fidei1 et decem praecepta legis firmiter credere et tenere me faciat. Et a septem peccatis mortalibus me liberet et defendat usque in finem vitae meae.

Et in novissimis diebus meis ostende mihi faciem tuam. Et annunties mihi dies et hora obitus mei. Et hanc orationem meam supplicem suscipias et exaudias. Et vitam aeternam mihi tribuas. Audi et exaudi me dulcissime Virgo Maria, Mater Dei et misericordiae. Amen.

For Michael W. Martin's excellent translation, go here.


Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Act of Contrition to the Sacred Heart
Most Sacred and Adorable Heart of Jesus! humbly and with contrite heart I prostrate myself before Thee. bitterly bewailing that I was remiss in Thy love and have offended Thee by my ingratitude and unfaithfulness, thereby becoming unworthy of the manifestations of Thy love. Filled with confusion and fear, I can but say, "I have sinned against Thee, I have sinned!" Most Amiable and Divine Heart, have mercy on me, though I do not deserve mercy. Reject me not, but reveal, rather, I beseech Thee, the excess of Thy mercy by granting me, a poor sinner, who appears before Thee in the abyss of his nothingness and misery, pardon for my sins.

Prayer for Pardon and Grace
O Divine Redeemer!
humbly prostrate at the foot of Thy Cross,
I call upon Thee to incline Thy Sacred Heart to pardon me.
Jesus, misjudged and despised-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, calumniated and persecuted-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, abandoned by men and tempted in the desert-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, betrayed and sold-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, insulted, accused, and unjustly condemned-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, clothed in a robe of ignominy and contempt-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, mocked and scoffed at-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, bound with cords and led through the streets-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, treated as a fool and classed with malefactors-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, cruelly scourged-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, held inferior to Barabbas-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, despoiled of Thy garments-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, crowned with thorns and reviled-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, bearing the Cross amid the maledictions of the people-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, bowed down by ignominies, pain, and humiliations-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, crucified between thieves-----have mercy on me!
Jesus, dying for my sins amid all kinds of suffering-----have mercy on me!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, my Redeemer! Exercise, I beseech Thee, Thy office of mediator with me, and permit not that Thy sufferings and cruel death be in vain for my salvation, but let them bring forth, for Thy glory, fruits of salvation in me, that my heart may love, praise, and glorify Thee for ever and ever. Amen.


Taking the Friday Abstinence One Step Further

It has always struck me that Friday abstinence from meat was good for the soul, but only minimally. More important than the abstinence itself is remembering the reason for abstaining: penitence for our sinful natures.

I have stayed away from meat on Fridays for almost a decade now (about the same amount of time I have been not watching network television). And I have no plans to change that. But Father Dwight Longenecker poses an interesting possibility. Why not fast on every Friday, also.

I know so many Catholics treat not eating meat one day a week as if they were being asked to lop off a finger or remove an organ from their body without an anesthetic. But to me it has always seemed minimal. So what if I can't have a double quarter pounder with cheese for lunch? I can still have a filet-o-fish and fries. And a chocolate shake. No pepperoni pizza? But I can still have deep-dish cheese pizza, or tomato and garlic. What have I really been giving up? Am I not feasting just as much as if I were eating meat?

So Father Longenecker's idea is really countercultural.

For me, fasting is much tougher than mere abstinence. I have a hard time with Ash Wednesday and Good Friday fasts. Even without the meat, I like my three sqaures a day.

I might try this myself.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Catholic Eye-Candy

St. Mary's Oratory, Wausau, Wisconsin


Priests Don't Know Latin

That headline is a sad commentary on what has passed for seminary instruction these last 40 years.

Well, they can learn enough with enough ease. They don't need to start composing Latin poetry. Just enough to say the Mass and other prayers will be sufficient.

Check out what Father Christopher Phillips of Our Lady of Atonement (Anglican Use) in Texas has to say:
I’m assuming most priests aren’t born knowing how to play golf any more than they’re born knowing how to speak Latin. But if their presence on the golf courses is any indication, most priests are willing to put hours of practice into something they love to do.


Three Summorum Pontificum Celebration Videos

I know I am late posting these, but today was the first day I have actually been able to view them.

This one is Father Finigan's (Hermeneutic of Continuity) work

Father Stephen Fisher put this one together.

We have some very talented and creative traditional priests out there! This one was created by Father Jay Toborowsky of Young Fogeys


Another New Blog

The Traditional Latin Mass

Tip of the gold-laced cocked hat to Chris Gillibrand.


Blog Devoted To Building A Catholic Home

Ecclesia Domestica

The concept sounds very promising.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Conservative Episcopalians Affiliating With African Anglican Communities

Of course, if they want to persist in the Anglican heresy and schism, but want to remain Christian at least, they can't in good faith stay in the Episcopal Church.

As "progressive" Catholics leave for a worship community that welcomes sodomy and "ordains" women, the Episcopal Church becomes, increasingly, the "all-gay-and-feminist" alternative.

But it matters little. They do not have apostolic succession, and their orders are invalid anyway. That means their "sacraments" are no such thing. They are just play-acting at being the Church of Christ on Earth.

In God's scheme of grace, they may do some good for some souls. But they are organizationally outside the real Church.

Monsignor Ronald Knox came to that conclusion almost 100 years ago. Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson came to the same inescapable conclusion before him. Frederick W. Faber and John Henry Newman came to it even before Benson. And if the idea of "ordaining" women and open sodomites had been raised in Newman's time, there would have been no hesitation at all in swimming the Tiber. You cannot serve God and modernity.


New Bishop For Pittsburgh

Bishop David Zubik, presently Bishop of Green Bay Wisconsin, has been named the new bishop of Pittsburgh, PA, succeeding Bishop Wuerl, now Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

This looks like a good one.


A Reminder

Now that Summorum Pontificum is a reality, we trads must remember to be patient and charitable towards the many priests who will be celebrating the Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII for the first time.

We are not notorious for being tolerant of mistakes and mispronunciations. In fact, we have a bad reputation for carping at priests who make well-intentioned mistakes in the rubrics. Yes, many of us, after 2-20 years of regularly hearing the traditional Mass, know the rubrics better than the often-young priests who will be open to saying it.

Cut 'em some slack, guys. Don't go running up to them after Mass complaining that they did this or that wrong. Don't start letter-writing campaigns to eradicate errors from the way the Mass is said. Don't even suggest they use their next vacation to pack themselves off to Latin Mass Boot Camp courtesy of the FSSP. Thank them for being open to the ancient usage. Be grateful. As time goes on, they will learn. Let them improve organically. Don't be Miss Priss and feel the need to tell the priest everything he did wrong. It isn't about you showing off how much you know about the old Mass.

The priests who will be open to saying the Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII are not the enemy. Don't treat them as if they are. Welcome this gift with praise and gratitude. And work subtly behind the scenes to facilitate things. Be helpful, not overbearing.

As we come out of the catacombs, we also emerge from the bunker.


Murder of the Russian Imperial Family

Multo-sympatico Tea At Trianon reminds us that the night of July 16-17 was the anniversary of the Bolsheviks' murder of Czar Nicholas II and his family. May that noble royal family rest in peace.


Time For Cardinal Mahony To Join Cardinal Law

Sometimes, irony is quite superfluous. Reality makes satire unnecessary. Thus is the case with Roger Cardinal Mahony.

In late 2002, Cardinal Mahony was reported as leading US Cardinals in advocating the resignation of Bernard Cardinal Law as Archbishop of Boston because of his role in the pervert priest scandal. Cardinal Law had unwisely rehabilitated and returned to ministry several perverts in the priesthood after accusations of sexual abuse, essentially of young boys. His chancery had ridden roughshod over those making allegations. The Archdiocese of Boston had, well before Cardinal Law came to Boston, systematically lied to law enforcement, the laity, and good priests, while protecting perverts. And the Archdiocese has paid an enormous price in settlement costs to put this behind us. Cardinal Law, of course, when the pressure from every thinking Catholic in Boston became unbearable, stepped down in disgrace, and has assumed a new important role in Rome changing the drapery at St. Mary Major.

Now, along comes the settlement in Los Angeles, which makes the Boston settlement seem meager. Much of the wrongdoing took place under the leadership of Cardinal Mahony himself. He even went to the lengths of concealing a reported pervert priest in his own episcopal residence.

Cardinal Mahony has gone to great lengths to lessen the impact on himself personally, including hiring public relations firms at archdiocesan expense to "manage" the news for him. The L.A. Archdiocese has been a Clintonesque spin central for the last four years, as its lawyers tried everything to whittle down the settlement, and prevent a deadly document dump of the sort that doomed Cardinal Law.

Seems as though Cardinal Mahony thinks that what was sauce for the goose (Cardinal Law) is not also sauce for the gander (himself).

But sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, whatever his spinmeisters say. Cardinal Law rightly stepped down from leadership of the Archdiocese of Boston because of his role in enabling the pervert priest scandal, and failing to protect the laity from wolves in sheep's clothing. Now it is time for Cardinal Mahony to man-up and do likewise. His actions have caused incalculable damage to the Church in Los Angeles and across the nation and the world. His continued leadership is a cause for scandal.

What do we need, another serial dump of the actual documents to drive this man from his office?

Psalm 108 says all we need to know about the future of Cardinal Mahony:
"8 May his days be few: and his bishopric let another take."

Time to go. St. John Lateran needs someone to wash out the loo.


Two New England Bishops Respond Positively to Summorum Pontificum

Bishop William Lori, of Bridgeport, CT

Bishop Salvatore R. Matano of Burlington, VT

There has not previously been an indult Mass in Vermont. Bishop Matano is relatively new to the see. I can't say whether this will lead to a permanent and regularly scheduled Mass there, but let us pray it does.

Bishop Lori has allowed at least two indult Masses, one in Bridgeport, and another in Stamford, according to the sadly out-of-date registry of licit traditional Masses.


Further Reaction Against the French Revolution

From the archives, by the late Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What Now?

Now that Summorum Pontificum has been issued, and it truly is the Magna Carta of the Mass, what now for trads?

Well, if we just sit back and let things be done unto us, they will. And we won't like them one bit. I see that Bishop Trautman is busy trying to neuter the effect of the document. In his benighted diocese, priests who want to say Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII will have to play Latin Jeopardy.

Many trads are very comfortable in their "indult" communities. We have our Latin Mass. We might have to drive 2 hours to get there, but we have one with 50-300 people and a nice schola or two. We can get the other Sacraments in the ancient usage, if we really push. Why would we do anything more?

Well, because these little Latin Mass bubbles we have been living in are probably going to be burst by the diocesan officials very soon. There is nothing in Summorum Pontificum mandating that bishops retain existing Latin Mass communities. Now that any priest can say the Mass according to the Missal of Bl. John XXIII in his private Mass, and any stable group can apply to have one said in their own parish, the need for these "boutique" communities, usually one or two per diocese, evaporates. Why maintain an "indult" Mass at such-and-such a parish when there is no longer a need for an indult?

We are going to be shaken up, and thrust back upon our own territorial parishes. If we want the ancient usage or mode of the Latin Rite said, we will have to work at it. We are going to have to find priests willing to say it, and able to say it. We are going to have to round up a "stable" group of people in our own parishes who want the traditional Mass.

For years now, we have been, in fact, spoiled. I know: driving 2 hours every Sunday to get to a traditional Mass doesn't feel like we have been spoiled, does it? But we have. We have been nourished with the Latin Mass as it ought to have been said. Frequent High Masses, with talented scholae, said by priests dedicated to the Latin Mass, usually in parish churches that still retain all the architectural and devotional aspects required.

If every Mass from 1900 to 1965 had been said in the manner we experience it now, there would never have been a Missal of Paul VI. For every Father Finigan, Father Rutler, Father Demets, Father Wilson, Father Cipolla, Father Higgins we are blessed with, there are a dozen or more priests who, if they ever said the traditional Mass, hated it, and rushed through it like Evelyn Wood students, and never preached, and never said High Mass.

We need to be like yeast. We have to take this leaven of the experience of the Mass that we have enjoyed, and bring it back to the territorial parish.

Oh my gosh, you are saying. Do you understand what you are saying? We have to go back to Father Flapdoodle, and his liturgical assistant Sister Wannabepriest, and get them to sanction a traditional Mass? We have to round up from among the uselessly docile sheep of the parish we left for our Latin Mass community around 30-50 people willing to stand up for the traditional Mass? We have to tell the EEM Army and the altar girls that they are not wanted at this Mass? We have to get the music ministry to put aside Haugen and Haas for one Mass a week and get real? That is truly daunting.

Well, we have some time. You probably know a priest or two who might be willing to say the traditional Mass. You might know a parish church nearby that would be most suitable. And let us hope that the stable group required need not all be parishioners of the same parish, but that it will be acceptable if they come from within a parish cluster, or within 5-10 miles.

This summer, and into this fall is the time to get organized. There is much to do. Many people to recruit. Many priests to win over, and to train. Many items that will need to be donated or purchased.

Frederick Douglass, on his deathbed, according to a story I heard, said to young Negro activists, "Agitate. Agitate."

For us as traditional Catholics, in this summer of joy, we need to "Organize. Organize." The docile habits of comfortable worship we are used to are about to change. We are uniquely in a position to bring the Mass as we have experienced it back to the territorial parish system. We may have no choice.

The reward? We might not have to drive 2 hours to experience the Mass of the Ages, but might be able to share it with people we live near and work with in our own parish, or one nearby.


I Missed Bastille Day

But John Zmirak did not.

While we are being counterrevolutionary (as we always are here) recall what I wrote last year about the Sacred Heart as the badge of the Vendee.

Want a badge or emblem for the Counter-Revolution (cultural, political, and liturgical)? You can do no better than the Sacred Heart


Carmelite Martyrs of Compeigne

Today is the feast day of the Blessed Carmelites of Compiegne. On July 17th, 1794 a number of Carmelites from that city were guillotined at Paris during the Reign of Terror. Their brutal execution and the manner in which they conducted themselves (mounting the scaffold singing Laudate Domino) helped end the terror. Within a week of their execution, Robespierre fell from power and was himself introduced to Madam Guillotine. That is not merely post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning. The French public was genuinely shocked at the brutality of the executions of these holy women. And that shock led to a reaction against the Jacobins.

They are very worthy of admiration in my view on two counts. First they were members of the Carmelite order, for which I have a special reverence. The Carmelites were instrumental in bringing me back to an active faith and regular attendance. Secondly, they were martyred by the French revolutionaries in that orgy of blood known as the Terror. Anyone martyred for the sake of the Faith by the French revolutionaries, or the Spanish Communists, or the Russian, Chinese, Cuban, Vietnamese, Laotian, Cambodian Communists, or by the Moslems, or as part of the protestant rebellion, has a special place in my devotions and is a worthy example of the Faith.

A few years ago, John at The Inn At the End of the World posted this about the Carmelite martyrs.


The Holy Father Regularly Says Mass According To the Missal of Bl. John XXIII

In his private Masses.

As a cardinal, he said it publicly on at least 2 occasions.

Maybe not.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Our Lady Of Mount Carmel

Flos Carmeli
Flos Carmeli,
vitis florigera,
splendor caeli,
virgo puerpera

Mater mitis
sed viri nescia
esto propitia
stella maris.

Radix Iesse
germinans flosculum
nos ad esse
tecum in saeculum

Inter spinas
quae crescis lilium
serva puras
mentes fragilium

fortis pugnantium
furunt bella
tende praesidium

Per incerta
prudens consilium
per adversa
iuge solatium

Mater dulcis
Carmeli domina,
plebem tuam
reple laetitia
qua bearis.

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,
Unfailing counsel
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.

Both the reformed and traditional calendars of feasts specify today as the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For generations, Carmelite monks maintained a monastery on Mount Carmel in what is now Syria. At the time, the Carmelites were a contemplative order under the patronage of the Blessed Mother.

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 3 Yahoo Group, the other half of my Recta Ratio project.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ninth Day of the Novena To Our Lady of Mount Carmel

O Most Holy Mother of Mount Carmel, when asked by a saint to grant privileges to the family of Carmel, thou gavest assurance of thy Motherly love and help to those faithful to thee and to thy Son. Behold us, thy children. We glory in wearing thine holy habit, which makes us members of thy family of Carmel, through which we shall have thy powerful protection in life, at death and even after death. Look down with love, O Gate of Heaven, on all those now in their last agony! Look down graciously, O Virgin, Flower of Carmel, on all those in need of help! Look down mercifully, O Mother of our Savior, on all those who do not know that they are numbered among thy children. Look down tenderly, O Queen of All Saints, on the poor souls!
(pause and mention petitions)
Recite: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.


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