Saturday, June 07, 2008

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Taken from HIS FAVORITE PRAYERS: St. John Neumann, C.SS.R.

O Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray to thy Divine Son for me, a poor sinner; beg Him to make me humble. Oh, how humble art thou, the purest of Virgins; thou, my powerful mediatrix; thou, O most holy among the children of Adam, who art the exalted Mother of God! Thou didst declare thyself the handmaid of Him Whose Mother thou art. Behold, my dear heavenly Mother, how gladly I would dedicate myself to thy Divine Son, that His Will may also be mine. But my pride, my self-esteem, my vanity, are always against me. I struggle against them, and yet I allow them to surprise and deceive me so often. Oh, how this afflicts me! Mary, Refuge of Sinners, if I were only sincere when I beg of thee to obtain humiliation for me. But alas, whilst praying for such helps to humility, I fear the granting of my prayer. I clearly see better things; I even desire their possession and yet I shrink from what alone can give me true humility. Behold my trials, my combats in this valley of tears! O my dearest Mother, if to be freed from this body would give glory to God, how gladly would I not lay down my life.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

From The Imitation Of the Sacred Heart Of Jesus, by Father Peter Arnoudt, SJ:


1. The voice of Jesus.-----My Child, cleanse thy heart from every fault: and keep thyself carefully from the stain of even the least sin.

There is nothing, there can be nothing, for the sake of which it is allowed to commit a sin, however light.

Wherefore, although thou mightst thereby save the whole world from ruin, it would be unlawful to offend Me, even in the least thing, since I am infinitely more excellent than the whole universe.

Some guard themselves against grievous offenses, but of light faults they render themselves guilty without scruple; a clear sign that they are rather governed by self-love, than by love for Me.

Deluded souls! they will learn, at their cost, how greatly they have deceived themselves.

2. Whoever overlooks little things, will gradually fail in great ones; and, having accustomed himself to think everything little, he will still fancy, that all is well with him; when, without much uneasiness of conscience, he commits great sins.

In his folly, he finds it delightful to walk on the brink of the precipice: yet, it will come to pass, and that justly too, that, at the first slip of his foot, he is thrown headlong into the abyss.

Beware, therefore, of venial trespasses, lest thou fall into mortal sins. As long as thou yielded, even to the slightest fault, so long wilt thou expose thy salvation to danger.

3. Many seem heartily to abhor the renewal of My death by mortal sin; and yet, they cease not, by small offenses, to load My Heart with bitterness, and afflict It with continued sorrows.

Ah! My Child, consider again and again, and carefully attend to what thou art doing. For, whilst thou art willing to inflict a small wound on My Heart, perhaps thou shalt mistake, as has happened to many, and thou shalt pierce My Heart with a mortal blow.

O perverseness of the human heart! Many dread more to give offense to the meanest of men, than to Me, their God and Saviour.

4. So long as thou continues to sin, even slightly, thou shalt be ill at ease; for shalt thou taste true happiness.

If thou hast thy perfection at heart, as it behooves, unless thou avoidest every voluntary sin, thou shall labor in vain, whatever efforts thou mayst make.

For, venial sin lessens charity, brings on lukewarmness, vitiates acts of virtue, obstructs the sources of special grace; and, finally, despoiling, by degrees, the soul of her possessions, leaves her empty.

5. And for what is it, in most cases, that man exposes himself to evils so numerous, and so great? Is it not for self-interest, or for self-gratification?

But consider, how great a loss will ensue, and how severely thou shalt have to suffer in Purgatory.

There, torments are undergone, which far exceed all the pains of this world, and all the ills of life: nor shalt thou go thence, until thou hast paid the last farthing.

How exceedingly shalt thou then deplore, that thou didst commit even the smallest offense, on account of which thou perceivest, too late, alas! that thou art excluded from Heaven, and most sorely tormented?

Do not, My Child, render useless My Heart's desires and endeavors of making thee happy; neither be thou so thoughtless as to choose to be unhappy, in spite of Me.

6. The voice of the Disciple.-----Venial sin, O Lord, is then no small evil, since it offends Thy Divine Majesty, wounds Thy Heart, deprives the soul of special graces and helps, hinders her progress, vitiates her good deeds, prepares the way for her destruction, exposes her to the danger of everlasting perdition, and excludes her from Heaven.

And evils so great, I have deemed small! O what madness was mine! And, what is worse, I have committed them without number, without measure. My transgressions have exceeded all bounds.

Where are the limits? Behold! as many powers of the soul, and senses of the body as there are in me, so many kinds of sin: as many gifts and favors, so many faults of misuse or ungratefulness: as many species of employments, so many sorts of offenses. Alas! amongst all my actions, even those of religion or of piety, which is the one wherein Thou findest not some short-coming?

O my soul, we commit so many faults through want of attention, by surprise, and through frailty; ought not these to suffice? Should we add greater ones through carelessness, through the abuse of our free-will, through malice?

Is this the return we make to the Lord, by Whose goodness we live, to Whose love we owe whatever we are and possess?

7. O Lord God, my Saviour! that I have not perished beneath the weight and multitude of my offenses, this I acknowledge is altogether due to the kindness of Thy Heart: yea, to Thy Heart's mercy it is owing, O Lord, that I have not been utterly destroyed.

I have been lowered to the dust: my strength has forsaken me; darkness has overspread me: my heart itself has grown faint within me. Lo! ever deeper have I sunk, and through very weariness, I am now unable to extricate myself. O, how great is my misery!

O! who shall give water to my eyes, and strength to my heart, that I may weep, and move Thee, O Lord, to set me free!

Have pity on me, good Jesus! and deliver me: cleanse and renew me wholly.

Inflame my heart with the love of Thy Heart: with Its Divine fire do Thou consume my offenses: nor keep them for the fire of Purgatory. Here, I beseech Thee, here let me burn and be cleansed in the fire of Thy sweet love; not there in the fire of avenging flames.

Behold! O most sweet Jesus, love for Thee will now make me do, what fear has hitherto been unable to effect: through love for Thee, I will shun every sin, even the slightest.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

Saint Boniface

I remember in one of my grade school history survey books, there was a colored picture of a suitably zealous Saint Boniface felling the pagan oak tree as he tried to convert the Saxons of Germany to the Faith. As I recall, the Saint Boniface in that picture looked more like a Viking than an Anglo-Saxon Benedictine.

But at least the image, inaccurate as it was, made the name of St. Boniface stay with me all these years.

Read more about Saint Boniface at Wikipedia, and The Catholic Encyclopedia

A Google image search failed to turn anything like that up. But Breviary.net didn't let us down.

Receiving leave from the Holy Father to bring the Faith to the Saxons

He crowned Pepin King of the Franks, making him a patron of the Carolingian dynasty.

His martyrdom

We have an image of this martyr's primary relic:

And his bishop's mitre:

O God, who by the labours of blessed Boniface, thy Martyr and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to call many nations to the knowledge of thy Name : mercifully grant that we, who as on this day do keep his feast, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight.

Saint Boniface, pray for us!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sixth Blog-O-Versary

Six years, 9,300 and some-odd posts, and still typing away.

I've seen so many blogs come and go. I frankly don't get the people who delete their blogs. I put too much work into mine to ever delete it. Even if posting ever becomes an occasional thing, I hope it will always be here.

Thanks to all those who have taken the time to read my ramblings and look at the images I post here. God bless both you and me as we continue down the road together.


Cardinal George Suspends Father Pfleger

It is what the Cardinal had to do.

As documented by Jay Anderson (and others), this priest has a history of public statements which make it look like he adheres more to the Leftist gospel than that of Jesus Christ and Him Crucified. A stepping away for reflection is the very least that is necessary.

Cardinal George remains the best of that rank in the United States.


Monday, June 02, 2008

May 31st, 2008

The last day of June was clearly a feast of Our Blessed Lady. Most importantly, it was her day anyway, being a Saturday. But Catholics have quite a choice about how to honor her.

Under the revised ordo of Pope Paul VI, the Feast of the Immaculate Heart falls on the Saturday following the Feast of the Sacred Heart, that was May 31st this year.

Under the 1962 Ordo, it is the feast of the Queenship of Mary. Both the Queenship of Mary and the Immaculate Heart are 20th century additions to the ordo. That doesn't make them bad, but it does mean that some tinkering has been done with this part of the ordo.

Under a further change to the 1970 ordo, May 31st is the new date of the Feast of the Visitation, which falls on July 2nd in the 1962 (and for centuries before) Ordo. I guess it bumps the Immaculate Heart out of the way when it falls on the same day. This last is the most startling departure from the traditional ordo.

So I opted to honor her Immaculate Heart for the first of two times this summer, observing it on both the day following the Feast of the Sacred Heart, and on its old date of August 22nd. Her Visitation and the anniversary of the Magnificat I will observe on July 2nd, as per the 1962 Ordo. Her Queenship will be observed most appropriately on the date of her Assumption and Coronation, August 15th.

I dislike the fact that the oddities of the confluence of the two ordos make individuals have to choose how to honor our Mother. Eventually there will be unity, but I hope that it will not all come by the 1962 ordo giving way to the 1970 ordo. In some cases there are more problems with the 1970 ordo than just the startling discontinuity with the traditions of the Church.

Sunday, June 01, 2008


June roses along a white picket fence on Salem's Chestnut Street, home of the most gracious architecture in the world, a legacy of the period (1790-1825) when Salem was the wealthiest town in the United States.

June is devoted the The Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Important feasts celebrated during the month of June include:

2nd St Erasmus (Elmo)
3rd St. Clotilde
5th St. Boniface
6th St. Norbert
8th St. Medard
9th St. Columkill
12th St. Gaspar Bertoni
13th St. Anthony of Padua
15th St. Vitus
17th St. Botolph
19th St. Odo of Cambrai and Bl. Sebastian Newdigate, Humphrey Middlemore, Thomas
Woodhouse, and William Exmew (martyrs)
20th Bl. Anthony Turner, John Fenwick, John Gavan, Thomas Whitbread, and William Harcourt (martyrs
21st Bl. John Rigby (martyr)
22nd SS Thomas More and John Fisher
23rd Midsummer Night's Eve
24th St. John the Baptist (Nativity) Midsummer Day
26th St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer
27th Our Lady of Perpetual Help
29th SS. Peter and Paul

June this year is entirely part of the time after Pentecost, or "Ordinary Time," in which season we will remain until Advent.

Because of the early Easter, there is no embertide in June this year.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's prayer intentions for the month of June, 2008 are:

That Christians may cultivate a deep and personal friendship with Christ so they are able to communicate the strength of His love to those they encounter
That the International Eucharistic Congress in Quebec, Canada, may lead to ever deeper understanding of the Eucharist, the heart of the Church and source of evangelization.


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