Saturday, June 28, 2008

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Our Lady Of Perpetual Help (Feast June 27th)

Novena To Our Lady Of Perpetual Help

Behold at thy feet, 0 Mother of Perpetual Help, a wretched sinner who has recourse to thee and confides in thee. 0 Mother of mercy, have pity on me.

I hear thee called by all the refuge and the hope of sinners: be then, my refuge and my hope. Assist me, for the love of Jesus Christ; stretch forth thy hand to a miserable fallen creature who recommends himself to thee, and who devotes himself to thy service for ever.

I bless and thank Almighty God, who in His mercy has given me this confidence in thee, which I hold to be a pledge of my eternal salvation.

It is true that in the past I have miserably fallen into sin, because I had not recourse to thee. I know that, with thy help, I shall conquer.

I know. too, that thou wilt assist me, if I recommend myself to thee; but I fear that, in time of danger, I may neglect to call on thee, and thus lose my soul.

This grace, then, I ask of thee, and this I beg, with all the fervor of my soul, that in all the attacks of hell I may ever have recourse to thee. 0 Mary, help me. 0 Mother of Perpetual Help, never suffer me to lose my God.

3 Hail Marys.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer of Confidence

My God, I firmly believe that Thou watchest over all those who hope in Thee, and that we can never want for anything when we rely upon Thee in all things; therefore I am resolved to live in the future with no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon Thee . . . Let others seek their happiness in their wealth or their talents; let them trust in the purity of their life, the severity of their mortifications, the number of their good works, the fervor of their prayers: "For Thou, O Lord, singularly hast settled me in hope."

As for me, Lord, in my very confidence lies all my hope. Such confidence can never be in vain. "No one has ever hoped in Thee and has been confounded." Therefore I am assured of my eternal happiness, because I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in Thee. "In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped; let me never be confounded." I know, alas! I know all too well that I am frail and changeable; I know the power of temptation against the strongest virtue. I have seen stars fall from heaven and pillars of the firmament totter; but these things do not alarm me as long as I hope in Thee. I am sheltered from all misfortune, and I am sure that my hope will endure, for I rely upon Thee to sustain my unfailing hope.

Finally, I know that I can never hope too much in Thee, and that I will never receive less than I have hoped for from Thee. Therefore, I hope that Thou wilt sustain me against my evil inclinations; that Thou wilt protect me against the most furious assaults and cause my weakness to triumph over my most powerful enemies. I hope that Thou wilt love me forever, and that I will love Thee also, unceasingly. And to carry my hope all at once as far as it can go, I hope for Thee Thyself from Thee, O my Creator, for time and for all eternity.

Saint Claude de La Colombière
Sermon 68


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What Is Going On Between Rome and the SSPX

Apparently, there is some sort of offer from Rome to restore the Society to a full and perfect Communion. SSPX head Fellay had been in Rome for some time. There may be some reply by June 28th.

I can't think that this rift (if there is no formal schism, there is certainly a rift) will be healed so quickly. But one prays that the SSPX will not outright reject the offer, whatever it is, and that discussions will continue on a cordial basis. Let there not be an end of discussions. There is no last word in diplomacy.

It is clear that the Holy Father wishes to heal this rift in the Church. The question is, can the SSPX leadership pull the plug on its own independant status, and submit to authority. Can they humbly cease being their own popes after so long, and become faithful members of the flock again? I don't know the answer to that. My guess, based on my understanding of human nature and how such groups function, is that they will not. They will opt to continue as they are. But I hope that I am wrong.

Every morning, I pray for our Holy Father in these words (or close variations, since I have never reduced this prayer to writing until now):

I pray for our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, for his good health, safety, and security, for his serenity of body, mind, and soul, for his intentions and prayers, both public and private, for his personal sanctification, for his happiness in his job, for his longevity as our Supreme Pontiff; may his reign last at least nine years, or even better, ten or longer, all in excellent good health of body, mind, and soul for him. I pray for the success of his pontificate in
A) Strengthening and unifying the Church and making its worship more solemn, reverent, and holy, and more reflective of the traditions of the Church,
B) In bringing all of Christendom to an awareness of, an understanding of, a participation in, and a celebration of its Catholic roots and identity,
C) Bringing vast numbers of converts into full, perfect, and lasting communion with Holy Mother the Church, including both large groups like the SSPX, CMRI, Transalpine Redemptorists, Eastern Orthodox, and Traditional Anglican Communion, as well as an astonishing array of individuals from every faith tradition, and lack of faith tradiition, and
D) I pray in particular for the success of his motu proprio document Summorum Pontificum, and the interpretive guidelines said to be forthcoming from the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. May they have the combined effect of:
1) Hugely increasing the number of times and places the traditional Mass is offered throughout the world, here in North America, here in the United States, here in New England, here in Massachusetts, here in Greater Boston, and right here in the City of Boston,
2) Astronomically increasing the number and percentage fo the Catholic Faithful everywhere who regularly attend and are attached to the traditional Mass, and
3) Hugely influencing the way the Novus Ordo Mass is celebrated, making its worship, by osmosis and example, more solemn, reverent, holy, and more reflective of the traditions of the Church.

Pater, Ave, Gloria Patri

Could it be that part of my daily prayer is being worked out? I think persistence in this prayer, even if talks break down, is the only way to go.

Could it also be that the interpretive guidelines for Summorum Pontificum, which Ecclesia Dei has had in the works for such a long time, are being held pending the outcome of discussions with the SSPX? Am I the first to connect this with that?


I just looked at Rorate Caeli, and my reading of Fellay's comments is that he is not in favor of accepting full communion. When someone refers to an offer as an "ultimatum," it is a sure sign he is about to reject it. Pray anyway.


The Awful Day Has Come

My free Photobucket account has run out of album capacity at some 12,000 images. Bandwidth has never been a problem, due to extremely low readership, so that I use about 1-2% of my monthly allotment of bandwidth at Photobucket per month. But roughly 12,000 images (depending on size) is the limit of album capacity, and I have reached it. I can't add another image to the account without deleting some. And that would be unthinkable.

So, I can't add any more images to the account I have been using, with its intricate albums, sub albums, and in some cases sub-sub albums (and if you think the Recta Ratio Yahoo Group files are organized a little obsessively, that's nothing compared to my Photobucket album).

So what to do?

Stop collecting good Catholic images from across the internet? Perish the thought.

I just created a whole new Photobucket account! Problem is, it isn't organized yet. It's just a few dozen images without any albums, sub-albums, and so on. Time and a little dose of OCD will take care of that.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Saint John Fisher And Saint Thomas More

June 22nd is the feast of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, the two most prominent Catholic men martyred by King Henry VIII, of evil memory. This year, as June 22nd falls on a Sunday, the feast is not liturgically observed. Nevertheless, the Faithful are encouraged to be mindful of the feast of any saint on the day it falls, even when it is liturgically superceded by the observance of Sunday.

Both were high and respected officials in the court of Henry VIII, and both refused to accept King Henry as head of the Church in England. Both were beheaded for their orthodoxy.

For Saint Thomas More, who most know through the magnificent portrayal by Paul Scofield (who I see died recently) in the 1960s film adaptation of Robert Bolt's play A Man For All Seasons, I offer my very slight adaptation of a prayer More wrote while a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1534, some months before he was martyred.

Give me the good grace, Lord,
To set the world at naught.
To set my mind fast upon Thee
To not hang upon the blast of mens' mouths.

To be content to be solitary.
To not long for worldly company.
To be concerned with the world less and less.
To rid my mind of all the world's busy-ness.

To not long for any worldly things.
To deem unpleasant even hearing the fantasies of the world.
To be gladly thinking of God alone.
To call piteously for His help.
To lean upon Him for comfort.
To labor busily to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
To make myself meek and humble under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my past sins.
To suffer adversity patiently for the purging of them.
To bear gladly my Purgatory here.

To be joyful of tribulations.
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life.
To bear the Cross with Christ.
To have the last things always in remembrance.
To have my ever-possible death always before my eyes.
To make death no stranger to me.
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the Judge comes.

To have continually in mind the Passion that Christ suffered for me.
To give Him thanks continually for His benefits.
To redeem the lost time that I have wasted.
To abstain from vain discussion.
To eschew light and foolish mirth and merriment.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.

To set the loss of worldly substance, friends, liberties, and life, at naught,
If their loss means the gaining of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends,
For the brothers of Joseph could never have done him so much good
With their love and favor as they did with their malice and hatred.

These attitudes are more to be desired by every man than all the
Treasure of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen,
Were it all gathered and laid together upon one heap.

I also ask you to examine Jay's tribute to Saint Thomas More, with its excellent links.

For Saint John Fisher, who had been chaplain to the Queen Mother before becoming a bishop (he was the only English Catholic bishop who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy) I can only advert your attention to his wonderful Exposition Of the Seven Penitential Psalms, which belongs on the shelf of every Catholic with a desire to repent for his sins through the Penitential Psalms. The Ignatius Press editon, which I read a year and a half ago, and plan to read again soon, is both faithful to the letter of the original and wonderfully graspable for the modern reader.


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