Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday


Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What shall I ask of thee?
I do not sigh for the wealth of earth
For the joys that fade and flee;
But, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I long to see ---
The bliss untold which thy arms enfold,
The Treasure upon thy knee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
He was All-in-All to thee,
In the winter's cave, in Nazareth's home,
In the hamlets of Galilee;
So, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
He will not say nay to thee;
When He lifts His Face to thy sweet embrace,
Speak to Him, Mother, of me.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
The world will bid Him flee,
Too busy to heed His gentle voice,
Too blind His charms to see;
Then, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
Come with thy Babe to me;
Tho' the world be cold, my heart shall hold
A shelter for Him and thee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What shall I do for thee?
I will love thy Son with the whole of my strength,
My only King shall He be.

Yes! Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This will I do for thee,
Of all that are dear or cherished here,
None shall be dear as He.
Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
I toss on a stormy sea;
O lift thy Child as a Beacon Light,
To the Port where I fain would be!
And, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I ask of thee ---
When the voyage is o'er, oh! stand on the shore
And show Him at last to me.


Saint Christopher

Today is also the feast of one of the most popular saints, Saint Christopher, the Christ-bearer, who is the patron of travellers.

Those in charge of the reform of the calendar thought they were doing us a favor when they decided that Saint Christopher was legendary, and removed him from the Ordo. But Catholics in the pews, the real John and Mary Catholics, have rejected this "reform" and remain attached to Saint Christopher. His medals are still for sale in just about every Catholic gift shop. And he remains very popular.

Saint Christopher, pray for us!


Saint James the Greater

Click here to see my post from last year on one of my favorite saints.

And of all the places I would like to go for a pilgrimage, Santiago de Compostella is right up there, right after Rome. Last year, I managed to put together an excellent array of images of this outstanding pilgrimage center. Even I am still impressed with these photos from various online sources.

Now, let us revisit Saint James the Moor-Slayer and his relevance to our times.

July 25th is such an important day, and Saint James has become such an important symbol for the faith. In legend, St. James became the first apostle of Spain. In theory, his remains lie buried at Santiago de Compostela (St. James of Compostela, "Iago" in Spanish meaning "James"). Santiago became the patron of Spain, and Compostela became the thrid most important pilgrimage place in Christendom, after Jerusalem and Rome.

It was during the Reconquista, when Spain was painfully, bit-by-bit, inch-by-inch recaptured from the Moslems over a period of centuries, that St. James allegedly appeared leading the Catholic armies of Spain against the Moslems. That is how he got the title Santiago Matamoros, Saint James the Moor-Killer.

This July 25th, we are marking the anniversary of the start of the Spanish Civil War, when the forces of Catholic Spain rallied again to end pagan depridation on the Catholic cultural heritage that is the strength of Spain. Members of my own Irish family played some small part fighting as soldiers in the cause of the Church in Spain in the 1930s.

Spanish nationalist coat of arms, including the Sacred Heart at the center

And today, all is not well again in Spain. It is not the enslaving Moors and the vile doctrines of armed Mohammedanism that are the greatest threat (though Spain, like the rest of Europe has too many Moslems living there and their birthrate is alarmingly high, threatening to overwhelm the native Catholic population and submerge Catholic Christendom into an Islamic state, if measures are not taken to stop the flow into Spain, and reverse it).

It is not the murderous Communists. Franco gave Spanish communism its richly-deserved death sentence in his 30 years in power.

It is the secularizing socialists, stripping Spain of all that is good and pure and pushing filth like gay "marriage," divorce, and abortion onto the Spanish people with the avidity of a drug pusher. And the Spanish people, degenerating from the solid examples of their fathers, are not blameless, since they elected this vile government that now misrules Spain.

And as Spain goes, so goes the US?

Spanish communists shooting at the Sacred Heart statue, which they later blew up, courtesy of Rorate Caeli

Catholic Spain needs a rallying point now. Carlist requites once went into battle against the communists and their thoroughly reprehensible international allies with the Sacred Heart, the Corazon Sagreda, pinned to their chests or in their berets. Why shouldn't the Sacred Heart again serve as a symbol for a revival of Catholic Spain?

And if the cause of Catholic revival is to take on specific meaning for Spaniards and others, why not a rallying cry: "For the Sacred Heart and Saint James!" "Por Corazon Sagreda et Santiago!"

But today, while Spain is a battlefield in the war with Islamofacism, the conflict between Christendom and Islamofacism is global. All of Christendom finds itself fighting against Islamofascism at almost every point of the globe where Islam and Christendom come into contact. The Sacred Heart is the traditional symbol of Catholic counter-revolution. But the Sacred Heart allied to the patronage of Saint James, who aided Spain in its battle against the Islamofacists of his day would be a very compelling and totally politically incorrect symbol of Christendom militant and unwilling to cave into the Mohammedans today.

In Afghanistan, we are still fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In Iraq, we are fighting al Qaeda In Iraq.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In Lebanon, Israel is fighting Hezbollah, and in Gaza, Hamas, both made up of militant Moslems, who, if they didn't have Israel to kick around, would be fighting us in Iraq. Even the supposedly "moderate" al Fatah Palestinian faction is part of the problem, allied as it is with Islamic Jihad and the Al Acqsa Martyrs Brigade. Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

Iran threatens to develop, and maybe use, nuclear weapons. Iran and Syria are supporting Hezbollah, Hamas, and al Qaeda in Iraq.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In the Philippines, the Moro Liberation Front, essentially al Qaeda in the Philippines, is fighting the government, which is getting support from the US.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In Pakistan, and Indonesia, and Malaysia, we see Moslem groups, either part of or inspired by al Qaeda, attacking western, and specifically Christian, targets. In Pakistan, they bomb Christian hospitals and schools. In Indonesia, they blow up western tourist resorts.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In every Western nation, growing Moslem minorities threaten the peace, and often serve as recruiting grounds for Moslem terrorists. Look at the rail bombing in Spain which drove the solid previous Spanish government from power, and brought in this "surrender-to-the-terrorists-and-subvert-traditional-Spain" socialist government. In the UK, last July's rail and bus bombs were the work of Moslem terrorists. Numerous plots, all involving Moslems, have been thwarted here in the US since September 11th. Even France, so accomodationist to every enemy, was targeted by Moslem extremists, which caused weeks of destructive rioting by Moslem youths in the suburbs of Paris last fall.
Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

In every country of the West, the destructive forces of liberalism and socialism threaten the fabric of Christendom. Growing secularization and moral relativism, feminism and egalitarianism are destroying traditional Western culture, and Christendom along with it. Today, the US is poised to elect as president an individual who represents this threat in the most stark manner we have ever encountered, out of mere ennui with the necessary war we wage, and some legitimate frustration with high prices for oil-based products. It would be the most feckless and irresponsible abdication of responsibility and leadership that the US has perpretrated on the West since the bug-out from Vietnam, and the worst blow it has inadvertently struck at Christendom ever. And western elites think this is the greatest thing that could happen.

Help us Sacred Heart and Saint James the Moor-Killer!

SantIago Matamoros, pray for us!

Most Sacred Of Jesus, preserve us!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Saint Thomas a Kempis

Today is the feast of Saint Thomas a Kempis, author of The Imitation of Christ. For those not familiar with it, you ought to be. It is the second most popular Catholic spiritual work, trailing only the Holy Bible. The little Confraternity of the Most Precious Blood edition illustrated by Ariel Agemian is with me always. If you can't find it, my Lectio Divina links certainly include it (first).

The Catholic Encyclopedia offers this biography of St. Thomas.

Book Four of The Imitation is a short treatise on receiving the Blessed Sacrament in a worthy manner. Read more about St. Thomas' devotion to the Blessed Sacrament here.

The Imitation was not St. Thomas' only published work. He also wrote On the Passion Of Christ, which makes excellent Lenten reading.

His Consolations For My Soul recently appeared in its first English translation, but I was severely disappointed with William Griffin's butchery of a translation. The translation is almost sacriligious. Would to Heaven that a skilled and faithful translator gets a hold of this work and releases a normative edition.


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

O most loving Jesus, meek lamb of God, I, a miserable sinner,
salute and worship the most sacred Wound of Thy Shoulder
on which Thou didst bear Thy heavy Cross, which so
tore Thy flesh and laid bare Thy bones as to inflict on Thee
an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy most blessed body.
I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee,
and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful
Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by
the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross, to be merciful to me,
a sinner, and to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and
to lead me on toward Heaven along the Way of the Cross.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saint Mary Magdalene

July 22nd is the feast of St Mary Magdalene, one of the great penitents, who stood by the Cross with Our Blessed Lady.

Note, there has been much confusion, conflating this Mary with either the woman taken in adultery, or Mary of Bethany, the sister of Martha and Lazarus. I see that the error about her being the sister of Martha and Lazarus is perpetuated in my St. Joseph's Daily Missal (1959), and in the Roman Breviary. The best scholarship indicates that she is a distinct person, and not either of these other identities.

Saint Mary Magdalene, pray for us!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Belated Prayer For The Holy Father

As everyone on earth knows already, the Holy Father took a spill late last week, and broke his wrist. It needed to be reset via minor surgery, and the Holy Father is up and about and looked well, despite the cast, when he did his Sunday Angelus at his vacation spot.

The irony is that Sunday morning I was watching last Sunday's (July 12th's) Angelus via the Vatican's YouTube channel, and was very pleased with how good the Holy Father looked.

Let us pray for his continued good health and security, and that he will be shielded from misfortune like this in the future.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

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

THE dominical cycle of the Time after Pentecost completes to-day its first seven. Previous to the general adoption of the changes introduced into the Sunday Gospels for this portion of the year, the Gospel of the multiplication of the seven loaves gave its name to the seventh Sunday; and the mystery it contains is still evident in more than one section of to-day's liturgy.

As we have already seen, this mystery was that of the consummation of the perfect in the repose or rest of God Himself; it was the fruitful peace of the divine union. Nothing, then, could be more fitting than that Solomon, who is pre-eminently the peaceful, the sacred and authorized chanter of the nuptial Canticle, should have been selected to come forward, on this day, to speak the praises of infinite Wisdom, and reveal her ways to the children of men. When Easter is kept as late in April as it is possible, the seventh Sunday after Pentecost is the first of the month of August; and the Church then begins, in her night Office, the lessons from the Sapiential Books. Otherwise, she continues the historic Scriptures, and that, in some years, for five weeks more; but even in that case eternal Wisdom maintains her rights to this Sunday, which the number of seven had already made hers in so special a way. For, when we cannot have the inspired instructions of Proverbs, we have Solomon"s own example preaching to us in the third Book of Kings; we find him preferring Wisdom to all other treasures, and, on the throne of his father David, making her sit there with him as his inspirer and most noble Bride.

St. Jerome, who has been appointed by the Church herself as the interpreter of to-day"s Scripture lessons,1 tells us that David, at the close of his life of wars and troubles, knew, as well as Solomon, the loveliness of this incomparable Bride of the Peaceful; the chill of his age was remedied by her caresses, whose very contact is purity.

Oh that this wisdom may be mine!?exclaims the fervent solitary of Bethlehem; May she embrace me, and abide with me. She never grows old. She is ever the purest of virgins, fruitful, yet ever immaculate. I think the apostle means her when he speaks of a something that can make us fervent in spirit.2 So again, when our Lord tells us in the Gospel that, at the end of the world, the charity of many will grow cold,3 I believe it will be because wisdom will then grow rare.?

The history of the two blind men, as related in the ninth chapter of St. Matthew, is the subject of to-day's Gospel in the Greek Church.

The Church, leaving the Synagogue in its cities which are to perish, has followed Jesus into the wilderness. Whilst the children of the kingdom5 are assisting at, without seeing it, this transmigration which is to be so fatal to them, the root of Jesse, now become the standard of nations,6 is rallying the people, and marshals them by thousands on towards the Church. From east and west, from north and south, they are pouring in, sitting down to the banquet of the kingdom,7 in company with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. Here is our Introit; let us mingle our voices with these their glad chants.


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