Saturday, January 31, 2009

Maybe not

...NC Register reports that a Vatican official denies rumors of creation of TAC personal prelature.

Card. Kaspar not happy with possible TAC conversion

~A friend calls him Kaspar the Unfriendly Ghost. Via CathCon, we get this snippet from an Italian daily
Sources close to the Vatican Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians, the Vatican ministry responsible for ecumenical dialogue recalled that the conversion was a strictly personal matter. 'We have not been consulted - in addition - we would not agree to a return as a group'
May His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, prevail in his desire.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adoration


Oh, I can't wait for my holy hour this afternoon in Adoration. What a blessing it is to have the Adoration Chapel where I can fall on my face and acknowledge that I am creature in the presence of the Almighty King.

How good it is to be in that place where I am confronted by my Lord's humility in allowing himself to be exposed in the form of a white disk of unleavened bread.

How freeing to breathe the air of the mercy of God. How much my soul needs to take up the yoke of Christ, to learn of his simplicity, to quieten my frenzied and stormy spirit.

And what a privilege to bring to God's throne the many and divers petitions from friends and family.

How long has it been since you've gone to Eucharistic Adoration?

Personal prelature

I wonder what that would look like for the Traditional Anglicans. Would there be missionary work, establishing new parishes? How would they work with the local ordinary? I'm not all the versed with personal prelature.

Traditional Anglicans soon to cross Tiber?

~from Holy Smoke by Damian Thompson of The Telegraph
The Pope is preparing to offer the Traditonal Anglican Communion, a group of half a million dissident Anglicans, its own personal prelature by Rome, according to reports this morning.

"History may be in the making", reports The Record. "It appears Rome is on the brink of welcoming close to half a million members of the Traditional Anglican Communion into membership of the Roman Catholic Church. Such a move would be the most historic development in Anglican-Catholic relations in the last 500 years. But it may also be a prelude to a much greater influx of Anglicans waiting on the sidelines, pushed too far by the controversy surrounding the consecration of practising homosexual bishops, women clergy and a host of other issues."
Read more. There's a link to the site that broke the story. I wonder how this would affect my friends here who are holding out in their loopy liberal parishes because they can't abide the state of Catholic music and liturgy. However, the common thread to all of their complaints is solidarity in defending traditional Anglican distinctives, Scripture, reason, and tradition, while at the same time rejecting Papal authority.

For me, crossing the Tiber became the only option, obedience to conscience that said one cannot wait for perfect conditions to unite with Rome. And the other big piece of the puzzle was humility. Who was I to set conditions on when I was to become Catholic? Truth was compelling. And time was running out for my children who were growing up in a steaming mess of relativism where they would hear one thing at home and then hear another thing from the pulpit or from their catechists (tolerance and diversity).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Candlemas

What's your parish doing?

I wish for all of you the beautiful chant Lumen ad revelationem gentium.

While this isn't sung in the strict Solesmes style of chant, I still find it incredibly beautiful in his clear and sweet voice. His project to sing and record the chants is admirable.

Living both calendars

I have increasingly become uncomfortable trying to live both the Old Calendar and the New Calendar.

Today's feast in the New Calendar is the Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church. The traditional calendar celebrates this feast on March 7th. Today's saint in the Roman Martyrology is St. Peter Nolasco, confessor, "who founded the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the redemption of captives". Today is also the feast of St. Amadeus, bishop of Lausanne (AD 1159), did you know that?

Here's my dilemma. I am very much attached to the usus antiquior, but have to live and work within the New Calendar. It's like being bi-ritual.

Unseemly

Does this not appear unseemly to you? Declaring oneself on the shortlist for the Ambassadorship to the Vatican is vain preening.

Note to Dr. Kmiec, there have been nominated Ambassadors to the Vatican who were denied creds. Ask Argentina and France.

Breviarium Romanum

For those of you who use iGoogle, blogging friend and fellow Z-chatter, Doug Eller, has created a widget for Breviarium Romanum and the 1962 Missale Romanum.

I've been using both widgets now for the past couple of days. I especially like the Divine Office. Under "Edit settings" I can change to the particular canonical hour's readings with a click. Convenient for when I'm at my desk working and adds a spiritual dimension to my work. It's like stopping for the Angelus wherever you are. Since I work at a parish, we get to hear the Angelus bells throughout the day, the low tolling reminding us of time outside of time.

If you've found saying the Office to be daunting not knowing where to turn in a Breviary, try out the widget and fall in love with the psalms and prayers and hymns.

Unpredictable power of evil

~from today's General Audience, Pope Benedict speaks about the lifting of the SSPX excommunications and the Shoah. Via Rorate Caeli
I fulfilled this act of fatherly mercy because those prelates repeatedly manifested to me their deep suffering for the situation in which they found themselves. I hope that this gesture of mine will be followed by the solicitous effort by them to accomplish the ulterior steps necessary to accomplish full communion with the Church, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope and of the Second Vatican Council.

While I renew with affection the expression of my full and unquestionable solidarity with our brothers receivers of the First Covenant, I hope that the memory of the Shoah leads mankind to reflect on the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man. May the Shoah be for all a warning against forgetfulness, against denial or reductionism, because the violence against a single human being is violence against all. No man is an island, a famous poet write. The Shoah particularly teaches, both old an the new generations, that only the tiresome path of listening and dialogue, of love and of forgiveness lead the peoples, the cultures, and the religions of the world to the hoped-for goal of fraternity and peace in truth. May violence never again crush the dignity of man!
We are in the state of forgetfulness. Anyone who's debated abortion easily sees the reductionism that is the basis for the arguments for abortion. The appeal to unfettered autonomy is what all the debates devolve into, as though freedom has no claim on discipline or restraint.

What Alleluia Ch-Ch looks like

~Thanks to Brian, we know what this Alleluia looks like:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Alleluia Ch-Ch

~via Damien Thompson on Twitter
You have to wonder - what do you have to be on to write a song called Alleluia Ch-Ch.
Let's listen, shall we? Click on the play button.

At the OCP website, its recommended liturgical use is: Introductory Rites (Gathering--gag--or Processional)

Liturgy of the Word (Gospel Acclamation)

Sunday celebrations in absence of a priest
. Uh, huh, you mean one led by lay parish coordinators.

Let me know what you think. Is this the kind of music you're subjected to weekly?

How to stimulate the economy

...I'm sure you've all read how Madame Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to stimulate the economy--by the inclusion of money for contraception in the stimulus package proposed by President Obama. So the way to balance the budget, is to cut out kids. This, from the self-described "ardent practicing Catholic". Exactly, where in the Catechism does she draw this idea from. But here she is with her own words in speaking with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week.
"Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs. One of those - one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government."
So by eliminating the next generation, who the heck is going to fund all the government spending in the future? Well, it seems the President isn't too keen on this inclusion. From Yahoo News
House Democrats are likely to jettison family planning funds for the low-income from an $825 billion economic stimulus bill, officials said late Monday, following a personal appeal from President Barack Obama at a time the administration is courting Republican critics of the legislation.
But the pro-abort agenda (read, pro-death) continues with the revived funding for UNFPA, the United Nations fund that was exposed as funding the China One-Child policy (read, coercive abortions). President Obama says:
In addition, I look forward to working with Congress to restore U.S. financial support for the U.N. Population Fund.

By resuming funding to UNFPA, the U.S. will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries.
Um, wasn't it in the past year where a devastating natural disaster took the lives of only children in China led to parents begging to be allowed to be dispensed from the One-Child Policy and be allowed try again for another child?

There is something ugly about "population control". What these politicians don't realize is that the demographic winter is upon us. Europe is on its way to extinction. But it's not politically correct to talk about the declining population as being detrimental to the future of humanity. Instead, we focus on fuzzy feelings like "improving the quality of life".

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? (Mark 8:36)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Seminarians at the March





Lord willing, a certain friend will be there next year as part of the St. Charles contingent.

This will all end in tears

~from The Telegraph
This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence - la trahison des clercs - in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right...

...To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington's National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing "those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents" comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents...
The continuing, unabated slaughter of innocents, now we'll be funding this, too, overseas and the numbers are even more staggering worldwide. Against our will. Go read the comments.

Lifting excommunications tied to VII anniversary

~Whooo....let the fur fly! From Damien Thompson at Holy Smoke
The official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has said that Pope Benedict XVI's "act of mercy" towards the SSPX bishops in lifting their excommunications was deliberately timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the calling of the Second Vatican Council. Indeed, it should be seen as one of the fruits of the Council.

The editorial adds that the Pope's action should not be sullied by the "unacceptable revisionist opinions and attitudes with regard to the Jews" expressed by several members of communities to which Benedict is extending his hand.

Interview with Bishop Burbidge

video
Bp. Michael Burbidge was kind enough to speak with me briefly about this year's March and the fight for the cause of life.

The NC Mass for Life was especially poignant, the words "hope" and "change" have an added gloss to overcome.

The music at the Mass was almost exactly what I had programmed for the Sunday prior to the March at our parish. There were more women in veils than in previous years. And no Haugen/Haas music to be found. The Kyrie was out of Missa de angelis. Bp. Jugis opened his homily with these words: "The most dangerous place for a human being these days is his mother's womb."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

2009 March for Life

Just some of my photos. I'll try to upload some video clips and perhaps the interview with Bp. Burbidge as we were walking. Our parish joined the March at about 2:15. The Rally began at 1 PM and lasted for about 45 minutes. We visited our senators and got out at 4:15 and rejoined the end of the line arriving at the Supreme Court at 4:30. The crowds were huge and peaceful, no ugliness, and young, lots of the Roe generation.







Update on Philip

~Please keep praying. He received news from the neurosurgeon on the biopsy results.

What lies ahead

~from Zadok, a concise assessment of what lies ahead:
Personally, I think that this is a very generous act of the Holy Father, and I hope that no one would doubt his good will and sincerity. It will attract criticism, no doubt, but it's important to understand precisely what this gesture means. It's a gesture of mercy because the excommunications were justly imposed. It's a concrete sign that the Holy Father wants to bring the Society back into communion. However, my understanding of this (and I admit that I'm not a canonist) is that this is simply a starting point. Bishops Fellay et al still lack jurisdiction within the Church and the Society cannot be said to have been restored into full communion. Bishops Fellay and the clergy of the society are still canonically irregular and do not have faculties to exercise their ministry. Whilst not excommunicate because of their irregular consecration, the Bishops of the Society are not properly members of the Catholic Hierarchy. Membership of the College of Bishops depends, not only on valid episcopal consecration, but also on hierarchal communion with the Bishop of Rome and the other Bishops.

It should also be noted that there is a lot of theological ground which needs to be covered, especially in the area of religious liberty, the authority of the Second Vatican Council and the newer liturgy. The clergy of the SSPX will need to undergo a severe examination of conscience regarding some of the things they have said over the past few years. However, with charity and the work of the Holy Spirit, wounds can be healed.

SSPX Excommunications lifted

~via Rorate Caeli from the Congregation of Bishops
By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Mons. Fellay affirms, among other things: "We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial disposition. We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much."

His Holiness Benedict XVI - paternally sensitive to the spiritual unease manifested by the interested party due to the sanction of excommunication and trusting in the effort expressed by them in the aforementioned letter of not sparing any effort to deepen the necessary discussions with the Authority of the Holy See in the still open matters, so as to achieve shortly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem posed in the origin - decided to reconsider the canonical situation of Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, arisen with their episcopal consecration.

With this act, it is desired to consolidate the reciprocal relations of confidence and to intensify and grant stability to the relationship of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X with this Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, is also intended to be a sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church and to try to vanquish the scandal of division.

It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Based in the faculty expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit from Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that time.


Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, January 21, 2009.

Card. Giovanni Battista Re
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops

Thursday, January 22, 2009

March for Life 2009


Today, our parish is joining the thousands upon thousands who will march in protest of the evil that is abortion. Please remember the 50 million in the United States alone who have lost their lives since Roe v Wade. The numbers worldwide are even more horrifying. If you can't make it to DC, look for one close to you and join that march.

I've brought my mp3 recorder and will try to interview our state's Bishops as well as the walkers along the route. Lord willing there will be enough for a podcast.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Gift

Burdens to be borne for the sake of Eternal Life

~from Imitation of Christ, III.47. Fr Z has been reading excerpts from Imitation of Christ over Radio Sabina via Ustream. This was the most recent excerpt read which has stopped me in my mid-day tracks.
MY CHILD, do not let the labors which you have taken up for My sake break you, and do not let troubles, from whatever source, cast you down; but in everything let My promise strengthen and console you. I am able to reward you beyond all means and measure.

You will not labor here long, nor will you always be oppressed by sorrows. Wait a little while and you will see a speedy end of evils. The hour will come when all labor and trouble shall be no more. All that passes away with time is trivial.

What you do, do well. Work faithfully in My vineyard. I will be your reward. Write, read, sing, mourn, keep silence, pray, and bear hardships like a man. Eternal life is worth all these and greater battles. Peace will come on a day which is known to the Lord, and then there shall be no day or night as at present but perpetual light, infinite brightness, lasting peace, and safe repose. Then you will not say: "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" nor will you cry: "Woe is me, because my sojourn is prolonged." For then death will be banished, and there will be health unfailing. There will be no anxiety then, but blessed joy and sweet, noble companionship.

If you could see the everlasting crowns of the saints in heaven, and the great glory wherein they now rejoice -- they who were once considered contemptible in this world and, as it were, unworthy of life itself -- you would certainly humble yourself at once to the very earth, and seek to be subject to all rather than to command even one. Nor would you desire the pleasant days of this life, but rather be glad to suffer for God, considering it your greatest gain to be counted as nothing among men.

Oh, if these things appealed to you and penetrated deeply into your heart, how could you dare to complain even once? Ought not all trials be borne for the sake of everlasting life? In truth, the loss or gain of God's kingdom is no small matter.
Lift up your countenance to heaven, then. Behold Me, and with Me all My saints. They had great trials in this life, but now they rejoice. They are consoled. Now they are safe and at rest. And they shall abide with Me for all eternity in the kingdom of My Father.
I have read Imitation many times before and each reading has led to an awareness of my need for conversion, everyday, when I rise, I must direct my heart and all my works of the day toward winning Eternal Life. It must be like running a race, as St. Paul wrote, with endurance.

It's easy to live life as though there are endless tomorrows, after all I live under the regime of the mercy of God. How easy it is to slide into a distracted or worse yet, indifferent, practice of the faith. This devout life isn't automatic, it is discipline, it is sacrifice, and in the end it is true joy. Indeed, at the end of the day, when we clearly see small victories over our persistent failings, we are given a glimmer of the power of the New Creation.

Blessing Lambs





The pontiff blessed two lambs whose wool will be shorn later this year to make a shawl for newly appointed archbishops to wear. The blessing Wednesday took place on the feast day of St. Agnes, a martyr of early Christianity who is often symbolized by a lamb. In the ritual, the pope blessed the animals, who were laying down in two baskets, each wearing a crown of flowers on its head. New archbishops receive the wool pallium on June 29. The pallium is a band of white wool decorated with black crosses that is a sign of pastoral authority and a symbol of the archbishops' bond with the pope. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, HO)

Feast of St. Agnes, Virgin and Martyr



"I have run to the fragrance of your myrrh, O Christ God, for you have wounded me by your love. Do not banish me, Heavenly Bridegroom."
~from the Commemoration of Women Martyrs

As noble among Martyrs with the dye of your blood you made for yourself a garment of salvation, O all-praised, and radiant by the Spirit you were betrothed to the immortal King, who keeps you as a most fair and spotless virgin unblemished, uncorrupt to age on age in heavenly bridal chambers.

Acquainted with tortures, close neighbour to fire, steadfast under the rending of the flesh, nobly enduring the boiling of cauldrons, you were not worsted by thoughts, you did not sacrifice to wooden idols; but bowing your neck to God, by the punishment of the sword, bearing the wreath of victory you mounted to the heights.

Resplendent with the splendours of virginity, all-praised Martyr, you blazed in the struggles of martyrdom, for you were not persuaded to worship idols, but endured the unjust slaughter, made scarlet by your own blood; and now, wearing the garland of victory, you stand before God, the Master, made radiant by the brightness that floods from him.
~Prosomia, from Office of Woman Martyr

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Chant Dies Irae

It's amazing how this chant is so comforting.

Va Pensiero

...more music to match my mood:



A translation:

Fly, thoughts, on wings of gold;
go settle upon the slopes and the hills,
where, soft and mild,
the sweet air of our native land smells fragrant!
Greet the banks of the Jordan
and Zion's toppled towers.
Oh, my country so lovely and lost!
Oh, memory so dear and despairing!
Golden harp of the prophetic seers,
why do you hang mute upon the willow?
Rekindle our heart's memories and speak of times gone by!
Mindful of the fate of Jerusalem,
either sound a song of sad lamentation,
or else let the Lord give us the strength to bear our sufferings!

The line in the sand

~Apparently, this is how we are going to reduce abortions...by preserving women's reproductive "choice" (hat tip to Fr. Z). We've grown accustomed to hearing euphemisms like "preventing unintended pregnancies" and reproductive choice in our culture's brazen desire for supreme autonomy and will over responsibility.

That a conversation can take place wherein one hears: "Well, what if the child is born unwanted? It would be better to abort that child than to have him suffer rejection all his life." Yet it's a common argument that one hears. This false charity and compassion that masks what abortion is--murder of an innocent child.

So, the new administration begins and abortion is at the top of the agenda. It's chilling this cold-blooded disregard that the child in the womb is human in whatever stage it is, it is human. At no stage is it NOT human. 50 million babies murdered since the infamous day in 1973. It's a staggering number. Staggering, too, how worldwide the numbers are even more outrageous. Do the math: 120,000 babies per day worldwide losing their lives at the altar of selfishness. It is a crime that cries out to heaven.

Here is what the new president's statement is on the social justice issue of our time:
President Obama understands that abortion is a divisive issue, and respects those who disagree with him. However, he has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his Adminstration. He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.
Fight FOCA! March for Life. If you can't march in DC, find one close to you. Write to your representatives. Call their switchboards. Make your voice heard. We have to speak out and do everything we can to abolish this deep dark evil. Most of all, pray. Our prayers are being heard. The Saints and Angels are praying with us. Examine your hearts to see if you are doing everything that you can to bring about an end to this scourge. Be co-laborers in this fight. At the end, we all know how this will play out. The Lord of Life will be victorious.

Verdi Dies Irae

This about matches my mood at the moment:

More from our winter wonderland









Snow Day

A Rare Event in the South. We are delighted! Milk? Check. Bread? Check. Hot cocoa? Check. Schnapps? Oh, yeah, forget the ice cream. I think today's a good day to read out loud The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, no?







Miracle of Life

Monday, January 19, 2009

March for Life

Spes


~via the Shrine.

TLM celebrated by Bp. D'Arcy

~Beautiful! (pillbox hat tip to Fr. Z...or should that be a mantilla tweak a la Mac?) Congratulations to St. Patrick's! May the traditional Mass grow from strength to strength.

As an altar society person, this just makes my heart zing! The stole in the "H" form and the cincture in the "S" form. (But where's the maniple completing the initials "IHS"?)



I remember our first Low Mass...months of training and the Order of the Mass highlighted with Post-It notes everywhere. I was a nervous wreck....then our first Missa Cantata...all the schola members were suffering from the head cold, we sang the Rossini Propers.

Prayers for Fr. Foster

~via several Roma friends, JP, QM, Fr Z, FrB

Please pray for Fr. Reggie Foster. From WDTPRS:
Fr. Reginald Foster, famous American Carmelite Latinist who works for the Holy See, continues to have serious health problems, ever since his fall last June. He has basically been bed ridden ever since that incident. What follows is the latest.

Yesterday (Saturday) he was taken from his monastery to the Fate bene fratelli hospital on the Tiber Island. Shortly after arriving, he suffered some kind of seizure and was put in intensive care. At first they diagnosed it as pulmonary embolism and they did not expect him to survive. Now they say it was NOT an embolism, but apparently his spleen ruptured and the ensuing rush of fluid in his body caused temporary heart failure.

Imponderables

....I understand bread and milk and ice cream being the things that are hot sellers here in the South for snow days. But toilet paper?!?

Eerie


My backyard this morning....weatherman is calling for accumulated snow tonight and tomorrow. Woooo! A snowday for us (this is the South, please remember. Everything stops when one snowflake drops from the sky). Okay, off to the market to get bread and milk and cat litter. I hear that's good for traction, no?

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Counting Down


....till March for Life!!!

Why reduce but not outlaw

Fr. Philip discusses the question: Why do you think the reduction of the number of abortions is a worthy goal?

A Poignant Moment

Today in our parish, we signed the postcards protesting FOCA. Our clergy gave impassioned pleas after Holy Communion for us to sign them in defense of the defenseless little ones. It was good to see the majority of our parish sign the cards. For the recessional hymn, I had chosen "O Christ the Great Foundation", a reworking of "The Church's One Foundation" by Timothy T'ingfang Lew. Our priests stayed in the sanctuary so that we sang all the verses which were quite appropriate for what we are facing.
1. O Christ, the great foundation
On which your people stand
To preach Your true salvation
In every age and land:
Pour out Your Holy Spirit
To make us strong and pure,
To keep the faith unbroken
As long as worlds endure.

2. Baptized in one confession,
One church in all the earth,
We bear our Lord's impression,
The sign of second birth:
One holy people gathered
In love beyond our own,
By grace we were invited,
By grace we make You known.

3. Where tyrants' hold is tightened,
Where strong devour the weak,
Where innocents are frightened,
The righteous fear to speak,
There let Your church awaking
Attack the powers of sin
And, all their ramparts breaking,
With You the victory win.

4. This is the moment glorious
When He who once was dead
Shall lead His church victorious,
Their champion and their head.
The Lord of all creation
His heavenly kingdom brings,
The final consummation,
The glory of all things.
The third verse brought tears to my eyes. The congregation sang with much conviction today for which I am grateful.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More Traditional Mass goodness

...hat tip to JP Sonnen for this link: Messa in Latino

Written in Italian and focuses on the traditional Mass. Here are wonderful pictures of a new priest's First Mass. Check out the high altar and the breathtaking beauty of it, the servers all kneeling in reverence. There is truly an air of holiness there.

Bishop Vasa on the postcard campaign

~This is one awesome shepherd! Please participate in the postcard campaign. It takes such a little amount of time to fill the cards and return them to your parish's coordinator. If you've not heard of the postcard campaign being done at your parish call your parish office and ask. Your diocese should have sent each parish a stack of cards and an instruction manual on how to get do a successful campaign.
Thus I strongly urge all who have a glimmer of concern for the lives of pre-born children to engage themselves in this postcard campaign. This is not an action which would limit or alter present permissive abortion laws, which some so-called Catholic pro-choice persons might object to, it would simply preclude a dramatic expansion of that permissiveness. Thus it would be very difficult for any Catholic, no matter how much in favor of abortion itself, to find a reason to refuse to participate in this campaign. At the same time, I do not see how any Catholic senator or representative could vote for the passage of FOCA without recognizing that such a vote would constitute a direct and intentional declaration of their disdain for Catholic teaching. Such a vote would be tantamount to a public declaration of their intention to abandon the Catholic faith. It would be imperative that the faith consequences of such a declaration be allowed to fall fully on the heads of those who would make it.

The writing from St. John applies: “Beloved, we love God because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from Him: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”

We of the Catholic faith certainly know that love of God is central to our tenets, this is the appealing part. It is hard to imagine a Catholic saying, “I am a Catholic in good standing but I do not love God.” But the inspired scriptures tell us that whoever does not love his brother or neighbor does not and, indeed, cannot love God. This is the challenging part. The people of Jesus’ day understood this and it was this understanding that prompted them to ask, “And who is my neighbor?” For all of us, and especially for Catholic legislators in every strata of government, it is necessary to declare, in conformity with the Natural Law and the teaching of the Catholic Church that, the pre-born child is our brother, our sister, our neighbor!

It may sound a little strong to state that legislators “hate” the pre-born child but hate is an absence of love and love means to wish another well. There is nothing about abortion that wishes the pre-born child well. The preservation of abortion “rights” is already an absence of love for the pre-born child but the passage of FOCA could be construed as nothing less than active and positive disregard, even hatred, for these our brothers and sisters. To paraphrase St. John, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but votes for FOCA, thus showing a disregard for his pre-born brother or sister, he is a liar.” Lots of things can be rationalized in government but I do not see any way in which any Catholic could rationalize or justify an affirmative vote for FOCA.

It is not necessary for your postcards to be as outspoken as this bishop but you do have an obligation to participate in this concerted effort to show love for the tiniest and most defenseless of our brothers and sisters. President-elect Obama made it very clear, prior to the election, that he would happily sign FOCA and the millions of Catholics who voted for him hopefully did so for reasons other than this promise and certainly not because of it. It seems to me that it is particularly incumbent upon these same voters to make it clearly known to their representatives that their vote may not in any way be taken as a sign of support for FOCA.

Another way in which we show our affirmative love for our pre-born brothers and sisters is by way of our annual memorial on Jan. 22. This year the Diocesan Office of Pro-life Activities has scheduled a rosary and Mass at St. Joseph’s in Prineville on Thursday evening, Jan. 22. The rosary will commence at 6:30 p.m. with Mass beginning at 7 p.m. While I recognize that many parishes host similar memorial Masses to pray for the two-fold victims of abortion, the child and the mother, I invite any who can to join me at the rosary and Mass at St. Joseph’s in Prineville.

Regardless of how many years have passed since the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision and regardless of how prevalent and routine abortion has become in this country, the simple truth remains, it is an act of extreme violence to the pre-born child and to the distressed mother. Thus, if anyone says, “I love God” and still favors abortion, he is, to quote St. John, a liar. May we all live out faithfully what it means to love God.

FOCA postcard campaign

Postcard campaign begins this weekend in our diocese. My family and I are involved in getting the postcards signed at the churches in our deanery. We got funding for the mailing from our local Knights of Columbus councils. Deo gratias! When the postcard campaign comes to your parish, please take a moment to sign them. Do yourself a favor and find out the names of your representatives, both your senators and your representative. You'll have to fill in their names. If you would like to assist in defraying the cost of mailing, bring the 27 cent stamps with you to stick on the cards. It's a small price to pay for helping out. That's less than a Starbuck's cup of coffee. Find out who's coordinating the effort at your parish and see what help they might need. We got the materials this past week and are scrambling to get the pieces in place for a successful campaign.

Fight FOCA!!! For the Little Ones who are martyred daily and who will lose their lives today. Saturdays are usually busy at abortuaries.

Life! It's a precious gift.

Raleigh Rally for Life

We're off to attend the March in downtown Raleigh. It's cold for us down here. I know that friends up in the North are experiencing negative degrees (kind of beyond my comprehension) so I feel a sense of guilt thinking that 15 degrees Fahrenheit is cold. To my thin blood, it IS cold. So we're digging up our ski gear to wear. It will be wonderful to join with friends in the pro-life movement with whom we've prayed at the abortuaries. Our North Carolina bishops, Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Jugis will be speaking at the Rally. It's a warmup to the March for Life in DC this coming week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

St Hilary of Poitiers

In the Old Calendar, today is the feast of St. Hilary of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church, Malleus Arianorum, Athanasius of the West. He is also one of my blogging patron saints.

Here is what Pius Parsch wrote about this great saint:
St. Hilary was one of those great Christian heroes who poured out their lives laboring and suffering in defense of Christ's divinity. Scarcely had the days of bloody persecution ended (313), when there arose, now within the Church, a most dangerous enemy of another sort, Arianism. The heresy of Arianism denied the divinity of Christ; it was, in fact, hardly more than a form of paganism masquerading as the Christian Gospel. The smoldering strife soon flared into a mighty conflict endangering the whole Church; and its spread was all the more rapid and powerful because emperors, who called themselves Christian, proved its best supporters. Once again countless martyrs sealed in blood their belief in Christ's divinity; and orthodox bishops who voiced opposition were forced into exile amid extreme privations.

Among the foremost defenders of the true faith stood Hilary. He belonged to a distinguished family and had received an excellent education. Though a married man, he was made bishop of Poitiers by reason of his exemplary life. It was not long before his valiant defense of the faith precipitated his exile to Phrygia. Here he composed his great work on the Blessed Trinity (in twelve books). It is a vigorous defense of the faith, which, he said, "triumphs when attacked." Finally, after four years he was permitted to return to his native land. He continued his efforts, and through prudence and mildness succeeded in ridding Gaul of Arianism. Because of his edifying and illustrious writings on behalf of the true religion, the Church honors him as one of her doctors.

Here is an example of Hilary's vigorous style: "Now it is time to speak, the time for silence is past. We must expect Christ's return, for the reign of Antichrist has begun. The shepherds must give the warning signals because the hirelings have fled. Let us lay down our lives for the sheep, for brigands have entered the fold and the roaring lion is rampaging about. Be ready for martyrdom! Satan himself is clothed as an angel of light." A favorite motto of St. Hilary was, Ministros veritatis decet vera proferre, "Servants of the truth ought speak the truth."
Here is St. Hilary on Psalm 53:
Hear my prayer, O God, give ear unto the words of my mouth. The obvious thing for the Prophet to say was, O God, hear me. But because he is speaking as the mouthpiece of Him, Who alone knew how to pray, we are given a constantly reiterated demand that prayer shall be heard. The words of St. Paul teach us that no man knows how he ought to pray: For we know not how to pray as we ought . Man in his weakness, therefore, has no right to demand that his prayer shall be heard: for even the teacher of the Gentiles does not know the true object and scope of prayer, and that, after the Lord had given a model.

What we are shown here is the perfect confidence of Him, Who alone sees the Father, Who alone knows the Father, Who alone can pray the whole night through— the Gospel tells us that the Lord continued all night in prayer— Who in the mirror of words has shown us the true image of the deepest of all mysteries in the simple words we use in prayer. And so, in making the demand that His prayer should be heard, he added, in order to teach us that this was the prerogative of His perfect confidence: Give ear unto the words of My mouth.

Now can any man suppose that it is a human confidence which can thus desire that the words of his mouth should be heard? Those words, for instance, in which we express the motions and instincts of the mind, either when anger inflames us, or hatred moves us to slander, or pain to complaint, when flattery makes us fawn, when hope of gain or shame of the truth begets the lie, or resentment over injury, the insult? Was there ever any man at all points so pure and patient in his life as not to be liable to these failings of human instability? He alone could confidently desire this Who did no sin, in Whose mouth was no deceit, Who gave His back to the smiters, Who turned not His cheek from the blow, Who did not resent scorn and spitting, Who never crossed the will of Him, to Whose Will ordering it all He gave in all points glad obedience.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Traditional Vocations

~Please visit this wonderful site, Traditional Vocations. Its aim is "to promote vocations to Traditional societies and religious orders using the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, including religious communities for women."

The two most recent posts are about the Benedictines of Mary investiture and the Little Sisters of the Good Shepherd dedicated to the traditional Mass and zeal and practice of traditional religious life.

Just a reminder: this week is National Vocations Awareness Week. Pray for more holy vocations.

Candlemas in the EF


...at my parish on Monday, February 2nd. Schola Cantorum Vox Clara will be, Deo volente, the featured schola. There will be blessing of the candles to be used by our parish during the year prior to Mass with the beautiful chant "Lumen ad revelationem gentium". The Ordinary will be Missa de angelis chanted a cappella.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bishops' FOCA Postcard Campaign


Be on the look out for the postcards to send to your congresscritters (three cards per sheet for your senators and representative). Your parishes are supposed to have been mailed a stack or two. They're pre-printed and all you have to do is to fill in your representatives' names and on the back side, fill in your name and address and sign. Postage is 27 cents per card.

Our diocese is planning on parish level mobilizing for Jan 18th and Jan 25th weekend Masses.

The above image is from the USCCB page for pro-life activities. Print them and plaster them all over your parishes' bulletin boards.

Fuzzy robots


...wait, did I wake up in some parallel universe? This week, I learned about Reborns, baby dolls for grown women who want to play push-the-pram-and-change-nappies-but-don't-have-to-deal-with-true-growing-pains.

Now, we have fuzzy robots. Robots that simulate the tactile interactions that humans have with their pets, like stroking Fluffy the Cat or Dexter the Dog. Okay, so they were invented to study (ooooh, enquiring minds want to know)this woefully neglected aspect of humans' relations to robots.

My question is this: why would we want to inject emotional interactions with an inanimate object that we've invented to do such-and-such a task?

Fercryin' out loud, go outside and pet your dog!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Fr. Neuhaus

~R.I.P.

Eternal rest give unto him, and let light perpetual shine upon him. Absolve, O Lord, the soul of the faithful departed from every bond of sin. And by the help of Thy grace may he be enabled to escape the avenging judgment. And enjoy the bliss of everlasting light.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Update on Philip

He came through fine.

Bizarre


...doesn't begin to explain this. Here we have a contracepting and aborting culture and now I read about grown women who play with dolls and pretend... Does anyone else find this creepy?
The vinyl dolls don’t just look exactly like real babies — they also feel real. Their bodies are stuffed and weighted to have the same heft and a similar feel to a live baby. Mohair is normally used for the hair and is rooted in the head strand by strand, a process that can take 30 hours. A magnet may be placed inside the mouth to hold a magnetic pacifier.

To add realism, some purchasers opt for a heartbeat and a device that makes the chest rise and fall to simulate breathing.
They're called "Reborns".
Some women dress the dolls, wash their hair, take them for walks in strollers and take them shopping....A reborn doll satisfies her maternal instincts, she said, without all the carrying on and mess.

Reborns, she said, “never grow out of their clothes, never soil them. It's just fabulous. The only difference, of course, is these guys don't move.”

Praying for Philip

~Dear friends, would you pray for our friend Philip who goes in for a biopsy today? It is a very delicate surgery since the tumor is wrapped around some vital areas in his brain. He is a wonderful and holy presence in our lives, his joy in the Lord undimmed by dark clouds that loom above him. Here is what he says:
It may be God's Will that I live through this surgery, live many more years, and serve Him as a Catholic priest. It may also be God's Will that I do not wake up from the surgery. If this is the case, I will face God for my judgment after having two months of this illness to repent of my sins, receive the Sacraments, and prepare my soul for this meeting which every person will eventually face. Could I ask for better circumstances?

Our main goal in this life is to know, love, and serve God in this world, die a good death, and spend eternity with Him in heaven. Everything else is temporal and fleeting.
Indeed, for to live is Christ and to die is gain. But please, do pray. Thank you.

Update: 13:21 ET....just to clarify. This is a biopsy to find out the rate of growth of the tumor and to determine the best treatment to arrest the growth. The tumor is inoperable.

Meditating Upon Scripture

~Here is a wonderful essay by James Kushiner of Touchstone about the unity of Scripture.
Reading Scripture is sometimes like peeling an onion with infinite layers. Of all the worlds "literature," is there any like it at all? Even close? I was reminded of the multiple layers and interwoven themes, types, echoes of the old in the New Testament, while reading the assigned Scriptures in our Daily Devotional Guide lately. Genesis 4 opens with the World's First Baby Ever, that is Cain, born to Eve, the First Son of Man (Adam), if you will. We all know how that turned out. The first baby born into a family murdered his brother and the earth received its first taste of the blood of homicide. Now we just celebrated the birth of the Baby Jesus, child of the New Eve, the Son of Man. This Son of Man, as it were, rather than pour out his brthoer's blood on the ground, pours out in his blood for his brothers and descends into the earth. In the traditional iconography of the Eastern church, the Son stands trampling the gates of hell, raising up fallen Adam and Eve. There's more: in the background, on the right side (Eve's side), we see a young man, also raised from the dead: Righteous Abel.

By the end of chapter five of Genesis, two lines of mankind are in place: those of Cain, and those of Seth, with the last named descendant being Noah. That's the reading for January 5, the Eve of Epiphany, which in the Eastern church is the Baptism of Christ. So the next day, January 6, I read about the Flood of Judgment on all flesh, which "corresponds to baptism," as taught in 2 Peter. In the West, Epiphany is the Adoration of the Magi, or manifestation to the Gentiles. Noah can link the two Epiphanies, as he is the one baptized in the Flood, but also the father of Shem, Ham, and Japheth, the ancestors of all the nations, with the Jewish nation one chosen from the many. Baptism is a crucial step in making "all nations" his disciples. The Magi, representing the nations, adore the Child, who after his Baptism, as the Father's Heir of the Vineyard that is Israel, offers its wine to the world, that is, his saving blood, unlike Noah and his sons, for whom the new vineyard after the Flood became the occasion for a new fall into sin via drunkenness and a son's disrespect to the father.

Every thing "got wrong" in the Old Testament is set right by the New Adam. A rich book written by a dear departed friend of the Fellowship of St. James, Fr. Paul Quay,The Mystery Hidden for Ages in God,got it right. Christ is the Head of the Corner, the head of a new creation, the re-capitulation of all.

Christ--the Center of Cosmos and History



Here is Pope Benedict's homily from yesterday's Mass in celebration of Epiphany. Translation via Papa Ratzinger Forum. It's a particularly beautiful homily and certain passages really struck me which I've highlighted in bold.


Dear brothers and sisters!

The Epiphany - the 'manifestation' of our Lord Jesus Christ - is a multiform mystery.

Latin tradition identifies it with the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem, and therefore interpreted it above all as the revelation of Israel's Messiah to pagan peoples.

Oriental tradition, instead, prefers to identify it with the baptism of Jesus on the river Jordan, when he manifested himself as the only-begotten Son of the heavenly Father, consecrated by the Holy Spirit.

But the Gospel of John asks us to consider even the marriage of Cana as an epiphany, when Jesus, changing water into wine, "revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him" (Jn 2,11).

What should we say, dear brothers, especially we who are priests of the new Covenant, who are daily witnesses and ministers of the 'epiphany' of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist?

In this most holy and most humble sacrament - which reveals and hides his glory at the same time - the Church celebrates all the mysteries of the Lord. "Adoro te devote, latens Deitas" – thus, in adoration, we pray along with St. Thomas Aquinas.

In this year, 2009, which is specially dedicated to astronomy, on the 4th centenary of Galileo Galilei's first observations on the telescope, we cannot fail to pay attention to the symbol of the star, so important in the Gospel account of the Magi (cfr Mt 2,1-12).

In all likelihood, they were astronomers. From their observatories, in the east relative to Palestine, probably in Mesopotamia, they noted the appearance of a new star, and interpreted this celestial phenomenon as the announcement of the birth of a new king, specifically, according to Sacred Scriptures, the king of the Jews (cfr Nm 24,17).

The Fathers of the Church ALSO saw in this singular episode narrated by St. Matthew a sort of cosmological 'revolution' caused by the entry into the world of the Son of God.

For example, St. John Chrysostom writes; "When the star came over the baby, it stopped, and this could be done only by a power that stars do not have: first, to hide itself, then to appear as a new star, and finally to stop" (Homily on the Gospel of Matthew, 7, 3).

St. Gregory Nazianzene states that the birth of Christ 'imposed new orbits on the stars' (cfr Poemi dogmatici, V, 53-64: PG 37, 428-429). Which is clearly to be understood in the symbolic and theological sense.

In effect, while pagan theology divinized the elements and the forces of the cosmos, the Christian faith, bringing Biblical revelation to fulfillment, contemplates one God, Creator and Lord of the entire universe.

It is divine love, incarnated in Christ, that is the fundamental and universal law of Creation. And this must be understood not in a poetic sense, but in a real sense.

That, too, was what Dante meant, when, in the sublime verse that concludes the Paradise section and the entire Divine Comedy, he defines God as "the love that moves the sun and other stars" (Paradise, XXIII, 145).

This means that the stars, the planets, the entire universe, are not governed by a blind force, they do not obey the dynamics of bare matter alone. Therefore, it is not the cosmic elements that must be divinized, but on the contrary, in everything and above everything, there is a personal will, the Spirit of God, which in Christ is revealed as Love (cfr Enc. Spe salvi, 2).

If this is so, then men - as St. Paul writes to the Colossians - are not slaves of the 'cosmic elements' (cfr Col 2,8), but are free, capable of relating themselves to the creative freedom of God.

God is at the origin of everything, and governs everything, not as a cold, anonymous motor, but as Father, Spouse, Friend, Brother, as Logos, 'Word-Reason', who has united himself to our mortal flesh once and for all time and fully shared our condition, manifesting the super-abundant power of his grace.

There is thus in Christianity a particular cosmological conception which found its highest expression in medieval philosophy and theology. Even in our time, this concept shows interesting signs of a new flowering, thanks to the passion and faith of not a few scientists who, in the footsteps of Galileo, renounce neither reason nor faith but value both to the utmost in their reciprocal fecundity.

Christian thought compares the cosmos to a 'book' - even Galileo said so - considering it as the work of an Author who expresses himself through the 'symphony' of Creation. Within this symphony, one finds, at a certain point, that which one would call in musical language a 'solo' [assolo in Italian], a theme entrusted to one instrument or to one voice, which is so important that the significance of the entire work depends on it.

This 'assolo' is Jesus, to whom a regal sign corresponds: the appearance of a new star in the firmament.
Jesus was compared by the early Christian authors to a new sun. According to present astrophysical knowledge, we should compare him to a star that is even more central, not only for our solar system, but for the entire known universe.

In this mysterious design, which is both physical and metaphysical, which led to the appearance of the human being as the crowning element of creation, Jesus came to the world: 'born of woman' (Gal 4,4), as St. Paul writes.

The Son of man assumes into himself heaven and earth, Creation and Creator, flesh and the Spirit. He is the center of the cosmos and of history, because in him are united without confusion the Author and his work.

The earthly Jesus was the peak of creation and history, but the risen Christ goes beyond: the passage, through death, to eternal life anticipates the 'recapitulation' of everything in Christ (cfr Eph 1,10).

Indeed, the Apostle writes, "all things were created through him and for him" (Col 1,16). And precisely through his resurrection from the dead, he became 'preeminent in all things" (Col, 1,18).

Jesus himself affirms this, appearing to his disciples after the resurrection: "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me" (Mt 28,18).

This knowledge sustains the pilgrimage of the Church, Body of Christ, along the paths of history. There is no shadow, however dark, that can obscure the light of Christ.

That is why, for those who believe in Christ, hope never fades, even today, in the face of the great social and economic crises which afflict mankind; in the face of hatred and destructive violence which do not cease to cause bloodshed in many regions of the earth; in the face of the selfishness of man and his pretension of setting himself up as his own god, which can lead to dangerous distortion of the divine design of life and human dignity, of family and the harmony of creation.

Our efforts to free our life and the world from the poisons and contaminations that could destroy the present and the future have value and sense - as I noted in the aforementioned encyclical Spe salvi- even if we apparently are not succeeding or appear to be impotent against overwhelming hostile forces, because our great hope is "based upon God's promises that give us courage and direct our action in good times and bad" (No. 35).

The universal Lordship of Christ is exercised in a special way over the Church. "And he put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way" (Eph 1,22-23).

Epiphany is the manifestation of the Lord, and by reflection, it is the manifestation of the Church, because the Body cannot be separated from the Head.

The first Reading today, taken from the so-called Third Isaiah, offers us the precise perspective for understanding the reality of the Church as a mystery of reflected light: "Rise up in splendor!", the prophet says, addressing Jerusalem, "Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you" (Is 60,1).

The Church is mankind enlightened, 'baptized' in the glory of God, that is, in his love, in his beauty, in his lordship. The Church knows that mankind itself, with its limitations and its miseries, brings to relief the work of the Holy Spirit.


She cannot boast of anything except her Lord: the light does not come from her, the glory is not hers. But her very joy that no one can take away is this: to be the 'sign and instrument' of him who is 'lumen gentium', light of the people (cfr Conc. Vat. II, Cost. dogm. Lumen gentium, 1).

Dear friends, in this Pauline Year, the Feast of the Epiphany invites the Church, and in her, every community and every single faithful, to imitate - as the Apostle of the Gentiles did - the service which the star rendered to the Magi from the East, leading them to Jesus (cfr St. Leo the Great, Disc. 3 per l’Epifania, 5: PL 54, 244).

What was Paul's life, after his conversion, if not a 'race' to bring to the peoples [of the known world] the light of Christ, and vice versa, to lead the peoples to Christ?

The grace of God made Paul into a 'star' to lead people. His ministry is an example and a stimulus for the Church to rediscover herself as essentially missionary, and to renew her commitment to proclaim the Gospel, especially to those who do not know it yet.

But, looking at St. Paul, we cannot forget that all his preaching was nourished by Sacred Scriptures. Therefore, in the light of the recent General Assembly of the Bishops' Synod, it must be reaffirmed forcefully that the Church and individual Christians can be a light that leads to Christ only if they nourish themselves assiduously and intimately in the Word of God.

It is the Word which enlightens, purifies, converts - not us, certainly. We are nothing but servants of the Word of life. That is how Paul thought of himself and his ministry: a service to the Gospel. "All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it" (1 Cor 9,23)

And so should the Church, every ecclesial community, every bishop and every priest, be able to say: I will do everything for the Gospel.

Dear brothers and sisters, pray for us, the pastors of the Church, so that, by assimilating daily the Word of God, we can transmit it faithfully to our brothers. We too, pray for you, the faithful, because every Christian is called to Baptism and Confirmation in order to announce Christ, the light of the world, in words and with the testimony of his life.

May the Virgin Mary, Star of Evangelization, help us to fulfill this mission together, and may St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles, intercede for us in heaven. Amen.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

2009 March for Life

...is coming up in just two weeks. Time flies. Consider going to walk in the amazing March for Life where you'll join thousands and thousands of people who ask for an end to the social injustice of abortion.

Here's a great site, Stand True, and one of the t-shirts offered:



See if your diocese is sponsoring a bus or two. If going is not possible for you, consider your diocesan march at your state's capital.

40 Days for Life Spring Campaign


...is just a few weeks away. Is God leading your community to participate? Click here to view the application process. I can tell you that our little parish has been transformed by stepping out in faith and sponsoring one of the venues. That meant we had the responsibility of filling in the slots.

Won't you consider? Pray, talk to your pastor, talk to your fellow parishioners. If you don't think that your parish is ready, consider sponsoring a day. Contact your nearest campaign venue and sign up for one day. Consider taking your youth to pray.

I can tell you from experience that having young people there praying the Rosary is a powerful visual message. You might never have the opportunity to cross the divide and speak directly to those considering abortions. But your presence there speaks volumes. The peaceful protest through the reciting of the Rosary brings about changes-of-heart that you may never see. However, this doesn't stop us from doing what we know is right. Have I personally saved any babies by my praying at an abortuary? I don't know the answer to that. It's not my place to answer that, and in a sense that frees me to focus my energies on praying and fasting for the sake of the lives of the unborn.

If God wills that someday my actions directly effect the saving of a little one, what an honor that would be. I constantly ask if I have done everything that I possibly can to bring about the end of this horrific nightmare called abortion. It is a scary thing at first to consider being out in front and exposing myself to ridicule and derision from the pro-death crowd. The cries of "Get your rosary off my ovary!" can pierce your heart. Just think of the little ones who have no voice...truly the least of Jesus' brethren.

In this season of Epiphany--a season that reminds us of God's humility in lowering himself to become a Babe for our salvation--won't you consider being actively involved in bringing an end to this silent holocaust? Rise above the cacophany of debates and endless, oftentimes fruitless discussions. Do something. Prayer at an abortuary is a big something.

Because if priests were allowed to be married

...there wouldn't be a vocations crisis. Right? Welllllll....... Precious quote:
I thought Christianity was about forgiveness.
He's upset at the lifetime ban from ministry.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Twelfth Night


Happy Twelfth Night! Did you get your twelve drummers drumming, eleven pipers piping, ten lords a'leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight maids a'milking, seven swans a'swimming, six geese a'laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtledoves, and a partridge in a pear tree?

You didn't? Neither did I....must go talk to My True Love.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Holy Name of Jesus

Today in the Old Calendar, it is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Here is the beautiful Introit:

In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur coelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Chrisus in gloria est Dei Patris. Ps. Domine Dominus, noster, quam admirabile est nomen tuum in unieversa terra!

+++

At the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of those that are in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth; and let every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Ps. O Lord our Lord; how admirable is Thy Name in the whole earth!


In the Daily Roman Missal (1962), the Morning Prayer includes the Litany of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. It's a wonderful way to begin one's day by reciting it. Here's an excerpt:

Jesus, true light, have mercy on us.
Jesus, eternal wisdom, have mercy on us.
Jesus, infinite goodness, have mercy on us.
Jesus, our way and our life, have mercy on us.
Jesus, joy of Angels, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of Patriarchs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, Master of Apostles, have mercy on us,
Jesus, Teacher of Evangelists, have mercy on us.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs, have mercy on us.
Jesus, light of Confessors, have mercy on us.
Jesus, purity of Virgins, have mercy on us.
Jesus, crown of all Saints, have mercy on us.

I love these two hymns, Jesu dulcis memoria and O Quam Amabilis that I've been singing today in celebration.

O Quam Amabilis

O quam amabilis es, bone Jesu,
O dulcis Jesu.

Quam delectabilis es, Jesu,
O dulcis Jesu.

O cordis jubilum, mentis solatium
O bone Jesu.

O quam admirabilis es, bone Jesu,
bone Jesu,
quam admirabilis, honorabilis es
quam venerabilis es, bone Jesu,
dulcis Jesu,

Semper laudabilis es, Jesu.
Bone Jesu, Dulcis Jesu, Pie Jesu,
O bone Jesu, Pie Jesu!


and Jesu, Dulcis Memoria

Jesu, dulcis memoria,
dans vera cordis gaudia:
sed super mel et omnia
ejus dulcis praesentia.

Nil canitur suavius,
nil auditur jucundius,
nil cogitatur dulcius,
quam Jesus Dei Filius.

Jesu, spes paenitentibus,
quam pius es petentibus!
quam bonus te quaerentibus!
sed quid invenientibus?

Nec lingua valet dicere,
nec littera exprimere:
expertus potest credere,
quid sit Jesum diligere.

Sis, Jesu, nostrum gaudium,
qui es futurus praemium:
sit nostra in te gloria,
per cuncta semper saecula.
Amen.