Saturday, March 29, 2003

Ai ! By Elbereth...
The rumbling you hear is the Professor spinning in his grave over in Oxford. Why ? This . This site has the bizarre gall to mix saints, beati , and venerabili with secular figures , and even a supporter of sexual perversion . Radically cheapening the haloes.... sigh....
BTW, there are, of course, inaccuracies in the little blurbs about St. Philip and Venerable Newman. Yes, St. Philip did get his dog Capprichio from a Cardinal, but the little creature was not 'filched'. And making the Venerable a 'patron' of dissent is simply wrong-headed, as I stated here .

Thanks to Whys Guys for the link.

Check his garage... maybe there's a Delorean ?
'Time-Traveler' Busted For Insider Trading

Thanks to Catholic Light for the link.

The pictures are down again...
I'm going to try to figure out what is happening... sigh...

Friday, March 28, 2003

Ok, now what ?
I checked the picture links I posted, and now they all say 'unvailable on this server' . Is this happening to other people, too ?
UPDATE: I got the pictures working again.. for me anyhow. Could one of my readers please tell me if other people are having problems seeing them ? And will I have to update them every day ?
This is just too true...
Check out this post by Athanasius at Summa Contra Mundum. (BTW, St. Athanasius was the Venerable's favorite among the Fathers of the Church. )

Short Meditations on the Stations of the Cross- Part One
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

Begin with an Act of Contrition

First Station
Jesus condemned to Death
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

The Holy, Just, and True was judged by sinners, and put to death. Yet, while they judged, they were compelled to acquit Him. Judas, who betrayed Him, said, "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood." Pilate, who sentenced Him, said, "I am innocent of the blood of this just person," and threw the guilt upon the Jews. The Centurion who saw Him crucified said, "Indeed this was a just man." Thus ever, O Lord, Thou art justified in Thy words, and dost overcome when Thou art judged. And so, much more, at the last day "They shall look on Him whom they pierced"; and He who was condemned in weakness shall judge the world in power, and even those who are condemned will confess their judgment is just.

Pater, Ave, &c.

V. Miserere nostri, Domine.
R. Miserere nostri.
Fidelium animæ, &c.

The Second Station
Jesus receives His Cross
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Jesus supports the whole world by His divine power, for He is God; but the weight was less heavy than was the Cross which our sins hewed out for Him. Our sins cost Him this humiliation. He had to take on Him our nature, and to appear among us as a man, and to offer up for us a great sacrifice. He had to pass a life in penance, and to endure His passion and death at the end of it. O Lord God Almighty, who dost bear the weight of the whole world without weariness, who bore the weight of all our sins, though they wearied Thee, as Thou art the Preserver of our bodies by Thy Providence, so be Thou the Saviour of our souls by Thy precious blood.

Pater, Ave, &c.

The Third Station
Jesus falls under the weight of the Cross the first time
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Satan fell from heaven in the beginning; by the just sentence of his Creator he fell, against whom he had rebelled. And when he had succeeded in gaining man to join him in his rebellion, and his Maker came to save him, then his brief hour of triumph came, and he made the most of it. When the Holiest had taken flesh, and was in his power, then in his revenge and malice he determined, as he himself had been struck down by the Almighty arm, to strike in turn a heavy blow at Him who struck him. Therefore it was that Jesus fell down so suddenly. O dear Lord, by this Thy first fall raise us all out of sin, who have so miserably fallen under its power.

Pater, Ave, &c.

The Fourth Station
Jesus meets His Mother
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

There is no part of the history of Jesus but Mary has her part in it. There are those who profess to be His servants, who think that her work was ended when she bore Him, and after that she had nothing to do but disappear and be forgotten. But we, O Lord, Thy children of the Catholic Church, do not so think of Thy Mother. She brought the tender infant into the Temple, she lifted Him up in her arms when the wise men came to adore Him. She fled with Him to Egypt, she took Him up to Jerusalem when He was twelve years old. He lived with her at Nazareth for thirty years. She was with Him at the marriage-feast. Even when He had left her to preach, she hovered about Him. And now she shows herself as He toils along the Sacred Way with His cross on His shoulders. Sweet Mother, let us ever think of thee when we think of Jesus, and when we pray to Him, ever aid us by thy powerful intercession.

Pater, Ave, &c.

The Fifth Station
Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry the Cross
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Jesus could bear His Cross alone, did He so will; but He permits Simon to help Him, in order to remind us that we must take part in His sufferings, and have a fellowship in His work. His merit is infinite, yet He condescends to let His people add their merit to it. The sanctity of the Blessed Virgin, the blood of the Martyrs, the prayers and penances of the Saints, the good deeds of all the faithful, take part in that work which, nevertheless, is perfect without them. He saves us by His blood, but it is through and with ourselves that He saves us. Dear Lord, teach us to suffer with Thee, make it pleasant to us to suffer for Thy sake, and sanctify all our sufferings by the merits of Thy own.

Pater, Ave, &c.

The Sixth Station
The Face of Jesus is wiped by Veronica
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Jesus let the pious woman carry off an impression of His Sacred Countenance, which was to last to future ages. He did this to remind us all, that His image must ever be impressed on all our hearts. Whoever we are, in whatever part of the earth, in whatever age of the world, Jesus must live in our hearts. We may differ from each other in many things, but in this we must all agree, if we are His true children. We must bear about with us the napkin of St. Veronica; we must ever meditate upon His death and resurrection, we must ever imitate His divine excellence, according to our measure. Lord, let our countenances be ever pleasing in Thy sight, not defiled with sin, but bathed and washed white in Thy precious blood.

Pater, Ave, &c.

The Seventh Station
Jesus falls a second time
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam Crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Satan had a second fall, when our Lord came upon earth. By that time he had usurped the dominion of the whole world—and he called himself its king. And he dared to take up the Holy Saviour in his arms, and show Him all kingdoms, and blasphemously promise to give them to Him, His Maker, if He would adore him. Jesus answered, "Begone, Satan!"—and Satan fell down from the high mountain. And Jesus bare witness to it when He said, "I saw Satan, as lightning, falling from heaven." The Evil One remembered this second defeat, and so now he smote down the Innocent Lord a second time, now that he had Him in his power. O dear Lord, teach us to suffer with Thee, and not be afraid of Satan's buffetings, when they come on us from resisting him.

Pater, Ave, &c.

Meditations and Devotions

Thursday, March 27, 2003

For Thursday
"The world cannot believe that Catholics really hold what they profess to hold; and supposes that, if they are educated men, they are kept up to their profession by external influence, by superstitious fear, by pride, by interest, or other bad or unworthy motive. Men of the world have never believed in their whole life, never have had simple faith in things unseen, never have had more than an opinion about them, that they might be true and might be false, but probably were true, or doubtless were true; and in consequence they think an absolute, unhesitating faith in anything unseen to be simply an extravagance, and especially when it is exercised on objects which they do not believe themselves, or even reject with scorn or abhorrence. And hence they prophesy that the Catholic Church must lose, in proportion as men are directed to the sober examination of their own thoughts and feelings, and to the separation of what is real and true from what is a matter of words and pretence. They cannot understand how our faith in the Blessed Sacrament is a genuine, living portion of our minds; they think it a mere profession which we embrace with no inward assent, but only because we are told that we should be lost unless we profess it; or because, the Catholic Church having in dark ages committed herself to it, we cannot help ourselves, though we would if we could, and therefore receive it by constraint, from a sense of duty towards our cause, or in a spirit of party. They will not believe that we would not gladly get rid of the doctrine of transubstantiation, as a heavy stone about our necks, if we could. What shocking words to use! It would be wrong to use them, were they not necessary to make you understand, my brethren, the privilege which you have, and the world has not. Shocking indeed and most profane! a relief to rid ourselves of the doctrine that Jesus is on our Altars! as well say a relief to rid ourselves of the belief that Jesus is God, to rid ourselves of the belief that there is a God."
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Discourses to Mixed Congregations
From the homily
Fr. Michael was celebrating noon Mass today. What I remember best from the homily is the idea that sometimes we try to 'cast out Satan with Satan.' We give in to certain sins to avoid others. Perhaps this is most obvious in the realm of sexual temptation. For example, a married man is tempted to infidelity, so instead he checks out pornographic websites, or a college student is tempted to fornication, but instead commits solitary acts of impurity. In avoiding the greater sin, we let ourselves indulge in the lesser. However, this binds us to the Enemy, and divides the 'kingdom' of our soul. And a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

A picture ...
A while back, I mentioned that two of the Fathers were leading a pilgrimage of students to Rome , with side trips to Assisi and Florence. Well, the pictures are developed, and some of them are now on the Web. With the kind permission of those who took them, I'll be posting some links to them. Since I'm in a bit of a rush right now (another job interview today !) , I'll just post a link to one . (The picture is large, so you may need to scroll to see all of it.)

St. Philip Neri ( Yes, that is really him. He's wearing a silver mask and silver-mesh gloves, but it is his body. )

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Welcome !
According to the Confederation website, a new Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri is being officially founded today ! God bless and gaudete semper to the Fathers in Prato, Italy !
The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord
is today. There is information on it here. Others have blogged on it, including Gerard , Domenico Bettinelli , and Lover of Christian Art .

"Our sweet Christ, the Word Incarnate, has given Himself to us for every thing that was necessary for us, even to the hard and ignominious death upon the Cross. " - St. Philip Neri

" Mary is the Janua Cœli, the Gate of Heaven

Mary is called the Gate of Heaven, because it was through her that our Lord passed from heaven to earth. The Prophet Ezechiel, prophesying of Mary, says, 'the gate shall be closed, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it, since the Lord God of Israel has entered through it—and it shall be closed for the Prince, the Prince Himself shall sit in it.'

Now this is fulfilled, not only in our Lord having taken flesh from her, and being her Son, but, moreover, in that she had a place in the economy of Redemption; it is fulfilled in her spirit and will, as well as in her body. Eve had a part in the fall of man, though it was Adam who was our representative, and whose sin made us sinners. It was Eve who began, and who tempted Adam. Scripture says: 'The woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold; and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave to her husband, and he did eat.' It was fitting then in God's mercy that, as the woman began the destruction of the world, so woman should also begin its recovery, and that, as Eve opened the way for the fatal deed of the first Adam, so Mary should open the way for the great achievement of the second Adam, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save the world by dying on the cross for it. Hence Mary is called by the holy Fathers a second and a better Eve, as having taken that first step in the salvation of mankind which Eve took in its ruin.

How, and when, did Mary take part, and the initial part, in the world's restoration? It was when the Angel Gabriel came to her to announce to her the great dignity which was to be her portion. St. Paul bids us 'present our bodies to God as a reasonable service.' We must not only pray with our lips, and fast, and do outward penance, and be chaste in our bodies; but we must be obedient, and pure in our minds. And so, as regards the Blessed Virgin, it was God's will that she should undertake willingly and with full understanding to be the Mother of our Lord, and not to be a mere passive instrument whose maternity would have no merit and no reward. The higher our gifts, the heavier our duties. It was no light lot to be so intimately near to the Redeemer of men, as she experienced afterwards when she suffered with him. Therefore, weighing well the Angel's words before giving her answer to them—first she asked whether so great an office would be a forfeiture of that Virginity which she had vowed. When the Angel told her no, then, with the full consent of a full heart, full of God's love to her and her own lowliness, she said, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.' It was by this consent that she became the Gate of Heaven. "

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Meditations and Devotions

Tolkien Note (WARNING: SPOILER !)

As Mr. Shea noted here , it is also, in the Tolkien-verse, the day the One Ring was destroyed.

"In Gondor the New Year will always now begin upon the twenty-fifth of March when Sauron fell, and when you were brought out of the fire to the King."
Gandalf to Samwise Gamgee, "The Field of Cormallen", The Lord of the Rings

(Side note to anybody as Tolkien-geeky as me or more: Yes, I know about the difference between Shire Reckoning and the Gregorian calendar and that the real date would be sometime in April. I'm merely choosing to ignore it.)

Monday, March 24, 2003

Prayer request for a friend...
I'm wondering if there are a lot of guys out there with his problem.
Steve, after a lot of prayer and counsel, has discerned that God is calling him to the priesthood. Problem is, his parents are not practicing Catholics. His mother sometimes shows up at Mass on Sunday, but not on a regular basis. His father, on the other hand, is a very bitter fallen-away Catholic who reacts to the Church's teachings with venom. So besides trying to discern whether he should be a diocesan priest, a religious, or maybe even an Oratorian, he's got to deal with this family issue. Please pray that when he does tell them, they may be more supportive than he fears. If they are not, and his fears are realized, pray that he may deal well with whatever they throw at him.

St. Monica is the patroness for parents with children who have left the Faith. Is there a patron for children whose parents have left the Faith ?

I hope this is true....

You know the power of prayer!
You know the power of prayer!

What Bible verse is your life's theme song?
brought to you by Quizilla

" A man without prayer is like an animal without the use of reason." - St. Philip Neri

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Prayers requested
for my friend and fellow Secular Oratorian Ed, and his wife Ethel. She is very, very ill, with a condition which seems to be developing into leukemia.
Lots of cuteness after Mass today...
My friends Alan and Marissa were back in town... bringing their new addition, Isaac Francis, who is three months old and very sweet. (This is their first baby, and they seem to be utterly besotted. Alan admitted that he's up to over 3,000 pictures ! ) Then there were Jerry and Miranda, and their first little one, Finnian, who is eleven days old.
Young Catholic families. Gotta love it !
I've read too much Chesterton...
When I saw this , the first thing that leaped to mind was the Fr. Brown story The Sign of the Broken Sword .

Music at noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "Take Up Your Cross"
Offertory: "Benedicite Deum Caeli" - Antoine de Longueval (1480-1530)
Communion: "Adoramus Te, Christe" - Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594)
Recessional Hymn: "Forty Days and Forty Nights"