Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Feast of Pope St. Gregory II
is today. There is information on him here.

Friday, February 27, 2004

For Friday
Short Meditations on the Stations of the Cross
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. "

This gives the phrase 'going out with a bang'
a whole new meaning.

Minute Particulars
has a fine quote from Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. It is taken from his masterpiece, Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Poisoning the Wells
The Feast of St. Gabriel Possenti, C.P.
is today. There is information on him here. To any Passionists out there, happy feast day !
It is also the feast of three English martyrs who were executed together, St. Anne Line, Blessed Mark Barkworth, O.S.B., and Blessed Roger Filcock. I have a particular fondness for St. Anne Line because when the court asked her if she was sorry now that she had hidden the persecuted priests, she shot back that she was only sorry that she could not have helped a thousand more.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

On February 26th, 1846..
Venerable John Henry Newman, who had been received into the Church in October of the previous year, wrote a letter to his friend Henry Wilberforce, which included the following:
"I am writing next room to the Chapel. It is such an incomprehensible blessing to have Christ's bodily presence in one's house, within one's walls, as swallows up all other privileges and destroys, or should destroy, every pain. To know that He is close by-to be able again and again through the day to go in to Him; and be sure, my dearest W., when I am thus in His Presence you are not forgotten. It is the place for intercession surely, where the Blessed Sacrament is...."
Lane Core
has a post with links to both a story on a gentleman who has a book titled Anglican Diffficulties and to Venerable Newman's own books on "Anglican Difficulties". I wonder if the gentleman meant his title as a homage... It's also interesting that he will be received into the Church by a priest of the Venerable's own community, the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Birmingham.
I saw the movie last night...
and I'm still collecting my thoughts. I will blog on it later.
The Feast of Blessed Robert Drury, Priest and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

For Lent
Here is a set of quotes from St. Philip Neri.
Lane Core has links to sermons by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
Here is a litany written by the Venerable, which may be useful:

Litany of Penance
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, "
God the Holy Ghost,
Holy Trinity, one God,
Incarnate Lord,
Lover of souls,
Saviour of sinners,
Who didst come to seek those that were lost,
Who didst fast for them forty days and nights,
By Thy tenderness towards Adam when he fell,
By Thy faithfulness to Noe in the ark,
By Thy remembrance of Lot in the midst of sinners,
By Thy mercy on the Israelites in the desert,
By Thy forgiveness of David after his confession,
By Thy patience with wicked Achab on his humiliation,
By Thy restoration of the penitent Manasses,
By Thy long suffering towards the Ninevites,
when they went in sackcloth and ashes,
By Thy blessing on the Maccabees,
who fasted before the battle,
By Thy choice of John to go before Thee as the preacher of penance,
By Thy testimony to the Publican,
who hung his head and smote his breast,
By Thy welcome given to the returning Prodigal,
By Thy gentleness with the woman of Samaria,
By Thy condescension towards Zacchæus,
persuading him to restitution,
By Thy pity upon the woman taken in adultery,
By Thy love of Magdalen, who loved much,
By Thy converting look, at which Peter wept,
By Thy gracious words to the thief upon the cross,

We sinners, Beseech Thee, hear us.
That we may judge ourselves,
and so escape Thy judgment. "
That we may bring forth worthy fruits of penance,
That sin may not reign in our mortal bodies,
That we may work out our salvation with fear and trembling,
Son of God,

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
O Lord, hear our prayer.
And let our cry come unto Thee.

Let us Pray

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to Thy faithful, pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their offences, and also serve Thee with a quiet mind, through Christ our Lord.—Amen.

Oh, and over at Random Notes, Mr. White has an excellent Lenten suggestion.

Today is Ash Wednesday
There is information on it here..
If it were not Ash Wednesday, it would be the feast of St. Walburga, O.S.B., Virgin.

Music at the noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "The Glory of These Forty Days"
Recessional Hymn: "These Forty Days of Lent"

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

On February 24th, 1850
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:

"On Grace, the Principle of Eternal Life
1. INTROD.—God, who had been the sole life from eternity, is the life of all things. He did not lose His prerogative or give to others or creation what He is Himself.

2. Nothing lives without Him; nothing is. Animated nature, vegetables, nay, the very material substances, have their life, if it may be so called, their motion and activity in Him—the elements. What is called Nature, a principle of life, is from Him.

3. Moreover, the life He has given to Nature is but transient and fleeting. It is beautiful while it lasts, but it comes to an end. Nay, it is self-destructive; thus the water and the fire, which are the conservation, have been and shall be the destruction of the earth. And so growth tends to decay. It is the same process; all things grow to an end.

4. Thus this earth, as I have said, will be consumed. Thus the year, too, comes to an end—how beautiful spring, yet it doesn't last. The year runs a reckless course, like a spendthrift; it cannot help going on till it is nothing. So it is with bodily health—'dust thou art,' etc. We see it again in animals, which are sportive and playful when young, but get old and miserable and sullen. Thus in Nature the best is first.

5. Nature, then, has no immortal principle in it. All natural things run a course; and this is true of the soul, of the natural soul. The soul as it is by Nature, by original creation, has no principle of permanent life in it. The soul grows old as anything else.

6. Describe the engaging manners of the young—fascinating, light-heartedness, cheerfulness; affections warm; imagination, conversation, wit; all pain shaken off—what can be better? Why is not Nature enough? Wait awhile.

7. Wait awhile, for the soul grows old as anything else—as the leaves turn yellow, as the animal frame grows stiff, so wait on a few years, the natural soul too grows old; the beauty decays as beauty of person; the soul contracts, stiffens, hardens, instead of being supple and versatile, and elastic and vigorous; its limbs are cramped; everything is a burden; it is a fear to it to be pulled out into new positions; it cannot take pleasure in what once pleased—not in poetry or works of fiction, not in friendship; it cannot form new friends; it is bereaved [of the old ones], and does not replace them; it cannot laugh; disappointment breaks it; it cannot recover. Hence relapsing into natural imperfections (as crabbedness, ill-nature, etc.) which a man had seemed to overcome, having ever struggled against them.

8. Oh terrible! old people hard-hearted, without affections, careless of the loss of friends—not from high motives—they have no faith—virtue seems a fancy—with hearts like stone, etc.

9. Follow such a one into the next world. What is to be his happiness for eternity?—immortal, yet dead, eternal death. Life of the soul is in the affections; he has no affections—a closed heart. The devil cannot love God—vide St. Catherine of Genoa in St. Alfonso's Sermons, p. 335.

10. Such is the course of Nature in the soul as in the body. Nature ages; it has in it no principle of life. No, grace is the only principle of immortality. We must go beyond nature; we must go to something higher. Here, then, is one characteristic difference between Nature and Grace.

11. EXHORTATION, Eccles. xii. All saints have lived by love—the martyrs, confessors, etc., etc. St. Valentine who connects us with the first age, shows that the Church has kept, not lost, her first bloom. "

I can't possibly resist these....
Valinor - You are as knowledgeable about LoTR as the Valar! You've probably taught yourself Elvish, both Sindarin and Quenya but you don't stop there! You are as much of a geek as me! %

So how much do you REALLY know about Middle Earth?
brought to you by Quizilla

You rule over Rivendell, the land of the elves,
both wise and fair, with no time for the needs
of the weak human race. Happy in the company of
your people, you focus wholly in keeping your
land away from the Dark Lord and out of

Which Middle Earth City do you Rule?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hmm, (or rather, Hoom!) Well, this next result is gender-appropriate, anyhow...
You're Wandlimb: The long-lost beloved of
Treebeard. Known as Fimbrethel in elvish, You
were separated from your Treebeard when the
Entwives travelled east of the Great River to
plant their gardens.
It was Treebeard's desire to find you again that led
the Ents to discover that the Entwives'
gardens had been destroyed, and that the Entwives
themselves were lost.
Perhaps I will get you a map for your birthday. :P

TTT- Which Ent are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
75%! you love hobbits!!! You are more a fan of the
book than the movie, and taking your knowledge
of Tolkien's furry creatures into account, you
could probably write a book of your own! :)

How hobbit-obsessed are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Quizzes courtesy of Don at Mixolydian Mode.

Monday, February 23, 2004

A thank you to TSO
over at Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor , for noticing.
If anybody is wondering why I haven't commented on the upcoming movie starring Mr. Caviezel
I'm waiting until after I actually see it. On Wednesday evening a large group of people connected with the Oratory (mostly college students) will attend the 7:30 pm showing at Loew's Theater, including yours truly. I'm a bit nervous about the gore quotient, as I do tend to be somewhat squeamish- but we'll see how well (or badly) I deal with it two days from now...
The Feast of St. Polycarp of Smyrna, Bishop and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here.
"St. Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, when at the stake, offered up a prayer to God, which ended thus: 'I glorify Thee, through the Eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son..., through whom be glory to Thee, with Him in the Holy Ghost, both now and for ever.' " - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Tracts Theological and Ecclesiastical

Sunday, February 22, 2004

If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of The Chair of St. Peter, when the Church commemorates the establishment of the see of Rome.
"Deeply do I feel, ever will I protest, for I can appeal to the ample testimony of history to bear me out, that, in questions of right and wrong, there is nothing really strong in the whole world, nothing decisive and operative, but the voice of him, to whom have been committed the keys of the kingdom and the oversight of Christ's flock. The voice of Peter is now, as it ever has been, a real authority, infallible when it teaches, prosperous when it commands, ever taking the lead wisely and distinctly in its own province, adding certainty to what is probable, and persuasion to what is certain. Before it speaks, the most saintly may mistake; and after it has spoken, the most gifted must obey." - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. Cathedra Sempiterna

It would also be the feast of one of the great penitents, St. Margaret of Cortona.
Music at the 11:30 am Mass
Processional Hymn: "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy"
Offertory: "Tantum Ergo Sacramentum" - Theodore Dubois (1837-1924)
Recessional Hymn: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence"