Saturday, May 01, 2004

Getting there...slowly.....
Twenty-five days until St. Philip's Day !
On May 1, 1851
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
On Mary as the Pattern of the Natural World

" 1. INTROD.-Why May the month of Mary?

2. Consider what May denotes. It is the youth of the year; its beauty, grace and purity. Next is its fertility; all things bud forth. The virgin and mother.

3. See how the ecclesiastical year answers to it. Our Lord passed His time in the winter-born at Christmas, etc. He struggles on. We sympathise with Him. We fast in Lent-the rough weather continues. He comes to His death and burial when the weather is still bad, yet with promise-fits of better anticipations. He rises; the weather mends; but, as He was not known as risen, not all at once. But at length it is not doubtful. He is a risen king, and, still the weather gets warmer. As a climax May comes, and He gives His mother.

4. Such is the comparison. Nothing so beautiful in the natural world as the season when it opens. Nothing so beautiful in the supernatural as Mary. The more you know of this world the more beautiful you would know it to be-in other climates-beauty of scenery, etc., etc.

5. But this is not all. Alas, the world is so beautiful as to tempt us to idolatry. St. Peter said, 'It is good to be here' [on Mt. Thabor], but 'It is not good to be in the world.' Say 'Hast thou tracked a traveller round,' etc.; all that is so beautiful tempts us. Hence all Nature tends to sin (not in itself), etc.

6. Here then a further reason why the month is given to Mary, viz. in order that we may sanctify the year.

And thus she is a better Eve. Eve, too, in the beginning may be called the May of the year. She was the first-fruits of God's beautiful creation. She was the type of all beauty; but alas! she represented the world also in its fragility. She stayed not in her original creation. Mary comes as a second and holier Eve, having the grace of indefectibility and the gift of perseverance from the first, and teaching us how to use God's gifts without abusing them. "

The Feast of St. Joseph the Worker
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of St. Asaph, Bishop, St. Augustine Schoffler, Priest and Martyr, St. John-Louis Bonnard , St. Peregrine Laziosi, O.S.M., Priest, and St. Richard Pampuri, O.H. .

Friday, April 30, 2004

And it's twenty-six days
until St. Philip's Day !
Irish Elk
has a post on a gutsy Catholic politician, who has, alas, long since gone to his reward.
I verified my account today...
If anybody wants to make a Paypal donation to a poor, unemployed blogger, please feel free.
The feast of Pope St. Pius V, O.P.
is today. There is information on him here.
Happy feast day to all the Dominicans out there !
" St. Pius became Pope in 1566, and Selim became Sultan in that very same year. What a strange contrast did Rome and Constantinople present at that era! Neither was what it had been. But they had changed in opposite directions. Both had been the seat of Imperial Power; Rome, where heresy never throve, had exchanged its Emperor for the succession of St. Peter and St. Paul; Constantinople had passed from secular supremacy into schism, and thence into a blasphemous apostasy. The unhappy city, which, with its subject provinces had been successively the seat of Arianism, of Nestorianism, of Photianism, now had become the metropolis of the false Prophet; and, while in the West, the great edifice of the Vatican Basilica was rising anew in its wonderful proportions and its costly materials, the Temple of St. Sophia in the East was degraded into a Mosque! O the strange contrast in the state of the inhabitants of each place! Here, in the city of Constantine, a God-denying misbelief was accompanied by an impure, man-degrading rule of life, by the slavery of woman, and the corruption of youth. But there, in the city which Apostles had consecrated with their blood, the great and true reformation of the age was in full progress. There, the determinations in doctrine and discipline of the great Council of Trent had lately been promulgated. There, for twenty years past, had laboured our own dear saint, St. Philip, till he earned the title of Apostle of Rome, and yet had still nearly thirty years of life and work in him. There, too, the romantic royal-minded saint, Ignatius Loyola, had but lately died. And there, when the Holy See fell vacant, and a Pope had to be appointed in the great need of the Church, a Saint was present in the Conclave to find in it a brother Saint, and to recommend him for the Chair of St. Peter, to the suffrages of the Fathers and Princes of the Church."- Venerable John Henry Newman,C.O., Historical Sketches, Volume One

It is also the feast of St. Joseph Benedict Cottolengo, Priest and Founder, Blessed Marie Guyart of the Incarnation,S.U. and Blessed William Southerne, Priest and Martyr..

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Slowly advancing...
Twenty-seven days to St. Philip's Day !
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

"Souls of the Just, I call not you
To share this joy with me,
This joy and wonder at the view
Of mountain, plain, and sea;

Ye, on that loftier mountain old,
Safe lodged in Eden's cell,
Whence run the rivers four, behold
This earth, as ere it fell.

Or, when ye think of those who stay
Still tried by the world's fight,
'Tis but in looking for the day
Which shall the lost unite.

Ye rather, elder Spirits strong!
Who from the first have trod
This nether scene, man's race among,
The while you live to God,

Ye see, and ye can sympathize-
Vain thought! their mighty ken
Fills height and depth, the stars, the skies,
They smile at dim-eyed men.

Ah, Saviour! I perforce am Thine,
Angel and Saint apart:
Those searching Eyes are all-divine,
All-human is that Heart."

April 29, 1833.

Yesterday it was the Whapsters...
today Jeff Miller is cracking me up.
The Feast of St. Catherine of Siena, O.P., Virgin and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on her here. It is also the feast of St. Peter Verona, O.P., Priest and Martyr. To all the Dominicans out there, including a certain blogger, happy feast day !

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Twenty-eight days...
until St. Philip's Day !
The Whapsters
are cracking me up.
My favorites are "Warning: Occasions of sin are more proximate than they appear." and "Concuspicence happens!"

On April 28, 1872
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., preached a sermon, of which the following notes survive:
" 1. INTROD.-I have said that as our Lord went away suddenly, so will He come again. Next, that there will be a great token of His coming, viz. a falling away. Thirdly, that it will still be sudden, because that falling away is in almost every age, or, at least, again and again.

2. Now some passages in Scripture about the falling away: 1 Tim. iv. [1], 2 Tim. iii. [1-5], ib. iv. [3] , 2 Peter iii. [3-4] .

3. About the suddenness, Matt. xxiv. 27, 'For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.'

4. Infallible word, commented on by theologians through ages: 'Blessed are those who hear,' etc.

5. Of course at all times there is a spirit of prophecy in the Church, and there are holy men and women, though there is no proof of this [in the stories now abroad].

6. It seems to me a great pity that Catholics leave Scripture prophecy, which is the infallible word, for rumours and stories about prophecies without foundation, e.g. at this very time.

7. Orval coming up again (vide Rambler, vol. iv. p. 73).

8. Shifting according to circumstances?instance of 1748.

9. But still the word of God stands sure and cannot be superseded. If they are true, they co-operate with Scripture and do not oppose it.

10. Now this great contrast between these so-called prophecies and Scripture, the one prophecy good, the other evil.

11. Those who are always looking for good, are always disappointed; but it is our comfort and glory to know that the Church always triumphs, though it seems always failing.

12. Hence two lessons: (1) The bad state of things is to remind us of His coming and its suddenness. (2) We are encouraged under it by the feeling it is our special portion to be in trouble, 2 Cor. iv. 8-9 .

13. Three lessons: (1) To remind and warn. (2) To calm us, because in every age. (3) To give us faith and hope, from the sight of the Church's continual victory. "

The Feast of St. Peter Chanel, S.M. , Priest and Martyr
is today. There is information on him here. It is also the feast of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Priest and Founder. To all the Marists and all the members of the Montfortian religious family out there, happy feast day !
In addition it is the feast of Blessed Gianna Beretta Molla, so prayers for the safety of unborn children and their mothers would be especially appropriate.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

And it's twenty-nine days...
until St. Philip's Day !
On April 27, 1879
Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., had a private audience with the Holy Father, Pope Leo XIII, prior to the same Holy Father making him a Cardinal. He described this meeting in a letter home to one of the Fathers of the Birmingham Oratory.
'"Via Sistina No. 48: May 2, 1879.
'My dear Henry,
Your letter came safe and thank you for it. I have been laid up with a bad cold ever since I have been here. Yesterday and today I have been in bed. It has seized my throat and continues hard. I have had advice, but it does nothing for me. The weather is so bad-I think it will not go till Spring weather comes. It pulls me down sadly. Here great days are passing, and I a prisoner in the house. It answers to my general experience of Roman weather.

The Holy Father received me most affectionately-keeping my hand in his. He asked me, 'Do you intend to continue head of the Birmingham House?' I answered, 'That depends on the Holy Father.' He then said, 'Well then I wish you to continue head,' and he went on to speak of this at length, saying there was a precedent for it in one of Gregory XVI.'s cardinals.

He asked me various questions-was our house a good one? was our Church? how many were we? of what age? When I said, we had lost some, he put his hand on my head and said 'Don't cry.' He asked 'had we any lay brothers?' How then did we do for a cook? I said we had a widow woman, and the kitchen was cut off from the house. He said 'bene.' Where did I get my theology? at Propaganda? etc. etc. When I was leaving he accepted a copy of my four Latin Dissertations, in the Roman Edition. I certainly did not think his mouth large till he smiled, and then the ends turned up, but not unpleasantly-he has a clear white complexion-his eyes somewhat bloodshot-but this might have been the accident of the day. He speaks very slowly and clearly and with an Italian manner.

William has had a letter to Austin on the stocks for some days. I hope it went a day or two ago.
Love to all.
Ever yours afftly.,

Yet another....
heart-breaking post .

Please pray for the deceived people who think that letting children be ripped apart is 'freedom'.

On April 27, 1995....
the Donnelly Chapel of St. Philip Neri was solemnly dedicated. This is the Pittsburgh Oratory's house chapel. There is a picture of it here,( though, IMHO, not a particularly good one). Prayers for the Fathers, the Secular Oratorians, and all those who are involved in the ministries here would be most welcome.
The Feast of St. Zita, Virgin
is today. There is information on her here.

Monday, April 26, 2004

From Discourses to Mixed Congregations
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
"A Prophet is one who comes from God, who speaks with authority, who is ever one and the same, who is precise and decisive in his statements, who is equal to successive difficulties, and can smite and overthrow error. Such has the Catholic Church shown herself in her history, such is she at this day. She alone has had the Divine spell of controlling the reason of man, and of eliciting faith in her word from high and low, educated and ignorant, restless and dull-minded. Even those who are alien to her, and whom she does not move to obedience, she moves to respect and admiration. The most profound thinkers and the most sagacious politicians predict her future triumphs while they marvel at her past. Her enemies are frightened at the sight of her, and have no better mode of warfare against her than that of blackening her with slanders, or of driving her into the wilderness. To see her is to recognise her; her look and bearing is the evidence of her royal lineage. True, her tokens might be clearer than they are; I grant it; she might have been set up in Adam, and not in Peter; she might have embraced the whole family of man; she might have been the instrument of inwardly converting all hearts; she might have had no scandals within or misfortunes without; she might in short have been, I repeat, a heaven on earth; but, I repeat, does she not show as glorious in our sight as a creature, as her God does as the Creator? If He does not display the highest possible tokens of His presence in nature, why should His Messenger display such in grace? You believe the Scriptures; does she not in her character and conduct show as Divine as Jacob does, or as Samuel, or as David, or as Jeremias, or in a far higher measure? Has she not notes far more than sufficient for the purpose of convincing you? She takes her rise from the very coming of Christ, and receives her charter, as also her very form and mission, from His mouth. 'Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father who is in heaven. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.' "

And it's thirty days...
until St. Philip's Day !
From the homily
Fr. Michael was the celebrant at the 12:10 pm Mass today. What I remember most from his homily was his comments about Our Lord's command, " Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." This is, of course, the Eucharist, in which Christ gives Himself to us- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. He lets us take Himself into our very beings, consume Him, that we might follow Him more closely. On the other hand, when we refuse to follow Him, we ourselves end up being consumed by our sin. (He named Gollum as a good literary example- in his selfish desire he ends up a shrivelled shadow of a being. )
On April 26, 1944
the Professor wrote a letter to his youngest son, Christopher.....
"Yesterday felt effects of Sunday night. Went off early to town and did some executors business for Mrs. Wright , gave a poor lecture, saw the Lewises and C.W. (White Horse) for 1/2 hour; mowed three lawns, and wrote letter to John, and struggled with recalcitrant passage in 'The Ring'. At this point I require to know how much later the moon gets up each night when nearing full, and how to stew a rabbit ! "

(Note: "C.W." was Charles Williams. "John" was John Tolkien, the Professor's eldest son. )
Brave woman...
brave post.

Link courtesy of Jeff Miller.

The Feast of Our Lady of Good Counsel
is today. There is information on it here.
It is also the feast of Pope St. Cletus, Martyr, and Pope St. Marcellinus, Martyr.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Getting closer...
Thirty-one days until St. Philip's Day !
From the Granola Conservative...
a great post on how error in the theology of creation leads to error in the understanding of what love is, and thus to an evil disregard for the lives and welfare of children.
Please pray ...
for this blogger and his son. ( I will be asking the Venerable to intercede for them- he knew the pain of being separated from his family because of his reception into the Catholic Church.)
Link courtesy of Against the Grain.

From Discourses to Mixed Congregations
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.
"Such are the means which God has provided for the creation of the Saint out of the sinner; He takes him as he is, and uses him against himself: He turns his affections into another channel, and extinguishes a carnal love by infusing a heavenly charity. Not as if He used him as a mere irrational creature, who is impelled by instincts and governed by external incitements without any will of his own, and to whom one pleasure is the same as another, the same in kind, though different in degree. I have already said, it is the very triumph of His grace, that He enters into the heart of man, and persuades it, and prevails with it, while He changes it. He violates in nothing that original constitution of mind which He gave to man: He treats him as man; He leaves him the liberty of acting this way or that; He appeals to all his powers and faculties, to his reason, to his prudence, to his moral sense, to his conscience: He rouses his fears as well as his love; He instructs him in the depravity of sin, as well as in the mercy of God; but still, on the whole, the animating principle of the new life, by which it is both kindled and sustained, is the flame of charity. This only is strong enough to destroy the old Adam, to dissolve the tyranny of habit, to quench the fires of concupiscence, and to burn up the strongholds of pride.

And hence it is that love is presented to us as the distinguishing grace of those who were sinners before they were Saints; not that love is not the life of all Saints, of those who have never needed a conversion, of the Most Blessed Virgin, of the two St. John's, and of those others, many in number, who are 'first-fruits unto God and the Lamb;' but that, while in those who have never sinned gravely love is so contemplative as almost to resolve itself into the sanctity of God Himself; in those, on the contrary, in whom it dwells as a principle of recovery, it is so full of devotion, of zeal, of activity, and good works, that it gives a visible character to their history, and is ever associating itself with our thoughts of them.

Such was the great Apostle, on whom the Church is built, and whom I contrasted, when I began, with his fellow-Apostle St. John: whether we contemplate him after his first calling, or on his repentance, he who denied his Lord, out of all the Apostles, is the most conspicuous for his love of Him. It was for this love of Christ, flowing on, as it did, from its impetuosity and exuberance, into love of the brethren, that he was chosen to be the chief Pastor of the fold. 'Simon, son of John, lovest thou Me more than these?' was the trial put on him by his Lord; and the reward was, 'Feed My lambs, feed My sheep'. Wonderful to say, the Apostle whom Jesus loved, was yet surpassed in love for Jesus by a brother Apostle, not virginal as he; for it is not John of whom our Lord asked this question, and who was rewarded with this commission, but Peter.
Look back at an earlier passage of the same narrative; there, too, the two Apostles are similarly contrasted in their respective characters; for when they were in the boat, and their Lord spoke to them from the shore, and 'they knew not that it was Jesus,' first 'that disciple, whom Jesus loved, said to Peter, It is the Lord,' for 'the clean of heart shall see God;' and then at once 'Simon Peter,' in the impetuosity of his love, 'girt his tunic about him, and cast himself into the sea,' to reach Him the quicker. St. John beholds and St. Peter acts."

If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. Mark the Evangelist.
It would also be the feast of Blessed Robert Anderton and Blessed William Marsden, Priests and Martyrs.

Music at the 11:30 am Mass
Processional Hymn : "Crown Him With Many Crowns"
Offertory: "Jesu! Rex Admirabilis"- Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
Communion: "Victimae Paschali Laudes" - Chant
Recessional Hymn: "Christ the Lord is Risen Today"