Friday, February 25, 2005

The Rat Maiden is an Adorable Little Rodent!
Catholic Educator's Resource Center
has several links on Terri Schiavo .
The Catholic Carnival...
is up.
The Feast of St. Walburga, O.S.B.,Abbess
is today. There is information on her here.
The oil flowing from her tomb was a point of contention brought up by Charles Kingsley in his attack on Venerable Newman, and thus was discussed by the Venerable in the notes of Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

Is there an oil flowing from St. Walburga's tomb, which is medicinal? To this question I confined myself in my Preface. Of the accounts of medieval miracles, I said that there was no extravagance in their general character, but I could not affirm that there was always evidence for them. I could not simply accept them as facts, but I could not reject them in their nature;—they might be true, for they were not impossible; but they were not proved to be true, because there was not trustworthy testimony. However, as to St. Walburga, I repeat, I made one exception, the fact of the medicinal oil, since for that miracle there was distinct and successive testimony. And then I went on to give a chain of witnesses. It was my duty to state what those witnesses said in their very words; so I gave the testimonies in full, tracing them from the Saint's death. I said, "She is one of the principal Saints of her age and country." Then I quoted Basnage, a Protestant, who says, "Six writers are extant, who have employed themselves in relating the deeds or miracles of Walburga." Then I said that her "renown was not the mere natural growth of ages, but begins with the very century of the Saint's death." Then I observed that only two miracles seem to have been "distinctly reported of her as occurring in her lifetime; and they were handed down apparently by tradition." Also, that such miracles are said to have commenced about A.D. 777. Then I spoke of the medicinal oil as having testimony to it in 893, in 1306, after 1450, in 1615, and in 1620. Also, I said that Mabillon seems not to have believed some of her miracles; and that the earliest witness had got into trouble with his Bishop. And so I left the matter, as a question to be decided by evidence, not deciding any thing myself.

What was the harm of all this? but my Critic muddled it together in a most extraordinary manner, and I am far from sure that he knew himself the definite categorical charge which he intended it to convey against me. One of his remarks is, "What has become of the holy oil for the last 240 years, Dr. Newman does not say," p. 25. Of course I did not, because I did not know; I gave the evidence as I found it; he assumes that I had a point to prove, and then asks why I did not make the evidence larger than it was.

I can tell him more about it now: the oil still flows; I have had some of it in my possession; it is medicinal still.

It is also the feast of Pope St. Felix III

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Feast of the Chair of St. Peter
is today. There is information on it here.

All who take part with Peter are on the winning side. The Apostle of Christ says not in order to unsay; for he has inherited that word which is with power. From the first he has looked through the wide world, of which he has the burden; and according to the need of the day and the inspirations of his Lord, he has set himself, now to one thing, now to another, but to all in season and to nothing in vain. He came first upon an age of refinement and luxury like our own; and in spite of the persecutor, fertile in the resources of his cruelty, he soon gathered, out of all classes of society, the slave, the soldier, the high-born lady, and the sophist, to form a people for his Master's honour. The savage hordes came down in torrents from the north, hideous even to look upon; and Peter went out with holy water and with benison, and by his very eye he sobered them and backed them in full career. They turned aside and flooded the whole earth, but only to be more surely civilized by him, and to be made ten times more his children even than the older populations they had overwhelmed. Lawless kings arose, sagacious as the Roman, passionate as the Hun, yet in him they found their match, and were shattered, and he lived on. The gates of the earth were opened to the east and west, and men poured out to take possession; and he and his went with them, swept along by zeal and charity, as far as they by enterprise, covetousness, or ambition. Has he failed in his enterprises up to this hour? Did he, in our fathers' day, fail in his struggle with Joseph of Germany and his confederates—with Napoleon, a greater name, and his dependent kings—that, though in another kind of fight, he should fail in ours? What grey hairs are on the head of Judah, whose youth is renewed as the eagle's, whose feet are like the feet of harts, and underneath the Everlasting Arms?

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. , Cathedra Sempiterna

It is also the feast of the great penitent St. Margaret of Cortona.

Monday, February 21, 2005

OK, all together now...
Happy Birthday to you !
Happy Birthday to you !
Happy 204th Birthday, Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. !
Happy Birthday to you !

As a birthday gift, we could pray for his canonization:

Eternal Father, You led JOHN HENRY NEWMAN to follow the kindly light of Truth, and he obediently responded to your heavenly calls at any cost. As writer, preacher, counsellor and educator, as pastor, Oratorian, and servant of the poor he laboured to build up Your Kingdom.

Grant that through your Vicar on Earth we may hear the words, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the company of the canonized saints."

May You manifest Your servant's power of intercession by even extraordinary answers to the prayers of the faithful throughout the world. We pray particularly for our intentions in his name and in the Name of Jesus Christ Your Son our Lord.


Please report any favours received to:
The Postulator, The Oratory, Hagley Road, Birmingham B16 8UE, England

On this date in 1870, the Venerable published An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent. It was dedicated to an old friend:













J. H. N.

One of this friend's sons, Lewis Bellasis, became a Father of the Birmingham Oratory.
The Feast of St. Peter Damian, O.S.B., Cardinal and Doctor of the Church
is today. There is information on him here.
It is also the feast of Blessed Noel Pinot, Priest and Martyr.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

From Faith and Prejudice and Other Unpublished Sermons
by Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O.

There is an immense weight of evil in the world. We Catholics, and especially we Catholic priests, have it in charge to resist, to overcome the evil; but we cannot do what we would, we cannot overcome the giant, we cannot bind the strong man. We do a part of the work, not all. It is a battle which goes on between good and evil, and though by God's grace we do something, we cannot do more. There is confusion of nations and perplexity. It is God's will that so it should be, to show His power. He alone can heal the soul, He alone can expel the devil. And therefore we must wait for a great deal, till He comes down, till He comes down from His seat on high, His seat in glory, to aid us and deliver us.

In that day we shall enter, if we be worthy, the fulness of that glory, of which the three Apostles had the foretaste in the moment of Transfiguration. All is darkness here, all is bright in heaven. All is disorder here, all is order there. All is noise here, and there there is stillness, or if sounds are heard, they are the sweet sounds of the eternal harps on which the praises of God are sung. Here we are in a state of uncertainty: we do not know what is to happen. The Church suffers; her goodly portion, and her choice inheritance suffer; the vineyard is laid waste; there is persecution and war; and Satan rages and afflicts when he cannot destroy. But all this will be set right in the world to come, and if St. Peter could say at the Transfiguration "It is good to be here," much more shall we have cause to say so when we see the face of God. For then we shall be like our Lord Himself, we shall have glorified bodies, as He had then, and has now. We shall have put off flesh and blood, and receive our bodies at the last day, the same indeed, but incorruptible, spiritual bodies, which will be able to see and enjoy the presence of God in a way which was beyond the three Apostles in the days of their mortality. Then the envious malignant spirit will be cast out, and we shall have nothing to fear, nothing to be perplexed at, for the Lord God shall lighten us, and encompass us, and we shall be in perfect security and peace. Then we shall look back upon this world, and the trials, and temptations which are past, and what thankfulness, what joy will not rise within us—and we shall look forward; and this one thought will be upon us that this blessedness is to last for ever. Our security has no limit. It is not that we shall be promised a hundred years of peace, or a thousand, but for ever and ever shall we be as we are, for our happiness and our peace will be founded in the infinite blessedness and peace of God, and as He is eternal and happy, so shall we be.
Fr. Michael...
is back, with a homily and an apology.
If it were not Sunday...
today would be the feast of St. Wulfric, Priest and Hermit.
It would also be the feast of Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto .
Music at Noon Mass
Processional Hymn: "The Glory of These Forty Days"
Offertory: "O Crux Ave"- Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594)
Communion: "Adoramus Te, Christe"- François Clément Théodore Dubois (1837-1924)
Recessional Hymn: "Forty Days and Forty Nights"