28 November 2017 – @MadisonDiocese – Confirmation in the Traditional Rite

confirmation_tradHis Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, has graciously consented to confer the sacrament of Confirmation according to the traditional form of the Roman Rite on the evening of Tuesday, 28 November 2017 at St. Mary’s Church in Pine Bluff, WI.

Bishop Morlino understands that there may be some confirmands from outside of the Diocese of Madison.

Anyone who is interested in being confirmed, should quickly take steps to make contact and send the proper information no later than 20 November.

If you are interested in confirmation for yourself or for your child, please take note of this letter from Bp. Morlino. Click  HERE

If you have not been confirmed, consider the graces you are offered in this wonderful sacrament.

From last year

Posted in Events, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Fr. Murray on the Jesuit-run Boston “Amoris laetitia” Agitprop Workshop

scorpionThe other day I read of and wrote of the recent Jesuit-run Boston College conference on the reception of Amoris laetitiaHERE and HERE  and HERE  In the balance, this confab was really an Agitprop Workshop.  The participants in this closed-door strategy practicum were feed talking points and language useful in uprooting truth and planting weeds.

For example, I remember my initial reaction when I read the statement, uttered during the Workshop, that Jesus “disfavored” adultery.   One of the tactics of the Left will be to replace clear, sane language with slippery weasel words such as that.  Another trick is to describe an adulterous union as an “irregular” union, which shifts the situation out of the realm of sin and morality and into the realm of mere man-made rules or regulations, which of course can be easily changed according to our needs.

My friend Fr. Gerald Murray has a keen sense of smell for this sort of B as in B and S as in S.  He also has a sharp quill.   Fr. Murray take aim at this diabolical assault on the intelligence of Catholics through the Orwellian twisting of words.   You don’t want to miss his piece at The Catholic Thing today.

Here’s a sample:

More Bad Defenses of “Amoris Laetitia”

The claim was widely made during the two Synods on the Family that the innovation of allowing persons living in adulterous second unions to receive Holy Communion, as proposed by Cardinal Kasper and others, was not a change in doctrine, but simply in discipline. [B as in B.  S as in S.] I did not believe this to be true then (or now) and, apparently, neither did many of the supporters of this innovation. [Which makes them duplicitous squared.]

The first evidence of that was the seemingly universal refusal to identify these unions as adulterous in fidelity to Christ’s words: “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Lk 16:18) Instead of adulterous these sinful relationships were called “irregular” unions. This tactic reduces Christ’s teaching to the level of a regulation. The use of scare quotes further diminished the stature of Christ’s teaching by casting doubt on whether we should really consider these unions to be irregular at all.

A conference on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia was recently held at Boston College. Further evidence of the rejection of Christ’s plain teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery is found in the reported comments of two speakers: Professor Cathleen Kaveny and Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J.

Kaveny used curious language to describe Our Lord’s teaching on marital fidelity: “Jesus clearly disfavored adultery.”No, Jesus forbade adultery. One can disfavor things that are good in themselves, but simply do not appeal to one for a variety of reasons. One can never claim as good and right something that God has clearly forbidden.

Kaveny continued: ”It’s clear that he rejects divorce and remarriage as contrary to the original will of God. But nothing in Jesus’ words or conduct demand that the sin involved in divorce and remarriage must be conceptualized as a sin that continues indefinitely, without the possibility of effective repentance.”

Well, the original will of God remains in force unless God himself has indicated otherwise. Jesus clearly reaffirmed the prohibition of divorce and remarriage, harkening back to God’s original plan for man and woman as revealed in the Book of Genesis.

Understanding the sin involved in divorce and remarriage requires making distinctions. The responsibility for the break-up of marital life falls upon one or both parties, depending upon each one’s degree of culpability. The obtaining of a civil divorce is likewise to be evaluated as to the motives and responsibilities involved: is a divorce sought to free one to enter a new union, or is it sought to obtain legal protection of the financial and other interests of the offended spouse and children?

The decision to enter into an adulterous second union, however, is a public violation of the nature of indissoluble Christian marriage, and of one’s wedding vows. It involves the sin of adultery and the public scandal of living in opposition to Christ’s commandments.

[…]

Kaveny adds: “We do not need to disturb Jesus’ teaching in order to refine and develop it in these ways, in ways that moral theologians and canon lawyers have always done.” [Slithery wickedness.] Jesus’ teaching cannot be disturbed, however, but it can be ignored or falsified. The admittance of invalidly married couples to Holy Communion is not a refinement or development of that teaching, it is a betrayal.

One can claim to uphold a teaching by refining and developing it in a way that totally changes its meaning, but such a claim is false. Either adultery is always wrong, or it is never wrong. There can be no middle ground. To redefine some forms of adultery as not adultery is an offense against the plain meaning of Christ’s words. It’s wishful thinking that endorses immorality and would have the effect of destroying the unity of faith taught by the Church.

Fr. Antonio [2+2=5] Spadaro, S.J., who also spoke at the conference, uttered an incredible statement that dovetails with Kaveny’s remarks. He said: “It is no longer possible to judge people on the basis of a norm that stands above all.” This is a direct contradiction of how the Church has always understood Christ’s teaching.  [Poison.]

[…]

Do you see what is going on?

The left is changing language and introducing new labels and terms.  Watch for their linguistic maneuvers.  They are astute and sly.

And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion?

 

Posted in B as in B. S as in S., The Drill | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

New PRINTS from Daniel Mitsui: Of Awe, Whimsy, and Serious Head Bashing

An image from a coloring book by Daniel Mitsui

The distinguished Catholic artist Daniel Mitsui sent me three prints of saints whose feast days are not very far off.  As usual, in his inimitable style, his images present both awe and whimsy.

BUT FIRST… a touching story…

After Mass last Sunday a fellow stopped in at the sacristy to say hello and to bring news, since I have been away quite a bit with travel and the like.  He and his wife have been giving special attention to a highly educated woman, now badly reduced with Parkinson’s together with other complications.  She has not been terribly open to the Catholic Church over the years, to put it mildly.  However, my friend slowly but surely introduced religious matters as points of discussion.  Moreover, as part of her therapy, they have been using Daniel Mitusi’s coloring books … which are decidedly not just for children.  Some of the images are remarkably complex.   Go and look!   The imagery of the coloring books is a great entry point into any number of discussion topics about the Catholic Faith.   To make a long story brief, she was received into the Catholic Church recently.  Works of mercy and great patience played their roles, as did Daniel Mitsui’s marvelous coloring books.

Now, let’s have a look at the new prints Daniel sent.

Please note that I left the prints in their plastic covers.  You can find more about the images at his site.  HERE

St. Nicholas has a feast day on 6 December.   The lightning and storm are given more shock value by the clear state of mind of the passengers in the boat.  And is that an Anglerfish I see?   Note that Nicholas is revered as a great patron by fisherman and others who go by sea.

15 November brings us St. Albert the Great, Doctor of the Church and a mentor to St. Thomas Aquinas… who has a cameo appearance in this print.   Note that, on the shelf above the saint, is a strange “bust” that looks like Frankenstein.   It reappears at the bottom in a scene of violence!

That’s St. Thomas, about to smash a mechanical head that St. Albert had made that could answer questions.

MY INTERPRETATION:

Here, the head, let’s nickname the head… “Laetitia“… is saying “SIC!… NON!”, which is to say, “Yep!… Nope!”.  I take this to mean that Laetitia says “Yes” and “No” at the same time in the same respect, thus violating the Principle of Non-Contradiction.  That would certain horrify Thomas to the point of bashing “Laetitia” in with a handy club.  No?  Imagine what the Angelic Doctor would do were the talking head to say, “5!” when asked what “2+2” equals?

Well… that’s my take.

That’s hilarious.  Daniel wrote to me that, “That story captures the way I feel as a traditional Catholic using the internet – sometimes like one saint, and sometimes like the other.”

Surely he is right.

That said, I’m sticking with my own eisegetical version.

There are COLOR versions, too.  But he doesn’t send those very often.

Also in November, 22 November to be exact, is the Feast of St. Cecilia, patroness of Church music.  Here she is in a very dignified pose, with her little portative organ.  The bellows are a nice touch.

These prints are not huge.  They would be easily framed and would make beautiful gifts.

 

Posted in Just Too Cool, Saints: Stories & Symbols, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Germans are revolting.

And so it begins.

When Magnum principium came out (which increased the role of bishops conferences in the preparation of liturgical translations), I mentioned that the Germans are usually the problem.  HERE

Now there’s this from the Catholic Herald.  My emphases and comments.

Cardinals Marx and Sarah disagree on Magnum Principium

Two cardinals have disagreed over how much authority the Pope’s motu proprio Magnum Principium gives to local bishops’ conferences.

The papal document gives bishops’ conferences greater say over the translation of liturgical texts, changing the role of the Congregation for Divine Worship from one of recognitio to confirmatio. However, two senior cardinals have disagreed over the exact meaning of this difference.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German bishops’ conference, welcomed the document, implying that it was a clear break with the 2001 document Liturgiam authenticum, which he called a “dead end”[Marx is wrong.  Magnum principium did not cancel out the norms of Liturgiam authenticam.]

“Rome is charged with the interpretation of dogmas, but not with questions of style. Now, thanks to Magnum Principium, episcopal conferences enjoy a much greater freedom,” he said.  [But they are not free to make inaccurate translations.]

He also hinted that the German bishops had dropped a proposed new translation of the Mass that was more faithful to the original Latin text, with much of the controversy centring around how to translate the words “pro multis”.  [The problem is that they are not free in the matter of translations of sacramental forms.  That is reserved to the Holy See, indeed to the Pope.]

The words appear as part of the phrase “qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum” in reference to the Precious Blood during the consecration of the wine in the Roman Canon.

The most accurate English translation is “for many”, but many translations, including Spanish, Portuguese and German, initially rendered it [inaccurately] as “for all”.

In 2006, the Holy See gave instruction that all vernacular editions of the Roman Missal should translate the words as “for many”, pointing out that it is also the most literal translation of the original Greek “περὶ πολλῶν” in Matthew 26:28.  [While that is the case, it must also be noted that the Roman Catechism has a paragraph explaining why we cannot say “pro omnibus”.  Moreover, its perennial use in Mass also constitutes its own theological locus.]

The change met with opposition from the German bishops, however, prompting Pope Benedict XVI to write a personal letter in 2012 explaining why they should adopt the new translation. [They ignored him.]

Now Cardinal Marx has signalled the German bishops will use Magnum Principium as an opportunity to drop the new translation and keep the old, less literal version. [It will not, cannot be approved if it doesn’t adhere to the translation norms which are, still, in Liturgiam authenticam.]

Cardinal Robert Sarah, on the other hand, has said ultimate authority still lies with the Vatican, which must still approve all new translations, and can veto proposals that are not faithful to the original text.

The Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship said the new motu proprio does not reduce the body to a mere rubber stamp.

“Like the recognitio, the confirmatio is by no means a formality,” the cardinal said.

Instead, it “presupposes and implies a detailed review on the part of the Holy See” including the ability to refuse assent unless certain modifications are made.

“So, for example, if, in the Creed of the Order of Mass, the expression: ‘consubstantialem Patri’ is translated in English by: ‘one in Being with the Father’, the Holy See may impose – and even must impose (cf. n. 6) – the translation: ‘consubstantial with the Father’, as a condition sine qua non of its confirmatio of the entirety of the Roman Missal in English.”

Magnum Principium, then, is simply a question of making “collaboration…between the Apostolic See and Episcopal Conferences easier and more fruitful.”

“… easier… more fruitful…”

Yeah, this will easily be a lot fruitier.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

YOUR URGENT PRAYER REQUESTS

Please use the sharing buttons! Thanks!

Registered or not, will you in your charity please take a moment look at the requests and to pray for the people about whom you read?

Continued from THESE.

I get many requests by email asking for prayers. Many requests are heart-achingly grave and urgent.

As long as my blog reaches so many readers in so many places, let’s give each other a hand. We should support each other in works of mercy.

If you have some prayer requests, feel free to post them below.

You have to be registered here to be able to post.

I still have two pressings personal petitions.  No, I actually have THREE now.  I can’t get a break, it seems.  Ut Deus….

ALSO…

During this 100th year commemoration of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, remember the central message Our Lady gave to the Church and to the world: penance and reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners.  

Off your sufferings in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners.

 

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 18 Comments

VIDEO FOLLOW UP: 13 Oct 2017 Pontifical Mass at the Throne @BishopMorlino @MadisonDiocese

We now have some video of the Pontifical Mass at the Throne celebrated by Bishop Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary of Madison, on 13 October 2017 at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff, WI for the 100th anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun”.

Wanna watch?   HERE

Two things.

First, the equipment is new and there are still gremlins.  There have been audio problems.   In this video there is no audio until about 15:30. Suddenly, it just came on.  I don’t yet know why.   Also, the audio that there is is poorly balanced.  We haven’t figured out yet what to do with microphones.  We’ll get there.

Second, the sanctuary in this little country church is really small.  As a result we had to adapt a bit.  I chose a Roman solution and parked the sacred ministers on the steps of the altar, which worked well in a pinch.  I only spotted a couple little ritual errors, but nothing of importance.  And His Excellency had us sing a Creed, which usually isn’t part of a 2nd Class Votive Mass, but… HEY!  We believe in God around here.

Screenshot

17_10_13_PontMass_SMPB_vid

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

16 October 1978: Election of John Paul II

Where were you when you heard the news that a man from Poland had been elected to the See of Peter?

It was on this date in 1978.   Wow.  39 years.

Apropos recent debates that have strongly emerged in the Church, I note a couple passages from his encyclicals.

First, from his 1993 Encyclical Veritatis splendor 103-4:

Only in the mystery of Christ’s Redemption do we discover the “concrete” possibilities of man. “It would be a very serious error to conclude… that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an ‘ideal’ which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man, according to a “balancing of the goods in question.” But what are the “concrete possibilities of man”? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence. And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man’s will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man’s capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit.”

In this context, appropriate allowance is made both for God’s mercy towards the sinner who converts and for the understanding of human weakness. Such understanding never means compromising and falsifying the standard of good and evil in order to adapt it to particular circumstances. It is quite human for the sinner to acknowledge his weakness and to ask mercy for his failings; what is unacceptable is the attitude of one who makes his own weakness the criterion of the truth about the good, so that he can feel self-justified, without even the need to have recourse to God and his mercy. An attitude of this sort corrupts the morality of society as a whole, since it encourages doubt about the objectivity of the moral law in general and a rejection of the absoluteness of moral prohibitions regarding specific human acts, and it ends up by confusing all judgments about values.

Next, from his 1995 Evangelium vitae 57 [note how he uses the word “innocent”]:

Therefore, by the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, and in communion with the Bishops of the Catholic Church, I confirm that the direct and voluntary killing of an innocent human being is always gravely immoral. This doctrine, based upon that unwritten law which man, in the light of reason, finds in his own heart (cf. Rom 2:14-15), is reaffirmed by Sacred Scripture, transmitted by the Tradition of the Church and taught by the ordinary and universal Magisterium.

The deliberate decision to deprive an innocent human being of his life is always morally evil and can never be licit either as an end in itself or as a means to a good end. It is in fact a grave act of disobedience to the moral law, and indeed to God himself, the author and guarantor of that law; it contradicts the fundamental virtues of justice and charity. “Nothing and no one can in any way permit the killing of an innocent human being, whether a fetus or an embryo, an infant or an adult, an old person, or one suffering from an incurable disease, or a person who is dying. Furthermore, no one is permitted to ask for this act of killing, either for himself or herself or for another person entrusted to his or her care, nor can he or she consent to it, either explicitly or implicitly. Nor can any authority legitimately recommend or permit such an action”.

As far as the right to life is concerned, every innocent human being is absolutely equal to all others. This equality is the basis of all authentic social relationships which, to be truly such, can only be founded on truth and justice, recognizing and protecting every man and woman as a person and not as an object to be used. Before the moral norm which prohibits the direct taking of the life of an innocent human being “there are no privileges or exceptions for anyone. It makes no difference whether one is the master of the world or the ‘poorest of the poor’ on the face of the earth. Before the demands of morality we are all absolutely equal”.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 19 Comments

PODCAzT 158: Catholicism and Capital Punishment

noosePope Francis recently made statements about capital punishment which are the cause of much discussion.  While invoking “development of doctrine” he seems to contradict established Church teaching about the death penalty.

It is as if His Holiness would harmonize these two statements:

  • Capital punishment is intrinsically evil.
  • Capital punishment is not intrinsically evil.

The principle of non-contradiction suggests to me that these statements cannot be reconciled.  But I’m a simple guy.

In my effort to understand the parameters of the issue, I have turned to a 2001 essay by Avery Card. Dulles in First Things called “Catholicism and Capital Punishment.

Take note especially of his point about the virtually unanimous consensus of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church on capital punishment.  Also, Dulles makes the observation that opposition to the death penalty has risen in direct relation to the decline in belief in an afterlife.   There are many other informative points in his clear piece.

Card. Dulles comes down strongly against application of the death penalty, but in a way that is consistent with the Church’s perennial teaching and in accord with reason.  I find him convincing.

This paragraph merits great consideration:

Arguments from the progress of ethical consciousness have been used to promote a number of alleged human rights that the Catholic Church consistently rejects in the name of Scripture and tradition. The magisterium appeals to these authorities as grounds for repudiating divorce, abortion, homosexual relations, and the ordination of women to the priesthood. If the Church feels herself bound by Scripture and tradition in these other areas, it seems inconsistent for Catholics to proclaim a “moral revolution” on the issue of capital punishment.

Along the way you will hear a snip of music from a fascinating modern piece by Garret Fisher called The Passion of Saint Thomas More.  It seemed appropriate to use it.

US HERE – UK HERE

Also, I include at the end a snip of a lovely and soothing Chinese pentatonic rendering of the Ave Maria.  It is on an amazing disc.

US HERE – UK HERE

Posted in PODCAzT, The Drill | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

London Oratory School Schola – USA TOUR – 22-29 October 2017

Here is a great opportunity, not only to experience a great Catholic boys choir, but also to SUPPORT a great Catholic boys choir!

There are both Masses and concerts.  Take note.

The Schola Cantorum of The London Oratory School

Posted in Events, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 4 Comments

VIDEO: London Rosary Crusade 2017

This is a marvelous video sent by a friend in London, who wrote:

Here’s how Fr Tim Finigan described it a couple of years ago.

This occasion must rank as one of the most splendid manifestations of Catholic faith in our country in recent years. The numbers have been swelled by the immigrant Catholics who have come to form part of the Catholic Church in London. At the same time, the clipped tones of the English middle and upper classes demonstrated that the Church is truly Catholic. There was no snobbery here – and no inverted snobbery. All were as one, witnessing to the faith they love, taking Our Lady onto the streets of London, and filling a Church that represents the high-point of English Catholic restoration – and not only in the 19th century.
I would encourage anyone who is dismayed by the falling numbers of clergy, or mass goers, or marriages, to come next year. This event neither seeks nor receives any official encouragement or support. If any ecclesial activity could be said to be of the people of God, it is this. You want to see the Church alive and kicking? Here is where the action is.

 

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Just Too Cool, Our Solitary Boast | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

PHOTOS: Pontifical Mass at the Throne – 13 Oct 2017 – @MadisonDiocese

On Friday 13 October, we had a Pontifical Mass at the Throne with the Extraordinary Ordinary of Madison, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino at the little church of St. Mary in Pine Bluff where Fr. Richard Heilman is pastor.

Here are some images from the Mass.  NB: Some of you readers helped to buy the vestments!   HERE

IMG_2898

Out Lady of Fatima has been in the church during the anniversary months.

IMG_2904

IMG_2908

The size of the sanctuary required us to find a Roman solution for the sacred ministers.  We seated them on the steps of the altar, which worked well.  We’ve done this before.

IMG_2923

We are getting good enough at these Masses that we were able to proceed with about 20 minutes of practice of a few rough spots.  The priests, who rotate through roles when we have these Masses, are pretty familiar now with the sacred action.

IMG_2931 IMG_2933 IMG_2939 IMG_2953 IMG_2954 IMG_2957  IMG_2958

There were people standing along the sides and in the back, and we put more chairs in the narthex.

IMG_2967

Turning the housling cloths.  At this parish, even for the Novus Ordo Masses, everyone uses the rail and I don’t believe anyone receives in the hand anymore.

IMG_2982 IMG_2991 (2)

IMG_3005

Fr. Heilman was one of the Deacons at the Throne.

IMG_3014

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , , | 18 Comments

WDTPRS 19th Sunday after Pentecost: SECRET – saving and healing

NADAL_19_post_pent_smToday’s Secret for the 19th Sunday after Pentecost was in ancient versions of the Gelasian Sacramentary, such as the 8th c. Gellonensis.  I don’t think it survived the scissors of the Consilium, wielded by Fr. Bugnini’s liturgical experts.

SECRET (1962MR):

Haec munera quaesumus, Domine, quæ oculis tuae maiestatis offerimus, salutaria nobis esse concede.

In prayers which stress propitiation we will often have looking words or imagery.  For example, we get orations with the gentle imperative respice, from respicio (“look upon, have regard”).  We also put things and ourselves in God’s sight, “in conspectus tuo” and, as today, we offer things to the “eyes of your majesty”.   I think this is both a “courtly” form of address, but it also resonates of the Biblical, as in Ps 32 (33):18: “Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him: and on them that hope in his mercy.”  We know from many other WDTPRS articles that maiestas can be a form of address for God, as in “Your Majesty”, but it also refers to a divine characteristic, His glory, in this case tied to His mercy.

SUPER LITERAL TRANSLATION:

We beseech You, O Lord, grant that these gifts which we are offering in the sight of Your majesty, are for us saving things.

SMOOTHER:

Grant, we beseech You, O Lord, that these gifts which we offer,  under Your merciful gaze, may be for our salvation.

St. Andrew Bible Missal (1962):

O Lord, we ask that these gifts which we offer in the presence of your majesty may be availing unto our salvation.

In the Introit, we begin with Salus, (“salvation, health”).  In the Collect we beg to be freed not only in mind, but also in body.  The Epistle, from Ephesians, we hear the Apostle pray for the renewal of the mind and the new man.  The Church sings in the Offertory “salvum me faciet… Thy right hand will save me.”

The Secret also has salutaria, “saving/healthful things” and in the Postcommunion the priest intones, “medicinalis operatio… the working of healing grace”.

Another common theme in the Mass formulary is that of observance of the commandments.

In the Introit the Psalmist sings “Attend, O my people, to my law.”  In the Collect we pray to seek what is of God (“quae tuae sunt”).  The Communion explicitly speaks about God’s mandata, His commandments “to be kept most diligently”.  The Postcommunion links the medicinalis operatio with keeping God’s laws (“inhaerere mandatis”).

The “medicinal” imagery today may stem from the ancient Roman church where this Sunday’s Mass was celebrated: The Basilica of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, whose feast day since the earliest day has been celebrated in the autumn – in ancient times as today on the fifth day before the Kalends of October (27 Sept).  Remember, this Sunday can “slide around” in the calendar depending on when Easter fell.  St. Cosmas and Damian, you will recall, were brothers and physicians who were martyred during the reign of the Emperor Diocletian in 283.  They were venerated in Rome, having not only a Basilica at the Roman Forum dedicated to their memory, but their names are in the Roman Canon.

Posted in WDTPRS | Tagged | 1 Comment

WDTPRS – 28th Ordinary Sunday: “God crowns His merits in us”

The elegant Collect for the 28th Ordinary Sunday has been used for centuries on the 16th Sunday after Pentecost according to the traditional Roman calendar.  This is a lovely prayer to sing.

Tua nos, quaesumus, Domine, gratia semper et praeveniat et sequatur, ac bonis operibus iugiter praestet esse intentos.

The separation of tua and gratia in the first line is an example of the figure of speech called hyperbaton: unusual word order to produce a dramatic effect.  That et… et construction is snappy.

st-alphonsus-liguoriThe pair of verbs praeveniat…sequatur reminds me of a prayer I heard at my home parish every Tuesday night after the communal recitation of the Novena of Our Mother of Perpetual Help by St. Alphonsus Liguori (+1787).

In the Rituale Romanum for blessings of people who are sick:

“May the Lord Jesus Christ be with you that He may defend you, within you that He may sustain you, before you that He may lead you, behind you that He may protect you, above you that He may bless you. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

Intentus, -a, -um is from intendo, “to stretch out, extend” as well as “to turn one’s attention to, exert one’s self for”.  Our Collect has both semper (“always”) and iugiter (the adverbial form of iugis) meaning “always” in the sense of “continuously.”  A iugum is a “yoke”, like that which yokes animals together.  Iugum, or in English “juger”, was a Roman measure of land, probably because it was plowed by yoked oxen, and it is also the name of the constellation Libra, Latin for a “scale, balance”, which has a beam, a kind of yoke. The Roman measure of weight called the “pound” still today has abbreviation “lbs”.  The iugum was an infamous ancient symbol of defeat.  The Romans would force the vanquished to pass under a yoke to symbolize that they had been sub-jug-ated.  Our adverb iugiter means “always” in a continuous sense probably because of the concept of yoking things together, bridging them, one after another in an unending chain.  We hear this iugiter also in the famous prayer written by St. Thomas Aquinas (+1274) which is the Collect for Corpus Christi and is also used at Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament: “O God, who bequeathed to us a memorial of Thy Passion under a wondrous sacrament, grant, we implore, that we may venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, in such a way as to sense within us constantly (iugiter) the fruit of Thy redemption.”

LITERAL TRANSLATION:

We beg, O Lord, that Your grace may always both go before and follow after us, and hence continuously keep us intent upon good works.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):

Lord, our help and guide, make your love the foundation of our lives. May our love for you express itself in our eagerness to do good for others.

CURRENT ICEL (2011):

May your grace, O Lord, we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works.

Let’s be super picky for a moment about the conjunctions.

That et…et is a classic “both…and” construction, joining praeveniat and sequatur. Here we see et…et…ac…   That ac sometimes informs us that what follows is of greater importance than what precedes it. If that is the case here, then our Collect presents a logical climax of ideas.  This is why I added a “hence” to my literal version.

Tua gratia, “your grace”, is the subject of all these verbs.  We want God, by means of grace we do not merit, always to be both before and behind us.  We want His help so that we, fallen and weak, may be always attentive to the good works which, informed by faith and God’s grace, will help us to heaven and benefit our neighbor.

AugustineAll our good initiatives come from God.  If we choose to embrace them and cooperate with Him, He guides them to completion. Grace goes before.  Grace follows after.  Our good works have merit for heaven because God inspires them, informs them, and completes them through us, His knowing, willing, and loving servants.  The deeds and their merits are ultimately God’s but, because we cooperate and because He loves us, they are also truly ours.  As St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) wrote, God crowns His own merits in us (ep. 194.19 to Sixtus, later Pope Sixtus III).

Sunday’s Collect reminds us how important our good works are for our salvation. They are all manifestations of God’s grace.

Just as we hope God will lavish His graces on us, so too we should be generous with our good works for others.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | 1 Comment

New Book about Galileo!

I’m pretty excited about this book and I haven’t even gotten into it yet!

I’ve read a lot about Galileo over the years.  This looks good.  I like that “in context” part.  The book doesn’t just deal with issues, but about the personalities and competing interests of the day.

Galileo Revisited: The Galileo Affair in Context by Paschal Scotti

US HERE – UK HERE

Inevitably people who attack the Church will bring up Galileo.  When the issue of Faith and Science comes up, Galileo’s name is soon to follow. However, they usually have no idea what really happened with him.

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged | 23 Comments

Urgent Prayer Request

May I ask a prayer from the readership?  I am ailing and I must MC a Pontifical Mass this evening.  First, something is wrong with my neck on the right side.  When I move, it hurts like crazy.  Second, I’ve come down with a cold, which makes the neck thing really fun.  I have no energy and a lot of pain.

Please ask, on this most portentous anniversary, the Mother of God and Queen of Priests to intervene for me and lift both of these problems.

Thanks in advance.

 

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 20 Comments