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“This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z
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Grant unto thy Church, we beseech Thee, O merciful God, that She, being gathered together by the Holy Ghost, may be in no wise troubled by attack from her foes. O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication unto Thee,and turn away the scourges of Thine anger which we deserve for our sins. Almighty and Everlasting God, in whose Hand are the power and the government of every realm: look down upon and help the Christian people that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might may be crushed by the power of thine Arm. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
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Daily Archives: 4 June 2006
One thing kept secret from catechumens was the Symbolum, the Creed. In the time of St. Augustine and St. Ambrose (+397) they were taught the Creed only two weeks before Easter. They were tested on it by the bishop in the baptistery the week before Easter. Here is Augustine in a sermon:
The creed is learned by listening; it is written, not on tablets nor on any material, but on the heart. He who has called you to his Kingdom and glory will grant that, when you have been reborn by his grace and by the Holy Spirit, it will be written in your hearts, so that you may love what you believe and that, through love, faith may work in you and that you Ã¢â‚¬â€œ no longer fearing punishment like slaves, but loving justice like the freeborn Ã¢â‚¬â€œ may become pleasing to the Lord God, the giver of all good things (s. 212, 2 and cf. symb. cat. 1.1). Continue reading
Unity and continuity are keys to this Collect. The Holy Spirit wove the early Church together through the preaching of the Apostles and their successors. In the Church the Holy Spirit extends to our own time the preaching of the Apostles. The ChurchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unity has continuity, both diachronic as well as transnational.
The presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church guarantees our unity and continuity across every border and century. The Holy Spirit gives the Church her lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s principle, pouring spiritual life into the Body of Christ. The Spirit imbues and infuses, virtually tints and dyes the fabric of the Church as He flows through it. Our hearts, which in our Collect we pray to be imbued by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, are in a certain way microcosms of the Church. The phrase cor ad cor loquitur, the motto on the coat-of-arms of Venerable John Henry Card. Newman, pertains to us in the Church: by the working of the Holy Spirit the ChurchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heart speaks to our hearts, and vice versa, for in the Holy Spirit the faithful are of one heart. Continue reading
Sometimes we think we know what words mean. As I considered how to render that ad aeternae redemptionis augmentum I decided to check out the massy L&S, since I was catching a hint of something interesting in the choice of the word. (Aside for you critics of anything Ã¢â‚¬Å“newÃ¢â‚¬Â like the Ã¢â‚¬Å“new MassÃ¢â‚¬Â: Clearly it was no slouch who wrote this prayer for the 1970MR, for it is obvious that he did his homework, checked his sources, and chose these words with great care.) The substantive augmentum means, as you might guess, Ã¢â‚¬Å“an increase, growth, augmentationÃ¢â‚¬Â. It also means, in the language of religion Ã¢â‚¬Å“a kind of sacrificial cakeÃ¢â‚¬Â. Augmentum is from augeo which means Ã¢â‚¬Å“to increase, to nourishÃ¢â‚¬Â. It is related to our friend vigeo, by the way. By extension it also indicates, Ã¢â‚¬Å“to magnify, to exalt, to extol, embellish, to praiseÃ¢â‚¬Â and therefore (this is fun) Ã¢â‚¬Å“to honor, reverence, worship by offerings.Ã¢â‚¬Â Think of the concept of Mary Ã¢â‚¬Å“magnifyingÃ¢â‚¬Â the Lord. Different word, same concept. So, augmentum would by a thing that Ã¢â‚¬Å“augmentsÃ¢â‚¬Â in the sense of worship. Still, lest we push our prayer a little too far, augmentum, or Ã¢â‚¬Å“increaseÃ¢â‚¬Â, is found in different contexts in Scripture, such as in Eph 4:15-16: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth (augmentum corporis) and upbuilds itself in loveÃ¢â‚¬Â (cf. also Col 2:19). Continue reading
Confirmation, one of the sacraments of initiation, is rightly associated with Pentecost. Just as the sacred mysteries of the LordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life from the Passion, Resurrection, Ascension and Decent of the Holy Ghost and all interrelated, so too are the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. In the ancient Church when catechumens were brought into the Church, they were baptized, confirmed and given the Eucharist on the same night of Easter. During the time that followed, especially the octave but also after, they were given further instruction concerning many things that had been kept secret from them as catechumens aspiring to membership in the Church. This bond of secrecy and the post-baptismal instruction of newly initiated Christians was called the disciplina arcani. This was correctly thought to sharpen and peak the catechumenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s interest, curiosity and longing for what was sacred. As St. Augustine says, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The sacraments of the faithful are not divulged to (catechumens)Ã¢â‚¬Â¦; that they may be more passionately desired by them, they are honorably concealed from their viewÃ¢â‚¬Â (Io. eu. tr. 96, 3). This partly explains why the Ã¢â‚¬Å“orientationÃ¢â‚¬Â of the altar and silent canon in the West and the iconostasis in the East were and are still so effective. Recall that the super oblata was once called the Ã¢â‚¬Å“secretÃ¢â‚¬Â prayer and that at this point in the Mass, in the older, traditional Roman rite, the priest would have just called down the Holy Spirit on the offerings: Veni, Sanctificator omnipotens aeternae Deus: et bene+dic hoc sacrificium tuo santo nomini praeparatumÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Come, O Sanctifier, Almighty and eternal God, and bless + this sacrifice prepared for the glory of Thy holy name. Continue reading
Today at the Church S. Maria ad Martyres, otherwise known as the Pantheon, an annual event much beloved of the Romans took place. At the end today’s Pentecost Mass red rose petals were let to fall in great abundance through the oculus or “eye” of the dome, which is open to the sky. The dome is actually a foot wider than the cupola of St. Peter’s Basilica. At the end of Mass fireman from Rome’s fire department did the honors and let fall the petals.
Here are some photos of the event. Various folks were tricked out. Continue reading