“If I were a bishop, I would send round formidable, even terrifying, hit squads of young clergy…”

We have to get serious about our sacred liturgical worship.  Every initiative we undertake in the Church must begin in worship and come back to worship.  If our liturgical worship is screwed up, nothing else will work correctly.

From Fr. Hunwicke’s excellent Mutual Enrichment.  Here is only part of what he wrote.  Find the rest there!


I wonder why some priests of a certain generation and a ‘Conciliar’ culture have such a rooted aversion to preaching. This leads me on to wonder what exactly it was that they were taught in the corrupted and emptying seminaries of the post-Conciliar decades. We know that (despite Canon 249 and the Veterum Sapientia of S John XXIII) they were not taught Latin or Greek; because of this, they were blocked from sudying Patristics. [They were kept in the fog…. on purpose!] They did not … clearly … do Liturgy or Liturgical Theology or Practical Liturgy; it appears that they received no education in Scripture, Biblical Theology, or how to open the Word of God for their people. I somehow doubt that they were all given a deep formation in traditional moral theology or the hearing of confessions, because I know of (another) church in the South of England where the priest explained that the difficulty about hearing confessions was that the Confessional had for many years been used for stacking away the unsold debris of Parish bazaars. What, in the Name of God Almighty and God most Adorable, did all those men learn in those seven expensive years of ‘priestly formation’? [It was a horror show, let me tell you.]

I know some traddies cheerfully but (IMHO) irresponsibly point out that Monsignor Time will solve the problem of that generation of clergy; [What I have called the “Biological Solution”.] but, in a decade or two’s time, will the joyless and infantilised congregations still be in existence? These are souls for whom Christ died.  [“But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?” Maybe in small communities.  “Base” communities?]


If I were a bishop, I would send round formidable, even terrifying, hit squads of bright, orthodox, and cheerful young clergy with the oil of ordination still damp upon their hands, to teach the dear old gentlemen all the things that their lecturers forgot to mention in the 1970s and 1980s; and to overhaul a radicibus the parish liturgies. [I once thought that we needed a new religious order called The RubriciansThey would go two by two into the world to battle liturgical abuses and teach the erring the error of their ways.] Cardinal Sarah’s recent extremely sound suggestions could provide a lively and exciting start to a programme of restoring catholic authenticity in the desert areas. And His Eminence, with his true and accurate pastoral heart, clearly understands the urgency of this need. Happily, one hears of diocesan bishops loyally responding to his timely initiative. Let us hope that, on Advent Sunday …

But not, sadly, quite all bishops. One or two Ordinarii locorum prefer to resemble stewards careering crazily around on the Great Liner’s dangerously sloping decks while shouting noisily and inaccurately at anyone they meet about the ‘true post-Conciliar’ alignment of deckchairs.

Fathers, yes, we are all busy.  But let’s crack the books again.  Let’s set some priorities and work harder.

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URGENT POLL – 26 Sept 2016 – Trump v Clinton Debate


A great deal hangs on the outcome of tonight’s presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton (boooooooo).  I, for one, would vote for the corpse of Millard Fillmore to keep the later out of office of any kind, much less the White House.

I will watch the debate with popcorn and friends in an unlikely place: Park Ridge, IL.  As you may remember, that is the hometown of the candidate whom I hope to watch self-destruct in front of some 100 million viewers.

Are you planning on watching the debate?

Everyone can vote in these polls.  If you are registered to comment, use the combox, below… but THINK before posting, please.

Trump v Clinton Debate of 26 Sept 2016

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Let’s have a YUGE turnout for this 2nd edition of this poll today, before the debate.  I’ll post a follow up after.

As of right now, BEFORE the 1st debate, I am inclined to vote on the US presidential ticket for...

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Posted in POLLS, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Bp. Olmsted (D. Phoenix) interprets ‘Amoris laetitia’

Bp. Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix continues to impress.  Remember that he had the steel to remove the title “Catholic” from a hospital where – at the approval of women religious – a direct abortion was performed.   Lately, Bp. Olmsted has planned to open a seminary.  Take a look at his clarion call to men HERE. Take a look his letter to priests about confession HERE.

Now Bp. Olmsted issued directive about Amoris laetitia and Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.  Accompaniment, yes. Communion, not yet.

Amoris laetitia was written with great ambiguity.  This ambiguity, which some say is itself an indication of the mind of the writer, allows for those who are faithful to the Church’s teachings to be faithful to the Church’s teachings.  However, it also provides a measure – not complete, but only a little – of cover to those who are not faithful to the Church’s teachings, who want to do something which the Church hasn’t ever approved.

It is possible that things have gotten to such a point that even had Amoris laetitia been crystal clear and in unambiguous continuity with previous doctrine and discipline, both the faithful and the less-than faithful would have simply continued to do what they wanted, in fidelity or not.  However, the studied ambiguity will surely perpetuate the rupture, so that in side-by-side parishes, different practices and messages are found.

From LifeSite:

Bishop Olmsted: Amoris Laetitia does not allow Holy Communion for remarried divorcees

PHOENIX, Arizona, September 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Amoris Laetitiadoes not open the door to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receiving Holy Communion, Bishop Thomas Olmsted told the faithful of his diocese in the diocesan newspaper last week.

Amoris Laetitia “calls for deeper and sustained pastoral accompaniment of … suffering families,” Olmsted, the bishop of Phoenix, wrote in an article reflecting on the controversial exhortation. Pope Francis “[assures] them that they are welcome in the Church family, and that we are eager to seek ways to integrate them more fully into our local communities. … They should be encouraged to pray, attend Mass, and rectify the situation in communication with their pastor, who remains their pastor despite the case of objective sin. Accompaniment is possible and should be the case in our parishes.”

“This does not, however, include receiving Holy Communion for those who are divorced and remarried,” he noted. The bishop said Amoris Laetitia is in continuity “with the Church’s Magisterium especially that of Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II, and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI which reaffirm the constant tradition of the Church.” [Here is a solid, faithful bishop who has determined to interpret AL in continuity with the Church’s teachings.]

What Pope St. John Paul II laid out in paragraph 84 of Familiaris Consortsio is the “consistent teaching and practice of the Church,” Olmsted wrote. Paragraph 84 explains why it is incompatible with Catholic doctrine to give Holy Communion to those living unrepentantly in objectively sinful relationships. It says in part:

… the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and affected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: If these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

In a September 5 letter to Argentine bishops, Pope Francis wrote that there is “no other interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia than one that allows Communion for the divorced and remarried. Vatican Radio confirmed the letter as authentic.

Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Olmsted.


Posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Your Good News

Do you have good news to share with the readership?

If your life is like mine, you need some!

Let us know.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 8 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Matthew 22 cast-out-of-the-wedding-feastWas there a good point made in the sermon you heard during your Mass for your Sunday obligation?

Let us know.

For my part – on this 19th Sunday after Pentecost -taking my cue from the Epistle and from the Lord’s parable about the king’s wedding banquet I spoke about the gift garment.  Paul tells us to put on the “new man”.  Our Lord describes how the king who gives the banquet has the man without the wedding garment bound hand and foot and then has him thrown outside to weep and grind his teeth in the darkness of night.

A bit of an over reaction on the king’s part, no?  Why the stern punishment?

As per ancient Eastern custom, kings clothed guests in beautiful gift garments as they entered in order to honor them and to make the occasion more beautiful and decorous.  The man without the garment had no excuse: he was given a garment and he refused to put on the king’s gift, thus insulting the king, the other guests, and the occasion itself.  That’s what we do when we sin and are “bad Catholics”, we dishonor God and other members of the Church.

We are in the banquet on the KING’s terms, not on our terms.  We are in the Church on the Church’s terms, not on our terms.

The Lord puts the new man on us in baptism and the other sacraments.  He gives us the garment.  We must keep it in good order.  But the garment is invisible and inward as well as visible and outward.  We have our baptismal character which is invisible, but outwardly our words and deeds reveal that we are clothed in the gift.   Our behavior can honor God and others.  Our behavior can harm others.  Our behavior can make it easier for others to sin or to be holy.  When we dishonor our gift garment in sin, we are bound and blind, frightened and angry in sin.  That state is only a prelude to the paralyzing terror and fury of the eternal outside which is Hell.  We can choose instead to keep the gift garment in good order and be filled with the light of the feast, in the company of the saints and angels, in the good pleasure of the King who wants to honor us and make us more like Him in splendor.

We can lose what has been given to us.  We can lose the banquet of heaven by neglect of our gift garment, which insults the Giver.  Remember: The king put the man out of the banquet and into Hell.  The Lord wants us inside but He won’t force us.  We are called, but we might not be chosen.  Many are not.

Concretely, I also told the altar boys about how the first line of the Epistle, about putting on the new man, is the prayer we say when we put on our surplice to serve at the altar.  We have to keep it in good order.  We have to be squared away at the altar, where we give honor to the King’s table in the sight of all the other guests.

Also, concretely, I underscored for the congregation Paul’s admonition not to let the sun set on anger, to make amends, not to provoke to anger, which is a foretaste of being bound in the outer darkness.

In any event, for those of who who serve Holy Mass or who train altar boys, it is fitting to be recollected when putting on vestments.  Use these prayers:

Washing hands:

Da, Domine, virtutem manibus meis ad abstergendam omnem maculam ut sine pollutione mentis et corporis valeam tibi servire.

Give virtue to my hands, O Lord, that being cleansed from all stain I might serve you with purity of mind and body.’

For the Cassock:

Dominus, pars haereditatis meae, et calicis mei:  tu es, qui restitues hereditatem meam mihi.

O Lord, the portion of my inheritance, and my chalice:  You are He who will restore my inheritance to me.

For the Surplice:

Indue me, Domine, novum hominem, qui secundum Deum creatus est in iustitia et sanctitate veritatis.  Amen.

Invest me, O Lord, as a new man, who was created by God in justice and the holiness of truth.  Amen.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

ASK FATHER: Will all be saved?

From a reader…


Is there a reasonable hope that all souls will be saved since it is a part of our liturgy?

No.  That is not reasonable.  It is wishful thinking.

Many will be lost.

The feel good of translations and other aspects in our sacred -or not so sacred – worship have given many more than a rosy prospect.

There is no part of our authentic liturgy as Catholics which suggests that “all” will be saved.

It is time to sober up.

We can lose the gift of membership in the Kingdom of God which Christ opened for us.

We can and we do… when we sin.




Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION | 23 Comments

We are at a “precarious moment in our history” when churches must speak truth to power

As baptized Catholics we have a role and work to do in the world, each according to our vocations.  We must affect change… as Catholics. How can we imagine that we can do that if we don’t have a clear idea of who we are?  If our Catholic identity is shaky, foggy, vague, superficial, nebulous, ill-defined, why should anyone listen to us?  If we are hesitant, equivocal or hazy in what we know and believe about our Catholic Faith, can we bring about change within the Church and in the public square? Ad intra and ad extra?

Our identity depends in a fundamental way on our sacred liturgical worship of God.  The first thing we owe to God by the virtue of Religion is worship. God must be at the summit of the hierarchy of our relationships. If as individuals and as small groups like parishes, or larger groups like dioceses, and as the greater Church, we have amorphous, lax, ambiguous, muddy, and even puzzling liturgical worship, we will be amorphous, lax, ambiguous, muddy, and even puzzling.  When we speak – or rather squeak like tremulous little gerbils – we will be discounted in the public square, held in contempt and walked on.

We must get back to basics.

  • Get out those Catechisms.
  • Get that sacred worship in order.

I think that two things in our worship will make a huge difference to our Catholic identity.

First, let’s get our altars turned back toward the Lord again.   We need ad orientem worship.  This will require lots of catechesis and guts.

Next, we need more and more priests of the Latin Church to put aside their fear of making mistakes or being criticized, to put aside their nervousness about Latin, put on their big boy pants and learn the Extraordinary Form.

Remember, Fathers, our Latin Rite has two forms.  If you don’t know the Extraordinary Form yet… you don’t know your Rite yet.

We need you now.

Fathers… Bishops… we need you now.

Via LifeSite:

Priest: ‘You might not have a church to go to if you don’t vote the right way in November’

NAPLES, Florida, September 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)—We are at a “precarious moment in our history” when churches must speak truth to power or risk the loss of a lot more than their tax statuses, former Ave Maria Law School chaplain Father Michael Orsi said in a blistering speech at a National Day of Remembrance for Aborted Children event on September 10.

Orsi, now on the pastoral team of St. Agnes Church in Naples, Fl said, “For too long, pastors and churches have been bullied into believing that they can say nothing political from the pulpit,” said Orsi. The regulation that is used to silence them “was a piece of spite work” against non-profits that had opposed President Lyndon Johnson, he said.

“Let me remind you: the Bible is a political document,” the priest said. “The prophets, including John the Baptist, and Jesus, lost their lives because they spoke the truth to power.”  [I recently wrote THIS.]

The Constitution is quickly being destroyed,” warned Orsi, and “unless the right choice is made in November, we may not have a court that is fair and balanced in its interpretation of the Constitution.”  [There is it, friends.  SCOTUS.  This is a huge dimension of the election.  Also, I noticed today that the GOP candidate added a few names to the list of potential nominees to the SCOTUS.  He has said that his picks will come from this list.  HERE]

“Too many of the pastors—too many, practically all—in Germany refused to speak against national socialism,” continued Orsi. “And look [at] the result: millions of Jews, pastors, priests, homosexuals, gypsies all lost their lives because everyone was afraid. What are you afraid of, a couple of bucks? Your tax-exempt status? What’s that going to do to you? [NB]Your churches may be closed anyway, because if a certain party gets elected, this certain party said, if the churches do not agree with our interpretation of women’s reproductive rights, they’ll just have to change their doctrine.” [Hillary Clinton said last April that Christians must be forced to change their religious views to accommodate abortions.  HERE]

“If a certain party gets elected, I can assure you what kind of judges are going to be on those appeals courts,” he said. And those judges will be charged with deciding whether the government may force churches and religious institutions to pay for abortion, contraception, and abortifacient drugs, he noted.

Furthermore, “I’m not going to vote for a candidate who decides that we can redefine the meaning of marriage,” proclaimed Orsi. “Our opponents believe once they destroy the family, once they destroy the churches, they can re-create society in their own image and their own likeness. That, my friends, is not just political. That is diabolical. Get it straight, for crying out loud! The devil is in this!

“We are in a battle for the soul of America,” he said.

Somehow, [Christians] have come to buy the story that you cannot be political in church,” said Orsi. “Let me tell you right now, oh yes, you can, and oh, yes, you better be. Because you might not have a church to go to if you don’t vote the right way in November.

¡Hagan lío!

You might read THIS.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Emanations from Penumbras, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Religious Liberty, Semper Paratus, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham to members of the Ordinariate

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham to members of the Ordinariate across the Pond.

I’ll take this occasion to remind you of the image of Our Lady by the Catholic sacred artist Daniel Mitsui. The 7″ x 10″ print is ready for ordering HERE.


Those saints in the corners are Catherine of Alexandria, Margaret of Antioch and Lawrence of Rome.

From his website:

The print was made on a Heidelberg Windmill press at Rohner Letterpress (Chicago, IL). The printing method involves pressing a piece of paper against a hard plate whose raised surfaces are inked; this is essentially the method invented by Gutenberg that remained dominant until the 20th century. Graphic Chemical & Ink (Villa Park, IL) supplied a traditional printing ink made from linseed oil & furnace black. The paper was handmade from cotton rag pulp at Twinrocker Handmade Papers (Brookston, IN). It is a laid paper, which means that it has a slight ribbed texture, from the wires in the papermaking mould. Laid paper was the only type of paper manufactured in Europe until the mid-18th century.

A few details.


A squirrel!  I hate squirrels, but there it is.


A nice reminder that her shrine is a pilgrimage place.


The Middle English at the bottom is from a 15th c. poem in honor of Our Lady.  You have to go to his site to read that…. yes… just go there.

I have an earlier version of this, on vellum, but he has a reworked it.  The printing is crisp.  It jumps out at you.  Very nice.


Lot’s of stuff to consider… go have a look!

One piece I saw when rummaging around was a fascinating version of the Battle of Heaven with the archangels as Japanese samurai opening a can of whoopass on Ol’ Scratch.  Very cool.  Feasts of angels are upon us at the end of September and the beginning of October.

Posted in Our Solitary Boast, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 2 Comments

WDTPRS Collect 19th Sunday after Pentecost- “Why did God make you?”

The snippers and stitchers of the Consilium allowed this Sunday’s prayer to survive unscathed in the post-Conciliar editions of the Missale Romanum. The Collect still echoes the ancient sentiments of Holy Church wherever the Roman Rite’s Ordinary Use of Holy Mass is offered in Latin on the 32nd Sunday of Ordinary Time.


Omnipotens et misericors Deus, universa nobis adversantia propitiatus exclude: ut mente et corpora pariter expediti, quae tua sunt, liberis mentibus exsequamur.

In your distinguished Lewis & Short Dictionary you will find that pariter is an adverb, “equally, in like manner” and “at the same time”, connecting mens and corpus (think of the adage mens sana in corpore sano… “a healthy mind in a healthy body”).  Adversantia, neuter plural active participle, is from adversor “to stand opposite to one, to be against, i.e. to resist or oppose (in his opinions, feelings, intentions, etc.); while resistere and obsistere denote resistance through external action.”   It is constructed with the dative, which explains the nobis.

The distinction between “internal” and “external” is useful crowbar to pry open this Collect.

We encounter many difficulties and challenges in life.  There is resistance and adversity.  Indeed, there is an Adversary.  We are opposed from without and from within. We must constantly cope with the unreconstructed effects of original sin together with the diabolical workings of the enemy of the soul, who stirs up passions, memories, and implants wicked thoughts and images.   Very wisely Holy Church prayed at Compline every night (with the Roman Breviary and Antiphonale Monasticum – but in the Liturgy of the Hours only on Tuesdays!) the passage:

“Be sober and vigilant: for your adversary (adversarius) the devil is going around like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour: whom you must resist (resistite), strong in the faith.  But you, O Lord, have mercy on us”  (1 Peter 5: 8-9).

God truly is a God of mercy, to protect us so from such a dire foe.

Excludo literally means, “to shut out, exclude; to cut off, remove, separate from any thing.”  Therefore it also means, “to drive out, thrust out, hinder, prevent.”  We pray to God to keep away from us all things that actively hinder and oppose us and, if we stick closely to the distinction made between adversor, resisto, and obsisto, particularly interior dangers.

How will that come about?  God must be appeased.  God must be favorable towards us.

In the Collect we find the word propitiatus, a perfect passive participle from propitio, “to render favorable, to appease, propitiate.” Propitiatus is “having been appeased.”  Many forms of propitio appear in our liturgical prayers.  Its use reflects our recognition that as a race and as individuals we have sinned in His sight and offended Him.  Our offense required a Redeemer capable of appeasing the Father.  We offend God as a society or as groups only on the basis of the personal sins of individuals.  Individuals sin, not systems.  We must seek to make amends, as individuals or as groups, but our efforts would be in vain without the merits of Christ’s sacrifice mediated through the Church.

This is why our liturgical worship of God is so important: it is our starting point and the earthly termimus.  Better yet, perhaps, “round about”, for it sends us back out to our work again.

st_expeditus cross hodieThe word expediti is from expedio, “to extricate, disengage, let loose, set free, liberate any thing entangled, involved.”  When applied to persons, is means “to be without baggage”.  Thus, the noun expeditus, i, m., is “a soldier lightly burdened, a swiftly marching soldier.”  You might have heard of a “St. Expeditus” (feast day 19 April) a patron saint of procrastinators and computer programmers… for reasons which are perfectly clear.  Expeditus is appropriately depicted as a Roman soldier holding aloft a Cross on which is written “HODIE… TODAY”.  Expediti refers, course, our freedom from the chains of sin which would have doomed us to eternal hell.

Going on, exsequor is “to follow, go after, pursue” as well as “to follow up, prosecute, carry out; to perform, execute, accomplish, fulfill”.  Finally, that quae tua sunt is literally “things which are yours”.  There isn’t room here to get into why but it refers to God’s will which for us are God’s commands.  Think of it this way, Jesus told His Mother and Joseph, “I must be about my Father’s business” (cf. Luke 2:49).


Almighty and merciful God, having been appeased, keep away all things opposing us, so that, having been unencumbered in mind and body equally, we may with free minds accomplish the things which You command.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):

God of power and mercy,
protect us from all harm.
Give us freedom of spirit
and health in mind and body
to do your work on earth


Notice that the old ICEL version does nothing with the concept of propitiation.   The Latin makes a connection between the Father’s power, His mercy, and what was done according to His plan so that we could be saved.  Also, the Obsolete ICEL version refers to “freedom”. The Latin does so also but with a sense that we are impeded or encumbered… or could be.   The real objection to the old ICEL version, however, must be how bland it is: it is entirely unremarkable.

For those of you who may need to preach, or who want to drill more deeply into what our Collect really says, notice that it is cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1742 in the section on “Human Freedom in the Economy of Salvation”, but with a different, more accurate translation than the Obsolete ICEL was:

“Almighty and merciful God, in your goodness take away from us all that is harmful, so that, made ready both in mind and body, we may freely accomplish your will.”

You could look up that section of the Catechism and study it, perhaps reflection during this election cycle about how human freedom doesn’t mean that we can do anything it pleases us to do, but rather that our actions must conform to our dignity as God’s living images, and that we must respect that image in others, at every stage of human life.  God has a plan in the economy of salvation for every one of His images, from conception to death.

Our Collect’s military language reminds me of the three-fold understanding of the Church: Militant, Suffering, and Triumphant.

We are lightly burdened foot soldiers (expediti) of the Church Militant on an urgent mission.  Enemies are all around. Obstacles abound without and within (adversantia).   Before going into battle soldiers shed their heaviest gear so they can move more freely. They take only what they need for clash about to begin and to fulfill commands (quae tua sunt).  Their training was grueling, repetitious, often boring. Their bodies are now strengthened, hardened.  They developed habits through the tedious drills so that when danger looms their minds are freed up (liberis mentibus).  Though they may be afraid, they can act with confidence when their commanders act with sure and true competence.

This is the ideal for the soldier.  It is the ideal for every Christian.

Virtues are habits developed over time by repetition and discipline.  Our Church’s pastors are our officers who must lead us through adversities towards our objective of heaven.   We must diligently learn and review the content of our Faith, especially in the fundamentals, basic catechism.  With discipline we must frequent the sacraments.  We must train our children, din into them the catechism use of the sacraments. They must be given a rule of life which, after a measure of time, becomes so much a part of them that it is nearly automatic.  We must foster it in ourselves as well.  It will carry us through even the worst things we might have to face.

Years ago I had an experience which confirmed the value of old-fashioned methods of catechism: rote memorization and repetition aloud, “dinning” it in.

I was called to a hospital to assist in a man’s difficult death.  I gave him Last Rites and talked with the family as they struggled with the end of their loved-one’s life.  An estranged daughter, beyond her middle years, which had clearly been pretty rough, was severely bitter.  She cursed life, fate and God for the cruelty her father’s dying.  She shouted at me, “Why did God make us if this is ALL THERE IS?”  I responded asking, “You tell me.  Why did God make you?”  She became very still.  Then she said, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.” I continued, “What must we do to save our souls?”  On cue she responded with something that she hadn’t probably thought of for decades: “To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity. We must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart.”  “Did your father do that?”, I asked.  “Oh, yes”, she said, “…. oh yes.”

She had been taught well as a child.  Someone loved her enough to din that into her, perhaps even under protests.  Without question there were times when she had to be forced to learn and to repeat over and over what seemed boring and pointless.  She had been drilled at school, perhaps, by the Sisters, the sort in habits with rulers, whom we now see mocked in the media by ungrateful cads who benefited from their dedication.  Her parents did their duty and gave her what she would one day need.

By the grace of God the gift her dying father pressed on her years before was rediscovered – in the moment when the battle over her soul was joined.

Many today criticize the old method of education by memorization and repetition.  They say that children just mouth things they do not understand.  Children might not understand what they are learning at that moment, but one day they will.  It will be ready for them. They will have it because it had been given them.  Soldiers, sailors and Marines gripe about their training and entertain homicidal thoughts about their drill instructors.  But when the time comes, they have the skills that win battles and save lives.  Not a few Marines return to their DI to shake his hand and thank him.  We are pilgrim soldiers of the Church Militant.  To reach our goal of heaven, we need training, sacrifice, and leadership.

Since the days of the pontificates of St. John Paul II  and of Pope Benedict XVI, I believe we were, and still are, seeing a recovery of Catholic identity through a renewal of authentic worship in continuity with our tradition. There are instances of strong leadership among our bishops and priests.  Many are not permitting Holy Church to be shoved off the field of battle.  They aren’t entirely willing to be pushed around, even by other leaders in the Church.  While over the last few years this is weakening at bit, there are still strong leaders in the Church, willing to push, and to admonish, and to din, and the make the hard call to attain good goals.

Do all you can to support our bishops and priests.  Pray and fast for them.  Support their needs and projects.  Express that support to them.  And in your march of life be prepared always to give reasons for the hope that is in you (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

“O God, you are so big!” Maronite English liturgical translations: Devastation!

For decades we Latin Church Catholics in the English speaking world suffered from hideous liturgical translations, prepared by ICEL.

Remember what they were like?  Here is the quintessential, typical, emblematic, prototypical,  illustrative, archetypal, representative Obsolete ICEL prayer:

O God,
you are so big.
Help us to be big like you.

Thank be to God, the Obsolete ICEL prayers were replaced, according to new principles of translation laid down in Liturgiam authenticam.  While the current translations are not perfect, they at least resemble the Latin originals.

Today a friend sent me this.

Looks like the Maronites have discovered dynamic equivalence!  The “reformed” version is apparently in their new Missal (2013 in US).

Attached to the email was this:


I don’t know Syriac, so I can’t compare these to the original, but… dang, this wouldn’t be good at all.

If this is accurate, and if this is representative of how Maronites might be praying if they use English, and if they stick to this, then their identity will be devastated.

“Enriched” Reform Version?  REALLY?!?


I hope this a) isn’t true and b) is only one (little used) option.


Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Padre Pio music on his feast day: Musical Setting of his “Prayer” (VIDEO)

Today is the Feast of St. Pio, aka Padre Pio of Pietralcina, who died in 1968 and was canonized in 2002.  He was an amazing saint.

I have an affection for Padre Pio.  My bishop, who recently passed away – RIP, when he was a member of the Congregation for Causes of Saints was the “Ponente” of the cause of St. Pio .  I got a good look at the many volumes of the positio for the cause and heard some great anecdotes.

Here is something that you may not be aware of.

I am sure you have heard of the great (living) composer of both secular and sacred music James MacMillan.  Among the fine music has has written is, just as an example, the Tu Es Petrus we heard when Benedict XVI entered Westminster Cathedral during his state visit to England.

MacMillan wrote music in honor of St. “Padre” Pio!  It is sung by no less than The Sixteen.


It is a setting of his “Prayer” HERE.

HERE, however, is a choir singing the Prayer:


Posted in Saints: Stories & Symbols | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

WDTPRS – 26th Ordinary Sunday: Bowels of Mercy

Our Collect for the 26th Ordinary Sunday, slightly different from its ancestor in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary, is also in the 1962 Missale Romanum for the 10th Sunday after Pentecost.

Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas, gratiam tuam super nos indesinenter infunde, ut, ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.

A consors is someone with whom you share a common destiny (cum, “with” + sors “lot, fate, destiny”).  Parco means, “to spare, have mercy, forbear to injure; forgive.”  We see this verb often in our prayers.  Think of the responses during the litanies: “Parce nobis, Domine… Spare us, O Lord!”


O God, who manifest Your omnipotence especially by sparing and by being merciful, pour Your grace upon us unceasingly, so that You may make us, rushing to the things You have promised, to be coheirs of heavenly benefits.


Father, you show your almighty power, in your mercy and forgiveness. Continue to fill us with your gifts of love. Help us to hurry toward the eternal life you promise and come to share in the joys of your kingdom.


O God, who manifest your almighty power above all by pardoning and showing mercy, bestow, we pray, your grace abundantly upon us and make those hastening to attain your promises heirs to the treasures of heaven.

We can slip into the trap of associating justice only with the exercise of power.

Today we affirm the other side of power’s coin: mercy.

Nevertheless, the affirmation of God’s mercy does not diminish God’s justice.

One of the ways God reveals Himself as “almighty” is by being forgiving and sparing.

God knows all things which ever were, are or will be, as well as how each human action impacts every other throughout history.

For God, balancing mercy and justice is no problem at all.

For us, however, this balancing act is exceedingly difficult.  Our will and our limited intellect are wounded.  We struggle with passions. It is hard to see what is good and right and true and then rein in our emotions. We oscillate between being just and then being merciful. Bringing the two streams of mercy and justice together in just the right way is a tremendous challenge.  When we encounter a person who does this well, we are deeply impressed by him and hold him up as an example of wisdom because he seems to act more clearly as an image of God.  His example moves us because we know that we too must conform to God’s image.

One way in which we act the most according to God’s image, behaving as Christ’s good consortes, is precisely when we act with compassion.  In biblical language, such as the Hebrew racham, compassion is often interchangeable with mercy.  The Latin word compassio comes from Latin cum+patior, “to suffer/endure with” someone.  We are moved when we witness suffering and attendant compassion because they reveal in a mysterious way who we are as human beings and how we ought to act.

In a famous passage from the Council’s Gaudium et spes, we are taught that Christ came into the world to reveal man more fully to himself (GS 22).  Christ did this in His every word and deed during His earthly life.  His supreme moment of revelation to us about who we are was His Passion and death on the Cross and subsequent rising from the tomb.  When we imitate His Passion, in sacrificial love and in the genuine “with suffering” which is compassion, we act as we were made by God to act.   In sincere and concrete acts of compassion we, in our own turn, reveal man more fully to himself!  We in turn show God’s image to our neighbor.  Only the stony, cold and dead are not be moved by examples of genuine compassion rooted in the sacrificial love which is charity.  Pope John Paul II wrote in his first encyclical, Redemptor hominis 9, that “man cannot live without love”.  By this he meant both the love we give and the love we receive.

Unmerited acts of charity, mercy, and compassion make visible to our neighbor the God after whose likeness we ourselves are fashioned.  In sincere and concrete acts of compassion, in our biblical “bowels of mercy” (Colossians 3:12), we in our turn reveal man more fully to himself.  Individuals can by their example effect great changes in a society.

If one person can do much, how much more could be done by armies of men and women thirsting for holiness and righteousness (i.e., a Church), striving to act in compassion, justice and mercy?

By His justice, God will give us what we deserve.

By His mercy, He will not give us certain elements of what we deserve.

By His pouring forth graces upon us, God gives us what we do not deserve.

God’s justice must be received with joyful trepidation, whether we want it or not.

God’s mercy we must beg for with humble confidence.

God’s grace, unmerited by us, we embrace with exultant gratitude.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SSPX Bp. Fellay talks about relations with the Holy See

A reader steered me to videos of a talk given in August in New Zealand by SSPX Superior, Bp. Bernard Fellay. It is broken into 6 parts on YouTube and is, frankly, dull to watch. But you might want to listen to it. Therefore, I stripped out the audio, cleaned it up a little, and pumped up the volume a tad.

Bp. Fellay speaks about the state of the question with the Holy See. The last half might be of greater interest. Perhaps you readers can point to minute marks long the way.

I left brief breaks where one video ended and another began.

I, for one, hope for a swift reconciliation.

The first of the videos …

Posted in SSPX | Tagged , | 13 Comments

September Ember!

A friend sent an email with a reminder about Ember Days.  These days were penitential in spirit.  They were also traditional times for ordinations.  The short mnemonic “Lenty, Penty, Crucy, Lucy” can help you remember when they fall.

Today in the traditional Roman calendar is Feria Sexta Quattuor Temporum Septembris (II. classis), Ember Friday of September.

From my friend’s email:

Ember Days (from Latin Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of prayer, fast, abstinence, mortification, and almsgiving. Although these days were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085), their real origin goes back to the early days of the Church at Rome. The Ember Days are specific to the West; the East does not know them.

In addition to prayer and fasting, another reason for the Ember Days is to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy.

The immediate occasion (for their origin) was the practice of the heathens of Rome who worked in agriculture. In the months June, September, and December, the Romans invoked their false deities for protection upon their fruits of the earth: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding.

The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices that could be utilized for a good purpose. At first, the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December, but the exact days were not fixed. The Church, on these days, taught Christians to consecrate the seasons by means of fasting, abstinence, prayer, mortification, and almsgiving in order to invoke the blessing of the One and True God upon their crops by means of sun and rain in due season.

Additionally, following the example of Our Lady, who fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, [while I imagine Our Lady also to have done that, perhaps he meant Our Lord] the Church always prepared for special feasts and festivals by fasting (Saturdays were days of fast and abstinence in preparation for Mass on the Lord’s Day – Sunday). This helped Christians to prepare spiritually and to increase their life of virtue by subduing the flesh to the spirit: “Fasting has always been the nourishment of virtues. By voluntary mortifications, the flesh dies to its concupiscence and the spirit is renewed in virtue” (Pope St. Leo).

Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia and A Pulpit Commentary on Catholic Teaching: The Liturgy of the Ecclesiastical Year.

If you want more, I wrote about Ember Days HERE.

However, pace Johnny Mercer, is you is or is you ain’t Ember Friday?  There are some people who want to schedule the September Ember Days a week earlier, to follow Exaltation of the Cross when it falls early in a week.  For example, HERE.  But that is not the calendar we follow for the Extraordinary Form.  Moreover, the Ordo sent by both the FSSP and the SSPX have today as Ember Friday.

As far as the Novus Ordo is concerned, Ember Days are discussed in the General Norms for the Liturgical Year (GIRM). Tucked into one of the very last paragraphs, as if it were really important, we find:

394. Each diocese should have its own Calendar and Proper of Masses. For its part, the of Bishops’ Conference should draw up a proper calendar for the nation or, together with other Conferences, a calendar for a wider territory, to be approved by the Apostolic See.153

In carrying this out, to the greatest extent possible the Lord’s Day is to be preserved and safeguarded, as the primordial holy day, and hence other celebrations, unless they be truly of the greatest importance, should not have precedence over it. Care should likewise be taken that the liturgical year as revised by decree of the Second Vatican Council not be obscured by secondary elements.

In the drawing up of the calendar of a nation, the Rogation and Ember Days should be indicated (cf. above, no. 373), as well as the forms and texts for their celebration,155 and other special measures should also be taken into consideration.

The U.S. Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy did this in the 2007 edition of Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers (Rogation Days, pp. 142 ff.; Ember Days, pp. 164 ff.).

That doesn’t impress me very much, I’m afraid.

This is one of those instances in which the newer, post-Conciliar calendar reveals the myopia of the “experts” who cobbled together the liturgical reform.

By moving saints’ feast days around, they caused disruption with celebrations of name days, patronal feasts, etc.  By changing the liturgical seasons – especially by eliminating the pre-Lenten Sundays – they diminished preparation for Lent.  By eliminating Rogation Days and Ember Days, they removed crucial moments of petition from our schedule.

In sum, they didn’t consider that people’s lives were tied or could be tied to the rhythm of the Church’s year of grace.

If there were ever a way in which the older, Extraordinary Form could provide “enrichment” for the newer, Ordinary Form, this would be one way: reconsideration of the structure of the newer and the older calendar and how they fit together or don’t fit together.  I advocate the addition of new feasts in the older calendar and the reintegration of elements of the older calendar into the newer.

Don’t make some of these things mere suggestions.  Put them back into the calendar.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged | 4 Comments

MEXICO: Another priest kidnapped after two were murdered

Recently two priests in Mexico were kidnapped and killed.

Now I read that another priest in Mexico is missing.

Via Crux:

Another Catholic priest in Mexico kidnapped, remains missing

Coming on the heels of the kidnapping and murder of two Catholic priests in Mexico over the weekend, a third one was reportedly taken from his church on Monday and remains missing.
Father José Alfredo López Guillen of the state of Michoacán, one of the most violent zones in the country, reportedly was taken on Monday by people who remain unknown. Items from the parochial house and his car are also missing.
The news about the kidnapping was shared by Cardinal Alberto Suárez Inda of the diocese of Morelia, the capital of Michoacán. His diocese published a video through YouTube and Twitter, where the cardinal says: “We ask God that his integrity, his life, are respected, so that he can soon go back to his ministry.”
Suárez Inda, created cardinal by Pope Francis in 2015, also prayed for peace, respect for life and the conversion of those who spend their lives doing wrong to others.
“This barbarity is in no way justified,” he said.
Michoacán has long suffered the consequences of organized crime and drug trade, and the disappearance of López Guillen is far from being an isolated case.
Fathers Alejo Nabor Jimenez Juarez and Jose Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz had been kidnapped last week in Veracruz, a region also marred by drug trade and organized crime, and found murdered on Monday, the same day the priest from Michoacán went missing.
The CMC also said in 2015 there was a decrease in the number of priests killed, from six in the year before to two.  [Gosh!  A decrease!] However, it also said that some 520 priests had been victims of extortion during the year. The fate of Father Carlos Ornelos Puga, who disappeared in November 2013 from La Victoria, Tamaulipas, and Father Santiago Alvarez Figueroa, who disappeared in December 2012 in Zamora, Michoacan, remained unknown.
But priests are not the only targets. Last June three nuns were tied up, gagged, and assaulted by unknown attackers in their parish home in the state of Oaxaca.

Pray for the priests who died.  Pray for the priest who is missing.

Posted in PRAYER REQUEST, Priests and Priesthood, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Urgent Prayer Requests | Tagged , , | 8 Comments