WDTPRS: 13th Ordinary Sunday – divine adoption and the splendor of truth

At work in the Collect for this weekend’s 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time are themes of divine adoption and the splendor of truth.

Our prayer connects being wrapped up in error with separation from God.  It joins divine adoption with coming into view in the light of Truth.

Deus, qui, per adoptionem gratiae, lucis nos esse filios voluisti, praesta, quaesumus, ut errorum non involvamur tenebris, sed in splendore veritatis semper maneamus conspicui.

Involvo involves “to wrap up, envelop” and “to cover, overwhelm, surround.”  Conspicuus (as opposed to occultus) is an adjective for something in view or that comes into view.  Thus, it is “that which attracts the attention to itself, striking, illustrious, remarkable”.  Splendor is, “sheen, brightness, brilliance, luster” and moreover, “dignity, excellence.”


O God, who wanted us to be children of the light through the adoption of grace, grant, we beg, that we not be bound up in the shadows of errors, but rather that we remain always striking in the splendor of the truth.


O God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in the darkness of error but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth.

During Mass keep your ears pricked up, ready to pick up Biblical references in the prayers.  A theme of this Collect is our identity as children of God through adoptio gratiae, adoption of grace.   St. Paul writes often about spiritual adoption (e.g., Gal 4:5 and Eph 1:15, et al.).  Writing to the Romans he tells us about the moral implications of spiritual sonship.  Why not spend a half hour or so reading and thinking about Romans 8:1-15 and (under the usual conditions) gain a partial indulgence?

The phrase splendor veritatis should ring a bell.  The late Pope John Paul II in his 1993 encyclical Veritatis splendor began to correct the erroneous and dangerous tendencies of some contemporary moral theologians. Progress has been made.

Splendor, in the writings of some Fathers of the Church is, like gloria and maiestas, associated with the divine presence.  Think of the pillar of fire during the Exodus, the shining cloud wherein God spoke to Moses, the light of the transfigured Lord on Mount Tabor.  The Doctor of Grace, St Augustine of Hippo (+430), twice connected “splendor of truth” (splendor veritatis) with “fervor of charity” (fervor caritatis). Centuries later the Seraphic Doctor, St Bonaventure of Bagnoregio (+1274) expanded upon this link.   For Augustine and Bonaventure, living in the light of the truth, which is the love of God, necessarily means also love of neighbor.  With what kind of love must we hold our neighbor?   With fervor, “a boiling or raging heat”.   This is no lukewarm love which Jesus will spew away.  Splendor veritatis leads to fervor caritatis, the blazing raging fire of Jesus’ Sacred Heart, His lacerated “burning furnace of love”.  Christians cannot love God and not love neighbor.  In word and deed we must reflect this two-fold love or we are not true Christians.   I often fail in this.

The splendor of Truth brings us into the light, teaches us love, and sets us free.  Error binds us, prevents us from acting as free persons.

In the light of day we walk about freely, without hurting ourselves or getting lost.  In darkness we grope, stumble, and run against unseen obstacles.  Today’s Collect presents “shadows of errors” as a smothering envelopment hiding God from our sight and us from His sight as if we were in a dark forgotten tomb, buried alive.

The wounds of Original Sin make it difficult to know what is good and right and true.  Our intellects are clouded.  When through in the tangle of our minds or the help of human or divine authority we discern the good, then we still need to choose it with our wounded will.  We can convince ourselves that actions which are in reality bad, wrong and false are actually good, right and true.  We fool ourselves into thinking we are “free” and acting rightly when we actually are doing things that are quite wicked.  If this becomes habitual, we become numb to truth and to error and to sin.  Once we are enveloped in error’s darkness, which begins in self-deception, ever after we lurch through life like horror movie zombies, grotesque mockeries of what God intended for His holy images.

God makes it possible to put off the darkness and put on the light (Rom 13:12-14).  He flashes, shines, dispels our blindness (cf Augustine, Confessions 10,27).  By the merits of Christ’s Sacrifice and through His sacraments and Holy Church’s teaching we can be the free beautiful images God wants us to be in this life and in the life to come.

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A priest’s plea: “Please, Holy Father: Enough”

My friend Msgr. Charles Pope has a piece at the National Catholic Register which echoes what I have heard and read from many priests.  He is as vexed as many priests about some off-the-cuff remarks made by His Holiness the Pope about priests.  Francis seems to have an extremely dim view of priests. He constantly talks about them in a derogatory way.

In the same occasion when he made off the cuff remarks about the “majority” of marriages being invalid – which the Press Office attempted to walk back after the fact – the Holy Father said that priests should not be “putting our noses into the moral life of other people.” This is, of course, inconsistent with exactly what priest ought to do, must do if they are to help people avoid hell get to heaven!

Read the whole thing there, but this is Msgr. Pope’s peroration:

Thus even the “spun” remarks are unhelpful at best and divisive at worst.  His emphasis:

Please, Holy Father: Enough of these ad hoc, off-the-cuff, impromptu sessions, whether at thirty thousand feet or at ground level. Much harm through confusion has been caused by these latest remarks on marriage, cohabitation, baptism, confession, and pastoral practice. Simply cleaning the record in the official transcript is not enough; this is an era of instant reportage and lots of recording devices, tweets, and Instagrams.

Just this priest’s perspective. But I can assure you, dear reader, that the impact hits priests hard, and I cannot deny a certain weariness and discouragement at this point. I realize that such remarks of the Pope are not doctrinal, but just try and tell that to gleeful dissenters and the morally confused or misled in this world.

Let us pray for our Holy Father and for the universal Church.

I also want to direct the readership’s attention back to a post about the initiative of another priest friend, Fr. Byers.  HERE  He asks that people pray for His Holiness in a coordinated way to protect him from diabolical attacks.

May I add a request that you pray for priests?  Especially for the priests you know?  Especially for me?

Posted in Cri de Coeur, Mail from priests, Pope Francis, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , | 21 Comments

A black hole shreds a star

[1] Unto the end, for the presses [gittith]: a psalm of David. [2] O Lord our Lord, how admirable is thy name in the whole earth! For thy magnificence is elevated above the heavens. [3] Out of the mouth of infants and of sucklings thou hast perfected praise, because of thy enemies, that thou mayst destroy the enemy and the avenger. [4] For I will behold thy heavens, the works of thy fingers: the moon and the stars which thou hast founded. [5] What is man that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him? [6] Thou hast made him a little less than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour: [7] And hast set him over the works of thy hands. [8] Thou hast subjected all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen: moreover the beasts also of the fields. [9] The birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea, that pass through the paths of the sea. [10] O Lord our Lord, how admirable is thy name in all the earth!

Scientists observe huge black hole shred a star, emit x-rays

They’re known as tidal disruption events: when a black hole consumes a nearby star.

And now, scientists have observed a dramatic tidal disruption event in a galaxy nearly 4 billion light years away, involving a black hole that’s approximately a million times as massive as our sun. The matter that this supermassive black hole swallowed created what’s called an accretion disk around the black hole.

The supermassive black hole, called Swift J1644+57, was dormant— as 90 percent of black holes are— until it sucked in the star, shredding it. That event allowed scientists to observe the black hole.

“Tidal disruption events offer us this rare view at the most common kind of supermassive black hole in the universe— these so-called dormant supermassive black holes,” Erin Kara, a Hubble postdoctoral fellow at the University of Maryland, said in a video explaining the discovery. “Tidal disruption events, where the stellar debris causes the formation of a temporary accretion disk, offers us a way to probe this population of supermassive black holes.”

What’s more, that accretion disk amplified x-ray flares— and the location of where those x-rays are coming was surprising.

“Previously, astronomers had thought that the x-ray emission is coming from far out in a jet,” Kara said. “But what we’re finding with these observations, is that the x-ray emission is coming from flares very close to the supermassive black hole. And we can use these observations to probe properties of the black hole itself.”

“For instance, we found that the mass of the black hole is something on the order of a million times the mass of the sun,” she added.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 2 Comments

New Star Trek series for TV in 2017

Who knew about this?  I didn’t.

This seems symptomatic of a lot of screen entertainment these days: revivals and sequels, not much that is wholly new. I suppose the flicks are so expensive to produce now that they don’t want to risk a flop; they pick something that had previous success.

I suspect that instead of less-than emotional Vulcans or androids, they’ll fill the gaps with “gays”. No… wait… “gay” (I detest the twisting of that word) is running its course now.   They’re boring (or Islamic terrorists).

They’ll be transgender! Or transspecies! No, transspecies was pretty much what all the non-Earthlings were, right? It’ll have to be trans.

Moreover, since networks now produce shows with the intent of changing societal mores, this series will have to have an aberrant character that helps to push the envelope.  The other day I was talking to a friend who actually forces himself to follow TV for the sake of watching how it has been used to twist morals and minds.  He has even watched shows like Modern Family and New Normal… blech.. and now Transparent.  He said that he had tuned into an old episode of Will and Grace.  Even he was surprised how far and how quickly things have been twisted.  What was edgy and awful just a few years ago, after the constant onslaught, seems pretty tame now.  He added that it is as if they – the show-makers – mapped out a plan ahead of time and then patiently executed it over decades to move society to where we are now.

So now is “space the final frontier”?   Gender-morphing atheists hurtling around in really cool looking ships fighting lizard-guys/gals/questioning!  And at least one of the enemies will be religious in some way.

Still, bad, social-reengineering Star Trek might be better than no Star Trek.


Posted in Just Too Cool, Lighter fare, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 31 Comments

An imaginary dialogue of US nuns and Vatican officials

As the number of leaders of groups of US women religious being summoned to Rome has been growing, an expert on the status quaesitionis of the same US groups, Ann Carey, offers some insights in the form of a dialogue.  You all will want to see her book Sisters in Crisis (UK HERE).

At CWR. Here is the first part:

The Dispatch: More from CWR

Vatican and American Sisters in Conversation: A Creative Summary

This is an imaginary yet likely conversation between Vatican officials and the leader of one of the several religious orders who recently have been summoned to Rome to discuss “areas of concern” coming out of the Apostolic Visitation of United States Women Religious conducted by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life CICLSAL).

The Sisters of Justice and Peace (JP) are an imaginary religious order, but all the positions voiced by its leadership in this conversation are approximations of actual statements or writings by U.S. women religious in recent years.

Vatican: Welcome, Sister Mary. We appreciate you coming for this serene conversation.

Sister Mary, JP: We always are happy to cooperate with requests from CICLSAL and to be in dialogue with our brother bishops. [“brother bishops”… remember: Magisterium of Nuns] And we welcome the opportunity to tell you about the mission and commitment of our order.

Vatican: Oh yes, we have heard many wonderful things about your order and all the good works your sisters are doing. That is why it is difficult for us to believe reports that some of your members have publicly dissented from church teachings by supporting “gay marriage,” promoting access to abortion, and directly countering the U.S. Bishops’ efforts to protect conscience rights. Surely, this is not true, is it?

Sister Mary, JP: Well, the hierarchy often interprets things as dissent that really aren’t dissent, you see. What these sisters are doing is standing in solidarity with oppressed and marginalized people, a Gospel value that we embrace. When the church does not understand the necessity for women to be able to control their own bodies, some sisters feel called to support these women. And when the church calls illicit the genuine love between two sincere people, some sisters feel they must work for the rights of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. As for so-called conscience rights, some sisters feel that the right of poor people to receive the full range of reproductive services outweighs the right of others to object to such services.

Vatican: Well, your empathy with marginalized people is certainly laudable, and we share your concern for them. , but how can your sisters support behavior that clearly is immoral?

Sister Mary, JP: Since women are marginalized and face injustice within the church and are not given positions of power and authority in the church, we feel especially empowered to raise our voices against injustice and to continue to fight for systemic change on behalf of all oppressed peoples.

Vatican: My apologies for our confusion, but have you told these sisters that under their vow of obedience, they must cease this activity?

Sister Mary, JP: Oh, goodness, no. As a Gospel-based faith community, we believe we must not stifle our members’ freedom of conscience, for they are adult women who claim and embrace the right to make their own moral decisions. Besides, we Americans have a different view of the vow of obedience than do those of you sequestered in the Vatican. For us, obedience is discerning well and then responding to the Spirit.

Vatican: How then, do you perceive a sister’s obligation to her vows of poverty and chastity?

Sister Mary, JP: Poverty can mean many things to us, including making oneself available to other people, engaging in dialogue, working for redistribution of wealth, caring for the earth, and divesting our order’s institutes, buildings and properties. Chastity means for us to be in right relationships with people.

Vatican (growing less serene): We see. These are certainly very creative and innovative interpretations of the vows. Could you help us understand how your order implements the spiritual and community life of your congregation, for we are having trouble comprehending how your way of life resonates with the Church’s definition of apostolic religious life.

Sister Mary, JP: Well, we believe there are different understandings of religious life: The European understanding, the hierarchal understanding and the understanding that U.S. sisters have evolved. In fact, we U.S. sisters are constantly birthing new forms of religious life, and our order is on the cutting edge of this prophetic vision. After all, your congregation approved our constitutions.

Vatican: Oh, yes, we were very happy to approve the language of your constitutions. But we are confused by reports from some sisters in your order that your actual manner of living religious life does not conform to what your constitutions say.


Read the rest there.

Fr. Z kudos to Ann Carey.

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Pope Francis’ ‘Armeniam Visit” [sic]

When world leaders visit each other, they generally exchange gifts. Sometimes they get the spelling right, too.

Let’s just say that some of the mandarins in the Curia are not so great with the modern lingua franca, the language that dominates the world, the single modern foreign language one must know in addition to one’s native tongue … and Latin.

Latin…?  Wait a just a cotton pickin’ minute!

Visit could be 3rd singular perfect indicative active of viso, visi, visum, “to look at attentively, to view, behold, survey”, or, “to go or come in order to look at, to see to, look after; constr. with acc., a rel.-clause, or ad”.

So, ARMENIAM VISIT could be Latin for “He came to see/visit Armenia”.

If it’s Latin, that is.  The date on the medal seems to be Latin. Otherwise, it’s just wrong.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged | 10 Comments

A Litany to Sr. Joan Chittister (… no… really!)

You’ve seen the recent stories about leaders of US women religious being summoned to Rome for to explain the situation.

On the heals of another such story today (HERE) comes this, which I spotted at Church Militant.

Apparently the US weird sisters are now praying TO – not for – our old pal Sr. Joan D. Chittister, O.S.B. Perhaps it was her Triumph in Tahir Square that put them over the edge.  Or could it have been the Zoom to Zuccotti Park?

The Self-absorbed Promethean Neopelagians of Sr. Joan’s community thinks very highly of her, it seems.


But this “Vortex” isn’t really about her directly; it’s about something that was sent in to us about the group of women religious — the Benedictine community in Erie, Pennsylvania of which she has been prioress — that — are you sitting down? — actually composed a prayer to Sr. Joan.

Not for Sr. Joan, not about Sr. Joan — but to her.

We have the whole text available down below, but here’s a sample: “Joan, a life ablaze, an illuminated life, a heart of flesh, who made the great lights, sun and moon for God’s steadfast love endures forever.”

Or how about this one?” Joan, a high spiritual season, a gift of years, a wind of change, by understanding made the heavens for God’s steadfast love endures forever.”

In other parts, she is credited for and prayed to for leading the people through the wilderness, for being a living liturgy, for spreading out the earth on the waters — which, when you stop to think about it, is really small potatoes if she made the sun and the moon. I mean, c’mon. If you can make the sun and the moon, what’s especially praiseworthy about spreading the earth upon the waters?

This prayer is used communally, as can easily be seen on the sheet asking for “participants” to respond. It is a reworking (a bastardization is more like it) of Psalm 136, renamed as a “litany” to Joan.

We aren’t making this stuff up, folks. Honest to Heavens, it’s right there. We’ve attached it down below, gotten straight from the New Age foundry, er, I mean, convent.

The prayer is HERE. WARNING – Put down your Mystic Monk coffee.


You can’t make this stuff up.

That reminds me… I have to get my application in again to attend the LCWR annual meeting.

Posted in Liberals, Lighter fare, Self-absorbed Promethean Neopelagians, Women Religious, You must be joking! | Tagged , , | 28 Comments

More US women religious summoned to Rome: Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

fishwrapThe leaders of the Sisters of Loreto were called to Rome to talk about issues of doctrine and morals.

Then the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary were called.

Now I read at panicky Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) that the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are next.

A copy of the subsequent letter sent by leadership to Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet sisters was obtained by Global Sisters Report. It says that all CSJ Province Leadership Teams received the same letter from CICLSAL and quotes from it on five matters “voicing the following concerns“:

• Your desire to help bring about an ’emerging new form of religious life’;

• Your Congregation’s policy regarding members of the community who are known to hold positions of dissent from the Church’s moral teaching or approved liturgical practice;

• We also urge you to evaluate your efforts to promote ‘communion with creation‘, especially in light of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato si, a comprehensive presentation on the responsible care of creation, in view of integrating its principles enunciated in the encyclical into your current efforts in this area. [I think this means that they should stop venerating the earth mother goddess.]

The congregation’s statement said the letter was presented as a follow-up to the on-site visit to the order in St. Paul, Minnesota, in late 2010. The congregation’s leadership team discussed whether to accept or decline the summons, but decided the “benefits outweigh the challenges of expense and some inconvenience.”  [Uh huh… go ahead and pretend that you are the mistresses of your fate.]

I’m from St. Paul and Minneapolis. They are really strange.

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WDTPRS – St. John the Baptist: “guide the minds of all the faithful”

Let’s have a look at the…


Deus, qui beatum Ioannem Baptistam suscitasti,
ut perfectam plebem Christo Domino praepararet,
da populis tuis spiritalium gratiam gaudiorum,
et omnium fidelium mentes dirige
in viam salutis et pacis.

I like the sound of the ends of the clauses – suscitasti… praepararet… gaudiorum and then a big change with salutis et pacis.   Remember!  These prayers are to be sung!   Suscitasti is, as you now recognize, a syncopated form, short for suscitavi­sti, which would have diminished the rhythmic coherence in the first three clauses.


O God, who raised up blessed John the Baptist,
so that he would prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord,
grant to your peoples the grace of spiritual joys
and guide the minds of all the faithful into the way of salvation and peace.


O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist
to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord,
give your people, we pray,
the grace of spiritual joys
and direct the hearts of all the faithful
into the way of salvation and peace

This modern Collect of the 1970 Roman Missal is based on the Collect of olden days:

Deus, qui praesentem diem honorabilem nobis in beati Ioannis nativitate fecisti: da populis tuis spiritualium gratiam gaudiorum; et omnium fidelium mentes dirige in viam salutis aeternae.

Perhaps the terrible wars of the 20th century drove the composers of the newer version to include the petition for peace.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged | 6 Comments



I’m watching the results of BREXIT. So far London is still not counted, but right now it is looking like OUT will win.

The Pound is getting slammed. Today it started at $1.50.




The bookies are now saying 94% OUT.


I’m making popcorn.


I think I’ll go see the new Independence Day movie tomorrow/today.  After all, we fought a war so that we wouldn’t be … you know… Canadian.


We will now see the EU unravel.  I wish this could happen to the UN.


ITV, BBC, SKY have predicted OUT will triumph.



When the DOW opens in about 9 hours it will open down over 700, as of this writing.  Oil is down.  Gold is soaring.  The Euro and GBP are dying.  Asian markets are way down.


Breitbart: U.K. Declares Independence from E.U. Globalist Elite



And now that BREXIT is EXIT, comes FREXIT. Marine Le Pen is calling for a referendum in France.  HERE


We are all hanging out waiting for a reaction from 10 Downing Street.



And Il tempo: Salvini – “Ora tocca a noi!”


I am sure you were wondering how Gibraltar voted…. Remain: 19,322 IN 823 OUT.

UPDATE 24 June:

From my text messages…

“Slogan of the Day: Last country out of EU gets Greece!”


Remember… The Wyoming Mystic Monks also have TEA.  TEA… get it?

Posted in The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 38 Comments