Your Sunday Sermon Notes

What was the good point you heard in the sermon for your Mass of obligation this Sunday.

I didn’t preach.  I said Mass very quietly at a side altar in Roman church with one young fellow making quiet responses.

I prayed for you.  My intention was for the upcoming election: that God’s will be done but that God spare us from what we deserve.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 12 Comments

WDTPRS – 28th Ordinary Sunday: “God crowns His own 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).  And as I just reaffirmed during a hospital visit the other day, it is 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.”


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.


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.


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.

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WDTPRS – 21st Sunday after Pentecost: We are grown up! We don’t have to kneel!

Let’s have a look at the Collect for the upcoming Sunday in the TLM – 1962 Missale Romanum.

This Collect has been in use at least since the time of the Liber Sacramentorum Gellonensis, which is a variation of the ancient Gregorian Sacramentary.  It survived the Novus Ordo cutter-snippers as the Collect for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time.


Familiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut a cunctis adversitatibus, te protegente, sit libera; et bonis actibus tuo nomini sit devota.

The first part was used almost like a template in other prayers, as in the Collect of the 5th Sunday after Epiphany: “Familiam tuam, quaesumus, Domine, continua pietate custodi, ut, quae in sola spe gratiae caelestis innititur, tua semper protectione muniatur.”   Note not only the similar beginning, but also a connection in the vocabulary with that form of protego.  This suggests to me that the prayers are related.

That word familia, though it seems so familiar, should have some attention.  Familia and forms of famulus occur often in our prayers.  Think of the line in the Roman Canon including “Memento, Domine, famulorum, famularumque tuarum… Be mindful, O Lord, of Your household servants and handmaids”.  These words look like “family”, as does familia, and that is often appropriate depending on the context.  However, the core meaning of the root of the word, fama, which comes from Latin’s ancient cousin Oscan must guide our minds to the whole body of people in an ancient household, including especially the servants.  The different words for “family” in Latin include all the servants and staff, with the extended family, not just the core.  The paterfamilias, “father of the family” had virtual power of life and death over most of his household and his word was law.

Custodio, common in military language, means “to watch, protect, keep, defend, guard”. Pietas is complicated, as we have seen many times.  Obvious English “piety” comes from this, but the Latin is more involved.  Your Lewis & Short Dictionary, oddly cheap considering its usefulness, says pietas is “dutiful conduct toward the gods, one’s parents, relatives, benefactors, country, etc., sense of duty.” The classic application of pietas and the adjective pius is to the figure of Aeneas in the Latin poet Virgil’s Aeneid.  As Troy was being destroyed by the Greeks after the incident with the wooden horse, Virgil (+A.D. 19) has Aeneas carry his elderly father Anchises from the wreckage of the burning city while leading his little son along by hand.  This image of the man with his father on his back and his son by the hand perfectly expresses the duties Aeneas, future founder of what will become Rome, had toward his family, his pietas.  He was also scrupulous in relation to the gods.  So he is usually called pius Aeneas, which as you now know is far more complicated than the mere “pious Aeneas”.

Christians adapted ancient terms like this to a new context, to express new meanings. In Jerome’s Vulgate in both Old and New Testament pietas is “conscientiousness, scrupulousness regarding love and duty toward God.”  You see that the core of pietas remains “duty.”  Pietas is also one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (cf. CCC 733-36; Isaiah 11:2), by which we are duly affectionate and grateful toward our parents, relatives and country, as well as to all men living insofar as they belong to God or are godly, and especially to the saints.  In loose or common parlance, “piety” indicates fulfilling the duties of religion.  Sometimes “pious” is even used in a negative way, as when people take aim at external displays of religious dutifulness as opposed to what they is “genuine” practice (cf. Luke 18:9-14).

All this is involved when we use pietas to describe ourselves, what human beings have regarding, God, family, country, etc.   But in our prayer today, we are asking God to guard us with His pietas.   When we speak of the pietas of God, we are generally referring to His mercy toward us.  While it is not strictly right to imply that God has a duty toward us, He has made promises and God is true to His promises.  We can depend on Him not because He is obliged by pietas, as we are, but because He is loving and merciful.  So, God’s pietas towards us has a different tone altogether.

I note as well that in that line from the Canon I quoted above in respect to familia, down the line a bit, we come to the Latin word devotio.  We have a form of that word in today’s Collect.  There must be a connection between the concepts of familia, pietas and devota, an adjective connected with familia.

Your L&S reveals that devoto “to dedicate, devote” as well as “to bewitch, enchant” and, in a related sense, “to invoke with vows”, and by logical extension it comes to mean “to curse”, though clearly today’s use doesn’t bear that connotation.  In the French source for liturgical Latin we call Blaise/Dumas, we find that the adjective devotus, a, um has a specially connection to devotion to service of the Lord.   We can also draw insight into what is really being said here by bringing in the force of devotio, an obvious derivative.  In classical usage devotio is “fealty, allegiance, devotedness; piety, devotion, zeal.” Devotio also means, as devoto implied, “a cursing, curse, imprecation, execration, a magical formula, incantation, spell.” Again, that is not our direction today.  Briefly, I hear devotio as “a devotion to duty”.  In that sense it picks up the meaning of pietas.  Our “devotion” leads us to keep God’s commandments and attend with focus to the duties of our state before all else.  If we are truly devout, pious, in respect to God, devoted to fulfilling the duties of our state in life truly is here and now, then God will give us every actual grace we need to fulfill our vocations. We are, in effect, fulfilling our proper role in His great plan and thus He is sure to help us.   God fulfills what He promises to us as we do our part in His plan in which He gave us a role from before the creation of the universe.

ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):

watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.


Guard your family, we beseech you, O Lord, with continual mercy, so that that (family) may be free from all adversities as You are protecting it, and in good acts may be devoted in Your Name.

This prayer speaks first of all to how interconnected we are as Catholic Christians.  By baptism, we are the adopted children of the Father.  We look to Him with the reverence of children, not merely as cowering slaves.  We belong to a family.  In the arc of our lives we have roles and states to fulfill.  Within the Church we have our manner of participation.  We are all in this together.  My strengths support yours.  My sins weaken us all.  My defeats become your concern. All our triumphs are shared as we raise them up to God.  In remembering our common bonds with each other in the Father, we must also remember a profound inequality in our bonds – children are no less members of the family than parents, but they are dependent they are not the equals of their parents.  God is not our peer.  We are not His equal.  We are all children before His gaze.

I am amused and horrified when I hear modernists, progressivist types suggest that modern man is all grown up now and that we no longer have to kneel as if cowering before a stern master God.

Our prayer gives us an image that runs very much contrary to the prevailing values of the last few decades, a period in which the family as a coherent recognizable unit has been systematically broken down.

Our Latin prayers often reflect the Church’s profound awareness of our lack of equality with God.

The prayers are radically hierarchical, just as God’s design reveals hierarchy and order.

The prayers are imbued with reverence.

Compare this attitude with prevailing societal norms (and the old ICEL prayers).

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My View For Awhile: Long Trip Edition

I’m on my way for what’ll be a fairly long Italian sojourn, to include two pilgrimages.

Happily Hurricane Matthew has started out too sea, so it sseems he…she… it won’t be a factor today.

Remember when hurricanes were all female?  When did that change?


I’m in the air connected with the inflight WiFi.  After a live chat with a tech guy at Gogo about whether or not there would be wifi all the way to FCO on my flight, i was assured there would be and he made sure I had a day pass.  Thanks “Albert”.

I’m listening to music from the film 13 Hours In Benghazi… appropriate during this election cycle.  One cut in particular makes my throat tighten a bit every time I hear it.

If you haven’t seen it… it’s hard to watch but it might be good to do so, if you can, before election day.


I wonder if the wifi and this phone app can successfully post a short video…

Nope.  I’ll try again later


Off again.

The club was jammed and the sun was pouring in so it was warm.

This round of boarding was remarkably free of assault by purse and pack.  

Skirting Matthew.

And wifi is working… so far.


I’m watching a documentary on the Fastball!  Very cool.

Walter Johnson! The Big Train had in his day 83mph.  


The Heater from Van Meter!

And then there’s this guy. 1.12

Anyway…. it’s a hoot.

I met this guy once.


But whom did they adjust for an recalculate as the fastest?


Went around some weather.

And as I now shut off movies and the like to get some shut eye, a woman across the isle – who had a drinkie-poo – with a voice like into a saw designed to cut through large slabs of asphalt is regaling her friends ahead of her all about how she doesn’t really care about her hair.  And it goes on and on and on.  Wash and repeat?


The story thus far…

I dozed off it seems.   Good.

And it seems wifi is functioning well.

Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | 7 Comments

Card. Sarah: Reform the liturgy! “The future of the Church is at stake”

At Sandro Magister’s place there are some English translations of selected paragraphs – fantastic paragraphs – from Robert Card. Sarah’s new book, with Nicholas Diat, out only in French for the moment, La force du silence. Contre la dictature du bruit (Fayard, Paris, 2016)… The Power of Silence: against the dictatorship of noise.


I wrote about this book HERE.

My emphases and comments:

“The reform of the reform will happen, the future of the Church is at stake” by Robert Sarah


Some priests today treat the Eucharist with perfect disdain. They see the Mass as a chatty banquet where the Christians who are faithful to Jesus’ teaching, the divorced and remarried, men and women in a situation of adultery, [hmmmm] unbaptized tourists participating in the Eucharistic celebrations of great anonymous crowds can have access to the body and blood of Christ, without distinction. [Timely.]

The Church must urgently examine the ecclesial and pastoral appropriateness of these immense Eucharistic celebrations made up of thousands and thousands of participants. [THANK YOU.] There is a great danger here of turning the Eucharist, “the great mystery of Faith,” into a vulgar revel and of profaning the body and the precious blood of Christ. The priests who distribute the sacred species without knowing anyone, and give the Body of Jesus to all, without discernment between Christians and non-Christians, participate in the profanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist. [Even at parish Masses the priest can’t always know everyone, but at mega-Masses…] Those who exercise authority in the Church become guilty, through a form of voluntary complicity, of allowing sacrilege and the profanation of the body of Christ to take place in these gigantic and ridiculous self-celebrations, [!!!] where one can hardly perceive that “you proclaim the death of the Lord, until he comes” (1 Cor 11:26).

Priests unfaithful [!!!] to the “memory” of Jesus insist rather on the festive aspect and the fraternal dimension of the Mass than on the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross. The importance of the interior dispositions and the need to reconcile ourselves with God in allowing ourselves to be purified by the sacrament of confession are no longer fashionable nowadays. [GO TO CONFESSION!] More and more, we obscure the warning of Saint Paul to the Corinthians: “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill” (cf. 1 Cor 11:27-30).


At the beginning of our Eucharistic celebrations, how is it possible to eliminate Christ carrying his cross and walking painfully beneath the weight of our sins toward the place of sacrifice? There are many priests who enter triumphantly and go up to the altar, waving left and right in order to appear friendly. Observe the sad spectacle of certain Eucharistic celebrations. . . Why so much frivolity and worldliness at the moment of the Holy Sacrifice? Why so much profanation and superficiality before the extraordinary priestly grace that makes us capable of bringing forth the body and blood of Christ in substance by the invocation of the Spirit? Why do some believe themselves obliged to improvise or invent Eucharistic prayers that disperse the divine phrases in a bath of petty human fervor? [!!!] Are the words of Christ so insufficient that a profusion of purely human words is needed? In a sacrifice so unique and essential, is there a need for this subjective imagination and creativity? “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words,” Jesus has cautioned us (Mt 6:7).


We have lost the deepest meaning of the offertory. Yet it is that moment in which, as its name indicates, the whole Christian people offers itself, not alongside of Christ, but in him, through his sacrifice that will be realized at the consecration. Vatican Council II admirably highlighted this aspect in insisting on the baptismal priesthood of the laity that essentially consists in offering ourselves together with Christ in sacrifice to the Father. [. . .]

If the offertory is seen as nothing other than a preparation of the gifts, as a practical and prosaic action, then there will be a great temptation to add and invent ceremonies in order to fill up what is perceived as a void. I deplore the offertory processions in some African countries, long and noisy, accompanied with interminable dances. The faithful bring all sorts of products and objects that have nothing to do with the Eucharistic sacrifice. These processions give the impression of folkloric exhibitions that disfigure the bloody sacrifice of Christ on the Cross and distance us from the Eucharistic mystery; but this must be celebrated in sobriety and recollection, since we are immersed, we too, in his death and his offering to the Father. The bishops of my continent should take measures to keep the celebration of the Mass from becoming a cultural self-celebration. The death of God out of love for us is beyond all culture.


It is not enough simply to prescribe more silence. In order for everyone to understand that the liturgy turns us interiorly toward the Lord, it would be helpful during the celebration for us all together, priests and faithful, to face the east, symbolized by the apse.


This practice remains absolutely legitimate. [NB] It is in keeping with the letter and the spirit of the Council. There is no lack of testimonies from the first centuries of the Church. “When we stand up to pray, we face the east,” says Saint Augustine, echoing a tradition that dates back, according to Saint Basil, to the Apostles themselves. Churches having been designed for the prayer of the first Christian communities, the apostolic constitutions of the 4th century recommended that they be turned to the east. And when the altar is facing  west, as at Saint Peter’s in Rome, the celebrant must turn toward the orient and face the people.

This bodily orientation of prayer is nothing other than the sign of an interior orientation. [. . .] Does the priest not invite the people of God to follow him at the beginning of the great Eucharistic prayer when he says” “Let us lift up our heart,” to which the people respond: “We turn it toward the Lord”? [This takes us back to Gamber and Ratzinger.]

As prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, I am intent upon recalling once again that celebration “versus orientem” is authorized by the rubrics of the Missal because it is of apostolic tradition. [Wait for iiiit….] There is no need for particular authorization to celebrate in this way, people and priest, facing the Lord. If it is physically not possible to celebrate “ad orientem,” a cross must necessarily be placed on the altar, in plain sight, as a point of reference for all. Christ on the cross is the Christian East. [And yet some bishops seek to bully priests into not turning to the East.]


I refuse to waste time in opposing one liturgy to another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. What is needed is to enter into the great silence of the liturgy; one must allow oneself to be enriched by all the Latin or Eastern liturgical forms that favor silence. Without this contemplative silence, the liturgy will remain an occasion of hateful divisions and ideological confrontations instead of being the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. It is high time to enter into this liturgical silence, facing the Lord, that the Council wanted to restore. [This is why I have always called for the wide-spread side-by-side celebration of the older, traditional form of Mass. This was part of Pope Benedict’s “Marshall Plan” as I have called it.]

What I am about to say now does not enter into contradiction with my submission and obedience to the supreme authority of the Church. I desire profoundly and humbly to serve God, the Church, and the Holy Father, with devotion, sincerity, and filial attachment. But this is my hope: if God wills, when he may will and how he may will, in the liturgy, the reform of the reform will take place. In spite of the gnashing of teeth, it will take place, because the future of the Church is at stake.  [THE FUTURE OF THE CHURCH IS AT STAKE!  DO I HEAR AN “AMEN!”?]

Damaging the liturgy means damaging our relationship with God and the concrete expression of our Christian faith. [YES!  God is at the peak of the heirarchy of all our relationships and, by the virtue of Religion, we owe Him due worship.  If that’s screwed up, then nothing else will go well.] The Word of God and the doctrinal teaching of the Church are still listened to, but the souls that want to turn to God, to offer him the true sacrifice of praise and worship him, are no longer captivated by liturgies that are too horizontal, anthropocentric, and festive, often resembling noisy and vulgar cultural events. The media have completely invaded and turned into a spectacle the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the memorial of the death of Jesus on the cross for the salvation of our souls. The sense of mystery disappears through changes, through permanent adaptations, decided in autonomous and individual fashion in order to seduce our modern profaning mentalities, marked by sin, secularism, relativism, and the rejection of God.

In many western countries, we see the poor leaving the Catholic Church because it is under siege by ill-intentioned persons who style themselves intellectuals and despise the lowly and the poor. This is what the Holy Father must denounce loud and clear. Because a Church without the poor is no longer the Church, but a mere “club.” Today, in the West, how many temples are empty, closed, destroyed, or turned into profane structures in disdain of their sacredness and their original purpose. So I know how many priests and faithful there are who live their faith with extraordinary zeal and fight every day to preserve and enrich the dwellings of God.

Read the whole thing there.

Meanwhile.  Get this for your parish priests.

God or Nothing: A Conversation on Faith  by Robert Card. Sarah

Sarah God Or Nothing 200

Buy it.  Get one for your parish priests. UK HERE

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices, Turn Towards The Lord | Tagged , , , | 29 Comments

St John Paul II on the Rosary and the Family

john paul ii rosarySt. John Paul II wrote in his 2002 Apostolic Letter on the Rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae:

6. … A similar need for commitment and prayer arises in relation to another critical contemporary issue: the family, the primary cell of society, increasingly menaced by forces of disintegration on both the ideological and practical planes, so as to make us fear for the future of this fundamental and indispensable institution and, with it, for the future of society as a whole. The revival of the Rosary in Christian families, within the context of a broader pastoral ministry to the family, will be an effective aid to countering the devastating effects of this crisis typical of our age.

And don’t forget that the Rosary was prayed against the invasion of Islam.


Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Our Catholic Identity, Our Solitary Boast, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Thanks to readers and upcoming Mass for benefactors

Thanks to all you readers who are also monthly and occasional donors.  I am grateful for your help, without which this is not possible.  Thanks also to those of you who have sent items from my wish lists, stuff or Kindle books.

I pray for benefactors regularly and occasionally offer Holy Mass specifically for your intentions.

On Friday 7 October I will say Holy Mass for the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary at St. Mary’s, Pine Bluff, at 7 PM.  Since I can take my own intention, I choose to say Mass for you, my benefactors.  Preceded by the Rosary and Litany of Loreto.


On two other notes….

Don’t forget the

ACTION ITEM! Birettas for Seminarians Project!


Also, I have recently made connections between people who desire Gregorian Masses and priests who can take Gregorian Mass intentions.

FOLLOW UP: Fr. Z asks help from priests: Can you take a Gregorian Mass set, stipend?

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Of this and that

I am packing for my flight to Italy tomorrow.  I’m pretty sure that my flights won’t be affected by nasty weather.

Speaking of nasty weather, this morning I had a call from my mother in Florida, right on the coast where the eye-wall came closest.  She’s fine and there isn’t damage to the house, although power is out.  But cellular towers are working!  So… that’s that.  Let there be sung Non Nobis and Te Deum.

I just finished reading the great biography of Lord Acton by Roland Hill.  It is thorough and engrossing, especially about ecclesiastical matters.  I highly recommend it.  And it was highly recommended to me by Fr. Robert Sirico of ACTON INSTITUTE, no less.  If anyone would be in the know about a good biography of Acton, it would probably be he.  UK HERE

ZUHLSDORF’S LAW clicked in for a while yesterday.  I started getting alerts on my phone from my credit card company about questionable purchases.  During a phone call we established that, yes, my card had been compromised.  Therefore, a day or so before heading to Italy, they cancelled my card.  However, they were able to get another to me today!

I’ll be in Italy for quite a while.  If you want to pitch in for an espresso (or more) click the wavy flag!

Also, I’m taking my KeepGo hotspot for data through my phone and laptop when away from WiFi.   It’s great!  If you want a great data hotspot for travel overseas, try this.  If you use my referral link, I get some data as a reward in my account!  HERE  It is about the size of a hotel soap bar, very light, and works for hours of use.  It is a great primary or back source for data usage on your phone at far lower cost than most carriers provide for overseas.

Pray for me in my travel.

Also, remember that TONIGHT I say Mass for my benefactors. 7 PM at St. Mary’s Pine Bluff.  Unite your minds and hearts to the Sacrifice of the Mass even if you can’t be there.  Rosary will proceed and we will sing, right after, the Litany of Loreto.  Solemn Salve at the end.  Nice.


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“In pensive mood I trod My garden plot one day;…”

Autumn Sighs

By Cyril Robert

In pensive mood I trod
My garden plot one day;
October’s smile was weary so!
It’s green was gloomy gray.
Where are the strains of summer gone?
Its sun the livelong day?
With sudden sadness I then thought
On how all human things decay.

Two months ago I’d seen
The thrilling joys of earth,
The roses blushing in their glee,
And swallows’ mellow mirth.
Then something briny from eye
Fell with the faded leaves;
I wept at beauty gone to shreds,
At naked boughs of wailing trees.

I understood how we,
As mortals here below,
Will flourish for a moment, then
To tryst with death must go.
But when on summer’s fruits I mused,
On ripened harvests fair,
On all the wealth from Heaven’s store,
On blossomed beauties precious rare.

I knew that for a cause,
A purpose grandly good,
The Lord had minted summer days;
And thus I understood
That we must lead a noble life
With inspiration filled,
To give the living, when we die,
The aims with which our spirit thrilled!

That I, a mortal man
With life divine in me,
Must purify that priceless soul
With God’s sweet sanctity;
Must leave to men the heritage
Of virtue and of love,
And help to make a better world,
A bit like Heaven above.

The fight for sanctity,
For virtue’s steep-set path,
And ways of love and gentleness
In place of vice and wrath,
Dear Lord, all these You will from me.
I know You give the grace;
I trust You faithfully,
But tell me how my steps to trace.

The breeze was whistling loud,
In havoc with the trees;
And God, who gave the breeze its breath,
And God, who made the leaves,
Was telling of the Masterpiece
Arisen from His hand,
“To Mary, Mother Mine and yours,
Explain, she sure will understand!”

With Mary for my Love,
My Model and my Queen,
Since that October day, she knows
How happy I have been!
I trust in her, and make her loved,
And thus my life’s short day,
Will, as a fruitful manna, help
The souls that come, to keep the Way!

Robert, Cyril.
Our Lady’s Praise in Poetry.
Poughkeepsie, New York: Marist Press, 1944.

Posted in Our Solitary Boast, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Battle of Lepanto (1571) and the Feast of the Holy Rosary

The Battle of Lepanto on 7 October 1571 was the largest naval engagement until Jutland in 1916. 40,000 dead in 4 hours.  There are many famous battles, but most of them come no where near the significance of Lepanto for the history of Western Civilization.

And Our Lady brought the victory.

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Victory by the praying of the Holy Rosary, Western Civilization was preserved.   Thus, today is celebrated as the Feast of the Holy Rosary.

Another miracle occurred that day.  As the Battle raged, St. Pius V in Rome had a vision of the victory while he was visiting the headquarters of the Domincans on the Aventine Hill at Santa Sabina.  The messenger bringing news of the victory would arrive a couple weeks later.  You can visit the room where Pius received the message.

Please pray the Rosary today.  Please add a prayer for me.

Sometimes you hear of the travelling statue of Our Lady of Fatima.  She was just here in Madison.

I would like to see another statue travel!

A few years ago, according to an article in Spanish at ABC, the original statue of Our Lady given by Venice to don Juan de Austria – that was on the quarterdeck of his flagship (more properly “lantern galley”) at Lepanto – was rediscovered and was restored at the Spanish Navy Museum.

Virgen del Rosario o della Vitoria

I could kick myself.  When I was in Madrid last spring, I walked by this Museum every day!  We were staying nearby.  Next time.

Finally, read GK Chesterton’s Lepanto.  UK HERE

Also, Fr. Rutler has a good explanation of the context of the Battle of Lepanto at the valuable Crisis.  HERE

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Our Catholic Identity, Our Solitary Boast | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Kudos to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

Given the fecklessness of some of our Catholic leaders, given the meaningless and nation-endangering “lines in the sand” drawn by the Obama administration, this is refreshing, although from a non-Catholic source.

From American Conservative:

The Courage Of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

We are so accustomed these days to one Christian church or ministry falling by the wayside when it comes to Christian orthodoxy on sexual matters. So it comes as a shock when one — especially a major one — takes a firm and uncompromising stand for orthodoxy. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship has done just that. Excerpt:

One of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide has told its 1,300 staff members they will be fired if they personally support gay marriage or otherwise disagree with its newly detailed positions on sexuality starting on Nov. 11.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA says that it will start a process for “involuntary terminations” for any staffer who comes forward to disagree with its positions on human sexuality, which holds that any sexual activity outside of a husband and wife is immoral.

Staffers are not being required to sign a document agreeing with the group’s position, and supervisors are not proactively asking employees to verbally affirm it. Instead, staffers are being asked to come forward voluntarily if they disagree with the theological position. When they inform their supervisor of their disagreement, a two-week period is triggered, concluding in their last day. InterVarsity has offered to cover outplacement service costs for one month after employment ends to help dismissed staff with their resumes and job search strategies.


InterVarsity has more than 1,000 chapters on 667 college campuses around the country. More than 41,000 students and faculty were actively involved in organization in the last school year, and donations topped $80 million last fiscal year. The group is focused on undergraduate outreach, but it also has specific programs for athletes, international students, nurses, sororities and fraternities, and others. InterVarsity also hosts the Urbana conference, one of the largest student missionary conferences in the world.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Fr. Z KUDOS, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm | Tagged , , | 5 Comments


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 a pressing personal petition.  Two, in fact.

Also, right now Hurricane Matthew is bearing down exactly where my mother lives in Florida. I would be grateful for your prayers against the storm and for all who are in its path.

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 25 Comments

The forge in which future priests are hammered and annealed

Charlotte seminariansFrom a reader in the Diocese of Charlotte, in North Carolina.

Hey Father,

On Respect Life Sunday, our newly instituted minor seminary[!] in the Charlotte Diocese (St. Joseph) [NC] took their 8 seminarians and recited a rosary in front of the local abortion clinic on Latrobe Ave.

Chaos ensued thereafter by the abortion advocates (mocking their clothing and rituals), and now they are trolling the Facebook page with negative reviews.

I know it seems trivial, but the more support and prayers these young men have, the strong priests they will become (should it be God’s will).

There is much to be thankful for in this new institution. Their rector is Fr. Kauth, the same man who was crucified by angry families at Charlotte Catholic a few years back. He’s a good and holy priest and much fruit will come from his endeavor with these young men.


For your perusal. If you can, share. If not, just pray. Thank you!

We don’t need delicate little flowers and tender snowflakes in our seminaries or rectories or chanceries.

Seminarians and young priests had better toughen up, network and get ready for the storm.  A previous rant, HERE.  I am now getting more notes from seminarians who are being attacked in seminary for being too traditional.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Note that the minor seminarians have a distinctive cassock as the Pontifical Colleges did of old, with identifying cuts and colors.


Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, Be The Maquis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Seminarians and Seminaries, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 30 Comments

Pray against Hurricane Matthew! BISHOPS & PRIESTS – ACTION ITEM!

Please pray to the angels and saints to intercede with God to repress Hurricane Matthew which is barreling down on the Bahamas and then on to the Florida.  It could be a bad one.  It looks like it the eye will slide up the East Coast off shore.  It might loop back.

People are getting ready.  My mother lives right where it is now headed.

Priests and bishops…

Put on all your best gear.  Get some people together.  Get out your copy of the older, traditional Roman Ritual and…


Use the old Roman Ritual and pray the Litany with the deprecatory prayers against storms. A procession could be done even in doors… even with a very few.

You don’t have to be directly in the line of the storm to pray for others!

PROCESSION FOR AVERTING TEMPEST [Better in Latin, but here is the English from Sancta Missa.]

The church bells are rung, and all who can assemble in church. Then the Litany of the Saints is said, in which the following invocation is said twice:

From lightning and tempest, Lord, deliver us.

At the end of the litany the following is added:

P: Our Father (the rest inaudibly until:)
P: And lead us not into temptation.
All: But deliver us from evil.
Psalm 147
P: Glorify the Lord, O Jerusalem; * praise your God, O Sion.
All: For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; * He has blessed your children within you.
P: He has granted peace in your borders; * with the best of wheat He fills you.
All: He sends forth His command to the earth; * swiftly runs His word!
P: He spreads snow like wool; * He strews frost like ashes.
All: He scatters His hail like crumbs; * the waters freeze before His cold.
P: He sends His word and melts them; * He lets His breeze blow and the waters run.
All: He has proclaimed His word to Jacob, * His statutes and His ordinances to Israel.
P: He has not done thus for any other nation; * He has not made known His ordinances to them.
All: Glory be to the Father.
P: As it was in the beginning.
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: Lord, show us your mercy.
All: And grant us your salvation.
P: Help us, O God, our Savior.
All: And deliver us, O Lord, for your name’s sake.
P: Let the enemy have no power over us.
All: And the son of iniquity be powerless to harm us.
P: May your mercy, Lord, remain with us always.
All: For we put our whole trust in you.
P: Save your faithful people, Lord.
All: Bless all who belong to you.
P: You withhold no good thing from those who walk in sincerity.
All: Lord of hosts, happy the men who trust in you.
P: Lord, heed my prayer.
All: And let my cry be heard by you.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: May He also be with you. [oooops]

Let us pray.
God, who are offended by our sins but appeased by our penances, may it please you to hear the entreaties of your people and to turn away the stripes that our transgressions rightly deserve.

We beg you, Lord, to repel the wicked spirits from your family, and to ward off the destructive tempestuous winds.

Almighty everlasting God, spare us in our anxiety and take pity on us in our abasement, so that after the lightning in the skies and the force of the storm have calmed, even the very threat of tempest may be an occasion for us to offer you praise.

Lord Jesus, who uttered a word of command to the raging tempest of wind and sea and there came a great calm; hear the prayers of your family, and grant that by this sign of the holy cross all ferocity of the elements may abate.

Almighty and merciful God, who heal us by your chastisement and save us by your forgiveness; grant that we, your suppliants, may be heartened and consoled by the tranquil weather we desire, and so may ever profit from your gracious favors; through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen.
He sprinkles the surroundings with holy water.

Posted in PRAYER REQUEST | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Bishop calls for rituals to bless adultery and sodomy

modern familyWhat follows should make EVERY CATHOLIC angry.  There is no left or right or anything else in this.  If you are Catholic, this should make you angry.  If you read Patheos, or Rorate, or Aletheia you should be angry and, frankly, alarmed.

A few years ago, this would have been dismissed as science fiction.  Now it is real.

As decentralization continues, could this come to a diocese near you?

This distressing item was in my email this morning.  From Belgium, via “la Revue de presse succincte de l’archevêché de Malines-Bruxelles” bad news: HERE  (my fast translation):

In “De Gazet van Antwerpen” (6/10, p. 8)

Monsignor Bonny, Bishop of Antwerp, wants a ritual for gays and cohabiting in a telling passage from the book “”Puis-je? Merci. Désolé”” (Can I? Thank you. Sorry.) a free dialogue about relationships, marriage and family published by Lannoo and to come out this October 11th. The bishop of Antwerp expresses himself, thinking aloud about new religious rituals. Bonny wrote the book with Roger Burggraeve and Ilse Van Halst. “The question is whether we should include everything in a single model,” says Bonny. [That’s code for changing the definition of matrimony.] “Should we not develop into a diversity of rituals in which we can recognize the relationship between homosexuals from a believing and ecclesial perspective?” [To bless sodomy?] Similarly, the attitude towards divorced persons engaged in a new relationship would necessitate a different approach. Bonny believes that the Church, in some cases, could bless a second relationship. “For a long time, the Orthodox Church practices the confirmation of a new relationship for reasons of mercy, [“Say the magic word, win a hundred dollars!”] which enables you as a new couple to rediscover a place in the community. Nevertheless, this new blessing is not repeating or substitute sacramental first marriage. Which was and remains unique. [Safe to say.  What else could any relationship between two people be?]

This is sly.

Granted that this is only a blurb about a book, but you can see in the blurb what is going on.

Consider a couple in which at least one Catholic partner is civilly divorced and remarried without a declaration of nullity.  There are good enough reasons for them to cohabit (e.g., raising children… you know the drill by now).  They say they will commit themselves to live in continence as brother and sister, best of friends, etc.  The Church works with them, as the Church always works with every soul who desires holiness and heaven.  The buzz word is now “accompany”.  It may happen that, being in proximity, a near occasion of sin, they slip and have relations, but they repent, go to confession, and try again.

What the bishop does is blend in with that scenario, the case of a homosexual couple.  Another way of seeing long-term, “committed” homosexual relationships which involve sexual activity is friendship gone terribly astray.  It’s a gross distortion of friendship.  The fact of their same-sex attraction make their cohabitation an occasion of sin.  However, maybe there are reasons for them to live together.  So, they commit themselves to live in continence, as if they were brothers, the best of friends, etc. The Church works with them, as the Church always works with every soul who desires holiness and heaven. The buzz word is now “accompany”.  It may happen that, being in proximity, a near occasion of sin, they slip and have relations, but they repent, go to confession, and try again.

This seems to me that what that bishop is proposing is full, cringing capitulation to the world and baser appetites.  The Church should inspire and help people to move from sin to grace, to conversion, and to support them in the suffering that conversion entails as they do.  The cobbling up of rites which in any way resemble a blessing of an adulterous or actively homosexual relationship is a mockery of matrimony as intended by God.  Such blessings or rites would surely erode the understanding that Catholics have of marriage and would send crossed, confused signals to the world watching the Church, which is in effect the last bastion of moral teaching in a degenerate age.

This takes the Kasperite solution to the next, logical step.

We must be on guard to remain the Catholic Church, and not become the Precious Snowflake Church.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Liberals, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, What are they REALLY saying?, You must be joking! | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments