Your Good News

Do you have some good news?  I need some good news.   What’s up these days?

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Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 22 Comments

Rosary Crusade before 100th anniversary of apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima

From the SSPX website:

Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X announced another Rosary Crusade as a spiritual preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.  [This is a serious anniversary.]

At the priestly ordinations in Zaitzkofen (Germany) on July 2, 2016, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X announced another Rosary Crusade as a spiritual preparation for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima (May to October 1917).

This crusade will be held from August 15, 2016 to August 22, 2017.

It follows the intentions indicated by the Blessed Virgin herself: (I) Jesus wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In order to do so, all the faithful are invited:

  1. to recite the rosary daily, alone or as a family;
  2. to accomplish the devotion of the reparatory communion on five first Saturdays, and to multiply their daily sacrifices in a spirit of reparation for the outrages against Mary;
  3. to wear the miraculous medal themselves and to diffuse it around them;
  4. to consecrate their homes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (You may use the prayer found here)

Besides the propagation of this devotion, we will also pray (II) for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and (III) for the pope and all the bishops of the Catholic world to consecrate Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And as a special intention we will add (IV) the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Society of St. Pius X and all its members in addtition to all the religious communities of Tradition.

The goal set by Bishop Bernard Fellay is a bouquet of 12 million rosaries and 50 million sacrifices for Our Lady of Fatima.

Here is the prayer to which Fellay referred:

Consecration To Immaculate Heart

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Heart of Jesus, Mother and Queen of our household, in order to fulfill Thy ardent desire, we consecrate ourselves to Thee, and we beseech Thee to reign over our family. Reign over each one of us, and teach us how to make the Sacred Heart of Thy Divine Son reign and triumph in us and around us, as He has reigned and triumphed in Thee.

Reign over us, O Beloved Mother, so that we may be Thine both in prosperity and in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death. O most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Virgins, watch over our souls and our hearts and preserve them from the flood of pride, impurity, and paganism of which Thou hast complained so bitterly. We desire to do reparation for the numerous crimes committed against Jesus and Thee. We call down upon our home, upon the homes of this country and upon those of the entire world, the peace of Christ in justice and charity.

Wherefore we promise to imitate Thy virtues, by the practice of a Christian life, and by frequent and fervent Holy Communion, regardless of human respect. We come with confidence to Thee, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love; inflame us with the same divine fire that has inflamed Thine own Immaculate Heart. Kindle in our hearts and homes, the love of purity, an ardent zeal for souls, and desire for the holiness of family life. We accept now, all the sacrifices that the Christian life will impose on us and we offer them to the Heart of Jesus, through Thy Immaculate Heart, in a spirit of reparation and of penance. To the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary be love, honor, and glory forever and ever!

Amen.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Our Catholic Identity, Our Solitary Boast, SSPX | Tagged , , | 29 Comments

Card. Sarah: Priests should start saying Mass ‘ad orientem’ at Advent

If as a Church we want to effect something good and lasting, it has to be rooted in our sacred liturgical worship of God.  That’s our source.  That’s our summit.   This is where our identity is most deeply shaped.  We need a revitalization of our worship.

From the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, we have some news from the Sacra Liturgia conference underway. I soooo wanted to go to that.  My emphases and comments.

Cardinal Sarah asks priests to start celebrating Mass facing east this Advent

The Vatican’s liturgy chief said priests should view the proposed change as ‘something good for the Church, something good for our people’  [Like I said.]

Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican’s liturgy chief, has asked priests to begin celebrating Mass ad orientem, that is, facing east rather than towards the congregation.

The proposed reform is arguably the biggest liturgical announcement since Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum gave greater freedom for priests to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass.  [The great liturgical scholar Klaus Gamber said that the reversal of our altars was the most damaging (uncalled for) innovation after Vatican II.]

Speaking at the Sacra Liturgia conference in London on Wednesday, the Guinean cardinal, who is Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, addressed priests who were present, saying: “It is very important that we return as soon as possible to a common orientation, of priests and the faithful turned together in the same direction – eastwards or at least towards the apse – to the Lord who comes”.

The cardinal continued: “I ask you to implement this practice wherever possible.”  [It is possible in very many places.]

16_07_05_Sarah_CordileoneHe said that “prudence” and catechesis would be necessary, but told pastors to have “confidence that this is something good for the Church, something good for our people”.

“Your own pastoral judgement will determine how and when this is possible, but perhaps beginning this on the first Sunday of Advent this year, when we attend ‘the Lord who will come’ and ‘who will not delay’.”

These words were met with prolonged applause in the conference hall.

Cardinal Sarah had spoken on previous occasions about the merits of ad orientem worship, saying that from the Offertory onwards it was “essential that the priest and faithful look together towards the east”.

But his specifying of the first Sunday of Advent – which falls this year on November 27 – gives a new urgency to his calls for this form of worship.

Speaking after Cardinal Sarah, Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon said that, although he was “only one bishop of one diocese”, he would celebrate Mass ad orientem at his cathedral, and would address a letter to his diocese encouraging his priests to do the same.

In his talk, Cardinal Sarah also said that Pope Francis had asked him to begin a study of “the reform of the reform”, that is of adapting the liturgical reforms that followed the Second Vatican Council. The cardinal said the study would seek “to enrich the two forms of the Roman rite”. [Hmmmm.]

Cardinal Sarah said that much liturgical study had suggested that some post-conciliar reforms “may have been put together according to the spirit of the times” and “gone beyond” of the Fathers of Vatican II, in Sacrosanctum Concilium, the constitution on the liturgy.  [Buginicare.  Not to mention the mistranslation of 299 of the GIRM.]

He said that some “very serious misinterpretations of the liturgy” had crept in, thanks to an attitude to the liturgy which placed man rather than God at the centre. [yep] 

“The liturgy is not about you and I,” Cardinal Sarah told the conference. “It is not where we celebrate our own identity or achievements or exalt or promote our own culture and local religious customs. The liturgy is first and foremost about God and what He has done for us.”

The Cardinal quoted Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger: “Forgetting about God is the most imminent danger of our age.”

Cardinal Sarah emphasised a “hermeneutic of continuity”, saying that it was necessary to implement Sacrosanctum Concilium fully: “The Fathers did not intend a revolution, but an evolution.”

He made some specific observations, praising the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham as an example of how the Church could be enriched by other traditions.

In remarks which he did not have time to deliver, but which were later published on Sacra Liturgia’s Facebook page, the cardinal also encouraged kneeling at the consecration and for the reception of Communion. “Where kneeling and genuflection have disappeared from the liturgy, they need to be restored, in particular for our reception of our Blessed Lord in Holy Communion.”  [Kneeling for Communion!  And let’s all receive on the tongue!]

Do I hear an “Amen!”?

brick by brick

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Brick by Brick, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , , , , | 70 Comments

ASK FATHER: It seems like the Catholic Church is disappearing!

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I the better part of 60 years old and have been concerned for a number of years that the Roman Catholic Church is literally disappearing.

With the last article I read, I’m fairly certain it’s gone. The article explained how 75% plus of today’s parishioners are okay with and even welcoming the LGBT and Q community into the church and a mere 25% of “older” parishioners have a problem with it. Fr., my catholic faith means everything to me but this has become extraordinarily upsetting and disruptive. I will do anything to keep from losing the church all together. Have you any advise for those of us in the 25% bracket?

We have been down this road before.

In the 4th century, Holy Church struggled with the central questions, “Who is Jesus?”, “How does this God-man work?” It’s hard to think of a more central question to Christianity.

There were those, who went be the nickname “Arians” (an Egyptian priest Arius who answered this question incorrectly), who maintained that Jesus was a creature of God the Father. He was not equal to God in His nature.  Rather, He was a created being who was somehow raised to the Divine dignity. He was not eternal in the sense that the Father was eternal.  As a creature, even as the highest creature, there was a time when he was not.  This error took hold and became widespread.

In response, Holy Church had a Council at Nicaea in 325.  The Council Fathers defined that Jesus is God, always has been God, and that He is “consubstantial” with the Father, homoousios to patri.   He has the same nature and is, therefore, divine, eternal, etc.

Sadly, Nicea did not end the debate. Heretics continued to push the Arian error.   Liberals are ever the same, in every century.  If the vote doesn’t go the way you want it to, call for another vote, and another, and another… until you wear down the opposition and you get your way.  And the Devil, the Enemy of the Soul, aids them.

In 358, the Emperor Constantius called another council to hammer out the issue.  At this Council at Ariminum (modern Rimini), the majority of the bishops voting there favored the language that the Son of God was like to the Father, was of like substance – homoiousios – not the same substance.  That Council didn’t use the language worked out at Nicaea: that the Son and the Father are consubstantial. Only a few bishops there were in favor of the wording of Nicaea. St. Jerome wrote, in response to this Council, “The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian.” Pope Liberius rejected the Council’s formulated Creed, which prompted a split among bishops and even the election of an anti-Pope.

Today, it seems as if the Church has groaned and found Herself modernist.  Mix that in with indifferentism and all the “gender” and homosexual garbage and you have s seriously poisonous formula from Hell.

We have clear teachings from a long line of modern popes, from Pius IX onward.  Despite a constant drumbeat from some quarters that we have entered into a “new springtime” we see empty convents, empty seminaries, parishes closed, the Church receding from the public square, and our beliefs mocked, ridiculed, and largely ignored. We see countless baptized family members and friends sleeping in on Sunday morning, going to other churches, or playing golf, tennis, shopping, anything but what they should be doing: giving due worship to God. We look around the sparse pews at those who are there at Mass (but who never GO TO CONFESSION) and wonder if they truly believe what the Church teaches, or if they’re just there out of force of habit. We look for leadership in this age of great confusion, but only hear more confusion. It’s at the the point where it’s easier to tune it out rather than to try and figure out what’s being preached.

It is easy to become dispirited, depressed, distraught.

That is precisely what the Evil One wants us to become.

What should be our response to heresy, to a lack of belief, to confusion and immorality in the Church?

Our response should be the same as the response given by St. Jerome and the faithful Catholics in the early Church: strive to become holy.

Be saintly.  Fast, pray, study, then pray and fast some more. Perform corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Storm heaven with prayers. Pray for each other, especially those on the front lines, our good priests and bishops (yes, there are many).  Pray for the weak and the errant ones, too, for the love of God.  They are on the road to Hell.

Also, we MUST MUST MUST revitalize our liturgical worship of God!  Save The Liturgy, Save The World has been my battle cry for years.  Nothing that we undertake in the Church will succeed unless we straighten out our sacred liturgical worship.

Meanwhile, offer your suffering to the Lord.   Put each and every care and petition you have into the chalice that Father prepares at Mass.  Say your Rosary.  Pray the Guardian Angels of other people who are going astray.  Ask St. Michael for help when you see Hell reading its head.

Don’t let the devil get his claws into your heart and allow him to squeeze that hope out of you. God planted hope in your soul at baptism. He wants for it not only to grow, but to be fulfilled.

Never forget: We know the end of the story already. Christ the King will return in triumph and scatter all doubt and darkness. Between now and then, the path is cloudy, and there will be many and horrible setbacks.  There will be moments when it seems as if utter defeat is on the horizon. But we know it’s not.  Almighty God has told us so. He can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Be The Maquis, Cri de Coeur, Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Our Catholic Identity, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

Archbp. Pozzo on dialogue with the SSPX

You will recall that recently SSPX Bp. Bernard Fellay made a statement in which he distanced himself the Society from negotiations and rapid regularization, saying that canonical regularization is not a priority for them.   The SSPX thinks they have “emergency powers”.  That said, surely the majority of the SSPX hopes for reconciliation, but not on terms of total capitulation concerning well-known key issues.

Also, remember that the SSPX is a priestly society.  Lay people do not belong to the SSPX, though they may be close adherents.

At the NCReg Ed Pentin has posted an English translation of interview by Vatican Radio with Archbp. Pozzo, Guido Pozzo, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, set up in 1988 originally to facilitate reconciliation with the SSPX and other groups (my old stomping ground).

Archbishop Pozzo: SSPX Continuing Dialogue With Holy See

Vatican Radio: The Society of St. Pius X today does not primarily seek canonical recognition from the Holy See, according to a statement from the traditionalist community made public on June 29. Is this a setback in the ongoing dialogue?

Archbishop Pozzo: The Commission “Ecclesia Dei” does not consider it to be a step back from dialogue. From the press release it appears not to enter into the merits of the substantive issues that are being considered in the dialogue and confrontation between the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei “and the Society of Saint Pius X. Thus dialogue and debate on such concrete issues will continue.

VR: How do you interpret this statement?

POZZO: Let’s say it does not say anything new with respect to the noted and well known positions of the Society of St. Pius X about the situation of the Church today. I can add, where appropriate, that when it refers to the lack of canonical recognition, which is not the thing they’re considering right now, I can say that canonical recognition by the Holy See is an essential condition for a Catholic organization to be in full ecclesiastical communion, conforming to the law. There is no canonical recognition, we are working on it, but canonical recognition is not something notarial, it is essential!

[…]

VR: The Pope received the superior general of the Fraternity, Bishop Fellay, recently. How frequent are these direct or indirect contacts?

POZZO: There are no specific deadlines. The meetings take place between us in the Commission “Ecclesia Dei” or our delegates, and the representatives of the Society of St. Pius X. There was, however, this important meeting: a private audience with the Holy Father, in which Bishop Fellay could explain his point of view to the Holy Father. It was a very cordial meeting and certainly falls within the path of dialogue and above all of mutual trust that we are building together. So it is possible that there will be other meetings, but these haven’t yet been scheduled.

VR: Benedict XVI was very keen for this work to achieve unity with the Society. Does Pope Francis have the same perspective?

POZZO: Yes, I really think so. Pope Francis has at heart the unity of the Church and all that can promote the unity of the Church. He is always mentally very open to this. This was also acknowledged by Bishop Fellay. But evidently we also cannot deny that there are still issues to resolve, to face, to be examined.

VR: So on the part of the Holy See, there is openness, but steadfastness …

POZZO: The steadfastness is on what is essential to being Catholic. From this point of view there is no change! But I do not think that now it’s a question of steadfastness: it’s just about tackling concrete problems and trying to solve them and solve them together. The opening is in this sense: in the sense that we have identified the issues to be addressed and we are addressing them. Of course it will take some time, but there must be this mutual readiness [to come to an agreement].

That might not bring much more clarity to the status quaestionis, but it is not nothing.

I sincerely believe that Pope Francis would regularize the SSPX were some basic conditions to be met.  I also believe that some people between Francis and the SSPX do not want that to happen, and that is a major difficulty.

Pray for softening of hearts.

Posted in SSPX | Tagged , | 10 Comments

ASK FATHER: Calling the Host “bread”, the Precious Blood “wine”

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Our liturgy folks tape little sticky notes on the floor where the army of EMHC are to stand at communion time at Mass.

There are red sticky notes with W1, W2, W3, etc. indicating “Wine” and yellow sticky notes indicating “Bread” (or maybe they mean “Body”, but somehow I doubt it). Should we sabotage their efforts by surreptitiously removing them? The constant referring to the Sacred Elements as bread and wine instead of the Body and Blood is frustrating.

Ah, liturgical choreography! Always an entertaining spectacle. When it’s done right, no one even notices it (nor should they), but when things go wrong and someone is standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, it can be … sub optimal.

Before the advent of post-it notes, we had masking tape on the floor to mark positions. Before masking tape, I’m sure there were other directives. The intricate patterns of marble and granite in some of the great cathedral floors had as at least a secondary effect of providing positions for generations of altar boys, errant subdeacons, and confused clergy of every stripe.

Removing the post-its would probably lead to their replacement. Moving them to other spots on the floor (or the walls!) might lead to liturgical anarchy (¡hagan lio!). Replacing them with something better might be the most kind thing.  What that something might be, I have no idea.

One option is that they use their brains (aka The Personal Computer Almost Anyone Can Use).   I am reminded of a moment many years ago when I was reading some Latin with the famous Fr. Reginald Foster.  It was a hard passage with some vocabulary that (then) I was a little insecure about, so I had recourse to my dictionary.  “One of these days, Zuhlsdorf,” he growled at me, “you’ll get tired of looking that word up and you’ll LEARN IT.”

The labeling of EMHC spots as “bread” and “wine” is probably innocuous, even the Roman Canon, after the consecration refers to the Blessed Sacrament as “bread” (albeit “Holy Bread of eternal life”), but still it is symptomatic of disrespect for Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, a minimizing of the sacred. It may be cumbersome to refer to someone who is distributing the Blessed Sacrament as “An Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion Distributing the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (and that may be difficult to write on a post-it note), but certainly we can come up with some short-hand that is more fitting than “W1.”

Also, let us remember that July is the month for fostering our devotion to the Most Precious Blood.  Perhaps the parish priest might benefit from a reminder about that.

Meanwhile, how about “Chalice 1?” “Chalice 2?” “Host 4?” “Host 17?” (BINGO!!!!)

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 25 Comments

4 July – JUNO!

From Space.com:

NASA’s Juno spacecraft is scheduled to enter into orbit around JupiterMonday night (July 4), ending its nearly five-year trek to the solar system’s biggest planet.

The key event Monday is a 35-minute engine burn at 11:18 p.m. EDT (0318 GMT on Tuesday), which is designed to slow Juno down enough to be captured by Jupiter’s powerful gravity.

If something goes seriously wrong with this burn, the solar-powered Juno will zoom right past the gas giant, and the science goals of the $1.1 billion mission — which include mapping the gravitational and magnetic fields of Jupiter, and characterizing its internal structure — will go unachieved. [Photos: NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter]

Here’s a primer on how Juno’s highly anticipated Jupiter arrival should go down Monday night, along with a few notes about what to expect from the mission over the longer term. (Note: All times below are “Earth-receive times” — i.e., when confirmation that maneuvers occurred will be received by Juno’s handlers in mission control. It currently takes 48 minutes for light to travel from Jupiter to Earth, so the actual maneuvers happen 48 minutes before Earth-receive time.)

9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT) Monday: Juno begins slowly turning away from the sun and toward its orbit-insertion orientation. Another, faster turn toward this orientation begins at 10:28 p.m. EDT (0228 GMT). (These maneuvers and all other aspects of the orbital-insertion plan are pre-programmed; the spacecraft has been on autopilot since June 30.)

[…]

WATCH LIVE

 

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

PODCAzT 147: Fulton Sheen on Patriotism

Sheen on RadioAt The Catholic Thing I saw excerpts of a piece by Fulton Sheen on Patriotism. As I have done in the past, I’ll read the whole thing for  you.  Recently, I read for you his essay on how we have to be intolerant (yes, you read that right).  HERE

Sheen spoke out this essay on his radio program the The Catholic Hour on 20 February 1938.

My interest today, on this Independence Day 2016, the 4th of July, is to  hear Sheen’s thoughts on Patriotism and to see how they impact us today, in our present circumstances.  I think there are some parallels.

Furthermore, today we are revving up for the true battle against the major threat of our day (other than the stupidity deepening with the help of public education and other than the twisting of morals with social “gender” re-engineering, which is from Hell), that is, Islamic Terror Jihad.  I am reading Sebastian Gorka’s book right now.  Sheen’s essay was in interesting counterpoise (a little ham radio jargon for you there).

How do we fight this threat?   We need to take pages from our past.

As usual I try to give some historic context (with audio cues), and I prime you for what to listen for.  I rant a little, too.

BTW… years later Sheen would talk about “Patriotism” on his TV show in an episode called “Quo Vadis, America?”

Quo vadis, indeed.

And also… The Glory of Being an American

Happy Independence Day 2016!

UPDATE:

As part of my own Independence Day observance (quiet… at home), I watched a couple movies.

First, I saw Coming Home, a Chinese movie directed by a favorite of mine Zhang Yimou with the incomparable Gong Li.

This epitomizes poignant.  If there was ever a movie about charity, sacrifice, in the context of MARRIAGE, it is this.  It is beautifully upliftingly sad.

What better way to celebrate our hard won freedom than to watch something about the breaking of a woman’s mind because the Cultural Revolution (et al.), and the decades long diligence of the man who loves her.

Next, on this We are Not Canada Day, I saw Patriot with Mel Gibson.  Here you find some great scenes that capture the era… in spite of a few historical infelicities.   For my friends across the water, think… BREXIT.

And I am following JUNO!

UPDATE:

Don’t forget this car magnet and/or sticker:

Posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, PODCAzT, Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace, Wherein Fr. Z Rants | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

Fathers, you might want to have everyone pray this after Mass on 4 July and other major public holidays.  This, and other prayers, are deeply needed today.

The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese. John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

I became familiar with this moving prayer at my home parish of St. Agnes in St. Paul (MN) where it was recited after all Masses on civic holidays of the USA, such as 4 July and Thanksgiving.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass on national holidays.

This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!

PRAYER FOR GOVERNMENT

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state , for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

firstcontcongresslarge (1)

Continental Congress at Prayer

The opening prayer session of the 1st Continental Congress was about 3 hours long.

Posted in Our Catholic Identity | Tagged | 7 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point or two during the sermon at the Holy Mass you heard for your Sunday obligation?

Let us know what it was!

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 21 Comments

BOOK: Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War

As we approach Independence Day, I am reading …

Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War by Sebastian Gorka. (UK HERE)

Many thanks to the reader who sent me the Kindle version from my wishlist.   Get a Kindle!  US HERE – UK HERE

This is gripping right from the Prologue, in which Gorka describes his family’s struggle against and torment by the totalitarian Communist regime in Hungary after WWII.  He then concludes his Prologue (my emphases and comments):

Today, as a nation we face a new totalitarianism, one that is potentially even more dangerous than fascism or communism.  [Unlike the Nazis and Commies, jihadists are willing to die.]

Today’s threat is hybrid totalitarianism that goes beyond man-made justifications for perfecting society along politically defined lines and instead uses the religion of Islam and Allah to justify mass murder.

Our enemy today is again a totalitarian. I call it the global jihadist movement. The members of this movement, be they Al Qaeda, ISIS, or Hizbollah, have a vision of the future world that is exclusive and absolutist. Either the whole planet is under their control or they have lost. There is no middle ground. No peaceful coexistence is possible. Ever. The infidel must submit or be killed.

But the center of the enemy’s ideology today is not a state. In fact, the enemy totally rejects the idea of the state as an invention of the infidel West. Nor is its ideology concerned with class distinctions, economics, or “the means of production.” Today our enemy fights not for earthly reasons to serve a tangible here-and-now but to serve a transcendent reality, to serve Allah. But in their absolutist “them or us” attitude, they bear a great resemblance to the Nazis and communists of yesteryear, and that is why I am writing this book.

I grew up in freedom in the United Kingdom. Today I am a proud American, but I will never forget what my father taught me. Freedom is as precious as it is fragile. If you are complacent, there will always eventually come a group that will try to take your freedom away from you by violence and through the subversion of your values.

Every generation must remain vigilant. Each generation must make a conscious decision to protect what we have achieved as a civilization and be prepared to fight— if necessary to the death— to save our loved ones and our children from enslavement to the newest dictatorial ideology, secular or religious.

I grew up knowing these truths in my bones, so as I watched the horrific events of 9/ 11 unfold live on a television screen, it did not take very long for me to understand one thing: the totalitarians are back. This time the dictatorship invokes the name of God, as opposed to the working class or the Führer, but they are back, and they will either kill us or enslave us.

This book is born out of the belief that we Americans can defeat the new totalitarians and that their defeat should be built on the secret plan that America used to defeat our last totalitarian enemy, communism. [cf The Long Telegram]

In fact, you can argue that our current enemy predates even fascism and communism and that we have been at war with the jihadists since at least the Barbary Wars of the eighteenth century.

Perhaps now is the time for us to have a strategy to defeat them. This book is the first cut of that plan.

Sebastian Gorka’s father had been a member of a Catholic underground which worked against the Soviet regime in Hungary.  Gorka is often a commentator on FNC.  You read at his Wikipedia entry:

Sebastian L.v. Gorka is an American writer focusing on irregular warfare, including counterinsurgency and counterterrorism. He is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University [Oorah] and the Chairman of Threat Knowledge Group. He is a founding member of the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs and served as the Associate Dean for Congressional Affairs and Relations to the Special Operations Community at the National Defense University. Gorka is also currently affiliated with USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University and the Institute of World Politics, is a regular instructor for the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg, as well as the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division. He has testified before Congress on the threat of ISIS and Global Jihadism, and briefed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Intelligence Council, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Born in the United Kingdom to Hungarian parents, Dr. Gorka became an American citizen in 2012.

So, he has chops.

I warmly recommend that you read this, to help you stay up to speed with our latest, deadly threat.

 

 

Posted in REVIEWS, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments

WDTPRS – 14th Ordinary Sunday: From dust to freedom

On the verge of Independence Day, our Collect for the 14th Ordinary Sunday offers the image of material creation as an enervated body, weakened by sin, lying in the dust whence it came.

In the Original Sin all creation was wounded.  This is evident daily. There ought be harmony between us and the rest of material creation, but our role as nature’s steward has been damaged.  Material creation (including us) is in a way captive to an enemy who has beaten us down.

But Christ came as liberator.

Here’s some “liberation theology” for you.

Christ rouses us, grasps us, pulls us upward out of sin and death.  If we cooperate and get back to our feet, Our Lord aims us again toward the joys possible in this world, first, and in the next, definitively.

Deus, qui Filii tui humilitate iacentem mundum erexisti, fidelibus tuis sanctam concede laetitiam, ut, quos eripuisti a servitute peccati, gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis.

This prayer is similar to one in the 1962 Missale Romanum for the 2nd Sunday after Easter.  The ancient Gelasian Sacramentary has an even earlier version.

Perfruor (“to enjoy fully”) is one of a handful of deponent verbs usually having its “object” (which is actually more of an instrument) in the ablative: e.g., fruor, “I get fruit/benefit from…”).  Gaudium and laetitia both can be translated with “joy”.  The Lewis & Short Dictionary says gaudium refers mostly to interior joy whereas laetitia suggests outward expression.  That said, gaudium in the plural (as it is in our prayer) can also be “outward expressions of joy”.  Souter’s Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D. (a supplement to L&S) says gaudium is “everlasting blessedness”, while laetitia is simply “prosperity”.  This recalls the spiritual/material distinction.  We shouldn’t overtax these nuances. The dictates of ancient rhetoric (and this prayer is pretty old) required a richness of vocabulary, so as to avoid boring repetition.

Erigo is “to raise up, set up, erect” and also “to arouse, excite” while iaceo (in L&S under jaceo) is “to lie” as in “lie sick or dead, fallen” or “to be cast down, fixed on the ground”.  In his dictionary of liturgical Latin, A. Blaise says that humilitas,lowness”, can have a more theological meaning, namely, the “abasement” of the God Incarnate who took the form of a “slave” (cf Philippians 2:7).  Blaise cites this Collect under his headword “humilitas”.  And remember that humilitas comes from humus, “dirt, earth, ground”.

LITERAL TRANSLATION:

O God, who by the abasement of Your Son raised up the fallen world, grant holy joy to Your faithful, so that You may cause those whom You snatched from the servitude of sin to enjoy delights unending.

The last phrase reminds me of other well-known Latin prayers.  For instance, after the Salve Regina we conclude: “…may we be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy everlasting happiness (aeterna perfrui laetitia).” Note the shift from sorrow to joy.  Furthermore, when a priest vests for Mass he traditionally says special prayers as he put on each vestment.  For the alb he prays: “Make me white, O Lord, and cleanse my heart, so that having been made white in the Blood of the Lamb, I may enjoy everlasting joys (gaudiis perfruar sempiternis).”

Sacrifice first.  Then joy.

We have seen before in our prayers a pattern of descent and ascent, of exit and return.   Before the Resurrection, comes the Passion.  Before exaltation, there is humiliation.  Descent, Passion and humiliation bring the rising, return and joy which will embrace both the interior and the outward, the whole human person.

As mentioned above, today’s Collect is similar to one in the 1962MR.  However, the post-Conciliar version says “whom You snatched from the servitude of sin”, and the 1962MR says “whom you have snatched from the perils of everlasting death”.

A polemical but intriguing booklet by Anthony Cekada, The Problems with the Prayers of the Modern Mass (TAN 1991), compares pre-Conciliar versions of prayers with the post-Conciliar, Novus Ordo versions.  Cekada opines that the architects of the Novus Ordo intentionally eliminated – from the Latin mind you – concepts like sin, guilt and damnation in favor of the “less threatening idea of deliverance from the ‘slavery of sin’” (p. 14).  Cekada is probably right.  On the other hand, to be honest, for the spiritually aware “servitude of sin” is terrifying.  The wages of sin is death (cf Rom 6:23).

Even with the weakening of emphasis in the Latin, the newer Collect is a sound prayer.  It is also more clearly translated … now.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):

Father, through the obedience of Jesus, your servant and your Son, you raised a fallen world. Free us from sin and bring us the joy that lasts forever.

CURRENT ICEL (2012):

O God, who in the abasement of your Son have raised up a fallen world, fill your faithful with holy joy, for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin you bestow eternal gladness.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

CQ CQ CQ #HamRadio Saturday: EXTRA!

ham radio percentWell, I went and did it. Or better yet, they came to me and I did it.

After obtaining my Technician license a couple summers ago, I set myself the goal of upgrading each summer.  Last summer, I obtained the General.  This was the summer for Extra.  This is also the summer when the question pool was to change (and it has, by the time I am writing this).

As you may recall from last week, I had asked my local Elmer to shake the tree a little to see if any VEs could administer an exam before the end of the month. He made some calls and subsequently assured me that it would be pretty hard to pull off. For that reason I was a bit bummed.  I then received a phone call from a local VE involved at that moment in Field Day, where there were several VEs. She asked around and we set up an appointment for my exam for the evening of Thursday, 30 June, in the common room at my place: the last day of the question pool.

I stepped up my review and took some online practice exams.  I carried around my book with all the possible questions (and the answers – which is handy – along with explanations).  I took the test.

My other two exams were perfect scores. The bad news is that, out of 50 questions for the Extra, I had one mistake.  The good news is that I had one mistake.

Therefore, I am now an Extra.

My local Elmer had come over for the exam (he knew the VEs and had originally shaken the tree, as it were).  On confirmation that I had passed, he gave me a nifty key!

Behold, an unused, lacquered brass Signal Electric key.

I am assured that this is quite something.  Sometimes you can tell by hefting a thing and examining it closely that it is exceptional.  I shall have to have this mounted on something and then get to work assiduously on my Morse Code.  It is time to get into CW, and may QRP.   I’d also like to do something with PSK31.

In any event, I’ve done it.

I am very grateful to the nice folks, the VEs, who helped me out in a pinch.

Now if I only had a stable station!

Meanwhile…

I created a page for the List of YOUR callsigns.  HERE  Chime in or drop me a note if your call doesn’t appear in the list.

UPDATE:

Looking at the entry again, and the math that I had to refamiliarize myself with after 25 years of neglect since college physics, I was reminded of scenes involving spherical trigonometry.

And there’s this from Fortune of War (UK HERE).

Yet in the new, smoother, more scientific Navy that was coming into being this was not enough: his youngsters must add a powerful dose of Gregory to their Robinson. He made them read The Present State of Europe, Impartially Considered; he saw that the journals they were required to keep would meet the inspection of the severest board of examiners; he stood by while his coxswain taught them the finer points of knotting and splicing. It was a pity that his material was so indifferent, so refractory to anything but the knots and splices; for his intentions were of the best. In some commissions he had had midshipmen who loved the mathematics too, who doted upon spherical trigonometry, so that it was a pleasure to teach them navigation; it was not the case at present.
‘Mr Forshaw,’ he said. ‘What is a sine?’
‘A sine, sir,’ said Forshaw, speaking very fast, ‘is when you draw a right line from one end of an arc perpendicular upon the radius from the centre to the other end of the arc.’
‘And what is its relation to the chord of that arc?’
Mr Forshaw looked wild, gazed about the day-cabin that Captain Yorke had given over to his guest, but found no help in its neat fittings, its skylight, nor in the nine-pounder gun that took up so much of its space, nor in the blank and hideous face of his companion, Holles, nor in the title of the novel The Vicissitudes of Genteel Life: life aboard La Flèche might not be particularly genteel but it was certainly full of vicissitudes. After a long pause he still had no views to offer, other than that the relationship was no doubt pretty close.
‘Well, well,’ said Jack, ‘you must read page seventeen again, I see. But that is not what I sent for you for – that is not the reason for which I sent for you. There was a great deal of correspondence for me to attend to at Pulo Batang, and I have only now reached this letter from your mother. She begs me to take great care that when you brush your teeth you will brush them up and down, and not only sideways. Do you understand me, Mr Forshaw?’
Forshaw loved his mother dearly, but at this moment he wished she might be deprived of the power of holding a pen for ever. ‘Yes, sir,’ he said. ‘Up and down it is, not only sideways, sir.’
‘What are you tittering at, Mr Holles?’ asked Captain Aubrey.
‘Nothing, sir.’
‘Now I come to think of it, I have a letter from your guardian, Mr Holles. He wishes to be assured that your moral welfare is well in hand, and that you do not neglect your Bible. You do not neglect your Bibles, any of you, I dare say?’
‘Oh, no, sir.’
‘I am glad to hear it. Where the Devil would you be, if you neglected your Bible? Tell me, Mr Holles, who was Abraham?’ Jack was particularly well up in this part of sacred history, having checked Admiral Drury’s remarks on Sodom: ‘Abraham, sir,’ said Holles, his pasty, spotted face turning a nasty variegated purple. ‘Why, Abraham was…’
But no more emerged, other than a murmur of ‘bosom’.
‘Mr Peters?’
Mr Peters expressed his conviction that Abraham was a very good man; perhaps a corn-chandler, since one said ‘Abraham and his seed for ever’.
‘Mr Forshaw?’
‘Abraham, sir?’ said Forshaw, whose spirits had recovered with their usual speed. ‘Oh, he was only an ordinary wicked Jew.’
Jack fixed him with his eye. Was Forshaw making game of him? Probably, judging from the extreme innocence of his face. ‘Bonden,’ he called, and his coxswain, who was waiting outside the door with sailcloth and rope-yarn to learn the young gentlemen to make foxes, walked in. ‘Bonden, seize Mr Forshaw to the gun, and knot me that rope’s end.’

There were no rope’s ends for me while studying for my exam.

For those of you not in the know, sometimes you have to figure things out in rectangular and sometimes in polar coordinates.  Phase angles of circuits containing resistance, inductive and/or capacitive reactance mean using polar coordinates, which means using trig.

Then there was this from The Yellow Admiral:

But for the time being he was to attend to the young gentlemen. They were gathering there on the quarterdeck behind him, accompanied by the schoolmaster, and although some were furtively giggling, treading on one another’s toes, most were decently apprehensive.
‘Very well, gentlemen, let us begin,’ said Jack in their direction, and he led the way into the fore-cabin. Here they showed up their day’s workings, which, as there had been no noon observation the day before, were necessarily the product of dead reckoning, and they differed little, except in neatness.
Both Walkinshaw and Jack were perfectly at home with the mathematics of navigation and it was difficult for either to understand how very deeply ignorant it was possible for the young and feather-brained to be, particularly those young men who had spent most of their school-time ashore learning Latin and in some cases Greek and even a little Hebrew – possibly some French. This occurred to Jack with some force in the silence that followed his commendation of the neat and his giving back the workings; and out of this silence he said to a dwarfish twelve-year-old, the son of one of his former lieutenants, ‘Mr Thomson, what is meant by a sine?’
He glanced round the general blankness and went on, ‘Each of you take a piece of paper and write down what is meant by a sine. Mr Weller’ – this to a boy who had been to a nautical academy at Wapping – ‘you are whispering to your neighbour. Jump up to the masthead and stay there until you are told to come down. But before you go, gather the papers and show them to me.’
It was difficult to tell whether the schoolmaster or his pupils felt the more distressed as the Captain looked through the undeniable proof of such very complete ignorance of the first elements. ‘Very well,’ he said at last, ‘we shall have to start again with the ABC. Pass the word for my joiner.’ The joiner appeared, brushing chips from his apron. ‘Hemmings,’ said Jack, ‘run me up a blackboard, will you? A flat dead paint that will take chalk handsomely, and let me have it by this time tomorrow.’ To the youngsters he said, ‘I shall write definitions and draw diagrams, and you will get them by heart.’ He was not in the best of moods, and his absolute determination, together with his bulk and his immense authority on board, was singularly impressive. They filed out in silence, looking grave.
The next morning the blackboard was present, fixed by thumbscrews within easy reach of the Captain’s hand, and from it the boys were taught, with words and diagrams, the nature of sine, cosine, tangent, cotangent, secant and cosecant, the relations between them, and their value in helping to find your position in a prodigious ocean, no shore, no landmark for ten thousand miles. All these things were to be found in Robinson’s Elements of Navigation which, together with the Requisite Tables and Nautical Almanac, lay in their sea-chests, a necessary part of their equipment; and Mr Walkinshaw had tried to lead the youngsters through them. But nothing came anywhere near the concentrated forceful instructions of Jove himself; and after what seemed an anxious eternity to the midshipmen’s berth but which in fact lasted no more than a few of the Bellona’s usual patrols from Douarnenez Bay to the Black Rocks in hazy, sometimes foggy weather in which they saw nothing at all and sometimes with such light airs that on occasion they lacked even steerage-way and the Captain had all the time in the world for trigonometry.

It is right after this, if you will recall, that Stephen laments that the marsupials he brought on board, namely, wombats, were pining because they missed their filth.

But I digress.

UPDATE:

Before you ask, were I to have had my rig aboard Capt. Aubrey’s ship in international waters, I would have had to obtain his authorization to operate.

Posted in Ham Radio, O'Brian Tags | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

PHOTOS: 1 July – Pontifical Mass at the Throne for Persecuted Christians @MadisonDiocese

On 1 July, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, by the grace of God and the Apostolic See Bishop of Madison (aka The Extraordinary Ordinary), sang a Pontifical Mass at the Throne in the Roman Rite’s traditional form.

Holy Mass was offered for the intention of Persecuted Christians around the globe.  In addition to the orations for the Most Precious Blood, orations were added from the beautiful Mass “in tempore belli… in time of war”.

His Excellency granted a plenary indulgence, under the normal conditions, to all those who participated.

This Mass occasioned the use, for the first time, of the red silk damask vestments obtained by the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison (501(c)(3)).

Here are some photos, to give you a taste.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , , , , , , | 27 Comments

ASK FATHER: Would using birth control to delay children invalidate marriage?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Would the use of birth control to delay children for a time invalidate marriage? Likewise, would the intention to divorce IF the spouse committed adultery invalidate the marriage?

Two questions… I normally don’t take twofers, but I’ll make an exception.

The use of artificial birth control, – even for a time, would be gravely sinful. It would give rise to legitimate questions about the intentions of the parties with regards to marriage: are they truly intent on sharing in a partnership of the WHOLE of life, if they chose to withhold this natural activity? If they’re using a barrier method of birth control, are they truly intent to share human intimacy with each other? If they’re using abortifacient methods, how do they understand the good of the spouse? Have they enticed their spouse into sin, or do they willingly cooperate with their spouses sinful intention?

The use of artificial contraception, sinful as it is, would not automatically invalidate matrimonial consent in and of itself.  It would give rise to serious questions.

Marriage is intended to be open to life. In the marriage rite one says to one’s partner (and to the whole Church), “I give you my whole self. I am open to give you not only my life, but my potential children as well.” To withhold part of one’s life is to make that profession of marriage consent a lie.

Couples who marry can agree, mutually, to use natural means of avoiding childbirth for a time, for a legitimate reason. For example, a married couple who are studying overseas in a three-year program might choose to wait until they return home to have children.  Or, a couple who just had a child who has special needs might want to wait a bit before giving the child a sibling.

I caution couples to avoid the mistaken notion that, after getting married, they should wait a few years before having children so they can, “have some time to just get to know each other.” That can easily play in to selfishness.

Think about it.  Here are a couple scenarios.

Within the first few years of marriage even the most “in love” couples will have moments where they don’t particularly care for each other. Perhaps they have a vicious argument. The husband, at work, dreads going home to face his wife and to merely dive back into the argument. He can hardly stand to look at her. So, he goes out for a beer with his work colleagues. Then a second. Then a third. It becomes easy to avoid each other, the argument never gets resolved, and Satan has his way – he has driven a couple apart from each other.  [CUT TO BLACK – ABRUPT MINOR CHORD]

A second scenario. The husband is at work and dreads going home to face his wife, but he knows that she is home with his infant son. He may not want to see his wife, but he is still in love with, and fascinated by his baby boy. So he goes home, perhaps grudgingly, but he goes home. He avoids his wife, but goes into the room where his baby is sleeping. He picks up this child and the emotional and psychological feelings of love – the ineffable parental bond – fill his heart. As he looks at the child whom he loves, the baby wakes up and smiles. He has his mothers dimples. He is reminded of the commitment of love he has for his wife. He takes the child into the living room and holds him out to his mother. He has his fathers eyes. The two resolve to sit down and work on their disagreement.  [THE MUSIC SWELLS]

A little florid?  Sure.  But don’t kid yourselves.  This is how life works.  It is how the Enemy of the Soul works and it is now we are hard wired to work.

As to the second part of the question, for Latin Church Catholics marriage is invalid if one or both spouses enter into marriage while placing a condition concerning the future (e.g., “I marry you as long as you become the King of England,” or “I marry you as long as you stop smoking,” or “I marry you as long as you remain faithful to me.”) One should certainly expect certain things of one’s spouse, and one of those things has to be fidelity, right?  But there is a categorical difference between conditional consent (“If you cheat on me, that makes our marriage invalid and I’m therefore free to marry another.”) and legitimate expectations (“If you ever cheat on me, I’m moving out and might even consider divorce.”)

In looking at specific situations, rather than merely at hypotheticals, it is best to entrust these questions to the legitimately authorized Church authorities at the diocesan tribunal.  They can make the determination. They are trained to examine the necessary details and contingent circumstances.

Armchair diagnoses of specific marriages – especially by the untrained layman – without having all the facts and testimony at hand is generally unhelpful.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Canon Law, One Man & One Woman | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments