WDTPRS – 33rd Ordinary Sunday: thoughts on the “sign of peace”

This week’s Collect is rich.  The ancient author was skilled.  The translators of the current ICEL version blew it.  We will see where they went wrong and then drill into a pair of words leading us back to the 3rd century.

Our Collect for the 33rd Ordinary Sunday was in the 8th century Liber sacramentorum Gellonensis and also in the more ancient Veronese Sacramentary.

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine Deus noster, in tua semper devotione gaudere, quia perpetua est et plena felicitas, si bonorum omnium iugiter serviamus auctori.

First, the conditional particle si means “if”. Iugiter (related to “yoke”) and servio (constructed with the dative) are old friends now. We can leave them aside. Briefly, devotio can be read as “a devotion to duty”. Our “devotion” must lead the soul to keep the commandments of God and the duties of our state before all else. If we are devout in respect to God and intent on fulfilling the duties of our state in life as it truly is here and now, then God will give us the actual graces we need to fulfill our vocations. He helps us because we are fulfilling our proper role in His great plan.

I like the parallels between perpetua and iugiter, and plena and omnium followed by felicitas and bonorum.  If you work on it, this is an ABCCBA pattern.  Elegant.


Grant to us, we beseech You, O Lord our God, always to rejoice in Your devotion, for happiness is perpetual and full, if we serve continually the author of all good things.

Pay attention to the ideal conditional statement depending on “si…if” with the subjunctive: Y if X.

I can’t help but think of the many Catholics today who assume that heaven’s rewards are ours automatically without our having to do anything more than just feel good about ourselves.  The fact is, we can lose what Christ won for us through presumption, neglect, laziness, and sin.  Heaven is not automatic.  We must pray for the dead, examine our lives, go to confession, and perform good works.  We must serve.


Father of all that is good, keep us faithful in serving you, for to serve you is our lasting joy.

What were they thinking?


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God, the constant gladness of being devoted to you, for it is full and lasting happiness to serve with constancy the author of all that is good.

FAIL. They eliminated the condition! The Latin says that happiness is perpetual and full, IF we serve God.    They eliminated the protasis of an ideal condition. Why? Is the condition too demanding?

As it happens, the 2008 “Gray Book” (draft) version had “if” while the 1998 rejected ICEL version suggested the condition through a paraphrase (“for only through our faithfulness to you…”).

Note the words perpetua and felicitas. The Roman Canon (1st Eucharistic Prayer) raises up the names of two ancient martyrs, Sts Felicity and Perpetua. Coincidence? I think not. In the ancient sacramentaries today’s Collect was used for martyrs.

Who are Sts Felicity and Perpetua?

We have documents from the period of Roman persecutions of Christians in the early 3rd century, including the prison diary and trial accounts of a young noble woman named Perpetua, martyred around 202 in Carthage, North Africa. She was still a catechumen (not yet baptized), who identified herself as Christian. Perpetua gave up her still nursing baby and insisted on being put into the arena during games in honor of the Emperor Geta.  Many tried to dissuade her, but she got her wish. With great heroism she faced the beasts. After many torments a gladiator was sent in to finish her off, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Perpetua grabbed his hand and pointed his sword at her own throat. Perpetua’s heroism inspired others to give strong witness to their faith and, subsequently, be imprisoned. A pregnant slave girl name Felicity went to prison with Perpetua.  Felicity had her baby just before they were sent to the arena (from Latin harena, “sand” which covered the surface). The accounts of the trial and deaths of these martyrs attest to the amazing love they had for each other in prison.  They also show that Christian solidarity crossed class boundaries. There is a touching moment in the account when Perpetua and Felicity arrange each other’s clothing so as to preserve their modesty even while they were suffering.  They bade each other farewell with the kiss of peace.

Our Faith was nourished by the blood of martyrs. The farewell gesture of Perpetua and Felicity, the kiss of peace, should remind us today to be dignified during Holy Mass when the entirely optional “sign of peace” is invited.

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

Days after 2014 Synod closes, CDF responds to question on absolution for civilly remarried

UPDATED: 14 Nov:  ORIGINAL Published on: Nov 13, 2014

At the French language site L’Homme Nouveau there is an interesting post about a question a priest posed to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  He asked the Congregation:

«Un confesseur peut-il donner l’absolution à un pénitent qui, ayant été marié religieusement, a contracté une seconde union après divorce ? … Can a confessor (a priest with faculties to receive sacramental confessions) give absolution to a penitent who, have married in a religious manner, has contracted a second union after divorce?»

The CDF responded with a letter date 22 October 2014! Think about that in light of the dates of the recent Synod of Bishops, 5-19 October.

The CDF gave a standard reply, underscoring that it is possible to absolve such a person, provided that she has a firm purpose of amendment. In other words, yes, but under the same conditions as any other sinner: they must confess sin, express resolution not to sin again, and emendation of life. If civilly married couples cannot separate, or even reconcile with the true spouse, or if they must remain together for the sake of child-rearing, then they must resolve to live as “brother and sister”.

The CDF cites Familaris consortio, which some, on the opposite side of the issue and response, deem to be outdated, even though it is only 33 years old. Apparently the CDF does not consider the Magisterium of St. John Paul II to be outdated.

In no way does the Congregation suggest that absolution can be given without surety on the part of the confessor that there a firm purpose of amendment.

This, of course, has implications for Holy Communion.  We must not receive Communion if we know we are not in the state of grace.  If you cannot be absolved (or can be), then there are implications for admission to Communion.

Here is the French:

À la question d’un prêtre français : « Un confesseur peut-il donner l’absolution à un pénitent qui, ayant été marié religieusement, a contracté une seconde union après divorce ? »

La Congrégation pour la Doctrine de la Foi a répondu le 22 octobre 2014 :

« On ne peut exclure a priori les fidèles divorcés remariés d’une démarche pénitentielle qui déboucherait sur la réconciliation sacramentelle avec Dieu et donc aussi à la communion eucharistique. Le Pape Jean-Paul II dans l’Exhortation apostolique Familiaris consortio (n. 84) a envisagé une telle possibilité et en a précisé les conditions : “La réconciliation par le sacrement de pénitence – qui ouvrirait la voie au sacrement de l’Eucharistie – ne peut être accordée qu’à ceux qui se sont repentis d’avoir violé le signe de l’Alliance et de la fidélité au Christ, et sont sincèrement disposés à une forme de vie qui ne soit plus en contradiction avec l’indissolubilité du mariage. Cela implique concrètement que, lorsque l’homme et la femme ne peuvent pas, pour de graves motifs – par exemple l’éducation des enfants –, remplir l’obligation de la séparation, ils prennent l’engagement de vivre en complète continence, c’est-à-dire en s’abstenant des actes réservés aux époux” (cf. aussi Benoît XVI, Sacramentum caritatis, n. 29).

La démarche pénitentielle à entreprendre devrait prendre en compte les éléments suivants :

1 – Vérifier la validité du mariage religieux dans le respect de la vérité, tout en évitant de donner l’impression d’une forme de “divorce catholique”.

2 – Voir éventuellement si les personnes, avec l’aide de la grâce, peuvent se séparer de leur nouveau partenaire et se réconcilier avec celles dont elles se sont séparées.

3 – Inviter les personnes divorcées remariées, qui pour de sérieux motifs (par exemple les enfants), ne peuvent se séparer de leur conjoint, à vivre comme “frère et sœur”.

En tout état de cause, l’absolution ne peut être accordée qu’à condition d’être assurée d’une véritable contrition, c’est-à-dire “de la douleur intérieure et de la détestation du péché que l’on a commis, avec la résolution ne peut plus pécher à l’avenir” (Concile de Trente, Doctrine sur le Sacrement de Pénitence, c. 4). Dans cette ligne, on ne peut absoudre validement un divorcé remarié qui ne prend pas la ferme résolution de ne plus “pécher à l’avenir” et donc de s’abstenir des actes propres aux conjoints, et en faisant dans ce sens tout ce qui est en son pouvoir ».

Luis F. Ladaria, sj, archevêque titulaire de Thibica, Secrétaire.

The CDF’s response upholds the integrity of all the sacraments involved, Matrimony, Penance, and, of course, Eucharist.

UPDATE 14 Nov:

Canonist Ed Peters, at his excellent blog, has a note:

[T]he English-language reports on the CDF letter need clarification in one important respect.

The CDF, in its original French text, notes that first in the sequence of steps to address the status of persons in irregular unions, it is necessary“Vérifier la validité du mariage religieux dans le respect de la vérité, tout en évitant de donner l’impression d’une forme de ‘divorce catholique’.” Everyone seem to be translating that line as “Verify the validity of the religious marriage in the respect of truth, all the while avoiding giving the impression of a kind of ‘Catholic divorce’.”

That’s not what it means.

The French verb “verifier” does not mean “to verify”, its obvious but misleading English cognate, but rather, means “inquire about” or “investigate” or “test”. Ecclesiastical authority is, therefore, being reminded by the CDF of the importance of ascertaining the true matrimonial status of the persons, and not simply “verifying” their status as if–and I have cautioned others about before–the validity of marriage can itself ever be “verified”.

In directing ecclesiastical authority to examine first the validity of the (presumptively) valid marriage before it, CDF is reminding Church leadership to do exactly what its tribunals and canon law are designed to do in these cases, namely, test the presumption of matrimonial validity.

In Italian we use verificare in the context of affirming or double-checking or discerning, for example, a vocation to the priesthood.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged , , , , , , | 24 Comments

How the ‘c’atholic liberal media will smear Bishops who uphold moral teachings

Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap (aka National So… Schismatic Reporter) attacks bishops who uphold the Church’s moral teachings.

This time, even during the USCCB meeting, MSW took a shot at Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, who has been an outspoken defender of marriage … marriage which is between a man and a woman, not between two men.

MSW wrote:

If the bishops select Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, who chairs their ad hoc committee on the promotion and defense of marriage, they will be sending a clear message that they do not support the direction Pope Francis wants to take. If they are willing to send such a message, they will have decided to throw fuel on a fire that is already in danger of burning out of control. Casual talk about schism or about the fact, a false fact, that “there are two popes,” has already lit the flames. The bishops should be trying to douse those flames.

Get that?   First, he smears Archbp. Cordileone and then says that a says that support for him is an act against Pope Francis.

But there’s more.

In the press there has been some discussion of the division that Pope Francis is clear creating in various Catholic communities.  Some have wondered if there could be a schism if next year’s Synod and Pope Francis admit the civilly remarried to Communion and if they adopt language about homosexuality along the lines of that which was slipped into the Synod’s midterm report, but which didn’t reflect the thought of the Synod.  But… notice what happened here.  Whereas liberals were at first chortling about those zany trads, the idea of faithful Catholics even talking about schism, in the above MSW takes it pretty seriously:

“OMG OMG OMG!  If the bishops pick Cordileone, the fires will rise, whole cities will burn and there’ll be SCHISM!”


The Fishwrap ought know what schism is.  They have been fomenting it for decades… with impunity.

The Left’s fear of Archbp. Cordileone prompts me to hope that he will be appointed to participate in the 2015 Synod.

Posted in Liberals, You must be joking! | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Card. Sarah: Worst discrimination against poor is not to give them God

His Eminence Robert Card. Sarah of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum addressed a conference of Catholic charitable organizations, having a special reference to the encyclicals of Benedict XVI, Deus caritas est and Caritas in veritate.

Here is a CNA account:

Vatican City, Nov 13, 2014 / 12:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Robert Sarah has stressed the link between charity and preaching the Gospel, saying that while the practical needs of the poor are important, Christians can give something more essential: Jesus Christ.

Cardinal Sarah, citing Benedict XVI, told CNA that “charity is very linked with the proclamation of the Gospel, and doing charity is not only giving food, giving material things, but giving God too. Because the main lack of man is not having God.


[NB] Cardinal Sarah addressed the conference about “Caritas in Veritate.” The cardinal explained that the worst discrimination against the poor is not refusing to give them food, but rather to give them only food and refuse to give them the Gospel.  [More on this, below.]

“It’s very important to express that the hunger we are suffering today is not having God in our life, in our society,” the cardinal said Nov. 7. He explained that Benedict XVI’s encyclical insists that charity is the way we express our faith. Although giving food is necessary, “the main food is God.”

He recounted a story from one of his two trips to Syria to visit refugees. He met a small child who asked him: “does God really exist? Why did he let my father be killed?”

This child had everything, the cardinal observed, including food and medicine, but still lacked the most essential thing, which is the assurance that God exists and is close to him.

“(So) charity today is not only to act for social work, for material assistance, but really to bring the Gospel to the people.” [We are a Church which has a goal our salvation, not earthly utopia.]

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal Household, also spoke to the leadership forum for Caritas in Veritate International. He offered some reflections on love that were taken from talks he has given to Popes throughout his time as the papal preacher.


He said that the presentation of the truth is essential alongside the giving of charitable aid.

We could translate ‘truth’ as ‘Jesus Christ,’ because he said ‘I am the truth’,” the papal preacher told CNA Nov. 7.


With bread, we must give Truth, which is Jesus Christ.

And so I ask: What, then, would it mean were the Church in some way to change her disciplines so as to admit to Communion the divorced and remarried, without a serious undertaking to know the truth of their marital situation?  Say the processes for the determination of the non-validity of marriages is greatly pared down.  Say the processes begin to aim not for moral certainty about a case, but rather mere probability.  Say confessors and bishops start turning a blind eye to reception of Communion by those in objectively problematic situations, or even begin to foster reception when is isn’t permitted according the standards of millennial teaching.

Would this not be something like giving people “bread” without giving them the Truth?

In this case, the irony would be that Truth really is being given, Christ in the Eucharistic species, true Bread, but without the truth of the sacramental effects.  Because the people would not be in the state of grace, they could be doing great harm to their own souls and those of others because of the scandal caused.  I am reminded of Our Lord’s stabbing question in Luke 11: “And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion?” Not that Our Lord in the Eucharist is a “scorpion”, for Christ Himself is the greatest good possible, but we must affirm what the old scholastics summarized, and which is undoubtedly true, “What is received is received in the manner of the one receiving.” If you are not in the state of grace, and you receive Communion, you commit a serious sin. The sin is all the more serious because the matter is not just grave, but the most grave of all: misuse of the sacred, which is sacrilege. And, in this case, not just misuse of a sacred thing, but rather The Sacred Thing, the Body, Blood, Soul and DIVINITY of the Incarnate Second Person of the Trinity. Some sins are graver because of the relationship one has with the person or thing being harmed.

It is not charity to tell people something that isn’t true. It is not charity to help them but not give them also that which nourishes the soul. Good deeds without charity, sacrificial love which is rooted in Christ’s love, are good, but they aren’t the kind of good that Christians can give and must give, because they are Christians. We can do what we Christians only can do, because we can do it as baptized people who live in grace.  That means sticking to the Truth.

Posted in Benedict XVI, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

MAGISTER: “words and gestures left purposely vague”

At the Italian site Italia Oggi there is an interview with long-time vaticanista Sandro Magister.  He answers questions about Pope Francis and his pontificate.

Magister has been around for a while, working as a journalist for some 40 years.

I don’t have the energy or time to translate the whole thing.

In summary, however, Magister notes carefully that many people have a hard time figuring out what Pope Francis is saying, what he wants to convey.  He messages seem, at times, to be contradictory or vague.  It is difficult to discern to whom he is addressing them.  He notes also that many bishops are having the same problem, both in Italy and abroad.

On another topic, he points out that Francis, while fairly loquacious for a modern Pope, is silent about some topics, such as the cases of Asia Bibi, the Nigerian girls who were kidnapped, and the Christian couple recently burned alive in a furnace.

But more than once he comes back to the topic of how hard it is sometimes to understand what Francis is saying.

A sample,

Magister: It is another of the paradigms of expression recurring in this pontificate: reprimands towards both sides. However, if you want to inventory them, his beatings of traditionalists, legalists, rigid defenders of arid doctrine, appear to be much more numerous and focused. When, on the other hand, he gets angry with the liberals, you can’t figure out whom he is talking about.

And toward the end:

Magister: When he was in Bethlehem, he stopped by a wall that divides the territories from Israel and he remains absolutely silent: you don’t know what he was trying to say. When he was at Lampedusa, he shouted “shame”, and it isn’t clear who was supposed to be ashamed. Italy, which has saved thousands and thousands of lives? Why doesn’t he say? Often there are words and gestures left purposely vague.

The interview is long, but it remains pretty focused. Perhaps someone will translate it or you can use one of those online translators to get the sense of it.

Moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Pope Francis, The Drill | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Francis. He puzzles me sometimes.

There are times when I have listened to Pope Francis or have read what he has said, and I am left scratching my head.

I have stated here quite a few times that, sometimes, I have no idea what he is talking about or to whom he is addressing himself.

Apparently I’m not alone.

At Hell’s Bible there is an article about the USCCB meeting.  HERE

Francis Card. George of Chicago, a seriously smart guy, has the same questions.

“He says wonderful things,” Cardinal George said about Francis in an interview on Sunday, “but he doesn’t put them together all the time, so you’re left at times puzzling over what his intention is. What he says is clear enough, but what does he want us to do?”
Cardinal George, who is 77 and being treated for cancer, remains a voting cardinal until age 80 and says he would like to travel to Rome to see Francis: “I’d like to sit down with him and say, Holy Father, first of all, thank you for letting me retire. And could I ask you a few questions about your intentions?”

If even Card. George is sometimes puzzled, I feel somewhat confirmed.

When I have asked Argentinians about Francis, I have been told that they often express themselves with hyperbole.  I don’t know how much stock to put in that generalization, but… hey….

Posted in Pope Francis | Tagged | 54 Comments

More reasons to by Mystic Monk Coffee and to shun Starbucks

So, Starbucks has a concert supposedly to honor veterans.  They invite people to perform whom they knew would do an anti-war song from era when vets were scorned and they invited a rapper whose lack of class is demonstrated through the foulness of his language… during a televised event that families and children could watch.

Starbucks, in addition, also has a commercial featuring a cross-dresser in an effort to mainstream, even more, open perversion.

Buy Mystic Monk Coffee.

Help the Wyoming Carmelites build their new monastery.

They have their Thanksgiving Blend (ground) right now.  In K-Cups too!

Their Christmas Blend is available.

Mystic Monk Coffee!

It’s swell!

Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole, The Sin That Cries To Heaven For Vengence | Tagged , | 9 Comments

Rite of Exorcism approved in English

On Aleteia I saw a story about the approval by the US bishops, meeting in plenary sessions now, of the English translation of the more recent, 1999 (revised 2004) rite of Exorcism. 179 to 5

It is of vital importance that we train up more exorcists and that we begin to take activity of the Enemy more seriously.

Frankly, from everything that I hear, the newer rite does not hold a candle to the older, traditional rite. I am not sure about the use of English versus Latin, but exorcists have told me that demons can from time to time correct an exorcist’s Latin errors. It seems that Latin annoys them more than the vernacular.

Food for thought.

Remember, everyone, that the rite of exorcism is a sacramental.  But the absolution after a good confession is a sacrament.  Reception of the Eucharist in the state of grace is THE Sacrament.   They have huge effect on the work of the Enemy.

Examine your consciences and…


Moderation queue is on.

Posted in GO TO CONFESSION, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, The Coming Storm | Tagged | 19 Comments

Fr. Michael Rodríguez – UPDATE

You might remember Fr. Michael Rodriguez in the Diocese of El Paso.  He has raised his voice several times in a strong way.  He has also been saying Holy Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

At the blog Veneremur cernui there is an update.  I pulled out the main part with his inserted comments, and I add my own.

As of yesterday, November 10, 2014, Fr. Michael Rodríguez, is no longer the Administrator of Sacred Heart Mission in Shafter, TX.  He has been given a six-month sabbatical in order to discern God’s Will for the future. Fr. Rodríguez remains a priest in good-standing of the Diocese of El Paso. He will most likely be looking at options for priestly ministry beyond the Diocese of El Paso. Fr. Rodríguez has been offering the Traditional Latin Mass exclusively for the past three years, and this has led to increasing difficulties for him with the local hierarchy. [While I prefer the Extraordinary Form, I am happy to help a priest in a parish if they need the Novus Ordo.] Fr. Rodríguez asks for your prayers, and he especially asks you to pray for the small group of faithful (about 50) of the Presidio-Shafter area who are heartbroken over the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass and parish life based on the Traditional Latin Mass.


In a few days a number of us will begin a continuous series of nine-day novenas imploring the intercession of Our Lady and the saints on Fr. Rodríguez’s behalf. I will email more information on that in a few days. Moreover, we will pray a 54-Day Rosary Novena on his behalf from Dec 10 – Feb 1, that is between the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and the Purification of Our Lady, (also the feast of Our Lady of Good Success). We invite all to join us in offering these prayers. Thank you very much for your prayers and support.

You might want to add a prayer or two of your own, for everyone involved.

Posted in Mail from priests, Our Catholic Identity, Priests and Priesthood, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices | Tagged , | 27 Comments

ACTION ITEM! Online Support for Card. Burke! – UPDATE

I have been watching the online petition in support of Card. Burke as a “Thank you!” for his service.

It’s time to really fire this up.  This is an ACTION ITEM!


As of now there are 20018 signers.  Let’s see if we can’t blow that number out of the water!

I know you readers and Zed-Heads can do it.   Let’s hit their 25K goal first.  Then we’ll see if we can’t raise the bar!

Here’s a screenshot of the number, on left side of the page after you click.



UPDATE 12 Nov:

As they close in on 25K, they have moved the goal posts to 40K.


Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Be The Maquis | Tagged , | 26 Comments