2 Feb – CANDLEMAS – Madison, WI – Pontifical Mass at the Throne

On Thursday, 2 February, at 7 PM His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino will celebrate a Pontifical Mass at the Throne for Candlemas.

The location of the Mass is the Chapel at Holy Name Heights (once Bishop O’Conner Center) in Madison, Wisconsin.

All are welcome!  Clerics are cordially invited to attend in choro in cassock, surplice and biretta or your religious choir dress.

BRING CANDLES to be blessed by the bishop!

Posted in Events, The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Card. Müller weighs in on ‘Amoris Laetitia’, informally answers the Five Dubia

17_02_01_Muller_TimoneThe Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is doing his job.  His Eminence Gerhard Ludwig Card. Müller, has given a long interview to the Italian Catholic monthly Il Timone.  Title: “You don’t negotiate Truth.”  He comments on the relationship of personal conscience, ecumenism and the interpretation of the controversial, confusing Amoris laetitia.

Card. Müller doesn’t explicitly respond to the Five Dubia submitted by the Four Cardinals.  Not explicitly.  But he does happen to respond to the points raised in the Five Dubia.

Here is a solid gold quote, in my translation:

Amoris laetitia “must be read as a whole, in any case an act of adultery is always a mortal sin and the bishops who cause confusion on this point ought to study the Church’s doctrine.”

That is directed, of course, at the ludicrous statement of the Bishops of Malta, guidelines on the implementation of chapter 8 of Amoris (aka The Maltese Disaster).

I see that Sandro Magister has already provided translations of some of the interview. HERE  Let’s have a look at these “key passages of the interview” with my emphases and comments:

Q: Can there be a contradiction between doctrine and personal conscience?

A [Müller]: No, that is impossible. For example, it cannot be said that there are circumstances according to which an act of adultery does not constitute a mortal sin. For Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for mortal sin to coexist with sanctifying grace. In order to overcome this absurd contradiction, Christ has instituted for the faithful the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation with God and with the Church.

Q: This is a question that is being extensively discussed with regard to the debate surrounding the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

A: “Amoris Laetitia” must clearly be interpreted in the light of the whole doctrine of the Church. […] I don’t like it, it is not right that so many bishops are interpreting “Amoris Laetitia” according to their way of understanding the pope’s teaching. This does not keep to the line of Catholic doctrine. The magisterium of the pope is interpreted only by him or through the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. The pope interprets the bishops, it is not the bishops who interpret the pope, this would constitute an inversion of the structure of the Catholic Church. To all these who are talking too much, [Maltese, et al.] I urge them to study first the doctrine [of the councils] on the papacy and the episcopate. The bishop, as teacher of the Word, must himself be the first to be well-formed so as not to fall into the risk of the blind leading the blind. […]

Q: The exhortation of Saint John Paul II, “Familiaris Consortio,” stipulates that divorced and remarried couples that cannot separate, in order to receive the sacraments must strive to live in continence. Is this requirement still valid?

A: Of course, it is not dispensable, because it is not only a positive law of John Paul II, but he expressed an essential element of Christian moral theology and the theology of the sacraments. The confusion on this point also concerns the failure to accept the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor,” with the clear doctrine of the “intrinsece malum.” […] For us marriage is the expression of participation in the unity between Christ the bridegroom and the Church his bride. This is not, as some said during the Synod, a simple vague analogy. No! This is the substance of the sacrament, and no power in heaven or on earth, neither an angel, nor the pope, nor a council, nor a law of the bishops, has the faculty to change it. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]

Q: How can one resolve the chaos that is being generated on account of the different interpretations that are given of this passage of Amoris Laetitia?

A: I urge everyone to reflect, studying the doctrine of the Church first, starting from the Word of God in Sacred Scripture, which is very clear on marriage. I would also advise not entering into any casuistry that can easily generate misunderstandings, above all that according to which if love dies, then the marriage bond is dead. These are sophistries: the Word of God is very clear and the Church does not accept the secularization of marriage. The task of priests and bishops is not that of creating confusion, but of bringing clarity. One cannot refer only to little passages present in “Amoris Laetitia,” but it has to be read as a whole, with the purpose of making the Gospel of marriage and the family more attractive for persons. It is not “Amoris Laetitia” that has provoked a confused interpretation, but some confused interpretations of it. [Wellll…okay… Amoris, alas, is less than perfectly clear, which has allowed some to go to the zoo.] All of us must understand and accept the doctrine of Christ and of his Church, and at the same time be ready to help others to understand it and put it into practice even in difficult situations.


Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, One Man & One Woman, The Drill | Tagged , , , , | 43 Comments

My View For Awhile – Creepy Airport – The Sequel

I’m still trying to get home from Denver.

We zipped quickly past the creepy killer demon-eyed death horse. Apparently it is some sort of spirit horse. Blech.

Worst check in process anywhere. It was not good on Sunday either. Today, a very senior, almost bilingual desk clerk couldn’t get the machine to print luggage tags. After clicking and typing again and again, she asked for help. The machine was out of tags. Thus began the process of changing them. Let’s just say that it is a good thing that I came really early for my flight.

This shot is especially for Fr. J.  Enjoy!

I am back (for a much shorter time I hope) at exactly the same table in the still hard to find club.   I had wanted to get at least a little work done here, but the blazing Delta WiFi wouldn’t cough up data.  So,… I’ll content myself with working from my phone.

Now the big question is…WILL WE FLY TODAY?

I charged my Kindle and my ear buds.  I’m ready for another interminable day with Delta.

Delta… “Isn’t Ready When You Are!”


One more for Fr. J:

A familiar gate.  Lots of people spent lots of time here on Sunday.


Oh, the opulence.


Just as we departed from the farthest possible gate in the concourse, so too we arrived in MSP at the farthest possible gate in the concourse.  This happens to me quite often, as a matter of fact.


Ah the joy of travel.


There is a super high maintenance person next to me sharing her phone conversation with our fellow passengers. So far she hasn’t started doing her nails … okay… the coughing just started.


The flight attendant just loaded something on VHS tape into a deck of hard to identify purpose.

How old is this airplane?



We taxied out. We taxied back to the gate. The taxi time alone would have gotten us to MSN.

“Something is broken.”

We have no idea how long we will be on the ground.

For now we are staying on the plane.

Will I NEVER get home?

The devil hates this trip.

Posted in Lighter fare, On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 44 Comments

2017 Solar Eclipse

On 21 August your planet will obscure your yellow Sun and cast a shadow across your planet’s surface. There will be a total eclipse of the Sun that will sweep across these USA.

I, for one, plan on seeing it.

Average cloud cover from APOD:

I’ve mentioned this before. It might be fun to have a combination Blognic, Eclipse, Solemn TLM Jamboree.


Gotta determine the “where”.

Posted in Just Too Cool, Look! Up in the sky! | Tagged | 24 Comments

Reader Feedback

UPDATE 31 Jan:

I had a call from the hate mail sender’s provider.  They did their own investigation.  We talked about the option of contacting law enforcement.   Since we are about to takeoff (I’m on an airplane) i couldn’t pursue it more at that moment.

UPDATE 31 Jan:

I had a note back from the hate-mail sender’s provider…

Good Afternoon J.T. Zuhlsdorf, my name is —-, I am an Investigator with Charter Communications.  I am reaching out to you by email because I do not have a contact number for you.  Please reach out to your local Police Department and file an incident report regarding the Threaten email from —–.  Once you have filed a Police report please send us the case number assigned to the incident.  We will work and cooperate with Law Enforcement.

Thank you


Corporate Security

Sr. Investigator

_____ Originally Posted 30 Jan ___

I get supportive mail and hate mail.

Here’s a lovely bit of support I received this weekend at the parish where I preached for Forty Hours Devotion.  A spiritual bouquet!

There were a couple pages.  I really appreciate Spiritual Bouquets.  Some don’t.  I do!

In email…

One fellow wrote:

 I just want to say a big thank you for your unceasing advice for us to go to confession. I just went after about 9 months delay. It was great feeling of liberation and gave strength against the evil one. Your constant urging to go to confession helped me to go. Keep on giving the advice. It is a great work of charity.

Thanks.  I do get notes from people occasionally about going to confession after an absence.

Here is another person:

Thank you for blogging. I have learned so much from reading it. The weekly posts on the collects, the liturgical season reminders, and random things posted about have enriched my familiy’s faith. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In the event that Hell takes the day on Tuesday, and liberties such as freedom of speech and access to the Internet are interrupted, I wanted to express my gratitude now.

And there’s this:

Ok Father Bannon…your no priest…you’re a Breitbart idealog and a disgrace to Catholicism…may you die and burn in Hell.

BTW…don’t bother blocking me…I can change my ips address at will.

Okay, I guess that’s a no vote.

When I get something like this, wishing my death, I take it seriously.

Therefore, I reported the email to the abusers provider.  Then I did a little research.  He has written before, as matter of fact.  Once I ascertained that, I explored his IP address in his header and got a geographical location.   I cross-checked that with other emails and they were consistent.  Then I dug a little more and discovered that this hate-mail writer is a Permanent Deacon in a parish in Texas.  So, I might give his parish priest or his chancery a call and send a copy of the email.

You see, I really do read your emails!

I also listen to your voicemails: I don’t call back, but I listen to it.

You have three options:


 020 8133 4535


TIPS for leaving voice mail.

  1. Let me know at the onset if I can use it on the blog.  I may be able to anonymize it a little by editing if need be.
  2. Come to your point right away, please.
  3. Don’t shout!  If you shout, your voice will be distorted and I won’t be able to understand you.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | Tagged , | Comments Off on Reader Feedback

It seems that the US entry “ban” isn’t about religion. But if it were…?

When I was at the creepy DEN airport yesterday – what’s with the enormous blue horse with the glowing demon-red death eyes? – trying to go home before DELTA (what else?) blew it, I saw a protest underway inside the creepy airport.  Outside the doors of the international arrivals area, but inside the terminal, there were, I am no making this up, Quakers and Muslims with anti-Trump, pro-Islam signs.

As far as I can tell from my reading, Pres. Trump’s (I want to repeat that for the Fishwrap – PRESIDENT Trump’s) policy isn’t about religion.  It’s about the association of certain countries with terrorism.

And so there are goofy protests going on and the liberal MSM is having a little mooing calf… or rather a blue demon-eyed death colt.  CNN?  Good grief!  It’s nothing but a hate-Trump meat grinder.  Unhinged.

In any event, if the libs say that this is about religion, okay, let it be about religion.  Here are a couple stories to consider as these “values” are brought to our shores.

Gateway Pundit:

Breaking: Lead Plaintiff In Trump’s ‘Muslim Ban’ Lawsuit Has Ties To Hamas, Supports Sharia

A Federal lawsuit in the United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia was filed against Trump on Monday and the lead plaintiff, Linda Sarsour has ties to terrorist organization, Hamas.

She supports Sharia Law.


The Gateway Pundit reported last week that Linda Sarsour who was one of the leaders of the ‘Women’s March’ is pro-Sharia law with ties to Hamas. We also documented Sarsour’s vicious attacks against Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Brigitte Gabriel for being anti-Islam activists. Both women have suffered greatly because of Islam’s barbarism. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a victim of female genital mutilation which makes Sarsour’s attacks on her even more egregious.

We also reported that the Council on American Islamic Relations CAIR would be filing a lawsuit against Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim ban’. We have obtained the legal complaint in full which shows the lead plaintiff isLinda Sarsour. You can read the document in full here.


Here’s something else from Israel Video Network:

The struggle for women’s rights in the World of Islam is perhaps the most alarming human rights issue in the entire world.

The concepts of honor and violence in the Islamic religion are often combined in a horrific manner.

This untold story is about the daily oppression of women across the world.

Educated and empowered women are perhaps the greatest threat to male dominance in the Islamic world. Muslim women are subjugated and persecuted and deprived of their humanity. The silence must be broken. The whole world must wake up!

Video is HERE

From The Guardian:

Yemeni child bride, eight, ‘dies on wedding night’

Yemen locals claim a girl has died of internal bleeding after marrying a man five times her age, but official denies allegations

An eight-year-old Yemeni girl has died of internal bleeding on her wedding night after marrying a man five times her age, a social activist and two local residents said, in a case that has caused an outcry in the media and revived debate about child brides.

Arwa Othman, head of Yemen’s House of Folklore and a leading rights campaigner, said the girl, identified only as Rawan, was married to a 40-year-old late last week in the town of Meedi in Hajjah province, north-western Yemen.

“On the wedding night and after intercourse, she suffered from bleeding and uterine rupture which caused her death,” Othman said. “They took her to a clinic but the medics couldn’t save her life.”

Othman said authorities had not taken any action against the girl’s family or her husband.


Posted in The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, The Religion of Peace | Tagged , , , , | 33 Comments

A trip down memory lane: liturgical translations again under attack by liberals

Is our collective memory getting shorter?

Over at Jesuit run America Magazine there is an opinion piece…

… wait… Jesuit-run America… isn’t that where, under the guidance of Thomas Reese, SJ… America published blasphemous images of Our Lady covered in latex?  Yes, I believe it was… but I digress…

… an over-anxious, and at times sycophantic, opinion piece filled with ridicule by a guy who fought tooth and nail against the translation norms in Liturgiam authenticam.   He is the rector of the Cathedral in Seattle.

Lest we forget, let’s have a trip down memory lane.

What do the libs want back?

Remember this?  From the archives….

BUGNINICARE!  [Originally Published on: Dec 4, 2013]


(Socialized Worship)

Taking his cue from post-war European national health care programs, Annibale Bugnini, assisted by a small circle of spiritual-care specialists and church policy makers, spearheaded a massive overhaul of the Catholic Church’s spiritual care system in the 1960s. The centerpiece of “Bugninicare” was a program known as Novus Ordo, so-called because it introduced a New Order into the regulation of the Church’s worship. The NO regulations were aimed at extending spiritual-care benefits to those for whom active participation was previously thought to be inaccessible. Bugninicare guaranteed that barriers to full participation were removed, thus permitting access to spiritual care on the part of ordinary believers. Bugnini and his consultants were convinced that the costs their programs would exact would not be excessive.

Special guarantees were built in to Bugnini’s socialized spiritual care system to protect the rights of women. The program also reached out to previously disenfranchised sectors of the general population, ensuring that mainline Protestants, Pentecostals and charismatics would no longer be excluded from participation. In fact, Bugninicare so lowered the bar of spiritual care throughout the Church that other obstacles to full participation, stemming from language, education, religion, gender and sexual orientation, were also effectively removed. The goal of equal distribution of spiritual care in the Church was now guaranteed. Novus Ordo was designed by Bugnini as a monopoly, a “single-provider” liturgy that would allow no room for competition from previous forms of spiritual care delivery. In order to ensure that élite types would not be able to opt out of the Novus Ordo, spiritual care decisions in the Church were left to a small circle of bureaucrats, headed by Bugnini.

If you like your Latin, you can keep your Latin!

Images for your contemplation.


Posted in Liberals, Linking Back, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

The priest who developed hypertext

There is a fascinating article at the National Catholic Register (not to be confused with the National Schismatic Reporter aka Fishwrap) about the Jesuit priest who developed “hypertext”, which made it possible for use to use keyboards to enter data into our computers, etc.

Fr. Roberto Busa, SJ, was an amazing guy. Here is a sample:


In 1946, Fr., Busa started work on his magnus opus?the Index Thomisticus?as a literary and research tool to search all of St. Thomas Aquinas’ written works. This would be providential more for us than him but, sometimes that’s how Providence works.

The Index Thomisticus is considered the beginning of the field of computational linguistics. The total work contained approximately 11 million words, each morphologically tagged and lemmatized by hand.

The project comprised of over 500,000 lines. He started his task by using 10,000 index cards.

In 1949, Fr. Busa met Thomas J. Watson, the founder of IBM, and convinced him to sponsor the Index Thomisticus Project.

The two met in IBM’s New York City office. Fr. Busa asked Watson to team up on a project that would make word searches on a computer possible. Mr. Watson shook his head and said, “It’s impossible for machines to do what you are suggesting. You are claiming to be more American than us.”

The Jesuit did not give up and slid a punched card bearing the multinational company’s motto, promulgated by Watson himself, towards the CEO. It read: “The difficult, we do it immediately. The impossible takes a little longer.”

Fr. Busa turned to leave in a bid to challenge him. And, as one doesn’t turn down Jesuits easily, Watson rose to the challenge saying: “All right, Father. We will try. But on one condition: you must promise that you will not change IBM’s acronym for International Business Machines, into International Busa Machines.”

And, upon that fateful day, at that fateful moment, in a handshake between colleagues and geniuses, the computer became a great deal more “user friendly.” The result of this meeting was “hypertext”—the overall structure of pieces of information displayed on a computer display, or other electronic devices, with references (hyperlinks) to other text which the reader can immediately access, linked to each other by dynamic connections that may be consulted on a computer at the click of a mouse.


Posted in Just Too Cool | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Holy See and SSPX “close” to Personal Prelature… no, really!


From the site of the SSPX:

During a 20 minute interview with TVLibertés on January 29, 2017, Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), commented on the crisis of the Church after the Second Vatican Council, the reaction of the clergy to today’s confusion, the Rosary Crusade, and Pope Francis.

Bishop Fellay commented also on the Personal Prelature offered to the SSPX:

I think we do not have to wait for everything to be resolved in the Church, for all the problems to be solved. But a certain number of conditions are necessary, and for us the essential condition is our survival. So I have told Rome, very clearly, that, just as Archbishop [Marcel] Lefebvre used to say in his day, we have a sine qua non condition: if this condition is not met, then we will not move. And this condition is for us to be able to remain as we are, to keep all the principles that have kept us alive, that have kept us Catholic.”


As I wile away the time in Denver – still – and I fight my way through my clogged inbox and messages (this morning I had 360 new emails and 58 new SMSs), not to mention voicemail, I have at last gotten to an article in the Italian La Stampa which got my attention.

Il segretario di Ecclesia Dei Pozzo: «Stiamo lavorando per il perfezionamento della forma giuridica»

The Secretary of Ecclesia Dei Pozzo: “We are working on polishing the juridical form”

“Right now we are working on the polishing of certain aspects of the canonical framework, which would be a Personal Prelature“. Archbishop Guido Pozzo, Secretary of the Commission “Ecclesia Dei”, entrusted with the dialogue with the Fraternity of St. Pius X, confirmed to Vatican Insider that the stage of full communion with the Lefebvrians is getting closer. The goal of the accord is by now in sight, even if more time is necessary.


Fascinating, no?

However, we have seen this movie before. I will await positive news with hopeful anticipation.

Meanwhile… whom do you think His Holiness could appoint as the Prelate of the SSPX?



Posted in SSPX | Tagged , | 52 Comments

My View For Awhile: YHUGE DELAY Edition – UPDATED

I am in Denver. What a strange airport. I’ve only been through Denver 3 times (I think) and each time I like this airport less.

I think an undergrad designed it.  Who thought that the layout for check in relation to  security in relation to access to the gates was a good idea?

In any event, I am waiting for a flight… and waiting. The entire Delta system is “down” we are told and all planes are grounded. My flight was slated to be late to begin with (what else? … it’s Delta). They say that all flights are equally locked down, so I might get my connection.

The lounge is boring and my mind is a bit to flat to read much.


All Delta flights were grounded because the computers were down.

After about an hour wait we were told that the system is slowly coming back up and the flights will be released in a “phased way”.

I wonder what “phase” my connection will be in?

I have a serious appointment on Monday morning.


Okay… this is Zuhlsdorf’s Law, isn’t it.  I get it now.


Still waiting.

I have a backup flight out of MSP for tomorrow morning.   Of course tomorrow morning is when I am supposed to sell my car back to VW.  No, I didn’t wait long for that appointment.


FLIGHT CANCELLED “because of weather”


So this is not going to be good.


They are working “expeditiously”.

Here’s the deal.  They cancelled our flight because of WEATHER.  Right.

So, I put my hands around the necks of a Delta personnel, squeezed forth some travel vouchers, made a call to the poor priests who had to deal with me over the last few days, extracted my bag from the bowels of Delta and…

I now await my return.

I’m really tired.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll tell you of the whole story of helping the hasidim with their luggage while waiting for my ride.   It ended with, “Tank you.  Heer’s a dahlah.”





Posted in On the road, What Fr. Z is up to | Tagged , | 29 Comments

Brick by Brick: D. Venice (FL) – new TLM parish

From a reader:

Today it was announced that Bishop Frank Dewayne of the Diocese of Venice, FL has given permission for a non territorial parish for the Latin Mass. The pastor will be Fr. Stephan DuPre, FSSP. There will be 2 churches, one of which is already built and paid for and one to come. Each church will have 2 priests.

This is a large brick. Please offer prayers for Bishop Dewayne and Fr. Dupre.

Posted in Brick by Brick, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 9 Comments

WDTPRS – 4th Sunday after Epiphany: YOU, weary foot soldier of the Church Militant

This Collect sometimes winds up at the end of the liturgical year, depending on when Easter, and therefore Pentecost, falls.  This year, because Easter is a little later, we have it before Septuagesima.


Deus, qui nos in tantis periculis constitutos pro humana scis fragilitate non posse subsistere: da nobis salutem mentis et corporis; ut ea, quae pro peccatis nostris patimur, te adiuvante vincamus.

I found this prayer in the Hadrianum, Augustodunensis, and the Liber sacramentorum Romanae ecclesiae ordine excarpsus.

Many prayers in the 1962 Missale Romanum survived the snipping and pasting experts brought in by the Consilium under Cardinal Lercaro and Father Bugnini.  Sometimes you can hunt them up pretty easily.  Often prayers conspicuous and repeated on certain Sundays for centuries survived but in an altered form or removed to a remote corner, almost never to be seen again unless you are writing columns on what the prayers really say.

Our L&S shows that constituo is quite complex.  What interests us is its meaning of “to cause to stand, put or lay down, to set, put, place, fix, station, deposit a person or thing somewhere (esp. firmly or immovably), etc. (the act. corresponding to consistere”).  It is thus also a military term, “to station or post troops somewhere, to draw up, set in order”.  When the past participle is used as an adjective, it is “constituted, arranged, disposed; fixed, established”.

On the other hand, in Classical usage subsisto means “to take a stand or position, to stand still, remain standing; to stop, halt”.  It comes to mean especially in military contexts, “to stand firm, hold out; to withstand, oppose, resist”.  In later Latin such as in the Vulgate in the Book of Job it is, “to remain alive”.  Also in late Latin, it is “to stand or hold good, to subsist”.


O God, You who know that we, set in such great dangers, are not able to hold out because of human fragility: grant us health of mind and body; so that, You helping us, we may vanquish those things which we suffer on account of our sins

The juxtaposition of “such great dangers” and nos constituti, with the final word vincamus, suggests immediately the military image of us as being “drawn up in ranks”.  We are, after all, members of the Church Militant.

I once visited the American Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg.  In the museum among the displays designed in the modern style so that people, especially children, can have also a “hands on” experience, there was set up a regular Union soldier’s backpack with musket.  Anyone could try to lift it, to get a sense of the burden, over 60 pounds, the soldier carried at all times.  It was interesting to watch the children, who couldn’t budge it, and the faces of their fathers, trying to conceal effort in front of their children.

The backpack of the ancient Roman legionary, the sárcina, with the usual 17 days of rations, weighed between 95-100 pounds.  St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) often referred to the burden of his duties as bishop as his sarcina.

Our Collect gives us the image of the Christian as soldier, weary in mind and body, in danger both from the elements and the enemy.  We are drawn up in ranks (constituti) at the moment the prayer is uttered by the priest, standing in the front of the ranks like an officer.

We are drawn up facing our great Captain, our King.  Christ the Lord is coming from the liturgical East.  His banner is the Cross.

Because of the Fall of the entire human race, which consisted of our First Parents, we all suffer the wounds of Original Sin.  We have a weaken mind, our intellect and will being clouded and unsure.  Our bodies are subject to disease, age and other difficulties.  The world’s environment itself is out of harmony as a result of the fall.  It is our lot to toil, not just work, by the sweat of our brow.  We are in a world dominated by the Enemy, this world’s “prince” set against us and against the King.  The Enemy will attack us relentlessly, both in covert operations through our memories, thoughts and appetites, through other material means, and through more dramatic assaults.

Without God’s help, we would be lost.

We have our Church and the help of grace.

Christ promised He would be with us to the end of the world and that the Church, to whom He gave His own authority to teach, govern and sanctify us, would in the end vanquish the enemy, who will not prevail.

The Introit invokes the image of captivity (Jeremiah 29, Ps 84). In the Epistle for this Mass, Paul, writing to the Romans (13:8-10) speaks of our weaknesses through which the Enemy attacks us from within and the remedy of true charity, love of self and neighbor.  In the Gospel (Matthew 8), in the little boat with the terrified apostles Christ calms the storm and waters.  The Gradual has us pray about God freeing us from those who hate and afflict us (Ps 43). The Alleluia and Offertory echo our lot: “From the depths I cry to you, O Lord” (Ps 129 – De profundis).  The Secret again speaks of “fragilitas nostra” and asks God for protection from evil.  The Postcommunio makes reference to the allurements of this world as opposed to heavenly things which are true nourishment.

The texts of the whole Mass present a serious, even stark, image of our situation in this vale of tears.

The Mass goer who is attentive to the texts will more than likely engage in a good examination of conscience, provoked by the texts themselves.

At the same time, the texts tell us that though our lot is a hard one, and we are staring out into it from the soldiers and battle lines arrayed for conflict, at the end we, not the Enemy, will be victorious.

With God, we will vanquish (vincamus) whatever afflicts us.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point in the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday Obligation?

Let us know.

For my part, I am preaching at all the Masses at the FSSP parish in Littleton.

Today, taking my cue from the storms and anxiety in the barque of Peter, and from the Gospel account of the Apostles waking up the Lord in the boat during the storm, when waves were breaking over them, I made the point that there is no safe place to be than with Christ in the Church he founded.

If today your are experiencing confusion and anxiety, there are some practical things to do.

First, perhaps follow the news less and get on with living your good Catholic lives.

Second, memorize and recite Acts of Faith, Hope and Charity… often.

Third, study the history of the Church.  There are always been turbulence in the Church, from without and from within.  We have to have perspective.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 28 Comments

SSPX Bp Fellay: We don’t have to wait for everything to be completely satisfactory

A reader sent me a link to Radio Spada which posted that SSPX Superior Bp Fellay said in an interview that it isn’t necessary to wait for reconciliation with the Holy See until the situation is perfect.

Of course the situation in the Church has never been perfect and it never will be.  Hence, this makes sense though it doesn’t say more than it says.

Bp Fellay said that relations now are such that they lack only the “timbro…stamp, seal”.

“Cet accord est possible, selon le supérieur général, sans attendre que la situation ne soit devenue totalement satisfaisante, à ses yeux, dans l’Eglise”,

“Questo accordo è possibile, secondo il superiore generale, senza attendere che la situazione sia diventata totalmente soddisfacente, ai suoi occhi, nella Chiesa” [RS]:

In other words:

This agreement is possible … without waiting for the situation to become completely satisfactory, as we see it, in the Church.

The moderation queue in ON.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Mail from priests, New Evangelization, SSPX, The future and our choices | 39 Comments

A Forty Hours Devotion and Prayers for Priests. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

I am in Denver, preaching for a Forty Hours Devotion following, of course, the Clementine Instruction in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

On Thursday we had a Sung Mass, after which I exposed the Blessed Sacrament, we had a procession, and sang the litany.  Yesterday, we had Low Mass at a side altar, while the Blessed remained exposed.  Tonight we have that rarest of liturgical critters, the Solemn Mass coram Sanctissimo, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed.  I’ve done it once before.  There are lots of little changes to keep the clerics focused.   Wait… I think even rarer might be the Solemn Mass coram Sanctissimo in the presence of the Ordinary.   Yes, such is thing exists.  Maybe we’ll get to do that some day.  But I digress.

In the run up to Forty Hours, I was asked if I had intentions for the Masses.  I chose as intentions, 1) In reparation for sacrilegious Communions, 2) For defense if the priesthood and of priests, 3) For an increase of vocations to the priesthood.   We are not praying about vocations in general, generic vocations.   No.  We are praying for priests.

One of the points I am making in sermons is that time with the Blessed Sacrament, good Holy Communions included, must have concrete results out there in living life.  When Forty Hours developed in the 16th century, so did Confraternities of the Eucharist.  But these confraternities of lay people also clothed and fed the poor, educated orphans, and picked up the dead in the streets and gave them proper burial.  There were social benefits integrally tied to their adoration of the Eucharist.  The benefits were not dreamy.  They were concrete.

So too, in talking about vocations to the priesthood, I stress that while we should pray for an increase of vocations to the priesthood in a general way, we have to pray for vocations here and now among us.  Vocations can’t be someone else’s job to foster.  We all have that task here and now.  Concern for the poor “out there somewhere” is not enough.  Helping the poor right here and now is needed.  Concern for vocations “out there somewhere…”.

I hear from people all over the country about the state of vocations.  Some say that, as things are going now, they can expect 50% of their priests to retire or die in the next 5 years!   They add that there were X (a small number) of ordinations this year and only Y entered the seminary.  In other words: disaster.  Right?

We need more priests.

Furthermore, we need to pray for vocations in our midst, in our homes.  That prayer must constantly ring in the ears of young men in our families, our parishes.

In my home parish we prayed for vocations to the priesthood and religious life at every Sunday Mass using this.  Directly after the Gospel, the people would and the priest or deacon lead this:

In the 33 years that Msgr. Schuler was pastor there, and this prayer was used, there were 30 First Masses.   I’m just sayin’.  Again and again we see that traditional and reverent sacred worship, hard-identity priesthood, an open door, joy and a sense of humor, and lots of prayer draw men to the priesthood.

On this note… the Extraordinary Ordinary, Bp. Morlino of Madison, has been able to foster a large number of vocations for a mostly rural diocese.  How does he do it?  First, he asks men to think about the priesthood.    Duh, right?  He is supportive of his priests and seminarians.  And he says Mass, including the Extraordinary Form, happily and often.  Consider this:

Your Excellencies… THIS is how you do it.

Pray for vocations TO THE PRIESTHOOD.   Sure, go ahead and also pray for vocations for other walks of life too.  Fine.  But, right now, PRAY FOR PRIESTS and for an INCREASE in priestly vocations.

And, parents, grandparents, be willing to offer your children to God for this purpose.  For those of you who are… how to say this with delicacy… stingy, I offer you the example of St. Solomnis, mother of the Seven Holy Maccabee Brothers whom the Church venerates as saints and martyrs. The mother is being tried, tested, by being forced to watch each of here sons executed in different ways, eldest to youngest. She urges them not to give in.

Here is a taste of Ambrose in De Iacob et vita beata II, 12:

The words of the holy woman return to our minds, who said to her sons: “I gave birth to you, and poured out my milk for you: do not lose your nobility.” Other mothers are accustomed to pull their children away from martyrdom, not to exhort them to martyrdom. But she thought that maternal love consisted in this, in persuading her sons to gain for themselves an eternal life rather than an earthly life. And thus the pius mother watched the torment of her sons … But her sons were not inferior to such a mother: they urged each other on, speaking with one single desire and, I would say, like an unfurling of their souls in a battle line.

Everyone, unfurl your sons like battle standards.  Pray for all priests.  Pray for more priests.

Posted in Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments