WDTPRS: 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (Novus Ordo: 2nd Ordinary): a “liturgical unicorn”

COVID-1984 (aka the cursed Wuhan Devil)
Media lies and political collaboration
Mass psychosis formation
Suppression of freedoms
Open persecution of traditional Catholics
Cancel culture in the Church

I can’t think of a time when it was more important to beg God for mercy and aid, now.

In the post-Conciliar calendar, it’s again the Time called “Ordinary”, which is “ordered” not “unexceptional”.  We might say also, “sequential”.

In the traditional calendar of the Extraordinary Form, this is the “Time through the year”, divided into time after Epiphany and time after Pentecost. However, this terminology, “Tempus per annum … time through the year”, remained also in the Novus Ordo calendar.

Ordinary Time embraces the sacral cycle of Lent and Eastertide like bookends and stretches from the adoration of the heavenly infant King by earthly kings to the Solemnity of Christ the King who will come as Judge to separate the tares from the wheat and usher in the unending reign of peace.

This Sunday is what I call a “liturgical unicorn”.  It is rare.  The Collects are the same and, in one year (only), the Gospel is the same (the wedding at Cana).

This Sunday’s Collect, for the Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, is also in the 1962 Missale Romanum for the Second Sunday after Epiphany.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui caelestia simul et terrena moderaris, supplicationibus populi tui clementer exaudi, et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus.

We often ask when we pray in Latin that God will pay attention, usually by “hearing” us. Exaudio signifies “listen to” in the sense of “perceive clearly.” The imperative exaudi is more urgent than a simple audi (the imperative of audio, not the car). Think of the beginning of one of our Litanies: “Christe audi nos… Christe exaudi nos…” often translated as “Christ hear us… Christ graciously hear us.”

For the ancient Romans a supplicatio was a solemn religious ceremony in thanksgiving for a victory or prayer in the face of danger. It is related to supplex, an adjective for the position of a beggar, on bended knees or prostration.

Tempus obviously means “time”. It also means “the appointed time, the right season, an opportunity (Greek kairos)”. Tempus gives us “temporal”, that is, worldly or earthly things, material things, as opposed to sacred, eternal or spiritual. Plural tempora can also mean the “temples” of our heads, as well as “the times”, our “state of affairs”.

Almighty eternal God, who at the same time do govern things heavenly and earthly, mercifully hearken to the supplications of Your people, and in our temporal affairs grant Your peace.

Lest we forget…

Father of heaven and earth,
hear our prayers, and show us the way
to peace in the world


Almighty ever-living God,
who govern all things,
both in heaven and on earth,
mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times.

We beg God, omnipotent sempiternal disposer of all things, for peace in our temporal affairs here and now, not just later in heaven. We do not want just any peace. We want the peace which comes from Him.

Christ said:

“Peace I leave with you: my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, do I give unto you. Let not your heart be troubled: nor let it be afraid” (John 14:27 DR).

Christians are confident. Christ will give us His peace. He said so.

But He won’t force peace on us.

The temporal peace the world offers and the peace that God bestows are different, though they can be harmonized when the temporal is subordinated to the heavenly.

The goods (and ills) of this world are passing and fragile, always susceptible to loss. The goods of heaven are enduring and dependable.

No finite, passing, created thing or person can provide lasting joy or eternal peace: they will be lost through theft and wear, time and death.

Our wealth, family, health, appearance and reputation can be lost in the blink of an eye.

Sigh.  I am going through that right now, as a matter of fact.

To put a creature in God’s place is foolhardy idolatry and a sin. Love God, above all. Practice making His will your own. As Piccarda tells Dante in the Divine Comedy,

“In His will is our peace. It is that sea to which all things move, both what it creates and what nature makes” (Par 3.85).

God knew each one of us outside of time, before the creation of both the visible and invisible universe. He called us into existence at a precise moment in His eternal plan. He gives us all something to do in His plan together with the talents and graces to do it. When we cooperate with Him, submit our wills to His, make His plan for us our own, God then makes us strong enough to carry it out. God knows our needs better than we do. Turn confidently to Him in prayer. Ask Him for the graces, and with them peace, which He alone can give.

Sin shatters His peace. Peace can be regained in the Sacrament of Penance.

We ask God to bless us in this new year of salvation. Let us beg Him to give aid to all who suffer.  Let us beg Him to give aid to all who cause suffering.

With bent knees and with foreheads to the ground, bodies and wills both bent in supplication, beg His graces and His peace.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Pingback: WDTPRS: 2nd Sunday after Epiphany (Novus Ordo: 2nd Ordinary): a “liturgical unicorn” – Via Nova Media

  2. Fr. Reader says:

    Unicorns are really rare. I have never seen one.

  3. Fr. Reader says:

    This is still my favourite section of the blog. Thank you very much fr.

  4. Thanks for that. I sometimes hesitate to post these, since rather few comment.

  5. Chuck4247 says:

    It is good to see these posts Father, even if it is disheartening to learn what we’ve lost…

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    “Christians are confident. Christ will give us His peace. He said so. But He won’t force peace on us.”

    Good point, salvation requires cooperation. Cooperation means effort. In other words, “faith without works is dead.”

    One example of persisting at work. In Virginia the newly elected Governor Youngkin signed executive orders banning Critical Rac(ist) Theory, rescinding the “vaccine” mandate for state employees, and authorizing parents, not hipster school boards, to decide if their children will wear a mask. The new Attorney General fired thirty “civil rights” employees and opened an investigation into the scandalous Loudon County School Board. So, the “culture war” continues. Given our fallen nature it will never be decided decisively one way or the other until the Last Day. Yes, this conflict can be a bit daunting at times, but, to paraphrase Seneca: Virtue dies without Adversity.

    “The temporal peace the world offers and the peace that God bestows are different…”

    Good point. To make a finer distinction: the “temporal peace” sought by political, educational and religious tyrants is an ill-willed effort to anesthetize men, women and children against the truths of Life and Death, of Heaven and Hell. In the minds of these decadent leaders and their followers they do not have Adversaries that strengthen and test their virtues, rather they look around and see Scapegoats upon whom they release their disordered emotions and ambitions.

    Wisdom 2: For not thinking rightly, they said among themselves: Brief and troubled is our lifetime; there is no remedy for our dying…For by mere chance we were born… Come, therefore, let no meadow be free from our wantonness; everywhere let us leave tokens of our merriment…

    Well, they have been leaving plenty of “tokens” lately.

    “…though they can be harmonized when the temporal is subordinated to the heavenly.”

    Unfortunately, given our fallen nature, that harmony will be a matter of contention (who decides harmony and who enforces harmony) until the Last Day. As the bloody Twentieth Century demonstrated, a harmony on earth created by a king, queen, president, prime minister, pope, theocrat, or glory-seeking political zealot will remain elusive. Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest; and on earth peace to men of good will.

    Only Holy Mass provides a glimpse of our Eternal Home. And, at the end of Mass the Last Gospel sends us back out to the vineyards to be laborers “worthy of our hire.”

    “The goods (and ills) of this world are passing and fragile, always susceptible to loss. The goods of heaven are enduring and dependable.”

    Indeed. Concerning that fragility and dependability, and our current predicament as listed in the first paragraph above (to which election fraud and the Afghanistan debacle and resulting bloodshed could be added), a medical doctor, Joseph Warren, observed shortly before his death at the Battle of Breed’s Hill in 1775 (quoted in Matthew Spalding’s helpful 2009 book “We Still Hold These Truths”):

    Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful; but we have many friends determined to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question on which rests the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.

    Now that is confidence. Also, an appeal to the virtues and a recognition of a debt to the dead and an obligation to the unborn.

    Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Harmony is a noble goal, a worthy endeavor. Though expectations must be managed, we are imperfect humans with individual aspirations and personalities. All of us are susceptible to cognitive dissonance, ignorance and malice.

    Illustrating this is one Luma Simms of the “Ethics and Public Policy Center.” Here are excerpts from blog posts at EPPC and “First Things.” The first excerpt is from last November:

    “There are three strong convictions held by all the Christians from that region [the Middle East, more specifically Iraq], whether they stayed or left; three unwavering thoughts that Westerners and Americans in particular often find incomprehensible. First, they really didn’t mind living under the secular dictators.”

    Displaying a disordered perception of reality in a monotonous harangue which includes support for an evil dictator who used WMDs against his own people and barbarously murdered and tortured many more human beings is typical these days for a certain type of commenter.

    Here is Simms again, in 2018:

    “In 1977 my parents came to the difficult conclusion that there was no future for them and their children in Iraq. Under the guise of vacation we left for Greece…”

    Combine these two pieces of toxic writing and the craven malice speaks for itself. May God heal her intellect and soul.

    The problems of the world begin with us, Christian and non-Christian alike.

  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Cooperation with God should have priority over “accompaniment” and “fraternity.”

    Ed Pentin recently compared quotes from the “walking together” dictators of Communist China and the Pachamama Vatican: “The Similar Global Visions of China’s President Xi Jinping and Pope Francis”:


    A link at the end of that article leads to another Ed Pentin article: “Why Did Vatican II Ignore Communism?”:

    “In a 2007 book called The Metz Agreement, veteran French essayist Jean Madiran gathers a number of sourced claims, testifying that a deal was hatched during Soviet-arranged secret talks in 1962. The meeting, Madiran says, took place in Metz, France, between Metropolitan Nikodim, the Russian Orthodox Church’s then-“foreign minister,” [today its pro-Putin Metropolitan Hilarion] and Cardinal Eugene Tisserant, a senior French Vatican official. Metropolitan Nikodim was, according to Moscow archives, a KGB agent.”

    Today, some of the alt-Right or “New Right” (which actually combines hybrid Left-Right and Strongman politics) are flirting with the Russian Orthodox Church. Perhaps they think joining the Russian Orthodox Church fulfills their need for a Strongman, or maybe they’re just enraged by Biden and GW Bush, and thus entranced by Putin’s hybrid Left-Right and Strongman politics and by the Russian Church with its stern long-bearded men. Perhaps they’re acting out of a fit of pique, or from panic over the current crisis which is in fact Putin’s creation, or maybe they are venting their rage against “depraved culture” in the West.

    Sure, there are obviously problems in the West, but there are problems everywhere in the world. Surrendering to, or at least collaborating with, the Russian Church and Putinism will not solve their personal problems. Closer inspection will reveal that Russia also has serious religious, cultural and political problems. These folks appear unaware that the Russian Church was previously controlled by the KGB, is now largely controlled by Putin, and its priests have blessed Putin’s nuclear weapons.

    Interestingly, last Sunday Catholic podcaster Taylor Marshall, who not long ago aired podcasts titled “Heresy of Ecumenism,” “Tower of Babel Ecumenism,” “Are Catholics Losers?” and who is certainly aware of Fatima and the Errors of Russia, stated that while he “doesn’t approve it” he “understands” those like “Cernovich” who have an attraction to the Russian Orthodox Church. Marshall also last Sunday promoted a book by Russian Orthodox priest Seraphim Rose titled “Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future.” Apparently, Marshall has reconsidered, okay that happens, and “Ecumenism” is no longer a heresy.

    These new developments will be interesting to observe as they evolve. Just last autumn the “integralists” were parroting Chinese Communist propaganda, and late last Saturday night (and a few other times in the last week according to these printouts) Jack Posobiec was parroting Kremlin disinformation. Well, that’s not good, but that does happen on occasion.

    God willing, this is merely a temporary straying by these gentlemen from the path of Faith and Reason. And, these gentlemen should kindly consider converting to decaf.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    *chuckle* Here’s another candidate for conversion to decaf. Jason Morgan an “assistant professor in foreign studies” last week writing something rather unusual at “Crisis” magazine.

    “By many accounts (including his own), Putin is a Christian man leading a Christian people. There is enormous strength [Strength! The Triumph of the Will! Hearken to Morgan’s Words!] that flows from this – geopolitical and, yes, otherwise.”

    Yes? No. Well-documented for many years is Putin’s persecution of non-Russian Orthodox Christians. Since many media Catholics refuse to acknowledge facts and reality these days, Morgan would benefit by reading Protestant publications such as Christianity Today, or Commentary magazine, for insight on the Ukraine. Sure, there’s room for debate on the finer points, but here’s one article selected at random from last week, Ukrainian Baptists making preparations:


    Back to Morgan.

    “NATO is a strange, foreign name…”

    *chuckle* NATO has been around since 1949, one would think an “assistant professor of foreign studies” would know why, and not be befuddled by its existence.

    “If NATO is rejiggered and hollowed-out Christendom, then the globalist-run militarist monstrosity in the Pentagon is a devil that never had religion in the first place.”

    Morgan is confusing NATO and the EU. Morgan than dons a tie-dyed T-shirt with a BLM slogan, hits the bong water and belches, “the Pentagon is the devil.” One wonders if Morgan will go berserk when he learns about Pachamama and occult rituals at the Vatican.

    One more look at this strong contender for the First Annual Rod Dreher Unhinged Rant Award by Morgan, the Big Finish Last Paragraph:

    “This deracinated Christendom tag-teaming with a pentagram-shaped war machine [Very Scary for Morgan, who hasn’t bothered researching why the Pentagon building, hastily built during WW II, is shaped like a Pentagon], the pair [according to the frenzied Morgan: NATO and the Pentagon] enervated by nihilism and depravity, and in the thrall of a hateful and destructive ideology, is now proposing to go up against a Christian powerhouse [a Russian Orthodox and Putin regime “powerhouse”- not a Christian one] with a score to settle with history [the only lucid moment in this piece of writing is Morgan’s recognition of Putin’s interest in Evil Empire revanchism].

    Morgan, at the word “depravity,” provides a link to an Italy24News article about an internal Catholic Church matter, which in Morgan’s fevered mind must be the fault of NATO and the Pentagon. Heh, everyone knows it’s actually the fault of Vinz Clortho and the Gatekeeper of Gozer. Anyway, word on the street is Comrade Morgan will soon be awarded the Order of Lenin at a sumptuous vodka-fueled banquet complete with caviar and dancing bears.

    Well, enough of these hijinks. Morgan should calm down, pick up a Bible and a few good books on NATO and Russia, talk to a few intelligent people, use power tools only under supervision, and, seriously, stay hydrated. Good luck.

  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Another candidate for decaf presents himself: Patrick Deneen, a political science professor at Notre Dame.

    Deneen is an acolyte of Harvard Law Professor Adrian Vermeule (Vermeule, a recent Catholic convert, is an acolyte of Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmitt). Deneen and Vermeule belong to a political-religious sect known as “integralism” which aims to integrate Church and State and then rule by “coercion.” Integralism originated in 19th-century Europe as “Throne and Altar” theocracy. The current recrudescence of integralism in the U.S. dates back only a few years, an unpleasant import from Europe like Greta Thunberg, Prince Harry and strange German art films.

    Integralists such as Deneen and Vermeule agitate for transforming the U.S. into a theocracy in which, among other things, Catholic bishops rule the land with an iron fist (amusing, given the secular nature of most Catholic bishops these days), Protestants are burned at the stake and Jewish children are kidnapped and baptized. These “integralists” now hide behind the label of “post-liberals”- meaning that literally everyone who has not evolved into an integralist or post-liberal is still a lowly liberal.

    Several days ago Deneen wrote a brief essay titled, no really, “Why They Hate Us.” Deneen, your humble servant, invites the reader into his bewitching world. There are spectres haunting the land, such as Libertarians and Reaganites. But the most terrifying of all, perched at twilight high on a rocky outcrop leering down with fangs dripping blood, is the Gentry Liberal Class. Deneen holds up a torch in the gloom for the reader to see better. Deneen gesticulates wildly, cajoling then demanding the reader attend to the plight of the post-liberal, doomed to wander the earth misunderstood and hated.

    Given that post-liberals rage against the American Founding (“$#!&@ Protestants!”), and at times repeat Nazi, Chinese Communist and Putin talking points, Deneen’s persecution-complex title “Why They Hate Us” is a bit more understandable: post-liberals are not particularly likable people (their regular outbursts and ill will on social media are well-known). Though, hate does require a lot of energy, and who has time for that in this economy? Perhaps, Deneen could consider more accurate titles such as “Why They Are Repelled By Us” or “Why They Hide Their Children Inside As We Approach.”

    Anyway, you know who else would understand Deneen’s “Why They Hate Us” title? That’s right, Adolf Hitler. Here we go, from Mein Kampf:

    “Our movement was founded a few years ago from nothing. Today it is impressive enough to
    be bitterly persecuted by every enemy of our people.”

    In his brief essay Deneen scoffs at “think-tank zombies” and their sub-par intellects. Hmm, sounds familiar, here’s Hitler:

    “On the other hand, the representatives of the
    majority or the stupid hate nothing more than a superior brain.”

    Deneen lashes out against “old Republican” and “old economic theories.” And, watch out, here come those zombies again: “The old battle lines are still there – living like zombies in the desiccated institutional landscape.”

    That rings a bell…yep, Mein Kampf:

    “I experienced a deep feeling of social responsibility to establish a better system for our development. I knew it would require brutal determination to destroy this human
    outgrowth which had no chance of being preserved and corrected. Nature does not focus on
    preserving what exists; nature concentrates on breeding a new generation to perpetuate
    the species. It is almost impossible for man to improve those bad things that exist in society,
    but it is much easier to create healthier paths from the start.”

    More from Deneen about the post-liberal ubermensch and everyone-else zombies:

    “…post-liberalism has a distinctly noble pedigree, a heritage that is now being articulated forcefully by a growing number of philosophers, theologians, lawyers, journalists, and public intellectuals.”

    In his “growing number of…” Deneen forgot about the “working class,” for which he and his fellow beer hall comrades claim to be the saviors. In his brief essay Deneen mentions the working class five times (e.g. “despair among the white-working class”). Karl Marx, Lenin and Hitler also claimed to be saviors of the working class, then promptly forgot about workers, except to coerce them, once in power. Deneen, a political science professor, is reminded that Nazi is shorthand for National Socialist German Workers Party.

    Deneen once more:

    “Our little project – The Postliberal Order – is an exercise in reminding people not only that a non-liberal tradition and electorate exists, but that it is superior [this word in italics] to the dehumanizing, fragmenting, and deracinating experience of liberalism.”

    Deneen’s 2018 book “Why Liberalism Failed” was endorsed by Barack Obama. The “Liberalism” Deneen hates includes the American Founding and the U.S. Constitution.

    Deneen closes his brief essay with:

    “The future is postliberal.”

    The ambitions of Deneen and Co. are no longer a “little project.”


    “My faith was
    strengthened by the dream of a future that would become a reality after all.”

    And what a nightmare those theoretical, angry, pompous, delusional, anti-Christian and inhumane musings of Adolf Hitler turned out to be. The bewitching world of Karl Marx exists today for quite a few “philosophers, theologians, lawyers, journalists, and public intellectuals.”

    G.K. Chesterton:

    “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.”

    Fr. Richard John Neuhaus:

    “In the absence of Truth, power is the only game in town.”

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