Recent Posts

Thursday 21 February 2013

Twenty post day

Because I found an Internet connection this late evening into the night, I am putting many things on I could have posted or planned on posting tomorrow. But, I never know when I shall have the Net for sure.

Take your time reading it all. God bless you all.

LifeSiteNews gets better and better-read this

From The Holy See Press Office-The Pope's Schedule

At 9am on Saturday, 23 February, the Holy Father and the Roman Curia will conclude their spiritual exercises. Traditionally, the Pope addresses those present briefly. That day, at 11.30am, he will meet with the President of the Italian Republic Giorgio Napolitano.

On Sunday, 24 February, Benedict XVI will pray the last Angelus of his pontificate with the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square.

On Wednesday, 27 February, Benedict XVI's final general audience will take place in St Peter's Square in the usual fashion, except for his re-entry to the Apostolic Palace, the path of which will wind around the square in the popemobile so that he may greet the many participants who are expected (to date, over 30,000 people have requested tickets).

On 28 February, he will personally greet all the cardinals present in Rome, that is, both those who are resident here and those who have come to the capitol in recent days. There will be no speech. 

Regarding his departure from the Vatican, shortly before 5pm, the Pope will greet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, SDB, in the San Damaso Courtyard and, upon reaching the Vatican heliport, will bid farewell to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. On arrival at Castel Gandolfo he will be received by the president and secretary of the Governorate of Vatican City, the mayor of the town, and other civil authorities and will appear at the balcony of the Apostolic Palace to greet the faithful present.

This is shocking-Dean of Maynoooth Deanery resigns

It may seem illogical to step down as the Dean of the Maynooth Deanery over an issue that is neither specifically my own nor diocesan. However, justice has no frontiers.
In this case it is the disrespectful and unjust treatment of Fr Tony Flannery that moves me to this action.
I would like to thank the Deanery members for electing me on the last two occasions to what is a gender-inclusive and dynamic Deanery. I am indebted to Ellie McKeown (Office of Evangelisation) for her formative and continuing work with the Parish Pastoral Councils of the Deanery. Bishop Raymond Field, the area bishop, has at all times been an encourager of Deanery initiatives. The Archbishop gives confidence to Deaneries to take greater responsibility for witnessing to the Gospel through Deanery co-responisibility in our diocese.
It is extremely distressing and depressing the manner in which Fr Flannery has been dealt with by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. I was ordained nearly 33 years ago and can say with certitude, that if the truth were told, some of his views are shared by many Priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin. It is a sad reflection on the rights of the person and the pre-eminence of conscience that a man of such integrity, kindness and stature is treated in such a manner. Of course, he is not the first and perhaps will not be the last to be thus treated as Rome is a law unto itself.
Fr Timothy Radcliffe, in a recent reflection on the 2nd Vatican Council, spoke of Pope Paul VI’s profound sense of the need for dialogue between the Church and the world but was nervous of enshrining dialogue in the core of its government. We now live in a Church where courage is silenced by fear, and one can only reflect that the Gospel we cherish and struggle to live seems to be a “dead letter” within Vatican bureaucracy.
Fr. John Hassett

The lunatics...yes, an excellent article

Again and again, on infallibility, revelations and such

Ok, I have written on this before, but yet another clarification.

Only the Pope from the Chair of Peter, when he is addressing Faith and Moral is infallible  as well as when he signs and agrees to council documents.

The personal writings of saints are not infallible unless they pertain exactly to what a Pope has declared as infallible.

So, for example, if Padre Pio has a vision, his writings are not infallible.

However, if he writes on a doctrine of the Church already approved by a Pope or a Council and Pope, his words echo an infallible doctrine.

When the Blessed Mother appears to people, the Church decides and approves those apparitions, but not all the saints have to say on those are infallible.

Why is this so hard to understand?

When Mary told Bernadette she was the Immaculate Conception, the Church has already held that position for centuries and  had declared it a dogma in Ineffabilis Deus of 8 December, 1854. Mary named herself the Immaculate Conception AFTER the Pope declared her as such.

Here is the CCC

"The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed,"419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith."420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.

Never has there been a declaration on Faith and Morals made from a vision or a private revelation. All revelation from God ended with the Book of Revelation. That is Church teaching. Here is the section from the CCC.

74 God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth":29 that is, of Christ Jesus.30 Christ must be proclaimed to all nations and individuals, so that this revelation may reach to the ends of the earth:
God graciously arranged that the things he had once revealed for the salvation of all peoples should remain in their entirety, throughout the ages, and be transmitted to all generations.31
75 "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up, commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by the prophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. In preaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel was to be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline."32
In the apostolic preaching. . .
76 In keeping with the Lord's command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:
- orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by the example they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received - whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they had learned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit";33
- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".34
. . . continued in apostolic succession
77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority."35 Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."36
78 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes."37 "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."38
79 The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. And the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."39
One common source. . .
80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."40 Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".41
. . . two distinct modes of transmission
81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."42
"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."43
82 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."44
Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions
83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.
Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

Revelations from saints unless containing doctrine are not infallible. Canonizations are infallible decisions, but not Blesseds or Venerables.

Comments and questions are welcomed.

Apologies to Kavi--I know it is The Daily Mail, but.....

Part 45: DoC--Bernard and perfection:action and contemplation

Quare venisti, Bernardus

When I was in graduate school at Notre Dame, I had this saying on the outside of my dorm door, written in nice calligraphy on elegant paper. This is one of my mottoes as well. Bernard had it above his bed in his cell, to remind him of his first Love, Who is Christ?

Why have you come here, Bernard?

(Just for your information, on the inside of my door, in 1979, I had a list of last minute conversions to Catholicism  such as Wilde, and kept adding to it. I also had a third sign of famous people who were home schooled. I have a long history of supporting causes!)

At any rate, Bernard's question is our question. Why are we here and what are we doing?

Here is Bernard in his own words.

The voice of love, sweetly urges the soul to attend to the things of God. The lover hearkens and hastens to the work of souls. For such is true contemplation  that it not only kindles Divine fire within the spirit, but urges the soul with ardent zeal to gain others also to the love of God. Thus contemplation yields lovingly to action , and in proportion to the gains, returns with ardour to its repose. Again, it enjoys the sweets of inward life, ten reverts with fresh alacrity to a further conquest of souls."  Sermon 57, Canticle of Canticles. 

I know this is a harsh saying, but one is not doing the acts of God and gaining merit until one is in this Illuminative State.

Virtue is in the heart, Redite ad cor,  and if the heart is not pure, there is no virtue in the actions.

Here is more: But amidst these changes (action-contemplation), the soul oftentimes stands in anxieties; fearest lest its affections draw it over much either to the side of contemplation or action, by which it might deflect ever so little from the Divine Will. Peradventure holy Job suffered in this wise when he said: "If I lie down to sleep, I say, When shall I rise? and again I look for the evening." That is, when I rest, I fear to neglect work; and when I work I fear to disturb my rest. See how a holy soul is straitened between the fruits of labour and the respose of contemplation? Same source...

What many Christians and Catholics do is rush headlong into ministries, activities and such, thinking that works will save them, thinking that any work they do for the Church or others is from God and for God.

Not so. This is hard for those in the West, especially Americans and the English to understand.

Works coming out of the purgative stages are tainted by our own sin, mostly pride. The necessity to endure purgation and be purified so that the balance of prayer feeding works is kept is missed my most, which is why most projects in the parish, or Church at large prove to be unfruitful.

Doing is NOT being.

When one is in Christ, when one has allowed Christ to take over the heart, mind, memory, will and soul, then, and only then, is one doing the work of God.

Perfection creates works, works do not create perfection...............To be continued.

Part 44: DoC Series--St. Bernard of Claivaux: "They run quicker to death than we do to life"

As those of you who read my blog know, St. Bernard of Clairvaux is my favourite saint. I discovered him when in a particularly Romantic period of my life was unfolding and he captured my imagination as well as my intellect. His words pierce into my soul, like arrows of love.

I hope in the next few days, when I cover this Cistercian giant, that I can honour him as he deserves, and that you, too, come to appreciate his holiness.

All his brothers and his sister,
(who I wrote about here ),
are Blesseds, as is his father. What an amazing family! Some of my notes on this section of the series were taken when I was in the monastery at Cobh.

Where does one start? With a picture, of course. Bernard was apparently considered a very handsome man in his day, as someone commented on at the time, but it is hard to see from the paintings. I assume his soul shone through his eyes.

Let me start this section of the series with a few brief quotations:

Would, O brothers, that we were as desirous of spiritual goods as seculars are of temporal? We aught, indeed, to desire them more, by how much the more precious they are.  would that we might but equal them! for it is a great, a very great confusion to us to find that they desire pernicious things more ardently than we do things so beneficial. They run quicker to death than we do to life."

Sermon 36 "de Divers"

"Amo ut intelligam", "I love that I may understand" And, note, I already wrote about St. Anselm, but he  said, "Credo ut intelligam",  "I believe that I may understand."  Faith comes first, then Hope, and then, Love. Bernard, shows us the perfection of understanding.

To be continued..............

Can I backtrack without losing you? Part 27b, more from Albert the Great

Albert teaching Aquinas
Well, I found the notes I wanted to add to the Albertus Magnus section on perfection, so here is addendum, Part 27b. If you knew my living situation, you would be surprised I even found this excellent titbit.

"The image of God is in the three powers of the soul, reason, memory, and will. As long as these are not wholly impressed with God, the soul is not deiform, as it was originally made. For God is the form of the soul, and it must be impressed with Him as wax with the seal. But, this is not fully done till the mind is illumined by Divine Knowledge, the will wholly actuated by Divine Love, and the memory absorbed in the possession of eternal happiness. And as the perfect life in heave is the consummate enjoyment of these things, it follows that their commencement here below is our perfection in this life"

De Adhaeredo Deo, 3

The important point here is that we can and must begin this journey to perfection NOW. Also, note that we were made to be in the image and likeness of God, which were lost by Adam. So, it is for us to reclaim that image and likeness through the process of purification. 

St. Bernard states, "We have kept the image, but lost the likeness", which means one has reason, the soul, memory and will, but not grace.

Cooperating with the sacramental life of the Church with regard to grace is our job here on earth.

I need to read more of this magnificent saint. But, on to Bernard............seen here.

Internet interruption and scheduling

I have posts on St. Bernard planned to go on in the wee hours of the morning for me and evening for some in America. However, I am having serious troubles with the Net going on and off and also losing stuff. Therefore, I am going to post these now. If I can have regular service tomorrow, you will get more wonderful writings of St. Bernard.

Huge sunspot developing; from

From Rorate Caeli

Society of Saint Pius X: Benedict XVI to pass on the dossier to successor

Regarding the issue of the Society of St. Pius X, he reaffirmed that the date of 22 February to decide the issue is pure hypothesis and that Benedict XVI has decided to entrust the matter to the next Pope, therefore, a definition of relations with that society should not be expected by the end of this pontificate. (Vatican Information Service)

[Note: the letter and the date mentioned in it, Feb. 22, 2013, are real; it was never called an "ultimatum" by Rorate, though it was by some news organizations.]

St, Esther, pray for us today

‘Remember, Lord; reveal yourself
in the time of our distress.
‘As for me, give me courage,
King of gods and master of all power.
Put persuasive words into my mouth
when I face the lion;
change his feeling into hatred for our enemy,
that the latter and all like him may be brought to their end.
‘As for ourselves, save us by your hand,
and come to my help, for I am alone and have no one but you, Lord. 
Today's Mass, Esther 4:16-17

 St. Esther, pray for the SSPX today.

Just as you had fears before acting for your people, calm the fears of the bishops and priests. Open all hearts to be one, even as You are One, oh God.

Rorate Caeli today on time and the SSPX

Part of the post on it all here

Benedict XVI is leaving. A verification of the lists of papabili - with the exception of Cardinal Ranjith, in Colombo, but who has a small chance precisely due to his Traditionalist sensibility - shows that this "Benedict XVI moment" is a unique occasion for the Society of Saint Pius X.

[...] Rome proposes to them, before the resignation of Benedict XVI is in force on February 28, to sign a final agreement and become a prelature that would give them a dependence from Rome but an independence vis-à-vis the bishops. This letter asks for a response by February 22, feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, a highly symbolic date because it celebrates the foundation of the Church. This is the view expressed in this letter signed by Abp. Müller (who is himself personally opposed to this agreement), but whom Benedict XVI, who named him to this position, asked to work for this unity.

[...] Bp. Fellay faces, therefore, an immense responsibility. Will he be te one who, for fear of the ultras (who will leave him, anyway), refuse a last extended hand by this Pope who, in a certain fashion, spiritually placed his resignation in play also for this agreement? Otherwise what would this letter and these ongoing exchanges mean one week away from the end of the Pontificate?

There is something of the very fate of the Society of Saint Pius X, of their very standing, that is therefore in play. They are used to taking shots. They were even established this way. They can always say that they can bear not being understood one more time with this last refusal. That they can do no other with the credibility and the goodwill that they were able to receive in the Catholic Church, particularly among the young people who are her future. But how could a foundation that has the goal of reviving the identity of the Church knowingly refuse this possibility? How can one be blinded and paralyzed to such a level that one cannot see this clearly? Is not a Pontificate that was almost dedicated to them not enough for them?

Robert Southwell, pray for England, pray for us

Besides the Great Peter Damian, whose writings are highlighted on this blog this week, today is the feast of St. Robert Southwell.

From here, and below, one of his mighty poems....I read his book to his cousin on the death of his young wife, when I was in Cobh last year..very moving and elegant.

 St Robert Southwell (1561-1595)

Robert Southwell was born in 1561. He was born in Norfolk and in due course went to the Catholic college at Douai, in 1580 joining the Society of Jesus. He was a poet and a scholar. His poetry had a profound influence on the moral climate of the age. He soon came to England as a Jesuit missionary, moving from one Catholic family to another, working as a priest. After six years of successful priestly work Southwell was arrested and imprisoned in the gatehouse of Holborn. Transferred to the gatehouse at Westminster, he was so abominably treated that his father petitioned Elizabeth that he might be brought to trial. He was then lodged in the Tower, but he was not brought to trial until February 1595. Much of his poetry was written while in prison. He wrote there: “Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live; Not where I love, but where I am, I die.” On the 10th of February 1595 he was tried before the King’s Bench on the charge of treason. On the following day he was dragged on a hurdle through the streets to Tyburn. There he was allowed briefly to address the people. “I am come hither to play out the last act of this poor life.” He protested his innocence of any treason, and prayed for the salvation of the Queen and country. In the barbaric manner of the time he was due to be hanged, drawn and quartered, but the crowd made such a commotion that he was allowed to die before his body was butchered.

Upon The Image Of Death

Before my face the picture hangs
That daily should put me in mind
Of those cold names and bitter pangs
That shortly I am like to find;
But yet, alas, full little I
Do think hereon that I must die.

I often look upon a face
Most ugly, grisly, bare, and thin;
I often view the hollow place
Where eyes and nose had sometimes been;
I see the bones across that lie,
Yet little think that I must die.

I read the label underneath,
That telleth me whereto I must;
I see the sentence eke that saith
Remember, man, that thou art dust!
But yet, alas, but seldom I
Do think indeed that I must die.

Continually at my bed's head
A hearse doth hang, which doth me tell
That I ere morning may be dead,
Though now I feel myself full well ;
But yet, alas, for all this, I
Have little mind that I must die.

The gown which I do use to wear,
The knife wherewith I cut my meat,
And eke that old and ancient chair
Which is my only usual seat,-
All these do tell me I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.

My ancestors are turned to clay,
And many of my mates are gone;
My youngers daily drop away,
And can I think to 'scape alone?
No, no, I know that I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.

Not Solomon for all his wit,
Nor Samson, though he were so strong,
No king nor person ever yet
Could 'scape but death laid him along;
Wherefore I know that I must die,
And yet my life amend not I.

Though all the East did quake to hear
Of Alexander's dreadful name,
And all the West did likewise fear
To hear of Julius Caesar's fame,
Yet both by death in dust now lie;
Who then can 'scape but he must die?

If none can 'scape death's dreadful dart,
If rich and poor his beck obey,
If strong, if wise, if all do smart,
Then I to 'scape shall have no way.
Oh, grant me grace, O God, that I
My life may mend, sith I must die.

Bishops in Germany Apologize to Benedict XVI

Parce Domine, the punishment for all the dead babies is coming

Parce, Domine, parce populo tuo:
ne in aeternum irascaris nobis.
Spare your people Lord:
Be not angry Lord with your people forever.

Inspired by Fr. Z's podcast today....

Attende Domine, and I learned this as a child....

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.
Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Ad te Rex summe,
omnium Redemptor,
oculos nostros
sublevamus flentes:
exaudi, Christe,
supplicantum preces.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Dextera Patris,
lapis angularis,
via salutis,
ianua caelestis,
ablue nostri
maculas delicti.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Rogamus, Deus,
tuam maiestatem:
auribus sacris
gemitus exaudi:
crimina nostra
placidus indulge.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Tibi fatemur
crimina admissa:
contrito corde
pandimus occulta:
tua, Redemptor,
pietas ignoscat.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Innocens captus,
nec repugnans ductus;
testibus falsis
pro impiis damnatus
quos redemisti,
tu conserva, Christe.

Attende Domine, et miserere, quia peccavimus tibi.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.
Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

To Thee, highest King,
Redeemer of all,
do we lift up our eyes
in weeping:
Hear, O Christ, the prayers
of your servants.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

Right hand of the Father,
way of salvation,
gate of heaven,
wash away our
stains of sin.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

We beseech Thee, God,
in Thy great majesty:
Hear our groans
with Thy holy ears:
calmly forgive
our crimes.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

To Thee we confess
our sins admitted
with a contrite heart
We reveal the things hidden:
By Thy kindness, O Redeemer,
overlook them.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

The Innocent, seized,
not refusing to be led;
condemned by false witnesses
because of impious men
O Christ, keep safe those
whom Thou hast redeemed.

Hear us, O Lord, and have mercy, because we have sinned against Thee.

Inspired by Fr. Z' s podcast today...

Prayers, please and the weather here

Please pray for a French family kidnapped in Cameroon. Four children are part of the family. The group which kidnapped them is either Boko Haram, or a group which broke off from them and is now with Al Qaeda. Lord, have mercy.

The French government told nationals to leave the northern part of the country.

And, it is colder here in Kent, where I am, at 10:28 am than in Edmonton, Canada.  Brrr....

My favourite part of France 24 is the worldwide weather map.

Odd bedfellows-the false and the true

I am finding it very odd that so many traditional Catholics are being led astray by false seers. I have placed, months ago, a list of my posts on the dangers of private revelations.

We have enough to read and follow without being concerned about someone in Ireland or England who claims they are seeing the Virgin Mary. I think the attraction is a combination of intellectual laziness, anti-intellectualism, and the seeking of consolations.

Read, study, think, pray

Here is the Son of God on this point:

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Matthew 7:15–23

"At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. . . . For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect – if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time" Matthew 7: 15-16

 "But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,but only the Father." Matthew 24:36