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Sunday 23 June 2013

Pat Buchanan on the Balkanization of America

We did not last long as a nation, did we?

A Strange Question and a Clarification on Waters

"The episcopal blessing, the aspersion of holy water, every sacramental unction, prayer in a dedicated church, and the like, effect the remission of venial sins, implicitly or explicitly" (Summa III, Q. lxxxvii, a. 3, ad 1um).

Is Lourdes or Walsingham water holy water?

The answer is NO.

Only water blessed by a Catholic priest is holy water, which is a sacramental and gives a partial indulgence.

Sacramentals help us daily, and remit venial sin, but only as ordered by the Church. Sacramentals can also drive away demons, as holy water, for example, is exorcised by the priest and added with exorcised salt. But, it is forbidden for the laity to exorcise or cast out demons with holy water in any sort of prayer without being with a priest who is an exorcist and unless those lay people are appointed by a bishop as part of an exorcist team. The holy water keeps demons away and my parents, for example, had holy water fonts in each child's bedroom on the wall.

Mary is not a priest. Priests have powers Mary does not have, like changing the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ or forgiving sins and granting absolution. She gave us the Bread from Heaven in the Child Christ, but Christ instituted the Eucharist and Confession and all the sacraments for the priesthood alone.

Sometimes Catholics and Anglicans do not understand Mary's role in the Church. She is the Mother of God, not a priest. She cannot bless water to make it holy. The priest is the Alter Christus, the Other Christ.

Mary cannot and does not bless water. Her water at Lourdes, and some say there is Fatima water, is not holy water, not sacramental.

Lourdes water was given for healing purposes only and is her gift for healing. This water is not a sacramental, which like all sacramentals, comes under the jurisdiction of the Vatican, through the Pope, to the bishops and priests.

In cases of emergency, ordinary water may be used for baptism and if you have Lourdes water around, that would be ordinary water not holy water.

Thanks to Wiki for photo

The wells at Walsingham, according to my research of old sources, were dug by Richeldis' son for the use of the pilgrims. The springs were already there and people knew about them. Even if Mary has something to do with the waters, which I cannot determine by sources, it still would not be holy.

Therefore, there is nothing holy about the water in the Anglican Shrine in Walsingham and remember, Anglican priests do not have Holy Orders and therefore, the water is not blessed if they bless it. They have no more power to bless water than I do. Pray for Walsingham, as there is much confusion there.

I add the rite for the blessing of holy water from

Some minor changes have been made in this rite, such as the omission of certain words, putting salt into the water only once, and the use of the short conclusion for the orations (see "Ephemerides Liturgicae" 75 [1961] 426). The holy-water font is a counterpart of the baptismal font; and the sacramental use of holy water is related to the great sacrament of water, baptism. Easter is the day par excellence for baptism, and every Sunday is a little Easter. Consequently, on the Lord's day the Church blesses water to be used in the ceremony of renewal of baptism, for as often as she sprinkles us with the blessed water a sign is given us of that sacrament which once bestowed the gift of life. The rubrics direct that the water may be blessed either in the church proper or in the sacristy. For the edification of the people it might be well to perform this blessing in the sight of the people, at least occasionally. The practice of putting salt into the water comes no doubt from the incident of the miraculous cure of the poisonous well (see 4 Kings 2.19-21), where the prophet Eliseus used salt to purify the water of the well.
1. On Sundays, or whenever this blessing takes place, salt and fresh water are prepared in the church or in the sacristy. The priest, vested in surplice and purple stole, says:
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
2. The exorcism of salt follows: God's creature, salt, I cast out the demon from you by the living + God, by the true + God, by the holy + God, by God who ordered you to be thrown into the water- spring by Eliseus to heal it of its barrenness. May you be a purified salt, a means of health for those who believe, a medicine for body and soul for all who make use of you. May all evil fancies of the foul fiend, his malice and cunning, be driven afar from the place where you are sprinkled. And let every unclean spirit be repulsed by Him who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.
All: Amen.
Let us pray.

Almighty everlasting God, we humbly appeal to your mercy and goodness to graciously bless + this creature, salt, which you have given for mankind's use. May all who use it find in it a remedy for body and mind. And may everything that it touches or sprinkles be freed from uncleanness and any influence of the evil spirit; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Exorcism of the water:

God's creature, water, I cast out the demon from you in the name of God + the Father almighty, in the name of Jesus + Christ, His Son, our Lord, and in the power of the Holy + Spirit. May you be a purified water, empowered to drive afar all power of the enemy, in fact, to root out and banish the enemy himself, along with his fallen angels. We ask this through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is coming to judge both the living and the dead and the world by fire.
All: Amen.
Let us pray.

O God, who for man's welfare established the most wonderful mysteries in the substance of water, hearken to our prayer, and pour forth your blessing + on this element now being prepared with various purifying rites. May this creature of yours, when used in your mysteries and endowed with your grace, serve to cast out demons and to banish disease. May everything that this water sprinkles in the homes and gatherings of the faithful be delivered from all that is unclean and hurtful; let no breath of contagion hover there, no taint of corruption; let all the wiles of the lurking enemy come to nothing. By the sprinkling of this water may everything opposed to the safety and peace of the occupants of these homes be banished, so that in calling on your holy name they may know the well-being they desire, and be protected from every peril; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

3. Now the priest pours the salt into the water in the form of a cross, saying:

May this salt and water be mixed together; in the name of the Father, and of the Son, + and of the Holy Spirit.
All: Amen.

P: The Lord be with you.

All: May He also be with you.
Let us pray.

God, source of irresistible might and king of an invincible realm, the ever-glorious conqueror; who restrain the force of the adversary, silencing the uproar of his rage, and valiantly subduing his wickedness; in awe and humility we beg you, Lord, to regard with favor this creature thing of salt and water, to let the light of your kindness shine upon it, and to hallow it with the dew of your mercy; so that wherever it is sprinkled and your holy name is invoked, every assault of the unclean spirit may be baffled, and all dread of the serpent's venom be cast out. To us who entreat your mercy grant that the Holy Spirit may be with us wherever we may be; through Christ our Lord. All: Amen.

4. On Sundays after the water is blessed and before Mass begins the celebrant sprinkles the altar, himself, the ministers, and the people as prescribed in the Missal and in the ceremony of the Ritual given below.

5. Christ's faithful are permitted to take holy water home with them to sprinkle the sick, their homes, fields, vineyards, and the like. It is recommended too that they put it in fonts in the various rooms, so that they may use it to bless themselves daily and frequently.

For a discussion on the new and old rites of holy water, see Fr. Z's blog here.

Readings for the Vigil Mass of the Birth of John the Baptist

As Catholics, we only celebrate the birthdays of three important people in the liturgical year: Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, Mary His Mother, and John the Baptist. Here are only two of the readings for the Vigil Mass, which could have been said this evening after Vespers... 

I am sorry my parish is not having a Mass tomorrow, as I love John the Baptist very much. I shall post some of the readings for his birthday tomorrow.

 Jeremiah 1:4-10

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
Before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee, and made thee a prophet unto the nations.
And I said: Ah, ah, ah, Lord God: behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.
And the Lord said to me: Say not: I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee: and whatsoever I shall command thee, thou shalt speak.
Be not afraid at their presence: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
And the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth: and the Lord said to me: Behold I have given my words in thy mouth:
10 Lo, I have set thee this day over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root up, and pull down, and to waste, and to destroy, and to build, and to plant

Luke 1:5-17

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zachary, of the course of Abia; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.
And they were both just before God, walking in all the commandments and justifications of the Lord without blame.
And they had no son, for that Elizabeth was barren, and they both were well advanced in years.
And it came to pass, when he executed the priestly function in the order of his course before God,
According to the custom of the priestly office, it was his lot to offer incense, going into the temple of the Lord.
10 And all the multitude of the people was praying without, at the hour of incense.
11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the alter of incense.
12 And Zachary seeing him, was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
13 But the angel said to him: Fear not, Zachary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John:
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness, and many shall rejoice in his nativity.
15 For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine nor strong drink: and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb.
16 And he shall convert many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias; that he may turn the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare unto the Lord a perfect people.

Oldest Monastery in the Holy Land Decaying

France 24 is worth following...

Very Interesting WAPO Article on NSA Leaks

Fulton J. Sheen on Contraception

Thanks to my tweeter buddies for sending this around today...

On the supposed virtue of anti-intellectualism

With the assistance of Reason, the priests are saved and remain strong and uninjured in the battle. Only a few of them feel the lance of Greed and they are only scratched. Most infamous pestilence that Greed is, she is astounded to see her spears turned away so neatly from her enemies' throats.

And, I state that sloppiness is Sloth.

In the past 30 months, I have had the sad experience of meeting some priests who are anti-intellectual and think it a virtue. These priests, and they number four, are into private revelations, either directly or indirectly involved in charismatic renewal and have an attitude of not going by the book in liturgy, all of these things which they consider virtues.

The problem is, obviously, there seminary training. Three were trained in American seminaries and one in an English seminary.

I cannot speak with them on the level of rational discourse. They are, simply, not interested.

Their attitudes will lead people astray and continue this emphasis on experience in the spiritual life as something over and above the hard work of purification and the virtues.

I am concerned and have registered my concern, to no effect and therefore, have backed off. It is interesting that they are now all working in the same diocese.

Reason has been denigrated in some seminaries. Three of these men have not studied Thomas Aquinas or the other heavy weights in philosophy. They have studied Blessed John Paul II, but take ALL his actions and words as infallible. Oh dear....they do not take GIRM seriously and two out of the four "hate" the Latin Mass. They either have said so bluntly, or act accordingly. I do not understand. Thinking is part of the spiritual life and critical thinking is taking ownership of one's own mind and soul. Emphasizing the experience of religion does not bring one to maturity and obedience.

And from

“I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”
St. John Chrysostom, Extract from St. John Chrysostom, Homily III on Acts 1:12.

“The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
St. Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325 attributed.

It is interesting that Prudentius has Reason fighting Greed. And, I am finding that Greed may be the impetus behind the words and actions, some of which are totally irresponsible, of these four priests. They want position, status, although they would deny this, and popularity. All are in ministries where they are nationally known. This is not good. They point to the case I have made that if one is not orthodox and not in purgation, one is not doing God's work.

One told me to my face that he did not believe in obedience and disregarded it as "not his thing". As a priest in an order, this is serious. Indeed, three of the four priests are in orders. Another said he would not speak against contraception.

Like the famous and most likely false prayer of the Jew, "Thank God, I am not a woman," I say, "Thank God  I am not a priest who does not value the rational." I do pray for priests, but I am not going to pretend we are not in a crisis in the Church regarding the priesthood. I also pray for seminarians, that they may get good, solid, orthodox training.

All who are honest and truthful need to pray in truth and not in sentimentality. We must correct and pray for correction, as souls will go to hell because of priests who do not think like Mother Church or Christ.

“Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, II, q. 33, a. 4, Sed Contra.

The Virtues which Defeat the Vices with the Help of Prudentius

  In my examination of Aquinas on the cardinal or deadly sins and the cardinal virtues, I shall use other sources as well. Today, I am using an allegory, one of the earliest in existence in the Christian literary tradition.

The Virtues in the Pyschomachia from

In the 4th century poem Psychomachia, the Catholic poet Prudentius wrote an allegory showing the virtues battling with the vices. In this interesting and ancient dialogue, the poet used verse for teaching. For my Latin scholars who read this blog, here is the Latin original. The entire English translation is found at this site.

The antidote to Sloth,  according to Prudentius, is the virtue called Diligence, which may be seen as connected to Justice, Prudence and Temperance. Diligence is zeal for the Faith and industry-hard work, in other words. What I really like about the poem is the relentless attacks, which show the reader that one cannot take a break in the spiritual life. Sloth here is Indulgence, not mere laziness, because one indulges one's self in not doing...and in not praying.

Here is a bit from the poem and more later:

From the far edges of the world, where the sun sets, comes their enemy, Indulgence. Reputation means nothing to her, for it is already lost. Her curls are perfumed, her restless eyes are not still her voice is languid and bored. She fives for pleasure, she wants all feelings to be calm and gentle, she finds delight in her unlawful games and she tries to destroy her mind by making it more feeble. As she arrives on the scene she is lazily belching because of a long feast she has just left. She comes with dawn because she has heard the trumpets calling her to fight. She leaves the cups of warm wine and her dizzy feet slip as she walks through puddles of wine and perfume; her bare feet crush the flowers on the pavement: drunkenly she goes off to war. in her chariot her beauty- inspires the army of her compatriots. It is a strange battle: she does not shoot arrows from her bow, no lances are hurled at the enemy's lines, she holds no sword. Rather she throws baskets of violets and roses and scatters blossoms over her fierce enemy. The virtues are won by her charms. Her sweetened breath dilutes their manly courage, her strong odours strike their lips and he" so that their iron-clad strength is crushed.
Their courage fails; surely they have been defeated. They put down their spears and their feeble hands are still while they gaze at the chariot in which she came. They stare at the gold-encrusted tinkling harness and they are awed by the axle of solid gold. The costly spokes, made of purest silver, support the wheel's bright rim which is made of precious amber. As this happens, the entire army suddenly finds itself pervaded with an intense desire to surrender. More than anything else they hope to abandon their standards and become the slaves of luxurious Indulgence. They welcome the yoke of a dissolute mistress and the tavern's law. Sobriety, a virtue with a strong will, weeps at the sight of such a reverse. She weeps because an invincible army has been defeated without a battle, but she is a good general.
She plants her flags where each one can see and restores their courage with a speech: 'What blind madness troubles your confused minds? What is the fate you are seeking? To whom have you pledged allegiance? Are these fetters? You are men of iron, how can flowers restrain you? These yellow bouquets with white lilies, these circlets of red flowers, is it by these that your strong hands, trained in the iron arts of warfare, will be bound? Must you now have your, hair wrapped in a gold turban with a band to soak the perfume? Are these the heads that once were anointed with oil in the King's sign, a sign that guaranteed his eternal favour? Is it your purpose to walk sedately and sweep your paths with expensive hems? Where is the tunic woven by Faith and given as a protection to the young hearts which she had already renewed?
You will be busy: you will attend great banquets that last through the night; huge foaming tankards. will spill wine and costly dishes will drip on the board; your couches will be soaked with drink and, their silk emblems will still be wet with yesterday's dew. Remember the thirst in the desert; remember the water that gushed from the side of the rock when the prophet's staff struck the stone and made a spring where there was none. Were your fathers' tents not filled with heavenly food? Was this food not like that which Christ gives us. today? After such a feast, can you let Drunkenness and Wantonness take you to the den of Indulgence? You are an army that has survived every threat. Neither the fury of Wrath nor Idolatry could halt you, but a drunken dancer has -you now.
'Do not go, I beg you. Remember who you are: remember Christ, who is our all powerful King; consider your people and your reputation; do not forget our Lord and our God. You are sons of Judah, your line reaches back to God's mother who gave flesh to the Son of God. Be awakened by the memory of David who never sought relief from the burden of war. Consider, too, Samuel who forbade his men to touch the booty they had seized in battle and who executed uncircumcised kings as soon as they were taken. He was afraid that if the captive survived he might again bring to them the ravages of war. He thought it wrong even to make them prisoners. You, on the other hand, desire to be conquered. Repent of your wish to pursue this pleasant sin; I beg of you, by the fear of God's justice, repent. If you beg his kind forgiveness your betrayal will not destroy you. Jonathan repented when he broke his long fast with a piece of honeycomb: intrigued by a wish to be king, he was careless, but he repented of that deed and we rejoice because his cruel fate did not occur. Come with me; do battle under the flag of Sobriety and all of the virtues will join me in forcing that vice, Indulgence, to pay the great penalty which she earned by tempting you to abandon Christ!

The Vices in Battle from the same source as above, 1170 Strasbourg MS

Honoring the Patron of This Blog-St. Etheldreda--On Her Feastday

St. Etheldreda,
Abbess of Ely
(AD 636-679)

Etheldreda - or, more properly, Ethelthrith - was the third and most celebrated of the saintly daughters of King Anna of East Anglia, by his wife, Saewara. Anna was of the family of the Uffingas, descendants of the Norse God, Odin. He was a Christian who did much for the conversion of his own kingdom, and that of Wessex, his chief enemy being the savage Penda, heathen King of Mercia.
Etheldreda was born at Exning in Suffolk, around AD 636, and was brought up in an atmosphere of piety. It was her ambition to be a nun like her sisters, but she was destined not to attain this goal until she had been twice married. In AD 652, she was given, against her will to, Tondbert, King of South Gyrwe, an East Anglian subkingdom in the Fens. As part of their marriage settlement, Tondbert gave his wife an estate then called Elge, and afterwards Ely. Tondbert, either respecting and sympathising with her monastic vocation or regarding her with indifference, allowed Etheldreda to live as a nun during the three years of their marriage. During that time, her father, King Anna, was defeated and killed by Penda of Mercia (AD 654), and was succeeded by his brother, Aethelhere.
After the deaths of her husband and father, Etheldreda settled on her personal estate at Ely, intending to spend the rest of her life in religious retirement. However, in AD 660, for family reasons - probably to secure an alliance for the house of the Uffingas with the powerful Kingdom of Northumbria against the aggressive Mercians - she married Egfrith, the second son of Oswiu, King of Northumbria.
At the time of his marriage, Egfrith was little more than a child. Etheldreda won his esteem and affection at once, and rapidly acquired a purifying and ennobling influence over him. He "held her as a thing enskied and sainted". He sat at her feet and learnt wisdom and self-denial from her, and he assisted her in her good works.
In AD 670, at the age of twenty-four, Egfrith ascended - not without some trouble - to the throne of Northumbria. Whilst Queen, Etheldreda delighted in the society of monks and nuns, and took care to invite and attract to her house such of them as were most distinguished for learning and piety. Among these was St. Cuthbert, the young Prior of Lindisfarne, upon whose monastery, she bestowed many gifts from her own private property. Desiring to give him a token of her regard for himself and to be specially remembered in his prayers, she also made and embroidered, with her own skilful fingers, a stole and a maniple for him. A gift, he would wear only in the presence of God, and be reminded of her while celebrating mass. St. Wilfred was also her friend and adviser and she gave him much land in Hexham, which had originally been a gift from her husband. There, Wilfred built the fairest church which then existed north of the Alps.

Although, for twelve years, Egfrith had been a mere humble adorer of his beautiful wife, he had, by now become a man - with manly desires. His affection had grown to a love which could no longer be satisfied with worship at a distance. He had hitherto consented to let Etheldreda live in his house like a nun in her convent, but now he wanted, and even demanded, more. He entreated Wilfred to use his influence to induce his wife to become, in fact, what, as yet, she had been only in name. He promised Wilfred great things for himself and for his churches, should he be able to persuade the Queen that her duty to God was her duty to her husband. Wilfred feigned to enter into the King's view of the matter, but, in fact, he steadfastly encouraged the Queen to persist in her celibate life and even advised her to ask permission to leave the court and become a nun. Egfrith never forgave him.
After many painful scenes, an unwilling consent was wrung from the King, no sooner given than repented. However, before he could give orders to the contrary, Etheldreda had fled to Coldingham beyond the Tweed, where Egfrith's aunt, St. Aebbe the Elder, was abbess. Egfrith found life intolerable without Etheldreda, and determined to bring her back with or without her consent. St. Aebbe heartily sympathised with Etheldreda but, seeing that, should Egfrith insist on reclaiming his wife, resistance would be impossible, advised her to escape from Coldingham in the disguise of a beggar. Etheldreda did this, attended by two nuns of Coldingham, SS. Sewara and Sewenna. She did not go to her own aunt's sister, St. Hilda, at Whitby, as she would have opposed anything advised by Wilfred, but decided to go back to her own lands at Ely. Many stories are told of her adventures on the journey, and they have often been the subject of sculpture and painted glass in the English monastic churches.

On the first day of her flight, Etheldreda was all but overtaken by her husband. She arrived at a headland, Colbert's Head, jutting into the sea, and her pious intention was protected by the tide, which at once rose to an unusual height around the rock, making the place inaccessible to her pursuers. Egfrith resolved to wait till the ebbing waters should leave the path open to him, but instead of going down in a few hours, the waters remained at high tide for seven days. The baffled pursuer then realised that a power greater than his had taken Etheldreda, and her vow, under his protection. So he gave up the idea of compelling her to come back to him and returned home.
Later, as she travelled, one very hot day, Etheldreda was overpowered with fatigue. She stuck her staff into the ground and lay down to rest on the open plain. When she awoke, the staff had put forth leaves and branches, and it afterwards became a mighty oak tree, larger than any other for many miles around.
At length, after many days of weary walking, the saint arrived on her own lands in Ely. Here, there was a piece of good, firm, rich land, supporting six hundred families and surrounded to a great distance by fens, forming a more formidable rampart than walls or plain water would have done.
Here, in AD 673, Etheldreda built a large double monastery. Wilfred, who never lost sight of his old friend, made her abbess and gave the veil to her first nuns. He obtained special privileges for her, from the Pope, and often visited her and helped her with advice and suggestions useful in the management of her large establishment. Etheldreda ruled over her monastery for seven years, setting a great example of piety and abstinence and all other monastic virtues. Though such a great lady, and so delicately reared, she never wore any linen, but only rough woollen clothing. She denied herself the use of the warm bath, a luxury much in use among the English in her time. Only permitting herself this indulgence at the four great festivals of the year and, even then, she only used the bath that had already served the other nuns. Many of her old friends, relations and courtiers followed her and her example. For hither they came to live under her rule or to place their daughters in her care. Hither also came many holy men and priests to take her for their spiritual guide. Among the kindred princesses who were attracted by Etheldreda's good qualities and the fame of her holiness, was her sister, St. Sexburga, Queen of Kent, who, leaving her own foundation of Minster-in-Sheppey, came and put herself under the rule of Etheldreda. At her death, on 23rd June AD 679, she succeeded her as abbess.

Etheldreda died of a quinsy, which she regarded as a punishment for her former love of dress and, in particular, for having worn jewels on her neck. An incision was made into her throat, by a surgeon who afterwards swore to the healing of the wound after death. Hence her patronage of sufferers of throat complaints. Etheldreda is one of the most popular of English saints, and there are more dedications in her name in England than in that of any female saint of the early Anglo-Saxon Church. Her feast day is the anniversary of her death, 23rd June.
In AD 696, St. Sexburga, had her body taken from its tomb, where it was found, not only undestroyed, but with a youthful freshness which had long departed from the face of the living Etheldreda. Many miracles were wrought at her side and, as her successors were princesses of the same family, the abbey of Ely was, for many years, very famous and very rich. It was constituted a cathedral in 1109, the abbot and bishop thenceforth becoming one person.
The life and merits of Etheldreda were the favourite study of medieval writers, and many notices of her are still extant. She is represented in art with the emblems of Royalty, and of her rank as abbess, sometimes with a book and, sometimes, a crown of flowers, or crowned with a crosier and budding staff. At Ely Cathedral, the lantern columns represent her asleep, her head in a nun's lap, a book in her hand with a tree blossoming above her. She is sometimes known by the pet name of Audrey.
Edited from Agnes Dunbar's "A Dictionary of Saintly Women" (1904).

TitleSt Etheldreda
SubjectFour scenes from the life of St Etheldreda, Abbess of Ely in the seventh century
Inventory numberScharf XI
Way/Museum No. 317a, 317b
MaterialsOil on oak panels
Dimensions(a) 1215 x 545mm (48 x 21 inches)
(b) 1220 x 525mm (48½ x 20½ inches)
ArtistProbably Robert Pygot, a Bury St Edmunds painter, employed at Ely Cathedral in 1455
Datec 1455
Frame1340 x 1245mm (53 x 49½ inches)
InscriptionFour rhyming couplets, painted in black letters on a white ground, one beneath each of the scenes, the two on the left-hand panel half erased. The following can be deciphered:
Eicfrid[o] regi : non carnis su[bdita legi] To Eicfrid the king : not in body but in law
[E]the[ldreda sponsa datur : nec vi]rg[initas violatur]Etheldreda as bride is given : but her virginity is not violated
Hic rex dat votum: quod sancta petit fore totum: Here the king gives a vow : because the saint seeks to be whole
Extans corde rata: permansit virgo beata: Standing out with steadfast heart : she has remained a virgin blessed
Hic nova templa deo fund[at...] Here new monasteries for God she founds...
[I]n ipsa virgineis [...] In her with maidenly...
Quater quaternos: est ut tu[m]ulata pe[r] annos:Through the years four times four she is as she was buried
I[n]tegra spe[c]tatur : ... prec[isa] cutis medicatur: She is seen to be incorrupt : her damaged skin is healed


Worth Repeating-A Definition of a Gentleman by John Henry Cardinal Newman

A Definition of a Gentleman

by John Henry Newman
It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain. This description is both refined and, as far as it goes, accurate. He is mainly occupied in merely removing the obstacles which hinder the free and unembarrassed action of those about him; and he concurs with their movements rather than takes the initiative himself. His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal nature: like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their part in dispelling cold and fatigue, though nature provides both means of rest and animal heat without them. The true gentleman in like manner carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or a jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast;--all clashing of opinion, or collision of feeling, all restraint, or suspicion, or gloom, or resentment; his great concern being to make every one at their ease and at home. He has his eyes on all his company; he is tender towards the bashful, gentle towards the distant, and merciful towards the absurd; he can recollect to whom he is speaking; he guards against unseasonable allusions, or topics which may irritate; he is seldom prominent in conversation, and never wearisome. He makes light of favours while he does them, and seems to be receiving when he is conferring. He never speaks of himself except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort, he has no ears for slander or gossip, is scrupulous in imputing motives to those who interfere with him, and interprets every thing for the best. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments, or insinuates evil which he dare not say out. From a long-sighted prudence, he observes the maxim of the ancient sage, that we should ever conduct ourselves towards our enemy as if he were one day to be our friend. He has too much good sense to be affronted at insults, he is too well employed to remember injuries, and too indolent to bear malice. He is patient, forbearing, and resigned, on philosophical principles; he submits to pain, because it is inevitable, to bereavement, because it is irreparable, and to death, because it is his destiny. If he engages in controversy of any kind, his disciplined intellect preserves him from the blundering discourtesy of better, perhaps, but less educated minds; who, like blunt weapons, tear and hack instead of cutting clean, who mistake the point in argument, waste their strength on trifles, misconceive their adversary, and leave the question more involved than they find it. He may be right or wrong in his opinion, but he is too clear-headed to be unjust; he is as simple as he is forcible, and as brief as he is decisive. Nowhere shall we find greater candour, consideration, indulgence: he throws himself into the minds of his opponents, he accounts for their mistakes. He knows the weakness of human reason as well as its strength, its province and its limits. If he be an unbeliever, he will be too profound and large-minded to ridicule religion or to act against it; he is too wise to be a dogmatist or fanatic in his infidelity. He respects piety and devotion; he even supports institutions as venerable, beautiful, or useful, to which he does not assent; he honours the ministers of religion, and it contents him to decline its mysteries without assailing or denouncing them. He is a friend of religious toleration, and that, not only because his philosophy has taught him to look on all forms of faith with an impartial eye, but also from the gentleness and effeminacy of feeling, which is the attendant on civilization.
Not that he may not hold a religion too, in his own way, even when he is not a Christian. In that case his religion is one of imagination and sentiment; it is the embodiment of those ideas of the sublime, majestic, and beautiful, without which there can be no large philosophy. Sometimes he acknowledges the being of God, sometimes he invests an unknown principle or quality with the attributes of perfection. And this deduction of his reason, or creation of his fancy, he makes the occasion of such excellent thoughts, and the starting-point of so varied and systematic a teaching, that he even seems like a disciple of Christianity itself. From the very accuracy and steadiness of his logical powers, he is able to see what sentiments are consistent in those who hold any religious doctrine at all, and he appears to others to feel and to hold a whole circle of theological truths, which exist in his mind no otherwise than as a number of deductions.

On Infallibility AGAIN

Check out my other posts on this. There are four levels of infallibility.

If a Pope states something as a private opinion, it is not an infallible statement.

31 Mar 2013
2035 The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine ...

Etheldredasplace: Second Level of Infallibility
18 Jan 2013
b) Second level: LG 25: "Although the individual bishops do not have the prerogative of infallibility, they can yet teach Christ's doctrine infallibly. This is true even when they are scattered around the world, provided that, while ...
18 Jan 2013
The Third and Fourth Levels of Infallibility. Posted by Supertradmum. c) Third Level: Pius XII, in Humani generis: "Nor must it be thought that the things contained in Encyclical Letters do not of themselves require assent on the ...
14 Jan 2013
Just in case those of the JPII Generation do not think that Blessed had much to say of infallibility, here is a third quotation from him. Christ gave this gift to the Church for our protection. This is one way we know God's Will in our ...
03 Mar 2013
I have written about infallibility, which is confusing people. What is missing from most conversations on infallibility is our own, adult understanding of the Faith. Let me start with prudential judgement. The CCC states this about ...

18 Jan 2013
That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This holy see has always maintained this,; the constant custom of the ...
06 Jan 2013
It should be observed in conclusion that papal infallibility is a personal and incommunicable charisma, which is not shared by any pontifical tribunal. It was promised directly to Peter, and to each of Peter's successors in the ...
17 Jan 2013
Sadly, the pursuit of private revelations has created a confusion about infallibility. Natural reason does not constitute a threat to Divine Revelation, nor does Divine Revelation threaten natural reason. The same is true for the ...
14 Jan 2013
To fulfill this service, Christ endowed the Church's shepherds with the charism of infallibility in matters of faith and morals." (Catechism, 890) There are ORDINARY and EXTRAORDINARY teachings of the Catholic Church.

24 Apr 2013
We in the Catholic Church have a teaching on infallibility for a reason. Not all things done or said by popes, cardinals, bishops or priests are infallible I remind some commentators of this, who respond to criticisms of those in ...
22 Mar 2013
A reminder of the Teaching of the Church on infallibility...and a few other things
30 Mar 2013
Not everything the Pope says or does is infallible folks. I know even highly educated people who are confused on this one. Remember Assisi 1986? He, the Pope, can make mistakes. Big ones. He cannot teach false doctrine ...
21 Feb 2013
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 ...

Prepare the ways of the Lord and make his paths straight.

Co-Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Valletta, Malta-happy birthday of St. John the Baptist, Solemnity