13 April 2014

Holy Week


O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolar meus.

All of you who pass by the way, wait and see if there is any sorrow like unto my sorrow.


Holy Week Schedule at St. Francis de Sales Oratory:


Monday, April 14 - Holy Monday - 7:30am Confessions; 8am Low Mass
Tuesday, April 15 - Holy Tuesday - 7:30am Confessions; 8am Low Mass; 6pm Confessions; 6:30pm Low Mass
Wednesday, April 16 - Spy Wednesday - 7:30am Confessions; 8am Low Mass; 11:45am Confessions; 12:15pm Low Mass
Thursday, April 17 - Maundy Thursday - 5:30pm Confessions; 6:30pm High Mass  with 
Procession to the Repository with Adoration until Midnight.
Friday, April 18 - Good Friday - 8am Stations of the Cross/Confessions; 2pm Confessions; 3pm Liturgy of the Passion & Death of Our Lord
Saturday, April 19 - Holy Saturday - 8pm Confessions; 9pm Easter Vigil followed by the Blessing of Easter food (bread & eggs)
Sunday, April 20 - Easter Sunday - 8am Low Mass; 10am High Mass


Have a blessed Holy Week.  The blog reenters and completes its Lenten hiatus.  See you all next week, God willing, to celebrate the Resurrection of the Saviour of the World.




Various Guises and Proposals

Every child, he said, has the right to grow up in a family “with a father and a mother” capable of creating “a suitable environment for the child’s development and emotional maturity.” The Pope also warned against the effort to push a “dictatorship of one form of thinking” on children comparing these to the “horrors of the manipulation of education that we experienced in the great genocidal dictatorships of the twentieth century.”

These totalitarian impulses, he said, “have not disappeared; they have retained a current relevance under various guises and proposals.”


--From the remarks of the Holy Father last Friday

The Pope's strong condemnation of abortion has been the takeaway from this speech. Rightly so. And some have noted the Pope's linking of respect for life to an economic model that doesn't treat people as mere commodities to throw way when unusable. That leaves out communism, socialism and consumerism. Great.

I want to just focus on the the last link the Pope draws: the right of parents-- a mother and a father-- to educate their children, free from an educational ideology of totalitarian impulse. I should imagine that the Pope is indeed aware of "various guises and proposals" to brainwash children. Against the faith. Against the family. For the secular power.

The family is the basic and fundamental unit of society, having not only chronological but also ontological precedence. The unholy alliance of abortion, sodomy, easy divorce, contraception and collectivism depends for its success on the control of the education of children by the godless state.

That's about it. If Pope Francis were to speak these things consistently, he might find his popularity collapsing. Quite a thought on Palm Sunday, which leads to Good Friday.


Pascha Floridum

From The Liturgical Year:

This Sunday, besides its liturgical and popular appellation of Palm Sunday, has had several other names. Thus it was called Hosanna Sunday, in allusion to the acclamation wherewith the Jews greeted Jesus on His entry into Jerusalem. Our forefathers used also to call it Pascha Floridum, because the feast of the Pasch (or Easter), which is but eight days off, is to-day in bud, so to speak, and the faithful could begin from this Sunday to fulfil the precept of Easter Communion. It was in allusion to this name, that the Spaniards, having on the Palm Sunday of 1513, discovered the peninsula on the Gulf of Mexico, called it Florida. We also find the name of Capililavium given to this Sunday, because, during those times when it was the custom to defer till Holy Saturday the baptism of infants born during the preceding months (where such a delay entailed no danger), the parents used, on this day, to wash the heads of these children, out of respect to the holy chrism wherewith they were to be anointed. Later on, this Sunday was, at least in some churches, called the Pasch of the competents, that is, of the catechumens, who were admitted to Baptism; they assembled to-day in the church, and received a special instruction on the symbol, which had been given to them in the previous scrutiny. In the Gothic Church of Spain, the symbol was not given till to-day. The Greeks call this Sunday Baïphoros, that is, Palm-bearing.

[...]

Let us now go over in our minds the other events which happened to our divine Lord on this day of His solemn entry into Jerusalem. St. Luke tells us that it was on His approach to the city, that Jesus wept over it, and spoke these touching words: ‘If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.’ [St. Luke xix. 42-44].

A few days ago, we were reading in the holy Gospel how Jesus wept over the tomb of Lazarus; to-day He sheds tears over Jerusalem. At Bethania His weeping was caused by the sight of bodily death, the consequence and punishment of sin; but this death is not irremediable: Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and he that believeth in Him shall live [St. John xi. 25]. Whereas, the state of the unfaithful Jerusalem is a figure of the death of the soul, and from this there is no resurrection, unless the soul, while time is given to her, return to the Author of life. Hence it is, that the tears shed by Jesus over Jerusalem are so bitter. Amidst the acclamations which greet His entry into the city of David, His heart is sad; for He sees that many of her inhabitants will not profit of the time of her visitation. Let us console the Heart of our Jesus, and be to Him a faithful Jerusalem.

The sacred historian tells us that Jesus, immediately upon His entrance into the city, went to the temple, and cast out all them that sold and bought there [St. Matt. xxi. 12]. This was the second time that He had shown His authority in His Father’s house, and no one had dared to resist Him. The chief priests and pharisees found fault with Him, and accused Him to His face, of causing confusion by His entry into the city; but our Lord confounded them by the reply He made. It is thus that in after ages, when it has pleased God to glorify His Son and the Church of His Son, the enemies of both have given vent to their rage; they protested against the triumph, but they could not stop it. But when God, in the unsearchable ways of His wisdom, allowed persecution and trial to follow these periods of triumph, then did these bitter enemies redouble their efforts to induce the very people, that had cried Hosanna to the Son of David, to clamour for His being delivered up and crucified. They succeeded in fomenting persecution, but not in destroying the kingdom of Christ and His Church. The kingdom seemed, at times, to be interrupted in its progress; but the time for another triumph came. Thus will it be to the end; and then, after all these changes from glory to humiliation, and from humiliation to glory, the kingdom of Jesus and of His bride will gain the last and eternal triumph over this world, which would not know the time of its visitation.





12 April 2014

Institute of Christ the King Youth Choir Camp


The Institute is still accepting applications for its annual youth choir camp, under the direction of the great Nick Botkins. More info at the website.




Some Good News This Passiontide

The Holy Father has retained Msgr. Guido Marini as Master of Pontifical Liturgical Ceremonies. Rorate has the story.

This is Simply Outrageous

And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night? And will he have patience in their regard? I say to you that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?

Luke 18: 7-8

How long can we expect this kind of utter nonsense in the ecumenical wonderland? From the Foreward to the "Lutheran-Catholic Common Commemoration of the Reformation in 2017":

Martin Luther’s struggle with God drove and defined his whole life. The question, How can I find a gracious God? plagued him constantly. He found the gracious God in the gospel of Jesus Christ. “True theology and the knowledge of God are in the crucified Christ.”

In 2017, Catholic and Lutheran Christians will most fittingly look back on events that occurred 500 years earlier by putting the gospel of Jesus Christ at the center. The gospel should be celebrated and communicated to the people of our time so that the world may believe that God gives Godself to human beings and calls us into communion with Godself and God’s church. Herein lies the basis for our joy in our common faith.

To this joy also belongs a discerning, self-critical look at ourselves, not only in our history, but also today. We Christians have certainly not always been faithful to the gospel; all too often we have conformed ourselves to the thought and behavioral patterns of the surrounding world. Repeatedly, we have stood in the way of the good news of the mercy of God.

Both as individuals and as a community of believers, we all constantly require repentance and reform—encouraged and led by the Holy Spirit. “When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent,’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” Thus reads the opening statement of Luther’s 95 Theses from 1517, which triggered the Reformation movement.

Although this thesis is anything but self-evident today, we Lutheran and Catholic Christians want to take it seriously by directing our critical glance first at ourselves and not at each other. We take as our guiding rule the doctrine of justification, which expresses the message of the gospel and therefore “constantly serves to orient all the teaching and practice of our churches to Christ” (Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification).

The true unity of the church can only exist as unity in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The fact that the struggle for this truth in the sixteenth century led to the loss of unity in Western Christendom belongs to the dark pages of church history. In 2017, we must confess openly that we have been guilty before Christ of damaging the unity of the church. This commemorative year presents us with two challenges: the purification and healing of memories, and the restoration of Christian unity in accordance with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Eph 4:4–6).


You can read the rest if you have a bucket handy. I have two initial thoughts:

1) Luther was an arch-heresiarch who led millions of souls into error and thus endangered their souls. There is nothing to celebrate about him, and nothing to commemorate in any way apart from sorrow and righteous anger.

2) The language used throughout is PC gobbledygook. But the last paragraph is (if taken at face value) heretical. The unity of the Church consists and subsists entirely in the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church. It always has and always will. Luther, or a million like him, rejecting the Church is their problem, unity-wise. The Church is One. It is one of the marks of her indefectibility.

In fact, there is only one Church of Christ. The Catholic Church. The visible, historical one, ruled by Christ through His Vicar on Earth. There is no such thing as a Lutheran Church, strictly speaking. It is a term to denote a particular set of heresies held in common among its adherents.

I mean, give me a break. Every Catholic on that Commission ought to be reassigned to Outer Mongolia, and the Vatican press office ought to be sacked en masse for actually publishing it.

Of, course, since I penned this post during my Lenten embargo, others have covered it pretty well before you read this. Chris Ferrara just eviscerates this thing here.


06 April 2014

For the Week




I wish you a blessed Passiontide. This is a time to remember our total dependence on God's mercy.


I'll hit the blog with a vengeance after Easter. God bless.

Passion Sunday




The Tract from today's Mass:

Many a time have they fought against me from my youth.
V. Let Israel now say: They have often attacked me from my youth.
V. But they could not prevail over me: the wicked have wrought upon my back.
V. They have lengthened their iniquity: the Lord who is just, will cut the necks of sinners.


From The Liturgical Year:

During the preceding four weeks, we have noticed how the malice of Jesus’ enemies has been gradually increasing. His very presence irritates them; and it is evident that any little circumstance will suffice to bring the deep and long-nurtured hatred to a head. The kind and gentle manners of Jesus are drawing to Him all hearts that are simple and upright; at the same time, the humble life He leads, and the stern purity of His doctrines, are perpetual sources of vexation and anger, both to the proud Jew that looks forward to the Messias being a mighty conqueror, and to the pharisee, who corrupts the Law of God, that he may make it the instrument of his own base passions. Still, Jesus goes on working miracles; His discourses are more than ever energetic; His prophecies foretell the fall of Jerusalem, and such a destruction of its famous temple, that not a stone is to be left on a stone. The doctors of the Law should, at least, reflect upon what they hear; they should examine these wonderful works, which render such strong testimony in favour of the Son of David; and they should consult these divine prophecies which, up to the present time, have been so literally fulfilled in His person. Alas! they themselves are about to carry them out to the very last iota. There is not a single outrage or suffering foretold by David and Isaias, as having to be put upon the Messias, which these blind men are not scheming to verify.

In them, therefore, was fulfilled that terrible saying: ‘He that shall speak against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.' [St. Matt. xii. 32.] The Synagogue is nigh to a curse. Obstinate in her error, she refuses to see or to hear; she has deliberately perverted her judgment: she has extinguished within herself the light of the holy Spirit; she will go deeper and deeper into evil, and at length fall into the abyss. This same lamentable conduct is but too often witnessed nowadays in those sinners, who, by habitual resistance to the light, end by finding their happiness in sin. Neither should it surprise us, that we find in people of our own generation a resemblance to the murderers of our Jesus: the history of His Passion will reveal to us many sad secrets of the human heart and its perverse inclinations; for what happened in Jerusalem, happens also in every sinner’s heart. His heart, according to the saying of St. Paul, is a Calvary, where Jesus is crucified. There is the same ingratitude, the same blindness, the same wild madness, with this difference: that the sinner who is enlightened by faith, knows Him whom he crucifies; whereas the Jews, as the same apostle tells us, knew not the Lord of glory [1 Cor. ii. 8.] Whilst, therefore, we listen to the Gospel, which relates the history of the Passion, let us turn the indignation which we feel for the Jews against ourselves and our own sins; let us weep over the sufferings of our Victim, for our sins caused Him to suffer and die.

Everything around us urges us to mourn. The images of the saints, the very crucifix on our altar, are veiled from our sight. The Church is oppressed with grief. During the first four weeks of Lent, she compassionated her Jesus fasting in the desert; His coming sufferings and crucifixion and death are what now fill her with anguish. We read in to-day’s Gospel, that the Jews threaten to stone the Son of God as a blasphemer: but His hour is not yet come. He is obliged to flee and hide Himself. It is to express this deep humiliation, that the Church veils the cross. A God hiding Himself, that He may evade the anger of men - what a mystery! Is it weakness? Is it, that He fears death? No; we shall soon see Him going out to meet His enemies: but at present He hides Himself from them, because all that had been prophesied regarding Him has not been fulfilled. Besides, His death is not to be by stoning: He is to die upon a cross, the tree of malediction, which, from that time forward, is to be the tree of life. Let us humble ourselves, as we see the Creator of heaven and earth thus obliged to hide Himself from men, who are bent on His destruction! Let us go back, in thought, to the sad day of the first sin, when Adam and Eve bid themselves because a guilty conscience told them they were naked. Jesus has come to assure us of our being pardoned, and lo! He hides Himself, not because He is naked - He that is to the saints the garb of holiness and immortality - but because He made Himself weak, that He might make us strong. Our first parents sought to hide themselves from the sight of God; Jesus hides Himself from the eye of men. But it will not be thus for ever. The day will come when sinners, from whose anger He now flees, will pray to the mountains to fall on them and shield them from His gaze; but their prayer will not be granted, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven, with much power and majesty [St. Matt. xxiv. 30].

[...]

The fury of the Jews is evidently at its height, and Jesus is obliged to hide Himself from them. But He is to fall into their hands before many days are over; then will they triumph and put Him to death. They triumph, and Jesus is their victim: but how different is to be His lot from theirs! In obedience to the decrees of His heavenly Father, and out of love for men, he will deliver Himself into the hands of His enemies, and they will put Him to death; but He will rise victorious from the tomb, He will ascend into heaven, He will be throned on the right hand of His Father. His enemies, on the contrary, after having vented all their rage, will live on without remorse, until the terrible day come for their chastisement. That day is not far off, for observe the severity wherewith our Lord speaks to them: ‘You hear not the words of God, because you are not of God.’ Yet there was a time when they were of God, for the Lord gives His grace to all men; but they have rendered this grace useless; they are now in darkness, and the light they have rejected will not return.

You say that My Father is your God, and you have not known Him; but I know Him. Their obstinacy in refusing to acknowledge Jesus as the Messias, has led these men to ignore that very God, whom they boast of honouring; for if they knew the Father, they would not reject His Son. Moses, and the Psalms, and the Prophets, are all a dead letter to them; these sacred Books are soon to pass into the hands of the Gentiles, who will both read and understand them. If, continues Jesus, I should say that I know Him not, I should be like to you, a liar. This strong language is that of the angry Judge who is to come down, at the last day, to destroy sinners. Jerusalem has not known the time of her visitation: the Son of God has visited her, He is with her, and she dares to say to Him: Thou hast a devil! She says to the eternal Word, who proves Himself to be God by the most astonishing miracles, that Abraham and the prophets are greater than He! Strange blindness, that comes from pride and hardness of heart! The feast of the Pasch is at hand; these men are going to eat, and with much parade of religion, the flesh of the figurative lamb; they know full well that this lamb is a symbol, or a figure, which is to have its fulfilment. The true Lamb is to be sacrificed by their hands, and they will not know Him. He will shed His Blood for them, and it will not save them. How this reminds us of those sinners, for whom this Easter promises to be as fruitless as those of the past years! Let us redouble our prayers for them, and beseech our Lord to soften their hearts, lest trampling the Blood of Jesus under their feet, they should have it to cry vengeance against them before the throne of the heavenly Father.


05 April 2014

Grist for Your Passiontide Mill


As the liturgical calendar of the Church (the better one, obviously) shifts the mood from rejoice! to sorrowful expectation of doom as it goes from Laetare to Passion Sunday (and I can't help but lament that the novus ordo should condense Passiontide to one week and conflate Passion Sunday with Palm Sunday, but that's par for the course), so goes the blog.

Wow, I can't post all week, and that is first sentence I write? Hello, St. Louis!  Anyway...

Two excellent, excellent posts from this past week really got me going.  The second in time, but first for me to direct to your notice today, is from Orwell's Picnic.  Ms. White, unlike most bloggers, dislikes new readers, so the best way to keep her posts coming is to refrain from commenting on them.  She covers the abdication of Pope Benedict from the perspective of a child from a divorced parent family.  

This is an excellent way of looking at it, if the stated reasons for the abdication are the real ones (she doubts them, and I openly disbelieve them).  But there you have it.  Actions have consequences.

But the major post of the week came early, and I urge you-- implore you-- no, demand you-- to read it.  Read it carefully.  It is fantastic.  It is chilling.  It rings true.  I will warn you not to be overly scared by it, but rather just to let it inform you why we need to be ready for anything.  And we need to be ready now.  Our Lord told us to be sober.  To be ready at all times.

So, really, my point is not to alarm, but to do two things:  1) give you one really good article that sums up in one place, in a systematic summary, why some of us are so concerned with the recent events in the Church, and 2) give you an inducement to pray, fast and hope.  

To be ready.

The article is by Steve Skojec, and it is called Something Wicked (as in, This Way Comes).

Yes, This is Pure Evil

Bill and Melinda Gates, who have taken a laudable interest in vaccinations in the third world, will surely speak out against this effort to dupe women in Africa to get tetanus shots with a sterilization agent covertly mixed in.  Right?

Wait, Mrs. Gates, a nominal Catholic, said there is no problem with being Catholic and supporting contraception?  

Never mind.  Who am I to judge?

Besides, I'm sure Bill Gates will never support this.