The Power of Faith
--St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, 102
Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum
Souls are falling into hell like snowflakes because there is none to pray and sacrifice for them.--Our Lady of Fatima
Saint Vincent Ferrer relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, ‘Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell.’Only five out of 33,000 saved, and two of them who died in the odor of sanctity.
Q: What could men learn from Christ, the ultimate man, in terms of developing masculinity?Worth reading the whole thing.
Esolen: The first thing they could learn is not to be embarrassed by their manhood. It is holy! It has been created by God, and for a reason.
Then they might notice that Jesus is not the cute boyfriend that many of our churches make him out to be, the one who never goes too far -- forgive me if that is a little coarse.
Jesus loves women, as all good men must; Jesus obeys his mother at Cana; but Jesus does not hang around the skirts of women; he speaks gently, but as a man speaks gently, and when he rebukes, he rebukes forthrightly and clearly, as a man.
His closest comrades are men, though they are not necessarily the people he loves best in the world. He organizes them into a battalion of sacrifice.
He is remarkably sparing in his praise of them; certainly, as is the case with many good and wise men, he is much more desirous that they should come to know him than that they should feel comfortable about themselves.
From his apostles he seems to prefer the love that accompanies apprehension of the truth, rather than love born of his own affectionate actions toward them.
In fact, they respond to him as men often respond: They admire and follow with all the greater loyalty the man who rebukes them for, of all things, being frightened when it appears their ship will capsize in the stormy Sea of Galilee!
Men can learn from Jesus to seek the company of other men, at least in part for the sake of women, and certainly for the sake of the village, the nation, the Church and the world.
They can learn that there are two ways at least in which man is not meant to be alone: He needs the complementary virtues of woman, and he needs other men.
A soldier alone is no soldier.
PAKISTANRead more »
One of the first visitors whom I received in my role of National Director was a bishop in Pakistan. He told me that at the outbreak of the war he, being an Italian missionary bishop, was arrested, put into jail and told that he would not be released until the war was over. A few days later he received a visit from a thirteen-year-old girl named Clara Mark, a Hindu whom he converted to the Faith. She said: "Bishop, you will not be here in this prison very long; you will be released at the end of six months and will continue to serve as a bishop for years to come."
The Bishop inquired how she knew he would be released from prison. She said: "I have offered my life for you, and for the success of your work." Six months later the authorities unlocked the prison door and told the Bishop that he was free to continue to live as a bishop in Pakistan. His first visit immediately after leaving prison was to Clara Mark, and he learned from her parents that she had died that morning.
Three months after the actual incident,without the consent or permission of the parents, and based on some anonymous eavesdropper’s false report, the non-problematic disciplining of an emotional child was turned into a major incident. Then, without any formal investigation it was broadcast throughout the world in a manner that makes the whole thing appear like carefully crafted character assassination.
There can be no real relationship with God, there can be no real meeting with God, without silence.
I have here sometimes used the provocative image of the TLM being the grown-up Mass (T-Bone steak and Cabernet) and the Novus Ordo, at least as celebrated in many places, as the kiddy Mass (jar of pureed carrot and milk). Condescending? I suppose. I can live with that. While milk and pureed carrots are the proper food for the very young, sometimes adults eat it too, as for example when she has a broken jaw.
On Sept. 16, 2010, Travis and Bonnie Engstrom prayed for an hour straight that their stillborn son, James Fulton Engstrom, would take his first breath. In the 61st minute of his life, he finally did.Bishop Daniel Jenky of the Peoria Diocese officially sealed the findings Sunday, which were sent to the Vatican for further examination. If they are found to be legitimate, they will lead to the Archbishop's beatification.
The lack of support from the French bishops is mainly illustrated by what I call the containment policy unofficially adopted to stall the implementation of Summorum Pontificum. If there are now a handful of dioceses left without a single official T.L.M., if the increase of the locations since 2007 has been noticeable (around 40%), we are still far behind to meet not the expectations but the actual official requests of the faithful. Not only in too many cases, bishops have retained the final decision, implementing … Ecclesia Dei adflicta of 1988, but very often they have the initial word before any pastor could use his right to decide. One parish pastor of Paris who took this liberty had to seek refuge in Bishop Rey’s diocese after his mandate was not renewed by the Cardinal-archbishop. In this regard, there is little change to be expected with the Instruction Ecclesiae universae (2011) because the containment policy is more subtle than a frontal opposition.(via Rorate Caeli)
After this grey picture of French Traditionalism, I want to offer a few words of conclusion with some encouraging elements.
Amidst an ageing and rapidly declining cafeteria Catholicism, the « Tradiland » offers a younger face with numerous active lay people.... Traditional communities are in France, like everywhere else, a cradle for religious and priestly vocations. French liberal dioceses (ex. Poitiers) have become vocational deserts ; in Strasbourg, from around 40 seminarians less than ten years ago, we have now 14 and a single new one in first year. It is commonly estimated, based on the present stats, that traditional institutes will provide nearly 20% of French ordained priests around 2015. Moreover, when they are not pressured to quit, trad-oriented seminarians, if not traditionalist themselves, are a growing number in the surviving diocesan seminaries.
Gothic and Baroque styles are not always thought to be beautiful, sometimes they're considered gaudy, and they're certainly expensive. Much more expensive than a minimalist aesthetic. [If God's not worth spending money on, then nothing is.]After reading such nonsense, I have to ask myself: is our aesthetic sense so blunted that we can no longer tell the difference between ugliness and beauty? Apparently, in some cases, yes.
Sacred spaces have been built in the style of the day for as long as humans have been building them. Certain modern styles exalt minimalist approaches. [And some styles are more successful than others--which is why a hundred years from now, people will still be oohing and ahing over the soaring and elaborate heights of baroque cathedrals while the minimalist edifices will have been either sold to the government and turned into state penitentiaries or (please God) razed to the ground.]
Minimalism has a certain beauty to it... [You confuse medieval austerity with that 1960s architectural fad put to such extensive use in communist regimes]
Meister Eckhardt once said something to the effect of, "the more you speak of God as ineffable, the less you say about God as ineffable." There is a sense that in God's divine simplicity, images, statues, and ornate ambos do not come any closer to the reality of God than does a stout, blank wall and plain wood benches. [Thus reasoned Protestant reformers as they gleefully smashed statues and high altars, burned vestments, and melted down golden vessels.]
The final piece that I can imagine is that an austere church, without the gold, or expensive artwork, does not cause scandal through an ostentatious display of wealth in stark contrast to the physically impoverished people it may hope to minister to. [These "physically impoverished people" would box this fellow on the ears if they could; visit any poor Catholic community in a third world country (before 1965), and more often than not one would find, amidst the hovels and privation, ornate, gold-gilt chapels built and maintained by the poor themselves. The harshness of life as they knew it in their slums and daily toil was ameliorated by the beauty of such sacred spaces, where the careworn mother could kneel before a statue of Our Lady and find comfort, or where the laborer could find refreshment for his soul as he prayed before the golden tabernacle before returning to his backbreaking toil. To rob the poor of the consolation of beauty by using the very protestant excuse of "scandal" is more than patronizing; it is cruel.]
During the First Ecumenical Council of Nicea (AD 325), Arius was called upon to defend his position on the inferiority of Christ. Saint Nicholas just couldn't listen to all of Arius' nonsense and so he stood up and laid in to Arius with his fist.Egads! the modern man gasps. Surely Our Lord doesn't condone violence! Actually, at times, He does. Recall that he fashioned a cord of whips, overturned the tables, and drove the moneychangers out of the temple.
The Emperor Constantine and the bishops present at the Council were alarmed by Nicholas' act of violence against Arius. They immediately stripped Nicholas of his office as a bishop by confiscating the two items that marked out a man as a Christian bishop: Nicholas' personal copy of the Gospels and his pallium (the vestment worn by all bishops in the East).
Now if that were the end of the story, we probably wouldn't know about Saint Nicholas, and our children wouldn't be asking him for presents. However, after Nicholas was deposed, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary visited Nicholas who was being held in a prison cell for his fist-fight with the heretic.
Our Lord Jesus Christ asked Saint Nicholas, "Why are you here?" Nicholas responded, "Because I love you, my Lord and my God."
Christ then presented Nicholas with his copy of the Gospels. Next, the Blessed Virgin vested Nicholas with his episcopal pallium, thus restoring him to his rank as a bishop.
The Diocese of El Paso needs a new bishop and spiritual father who will begin to take the necessary steps to correct the moral and spiritual disorder of rampant homosexuality within our presbyterate. The abomination of actively homosexual priests is a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance and is crippling our diocese. El Paso needs a new shepherd who will demand of us priests what Christ demands: obedience, celibacy, a profound life of prayer, simplicity of life, a spirit of continual conversion, pastoral charity marked by kenosis (death to self), sacrifice, service, and true holiness in our public and private conduct. God willing, our new bishop will insist that we priests give priority to the spiritual dimension of our priestly life and ministry: offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass daily, administering the sacrament of Confession, guiding the parish’s life of prayer, and instructing the faithful according to the full and authentic doctrine of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Good, pious, holy, and masculine priests are a priceless gift to Mother Church and the surest guarantee of success in fostering future vocations to the priesthood.As ever, Fr. Rodriguez speaks with clarity and boldness.
Not only should the Second Vatican Council be interpreted in the light of previous Magisterial documents, but also some of these earlier magisterial documents can be understood better in the light of the Second Vatican Council....Rorate Caeli has the whole thing.
These are innovations in the sense that they explain new aspects which have not previously been formulated by the Magisterium, but which do not doctrinally contradict previous Magisterial documents. This is so even though, in certain cases — for example, concerning religious freedom — these innovations imply very different consequences at the level of historical decisions concerning juridical and political applications of the teaching, especially given the changes in historical and social conditions. An authentic interpretation of Conciliar texts can only be made by the Magisterium of the Church herself. Therefore, in the theological work of the interpretation of passages in the Conciliar texts which arouse queries or seem to present difficulties, it is above all necessary to take into account the sense in which they have been interpreted in subsequent Magisterial interventions. Nevertheless, there remains space for legitimate theological freedom to explain in one way or in another how certain formulations present in the Conciliar texts do not contradict the Tradition and, therefore, to explain the correct meaning of some expressions contained in those passages.
Many innocent hands are lifted up to heaven for you daily by those English students, whose posterity shall never die, which beyond seas, gathering virtue and sufficient knowledge for the purpose, are determined never to give you over, but either to win you heaven, or to die upon your pikes. And touching our Society, be it known to you that we have made a league—-all the Jesuits in the world, whose succession and multitude must overreach all the practice of England-—cheerfully to carry the cross you shall lay upon us, and never to despair your recovery, while we have a man left to enjoy your Tyburn, or to be racked with your torments, or consumed with your prisons. The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God; it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: So it must be restored.Amen and amen. May it be so!