31 January 2009

The Mystery of Faith, by Fr. Tadeusz Dajczer

Although books have been written on the objective presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, very few have been written on the personal dispositions of the faithful when receiving the Sacred Host. Father Tadeusz Dajczer, who received a Doctor of Divinity from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and has taught at the Academy of Catholic Theology and the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski in Warsaw, Poland, has attempted this in his little gem, The Mystery of Faith. A short and simple treatise on the love Our Lord bears us in the Eucharist, and how our own love and faith in return affect the graces we receive from the Host, this book is filled with profound insights and interior richness.

Some excerpts:
Fatima means much more than Marian apparitions. The extraordinary message included in Eucharistic visions is paramount, namely the big Host from which drops of blood are flowing down into the cup. The mighty Angel bows deeply before the Host, touches the ground with his forehead in deepest worship. His whole attitude expresses the most profound adoration. The children of Fatima, shaken by the force of God's presence, so intense that it almost consumes and annihilates them, receive God--the Body of Christ. The majestic might of God present in the Eucharist lasts for so long that their senses become as if suspended.

As I realise all this, I'm speechless seeing the inadequacy of my adoration before God's grandeur coming down onto the altar. He who governs this world is actually present. He who is Alpha and Omega of human history wants to unite Himself with me in a measure that's beyond my normal capacity. This God adored by multitudes of angels comes to me as Love, the Redeeming One, the Eucharistic One to give me everything, to fulfill me abundantly. Infinity embracing finitude so that I, the very worldly I, become utterly fulfilled in and through this Eucharistic Love.
The book's forward was written by Stanslaw Cardinal Dziwisz (private secretary to Pope John Paul II for forty years). It can be purchased at EucharisticRenewal.org for a mere 6 pounds 50, well worth the price.

30 January 2009

I forgot...

From my list below, I left out one of my favorites:


29 January 2009

The English March for Their Freedom

(hat tip Fr. Mercer)
Archbishop of St. Louis blames USCCB document for confusing the faithful, and suggests Catholic News Service be given "new direction":
Archbishop Raymond Burke, the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, named a document on the election produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops that he said “led to confusion” among the faithful and led ultimately to massive support among Catholics for Barack Obama.

The US bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” stated that, under certain circumstances, a Catholic could in good conscience vote for a candidate who supports abortion because of "other grave reasons," as long as they do not intend to support that pro-abortion position.

Archbishop Burke, the former Archbishop of St. Louis Mo. and recently appointed head of the highest ecclesiastical court in the Catholic Church, told LifeSiteNews.com that although “there were a greater number of bishops who spoke up very clearly and firmly ... there was also a number who did not.”

But most damaging, he said, was the document “Faithful Citizenship” that “led to confusion” among the voting Catholic population.

“While it stated that the issue of life was the first and most important issue, it went on in some specific areas to say ‘but there are other issues’ that are of comparable importance without making necessary distinctions.”
Archbishop Burke, citing an article by a priest and ethics expert of St. Louis archdiocese, Msgr. Kevin McMahon, who analysed how the bishops’ document actually contributed to the election of Obama, called its proposal “a kind of false thinking, that says, ‘there’s the evil of taking an innocent and defenceless human life but there are other evils and they’re worthy of equal consideration.’

“But they’re not. The economic situation, or opposition to the war in Iraq, or whatever it may be, those things don’t rise to the same level as something that is always and everywhere evil, namely the killing of innocent and defenceless human life.”

Archbishop Burke also cited the work of the official news service of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, that many pro-life observers complained soft-pedalled the newly elected president’s opposition to traditional morality.

“The bishops need to look also at our Catholic News Service, CNS, they need to review their coverage of the whole thing and give some new direction, in my judgement,” he said.
Someone make him a cardinal!

(Thanks, Fr. Mercer)

27 January 2009

Sheer Elegance

Over at Patum Peperium. Also, let's not forget:








Their personal lives mightn't have been much to emulate, but, gosh, could they take a lovely photo! (Incidentally, I've always thought my mother--especially in her youth--bears a striking resemblance to Vivien Leigh...)

Bishop Fellay Forbids Bp. Williamson from Discussion of Holocaust

SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay apologized for Bishop Williamson's remarks denying the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust, and has forbidden him from speaking of the matter further.
It is evident that a Catholic bishop cannot speak with ecclesial authority if it is not a question of faith and morals. Our fraternity does not claim any authority over other questions. Its mission is the propagation and restoration of authentic Catholic doctrine, as found in the dogmas of the faith. It is for this that we are known, accepted and appreciated throughout the world.

With great sadness we acknowledge the extent to which the violation of this mandate has damaged our mission. The statements of Bishop Williamson do not reflect in any way the position of our society. For this, I have prohibited him, until further notice, from speaking publicly on these political and historical questions.

We ask for the forgiveness of the Supreme Pontiff, and of all people of good will, for the dramatic consequences of this act. As we recognize how imprudent the statements were, we affirm with sadness that they have directly affected our fraternity by discrediting our mission.

This is not acceptable, and we declare that we will continue preaching Catholic doctrine and administering the sacraments of grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Menzingen, Jan. 27, 2009

Prince Jean's Ready to Rule--If Only the French Would Let Him

This Wall Street Journal article from last month details the Orleanist pretender's hopes for France.
[E]ven if France decided it wanted its monarchy back, Prince Jean would have to battle a claim from a rival family -- the Bourbons, who share a family name with the executed king, Louis XVI. Meanwhile, his own dynasty is struggling to end years of decline.

Prince Jean does his best to live like a king.

He has no official status and little public recognition, and he has to work for a living. He has been a financial consultant, and he now works full time promoting French heritage.

But he still carries out a program of "royal" engagements, aided by a staff of 30. He tours France 10 times a year, meeting mayors and visiting factories, where he says people see him as a reminder of French history. He also makes an annual overseas visit. He has discussed foreign policy with Vatican officials, has performed a tribal dance with Houma Native Americans in Louisiana, and traveled to the North Pole to raise awareness of climate change.
Prince Jean, to clarify, is the second son of Henri, Comte de Paris, Orleanist pretender to the throne. The Legitimist pretender, Prince Louis-Alphonse (the one with the genuine claim, as far as I'm concerned), lives in Venezuela with his wife and child, but makes frequent official visits to France, and was recently invited to a private audience with the Holy Father. Relations between the two pretenders soured after Prince Jean's father filed suit against Louis-Alphonse for sole bearer of the title Duke of Anjou and use of the plain arms of France; the French court declared it had no jurisdiction, and Prince Louis-Alphonse's passport bears this title. When the Prince married Spanish Princess Marie-Marguerite, no one from the Spanish side of the family attended because of its close relations to the Orleanist pretender. Still, Prince Louis-Alphonse, in a gesture of humility, offered sincere condolences to Prince Jean on the passing of his grandfather.

For what it's worth (and I do think it's significant), Louis-Alphonse shares the same birthday as his predecessor, the greatest king of France, King Saint Louis IX.
Just came across this dialogue between Guy Stair Sainty and Troy Space, in which Space throws out all sorts of absurd charges concerning a Vatican/Jesuit/Freemasonic conspiracy attempting world domination, and Mr. Sainty responds with utmost patience and civility. My only question: why would someone as intelligent and distinguished as Mr. Sainty deign to spend so much time answering this crackpot?

26 January 2009

This Emperor Has No Clothes

So says Gerald Warner in the Telegraph UK:
This will end in tears. The Obama hysteria is not merely embarrassing to witness, it is itself contributory to the scale of the disaster that is coming. What we are experiencing, in the deepening days of a global depression, is the desperate suspension of disbelief by people of intelligence - la trahison des clercs - in a pathetic effort to hypnotise themselves into the delusion that it will be all right on the night. It will not be all right.
To anyone who kept his head, the string of Christmas cracker mottoes booming through the public address system on Washington's National Mall can only excite scepticism. It is crucial to recall the reality that lies behind the rhetoric. Denouncing "those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents" comes ill from a man whose flagship legislation, the Freedom of Choice Act, will impose abortion, including partial-birth abortion, on every state in the Union. It seems the era of Hope is to be inaugurated with a slaughter of the innocents.
It is questionable whether the present political system can survive the coming crisis. Whatever the solution, teenage swooning sentimentality over a celebrity cult has no part in it. The most powerful nation on earth is confronting its worst economic crisis under the leadership of its most extremely liberal politician, who has virtually no experience of federal politics. That is not an opportunity but a catastrophe.

These are frank, even ungracious, words: they have the one merit that, unlike almost everything else written today about Obama, they will not require to be eaten in the future.
Well said. You can read the rest here.

24 January 2009

Excommunications Lifted

Our Holy Father has lifted the bans of excommunication from the four bishops ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre:
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Decree of the Congregation for Bishops


By way of a letter of December 15, 2008 addressed to His Eminence Cardinal Dario Castrillón Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, Mons. Bernard Fellay, also in the name of the other three Bishops consecrated on June 30, 1988, requested anew the removal of the latae sententiae excommunication formally declared with the Decree of the Prefect of this Congregation on July 1, 1988. In the aforementioned letter, Mons. Fellay affirms, among other things: "We are always firmly determined in our will to remain Catholic and to place all our efforts at the service of the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the Roman Catholic Church. We accept its teachings with filial disposition. We believe firmly in the Primacy of Peter and in its prerogatives, and for this the current situation makes us suffer so much."

His Holiness Benedict XVI - paternally sensitive to the spiritual unease manifested by the interested party due to the sanction of excommunication and trusting in the effort expressed by them in the aforementioned letter of not sparing any effort to deepen the necessary discussions with the Authority of the Holy See in the still open matters, so as to achieve shortly a full and satisfactory solution of the problem posed in the origin - decided to reconsider the canonical situation of Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta, arisen with their episcopal consecration.

With this act, it is desired to consolidate the reciprocal relations of confidence and to intensify and grant stability to the relationship of the Fraternity of Saint Pius X with this Apostolic See. This gift of peace, at the end of the Christmas celebrations, is also intended to be a sign to promote unity in the charity of the universal Church and to try to vanquish the scandal of division.

It is hoped that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity.

Based on the faculties expressly granted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI, in virtue of the present Decree, I remit from Bishops Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galarreta the censure of latae sententiae excommunication declared by this Congregation on July 1, 1988, while I declare deprived of any juridical effect, from the present date, the Decree emanated at that time.

Rome, from the Congregation for Bishops, January 21, 2009.

Card. Giovanni Battista Re
Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops
The Superior General of the SSPX, Bishop Fellay, reacts:
We express our filial gratitude to the Holy Father for this gesture which, beyond the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, will benefit the whole Church. Our Society wishes to be always more able to help the pope to remedy the unprecedented crisis which presently shakes the Catholic world, and which Pope John Paul II had designated as a state of “silent apostasy.”
The FSSP reacts:
The Congregation for Bishops, having made public today the decree lifting the excommunication declared in 1988 regarding the four bishops ordained without pontifical mandate by Archbishop Lefebvre, The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter wishes to express its joy at the news of this step forward towards unity.

Since its foundation, the Fraternity of Saint Peter has not ceased to witness to its double attachment to the Seat of Peter and to the Tradition of the Church, praying constantly that a reconciliation could be achieved between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X.

Today the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter unites itself completely to the hope of the Holy See, desiring “that this step be followed by the prompt accomplishment of full communion with the Church of the entire Fraternity of Saint Pius X, thus testifying true fidelity and true recognition of the Magisterium and of the authority of the Pope with the proof of visible unity”. (Decree of the Congregation for Bishops, 21 January 2009)

The Fraternity of Saint Peter would like to express its profound gratitude to the Sovereign Pontiff. It sees in this magnanimous gesture a call to unity for all Catholics in order to spread in the world, faced with all the contradictions of our day, the Reign of Christ.
The Archbishop of Paris reacts:
« [C]haque fois que l'Église peut suspendre une peine, je m'en réjouis. C'est une opportunité, une porte ouverte, pour permettre à des chrétiens de retrouver la plénitude de la communion avec l'Église. A condition qu'ils le souhaitent ou qu'ils l'acceptent. C'est un geste de miséricorde et un geste d'ouverture pour fortifier l'unité de l'Église. » [Translation: Each time the Church can suspend a penalty, I rejoice. It is an opportunity, an open door, to allow Christians to rediscover the fullness of communion with the Church, on condition that they wish it or accept it. It is a gesture of mercy and a gesture of openness to strengthen the unity of the Church."]
Christine reacts:
Deo gratias! God bless our Holy Father!

23 January 2009

A Believe-It-or-Not Cancer Drug

From Zenit.org:
Imagine a medicine that has a staggering 75% success rate in treating cancer, and yet is a natural and ethical product, owned by a nonprofit company headed by devout Catholics.

Too good to be true? That's what I thought. The medical world is not short of bogus cancer "cures." Treatment for the disease is a multi-billion dollar industry that has led to questionable or unproven methods springing up throughout the world.

Yet this little-known product, which works by rebuilding the body's own adult stem cells and destroying tumour cells, already has a 25-year track record as a highly effective cancer treatment. Called CellAdam, it is most effective in preventing the early stages of cancer. But it also impedes the malignant process, and has an analgesic effect in the hopeless stage of an advanced tumour. Because of its natural composition, it has none of the hallucinogenic effects you get with morphine.
The rest can be read here.

Judge Bork on the State of Things

Jurist Predicts "Terrible Conflict" Will Endanger U.S. Catholics’ Religious Freedom

Washington DC, Jan 21, 2009 (Catholic News Agency)
Former Supreme Court nominee Judge Robert Bork has predicted that upcoming legal battles will have significant ramifications for religious freedom. He names as issues of major concern the continued freedom of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions and the likely “terrible conflict” resulting from the advancement of homosexual rights.

Speaking in an interview published Tuesday by Cybercast News Service, Judge Bork discussed the contentious nature of modern politics.
“You are going to get Catholic hospitals that are going to be required as a matter of law to perform abortions,” he claimed.

“We are going to see in the near future a terrible conflict between claimed rights of homosexuals and religious freedom… You are going to get Catholic or other groups’ relief services that are going to be required to allow adoption of a child by homosexual couples. We are going to have a real conflict that goes right to the heart of the society.”

Asked whether there was a freedom of conscience clause anywhere in the Constitution that might prohibit the U.S. government from compelling a religious hospital to perform abortions, he replied:

“Well, the free exercise of religion clause might fulfill that role.”

He agreed with the CNS interviewer, Editor in Chief Terry Jeffrey, that such coercion forces someone to act against their religion and could be construed as a violation of the right to free exercise of religion.

However, Judge Bork was unsure about whether the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold such a right. He predicted the decision would rest with Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who in some cases sides with liberals and at other times with “originalists,” those who profess to hold a more tradition-minded interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

“It depends upon Anthony Kennedy,” Judge Bork told CNS. “Now, it’s a funny situation in which the moral life of a nation is in effect decided by one judge, because you have four solid liberal votes, four solid originalist votes, and one vote you can’t predict too accurately in advance.”

Though Justice Kennedy is a Catholic, he sided with the majority who upheld the pro-abortion rights Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade in the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Judge Bork said that a decision involving the freedom of Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions would split by a 5-4 vote.

“But I don’t know which way,” he added.
“I don’t think the disputants talk much about God anymore,” Judge Bork commented. “That’s one of the things that I think is regrettable--and I know liberals have said the same thing, it is not a conservative position particularly--but it is regrettable that religion has dropped out of our public discourse. I think it impoverishes it and makes it more violent.”

He explained that he believed this violence was not armed conflict, but rather “violent language and propaganda.”

Judge Bork said he also thought that America is “now going down a path towards kind of a happy-go-lucky nihilism.”

“A lot of people are nihilists,” he continued. “They don’t think about religion. They don’t think about ultimate questions. They go along. They worry about consumer goods, comfort, and so forth.

“As a matter of fact, the abortion question is largely a question about convenience. If you look at the polls about why people have abortions, 90 percent of it has nothing to do with medical conditions. It’s convenience. And that’s I think an example of the secularization of an issue that ought to have a religious dimension.”

When asked whether a nihilistic society can remain “happy-go-lucky” for long, Judge Bork replied:

“I don’t know. I guess we are going to find out.”

22 January 2009

Translation of excerpts from message below from King Louis XX

The years pass and do not resemble each other. Some are more joyful than others. The world changes but certain fidelities remain, such as the one that reunites us for the 216th anniversity of the death of King Louis XVI.

In the epoch of crisis in which we live, when many of the false beliefs of yesterday are being reconsidered, what a beautiful sign that we still know how to recognize the basic values. In effect, beyond the deeply attractive personality of Louis XVI, our first duty is a duty of memory and fidelity to the values and principles embodied by French royalty....

Louis XVI by his sacrifice, but also by his life, which he tried to consecrate totally to the welfare of his people, remains for us all an example. The reading of his testament to the spiritual and political life must always serve as a meditation for us.

Recall his last words, an invitation to benevolence and kindness. Beyond the sadness and the solitude that were the companions of his last days, he strenuously invited us, as his son to whom he addressed himself, to "forget all hatred and all resentment." We must meditate on these words imbued with human respect and tolerance. In the world in which we live, so harsh and often so full of pessimism, this message enlightens and strengthens us.

We should be exhorted to keep these landmarks that our ancestors have left us, landmarks that become so important at the moment when the world seems to lack them. Is it not our fortune to possess a 1,500-year-old tradition on which our country was built?
In the start of this year, Princess Marie Marguerite, our daughter the Princess Eugenie, and I myself assure you all of our wishes for our country, for your families and for all French people tested in great numbers by the unstable times we are going through.

May all the saints of France, may St. Louis, continue to protect France in order that She remain a great and poweful nation enlightened by the wisdom and patience of the Capetians.

Louis of Bourbon
Duke of Anjou
January 18, 2009

21 January 2009

Message de Monseigneur le Duc d'Anjou à l'occasion de la commémoraison du 216ème anniversaire de la mort de Sa Majesté le Roi Louis XVI
Mon Cousin [M. le duc de Bauffremont],
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Chers Amis.

Les années passent et ne se ressemblent pas. Certaines sont plus joyeuses que d'autres. Le monde change mais certaines fidélités demeurent, telles que celle qui nous réunit pour le 216ème anniversaire de la mort du Roi Louis XVI.

Dans l’époque de crise que nous vivons, où beaucoup de fausses certitudes d’hier sont en train d’être remises en cause, quel beau symbole de voir que nous savons encore nous retrouver autour de valeurs. En effet, au-delà de la personnalité si attachante de Louis XVI, notre premier devoir est un devoir de mémoire et de fidélité aux valeurs et aux principes incarnés par la royauté française. Telle est aussi la Mission que se donnent toutes les associations, groupes et organismes qui, comme l’Institut de la Maison de Bourbon se sont voués à cet objectif et que je tiens à remercier pour leur inlassable activité.

Louis XVI par son sacrifice, mais aussi par sa vie qu’il a essayé de consacrer totalement au bonheur de son peuple reste pour nous tous un exemple. La lecture de son testament à la fois spirituel et politique doit toujours nous servir de méditation.

Rappelons nous ses ultimes paroles, invitation à la bienveillance et au pardon. Par delà la douleur et la solitude qui furent les compagnes de ses derniers jours, il nous a fermement invités, comme son fils à qui il s’adressait, à «oublier toute haine et tout ressentiment ». Nous devons méditer ses paroles empreintes de respect humain et de tolérance. Dans le monde si dur et souvent si plein de pessimisme dans lequel nous vivons, ce message nous éclaire et nous renforce.

Il doit nous encourager à conserver les repères que nous ont laissés nos aïeux, repères qui deviennent si importants au moment où le monde semble en manquer. Notre chance n’est elle pas de posséder une tradition vieille de mille cinq cents ans sur laquelle notre pays est construit ? Tradition qui s’incarne dans une famille dont j’assume actuellement les devoirs.

Aucun de nous ne sait ce que sera demain, mais nous savons, en revanche, tous que cet avenir sera ce que nous en ferons, sans place à la fatalité. Il est ce que notre volonté voudra qu’il soit. Tel était bien aussi le message de Louis XVI qui, en dernier ressort, s’en est remis à la France dont il souhaitait qu’elle retrouve le sens de ses valeurs et de sa tradition.

En ce début d’année, la Princesse Marie Marguerite, notre fille la Princesse Eugénie, et moi-même, nous vous assurons de tous nos souhaits pour notre Pays, pour vos familles et pour tous les Français éprouvés en grand nombre par les temps instables que nous traversons.

Que tous les saints de France, que saint Louis, continuent à protéger la France afin qu’elle demeure la grande et puissante nation édifiée par la sagesse et la patience des Capétiens.

Louis de Bourbon
Duc d’Anjou
18 janvier 2009

18 January 2009

Pour la mort de Louis XVI

Dimanche 25 janvier
Place de la concorde: Messe de requiem à 15h00 : cet office est l'une des rares manifestations publique de l'attachement monarchique. Venez nombreux!

13 January 2009

Murder, blood, and gore never sounded so nice...

Take it away, Bobby!

Birth control pill inventor laments demographic ‘catastrophe’

From Catholic News Agency:
The chemist who made a key discovery leading to the invention of the birth control pill has written a commentary calling demographic decline in Europe a “horror scenario” and a “catastrophe” brought on in part by the pill’s invention.

Mr. Carl Djerassi...said his invention is partly to blame for demographic imbalance in Europe. On the continent, he argued, there is now “no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction.”
Djerassi described families who had decided against reproduction as “wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it.”

The fall in the birth rate, he claimed, was an “epidemic” far worse but less highlighted than obesity. In his view, young Austrians who fail to procreate are committing national suicide.

If it is not possible to reverse the demographic decline, an “intelligent immigration policy” will be necessary, Djerassi said.

According to the Guardian, Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schonborn told Austrian TV that Pope Paul VI had predicted the pill would cause a dramatic fall in the birth rate.

“Somebody above suspicion like Carl Djerassi ... is saying that each family has to produce three children to maintain population levels, but we’re far away from that,” the cardinal said.
As to the "intelligent immigration policy" mentioned, this is just what France has been forced to do, whose own French population is so uninterested in having children that the country has welcomed the immigrant Muslim community (which is one of the fastest growing peoples in the world) into its midst, glad to benefit from its workforce and tax payments. France now has the largest Muslim population in Europe, numbering around 13%.

(thanks to Fr. Mercer)

08 January 2009

Oxford's Version of the Drones Club

Maurice Baring's flat on King Edward Street was the weekly meeting place for Balliol men in 1897, including one Hilaire Belloc. Belloc and Baring became warm friends, despite the fact that at their first meeting the ever-honest Belloc told Baring (then a Protestant) that he "would certainly go to hell." :
People would come in through the window, and siphons would sometimes be hurled across the room; but nobody was ever wounded. The ham would be slapped and butter thrown to the ceiling, where it stuck. Piles of chairs would be placed in a pinnacle, one on top of the other, over Arthur Stanley, and someone would climb to the top of this airy Babel and drop ink down on him through the seats of the chairs. Songs were sung; port was drunk and thrown about the room. Indeed we had a special brand of port, which was called throwing port, for the purpose ... [T]he evenings would finish in long talks, the endless serious talks of youth, ranging over every topic from Transubstantiation to Toggers, and from the last row with the Junior Dean to Predestination and Free-will. We were all discovering things for each other and opening for each other unguessed-of doors.
--Baring, The Puppet Show of Memory, p. 224

Messe à la mémoire du Roi Louis XVI

La Chapelle Expiatoire, Paris VIII,
dimanche 18 janvier 2009,
à 10h30, célébrée par Monsieur l'Abbé Chanut.

Le Roi est mort le 21 janvier 1793.

07 January 2009

Congress May Vote on FOCA January 21-22

A nationwide Rosary novena is being said starting the 11th of January. Please consider participating.

05 January 2009

Today in 1163, this king of England died. His incorrupt body was transferred by St. Thomas Becket in the presence of King Henry II on the 13th of October.

After the Danes overran England, Edward spent his youth in Normandy, delighting in the chase and other recreations, as well as serving at Mass and acquainting himself with religious. At the age of 40, when the Dane Hardicanute passed away, Edward was made king by popular acclamation. His reign was one of peace, Edward undertaking no wars except to repel the invasion of the Welsh and to aid Malcolm III of Scotland against his usurper Macbeth. His chief concern was for his people, and thus he imposed no taxes and was generous in giving out alms. Both he and his wife Editha took a vow of chastity and lived as brother and sister throughout their married life, and Edward was known to have miraculously cured the sick merely by his touch. Having commissioned the rebuilding of St. Peter's Abbey, King Edward was buried there a week after its dedication.

He is the patron saint of kings, difficult marriages, and separated spouses. Edward was named patron saint of England until 1348, when he was replaced by St. George. He remains the patron saint of the Royal Family.

St. Edward the Confessor, pray for us

03 January 2009

Deo gratias!

Our newborn received the sacrament of baptism this evening, on the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. Our parish priest was gracious enough to confer the sacrament in the traditional (1962) rite at our request, though it's not his usual custom (not that we have anything against the new rite; we adore the rich prayers of exorcism in the old). Sausage #3 was positively swimming in her gown; apparently Protestants alone make baptismal gowns these days, as the smallest size we could find was for 6-9 months of age, and every informed Catholic knows his child should receive the sacrament within two weeks of birth. Immediately after the third pouring of holy water, done in the name of the Holy Spirit, completed the act, I intoned the Te Deum under my breath--though only the first two lines, as I have long since forgotten the rest. It is most appropriate to set it forth here in full to thank God for the profound grace of making our child now a little temple of the Holy Trinity.

Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi Caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae!
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.
V. Benedictus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum.
R. Et laudabilis, et gloriosus in saecula.
V. Benedicamus Patrem et Filium, cum Santo Spiritu.
R. Laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.

02 January 2009

A blessed new year to all. Your hostess has been a bit busy of late--if one can be busy trying to get rest. In my semi-convalescence, I'm catching up on reading--the sacred and the profane. Expect blogging to be light and posts few and far between. In the meantime, take pleasure in this introduction to a meditation upon Nothing:
King's Land,

December the 13th, 1907

My dear Maurice,

It was in Normandy, you will remember, and in the heat of the year, when the birds were silent in the trees and the apples nearly ripe, with the sun above us already of a stronger kind, and a somnolence within and without, that it was determined among us (the jolly company!) that I should write upon Nothing, and upon all that is
cognate to Nothing, a task not yet attempted since the Beginning of the World.

Now when the matter was begun and the subject nearly approached, I saw more clearly that this writing upon Nothing might be very grave, and as I looked at it in every way the difficulties of my adventure appalled me, nor am I certain that I have overcome them all. But I had promised you that I would proceed, and so I did, in spite of my doubts and terrors.

For first I perceived that in writing upon this matter I was in peril of offending the privilege of others, and of those especially who are powerful to-day, since I would be discussing things very dear and domestic to my fellow-men, such as The Honour of Politicians, The Tact of Great Ladies, The Wealth of Journalists, The Enthusiasm of Gentlemen, and the Wit of Bankers. All that is most intimate and dearest to the men that make our time, all that they would most defend from the vulgar gaze,--this it was proposed to make the theme of a common book.

In spite of such natural fear and of interests so powerful to detain me, I have completed my task, and I will confess that as it grew it enthralled me. There is in Nothing something so majestic and so high that it is a fascination and spell to regard it. Is it not that which Mankind, after the great effort of life, at last attains, and that which alone can satisfy Mankind's desire? Is it not that which is the end of so many generations of analysis, the final word of Philosophy, and the goal of the search for reality? Is it not the very matter of our modern creed in which the great spirits of our time repose, and is it not, as it were, the culmination of their intelligence? It is indeed the sum and meaning of all around!

How well has the world perceived it and how powerfully do its legends illustrate what Nothing is to men!

You know that once in Lombardy Alfred and Charlemagne and the Kaliph Haroun-al-Raschid met to make trial of their swords. The sword of Alfred was a simple sword: its name was Hewer. And the sword of Charlemagne was a French sword, and its name was Joyeuse. But the sword of Haroun was of the finest steel, forged in Toledo, tempered at Cordova, blessed in Mecca, damascened (as one might imagine) in Damascus, sharpened upon Jacob's Stone, and so wrought that when one struck it it sounded like a bell. And as for its name, By Allah! that was very subtle---for it had no name at all.

Well then, upon that day in Lombardy Alfred and Charlemagne and the Kaliph were met to take a trial of their blades. Alfred took a pig of lead which he had brought from the Mendip Hills, and swiping the air once or twice in the Western fashion, he cut through that lead and girded the edge of his sword upon the rock beneath, making a
little dent.

Then Charlemagne, taking in both hands his sword Joyeuse, and aiming at the dent, with a laugh swung down and cut the stone itself right through, so that it fell into two pieces, one on either side, and there they lie today near by Piacenza in a field.

Now that it had come to the Kaliph's turn, one would have said there was nothing left for him to do, for Hewer had manfully hewn lead, and Joyeuse had joyfully cleft stone.

But the Kaliph, with an Arabian look, picked out of his pocket a gossamer scarf from Cashmir, so light that when it was tossed into the air it would hardly fall to the ground, but floated downwards slowly like a mist. This, with a light pass, he severed, and immediately received the prize. For it was deemed more difficult by far to divide such a veil in mid-air, than to cleave lead or even stone.

I knew a man once, Maurice, who was at Oxford for three years, and after that went down with no degree. At College, while his friends were seeking for Truth in funny brown German Philosophies, Sham Religions, stinking bottles and identical equations, he was lying on his back in Eynsham meadows thinking of Nothing, and got the Truth
by this parallel road of his much more quickly than did they by theirs; for the asses are still seeking, mildly disputing, and, in a cultivated manner, following the gleam, so that they have become in their Donnish middleage a nuisance and a pest; while he--that other--with the Truth very fast and firm at the end of a leather thong is dragging her sliding, whining and crouching on her four feet, dragging her reluctant through the world, even into the broad daylight where Truth most hates to be.

He it was who became my master in this creed. For once as we lay under a hedge at the corner of a road near Bagley Wood we heard far off the notes of military music and the distant marching of a column; these notes and that tramp grew louder, till there swung round the turning with a blaze of sound five hundred men in order. They passed, and we were full of the scene and of the memories of the world, when he said to me: "Do you know what is in your heart? It is the music. And do you know the cause and Mover of that music? It is the Nothingness inside the bugle; it is the hollow Nothingness inside the Drum."

Then I thought of the poem where it says of the Army of the Republic:

The thunder of the limber and the rumble of a hundred of the guns.
And there hums as she comes the roll of her innumerable drums.

I knew him to be right.

From this first moment I determined to consider and to meditate upon Nothing.

Many things have I discovered about Nothing, which have proved it--to me at least--to be the warp or ground of all that is holiest. It is of such fine gossamer that loveliness was spun, the mists under the hills on an autumn morning are but gross reflections of it; moonshine on lovers is earthy compared with it; song sung most charmingly and stirring the dearest recollections is but a failure in the human attempt to reach its embrace and be dissolved in it. It is out of Nothing that are woven those fine poems of which we carry but vague rhythms in the head:--and that Woman who is a shade, the Insaisissable, whom several have enshrined in melody--well, her Christian name, her maiden name, and, as I personally believe, her married name as well, is Nothing. I never see a gallery of pictures now but I know how the use of empty spaces makes a scheme, nor do I ever go to a play but I see how silence is half the merit of acting and hope some day for absence and darkness as well upon the stage. What do you think the fairy Melisende said to Fulk-Nerra when he had lost his soul for her and he met her in the Marshes after twenty years? Why, Nothing--what else could she have said? Nothing is the reward of good men who alone can pretend to taste it in long easy sleep, it is the meditation of the wise and the charm of happy dreamers. So excellent and final is it that I would here and now declare to you that Nothing was the gate of eternity, that by passing through Nothing we reached our every object as passionate and happy beings--were it not for the Council of Toledo that restrains my pen. Yet ... indeed, indeed when I think what an Elixir is this Nothing I am for putting up a statue nowhere, on a pedestal that shall not exist, and for inscribing on it in letters that shall never be written:



So I began to write my book, Maurice: and as I wrote it the dignity of what I had to do rose continually before me, as does the dignity of a mountain range which first seemed a vague part of the sky, but at last stands out august and fixed before the traveller; or as the sky at night may seem to a man released from a dungeon who sees it but gradually, first bewildered by the former constraint of his narrow room but now gradually enlarging to drink in its immensity. Indeed this Nothing is too great for any man who has once embraced it to leave it alone thenceforward for ever; and finally, the dignity of Nothing is sufficiently exalted in this: that Nothing is the tenuous stuff from which the world was made.

For when the Elohim set out to make the world, first they debated among themselves the Idea, and one suggested this and another suggested that, till they had threshed out between them a very pretty picture of it all. There were to be hills beyond hills, good grass and trees, and the broadness of rivers, animals of all kinds, both comic and terrible, and savours and colours, and all around the ceaseless streaming of the sea.

Now when they had got that far, and debated the Idea in detail, and with amendment and resolve, it very greatly concerned them of what so admirable a compost should be mixed. Some said of this, and some said of that, but in the long run it was decided by the narrow majority of eight in a full house that Nothing was the only proper material out of which to make this World of theirs, and out of Nothing they made it: as it says in the Ballade:

Dear, tenuous stuff, of which the world was made.

And again in the Envoi:

Prince, draw this sovereign draught in your despair,
That when your riot in that rest is laid,
You shall be merged with an Essential Air:--
Dear, tenuous stuff, of which the world was made!

Out of Nothing then did they proceed to make the world, this sweet world, always excepting Man the Marplot. Man was made in a muddier fashion, as you shall hear.

For when the world seemed ready finished and, as it were, presentable for use, and was full of ducks, tigers, mastodons, waddling hippopotamuses, lilting deer, strong-smelling herbs, angry lions, frowsy snakes, cracked glaciers, regular waterfalls, coloured sunsets, and the rest, it suddenly came into the head of the youngest of these strong Makers of the World (the youngest, who had been sat upon and snubbed all the while the thing was doing, and hardly been allowed to look on, let alone to touch), it suddenly came into his little head, I say, that he would make a Man.

Then the Elder Elohim said, some of them, "Oh, leave well alone! send him to bed!" And others said sleepily (for they were tired), "No! no! let him play his little trick and have done with it, and then we shall have some rest." Little did they know!... And others again, who were still broad awake, looked on with amusement and applauded, saying: "Go on, little one! Let us see what you can do." But when these last stooped to help the child, they found that all the Nothing had been used up (and that is why there is none of it about to-day). So the little fellow began to cry, but they, to comfort him, said: "Tut, lad! tut! do not cry; do your best with
this bit of mud. It will always serve to fashion something."

So the jolly little fellow took the dirty lump of mud and pushed it this way and that, jabbing with his thumb and scraping with his nail, until at last he had made Picanthropos, who lived in Java and was a fool; who begat Eoanthropos, who begat Meioanthropos, who begat Pleioanthropos, who begat Pleistoanthropos, who is often mixed up with his father, and a great warning against keeping the same names in one family; who begat Paleoanthropos, who begat Neoanthropos, who begat the three Anthropoids, great mumblers and murmurers with their mouths; and the eldest of these begat Him whose son was He, from whom we are all descended.

He was indeed halting and patchy, ill-lettered, passionate and rude; bald of one cheek and blind of one eye, and his legs were of different sizes, nevertheless by process of ascent have we, his descendants, manfully continued to develop and to progress, and to swell in everything, until from Homer we came to Euripides, and from
Euripides to Seneca, and from Seneca to Boethius and his peers; and from these to Duns Scotus, and so upwards through James I of England and the fifth, sixth or seventh of Scotland (for it is impossible to remember these things) and on, on, to my Lord Macaulay, and in the very last reached YOU, the great summits of the human race and last perfection of the ages READERS OF THIS BOOK, and you also Maurice, to whom it is dedicated, and myself, who have written it for gain.

--On Nothing, H.B.
To a great extent the level of any civilization is the level of its womanhood. When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.

--Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

(via A Maiden's Wreath)