Monday, 24 April 2017

The challenge to Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia; I - THE NECESSARY CONSISTENCY OF THE MAGISTERIUM WITH TRADITION. THE EXAMPLES OF HISTORY

On April 22, 2017 at the Hotel Columbus in Rome and in the vicinity of St. Peter's Square a conference took place called "Seeing Clarity: One year after Amoris Laetitia." It featured six eminent Catholic laymen who called on Pope Francis to answer the dubia of the four cardinals on the matter of certain passages in Amoris Laetitia, passages that undermine the Church's magisterial teaching on adultery, mortal sin and the Holy Eucharist.

This is the first of six, which will be posted on subsequent days.


THE NECESSARY CONSISTENCY OF THE MAGISTERIUM WITH TRADITION. THE EXAMPLES OF HISTORY

by Claudio Pierantoni
Professor of Medieval Philosophy
University of Chile

In this presentation we will first briefly examine the incidents of two popes of antiquity, Liberius and Honorius, who for different reasons were accused of deviating from the Tradition of the Church, during the long Trinitarian and Christological controversy that occupied the Church from the 4th to the 7th century.

In the light of the reactions of the ecclesial body in the face of these doctrinal deviations, we will then examine the current debate that has developed around the proposals of Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” and the five “dubia” raised by the four cardinals.

1. The case of Honorius

Honorius I was the only pope to have been formally condemned for heresy. We are in the early decades of the 7th century, in the context of the controversy over the two wills of Christ. Honorius upheld the doctrine of the one will in Christ, or “monothelitism”, which was however later declared to be in contrast with the dogma of the two natures, divine and human, a doctrine solidly founded on biblical revelation and solemnly decreed by the Council of Chalcedon in 451.

Here is the text with which, in 681, after his death, the third ecumenical Council of Constantinople, the sixth ecumenical council, condemned him together with Patriarch Sergius:

“Having examined the dogmatic letters written by Sergius, in his time the patriarch of this imperial city. . . and the letter with which Honorius responded to Sergius, and having seen that they are not in keeping with the apostolic teachings and with the definitions of the holy councils and of all the illustrious holy Fathers, and that on the contrary they follow the false doctrines of the heretics, we reject them and execrate them as corruptive.”

2. The case of Liberius

Liberius was instead pope at one of the most delicate moments of the Arian controversy, halfway through the 4th century. His predecessor, Julius I, had tenaciously defended the faith established by the Council of Nicaea in 325, which declared the Son to be consubstantial with the Father. But Constantius, the emperor of the East, supported the majority position of the eastern bishops, contrary to Nicaea, which according to them did not leave room for the personal difference between the Father and the Son. He had the pope abducted, deposed, and sent into exile in Thrace, where after about a year he gave in.

Lberius thus renounced the faith of Nicaea and excommunicated Athanasius, who was its most significant defender. Now docile to the emperor, Liberius obtained permission to come back to Rome, where he was reinstalled as bishop. In the months that followed, all the pro-Arian prelates who had established their careers through the favor of Constantius consolidated their power in the main episcopal sees. This is the moment at which, according to the famous expression of Saint Jerome, “the world lamented that it had become Arian.” Of the more than one thousand bishops that Christendom numbered, only three stalwarts held firm in exile: Athanasius of Alexandria, Hilary of Poitiers, and Lucifer of Cagliari.

But Constantius died suddenly, in 361, and the emperor Julian, later called “the Apostate,” rose to the throne. He imposed the return of the Roman state to paganism, eliminated the whole ecclesiastical policy of Constantius at a stroke, and allowed the exiled bishops to go back to their jurisdictions. Free from threats, Pope Liberius sent an encyclical that declared invalid the formula he had previously approved, and required the bishops of Italy to accept the creed of Nicaea. In 366, in a synod celebrated in Rome shortly before he died, he even had the joy of obtaining the signature of the creed of Nicaea by a delegation of eastern bishops. As soon as he died he was venerated as a confessor of the faith, but devotion to him was soon interrupted because of the memory of his concession.

In spite of their differences, the two cases of Liberius and Honorius have in common an attenuating circumstance, and that is the fact that their respective doctrinal deviations took place when the respective doctrines were still being determined, that of the Trinity in the case of Liberius and the Christological one in the case of Honorius.

3. The case of Francis

However, the doctrinal deviation that is taking place during the current pontificate instead has an aggravating circumstance, because it is not countering doctrines that are still unclear, or still being determined, but doctrines that, in addition to being solidly anchored in Tradition, have also been exhaustively debated in recent decades and clarified in detail by the recent magisterium.

Of course, the doctrinal deviation in question was already present in recent decades and with it therefore was also the underground schism that this signified. But when one passes from an abuse at the practical level to its justification at the doctrinal level through a text of the pontifical magisterium like “Amoris Laetitia” and through positive statements and actions of the pontiff himself, the situation changes radically.

Let us see, in four points, the progress of this destruction of the deposit of the faith.

First

If marriage is indissoluble, and yet in some cases communion can be given to the divorced and remarried, it seems evident that this indissolubility is no longer considered absolute, but only a general rule that can admit exceptions.

Now this, as Cardinal Carlo Caffarra has explained well, contradicts the nature of the sacrament of marriage, which is not a simple promise, as solemn as it may be, made before God, but an action of grace that works at the genuinely ontological level. Therefore, when it is said that marriage is indissoluble, what is stated is not simply a general rule, but what is said is that ontologically marriage cannot be dissolved, because in it is contained the sign and the reality of the indissoluble marriage between God and his People, between Christ and his Church. And this mystical marriage is precisely the end of the whole divine plan of creation and redemption.

Second

The author of “Amoris Laetitia” has instead chosen to insist, in his argumentation, on the subjective side of moral action. The subject, he says, may not be in mortal sin because, for various reasons, he is not fully aware that his situation constitutes adultery.

Now this, which in general terms can certtainly happen, in the utilization that “Amoris Laetitia” makes of it instead involves an evident contradiction. In fact, it is clear that the much-recommended discernment and accompaniment of individual situations directly contrast with the supposition that the subject remains, for an indefinite time, unaware of his situation.

But the author of “Amoris Laetitia,” far from perceiving this contradiction, pushes it to the further absurdity of affirming that an in-depth discernment can lead the subject to have the certainty that his situation, objectively contrary to the divine law, is precisely what God wants from him.

Third

Recourse to the previous argument, in turn, betrays a dangerous confusion that in addition to the doctrine of the sacraments goes so far as to undermine the very notion of divine law, understood as the source of the natural law, reflected in the Ten Commandments: a law given to man because it is suited to regulating his fundamental behaviors, not limited to particular historical circumstances, but founded on his very nature, the author of which is none other than God.

Therefore, to suppose that the natural law may admit exceptions is a real and proper contradiction, it is a supposition that does not understand its true essence and therefore confuses it with positive law. The presence of this grave confusion is confirmed by the repeated attack, present in “Amoris Laetitia,” against the quibblers, the presumed “pharisees” who are hypocrites and hard of heart. This attack, in fact, betrays a complete misunderstanding of the position of Jesus toward the divine law, because his criticism of pharisaic behavior is based precisely on a clear distinction between positive law - the “precepts of men” - to which the pharisees are so attached, and the fundamental Commandments, which are instead the first requirement, indispensable, that he himself asks of the aspiring disciple. On the basis of this misunderstanding one understands the real reason why, after having so greatly insulted the pharisees, the pope ends up in de facto alignment with their own position in favor of divorce, against that of Jesus.

But, even more deeply, it is important to observe that this confusion profoundly distorts the very essence of the Gospel and its necessary grounding in the person of Christ.

Fourth

Christ in fact, according to the Gospel, is not simply a good man who came into the world to preach a message of peace and justice. He is, first of all, the Logos, the Word who was in the beginning and who, in the fullness of time, becomes incarnate. It is significant that Benedict XVI, right from his homily “Pro eligendo romano pontifice,” made precisely the Logos the linchpin of his teaching, not by coincidence fought to the death by the subjectivism of the modern theories.

Now, in the realm of this subjectivist philosophy there is the justification of one of the postulates most dear to Pope Francis, according to which “realities are more important than ideas.” A maxim like this, in fact, makes sense only in a vision in which there cannot exist true ideas that not only faithfully reflect reality but can even judge and direct it. The Gospel, taken as a whole, presupposes this metaphysical and epistemological structure, where truth is in the first place the conforming of things to the intellect, and the intellect is in the first place that which is divine: indeed, the divine Word.

In this atmosphere it can be understood how it is possible that the editor of “La Civiltà Cattolica” could state that it is pastoral practice that must guide doctrine, and not the other way around, and that in theology “two plus two can equal five.” It explains why a Lutheran lady can receive communion together with her Catholic husband: the practice, in fact, the action, is that of the Lord’s Supper, which they have in common, while that in which they differ is only “the interpretations, the explanations,” mere concepts after all. But it also explains how, according to the superior general of the Society of Jesus, the incarnate Word is not capable of coming into contact with his creatures through the means that he himself chose, the apostolic Tradition: in fact, it would be necessary to know what Jesus truly said, but we cannot, he says, “since there was no recorder.”

Even more thoroughly in this atmosphere, finally, it is explained how the pope cannot answer “yes” or “no” to the “dubia.” If in fact “realities are more important than ideas,” then man does not even need to think with the principle of non-contradiction, he has no need of principles that say “this yes and this no” and must not even obey a transcendent natural law, which is not identified with reality itself. In short, man does not need a doctrine, because the historical reality suffices for itself. It is the “Weltgeist,” the Spirit of the World.

4. Conclusion

What leaps to the attention in the current situation is precisely the underlying doctrinal deformation that, as skillful as it may be in evading directly heterodox formulations, still maneuvers in a coherent way to carry forward an attack not only against particular dogmas like the indissolubility of marriage and the objectivity of the moral law, but even against the very concept of right doctrine, and with it, of the very person of Christ as Logos. The first victim of this doctrinal deformation is precisely the pope, who I hazard to conjecture is hardly aware of this, victim of a generalized epochal alienation from Tradition, in large segments of theological teaching.

In this situation, the “dubia,” these five questions presented by the four cardinals, have put the pope into a situation of stalemate. If he were to respond by denying Tradition and the magisterium of his predecessors, he would also be heretic formally, so he cannot do it. But if he were to respond in harmony with the previous magisterium, he would contradict many of the doctrinally significant actions carried out during his pontificate, so it would be a very difficult choice. He has therefore chosen silence because, humanly, the situation can seem to have no way out. But meanwhile, the confusion and the “de facto” schism are spreading in the Church.

In the light of all this, it therefore becomes more necessary than ever to make a further act of courage, truth, and charity, on the part of the cardinals but also of the bishops and then of all the qualified laity who would like to adhere to it. In such a serious situation of danger for the faith and of generalized scandal, it is not only licit but even obligatory to frankly address a fraternal correction to Peter, for his good and that of the whole Church.

A fraternal correction is neither an act of hostility, nor a lack of respect, nor an act of disobedience. It is nothing other than a declaration of truth: “caritas in veritate.” The pope, even before being pope, is our brother. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Yes, Catholics celebrate "Passover!"

Related image

It is not often comment on my commentators, but I am going to make an exception.

Yesterday, I wrote a short post that included the prayer from First Vespers of today, Sunday in Albis. It is also the same prayer from this morning Matins and Lauds.

Grant, we beseech, O Almighty God, that we for whom the Feast of the Passover hath now drawn to an end, may in our life and manner ever keep new the healthful influence of the same. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

A reader left the following absurd comment:

I didn't know you celebrated Passover. I celebrated Easter--the institution of the holy Eucharist, the Priesthood, and the passion, death & resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I will be celebrating for 40 days more culminating in the Ascension of Our Lord and Pentecost. Then Trinity Sunday.

In the Fourth Reading from this morning’s Matins, according to the Divino Affaltu of St. Pius X, which has existed from antiquity in the Divine Office. We read from the Fourth Reading from the Sermon of St. Augustine of Hippo:

1st Sermon for the Octave of the Passover, being the 157th for the Seasons.
The Feast of this day is the end of the Paschal solemnity, and therefore it is today that the Newly-Baptized put off their white garments : but, though they lay aside the outward mark of washing in their raiment, the mark of that washing in their souls remaineth to eternity. Now are the days of the Pass-over, that is, of God's Passing-over our iniquity by His pardon and remission; and therefore our first duty is so to sanctify the mirth of these holy days, that our bodily recreation may be taken without defilement to our spiritual cleanness. Let us strive that our relaxation may be sober and our freedom holy, holding ourselves carefully aloof from anything like excess, drunkenness or lechery. Let us try so to keep in our souls their Lenten cleansing, that if our Fasting hath left us aught yet unwon, we may still be able to seek it.

Moreover, for the Holy Mass for Sabbato in Albis or the “Sabbath” or Saturday Mass of preceding Domenica in Albis, according to the Roman Missal of 1570/1962, we read in the Collect:

Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we who have kept worshipfully the Passover holidays, may at last worthily pass from keeping Feasts unto thee here to the everlasting jubilation hereafter. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
R. Amen.

The Catholic Encyclopedia under the word, Paschal tell us:

That the Paschal Lamb prefigured symbolically Christ, "the Lamb of God", who redeemed the world by the shedding of His blood, and particularly the Eucharistic banquet, or new Passover, has always remained the constant belief of Christian tradition.

Further, St. Paul states in  1 Corinthians 5:7: "... For Christ our pasch is sacrificed."

Image result for passover lamb

Pasch is a derivative of the Hebrew, Pesach which is translated in English as “Passover.”


Friend, the next time you wish to lambaste and deride me, at least get your facts right first.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

The party's over

Lent, our Holy Triduum and the Octave of Easter, is now passed. While we are still in Eastertide, the prayer at Vespers this evening recalls the end of our Feast of Passover.


Grant, we beseech, O Almighty God, that we for whom the Feast of the Passover hath now drawn to an end, may in our life and manner ever keep new the healthful influence of the same. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.

How ancient is that prayer? How beautiful a reminder that Our Lord Jesus Christ was the true Pesach, the true Passover Lamb. 

Now, we turn our thoughts and attention back to the continuing crisis in Holy Mother Church. a crisis that is not lessening but becoming more and more embedded. As we have just passed the recollection of the sufferings of Our Lord culminating in his passion and death, now also that the Church must follow the same path. We are now in the Garden of Gethsemane and soon, very soon, we will take up our cross and walk our own roads of sorrow leading to our crucifixion. Yes, it is coming. But know also, that those who have lead the Church to this point will be confounded; and, just as with the traitor Judas, it would have been better for these not to have been born.


Friday, 21 April 2017

Father Liam Gavigan, Requiescat in Pace

Father Liam Gavigan, a priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto, died on Easter Sunday afternoon. His Solemn Requiem Mass, in the proper Rite of the Catholic Church, is today in Toronto at St. Lawrence the Martyr Catholic Church.  He died on Easter Sunday, there must be a message in that.

When the history of the restoration of the traditional Mass in Canada is written, Father Gavigan's name will be there with the greats who persevered and suffered. He is a hero and one of a "trinity" of priests, the late Father Mole in Ottawa who began the community that is now the FSSP parish and Father Normandin in Montreal, again where the FSSP now reside and serve. The same, for a short-time, was the case in Toronto. There was at time when these were the only priests in Canada offering the traditional Mass. They even pre-dated the Society of St. Pius X. 

Father Gavigan began offering the traditional rite in possession of a celebret from Rome which outranked the Ordinary's indult authority. He began on Friday nights at Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Toronto and eventually on Sundays at St. Edward's parish. Later, the Mass moved to St. Theresa Shrine where the FSSP's short-lived Toronto apostolate took over the Sunday Mass. Father Gavigan, who also started the community at St. Patrick's in Schomberg continued there and then a new one, now sadly purged by its Provincial, at the Carmel of the Infant Jesus in Zephyr. After the Fraternity left Toronto, Father Gavigan at the age of 77 offered three Masses on Sunday between 9AM and 1PM beginning in Schomberg, 40 miles to Zephyr and another 30 to St. Theresa in Scarborough. A true missionary. A crazy driver!

Whilst the norm was the Irish Low Mass, we coaxed out of him (as I was Schola Master at the FSSP) the Sung Mass. What an amazing voice he had, so hidden for so many years. The last Mass that I had the pleasure of assisting at with him, was a Requiem for Father Kenneth Walker, the murdered FSSP priest in Arizona. He sung a beautiful Requiem and we worked before Mass to find the right Latin for Kenneth for Collect and prayers.

When we organised the Pontifical Mass for the occasion of the late Msgr. Vincent Foy's 75th anniversary of priestly ordination with the Cardinal present, I said, "Father, did you ever think you would see this?" and he responded, "No, David, not in a million years." I then thanked him for "keeping the candle burning," to which he replied, "No David, I kept the pot boiling." It was as if one had entered the set of Going My Way to hear Barry Fitzgerald's Irish lilt, all that was missing was Too-Ra-Loo. 

Father Gavigan was a great confessor, He spoke often of Hell and it even got a few complaints directed to the Chancery. 

The only time I ever went to him, he said to me, "Do you know you can go to Hell for that?" to which I replied, "Yes Father, that is why I'm here," to which he retorted, "I want a decat of the rosary, now, and one every morning on your knees when your feet hit the floor until your next confession!" Well, that was the last time I went to him, but his penance seemed to be efficacious. 

Father Liam Gavigan had one purpose in life. To offer the Holy Sacrifice in the "better way" as he called it and to save his soul and everyones with whom he came into contact.

God rest you Father, and may the LORD have already said to you:
"Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." 
Requiescat in pace

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

No more "Anonymous of the Cross"

Less than one hour ago, from 8:08 EDT, Anonimidellacroce put up a post stating, "our adventure ends here."


Oh, and the letter, the infamous letter about Benedict XVI "forced" renouncement of the papacy. Right. An anonymous letter to an anonymous blog.

A joke from the beginning, or if these two Fraters are real, cowards.

And I guess Rogue Swiss Guard was murdered, too.


What a bunch of nothing.



SUSPECT ARRESTED IN TORONTO CHURCH ARSON ATTACK - VIDEO OF HIS "GOSPEL" DISCOVERED

Updated April 18, 2017: 6:03 A.M.

A short time after the visit of Mayor John Tory to St. John the Evangelist Church, Marc Porlier, the suspect in the case caught on video (allegedly) committing the arson attack against the Church, was arrested. The parish, one of the oldest in the Archdiocese of Toronto dating back to the 1850's, is where this writer was Cantor for nine years.

Yesterday, a faithful reader, and a priest to boot, sent me a note with a link to a video on Vimeo. 

It was a professionally produced video made six years ago called, "The Gospel According to Marc," wherein Porlier vents  his disdain for the Roman Catholic faith in which he was "brainwashed," and mocks God, even to the point of dressing up as an old man in white to equate himself with him. Porlier also dresses as the Devil in his long diatribe on the evils of organised religion,  Roman Catholicism in particular. His search for the truth lead him to eastern philosophy, mysticism and Deepak Chopra.

Poirlier reveals himself as a pathetic figure, poorly catechized and ignorant of the real faith and the real Truth, he seems to be looking for. He speaks of peace, yet, allegedly, burns churches. Poirlier was a child at the parish, though he does not reveal this in the "documentary," but that he was "brainwashed" up to the age of 15. Two weeks ago, he showed up at Mass for the first time. He introduced himself to the Pastor after Mass and was not seen again. Did Poirlier come to the Church to plot his alleged crime?



Prayers are needed for Marc and his family. Poor soul, may he now find the peace and truth he so desperately seems to be seeking; and may St. John the Evangelist and the Holy Souls buried under the cement floor of the basement and the once parking lot of the church intercede for him.



Toronto Church Fire-Bombed on Easter Sunday morning
St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, in Toronto's old Weston community was fire bombed early Easter Sunday morning. The parish is one of the oldest in Toronto, established over 160 years ago.

In the dawn hours, an incendiary device was used through a broken window causing a fire. All Masses for Easter Sunday were cancelled. There were no injuries. Police and Fire are investigating. The suspect has not yet been identified. 

This is the parish where this writer volunteered for nine years as Cantor. 

Police have released the photo of the "suspect" from the Church's newly installed, sophisticated video security system.

UPDATED at 8:29 P.M.

Police are searching for 43-year-old Marc Porlier, of no fixed address, known to frequent both the Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue, and Weston Road and Jane Street areas. Porlier has a history with police, Const. Jenifferjit Sidhu told CBC Toronto. If seen, members of the public are asked not to approach him.



Sunday, 16 April 2017

He is Risen!

Image result for resurrection art

V. Grant, Lord, a blessing.
Benediction. May the Gospel's holy lection be our safety and protection. Amen.

Reading 1
Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Mark
Mark 16:1-7
And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought sweet spices, that coming, they might anoint Jesus. And what follows. 

Homily of St. Gregory, Pope
Homilia 21. in Evangelia.
Dearly beloved brethren, ye have heard the deed of the holy women which had followed the Lord; how that they brought sweet spices to His sepulchre, and, now that He was dead, having loved Him while He was yet alive, they followed Him with careful tenderness still. But the deed of these holy women doth point to somewhat which must needs be done in the holy Church. And it behoveth us well to give ear to what they did, that we may afterward consider with ourselves what we must do likewise after their example. We also, who believe in Him That was dead, do come to His sepulchre bearing sweet spices, when we seek the Lord with the savour of good living, and the fragrant report of good works. Those women, when they brought their spices, saw a vision of Angels, and, in sooth, those souls whose godly desires do move them to seek the Lord with the savour of good lives, do see the countrymen of our Fatherland which is above.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. The Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it, and said unto the women:
* Fear not ye; for I know that ye seek Him That was crucified: He is risen already. Come, see the place where the Lord was laid, alleluia.
V. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment, and they were affrighted; and he saith unto them:
R. Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Him That was crucified: He is risen already; come, see the place where the Lord was laid, alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. The Angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone and sat upon it, and said unto the women: Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Him That was crucified: He is risen already: Come, see the place where the Lord was laid, alleluia.


It behoveth us to mark what this meaneth, that they saw the Angel sitting on the right side. For what signifieth the left, but this life which now is? or the right, but life everlasting? Whence also it is written in the Song of Songs ii. 6: His left hand is under my head, and His right hand doth embrace me. Since, therefore, our Redeemer had passed from the corruption of this life which now is, the Angel which told that His undying life was come, sat, as became him, on the right side. They saw him clothed in a white garment, for he was herald of the joy of this our great solemnity, and the glistering whiteness of his raiment told of the brightness of this holy Festival of ours. Of ours, said I? or of his? But if we will speak the truth, we must acknowledge that it is both his and ours. The Again-rising of our Redeemer is a Festival of gladness for us, for us it biddeth know that we shall not die for ever; and for Angels also it is a festival of gladness, for it biddeth them know that we are called to fulfill their number in heaven.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. When the Sabbath was passed, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices,
* That they might come and anoint Jesus, alleluia, alleluia.
V. And very early in the morning, the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre, at the rising of the sun.
R. That they might come and anoint Jesus, alleluia, alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost.
R. That they might come and anoint Jesus, alleluia, alleluia.


See this glad Festival then, which is both his and ours, the Angel appeared in white raiment. For as the Lord, rising again from the dead, leadeth us unto the mansions above, He repaireth the breaches of the heavenly Fatherland. But what meaneth this, that the Angel said unto the women which came to the sepulchre: Fear not? Is it not as though he had said openly: Let them fear which love not the coming of the heavenly countrymen; let them be afraid who are so laden by fleshly lusts, that they have lost all hope ever to be joined to their company. But as for you, why fear ye, who, when ye see us, see but your fellow countrymen? Hence also Matthew, writing of the guise of the Angel, saith xxviii. 3: His countenance was like lightning, and His raiment white as snow. The lightning speaketh of fear and great dread, the snow of the soft brilliancy of rejoicing.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Brought as a lamb to the slaughter

The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb, Hans Holbein the Younger, 1520, detail of hand

Lesson from the book of Lamentations
Lam 3:22-30
22 Heth. The mercies of the Lord that we are not consumed: because his commiserations have not failed.
23 Heth. They are new every morning, great is thy faithfulness.
24 Heth. The Lord is my portion, said my soul: therefore will I wait for him.
25 Teth. The Lord is good to them that hope in him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26 Teth. It is good to wait with silence for the salvation of God.
27 Teth. It is good for a man, when he hath borne the yoke from his youth.
28 Jod. He shall sit solitary, and hold his peace: because he hath taken it up upon himself.
29 Jod. He shall put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.
30 Jod. He shall give his cheek to him that striketh him, he shall be filled with reproaches.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Return unto the Lord thy God.

R. He hath been brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and while he was evil entreated he opened not his mouth: he was delivered up to death
* That he might quicken his people.
V. He hath poured out his soul unto death, and he was numbered with the transgressors.
R. That he might quicken his people.




Lam 4:1-8
1 Aleph. How is the gold become dim, the finest colour is changed, the stones of the sanctuary are scattered in the top of every street?
2 Beth. The noble sons of Sion, and they that were clothed with the best gold: how are they esteemed as earthen vessels, the work of the potter's hands?
3 Ghimel. Even the sea monsters have drawn out the breast, they have given suck to their young: the daughter of my people is cruel, like the ostrich in the desert.
4 Daleth. The tongue of the sucking child hath stuck to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the little ones have asked for bread, and there was none to break it unto them.
5 He. They that were fed delicately have died in the streets; they that were brought up in scarlet have embraced the dung.
6 Vau. And the iniquity of the daughter of my people is made greater than the sin of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment, and hands took nothing in her.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Return unto the Lord thy God.

R. Arise, O Jerusalem, and put off thy garments of rejoicing: cover thee with sackcloth and ashes
* For the Saviour of Israel hath been slain in the midst of thee.
V. Let thy tears run down like a river day and night, and let not the apple of thine eye cease.
R. For the Saviour of Israel hath been slain in the midst of thee.




Lam 5:1-11
1 Remember, O Lord, what is come upon us: consider and behold our reproach.
2 Our inheritance is turned to aliens: our houses to strangers.
3 We are become orphans without a father: our mothers are as widows.
4 We have drunk our water for money: we have bought our wood.
5 We were dragged by the necks, we were weary and no rest was given us.
6 We have given our hand to Egypt, and to the Assyrians, that we might be satisfied with bread.
7 Our fathers have sinned, and are not: and we have borne their iniquities.
8 Servants have ruled over us: there was none to redeem us out of their hand.
9 We fetched our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the desert.
10 Our skin was burnt as an oven, by reason of the violence of the famine.
11 They oppressed the women in Sion, and the virgins in the cities of Juda.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Return unto the Lord thy God.

R. O my people! lament, like a virgin girded with sack-cloth for the husband of her youth, howl, ye shepherds, in sack-cloth and ashes
* For the day of the Lord is at hand, and it is great and very terrible.
V. Gird yourselves, ye Priests, and howl, ye ministers of the altar: cast up ashes upon you.
R. For the day of the Lord is at hand, and it is great and very terrible.
R. O my people! lament, like a virgin, girded with sack-cloth for the husband of her youth, howl, ye shepherds, in sack-cloth and ashes * For the day of the Lord is at hand, and it is great and very terrible.


Friday, 14 April 2017

The Limbs of Our Jesus

Membra Jesu Nostri by St. Bernard of Clairveaux set to music by Dietrich Buxtehude.




To His Feet

Behold, upon the mountains
the feet of one bringing good news
and proclaiming peace.

Hail, salvation of the world,
Hail, hail, dear Jesus!
On Your cross would I hang
Truly, You know why
Give me Your strength.

The nails in Your feet, the hard blows
and so grievous marks
I embrace with love,
Fearful at the sight of You
Mindful of Your wounds.

Sweet Jesus, merciful God
I cry to You, in my guilt
Show me Your grace,
Turn me not unworthy away
From Your sacred feet.

Hail, salvation of the world,
Hail, hail, dear Jesus!
On Your cross would I hang
Truly, You know why
Give me Your strength.

+ + +

To His Knees

You will be brought to nurse
and dandled on the knees

Hail Jesus, King of Saints
Hope of sinners' prayers,
like an offender on the wood of the cross,
a man hanging, true God,
Bending on failing knees!

What answer shall I give You,
Vile as I am in deed, hard in my heart?
How shall I repay Your love,
Who chose to die for me
Lest I die the second death?

That I may seek You with pure heart,
Be my first care,
It is no labour nor shall I be loaded down:
But I shall be cleansed,
When I embrace You.

+ + +

To His Hands

What are those wounds
in the midst of Your hands?

Hail, Jesus, good shepherd,
wearied in agony,
tormented on the cross
nailed to the cross
Your sacred hands stretched out.

Holy hands, I embrace you,
and, lamenting, I delight in you,
I give thanks for the terrible wounds,
the hard nails, the holy drops,
shedding tears with kisses.

Washed in Your blood
I wholly entrust myself to You;
may these holy hands of Yours
defend me, Jesus Christ,
in the final dangers.

+ + + 

To His Sides

Arise, my love,
my beautiful one, and come,
my dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the hollow of the cliff.

Hail, side of the Saviour,
in which the honey of sweetness is hidden,
in which the power of love is exposed,
from which gushes the spring of blood
that cleans the dirty hearts.

Lo I approach You,
Pardon, Jesus, if I sin,
With reverent countenance
freely I come to You
to behold Your wounds.

In the hour of death, may my soul
Enter, Jesus, Your side
Hence dying may it go into You,
Lest the cruel lion seize it,
But let it dwell with You.

+ + +

To His Breast

Like newborn infants,
long for the guileless milk of reason,
that by it you may grow into salvation,
if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Hail God, my salvation,
sweet Jesus, my beloved,
hail, breast to be revered,
to be touched with trembling,
dwelling of love.

Give me a clean breast,
ardent, pious, moaning,
an abnegated will,
always conforming to You,
with an abundance of virtues.

Hail, true temple of God,
I pray, have mercy on me,
You, the ark of all that is good,
make me be placed with the chosen,
rich vessel, God of all.

+ + +

To His Heart

You have wounded my heart,
my sister, my bride,
You have wounded my heart.

Heart of the highest king, I greet You,
I salute You with a joyous heart,
it delights me to embrace You
and my heart aspires to this:
that You move me to speak to You.

Through the marrow of my heart,
of a sinner and culprit,
may Your love be conveyed
by whom Your heart was seized,
languishing through the wound of love.

I call with the living voice of the heart,
sweet heart, for I love You,
to incline to my heart,
so that it may commit itself to you
in the breast devoted to You.

+ + +

To His Face

Let Your face shine upon Your servant,
save me in Your mercy.

Hail, bloodied head,
all crowned with thorns,
beaten, wounded,
struck with a cane,
the face soiled with spit.

When I must die,
do not then be away from me,
in the anxious hour of death
come, Jesus, without delay,
protect me and set me free!

When You command me to depart,
dear Jesus, then appear,
O lover to be embraced,
then show Yourself
on the cross that brings salvation.

Amen

Thursday, 13 April 2017

In whom do we glory, if not in Our Lord Jesus Christ

As this post appears at 7:00 P.M EST. our Schola has begun the singing of this Introit.






If we do not glory in Christ and His cross, then in what do we glory? In what do we put our faith and trust? 

Do we put it in global organisations who promote the opposite of Catholic belief, from population control, abortion and environmental-fascism? Do we glory in the powerful and rich celebrities who use their money to gain access, even in the Church? Do we glory in prelates and popes who have failed to hold fast to tradition and who dismiss doctrine for some pastoral expediency that is not of Christ but is of the world? Do we glory in putting "our trust in princes" when the Psalmist tells us no to? Do we go dare contradict the Apostle of Rome, Paul, who challenges us to put away the things of a child and to glory only in the "cross of our Lord Jesus Christ?" 

When will the Catholic faithful rise up and stand for Christ rather than go along with those men who seek the praise of the world?

At the end of the Holy Thursday Sacrifice of the Mass and procession, the Altar is stripped. The priests dressed in albs strip the altar as Christ was stripped, the Schola chants Deus, Deus meus.

And I dare say that most people tonight, even Catholics, are in bars celebrating an early long weekend while Christ is stripped and longs for us to visit him. 

Una hora.