Saturday, July 28, 2007

Latin Antiphons and Closing Prayer for the Seventeenth Sunday of the Year (Cycle C)

Ad I Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Cum esset Iesus in quodam loco orans, dixit unus ex discipulis eius ad eum: Domine, doce nos orare.

Ad Laudes matutinas - Ad Benedictus, ant.

Petite, et dabitur vobis; quaerite, et invenietis; pulsate, et aperietur vobis.

Ad II Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Si vos, cum sitis mali, nostis dona bona dare filiis vestris, quanto magis Pater de caelo dabit Spiritum Sanctum petentibus se!


Protector in te sperantium, Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum, multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut, te rectore, te duce, sic bonis transeuntibus nunc utamur, ut iam possimus inhaerere mansuris. Per Dominum...

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Friday, July 27, 2007

Here's Mud in Your Eyes!

One day, walking into philosophy class, I paused to consider two syllogisms which had been written on the board. The intention, no doubt, was merely to annoy our professor, a logician.

The first syllogism was as follows:
God is love.
Love is blind.
God is blind.
Taking this conclusion as the major premise, the second argument ran thus:
God is blind.
Stevie Wonder is blind.
Stevie Wonder is God.
We'll ignore for the moment the fallacy involved here which conflates a class with divisions or members of that class, for that is inconsequential to my point in this article. It should be acknowledged, however, that, spurious though this argument may be, the phenomenon of pop star worship is a reality that could be dealt with at length in another post; yet, that is not my concern here. Suffice it to say that I have indeed met some who regard Stevie Wonder as God, or at least as a god. If you ask me, it's very superstitious...

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Anyway, my concern here is with the conclusion of the first syllogism.

While the statement "God is blind" might at first sound utterly blasphemous, I think that a reverent spin might be put on the expression with a bit of meditation. We have learned from Saint Paul that "the foolishness of God is wiser than men: and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Cor 1:25) Ours is a God who exalts the lowly, humbles the proud, enriches the poor, and strikes poor the rich. He "looks with favor" on the lowly; He sees largeness in faith the size of a mustard seed, but sees mountains as small enough to be moved. In the world's reasoning, such things are madness; but is this not because we see things differently? What we are told to believe so often seems to contradict the evidence of our own eyes. It seems almost that a blind man might have even an advantage in this regard: "Blessed are they that have not seen...." Is it not true that as the wisdom of men is the foolishness of God, so is man's true sight the "blindness" of God?

Tradition is filled with illustrations of God's apparent "blindness" in earthly terms. Consider the two famous cases of patrimony in Genesis where favor and covenental promises were passed down according to the literal blindness of men:
"Now Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, and he could not see... And Jacob said: I am Esau, thy firstborn: I have done as thou didst command me: arise, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me." Genesis 27
And Jacob himself would similarly decide his heritage:
"... Israel's eyes were dim by reason of his great age, and he could not see clearly. And when [Ephraim and Manasses] were brought to him, he kissed and embraced them... [and] he, stretching forth his right hand, put it upon the head of Ephraim, the younger brother; and the left upon the head of Manasses, who was the elder, changing his hands." Genesis 48
With the blindness of men, these two patriarchs had the vision of God and saw His will through to completion despite apparent absurdity. The most powerful lesson in the Old Testament of the difference in sight between man and God came to the prophet Samuel, when God rejected David's brothers one by one in choosing Israel's King. Of the most estimable brother, God said:
"Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart." (1 Sam 16:1)

The greater weight of this contrast is brought to bear in the New Testament, with relation to man's sin. These Old Testament types still have somewhat to do with earthly matters: earthly kingship and exaltation and glory and prosperity. But in the New Testament a new lesson is taught about God's blindness in earthly terms.

In the Gospel, it is the places which are dark and hidden from earthly sight that Christ reveals as the object of God's gaze. This "comes home" in the story of the Prodigal Son. In his book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen meditates upon the image of the father in the story as a representation of the Heavenly Father. When the son returns, Jesus tells us that the Father sees him from far off - He has been watching for him. Nouwen muses that the Father had watched like this every night since the son had left, and had seen with gifted vision all of the many sins in which the son had engaged among the foreigners. Yet, when the son returns, the Father "sees past" all of these sins: He sees a son back from the dead. Often forgotten is the smaller parable which immediately precedes this one in the fifteenth chapter of Luke's gospel, in which a woman lights a candle to search for a lost coin. Again, we see that God's sight is turned to the dark places, to seek out the lost and discover what lies hidden.

The full paradox comes to light in John's gospel, in the ninth chapter. Here we find the story of Jesus healing a man born blind. It has always struck me that Christ heals this particular man in a very graphic way. He does not merely touch or speak a word. Instead, Jesus makes clay with His spit and spreads the mud over the man's eyes. After washing, the man is made able to see. I've often wondered what this mud is meant to represent. Often it has been interpreted as the obscuring power of sin. Yet, Christ tells us that "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him [has he been born blind.]" (v 3)

If you take the chapter as a whole, it seems almost to indicate that only by becoming "blind" in earthly terms can man learn truly to see. In order to see as God sees, we must stop seeing as men. We must embrace as our wisdom the folly of the Gospel. We must let the paradoxical teachings of Christ which so affront our earthly sight to be as mud in our eyes if ever we hope to see things aright.

Christ's exchange with the Pharisees at the end of the chapter enforces this point:
And Jesus said: For judgment I am come into this world: that they who see not may see; and they who see may become blind.

And some of the Pharisees, who were with him, heard: and they said unto him: Are we also blind?

Jesus said to them: If you were blind, you should not have sin: but now you say: We see. Your sin remaineth.
Let us then be fools for Christ's sake, and blind to the world for the sake of the kingdom.

Christ came for judgment... and it is at the judgment that we will know the full extent to which God's vision is blind in earthly estimation. Those blessed enough to arrive at that day with their souls well prepared will greet a smiling Father who has been watching long for their return. They will learn that He is all-knowing and all-seeing, and that He gazes upon all times and places at once. And yet, as He welcomes them home, and they remember their sinfulness and failings in this life, they will not fear that He will remember those past sins. Having been forgiven, it will seem to them as though He had never even seen those things at all.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Administrative Note

I've gone and gotten the terrible nuisance of what normal people call "work" these past couple weeks, and have been thus occupied and unable to post as I would wish. I hope that my output will increase by the weekend, but ask you to bear with me in patience and keep checking back.

If you need interesting conversation, search Catholic Blogs for Harry Potter. That's what I've been reading lately (that is, the blog discussions, not the novels).


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Latin Antiphons and Closing Prayer for the Sixteenth Sunday of the Year (Cycle C)

Ad I Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Intravit Iesus in quoddam castellum, et mulier quaedam, Martha nomine, excepit illum.

Ad Laudes matutinas - Ad Benedictus, ant.

Maria sedens secus pedes Domini audiebat verbum illius.

Ad II Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Optimam partem elegit sibi Maria, quae non auferetur ab ea in aeternum.


Propitiare, Domine, famulis tuis, et clementer gratiae tuae super eos dona multiplica, ut, spe, fide et caritate ferventes, semper in mandatis tuis vigili custodia perseverent. Per Dominum...

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

"Chestertonian Incense" Take Two

Many people have drifted onto my site through searches about "Chestertonian Incense," probably having come accross the quotation in the Philly Inquirer to which I made reference, and searching for an explanation of who Chesterton is, and why he's connected with cigars.

For an answer to the former question, the best place to turn is the American Chesterton Society.

And about Chesterton and smoking, Dr. Thursday has the scoop over at the Society's blog.

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Local Flavor

My local paper has run a few AP articles on Summorum Pontificum bringing the confusion closer to home. Hence, this response from a local pastor, worthy of a quick read.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007


Other bloggers are up in arms about this idiotic commentary over at on the recent CDF publication.

And well they should be, because it's loaded with some of the most ignorant blasphemy to be found on the web.

Mr. Martin (a talk-show host) contends that,
For [Pope Benedict] to even suggest that only the Catholic Church can provide true salvation to believers in Christ shows that he is wholly ignorant of the Scriptures that [Mr. Martin has] known all [his] life.
He immediately admits to an inaccuracy, saying that he did not know the Scriptures for his 25 dark years as a "die-hard Catholic," since Catholics aren't allowed to read the bible. Of course, these twenty-five years are his claim to credibility in bashing the Church.

But does even a cursory look at the facts bear out Mr. Martin's argument? Would a look at respectable Catholic institutions and the official documents of the Church display a negative attitude toward Scripture or personal meditation thereupon? How about Pope Benedict himself? Can anyone who's even just glanced at one of his works claim that he is "wholly ignorant" of the Scriptures? Argue, if you will, that Pope Benedicts evaluations and conclusions based on Scripture are incorrect, but you cannot claim that he does not have constant recourse to Scripture and a very deep knowledge of the Bible.

Mr. Martin has other arguments, however. Here's a logically flawed construction if I've ever seen one:
...[A]s I reflect on my years as a Catholic, it pretty much was a wasted experience, as there was more identification with the church, and not with Christ. And that's why Pope Benedict XVI is meaningless, along with his decision to re-state the primacy of the Catholic Church.
A play by play yields argumentum ad authoritatem from personal experience, jumping to an ad homimen, rounded out with a non sequitur. What a workout.

Eventually, Mr. Martin gets to the substance and leaves personal evaluation aside, supposedly:
But what ticked folks off was his assertion in the 16-page document by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that the only denominations that can call themselves true churches are ones that can trace their roots back to Jesus Christ's original apostles. He even suggested they suffer from defects.
First of all, Mr. Martin has his facts wrong. Note he cites "his (i.e., Pope Benedict's) assertion" in the "document by the [CDF]". Sorry, Mr. Martin. Although the document might express the belief of the Pontiff, you have to dig a little deeper in your research in order to make this inference. If you want to tie such opinions directly to Pope Benedict, you need to familiarize yourself with something that the Pope actually wrote himself, and even then you have to differentiate between what he said in his official capacity as the CDF Prefect and what his personal theological leanings might be. The fact is that when the Pope certifies a document to be published by the CDF, then the assertions therein are the official teaching of that Congregation and no claims of personal attachment can be inferred. In fact, such an inference is yet another logical fallacy. And it shows a lack of precision and fairness with regard to how such documents as this one are generated.
This is nothing but a naked attempt by Pope Benedict XVI to "own" Jesus by virtue of the Catholic Church considering the apostle Peter as its leader.
Again, an ad hominem assertion about intention which cannot justly be inferred. One might say that this is a claim by CDF that the Catholic Church is "owned" by Jesus in something of an exclusive way. That would be nearer to the truth, but still somewhat inaccurate.

Mr. Martin's argument continues in an errant vein with selective use of Sacred Scripture to try to establish a "personal relationship with Jesus Christ" as the true Gospel faith as opposed to membership in a Church which Christ established.

Mr. Martin quotes the "Great Commission" from Matthew's Gospel: "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations." (28:19) From this quotation and its context, Mr. Martin somehow concludes that "[i]t doesn't matter what Pope Benedict XVI has to say, or for that matter, any other religious leader. A Christian believes in Jesus Christ and what He had to say, not what a man of God has to say."

Let's get down to brass tacks. A Christian believes in the Gospel message, "what [Jesus Christ] had to say," to be sure; but that message has been transmitted through the words of men. It was these eleven men of God (and eventually a couple others) who carried out that great commission and carried the message of Jesus Christ out to the ends of the earth. Their testimony was the foundation of the spreading of the faith, and they were given authority in order to safely transmit and interpret the knowledge that they'd been given. Either the very first apostles "got it wrong," or the way in which they carried out the commission to which Mr. Martin appeals must be taken into account. Since it is by their word that we know about this great commission to begin with, then it is worthwhile considering how they saw that commission as best achieved. And whether we look in the letters of Saint Paul, the second Lucan narrative, the epistolary teachings of the early Fathers, or Apostolic sources such as the Didache, we see the early Christians ordering and establishing a Church under the leadership of presbyters who had authority to instruct and correct. And all of this before ever a written canon of Scripture was even assembled!
Protestant leaders: Don't buy into the foolishness. Let Pope Benedict XVI keep running off at the mouth and making pointless declarations. If you keep bringing good news to the poor, setting the captives free and assisting those who seek to know Jesus, then you'll make more headway in doing the work of Jesus than any 16-page document will.
It is in his last paragraph where Mr. Martin's disrespectful and despicable rhetoric becomes downright infuriating. Why this sudden cynicism towards written communication from someone who has clearly espoused the sola scriptura doctrine, I cannot say. That the Roman Catholic Church remains a paradigm of charitable missionary work shows that we have not neglected that aspect of the Gospel mission at the expense of the equally important task of teaching and correction. Another cursory look at the letters of Saint Paul will show that he wanted his churches to be have sound doctrine and right opinion as much as he wanted them to live out these charisms.

Mr. Martin has stirred up quite a response around St. Blog's and I'm sure he would find many a willing interlocutor if he wished to develop his thesis or debate it in a proper way, based on familiarity with Holy Scripture and logical argumentation. It is my hope that those who have been led astray by his spurious drivel will find some of these bloggers' replies and gain something of a better perspective from their consideration. For any who have found my post in such an attempt, I direct you to please consider the sources (see below) before making any judgments. And I also would direct you to some other, more capable apologists.

"Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church" - Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - 29 June 2007

Lumen Gentium - Dogmatic Constitution on the Church - from the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council

Ut Unum Sint - Encyclical letter of Pope John Paul II on ecumenism

Dominus Iesus - CDF Declaration on the Unicity and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ and the Church - 6 August 2000

Other sites of interest:

Jimmy Akin (link) is lookin' to have an argument.

And Catholic Answers is one of the best places to see why Mr. Martin shouldn't quit his day job. See especially their forum thread on the subject, and their answer tract on salvation outside the Church.


Latin Antiphons and Closing Prayer for the Fifteenth Sunday of the Year (Cycle C)

Ad I Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Diliges Dominum Deum tuum ex toto corde tuo et proximum tuum sicut teipsum.

Ad Laudes matutinas - Ad Benedictus, ant.

Samaritanus quidam iter faciens, venit secus illum qui inciderat in latrones, et videns eum misericordia motus est et curavit vulnera eius.

Ad II Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Quis tibi videtur proximus fuisse illi, qui incidit in latrones? Et ait illi: Qui fecit misericordiam in illum. Vade et tu fac similiter.


Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis, da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini, et ea quae sunt apta sectari. Per Dominum...

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Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Not You, It's Me

Via Amy Welborn, comes this refreshing take on the recent set of responses put out by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: from a Southern Baptist Seminary Professor.

I've often thought about ecumenism in terms of more basic human relations. The problem with ecumenical dialogue is the same problem experienced by any couple going through a break-up (and I've had my share). The parties, emotionally attached and suffering from pride or hurt or any other perfectly human feeling, seem always to error to one extreme or the other: that is, they either lash out and unjustly lay all the blame on the opposing side; or they instead try to take the others' hurt as their own responsibility and apply, well, the "it's not you, it's me" routine.

Why do people still use the same old worn-out routine, when everyone knows it's a lie? A person will never respond to the "it's not you, it's me" routine, because they know that there's obviously some part of the break-up that is their responsibility. And that's why honesty is the best policy. Perhaps a relationship can be mended if both parties will honestly and maturely accuse one another of real inadequacies or insufficiency. Otherwise, neither knows how or why to change. Resentment sets in, pride is stirred up by patronization, and finally each bids the other good riddance.

The gentleman who wrote the piece above obviously knows the fallacies of the "it's not you, it's me" routine. He's not saying - and neither am I - that we should let our ecumenical dialogue decay into name-calling and finger-pointing. But true relationships need honesty and candidness. We are going to get nowhere if we simply shower one another with praises in celebration of what we do share in common; for it is not that which keeps us apart, but rather our real differences. If no mention is made of these, we are left the frustrated receivers of the it's-not-you-it's-me rhetoric, wondering, "Why then, if you're solely to blame, don't you fix this so that we can be together? Why, then, is there any need for dialogue at all, which is two sided, if the blame is all on one side? Why should I accuse myself, uncertain as yet as to what it is with which you find fault? For surely, there is something unspoken which you hold against me and it is upon that which this whole situation turns."

And so it is. We can apologize for the Inquisition and Queen Mary's reign 'til we're blue in the face, and still there will be those who deny the Truth as we see it - the Truth which has never depended in any substantial way upon our conduct who profess it, any more than the Pope's own supremacy depends upon the personal quality of the man who bears the yoke of that office. And while the Church acknowledges the failings in the transmission of the Truth as a fault wholly belonging to its members, it is still She who represents that Truth in its fullest form while this world lasts, and it is a fault to be acknowledged that other do not recognize Her signs as the undefiled Bride of Christ.

I hope and pray that an honest study of these recent responses, and a review of the material to which they make reference (particularly Dominus Iesus) will open doors to a true ecumenism, leading the various Churches and "ecclesial communities" to an honest understanding of where they stand in relationship to one another and to the Truth that comes from Christ Jesus.

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And They Blessed God In The Furnace...

O, let the earth bless the Lord: let it praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, ye mountains and hills, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, all ye things that spring up in the earth, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, ye fountains, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, ye seas and rivers, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, ye whales, and all that move in the waters, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, all ye fowls of the air, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, all ye beasts and cattle, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever. O, ye sons of men, bless the Lord, praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Daniel 3:74-82
I don't know a whole lot about global warming.

I can't say that I've put a very concerted effort into understanding the issue, so I'm unable to make any really educated judgment as to how much scientific evidence there is for either the phenomenon or its most popularly proposed causes (among which natural causes never seem to be entertained). I can say this much, though: that, while I'm as "plugged in" to the main-stream media as any, and the efforts of concerned individuals are substantial; yet, I haven't been frightened from my complacency. Indeed, from my perspective (which I hope is reasonably openminded), all of their work has seemed like so much frenzied fearmongering, spattered with agenda-driven vituperations. I'm given the impression that the "Inconvenient Truth" of which I'm unable to be convinced is glaringly obvious, such that even a cursory consideration will indubitably confirm one in belief.

Oh, well, I guess I'm slow.

And as I watch their efforts - and many a kindly heart laboring amongst them - my conscience is stirred by the eco-friendly crowd. Sometimes, even, it bitters the sweetness of my joy as I watch the smoke waft from my cigar's end, knowing that it may smother a happy butterfly. If I am to be so troubled by this inconvenient truth, I wish at least that I might be convinced! But, as yet, the evidence has not gained me a supporter to their ranks, and I'll continue to puff my puros in defiance of unreasonable doubt.

I think part of my reluctance is because of the word environment. I hate the word. It is a sign of our contraceptive culture that people can say, "We have a wonderful environment," and such things, and others actually will be moved by the phrase. There's a sterility and a lack of romance in the way that environmentalists talk about the thing they're trying to protect, and that makes me wonder about motives. Is it utilitarianism? How are we to feel about these "biomes" and "ecosystems" which are so neatly cataloged without a single adjective worthy of a good poem? It cannot be true love. Infatuation, maybe. Cupidity at best. But it is not the true love of Creation that so many poets and prophets have spoken about, is it? These latter might not always have seen the Creator behind creation; but even then, they exalted creation itself as sublime: the worshipped nature in earnest. The modern naturalist isn't even a nature worshipper: he thinks nature is a mathematical chimera, a soul-less oddity born in chaos and falling back into the void with only an ostensible appearance of intelligent ordering. And somehow that is supposed to command our affection and allegiance!

Anyway, all of these thoughts came to mind yesterday morning when I came across this story over at American Papist. The news story struck me, although it's not really a surprise: the Vatican is dedicated to safeguarding the Environment. If, like me, you choose to replace that loaded yet lifeless word with "Creation," then the headline no longer seems odd or even noteworthy, but rather an obvious statement. And I'm O.K. with that. Because then we understand that our "environment" is truly ours; that it is part of creation and that it has been ordered for our proper use. We are its stewards. Thus we must make good use of it and use it reasonably. Reasonable, too, must be the means we take in order to care for Creation: they must not be disordered in their own right, or transplant human rights with lesser dignities.

Be it merely apropos or truly providential, tomorrow is the feast of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. And she is the patroness of ecology (although, I'm sure, in her native language she had much warmer ways of expressing the same idea). Let us pray to her for wisdom in our stewardship guided by knowledge of the truth, inconvenient or irksome or otherwise.

Yeah, perhaps the earth is getting warmer. It certainly feels like it, lately. Who's to blame? I blame aerosol cheese. Before the fall of the Soviet Union, we might have blamed the Russians. Before the Fall of mankind, we might have blamed nobody. We are forever looking for new alibis and placing blame for phenomena over which we might have no control, if only to distract ourselves from real problems which are our doom to counteract. Maybe God's good earth is simply heating up a bit like a self-cleaning oven to wash itself of some filth naturally accumulated from years of not necessarily improper use. The three young men in the furnace were not thwarted by warmth in their celebration of creation, however; so, neither let us despair, but lead all things on earth to praise the Lord.
Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, pray for us.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, pray for us.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

As if we didn't have enough to talk about

VATICAN CITY, JUL 12, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Edwin Frederick O'Brien, military ordinary for the U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Baltimore (area 12,430, population 3,055,477, Catholics 517,679, priests 545, permanent deacons 178, religious 1,380), U.S.A. He succeeds Cardinal William Henry Keeler, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


I've been receiving an influx of visitors on this post, many of them from Maryland, presumably searching for information on their new Shepherd. I've never met Archbishop O'Brien personally. I have a cousin who knows him and regards him very highly. I also remember hearing his praises spoken when he was selected to head the Apostolic seminary visitations here in the US.

Here are a few links which may be of service in getting better acquainted:

- Archbishop O'Brien's Catholic Hierarchy statistic page.

- A short biopic and curriculum vitae from the Military Archdiocese. (NB: See the links on the left of that page for other useful resources.)

- An article from CatholicMil.Org.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Chestertonian Incense"

A tangential mention of our man GKC in the Philly Inquirer in an article on Summorum Pontificum - actually, the reference is to cigars. As for the article: I've seen better, but I've also seen many much worse.


Please Excuse Our Mess

Small structural updates in progress, especially over on the sidebar. Please leave comments/suggestions. I'll be back to actual posting soon.


Where Have I Heard This Before...?

With obeisance to Fr. Z., I must direct your attention to what the infamous Sister Joan Chittister has to say about Summorum Pontificum.

Now, I know I've heard all of this somewhere before...

Ah, yes, that was it.

Or maybe it was the old people at the local diner complaining that they missed the early bird special (while the poor young girl behind the podium tries to explain that this diner never had such a special, but they must be thinking of another establishment).

And then there's this guy as well. What drama! I don't know whether the performance in the video above or the one in this article is more over-done. I have to agree with Mark Shea that "[t]here's a jittery totalitarianism behind such sentiments."

But I guess these are growing pains. And the new document from the CDF today is getting as much a lashing in the media as the former one. The popular press wants to make it out that the Vatican has dealt a one-two punch to all that the Council accomplished for ecumenism. But I think that we're seeing some movement in exactly the true Spirit behind the documents of the Second Vatican Council. And I think I'll say more about that tomorrow. For now, I'm still trying to digest: it's been a busy couple of weeks for the Holy See and St. Blog's.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

When It Rains...

... it pours!
VATICAN CITY, JUL 10, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: "Responses to some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church." It is dated June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, and bears the signatures of Cardinal William Joseph Levada and Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., respectively prefect and secretary of the congregation.
Of course, Gerald did let us know this was coming.

Well, the Pope probably figured we needed plenty to talk about while he was on vacation.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Summorum Pontificum Round-up


Since my two cents would not really add anything to the discussion, and since I've already set forth my (no count, take-it-with-a-grain-of-salt) opinion, I have here selected a handful of resources that have helped me in researching the new document motu proprio data yesterday by the Holy Father.

--- I recommend checking out Jimmy Akin's commentary on the document itself with consideration of its legal weight: the first full-length, educated review available.

--- I also recommend that proponents of a wider usage of the Old forms acquaint themselves (for the first time, or again if necessary) with Father Z's "rulez."

--- I'm sure we're all avid readers already, but perhaps have missed the newest newsletter from the Bishop's Committee on the Liturgy, which has a piece of interest. [Oh, to have been a fly on the wall at the drafting of that article...]

--- A good friar from the Order of Preachers offers a hypothetical consideration of how the newest legistlation may be undermined here.

--- Amy Welborn gives a nice little catechesis in her Motu Proprio Tip Sheet.

--- And Father Finigan has his own round-up with some other useful links.

UPDATE - 10 July 2007

--- I missed this, but of course it's always worth checking out what Father Neuhaus has to say.

The Two Cents I Said I Wasn't Going to Throw In

With everything that has been said and is currently circulating around Saint Blog's and in the Catholic press, I think only two points are worth emphasizing still one more time on these pages, to wit:
(I) We need to pray for our Holy Father, for our Bishops, for our Pastors, and for the entire Church, particularly in the Latin Rite, and this our prayer embracing the true spirit of the Sacred Council which extolled the Liturgy as the "source and summit" of our life and faith (Lumen Gentium 11; c.f. CCC 1324). In other words, we may not underestimate the importance of this matter or see it to be peripheral or inconsequential simply because there is a minimal likelihood of our being directly effected by these decrees. The Church lives and works as a unified Body and what touches any members resonates throughout the whole. The Holy Father's own words underline the importance which he gives to this matter: that should be enough of an endorsement for us to give it our due attention in prayer.

(II) In addition to our remembrance of this matter in prayer, we should do our part to work towards the achievement of the Holy Father's wishes: joining real work to our prayers will make them all the more worthy a sacrifice. The primary work which we can do now is to study the document itself, to engage fruitful debate and discussion regarding various interpretations and (I must add) translations, and to familiarize ourselves even more with the wonderful unity and continuity of the Liturgical Tradition of the Church. Summorum Pontificum emphasizes the ancient relation between the "lex orandi" and the "lex credendi": we need to honestly evaluate our knowledge of the latter in light of our comprehension of the former, and seek answers where we fall short, with a docile humility and with a true eagerness to "own the mystery."

Let us tread this path faithfully together, regardless of divergence of opinions, in the confident hope that all travail will lead to fruitful harmony and that our own efforts in prayer and study will be for our own good, for the good of all God's Holy Church, and - as always - ad majorem Dei gloriam.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

Latin Antiphons and Closing Prayer for Fourteenth Sunday of the Year (Cycle C)

Ad I Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Messis quidem multa, operarii autem pauci. Rogate ergo Dominum messis, ut mittat operarios in messem suam.

Ad Laudes matutinas - Ad Benedictus, ant.

In quamcumque domum intraveritis, primum dicite: Pax huic domui. Et requiescet super illam pax vestra.

Ad II Vesperas - Ad Magnificat, ant.

Gaudete et exsultate, quia nomina vestra scripta sunt in caelis, dicit Dominus.


Deus, qui in Filii tui humilitate iacentem mundum erexisti, fidelibus tuis sanctam concede laetitiam, ut, quos eripuisti a servitute peccati, gaudiis facias perfrui sempiternis. Per Dominum...

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New Project Announcement

My long-time readers will know from previous entries that I try, whenever possible, to pray the office from the Latin editio typica altera of 2000. There are two primary reasons for this: first, the Latin forms of the proper prayers are richer than the translations given in our English edition; and second, there is a complete set of antiphons provided for the Sundays of the year coinciding with the three-year lectionary cycle, whereas the English translation is from the older edition which only has a single antiphon for each of the Gospel canticles.

Occasionally, when pinched for time, I make use of the Latin ediiton in a supplemental way, simple taking the Gospel antiphon and the prayer text from there, while praying everything else in English (and I have found nothing in the rubrics to suggest this to be improper, but am open to correction). I have found find this practice to be very fruitful and to provide a richness to my celebration of the liturgy on Sundays which is lacking when I simply use the English edition.

This evening, as I prayed Vespers, reflecting upon the Holy Father's letter given motu proprio this morning, I decided that I wanted to share this richness and that this site provides me with a medium for doing so. So, as a service to my readers who pray the breviary, or for any one who might be interested, I am going to try to provide each weekend the antiphons for First and Second Vespers and for Morning Prayer, as well as the closing prayer. Perhaps people who find the Latin breviary too pricy or superfluous to their real needs will find this small helping to hit the spot.

I am preparing these a few weeks in advance so all I have to do is post them as each date rolls around. I will try to have them on the site each week by Saturday morning so that people can print them out and clip them inside their breviaries if they wish.

As always, questions and comments are welcome. The posts in this project will all be filed under "breviary" for easy access.

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Wheels on the Ground

I have returned from vacation and hope to be posting again shortly.

For the time being, I must catch up on sleep.