Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels

Channel Catalog

older | 1 | .... | 209 | 210 | (Page 211) | 212 | 213 | .... | 262 | newer

    0 0

    Last March, we published a brief article about St Pius X parish in Granger, Indiana, a beautiful new building which was officially dedicated on the feast of the Annunciation by His Excellency Kevin Rhoades, bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend. Our webmaster Richard Chonak just visited the church and took some photos.

    A series of mosaic medallions running up the central aisle.

    0 0

    The second annual Two Shrines Pilgrimage, a three-day walk in the spirit of the Chartres pilgrimage from Edinburgh to St Andrews, with the particular intention of the reconversion of Scotland, will take place this year from August 5-7. The pilgrimage will incorporate the Extraordinary Form of the Holy Mass and traditional devotions. If you are interested in walking all or part of the route, please register your interest by e-mailing as soon as possible. The itinerary will be as follows:

    Saturday, August 5 - St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, Edinburgh, to St Margaret’s Memorial Church, Dunfermline
    Sunday, August 6 - St Margaret’s Church to Falkland Palace
    Monday. August 7 - Falkland Palace to St Andrew’s Cathedral, St Andrews.

    Members of the public are welcome to follow the pilgrimage and to attend its liturgies and other events. If you wish to be kept updated by e-mail please contact us using the address above. Those who cannot participate in walking the pilgrimage are advised that for the concluding Holy Mass in St Andrews on Monday, August 7, the organizers are hoping to arrange for that evening the first Solemn High Mass celebrated in the ruins of St Andrew’s Cathedral since the Reformation.

    Click here to see and download the application form for pilgrimage.
    Click here to see and download the membership application for the Confraternity of St Ninian.

    Some images from last year’s pilgrimage.

    0 0

    How about this as a way to encourage the family to pray grace beautifully? 

    The photograph comes from a review of and exhibition of Renaissance Devotionals in Cambridge, Mass. written by Dr Carrie Gress. The review tells us:
    These four knives with ivory or ebony handles and etched steel blades show how music would enhance devotion tin the Italian Renaissance home. Each one is inscribed on the blade with the name of a voice part (‘Superius’, ‘Contratenor’, ‘Tenor’ and ‘Bassus’) and the words and music of a Benediction on one side of the blade and a Grace on the other.
     Read the full article at

    0 0

    St Colman’s Society for Catholic Liturgy, which organizes Fota International Liturgy Conference every year, has asked me to post the following update. The Clarion Hotel at Lapp’s Quay, Cork City, the traditional venue for the conference, has recently changed its name to the Clayton Hotel.

    The Conference will be held from July 8-10, and will explore the subject of Resourcing the Prayers of the Roman Liturgy: Patristic Sources. Here is the current program, subject to adjustment.

    Saturday, July 8
    8.15 Registration
    9.30 Opening of the Conference
    9.45-10.45 Joseph Briody: As He promised: Davidic Hope Resurgent - the Message of 2 Kings 25:27-30.
    11.00-12.00 Markus Büning: Panis animarum – The Eucharist in St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
    12.00 Lunch
    3.00-4.00 Dieter Böhler SJ: Jerome and the Recent Revision of the German Einheitsübersetzung Bible.
    4.15-5.15 Gregory DiPippo: The Patristic Sources of the Roman Lectionary in Lent.
    7.30 pm Pontifical Vespers at Ss Peter and Paul, celebrated by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke

    Sunday, July 9
    11. 30 Pontifical High Mass at Ss Peter and Paul, celebrated by His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke
    4.00-5.00 João Paulo de Mendonça Dantas: The Eucharist in the thought of Nicholas Cabasilas
    5.00-6.00 Mark Withoos:“ad audiendum silentium narrationis eius” (Ep. 147): Silence and Liturgy in St. Augustine.
    6.30-7.30 Launch of Verbum Domini: Liturgy and Scripture edited by Fr. Joseph Briody (Proceeding of Fota IX)
    8.00 Gala Dinner

    Monday, July 10
    9.30-10.30 His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke: Early Sources of the Church’s Liturgical Discipline
    10.45-11.45 Kevin Zilverberg: The Latin Fathers’ Daniel in Antiphons and Responsories
    12.30 Solemn High Mass in St. Peter and Paul’s
    2.45-3.45 Manfred Hauke: The Holy Eucharist in the Life and Work of Pope Gregory the Great.
    4.00-5.00 Sven Conrad: The Christian Sacrifice according to St. Augustine: Prospectives taking into Consideration Joseph Ratzinger`s Approach.
    5.00-6.00 Johannes Nebel: The Paradigmatic Change of the Post Conciliar Liturgical Reform from actio to celebratio in the Light of the Latin Fathers.

    0 0

    I propose here to consider what Pope Benedict XVI meant, and what he achieved, by categorizing the traditional Roman Mass and the post-conciliar reform of it as two Forms of the same Rite, the one Extraordinary and the other Ordinary. Before doing that, I believe it is necessary to establish a distinction between the terms which have historically been used to describe variations with a liturgy or liturgical family, namely, Rite and Use.

    To the best of my knowledge, the distinction between Rite and Use has not been officially laid out anywhere in law by the Church; this is therefore purely my take on the matter.

    For clarity’s sake, the variants of the same Rite should properly be called Uses, like the Sarum Use or Dominican Use; this is what they were almost always called before the Tridentine reform. For example, the frontispiece of the Sarum Missal says “Missale ad usum insignis ecclesiae Sarisburiensis – the Missal according to the Use of the famous church of Salisbury.”

    The frontispiece of a Sarum Missal printed at Paris in 1555.
    It is true that even before Trent, there was some confusion between these terms, and Rite was occasionally said instead of Use; after Trent, the term Use became rare, and Rite was generally used in its place. Thus, the Dominican Breviary is called “the Breviary according to the Rite of the Sacred Order of Preachers.”
    However, if we wish to establish a distinction between different liturgies on the one hand, and variants within a given liturgy on the other, while still keeping to some kind of historical terminology, it seems obvious that Rite is the more appropriate for the former, and Use for the latter. It would be absurd to describe the liturgies of the Eastern churches as “the Byzantine Use, the Coptic Use etc.,” when comparing them to “the Roman Use”; they are clearly and entirely different Rites. “Use”, on the other hand, was the predominant term for variants of the Roman Rite when there were many such variants celebrated throughout Western Europe.

    All of the essential characteristics of the Roman Rite, such as the Ordo Missae and the structure of the Office, are the same from one Use to the other. They are not the same in other Rites. This applies not just to the Canon, but the whole structure of the Mass: Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Collect(s), Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia etc. With minor variations, which are more variations of order than of wording, the bulk of the liturgical texts is the same as well. Searching through every missal or antiphonary of every Use of the Roman Rite, one will find the Introit Ad te levavi on the First Sunday of Advent, Populus Sion on the Second, etc. It is true that some of the later features of the Rite, mostly notably the Offertory prayers and the Sequences, differ considerably from one Use to another. These variations are nevertheless confined within certain clearly recognizable limits, have much in common with one another, and can therefore be grouped into families.

    Furthermore, any proper Mass or Office written for one Use can be transposed into any of the others with no difficulty at all. (The same is true for any set of Offertory prayers or any Sequence.) For example, St Thomas Aquinas was a Dominican, and wrote the Office and Mass of Corpus Christi according to the medieval French Use followed by his order. (The Office had nine responsories at Matins, rather than eight as in the Roman Use, a versicle between Matins and Lauds, etc.) Almost nothing needed to be done to adjust these texts for the Missal and Breviary according to the “Use of the Roman Curia”, which in the Tridentine reform became the Missal and Breviary of St Pius V.

    However, when the Mass of Corpus Christi was added to the Ambrosian Rite, all kinds of adjustments had to be made: the addition of a first reading, the antiphon after the Gospel, the Oratio super sindonem, and the Transitorium, none of which exist in the Roman Rite, and the removal of the Sequence, which has never existed in the Ambrosian Rite. Vice versa, if one wanted to take the Ambrosian Mass of St Ambrose, for example, and transpose it into the Roman Rite, one would need to change it very considerably, adding a psalm verse and Gloria to the Ingressa to make an Introit, and removing the first reading, the antiphon after the Gospel, the Oratio super sindonem, and the Transitorium.

    If we accept these definitions of Rite and Use, it seems to me very clear that neither of them is appropriate to describe the relationship between what we now call the two Forms of the Roman Rite. On the very basic level of what we usually see and hear in a Mass of the Ordinary Form and a Mass of the Extraordinary Form, they immediately appear to be two different Rites. The liturgist Fr Joseph Gelineau SJ famously declared à propos of the reformed Mass, “This needs to be said without ambiguity: the Roman Rite as we knew it no longer exists. It has been destroyed.” A statement of this sort cannot be glossed over as the opinion of single man; Fr Gelineau was a prominent figure in the liturgical reform, and highly esteemed by its most famous architect, Archbishop Annibale Bugnini. Similar statements, pro and con, have been made by many others. I cannot imagine any serious liturgical scholar applying similar language to any previous change within the Roman Rite.

    On the basis of my transposition argument given above, (texts can easily be moved from one Use to another, but can be moved from one Rite to another much less easily, or not at all), it can be said that the EF and OF do share a certain identity. Most of any given block of Mass texts can be moved from one to the other fairly easily, or at least, much more easily than they could be moved between the Byzantine and Ambrosian Rites. However, considering that the post-conciliar reform was a far greater displacement of liturgical texts than had ever taken place before in the Roman Rite, and the significant ritual differences, it is much harder to argue that the EF and OF share an identity. Historically, this is an absolutely anomalous situation; there has never been a case of two Rites or Uses which shared so much and yet were so radically different.

    Because of this, the identity of the two Forms of a single Rite as established by Summorum Pontificum has sometimes been described as a “legal fiction.” I submit that this is a wholly appropriate way of describing the situation, that the identity of the two Forms as a single Rite IS a legal fiction, and that this is a good thing.

    A legal fiction is not the same thing as a lie. Adoption, for example, is a legal fiction, which states that in terms of law, this person is the child of that person. This is most emphatically not a false statement, even though the adopted child is not the natural offspring of the parents. The law’s recognition of the bond between parents and children is perhaps the least significant thing about it, precisely because it does not create such a bond and cannot dissolve it. In this sense, adoption simply declares that the absence of a genetic relationship between two specific people is legally irrelevant, and a parent-child relationship exists.

    In a similar way, Pope Benedict’s action in creating two “Forms” was not intended to speak to the relationship between the EF and OF as a matter of liturgical or historical scholarship, but solely as a description of the relationship between them in law. It simply declares that the tenuous relationship between the two Forms is legally irrelevant.

    As a matter of law, a priest of one Rite legally needs special faculties to celebrate Mass in another. This is a useful and perfectly sensible legal provision for a variety of reasons, and a long-standing one, but hardly a moral necessity per se; where deemed pastorally useful, the Church has been fairly flexible in granting such faculties. However, the whole point of Summorum Pontificum was to establish that a priest of the Roman Rite does not need any special faculty or permission to say the Mass according to the traditional Missal, as was the case under the indult Ecclesia Dei. I believe that Pope Benedict acted very wisely and conscientiously in adopting a completely different category from any other previously used, Form instead of Use or Rite, to get around an important legal problem, namely, that by any other solution, he would have made the vast majority of Catholic priests “bi-ritual.” That would have been a legal abomination without precedent.

    0 0

    Dr Michael Foley, the author of Drinking with the Saints: The Sinner’s Guide to a Holy Happy Hour, has come up with a new concoction especially to celebrate tomorrow’s tenth anniversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. (Click here to read Peter Kwasniewski’s review of the book, which we published in June of 2015.) We reproduce it here from OnePeterFive with his permission, and our thanks - enjoy!

    Some More, Um, Pontificum
    1 oz. London dry gin
    ½ oz. Bénédictine liqueur
    ¼ oz. lemon juice
    dash kirsch
    lemon twist

    Pour all ingredients except lemon twist into a shaker filled with ice and shake forty times (the biblical number for penance). Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with lemon twist.

    Allegorical Explanation
    The Bénédictine honors the name that Joseph Ratzinger took upon his election to the Holy See.

    The kirsch pays tribute to the Pontiff’s German heritage, and since kirschwasser is a cherry brandy, it also symbolizes Pope St. Gregory the Great, who according to legend was quite fond of the juicy red fruits (see Drinking with the Saints, p. 52). It is appropriate that Pope Benedict’s drink would incorporate a symbol of Gregory the Great, since Summorum Pontificum liberalizes the use of what is sometimes called the Gregorian Rite.

    The lemon juice recalls the bitter opposition of tradition’s enemies to Pope Benedict XVI’s liturgical largesse. These enemies are alas still with us but we can use them to our spiritual benefit to grow holier and more charitable, just as we can use bitter ingredients to make a tasty drink.

    The lemon twist, on the other hand, betokens not resistance to the Pope’s largesse but the largesse itself. In Drinking with the Saints, the twist is a symbol of St. Martin’s torn cloak generously given to a beggar who turned out to be Christ (p. 311). And because lemon rinds are oleaginous, secreting healthy essential oils, they are also symbolic of the sacraments that can now be celebrated with greater freedom according to the 1962 liturgical books.

    As for the London dry gin, we like to think of it as a nod to all of the English-speaking supporters of Summorum Pontificum such as the good folks at OnePeterFive, the New Liturgical Movement, (thank you, sir!) The Latin Mass Magazine, Fr. Z’s Blog, the Society for Catholic Liturgy, Una Voce, Sacra Liturgia, and so on (please forgive me if I left anyone out).

    A Toast
    To the first ten years, reverend Fathers and recognizable Sisters, ladies and gentlemen: May what has begun in our day be brought to perfection, for the honor of God and of Our Lady and of all the Saints. Happy anniversary and many more!

    0 0

    On Saturday, July 1st, the feast of the Precious Blood, His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke ordained seven deacons of the Fraternity of St Peter to the priesthood in the parish church at Lindenberg, a small town about five miles away from Wigratzbad. Here is a just a small selection (which as usual, was not easy to make among so many beautiful images) of the almost 200 photos posted by St Peter’s International Seminary, by whose courtesy we reproduce them here; the complete set can be seen via Googlephotos.

    NLM is very happy to offer our heartiest congratulations to the newly ordained priests, Frs Laurent Déjean, Thibault Desjars de Keranrouë, Jakub Kaminski, Edouard Laurant, Henri Lefer, Štěpán Šrubař and Roland Weiß, to all of their friends and family, and to the Fraternity. In this season when so many priestly ordinations are taking place throughout the world, let us especially remember to thank God for all the blessings and mercies He gives us through the ministry of the priesthood, for the families in whom religious vocations are born and fostered, to pray for their increase, and for all of our bishops and clergy.

    The Superior General of the FSSP, Fr John Berg, reads the call to orders.

    The ordinands prostrate themselves at the Litany of the Saints.

    Towards the end of the Litany of the Saints, the bishop rises, receives his crook and miter, then turns to the ordinands, and sings the invocations, “That Thou may deign to bless + these chosen ones. - That Thou may deign to bless + and sancti+fy these chosen ones. - That Thou may deign bless +, sancti+fy and conse+crate these chosen ones.”, making the sign of the Cross over them where I have put the + sign.

    More than 80 priests were present and imposed hands on the ordinands, among them Fr Patrick du Faÿ, rector of the German seminary, who celebrates the 30th anniversary of his priestly ordination this year, and Fr Josef Bisig, one of the founders of the Fraternity, and current rector of the American seminary, celebrating his 40th anniversary.

    The new ordained are clothed with the chasuble.

    Until the end of the ceremony, the new priests’ chaubles are pinned up at the back; at the end of the ordination rite, they are unpinned by the bishop, as a symbol that he has released them to the exercise of their priestly ministry.

    The anointing of hands
    The traditio instrumentorum

    Each of the newly ordained priests concelebrates Mass with the bishop, kneeling at a small desk with a Missal on it. They are traditionally accompanied by older priests to help them through the ceremony.

    0 0

    If one reads a lot of Catholic literature from the late sixties and throughout the seventies and eighties, one encounters a peculiar smugness in the authors, a self-satisfaction at the success of what they could easily have dubbed their own “Glorious Revolution.” They believe that they have sung a new Church into being, just like that, built on the ruins of centuries of fortress-mentality Counter-Reformation Catholicism, now safely leveled to the dust.

    But as the years roll on, and especially with the unexpected advent of Benedict XVI, a new note begins to be sounded in the magazines, journals, and newspapers of the regnant party — a note of anxiety about the increasingly undeniable fact that there is now an alternative to the prevailing paradigm. There is, surprisingly, competition in the open market. Suddenly one hears the former partisans of diversity and experimentation thunderously condemning the presence of the Other, because it simply does not belong. Alterity is all fine and good until it is really significant alterity. Then it has to be melted down and poured into the popsicle tray of institutional uniformity. The promoters of diversity suddenly sound like those who support a “free market” as long as it favors big government and big corporations.

    Wherever it springs up, the traditional Roman Rite attracts God-thirsting souls, and Catholic culture starts to spring up again alongside of it, or rather, within it and from it. Yet in many places, this new opening to grace is not tolerated by the establishment. The fallacy of a petitio principii rears its head: “Because people aren’t interested, and no one will come, therefore we won’t make it available.” This is a desperate maneuver of one who is afraid of something — afraid, perhaps, that what was sacred and great for past generations of Catholics might be found to be sacred and great by Catholics today who never knew it before.

    One would think churchmen would and should do anything that promised to win souls for Christ, including the strange experiment of Tradition. Salus animarum suprema lex. When an institution is bleeding its members, when a local church is facing a catastrophic collapse in sacramental practice, one would expect its leaders to attempt even desperate and unlikely expedients, such as the revival of traditional Catholic practice. The passage of time has taught us, alas, that there are some, including far too many high-ranking clerics, who would rather lose Catholics than give up the aggiornamento. An empty church is at least a church with no Latin Mass, and empty pews will at least have no large homeschooling families that study Latin, wear veils, and give the Church vocations. Potential disaster averted.

    A sign of contradiction and a thorn in the side: this is the vocation of the traditionalist in the Church of today. Maybe someday it will be different, and the traditionalist can once more be the Catholic, without an uncomfortable distinctiveness, without the duty of criticism and opposition. After all, for long stretches of Church history, every believing Catholic was ipso facto a traditionalist. There was not a perilous choice between being a Catholic in obvious communion with all of one’s forebears and being a Catholic who is aggiornamentoed and avant-garde.

    Summorum Pontificum has been insightfully described as the single greatest proof — and guarantee — of the hermeneutic of continuity. Perhaps it may prove, in the long run, to be the only incontrovertible evidence of continuity. How do we know that the Church of today is the same as the Church of yesterday and of every age? Because she celebrates the same liturgy, one characterized by slow development under the influence of the Holy Spirit. This is the very badge and banner of Catholicity.

    (This article is an excerpt from my new book, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness: Why the Modern Age Needs the Mass of Ages [Kettering, OH: Angelico Press, 2017], 149–51.)

    0 0

    Today, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the issuance of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, the Benedictine Monks of Norcia celebrated a solemn High Votive Mass of St. Benedict, with prayers of thanksgiving added as a second set. The participants of the Albertus Magnus Center for Scholastic Studies’ Summer Theology Program were present (that’s how I happened to be there) and one of them, a seminarian, took some photographs that he shared with me for NLM. The liturgy began with the office of Terce, as indicated by the use of the cope.

    The photos permit us a glimpse of the new chapel that the monks have built with the help of many neighbors and visitors from Italy and abroad. This new chapel will serve the monastery’s needs until, at a future date, it becomes possible for the community to proceed with a new and much larger Italian Gothic church akin to the basilica in town that now lies in ruins.

    Spending these days in an agriturismo right below the monastery has given me a new appreciation for the spirit of zealous determination that characterizes these faithful sons of St. Benedict, who truly embody the motto succisa virescit (cut down, it grows back again).


    The monks approach two by two, genuflect, and kneel to receive Our Lord.
    For me, the most striking aspect of today’s liturgy was the proper preface for St. Benedict, which was used because it was a votive Mass in his honor. I was so impressed with it that I asked a monk afterwards if he’d allow me to see the text of the Preface. He obliged by taking my camera to the sacristy, snapping a picture of the Preface, and bringing the camera back to me outside.

    VERE dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine, sancte pater, omnipotens aeterne Deus: qui beatissimum confessorem tuum Benedictum, ducem et magistrum caelitus edoctum, innumerabili multitudini filiorum statuisti. Quem et omnium justorum spiritu repletum, et extra se raptum, luminis tui splendore collustrasti; ut in ipsa luce visionis intimae, mentis laxato sinu, quam angusta essent inferiora deprehenderet. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. Quapropter profusiis gaudiis, tutus in orbe terrarum monachorum coetus exsulta. Sed et supernae virtutes atque angelicae Potestates hymnum gloriae tuae concinunt, sine fine dicentes...
    It is truly meet and just, right and wholesome, for us ever and everywhere to give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God: Who didst establish Benedict thy most blessed Confessor, taught from heaven, as leader to and master of a numberless multitude of sons. Whom also, filled with the spirit of all the just, and rapt out of himself, Thou didst illumine with the splendor of Thy light, that in the very light of that intimate vision, his mind being unfettered, he might see how truly narrow are all things here below: through Christ our Lord. Wherefore with abundant joys doth the whole choir of monks throughout the world exult, while the hosts above, and the angelic powers also join in singing the hymn of Thy glory, saying without ceasing...
    Through the prayers of Holy Father Benedict, may God bless the good monks of Norcia and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI!

    0 0

    With today being the tenth anniversary of the issuance of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, it has led me to think back a bit on the history of the movement to restore the usus antiquior within the life of the Church, specifically through the lens of my own personal history in relation to it. That journey, for me, began in the early 1990's.

    At that time Pope John Paul II's document, Ecclesia Dei Adflicta, was but a few years old. We all know the state of things then and right up until the time of Summorum Pontificum: generosity was prescribed but that prescription was seldom filled.

    In those years, at least in North America, the "Tridentine Mass," as it was then commonly known, was only rarely available. For myself, it meant a four hour round trip journey to a small country monastery of Carmelite nuns with an even smaller chapel. The monastery was built in the late 1950's and its architectural aura was typical of the cold, drab institutionalism of much of the architecture of that period. The chapel was small and dark -- dingy truth be told -- with walls of unfinished cinder block; it had all the character and charm of a wartime bomb shelter. The Mass was always a Low Mass, there was little other choice then, offered for the good nuns and for a handful of faithful by a charming, faithful old priest who loved the liturgical inheritance of the Church. Because of the distance I wasn't able to go every week, perhaps once a month I would make that trek with the friends who first introduced me to it -- which, funnily enough and with no pre-planning, happened to fall on the feast of St. Pius V.  My response to the ancient liturgy in its Low Mass form was one of interest, but not necessarily one of exuberance truth be told -- very much because of the aforementioned limitations and the wearying four hour round trip combined with an early afternoon start time -- and important reminder that things such as place and time do indeed matter.

    At that time the only related literature available, at least in the English language, were primarily the small booklets written by Michael Davies on various liturgical matters, such as The Legal Status of the Tridentine Mass, which certainly ties into the anniversary Summorum Pontificum,as well as his larger works related to the conciliar reforms -- which, let us recall, were written about as close to the time of those reforms as we are now from Summorum Pontificum; a point easily forgotten. These works are now mainly collector items, speaking primarily to a different time and place in the history of the struggle to revive the rightful place of the ancient Roman rite and in the battle against the hermeneutic of rupture (as we now know it).

    In those days too, if you wanted the corresponding missal (be it pew or altar), never mind a breviary, your only course of action was to physically search local secondhand bookshops (there was yet no internet as we now know it let us remember) or ask around at the local parishes for an old copy and hope for the best you didn't get an adverse reaction to the request. (What do I mean by an adverse reaction? I once asked a parish priest in the area about old vestments such as maniples -- as we were looking for some for "the indult Mass" -- and an irrational rage quickly bubbled up to the surface, replete with harsh words and body language clearly indicative of anger. In another instance elsewhere, I can recall denunciations being issued from the pulpit by a parish priest over a petition that was circulating; that petition simply asked for an expression of interest in the ancient rite which was then to be presented to the bishop (at his request I might add) and to ask if, accordingly, he would consider establishing an "indult Mass" somewhere in the diocese; the parish priest instructed people not to sign it. Such were the times -- and it is good to recall that no matter how much work remains to be done -- and much does still remain to be done and such reactions are yet not entirely absent -- we have seen some significant progress.)

    It was within this milieu that I was presented with a VHS video production of the ancient Roman rite, celebrated a few years before, in 1986, at St. Mary of the Angels, London. The recording included a Solemn Mass, Low Mass and also Solemn Benediction according to the ancient Roman rite -- and it must be remembered that these sorts of things just didn't exist at that time. How this came into my hands was that a member of my local (ordinary form) parish had passed away and the family had brought in various religious goods of her's to the parish to disperse as they saw fit. One of the items was this recording -- which is interesting in its own right because it showed how this interest, this longing, existed even in corners you wouldn't realize. I was on friendly terms with the parish secretary and so she gave it to me -- though with the comment that "she preferred to move forward in [her] faith, not backward" -- perhaps parroting back some saying she had learned in the previous decade or two -- again, such were the times. Regardless, I was grateful for her consideration, thanked her for it and took it home to watch immediately. It was a defining moment.

    The liturgy, and as importantly the video production itself, was done extraordinarily well. The production quality was high for the time. What's more, the altar and church were beautiful as were the vestments -- a traditional Roman solemn Mass set in green. The Mass setting was Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli, sung by a very competent choir. All of this was done in 1986, just two years after the release of the more restrictive Quattuor Abhinc Annos, and still two years prior to Ecclesia Dei Adflicta. To set further context, at the moment in time this was recorded the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter did not yet exist. Some of this stands as a testament to how much further ahead the movement was in Britain at that time, no doubt partially due to its more condensed geography, partially due to its history in relation to the English Reformation that led to a particularly strong attachment to the ancient rites, partially due to the Agatha Christie indult and, of course, to the good work of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales.

    It was a defining moment for me as I say because it was this presentation that propelled me from being a somewhat interested party to a full fledged activist and apologist for the usus antiquior. It might seem strange now that something like a video might have such an affect, but one has to recall what was available to me locally at that time and that in those times generally, Solemn Masses, even the Missa Cantata, were few and far between. In fact a Solemn Mass would have been almost unheard of, at least in much of North America. This recording bridged that gap and shone forth the full beauty of the liturgical tradition of the Roman rite in practice -- perhaps the best and most powerful apologetic there can be. The recording even came with a booklet with the Latin-English text of the recorded liturgies. How important something like this was in those pre-internet, pre-Summorum Pontificum days.  To those who put in the time, effort and money to make this production in those early years, they should be commended for their labours and vision.

    It is probably hard to imagine all of this now admittedly. Today, whether through social media, streaming video sites, one can get a frequent, daily dose of these things from all over the world and in high resolution.  What's more, there are numerous publishers who publish all of these liturgical books; the question is no longer where to get them so much as it is which edition to get. A good "problem." Most important of all though, the liturgical rites are themselves becoming ever more readily available and in their higher forms; what was once almost unheard of may not yet be 'commonplace' but it is certainly not rare any longer.

    Things were of course steadily improving as the years passed in those times, with resistance to the ancient rites breaking down, little by little, simply through familiarity. Certainly the establishment of the FSSP and ICRSS n 1988 and 1990 respectively, was important in this regard. Summorum Pontificum, however, has been the significant difference maker, bringing about a kind of Cambrian explosion liturgically speaking, with a sudden and rapid increase in interest, accessibility and resources related to the usus antiquior.  It's advent sees the movement to restore this ancient liturgical patrimony move beyond the infancy of those earlier years. Make no mistake though, there is still growth to occur and with it there are also still growing pains taking place, but the fact they are taking place is entirely good because it is growth that is the cause. The movement faces many more challenges to come, of that I have little doubt; some are new and some not so new, but face them we will all the same.

    My advice on this the tenth anniversary of the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum? Reflect back on all that has been accomplished so far and be thankful. Learn from mistakes that might have been made in the past and draw on and amplify the successes going forward.  Steep yourself in the tradition, living it day in and day out.

    Most importantly, and I cannot emphasize this enough: always make your emphasis not on what you are against, but rather on what you are for.

    0 0

    On September 14th, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, His Excellency Joseph Perry, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will celebrate a Solemn High Pontifical Mass in the Cathedral Basilica of Ss Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. This was, of course, the day on which the provisions of Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which we celebrated yesterday, became legally active in 2007. The Mass will begin at 7 pm; the cathedral is located at 1723 Race Street. Click here to see the Facebook page for the event, and here on Eventbrite.

    0 0

    The Catholic Herald published yesterday a great essay by Dom Alcuin Reid, with the very well-chosen second headline “On the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, we can safely say the doomsayers are wrong.” Do click over there and read the whole thing. I would like to emphasize one of his most salient points, namely, that the liberalization of permission to say the traditional Mass was not merely a pastoral provision for those who lived before the reform. Such a pastoral provision was certainly not only necessary, and long overdue, but the signal success of the motu proprio was how it has helped pass the tradition down to the young as well.

    “For Pope Benedict, Summorum Pontificum was ‘a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church’—of taking away obstacles to that communion and unity which Our Lord so desires amongst all the baptised. It is a fact that the liturgical reform following the Council was abrupt and controversial and disenfranchised many Catholics, some of whom simply stopped coming to Mass. Those small pockets of priests and laity who continued with the older rites were ostracised. When, rather than dying out, they attracted young people, they were proscribed. The divisions were real and became entrenched. In line with efforts made by St John Paul II, in 2007 the Holy Father sought to do what he could to heal these divisions, insisting that: ‘What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.’

    So too he noted a seemingly curious phenomenon: ‘Immediately after the Second Vatican Council,’ he observed, ‘it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.’

    This is an oft-missed element of Summorum Pontificum. Pope Benedict’s authoritative establishment in Church law that all of the faithful have the legal right to the older liturgical ceremonies, including the sacraments, and that parish priests and not bishops had both the duty to provide these and the authority otherwise to decide when their celebration is appropriate, is not motivated by nostalgia. Rather, it is a response to the new and somewhat unexpected reality of the Church at the beginning of the twenty-first century where young people who never knew the older liturgy (or even the battles fought over it) find that at celebrations of it—often much more so than in some other liturgical celebrations they have experienced—they are able fully, consciously and actively to participate in the Sacred Liturgy, the ‘primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit,’ precisely as the Second Vatican Council desired. Accordingly, Pope Benedict wrote: ‘It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.’

    ... This encounter of our post-conciliar generations with the pre-conciliar liturgy is in fact realising, at least in part, the stated aim of the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy: to impart an ever-increasing vigour to the Christian life through a profound and engaged participation in the liturgy...”

    0 0

    The first day of the Fota Liturgical Conference was held today in Cork, Ireland, with four lectures on the theme “Resourcing the Prayers of the Roman Liturgy: Patristic Sources.”

    Dr. Markus Büning delivered a paper entitled “Panis Animarum: The Holy Eucharist in St Bernard of Clairvaux.” St Bernard (1090-1153) was a figure whose life shaped the religiosity, culture and politics of his time, so much so that even profane historians call this age “Bernardian”. Dr Büning began by addressing the question “Was Bernard the last Father of the Church?” This question can only be answered with a very emphatic “yes!” Though a man of the 12th century he is very much a guarantor of the patristic foundation of tradition, which is the foundation of our liturgy, our worship and the entire prayer of the Church.

    The liturgy of the Church is a part of the heavenly praise of God, in which the earthly Church unites herself with the heavenly Church. This is especially evident in the Sanctus of the Holy Mass, where we all unite together with the “thrice holy” of the heavenly choir. Because of that one must deal with the liturgy and its form very prudently. For Bernard, it was important to clearly highlight the Church’s elevated dimension of liturgy that enhances the Church. However, it was also clear to Bernard that it would always be necessary to formulate new liturgical texts, especially with regard to the arrangement of the Commemorations of the Saints. But in this arrangement, the one who is charged with such a task must be aware of the celestial dimension of the liturgy. The higher dignity of the liturgy must always be preserved.

    In St Bernard’s fundamental statements on the Eucharist, made primarily in his rich homiletic foundation, he gives not a systematic treatise on the Sacrament, but has handed on valuable stimuli for a Eucharistic spirituality that have not lost any relevance in the present age. For example: Bernard has a completely priest-centered liturgical understanding. The priest is a tool and not a giver of the good gifts. God himself, the Father, is the host who gives His Son - of course, through the hands of the priest - He gives the delicious gifts of the Word and of the food. It is interesting that Bernard combines the two dimensions of the Eucharist celebration with the theme of the meal; he is concerned with the relationship between the table of the Word and the table of Bread.

    As a great teacher of the Eucharist, through word and deed, he made clear to the people of his time that the great treasure is hidden in the tabernacles of our churches. For Bernard it was quite clear that we must come to this Sacrament with great reverence, as the encounter with the One whom he has always described as his bridegroom. Each Holy Mass is a wedding feast in which Jesus Christ wants to prove ever anew his love for his bride, the Church. In all reflection on the necessity of a “Reform of the Reform”, one should always have these Bernardian principles and its profound Eucharistic piety in mind. Then we do not run the risk of making our way without a reliable compass. God himself gives us a compass with every saint who wants to show us the way to heaven.

    - My own paper discussed the Patristic Origins of the Roman Lectionary, specifically in regards to the readings of the Lenten season. I presented a small selection of the Biblical pericopes chosen for the Lenten season, as attested in some of the most ancient surviving Roman liturgical books, the same traditions present in the Missal of St Pius V. I then compared them with passages from the writings of the Fathers which illuminate how they understood and explained these stories, and then discussed how those explanations indicate why the stories were chosen, and chosen to be read on particular days. This is an aspect of the historical liturgical tradition which is certainly ripe for a great deal of further exploration.

    The Lenten pericopes in particular can be understood more easily because much of the art of the early Church shows Biblical stories which were read in that season, and also because the Roman Station churches of Lent often provide clues as to the origin of their selection.

    Fr Dieter Böhler SJ spoke on “Jerome and the Recent Revision of the German Einheitsübersetzung Bible.” This “Unified translation” appeared 1980 as the first Church-approved official translation of the Bible for all German-speaking Catholic dioceses, to be used in liturgy and catechesis. In 2016, a revised form came out, which in most books is just a moderate retouching: errors corrected, text critical decisions revised. In the Psalter, however, the situation is very different for historical reasons. 1600 years ago, St Jerome had first revised the Septuagint based Vetus Latina, but then translated the whole Old Testament anew from the Hebrew. This translation, the Vulgate, was generally accepted in the Latin Church, except for the Psalter. Here a hybrid form, a mix of the Vetus Latina, made from the Greek, and the Vulgate, made from the Hebrew, prevailed, also known as the Gallican Psalter. Countless Septuagint readings were retained even in modern Bible translations like the Einheitsübersetzung of 1980. The revised Einheitsübersetzung is strictly made on the basis of the Hebrew text, practically without Septuagint readings. Therefore in many passages it now shows readings which St Jerome had favored 1600 years ago, but were never accepted by the Church.

    Fr Johannes Nebel’s paper is entitled “The Paradigmatic Change of the Post-Conciliar Liturgical Reform from actio to celebratio in the Light of the Latin Fathers.” It addressed the questions: Is liturgy essentially an actio sacra praecellenter (SC 7) of the universal Church (SC 26), primarily orientated to the worship of the divine majesty (SC 33) and performed by authorized ministers of cult, while all participate plene et actuose? (fully and actually) Or does Christian liturgy principally mean a celebratio of a local assembly, for which the official ministers assume certain functions? This article demonstrates that the second of these alternatives became decisive for the Instructions for the implementation of the postconciliar liturgical reform, but represents the intent of the Second Vatican Council only partially. This alternative starting-point is close to Odo Casel’s (1886-1948) theology of mysteries, which resulted in a division of the concept of actio. As the author examines the use of the ancient Christian concepts of religio and pietas, he proves that this is not founded in the Patristic Tradition.

    0 0

    Let us attempt an Orwellian thought experiment. A new government has taken the reins of power and wishes to alter permanently the character of the people and even the range of their thoughts, the range of what is conceivable or desirable, the parameters of reality. What would be their most effective weapon? They would take a dictionary of the people’s language, cross out half of the words, and forbid anyone to use or teach those words. Initially, many would slip and fall, still inadvertently mouthing the forbidden vocables. Over time, however, with enough ruthless enforcement, the language would be successfully purged. After a few decades, what would have happened to public discourse? To poetry? To the entire culture? All would have been profoundly damaged, with the damage compounding for each subsequent generation.

    This is no mere thought experiment when it comes to the Catholic Church on earth, for it is exactly what happened with the Church’s public discourse, her supreme lyrical and epic poem, her divine cultus: the sacred liturgy. An abridged, expurgated dictionary of worship was strenuously enforced. The whole field of discourse contracted and shriveled up, as clergy attempted to celebrate public rituals with an emaciated vocabulary. The range of our theological ideas and religious sentiments shrank in proportion to the paucity of means with which to express them. We went from Dante and Shakespeare to The Beatles and worse.

    Man becomes rational through language. For the same reason, he loses the full range of rationality through the loss of language. In the 1960s and beyond, the Church was experiencing not the energetic advancement of childhood, as displayed in her acquisition of liturgical riches over the ages, but the retrogression of “second childhood,” characterized by an accelerating loss of memory and a weakening ability to communicate.

    It is no wonder that those who have rediscovered the rich, arcane, archaic poetry, the luminous and varied sentiments of the Church’s traditional modes of prayer, become enraptured over what they find. These rebellious poets have gotten hold of the original dictionary, impressive in its heft, exotic in its nuances, dangerous in its implications. The explorers — for such they are, in spite of not having left a harbor for distant lands — discover that there are twice as many colors, sounds, and tastes than they had ever known before. One could say that they emerge from a black and white world into a colored world; they step from two dimensions into three.

    The Novus Ordo Missaehas horizontal and vertical dimensions, but what it lacks is precisely depth. The depth has to be brought to it from the outside — from the interior spirit of the celebrant, from the accidents of place and time, from the luck of options well-chosen and well-executed.[1] As it stands, the modern liturgy does not supply that depth in and of itself. It is utterly at the mercy of the ars celebrandi, the community, the authorities, the prevailing mores of society. Even as contemporary society is living off of the fumes of traditional morality, so too the contemporary liturgy, to the extent that it is sanctifying of men and glorifying of God, is living off of the fumes of traditional liturgy.

    It is true, of course, that one must bring the right disposition to any liturgy, Eastern or Western, ancient or modern. However, the traditional liturgies of East and West are demanding “schools of prayer” that offer a complete ascetical-mystical formation to those who enroll in them and submit with docility to their curricula. One could derive the entire content of the Faith, in its dogmatic, moral, spiritual, and political doctrine, from the old Roman Missal and Pontifical. It is highly doubtful that one could do the same with the Novus Ordo books. One might, perhaps, extrapolate a shallow and inconsistent dogma, morality, spirituality, and politics, a message garbled and mingled with foreign elements. In any case, one would be reminded of a teacher who tells her pupils what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear.

    True and lasting renewal in the Church begins with an unequivocal commitment to the great Catholic tradition of liturgy, devotions, theology, and catechetics, in all its colorfulness, depth, and complexity — not with the status quo, which lies shattered in a thousand plastic pieces. Thus, while it is not a bad thing to patch up a sinking vessel and keep it in operation, it is far better to invest time and energy in the strong and fast sailing of a nobler vessel that is more beautiful and deserves to carry more people to their goal.

    Think of a comparison: you can pour money into an ugly, run-down tenement building complex from the 1960s/70s, or you can invest in the restoration and inhabitation of beautiful historic buildings that are more orderly, more stately, and more worthy of human persons. Which is the better use of limited capital? Eventually, the tenement will have to come down anyway, since it was poorly built to begin with, and looked ugly due to the Bauhaus functionalist philosophy of its designers. In contrast, the old building, if slightly dilapidated, remains beautiful and admirable in every age, from the time of its creation to the present. Most people recognize this sort of thing to be true in the realm of architecture, but is not the very same contrast found in the realm of liturgy, when we compare premodern liturgy to the Bauhaus constructs of the 1960s?

    It is sobering to run through the “-isms” condemned in Leo XIII’s Libertas Praestantissimum and Testem Benevolentiae and in Pius X’s Pascendi Dominici Gregis. These “-isms” have their analogues in the modern liturgy, in contrast with a traditional liturgy that opposes them on every side. If the crisis in the Church is largely a crisis of her liturgy, as Joseph Ratzinger maintains (most recently in the Foreword he wrote for the Russian edition of his volume of writings on the liturgy), then the longed-for renewal of the Church will come primarily from a renewal of her liturgy. Concretely, this will mean the recovery of the beautiful and reverent liturgy that developed organically over the span of nearly 2,000 years, not the desperate maintenance of rites constructed by liberal and rationalistic clergy in the middle of the 20th century.

    We can borrow a line from Psalm 19: Ipsi obligati sunt, et ceciderunt; nos autem surreximus, et erecti sumus.“They are entangled and brought low, but we rise up and stand erect.” They are entangled in this modern claptrap and brought low, but we rise up in the strength of tradition and stand erect.

    Perhaps the most troubling aspect of being a traditional Catholic today is that we feel ourselves to be constantly at war, beleagured on all sides — wishing to be brothers with our coreligionists, who insist on being our sworn enemies. It may not be a consolation but it can at least preserve our sanity to know that serious disagreement is possible, even among saints: the Acts of the Apostles shows us a falling-out between St. Paul and St. Barnabas, and we learn in Galatians about a confrontation between St. Paul and St. Peter over a matter of no small importance. We should not be surprised that there are deep differences of opinion in the Church. We should not allow this fact to paralyze, confuse, or embitter us.

    There have always been and will always be laymen, religious, and clerics who appear to be ignorant of the Catholic faith, who do not practice it consistently or care to transmit it, who even openly reject elements of it in formal heresy. This is all the more reason for us who do want to serve Our Lord with our whole mind, heart, soul, and strength to dedicate ourselves to knowing and living the great mysteries of our faith, to seek total consistency in our practice, and to pass on to others, in its full integrity, the gift we have received — the unabridged dictionary of Catholic life, thought, and culture.


    [1] A sign of the truth of this claim was the great need for, and runaway success of, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott's pair of books from Ignatius Press, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite and Ceremonies of the Liturgical Year, which actually create a somewhat coherent rubrical and ceremonial framework for the Modern Rite, based, of course, on older liturgical books.

    Painting at the head of the article by Ephraim Rubenstein.

    0 0

    In his encyclicals Deus caritas est and Caritas in veritate, Pope Benedict XVI discusses the relationship between two different aspects of love, which he refers to using the Greek terms agape and eros.

    Prior to reading these encyclicals, I had always thought of agape as the higher love in which the person makes a gift of himself to the other. A loving or covenantal relationship, therefore, is one of mutual self-gift. Eros, on the other hand, is a lower, self-serving desire for the other. With eros, therefore, the best form of personal relationship one can have is a lower “contractual” arrangement in which self-interests are aligned. In the Christian life, I thought, we are offered the possibility through grace of raising up our natural tendency to eros into one by which we are capable of self-gift - agape - in a new way.

    Benedict offers us something different. He describes how Christianity does not eradicate eros at all. Rather, it raises it up into a desire for the other which is consummated in an ordered acceptance of the gift of the other. He makes the point that a gift cannot be given if it is not received by the one to whom it is given. Thus, in the loving interaction, both agape and eros are happening simultaneously in a dynamic process. Each is giving themselves to the other, while accepting the gift of the other in an ordered way.

    Furthermore, this being the case, the reception of the gift of love is our first act of love, for we cannot love others or love God without first accepting love from God. This is not passive, it occurs to me, but an action, an assent of the will; it is the spirit reaching out, so to speak, and grasping that hand of God that is offered to us every moment of the day.

    Suddenly eros seems vitally important. If we reject God’s love, then we are incapable of living the Christian life in any degree, and the joy that is available to us all through the Church is shut out of our lives. The place where that acceptance of God’s love in our hearts might occur most profoundly, powerfully and effectively is, of course, in the sacred liturgy. Eros is the first act of an “active participation” by which He abides in us. By this we participate in the transfigured Christ and become capable of taking the light of Christ out into the world.

    If I were the devil, therefore, I would make it a priority to subvert the capacity for an ordered eros in mankind. If I look at myself, there are two forces that work strongly in me to cause me to reject God’s love. The first, which should be no surprise, is pride, which tells me that I don’t need God because I am self-sufficient. The second is one that is perhaps as powerful, acedia.
    As I understand it, acedia is a sloth or inertia against doing what is right, that arises through a lack of faith or trust in God. It is felt as self-pity and is a form of despair. It says, “What’s the point?” It can be manifested in a whole range of degrees of depression, by which we sink deeper and deeper into despair, and refuse to take the actions that will lift us out, even if we are aware of what those are. It creates the spiritual equivalent of the couch potato, who is so lacking in hope that he can’t be bothered to run for the fire escape when his house is burning down, because he thinks he’s doomed anyway.

    Acedia can also lead to a desperate search for distraction by which we try to look for the answer to our yearning for the Good in lesser goods, and try to forget that despair we feel deep down. Many destructive ad compulsive behaviours are extreme examples of this: workaholism, alcoholism, computer-game addiction and so on. I have heard the compulsion to look at pornography as one that has acedia at its root. One should not be surprised if this is the case, it seems to me, for if acedia really does undermine our capacity for an expression of eros, one would expect a result to be a distorted expression of eros, such as a grasping at the erotic as a distracted and misguided search for love.

    Articles I have read about acedia talk of it as an “old sin”, one referred to by the Fathers, especially those of the Eastern Church, but one not addressed much in recent times in the Western Church. Now it seems to be coming back in fashion, even here in the West. There are books and articles about it in the Catholic sphere, and recently even in an article in the LA Times.

    The question that arises at the end of all this is: How can we develop our facility for eros, and remove or at least lessen our inclination to indulge in pride and acedia...or for that matter any sin?

    Good spiritual direction helps here. Nearly 30 years ago, I was shown a series of spiritual exercises by the man who eventually became my sponsor when I was received into the Church. I still practice these exercises today daily, and attribute them to the beginning of the spiritual journey that led to my conversion.

    Even before I became Catholic, he gave me a daily program of prayer, meditation, contemplation and good works that was simple and powerful. It included exercises that I was told to practice daily so that they might become habitual. For example, beginning and ending the day praying to God on my knees, writing of a list of blessings for which I thank God (regardless of how grateful I actually feel); good works, by which I volunteer regularly to help out with people who are not connected to me, and not in a position to give back.

    I was actually a desperate atheist when I started this and it was presented to me as a sort of Pascal’s wager - what have you go to lose? Try it for 30 days and if you don’t like it we’ll return your misery with interest! It worked so well that I still do them today. He sold it to me originally by presenting it as part of a process by which I could find my calling in life and actually see it happen. I wanted to be an artist and he promised me that this could happen if I followed his suggestions.

    This man (who was called David, and who died of a heart attack nearly 20 years ago now), also showed me how to root out misery by looking at the spiritual cause. It was through this that I learned about pride and acedia, and was given a way to deal with the misery they were causing me. What he taught me was that any unhappiness I might feel is caused by my reaction to events around me, rather than the events themselves. Through God’s grace there is always hope that transcends any bad situation, and I can feel that hope, so to speak, by rooting out the negative, self-centered responses to events around me.

    This was an unusual approach to an examination of conscience. As well as the usual question “What have I done wrong?”, I was taught to ask myself, “What am I unhappy about?” The cause is always some form of unhappiness about something that has happened in the past (resentment, anger, irritation, guilt, remorse and so on), or a fear about something happening in the future which I think I’m not going to like, or a combination of the two.

    Then I analyze to see how my sin - a rejection of God - has caused it. My experience has been that I have found no form of unhappiness, regardless of the external events that might trigger it, that was not caused in this way. The reaction that caused me to feel bad was a self-centredness that shut out God - sin by any other name. David then showed me a technique by which I would write down all these unhappy feelings, and then attribute them to a whole combination of sins that caused them. Pride and acedia are just about always there, along with all the self-centered impulses that they lead to, for example, envy, anger, lust and so on - it depends on the situation. I feel acedia, by the way, as self-pity - I feel down about my situation.

    To my delight, this exercise really did help to change how I felt, and so gradually, as my discomfort decreased, my faith and joy of living have increased. I still practice this technique daily. and while I cannot help the first reaction to events around me, when I reflect on unhappiness that I feel it always seems to locate the problem, which is in me. When I ask for forgiveness, the resentment, anger, self-pity or fear lifts. While I do not offer every detail of this analysis, I do bring a general statement of this personal reflection to confession on a regular basis as well.

    Regardless of what technique is used to focus our attention on our failings, the sacraments must play a part in the remedy. Ultimately, is it the mercy of God that will save us and through Christ we can be free.
    Over the years I have passed on what David showed me to perhaps 50 people, and nearly all experience the same change that I have; when they do the whole process that David gave me, they also discern their personal vocation. I recently started a rolling cycle of eight workshops at St Jerome Catholic Church in El Cerrito, California, where we show people these exercises, including the final stage of discerning personal vocation. I wrote up the text for these workshops in this manual. We also stress also man’s need for the worship of God as the practice of what St Thomas calls the virtue of religion, in order to be happy to be fulfilled in life, and close each week with Vespers (in the Anglican Use).
    As a postscript, today (Friday of Week 12 in Ordinary Time), I read St Gregory of Nyssa in the Office of Readings. It was a homily on the Beatitudes which begins with the following passage:
    Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. God’s promise is so great that it passes the furthest limits of happiness. Given such a blessing, who could desire more, having already received all things by the fact of seeing God? Remember that in Scriptural usage ‘seeing’ means ‘having.’...So whoever ‘sees God’ receives, in this act of seeing, possession of everything that is good: incorruptible life without end, blessedness that cannot fail, a kingdom without end, happiness without limit, true light, the true voice of the Spirit, glory never before reached, perpetual rejoicing, and all else that is good.
    St Gregory then goes on to explain how purity of heart sufficient to see God and to experience these fruits, albeit perhaps with some work and patience, is attainable by all if they choose to follow the call.

    When I look at this passage by St Gregory, I realise now that this is exactly what David promised me would be the result of my doing this process. He also told, some time later when I was sold on it, that it was available in its fullness through the Church. It is available in its perfection in the next life and by degrees, but nevertheless significantly in this life. David was adamant that life is not the miserable waiting room where we sit out, hoping we have the ticket for the train to heavenly blessings when we die. Supernatural transformation, Christian joy - these are available to us now.

    I grasped it eagerly and have not been disappointed. The surprise for me when I got into the Church is that many Catholics didn’t seem to realise what they have...but that’s another story.

    0 0

    Today the Benedictine monks who live in the mountains above the birthplace of Saints Benedict and Scholastica celebrated the mid-summer (July 11th) feast of their holy patriarch with solemn Terce, an outdoor procession and blessing of the valley with a first-class relic, and finally Solemn High Mass, with a Benedictine as the priest celebrant, a Dominican as the deacon, and a Jesuit as the subdeacon. (Afterwards, speaking with the three, we joked that it was an “ecumenical liturgy.”) The chapel was full, with many standing. What follows are photos taken by three people.
    The start of the office of Terce.

    The Gothic reliquary, containing a tooth of St. Benedict.
    Monks and laymen took turns carrying the reliquary.
    The procession winds through the formerly Capuchin ruins.

    The procession stops at a platform overlooking the Norcia town and valley.
    When the procession reached this platform, the Prior, Fr. Benedict, sang the solemn blessing of the fields and the town, and made the sign of the cross with the relic. Here is a video:

    At the start of Mass
    On patronal feasts vestments with the monastery’s crest are used.

    The Epistle

    The Gospel
    The homily (in Italian)
    Happy feast day of St. Benedict to all Benedictine monks, nuns, and oblates around the world!

    0 0

    Our thanks to one of our regular photopost contributors, Diana Yuan, for these images of a Coptic liturgy celebrated at the Pontifical Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New York City, by Abouna (Fr) Francis Fayez of the Coptic Catholic Church of the Resurrection in Brooklyn. The Coptic clergy and faithful guided the congregation in participating in their beautiful Rite, which was followed by a blessing of the sick. This liturgy at Mt. Carmel is a part of the Pallottine tradition of presenting Eastern Catholic liturgies.

    Let us remember to pray for the many Christians who are subject to persecution in the land where Our Lord found refuge when He was subject to persecution!

    0 0

    The following is a press release from the Diocese of Lancaster, England, announcing a new apostolate for the Institute of Christ the King. The pictures are reproduced from Bishop Campbell’s blog with permission of the Diocese of Lancaster. Our congratulations to the Institute, and we wish them every success in their mission.

    The historic and landmark (Grade II Listed) Catholic Church of St Thomas of Canterbury & the English Martyrs on Garstang Road, Preston (known simply as English Martyrs) has been given a promise of a sustainable future following an announcement made today by the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Michael G Campbell OSA. (NLM note: the church was designed by E.W. Pugin, opened in 1867, and enlarged in 1888.)

    Bishop Michael Campbell and Monsignor Gilles Wach, Prior General of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, together with Rector, Canon Adrian Towers, have agreed that, as from the autumn, the Institute will assume the administration of the church.

    This move will enable the church to be open each day to become a vibrant shrine of devotion to and promotion of the English Martyrs under the care of the Institute who already have the administration of St Walburge’s Shrine Church, Weston Street, Preston. The new shrine will specifically provide for the celebration of Holy Mass and the other Sacraments in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.

    English Martyrs’ Church is one of two church buildings belonging to St John XXIII Parish, Preston – the other being St Joseph’s on Skeffington Road. As part of the arrangement with the Institute, English Martyrs church remains part of St John XXIII Parish and a priest from there will celebrate an English-language ordinary form Mass in the church, at least for the next 12 months, each Saturday evening.

    Recently, the Mass attendance at English Martyrs has averaged around 70 people and activities and voluntary parish involvement have become somewhat limited making it difficult for the parishioners to shoulder their responsibility for the care of the church building.

    Bishop Campbell upon making this announcement commented: “We are very grateful for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest and the dedication they have to evangelizing through use of the extraordinary form. The Institute has shown tremendous energy in conveying a sense of the sacred through their proven ministry at St Walburge’s and around the world. We are especially encouraged that their care and ministry in large and historic churches may also be instrumental in preserving English Martyrs church now and going forward.”

    Canon Amaury Montjean for the Institute added: “We are deeply grateful to Bishop Campbell for his gracious invitation. Our entire Institute family is very glad for this new apostolate at English Martyrs. Like St Walburge’s, it will be a unique spiritual home offering Masses with sacred music, daily confessions, days of recollection, classes in spirituality and doctrine etc”.

    Bishop Campbell concluded: “Finally and importantly, the announcement of this initiative will ensure the future sustainability and patrimony of English Martyrs’ church; a building so dear to local Catholics and many others in Preston. Thankfully, this announcement means English Martyrs is saved from the prospect of closure and is thus secured for the future. The fact that the church will be used each day for prayer and cared for by the Institute means it will continue to witness to the faith and mission of the Catholic Church in Preston for many years to come.” (press release ends)

    The English Martyrs’ Church is located near to Preston city centre and stands on the corner of the A6 (Garstang Road), between Aqueduct Street and St George’s Road. It is built on the site of an area that used to be called Gallows Hill, a name which it received after the Battle of Preston of the Jacobite rising of 1715. After the government overcame the rebel army, it was on Gallows Hill that the rebel prisoners were executed; on January 5, 1715, it was recorded that sixteen of them were rebels “were hanged upon Gallows Hill, for high treason and conspiracy.”

    In September 2014, at Bishop Campbell’s invitation, the Institute assumed the care of St Walburge’s Church in Preston, which he then designating as a shrine church. The Institute also has charge of the church of Ss Peter, Paul and Philomena, generally known as “the Dome of Home,” in the Diocese of Shrewsbury.

    0 0

    Here are some beautiful photos of a Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, celebrated in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in thanksgiving for Pope Benedict’s motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on recently passed tenth anniversary.

    0 0

    On Sunday, July 9, His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke celebrated a Pontifical High Mass at the church of Ss Peter and Paul in Cork, Ireland, as part of the tenth annual Fota liturgical conference. As always, the Mass was sung by the wonderful Lassus Scholars, conducted by Dr Ite O’Donovan. Here are a few samples; we will certainly publish more later on as they become available.

    Ecce Sacerdos Magnus at the entrance of the Cardinal.
    The Gloria from Orlando de Lassus’ Missa Vinum Bonum
    Sanctus and Benedictus from the same Mass, with the Consecration
    Te Deum for thanksgiving at the end of Mass
    Continuing with the theme of this year’s conference, on the Church Fathers and the sources of the Roman Rite, Fr Mark Withoos delivered a paper entitled “Ad audiendum silentium narrationis eius (Ep. 147): Silence and liturgy in St Augustine.” This examined how St Augustine, the great Doctor and Father of the Church, understood the concept of silence particularly within the contexts of liturgy and prayer. Looking first at how St. Augustine saw silence generally – a rich and complex idea quite far from the idea of a mere absence of noise  – it is then possible to see how for Augustine, silence properly understood has as its primary purpose to facilitate listening to God in and through his mysteries. He then considered the implications of these viewpoints for our modern understanding of liturgy, particularly in regards to our own very modern problem of liturgies which can become very noisy, leaving little space for the faithful to ‘hear the silence of His telling.’

    The Sunday session concluded with the presentation of the collected papers of last year’s Fota IX conference, Verbum Domini: Liturgy and Scripture,  by His Eminence Card. Burke and Fr Joseph Briody, the editor. Fr Briody is a priest of the Diocese of Raphoe in Co. Donegal, Ireland, and a Professor of Sacred Scripture at St John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, where he also serves as the liturgy director. It is now available from Smenos Publications at a special price of 20 euros plus shipping and handling, through their website.
    The articles highlight the bond between the Sacred Scripture and the Sacred Liturgy in which it emerges into light. Like the Fathers and Saints of the Church, we are encouraged to accept the Word, “not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thess. 2, 13). This volume is an invitation to pray and read Scripture from the heart of the Church and the Liturgy. May this book foster a more intentional and receptive hearing of the Word of God, personally and in the Sacred Liturgy, that the seed which is the Word of God may bear much fruit (Matt. 13:23), and that we may acquire more and more ‘the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus’ (Phil 3:8).

    The contibutors, listed in alphabetical order are:
    Fr Joseph Briody, formation advisor, Director of Sacred Liturgy and professor of Sacred Scripture at St John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass.
    Raymond Leo Card. Burke, patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
    Fr Sven Leo Conrad, FSSP, theologian and scholar with particular competence in the area of the liturgy.
    Fr John M. Cunningham, O.P., a member of the Irish Province of the Dominicans and former lecturer in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical University of St Thomas in Rome.
    Gregory DiPippo, editor and one of the principle contributors to the New Liturgical Movement.
    Bishop Peter J. Elliott, an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, Director of the Melbourne session of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, and a member of the Australian Bishops’ Liturgical Commission.
    Fr Stefan Heid, professor of the history of liturgy and hagiography at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology in Rome, and associate professor of the Faculty of Theology of the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
    Mons. Michael Magee, Chair of the Systematic Theology Department and Professor of Sacred Scripture at St Charles Borromeo Seminary of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, former Official of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
    Dr William Mahrt,  Associate Professor of Music at Stanford University, President of the Church Music Association of America, and editor of its journal Sacred Music.
    Fr Paul Mankowski SJ, scholar-in-residence at the Lumen Christi Institute, Chicago.
    Fr Thomas J. McGovern, author of a number of books concerning the priest­hood and the Eucharist.
    Ann T. Orlando, professor of Patristics and Church History at St John’s Seminary, Brighton, Mass. Fr Kevin J. Zilverberg, Assistant Professor of Sacred Scripture at St Paul Seminary School of Divinity (U. of St Thomas) in Minnesota, USA; currently on a three-year study leave as a guest researcher in Madrid for the National Research Council’s team of scholars studying the transmission and tradition of the Bible in Greek and Latin.

older | 1 | .... | 209 | 210 | (Page 211) | 212 | 213 | .... | 262 | newer