Monday, August 31, 2009
Till all the crimson changed, and past
Into deep orange o'er the sea,
Low on her knees herself she cast,
Before Our Lady murmur'd she:
Complaining, "Mother, give me grace
To help me of my weary load."
And on the liquid mirror glow'd
The clear perfection of her face.
"Is this the form," she made her moan,
"That won his praises night and morn?"
And "Ah," she said, "but I wake alone,
I sleep forgotten, I wake forlorn."
--from Mariana in the South by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
"Let me enjoy
this late-summer day of my heart
while the leaves are still green
and I won't look so close
as to see that first tint
of pale yellow slowly creep in.
I will cease endless running
and then look to the sky
ask the sun to embrace me
and then hope she won't tell
of tomorrows less long than today.
Let me spend just this time
in the slow-cooling glow
of warm afternoon light
and I'd think
I will still have the strength
for just one more
last fling of my heart."
- John Bohrn, Late August
"Herseemed she scarce had been a day
One of God's choristers;
The wonder was not quite gone
From that still look of hers;
Albeit, to them she left, her day
Had counted as ten years.
(To one it is ten years of years:
...Yet now, here in this place,
Surely she leaned o'er me--her hair
Fell all about my face...
Nothing: the Autumn-fall of leaves.
The whole year sets apace.)
--excerpts from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The Blessed Damozel
“Love reckons hours for months, and days for years; and every little absence is an age."
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
silence speaks in volumes,
a storm can clear the air.
And, though I'm far from sure,
I think the fire is still burning
though it is hidden now.
It gleams beneath the ashes,
or so it seems to me.
There is a flame within;
it hasn't died away
though the coals glow silently.
The safety of your arms-- I remember:
the embers must be there,
for I'm sure I feel their warmth
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I vividly remember going to church with him [J.R.R.] in Bournemouth. He was a devout Roman Catholic and it was soon after the Church had changed the liturgy from Latin to English. My grandfather obviously didn't agree with this and made all the responses very loudly in Latin while the rest of the congregation answered in English. I found the whole experience quite excruciating, but my grandfather was oblivious. He simply had to do what he believed to be right. He inherited his religion from his mother, who was ostracised by her family following her conversion and then died in poverty when my grandfather was just 12. I know that he played a big part in the decision to send me to Downside, a Roman Catholic school in Somerset.
(With thanks to The Lion and the Cardinal for the original posting of this story.)
--Anne Bronte in Agnes Grey
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
--Charles Dickens in Dombey and Son
Saturday, August 22, 2009
why are you found so far away?
Why do you stay in darkness,
fleeing from the day into the night,
hiding in the shadows where
no light can reach you?
Who can teach you to forsake
the emptiness around you?
You have bound yourself with chains
forged by your fears.
And who can set you free?
I see it all, a fleeting vision in my dreams.
I wonder: can you see it, too?
"Whoever does not wish to have Mary Immaculate as his Mother will not have Christ as his Brother either; the Father will not send His Son to him; the Son will not descend into his soul; the Holy Ghost will not make him a member of the Mystical Body of Christ; for all these mysteries of grace take place in Mary full of grace and in her alone.
No other creature is or ever will be immaculate like her, or full of grace, or capable of being so intimately united to the Lord as was the Immaculate Virgin. And since the first-born Son, the God-Man, was conceived only through the specific consent of the Most Blessed Virgin, the same holds true of all humans, who must imitate in all things their primary model, Christ."
--Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has returned to the practice of celebrating Mass ad orientem in his cathedral.
Bishop Slattery explained in his diocesan newspaper about Mass celebrated with the priest facing the people:
Unfortunately this change had a number of unforeseen and largely negative effects. First of all, it was a serious rupture with the Church’s ancient tradition. Secondly, it can give the appearance that the priest and the people were engaged in a conversation about God, rather than the worship of God. Thirdly, it places an inordinate importance on the personality of the celebrant by placing him on a kind of liturgical stage.
When we study the most ancient liturgical practices of the Church, we find that the priest and the people faced in the same direction. With the traditional Mass the priest doesn't turn his back on the people any more than the people in the front pew turn their back on the people in the pews behind them. Rather, the entire congregation -- with the priest at its head -- is oriented in the same direction to adore God as a unified body.
The modern business of the turning the priest around to face the people has taken the focus off God and put it on the people. There's six days in every week to do that if you're so inclined; leave Sunday for focusing on our Heavenly Father.
Thanks to Sean Romer for posting this.
And here are a few words of my own: God must come first. The Mass is, firstly, for Him, not for us. It is the one way in which we can give Him the only offering truly worthy of God--that is, Himself. We are privileged to be witnesses at the re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Our Lord. It's not about us; it's about Him.
"Then must you strive to be worthy of her love. Be brave and pure, fearless to the strong and humble to the weak; and so, whether this love prosper or no, you will have fitted yourself to be honored by a maiden's love, which is, in sooth, the highest guerdon which a true knight can hope for."
--Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The White Company
Happy Birthday, Emilie!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it,--but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
"By her Immaculate
when her life here
our Blessed Mother
was not subject
to the law of
in the corruption
of the grave,
but instead was
in her Divine
by her glorious
body and soul."
--Pope Pius XII in
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I had almost forgotten how nice it is to dance with a man who knows where he is going; and how this translates into other aspects is one more lesson remembered. Lately, I have met a number of men who seem to have very little idea of where they're headed; they are still searching for a direction. But I know where I want to be when this life is over: and I know that I could only feel safe and secure with someone who knows the way. A man who will take my hand and confidently, joyfully escort me through the dance of this life to Heaven: he is the only partner for me. There are so many steps I'd forgotten; and these dance lessons are exactly what I need just now.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
--Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The next six weeks will be rather busy ones for me for many reasons, not the least of which is that I've been invited to five weddings during that time period. That, of course, means five receptions complete with dinner and music; so I've taken out my dancing shoes for some practice.
Last night I went to my first dance class in quite a while, and it was so much fun! The instructor is relaxed and capable, and the studio is roomy and intriguing. My fellow students are a good mix of beginners, intermediate, and accomplished dancers. Everyone seemed to have really enjoyed tonight's lessons in waltz and cha-cha; Thursday night's program is salsa and swing. Dance class twice a week--what a nice way to wear out my dancing shoes! I can hardly wait!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Today is the feast of a thirteen year-old girl martyred for the Faith in the third century. She is a special patron of mine; my daughter Mary Philomena is named in her honor. For those of you who would like to learn more about this young saint who has been honored by Pope Saint Pius X and Saint Jean Vianney among others, the link to the official site of her Sanctuary in Mugnano, Italy is: www.philomena.it
Saint Philomena, Princess of Paradise, Patroness of the Children of Mary, powerful with God, pray for us.
"The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking a place beside the physician and the priest.”
– William Osler
"Nursing is an art: and if it is to be made an art, it requires an exclusive devotion: as hard a preparation as any painter’s or sculptor’s work; for what is the having to do with dead canvas or dead marble, compared with having to do with the living body, the temple of God’s spirit? It is one of the Fine Arts: I had almost said, the finest of Fine Arts.” - Florence Nightingale
With all of the discussion of health care "reform" and just what that might entail, the prospect of being a patient in America has become more frightening than it used to be. The one element which has always been constant in our medical system until now has been a sense of the humanity common to both the patient and the ones caring for him. That basic understanding, which is fundamental to the patient-caregiver relationship, seems to be in danger of being marginalized, even eliminated, if the health care "reformers" have their way. Nurses have always been on the front line when it comes to protecting those entrusted to their care. So I've decided to go back to school to earn my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I've been a registered nurse since I was twenty years old, having graduated from a hospital-based diploma school in New Orleans. It was an excellent program, and I'm very glad that now I have the opportunity to continue my education. Once I earn this degree I hope to be able to teach others the art of nursing as I know it, as it always used to be. I 'll be working as a nurse while I pursue my studies, which I should finish in about a year. I feel strongly that the time has come when Catholic nurses need to take a more public stand for the truth, upholding the principles which they know are right, in spite of all obstacles. There are so many vulnerable people who need us to be their protectors as well as their angels of mercy. My Faith informs every aspect of my life; and it has has taught me that our humanity includes the entire person. We are body and soul: and, God willing, I can have a part in helping to care for both the physical and spiritual side of humanity, at least for those entrusted to me in my small corner of the world.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Published: August 01,2009
Pope Benedict to Catholics: Kneel For Communion
"Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the Body and of the Blood of the Lord... For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the Body of the Lord" - 1 Corinthians 11:27,28
Pope Benedict to Catholics:
Kneel and Receive on the Tongue Only
Pope Benedict XVI does not want the faithful receiving Communion in their hand nor does he want them standing to receive Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. According to Vatican liturgist, Monsignor Guido Marini, the pope is trying to set the stage for the whole church as to the proper norm for receiving Communion for which reason communicants at his papal Masses are now asked to kneel and receive on the tongue.
The Holy Father's reasoning is simple: "We Christians kneel before the Blessed Sacrament because, therein, we know and believe to be the presence of the One True God." (May 22, 2008)
According to the pope the entire Church should kneel in adoration before God in the Eucharist. "Kneeling in adoration before the Eucharist is the most valid and radical remedy against the idolatries of yesterday and today" (May 22, 2008)
The pope's action is in accord with the Church's 2000 year tradition and is being done in order to foster a renewed love and respect for the Eucharist which presently is being mocked and treated with contempt. The various trends and innovations of our time (guitar liturgy, altar girls, lay ministers, Communion in the hand) have worked together to destroy our regard for the Eucharist, thus advancing the spiritual death of the church. After all, the Eucharist is the very life and heartbeat of the Mystical Body around which the entire Church must revolve.
Kneeling also coincides with the Church's centuries old ordinance that only the consecrated hands of a priest touch the Body of Christ in Holy Communion. "To priests alone has been given power to consecrate and administer to the faithful, the Holy Eucharist." (Council of Trent) This teaching is beautifully expressed by St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica: "Because out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and the chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament."It is for reason that Pope Paul VI in his May 1969 pastoral letter to the world's bishops reaffirmed the Church's teaching on the reception of Communion, stating that: "This method on the tongue must be retained." (Memoriale Domini) This came in response to the bishops of Holland who started Communion in the hand in defiance of the centuries old decree from the Council of Rouen (650 A.D.) where this practice was condemned as sacrilegious. "Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layperson, but only in their mouths." To date this prohibition has never been overturned legally.
Today Communion in the hand is carried on illegally and has become a major tool of the enemy to destroy the Faith throughout the world. For this practice serves no other purpose than to warp our conception of Jesus Christ and nourish a contempt for the sacred mysteries. It's no wonder St. Basil referred to Communion in the hand as "a grave fault." That is to say, Communion in the hand is not tied with Catholic tradition. This practice was first introduced to the Church by the heretical Arians of the 4th century as a means of expressing their belief that Christ was not divine. Unfortunately, it has served to express the same in our time and has been at the very heart of the present heresy and desecration that is rampant throughout the universal Church. If we have 'abuse' problems today it is because we're abusing the Sacrament - it's backfiring on us!
Thanks to Communion in the hand, members of satanic cults are now given easy access to come into the Church and take the Host so that they bring it back to their covens where it is abused and brutalized in the ritualistic Black Mass to Satan. They crush the Host under their shoes as a mockery to the living God, and we assist it with our casual practice? Amongst themselves the satanists declare that Communion in the hand is the greatest thing that ever happened to them, and we do nothing to stop it?
Hence, the Holy Father is doing his part to try to purge the Church of abuse and we as members of Christ are called upon to assist him. For your encouragement we include the following quotation from Cardinal Llovera, the new prefect for the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments speaking to Life Site News on July 22, 2009: "It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict's emphasis on the traditional practices of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling."
Also worth considering is the recent decree from Cardinal Caffarra, the Archbishop of Bologna Italy, forbidding the practice of Communion in the hand: "Many cases of profanation of the Eucharist have occurred, profiting by the possibility to receive the consecrated Bread on one’s palm of the hand... Considering the frequency in which cases of irreverent behavior in the act of receiving the Eucharist have been reported, we dispose that starting from today in the Metropolitan Church of St. Peter, in the Basilica of St. Petronius and in the Shrine of the Holy Virgin of St. Luke in Bologna the faithful are to receive the consecrated Bread only from the hands of the Minister directly on the tongue." (from his decree on the reception of the Eucharist, issued April 27, 2009)
Technically all bishops and clergy are bound to follow the Holy Father's directive on this issue, but in the meantime the faithful are not obliged to wait for the approval of their bishop in order to kneel for God. The directives of the Holy Father are not subject to the veto or scrutiny of the bishops and therefore all pastors and laity have a right and duty to put these directives into practice for the edification of their communities.