Saturday, September 26, 2015

Three Duties

Today’s mini-catechism: when Christ appointed St. Peter the first Pope, He endowed the Prince of the Apostles with His own authority to teach, to govern, and to sanctify the faithful; this authority has passed down from Pope to Pope even until our day. Three honorifics assigned the Holy Father indicate this three-fold authority: a Doctor teaches, a Pastor governs, and a Pontiff sanctifies. The customary three-layered Papal Tiara also recalls this unique and unparalleled privilege associated with the Vicar of Christ, whose primary office is to honor God by confirming the brethren in the traditional and eternal Faith.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

From Swift by Way of Johnson

From Dr. Johnson's Dictionary (published 1755):

Modernism: Deviation from the ancient and classical manner. A word invented by Swift.

Scribblers send us over their trash in prose and verse, with abominable curtailings and quaint modernisms. -SWIFT

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Past Tense of Sing

The past tense of sing is sang.

Likewise, outdated notions of controlling populations of undesirable persons was popularized by a racialist by the name of Sanger.

"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population..." - Margaret Sanger

There's a fashionable trend of saying that Margaret the elitist simply used language common to her day - of adopting terms and phrases shared by everyone around her. Some whitewashing (pun observed) is in order for someone who advocated what is euphemistically termed "women's reproductive rights."

Yet it wasn't everyone in her day who spoke in such terms - no, that was a very special collective of ubermensch. Yes, Sanger differed with what the Germans of her day were doing - after all, their style was to be public about what she wanted to do discreetly. Cosmetics aside, the chief difference was that the two types of eugenicists wanted to eliminate different races of people; otherwise they were two peas in a pod.

In the article linked to above, the author proposes not that Sanger's bust be
removed from the Smithsonian's Struggle for Justice display that recalls 20th century Americans who campaigned for racial justice ("If Sanger had her way, MLK and Rosa Parks would not have been born"), but that it be featured in a new exhibit called the Horrible Truth About Eugenics and the Terrible People That Think It's A Good Idea.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Respect at Cana

The term “woman” was an address used in the ancient world without any suggestion of disrespect.

Genesis 3:15 “And I will establish a feud between thee and the woman, between thy offspring and hers; she is to crush thy head, while thou dost lie in ambush at her heels.”

John 2:4 “Jesus answered her, Nay, woman, why dost thou trouble me with that? My time has not come yet.”

John 19:26 “And Jesus, seeing his mother there, and the disciple, too, whom he loved, standing by, said to his mother, Woman, this is thy son.”

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Saints Named in the Canon of the Mass

In the Canon of every Mass over three dozen saints are invoked by the priest before and after the Consecration – the Consecration, that sublime act whereby the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ become present under the appearance of bread and wine. Who were these great saints? Why are they entreated at the pinnacle of the Mass? And why were these particular saints chosen?

When the days of the old covenant between Almighty God and His chosen people had been fulfilled, Christ defeated sin and death and so made it possible for men to enter Heaven through union with His mystical body, the Catholic Church. Those who are united with the soul of Christ’s Church share in the Communion of Saints, a locution describing:
* The faithful on earth (the Church Militant) who are fighting the temporal crusade for the Kingdom of God,
* The souls in Purgatory (the Church Suffering) who are making atonement in the place of purification, and
* The blessed in Heaven (the Church Triumphant) who are rejoicing in their eternal reward. 

With our Lord as its head, this unity forms the Mystical Body of Christ, and benefits from a plenary exchange of grace and vitality between its members. Thus, through charity and obedience the members of the Church Militant participate in the same faith, sacraments, worship, and government, and aid one another through holy examples, constant prayers, and satisfactory works. These faithful also assist the suffering souls in Purgatory by prayers and sacrifices. The saints in Heaven, meanwhile, intercede with God on behalf of those who have not yet attained the Beatific Vision. The whole is vivified by life-giving activity of the Holy Ghost. 

In recognition of this, and to compensate for the defects in the prayers and works of the Church Militant, during the sacrifice of the Mass the priest invokes the intercession of the saints in Heaven. In calling to mind the examples of the members of the Church Triumphant the priest also provides instruction to the faithful on earth by illuminating the continuity of Catholic life and teaching. Further, loving attention to the saints encourages a spirit of adoration for what is holy and good, without which the battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil becomes a grim campaign. In venerating the saints, Catholics also honor what God Himself honors. 

The saints petitioned in the Mass are those who were venerated since the earliest days of the Church of Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great (590–604 AD) set the number of these saints at 40, and thus the count remained until Pope John XXIII added St. Joseph to the Canon in 1962. 

Twin invocations fittingly unite the full Mystical Body at the Consecration.
(1) In the Communicantes preceding the Consecration, two ensembles of saints – the 12 apostles and 12 martyrs – are named under the mantle of the Queen of Saints in union with St. Joseph her most chaste spouse.
(2) In the Nobis quoque peccatoribus following the Consecration and the Memento for the holy souls, fourteen martyrs are invoked alongside St. John the Baptist. 

The Saints of the Communicantes
In expectation of the Consecration the faithful unite themselves with the saints of the Communicantes as they await the arrival of their Divine Master, who is about to appear in Person on the sacred altar.
The Holy Family, the saints of the Incarnation:
* Mary, the Mother of God
* Joseph, the Head of the Holy Family 

The Apostles are next named in the Canon:
* Peter
* Paul
* Andrew
* James the Greater
* John
* Thomas
* James the Less
* Philip
* Bartholomew
* Matthew
* Simon the Zealot
* Jude Thaddeus 

After the Apostles, 12 saints are named. The first seven are clerics; the last five are laymen whose martyrdoms sanctified their professions.
* Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, and Cornelius: Popes
* Cyprian: Bishop
* Lawrence: Deacon
* Chrysogonus: Teacher
* John and Paul: Civil Servants, brothers
* Cosmas and Damian: Physicians, brothers
The Saints of the Nobis quoque peccatoribus
After the Consecration the martyrs are again invoked in the prayer Nobis quoque peccatoribus, often called “The Great Intercession.” This list of saints is a choir of seven men and seven women headed by St. John the Baptist.

The men are named first, and represent the several orders and states in the Church.
* John the Baptist: Prophets
* Stephen: Deacons
* Matthias: Apostles
* Barnabas: Levites
* Ignatius of Antioch: Bishops
* Alexander: Popes
* Marcellinus: Priests
* Peter: Exorcists, Clerks
The canon next calls our attention to holy women who died for the Faith of Jesus Christ. All of them were added to the Canon by St. Gregory. They represent both the married and unmarried states, and hail from the important centers of early Western Christianity.
* Felicitas and Perpetua: married, Carthage
* Agatha: virgin, Sicily
* Lucy: virgin, Sicily
* Agnes: virgin, Rome
* Cecilia: married but continent, Rome
* Anastasia: widowed, the Orient

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Checking In

In its conception this blog was begun to capture the author’s ruminations on how sense-perception penetrated by reflection can lead to intellectual insight; it was to be various essays that describe movement from the mutable to the immutable. The medium is germane to the age in which it is written; the mode of expression not infrequently reflected the idiom of the day in the service of truth.

Other pursuits and interests have cropped up over the years to occupy this writer’s attention and account for his time, but the original objective remains his north star.

Mu canit, Ar numerat, Geo ponderat, Ast colit astra.
Celebrate Life, Consider the stars, Ponder the earth, but Cherish the heavens.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

One Year

Today is the first anniversary of the death of my father, Robert. In your charity, kindly say a prayer for the repose of his soul. It is a good and beneficial thing to pray for the dead, that they might be loosed from their sins and come at last to their eternal happiness with our Father in Heaven.

“Then he would have contribution made; a sum of twelve thousand silver pieces he levied, and sent it to Jerusalem, to have sacrifice made there for the guilt of their dead companions. Was not this well done and piously? Here was a man kept the resurrection ever in mind; he had done fondly and foolishly indeed, to pray for the dead, if these might rise no more, that once were fallen! And these had made a godly end; could he doubt, a rich recompense awaited them? A holy and wholesome thought it is to pray for the dead, for their guilt’s undoing.”

- 2 Maccabees 12:43-46