Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Teresa on Intelligence

Feast of St. Teresa of Avila
"An intelligent mind is simple and submissive; it sees its faults and allows itself to be guided. A mind that is deficient and narrow never sees its faults, even when shown them. It is always pleased with itself and never learns to do right."
- St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, September 15, 2014

From Sorrow to Joy

From Mary alone our Lord took His flesh, dwelling nine months in her womb that was a temple more splendid that Solomon’s, maturing in stature near her heart that was endowed with an unspeakable treasury of resplendent virtues. It was Mary who stood at our Lord’s feet when His own heart was pierced with a Roman lance, piercing her heart through as well with the sword of sorrow. Yet joyfully did she offer her Son with her own hands for the salvation of the world, for her sorrow was not the grief of despair, but the source of pity, of perseverance in hope, and of repentance unto salvation. To her children who remember her at her Divine Son’s sacrificial celebration she bestows strength of spirit, turns grief to wisdom, and beautifies their acts of penance so that they acquire greater merit. In Mary most holy is an example of how to unite one’s self with the perfect sacrifice offered to Almighty God upon the altar. In loving Mary, we love what God Himself loved. “Mary was the most perfect among the saints only because she was always perfectly united to the will of God” (St. Alphonsus de Ligouri).

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
From the responsories at Matins.

(i) The prophecy of holy Simeon
“There was a man named Simeon, and this man was just and devout; and he said unto Mary: Thine own soul also a sword shall pierce.”


(ii) The flight into Egypt
“Arise, and take the Child and His mother and fly into Egypt; and be there until I shall tell thee.”

(iii) The three days’ disappearance of the boy Jesus
“Son, why hast thou done so to us? Behold thy father and I have sought thee, sorrowing.”

(iv) The painful progress to Calvary
“And bearing His own cross He went forth. And there followed Him a great multitude of people, and of women who bewailed and lamented Him.”

(v) The crucifixion
“And when they were come to the place which is called Calvary, they crucified Him there. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother.”

(vi) The taking down from the cross
“Joseph of Arimathaea begged the body of Jesus. And taking it down from the cross His mother received it into her arms.”

(vii) The entombment
“What a sadness of heart was thine, Mother of sorrows, when Joseph wrapped Him in fine linen and laid Him in a sepulcher.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Poetry of the Temperaments

Choleric
Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

The king of the hill,

Is me and not you!

Sanguine
Roses are red,

Violets are blue…

Hey, let’s write a new poem!

Melancholic
Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

My life is pointless,

And so are you.

Phlegmatic
Roses are red,

Violets are blue…

Friday, August 8, 2014

St. Altman in the Holy Land, 1064 A.D.

St. Altman, Bishop of Passau (+ A.D. 1091)

Today, August 8, is the feast of St. Altman, Bishop of Passau - a city that still stands in Germany today. Below is an excerpt from the entry for our saint in Butler’s Lives of the Saints.


“After being ordained he was appointed canon and master of the cathedral-school at Paderborn, then provost of the chapter of Aachen and chaplain of the Emperor Henry III, and confessor and counsellor of the Dowager Empress Agnes. In 1064 he took part in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which numbered seven thousand persons (according to a monk who was there) and was led by several archbishops and bishops, and the adventure was a most unhappy one. Having safely traversed Europe and Asia Minor with no more than the misfortunes inevitable to so long a journey on horseback, they were attacked by Saracens in Palestine and sustained a siege in an abandoned village; lack of food forced them to surrender, and they might have all been massacred but for the intervention of a friendly emir. Though they eventually reached Jerusalem they were not able to visit many of the other holy places because of the enmity of the Saracens, and by the time the pilgrimage reached home again it had lost nearly half of its members, dead from hardship, sickness and murder. It was happenings of this sort which contributed, thirty years later, to the institution of the crusades…”

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hanse on Error


Today marks the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Bd. Everard Hanse (d. 1581). Under the name Evans Duckett this Jesuit entered the mission field of England to strengthen and confirm his persecuted Catholic brethren in the Faith. He worked for a mere three months before he was imprisoned and subjected to great cruelty. During his interrogation he was asked if the Pope could err. Bd. Hanse gave a thoroughly Catholic and correct response: “In life and manners he might offend, as also err in his private doctrine or writing; but in judicial definitions for deciding matters of controversy he cannot err.” This statement sums up what papal infallibility is and is not in a nutshell.
Yet the dogma of papal infallibility was not formally defined until the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) – i.e. "When, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, (the Bishop of Rome) defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church."
Just as a word is added to the dictionary only after it is already in common use, a dogmatic definition is rendered only regarding a matter of Faith or morals that has been in place for 2,000 years. The definition comes after; the thing itself already exists and is not made by the definition.
Thus it is incorrect to say that the dogma of papal infallibility did not exist until the late 19th century. Rather, it existed from the time of Christ and the apostles, and it merely received its solemn definition in the late 19th century.
Thus, too, it is incorrect to say that all that the Pope says is infallible, or presumed to be infallible. The Pope’s pronouncements must be in accord with what has been universally believed and practiced by Christians for 2,000 years.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Here Until the End

"Either Christ has a Church in the world continually and until the end of the world, or else He has a Church sometimes, and sometimes not at all. Could we think that He had a Church while He was here Himself, and perhaps awhile after, but -- mysteriously -- none since?...No that can in no way be, since He must necessarily still preserve His Church somewhere; otherwise, how could He be with His followers continually until the end of the world?"
- St. Thomas More (1478-1535 A.D.) on the Catholic Church

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

At the Bird and Baby

Here's a shot of yours truly at the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, England. Today is just about 12 years since the photo was taken.
 
Himself at the Bird and Baby