Sunday, January 22, 2012

Buried News

Here's is a time-lapse sequence from March of last year: the procession of a few hundred thousand marchers is condensed from 90 minutes into 60 seconds.

They're on Constitution Avenue in D.C. to publicly and peacably remind political figures of the need to end state-sanctioned abortion.

Tomorrow another such march is scheduled. This sort of item doesn't really make much news -- after all, giving a sympathetic airing of this kind of story could cost a reporter his job. Which is why I'm showing it here.

Prediction: a larger march this year than last, with just as little media coverage.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bury Me, Don't Burn Me

One advantage to finally building our own church is that we now have a property where we can house our own cemetery. One chap at the parish was able to bury his mother in the chapel cemetery last year.

Jason had previously bought a plot in the Catholic section of an existing Atlanta cemetery – Arlington, which is a nice location - so after burying his mother at St. Michael’s he attempted to sell the purchased plot: he contacted quite a few parishes in the area to let them know there was this plot at Arlington for sale if anyone was interested.

The overwhelming response he received - from the priests, married deacons, and bereavement committees - was “we don't do that anymore” (i.e. bury the dead).

The reason? They are now actively encouraging cremation and are building cremation walls (i.e. “columbariums” with niches for urns) at their churches.

Modernism is the new paganism.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

More on Marriage

"Until death do us part" is the old fashioned formula that went with the marriage ceremony; any more one is far more likely to hear "for as long as we both shall live." The two statements mean the same thing, and they are rooted in the realization that valid marriage does not end until one spouse dies.

The Protestant response, in my experience, normally includes a reference to this line from Matthew 5:32 "But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, makes her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, commits adultery."

Yet this passage must be read in light of the other Scriptures on the topic.

Mark 10:11 reports that "Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another commits adultery against her."

Luke 16:18 records "Every one that puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery: and he that marries her that is put away from her husband commits adultery."

Patristics -- the study of the writings of the Church Fathers -- and the constant, uninterrupted practice of Christians for 2,000 years supports my point.

So is there a contradiction between the passage from St. Mark and the other sources? Only an apparent one. Christ did allow couples to separate for sufficiently grave reasons - the example He gave was for infidelity, but others exist such as abuse, criminal activity, alcoholism, etc. Even then, He allowed only for separation; remarriage while the spouse was living was out of the question.

So what is the proper way to read St. Mark? Like this:

"Whosoever shall put away his wife (I am now speaking of mere separation without remarriage, for that is lawful in the case of infidelity), but whosoever puts away his wife and marries another commits adultery himself and by this adulterous union forces his wife into adultery if she marries another."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Waugh on Feeney

Evelyn Waugh described his visit to Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J., in this letter of November 20, 1948 to his wife Laura (pp. 292/3, Letters of Evelyn Waugh ed. Mark Amory, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1980).

The most disturbing event at Boston was a visit to a Father Feeney S.J. at Harvard. Mrs Luce told me he was a saint & apostle and on no account to be missed. He has a Catholic Center, as it is called, just outside the University campus & has made some showy converts. Well when I asked about him in Boston clergy and laymen alike looked embarrassed and said: 'We haven't seen him for a long time'. I went one morning by appointment & found him surrounded by a court of bemused youths of both sexes & he stark, raving mad. All his converts have chucked their Harvard careers and go to him only for all instruction.

He fell into a rambling denunciation of all secular learning which gradually became more and more violent. He shouted that Newman had done irreparable damage to the Church then started on Ronnie Knox's Mass in Slow Motion saying 'To think that any girl of 12 could have this blasphemous and obscene book put into her hands' as though it were Lady Chatterley's Lover. I asked if he had read it. 'I don't have to eat a rotten egg to know it stinks'.

Then I addressed him in strong words. His court sat absolutely aghast at hearing their holy man addressed like this. And in unbroken silence I walked out of the house. I talked to some Jesuits later & they said that he is disobeying the plain orders of his provincial by staying there. It seemed to me he needed an exorcist more than an alienist. A case of demonic possession & jolly frightening."

Evelyn Waugh, 1940

Fr. Leonard Feeney, S.J.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Upside-Down Marriages

Feast of the Holy Family

A saint like Francis of Assisi would joyfully stand on his head with the intention of delighting the Mother of God. In the process the energetic Italian would observe that he was actually looking at things right-side up: it was the world that had gone topsy-turvy, and by assuming an inverted posture he was finally looking at things from the proper perspective.

In the modern western view the predominant wisdom is that one should follow his heart in matters of marriage (or concubinage), and then having landed a more or less long-term partner he should carefully and in calculated fashion determine how many children he will have. The beginning is essentially romantic, and the end tends to devolve into business-like practicality.

The perspective of the God who fashioned marriage, meanwhile, is that one should carefully and soberly enter into marriage, and then after being permanently bound in the matrimonial state he should be generous and spontaneous and have as many children as the good God sends. The beginning is essentially practical and business-like, and the outcome is an ongoing romantic adventure.

To the moderns who substitute convenience for happiness and who view children as an interruption of their lives, the latter is foolishness and matter for derisive dismissal.

As one who observes the small-family moderns incessantly complaining about the inconveniences endured due to their spouses, children, jobs, in-laws, neighbors, any just about everything under the sun, I'll side with the kindly folks who take the family adventure God sends their way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Modernism Defined

Modernism: the critique of our supernatural knowledge according to the false postulates of contemporary philosophy.

I am not a modernist.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Vatican II: New Teachings Contrary to Tradition


On at least four points, the teachings of the Second Vatican Council are obviously in logical contradiction to the pronouncements of the previous traditional Magisterium, so that it is impossible to interpret them in keeping with the other teachings already contained in the earlier documents of the Church’s Magisterium. Vatican II has thus broken the unity of the Magisterium, to the same extent to which it has broken the unity of its object.

These four points are as follows.

(1) The doctrine on religious liberty, as it is expressed in no. 2 of the Declaration Dignitatis humanae, contradicts the teachings of Gregory XVI in Mirari vos and of Pius IX in Quanta cura as well as those of Pope Leo XIII in Immortale Dei and those of Pope Pius XI in Quas primas.

(2) The doctrine on the Church, as it is expressed in no. 8 of the Constitution Lumen gentium, contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius XII in Mystici corporis and Humani generis.

(3) The doctrine on ecumenism, as it is expressed in no. 8 of Lumen gentium and no. 3 of the Decree Unitatis redintegratio, contradicts the teachings of Pope Pius IX in propositions 16 and 17 of the Syllabus, those of Leo XIII in Satis cognitum, and those of Pope Pius XI in Mortalium animos.

(4) The doctrine on collegiality, as it is expressed in no. 22 of the Constitution Lumen gentium, including no. 3 of the Nota praevia [Explanatory Note], contradicts the teachings of the First Vatican Council on the uniqueness of the subject of supreme power in the Church, in the Constitution Pastor aeternus...

The profound desire of any Catholic who is faithful to his baptismal promises is to adhere with complete filial submission to the teachings of the perennial Magisterium. The same piety demands also, with increasing urgency, a remedy for the serious deficiencies that have paralyzed the exercise of this Magisterium since the last Council. To this end the Society of Saint Pius X still desires, now more than ever, an authentic reform, meaning that it is up to the Church to remain true to herself, to remain what she is in the unity of her faith, and thus to preserve her original form, in fidelity to the mission that she received from Christ. Intus reformari.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Card to Remember

This morning Gail was ringing me up at the grocery store checkout counter when she spied the mother's birthday card I'd selected.

"Everyone's mother's birthday seems to be this month," Gail said.

"January sixth," I replied. "And she should get her card on time too."

Gail laughed. As she was bagging me up, she said, "Now don't forget your card!"

"It's funny you would say that," I said. "I bought this exact same card on Saturday, but when I got home it wasn't in the bag."

After a brief exchange we determined that I'd left it in the shopping cart in the parking lot.

Gail turned to her manager, who was standing just behind her, and asked if a birthday card had been found on Saturday. The manager looked up from the checklist on her clipboard and asked, "Was it a blue card?"

Hopeful, I said, "Yes -- in fact, I just bought the same exact card right here." The manager smiled and nodded.

"Can I take it off?" Gail asked.

"Yep," the manager replied, returning to her clipboard.

Gail reversed the charge for the birthday card. I gave her a big smile and said thank you.

If you're ever shopping at the Publix on Rucker Road in Alpharetta, drop in and tell Gail hi for me and mom.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Te Deum Laudamus

Te Deum Laudamus
Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli, tibi Caeli et universae Potestates:
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus: Sanctus: Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus:
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus:
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia:
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium:
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus. (Kneel)
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni,
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum Sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum Domine,
et benedic haereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies, benedicamus te.
Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum,
et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare Domine die isto,
sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri Domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua Domine super nos,
quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te Domine speravi:
non confundar in aeternum.


We praise Thee, O God
We praise Thee, O God: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship Thee and the Father everlasting.
To Thee all Angels:
To Thee the heavens and all the Powers therein.
To Thee the Cherubim and Seraphim cry with unceasing voice:
Holy, Holy, Holy: Lord God of Hosts.
The heavens and the earth are full of the majesty of Thy glory.
Thee the glorious choir of the Apostles.
Thee the admirable company of the Prophets.
Thee the white-robed army of Martyrs praise.
Thee the Holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge.
The Father of infinite Majesty.
Thine adorable, true and only Son
Also the Holy Ghost the Paraclete.
Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Thou having taken upon Thee to deliver man
didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
Thou having overcome the sting of death
didst open to believers the kingdom of heaven.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God
in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
We beseech Thee, therefore, help Thy servants:
whom Thou has redeemed with Thy precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in glory everlasting.
Lord, save Thy people:
and bless Thine inheritance.
Govern them and lift them up forever.
Day by day we bless Thee.
And we praise Thy name forever:
and world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day to keep us without sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord: have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us:
as we have hoped in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I hoped:
let me never be confounded.