No matter what occurs in these horrid times, our Divine Master has triumphed, and will vindicate His cause and His flock.
Christus surrexit! Marana tha!
No matter what occurs in these horrid times, our Divine Master has triumphed, and will vindicate His cause and His flock.
Christus surrexit! Marana tha!
Keep up the fight! Today is the midpoint of Lent.
From the Mozarabic missal, via The Liturgical Year:
Looking forward, dearly beloved brethren, to the hope of the Passion and Resurrection of the Son of God, as also to the manifestation of the glory of our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ : resume your strength and courage. Be not daunted by the labour you have to go through, but remember the solemnity of the holy Pasch, for which you are so ardently longing. One half of holy Lent is over: you have gone through the difficulties of the past, why should you not be courageous about the future fast? Jesus, who deigned to suffer fatigue for our sake, will give strength to them that are fatigued. He that granted us to begin the past, will enable us to complete the future. Children! He will be with us to assist us, who wishes us to hope for the glory of his Passion. Amen.
Blessed feast day to all readers! The faithful who assist at Mass at an apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest– like the Seminary of St. Philip Neri, pictured above, for example– can obtain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions. I’m not sure about the Seminary’s Mass schedule today, but you still have time to attend the Solemn High Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory tonight at 6:30pm.
In my mind I have been dividing time into periods before and after October 2017, the 100th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. Not in a systematic way, of course, but it just feels to me that every day since then, the consecration of Russia not having been done, is a day of God’s mercy tinged with a foreboding of the justice to come. This feeling of mine grows, and as last November was the 100th anniversary of the final death of Christendom, another sad marker is passed.
And so, as the Church’s liturgical year rolls on, this year has felt, to me, like a great big unearned bonus. Bonus Christmas. And now, Bonus Lent. I thoroughly enjoyed the celebration of the bonus Christmas, and I intend to thoroughly make good use of this bonus Lent. After all, no man can say when it will be his last, nor even if he will outlive it.
Some thoughts by smarter and holier men:
The observance of Lent is the very badge of the Christian warfare. By it we prove ourselves not to be enemies of the cross of Christ. By it we avert the scourges of divine justice. By it we gain strength against the princes of darkness, for it shields us with heavenly help. Should mankind grow remiss in their observance of Lent, it would be a detriment to God’s glory, a disgrace to the Catholic religion, and a danger to Christian souls. Neither can it be doubted that such negligence would become the source of misery to the world, of public calamity, and of private woe.
–Pope Benedict XIV, Constitution Non Ambigimus, 1745
More than a hundred years have elapsed since this solemn warning of the Vicar of Christ was given to the world; and during that time, the relaxation he inveighed against has gone on gradually increasing. How few Christians do we meet who are strict observers of Lent, even in the present mild form!
And must there not result from this ever-growing spirit of immortification, a general effeminacy of character, which will lead, at last, to frightful social disorders? The sad predictions of Pope Benedict XIV are but too truly verified. Those nations, among whose people the spirit and practice of penance are extinct, are heaping against themselves the wrath of God, and provoking His justice to destroy them by one or other of these scourges– civil discord, or conquest.
–Dom Prosper Gueranger, The Liturgical Year, c.1850
The modern fast, of course, is nothing compared to the fast Dom Gueranger calls ‘mild’ in the mid-19th Century. That is the decision of the Church, who, out of concern for the weakness of her children, has over the ages allowed for relaxation of the Lenten fast (which is of Apostolic institution), and given freely of dispensations in various times and places. It is the decision of the Church what must be obligatory, for she speaks for Christ. She has allowed such latitude that our present obligatory penitential requirements for Lent (fast and abstinence on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, and abstinence on all Fridays during Lent) ought to be easily and eagerly accomplished.
Yet even this seems too much. Again, Gueranger:
The word of God is unmistakable: unless we do penance, we shall perish (Luke 13:3). But if our ease-loving and sensual generation were to return, like the Ninivites, to the long-neglected way of penance and expiation, who knows but that the arm of God, which is already raised to strike us, may give us blessing and not chastisement?
A good point, and one reinforced by today’s Lesson from Joel 2: 12-19:
 Now therefore saith the Lord: Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning.  And rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil.  Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God?  Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly,
 Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bride chamber. Between the porch and the altar the priests the Lord’s ministers shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God?  The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people.  And the Lord answered and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.
The canard that Vatican II and the Novus Ordo are mere coincidences, and not in fact the intentional causes of the collapse of the institutional Church and the faith of untold millions, is no longer tenable. This is the one positive outcome of the Bergoglian Papacy.
The “hermeneutic of continuity” was the last effort to front for the logical proposition that the last 55 years have been anything but a rupture with the unchanging teaching and concomitant praxis of the Church. Sensing their hour was at hand, and that they could achieve the last of their goals, the evil men responsible for ousting Benedict and replacing him with Bergoglio have removed the last thin veneer preventing people from recognizing reality.
The train wreck is in full view.
Leaving aside those who actively embraced this evil for what it is, I feel sorrow for those of us who wanted to be Catholic, and still want to be Catholic, but who were not given the fulness of that faith to hold on to, and to pass down to our progeny.
Ladies and gentlemen, these are two different religions.
The image above is taken from a must-read article by Brian Williams at The Liturgy Guy blog. Seeking to test what most undoubtedly suspected through anecdotal evidence, Fr. Donald Kloster, Mr. Williams, and others conducted nationwide polling exactly mirroring previously published research on the Church as a whole, in effect comparing the responses of attendees of the Traditional Latin Mass with the Church at large, which of course overwhelmingly attends the N.O.
The results are self-evidently in favor of the TLM as a vehicle to transmit and retain the faith, to promote Catholic teachings, and to encourage regular recourse to the sacraments. But of course, this is by design.
Read it, and weep.
[4b]…and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.  And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne. Apocalypse 12:1-5
Others have long pointed out, consistent with Bergoglio’s previous propaganda/’70s we-are-church style art offerings, this creepy little logo for WYD in Panama. Yes, it looks like a serpent devouring the Cross. Promoters state the image contains the Virgin, and a heart indicating charity. I see the image of the Virgin, and the serpent, and Apocalypse 12 came straight to mind. That dragon swept a third of the stars from the sky. That woman gave birth to the Man Child Who will rule all nations with an iron rod. And yet that serpent is not beneath Our Lady’s feet, but rather waiting to devour.
Whose side is the Vatican on?
A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. How appalling a situation is it that it is not difficult to guess with which character they really identify.
Come Lord Jesus, and triumph over Thy enemies! Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us! Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us!
Do you want your family to more closely resemble the Holy Family? St. Paul tells us how in today’s epistle, Colossians 3: 12-17:
Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: Bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another. Even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly: in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God. All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Today’s feast of St. Sylvester brings the secular year to a close. It is entirely fitting that this great saint’s day should mark the occasion. St. Sylvester was the 31st Pope, following 30 martyred ones. In his time, Constantine was converted to, and legalized, the Faith.
Pope St. Sylvester confirmed the Council of Nicea which condemned the Arian heresy. He oversaw the construction of the mother Church of Christendom– the Basilica of Our Saviour, otherwise known as St. John Lateran. He governed the Church immediately following that period of severe persecution, lasting three hundred years, by the Roman empire.
As Dom Prosper Gueranger wrote:
So that Sylvester is messenger of the Peace which Christ came to give to the world, of which the Angels sang on Christmas night. He is the friend of Constantine; he confirms the Council of Nicea; he organizes the discipline of the Church for the new era on which she is now entering: the era of Peace. His predecessors in the See of Peter imaged Jesus in his sufferings; Sylvester represented Jesus in his triumph. His appearance during this Octave reminds us that the Divine Child who lies wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and is the object of Herod’s persecution, is, notwithstanding all these humiliations, the Prince of Peace, the Father of the world to come.
Pontiff of Peace! from the abode of rest where now thou dwellest, look down upon the Church of God, surrounded as she is by implacable enemies, and beseech Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to hasten her triumph. Cast thine eye on that Rome which is so dear to thee, and which is so faithful in her love of thee. Protect and defend her Father, King and Pontiff. May she triumph over the wiles of political intrigue, the violence of tyranny, the craft of heretics, the perfidy of schismatics, the apathy of worldlings, and the cowardice of her own children. May she be honoured, loved and obeyed. May the sublime dignity of the Priesthood be recognized. May the spiritual power enjoy freedom of action. May the civil authority work hand in hand with the Church. May the Kingdom of God now come, and be received throughout the whole world, and may there be but one Fold and one Shepherd. Amen.
I can never mark this feast day without thinking of the final conclave and last Sovereign Pontiff in The Lord of the World, by Robert Hugh Benson. It is a good reminder to always trust in God’s Providence in the face of the worst of worldly situations. And ain’t we in one now?
It could always get worse. And likely will. But victory is just as certain. Come, Lord Jesus!
Ecclus, ch, XV.
He that feareth God, will do good; and he that possesseth justice, shall lay hold on her, and she will meet him as an honourable mother. With the bread of life and under standing she shall feed him. and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink, and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved; and she shall exalt him among his neighbours; and in the midst of the Church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with the robe of glory; she shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and our Lord God shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name.
I love this reading for the many meanings it contains. The surface reading is true enough– fear God, and do good, and wisdom, justice, and everlasting life follow. And any reference to the just one who possesses wisdom evokes the Messias, the Divine Wisdom Himself.
But on the Feast of St. John it is especially rich food for meditation. Our Lady is often equated with Wisdom in readings taken from the Old Testament Wisdom-books. She was in the mind of God from the beginning, before the world was made, she is the mother of fair love, and fear, and holy hope. And to whom does Our Lord give His mother during His last agony? To St. John, the one He loved. And “she will meet him as an honorable mother.”
I could reflect on that phrase for days. I pray that one day, after following the example of that holy trio at the cross, after fearing God and trying to do good, Our Lady might meet me as an honorable mother and make me pleasing to her Son such as to secure my salvation.
Mother of Divine Grace, pray for us.
St. John, pray for us.
From the Martyrology read at Prime this morning:
December 25th anno Domini 2018 The 18th Day of Moon
In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in the year 2957th from the flood, in the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses, in the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King, in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the 194th Olympiad, in the 752nd from the foundation of the city of Rome, in the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh.
Come, Lord Jesus!
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