Friday, January 31, 2014

St.Ignatius of Antioch Bishop and Martyr

Whenever  I think of St. Ignatius, in his old age steadfastly going to the Colosseum to be eaten by lions and read this from his letter to the Romans I can't help but get a lump in my throat. I think it is one of the most beautiful letters ever written:


I am God's wheat and shall be ground by the teeth of wild animals. I am writing to all the churches to let it be known that I will gladly die for God if only you do not stand in my way. I plead with you: show me no untimely kindness. Let me be food for the wild beasts, for they are my way to God. I am God’s wheat and shall be ground by their teeth so that I may become Christ’s pure bread. Pray to Christ for me that the animals will be the means of making me a sacrificial victim for God. No earthly pleasures, no kingdoms of this world can benefit me in any way. I prefer death in Christ Jesus to power over the farthest limits of the earth. He who died in place of us is the one object of my quest. He who rose for our sakes is my one desire. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Be kind to your priest


  • If you a lucky enough to go to an old church the confessionals are probably cold. Why not buy some  hand warmers for the priests at your parish and drop them off at the office anonymously?


  • Don't insist on  treating the pastor like your personal chaplain, particularly if you are a woman. That's selfish and leads to trouble down the road. We all look nervously at the young woman who hangs around Father constantly but the well meaning middle aged woman who tries to make the priest her best friend or a surrogate father for her children causes a lot of parish whispers and strife. I've seen a few things in the past that made me go "Hmm." I left it at that and said nothing to anyone. Other people at that particular parish didn't. Gossips, when they have a tasty bit of  news are just like a Fice dog after a squirrel. They don't stop.

    You may think, 'Well let those nasty busybodies talk. I'm not doing anything wrong', but my dear, parish gossips have a weird way of talking to the right people eventually and if they have any financial pull in the parish they know the right people already. I mean, people like the Dean, or the Bishop's Priest's Representative or the bishop himself. Then all of a sudden Father gets moved amid whispers and you get labeled "That Crazy Woman Who Got Fr. X into trouble."  Don't go down that road. Even if this particular scenario doesn't play out don't be that woman who makes Father's alarm bell go off. I remember one woman complaining and being genuinely puzzled as to why her pastor refused all of her invitations to dinner. I told her, and no she didn't appear to appreciate it, that while she meant well, when a man turns you down twice let it be. Numerous offers of dinner alone just made her new priest suspect that something wasn't right. Now she's embarrassed. Again, don't be THAT woman. Don't go down that road.

  • Speaking of gossip. Don't engage in any.



  • Don't entertain complainers. The people who want Fr. to run the parish their way are probably nice enough but what they are doing is actually evil. Don't consort with them.



  • When Father gives an awesome homily, or puts the tabernacle back in the center of the church instead of that chapel down the hall say something to him. Give him positive feedback.



  • When Father says something blasphemous, or just unCatholic in his homily don't just mutter about him and don't write to the bishop without speaking to Father first. If he tells you to shut up and continues his wrong ways contact the bishop and prepare to leave the parish if you live in an area that has more than one parish to choose from. Don't be that parishioner who stews in the pews and harrasses Father at every opportunity. You aren't doing him or yourself or your reputation any good. In fact, you might even be driving people away from orthodoxy because they see you wild eyed and slavering every Sunday.



  • Make Father a meal, a pie or a batch of soup and drop it off at the parish office once in awhile or order a food item to be shipped to the rectory.


  • Participate in World Priest Day this year.




  • Pray for your priest and all priests. Souls, Our Lady said, are falling into Hell like snow flakes because no-one prays for them. 


Saturday, January 25, 2014

St. Louis has wisdom for us



Rules for Carrying Crosses
Not to deliberately cause crosses, by one’s own fault.
Be aware of one’s neighbour’s good.
Admire the sublime virtue of the saints without pretending to attain to it.
Ask God for the wisdom of the cross.
Humble oneself for one’s faults, without worrying.
God humbles us to purify us.
Avoid the trap of pride in one’s crosses.
Profit by little sufferings rather than great ones.
Love crosses, not with an emotional love, but with rational and supernatural love.

Suffer all sorts of crosses, without exception and without choice.

Never complain against creatures. 
Accept the cross only with gratitude.
Take up some voluntary crosses.

—Adapted from St. Louis de Montfort, Letter to the Friends of the Cross

Middle and working class America has had it really, really good for a blessedly long time (sadly, it seems to have been mostly Prostestants who realized that and openly thanked the Lord for His bounty) and now that things are bad a lot of people are freaking out and simply becoming unhinged. St. Louis and the Church have wisdom like pearls and diamonds if we would only pick them up.   

Friday, January 24, 2014

St. Clotilda

St. Clotilda married the pagan King Clovis. Whatever private feelings she must have had about the prospects of being with a barbarian she entered into the marriage with faith in God. Her Catholic example was so great that Clovis cried out to "Clotilda's God" when he was in battle. He won the battle and converted along with his kingdom... the land we call France. Clotilda was such a good wife that she saved her husband's soul. Now that's a woman to admire.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our Lady of Las Lajas

This image comes from Columbia and is quite darling. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Memorare

I'm praying the Memorare Emergency Novena this morning for a special intention. Someone I love has been through a lot --too much -- and needs help.




Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection,
implored your help or sought your intercession,
was left unaided.


Inspired with this confidence,
I fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother;
to you do I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful.


O Mother of the Word Incarnate,
despise not my petitions,
but in your mercy hear and answer me.

Amen.



Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners, pray for us. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Inno INCLITOS CHRISTI, studio di Giovanni Vianini, Milano, It.



This plainchant is beautiful. I've listened to it three times in a row.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

What the Church says about the Pope....from the MY CATHOLIC FAITH catechism

    When does the Church teach infallibly through the Pope alone? --The Church teaches infallibly through the Pope alone, when he speaks officially (ex cathedra) as the Supreme Head, for the entire universal Church.
    As the Pope has authority over the Church, he could not err in his official teaching without leading the Church into error. As Our Lord said to Peter, the first Pope: "I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not fail; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:31-32).
    In order to speak infallibly, the Pope must speak ex-cathedra, or officially, under the following conditions:

  1. He must pronounce himself on a subject of faith or morals. Infallibility is restricted to questions regarding faith and morals. The Church pronounces on natural sciences and on legislation only when the perversity of men makes of them instruments for opposing revealed truths.If the Pope should make judgments on mathematics or civil governments, he is as liable to error as any other man with the same experience. Letters to kings and other rulers are not infallible pronouncements. However, we should hold the Pope's opinions on any subject with great respect, on account of his position and experience.
  2. He must speak as the Vicar of Christ, in his office as Pope, and to the whole Church, to all the faithful throughout the world. In his capacity as private teacher, for example, in his encyclical letters, he is as any other teacher of the Church.Should the Pope, like Benedict XIV, write a treatise on Canon Law, his book would be written in a private capacity, and liable to error, just as the books of other theologians. We accept, not on faith, but in obedience to his authority, out of respect for his experience and wisdom.
  3. He must make clear by certain words his intention to speak ex-cathedra. These words are most often used: "We proclaim," "we define," etc.The Pope's infallible decrees are termed "doctrinal," since they involve doctrine. From the earliest days of the Church, the infallibility of the Pope has been acknowledged. In the year 417 the Holy See condemned the Pelagian errors; St. Augustine cried out the famous words, "Rome has spoken; the cause is ended!" The Council of Florence in 1439 called the Pope "the Father and Teacher of Christians."

Prayer and work




Monday, January 13, 2014

Pray for us Padre Pio



I wonder how old this little altar boy is now.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Shhhh


Have you ever noticed that some people seem compelled to chat in church? They can't wait even an hour to tell the story of their grandchild's soccer game or to complain about Father's homily or to ask Sally where she got those shoes. These aren't bad people they just can't be still and hush. I've actually had people come up to me and stop me from praying so that they could talk. I still haven't found a diplomatic way to discourage chatter in front of the Blessed Sacrament and I always feel bad when this happens.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

and the freak show goes on....




In this episode of  The Vortex, Michael Voris takes note of a really disgusting situation. A priest in Boston claims there is no such thing as normal, and he dares to compare the Holy Family to a homosexual couple. He's not going anywhere. In fact, he seems to be a favorite of the Cardinal.  I don't expect Cardinal Sean O'Malley to do a doggone thing about this, not even a mild public rebuke but what really makes me sad is the thought that most of the bottoms in the pews at this priest's church are firmly planted and I'll bet that there will be no change in the collection plate numbers. The freak show goes on and on and on and in part it's out fault because we put up with it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

The Mass of St. Martin of Tours


St. Martin is usually depicted on the day he cut his uniform cloak in two to shelter a beggar who turned out to be Our Lord. This painting depicts what happened later. I've wondered what it would be like to get this close to the altar during Mass.