Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Prayer for the Olympics

With the Olympic Games set to open in London this Friday at 6:30 PM CDT, we are less than three days away to the start of one of the greatest shows of athleticism in the world.  Please join me in praying for all of the men and women who will be competing in these games, that they will be safe from harm and humble in their accomplishments.

For all athletes out there, I recommend the Prayers Before and After Work to be said before and after an athletic competition.  May God be glorified in all things.

Before Work 

O Lord Jesus Christ, Only-begotten Son of your eternal Father: You have said with your holy lips: "Without Me, you can do nothing." My Lord, I embrace your words with my heart and soul, and bow before your goodness and say: Help me, your unworthy servant, to complete this, my present undertaking, in the name of the Father and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

After Work 

O Most sweet Jesus, You are the fulfillment of all blessings. Fill my soul with joy and gladness and save me. Grant that your Name be glorified: for not to us, but to your Name are forever due honor, glory, and adoration. Amen
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
13 Video Conference Series: Bishop Williamson on the SSPX and Rome

The following message was forwarded to me this morning.  I wish to make it available to all of my readers for your edification, if you are interested in hearing His Excellency Bishop Williamson speak on matters concerning Archbishop Lefebvre, Rome, Traditionalism, and similar themes. These are recently released videos. 
Dear all.

I can happily inform you that I have spoken directly with Bishop Williamson yesterday morning to get his consent to make the conferences public again. I apologise for the frustration you may have had trying to view them last time due to the unexpected request to disable them for public viewing. 

Below are the links to all the videos which are now uploaded:

That being said, I hope the videos help to crystallise the situation for you as clearly as actually being present at conferences did for me at the time.

Missa Cantata in the Dominican Rite: August 4, 2012 in Columbus, OH


In the wake of a very fruitful celebration this past March of St. Thomas Aquinas’s feast, with a Dominican Rite Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City, the Dominican Friars at St. Patrick’s in Columbus, OH are happy to announce the celebration of the Solemnity of Holy Father Dominic with a Missa Cantata, celebrated according to the Dominican Rite, on Saturday, August 4th at 10:30 AM. In the old calendar of the Mass, the Solemnity of Our Holy Father Dominic fell on August 4.

The Dominican Order has long maintained its own liturgical rite, mostly unchanged since its adoption in the middle ages. With the Missal of Pope Paul VI, the Order largely set aside its own liturgical rite in favor of the new Roman Rite, although retaining the right to celebrate it. However, with the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum and Universae Ecclesiae, the Holy Father has now given broad permission to all Dominican priests to celebrate the Mass according to the Dominican Rite, as it existed before the Second Vatican Council. It is, in a sense, the ‘extraordinary form’ for the Dominican Order.

This Mass is open to the public.
Monday, July 23, 2012
Chart: Number of SSPX Priests at all Time High

After the ordinations in the seminaries of the Northern Hemisphere, the Society of St. Pius X has 569 priests. 18 new priests were ordained in the United States, Switzerland and Germany.

For those who think that traditionalism (true traditionalism - see here for a definition) is not here to stay perhaps you should look at this chart.  Despite the controversy that obviously surrounds the Society, vocations to the Society of St. Pius X continue.  They are now at an all time high of 569 priests.

Perhaps those naysayers who still attack them, have forgotten the words of our Lord: "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit" (Matthew 7:17-18).

Marcel Lefebvre, ora pro nobis!

Source: SSPX
Thursday, July 19, 2012
SSPX Official Response: "Yes" to Tradition, "No" to Modernism

At the conclusion of the General Chapter of the Society of St. Pius X, gathered together at the tomb of its venerated founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, and united with its Superior General, the participants, bishops, superiors, and most senior members of the Society elevate to Heaven our heartfelt thanksgiving, grateful for the 42 years of marvelous Divine protection over our work, amidst a Church in crisis and a world which distances itself farther from God and His law with each passing day.

We wish to express our gratitude to each and every member of our Society: priests, brothers, sisters, third order members; to the religious communities close to us and also to our dear faithful, for their constant dedication and for their fervent prayers on the occasion of this Chapter, marked by frank exchanges of views and by a very fruitful common work. Every sacrifice and pain accepted with generosity has contributed to overcome the difficulties which the Society has encountered in recent times. We have recovered our profound unity in its essential mission: to preserve and defend the Catholic Faith, to form good priests, and to strive towards the restoration of Christendom. We have determined and approved the necessary conditions for an eventual canonical normalization. We have decided that, in that case, an extraordinary Chapter with deliberative vote will be convened beforehand.

We must never forget that the sanctification of the souls always starts within ourselves. It is the fruit of a faith which becomes vivifying and operating by the work of charity, according to the words of St. Paul: “For we can do nothing against the truth: but for the truth” (cf. II Cor., XIII, 8), and “as Christ also loved the church and delivered himself up for it... that it should be holy and without blemish” (cf. Eph. V, 25 s.).

The Chapter believes that the paramount duty of the Society, in the service which it intends to offer to the Church, is to continue, with God’s help, to profess the Catholic Faith in all its purity and integrity, with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very Faith is subjected nowadays.

For this reason it seems opportune that we reaffirm our faith in the Roman Catholic Church, the unique Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, outside of which there is no salvation nor possibility to find the means leading to salvation; our faith in its monarchical constitution, desired by Our Lord himself, by which the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, Vicar of Christ on earth; our faith in the universal Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Creator of both the natural and the supernatural orders, to Whom every man and every society must submit. 

The Society continues to uphold the declarations and the teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church in regard to all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council which remain tainted with errors, and also in regard to the reforms issued from it. We find our sure guide in this uninterrupted Magisterium which, by its teaching authority, transmits the revealed Deposit of Faith in perfect harmony with the truths that the entire Church has professed, always and everywhere.

The Society finds its guide as well in the constant Tradition of the Church, which transmits and will transmit until the end of times the teachings required to preserve the Faith and the salvation of souls, while waiting for the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to Tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities.

We wish to unite ourselves to the many Christians persecuted in different countries of the world who are now suffering for the Catholic Faith, some even to the extent of martyrdom. Their blood, shed in union with the Victim of our altars, is the pledge for a true renewal of the Church in capite et membris [head and members], according to the old saying sanguis martyrum semen christianorum [the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity].

Finally, we turn our eyes to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is also jealous of the privileges of her Divine Son, jealous of His glory, of His Kingdom on earth as in Heaven. How often has she intervened for the defense, even the armed defense, of Christendom against the enemies of the Kingdom of Our Lord! We entreat her to intervene today to chase the enemies out from inside the Church who are trying to destroy it more radically than its enemies from outside. May she deign to keep in the integrity of the Faith, in the love of the Church, in devotion to the Successor of Peter, all the members of the Society of St. Pius X and all the priests and faithful who labor alongside the Society, in order that she may both keep us from schism and preserve us from heresy.
May St. Michael the Archangel inspire us with his zeal for the glory of God and with his strength to fight the devil.
May St. Pius X share with us a part of his wisdom, of his learning, of his sanctity, to discern the true from the false and the good from the evil in these times of confusion and lies. (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre; Albano, October 19, 1983).

Given at Econe, on the 14th of July of the Year of the Lord 2012.

Source: SSPX
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Bishop Mueller: Enemy of the Catholic Faith

It is shameful that the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is a heretic who explicitly attacks the Church and Her faithful ministers.  His Excellency Bishop Fellay responds to this question on the topic of Bishop Mueller:

DICI: What are your thoughts on the appointment of Archbishop Mueller as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

Bishop Fellay: It is nobody’s secret that the former bishop of Regensburg, where our seminary of Zaitzkofen is located, does not like us. After the courageous action of Benedict XVI on our behalf, in 2009, he refused to cooperate and treated us like as if we were lepers! He is the one who stated that our seminary should be closed and that our students should go to the seminaries of their dioceses of origin, adding bluntly that “the four bishops of the SSPX should resign”! (cf. interview with Zeit Online, 8 May 2009).

For us what is more important and more alarming is his leading role at the head of the Congregation for the Faith, which must defend the Faith with the proper mission of fighting doctrinal errors and heresy. Numerous writings of Bishop Mueller on the real transubstantiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, on the dogma of Our Lady’s virginity, on the need of conversion of non-Catholics to the Catholic Church… are questionable, to say the least! There is no doubt that these texts would have been in the past the object of an intervention of the Holy Office, which now is the very Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith presided by him.

Source: DICI
Monday, July 16, 2012
Brown Scapular Video

I have in the past written on the benefits of the Brown Scapular and today (the Feast of our Lady of Mt Carmel) added to my prior post this video. Please do not forget about the benefits of the Brown Scapular and the eternal rewards from wearing it. If you have fallen away from using it, come back to the Scapular.

Always remember the words of our Lady: "Whoever dies wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire." 
Saturday, July 14, 2012
SSPX General Chapter Concludes

The General Chapter of the Society of Saint Pius X ended this Saturday, July 14, 2012, in Econe (Switzerland). Gathered near Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre’s tomb, the capitularies have given thanks to God for the profound unity that prevailed among them during all these workdays.
The General Chapter will soon make a common statement to Rome, which will then be made public.
The General Superior, Bishop Fellay, thanks deeply all the priests and faithfuls for their fervent prayers during this chapter.
Ecône, July 14, 2012
Update: Some websites are saying that the decision at the General Chapter was not to return to a regularized state with the Vatican and continue on in their state of supplied jurisdiction.  If this is in true, I can't blame the Society at all.  The recent appointment last week of a known heretic to the position as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith only underscores that the Vatican is not open to Traditional Doctrine.  And it is doctrine - not fancy vestments or nostalgia that is guiding the SSPX.  Doctrine is what saves souls.

Update (2): See their official statement and response to Rome regarding the ongoing Doctrinal Discussions.
Sermons by St. Bonaventure

Double (1954 Calendar): July 14

Today is the Feast of St. Bonaventure, this Universal Doctor was one of the first saintly Cardinals of the Church. He was close friends with "The Angelic Doctor" and the saintly king of France. He was the architect of the Second Council of Lyons and, fittingly, was called home by God immediately following the completion of the Council. His work was done on earth but continued through his writings and example; so much so that he is known as "The Seraphic Doctor."

Traditional Matins Reading:

Bonaventure was born at Bagnorea, in Tuscany. While still a child, he was smitten by a mortal sickness, and his mother vowed that he should be consecrated to the order of blessed Francis if he recovered. He came safely through the sickness at the Saint’s prayer; and consequently, when a young man, he determined to enter the institute of the Friars Minor. He was put under the instruction of Alexander of Hales, and became so eminent for learning that at the end of seven years he obtained the Master’s degree at Paris, and lectured publicly with great applause on the books of the Sentences, which later in life he explained by lucid commentaries. He attained great eminence, not only in knowledge and learning, but also in purity of life, innocence, humility, meekness, contempt for earthly things and desire for those of heaven; and he was manifestly worthy of being held as an example of perfection. By blessed Thomas Aquinas, to whom he was bound by close friendship, he was called a saint, and when St. Thomas found him one day writing the Life of St. Francis, he said: 'Let us allow one saint to labour for another.’

He was enkindled with a great flame of divine love, and was moved with particular affection for the Passion of Christ our Lord, which was his constant matter of meditation, and for the Virgin Mother of God, to whom he wholly vowed himself. He sought, moreover, with all his power to excite a like ardour in others both by word and example, and to increase it by his books and other writings. Hence arose that sweetness of disposition, unction in speech and open-hearted charity to all men, by which he succeeded in binding the hearts of all so closely to himself. For these reasons, when scarcely thirtyfive years old, he was elected at Rome, by acclamation, Minister-General of his Order; and he held the office which he had taken up for twenty years, with remarkable prudence and praiseworthy holiness. He made a number of regulations suited to the maintenance of regular discipline and the extension of the Order: and he defended it, as well as the other mendicant orders, with great success against the charges of calumniators.

By Blessed Gregory X he was summoned to the Council of Lyons, and created Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He steered the Council successfully through the arduous tasks it had undertaken: as a result of which the disputes excited by schismatics were brought to an end, and the dogmas of the Church vindicated. In the midst of these labours, to the great sorrow of all who knew him, he died in 1274, in the fifty-third year of his age, and his funeral was adorned by the presence of the whole Council, and of the Roman Pontiff himself. He became renowned for many great miracles, and Xystus IV enrolled him among the saints. He composed a number of writings, in which he exhibited great learning and ardent piety, moving the reader’s heart by his instruction: and for this reason Xystus V deservedly bestowed on him the title of the Seraphic Doctor.

In honor of today's Feast of St. Bonaventure, let us read his sermon on a theme of importance for the Sacred Heart of our Lord:
With you is the source of life

Take thought now, redeemed man, and consider how great and worthy is he who hangs on the cross for you. His death brings the dead to life, but at his passing heaven and earth are plunged into mourning and hard rocks are split asunder.

It was a divine decree that permitted one of the soldiers to open his sacred side with a lance. This was done so that the Church might be formed from the side of Christ as he slept the sleep of death on the cross, and so that the Scripture might be fulfilled: They shall look on him whom they pierced. The blood and water which poured out at that moment were the price of our salvation. Flowing from the secret abyss of our Lord’s heart as from a fountain, this stream gave the sacraments of the Church the power to confer the life of grace, while for those already living in Christ it became a spring of living water welling up to life everlasting.

Arise, then, beloved of Christ! Imitate the dove that nests in a hole in the cliff, keeping watch at the entrance like the sparrow that finds a home. There like the turtledove hide your little ones, the fruit of your chaste love. Press your lips to the fountain, draw water from the wells of your Savior; for this is the spring flowing out of the middle of paradise, dividing into four rivers, inundating devout hearts, watering the whole earth and making it fertile.

Run with eager desire to this source of life and light, all you who are vowed to God’s service. Come, whoever you may be, and cry out to him with all the strength of your heart. “O indescribable beauty of the most high God and purest radiance of eternal light! Life that gives all life, light that is the source of every other light, preserving in everlasting splendor the myriad flames that have shone before the throne of your divinity from the dawn of time! Eternal and inaccessible fountain, clear and sweet stream flowing from a hidden spring, unseen by mortal eye! None can fathom your depths nor survey your boundaries, none can measure your breadth, nothing can sully your purity. From you flows the river which gladdens the city of God and makes us cry out with joy and thanksgiving in hymns of praise to you, for we know by our own experience that with you is the source of life, and in your light we see light.
In the same spirit, we can read another sermon by the Seraphic Doctor:
The Lord was pleased to endorse and to confirm the teaching and Rule of St. Francis, not only by miraculous signs, but also by the marks of his own stigmata, so that no true believer could possibly question them on external or internal evidence. And in his goodness God was pleased to affix his own seal to the Rule and teaching of St. Francis, who would never have presumed to teach or write anything other than what he received from the Lord. As he himself testifies, it was God who revealed to him the entire Rule.  See: Saint Francis of Assisi
St. Bonaventure's Sermon of October 4th, 1255

O God, may blessed Bonaventure intercede for us in heaven as he once instructed Your faithful on earth and directed them in the way of eternal salvation. Through our Lord . . .

Ss. Francis and Bonaventure, orate pro nobis!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Sursum Corda: Institute of Christ the King Summer Camps

Photo: from last year's Sursum Corda retreat, for young adults age 18 and older. 

This year's Sursum Corda retreat will be from August 10-13, in Milwaukee. Register online through the website of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

Turning the Altars Away from Facing God

David Martin, whose pieces have appeared previously on A Catholic Life, is pleased to announce the release of his newest book Vatican II: A Historic Turning PointHe recently appeared in a Guest Column on the Remnant on the important topic of "Turning the Altars Away from Facing God".  I quote below from his piece.

In contemplating the spiritual blight of these last times, due consideration must be given to the liturgical reform of Vatican II since this was the hub that set into motion a new order of liturgical chaos that has all but extinguished the Faith and bedimmed the planet.

Christ gave us His Church that it might be a light to the nations signified by the Latin word, Lumen Gentium. The light of tradition emanating from the old Latin Mass is that Lumen Gentium wherewith to attract the world to Christ, but by removing this after the Council the church lapsed into a spiritual eclipse that has since scattered the flock and left the world in the dark, fulfilling the prophesy of Our Lady at La Salette: "The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay." (1846)

 That is to say, the political and sociological debacle of our time is really a crisis of Faith, which means the solution to the crisis rests on the shoulders of the Catholic hierarchy. If the Church were in good shape as in former times, it would again be a powerful beacon to dispel the darkness and illuminate the nations, but as it stands the agents of darkness are having a field day and are overshadowing the Faith because the light of True Faith is merely flickering today because poor liturgical practice.

The very crux of the problem has been the practice of having the priest say Mass facing the people (versus populum), since it has brought about a shift of focus where the emphasis today is on the community instead of on God. According to Monsignor Klaus Gamber whom Cardinal Ratzinger proclaimed as a prophet for our time, the turning around of the altars after Vatican II was the most destructive of the post-conciliar reforms, citing that "there is no basis for it in liturgical history, nor theology, nor sociologically." He points out that "changes in the traditional liturgy also mean a change of faith itself" and goes on to say...continue reading
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Fr. Malachi Martin on Extra Ecclesiam Nulla Salus

“The essence of the confusion is this: Since the Second Vatican Council, and because of one of its official documents concerning religious liberty, the persuasion is now commonly abroad among [Conciliar] bishops, theologians, priests and laity that membership in the Roman Catholic Church is not essential for salvation; that there are many equivalent roads to Heaven – non-Catholic and non-Christian; that everyone must be granted moral and religious equivalence as regards the attainment of eternal salvation; even according to some, that one can be saved without benefitting from the sacrifice that Jesus made of His life. Jesus, in other words, is (for some [Conciliar] Catholics) one Savior, and there are other saviors – Buddha, Mohammed, Abraham, even Martin Luther King. That the Roman Catholic Church is the one and the true Church in which and through which exclusively eternal salvation can be achieved – this is now in severe doubt and wrapped in confusion.”

Source: Fr. Malachi Martin, “The Keys of this Blood,” p. 670, 1990
Musicae Sacrae: Encyclical of Pope Pius XII

We must be concerned that the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is always said with the highest piety, honor, and respect.  For this reason, the Church takes great care in Her use of the Sacred Vessels, Her ceremonies, and Her Sacred Music. All Catholics committed to traditional worship should be familiar with the encyclical of His Holiness Pope Pius XII on Sacred Music.
The subject of sacred music has always been very close to Our heart. Hence it has seemed appropriate to us in this encyclical letter to give an orderly explanation of the topic and also to answer somewhat more completely several questions which have been raised and discussed during the past decades. We are doing so in order that this noble and distinguished art may contribute more every day to greater splendor in the celebration of Divine worship and to the more effective nourishment of spiritual life among the faithful.

2. At the same time We have desired to grant what many of you, venerable brethren, have requested in our wisdom and also what has been asked by outstanding masters of this liberal art and distinguished students of sacred music at meetings devoted to the subject. The experience of pastoral life and the advances being made in the study of this art have persuaded Us that this step is timely.

3. We hope, therefore, that what St. Pius X rightly decreed in the document which he accurately called the "legal code of sacred music may be confirmed and inculcated anew, shown in a new light and strengthened by new proofs. We hope that the noble art of sacred music--adapted to contemporary conditions and in some way enriched--may ever more perfectly accomplish its mission.

4. Music is among the many and great gifts of nature with which God, in Whom is the harmony of the most perfect concord and the most perfect order, has enriched men, whom He has created in His image and likeness. Together with the other liberal arts, music contributes to spiritual joy and the delight of the soul.

5. On this subject St. Augustine has accurately written: "Music, that is the science or the sense of proper modulation, is likewise given by God's generosity to mortals having rational souls in order to lead them to higher things."
Click here to read Musicae Sacrae.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Summorum Pontificum: 5 Year Anniversary Celebration

Today the Church observes the fifth anniversary of the publishing of Summorum Pontificum, the long-awaited motu proprio of Pope Benedict XVI replacing all former "indults" and freeing the Mass of All Times, the Traditional Latin Mass. No longer would a priest have to ask permission of his bishop to say the Mass as the Mass is to be readily offered and available to all of the Faithful.

The Saintly Example of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

It is at this time that I wish to especially remember Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who resisted the Second Vatican Council's false propositions of ecumenism, religious liberty, and the altering of the Mass of All Times. It is through his witness and the formation of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X (SSPX) that the Mass of All Times has spread. And, I will venture to say that without Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's role, the Traditional Latin Mass would have been at last forgotten and no organized resistance to the change would have existed.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

It is Archbishop Lefebvre who has been slandered in recent years. The cause of canonization of his saintly mother has long been forgotten. Instead, in the words of Bishop Bernard Fellay during a sermon in Paris following Archbishop Lefebvre's death said, "Archbishop Lefebvre has gone, but the Mass is saved, the Catholic priesthood is saved..." Because of his resistance to all of changes affecting all of the Sacraments, the Society of St. Pius X is largely responsible for Pope Benedict XVI's issuance of the motu proprio and then the clear declaration that the Bishops of the Society of St. Pius X consecrated by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre are not excommunicated.

In the words of Father Franz Schmidberger at the Requiem Mass of Archbishop Lefebvre, "The work of the Archbishop on this earth is accomplished. Now begins his ministry as intercessor in eternity. He has given everything he could give...the miracle of a new generation of priests."

Archbishop Lefebvre only wished to teach that which he himself was taught in seminary. He wished to hand on the Catholic faith as taught and celebrated for the past centuries. And his resistance has directly led to the establishment of the Ecclesia Dei Commission and the motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum. I highly encourage the reading of Apologia Pro Marcel by Michael Davies as well as Open Letter to Confused Catholics and The Mass of All Times.

Mortal Remains of Archbishop Lefebvre

"I will finish with my testament. I would like that it be an echo of the testament of Our Lord: a New and Eternal Testament...the heritage that Jesus Christ gave us, His Sacrifice, His Blood, His Cross. I will say the same for you: for the glory of the Holy Trinity, for love of the Church, for the salvation of the world: keep the Holy Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Mass forever!" (Archbishop Lefebvre, 23rd September 1979)

"Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy" (John 16:20)

Friday, July 6, 2012
Mass Propers: Octave Day of Ss Peter and Paul

Mass of the Octave Day of Ss Peter and Paul
Missa "Nunc scio vere"

Prior to the 1955 reforms, today was the Octave Day of Ss Peter and Paul.  As previously explained, the Octave of Ss Peter and Paul was a Common Octave.  Octaves were classified into several types by Popes Leo XIII and St. Pius X. Easter and Pentecost had "specially privileged" octaves, during which no other feast whatsoever could be celebrated. Christmas, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi had "privileged" octaves, during which certain highly ranked feasts might be celebrated. The octaves of other feasts allowed even more feasts to be celebrated.
Ever mindful of our past Traditions, let us spiritually unite ourselves this day to Ss Peter and Paul.
Traditional Propers - Octave Day of Ss Peter and Paul

Vestments: Red

Acts 12:11
Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and rescued me from all that the Jewish people were expecting. Ps. 138:1-2. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand. V. Glory be . . .

COLLECT- O God, this day is sacred because of the martyrdom of Your apostles Peter and Paul. May Your Church follow the teachings of these two saints in every respect, for from them she received the faith in the beginning. Through our Lord . . .

Acts 12: 1-11
In those days, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the church. And he killed James, the brother of John, With the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers, to be kept, intending, after the pasch, to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold an angel of the Lord stood by him and a light shined in the room. And he, striking Peter on the side, raised him up, saying: "Arise quickly." And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: "Gird thyself and put on thy sandals." And he did so. And he said to him: "Cast thy garment about thee and follow me," And going out, he followed him. And he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street. And immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: "Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent his angel and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews."

Ps. 44:17-18
You shall make them prices through all the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord. V. To take the place of your fathers, sons shall be born to you; therefore peoples shall praise you. Alleluia, alleluia! V. Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church. Alleluia!

Matthew 16:13-19

At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying: "Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" But they said: "Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Jesus saith to them:"But whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answering said to him: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

Ps. 44:17-18
You shall make them princes throughout the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord, in every generation and age.

SECRET - May Your blessed apostles join their prayers to the sacrifice we offer to Your name, O Lord, so that it may win Your pardon and protection for us. Through our Lord . . .

PREFACE (Preface of the Apostles) - It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, to entreat Thee humbly, O Lord, that Thou wouldst not desert Thy flock, O everlasting Shepherd; but, through Thy blessed apostles, wouldst keep it under Thy constant protection; that it may be governed by those same rulers, whom as vicars of Thy work, Thou didst set over it to be its pastors. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dóminations and with all the hosts of the heavenly army, we sing the hymn of Thy glory, evermore saying:

Matthew 16:18

Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church.

You have nourished us with the Bread of Heaven, O Lord. Shield us now against all dangers through the prayers of Your apostles. Through our Lord . . .

Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945
First Friday of July

Today is the First Friday of July. Because today is the first Friday of the Month, many Catholic parishes will have special Masses today for the First Friday Devotion.

Beginning on December 27, 1673, through 1675, Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque asking her to receive Him in Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month and to meditate on His passion from 11:00 PM to 12:00 midnight each Thursday. He also revealed to her twelve promises for all who are devoted to His Sacred Heart; he asked for a Feast of the Sacred Heart to be instituted in the liturgical calendar of the Church. Our Lord appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque with twelve promises for those devoted to His Most Sacred Heart.

Promises for those devoted to the Sacred Heart:

1. "I will give them all the graces necessary in their state of life."
2. "I will establish peace in their homes."
3. "I will comfort them in their afflictions."
4. "I will be their secure refuge during life, and above all in death."
5. "I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings."
6. "Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy."
7. "Tepid souls shall grow fervent."
8. "Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection."
9. "I will bless every place where a picture of My Heart shall be set up and honored."
10. "I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts."
11. "Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out."
12. "I promise thee in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Divine heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment."

Prayer of Reparation:

O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore thee profoundly. I offer thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of thee the conversion of poor sinners. Amen.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Liberty of Conscience: A Grave Evil and Sin

Pope Gregory XVI Visiting the Church of San Benedetto at Subiaco

The heretic Martin Luther remarked, “No one must be constrained. Liberty is the very essence of faith.”  Such a statement, which has rooted itself in Western Democracies in our Post-Enlightenment society, is nothing other than a grave evil.

His Holiness Pope Gregory XVI's words in Mirari Vos serve as a guide for our times and a warning to turn away from liberty of conscience:
Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion… ‘without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate’…

This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty. 
Image Source: Pope Gregory XVI Visiting the Church of San Benedetto at Subiaco by Jean-François Montessuy (French, 1804–1876)
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Independence Day Pro-life Meditation

This is a meditation from Dr. John C. Willke, MD, Life Jewels, Volume 1:
"This is Dr. John Willke with a Life Issue:

"As we celebrate the 4th of July, we’re commemorating the Declaration of Independence, not our United States Constitution.

"Now they’re both remarkable documents, but the Constitution can and has been changed – changed by formal amendments—tragically, also in recent years, changed by liberal judges.
But the Declaration of Independence is the very charter of our nation. It cannot be changed, and it states clearly that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Remember the first one mentioned – the right to “life.”

"So, no matter what a liberal court may attempt to do, the charter of our nation stands tall. It says that each of us has a right to life, and no President, no Congress, and no judge can take this from us. I’d like you to think about that. This is Dr. John Willke" (TOC).
St. Mary's College 2012 Graduation (SSPX)

I would like to congratulate the 49 graduates (24 boys, 25 girls) who graduated from St. Mary's College & Academy on on May 26.  These students receive a classical education steeped in traditional Catholicism.  The following photo from the SSPX website show the students taking the Oath Against Modernism.

 Oath Against Modernism
To be sworn to by all clergy, pastors, confessors, preachers, religious superiors, and professors in philosophical-theological seminaries.

I _____________________________firmly embrace and accept each and every definition that has been set forth and declared by the unerring teaching authority of the Church, especially those principal truths which are directly opposed to the errors of this day. And first of all, I profess that God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of reason from the created world (see Rom. 1:90), that is, from the visible works of creation, as a cause from its effects, and that, therefore, his existence can also be demonstrated: Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time. Thirdly, I believe with equally firm faith that the Church, the guardian and teacher of the revealed word, was personally instituted by the real and historical Christ when he lived among us, and that the Church was built upon Peter, the prince of the apostolic hierarchy, and his successors for the duration of time. Fourthly, I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical' misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously. I also condemn every error according to which, in place of the divine deposit which has been given to the spouse of Christ to be carefully guarded by her, there is put a philosophical figment or product of a human conscience that has gradually been developed by human effort and will continue to develop indefinitely. Fifthly, I hold with certainty and sincerely confess that faith is not a blind sentiment of religion welling up from the depths of the subconscious under the impulse of the heart and the motion of a will trained to morality; but faith is a genuine assent of the intellect to truth received by hearing from an external source. By this assent, because of the authority of the supremely truthful God, we believe to be true that which has been revealed and attested to by a personal God, our creator and lord.

Furthermore, with due reverence, I submit and adhere with my whole heart to the condemnations, declarations, and all the prescripts contained in the encyclical Pascendi and in the decree Lamentabili, especially those concerning what is known as the history of dogmas. I also reject the error of those who say that the faith held by the Church can contradict history, and that Catholic dogmas, in the sense in which they are now understood, are irreconcilable with a more realistic view of the origins of the Christian religion. I also condemn and reject the opinion of those who say that a well-educated Christian assumes a dual personality-that of a believer and at the same time of a historian, as if it were permissible for a historian to hold things that contradict the faith of the believer, or to establish premises which, provided there be no direct denial of dogmas, would lead to the conclusion that dogmas are either false or doubtful. Likewise, I reject that method of judging and interpreting Sacred Scripture which, departing from the tradition of the Church, the analogy of faith, and the norms of the Apostolic See, embraces the misrepresentations of the rationalists and with no prudence or restraint adopts textual criticism as the one and supreme norm. Furthermore, I reject the opinion of those who hold that a professor lecturing or writing on a historico-theological subject should first put aside any preconceived opinion about the supernatural origin of Catholic tradition or about the divine promise of help to preserve all revealed truth forever; and that they should then interpret the writings of each of the Fathers solely by scientific principles, excluding all sacred authority, and with the same liberty of judgment that is common in the investigation of all ordinary historical documents.

Finally, I declare that I am completely opposed to the error of the modernists who hold that there is nothing divine in sacred tradition; or what is far worse, say that there is, but in a pantheistic sense, with the result that there would remain nothing but this plain simple fact-one to be put on a par with the ordinary facts of history-the fact, namely, that a group of men by their own labor, skill, and talent have continued through subsequent ages a school begun by Christ and his apostles. I firmly hold, then, and shall hold to my dying breath the belief of the Fathers in the charism of truth, which certainly is, was, and always will be in the succession of the episcopacy from the apostles. The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.

I promise that I shall keep all these articles faithfully, entirely, and sincerely, and guard them inviolate, in no way deviating from them in teaching or in any way in word or in writing. Thus I promise, this I swear, so help me God. . .
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
3 Reasons Why the New CDF Head, Bishop Gerhard Müller, May Be a Modernist

Just yesterday the Catholic world heard the news - Cardinal Levada was out as the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (i.e. he reached the mandatory retirement age).  His replacement - Bishop Gerhard Müller of Regensburg - was named yesterday.  Let's start with the good news:
In 2006, Müller acted to halt over 2 million Euros in Church funding to pro-abortion ‘Catholic’ groups after their dissident activities were exposed by faithful Catholic bloggers and a group called Union for the Associations Faithful to the Pope...Archbishop Müller also suppressed the Diocesan council of Lay People and thirty-three other dissident organizations.

Source: LifeSite News
But, as you could imagine, not all is good news in relation to this appointment.  Several sources are reporting Bishop Müller has long taught heterodox and even likely heretical teachings including comments on liberation theology (which I won't be covering in this post).  Here follow three serious areas of concern, not including liberation theology.

Also, His Excellency Bishop de Galaretta Warns has issued a warning against the New Head of CDF.

1. Comments on the Virgin Birth (which is a defined dogma)

As a theology professor Msgr. Muller in his wordy and long winded work "Catholic Dogmatic," made questionable (downright heretical comments) on the Virgin birth.  Specifically he said, "Upon this it happened not to deviate from physiological particularities in the natural process of birth (such as something like the non opening of the birth canal, the non-injury of the hymen and not experiencing the pains of birth), rather it's in the healing and saving influence of the Grace of the Savior on human nature."

As Catholics know, the Virgin Mary was, by the grace of God a virgin before, during, and after the Birth of the God-Man, our Divine Savior.  To say that our Lord forced the opening of the birth canal of the Mother of God and that she experienced pain is heretical.  On this note, to deny that the Virgin Mary was not preserved from childbirthing pains is an attack on the Immaculate Conception of the same Virgin Mary.

Concerning the birthing pangs, the dogmatic teaching of the Catechism of the Council of Trent is clear:
"... as the rays of the sun penetrate, without breaking or injuring, in the least, the substance of glass; after a like, but more incomprehensible manner, did Jesus Christ come forth from his mother's womb without injury to her maternal virginity, which, immaculate and perpetual, forms the just theme of our eulogy."
2. Comments on the Sacrifice of the Mass

In 2002 Msgr Muller's work " Die Messe – Quelle christlichen Lebens" (The Mass: Source of Christian Life), he says says that the body and blood of Christ are not "in reality" the material parts of the person of Jesus during his lifetime, nor would it be represented by his transfigured body. 

Msgr Muller compared Holy Communion with a small gift: "Already in the interpersonal area it may represent an approximate message of friendship between people and the receiver is to embody and demonstrate, so to speak, the emotional connection to the addressee."  He later says, "The natural purpose of bread and wine must be attached anthropologically."

To deny that we receive the flesh and blood of the same (and one Body of Christ) is heretical.  He similarly made highly scandalous comments on the dogma of Transubstantiation -- the essential change in the Eucharistic substance:
The natural essence of bread and wine will be transformed by God in this sense that the being of bread and wine only are understood to consist, realized and present in the holy community with God.
This phrase would be readily accepted in Lutheran circles as consubstantiation.  The Council of Trent is again clear: "CANON lI.-If any one saith, that, in the sacred and holy sacrament of the Eucharist, the substance of the bread and wine remains conjointly with the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and denieth that wonderful and singular conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the Blood-the species Only of the bread and wine remaining-which conversion indeed the Catholic Church most aptly calls Transubstantiation; let him be anathema."

3. Comments on Protestant Sects

As far as the relationship between the Church and the Protestants he said: "We define our relationship to one another no longer actually with existing differences in teaching, life and constitution of the Church, but over the commonalities, which are fundamental, are where we stand."  He continued, "There is therefore -- strictly speaking -- not several churches together, but there are divisions and splits within the one people of God and his house." 

He continued, "On the contrary: The Doctrine [On 'Dominus Jesus' -- the Declaration of the Congregation for the uniqueness of Christ and the Church he built in 2000] is "far away from that", the Protestants adhere to the being of the church"

Truly such a statement denies the fact that the Church is the one, undivided Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The very idea that the protestant sects are part of the "Church" is fundamentally heretical.  The document Dominus Jesus stated, “Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” the document said. The other communities “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” because they do not have apostolic succession — the ability to trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles."  As a result, for Bishop Muller to say that Protestants "adhere to the being of the Church" directly contradicts the document.

 God help us!!  Kyrie eleison!
All Holy Popes (Mass in Some Places)

Few people recall that July 4th is the Mass of All Holy Popes in some places in the world, according to the traditional calendar, in addition to being within the Octave of Ss. Peter and Paul.  It is unfortunate that a quick internet search also reveals that few English websites have any information on this feast at all.  In fact, the only substantial reference is to the 1960 Breviarium general norms which state, "124. Likewise, red is used in the office and Mass of feasts: ... d) of the commemoration of all holy popes..."

Why celebrate this feast though on July 4th?  An Italian source from 1719 describes it as the result of the Octave of Ss. Peter and Paul: "On Sunday after the Octave of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul is solemnly celebrated as a double in the Vatican Basilica the Universal commemoration of all of the holy Popes of the Roman Church with its proper office granted by the Sacred Congregration of Rites on March 20, 1683..." (translation of Emerologio Di Roma Cristiana, Ecclesiastica, e Gentile by Claudio Salvucci via Facebook)

In honor of this Feast, I present a list of all canonized popes of the Church.  Let us make out of this list a litany of prayers.  After each name say "pray for us" or "ora pro nobis".
  1. St. Peter (32-67)
  2. St. Linus (67-76)
  3. St. Anacletus (Cletus) (76-88)
  4. St. Clement I (88-97)
  5. St. Evaristus (97-105)
  6. St. Alexander I (105-115)
  7. St. Sixtus I (115-125)
  8. St. Telesphorus (125-136)
  9. St. Hyginus (136-140)
  10. St. Pius I (140-155)
  11. St. Anicetus (155-166)
  12. St. Soter (166-175)
  13. St. Eleutherius (175-189)
  14. St. Victor I (189-199)
  15. St. Zephyrinus (199-217)
  16. St. Callistus I (217-22)
  17. St. Urban I (222-30)
  18. St. Pontain (230-35)
  19. St. Anterus (235-36)
  20. St. Fabian (236-50)
  21. St. Cornelius (251-53)
  22. St. Lucius I (253-54)
  23. St. Stephen I (254-257)
  24. St. Sixtus II (257-258)
  25. St. Dionysius (260-268)
  26. St. Felix I (269-274)
  27. St. Eutychian (275-283)
  28. St. Caius (283-296)
  29. St. Marcellinus (296-304)
  30. St. Marcellus I (308-309)
  31. St. Eusebius (309 or 310)
  32. St. Miltiades (311-14)
  33. St. Sylvester I (314-35)
  34. St. Mark (Marcus) (336)
  35. St. Julius I (337-52)
  36. St. Damasus I (366-83)
  37. St. Siricius (384-99)
  38. St. Anastasius I (399-401)
  39. St. Innocent I (401-17)
  40. St. Zosimus (417-18)
  41. St. Boniface I (418-22)
  42. St. Celestine I (422-32)
  43. St. Sixtus III (432-40)
  44. St. Leo I (the Great) (440-61)
  45. St. Hilarius (461-68)
  46. St. Simplicius (468-83)
  47. St. Felix III (II) (483-92)
  48. St. Gelasius I (492-96)
  49. St. Symmachus (498-514)
  50. St. Hormisdas (514-23)
  51. St. John I (523-26)
  52. St. Felix IV (III) (526-30)
  53. St. Agapetus I (535-36)
  54. St. Silverius (536-37)
  55. St. Gregory I (the Great) (590-604)
  56. St. Boniface IV (608-15)
  57. St. Deusdedit (Adeodatus I) (615-18)
  58. St. Martin I (649-55)
  59. St. Eugene I (655-57)
  60. St. Vitalian (657-72)
  61. St. Agatho (678-81)
  62. St. Leo II (682-83)
  63. St. Benedict II (684-85)
  64. St. Sergius I (687-701)
  65. St. Gregory II (715-31)
  66. St. Gregory III (731-41)
  67. St. Paul I (757-67)
  68. St. Leo III (795-816)
  69. St. Paschal I (817-24)
  70. St. Leo IV (847-55)
  71. St. Adrian III (884-85)
  72. St. Leo IX (1049-54)
  73. St. Gregory VII (1073-1085)
  74. St. Celestine V (1294)
  75. St. Pius V (1566-72)
  76. St. Pius X (1903-14)

Traditional Mass Propers for the Mass of All Holy Popes.

INTROIT Ps. 49: 5-7

Gather ye together His saints to Him, who have set His Covenant before sacrifices. And the heavens shall declare His justice, because I am thy God.
Ps. 49:1. The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and hath called the earth.
V. Glory be . . .

O God, Who bountifully providest for Thy people, and lovingly rulest over them, do Thou, through the interceding merits of the Chief Bishops of Thy Church, give the Spirit of Wisdom to those unto whom Thou hast given the control of its discipline, that the good advance of their holy flocks may be to the Shepherds a source of everlasting joy. Through our Lord . . .

EPISTLE Heb. 13:7-17
Remember your prelates who have spoken the word of God to you: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today: and the same for ever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines. For it is best that the heart be established with grace, not with meats: which have not profited those that walk in them. We have an altar whereof they have no power to eat who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts whose blood is brought into the holies by the high priest for sin are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For, we have not here a lasting city: but we seek one that is to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise always to God, that is to say, the fruit of lips confessing to his name. And do not forget to do good and to impart: for by such sacrifices God's favour is obtained. Obey your prelates and be subject to them. For they watch as being to render an account of your souls: that they may do this with joy and not with grief. For this is not expedient for you.

GRADUAL Ps. 8:6, 7
Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor. And hast set him over the works of Thy hands, O Lord.  Alleluia, alleluia! This is the priest whom the Lord hath crowned. Alleluia!

GOSPEL Matt. 16:13-19
At that time, Jesus came into the quarters of Cesarea Philippi: and he asked his disciples, saying:  "Whom do men say that the Son of man is?" But they said: "Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets." Jesus saith to them:"But whom do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said: "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answering said to him: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."

I have found David My servant, with My holy oil I have anointed him, for My hand shall help him, and Mine arm shall strengthen him.

May the spotless sacrifice of Thine only-begotten Son which we offer unto Thee, O God, the Father Almighty, in honor of the holy Pontiffs, help us to obtain the spiritual remedy. Through our Lord . . .

Preface of the Apostles
It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, suppliantly to entreat you, Lord, that you, eternal Shepherd, do not desert your flock, but that through your blessed Apostles you watch over it and protect it always, so that it may be governed by those you have appointed shepherds to lead it in the name of {as representatives in/substitutes for} your work. And so, with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, as we sing the hymn of your glory without end we acclaim.

My truth and My mercy shall be with him; and in My name shall his horn be exalted.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy faithful people may ever find joy in the veneration of Thy holy Pontiffs, and be protected by their unceasing prayer. Through our Lord . . .
Monday, July 2, 2012
Indulgences for Teaching and Learning Christian Doctrine

A "Solemn Obligation" Given by the Church

As stated by Holy Mother Church, "The faithful who devote twenty minutes to a half hour to teaching or studying Christian Doctrine may gain: an indulgence of 3 years.  The indulgence is plenary on the usual conditions twice a month, if the above practice is carried out at least twice a month."

The Church not only bestows upon parents the responsibility to educate their children, but She offers all the Faithful involved in learning and teaching religious Doctrine the temporal remission of sins. How truly generous Holy Mother Church is.  Many times when we are given an obligation and we perform, we do not receive a great reward for doing our duty.  But in this instance, we are given, for the performance of this duty, the partial remission of the punishment due to our sins. 

Teaching Christian Doctrine is also forgotten as a spiritual work of mercy.  Not everyone is considered capable or obligated to perform the first three spiritual works of mercy if they do not have proper tact, knowledge or training to do so. The last four are considered to be the obligation of all people without condition:
  1. To instruct the ignorant;
  2. To counsel the doubtful;
  3. To admonish sinners;
  4. To bear wrongs patiently;
  5. To forgive offenses willingly;
  6. To comfort the afflicted;
  7. To pray for the living and the dead.
And we must not forget the obligation placed specifically on parents for raising their children in the Faith.  As stated in the following document by John Paul II, it is a "solemn obligation."
Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it.
But this idea of a responsibility to teach and promulgate the Sacred Deposit of the Faith dates to the very beginning of the Church, far before the time of Pope John Paul II. His Holiness Pope Leo XIII's Sapientiae Christianae (1890) explained the necessity of spreading the Faithful quite clearly:
15. ... Now, faith, as a virtue, is a great boon of divine grace and goodness; nevertheless, the objects themselves to which faith is to be applied are scarcely known in any other way than through the hearing. "How shall they believe Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." Since, then, faith is necessary for salvation, it follows that the word of Christ must be preached. The office, indeed, of preaching, that is, of teaching, lies by divine right in the province of the pastors, namely, of the bishops whom "the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God." It belongs, above all, to the Roman Pontiff, vicar of Jesus Christ, established as head of the universal Church, teacher of all that pertains to morals and faith.

16. No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful. These, so often as circumstances demand, may take upon themselves, not, indeed, the office of the pastor, but the task of communicating to others what they have themselves received, becoming, as it were, living echoes of their masters in the faith. Such co-operation on the part of the laity has seemed to the Fathers of the [First] Vatican Council so opportune and fruitful of good that they thought well to invite it. "All faithful Christians, but those chiefly who are in a prominent position, or engaged in teaching, we entreat, by the compassion of Jesus Christ, and enjoin by the authority of the same God and Saviour, that they bring aid to ward off and eliminate these errors from holy Church, and contribute their zealous help in spreading abroad the light of undefiled faith." Let each one, therefore, bear in mind that he both can and should, so far as may be, preach the Catholic faith by the authority of his example, and by open and constant profession of the obligations it imposes. In respect, consequently, to the duties that bind us to God and the Church, it should be borne earnestly in mind that in propagating Christian truth and warding off errors the zeal of the laity should, as far as possible, be brought actively into play.
Resources for Teaching and Learning the Faith:

For those of you interested in teaching and learning the Sacred Doctrines of the Faith, I would ask for you to consider the curriculum of  The company is supported by several faithful Catholic bishops and has even appeared on EWTN.

The lessons follow a 7-step format with a final test at the end of each lesson.  Each lesson will guide you through the following:
  1. Introduction, Saint for the Day based on Liturgical Calendar, Description of the Lesson Topic
  2. Opening Prayer (For adults a decade of the Rosary; For children, it is another prayer).  Typically it is learned in both Latin and English
  3. Lectionary (Link to Daily Readings and mention of Scripture that concern the lesson topic)
  4. Catechism References (as they relate to the lesson's topic) from the CCC 2nd Edition and the Baltimore Catechism (in addition to the Catechism of the Council of Trent and Pius X Catechism)
  5. Lesson (A personally written section that explains and expands upon the Lectionary and Catechism in light of the Church teaching, beliefs, writings of the saints, etc)
  6. Activity
  7. Closing Prayer (For adults the Divine Office; For children, it is a decade of the Rosary)
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Salvete Christi Vulnera

In honor of the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, I present the following Little Chapter and Hymn from today's Office of Lauds.  The Hymn is the beautiful hymn "Salvete Christi Vulnera." It is important to note that on years like 2012 when the Feast of the Most Precious Blood falls on a Sunday, the Feast of the Precious Blood supersedes the Propers for the Sunday.

This feast was instituted in 1849 by Pope Pius IX and was raised to the rank of a double of the first class by Pius XI on the occasion of the nineteenth centenary of our Savior's death.

We are reminded of the scene of Calvary and of the blow from the lance which pierced our Savior's side. The liturgy today is at pains to emphasize the meaning and tremendous significance of this fact in relation with our salvation. The Gospel and the Epistle are concerned with our Redemption, effected by the Blood and the love of our Savior.

Capitulum           Hebr. 9. 11-12.
Fratres : Christus assístens Póntifex futurórum bonórum, per ámplius et perféctius tabernáculum non manufáctum, id est, non hujus creatiónis : neque per sánguinem hircórum aut vitulórum, sed per próprium sánguinem introívit semel in Sancta, ætérna redemptióne invénta.
R.  Deo grátias.
The Little Chapter        Hebr. 9. 11-12.
Brethren : Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come, by the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, (that is to say, not of this building; nor yet by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own Blood,) he entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
 Thanks be to God.
HymnusSalvéte, Christi vúlnera,
Imménsi amóris pígnora
Quibus perénnes rívuli
Manant rubéntis sánguinis.
Nitóre stellas víncitis
Rosas odóre et bálsama,
Prétio lapíllos Indicos,
Mellis favos dulcédine.
Per vos patet gratíssimum
Nostris asylum méntibus;
Non huc furor minántium
Umquam penétrat hóstium.
Quot Jesus in prætório
Flagélla nudus éxcipit!
Quot scissa pellis úndique
Stillat cruóris gúttulas!
Frontem venústam, proh dolor!
Coróna pungit spínea,
Clavi retúsa cúspide
Pedes manúsque pérforant.
Postquam sed ille trádidit
Amans volénsque spíritum,
Pectus ferítur láncea,
Geminúsque liquor éxsilit.
Ut plena sit redémptio,
Sub torculári stríngitur;
Suíque Jesus ímmemor,
Sibi nil resérvat sánguinis.
Veníte quotquot críminum
Funésta labes ínficit;
In hoc salútis bálneo
Qui se lavat, mundábitur.
Sequens Conclusio numquam mutátur.
Summi ad Paréntis déxteram
Sedénti habénda est grátia,
Qui nos redémit sánguine,
Sanctóque firmat Spíritu.  Amen.
The Hymn Hail, holy wounds of Jesus, hail,
Sweet pledges of the saving Rood,
Whence flow the streams that never fail,
The purple streams of his dear Blood!
Brighter than brightest stars ye shew;
Than sweetest rose your scent more rare;
No Indian gem may match your glow;
Nor honey's taste with yours compare.
Portals ye are to that dear home
Wherein our wearied souls may hide,
Whereto no angry foe can come,
The Heart of Jesus crucified.
What countless stripes our Jesus bore,
All naked left in Pilate's hall!
From his torn flesh how red a shower
Did round his sacred person fall!
O shame and woe! his comely head
Was riven by a thorny crown;
Upon the Cross, by woundings dread,
His hands and feet were nailed down.
But when for our poor sakes he died,
A willing Priest by love subdued,
And that sharp lance transfixed his side,
Forth flowed the Water and the Blood.
In full atonement of our guilt,
Careless of self, the Saviour trod,
E'en till his Heart's best Blood was spilt,
The wine-press of the wrath of God.
Come, bathe you in the healing flood,
All ye who mourn, by sin oppressed;
Your only hope is Jesus' Blood,
His sacred Heart your only rest.
This Ending is never changed.
All praise to him, Eternal Son,
At God's right hand enthroned above,
Whose Blood our full redemption won,
Whose Spirit seals the gift of love.  Amen.

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