Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Lenten Embertide

Although Ember Days are no longer considered required in mainstream Roman Catholicism following Vatican II, they can - and should - still be observed by the Faithful. In fact, many Traditional priests encourage the Faithful to observe the days. Ember Days are set aside to pray and/or offer thanksgiving for a good harvest and God's blessings. If you are in good health, please at least fast during these three days and pray the additional prayers. Remember the words from the Gospel: "Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish" (Luke 13:5)

Ember Days this Lent: February 24, 26, & 27

From New Advent:

Ember days (corruption from Lat. Quatuor Tempora, four times) are the days at the beginning of the seasons ordered by the Church as days of fast and abstinence. They were definitely arranged and prescribed for the entire Church by Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085) for the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after 13 December (S. Lucia), after Ash Wednesday, after Whitsunday, and after 14 September (Exaltation of the Cross). The purpose of their introduction, besides the general one intended by all prayer and fasting, was to thank God for the gifts of nature, to teach men to make use of them in moderation, and to assist the needy. The immediate occasion was the practice of the heathens of Rome. The Romans were originally given to agriculture, and their native gods belonged to the same class.

At the beginning of the time for seeding and harvesting religious ceremonies were performed to implore the help of their deities: in June for a bountiful harvest, in September for a rich vintage, and in December for the seeding; hence their feriae sementivae, feriae messis, and feri vindimiales. The Church, when converting heathen nations, has always tried to sanctify any practices which could be utilized for a good purpose. At first the Church in Rome had fasts in June, September, and December; the exact days were not fixed but were announced by the priests. The "Liber Pontificalis" ascribes to Pope Callistus (217-222) a law ordering: the fast, but probably it is older. Leo the Great (440-461) considers it an Apostolic institution. When the fourth season was added cannot be ascertained, but Gelasius (492-496) speaks of all four. This pope also permitted the conferring of priesthood and deaconship on the Saturdays of ember week--these were formerly given only at Easter.

Before Gelasius the ember days were known only in Rome, but after his time their observance spread. They were brought into England by St. Augustine; into Gaul and Germany by the Carlovingians. Spain adopted them with the Roman Liturgy in the eleventh century. They were introduced by St. Charles Borromeo into Milan. The Eastern Church does not know them. The present Roman Missal, in the formulary for the Ember days, retains in part the old practice of lessons from Scripture in addition to the ordinary two: for the Wednesdays three, for the Saturdays six, and seven for the Saturday in December. Some of these lessons contain promises of a bountiful harvest for those that serve God.

From Catholic Culture:

Since man is both a spiritual and physical being, the Church provides for the needs of man in his everyday life. The Church's liturgy and feasts in many areas reflect the four seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall and winter). The months of August, September, October and November are part of the harvest season, and as Christians we recall God's constant protection over his people and give thanksgiving for the year's harvest.

The September Ember Days were particularly focused on the end of the harvest season and thanksgiving to God for the season. Ember Days were three days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) set aside by the Church for prayer, fasting and almsgiving at the beginning of each of the four seasons of the year. The ember days fell after December 13, the feast of St. Lucy (winter), after the First Sunday of Lent (spring), after Pentecost Sunday (summer), and after September 14 , the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (fall). These weeks are known as the quattor tempora, the "four seasons."

Since the late 5th century, the Ember Days were also the preferred dates for ordination of priests. So during these times the Church had a threefold focus: (1) sanctifying each new season by turning to God through prayer, fasting and almsgiving; (2) giving thanks to God for the various harvests of each season; and (3) praying for the newly ordained and for future vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Do You Recognize These Latin Mass Photos?

A reader of A Catholic Life would like to know where these Latin Mass photographs were taken.  Do you recognize the priest, the location, or the website where these photographs were posted?

Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Christ

Oh loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I a miserable sinner, salute an worship the most scared wound of Thy shoulder, on which Thou did bear Thy heavy cross, which tore Thy flesh and lay Thy bones as to inflict an anguish greater than any other wound of Thy most blessed body. I adore Thee, oh Jesus most sorrowful. I praise and glorify Thee, and give thanks fully to Thee for the most holy and sacred and painful wound. Beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy cross to be merciful to me on towards heaven along the way of Thy cross.
In Jesus' name (make request Amen to all.

Image: Christ Carrying the Cross by Jheronimus Bosch, 1510
Saturday, February 20, 2010
A Universal Lenten prayer (Attributed to Pope Clement XI)

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith.
I trust in you: strengthen my trust.
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me:
In the way you ask,
For as long as you ask,
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.

Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death
With a proper fear of judgment,
But a greater trust in your goodness.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Friday, February 19, 2010
List of Lenten Links

Q: Why are the forty days called Lent?

A: They are called Lent because that is the Old English word for spring, the season of the year during which they fall. This is something unique to English. In almost all other languages its name is a derivative of the Latin term , or 'the forty days'. Lent is a time in the Church year lasting forthy days (excluding Sundays) from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday. It is a period of penance leading up to the joy of Easter.

Words to contemplate throughout Lent: "All things, even humiliation and death, help to save us."

For more information on this and other Lenten issues, please see my page: Everything Lent. On that page you will find links to articles, prayers, liturgical declarations, etc for Lent.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Tridentine Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC: April 24, 2010

The Paulus Institute invites you to participate in an historic liturgical event in honor of Pope Benedict XVI, under the theme of “The Spirit of the Liturgy.”

We have arranged to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s inauguration with a Pontifical Solemn Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC, April 24, 2010, at 1 pm. The Mass will be celebrated by a prince of the Church, the Vatican prelate Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos. His Eminence is President Emeritus of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei and served under both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

The Mass will be offered in the Extraordinary Firm (Traditional Latin Mass), as encouraged by Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict. It will be the first such Mass said at the High Altar of the Shrine in nearly half a century. The priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter will assist at the Mass.

Monday, January 25, 2010
Pontifical Mass by Cardinal Egan on March 25, 2010

His Eminence Edward Card. Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, accepted the invitation from the Agnus Dei Council of the Knights of Columbus in New York City to celebrate a Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite – a Mass for Life – on 25 March 2010, the Feast of the Annunciation. The Council’s annual Mass for Life emphasizes the special link between the Incarnation of Jesus from the moment of conception in the womb at the Annunciation and Catholic Pro-Life Values. More information about the location and time of the Mass will be released shortly.

The Pontifical Mass for Life also marks an important milestone for the New York Archdiocese.  At the request of the Agnus Dei Knights, it will be the first time since the Second Vatican Council that an American Cardinal will celebrate a Pontifical Mass in New York City according to the form in use before the Council.  Anthony Ignacio, current Grand Knight of the Agnus Dei Knights, explained “the men of our Council share a special affection for this form of the Mass and His Eminence has shown extraordinary generosity in agreeing to celebrate it in this form.”,

The Pontifical Mass for Life will be the third Pontifical Mass according to the earlier form celebrated in New York City in the last year.  “These Masses have become more common since Pope Benedict XVI’s Summorum Pontificum made the 1962 form available to every priest in the Church,” said Ignacio.  Before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger often celebrated Mass according to the earlier form.

Via Traditional Catholicism
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Gregorian Chant Practicum in Cicero, Indiana: January 30, 2010

Catholic PRWire

CICERO, IN (January 16, 2010) - On January 30th 2010, the St. John Bosco Latin Mass Community is proud to host Fr. Robert Fromagoet, FSSP who will conduct a Gregorian Chant Practicum at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Cicero, IN at 10 am. Fr. Fromagoet is a professor of Dogmatic Theology at the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter’s North American Seminary of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton, NE as well as the Music Director at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Lincoln, NE. Father has conducted numerous Practicum’s on Gregorian Chant, he was a recent guest of EWTN’s Life on the rock where he spoke on Gregorian Chant and how it helps the liturgy fulfill its twofold end; namely, the worship of God and the sanctification of souls.

The Practicum will consist of 3 parts:

I. Introduction to chant
II. Basics of chant
III. Chant Practicum (Chant Workshop)

-Missa de Angelis

The practicum is open to everyone. No matter if you are a novice or an expert, it will enrich your understanding of Gregorian chant. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Mr. Terry Garrity at 317-984-9158 or 317-984-3358. Also, you may visit our website at www.uvcarmel.org.

Cost: Free will donations accepted.
Friday, January 15, 2010
January/February 2010 Events at Institute of Christ the King

(click for a larger image)

Other Upcoming Events at the Institute of Christ the King:

January 25

7:00pm High Mass & Benediction in honor of the Divine Infant King
Special Program of Renaissance Choral Music

February 2

7:00pm Liturgy for Candlemas Day & Feast of The Purificaction of The Blessed Virgin Mary: Blessing of Candles, Candlelight procession & High Mass with Gregorian Chant by Rex Gloriae Schola
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Photos from Basilica of St. Josaphat & St. Patrick's Parish in Kokomo, Indiana

Update in 2014: Check out my updated photos of the Basilica of St. Josaphat

The following photos were submitted by a long-time reader of the blog.

Side Altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee.


Left:  This is the full image of the side altar.  Given the devotion Hispanics hold in regard to the Blessed Virgin, especially as Our Lady of Guadalupe, Her image has been enshrined.  This is Christmas time as you can tell by the poinsettias. 

Right: Stained Glass Window at the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee.  This is obviously of the Annunciation as depicted by the dove descending upon the Blessed Virgin.

At St. Patrick's Parish in Kokomo, Indiana.  The Church  was renovated a few years ago to go back to a more traditional look.  This is in front of the sanctuary.  Along the middle entrance to the altar, at the front of the Church, middle, and front of the sanctuary, is the beginning of the Breastplate of St. Patrick, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me.  Then we see the word Sanctus, as the priest enters the the area in which the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will take part.  St. Patrick's Parish offers a TLM mass once a month.  Website:  http://stpatrick-kokomo.org/


This is above the sanctuary at the Basilica of St. Josaphat.  In the middle, I presume is St. Josaphat himself surrounding with countless angels and saints, including the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Basilica also has an image of Our Lady of Czesthova; thus it has Polish tendencies in regards to devotions and architecture. 
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Reader Comments on Francisco Franco Post

I wish to thank the reader who sent me the following comment. It is always great to know that people do appreciate my articles.

Hey Matthew,

I came across your blog while doing a little reading on General Francisco Franco. I would have simply left a comment on your Franco entry; however, I couldn't figure out how to do that. Anyway, that caused me to read a bit more of your blog, and I'm glad I did. I have to say that I'm impressed with your untainted view of history. You seem to have escaped the clutches of the public school system and that is indeed a magnificent thing. And a commitment to Traditional Catholicism.... you definitely have Someone looking out for you. I grew during Vatican II and the changes that followed. My family managed to re-connect with Tradition when I was about your age....31 years ago. Matthew, keep up the good work. You're headed down the right road.
Veni Creator Spiritus: St. James Church (London)

The Veni Creator Spiritus, sung at St. James' Church, Spanish Place, London, UK, on Jan 1st 2010. A Plenary Indulgence (under the usual conditions) may be obtained by singing the Veni Creator Spiritus on the first day of the year.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Epiphany of the Lord Jesus Christ

The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated each year by the Church on January 6. This is the last day of Christmas (the 12th Day of Christmas). And on the Epiphany, we remember Christ revealing His divinity in three ways:

* to the Magi who, guided by the great and mysterious Star of Bethlehem, came to visit Him when He was a Baby (Matthew 2:1-19)

* through His Baptism by St. John, when "the Spirit of God descending as a dove" came upon Him and there was heard a voice from Heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1), and all Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity were manifest (Note: the Baptism of Our Lord is also commemorated on the 13th of January)

* through His first public miracle -- that of the wedding at Cana when Our Lord turned water into wine at the request of His Mother (John 2). Just as God's first miracle before the Egyptian pharaoh, through Moses, was turning the waters of the Nile into blood, Our Lord's first miracle was turning water into wine.

Source: Fish Eaters

For more information, please see my post entitled: Epiphany of the Lord for prayers, reflections, and much more information.


We keep this day holy in honor of three miracles: this day a star led the Wise Men to the manager; this day water was turned into wine at the marriage feast; this day Christ willed to be baptized by John in the Jordan for our salvation, alleluia.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal, Antiphon at Magnificat for the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (January 6th)
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Repose of the Soul of Abbot Ladislas K. Parker

The following note is from our friends at Jade Musik:
Dear Friends,

Just a notice that our founding abbot, Ladislas K. Parker, O.Praem., passed away peacefully Sunday morning at the abbey.  He was 94 years old.

Keep the repose of his soul and all of us in your prayers, thanks!

Fr. Jerome Molokie, O.Praem.
St. Michael's Abbey
19292 El Toro Road
Silverado, California 92676-9710
Sunday, January 3, 2010
2010 Saint for the Year Devotion: Updated

Over the past few years, starting in December 2005, I started offering the Saint for the Year Devotion on my blog, along with Marianne, who actually draws the saints for this devotion. For the 2005 devotion alone, I have had 475 individual requests for a special saint for the year. This is amazing! And starting today I will be taking names of anyone that wants to take part in this devotion for the year 2010.


 St. Louis IX - Virgin and Child Adored by Saint Louis, King of France

What is the Saint for the Year Devotion? Here is my post on this from years past to clarify the matter. This is from the person that draws all of the saints. I don't draw the saints. I will merely pass on your name or screenname to her so that she will draw a saint for you. Also, I will pass on the name of any of your family or friends that would like to participate. This isn't superstition. St. Faustina did the same thing!

Last year dozens of people received saints to be their special patron, and there were miraculous connections. It was truly amazing. We pray that this year the Holy Spirit will again work so that all participants receive a saint that they will be able to pray to for aid throughout the entire year:
Saint for the Year

I want to tell you about the practice of picking a saint at random to be your “holy protector” for the year. Actually, the saint is the one who chooses us though. The tradition of letting a saint “pick you,” is not a new one. St. Faustina wrote about it in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul. The excerpt is below.

“There is a custom among us of drawing by lot, on New Year's Day, special Patrons for ourselves for the whole year. In the morning during meditation, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn't read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: ‘I am your patron. Read.’ I looked at once at the inscription and read, ‘Patron for the Year 1935 - the Most Blessed Eucharist.’ My heart leapt with joy, and I slipped quietly away from the sisters and went for a short visit before the Blessed Sacrament, where I poured out my heart. But Jesus sweetly admonished me that I should be at that moment together with the sisters. I went immediately in obedience to the rule.”Excerpt from Divine Mercy in My Soul, the Diary of St. Faustina"

I have a container full of names ... I will be glad to pick out the name for you and send you the name if you prefer. I am so excited by my saint(s) ... I already picked mine. Well, I should say that they picked me ... I have Saints Marcus and Marcellianus ... they are twin brothers who were sent to prison before their death. St. Sebastian visited them continually in prison and helped keep their faith alive. They are buried near St. Felix and are specifically honored in Spain.

OK now ... here are a couple of immediate ironies in regard to these saints ... I have a SPECIAL place in my heart for twins! As a child, I LOVED reading the story about St. Sebastian. I had a children's book of saints and I think I wore out the pages on St. Sebastian! Felix is my grandfather's name! Silvia, our exchange student, is from Spain! I am so excited to have these two saints to walk through 2006 with me! I'm looking forward as to where and how they will intercede for me.
Please pass this message on through your blogs and/or email distribution lists, letting all of the Catholic blogsphere have the chance to participate. I only ask that you give me your email address so that I may contact you when your saint is drawn. Usually within one to two days I can email you about your saint.

So, please either make sure your email address is in your profile or please leave it below in the comment box when you ask to participate. If you wish to remain anonymous, please leave your initials instead of your name.  And, if you would prefer to email me directly and not write your email address in the comment box, please send an email entitled "Saint for the Year 2010" to acatholiclife [at] gmail.com

So, comment below and pass this message on throughout the entire Catholic Blogsphere!


St. Louis IX - Death of Saint Louis 1270 by Gustave Dore

The results of all individuals who request saints will be displayed below.  Only first names and/or initials will be used to identify individuals.  An individuals results will also be emailed to them.

Update: January 3 - all received requests thus far have been processed.  The results are below.  Please feel free to contact me still as this devotion has not ended!
  1.     BearPaw - St. Paul of the Cross, 04/28
  2.     Angelica - St. John the Silent, 05/13
  3.     Anna - St. Radegundes, 08/13
  4.     Vince, - St. Rogatian, 05/24
  5.     Auliya Marie  - St. Elphege, 04/19
  6.     John-Luc - St. Thomas More and St. Raymond of Penyafort
  7.     Monique - The Sacred Heart
  8.     Frances - St. John Baptist de la Salle
  9.     Claudette - The Blessed Virgin Mary and her Miraculous Medal, 11/27
  10.     Nicholas - St. Nicholas of Myra, 12/06
  11.     Natile - St. Hospitius, 05/21
  12.     Ida - St. Finnbar, 09/25
  13.     Helen - St. Stephen, the First martyr
  14.     Seminarian Edward - St. Hugh of Grenoble, 04/01
  15.     Mark M - The Eighteen Holy Martyrs of Saragossa, 04/16
  16.     Kim,  - St. Simeon, Bishop, 02/18
  17.     Gene, - St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
  18.     Erin,  - St. John Bosco, 01/31
  19.     Daniel,  - St. John the Evangelist, 12/27
  20.     Paul  - St. Louis Mary de Montfort, 04/28
  21.     Annemarie - St. Stephen, the First Martyr
  22.     James - St. Raymond of Pennafort, -1/23
  23.     LW - St. Fabien, 01/20
  24.     Holly Hall - St. Anthony-Mary Claret, 10/23
  25.     Nevaeh - St. Vitus
  26.     Bryan D - St. Finan or Finian, 12/12
  27.     ivarbjoe  - St. Benedict
  28.     Cassidy - St. Thomas More
  29.     Marjorie H., - St. Isidore the Farmer, 05/15
  30.     Mike H.,  - St. Louis Bertrand, 10/09
  31.     Michael H.,  - St. Christina, 07/24
  32.     Matthew H. - St. Servulus, 12/23
  33.     Melissa H. - St. Agatha, 02/05
  34.     Steve  - St. Anacletus, 07/13
  35.     Toni - St. Joseph Calasanz, 08/25
  36.     Stephanie -- St. Peter and his Chair at Rome, 01/18
  37.     Trissi  - St. Peter Fourier, 12/09
  38.     Ken - St. Epiphanius, 05/12
  39.     John - St. Perpetuus, 04/08
  40.     Dan - The Blessed Virgin Mary and her Miraculous Medal, 11/27
  41.     Chris - St. Claude, Apollinaire, 01/08
  42.     Rudy - St. Oswald, 02/28
  43.     Julie H - St. Vincent, 01/22
  44.     Cy - St. Raymond Nonnatus, 08/31
  45.     Cy sister - St. Brendan, 05/16! 
  46.     Francis Carmelle - St. Pantaenus, 07/07 
  47.     Fran - The Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, 03/10 
  48.     Ann - Bl. Maximin Giraud,  09/20! 
  49.     Christine - St. Eligius or Eloy, 12/01
  50.     Jam - St. John, apostle and evangelist, 12/27
  51.     DJ - St. Gerard, abbott, 10/03
  52.     Wally - St. Martin de Porres, 11/03
  53.     Yaya - St. Agnes, 01/21
  54.     Jazmyn - St. Joseph
  55.     Katelyn - St. John of Sahagun or of St.Fagondez
  56.     Ursula - St. Osmund
  57.     deProfunis -  St. Lambert, 09/17 
  58.     Jarrett - St. Tarachus, feast day on 10/11 
  59.     Lucy - St. Benedict - Joseph Labre, 04/16
  60.     Demetria - St. Jeanne - Antide Thouret, 05/23
  61.     Jeannette - St. Michael the Archangel, 09/29
  62.     Cesar - St. Martin de Tours, 11/11 
  63.     Brian T - St. Philogonius, 12/20 
  64.     Lara - St. Francis de Sales
  65.     Meghan O. - St. John Chrysostom
  66.     Hank - St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, 06/10
  67.     Timber - St. John the Evangelist, 12/27 
  68.     Xman - The Immaculate Heart of Mary, 08/22
  69.     Lightning and Family - St. Paul, 06/29
  70.     Stace and family - St. Matthew, 09/21
  71.     Mix - Bl. Maximin Giraud, 09/20
  72.     Joy - St. Thomas Aquinas 
  73.     Pam - St. Catherine of Sweden, 03/22
  74.     Hilda - St. Blandina, 06/02

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