Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Rosary Miracle at Hiroshima

On August 6, 1945 the first nuclear bomb ever used was detonated over Hiroshima, Japan, killing 140,000 people. Everything within a mile of the blast was annihilated with nothing left standing, no survivors.

Yet, just eight blocks from ground zero (to be exact 1 kilometer or 6/10 of a mile) there was a two story house left standing intact with no damage to it, not even the windows were broken. When inquiry was made as to what was different about the building it was discovered that there was a community of eight Jesuit priests living there who said the Rosary each day.

Fr. Hubert Schiffer who headed the community was virtually untouched by the nuclear blast with no radiation found in his body, and he publicly testified to this miracle at the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia in 1976. In an interview with Fr. Paul Ruge he describes the horrific nightmare of August 6, 1945:

"Suddenly, a terrific explosion filled the air with one bursting thunder stroke. An invisible force lifted me from the chair, hurled me through the air, shook me, battered me, whirled me 'round and round' like a leaf in a gust of autumn wind."

Fr. Ruge relates that the next thing he remembered was that he opened his eyes and found himself laying on the ground. He looked around and there was NOTHING in any direction: the railroad station and buildings in all directions were leveled to the ground. The only physical harm to himself was that he could feel a few pieces of glass in the back of his neck. As far as he could tell, there was nothing else physically wrong with himself.

Shortly thereafter Fr. Schiffer was told by medical authorities that he would eventually die of cancer because of all the radiation exposure, yet he lived another 30 years in full health with no cancer or effects from the radiation. The same is said of the other seven survivors of the priestly community. Aside from some slight surface abrasions or scratches they all lived out their days in full health with no cancer or side effects from radiation.

According to Dr. Stephen Rinehart, a nuclear physicist with the U.S. Department of Defense who had studied this phenomenon intently, they should have been dead in a flash. In his commentary on the Hiroshima blast he states:

"Their residence should still have been utterly destroyed (temp; 2000 F and air blast pressures; 100 psi). In contrast, unreinforced masonry or brick walls (representative of commercial construction) are destroyed at 3 psi, which will also cause car damage and burst windows. At 10 psi, a human will experience severe lung and heart damage, burst eardrums and at 20 psi your limbs can be blown off. Your head will be blown off by 40 psi and no residential or unreinforced commercial construction would be left standing. At 80 psi even reinforced concrete is heavily damaged and no human would be alive because your skull would be crushed. All the cotton clothes would be on fire at 350 F (probably at 275 F) and your lungs would be inoperative within a minute breathing air (even for a few seconds) at these temperatures.

"There are no physical laws to explain why the Jesuits were untouched in the Hiroshima air blast. There is no other actual or test data where a structure such as this was not totally destroyed at this standoff distance by an atomic weapon. All who were at this range from the epicenter should have received enough radiation to be dead within at most a matter of minutes if nothing else happened to them. There is no known way to design a uranium-235 atomic bomb, which could leave such a large discrete area intact while destroying everything around it immediately outside the fireball...

"From a scientific viewpoint, what happened to those Jesuits at Hiroshima still defies all human logic from the laws of physics as understood today (or at any time in the future). It must be concluded that some other (external) force was present whose power and/or capability to transform energy and matter as it relates to humans is beyond current comprehension."

THE ROSARY MIRACLE that occurred at Hiroshima is well known and well documented and has been published in various journals since the war, and can be read today on several websites. Yet, to date no one has ever been able to offer a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. The best they can do is hold their peace and remain bamboozled.

There is one exception though. There are those of rational thought (e.g. Dr. Rinehart) who recognize the hand of God in this. This miracle was intended as a lesson for the world, especially the people of the last times who would be subject to increasing calamities and the effects of war, nuclear accidents, etc.

"We believe that we survived because we were living the Message of Fatima. We lived and prayed the Rosary daily in that home." - the Jesuit priests

The Rosary then assumes more importance today than in any time of history since we are living in the age of Antichrist when the Blessed Virgin is lifting up her heel in a final, dramatic move to obliterate the forces of evil from our world. (Genesis 3:15) Those who arm themselves with the Rosary share in this victory over evil and come under Mary's special protection.

The Rosary goes back to the very first centuries when the early Christians recited the 150 consecutive Hail Marys to the Blessed Virgin, though it was done without the beads that we use today. This devotion was known in the early Church as the 150 psalms to Jesus and Mary, prefigured by the 150 Psalms of the Old Testament.

In 1214 the Blessed Virgin actually appeared to St. Dominic in his chapel and handed him the beads of the Rosary with the commission that he spread this age old devotion throughout the world. Through the power of the Rosary he went about preaching and converting thousands everywhere, as he cast out devils, cured the sick, and even raised the dead to life on three occasions. And to think that we have these pearls of grace at our disposal today. With the Rosary we hold the power of God in our hands.

The Rosary can be said by anyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, so when the days get rough and the calamities increase we should remember that we always have recourse to the Rosary. It doesn't necessarily mean we'll get the same miracle as those eight priests at Hiroshima (but it doesn't mean we won't either), but what it does mean is that we'll be under the special protection of Heaven which is something we will all need in the coming days.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Gregorian Chant: Requiem from Jade Music

I recently had the opportunity to receive an advance copy of Gregorian Chant: Requiem from Jade Music. I have posted in the past about fine music produced by Jade Music and this soon-to-be released item is no exception! Jade Music has put together an inspiring collection of chants from the Norbertine Fathers of St. Michael's Abbey.

Rating: Highly recommended

Visit Amazon for previews of the songs.  Some of the items on the CD include
  • Introit: Requiem
  • Kyrie
  • Gradual: Requiem
  • Gradual: Si Ambulem
  • Prose: Dies Irae
  • Tract: De Profundis
  • Offertory: Domine Jesus Christe
  • Preface
  • Sanctus
  • ...and others!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
2011 Liturgical Calendars for Free Download

I recently came across a fantastic resource.  Available for easy downloading and printing from Google Docs is a 2011 Liturgical Calendar.  This Calendar follows the Traditional 1955 Calendar of Pope Pius XII.  You can print off each month of the year.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
There Be Dragons

A new film coming to the theaters in May 2011. You will see that is features St. Josemaria Escriva. View the trailer above.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
"Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week" Excerpt by Pope Benedict XVI

The excerpt comes from Chapter 7, Section 3, titled "Jesus Before Pilate."  With Lent nearly upon us, now is an appropriate time to read of our Lord's trial before Pilate.  Ignatius Press is the publisher of the volume in English.

Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week follows the book Jesus of Nazareth, which follows our Lord's journey from his Baptism in the Jordan through His Transfiguration.

* * *

In addition to the clear delimitation of his concept of kingdom (no fighting, earthly powerlessness), Jesus had introduced a positive idea, in order to explain the nature and particular character of the power of this kingship: namely, truth. Pilate brought another idea into play as the dialogue proceeded, one that came from his own world and was normally connected with "kingdom": namely, power—authority (exousia). Dominion demands power; it even defines it. Jesus, however, defines as the essence of his kingship witness to the truth. Is truth a political category? Or has Jesus’ "kingdom" nothing to do with politics? To which order does it belong? If Jesus bases his concept of kingship and kingdom on truth as the fundamental category, then it is entirely understandable that the pragmatic Pilate asks him: "What is truth?" (18:38).

It is the question that is also asked by modern political theory: Can politics accept truth as a structural category? Or must truth, as something unattainable, be relegated to the subjective sphere, its place taken by an attempt to build peace and justice using whatever instruments are available to power? By relying on truth, does not politics, in view of the impossibility of attaining consensus on truth, make itself a tool of particular traditions that in reality are merely forms of holding on to power? And yet, on the other hand, what happens when truth counts for nothing? What kind of justice is then possible? Must there not be common criteria that guarantee real justice for all—criteria that are independent of the arbitrariness of changing opinions and powerful lobbies? Is it not true that the great dictatorships were fed by the power of the ideological lie and that only truth was capable of bringing freedom?

What is truth? The pragmatist’s question, tossed off with a degree of scepticism, is a very serious question, bound up with the fate of mankind. What, then, is truth? Are we able to recognize it? Can it serve as a criterion for our intellect and will, both in individual choices and in the life of the community?

The classic definition from scholastic philosophy designates truth as "adaequatio intellectus et rei" (conformity between the intellect and reality; Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I, q. 21, a. 2c). If a man’s intellect reflects a thing as it is in itself, then he has found truth: but only a small fragment of reality—not truth in its grandeur and integrity. We come closer to what Jesus meant with another of Saint Thomas’ teachings: "Truth is in God’s intellect properly and firstly (proprie et primo); in human intellect it is present properly and derivatively (proprie quidem et secundario)" (De Verit., q. 1, a. 4c). And in conclusion we arrive at the succinct formula: God is "ipsa summa et prima veritas" (truth itself, the sovereign and first truth; Summa Theologiae I, q. 16, a. 5c).

This formula brings us close to what Jesus means when he speaks of the truth, when he says that his purpose in coming into the world was to "bear witness to the truth". Again and again in the world, truth and error, truth and untruth, are almost inseparably mixed together. The truth in all its grandeur and purity does not appear. The world is "true" to the extent that it reflects God: the creative logic, the eternal reason that brought it to birth. And it becomes more and more true the closer it draws to God. Man becomes true, he becomes himself, when he grows in God’s likeness. Then he attains to his proper nature. God is the reality that gives being and

"Bearing witness to the truth" means giving priority to God and to his will over against the interests of the world and its powers. God is the criterion of being. In this sense, truth is the real "king" that confers light and greatness upon all things. We may also say that bearing witness to the truth means making creation intelligible and its truth accessible from God’s perspective—the perspective of creative reason—in such a way that it can serve as a criterion and a signpost in this world of ours, in such a way that the great and the mighty are exposed to the power of truth, the common law, the law of truth.

Let us say plainly: the unredeemed state of the world consists precisely in the failure to understand the meaning of creation, in the failure to recognize truth; as a result, the rule of pragmatism is imposed, by which the strong arm of the powerful becomes the god of this world. At this point, modern man is tempted to say: Creation has become intelligible to us through science. Indeed, Francis S. Collins, for example, who led the Human Genome Project, says with joyful astonishment: "The language of God was revealed" (The Language of God, p. 122). Indeed, in the magnificent mathematics of creation, which today we can read in the human genetic code, we recognize the language of God. But unfortunately not the whole language. The functional truth about man has been discovered. But the truth about man himself—who he is, where he comes from, what he should do, what is right, what is wrong—this unfortunately cannot be read in the same way. Hand in hand with growing knowledge of functional truth there seems to be an increasing blindness toward "truth" itself—toward the question of our real identity and purpose.

What is truth? Pilate was not alone in dismissing this question as unanswerable and irrelevant for his purposes. Today too, in political argument and in discussion of the foundations of law, it is generally experienced as disturbing. Yet if man lives without truth, life passes him by; ultimately he surrenders the field to whoever is the stronger. "Redemption" in the fullest sense can only consist in the truth becoming recognizable. And it becomes recognizable when God becomes recognizable. He becomes recognizable in Jesus Christ. In Christ, God entered the world and set up the criterion of truth in the midst of history.

Truth is outwardly powerless in the world, just as Christ is powerless by the world’s standards: he has no legions; he is crucified. Yet in his very powerlessness, he is powerful: only thus, again and again, does truth become power. In the dialogue between Jesus and Pilate, the subject matter is Jesus’ kingship and, hence, the kingship, the "kingdom", of God. In the course of this same conversation it becomes abundantly clear that there is no discontinuity between Jesus’ Galilean teaching—the proclamation of the kingdom of God—and his Jerusalem teaching. The center of the message, all the way to the Cross—all the way to the inscription above the Cross—is the kingdom of God, the new kingship represented by Jesus. And this kingship is centered on truth. The kingship proclaimed by Jesus, at first in parables and then at the end quite openly before the earthly judge, is none other than the kingship of truth. The inauguration of this kingship is man’s true liberation.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Appeal for the Preservation of the Integrity of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum

Most Holy Father, we the undersigned:

1. Express our profound gratitude to Your Holiness for your personal liturgical example to the Universal Church. You are a true homo liturgicus whose love for the sacred liturgy is an inspiration; it teaches more clearly than words the centrality of the liturgy in the life of the Church.

2. Thank Your Holiness for your gift to the Church of your 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum. Since 2007 it has brought forth many fruits, including greater unity in the Church of Christ and a widespread enrichment of the liturgical life of the Church.

3. Note with sadness the continuing and real opposition to the implementation of Summorum Pontificum in many dioceses and on the part of many members of the hierarchy, the suffering and distress this continues to cause many of Christ’s faithful and the obstacle this opposition is to an effective reconciliation within the Church.

4. Note with anxiety the apparent signs that a forthcoming Instruction on Summorum Pontificum will, in some way, take away from what you have legally established in that Motu Proprio and from its wide application in the generous spirit so eloquently explained by Your Holiness in the letter accompanying it: “Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.”

5. Express our grave concern that any restrictive measures would cause scandal, disunity and suffering in the Church and would frustrate the reconciliation you so earnestly desire, as well as impede further liturgical renewal and development in continuity with Tradition, which is already so great a fruit of your pontificate.

6. Express our hope, our desire and our urgent appeal that the good Your Holiness personally initiated through Summorum Pontificum not be allowed to be hindered by such restrictions.

7. Turn to you with filial trust and as obedient sons and daughters, Most Holy Father, and ask that you urgently consider our concerns and intervene if you judge it necessary.

8. Assure Your Holiness of our continuing prayers, of our deep affection and of our loyalty.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
First Holy Communion Invitations

First Holy Communion Invitations

Winter seems to be flying by, and Spring will be here before you know it. Springtime is one of my favorite times of the year in Church, as the youth of the community receive their First Communion. It is a joy to witness for family, friends, and the entire church community, as our sons and daughters create their connection with Christ and the Church. To help with your Holy Communion planning, I am pleased to introduce Communion invitations from Storkie Express.

With over 20 years of experience, Storkie is committed to providing families with stylish invitations and announcements. Storkie’s mission is to provide high quality custom-printed stationery at affordable prices, and a top-notch customer experience. Storkie has the best selection of Communion thank you cards and Communion announcements around, featuring over 400 unique invitation designs. And for their exclusive dynamic designs, you can personalize the color combinations, in addition to all of the wording, fonts, and layout.

Storkie’s turnaround time is the fastest in their industry with most orders shipping in just 1 to 2 days. Whether you are an early bird getting everything together or you are down to the last minute, Storkie will ensure that you can get your child’s invitations in the mail quickly.

Here is a sampling of a few of their beautiful Communion invitations for girls:

And here are a few of their unique Communion invitations for boys:

Monday, January 24, 2011
St. Peter Julian Eymard on the Mass

"Hear Mass daily; it will prosper the whole day. All your duties will be performed the better for it, and your soul will be stronger to bear it’s daily cross. The Mass is the most holy act of religion; you can do nothing that can give greater glory to God or be more profitable for your soul than to hear Mass both frequently and devoutly. It is the favorite devotion of the saints"

-- St. Peter Julian Eymard
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The Most Rev. Manuel Ureña Pastor, Archbishop of Saragossa, Spain Says Tridentine Latin Mass

This is the first time that a diocesan Bishop from Spain has said the Traditional Latin Mass publicly since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum. The Mass was attended by 1,200 faihtful, including various government representatives. 

Via Una Voce Málaga.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Ecumenism is not the Mission of the Church

"Ecumenism is not the Church's mission. The Church is not ecumenical, she is missionary. The goal of the missionary Church is to convert. The goal of the ecumenical Church is to find what is true in errors and to remain at this level. It is to deny the truth of the Church" (Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Apr 14, 1978)
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Who Can Baptize?

Who Can Baptize?
The Church teaches very unequivocally that for the valid conferring of the sacraments, the minister must have the intention of doing at least what the Church does. This is laid down with great emphasis by the Council of Trent (sess. VII). The opinion once defended by such theologians as Catharinus and Salmeron that there need only be the intention to perform deliberately the external rite proper to each sacrament, and that, as long as this was true, the interior dissent of the minister from the mind of the Church would not invalidate the sacrament, no longer finds adherents. The common doctrine now is that a real internal intention to act as a minister of Christ, or to do what Christ instituted the sacraments to effect, in other words, to truly baptize, absolve, etc., is required. This intention need not necessarily be of the sort called actual. That would often be practically impossible. It is enough that it be virtual. Neither habitual nor interpretative intention in the minister will suffice for the validity of the sacrament. The truth is that here and now, when the sacrament is being conferred, neither of these intentions exists, and they can therefore exercise no determining influence upon what is done. To administer the sacraments with a conditional intention, which makes their effect contingent upon a future event, is to confer them invalidly. This holds good for all the sacraments except matrimony, which, being a contract, is susceptible of such a limitation.
Source: Catholic Encyclopedia
For the aforementioned reason, non-Catholic baptisms may not be valid.  The individual should receive a conditional Baptism.  For more information, see our post on the Sacrament of Baptism.
Bishop Fellay on the Errors of Assisi III

From the sermon of His Grace Bishop Fellay on the Feast of the Epiphany 2011
In theory they know, in theory they believe. But in reality, do they believe? Do they really believe that Our Lord is God? Do they really believe that peace among men, among nations, is in His hand? Do they really believe in all the immediate, direct consequences of His divinity? …Are they all going, like the Magi, the Three Kings, to adore the true God and to look to Him for that peace and to ask Him for it? Are they going to the King of Peace: Rex Pacificus?

Oh, how history repeats itself, alas!

Yes, we are deeply indignant, we vehemently protest against this repetition of the days at Assisi. Everything that we have said, everything that Archbishop Lefebvre had said at the time [of the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi in 1986], we repeat in our own name. It is evident, my dear brothers, that such a thing demands reparation. What a mystery!

Yes, to adore: what does that mean? To adore means first of all: to recognize, to recognize the divinity. Adoration is given to God alone. And recognizing His divinity immediately implies submission; a declaration of submission to the sovereignty of God. It is to recognize that God has every right over us, that we are really entirely dependent, absolutely dependent upon God for our existence, our life, our ability to act, think, desire, and will. Every good, every good thing that happens to us, comes from the goodness of God. And this is true—not only for believers, not only for Christians—this is true for every creature, absolutely every creature.

God, the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, is also the One who governs this world, the One who sustains all things by the power of His Word, the One in whom everything has its stability! Lord of life and death, of individuals and nations! Almighty, eternal God, to whom all honor and glory is due! Yes, to adore is to put oneself in this posture of humility which acknowledges God’s rights.

Let us go, then, let us go to Our Lord; even though He hides His Divinity, even though He is a tiny Child in the arms of His Mother, He is truly God! He is true God, sent by the mercy of the good God to save us. For He was made man, and in becoming a man he became the Savior, and His name, given by God Himself, is Jesus: the Savior! The only name that has been given under heaven by which we can be saved. The only Savior! The only Holy One, “Tu solus Sanctus” [as we say in the Gloria], who comes to bring us something unheard of: the invitation to God’s eternal happiness.

How can people hope to be able to receive His blessings when they insult Him, when they ignore Him, when they diminish Him? It is madness! How can anyone hope for peace among men when he makes a mockery of God?

And here modern thinking makes truly bizarre sorts of projections: it pretends that all religions, ultimately, adore one and the same true God. That is absolutely false; it is even in Revelation; we find it already in the psalms, in Psalm 96:5, “All the gods of the Gentiles are devils!” They are devils. And Assisi will be full of devils! This is Revelation, this is the Faith of the Church; this is the teaching of the Church!

Now where is continuity? Now where is rupture? What a mystery!

Yes, my dear brothers, if we want to be saved, there is only one way, and that is the way of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Monday, January 10, 2011
On the Transcendence of the Resurrection: Why Do We Forget the Mystery of Our Lord's Rising From the Dead

Take a minute and re-read that title again.  One word at a time.

We so often hear and reminded that our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the Dead.  As the Creed professes most solemnly, "Credo in unum Deum...Crucifíxus étiam pro nobisÑ sub Póntio Pílato passus et sepúltus est.  Et resurréxit tértia die, secúndum Scriptúrus..." [I believe in one God...Who suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  On the third day He rose again in accordance with the Scriptures...]

You profess our Lord's death and resurrection in all of your actions.  All of our prayers are grounded in the central point of our Faith - that our Lord Jesus Christ, being truly dead and buried, by His own divine authority raised Himself from the dead.  Our Lord was truly dead.  Do we realize this?  Do you internalize this?

Let's take a minute and read from Fulton J. Sheen's "The Life of Christ" to better understand the transcendence of this historical event of unparalleled importance. 
In the history of the world, only one tomb has ever had a rock rolled before it, and a soldier guard set to watch it to prevent the dead man within from rising: that was the tomb of Christ on the evening of the Friday called Good.  What spectacle could be more ridiculous than armed soldiers keeping their eyes on a corpse?  But sentinels were set, lest the Dead walk, the Silent speak, and the Pierced Heart quieken to the throb of life.  They said He was dead; they knew He was dead; they would say He would not rise again; and yet they watched!  They openly called Him a deceiver  But, would He still deceive?  Would He Who "deceived" them into believing they won the battle, Himself win the war for life and truth and love?  They remembered that He called His Body the Temple and that in three days after they destroyed It, He would rebuild It; they recalled too, that He compared Himself to Jonah and said that was Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days, so would He be in the belly of the earth for three days and then would rise again.
We continue to fail to marvel at the Resurrection.  It was our Lord's disciples, who upon hearing the news, ran to the tomb to see for themselves that the Master was risen.  The King of the world had conquered even death itself.  The world which was shaken to its core on Good Friday, upon which its Creator gave up His Life.

We must approach the Resurrection every time with the joy of the disciples and the fervent desire to see our Lord that St. Mary Magdalene had.  As she exclaimed, "They have taken the Lord and I know not where they have laid Him."  How do you read those words?  Do they incite into your heart the deep burning desire like Magdalene to see the Lord?  How would you have reacted to below the Lord and Savior of the world stand before you in glory who only three days before you saw descend lifeless from the Cross into the arms of His weeping Mother?

We forget the glory of the Resurrection.  This year we should already look ahead to Lent.  We have just celebrated the Nativity of the Savior.  We continue to recall now the Octave of His Epiphany and will soon begin to journey with Him to the Cross through Lent.  Make this Lent a bitter one of penance so that you may best rejoice in the Master's Resurrection.  He who has not done penance is not fit to celebrate in the Feast of Easter.

May the sounds and sentiments of the Gloria on Easter Morning resonate in your heart each time you hear someone say that the Lord is risen.  Indeed He is truly risen, alleluia.  Never forget the Cross that He bore for you.  Never forget the glory of our Lord, who is the firstborn from the Dead.  The Lord is risen, alleluia.  Let your hearts rejoice and be glad.
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Carmelite Fathers of Munster, IN

Image: Father Casimir A. Borcz, OCD

What do you now about this community?  How Traditional are they?  I have heard of their community but am looking to find others with first-hand experience to describe them.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
To Serve Christ is to Reign: Archconfraternity of St. Stephen


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