Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Holy Family

Today, in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Today we celebrate the most perfect family ever to exist. The Lord willed to become man and live in a family as the rest of us do. He also willed that the family, the Domestic Church, be the basic unit of society.
It is, therefore, no accident that the family is under grave attack throughout the word in these days. The devil is seeking to destroy the very fabric of our lives. He wishes to attack the family, because it is the first place that the Gospel is lived out in most people's lives.
He attacks the goods of marriage (children, exclusivity and permanence). The contraceptive mentality has become rampant, even among those who identify themselves as Catholic. Extramarital and premarital relations are seemingly on the rise. Divorce is common, nay, expected as an outcome to more than half of marriages.
There are too many who pronounce vows before the Priest with mental reservations, which later become the grounds for a decree of nullity. Who'd have thought at the time of Humanae Vitae that the Catholic divorce (and decree of nullity) rate would nearly equal that of the rest of the world?!
It is no accident or simple seeking of rights that leads the homosexual community to seek to re-define marriage as being between a man or woman and whatever turns him or her on. If the family is redefined, the whole of society is redefined. As goes the family, so goes society.
We must pray for the intercession of the Holy Family. Their help is needed to reconstruct our society as a Christian society.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, save us, save our Priests, save our families. Amen.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

St Thomas a Becket

The great Archbishop of Canterbury who was slain by King Henry's men is celebrated today. No, Henry VIII was not the first English King to oppose the Church. Fortunately, in the days of Henry II, there was such popular piety that it was impossible for him to get away with what he did.
In order, however, to avenge the monarchy, King Henry VIII's men tried Thomas posthumously for treason. His relics were burnt and otherwise desecrated.
Both Henry's wrongfully wished to gain supremacy in England, even over the Church. Both will go down in History as men whose lust for power separated them from the Church of God. We can only pray that they were reconciled before they died.
Sadly, Thomas Becket's successor, Thomas Cranmer was nearly his opposite. Rather than protect the rights of the Church against the King, this penultimate Archbishop of Canterbury abandoned his post and led his flock into the jaws of the wolf. His reign as Archbishop would bring about changes in the Church in England that would lead to the end of Apostolic Succession and Holy Orders in that Ecclesial Communion.
Under His reign, from 1547 - 1553, the ordination rites were not performed correctly. This was repeated from 1558, the death of the last Archbishop of Canterbury (Reginald Cardinal Pole) until 1633. By the time the error was corrected by the Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, it was too late... There was no one left with Holy Orders to pass them on. Nemo dat quod non habet.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Holy Innocents

or as one parish bulletin had it "the Holy Innocence"

Today we celebrate those who, in the words of the Collect for the day, confessed Christ not by speaking, but by dying. In a great rage, Herod ordered that all male children under the age of two be slain. He feared a rival to his throne.
Again and again society finds ways to repeat its history. From the earliest of times, recorded in the Bible, we find human sacrifice. Our Lady of Guadalupe has been named the patroness of the unborn by such ecclesial giants as Fulton Sheen. She once put a stop to child sacrifice in Mexico, and we pray she will do the same for us here. Meanwhile, our politicians, following the example of Herod, are putting to death far more children than he did. There reason? It is the same as his -- the fear of losing power. They would rather condemn unborn children to to death than lose an election.

Let us pray today for an end to abortion without exception.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

St John the Divine

Today we celebrate the Feast of St John the Evangelist. In spite of modernist theories, the Church still celebrates the Evangelist and Apostle as one and the same. There are many things to do on this day.
  • We are still celebrating the Octave of Christmas, while our separated brethren, who don't really believe in the Incarnation, have already begun to pack away things. It's bad luck to have your tree up after New Year's Day, ya know!
  • Let's not forget the blessing of wine. St John is the one who tells us that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the best vintner ever, so let's get out our Rituale Romanum and a case of wine to bless this day!
Have a blessed Feast of St John, and enjoy the rest of the celebration of Christmas. By the way, if you follow the Extraordinary Form, you can celebrate Christmas until Feb 2, the 40th day.

Sunday, December 9, 2007


From Kobol to Earth!

Having just watched Battlestar Galactica Razor again -- that is a great show. I cannot wait until season 4. Is Cara (Starbuck) Thrace going to lead them all to doom? This could prove interesting. At any rate, it is a good diversion for this cleric in the Lone Star state.

There is only one Cylon left for us to see. Will it be Cara? Adama. Lee?

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 2, 2007


There have been several posts comparing the vestments of the Holy Father for 1st Vespers of the 1st Sunday of Advent in 2006 vs 2007. Fr Z and Gerald Augustinus are examples. It's amazing some of the comments that appear. That said, there are some things to note:
  • The patience of His Holiness in allowing the former MC to dress him in Tie-dye vestments and Joseph and his Technicolor dream-copes.
  • Complaints that his new vestments are "foppish" -- is there no understanding that the vestments worn actually demonstrate the dignity of the Sacred Liturgy? He is not foppish, he's Catholic.
  • There is, among those who prefer Marini I's vestment choices, a lack of understanding of how the human mind naturally perceives beauty. Such things as balance and symmetry are important. Hence the balanced six candles and Crucifix on the altar!
The classical vestments take these things into account. Modern ones do not. I despise having to wear cheap polyester vestments into the Holy of Holies. Sadly, we have to purchase our own vestments these days because many of our predecessors threw away the cloth of gold vestments and replaced them with burlap. There are fewer things more embarrassing than having the Episcopalian priestess down the street wearing nicer looking vestments than the Catholic Priest.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

We've Survived Worse

From the files of stranger than fiction:

Last Sunday, on the Feast of Christ the King (according to the Calendar for the "Ordinary Form"), a Priest went into the Sacristy to find the two men, who will be ordained to the Permanent Diaconate from his parish, attempting to light the incense. Mind you, they were trying to light the incense, not a charcoal. Yep. They'll be clerics soon.

As one PLU said, "The Church survived the persecutions, she can survive the Permanent Diaconate."

Happy New Year

We have embarked now upon a new liturgical year. It's hard to believe that Advent is already upon us. How can we make this year better than last year? A list (not comprehensive) could include such things as:
  • Regular confession -- Unless your memory is better than an elephant's, you probably don't remember much that you did three months ago. If you want to make a really good confession, monthly is a good practice. Every two weeks is even better. Many, including myself, have found that spiritual growth goes faster if confessing regularly.
  • Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus -- Devotion to Our Lord's Sacred Heart is irreplaceable. Our Lord promises to protect all who fly to the protection of His Sacred Heart.
  • Consecration to Jesus through Mary -- The practice of Total Consecration according to St Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort cannot be beat. Anyone who has done it can tell you of times that the protection of Our Lady was there because of it. I personally could not have made it through seminary without it! This, of course, includes the Rosary daily.
  • Daily Holy Hour -- If you want to get close to Christ, in a way it is just like any other friend. How many relationships do you know of that don't grow cold from lack of contact? Spend time with Christ as you would with a spouse -- He wants your soul for His spouse.
  • Devotion to Saints -- When you find a Saint with whom you relate, you find a friend who can help you grow closer to Christ. That person may be someone who has been through the things you have, or has a similar temperament.
I pray that this year will be grace-filled for us all. For those who are struggling with seminary staff or vocations' directors (wreckers?) who seem intent on giving you a chance to be the next chapter of Goodbye, Good Men, hang in there. If you do the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, you will be amazed at the difference it makes. Persevere! As the Italians say (in America) Deo vede e Deo provede!