Sunday, February 26, 2017

Catholic Regulations for Lenten Fast and Abstinence, Old and New

Rules for fast and abstinence

Why do we fast and abstain?

Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish.” (Lk. 13:5)
Because we are sinners, justice requires each of us to make recompense to God for the honor we have denied Him by our sins. Because we have misused our goods, our souls and bodies—as well as those of others—the natural law requires us to strive to restore the order we have disturbed by our sins. Thus, the Natural Law and the Divine Law bind us in a general way to perform acts of penance. In order to help us fulfill this requirement, Holy Mother Church, knowing our weakness and laziness, binds us under ecclesiastical laws to perform works of penance at certain times.

Throughout the centuries, these ecclesiastical laws have changed, sometimes becoming more strict, sometimes relaxing the discipline of penance. Regardless of changes to the Church laws, which exist to make our obedience to the natural and Divine laws of penance easier, the fundamental requirement remains: “Unless you do penance, you shall likewise perish.”

Considering the alternatives of unending bliss in heaven or unending misery in hell, and considering that the effects of original sin and of our own sins make us lazy and apt to forget our duty towards God, it seems much more reasonable to err on the side of too much penance, especially in times of relaxed Church discipline such as our own, rather than on the side of too little.
Only the Church can hold us guilty of mortal sin for failing in this or that specific act of penance, but we can certainly offend God mortally by neglecting penance completely over a length of time. This principle should be kept in mind when deciding on concrete penitential practices in accordance with the requirements and guidelines listed below. “Rules for penitential days under present Church law” details the bare minimum of penance which we must accomplish if we are to hope to stay out of mortal sin.
Nevertheless, we will easily fall into mortal sin if we confine our entire penance for the year to those days and acts required by the current law. “Guidelines for traditional penitential practices” spells out the strongly recommended practices which were observed until just after the Second Vatican Council.

Rules for penitential days under present Church law

In 1966, Pope Paul VI promulgated a new set of regulations for fasting and abstaining by his apostolic constitution, Paenitemini. These new rules are listed in the 1983 Code of Canon Law, Canons 1249-1253 and all Roman Catholics are bound to strictly observe them.
There are two sets of laws that apply to the Church's penitential days:
  1. The law of abstinence: this refers to abstaining from meat.
  2. The law of fasting: this refers to the quantity of food taken, thus also refraining from eating between meals.

Who is bound to observe these laws

  • The law of abstinence binds all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 14th birthday.
  • The law of fasting binds all adults (beginning on their 18th birthday) until the midnight which completes their 59th birthday.

What is forbidden and allowed to be eaten?

  • The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat. This does not apply to dairy products, eggs, or condiments and shortening made from animal fat.
  • The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day and two smaller meals. The two smaller meals should not equal the quantity of the main meal (which in the United States is customarily observed as the evening dinner).
  • Eating between meals is not permitted, but liquids are allowed, including milk and fruit juices.
  • Fish and all cold-blooded animals may be eaten (e.g., frogs, clams, turtles, etc.).

In the Universal Church

Obligatory days of fast and abstinence:
  • Abstinence is obligatory on all Fridays, except on Solemnities (i.e., I Class Feasts).
  • Fasting and abstinence are obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

In the USA:

In Paenitemini, Pope Paul VI gave authority to the episcopal conferences on how the universal rules would be applied in their region. On November 18, 1966, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops legislated the following to be observed in the United States:
  • Abstinence is obligatory on all Fridays of Lent, except Solemnities (i.e., I Class Feasts).
  • Fasting and abstinence are obligatory on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.
  • Abstinence on all Fridays, though not obligatory under pain of sin, is “especially recommended.”
  • Fasting on all weekdays of Lent, though not obligatory under pain of sin, is “strongly recommended.”
The local ordinaries also have authority to grant dispensations from these rules within their dioceses.

Guidelines for traditional penitential practices

Here are the traditional rules of fast and abstinence as observed per the 1962 liturgical calendar and outlined in Canons 1250-1254 of the 1917 Code of Canon Law.

Who was bound to observe these laws?

  • The law of abstinence bound all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 7th birthday.
  • The law of fasting bound all Catholics, beginning on the day after their 21st birthday and ending at the midnight which completed their 59th birthday. [Note: The USA's particular law has lowered the obligatory fasting age to 18.]

What was forbidden and allowed to be eaten?

  • The law of abstinence forbade the eating of flesh meat and of broth made of meat, but did not exclude the use of eggs, dairy products, or seasonings made from the fat of animals.
  • The law of fasting prescribed that only one full meal a day was taken with two smaller meals that did not equal the main one.
  • As to the kind of food and the amount that might be taken, the approved customs of the place were to be observed. It was not forbidden to eat both flesh meat and fish at the same meal, nor to interchange the midday and evening meals.

In the Universal Church

  • Abstinence was obligatory on all Fridays, except on Holy Days of Obligation outside of Lent.
Fasting and complete abstinence were obligatory on the following days:
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Fridays and Saturdays in Lent
  • Good Friday
  • Holy Saturday (until midnight 1)
  • Ember Days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday)
  • Vigil of Pentecost
  • Vigil of Christmas
  • [NB: both the Vigils of the Immaculate Conception and All Saints were omitted from the 1962 calendar]

Partial abstinence

Fasting and partial abstinence were obligatory on all other weekdays of Lent (i.e., Monday through Thursday—Friday was always complete abstinence); this meant that meat could be eaten at the principal meal on these days.

Some further clarifications to universal laws

There are few more distinctions to take into account fasting and abstaining when a usual fast day was in concurrence with a Sunday (always a non-fast day):
  • Sundays throughout the year and Holy Days of Obligation outside of Lent cancelled the fasting and/or abstinence of any penitential day which coincided.
  • If a fast-day Vigil fell on Sunday, the fasting and abstinence associated with the Vigil were not anticipated on the Saturday, but dropped altogether that year.

Particular rules observed in the USA

On January 28, 1949, the United States bishops issued a statement modifying the regulations of fasting and abstinence in America (thus differing slightly from the universal laws) after receiving a ruling from the Sacred Congregation of the Council.
Fasting and partial abstinence was obligatory on the following days:
  • Ember Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Vigil of Pentecost
  • all other weekdays of Lent including Saturdays
Liquids, including milk and fruit juices, might be taken at any time on a day of fast, but “other works of charity, piety, and prayer for the pope should be substituted” to compensate for this relaxation.
In 1931, Pope Pius XII gave an indult to the American bishops allowing them to dispense with Abstinence on any penitential day that was a civic holiday and on the Friday that followed Thanksgiving Day. (Canon Law Digest, vol. 1.)
The United States bishops had the faculties to dispense the faithful from the obligation to fast and abstain on penitential days that fell on civic holidays.

Holy Days of Obligation in the USA

A Holy Day of Obligation is a day on which we are bound to hear Mass and to abstain from servile works. In the USA, the Holy Days of Obligation are:
  • All Sundays
  • Octave Day of the Nativity ( January 1)
  • Ascension Day
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15)
  • Feast of All Saints (November 1)
  • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

La La Land Lie is Fornication, Irreligion

Christ and the Woman of Samaria II  Guercino

Having gone to the movies yesterday, to "the feelgood movie of the year" I wake up this morning with a bad feeling about it.

The story is conflicted because of the centrality of its fornication. The plot is built upon an illicit union, which is presented glamorously and without the least hint of wrong. However, the instability of that false union is a central element of the irrational and non-sequitur nature of the Alice in Wonderland-ish plot. The trouble is that the fact that the fornication culture is a major and central source of the superficiality of the present American experiment is totally lost on both producers and audience. By movie's end, one is left with an unidentified consciousness of profound tragedy. Fornication is the tragedy of La La Land. It is the greatest personal failure which only steals from every success.

Marriage is permanent, exclusive and fruitful: God-like, i.e. holy.

To it's credit, La La Land did show the difference between marriage and fornication, regarding permanence and fertility. But the obvious fact of our fornications is that the fornicator is deeply damaged by his moral failure in that act, dirtied by the condom, and poisoned by the pill, and that the fornication causes murder (e.g. at least with abortion and abortifacients). In addition to ignoring the great ill of impermanence, another great omission is the failure to present the absence of fidelity (exclusivity) in passionate flings outside of marriage. Surely Sebastian, the fornicator, without Christ, would not be celibate for five years in the absence of his concubine. Whence his inexplicable newfound implicit chastity? Pure fiction!

One final great fiction of the film is that God is totally absent from show-business, except to take His name in vain. Even the Hollywood fiction is not that unreal. There are churches and believers all over LA! The arts are naturally filled with the the Lord of beauty! To exclude Him is to create a monster, even if an attractive one.

Read Romans 1:18-32. Atheism is the source of all of our confusion, and our abandonment to our lusts is the manifestation thereof. And, ultimately, the La La Land Godless myth leads to homosexualism (total moral disorientation) and to death! because we reject the God of truth and life, Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Oscar Wilde, Homosexual, Repented and Converted to Catholicism, as did Closest Friends and leading English Decadents

The first thing we need to know about [Oscar] Wilde is that he was at war with himself. Wilde the would-be saint and Wilde the woeful sinner were in deadly conflict, one with the other. In this he was no different from the rest of us. Throughout his life, even at those times that he was at his most “decadent”, he retained a deep love for the Person of Christ and a lasting reverence for the Catholic Church. Indeed he spent much of his life flirting with Catholicism. He almost converted as an undergraduate at Trinity College in Dublin, and was on the brink of conversion a year or so later as an undergraduate at Magdalen College, Oxford. There were no doctrinal differences preventing him from being received into the Church. He believed everything the Church believed and even spoke eloquently and wittily in defence of Catholic dogmas such as the Immaculate Conception. The only reason he failed to follow the logic of his Catholic convictions was a fear of being disinherited by his father if he did so. Years later, after his fall from favour following the scandal surrounding his homosexual affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, he spoke wistfully of his reluctant decision to turn his back on the Church. “Much of my moral obliquity is due to the fact that my father would not allow me to become a Catholic”, he confided to a journalist. “The artistic side of the Church would have cured my degeneracies. I intend to be received before long.”* In the event, he was finally received into the Church shortly before his death in 1900.

Needless to say, Wilde’s Christianity informed the moral dimension of his work. His poetry exhibits either a selfless love for Christ or, at its darkest, a deep self-loathing in the face of the ugliness of his own sinfulness. His short stories are almost always animated by a deep Christian morality, with “The Selfish Giant” deserving a timeless accolade as one of the finest Christian fairy stories ever written. His plays are more than merely comedies or tragedies; they are morality plays in which virtue is vindicated and vice vanquished. And The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde’s only novel and a true masterpiece of Victorian fiction, is a cautionary tale in which a man destroys himself and those with whom he comes into contact in his insane desire to escape from the constraints of morality and the dictates of his conscience.

This is shocking enough, and warrants the censorship of Wilde’s puritanical modern admirers, but it’s only a small part of the whole shocking story. It is not only Wilde who succumbed to the love that dare not speak its name. Most of the other Decadents who influenced Wilde or with whom he fraternized also fell in love with Christ and His Church. Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Joris Karl Huysmans, the leading lights of the French Decadence, were all received into the Catholic Church, the last of whom spending the last years of his life in a monastery. Even more shocking is the fact that Wilde approved of Huysmans entering the monastery and expressed a desire to do the same...

And there’s more. Most of the leading lights of the English Decadence also became Catholics, including the poets Lionel Johnson, Ernest Dowson and John Gray, the last of whom, the physical inspiration for Dorian Gray, went on to become a Catholic priest. Even Lord Alfred Douglas, the man who induced Wilde to abandon his wife and children in pursuit of sordid and transient pleasures, saw the error of his ways and was received into the Catholic Church. And when all of Wilde’s fair-weather friends abandoned him, leaving him to a life of penury in Paris, it was another convert to Catholicism, Robert Ross, the very man who is thought to have first introduced Wilde to homosexual practice, who stood by him, fetching the priest who would receive Wilde into the Church.

...This is the love that dare not speak its name. It is the love of Christ which calls sinners to repentance, and the love of the penitent soul for the forgiveness of God. It is a love that is so shocking that it must be thrust into a closet and hidden.

Oscar Wilde and a host of others have learned that there is only one true love. It is the love that inspires the laying down of one’s life for ones friends and enemies. Wilde came out of the darkness of the closet into which his own sinfulness had thrust him, finding the true light of day. This is Wilde’s revolutionary secret, which the bourgeoisie seek to conceal. It is a secret which we should proclaim from the hilltops, in spite of the persecution and hatred that it might provoke. Come out of the closet of your self-enclosing Pride, all ye dwellers in the shadows. Come out into the fullness of the light of Christ and the Love that transfigures the soul.

*H. Montgomery Hyde, Oscar Wilde: A Biography (London: Eyre Methuen, 1976), p. 368

Joseph Pearce is the author of The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde (Ignatius Press). This and other books by Joseph Pearce may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore.

Cf. Español

A Fine Short Story

The Selfish Giant (1888) - A fairy tale about a giant who comes home after a seven-year visit with an ogre, to find children playing in his garden. He puts up a wall and posts a sign that says, “trespassers will be prosecuted.”


Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant’s garden.

It was a large, lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. “How happy we are here!” they cried to each other.

One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden.

“What are you doing there?” he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away.

“My own garden is my own garden,” said the Giant; “any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.” So he built a high wall all around it, and put up a notice-board.

TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED He was a very selfish Giant.

The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. “How happy we were there,” they said to each other.

Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. “Spring has forgotten this garden,” they cried, “so we will live here all the year round.” The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. “This is a delightful spot,” he said, “we must ask the Hail on a visit.” So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice.

“I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,” said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden. “I hope there will be a change in the weather.” But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant’s garden she gave none. “He is too selfish,” she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees.

One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King’s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. “I believe the Spring has come at last,” said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out.

What did he see? He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children’s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. “Climb up! little boy,” said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the boy was too tiny.

And the Giant’s heart melted as he looked out. “How selfish I have been!” he said; “now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put the poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children’s playground for ever and ever.” He was really very sorry for what he had done.

So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he did not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them around the Giant’s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. “It is your garden now, little children,” said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the people were going to market at twelve o’clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen.

All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye.

“But where is your little companion?” he said: “the boy I put into the tree.” The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him.

“We don’t know,” answered the children; “he has gone away.” “You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,” said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad.

Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. “How I would like to see him!” he used to say.

Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. “I have many beautiful flowers,” he said; “but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.” One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting.

Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly, was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved.

Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, “Who hath dared to wound thee?” For on the palms of the child’s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet.

“Who hath dared to wound thee?” cried the Giant; “tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.” “Nay!” answered the child; “but these are the wounds of Love.” “Who art thou?” said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child.

And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, “You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.”

And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms. THE END

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) - An Irish-born English poet, novelist, and playwright. Considered an eccentric, he was the leader of the aesthetic movement that advocated “art for art’s sake” and was once imprisoned for two years with hard labor for homosexual practices. An Anglican, always attracted to Catholicism, he became Catholic shortly before his death in 1900.
"Wilde’s Christianity informed the moral dimension of his work. His poetry exhibits either a selfless love for Christ or, at its darkest, a deep self-loathing in the face of the ugliness of his own sinfulness. His short stories are almost always animated by a deep Christian morality, with 'The Selfish Giant' deserving a timeless accolade as one of the finest Christian fairy stories ever written." --Joseph Pearce The Imaginative Conservative December 8, 2016

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The "Negative Confession" of the Book of the Dead

One of the best-known sections of the Book of the Coming Forth by Day (The Book of the Dead) in the Papyrus of Ani is the Negative Confession. The forty-two Gods and Goddesses of the Nomes of Egypt conduct this initiatory test of the soul before the scale of Ma’at. In this translation by pioneering Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge, we hear the initiate’s assertion of blamelessness before the Court of Osiris. For clarity, divine names and city names in parentheses have been added to the 1895 text of Chapter 125 from Budge’s 1913 edition.

1. Ani saith: “Hail, thou whose strides are long (Usekh-nemmt), who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not done iniquity.”

2. “Hail, thou who art embraced by flame (Hept-khet), who comest forth from Kheraba, I have not robbed with violence.”

3. “Hail, Fentiu, who comest forth from Khemennu (Hermopolis), I have not stolen.”

4. “Hail, Devourer of the Shade (Amkhaibit), who comest forth from Qernet, I have done no murder; I have done no harm.”

5. “Hail, Nehau, who comest forth from Re-stau, I have not defrauded offerings.”

6. “Hail, god in the form of two lions (Ruruti), who comest forth from heaven, I have not minished oblations.”

7. “Hail, thou whose eyes are of fire (Arfiem-khet), who comest forth from Saut (Asyut), I have not plundered the god.”

8. “Hail, thou Flame (Neba), which comest and goest, I have spoken no lies.”

9. “Hail, Crusher of bones (Set-qesu), who comest forth from Suten-henen (Herakleopolis), I have not snatched away food.”

10. “Hail, thou who shootest forth the Flame (Utu-nesert), who comest forth from Het-Ptah-ka (Memphis), I have not caused pain.”

11. “Hail, Qerer, who comest forth from Amentet, I have not committed fornication.”

12. “Hail, thou whose face is turned back (Herf-ha-f), who comest forth from thy hiding place, I have not caused shedding of tears.”

13. “Hail, Bast, who comest forth from the secret place (Bubastis), I have not dealt deceitfully.”

14. “Hail, thou whose legs are of fire (Ta-retiu), who comest forth out of the darkness, I have not transgressed.”

15. “Hail, Devourer of Blood (Unemsnef), who comest forth from the block of slaughter, I have not acted guilefully.”

16. “Hail, Devourer of the inward parts (Unem-besek), who comest forth from Mabet, I have not laid waste the ploughed land.”

17. “Hail, Lord of Right and Truth (NebMa’at), who comest forth from the city of Right and Truth (Ma’ati), I have not been an eavesdropper.”

18. “Hail, thou who dost stride backwards (Tenemiu), who comest forth from the city of Bast, I have not set my lips in motion against any one.”

19. “Hail, Sertiu, who comest forth from Annu (Heliopolis), I have not been angry and wrathful except for a just cause.”

20. “Hail, thou being of two-fold wickedness (Tutu), who comest forth from Ati (the Busirite Nome), I have not defiled the wife of any man.” E. A. Wallis Budge Page 13

21. “Hail, thou two-headed serpent (Uamemti), who comest forth from the torture-chamber, I have not defiled the wife of any man.”

22. “Hail, thou who dost regard what is brought unto thee (Maa-antuf), who comest forth from Pa-Amsu (Panopolis), I have not defiled myself.”

23. “Hail, thou Chief of the mighty (Heruru) who comest forth from Amentet (Nehatu), I have not caused terror.”

24. “Hail, thou Destroyer (Khemiu), who comest forth from Kesiu, I have not transgressed (the law).” 
25. “Hail, thou who orderest speech (Shet-kheru), who comest forth from Urit, I have not burned with rage.”

26. “Hail, thou Babe (Nekhenu), who comest forth from Uab (Heqat), I have not stopped my ears against the words of Right and Truth.”

27. “Hail, Kenemti, who comest forth from Kenemet, I have not worked grief.”

28. “Hail, thou who bringest thy offering (An-hetep-f), I have not acted with insolence.”

29. “Hail, thou who orderest speech (Sera-kheru), who comest forth from Unaset, I have not stirred up strife.”

30. “Hail, Lord of faces (Neb-heru), who comest forth from Netchfet, I have not judged hastily.”

31. “Hail, Sekheriu, who comest forth from Utten, I have not been an eavesdropper.”

32. “Hail, Lord of the two horns (Neb-abui), who comest forth from Saïs, I have not multiplied words exceedingly.”

33. “Hail, Nefer-Tmu, who comest forth from Het-Ptah-ka (Memphis), I have done neither harm nor ill.”

34. “Hail, Tmu in thine hour, who comest forth from Tattu (Busiris), I have never cursed the king.” 

35. “Hail, thou who workest with thy will (Ari-em-ab-f ), who comest forth from Tebu, I have never fouled the water.”

36. “Hail, thou bearer of the sistrum (Ahi), who comest forth from Nu, I have not spoken scornfully.” 

37. “Hail, thou who makest humanity to flourish (Uatch-rekhit), who comest forth from Saïs, I have never cursed God.”

38. “Hail, Neheb-ka, who comest forth from thy hiding place, I have not stolen.”

39. “Hail, Neheb-nefert, who comest forth from thy hiding place, I have not defrauded the offerings of the gods.”

40. “Hail, thou who dost set in order the head (Tcheser-tep), who comest forth from thy shrine, I have not plundered the offerings to the blessed dead.”

41. “Hail, thou who bringest thy arm (An-af), who comest forth from the city of Ma’ati, I have not filched the food of the infant, neither have I sinned against the god of my native town.”

42. “Hail, thou whose teeth are white (Hetch-abhu), who comest forth from Ta-she (the Fayyum), I have not slaughtered with evil intent the cattle of the god.” “. . . I have tried thee. . . Advance thou, in very truth thou hast been tested.”

Cf. Religion and Culture, Christopher Dawson, New York: Meridian, 1958, 121.

Lumen ad Revelationem Gentium

This is the chant proper to the procession at the beginning of today's Mass of today's Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

"One Nation of Immigrants Under God": Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez on Immigration Executive Orders

January 31, 2017

Last week was hard. It is sad to see it come to this — that the president of the United States must define, by an executive order, the precise meaning of the word “wall.”

“‘Wall’ shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous and impassable physical barrier,” according to one of the three executive orders issued last week on immigrants and refugees.

The first thing to say is that these executive orders seem like they were put together too fast. Not enough thought seems to have been given to their legality or to explaining their rationale or to considering the practical consequences for millions of people here and across the globe.

It is true that the refugee orders are not a “Muslim ban,” as some protesters and media are claiming. In fact, the vast majority of Muslim-majority countries are not affected by the orders, including some that have real problems with terrorism, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

That does not make these orders less troubling. Halting admissions of refugees for 90 or 120 days may not seem like a long time. But for a family fleeing a war-torn nation, or the violence of drug cartels, or warlords who force even children into armies — this could mean the difference between life and death.

And it is a simple fact that not all refugees are terrorists, and refugees are not even the main source of terrorist threats to our country. The terror attack here in San Bernardino was “home grown,” carried out by a man born in Chicago.

I am pleased that one of the orders will mean that our country will finally begin giving priority to helping Christians and other persecuted minorities.

But does God intend our compassion for people to stop at the borders of Syria? Are we now going to decide that some people are not worthy of our love because they have different skin color, a different religion or were born in the “wrong” country?

As a pastor, what troubles me is that all the anger, confusion and fear that resulted from last week’s orders was entirely predictable. Yet that does not seem to have mattered to the people in charge.

I worry that in the name of showing toughness and determination, we are communicating to the world a harsh indifference.

Right now, no nation accepts more refugees than the United States. So what kind of message are we sending to the world?

Those moments in our history that we are the least proud of — from the Holocaust to the ethnic cleansings of the 1990s — are moments when we closed our borders and our hearts to the sufferings of innocent people.

We all agree that our nation has the obligation to secure its borders and establish criteria for who is permitted to enter and how long they are permitted to stay. In a post-9/11 world, we all agree there are people both inside and outside our borders who want to hurt us. We share a common concern for our nation’s security and the safety of our loved ones.

But our approach to all these issues must be consistent with our ideals. America has always been different — some would say exceptional. Welcoming immigrants and sheltering refugees has always been something special and essential about who we are — as a nation and as a people.

It is true that these new orders on immigration mostly call for just returning to the practice of enforcing existing laws.

The problem is that our laws have not been enforced for so long that we now have millions of undocumented people living, working, worshipping and going to school in our country.

That includes millions of children who are citizens living in homes with undocumented parents. These children have the right — as citizens and as sons and daughters of God — to grow up with some assurance that their parents will not be deported.

These new orders do not change the fact that our nation needs true and lasting reform of our immigration system. Do we really want to hand over the fate of millions of fathers, mothers and children to overworked caseworkers in an underfunded immigration court system?

A policy of enforcement only — without reform of the underlying system — will only lead to a human rights nightmare.

As a Church, our priorities remain with our people. We will continue to follow the call of Christ through our parishes, charities and relief organizations.
And I repeat, as I have said before: the most constructive and compassionate thing our government can do right now is to stop the deportations and the threat of deportations for those who are not violent criminals.
Our Christian mission is clear — we are called to hear the cry of the poor and we are called to open our doors to the stranger who knocks and to seek the face of Christ who comes to us in the immigrant and the refugee.

Please pray for me this week and I will be praying for you.

And may our Blessed Mother Mary help all of us — and especially our leaders — to meet the challenges that we face as one nation of immigrants under God.

Plinthos Postscript
Immigration law should have a statute of limitations. If we have ignored the law for over a decade or two and the illegals have honorably invested their lives here it is totally unjust to uproot them without further cause.
To require regular law enforcement to enforce immigration law will unduly expose the illegals to every manner of criminal violation against them in the fear of being deported. In other words, if you treat illegal immigration status as a crime, then, by definition, all illegals are criminals and will live in total distrust of law enforcement and the justice system. Chaos!
For example: a man beats his illegal wife or rapes an illegal female, the violated will be reluctant to report the crime if the criminal system will likely prosecute her for coming forward. That type of open season on illegals will be the result of such a confusion of immigration and criminal law enforcement.
Just a few years ago an entire police department in New Jersey was convicted of stealing millions of dollars from illegal immigrants, just because they were illegal.
Surely Washington cannot ignore such basic, obvious and fundamental aspects of the law and rights of persons.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Purity is Necessary for Knowledge: Christ Corrects the Philosophers

Some philosophers have thought that happiness lies in the knowledge of truth, especially of supreme truth. This was the teaching of Plato and Aristotle. They were but little preoccupied with purity of heart, and their lives, on more than one point, were in contradiction with their doctrine. Christ tells us: "Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God." He does not say that those are blessed who have received a powerful intellect, who have the leisure and means to cultivate it; but rather, blessed are the clean of heart, even though they may be naturally less endowed than many others. If they are clean of heart, they shall see God. A truly clean heart is like the limpid waters of a lake in which the azure of the sky is reflected, or like a spiritual mirror in which the image of God is reproduced.

That the heart may be pure, a generous mortification is prescribed: "If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. . . . If thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off." (Matt 5:29) We must particularly watch over purity of intention: for example, not giving alms through ostentation, not praying to draw upon ourselves the esteem of men, but seeking only the approbation of "the Father who seeth in secret." Then will be realized the words of the Master: "If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome." (Matt 6:22)

Even here on earth, the Christian will, in a sense, see God in his neighbor, even in souls that at first seem opposed to God. The Christian will see God in holy Scripture, in the life of the Church, in the circumstances of his own life, and even in trials, in which he will find lessons on the ways of Providence as a practical application of the Gospel. Under the inspiration of the gift of understanding, this is the true contemplation which prepares us for that by which, properly speaking, we shall see God face to face, His goodness, and His infinite beauty. Then all our desires will be gratified, and we shall be inebriated with a torrent of spiritual delights.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Friday, January 20, 2017

The True History of Cuba, Without the Communist Slant

There is a website composed by the organization of Cuban political exiles with numerous articles and documents which are fundamental to an unbiased history of Cuba (without the Communist or the USA bias). It is of the Organización Auténtica and is at The dozens of works on that site should be formed into a book and translated into English.

A must read for anyone interested in the political history of Cuba.

September 4, 1933 was a decisive moment in that history.

Any history of Cuba which does not include a central place for Doctor Juan Antonio Rubio Padilla, for example, is a bunch of lies. He was the hero behind the Island's best democratic government and constitution, that of President Ramón Grau San Martín.

De pie podemos identificar a:

Quirino Uría, Echevarría, Carreño Fiallo, Izquierdo, Pérez Pérez, Diego Rodríguez, Hernández Nardo, López Migoya, Querejeta, Jorge Hernández Volta, Genovevo Pérez Dámera, Julio Velazco Irrisarri, Marchena, Desiderio Sánchez, Luna, Estévez Maymir, Galíndez, Santana

Sentados reconocemos a:

Manuel Benítez Valdés, doctor Antonio Guíteras, el entonces sargento Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar, el profesor universitario doctor Ramón Grau San Martín, Pablo Rodríguez, entre otros.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Travel Chasuble

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jesus Christ is Allah

If Allah is the God of Abraham, then Jesus Christ is He:

"Before Abraham was made, I Am (i.e. Yahweh)."

Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad.
The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.
They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Why the Truth is "Up for Grabs" Today: We've Lost the Only Sure Point of Reference

As Descartes wrote, "the certitude and truth of all science depend on knowledge of God and on that alone" for "the certitude of all other truths is so dependent on this one that without the knowledge of God it would be impossible ever to know anything else."

Religion and Culture, Christopher Dawson, New York: Meridian, 1958, "Natural Theology as the classical theology of humanism", 7 (pages 4-5 in the google edition CUA Press 2013 link above).

[T]he specific nature of the religious phenomenon...[is that a]ll religion is based on the recognition of a superhuman Reality of which man is somehow conscious and towards which he must in some way orientate his life. The existence of the tremendous transcendent reality that we name GOD is the foundation of all religion in all ages and among all peoples. Ibid., 25.

The [self-satisfied rationalist, confident that he has mastered the secrets of the universe], has focused all his attention and all his activity on the region which can be explored by human reason and controlled by human will, and has thereby made it wider and more habitable, but he has not changed the fact of its ultimate limitation. In so far as he is content to live within this world of his own creation--the artificially lit and hygienically conditioned City of Man--he is living precariously on a relatively superficial level of existence and consciousness, and the higher he builds his tower of civilization the more top-heavy it becomes. For his nature remains essentially the same as that of primitive man--the nature of a rational animal, limited internally by the conditions of his consciousness and externally by his dependence on non-human forces which transcend his animal existence. Ibid., 28-29.

Imitatio Christi Online Audio

Looks like it has three of the four books of that work.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Esto Vir!

Saint Leo the Great Audio Sermons

Audio podcasts of Saint Leo's Sermons are online, public domain, free, and user friendly.

E.g. On the Feast of the Nativity, I

N.B. LibriVox has many books on MP3 online, public domain, free, and user friendly. Check it out!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Scandal of Amoris Laetitia

The great error of Amoris Laetitia is that it condones and attempts to justify sexual mortal sins; ignoring the radical depravity of it, excusing it, and even acquiescing to it.

It is like claiming (despite the obvious fact) that the prodigal son never left home, even when he did; that the father should welcome back the son even while the son is still in a far away land divulging his dissolute life. A contradiction. How can you welcome one while he is obstinate in his refusa to return, who has not converted: i.e., never yet "returning to himself" (Luke 15:17).

Amoris annuls 1 Corinthians 6. One cannot be in communion with Christ and with a harlot at the same time. To say so would be proportionalism, a moral theory clearly condemned by Veritatis Splendor.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Magi Carol (German)

AD (Anno Domini Nostri Jesu Christi) and AC (Ante Christum/BC: Before Christ)

Dionysius Exiguus (c. 470 - c. 544) introduced the use of the Christian Era (see CHRONOLOGY) according to which dates are reckoned from the Incarnation, which he assigned to 25 March, in the year 754 from the foundation of Rome (A. U. C.). By this method of computation he intended to supersede the "Era of Diocletian" previously employed, being unwilling, as he tells us, that the name of an impious persecutor should be thus kept in memory. The Era of the Incarnation, often called the Dionysian Era, was soon much used in Italy and, to some extent, a little later in Spain; during the eighth and ninth centuries it was adopted in England. Charlemagne is said to have been the first Christian ruler to employ it officially. It was not until the tenth century that it was employed in the papalchancery (Lersch, Chronologie, Freiburg, 1899, p. 233). Dionysius also gave attention to the calculation of Easter, which so greatly occupied the early Church. To this end he advocated the adoption of the Alexandrian Cycle of nineteen years, extending that of St. Cyril for a period of ninety-five years in advance. It was in this work that he adopted the Era of the Incarnation.

Cf. Wiki

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Christian Personalism of Ferdinand Ebner, Key to Ratzinger

The malaise of the culture which followed the First World War with the first wave of existential thought and the coming forth of dialogical thought is the context in which to place Ebner. But, because he did not think the thoughts of another but rather thought from the original source of his own existence, his work has the seal of an original. In addition, his dialogical thought develops coherently listening to an interlocutor. Apart from the Bible, his most important interlocutor is, without doubt, Kierkegaard.

First of all we have before us a believer awake to existence and whose faith seeks understanding. Nothing strange that he should experience the influence of Kierkegaard, especially of his work Sickness Unto Death.

He receives from Kierkegaard illumination on the value of the second person, of you. From Kierkegaard, who in the cited work says that sin is sleeping rather than existing, he also receives the image of "sleeping with the spirit",  which serves to indicate the profound cultural alienation of the modern world. And just as Kierkegaard, the rebel against the abstract reason of his time, does not deny every type of reason, given that he fully develops in Sickness unto Death a rigorous anthropology from the faith, so also Ebner, equally rebellious against the same type of abstract reason, sketches the outlines of a new concept of man.

What are those outlines? Above all the affirmation of real man as in himself an incomplete being, turned toward something outside of himself, toward a you. Man is, therefore, essentially relational. Ebner values the relational entity as something primordial, constitutive; not as an accident which inheres in a being already constituted. Man exists in the apriori and transcendent realm of the "between". And that realm is transcendent because it is rooted in God: "Only in relation with God does man understand himself". For that reason, every understanding is mediation and will not cease to be so until it leads to the knowledge of God, which, if it is real knowledge, is also decision. Man exists in that way because he "is" so; because he is ontologically determined in this way. Being spirit, he is essentially open to the call of the Spirit. His being is pneumatological, being at its highest level.

So, if man is a relational being and is at the same time a corporal being, it is understood that the constituitive relation acts through the word. Surely this is a valid form of reasoning, but let us say that it was not by reasoning that Ebner arrived at the esteem of the word. Let us say that all of the terms of our reasoning are jointly intuited by Ebner in a "syneidetic" way [from Gk. eidos: essence], to use the apt term used by López Quintás, and we point out also that it was the reading of the Gospel with the eagerness of faith--"as a sick person seeking a doctor"--that leads Ebner to make the world the key of his thougth: I live spiritually only and uniquely from my understanding of the word".

The being of the word consists of its condition of vehicle between the I and the you.

The word does not originate from nature, it is in man, but it transcends him, it is originally from God.

From thence it is that proceeding from the Spirit and objectifying itself bodily it presents an irreducibly double essence.

Additionally, as word of man it is bound to the body, it possesses a physical base, a sensory and logical meaning. It is the objective, expressed, sign. Ebner is interested in this infrastructural and empirical dimension of the word, offering some linguistic observations and full of acumen and refinement.

But, also, the word also has its founding dimension as the vehicle of the I-you relation. Thus the profoundest sense of the relation I-you as motor principle and as intentional end of the empirical and objective sense of the word is on the transcendental level of the pneumatological.

According to the faith, "in the beginning was the Word. All things were made by Him" (John 1:1-3). At the summit of all things He made man, in being bound to the You, Who is God: "The relation of man with God is at the base of our being, in the Word, which existed in the beginning".

If man is a creation of the Word, he is doubly ennabled, as much to hear it as to say it and to perform it. Marked by the word, he carries, in one aspect, the essential disposition toward It. But the Word is not the natural culmination of his being. The Word is grace; a paradox regarding the essential ordaining toward the fullness of life and the gratuitous character of that life. One thinks of Blondel.

It is clearly that, in the first moment, the Word is the carrier of meaning, it moves in the cognitive realm, and knowledge as such does not make values, it is only the illuminative moment of action.

Whence the tight connection between the Word and love. The divine Word proceeds from love and leads to love. In man it gives rise to hearing, creating the listener of the word, and it moves him to love, which acts, then making him a doer of the word. Thus we move to the apex at which the fulfillment of man should culminate.

This religious schema extends its execution on the closest level of human coexistence, expressing the mystery which sustains it. Also in this coexistence the true word is grace, it is daughter of freedom and love, executor of the I-you relation, creator, wherefore, likewise of interpersonal relationships as of cosmic reality,  in so far as the world of things named by the word experiences a second birth thanks to its promotion in the spirit. That is what happens especially in art work.

In this way, Ebner weaves an anthropology around the word as original as it is fecund, opening new perspectives to philosophical reflection.

From the grasping of true reality--the I-you relation mediated by the word--idealist philosophy appears as unreal thought which absolutizes the I disuniting it from its constituitive relation. With that it is condemned to the void. The same goes for the objective thought of science, expecially mathematics, and also theology, if it is not done "in second person"; and, in general, regarding every other cultural manifestation which forgets the dialogical relation. All of that is solitude of the I, therefore unreal vapor, sleep of the spirit. For Ebner, it is there that the root of the profound cultural alienation of Europe must be sought, which speaks of reason, of art, of freedom, of rights and--what is much worse--even of Christianity, while it destroys man with oppression and violence. And Ebner only lived to see the first act of the tragedy. The worst was still to come; it would begin right after his death.

La Palabra y las Realidades Espirituales, Ferdinand Ebner, Madrid: Caparrós, 1995, from the introduction by the translator José Garrido, 8-11.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The First Vatican Council Revisited: "The Same Doctrine, The Same Sense, And the Same Understanding"

Amidst the present confusion within the Papal Magisterium Itself, it is prime time to examine the definitions and canons of The First Vatican Council, the Council par excellence against relativism.

If anyone says that it is possible that at some time, given the advancement of knowledge, a sense may be assigned to the dogmas propounded by the Church which is different from that which the Church has understood and understands: let him be anathema.

Chapter 4. On faith and reason

1. The perpetual agreement of the Catholic Church has maintained and maintains this too: that there is a twofold order of knowledge, distinct not only as regards its source, but also as regards its object.

2. With regard to the source, we know at the one level by natural reason, at the other level by divine faith.

3. With regard to the object, besides those things to which natural reason can attain, there are proposed for our belief mysteries hidden in God which, unless they are divinely revealed, are incapable of being known.

Wherefore, when the Apostle, who witnesses that God was known to the gentiles from created things (Rm 1, 20), comes to treat of the grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ (Jn 1, 17), he declares: We impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this. God has revealed it to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God (i Cor 2, 7-8, 10). And the Only-begotten himself, in his confession to the Father, acknowledges that the Father has hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to the little ones (Mt 11, 25).

4. Now reason, does indeed when it seeks persistently, piously and soberly, achieve by God's gift some understanding, and that most profitable, of the mysteries, whether by analogy from what it knows naturally, or from the connection of these mysteries with one another and with the final end of humanity; but reason is never rendered capable of penetrating these mysteries in the way in which it penetrates those truths which form its proper object.

For the divine mysteries, by their very nature, so far surpass the created understanding that, even when a revelation has been given and accepted by faith, they remain covered by the veil of that same faith and wrapped, as it were, in a certain obscurity, as long as in this mortal life we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, and not by sight (2 Cor 5, 6-7).

5. Even though faith is above reason, there can never be any real disagreement between faith and reason, since it is the same God who reveals the mysteries and infuses faith, and who has endowed the human mind with the light of reason.

6. God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever be in opposition to truth. The appearance of this kind of specious contradiction is chiefly due to the fact that either the dogmas of faith are not understood and explained in accordance with the mind of the Church, or unsound views are mistaken for the conclusions of reason.

7. Therefore we define that every assertion contrary to the truth of enlightened faith is totally false (See Lateran Council V, session 8).

8. Furthermore the Church which, together with its apostolic office of teaching, has received the charge of preserving the deposit of faith, has by divine appointment the right and duty of condemning what wrongly passes for knowledge, lest anyone be led astray by philosophy and empty deceit (Cf Col 2, 8).

9. Hence all faithful Christians are forbidden to defend as the legitimate conclusions of science those opinions which are known to be contrary to the doctrine of faith, particularly if they have been condemned by the Church; and furthermore they are absolutely bound to hold them to be errors which wear the deceptive appearance of truth.

10. Not only can faith and reason never be at odds with one another but they mutually support each other, for on the one hand right reason established the foundations of the faith and, illuminated by its light, develops the science of divine things; on the other hand, faith delivers reason from errors and protects it and furnishes it with knowledge of many kinds.

11. Hence, so far is the Church from hindering the development of human arts and studies, that in fact she assists and promotes them in many ways. For she is neither ignorant nor contemptuous of the advantages which derive from this source for human life, rather she acknowledges that those things flow from God, the lord of sciences, and, if they are properly used, lead to God by the help of his grace.

12. Nor does the Church forbid these studies to employ, each within its own area, its own proper principles and method: but while she admits this just freedom, she takes particular care that they do not become infected with errors by conflicting with divine teaching, or, by going beyond their proper limits, intrude upon what belongs to faith and engender confusion.

13. For the doctrine of the faith which God has revealed is put forward not as some philosophical discovery capable of being perfected by human intelligence, but as a divine deposit committed to the spouse of Christ to be faithfully protected and infallibly promulgated.

14. Hence, too, that meaning of the sacred dogmas is ever to be maintained which has once been declared by Holy mother Church, and there must never be any abandonment of this sense under the pretext or in the name of a more profound understanding.

May understanding, knowledge and wisdom increase as ages and centuries roll along, and greatly and vigorously flourish, in each and all, in the individual and the whole Church: but this only in its own proper kind, that is to say, in the same doctrine, the same sense, and the same understanding (Vincent of Lerins, Commonitorium [Notebook], 28 [PL 50, 668]).

Cf. The very important book De Immutabilitate Traditionis contra Modernam Haeresim Evolutionismi, Ludovico Billot, SJ, Romae: Pontificia Instituti Pii IX, 1907.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

On New Years, Months, Weeks, Days, Hours, Minutes, Seconds: On Time and What it Means

In a previous post we mentioned the historical origins of the choice of New Year's Day in Western Civilization. However, we did not mention the cosmic logic of the choice of new year's day. It is a solar calendar, divided by the lunar calendar: viz. it is the beginning of the growth of the new growth cycle of the sun coordinated with the cyclic beginnings of the growth of the moon (i.e. December 20th the days begin to become longer after the shortest day of the year, and so we take the next new moon, ca. January 1st, and divide the year approximately into the moons thereof (hence twelve months, each new moon being roughly 30 days). Ours is a solar calendar because it is based on the solar cycle with an approximate alignment with that of the moon. And the Pope determined that we should calculate our time from this reference point because of its agreement with the birth of Christ (commemorated December 25th to January 6th).

Weeks probably come from the seven days of creation of the Judeo-Christian dispensation, roughly equivalent to an half moon (cf. consult any normal calendar and you will see each week indicating the lunar phases, the first week of the month there is a new moon, second week a first quarter moon, the third week a full moon, and the fourth week a third quarter moon). The length of our days are based on the sun, the daily revolutions of the earth. The hours (24) and the minutes (60) and the seconds (60) are from 3,000 B.C. Sumerian origin.

Another related question is the etymology (in various languages) of the words/names which we give to all of these temporal divisions. Perhaps a future post.

Happy Anno Domini MMXVII!, Merry Christmas Octave!

"Christ, yesterday and today, the beginning and the end, Alpha, and Omega. All time belongs to him, and all the ages; to him be glory and power, through every age for ever" Cf. Pope Saint John Paul II, 1999.

The sun represents Christ Our Most Blessed Lord and God and the moon represents Mary Our Most Blessed and Ever Virgin Mother, and so it is most fitting that we count our years in reference to their cooperation, for that indeed is our salvation.

Anticipating Lauds and Prime

In addition to having anticipated matins (anytime after 2:00 PM, in the 1962 ritual, [after 4:00 PM in the novus ordo]), this is the perfect time (viz. 2:30 AM) to do lauds and prime, just before going to bed, on the rare occasion when doing so after midnight.

Makes for a much more serene morning the next day, i.e. not having to cram in the whole breviary into a Sunday parish schedule, in addition to the daily meditation and rosary, etc. Better spacing of the prayer.

Happy Octave Day of Christmas, Circumcision of Our Blessed Lord, Θεοτόκος, Anno Domini MMXVII!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas/Θεοτόκος Slav Chant

Valaam Monastery/Cathedral
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