Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Second Council of Nicaea--The Answer to Desacralization Crisis

"The Second Council of Nicaea,...amounted to a decisive victory over the Platonic misunderstanding of Christianity--a victory that has received too little attention in the West--by maintaining the paradox of a spiritualization that is incarnation. The Council, which in its affirmation of the image sees the inner consistency of the Incarnation and which in the East is still celebrated on the Feast of Orthodoxy as the watershed between pre-Christian and Christian Hellenism--this Council is the ready-made answer to the problem of desacralization, which arose in the West in the sixteenth century and by now in the twentieth has assumed its most acute form. Iconoclasm is not the breakthrough from the Old Testament into the New but, rather, the destruction of the Incarnation and thus a relapse into the Law, which could permit no images because the Image had not yet appeared."

Joseph Ratzinger, Dogma and Preaching, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2005, 237.

Technology's Blindspot: the Human Soul, Grace

"The supremacy of technology tends to prevent people from recognizing anything that cannot be explained in terms of matter alone. yet everyone experiences the many immaterial and spiritual dimensions of life. Knowing is not simply a material act, since the object that is known always conceals something beyond the empirical datum. All our knowledge, even the most simple, is always a minor miracle, since it can never be fully explained by the material instruments that we apply to it. In every truth there is something more than we would have expected, in the love that we receive there is always an element that surprises us. We should never cease to marvel at these things. In all knowledge and in every act of love the human soul experiences something 'over and above,' which seems very much like a gift that we receive, or a height to which we are raised." 77

Pope Benedict indicates in this text the vastness of the invisible reality of knowledge and of love: gift, gratitude, Grace. Technology is a mere participation, a mere dependence, in this vast world of beneficiaries, inhabiting, exploring and mining myriad castles of marvelous truth.

And so, authentic human development cannot be simply material.

"The development of individuals and peoples is...located on a height, if we consider the spiritual dimension,...rising above a materialistic vision of human events, capable of glimpsing in development the 'beyond' that technology cannot give." 77

"Development must include not just material growth but also spiritual growth, since the human person is a 'unity of body and soul,' (Gaudium et Spes, 14) born of God's creative love and destined for eternal life. The human being develops when he grows in the spirit, when his soul comes to know itself and the truths that God has implanted deep within, when he enters into dialogue with himself and his Creator. When he is far away from God, man is unsettled and ill at ease...The emptiness in which the soul feels abandoned, despite the availability of countless therapies for body and psyche, leads to suffering." 76

Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in veritate, 2009 (His Holiness' response to the world-wide financial crisis)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Theology is Secondary, Revelation is Primary

"Theology is not something primary but something secondary. The primary thing, which is presupposed by theology, is a body of traditional pronouncements which are believed to have been revealed, not to have come into being through human interpretation of reality, but, as Plato puts it, to 'have come down from a divine source.'

"Now theology is the human endeavor to interpret this body of tradition out of itself, by ordering it and weighing it." 29

"A philosophizing which refuses to be methodologically open toward theology and to reach an understanding with it is quite simply unphilosophical." 19

Joseph Pieper, The End of Time: A Meditation on the Philosophy of History, San Fransisco: Ignatius, 1999

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Hymn and Antiphon to Accompany Liturgical Hours

Horae Sanctae Crucis

At matins bound, at Prime reviled
Condemned to death at Terce,
Nailed to the Cross at Sext.
At None His blessed Side they pierced,
They take Him down at Vesper-Tide,
In the grave at Compline lay,
Who henceforth bids His Church observe
These sevenfold hours alway.

Ordinaria (Said at the beginning of each hour)

V. Per signum crucis de inimicis nostris.
R. Libera nos Deus noster.

V. Domine labia mea aperies.
R. Et os meum annuntiabit laudem tuam.

V. Deus in adiutorium meum intende.
R. Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.

V. Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum.

Ad Matutinum
Patris sapientia, veritas divina,
Deus homo captus est hora matutina:
A notis discipulis cito derelictus:
A Iudaeis traditus, venditus, et afflictus.

Ant: O crux venerabilis, quae salutem attulisti miseris, quibus te efferam praeconiis: quoniam vitam nobis caelitum praeparasti.

Ad Primam
Hora prima Dominum ducunt ad Pilatum,
A falsis testibus multum accusatum,
Colaphis percutiunt manibus ligatum,
Vultum Dei conspuunt lumen caeli gratum.

Ant: O crucis victoria, et admirabile signum, in caelesti curia fac nos captare triumphum.

Ad Tertiam
Crucifige clamitant hora tertiarum:
Illusus induitur veste purpurarum:
Caput eius pungitur corona spinarum.
Crucem portat humeris ad locum poenarum.

Ant: Funestae mortis damnatur supplicium, dum Christus in cruce nostra destruxit vincula criminum.

Ad Sextam
Hora sexta Iesus est cruci conclavatus,
Et est cum latronibus pendens deputatus:
Prae tormentis sitiens felle saturatus,
Agnus crimen diluens sic ludificatus.

Ant: Per lignum servi facti sumus, et per sanctam crucem liberati sumus: fructus arboris seduxit nos, filius Dei redemit nos.

Ad Nonam
Hora nona Dominus Iesus expiravit:
Eli clamans spiritum patri commendavit:
Latus eius lancea miles perforavit.
Terra tunc contremuit, et sol obscuravit.

Ant: O magnum pietatis opus: mors mortua tunc est, in ligno quando mortua vita fuit.

Ad Vesperas
De cruce deponitur hora vespertina.
Fortitudo latuit in mente divina.
Talem mortem subiit vitae medicina:
Heu corona gloriae iacuit supina.

Ant: O crux benedicta, quae sola fuisti digna portare talentum mundi: dulce lignum, dulces clavos, dulcia ferens pondera: super omnia ligna cedrorum, tu sola excelsior: in qua mundi salus pependit, in qua Christus triumphavit, et mors mortem superavit in aeternum.

Ad Completorium
Hora completorii datur sepulturae
Corpus Christi nobile, spes vitae futurae
Conditur aromate: complentur scripturae:
Iugi fit memoriae mors haec mihi curae.

Ant: Salvator mundi salva nos, qui per crucem et sanguinem tuum redemisti nos, auxiliare nobis, te deprecamur Deus noster.

V. Adoramus te Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.

Oremus: Domine Iesu Christe fili Dei vivi, pone passionem, crucem, et mortem tuam inter iudicium tuum et animam meam, nunc, et in hora mortis meae: et mihi largiri digneris gratiam et misericordiam: vivis et defunctis requiem et veniam: Ecclesiae tuae pacem et concordiam, et nobis peccatoribus vitam et gloriam sempiternam. Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo patre in unitate spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. R. Amen.

Commendatio (Said at the end of each hour)

Has horas canonicas cum devotione,
Tibi Christe recolo pia ratione:
Ut qui pro me passus es amoris ardore,
Sis mihi solatium, mortis in agone. Amen.

Pope Francis Confirms the Upcoming Canonization of Blessed Pope Paul VI. Two Popes Canonized, Two on the Way, Two Living Popes On Standby!

June 27, 1977 Consistory, Paul VI creates Joseph Ratzinger Cardinal

Español (Source)
Last Thursday, during a gathering with the Roman clergy, Pope Francis confirmed the recent rumors of the canonization of Pope Paul VI this year, beatified by him on October 19, 2014. 

Click for the 25 second remarks:

"There are already two Bishop of Rome Saints.

"Paul VI will be made a Saint this year. Two Saints, one with the cause of beatification underway, John Paul I; the cause is open.

"And two, Benedict and I, on the waiting list. Pray for us!"

Coincidentally, July 25, 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the prophetic Paul VI encyclical Humanae Vitae on the two inseparable meanings of the marital/procreative act and on the violence which is done to love and to life by divorcing those two inhering meanings from each other.

Papal Splendor: Two Centuries of Pope Saints!

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Logic of the Ancient Lenten Fast, Etc.

Durandus on the Liturgical Customs of Lent

The following selections are taken from William Durandus’ important liturgical commentary, the Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, book 6, chapter 27, which treats specifically of Ash Wednesday, but also of Lent in general. Some of the elisions here are made for the sake of a more succinct presentation of his thought; several of them are made in places where he directs the reader to matters he has discussed elsewhere in the work. The translation is my own.

After Quinquagesima follows Quadragesima, (“fortieth”, the Latin word for Lent), which is the spiritual number of penance, in which the Church fasts, and repents of its sins; for by the penance which is accomplished in Lent, we arrive at the fifty days (of Easter), which is to say, the jubilee year, which symbolizes the forgiveness of sins. Lent (Quadragesima) begins on the following Sunday, on which (the Introit) Invocavit me is sung but the fast begins on Wednesday, as will be mentioned below.

The Blessed Peter first instituted the fast of Lent before Easter. Nor is the fact that we are in abstinence for 46 days from the beginning of the fast to Easter without symbolic meaning. For after the Babylonian captivity, the temple of the Lord was built in 46 years; whence we also after the captivity of Babylon, that is, of the confusion caused by the vices, for 46 days build ourselves as a temple to God through abstinence and good works. … (“Babylon” is the Greek form of the Hebrew word “Babel”, which means “confusion”, the site of the confusion of tongues in Genesis 11. Durandus refers the forty-six years of the building of the temple, as stated in John 2, 20, to the post-exilic rebuilding in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah at the end of the 6th century B.C.; historically, the Jews speaking to Christ in the Gospel were referring to the reconstruction under Herod the Great in the first century B.C.)

Again, the fasts were instituted, because in the Old Law, it was commanded to render tithes and first-fruits from all goods to God; wherefore, we must also do the same in regard to ourselves, that is, from our body, our mind and our time. … For indeed, we offer tithes and first-fruits to God when we do good. In Lent a tithe of days is paid, according to Gregory (the Great, hom. 16 in evang., cited by Gratian de consecr. dist. 5, 16). From the first Sunday of Lent until Easter six weeks are numbered, which make 42 days; from these, the six Sundays are removed from the fast, and there remain 36 days of abstinence, which are almost a tenth of the year. Therefore, in order that the number of forty day in which Christ fasted may be fulfilled, four days are recovered in the previous week… To the thirty-six days which are the tithe, four are added … the first of which is a day of sanctification and cleansing, for then do we purify the soul and body by sprinkling ashes on our heads. …

But we in Provence (Durandus was bishop of Mende in the Occitan region of France) begin the Lenten fast on the Monday of the preceding week (i.e. the day after Quinquagesima), and thus we fast two days more than the other nations. This is not only for honesty’s sake, that is, so that being thus purified in these two days, we may begin the holy fast on Wednesday, but also because Lent ends on the great Thursday of the (Lord’s) Supper… Therefore, on the last two days (i.e. Good Friday and Holy Saturday), we fast, not because it is Lent, but because … of the holiness of those days. …

But since in Lent we are invited (to go) through Christ’s fast … and He began His fast immediately after the Baptism, which is (commemorated on) Epiphany, the question arises as to why we begin the fast at this time, and not at the same time in which He fasted, especially since His deeds should be our instruction. There are four reasons for this.

The first is that in Lent we represent the people of Israel, who were in the desert for forty years, and immediately after celebrated the Passover.

The second is that in the spring, men are naturally moved to desire (libido), and fasting was instituted in this period to restrain it.

The third is that the Resurrection is joined with Christ’s Passion; therefore, it was reasonable that our affliction should be joined with the Passion of the Savior. For since He suffered for us, we must suffer along with Him, so that we may finally reign with Him; and after the Passion, the Resurrection follows immediately, according to the Apostle’s word, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” (2 Tim. 2, 12) Likewise, a sick man is more afflicted (by his illness) when he is getting healthier.

The fourth reason is that just as the children of Israel afflicted themselves before they ate the lamb, and ate wild, that is, bitter lettuce, (Exodus 12, 8, from the Epistle of the Mass of the Presanctified on Good Friday) so also we, through the bitterness of penance, must first be afflicted, so that immediately after we may worthily eat the Lamb of life, that is, the body of Christ, and so mystically receive the Paschal sacraments.
Now in the Lenten Masses, “Bow (humiliare) your heads to God” is often said, since in that period the devil attacks us even more; for which reason, we must humbly pray God, and humble ourselves before him, …

The prayer over the people (at the end of the Lenten ferial Masses) is also said after “Bow (your) heads”, because of the holiness of the season, and to indicate that in this life, prayer must be offered for us, that in the future we may merit to hear, “Come, ye blessed of my Father etc. (Matthew 25, 34, from the Gospel of the first Monday of Lent.) This prayer takes the place of Holy Communion. For once upon a time, all communicated and the deacon would invite those who were to receive communion to kneel; but now, because many receive the Lord’s body unworthily, in place of Communion we use a prayer, and the deacon fulfills his office as before, saying “Bow your heads to God”, because whosoever humbleth himself shall be exalted (Matthew 23, 12, from the Gospel of the second Tuesday of Lent), and whoever is blessed by good deeds in this life, will be deputed to eternal blessing afterwards. In this prayer, therefore, the priest commends the soldiers of Christ to the fight, to combat the ancient enemy and snares of the enemies, and so he first arms them through his minister (the deacon) with the weapons of humility, saying “Bow your heads to God”. And thus at last, when they have bowed their heads, he pours the protection of his blessing upon them, strengthening them, as it were …
(In many medieval Uses, “Oremus. Flectamus genua. Levate” were said before the Collect of every ferial Mass in Lent, not just on the Ember Days as in the Roman Use. This custom is still kept by the Dominicans, who say it in addition to, not in place of, “Dominus vobiscum etc.”) At the first Collect we kneel in accord with the struggle of the present life, representing the affliction of labor and continence; but at the last prayer, which is for thanksgiving, we bow the head, by which is designated humility of the mind, because in the life eternal, every labor will be excluded, but humility will always remain. …

Now in these days the Church, being set in the great struggle of Lent, frequently repeats the Psalm "He that dwelleth", because this psalm tells those who are in a struggle to place their hope in the Lord, and seek all their help from him. (This is Psalm 90, from which are taken all the propers of the Mass of the First Sunday, and the versicles and short responsories of the Office.) …

Also, from Ash Wednesday until Palm Sunday the preface of the fast is said every day, and in some places, even on Sunday. But on Palm Sunday and the following days is said the Preface of the Passion. But it seems to be incongruous that the preface of the fast should be sung on Sundays, since one does not fast on those days, and therefore some people say the daily preface on those Sundays. But even though they are not counted as fast days, they are kept as a fast in the kind of food that is eaten, which is like that of the other days.

(Concerning the anticipation of Vespers on ferial days) … it must be noted that the season of Lent is a time of mourning and penance; but while the penitents are converted to Christ, they pass from darkness to light. Now the evening, because of the failing of the light and the (ensuing) darkness, signifies imperfection. Therefore, because the penitents are pressing forward, not towards imperfection and failure, but rather towards perfection and the light of truth, in regard to Vespers the aforementioned time of light is appropriately anticipated, according to a decree of the Council of Chalon. (Cited by Gratian, de consecr., dist. 1, 50) Vespers are thus said immediately after Mass, though they are otherwise wont to be said close to the night-time.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Monitio Quadragesimalis

Memento homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Homo, humus.
Fama, fumus.
Finis, cinis.

The Proper Hermeneutic Must Agree With Perennial Truth

Here is the historic discourse of Benedict XVI from 22 December 2005 to the Roman curia, the first year of his pontificate.

He places Vatican II in its proper context of the perennial dialogue between faith and reason. A dynamic fidelity is sought and needed to respond to the demands of our time, as required in every time and circumstance.

The proper "hermeneutic" is the one that does not break fidelity. The only proper hermeneutic is a faithful hermeneutic. There was a hermeneutic of discontinuity which was wrong and harmful, and the hermeneutic of reform in continuity with the Church before and after which is one and the same: one, holy, catholic and apostolic.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Deleting Faith in God => Moral Relativism => Tyranny

"The world comes from reason [Logos] and this reason is a Person, is Love--this is what our biblical faith tells us about God. Reason can speak about God, it must speak about God, or else it cuts itself short. Included in this is the concept of creation.

"The world is not just maya, appearance, which we must ultimately leave behind. It is not merely the endless wheel of sufferings, from which we must try to escape. It is something positive. It is good, despite all the evil in it and despite all the sorrow, and it is good to live in it. God, who is the Creator and declares himself in his creation, also gives direction and measure to human action. We are living today in a crisis of moral values [Ethos], which by now is no longer merely an academic question about the ultimate foundations of ethical theories, but rather an entirely practical matter. The news is getting around that moral values cannot be grounded in something else, and the consequences of this view are working themselves out. The published works on the theme of moral values are stacked high and almost toppling over, which on the one hand indicates the urgency of the question, but on the other hand also suggests the prevailing perplexity. Kolakowski, in his line of thinking, has very emphatically pointed out that deleting faith in God, however one may try to spin or turn it, ultimately deprives moral values of their grounding. If the world and man do not come from a creative intelligence, which stores within itself their measure and plots the path of human existence, then all that is left are traffic rules for human behavior, which can be discarded or maintained according to their usefulness. All that remains is the calculus of consequences--what is called teleological ethics or proportionalism.

"But who can really make a judgment beyond the consequences of the present moment? Won't a new ruling class, then, take hold of the keys of human existence and become the managers of mankind? When dealing with a calculus of consequences, the inviolability of human dignity no longer exists, because nothing is good or bad in itself anymore. The problem of moral values is back on the table again, and it is an item of great urgency. Faith in the Logos, the Word that is in the beginning, understands moral values as responsibility, as a response to the Word, and thus gives them their intelligibility as well as their essential orientation. Connected with this also is the task of searching for a common understanding of responsibility, together with all honest, rational inquiry and with the great religious traditions. In this endeavor there is not only the intrinsic proximity of the three great monotheistic religions, but also significant lines of convergence with the another strand of Asian religiosity as we encounter in Confucianism and Taoism."

"...[H]ow little we are capable of defining God, much less fathoming him. ...God's answer to Job explains nothing, but rather sets boundaries to our mania for judging everything and being able to say the final word on a subject, and reminds us of our limitations. It admonishes us to trust the mystery of God in its incomprehensibility. Having said this, we must still emphasize the brightness of God, too, along with the darkness. Ever since the Prologue to the Gospel of John, the concept of Logos has been at the very center of our Christian faith in God. Logos signifies reason, meaning, or even 'word'--a meaning, therefore, which is Word, which is relationship, which is creative. The God who is Logos guarantees the intelligibility of the world, the intelligibility of our existence, reason's accord with God and God's accord with reason, even though his understanding infinitely surpasses ours and to us may so often appear to be darkness."

Joseph Ratzinger, "Introduction to the 2000 edition of Introduction to Christianity" in The Essential Pope Benedict XVI, eds. Thornton and Varenne, New York: HarperOne, 2008, 11-12. (With minor editing by Plinthos, comparing that text with the second edition of Introduction to Christianity, San Francisco: Ignatius, 2004 and the German edition Einführung in das Christentum, München: Zeitgeist, 2000, 23-25).

Monday, February 12, 2018

El Ayuno Cuerasmal Tradicional (1962)

Reglas que se aplican a todos los días menos los domingos y las solemnidades exentadas, que no días penitenciales.

Ayuno* todos los días desdel miércoles de ceniza hasta la medianoche del sábado de gloria: una comida completa al día, con dos comidas menores que juntas no llegan a tanto como la principal, y sin meriendas entre las comidas (excepto el agua+), con las siguientes abstinencias:

Abstinencia Completa**

Abstinencia Parcial: se permite la carne solo en la comida principal

*Ayuno Estricto el miércoles de ceniza y todos los viernes: ninguna comida ni bebida, excepto a tomar una merienda ligera y rápida (por ejemplo, pan y agua) al final del día, si es necesario.+

**La abstinencia prohíbe toda carne y caldo de carne. Se permite todo tipo de pescado, huevos, productos lácteos, o sazones hechas de la grasa de los animales.

+ Indica donde Plinthos ha añadido algo a la norma.

The Traditional Lenten Fast

In light of the 1962 regulations for Lenten Penance I suggest the following Lenten Fast for traditional Catholics.
This is the Lenten fast "strongly recommended" by the Bishops of the US, "On Penance and Abstinence", 18 November 1966, paragraph 14.
These rules would apply to all days except Sundays and exempt Solemnities, which are not days of Penance.

Fasting* every day from Ash Wednesday until midnight of Holy Saturday: one full meal a day with two smaller meals that do not equal the main meal, and no snacks between meals (except water+), with abstinence as follows:

Total Abstinence**.

Partial Abstinence: meat permitted at the principle meal only.

*Strict fast on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays: no food or drink, except to take a quick and light snack (e.g. bread and water) at the end of the day, if needed.+

**Abstinence forbids the eating of flesh meat and of broth made from meat, but does not exclude fish, eggs, dairy products or seasonings made from the fat of animals.

+ Indicates a norm adjusted by Plinthos.

P.S. This fast (which typically permits one decent meal each day) is demanding but not hard to do and very rewarding spiritually.

Pondus meum amor meus... Confessions, Bk. XIII, Chapt. 9, 10.

Where you give yourself, that is where you are! It is the nature of man, analogous to the nature of God, Who is Gift.

Every thing goes to its proper place. Man's proper place is the same as God's: Self Donation!

"10. But was not either the Father or the Son borne over the waters? If we understand this to mean in space, as a body, then neither was the Holy Spirit; but if the incommutable super-eminence of Divinity above everything mutable, then both Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost were borne over the waters. Why, then, is this said of Your Spirit only? Why is it said of Him alone? As if He had been in place who is not in place, of whom only it is written, that He is Your gift? In Your gift we rest; there we enjoy You. Our rest is our place. Love lifts us up there, and Your good Spirit lifts our lowliness from the gates of death. In Your good pleasure lies our peace. The body by its own weight gravitates towards its own place. Weight goes not downward only, but to its own place. Fire tends upwards, a stone downwards. They are propelled by their own weights, they seek their own places. Oil poured under the water is raised above the water; water poured upon oil sinks under the oil. They are propelled by their own weights, they seek their own places. Out of order, they are restless; restored to order, they are at rest. My weight is my love; by it am I borne wherever I am borne. By Your Gift we are inflamed, and are borne upwards; we wax hot inwardly, and go forwards. We ascend Your ways that be in our heart, and sing a song of degrees; we glow inwardly with Your fire, with Your good fire, and we go, because we go upwards to the peace of Jerusalem; for glad was I when they said to me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. There has Your good pleasure placed us, that we may desire no other thing than to dwell there forever."
New Advent

Amore feruntur omnia.

9. 10. Numquid aut Pater aut Filius non superferebatur super aquas? Si tamquam loco sicut corpus, nec Spiritus Sanctus; si autem incommutabilis divinitatis eminentia super omne mutabile, et Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus superferebatur super aquas 41. Cur ergo tantum de spiritu tuo dictum est hoc? Cur de illo tantum dictum est quasi locus, ubi esset, qui non est locus, de quo solo dictum est, quod sit donum tuum 42? In dono tuo requiescimus: ibi te fruimur. Requies nostra locus noster. Amor illuc attollit nos et spiritus tuus bonus 43 exaltat humilitatem nostram de portis mortis 44. In bona voluntate pax nobis est 45. Corpus pondere suo nititur ad locum suum. Pondus non ad ima tantum est, sed ad locum suum. Ignis sursum tendit, deorsum lapis. Ponderibus suis aguntur, loca sua petunt. Oleum infra aquam fusum super aquam attollitur, aqua supra oleum fusa, infra oleum demergitur; ponderibus suis aguntur, loca sua petunt. Minus ordinata inquieta sunt: ordinantur et quiescunt. Pondus meum amor meus; eo feror, quocumque feror. Dono tuo accendimur et sursum ferimur; inardescimus et imus. Ascendimus ascensiones in corde 46 et cantamus canticum graduum 47. Igne tuo, igne tuo bono inardescimus et imus, quoniam sursum imus ad pacem Hierusalem, quoniam iucundatus sum in his, qui dixerunt mihi: In domum Domini ibimus 48. Ibi nos collocabit voluntas bona, ut nihil velimus aliud quam permanere illic in aeternum 49.

41 - Gen 1, 2.
42 - Cf. Act 2, 38.
43 - Ps 142, 10.
44 - Ps 9, 14-15.
45 - Cf. Lc 2, 14.
46 - Ps 83, 6.
47 - Cf. Ps 119, 1.
48 - Ps 121, 6. 1.
49 - Ps 60, 8.

Neo-Paganism: the Problem Vatican II Failed to Correct

So, Vatican II did not achieve the good of the faithful or of the world which it boldly declared as its aim. That much is clear. We are not better off.

But, it is necessary in this regard to go back to Ratzinger's assessment of the paganism of his 1950's Catholic Bavaria: "The New Pagans and the Church". A Catholicism which simply went through the motions. It was a worldly religiosity with very little depth. He says that a great fall-out, because of the superficiality of the faith, was inevitable. It was largely a humbug Catholicism, much too identified with the world.

"In the long run, the Church cannot avoid the need to get rid of, part by part, the appearance of her identity with the world, and once again to become what she is: the community of the faithful. Actually, her missionary power can only increase through such external losses. Only when she ceases to be a cheap, foregone conclusion, only when she begins again to show herself as she really is, will she be able to reach the ear of the new pagans with her good news, since until now they have been subject to the illusion that they were not real pagans. Certainly such a withdrawal of external positions will involve a loss of valuable advantages, which doubtless exist because of the contemporary entanglement of the Church with civil society. This has to do with a process which is going to take place either with, or without, the approval of the Church, and concerning which she must take a stand (the attempt to preserve the Middle Ages is foolish and would be not only tactically, but also factually, wrong). Certainly, on the other hand, this process should not be forced in an improper manner, but it will be very important to maintain [a] spirit of prudent moderation..."

What he is saying is that for too long "the faithful" have been living a practical atheism deceiving both themselves and the world. He says that the majority of Catholics no longer practice their faith. And they actually work against the faith of the Church. They are "the new pagans."

"It is...evident that they no longer simply embrace the faith of the Church, but that they make a very subjective choice from the creed of the Church in order to shape their own world view. And there can be no doubt that most of them, from the Christian point of view, should really no longer be called believers, but that they follow, more or less, a secular philosophy. They do indeed affirm the moral responsibility of man, but it is based on, and limited by, purely rational considerations. The ethics of N. Hartmanns, K. Jaspers, and M. Heidegger, for example, defend the more or less known convictions of many morally upright men, but they are in no sense Christians.. The well-known [recently published] little book entitled, What Do You Think About Christianity? can open the eyes of anyone, who has allowed himself to be deceived by the Christian façade of our contemporary public image, to the realization of how far and wide such purely rational and irreligious morality has spread. Therefore, the modern man today, when he meets someone else anywhere, can assume with some certainty that he has a baptismal certificate, but not that he has a Christian frame of mind. Therefore, he must presume as the normal state of affairs the lack of faith of his neighbor."

Thus the Church's structure had changed over the centuries from a Church of the converted to a mere club.
And the consciousness of the still-believing Christians had changed accordingly into a general indifferentism regarding the essential need of the Church for salvation. That it is basically the same no matter what religion you are. That God and religion are really unimportant, even though everyone gave lip service to both.

That was the problem of the 1950's which Vatican II addressed and tried to answer, but, rather than fixing it, made it much worse. Now the paganism is wide-open and obvious on all sides.

It's not enough to say that Vatican II failed. The modern Church is failing in her primary mission of salvation and she has been doing so for more than the half a century since Vatican II.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

1962 Guidelines for Traditional Lenten Penance, Etc.

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)
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)

Friday, February 9, 2018

Contraception's Constant Separation Causes a New Worldview

[The] key concepts [of today's programmatic reorientation of life] present themselves in the words “conscience” and “freedom,” which are supposed to confer the aura of morality upon changed norms of behavior that at first glance would be plainly labelled as a surrender of moral integrity, the simplifications of a lax conscience.

No longer is conscience understood as that knowledge which derives from a higher form of knowing. It is instead the individual’s self-determination which may not be directed by someone else, a determination by which each person decides for himself what is moral in a given situation.

The concept “norm”—or what is even worse, the moral law itself—takes on negative shades of dark intensity: an external rule may supply models for direction but it can in no case serve as the ultimate arbiter of one’s obligation.

Where such thinking holds sway, the relationship of man to his body necessarily changes too. This change is described as a liberation, when compared to the relationship obtaining until now, like an opening up to a freedom long unknown. The body then comes to be considered as a possession which a person can make use of in whatever way seems to him most helpful in attaining “quality of life.” The body is something that one has and that one uses. No longer does man expect to receive a message from his bodiliness as to who he is and what he should do, but definitely, on the basis of his reasonable deliberations and with complete independence, he expects to do with it as he wishes. In consequence, there is indeed no difference whether the body be of the masculine or the feminine sex, the body no longer expresses being at all, on the contrary, it has become a piece of property.

It may be that man’s temptation has always lain in the direction of such control and the exploitation of goods. At its roots, however, this way of thinking first became an actual possibility through the fundamental separation—not a theoretical but a practical and constantly practiced separation—of sexuality and procreation. This separation was introduced with the pill and has been brought to its culmination by genetic engineers so that man can now “make” human beings in the laboratory. The material for doing this has to be procured by actions deliberately carried out for the sake of the planned results which no longer involve interpersonal human bonds and decisions in any way. Indeed, where this kind of thinking has been completely adopted, the difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality as well as that between sexual relations within or outside marriage have become unimportant.

Likewise divested of every metaphysical symbolism is the distinction between man and woman, which is to be regarded as the product of reinforced role expectations.

N.B. This year is the golden jubilee of the prophetic Humanae Vitae.

γνῶθι σεαυτόν

temet nosce
[164d (Gk)]...I would almost say that this very thing, self-knowledge, is temperance, and I am at one with him who put up the inscription of those words at Delphi. For the purpose of that inscription on the temple, as it seems to me, is to serve as the god's salutation to those who enter it, instead of [164e](Gk) “Hail!”—this is a wrong form of greeting, and they should rather exhort one another with the words, “Be temperate!” And thus the god addresses those who are entering his temple in a mode which differs from that of men; such was the intention of the dedicator of the inscription in putting it up, I believe; and that he says to each man who enters, in reality, “Be temperate !” But he says it in a rather riddling fashion, as a prophet would; for “Know thyself!” and “Be temperate!” are the same, as [165a (Gk)] the inscription1 and I declare, though one is likely enough to think them different—an error into which I consider the dedicators of the later inscriptions fell when they put up “Nothing overmuch”2 and “A pledge, and thereupon perdition.”3 For they supposed that “Know thyself!” was a piece of advice, and not the god's salutation of those who were entering; and so, in order that their dedications too might equally give pieces of useful advice, they wrote these words and dedicated them.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Monday, February 5, 2018

Truth and truths

Please consider this definition of truth as found in the glossary of my Italian volume of Thomas' commentary on De Trinitate of Boethius.

It seems to me that the key distinction here is that between primary and essential truth (truth as known by God, viz. ontological) and secondary and accidental truth ("truths" as known by man, viz., intellectual and moral). So that metaphysics would be the intersection between the ontological (primary and proper) truth and man's (secondary and proper) apprehension thereof? And human "scientific" truths would be the human (secondary and proper) apprehension of mutable (secondary and improper) truths in things, which are also known by God in their changing circumstance?

"Truth is adequation of the thing and the intellect. (cf. De verit., q.1, a. 2). Truth is found first in the intellect, secondarily in things (cf. ibid, a. 2). And it is found only in the intellect which judges things through the composition of subject and predicate when it affirms, and by the separation of the predicate from the subject when it denies (cf. ibid, a. 3). That exists first and properly in the divine intellect, properly and secondarily in the human intellect, secondarily and improperly in things (cf. ibid, q. 4).

"It exists first in the divine intellect, because all other truths which exist in human intellects and in things are in conformity with the truth which exists in the divine intellect (cf. ibid).

"It exists properly in the divine and human intellect, because formal truth (i.e., in its essence) exists solely in the intellect, while in things it exists materially (cf. ibid.).

"The truth which exists in the human intellect is accidental regarding things, because things are true not by the rapport with the human intellect (cf. ibid.).

"The truth existing in the divine intellect is the cause of the truth existing in things; the latter is the cause of the truth existing in the human intellect (cf. ibid.). But the truth existing in the products of man is caused by the truth existing in the practical intellect of man (cf. ibid., a. 2). The truth which exists in things and in the human intellect originates in time and according to time. Neither the truth of things nor that of the human intellect nor that of the enunciations, in which the human intellect manifests the truth which it knows, are eternal (cf. ibid,. a. 5). Man's truth is not immutable. Because the human intellect should adequate to things, every time that a thing changes the adequation of the intellect to it must also change (cf. ibid., a. 6). If the thing changes and the human intellect does not change its judgement on the thing, there is falsity in that (cf. ibid.). Only the truth which exists in the divine intellect is eternal and immutable (cf. I Sent., d. 19, q. 5, a. 3). The truth which exists in our intellect is not eternal, but originates in time, on account of the fact that our intellect is not eternal ( cf. Summa, theol., I, q. 16, a. 7, ad. 4). If everything were annihilated, only the divine truth would remain (cf. De verit., q. 1, a. 4, ad 3).

"Truth, if considered in the proper sense, is predicated in an essential way of God, if understood in a metaphorical sense as likeness and imitation, it is predicated in a personal sense of the second person of the Trinity, i.e. of the Son, insofar as the Son is the perfect image and likeness of the Father (cf., ibid, a. 7).

"Truth exists also in sensation, but sensation does not have consciousness of that (cf. ibid., a. 8). No thing is false in itself, because every thing is adequated by nature to the divine intellect, to which it relates in an essential way. Every thing continues to be that which it is, even if the human intellect should think of it differently from that which it is, because every thing relates to the human intellect in an accidental way (cf. ibid., a 10). A thing can be false only in rapport with the human intellect, when it manifests qualities of a corresponding nature different from that which it possesses (cf. ibid.). Falsity cannot exist in the senses because they signal to the intellect only the way according to which they are mechanically impressed by things. After all, since truth exists in the judgment, the false cannot be in the senses, since in them there is no judgment (cf. ibid, a. 11)."

Tommaso d'Aquino, Sulla verità, Milano: Bompiani, 2005, 2273-2274. (Plinthos translation)

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sexagesima Epistle: Better to Suffer for God Than for Men

Brethren: You gladly put up with fools, because you are wise yourselves! For you suffer it if a man enslaves you, if a man devours you, if a man takes from you, if a man is arrogant, if a man slaps your face!
2 Cor. 11, 19-20

Monday, January 29, 2018

Plato and the Enlightenment: Truth is More Real than Science

"[Plato] saw himself embroiled in a crisis of the Greek state that was all the more radical because it included also a crisis of the soul, a crisis of humanity itself, which, in many respects, resembled that deep inner restlessness that today affects our whole existence to its very core... Like his teacher Socrates before him, Plato encountered a radical enlightenment, the keen rationality of which had led to the conviction that, strictly speaking, truth as such is in no way accessible to man. Whenever such a rejection of truth occurs, humanity experiences an extreme crisis because conscience becomes meaningless and the only standard that endures in the end is naked power. Such situations occur whenever a sophisticated form of technical knowledge becomes the standard of knowledge as such.

"Granted, with regard to the ultimate questions of who God is or what good is, we can never achieve the degree of certainty we can achieve in the realm of mathematics and technology. But when all knowledge that does not take the form of technical knowledge is declared to be nonknowledge, then we are cut off from the truth. We cannot, for instance, decide whether what Jesus said is true but can only dispute whether or not he said it. But that is ultimately an idle question Our defenselessness before the spiritual demands of dictators and our own inner strife are due to the situation in which we find ourselves today: wisdom--that is, knowledge of truth itself--cannot become scientific in the real sense of the word; but if only scientific knowledge counts as knowledge, it seems to be an unenlightened naiveté even to speak about truth. But if that is the case, then there are no universal values that are binding on all of us. And if that is the case, then there is no law except that which is called law at any given moment--the order imposed by those who have put themselves in power. There is then no qualitative difference between the power exercised in the name of the law and that exercised by him who breaks the law; the concept of a constitutional state becomes empty. That is our situation. It was also the situation created by the 'enlightened' Sophists of Plato's Greece. We might describe it in these worlds: by its exactness, exact knowledge bars the way to wisdom, which asks about the most profound depths of our existence."

Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1982, 359-360 (from an essay written in 1975, the entire volume being comprised of a compilation of articles written by the author during his hears at the University of Regensburg [1969-1977]).

Truth, God's Possession, Can't be Had Without God

Sunday, January 28, 2018

It is Not True to Say that Homosexuality is Not a Sin

Yesterday, in my confirmation class, one of the students said her teacher (of a Catholic High School) said homosexuality is not a sin.

That is not true.

Homosexual activity is always a mortal sin.

Homosexual activism is a mortal sin, viz. scandal.

Any public recognition and promotion of homosexuality is a mortal sin: the sin of scandal.

Homosexual inclination is a mortal sin if willful, if unwillful yet culpable it is a venial sin.

Homosexual inclination (as with any inclination to sin) may be culpable or inculpable depending on whether it was/is caused by one's own willful sins.

Homosexuality, a gravely disordered appetite, is usually a sin. Whether it is a mortal sin or venial sin depends on one's willful involvement in the depravity. If one should have the inclination without any culpability or willfulness then and only then it is not actual sin. But even in the case of an inculpable and unwillful appetite, the disordered sinful appetite itself is ultimately caused by sin--concupiscence--part of the inheritance of original sin.

Therefore, homosexuality is a sin, mortal or venial, actual or original, depending on the above distinctions.

Homosexuality is Bad For Your Health: Mortal Sin Means Mortal Danger

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Priest on the Street with Cassock and Saturno. Clear Creek Abbey.

On a related note, below see an excellent video on Clear Creek Abbey, the monastery where I did my yearly retreat earlier this month. That place is booming! Very young and many vocations. There are more than fifty monks, and many young men coming to see and pray there. Amazing!

"There was a lapse of time, from the time I was ordained until just recently when I encountered the monks, that I realized there was something missing--there was something in our worship. And I think a good deal of it was Gregorian chant."
"What is need in America now is men and women that are committed to prayer."
Most Reverend Edward J. Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pope Paul VI called on religious orders to keep the Latin in worship.

Beloved sons, 

Your families, dedicated as they are to God, have always held in honour, as an offering from lips that confess to our Lord, the Sacrifice of Praise: that is, the psalms and hymns by which the hours, days and seasons of the year are hallowed with religious devotion, in the midst of which the Eucharistic Sacrifice shines, as it were like the sun, and draws all things to itself. With good reason is it held that nothing should be preferred to so holy a work as this. It is not difficult to perceive how much honor is rendered by it to the Creator of all things, or what benefits it confers upon the Church. You have proved, by following this fixed and unceasing manner of prayer, what importance divine worship has for human society.

Yet, from letters which some of you have sent, and from many other sources, We learn that discordant practices have been introduced into the sacred liturgy by your communities or provinces. (We speak of those only that belong to the Latin Rite.) For while some are very faithful to the Latin language, others wish to use the vernacular within the choral office. Others, in various places, wish to exchange that chant which is called Gregorian for newly-minted melodies. Indeed, some even insist that Latin should be wholly suppressed.

We must acknowledge that We have been somewhat disturbed and saddened by these requests. One may well wonder what the origin is of this new way of thinking and this sudden dislike for the past; one may well wonder why these things have been fostered.

You yourselves know well how greatly We love your religious families, and how we value them. You can have no doubt of this. We have often marveled at the examples of outstanding holiness and the products of deep learning which ennoble them. We think it a happiness if We are able, in any lawful and fitting way, to support them, to comply with their wishes, to take thought for their betterment.

Yet those things that We have mentioned are occurring even though the Second Ecumenical Vatican Council has after due deliberation declared its mind in solemn fashion (Sacrosanctum Concilium §101.1), and after the publication of clear norms in subsequent Instructions. In the first Instruction (ad exsecutionem Constitutionis de sacra Liturgia recte ordinandam), published on 26 September 1964, it was decreed as follows:

In celebrating the divine office in choir, clerics are bound to preserve the Latin language (n. 85).

In the second Instruction (de lingua in celebrandis Officio divino et Missa “conventuali” aut “communitatis” apud Religiosos adhibenda), published on 23 November 1965, that law was reinforced, and at the same time due consideration was shown for the spiritual advantage of the faithful and for the special conditions which prevail in missionary territories. Therefore, for as long as no other lawful provision is made, these laws are in force and require the obedience in which religious must excel, as dear sons of holy Church.

What is in question here is not only the retention within the choral office of the Latin language, though it is of course right that this should be eagerly guarded and should certainly not be lightly esteemed. For this language is, within the Latin Church, an abundant well-spring of Christian civilization and a very rich treasure-trove of devotion. But it is also the seemliness, the beauty and the native strength of these prayers and canticles which is at stake: the choral office itself, “the lovely voice of the Church in song” (Cf. St Augustine’s Confessions, Bk 9, 6). Your founders and teachers, the holy ones who are as it were so many lights within your religious families, have transmitted this to you. The traditions of the elders, your glory throughout long ages, must not be belittled. Indeed, your manner of celebrating the choral office has been one of the chief reasons why these families of yours have lasted so long, and happily increased. It is thus most surprising that under the influence of a sudden agitation, some now think that it should be given up.

In present conditions, what words or melodies could replace the forms of Catholic devotion which you have used until now? You should reflect and carefully consider whether things would not be worse, should this fine inheritance be discarded. It is to be feared that the choral office would turn into a mere bland recitation, suffering from poverty and begetting weariness, as you yourselves would perhaps be the first to experience. One can also wonder whether men would come in such numbers to your churches in quest of the sacred prayer, if its ancient and native tongue, joined to a chant full of grave beauty, resounded no more within your walls. We therefore ask all those to whom it pertains, to ponder what they wish to give up, and not to let that spring run dry from which, until the present, they have themselves drunk deep.

Of course, the Latin language presents some difficulties, and perhaps not inconsiderable ones, for the new recruits to your holy ranks. But such difficulties, as you know, should not be reckoned insuperable. This is especially true for you, who can more easily give yourselves to study, being more set apart from the business and bother of the world. Moreover, those prayers, with their antiquity, their excellence, their noble majesty, will continue to draw to you young men and women, called to the inheritance of our Lord. On the other hand, that choir from which is removed this language of wondrous spiritual power, transcending the boundaries of the nations, and from which is removed this melody proceeding from the inmost sanctuary of the soul, where faith dwells and charity burns—We speak of Gregorian chant—such a choir will be like to a snuffed candle, which gives light no more, no more attracts the eyes and minds of men.

In any case, beloved Sons, the requests mentioned above concern such grave matters that We are unable to grant them, or to derogate now from the norms of the Council and of the Instructions noted above. Therefore we earnestly beseech you that you would consider this complex question under all its aspects. From the good will which we have toward you, and from the good opinion which we have of you, We are unwilling to allow that which could make your situation worse, and which could well bring you no slight loss, and which would certainly bring a sickness and sadness upon the whole Church of God. Allow Us to protect your interests, even against your own will. It is the same Church which has introduced the vernacular into the sacred liturgy for pastoral reasons, that is, for the sake of people who do not know Latin, which gives you the mandate of preserving the age-old solemnity, beauty and dignity of the choral office, in regard both to language, and to the chant.

Obey, then, these prescriptions sincerely and calmly. It is not an excessive love of old ways that prompts them. They derive, rather, from Our fatherly love for you, and from Our concern for divine worship.

Finally, We impart most willingly to you and to your religious, as an earnest of heavenly gifts and as a sign of Our favour, the apostolic Blessing in our Lord.


Dilecti filii,
salutem et apostolicam benedictionem

Sacrificium laudis, hostia labiorum confitentium Dominum, psalmodia et hymnodia, quibus horae, dies, anni tempora religionis sacrantur pietate, Eucharistico Sacrificio quasi medio sole rutilante et cuncta ad se trahente, a vestris Familiis Deo devotis magno semper in honore haberi consueverat. Recto enim consilio tam sancto operi nihil anteferendum esse aestimabatur. Quanta gloria inde omnium Creatori obvenerit, quantae utilitates in Ecclesiam sint profectae, facile intellegitur. Hac certa et assidua precandi ratione per saeculorum decursum docuistis cultum divinum in humana consortione maximi esse momenti.

Ex litteris vero, a quibusdam vestrum et e compluribus nuntiis aliunde datis, comperimus coenobia vel provincias vestras — de iis tantum loquimur, quae ad ritum pertinent Latinum — in sacra Liturgia peragenda dissimiles mores induxisse: alia nempe linguae Latinae retinentissima esse, alia vulgares sermones in chorali officio expetere, alia hic illic cantum, quem Gregorianum appellant, cum cantilenis hac aetate conditis velle commutare. Quin immo a quibusdam est flagitatum, ut lingua latina ipsa aboleretur.

Oportet profiteamur huiusmodi postulationibus non leviter Nos esse commotos et nonnullo maerore affectos, atque oritur quaestio, undenam exstiterit et curnam propagatus sit talis mentis habitus et antea ignotum fastidium.

Vobis certe exploratum est neque in dubitationem potestis vocare, quantopere Familias vestras religiosas diligamus, quanti eas faciamus. Admirationi Nobis saepe sunt insignis pietatis testimonia et ingenii cultus monumenta, quibus nobilitantur. Nostrum putamus esse gaudium, si qua Nobis copia datur, dummodo liceat ac deceat, iis favendi, votis earum obsecundandi, feliciori statui consuendi.

Sed ea, quae supra diximus, fieri contingunt, postquam Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum meditate ac sollemniter hac de re suam edixit sententiam (Cf Const. de sacra Lit. Sacrosanctum Concilium, n. 101, 1), et Instructionibus eam subsecutis certae editae sunt normae; in quarum Instructione altera, ad exsecutionem Constitutionis de sacra Liturgia recte ordinandam die XXVI mensis Septembris anno MCMLXIV emissa, haec sunt decreta: «In divino Officio in choro persolvendo clerici linguam latinam servare tenentur» (n. 85); altera vero, quae de lingua in celebrandis Officio divino et Missa «conventuali» aut «communitatis» apud Religiosos adhibenda inseribitur ac die XXIII mensis novembris anno MCMLXV fuit vulgata, praeceptum illud confirmatur simulque ratio ducitur spiritualis fidelium emolumenti et peculiarium condicionum, quae in regionibus obtinent missionali opere excolendis. Donec ergo aliter legitime statuatur, hae leges vigent et obtemperationem expostulant, qua religiosos sodales, filios Ecclesiae carissimos, apprime commendari oportet.

Non autem agitur hic tantummodo de retinendo in officio chorali eloquio latino, sane digno, quod, nedum parvi fiat, alacriter custodiatur, cum sit in Ecclesia Latina christiani cultus humani fons uberrimus et locupletissimus pietatis thesaurus, sed etiam de indemnibus servandis decore, pulchritudine, nativo vigore huiusmodi precationum et cantuum: agitur videlicet de choralt officio, «suave sonantis Ecclesiae vocibus» (Cf S. AUGUSTINUS,Confessiones 9, 6: PL 32, 769) expresso, quas conditores et magistri vestri ac Sancii Caelites, Familiarum vestrarum lumina, vobis tradiderunt. Non parvi pendenda sunt instituta maiorum, quae per diuturna saecula vos ornabant. Haec vero choralis officii ratio una e causis praecipuis fuit, cur Familiae eaedem vestrae firmiter starent laetisque augerentur incrementis. Mirandum ergo, quod, subita commotione excitata, ea nonnullis neglegenda iam esse videtur.

In praesenti rerum condicione quae vox, qui cantus substitui poterit pro catholicae pietatis formulis, quibus usque adhuc usi estis? Perpendendum est et considerandum, ne peior sit conditio, cum gloriosa illa hereditas fuerit abietca. Est enim timendum, ne officium chorale ad inconditam quandam recitationem redigatur, quam vos primo fortasse sentietis inopia laborare ac taedia gignere. Exsistit etiam quaestio, num homines, cupientes sacras pretes percipere, templa vestra sint tam frequentes adituri, si vetus ac nativa illarum lingua, iuncta cum cantu pleno gravitatis ac decoris, ibi non amplius resonabit. Rogamus igitur omnes, ad quos pertinet, ut ponderent, quae dimittere velint, neque fontem sinant inarescere, unde ad praesens usque tempus ubertim hauserint.

Procul dubio lingua latina sacrae militiae vestrae tironibus aliquam et fortasse haud tenuem difficultatem opponit. Haec autem, quemadmodum novistis, talis non est habenda, ut vinci et superari non possit, maxime apud vos, qui, magis abstracti a saeculi negotiis et strepitu, litteris facilius vacare potestis. Ceterum preces illae, antiqua praestantia ac nobili maiestate praeditae, iuvenes in sortem Domini vocatos ad vos allicere pergent, contra, chorus, unde sermo ille, Nationum fines exsuperans et mirabili vi spirituali pollens, atque modulamen, ex animi penetralibus, ubi fedes insidet et caritas ardet, erratum, cantum dicimus gregorianum, erunt ablata, similis erit cereo exstincto, qui non amplius illuminat, non amplius hominum oculos ac mentes ad se convertit. Quidquid est, filii carissimi, postulationes, quae supra sunt dictae, ad tam gravia spectant, ut praesenti tempore, derogando normis Concilii et Instructionum memoratarum, eas concedere nequeamus. Enixe igitur vos hortamur, ut quaestionem tam implicatam omni ex parte pensitetis. Nolumus pro benevolentia, qua vos complectimur, et pro bona existimatione, qua vos prosequimur, id permittere, quod causa esse possit in deterius labendi, non levis detrimenti origo vobis forsitan exsistat et certe toti Ecclesiae Dei aegritudinem ac maestitiam afferat. Sinite Nos, etiam invitis vobis, rem vestram tueri. Ab eadem Ecclesia, quae ob pastorales utilitates, id est in populi latine nescientis commodum, sermones vulgares in sacram Liturgiam induxit, vos mandatum habetis translaticiam dignitatem, pulchritudinem, gravitatem choralis officii, sive quoad linguam sive quoad cantum, servandi.

Itaque animis sinceris et tranquillis praeceptionibus obsequimini, quas non immodicus amor morum veterum suggerit, sed paterna erga vos caritas proponit et divini cultus diligentia suadet.

Caelestium denique donorurn conciliatricem et propensi animi Nostri testem, Benedictionem Apostolicam vobis vestrisque sodalibus libentissime in Domino impertimus.

Datum Romae, apud Sanctum Petrum, die XV mensis Augusti, in festo Assumptionis Beatae Mariae Virginis, anno MCMLXVI, Pontificatus Nostri quarto.


* Notitiae 2 (1966), pp. 252-255

What Women Say After Their Abortion: USA Poll

"I aborted to please others." 58%

"My abortion was not entirely free from outside pressure from others." 74%

"I aborted so my partner would not leave me." 28%

"I believe the fetus was truly a person." 49%

"During the abortion I knew in my heart that I was making a mistake." 66%

"The abortion was the hardest decision of my life." 68%

["I felt emotionally connected to the fetus before the abortion." 33%]

Here is the relevant text from the report in the Winter 2017 issue of the "Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons."

"Concerning potential risk factors for adverse reactions to
abortion, 58.3% of the women reported aborting to make
others happy, 73.8% disagreed that their decision to abort
was entirely free from even subtle pressure from others to
abort, 28.4% aborted out of fear of losing their partner if
they did not abort, 49.2% reported believing the fetus was a
human being at the time of the abortion, 66% said they knew
in their hearts that they were making a mistake when they
underwent the abortion, 67.5% revealed that the abortion
decision was one of the hardest decisions of their lives, and
33.2% felt emotionally connected to the fetus before the
abortion." page 115

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Truth, God's Possession, Can't be Had Without God

"[T]he situation created by the 'enlightened' Sophists of Plato's Greece...is our situation [today]. We might describe it in these words: by its exactness, exact knowledge bars the way to wisdom, which asks about the most profound depths of our existence.

"Plato accepted the scepticism of the enlightenment, which considered man incapable of truth, only to the extent of saying that truth, in its proper meaning, is an attribute of God alone. But because, despite the prevailing scepticism, he judged man capable of receiving God, he judged him also to be open to truth. According to Plato, man cannot, it is true, actually possess truth, but he can love it and search for it. In Greek, that means: he can be a philosopher. It is there that the limitation and the greatness of man lie: he is not wise, but he is in loving search of wisdom. In this way, Plato gave the word 'philosophy' the noble content that enabled it to become likewise the goal of all those who thought and lived as Christians throughout the ages. As a philosopher, man's place, according to Plato, is between wisdom and the absence of truth. But the content of wisdom is being itself, or even more--the Good and the Beautiful that are beyond being. For man, then, philosophy is a great reaching out for eternal Being, a learning to contemplate truth, a rational effort of the Spirit to find true meaning. Its strength is Eros, that openness of man that compels him to transcend again and again the limits of the merely knowable and to move toward the eternal."

Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, San Francisco: Ignatius, 1987, 360.

Manna, Aaron's Rod, Tablets of the Covenant: Hebrews 9:4-5

The manna => the Most Holy Eucharist. Cf. John 6:30ff

Aaron's staff => the Supreme Pontiff. Cf. Matthew 16:18-19

The tables of the covenant => the deposit of faith as transmitted through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition: Catholic dogma.

Ark of the Covenant => the Mother of God/The Catholic Church

The context of the entire book of Hebrews is the new covenant in the blood of Christ which replaced the old covenant of the blood of animals.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

They Call the Sacred Profane and the Profane Sacred

Just before leaving office Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the heritage of Vatican Council II in which he mentioned the banalization of the liturgy following the theory that "sacrality is a pagan thing, perhaps also a thing of the Old Testament. In the New Testament it matters only that Christ died outside: that is, outside the gates, in the profane world. Sacrality must therefore be abolished, and profanity now spreads to worship: worship is no longer worship, but a community act, with communal participation: participation understood as activity."

This divorce of faith from the Council was also applied to Ecclesiology and to Sacred Scripture: that the Church is simply a matter of politics, a power struggle, and that Sacred Scripture is just a book to been seen only from the historical perspective. The "Council of the media" was a very influential conspiracy in this distortion of the Council of the Fathers. "...[T]he virtual Council was stronger than the real Council...[T]his was the dominant one, the more effective one, and it created so many disasters, so many problems, so much suffering: seminaries closed, convents, banal liturgy...and the real Council had difficulty establishing itself and taking shape

"...But the real force of the Council was present and, slowly but surely, established itself more and more and became the true force which is also the true reform, the true renewal of the Church. It seems to me that, 50 years after the Council, we see that this virtual Council is broken, is lost, and there now appears the true Council with all its spiritual force...[I]t is our task...to work so that the true Council, with its power of the Holy Spirit, be accomplished and the Church be truly renewed. I myself, secluded in prayer, will always be with you and together let us go forward with the Lord in the certainty that the Lord will conquer."

Meeting with the Parish Priests and the Clergy of Rome, Address of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Paul VI Audience Hall, Thursday, 14 February 2013

Monday, January 22, 2018

Duty of the Council to the Whole Man: Body and Soul Together

Principle Duty of the Council: The Defense and Advancement of Doctrine

5. The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously. That doctrine embraces the whole of man, composed as he is of body and soul. And, since he is a pilgrim on this earth, it commands him to tend always toward heaven.

This demonstrates how our mortal life is to be ordered in such a way as to fulfill our duties as citizens of earth and of heaven, and thus to attain the aim of life as established by God. That is, all men, whether taken singly or as united in society, today have the duty of tending ceaselessly during their lifetime toward the attainment of heavenly things and to use, for this purpose only, the earthly goods, the employment of which must not prejudice their eternal happiness...

6. ...[F]rom the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character...

7. ...Nowadays...the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity. She considers that she meets the needs of the present day by demonstrating the validity of her teaching rather than by condemnations...[Men] are ever more deeply convinced of the paramount dignity of the human person and of his perfection as well as of the duties which that implies. Even more important, experience has taught men that violence inflicted on others, the might of arms, and political domination, are of no help at all in finding a happy solution to the grave problems which afflict them...

That being so...[the Church] distributes [to men of today] the goods of divine grace which , raising men to the dignity of sons of God, are the most efficacious safeguards and aids toward a more human life. She opens the fountain of her life-giving doctrine which allows men, enlightened by the light of Christ, to understand well what they really are, what their lofty dignity and their purpose are, and, finally, through her children, she spreads everywhere the fullness of Christian charity, than which nothing is more effective in eradicating the seeds of discord, nothing more efficacious in promoting concord, just peace, and the brotherly unity of all.

[Emphasis in the title is Plinthos']

P.S. What I find important in this text is the service to the whole man, body and soul, the hylomorphism of man, and the defense and advancement of doctrine which is ever ancient and ever new which that entails.
The truth as man experiences it is always one and many. It has many manifestations but itself remains the same.
The new emphasis of Vatican II is the historical element and how the truth of the faith is for all men of every language. The truth in all its integrity is to be presented to and received and appropriated by men of every place and age according to their varying perspective and capacity and it is to be given new life and expression in them. The Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us! This is a central element of the Incarnation, the incarnational reality of the truth of the faith which includes dogmas but ultimately is the very Person of the living God made Man, Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church.
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