Monday, August 27, 2012

Call to Holiness

A brief comment on today's gospel Matt. 23:13-22 and Phariseeism.

The gift needs to be total in order to be real, if it is personal. Otherwise it is superficial, because relationships which remain only on the surface are fake. Authenticity means complete personal dedication.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

On Being Good and Safe

Si non caste, tamen caute. ("If you can't be good, be careful"). That is the wisdom of the world which values natural well-being over the supernatural. Hence "safe" sex means try to keep your dirty actions as clean as possible. Saint Paul (Ephesians 5:1-20, from which this Sunday's second reading is taken) says beware of this degrading wisdom of the world which presents itself as light to justify every form of lust, and is really darkness in disguise.

This worldly wisdom is even forcing it's way into our common greetings. For some years now the New York trains say "Have a 'safe' day," instead of the much more common, still, "have a good day." I have occasioned to hear parents tell their children: "be safe." "Be good!" is a much much safer direction. In other words: you will be safest when you are good. And if you cannot be safe being good, well, live dangerously, then we are in the age of martyrs! Christ was good even when it became dangerous!

Your chastity shall protect you, especially your soul. Protect your soul and your body will lack no good thing! There is no safety in the works of lust. That's death.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Random Advice on Liturgically Accenting the Upcoming Year of Faith (11 October 2012 - 24 November 2013)

Receive communion (daily, if possible) only kneeling and on the tongue and only from an ordained minister. Promote and frequent the Traditional Latin Mass. Make at least a daily visit to the Most Blessed Sacrament and get to confession every week. And pray the daily family Rosary celeriter!

Learn to offer the Traditional Latin Mass and offer it as often as possible. Encourage the laity to kneel for communion and to receive directly on the tongue and to refuse to unnecessarily receive the Sacrament from lay people, and to frequent and promote the Traditional Latin Mass.

Pastors and Chaplains
Restore the Tabernacle to front and center.
Restore the high altar of your Parish (if it had one) making a worthy mensa for it if it was destroyed and exclusively use that restored ad orientem altar during this year of faith to accent the hermeneutic of continuity (continuity with our fathers' faith who built these precious churches and altars all over our land, and continuity with the fathers of the Second Vatican Council all of whom offered the Mass ad orientem on the most venerable altars of the Vatican throughout the Council itself!).
Restore the Communion rails and have cushions made for them for the convenience of the faithful to again receive at the altar on their knees during this year of faith. Encourage them to do so, and only on the tongue. The Communion rail is so efficient that you will not need any help besides the clerics of the parish to distribute Communion in most cases.
To ensure that everyone receive only on the tongue you can distribute the host by intinction and thereby also eliminate the unnecessary and ubiquitous Communion "cup"!
Construct traditional confessionals to eliminate the problematic and ubiquitous confessional room and "face to face" confession, which will also help to "protect God's children"...and God's priests!
Learn to offer the Traditional Latin Mass and do so as often as possible.
Schedule and you yourself offer at least on public Traditional Latin Mass (preferably at least a Missa Cantata if not a High Mass) per month (if not weekly or even daily!) and promote it.
Give Gregorian chant its Vatican II "pride of place" alongside sacred Latin Polyphony in all of the Parish ceremonies. Send your choir directors to the Musica Sacra annual gregorian chant and polyphony Colloquium.

Learn to offer the Traditional Latin Mass and do so as often as possible, and participate in Pontifical Masses as often as possible. Defend, promote and use the Extraordinary Form rituals.

Bishop Ordinaries
Learn to offer the Traditional Latin Mass and do so as often as possible, and participate in Pontifical Masses as often as possible. Make them happen!
Establish (at least) a weekly traditional Mass at the Cathedral and offer it yourself at least monthly.
Restore the tabernacle to front and center in the Cathedral.
Restore the communion rail and its use, encouraging all of the people of the diocese to receive kneeling and directly on the tongue. You yourself follow the example of Pope Benedict and only distribute communion that way, to the kneeling communicant on the tongue. Have the priests of the Cathedral be the exclusive ministers of holy communion in the Cathedral, the clerics of the parish coming out to help with the distribution as necessary.
Give Gregorian chant its Vatican II "pride of place" alongside sacred Latin Polyphony in all of the Cathedral ceremonies. Send your choir directors to the Musica Sacra annual gregorian chant and polyphony Colloquium.
Restore traditional confessionals to your cathedral and eliminate the ubiquitous face to face confessional room which is a problem that has already happened! Help protect God's children and God's priest by reestablishing the age old norm of no priest behind a closed door alone with a woman or a child!
Establish at least one diocesan parish for exclusive use of the Extraordinary Form Rituals.
Firmly require all of the priests and religious within your diocese to always wear their proper clerical and religious attire in public and in the parish and establish and enforce a stiff fine (e.g. $300.00) for each infraction.

Just some random thoughts on how to concretely exercise more deeply our liturgical piety under the rubric of Pope Benedict's "hermeneutic of continuity" and the present "reform of the reform." The year of faith should look and feel like a year of faith: the faith of our fathers, the faith of Pope Benedict XVI, which is the one and only faith of the Church. If we do these simple things we will do much in the exercise of our religious liberty with supreme clarity and thereby change the world regardless of who is president and what laws he enacts. Remember that the purpose of religious liberty is to rightly worship God according to our Tradition under His commands.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Exposing the Enemies of Basic Morality

I saw this Republican billboard today on the Pennsylvania Turnpike I-276 West going from the Delaware Memorial Bridge toward Valley Forge. Great message! However, honest citizens cannot accept the distortion of language and the distorted anthropology on which the confused language rests.

The first term should be in double overlapping quotes to say "so called 'gay' and so called 'marriage.'"

Thus the billboard could read:

Obama supports "'Gay' Marriage" and Abortion!
God condemns "'Gay' Marriage" and Abortion!
What about you?

"'Gay' Marriage" is a double misnomer. The proper terminology would be civilly sanctioned homosexual concubinage. Let's call things by their proper names!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Nine Prayer Postures of Saint Dominic

In his weekly Wednesday General Audience His Holiness referred to a posthumous 13th century dominican work on the prayer of Saint Dominic called Los Nueve Modos de Orar de Santo Domingo. Pope Benedict says that everyone needs to pray even (and especially) on vacation. Prayer is the deepest and most meaningful vacation, the greatest pastime being the company of one's friends. Those who love God love to spend their time with Him, they live to spend time with Him. There is no true vacation therefore without God!

In his list,the Holy Father omitted the third posture: the discipline. Probably because that rigor, though necessary, must be undertaken with caution.

The nine postures of prayer are in ascending order to strive to ascend to God with the body.

1) The standing bow to express humility,

2) prostrate on the floor to beg pardon for his sins,

[3)standing, self flagellation with a metal chain, for one's own sins and for the intentions of our benefactors]

4) kneeling to do penance in participation with the sufferings of the Lord,

5) with arms extended before him like an open book, or crossed before his face, looking at the crucifix to contemplate the Supreme Love,

6) with arms outstretched like the priest at Mass,

7) with his face fixed heavenward feeling himself attracted to the world of God.

8) sitting quietly after the Liturgy of the Hours and after the Mass, reading from time to time from a book or just thinking on God in silent meditation,

9) contemplation of God, on his journeys, in all circumstances and in all things.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Jesus of Nazareth: Part Three

Pope Benedict has now completed, in German, the third volume of Jesus of Nazareth (Die Kindheitsgeschichten) on the childhood of Christ, and it shall soon be published in various languages. He is also working on his fourth encyclical, on faith, for the upcoming year of faith.
Cf. Palazzo Apostolico.

P.S. In his 11 Oct 2011 Motu Proprio Porta Fidei, his Holiness announced the upcoming year of faith which will begin 11 October 2012 (the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, the twentieth anniversary of the promulgation of The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the commemoration of Blessed Pope John XXIII, and the traditional feast of the Theotokos [The Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary]).

The year of faith will end on the Feast of Christ the King 24 November 2013.

The Oud in Heaven

The cover of the current issue of Magnificat has an angel playing an oud (lute), an ancient instrument which I just discovered in Palestine and is very prevalent in Arabic music.

In heaven the angels play the Arab guitar for our Lord and our Lady!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Orphans by Design!

Here is a great article about one of the insidious evils of homosexual households: orphans deliberately made so. The homosexualists now pride themselves on the children (which are necessarily orphans of surrogate parents) they produce for themselves. It is the in vogue exploitation of women and children. Any legalization of homosexual unions involves the approval and promotion of deliberately creating foster children! Both homosexuals in the so-called union are never the true parents of the child. They now deliberately usurp the child of another for their aberrant household to serve their distortion of the family reality.

Doesn't anyone care about the women and the children involved in this? The militant homosexuals and their advocates obviously do not! Where are the women's rights advocates now? No child should be deliberately produced to be raised by foster parents, heterosexual or homosexual.
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