Friday, October 30, 2009

There is No Time But the Present

"Now is the acceptable time. Today is the day of salvation." --Jesus Christ

That is the urgency of the Gospel. God is calling now, calling you to follow Him! Do not delay.

The truth is that all that exists is now. Now is the only reality. All else is hypothesis. The past is gone and the future is always not yet. The present is profoundly real, and for man, with the capacity to genuinely love, it is glorious. Therefore...

There is no time but the present.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Bills

The Mexican government has just issued a limited edition of it's 200 peso note with the image of the patroness of America you see here.

Viva Mexico Catolico!

Viva la Virgen Maria Santisima de Guadalupe!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

I offer here a simple reflection on the present prevailing abuse of "ministers" which confuses the proper nature and function of the priest in the administration of the Sacraments, especially of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is good to consider the nature and role of the priest during this year of the priesthood. Bear in mind that my perspective comes from twenty five years of parish ministry in the northeast (including daily parish Masses during my yearly vacations in sundry parts of the country and the world).

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (emhc's) are not necessary in the parish liturgies of the United States to distribute Holy Communion. It is an artificial necessity produced by

1. needless use of the "cup" at Mass;

2. the ubiquitous communion line (which, along with "communion in the hand," considerably makes the distribution of the host more tedious and time-consuming for the priests and for the communicants [N.B. Kneeling reception at the communion rail is much more expeditious for the priest(s) distributing {because the communicant waits for him} and much more leisurely and devout {much less like "fast food"} for the communicant, who can remain in kneeling prayerful adoration for a few moments as the priest(s) go(es) down the rail.]);

3. the slothful neglect of the priests of the parish who should come out during communion time to help in the distribution when necessary; and

4. the tabernacle too far removed from the sanctuary.

The Catholic logic and true sacramental and sacerdotal perspective is that every parish should regret having to use emhc's and, therefore, use them as little as possible and ever less.

Every emhc should likewise regret having to handle the Most Sacred Host, the touching of which is proper only to the ordained clergy!

And every priest should himself regret and limit, as much as possible, by his sacramental zeal and work, this irregular situation.

Below is the relevant quote from the Vatican on this abuse and the need for immediate correction. The full text of the document is at


The Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion

The non-ordained faithful already collaborate with the sacred ministers in diverse pastoral situations since "This wonderful gift of the Eucharist, which is the greatest gift of all, demands that such an important mystery should be increasingly better known and its saving power more fully shared".(95)

Such liturgical service is a response to the objective needs of the faithful especially those of the sick and to those liturgical assemblies in which there are particularly large numbers of the faithful who wish to receive Holy Communion.

§ 1. The canonical discipline concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must be correctly applied so as to avoid generating confusion. The same discipline establishes that the ordinary minister of Holy Communion is the Bishop, the Priest and the the Deacon.(96)

Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are those instituted as acolytes and the faithful so deputed in accordance with Canon 230, § 3.(97)

A non-ordained member of the faithful, in cases of true necessity, may be deputed by the diocesan bishop, using the appropriate form of blessing for these situation, to act as an extraordinary minister to distribute Holy Communion outside of liturgical celebrations ad actum vel ad tempus or for a more stable period. In exceptional cases or in un foreseen circumstances, the priest presiding at the liturgy may authorize such ad actum.(98)

§ 2. Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion.(99) They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. (100)

This function is supplementary and extraordinary (101) and must be exercised in accordance with the norm of law. It is thus useful for the diocesan bishop to issue particular norms concerning extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion which, in complete harmony with the universal law of the Church, should regulate the exercise of this function in his diocese. Such norms should provide, amongst other things, for matters such as the instruction in eucharistic doctrine of those chosen to be extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the meaning of the service they provide, the rubrics to be observed, the reverence to be shown for such an august Sacrament and instruction concerning the discipline on admission to Holy Communion.

To avoid creating confusion, certain practices are to be avoided and eliminated where such have emerged in particular Churches:

— extraordinary ministers receiving Holy Communion apart from the other faithful as though concelebrants;

— association with the renewal of promises made by priests at the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, as well as other categories of faithful who renew religious vows or receive a mandate as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion;

— the habitual use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion at Mass thus arbitrarily extending the concept of "a great number of the faithful".

(95) Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments, Premiss of the Instruction Immensae caritatis (29 January 1973), AAS 65 (1973), p. 264.
(96) Cf. C.I.C., can. 910, § 1; cf. John Paul II, Letter Dominicae coenae (24 February 1980), n. 11; AAS 72 (1980), p. 142.
(97) Cf. C.I.C., can. 910, § 2.
(98) Cf. Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Immensae caritatis (29 January 1973), AAS 65 (1973), p. 264, n. 1; Missale Romanum, Appendix: Ritus ad deputandum ministrum S. Communionis ad actum distribuendae; Pontificale Romanum, De institutione lectorum et acolythorum.
(99) Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of The Code of Canon Law, Response (1 June 1998), AAS 80 (1988), p. 1373.
(100) Cf. Sacred Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments, Instruction Immensae caritatis (29 January 1973), n. 1; AAS 65 (1973), p. 264; Sacred Congregation for the Sacraments and Divine Worship, Instruction Inestimabile donum (3 April 1980), n. 10: AAS 72 (1980), p. 336.
(101) Can. 230, § 2 and § 3 C.I.C., affirms that the liturgical services can be assigned to non-ordained faithful only "ex temporanea deputatione" or for supply.

For more on the topic of liturgical abuses please go to

As you see, the proper perspective here is restrictive and requiring the greatest care to safeguard the exclusivity of the priestly function so as to show the uniqueness of the priestly nature and dignity.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pope Makes it Easier for Anglicans to Convert

Tue Oct 20 12:31:38 UTC 2009
By Philip Pullella

- Pope Benedict on Tuesday took a major step to make it easier for disaffected Anglicans who feel their Church has become too liberal to convert to Roman Catholicism.

The move comes after years of discontent in some sectors of the 77-million-strong worldwide Anglican community over the ordination of women priests and homosexual bishops.

While both sides stressed the step would not affect dialogue between the two Churches, it was clear it was taken because of the growing number of Anglicans who want to leave their Church.

The Vatican said the Pope had approved a document known as an "Apostolic Constitution" to accept Anglicans who want to join Catholicism, either individually or in groups, while maintaining some of their own traditions.

It marks perhaps the clearest and boldest institutional step by the Vatican to welcome disaffected Anglicans into the fold since King Henry VIII broke with Rome and set himself up at the head of the new Church of England in 1534.

The new structure allows for the appointment of leaders, usually bishops who will come from the ranks of unmarried former Anglican priests, to oversee communities of former Anglicans who become Catholics and recognize the pope as their leader."

In this way, the Apostolic Constitution seeks to balance on the one hand the concern to preserve the worthy Anglican liturgical and spiritual patrimony and, on the other hand, the concern that these groups and their clergy will be integrated into the Catholic Church," the Vatican said.

It said the decision was taken to respond "to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion."

The most prominent recent Anglican convert to Catholicism was former British prime minister Tony Blair, who joined after leaving office in 2007.

The new regulations, due to come into effect soon, will not affect the Catholic Church's ban on its own priests marrying. But they will continue the age-old practice of allowing a married Anglican priest who converts to remain married.

Anglicans will find it easier than before to join the Catholic Church because they will be able to use a standard benchmark of rules and obligations for conversion.

Men who want to become priests and come from an Anglican background will study together with Catholic seminarians even if they are destined to eventually administer to former Anglicans.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the worldwide Anglican communion, told a news conference in London that he did not see the Vatican move as "an act of aggression" or vote of no confidence, but part of a routine relationship between the two churches.

Both Vatican and Anglican officials stressed that both churches would continue dialogue aimed at eventual reunion."

This is not a comment on the life of the Anglican Communion. This is a response to people who came forward," said Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster and head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

Vatican and Anglican officials were coy when asked about the number of potential converts."
We will have to wait and see how many people put their hands up and say they are interested," said Nichols, describing the pope's response as "courageous and generous."

Traditional Bishops Appointed to the Congregatio Pro Episcopis

Vatican City, Oct 23, 2009 / 05:06 pm (CNA).

- Former Archbishop of St. Louis Raymond Burke has been appointed to the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, it was announced last Saturday.

The congregation is responsible for giving recommendations to the Pope on who should be a candidate to serve as a Catholic bishop. The 61-year-old prelate could have a significant impact on the composition of the future leadership of the Catholic Church, since the appointment lasts for five years and can be renewed until he turns 80.

Archbishop Burke is also prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, which is often called the “Vatican's Supreme Court.”

Cardinal Justin Rigali, the Archbishop of Philadelphia and also a former Archbishop of St. Louis, is another member of the Congregation of Bishops. A total of five Americans have been members of the office.

Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, was also appointed to the Congregation of Bishops this past Saturday.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Christianity is Essential for Civilization

"The civilization of the world is Christian civilization; the more frankly Christian it is, so much is it more true, more lasting and more productive of precious fruit; the more it withdraws from the Christian ideal, so much the feebler is it, to the great detriment of society... (The Judgement of the Nations, Dawson p. 97)

"...Without justice the state is nothing but organized robbery and the law of nations nothing but the law of the destruction of the weak." (Ibid., p. 100)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Why We Prefer the Traditional Mass

Here is the second half of the homily delivered by Bishop Fernando Rifan at the ushering in of the Year of the Priesthood on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, 19 June 2009, Saint Jean Baptiste, New York City, in which he explains the reasons traditionalists love and prefer the traditional form of the Mass.

...But the most important demonstration of the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the Holy Eucharist. “Jesus . . . having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end." (John 13:1)

Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is the companion of our exile, by His real presence: “Come to Me, all you that labour and are burdened, and I will refresh you.” (Matthew 11:28) He is our friend, our brother, our Father, our consolation in our life.

Jesus in Holy Communion is the food of our souls and, by this food, we live in Him and He in us: “He that eateth My Flesh and drinketh My Blood, abideth in Me, and I in him.” (John 6:57) So, in the Holy Communion, we enter into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. And this Sacred Heart is open, like we pray in the Preface of this Mass, “ut apértum Cor divínæ largitátis sacrárium, torréntes nobis fúnderet miseratiónis et grátiæ, et quod amóre nostri flagráre numquam déstitit, piis esset réquies et pœnítentibus patéret salútis refúgium” (“from His opened Heart, the sacred Treasury of divine bounty, streams of mercy and grace might pour out upon us; a resting place of peace for the devout and a refuge of salvation to the penitent”).

And more! Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is a Victim perpetually offered for us. This is the miracle of the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He renews continually in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, although unbloody, the same offering which He made on Calvary.

In the Holy Sacrifice, Jesus is both priest and victim, offering Himself by the hands of His ministers.

Because of all that, the Eucharist is something so great, so magnificent, so wonderful that it is worth the highest respect, the greatest sense of the sacred, the best demonstration of our worship and adoration.

As Pope John Paul II said in his Encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the Eucharist is something so great that it cannot be made the object of ambiguities, liberties, creativities, adaptations, reductions and instrumentalizations.1

Because of all that, we conserve the traditional liturgical form of the Holy Mass.

And let us put the question: Why do we love, preserve, conserve and prefer the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, the so called Traditional Mass?

Would it be only because we are nostalgic or sentimentally attached to the past forms of the liturgy? Would it be because we deny the power of the Pope to modify and promulgate liturgical law? Would it be because we consider the new Mass, Paul VI’s Mass, invalid, heterodox, sinful, sacrilegious or not Catholic? Not at all! We are Catholic, of course.

It is not for these bad and mistaken reasons, but for a question of better and more precise expression of our Faith in the Eurcharistic dogmas: for safety; for protection against abuse; for the good of the whole Church, for contribution to the liturgical crisis’ reform; for wealth and solemnity of rites; for better precision and rigidity of rubrics, giving no space to manipulations as complained the Pope John Paul II; for the sense of sacredness; for the greater wealth and precision of the prayers’ formulas; for reverence, for personal and ritual humility; for elevation and nobility of ceremonies; for respect, beauty, good taste, piety, sacred language, tradition and legitimate right recognized by the Church’s Supreme Authority, and in perfect communion with the Holy Father, that is, with the Church. We love the old form of the Roman Rite, as a treasure of the Catholic Liturgy.

My dear brethren, how we are happy being Catholics! Every day, in our Church, it is Christmas, because Jesus born on the altar. Every day in our Church it is Good Friday, because Jesus renews his passion on the altar. Every day it is Easter, because Jesus, in the altar, is alive, resurrected, as He is in Heaven. Really, we are very rich!

St. Augustine said: God, even being almighty, the most powerful, cannot or could not give more; even being the wisest, did not know how to give more; even being (the) richest, did not have more to give than Himself in the Eucharist.

As the Eucharist is the summit and the center of the Church, and the greatest demonstration of the love of God, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, present in the Eucharist, must be the summit, the center of our lives forever. Amen.

1. “The Eucharist is too great a gift to tolerate ambiguity and depreciation.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, No. 10). “It must be lamented that, especially in the years following the post-conciliar liturgical reform, as a result of a misguided sense of creativity and adaptation there have been a number of abuses which have been a source of suffering for many.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, No. 52). “The mystery of the Eucharist­ . . . does not allow for reduction or exploitation.” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, No. 61 (emphasis in original)).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jesus intuitus eum, dilexit eum...

"Jesus, looking at him, loved him." Mk 10:21 (28th Sunday Ordinary Time: B)

God beholds thee individually, whoever thou art. He "calls thee by thy name." He sees thee, and understands thee, as He made thee. He knows what is in thee, all thy own peculiar feelings and thoughts, thy dispositions and likings, thy strength and they weakness. He views thee in thy day of rejoicing, and thy day of sorrow. He sympathizes in thy hopes and thy temptations. He interests Himself in all thy anxieties and remembrances, all the very hairs of thy head and the cubits of thy stature. He compasses thee round and bears thee in His arms; He takes thee up and sets thee down. He notes thy very countenance, whether smiling or in tears, whether healthful or sickly. He looks tenderly upon thy hands and thy feet; He hearest thy voice, the beating of thy heart, and thy very breathing. Thou dost not love thyself better than He loves thee. Thou canst not shrink from pain more that He dislikes thy bearing it; and if He puts it on thee, it is as thou wilt put it on thyself, if thou art wise, for a greater good afterwards. Thou art not only His creature (though for the very sparrows He has a care, and pitied the "much cattle" of Nineveh), thou art man redeemed and sanctified, His adopted son, favoured with a portion of that glory and blessedness which flows from Him everlastingly unto the Only-begotten. Thou art chosen to be His, even above thy fellows who dwell in the East and South. Thou wast one of those for whom Christ offered up His last prayer, and sealed it with His precious blood. What a thought is this, a thought almost too great for our faith! Scarce can we refrain from acting Sarah's part, when we bring it before us, so as to "laugh" from amazement and perplexity. What is man, what are we, what am I, that the Son of God should be so mindful of me? What am I, that He should have raised me from almost a devil's nature to that of an Angel's? that He should have changed my soul's original constitution, new-made me, who from my youth up have been a transgressor, and should Himself dwell personally in this very heart of mine, making me His temple? What am I, that God the Holy Ghost should enter into me, and draw up my thoughts heavenward "with plaints unutterable?"

These are the meditations which come upon the Christian to console him, while he is with Christ upon the holy mount. And, when he descends to his daily duties, they are still his inward strength, though he is not allowed to tell the vision to those around him. They make his countenance to shone, make him cheerful, collected, serene, and firm in the midst of all temptation, persecution, or bereavement. And with such thoughts before us, how base and miserable does the world appear in all its pursuits and doctrines! How truly miserable does it seem to seek good from the creature; to covet station, wealth, or credit; to chose for ourselves, in fancy, this or that mode of life; to affect the manners and fashions of the great; to spend our time in follies; to be discontented, quarrelsome, jealous or envious, censorious or resentful; fond of unprofitable talk, and eager for the news of the day; busy about public matter which concern us not; hot in the cause of this or that interest or party; or set upon gain; or devoted to the increase of barren knowledge! And at the end of our days, when flesh and heart fail, what will be our consolation, though we have made ourselves rich, or have served an office, or been the first man among our equals, or have depressed a rival, or managed things our own way, or have settled splendidly, or have been intimate with the great, or have fared sumptuously, or have gained a name! Say, even if we obtain that which last longest, a place in history, yet, after all, what ashes shall we have eaten for bread! And, in that awful hour, when death is in sight, will He, whose eye is now so loving towards us, and whose hand falls on us so gently, will He acknowledge us any more? or, if He still speaks, will His voice have any power to stir us? rather will it not repel us, as it did Judas, by the very tenderness with which it would invite us to Him?

Newman, "A Particular Providence as Revealed in the Gospel" from Parochial and Plains Sermons, Ignatius Press 1997  pp. 562-564

Heterosexual Monogamy

"...[F]rom the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female'... (Mk. 10:2-16)

This cosmological reference to Genesis (from last Sunday's novus ordo Mass [27th Sunday in Ordinary Time, B]) is Christ's own proof for the condemnation of divorce (and the adultery implicit therein), which is also a striking and timely condemnation of the immorality of man with man and woman with woman.

Why are sexual sins wrong? How do we know they are wrong? Because they go against the way God made marriage "from the beginning of creation!:" the union of one man and one woman, exclusive and permanent and for children.

Marriage is the only proper context for human genital contact. God made it so! It is no human invention! Marriage is the wonderful creation of God, it is the school of self donation, the best sign of His holy love. God is love, that is why sex must be holy!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Benefits of Frequent Confession

In Gospel of the '62 Mass of today (18th Sunday after Pentecost) Christ forgives the sins of the lame man.

In Mystici Corporis, 88 Pope Pius XII countered the error of those who discouraged the practice of frequent confession and highlighted the benefits of devotional confessions.

The same result follows from the opinions of those who assert that little importance should be given to the frequent confession of venial sins. Far more important, they say, is that general confession which the Spouse of Christ, surrounded by her children in the Lord, makes each day by the mouth of the priest as he approaches the altar of God. As you well know, Venerable Brethren, it is true that venial sins may be expiated in many ways which are to be highly commended. But to ensure more rapid progress day by day in the path of virtue, We will that the pious practice of frequent confession, which was introduced into the Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, should be earnestly advocated.
By it
[1] genuine self-knowledge is increased,
[2] Christian humility grows,
[3] bad habits are corrected,
[4] spiritual neglect and tepidity are resisted,
[5] the conscience is purified,
[5] the will strengthened,
[6] a salutary self-control is attained, and
[7] grace is increased in virtue of the Sacrament itself.
Let those, therefore, among the younger clergy who make light of or lessen esteem for frequent confession realize that what they are doing is alien to the Spirit of Christ and disastrous for the Mystical Body of our Savior.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ratzinger's Rejected Thesis Finally Published, With New Preface

Here is an article, bringing us up to date on the publishing of the Opera Omnia of Josef Ratzinger, which includes Pope Benedict's preface to the second published volume of the collected works. It comes from Sandro Magister at

A Newly Published Work by Ratzinger the Theologian. From 54 Years Ago, But Always Relevant
It is his doctoral thesis on Saint Bonaventure and the theology of history. With the backdrop of the Joachim of Fiore''s vision of a new and completely "spiritual" Church. The complete text of the preface written recently by the pope by Sandro Magister
ROME, September 18, 2009 – The publication in German of Joseph Ratzinger's "opera omnia" is moving forward fast. The first of the sixteen volumes planned came out less than a year ago. The second was presented to its author on Sunday, September 13, at Castel Gandolfo (see photo). A third will come out in November.
Interest in the first volume – properly speaking, the eleventh volume in the general outline – was increased by the author's desire to republish first his writings on the liturgy, which in the preface he calls "the central activity of my life."The interest of this second volume lies, instead, in the fact that it finally brings to the printing press a text by Ratzinger that until now had never been published in its entirety: the thesis that he presented in 1955 in order to be allowed teach theology in the German universities.After his first studies on Saint Augustine, it was suggested to the young theologian Ratzinger that he research the most Augustinian of the medieval theologians, the Franciscan Saint Bonaventure of Bagnoregio, and in particular his ideas concerning divine revelation and the theology of history.
Ratzinger dug deep in his research. And he discovered that in Bonaventure, there is a strong connection with the vision of Joachim of Fiore, the Franciscan who had prophesied the imminent advent of a third age after those of the Father and the Son, an age of the Spirit, with a renewed and entirely "spiritual" Church, poor, reconciled with Greeks and Jews, in a world restored to peace.
One of the examiners, professor Michael Schmaus, didn't like the thesis. But Ratzinger avoided rejection by representing only the second part of his text, which had not received any objections. In later years, he resolved to produce a new and updated publication of the entire thesis, but was unable to do so. As cardinal, he resolved to work on it in his retirement. But then he was elected pope, and the project was inevitably scrapped.
Republished now in its original and complete version, the thesis seems to have been superseded here and there by later studies. Ratzinger realizes that. But he maintains that "the question of the essence of Revelation, which is the theme of the book, still has urgency today, perhaps even more so than in the past."
In reading his preface to this second volume of the "opera omnia" – reproduced further below – it can be grasped that Benedict XVI still sees as relevant the challenge that Bonaventure had to confront as superior general of the Franciscan order: the "dramatic tension between the 'realists', who wanted to make use of the legacy of Saint Francis according to the concrete possibilities of the life of the order as it had been handed down, and the 'spiritualists', who instead focused on the radical novelty of a new historical period.
"Henri De Lubac, one of the greatest Catholic theologians of the twentieth century, dedicated an imposing two-volume essay to what he called "the intellectual posterity of Joachim of Fiore."In the judgment of De Lubac, Joachim's vision – the friar "endowed with prophetic spirit" whom Dante placed in Paradise – has spanned the centuries and continues to influence a large portion of today's culture, including Catholic culture: a culture that dreams of "a new Church in which love must replace the law."The exact opposite of that "Caritas in Veritate" which provides the title for Benedict XVI's latest encyclical, and informs his entire magisterium.
Preface to the second volume of my writings
by Joseph Ratzinger
After the publication of my writings on the liturgy, there now follows in the general edition of my works a book with the theological studies on the great Franciscan and doctor of the Church Bonaventure Fidanza. From the beginning, it was evident that this work would also contain my studies on the holy doctor's concept of Revelation, conducted from 1953-1955 together with the interpretation of his theology of history, but unpublished before now.In order to complete this work, the manuscript needed to be revised and corrected according to modern editorial standards, something that I did not feel capable of doing. Professor Marianne Schlosser, who has an extensive knowledge of medieval theology and of the works of Saint Bonaventure in particular, graciously offered to undertake this necessary and certainly not easy work. For this I must thank her from the bottom of my heart. Discussing the project, we immediately agreed that no attempt should be made to revise the book's content and bring the research up to date. More than half a century after the writing of the text, in practice this would have meant writing a new book. Moreover, I wanted this to be an "historical" edition, which would offer in its original condition a text elaborated a long time ago, leaving to research the possibility of finding value in it still today. The editorial work is the subject of the introduction by Professor Schlosser, who together with her coworkers has invested a great deal of time and effort in the production of an historical edition of the text, confiding in the fact that theologically and historically, it was worthwhile to make it available to all in its entirety. In the second part of the book, "The Theology of History in St. Bonaventure" is presented again as it was published in 1959. The essays that follow it are taken, with few exceptions, from the study of the interpretation of Revelation and of the theology of history. In some cases, they have been adapted to make them self-contained texts, with slight modifications according to the context.I had to give up temporarily the idea of updating the manuscript and presenting it as a book for the public, as well as the project of a scholarly commentary on the "Hexameron," because the work of being an expert adviser at the council and the requirements of my teaching position were so demanding as to make medieval research unthinkable. In the postconciliar period, the changed theological situation and the new situation in the German university absorbed me so completely that I delayed the work on Bonaventure until after my retirement. In the meantime, the Lord has led me along a different path, so the book is now being published in its present form. I hope that others will take on the task of commenting on the "Hexameron."
At first, the presentation of the theme of this work might seem surprising, and in fact it is. After my thesis on the conception of the Church in Saint Augustine, my teacher Gottlieb Söhngen suggested to me that I dedicate myself to the Middle Ages, and in particular to the figure of Saint Bonaventure, who was the most significant representative of the Augustinian movement in medieval theology.As for the content, I had to face the second important question addressed by fundamental theology, meaning the theme of Revelation. At that time, in particular because of the famous work by Oscar Cullmann "Christus und die Zeit [Christ and time] (Zürich, 1946), the theme of salvation history, especially its relationship with the metaphysical, had become the focal point of theological interest. If neo-Scholastic theology essentially understood Revelation as the divine transmission of mysteries, which remain inaccessible to the human mind, today Revelation is considered as God's manifestation of himself in an historical action, and salvation history is seen as a central element of Revelation. My task was to try to discover how Bonaventure understood Revelation, and if for him there was anything like an idea of "salvation history."
It was a difficult task. Medieval theology does not provide any treatises "de Revelatione," on Revelation, as is the case with modern theology. Moreover, I immediately demonstrated that medieval theology also does not have any term for expressing, from the perspective of content, our modern concept of Revelation. The word "revelatio," which is common in neo-Scholastic and medieval theology, does not mean, as has been demonstrated, the same thing in medieval and modern theology. For this reason, I had to seek the answers to my framing of the problem in other forms of language and thought, and even modify this framing with respect to my first approach of Bonaventure's works. In the first place, difficult research had to be done on his language. I had to set aside our concepts in order to understand what Bonaventure meant by Revelation. In any case, it has been demonstrated that the conceptual content of Revelation was adapted to a great number of concepts: "revelatio," "manifestatio," "doctrina," "fides," and so forth. Only a vision of the entire scope of these concepts and their usage brings an understanding of the idea of Revelation in Bonaventure.
The fact that medieval theology had no concept of "salvation history" in the current sense of the term was clear from the beginning. Nonetheless, two indications demonstrate that the problem of revelation as an historical journey was present in Bonaventure.In the first place, Revelation was was presented as the dual figure of the Old and New Testament, which posed the question of the harmony between the unity of truth and the diversity of historical mediation, raised since the patristic era and then addressed again by the medieval theologians.
To this classic form of the problem of the relationship between history and truth, which Bonaventure shared with the theology of his time and addressed in his own way, he also adds the novelty of his historical point of view, in which history, which is the unfolding of the divine work, becomes a dramatic challenge.Joachim of Fiore (died 1202) had taught about a Trinitarian rhythm in history. The age of the Father (Old Testament) and the age of the Son (New Testament, Church) had to be followed by an age of the Holy Spirit, in which observance of the Sermon on the Mount would produce a spirit of poverty, reconciliation between Greeks and Latins, reconciliation between Christians and Jews, and a time of peace. Through a combination of symbolic numbers, the erudite abbot had predicted the beginning of a new age in 1260. Around 1240, the Franciscan movement ran across these writings, which had an electric effect on many: had this age not begun, perhaps, with Saint Francis of Assisi? For this reason, a dramatic tension was created within the Order between the "realists," who wanted to make use of the legacy of Saint Francis according to the concrete possibilities of the life of the Order as it had been handed down, and the "spiritualists," who instead focused on the radical novelty of a new historical period.
As minister general of the Order, Bonaventure had to confront the enormous challenge of this tension, which for him was not an academic question, but a concrete problem of his post as the seventh successor of Saint Francis. In this sense, history was suddenly tangible as reality, and as such had to be faced with real action and theological reflection. In my studies, I tried to explain the manner in which Bonaventure approached this challenge and made the connection between salvation history and Revelation.I had not read the text since 1962. So it was exciting for me to reread it after such a long time. It is clear that the framing of the problem and the language of the book were influenced by the situation in the 1950's. Especially in the case of linguistic studies, the technical means that we have now did not exist. For this reason, the work has its limits, and it is evidently influenced by the historical period in which it was conceived. Nonetheless, in rereading it I got the impression that its answers are well-founded, although it has been superseded in many of its details, and that it still has something to say today. Above all I realized that the question of the essence of Revelation and the fact of posing it again, which is the theme of the book, still have urgency today, perhaps even more so than in the past.At the end of this preface, I would like to thank, in addition to Professor Schlosser, the bishop of Regensburg, Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who by founding the Institut Papst Benedikt XVI has made the publication of this work possible, and actively followed the editing of my writings. I also thank the collaborators of the Institute, Professor Rudolf Voderholzer, Christian Schaller, Franz-Xaver Heibl, and Gabriel Weiten. Last but not least I thank the publishing house Herder, which worked on the publication of this book with its characteristic accuracy.
I dedicate the work to my brother Georg for his eighty-fifth birthday, thankful for a lifelong communion of thought and activity.Rome, solemnity of the Ascension of Christ, 2009.
The summaries of the first three volumes of the "opera omnia" by Joseph Ratzinger," on the website of the publisher Herder:

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Incipit Sancti Rosarii recitatio

Per signum (†) Sanctae Crucis, de inimicis (†) nostris, libera nos (†), Deus noster. In nómine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Spiritus Sanctus invocatur:

Antiphona. Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende.
V. Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur.
R. Et renovabis faciem terrae.

Oremus. DEUS, qui corda fidelium Sancti Spiritus illustratione docuisti: da nobis in eodem Spiritu recta sapere, et de eius semper consolatione gaudere. Per Christum Dominum nostrum. R. Amen.

Actus contritionis: O mi Domine Iesu, verus Deus et Homo verus, Creator, Pater et Redemptor meus, in qui credo et spero et quem super omnia diligo: me poenitet ex toto corde propter peccata mea quia Tu Deus bonus es ac me poenis inferni punire potes, et Tua gratia adiuvante emendationem in futuris polliceor. Amen.

Formula Rosarium offerendi: Domine Deus noster, dirige et educ omnes nostras cogitationes, verba, affectus, opera et desideria ad maiorem Tuum honorem et gloriam. Et Te, Virgo beatissima, a Filio Tuo largire ut attente ac devote hanc coronam Sanctissimi Tui Rosarii recitemus, quam pro Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae atque nostris necessitatibus tam spiritualibus quam temporalibus offerimus, necnon et pro bono vivorum et suffragio defunctorum gratulationis Tuae ac maioris nostrae obligationis.

Maria, Mater gratiae, Mater misericordiae: Tu nos ab hoste protege et hora mortis suscipe.

V. Dignare me laudare Te, Virgo sacrata.
R. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.

Mysteria hodie contemplanda gaudiosa – luminosa – dolorosa – gloriosa sunt.

Post enuntiationem omni mysterii Pater, decies Ave et Gloria Patri dicuntur.

In fine singuli mysterii: O mi Iesu, peccata nostra dimitte nobis, ab igne inferni defende nos; perduc in coelum onmium animas, eorum imprimis qui maxime misericordia Tua indigent.

Gaudii Mysteria
I. Incarnatio Verbi Dei ex Spiritu Sancto in sinu Virginis Mariae.
II. Visitatio Beatae Mariae Virginis ad Elisabeth.
III. Nativitas Filii Dei in Bethlehem Iuda.
IV. Purificatio Beatae Mariae Virginis et Presentatio Pueri in Templo.
V. Inventio Pueri in Templo in medio Legis doctorum.

Lucis Mysteria
I. Baptisma Iesu Christi a Ioanne praecursore apud Iordanem.
II. Miraculum ad nuptias in Cana Galilaeae.
III. Proclamatio Regni Dei et invitatio ad conversionem.
IV. Transfiguratio Iesu Christi super montem Thabor.
V. Institutio Sanctissimae Eucharistiae Sacrificii et Sacramenti.

Doloris Mysteria
I. Oratio Iesu Christi in horto Gethsemani super monten Olivarum.
II. Flagellatio Iesu Christi ad columnam.
III. Coronatio spinarum.
IV. Sanctae Crucis baiulatio.
V. Divini Salvatoris nostri crucifixio, mors et sepultura.

Gloriae Mysteria
I. Resurrectio Iesu Christi a mortuis.
II. Ascensio Iesu Christi in coelos.
III. Missio Spiritus Sancti Paraclyti as Apostolos.
IV. Gloriosa Beatae Mariae Virginis in coelum Assumptio.
V. Coronatio Beatae Mariae Virginis Regina coelorum in terris.

Gratiarum actio: Gratias innumeras agimus Tibi, Augusta Principissa, propter omnia beneficia a munificentissima manu Tua accepimus: dignare, Domina nostra, nos sub Tua protectione et refugio semper conservare, ad quem dicimus Tibi:

Antiphona. Salve, Regina, mater misericordiae, vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae. Ad te suspiramus, gementes et flentes in hac lacrimarum valle. Eia, ergo, advocata nostra, illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte. Et Iesum, benedictum fructum ventris tui, nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.

V. Ora pro nobis, sancta Dei Genetrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Deus cujus Unigénitus per vitam, mortem et resurrectiónem suam nobis salútis aeternae praemia comparávit: concéde, quaesumus; ut, haec mystéria sacratíssimo beátae Mariae Virginis Rosário recoléntes, et imitémur quod cóntinent, et quod promíttunt, assequámur. Per eúndem Christum Dóminum nostrum. R. Amen.

Adprobatae a Sixto PP V cum bulla Reddituri 11 iulii A.Dni. 1587

Kyrie eleison
Christe eleison
Kyrie eleison
Christe, audi nos
Christe, exaudi nos
Pater de coelis, Deus, miserere nobis
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus, miserere nobis
Spiritus Sancte, Deus, miserere nobis
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, miserere nobis
Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis
Sancta Dei Genitrix, ora pro nobis
Sancta Virgo virginum, ora pro nobis
Mater Christi, ora pro nobis
Mater Ecclesiae, ora pro nobis
Mater Divinae Gratiae, ora pro nobis
Mater purissima, ora pro nobis
Mater castissima, ora pro nobis
Mater inviolata, ora pro nobis
Mater intemerata, ora pro nobis
Mater immaculata, ora pro nobis
Mater amabilis, ora pro nobis
Mater admirabilis, ora pro nobis
Mater boni consilii, ora pro nobis
Mater Creatoris, ora pro nobis
Mater Salvatoris, ora pro nobis
Virgo prudentissima, ora pro nobis
Virgo veneranda, ora pro nobis
Virgo praedicanda, ora pro nobis
Virgo potens, ora pro nobis
Virgo clemens, ora pro nobis
Virgo fidelis, ora pro nobis
Speculum iustitiae, ora pro nobis
Sedes sapientiae, ora pro nobis
Causa nostrae laetitiae, ora pro nobis
Vas spirituale, ora pro nobis
Vas honorabile, ora pro nobis
Vas insigne devotionis, ora pro nobis
Rosa Mystica, ora pro nobis
Turris davidica, ora pro nobis
Turris eburnea, ora pro nobis
Domus aurea, ora pro nobis
Foederis arca, ora pro nobis
Ianua Caeli, ora pro nobis
Stella matutina, ora pro nobis
Salus infirmorum, ora pro nobis
Refugium peccatorum, ora pro nobis
Consolatrix afflictorum, ora pro nobis
Auxilium christianorum, ora pro nobis
Regina angelorum, ora pro nobis
Regina patriarcharum, ora pro nobis
Regina prophetarum, ora pro nobis
Regina apostolorum, ora pro nobis
Regina martyrum, ora pro nobis
Regina confessorum, ora pro nobis
Regina virginum, ora pro nobis
Regina sanctorum omnium, ora pro nobis
Regina sine labe originale concepta, ora pro nobis
Regina in caelum assumpta, ora pro nobis
Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii, ora pro nobis
Regina familiae, ora pro nobis
Regina pacis, ora pro nobis
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parce nobis, Domine
Agnus Dei qui tollis peccata mundi, exaudi nos, Domine
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis

Antiphona. Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix: nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necesitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta.

V. Ora pro nobis, Sancta Dei Genetrix.
R. Ut digni efficiamur promissionibus Christi.

Oremus. Concede nos, fámulos tuos quaésumus Dómine Deus, perpetua mentis et córporis sanitáte gaudére, et gloriósa beatae Maríae semper Vírginis intercessione, a praesenti liberári tristitia, et aeterna pérfrui laetitia. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. R. Amen.

Ad Sanctum Ioseph Leonis PP XIII precatio pro mense octobris: Ad Te, beate Ioseph, in tribulatione nostra confugimus, atque, implorato Sponsae tuae sanctissimae auxilio, patrocinium quoque tuum fidenter exposcimus. Per eam, quaesumus quae te cum immaculata Virgine Dei Genetrice coniunxit, caritatem, perque paternum, quo Puerum Iesum amplexus es, amorem, supplices deprecamur, ut ad hereditatem, quam Iesus Christus acquisivit Sanguine suo, benignus respicias, ac necessitatibus nostris tua virtute et ope succurras. Tuere, o Custos providentissime divinae Familiae, Iesu Christi subolem electam; prohibe a nobis, amantissime Pater, omnem errorum ac corruptelarum luem; propitius nobis, sospitator noster fortissime, in hoc cum potestate tenebrarum certamine e caelo adesto; et sicut olim Puerum Iesum e summo eripuisti vitae discrimine, ita nunc Ecclesiam sanctam Dei ab hostilibus insidiis atque ab omni adversitate defende: nosque singulos perpetuo tege patrocinio, ut ad tui exemplar et ope tua suffulti, sancte vivere, pie emori, sempiternamque in caelis beatitudinem assequi possimus. R. Amen.

Ad mentem Romani Pontificis precamur ut omnes indulgentias Sanctissimo Beatae Mariae Virginis Rosario concessas consequamur: Pater, Ave, Credo.

Et fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei, requiescant in pace. Amen.

V. Nos, cum prole pia.
R. Benedicat Virgo Maria.

Et sic Rosarium terminatur.


Viva María, viva el Rosario,
viva Santo Domingo, que lo ha fundado.

El demonio a la oreja
te está diciendo:
no reces el Rosario
sigue durmiendo.

Viva María, viva el Rosario,
viva Santo Domingo, que lo ha fundado.

Quien quiera bendiciones,
paz y alegría,
rezar debe el Rosario
todos los días.

Viva María, viva el Rosario,
viva Santo Domingo que lo ha fundado.

Los dieces del Rosario
son la escalera
para subir al cielo
las almas buenas.

Viva María, viva el Rosario,
viva Santo Domingo que lo ha fundado.

Devoto de María:
si gracias quieres
rezarás el Rosario
y nunca peques.

Viva María, viva el Rosario,
iva Santo Domingo que lo ha fundado.

El Rosario a María
todos debemos
rezarle cada día
para ir al cielo.

Viva María, viva el Rosario,
viva Santo Domingo que lo ha fundado.

Vatican Radio in Latin

Nuntii Latini

Going through the German Catholic News this morning I came across the weekly Vatican Radio News in Latin!

To listen, in the above link, click the audio icon under the in the section you would like to hear.

Apparently it has been going since 2006. The icon for it appears on their German page but not on their English language page. Shouldn't it be an icon on their home page and on every national page! Isn't Latin, after all, the Vatican's official language? Why should it be hidden as if an embarrassment? Publish it wide and broad! Be proud of your Latin heritage. Romanitas! Vivat Romanitatem!
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