Monday, May 26, 2014

Saturno Thoughts

Today I decided not to wear the saturno on my way from our Mascherone residence to the Biblicum. In front of Sant'Andrea della Valle there was a parade of children in colorful Andaluz looking costumes coming from a performance, and one of them was a boy in cassock and saturno priest hat!
From the likes of children!
Wear the priest hat at least for the sake of the children!

A few months ago an elderly Hungarian golden jubilarian priest stopped me in Piazza Navona to congratulate me on the saturno because it has very special significance for him who knew the Rome of the ubiquitous priest hat.

Another senior priest of my residence related how as a young student they were always required to carry that hat and he would carry it in his hand, except when it rained! After a year now I can attest to it's efficacy against all of the Roman elements.

A priest of Opus Dei recently criticized it saying that having worked with perhaps thousands of priests he had never seen this type of hat before! I'm not sure what that means? It is now normal for priests not to know what the normal priest hat is!
Wear the public priest hat in order to promote the cassock! One ought not go without the other, despite an age which popularizes poor taste identity confusion.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sant'Andrea Della Valle

The inscription which runs along the top of the inner wall (just below the ceiling) of this great Roman Church is a quote from the Saint Andrew's confession of faith. It is beautiful prose comparing the contrast of the two woods of death (the tree of original sin and the tree of the Cross of Christ) and the two contrasting immaculate creatures (the immaculate earth and the Immaculate Conception) as sources of life.


Blessed Andrew responded: For since the first man had brought death into the world by means of a wooden object, (namely the tree of good and evil) it was necessary that the Son of Man should banish death by dying on an object of wood; since the guilty man had been made of spotless earth, it was necessary that the Redeemer should be born of a spotless virgin; (since Adam had stretched forth his greedy hands toward the forbidden fruit, it was necessary that the second Adam should stretch out His pure hands on the Cross; since Adam had tasted the sweetness of the apple, it was necessary that Jesus should taste the bitterness of gall on the Cross; since Jesus was giving His own immortality to man, it was necessary that He should take man's mortality in exchange. For if God had not become mortal, man could not have become immortal). The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine Part One, New York: Longmans, 1941, 11-12.

El Beato Andrés le respondió al Procónsul Aegeo: Así como el primer hombre incurrió, por el madero del engaño, la muerte: era necesario para el género umano también que por el madero de la pasión la muerte fuera combatida: Y como de la tierra inmaculada fue hecho el primer hombre, fue necesario que de la Inmaculada Virgen naciera el Hombre Perfecto Hijo de Dios a que reparara la vida eterna a los hombres que la habían perdido. (Mi pobre traducción).

Here below is what the Roman Martyrology says of Saint Andrew

This Day, the Thirtieth Day of November
At Patras, in Achaia, the birthday of the Apostle Saint Andrew, who preached the Gospel of Christ in Thrace and Scythia. Being apprehended by the proconsul Aegaeas, he was shut up in prison, severely scourged, and finally, being suspended on a cross, he lived two days on it, teaching the people. Having besought our Lord not to permit that he should be taken down from the cross, he was surrounded with a great brightness from Heaven, and when the light disappeared he breathed his last.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Europe's Militant Secularism

Archbishop Gänswein spoke yesterday in Switzerland in anticipation of the upcoming European Parliament elections about the strong anti-Christian (read anti-Catholic) bias as reported below from Magazin für Kirche und Kultur.

Einsiedeln) Curia Archbishop Georg Gänswein found clear words a week before the elections to the European Parliament. He criticized the lack of commitment of politicians opposed to discrimination against Christians in Europe.
The Prefect of the Papal Household of Pope Francis and personal secretary of Benedict XVI spoke on Sunday in the Benedictine Abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland at the annual pilgrimage of the Pontifical Relief and Works Agency of the Church in Need . Archbishop Gänswein mentioned that while in the media and politics every form of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are condemned, the same standards are not applied in relation to the discrimination against Christians in Europe.
The German Curia archbishop lamented that in the EU, with a new European Parliament to be selected on May 25th, there is a widespread "militant secularism". Certain circles in Europe want to put a "muzzle" on Christians and push religion to the margins, according to Gänswein. This, however, would mean suicide for the European Union, according to the Archbishop, because Europe cannot survive if it renounces its Christian roots.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Never Failing Power of the Angels for Evangelization

The angels are our slaves since they are the slaves of God and we are sons of God: equal in status to God, the King of heaven and earth. They must do our bidding when we ask them for any good spiritual thing which they can provide for ourselves or for others. In this sense, after the Sacraments, they are our most powerful and effective means to holiness!

Pope Francis' letter on spreading the Gospel unintentionally omits this great supernatural reality and these most effective missionaries. Actually, in the most precise sense, the angels are the only creatures that are by nature missionaries:  angelos (Gk. messenger, legate). They are God's creatures whose function is to constantly adore him and minister to him, carrying out His mission of holiness.

We rightfully call God "our Father" which is an expression of our Divine (albeit adoptive, though no less real) status! We are God in Jesus Christ, flesh of our flesh and bone of our bones. So, we have kingly authority over the angels. We command and they obey. They must obey us whenever we direct them for our own spiritual good or that of other persons. Use them to convert people that you want to convert and they will never fail you. Use the prayer of the Guardian Angels and even transpose it to apply to other individuals or groups of people in any encounter and you will see incredible and constant unfailing results! Enlighten! Guard! Rule! Govern!,...him,...her,...them,...etc.

Having had a lifelong devotion to the Guardian Angel(s) I only began for the past month entrusting specific intentions of evangelization and personal sanctification to their care with clear and marked results every time. In the apostolate directed towards specific persons I have had hundreds of repeated successes without any failure, a significant contrast to my whole life of often apparently frustrated results. The angels come through every time no matter how difficult the case!

Furthermore, I know personally of a priest who admits that he has had a particular struggle in the area of chastity for many years, where everything recommended by the Church and numerous confessors has been consistently ineffective, even the discipline and every manner of ascetical practice! However, ever since he began to pray in this way, clearly and confidently and in the moment of temptation to the Guardian Angel(s), he has in every case been victorious to ward off the temptation without falling! The angels never fail him!

The method? Besides the basic norms of the Christian life: daily prayer and an habitual life of holiness, daily Mass and communion; including daily Rosary and aspirations throughout the day with an habitual presence of God and recourse to Him, etc., make specific commands to the Guardian Angel using the Guardian Angel Prayer (preferably in Latin), in parts (e.g. illumina eum!) or whole, applying the invocations to specific intentions and circumstances. To loyally respond is the angelic specialization! To sanctify this one right now and right here, and to manifest the change! The results will not fail to amaze!

Ángele Dei,
qui custos es mei,
me tibi commissum
pietáte supérna,
et gubérna.

P.S. I often prefer to sing it: the simple Gregorian Chant version which I'll find for my readers some other time.

P.S.S. By the way, the chant below: "Tota pulchra es Maria" is a most beautiful antiphonal style chant which I only heard and sang for the first time last 8th of December in our priest residence of Rome. One of the great and simple treasures of our Catholic heritage of which we have been so long largely deprived!..."Late have [we] loved you!" --Augustine

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May Feelings 7

Typically a "pray the rosary" campaign, this year's May Feelings is on apologizing! En español.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Power of Chastity

Potior pudicitia impudicitia!

Purity is stronger than impurity! If you want to be strong seek to live the chastity of Christ and of all the holy apostles and saints. And enlist the angels in your service for the sake of purity.

If we are sons of God, which we are, then the angels, if we direct them, will obey us in the good of souls, principally our own.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beware of Museum Faith: The Church is Battlefield Hospital!

You've heard of cafeteria Catholics, based and expressed in a "pick and choose" morality and religion. Now, Pope Francis, ups the ante.

Pope Francis frequently alludes to what he calls museum Catholicism: faith treated as simply a precious and sacred Deposit to be cherished, preserved, and guarded, and shared but sparingly and only with the greatest discretion and with sundry regulations and restrictions.

We Catholics, due to our selfishness, are licentious and indolent dogs who base our life on avoiding the pigs (those who habitually ignore and even wantonly reject the Faith) while the whole world goes to the Devil; and we continue in our little paradise sanctuaries (traditional, conservative, liberal as they may be), pretending to be holy, hoping to be holy,...even striving to be holy--which ends up meaning separated and uninvolved with the myriads who are dying on all sides! And we ourselves are dead in our sins!

This is the predominant fault and occupational hazard of fervent Catholics and perhaps especially of traditional Catholics. The Faith is shared sparingly if at all and most of our emphasis is on ourselves!

Solution: "Go out to all the world and tell the Gospel!" That is the traditional and the only answer to our problem and the problem of the whole world!

Get the committed Catholics out of themselves--to put their lives at the service of the Gospel--like Christ and the Apostles--before others, in the world!--and you conquer the world!

When is the last time you told someone: "Jesus Christ loves you!", "Jesus Christ gave His life for you!", "Jesus Christ gave His life to save you and He is alive right now and is with you every day, to enlighten you, to strengthen you, to set you free."? Evangelii Gaudium, 164

Make your life revolve around this one thing, to bring Christ consciously to all people near and far: that they may know the love of God.

The Church is not a museum but the battlefield hospital of the world to treat and save the immense masses of wounded humanity, one by one. And every believer needs to be at the task of bringing in and treating the wounded that they may be saved!

Do something! for others, for Christ! Get out of yourself! And you will save your soul!

Thank you Pope Francis for incarnating this most essential evangelical insight.
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