Tag Archives: Spirituality

Interview 027—Fr. Ioannes Petrus on Elections, Voting and Islam


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Saint_Augustine_by_Philippe_de_ChampaigneToday Fr. Ioannes Petrus re-joins us for a wide-ranging interview which is perhaps the first one I did not script with pre-planned questions. We discuss voting, the trajectory of government in the West, the current Holy Father, the threat of Islam, Immigration and how Christians should respond to the crisis of our times.

Episode Notes:

USCCB guide on Voting
“36. When all candidates hold a position that promotes an intrinsically evil act, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.” (My Emphasis)

 

 

 

 

Non é Francesco
Teilhard de Chardin and the Cosmic Christ
Chagal and White Crucifix:

white-crucifixion-chagall_blasphemy

 

 

 

 

 

 

white-crucifixion_chagall_hebrew2

 

 

 

 

 

white-crucifixion_chagall_hebrew

 

 

 

 

Michael Davies talk on Savonarola
G.J. Meyer

Interview 026 – Reconquest with Brother André on St. Robert Bellarmine


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On 23 March I was on Reconquest! with Br. Andre Marie, MICM of the St. Benedict Center in New Hampshire to talk about the life and holiness of St. Robert Bellarmine. The first segment is a summary by Brother André, and in the rest of the show I join him to talk about his life, his holiness, the life of churchmen in the 16th century, and how Bellarmine, being full of holiness and love for the poor, excelled as a cardinal and as a scholar.

de_romano_pontifice_vol2_frontNB: I am preparing to release volume 2 of On the Roman Pontiff, which contains books 3-5. I am currently taking pre-orders discounted $6 from what the retail price will be. If you would like to pre-order, you can do so here and I will notify you when it is ready to ship.

 

 

Resources:

Catholicism.org
Missa Papa Marcelli mentioned in the talk.
Chicory

St. Thérèse: Saint of the Little Way

St_ThereseLaundry“She is the greatest saint of modern times.” -Pope Pius XI

Pope Pius XI gave St. Thérèse one of the greatest titles in canonizing a saint. He declared her the greatest saint of our time, which suggests there is more to her life than walking about happily and strewing flowers.

Yet I often encounter Catholics who are deluded by this idea, who instead of understanding her great simplicity, think that Thérèse is merely a simpleton. Then there is another class who believe St. Thérèse represents the happy-go lucky, care free attitude to spirituality of the Novus Ordo. This is entirely incorrect either. Continue reading

What is the 2nd Confiteor?

The 2nd Confiteor

The 2nd Confiteor

In Traditional circles there is a lot of debate that swirls around the so-called “2nd confiteor”, which is said immediately after the priest receives communion in the missals preceding 1962. It was removed with the 2nd revising of the rubrics in 1961 (published in 1962), which became what we call today as the “1962 Missal”. There have been a lot of debates over whether it should be done since it is part of the “perennial tradition”, (which actually its not, but we’ll get to that), while others say it is not in the rubrics, so it shouldn’t be done.

Amongst Traditionalist groups, the SSPX has always maintained it, so far as I know. The FSSP actually has permission to use it, on the basis of using the earlier publication of rubrics in 1961, which in consequence would not allow them to use the second revision, which inserted St. Joseph into the Canon. Except for special permission which they possess. I’ve been told that the Institute of Christ the king uses both, but I’ve never been to their Masses and I don’t know their situation. Diocesan clergy who say the Traditional Mass, so far as I know, vary in terms of who does it and who doesn’t, but strictly on the level of permissions they can do the second confiteor, or they can use St. Joseph in the canon, but not both. On the level of tradition they should, and we shall see why.

Some argue that the second confiteor should be removed because it is redundant. We already said it after all, we’re sorry! Really! On the other hand, those who argue it should be said, say that it is used to remit any venial sins one might have committed during the Mass, as well as imperfections. This is true, but only to a point.

The reality is, that at most Masses throughout the year, prior to the time of St. Pius X, would not have had a second confiteor at all. The historic practice of the Latin church was always to administer communion outside of Mass. This means that after the priest received communion, the deacon and subdeacon would prepare the ablutions and move the missal and chalice veil, just as a server does at a private low Mass where he does not receive communion. This had a number of advantages. If you felt you were not in a state to receive communion, you could duck out with a number of other people, and you didn’t have the specter of the old ladies staring you down, wondering “What did you do!”, so there wasn’t a perceived “pressure” to receive. In terms of the smoothness of Mass itself there are some benefits. After Mass, the priest would come out in a surplice with a stole, and distribute Holy Communion from the tabernacle, beginning with the confiteor, misereatur, and indulgentiam, and then the Ecce Agnus Dei, then as normal. Thus, the rite the Church used for the reception of Communion outside of Mass included the confiteor, both as a testament to true devotion and sorrow for sins in the communicant, and to make reparation for their venial sins. On two days of the year, however, the communion rite took place during Mass, namely Maundy Thursday and Corpus Christi. On those days, communion would take place just as it does at solemn Masses today.

What St. Pius X directed, was for communion to take place during Mass as a definitive practice, and the older practice an exception to the rule. This brought into being the practices that Catholics are familiar with today, of the second confiteor, being sung by the deacon, or said by the server outside of Solemn Mass. The reason is, no one left Mass early, and if Communion took place during Mass on a regular basis, it would aid the people in exercising the practice of more frequent Communion.

The problem today then, is not the second confiteor, far too much attention goes to that subject, it is people receiving communion who do not first go to confession, even in Traditionalist circles. We have, largely, the opposite problem that St. Pius X tried to address, which was Jansenism, we have instead, the problem of a false concept of mercy, by which men imagine God will forgive them, and they’re good people, so why not receive communion. While St. Pius X’s goals were laudable, at the same time, they were for a different culture. Today we have the scandalous problem of sacrilegious communions. Thus, what should be considered, is whether or not to move communion once again outside of Mass, combined with increasing confessions and preaching Missions, or conferences, or whatever you like on good preparation for the reception of Holy Communion. This would seem a more fitting discussion on rubrical fights over whether the second confiteor should or should not be said.

Update: I had to correct the earlier article after being advised by a priest in the know that the FSSP actually does have permission to do both, where formerly I had written they do not.

Preparing for Death: Ash Wednesday

Originally Published 18 February, 2010
Caravaggio_-_St_Francis_in_Prayer_-_copia

St. Francis meditating on death -Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

ο χρυσαμοιβος δ’ Αρης ςωματων
και ταλαντουχος εν μαχα δορος πυρωθεν εξ Ιλιου
φιλοισι πεμπει βαρου ψηγμα δυσδακρυτον αντηνορος
σποδου γεμιζων λεβητας ευθετους.

Ares, the money changer of bodies, holding his scales in the battle of the spears, sends back from Ilium (Troy) to their dear ones, heavy dust that has been through the fire, to be sadly wept over, filling easily stowed urns with ash given in exchange for men.
-Aeschylus; Αγαμεμνον, 440-445

The Church gives us a most marvelous celebration with a most marvelous symbol, that of ash. Prior to the fall of man the meaning of this would have been far less significant, because God had bestowed upon Adam and Eve the gift of immortality, something they did not have by divine right, but by divine gift. When nature was disfigured through the fall, man lost this gift, and as such became subject to natural corruption, as God confirmed in His solemn admonition to them in Genesis which the Church repeats for us each Ash Wednesday: Memento homo quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.

Man was made from the mud, that is the dirt which had been moistened. Without water, the element which brings life, the dirt is little more than dust (pulvis). Dust is little different from ash, and often times in comparison they are made the same. When that which is not proper to corporeal matter, namely the soul, exits the body, the body returns to this form after death. Thus the Church gives us this most excellent symbol of the ultimate end of our earthly existence, which ties in perfectly with the season. The traditional law in practice, before this lax stage of the Church, required Catholics to fast each and every day of the Lenten season. There is a good and salutary reason for this, namely that in the moral tradition, it takes about 3 weeks to corrupt a vice, and 3 weeks to develop a virtue, which is 6 weeks, just short of the normal run of Lent. Thus the Church’s traditional practice fulfills the natural law with respect to the virtue of fasting more perfectly than the current discipline of only fasting two days of the year. This should also be a sombre warning to Traditionalists, that if they are going to adopt the Church’s perennial tradition, they also must adopt the traditional practice during Lent of daily fasting.

Fasting takes us away from the things we like in this world. The hunger we experience in denying ourselves food, leads us readily into other virtues by which we lose a love for created things. When we love the things of the world, we love things that cannot give us life, and as such we create attachments that lead us to sin and death. Those who go to hell get exactly what they deserve, because in choosing created things, they have chosen things that cannot give life, and as such they will not have it. They will have ash, which is all the things of the world really are, ash is the remnant of something which has had all life, all properties and minerals burned out of it, and what remains is nothing, just a speck of dust. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Aeschylus, in the lines from his play Agamemnon which lead this writing, encapsulate perfectly the endeavors of man without a redeemer. He writes that Ares (who is also the god of war) exchanges urns filled with ash for men, to be wept over by their loved ones, thus it is heavy dust because of the grief which it effects. In his beautiful Greek poetry he expresses a central truth, that the endeavors of men come to nothing, that an event so seemingly noble as the war on Troy should reduce stout men to mere ash.

It is thus that the Church opens up a season of fasting with the image of the ultimate parting of man from worldly goods, marked upon his forehead in the shape of the cross, a symbol of death as well as life, of the death that must be made first in this world to rejoice in life in the next. The mark of ash is a reminder to man that death is the end of all things, and what is left in this world is mere dust, while what we take with us, are the virtues of fasting and supernatural fortitude which we habituate our souls to by the activity of this season.

What’s more, every man understands this, even the delusional. This is why so many who are normally absent on holy days of obligation, who sometimes don’t show up every Sunday, will go to Ash Wednesday Mass. Non-Catholics will come to Ash Wednesday Masses in order to get ashes, not just because it is cool to do it (if it were they might do so at home), but also because at some level they understand that they are dust, and the symbol resonates with them although they don’t know why. For us who do know why, how much more a sign these ashes are of our ultimate end, and what the pleasures of this life will bring us. Lastly, where do these ashes come from? They are burned from the Palm Branches with which we formerly bid our Lord entrance into Jerusalem (mystically at the Palm Sunday liturgy of the previous year), and these testaments to our unbelief, and betrayal marked in every sin are burned, because in the act of our Blessed Lord’s redemption, our sins become just as all the things in this world… ash. Ad pulverem reverteris.