Thursday, August 21, 2014

In planning their black mass, the OKC satanists overlooked one little fact

 "St. Michael the Archangel," Vatican City

The OKC satanists have bragged about using a consecrated host in their upcoming black mass, but you can only get a consecrated host from one place - a Catholic church.  And since Catholics would never knowingly give a consecrated host to satanists,  they must have obtained it by fraud or by stealing it.   Which means the satanists do not have a legal right to possess the host.  The archbishop of OKC has just sued for the return of the host within 5 days, and the judge has already ordered the satanists not to destroy the host in the meantime.

The archbishop of OKC has asked people to pray to St. Michael the Archangel during the next five days for help in winning this fight.  Here is the prayer:

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Archbishop drops suit; consecrated host returned.   The leader of the satanists explained: “I don’t feel like wasting thousands of dollars fighting over a cookie.”  Yeah, right.  Spoken like a true follower of the father of lies.  This is one time Satan didn't get the best lines.  
Deo gratias et Sancte Michael gratias.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"The Organic Development of the Liturgy"

 "Charlemagne instructing Louis the Pious" artist unknown,  
from the Grandes Chroniques de France, France, Paris 
(BnF Fran├žais 73, fol. 128v) 9th Century AD

Another interesting perspective on liturgical reform from Alcuin Reid's "The Organic Development of the Liturgy"-

Charlemagne, a Frankish king who understood the advantages of establishing his empire upon a Roman model, likewise wished to align the Liturgy celebrated within his domains with the Liturgy as celebrated in Rome.   So, at the end of the eighth century AD, Charlemagne sent to Rome for liturgical books so that he could have copies made.  Charlemagne was the most powerful ruler in Western Europe, and the protector of the pope, so when his request for liturgical books reached Rome, scribes immediately began racing to complete the job.  Their haste shows in the finished product, which is full of copyists' errors.  Also, the liturgical book they sent to Charlemagne contained only texts for liturgies celebrated by a pope, omitting liturgies celebrated by ordinary priests. 

Rome had done its best, however inadequate the result, so Charlemagne realized he would have to fix the book's shortcomings himself.  Charlemagne gave the job of correcting the liturgical book and supplying the omitted liturgies to a scholar in his court (probably the English monk Alcuin).  This scholar had many liturgical texts to draw upon in doing his work, and went about his job with scrupulous care.   In "The Organic Development of the Liturgy," Alcuin Reid notes the following five principles evident in the editor's work:

1. a necessity for the development (the sacramentary supplied was inadequate; further texts were required);
2. a profound respect for liturgical Tradition (insofar as possible the compilation of required texts using elements already belonging to the Tradition, in this case Roman;
3. little pure innovation (the editor collects rather than composes);
4. the tentative positing of newer liturgical forms alongside the old (his preface accepts that they may be considered a "superfluity");
5. the integration of the newer forms following their acceptance over time.

The end result was not liturgical uniformity in the Carolingian empire, but increased liturgical unity.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On the Liturgy and the pope

People who want to do whatever comes into their [giant puppet] heads

I'm reading Alcuin Reid's "The Organic Development of the Liturgy," which I recommend highly.  This is from Pope Benedict's Preface:

"The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law; rather, he is the guardian of the authentic Tradition and, thereby, the premier guarantor of obedience.  He cannot do as he likes, and he is thereby able to oppose those people who, for their part, want to do whatever comes into their head.  His rule is not that of arbitrary power, but that of obedience in faith. That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones on the junk-pile."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Like Yogi Berra, St. Francis didn't really say everything he said

St. Francis preaching to the birds
(maybe they were the ones he told to preach the Gospel always and if necessary use words)

Yesterday over at St. Malachy's, Fr Dave dropped into his homily that line you've heard a million times about "preach[ing] the Gospel always and if necessary use words."  Fr. Dave credited St. Francis of Assisi, but it sure doesn't sound like something a twelfth century person would have said, and it doesn't appear in any of the standard sources on St. Francis of Assisi.   So where did it come from?  Maybe from this story, which St. Alphonsus Liguori recounts in a couple of places:

St. Francis of Assisi once said to his companion that he was going out to preach. After walking through the town, with his eyes fixed on the ground, he returned to the convent. His companion asked him when he would preach the sermon. We have, replied the saint, by the modesty of our looks, given an excellent instruction to all who saw us. 

The point about preaching without words is present, but the thrust is quite different.  Instead of a swipe at people who preach the Gospel without practicing it (I don't run into many such, but maybe I'm not very observant), St. Alphonsus's story illustrates St. Francis's great devotion to Christian modesty.  Still, it's possible this story inspired the better known, snappier, but likely less accurate quotation Fr. Dave used.  So where did St. Alphonsus Liguori get this story from?  Alas, in this case St. Alphonsus doesn't provide a source, even though most of the time he does.  I suspect if St. Alphonsus had a published source for this story he would have provided it.

An official Inigo Hicks refrigerator magnet to the first person who can track down the source of St. Alphonsus Liguori's story about St. Francis, or the source of the quotation, attributed to St. Francis, to "preach the Gospel always and if necessary use words."  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gary Sinise, Catholic convert

Gary Sinise

The actor Gary Sinise, probably best known for his portrayal of Lt. Dan in "Forrest Gump" and his support of veterans' organizations, recently converted to Catholicism.  Fr. Mychal Judge, the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and a hurricane all contributed to Sinise's conversion.  More here.

h/t Creative Minority Report

Friday, August 8, 2014

Praying always, old school style

Schola antiqua
The original "old school"

We've posted before about how to pray always, which St. Luke (Luke 18: 1-8) and St. Paul (1 Thess 5:17) say we ought to be doing.   Praying the Divine Office is a good way to pray (practically) always, and the internet has made this very easy.  You don't have to buy an expensive multi volume set of books anymore, since the Office can be found online on several sites, which means anyone who has a smart phone can say the Office anytime they want.  I like Divinum Officium, which offers a choice of several formats, from pre-Trident monastic to the 1960 version.  I tend to use pre-Trident monastic, mainly because they don't have anything more ancient.  The texts are presented side by side in Latin and English.  
At several points you must make the sign of the cross, and you also have to bow your head once.  On the bus, this sometimes draws curious stares.

"Pray, brethren, to the Lord, that my sacrifice, which is equally yours,..."

The Hereford Boy Bishop
In 1542 ADHenry VIII banned this medieval custom,
which means it was healthy and good

The text above is taken from the medieval liturgy used before the reformation at Hereford in England (where hurricanes hardly ever happen).  In Latin: “Orate fratres ad Dominum, ut meum pariter et vestrum in conspectu Domini acceptum sit sacrificium."  This reflects a deep understanding of true participation in the Mass.  New Liturgical Movement has more here.

The Council of Trent permitted the continued use of liturgies more than 200 years old, such as the Hereford liturgy.   By contrast, after the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in 1969 AD, older forms of liturgy were not allowed except in private recitation, and by papal indult in England and Wales.  The indult was a favor to Cardinal Heenan of Westminster.