Monday, January 30, 2012

The Second Coming

 W. B. Yeats (looking like the Earl of Gloucester)

I've referenced William Butler Yeats poem "The Second Coming" in recent posts.  Yeats captures well the mood of foreboding which characterizes our decaying culture.  With every passing year the resemblance between our twilit era and the world passing into nightmarish darkness portrayed by Yeats grows ever more exact.  Here is full text:


    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

"Bitter?" Check. "Fallen-away Catholic?" Check.

"A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun"

In a letter calling on the faithful in his diocese to fight HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' mandate that all employee health insurance, even health insurance provided by Catholic universities, hospitals and social service organizations, cover birth control, female sterilization, and abortifacient drugs, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb. referred to Secretary Sebelius as a "bitter, fallen-away Catholic."  The characterization seems accurate enough; such persons often make the fiercest opponents.
If the issue isn't resolved by this year's presidential election, it's likely to be decided in Court, where the administration is almost certain to lose.  Then why bother making this doomed gesture?  Perhaps devotion to abortion blinds them.

St. Thomas More, pray for us.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Perhaps we must stand fast a little"

The gaze of one is blank, the other as pitiless as the sun.

In "A Man for All Seasons," Thomas More observes that in a state where vice profits more than virtue, it's necessary to "stand fast a little."   Catholics, and others who value the freedom of religion, will soon find it necessary to stand fast a great deal.  Faced with a vicious presidential administration exerting all its power in an attempt to "chain the conscience,"  we shudder to think how they calculate profit from this.  The ever astute Fr. George Rutler's thoughts here.

St. Thomas More, pray for us.

Friday, January 27, 2012

A model bishop reveals his secrets

Bishop Bruskewitz ordaining priests of FSSP

How to build a vital diocese?  Here's how Bishop Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska does it: he professes the Faith fearlessly, and emphasizes "deep participation" (interesting qualification of the "participation" buzzword) in liturgy, and the Rosary.  Not very complicated.  The National Catholic Register has more here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A church only its parishioners could love

 Our Lady and St. Illtyd Catholic Church

If indeed they do.   I was visiting "Ancient Richborough" (by way of "Bovina Bloviator"), and marvelling at the sweetness and gentleness of our new Catholic brethren of Richborough when I came upon the photo above.  Edwin, the retired C of E bishop who is the proprietor of "Ancient Richborough," recently visited Wales, where he was invited to say Mass at Our Lady and St. Illtyd's church, shown above.  Edwin, being the sweet and gentle sort, allows that the church "is rather more modern," but hastens to add that it's "greatly loved by its parishioners."

If this church is indeed beloved, it must be for reasons other than its beauty. 

One way we will know that our sweet and gentle new Catholic brethren feel at ease in Holy Mother Church is when they begin to speak openly of the ugliness of so many of our churches.  They will find that many of us have also noticed, and that it saddens us very deeply. 

St. Bernardine of Siena, St. Paul, and the Holy Name of Jesus

St. Bernardine of Siena
January is the month devoted to the Holy Name of Jesus, and today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Disciple.  St. Bernardine of Siena (1380 AD - 1444 AD) preached often on the Holy Name of Jesus, and the following excerpt from a sermon of St. Bernardine, in which he praises St. Paul as a great exemplar of devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus, seems especially apt for today's feast:

When a fire is lit to clear a field, it burns off all the dry and useless weeds and thorns. When the sun rises and darkness is dispelled, robbers, night-prowlers and burglars hide away. So when Paul's voice was raised to preach the Gospel to the nations, like a great clap of thunder in the sky, his preaching was a blazing fire carrying all before it. It was the sun rising in full glory. Infidelity was consumed by it, false beliefs fled away, and the truth appeared like a great candle lighting the whole world with its brilliant flame.

By word of mouth, by letters, by miracles, and by the example of his own life, Saint Paul bore the Name of Jesus wherever he went. He praised the Name of Jesus "at all times," but never more than when "bearing witness to his faith."

Moreover, the Apostle did indeed carry this Name "before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel" as a light to enlighten all nations. And this was his cry wherever he journeyed: "The night is passing away, the day is at hand. Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves honorably as in the day." Paul himself showed forth the burning and shining-light set upon a candlestick, everywhere proclaiming "Jesus, and Him crucified."

And so the Church, the Bride of Christ strengthened by his testimony, rejoices with the psalmist, singing: "O God from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds." The psalmist exhorts her to do this, as he says: "Sing to the Lord, and bless His Name, proclaim His salvation day after day." And this salvation is Jesus, Her savior.

St. Bernardine of Siena, pray for us.

The Conversion of St. Paul, Disciple

Conversion of St. Paul
Today is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, Disciple.  The following is from a sermon in praise of St. Paul by St. John Chrysostom (347 AD -407 AD):

Paul, more than anyone else, has shown us what man really is, and in what our nobility consists, and of what virtue this particular animal is capable. Each day he aimed ever higher; each day he rose up with greater ardor and faced with new eagerness the dangers that threatened him.  He summed up his attitude in the words: "I forget what is behind me and push on to what lies ahead."  When he saw death imminent, he bade others share his joy: "Rejoice and be glad with me!" And when danger, injustice and abuse threatened, he said: "I am content with weakness, mistreatment and persecution." These he called the weapons of righteousness, thus telling us that he derived immense profit from them.

St. Paul, pray for us.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Vatican still pondering odd Mass of the Neocatechumenal Way

 "Kiko" Arguello, co-founder of Neocatechumenal Way

Rumors to the contrary, at the audience with Pope Benedict several days back, the Neocatechumenal Way received approval only for certain intra-Neocat ceremonies, not for their rather odd liturgy.

Pope Benedict took the opportunity to deliver to the gathered Neocat luminaries a short lecture on the "true content of the liturgy."  From this we may fairly infer that Benedict considers the Neocat grasp upon liturgy to be notably deficient.  Sandro Magister has more here.

Hail, Francis, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

 "St. Francis de Sales," St. Mary Oratory, Rockford, IL

Today is the feast of St. Francis de Sales ( 1567 AD - 1622 AD).  Francis was born into the Savoyard aristocracy, was educated by Jesuits, and trained for a career in law.  His father had selected a suitable Savoyard heiress to be Francis's wife, but Francis, who had already consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and made a vow of chastity, desired to become a priest.  A battle of wills ensued, which was resolved when the bishop of Geneva obtained for Francis the choice position of Provost of the Chapter of Geneva, the highest office in the diocese. This appeased Francis's father, and Francis was duly ordained.

St. Francis volunteered to evangelize Le Chablais, a district in which Calvinism had become ascendant.  At the risk of his life, St. Francis travelled about the hostile district, and before long, his learned and zealous but gentle preaching succeeded in restoring a large portion of the people to the true Faith.   Of his success as a preacher St. Francis said, "whoever wants to preach effectively must preach with love."  St. Francis's preaching nearly obtained the conversion of Theodore Beza, a leader of the Protestant revolution and successor to Calvin, but Beza's courage failed at the final moment.

In 1602, St. Francis was consecrated bishop of Geneva.  Francis devoted himself to restoring the spiritual health of his diocese by catechetical instruction, by careful guidance of his clergy, by visiting the remote parishes of his mountainous diocese, and by reforming religious communities.  Perhaps most powerfully of all, St. Francis's loving and patient mildness, joined with his great love of the poor, shone forth as a highly attractive example of devotion to the Gospel.  St. Francis lived simply and practiced intense economies so as to be better able to provide for the wants of the needy.  In 1607, together with St. Jane Frances de Chantal, he founded the Institute of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin, for young girls and widows who felt called to the religious life but lacked strength for the austerities of other orders.  

St. Francis's pen was also active on behalf of the Faith, and he authored many catechetical and devotional works, including the classic "An Introduction to the Devout Life," about which we have posted several times recently.

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

On Making a General Confession

St. Francis de Sales instructing Visitation nuns

I'm re-reading St. Francis de Sales' "An Introduction to the Devout Life," and am discovering far more wisdom within this text than I did when I first read it decades ago.  I have already begun following St. Francis's advice: one of the gentle bishop's very first recommendations for those on the threshold of the devout life is to pray "heartily" for a spiritual guide, which I am doing.  While I expectantly await the appearance of my spiritual guide, I have decided to follow another of St. Francis's recommendations to beginners - the making of a General Confession for one's whole past life.   Here is St Francis on how to make a General Confession, and why doing so is good for us:

"Seek the best confessor that you can, take some one of the books prepared for the aid of conscience, read it carefully, and observe minutely wherein you have sinned from the earliest period up to the present time, and if you distrust your memory, write down what you discover.  Having thus examined and collected the sinful wounds of your conscience, detest them, and with you whole heart reject and abhor them by contrition . . . . I am now speaking of a General Confession of the whole past life, which although not always absolutely necessary, I still hold to be a most profitable beginning, and recommend it strongly .  . . . [I]t increases our self-knowledge, incites a healthy sorrow for our past sins, fills us with admiration of the patience and mercy of God, calms our heart, relieves our mind, excites in us good resolutions, enables our spiritual Father to guide us with more certainty, and opens our heart to speak fully and with confidence in our future Confessions." 

St. Francis de Sales, pray for us.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Having vandalized Puccini's operas, the barbarians turn to the man himself

From Zeffirelli's production of "Tosca"
Consigned to trash heap by Peter Gelb

No doubt you have heard of the Met's new production of  Puccini's Tosca, in which the Catholic elements are mocked, diminished or removed in order to make room for such invented stage business as an orgy in Scarpia's apartment and Scarpia straddling a statue of the Virgin.  As if to justify such absurdities, a new biography by a Freudian (“O Freud, avanti a Dio!”) alleges that Puccini's Catholicism was merely skin deep.  Fr. Alexander Lucie-Smith's thoughts here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

St. Thomas More's Monkey

"Christ the Martyrs' King" by Eric Gill
(very nice even without the monkey)

A Reluctant Sinner explains here why you won't find the monkey's image in Westminster Cathedral.

Transubstantiation (Part 2)

Cardinal Stritch elevates chalice

According to the Catholic Catechism, the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life - a sacrament of inexhaustible richness.  Though the Eucharist is a mystery, and therefore something we can never fully understand, the Church teaches very clearly regarding the Eucharist, and we must strive to grasp this teaching as thoroughly as possible.  Earlier this month I quoted from Abbot Vonier's magnificent text "A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist."   The following is again taken from Abbot Vonier:

"Here are Saint Thomas [Aquinas]'s own words:

The Body of Christ is not in this sacrament in the manner in which a body is in a place, having its dimensions commensurate with that place; but it is present in a certain special manner, which belongs exclusively to this sacrament.  So we say that the Body of Christ is on many altars, not as in so many places, but as in the sacrament; by which we do not mean that Christ is there only in a sign, although the sacrament be of the genus sign; but we understand that His Body is there according to the manner proper to the sacrament."

St. Thomas Aquinas, most excellent teacher concerning the Eucharist, pray for us.

Hail, Sebastian, martyr

"St. Sebastian," by Della Robbia
Today is the feast of St. Sebastian (died circa 286 AD).   Sebastian was martyred during the Diocletian persecution, and one of the seven chief churches of Rome was erected above his grave in 367 AD.  According to St. Ambrose, the saintly archbishop of Milan (d. 397 AD), Sebastian was from Milan, and was venerated there even in St. Ambrose's day.  There is a pious story that Sebastian was an officer of the imperial guard, and after being arrested for being a Christian, was handed over to Mauretanian archers for execution.  The archers duly shot Sebastian full of arrows, but he was healed by St. Irene.  The Catholic Encyclopedia calls this story "unhistorical and unworthy of belief."   However, since the Renaissance, this story has frequently been deemed worthy of artistic depiction, a famous example of which is displayed above.

St. Sebastian, pray for us.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

"We can ask for everything in the name of Jesus"

"Angel," Catedral Primada de las Americas, Dominican Republic

The Church traditionally devotes the month of January to the Holy Name of Jesus.  Though devotion to the the Holy Name of Jesus is as old as the Church itself, in recent decades interest in the devotion has ebbed dramatically.  Earlier this month I quoted from Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P.'s pamphlet "The Wonders of the Holy Name," one of very few texts available through Amazon having to do with devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus.

Again I quote from Fr. O'Sullivan, this time on making prayerful requests through the Holy Name of Jesus:

"The Angels are our dearest and best friends and are most ready and able to help us in every difficulty and danger.
It is most regrettable that many Catholics do not know, love and ask the Angels for help.  The easiest way to do so is to say the Name of Jesus in their honor.  This gives them the greatest joy. They in return will help us in all our troubles and keep us safe from many dangers.
Let us say the Name of Jesus in honor of all the Angels, but especially our dear Angel Guardian, who loves us so much."

Hermeneutic of Reform

"Hermeneutic of Reform" performs similar magic on Vatican II

According to Pope Benedict, if you view Vatican II through "hermeneutic of reform" - tinted glasses, it looks much more appealing.   The Lefebvrists have always balked at putting on the magic goggles.  Sandro Magister has more here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Damien Thompson is not the only one asking if the English bishops intend strangling the Ordinariate

 Our Lady of Walsingham

Now the estimable Dr. Oddie is likewise asking.  Let's pray the English bishops welcome the Ordinariate, even though they haven't shown that they do.

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.

The necessity of a spiritual guide

St. Francis de Sales

I've been re-reading St. Francis de Sales' "An Introduction to the Devout Life," and almost his first bit of advice to those seeking to progress in the devout life (in Part First, Chapter 4) is to find a spiritual guide.   According to St. Francis, a spiritual guide is necessary because he

"...will guide our actions by his warnings and counsels, and thereby protect us from the snares and delusions of the Evil one; in all our sorrows, our sadness, our falls, he will be as a treasure of wisdom to us; he will be as a physician to give ease to our hearts, and help in our spiritual diseases; he will preserve us from evil, and forward us in what is good, and when we are conquered by some infirmity, he will save us from being overwhelmed, and will raise us from our prostrate condition."

Clearly, such a spiritual guide would be invaluable, but where is one to be found?  St. Francis assures us that, to "those who are lowly in heart and earnestly desire their spiritual advancement," and who "heartily pray," God "will supply [this] need in His own way"

So, today I begin to pray heartily for a spiritual guide. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

The odd Mass of the Neocatechumenal Way

Neocatechumenal Way founders Kiko (left) and Carmen Hernandez with Pope Benedict

The Neocatechumenal Way, a popular Spanish community, celebrates Mass in a peculiar manner.  First of all, the community ignores the altar, preferring to sit around a table.  There are also interludes for catechetical "monitions," as well as for "resonances," which sound to us like the dreaded "sharing."  There is, of course, a Bugnini connection.

The Vatican has been reviewing the Way's liturgy, and later this month will pronounce its verdict.  Sandro Magister has more here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


According to the Catholic Catechism, the Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life - a sacrament of inexhaustible richness.  Though the Eucharist is a mystery, and therefore something we can never fully understand, the Church teaches very fully and clearly regarding the Eucharist, and we must strive to grasp this teaching as thoroughy as possible.  A very good source for this teaching is Abbot Vonier's magnificent text "A Key to the Doctrine of the Eucharist."  The following is taken from the chapter "Transubstantiation:"

"Wherever a priest, in the name of Christ, pronounces the sacramental consecration, the substance of the bread and the substance of the wine are changed into the substance of Christ's Body and the substance of Christ's Blood.  There is no bringing down from heaven of the Body and Blood of Christ; this is not the Eucharist; but Christ's Body and Christ's Blood are truly produced in an act of divine power, as grace is produced in the human soul at Baptism."

St. Thomas Aquinas, masterful teacher regarding the Eucharist, pray for us.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Blessed Nicolas Steno gets Google Doodle

Blessed Nicolas Steno (1638 AD -1686 AD), bishop and scientist, has today received the rare distinction of a Google doodle, shown above.   Blessed Nicolas, a convert from Lutheranism, was a leader in the Catholic Reformation and a man of great personal holiness who devoted himself to a life of severe penance.  However, it was for his achievements in science, including pioneering work in geology and anatomy, that Blessed Nicolas was accorded the Google doodle.

Blessed Nicolas Steno, pray for us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January is the month of the Holy Name of Jesus

The Church traditionally devotes the month of January to the worship of the Holy Name of Jesus.  Though devotion to the the Holy Name of Jesus is as old as the Church itself, in recent decades interest in the devotion has ebbed dramatically.  In order to familiarize myself with this devotion, I've been leafing through Fr. Paul O'Sullivan, O.P.'s pamphlet "The Wonders of the Holy Name."  It's one of very few texts available through Amazon with any bearing upon the Holy Name of Jesus.

Here is Fr. O'Sullivan on devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus:

"St. Paul tells us that we must do all we do, whether in word or work, in the Name of Jesus.  "All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . " (Col. 3:17)
In this way, every act becomes an act of love and of merit, and, moreover, we receive grace and help to do all our actions perfectly and well.
We must therefore do our best to form the habit of saying, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus," very often every day."

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sistine Chapel gets ugly new baptismal font

This ugly "dish on top of a bush" baptismal font was just installed in the Sistine Chapel (h/t Rorate Caeli).  It replaces the font below, which was also ugly, though in a different way.

How much ugliness will we have to endure before the Church rediscovers its instinct for beauty?  Perhaps a great deal, but eventually the parade of execrableness will come to an end:

"And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time."


Catholicism is an incarnational religion

La Tourette Monastery by Le Corbusier, Eveux, France

So it's no wonder the abstractions of modern architecture leave us cold.  The blogger Corbusier has more here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Jesuit inculturation in the Reductions

Ruins of La Santisima Trinidad de Parana, built by Jesuits in what is now Paraguay

In the 16th century, amidst the jungles of South America, Jesuit missionaries laid out elaborate, intelligently planned cities, built Baroque cathedrals, established musical conservatories and composed baroque sacred music incorporating native motifs.  All this was done to evangelize the Guarani and Chiquito peoples, who, the Jesuits discovered, had a special appreciation for musical and architectural beauty.  Eventually, the Jesuits were expelled, and the cities fell into ruins, but the music has recently been re-discovered.  Sandro Magister has more here.

Friday, January 6, 2012

"I am a canon lawyer, and you're not"

 Page from Gratian's "Decretum"

"Moreover, I say the AOD is right.  Which settles it."  Unfortunately, this is the essence of Dr. Peter's new post on the AOD v. Michael Voris/Real Catholic dispute, with aspersions against "webmasters" and "combox jockeys" thrown in for good measure.   Dr. Peters does not address the issues raised by Canon 221, which I noted here.

According to his website, Dr. Peters holds the Edmund Cdl. Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit MI.   Since that is the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Detroit, one wonders if Dr. Peters has been consulted by the AOD regarding its dispute with Michael Voris/Real Catholic.  To be sure, in his first post relating to the dispute Dr. Peters noted that he "comment(s) here not as an advisor to the AOD, but as an established observer on public canonical issues."   However, that is not at all the same thing as saying Dr. Peters is not an advisor to the AOD.   Dr. Peters may in fact be an advisor to the AOD, who endeavors, in his blog, to comment on matters involving the AOD as though he were not.   Success in such an endeavor would seem to require internal bulwarks against the intrusion of self interest such as the average person does not possess.   One can even think of some saints who may have lacked such internal bulwarks.  For this reason, if Dr. Peters does indeed advise the AOD in this matter, it seems fair that he disclose this.  At any rate, it is fair for readers of Dr. Peters' blog to bear in mind, as they consider comments Dr. Peters makes merely "as an established observer on public canonical issues," that Dr. Peters is employed by the AOD.  

The early canonists recognized that apparent contradictions had arisen in the laws of the Church, and consequently set about restoring the canons to their divinely intended harmony.  That is why the great canonist Gratian entitled his work Concordia Discordantium Canonum, the "Concord of Discordant Canons."  The decretists and glossators who followed Gratian carried on this work.  In view of the dialectical process through which canon law developed, it seems insufficient for Dr. Peters to claim that the dispute between the AOD and Michael Voris/Real Catholic is entirely a matter of canon law, and then point to a single Canon, claiming the matter is thereby entirely resolved.  Canon 221, and perhaps other Canons, bear on the issue as well, and it seems reasonable and consistent with tradition that those Canons also be considered in bringing about a just resolution to this dispute.  As Dr. Peters himself puts it:

"The canon law on use of the word “Catholic” and on certain types of public activities carried on by Catholics is considerably broader and more complex than any descriptions I have yet seen accorded it in the blogosphere. Folks who look up a canon or two and purport to explain their meaning risk doing a disservice to both the law and the community that law is meant to serve."

St. Raymond Penafort, patron of canon lawyers, pray for us.

And now for something completely different

 "Baptism of St. Genesius, (patron of actors)," by Giovanni Battista Pozo

A very talented young actor named George Pelham, who, I'm proud to say, is my Godson, features prominently in the video below.  The music is by the NY techno production team Filo & Peri, and while it is not my cup of tea, the video's production quality is very high, and George is splendid.

St Genesius, patron of actors, pray for us.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let's hope this obituary is premature

St. Clement of Alexandria

In 451 AD, the Council of Chalcedon declared the patriarchal See of Alexandria third in esteem behind only Rome and Constantinople.  This actually diminished Alexandria's rank, since before Chalcedon, the See of Alexandria had stood second behind only Rome.  Now, its very existence is endangered.   Read Robert Spencer's informative and touching elegy here.

St. Clement of Alexandria, pray for us.

Conversion story in WaPo provokes commenter rage

 "St. Mary Magdalene," (patroness of converts) by El Greco

I love conversion stories, and this one is as moving as any.  To my eye, nothing controversial here, but get a load of the comments!  Why do the heathen rage?

St. Mary Magdalene, pray for us.

What Dr. Peters overlooks

St. Raymond Penafort, patron of canonists

Evidently, there is a dispute between the Archdiocese of Detroit and Michael Voris/Real Catholic TV arising out of Mr. Voris's use of the term "Catholic" in his media company's name.  Mr. Voris holds himself out as a source of "doctrinally sound" Catholic catechesis.  You may read Mr. Voris's biography here.   

Dr. Edward Peters, who is a canon lawyer, notes that the dispute turns on a point of canon law.  According to Canon 216, the laity participate in the mission of the Church, and consequently have "the right to promote or sustain apostolic action even by their own undertakings."  However, Canon 216 goes on to say that "no undertaking is to claim the name ‘Catholic’ without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority."  The competent ecclesiastical authority in this case, since Mr. Voris has substantial ties to Michigan, appears to be the Archbishop of Detroit.  Thus, in order for Mr. Voris to claim the name Catholic for his media company, he must obtain the consent of the Archbishop of Detroit. 

I believe Dr. Peters has overlooked a Canon which also applies to this dispute.  Canon 221 states that "[t]he Christian faithful can legitimately vindicate and defend the rights which they possess in the Church in the competent ecclesiastical forum according to the norm of law."   Canon 221 goes on to say "[i]f they are summoned to a trial by a competent authority, the Christian faithful also have the right to be judged according to the prescripts of the law applied with equity" (emphasis mine).  A google search for "Catholic blog" yields almost 38 million hits.  A google search for "Catholic media" yields more than 38 million hits.  Undoubtedly, some of these are based in the Detroit Archdiocese.  If the only Catholic blog or Catholic media organization, out of what is surely a total of thousands, that the Detroit Archdiocese seeks to prohibit from claiming the name of "Catholic" is the one belonging to Mr. Voris, can the Detroit Archdiocese claim to be applying canon law with equity?

St. Raymond of Penafort, pray for us.

UPDATE: Read my response to Dr. Peters new post here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

More wisdom from St. Alphonsus Liguori

Relics of St. Alphonsus Liguori,  Basilica of St. Alphonsus, Pagani, Italy

Well worth keeping the following words of St. Alphonsus in mind throughout the new year, which I expect will be a particularly rough one:

"We must patiently endure all the tribulations of this life, the sicknesses, sorrows, poverty, loss of possessions, death of kin, affronts, persecutions, and adversity of every kind.  Let us understand that the sufferings of this life are signs that God loves us, and show his desire to save us in the next. Moreover, we must realize that the involuntary mortifications that God himself sends us are more pleasing to him than the voluntary ones that we take up on our own."

St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us. 

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus

IHS Monogram

Today is the feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, which commemorates the circumcision of the child Jesus, when, according to the Gospel of Luke, "he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” 

As can be seen from the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul, the Church has from its very beginning revered and honored the name of Jesus.  There are many reasons for this devotion.  As the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us,

"The Name of Jesus invoked with confidence-

    brings help in bodily needs, according to the promise of Christ: "In my name They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover". (Mark 16:17-18) In the Name of Jesus the Apostles gave strength to the lame (Acts 3:6; 9:34) and life to the dead (Acts 9:40).
    It gives consolation in spiritual trials. The Name of Jesus reminds the sinner of the prodigal son's father and of the Good Samaritan; it recalls to the just the suffering and death of the innocent Lamb of God.
    It protects us against Satan and his wiles, for the Devil fears the Name of Jesus, who has conquered him on the Cross.
    In the Name of Jesus we obtain every blessing and grace for time and eternity, for Christ has said: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." (John 16:23) Therefore the Church concludes all her prayers by the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ", etc."

The Church devotes the entire month of January to devotion and reverence of the Holy Name of Jesus.  We will consider this devotion further as we proceed through the month. 

"Praise be to Jesus Christ!"