Thursday, 31 December

21:15

Happy New Year — Saving a Seal [Transalpine Redemptorists at home]

Life on a small island can often be very interesting.  For example: Who expects that stepping outside their front door, they would find a seal sitting on their doorstep?  Well here on Papa Stronsay, that's exactly what happened.  Leaving my cell in the middle of the morning, I was confronted with a fairly large adolescent seal on the pathway which forms the small street between our monastic cells, called the Via Paparum!

The question was how to move it?  Seals can be quite aggressive when cornered and have the nickname "sea dogs".  This one was not interested in going back to its home, and we certainly couldn't have it staying too long in the Monastery!

With some of the brethren, a plan was formulated.

We put a blanket over the seal — which as you can see, it was not keen on — to stop it from being able to bite us.  It had a mouth full of very small, very sharp teeth.

Then, we took an old canvas mail sack which was cut down one side, and placed it over the seal, with its snout into the undamaged corner of the sack.

With some difficulty, the seal was put onto a sheep hurdle and transported back to the sea.

It was a great adventure!  For a light-hearted look at our experience, do watch the video below:


We wish you all a happy New Year!

20:53

Reflecting on the Old Year as I Look Forward to the New [LES FEMMES - THE TRUTH]


Celebrating 4th of July with a family parade.
It seems appropriate on the last few days of the year to take a look back and reflect on all God's gifts. No year is without its difficulties and challenges and plenty of those added to the challenges of 2015. But the joys and blessings were many as well and should not be the "good that is often interred" with the old year's bones. We do tend to remember bad news more than good don't we? Perhaps that's one of the results of fallen nature.

But here is my long list of thank yous for 2015:

1) For family and the opportunities to celebrate:


  • Holiday feasts when the table bulged with food and family members with the youngest enjoying their own table. How lovely it is to see the cousins playing together so happily. We rarely see a tear or hear a cross word when they are together. Thank you, Lord.
  • For the many visits from our little local grandchildren who love to come for the day, sleep over, play Kings in the Corner and Go Fish, bake cookies, ride bikes, swing, and just hang out with Gramma and Pakaour. They are doing a good job of keeping us from rusting out. Thank you, Lord.
Bike riding at Niagara Falls
  • For the joy of having extended family in the same town. For my brother and sister-in-law whom we see at Mass most days and with whom we frequently share breakfast and riveting conversation.  Thank you, Lord.
  • For a niece and her family who also live in town and whose daughter loves to visit with our Fresh Air girls when they come in the summer. We also often see one of their sons reverently serving Mass. Thank you, Lord. 
  • For the Labor Day party our daughter hosts every year for the Kreitzer clan that allows us to stay connected to all those dear ones: Larry's siblings and their spouses, our nieces and nephews and their spouses, and all those darling little grand nieces and nephews. Thank you, Lord.
2) For safe travels and fun adventures:
  • For our square dancing clubs, especially Campfire Squares, that offers many camping adventures, wonderful fellowship, and lots of good eating. We are especially thankful for our caller and his wife, Mac and Phyllis, who taught us how to dance back in the '70s and continue to introduce us to new calls. Their cheerfulness is a gift and a blessing to all of us. Thank you, Lord.
  • For fun travels this year to St. George Island, FL; Niagara Falls, Ontario, and to Jim Thorpe, PA. What a great time we had biking and sightseeing! Thank you, Lord.
  • For two trips to Austin to see our son and his family. Six of our grandchildren live there and we miss them and their parents. It is our major euchre-playing time and we love to visit their local parish, St. William's in Round Rock, which, despite being huge (6,000 families), offers a friendly, family atmosphere while we're away from our own home parish. Thank you, Lord.
3) For hearth and home and our family parish:
  • How blessed we are to live in Woodstock and to have a house big enough to welcome and offer hospitality to all our children. With beds enough for fourteen and plenty of floor space and air mattresses for overflow, the Kreitzer B & B is always open for business. This year we had many visitors both family and friends and enjoyed every opportunity to make memories for the future. Thank you, Lord.
  • We continued to manage our bees and harvested fifty pounds of honey that we share among family and friends, with a five pound jar delivered to the Poor Clares Sisters in Alexandria who keep our little enterprise in their prayers. A shop in Woodstock sells my homemade beeswax lip balm and it will only take fifty more years for us to recover our startup costs. Thank you, Lord.
  • We love our little parish, St. John Bosco. With only 400 families we still manage to maintain 48 hours of Eucharistic Adoration every week (Larry and I each have an hour in the midnight to 6:00 a.m. slot) and a number of apostolates to build the faith. Our community outreach group is one of the largest private charities in Shenandoah County with a food pantry, rent and fuel assistance, etc. In January we will begin hosting homeless families one week every quarter through Family Promise, a private charity that helps families in crisis get back on their feet. Thank you, Lord.
4) For good health:
  • Despite challenges this year, everyone in our immediate family is in relatively good health and we all praise God for it. We pray for family and friends who are facing serious physical or mental health challenges. What difficulties we have give us the opportunity to pray and offer the Fatima prayer: "O my Jesus, it is for love of you, the conversion of sinners, and in atonement for sins against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
5) Most of all, I thank God for the faith. This was, indeed, a difficult year for Holy Mother Church with continuous confusion emanating from Rome, a Family Synod that exposed the internecine warfare in the Church, and additional scandals. Nevertheless, God is still God and, as Padre Pio reminds us, we should, "Pray, hope, and don't worry." 

On to 2016. 






20:47

The Weekly Francis – 31 December 2015 [Jimmy Akin]

pope-francis2This version of The Weekly Francis covers material released in the last week from 19 November 2015 to 31 December 2015.

Angelus

Daily Homilies (fervorinos)

General Audiences

Homilies

Messages

Speeches

Papal Tweets

20:45

Even God Needs Mercy? (A Troubling Homily by Pope Francis) [The Remnant Newspaper - The Remnant Newspaper - Remnant Articles]

In the Traditional Latin Rite the Feast of the Holy Family is celebrated on the Sunday after Epiphany (January 10 this year). In the Novus Ordo calendar it comes two weeks earlier, on...

See more at http://remnantnewspaper.com

19:17

RCIA veteran: “Roman Catholic Church does not have a franchise on salvation” [Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber]

From a profile of the couple who’ve run RCIA for 25 years at St. Maximilian Kolbe, one of the largest parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, in the just-released January 2016 print edition the Catholic Telegraph:

“The most important thing we do upfront and realizes is — even the folks at Vatican II said — the Roman Catholic Church does not have a franchise on salvation.”

And here is what Vatican II actually says about salvation:

“Those men cannot be saved who, though aware that God through Jesus Christ founded the Church as something necessary, still do not wish to enter into it or to persevere in it” (Ad Gentes Divinitus—Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity, 7).

“For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is ‘the all-embracing means of salvation,’ that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Unitatis Redintegratio —Decree on Ecumenism, 3).

An extended discussion of the Church and salvation by Fr. Peter Stravinskas is here.

 


18:04

My version of the ball drop starts 1600 feet in the air [Unequally Yoked]

Over at FiveThirtyEight, I did a little high school physics math to see how high you’d have to start to really drop the New Year’s Eve ball.  And what would happen when it hit the ground. The ball drop in Times Square happens too slowly for my taste. Just before midnight, the LED-studded ball will inch [Read More...]

16:50

Benedetto XVI, la pace e l'irragionevolezza della violenza. L'accensione del lume (2006) [Il Blog di Raffaella. Riflessioni e commenti fra gli Amici di Benedetto XVI]

LINK DIRETTO SU YOUTUBE In occasione della presentazione degli auguri alla curia romana, Benedetto XVI si soffermò in particolare sul tema della pace. Poi, la sera della Vigilia di Natale, accese il lume della pace affacciandosi alla finestra del suo studio privato. Il testo integrale del discorso si trova qui. Grazie come sempre a Gemma per il grande lavoro :-) Dal discorso sopra segnalato:

14:00

Catholic Treatments of Divinization [Eastern Christian Books]

Just before Christmas I heard a bewildering story from a trusted friend about people at Mass at a Catholic university reacting negatively to a homily that suggested theosis or divinization (deification) is a part of Catholic tradition. I thought such fatuousness was slowly dying out, aided by any number of recent books on the topic, not least Daniel Keating's careful 2007 study, Deification and Grace (Introductions to Catholic Doctrine), or the several articles on theosis in Catholic tradition in Partakers of the Divine Nature: The History and Development of Deification in the Christian Traditions. But apparently there are still people who think this.

I am happy to report that such people really will have no excuse whatsoever for persevering in their ignorance and prejudice after the appearance, early in the new year, of a rich collection which I have perused in draft form. My editor at Catholic World Report, Carl Olson, has teamed up with the Jesuit theologian David Meconi of Saint Louis University to edit a very rich and promising looking collection with articles on deification from some prominent Catholic scholars.

Meconi is no stranger to the topic, having authored The One Christ: St. Augustine's Theology of Deification (Catholic University of America Press, 2013), 296pp.

Olson, too, is no stranger to the topic, having authored this lengthy essay in 2008 on how he came to the topic.

Their new collaborative collection is entitled Called to be the Children of God: the Catholic Theology of Human Deification, and it is to be published in 2016. I've already talked to the editors about an interview once the book is in print.

Ignatius tells us this about the book:
The first generations of Christians saw in their new lives in Jesus Christ a way to transcend all the limitations of sin and death and become new creatures. St. Peter expressed this as "participating in the divine nature" (2 Pet 1:4), while St. Athanasius stated it succinctly 300 years later: "God became a human, so humans could become God." This is the heart of the Christian faith and the pledge of the Christian promise: that those baptized in Christ become "divine" through their partaking in God's own life and love. This is why Christians can live forever, this is the source of their charity and their holiness, this is why we do not need to live in a world ruled by fallen instinct and sinful desires. We have been made for more, for infinitely more.
This book gathers more than a dozen Catholic scholars and theologians to examine what this process of "deification" means in their respective areas of study. It offers fifteen chapters showing what "becoming God" meant for the early Church, for St. Thomas Aquinas and the greatest Dominicans, the significance it played in the thinking of St. Francis and the early Franciscans. It shows how such an understanding of salvation played out during the Protestant Reformation and the Council of Trent, as well as in French School of Spirituality, in various Thomist thinkers, in John Henry Newman and John Paul II, at the Vatican Councils, and where such thinking can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church today.
No other book has gathered such an array of scholars or provided such a deep study into how humanity's divinized life in Christ has received many rich and various perspectives over the past two thousand years. This book therefore hopes to bring readers into the central mystery of Christianity by allowing the Church's greatest thinkers and texts to speak for themselves, showing how becoming Christ-like, becoming truly the Body of Christ on earth, is the only ultimate purpose of the Christian faith.
"Rescue from sin and death is indeed a wonderful thing—but the salvation won for us by Jesus Christ is incomparably greater. And that is the subject of this book. In all its parts, this book, like Christianity in all its parts, is about salvation. But that means it's about everything that fills our lives, on earth and in heaven."
— Dr. Scott Hahn, Author, Rome Sweet Home

13:51

Favorite Posts of 2015 [Unam Sanctam Catholicam]


Another year has passed us by. How amazing the vicissitudes of history are! How different the situation was in 1978 from 2005, and 2005 from 2007, and 2007 from now. The pendulum swings, back and forth. Good and evil, corruption and reform, light and dark, sin and redemption, and on and on until the end.

We hope you had a good year! This was a big year for me - I left the town I lived in for 35 years and relocated to another part of the state; my wife just gave birth to our fifth child - literally, like three days ago. Of course, things go on in the Church much as they have since 2013. To some degree I have disengaged from them, preferring to focus on more productive efforts like The Life of St. Columba project or writing other things of more permanent value. What goes on in Rome cannot take the Faith away from me. The biggest danger to the Faith, for me, is not Modernism but my own sins.

I want to thank everyone that helps contribute to this blog or lends a helping hand - Noah Moerbeek, my co-blogger - who, by the way, has been promoted within his order to the office of Preceptor of North America. Check him out there, right in the middle!



And here he is again on the left. Very proud of him!

Noah is obviously too humble to mention it, but he deserves hearty congratulations for the good work he does on behalf of the salvation of souls, both through his order and his occasional hosting of the Shield of Faith program on Radio Maria when he fills in for Matthew Arnold. He is a blessed friend and a worthy companion in the Lord.

Also my other contributors, Maximus and Wes Hunt, the former a graduate student of theology living in Rome, the latter a young convert from Protestantism to Catholic Tradition who has written some excellent pieces refuting various aspects of Protestant error on the USC website. These gentlemen are both blessings to me. And of course, Anselm, my co-blogger in absentia who posts about once every two years but who was instrumental in getting this blog off the group.

Also John Goodall who proofreads my website articles, A.R. Danziger Art & Design who does a lot of my graphic design stuff and book covers; Ryan Grant of Athanasius Contra Mundum, a very old friend who actually got me into blogging and who has done much to help me over the years by allowing me to write on his blog, interviewing me on his podcasts, turning my books into eBooks, and launching the wonderful and inspirational Mediatrix Press publishing venture. May God richly bless him and his family. Also thanks to Richard Aleman who welcomed me aboard the Distributist Review this fall.

Finally, thanks to all the readers, especially those on Facebook who share and comment on my posts regularly. Thank you, my friends. As we begin our ninth year year, it is amazing to think that this little effort has blossomed into such a lovely work, with over 1,650 articles spanning almost a decade of my life. God is good. Please pray for me, though. God has given me some measure of wisdom, and a strong faith, but my charity of often cold. I need His grace dearly. Remember my poor soul in your prayers.

Below are a list of my personal favorite posts from 2015. If you enjoy this blog, please consider signing up as a follower on blogger, or follow us on Facebook, where every article from both this blog and the website are posted regularly, as well as other interesting articles from other sources and great stuff from the USC archives.

FAVORITE ARTICLES OF 2015
Great Commission is Institutional: Christ's command to preach the Gospel to all nations was not only given to individual Christians, but the Church as such. No tribe or tongue is exempt from a Church's institutional mission.
Conservatives Failed Strategy: Why an orthodox conservatism has never managed to stem the tide of liberalism and never will.
The Age of Mercy: In what does true mercy consist, and how is this different from what Kasper proposes?
The Obedience of St. Athanasius: Appealing to St. Athanasius to excuse disobedience to ecclesiastical authority is unwarranted, as Athanasius was never disobedient.
The Curiosity of the Modern Encyclical: What role does the modern papal encyclical play in forming Catholic teaching, and how has this changed over the centuries?
Mercy, Annulments & Matrimony: Some sanity to the discussion on mercy and its relation to annulments; an annulment is a legal procedure, and as such cannot be "merciful" or "unmerciful", only more or less just.
Quinisext Council in Trullo and Priestly Celibacy: Getting to the root of the common but incorrect belief that a married clergy is the ancient tradition in the east.
Exquisitely Beautiful: Conversion is the most beautiful thing there is.
The Thief in the Night: Do you want to die listening to a song called "Kiss the Devil" like those unfortunate wretches killed in the Paris attacks?
Why is Masturbation a Sin? Answering common questions about the immorality of masturbation along with practical tips to help stop masturbating.
Not to Abolish, But Fulfill: What our Lord means when He says the Old Covenant has not been abolished by fulfilled.
Foot Washing: What's the Big Deal?: Getting to the heart of traditionalist objections to Pope Francis' Holy Thursday foot washing.
The Vice of Effeminacy: Effeminacy itself is a vice, even if one does not act out one's homosexual tendencies. It is not something that offers one special "gifts" or "perspectives."
Bishop Barron and the Evolution of Christ's Consciousness: Discussing the deep-seated Balthasarian Christology of Bishop Robert Barron.
Synod II Wrap Up: Our assessment of the final session of the Synod on the Family.
Balthasar and the "Faith" of Christ: Hans Urs von Balthasar's Christology is profoundly unorthodox, as he teaches Christ had faith and experienced positive error.
Is Easter Pagan? The Easter-Eostre Connection: Answering a common but ignorant canard about the celebration of Christ's Resurrection.
Christian Marriage Video Project: Helpful original videos explaining aspects of the Church's teaching on marriage and the family.
No Trad Magisterium: There is no one group that speaks for all traditionalists.
The Spirit blows where He will: Many people enter the Church every year; who can predict who will persevere?
Shepherds for the Whole World: Is the pope the pastor of the Church or the world?
Canonization Old vs. New Comparison: A side by side comparison of the differences between the old and new procedures for canonization.
Hagiography and a Populated Hell: The hagiographical testimony to the reality of particular souls damned in hell.
Authority of Rerum Novarum and Quadrigesimo Anno: Examining the Magisterial authority of these two cornerstones of Catholic social teaching.

That's enough, but there is so much more! Please visit the USC sister site for hundreds of in depth articles on all aspects of Catholic faith, liturgy, history, theology and more - or peruse the archives of this blog, which go way back to June of 2007.

Thanks for another great year! Ad multos annos!

10:52

A Dialogue on Star Wars [Sancrucensis]

Baring (standing), Over-Bearing (right), Past-Bearing (left)

Over-BearingFew things shows how far the world has sunken since our time more clearly than an American college lecturer reflecting on his students difficulty in reading children’s books [he reads aloud from  John Senior’s The Restoration of Christian Culture]:

In my own direct experience teaching literature at universities, I have found a large plurality of students who find, say, Treasure Island what they call “hard reading,” which means too difficult to enjoy with anything approaching their delight in Star Wars or electronic games.

Has it indeed come to this? That the descendants of the peoples of Christendom— of the peoples who built the great cathedrals, who conquered and instructed worlds— that the descendants of such peoples should have fallen so low that they cannot even enjoy Mr. Stevenson’s simple adventure stories.  No one could accuse me of being overly optimistic about the effects of the death of Christian civilization, but even I did not expect man to fall so far below the beasts that his keenest enjoyment would be found in Star Wars. Star Wars! That dismal mush of pantheism, gnosticism, and sentimentality, so illogical that in our day a child of five years would have laughed it to scorn.

Past-BearingYou are quite wrong to see in the popularity of Star Wars a sign of how far our race has fallen since the end of civilization. On the contrary— Star Wars is proof that how ever far the world has fallen, human nature cannot be entirely corrupted, and that despite the reigning dogma’s of anti-culture, the common man can still tell the difference between good and evil, and delights in stories about the triumph of the one over the other. The miracle of Star Wars is that it shows a world of machines and space-ships in which the most important thing is mystery of the good; the magic of an “ancient religion.” In the figure of Luke Skywalker the inhabitants of the dreary wasteland of a world dis-enchanted by godlessness and capitalism, can see themselves discovering that after all the world is a mighty battle field between super-natural powers. Star Wars is not art, but it is something much more important: it is story about the truth of our magical world. It is to these sad times, what penny dreadfuls were to ours.

Over-Bearing: Nonsense. Star Wars is not a story told by the simple for their own amusement. It is a powerful propaganda weapon made at great expense by Californian plutocrats, members of the world wide conspiracy of anti-Catholics and usurers. It was made to confuse the notions of good and evil, and muddle the minds of the world’s children.

Past-Bearing: My dear Over-Bearing, the truth is quite the opposite of what you say. It is precisely the proud intellectuals of the new anti-culture who decry Star Wars for being “puerile” and lacking “subtlety” in its depiction of good and evil— that is, for not mixing them up enough— for making the good good and the evil evil. Hence children spontaneously love Star Wars. It is the relativists and soft-Nietzscheans, and Picasso lovers who decry it as the end of culture.

Over-Bearing: That man may be an ass, who considers Picasso an artist, but he is quite right that Star Wars is mindless distraction that is passively consumed, destroying rather than nourishing the imagination. You yourself has magnificently shown that real fairy tales are quite reasonable, and make perfect sense. But Star Wars makes no sense at all; it is full of the most illogical stupidity. Not to mention the gnostic dualism.

Past-Bearing: It is true that some of the more tiresome characters talk solemn nonsense of a gnostic sort. But the portrayal of good and evil in action is entirely Christian, and even entirely Catholic. Evil is exaggeratedly great appearance, but weak in substance— a shadowy privation of being. Hence many of the apparent absurdities and impossibilities show themselves to be entirely logical. That the Storm Troopers are so feared, and yet are all such comically bad shots. That the evil empire is so powerful, and yet so easy to destroy. When Luke walks unarmed into the the stronghold of the enemy at the end of Return of the Jedi, he shows us again the greatest story ever told: the story of the weakness of the good proving itself stronger than the strength of evil.

Over-BearingPast-Bearing, you are indeed past all bearing. You cannot be comparing that spoiled, whining whelp, Luke Skywalker, to our Savior?

Past-Bearing: The tone of Skywalker’s voice might not be the most euphonious, but it is necessary in order that American teenagers might see him as being of their kind. As the theologians say: quod non est assumptum non est sanatum.

[Exit Over-Bearing in disgust]

[Baring, who has been listening in interest all the while, while pretending to write a triolet, lays down his pen].

Baring: Your defense of Star Wars is all very well, Past-Bearing, but surely it doesn’t apply to The Force Awakens. The original trilogy (despite its vulgarity and sentimentality) had a certain inventiveness, an innocent delight in the revealing of new-worlds. To see the old Star Wars was to walk through an enchanted door and to see again, as though half remembered, the light upon the enchanted world of childhood. But the new film is dull affair made by a committee of capitalists. A tent-pole film so anxious to please the admirers of the original that it repeats almost frame for frame the plot of A New Hope. So anxious not to be boring, that it rushes along at a frantic pace without time for enjoyment. A film so pedantically obsessed with the politically correct opinions that the heroine becomes a sort of feminist Mary Sue, for whom everything is so easy that nothing matters. Force Awakens is the very paragon of  unimaginative and decadent art.

Past-Bearing: Oh, but repetition is the very essence of the age-old story of good and evil. And typology is the genius of The Force AwakensSurely decadent art is obsessed with novelty? Nostalgia is the mark of truly human stories: Virgil is nostalgic, Dante is nostalgic [cf. the conclusion of this post].  And as to Rey: I find no fault with her role in the story. Does she not show us that great, triumphant, and eternally exciting truth: that one good girl is more powerful than a great many bad men in masks? That the goodness of a little girl is fair as the sun, clear as the moon, terrible as an army with banners?

[enter Duff Cooper, a little drunk]

Duff Cooper: I say, let’s go see The Force Awakens.

Past-Bearing [gets up with alacrity]: Yes, do let’s

Baring: Oh, all right.


10:27

Too Much Dorothy [Edinburgh Housewife]

UPDATE: Here's the new blog, in which I will make experiments in eschewing the first person singular. I will be updating it sporadically, so do drop in once in a while. Thanks to all my regular readers and fans, especially those two who sent me gifts via Amazon, and those who donated to my various causes.

****
When I as a fledgling writer, I received two pieces of advice that I completely ignored.

The second, from the late, great Canadian poet Margaret Avison, was not to write in the first person (i.e. "me, myself and I") for ten years. That was over ten years ago, and behold. 

The first, from the late, great Canadian professor of prose, Harvey Kerpnik*, was the remark, scrawled on one of my more lighthearted compositions in the mid-90s, "Too much Dorothy."

Woot!

Before I went on our Christmas holiday, I had a think about my dependence on the internet and my perhaps unwise habit of "giving [almost all of] it all [i.e. my deathless prose] away for free". I also had a think about how much I am encouraging, through my own work, the regrettable North American tendency to "let it all hang out." It left me feeling rather depressed, but as St. Ignatius of Loyola said, one shouldn't make decisions while in a state of desolation. 

So B.A. and I went to Italy, and I turned my face to the beautiful southern sun, waiting to be placed in a state of consolation. And what I have decided--B.A. assuring me that entirely giving up writing in the first person is impractical--is to start a new blog, in which I write rather less about myself .  For example, I will stop writing sentences like "I think Sienkiewicz was a genius" and write "Sienkiewicz was a genius" instead. Stay tuned for the link to the new blog.

Meanwhile, I have pledged to write more often for pay than for blog, so insofar as I can, I will publish links to my paid work. (If you want to read regularly my biweekly column in the Toronto Catholic Register, please subscribe to the online edition.)

Incidentally, after ten days without the internet, the only important news I discovered I had missed was rampant flooding in the United Kingdom, the country in which I live. Naturally I already knew about the wretched circumstances of Christians in the Middle East--and the indifference of the world to their particular plight-- and so I encourage you to send the right Christian agencies money, in the hope that it will be used to help at least some Christians.

*I may have misspelled his name . Alas, Harvey died before any mention of him was recorded on the internet. 

08:00

The Journey of the Magi Today [The Jesuit Post]

‘A cold coming we had of it, Just the worst time of the yearFor a journey, and such a long journey: The ways deep and the weather sharp, The very dead of winter.’ –T.S. Eliot, “The Journey of the Magi”  When the nights are at their longest, the Magi set out for Bethlehem with little more than a star and blind hope to guide them. They leave their palaces and set out into terra incognita, seeking a place and person that will transform their lives and their world. For us at Kino Border Initiative, this journey is easy to imagine. We offer warm meals and clean clothes to migrants who find themselves at the southern border of the US. In these migrants, we see people leaving behind their native land to seek a place that might transform their lives. In their hopes and their obstacles, we see kings walking. Each day from Christmas to Epiphany on our Instagram, we’ll share with you another place where we see the Magi in our daily life in Nogales.

We also want to know where you see the Magi. So, take a photo of the three kings traveling through those special places in your lives. You can post to Instagram with the hashtag #magimigratetokino and submit the photos to us with (or without) a brief reflection to us at magimigrate@gmail.com. As we walk toward their arrival at Bethlehem on Epiphany, we’ll share your submissions here on The Jesuit Post.

06:00

St. Sergius and His Bear [The Rad Trad]

(Mikhail Nesterov)
As must be obvious from the company I keep, I have an affinity for animals who have received their tutelage from the saints. Joseph of Cupertino raised a flock of sheep from the dead, Hieronymus assisted an injured lion, William of Vercelli ordered the wolf that killed his donkey into service, John Bosco was accompanied by a grey dog, and Anthony preached to the fishes when the heretics would not listen.

St. Sergius of Radonezh lived in the 1300s, and is considered by Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Christians alike to be one of the greatest Russian saints. He made his home at one point in the wilderness, like the hermits of old. Under various forms and in various times did the devils attack Sergius, but so exhausted did they become of the saint’s rectitude that they attempted to frighten him out of the wilderness with wild animals. Wolves, bears, and other beasts frightened the ascetic, but did not cause him to forget prayer, and eventually the animals let him be. All except for one bear.


Sensing that this bear came not to frighten him but rather was searching for food, the Russian anchorite began sharing his only food with the bear—a slice of bread. The bear made a habit of eating with Sergius, since food was difficult to find elsewhere. More than once, when there was only one slice of bread to eat, Sergius would give it all to the bear rather than let it go hungry.

So do we tame our passions by bread and fasting, and by “making friends of the mammon of iniquity” (Lk. xvi) do we convert them to our own cause.

It is unknown how or when or even if St. Sergius’ Bear met its demise. For all we know, the Russian Bear has been living a lonely eremitical existence in the Russian wilderness for the last seven hundred years, quietly waiting for someone to bring him a piece of bread in exchange for a story about its old master.

St. Sergius, pray for us!

(Nicholas Roerich)

04:00

Nullity of Marriage. A Reform That Risks Sinking in the Dock [Chiesa -]

The extreme facility of the procedures was the solution contrived by Pope Francis to readmit the divorced and remarried to communion. But not everything is working out as planned. A commentary by the canonist Guido Ferro Canale

01:00

Matins readings for the Octave of the Nativity (Jan 1) [Lectio Divina Notes]

The Readings for the Octave Day of the Nativity (aka Circumcision of Our Lord) in the Benedictine Office are set out below.

Nocturn IRomans 4 1-5, 6-8, 9-12, 13-17

Reading 1: What shall we say then that Abraham hath found, who is our father according to the flesh.  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory, but not before God.  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was reputed to him unto justice. Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned according to grace, but according to debt. But to him that worketh not, yet believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reputed to justice, according to the purpose of the grace of God.

R. Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Which taketh away the sins of the world; behold Him of Whom I said unto you: He That cometh after me is preferred before me * Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

V. He that is of the earth speaketh of the earth; He That cometh from heaven is above all.
R. Whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

Reading 2: As David also termeth the blessedness of a man, to whom God reputeth justice without works: Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord hath not imputed sin.

R. This day which is breaking is holy; O come, ye Gentiles, and worship the Lord.* For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
V. This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
R. For this day is much light come down unto us from heaven.
Reading 3: This blessedness then, doth it remain in the circumcision only, or in the uncircumcision also? For we say that unto Abraham faith was reputed to justice. How then was it reputed? When he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the justice of the faith, which he had, being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that believe, being uncircumcised, that unto them also it may be reputed to justice: And might be the father of circumcision; not to them only, that are of the circumcision, but to them also that follow the steps of the faithful, that is in the uncircumcision of our father Abraham.

R. Blessed be He That cometh in the name of the Lord! God is the Lord Who hath showed us light.* Alleluia, Alleluia.
V. This is the day which the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

R. Alleluia, Alleluia.

Reading 4: For not through the law was the promise to Abraham, or to his seed, that he should be heir of the world; but through the justice of faith. For if they who are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, the promise is made of no effect. For the law worketh wrath. For where there is no law, neither is there transgression. Therefore is it of faith, that according to grace the promise might be firm to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, As it is written: I have made thee a father of many nations, before God, whom he believed, who quickeneth the dead; and calleth those things that are not, as those that are.

Nocturn II: Sermon of St Leo (27 on the Nativity of Our Lord 7)

Reading 5: Dearly beloved brethren, whosoever will keep truly and honour piously this day's festival, it is necessary for him neither to think falsely of the Lord's Incarnation, nor meanly of the Lord's Godhead. For as there is danger, on the one hand, of denying the truth of Christ's participation of our nature, so is there no less danger, on the other, of doing despite to the equality of His glory with the glory of the Father. Wherefore, when we draw near to understand the mystery of Christ's Birth, wherein He was born of the Virgin Mary, we must leave the clouds of earthly imagination behind and pierce the fog of human wisdom with the eye of enlightened faith.

R. Rejoice with me, all ye that love the Lord.* For while I was yet little I pleased the Most High, and from my womb have I brought forth God and man.
V. All generations shall call me blessed, for God hath regarded the lowliness of His hand-maiden.

R. For while I was yet little I pleased the Most High, and from my womb have I brought forth God and man.

Reading 6:The authority on which we believe is the authority of God Himself; the teaching which we follow is the teaching of God Himself. Wherefore whether we lend the ear of our mind to the testimony of the Law, or to the revelations of the Prophets, or to the full pealing of the Gospel trumpet, that is true, which John the Son of Thunder, uttered, when he was filled with the Holy Ghost, and said: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.

R. The heart of the Virgin was fixed, when the Angel declared unto her the mystery of God, and she conceived, then did she receive in her pure womb Him That is fairer than the children of men.* And, she that is blessed for ever, brought forth for us God and man.
V. Soon rises, in that modest shrine, The Temple of the Lord Divine The stainless and unwedded one, Within her womb conceived the Son.
R. And, she that is blessed for ever, brought forth for us God and man.

Reading 7: The Same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made. True also is his witness when he saith: The Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father. The Person of the Son of God therefore remaineth unchanged and one, though He have two natures, keeping His own, and taking ours. He appeareth as man to be the restorer of men, but abideth all the while in His immutable Godhead. 

R. Blessed and worshipful art thou, O Virgin Mary; from thee, still maiden undefiled, the Saviour came a little Child.* He Whose glory filled the heavens lay in a manger.
V. O Lord, I have heard thy speech and was afraid; I considered thy works and trembled. O Thou That dwellest between the two living creatures!
R. He Whose glory filled the heavens lay in a manger.

Reading 8: That Godhead which He shareth with the Father was not a whit the less Almighty, nor did the form of a servant touch the form of God to derogate from it. The Most High and Everlasting Being, bending down for man's salvation, took the Manhood into His glory; He ceased not to be That which He is from everlasting. Hence we see the Only-begotten Son of God in one place confessing that the Father is greater than He, John xiv. 28, and in another declaring that He and the Father are One, x. 30. This is an evident proof of the distinction of His two natures, and the unity of His Person; for He is inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood, and yet equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and yet, though He be God and Man, He is not two, but One Christ.

Nocturn III: Homily of Ambrose (On Luke 2:55-57)

Reading 9: So the Child is circumcised. This is the Child of Whom it is said: Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. Made under the law to redeem them that were under the law.  To present Him to the Lord. 

In my Commentary on Isaiah I have already explained what is meant by being presented to the Lord in Jerusalem, and therefore I will not enter into the subject again. He that is circumcised in heart gaineth the protection of God, for the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous.  

R. O Mary, how holy and how spotless is thy virginity! I am too dull to praise thee* For thou hast borne in thy breast Him Whom the heavens cannot contain.
V. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
R. For thou hast borne in thy breast Him Whom the heavens cannot contain.

Reading 10: We will see that as all the ceremonies of the old law were types of realities in the new, so the circumcision of the body signified the cleansing of the heart from the guilt of sin.But since the body and mind of man remain yet infected with a proneness' to sin, the circumcision of the eighth day is also a type of that complete cleansing from sin which we shall have at the resurrection. This ceremony was also performed in obedience to the commandment of God: Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy unto the Lord. These words were written with especial reference to the delivery of the Blessed Virgin. 

R. The Virgin-Mother that knew not a man, bore, but travailed not.* She fed the Saviour of the world, The King of Angel hosts above, Jesus, our Redeemer blest, From the fountain of her breast.
V. Soon rises in that modest shrine, The Temple of the Lord Divine; The stainless and unwedded one, Within her womb conceived the Son.
R. She fed the Saviour of the world, The King of Angel hosts above, Jesus, our Redeemer blest, From the fountain of her breast.

Reading 11: Truly He That opened her womb was holy, for He was altogether without spot, and we may gather that the law was written specially for Him from the words of the Angel: That Holy Thing Which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.Among all that are born of women the Lord Jesus Christ stood alone in holiness. Fresh from His immaculate Birth, He felt no contagion from human corruption, and His heavenly Majesty drove it away. 

Reading 12: If we are to follow the letter and say that every male that openeth the womb is holy, how shall we explain that so many have been unrighteous? Was Ahab holy? Were the false prophets holy? Were they holy on whom Elijah justly called down fire from heaven? But He to Whom the sacred commandment of the law of God is mystically directed is the Holy One of Israel; Who also alone hath opened the secret womb of His holy Virgin-bride the Church, filling her with a sinless fruitfulness to give birth to Christian souls.

Gospel: St Luke 2:21

When eight days had passed, and the boy must be circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name which the angel had given him before ever he was conceived in the womb.

Authentische Zusammenfassung der Spiritualität und geistigen Physiognomie des Kartäuserordens. (4/14) [BRUNONIS]

Normal 0 21 false false false DE X-NONE X-NONE Diese an sich allgemeinen Mittel werden spezifisch der ordenseigen Modalität, welche die Statuten den Ordensmitgliedern aufdrückt. Dies gilt in gleicher Weise von den positiven Mitteln, die diesem Orden mit allen kontemplativen Orden gemeinsam sind. Immerhin weisen die Traditionen des Ordens des hl. Bruno besonders auf drei Hauptmittel des geistlichen Lebens hin:


1. Durch eine Reihe unserem Orden allein eigentümlicher Übungen stellen sie unser inneres Leben unter den Schutz der allerseligsten Jungfrau Maria, deren bevorzugte Kinder wir sind.

2. Sie laden uns dringend ein, so häufig als möglich uns von der göttlichen Speise zu nähren, vom eucharistischen Brote. Und wenn auch unsere Ordensgewohnheiten der förmlichen Danksagung nach der heiligen Messe und Kommunion nur kurze Zeit widmen, so geschieht dies in der Absicht, daß sie in der Zelle fortgesetzt werde durch die dauernde Vereinigung mit dem menschgewordenen Leben, und daß unser Tagwerk von ihr durchdrungen, gleichsam in sie eingetaucht sein soll.
O sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur!" – „O heiliges Gastmahl, in dem man Christus genießt." (Liturgie).

3. Endlich weisen sie lobend auf jene Religiösen hin, welche häufig die heilige Absolution empfangen. Diese geheimnisvolle Reinigung im Blute des Lammes ist in der Tat wirksamer als noch so viele menschliche Bemühungen und rein natürliche Anstrengungen.

(vgl.: Das weiße Paradies. Ein Kartäuser spricht.) 


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07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293001020304
March 2014
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
24252627280102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31010203040506
February 2014
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282930310102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627280102
January 2014
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30310102030405
06070809101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930310102
December 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
25262728293001
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30310102030405
November 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293001
October 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
August 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
29303101020304
05060708091011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829303101
July 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
01020304050607
08091011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29303101020304
June 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282930310102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
May 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
29300102030405
06070809101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930310102
April 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
01020304050607
08091011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29300102030405
March 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
25262728010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
February 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728010203
January 2013
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
December 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829300102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31010203040506
November 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
29303101020304
05060708091011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829300102
October 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
01020304050607
08091011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29303101020304
September 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282930310102
03040506070809
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
June 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293001
May 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
March 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282901020304
05060708091011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829303101
February 2012
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30310102030405
06070809101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282901020304
December 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293001020304
05060708091011
12131415161718
19202122232425
26272829303101
November 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293001020304
July 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
27282930010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
April 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293001
March 2011
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
November 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
01020304050607
08091011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
29300102030405
August 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829303101
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30310102030405
June 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
31010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293001020304
January 2010
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
28293031010203
04050607080910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
December 2009
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
30010203040506
07080910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031010203
November 2009
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
26272829303101
02030405060708
09101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30010203040506