Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Gold and Hair shirts

Becket wore a hair shirt under his gold and crimson, and there is much to be said for the combination; for Becket got the benefit of the hair shirt while the people in the street got the benefit of the crimson and gold.

-GK Chesterton, Orthodoxy.

As we begin our Solemn days...

Miserere mei, Fili David. Quid vis ut faciam tibi? Domine, ut videam.

Cum jejunatis, nolite fieri sicut hypocritae, tristes.

Finally, a quote from my Christian Spirituality lecturer today, whom I must say has the most delightful English mannerisms: "It is hardly a fanciful idea to think that the General Judgement could occur before lunch!" Sobrii estote, et vigilate - fortes in fide!

May we humbly rejoice in the Lord for His priests and the Sacrament of Penance. Let us proceed into the desert.

Monday, February 27, 2006

And this is just weird...

... if promising:

Click here

Okay, so not entirely relevant, but it amused me ;-)

Holy Father's message...

... for WYD 2008 can be read here

The theme of the gathering is "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

"The Apostles received the word of salvation and passed it on to their successors as a precious gem kept safely in the jewel box of the Church: without the Church, this pearl runs the risk of being lost or destroyed. ... Love and follow the Church, for she has received from her Founder the mission of showing people the way to true happiness"

'The Incarnate Word, Word of Truth, makes us free and directs our freedom toward the good.'

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Preparing for Wednesday

In preparations over the past few weeks, I came across this:

"The primary reason for carnival celebrations is the feasting, rejoicing, and reveling before the imminent season of fast and abstinence. It is a trait of human nature to anticipate approaching privations by greate r or lesser excesses. The intensity of this urge, however, should not be judged from the mild Lenten laws of today, but from the strict and harsh observance of ancient times, which makes modern man shiver at the mere knowledge of its details. No wonder the good people of past centuries felt entitled to "have a good time" before they started on their awesome fast."

Sounds wonderful! But this bit is even better:

"In order to encourage the faithful to atone in prayer and penance for the many excesses and scandals committed at carnival time, Pope Benedict XIV, in 1748, instituted a special devotion for the three days preceding Lent, called "Forty Hours of Carnival," which is held in many churches of Europe and America, in places where carnival frolics are of general and long-standing tradition. The Blessed Sacrament is exposed all day Monday and Tuesday, and devotions are held in the evening, followed by the Eucharistic Benediction."


Thank you Mike.

Please say a prayer for the students returning to study today!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam

Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Benedicto. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.

Pater Noster, Ave Maria, (Gloria Patri).

Elegit eum Dominus * Sacerdotem sibi. Ad sacrificandum ei hostiam laudis.
The Lord chose him * For a priest unto Himself. To offer unto Him the sacrifice of praise.

A finibus terrae ad te clamavi: dum anxiaretur cor meum, in petra exaltasti me.
To You I have cried from the ends of the earth: when my heart was in anguish, You lifted me up onto a rock.

Deo gratias.

Oh yes, there are to be fifteen new Cardinals!

Novel Tradition

I am currently reading through the Decree on the Apostolate on the Laity. I am about half-way through, and as with all the documents, I do encourage you to read them. I have already found some lovely bits and pieces, particularly on the family, but I felt that I had to share the following excerpt - I find it, though with a tinge of sadness, rather sweet:

"Adults ought to engage in such friendly discussion with young people that both age groups, overcoming the age barrier, may become better acquainted and share the special benefits each generation can offer the other. Adults should stimulate young persons first by good example to take part in the apostolate and, if the opportunity presents itself, by offering them effective advice and willing assistance. By the same token young people should cultivate toward adults respect and trust, and although they are naturally attracted to novelties, they should duly appreciate praiseworthy traditions."

Especially when that which is 'novel', is actually the dusty timeless! Perhaps then young people are naturally restorers. Kind of like when a parent goes through a child's cupboard to find a toy, let's say a doll, simple, quite old, and perhaps a little run down. Mummy discards the doll without asking her daughter. The daughter, thus finding out is distraught. "Mother, how could you do this? I know I didn't really play with her, but I loved her - I know you didn't like her, but you didn't ask me!" Out the girl goes to find her lost 'heritage', frantically searching through the rubbish, until she finds her, and with great relief and care, restores her and places her on display in the family household for all to see. Observing, Mother thinks to herself, "Goodness, how I had forgotten how lovely she is after all. That doll looks familiar to me... Wait. That was my doll! A gift from my Father."

Monday, February 20, 2006

Worn Gilded Edges

Please pray for a gentleman named John who is recovering after falling down some stairs yesterday. God bless you.

Today (20/02) is the first anniversary of that memorable class in which I was first taught to use the Missal properly, and so marks one year of fluent attendance at the Classical Liturgy. One year full of days of falling ever more deeply in love with the Mass of the Ages. One year of ribbon-flicking fun! Goodness. Deo gratias.

This time last year it was already the second Sunday of Lent!

Father gave a brief talk about the theology and the history of the liturgy of Vespers, preceding their recitation yesterday afternoon. How fitting! Jude most kindly marked up my Diurnal for me - he mentioned that it was somewhat similar to marking the Missal - and then things began to make much more sense! I have made some resolutions that I intend to keep with the grace of God, and I pray that at this time next year, my Diurnal will look as well worn with use as my Missal. My heart is fluttering already! The only problem is that my mind and my voice don't co-operate when I read chant. I have to learn the tones by ear. Once I know the tones by heart, I can follow the notation. Or rather, is it a case of the notation confirming the tone? I think it is the latter!

Flowing on then, aren't the readings from Sexagesima just beautiful?

Et dixit mihi: Sufficit tibi gratia mea: nam virtus in infirmitate perficitur. Libenter igitur gloriabor in infirmitatibus meis, ut inhabitet in me virtus Christi.

Chesteron for our times:

"The evil of the pessimist is, then, not that he chastises gods and men, but that he does not love what he chastises -- he has not this primary and supernatural loyalty to things. What is the evil of the man commonly called an optimist? Obviously, it is felt that the optimist, wishing to defend the honour of this world, [he] will defend the indefensible."


Ecce quam bonum, et quam jucundum, habitare fratres in unum!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Some people's minds...

... make the best jumps. You've gotta love Fr. Z...

Have a look at this thread on COL.

Was up until ungodly hours last night making copies of music and translated readings for tomorrow. All fun...!

Friday, February 17, 2006

And also with spiritu tuo?

Firstly, this is not an exercise in comparing rites. Sometimes that gets a bit futile. This post is on a topic of its own. Last night, I watched a Mass on EWTN. EWTN is blessed with good and holy priests who approach the Holy Sacrifice with an obvious fear and trembling. However, I am having trouble understanding something that I observed. At certain times the 'Dominus vobiscum' was said in Latin, and at others, in the vernacular. The priests at EWTN would know of the incorrect rendering of the Latin in the 'and also with you' (quoque tecum?) Surely in that case, they should all be said in Latin? If only for the benefit of the people's Latin, and thus completely conforming with the wishes of the Council? I don't know. I do know that I don't like hybrids - even in the Classical Liturgy; I am a strong advocate of the readings being said once, and said in Latin. After all, the Lord has gifted the Roman Church with Latin as her sacred language, let us enjoy it! Let us use it. AMDG.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Juventutem 2008 ideas

Hello dear Juventutem bloggers,

What does 2008 mean for you? Probably not very much, unless you are already thinking about attending Sydney for WYD & Juventutem. Many of us are now only just leaving the Christmas festive season. Certainly there are hardly any that would claim to be preparing for Easter! Nevertheless, planning for such a big occasion has indeed meant that we not only plan in advance of such a well attended event, but also organise each particular element in fine detail. Coordination between all of the major countries attending Juventutem 2008 is essential, and I believe that everyone's personal involvement will have a great significant impact upon Juventutem 2008.

Certainly, a very important aspect of Juventutem 2008 will be advertising. This can be achieved in many forms: flyers, posters, emails, website etc. etc.

Do you think that these are the most effective forms of advertising? What other ways can we help to spread the Juventutem euphoria?

Juventutem 2008!

May God bless,

Treasurer, Juventutem Australia

(Xavier is the brother of Juventutem pilgrim Emma Wills)

Vox pained-us

Firstly, please say a prayer through the intercession of Saint Blaise for Father T who has found himself afflicted with a case of bronchitis, and for Father McD who is not feeling the best, either. Gratias.

Secondly, I thought that I might share a story that I heard at our meeting on Saturday for 2008. Apparently, Pope St Pius X wasn't too fond of the English language, nor receiving audiences, and was a little suspicious of Americans! One day, some Anglophones did gain an 'audience', and beseeched the Holy Father to say something in English. He did. "Goodbye!"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A few things of note...

Courtesy of the lads over at 'The New Liturgical Movement' (none of that grumbling, please...) I link you to this http://www.thefirstmass.com/ wonderful DVD set. One is completely unadulterated, the second has Fr's commentary. Thought you might like to know.


Was reading the old Catholic Encyclopaedia article on women last night, and it makes me look like a raving feminist. Which is quite funny, but made me wonder about a few things.

Firstly, I need to get to know more women. I don't understand women. I don't know what it means to be a woman. Okay, so we get a pretty good example in Our Blessed Mother, but still. I think hitherto my entire understanding of myself as a girl is that I'm different to all the guys I know. Which is completely true but could do with a lot of work.

One thing I reckon is that the way we love is different to the way men love. I'm not entirely sure, but it seems less definable. I think there is less distinction in women's love - friendship, the love of sister, mother, daughter, wife. It's sort of all mixed up and indeterminate. Even with Him, there's an element of wanting to make it all okay, to take Him in my arms and make things better. Which is complete nonsense, although if He will insist on coming to us so helplessly, perhaps not a surprising sentiment. At the same time, the exact opposite is true. On the other hand, she did just that, so maybe I'm not totally mad.

Then there's the man-woman thing. That I don't quite get. Because a lot of it seems to be based on the concept that because we're emotional we can't make rational decisions. That's not true. We get emotional, acknowledge our emotions, and then ignore them in making decisions. Or at least, we should and hopefully do. At the same time, does anyone else wish that someone would just take them in hand and tell them?

Point being, I have a lot to learn, and I'm not going to learn it surrounded by men. Which means finding women to hang around with. Back in the day, it was straight from your father's house to one of two places: marriage or the convent. It's unnatural to be a single woman like this. Maybe everyone else finds it okay, but I don't. It's... weird.

Sorry... this should probably have gone on me own blog, but wanted to discuss.

Hi all...

Prayer request, please.

Next Sunday is my first as director of the 'Capella Ave Maris Stella' at the infamous S. Bede's, London. Anyway, music to include Victoria's Missa Ave Maris Stella and motets by Byrd and Palestrina. Any and all to please bug S. Gregory about this in the hopes that I won't hugely mess up and put things in the wrong places. Unlikely, but possible, especially as the singers won't know what's going on. .

Oh, and has anyone looked at the Communion Antiphon for sexagesima yet? If you haven't, do. And laugh a little bit. And then take it as an excuse to pray for all involved in Juventutem, if you will. Not that excuses are needed, but, well... it won't hurt!

Big hugs all round as I'm feeling a bit sentimental right now and need my family.

A Tale of Two Missals

First, an extract taken from an 1806 Missal, and then my 2004 Angelus Press edition.

I do love the translation of 'laetificat' as rejoiceth!

Illiteracy and poverty aside, such a comparison is extremely moving. The first Catholic Mass in Australia was in 1803, after first settlement occurred in 1788. So though of course we participate in the same Holy Sacrifice into eternity, if I was to have attended that first 'convict' Mass in temporal terms, I would have been right at home. I am sustained now by those same forms as were those first unfortunate Catholics to have landed on this soil. So too will future generations.

May the Latin Church's servers respond 'Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam' in aeternum!

Tip of the mantilla to Mike.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Zum Altare Gottes will ich treten

Those of you reading German check this out: http://www.alte-messe.de
(Those of you not reading German might still enjoy the pictures)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tender is the Latin *Blush*

The Latin Lover: "The Pope's own Latinist, Fr. Foster is convinced that ignorance of the language inherited by three quarters of the world is as tragic as deafness in a concert hall - and he's making sure our listeners are familiar with its sound."

"Our "Latin Lover" translated Pope Benedict's first encyclical letter 'God is love'” into the Church's official language. A tough task he claims because of that terrible jargon currently in use in modern languages. The Romans he moans never spoke that way!"

My dear fellow Latin lovers, this ties in somewhat with the article that I came across the other day at the Una Voce website. It recounts an American parish earnestly committed to learning the Mother tongue for use in the Liturgy. Although it is slightly frustrating that the article uses the term 'Latin Mass' when really it means the Novus Ordo in Latin, the article gives great reason for hope. When one masters an 'et cum spiritu tuo', one is that much closer to falling in love with the 'Suscipe Sancta Trinitas'.

Yes, how I do love Latin, and I am quite enjoying all this lovely talk about... love! :)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Hope for the Old Mass or not?

It has now been nine months since the election of Pope Benedict XVI and the hoped for liberalisation of the Old Rite has not occurred. Like many people I was overjoyed when Cardinal Ratzinger was announced as the successor to St. Peter. Here was a Pope who had not only written a great deal on the problems of the liturgy since the introduction of the new Rite of Mass but had supported the Ecclesia Dei communities from their inception (helping the FSSP found their seminary in Wigratzbad) and had even celebrated the Old Rite publicly.

All of this led many people to believe that a liberalisation of the Old Rite would soon follow Pope Benedict’s election, either at the Synod in Rome in October 2005 or at various other occasions over the past few months. The plain fact is that there has been no liberalisation and that the Old Rite remains shackled by the conditions laid down in Ecclesia Dei. For whilst Ecclesia Dei can, in many ways, be seen as a great boon for traditionalist Catholicism, it allowed the bishops to effectively expunge the Old Rite from their diocese if they so wished. I doubt very much whether this was the intention of John Paul II, but so much was left to the generosity of the bishops and little consideration was given to the fact that many bishops had no generosity when it came to the Old Mass.

We are faced then with the possibility that the situation as it is will remain and there will be no further liberalisation of the Old Rite beyond that already laid down in Ecclesia Dei. It is possible that Pope Benedict will yet act to free the Old Rite further but I want to look at the ‘worst case’ scenario for the traditionalist movement. Should the restrictions on the old Rite remain in force then there are certain factors which I believe will result in a gradual improvement in the situation even if there is no direct action from Rome. The chief factors in this, I believe, are the growth of the traditionalist movements as opposed to the decline of diocesan priestly vocations; negotiations with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX); gradual improvements to the celebration of the Novus Ordo; but most important of all the appointment of bishops, which will be the key to wider acceptance of the Old Rite.

The decline in vocations to the priesthood and the religious life in the Western world are well documented and this shortage will become ever more critical to the future of Catholicism. The much hearkened increase in vocations in the developing world must be set against the extremely low ratio for priests compared to the total Catholic population there. The increase in vocations in the developing world therefore, will be barely sufficient to meet the needs of their own populations. This means that the idea of a flow of priests to the developed world resolving the shortage is nothing more than an illusion. Traditionalist orders on the other hand have more vocations than can be admitted. Admittedly this may in part be due to the fact that there are only a handful of traditionalist seminaries but it still compares very favourably with figures for the diocesan seminaries. For example the six seminaries serving England & Wales have a combined total of around 120 seminarians – this is less than the total numbers of FSSP seminarians in Denton and Wigratzbad. It seems therefore fair to state that the ratio between traditionalist priests to novus ordo priests will increase very favourably in the future. Whilst it is unlikely that traditionalist priests will outnumber novus ordo priests any time soon; the fact that they will be an increasingly greater percentage of the total number of priests means that the bishops and the rest of the Church will have to take note of them.

Relations with the SSPX are beginning to feature as part of the Pope’s agenda. It is significant that he has met with Bishop Fellay, SSPX Superior General so soon in his pontificate and it appears there has been a lot of activity behind the scenes to resolve the problem. It seems that the SSPX will be offered the chance to regularise their situation with the church probably along the lines of an Apostolic Administration as at Campos. I have some doubts about whether they will accept this especially given some of the pronouncements of Bishop Williamson, SSPX – who (although he fervently denies it) seems to come very close to sedevacantism. Nevertheless, should they be offered such an opportunity to regularise their situation within the Church this will undoubtedly have an impact on the rest of the Church. For in it we might see a much enlarged Ecclesia Dei movement free to run parishes and apostolates without interference from the bishops. This would be a boost to tradition in terms of greater freedom but it does leave several question marks hanging over how the indult communities (by this I mean those priests and parishes not affiliated to Ecclesia Dei but which celebrate the 1962 liturgy with Episcopal approval) would fit into all this. Would the 1962 liturgy become the preserve of the enlarged Ecclesia Dei community or would others in the Church be permitted it?

The possibility of improving the celebration of the novus ordo could also be a catalyst for greater freedom for the old rite. The Pope as Cardinal Ratzinger called for a new liturgical movement to invigorate the liturgy after the post Vatican II upheaval and he wrote a great deal on the liturgy of the Church. He has also played his part in helping to overturn the sacred cows of the liturgy as envisioned by those who adhered to the mythical ‘spirit of Vatican II’. The Pope's criticisms of the versus populum celebration of the Mass and of the importance of sacred music are well known and I will not recount them here. But this high regard for the correct celebration of the liturgy may well lead to an improvement in the celebration of the novus ordo. This will effect traditionalists by default – for if people can see in the new rite that the versus orientem celebration of Mass; the Latin language and Gregorian chant have their place in modern Catholicism then the demand of traditionalists for a celebration of the 1962 Mass will seem more congruous with the liturgy of the wider Church.
Finally, the appointment of bishops represents the key to the future growth of the traditionalism within the Church. It is well known that Pope John Paul II did not take an overly keen interest in the appointment of bishops. Those appointed tended to be good pastors in many ways but lacked the gravitas and theological background that is perhaps necessary. It is unlikely that Pope Benedict will take the same approach to the appointment of bishops. With his experience of working in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he has a sure knowledge of what has gone wrong with the appointment of bishops in the past and we can be sure that he will take a keen interest in ensuring that past mistakes are not repeated. In future we can expect to see more theologians as bishops. This I believe will lead to a much wider granting of the indult Mass in the future thereby avoiding the problems of John Paul II’s pontificate where many bishops did not implement the indult as the Holy Father had anticipated.

So will any of this happen – obviously only time will tell but it seems that there is a real hope for the traditional Mass now which has not been the case for many years. It makes me think of the words of John’s Gospel at the end of Mass Et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt. - The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The old Mass has been the light shining in the darkness but it has not been overcome – we can only hope that it will now go on to flourish.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

After 33 years - another one clears the dust!

Our community is congregated into two centres, St Aloysius' Caulfield, and a smaller one in Kew, an eastern suburb of Melbourne, for the first Sunday morning (low) Mass. Today the Kew community moved into their new home - the Burke Hall Chapel with the most kind permission of the Jesuits at Xavier College - Sursum Corda! The last time the Classical Rite was celebrated there was 28th January, 1973 and somewhat marked the birth of the movement of Melbourne's Catholics attached to the traditional form of Latin worship. Some of us from Caulfield attended for the occasion, and it was just splendid. It was a real treat for the community to have a Missa Cantata - with lots of incense! The clouds of sweet smoke somewhat symbolised thirty-three years of dust being cleared away. We all know that altars weren't made to cradle dust. I'm so happy to be able to share the following photos - I'm sure we might provide the chapel with a new lamp soon. It was awfully kind of the Jesuits, please say a prayer for them. Besides all this, there were some rather interesting events in my day - I sang a Chesterton hymn, and Dan Schutte's 'Here I am, Lord', within six hours of each other, though of course not at the same place. I now have a headache, and need to go to Confession, but these pictures are very consoling! God bless you, all.

I thought I might quickly add that Father and his servers, when seated, found themselves under a banner reading 'Guardians of God's Creation.' What a lovely context.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Providence making pointed remarks

If you would be kind enough to pray for the repose of the soul of a relative of mine who died recently, I would be most grateful. Thank you.

More amusingly:

Lunchtime: I get into big argument about Islam and start going on about its falsehood, intrinsic violence, scary history, etc etc etc.

Evening: halfway through the Rosary, being rather low on concentration, I turn to Fr James Morrow's Meditations with the Rosary. In the set of meditations I happen to choose, the prayer intention with the Crowning of Thorns is that the Muslim peoples may come to know and love the Lord Jesus.

Might God perhaps be saying that humbly praying for those one has not learnt to love is a tad better than ranting about their errors?! (And how many times does He need to say it before I begin to learn...? Miserere mei, Domine, filiae tuae cordis lapidei...)

(NB The Humanae Vitae House website is rather out of date.)