Monday, November 24, 2014

Novemver 24th: The Feast of St. John of the Cross according to the extraordinary form.

From Roy Campbell's translation of "On a Gloomy Night"

Lost to myself I stayed
My face upon my lover helping laid
From all endeavor ceasing: 
And all my cares releasing
Threw them among the lilies there to fade.

Christ the King

By felicitous coincidence, the calendar of the Missal of Paul VI celebrates the Feast of Christ the King (AKA, Christ King of the Universe) on the same day, its being the last Sunday of the Church calendar.  In the older calender, the feast of Christ the King is celebrated earlier (October 26th in 2014.)

Pius Xi proclaimed the feast in 1925.  Fr. José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, S.J., was martyred November 23, 1927 proclaiming with his arms in the form of a cross "Viva Cristo Rey!" John Paul II proclaimed him beatified on September 25, 1988 in Mexico.

This was during the uprising of the Cristeros and if you have not seen the movie, do!

As to the reign of Christ, Pope Francis puts it this way: "Jesus is not a King according to earthly ways: for him, to reign is not to command, but to obey the Father, to give himself over to the Father, so that his plan of love and salvation may be brought to fulfillment.  In this way there is full reciprocity between the Father and the Son.  The period of Christ’s reign is the long period of subjecting everything to the Son and consigning everything to the Father."

Monday, October 27, 2014

Some Liturgical Notes on the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe and a Question

The Feast of Christ the King is celebrated on the last Sunday in October (October 26th, this year) according to the Extraordinary Form and on the last Sunday of the liturgical year (i.e., the last Sunday before Advent) according to the Ordinary Form.   

Pope Benedict XVI preached that "This solemnity comes at the end of the liturgical year and brings together the mystery of Jesus 'firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth' (Collect Year B), extending our gaze towards the full realisation of the Kingdom of God, when God will be all in all (cf 1 Cor 15.28)."

Most other liturgically oriented forms of Christianity celebrate a similar feast.  The Church of Wales (Anglican Communion) has a season. It  celebrates "the four Sundays before Advent [as] the Sundays of the Kingdom and Christ the King is kept as a season and not just as a single festival."

The Roman Catholic feast is a new one instituted in the twentieth century by Pius XI (12/11/1925.) I assume the Pius V fundamentalists do not consider that change in the Missal a violation of Quo Primum. Soon after came the the terrible Calles persecution of the Church including Father Miguel Pro, S.J.'s martyrdom (November 23, 1927) whose last words were "Viva Cristo Rey" and the Cristero revolt (1926–1929.) 

It would seem that the OF (AKA the Novus Ordo) gives greater honor to the feast by putting it at the very end of the liturgical year. Oddly enough, Pius XI wrote: "The last Sunday of October seemed the most convenient of all for this purpose, because it is at the end of the liturgical year, and thus the feast of the Kingship of Christ sets the crowning glory upon the mysteries of the life of Christ already commemorated during the year, and, before celebrating the triumph of all the Saints, we proclaim and extol the glory of him who triumphs in all the Saints and in all the Elect." In my 1940 missal the new liturgical year starts with Advent and thus the old liturgical year ends with the week before Advent, approximately a month after the Feast in the EF. 

 Am I missing something? 

Can anyone spread light on this?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cardinal Burke on the Need for Purification

"I think about this first of all concerning myself. If I am suffering at this time because of the situation in the Church, I think that the Lord is telling me that I have need of purification. And I also think that, if the suffering is so widespread, this means that the whole Church is in need of purification. But this is not because of a God who is waiting only to punish us. This is because of our own sins. If in some way we have betrayed doctrine, moral teaching or the liturgy, it follows inevitably that we will undergo a suffering that purifies us to put us back again on the narrow way." - Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Interview in "il Foglio" (13 Oct 2014)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pope Saint Pius X's, who Should be the Patron Saint of Liturgical reform, has his Feast Day Today According to the Extraordinary Form

Today, September 3rd, is the feast of Pope Saint Pius X according to the liturgical calendar of the Extraordinary Form

This is one place where the new calendar is definitely an improvement over the old.  Pius actually died on August 20th.  This, however is the feast of St. Bernard, a doctor of the church, a preacher of crusade, a composer of hymns and a giant from whose shoulders we see father.  The Ordinary Form (i.e., the Novus Ordo) calendar does a better job by moving his feast to August 21st, the day after his last journey.  To accommodate this, the feast day of Saint Jane de Chantal was moved to August 12th.

According to, "In the USA, Jane Frances de Chantal's feast day was moved to August 12 in order to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12. " Saint Jane Frances de Chantal died on December 13th, 1641.  Apparently, her feast was celebrated on the December 12th in some places and at some times.

Pius X would be my candidate to be the patron saint of liturgical reform.  Tra le Sollecitudini, his Motu Proprio on Sacred Music (November 22, 1903), gave a papal blessing and provided a powerful wind in the sails of the Liturgical Movement. In that Motu Proprio, he introduced the main principle, participatio actuosa, of Vatican II's Constitution on the Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium. Participatio actuosa can be translated as the "actual (or perhaps "active" participation" of the congregation.  Activa would be a better adjective to use for "active" in my linguistically layman's view.  Pius wrote in Italian. Either subsequent Latin documents quoting it or th eCouncil itself may have coined it as a Latin word.  I do not know.

Restoring the people's parts of the mass to the congregation, the use of Gregorian Chant chant (today is the feast of Pope Saint Gregory the Great in the OF) which had fallen into disuse after the Catholic Reformation, and more frequent reception of communion were all part of his liturgical goals.  Neither the followers of the SPPX nor the liturgical "progressives" have lived up to this great man's liturgical leadership.  

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Sesring Stakes with Saving Suds.

My son has reminded me that burning meat on the grill causes one to consume carcinogens. 

Is there any hope for the cave man in me (or is it the latent Aussie?) 

Yes, beer can come to the rescue, if I understand the science of all this. The Economist in this video explains (with a drooling tongue in cheek?) how marinating the steaks in beer can overcome some of the evil. Black beer does better than pilaster. I assume they use organic beer: the plethora of chemicals in many mass produced commercial beers might add some more carcinogens.

 Grill it with Guinness? 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kept Women, Kept Men, The Family Economic Unit, and Sucess In an Intellectualized World.

Fancy folk debate the approaches to achieving a "Work-Life" balance.  The nature of the family has become a politicized exercise in self-indulgence rather than a biological and cultural phenomenon. 

Those of such antique notions as the children of the Scottish Enlightenment who believed you could read "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" in nature might think marriage is an enterprise undertaken by a man and a woman to raise children enduring "[t]he slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" such a bold venture entails.  Such people still exist.

Raising children? A task of some significance to the health of societies? These are non-starters in much of the debates whirling around us like a swarm of noisy wasps.

Yet, how children are raised makes a real difference in their intellectual development.  The more words a child hears in his or her first three years makes an enormous difference in their latter vocabulary as shown in this video from the Economist:

Might a mother and a father who spend lots of time with their children, reading to them, telling them stories, and making sure they are around when they talk do more good for their later wealth than a huge grub stake?  Homeschooling did C.S.Lewis and J.R. Tolkien a world of good and neither was a slouch with language.  Both were exposed to other languages at very tender ages.  Other studies have shown learning more than one language in those early years does wonders.