Thursday, June 25, 2015

Fr. Hunwicke: Blessed Paul VI

I came across a fantastic post by Fr. Hunwicke on the topic of the late pontiff Paul VI, and i think it is well worth a full read:

Blessed Paul VI

"I wish to propose a theory about Blessed Paul VI for which, currently, I can adduce some evidence; I wonder if there is more. 

(1) He relied upon dishonest people for advice. (a) From the Memoires of Louis Bouyer: "At different stages, be it with regard to the dumping overboard (sabordage) of the Liturgy of the Departed, or again in that unbelievable enterprise of expurgating the psalms in view of their use in the Office, Bugnini came up against an opposition, not just massive, but one could say pretty well unanimous. In some such cases, he did not hesitate to tell us 'But the Pope wants it!'. After that, to be sure, there was no longer a question of discussing it." Bouyer recounts how he once met Bugnini in circumstances in which the latter, mistakenly, believed that he, Bouyer, had just been with Pope Paul ... whom Bugnini was on his way to see. "On seeing me, he not only turned completely white but, visibly, was knocked for six (non seulement il blemit, mais, visiblement, il fut atterre)". "The answer was to be presented to me, but some weeks later, by Paul VI himself. Nattering with me about our famous labours, which he had confirmed, he finally said to me 'But why, then, did you put into this reform ...' (Here, I have to admit that I don't recall any longer which of the details which I have mentioned particularly irritated him.) Naturally, I replied 'But purely and simply because Bugnini guaranteed to us that you were absolutely set on it (avait certifie que vous le vouliez absolument).' His reaction was immediate: 'Is it possible? He said to me personally that you were unanimous in this respect!'". (b) Bishop Tissier's biography recounts that when Archbishop Lefebvre was received in audience by the Pope, Paul VI was hostile from the start. It transpired that he had been informed, probably by Cardinal Villot, that the Archbishop made the priests whom he formed "sign an oath against the Pope". Given such shameless mendacity, it is hardly surprising that the Holy Father's mind was poisoned against Lefebvre.
(2) Blessed Paul VI preferred to compromise with disorder rather than to face it down. It seems clear, from Dom Cassian Folsom's Adoremus series of articles, that the provision of alternative Eucharistic Prayers was a pathetic but well-meant attempt to rein in the chaos which existed particularly in the Low Countries, where home-made Eucharistic Prayers were proliferating in (literally) hundreds. He was assured that the Hierarchy, given this concession, were prepared to restore order. (Big of them ... Traditionalists would also do well to remember that it was the provision of these alternatives which saved the Canon itself from being mangled ... better, surely, to be unused for a few decades than permanently debased?)

As well as the human and historical tragedy, there is an ecclesiological point here. If you blend together in one saucepan an exaggerated notion of papal authority (as analysed by Joseph Ratzinger) with the activities (described in detail by Louis Bouyer) of unscrupulous and dishonest and ruthlessly determined manipulative individuals who have the pope's ear, you are gravely at risk of having a disaster the results of which it may well take generations to mitigate. Quod factum est."

When I read this the article that Tancred posted the other day about the FFI and the banning of Fr. Manelli from saying the ancient rite came to mind.  The joke is that conservatives and liberals alike love to play the word game that trads weaponize the ancient rite and hurt the church in the process.  Well what do you call banning a priest from saying "a form" of the Latin rite that is just as legitimate and to be accessible as the other.  At the very heart of this all is the idea that one can only say the ancient rite if there is a need by a group of people for it.  As if Mass was dependent on how many people are assisting therein. Do you know why the priest in the OF does not genuflect before the elevation of the host immediatly after consecration?  Its because the focus is on the people first seeing the Sacred Host and then he can genuflect because the people now affirm that he is there after they see Him... which is insane.  They are weaponizing the OF against the EF, and they are doing it because they know that their time is short on the matter.  For years they played word games that the OF was just the translation of the EF and the ignorant bought it hook line and sinker.  And what of these priests that are banned from saying the EF, it is happening right here in Milwaukee where I know at least one priest who is not allowed to say it in fear of punishment, and that is with a "conservative" bishop. They are driving good priests into trouble and paranoia just as they did with Lefebvre, and frankly I dont think they care.  Pray for these Bishops and priests!


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Von Hildebrands Everywhere Part Deux

Part II of what I hope to be an ongoing series on the Von Hildebrands.

First, Rorate Caeli posted a short article about Dietrich and his opposition to Pope Paul VI's handling of the Petrine Office:

Dietrich von Hildebrand Confronts Pope Paul VI

"TLM: You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration, there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, “Not another conspiracy theory!”

AVH: I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party’s deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican “who were working for us.”

Many a time I have heard Americans say that Europeans “smell conspiracy wherever they go.” But from the beginning, the Evil One has “conspired” against the Church – and has always aimed in particular at destroying the Mass and sapping belief in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. That some people are tempted to blow this undeniable fact out of proportion is no reason for denying its reality. On the other hand, I, European born, am tempted to say that many Americans are naïve; living in a country that has been blessed by peace, and knowing little about history, they are more likely than Europeans (whose history is a tumultuous one) to fall prey to illusions.Rousseau has had an enormous influence in the United States. When Christ said to His apostles at the Last Supper that “one of you will betray Me,” the apostles were stunned. Judas had played his hand so artfully that no one suspected him, for a cunning conspirator knows how to cover his tracks with a show of orthodoxy."

You can read the whole article HERE

Also Eric Metaxas had Alice on his show again where she talks about a miracle (in relation to her late husband):

Also Glenn Beck had Alice on his TV show for the whole hour the other night.  The clip below is just a taste of it.  You can subscribe to The Blaze for an initial trial of $1, and when you are done you can unsubscribe and you will get your dollar back.  It is worth watching the whole interview:


Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Important Role of Flowers in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

With so much beauty available to lift ones mind up to the Lord at Mass, one might be overwhelmed so as to recognize specifics that build up this mindset.

In his masterful work "The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Liturgically, Dogmatically and Ascetically Explained", Fr. Nicholas Gihr explains the important that flowers play in offering divine worship to God in the Mass.  Below I have reprinted the section of the book that relates to this item.  Please take the time to read and see how every part of the Mass is an opportunity to draw one closer to God:

NLM Photo
"To decorate the altars, especially on great feasts, with flowers is an ancient, venerable, devout and praiseworthy custom, and, therefore, approved of by the Church.  Artificial as well as natural flowers may serve to adorn the altar; 3 but the latter are preferable.  The artificial flowers should be imitations of the natural, and should be well made and be kept clean ; for thus only can they, in a measure, supply the place of fragrant, bright, fresh flowers. Faded and worn out imitations are never to be suffered on the altar.

Fresh, bright and fragrant flowers growing in pots add to the decorations of the altar, making it beautiful and pleasing and, consequently, greatly contribute to enhance the celebration of the feast and to the edification of the people. A holy religious, the Capuchin Francis Borgia, used to say: "God has left us from Paradise three things: the stars, the flowers and the eyes of a child." In fact, flowers have in God's creation a place entirely their own ; they are on the globe of the earth what the stars are in the canopy of heaven uneffaced traces of a former world, the earthly Paradise, the least affected by the curse of sin. In the splendor of their colors, in their fragrance, they are revelations of the beauty and goodness of God, emblems of His benevolence, images of His first, true designs (Isa. 25, i). For all these reasons, flowers, besides lighted candles and incense, have their liturgical meaning, and are used to adorn the divine service.  By their fine and elegant forms and lovely colors they possess a peculiar charm to please and captivate both the heart and the senses, not without impressing us more deeply. These beautifully colored creatures are wonderfully formed by the light from the mud of the ground and colorless water. Truly flowers, those lilies of the field, which neither spin nor weave, and yet are so splendidly arrayed by the purity and perfection of their attire give us to understand that they are the handiwork of that Creator who created Paradise, from which they come, and that they have been left, as it were, to us as a remembrance thereof.

There is also a symbolical reason for adorning altars with flowers. Flowers possess a language all their own, they have a higher meaning; they are evident emblems of spiritual things. This is expressed in the Church liturgy itself. On the fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare) the Holy Father blesses in Rome a golden rose with solemn prayer, anoints it with chrism, besprinkles it with perfumes and holy water, and incenses it. He prays at the same time, that God, who is the joy and happiness of all the faithful, may be pleased to bless and sanctify in its beauty and fragrance this rose, which we hold in our hands as a sign of spiritual joy; that His people, delivered from the captivity of Babylon, through the grace of His Only- Begotten Son, may even now partake of the happiness of the heavenly Jerusalem. Therefore, since the Church on this day to the honor of His name gives expression to her joy, may He grant her true and perfect joy and devotion, in order that she may by the fruit of good works shed forth a balmy odor like unto the perfume of that flower, who, springing from the root of Jesse, is called the flower of the field and the lily of the vale. If a Catholic prince deserving of such a gift is present, the flower is presented to him, with the words: "Receive from our hands the rose, which signifies the joy of the heavenly and earthly Jerusalem, that is, of the Church triumphant and militant, and which guides all the faithful to that lovely Flower, the joy and crown of all the saints. Accept it that you may be more and more enriched with every virtue in Christ our Lord, like unto the rose planted along the streams." Flowers may also, on account of their grace and loveliness, serve as emblems of the festive joy wherewith we should long for the altar of Christ, the Author of all true joy. Flores sunt signa laetitiae. Thus the adorning of the altar with flowers appears as a symbolical expression of that joy in which we may exclaim with the Psalmist: "How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! I have loved the place where Thy glory dwelleth."

Flowers also symbolize those supernatural prerogatives, graces and virtues with which the soul should be adorned; for the saints bloom as the lily and they are in the presence of God as the odor of balsam. Flowers, by reason of their freshness and beauty which they receive from the sun and which they turn towards it, are emblems of that innocence and holiness we derive from Christ, the Sun of Justice, and with which we again glorify Him as the Sun of our spiritual life. The flowers on the altar signify, moreover, that the blossoms of grace, prayer and virtue unfold in the supernatural light and in the heavenly warmth which radiates from the sun of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The flowers of the altar, at the same time, admonish us to make of our heart a garden for God with the flowers of virtue, so that Christ, who feeds among the lilies, may find His delight therein; for nothing gives Him so much joy as a heart adorned with the blossoms of purity. The flowers with which we ornament the altars on great feasts, therefore, symbolize the souls of the faithful, who adorn their interior with faith and with the grace of the Divine Victim, in order to receive the King of Glory and offer to Him their homage. In this connection, the Holy Ghost says to us: "Send forth flowers, as the lily, and yield a perfume and bring forth leaves in grace and praise with canticles and bless the Lord in His works" (Ecclus. 39, 19).

Blessed Henry Suso
It should, then, be a loving occupation for us to adorn the church, to decorate the altar and to enhance the beauty of divine worship with fresh and fragrant flowers. God is thereby honored, pious people are rejoiced and edified. On this subject we have a beautiful model in the Blessed Henry Suso. "When delightful summer came round and the delicate flowers appeared for the first time, he refrained from culling or even from touching them until the day had arrived on which he would gather them to greet his spiritual love, the gentle, the all-fair and lovely Maiden, the divine Mother. Thus he gathered the flowers with many a tender aspiration, and carried them to his cell to weave them into a wreath; he then went to the choir or to the chapel of our Lady and, kneeling humbly before her statue, he placed the lovely crown upon her head with the request: that since she is the loveliest of flowers and the summer- joy of his young heart, she would not despise the first flowers of her servant.

The altar is here on earth the most holy and the most venerable of all places our Bethlehem and Nazareth, our Thabor and Golgotha. To do honor to Him who here sacrifices Himself for us and who so graciously deigns to dwell among us, all the splendor and decoration of the temple lend their service. The altar, therefore, should be the most beautiful of all, and the pastor should have at heart, in a special manner, its adornment, so that he may in truth be able to say: Domine, dilexi decorum domus tuae et locum habitationis gloriae tuae "O Lord, I have loved the beauty of Thy house and the place where Thy glory dwelleth" (Ps. 25, 8)." 

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Liturgically, Dogmatically and Ascetically Explained (Amazon Link)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Panic Factor

So the encyclical comes out Thursday…. PANIC!

Wait, no, don’t do such. With all the hoopla about this encyclical it seems the only thing that is going to happen is misunderstanding of the teaching office from Republicans and Democrats alike.  Encyclicals are part of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church.  Therefore, anything written in any non-extraordinary magisterial document is dependent on being in line with the previous teachings of the church.  Novelties that are listed in an encyclical, or in a council for that matter, carry with it little to no binding authority specifically because the faith is that which was once and will forever be held. So then you hear people freaking out today just remember that the ordinary Magisterium is in play here. 

As I have stated before my take on global warming is just as novel as any goofball on the radio or TV.  And if there is any weather weirding it is ultimately true that we as people (and even more, that we as luke-warm Catholics) cause evil in this world. Our fall dragged the world into disorder.

Having said that, just breathe today and be ready to answer the questions with a willing desire to teach the perimeters of the Ordinary Magisterium.

My old video on what authority papal encyclicals hold

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday morning apologist

+ WARNING NOT EDITED (no time and no desire after writing) +

Just a couple of apologetics I have been contemplating lately:

1.       Jesus never said anything about homosexual relations
2.       That you can be a muslim in heaven
3.       Handling of the Eucharist

Both of these topics are of great importance in today’s world. The first is important because it misunderstand who Jesus is in his substance, and the third is important because the substance of our Lord is of infinite value so our handling of such has consequences that we might not be able to perceive now. The second is the most frustrating because… well, come on!

 “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, therefore judge not”

If you listen to apologetical radio or read articles that touch on the issue of what Christ said of this disorder you will find that the typical approach to this is to say something like: “well, Jesus didn’t say anything about X, but not everything that Christ taught was in scripture.”  This is good and true. However, we have a real opportunity here to recognize and teach those who are ignorant something that might have never occurred to the questioners involved, that Christ is God, and God is not against himself on anything because he is one in substance.

The Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God.  These are not three separate gods, rather they are of one substance in the Godhead. The Son is that which the Father (an infinite) gazes upon for all eternity (which would need to be an infinite).  We could say that the Son is the mind of the father.  That the Father can look upon himself for all eternity and knows himself infinity this is a distinct person (an infinite person) that he gazes upon and knows.  But it is his substance because it is his own thought of himself that he knows and begets. The Father cannot disagree with the knowing of himself on the meritorious-ness of Baptism.  Such an action would be a disorder of having multiple personalities which the Godhead has not. When the Father spoke his truth (which is the Son by the way) to his people in the days of Abraham and Moses he did so as God, as the principle member of the Trinity from which the other two persons are begotten and proceed from all eternity.  So in other words when the Father speaks so too the Son and the Holy Spirit.  To say otherwise is to accuse the Trinity of being disordered, having a multiple personality disorder in that which is not corrupt

“Why cant one be a good muslim and be in heaven? Isn’t allah just God anyways?”

I was at a Catholic gathering for young adults the other day (which in general is kind of a mixed bag) and one fellow Catholic came up to me and we were discussing the faith and other small talk.  We had heard a short talk just a few minutes before about the media and The Church and how people misrepresent what the Pope says and how The Church is on the defensive everywhere.  Two quotes came up during the talk, the one about the Pope saying the Atheists can do good and he will meet them there and that there is no Catholic God, only God. The person had asked what I had thought of the talk. Now I’m not good at being vague, so I jumped right in saying that though I enjoyed the talk overall there were a few specifics (those listed above) that bothered me.  Firstly because there is this incessant desire to twist and turn what the Holy Father says in every instance and make it ok, even though its not needed.  Again we don’t need to play the game of everything is going to be perfect in his wording (no such guarantee).  But second, when he said there is no such thing as a Catholic God, though you might be able to play a semantical game, ultimately God is Catholic, in that his truth, his being from all eternity is Catholic in every aspect and this is what he willed to give us because He and His Church are One.  Yet the person I was talking with asked why a good muslim could not be muslim in heaven.  Now this question doesn’t have to be about non Christians, you could beg the question about the baptized non-Catholics.  In heaven you and I will have perfect knowledge because we look upon God who is truth and we see, know and live the truth in a more full measure then we can ever imagine in this life.  One cannot go to heaven and remain a Muslim or a Lutheran because both knowings are insufficient and in error.  And to live in God is to live in truth, that is to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.  The Catholic faith is not a proposition among many just for those interested.  The faith is the only saving knowledge of God, it is his life and it is put there for all men regardless of emotions toward it to be embraced, and to knowingly not follow God in what He has given is to be disobedient and disordered (in error) and no imperfect thing may enter into the beatific vision. Likewise a muslim cannot be in heaven while he denies Christ’s divinity, that would be like Cinderella complaining to her fairy that she only maintains her status until midnight, the fairy need only respond explain how you have this possibility to begin with. So too a person will not be able to stand before the judgement seat of almighty God and say that God saved him apart from everything because he doesn’t believe in free will (calvanists).  Such is not the character of God to destroy ones free will to choose right and wrong to make himself happy.  God does not owe anyone heaven and no one can do good apart from Christ. To be in Christ is to ultimately be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Handling the Eucharist

This is a very specific topic I wanted to hit on. How we treat our Lord here and now when we must have faith in His Real Presence will play a role in how God treats us in eternity.  IF we refuse to confess Christ, He will not confess us to His Father in heaven. But the main point of this apologetic concerns the sacred species when crumbs of the Sacred Host result.  The Gospel gives us an example of how important every bit of this miracle is.  In the foreshowing of the Eucharist, when Our Lord multiplied the loaves and fish he had his disciples go out and collect all the fragments that remained from the miracle.  Every piece that remained was accounted for because it was of great importance.  So too, if but a small particle of Our Lord should fall it is of great importance that reparation be made and Our Lord restored to his proper place.  And its really that simple.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fr. Terra interview on the one year anniversary of the Death of Fr. Kenneth Walker FSSP

Tonight, Father Joseph Terra will say one of the most difficult Masses in his 26 years as a priest.
The Latin words will roll off his tongue the way they always do. But the words he says in English about his friend and fellow priest, Father Kenneth Walker, will not come as easily.
Those words will likely touch on familiar themes, like love, forgiveness, repentance, redemption and grace.
These are not abstract concepts to Terra. They are things he has had a year to think about.
For it was a year ago today that the unthinkable happened. Two men of God were attacked in the quarters they shared next to the church they served in the shadow of the state Capitol.
Now, Terra has returned to serve Mater Misericordiae (Mother of Mercy) Mission, the church he helped rebuild with his own hands. But the Mass he says tonight will be a requiem for the dead. A requiem for Walker.

Read the Rest of the article HERE

Fr. Terra with the marks from the assault.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June 12th: Young Adults Dance at St. Stanislaus (Milwaukee - Summer Soirée)

Sursum Corda MKE is excited to announce that on June 12th we will be hosting a Young Adults Dance at St. Stanislaus on Historic Mitchell Street in Milwaukee! Donations will go towards the Women's Support Center of Milwaukee so your generosity is appreciated!

The dance and social will begin at 8pm in the Parish Hall, with dance instructors present at your service throughout the night. The social is French themed so feel free to dress and bring your most exaggerated French accents to the gathering! Small French horderves will be served for your enjoyment. You are welcome to bring along a dish or drinks to pass, and if they are French themed that would be even better!

Parking can be found in the back of the parish near the rectory (see the flyer below for directions).

You are free to come and go but if possible we ask that you RSVP for the Soirée at the following Facebook link:

The flyer with directions can be found HERE
[Be kind and share if you would!]

Monday, June 8, 2015

Corpus Chrisit 2015: St. Stanislaus Pictures