Friday, May 27, 2016

On the Roman Canon and the importance of its silent recitation

I recently read an article by Fr. John Hollowell in regards to his using the first Eucharistic prayer in the ordinary form (novus ordo).  I thought it may be of interest to reflect an an aspect of the Canon that was lost in the new rite.

The following was taken from The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Fr. Nicholas Gihr:

The Silent Recitation of the Canon.

 The manner in which the Canon is to be recited, that is, silently, deserves special notice and explanation. It is a strict ordinance of the Church that the Canon be said silently (secreto), namely, in a voice so subdued that the celebrant may hear himself, but not be heard by those around him. 2 Historical testimonies and reasons drawn from the nature of the thing justify the most general
assumption, that it has been a custom from the earliest times 3 to pronounce the words of
The book can be had HERE or online
Consecration, together with the Canon, in silence  (excepting, of course, the case of concelebration, formerly of frequent occurrence). Still it is not merely the Church's scrupulous solicitude with which she preserves the original traditions in performing the Sacred Mysteries, but there are other reasons besides, weighty, indeed, that move her to adhere so earnestly to the precept, that the Canon be said in silence, and that the Eucharistic Sacrifice be enacted in speech wholly secret. We will here cite the chief reason that de- monstrates not the necessity, indeed, but the expediency and appro- priateness of the recitation of the Canon in silence.

a) The silent recitation of the Canon betokens the Consecration and Sacrificial Act to be an exclusively priestly function. The prayers of the Canon being liturgical, are, therefore, to be recited not merely mentally, but also vocally (vocaliter), that is, the words must be pronounced with the mouth. But this recitation of the Canon must be made softly, that is, be so constituted as to be inaud- ible to those who are around, and yet audible to the priest himself. This last circumstance is to be noticed, since it makes a difference in the recitation of the Canon and the Divine Office, for in the recitation of the latter it is not necessary that he who prays should hear himself. The silent recitation is in contrast to the loud. Now while the loud tone of voice invites those present to join with the priest, and reminds them that the prayers are said in common, the silent recitation appropriately indicates that there is question of a mystery, which it is for the consecrated priest alone to accomplish, and not the people. Such is the case with respect to the Eucharistic Sacrifice. To consecrate the material elements, to offer the Body and Blood of Christ, is a priestly privilege: the congregation present can contribute nothing to the accomplishment of the Sacrificial Act. This is symbolically indicated by the silent recitation of the Canon. The priest does not here, as in the other portions of the Mass, commune with the people; he has entered into the Holy of Holies, there to commune with God alone and to pray and sacrifice for the whole Church. "Moses was alone on the top of the mountain; he conversed with God and God answered him." Thus does the priest stand alone at the altar, when, as the representative and minister of Christ, the eternal Highpriest, he accomplishes and offers up the Holy Sacrifice for the entire Church.

b) The silent recitation of the Canon text harmonizes very beautifully with the accomplishment and the essence of the mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The material elements are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, without the senses perceiving it, or the created mind being able to comprehend it; the real presence and sacrificial life of the Saviour under the sacramental species is concealed beyond all discernment. In every Host there are miracles, as numerous as stars in the firmament, yet not the slightest trace of the wonders appears externally. With all this the ecclesiastical rite harmonizes perfectly. The holy silence is quite suited to indicate and to recall the concealment and depth, the incomprehensibility and ineffableness of the wonderful mysteries that are enacted on the altar.

c) Silent prayer is related to religious silence, and, therefore, expresses the humility, reverence, admiration and awe wherewith the Church administers and adores the Mystery of the Altar. "The Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him!"  The sight of the priest at the altar, communing amid profound stillness with God alone, is, therefore, also an excellent means afforded to arouse and promote in those who are present the proper dispositions, with which they should admire, adore and offer along with the priest so grand and sublime a Sacrifice. Quam terribilis est Jiaec Inoral thus does the deacon cry out to the people in the Syrian liturgy "How terrible is this hour!" While the tremendous Sacrifice is being accomplished on the altar, all present should be immersed in silent contemplation and in devout meditation of the Divine Mysteries. Now, precisely this mute silence that reigns at the altar during the most sacred moments of the Sacrifice and directs attention to the mysteriousness of the sacrificial act, forms the loudest summons to enter silently into ourselves, to be recollected in mind and to stir our hearts to devotion.  The silent recitation of the Canon disposes the faithful to interior adoration and reverent concelebration of the heavenly mysteries wherewith God so graciously favors and blesses us poor mortals.

d) In addition to the principal reasons quoted, it must be remarked that the foreign language and the silent recitation serve to withdraw the sacred words of the Canon from the ordinary intercourse, and to protect them against every desecration.

e) Finally, a mystical reason may be alleged. The priest at the altar is the representative and image of the praying and sacrificing Saviour. Now, as on the Mount of Olives and on the Cross, Jesus prayed not only in loud tones, but also in a low voice and in the silence of His heart to His Father, so also it is proper that the priest should even herein resemble His Divine Model, when representing and renewing the Sacrifice of the Cross.  The altar becomes not merely the Cross, but also the crib; for at the moment of Consecration the marvels of Bethlehem as well as those of Golgotha are renewed. Whilst deep silence pervaded all things and the night was in the midst of its course, the Almighty Word of God descended from His royal throne in heaven to the crib of Bethlehem; in like manner, does the King of Glory at the consecration come down upon the altar, amid the most profound silence.


Below are some interesting footnotes

3 In the Greek and Oriental Liturgies the words of Consecration are said in a loud and high tone of voice, whereupon the people each time by Amen (= so be it) express their faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacra- ment. Cardinal Bona was of opinion, that formerly in the Western Church also all heard the sanctissima et efficacissima verba, quibus Christi corpus conficitur (Rer. liturg. 1. 2, c. 13, 1), and he presumes, that it is only since the tenth century that the silent recitation of the words of the Institution has been prescribed. But the arguments he adduces are unreliable. The very ancient Ordo Roman. II (which probably dates from the seventh or eighth century), explained by Amalarius in his Ecloga, has the following rubric : Quae (sc. Praefationem et Trisagium) dum expleverint, surgit solus Pontifex et tacite intrat in Canonem. According to Mabillon it is prescribed in the oldest Roman Ordines, ut Pontifice Canonem recitante summutn in choro teneatur silentium, et ministri perstent inclinati et silentes per totum Canonem. Canonem non incipiebat sacerdos nisi absolute Trisagii cantu, ut scil. clerus et populus, sacerdote Canonem submissa voce reci- tante, in admiratione tanti mysterii quasi stupens sileret (In Ord. Rom. com- ment, c. 21).

3 The rubrics distinguish a twofold, or threefold tone of voice vox secreta and vox clara, alta, intelligibilis ; in the middle between the two (the sileut and loud pronunciation) is the vox paululum elevata, vox parum elata, vox aliquantu- lum elevata (voice half aloud;. The expression vox submissa (= falling, lowered, low) often designates moderately loud, often also silent pronunciation. In the Middle Age the Canon was often called Secretum vel Secreta Missae, because it was recited secreto or secrete (= in silence). The word secretus (selected, set apart, separated) signifies at the same time, that the priest recites the sacrificial prayer in silence and secrecy, because in it he, in a special manner, takes the part of mediator raised above the people and separated from sinners (segregates a peccatoribus).

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Usury and the Jewish people

So why did the Jew's often engage in Usury?  So too why did they recieve such blow back for doing such?  In his definitive book "The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit", Dr. E. Michael Jones explains both the Jewish and Christian reactions to usury:

"The problem was systemic, not easily solved by conciliar pronouncements. High interest rates and compounding are by their nature morally problematic. The Church, following prohibitions in the Hebrew Scriptures, tried to deal with it by moral condemnation. Christians were prohibited from exacting usury, so Jews had the field to themselves, with all of the social odium that went with it. Ecclesiastical prohibition, however, has only a limited effect on behavior, and in the 12th and 13th centuries, the prohibition was counterbalanced by the increasing contact between Christians and Jews made possible by the cities. Increased contact meant increased opportunity to borrow money, and that led to crushing indebtedness, and indebtedness led to the possibility of increased violence against the lender.  If people deep in debt to credit card companies and paying 21 percent interest per annum knew that burning down the house of the head of Visa they could eliminate their debts, they might understand the temptations faced by the medieval Christians in financial bondage to the Jews. Many of the financially naive borrowed from Jews to finance “immediate consumption, not productive enterprise. “ Exorbitant interest and compounding led many to financial ruin. The Jews, Glick notes were often guilty of “leading the least productive members of society into ruin by encouraging them to consume beyond their means.” The Jew could charge 40% interest compounded annually, insuring that his debtor would never get out of debt. In a situation like that the crusades, which promised suspension of payment on debt as a recruitment incentive, seemed like a godsend. But the crusaders would also remember the usury that compelled them to leave home when they arrived in Speyer and Mainz and saw the number of Jews living there. Again the problem was systemic:

The connection with money was a condition of Jewish life, and money was the very substance of survival. But money was also the devil’s own creation, and handling it with such intimacy only confirmed what the Gospel of John had declared: that Jews were truly children of the devil. With this in mind one readily understands the pervasive sense of insecurity that came to characterize so much of European Jewish life, even into the 20th Century.

The Jews were often constrained to maintain high interest rates because the conditions of their survival were more political than economic. The Jews charged 40% interest to the average person for small sums so they could provide large sums to the lord of the land at lower interest rates. “Usury of such dimensions,” Glick says

Was inescapable if [the Jews] were to meet the lords’ incessant demands for tax payments and low interest loans, but of course it meant that they soon had a reputation of greed and rapacity that confirmed everything said about them in the Gospels. Thus they were caught in a nasty trap: disliked and resented by the general populace because they did no visible work and seemed to flourish on the misfortunes of others; too weak to defend themselves, hence dependent on rapacious lords.

The nobility was tempted to expel the Jews if they ceased to provide money, which could only be raised by exploiting the population at large. As a result, “Jews became pariahs.” Hated by the people who borrowed money that could never be paid back, the Jews were “helpless, in need of protection and obliged to please their protectors” and the natural target for any proletarian revolution. Usury thus allowed Jews to buy “official protection at the price of public detestation.” Money lending is “by its very nature a socially isolated and isolating activity.” With each loan, the Jew’s position became more precarious because it engendered resentment. When the crusades seemed to suspend the laws of everyday life, moral inhibition was suspended too, especially when the crusaders came to towns where complete strangers, and therefore not bound by custom imposed by native places. Mob violence expressed the resentment."

Still think E. Michael Jones is nothing more than a bigot?  


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Significance Of The Feast Of Pentecost

The following comes from an article I found.

Pentecost and the Law

"The Pentecost of the Old Covenant is an “antitype” of the Pentecost of the New Covenant. The term “antitype” refers to how a stamp is made in the mirror image of its desired impression. Thus does the Old Testament point forward to the New, with events of either Pentecost mirroring the other. Moses, the prophet of the Old Law, received it on the Pentecost after Pesach (Passover); Jesus, the fulfiller of the Old Law, gave a New Law on the Pentecost after Pascha (Easter). Jesus the Christ ascended to God on the 40th day after Pascha; Moses descended from God on the 40th day after Pentecost. Moses, leading the other Levites, killed 3000 idolaters on the ancient Pentecost; St. Peter, leading the other Apostles, converted 3000 devout Jews to eternal life, who had come to worship God on the festival...

This is a matter of stunning importance; in the New Covenant, the Law is not given as a fait accompli, written down in stone or on a page. Rather, God Himself descended upon the Church in the fire of the Holy Ghost, making of each heart a sanctuary, abiding in each soul and giving it the power to fulfill the Law in Spirit and Truth. Of course, this is not to make each person into his own priest, prophet and king, justifying persons in their private opinions about religious truth – the Spirit is given to the whole Body of the Church, and the differing ranks and duties of the members must be honored, all cleaving together in Faith, Hope and Charity by the same Spirit...

God has cast His fire on the earth, and when the time is ripe it shall become an ineluctable conflagration. Dies irae, dies illa, solvet saeclum in favilla, teste David cum Sibylla (“That day, the day of wrath, blasts the cosmos to cinder and ash; so David and the Sibyll swear”). Our choices and deeds shall determine whether we are reduced to cinders as well, or whether we shall be found to be “not of this world,” and already accustomed to the purifying fire of the divine nature in the tabernacle of our hearts."

Read the whole article HERE

Friday, May 13, 2016

VHE VII: Learn of Dietrich and snippets of Fatima

I know i said the next thing i would publish would be contraversial, but i figured I would post this now and the other thing sometime next week....

So onto Von Hildebrands Everywhere part 7

First, I finally got around to finishing a playlist of videos that should give you an understanding of who Dietrich von Hildebrand was and what his teachings are. The talks are from an old EWTN show A Knight for Truth, the audio files can also be accessed HERE

Also OnePeterFive just published a piece with the blessing of Alice von Hildebrand where she talks about the third secret of Fatima (eventually I will post on the new things about this, so wait please).  You can read the article on this HERE


And since Fatima came up here is a bonus video care of Franciscan University with Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch talking about the real threat of Islam and ISIS along with prominent theologians like Scott Hahn

Furthermore I consider that Islam must be overcome by the reign of Christ the King

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Modernism is Still Scourging the Church

A good sermon worth your time... tomorrow I will post on a matter commonly off limits by modernity

And a warning about theology of the body and Christopher West

Friday, May 6, 2016

In defense of Pius IX in the Mortara Affair

It has come to my attention that Steven Spielberg and therefore Hollywood are interested in taking shots at the Church once again, this time by way of a complicated event in History (surprise in this 120 character or below culture)
Edgardo Levi-Mortara in his clerics
The issue?  The Mortara Affair in which a young Jewish boy had been baptized by a house servant when the child was gravely ill.  The diocese recommended the case to Rome and Pius IX had the child removed from the care of his parents and brought him up in the Catholic faith.

But to more effectly relate the story to you it is important to note the context of the time, and how this was a media event of its day.  The event was related in a fantastic book on Pius IX entitled  "Pope Pius IX: The Man and the Myth" by Yves Chiron


From Orsini to Mortara

If 1857 had been dominated by this long apostolic journey, 1858 was the year in which Italy’s destiny was at the mercy of the (then) secret agreement between Napoleon III and Cavour. It all started on January 14 with an attempt on the Emperor’s life. As he was going to the Opera, four Italian republicans, led by Orsini, a former member of the Constituant Assembly of the Roman Republic, threw bombs at the imperial cortege. Orsini, under the influence of an exiled French republican, believed that with Napoleon III dead, the Republic would be restored in France and would help Italy towards unit and towards becoming a republic too. The Emperor emerged unscathed from the assassination attempt, but 156 people were injured, more or less  seriously, and eight of them died.

As well as intensifying the evolution towards a more authoritarian regime. Orsini’s assassination attempt made Napoleon III determined to conduct policies more decidedly in favor of Piedmont-Sardinia. If France were to help Piedmont-Sardinia to throw the Austrians out the Italy, it would acquire the good graces of the partisans of Italian unit and also of the French republicans who had so far been hostile to the Empire. Of course, Napoleon III reckoned to profit territorially from this military intervention in Italy. This was the purpose of the Plombières Accord. For waters in this spa in the Vosges Mountains. On July 21, Cavour discreetly made his way thither and had two long private discussions with the Emperor. It was agreed that France would help Piedmont-Sardinia to expel the Austrians from the north od Italy. After the victory, Piedmont-Sardinia and the Romagna, two regions of the Papal States. In exchange for its help, France would get Savoy and Nice which, in the wake of the 1815 treaty of Vienna, had reverted to the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
The contents of this agreement remained secret. Cavour regarded the projected annexations as the first step towards Italy’s complete unification. Napoleon III, however, had no intention of promoting an unified Italy at this time. True, in 1849 he had sent troops to re-establish the Pope in Papal States from him. He believed, however, that Italy could become a confederation and that that the Pope, the head of the Papal States (even of a reduced Papal States) could give stability as president of this future Italian confederation.

In many ways Napoleon III had the wool pulled over his eyes in this Plombières Accord. The skillful Cavour gave the impression that he would be content to create a kindom of Northern Italy, whereas for a long time his real intention had been much broader. As for Napoleon III, he was lending his support to an enterprise that would have the immediate effect of handing Savoy and Nice to France; but this would alienate the sympathy of Catholics and break up the totality of Papal States.

Under cover of a war of liberation against Austria, Piedmont-Sardinia was in fact preparing to attack and despoil the Papal States. Was it a coincidence that the “Mortara Affair” erupted a few months after the Plombières Accord? This affair, which was publicized by a Bologna newspapaer for some months. Liberals and anti-clericals saw it as an opportunity to lead a campaign against the Church’s “obscurantism.” In virtue of the many controversies it prompted, this “Mortara Affair” can be compared to the “Dreyfus Affair” which was to give France much anguish some decades later.

Edgardo Levi-Mortara, son of a rich Jewish family of Bologna, born in 1851, fell gravely ill at the age of seventeen months. The family’s Catholic servant, Anna Morisi, thinking that the child was near to death, decided to baptize him secretly herself, pouring water on him and pronouncing the sacramental words. Against all Hope the child recovered and the servant kept it a secret. In 1858 Edgardo’s brother Aristide also fell seriously ill. One of Anna Morisi’s friends said that she should baptize him. The servant refused, saying that she had already baptized Edgardo some years earlier, that he had recovered, and that since that time his parents had brought him up according to the Jewish law. She did not want a similar situation to arise in Aristide’s case. The story became known to the Bologna ecclesiastical authorities, and, thinking the case too serious, they referred it to Rome.
The Congregation of the Inquisition, with the approval of Pius IX, decided to remove the young Edgardo from his family and bring him up as a Christian. This was June 24, 1858, and the boy would be seven next birthday.. Later Mortara spoke of the event: “The police took me to Rome and presented me to His Holiness Pius IX, who received me with the greatest kindness and declared himself to be my adoptive father, which, in effect, he was.” The boy was entrusted to the Institute of Catechumens, which was administered by the congregation of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.

His parents went to Rome to take him back; they were refused, but they were allowed to see him every day. The young Mortara himself declared that he did not wish to return to his parents, and they went back to Bologna. It was they, no doubt, who alerted the press to what they considered and “abduction.” The Italian newspapers, followed by those of all Europe, seized on this unfortunate affair.

The fact is that, in acting in this way, Pius IX was only acting in accordance with the current canonical rules. For centuries the Church had strictly forbidden the baptism of Jewish children without  their parents’ consent, except in two very precise circumstances: when a child had been abandoned by its parents, or if the child had been entrusted to the care of a Christian and was in imminent danger of death. In this second case, if the baptized child survived, it could be taken away from its family to protect it from apostasy. In order to avoid these dire circumstances the law of the Papal States prohibited Jewish families from having Christian domestic servants, who might be inclined to baptize those in danger of death. In employing Anne Morisi, therefore, the Mortara family had committed an infraction against this wise measure.

In the case of the boy Mortara, furthermore, it should be stressed that he was completely happy with his new poition. Initially Pius IX had considered placing him in a Jesuit college, but, given the rising tide of polemics, he was afraid that the Jesuits might again be exposed to the attacks of the liberal and anti-clerical press. So, in December, he entrusted the boy to a school run by the Canons Regular of the Lateran. Every month the Pope paid the appropriate school fees and attentively followed his protégé’s progress in his studies. Later, Mortara completed his novitiate with the Canons Regular and was ordained priest.

This Mortara Affair featured in the European press for severfal months. In france, L’Univers was one of the very few newspapers to defend the Pope’s decision. Louis Veuillot summoned Dom Guéranger to remind readers of the doctrine involved in the case. The Abbot of Solesmes wrote:

“There are two distinct rights present here, that of the parents regarding their child’s education, and the right of the child himself to enjoy the advantages obtained through his baptism and to be preserved from the peril resulting from any possible infraction of the duties incumbent upon him. As for thse two rights, one belongs to the order of nature, and the other belongs to the supernatural order: both come from God. In this conflict, which has priority? The supernatural right, without any doubt. God cannot contradict Himself…”

The vast majority of the newspapers, however, denounced the Church’s “obsolete laws” and “theological law’s oppression of the natural law.” As Louis Veuillot wrote, “This application of the law seemed cruel; it seemed insulting to the generous spirit of the century, it was a crime against nature and the final proof that eh pontifical governance should be swept from the world like the last spot of mire from the ages of barbarism. The clamoring, or rather the bellowing, became universal.

The Jewish community of Allesandria, in Piedmont-Sardinia, appealed to all the world’s synagogues to protest publicly, and demanded that governments should intervene diplomatically. France, through the intermediary of her ambassador in Rome, the Duke de Gramont, first sent a very severe not eot Cardinal Antonelli, and then asked pius IX himself to “give back”  Mortara. The Pope replied that “in conscience” he could not allow “a Christian to be brought up in the Hebrew religion.”

The Mortara Affair was, in many ways, an engine of war against the Church; it gave people the opportunity to denounce “the government of the priest.” Cavour, in private correspondence from this period, recognized this, not without a certain cynicism:

“The Emperor has been delighted with the Mortara Affair, as with everything that may compromise the Pope in the eyes of Europe and in the eyes of moderate Catholics. The more charges that can be made against him, the easier it will be to impose on him the sacrifices called for by the reorganization Italy… We must make the most of all the Emperor’s efforts to bring the Pope to follow a more reasonable political line… by insisting, with regret, that the Pope’s conduct shows it to be absolutely impossible that he should keep the temporal power outside of the walls of Rome” 


So when your friends are talking about this movie send them to read this so they better understand the context.