Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I have finished reading Whittaker Chambers' "Witness" and have started reading a book which has been on my list for a while; it has a lot of really good points from perspectives I haven't heard articulated before; for example, in the quote that follows, I have heard the Sabbath and Canon arguments (Nos 5 & 6) before, but not the others.

S. Ludovici, die 19. Aug. 1903.
Adm. Dioceseos S. Ludovici.

65. Though Protestants put the Scripture as the rule of faith, as a matter of fact they receive the tenets of their belief from their preachers and parents. Hence it has come to pass that many doctrines are accepted by most of them which are not capable of proof from the Scripture alone. Such are the following:

1. Infant Baptism, which however is so very important (n. 239).

2. The discarding of the washing of feet as a sacred rite essential to salvation, and yet Christ washed the feet of His disciples and said to St. Peter, “If I wash thee not, thou shalt have no part with Me,” and He added, “You ought also to wash one another's feet” (Jo. XIII, 8, 14).

3. The lawfulness of eating blood; and yet this practice was strictly forbidden to the Jews (Dent. XII, 23); and the Apostles in a circular letter insisted on the prohibition (Acts XV, 20).

4. The lawfulness of swearing; though Christ said, “I say to you not to swear at all” (Matt. V, 34); and St. James, “Above all things swear not” (V, 12).

5. The substitution of the Lord's day, the first day of the week, for the Sabbath, the last day. All that the Scriptures say is that some Christians met for worship on the first day, not that this was a substitute for the Sabbath.

6. The very canon of the Scripture itself is nowhere found in the Scripture; it can only be accepted on some authority other than that of the Scripture.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Evening and Night Prayer at Sacred Heart tomorrow night

You are cordially invited to come to the chapel at Sacred Heart tomorrow from 8:00 to 9:00. Evening and Night Prayer will be sung/recited during the final hour of adoration. This is Evening Prayer I for All Saints' Day. Mark, Anita and I plan to be singing.

Pax et fides,
-- Mike Turner OPL

Monday, October 29, 2007

Dominican Bishop stands up for Social Justice

Feminists don’t speak for women, says Dominican cardinal in blistering reply

Santo Domingo, Oct 26, 2007 / 11:14 am (CNA).- Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo, responded to criticism by radical feminists this week who accused him of pressuring the country’s legislature not to legalize abortion, saying these groups do not represent the interests of women.
“Women have always had all of my respect,” the cardinal said, “but I have never agreed, nor will I ever agree, with feminists of the bad kind, who are given over to everything except helping women.”

According to the cardinal, feminists, together with the United Nations, are the ones pressuring the governments of the world to legalize abortion.

Feminist groups, he explained, do not fight for the dignity of women, but rather they bring women down with the help of some sectors of society. “Only an imbecile, a moron, someone ignorant of everything, could defend that position,” he said.

Hat tip to Fr. Z at What Does The Prayer Really Say?

Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner

I hope it can be seen how in this last Sunday's scripture, the humility and repentance tax collector's prayer is the example of how we should live out the previous Sunday's lesson of the unjust judge and the woman seeking justice. Although we are tempted by cultural conditioning to read the word "justice" and think in terms of the aims of "Social Justice" and activism when we hear Jesus say in scripture: "I tell you, he will see to it that justice is done for them speedily," we are immediately given the example of the tax collector's humble prayer, and hear the fullfillment of the promise that links these two reading: "I tell you, the latter went home justified"

Justice properly sought (leads to) Justification received

The key here is that God's mercy is strictly speaking completely gratuitous, and yet as the Fathers teach us, God has chosen to bind himself to us in this way, and the justice asked, is given speedily as justification, a "due good."

The simple communitative justice which hearts of good will are drawn to seek, because it is a dim reflection of the goodness of God, has not been promised in this life; rather, we are admonished to be just, but to bear injustice with calm equanimity.


After 22 years in my home, I am moving; Kids are gone, and I can no longer afford or need the same accomodations. Still, its not an easy break to make! I spent the weekend at Homedale, where I enjoyed the warmth of off grid living, and the good cooking and charming company of certain members of the chapter (see picture), as well as the opportunity to say the office in community, a rare event for me...

The Blessed Margaret of Castello Chapter, after ten years of of meeting on the third Sunday of each month, is facing the decision to move to the third Saturday. This will have the advantage of being able to incorporate the Saturday evening mass and confession as part of the regular meeting. Did I say ten years old? Sounds like a celebration is due! It's been a time of deepening old friendships and the joys of new ones, uniting and growing in faith, hope, and charity, and helping each other share the good news of Jesus Christ in a world that has ears and does not hear, eyes and does not see...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Get thee to the preacher

Yesterday was the anniversary of the first time I sought out a priest, and the reason was the reading from St. Augustine in the daily office; in memory of that momentous day in which I received not what I thought I wanted, but rather received what the Lord knew I needed, with undying gratitude:

we don't know what it is right to pray for.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


At the last Chapter Meeting we held professions and installed officers. Here are some pictures.

Novices making their temporary profession; Maria, Katie, Anita, Stacia, and in the background, Crystl...

...and receiving their Dominican cross.

Dorothy making her perpetual profession:

We installed the newly elected officers, and passed on the bell from Kathleen to Les, who is the new Sgt. at Arms (guardian of "Park it" and "stay focused, folks!).

Then on to celebration...

Sub-prioress Stephanie had this lovely cake made

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Abortion is the Focus of First Day of UN Conference on Maternal Mortality

By Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. (NEW YORK — C-FAM) The United Nation's second in command announced today that the United Nations must make “sexual and reproductive health a priority in order to improve development.” Dr. Asha-Rose Magiro, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, speaking at the Women Deliver conference in London, said that to reduce maternal mortality, “We know what needs to be done. Access to sexual and reproductive health services, family planning, skilled care, emergency care, and trained midwives.”
Following Magiro’s remarks, Francisco Songare, MD, Director of the UN’s Partnership for Maternal and Newborn Health, said that the first priority in reducing maternal mortality “must be sexual and reproductive health – abortion – and without taboos!” Second to abortion, Songare said, was the need for skilled birth attendants and emergency obstetric care. The Partnership for Maternal and Newborn Health is a UN initiative chaired by UN Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF) Deputy Executive Director. Funding sexual and reproductive rights is a primary focus of the conference. At the beginning of the conference, the UK announced it would give an additional 200 million pounds [$400 million] to UNFPA over the next five years to “give women real contraceptive services.” Thoraya Obaid, Executive Director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said later, “The UK funding commitment has been negotiated for two years, but it was because of this conference that they felt pressure to make some announcement today.”
Nafis Sadik, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General for HIV/AIDS said that linking sexual and reproductive health to AIDS is critical because government support for sexual and reproductive health has fallen while enthusiasm and funding for AIDS has risen since the 1990s. Steve Sinding, Senior Fellow at the Guttmacher Institute echoed this, saying that the way to solve the reproductive health funding problem is to tie it to “the current preoccupation of development leaders” by showing that fertility decline is necessary for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to link family planning to HIV/AIDS programs and funding.
Another focus of the conference is on linking maternal mortality to international human rights obligations. Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and president of the non-governmental organization Realizing Rights, said that, “We need passion and collective anger…we must center sexual and reproductive health now. It must be prioritized to reach the Millennium Development Goals, especially goal five [on maternal mortality].” Robinson’s home country of Ireland has the world’s lowest maternal mortality rate according to a UN report released just this week, and Ireland has some of the most protective pro-life laws in the world.
Dr. Robert Walley, ObGyn, Executive Director of MaterCare International told the Friday Fax, “It is ridiculous to address abortion and contraception at a conference about maternal mortality. By definition, a maternal mortality involves a pregnant woman, not a pregnancy that has been avoided or aborted. We have known for many years how to help prevent a woman’s death by emergency obstetrics and skilled birth attendants. It is a shame that these leaders want to divert attention from the real needs of women -- giving her the best of obstetrical care based on life, hope, and the dignity of motherhood.”
Are the "Dominicans at the United Nations" involved? Is this issue a priority for those called to protect the weakest among us--the ideal of social justice?


This Sunday, October 21, 1007, at Our Lady of the Valley Church, Caldwell, Idaho, new inquirers, novices, and candidates for profession will receive their respective reception or profession into the Order of Preachers. The ceremony is beautiful and will be held at our meeting. The meeting commences at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, October 21, 2007 with the Rosary, light potluck, and meeting, then the professions at the Church. Please join us. You will love it and learn much. Also, we will handing out notebooks to introduce all interested in the Order of Preachers.
Please join us. If you have a question, call me. God bless your day.
John Keenan, O.P.L.
Formation Director

Is the real Vatican II starting to stand up?

here is an encouraging article by Sandro Magister.

A New Musical Season Opens at the Vatican – And Here's the Program

[at] Benedict XVI's visit to the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, on the morning of Saturday, October 13.

To the professors and students of this institute – which is the liturgical-musical "conservatory" of the Holy See, the one that trains Church musicians from all over the world – the pope cited Vatican Council II, where it says that "as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy" (Sancrosanctum Concilium, 112).

He also confirmed that "three characteristics distinguish sacred liturgical music: sanctity, true art, and universality, meaning its ability to be used regardless of the nature or nationality of the assembly."

"Precisely in view of this, ecclesiastical authorities must devote themselves to guiding wisely the development of such a demanding genre of music, not by sealing off its repository[got that, Pirates of Vatican II?], but by seeking to insert into the heritage of the past the legitimate additions of the present, in order to arrive at a synthesis worthy of the high mission reserved to it in the divine service. I am certain that the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, in harmonious agreement with the congregation for divine worship, will not fail to offer its contribution for an 'updating', adapted to our time, of the abundant and valuable traditions found in sacred music."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Touch with a 10-foot pole? Gandolf: "Run, you fools"

An odd post by Fr. Z,

SSPX Bp. Williamson opposed to female “Doctors of the Church”: are his reasons good?

Some of the comments are actually rather good, to a discussion that sometimes is rather odd. On the other hand, who would be so bold as to assert that the world today is more in conformance with God's will than at any other time? hum?

Here's a couple thoughts from Isaiah:

3:12. As for my people, their oppressors have stripped
them, and women have ruled over them. O my people, they
that call thee blessed, the same deceive thee, and destroy
the way of thy steps.

27:11. [Israel's] harvest shall be destroyed with drought, women
shall come and teach it: for it is not a wise people,
therefore he that made it, shall not have mercy on it: and
he that formed it, shall not spare it.

We were born into the world left us by our progenitors, and on balance, are leaving this world for our children in a state much worse than we received it. May God have mercy on us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Way to go vs. don't go that way; says Who?

Interestinly, I just read in Whittaker Chamber's "WITNESS" that he crossed a Rubicon of sorts when he came to the realization that instead of attacking the evil, he should promote the good. Perhaps he presaged Vatican II...

The Church's job has always been two-fold; apostolic preaching (for conversion) and governance/teaching (for perseverance to the end); the goal of both being the salvation of souls. The conscious decision to point the road and effectively ignore the wrong roads is a failure of charity, even if it makes one more popular.

One can not show the way to go without simultaneously showing the way not to go.

A number of times I have been chastized for saying what the Church teaches, and told "The Church isn't God" or something to that effect. I always found this a perplexing comment for a Catholic to make, and now I realize that those who offered it, invariably did so by way of dismissing what the Church has to say, so that they could go their own way untroubled by their conscience. To each who offered such advice, my tongue "cleaveth to the roof of my mouth," as the Lord told Ezechiel, and I was struck dumb. Only now do I realize that the answer is so incredibly profound, involving the mystery of the incarnation, that God would join Himself to sinful flesh, and endow a body till the end of time to speak with the authority of God.

The doctrine of the mystical body of Christ is of an order sublime and difficult to grasp as is that of the Immaculate Conception, the Incarnation, and the Trinity. Before such mystery the pride of man has and always will rise in rebellion, while the humble of heart will bow trembling and say "my Lord and my God."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What REALLY happens during an abortion: One surgeon finally tells the truth

What REALLY happens during an abortion:
One surgeon finally tells the truth

British TV on Oct 17, looking at what happens during an abortion. read the article; hope the show makes it to YouTube...

hat tip to Mac at Mulier Fortis, who posted a spoiler

Friday, October 12, 2007

The mystery of suffering

Each day, I have wondered about so many things, but this week the readings in the book DIVINE INTIMACY have come home to roost. As our Lord came in the flesh to suffer and be rejected by men, He willed that the salvation of all who are to be saved, be tied to His body, the Church, which, with Him at its head, continues to suffer and be rejected to the end of the world; and this is how souls are to receive grace of salvation, by our suffering united with Him. We want suffering no more than He did (father, let this cup pass);, oh yeah, we'd rather not.

But we are.

Oh Lord, You poured out Your blood to the last drop, and I stumble at the littlest sufferings. You silently endured the torments of the men whom You created for Yourself who in justice should love You, and I whine when the children who should love You turn their backs; Therefore, since this is Your will, I beg you the strength to carry this yoke which You promised would not be more than I can carry; Help me to carry it for You and for those whom You love; inspire in my heart a love for those whom You love and carried your cross, so that I can stand and hoist it with all that I am and all that I have, united with You to the end.

Do not let my heart be distracted by the passing things of the world.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bp.Vasa Speaks

Church's moral teachings are in accord with human dignity
E-Column by Bishop Robert Vasa

BEND The Office of Readings for the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time contains one of my favorite and most challenging passages. Citing from the "Pastoral Guide of Pope Saint Gregory the Great," the reading contains these words: "A spiritual guide should be silent when discretion requires and speak when words are of service. Otherwise he may say what he should not or be silent when he should speak. Indiscreet speech may lead men into error and an imprudent silence may leave in error those who could have been taught. Pastors who lack foresight hesitate to say openly what is right because they fear losing the favor of men. As the voice of truth tells us, such leaders are not zealous pastors who protect their flocks, rather they are like mercenaries who flee by taking refuge in silence when the wolf appears."

I have just returned from the annual educational conference of the Catholic Medical Association at which I again heard, from the medical and scientific community, that the teachings of the Catholic Church are fully in accord with a proper philosophical understanding of man and with the prudent practice of the healing arts. I was reminded again that bishops and priests, as shepherds, are perhaps a bit reluctant to speak to our secular and relativistic culture those truths which could perhaps be described as "inconvenient." The theme of the conference was "Theology of the Body: The Dignity of Woman." Starting with the series of talks by Pope John Paul II, in which he presented a rather comprehensive theology of the body, the conference presenters pointed out how this teaching interfaces with the practice of medicine.

As you can imagine, the Theology of the Body is fully consistent with the moral teachings of the Church. For example, there was a presentation on the use of the contraceptive pill as the medicine of choice for the impairment of fertility and the treatment of a variety of ailments which women might experience. In keeping with the theme of the dignity of women it was pointed out that many studies confirm the significant increase in the risk of breast cancer for women who use the contraceptive pill. The conclusion: The pill is not good for women. Furthermore, another presenter pointed out that the contraceptive pill, because it is a type of hormonal therapy, is used to treat the symptoms of a whole series of other underlying problems. Some of these, because they go undiagnosed, cause even more serious problems in the future. The pill may be convenient but it is not good morality when it is used contraceptively and it is not good medicine when used therapeutically.

Contraceptive tubal ligations are morally illicit and it is hard to imagine a tubal ligation which is not contraceptive. Such surgeries are a violation of the integral dignity of women, they further promote the objectification of women and there are sometimes serious adverse health consequences.

Invitro fertilization, also known as IVF, is frequently used as a means for a couple to achieve a desired pregnancy. This process diminishes the dignity of both the man and the woman, it objectifies both of them, and it even objectifies the child to be conceived. In some ways that child, who has a right to be born of natural processes in the context of the embrace of love, now becomes the manipulated product of laboratory technology. The Church, while recognizing the longing of couples to achieve a pregnancy, also recognizes that achieving such a pregnancy "at any cost" involves a diminution of the dignity of woman, of man, of the marital relationship and that such a cost is too high. IVF is immoral. Furthermore, thanks to IVF we now have the seemingly insoluble problem of approximately 400,000 frozen embryos, frozen microscopic human beings who have parents who are morally responsible for them but who have either abandoned them to their frozen fate or who do not have the ability to rescue them. This kind of situation clearly diminishes our respect for life, further objectifies the innocent child and treats him or her like a product of the freezer section of the local market. This absurd fate of the innocent child is the product of a technology detached from morality, a technology which does not give proper regard to the dignity of the human person, the dignity of the woman, the dignity of the man, the dignity of the child. There are legitimate modalities which assist, very effectively I might add, married couples desiring to achieve and sustain a pregnancy and these do not involve IVF or freezing embryos or donor gametes or selective reductions or designer babies or gender selection or genetic testing, all of which further dehumanize and objectify the child. Good morality is good medicine. Good medicine respects the nature and dignity of the human person.

Abortion harms women. This is one of the signs often held by the proponents of life when advocating a deeper respect for life. Direct abortion undoubtedly kills an innocent human being and this fact alone should be sufficient for all of us to see its absolute immorality. Unfortunately, it appears that a fuller recognition of the immeasurable harm this procedure does to women will be necessary before this crime against humanity can be seen for what it is, the destruction of an innocent human being and a great harm to women. I do not believe there is any other freely chosen action which has a greater detrimental impact on women than abortion. This medical procedure is certainly a grave moral evil. This medical procedure is an assault, not only on the individual woman, but an assault on the dignity of women in general.

It often happens that the Church is accused of disdaining and condemning the joy of sexual expression and that all these moral laws are really about sex. Pope Benedict mentioned this in his Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est. "Doesn't the Church, with all her commandments and prohibitions, turn to bitterness the most precious thing in life? Doesn't she blow the whistle just when the joy, which is the Creator's gift, offers us a happiness which is itself a certain foretaste of the Divine?" In a word, no. The Church, because she sees, recognizes and seeks to defend the dignity of the human person, perhaps especially the dignity of women, is a strong shepherd in speaking out against those things which are immoral and which are contrary to the dignity of the human person. To do otherwise would be "imprudent silence."

Archp Ranjith on bishops who resist Summorum Pontificum: “instruments of the devil”

Fr. Z at WDTPRS has an interesting post quoting His Excellency Most Rev. Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, speaking in the Netherlands on Oct 6. Fr. Z points out that what follows is a translation of a translation, so it would be interesting to see the original English...

“The motu proprio Summorum Pontificum on the Latin Liturgy of July 7th 2007 is the fruit of a deep reflection by our Pope on the mission of the Church. It is not up to us, who wear ecclesiastical purple and red, to draw this into question, to be disobedient and make the motu proprio void by our own little, tittle rules. Even not if they were made by a bishops conference. Even bishops do not have this right. What the Holy Fathers says, has to be obeyed in the Church. If we do not follow this principle, we will allow ourselves to be used as instruments of the devil, and nobody else. This will lead to discord in the Church, and slows down her mission. We do not have the time to waste on this. Else we behave like emperor Nero, fiddling on his violin while Rome was burning. The churches are emptying, there are no vocations, the seminaries are empty. Priests become older and older, and young priests are scarce.”

Prayer request for Les

Kathleen Schuck OPL reports:

Leslie Fitzpatrick OPL suffered a mild heart attack this afternoon. Bonnie is with him and he is undergoing surgery to put in a stint. Sr. Alice Marie OP is there too. Please keep Les and Bonnie in your prayers. Expect an update asap.

Thank you

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Contemplare and contemplata allis tradere

Keeping in mind the Dominican motto Contemplare and contemplata allis tradere – (contemplate and pass on the fruits of contemplation), here is a portion of today’s Divine Intimacy by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.C.D., followed by some quotes which are from the previous few days of readings.


When we speak of the apostolate, we think almost exclusively of external activity; this is certainly necessary, but it is not the only kind of apostolate. We must always bear in mind that Jesus saved us not only by the activity of the last three years of His life, which were dedicated to the evangelization of the multitudes and the formation of the first nucleus of the Church, but also by prayer, suffering, vigils – by his whole life. Jesus was always an apostle, the one sent by the Father for our salvation. His apostolate began at Bethlehem in the dreariness of a cave; as a tiny Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, He was already suffering for us; it continued during the thirty years spent at Nazareth in prayer, in retirement, in the hidden life; it took an external form in His direct contact with souls during His public life, and reached its culmination in His agony in the Garden of Olives and His death on the Cross. Jesus was an apostle in the stable of Bethlehem, in the shop of St. Joseph, in His anguish in Gethsemane and on Calvary no less than when He was going thru Palestine, teaching the multitudes or disputing with the doctors of the law.

Our apostolate consists in associating ourselves with what Jesus has done for the redemption of mankind; therefore, it is not limited to external activity, but it also consists, and essentially so, in prayer and sacrifice. Thus one clearly sees that there are two fundamental forms of apostolate: the interior apostolate of prayer and immolation, which is a prolongation of the hidden life and of the Passion of Jesus; and the exterior apostolate of word and of work, which is a prolongation of His public life. Both are a participation in the redemptive work of Jesus, but there is a great difference between them. The interior apostolate is the indispensable foundation of the exterior apostolate; no one, in fact, can hope to save souls by exterior works which are not sustained by prayer and sacrifice. On the other hand, there are cases where external works can be dispensed with, without, on that account, lessening the interior apostolate of prayer and sacrifice, which can still be very intense and fruitful. Every Christian is an apostle, not only in virtue of the activity in which he engages, but principally because of his participation in the prayer and sacrifice by which Jesus has redeemed the world.

The interior apostolate can subsist by itself; in fact, there are states of life that justify the absence of an exterior apostolate. One of these is the purely contemplative life, which has always flourished in the Church. Like a mother, she jealously defends it against the attacks of the attacks of those who condemn it as an escape from the field of action. Those who follow God’s call and retire from active works to give themselves to this kind of life are not deserters; if they leave the ranks of the external apostolate, they do this only in order to give themselves to a more intensive apostolate, that of prayer and continual immolation.

“Those in the Church who perform the function of prayer and continual penance, contribute to the growth of the Church and the salvation of the human race to a greater degree than those who cultivate the Lord’s field by their activity; for, if they did not draw down from heaven an abundance of divine grace to irrigate the field, the evangelical workers would certainly receive less fruit from their labors” (Pius XI, Umbratilem). This authorized statement of a great Pope can leave no doubt as to the immense apostolic value of the contemplative life; but, on the other hand, it is but just to remark that such value is realized only when contemplatives engage themselves with all their strength in prayer and continual immolation. In other words, it is not any kind of prayer or sacrifice that will result in such great fruitfulness, but only the prayer and sacrifice that come from an extremely pure and generous heart, a heart wholly given to God and which, day by day, renews and lives its immolation with ever greater freshness and intensity. When the contemplative life is lived with such intensity it is, in an eminent way, an apostolic life.

It is in this sense that Pope Pius XII has defined the vocation to a cloistered life as “a universal, apostolic vocation…a fully and totally apostolic vocation, not limited by boundaries of place, time, and circumstances, but always and everywhere, zealous for everything that in any way relates to the honor of the heavenly Spouse or the salvation of souls” (Apostolic Constitution: Sponsa Christi). Furthermore, contemplative monasteries, by the simple example of their hidden life, their prayer and penance, are a continual reminder for all to be detached from earthly things and to seek those that are heavenly: union with God and sanctity.

“O Jesus, Son of God, if I think how You died to save souls, how can I fail to want to die for them also? And if I think of men trampling upon Your Blood, who can I tolerate such an insult to You, my Lord? How can I say I love You and long for Your love, if when I see Your picture thrown in the mud, I do not try and pick it up? Why then, do I not devote myself entirely to prayer, and wear myself out trying to make Your Name known and honored, so that by converting souls, I may gather the fruits of Your Blood?

“My God, even if I knew I would never enjoy your presence, I would, nevertheless, be willing to die for each sinful soul, in order to honor You; in this way, I would undergo as many deaths as there are sinners in the world, so that they might obtain grace now and glory hereafter. (St. Bonaventure).

“O my God, I experience very deep distress because of the great number of souls who are bringing damnation upon themselves, especially of those who were members of the Church through Baptism, and I greatly desire to labor for their salvation, so much so that I really believe that, to deliver a single one of them from such dreadful torments, I would willingly die many deaths…. Who could bear to look upon souls condemned for eternity to endless suffering? Even earthly suffering which, after all, has a limit and will end with death, moves us to deep compassion. And that other suffering has no limit: I do not know how we can look on so calmly and see the devil carrying off as many souls as he does daily.

“Thou knowest, my God, who grieved I am to see how very many are lost. Save at least one, Lord, at least one who can give light to many others, and this not for my sake, Lord, for I do not merit it, but for the merits of Thy Son. Look upon His wounds, Lord, and as He forgave them who inflicted them upon Him, so do Thou pardon us. (Theresa of Jesus, Life, 32)

“O Lord, this is what You say to my soul: ‘Why are you so far away from Me, detained by useless pursuits? Why do you not hasten to prepare a beautiful wedding garment? I suffered death to take you for My spouse. I became man for you, to preserve your life from corruption, I preferred your salvation before all My works. I prepared a nuptial couch for you in heaven, and I commanded the angels to serve you. Would you despise Me, your heavenly Spouse? And whom would you prefer to Me, who in My mercy have saved the whole human race? What father could give you life as I have? What father or what spouse can love you as much as I?

“O my God, what shall I answer You?” (St. Ephrem).

I have posted this material, because I believe that the author understands the apostolate, and the saints quoted understood it to a profound degree, and their understanding is in complete harmony with St. Dominic's understanding. I also would have to say that (the excommunicated) Mathew Fox OP, Edward Schillenbeeckx OP did not understand or have a vision in harmony with Dominic and the saints quoted above; and the fruit of their efforts is best summarized in the recent pamphlet issued by the Dutch Dominicans; a vision that leads not to the salvation of souls, and that this vision and understanding is at the root of most of the so-called "catholic social justice" movement, which is why it is a failure and, in the eternal scheme of things, irrelevent. As this is my opinion, and not shared by a significant number, it is why I ask that we observe and follow the motto:

Contemplare and contemplata allis tradere

interestingly, here is a list from Matthew Fox of the "hero's who have fallen to Ratzinger's inquisistion" (no kidding!).

Fr. Bernhard Haering, a German Redemptorist and moral theologian
Oscar Romero of El Salvador, called in three times to the Vatican to explain his stand against the military. The Vatican sent three visitors to coerce him to be silent.
Jacques Pohier, French Dominican
Edward Schillebeecks, Dutch Dominican
Professor Hans Kung
Father Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua
Sister Agnes Mary Mansour of the Sisters of Mercy in Michigan
Bishop Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle
Gustavo Gutierrez, Peruvian liberation theologian
Leonardo Boff, Brazilian liberation theologian
All the bishops of Peru summoned to Rome to repudiate liberation theology
Fr. Gyorgy Bulanyi, a Hungarian priest
Fr. Charles Curran of Catholic University of America
Bishop Mathew Clark of Rochester, New York
Fr. Alex Zanotelli of Columbia who published an article showing the relationship of arms sales and Italian relief agencies
Bishop Pedor Casaldaliga, defender of the Indians and the rain forest in Brazil
Bishop Helder Camara’s Institute in Recife, Brazil, was shut down
Fr. Eugen Drewermann of Germany, a psychoanalyst and priest author
Fr. Philipe Denis, Dominican of France, for criticizing the Opus Dei
Brazilian sister Ivone Gebara
Fr. Paul Collins of Australia
Indian Jesuit Anthony de Mello (who had already been dead eleven years when they condemned his work)
Sister Jeannine Gramick and Fr. Robert Nugent of the United States for ministering with gay and lesbian Catholics because they had not “condemned the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts.”

Friday, October 05, 2007

(don't) go Dutch

Sandro Magister has written an articulate commentary on the recent absurd pamphlet issued by the Dutch Dominicans.

In Holland, They're Inventing Their Own Mass –
Copyrighted by the Dominicans

Little need be added to this: these men have gone over the edge.

speaking of Communion Services, S. Magister includes an interesting quote from the Holy Father's Sacramentum Caritatis, which contains the following:

I reiterate that only Ordinaries may grant the faculty of distributing holy communion in such liturgies

did you know that? I didn't. But then the Holy Father adds something perhaps even better as an alternative form of gathering in our Lord:

Rather, they should be privileged moments of prayer for God to send holy priests after his own heart. It is touching, in this regard, to read the words of Pope John Paul II in his Letter to Priests for Holy Thursday 1979 about those places where the faithful, deprived of a priest by a dictatorial regime, would meet in a church or shrine, place on the altar a stole which they still kept and recite the prayers of the eucharistic liturgy, halting in silence 'at the moment that corresponds to the transubstantiation,' as a sign of how 'ardently they desire to hear the words that only the lips of a priest can efficaciously utter.'

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Is popular "Social Justice" born-again Liberation Theology?



5. The anxieties and multiple sufferings sustained by those who are faithful to the God of the Covenant provide the theme of several Psalms; laments, appeals for help and thanksgivings all make mention mention of religious salvation and liberation. In this context, suffering is not purely and simply equated with the social condition of poverty or with the condition of the one who is undergoing political oppression. It also includes the hostility of one's enemies, injustice, failure, and death. The Psalms call us back to an essential religious experience: it is from God alone that one can expect salvation and healing. God, and not man, has the power to change the situations of suffering. Thus the "poor of the Lord" live in a total and confident reliance upon the loving providence of God. [6] Moreover, throughout the whole crossing of the desert, the Lord did not fail to provide for the spiritual liberation and purification of the people.

14. Consequently, the full ambit of sin, whose first effect is to introduce disorder into the relationship between God and man, cannot be restricted to "social sin." The truth is that only a correct doctrine of sin will permit us to insist on the gravity of its social effects.

15. Nor can one localize evil principally or uniquely in bad social, political, or economic "structures" as though all other evils came from them so that the creation of the "new man" would depend on the establishment of different economic and socio- political structures. To be sure, there are structures which are evil and which cause evil and which we must have the courage to change. Structures, whether they are good or bad, are the result of man's actions and so are consequences more than causes. The root of evil, then, lies in free and responsible persons who have to be converted by the grace of Jesus Christ in order to live and act as new creatures in the love of neighbor and in the effective search for justice, self-control, and the exercise of virtue. [13] To demand first of all a radical revolution in social relations and then to criticize the search for personal perfection is to set out on a road which leads to the denial of the meaning of the person and his transcendence, and to destroy ethics and its foundation which is the absolute character of the distinction between good and evil. Moreover, since charity is the principle of authentic perfection, that perfection cannot be conceived without an openness to others and a spirit of service.

This outlines the fundamental premise of secular humanism; we can change the structures, and man will "fit" in and there will be justice. I believe, on the contrary, that our faith says something more to the effect of; change the man, and the structures will follow.

Have we returned to the point where God's people were when He walked among them, they wanted a worldly kingdom instead of the one He offered; change our world, not us?

Again, from the same document:

5. The different theologies of liberation are situated between the 'preferential option for the poor', forcefully reaffirmed without ambiguity after Medellin at the Conference of 'Puebla' [19] on the one hand, and the temptation to reduce the Gospel to an earthly gospel on the other. We should recall that the preferential option described at 'Puebla' is two-fold: for the poor and 'for the young'. [21] It is significant that the option for the young has in general been passed over in total silence.

One would wonder, why is this? Perhaps it is the nature of the preferential option? Here is what JPII said:


The Church of Latin-America, which proclaimed its "preferential option for the young" at Puebla (Mexico), is preparing itself for a "new evangelization" to rediscover its roots and rejuvenate the Christian tradition and culture of its peoples on the threshold of the "half millennium" of its first evangelization.

This glove fits; Young people to restore authentic Catholic culture, and everyone, especially the poor, benefit. Contrast today's young people, brought up in the culture of death, survivors of the abortion holocaust, with faith trammeled and destroyed by teachers who do not teach the faith, and is it any wonder that they threaten to euthanize their elders who stood by (quietly or complicitly) as their peers were aborted?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Charity and the mystery of suffering



12. [] As He hung upon the Cross, Christ Jesus not only appeased the justice of the Eternal Father which had been violated, but He also won for us, His brethren, an ineffable flow of graces. It was possible for Him of Himself to impart these graces to mankind directly; but He willed to do so only through a visible Church made up of men, so that through her all might cooperate with Him in dispensing the graces of Redemption. As the Word of God willed to make use of our nature, when in excruciating agony He would redeem mankind, so in the same way throughout the centuries He makes use of the Church that the work begun might endure. [11]

11. Cf. Vat. Council, Const. de Eccl., prol.

The italics for emphasis are mine, the first to remind us why religious indifferentism is such a mistake, and the second; well, it points out to us something which we are so loath to embrace in this day; why suffering? He could have done it otherwise, He chose to do so, and us to follow in His way.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

notable quotable

From Father Z

I once asked Joseph Card. Ratzinger how he dealt with all the negative press all the time. He responded that if he didn’t read something awful about himself every week, he’d have to examine his conscience.

Pope Benedict has been applying needed medicine to some sick sectors of the Church. As as St. Augustine described many centuries ago, "The doctor doesn’t stop cutting just because his patient is screaming for him to stop."


I have finally started reading "Witness" by Whittaker Chambers; it was a birthday gift from Anita and I'd not gotten around to starting it. Anita warned me it is a real page-turner, and perhaps the "fear of committment" kept the cover closed. Now it's been opened, and my eyes are a bit blurry, for the warning was true.

two gems which so far have taken up lodging:

In response to the apparent contradiction of "You need to think for yourself; God didn't create the world, it was created from gasses billions of years ago"

"The open mind is usually closed at one end."

and regarding the secular state:

"Man cannot organize the world for himself without God; without God man can only organize the world against man."

Monday, October 01, 2007

crying out, with tears, said, Lord. Help my unbelief. (Mk 9:23)

From Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.C.D.


Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee (Mt 9:1-8)

Let us never say our faith is weak because we do not see or touch with our hand the truth which is proposed for our belief; let us rather admit that it is weak because our heart is not sufficiently docile to grace, nor entirely free from pride. If we want to have strong faith, let us be as humble and simple as children; if we wish to share in the grace and sanctification which was given to the paralytic, let us offer ourselves to Our Lord with contrite, humble heats, thoroughly convinced that we need His help and forgiveness.

Faith to move mountains is given to us in baptism, yet we struggle with faith. Fr. Gabriel here has hit the nail on the head; the graces of faith are showered down upon us, but pride is the umbrella that keeps us dry.