Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mug relief

Here is a much more pleasing face to look at!

we will be blessed to have Fr. Brian Mullady O.P. in Boise September 24-27. He is here for a mass of investiture into the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre. The Lay Chapter will be putting together some events around his visit as his time permits. Will keep you posted!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Today is the Feast of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of Opus Dei.

which is worth celebrating.

and no, this is not the result of too much celebrating, but a fall at the airport last week, resulting in broken nose. I'm less than cheery this week, but much better than Tues when I was startled by the zombie in the mirror!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The incompetence of reason to determine spiritual truth

From "The Invitation Heeded" by James Kent Stone (Fr. Fidelis of the Cross)

Part II, Chapter I
The Incarnation and the mission of the Holy Ghost

The loftiest of the ancient philosophers confessed the incompetence of reason to determine spiritual truth, and looked forward, with an instinct of prophetic anticipation, to the advent of a god who might remove uncertainty by the word of divine authority (Plato in Epinomide). It is time for Protestants to ask themselves whether they are any better off that Plato was. For them, a God has come – and gone. The Divine Word walks the earth no more; and for the ascertaining of truth it is as if he had never descended from heaven. Christianity has furnished many new and glorious ideas, so novel indeed and so beautiful that men call it a revelation. But when we come to sift the meaning of this expression, it only signifies that a new domain of speculation has been thrown open, in which the human intellect may wander up and down, and admire – and doubt. The relation of truth to reason, the appeal to which it makes to the mind, is the same now as before. The reception of what are called Christian doctrines is simply the assent of the understanding to propositions the truth of which appears probable (As Chillingworth has not only admitted, but endeavored to prove).

Men have what they call faith. But it is evident that this belief is only a number of opinions, more or less strong, and differing from any other intellectual judgments only in this, that they are of such a nature as to excite emotion, suggest comfort, and inspire hope. The very hope thus awakened in the mind is of a sort which shows the character of the belief from which it springs; for it is a looking anxiously forward – I am speaking, be it remembered, of protestants – to a future state, in which present doubt shall be exchanged for knowledge, and the mists of uncertainty be dissolved in the effulgence of light. This is in effect precisely what Plato did. ‘And exactly what St. Paul did,’ you quickly exclaim. Ah, dear friend, how clearly, if you could only see it, this very appeal of yours shows how utterly you have failed to comprehend the nature of Catholic faith! You quote St. Paul as if he had said, ‘Now I doubt, but then shall I know.’ St. Paul was a Catholic, and he spoke as a Catholic. And his words were: “NOW I KNOW” – I know now, and I shall know then; the assurance is the same, the measure of cognition alone is different; “now I know in part, but then I shall know even as I am known.”


If the Lord Jesus Christ were to come back to us, in the glory of his majesty, how quickly would we cease our dogmatizing, and hush our disputings. With one accord we would exclaim, ‘the Messsias is come, and he will teach us all things.’ Dear friend, he is here now; he is here today in the midst of us, radiant with the irresistible tokens of divinity, addressing us in awful tones of authority; in the person of his Church he comes and lays his hand upon you, and says, “I that speak unto thee am he.”

This is not a fiction of speech. It is no bold metaphor. The Church is the voice of God, speaking to the world now as it spoke eighteen hundred years ago. The God whose possible coming was dimly conceived by the intuition of the Greek philosopher has actually come. And has the meaning of that advent ever shown in upon your mind? Have you ever apprehended, have you even begun to apprehend, the appalling fact of he Incarnation? The infinite, eternal God brought himself within bounds; he took upon him a reasonable soul and human flesh; he suffered death as a sacrifice for the sins of the world; he created a Church, and built it upon a rock, and said, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it;” he chose his representatives, an in words of omnipotence he invested them with their awful commission; to one of them he gave the keys of the kingdom of heaven; to all of them he said: “whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed in heaven;” he breathed upon them, saying, “receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven, and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained;” he pronounced upon them those sentences of unutterable import: “as the Father hath sent me, even so send I you:” “he that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me:” “all power is given to me in heaven and in earth: go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

James Kent Stone converted to the Catholic Church after Pius IX, on convoking the Vatican Council, invited Protestants to return to the Church which Christ established. His unprejudiced response, after long and careful examination of conscience, was to leave the priesthood of the Protestant Episcopal Church (USA) and enter the priesthood of the Catholic Church and entered the Passionists, where, known as Fr. Fidelis of the Cross, he late in life, served in their highest office.

Friday, June 12, 2009

All is not all

There are those outside the sheepfold of Jesus Christ who attack the sinlessness of Mary, perverting very words of Holy Scripture, to wit:

All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God [Romans 3:23]

It not being enough to point out that all cannot be inclusive of every single one, lest one deny the sinlesness of Jesus Christ, who was without sin [Heb 4:15]. Yet even with the clear fact that the biblical "All" is a subset of the common use of "All" which means every single person, they object that Jesus can be excluded because, well, He's Jesus! and that exclusion can't possibly belong to anyone else who is a mere mortal.

Well, that's a lot to read into a text that, in their system, is supposed to be clear on the surface of it! So here's another little example whereby we can see if All is everyone or not (incarnate Godhead excluded):

Consider the battle of Jericho, after the walls came down, the Israelites put all the defeated to death, right? They observed the ban by putting to the sword all living creatures in the city: men and women, young and old, as well as oxen, sheep and asses. [Joshua 6:21] So, did they kill everyone? They were supposed to spare Rahab and her family; on Joshua's orders (Joshua is the Greek of Jesus), everyone was to die, except only the harlot Rahab and all who are in the house with her are to be spared [Joshua 6:17]. So was there an oversight, and putting to the sword all living creatures did they fail to observe Joshua's orders? We see that is not the case, for after the battle they entered and brought out Rahab, with her father, mother, brothers, and all her kin. [6:22-23]

so you see, dear friends, biblically speaking, all is not everyone at all!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Family time

I'll be attending the memorial service for my Grandmother, who recently passed away at 104. She's been my prayer support for all of my 56 years; worthy of St. Monica, something I didn't appreciate until so late, as did Monica's son.

when I was perhaps 9 or 10, at a holiday family gathering I was in a funk because my mother had been angry at me; my grandmother took me aside and asked me if I knew why grandmas and grandkids got along so well together. In response to my answer in the negative, she replied with in immense smile, "It's because we have a common enemy." point being not that she didn't get along with my mother, but that she had a way of reaching you that was wonderful.

Here are my grandparents Ralph and Kathryn at their 50th in 1974.

Kathryn, may God grant you eternal rest.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Paul O'Leary O.P.L. visits Lourdes

Chapter member Paul O'Leary went on a military pilgrimage to Lourdes for the Ascension; he reports that there were something like 20,000 soldiers who went on this pilgrimage sponsored by the military archbishop in Berlin.

Here's Paul with an unnamed Bishop and his chaplain, Fr. Bebo. (Paul claims not to know the blonde...)

Leave it to Paul to bring his own unit flag...

click pictures for larger images