Corpus Christi and Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, AD 2016

When Corpus Christi rolls around I always think of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his great eucharistic hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium written by Saint Thomas at the command of Pope Urban IV to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi instituted by the Pope in 1263.   It says something vastly significant about the Church that perhaps the greatest intellect of all time, Saint Thomas Aquinas, was not only a Doctor of the Church, but also capable of writing this magnificent hymn. 

The last portion of the hymn, Tantum Ergo, has vast significance for my family.  My wife, who is a far better Catholic in my estimation than I am, is a convert.  A Methodist when we married, she converted to the Church a few years later.  She had questions regarding the real presence, and this line from Tantum Ergo resolved them:  Faith tells us that Christ is present,  When our human senses fail.  When our kids came along she would whisper at the Consecration to them:  First it’s bread, now it’s Jesus.  First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus. 

This year Corpus Christi falls on Memorial Day and that strikes me as appropriate when we recall these words of Christ:

Greater love hath no one than this: to lay down his life for his friends.

John 15: 13

Christ took on our flesh, our blood and our mortality.  He sacrificed His flesh and His blood to save us.  He gave us the great Sacrament so that just as He took on our flesh and blood, we might consume His flesh and His blood and draw close to Him through His grace.

On Memorial Day we honor our war dead.  They lost their flesh and blood in our service and to protect us.  Just as we owe Christ a debt that can never be repaid, so too do we owe a debt to those men who have died for us and that debt can never be repaid to them.  Christ gives us His body and blood to give us grace and His teachings to allow us to lead lives that attempt, oh so imperfectly, to follow in His footsteps.  Our war dead allow us to do this in more freedom and security than most of our ancestors possessed.

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One Response to Corpus Christi and Memorial Day

  • Excellent reflections.
    My morning prayers have an added bonus this morning…. your insights, which add to my contemplation. Happy and blessed Day..today and everyday. St. Maximilian Kolbe prepare us in our day to be broken and shared with those whom Christ places before us. Help us to lay our lives down for our neighbors. Help us to be “other Christs,” so the Body of Christ may grow and conquer the body of darkness.

    To our veterans. Thank God for all of you!

Transiturus de Hoc Mundo

Sunday, June 7, AD 2015

Issued on August 11, 1264 by Pope Urban IV the Papal Bull Transiturus de Hoc Mundo established the great feast of Corpus Christi.  Saint Thomas Aquinas at the request of the Pope helped draft the Bull.

Additionally he wrote for the feast, also at the request of the Pope, his great eucharistic hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium .

The last portion of the hymn, Tantum Ergo, has vast significance for my family.  My wife, who is a far better Catholic in my estimation than I am, is a convert.  A Methodist when we married, she converted to the Church a few years later.  She had questions regarding the real presence, and this line from Tantum Ergo resolved them:  Faith tells us that Christ is present,  When our human senses fail.  When our kids came along she would whisper at the Consecration to them:  First it’s bread, now it’s Jesus.  First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus. 

 

Here is the text of  Transiturus de Hoc Mundo:

Urban Bishop,

 servant of the servants of God, to the venerable brothers, Patriarchs, Archbishops, Bishops, and other prelates of the Church, health and the apostolic blessing.
About to pass from this world to the Father, our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, since the time of his Passion was at hand, instituted the great and wonderful Sacrament of his Body and Blood, bestowing his Body as food and his Blood as drink. For, as often as we eat this bread and drink this cup, we announce the death of the Lord. Indeed, at the institution of this Sacrament, he himself said to the Apostles: Do this in memory of me: so that for us the special and outstanding memorial of his love would be this venerable Sacrament; a memorial in which we attain the corporeal Presence of the Saviour himself.
Other things which we remember we embrace spiritually and mentally: we do not thereby obtain their real presence. However, in this sacramental commemoration, Jesus Christ is present with us in his proper substance, although under another form. As he was about to ascend into heaven, he said to the Apostles and their helpers, I will be with you all days even unto the consummation of the world. He comforted them with a gracious promise that he would remain and would be with them even by his corporeal presence. Therefore he gave himself as nourishment, so that, since man fell by means of the food of the death-giving tree; man is raised up by means of the food of the life-giving tree. Eating wounded us, and eating healed us. Thus the Saviour says, My Flesh is real food. This bread is taken but truly not consumed, because it is not transformed into the eater. Rather, if it is worthily received, the recipient is conformed to it.
We should celebrate continuously the memory of this memorial, because the more frequently his gift and favour are looked upon, so much the more firmly are they kept in memory. Therefore, although this memorial Sacrament is frequented in the daily solemnities of the Mass, we nevertheless think suitable and worthy that, at least once a year – especially to confound the lack of faith and the infamy of heretics – a more solemn and honourable memory of this Sacrament be held. This is so because on Holy Thursday, the day on which the Lord himself instituted this Sacrament, the universal Church, occupied with the reconciliation of penitents, blessing the chrism, fulfilling the Commandments about the washing of the feet and many other such things, is not sufficiently free to celebrate so great a Sacrament.
Moreover we know that, while we were constituted in a lesser office, it was divinely revealed to certain Catholics that a feast of this kind should be celebrated generally throughout the Church. Therefore, to strengthen and exalt the Catholic Faith, we decree that, besides the daily memory that the Church makes of this Sacrament, there be celebrated a more solemn and special annual memorial. Then let the hearts and mouths of all break forth in hymns of saving joy; then let faith sing, hope dance, charity exult, devotion applaud, the choir be jubilant, and purity delight. Then let each one with willing spirit and prompt will come together, laudably fulfilling his duties, celebrating the Solemnity of so great a Feast.
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  • I once remarked to some of my French friends that I thought it a pity that Corpus Christi (which the French call simply the « Fête-Dieu » or “Festival of God”) is nowadays transferred to the nearest Sunday.
    They explained to me that the government would allow the Church only one public holiday that always fell on a Thursday, as people would, inevitably, make it an excuse for a long weekend – « faire le pont » or “make a bridge,” as they say and so the bishops settled for Ascension Day.
    The notion that there could be a Holiday of Obligation that was not also a public holiday was quite beyond their comprehension.

  • Just learning… so the Feast used to be on Thursday after Pentecost huh… the traditional calendar of feasts shows me so much depth of meaning.
    Today the feast day would have been the feast of Mary, Mediatrix of All Graces according to 1962 John 23rd Missal– that was 1962

    Today we have Bishop William of York.
    .
    http://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/marya4.htm

  • In 1263 a German priest, Peter of Prague, stopped at Bolsena while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is described as being a pious priest, but one who found it difficult to believe that Christ was actually present in the consecrated Host. While celebrating Holy Mass above the tomb of St. Christina (located in the church named for this martyr), he had barely spoken the words of Consecration when blood started to seep from the consecrated Host and trickle over his hands onto the altar and the corporal.

    The priest was immediately confused. At first he attempted to hide the blood, but then he interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the neighboring city of Orvieto, the city where Pope Ur ban IV was then residing.

    The Pope listened to the priest’s account and absolved him. He then sent emissaries for an immediate investigation. When all the facts were ascertained, he ordered the Bishop of the diocese to bring to Orvieto the Host and the linen cloth bearing the stains of blood. With archbishops, cardinals and other Church dignitaries in attendance, the Pope met the procession and, amid great pomp, had the relics placed in the cathedral. The linen corporal bearing the spots of blood is still reverently enshrined and exhibited in the Cathedral of Orvieto.

    It is said that Pope Urban IV was prompted by this miracle to commission St. Thomas Aquinas to compose the Proper for a Mass and an Office honoring the Holy Eucharist as the Body of Christ. One year after the miracle, in August of 1264, Pope Urban IV introduced the saint’s composition, and by means of a papal bull instituted the feast of Corpus Christi.

My Wife, Pope Urban IV, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Justin Martyr

Sunday, June 22, AD 2014

When Corpus Christi rolls around I always think of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his great eucharistic hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium written by Saint Thomas at the command of Pope Urban IV to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi instituted by the Pope in 1263.   It says something vastly significant about the Church that perhaps the greatest intellect of all time, Saint Thomas Aquinas, was not only a Doctor of the Church, but also capable of writing this magnificent hymn. 

The last portion of the hymn, Tantum Ergo, has vast significance for my family.  My wife, who is a far better Catholic in my estimation than I am, is a convert.  A Methodist when we married, she converted to the Church a few years later.  She had questions regarding the real presence, and this line from Tantum Ergo resolved them:  Faith tells us that Christ is present,  When our human senses fail.  When our kids came along she would whisper at the Consecration to them:  First it’s bread, now it’s Jesus.  First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus. 

I also think on Corpus Christi of Saint Justin Martyr:

Justin Martyr was born in Flavia Neapolis, ancient Shechem,  modern day Nablus, in Judaea circa 100 AD.  He was brought up a pagan.  Having enough money to pursue the study of philosophy, he encountered the teachings of Christ, after a long and methodical search for the true philosophy, and became a convert.  Having found the true philosophy, he traveled around the Roman Empire, spreading it, garbed in his philosopher’s gown.  Eventually he settled in Rome.  He wrote eight treatises defending Christianity.  His best known work is his First Apology which he addressed to the Roman Emperor Antonius Pius, one of the best of the emperors, who reigned from 138-161 AD.  This Apology was a plea for the Emperor to stop persecuting the Christians.  In this Apology he gives us many details as to how Catholics worshiped in Rome during the middle of the Second Century.   His description of the Eucharist is a treasure for all Catholics on Corpus Christi:

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5 Responses to My Wife, Pope Urban IV, Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Justin Martyr

  • FEAST of CORPUS CHRISTI – THE BODY and BLOOD of CHRIST.
    On 22nd. June we celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi – the Body and Blood of Christ, in solemn commemoration of the institution of the Holy Eucharist. As with many of the great feats of the Church, there is a fascinating history associated with the establishment of this holy day, and has a connection to saints and miraculous events.
    God’s instrument on this occasion was a Belgian woman born in 1191 known as St. Juliana of Liege, or St. Juliana of Mt. Cornillon, – the location of an Augustinian convent where she was educated as a girl from the age of five, along with her sister Agnes, after the death of their parents. She was later accepted into the order, made her religious profession there, and eventually became the superior of the convent.
    Juliana had an ardent love for Our Lady, and also cultivated an extraordinary devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and as she grew in her vocation, longed for a special feast in honour of the Sacrament. It is said that this desire was increased by a vision of the Church under the appearance of the full moon with a black mark across it, signifying the absence of such a feast. Juliana expressed her desire to the bishop of Liege, and the Arch-deacon of Liege who was later to become Pope Urban IV. Both men received the suggestion favourably. In 1246 the Bishop, at a synod of Bishops from the Belgian dioceses, instituted a feast in honour of the Blessed Eucharist in their own dioceses. In later years, the Arch-deacon of Liege, Jacques Pantaleon, was consecrated as Bishop of Verdun, and then on 29th. August 1261, became Pope Urban IV – three years after the death of Juliana, who, as is common with many saints, suffered persecutions from her own order and some clerics.
    Two years later, in a seemingly unrelated event, occurred one of the great Eucharistic miracles of the Church, known as the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena-Orvietto, and approaching in amazement the extraordinary Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano five centuries before. In 1263 a German priest known only as Peter of Prague stopped at the place called Bolsena whilst making a pilgrimage to Rome. He was known as a pious priest, but personally found difficulty in believing that Christ was Truly and Substantially Present in the Consecrated Host. While celebrating Mass in the church of St.Christina, he had barely spoken the words of consecration, when blood started to seep from the Consecrated Host and trickle down over his hands and onto the altar cloths.
    In total confusion he at first attempted to hide the blood, but as there was such a profusion, he then interrupted the Mass and asked to be taken to the close by city of Orvietto where Pope Urban IV was residing. The Pope listened to the priest’s account, and after absolving him, ordered that the Consecrated Host along with the altar cloths bearing the stains of the Blood of Christ be transported to the Cathedral at Orvietto. Bishops and Cardinals and other dignitaries formed a procession, and with great pomp and dignity the Host and the other relics were installed in the cathedral, where the linen corporal bearing the stains of the blood are reverently enshrined and exhibited, to this day.
    Pope Urban IV was so prompted by this miracle, and at the urgings of the Bishop of Liege, commissioned St. Thomas Aquinas – who happened to be with him – to compose a Proper of the Mass and an Office in honour of the Blessed Eucharist, and one year after the miracle on August 1264 instituted by Papal Bull the Feast of Corpus Christi to be celebrated throughout the entire Chu

  • I prepared this little gem for my RCIA class back in 2004. 🙂

  • Don the Kiwi: Great read. Good work.
    .
    “and with great pomp and dignity” might better convey the spirit with “great Solemnity” …just a suggestion.

  • I love this quote from Justin Martyr, Don. I was recently in one of those online conversations with an atheist who was saying that the Gospels etc. were late inventions. I’ll have to remember this quote for the next such discussion.

  • That is just beautiful. Thank you!

Corpus Christi: Mirae Caritatis

Sunday, June 2, AD 2013

Nothing is more fitting for the feast of Corpus Christi than the great encyclical by Pope Leo XIII on the Eucharist, Mirae Caritatis.  My bride and I taught our kids to say to themselves at the times of consecration, “First it’s bread, now it’s Jesus.” and “First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus.”  This is the first Corpus Christi that I will have since his death when I will be unable to hear my son Larry repeat those words quietly to himself at the consecration, but I know he will be repeating the words in Heaven:

MIRAE CARITATIS  

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST

 

To Our Venerable Brethren, the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops, and other Local Ordinaries, having Peace and Communion with the Holy See.

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

To examine into the nature and to promote the effects of those manifestations of His wondrous love which, like rays of light, stream forth from Jesus Christ – this, as befits Our sacred office, has ever been, and this, with His help, to the last breath of Our life will ever be Our earnest aim and endeavour. For, whereas Our lot has been cast in an age that is bitterly hostile to justice and truth, we have not failed, as you have been reminded by the Apostolic letter which we recently addressed to you, to do what in us lay, by Our instructions and admonitions, and by such practical measures as seemed best suited for their purpose, to dissipate the contagion of error in its many shapes, and to strengthen the sinews of the Christian life. Among these efforts of Ours there are two in particular, of recent memory, closely related to each other, from the recollection whereof we gather some fruit of comfort, the more seasonable by reason of the many causes of sorrow that weigh us down. One of these is the occasion on which We directed, as a thing most desirable, that the entire human race should be consecrated by a special act to the Sacred Heart of Christ our Redeemer; the other that on which We so urgently exhorted all those who bear the name Christian to cling loyally to Him Who, by divine ordinance, is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” not for individuals alone bur for every rightly constituted society. And now that same apostolic charity, ever watchful over the vicissitudes of the Church, moves and in a manner compels Us to add one thing more, in order to fill up the measure of what We have already conceived and carried out. This is, to commend to all Christians, more earnestly than heretofore, the all – holy Eucharist, forasmuch as it is a divine gift proceeding from the very Heart of the Redeemer, Who “with desire desireth” this singular mode of union with men, a gift most admirably adapted to be the means whereby the salutary fruits of His redemption may be distributed. Indeed We have not failed in the past, more than once, to use Our authority and to exercise Our zeal in this behalf. It gives Us much pleasure to recall to mind that We have officially approved, and enriched with canonical privileges, not a few institutions and confraternities having for their object the perpetual adoration of the Sacred Host; that We have encouraged the holding of Eucharistic Congresses, the results of which have been as profitable as the attendance at them has been numerous and distinguished; that We have designated as the heavenly patron of these and similar undertakings St. Paschal Baylon, whose devotion to the mystery of the Eucharist was so extraordinary.

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  • I always rather liked the French name for Corpus Christi. They call it « le Fête-Dieu » – the festival of God.

Corpus Christi, the Angelic Doctor and my Wife

Sunday, June 10, AD 2012

When Corpus Christi rolls around I always think of Saint Thomas Aquinas and his great eucharistic hymn Pange Lingua Gloriosi Corporis Mysterium written by Saint Thomas at the command of Pope Urban IV to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi instituted by the Pope in 1264.   It says something vastly significant about the Church that perhaps the greatest intellect of all time, Saint Thomas Aquinas, was not only a Doctor of the Church, but also capable of writing this magnificent hymn. 

The last portion of the hymn, Tantum Ergo, has vast significance for my family.  My wife, who is a far better Catholic in my estimation than I am, is a convert.  A Methodist when we married, she converted to the Church a few years later.  She had questions regarding the real presence, and this line from Tantum Ergo resolved them:  Faith tells us that Christ is present,  When our human senses fail.  When our kids came along she would whisper at the Consecration to them:  First it’s bread, now it’s Jesus.  First it’s wine, now it’s Jesus. 

Here is Saint Thomas on the Real Presence:

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22 Responses to Corpus Christi, the Angelic Doctor and my Wife

  • About thirty years ago I remember reading in The Spectator an article by Auberon Waugh (son of the great Evelyn) in which he mentions St Thomas “whose mighty intellect thunders down the centuries, making the pronouncements of modern theologians appear as squeaks upon the margin”.

    About the same time (it was when Kung and Schillebeeckx were being criticized by the CDF) another Spectator article (not, I think, by Waugh) contrasted the laissez-faire attitude of the Anglicans with that of Cardinals Seper and Ratzinger who “stand like archangels with flaming swords” in defence of the truth.

  • Donald: You are doubly blessed, by your wife, Catherine, and by your children.

  • Indeed I am Mary, and so they all tell me every day! 🙂

  • We also know he resurrected because St. Thomas the Apostle gave us a visceral account of feeling his wounds.

  • So we also know that he ascended into heaven because he walks here through the people of his body which he is the head of.

  • Donald, you are so blessed – with family and knowledge. I was just reading this part of the Summa this weekend, and the same thing about learning from faith struck me. Thank you, this is beautiful.

  • “Indeed I am Mary, and so they all tell me every day! ” I am tickled by your response. Have a wonderful day Donald, and a good life.

  • Speaking of St Thomas as a poet, one of the earliest known limericks occurs imbedded in one of his (prose) prayers of thankgiving after Holy Communion:

    Sit vitiorum meorum evacuatio
    Concupiscentae et libidinis exterminatio,
    Caritatis et patientiae,
    Humilitatis et obedientiae,
    Omniumque virtutum augmentatio.

    [Let it be for the elimination for my sins,
    For the expulsion of desire and lust,
    For the increase of charity and patience,
    Humility and obedience,
    As well as all the virtues.]

  • Beautiful music Don.
    And along with Mary deVoe, I am more than a little tickled by your following comment. 🙂
    Do you know the full history behind the Feast of Corpus Christi?
    I’ll give you a hint – St. Juliana of Liege. I did an article on it quite a few years ago for our RCIA and our parish monthly bulletin. I’ll try to find it and link it here, otherwise I’ll e-mail it to you, if it stii exists 🙂

  • Donald, as I have confessed before, I am an intellectual midget. But reading the Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, (August 25, 1905 – October 5,1938) Christ’s Secretary and Apostle of His Divine Mercy Message – Divine Mercy in My Soul – her testimony should convince the strongest doubter of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Consecrated Bread and Wine. Again and again, this Holy Nun, with only a Class 3 Academic education level, and who has written a 600 page Diary which is very rich in Theology, tells us, very often, during the Holy Mass at Consecration, when the Priest held the Blessed Host aloft, she clearly saw Jesus Christ Himself within the Host…..at times He came to her on her kneeler as a small Boy……during Benediction, she often saw the Rays from the Divine Mercy Image extending into the Blessed Host on the Monstrance, and from there, radiating in the whole Chapel and outside and then returning back into the Blessed Host.

    For those who still doubt the Real Presence, we have several Eucharistic Miracles throughout the History of Mother Church. The first one took place in Luciano in the year 700 AD and which is still ongoing. The Host after Consecration turned into Human Flesh from a human flesh and the Wine turned into human blood. In the 1970’s testing was done and confirmed that the flesh was a human heart tissue and the blood of human origin, both AB blood type. Other testings when science now fully advanced, confirm the person to be male, 33 years old!!!!!!!

    However, we do not need these Miracles to believe that Jesus is truly Present in the Consecrated Bread and Wine and remains Present in the Hosts in all the Tabernacles and Adoration Chapels in the Catholic Churches world-wide. His Words regarding the Institution of this Sacrament, which He did during the Last Supper, were unequivocal, such that, when some Disciples refused to accept this Teaching of eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood and walked away from Him, He was ready to lose even His 12 Apostles and start all over again because His Statement was FINAL.

    Jesus Christ is God, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He is The Way, The Truth and The Life. And as Pope Paul VI so eloquently wrote in the “Credo of the People of God” : “The unique and indivisible existence of the Lord gloriously in Heaven is rendered present by the Sacrament in the many places on earth where the Holy Mass is celebrated. And this existence remains present after the Sacrifice, in the Blessed Sacrament which is, in the Tabernacle, the Living Heart of each of our Churches. And it is our very sweet duty to honour and adore in the Blessed Host which our eyes see, the Incarnate Word Whom they cannot see, and Who, without leaving Heaven, is made present before us”. (pub.1968).

  • Indeed Mary. If we truly comprehended the majesty of what happens at the miracle of the mass few of us would ever get off our knees. It is not for nothing that Christ referred to Himself by the name God gave to Moses as His name: I Am. The eucharist brings us in touch with the Ultimate Reality of all existence.

  • Correct Don! As is usually the case, great Saints led the way for Peter. Send the article and I will post it here at TAC.

  • Thank you Stacy! The Angelic Doctor is to theology what Newton is to physics, which brings to mind Blake’s poem:

    Mock on, Mock on, Voltaire, Rousseau;
    Mock on, Mock on, ’tis all in vain.
    You throw the sand against the wind,
    And the wind blows it back again.

    And every sand becomes a Gem
    Reflected in the beams divine;
    Blown back, they blind the mocking Eye,
    But still in Israel’s paths they shine.

    The Atoms of Democritus
    And Newton’s Particles of light
    Are sands upon the Red sea shore
    Where Israel’s tents do shine so bright.

  • Mary@42

    Is this the Sr Faustina Kowalska whose writings were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum by Bl. John XXIII in 1959? This in itself inclines one to take them magno cum grano salis, despite the actions of a later Pontiff, who happened to be her countryman. I doubt that in the first full year of his pontificate John merely rubber-stamped everything Cardinal Ottaviani put in front of him.

  • John Nolan.
    You will find that Pope JP II removed the prohibition from her works – I don’t know the full story, but I understand there was a bit of “Vatican political intrigue” over Sr. Faustina, who is now, St. Faustina, and her Divine Mercy Chaplet and the pictur of Jesus, The Divine Mercy is now promoted throughout the world. Most of our parish, and many parishes in NZ pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily.

  • Don.
    I have found a hard copy – I have changed computers 3 times since i did the article, so I don’t have it archived. So I will scan copy, and e-mail it to you.

  • I would be more inclined to buy into the Divine Mercy cult if the eponymous picture were not such an example of Catholic kitsch. Admittedly, you could say the same about most Sacred Heart pictures, but that devotion began in the 13th century, had its own Mass and Office in the 17th, and was not extended to the Universal Church until the 19th. ‘Divine Mercy Sunday’ has more than a whiff about it of those irritating ‘themed’ Sundays which keep cropping up in the NO.

  • “Indeed Mary. If we truly comprehended the majesty of what happens at the miracle of the mass few of us would ever get off our knees. It is not for nothing that Christ referred to Himself by the name God gave to Moses as His name: I Am. The eucharist brings us in touch with the Ultimate Reality of all existence.”
    God gave Moses His Name “I AM WHO I AM” I AM God, the Father, I AM, God the Son and I AM God the Holy Spirit. The Consecration of the Host at the elevation continues throughtout the world unabated. If there were no reserved Sacrament in the Tabernacle, the Real Presence of Jesus Christ is preserved in the ongoing and continuous consecration around the world in the church. It is the greatest consolation to know that Jesus Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament waiting for you and for me. When we are caught up to heaven, you and I will share in this eternal Consecration.

  • John Nolan, the prohibition of the Divine Mercy Devotion as revealed in Saint Faustina’s Diary was in 1958 when insufficient information was available due to the fact that there was instability in Poland in the aftermath of the 1939-45 War. The translations of the available Documents and the Diary itself were poorly done. However, when the full correct original Documents, written and oral evidence was available from the Convent where Saint Faustina was a Nun for 13 years, the Original Diary – now correctly transalated – along with written and verbal evidence of those who knew Saint Faustina personally was at last presented to the Holy See, together with originals of written Evidence from her Superiors of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy were formally submitted to the Divine Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the Prohibition was lifted on the 15th April, 1978. Indeed in February, 1935, Jesus Himself had revealed to Saint Faustina that a time would come when the work on His Message of Mercy would appear to be completely undone with these words in Diary No.378). “There will come a time when this work, which God is demanding so very much, will be as though utterly undone. And then, God will act with great power, which will give evidence of its authenticity”. And true enough, for Twenty Years this Message of God’s Mercy appeared as if it was dead, just as Jesus had predicted way back in February, 1935!!!!

    With regard to the Divine Mercy Image, in March, 1934, when Sister Faustina was saddened that the Artist had not captured the beauty of His Countenance, this is what Jesus said to her: “Not in the beauty of the colour, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this Image, but in My Grace “(Diary No.313).

    John, the Divine Mercy Devotion is not a cult. It a Way of Life. Since I cannot give you many of Jesus Christ’s Words regarding what He has bestowed on mankind with this Divine Mercy Message, I would kindly plead with you to visit the Divine Mercy Website and learn more about this wonderful Divine Act of Mercy from our Lord Himself. Better, still, buy yourself a copy of Saint Faustina’s Diary – Divine Mercy in My Soul – which she wrote under the instructions of her Spiritual Director and Jesus Christ Himself.

    @Mary De Voe : Indeed, the Sacrifice on Calvary is ongoing every Minute of the Day. This is the reason why Holy Mother Church encourages Perpetual Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

  • John Nolan, Jesus solemnly requested, and expressed His Wish that the Universal Catholic Church should solemnly institute the Feast of the Divine Mercy on the First Sunday after Easter on 22nd February, 1931. He repeated this request many times in the Diary. He had to wait until 30th April, 2000, for this Feast to be Solemnly promulgated for the Universal Catholic Church.

    John, we now have this Feast – which is in a way the re-instatement of Old Testament “Day of Atonement” ( Leviticus Chapter 16). He has solemnly declared that “….I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for sinners……The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion ( and venerate My Image) shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment….On that day all the Divine floodgates through which Graces flow are opened…..”(Diary No.699).

    In another passage, He has stated that the soul that shall celebrate this Feast (as He dictated), He shall restore that soul to the condition it was in on the day of Baptism. Surely, that solemn Promise from Jesus Christ Himself, is enough to make any serious Catholic Faithful desire to learn more, and to become a committed Eucharistic Apostle of the Divine Mercy and live the Message of Mercy in their lives.

  • John Dolan, this is what you say about the Eucharistic Apostolate of the Divine Mercy and the Divine Mercy Devotion now solemnly promulgated by the Holy See for the Universal Catholic Church:

    “Is this the Sr Faustina Kowalska whose writings were placed on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum by Bl. John XXIII in 1959? This in itself inclines one to take them magno cum grano salis, despite the actions of a later Pontiff, who happened to be her countryman. I doubt that in the first full year of his pontificate John merely rubber-stamped everything Cardinal Ottaviani put in front of him.”

    Sadly, John Dolan, you are very wrong. Blessed Pope John Paul II was God’s chosen Instrument for fulfilling Jesus Christ’s prophecy about His Divine Will to have the Message of His Mercy preached throughout the world, and the Feast of Divine Mercy, along with Veneration of the Divine Mercy Image, the praying the Novena and the Divine Mercy Chaplet which He Himself dictated to Saint Faustina, and which commences on Good Friday, would be solemnly promulgated in the Universal Catholic Church. These are His Words:

    “Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy (Diary No.1588)

    Years before, this is what He had said about the spread of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion…..”I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy (Diary No.848)”

    And in May, 1938, this is what Jesus Christ Himself prophesied about the role Blessed Pope John Paul II would play in fulfilling His Will with regard to the Feast of the Divine Mercy: “I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My Will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come THE SPARK that will prepare the world for My Final Coming”. (Diary No.1732).

    At that time Blessed Pope John Paul II was not even a Bishop, let alone the Archbishop of Crakow. But God had already decreed that through him, Christ’s Will shall be fulfilled to to have the Message of Divine Mercy and the Feast of the Divine Mercy solemnly promulgated for the Universal Catholic Church.

    God is TRUTH, John Dolan. What God Wills, God fulfills. If we cannot accept the Words of Jesus Christ Himself, then we need a lot of prayers to see and accept the TRUTH, the WAY and the LIFE.

    It is truly painful to read your words : “………despite the actions of a later Pontiff, who happened to be her countryman. I doubt that in the first full year of his pontificate John merely rubber-stamped everything Cardinal Ottaviani put in front of him.”

    Jesus Willed this Divine Mercy Feast on 22nd February, 1931. Blessed Pope John Paul II was then growing up, in poverty and tribulations, and totally unknown in Poland

    Bear with me to reiterate this Fact. John Dolan, Blessed Pope John Paul II fulfilled what Jesus had decreed – and chosen him for – the Divine Mission of Solemnly promulgating the Feast of the Divine Mercy for the Universal Catholic Church and the spread of the Divine Mercy Devotion, especially the Eucharistic Apostolate of the Divine Mercy. This Devotion is not even being spread from Poland, but from Stockbridge, Massachusets in the United States of America by the Congregation of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

Corpus Christi

Sunday, June 26, AD 2011

There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water; and he taking them, gives praise and glory to the Father of the universe, through the name of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and offers thanks at considerable length for our being counted worthy to receive these things at His hands. And when he has concluded the prayers and thanksgivings, all the people present express their assent by saying Amen. This word Amen answers in the Hebrew language to so be it. And when the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those who are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water over which the thanksgiving was pronounced, and to those who are absent they carry away a portion.

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Panis Angelicus

Sunday, June 6, AD 2010

Saint Thomas Aquinas composed Sacris Solemnis at the command of Pope Urban IV for the new feast of Corpus Christi in 1264.  The last two stanzas have become the hymn Panis Angelicus.  I have always viewed this as the heart of the Summa set to music.

When he was canonized in 1323 some objections were raised because of a lack of miracles relating to the Angelic Doctor.  Pope John xxii responded that every question Saint Thomas answered was a miracle.

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Moving Halloween to Saturday: Treat or Trick?

Thursday, October 29, AD 2009

In recent years Halloween has gone from a primarily child-oriented holiday to an occasion of commercial importance comparable to Christmas or Easter. National retail sales figures indicate that Halloween is the 6th biggest holiday for retailers — behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day — and rapidly gaining ground, particularly among young adults.

The trend has now sparked a movement of sorts — led by the Spirit Halloween retail chain — to move Halloween permanently to the last Saturday in October. Their online petition at this link (http://www.spirithalloweekend.com/ ) asks Congress to lend its official endorsement to the change, although that would not be strictly necessary since Halloween is not a federal or national holiday.

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15 Responses to Moving Halloween to Saturday: Treat or Trick?

  • Darn, I wish Spirit Halloween had a combox. Darn, darn, darn!

  • I vote (B) a concession to worldliness and indifference.
    Vigils, feast days, birthdays… the actual dates count for something. I enjoy a movable feast as much as the next guy, but it should have a better excuse behind it than grubbing for cash or extending the weekend.

  • Remember that they then consolidated both Abraham Lincoln’s and George Washington’s birthdays to “President’s Day”.

  • Halloween and All Saints have a particular significance for me since my wedding anniversay falls on All Saints. If they change it, I will have to come up with some other way to remember, so I vote no. Or maybe I can convince my wife to celebrate the solemnity of our marriage along with All Saints, rather than the actual day of our wedding?

  • I think you make a compelling argument overall. Actually changed my mind, as a matter of fact.

    As to changing the date – I actually find it to be more confusing. When I’m looking at my calendar, it’s so much easier to assess the fixed-date holidays as compared to the floating ones. “Which weekend is that on this year?”

  • For the record, I also would vote “no”.

  • Pingback: Vatican Condemnation of Halloween False « The American Catholic
  • Also, I really need to give credit here to Todd Aglialoro, now a writer for Inside Catholic, who many years ago when he worked for the Peoria Diocese Family Life Office, wrote a column for The Catholic Post titled “How Halloween Is a Very Catholic Thing.”

    It was in that article that I first came across the quote from Chesterton on paganism and Christianity. Unfortunately, I cannot find this article online anywhere, and I no longer have print back issues of The Post to refer to.

    If you happen to be reading this, Todd, thanks for the inspiration, and can you tell me where to find that article?

  • Instead of moving Halloween to Saturday, it needs to be moved right off the calendar. There is nothing good about it- junk food for kids, wild parties for adults, strangers ringing your doorbell all evening, drunks in the ER all night. Once again, America has taken a religious day and turned it into a mockery.

  • I understand your concerns, Annie, but by your standards, St. Patrick’s Day should probably be “moved right off the calendar” too.

    It lacks only junk food for kids and strangers ringing your doorbell… although strangers in an adjacent apartment who start their St. Paddy’s Day party at 2 in the afternoon are just as annoying 🙂 Likewise, it too is a religious holiday that has been pretty much turned into a caricature of itself, at least in the U.S.

    Also, I read somewhere many years ago that the government of Ireland, back in the late 50s or early 60s, briefly considered moving St. Patrick’s Day to September so there would be better weather for outdoor celebrations! Needless to say, that didn’t fly.

  • And speaking of moving holidays to weekends — if I remember correctly, students at U. of Ill. in Champaign observe something called “Unofficial St. Patrick’s Day” on the Friday or Saturday closest to the actual St. Paddy’s Day. The observance consists entirely of hanging out in bars and getting as drunk as possible.

    I suppose that no matter what happens to the Spirit Halloween petition drive, the preceding Saturday will become, if it hasn’t already, “Unofficial Halloween” for adult partying purposes anyway.

  • Goodness, perhaps someday the secularists will wish to ensure “Christmas,” which they will call “The Winter Holiday,” always falls on Friday so everyone gets a 3 day weekend.

    Awfully pesky the way things are now, when Dec. 25 can fall on a Wednesday. Once you remove the religious significance of these holidays, there’s no point to keeping to a set date.

  • Some of you should read up on history a bit.

    The reality is that the Church chose Dec 25th for Christmas in an attempt to add religious meaning to an already existent pagan holiday. There is circumstantial evidence that Jesus was actually born in April.

    Back to the holiday at hand…Halloween is and always has been a pagan holiday. The religious holiday that the Church attached to it (once again, in order to add a religious meaning to it) is All Saints Day. This petition doesn’t mention moving All Saints Day. In fact, you might end up with more people in the pews on Nov. 1st if they haven’t been out trick or treating and then stuffing themselves full of candy all night the night before.

  • Martha,

    I wasn’t aware that the Hebrews were pagans. Wasn’t Dec. 25th the date the temple was re-dedicated? It seems like a religiously significant date for the temple in Jerusalem and since Jesus refers to Himself as the temple – it makes sense, don’t you think?

    As for Halloween – move it, don’t move it – it doesn’t matter – for most of us, including the secularists, it is just a fun night to dress up act silly, beg for candy and share some frivolous entertainment with each other. There is a danger that the occult becomes cool, but I think for most people this is innocent fun. As for all the drunks, rowdy morons, witches and satanists – they are going to do what they do, with or without secular Halloween and they’ll do it on Oct 31 and/or the last Sat in Oct – do they really care?

    People are not skipping Mass on All Saints because of Halloween – how else do you account for all the other days they skip Mass?

    Holidays have the significance we give them. Christmas can be just a day to drink egg nog and get gifts. Easter can just be about chocolate eggs. We are not forced to worship God; we are just as free to worship ourselves – at least for a little while – then Bam! Halloween won’t mean a thing although some of the imagery might be familiar in hell.

  • Thanks for sharing with information. now i know more about holloween..please keep posting. I will visit again.

Pange Lingua Gloriosi

Thursday, September 3, AD 2009

Composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas for the Office of Corpus Christi (see CORPUS CHRISTI, FEAST OF). Including the last stanza (which borrows the words “Genitori Genitoque”—Procedenti ab utroque, Compar” from the first two strophes of the second sequence of Adam of St. Victor for Pentecost) the hymn comprises six stanzas appearing in the manuscripts

Pange, lingua, gloriosi corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi quem in mundi pretium
Fructus ventris generosi Rex effudit gentium.

Written in accentual rhythm, it imitates the triumphant march of the hymn of Fortunatus, and like it is divided in the Roman Breviary into stanzas of six lines whose alternating triple rhyming is declared by Pimont to be a new feature in medieval hymnody. In the  Roman Breviary the hymn is assigned to both Vespers, but of old the Church of Salisbury placed it in Matins, that of Toulouse in First Vespers only, that of Saint-Germain- des-Prés at Second Vespers only, and that of Strasburg at Compline. It is sung in the procession to the repository on Holy Thursday and also in the procession of Corpus Christi and in that of the Forty Hours’ Adoration.[1]

_._

[1] Henry, H. (1911). Pange Lingua Gloriosi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved September 3, 2009 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11441c.htm

Note: For more information click here.

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Corpus Christi

Sunday, June 14, AD 2009

A fitting video for the Feast of Corpus Christi.

Back in the 1970s, when there was a lot of liturgical innovation going on, Dorothy Day invited a young priest to celebrate mass at the Catholic Worker. He decided to do something that he thought was relevant and hip. He asked Dorothy if she had a coffee cup he could borrow. She found one in the kitchen and brought it to him. And, he took that cup and used it as the chalice to celebrate mass.

When it was over, Dorothy picked up the cup, found a small gardening tool, and went to the backyard. She knelt down, dug a hole, kissed the coffee cup, and buried it in the earth.

With that simple gesture, Dorothy Day showed that she understood something that so many of us today don’t: she knew that Christ was truly present in something as ordinary as a ceramic cup. And that it could never be just a coffee cup again.

She understood the power and reality of His presence in the blessed sacrament. …

(Read the rest of Deacon Greg Kandra’s Homily for June 14th, 2009: Corpus Christi / The Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ).

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2 Responses to Corpus Christi