O Sacred Head

Saturday, April 15, AD 2017

 

Something for the weekend.  O Sacred Head Surrounded.  The lyrics of this hymn derive from the latin poem Salve Mundi Salutare.  The authorship is open to doubt although I agree with those who attribute at least part of the poem to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, based upon stylistic similarities with portions of his other writings.    The sanctity and eloquence of Saint Bernard alloyed with the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach makes a potent combination indeed.

On a personal note this hymn has always moved me as no other does.  I had it played at my son’s funeral and when I depart this Vale of Tears I have requested that it be played at mine.  It reminds me that God died for me, something I find absolutely stunning.  Love and sacrifice begin and end with God, who regards each man as if there were no other.

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Saint Bernard on the Holy Name of Mary

Sunday, January 1, AD 2017

“And the Virgin’s name was Mary. Let us speak a little about this name, which signifies star of the sea, and which so well befits the Virgin Mother. Rightly is She likened to a star; for as a star emits its ray without being dimmed, so the Virgin brought forth Her Son without receiving any injury – the ray takes nothing from the brightness of the star, nor the Son from His Mother’s integrity. This is the noble star risen out of Jacob, whose ray illumines the whole earth, gives warmth rather to souls than to bodies, cherishing virtues, withering vices. Mary, I say, is that bright and incomparable star, whom we need to see raised above this vast sea, shining by Her merits, and giving us light by Her example.

Oh! whosoever thou art that seest thyself, amid the tides of this world, tossed about by storms and tempests rather than walking on the land, turn not thine eyes away from the shining of this star if thou wouldst not be overwhelmed by the hurricane. If squalls of temptations arise, or thou fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the star, call upon Mary. If thou art tossed by the waves of pride or ambition, detraction or envy, look to the star, call upon Mary. If anger or avarice or the desires of the flesh dash against the ship of thy soul, turn thine eyes towards Mary. If, troubled by the enormity of thy crimes, ashamed of thy guilty conscience, terrified by dread of the judgment, thou beginnest to sink into the gulf of sadness or the abyss of despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in anguish, in doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let Her be ever on thy lips, ever in thy heart; and the better to obtain the help of Her prayers, imitate the example of Her life. Following Her, thou strayest not; invoking Her, thou despairest not; thinking of Her, thou wanderest not; upheld by Her, thou fallest not; shielded by Her, thou fearest not; guided by Her, thou growest not weary; favored by Her, thou reachest the goal. And thus dost thou experience in thyself how good is that saying: And the Virgin’s name was Mary.”

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3 Responses to Saint Bernard on the Holy Name of Mary

  • Perfection.

    Our Lady will shower us with graces.
    Let us be aware and prepared to not miss a one.

    She is perfectly our Mom in all reality.

    Our Star perpetual.

  • beautifully said Philip

  • Anzlyne.

    Thanks.

    All warm thoughts truly come from her, our Mother Mary. I thank her and ask you to do so to in place of me. I can’t, or rather, I find it difficult to be a good receiver of complements because I know myself.
    I know her love. And I know that it’s her love that springs up refreshing sentiments from within me…so please thank her in my stead.

    Take care Anzlyne.

Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part IV

Sunday, December 18, AD 2016

 

This Advent we will look at Advent sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  They are concise in words and huge in thought, a model for priests to strive to emulate.  Go here to view the first one, here to view the second and here to view the third.

 

IN the Nativity of our Blessed Lord there are two things to be considered, both exceedingly different, exceedingly wonderful. The Child Who is born is God, the Mother of whom He is born is a Virgin, and her child-bearing is without pain. To celebrate these new wonders a new light from heaven shines forth in the darkness of midnight. The angel announces tidings of great joy. A multitude of the heavenly army praise God and sing, “Glory to God on high, and peace on earth to men of good-will.” The shepherds hasten to find the Word that has been announced to them. They proclaim it to others, and all that hear are filled with admiration. Mysteries such as these are signs of Divine power, not of human weakness. They are as the gold and silver vessels, from which, on account of the solemnity, even the poor are served at our Lord’s Sacred Table.

 

 
The wise man says, “Consider diligently the things set before thee.” (Prov. xxiii. 1.) I may truly claim to myself the time and place of this Nativity, the weakness of His infantine body, the tears and cries of this sweet Little One, as well as the poverty and vigils of the shepherds to whom our Saviour’s Nativity was first announced. These circumstances are truly mine; for me they were planned, before me they have been placed, and they are offered to me for my spiritual food, for my contemplation.

 

 

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One Response to Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part IV

Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part III

Sunday, December 11, AD 2016

 

This Advent we will look at Advent sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  They are concise in words and huge in thought, a model for priests to strive to emulate.  Go here to view the first one and here to view the second.

 

“And the Lord spoke again to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord.”(Isa. vii. 10-12.)
WE have heard Isaiah persuading King Achaz to ask for a sign from the Lord, either in the depth of hell, or in the height above. We have heard the King’s answer ^ having the semblance of piety, but not its reality. On this account he deserved to be rejected by Him Who sees the heart, and to Whom the thoughts of men confess. “I will not ask, “he says, “and I will not tempt the Lord. “Achaz was puffed up with the pomp of the regal throne, and skilled in the cunning words of human wisdom. Isaias has therefore heard the words: “Go, tell that fox to ask for himself a sign from the Lord unto the depths of hell. “For the fox had a hole, but it was in hell, where, if he descended, he would find One Who would catch the wise in his cunning. Again: “Go,” says the Lord, “to that bird, and let him ask for a sign in the heights above,” for the bird hath his high nest; but though he ascend to heaven, he will there find Him Who “resisteth the proud,” and trampleth with might on the necks of the lofty and high-minded. Achaz refused to ask a sign of that sovereign power, or that incomprehensible depth. Wherefore the Lord Himself promised to the house of David a sign of goodness and charity, that those whom the exhibition of His power could not terrify, nor the manifestations of His wisdom subdue, might be allured by His exceeding love. In the words “depth of hell “may be not unfitly portrayed the charity “greater than which no man hath, “that Christ should at death descend even unto hell “for His friends. “And in this God would teach Achaz either to dread the majesty of Him Who reigns in the highest, or to embrace the charity of Him Who descends to the lowest. Grievous, therefore, alike to God and man is he who will neither think on majesty with fear nor meditate on charity with love. “Wherefore,” the Prophet says, “the Lord himself shall give you a sign.”(Isa. vii. 14.) – a sign resplendent alike with majesty and love. “Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel, which is interpreted, ‘God with us.'” O Adam! flee not away, for God is with us! Fear not, O man, nor be afraid to hear His name; it is “God with us.” With us in the likeness of our nature; with us for our service and for our profit. For us He is come as one of us, passible like unto us.

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Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part II

Sunday, December 4, AD 2016

This Advent we will look at Advent sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  They are concise in words and huge in thought, a model for priests to strive to emulate.  Go here to view the first one.  Here is the second:

 

GREAT are the works of the Lord,” (Ps. cx. 2.) says the Psalmist. Great indeed are all God s works, but the mysteries which chiefly excite our wonder and admiration are naturally those which concern our eternal salvation. Hence the same Prophet sings: “The Lord hath done great things for us.” (Ps. cxxv. 3.) His munificent dealings with us are shown forth chiefly in our Creation, our present redemption, and our future glorification. O Lord, how greatly art Thou exalted in all Thy works! Do Thou proclaim their excellence to Thy people, and let us not be silent concerning them.

 
There is a threefold commingling to be considered in these three mysteries, most manifestly heavenly, most evidently the effect of the omnipotence of God. In the first of these mysteries, that of our creation, “God made man from the slime of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life.” (Gen. ii. 7.) What a wonderful Creator, Who unites and commingles things so opposite! At His beck the slime of the earth and the spirit, or breath of life, are united, and make one being. The earth of which He made man had been previously created when “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” But the origin of the spirit was special, not common. It was not infused into the mass of matter, but is specially breathed into each individual of the human race.

 
O man, acknowledge your dignity! Recognize the glory of human nature! You have a body taken from this earth, for it was fitting that one who is the appointed lord of all visible creatures should bear a similarity to them. But you are at the same time more noble and more exalted than they; nor are they in any way to be compared to you. In you body and soul are closely united; the first is moulded and fashioned, the second is inspired. On which side lies the advantage? Which of the two is the gainer in this union? According to the wisdom of this world, where what is low and mean is associated with what is excellent, those who are in power lord it over their inferiors, and bend them to their will. The strong man tramples on him who is the weaker; the learned man ridicules one who is unlearned; the crafty one deceives the simple; the powerful man despises the weak. It is not thus, O God, in Thy work, not thus in Thy commingling. It was not for such a purpose that Thou didst unite spirit with matter; what is exalted with what is lowly; a noble and excellent creature with the abject, worthless clay. Thou didst will the soul to rule; at the same time who does not see what dignity and advantage it thus confers on the body? Would not the body without the soul be senseless matter? From the soul it derives its beauty, from the soul its growth, from the soul the brightness of the eye and the sound of the voice. All the senses are animated by the soul. By this union charity is commended to me. I read of charity in the very history of my own creation. Not only is charity proclaimed in its first page; it is imprinted within me by the gracious hand of my Maker.

 
Great indeed is this union of body and soul; would that it had remained firm and unbroken! But, alas! though it had been secured by the Divine seal – for God made man to His own image and likeness – the union was marred, for the seal was broken and the likeness defaced. The worst of thieves approached, stealthily damaged the yet fresh seal, and so sadly changed the Divine likeness that man is now compared to senseless beasts, and is become like unto them.

 
God made man just, and of this his likeness to God it is written: “The Lord our God is righteous, and there is no iniquity in him.” (Ps. xci. 16.) He made man just and truthful, as He Himself is justice and truth; nor could this union be broken while the integrity of the seal was preserved. But that forger came, and, while promising a better seal, broke, alas! that which had been stamped by the hand of God. “You shall be as gods,” he said, “knowing good and evil.” (Gen. iii. 5.) O malicious one! O crafty spirit! Of what use to that man and woman could the likeness of this knowledge be? Let them “be as gods” by all means, but let them be upright, truthful, like God, in Whom there is no sin. While this seal remained whole the union remained uninjured. Now we have a woeful experience of what we were persuaded to attempt by the devil’s craft. The seal once broken, a bitter parting followed, a sad divorce. O wicked wretch! where is your promise, “You shall not die”? Behold, we all die. There is no man living that shall not taste death. What, then, will become of us, O Lord our God? Will no one repair Thy work? Will no one help to raise the fallen? None can remake but He Who first made. Therefore, “by reason of the misery of the needy, and the groans of the poor, now I will arise, saith the Lord. I will set him in safety: I will deal confidently in his regard.” (Ps. xi. 6.) The enemy shall not prevail over him, nor the son of iniquity have any power to hurt him. Behold, I now make a new mixture, upon which I set a deeper and stronger seal. I will give to fallen man Him Who was not made to My likeness, but Who is the very image and splendour of My glory and the figure of My substance; not made, but begotten before all ages.

 

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4 Responses to Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part II

  • Rich and succulent the words of truth from Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. A dessert to be slowly savored. Thanks Mr. McClarey.

    The beautiful flower that was recently canonized, Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta, offered us stepping stones to cross over into a selfless life. One that would reflect humility and charity.

    “Silence begets prayer. Prayer begets faith. Faith begets love. Love begets service. Service to the poor.” In that service comes a Peace that is unlike any other. A unique union of humility and charity.

  • Thanks Donald. Let us pray for charity and humility so that we may love God for giving us the gift of life and the gift of Christ. And He has done this for us who have come to realize that we are nothing and undeserving.

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Advent Sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux-Part I

Sunday, November 27, AD 2016

 

 

This Advent we will look at Advent sermons of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.  They are concise in words and huge in thought, a model for priests to strive to emulate:

 

 

THE solemnity of our Lord’s Nativity is indeed a great and glorious day, but a short one, and a short day calls for a short sermon.
No wonder if we make a short speech, since God the Father has made an abbreviated Word – Verbum abbreviatum. Would you know how long and how short is the Word He has made? This Word says, “I fill heaven and earth,” (Jer. xxiii. 24.) yet, now that “the Word is made flesh,” He is placed in a narrow manger. The Psalmist exclaimed, “From eternity and to eternity thou art God,” (Ps. lxxxix. 2.) yet, behold! He is a Child of a day. And why this? What necessity was there that the Lord of Majesty should so annihilate Himself, should thus humble Himself, thus abbreviate Himself, except to show that we should do in like manner? He now proclaims by example what He will one day preach in words “Learn of Me, for I am meek and humble of heart” and He does so that the Evangelist might be proved truthful when he said of this Word, “Jesus began to do and to teach.”

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O Sacred Head

Saturday, March 26, AD 2016

Something for the weekend.  O Sacred Head Surrounded.  The lyrics of this hymn derive from the latin poem Salve Mundi Salutare.  The authorship is open to doubt although I agree with those who attribute at least part of the poem to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, based upon stylistic similarities with portions of his other writings.    The sanctity and eloquence of Saint Bernard alloyed with the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach makes a potent combination indeed.

On a personal note this hymn has always moved me as no other does.  I had it played at my son’s funeral and when I depart this Vale of Tears I have requested that it be played at mine.  It reminds me that God died for me, something I find absolutely stunning.  Love and sacrifice begin and end with God, who regards each man as if there were no other.

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5 Responses to O Sacred Head

  • I too have always been touched by this moving, immensely grave and awe-inspiring hymn, melody married with outstand lyrics.
    ….
    I am no expert, and no musicology expert, but just an erstwhile organist and choir member. But I have been taught that several great musicians, starting with master musician Hans Leo Hassler in the early 1600’s, he who apparently “re-wrote” a secular love song or tune into this hymn; through the gifted Johann Cruger (d. 1662), who created some of the harmonies here, and included it in a still-influential historic hymnal of great religious songs; to the great master of music, Bach, where the hymn yet benefited even more greatly from Bach’s genius, Bach who orchestrated the amazing passing tones and harmonizations that adorn the soprano voice of the version we know today, and as many of you know, it appears in the St. Matthew’s Passion.

    On the textual side, there are so many wondrous hands in the construction and development of the Latin hymn, Salve Mundi Salutare: St Bernard of Clairvaux, whom Don McClarey cites, and I understand there many others known only to God.

    But especially worth noting, at least in my humble opinion, is the great English poet Robert Bridges (d. 1930), a man never much recognized during his lifetime who achieved note only after his passing. It was Bridges who found a fresh and yet originalist meaning in the text in his re-translation (he also has outstanding, in my opinion, versions of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, and “O Gladsome Light [the ancient hymn Phos Hilarion]), much of that translation which we use, sometimes slightly altered, today.
    ….
    I only wish those of you who read this could realize the joy of playing this slowly and serenely, like Don’s version of this hymn here, manuals and pedals, preserving all 4 marvelous Bach voices, on the organ. You leave the world behind.

  • In our Adoration Chapel Father has placed a likeness of the corpse of Christ on the altar. It’s very life like. A bloody and beaten Jesus is laying on a black cloth, a mace at his feet and the crown of thorns above his matted Sacred head. In His left open hand there are three large nails. The Holy souls in purgatory was my focus as prayers and meditations blanketed the life size Jesus grey and red.

    This visit wasn’t planned.

    After reading and listening to this hymn a dominant thought moved me to this tomb like depiction of Jesus at the Adoration Chapel.
    I might not have made the trip but for this gift of Grace placed before me on TAC.

    God is kind and merciful.
    Thanks for your contribution to the spreading of graces. I hope and pray many a soul was escorted home to Heaven from Purgatory by the actions and designs of Christ alone. If we were helpful at all may we only remember that it was our duty and responsibility to help neighbor….especially those neighbors in the the Church suffering on this quiet Holy Saturday in March.

    This experience and reflection I share with you so you know without a doubt that thoughts become actions, and yours sincerely moved me to do something for others today. A song in my heart hopefully gave pleasure to members of Christ’s elect.

  • http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/03/thorn-of-the-crown-bleeds-with-good-friday-and-annunciation-fall-together/

    I hope you don’t mind, but if you do I understand. After all this isn’t my blog.

    I came across this rare event on Fr. Z’s site.
    The Annunciation and Good Friday falling on the same day, and the Miracle.

    I hope you enjoy it.

  • Philip, FYI, that is “The Dead Christ on the Shroud”, by Phillipe de Champaigne. Something truly marvelous, indeed.

  • Kmbold.

    That is it!
    Thank you.
    The dead Christ on the shroud.
    Have a great fifty days of Joy.

O Sacred Head

Saturday, April 4, AD 2015

Something for the weekend.  O Sacred Head Now Wounded.  The lyrics of this hymn derive from the latin poem Salve Mundi Salutare.  The authorship is open to doubt although I agree with those who attribute at least part of the poem to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, based upon stylistic similarities with portions of his other writings.    The sanctity and eloquence of Saint Bernard alloyed with the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach makes a potent combination indeed.

On a personal note this hymn has always moved me as no other does.  I had it played at my son’s funeral and when I depart this Vale of Tears I have requested that it be played at mine.  It reminds me that God died for me, something I find absolutely stunning.  Love and sacrifice begin and end with God, who regards each man as if there were no other.

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3 Responses to O Sacred Head

  • I don’t want to go off on an “I hate new hymns” rant, but…yeah. Today we sang Jesus Christ is Risen Today: But the pains which he endured / Our salvation have procured. Do kids growing up listening to contemporary hymns get exposed to theology like that? It’s unequivocal. A friend of mine who grew up secular once told me that with his conversion to Catholicism, all the Christmas songs he knew now made sense. There’s a richness of teaching that people my age have absorbed without realizing it.

    Digression time: you’re a science fiction fan, right, Don? I remember a ST Next Generation episode where Worf found himself in a prison colony of Klingons who had forgotten their beliefs. He taught them their legends, explained to them the meaning of the songs they’d handed down and the trinkets they played with. I’m convinced the episode must have been written by a traditional (or traditionalist) Catholic. Do you know the one? It’s fascinating to watch and think about as a VII / ecumenism analogy.

  • We’re forgetting the things that made us different, the things worth defending. Peace is a valuable goal, but at what price? We’re a shrinking population, content to fade away. But there’s something else out there: the Borg. They can use our technology against us, and they don’t recognize the value of freedom and love. They’ll overrun us if we don’t remember who we are. All that we’ve worked to create will be lost, our inner rot leaving us unable to stand against the wind. If we did somehow manage to withstand the onslaught, do we still have the thing about us that’s worth protecting?

The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

Thursday, January 1, AD 2015

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

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2 Responses to The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

  • As an unfortunate result of the institution of the Missal of Blessed Paul VI, it is a rare occurrence when the Gospel readings coincide between the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form. It was not enough to suppress the EF. The calendar that went with it was suppressed as well. January 1 is the Circumcision of Jesus.

    The best two remaining ways to reform the OF are to adopt the OF to the EF calendar for feasts, solemnities and observances and to use the order of the EF readings for the OF. Having said that, the EF calendar needs updated for the saints canonized after 1962.

  • The Whole World waits Mary’s Reply….and all of Heaven waits for your reply.

    Marys fiat is a foreshadowing of disciples to come. They too must say yes and bring Christ into the hearts of souls unaware of Truth.

    Heaven is waiting.

September 8: The Birth of Humanity’s Sole Boast

Sunday, September 8, AD 2013

The Virgin

  Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost

With the least shade of thought to sin allied;  

Woman! above all women glorified,  

Our tainted nature’s solitary boast;  

Purer than foam on central ocean tost;  

Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn  

With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon

 Before her wane begins on heaven’s blue coast;  

Thy Image falls to earth.

Yet some, I ween,

 Not unforgiven the suppliant knee might bend,  

As to a visible Power, in which did blend  

All that was mixed and reconciled in Thee

 Of mother’s love with maiden purity,  

Of high with low, celestial with terrene!

William Wordsworth

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5 Responses to September 8: The Birth of Humanity’s Sole Boast

  • Excellent!

    In a sense Her birthday is ours as well. Her Annunciation, yes to God, is another birthday of sorts.
    For she, a humble little girl of 15 or so, has taken on the beast and with her Child secured freedom from death for countless children of hers.

    Can you imagine the fury of Satan, beaten by the innocence of a young virgin.

    Hail Mary and a Blessed birthday.

    – a knight of the Immaculata.

  • Great post Don.
    It is good to be reminded of the beauty of many of the hymns in Latin that we have discarded. I used to sing this hymn back in the late 1950’s when I was in the choir at my alma mater, Sacred heart College in Auckland, and the odd occasion in the decade following. But since then we have dumped much of the beauty that was “the Church” back in those days. WHY ???

  • (Hit the wrong button 🙁 )
    We need to re-discover and reclaim this beauty – both in music and in art. Thank you for the constant reminders with these posts, that re-enliven our vigour in Faith, so that we too can act to help the revival of the artistic beauty which really does give us a glimpse of the wonder and beauty of our God.

  • Saint Anne and Joachim must have been the most faithful of parents to be blessed with the Virgin Mary, immaculate from the first moment of her conception. The Virginity of the Blessed Mother will crush the head of Satan.

  • It is thought to be a similar “miracle” conception not unlike that of Sarah and Abraham’s….and Elizabeth and Zachariah’s. Elder first time parents.

    Again. With God all things are possible.

Mother of God

Sunday, January 1, AD 2012

It is appropriate that on the first day of the year we honor the woman who brought the Alpha-Omega to us.  It has ever been the glory of the Catholic Church that we venerate the Mother of God.  From His Cross, Christ told the the Apostle John to look at Mary and behold his Mother, an indication that he was entrusting all of mankind into the maternal care of His mother.  Throughout the ages Mary has ever been vigilant to continue to make visits to her children, visits that we celebrate at Tepeyac, Lourdes and Fatima, to name only a few of hundreds.  God recognizes how precious to us are our Earthly mothers, and he deigns to share His mother with us.  We see in God’s love for Mary a glorious reflection of the love He has for each of us.

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4 Responses to Mother of God

  • “Remember, O Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, and sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly to you O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. To you I come. Before you I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise my not petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen.”

  • From Father Philip Neri Powell:

    Saint Louis de Montfort wrote:

    “If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins ‘you shall receive a never-fading crown of glory.’ Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practice black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and will save your soul, if– and mark well what I say– if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins.”

    Our Blessed Mother deigned to come to Fatima to reveal to three shepherd children the treasures of grace hidden in the Holy Rosary. Her desire is to inspire in our hearts a sincere love for this devotion in order that by meditating on the mysteries of our redemption which are recalled in it, we may be enriched with its fruits, obtain peace for the world, the conversion of sinners and . . .

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  • It took billions of dollars and millions of lives and six years of destructive war to defeat Hilter. Yet when Communism fell, it was without war or mass destruction, but by the Lady of Fatima responding to the prayers to her for the conversion of Russia, and working through a Polish labor union electrican. Pray the Rosary for peace,

Hell and Good Intentions

Monday, January 31, AD 2011

L’enfer est plein de bonnes volontés et désirs.  (Hell is full of good wishes and desires.)

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Klaven reminds us of something that is very true in the above video.  In human affairs someone who, from the outset, intends to do evil can cause quite a bit of calamity and tragedy.  However, for true catastrophes you generally need someone who is seeking to do good, but is blind to the negative consequences of his actions.  History is replete with examples.  Martin Luther, I think, really did start out honestly intending to merely give impetus to reform within the Church.  Gandhi did not want to see India divided once the British withdrew because he honestly believed that Muslims and Hindus could live in peace together throughout the subcontinent.  Neville Chamberlain resisted taking any stand against Hitler until September 1939 because he honestly wished to spare Britain another World War only a generation after the first one. 

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5 Responses to Hell and Good Intentions

  • Hi Donald,
    Just a small edit in the following sentence (I imagine you were writing it late at night and tired!): “he honestly truly that Muslims and Hindus could leave in peace together” should read “he honestly, truly thought that Muslims and Hindus could live in peace together”. 😉

  • Thank you for pointing that out to me Kevin! I have made the necessary edit.

  • A dude named Edmund Burke, I think, said the only thing needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

    I think our (at many levels) leaders have embraced misplaced mercy and political correctness to rationalize their retreat from the clash with evil.

    N.B. had Neville C. stepped on Hitler in before he had armed and grown strong, he likely WOULD have avoided WORLD WAR II.

    Cowardice and treason are not “good intentions.”

    Finally, Gandhi waged war – nonviolent war, but war nonetheless.

  • Although that is commonly attributed to Burke T. Shaw he never said it.

  • MK Gandhi through the cunning of history obtained for modern India relief from the fate of being burdened with a very large, irredentist Muslim population. When I see what is going in Pakistan and to a lesser extent in BanglaDesh, I say in all sincerity, good riddance to the Muslims. So called Hindu nationalists who can neither put a up fight with the Muslims, nor yet live in peace with them should go on bended knees to thank God for Gandhi who in his own quixotic way. managed to cast off India the pointless burden of looking after legions of Muslim barbarians.

The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism Because The Pope of Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI) Is Gathering the Scattered Flocks Left Behind by Those Who Thought They Knew Better Than The Church

Sunday, November 22, AD 2009

The Catholic Church has always had a bull’s-eye attached to it, and in truth many of us wouldn’t want it any other way, for when we are almost universally loved, as has happened a few times in the last 40 years we have become “of the world,” instead of suffering for the world.”  Lately, during the pontificates of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI dark forces have gathered at the gates of truth attacking the Church for a variety of long held beliefs.  These beliefs can range from the theological to the social. However, following the US Election of 2008 a tidal wave seems to have inundated the Church from the mainstream media, the political realm and even the entertainment world. The Church’s 2,000 year old teachings and beliefs have been attacked in the United States and Western Europe from elected officials, the mainstream media and well known entertainment celebrities. Some of the faithful have become discouraged and questioned me as to how the thesis of my book, The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism, could possibly be true in light of this news.

The truth of the matter is that against this troubling backdrop the Church continues to grow around the world, especially in African and Asia but even in North America, where much of the onslaught against the Church has emanated. Seminaries and Mother Houses often have no room for those pursuing a vocation and those young African and Asian men and women are often sent to the US or Europe to explore their vocation. Even in the US and pockets of Europe seminaries are experiencing a mini boom. One seminary rector told me that in the 40+ plus years of being affiliated with the Church, he has never seen a longer sustained period of top notch orthodox minded young men coming in and being ordained as he has seen in the last 10 years. Perhaps this is why the powers that be are so angry.

It seemed the US midterm Election of 2006 emboldened the cause of those militant liberals and secularists who have contempt for much of what orthodox minded Catholicism holds dear. Following the results of the Election of 2008, many pundits proclaimed the results as a sea change for America. Agnostics and atheists gleefully announced that a world where religion and especially conservative or orthodox minded Catholicism held sway was being replaced by a humanist brand of religion where age old teachings were replaced by the ideas of “enlightened” religious leaders, agnostic thinkers, and pop culture celebrities. It seemed this new brand of liberal thinker was less idealistic than their 1960s peers and displayed an anger and hostility that was a far cry from the utopian idealism displayed some 40 years ago. Yet, beneath the surface and below the radar screens of many news organizations, lies the hope of the Catholic faithful who hold on to the ideas  imparted by Christ, His Apostles, Popes, Bishops, Priests, Women Religious, Saints and holy laymen and laywomen throughout the centuries.

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6 Responses to The Tide is Turning Toward Catholicism Because The Pope of Christian Unity (Pope Benedict XVI) Is Gathering the Scattered Flocks Left Behind by Those Who Thought They Knew Better Than The Church

  • I appreciate your message of hope.

    Your title is way, way too long!

  • The Church, the holy bishops and priests, the laiety, and the Holy Father certainly have Satan running scared!

  • I have been told by some evangelicals that there belief that eventually all orthodox christians will be under the care and protection of the Catholic Church. Even though there is disagreement among them. I tend to agree with there reasoning and from the signs we are seeing. I pray that the holy spirit comes to all those that need the help to come home.

  • As usual Dave, you tell like it is. Although some did not like Bishop Tobin’s public response to Patrick Kennedy, who found out quickly that his ilk will no longer be tolerated in his actions against the tenets of the Church, I belive more and more Bishops have come to the realization, that speaking out after conferring with these so called “catholics” has strenghtened the laity. Take care and God Bless.

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  • Splendid column as usual, Dave. No doubt the damage wrought by Luther will be repaired and unity restored, thanks to the secularists whose relentless assault have recently spurred the Christians to draw a line in the sand with the Manhattan Declaration to show that they will not render to Caesar what is God’s.