Saint Pope John on the Cure of Ars

Sunday, April 24, AD 2016

I thought a time would come when people would rout me out of Ars with sticks, when the Bishop would suspend me, and I should end my days in prison. I see, however, that I am not worthy of such a grace.

Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars

Although chiefly remembered now for Vatican II, Saint Pope John XXIII in many ways was quite traditional in his Catholic piety, and no more so than in his personal devotion to Saint John Vianney, the famous Cure of Ars.

John Vianney was born into a world in 1786 where the Church was soon under attack by the first of the totalitarian regimes, Revolutionary France.  His family remained loyal to the Faith, and helped priests on the run from the State.  Young John saw these brave men as heroes as well as priests, and soon wished to join their ranks.  He was hampered by his ill education and the fact that he simply wasn’t a very good student, no matter how hard he tried.  He was ordained more as an act of Christian charity, and a recognition that he had a good heart and would try his best to be a good priest, than because of any success in his studies.

He was assigned to be the cure of the village of Ars, a town of only 230 people.  The church was almost deserted, with most of the population of the town consisting of fallen away Catholics.  He immediately began doing acts of reparation for the sins of his parishioners, and eventually won them back to the Faith through the example he set, his manifest goodness and his own invincible faith in God.

Each day he spent 11-16 hours in the confessional.  He had the charism of often knowing the sins of his penitents before they spoke and giving them spiritual counsel that went directly to their souls.  People began to flock to confess to him from the regions around Ars, then from the rest of France, and eventually the world.  He could sometimes heal the sick, especially sick children, to whom he always gave kind attention.

The fame he won was completely unwanted by him.  Four times he ran away from his parish, attempting to become a monk.  Each time he came back because his people cried out for him.  Jealous priests in his diocese on one occasion sent a petition around to other priests requesting that the Bishop remove Saint John on the grounds that he was too ignorant to be a pastor.  The petition was sent to Ars by mistake, and Saint John unhesitatingly signed it and sent it on.  One of the priests who started the petition came to him to beg his forgiveness.  He said that there was nothing to forgive.  He knew that he was too ignorant, and that he hoped the Bishop would send a better man to replace him.

By the time he died on August 4, 1859, Saint John had transformed Ars and the region around the village into an area filled with fervent Catholics.   He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and in 1929 he was made patron saint of parish priests.

On the centenary of his death, Saint Pope John XXIII penned a magnificent tribute to him:

SACERDOTII NOSTRI PRIMORDIA

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ST. JOHN VIANNEY

AUGUST 1, 1959

 

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

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

When We think of the first days of Our priesthood, which were so full of joyous consolations, We are reminded of one event that moved Us to the very depths of Our soul: the sacred ceremonies that were carried out so majestically in the Basilica of St. Peter’s on January 8, 1905, when John Mary Baptist Vianney, a very humble French priest, was enrolled in the lists of the Blessed in Heaven. Our own ordination to the priesthood had taken place a few short months before, and it filled Us with wonder to see the delight of Our predecessor of happy memory, St. Pius X (who had once been the parish priest of the town of Salzano), as he offered this wonderful model of priestly virtues to all those entrusted with the care of souls, for their imitation. Now as We look back over the span of so many years, We never stop giving thanks to Our Redeemer for this wonderful blessing, which marked the beginning of Our priestly ministry and served as an effective heavenly incentive to virtue.

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SACERDOTII NOSTRI PRIMORDIA

Sunday, August 4, AD 2013

SACERDOTII NOSTRI PRIMORDIA

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ST. JOHN VIANNEY

AUGUST 1, 1959

 

 

 

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

 

Venerable Brethren, Health and Apostolic Benediction.

 

When We think of the first days of Our priesthood, which were so full of joyous consolations, We are reminded of one event that moved Us to the very depths of Our soul: the sacred ceremonies that were carried out so majestically in the Basilica of St. Peter’s on January 8, 1905, when John Mary Baptist Vianney, a very humble French priest, was enrolled in the lists of the Blessed in Heaven. Our own ordination to the priesthood had taken place a few short months before, and it filled Us with wonder to see the delight of Our predecessor of happy memory, St. Pius X (who had once been the parish priest of the town of Salzano), as he offered this wonderful model of priestly virtues to all those entrusted with the care of souls, for their imitation. Now as We look back over the span of so many years, We never stop giving thanks to Our Redeemer for this wonderful blessing, which marked the beginning of Our priestly ministry and served as an effective heavenly incentive to virtue.

 

2. It is all the easier to remember, because on the very same day on which the honors of the Blessed were attributed to this holy man, word reached Us of the elevation of that wonderful prelate, Giacomo M. Radini-Tedeschi, to the dignity of Bishop; a few days later, he was to call Us to assist him in his work, and We found him a most loving teacher and guide. It was in his company that, early in 1905, We made Our first pious pilgrimage to the tiny village called Ars, that had become so famous because of the holiness of its Cure.

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  • Timely and urgent for today, Aug. 4, 2013, from Pope John XXIII’s thoughts on Aug. 1, 1959.

    “And even though We regret the fact that the surging currents of this world overwhelm the spirit and courage of some and make them grow tired and inactive, We also know from experience how many more stand firm in their faith despite many hardships, and how many constantly strive to stir up an ardent zeal for the very highest ideals in their own souls. And yet, when they became priests, Christ the Lord spoke these words so full of consolation to all of them: “I no longer call you servants but friends.” (8) May this encyclical of Ours help the whole clergy to foster this divine friendship and grow in it, for it is the main source of the joy and the fruitfulness of any priestly work.

    112. Priests often find themselves in difficult circumstances. This is not surprising; for those who hate the Church always show their hostility by trying to harm and deceive her sacred ministers; as the Cure of Ars himself admitted, those who want to overthrow religion always try in their hatred to strike at priests first of all.

    Help From the Faithful

    106. On the occasion of this centenary celebration, We would also like to exhort paternally all of the faithful to offer constant prayers to God for their priests, so that each in his own way may help them attain holiness.

    107. Those who are more fervent and devout are turning their eyes and their minds to the priest with a great deal of hope and expectation. For, at a time when you find flourishing everywhere the power of money, the allure of pleasures of the senses, and too great an esteem for technical achievements, they want to see in him a man who speaks in the name of God, who is animated by a firm faith, and who gives no thought to himself, but burns with intense charity.”

    I love the way with words that we, amid the “surging currents”, are reminded of that for which to pray.

  • St John Vianney knew that the pastoral duty of the priest was ‘cure of souls’. He wouldn’t last a month in a modern parish where ‘pastoral’ means something altogether different. You can just hear the chorus of complaints: “He’s so confrontational! Instead of making us feel good about ourselves, he’s always on about sin and the need for repentance! Not pastoral at all!”

61 Responses to Catholics and Cussing

  • Reminds me of the time that Bush Jr. forgot the microphone was on and called a reporter “major league @**hole” for the whole world to hear.

  • Yes, best to think and not to say, although in regard to that reporter it was a completely apt observation in my opinion.

    http://archive.newsmax.com/articles/?a=2000/9/5/162759

  • Here’s cause for cussing. A Houston VA national cemetery director (federal bureaucrat) ignoring a judge’s specific court order persists in prohibiting saying the word “God” at vets’ funeral services. She says its Obama Admin. Rules and Regulations.

    Taking in vain the Lord’s name is always forbidden.

    Condemning another to the nether regions is uncharitable and wrathful (one of the seven deadly sins).

    To the extent they are uncharitable and wrathful all cuss words should be avoided.

    However, words referring to body parts and bodily functions (should be avoided) are not on the same deeply immoral level as the ones that profane God or curse another’s hope of salvation.

    Thank you, catholic Obamas.

  • Everyone either cusses or uses masked profanity. “F-bomb” another example of a euphemism along with the “n-word.” Everyone knows what the words are but you can’t say them. What hypocrisy.

    Can’t go to a movie without hearing at least one of the “seven dirty words” lampooned by the late, great George Carlin, a lapsed Catholic by the way. Go ahead, hit your thumb with a hammer and yell, “Darn!” See if it works. Get cut off by someone on the freeway and try to refrain from yelling “a–hole!” Nothing like a stream of expletives to relief the pain and stress of life.

  • I have made it through 54 years Joe almost never using profanity, and my temper is as Irish as most things about me. The tendency to frequent public swearing by large segments of the population is merely an indication of the self-obsession, loutishness and rudeness which is the hallmark of social interaction today. Swinish George Carlin made a lot of money popularizing the trend, although he blew most of it feeding his various drug addictions. He was very much a child of his times.

  • Interesting, Don, how there is an imaginary and fuzzy demarcation between “public swearing,” as you put it, and “private swearing,” which I have often heard in small groups by people who ordinarily do not swear in larger company. Not sure how they decide when it’s OK to let loose.

    As for me, having grown up on the mean streets of NY, hearing my hard-working dad come home every day and unleash some choice words, and then transitioning right after high school in the Navy, cussing was very much part of my vocabulary. The way I look at it, the additional words are merely more tools in one’s verbal arsenal and to be used whenever one feels the need to vent or otherwise express oneself where a euphemism will not do.

    Although I have and continue to make free use of profanity, especially now that we have an empty nest, at elsewhere — especially when missing a 3-footer for par — I did make it a practice not to utter obscenities when my kids were young and impressionable. In other words, there’s a time and place. Of course, TAC is not the place. But next time I stub my toe, which is bound to happen in the next few days, in the privacy of my home, I will not be shouting just “ouch!”

    At the risk of trapping myself in a paradox, I, too, decry the incivility and coarseness of modern society in which cuss words are indiscriminately used, especially by young children. I suppose it’s one of the “privileges” of being a mature adult to be permitted to make use of an expanded vocabulary — judiciously, of course, and with appropriate restraint.

    Given your “almost never” exception, it is a relief to know that an Irishman possessing such high virtue as yourself now and then has a lapse or two.

  • “Given your “almost never” exception, it is a relief to know that an Irishman possessing such high virtue as yourself now and then has a lapse or two.”

    A minor virtue, but my own. I also have never drunk alcohol, other than in Nyquil, which I assume makes me a rara avis among those whose ancestors came from the Isle of saints and scholars. However, I have more than enough sins to account for come Judgment Day to keep me from feeling much pride in mastering certain minor virtues. I also do not gamble, perhaps a legacy from generations of thrifty Scots in my genetic mix!

  • I plead guilty, unfortunately, to the sins you have been able to avoid, which, if I ever return to the fold, no doubt will mean at least 1,000 more years in purgatory.

  • The worst of sins Joe are those involving pride, as exemplified by the fall of Lucifer. I wish I was immune to that particular sin as I am to drunkness, gambling or being foul mouthed.

    One of my favorite passages from the Screwtape Letters on a virtue that I have always found hard to attain, although, as indicated, a sense of humor helps:

    “Your patient has become humble, have you drawn his attention to the fact??? All virtues are less formidable to us once the man is aware that he has them, but this is especially true of humility. Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, “ I’m being humble” and almost immediately PRIDE – Pride at his own humility- will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride make him proud of his attempt – and so on, through as many stages as you please. But don’t try this too long, for fear you awake his sense of humor and proportion, in which case he will merely laugh at you and go on to bed.”

  • How true, Don. When you try to act humble, it just doesn’t work. I remember after I did an act of contrition or went to confession, I always congratulated myself on what a good Catholic I was. I just can’t grasp why God loves such flawed creatures as we. If I were Him I would have scrapped the assembly line and started over again.

  • He marks the sparrow’s fall Joe. He takes joy in all His creation, and perhaps the overwhelming love of God is the hardest attribute of Him for us to fathom.

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  • When Jesus picked Mary Magdalene out of the gutter, he told her, “Go and sin no more.” I would be neither she nor anyone else, including St. Paul (who admitted as much) could keep that command.

  • I rather suspect that she did not engage in the sin of adultery again Joe which I believe was the sin He was referring to. Saint Peter asked Christ to leave him because he was a sinful man. We sometimes gives up hope for ourselves, and it is therefore fortunate that God does not.

  • BTW, Don, that link you provided (cuss-o-meter) does not seem to work. You mean there’s a Big Brother somewhere monitoring cuss words on the Net? Also, TAC’s low incidence must be the result of censorship by you and others who run this site. So your “score” is more the result of policing the posts rather than restraint on the part of the posters, no?

  • P.S. I did get the link to finally open and tried several other “racier” websites and still got a zero rating, which means that either the cuss-o-meter isn’t very effective or otherwise very liberal in its scoring.

  • I don’t think ‘cussing’ or not ‘cussing’ is the question to ask. I believe that the disposition of a person will dictate speech. If we concentrate on acquiring the correct disposition, our approach to language will fall into place. Some words may be used becauxe they’re popular, even while they may sound rather like ‘cussing’. But the disposition is what people will really notice.

  • It is funny that this particular mark of poor character is one I’ve been working very hard to control or stop practicing. I would never have thought quitting cussing would be harder than quitting drinking or quitting smokes. I think that what comes out of our mouths is a reflection of what is in our souls. So my prayers have been directed to God for giving me a new heart, mind, and new mouth. I have improve over the last few months, but I cannot enter into a discussion about politics without sinning. 😳

  • Politics involves a lot of opinion as I see it. I’ve come to see party labels and platforms as basically relative in relation to the kingdom of God. We learn that Jesus is King, not Caeser or any state. His kingdom alone endures. I don’t even bother to argue politics anymore.

  • “We learn that Jesus is King, not Caeser or any state.”

    We also learn to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s. That leaves ample room for political discussion and disagreement.

    Sawman your comment reminds me about a crooked politician who was going door to door seeking votes. One of his constituents gave him an earful and then felt bad about it, that is until he saw his priest doing the same thing to the public thief. God makes allowances I think when we are sorely tested, and some politicians would cause Saint Paul to swear!

  • Yes, I advocate involvement. But I can’t see taking sides with a party since each contains truth and error mixed. Neither party, furthermore, represents God’s kingdom which alone brings about justice, truth, community, etc., in the fullest sense.

  • “since each contains truth and error mixed”

    True, although the same can be said for most things this side of the grave. I am a Republican. That party best represents my political views, although I certainly wouldn’t claim that it is free from error. As long as the Democrat Party embraces abortion, I will work against that party in the political sphere as long as there is breath in my body. However, this discussion is going afield from the topic of my post.

  • Indeed. I think a person within whom the Spirit of God is at work will witness accordingly. Speech will reflect that. People get an overall sense of someone regardless of a slip here and there. Someone may use a certain word that’s construed as ‘cussing’. They won’t do so repeatedly, however, unless it reflects their inward condition.

  • Unfortunately, swearing is a vice I indulge in more than I would like to admit. As a Navy vet, I can “swear like a sailor”. My dad, who was not averse to foul language himself (although he rarely used it around the house), often said it’s a sign of immaturity.

    I wonder what George Washington would think of the modern U.S. military, where profanity is an intregal part of its vernacular. I remember hearing a Marine WWII vet saying he had to speak very slowly and deliberately when he returned home because he was so used to swearing.

  • I think it is dangerous to assume that you can see the inner person through their outward appearance. Sheesh… To hear y’all talk, most of the good men I’ve known are bound for hell for their speech alone.

    You are taking cussin too seriously. Rude? Assuredly, which is why we mutter under our breath rather than sayin what actually comes to mind. There is a HUGE difference between taking God’s name in vain and cussin youself out after doing something stupid.

  • Greg, good point. Ex-swabbie here, too, and when I was at sea for months at a time and in an environment where swearing was the norm, it took me awhile to adjust when I got home. I remember the first few days sitting at the dinner table with all my relatives and we were having a big Italian meal. Without even thinking, I blurted out, “Mom, you making the best f—n lasagna in the world.” The conversation when stone cold, then everyone laughed nervously while I apologized profusely. It’s a matter of conditioning.

  • “By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them we become literal, reformatory and holier-than-thou; encouraged, they perfume life; discouraged, they poison it.” (Joseph Collins)

    Pride may goeth before a fall, but you’ll still feel the pain of a broken tailbone. 🙄

  • “By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them we become literal, reformatory and holier-than-thou; encouraged, they perfume life; discouraged, they poison it.” (Joseph Collins)”

    I represent quite a few people in my criminal practice Invective who let their emotions do their thinking for them. I doubt if many of them view their life as being perfumed by the experience.

  • “I think it is dangerous to assume that you can see the inner person through their outward appearance.”

    Appearance no, G-Veg, but actions usually. Rampant cussing is a sign of societal decay, a symbol that we care more for expressing ourselves, no matter how poorly and unimaginatively,than we do for those exposed to our verbal pollution. It isn’t the worst thing in the world, but it is a bad thing.

  • The thing is, the image we cultivate is rarely the person we are. Actions speak louder than words but many a good man cussed regular and creatively wheras many a cultured monser didn’t.

    Are we talking about cussin for effect or reflexively?

    I hear tell that Grant and Patton cursed something awful. My Senior Chief could bring down a Mig with his invective. I’d swear my gradfather brought rain to his parched fields with the choice words he directed to that North Carolina sun.

    I detest the inclusion if curse words for effect such as many stand-up comics present but I’d expect, and even enjoy, a good and creative string from one of my uncles. (Mechanics cuss better and longer than most Navy guys.)

  • I’d argue that excessive priggishness and loudly proclaiming one’s own superiority is as much a sign of societal decay. Again, pride being a sin, and all.

    One might even say it’s the sign of someone who takes themselves entirely too seriously and may be a bit of a Pharisee.

  • Yes, the Pharisee cannot let God be God. They take themselves very seriously, and they would play his role.

  • “I hear tell that Grant and Patton cursed something awful.”

    Patton yes, Grant no.

  • “I’d argue that excessive priggishness and loudly proclaiming one’s own superiority is as much a sign of societal decay. Again, pride being a sin, and all.”

    I’d say that being foul mouthed and acting as a troll on a website under an assumed name is something a bit more sinful than priggishness. I do not think that anyone looking at our society, at least anyone in their right mind, would regard priggishness as being a major concern.

  • “They take themselves very seriously, and they would play his role.”

    Actually the Pharisees were the closest among the Jews to the message proclaimed by Christ. Much of what Christ proclaimed in moral teaching we find also in the writings of the Pharisees. Christ condemned them not because of what they taught, but because they failed to live up to their teachings.

  • Mac,

    You repeated yourself again: “crooked politician.”

    Joe,

    I cut GI’s and vets a whole lot of slack in this area. “Single men living in barracks don’t make plaster saints.” Kipling

    However, I don’t remember any of the WWII men I knew growing using cuss words. At least, not around children.

    I’m not sure the following is not cussing. C&W singer Billy Joe Shaver, “If you don’t love Jesus go to hell.” But, I doubt Billy Joe is a Catholic. And, I know he is not an Obama catholic.

  • Grant on swearing:

    “I never learned to swear . . . I could never see the use of swearing . . . I have always noticed . . . that swearing helps rouse a man’s anger.”

  • I believe C. S. Lewis was right when he said that our virtues can become our vices. It’s easy to become prideful when we abstain from ‘cussing,’ etc.

  • One can become prideful in anything Pat. Nitpicking on the internet comes to mind for some reason. In any case to engage in cussing so as not to risk pride in not cussing strikes me as perverse.

  • Read “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand and “Escape from Davao” by John Lukacs, two unforgettable true stories of POWs in the Pacific theater during World War II treated so cruelly by the Japanese that even the most pious of the prisoners gave scatological and obscene nicknames to their savage guards.

    In wartime, under such dire conditions when men were tortured, starved and treated like sub-humans, I think even God would make allowances for the use of profanity under such circumstances. Point being that cussing needs to be taken in context.

  • Yes, most definately. I think we should make it an effort to speak as ‘correctly’ as possible. Sometimes, though, we can go overboard in an effort to win approval from God.

  • “In wartime, under such dire conditions when men were tortured, starved and treated like sub-humans, I think even God would make allowances for the use of profanity under such circumstances.”

    Quite correct Joe. Just as I think he would have made an allowance for a prisoner sticking a shank between the ribs of an especially brutal guard under such dire circumstances.

  • I appreciate your expertise on American military heroes. I tend to think of Grant as rough and tumble and assumed he. was a drink and swear kind of guy.

    There seems to be a link though between the prior discussion on tattoos and the present discussion on cursing. You present a forceful statement barring all with the collateral claim that the activity is evidence of a decaing society. Only, I fail to see and you have not identified the inherent wrongness of the act.

    If the act isn’t wrong in and of itself then it must be the effect that makes it wrong.

    I just don’t see how a discreet tatoo or cussin under my breath is either wrong on its own or harmful in its effect. Therefore, how can it be that Others cn safely judge me as terribly sinful on either account.

  • BTW, Don, there is a profoundly moving moment in Lukacs’ book when the sole Catholic in a group of 12 attempting to escape from prison camp after the Bataan Death March produced what could be called a miracle. Stuck in swamp, virtually lost and stung by insects and crawling with leeches, the man — Sam Grashio — gathered the men around him and offered up a prayer he remembered to the Blessed Mother. The men repeated every line he said — about five in all — and immediately after they ended the prayer, a sense of total calm came over the group and they were able to resume their escape. That one passage in the book brought me closer to my Catholic faith than anything else in the past 10 years.

  • John Lukacs was a profound thinker and historian. Two thumbs up for Lukacs—read his The End of an Age. Deeply insightful!

  • Ooops….that’s At the End of an Age!

  • pat, that’s a different Lukacs. John D. Lukacs (note middle initial) wrote Escape from Davao and is a much younger man. No relation, I believe. The other Lukacs whom you refer to is indeed an excellent historian.

  • Oh yes….I remember trying to find books by Lukacs and coming across the other Lukacs. Thanks.

  • The story on Sam Grashio, the Catholic soldier I mentioned in previous post:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Grashio

  • Lucaks Confessions of an Original Sinner is pretty good, too.

  • “and assumed he. was a drink and swear kind of guy.”

    Drink yes, although that tended to be exaggerated in the telling. Grant got into trouble with the bottle when he got bored and when he was away from his wife who he loved very deeply.

    “I just don’t see how a discreet tatoo or cussin under my breath is either wrong on its own or harmful in its effect. Therefore, how can it be that Others cn safely judge me as terribly sinful on either account.”

    Who said you were terribly sinful G-Veg. My concern is with public swearing. In regard to tattoos, my objections are in the realm of taste, I simply do not like them, and in their prevalence today, often on parts of the body where they can’t be missed by casual observers. For those who haven’t read my post on tattoos, I link to it below:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/08/15/the-modern-world-is-going-to-hell-a-continuing-series/

  • “The story on Sam Grashio, the Catholic soldier I mentioned in previous post:”

    That reminds me of a priest Joe who was captured when Bataan fell, and endured the Bataan death march. Father William Thomas Cummings. During a field sermon on Bataan he made the famous observation that there were no atheists in foxholes. He was a constant inspiration in the Japanese POW camp, even as he slowly died from disease and starvation. On one of the aptly named Hell ships transporting POWs to Japan as slave labor, he died saying the Our Father. Just before he died he told his fellow prisoners that if he survived the War he hoped to work with street kids in Tokyo. One of the men scoffed and said that the Japanese were hopeless. Father Cummings responded, “Son, no one is hopeless.”

  • From one of the survivor’s account of Father Cummings:

    “By now an evening prayer had become a part of their simple routine. Of the estimated 16 chaplains in the party, both Protestant and Catholic, only three were to live to Japan. The strongest seemed to be the Army priest, Lt. “Bill” Cummings of San Francisco and Ossining, N. Y.

    One Navy man says, “I shall never forget the prayer that Father asked that first night after the bombing, when the Japs would not let us move the bodies. Before, many men had paid no attention, but this night the minute he stood up there was absolute silence. I guess it was the first real and complete silence that there had been since we left Manila. Even the deranged fellows were quiet.

    “And I remember what his opening words were. He said, ‘O God — O God, please grant that tomorrow we will be spared from being bombed.’

    “The last thing he did was to lead us in the Lord’s Prayer. I think every man there, even the unbalanced ones, managed to repeat at least some of the words after him.””

  • Don, I think Cummings is mentioned briefly in the book. The foxhole quote is usually attributed to journalist Ernie Pyle. In “Unbroken,” Louie Zamperini, who suffered brutally as a POW under the Japanese, especially a particularly vicious guard nicknamed “The Bird,” vowed to kill him if they both survived after the war. ‘Zamp’ was obsessed with the Bird and vengeance until he went to a Billy Graham meeting one night at the urging of his wife, found Christ and wound up forgiving his tormentor. Ironically, the Bird, who lived until 2004 in obscurity until found by CBS 60 Minutes, was unrepentant to the end.

  • Of course, one can be self-righteous in their criticism of profanity. But I don’t think Don is doing that here. He is simply making an accurate observation that there is a link between the rot in our culture and the hyper-prevelance of foul language to the point of glorifying it. I remember hearing stories of my maternal grandfather knocking out one of my uncles because he wouldn’t stop swearing in his house.

    As far as invective being good for you. I would say more times than not the opposite is the case. Righteous indignation is one thing. But even here one has to be careful. It can have a dangerously intoxicating effect. There are few things more dangerous than a chip on the shoulder coupled with a legitimate gripe. And I say that from personal experience.

  • Joe, the quote about atheists and foxholes has been misatributed to several individuals including Ernie Pyle. Father Cummings is the one that came up with it in 1942 on Bataan in a sermon. The quotation was passed on in the book “I Saw the Fall of the Philippines” by General Carlos P. Romulo which was published in 1942.

  • “Ironically, the Bird, who lived until 2004 in obscurity until found by CBS 60 Minutes, was unrepentant to the end.”

    More’s the pity for him.

  • Zamp’s first person account is told in “Devils at My Heels.” Truly a transformed man after he was converted. He is now 94 and continues as an inspirational speaker.

  • excellent post.

  • I have seen the following assertion made in several print sources dating back to at least the 1950s: the “Protestant” concept of cursing/cussing is four-letter or obscene words while the “Catholic” concept of cursing is misuing the names of God, Jesus, Mary or any of the saints.

    I always understood that the kind of cursing that was truly a sin was to call down evil on someone else — to say “God damn you!” and REALLY mean it (not just as a passing exclamation) would be a mortal sin. However, at least one catechism used by my mom when she took instructions in the Catholic faith in the mid-1950s claimed that use of four letter words wasn’t a sin of blasphemy, but could be a sin against charity if done to shock or disturb others, and was certainly not something to be encouraged.

    Personally I have come to prefer “dagnabbit”, “crimony”, and “jeeminy” as all-purpose substitutes for the genuine cuss words. The real cuss words lose their impact when overused. An F-bomb coming from someone who normally never curses at all gets your attention in a way that it doesn’t when coming from the mouth of someone like, say, Blago.

The Cure of Ars

Wednesday, August 4, AD 2010

Today is the memorial of Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars.  He was born into a world in 1786 where the Church was soon under attack by the first of the totalitarian regimes, Revolutionary France.  His family remained loyal to the Faith, and helped priests on the run from the State.  Young John saw these brave men as heroes as well as priests, and soon wished to join their ranks.  He was hampered by his ill education and the fact that he simply wasn’t a very good student, no matter how hard he tried.  He was ordained more as an act of Christian charity, and a recognition that he had a good heart and would try his best to be a good priest, than because of any success in his studies.

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Saint John Vianney Play To Debut In Houston

Monday, August 3, AD 2009

Saint John Vianney is being staged as a one-man production titled “VIANNEY” and will be debuting in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston on August 4, 2009 AD.  This is in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the death of this patron saint of parish priests.  The play will continue in other dioceses across America.

Leonardo Defilippis plays the role of Saint John Vianney as he performs at various churches across the archdiocese.  Mr. Defilippis’s one-man stage production opens amidst the chaos of the French Revolution, a time which mirrors the secularization, materialism and anti-religious sentiment of today. Against this dramatic backdrop, a simple ignorant peasant priest enters the backwater town of Ars, a place where no one cares much about their faith, or sees the Church as particularly relevant. They don’t expect much out of John Vianney.

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8 Responses to Saint John Vianney Play To Debut In Houston

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  • Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, was the epitome of humility. When priests in his diocese, jealous of his acclaim, sent a circular letter around asking the bishop to replace him because of his lack of learning, it was accidentally sent to him. He unhesitatingly signed it and sent it on. The priest who originated the letter came and begged his forgiveness. Saint John told him that there was no need to apologize and that he knew that he was an ignorant man and that he should be replaced.

  • We’ll be seeing this when he comes to St. Theresa’s in Sugar Land next Sunday evening. Looking forward to it…

  • I’m planning on watching this also, maybe down by your parts Alan?!

  • Donald R. McClarey Says Monday, August 3, 2009 A.D. at 12:14 pm
    “Saint John Vianney, the Cure of Ars, was the epitome of humility. When priests in his diocese, jealous of his acclaim, sent a circular letter around asking the bishop to replace him because of his lack of learning, it was accidentally sent to him. He unhesitatingly signed it and sent it on. The priest who originated the letter came and begged his forgiveness. Saint John told him that there was no need to apologize and that he knew that he was an ignorant man and that he should be replaced”.

    Never, ever, fight a saint!

    It will be curious to hear who his sermons are presented. Towards the end of his life, they were reputed to be unintelligible. But his parishioners were quite happy. They had heard it all before and knew what he was saying.

  • “To the end of his life the poor Curé could never understand the reason for his own fame. And to begin with, many of his colleagues couldn’t understand it either. An abbé Borjon wrote to him: “Monsieur le Curé, a man with as little theology as yourself ought never to enter a confessional.” The Curé of Ars replied:

    “My very dear and respected colleague, how right I am to love you. You alone really know me. As you are good and charitable enough to deign to take an interest in my poor soul, help me to obtain the favour for which I have been asking for so long, so that I may be moved from a post I am unworthy to fill because of my ignorance and retire into obscurity to atone for my wretched life.”

    This long and awkward sentence was written without irony, but with humility, and its recipient was touched. Fortunately, M. Vianney had his bishop behind him. One day when a priest said to Msgr. Devie: “The Curé of Ars is looked upon as being rather uneducated”, the Bishop answered: “I don’t know whether he is educated or not, but what I do know is the Holy Spirit makes a point of enlightening him.”

  • “Never, ever, fight a saint!”

    You should tell that to Morning Minion who takes almost every opportunity to condemn St. Thomas More as a minion of Satan — and Iafrate had the gall to call Tito Taco “anti-Catholic”; if anything, Morning Minion is the epitome of anti-Catholicism as well as common sense!

  • Note: The latter remark concerning MM’s being the epitome of “common sense” was meant in rhetorical irony; I mean, if magistrates who apply the death penalty to those who commit capital offenses and, therefore, deserve it, are to be condemned by God as evil men; then may God send all judges who rightfully apply the death penalty to criminals who commit capital offenses to Hell, extending all the way back to those in the Old Testament who themselves followed the prescriptions of Mosaic Law that also applied such penalty to criminals who committed capital offense!

Res et Explicatio for A.D. 7-30-2009

Thursday, July 30, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Newspapers outlets and news agencies are reporting that Pope Benedict XVI has signed off on the laicization of Father Tomislav Vlasic.  Tomislav Vlasic is one of the leading priests alleging that apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary have been appearing continuously to six Croat seers since June 24, 1981 in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje.  These apparitions are continuing to this day and has been visited by an estimated 30 million pilgrims.  An estimated 40,000 messages have been conveyed to the seers by the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Officially the Vatican has not decided on the matter of these alleged apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  The Vatican has recently taken over the case of reviewing these allegations from the local Bosnian diocese.

There are skeptics and proponents debating the facts and implications of the latest scandal over Medjugorjie.  But what is clear is that Medjugorgie has lost more of its tarnish these last few years.

I won’t argue with the genuine conversions and sincerity of many believers that have occurred at Medjugorie.  Though I have a couple doubts concerning these apparitions which I will write to in a separate posting for a later date.

2. Quote of the Day:

“We do know that at the end of time, when the great conflict between the forces of good and evil takes place, Satan will appear without the Cross, as the Great Philanthropist and Social Reformer to become the final temptation of mankind.”

Archbishop Fulton Sheen (Life of Christ, p. 10)

Kind of sucks the wind out of your sails doesn’t it if you believe in the redistribution of wealth and all.

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12 Responses to Res et Explicatio for A.D. 7-30-2009

  • “I already love this man!”

    Oh great, Tito Taco has gone all bender on us; what’s next? Same-sex marriage?

  • e.,

    That’s Double-T to you.

  • Sorry, mate; I go for Double D’s! *wink*

  • My “Too Much Information” meter just exploded…

  • I’ve long believed the sheer duration of the Medjugorje apparitions was reason enough to suspect something fishy. Most genuine/approved Marian apparitions happen only once, or a few times, and span a few months at most, like Lourdes and Fatima. Genuine seers may have apparitions occasionally over the course of their lives (like Fatima seer Sister Lucy did) but not “on command” or on a regular basis, and if they do, they don’t publicize them. I could never believe the Virgin Mary was THAT much of a chatterbox that she would talk to these kids (who, of course, aren’t kids anymore) every single day for (as of now) more than 28 years.

    I know lots of people argue that Medjugorje produced all kinds of “good fruit” in the form of conversions, healings, etc.; but the same argument can be made about a lot of other non-approved apparitions, and about organizations such as the Legionaires of Christ and Regnum Christi which are now proven to have been founded on fraud. The “good fruits” are, perhaps, just God bringing good out of a bad situation.

    However, why does article linked above mention Ivan Dragevic’s marriage to a “former beauty queen” — not that there’s anything wrong with that, eh guys?

  • Elaine,

    Good point on that marriage.

    Yeah, nothing is wrong with that, but in a future posting I will touch on this, but briefly say it here.

    The Blessed Virgin Mary asked him to enter the priesthood and he decided not to.

    How many of us struggle for direction from God and here is Ivan telling the Holy Mother “no”.

    That was the back breaker for me.

  • “The Blessed Virgin Mary asked him to enter the priesthood and he decided not to… here is Ivan telling the Holy Mother ‘no’.”

    Ah, but what if the Holy Mother didn’t really speak to him in the first place? Church authorities have ruled more than once that there is no evidence to prove that she did.

    Of course that makes Ivan’s situation even worse, because it means either 1) that he has been duped or deceived into thinking the apparitions are genuine when they are not, or 2) he knows the apparitions are fake and willingly participated in fraud by pretending they were.

  • The Vatican approved apparitions the children didn’t even hesitate to join the convents. Yet Ivan, and a couple others, chose to live a more materialistic lifestyle.

    That is what disturbs me.

    They have broken many of the guidelines that are normally followed to be approved.

    Hence my skepticism on the matter.

  • I see what you mean, in that genuine visionaries normally don’t try to make a living off their visions or messages, and often hesitate to tell anyone about them at first, because they can’t believe Jesus or Mary would choose to speak directly to someone as unworthy as them.

    Although there were no such people as “jet setters” in Bernadette’s time or in the era of the Fatima visions, I can’t picture any of them becoming jet setters and running all over the world, speaking to conferences and giving interviews and such. However, while the majority of genuine visionaries do enter religious life, is it really a “rule” that they HAVE to or else the vision wasn’t genuine?

  • Elaine,

    It’s not a rule, but it certainly lends credibility.

    If Ivan chose to live simply then it would certainly have not put any doubts in my mind, but since he lives like a rock star, it begs the question.

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Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

Wednesday, March 18, AD 2009

Salvete AC readers!

Here are today’s Top Picks in the Catholic world:

1. Cardinal George had a private unscheduled 30 minute meeting with President Barack Obama yesterday afternoon.  Outside of the normal platitudes issued between the USCCB and the White House, nothing substantive of note can be reported.  Although Cardinal George issued a YouTube video warning to President Obama concerning the United State’s moving towards despotism the day prior to his meeting.  President Obama seems to have responded positively to Cardinal George’s proposal of “an agenda for dialogue” which was issued early this year.

2. The secular and liberal media, i.e., the mainstream media, have pretty much remained silent on Pope Benedict’s visit to Africa.  Is it because they don’t want to report the problem of condoms only exacerbating the issue of AIDS and not wanting to hear about the sanctity of life?  Is it beneath their elitism to do anything with Africa?  Or is it because the mainstream media could care less about Africa because of the pigment of their complexion?  Remember Rwanda and southern Sudan, the media remained silent.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf made similar comments, for the link click here.

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9 Responses to Res & Explicatio for A.D. 3-18-2009

  • 1. “Agenda for dialogue:” never a good sign. Not sure what can come from such dialogue on the good Cardinal’s part. Amazing that the meeting even took place- probably due to their mutual place of residence.

    2. All questions regarding lack of MSM coverage of His Holiness’ visit satisfactory to ask. Also- Is the Church that humdrum? Is it JPII Fatigue? Or that this Pontiff doesn’t deliver slamming quotes? Just goes about his business? Hooray- San Diego Union Tribute found a buyer! Newspaper journalism is saved! Not.

    3. Welcome Jennifer and hubbo to Family of Faith. Nice to have ya around.

  • Rich Leonardi cites another example of a innovative bishop creating his own parallel magisterium in the creation of a ”Installation Mass” for female lay pastoral administrator.

    You go overboard when you criticize these “innovations” (these installation Masses are hardly new) as the creation of a “parallel Magisterium.”

  • Gerard E.,

    The story on the atheist turned Catholic is actually a year old, but I wanted to share it just the same because I like reading her blog.

    Michael I.,

    Mea culpa, but exaggerating the obvious does not take away from the fact that Bishop Matthew Clark is inventing rites that aren’t authorized by the CDW or CDF or listed in any GIRM.

    Just because this isn’t new, doesn’t make it right.

  • I’m not going to make judgments on it until it happens. But for what it’s worth, the Obama Administration is going to meet with pro-life groups.

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat4918.html

  • Tito – I’m puzzled. “Installation Mass” can mean a variety of things. There is nothing wrong with installation Masses per se. There are all kinds of Masses for various occasions, including the installation of various lay ministers. Not everything is listed in the GIRM. I believe I saw a published collection of such rites recently and it was approved either by the USCCB or the CCB (I can’t remember what context I saw the book). You may not recognize those bishops’ conferences, but if those conferences have any authority, they definitely have some limited authority when it comes to the liturgy. You would have to provide some evidence that this particular installation Mass violates some kind of universal liturgical guideline.

    Our diocese in WV had an inaugural Mass for our Catholic governor. Do you oppose that sort of thing as well?

  • Michael I.,

    I do recognize those conferences.

    Although I doubt there is a rite for this type of Mass, I will keep in mind those documents and conferences that you site and look into it at a later date.

    Like many Catholics, I have a pile of books next to my bed that intend to read but have difficulty attending to!

    :~)

  • Eric,

    That link sounds promising, but it may little more than lip service since mid-level functionaries and not President Obama himself will be meeting with those pro-life groups.

  • My comment above should read “USCCB or the CCCB” as in the Canadian Catholic Bishops.

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