Thursday, October 25, 2007

St. Crispin's Day

Today is St. Crispin's Day, or the Feast of Sts. Crispin and Crispinian. It is also the anniversaries of the Charge of the Light Brigade (1854), Battle of Leyte Gulf (1944) and, of course, the Battle of Agincourt (1415). And how can we let this day pass without posting the following:

What's he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmorland. No, my fair cousin:
If we are marked to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God's will, I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It ernes me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires:
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not a man from England:
God's peace, I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more, methinks, would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more.
Rather proclaim it presently through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart. His passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the Feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a-tiptoe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall see this day and live t'old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian":
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars
And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day!

Wm. Shakespeare, Henry V Act IV Scene 3

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Friday Obligation

Ok.. I'm pretty sure all Catholics know that the requirement to abstain from meat on all Fridays during the year under penalty of sin was done away with in 1966. But this is only for the United States. The current Code of Canon Law states:
Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash
Wednesday and Good Friday.

But the US bishops petitioned Rome for an exemption and were granted one. Following quotes are taken from the 1966 NCCB Statement "Pastoral Statement on Penance and Abstinence".
19. Changing circumstances, including economic, dietary, and social elements,have made some of our people feel that the renunciation of the eating of meat is not always and for everyone the most effective means of practicing penance. Meat was once an exceptional form of food; now it is commonplace.

This is one of the reasons given for the change and I just don't get it. Wouldn't there be more of a hardship, more of a penance, in giving up something that is commonplace? Since the beginning of Lent this year I've foregone meat on Fridays. And I've really noticed it. I'm a typical meat and potatoes kind of guy and this small penance every Friday reminds me that, "This is Friday. The day Our Lord was crucified." If it were something that I have rarely it wouldn't be as much of a reminder. But perhaps this is just me.
23. Friday should be in each week something of what Lent is in the entire year. For this reason we urge all to prepare for that weekly Easter that comes with each Sunday by freely making of every Friday a day of self-denial and
mortification in prayerful remembrance of the passion of Jesus Christ.

Now this is a great and wonderful sentiment. But how well have the USCCB as an organization, individually or the priest in the parish done in reminding us that while abstaining from meat is no longer mandatory that some form of penance on Friday is mandatory? I'd be curious as to what percentage of Catholics know of the obligation to do penance on Friday and actually perform some sort of penance on Friday.
28. In summary, let it not be said that by this action, implementing the spirit of renewal coming out of the Council, we have abolished Friday, repudiated the
holy traditions of our fathers, or diminished the insistence of the Church on the fact of sin and the need for penance. Rather, let it be proved by the spirit in which we enter upon prayer and penance, not excluding fast and abstinence freely chosen, that these present decisions and recommendations of this conference of bishops will herald a new birth of loving faith and more profound penitential conversion, by both of which we become one with Christ, mature sons of God, and servants of God's people.

I understand what the bishops were attempting to do in 1966 and would have been overjoyed if they had been successful. But 40 years later I think it's time to admit that the exemption just isn't working out. For my two bits I would suggest the bishops to re institute the Friday abstinence of meat and then also encourage the performance of works of charity and other penances on Friday. Meatless Fridays were easily understood by all and I think we have also lost a sense of community and being different by the exemption.

Time Flies

Time flies when you're having fun. Not to give too much away, but I would enourage you to check out

Friday, September 28, 2007

Reformed Science

The problem with science today isn't that scientists have too little faith, it's that they have too much faith.

One of the best teachers I ever had described the difference between science and religion in that "The laws of religion are carved in stone. The laws of science are written on paper. With a pencil. And an eraser nearby." By necessity science is about doubt. Basically it's making observations and collecting data and basing conclusions based on the results. There should be no rooting for an outcome. Definitely no fudging of the data. And an understanding that for every theory, "this too shall pass." Classical mechanics gives way to relativity, the Sun circles the Earth and now the Earth circles the Sun, leaches are good for you and now antibiotics are. Science builds on the past. Old theories die to be replaced by new theories that will one day be replaced by newer theories. Every theory should have a bullseye on it.

I had to take a biology course in college to get my degree. I'm really not interested in the life sciences. In high school I took physics and chemistry. But I needed this course and signed up for it. I lost a lot of respect for the professor when one day he tells us that evolution is an established fact. It's not. It's our best understanding right now of how life came to be physically on Earth. For a real scientist it is no more and no less. It says nothing about whether there is or is not a God or any other matter of metaphysics or religion. Unless of course you're a member of Reformed Science.

In Reformed Science drawing conclusions based on observations and a continuing search for a better explanation goes right out the window. Instead there is an absolute belief in a particular conclusion and the data must be forced to fit or be ignored. A belief that rivals a Saints belief in God. This is where we get junk science from. This is where we distill a "fact" that God does not exist based on observations about the evolution of lifeforms. This is where we declare "case closed" on Global Warming and inconvenient truths like the fact that Mars and other planets are warming also are discarded in favor of a belief that mankind is responsible for the change in global climate.

The universe is a strange and remarkable place. Especially in the realms of the very big and the very tiny. That's how God made it. There are many of us who believe that by His handiwork we can know Him a little better. Even if it's just to be amazed at the beauty of it. But besides beauty He also made the universe abide by a series of natural laws. In doing so He gave us a universe that is like a huge beautiful puzzle. And He gave us the intelligence and curiosity to figure out that puzzle bit by bit, and to benefit from our understanding. Now how cool and Fatherlike is that?

The Carina Nebula as seen from the Hubble Telescope.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fr. Z's "Whaddya Call This Mass?" Poll

Fr. Z is having a runoff poll until October 4th over what to call the older Mass. Right now it's in a runoff between the top contenders of an earlier poll. The options are "Tridentine Mass", "Traditional Latin Mass or TLM" and "Extraordinary form/use". Everyone should head over there and drop a virtual ballot in the box for your choice.

And Now for Something Completly Different....

Ok... the last couple of posts have been rather dark. Time for something a bit lighter. I get a little scared that no one reads this blog and then I get a little scared that someone might be reading it. Ambivalence is such a wonderful thing. And then it's not. But what is a wonderful thing is I just got tagged for my first meme by Che' (or is that fake Che') over on the Secrets of the Spirit of Vatican 2 blog. So here we go....

1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?
TLM. Wife definitely prefers it as do I. Although the way the NO is read at SJC it wouldn't be much of a letdown to assist at NO.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?
Roughly about 25 miles.

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?
How about a Tradvert? A convert who has become a traditional Catholic.

4. Are you a comment junkie?
Somewhat, but I have it perfectly under control.

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?
Yes. Back when I first started commenting.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?
Well.. seeing as Benedict XVI doesn't have one... I'd have to say.... Closed Cafeteria?

8. Which blog is the first one you check?
Not a hard and fast rule for which one I check in the morning. I do a usual round up, but the order changes day to day.

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?
Well... the wife blogs. And I've met Ma Beck and Jane of Art (I'm pretty sure) at SJC.

10. What are you reading?
Oddly enough, right now nothing. But I have just finished The Snakebite Letters by Peter Kreeft and would highly recommend that. Think of a Catholic take on Screwtape.

Bonus Question! Has your site been banned by Spirit of Vatican II?
Yep, and I've got the felt banner to prove it.

If it has, who do you think Father Tim really is?
I have less of a clue than a clueless man who holds the chair of the department of clueless at UT. Or Baldrick. I'm going to go way out on the limb in left field (fitting for SOV2) and say that Father Tim is the ultra secret identity of Fr. Z.

And I tag the following....

Missal Thumper
Catholic Caveman

And anyone else who is reading this... let me know who you are...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Desacraments of the Neo-Pagans

Continuing on with the beliefs of the neo-pagans. If they were honest at any rate...

1. The one night stand or the hook-up. This replaces Communion. It would take a work the size of the internet to begin to describe the meaning of Communion. But where it converts us to Christ and strengthens us in the communion of saints, the hook-up casts us into solitude. Where sex is meant to strengthen a union between two people and is even sometimes used to explain the union of the Holy Trinity a chance encounter is nothing more than two people using each other to gain sexual gratification. It's always about 'me' and nothing more.

2. Since sin doesn't exist for the neo-pagan, Confession is not a confession of sins and the gaining of absolution. Instead it is the confession straight from Genesis that I can be like God. I will decide what is good and what is evil. I will decide what is sinful and what is right and just.

3. Instead of celebrating the birth of human life and the bestowal of a new spiritual life in Baptism the neo-pagans celebrate contraception. Human life is a curse to the planet and just down right inconvenient. So let us negate life, especially in the form of abortion. Moloch needs his due afterall.

4. Death is the great end. Neo-pagans do not need, they think, Extreme Unction or to make any peace with their end. Instead it is to be fought. Everything that can extend life for just one more minute, unless perhaps it interferes with pleasure, is to be embraced. Any exercise, any diet, any drug, any spare parts from fetal tissue. Anything to fight against the final extinction of self.

5. Holy Orders are not needed nor celebrated. Instead of the faithful man or woman who will pledge poverty, chastity and obedience we celebrate the Dissenter. And the further up the chain one can dissent the better. Who needs the help of religious, priest, bishop, pope or God when I have my own feelings to guide me. It's much better to feel about something than to think about it.

6. Marriage is the great unifier, the most fundamental building block of society. Two become one and then, with God's blessing, become many. And part of the meaning behind becoming one is permanence. But instead let us have voluntary sexual associations instead of marriages. That way we can end it when we desire, have any arrangement of individuals and any number to it. It's not like it's meant to be anything but about my happiness at this very moment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Neo-Pagan Faith Community of Death

Wondering how a neo-pagan building would be set up and its "faith" led me to the following thoughts...

We see on the right hand side altar an altar to Moloch. Thousands of years ago humans sacrificed children to Moloch to ensure prosperity. We're much more advanced today. Now we do it for comfort and prosperity and some even manage to make millions in providing this service.

On the left side we have an altar to Gaia. Mother Earth is the life giver to be adored. Not Mary who was the only true human for her entire existence and the mother of our salvation. And like Mary, Gaia has her own dogmas. Where Mary helped to bring life in fullness, the worship of Gaia supposes that only the life of Gaia is worthy of life.

The Gaian Dogmas
1. Mother Earth is the life giving mother. There is no spiritual life, only physical.
2. Humanity is a disease of Earth, and human endeavors are harmful to her. There would be Paradise, if only we didn't exist.
3. Global Warming. Humans only harm their Mother and we are godlike in our power to affect our surroundings.

In place of Holy Scriptures we have pornography. While Scriptures brings us the Truth and into the community of faith and fellowship with the blessed Holy Trinity, pornography separates us from others. It makes others only objects for our own gratification and leads us down paths to greater and greater depravity.

Tradition is replaced with Progress. Chesterton said that tradition was democracy for the dead. Well the dead need to be disenfranchised. We have no need for the hard won experience of past millennia or the revealed Truth. We can discern for ourselves what truth is, and know that society is marching toward a truth where there is no sin. The only thing that counts is that everyone feels good about themselves and does what they want. That is where Progress is leading us.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Random Thoughts

Everyone is a theologian, atheists just get the first question wrong.

Trust science, but not scientists.

Why does it seem the most open to other faiths in our clergy are the most frightened of the extraordinary form of the Mass?

One of the major differences between Protestants and Catholics is that they emphasize the Resurrection and we the Crucifixion. That's why they have crosses and we have crucifixes.

Some day I'll need to sit down and use my Google-fu to find an ancient pagan god of lust and death. That way our neo-pagan friends will know who they're worshipping.

Wanted... Co-Workers

The first miracle that Christ performed was to turn water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. We often overlook the fact that God performs this miracle every year. He sends rain, has given us grapes, the knowledge and human talent to create wine every year. And on a massive scale, not just the six stone jars at Cana. One of the reasons why I am Catholic is the emphasis that the Church places on the fact that we must work with God on our salvation. Christ preached the Good News and brought Truth to probably hundreds of thousands in person. He has relied upon us over the last two millennium to bring the same Truth to billions. Also when I was a Southern Baptist the belief was that God covered our sinfulness in grace. All that we had to to was accept that grace. The Church teaches that we must continually strive to conform ourselves to the will of God. It is not just enough to believe in the mercy and perfection of God, but we must turn ourselves into mirrors of that mercy and perfection. May Our Lady pray to the Lord our God that we may have the strength and wisdom to follow her words at Cana, "Do whatever he tells you."

Friday, September 21, 2007

50 Years Cont'd

Last night Fr. Roger Kennedy appeared on Katie Couric Live on CBNBN and discussed his indult parish the St. Sabina in Kanesville, TN. Fr. Kennedy covered many of the issues concerning the indult XXth Century Mass. Included were the differences between indult parishes and the SPPVI and how the Ecclesia Populi Comission saved this form of the Roman Rite from dying out. But Fr. Kennedy also voiced his displeasure with various edicts that have come from Pope Pius XIII concerning this expression of the Rite and how the indult has been handled. Particularly he was concerned with the belief that many have that in the XXth Century Mass the priest turns his back to God, the need for a priest to have a B.A. in the vernacular language he reads Mass in and the lack of a widespread application of the indult. St. Sabina is the only indult parish in the state of Tennessee. When asked about the apparant sparcity of indult parishes and the fact that there are none in the diocese of Nashville Bishop Donelson responded that there had been no requests for that particular form of the Rite. "Many young people have no attachment to it, most have never even assisted at one. Besides, it is confusing to the faithful to have their actual participation in the prayer of the Mass interrupted by such things as giving the Sign of Peace to everyone in the building. And who under the age of 90 would care to hear those folk music hymns?", said Bishop Donelson.

50 Years From Today

Today Archbishop John Cardinal Miles celebrated Mass at the newly opened Cathedral of St. John Paul the Great in downtown Los Angeles. Later that afternoon in off the cuff remarks to a handful of reporters His Eminence denied reports that the former cathedral, Our Lady of the Angels, would be sold to the schismatic group the Society of Pope Paul VI (SPPVI) nor would it be converted into an office building. Instead he announced that the former cathedral would be the site for a new indult parish of the XXth Century Mass under the auspices of the Ecclesia Populi Commission. Although the future of the Ecclesia Populi is uncertain under the current pontiff Pius XIII.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fetal Soup

Well I had a definite "WHAT??!!??" moment on the way home yesterday listening to the Drew Mariani Show on Relevant Radio. Dr. Mark Miravalle was on talking about China and at the end of his interview mentioned that in some areas of China there was a restaurant selling "Fetal Soup" at $40 a bowl and that the Chinese government had cracked down on a website detailing the practice, but not the practice itself. The soup is thought to help revitalize and heal a person, thus the reason for consuming it and the high price. I haven't been able to find any definitive proof one way or the other on the web as to if this practice actually occurs. But as horrifying as that thought is, I had another one that really chilled me. In the end what's the difference between fetal soup and embryonic stem cell research? They both use the corpse of a dead unborn human to further the health of another human.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Catholocism and Science Fiction

Going over to The Sci Fi Catholic blog has brought up a number of questions of a religious nature I've thought about involving sci-fi.

Why is it that in Star Trek religion is treated with respect. As long as it belongs to an alien species. Humans seem to be almost alone in their atheism in the Trek universe.

Wouldn't the Church we a criminal organization in the Trek universe? I can't see the Church abiding by Starfleet's Prime Directive. They would help where help is needed, regardless of the fact that a civilization hadn't discovered FTL.

Let's assume we have started colonizing other planets and the Vatican decides to move operations or just expand to one. Should it be called Vatican II or should we just skip that.

And wouldn't a Vatican fleet of starships be cool. I say "Archangel Michael" for the flagship.

And on a somewhat serious note... we know about human salvation history. But what about those out there? Does it matter if they're humanoid or not? And what if they have their own revelations? Maybe they're looking for a little corner of the universe where the Creator did the almost unthinkable.....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Sin Bin

In the immortal words of Syracuse Chiefs goalie Dennis Lemieux when you do bad, "All bad. You do that, you go to the box, you know. Two minutes by yourself, and you feel shame, you know". And I know how he feels. I've been banned, sent to the proverbial box by the Spirit of Vatican 2 Parish. Somehow I wracked up the following offense codes PH (Phariseeism), F+ (Extreme Funny Languages), T+ (Extreme Traditionalism), EM (Extreme Medievalism), O [Offensive (anti-womyn, anti-GLBTNA, etc) ]. And as such I must display the following banner:

But seriously... if you haven't been you really should drop by and see what the SOViets are up to now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The World Over

Friday night on the World Over on EWTN (encoure Monday at 10PM Central) SJC's very own Fr. Dennis Kolinski was on with Archbishop Burke to discuss Summorum Pontificum. Very cool. But there was an email question that got me to ranting at the tv. Someone had asked how the dialogue was supposed to happen when the priest has his back to the people. Simple. Inasmuch as the Mass is a dialogue it is a dialogue between God and us, the congregation, with the priest as our leader. And for those who cannot abide silence in worship I'd recommend that you try it. Take a moment and listen. God the Father can say more in 5 minutes of silence than most theologians can say in a lifetime. Some have said that the older form of Mass makes it more about the priest and the rest of us are just there. Unlike the newer form where I think many priests feel that it is about them and how they have to entertain us and that for that one hour everything hinges on them. I've been to Mass where an elderly Irish priest made the end of every homily another episode of "Kids Say the Darndest Things". And which thinking about Mass makes me more of an active participant? In modern parlance we "attend" Mass, in older days (and God please more and more in the future) we "assist" at Mass. One great truth that we tend to no longer remember is that at Mass we are participating in an unbloody representation and actual continuation of the worst action every committed in Creation. Deicide. We the created have scorned, humiliated and finally killed the Creator. We are all guilty of it. And at the same time it is the unbloody representation and actual continuation of an act of such goodness that we don't have words of any sufficiency to describe it. The Creator allowed himself to suffer and be killed to open the gates of Heaven to us. Shouldn't our Masses be as worthy of representing this reality as we can make them?

Pitting the Masses

The Curt Jester has an interesting post on how some (including me...see below) are pitting the worst of the ordinary form of the mass against the best of the extraordinary form. He's right of course. But in my own defense, what I hope happens with the new liberalization of the ancient form of the Mass isn't necessarily that the new form will be completely done away with. It's that the horrendously bad Masses that are said like the clown Mass are discarded on the ash heap of history. A well said reverential Mass, either form, should draw us into the actuality of Heaven touching Earth. It's not entertainment. Find a parish like St. John Cantius in Chicago and assist at Mass in either the ordinary or extraordinary form, in Latin or the vernacular and tell me I'm wrong.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sept. 14 Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (or Elevation of the Life-Giving Cross to our Eastern brothers). And today is a day for rejoicing. Today Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum goes into effect. This is just another step of the reform of the reform, but let us pray that it bears much fruit. Afterall.... which Mass would you rather attend...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Six Years +

It's been six years since 9/11. It really does seem like it was only yesterday. Who would have thought in the weeks just after that we'd revert back to our former state and use even the issue of security in the face of a committed terrorist threat as a political football. And what scares me most is not the inevitable catastrophic attack in the future, but what our response to that attack will be.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Matter of Perspective

Lately I've been listening to some sermons of Fr. Corapi. And he's used the nihilistic phrase "Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" to sum up the attitude of the modern world. And it's not a bad summation. But sometimes in a phrase it's just a matter of perspective...

Is this thing on?

Ok... so I haven't posted in a while. Most of the reason was the preparation and recovery from a 10 day trip to Tennessee. And the trip itself of course. Was kind of nice being away from the internet and work for a while.

3 Things I Learned on My Tennessee Trip

1. Arnold's on South 8th Avenue still serves the best meat & 3 in the known universe.
2. The Loveless Cafe really does have a great breakfast.
3. St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows does have a Latin Mass, but contrary to the diocesan website it's the ordinary from of the Mass not the extraordinary form. Or at least I would translate "traditional Latin Mass" to mean the extraordinary form. So, to my knowledge, there is not now any celebration of the extraordinary form in Nashville aside from the SSPX chapel. Hopefully Bishop Choby will rectify that soon.

Also keep Tennessee in your prayers for rain. They had a brutal August with very little rain and temperatures in the 100s.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Little boys...

Little boys and their toys. That's what my wife was saying before Mass yesterday. While she went along inside I stood out in the rain with my umbrella watching an F-22 fly over Chicago. Along with a couple of other guys, I noticed. Mass at St. John Cantius is always special. But yesterday had that extra added coolness factory. Only wish I'd had a camera.

Gratzy A Plenty

The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen has a post by a Mr. Norv S. Hordo about his experience at a recent "Traditional Latino Mass". I found myself laughing out loud and just had to offer him the above box of "Gratzy A Plentys".

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Feast of the Assumption

The Feast of the Assumption evening mass at St. John Cantius was very special. The music was so beautiful it was almost stunning. And it was very nice to see Fr. Phillips say mass again after his knee surgery. Add to that Bishop Joseph Perry was in attendance. But what may very well be the most memorable thing for me was that there were a group of sisters from the Missionaries of Charity. It's a testimony to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (Lord may it be soon that we can officially address her as St. Teresa of Calcutta) that just the site of those distinctive white and blue trim habits is inspiring.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Feast of the Assumption

Today is the Feast of the Assumption. I took quiet a few political classes back in my college days and ran into the phrase "vanguard of the proletariat" quiet a bit. The Blessed Virgin Mary to me is the vanguard of humanity. She is what we should have been all along and what we should aspire to be at the end of time. Eat your hearts out commies.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

St. Maximilian Kobe

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for those who have recourse to thee, and for those who have no recourse to thee, especially the enemies of Holy Mother Church, and those in most need of thy mercy.

Today is the feast day of St. Maximilian Kolbe under the new calendar. We are blessed in Chicagoland to have the National Shrine to St. Maximilian Kolbe nearby in Libertyville at Marytown. Following is a synapsis of the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe from the Marytown website:

St. Maximilian was born Raymond Kolbe in Poland, January 8, 1894. In 1910,
he entered the Conventual Franciscan Order. He was sent to study in Rome
where he was ordained a priest in 1918.

Father Maximilian returned to Poland in 1919 and began spreading his Militia of the Immaculata movement of Marian consecration (whose members are also called MIs), which he founded on October 16, 1917. In 1927, he established an evangelization center near Warsaw called Niepokalanów, the "City of the Immaculate." By 1939, the City had expanded from eighteen friars to nearly 900, making it the largest Catholic religious house in the world.

To better "win the world for the Immaculata," the friars utilized the most modern printing and administrative techniques. This enabled them to publish countless catechetical and devotional tracts, a daily newspaper with a circulation of 230,000 and a monthly magazine with a circulation of over one million. Maximilian started a radio station and planned to build a motion picture studio--he was a true "apostle of the mass media." He established a City of the Immaculata in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1930, and envisioned missionary centers worldwide.

Maximilian was a ground-breaking theologian. His insights into the Immaculate Conception anticipated the Marian theology of the Second Vatican Council and further developed the Church's understanding of Mary as "Mediatrix" of all the graces of the Trinity, and as "Advocate" for God's people.

In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a
starvation bunker. On August 14, 1941, his impatient captors ended his life with a fatal injection. Pope John Paul II canonized Maximilian as a "Martyr of Charity" and “Patron Saint of our difficult century” in 1982. St. Maximilian Kolbe is the patron of journalists, families, prisoners, the pro-life movement and the chemically addicted.

Yet Another Question Answered

There's a great painting behind the altar at St. John Cantius called "The Miracle of the Jug". (Reproduced over to the left.) I've wondered about the story behind the scene depicted and finally remembered to ask one of the priests about it. One day a girl was fetching water and on her way back home she dropped her jug and it broke. St. John Cantius happened to be there and miraculously repaired the jug, when the girl arrived back home with her newly repaired jug and water she noticed that the jug no longer held water, but sweet fresh milk. The milk was apparantly a huge deal at that time and place. I guess the lesson is that God will repair us, fill us up and give us more than we had hoped for. If not in this life then in the next.

And another "Cantian" bit of trivia. The gentleman in this picture is John Cantius Garand. He invented the M1 Garand rifle which was carried by many American servicemen in World War II and Korea. All told almost 5 and a half million of these rifles were produced.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Rosary at War

Anita Moore over at V for Victory! had a great idea last February, to pray the Rosary for victory. Definitely go over and read the intentions for the decades of the Glorious Mysteries. And if this idea sounds odd to you, remember that Pope St. Pius V asked for the Rosary to be prayed for victory in the Battle of Lepanto. I had been thinking that it seems since September 11th many of us have been looking for some way to contribute to the war effort. This isn't going to be like World War II with scrap medal and war bond drives. This would be the way to bring out a secret weapon, to pray for victory and for the conversion of our Muslim brothers and sisters. And to think that Anita Moore is a lawyer! Well, was bound to happen eventually. We've only been waiting on a good lawyer since 1535.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pray for Victory

The Catholic Caveman had a recent post about seeing a bumper sticker that said, "Peace Through Music". I left a comment that I've heard alot about praying for peace, peace is a good thing. The trick is how peace is achieved. As Eisenhower once said, "Americans, indeed all freemen, remember that in the final choice, a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains." And so I pray for victory and that we may be worthy of victory. Because victory also brings peace.

It's a common thought now that there is nothing good about war, that there is no glory in it. But there is. It is the glory of being honorable. The glory of taking up arms and sacrificing. The old saying "all gave some, some gave all" is true. Some give their lives, some live having seen their brothers mained and killed and some live with the damage done to their soul because they had to take a life. By not recognizing and paying respect we do not dishonor the warrior as much as ourselves. We've become shallow, "men without chests" as C.S. Lewis would say. As an example we all know who Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are, but how many of us know who Paul R. Smith and Jason Dunham are? As George Orwell said, "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." May Our Lord have mercy on those rough men and give them peace in this world and the next.

Question answered

I've had a question buzzing around my head lately. What would a "womanpriest" expect to be addressed as? Father doesn't make any sense. Mother? Parent? I did get an answer from "Fr. Tim" over at the Spirit of Vatican 2 blog. You can find his answer at Not sure it answers what the "womenpriests" would expect, but I do like the answer.

And if you're not currently drinking anything, aren't squeemish check out The Lair of the Catholic Cavemen and see what I'm calling the "ManNun".

Interesting quote...

I'm originally from Nashville and still love the old hometown. As one would assume there's not a huge Catholic presence in Nashville so it brightens my day to find a mention of Nashville Catholocism. In this case a quote from Bishop William Adrian about the Second Vatican Council:

"These liberal theologians seized on the Council as the means of decatholicizing the Catholic Church while pretending only to deromanize it. By twisting words and using Protestant terminology and ideas they succeeded in creating a mess whereby many Catholic priests, religious and laymen have become so confused that they feel alienated from Catholic culture."

No comments from me on this... for now. Just something to think

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sancta Missa

The Cannons Regular of St. John Cantius have launched a new website at for a tutorial on the extraordinary mass of the Latin Rite said according to the 1962 Missale Romanum. I attend St. John Cantius and if you're in the Chicagoland area I would strongly encourage and even plead with you to attend the 12:30 Tridentine High Mass. It may take a while to catch on, it did for me. And while the hand missals are useful I found a personal one listing all the readings and mutable prayers even more useful. Words can't begin to describe the beauty of the parish and the services.

Cafeteria v. Banquet

It's a pretty safe bet that you've heard of cafeteria Catholocism. It unfortunately is probably the majority of Catholics in America. It's the belief that the dogmas and teachings of the Church are lined up for us like the entrees and veggies of a buffet and that we can subscribe to those we like and ignore those that we find distasteful. Hence we have politicians who on the one hand proclaim themsleves good Catholics and use their faith for political advantage and on the other hand loudly and proudly proclaim their disagreement with the Church on abortion. Large percentages of Catholics practice birth control. When it comes to the teachings of the Church we are obligated to obey and follow those teachings. Even if we dissent, we are still obligated to obey.

But thinking about cafeteriaism has led me to think about a spread put out for us by the Church where we are given the opportunity to choose as we wish. This is the many forms of devotions given to us by the Church and by God. I like to think of it as a banquet of faith. There's almost a dizzying array of medals, scapulars, chaplets, saints and prayers. All there to lead us ultimately to the Truth and to help us conform to the Truth. Marian devotion is one of the largest sections of this banquet. When I converted a dozen years ago it wasn't one that I felt particularly drawn towards. Being raised Southern Baptist will do that. The Marian teachings of the Church were hard for me. But because I believed in the Magisterium of the Church I believed in the Truth of these teachings, even if I did not avail myself of the grace, comfort and wisdom that they impart. That was ok, the Church has multitudes of avenues to apply the grace of our Lord. And that's part of the genius of the multitudes of these avenues of faith that God has made available for us. Oh, as I've gotten older I've been more drawn to the Blessed Virgin. It actually began with a single word, "theotokos". But that's another post.

Prayer to Our Lady of America

Oh Immaculate Mother, Queen of our country, open our hearts, our homes, and our land to the coming of Jesus, your Divine Son. With Him, reign over us, O heavenly Lady, so pure and so bright with the radiance of Gods light shining in and about you. Be our leader against the powers of evil set upon wresting the world of souls, redeemed at such a great cost by the sufferings of your Son and of yourself, in union with Him, from that same Savior, Who loves us with infinite charity.
We gather about you, O chaste and holy Mother, Virgin Immaculate, Patroness of our beloved Land, determined to fight under your banner of holy purity against the wickedness that would make all the world an abyss of evil, without God and without your loving maternal care.
We consecrate our hearts, our homes, our Land to your Most Pure Heart, O great Queen, that the kingdom of your Son, our Redeemer and our God, may be firmly established in us.
We ask no special sign of you, sweet Mother, for we believe in your great love for us, and we place in you our entire confidence. We promise to honor you by faith, love, and the purity of our lives according to your desire.
Reign over us, then, O Virgin Immaculate, with your Son Jesus Christ. May His Divine Heart and your most chaste Heart be ever enthroned and glorified among us. Use us, your children of America, as your instruments of peace among men and nations. Work your miracle of grace in us, so that we may be a glory to the Blessed Trinity, Who created, redeemed, and sanctifies us.
May your valiant spouse, St. Joseph, with the holy Angels and Saints, assist you and us in "renewing the face of the earth." Then when our work is over, come, Holy Immaculate Mother, and as our Victorious Queen, lead us to the eternal kingdom, where your Son reigns forever as King.

Papa Ratzi in Shades

Is it just me or is this the Papa B XVI we'd expect to find in the Matrix?

Monday, August 06, 2007

Is it believable?

Wow. I may need to take some time off from posting. I mean two posts in 2 and a half years? What a taskmaster I am.