February 28, 2015 ~ Ember Saturday in Lent
1. Baptism: Means of Salvation (8)
2. Second Sunday in Lent
3. St. Peter’s Chair at Antioch
4. Marriage and Parenthood (9)
5. Articles and notices
Fifty years ago Giovanni B. Montini said, for the first time, a “Catholic Mass” in the Italian language, the vernacular. The understanding of the Mass as sacred and directed toward God implied that the language be corresponding. Giovanni Montini did not see the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as such, but as something for the people and to be understood by the people. He will have introduced world-wide his Novus Ordo humanist service four years later, supplanting worship to God with worship to man—condemned by the Church, specifically addressed by the Council of Trent which decreed the Tridentine Mass in order to preserve proper worship in the Catholic Churches, and receiving once again condemnation as re-iterated by Pope Pius XII a decade before. The Modernist Church is celebrating this victory over the Roman Catholic faith according to the announcement of the Vatican News Service inserted below.
The Satanic attacks by the United Sodomites of Antichrist regime now in office against the goodness God desires in man and God’s institution of matrimony are again evident. Their latest ploy is exposed in an article toward the end.
As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor
Means of Salvation
Lost of Original Innocence
The Original Sin
And when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in paradise at the afternoon air, Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise. (Gen. 3:8)
The manner of God “walking” and conversing with Adam and Eve in the Garden is presented by Saint Augustine as follows:
. . . Perhaps He had been accustomed to speak to them in a special interior manner (and how could it be described in human words?), just as He also speaks with the angels, enlightening their minds with His unchangeable truth, wherein their intellects know simultaneously all that happens in time but not simultaneously.
I suggest that God may have spoken thus with them, although not granting them the same degree of participation in divine wisdom that the angels have. But in a human way and in a manner less perfect, they may have had this kind of visit and conversation with God. Or perhaps it took place with the aid of a creature, either in an ecstasy of the spirit with corporeal images, or in the bodily senses with some object made present to be seen or heard, just as God is accustomed to be seen or heard in a cloud through the ministry of His angels.
But their experience of hearing the voice of God as He walked in Paradise in the late afternoon could have been brought about in a visible way only by means of a creature. We cannot suppose that the substance of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, which is invisible and everywhere present in its totality, appeared to the senses of the body, moving through space and time. (Gen. ad lit. xi, 33, 43)
God had wanted to be a Father: Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken. I have brought up children, and exalted them: but they have despised me. (Isa. i. 2). Be ye children of the Lord your God. (Deut. 14:1). In 1 Paralipomenon 17:13, God speaks concerning David of sonship and His desire that it should have been the same with Saul (but using the pronoun “him” to infer also Adam): I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee. This also expresses the parallelism found in God’s desire to have the same relationship with the Hebrews but, rejected, bestows it on the Christians who build up His Temple: Know you not, that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? (1 Cor. 3:16) For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26)
God had wanted to walk among men, as several passages of in the Old Testament give voice: Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men. (Prov. 8:31; cf. Eccl. 24:16; Ps. 73:2, 75:3, and 77:60) And He did with those who were just: Noe was a just and perfect man in his generations, he walked with God. (Gen. 5:22) Before Noe was Henoch: Henoch walked with God: and lived after he begot Mathusala, three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters. (5:22, cf. 5:24) *In Exodus, 33:11, it is written: And the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man is wont to speak to his friend. Understood by the Fathers of the Church that this applies to Moses conversing familiarly with God, for later in verse 20 it is written: Thou canst not see my face: for man shall not see me and live; it is still in a sentient manner because it is then written: And when my glory shall pass, I will set thee in a hole of the rock, and protect thee with my right hand, till I pass: And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face thou canst not see. (verses 21-23; cf. 34:5 and 3:2-6). These passages bring to mind that of God walking in the Garden with Adam and Eve (cf. Genesis 3:8-24) and that of Agar seeing the “hinder parts” of God (16:13) in a relationship of grace. [*This is quoted from an earlier work of the author.]
On the other hand, concerning those who have offended God, there is the portrayal of hiding. Isaias addresses the unfaithful: Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel: My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Knowest thou not, or hast thou not heard? the Lord is the everlasting God, who hath created the ends of the earth. (40:27, 28) Even in the New Testament Saint John, in his Apocalypse has those who turned from God saying to the mountains and the rocks: Fall upon us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth upon the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb. (6:16)
Ecclesiaticus seems to take in consideration Adam’s hiding when he is inspired to write:
Say not: I shall be hidden from God, and who shall remember me from on high? In such a multitude I shall not be known: for what is my soul in such an immense creation? Behold the heaven, and the heavens of heavens, the deep, and all the earth, and the things that are in them, shall be moved in his sight, The mountains also, and the hills, and the foundations of the earth: when God shall look upon them, they shall be shaken with trembling. And in all these things the heart is senseless: and every heart is understood by him. (Ecclus. 16:16-20; cf. 23:25-28)
The Psalmist expresses the disposition of the sinner with the words: For thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face. (Ps. 67:8) Baruch and Isaias tell the Israelites it is because they have rejected, they have turned away from, God and therefore this sense of shame that expresses outwardly by hiding or covering what is disgraceful as though the offense could be hidden: In sinning and lying against the Lord we have turned away so that we went not after our God, but spoke calumny and transgression: we have conceived, and uttered from the heart, words of falsehood. (Isaias 59:13) From the day that he brought our fathers out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, we were disobedient to the Lord our God: and going astray we turned away from hearing his voice. (Baruch 1:19)
John Damascene places the source in fear. He gives the following instruction in his work, An Exposition of the True Faith:
Fear is divided into six varieties: viz., shrinking , shame, disgrace, consternation, panic, anxiety. Shrinking is fear of some act about to take place. Shame is fear arising from the anticipation of blame: and this is the highest form of the affection. Disgrace is fear springing from some base act already done, and even for this form there is some hope of salvation. Consternation is fear originating in some huge product of the imagination. Panic is fear caused by some unusual product of the imagination. Anxiety is fear of failure, that is, of misfortune: for when we fear that our efforts will not meet with success, we suffer anxiety. (De Fide Orth. ii, 15)
Saint Thomas, writing in his Summa, teaches that it is placed within human nature not as a weakness, but also not as a virtue, but a recognition of either an act is contrary to God’s Law and that it should not be done, or that God’s Law has been violated and one is disgraced by the act.
It belongs to the virtuous man to avoid not only vice, but also whatever has the semblance of vice, according to 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves.” The Philosopher, too, says (Ethic. iv, 9) that the virtuous man should avoid “not only what is really evil, but also those things that are regarded as evil.”
. . . Shamefacedness is a part of temperance, not as though it entered into its essence, but as a disposition to it: wherefore Ambrose says (De Offic. i, 43) that “shamefacedness lays the first foundation of temperance,” by inspiring man with the horror of whatever is disgraceful. (ST II IIae 144, 4)
Therefore, in the Book of Proverbs the Wiseman says of he who hearkens to this sense of shame in contrast to one who does not: The just shall hate a lying word: but the wicked confoundeth, and shall be confounded. Justice keepeth the way of the innocent: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner. One is as it were rich, when he hath nothing: and another is as it were poor, when he hath great riches. (Prov. 13:5ff; cf. Jer. 2:26)
In this sense, as Adam and Eve felt the sense of shame, they hid, knowing they had sinned; but instructing that they were not beyond repentence since they were ashamed. As they turned from God, there would now be a turning to God, a conversion. Saint Paul speaks of this conversion in speaking to the Thessalonians in these words about their conversion: For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God. (1 Thess. 1:9)
Saint Augustine continues in addressing the act of Adam and Eve hiding with these words:
When God interiorly turns His face away and man becomes confused, small wonder that his actions, on account of his great shame and fear, are like those of a madman. And deep within Adam and Eve there was also an instinct at work by which, even in their ignorance, they performed actions which would have some meaning for their descendants, who would one day understand and for whom these actions have been recorded. (Gen. ad lit. xi, 33, 44)
In the Old Testament man was not able to approach God because of his shame, because of his sin. For there is no just man upon earth, that doth good, and sinneth not. (Eccles. 7:21) Through Moses God reminds the Israelites: Thou canst not see my face: for man shall not see me and live. (Exod. 33:20) Saint Paul brings this contrast out in writing to the Hebrews:
Now these things being thus ordered, into the first tabernacle the priests indeed always entered, accomplishing the offices of sacrifices. But into the second, the high priest alone, once a year: not without blood, which he offereth for his own, and the people’ s ignorance: The Holy Ghost signifying this, that the way into the holies was not yet made manifest, whilst the former tabernacle was yet standing. Which is a parable of the time present: according to which gifts and sacrifices are offered, which can not, as to the conscience, make him perfect that serveth, only in meats and in drinks, And divers washings, and justices of the flesh laid on them until the time of correction. (9:6-10)
Besides the external veil of the Temple, there was incense offered, the smoke in front of the High Priest to yet to provide another veil before the presence of God, symbolizing the hiding of fallen man before God. This was to instruct the Israelites that mankind had broken the original relationship God intended and was, of himself, unable to re-establish that relationship. Yet, God does not turn from those who seek Him: And thou shalt say to them: Thus saith the Lord of hosts: Turn ye to me, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will turn to you, saith the Lord of hosts. (Zach. 1:3). And was shown in the beginning of this section, God always expressed His desire to receive man back into a relationship if there was a turning to Him, a conversion: And I will take you to myself for my people, I will be your God: and you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brought you out from the work prison of the Egyptians. (Exod. 6:7) But this thing I commanded them, saying: Hearken to my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people: and walk ye in all the way that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. (7:23; cf. 11:4 and 30:22)
As the Old Testament poignantly testifies, the Israelites, for the most part, would not hide in shame, they would not acknowledge their disgrace. Our fathers have sinned and done evil in the sight of the Lord God, forsaking him: they have turned away their faces from the tabernacle of the Lord, and turned their backs. (2 Paralipomenon 29:6)
(To be continued)
Week of Second Sunday in Lent
Benedict Baur, O.S.B.
WEDNESDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
St. Cecilia—The Church
- Before going up to Jerusalem with His disciples, Christ predicts to them His passion and death. “The Son of Man shall be betrayed to the chief priests and the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to be mocked and scourged and crucified; and the third day He shall rise again” (Gospel). Then the mother of two of the apostles, James and John, approached Him with the request: “Say that these my two sons may sit, the one at Thy right hand and the other at Thy left, in Thy kingdom. And Jesus answering said: You know not what you ask. Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink? They say to Him: We can.” This Gospel is read today in the stational church of St. Cecilia. Just as Salome, the mother of James and John, brought her sons to Christ; so St. Cecilia brought her spiritual sons, Valerian and Tiburtius, to Christ, to baptism, and to martyrdom. Salome and Cecilia are types of the Church, who during Lent leads her children, the neophytes, to baptism, to Christ, and to participation in the sufferings and resurrection of Christ.
- The Church prays for her children. In the Gospel of the Mass today, Salome leading her sons to Christ represents the Church praying for her sons. The mother of James and John forgets herself and casts herself down at the feet of the Lord to make a request for her children. In the Epistle, too, we find a picture of the Church praying for her children. Esther the queen entreats King Assuerus in behalf of her people who had been condemned to destruction. Esther finding favor in the sight of the king, is a picture of the Church, who is all-powerful in her prayers to God. She prays day and night through her priests and religious, through her saints in heaven and on earth. “O Lord, all things are in Thy power and there is none that can resist Thy will, if Thou determine to save Israel [souls]. . . . And now, O Lord, O King, . . . have mercy on Thy people, because our enemies resolve to destroy us and extinguish Thy inheritance. Despise not Thy portion, which Thou hast redeemed for Thyself out of Egypt. Hear my supplication and, be merciful to Thy lot and inheritance, and turn our mourning into joy, that we may live and praise Thy name, O Lord; and shut not the mouths of them that sing to Thee, O Lord our God” (Epistle). Thus the Church prays during Lent for her children, the neophytes, the sinners, the penitents, and for all of us. The world owes its continued existence to the continual prayer of the Church.
The Church leads souls to Christ as did St. Cecilia, who led her pagan friends, Valerian and Tiburtius, to Christ. We see the Church also exemplified in Salome in the Gospel. She has no other mission than to point the way to Christ. Through her sacraments and her sacrifices, in life and in death, she leads men to Christ. She takes her children by the hand and leads them to Christ, who is the fountain of truth, of life, and of grace. She and she alone can lead us to Christ and to eternal salvation. Lead us, O Holy Mother the Church, for thou alone dost know the way to Christ.
The Church also induces her children to participate in the chalice of the Lord. When a man becomes a Christian through baptism, he begins to taste the chalice of Christ. “Can you drink the chalice that I shall drink?” the Lord asks us. With James, and John, and Valerian, and Tiburtius we answer, “We can.” We are determined to share everything with Christ, into whose body we have been incorporated by baptism. We accompany Him and turn away steadfastly from the world and its vanities. We wish to share His love of poverty, His privations, His mortifications, His self-denial, by patiently bearing the hardships of our state of life. We follow Him by a willing acceptance of difficulties, sufferings, troubles, and reverses, Thus we become martyrs of love, confident of His love and providence.
- The Church prays for her children and leads them to Christ and makes them share His suffering and humiliation. We should not fear when she invites us to share with Him fasting, self-denial, and the cross. By thus inviting us she proves that she is from above and not of the earth. She is filled with the spirit of God, not with the spirit of the world.
The Church leads us to Christ especially in the celebration of Mass and in the reception of Holy Communion. We participate in the Mass in order that we may drink His chalice with Him. We place ourselves on the altar next to the Lamb of God, and with ourselves we offer everything that we possess, everything that we are. In all sincerity we wish to be offered with Him and to share His chalice completely. For this reason in Holy Communion He fills us with a consuming desire to make sacrifices for Him. Now we feel strong enough to drink His chalice throughout the day in whatever form it may appear. To attend Mass and to live in a spiritual atmosphere now means that we, too, are a sacrifice to God. It means the acceptance of trials sent by God and the search for voluntary mortification. It means that we must surrender ourselves unconditionally to the will of God, becoming like grains of wheat that are ground between the millstones of the duties of our state of life. It means that we must become a bread which at the moment of consecration will cease to be bread; that is, we shall cease to live for our own sake and begin to live for Christ.
Look upon Thy people with favor, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and grant that they whom thou dost command to abstain from food may also refrain from baneful vices.
O God, the restorer and lover of innocence, direct the hearts of Thy servants unto Thee, that being filled with the fervor of Thy spirit, they may be found steadfast in faith and efficacious in works. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
THURSDAY OF THE SECOND WEEK OF LENT
The wages of sin
- Our lives should be devoted to penance. Today we join the penitents at St. Mary’s in Trastevere. They are allowed to assist at the celebration of Mass only “at the gate” and are excluded from the reception of Holy Communion. They are like the miserable Lazarus and wait for “the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table”; that is, from the Christians who are permitted to receive Holy Communion. Today we shall meditate on the curse of sin in this life, and the wages of sin in the next; meanwhile let us earnestly perform penance in expiation for our sins.
- What should the true Christian be like? He should be like “a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture. . . . And the leaf thereof shall be green, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit” (Epistle). The Christian should be a tree planted by the waters of grace in the fruitful soil of the Church. He should be a branch of the true vine, Christ, and live by the strength and vigor of the vine. When we commit sin, we cease to be green and to bear fruit. We become like withered and barren trees, fit only to be burned. By sin we voluntarily separate ourselves from God. The veins through which the life blood of Christ reached us are now severed, and we are dead to grace and dead to God. Holy love has been banished from our soul. Only the divine virtues of faith and hope remain behind as mute witnesses of the desolation of a holy place. These virtues, too, may die as a result of frequent sin. The yoke of sin becomes heavier with the passing years. Evil habits bind the soul in iron bands and rob her of all freedom. Thus she loses courage to resist and becomes an easy prey to temptation and to her own passions. That is the penalty for sin already here on the earth.
The final wages of sin is the eternal punishment of hell. Hell is the exclusion of the soul from God, from all light, from all satisfaction, from the one true good. It tortures the soul with unhappiness and merciless flames, in which, according to today’s Gospel, the glutton languishes. This desolate soul craves a drop of water to moisten his tongue; but his longing is in vain. He suffers unspeakable pain and looks about him for help. He looks in vain, for the time for mercy, the time for repentance and conversion, the time of grace, is past. Only one thing remains, and that is an eternity in hell. This is the external penalty of sin. While man is still on earth, sin can be expiated; once he has passed into eternity, it is too late. Let us, then, do our good works and perform our penances while we have time. Let us “commend ourselves to God in much patience, in fasting, in the armor of justice” (Antiphon for Sext); that is, through a holy Christian life.
- In the Offertory we are reminded of the true Moses, Christ. He comes in the Mass to offer Himself to the Father as a victim for our sins. He comes to make satisfaction for us, to pacify His Father, and to obtain forgiveness for men. At the Consecration we receive Him into our hands and raise Him up to heaven saying: “Why, O Lord, art Thou angry with Thy people? Let the anger of Thy soul be appeased.” Remember Thy Son, who on the tree of the holy cross poured out His blood; and for His sake have mercy on us. “And the Lord was appeased from the evil which He had threatened to do to His people” (Offertory). At the Communion the Father gives His Son the kiss of peace; now we, too, have peace, for we are again the children of God, living members of Christ. At Easter, Christ will be able to take us with Him to the Father. “He that eateth My flesh and drinketh My blood, abideth in Me and I in him” (Communion).
Which was the more fortunate, the poor Lazarus or the rich worldling? What has happened to the riches and the pleasures of the rich worldling? Money and riches led him astray, and now he is buried in hell. “Woe to you that are rich” (Luke 6:4). There is indeed great danger in wealth. “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man and maketh flesh his arm [the perishable goods of this earth, such as money, pleasure, and position], and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like a tamaric in the desert” (Epistle). O unhappy worldling!
“Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture; and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, . . . neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit” (Epistle). Such is the poor, sick Lazarus.
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the assistance of Thy grace, that being duly intent on fasting and prayer, we may be delivered from the enemies of soul and body.
Hear, O Lord, Thy servants, and shower perpetual kindness upon those who ask it; that to those who glory in Thee, their Creator and Ruler, Thou mayest restore an abundance of good things, and preserve what Thou dost restore. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
IT is certainly unfortunate that we have no early history of St David (as we anglicize his name Dewi), the patron of Wales and perhaps the most celebrated of British saints. All the accounts preserved to us are based on the biography written about 1090 by Rhygyfarch (Ricemarch), son of Bishop Sulien of Saint Davids. . . .
According to the legend David was the son of Sant, of princely family in Ceredigion, and of St Non (March 3), grand-daughter of Brychan of Brecknock; and he was born perhaps about the year 520. “The place where holy David was educated”, says Rhygyfarch, “was called Vetus Rubus [Henfynyw in Cardigan] and he grew up full of grace and lovely to behold. And there it was that holy David learnt the alphabet, the psalms, the lessons for the whole year and the divine office; and there his fellow disciples saw a dove with a golden beak playing at his lips and teaching him to sing the praise of God.” Ordained priest in due course, he afterwards retired to study for several years under the Welsh St Paulinus, who lived on an island which has not been identified. He is said to have restored sight to his master, who had become blind through much weeping. Upon emerging from the monastery, David seems to have embarked upon a period of great activity, . . . “He founded twelve monasteries to the glory of God: first, upon arriving at Glastonbury, he built a church there; then he came to Bath, and there, causing deadly water to become healing by a blessing, he endowed it with perpetual heat, rendering it fit for people to bathe in; afterwards he came to Croyland and to Repton; then to Colfan and Glascwm, and he had with him a two-headed altar; after that he founded the monastery of Leominster. Afterwards, in the region of Gwent, in a place that is called Raglan, he built a church; then he founded a monastery in a place which is called Llangyfelach in the region of Gower.” Finally, and here we are on surer ground, he settled in the extreme south-west corner of Wales, at Mynyw (Menevia), with a number of disciples and founded the principal of his many abbeys.
The community lived a life of extreme austerity. Hard manual labour was obligatory for all, and they were allowed no cattle to relieve them in tilling the ground. They might never speak without necessity, and they never ceased praying mentally, even when at work, Their food was bread, with vegetables and salt, and they drank only water, sometimes mingled with a little milk. For this reason /449/ St David was surnamed “The Waterman”, as being the head of those strictly teetotal ascetic Welsh monks whom St Gildas criticized as being sometimes more abstemious than Christian, and whose aim was to reproduce the lives of the hermits of the Thebaid. When any outsider wished to join them, he had to wait at the gate for ten days and be subjected to harsh words ere he could be admitted. Always from Friday evening until dawn on Sunday a strict vigil was kept and prayer was maintained uninterruptedly, with only one hour’s repose, on the Saturday after Matins.
We are told that a synod was held at Brefi in Cardigan to suppress the Pelagian heresy, which was springing up in Britain for the second time. There is, however, no trace of any preoccupation about Pelagianism in the decrees which were said to have been passed by the assembly. St David was invited to attend, but was unwilling to go until St Deiniol and St Dubricius came in person to fetch him. At the synod David is said to have spoken with such grace and eloquence as to silence his opponents completely, and he was thereupon unanimously elected primate of the Cambrian church, Dubricius having resigned in his favour. St David was obliged to accept, but he did so on condition that the episcopal seat should be transferred from Caerleon to Mynyw—now Saint Davids—a quiet and solitary place.
An extraordinary story, fabricated presumably to demonstrate the imaginary metropolitan status of Saint Davids, represents David as having made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where he was consecrated archbishop by the patriarch of Jerusalem. He is alleged to have called at Caerleon another council, known as the Synod of Victory, because it was said to mark the extirpation of Pelagianism in Britain. It ratified the decrees of Brefi and also a code of rules which had been drawn up for the regulation of the British church. Giraldus, in his paraphrase of Rhygyfarch, adds: “The decrees of these two synods which Bishop David had promulgated by word of mouth, he also committed to writing with his own sacred hand, and commanded them to be kept for his own church and several others throughout Wales. But, like many other excellent treasures of his noble library, they have disappeared owing to age and negligence, and also in the frequent attacks of pirates who, arriving in summer-time in ships of war from the Orkney Islands, had been wont to lay waste the maritime provinces of Wales.” Of St David himself Giraldus tells us that he was the great ornament and example of his age and that he continued to rule his diocese until he was a very old man. At his death, which, according to Geoffrey of Monmouth, took place in his monastery at Mynyw, St Kentigern at Llanelwy saw his soul borne to Heaven by angels. His last words to his monks and neighbours are recorded as, “Be joyful, brothers and sisters. Keep your faith, and do the little things that you have seen and heard with me.” His body was subsequently translated from the monastery church to Saint Davids cathedral, where the empty tomb is still shown. It is said that the relics were removed to Glastonbury, but they were apparently at Saint Davids in 1346.
In art St David is represented standing on a mound with a dove on his shoulder—in allusion to the legend that when he was speaking at Brefi, a snow-white dove descended upon his shoulder, whilst at the same time the earth on which he stood rose up to form a hill, from the summit of which his voice could be heard like a trumpet by the whole assembly. In Shakespeare’s Henry V allusion is made to the practice of Welshmen wearing leeks on St David’s day, and it is called” an /450/ ancient tradition begun upon an honourable respect”, but no adequate explanation of the usage is forthcoming. There is no mention of leeks in St David’s life. Pope Callistus II is said to have—approved the cult of St David about the year 1120 and to have granted an indulgence to those who should visit his shrine—”two visits to Menevia being reckoned equal to one visit to Rome”—but this is doubtful. There can, however, be no question that he was a highly popular saint in his own country. More than fifty pre-Reformation churches in South Wales are known to have been dedicated in his honour. Moreover, even in England, Archbishop Arundel in 1398 ordered his feast to be kept in every church throughout the province of Canterbury. His feast is now observed in Wales and in the dioceses of Westminster and Portsmouth.
(Butler’s Lives of the Saints)
MARRIAGE AND PARENTHOOD
The Catholic Ideal
By the Rev. Thomas J. Gerrard
CHOICE OF A MATE
Another impediment, similar to that of previous betrothal, is the impedimental vows. Obviously, a vow to do one thing is a hindrance to the making of a vow to do something contrary. So rarely, however, does this impediment arise that it may be left for individual treatment. If there has been a vow of any kind, the matter should be mentioned to the confessor,
Further, there are a number of impediments which not only render a marriage unlawful and sinful, but also null and void. Let us clearly understand the difference between what is unlawful and what is invalid. If I burn down my neighbor’s haystack, it is validly burnt down, for there is no haystack left; but it is unlawfully burnt down. My action is valid, but not lawful. If I shoot at my neighbor in the dark and miss him, my action is both unlawful and invalid. I have intended to take my neighbor’s life, but have failed to do so.
Likewise there may be certain attempts to get married which, on account of certain impediments, produce no effect. Such ceremonies are both unlawful and invalid. It is the duty of the priest to inquire whether there be any such impediments before he allows the celebration to take place. Most of them are so rare as not to need public treatment.
When the banns are published the faithful are told that if they know of any impediment, either of consanguinity, affinity, or spiritual relationship, they are bound to declare the same as soon as possible. The impediment of spiritual relationship is that which arises out of the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation. The chances of this relationship are reduced to a minimum by the custom of having a man as sponsor for the boys and a woman as sponsor for the girls.
The two great diriment impediments, therefore, which need to be carefully watched by young people are the impediments of consanguinity and affinity. Consanguinity is the connection of blood relationship; affinity is the connection of relationship by marriage. The Church excludes marriages between persons who may be related to each other within certain degrees of relationship. She thus forbids marriage between first, second, or third cousins; and also between a man and his deceased wife’s sister. These are the more common cases in which difficulty arises and which need to be carefully guarded against. In some of them, of course, which are not involved in the primary law of nature the Church may grant a dispensation. Nevertheless, she regards them as evil, and only grants dispensations in order to prevent greater evils. The disastrous results of intermarriage are well known. It leads to deterioration of the race, to insanity, to physical deformity, and to a general weakening of the social bond. The Church, therefore, in setting her face against such marriages, proves herself to be the friend and guardian of the temporal, as well as of the spiritual, well-being of her people.
Now, although the Church is very strict in limiting the freedom of her children whenever it is for their good, yet at the same time she leaves much to their own individual judgment. Those who look forward to a happy marriage, therefore, must avail themselves of that freedom which the Church allows, and use also their own sound judgment and common sense. In this sphere one cannot lay down hard and fast rules. What is good in England may be bad in America; what is permissible in one degree of society may be inadvisable in another. The custom of the country or of the particular sphere of Catholic society is a point which must always be considered. Nevertheless, a few general suggestions may be offered.
Character or virtue will be the first quality to be sought for in the choice of a mate. The predominant and essential virtues expected from the man are honesty and sobriety. These are especially manly virtues. In the natural order it is the sense of honor which will keep the husband faithful to his wife, and insure for her that respect, care, and protection to which she has a right. Sobriety, too, is absolutely necessary for the making of a happy home. The love may be there and the fidelity may be there, but they will be in constant peril if they are accompanied by drunkenness. And if drunkenness be a failing during the days of courtship, a reform after marriage cannot be expected. The pity of it is that girls are only too eager to find excuses for a lover addicted to this failing. “Oh, but he is as quiet as a lamb when he is sober I” The only reliable advice to give to a girl with an intemperate sweetheart is to break off the engagement at once. The predominant virtue expected from the woman is chastity. This will be measured by the care which she takes in avoiding occasions of sin. Here it is not a question of having sinned grievously, but of a constant observance of all those habits of modesty, reticence, sobriety of language and gesture, and, above all, utmost decorum in all necessary intercourse with members of the opposite sex. They are habits which can be observed and felt much more effectually than they can be described. In fact, every Catholic girl knows them, and no one is so observant of and sensitive to them as the honorable young man who comes to pay court to her.
Next, compatibility of temper must be examined. It is easy to discern. Quarrels during time of courtship may be reasonably excused from time to time. The proverb that true love never runs smoothly implies that, in the common estimation of mankind, lovers’ quarrels are a part of the business of love-making among those who are not angels. But there are some lovers whose courtship seems to be one perpetual quarrel, one everlasting carping, jealous insinuation, and complaint. Obviously such a life would only be accentuated in the marriage state, and the sooner the engagement is broken off the better for both parties.
The question of health, too, ought not to be overlooked. In earlier days the Church spoke more explicitly on the matter, though now she leaves it to the parties themselves to decide. The cases in which the difficulty most frequently arises are those of insanity and consumption. As a counsel of perfection it is well in such circumstances to abstain from matrimony. But where this abstention is fraught with moral danger, then the advice of a medical expert should be sought. Parents have a duty toward their prospective offspring as well as to themselves. The science of heredity is anything but an exact science. As for consumption, the treatment of it has now been so vastly improved that very many consumptive people may now marry without serious danger either to each other or to their offspring. Those, however, who contemplate such a marriage ought always to consult a specialist previously.
The questions of age, social standing, and wealth, may not be overlooked. Certainly many happy marriages have taken place between persons far removed from each other in age, fortune, and position. These, however, are exceptions rather than the rule. A young person will not naturally seek a much older one with a view to matrimony. But the cases of those hunting after a larger fortune and higher position are only too frequent. And it is these who come to grief in married life.
Lastly, there is the question of passion and personal beauty. Let it be said at once that passion is not a bad thing in itself. It is only bad when it overrides reason. Let it be said, too, that beauty of form and looks is not a thing in itself to be despised. The Church, in her office of virgins, applies to them the words of the psalmist: “With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign.” So long as it is kept in due subordination to the gifts of character and virtue, then it may be prized for what it is worth. Only when opposed to the fear of God is beauty said to be vain, and form fallacious.
The great principle to be kept before one’s mind, therefore, in the choice of a mate, is that the Sacrament of marriage is not a crushing or a cramping of human nature, but a perfecting and realizing of it. If limits have been placed by the law of God, by the law of the Church, by the law of reason, then those limitations of choice are the conditions of a wider and nobler freedom. If it seems hard to have one’s choice limited to a partner of the same religion, remember that that law duly observed will be a safeguard against a multitude of more irksome limitations in the future. If it seems unfair to have one’s choice limited to those who are not of blood relationship, remember that that law duly observed will probably mean salvation from some of the most horrible calamities which can befall the marriage state. If love seems to have limits set to it by reason, remember that those reasonable limits are the barriers which prevent love from degenerating into mere passion, and insure for it a strong and lasting endurance.
(To be continued)
Introduction of the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet
Vatican City, 27 February 2015 (VIS) – On 7 March 1965,  Paul VI, on the 25th anniversary of the death of St. Luigi Orione, celebrated the first mass in Italian in history in the parish of Ognissanti (All Saints), Rome. “Today we inaugurate the new form of Liturgy in all the parishes and churches of the world, for all the Masses followed by the people. It is a great event, that shall be remembered as the beginning of a flourishing spiritual life, as a new effort to participate in the great dialogue between God and man”.
Fifty years on, to commemorate this historic date,  Francis will preside at a Eucharistic celebration next Saturday, 7 March at 6 p.m. in the same parish (Via Appia Nuova, 244). The occasion will also be celebrated by a Congress on Pastoral Liturgy organised by the Vicariate of Rome, the Opera Don Orione and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of Rome, to open today at the Teatro Orione, adjacent to the All Saints parish.
The theme of the Congress is “United in giving thanks”. The works will be presented by Rev. Flavio Peloso, superior general of the Sons of Divine Providence (Don Orione), who comments that the event “will facilitate an understanding of the reasons behind yesterday’s liturgical reforms and today’s commitment to liturgical fidelity”. Following greetings from the auxiliary bishop Giuseppe Marciante, Archbishop Francesco Pio Tamburrano, metropolitan emeritus of Foggia-Bovino, Italy, will speak about “Tradition and renewal in paragraph 23 of the liturgical Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium. Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, will then consider the theme “The spoken language, tool of communion in the dialogue of the liturgical assembly”, and finally Rev. Francesco Mazzitelli, parish priest of Ognissanti, will examine “The liturgical formation of the laity”.
The work of the Congress will be concluded by the Benedictine Fr. Jordi Pique, president of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. The moderator, Fr. Giuseppe Midili, director of the diocesan liturgical office, affirmed that “the congress offers various points for reflection on the reasons that led the conciliar bishops to introduce the spoken language into the liturgy. Indeed, one of the main aims of liturgical reform was full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy, so that the faithful moved on from their role as mute, extraneous spectators. In this sense, the change was historical and signified a turnaround. Indeed, when the liturgy was celebrated in a language they did not understand, the faithful sought more accessible forms of private worship and prayer to recite during the Mass. With the introduction of the spoken language, these individualistic forms slowly disappeared from the celebratory context in favour of the centrality of the community celebration”.
The envoy for sodomy
A new US envoy takes LGBT activism to the global stage
Robert R. Reilly | 25 February 2015
On Monday, February 23, Secretary of State John Kerry proclaimed, “I could not be more proud to announce Randy Berry as the first-ever Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons.” Come again? I have served in the US State Department and do not recall such a position being listed in its table of organization. Where did the creation of this position come from?
It turns out that Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., had introduced legislation in the last Congress to create such a position, but the bill died. The bill was reintroduced in the new Congress, with zero chances of passage. As we know, the Obama administration is not deterred by Congress’ failure to act or outright opposition, so it is simply created the position by executive fiat. This has the added advantage of not requiring Congressional confirmation of the openly-gay Mr. Berry in the new position. It simply becomes an executive branch appointment.
But what exactly is Mr. Berry supposed to do “for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons” in foreign countries? Well, it turns out, according to Secretary Kerry that, “Too often, in too many countries, LGBT persons are threatened, jailed, and prosecuted because of who they are or who they love.”
Arrested because of “who they are or who they love”? I put aside Mr. Kerry’s ungrammatical expression, which should have read, “whom they love,” – not “who they love,” which has two subjects without an object. If you can be arrested for who you are, you obviously do not live in a country with the rule of law, based upon the principle of equality. Rather, such discrimination would be based upon some race theory of history, as was the case in Nazism, or a class theory of history, as was the case with Communism. Those were regimes where you could be arrested if you were not of the Aryan race, or if you did not belong to the proletariat class. Americans can be proud that its diplomats did everything they could against such injustice.
Being arrested for whom you love seems a bit trickier because it would seem unavoidably to deal with how the love is expressed and in what relationship. Does it forbid love between uncles and nieces, or between choir directors and choirboys, or between brothers and sisters, or husbands and wives? Of course not. That would be absurd. What this really points to pertains to another question entirely: Is there a particular expression of love appropriate to each of these relationships that might not be appropriate to the others? This snaps things back into focus as clearly a brother and sister should not express their love for each other as their parents do.
It is hard to know what to make of the laws Secretary Kerry alludes to without reading them. In any case, apparently, there are some 76 countries with such laws that it will be Mr. Berry’s job to work against. The State Department said Berry would push to end laws in dozens of countries around the world that criminalize same-sex relationships. That narrows it down. “Who you love,” then, means only the relationship between two men or two women – two subjects without an object, which neatly encapsulates the problem with this kind of “love.”
Even narrowing it down by excluding sisters and brothers and the other possibilities, this certainly remains a big job; so I decided to take a look at some of the laws that purportedly persecute people because of who they are or whom they love. Here is a sample of the more than 40 I looked at. I list the country and then the wording from the relevant legislation and what it specifically forbids.
Uzbekistan: “voluntary sexual intercourse between two male individuals”; Yemen: “Homosexuality between men is defined as penetration into the anus”; Sudan: “Any man who inserts his penis or its equivalent into a woman’s or a man’s anus or permitted another man to insert his penis or its equivalent in his anus is said to have committed Sodomy”; Brunei: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman, or animal, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years…”; Myanmar: “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals shall be punished…”; Mauritius: “Any person who is guilty of the crime of sodomy or bestiality shall be liable to penal servitude for a term not exceeding 5 years.”; Kuwait: “Consensual intercourse between men of full age (from the age of 21) shall be punishable with a term of imprisonment of up to seven years.”; Kenya: “Any male person who, whether in public or private, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, or procures another male person to commit any act of gross indecency with him, or attempts to procure the commission of any such act by any male person with himself or with another male person, whether in public or private, is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for five years.”
While some of these penalties seem no doubt severe, not one of the laws I looked at punishes anyone because of who they are, but only because of what they do. A homosexual cannot be arrested because he is a homosexual, but only if he sodomizes someone – just as an alcoholic cannot be arrested for being an alcoholic, but only if he is drunk and disorderly in public, or is driving drunk. In other words, in this respect, these laws reflect the rule of law, not the kind of tyrannies embodied in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. The issue of whom they love is also irrelevant to these laws, but only how they love. It is a matter of whether the expression of love is appropriate to the nature of the relationship. These laws judge sodomy as inappropriate to any relationship. The principal issue here, then, is the act of sodomy itself, and whether or why the United States should be supporting it in its foreign policy.
Secretary Kerry is very firm that it should, because:
“Defending and promoting the human rights of LGBT persons is at the core of our commitment to advancing human rights globally — the heart and conscience of our diplomacy. That’s why we’re working to overturn laws that criminalize consensual same-sex conduct in countries around the world.”
This is very striking language – that the promotion of the moral normativity of sodomy stands at “the heart and conscience of our diplomacy. (my emphasis)” In other words, it is not only wrong to criminalize sodomy, but sodomy must be morally right.
When did the American people decide that sodomy is up there with the inalienable rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence or in the Bill of Rights? For a little historical perspective, we should recall, as related in the Bowers v. Hardwick (1986) case:
“Sodomy was a criminal offense at common law and was forbidden by the laws of the original 13 States when they ratified the Bill of Rights. In 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified, all but 5 of the 37 States in the Union had criminal sodomy laws. In fact, until 1961, all 50 states outlawed sodomy, and today, 24 states and the District of Columbia continue to provide criminal penalties for sodomy performed in private in between consenting adults.”
Why did these laws exist for so long? Because our inalienable rights rest firmly upon “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” and sodomy is clearly contrary to those Laws, as it violates the very ends of man’s sexual powers, which are unitive and procreative. Sodomy is an act unfit for either of those ends. Therefore, one cannot claim a natural right to do something that is unnatural. Or as Abraham Lincoln said, one “cannot logically say that anybody has a right to do wrong.”
But that, of course, is exactly what the rationalization for homosexual behaviour accomplishes, as I explain in Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything. It transforms wrong into right. For that rationalization to hold, however, everyone must share in it. The rationalization of sodomy requires its universalization. Everyone must agree that the unreal is the real. To support itself, unreality must advance, or be advanced upon. Assertions of unreality are always aggressive – not only because they are a negation of something – but because, like Napoleon, they must conquer to survive. We are in the phase of its domestic enforcement now, and Secretary Kerry is preparing for its global enforcement in our foreign-policy, as proudly announced by the LGBT flags flying on the masts of our embassies overseas last June, just under the American flag. The State Department has become the instrument for the global universalization of the rationalization for sodomy.
The problem with this should be self-evident. The promotion of “gay” rights must come at the expense of the promotion of human rights because the two are immiscible. One is founded on the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” and the other on moral relativism, which eviscerates the very idea of natural rights and the natural law on which they are based. If you have one, you cannot have the other. You have your rights by virtue of being a human being, and not by anything else – not ethnicity, not religion, not race, not tribe, not sexual orientation.
Were we to construct such a thing as “gay” rights, we would be eviscerating the foundations of human rights, which have to be universal by definition in order to exist. If one has rights as a “gay” person, but then goes straight, like New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s wife did, what happens to one’s “gay” rights then? One does not attain or lose rights in this way. They are inalienable because one possesses them by virtue of one’s human nature – not due to any other specificity. Either they exist at that level, or they do not exist at all. If someone, like Kerry, tries to appropriate human rights for something that applies to less than everyone, then you may be sure that they are undermining the very notion of human rights. This is the profound damage that the Obama administration and Secretary Kerry are doing to human rights in order to foist the rationalization for sodomy on everyone.
Robert R. Reilly is the author of Making Gay Okay: How Rationalizing Homosexual Behavior Is Changing Everything, published by Ignatius Press.
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