Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien RIP

Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien

From Scottish Catholic Media Office – press release…

His Eminence Archbishop Vincent Cardinal Nichols of Westminster used his homily during the Requiem Mass for the Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien RIP (1938-2018) to urge those present to pray for the repose of his soul and also for those he offended during his life…

The Requiem Mass was held at 1pm at St Michael’s Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, just yards from the home for the elderly where Cardinal O’Brien resided until recently. The 80-year-old cleric died on 19 March at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. The subsequent funeral arrangements were drawn up between the executor of his will, the O’Brien family and the Holy See as represented by Cardinal Nichols. Cardinal O’Brien will be buried at Mount Vernon Cemetery, Edinburgh, on Friday 6 April where he will be laid to rest with his mother and father. Cardinal Nichol’s homily is reproduced in full below:

Homily of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster
(Catholic Truth Editorial comment in bold)

There is a truth, deep in our Catholic tradition, often forgotten in our days, yet very relevant to this moment. It is this: that every funeral Mass is above all else a prayer for God’s mercy for the one who has died.  So often services after a death are seen to be a time for celebrating a life, for recognising the great achievements of a life now ended and for treasuring happy memories. Yet the emphasis of our tradition is somewhat different. Always, we gather to ask God’s mercy for the one who has died, today for Cardinal Keith O’Brien. We do so with trust and love, knowing that God’s promise of mercy is enduring and that our prayers, entering into the presence of the Father through, with and in Jesus, the beloved Son, will be heard.
[Ed: well, that’s a first. First in the long time that that, elementary Catholicism, has been said at any funeral, to best of my knowledge, since the onset of the modernist take-over of the Church. Alleluia! Difficult to explain, really, though, because we’ve “celebrated the life” of those who have committed suicide, who have cohabited, lived in same-sex partnerships – interesting that the life of Cardinal O’Brien has been singled out as one requiring the ancient tradition of praying for the salvation of the soul. Very interesting. A cynic might wonder about this.]

In recent days, the life of Cardinal Keith has been laid bare. We all know its lights and its darkness; we need not spend time talking about them even more for he has given us the key words. In his last will and testament he wrote: ‘I ask forgiveness of all I have offended in this life. I thank God for the many graces and blessings he has given me especially the Sacrament of Holy Orders.’ Today, as we prayer for the repose of his soul, we also pray for all those he offended and ask God to strengthen them at this time.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols

In seeking the mercy of God, Cardinal Keith follows in the footsteps laid out for us in our faith. St Patrick, whose name Keith Patrick O’Brien was proud to bear, wrote in his Confessions these words:

‘It is with fear and trembling that I should be awaiting the verdict that’s coming to me on that (judgement) day, when none of us can go absent or run for cover; and when every last one of us will have to answer for even our smallest sins at the court of Christ the Lord.’ (8) This is, indeed, the pathway we all have to trace.
Pondering on the mercy of God is what we should do today. You will recall the Year of Mercy. During it, Pope Francis encouraged us to ‘rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them.’ The Pope also explained to us that ‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy’, adding, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.’

Now this is what we have heard in this morning’s Gospel passage taken from St Luke. The two disciples are making their sad journey away from Jerusalem, a name that [is] used to represent the Church, the presence of God among His people. The two disciples, then, are walking away from the Church, disappointed in all their hopes, disillusioned by what they have seen and heard. But, see what the Risen Jesus does: he goes to walk with them, continuing their journey in the direction that they are going, away from Jerusalem. He does [not] simply tell them to turn back. No, he walks with them. He accompanies them. He listens fully to their dismay and their sense of being let down. Only gradually does he invite them to see beyond that dismay and begin to speak to their hearts. Even when he sits at table, he does not tell them to return to Jerusalem. He simply shows himself to them. The decision to return is one that they make, moved by the compassion they have found in him.
[Ed: this is a misinterpretation of the Gospel, whether mischevious or not one can only guess, to fit the new “theology of accompaniment”, but even a cursory examination of the passage shows that it doesn’t work, Cardinal Nichols, take note. For one thing, the two disciples were NOT “walking away from the Church” because they were guilty of no public sin – they were merely pondering the events surrounding the Passion and Death of Christ, downcast, at his death. It is preposterous to suggest that Christ would walk in the same direction – i.e.  actively tolerate sin – without “telling them to turn back from sin”. Indeed, as they recounted the story of the events in Jerusalem, Christ rebuked the pair:  “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke!”   You left that bit out, Cardinal Nichols!
The tortuous attempt by Cardinal Nichols to link this Gospel account with the heresy in Amoris Laetitia  is underlined by the claim that “Even when he sits at table, he does not tell them to return to Jerusalem. He simply shows himself to them.” The implication is clear: Holy Communion for public sinners, adulterers et al, no problem. That’s what Our Lord did/would do.  Outrageous. And this is supposed to help the deceased Cardinal O’Brien … how?  Leaving his family and friends thinking that, well, he’s met with the God of Mercy, so let’s not worry about satisfying God’s justice?] 

In this account, we see the mercy of God at work, in the person of Jesus, coming to us in our dismay, in the prison of sin which we construct around ourselves, and opening for us to door through which we can retrace our steps back to him.
[Ed: well, as already said, there is no “sin” in this passage, just human disappointment.]

In the life of Cardinal O’Brien, as well as his failings, there was goodness, courage and many acts of simple kindness. Not least was his determination to serve the poor of the world. But when we come to stand before God we do so best when we come empty-handed. No matter how great or slight our achievements might be, we cannot depend on them. No, we come before God empty-handed so that we can receive the one thing necessary: a full measure of Gods’ mercy.

Only in this way can we hope to enter into the promise that was proclaimed in the first Reading of the Mass. ‘On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of rich food! A feast of well-aged wines, strained clear.’ This is an image we can all understand and one for which we long, notwithstanding our unworthiness.

But then we are consoled with the next words: ‘Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces and the disgrace of his people.’ This too is the promise of the Lord. The healing of the wounds we have inflicted and the wounds we ourselves bear, is his work. It is a work that cannot be accomplished without Him. Yet as His work, it is a task in which we are to be his active servants and never simply sit on our hands. The promise of the heavenly banquet is for all; the task of healing and finding forgiveness is also for all.
[Ed: The heavenly banquet for most of us will, more likely than not, follow a period in Purgatory.  Why not mention that?  There’s no better time to drive home the four last things, Death, Judgment, Heaven & Hell, those key truths of the Faith, than at a funeral, any funeral. A reminder that Purgatory is evidence of God’s great mercy, gives hope to the faithful and to family members of the deceased, not least in a case such as that of the much publicised disgrace of Cardinal O’Brien. ]

I started with words from the Confession of St Patrick. So let me end with some more. Here is St Patrick’s faith, loud and clear. Let us make it ours today. He wrote:

‘I haven’t a doubt in the world that, on the day appointed, we shall rise up again in the brightness of the sun; that is to say in the glory of Jesus Christ Our Redeemer…since it is from him and through him and in him that we are going to reign. But the sun he bids to rise, morning by morning, for our benefit, will never reign, nor will its glory last. Christ is the true sun whose glory shall not fade. We who believe in him, and worship him – in fact anyone who does his will – shall live forever, because Christ lives forever, reigning with God the Father Almighty and with the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.’ (59-60)

This is our prayer today, especially for Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen
+Vincent Nichols

Comments invited…

Why We MUST Judge Book By Cover

From LifeSiteNews…

April 3, 2018 – There is a strange tendency nowadays to think that the external aspects of a thing matter very little, while the “inside” is all that counts. For example: as long as you’re “a good person on the inside,” it doesn’t matter what you look like, how you dress, how you speak, what music you listen to, or even (taken to an extreme) what religion you profess.  

There is a grain of truth in this view: one’s height or build or skin color, for instance, are not moral qualities; sinners and saints come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. The problem is rather that we are too quick to forget how the outside wells up from within, how it often reveals to us just what is in the heart. A good person will dress modestly, speak respectfully, and listen to music that builds up a noble character instead of assaulting it—and all this, because of dispositions in the heart, invisible to men’s eyes but visible to God’s. The profession of a religion, while obviously done with external words and gestures, is rooted in the deep soil of the soul, and shows outwardly what a man’s most intimate worldview and priorities are.

The great British philosopher Roger Scruton comments:

There is truth in Oscar Wilde’s quip, that it is only a shallow person who does not judge by appearances. For appearances are the bearers of meaning and the focus of our emotional concerns. When I am struck by a human face this experience is not a prelude to some anatomical study, nor does the beauty of what I see lead me to think of the sinews, nerves and bones which in some way explain it. On the contrary, to see “the skull beneath the skin” is to see [merely] the body and not the embodied person. Hence, it is to miss the beauty of the face.

With perfect consistency, therefore, our medieval forebears would never have agreed with the platitude “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” For they spent enormous sums of money on Evangelaries or Gospel books with heavy bindings of gold, silver, and jewels, so that it was perfectly obvious that this book held the very words of God Himself, and deserved our utmost veneration.

The sacred liturgy, too, holds the very words of God—indeed, astonishingly, the Mass holds God Himself, the Word made flesh. It is utterly inconsistent with its inner content that the outward form of it should be anything but glorious, majestic, beautiful, solemn, reverent. We should be able to judge this book by its resplendent cover, that is, the Mass by its appearances, musical, textual, ceremonial; we should be able to see the heart in the actions. We should not “miss the beauty of the face.”

Nowadays we hear a lot of emphasis on not paying too much attention to externals in the Mass but just remembering that “Jesus is present.”

To lapse into a bit of slang: Sorry, this ain’t gonna cut it.

Throughout history, Christians have offered the best they can to God in the liturgy, especially the beauty attainable in the fine arts, in order that the souls of worshipers might be better disposed to adore and glorify the Lord. This is the sense in which St. Thomas insists that the liturgy is not for God’s sake but for ours. Of course it is directed to God; there would be no point in liturgy if God did not exist and if Christ were not our Redeemer by whose Sacrifice we are saved.    

But the liturgy does not benefit God or Christ, as if making them better; they are already as good, holy, and glorious as they can be. Rather, it benefits us who offer Him the sacrifice of praise, by ordering our souls to Him as our ultimate end, by filling our minds with the truth of His presence and our hearts with the fire of His love. These things are best accomplished by a liturgy that is impressive in its setting and furnishings, gestures and vestures, chants and ceremonies—one that is permeated from start to finish with manifestations of the nearness and otherness of God. A liturgy that is thoroughly sacral will be one that cannot be co-opted for secular purposes but compels the respect, wonder, and prayer of the beholder.

Put simply, man as a creature of intellect and sensation will not be benefited nearly as much by liturgy that is either verbal-cerebral or superficially flashy (as in the circus exhibitions of the Three Days of Darkness in Los Angeles) as he will by liturgy that is packed with rich ceremonial-textual content and saturated with sensuous symbols. This is exactly what all historic Christian liturgies are. Sadly, this is exactly what most contemporary Catholic liturgies are not.

A happy exception would be the growing number of places where the traditional Roman rite or “Extraordinary Form” [Ed: Traditional Latin Mass] is being offered, for this rite is saturated with sacrality and nearly compels one to pray, to go deeper into the mysteries of Christ through the outward appearances, just as the disciples at Emmaus “knew him in the breaking of the bread” (Lk 24:35). The liturgical rite is like bread miraculously multiplied down through all the centuries and placed in front of every king and pauper who seeks the food that will not perish. When we break this bread by entering into the rite, we come to know the risen Christ.

Matthew Schmitz has remarked:

It is amazing that the leaders of a ritual faith imagined that they could dispense with traditional forms of prayer. Among the few elites who saw the folly of this project, most were artists, naturally alert to the way supposedly superficial things can in fact be essential.

In like manner, aphorist Nicholas Davila observed: “When religion and aesthetics are divorced from each other, it is not known which is corrupted sooner.”

For all these reasons, then, a liturgy not only may but must be judged “by its cover,” by appearances—for, as Aristotle says, it is the appearances of a thing that point to its nature and substance. The Catholic Church has to care not only about realities but about appearances. Human beings come to know the truth through their senses; they cannot have concepts without phantasms. In religion, in the encounter with the God-man in His life, death, and resurrection, our senses, memories, imaginations, and emotions play as important a role as our intellects and wills. Source – LifeSiteNews

Comments invited…  

Marriage & Modernist Double-Speak…

Extracts below from Catholic Herald article entitled: Cardinal lays out plan for parishes to implement Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has issued a broad and detailed pastoral plan for parishes to implement Pope Francis’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”).

“Amoris Laetitia is a call to compassionate accompaniment in helping all to experience Christ’s love and mercy,” the Archbishop of Washington said in the 58-page pastoral plan.

The plan, “Sharing in the Joy of Love in Marriage and Family,” was posted on the archdiocesan website late on March 3. Cardinal Wuerl planned to officially introduce the document to the archdiocese with a Mass on March 4 at the Cathedral of St Matthew the Apostle…

“Some may ask, ‘Is the teaching [on marriage] always binding?’ The answer of course is yes,” he continued. “Yet Amoris Laetitia invites us to adopt a complementary perspective and to look with a parental attitude at those families who find themselves in a position where they struggle to even understand, let alone embrace fully, the teaching because of the concrete circumstances in which they live.”

Cardinal Wuerl said his pastoral plan is “directed to parishes, priests, religious and laity” and is meant “to encourage reflection” on:

• “The richness of the Church’s perennial teaching on love, marriage, family, faith and mercy.”
• “The essential aspect of pastoral ministry, called accompaniment.”
• “Several significant themes such as the new evangelisation, the role of conscience, and the privileged place of the parish where we find and experience Christ’s way of living and loving.”  Read entire article here

Comment: 

So, “yes” Christ’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage is always binding, but here’s how to get round it… is essentially what the Cardinal is saying in typical modernist double speak. After all, a competent teacher,  confronted by a student who “struggles to even understand, let alone embrace fully” a subject  puts his/her mind and skill to working out ways to explain the subject more fully, more clearly, but doesn’t change the truth to make it more palatable.  2 + 2 will never make 5, no matter how much the student (and exasperated teacher) wishes it were so. 

Check out the bullet points – closely. Notice one of the “significant themes” is the role of conscience… Code for the heresy of “your choice,  your decision”, objective truth, objective morality does not exist but even if they do, well, rules are there to be broken, as the old saying goes. However it’s dressed up, and whatever the motivation, Amoris Laetitia (AL) is all about breaking the rules.

Still,  Cardinal Wuerl is a bit behind the AL times.  Here in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, we had retreats for priests and teachers almost as AL was rolling off the press, so chop-chop over there in the USA – we’re well ahead of you on this…

Cardinal: Communion in the Hand Is From Satan – It Is Not God’s Will…

From Lifesitenews… Cardinal Sarah: Widespread Communion in the hand is part of Satan’s attack on the Eucharist

ROME, February 22, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The head of the Vatican department overseeing liturgy is summoning the Catholic faithful to return to receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling.

Cardinal Robert Sarah

In the preface to a new book on the subject, Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, writes: “The most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, by sowing errors and fostering an unsuitable way of receiving it. Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and Lucifer on the other, continues in the hearts of the faithful.”

“Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host,” he said.

The new book, by Don Federico Bortoli, was released in Italian under the title: ‘The distribution of Communion on the hand: a historical, juridical and pastoral survey’ [La distribuzione della comunione sulla mano. Profili storici, giuridici e pastorali].

Recalling the centenary of the Fatima apparitions, Sarah writes that the Angel of Peace who appeared to the three shepherd children in advance of the Blessed Virgin’s visit “shows us how we should receive the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ.” His Eminence then identifies the outrages by which Jesus is offended today in the Holy Eucharist, including “so-called ‘intercommunion.’”
Sarah goes on to consider how faith in the Real Presence “can influence the way we receive Communion, and vice versa,” and he proposes Pope John Paul II and Mother Teresa as two modern saints whom God has given us to imitate in their reverence and reception of the Holy Eucharist.

“Why do we insist on communicating standing and on the hand?,” the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship asks. The manner in which the Holy Eucharist is distributed and received, he writes, “is an important question on which the Church today must reflect.”

Here below, with the kind permission of La Nuova Bussola where the preface was first published, we offer our readers a LifeSiteNews translation of several key extracts from Cardinal Sarah’s text.
***
Providence, which disposes all thing wisely and sweetly, has offered us book The Distribution of Communion on the hand, by Federico Bortoli, just after having celebrated the centenary of the Fatima apparitions. Before the apparition of the Virgin Mary, in the Spring of 1916, the Angel of Peace appeared to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco, and said to them: “Do not be afraid, I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me.” (…) In the Spring of 1916, at the third apparition of the Angel, the children realized that the Angel, who was always the same one, held in his left hand a chalice over which a host was suspended. (…) He gave the holy Host to Lucia, and the Blood of the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco, who remained on their knees, saying: “Take and drink the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, horribly outraged by ungrateful men. Make reparation for their crimes and console your God.” The Angel prostrated himself again on the ground, repeating the same prayer three times with Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco.

Angel of Peace at Fatima

The Angel of Peace therefore shows us how we should receive the Body and the Blood of Jesus Christ. The prayer of reparation dictated by the Angel, unfortunately, is anything but obsolete. But what are the outrages that Jesus receives in the holy Host, for which we need to make reparation? In the first place, there are the outrages against the Sacrament itself: the horrible profanations, of which some ex-Satanist converts have reported and offer gruesome descriptions. Sacrilegious Communions, not received in the state of God’s grace, or not professing the Catholic faith (I refer to certain forms of the so-called “intercommunion”), are also outrages. Secondly, all that could prevent the fruitfulness of the Sacrament, especially the errors sown in the minds of the faithful so that they no longer believe in the Eucharist, is an outrage to Our Lord. The terrible profanations that take place in the so-called ‘black masses’ do not directly wound the One who in the Host is wronged, ending only in the accidents of bread and wine.

Of course, Jesus suffers for the souls of those who profane Him, and for whom He shed the Blood which they so miserably and cruelly despise. But Jesus suffers more when the extraordinary gift of his divine-human Eucharistic Presence cannot bring its potential effects into the souls of believers. And so we can understand that the most insidious diabolical attack consists in trying to extinguish faith in the Eucharist, by sowing errors and fostering an unsuitable way of receiving it. Truly the war between Michael and his Angels on one side, and lucifer on the other, continues in the hearts of the faithful: Satan’s target is the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus in the consecrated Host. This robbery attempt follows two tracks: the first is the reduction of the concept of ‘real presence.’ Many theologians persist in mocking or snubbing the term ‘transubstantiation’ despite the constant references of the Magisterium (…)

Let us now look at how faith in the real presence can influence the way we receive Communion, and vice versa. Receiving Communion on the hand undoubtedly involves a great scattering of fragments. On the contrary, attention to the smallest crumbs, care in purifying the sacred vessels, not touching the Host with sweaty hands, all become professions of faith in the real presence of Jesus, even in the smallest parts of the consecrated species: if Jesus is the substance of the Eucharistic Bread, and if the dimensions of the fragments are accidents only of the bread, it is of little importance how big or small a piece of the Host is! The substance is the same! It is Him! On the contrary, inattention to the fragments makes us lose sight of the dogma. Little by little the thought may gradually prevail: “If even the parish priest does not pay attention to the fragments, if he administers Communion in such a way that the fragments can be scattered, then it means that Jesus is not in them, or that He is ‘up to a certain point’.”

The second track on which the attack against the Eucharist runs is the attempt to remove the sense of the sacred from the hearts of the faithful. (…) While the term ‘transubstantiation’ points us to the reality of presence, the sense of the sacred enables us to glimpse its absolute uniqueness and holiness. What a misfortune it would be to lose the sense of the sacred precisely in what is most sacred! And how is it possible? By receiving special food in the same way as ordinary food. (…)

The liturgy is made up of many small rituals and gestures — each of them is capable of expressing these attitudes filled with love, filial respect and adoration toward God. That is precisely why it is appropriate to promote the beauty, fittingness and pastoral value of a practice which developed during the long life and tradition of the Church, that is, the act of receiving Holy Communion on the tongue and kneeling. The greatness and nobility of man, as well as the highest expression of his love for his Creator, consists in kneeling before God. Jesus himself prayed on his knees in the presence of the Father. (…)

In this regard I would like to propose the example of two great saints of our time: St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Calcutta. Karol Wojtyła’s entire life was marked by a profound respect for the Holy Eucharist. (…) Despite being exhausted and without strength (…) he always knelt before the Blessed Sacrament. He was unable to kneel and stand up alone. He needed others to bend his knees and to get up. Until his last days, he wanted to offer us a great witness of reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. Why are we so proud and insensitive to the signs that God himself offers us for our spiritual growth and our intimate relationship with Him? Why do not we kneel down to receive Holy Communion after the example of the saints? Is it really so humiliating to bow down and remain kneeling before the Lord Jesus Christ? And yet, “He, though being in the form of God, […] humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2: 6-8).

St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, an exceptional religious who no one would dare regard as a traditionalist, fundamentalist or extremist, whose faith, holiness and total gift of self to God and the poor are known to all, had a respect and absolute worship of the divine Body of Jesus Christ. Certainly, she daily touched the “flesh” of Christ in the deteriorated and suffering bodies of the poorest of the poor. And yet, filled with wonder and respectful veneration, Mother Teresa refrained from touching the transubstantiated Body of Christ. Instead, she adored him and contemplated him silently, she remained at length on her knees and prostrated herself before Jesus in the Eucharist. Moreover, she received Holy Communion in her mouth, like a little child who has humbly allowed herself to be fed by her God.

The saint was saddened and pained when she saw Christians receiving Holy Communion in their hands. In addition, she said that as far as she knew, all of her sisters received Communion only on the tongue. Is this not the exhortation that God himself addresses to us: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it”? (Ps 81:10).

Why do we insist on communicating standing and on the hand? Why this attitude of lack of submission to the signs of God? May no priest dare to impose his authority in this matter by refusing or mistreating those who wish to receive Communion kneeling and on the tongue. Let us come as children and humbly receive the Body of Christ on our knees and on our tongue. The saints give us the example. They are the models to be imitated that God offers us! 

But how could the practice of receiving the Eucharist on the hand become so common? The answer is given to us — and is supported by never-before-published documentation that is extraordinary in its quality and volume — by Don Bortoli. It was a process that was anything but clear, a transition from what the instruction Memoriale Domini granted, to what is such a widespread practice today (…) Unfortunately, as with the Latin language, so also with a liturgical reform that should have been homogeneous with the previous rites, a special concession has become the picklock to force and empty the safe of the Church’s liturgical treasures. The Lord leads the just along ‘straight paths’ (cf. Wis. 10:10), not by subterfuge. Therefore, in addition to the theological motivations shown above, also the way in which the practice of Communion on the hand has spread appears to have been imposed not according to the ways of God.

May this book encourage those priests and faithful who, moved also by the example of Benedict XVI — who in the last years of his pontificate wanted to distribute the Eucharist in the mouth and kneeling — wish to administer or receive the Eucharist in this latter manner, which is far more suited to the Sacrament itself. I hope there can be a rediscovery and promotion of the beauty and pastoral value of this method. In my opinion and judgment, this is an important question on which the Church today must reflect. This is a further act of adoration and love that each of us can offer to Jesus Christ. I am very pleased to see so many young people who choose to receive our Lord so reverently on their knees and on their tongues. May Fr. Bortoli’s work foster a general rethinking on the way Holy Communion is distributed. As I said at the beginning of this preface, we have just celebrated the centenary of Fatima and we are encouraged in waiting for the sure triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary that, in the end, the truth about the liturgy will also triumph.  [emphases added]. 
* Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Comment:

Surely, no Catholic reading the above could continue to participate in this Satanic attack on the Eucharist?  Indeed, could anyone who continues to receive Communion in the hand after reading the above, honestly claim to believe in the Real Presence of Our Lord, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, truly present in every particle of the Sacred Species?

Lent & Love of God…Join The Dots!

Comment: 

There can sometimes be a failure to understand the true nature of Lent.  It’s seen, rightly, as a time of prayer and penance, making atonement for sins, and reflecting on the Passion and Death of Our Lord. However, arguably,  the majority of Catholics pay insufficient attention to what should be the outcome of our Lenten prayers and penances – namely, an increase in our love for Our Lord.  It’s sometimes striking to reflect on the uncharitable way we behave towards others, sometimes even right after attending Mass or praying a rosary – indications that we are seriously lacking in charity, that charity which is the love of God, made manifest in our lives…  

I am ashamed to admit that I have never – ever – made a good Lent. My attempted penances over the years include the classics; giving up chocolate, crisps, soft drinks – and if I were fond of the less soft drinks, I would have, very likely, sacrificed those as well (pat on the back),  but I can’t , without fibbing, claim an increased love of God, manifesting itself in increased charity towards my neighbour, as a result.  The truth that no-one can stand still in the spiritual life – we either go forwards or back – terrifies me. I need help, therefore, and I’m hoping that this thread will do the trick…

As we mark the beginning of Lent today, Ash Wednesday, share your ideas for useful penances, and post any meditations, experiences, prayers, hymns and advice that you think will be helpful to us all this Lent, as we seek to grow in the love of God. 

Is The Priesthood “Un-Attractive”?

QUALITIES OF A HOLY PRIEST – From the writings of Saint John Eudes on The Priest, His Dignity And Obligations…

He is an angel purifying, illuminating and perfecting the souls that God has entrusted to him. He is a seraph sent by God to teach men the science of salvation which is concerned only with knowing and loving Almighty God and His Divine Son, Jesus Christ.
The priest is an archangel and a prince of the heavenly militia, waging constant war against the devil who strives to drag countless souls into the depths of hell.

He is the real father of the children of God, with a heart filled with love which is truly paternal. That love urges him to work unceasingly to nourish his flock with the bread of the sacred word and of the sacraments, to clothe the faithful with Christ and the Holy Ghost, to enrich them with celestial blessings and to secure for them everypossible assistance in the salvation of their souls. Above all else, the priest is the.father, the advocate, the protector and defender of the poor, widows, orphans and strangers. He is the refuge of the afflicted, of the desolate and the discouraged. He Is happy to visit and console the sorrowful, to bring them what assistance he can, taking upon himself their burdens and defending them against their oppressors.

He is a captain in the mighty army of God, always ready to battle for the glory of God and the defense of Holy Mother Church. He is ever prepared to lay siege to the world, the flesh and the devil. For him the conquest of kingdoms means only the salvation of souls for each soul is a kingdom more precious than all the empires of the world.

The priest is a prince of the realm of God, one of the kings of Christ’s empire, the Church. He is appointed to rule by the maxims and laws of the gospel as many kings and queens as there are Christians committed to his care. His duty is to make them worthy to possess in eternity the very kingdom of the Sovereign Monarch of the world.

The priest is an evangelist and an apostle whose chief work is to preach publicly and privately, by word and example, the Gospel of Jesus Christ; to continue and perpetuate the functions that the apostles were commissioned to perform, and to practise the virtues that they practised….

It is obvious that the priest is favored with far more graces than any other human being except the Blessed Virgin Mary. It follows, then, that no one on earth is held to a greater perfection and sanctity of life than the priest… Learn to hate intemperance in eating and drinking. Avoid every occasion in which sinful excesses may be committed. This vice is low and bestial and most definitely contrary to the sanctity and dignity of the priest, who should be an angel among men.

Abhor impurity. Avoid with the most scrupulous exactitude the places, persons or things which might constitute the slightest peril or suggest even the smallest shadow of that abominable vice. What could be more necessary and becoming to the life of the priest consecrated to God. the priest whose life is spent in the church near the altar, whose time is spent performing angelic functions amidst divine mysteries, what is more necessary and becoming than purity of mind and body? What can be more terrible than an impure priest? He is a monster, a Judas, an antichrist.

Consider the words of St. Paul: if any man has not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” (1 Tim. 5, 8). Lest, therefore, you be condemned by God as apostates, learn to rule and govern your household that it may be a shining example of virtue, modesty, charity and piety for all Christian families to behold and imitate.

Comment: 

Articles on the crisis in the Church/shortage of priests, written from the modernist perspective, tend to present the priesthood as “un-attractive”. Always, as well as insisting on more lay involvement, power etc., they refer to the need to encourage more men to become priests, with the rider that the priesthood needs to be made more attractive. 

That’s never spelt out.  So, reading the vision of St John Eudes, a priest himself, on the qualities and duties of a Catholic priest, made me wonder if the description above would be “attractive” to young men considering the priesthood today.  Personally, I think it would,  certainly for those with a traditional Catholic formation and spirituality, but I think those demanding a “more attractive” priesthood, really mean an easier life for priests, less demanding.  Or,  am I being cynical again?  

Cardinal Brandmüller: Pope Ignoring Dubia Puzzling – We Need Answers!

 28 October…  Cardinal Brandmüller demands Pope answer Dubia – Cardinal Brandmüller defends “Dubia”

Four Dubia Cardinals
(two now deceased)

Last year, four cardinals had made public their criticism of the Pope with their “Dubia”. For this they learned a great deal of counter-criticism. One of them now defends the requests to Francis.

The Four Dubia Cardinals- two now dead.

The German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller defended the “Dubia”, which he co-wrote, to Pope Francis. He understood the criticism that had triggered the publication of the questions. But the step was “only taken after a waiting for an answer”, he said in the interview of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (Saturday). “And especially with regard to the fact that many believers have had the same questions and are waiting for an answer,” the Cardinal explained.

“What do you mean, what phone calls, letters, inquiries we get?”, Brandmüller continued. “They also say,” Why do you not do anything, you Cardinals ? “We finally made an oath of office and are by office advisers to the Pope.” They had asked for an audience, but they also did not receive an answer on this, the 88-year-old said.

In the context of his view of liberal interpretations of the Papal letter, the Cardinal emphasised: “It is a dogma that marriage is a sacrament and therefore indissoluble.” This means, “He who asserts that one can enter into a new marriage during his lifetime of his lawfully married wife is excommunicated, because this is an erroneous teaching, a heresy.” Whosoever is aware of a serious sin such as adultery, can only go to the Eucharist if he has previously repented, confessed, and been forgiven.       

He had “great concern that something would explode,” said the former President of the Vatican Historical Commission. The fact that the requests of thousands of people remained unanswered, raised questions. “This is really hard to understand,” the prelate said.

After all, the central question is: “Can something [be] good if something was a sin yesterday?” In addition, the question is asked whether there really are acts that are “morally reprehensible” under all circumstances – such as the killing of an innocent or adultery. “If in fact the first question should be answered with yes and the second with no – then this would be heresy, and, as a result, schism, division of the church,” said Brandmüller.

The Papal letter “Amoris laetitia” of 2016 is the reason for the “Dubia” (doubts). The Pope said that Catholics who had married again after a divorce could be admitted to the communion. The Cardinals Walter Brandmüller, Raymond Leo Burke and the now deceased Carlo Caffarra and Joachim Meisner first asked Francis personally, then in November last year publicly to clarify the interpretation and categorisation of “Amoris laetitia”.  Source

Comments invited…