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Salve! Feel free to rummage around the premises as time or inclination permits. Scroll down to read articles by the veterans of the blogosphere.

On The Transcendentals of Being

We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”—Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Mass in the Ordinary Form, ad orientem

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Prayers requested.

Please include in your prayers my brother who died last week. A troubled soul, may he finally find a much longed-for peace that eluded him in a life complicated by addiction and mental illness. May the Lord grant him a merciful judgement.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Mind the generation gap. Vestments making a statement.

Archdiocese of Melbourne/June 27, 2015

Note the younger priests are wearing amices that cover their clericals, as is fitting! Note the beauty of their stunning (St. Bede Studio) vestments, too.

Beauty is useless if your attitude is ugly.

Let us engage in a brief and probably useless speculation.

Might one speculate that the younger fellows appreciate Tradition more than their elderly peer?

It may very well be that all three priests are good and holy chaps. If that be the case, there is still the obvious and unnecessary dichotomy between beauty and simplicity and holiness represented by the bland chasuble. (At this point a cheeky troll chimes up and asks the rhetorical question 'Which of the three chasubles would Pope Francis' wear?' One might reply: not every good pope has been a connoisseur of fine vestments as Pope(-Emeritus) Benedict was/is. Not every pope who has worn beautiful vestments has lacked holiness and simplicity of life. All things being equal, beautiful vestments honour God in the Liturgy, not the wearer.)
A theologian who does not love art, poetry, music and nature can be dangerous. Blindness and deafness toward the beautiful are not incidental; they necessarily are reflected in his theology.—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI). The Ratzinger Report (p. 130).

Something... amiss?

One could argue that the younger fellows are merely expressing a passing fancy for expensive vestments. Perhaps. Given the inclusion of the amice, which is a detail that speaks to Tradition (and the important heritage of liturgical customs that reflect and make visible the Apostolic Tradition), they may be acknowledging that vestments should speak to the glory of God and permanence (Well made garments can be passed down to new priests for generations!), and are most fitting for the reverent and dignified celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The symbolism and sheer beauty of the vestments train the eyes and minds of the congregants on the beauty of God and invite the imagination into the transcendent Reality that inspires the visible signs. The banal "leafy-cross" chasuble (and matching stole underneath, visible through the translucent fabric) may be an heirloom of sorts given to the priest. That thought could be contradicted by the apparent newness of its condition. The lack of an amice and the generational difference could give one the impression that the "leafy-cross" priest lacks a fuller appreciation for the Church's rich spiritual and liturgical heritage.

Or, to put it another way—bland is as bland does (wears). No offence intended.

Is the amice a key to identifying and encouraging holiness?
Prayer when donning the amice [Vatican site: Liturgical Vestments and the Vesting Prayers]:
After the washing of the hands, the vesting proper begins.
2) The priest begins with the amice, a rectangular linen cloth, which has two strings and is placed over the shoulders and around the neck; the strings are then tied about the waist. The amice has the purpose of covering the everyday clothing, even if it is the priest's clerical garb. In this sense, it is important to recall that the amice is worn even when the celebrant is wearing a modern alb, which often does not have a large opening at the neck but fits closely around the collar. (!!!!) Despite the close fitting neck of the modern alb, the everyday clothing still remains visible and it is necessary for the celebrant to cover his collar even in this case.
In the Roman Rite, the amice is donned before the alb. While putting it on the priest recites the following prayer:
Impone, Domine, capiti meo galeam salutis, ad expugnandos diabolicos incursus.
Place upon me, O Lord, the helmet of salvation, that I may overcome the assaults of the devil. (If more priests had been wearing the amice and had taken seriously the prayers, perhaps they might have avoided failing their vows and/or falling into the grievous error of the abuse of children!)
With the reference to St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians (6:17), the amice is understood as "the helmet of salvation," that must protect him who wears it from the demon's temptations, especially evil thoughts and desires, during the liturgical celebration. This symbolism is still more clear in the custom followed since the Middle Ages by the Benedictines, Franciscans and Dominicans, who first put the amice upon their heads and then let it fall upon the chasuble or dalmatic.

See also the Oasis for Priests, Sacristans and Servers page at this blog [to visit click on link below]:
Priests—be spiritual soldiers! Don the armour of your profession to protect you from harm! May the donning of the amice be an occasion for Christ to inform you and form you with His grace.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Reparation: is it too soon to pray?

With respect to recent developments and in solidarity with our faithful Catholic American cousins to the south, the following citations are offered for prayer and reflection.
An Act of Reparation: The Golden Arrow Holy Face Devotion 
May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be forever praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
A reminder from Pope Pius XI.

"The creature's love should be given in return for the love of the Creator, another thing follows from this at once, namely that to the same uncreated Love, if so be it has been neglected by forgetfulness or violated by offense, some sort of compensation must be rendered for the injury, and this debt is commonly called by the name of reparation."—Miserentissimus Redemptor
Prayer of Reparation (Pius XI)
O sweetest Jesus, whose overflowing charity towards men is most ungratefully repaid by such great forgetfulness, neglect and contempt, see, prostrate before Thy altars, we strive by special honor to make amends for the wicked coldness of men and the contumely with which Thy most loving Heart is everywhere treated.
At the same time, mindful of the fact that we too have sometimes not been free from unworthiness, and moved therefore with most vehement sorrow, in the first place we implore Thy mercy on us, being prepared by voluntary expiation to make amends for the sins we have ourselves committed, and also for the sins of those who wander far from the way of salvation, whether because, being obstinate in their unbelief, they refuse to follow Thee as their shepherd and leader, or because, spurning the promises of their Baptism, they have cast off the most sweet yoke of Thy law.
We now endeavor to expiate all these lamentable crimes together, and it is also our purpose to make amends for each one of them severally: for the want of modesty in life and dress, for impurities, for so many snares set for the minds of the innocent, for the violation of feast days, for the horrid blasphemies against Thee and Thy saints, for the insults offered to Thy Vicar and to the priestly order, for the neglect of the Sacrament of Divine love or its profanation by horrible sacrileges, and lastly for the public sins of nations which resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast instituted. Would that we could wash away these crimes with our own blood!
And now, to make amends for the outrage offered to the Divine honor, we offer to Thee the same satisfaction which Thou didst once offer to Thy Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continually renew on our altars, we offer this conjoined with the expiations of the Virgin Mother and of all the Saints, and of all pious Christians, promising from our heart that so far as in us lies, with the help of Thy grace, we will make amends for our own past sins, and for the sins of others, and for the neglect of Thy boundless love, by firm faith, by a pure way of life, and by a perfect observance of the Gospel law, especially that of charity; we will also strive with all our strength to prevent injuries being offered to Thee, and gather as many as we can to become Thy followers.
Receive, we beseech Thee, O most benign Jesus, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Reparatress, the voluntary homage of this expiation, and vouchsafe, by that great gift of final perseverance, to keep us most faithful until death in our duty and in Thy service, so that at length we may all come to that fatherland, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God for ever and ever. Amen.
When society itself goes off the rails, Catholics pray together for the good of the one and the good of the many.

May this Sunday's Mass be an opportunity to render fitting praise and adoration to Almighty God and to plead for mercy and strength to bear the trials which are surely to come.

Let us together rend our hearts as an offering to God that His grace may enter into our wounds and inform our every thought and action to the glory of His name.
Joel 2:13

Rend your hearts and not your garments.
Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love(.)