This is to pop my head in after a proper absence.

The former Memorial of the lady in question is her present Feast.

Nothing but the Calendar and the Missal have been changed to reflect this.

In the latter she is now endowed with a proper Preface.

Conferences of Bishops are to translate it from the Latin to their own languages. For English the ICEL has just over a month to do so.

Meanwhile I’ve seen three private efforts (1, 2, 3).

The first two would quicker fit in an EF Missalette. That’s why I consulted them for my own effort.

But I also compared the Missal in Latin and English for signs of particular expression.

Apart from the first and last lines I could only find two positively: maniféstus appáruit [1] and coram [2].

Negatively: ad mundi fines should be ad fines terræ.

(“End of the world” translates part of ad consummatiónem sǽculi [3].)

There’s also an error apparent in the declension hortu.

If it should refer to a garden then it must be horto.

I say she “was first” because, while she did adore “Christ our Lord” before all others, this conscious act of hers needed to be first (adv.) before she could do anything else.

I say she was “an apostle before the Apostles” because, while the good news to all from the Eleven came first to them from her, she also appeared before them (as already noted).

And generally, of course, I bore in mind that it should be sung. Hence, e.g., I split the line about Christ honouring her.

Sancta María (Magdaléna), ora pro nobis. Sancta María (Magdaléna), ora pro me.

Preface – The apostle to the Apostles.jpg

[1] Cf. Preface II of the Ascension

[2] Cf. inter alia Communion Antiphon for the three Mondays of Advent

[3] Cf. Collect for VII Sunday of Easter


Conviction about the Cross

Re: “Pope Says Cross is a Failure…Again”

Dear friend in Christ,

I can’t remember having stumbled upon the referenced post, which you wrote for Pulpit & Pen, but I read it and get where you are coming from, especially because words like “Speaking as a Protestant who is still protesting” and “what’s laid out in the London Baptist Confession” provide context.

Speaking of the latter, I confess to having foregone a visit to the resources to which you linked, so not only am I clueless…as to “what’s laid out” in that document…but nor do I doubt that the Pope’s very words were about God and the Cross failing.

My purpose in writing however – and by now, I hope, you at least suspect that I am a Roman Catholic – is not so much to defend the Pope as only to state (i.e. wishing not to appear condescending) what I understand by associating God and the Cross with failure…even if description from the latter perspective turns out to match that of the former.

And I do this not so much to advance the cause of “to each his own” as to agree with you that “the nature of Christianity when the cross [sic] becomes a failure [is that] it becomes insufficient.” Indeed, for many, life is not enough, even with the option to follow Christ… perhaps because the way they see of doing so is imperfect.

But it is the only way; it is only through association with other Christians that one is at least able, if not accustomed, to follow Christ. This is what his Church is about, but in turn her imperfection is not to be forgotten, and that is division. The French expression esprit de corps may be translated as team spirit, but esprit refers to the mind just as corps refers to the body.

We will always be scattered in body but must exist as the Church, the one Church, in mind or thought. This is brought to us by the Spirit (the ultimate meaning for esprit) to whom Christ points in praying Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I am in you.

In this, the Trinity, we can understand what perfection is; even so in one of its three Persons, as Christ also exhorted us: You must therefore be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect. In this command, however, perfection is rightly stated as a condition of being, and the name of the Father himself already tells us who he is: I who am.

In God, then, all things live and move and have our being; in this sense God is God, there is no other. But Being Itself (called divine), having taken on a certain condition-of-being (called human), opens itself ultimately to “all things” insofar as they are associated with the latter.

Without, however, ceasing to be God – neither overall nor as the Son – he therefore must perfect all things, which no other (!) human being can see; but within this created framework, and with this in mind, it is bound to take long.

But not only is it that with the Lord, “a day” can mean a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day: in addition he himself says: my thoughts are not your thoughts, my ways not your ways…the heavens are as high above earth as my ways are above your ways, my thoughts above your thoughts.

In other words: God being within all things is not God being limited to all things, for do we even know where above the earth the heavens are?

What we do know, by following Christ, is that the Cross is the final script for the stage of (created) life, in words after Paul’s: it makes me happy to suffer for you…and in my own body to do what I can to make up all that still has to be undergone by Christ for the sake of his body, the Church.

But more historically – as a matter of language I can’t say more “worldly” because there is such a thing as salvation history – what we also know, by following Christ or not, is that the cross is an instrument of the most gruesome punishment that was practised at the time. From there it should be easy to understand why the Cross was a “failure”.

You would please notice that only once I have referred to the “cross”, viz. the last paragraph; because, taken strictly as punishment, it cannot be the “Cross” i.e. of Christ. Likewise you would please not deny that the “cross” is the only way for any “Cross” to be; for are we not still man [who] looks at appearances [though] the Lord looks at the heart?

You would also please note that I have arrived at my conclusion through Scripture and logic (i.e. reasoning the connections between my citations). I leave it to you to also find Catholic doctrine there, because I get the impression you are more read in it than I – no joke; but, to be frank this one time, I wouldn’t say well-read, but only because you re-present it with bias.

But, to return to my point, I went “i.e.” on logic only because paradoxically, after all I have put forward, it is not logic that works in the end (and I don’t mean the end-times) but “faith”, as you yourself said in the end of the post in question…but we are not at the end, are we?

In fact this is another thing we don’t “know”, or at least we won’t until it comes, so until then we can’t think that faith and logic are simply incompatible, especially as God is perfecting it even as we speak…even because we speak. And we preach a Christ who was crucified; he is the power and the wisdom of God.

That said, even as one would quicker hear today of the humour of God, a little wit isn’t bad, such as your own “hell-bent” comment. But please don’t belittle the Roman Catholics; there are also the rest of the Latin Catholics and all the Eastern ones, from the Malabar Syrians to the Belarussians.

What I mean is: all of us there just happen to form a larger Christian congregation, so that the Pope just happens to be a more public pastor. With such a broad back it is sensible to expect criticism; but if you’re going to protest still don’t reduce your opponent to what you can handle: this says more about one than the other.

That said, and finally, I too end singing that most beautiful hymn “Lift high the Cross”, though not past the refrain as I can never remember the rest – I heard it a long time ago and only in part. (Of course, I am referencing now your initial post on the matter, “Pope Calls Jesus, the Cross, a Failure #StillProtesting”.)

Actually it was at the end of the Sacrifice of the Mass, as televised by EWTN. I know you don’t believe in that crap (which description may not be invalid in some places, as a crude application of the Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation), but I won’t say I wasn’t trying here to convert you. That’s God’s job regarding everyone personally.

Nor, I hope, would this be seen as an attempt to proselytise, which to me suggests a particular method. (I do admit this is because of the Pope; some Catholics, you know, are quick to counter, but even within ranks; I’ll wait on account of “crap”).

But I will say I was trying to convince you, which is the point of proper debate. (I hear tiffs like that can bring people together… Well, couples, but God wants us all to be his corporate Bride.) I wonder, though, how “Lift high the Cross” would fare in a wedding…

Until then, let us be united in prayer for our unity as Christians.

Your brother in Christ

The Prayer of Christ the conqueror

A short piece to share (in more than one sense) for my consolation in the sight of strong possibility that another failure to make deadline, which I seek ironically to address in that post. (Here I corrected myself not to recognise a mere possibility by using the past tense – saying ‘addressed’ – that perhaps leads it to be a reality; at least now I have another point for said post.)

Prayer of Christ the conqueror-page-0
In PDF here

This piece is inspired by the Embolism (p. 36 in content or … in PDF) to be used in Sunday’s Roman Jubilee for Youth…so you should already have an idea of what the eponymous “Prayer” is. Also: with this I will seek to carry out part of the re-organisation to which I also speak in the promised post. If I complete it tonight (for there’s not much to complete anyway), yet my explanation will remain…and hopefully a complete one at that.

I just had to pause for a while and now can’t remember what I wanted to continue with; such is another matter covered in my post. Perhaps it was to poke fun at starting off, like a compulsive liar, about “a short piece”.

Or perhaps this is one of those cases – somewhat rare for me, I find – where I have no clue how to end, compounded here especially by the looming deadline of another effort. I’m obsessed…and, if this many words constitutes “short”, drunk. (The latter I’ll only know for sure tomorrow; but to say even now that I am exaggerating, I am told, is proof of such a state.) Objectively, then it seems, compulsive liars shouldn’t drink. Boy, what confusion.

I can’t blame “the Internet” alone as I *hope to* later tomorrow because all of this intermissive hangover of sorts was itself held back by another (current) favourite of mine: Bollywood soaps. Yes, that’s what I said: I paused even during my post-pause rant.

And now I have a way out of it because this reminder of my first attempts at blogging, welcome as it is, is also a warning to avoid same as I had promised myself to do when I started back. Plus I’m too tired to ping back to this, so here is my cheesy conclusion:

I have got to pray the above prayer more, that I may conquer my…one might call this demons (where I’m from)…and this may actually not be exaggeration. Also: I should really finish my intended post. This is some consolation, but I must heed my own advice (if it should be published soon): “Your minds will not rest…as long as [your] condition is there.”

Which reminds me of another post…


“On Future Benefits from God”

In the wake of several deaths from my corner, which theme has been particularly explosive today, here is a reflection by the appropriate Saint Anselm of Canterbury:

Meditation on Future Benefits from God (St Anselm)

As with something else I tried to share through the last few hours, my reading will come after – making for obvious surprise – but hopefully it is…well, hopeful.

By #light I meant to convey additionally “in darkness”, because I expect the theologian to be heavy reading, if not heavy-hitting.

The Meditation is from a whole “Book of Meditations and Prayers” by him (146 pages) courtesy of the wonderful resource that is the Christian Classics Ethereal Library. I have two other works lined up from there and, if only if my imagination, they are even heavier despite having audio versions of them for my preferred method of listening along to what I read.

But for now I will settle for liking what I was quickly able to read: the introduction (which refers, by the way, to the previous meditation, so it seems like something of a necessity to take in the whole book). But that’s life, as he would want his work to reflect it.

But, He who bestows on His own such great blessings in the present, what does He reserve for them in the future? As death is the termination of our present state, so is it the beginning of the future. Who is there whose nature does not shrink from it, and whose feelings experience no revulsion at the thought of it? The very beasts shun death, and cling to life, by flight, by concealment in hidden corners, and by a thousand other means.

Pay heed, now, to the answer thy conscience makes…

~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~

May the souls who have departed this day
and the souls of all the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace;
and may we who remain be consoled the same way.

(My actual post for today, I hope, will come out tonight – hopefully before twelve.)

Good feedback from Cathedral Vigil

To the diocesan newspaper

THE EDITOR: This is for the relatively few who attended the first Easter Vigil at the Cathedral since reopening, from the short fat boy who sang loudly in the back, as if competing with the feedback from the sound system.

I really meant “amen” when the end of its longest sounding coincided with the prayer after the fifth (I think) of all seven readings [1] – a first for me even if the second was shortened and the third ended like any other [2].

[1] In all, then, of course there were nine readings.

[2] See the last Q&A here.

Granted, some of the difficulty in the liturgy of the word could have been alleviated if, after “the Deacon [placed] the paschal candle…lights [were] lit throughout the church”, thus forswearing neo-trad practice. (Mother always says not to read in the dark.)

Perhaps this description would surprise some who know me, but since I use it to distinguish from what is recommended, such as Latin in the “Hosanna” we joined the Angels in, I would only seal the deal on what is long apparent: you‘ve never known me.

Speaking of surprises, however, there is not much to say: I reached a little over an hour in advance and took in some of the sights, especially the inscriptions. So I knew most of what the glorious choir would sing, including the Sanctus, right down to the Peace song [3].

[3] Yes, “the Peace song”…because they did not see my notification.
I repeat that it is “[better] to keep a rule that is smaller
than to break one of any size.” Here, I mean: make a rule!

But the accidental mysticality of the very real Church (i.e. us in liturgical action) [4] – and here I think too of His Grace who could not be heard, partly over the feedback that also cut his mic, partly because he just did not use it – so moved me that I actually murmured Jesus, celebrate between handshakes.

[4] Here again, I thought of The Spirit of the Liturgy,
where – if I remember correctly – (Cdl) Ratzinger pointed out
the original sense of “Mystical” and “Real” when applied to the Body of Christ.

In the end, despite Mother’s concern, I reached home at one o’clock glad to have taken the risk of travelling for the first time at night to town for this. I hope to do it again, but Mother’s concern will remain, so in thanks I console her by not reading in the dark.

I’m trying out a different way to present my notes, which make me think of director’s remarks for a DVD release, until I would probably find that there was a normal way of doing it.

I also wanted to explain somewhat and within the text “neo-trad” – if “neo” isn’t enough to suggest that it is bad for “trad” – by citing this ZENIT liturgy answer (three pgphs before “Follow-up”) from Fr McNamara, LC; but that would have qualified the citation from the Missal, which should always stand on its own (as I always try to point out), even when no argument is published in favour of its rubrics.

[3] Wisdom to the simple

UPDATE: I got permission!

A brief foreword – feel free to skip!

The following is the third letter, to the editor of my diocesan newspaper, in what seems to have become a thread on the topic of the Pope’s foot-washing rule change. Presumably for this reason it cannot be published but, in the hope that my invitation of 21 February will have been – it wasn’t –, (still) I welcome all readers to my blog, to this letter/post and to reply in the comments.

Continue reading “[3] Wisdom to the simple”

RIP Mother Angelica

Having had a tab open on the blog for most of the day – and nothing much to show for it, admittedly, but I’m working – I must have closed not long before the time of the first news I’ve seen for the day: that the Rev. M. Mary Angelica of the Annunciation has died. And, not to be callous but come to think of it, what an appropriate time for it and with an appropriate date too!

This year, of course, was the last time for more than a century to come that the feast of her professed name, the celebration of our Lord’s conception, coincided with the liturgical date of his death. And on the third day, around the time of commemoration for his second Mass, he is risen and ready…we pray…to receive her. (What was happening to Vespers I will find out after posting, since I try to write from what I know.)

With the recent feast of St Patrick I endeavoured to finish setting to music the loríca attributed to him (and since I’m waiting ’til next year to share, hopefully I won’t be late in coming). For now I try to use it every morning, though I’ve yet to commit the whole thing to memory, but as soon as I saw this news the appropriate line came to mind:

in hope of the Resurrection to meet with reward

And certainly the “deeds of [this] righteous” woman give us cause to hope. It is moments like this when a young Catholic like I can learn to be yet proud of something or someone older (implying also that we had no hand in the founding). But Mother was an expert at founding and I, who found the Eternal Word Television Network from an early age, can tell you she’s found the place I have in my heart for it, to stay there even as she makes her way – whatever it turn out to be – to Jesus.

May her soul (and all souls) rest in peace
and may all who knew her find consolation,
all through the mercy of God.