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.)

Yes, really


FRANK: Imagine that. BEN: yeah… FRANK: Who woulda thunk? BEN: Uh-huh… | Photo as seen at The Independent

A response to no. 3 in Damian Thompson’s “Are there really two popes?” (Catholic Herald, 14 Jan. 2016)

Pope Francis said, “Sixty years ago there were no emeritus bishops. And now we have 1400. In general I think what Benedict so courageously did was to open the door to the Popes emeritus [sic]. … Benedict should not be considered an exception, but an institution.”

Continue reading “Yes, really”

The brutality of history

I began to read an article about a police officer whose treatment on the part of colleagues changed for the worse the day after said officer came out as transgendered. It had me thinking, the piece as such abandoned, that, if the point of coming out is supposed… to be courage — expressed on the part of self, impressed (inspiringly?) on the minds of others –, yet with or without it, at the heart of the matter, there is something unavoidable. So, even if the officer continued to keep secrets, then still there would be at least one person who knows that said person was born a man.

Continue reading “The brutality of history”

The month of the dead

Yes, I know, November is over, but for most of it I was unable to keep up with Catholic news and blogging. Let’s just say the ‘death’ of my laptop and my cell phone’s SD card, and in quick succession too, are not among the very few positives of the last twenty-eight days.

But thanks be to God that things are somewhat back to normal…somewhat. Continue reading “The month of the dead”

Just let women be priests: The Priestly virtue of Deacons

To foreword this post in two respects: (1) It was only after submitting my last entry that I saw newsfeed of Abp Durocher’s call for women deacons, which kind of sealed the deal on doing the follow-up I had mentioned. (2) My next post will be something somewhat artsy in an accidental way: I had written the first line of my first draft and eventually I finished the poem… (?)

Confirmation always seems to be the unfortunate Sacrament: the number of times it is said to be without a theology or something of the sort, it’s almost a trend. Then, perhaps, small wonder that, by and large, Confirmation is graduation, given how the Sacrament is regulated and the rite conducted.

If you infer that I presume to understand it, however, then by comparison what I find confusing is the Diaconate. Apples and oranges, yes, but the question that cannot be asked in the analogy is: how did the orange become an apple? How did we move from the institution of the Seven to the ordination of Deacons?

Continue reading “Just let women be priests: The Priestly virtue of Deacons”

Priestly vocations: Celibacy and productivity

This piece was intended to be a ‘letter to the editor’, wherein the newspaper in question is mentioned, but like most of my attempts it ended up too long. It was at this point that I thought of reviving my blog, so subsequently I finished the now-post and edited the first part to suit.

Several months ago, meeting with a priest as he waited to accompany his Confirmation class to a ‘Generation S’ youth expo, I went through his Catholic News in advance of my duty to purchase one later at Mass. It was only on seeing an article about this vocations movement that I mentioned to Father my doubt that it would work.

Continue reading “Priestly vocations: Celibacy and productivity”