Saturday, June 30, 2007
I'm interested in secularism not only because it impacts on me personally but because I'm interested in human nature itself. It's an interesting subject because man is an interesting creature. For one, he is entirely unique, being a union of spirit and matter. Such a combination makes him a complex creature due to these two entirely different realms of creation being fused into one being and the internal war that wages within him as a result of the fall makes him more complicated still. Given that secularism is an attitude adopted by many it is important that we engage with it.
Currently I'm reading a book called "Theology and Sanity" by Frank Sheed. It is an explanation of the Catholic view of reality and how only the Catholic view is totally sane. Sanity, after all, is seeing reality as it really is. There is a passage in there that I think is well worth quoting. Think about it and see how much it applies to your own situation. I'd be most interested in a comment.
"One calamitous result of this unawareness that the road of life leads anywhere in particular is that hope dies. 'The mass of men' says Thoreau, 'lead lives of quiet desperation.' I do not know how true that was of his generation but it is fiercely true of ours. Note that it is quiet desperation: not so much active despair as the absence of hope. Men live from one day to the next, hoping that tomorrow may be a little better than today, or if not better then not much worse, occasionally stimulated a little by some extra surge of hope that this or that venture, intellectual or financial or athletic or amatory or what you will, may turn out well. But for most men, even these hopes are impermanent; and just as there is no over-all purpose in life, so there is no over-all hope. They are not living toward anything. There is no great thing in the future drawing them on: no goal."
Of course it is important to distinguish between two main parties in the secularist camp. The first and larger camp are simply the folk that drift through life with no firm anchor. Religion of any sort barely plays a role in their lives. They would no doubt disagree with the Church on many matters but they are not what you would call overtly anti-religious, simply nonreligious. In fact they would be hardly aware of what the Church has to say on anything in the first place.
The second camp is deadly serious in their secularism. They are overtly anti-religious and work actively against it. The recent year has seen them produce several books that have sold well including "Letter to a Christian Nation" and especially "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. This crowd is most certainly interested in religion if only to oppose it.
This brings me to Dawkins' book, a best seller. I confess I have dabbled in it a couple of times in a bookshop and read what is, to me, the part that matters most, viz his interaction and (badly attempted) refutation of Aquinas' five ways. Better attempts have been made before than Dawkin's. It has nothing new. The problem is that, whilst it doesn't take a great arsenal of philosophical training at one's dispoal to see through what he says, most people have never had that training. Given that Dawkin's is a talented writer he has quite a potential to convince the average person. It remains to be seen how effective he is on any mass scale. After all, that there is a God has been the common conviction of mankind throughout the ages.
Let me emphasis again though, that the potential Dawkin's has does not lie in the fact that the average person is stupid. It is a lack of formation.
In my next post I'll have a little more analysis of what I found when I investigated some of what Dawkin's had to say on Aquinas' arguments.
Friday, June 29, 2007
The liturgy has been an evolving process and the early liturgy we only have surviving fragments, namely St Paul, then St Justin Martyr, and then the full development of the Mass culminating in the reforms of Pope St Gregory the Great (6th cent AD). Both supporters of tradition and the fathers of the reform in the 1960s agreed that this is the starting point (the template).
- a re-creation of the general Mass form of the first Millenium (with some modern add-ons) known as the Novus Ordo Mass (or the Mass of Paul VI)
- the continual flow of tradition from the first millenium through the second millenium culminating in the Tridentine Mass (or the Mass of John XXIII).
The photos that I took in Rome last year show the two strands as they exist in architecture. The first is of St John Lateran which although heavily renovated in the 17th century, has maintained the older tradition into the 20th century, with its strict basilica layout and free-standing Altar under a spectacular ciborium from the 14th century.The second, is a photograph of the interior of what I call a "Counter-Reformation" church, Santa Maria della Vittoria, with the Altar arrangement generally consistent with that desired by the reforms after the Council of Trent for a parish church (not a cathedral church but more about that later).
To date, the Latin Church has only been "breathing with one lung", as one of these strands has been suppressed. Note the table Altar in front of the High Altar as a retrofit of the church to shift it from one strand of tradtion to the other. (This was a reasonably good retrofit, compared to some Italian churches, that I saw where a wooden "picnic table" has been set up in front of the main Altar).
The forthcoming Motu Proprio corrects this situation so that we can now enjoy the full tradition, PLUS the church is better secured to its foundations and sub-structures. Two strands may be necessary at this stage because the Church has such a rich tradition that one set of elements or themes cannot be contained in the one Mass.
- Veneration of the Altar and the Sanctuary at the start of Mass is excessively abbreviated in a Mass without solemnity (which gets the Mass started the wrong way, particulalry when it is replaced by a mini-sermon)
- There is a general lack of knowledge on the ars celebranda and ceremonial resulting in inappropriate people stepping in and giving direction without any knowledge of the tradition.
Furnishings as interpreted in the reform (not the reform itself) has led to a number of problems
- The location of the chair as the priest’s “throne” (not previously done in any tradition - thrones were reserved to bishops), emphasising the celebrant as "presider"
- Tabernacle location is up to a personal decision leading to a poorly designed church, lack of focus and poor behaviours in church
- Lack of Altar rails (an ancient tradition mentioned by Eusebius and Augustine) leads to sanctuary being perceived as common space and encouraging unauthorised access (exacerbated by the presence of lay readers and EMHCs, particularly EMHC’s being in sanctuary for excessive lengths of time).
- Problems with badly designed Altars which are of a size, shape and location that emphasises the celebrant, and the community meal.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
I found this video on you tube and just thought it was worth posting, after all sometimes i have the exact same problem with my book!
I think Brother Ansgar, is trying to read the GRIM or the latest encyclical from the Pope, but has the problem that some priests, religious and laity have!
I thought that this Collect from Masses of the Dead sums up my sentiments at this time.
Quaesumus Domine, pro tua pietate miserere animae famulae tuae Caitlin, et a contagiis mortalitatis exutam, in aeternae salvationis partenm restitue. Per Dominum.
We beseech thee O Lord, by thy loving kindness to have mercy on the soul of thy handmaid Caitlin, and now that she is released from the contagion of this mortal flesh, to give her part in thine eternal salvation. Through our Lord.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
St Ignatius is an awesome church, in the words of my friends "You looked like a kid in a candy store". The church has 4 side altar and one magnificent high altar. I don't think any of these altars have been used for a long time. it's sad to see these awesome works of devotion, prayer and art sit and gather dust!
So far we have only had low masses, but hopefully next week with the cantata, we can really use the church to it's potential.
Stay tuned for more photo posts, especially with this church.
June 16th, the feast of the immaculate heart of Mary
A Marian feast day, coupled with a Marian Shrine, draws many generations who are filled with a love of their Mother
A procession, especially a Eucharistic procession is the physical manifestation of the procession that life is, Man following Christ and the angels, back to God the Father in heaven.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Monday, June 18, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
It has come to my attention, that some people do not agree with this site or it's contents.
Please note carefully: THIS IS A SHARED BLOG.
There are 3 contributors
Recently I have been informed the Summa Theologica's post "Girl Altar Boys", has offended a few people, particularly Ms Anonymous who commented on it. Please note that this post was written by Summa Theologica, so please take it up with him, not me!
Finally if you find this blog offensive, no one is forcing you to read it, so please don't.
If I have made any personal attacks against you in this blog, please e-mail me your complaint and I will merely apologies and remove it, if the complaint is in reason. I do not wish for this blog cause any problems for people, so as I said please e-mail me with your concerns and i will be happy to help resolve them with in reason. Further more please do not hassle any priest mentioned on this blog or associated with me about this blog, they have enough to worry about, please hassle me directly. At least i have done you the advantage of hinting at my identity and not hiding under the veil of being anonymous.
So let's sum up :
1) This is a shared blog!
2) The post on Girl Altar boys is not my post, so take up your complaints with it's creator
3) If you have a problem with the blog , E-mail me with your concerns and We will resolve them, if with in reason.
4) FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
I hope this post has cleared a few things up.
Friday, June 15, 2007
So if incense is used in heaven, and it is a holy sacramental, how can people be naturally allergic to it? If people are allergic to it, is it because of some demonic infestation?
There is the old saying, that a protestant can not stand incense. I'm asking you my readers this, what do you think?
Just today, I was in the city with my friend and we happened to meet up with some of my friend's friends. We walked into Christian supplies a good supplier of devotionals in the city and out of no where my friend's friends commented, quite rudely of how the place smelt. My friend and I smelt nothing. It is said that infested people hate holy things, is this an example of it. I'm currently reading "an exorcist tells his tale" By Fr Gabrielle Amroth and Father mentions that the best way to see if someone is infested is to give him blessed clothes to wear, if he finds them uncomfortable or immediately takes them off, then the person is most likely infested. Would today's incident be an example of this? I'm beginning to suspect so!It's obvious, just walk around a city and you can see how Satan is picking up his game again, especially among the Youth. Is the 1000years over of the rule of Christ, is Satan now let loose on the world for this short time? we can only hope and pray that it is not so!
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Exams, hmm yes, I'm an average student, I get B's on average now, so I can't complain.Here is a photo of my home altar, notice the change of it's position and the color green is used to signify ordinary time, as apposed to the purple of lent i had in the last post.
A new addition to my room is my library section. The top shelf contains secular books such as the Lord of the rings, while the middle section contains spiritual books, such as "The spiritual combat" and "How Christ celebrated the First Mass" Finally we have the bottom shelf reserved for school books and the ordo, along with a few sacramentals.
Finally we have the down stairs home altar. This altar is used for home devotions and for private mass of any priest that needs an altar. As you can see it is covered with green for ordinary time and hopefully it will covered in purple for advent. You can also see my Lace MCing surplice to the left and my Sarum appareled alb to the right, they are hanging up due to them being washed not to recently.
To top it all off, I was generously given a thurbile by Fr Prior from Marian Valley, he is a very generous priest! So far it's been carted around to be used as an additional thurible, or as a replacement at several churches. Hec I've even set my own fire alarm with it!
To wrap it all up, at the moment I'm praying and contemplating a vocation to the institute of Christ the King, apparently they are coming to adeilade Australia. So please keep me in your prayers.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
To introduce myself, I serve at one of Australia's capital city cathedrals (people "in the know" will easily guess at which). I have begun serving quite late in life as I was not able to serve when I was younger (it was discouraged). It also marks something of a conversion back to the Church, and Christ has rewarded me with so many blessings, far more than what I have been able to put in. The Eucharist is truly a fountain that gives so much refreshment, without drying-up, and it is truly a privilege, to be so close to the Eucharist and serve at God's holy Altar.
It is a very exciting time to be serving. I believe we are entering one of the most dynamic periods in the history of liturgical development in the church; comparable with those times following the Second Vatican Council and the Council of Trent. Out of each of these Councils came quite different and separate Missals - both claiming to be the voice of sacred tradition and adapted to current pastoral needs. Unfortunately my upbringing in the Church has been impacted by the arguments on which is the better, which was exacerbated by the fact that the earlier Missal (the Tridentine Missal or Mass of Pius V)) was first implicitly "banned" following the promulgation of the second - something as Benedict XVI has observed, was unprecedented in the history of the Church. The older Missal, is now able to be celebrated with permission, but this is made very subjectively.
The newer Missal (known as the Novus Ordo Missal or Mass of Paul VI) has been overtaken by various left-wing agendas, to the extent that, in many parishes, it is almost unrecognisable as the Roman Rite. As a reaction to this a movement has arisen known in the English speaking world as the "Reform-of-the-Reform". There is virtually no definition of what "Reform-of-the-Reform" (RoR) actually means, but has been generally to mean realigning the liturgy to what the Council Fathers at the Second Vatican Council thought they were getting with liturgical reform, and discarding later developments after the Council. These later developments include Mass entirely in the vernacular (1967), celebration facing the congregation (1969), Communion in the hand (1973), female Altar servers (1993), and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (1977). In addition to this has been a rejection of the folk music popular in the 60s and 70s, and its replacement with more liturgically suitable music.
Celebration of RoR Masses have been much at the initiative of the local congregation or the celebrating priest. (The Pontifical Low Mass celebrated on Sunday is an example). Support of RoR at the hierarchial level has been through the encyclicals of Pope John Paul II (Ecclesia in Eucharista, Redemptionis Sacramentum and Liturgicam Authenticum) and most recently pushed by Benedict XVI through Sacramentum Caritas and his numerous talks and writings on the subject before coming Pope. Although much of this material has been ignored by the local Church, the first tangible result is a new English translation of the Roman Missal. This will be in a more formal and poetic English, designed to be as faithful to the Latin original as possible, and not at the ideological flavouring of the translator. How this will be received in Brisbane will be interesting, particularly as its adoption is unlikely to be negotiable.
The other major impact is the publication in the next few weeks or months of a Motu Proprio, at the Pope's own initiative. Although the exact contents of this document are unknown, enough leaks have been made for us to know that it will lift all restrictions of the older Roman Missal(s), and establish them as "extraordinary" forms of the Roman Rite alongside the "ordinary" form, namely the so called Novus Ordo Missal that we use each Sunday.
So these two initiatives will set to revolutionise how we will view the Roman Rite. Already, they are upsetting people in the local Church, as articles on the Brisbane Liturgical Commission's website attest.
In the next few weeks and months I would like to talk about issues such as what is tradition, and how much "tradition" is really in the Novus Ordo Mass versus the Tridentine Mass. Conversely, can the vision of the Second Vatican Council shine through the older Tridentine Mass (as well as other usages and rites)? What does the future hold for either form of celebration?
I will intersperse these discussions with bits of movies, pics, observations and comments on current issues.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Unfortunately Fr Jordan could not wrangle up for the nuncio a crosier, which in a way was good because our crosier bearer did not make it to the procession.
about 3/4 of the procession the Nuncio, understandably was tired, so he switched with one of the assistant priests. His excellency then moved to walk behind the blessed sacrament and the MC took the assistant priests place as cope holder. I wished that we had at least 2 deacons come for the procession, it sure would have been great to have the whole range of holy orders!
After the procession reached the altar again, we had the litany of the sacred heart which was lead by the priest to the right and then a gospel was proclaimed by the priest to the left. It was quite unstatisfying to see a bishop just sit by himself on a plastic chair, but unfortunately we didn't really have time to set up a throne flanked by two chairs. Also i don't think it is possible to obtain those mobile thrones of the old mass anymore?
The torch bearers line up for benediction.
Trumpets and bells sounded as the Nuncio gave triple benediction with the blessed sacrament.After benediction the divine praises were said, one of the assistant priests reposed the blessed sacrament and the recessional hymn was sung. There were about 17 servers and priest , if my memory serves me correctly, only 3 priest from the actual archdiocese came.I'd personally like to thank, his excellency Amborse De Pauli the Apostolic Nuncio to Australia for presiding over the procession and for being so receptive of such a young MC. The Nuncio really is a holy bishop, a great asset to the church!
Corpus Christi was a great success, also people were not confused with a change in the order of procession. I'd like to thank the servers, for showing up on time and getting their respective Jobs done. At such a big event as this, the time for the servers to show up at 12 is not a big ask and is quite reasonable, 1 hr to get everything ready, 30 min to establish positions and practice and 30 minutes to fix what ever Satan has tired to do!
Here we have a few photo's my photographer took of the preparation for the actual procession.
The above photo is of the two MCs Davo and my self discussing with the servers that actually turned up on time what needed to be done.
I had the great privilege of greeting the priests and informing them of their roles. Here is Fr Merlino OFM cap the priest who does the first Friday vigils, Father took the time to slow me down and told me that I was running around like a lunatic trying to get everything ready.
There is even a photo of me, flying!
I told you there would be lots of good photos from the procession! so many that I need two whole posts for them. First off we have the nuncio's pontifical low mass, with me as his assistant! It was done on a constructed and converted altar stage.
Ecce Angus deiHis excellency distributes communion
Finally we process out with his excellency
Stay tuned more photo posts from Corpus Christi, It was a great honor to serve for the Apostolic Nuncio.