Friday, June 24, 2011

Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

Following excerpt from Catholic Culture:

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint's death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today's feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today's observance in the following words:

"Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior's birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God's chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

"For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace."

In other words, today's feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ's Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

Monday, June 20, 2011

2011 Novitiate Class for the Dominican Province of St. Joseph

The success of religious orders such as the Domincan Province of St. Joseph should be a lesson to all those who have lost touch with he heart of the Church. If you are faithful, they will come.

Read about this years novitiates here

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fr Barron's Weekly Homily: Trinity Sunday

Sermon 545 : The God Who is Love : Trinity Sunday

God is Trinity. He is fundamentally a relationship: a lover, a beloved and the love between them. In other words, God is a complete openness and receptivity to the other. He is love. Now, we believe we are made in the image of God. Thus, we become fully alive to the degree that we imitate God.

Listen via streaming here

Download homily here

St. Augustine and Education

A Shameful Glory

By Randall Smith

In his Confessions, St. Augustine makes some notorious complaints about his own education, which by all accounts (including his own) was pretty good, not to mention expensive. His parents, who were not well to do, made sacrifices for what they hoped was his benefit. In later years, Augustine realized it wasn’t the quality of education per se that was the problem, it was the ends the education was meant to serve: primarily worldly success and praise. He was rewarded (“Well done! Well done!”) when he spoke well, regardless of the morality of his words, and punished severely, not for moral faults, but for errors in grammar or spelling.

Read the full article here

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Film of G.K. Chesterton at Worcester College

For anyone wanting a good introduction to G.K. Chesterton, Dale Ahlquist has written two:


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hungary’s new constitution protects life from conception

From Catholic Culture: Link
The revised Hungarian constitution, which will take effect on January 1, declares that human life will be protected from the moment of conception.

“Human dignity is inviolable,” the constitution states. “Everyone has the right to life and human dignity; the life of a fetus will be protected from conception.”

“Eugenic practices aimed at selection of persons, making the human body and its parts a source of profit and the reproductive cloning of human beings are prohibited,” the document adds.

The new constitution also states that “Hungary protects the institution of marriage between man and woman, a matrimonial relationship voluntarily established, as well as the family as the basis for the survival of the nation. Hungary supports child-bearing.”

These provisions have earned the condemnation of Amnesty International.

Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the new Constitution of the Republic of Hungary, adopted by the Hungarian National Assembly on 18 April 2011, violates international and European human rights standards,” the group stated in a press release.

“The introduction of the protection of life from conception (Article II), the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman (Article L), the provision allowing for life imprisonment without the possibility of parole (Article IV) and the exclusion of sexual orientation from the protected grounds of discrimination (Article XV.2) are particularly problematic. (Emphasis mine: Any comment really needed here?)

Turning to religion, the constitution declares that

everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to choose and to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest or choose not to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance. In Hungary the churches and the State operate separately. Churches are independent in Hungary. The State will cooperate with churches in the pursuit of community objectives. Detailed regulations pertaining to churches will be set forth in a super majority law.
The nation of 10.0 million is 59% Catholic, according to Vatican statistics.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Bit of Belloc

I was reading a blog post today at Andrew Cusack's web site and ran across a great quote from Hilaire Belloc I thought was worth sharing.

"Whatever is buried right into our blood from immemorial habit that we must be certain to do if we are to be fairly happy (of course no grown man or woman can really be very happy for long — but I mean reasonably happy), and, what is more important, decent and secure of our souls.

Thus one should from time to time hunt animals, or at the very least shoot at a mark; one should always drink some kind of fermented liquor with one’s food — and especially deeply upon great feast-days; one should go on the water from time to time; and one should dance on occasions; and one should sing in chorus. For all these things man has done since God put him into a garden and his eyes first became troubled with a soul. Similarly some teacher or ranter or other, whose name I forget, said lately one very wise thing at least, which was that every man should do a little work with his hands. …

Now in the morning Mass you do all that the race needs to do and has done for all these ages where religion was concerned; there you have the sacred and separate Enclosure, the Altar, the Priest in his Vestments, the set ritual, the ancient and hierarchic tongue, and all that your nature cries out for in the matter of worship."

Anyone out there familar with Andrew's blog? It is still new to me, but I have really enjoyed what I have read so far.

Friday, June 3, 2011

If Protestantism is True: Kindle Version is Live!

Buy this book! The Kindle version is only $2.99!
Don't have a Kindle? That's ok, all you need is a computer, iPhone or Android.

Devin Rose is a lay Catholic apologist and blogger. He is a great guy and sacrifces a great deal of his time to spread the truth of the faith and work toward Christian unity. His work deserves our support. He also smokes a pipe occasionally, so you know he is the real deal.

Book Description:
A former Evangelical Protestant, Devin Rose makes a compelling case for the Catholic Church through common-sense arguments. Protestant readers will delve into issues fundamental to their search for the fullness of the truth. For Catholics, this book will deepen their appreciation for the rich heritage of their faith, as well as arm them with practical arguments to defend the Church's claims.

With clarity and tact, Rose synthesizes Church history with theology, making the complex subjects that divine Catholics and Protestants accessible. He covers ecumenical councils, the papacy, the canon of Scripture, the Protestant Reformers, the saints, sacraments, and many more. Personal anecdotes and true stories of Protestant friends who are wrestling with the Catholic Church's claims are interspersed throughout the book.

Read more at Devin's blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts

This begins on Friday after Ascension Thursday the 6th Week of Easter (tomorrow!).

The novena in honor of the Holy Spirit is the oldest of all novenas since it was first made at the direction of Our Lord Himself when He sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost. It is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the light and strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

Introduction: includes the Act of Consecration to the Holy Spirit and the Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit  (recited daily during the Novena)
 First Day: Friday
Second Day: Saturday
Third Day: Sunday
Fourth Day: Monday
Fifth Day: Tuesday
Sixth Day: Wednesday
Seventh Day:Thursday
Eighth Day: Friday
Ninth Day: Saturday (Vigil of Pentecost)

Fr. Robert Barron's Homily: Ascension Thursday (Sunday)

Ascension Thursday is celebrated on Sunday in most diocese within the United States.

Sermon 543 : The Meeting of Heaven and Earth : Ascension

The mysterious and wonderful feast of the Ascension of the Lord which celebrates Christ glorified "at the right hand of the Father". The key to unlocking the marvels of this event is to recover a specifically Biblical understanding of the relationship of heaven and earth.

To listen to the homily via streaming click here

To download the homily click here