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Friday, June 22, 2012

Proofs that Our Religious Liberty Is Threatened

As today marks the beginning of the Fortnight for Freedom, here is a great article from the Campus Notes Blog of the Cadinal Newman Society offering six proofs of current threats to U.S. religious liberty.

The Catholic University of America President John Garvey addressed the General Assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Atlanta, Ga., last week and offered six reasons to believe that religious liberty is under attack.

Garvey compared the current situation with regard to religious liberty in the U.S. to that of Tudor England, a time and place synonymous with religious persecution. “We are not the kind of violent and intolerant society Tudor England was,” he said. “But in recent years the landscape of religious freedom has changed. Its purview has narrowed considerably. Let me give six examples.”

Read the complete six examples from the article here.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Starts Tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lingering Thoughts

Sisters and nuns are not the same.

Pro-life is inextribly integrated in Catholic social teaching.

Receiving the Eucharist is always a privilidge and never a right.

Schizmatics are never right.

The (Church) Fathers are never wrong.
It's never too late to be orthodox.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, Part II

We go back 99 years for a slight "Dominican slant" on today's Feast of the Most Sacred Heart.  Here is commentary and an atonement prayer to the Sacred Heart from "The Dominican Manual, a Selection of Prayers and Devotions" published 1913 by Browne and Nolan in Dublin .

The Heart of our adorable Redeemer is the seat of love—the source of perfect charity! In it we shall find arms against temptation. Consolation in trouble.  Strength in weakness.  The particular object of this devotion is to make reparation for the outrages committed against the Heart of Jesus during his mortal life; outrages which continue to be committed against him in the adorable Eucharist, which is the Sacrament of His love.

An Act of Atonement
To the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, which may be made In common or in private.

O Adorable Heart of my Savior and my God, penetrated with a lively sorrow at the sight of the outrages which thou hast received, and which thou daily dost receive in the Sacrament of thy love, behold me prostrate at the foot of thy altar, to make an acceptable atonement. Oh, that I were able, by my homage and veneration, to make satisfaction to thine injured honor, and efface, with my tears and with my blood, so many irreverences, profanations, and sacrileges, which outrage thine infinite greatness. How well should my life be disposed of, could it be sacrificed for so worthy an object! Pardon, divine Savior, my ingratitude, and all the infidelities and indignities which I myself have committed against thy Sovereign Majesty. Remember that thy adorable Heart, bearing the weight of my sins in the days of its mortal life, was sorrowful even unto death;  do not suffer thy agony and thy blood to be unprofitable tome. Annihilate within me my criminal heart, and give me one according to thine—a heart contrite and humble, a heart pure and spotless, a heart which may be henceforth a victim consecrated to thy glory, and inflamed with the sacred fire of thy love: O Lord, I deplore in the bitterness of my heart my former irreverences and sacrileges, which I wish in future to repair, by my pious deportment in the churches, my assiduity in visiting, and my devotion and fervor in receiving, the most holy Sacrament of the Altar.
But in order to render my respect and my adoration more grateful to thee, I unite them with those which are rendered to thee in our temples, by those blessed spirits who are at the foot of thy sacred tabernacles. Hear their vows, O my God, and accept the homage of a heart which returns to thee with the solo view of loving only thee, that I may merit loving thee eternally. Amen.

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

It is 19 days after Pentecost making it the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (or Feast of the Most Sacred Heart)!

Things you can do today:
  1. Go to mass.
  2. Make an Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart (see below).
  3. Consecrate your home by an Enthronement of the Sacred Heart.
  4. Renew your previous consecration.
  5. Pray or chant the Litany of the Sacred Heart (note, the Sacred Heart litany is 1 of the 6 litanies allowed for public worship).
  6. Pray other various prayers in devotion or reparation to the Sacred Heart (see some below)

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart

Most sweet Jesus, whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thee, eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful, alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation, not only for our own personal offenses, but also for the sins of those, who, straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the promises of their baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law. 

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are now determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behavior, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violations of Sundays and holydays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine Love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded. 

Would that we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy divine honor, the satisfaction Thou once made to Thy Eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou continuest to renew daily on our Altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make recompense, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth, we will live a life of unswerving faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the Gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee. 

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mother, our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit Thou livest and reignest, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer before an Image or Picture of the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, pour out Your benedictions upon the Holy Church, upon its priests, and upon all its children. Sustain the just, convert the sinners, assist the dying, deliver the souls in purgatory, and extend over all hearts the sweet empire of Your love. Amen. 

Irish Traditional Prayer of Reparation

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on me.
O God, forgive me for all the sins of my life;
The sins of my youth and the sins of my age,
The sins of my body and the sins of my soul,
The sins I have confessed and the sins I have forgotten,
The sins against others in thought, word, and deed,
My sins of omission.
0, my God, I am sorry for all my sins, because you are so good;
And I will not sin again with the help of God.
God be merciful to me, a sinner.
Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying,
Deliver the holy souls in purgatory.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blessed Stephen Bandelli

Blessed Stephen was born at Castelnuovo in Scrivia, Italy in 1369, and received the habit at Piacenza. He taught philosophy and theology at the University of Pavia, but was especially known for his preaching and his ability as a confessor. So fiery was his preaching that people acclaimed him another Saint Paul. He died at Saluzzo on June 11, 1450.

Source: Holy Dominicans: Biographical Summaries & Feast Days of Dominican Saints and Blesseds with Selected Patrons and Commemorations, The Dominican Province of St. Joseph, New York, NY, 1997. 

O God who, to recall the erring faithful to the way of salvation, didst make Blessed Stephen, Thy Confessor, an illustrious preacher of the Gospel, grant through his merits and intercession, that being freed from all sin we may ever run in the path of Thy commandments. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saint Margaret of Scotland

Yesterday, 10 June, was the feast of St. Margaret according to the extraordinary Roman calendar.

St. Margaret was from the House of Wessex, the Saxon line of English kings, towards the end of their reign. She was a descendant of King Alfred the Great, granddaughter of King Edmund, and grand-niece of Edward the Confessor.

St. Margaret was born and raised in exile in Hungary. At one point the family returned to England but when returning to the continent the family was shipwrecked north to Scotland. The family fell into the protection of Scotland's King Malcolm III who was particularly taken with Margaret. At one time contemplating religious life, she married King Malcolm thus becoming queen of Scotland.

St. Margaret lived in a time when "The goal was for the queens and kings to become nothing less than saints." (Prof. Plinio CorrĂȘa de Oliveira). It is said she exemplified the "just ruler." She influenced her husband and children to be holy rulers.

In the biography written by her confessor, the monk Turgot (later Archbishop Of St Andrews), he notes Margaret's influence on her husband, Malcolm: by the help of God she made him most attentive to the works of justice, mercy, almsgiving, and other virtues. From her he learnt how to keep the vigils of the night in constant prayer; she instructed him by her exhortation and example how to pray to God with groanings from the heart and abundance of tears. I was astonished, I confess, at this great miracle of God's mercy when I perceived in the king such a steady earnestness in his devotion, and I wondered how it was that there could exist in the heart of a man living in the world such, an entire sorrow for sin.

Marriage of St. Margaret and Malcolm III

Like a true Catholic monarch, St. Margaret knew her wealth and position was to be used in helping the hungry and poor as well as assisting the Church. She personally made vestments; she built churches and monasteries (including the Abbey of Dunfermline which housed as true cross relic); established 2 ferries for pilgrims. She was instrumental in the reform of the Church in Scotland.

But of the true saint that Margaret is, it was her personal piety that made her so! She rose every midnight to pray. In the mornings, wouldn't eat until she personally fed nine orphans and gave food & alms to the poor. She washed the feet of beggars that came to her for help. She wept over her own sins and begged correction.

Of her eight children, three became kings of Scotland and one was Queen of England when married to King Henry I (thus introducing both the Anglo-Saxon and Scottish royal bloodlines into the Normans).

On her deathbed, St. Margaret learned of her husband's and eldest son's death in battle. Her dying words were "O Lord Jesus Christ, who by Thy death didst give life to the world, deliver me." St. Margaret died A.D. 1093 at age 47. Miracles reportedly took place at Dunfermline Abbey where she and Malcolm III were buried. She was canonized in A.D. 1250 by Pope Innocent IV. During the Protestant "Reformation" in Scotland her head passed into possession of Queen Mary Stuart (Mary Queen of Scots). Her head then went into possession of French Jesuits and is believed to have perished during the French Revolution. The rest of St. Margaret's and Malcolm's bodies have been lost. It was written in the early 17th century that her remaining relics, along with Malcolm's, were obtained by King Philip II of Spain and kept there. However, and attempt to restore them to Scotland during the pontificate of Pius IX was unsuccessful as they could not be found.

Prayer to St. Margaret of Scotland

O Heavenly Patron of Scotland, and my patron saint in whose name whom I glory, pray ever to God for me; strengthen me in my faith; establish me in virtue; guard me in the conflict; at my end be steadfast at my side and plead for me with Christ, my Judge and Savior, that I may vanquish the foe malign and attain to glory everlasting to behold one day thy beautiful countenance. Amen.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Feast of Corpus Christi

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1375.

It is by the conversion of the bread and wine into Christ’s body and blood that Christ becomes present in this sacrament. the Church Fathers strongly affirmed the faith of the Church in the efficacy of the Word of Christ and of the action of the Holy Spirit to bring about this conversion. Thus St. John Chrysostom declares: “It is not man that causes the things offered to become the Body and Blood of Christ, but he who was crucified for us, Christ himself. the priest, in the role of Christ, pronounces these words, but their power and grace are God’s. This is my body, he says. This word transforms the things offered.”
And St. Ambrose says about this conversion: “Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. the power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed…. Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature.”

idea and source from The Dominican Province of St. Joseph preachers sketchbook.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Queen Isabel the Catholic

Those monarchs who do not fear God must fear their subjects.

Queen Isabel (better known in the U.S. as half of the Ferdninand and Isabella of Christopher Columbus fame) was more than a very accomplished and successful ruler. She was a pious and sincere Servent of God! As a true Catholic, Queen Isabel was both defender and promoter of the Eucharist.  As active a monarch as she was she not only assisted at mass daily but also devoutly prayed the Divine Office every day.  She was a stuanch defender of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception (almost 400 years before it was finally proclaimed).

There is a website devoted to cause of Queen Isabel's canonization at

Prayer for Isabel's Intercession

Almighty Father, in Your infinite goodness You made Queen Isabel the Catholic, a model for young ladies, wives, mothers, women leaders and government rulers. As the first sovereign of the American continent You granted to her heart a sense of piety, justice, compassion and the vision of a new land full of promise. Grant us the grace to see Your infinite majesty glorified in her prompt canonisation, and through her intercession...[ask for your particular needs] that we ask of You in this present need through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Servant of God, Queen Isabel, pray for us.

Our Father...Hail Mary...Glory Be...

The Castile crown of Queen Isabel

Queen Isabel's Tomb

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Trinity Sunday

A glorious Trinity Sunday to everyone! On this day we celebrate the reality of one of the greatest of divine mysteries, the three persons in one God!

In the Traditional morning prayers (Prime) of the Divine Office we recite the Athanasian Creed, one of the three creeds of the Church.

Athanasian Creed

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic Faith. Which Faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting Salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood. Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but One Christ. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into Flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by Unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one Man, so God and Man is one Christ. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into Heaven, He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.

The well-known Shield of the Trinity which is derived from the Athanasian Creed

Friday, June 1, 2012

First Friday

From the writings of St. Margaret Mary:

On Friday during Holy Communion, He said these words to His unworthy slave, if I mistake not: I promise you in the excessive mercy of my Heart that its all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on nine first Fridays of consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they will not die under my displeasure or without receiving their sacraments, my divine Heart making itself their assured refuge at the last moment.