Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Archive for July, 2008

Humanae Vitae

Posted by james0235 on July 25, 2008

Forty years ago today Pope Paul VI released Humanae Vitae, his Encyclical Letter on the Regulation of Birth.

In article 17 of the Encyclical the Holy Father made several interesting predictions on the consequences of Artificial Birth Control:

Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Marital infidelity, a general lowering of moral standards, the treatment of women as mere sex objects, and government coercion in matters of reproduction.

Pope Paul was a prophet. Not in the sense that he alone could predict the future. I am sure that many others could see the ultimate consequences of a contraceptive mentality. Pope Paul VI was a prophet in the sense that the word prophet means one who speaks the truth. In Hebrew the word literally means “spokesperson”. So, a prophet is the mouth of God.

Forty years ago today Pope Paul VI stood up to intense pressure and did what was right rather than what was popular. He made the decision to uphold the teachings of the Catholic faith on sexual morality and to proclaim these teachings to a world that wanted nothing less than to hear it.

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Cross Examination

Posted by james0235 on July 21, 2008

(Copyright Gospel Communications International, Inc – www.reverendfun.com)

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Posted by james0235 on July 16, 2008

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
as we do honour the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of Carmel.

Your word filled her heart
and inspired her actions,
making her constant in prayer with the Apostles,
and, through her share in our salvation,
constituting her the spiritual mother of all mankind.
She watches unceasingly with a mother’s loving care
over the brethren of her Son,
and lights us along our pilgrim way
to the Mount of your Glory,
our beacon of comfort,
and the embodiment or all our hopes
as members of the Church.
Now, with all the saints and angels,
we praise you forever:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

(Preface of Our Lady of Mount Carmel I, Carmelite Missal)

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Quote

Posted by james0235 on July 15, 2008

Continuing with this month’s theme of the Most Precious Blood:

Christ’s Blood is the precious source of salvation for the world precisely because it belongs to the Word who became flesh for our salvation.

The sign of “blood poured out”, as an expression of life given in bloodshed as a witness to supreme love, is an act of divine condescension to our human condition. God chose the sign of blood because no other sign suggests a person’s total involvement so eloquently.

(Pope John Paul II, Christ’s Blood, Source of Salvation, July 1, 2000)

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1 Year Ago Today: Summorum Pontificum

Posted by james0235 on July 7, 2008

On July 7, 2007 Pope Benedict XVI released his Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum along with an accompanying Explanatory Letter adressed to bishops.

Both of these are worth a read. A couple of excerpts:

The Roman Missal promulgated by Paul VI is the ordinary expression of the ‘Lex orandi’ (Law of prayer) of the Catholic Church of the Latin rite. Nonetheless, the Roman Missal promulgated by St. Pius V and reissued by Bl. John XXIII is to be considered as an extraordinary expression of that same ‘Lex orandi,’ and must be given due honour for its venerable and ancient usage. These two expressions of the Church’s Lex orandi will in no any way lead to a division in the Church’s ‘Lex credendi’ (Law of belief). They are, in fact two usages of the one Roman rite.

It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Liturgy of the Church.

(Pope Benedict XVI, Summorum Pontificum, Article 1, July 7, 2007)

Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.

(Pope Benedict XVI, Explanatory Letter on Summorum Pontificum, July 7, 2007)

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Litany of the Most Precious Blood

Posted by james0235 on July 6, 2008

As the month of July is traditionally dedicated to the Precious Blood it seemed fitting to continue the theme throughout the month.

Blessed Pope John XXIII had a particular devotion to the Precious Blood:

“From infancy this devotion was instilled in us within our own household. Fondly we still recall how our parents used to recite the Litany of the Most Precious Blood every day during July.”

Pope John XXIII, Apostolic Letter Inde a Primis (On Promoting Devotion to the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ)

And here is the Litany they recited:

Litany of the Most Precious Blood

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us.

Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.

Blood of Christ, of the new and Eternal Testament, save us.

Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us.

Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.

Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.

Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.

Blood of Christ, Price of our salvation, save us.

Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.

Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.

Blood of Christ, river of mercy, save us.

Blood of Christ, Victor over demons, save us.

Blood of Christ, Courage of martyrs, save us.

Blood of Christ, Strength of confessors, save us.

Blood of Christ, bringing forth virgins, save us.

Blood of Christ, Help of those in peril, save us.

Blood of Christ, Relief of the burdened, save us.

Blood of Christ, Solace in sorrow, save us.

Blood of Christ, Hope of the penitent, save us.

Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.

Blood of Christ, Peace and Tenderness of hearts, save us.

Blood of Christ, Pledge of Eternal Life, save us.

Blood of Christ, freeing souls from Purgatory, save us.

Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

V. Thou hast redeemed us, O Lord, in Thy blood, R. And made of us a kingdom for our God.

Let Us Pray

Almighty and Eternal God, Thou hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son the Redeemer of the world, and willed to be appeased by His Blood, Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may worthily adore this Price of our salvation, and through its power be safeguarded from the evils of this present life, so that we may rejoice in its fruits forever in Heaven. Through the same Christ Our Lord.

R. Amen.

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The Feast of the Most Precious Blood

Posted by james0235 on July 1, 2008

Sanguis Christi, inebria me! Blood of Christ, inebriate me!
(from the Anima Christi)

In the Liturgical Calendar of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite July 1st is the Feast of the the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ. (This Feast exists in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the form of a Votive Mass.) It commemorates all of the times Our Lord shed his most precious blood: the Circumcision, the Agony in the garden, the Scourging at the pillar, the Crowning with thorns, and in the Crucifixion.

You may recall that the Circumcision is specifically commemorated in the Mass on the Octave Day of Christmas. But, today’s Feast calls to mind all of the occasions Our Lord shed his Blood. And this same Blood is offered daily in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on altars the world over.

I read something interesting today online in the June 29th bulletin of Assumption Grotto in Detroit. The pastor writes:


I have often noted the practice of wine connoisseurs–those more adept than myself (if it were possible) in the art of drinking wine–who studiously oscillate their glass and ceremoniously sniff their beverage before consigning it to the quaff. Real wine lovers, you see, must first inform their olfactories before their tongues concerning the quality of the wine. Smell is among the senses that both informs and gives pleasure or displeasure, as the case may be.

Now, what in heavens has this to do with the Mass? Well, in the celebrating of the Tridentine Mass, there is a coincidence of word and gesture in the priest’s offering of the wine during the Offertory rite. He, while moving the chalice over the altar in the form of the cross says, “may this chalice ascend in the sight of Your divine majesty with a sweet odor…

That God should take delight in smells may be a surprising idea, but it does have biblical precedent. After the flood, Noah offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord for his delivery and God who “smelled the pleasing odor” then promised never again to destroy all living creatures. In other places of the Old Testament there is ample reference to the fragrant incense offered to God.

At Mass, when I make that sign of the cross with the chalice, I too get a brief sniff of odoriferous wine and think that this is symbolic of the agreeableness of the sacrifice that is soon to be offered to God, namely, the sacrifice of Christ. You will note, by contrast, that this Offertory prayer is not said in the ‘ordinary form’ (new rite) of the Mass and that there is no gesture made with the chalice except for its slight elevation during the priest’s words of ‘blessing.’ I know that this is only a little thing, but it is one of those many subtle and meaningful touches that arrest my attention in the Tridentine Mass and which help to raise the mind to God.

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