31 October 2007

Today we wandered around Salzburg one last time. We took Maria back to the Mirabell Gardens...

We watched some students from University of Dallas play chess in the square outside the Cathedral...

30 October 2007

A Rainy Day in Salzburg

Today was the only day that it rained on us. You can see in the picture of St. Florian how gray the skies are. St. Florian is the patron of Austria; statues and pictures of him abound. He was a commander in the Roman army and was martyred c. 304 by being thrown into the Enns River with a stone tied to his neck. He is also the patron saint of firefighters; you can see him emptying a bucket of water.

29 October 2007

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Today we visited one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. Construction began in 1077 as the Salzburg archbishops sided with the Pope during the Investiture Controversy. So imposing are its fortifications that the castle was only attacked once in its entire history. This was in 1525 during the peasants' revolt early in the protestant revolution. The castle was further strengthened in the 30 Years War (1618-1648) but was never attacked. It was finally surrendered to Napolean without a fight and thereafter served mainly as a barracks. Here is the link to all of our pictures from the day.

In this picture (below) we are standing on the top of the square tower that you see on the left in the picture above, the one with the flag. I promise, the mountains are not a fake backdrop.

This is the courtyard inside the fortress. It is very reminiscent of Tolkien's Gondor. In fact, we ran into one thing after another that seemed to come right out of the Lord of the Rings, including a ringwraith...

28 October 2007

Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ

The royalty of Christ rests upon a twofold basis. He is our King by right of birth and by right of conquest. The first refers us to the personality of the Son of God, whereby, in His divine nature as God and by virtue of the hypostatic union, He is the sovereign Lord and Master. The second places before us the God-Man coming down on earth to rescue fallen man from the slavery of Satan, and by the labors and sufferings of His life, and passion, and death, to win a glorious victory for us over sin and hell.

After holy Mass this morning we headed for the Mirabell Palace Gardens. This was the summer residence of the prince archbishops of Salzburg. Maria's favorite part of the gardens was the dwarf park (see below).

27 October 2007

Saturday in Salzburg

Today we followed Rick Steves' self-guided tour through the city. The highlight of the day was the beautiful Cathedral dedicated to Saints Rupert and Virgil. Although the Church was first built here in the 8th century, the present building was constructed during the 30 Years War in the sixteenth century. We were very impressed by the theology present in the very architecture itself. For example, the three doorways into the Church have representations of faith, hope, and charity, respectively, showing that entry into the Church is only by way of the supernatural and theological virtues. Below is the nave leading to the high altar.

After seeing churches of such beauty (the Franciscan Church and the Church of St. Peter's Abbey were also very impressive), we were frankly shocked and scandalized to see what has been done with the University church, the English speaking parish in Salzburg. Below is a picture of the "people's altar".

"The turning of the priest toward the people has turned the community into a self-enclosed circle. In its outward form, it no longer opens out on what lies ahead and above, but is locked into itself. The common turning toward the East was not a "celebration toward the wall"; it did not mean that the priest "had his back to the people": the priest himself was not regarded as so important ... As one of the fathers of Vatican II's Constitution on the Liturgy, J.A. Jungmann, put it, it was much more a question of priest and people facing in the same direction, knowing that together they were in a procession toward the Lord. They did not lock themselves into a circle, they did not gaze at one another, but as the pilgrim People of God they set off for the Oriens, for the Christ who comes to meet us...." (Joseph Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, 80).

26 October 2007

Commemoration of St. Evaristus, Pope, Martyr

St. Evaristus, successor of St. Anacletus I, governed the Church for nine years; he was condemned to death under Trajan in 109.

We caught the train this morning at about 9:30 and made it to Salzburg around 1:00. We had to change trains twice, each time with only 5 minutes to get off of one train and on to another. It was hectic but we made it! Here is Maria on the first leg of the journey.

25 October 2007

Commemoration of SS. Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs

St. Chrysanthus was converted by his wife, St. Daria. They came from the East to Rome. After many torments under the prefect Celerinus, they were buried alive in a sandpit in 284.

Tomorrow morning we are headed for Salzburg! We are, needless to say, very excited, especially about being able to hear Mass every day at the FSSP chapel. This coming Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King on the traditional calendar (it doesn't occur until the end of Nov on the Novus Ordo calendar). We were planning on returning to Gaming on 31 Oct, but after only brief consideration we couldn't resist staying for another day in order to hear a solemn high Mass according to the traditional roman rite on the Feast of All Saints. In fact, it's quite tempting to stay on another day in order to hear Mass there on the Feast of Souls - black vestments, the Dies irae ...

Well, we shall see. We aren't taking the computer with us so this will be our last post until we return. Most likely thursday, perhaps friday, will be the next time we get a chance to give you all an update.

24 October 2007

St. Raphael, Archangel

Benedict XV extended to the Universal Church the feast of the holy Archangel St. Raphael, who is known to us from the inspired words of the Book of Tobias as the angelical physician of soul and body.

I hope that Nana is proud of her little Italian granddaughter!

23 October 2007

St. Anthony Mary Claret, Bishop, Confessor

Anthony Mary Claret founded the Missionary Sons of the Heart of Mary, the Teaching Sisters of Mary Immaculate, and other communities of nuns. For many years he labored in Catalonia, for six years in Cuba as Archbishop of Santiago, and finally in Madrid. He died in exile in France in 1870.

Many apologies for not posting yesterday. I hope nobody was too worried about us (no one has appendicitis this time). For some reason the SIM card of our ISP went kaputt! functioniert nicht! But not to worry, this morning I spoke enough horribly mangled German at the Post Office to get a new one from them.

We're very excited about our trip to Salzburg this coming weekend, but the weather forecast is for rain every day. How sad. It's been raining here for the past two days and all the snow has turned into slush (hence, no pictures today). Pray for sunshine for us!

21 October 2007

Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost

God is good towards us: let us be the same towards our brethren. If we pardon our brethren from the bottom of our hearts, our Lord Jesus Christ will remit our debts.

It's still snowing! We thought it would stop, because last night as we were walking towards the Kartause for a reading of Pope John Paul II's The Jeweler's Shop we noticed that it was warmer than it had been earlier in the day, and the snow had all turned to slush. However, we awoke this morning to a fresh layer of snow, and it continued coming down into the afternoon. As beautiful as it is, we are hoping it warms up before our trip to Salzburg. Good thing we have a new, heavy duty stroller for the baby! Grrr. For some reason the image uploader is not working. You'll just have to click on the picture slideshows on the sidebar to see all the snow here. There are new pictures in the "Gaming" album and in the "Maria" album.

20 October 2007

St. John Cantius, Confessor

The holy priest St. John Cantius, a native of Kenty (Poland), was a professor at the University of Cracow. Famous for his heroic charity and zeal, he died in 1473.

Wow, is it ever snowing outside!

19 October 2007


Today I made our regular shopping trip to the cheaper grocery stores in Scheibbs. However, one of the women I was in the car with wanted to go to another town as well, where there was a small outlet mall. One of the stores in this mall was a Euro Spar, which is a lot like the Spar that we live over, only more of a supermarket than a tiny town grocery store. I wasn't planning on buying anything (unless I came across American ingredients that I haven't been able to find over here, such as Vanilla extract and baking soda.) However, I decided to check, hoping against hop, to see if they had any Becherovka, John's absolute favorite liquor (I like it too). We haven't been able to find it anywhere, we even looked for it in Vienna. We were afraid we were going to have to make a trip to the Czech Republic just for that. However, surprisingly I did find some, and I made John's day when I returned home with it. Even as I write this we are enjoying our favorite drink of Becherovka, tonic and lemon. John decided he had done enough penance eating the lentils I made for supper, and we could celebrate a little!

St. Peter of Alcantara, Confessor

St. Peter, a Spaniard of noble birth, entered the Order of St. Francis at the age of 16. He re-established the primitive Franciscan rule, and gave St. Teresa powerful support in her work of reformation. He died in 1562.

Today I finished reading Plato's Republic. The goal of this particular Platonic dialogue is to uncover the nature of justice, particularly for the sake of finding out whether it is good for a man to be just without consideration of the external rewards given to the just man by other men or by gods.

The hypothetical founding of the perfect Regime, which is actually a monarchy not a republic, is undertaken on the premise that the city is the soul writ large. That is to say, whatever justice is in the city it will be the same in the soul. This is in fact a false comparison, because the relationship of part to whole is decidedly different in a man and in a city. The city is composed of parts which are also wholes in their own right.

The regime which Socrates goes on to describe as the best regime is one in which the philosophers rule as kings, the class of men characterized by spiritedness tempered with philosophy serve as warrior auxiliaries, and the class of tradesmen, or wage-earners, characterized by desire are simply ruled.

The great Socratic irony of this work is that the most just city ends up involving eugenics, infanticide, incest, abolition of private property and of the family, in short, all manner of injustice! If there is a political point to be made in this work, i.e. if Plato has something to say about politics, it could well be that the attempt on the part of men to construct a utopian society in which injustice is completely eliminated, ends up bringing about even more injustice. Marxism comes to mind among other 20th century movements...

The main point of the work, though, is not about how a city should be ruled but about how one's own soul should be ruled. The account of the soul here is paralleled to the city, which was itself constructed with this end in view. The best soul should be ruled by the rational part, by philosophy - the search for wisdom, while the spirited part of the soul should be used as an ally of philosophy in mastering the soul's unnecessary and excessive desires.

The highlights of the work occur mostly in books V-VII, which is actually a digression from the main argument. These of course are the famous Platonic line of knowledge and the image of the cave from which the philosopher emerges into the light of the sun, the idea of the Good, only in whose light can anything be truly known.

18 October 2007

Genetics, Ethics, and Spirituality

The ITI invited Prof. Matthias Beck of the University of Vienna to give a lecture this evening on the subject of Genetics, Ethics, and Spirituality. A new study in England has concluded that "also the brain has direct influence on which genes in a cell are activated and how the cell functions." That is to say, simply what genes are contained in a cell do not yet determine how the cell will function. Genes within the cell must be turned "on" or "off". How this happens is not yet well understood at all, but the research shows that our thoughts, feelings, interior (spiritual) life, all play a role in this. The upshot of this is that finding the roots of a disease in the genes might not yet be finding the root after all. Because the further question must be asked, Why did the genes function the way they did leading to the disease? Was there a psychic reason? Man is, after all, a physic-somatic unity. Or was there an even deeper spiritual reason? This is not to say, of course, that every disease is directly the effect of personaly sin (although in its origin this is true).

St. Luke, Evangelist

St. Luke was very probably born of pagan parents at Antioch. Converted, he became the missionary companion of St. Paul, who called him “the most dear physician” and “his fellow laborer.” After the death of his teacher, according to reliable authority, he preached the Gospel in Achaia, where he died at a ripe old age. He wrote a Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles.

More fun and exciting news! We just booked a place to stay for 5 nights in Salzburg. Our semester break is coming up after one more week of classes, so we'll be heading for Salzburg a week from tomorrow and staying until the next Wednesday (31 Oct).

And, even more exciting, there was a note on the whiteboard outside the common room today that read: Extraordinary Form of the Roman Mass (1962) to be offered tomorrow in the upper chapel at 8:00 AM. All are welcome. Deo gratias!

There is also an apostolate of the FSSP (Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Petri) located in Salzburg. The picture to the left is from their German website. It says, Priests for today in and for the Church. We are very much looking forward to hearing the traditional Mass everyday while we are there. Iterum, Deo gratias!

17 October 2007

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Virgin

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was born at Verosvres (France) in 1647 and entered the Order of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. Jesus appeared to her in numerous visions, displaying to her His Sacred Heart, sometimes burning as a furnace, and sometimes torn and bleeding on account of the coldness and sins of men. In 1675 the great revelation was made to her that she, in union with Father de la Colombiére, S.J., was to be the chief instrument for instituting the Feast of the Sacred Heart and for spreading devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the world. She died on October 17, 1690.

A partial indulgence is granted to those who recite this Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (Enchridion of Indulgences #26).

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...

Each of the last two sessions of my ecclesiology class have centered on St. Augustine's account of evil in his great work, The City of God. The question is, does evil exist? The simple answer is no, although it is nonetheless real. What is evil? It is a privation of a due good. It is a lack of real being, not a being in itself. Debate raged over this definition of evil all throughout my years at Ave Maria College. The philosophers at AMC were mostly disciples of Dietrich von Hildebrand (whom I deeply admire and with whom I agree on many, many points) who disputed this definition of evil because he didn't think it did full justice to the experienced power of evil in the world, something which is not felt as a lack, but as a positive force. It is no coincidence that this school of thought arose in the twentieth century, marred as it was by some much evil and suffering. Without going into great detail here and now suffice it to say that this objection to the traditional definition of evil can only be based on a serious misunderstanding of its meaning. Moral evil, which we experience so profoundly, is precisely a privation of goodness in the will of a rational being. The will deprived of its proper goodness (which is to be ordered to God) is very real and very powerful. Perhaps a paper topic...

16 October 2007

St. Hedwig, Widow

St. Hedwig, duchess of Poland, of royal stock and the maternal aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, retired into a Cistercian convent after the death of her husband. She died in 1243.

After much debate, and surfing the internet for the best hotel and flight deals, we have set a time and place for our Christmas Vacation travels. We will fly to Rome on 4 January 2008, and fly back to Vienna on 11 January 2008. If this looks similar to a trip we took back in 2006, that's because it is. However, this time I will be able to drink the wine! We have plans to visit many different cities and countries in Europe, but we couldn't wait to go back to the Eternal City!

15 October 2007

St. Teresa of Avila, Virgin

The seraphic St. Teresa, born at Avila (Spain) at the age of 18 entered the convent of St. Mary of Mount Carmel. As the Reformer of the Carmelites, she re-established the primitive observance of their ancient Rule. On account of her invaluable works on mystical Theology, she may be considered one of the greatest Doctors of the Church. She died in 1582.

14 October 2007

Second Council of Nicaea 787

This morning we learned that today the Byzantine Catholics commemorate in the Divine Liturgy the Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Nicaea (787). The principal object of this Council was to deal with the heretical scourge of iconoclasm (Catholic Encyclopedia article on Nicaea II, texts of Nicaea II).

Some excerpts from Nicaea II:

"We declare that we defend free from any innovations all the written and unwritten ecclesiastical traditions that have been entrusted to us. One of these is the production of representational art..."

"We decree with full precision and care that, like the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, the revered and holy images, whether painted or made of mosaic or of other suitable material, are to be exposed in the holy churches of God, on sacred instruments and vestments, on walls and panels, in houses and by public ways; these are the images of our Lord, God and saviour, Jesus Christ, and of our Lady without blemish, the holy God-bearer, and of the revered angels and of any of the saintly holy men. The more frequently they are seen in representational art, the more are those who see them drawn to remember and to long for those who serve as models, and to pay to these images the tribute of salutation and respectful veneration. Certainly this is not the full adoration in accordance with our faith, which is properly paid only to the divine nature, but it resembles that given to the figure of the honoured and life-giving cross, and also to the holy books of the gospels and to other sacred cult objects. Further, people are drawn to honour these images with the offering of incense and lights, as was piously established by ancient custom. Indeed, the honour paid to an image traverses it, reaching the model; and he who venerates the image, venerates the person represented in that image."

"If anyone does not confess that Christ our God can be represented in his humanity, let him be anathema."

"If anyone does not accept representation in art of evangelical scenes, let him be anathema."

"If anyone does not salute such representations as standing for the Lord and his saints, let him be anathema."

"If anyone rejects any written or unwritten tradition of the church, let him be anathema."

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost

The Liturgy shows us that our misfortunes are caused by our unfaithfulness in conforming to the will of God. Let us beseech the Lord, through the prayers of Holy Church, to pardon our sins, so that we may serve Him with a quiet and trustful heart, always obeying His precepts.

Today I added a link to a new photo album, Maria in Austria, on the sidebar. Enjoy!

13 October 2007

St. Edward, Confessor

This King-Confessor was a grandson of St. Edward, king and martyr, and the last but one of the Anglo-Saxon Kings of England. He died in 1066.

Maria's favorite daily activity: duck watching

11 October 2007

Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary

To commemorate in the liturgy the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus (held in 431), which vindicated the title of Theotokos or “Mother of God” for our Lady, Pope Pius XI in the year 1931 instituted this feast to be observed by the whole Church as a double of the second class.

On the Novus Ordo calendar this feast has been moved inexplicably to Jan 1 displacing the remembrance of our Lord's circumcision. Jan 1 is of course the 8th day of Christ's life on earth, and thus on the traditional calendar Jan 1 is quite appropriately the remembrance of the circumcision of our Lord in which he shed His Precious Blood for the first time.

All three of the following pictures are prominent on the baroque ceiling of the main chapel of the Kartause. The first one is, I think, St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order. This would only make sense since this was a Carthusian monastery. I don't know exactly what the other two depict. Perhaps some of our friends who have been here before, or who are familiar with western iconography, could enlighten us all.

10 October 2007

St. Francis Borgia, Confessor

After the death of his wife, St. Francis, Duke of Gandia and Viceroy of Catalonia, renounced his high position in order to enter the Society of Jesus. He was the third General of his Order and died at Rome in 1572.

Not much to report today. If you are interested in reading the paper that I turned in today on the theme of Philosopher Kings in Plato's Republic, there is a link on the sidebar.

09 October 2007

St. John Leonardi, Confessor

This holy priest of Luna in Tuscany founded the Congregation of Regular Clergy called “of the Mother of God,” and other Institutes. He died at Rome on October 9, 1609. St. John Leonardi was beatified by Pope Pius XI. Pius XII extended his feast to the whole Catholic world in 1940.

We have gotten to know a really wonderful couple here from India and they have a little boy who is just one month older than Maria. Lisa and Vidya have been taking the kids on walks together the past few days as the weather has been beautiful. Below is some of the scenery from their walk today.

Here are Maria and Eli (Elijah) looking at some ducks swimming on a pond. Eli is 100% boy!

And here are the culprits caught holding hands on their walk.

08 October 2007

St. Bridget, Widow

St. Bridget, a descendant of the royal house of Sweden, was married to prince Ulfo. After the death of the latter, she founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior, commonly called Bridgettines. She died at Rome in 1373.

I'm in the library right now trying to write a paper having to do with Plato's Republic and my poor little brain needs a break. So, I decided that I'll give you an update on all my classes since we are just about one third of the way through the semester.

German: I learned the word "langsam" (slowly), which describes the movement of the class perfectly. So far I've learned how to introduce myself (Ich bin John, Mein Name ist John) and how to count to 100. I desperately need a non-conversational text book that explains grammar rules, has vocab lists and exercises, etc. Any ideas Christina?

Political Philosophy: This is the one that is taxing my brain right now. The course consists of reading in their entirety Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics. We have read so far 7 of 10 books in Plato and the question at hand right now is why on earth does Socrates claim that cities will never have any rest from ills unless philosophers rule as kings?

Natural Philosophy: This course has definitely taken a turn for the better. We began by reading Jean Henri Fabre's writings on his observations of insects (moderately interesting) and then turned to Goethe's botanical writings (bored to tears took on new meaning for me). At last, though, we turned to familiar ground - the presocratic philosophers, then selections from the Phaedo and the Timaeus by Plato, and now Deo gratias Aristotle's Physics, which we will read in its entirety.

Ecclesiology: This course is appropriately subtitled The City of God as the only reading required for the whole semester is St. Augustine's masterpiece by that name. Today we completed the first main part of the book in which he first refutes those who claim that their pagan gods are to be worshipped for the sake of happiness in this life and then also refutes those who hold that the gods are to be worshipped for the sake of happiness in the next life. Having read this we are now about to embark on his discussion of the origins, progress in history, and destined ends of the two cities: the city of man and the city of God.

Synoptic Gospels: This class has turned out to focus mostly on the Pope's new book, Jesus of Nazareth. Early on we also read some of Romano Guardini's The Lord, but even then classroom discussion centered primarily on Ratzinger's book (which is better than I anticipated). I have been particularly delighted by this class because it has been shedding fresh light for me on the doctrine of the Atonement, which I have been trying to understand more fully for quite some time now.

Prophets: So far we've read Amos, Micah, and Isaiah. Jeremiah is next. I'm not sure at all what the rationale is for the order, but I particularly enjoyed reading Isaiah because the figure of the suffering servant in Is. 52-53 is obviously quite important to a proper understanding of Christ's vicarious atonement. In studying Isaiah I took the opportunity to translate some of Aquinas' commentary on Isaiah, which has never been translated into English. Even though we are moving on to Jeremiah I'm going to continue to work on it in my spare time for the sake of keeping up on my Latin and because I can't image St. Thomas' commentary on the suffering servant is uninteresting.

07 October 2007

Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary)

In its present form the Rosary (according to the accepted tradition) is due to St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Friars Preachers, his objective being to stem the flood of the Albigensian heresy, then spreading far and wide throughout Europe. He propagated this form of prayer in obedience to a revelation received from the Blessed Virgin, to whom he had recourse for this purpose, about the year 1206, and to him we owe the spread of a devotion, which for many centuries has produced the most marvelous results in the Christian world. The decisive defeat of the Turks at the famous battle of Lepanto (1571) and at Belgrade (1716) gave occasion to the institution of this feast and to its extension to the Universal Church.

Today was a busy day! There was a baptism at Mass this morning, and thus an agape following (bread and cheeses, cakes and coffee). Then we had lunch with about a dozen people in the Kartause (Maria made a new friend, video will be forthcoming). At 7:00 there was a Rosary procession around the courtyard in honor of today's feast day, and then a poetry reading in the common room in honor of the same. I had the honor of reading the poem Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton (below).

White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain - hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.
Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.
They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground, -
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces -four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still - hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.
St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee, -
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.
King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed -
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.
The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign -
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!
Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

06 October 2007

St. Bruno, Confessor

St. Bruno, born at Cologne, retired with six of his friends to one of the desert mountains of Dauphiny in the southeast of France. There he established the first house of the Order of the Carthusians. He died on October 6, 1101.

It just so happens that the Kartause was a Carthusian monastery, home of many of St. Bruno's spiritual children. This morning the Divine Liturgy was offered for Fr. Gerald's health and well being and afterwards the ITI community was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as part of the First Saturday devotion to the Immaculate Heart. Here is Maria on our way home after the Divine Liturgy:

This evening we took a walk a little ways up from the center of the town. Here is the view looking back toward where we live:

05 October 2007

First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Pious souls, deeply afflicted by the outrages that the Sacred Heart of Jesus receives from careless and impious Christians, consecrate to It, in the spirit of reparation, the First Friday of each month.

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

(A partial indulgence is granted to those who recite this prayer).

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 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.

04 October 2007

St. Francis of Assisi, Confessor

The Seraphic Patriarch of Assisi was a man especially raised up by God in the Middle Ages with the mission to reconvert the world to Christ. Francis was born in a stable, and heralded into the world by angelic song; he commenced his work with twelve followers, whom he sent two by two to preach the Gospel. He espoused most high Poverty, and received in his own body the marks of the Sacred Passion on Mount Alvernia. Francis’s message of charity, peace, and justice was heard by men and women of every grade of society, and thousands in consequence desired to leave all and follow Francis in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. Therefore he founded the Order of Friars Minor, the Second Order or the Poor Clares, and the Tertiaries or Third Order, which bear his name. St. Francis died about sunset on Saturday, October 3, 1226.

Please pray for Fr. Gerald. It seems quite serious.

03 October 2007

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, Virgin

Mary Frances Martin was born at Alençon of parents most pious and endowed with a comfortable amount of the goods of this world. At the age of fifteen she entered the Carmel of Lisieux, living there in holiness and humility. Her whole ambition was to love God perfectly and to conquer souls for Jesus. She died in the odor of sanctity, promising to “spend her heaven in doing good upon earth” (1873-1897). His Holiness Pope Pius XI declared her Blessed on April 29, 1923, and canonized her on March 17, 1925.

Today is the feast of St. Therese both on the traditional roman calendar which we follow at home and on the Byzantine calendar, which is the rite that we attend here. So at the Divine Liturgy today Maria (and Lisa and I) had the privilege of being blest with oil, kissing a first class relic of St. Therese and venerating St. Therese's icon on her middle-name day. It was extraordinary.

Today I turned in my first written work of the semester. It's rather embarrassing, but for the sake of giving you all a window into my life as a student here, I'll be making my essays available online. The assigned topic for this paper was, "Which is greater in the Book of Isaiah: God's love or the people's sins? Did God divorce His people?" My answer: "The Triumph of the Love of God over the Sin of His People in the Book of the Prophet Isaiah." I would be very interested if you have any criticisms or other comments.

02 October 2007

Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels

God’s love for us was not satisfied with giving us His Son, Jesus, for our Redeemer, and Mary for our Advocate; He has been pleased to give us also His Angels to be our guardians: “He hath given His Angels charge over thee: to keep thee in all thy ways” (Ps. 90:2). These holy spirits and princes of heaven are always present with us, and assist us in all our actions. And on this account, out of regard to our guardian Angels, we ought carefully to refrain from every action which can displease them.

Wien (Vienna)

To celebrate the Feast Day (on the New Calendar) of St. Therese of Lisieux, Patroness of the ITI, the school sponsored a trip to Vienna to hear Mass offered by Cardinal Schönborn in the Stephansdom.

We arrived at Stephansplatz around 11:00 AM. The Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) dates back to the 12th century (Wikipedia link). The dominant feature of the Stephansdom, the 445 foot south tower, was unfortunately under construction and covered with scaffolding.

After looking inside the Tolkienesque Cathedral we headed for the Hofburg Imperial Palace (Wikipedia link), seat of various governments since 1279. Below is a a shot of the so-called New Palace with the balcony from which both Adolf Hitler and Pope John Paul II have addressed Austria.

After walking through the Hofburg we headed for the Vienna State Opera House (Wikipedia link). It's an impressive sight even from the outside.

Just behind the opera house, and across the street, stand the five-star Hotel Sacher and the Cafe Sacher, home of the world famous Sachertorte - a chocolate lover's dream (Wikipedia link). We sat and enjoyed drinking espresso with cream and eating our Sachertorte in a delightful Viennese cafe. Maria especially enjoyed the whipped cream.

After hearing Mass at 6:00 we were received personally by the Cardinal, who gave Maria a special blessing. Then we headed for dinner - it defies description. The food was unmemorable, but the experience was unforgettable. There must have been about 100 of us packed around long wooden tables being entertained by local musicians (one with an accordian!), eating ham and chicken and saurkraut, drinking beer and wine and toasting everything under the sun in fine Ukrainian fashion, BUDMO, HEY! It was fun, and very, very loud. Undergraduates and grad students, professors and priests, parents and kids all raised their glasses, and quite a ruckus. When all was said and done we didn't arrive home until about 12:30 tired, but happy.

To see more of our pictures of the day visit our Vienna album.

01 October 2007

St. Remigius, Bishop, Confessor

St. Remigius, Bishop of Rheims, in France, converted the Merovingian king Clovis and the Frankish nation. He died in 534.