31 January 2008

Lecture on the Intentio Auctoris

The halls of the ITI this evening were crowded for the first of this semester's special lectures. The topic was the Intentio Auctoris (intention of the author) in the Pelagian Interpretation of St. Paul, presented by Msgr. Johann Tauer.

Apparently, besides being a heretic condemned by the Church in 418 for his false teachings on grace and free will, Pelagius was noteworthy for his method of biblical interpretation. Good method notwithstanding, he still managed to come to heretical conclusions. Ah, well...

The most interesting part of the presentation (for me, at least) came during the Q&A afterwards. A question was raised about the allegorical interpretations of Origen, the famous third century biblical scholar. In the course of his answer, Msgr. Tauer explained that Origen interpretated Psalm 24:7-10 as referring to the Ascension of Christ in the following manner.

When Christ ascended from the earth 40 days after His Resurrection, He was accompanied by all the angels who had ministered to Him while He was on earth. As they reached the heavenly city, however, the gates were closed, and therefore the angels with Christ called out, "Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in." The angels guarding the gates, however, called back, "Who is the King of glory?" To which the angels with Christ reply, "The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in." The angels inside, though, ask again: "Who is this King of glory?" To which the answer comes, "The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory!"

Lord of hosts, of course, is a frequent title for God himself in the Old Testament, so here finally the angels inside throw open the doors of heaven to receive Christ returning in triumph. Apparently Origen poses the question that must occur to all who read his interpretation: Why did the angels not recognize Christ as God? His answer: never before had heaven known flesh. Interestingly enough, Handel chose this passage of Psalm 24 in connection with the Ascension of Christ in his musical masterpiece.

St. John Bosco, Confessor

Don Bosco founded the Salesian Fathers and the Order of Our Lady Help of Christians, for the education of poor boys and girls. He died in 1888.

30 January 2008

St. Martina, Virgin, Martyr

This noble Roman Virgin was beheaded after the most atrocious torments, in 228.

We found a very cool list of lists that Catholics should know on the site Fish Eaters. This is really a great website, and thanks again to my Dad for sharing it with us. It has all kinds of fun customs and traditions for families.

7 Sacraments (we knew all 7)
7 Corporal works of mercy (we only knew 5)
7 Spiritual works of mercy (4)
3 Eminent good works (2)

This is getting embarrassing...

7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit (7 - John laughed when I said, "wonder and awe"...)
12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit (10)
3 Theological virtues (3)
4 Cardinal virtues (4)
7 Capital sins... (we knew all 7 of these...)
7 Contrary virtues (...but only 6 of these; what does that say?)
6 Sins against the Holy Ghost (3)
4 Sins that cry out to Heaven (4)
3 Conditions for mortal sin (3)
9 Ways we participate in others's sins (4)
10 Commndments (woo hoo! 10!)
2 Greatest commandments (2)
3 Evangelical counsels (3)
6 Precepts of the Church (6)
6 Holy days of obligation (in the U.S.A.) (6)
3 Powers of the soul (2)
4 Pillars of the Catholic Faith (4)
3 Pillars of the Church's authority (3)
3 Munera (duties of the ordained) (3)
3 Parts of the Church (3)
4 Marks of the Church (4)
12 Apostles (12 - I can say them all in three seconds, thanks Dad!)
12 Tribes of Israel (12 - thanks again, Dad)
8 Beatitudes (8)
14 Stations of the Cross (14)
7 Sorrows of our Lady (4)
7 Joys of our Lady (4)
7 Sorrows of Joseph (4)
7 Joys of Joseph (4)
15 Mysteries of the Rosary (15)
7 Days of Creation (6)
9 Choirs of angels (9)
3 Levels of reverence (3)
14 Holy helpers (7)
7 Last words of Christ (7)
4 Last things (4)

Overall, we're a little bit ashamed... especially the one of us who studies theology. Final score: 228 out of 266 (86%). For a bit of fun, test yourself and post your total score in the comment box if you like. Gold star to the winner!

29 January 2008

St. Francis De Sales, Bishop, Confessor, Doctor of the Church

St. Francis, Count of Sales, Bishop of Geneva, patron of Catholic writers, preached the Word of God to the Calvinists and brought back 60,000 to the Catholic Faith. He founded with St. Jane Fremiot de Chantal the Order of the Visitation. He died in 1622.

Beatus Dies Natalis, Will!

Today we had a wonderful evening. Two Benedictine Monks, Brothers Basil and Benedict came over for dinner. They brought us some fantastic Italian Vino, and some chocolate made in their monestary in Norcia (the birthplace of St. Benedict). Maria is mesmorised by Brother Basil, as he is the one who dressed up as St. Nicholas this past December. She was shy at first, but Brother Benedict read her this page from her Alphabet of Saints by Robert Hugh Benson, and she warmed up right away!

B for SAINT BENEDICT, Hermit and Sage
Whose Rule has been kept by most Monks since his age.
Cyrilla, his Governess, took him from home
To learn how to read at a day-school in Rome,
Where he went to his lessons with satchel and pen
And rode back by the Tiber to supper again.
He loved contemplation so much that one day
He agreed with Cyrilla to run right away;
And for years in the mountains he fasted and prayed
Till the praise of the neighbors made BENET afraid;
So he wandered and wandered, but stayed in the end
In a cave near ROMANUS the Monk, his good friend.
Before long many Monks gathered round him to pray,
And his Rule and his Monks are still mighty to-day.
O Blessed Saint BENET, I wish I could be
Half as good for one year as you were sixty-three.

28 January 2008

St. Peter Nolasco, Confessor

St. Peter, instructed by the Blessed Virgin, founded the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Redemption of Captives. When all funds for the work were exhausted, the religious were bound by their rule to take the places of the prisoners with the infidels. St. Peter Nolasco died in 1256.

On the Novus Ordo calendar today is the memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Anglic Doctor and the patron of our Institute together with St. Therese of Lisieux. After the 5:15 Mass (offered in Latin, although not according to the traditional Missal) the whole ITI family had dinner together at two loooooong tables. Fruit salad, soup, salad, pork roast, and more. I can do no better than repeat the words of Hilaire Belloc:

Where e're the Catholic sun doth shine
There's always laughter and good red wine
At least I've always found it so
Benedicamus Domino!

27 January 2008

Happy Birthday Tom!

We all love you and miss you, and wish you all the best on your birthday! Beatus dies natalis!

As you may have noticed we've made a few changes to the sidebar. Still at the top is the picture of Jeramiah lamenting the destruction of Jerusalem; this reflects the current liturgical season of Septuagesima (seventieth), which calls to mind the seventy years of the Babylonian Captivity in order to prepare us for the penance and hardships of Lent. Next, January is dedicated to the Holy Name of Jesus; hence the IHS monogram.

The section "About Us" has been expanded to include all our patron saints (let us know if we missed any important ones). We included the saints in whose names we were baptized and confirmed (Ss. John, Patrick, and Francis; Ss. Elisabeth, Anne, and Maria Goretti; Ss. Mary, and Thérèse of Lisieux). We actually chose Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces as Maria's patroness only then to make the delightful realization that she was baptized on the vigil of this feast.

We also included the patrons of our places in the family (Ss. Joseph, Anne, and Maria Goretti), our places in society (Ss. Albert the Great, and John of God), and our places on the globe (Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Immaculate Conception, and St. Florian); Ss. Thomas Aquinas and Thérèse of Lisieux are the patrons of the International Theological Institute. As it turns out John was born on the feast of the patron saint of theology students!

We also added individual links to our photo albums lower down on the sidebar. There are pictures of Maria from January, pictures of Christmas Day, and more pictures of Maria (this time from November and December). After these are pictures of our latest trip (to Rome and Orvieto), and our earlier trips to Vienna and Salzburg.

Sexagesima Sunday

Jesus is our Redeemer and by His saving doctrine gives life to souls.

In the Collect (opening prayer) of today's liturgy the Church beseeches God to "mercifully grant, that by the protection of the Doctor of the Gentiles we may be defended against all adversities." I learned from Fr Zuhlsdorf that St. Paul's protection is explicitly invoked today because today's Station Church in Rome is the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Walls (where we recently were!). The inscription on the statue of St. Paul in the courtyard of the Church reads: Praedicator Veritatis et Doctor Gentium. You can't see this because I took the picture at a funny angle in order to keep the scaffolding out of the shot.

A Station Church, by the way, is the place where according to ancient custom the pope and clergy of the city would gather to say Mass that day, leading the faithful to the site in solemn procession.

26 January 2008

St. Polycarp, Bishop and Martyr

St. Polycarp, a disciple of St. John the Apostle, was Bishop of Smyrna for seventy years and was martyred under Marcus Aurelius in 169.

We uploaded a fresh batch of pictures of Maria onto my google photo albums. Click this link to view January '08. You can also always click the link to Lisa's Photo Albums on the sidebar. John's Photo Albums are mostly of our travels. Enjoy!

25 January 2008

The Conversion of St. Paul

Saul of Tarsus was full of hatred for Jesus and his disciples. From a bitter persecutor he became an ardent apostle and the irresistible preacher of the Gospel.

I finished reading this morning The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty by Michael Davies (Neumann Press, 1992). The book takes a hard look at Vatican II’s Declaration on Religious Liberty, promulgated 7 December 1965. This is a highly controverted document because it "appears" to contradict previous clear papal teaching. I say "appears", because the Declaration Dignitatis humanae is the teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium, and as such, even though not infallible, requires that we give it every benefit of doubt. It must also be remembered however that the various encyclicals of popes Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII, St. Pius X, Pius XI, and Pius XII, which Dignitatis humanae seems to contradict, are also authoritative teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium to which we owe our loyal assent. What a dilemma.

Not having read much before on the subject of the proper relationship between Church and State, I found the author's résumé of papal teaching on the subject to be quite interesting, and especially instructive for an American. The wording is largely that of one Father Brian Harrison, but the author cites plenty of actual papal texts to support the veracity of this short summary.

1. The civitas [State] has a duty to honour God, and to recognize as uniquely true the religion entrusted by Christ to the Catholic Church. In a predominantly Catholic society this will be achieved by the union of Church and State in which false religions will not be granted the same rights as the true religion.

2. Civil authority, therefore, has the duty also to protect the true religion and the Catholic Church by restricting (to the extent that the common good requires) the free propagation of doctrinal error – both that which opposes reason or the natural law and that which opposes revealed truth. (It then pertains to ecclesiastical and civil law, mutable according to circumstances, to propose norms governing how much restriction the common good does in fact require in particular cases.)

3. In a well-constituted society, the common good will always require some degree of restriction over and above that which is necessary merely for the maintenance of public peace.

4. Civil authority can and should tolerate the diffusion of error to the extent that the common good requires, but may never give positive approval or authorization to that error, since nobody has an objective right to believe or propagate what is false, or to do what is wrong.

5. Nobody may ever be forced into embracing the Catholic faith, since the act of faith must be free.

24 January 2008

St. Timothy, Bishop, Martyr

St. Timothy, who is the best-known disciple of St. Paul, was bishop of Ephesus in Asia Minor. He was stoned to death by pagans in 97.

I think it is safe to say that Maria's favorite food by far is pasta (her Nana would have been proud of the way she devoured the pasta tonight). Lisa can cook a pot of it at the beginning of the week, feed it to her all week, and she's happy as a clam. Here you can see she is beginning to grasp the concept of silverware, too. She is starting to learn the names of some of the people with whom we spend more time here.

23 January 2008

St. Raymond of Peñafort

St. Raymond, eminent minister of the Sacrament of Penance, was a priest of the Order of St. Dominic, celebrated for his virtues, his miracles, and his writings on Canon Law. He died in 1275.

This picture was actually taken yesterday; one of Maria's newest words, and favorite discoveries is the existence of "pockets." It makes her look rather grown-up, though, does it not?

There have been a couple changes in my class schedule for a variety of reasons. I've dropped the Tue/Thu Politics class and Lisa will be auditing DDR. Waldstein's class on the Theology of the Body in that time slot instead (10:30-11:45). I've added a class on the Pentateuch on Friday mornings (9:00-11:45), and the German class, rather than meeting Mon/Wed from 8:00-8:50 will meet at that time Tues/Wed/Thu.

22 January 2008

Ss. Vincent and Anastasius, Martyrs

St. Vincent, deacon of Saragossa in Spain, suffered martyrdom in the persecution of Diocletian in 304. St. Anastasius, a monk of Persia, was put to death with seventy other Christians under Chosroes in 628.

Tomorrow classes begin for the Spring Semester, and this is what my schedule looks like.

8:00-8:50 - Intermediate German
9:00-10:15 - Gospel of John
10:30-11:45 - Natural Philosophy II: Motion and Order

9:00-10:15 - Metaphysics I
10:30-11:45 - Political Philosophy II: Modern Political Thought
3:45-5:00 - Psalms

I am also thinking about auditing a class on Roman Liturgy on Friday mornings from 9:00 to 11:45, and Lisa is hoping to audit DDR. Waldstein's class on the Theology of the Body (T/Th 10:30-11:45).

21 January 2008

St. Agnes, Virgin, Martyr

This noble Roman Virgin suffered martyrdom at the age of thirteen rather than lose the treasure of her virginity; she was beheaded in 304. Her name is inscribed in the Canon of the Mass.

Sorry the posts have been sparse as of late - our internet connection has been acting up again and we’ve been able to spend only limited time online. Fish Eaters has some fun information on customs surrounding the Feast of St. Agnes. It seems that some North African air has ventured across the Mediterranean Sea and has made it all the way to Gaming, thus warming things up here considerably. The last few days here have been like Spring. The snow has all melted, and when the sun is high it is downright warm. We took Maria for a walk down river today to see if we could spot any ducks, and perhaps even feed them.

20 January 2008

Septuagesima Sunday

The three Sundays preceding Ash Wednesday are called Septuagesima, Sexagesima, and Quinquagesima, which mean, respectively, the seventieth, sixtieth, and fiftieth day, that is, before Easter. They are mere names to correspond with the name of Lent (Quadragesima in Latin: fortieth); obviously they do not actually correspond with the period they indicate.

Man, victim of the sin of Adam and of his own sins, is justly afflicted; groans and sorrow encompass him.

On these Sundays the
Gloria in excelsis and Alleluia are omitted, except when the Mass of a feast is said, and violet vestments are used in preparation for Lent.

19 January 2008

Commemoration of Ss. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum, Martyrs

The Persian nobles Marius and Martha came with their sons Audifax and Abachum to Rome to visit the tombs of the Apostles Ss. Peter and Paul. They were cast into prison, tortured, and martyred in 270.

18 January 2008

Commemoration of St. Prisca, Virgin and Martyr

This Roman Virgin suffered martyrdom at the age of thirteen under the Emperor Claudius in the first century.

Nothing much going on here today... It's pouring rain, Maria is being something of a schnitzel, I've finished all the books I received for Christmas (thank you all very much) except for Anne Carroll's Christ and the Americas which Lisa and I are reading together. Father Gerald asked me to write something for the bulletin at Old St. Pat's, I don't know how much of the following he'll include in the bulletin but here is what I sent to him:

Grüss Gott! (The Austrian greeting: may God greet you!)

Lisa and I (and Maria) are delighted to have the opportunity to share with you all about our life here in Gaming, Austria. It is beautiful here and we love it, but at the same time we miss our friends and family (and parish family) very much, and are looking forward to coming home and seeing as many of you as we can in the summer. Academically, the semester went well for me; it didn’t take as long as I feared to get back into "school mode." I studied mostly philosophy and the Sacred Scriptures (also German).

The family life here is truly wonderful. There are something like 65 children in the I.T.I. community; in other words, the International Theological Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family practices what it preaches! I can hardly imagine a better environment for raising children. Maria especially loves running around in the courtyard with all the other kids after Mass and the Divine Liturgy are over on Sundays.

One of the aspects of life here that has really been a unique blessing is the Institute's emphasis on bringing together the Eastern and Western Catholic traditions. Many of the students here are from Eastern European countries (Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Russia, Czech Republic). We decided early on to take advantage of the opportunity to attend the Eastern Catholic Divine Liturgy on an almost daily basis and are glad to have done so. Even though it’s not called "Mass", the Divine Liturgy is, of course, essentially the same Eucharistic Sacrifice, but the ceremony and ritual are very different.

For example, the Divine Liturgy is chanted all the way through, with nothing spoken except the homily, and (sometimes) the Creed, and the Our Father. There are no hymns; instead we chant different set antiphons depending on the day. Sometimes we and the priest chant in dialogue form, and sometimes the priest whispers silent prayers to God while we are chanting another prayer. This last practice is actually quite instructive as it serves to remind us that while we are all praying and worshipping God together, it is the priest and not we, who offers the sublime sacrifice to God in the person of Christ – our task is to offer ourselves to God in union with that one perfect sacrifice.

Another difference between the Mass as it is now usually offered in the West and the Divine Liturgy is that in the latter the priest and the people stand facing the same direction, rather than facing each other. For the homily, of course, and at other points the priest turns to face us, but when he speaks to God he turns to face God. Although strange at first for all of us who are used to seeing the priest's face all the time, we have really grown to love and appreciate this because it minimizes the priest's presence in the sanctuary and allows for a deeper focus on God.

Perhaps the most difficult adjustment practically speaking was the manner in which Communion is received in the Divine Liturgy. The priest holds a chalice filled with the Precious Blood and with many Sacred Hosts. When we approach we tip our heads back and open our mouths while the priest uses a golden spoon to carefully drop the host directly into the mouth. Since they use leavened bread, it soaks up the consecrated wine and thus we receive both the Body and Blood of Christ together, without anyone handling something so sacred.

Since Fr. Gerald (always concerned for others as he is) asked how we are doing financially, I'll just say that we knew at the outset that it would be difficult since we are not able to work here, but we decided to follow the path to which God was calling us and trust in Him to take care of us. I did find out recently that anyone who is interested and able to help us financially (always appreciated!) can go to www.itiusa.org and donate tax-deductible money to the Institute. If you note that your donation is specifically for "US Students Financial Aid," and email me the amount of the donation, it will benefit us directly.

I suspect I've been running on longer than Fr. Gerald intended me to, so I'll wrap this up and just tell you again (as I’ve done far too infrequently) how much I loved my time at Old St. Patrick’s, how grateful I am to all of you for the love you’ve shown me and my family, how grateful I am to Fr. Gerald for allowing me to work among you, how much we all miss you and love you and look forward to seeing you again! May God bless you always!
With all our love, John, Lisa, and Maria Joy.

17 January 2008

St. Anthony, Abbot

The Father of community life led the life of a hermit from the age of eighteen, but later he instituted the monastic life in common. He died at the age of 105 years in 356.

More new entries to the Reading List: Saint John Fisher by Michael Davies (14 January); No Place for God: The Denial of the Transcendent in Modern Church Architecture by Moyra Doorly (16 January); The Last Crusade: Spain: 1936 by Warren Carroll (17 January).

"The fort is betrayed even of them that should have defended it" (John Fisher, from the Tower of London). "A much needed biography of this great saint, a saint for our time if ever there was one. St. John Fisher is one of the greatest Catholics who ever lived and his life certainly provides the perfect example of a truly Catholic bishop. This life of Fisher portrays in a vivid manner those most closely involved in his life and martyrdom - King Henry VIII; Lady Margaret Beaufort, Fisher's patron; the scheming Anne Boleyn; the saintly Queen Catherine; the cowardly Cardinal Wolsey; the uncompromising saint Thomas More; etc" (Neumann Press).

"Once modern science declared the emptiness and meaninglessness of a strictly material universe, it was only a matter of time before architects would adopt the new understanding of space, that is to say that no space is special because none is any different or better than any other.

In their quest to adapt to and speak to the present age, Catholics over the last forty years have unquestioningly allowed the trends in modern architecture to fashion their churches, and the outcome has been the construction of the ugliest and emptiest churches in history...

...Doorly traces the principles of modern architecture to the ideas of space that spread rapidly during the twentieth century. She sees a parallel between the desacralization of the heavens, and consequently of our churches, and the mass inward search for a god of one's own. This double movement - away from the transcendent God, who reveals himself to man through Scripture and tradition, and toward an inner truth relevant only to oneself - has emptied our churches, and the worship that takes place within them, of the majesty and beauty that once inspired reverence in both believers and unbelievers alike.

In non-technical language accompanied by photographs, Doorly explains what has gone wrong with our churches and suggests a simple way to begin rectifying it [Turn around again, Father!]." (From the back cover.)

"Crusade" means a war for the sake of the Cross, a war to protect Christian people from persecution and death on account of their faith in Jesus Christ. Everyone has heard of the crusades of the Middle Ages. But few know of the crusade in our own time, which living men still remember, fought for this same purpose only sixty years ago in Spain.

In just six months of the year 1936, thirteen bishops and nearly seven thousand priests, seminarians, monks, and nuns were martyred in Spain by enemies of Christianity. It was the greatest clerical bloodletting in so short a span of time since the persecutions of the Church by the ancient Roman emperors. Already Pope John Paul II has beatified some two hundred of these martyrs. Tens of thousands of churches, chapels, and shrines in Spain were pillaged or destroyed. In response, faithful Spanish Catholics proclaimed a crusade. Against all odds the crusaders triumphed, and the Church and the Faith in Spain were saved.

This is the story of that crusade, now honored in no other book in print in the English language. Most people who know of the Spanish Civil War do not understand why it was fought or how it was really won. This book will tell you. There is no story like it in the history of the twentieth century." (From the back cover.)

16 January 2008

St. Marcellus I, Pope, Martyr

St. Marcellus I defended the rights of the Church with heroic resistance. On this account he was exiled by the heretical Maxentius. He died in 310.

My reading list has received a number of new entries in the past couple of days, the first of which was Lex Orandi Lex Credendi: An Examination of the Ethos of the Tridentine Mass and that of the Novus Ordo of Pope Paul VI by John Wetherell (thanks to my father-in-law for this one).

The book, as you can see, is a beautifully bound hardcover; it is published by the newly established Saint Joan Press, which describes itself as "a traditional Catholic publishing house producing high quality hardback books at affordable prices." If this book is any indication, there are good things to come. Although interesting and useful throughout, the real gem in this book is the third appendix, which catalogues some of the major differences between the Traditional Latin Mass [TLM] and the Novus Ordo Missae while showing at the same time the disconcerting similarities between the changes made by the 16th century English Protestant Reformer Thomas Cranmer and those made by the post-Vatican II Consilium charged with implementing Sacrosanctum concilium (Decree on the Sacred Liturgy). From Appendix III: "Differences between the Ordinary of the Tridentine Mass and the Novus Ordo Missae."

1. TLM: Entitled "The Mass". Cranmer entitled his 1549 service: "The Supper of the Lord and the Holy Communion commonly called the Mass". The Novus Ordo Missae was entitled "The Lord's Supper or Mass" in the original Article 7. The term "Lord's Supper" is still included in the revised Article 7.

2. TLM: Celebrated in Latin. Cranmer's Lord's Supper celebrated in the vernacular. The Novus Ordo Missae celebrated in the vernacular.

3. TLM: Much of the Mass said inaudibly. Cranmer's service one of public praise and thanksgiving and therefore said audibly, with the possible exception of the Offertory Prayers in a sung service. Novus Ordo Missae said audibly throughout.

4. TLM: Celebrated on an eastward-facing altar. Cranmer's service celebrated on a table facing the people. Novus Ordo Missae celebrated on what is clearly intended to be a table facing the people.

5. TLM: The Psalm Judica me, unacceptable to Protestants in virtue of its reference to the "altar of God". Suppressed by Cranmer. Suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

6. TLM: Double Confiteor distinguishes between priest and people, which is unacceptable to Protestants, as is the invocation of the saints. Cranmer changed and moved the position of the Confiteor. The double Confiteor has been suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae, thus blurring the distinction between priest and people. A truncated Confiteor invoking the angels and saints is included as an option but other penitential rites containing no such invocation and thus completely acceptable to Protestants are provided.

7. TLM: The prayer Aufer a nobis evokes Old Testament sacrifice with its reference to the Holy of Holies which the High Priest entered to offer the blood of the sacrificial victim. Suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

8. TLM: The prayer Oramus te, Domine refers to the relics in the altar stone. The use of an altar stone is no longer obligatory for movable altars or when Mass is celebrated outside a consecrated building. An altar stone is only "commended" for permanent altars (Institutio Generalis 265-6). The prayer has been suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

9. TLM: Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Collect, Epistle, Gospel, Creed. Retained by Cranmer in 1549. Retained in Novus Ordo Missae.

10. TLM: The Offertory Prayers: Suscipe, sancta Pater Deus, qui humanae Offerimus tibi, Domine In Spiritu humilitatis Veni, sanctificator omnipotens Suscipe, sancta Trinitas. Comparable prayers in the Sarum rite suppressed by Cranmer. All these prayers suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

11. TLM: Orate fratres. Suppressed by Cranmer and suppressed by the Consilium in the draft for the Missa Normativa. Restored as a result of pressure at the 1967 Synod in Rome.

12. TLM: Secret Prayers (Proper of the Mass). These prayers often contain specifically sacrificial terminology. They were abolished by Cranmer but have been retained in the Novus Ordo Missae though frequently emasculated in the I.C.E.L. translations. As these prayers do not form part of the Ordinary they do not provide an obstacle to achieving an ecumenical Ordinary.

13. TLM: Sursum corda dialogue, Preface, Sanctus. Retained by Cranmer. Retained in Novus Ordo Missae.

14. TLM: Roman Canon. Abolished by Cranmer. Retained as an option in the Novus Ordo Missae, which also contains a Canon (Eucharistic Prayer II) which some Protestants consider acceptable. It makes no distinction between priest and people and does not include the word "Hostia" (victim).

15. TLM: The Consecration formula. This was considerably modified by Cranmer, if indeed there was a consecration, and the Novus Ordo Missae has incorporated his most important modifications.

16. TLM: The prayer Libera nos after the Pater noster. Luther and Cranmer abolished this prayer, owing to the invocation of saints at its conclusion. A modified version has been retained in the Novus Ordo Missae with no invocation of saints.

17. TLM: Haec commixtio. A version of this prayer in the Sarum Missal was abolished by Cranmer. A modified version of the prayer has been retained in the Novus Ordo Missae but with the significant omission of the word "consecratio."

18. TLM: Domine Jesu Christe, qui dixisti. This prayer did not occur in the Sarum rite but contains nothing to which a Protestant could object beyond the words "ne respicias peccata mea" in which the priest asks forgiveness for his personal sins. This is another prayer distinguishing between the priest and layman, and in the Novus Ordo Missae "peccata mea" has been changed to "peccata nostra" - "our sins."

19. TLM: Domine Jesu Christe, Fili Dei and Perceptio Corporis tui. Modified versions of these prayers are included in the Novus Ordo Missae, one of which the priest says in his personal capacity before Communion. It is a matter for some satisfaction that such a prayer is included. Too much significance should not be attached to the use of realistic language regarding the Real Presence in these prayers. It was primarily sacrificial language which the Reformers wished to eliminate. They were able to reconcile the use of language apparently expressing belief in the Real Presence with the own theories.

20a. TLM: Communion given to the laity under one kind. Communion given under both kinds in Cranmer's service. The occasions when this is done in the Novus Ordo Missae are multiplying. It is permitted at all Sunday Masses.

20b. TLM: Traditional style altar breads. The relevant rubric in Cranmer's 1549 rite states that altar breads should be: "unleavened, and round, as it was before, but without all manner of print, and something more larger and thicker than it was, so that it may be aptly divided in two pieces, at the least, or more by the discretion of the minister". Article 283 of the General Instruction reads: "Bread used for the Eucharist, even though unleavened and of the traditional shape, ought to be made in such a way that the priest, when celebrating with a congregation, can break it into pieces and distribute these to at least some of the faithful".

20c. TLM: The Host is placed on the tongue of the kneeling communicant by a priest. Cranmer retained all three traditional practices in his 1549 rite, but in the 1552 rite Communion was given in the hand to signify that the bread was ordinary bread and the priest did not differ in essence from a layman. Communion is now given in the hand in almost every Western country but the Novus Ordo Missae has out-Cranmered Cranmer by allowing communicants to stand and receive from a lay minister.

21. TLM: Quod ore sumpsimus and Corpus tuum. These prayers so not refer to sacrifice, but their explicit references to the Real Presence would not commend them to Protestants although Luther felt able to retain them owing to his theory of consubstantiation. The first was not in the Sarum rite, the second was, and Cranmer suppressed it. Both have been suppressed in the Novus Ordo Missae.

22. TLM: Placeat tibi. The Placeat tibi was a bête noire for Protestants. This prayer alone would have rendered the Novus Ordo Missae unacceptable to them had it been retained. Following the example of Luther, Cranmer, and other Reformers, the Consilium suppressed this prayer.

23. TLM: Last Gospel. There is nothing in the Last Gospel incompatible with Protestantism but its retention in the Novus Ordo Missae would have clashed with the pattern of Protestant Communion services which conclude with a blessing. The Consilium suppressed it.

All due credit for the above goes, as I mentioned, to John Wetherell and is taken from his book Lex Orandi Lex Credendi. It is a useful exercise to go back through this lengthy (but far from complete!) list of changes made to the Mass and ask oneself: Did the good of the Church genuinely [!] and certainly [!] require [!] this innovation? Vatican II stipulated after all that "there must be no innovations unless the good of the Church genuinely and certainly requires them" (Sacrosanctum concilium, 23). Thanks for the good reading, Dad!

15 January 2008

St. Paul, First Hermit, Confessor

The founder of the eremitical life retired at the age of fifteen into the desert and lived there in the exercise of prayers and penances more than a hundred years. He died in 343.

Maria is definately picking up Austrian traits, but she is still American. Here is a picture of her eating the Austrian cuisine of sauerkraut, which she absolutely loves, as long as it is drenched in ketchup!

Also, today John and I set up a bed in the guest room, and are now taking reservations for anyone who would like a place to stay when they visit Gaming. Free room and board for family and friends! Sauerkraut with ketchup only on request.

14 January 2008

St. Hilary, Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church (Trip to IKEA)

The Bishop of Poitiers was one of the most able and eloquent opponents of Arianism. Therefore he was exiled by the heretical emperor. He died in 368.

Today John went to the Vienna airport to pick up a student arriving from Ave Maria, and Marlene (the German teacher) and I hitched a ride so that we could go to IKEA. I had never been before, it's amazing! We got another bedding set, clocks (we had no clocks here except an alarm clock, John's watch, and the small one on the bottom of the computer), some kitchen supplies, and our favorite purchase: picture frames. While in Rome we stocked up on posters from a religious goods store. We just finished hanging them up in the living room and bedrooms. The place we have here is livable, but not very homey, and these help quite a bit. My favorite is called Madonna and Child with Open Book by Sandro Botticelli.

John has driven the school vans before, but only to the small town next to ours, never on the Autobahn. It was quite an adventure, as the school vans are old and huge, and it was very foggy. But we prayed to St. Christopher, and made it safely there and back again.

Season after Epiphany

From January 14 to Septuagesima Sunday
This period, which begins the day after the Octave of Epiphany, is an extension of Christmastide. Jesus asserts His Divinity, not by the appearance of angels or the star of the Magi, but speaking Himself as God. He subjects our hearts to His teachings, explaining His Divine doctrine with parables and manifesting the truth of His words and works by many miracles.

At the time of our Lord, Palestine contained four provinces: Peraea, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. It was in the province of Galilee that the miracles and preaching of Jesus took place.

At Cana, He changed the water into wine, His first miracles, at the request of His mother. At Nazareth, He preached His doctrine, and "all wondered at these things that proceeded from the mouth of God," says the Communion of the fourth, fifth, and sixth Sundays after Epiphany with the words of Luke. In Galilee, a word from our Lord cleansed the leper. From the shore of the Lake of Genesareth, He miraculously stilled the storm. All these miracles He performed to show His Apostles that He was God.

13 January 2008

Feast of the Holy Family

The special devotion which sets forth the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph as the model of virtue for all Christian households began in the seventeenth century. It commenced almost simultaneously in Canada and France: the Association of the Holy Family being founded in Montreal in 1663, and the Daughters of the Holy Family in Paris in 1674. Numerous other congregations and associations under the patronage of the Holy Family have been established since that time, and they are spread over the world. The archconfraternity was established by Pius IX in 1847. In 1893 Leo XIII approved a feast for Canada, and Benedict XV extended the Feast of the Holy Family to the whole Church and ordered its celebration to take place on the Sunday after Epiphany.

It just so happens this year that the first Sunday after Epiphany (Feast of the Holy Family) is also the Octave-Day of Epiphany (Jan 13), the Commemoration of the Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The big news from Rome that we haven't yet mentioned is the presence of a new member of the family: Petrus the horse. We realized too late that we had forgotten to bring along any of Maria's beloved stuffed animals, and so decided to make amends (and to ensure that we all got some sleep at night) by buying her a stuffed horse, appropriately enough on the Feast of Epiphany. The decision in favor of a horse was easy because of her recent enthusiasm for the noble creatures - "horse" is one of her favorite new words; and the name Petrus won out over Paulus, Caesar, Nero, and a few other contenders. Almost incredibly, he made it home with us and has taken up residence with the other animals around here; in his first day with us alone Lisa ran over him with the stroller twice and he fell overboard only to be discovered as missing half a block later.

12 January 2008

Good to be home

Lovely as Rome is, it is always good to be home (lovely as Gaming is, it will also be good to be back in Michigan before too long). As you can imagine today was spent unpacking, doing laundry, catching up on some email, grocery shopping, etc. We'll continue tomorrow to put up new posts for each day of our trip to Italy.

11 January 2008

We're Home

An exhausting travel day. We left our hotel a little before 7:00, hopped on the subway, caught the 7:20 train to the airport; our flight took off around 10:30 and we arrived in Vienna around 12:15 where we waited until 6:00 in order to catch a ride home in an ITI van rather than have to take another train. Two Ave Maria students were arriving the same day from Nicaragua via Miami and London at 5:50 and the ITI was sending a van to pick them up. When all was said and done we got home around 8:30 tired but happy to be home.

10 January 2008

Last Full Day in Roma

Thursday was the last real day we had in Rome, as Friday we departed early in the morning. We started the day by, yet again, heading to St. Peter's Square. Is there any better way to start any morning? We wanted to see the inside of St. Peter's again, first of all because you can never see it too many times, and second, because when we went on Saturday it was full of chairs, and most of the nave was roped off. They set the chairs up for Midnight Mass on Christmas, and leave them up until Epiphany, because both feasts have Papal Masses. To our joy, the chairs were down, and we were able to walk freely about.

As we were sitting in the square, Maria decided to make friends with a woman who was feeding the pigeons. There were hundreds of birds flocking around her. While the woman liked the birds around her, she disliked them perching on her arms, and quickly learned that if she pointed her umbrella at them, they would scatter. Well, Maria found this a much more fascinating game than simply chasing the pigeons, and the rest of the morning was spent pacing up and down with an umbrella under her arms, standing guard against the pigeons.

We then walked to Campo de Fiori, and the Piazza del Teatro di Pompeo (in which theater Julius Caesar was assassinated). Today, the Campo de Fiori is a produce market. Next was Santa Maria in Trastevere, the first church dedicated to Our Lady. It was built in the 4th century, when Christianity was legalized.

Dinner was at Dino and Tony's, one last time. The evening was spent packing and preparing for our trip home.

09 January 2008

Back to Rome

Wednesday, we wandered down to St. Peter's Square to see if the Papal audience would be outside. We did not have tickets, but when it's outside, anyone can get into the square, they just need tickets to get close. Unfortunately, this time it was inside, and we were unable to see the Pope. Two years ago when we were in Rome it was much colder and rainy, yet the audience was outside. Ah well, I suppose we can't complain, having had the chance to kiss his ring two years ago. However, we were already in the square, and Maria was able to play with the pigeons again, much to her delight.

Next we headed to Castel Sant' Angelo, originally built as Hadrian's tomb, then used as a refuge of the popes, then a prison. Now it is a museum. Pope St. Gregory the Great saw St. Michael on top of the fortress sheathing his sword, signalling an end to the plague. The picture below shows John and Maria in the moat, where we had a picnic lunch.

After lunch we walked to the Trevi fountain, into which Maria threw a coin, to ensure a return visit to Rome.

Next it was on to St. Paul Outside the Walls, the last of the four major basilicas we had yet to see. It is built over the tomb of St. Paul. This was one of John's favorite churches the last time we came to Rome, and after the Duomo in Orvieto it has one of the more beautiful facades we have ever seen. Unfortunately, the entire lower half of the facade was covered in scaffolding.

08 January 2008


On Tuesday morning we caught a train to Orvieto - roughly half way between Rome and Florence. Orvieto is famous for three things: its Duomo, its white wine, and its ceramics. The train dropped us off at the foot of the mountain atop which the city is perched. A funicular and a bus carried us to the piazza in front of Il Duomo. The picture of it below was taken in the evening just before we headed back to Rome. The facade is covered in mosaics. This church was built to hold the corporal which was (and still is) stained with Christ's Precious Blood in nearby Bolsena in 1263. A priest there was offering the holy Mass and at the fractio panis the host spilled drops of blood onto the corporal laying on the altar. The corporal was immediately taken to the Pope who was in Orvieto at the time, and in response he instituted the feast of Corpus Christi to be celebrated in the universal Church beginning in 1264 (and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote the propers of the Mass for the new feast). We were able to see the blood-stained cloth in a side chapel of the church.

The views from this elevated city of the Umbrian Italian countryside were wonderful. Rome is nice, but it's a big city - this is Italy! We sat here for a little while after lunch drinking in the view together with a bottle of Orvieto white wine.

The discovery of old castle walls and towers on the edge of the city - built right into and on top of the cliffs - was a delightful surprise. We were even able to explore it at no cost. The heights were sometimes dizzying, but certainly thrilling. See if you can find Lisa and Maria in the picture below.

07 January 2008

A Busy Day

Monday was packed full of sights. In the morning we headed first for Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, the church built over St. Helen's home in Rome in which are contained relics of Christ's Passion; this is probably the closest to the Holy Land that we'll ever come!

From top left: the finger of St. Thomas, pieces of the pillar of scourging, silver plaited thorns from Christ's Crown, particles of the True Cross, a nail, and the Titulus (INRI); also on the left is the cross beam of the Good Thief's cross.

Next, just down the street is the Cathedral of Rome, Mother and Head of all the churches of the world, dedicated to Christ the Savior in honor of Ss. John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, usually called simply: St. John Lateran. Inside are the heads of Ss. Peter and Paul.

Lunch: picnic style in front of the Colisseum with bread, wine, and cheese for the parents and biscotti for the baby (well, little child), with apples for dessert.

Since we were so close already, and since most churches are closed in the afternoon until 2:30 or 3:00, we wandered over to the Roman Forum and let Maria run around a bit amidst the ancient ruins. Behind her, you can see the remains of the temple of Vesta in which the virgins kept a fire burning perpetually.

In the afternoon we also visited the church of St. Peter in Chains, in which are housed Michelangelo's Moses and the chains which bound St. Peter while he was imprisoned (both in Jerusalem and in Rome); and St. Mary Major, another of the four Roman basilicas and the largest church dedicated to Mary in the world. Because this post is already running long, we'll let you click over to our Rome album to view more pictures.

Last, but not least, another dinner at Dino and Tony's. Last time we were in Rome we tried a handful of restaurants, but none could hold a candle to the food and service at Dino and Tony's. So this time we went there as often as our budget allowed and ate our other meals as picnics from the grocery store.

Left: Maria slurping her fill of Spaghetti alle vongole veraci (pasta with clams); right: she was quite a hit with the staff, especially Amadeo.

06 January 2008

Epiphany in Roma

The word "Epiphany" means "manifestation." The Church in the Mass commemorates a triple manifestation of Christ: to the Magi, that is, to the Gentiles; in His Baptism, when the Voice from heaven declared: "This is My Beloved Son"; and in the miracle of changing water into wine at Cana.

Sunday was the only day it rained, and unfortunately we had to walk quite a distance to get to San Gregorio for the Traditional Latin Mass. San Gregorio is a tiny church (more of a chapel, really), which is kind of falling apart. The Sanctuary seemed as big as the nave, and it was packed, with plenty of seminarians! After Mass we headed to the Pantheon (pictured below). Then we walked to the Jesuit churches of San Ignazio and the Church of Gesu. Both these churches contain masterpieces of illusion. Unfortunately, the lighting was poor and none of our pictures turned out.

On the way to San Ignazio we passed by Santa Maria sopra Minerva in front of which is a very cool Egyptian obelisk on top of an elephant. Inside is a sculpture of the risen Christ by Michelangelo which we were unable to see this time because the church was locked.

John's favorite photo from Gesu is a sculpture entitled Religion Triumphs over Heresy in which Religion personified thrashes a couple of heretics while a little boy rips out the pages of their heretical books. The Jesuits, of course, were instrumental in the Catholic Church's struggle against Protestantism in the 16th century and beyond. Of course, today they are more often themselves the heretics...

05 January 2008

St. Peter's Basilica

On Saturday we returned to our original hotel and were finally able to unpack and unwind a bit. We headed directly for the Piazza San Pietro and St. Peter's Basilica where Maria had a great time chasing pigeons, while Lisa and I enjoyed the view. The Christmas Tree was still up next to the obelisk and the Nativity Scene in the square. In the first picture Maria is pacing a white line in a manner reminiscent of Msgr O'Flaherty in The Scarlet and the Black.

This last picture was one of my favorite new discoveries inside of St. Peter's. It's a marble relief depicting the meeting in 452 A.D. between Pope St. Leo I and Attlia the Hun, in which the Pope miraculously convinced the Hun to turn away without attacking the city. Attila sees Ss. Peter and Paul descending from the clouds, swords in hand, to offer battle in defense of Rome.

04 January 2008

Heading for Roma

We had an exhausting travel day beginning with a van ride to Ybbs, then a train to Vienna's Westbahnhof, a bus ride to the airport, an hour and a half flight to Fiumicino outside of Rome, another train ride (1/2 hour) into Rome, and then finally, a ride on the always adventurous Roman Metro.

When we arrived, thoroughly exhausted and ready to crash, at our hotel (booked 2 months ago), we were informed that we would not be able to stay there that night (WHAT!?!). The owner was at least kind enough to direct us to another hotel for that night (for which he also paid). Although stressful beyond imagination, when all was said and done it turned out to be a pretty fun adventure. The place where we stayed was a bed and breakfast in a private home in a lovely neighborhood, and the people there were really wonderful (as was the coffee). The owner's mother, named Maria Teresa!, fell in love with little Maria Therese immediately. It was a lovely surprise to get to stay for a night in a beautiful Italian villa (complete with Italian garden), rather than the typical apartment building style hotels in Rome.

03 January 2008

Cute Pictures of Maria

We thought we'd give you another installment of cute pictures to hold you over while we are in Rome. We are leaving tomorrow morning around 11:30 for Vienna, and then the plane takes off at 5:30 and arrives in Rome at 7:15. We are, as you can well imagine, quite excited and you can be sure there will be plenty of pictures to see when we get back. Our return flight is Friday Jan. 11 taking off at 10:30 and landing back in Vienna at 12:15. These were all taken within the last week or so, enjoy!

02 January 2008

The Holy Name of Jesus

This Feast is kept on the First Sunday in the year; but if this Sunday falls on Jan. 1, or 6, or 7, the feast is kept on Jan. 2. Its origin is traced to the sixteenth century, when it was celebrated by the Franciscan Order. In 1721 Pope Innocent XIII made the keeping of this solemnity universal. The name Jesus, i.e., the Savior of the world, was brought by the Angel Gabriel from God: "For He shall save His people from their sins."

IHS (iota, eta, sigma) are the first three letters of the Holy Name in Greek. "St. Ignatius of Loyola adopted the monogram in his seal as general of the Society of Jesus (1541), and thus it became the emblem of his institute" (Catholic Encyclopedia). Pictured above is the main altar piece of the Jesuit Church in Rome dedicated to the Holy Name - Chiesa del Gesu di Roma.

01 January 2008

Octave-Day of the Nativity (The Circumcision of Our Lord)

In the Old Law, by the rite of Circumcision, every male Jew became a member and shared in the privileges and blessings of the chosen people of God. A Jew who failed to be initiated by the ceremony was excluded. Our Lord was Son of God by nature, and absolutely sinless, and therefore did not need adoption into the membership of God's children. Yet, He submitted to the law. The Church also honors on this day the holy name of Jesus, given to the Divine Child at the Circumcision.


The Octave-Day of Christmas (today) is especially important for two reasons: on the eighth day the Child was given the Holy Name of Jesus, and on the eighth day He first shed His Precious Blood for us, of which the Church teaches that one drop would have been sufficient for our salvation. For this reason, the whole month of January is dedicated to the Holy Name and Childhood of Jesus (tomorrow is the Feast of the Holy Name). Why the Novus Ordo Calendar moved the Feast of the Motherhood of Mary from Oct 11 to Jan 1 is a mystery to me, I wonder if anyone has seen/heard a justification offered for this move? I highly recommend the wonderful source of information that is Fish Eaters for their page on the Feast of the Circumcision.

And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called Jesus, which was called by the angel, before he was conceived in the womb (Luke 2:21).