“The first association of the intellectual, that which will show him for what he is – apart of course from his needs and his human duties – is association with his fellows. I use the word association, I should prefer to say cooperation, for to associate without cooperating is not doing intellectual work. But how rare, in this age of individualism and social anarchy, is such a kinship of minds! P. Gratry deplored it: he dreamed of Port-Royal, and wanted to make of the Oratory ‘a Port-Royal without the schism.’ ‘What labor could be saved,” he said, “if people could join and help one another! If six or seven together, with the same idea, worked by way of mutual teaching, becoming turn by turn pupil and master of the others; if by some happy concourse of circumstances they could even live together! If besides lectures in the afternoon and study following on the lectures, they could talk in the evening, at supper, of all these noble things, so as to learn more by drinking them in in conversation, than by the very lectures!’ The workshops of old, especially those of artists, were a gathering of friends, a family. The workshop of today is a jail, or a union meeting. But in response to the need which makes itself more and more felt around us, shall we not see the old comradely workshop revived, widened, opened up, and yet no less closely united than of yore? The time would be opportune to conceive and to found the intellectual workshop or consortium, an association of workers all equally enthusiastic and diligent, banded together freely, living in simplicity, in equality, no one aiming at domination, even though someone might have a recognized superiority which would be of advantage to the group. Without pride or the spirit of rivalry, seeking only truth, the friends thus gathered together would, so to say, multiply one another, and their common soul would reveal a wealth of which no sufficient explanation would appear to be discoverable in any single part. One needs such a strongly tempered soul to work alone! What heroism it is to be one’s own intellectual society, one’s own encouragement and support, to find in a poor isolated will the strength that might spring from the impetus of a multitude or from stern necessity! One begins with enthusiasm, then as some difficulty arises, the demon of laziness whispers: what is the good? Our vision of the goal draws dim; the fruit of effort is too distant or appears too bitter; we have a vague sense of being duped. It is certain that the support of others, their example, the exchange of ideas, would be admirably efficacious against this gloomy mood; they would supply the place in many people of that power of imagination and constancy of virtue which only a few possess, yet which are necessary for the persevering prosecution of a great purpose…Friendship is an obstetric art; it draws out our richest and deepest resources; it unfolds the wings of our dreams and hidden indeterminate thoughts; it serves as a check on our judgments, tries out our new ideas, keeps up our ardor, and inflames our enthusiasm.”


What a beautiful description!

Why did our Lord want Peter, James, and John to keep vigil with Him in prayer for one hour in Gethsemane? Why not 30 minutes, 90 minutes, or any other length of time? Clearly nothing that our Lord does is random or without purpose, so surely there must be something significant about one hour of prayer? However, I do not see any discussion of such in Lapide, the Catena, St. Thomas’ Commentary on Matthew, or Haydock…

A faithful and wise servant, whom the Lord appointed to be the consolation of His Mother, the nursing-father of His own flesh, and alone in all the earth the most faithful fellow helper of great counsel.

V. Behold a man without blame, a true worshipper of God.

R. Abstaining from every evil work, and abiding in his innocence.

Let us pray.

Assist us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, by the merits of the spouse of Thy most holy Mother, that what of ourselves we are unable to obtain, may be granted to us by his intercession. Who liveth and reigneth, world without end.

R. Amen.

~ Commemoration of St. Joseph from the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“The saint we are to honour today is one of the sublimest and most lucid interpreters of Divine truth. He rose up in the Church many centuries after the apostolic age, nay, long after the four great Latin doctors, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory. The Church, the ever young and joyful mother, is justly proud of her Thomas, and has honoured him with the splendid title of the angelical doctor, on account of the extraordinary gift of understanding wherewith God had blessed him; just as his contemporary and friend, St. Bonaventure, has been called the seraphic doctor, on account of the wonderful unction which abounds in the writings of this worthy disciple of St. Francis. Thomas of Aquin is an honour to mankind, for perhaps there never existed a man whose intellect surpassed his. He is one of the brightest ornaments of the Church, for not one of her doctors has equalled him in the clearness and precision wherewith he has explained her doctrines. He received the thanks of Christ Himself, for having well written of Him and His mysteries. How welcome ought this feast of such a saint to be to us during this season of the year,  when our main study is our return and conversion to God! What greater blessing could we have than to come to the knowledge of God? Has not our ignorance of God, of His claims, and of His perfections, been the greatest misery of our past lives? Here we have a saint whose prayers are most efficacious in procuring for us that knowledge, which is unspotted, and converteth souls, and giveth wisdom to little ones, and gladdeneth the heart, and enlighteneth the eyes. Happy we if this spiritual wisdom be granted us! We shall then see the vanity of everything that is not eternal, the righteousness of the Divine commandments, the malice of sin, and the infinite goodness wherewith God treats us when we repent.” ~ Dom Prosper Gueranger

“But in order that your devotion, dearly beloved, may in all things be pleasing to God, we exhort you also to show due zeal in informing your presbyters of Manichees where ever they be hidden.  For it is naught but piety to disclose the hiding-places of the wicked, and in them to overthrow the devil whom they serve.  For against them, dearly beloved, it becomes indeed the whole world and the whole Church everywhere to put on the armour of Faith:  but your devotion ought to be foremost in this work, who in your progenitors learnt the Gospel of the Cross of Christ from the very mouth of the most blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.  Men must not be allowed to lie hid who do not believe that the law given through Moses, in which God is shown to be the Creator of the Universe, ought to be received:  who speak against the Prophets and the Holy Ghost, dare in their damnable profanity to reject the Psalms of David which are sung through the universal Church with all reverence, deny the birth of the Lord Christ, according to the flesh, say that His Passion and Resurrection was fictitious, not true, and deprive the baptism of regeneration of all its power as a means of grace.  Nothing with them is holy, nothing entire, nothing true.  They are to be shunned, lest they harm any one:  they are to be given up, lest they should settle in any part of our city.  Yours, dearly beloved, will be the gain before the Lord’s judgment-seat of what we bid, of what we ask.  For it is but right that the triumph of this deed also should be joined to the oblation of our alms, the Lord Jesus Christ in all things aiding us, Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.  Amen.” ~ Pope St. Leo the Great, Sermon IX Upon the Collections IV



Certainly not as the phrase is used today. For something can only be beautiful insofar as it is a true image of that which it represents, and, therefore, only if it corresponds to the Divine idea of such.

“Art consists in giving a faithful material reproduction of an idea, of an ideal. Consider a work of art. It exists, to begin with, in the thought of the artist; it is this thought that guides his hand; and when the work is executed it is often but an imperfect reflection of the ideal formed and cherished by the master’s genius. God, if we may thus speak, is the greatest of artists. The whole creation is but the outward expression of the ideal that God forms to Himself of all things in His Word. As the artist finds his delight in the work that reproduces his thought, so creation, in coming forth from God’s hands, was seen by Him to be ‘very good’, because it responded perfectly to the ideal of its Divine Author. The Holy Spirit stirs up the Psalmist to contemplate nature thereby to glorify the God of creation. ‘O Lord, our Lord, how admirable is Thy name in the whole earth!’ ‘Thou hast made all things in wisdom.’ We do the same as the Psalmist when, at the chanting of the Benedicite of Lauds, we lend to all beings the accents of our lips, the life of our understanding and of our heart, in order to praise God for having made them. But there remains a great difference between us and material things. They are but a vestige, a far-off reflection of the Divine Beauty. Man, on the contrary, was created with an intellect and a heart in the image of God. Such is the secret of the dignity of man and the ineffable love that God bears towards him. ‘My delights are to be with the children of men.'”

~ Blessed Columba Marmion, Christ: The Ideal of the Monk

Thus, the soul in the state of grace of beautiful, for it been restored to the likeness of God lost by Adam’s transgression, while the soul in the state of Original Sin is a child of wrath (Ephesians 2:3), and the soul in the state of mortal sin is only fit for the outer darkness, “his own place”, as St. Peter speaks of the fate of Judas (Acts 1:25).

In the Novus Ordo, the Gospel reading of Septuagesima Sunday, 12 February 2017, was Matthew 5:17-37 (“Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”) Given Our Lord’s pretty clear words on adultery and divorce, and the current *confused* state of the Church, I was wondering what was said in the homilies of the Masses our readers attended.

« Previous PageNext Page »