Eat pork or die, the king said. Mother of seven had a response.

Tomorrow’s first reading, from Second Maccabees 7:

22 She said to them: I know not how you were formed in my womb: for I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you.

23 But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws.

The king asked her to talk to him about his refusal. She said she would.

27 So bending herself towards him, mocking the cruel tyrant, she said in her own language: My son, have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee suck three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age.

28 I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also:

29 So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren [who gone before him, refusing], receive death, that in that mercy I may receive thee again with thy brethren.

He replied:

30 While she was yet speaking these words, the young man said: For whom do you stay? I will not obey the commandment of the king, but the commandment of the law, which was given us by Moses.

Then, to the king:

31 But thou that hast been the author of all mischief against the Hebrews, shalt not escape the hand of God.

She had thought about all that, which is what the quiet of mass is very good for — if you can find it.

That priest at the altar’s a nobody.

Priest as deputy . . .

Blithe Spirit

You go high enough on the academic ladder, you are properly “robed” at commencement ceremonies, observes Fr. Hunwicke, explaining:

Doctoral garb distinguishes the achievement of, er, achievers.

He contrasts it with what the priest wears at mass:

‘VESTMENTS’, on the other hand, negate the individuality and achievements of the wearer. He wears them to indicate that he is nothing; that he is acting solely in the name of Another.

He did not walk proudly up to a stage to the tune of pomp and circumstance, Rather:

He is a man who was not honoured but humiliated, when, at his Ordination, he lay prostrate on the ground. He now acts clothed in the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Far from gaining or achieving anything, he has lost individuality. ‘Initiative’ is, quite simply, not his job. Nor is ‘personality’.

He is a man whose hands and voice are not his…

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Reasons for denial of entry to canonization lobby to G K Chesterton

Would you pray to G.K. Chesterton? (Heck, I’d pray to my father, who is closer to God than I am.)

Blithe Spirit

No “local cult,” said the bishop. But it used to be the opposite argument that held sway, says the learned Fr. Hunwicke — if there were a local cult, the cause would be suspect. He finds this objection puzzling.

“Nor do I find it easy to take seriously his second reason,” he continues, citing same:

“I have not been able to tease out a pattern of personal spirituality”.

GKC no paragon, worthy of imitation? Fr. H.:

The liturgical Calendar is already, arguably, overloaded with Bishops and Founders.

Each of whom had prominent, powerful lobbies to boost them.

To the nub of it:

The addition of a simple and married layperson who sought sanctity simply through the plain everyday means of grace offered by the Redeemer in His Church would seem to me a valuable affirmation of plain ‘mere’ Christian ‘spirituality’.

How true.

via Fr Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment.

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Why do so few Catholics believe in the real presence? A call to action.

Bishop Robert Barron explained, and Fr. Z. followed up with extended commentary, agreeing with a need for action, but issuing his own call.

[The] Bishop doesn’t seem to mean action to change the way we celebrate the Eucharist, the way we see the Eucharist, the way we sing to and about the Eucharist, the way we literally handle the Eucharist.  That is: liturgical worship, how we celebrate Holy Mass. [Emphasis added]

He wants a “call to action”? Here’s a call to action!

  • STOP COMMUNION IN THE HAND!
  • Foster kneeling for Communion put in Communion rails.
  • Get serious about music.
  • Phase out unnecessary lay ministers of Communion.
  • Clear the sanctuary of everything that distracts.
  • Celebrate ad orientem.
  • And the scariest of all … implement generously Summorum Pontificum!

Every one of those will require, yes, catechesis.  Lots of sound catechesis and patience.

Patience and more patience.

But “it’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.”

A concrete call that involves particulars, without which one blows smoke.

From Fr. Z’s blog.

The Godless Confusion and the God of Justice — sermon material here

I’d take a sermon like this any day. Has punch, gets to the heart of a major, burning issue: how react to a society that rarely hears such talk. Society? How about parish mass-attenders?

First few ‘graphs:

According to atheist Richard Dawkins in his best-selling book The God Delusion, the God of the Old Testament is “arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

That remark indicates far more familiarity with the dictionary than with the Bible. I wonder, how much fiction has Dawkins read? More seriously, how carefully has he actually read the Bible?

Sadly, Dawkins merely appeals to the tired notion that the “God of the Old Testament” is a cruel tyrant with little love for His creation. I suspect that even many Christians have the vague sense that such is the case. And today’s reading from the Old Testament is the sort of passage that can, rather easily, be misinterpreted to provide evidence for that view.

Etc.

Like this, I say. Would need editing, sprucing up for average Sunday attendance, explaining this and that, cutting a bit, etc. Priest would have to get it in the first place, of course.

via Catholic World Report

Inside baseball: Pope St. Paul VI’s cathedral in his home town has no altar!

Something there is that makes a fellow love it.

The newer of the two [Brescia] Cathedrals intrigues. Within it, a ‘shrine’ to S Paul VI ‘Brixiensis’ [the Brescia native]. It contains, apparently, neither relics of the Saint nor an altar.

Speculation arose in our group [of insiders, attending a convention] about whether this latter fact was a piece of subtle symbolism indicating his desire to abolish the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. [Paul had approved the new, post-Vatican 2 mass, which traditionalists abhor.]

I [Fr. Hunwicke, as insider] strongly disagreed, arguing that his condemnation of ‘Transignification‘ [denial of the orthodox-traditional transubstantiation] showed that at least his heart, or part of it, was in the right place.

And the evidence ([Louis] Bouyer [who had told his friend Paul VI of Annibal Bugnini’s duplicity] inter alios [among others]) indicates that the the worst excesses of ‘his’ [Paul’s] rite can be blamed on Hannibal’s deceptions.

I like it for various reasons. One is how it contains so much in so few references — if you know what he’s talking about. And if you didn’t before I explained it, now you do. Maybe.

How Fr. Weinandy decided to write his letter of complaint to Pope Francis

Prayer matters . . .

Blithe Spirit

In Rome in late May of 2017, arriving early for a meeting of Vatican theologians, Fr. Thomas Weinandy took himself to prayer “about the . . . state of the Church and the anxieties [he] had about the present Pontificate.”

He spent most of an afternoon in St. Peter’s,

beseeching Jesus and Mary, St. Peter and all of the saintly popes who are buried there to do something to rectify the confusion and turmoil within the Church today, a chaos and an uncertainty that I felt Pope Francis had himself caused . . . and pondering whether [to] write and publish something expressing my concerns and anxiety.

A few days later, the meeting completed, he “went again to St. Peter’s and prayed in the same manner.”

That night, he couldn’t sleep. Unable to get Francis off his mind, at 1:15 he left his room and went outside “for a short…

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Bishop Paprocki bars pro-abortion Illinois lawmakers from Holy Communion — names Durbin and Madigan, who are forbidden from receiving Communion until they repent

In for a dime, in for a dollar. What’s a church good for, anyhow? Or a bishop. What’s he supposed to do, wink?

The Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, has decreed that state legislative leaders may not be admitted to Holy Communion within his diocese, because of their work to pass the state Reproductive Health Act.

[He] also directed that Catholic legislators who have voted for legislation promoting abortion should not present themselves to receive Holy Communion until they have first gone to confession.

In detail:

“In accord with canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law…Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Speaker of the House Michael J. Madigan, who facilitated the passage of the Act Concerning Abortion of 2017 (House Bill 40) as well as the Reproductive Health Act of 2019 (Senate Bill 25), are not to be admitted to Holy Communion in the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois because they have obstinately persisted in promoting the abominable crime and very grave sin of abortion as evidenced by the influence they exerted in their leadership roles and their repeated votes and obdurate public support for abortion rights over an extended period of time,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki wrote in a June 2 decree.

The latter offense, Reproductive Health Act, 2019, surely prompted the bishop of the capital city to make this public statement. It’s something that carves into legislative stone the fanaticism of the pro-aborts, declaring it to be a “fundamental right” and putting dragon’s teeth into a truly draconian law.

Among . . . provisions that the bill would remove are regulations for abortion clinics, required waiting periods to obtain an abortion, and a ban on partial-birth abortion. In addition, it would lift criminal penalties for performing abortions and would prevent any further state regulation of abortion.

The legislation would require all private health insurance plans to cover elective abortions, and eliminate reporting requirements as well as regulations requiring the investigation of maternal deaths due to abortion.

Open season on unborn, if not (because of the no-go-zone declared for investigation) the newly born who are not wanted.

Note: Durbin had already received notice from the bishop, in February, 2018, also with reference to Canon 915.