Saturday, 31 January 2015

Angry Christians

I used to travel in fairly fundamentalist Protestant circles and came across a lot of angry Christians. They seemed to be angry all the time. They were angry with the Catholic church, angry with ecumenicism, angry with Islam, angry with liberalism, angry with modern Bible versions, angry about modern worship styles and angry about the charismatic movement. They were angry with the media, angry with the government. They were angry about the European Union and usually angry about immigration. They were angry about homosexuality and angry about the way young women dress. If they were Calvinists, they were angry with Arminians and Dispensationalists, if they were Dispensationalists, they were angry with Calvinists and Amillennialists. They seemed to be angry with everything in the modern world.

Now I have moved to Roman Catholicism, I still seem too encounter angry Christians. These Catholics are angry with the Novus Ordo, angry with liberal Catholics, angry about altar girls and angry about guitars. Just like their Protestant counterparts they are angry about homosexuality, angry with Islam, angry about the way young women dress, angry with the government and angry with the media. I don't know why, but some of them are angry with the European Union and angry about immigration too. Most of all, they are angry with Pope Francis, Walter Kasper and the rest of their crew.

Plenty of Eastern Orthodox seem to be angry too. Their anger seems to be directed most often towards Islam and western society in general. They also get angry with Protestants, angry with the Catholic church and angry with Orthodox from jurisdictions other than their own.

I get really frustrated by these angry Christians and I worry about their spiritual condition. In all that anger, where is the joy of knowing Christ? Where is the peace and faith that God is working out His purposes? Where is the hope of Christ's coming? Sometimes it is right to be angry, but let's not let anger keep us from the joy of being in Christ.

Friday, 30 January 2015

The Independent: Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election

The Independent: Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election

Anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies could cost the Conservatives dear at the general election in May, when a record four million foreign-born people will be eligible to vote, party chiefs have been warned.

A new analysis has calculated that migrant voters could have a decisive impact in marginal seats across England and Wales, many of which are held by the Tories by precarious majorities. The study concluded that UK residents born overseas could sway the result of up to 70 constituencies on 7 May.

The findings will intensify alarm within the Tory leadership that the party’s lack of appeal to ethnic minority voters will severely hamper David Cameron’s chances of winning a Commons majority.

Behold the folly of trying to be Diet UKIP. The Conservative Party badly needs to drop the tub thumping rhetoric and start reaching out to minority ethnic voters.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

The Feast of King Charles the Martyr

Blessed Lord, in whose sight the death of thy saints is precious; we magnify the Name for that abundant grace bestowed on our late Martyred Sovereign; by which he was enabled so cheerfully to follow the steps of his blessed Master and Saviour, in a constant meek bearing of all barbarous indignities, and at last resisting unto blood; and even then, according to the same pattern, praying for his murderers. Let his memory, O Lord, be ever blessed among us, that we may follow the example of his patience, and charity; And grant, that this our Land may be freed from the vengence of his blood, and Thy mercy glorified in the forgiveness of our sins; and all for Jesus Christ His sake. Amen.

King Charles the Martyr, pray for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and for all kings and queens.

Stand Firm: The State Has Spoken, Bend the Knee

Stand Firm: The State Has Spoken, Bend the Knee

'The “law of the Land” is apparently of sufficient authority for the Archbishop and all those present to overrule an appeal to the bible. Nothing but Jesus’ return could have stopped this consecration from going forward - I understand that - but knowing the objection would be raised you might think Archbishop Sentamu might have prepared some semblance of a biblical response (and there could only be a semblance) rather than simply appealing the authority of the state. I understand that England is, legally speaking, a “Christian” government and the Church of England a state church but she is supposedly and theoretically a state church under the supreme authority of the word of God.'

It is a bit disappointing really. But the foundations were laid under Henry VIII.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Feast of Blessed Charles the Great

Blessed Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor and the father of western Christendom.

Although Charlemagne's beatification is legitimate, his canonization was an act of Antipope Paschal III and is unrecognised by the Holy See.

Blessed Charles the Great, pray for us, for France and Germany and for all Christian rulers.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas

O God, who made Saint Thomas Aquinas outstanding in his zeal for holiness and his study of sacred doctrine, grant us, we pray, that we may understand what he taught and imitate what he accomplished. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Litany of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Glorious Mother of the King of kings,
Pray for us.
Saint Thomas of Aquinas, etc.
Worthy child of the Queen of virgins,
St. Thomas most chaste,
St. Thomas most patient,
Prodigy of science,
Silently eloquent,
Reproach of the ambitious,
Lover of that life which is hidden with Christ,
Fragrant flower in the garden of Saint Dominic,
Glory of the Friars Preachers,
Illumined from on high ,
Angel of the Schools,
Oracle of the Church,
Incomparable scribe of the Man-God,
Satiated with the odor of
His perfumes,
Perfect in the school ofHis Cross,
Intoxicated with the strong wine
of His charity,
Glittering gem in the cabinet
of the Lord,
Model of perfect obedience,
Endowed with the true spirit of holy poverty,

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

Oh, how beautiful is the chaste generation with glory,
For the memory thereof is immortal.
Because it is known with God and man,
And it triumpheth crowned forever.

V. What have I in Heaven, or what do I desire on earth!
R. Thou art the God of my heart, and my portion forever.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Who hast ordained that blessed Thomas should enlighten Thy Church, grant that through his prayers we may practice what he taught, through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, pray for us, that we may truly understand sacred doctrine.

Theologians, Inc: The Solidarity of Impassibility

Theologians, Inc: The Solidarity of Impassibility

Simply put: solidarity, God being with us, in our midst in our suffering and death, has to be coupled with God being for us in the midst of our suffering and death. For there to be real redemption, real salvation, God cannot simply be a co-suffer-er – He must overcome the powers of sin and death which afflict us. Solidarity on its own brings no redemption. If God is passibly with us, then there is no overcoming of death, because only that which cannot die can defeat death, and if death is not defeated, then there is no redemption – and a God who cannot redeem is no God at all.

However, this has to be seen, as I said above, within a larger framework – the framework of Christus Victor – the triumph of Christ over death, sin and the powers. The redemption of humanity, which is accomplished by God’s radical solidarity with us in Christ, who in taking on human nature heals, sanctifies, and redeems us via the hypostatic union, is coupled with the victory of Christ, which is accomplished by the impassible deity of Christ. If Christ is passible in his divinity, then death cannot be defeated by only experienced.

What kind of solidarity is provided by impassibility, though? I’ll let Luy answer that:

‘Impassibility refers, for him (Luther), to the “mode” of God’s radical immanence: a maximally radiant nearness of incorruptible divinity in the midst of abject human weakness; the triumph of of deathless might in the very jaws of mortal defeat.’ (‘Dominus Mortis’, p. 209)

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Feast of Saint Timothy and Saint Titus

O God, who adorned Saints Timothy and Titus with apostolic virtues, grant through the intercession of them both, that, living justly and devoutly in this present age, we may merit to reach our heavenly homeland. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, pray for us, that we may increase in our knowledge of Scripture.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Guardian: When you join the EU you make a deal – Switzerland needs to remember that

Guardian: When you join the EU you make a deal – Switzerland needs to remember that

Article by John Springford

After a year of deliberation, the country’s government has come up with a more modest proposal to close the border if immigration from the EU runs higher than an as-yet-unspecified threshold. It has proved unwilling to be specific in public about its plans: if the government demanded a threshold that was high, the Swiss people would feel cheated – but if it was low, the EU would never accept it. The same dilemma faces Cameron. He rejected the idea of a safeguard clause – a kite that senior Conservatives had flown for him before his immigration speech – after Merkel made it plain that she would not accept any limits on the freedom of movement, although the EU would listen to proposals to restrict migrants’ access to benefits. And Brussels will – and should – play hardball with the Swiss to discourage the British, as well as France, Sweden and Denmark who are having similar anxieties about European migration.

This isn’t just stubbornness, or a federalist insistence on integration for its own sake. The EU is simply a grand bargain, in which member-states hope to offer up sovereignty for mutual benefit. This requires that the demands of poorer countries, which have migrants who want to profit from their labour, be balanced with those of richer ones, which have export sales and investments that they can profit from in poorer countries. If a country seeks to withdraw from some parts of the bargain that it does not like, there must be consequences, or the whole thing will unravel.

And migration is probably the biggest benefit in a club beset by economic problems that are largely of its own making. It is the policy the EU should be most proud of: for central and eastern Europe, it is the biggest advancement of liberty since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Central and eastern Europeans’ incomes can triple by moving to the UK – and the evidence shows that they do negligible damage to low-skilled Britons’ employment prospects. A stream of young, well-educated, easy-to-integrate and hard-working people does wonders for western European countries’ public finances, and helps to fill jobs as baby boomers retire.

The Quotable Eastern Church Fathers, edited by Dave Armstrong

Dave Armstrong (ed), The Quotable Eastern Church Fathers: Distinctively Catholic Elements in their Theology, 2013 self-published

This book is one of a number of 'quote books' edited by the totally excellent Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong. These kind of books are a venerable tradition in Catholic apologetics and this one is a useful one to have.

Armstrong includes quotations from eight eastern church fathers, Athanasius, Basil the Great, John Chrysotum, Gregory Nazianzen, Ephraim the Syrian, Cyril of Jerusalem, Cyril of Jerusalem, Cyril of Alexandria and John of Damascus. The absence of any quotations by the other Cappadocian, Gregory of Nyssa is a little surprising and one might have wished that a few eastern Ante-Nicene fathers had been included.

The set of quotations establish very persuasively, that these men were not Protestants. We find them affirming Catholic teaching about the Eucharist, justification, prayers for the dead and the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. When one sees one very Catholic sounding sentiment after another from St. John Chrysotum, one really does wonder why John Calvin held that particular church father in such awe.

The quotations regarding St. Peter and the papacy do establish that these church fathers held to the primacy of the Petrine office and the importance of the Pope, but I doubt Eastern Orthodox readers will be convinced that they support the Catholic understanding of the Papacy.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Our Lady Queen of Peace

The Litany of Loretto

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

God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.
Mother of Christ, pray for us.
Mother of divine grace, pray for us.
Mother most pure, pray for us.
Mother most chaste, pray for us.
Mother inviolate, pray for us.
Mother undefiled, pray for us.
Mother most amiable, pray for us.
Mother most admirable, pray for us.
Mother of good counsel, pray for us.
Mother of our Creator, pray for us.
Mother of our Savior, pray for us.
Virgin most prudent, pray for us.
Virgin most venerable, pray for us.
Virgin most renowned, pray for us.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Virgin most merciful, pray for us.
Virgin most faithful, pray for us.
Mirror of justice, pray for us.
Seat of wisdom, pray for us.
Cause of our joy, pray for us.
Spiritual vessel, pray for us.
Vessel of honor, pray for us.
Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.
Mystical rose, pray for us.
Tower of David, pray for us.
Tower of ivory, pray for us.
House of gold, pray for us.
Ark of the covenant, pray for us.
Gate of heaven, pray for us.
Morning star, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Refuge of sinners, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.
Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.
Queen of Prophets, pray for us.
Queen of Apostles, pray for us.
Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.
Queen of Confessors, pray for us.
Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
Queen of all Saints, pray for us.
Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.
Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.
Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.
Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beg you, O Lord God, that we your servants, may enjoy lasting health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enter into the joy of eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord.
R. Amen.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us, and for an end to the violence in Ukraine.

The Feast of St. Francis De Sales

O God, who for the salvation of souls willed that the Bishop Saint Francis de Sales become all things to all, graciously grant that, following his example, we may always display the gentleness of your charity in the service of our neighbor. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

O love eternal, my soul needs and chooses you eternally! Ah, come Holy Spirit, and inflame our hearts with your love! To love -- or to die! To die -- and to love! To die to all other love in order to live in Jesus' love, so that we may not die eternally. But that we may live in your eternal love, O Savior of our souls, we eternally sing, "Live, Jesus! Jesus, I love! Live, Jesus, whom I love! Jesus, I love, Jesus who lives and reigns forever and ever." Amen.

Saint Francis, pray for us, and for all apologists and defenders of the Catholic faith.

The Mad Monarchist: Lessons from Honorius

The Mad Monarchist: Lessons from Honorius: It was on this day in 393 AD that Emperor Theodosius the Great proclaimed his son Honorius "co-emperor" of the Roman Empire. Honorius was only eight-years old at the time but he would go on to have one of the most disastrous reigns in Roman imperial history, a far cry from that of his father. Emperor Theodosius had reunited the Roman world, being the last caesar to rule both east and west, defended the frontiers, established Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire and generally had quite a glorious reign. Emperor Honorius, on the other hand, would preside over the first sacking of Rome by the barbarian hordes when Alaric the Visigoth captured the Eternal City in 410 AD. How could this have happened?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Taylor Marshall: Is the Angel of the Lord the Pre-Incarnate Christ?

Taylor Marshall: Is the Angel of the Lord the Pre-Incarnate Christ?

So we see by the time of Saint Augustine, the Latin Church is reading “Angel of the Lord” as merely a chief angelic being or generic theophany of God, and not as the Pre-Incarnate Christ.

Saint Ambrose believed the Angel of the Lord was the Pre-Incarnate Christ. Saint Augustine did not.

This is a shame. In my opinion, this interpretive shift with Augustine was a bad theological move.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The Feast of Saint Agnes

Almighty ever-living God, who choose what is weak in the world to confound the strong, mercifully grant, that we, who celebrate the heavenly birthday of your Martyr Saint Agnes, may follow her constancy in the faith. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Let us gain courage for our own battle by honoring the martyrdom of the glorious virgin Agnes. St. Agnes, vessel of honor, flower of unfading fragrance, beloved of the choirs of Angels, you are an example to the worth of virtue and chastity. O you who wear a Martyr's palm and a virgin's wreath, pray for us that, though unworthy of a special crown, we may have our names written in the list of Saints.

St. Agnes, pray for us, that we may be faithful unto death.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Pope Francis defends church’s opposition to artificial contraception

Guardian: Pope Francis defends church’s opposition to artificial contraception

Pope Francis issued a condemnation of liberal views on sexuality and birth control on Friday, telling an audience in the Philippines that today’s families were under threat from efforts to “redefine family” and a culture that lacked “openness to life”.

In advance of a vast rally on Sunday that could draw as many as 6 million people, the pope called on families to be “sanctuaries for respect for life”, and praised the church for maintaining its opposition to modern birth control, even if all Catholics could not live by such rules.

“The family is also threatened by growing efforts on the part of some to redefine the very institution of marriage, by relativism, by the culture of the ephemeral, by a lack of openness to life,” he said.

The Argentinian pope said that an “ideological colonisation” was trying to destroy the family, a phrase that was seen as reference to the passage of gay marriage rights in countries around the world and other liberal views.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

The Feast of Saint Theodosius the Great, Roman Emperor

It was Saint Constantine who converted the Roman Empire to Christianity, but it was Saint Theodosius the Great who established her Christian character and removed the last vestiges of paganism. St. Theodosius championed Trinitarianism, presiding over the Council of Constantinople and fiercely opposing the heresy of Arianism. He was the last Roman emperor to rule both the east and the west.

Saint Thedosius, pray for us and for all Christian rulers.

Praying with an Unconvered Head

I was at the prayer vigil outside the abortion clinic this morning. It was snowing and rather cold. A young man who joined us offered me his hat, pointing out that his overcoat had an hood, unlike my bomber jacket. I politely declined, despite his insistence.

Perhaps he had not read in 1 Corinthians 11 that Paul instructs men to pray with an uncovered head.

In case any one thinks I'm boasting about my powers of endurance, I will say I left the vigil a lot earlier than the others. I only stayed for just over an hour.

The Feast of St. Anthony of Egypt

O God, who brought the Abbot Saint Anthony to serve you by a wondrous way of life in the desert, grant, through his intercession, that, denying ourselves, we may always love you above all things. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Anthony, pray for us, for the Christians of Egypt and for all monks.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Super Radical Christian Writer Chick: Why Christian Women Want To Wear Head Coverings

Super Radical Christian Writer Chick: Why Christian Women Want To Wear Head Coverings

But that’s most people’s take on head coverings. If you wear one you must:

a) be in a cult
b) be a Muslim
c) be in one of those Mennonite denominations

NONE of these are true for me! I’m just a Christian who is committed to figuring out God’s true will for her life — in all aspects.

I first got interested in head coverings when an older friend cried sweet tears of remembrance while discussing her period of wearing a head covering. She had enjoyed wearing one — feeling more in tune with the Father than ever!

Headcovering as a Pauline Tradition

A Kiwi and an Emu: Let's Get Traditional, Traditional

We read 1 Corinthians 11:2-16 and you immediately see that Paul considers headcovering to be part of a tradition.

It's very clear.

But to some people it's not. So let me quickly (hah!) run through the reasons we can know that Paul is talking about a tradition here.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Wisdom from Fr Anthony Chadwick on Islam

Fr Anthony Chadwick made a great point on the subject of Islam on his blog.

Responding to an anti-Islamic outburst in the comments, he replied:

It’s very simple. You play into the hands of the terrorists. People like you blame all Muslims and your solution (as you have already said) is the Extreme Right and the persecution of all Muslims, leading to further radicalisation and escalation from both sides. Fine by me – enjoy your war!

This is the problem I see with right-wing writers who constantly attack Islam. It simply provokes ordinary Muslims into a hostile stance toward the west and western values and further feeds extremism.

You can start a blog and spend all your time writing about how evil and wicked Islam is. Maybe Islam is just as evil and wicked as you think it is, but  that is not going to stop Muslims being Muslims and it is not going to stop the terrorists killing people.

Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment: Growing the Ordinariate Liturgy

Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment: Growing the Ordinariate Liturgy

Our distinctive Rite, then, has immense advantages. In highly important ways, it reconnects with the liturgical Tradition which was, to an unhappy degree, ruptured in the decades following 1960. But it is also highly receptive to elements in those post-Conciliar changes which were actually mandated or permitted by the Council, and which are of pastoral advantage. Gloriously, it throws the windows open to a liturgical experience which is in a sense 'vernacular' but utilises a sacred vernacular closely similar to the Latin of the Roman Rite. This Latin, as demonstrated by modern linguistic and literary scholarship, was never 'vernacular' in the sense of using everyday language, but addressed God in a highly formal and deliberately archaic dialect. That is exactly what we do in our 'Tudor English' rite. The Roman instruction Liturgiam authenticam encouraged precisely this.

I very much hope that our Rite will spread within the Anglophone Catholic world, quite simply because it is what that world needs. And it is clear (and very welcome) that Ordinariate congregations are not and will not be exclusive ghettoes. As a result of this, in parishes where there are Ordinariate clergy, laypeople from both backgrounds, 'Anglican Patrimony' and 'Diocesan', worship together. Thus Ordinariate Catholics with their Anglican Use, and Diocesan Catholics with their Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms, mingle, and have the capacity very much to enrich each other. Mutual Enrichment as advocated by Benedict XVI! Diocesan clergy have often asked me, as I have given talks to laity and clergy in many countries, whether they are allowed to use our admirable Rite, and I have had, with regret, to explain that the general answer is No (except in particular circumstances).

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

The American Catholic: Venezuelan Bishops Blast Marxist Government

The American Catholic: Venezuelan Bishops Blast Marxist Government

The greatest problem and the cause of the general crisis, as we have noted elsewhere, it is the decision of the national government and other public bodies to impose a political-economic system of socialist Marxist or communist. This system is totalitarian and centralist, establishes state control over all aspects of life of citizens and public and private institutions. Also threaten freedom and rights of individuals and associations and has led to oppression and ruin to all countries that have applied.

The Feast of Saint Sava of Serbia

Thou wast a guide to the Way of Life, a first Hierarch and a teacher;
thou didst come and enlighten thy home country, O Sava,
and give it rebirth by the Holy Spirit.
Thou hast planted thy children like olive trees in the spiritual Paradise.
O Equal-to-the-Apostles and Saints, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

As the first great hierarch and co-worker with the Apostles,
the Church of thy people magnifies thee;
and since thou hast found favor with Christ,
save us by thy prayers from every calamity,
so that we may proclaim to thee: Rejoice, God-wise Father Sava.

Saint Sava, pray for us, and for Serbia.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I Ask St. Philomena, by Rick Medina

Rick Medina, I Ask St. Philomena, 2003 OurSundayVistor Publishing, Huntington, IN

This is not a life of St. Philomena, nor is it a guide to the cult of this blessed martyr. This book is instead a guide to patron saints. It explains the value of patron saints and how they can enrich our spiritual life. Along the way, the author talks about his own patron saint, Saint Philomena.

In the introduction, Medina compares the role of patron saints to sponsors in Alcoholics Anonymous or mentors on an MBA program. Having gone before us in the race of faith, they are able to offer us the benefits not only of their example, but their spiritual intercession and support.

Medina offers some very useful advice about the various ways in which one might choose a patron saint. He suggests that a patron saint may have already chosen us, and his own testimony of his discovery of St. Philomena illustrates how this can happen. He points out that we should not simply call out to saints whenever we happen to be in need, but that we should make the effort to cultivate devotion to our patron saint, learning about them and testifying to others of their glory. We should also seek to cultivate those virtues that they exemplify.

I read a review of this book which expressed offence at a story that Medina tells. The author tells us that he had always wanted a Mercedes Benz and he prayed to St. Philomena to get one and she answered him with the opportunity to buy exactly the sort of Mercedes he wanted. The review accused Medina of teaching a Catholic equivalent of the 'name it, claim it' teachings of some Protestant television evangelists. I think the criticism is unfair. I think it is good to pray for material things, as well as spirtual benefits. I pray to God for the things I want and need, so why not pray to the saints for them? It is not a problem, as one does not neglect to pray for spiritual benefits and for the needs of others.

I found this a deeply encouraging book and it strengthened my desire to cultivate a spiritual relationship with the saints.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

PBS Branch Committee Meeting at St. Albans Cathedral

I'm on the committee of our Prayer Book Society branch. We held a meeting this afternoon.

We met at the Shrine of St. Alban in St. Albans' Cathedral and Abbey for Holy Communion. Being a convert to Roman Catholicism, I naturally did not receive myself. This was celebrated according to the Shorter Prayer Book. The priest on the committee being an Anglo-Catholic, there were of course some deviations from the rite in the book. He pointed out that it was Arcbishop William Laud's feast day. There was no collect for Laud in the Shorter Prayer Book, but in his honour the priest placed the offertory and Lord's Prayer before the reception, liturgical changes that Laud favoured.

It was fortunate that I happened to have a pocket-sized King James Bible in my bag. I was asked to read the epistle, but there are no readings contained in the Shorter Prayer Book.

After the communion service, we got on with our meeting and made some great plannings for Prayer Book activities for the coming months.

While I was in St. Albans abbey, I purchased a small figurine of the Blessed Virgin from the gift shop. Being new to Catholicism, I have no statues or pictures of Our Lady in my apartment and felt I ought to get one, otherwise I'm not a proper Catholic. It is an image of Our Lady triumphing over the serpent, an image that a Calvinist once told me was blaspheous because it is Christ who triumphs over the serpent. I would have liked to have got a figurine of Mary crowned, as I am particularly devoted to Mary as Queen of Heaven, but that was the only one they had.

Birthday of Saint Philomena

The Litany of Saint Philomena

Lord,have mercy on us.
Lord,have mercy on us.
Lord,have mercy on us. Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God.
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins
pray for us.
Saint Philomena,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, filled with abundant graces from your birth,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, model of virginity,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, temple of perfect humility,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the glory of God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, victim of love for Jesus,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, example of strength and perseverance,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, invincible champion of chastity,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, mirror of most heroic virtue,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pierced by a rain of arrows,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, consoled in chains by the Mother of God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, miraculously healed in prison,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, comforted by the Angels in your torments,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who preferred torments
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who converted witnesses by your martyrdom,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who wore out the fury of your tormentors,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, protectress of the innocent,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, patroness of youth,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, health of the sick and infirmed,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, new light of the Church Militant,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who rejuvenates the faith and courage of the faithful,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, whose name is glorious in Heaven and feared in Hell,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, made illustrious by the most splendid miracles,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, powerful with God,
pray for us.
Saint Philomena, who reigns in glory,
pray for us.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world;
have mercy on us.
V. Pray for us, O Worker of Wonders, Saint Philomena,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O Lord, through the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, whose eminent purity and practice of every virtue was most pleasing to you, pardon our sins and grant us the grace of_______________

The Feast of Saint Gregory of Nyssa

God our Father, Saint Gregory, your bishop, praised you by the splendor of his life and teaching. In your kindness, as we forget what is past and reach out to what is before us, help us to attain that vocation to which we are called.

Prayer of St. Gregory of Nyssa

Lord, from You flows true and continual kindness. 
You had cast us off and justly so, 
but in Your mercy You forgave us. 
You were at odds with us, 
and You reconciled us. 
You had set a curse on us, 
and You blessed us. 
You had banished us from the garden, 
and You called us back again. 
You took away the fig leaves 
that had been an unsuitable garment, 
and You clothed us in a cloak of great value. 
You flung wide the prison gates, 
and You gave the condemned a pardon. 
You sprinkled clean water on us, 
and You washed away the dirt.

Saint Gregory of Nyssa, pray for us and for all theologians.

Supremacy and Survival: The English Reformation: Archbishop Laud Executed: January 10, 1645

Supremacy and Survival: The English Reformation: Archbishop Laud Executed: January 10, 1645:

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury was executed on January 10, 1645 after trial in the House of Lords, although since the trial proceedings in December of 1644 failed to convict him, the House of Commons Attainted him a Traitor, even though he had certainly not committed treason against King Charles I. 

Friday, 9 January 2015

Daily Telegraph: Charlie Hebdo: secularism is not the solution but the problem

Daily Telegraph: Charlie Hebdo: secularism is not the solution but the problem

Article by Tim Stanley

Of course, the Church ultimately renders unto Caesar what is Caesar's and accepts the laws of the secular state. And that is what we must all do, for the law is paramount. But when it comes to writing the law, isn’t it right that we try to frame it in such a way that it’s as easy as possible for the largest number of people to obey it without betraying their conscience? At a cultural level, trying to strike a balance between what the state desires and the religious believe is a far easier task if we start from the mutual position of respecting faith and – crucially – understanding its perspective. The problem with a lot of debates about faith schools, conflicts over sexuality and abortion or debates about religious dress is that a lot of citizens don’t get where religious folk are coming from and, frankly, don’t care. How many policy makers or commentators understand why Catholics eat fish on Friday, need to attend Mass every Sunday or want to wear a crucifix to work? How many politicians or hacks comprehend what it means to don the veil or why it could be shocking – actually stomach-turning – to see a cartoon of the Prophet with a knife at his throat? 
“We don’t care why they feel these things so deeply,” comes the secularist reply, “our right to offend is the higher human right.” Perhaps it is: as Benedict suggested, the freedom to inquire publicly is at the heart of a civilised, democratic society. But if respect for the sublime is not necessary a right, it is a wonderful thing. And it is a glue that can bind men of very different backgrounds and views together. The insides of churches, synagogues or mosques all look very different. But they cast a similar spell. They are places of peace and contemplation. 
I will be called naïve for writing all of this, possibly even someone guilty of tolerating intolerance. But as a person of faith I do acknowledge a conflict between free speech and feelings, even if I come down on the side of free speech every time. And as a European liberal, I see liberalism as having two overriding concerns that must be pursued with equal vigour. The first, to preserve the freedom of the individual. The second, to maintain social harmony in a world in constant – sometimes innovative, sometimes dangerous – flux. I make no apology for seeking peace and contemplation.

Daily Telegraph: Nigel Farage is wrong to blame the horror in France on multiculturalism

Daily Telegraph: Nigel Farage is wrong to blame the horror in France on multiculturalism

Article by Peter Oborne

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has been denounced by both David Cameron and Nick Clegg for seeking to make political capital with his ill-judged remark blaming multi-culturism for the Charlie Hebdot tragedy.

Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg were right to attack Farage. However neither of them pointed out that the Ukip leader is factually wrong. France has never adopted multiculturalism.

Whilst Britain has embraced the presence of different racial, ethnic and religious identities within the public sphere, France, has managed it’s immigrant population through what the social scientist Olivier Roy calls an "assimilationist model".

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Shameless Popery: The Protestant Fallacy That Threatens to Undermine Christianity

Shameless Popery: The Protestant Fallacy That Threatens to Undermine Christianity

Catholics believe in the infallibility of the Church and of the pope. This serves as both a teacher of, and an important check to, our personal interpretations of Scripture. If I understand a passage of Scripture to be teaching X, and X is a conclusion contrary to the teachings of the Church, I can be sure that I'm wrong. It's a simple rule, but a powerful one. Think of the countless heresies have arisen from people misunderstanding Scripture. In many of these cases, these errors could have been avoided, if people would have just followed this rule.

But there's a Protestant objection to this. It says, in a nutshell, "You Catholics believe in the Catholic Church for one of two reasons: either (1) because the Catholic Church says so, or (2) because you've become independently convinced on the basis of Scripture, history, etc. If it's (1), that's a circular argument. But if it's (2), then you're in the exact same position as a Protestant. You accept Catholic teachings because of your private judgment, we reject Catholic teachings because of our private judgment."

On its face, I think that this looks like a pretty strong argument. But there are several problems with it, two of which I want to highlight. The first is that the argument proves too much, and the second is that it misses a critical distinction.

BBC News: Nick Clegg 'dismayed' at Farage comments

BBC News: Nick Clegg 'dismayed' at Farage comments

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has accused Nigel Farage of trying to "make political points" after the shootings in Paris which killed 12 people.

The UKIP leader said the attack by suspected Islamists on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday was "truly horrific".

He added, on Channel 4 News, it raised questions about what he called a "gross policy of multiculturalism".

Mr Clegg said he was "firmly grabbing the wrong end of the stick."

Mr Farage said there was a "very strong argument" that the events were a result of "a fifth column" which he said lived in Paris and London.

He said: "We've got people living in these countries, holding our passports, who hate us.

"Luckily their numbers are very, very small but it does make one question the whole really gross attempt at encouraged division within society that we have had in the past few decades in the name of multiculturalism."

Home Secretary Theresa May said the reference to a "fifth column" - which can refer to a faction inside a country working with its enemies to create instability - was "irresponsible".

She said everybody across society should be working to "ensure that we deal with and eradicate extremism, wherever it exists".

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said it was "utterly wrong" for any politician to make "political points" so soon after the attacks.

"If we fight among ourselves or see our neighbours of any faith as the enemy, then the only winners are the gunman," he warned.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said people "across faiths" were united in condemning the attack, and did not think Mr Farage "should be seeking to divide us in this way."

On his LBC phone-in, Mr Clegg said: "I am dismayed that Nigel Farage immediately thinks, on the back of the bloody murders that we saw on the streets of Paris yesterday, his first reflex is to make political points."

Quite right, Mr. Clegg. I think Farage's comments are very divisive and unsavoury and his desire to make political capital out of this tragedy is very tasteless.

Guardian: The ‘them and us’ narrative is a dangerous downward spiral

Guardian: The ‘them and us’ narrative is a dangerous downward spiral

Article by Nesrine Malik

It has already started – the talk of a clash of civilisations. After the horrific Paris attack in which 12 people were killed, there is a palpable sense of a Europe on the edge, teetering between righteous anger and tense restraint. Many of the subsequent reactions have fallen along the predictable lines of reasserting the difference between “us” and “them”.

But the Paris attack was not yet another front in the “clash of civilisations”. The term civilisation in itself is meaningless in this context. What civilisation do the terrorists represent? It is understandable that, on the face of it, the attack highlights the perpetrators’ and the victims’ starkly opposed values, one barbaric and silencing, and the other enlightened and freedom loving.

But this is a false dichotomy. It omits a far more uncomfortable and complicated truth about racial tension in France, immigration, and how Muslims are settling in an increasingly secular Europe where the resurgence of rightwing parties has further racialised religion.

In the past few weeks we have seen anti-Muslim demonstrations in Germany, attacks on mosques in Sweden and, over the past few years, several isolated attacks on Muslims in a cycle of reprisals and counter-reprisals. In this context, it is impossible to reduce the Charlie Hebdo tragedy to anything as simple as two cultures clashing over the sanctity of a prophet.

Daily Telegraph: Europe has a terrorism problem, not a Muslim problem

Daily Telegraph: Europe has a terrorism problem, not a Muslim problem

Article by Tim Stanley

There will be those who insist that Europe now has to make a choice between modernity and faith. The choice is false. It is perfectly possible to inhabit both worlds at once and even if they were so strongly opposed, to compel anyone to choose between them is dictatorial. And, if forced to take a stand, greater numbers will side with the sublime than would have done if left alone. How would the choice be presented or enforced, anyway? The anti-Islamic demonstrations in Germany indicate that there is a growing constituency for saying “something must be done” about Islam in Europe. Yet the responding question has to be, “what?” The people of France have come out into the streets to state their support for free speech: good. The security forces will doubtless beef up their work: good. But a dramatic shift to authoritarianism would, again, be a contrary response to an assault upon freedom – as well as a contradiction of Western values that, like the war in Algeria, would only perpetuate the struggle. Let us please proceed with dialogue between communities. The world has never needed more conflict.

More civility is a very Western thing to aim for. We don’t talk often enough about those two inheritances that genuinely make the West the best place to live in the world. The first is the Enlightenment principles of rational inquiry and dissent. The second is the Christian principle of turning the other cheek. Both traditions inform the other, both have given rise to a culture that elevates the individual.

In a sense, we’ve won the war of ideas already simply because we’re happy to have it without resorting to bullets or discrimination. That moral high ground must not be lost.

Daily Telegraph: We can't leave the debate on Islam to the Islamophobes

Daily Telegraph: We can't leave the debate on Islam to the Islamophobes

Slowly but surely public opinion is moving away from me – and all of us who are still trying to argue we do not have an Islam problem. People have seen the Trojan Horse schools. They have seen the Rotherham abuses. They have seen the political abuses in the rotten borough that is Tower Hamlets. And again, they have seen terror and bloodshed brought to the streets of Europe.
And yes, we can deny it. We can protest eloquently that these murders had no basis in faith. Or “true faith”. But on a monthly basis now, we are seeing people committing terrible crimes, and saying they are doing so in the name of Islam. And people, understandably, are starting to believe them.

Which leaves us with a choice. We can stick our heads in the sand – again – and continue to deny there is any issue at all. And in so doing, cede the debate to those advocating a witch hunt for the fifth columnists amongst us. Or, as I wrote a couple of months ago, we can start having a serious and open discussion about how and why we are failing to integrate significant elements of our Muslim communities fully and effectively into our society.
Because we cannot end up in our bunkers again. Not when then weapons of choice are not words, but Kalashnikovs and grenade launchers.

This is an argument that mustn’t lead to us being forced to take sides. Because there are no sides to take. Who do we line up with this time? Ukip, who are opportunistically scrambling to pile thinly disguised Islamaphobia on top of their totally undisguised racism? The English Defence League, and their self-styled defence patrols? The lunatics who have massacred 13 people over a drawing? Or “moderates” like Asghar Bukhari, who went on Sky News this morning to explain how it was wrong to see the attacks on the journalists of Charlie Hebdo “through the prism of an attack on freedom of speech”.
We have to start the debate now. While there is still time for people of good will to reach as sensible accommodation. To start to find answers to what it is that is driving us and our Muslim neighbours apart.

We cannot fall back on the divisive and lazy argument that Islam is, by definition, a religion built upon hate. But nor can we continue to pretend that Islam is not becoming a cause of division within our communities.
After the horrific events of the last 48 hours I want to ride with you. But I also need to know you want to ride with me.

I'm with you, Dan.

A very sensible and balanced article from Dan Hodges.

Islamophobia frightens me. I read all the anger and fear of some people and I worry where it is going to lead. Islam raises hard questions, but we can find answers to them. We need to keep the faith in a tolerant and decent multi-cultural Britain.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Catholics of Anglican Patrimony, by Aidan Nichols, OP

Aidan Nichols, OP, Catholics of Anglican Patrimony: The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, 2013 Gracewing, Leominster, Herefordshire

Perhaps the best word to describe this book would be manifesto. This book is a manifesto for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, it unveils the vision behind this project to reconcile Anglicans to the Catholic Church. I personally think that the Ordinariate is one of the best things to have happened in recent years and I think that on the whole, Nichols does a good job of explaining why.

Nichols begins his manifesto by offering an historical sketch of the Catholic tradition within Anglicanism. In doing so, he does not pretend that the Church of England was not fully Protestant in the character of its early and formative direction. He goes on to give a history of the desire for Anglican reconciliation with Rome.

In the next chapter, Nichols looks at the vision behind Pope Benedict XVI establishing the Ordinariate. Nichols uses the illustration of Noah's Ark. He believes that Benedict's vision was for the reconciliation of not only Anglicans, but also the Lefebrevists, the Lutherans and the Eastern Orthodox. I'm a bit sceptical about the idea of the Ordinariates being a model for reunion or reconciliation with Eastern Orthodoxy. After all, we already have the Uniate churches, which are a sore point with the Orthodox. Given that the Ordinariates are a less permanent, more uncertain structure than the Uniate churches, it seems doubtful that they offer much of a model.

The chapter on the liturgical issues relating to the Ordinariate is particularly interesting. I came to this as one who deeply loves the Book of Common Prayer, despite its genuinely Protestant character. Nichols quickly acknowledges the fundamentally Reformed character of the communion rite and the difficulties involved in its use by Anglo-Catholics. Even the proposed 1928 prayer book, he argues, was not really a substantial improvement. He then goes onto later developments in Anglican liturgy and the development of the Book of the Divine Worship, a Catholic version of the BCP.

In the final chapter, on the mission of the Ordinariate, he touches on some of the themes in his earlier book, The Realm, which dealt with the problems of evangelizing England. Nichols suggests ways in which the Ordinariate may call the British nation back to Christ, as well as how she might contribute to the wider Catholic Church in England.

There are a couple of questions that I would have liked Nichols to address. He does not discuss why an Anglican Uniate was not created. My understanding is that this was not possible because English Catholicism has always been part of the Latin rite and there is no patriarch in Canterbury. But was it impossible to acknowledge the independent development of liturgy in England, through Sarum and into Anglicanism? And would it have been so difficult to appoint a Patriarch? If a Patriarch of Canterbury or York would have offended Anglicans, why not a Patriarch of Salisbury? I'm sure thus would have had its problems, but Nichols might have at least addressed the topic of an Anglican Uniate. He also does not address the question of married clergy and whether they have any future in the continuing life of the Ordinariate.

From East to West: Clerical Celibacy

From East to West: Clerical Celibacy

An article by Dr. Anthony Dragani, arguing from an Eastern Catholic point of view that clerical celibacy is not of apostolic origin.

'In this final section of the book Cardinal Stickler moves beyond the historical arguments that he has utilized thus far. Now he attempts to explain the theological rationale behind clerical celibacy. He quotes a key passage of scripture upon which he builds a portion of his case. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul writes, "Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer""[58] According to the Cardinal, "If continence was imposed on the laity in order that their prayers might be granted, how much greater the obligation on priests, who in a state of purity had to be ready at any moment to offer the sacrifice and administer baptism."[59]

Amazingly, when quoting this passage of sacred scripture the Cardinal omits the second half of the verse. In the latter half of the verse St. Paul warns married couples to "return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control."[60] Thus, St. Paul is actually cautioning against perpetual continence within marriage. In light of this statement it is nearly impossible to believe that the Apostle would demand such perfect continence from any married couple, even if the man was an ordained presbyter.

Cardinal Stickler believes that a prime reason for clerical celibacy is "the efficacy of mediatory prayer by the sacred minister." This is "centered on a total dedication to God, on the real possibility of praying constantly as well as being completely free for pastoral ministry and for the service of the Church."[61] But this begs an important question: why exactly is mediatory prayer rendered less effective by marital sex"[62] He does not provide an answer to this question.

He also argues for celibacy based on the example of Christ. The priest is configured to the person of Christ, and becomes another Christ. "Christ wants the soul, heart and body of his priests," writes the Cardinal. Christ "wants that purity and continence that are a sign that he lives no longer according to the flesh but according to the spirit."[63] While this is harmonious with the Latin theological tradition, in the Eastern tradition the persons most perfectly configured to the person of Christ are not the priests, but the monks. In the East the mutually exclusive dichotomy is not between marriage and priesthood, but between marriage and monasticism.[64]

As he concludes the book, Cardinal Stickler raises a fundamental question: ""we must ask ourselves if the basis of celibacy is to be actually found in its "suitability." Rather, is it not in fact really necessary and indispensable to the priesthood""[65] He undoubtedly desires for us to answer in the affirmative. But in light of the present teaching of the Catholic Church, is it even possible to do so"

Cardinal Stickler attempts to prove far too much. If he were to successfully demonstrate that mandatory clerical celibacy is indeed an apostolic tradition, would this mean that it is beyond the authority of the Church to change the discipline" The reality is that the Catholic Church has already modified this discipline significantly. Today the Roman Catholic Church routinely ordains married men to diaconate. These men are in no way required to abstain from marital relations, yet all of the fourth century texts that the Cardinal sights call for absolute marital continence by deacons and their wives. Moreover, these same texts claim that this is part of the apostolic tradition. Also, in recent decades the Roman Catholic Church has ordained hundreds of former Episcopal clerics as Catholic priests. And again, these men are not required to cease sexual relations with their wives.

Likewise, the Catholic Church has officially recognized the full legitimacy of the Eastern tradition of a married priesthood.[66] For evidence of this one needs to look no further than the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1990. Canon 373 authoritatively states that "the hallowed practice of married clerics in the primitive Church and in the tradition of the Eastern Churches throughout the ages is to be held in honor."[67] The legitimacy of the Eastern discipline is also affirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph no. 1580.

Thus, clerical celibacy is clearly a discipline that the Church has the authority to regulate and govern. This fact bears witness against it being a tradition "demanded by the apostles."[68] So is clerical celibacy "really necessary and indispensable to the priesthood""[69] The answer is a resounding no.'

I accept the value of celibacy as tradition in Latin-rite Catholicism, but I am quite unconvinced that it is a tradition mandated by the apostles and have been troubled by the claim that it is. I can see very clearly that the New Testament encourages celibacy, but I do not see any demand or requirement of it for clergy in the Scriptures. I found this article to be a very helpful response.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Daily Telegraph: This Act of folly has condemned us to five years of political torment

Daily Telegraph: This Act of folly has condemned us to five years of political torment

Fraser Nelson explains why fixed-term parliaments was one of David Cameron's worst ideas.

To survive this, a prime minister needs the ability to threaten a new election. But in an act of immense folly, Cameron signed away this power in the Fixed-term Parliaments Act. It was intended as a wedding ring to slip over Nick Clegg’s finger, a promise that he would not betray him by calling a snap election at an inopportune time. But instead of making this promise for just one parliament, Mr Cameron changed the rules for good. So if things get sticky after May 2015, then neither he nor Ed Miliband will be able to seek a new mandate, as Harold Wilson was able to do in 1974.

In theory, the new British rules mean a snap election can be called if two-thirds of MPs want one – but opposition and government are unlikely ever to agree on an election date. A ''no-confidence’’ motion can still trigger an election, but this leaves power with the opposition leader. And most politicians are sadists who love the sight of their opposite number going through hell. If, for example, Ed Miliband is foolish enough to do a deal with the Scottish National Party then he’ll spend five years being tortured by Alex Salmond (whose agenda, of course, is the destruction of the United Kingdom). Why would a Tory leader – Boris Johnson, for example – want to stop this horror show? Far better let it last, so voters permanently associate Labour with weakness and chaos.

The Feast of Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen

O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by the example and teaching of the Bishops Saints Basil and Gregory, grant, we pray, that in humility we may learn your truth and practice it faithfully in charity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Basil and Saint Gregory, pray for us, the churches of the east, and for all bishops and theologians.