Monday, 21 August 2017

The Feast of Saint Pius X

O God, who to safeguard the Catholic faith and to restore all things in Christ, filled Pope Saint Pius the Tenth with heavenly wisdom and apostolic fortitude, graciously grant that, following his teaching and example, we may gain an eternal prize. 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.

Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, Saint Pius X, you sought "to restore all things in Christ." Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her.

Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord. so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ. Amen.

Saint Pius X, pray for me.

Litany of Pope Saint Pius X

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 Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Saint Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church,
Pray for us.
Saint Pius X, model for priests, etc.
Saint Pius X, wise bishop,
Saint Pius X, humble cardinal and patriarch,
Saint Pius X, zealous Pope for his flock,
Saint Pius X, pious teacher,
Saint Pius X, devoted to the poor,
Saint Pius X, consoler of the sick,
Saint Pius X, lover of poverty,
Saint Pius X, humble of heart,
Saint Pius X, faithful to duty,
Saint Pius X, heroic in the practice of all virtues,
Saint Pius X, filled with the spirit of self-sacrifice,
Saint Pius X, who didst aim to restore all things in Christ,
Saint Pius X, who didst bring little children to the the Altar rail,
Saint Pius X, who didst counsel daily and frequent Communion for all,
Saint Pius X, who didst urge us to know and to love the Holy Mass,
Saint Pius X, who didst seek everywhere the diffusion of Christian teaching,
Saint Pius X, who didst withstand and reprove all heresies,
Saint Pius X, who didst teach us righteous Catholic Action,
Saint Pius X, who didst consecrate the faithful to the lay apostolate,
Saint Pius X, who didst wish to be known as a poor pastor of souls,
Saint Pius X, who answereth the prayers of those who cry to thee,
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.
V. Pray for us, Saint Pius X,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.

O God, who didst fill the soul of Saint Pius X with a burning charity and
called him to be the Vicar of Christ, grant that through his intercession
we may follow in the footsteps of Jesus, Our Divine Master; and may
our prayers to this saintly Pope be fruitful for life both here and hereafter,
through the same Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

Saint Pius, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Marian Maximalism, by Jonathan Fleischmann

Jonathan Fleischmann, Marian Maximalism, 2016 Academy of the Immaculate

This book, by a Catholic layman, defends Marian Maximalism, which takes as its starting principle, the saying of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, that of Mary, we can never say enough. We can never be too devoted to Mary, or trust too much in her intercession. A foreword is provided by Cardinal Raymond Burke, who speaks about the importance of the book, particularly in relation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Our Lady of Guadalupe's role as patroness of the American continent. Fleischmann begins by demonstrating the traditional validity of the Marian Maximalist principle through the writings of the saints. In particular he makes use of Saint Maximillian Kolbe, the ultimate Marian Maximalist. He defends Kolbe from the charge that he was excessive in his statements on Mary's exalted position. He counters the claim that Vatican II opposed Marian Maximalism by arguing that the documents of Vatican II affirm Mary's mediatorial role and are in harmony with Maximalism. He makes the interesting claim that the 'exaggerations' warned about at Vatican II were particularly directed at a cultish group called the 'Army of Mary,' who ended up worshiping their founder.

Fleishmann contends that there is no such thing as a Marian heretic; that is one who has fallen into heresy through exaggerated ideas about the Blessed Virgin. He argues that feminists who want to feminize the divine have little interest in Mariology and that if some feminists were to start worshiping Mary as a goddess, she would not be the Mary of Nazareth, the mother of our Lord, but simply the application of the name Mary to a pagan goddess. He does concede, late in the book that some Catholic theologians have made errors in their Mariology, but these are not heresies as such.

Fleischmann takes the Scotist view that the incarnation would have occurred even if the Fall had not taken place. This view has important implications in making the Mother of God part of God's original design for the universe. Our author provides an excellent quotation of Venerable Futon Sheen, demonstrating how Mary is the ultimate realization of womanhood:

"Every man who pursues a maid, every maid who yearns to be courted, every bond of friendship in the universe, seeks a love that is not just her love or his love but something that overflows both her and him that is called "our love." Everyone is in love with an ideal love, a love that is so far beyond sex that sex is forgotten. We all love something more than we love. When that overflow ceases, love stops. As the poet puts it: "I could not love thee, dear, so much, loved I not honor more." That ideal love we see beyond all creature-love, to which we instinctively turn when flesh-love fails, is the same ideal that God had in His Heart from all eternity—the Lady whom He calls "Mother." She is the one whom every man loves when he loves a woman—whether he knows it or not. She is what every woman wants to be when she looks at herself. She is the woman whom every man marries in ideal when he takes a spouse; she is hidden as an ideal in the discontent of every woman with the carnal aggressiveness of man; she is the secret desire every woman has to be honored and fostered; she is the way every woman wants to command respect and love because of the beauty of her goodness of body and soul. And this blueprint love, whom God loved before the world was made, this Dream Woman before women were, is the one of whom every heart can say in its depth of depths: "She is the woman I love!" "

However, he does not look solely at the western tradition, but also shows how the Byzantine tradition, particularly in the Hesychastic movement acknowledged the greatness of Mary. He singles out St. Gregory Palamas for particular praise in his Mariological thought. He also brings up Our Lady's title of Daughter of Zion, showing how Mary is the archetype and fulfillment of Israel. He writes:

"This feminine dimension of the theology of the Old Testament- from the "virgin Earth" out of which God created the first man Adam, to his helpmate Eve, to the Woman of Genesis, at enmity with the serpent, to the "woman saviour" stories of Esther and Judith, to the personification of Israel entering into a covenant of love with God, to the feminine Sophia of the Book of Wisdom- becomes embodied concretely in the Immaculate, the Jewish Virgin-Mother, Spouse of the Holy Spirit and Coredemptrix with Christ: Mary."

Fleischmann acknowledges that some may feel that Catholic theologians speak of Mary as though she was a goddess, but he counters that this is balanced by their recognition o the absolute transcendence of God. He discusses the way in which Our Lady of Guadalupe bore the visual trappings of an Aztec goddess. He writes:

Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared in the clothing of a goddess, but not because she wanted to deceive St. Juan Diego and the native people of the New World.... Why would this woman appear like a goddess? It can only because in Mary's perfect humility she appeared to St. Juan Diego exactly as God saw her and wished her to be seen: exalted above all other women on Earth, the one "highest after Christ and also closest to us," who "shines with purity greater than which none can be imagined, except for God's," and who possesses "that fullness of holy innocence than which, under God, one cannot imagine anything greater, and which, outside of God, no mind can succeed in comprehending fully."

Given that Marian Maximalism is directly opposed by it's opposite, Marian Minimalism, I think it would have been helpful if Fleischmann had included a chapter on Marian Minimalism. Defining it's opposite would have shed a lot of light on what Maximalism is. While he quotes Blessed John Henry Newman and Saint Bonaventure favourably, both men made statements that sound like minimalism, that is warning against Marian excess. While I love Blessed John Henry Newman and am devoted to him, some of his criticisms of Marian 'excess' make me feel uncomfortable. Fleischmann would have done well to have engaged more directly with those voicing such concerns.

I thought this was a really beautiful exposition of the glories of Mary and an encouragement to greater devotion.

4th Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima

The Washington Post: This week shows Trump was always about race

The Washington Post: This week shows Trump was always about race

by Jennifer Rubin

"Now while Bannon’s demise was inevitable, so was the train-wreck, potentially fatal news conference in which Trump’s true connection to white nationalism came gushing forth. Forget the canard that Trump’s campaign capitalized on economic insecurity. (On average, his voters were richer than Hillary Clinton’s.) Don’t buy the notion that this was all President Barack Obama’s fault and the result of identity politics — a kind of blame-the-victim that posits 21st century white racism is caused by 1960s racial and gender politics.

No, at the heart of Trump’s campaign and the center of the Fox News operation, which incubated a Trump-ready electorate, has always been an appeal to white grievance, which Trump and Bannon were all too happy to gin up with fables about immigrants stealing whites’ jobs, African American killing fields in big cities, murderous illegal immigrants and, quite blatantly, an appeal to Southern infatuation with the Confederate myth of the “lost cause.” Trump’s vilifying all Muslims with a broad brush and his description of Mexicans as murderers were not incidental to his campaign; they were its distinguishing features."

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Small-Unit Tactics : 'Sorry, UN. Ireland's abortion laws are progressive, modern and compassionate' : 'Sorry, UN. Ireland's abortion laws are progressive, modern and compassionate'

by Niamh Uí Bhriain

"Firstly, there is no right to abortion under international human rights law. That is a fact, and a fact easily verified by looking at the UN’s human rights charters and treaties which so many countries, including Ireland, have signed up to.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn’t mention abortion at all, but it does say that all human beings have a right to life. That the preborn child is a human being is a matter now long established by science. As a matter of fact, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child points out that ”the child by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”

This is what human rights treaties are designed for – to ensure that people who are most vulnerable are not denied their human rights. It’s hard to think of anyone more vulnerable than a preborn child."

The Guardian: 'Unraveling our national fabric': Romney condemns Trump after Charlottesville

The Guardian: 'Unraveling our national fabric': Romney condemns Trump after Charlottesville

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, warned of an “unraveling of our national fabric” on Friday as he excoriated Donald Trump over his defence of people involved in a neo-Nazi rally.

Nearly a week after white nationalists led a bloody protest against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee, Trump continues to face backlash for blaming “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Senior Republican officials, titans of business, military leaders and even members of his own administration have rejected Trump’s view of the events and his attempt to draw moral equivalence between white supremacists and anti-racist counter-protestors.

On Friday, Romney wrote in a Facebook post: “Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn.

“His apologists strain to explain that he didn’t mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.”

Friday, 18 August 2017

CapX: What’s the point of Theresa May’s government?

CapX: What’s the point of Theresa May’s government?

by Alex Massie

"And in place of confidence, then what? Strife? Quite possibly. Confusion? Certainly. Every smoke signal emanating from Whitehall suggests the actual process of Brexit, as opposed to the psychological satisfaction gained from the decision itself, is proving to be hideously more complex than might be reckoned ideal. Ministers have not yet been straight with the public and the longer they peddle the line that all will be right on the night, the more they set themselves up for a fall should the public begin to worry that, actually, life’s just a little more complicated than that.

On the Irish border, for instance, London assures us everything is fine and perfectly workable. The UK’s frontier with the EU will not be a real frontier, or at least not the kind of border people imagine when they hear the term. Dublin, awkwardly, disagrees. This, the Irish say, is not an “Irish Question” at all; it is instead a “British Question” and you got yourselves into this mess, so you can get yourselves out of it.

As the European Commission says, frictionless trade is not possible outside the single market and customs union. This is not a threat, or a rejection of British proposals; it is merely a statement of a clear and present truth. Brexit is not a Lampedusa novel: it is not possible for everything to change so things may remain the same. All of which leads inexorably towards the dismal conclusion that the reason Mrs May keeps her cards so very close to her chest is that they are very low-ranking cards."

Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Feast of Saint Helena

O Lord Jesus Christ, who unto blessed Helena didst reveal the place where Thy Cross lay hid: thus choosing her as the means to enrich Thy Church with that precious treasure: do Thou, at her intercession, grant that by the price of the Tree of Life we may attain unto the rewards of everlasting life. Who livest and reignest.

Saint Helena, pray for us and for all Christian mothers.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Norwegian Soldiers

Independent: We need to dispel the dangerous myth that it's only Asian men who sexually assault young women

Independent: We need to dispel the dangerous myth that it's only Asian men who sexually assault young women

by Naz Shah

"So seeing a headline which says “British Pakistanis ARE raping white girls...and we must face up to it” is beyond personal to me.

Such an incendiary headline and article is not only irresponsible but also sets a very dangerous precedent and must be challenged. Let me explain why. Where another community is over-represented within a model of criminality, like for example, in cases of wider child abuse, where nearly 90 per cent of the perpetrators are white men we wouldn’t suggest that white people “are raping children” or use the whole community to describe the actions of a few criminals. That would not only be horrific but ridiculous.

I also have two sons. Blanket racially loaded statements like these set them up to fail before they even reach their teenage years.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the first to challenge wrong wherever it happens. This includes within my own Pakistani community. I continue to challenge the patriarchal system and misogyny in the face of death threats – and I am not about to stop, that I can assure you.

But what I won’t accept, or tolerate, is a narrative that demonises every Pakistani man as a rapist. I won’t."

Huffpost UK: Sarah Champion, I Think You’re Racist. There. I Said It.

Huffpost UK: Sarah Champion, I Think You’re Racist. There. I Said It.

by Areeq Chowdhury

"For argument’s sake, let’s assume the premise of your arguments are true. That child sexual exploitation is a problem unique to the British Pakistani community. The solution would therefore be to engage with British Pakistani communities and to enable them to tackle the problem head-on. But what do you hope to achieve by writing a column about it in the Sun? Have you been briefed that the Sun has a large Pakistani readership? Are Pakistani mothers and fathers buying copies of the Sun to catch a glimpse of Page 3? If there are huge numbers of Pakistani people reading it, why haven’t you addressed the article to them? When you refer to British Pakistani men as “these people” it sure doesn’t sound like you’re speaking to them directly."

Sarah Champion's comments in The Sun were inflammatory and unhelpful.

The Feast of Saint Stephen of Hungary

Grant your Church, we pray, almighty God, that she may have Saint Stephen of Hungary, who fostered her growth while a king on earth, as her glorious defender in heaven. 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 Stephen, pray for us and for Hungary.

BBC News: Bush presidents wade into Trump furore over Charlottesville

BBC News: Bush presidents wade into Trump furore over Charlottesville

Former Presidents George HW Bush and George W Bush have called on the US to "reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism and hatred in all forms".

They are the latest Republican figures to weigh in on the backlash to Donald Trump's latest remarks blaming "both sides" for violent clashes in Virginia.

It culminated with a woman's death and nearly 20 wounded when a car ploughed into a crowd at the far-right rally.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

National Review: Fire Steve Bannon

National Review: Fire Steve Bannon

by David French

"Bannon’s actions indicate that, if nothing else, he’s a vicious opportunist. As alt-right leader Richard Spencer explained, under Bannon’s leadership, Breitbart turned into a “gateway to alt-right ideas and writers.” His former colleague Ben Shapiro called him a “vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies.” Vindictive men who promote the work of racists and normalize their ideas obviously shouldn’t be within 100 miles of political power, never mind two steps from the Oval Office.

Earlier today President Trump clearly and explicitly repudiated racism and white supremacy. This was a positive step, a vast improvement from his statement on Saturday, which pointedly omitted any reference to white supremacy, Nazism, or their acolytes. While today’s political violence is still far from that seen on the worst days of the late 1960s and early 1970s, this weekend’s events have rightfully shaken millions of well-meaning Americans. If the president wants to take decisive action to distance himself from America’s most hateful elements, there is one thing he can do today: He can fire Steve Bannon, the man who gave them a platform."

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

Almighty and everlasting God,
You have taken up body and soul
into the heavenly glory the Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of Your Son: Grant, we beseech You,
that, ever intent upon heavenly things,
we may be worthy to be partakers of her glory.
Through Jesus Christ Your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen.

O Blessed Virgin Mary,
united to the victorious Christ in heaven,
you are the image and first-flowering of the Church
as she is to be perfected in the world to come.
You shine forth as a sign of sure hope and solace
for the pilgrim People of God.
In your Assumption,
you manifest the fullness of redemption
and appear as the spotless image of the Church
responding in joy
to the invitation of the Bridegroom, your Son,
who is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Grant that we may follow your example on earth
thereby imitating your Son as well
and being enabled to share your glory,
with Him for all eternity.

The Litany of Loreto

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

God the Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, one God,

Holy Mary,
pray for us.
Holy Mother of God,
Holy Virgin of virgins,
Mother of Christ,
Mother of the Church,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother immaculate,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,

Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,

Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,

Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,

Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,

Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,

Help of Christians,

Queen of angels,
Queen of patriarchs,
Queen of prophets,
Queen of apostles,
Queen of martyrs,
Queen of confessors,
Queen of virgins,
Queen of all saints,

Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy rosary,

Queen of families,
Queen of peace,

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes 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 beseech you, O Lord God, that we, your servants, may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

V. Pray for us, O Queen of the most holy Rosary.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. O God, whose only-begotten Son, through his life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that by meditating upon these mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain, and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Holy Mary, Virgin Assumed into Heaven, pray for us, that we may enter into the glory and joy of heaven.