[I’ve heard many times that for every person that is received into the Church, six leave. This Easter Sunday, with the churches crammed like sardines, homilies should include a reminder of the aftereffects of dying unforgiven]
Oh, why am I here in this place of unrest When others have entered the land of the blest? God’s way of salvation was preached unto men; I heard it and heard it, again and again.
Why did I not listen and turn from my sin And open my heart and let Jesus come in? For vain earthly pleasures my soul did I sell The way I had chosen has brought me to hell.
I wish I were dreaming, but ah, it is true. The way to be saved I had heard and I knew; My time on the earth, oh, so quickly fled by, How little I thought of the day I would die.
When God’s Holy Spirit was pleading with me, I hardened my heart and I turned from His plea. The way that was sinful, the path that was wide, I chose and I walked till the time that I died.
Eternally now, I must dwell in this place. If I from my memory could but erase The thoughts of my past which are haunting me so. Oh, where is a refuge to which I can go?
This torture and suff’ring, how long can I stand? For Satan and demons this only was planned. God’s refuge is Jesus, the One that I spurned; He offered salvation, but from Him I turned.
My brothers and sisters I wish I could warn. Far better ‘twould be if I had not been born. The price I must pay is too horrid to tell My life without God led directly to Hell.
Oh, soul without Christ, will these words be your cry? God’s Word so declares it that all men must die. From hell and its terrors, Oh, flee while you may! So, come to the Saviour; He’ll save you today!
The Pope appears to regard free-market capitalism as a form of colonialism:
“The new colonialism takes on different faces. At times it appears as the anonymous influence of mammon: corporations, loan agencies, certain ‘free trade’ treaties, and the imposition of measures of ‘austerity’ which always tighten the belt of workers and the poor” (link).
“It is a truly pressing duty to use the earth’s resources in such a way that all may be free from hunger. …We need, then, to find ways by which all may benefit from the fruits of the earth, not only to avoid the widening gap between those who have more and those who must be content with the crumbs, but above all because it is a question of justice, equality and respect for every human being” (link).
It will not be visible, as it will occur during daylight hours. For most of the day, from about 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM PST the following will occur, beginning in the eastern sky:
“And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered” (Revelation 12:1-2).
As the sun envelopes the constellation Virgo (a virgin maiden in Greek mythology) the moon will cross beneath her feet. At the same time twelve stars will congregate just above her head, nine from the constellation Leo plus three visiting planets: Mercury, Venus, and Mars.* The planet Jupiter (mythological king), which had entered Virgo’s torso back on Dec. 1, 2016, will have just exited between her legs on Sept. 12th, 9 1/2 months later. (Recall that Jupiter’s entry into the constellation Leo represented the birth of a prince in Babylonian astrology and inspired the journey of the Magi).
Elena Maria Vidal recently reviewed Liberating Marriage in an Age of Heresy: St. Hildegard of Bingen and Reform in the 12th-Century on her beautiful and popular website Tea at Trianon. She writes:
“The book is short but bursting with fascinating information about medieval views of love and sin. It became clear to me that the doctrines of the Church, as they continued to be clarified by reforming popes, were meant to protect women and children from the abuses of lust as well as those of material and political gain. As we know, the teachings were often ignored in the face of worldly expediency. Nevertheless, St. Hildegard’s voice is one that is as relevant now as it was nine hundred years ago.”
Author Joseph Pearce recently wrote an article with a hopeful title that caught my eye and I’m sure many others, “The Son Rises in the West: France & the Resurrection of the Faith”. It’s based on a piece from the Jesuit magazine America by Pascal-Emmanuel Goby, who cites evidence for what he sees as the early stage of a Catholic renaissance in France. He noticed that his church was getting increasingly crowded on Sundays:
“I have started going to other, random parishes on Sundays, just to see if this is a real trend. And indeed, Sunday high Mass is packed in most parishes in Paris. This is also true in Lyon, the second biggest city in the country.”
In a recently published interview, Pope Francis was again disparaging those with a preference for the traditional Latin mass, referring to them as nostalgic and marginalizing them and the mass itself. He also quashed the notion of a “reform of the reform” as a restoration of certain elements of traditional liturgy:
“Pope Benedict accomplished a just and magnanimous gesture to reach out to a certain mindset of some groups and persons who felt nostalgia and were distancing themselves. But it is an exception. That is why one speaks of an ‘extraordinary’ rite. The ordinary in the Church is not this. It is necessary to approach with magnanimity those attached to a certain form of prayer. But the ordinary is not this. Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium must go on as they are. To speak of a ‘reform of the reform’ is an error.” (trans. by Rorate-Caeli)
The following is an excerpt from a post I wrote about a year ago. Bishop Floyd Begin of Oakland, California (1962-1977) had attended every session of the Second Vatican Council and had even claimed to be the author of Council documents. When it ended in 1964, he returned determined to renovate the cathedral, built in 1893. If anyone knew what the intention of Sacrosanctum Concilium was, it would have been Bishop Begin:
INFLUENCE OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
St. Francis de Sales became known as the “…first cathedral in the United States to be completely remodeled according to the liturgical spirit of the Second Vatican Council”. (All quotations herein are from: Jeffrey M. Burns and Mary Carmen Bautista, We are the Church: A History of the Diocese of Oakland. Strasbourg: Editions du Singe, 2001). The enthusiastic bishop had a bold plan for remodeling the Cathedral:
“With the priest now facing the people, the bishop found the venerable stained glass windows behind the alter distracting. ‘The rather colorful windows in the sanctuary impeded the vision of the service, just like the headlights of an oncoming car do.’ The stained glass windows were covered over by redwood paneling. The interior was whitewashed and the exterior was painted in a creme color [it was red brick]. The alter rail was removed as were all the statues, except for that of Jesus. In sum, the remodeled building followed Vatican II directives and created ‘…an atmosphere conducive to participation, worship, and prayer.'”
The Cathedral interior before the renovation:
The Cathedral interior after the renovation:
The new altar:
THE NEW LITURGY
Since the inspiration for these changes was “…the liturgical spirit of the Second Vatican Council”, by 1969 the Cathedral’s liturgical spirit had incorporated elements from contemporary arts:
“Dance, slide presentations, photography, innovative preaching [?], all became regular features in the Cathedral liturgies. …In late 1969, the Cathedral featured an Advent series entitled ‘We Hold a Strange Hope’ to explore how to maintain hope in the midst of the social chaos that was engulfing the United States. The first week featured four blown-up portraits hanging in the sanctuary — Che Guevara, Joan Baez, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and Neil Armstrong” (p.52).
The historians report that the organ was replaced by an ensemble of strings, brass, piano, and various musicians (p.51). The liturgical innovations attracted national attention:
“In May, 1971, Time Magazine observed, ‘twice each Sunday, the music runs the scale between such unlikely extremes as Gregorian chant and rock. On one recent Sunday, the mixture embraced both Bach’s Aire for the G-String and Amazing Grace. On another, included a Hayden trio, Bob Dylan’s The Times They are A Changin’ and Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is our God.'”
The historians recount that in 1971, during one of the themed liturgies, a song was performed that was composed especially for the occasion, “A Traditionalist’s Lament”. It mocked anyone still attached to the traditional form of the mass. It was sung to the tune of a song from the film Mary Poppins, “Supercalifragilisticexpialadocious”:
Introibo. Tantum. Ergo. Kyrie Eleison.
Give me back my pamphlet rack and surplices with lace on.
If Catholic means rock-and-roll I’d rather be a Mason.
Introibo. Tantum. Ergo. Kyrie Eleison.
You can read the rest of the post here. The Cathedral was destroyed in an earthquake some years later, reminding me that in too many cases the vernacularization of the liturgy brings to mind the Tower of Babel rather than Pentecost.
A middle-aged priest from Calcutta was celebrating mass at my church several years ago. His homily centered on a short story about Mother Teresa with whom he seemed to be close. I remember the homily because it deeply moved me.
Calcutta is named after the important Hindu goddess Kali and means “the city of Kali”. She is worshipped as the “Mother of the Universe”. The priest recounted that when Mother Teresa began her service to the poor she and her few sisters had very little money or resources. Every day they would go to a nearby temple of Kali and serve the sick and dying on its doorsteps; it was where they congregated. The head priest of the temple resented the Christian nuns and stirred up the anger of the locals to the point that they would throw rocks. But the numbers of the sick kept growing so the Kali priest complained to authorities. Teresa, however, was able to convince them to give her the old abandoned temple that was on the same grounds; they knew that her work was badly needed by the people of Calcutta. She called it the Kalighat Home For the Dying. Continue reading “St. Teresa of Calcutta and the Priest of Kali”→
Biblical typology is the study of words, events, symbols, etc. that have a broader meaning then their immediate literary context. Numbers connected to events are the most common types found in the Bible; there were forty days of rain, forty years in the Sinai wilderness, forty days fasting in the desert etc.. It tells us that these events are connected or somehow foreshadow each other. Other important numbers include 1, 3, 7, 8, and 12.
Probably the best book on the subject is The Bible and the Liturgy by Jean Danielou. He looks into the Bible for events that foreshadow Catholic liturgy. One example he explores is the narrative of the flood and how it foreshadowed baptism. The ark going through the water represented the purification of mankind just as for those being baptized, water represents purification from original sin.
Also, he points out that the number of people on the ark is eight, the number that represents…
Reid Turner will be interviewed regarding his book The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard on Immaculate Heart Radio’s “Bay Area Catholic” show. The interview will be broadcast on KSFB 1260 AM in the San Francisco Bay Area at the following times:
Saturday, October 24 @ 7:00AM PST
Sunday, October 25 @ 12:00 PM PST
Monday, October 26 @ 11:00AM; 9:00PM PST
The broadcast will also air on Immaculate Heart Radio’s “Living the Faith” in Reno, NV on KIHM 920AM at the following times:
The five symbolic beasts in St. Hildegard’s vision represent unique and brief historical ages which occur in a specific sequence. They also represent a particular evil evident in the social context of each period. This affliction of evil is engineered by Satan and intended to progressively damage the Church in preparation of the coming of the Antichrist.
In my book, The Five Beasts of St. Hildegard: Prophetic Symbols of Modern Society, I demonstrate that the first three eras have already passed and that we are currently in the latter half of the fourth era, that of the Black Pig. Four signs will clearly manifest to us that the present era is ending and the final era, the Grey Wolf, is emerging:
1. A change in the world’s geopolitical composition.
The five periods represent first and foremost separate historical eras. Dividing the 20th century into separate eras is very easy for historians to accomplish (it is not always so…