17 October 2017

"The Princess Bride" is 30 Years Old? Inconceivable!

Grandson: Does it got any sports in it?
Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles!

Grandson: Doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll try to stay awake.

One of the most satisfying movies for a family to watch. You must have seen it, of course, but if you haven't, please do so without further delay.

CWR has a nice little summary and review here.

Cardinal Burke to Speak in Kansas City on "The Christian Practice of Law", November 16, 2017

A kind reader passed this item along, which I am only too happy to post. Cardinal Burke, a lawyer himself in the best of the tradition, will speak to the Kansas City Catholic Lawyers Guild on Thursday, November 16, 2017, at Historic Drexel Hall, 3301 Baltimore Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64111. Tickets are $25 for guild members and guests, and $35 for the general public.

You can register and get more information at the Guild's website.

13 October 2017

Only She Can Help Us

Today is the Feast of St. Edward the Confessor, one of my patron saints. But nobody seems to be focused on that today (why, I wonder). Of course, today is the great centennial of the miracle of the sun, Our Lady's last public apparition at Fatima.

If you still don't know what all the fuss is about, Rorate has a great post here; I urge you to read it in its entirety.

And many readers have sent me emails about the wonderful witness of Polish Catholics who, on October 7, prayed the Rosary at their borders to give thanksgiving for the victory over the Mahometans at Lepanto, and praying for continued victory and national integrity.  Of course, the Church's enemies went crazy over this straange and simple thing.  And our great leaders in the Vatican City State said this:



That's it. No, that blank space is not a typo. Things are so bad at the top that THE VATICAN CAN'T PUBLICLY SUPPORT MILLIONS OF CATHOLICS PRAYING THE ROSARY.

But enough of the gloom. We know what we deserve. We know what we desire. Our Lady can help us. Pray the Rosary, make the first Saturdays, do your duty. 

Some readers have suggested a U.S.- or local-focused Rosary effort to emulate the Poles.  Well, you're in luck:

Tomorrow, October 14, 2017 at noon there will be prayed a public square Rosary in front of St. Francis de Sales Oratory. Please join in this worthy effort!

Obey your mother, get a plenary indulgence while you're at it, and maybe save the world.


12 October 2017

The Centenary of the Miracle of the Sun

I didn't want October 13, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the great miracle of the sun, wrought by the power of God and the intercession of Our Lady, to go by without saying something.

Therefore, let me just say that the thing we need to do, that I need to do, is to thank the Blessed Virgin, stay close to her, pray unceasingly to her, listen to her, maintain absolute confidence in her-- that she will lead us safely and triumphantly through the current mess to a glorious victory. 

This victory is certain. It matters not in the big scheme of things whether we are here to see it or have already gone to our reward. Our Lady's triumph is certain. It will be to her honor and glory, because that is what her Son's sovereign will desires.

May we all find protection under her mantle! 

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

11 October 2017

Trump the Culture Warrior Engenders Loyalty

The repeal of the HHS mandate, the national anthem protest circus, and Columbus Day-- these public fights waged by the president resonate to greater or lesser degrees, depending upon the Trump voter queried.  But Pat Buchanan correctly notes that there is a reason why Trump's voters are loyal:

“President Trump has a duty to unite us, not divide us” is the mantra of our elites. Yet, since the ‘60s, it is these elites who have been imposing the social, moral and cultural revolution the American people never voted for and which has by now divided us irretrievably.

Call them “deplorables” if you will, but Trump does seem to relish going out to defend the views, values and beliefs of the people who put him where he is. He does not recoil from political conflict.


People who stand by you in a fight are not all that common in politics. When Trump exhibits this quality, he receives in reciprocity the kind of loyalty even his enemies concede he has.

Prayer of St. Louis de Montfort to Mary

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father! Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son! Hail Mary, faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost! Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign! Hail my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul! Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am all thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently thine. I now give myself wholly to thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If thou still seest in me anything which does not belong to thee, I beseech thee to take it and to make thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine. Destroy in me all that may be displeasing to God, root it up and bring it to nought; place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to thee.

May the light of thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind; may thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination; may thy continuous sight of God fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of thy heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine; may thy virtues take the place of my sins; may thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of God and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but thine to know Jesus and His divine will; that I may have no other soul but thine to praise and glorify the Lord; that I may have no other heart but thine to love God with a love as pure and ardent as thine I do not ask thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotion or spiritual pleasures. It is thy privilege to see God clearly; it is thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is thy privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the right hand of thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons; it is thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of God, just as thou willest.


Such is, O heavenly Mary, the "best part," which the Lord has given thee and which shall never be taken away from thee--and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was thine: to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures; to suffer joyfully without human consolation; to die continually to myself without respite; and to work zealously and unselfishly for thee until death as the humblest of thy servants. The only grace I beg thee to obtain for me is that every day and every moment of my life I may say: Amen, So be it--to all that thou didst do while on earth; Amen, so be it--to all that thou art now doing in Heaven; Amen, so be it--to all that thou art doing in my soul, so that thou alone mayest fully glorify Jesus in me for time and eternity. Amen.

09 October 2017

Prayer of St. Louis de Montfort to Jesus

O most loving Jesus, deign to let me pour forth my gratitude before Thee, for the grace Thou hast bestowed upon me in giving me to Thy holy Mother through the devotion of Holy Bondage, that she may be my advocate in the presence of Thy majesty and my support in my extreme misery.
Alas, O Lord! I am so wretched that without this dear Mother I should be certainly lost. Yes, Mary is necessary for me at Thy side and everywhere that she may appease Thy just wrath, because I have so often offended Thee; that she may save me from the eternal punishment of Thy justice, which I deserve; that she may contemplate Thee, speak to Thee, pray to Thee, approach Thee and please Thee; that she may help me to save my soul and the souls of others; in short, Mary is necessary for me that I may always do Thy holy will and seek Thy greater glory in all things.
Ah, would that I could proclaim throughout the whole world the mercy that Thou hast shown to me ! Would that everyone might know I should be already damned, were it not for Mary! Would that I might offer worthy thanksgiving for so great a blessing! Mary is in me.
Oh, what a treasure! Oh, what a consolation! And shall I not be entirely hers? Oh, what ingratitude! My dear Saviour, send me death rather than such a calamity, for I would rather die than live without belonging entirely to Mary. With St. John the Evangelist at the foot of the Cross, I have taken her a thousand times for my own and as many times have given myself to her; but if I have not yet done it as Thou, dear Jesus, dost wish, I now renew this offering as Thou dost desire me to renew it.
And if Thou seest in my soul or my body anything that does not belong to this august Princess, I pray Thee to take it and cast it far from me, for whatever in me does not belong to Mary is unworthy of Thee.
O Holy Spirit, grant me all these graces. Plant in my soul the Tree of true Life, which is Mary; cultivate it and tend it so that it may grow and blossom and bring forth the fruit of life in abundance.
O Holy Spirit, give me great devotion to Mary, Thy faithful spouse; give me great confidence in her maternal heart and an abiding refuge in her mercy, so that by her Thou mayest truly form in me Jesus Christ, great and mighty, unto the fullness of His perfect age. Amen.

04 October 2017

Why All the Fuss over the Papacy Matters, Part 1

First Vatican Council

SESSION 3 : 24 April 1870

Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic faith

Pius, bishop, servant of the servants of God, with the approval of the sacred council, for an everlasting record.
  1. The Son of God, redeemer of the human race, our lord Jesus Christ, promised, when about to return to his heavenly Father, that he would be with this church militant upon earth all days even to the end of the world [3] . Hence never at any time has he ceased to stand by his beloved bride,
    • assisting her when she teaches,
    • blessing her in her labours and
    • bringing her help when she is in danger.
  2. Now this redemptive providence appears very clearly in unnumbered benefits, but most especially is it manifested in the advantages which have been secured for the christian world by ecumenical councils, among which the council of Trent requires special mention, celebrated though it was in evil days.
  3. Thence came
    1. a closer definition and more fruitful exposition of the holy dogmas of religion and
    2. the condemnation and repression of errors; thence too,
    3. the restoration and vigorous strengthening of ecclesiastical discipline,
    4. the advancement of the clergy in zeal for
      • learning and
      • piety,
    5. the founding of colleges for the training of the young for the service of religion; and finally
    6. the renewal of the moral life of the christian people by
      • a more accurate instruction of the faithful, and
      • a more frequent reception of the sacraments. What is more, thence also came
    7. a closer union of the members with the visible head, and an increased vigour in the whole mystical body of Christ. Thence came
    8. the multiplication of religious orders and other organisations of christian piety; thence too
    9. that determined and constant ardour for the spreading of Christ’s kingdom abroad in the world, even at the cost of shedding one’s blood.
  4. While we recall with grateful hearts, as is only fitting, these and other outstanding gains, which the divine mercy has bestowed on the church especially by means of the last ecumenical synod, we cannot subdue the bitter grief that we feel at most serious evils, which have largely arisen either because
    • the authority of the sacred synod was held in contempt by all too many, or because
    • its wise decrees were neglected.
  5. Everybody knows that those heresies, condemned by the fathers of Trent, which rejected the divine magisterium of the church and allowed religious questions to be a matter for the judgment of each individual, have gradually collapsed into a multiplicity of sects, either at variance or in agreement with one another; and by this means a good many people have had all faith in Christ destroyed.
  6. Indeed even the holy Bible itself, which they at one time claimed to be the sole source and judge of the christian faith, is no longer held to be divine, but they begin to assimilate it to the inventions of myth.
  7. Thereupon there came into being and spread far and wide throughout the world that doctrine of rationalism or naturalism, – utterly opposed to the christian religion, since this is of supernatural origin, – which spares no effort to bring it about that Christ, who alone is our lord and saviour, is shut out from the minds of people and the moral life of nations. Thus they would establish what they call the rule of simple reason or nature. The abandonment and rejection of the christian religion, and the denial of God and his Christ, has plunged the minds of many into the abyss of pantheism, materialism and atheism, and the consequence is that they strive to destroy rational nature itself, to deny any criterion of what is right and just, and to overthrow the very foundations of human society.
  8. With this impiety spreading in every direction, it has come about, alas, that many even among the children of the catholic churchhave strayed from the path of genuine piety, and as the truth was gradually diluted in them, their catholic sensibility was weakened. Led away by diverse and strange teachings [4] and confusing
    • nature and grace,
    • human knowledge and divine faith,
    they are found to distort the genuine sense of the dogmas which holy mother church holds and teaches, and to endanger the integrity and genuineness of the faith.
  9. At the sight of all this, how can the inmost being of the church not suffer anguish? For
    • just as God wills all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth [5] , just as Christ came to save what was lost [6] and to gather into one the children of God who were scattered abroad [7] ,
    • so the church, appointed by God to be mother and mistress of nations, recognises her obligations to all and is always ready and anxious
      • to raise the fallen,
      • to steady those who stumble,
      • to embrace those who return, and
      • to strengthen the good and urge them on to what is better.
    Thus she can never cease from witnessing to the truth of God which heals all [8 ] and from declaring it, for she knows that these words were directed to her: My spirit which is upon you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth from this time forth and for evermore [9] .
  10. And so we, following in the footsteps of our predecessors, in accordance with our supreme apostolic office, have never left off
    • teaching and defending catholic truth and
    • condemning erroneous doctrines.
But now it is our purpose to
  • profess and declare from this chair of Peter before all eyes the saving teaching of Christ, and, by the power given us by God, to
  • reject and condemn the contrary errors.
This we shall do
  • with the bishops of the whole world as our co-assessors and fellow-judges, gathered here as they are in the holy Spirit by our authority in this ecumenical council, and
  • relying on the word of God
    • in scripture
    • and tradition as we have received it,
    • religiously preserved and authentically expounded by the catholic church

Dios, Patria, Fueros, Rey


02 October 2017

Cardinal Burke Deserves Our Support

I started this blog more than ten years ago with two purposes: in my own small way to support Catholic tradition in doctrine and liturgy, and to defend Cardinal Burke (then-Archbishop of Saint Louis) from unjust attack. I write today with the same purposes. 

Over the years, defending the Cardinal has been a labor of love for me. Of course His Eminence does not need my help. But I enjoy the effort all the same. Local heretics, the pro-sodomy lobby, Sheryl Crow, apostates in and out of the hierarchy, politicians—almost all of the critics, apart from some sedevacantists, have come from the “left”. 

Today the friends of tradition themselves have started to turn on him. Why? Because the Dubia remain unanswered and, as far as the public knows, no fraternal correction (or better) has been given to Francis. Because Louie Verrechio reported His Eminence recently stated the SSPX is in schism. And because Cardinal Burke is now reappointed to serve at the Apostolic Signatura, and everyone understandably smells a rat. 

I can’t speak to the statements Cardinal Burke made about the SSPX, their context, or his reasoning. The SSPX is not in schism as far as I can see, at the very least not since the lifting of the excommunications of  the four bishops by Pope Benedict XVI. If the Cardinal really thinks so, I disagree, just as I disagreed with his insinuated public opinion that women no longer must cover their heads in church. 

Does Francis want to squash his opposition? Check. Is he willing to use carrot and stick? Check. And I have written on the blog more than once BEGGING His Eminence to move quickly and decisively to end the confusion caused by Francis. 

But here’s the thing: I think we should not be quick to impugn the motives, resolve, or character of this great man. Who has done more in the last two pontificates to lead, teach, defend, inspire, rally and fight against the evil in the Church, for the faith and the liturgy, for moral truths and the Natural Law than Cardinal Burke? Seriously, who? Easy: nobody. No one has the combined intelligence, clarity, influence and care for souls. Yes, there are a few other worthies—too few, of course. But Cardinal Burke has so far outdone them all. 

And are people so quick to chalk him up as cowardly, or stupid, or duplicitous?  Come on. He has been persecuted for the faith and has never capitulated. How about some loyalty? Or at least some perspective?

No, I don’t like that the Dubia linger, unanswered. I don’t like some of the recent comments.

No man is perfect, and only Christ and His Mother are incapable of ever letting us down. But I will believe in Cardinal Burke and give him the benefit of the doubt, out of gratitude and respect for all he has done, until loyalty to Christ demands otherwise. 

I will wait and see. 

If Raymond Cardinal Burke has not earned the benefit of the doubt, who in God’s name has?

01 October 2017

Repost: Feast of St. Remigius

Today is the feast day of St. Remigius, the great Bishop of the Fifth Century who, first among his many great works, baptized Clovis, King of the Franks in 496. For today's feast, I thought I would reprint a post from a couple of years ago about the baptism of Clovis-- one of the ten dates "every Catholic should know", according to author Diana Moczar:

Third Date: A.D. 496-- The Baptism of Clovis

France is often called the "eldest daughter of the faith". In the history of France one sees an example and microcosm of the triumphs, defeats and challenges of the Church throughout the course of post-incarnational history.

France earned her title of eldest daughter in 496, when St. Remigius baptized Clovis, King of the Franks. And this event is the subject of Diane Moczar's third "date" that every Catholic should know.

The Roman empire in the West finally crashed for good in 476 when Odoacer sacked Rome. Rome had a mere king for the first time since Etruscan rule was cast off around 500 B.C.

The real danger for the Church is that the various kings and chieftains who carved up the empire's former territory were almost all Arians-- members of a heresy that denied the divinity of Christ.

There was one exception to the embrace of Arianism-- the Franks, who settled north of the Rhine and into Gaul, were staunch pagans. And yet within a short time, these Franks would be the defenders of Catholicism and their territory the beginnings of Christendom.

Clovis was fifteen years old when he became king (as an aside, the name Clovis is a derivation of the name Ludovici or Louis, and thus he was first of many such named). Upon his succession, St. Remigius, Bishop of Reims, wrote him a letter, containing in part the following advice:

"What matters first of all is to respond to the designs of that Providence that rewards your merit.... Take for counselors those whose choice does honor to your discernment. Be prudent, chaste, moderate; honor bishops and do not disdain their advice. As long as you live on good terms with them, the affairs of state will prosper. Raise up the souls of your peoples, relieve the widows, feed the orphans. Later on they will serve you, and thus you will conquer the hearts of the very ones who fear you. Let justice be done both in your heart and by your lips..."

In the course of his conquest of Gaul, Clovis thought to conquer Paris, but was thwarted by none other than Ste. Genevieve. She declared that no pagan would enter to rule the city, and shut its gates against him. Clovis began a siege. Ste. Genevieve herself led an expedition up the Seine to get supplies to prevent starvation of the people. In the end, Clovis was defeated--at least militarily-- but Genevieve was praying for his conversion.

Perhaps in answer to these prayers, Clovis took the future Saint Clotilda for his wife, the Catholic daughter of a Burgundian king. While he was impressed with her faith, and that of her spiritual advisor (none other than St. Remigius), he remained pagan a long while.

Finally, in the midst of a difficult battle, when it seemed lost, he decided to pray to "Clotilda's God" for victory. He promised God that if he was victorious he would believe and be baptized. You can guess he was victorious.

In a sort of second Pentecost, Clovis and three thousand Franks were baptized on Christmas in 496--just twenty years after the fall of Rome, the Church in the West had a new defender. Once baptized, Ste. Genevieve received him into his capital with joy.

It is told that the cathedral was so packed that the servant carrying the oil for confirmation could not get through the crowd. St. Remigius looked up to see a dove descending from Heaven with a vial of oil in its beak. Kings of France were anointed with this oil for over thirteen hundred years. This vial was smashed in the French Revolution, but some drops were collected and preserved, and were used for the coronation of Charles X in 1824.

Why did the Baptism of Clovis matter? Because Catholicism was no longer the religion of the conquered, only to be the weak sister to Arianism. It was plain to pagans and Arians that the Catholic religion was stronger, in that God gave his followers such dramatic victories in battle. Finally, it began the eventual conversion of the whole continent.

Dr. Moczar's book can be obtained here: http://www.amazon.com/Dates-Every-Catholic-Should-Know/dp/1933184159