29 January 2018

Feast of St. Francis de Sales

Today is the Feast of the great Doctor of Charity, St. Francis de Sales, patron of the Oratory, co-patron of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, patron of journalists and writers, and great agent of the conversion of heretics.

Faithful who assist at any Institute Mass today may obtain a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions.

Dom Gueranger says of the saint who converted 72,000 Calvinists:

God gave him to the Church at the very time that heresy was holding her out to the world as a worn-out system, that had no influence over men's minds.  He raised up this true minister of the Gospel in the very country where the harsh doctrines of Calvin were most in vogue, that the ardent charity of Francis might counteract the sad influence of that heresy.  If you want heretics to be convinced of their errors, said the leaned Cardinal du Perron, you may send them to me; but if you want them to be converted, send them to the Bishop of Geneva.

Thanks to JJR for this great novena prayer to St. Francis de Sales:

O Blessed Francis de Sales, who in your mortal life did excel in all virtues, especially in love of God and of neighbor, I earnestly entreat you to take me under your immediate protection, to obtain from God my perfect conversion, and that of all sinners, especially of (the names of persons for whom you wish to pray should be mentioned here). Teach me, O Father, to fix my eyes on heaven, that I may generously trample under foot every obstacle that presents itself in my way, and attain that degree of glory which you in your mercy hold out to me. Obtain also that particular favor for which I now pray. (mention intention)

Assist us, O Lord, we beseech you, through the merits of St. Francis de Sales. That what our endeavors cannot obtain may be given us by his intercession. Let us pray: O God, who for the salvation of souls, did will that St. Francis de Sales, your confessor and bishop, should become all things to all men and women, mercifully grant that we, infused with the gentleness of his charity, guided by his teachings, and sharing in his merits, may obtain eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


A reflection from Divine Intimacy quotes from St. Francis de Sales:

"O Lord Jesus, when You died on the Cross Your heart was so filled with kindness toward us and You loved us so tenderly, even though we ourselves were the cause of Your death, that You had but one thought: to obtain pardon for Your executioners, even while they tortured You and cruelly insulted You. Help me, I beg You, to endure my neighbors' faults and imperfections with kindness.

"To those who despise me or murmur against me, teach me to reply with humility, mildness, and a steadfast kindness of heart, never defending myself in any way. For love of You, I desire to let everyone say what he wishes, because words are not of value but love is, and he who loves more will be more loved and glorified. Help me, then, my Jesus, to love You; help me to love creatures for love of You, especially those who despise me, without letting myself be disturbed by their contempt, but applying myself to the practice of humility and mildness; then You will be my reward.

"Teach me to comport myself always with mildness and sweetness, and never to disrupt peace with anyone. All that I can do and obtain with love I will do, but what I cannot do or procure without a dispute, I will let be. Help me to make use of the repugnances and aversions I encounter in my contacts with others to practice the virtue of mildness, and to show myself loving with all, even with those who are opposed to me, or who are a cause of aversion.

"Finally, I purpose with Your help, O most lovable God, to apply myself to acquire kindness of heart toward my neighbor by thinking of him as Your creature, destined to enjoy You some day in Paradise. Those whom You tolerate, O Lord God, it is but just that I, too, tolerate them tenderly and with great compassion for their spiritual infirmities."

Blessed feast day to you all!

27 January 2018

Ode to the New Springtime

The Desolate City, by Wilfrid Scawen Blunt

DARK to me is the earth. Dark to me are the heavens.
Where is she that I loved, the woman with eyes like stars?
Desolate are the streets. Desolate is the city.
A city taken by storm, where none are left but the slain.

Sadly I rose at dawn, undid the latch of my shutters,
Thinking to let in light, but I only let in love.
Birds in the boughs were awake; I listen'd to their chaunting;
Each one sang to his love; only I was alone.

This, I said in my heart, is the hour of life and of pleasure.
Now each creature on earth has his joy, and lives in the sun,
Each in another's eyes finds light, the light of compassion,
This is the moment of pity, this is the moment of love.

Speak, O desolate city! Speak, O silence in sadness!
Where is she that I loved in my strength, that spoke to my soul?
Where are those passionate eyes that appeal'd to my eyes in passion?
Where is the mouth that kiss'd me, the breast I laid to my own?

Speak, thou soul of my soul, for rage in my heart is kindled.
Tell me, where didst thou flee in the day of destruction and fear?
See, my arms still enfold thee, enfolding thus all heaven,
See, my desire is fulfill'd in thee, for it fills the earth.

Thus in my grief I lamented. Then turn'd I from the window,
Turn'd to the stair, and the open door, and the empty street,
Crying aloud in my grief, for there was none to chide me,
None to mock my weakness, none to behold my tears.

Groping I went, as blind. I sought her house, my belovèd's.
There I stopp'd at the silent door, and listen'd and tried the latch.
Love, I cried, dost thou slumber? This is no hour for slumber,
This is the hour of love, and love I bring in my hand.

I knew the house, with its windows barr'd, and its leafless fig-tree,
Climbing round by the doorstep the only one in the street;
I knew where my hope had climb'd to its goal and there encircled
All that those desolate walls once held, my belovèd's heart.

There in my grief she consoled me. She loved me when I loved not.
She put her hand in my hand, and set her lips to my lips.
She told me all her pain and show'd me all her trouble.
I, like a fool, scarce heard, hardly return'd her kiss.

Love, thy eyes were like torches. They changed as I beheld them.
Love, thy lips were like gems, the seal thou settest on my life.
Love, if I loved not then, behold this hour thy vengeance;
This is the fruit of thy love and thee, the unwise grown wise.

Weeping strangled my voice. I call'd out, but none answer'd;
Blindly the windows gazed back at me, dumbly the door;
She whom I love, who loved me, look'd not on my yearning,
Gave me no more her hands to kiss, show'd me no more her soul.

Therefore the earth is dark to me, the sunlight blackness,
Therefore I go in tears and alone, by night and day;
Therefore I find no love in heaven, no light, no beauty,
A heaven taken by storm where none are left but the slain!

19 January 2018

Camino Fun Facts Friday

Did you know...

...that Ferrol, the starting point of the Camino Ingles, is the birthplace of Francisco Franco?

...that the region of Galicia receives about 140 days of rain each year?

...that the pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James the Greater dates back to the ninth century?

...that the Camino Ingles dates back to 1147, when a group of English, German and Flemish Crusaders visited the tomb of St. James?

...that this route, from the North Coast of Spain, hit its zenith during the Hundred Years' War in the 14th and 15th Centuries, due to the inability of the English to travel through the medieval French routes?

...that Henry VIII of England ruined this route for centuries, as he liked to ruin so many good things, because of his divorce from Catherine of Aragon and the country's subsequent hostilities with Spain?

...that of the more than 250,000 who completed the pilgrimage of at least 100km on foot in 2016, only 9,700 traveled the Camino Ingles?

Oh, you did? Never mind then.

11 January 2018

If You Want Clarity, This Is It

Catholics, will you remain Catholic? Will you stand with Christ and the few at the foot of the Cross, or will you declare no king but Caesar? Will you stand with these men? Why hasn't every bishop from bottom to top not signed on to this statement?

We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:

It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth.

10 January 2018

A Holy, Gentle, and Perseverant Priest Has Passed into Eternity

Many thanks to the kind reader who passed along this sad news: Fr. Joseph Begue, the Vincentian priest who was so well-known and beloved by so many in the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, passed away on January 9, 2018 at the age of 94.  

He served in the U.S. Army in World War II, and was ordained a priest in 1955. Fr. Begue is best known for serving as the unfailingly kind and helpful director of the late, great Vincentian Press in St. Louis City. 

He was a faithful and stalwart priest, imbued with so many of the qualities of Him Whom he served so well. He supported the maintenance and growth of the Traditional Latin Mass in St. Louis at both St. Agatha and St. Francis de Sales Oratory. In his later years, he was a fixture in the confessional at the Oratory, spending many hours absolving the sins of so many faithful.

May these souls rise up and intercede before the throne of God on behalf of this holy priest. May his ministry be his pleading, and may Our Blessed Mother procure the salvation of this man of God through her mighty intercession.  May he hear those words of Our Lord that we all so pray to hear one day: "Well done, good and faithful servant... enter thou into the joy of your Lord."

Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

May the soul of Fr. Joseph Begue, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Visitation is tonight and the funeral Mass is tomorrow morning at St. Mary's of the Barrens (Mary, Mother of God Chapel), 1701 W. St. Joseph Street, Perryville, MO 63775. The residence where the services will be held is located just behind the Miraculous Medal Shrine.

04 January 2018

Good News for a New Year-- and an Invitation, Too: Traditional Rite Baptism in Jefferson City Diocese

A kind reader in the Diocese of Jefferson City asked me to share his good news, which I am happy to do (slightly edited):  

Long time follower. Thanks for what you do. I appreciate your insight and at your suggestion, I have been to St. Francis de Sales whenever I am in STL, what a wonderful true parish.

I have noticed you like to be abreast of the goings on in the Jefferson City Diocese. My wife and I approached our Pastor two months ago and asked if we could use the church for a Traditional Rite Baptism for our upcoming bundle due January 12th. There is a young priest in the diocese who is available to offer the TLM, a.k.a the real thing. For all we can find, this will be the first Latin Mass/Traditional Baptism at this parish in well over 50 years. The only other Latin Mass in our diocese has been a monthly offering for nearly two years at a 100 person mission in Novinger, Missouri.

Long story short he obliged, quite quickly I might add. I approached him two years ago for the same and it was denied, quite quickly then too.

Things seem to be moving over here, Deo Gratias!

Anywho, we want to pack the place out. In your charity could you suggest to folks you know to head our way if the weather holds out. We want the Pastor to understand just how serious we "trads" a.k.a. actual Catholics are.

I am unsure if you know the Latin Mass Society of Northeast Missouri (Kirksville), but they are instrumental in making this happen too.
It will be held on January 26th, 2018, Baptism at 4:45 pm, Mass following at 5:30 pm, Fr. Dylan Schrader of Jeff City Diocese will celebrate, a light reception after the events.

"Done up" announcement attached.


Casey Dillon

Glad to oblige, and congratulations! I hope all seven of my readers can make it-- I wish I could, but I will be on the road East on Dad business that day. God bless your family and grant your wife and baby a safe delivery!

Eleventh Day of Christmas from the Catholic Poet

Merry Christmas! Yes, the photo you see is real. It shows the actual 2017 Christmas light display on the hedge at Bob Dylan's Malibu home.

Let Bob be Bob, people.

The State of Things

And because inquity hath abounded, the charity of many will grow cold. 

--Matthew 24:12

03 January 2018

The Tenth Day of Christmas

The terrible abyss which sin had produced between God and man has been filled up by the Child who opens His arms to us from the manger. All that sin had spoiled and destroyed is now, by the will of God, saved, "re-established in Christ" (c.f. Eph 1, 10). Oh! how spontaneous is the need to praise and adore when the Child Jesus is contemplated in this light! Here, tenderness and admiration are one!

The grace which Adam had received directly from God, we now receive only through Jesus, our Mediator; our whole supernatural life always comes through Him. If we wish to be united to God, we have no other means than to attach ourselves to Jesus, to pass through Him, our Mediator, our Bridge, our Way. Jesus has said, "I am the way" (Jn 14, 6); "I am the door. By Me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved" (ibid. 10,9). Behold the only condition, the only way of salvation, of sanctity.

--from Divine Intimacy, by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Bob Knows, p. 437

There’s a man that hates me and he’s swift, smooth and near

Am I supposed to set back and wait until he’s here?

I need a shot of love

02 January 2018

Apocalypse 3:2

Be watchful and strengthen the things that remain, which are ready to die. For I find not thy works full before my God.

A New Year's Thank you

To the kind reader, desirous of my salvation, who noted my referral to Unam Sanctam at the side bar. He is not a fan of the document, but it prompts me again to witness for Christ's Church, and reaffirm what the Church has always taught, here written in the definition of Boniface VIII:

Furthermore, we declare, we proclaim, we define that it is absolutely necessary for salvation that every human creature be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

The context, from the beginning of the document:

URGED BY FAITH, we are obliged to believe and to maintain that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and also apostolic. We believe in her firmly and we confess with simplicity that outside of her there is neither salvation nor the remission of sins, as the Spouse in the Canticles [Sgs 6:8] proclaims: "One is my dove, my perfect one. She is the only one, the chosen of her who bore her," and she represents one sole mystical body whose Head is Christ and the head of Christ is God [1 Cor 11:3]. In her then is one Lord, one faith, one baptism [Eph 4:5]. There had been at the time of the deluge only one ark of Noah, prefiguring the one Church, which ark, having been finished to a single cubit, had only one pilot and guide, i.e., Noah, and we read that, outside of this ark, all that subsisted on the earth was destroyed.