Saturday, May 25, 2024

Most sublime of all mysteries: the Holy Trinity

The Feast of the Holy Trinity celebrates the foundation of our Catholic Faith, belief in the Triune God. From this truth springs the various sacraments for the sanctification and salvation of mankind, particularly of baptism.

This festival is celebrated on the Sunday after Pentecost, because as soon as the apostles were instructed and consoled by the Holy Ghost, they began to preach openly that which Christ had taught them.

Why do we celebrate this festival?

That we may openly profess our faith in the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which is the first of Christian truths, the foundation of the Christian religion, and the most sublime of all mysteries; and that we may render thanks, to the Father for having created us, to the Son for having redeemed us, and to the Holy Ghost for having sanctified us.

In praise and honor of the most Holy Trinity, the Church sings at the Introit of this day's Mass: 

INTROIT Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to him, because he hath shown his mercy to us: (Tob. XII.) O Lord, our Lord, how wonderful is thy name in all the earth! (Ps. VIII. 1.) Glory be to the Father, etc.

COLLECT Almighty, everlasting God, who hast granted to Thy servants, in the confession of the true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of Thy, majesty, to adore the Unity: grant that, by steadfastness in the same faith, we may ever be defended from all adversities. Thro'.

EPISTLE (ROM XI. 33-36.) O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are his judgments, and how unsearchable his ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him? For of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be glory forever. Amen.

EXPLANATION St. Paul's exclamations, in this epistle, are caused by the inscrutable judgment of God in rejecting the Jews and calling the Gentiles. The Church makes use of these words to express her admiration for the incomprehensible mystery of the most Holy Trinity, which surpasses our understanding, and yet is the worthy object of our faith, hope and love. Although neither angels nor men can fathom this mystery, it cannot be difficult for the sound human intellect to believe it, since it is indubitably and evidently revealed by God, arid we, in many natural and human things, accept for true and certain much that we cannot comprehend. Let us submit our intellect, there fore, and yield ourselves up to faith; as there was indeed a time when men were martyred, when even persons of all ages and conditions preferred to die rather than to abandon this faith, so let us rather wait until our faith is changed to contemplation, until we see the Triune God, face to face, as He is, and in the sight of that countenance become eternally happy. Thither should all our hopes, wishes,' and desires be directed, and we should cease all fruitless investigations, endeavoring by humble faith and active love, to prove worthy of the beatific vision; for if we do not love Him who is our all, our last end and aim, and lovingly desire Him, we will have to hope of one day possessing Him.

ASPIRATION O incomprehensible, Triune God! O Abyss of wisdom, power, and goodness! To Thee all glory and adoration! In Thee I lose myself; I cannot contain Thee, do Thou, contain me. I believe in Thee, though I cannot comprehend Thee; do Thou increase my faith; I hope in. Thee, for Thou art the source of all good; do Thou enliven my hope; I love Thee, because Thou art worthy, of all love; do Thou inflame ever more my love, that in Thy love I may live and die. Amen.

Feast of the Holy TrinityGOSPEL (Matt. XXVIII. 18-20.) At that time Jesus said to His disciples: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. Going, therefore; teach ye all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

EXPLANATION Christ being God had from all eternity the same power that His Father had; being man, He had this same power by the union of His divinity with His humanity, and on account of the infinite merits of His passion. In virtue of this power, He said to His apostles, before the ascension, that, as His Heavenly Father had sent Him, even so He sent them to all nations, without exception, to teach all that He had commanded, and to receive them, by means of baptism, into the Church; at the same time He promised to be with them to the end of the world, that is, that He would console them in suffering, strengthen them in persecution, preserve them from error, and always protect them and their successors, the bishops and priests, even unto the consummation of the world.

(See Instruction on the doctrine of the infallibility of the Church for the first Sunday after Easter.)

ASPIRATION Be with us, O Lord, for without Thee our pastors cannot produce fruit, nor their hearers profit anything from their words. Be with us always, for we always need Thy help. All power is given to Thee, Thou bast then the right to command, and we are bound to obey Thy commands which by Thy Church Thou bast made known to us. This we have promised in baptism, and now before Thee we renew those vows. Grant now that those promises which without Thee we could not have made, and without Thee cannot keep, may be fulfilled in our actions. Leave us not to ourselves, but be Thou with us, and make us obedient to Thee, that by cheerful submission to Thee true may receive happiness.



Monday, May 20, 2024

The Descent of the Holy Ghost: Meditation and Prayer

 




The Descent of the Holy Ghost

 

CONSIDERATION

Ten days after His Ascension, and on the fiftieth day after EasterJesus ful­filled the promise He had so often made to His Apostles of sending them His Holy Spirit. We read in the second chapter of the Acts that "when the days of the Pente­cost were accomplished, they were altogether in one place: and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues as it were of fire, and it sat upon every one of them: and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with diverse tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak." It is in these few and simple words that St. Luke re­cords the great and mysterious event which substituted the Christian feast of Pentecost for the Jewish one; an event which changed the Apostles in one moment from carnal and ignorant into spiritual and eloquent men, eminent both in wisdom and holiness, gifted with an invincible zeal and courage, and thenceforward fully capable of executing their great commission of evan­gelizing mankind and changing the whole face of the earth.

APPLICATION.

We celebrate today the anniversary of this great event, and that not only by commemorating it as we commemorate our Lord's resurrection at Easter, but by seeking to renew it within ourselves. In this respect the feast of Pentecost differs from all others; for others are feasts of gratitude for past mercies, whereas in this we celebrate a mystery which is con­tinually renewed in the Church, and which will be renewed in the souls of the faithful, even to the end of the world. At this very day we may venture, according to the promise of Jesus Christ, to ask, and to expect with the same confidence as the Apostles, the descent of the Holy Ghost upon ourselves, and the communi­cation of His gifts. 

Already now, we can enjoy God through the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ within us - by the presence of His Spirit within us. We must enjoy the presence of God within us. And particularly through the sacraments, which maintain the presence of Our Lord within us - and especially the Holy Eucharist. That is the result of Pentecost.

It is a source of consolation which the pagans do not know, and that is why we must desire to be missionaries and want to spread around us the good news of the coming of our Lord amongst us; to want to communicate His Spirit through the sacrament of baptism to all souls who surround us - to all souls whom we know and who are still far away from our Lord Christ.

That is the missionary spirit of the Church. That was the missionary spirit of the apostles. See how they went out to cross the world – twelve apostles, a tiny and insignificant little group. They brought the fire of love to the four corners of the world. They transformed the world. That should also be our thought, our desire.

 Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

 


O Lord Jesus Christ, Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love.

Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal, the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth, the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven, the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee, and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation, the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints, the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable, the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God, and may dread in any way to displease Him.

Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dominica Pentecostes: “Veni Sancte Spiritus”



Continuation of the Holy Gospel according to John

John 14:13-31
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: If a man love Me, He will keep My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him. And so on.

Homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great
30th on the Gospels
Dearly beloved brethren, our best way will be to run briefly through the words which have been read from the Holy Gospel, and thereafter rest for a while quietly gazing upon the solemn subject of this great Festival. This is the day whereon "suddenly there came a sound from heaven," and the Holy Ghost descended upon the Apostles, and, for fleshly minds, gave them minds wherein the love of God was shed abroad and, while without "there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them," within, their hearts were enkindled. While they received the visible presence of God in the form of fire, the flames of His love enwrapped them. The Holy Ghost Himself is love whence it is that John saith "God is love." Whosoever therefore loveth God with all his soul, already hath obtained Him Whom he loveth, for no man is able to love God, if He have not gained Him Whom he loveth.

But, behold, now, if I shall ask any one of you whether he loveth God, he will answer with all boldness and quietness of spirit: "I do love him." But at the very beginning of this day's Lesson from the Gospel, ye have heard what the Truth saith: "If a man love Me, he will keep My word." The test, then, of love, is whether it is showed by works. Hence the same John hath said in his Epistle I. iv. 20, v. 3: "If a man say, I love God, and keepeth not His commandments, He is a liar." Then do we indeed love God, and keep His commandments, if we deny ourselves the gratification of our appetites. Whosoever still wandereth after unlawful desires, such a one plainly loveth not God, for he saith, Nay, to that which God willeth.

"And My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." O my dearly beloved brethren, think what a dignity is that, to have God abiding as a guest in our heart Surely if some rich man or some powerful friend were to come into our house, we would hasten to have our whole house cleaned, lest, perchance, when he came in, he should see aught to displease his eye. So let him that would make his mind an abode for God, cleanse it from all the filth of works of iniquity. Lo, again, what saith the Truth: "We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." There are some hearts whereunto God cometh, but maketh not His abode therein with a certain pricking they feel His Presence, but in time of temptation they forget that which hath pricked them and so they turn again to work unrighteousness, even as though they had never repented.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Sunday Gospel: “…whatsoever is asked, which tendeth not to salvation, is not asked in the Name of the Saviour.”

 From the Holy Gospel according to John

John 16:23-30
At that time, Jesus said unto His disciples: Amen, Amen, I say unto you: Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. And so on.

Homily by St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.
102nd Tract on John.
We have now to consider these words of the Lord "Amen, Amen, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you." It hath already been said in the earlier part of this discourse of the Lord, for the sake of some who ask the Father in Christ's Name and receive not, that whatsoever is asked, which tendeth not to salvation, is not asked in the Name of the Saviour. By the words "In My Name" we must not understand the vocalization of letters and syllables, but the meaning of what is said, the honest and true meaning.
Therefore, whosoever thinketh of Christ as he ought not to think of the Only Son of God, such an one doth not ask anything in Christ's Name, although he do actually utter letters and syllables to that effect, because by these sounds he meaneth not the Real Christ, but a fancied being who hath no existence except in the speaker's imagination. But on the other hand, whosoever thinketh of Christ as he ought to think, the same asketh in Christ's Name, and receiveth, provided only it be nothing against his own everlasting salvation but if it is good for him to receive, he receiveth. Some things are not given at once, but kept over till a more fitting season. Such is the true interpretation of the words "He will give it you" namely, that those things will be given which are good for them to ask. All the Saints also are heard when they ask for themselves, but not necessarily when they ask for their friends, or their enemies, or others, even as it is written, not simply "He will give it" but "He will give it you."

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Patrocinii St. Joseph Confessoris Sponsi B.M.V. Confessoris



The feast of St Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, was originally called “the Patronage of St Joseph,” and fixed to the Third Sunday after Easter. It was kept by a great many dioceses and religious orders, particularly promoted by the Carmelites, before it was extended to the universal Church by Bl. Pope Pius IX in 1847, and later granted an octave. When the custom of fixing feasts to particular Sundays was abolished as part of the Breviary reform of Pope St Pius X, it was anticipated to the previous Wednesday, the day of the week traditionally dedicated to Patron Saints. It was removed from the general Calendar in 1955 and replaced by the feast of St Joseph the Worker, one of the least fortunate aspects of the pre-Conciliar liturgical changes; the new feast itself was then downgraded from the highest of three grades (first class) in the 1962 Missal to the lowest of four (optional memorial) in 1970.

newliturgicalmovement.org/2024/04/the-so

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Inside the horrifying world of transgender surgery

 

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WPATH, or the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, is respected as the peak body for transgender medicine. Its “standards of care” (SOC) were once regarded as a benchmark for ethical and effective treatment for minors and adults. The eighth edition (SOC8) , which was released in 2022, has been translated into ten languages. 

Its prestige, however, has been tarnished by the leak of hundreds of posts from an internal messaging forum. These are evidence of doctors basing their surgery, even on young people, on trial and error, not on medical research. The internet went wild over the leak. The Times of London called WPATH quack medicine, and Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology Lauren Schwartz, MDstated: “WPATH has evolved into one of the most egregious disfigurements of medical practice our profession has ever encountered.” 

However, the real scandal emerges not just in leaks of confidential discussions but in what is publicly known about WPATH’s authorized procedures. The word “kinky” comes to mind over and over again. I wonder if President Joe Biden had these in mind in his message to the trans community on Easter Sunday: “You are loved.  You are heard.  You are understood.  You belong.  You are America, and my entire Administration and I have your back.” 

The President of the United States has endorsed what is effectively a nationwide program of sexual lobotomies. This is completely nuts. 

Here are some of the fetish-appeasing surgeries that WPATH is pushing. 

Non-binary 

Chapter 8 in SOC8 is devoted to treatment of non-binary people, who desire to appear neither male nor female. WPATH surgeons are ready to comply with their demands. One problem is that there is no agreed definition of what “non-binary” means – and therefore of what treatment may be needed. In fact SOC8 acknowledges that “At times, nonbinary people find themselves educating the provider from whom they are seeking services despite the inappropriateness of providers relying primarily on their patients for education.” 

Is this medicine or is it making it up as you go along? 

Prior to the latest WPATH guidance, “bottom surgeries” were limited to binary surgical options such as vaginoplasty (creating an open wound to be used as a vaginal canal) or phalloplasty (constructing a non-functional penis). However, WPATH shifted to accommodate the emerging trend of individuals who prefer a “queer” identity that does not conform to either male or female biological sex classifications. These surgeries cannot remotely be construed as medically necessary. Gender-queer “identities” can include eunuchs, gendervoids, demi boys, pangender etc, etc. There are customized surgeries for them all. 

Eunuchs 

Chapter 9 in SOC8 is devoted to eunuchs. Eunuchs? You might have thought that the last eunuch died when the last Turkish sultan closed his harem. But no, some fetishists want to be castrated. WPATH doesn’t regard this as a psychological problem. 

SOC8 welcomes eunuchs under its “gender diverse umbrella”. This kind of surgery is deemed legitimate because otherwise clients will engage in sado-masochistic “actions that may cause them great harm,” ie, self-castration. There are apparently two types of eunuch surgery: one removes the testicles (bilateral orchiectomy) and the other eliminates the penis (penectomy).  

Speculating on the inclusion of the infamous eunuch chapter, Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson, in conversation with journalist Michael Schellenberger, who released the files, suggests sadism very likely provided the impetus. 

Nullifications

An even more radical variety of non-binary surgery is nullification, which results in an absence of external primary sexual organs.” This “Barbi smoothie” surgery entails “amputating genitals for a smooth, sexless appearance.”  The idea is to achieve a “flat front” or genital-free torso preserving only urethral and anal openings.  

After a double mastectomy, females identifying as nonbinary typically request the skin nipple grafts be destroyed, modified, or moved out of normal alignment. Additionally, they may request some portion of breast mound tissue be retained to allow for day-to-day “fluid” shifts in gender moods. Nullification surgery for a female sacrifices her vagina together with the clitoris and labia.

Now for something completely different

The idea of a “sex change” is essentially binary and therefore old-fashioned. There are only two sexes, so there are only two possible sex changes – male to female and female to male. A gender fluid world opens up a whole spectrum of possibilities. Let me quote this paragraph from SOC8: 

“Additional surgical requests for nonbinary people [assigned male at birth] include penile-preserving vaginoplasty, vaginoplasty with preservation of the testicle(s), and procedures resulting in an absence of external primary sexual characteristics (i.e., penectomy, scrotectomy, orchiectomy, etc.).” 

WPATH Surgeon Dr. Thomas Satterwhite brags in the leaked files of his willingness to undertake these kinky surgeries: 

“I’ve performed mastectomies without nipples, or have created chests with varying degrees of remaining breast tissue, or created incision patterns specific to my patient’s wishes. For bottom surgery, I’ve performed minimal-depth vaginoplasties(vulvoplasties), phallus-preserving vaginoplasties, and nullificationprocedures. I’m quite comfortable tailoring my operations to serve the needs of each patient.”  

In other words, you can have bespoke genitalia. A particularly repugnant example is bigenital surgery (penile-preserving vaginoplasty). Yes, this is a Thing. Some folks want both male and female sex organs.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

J. K. Rowling’s courageous stand for truth

 Not a fan of her books but her persevering resistance to true moral and cultural bullies of our day is commendable- FrC

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This year’s was a particularly memorable April Fools’ Day.

First, Scotland’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Act came into force, making it illegal to “stir up hatred” against people based on their age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or other protected characteristics.

It’s a fool’s errand to try to police hatred— a subjective and internalised feeling if ever there was one — not to mention the even more ambiguous “crime” of stirring up hatred.

But fools rush in, and thanks to the new woke law, anyone found guilty of sufficiently hurting another person’s feelings in Scotland, even in their private residence or online, will face up to seven years in prison. A fool’s paradise indeed.

Into the breach

In response to all this foolishness, bestselling author J. K. Rowling, who calls Scotland home, shared her own April Fools’ joke in the form of a lengthy X thread.

Scotland’s Hate Crime Act comes into effect today,” she began. “Women gain no additional protections, of course, but well-known trans activist Beth Douglas, darling of prominent Scottish politicians, falls within a protected category. Phew!”

Rowling’s words captioned two screenshots of social media posts made by Douglas that show the trans activist wielding knives and axes, and stating that “direct action gets the goods” and “you can take the change by force”.

But Rowling wasn’t done.

“Lovely Scottish lass and convicted double rapist Isla Bryson found her true authentic female self shortly before she was due to be sentenced,” wrote Rowling, posting photos of an evidently male criminal who apparently hoped for lighter sentencing with a newfound trans identity.

“Misgendering is hate, so respect Islas pronouns, please,” Rowling added sarcastically.

Eight more tweets followed, cataloguing an assortment of sporting opportunists, undeserving women’s rights appointees, and convicted criminals.

Then for the punchline:

“April Fools!” Rowling declared.

“Only kidding. Obviously, the people mentioned in the above tweets aren’t women at all, but men, every last one of them.”

She ended her post with a thoughtful critique of the new law, which, she argues, prioritises male self-identification over the rights of actual women, and that will inevitably hurt girls, incentivise abuse, scramble crime data, silence dissent and outlaw biology.