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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

They could not run a corner shop

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Watch out for the Catholic Herald article this weekend

Book defending Harry Potter books

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for sale from the indult Church of the Minor Friars in Linz. It was written by Fr Walthard Zimmer FSSP who is the priest in charge of the Church. The question in the title is deceiving, it is an out-and-out defence. They have been on sale for about two years.

Ironic, that it is placed next to a biography of St Dominic Savio. I can't see St John Bosco recommending Harry Potter books, somehow.

Michael Schiavo: The Truth

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A man who took leave of any vestige of humanity.

Sancte Christophore, ora pro nobis!

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My name day!

Præsta quæsumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui beati Christophori Martyris tui, natalitia colimus, intercessione eius, in tui nominis amore roboremur. Per Dominum nostrum... (Collect for the Commemoration of Saint Christopher, Martyr - June 25, Missale Romanum, 1962:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who venerate the natal day of blessed Christopher, Thy martyr, may, through his intercession, be strengthened in the love of Thy name.

Christopher was a tall, powerful man. When he became a Christian, he went to live beside a dangerous river where he put his strength to use carrying travelers safely from one side to the other.

One day, while resting in his hut, he heard a child’s voice crying, "Christopher, come out and carry me across." Outside Christopher found a little boy. He grabbed his staff, put the child on his shoulder and stepped into the water. But with each step, the waves grew higher, the current grew stronger and the weight of the child increased. Christopher was afraid he would lose his step and that both he and the little boy would drown. At last, exhausted and gasping for breath, he crawled up the bank on the opposite shore.

"Boy," Christopher said, "who are you?"

The little boy answered, "Today on your shoulder you carried the Creator of the world. I am Christ your king." Then the Christ Child vanished.

Interior contours of the chapel fading away

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along with the Catholic Faith in this post-modern chapel of the Kolping Movement in Italy.

Labyrinth at centre

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of the Long Night of tbe Churches in Linz

Diocese of Lancaster

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Church closure plans slammed

Eucharist remains the centre of the Church

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Newspaper of the Diocese of Linz celebrates the issue of the Motu Proprio by putting an example of liturgical good practice on its front page.

Bad to Wuerzburg Diocese

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World Mission Day and the Kalai Kaviri group dances during Mass- except this group is into dialogue and not mission.

Radio Maria

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Many radio stations worldwide- varying doctrinal and aesthetic quality.

Together we are strong

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Not too far from the sentiments that Hitler would express. Parish Festival in Germany.

Mass of Straw

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Catholic Countryside Youth Movement in Aachen

Pay as you pray

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Credit card donations possible at this payment point located in Linz Cathedral.

"Deus....Deus....Deus":

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On December 7th, in the year of Our Lord 1965, hundreds of bishops and several ecumenical observers from across the world assembled one last time in the monumental central nave of St. Peter’s Basilica as Pope Paul VI read the closing speech of the Second Vatican Council; the Council which pursued, in the words of Blessed Pope John XXIII, aggiornamento, an “opening” in dialogue with the modern world, a world unlike any that had been seen since the beginning of the human race. This council promulgated sixteen documents addressing almost every conceivable aspect of modern Catholic life, from the formation of Priests, ecumenism, and the liturgy. Numerous periti, or, “experienced men”, were called in from the four corners of the earth to assist at this council’s deliberations. One of these men included our present pontiff, Benedict XVI. However, one man was not present, who had been called several years before to serve in this capacity. By the time Pope John XXIII had summoned him for the theological preparations for the Council, he had already lost many of his mental and physical faculties. He died on February 16, 1964 in the odor of sanctity in a hospital in Rome. This same man oversaw the doctoral thesis of one Karol Woytija, later to become Pope John Paul II. He was established by Pope Pius XII as the first ever man to hold the chair of Ascetical and Mystical theology in the centuries old Pontifical school, the Angelicum. Although not very well known today, the shadow of this man loomed tall over the proceedings of the Second Vatican Council, particularly one of its most important documents, Lumen Gentium. This man was Servant of God Peré Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, of the Order of Preachers.Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange was born in Auch, France on February 21, 1877. He lived for eighty-seven years, authoring twenty-eight books in several languages and over 600 articles. Although early in his life he showed an interest in medicine, the perspicacious young man experienced a profound conversion experience while at the University of Bordeaux, France. He once remarked to one of his Dominican brothers,“I was able to glimpse how the doctrine of the Catholic Church is the absolute truth concerning God and his intimate life and concerning the human person, his origin and his supernatural destiny. I saw in a wink of an eye that it was not a truth relative to our time and place but an absolute truth that will not change but will become more and more apparent up to the time when we see God face to face. A ray of light shone before my eyes and made clear the words of the Lord: ‘The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.’ I understood that this truth must bear fruit like the grain of wheat in good soil…”Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, after this experience that he would later call his “conversion,” became intensely interested in religious life, visiting the local Trappists and Carthusians until joining the Dominicans. Early on his teachers noted that the young man was quite astute in the study of theology, and sent him to the best studia in France at the time. He excelled in the study of Aristotle, of whom he remarked during his career at the Angelicum, “I could teach Aristotle for three hundred years and never grow tired.” He also was most proficient in the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, whom he greatly revered; he was arguably one of the greatest proponents of the Neo-Thomist movement of the early twentieth century, when he fought a fierce battle against proto-modernism, which Pius X called the “Synthesis of all Heresies.” However, his greatest and most enduring contribution to the universal Church was his defense of the Universal Call to holiness, which he zealously expounded upon by an effective synthesis of the Doctors of the Church, like Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross, with the Aristotelian methods of Thomas Aquinas. His magnum opus, “Christian Perfection and Contemplation,” draws from the almost endless fount of Catholic spiritual tradition and argues that all the baptized are called to holiness, using as a foundation the maxim, gratia semen gloriae est, or “grace is the seed of glory.” He said, “Christian perfection consists in union with God, which supposes in us the full development of charity.” He combated a post-Tridentine tendency to neglect the universal call to holiness due to an artificial divide between mystical and ascetical theology; instead, he insisted upon their essential unity in the spiritual life. In other words, he fought against the idea that most souls are called to an “ascetical way,” one that is “ordinary,” which consists in the regular struggle against the vices and the pursuit of virtue. The other way, which his opponents called “mystical,” essentially belonged to a few that God mysteriously chose to raise to the heights of sanctity via extraordinary graces. Thus, they denied that infused contemplation, or mystical prayer proper, was for everyone.Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange demolished this argument by synthesizing Thomas Aquinas and John of the Cross to demonstrate that there is one way of holiness which has both mystical and ascetical aspects. All souls were called to contemplation, to high forms of prayer, precisely because such contemplation was necessary for eminent sanctification. He distinguished between gratiae gratis datae, or “freely given graces”, such as prophecy and tongues, and infused contemplation, the latter of which was part of the “ordinary” way of sanctity, and not dependent upon extraordinary phenomena, although they could be experienced concomitantly therein. Thus, holiness and it’s consummation in a person’s life was not a privilege reserved to a select, elite few; instead, Garrigou-Lagrange demonstrated that this call was generally open to all. His life, in summary, drew from the legacy of the Scholastic philosophy and Catholic spiritual tradition in order to put forth one of the most important ideas promulgated by the Second Vatican Council: the universal call to holiness. His cause has since been opened, because the Servant of God Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange was truly a good servant who devoted all his intellectual resources to the growth of Holy Mother Church and the Sanctification of her members.
I would like to relate two anecdotes which accentuate the sanctity of Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, one before his death and the other afterwards. One day when coming into class at the Angelicum where he had taught for fifty years, he entered into the room in a sort of daze. As the lectures were in Latin, he opened his mouth, and said slowly, as if astonished, pausing, seemingly in awe, as he repeated thrice the word:
"Deus....Deus....Deus": "God....God.....God."
Upon saying this, he left the classroom, never to return. As Thomas Aquinas' reception of a mystical revelation near the end of his life and work led him to stammer, "All I have written is straw," this likewise was to be Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange's 'Nunc Dimittis' to the Angelicum: he died shortly after. After his death and looking at his body, there were many things to be said, but one item drew the attention of many: the hands of the Dominican Priest, fallen asleep in Christ. Many men who saw him lying after he died remarked that all his features were ordinary, but his hands looked marvellously young, like those of a little boy. My own Spiritual Director can testify to this, as he himself spoke to many of his contemporaries who all made the same remark independently. Many think this was God's signal way of rewarding this man of God for writing so many things pleasing to him, edifying to souls and to the Church. Let us echo the words, "Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of thy master!" Thank you.
Speech by David Waters and used with his kind permission