Ecclesia Dei Commission suppressed

The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has been suppressed by a motu proprio of the Holy Father.

A section will be set up in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

We will see how this will play out. Are the only questions from the communities who have as their rite the Ancient rite concerning doctrine? Do the current religious and faithful in these communities have a connection to Lefebvre? I would say no, outside the current SSPX and some leaders of the FSSP, merely by historical circumstance.

You can see the story HERE at Vatican News.

Mary! Mary!

A short essay for my Mariology course to reflect upon one proclamation of the Litany of Loreto:

Mary! Mary! The delight, the consolation this holy name brings to the hearts of her children is enough to fill the course of the spiritual life. In recent years, I have discovered that memories and gratitude are two pillars of prayer which lead to holiness of life. It is good to recount the graces Our Lord has given me. And I don’t do this enough.

A lot of things can be fixed by harvesting gratitude. So often I have little frustrations, annoyances, impatient moments with those whom I love, grudges, and judgments. These are a waste of my time. I lose sight of the gifts I have been given from our Gracious Lord, and those given through Our Lady. And I disrupt my peace of soul by worrying about petty things.

I have been reminded of so many memories filled with graces, especially those of charity and counsel. Graces which have formed who I am today and my desire for holiness. For these, incomprehensible to my understanding they may have been and might continue to be, I must always have gratitude. These memories taught me something in a deeper way than I had previously considered. It was that I can’t hold onto memories or desire to control my circumstances as a way to preserve these memories, wanting them never to change, wanting them to remain familiar.

This is something that I have been thinking about for quite some time. How true it is that I don’t know what tomorrow brings, or even what today will bring. What I do know is that I have been given the grace to rise this morning, to love and to serve our Lord, in whatever may come.

This isn’t to say, I can’t cherish my memories or have a fondness for them. In fact, I should use them to spur on my charity, especially in praying for the sanctity of those who are so dear to me, this affinity is a good thing. The joys of friendship, those truly rooted in charity, are just a little taste of blessedness in Heaven. And so I relate a story with a friend in Venice.

I recall my first trip to Venice to visit a priest friend. I did not know what to expect after I heard so many people say Venice is another world. I spent the first day sweating the five liters of water I had drunk. And finally was able to take in more of the beauty of this city on water as the sun set and reflected off the facades of the basilicas and the palaces.

My priest friend took me to St. Mark’s Basilica on Sunday afternoon. I was expecting enormous crowds and for the visit to seem like a visit to a museum. We arrived, however, when the Basilica was closed to tourists, and somehow we were able to enter to pray. I didn’t want to seem too eager, or like a tourist, so I stayed by the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and where the Icon of Our Lady is kept. I wasn’t worried about time and so I wouldn’t be able to say how long we remained in the basilica, but we stayed for Vespers. Following Vespers on Sunday evening, there is Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament and a procession with the canons of the basilica.

Having lived in Rome for some years now, I’ve learned to appreciate the assertive nature of Italians in forming processions or attempting to enter holy sites. I’ve learned well, and I was right behind the priest in cope after he left the sanctuary. Again, in not having seen the entire basilica before this procession, I was overtaken with the greatest delight and peace. Being summer, rays of light were still coming in and illuminating the mosaics. The smoke of the incense billowed in the air scattering the light and lifting our prayers to the Blessed Virgin as we sung the Litany of Loreto. The chant, previously unfamiliar to me, was in the Venetian tone. It is a tone symbolizing prayer, for it is an ascending cadence as you make the exclamations to Our Lady. I knew that Our Lady was lifting, is always willing to lift, my prayers to Our Lord. The procession was less than ten minutes, but throughout I had the sense that such a moment could go on forever. I have this same sense at times when I am serving the Holy Mass. The end of the procession was at the ‘Icon of the Blessed Virgin not written by human hands,’ where we all knelt and continued singing the Litany. We had arrived at the place we were meant to be.

“Icon of the Blessed Virgin not written by human hands” – St. Mark’s, Venice
Litany of Loreto in Venetian tone LIVE recording

Besides being a living reality, it seems that my spiritual life rests in these moments of peace. It’s these moments which are able to be carried over into the dull moments of mental prayer or into the frustrations of life, as to increase my charity.

I haven’t been clear in my statement of choice, but its the first acclamation of ‘Sancta Maria’ which means so much to me. It is a prayer in which I don’t have to think too much, or over-analyze. The Name contains all hope, all perfect fear, all love. Our Lady has seemingly been the only constant in my spiritual life, or rather the only constant amidst the circumstances that have come to comprise this daily journey over the course of years. In joys, in sorrows, in difficulties, and in all my hopes, only one Name is upon my lips, Mary, for I know she will always lead me Jesus, right where I am meant to be.

To support the work of Filii Passionis and to learn more about the Blessed Virgin, find the newest publication of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin HERE.

First Saturday – January 2019

For the First Saturday devotions please go HERE.

Artwork included my new publication of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

And to assist with my project of spreading devotion to the Passion of Our Lord among the ranks of seminarians, please go here.

Your assistance with this project would help provide a copy of a book of meditations on the Passion of Our Lord to 500 Seminarians. As I hear from more and more seminarians about how many are in their seminaries, I’d like to even shoot higher than 500…250 men at the North American College in Rome, 175 men at St. Charles’ in Philadelphia, 30 men at the Venerable English College, 80 men at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, then there is Kenrick and Saint Paul Seminary and…

So, I ask that you prayerfully consider helping. Please keep this project in your intentions on this First Saturday and in your daily prayers. A priest once preached on reform in the Church and he related a story from the life of Saint Bernard, who said: “True reform, begins with the reformation of one’s own soul.” This is why I want to get this book into the hands of hundreds of men who will be future priests. O! the souls they will encounter in their ministry!

So please share this post and please pray!

First Friday: January 2019

I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

For the First Friday devotions, go here.

And to assist with my project of spreading devotion to the Passion of Our Lord among the ranks of seminarians, please go here.

Your assistance with this project would help provide a copy of a book of meditations on the Passion of Our Lord to 500 Seminarians. As I hear from more and more seminarians about how many are in their seminaries, I’d like to even shoot higher than 500…250 men at the North American College in Rome, 175 men at St. Charles’ in Philadelphia, 30 men at the Venerable English College, 80 men at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary, then there is Kenrick and Saint Paul Seminary and…

So, I ask that you prayerfully consider helping. Please keep this project in your intentions on this First Friday and in your daily prayers. A priest once preached on reform in the Church and he related a story from the life of Saint Bernard, who said: “True reform, begins with the reformation of one’s own soul.” This is why I want to get this book into the hands of hundreds of men who will be future priests. O! the souls they will encounter in their ministry!

So please share this post and please pray!


Feast of the Holy Name!

O Most Holy Name, Jesus, I praise you!

This is a feast close to my heart, as I am sure it is to many of you. For there is no sweeter Name than that of Jesus, and whenever my lips utter His Name, so follows that of Mary.

It is a feast that strengthens my confidence in the salvific will of Jesus, and in the victory of the Holy Cross, upon which Jesus offered Himself. But there is also sorrow on this day. I recall all those in the course of my life who have fallen away from the love of Christ and have refused the sweet balm of His Most Holy Name.

There are a few reasons this is the case, but I’ll share one. There is so much power in a name, it signifies the nature of a thing, of a person. It’s a far stretch in how I think about this, but for those whose name I’ve been able to call upon, in friendship, and now who have fallen away, there is such a great sadness in their rejection of the power of the Name of Jesus. The Name of Jesus becomes a condemnation for them, until they recognize once again Its sweetness.

But. I can say this. Having lost contact with these people, by circumstances or by my own choice, there is a sense of duty to pray and fast for their salvation, and all the while, knowing that I too, when I call upon the Name of Jesus must do so with a pure intention, and truly spurring myself on in the way of perfection when I cry: Jesus, save me!

Prayer to the Holy Name – St. Alphonsus

O my Jesus, thou art the Savior who hast given Thy blood and Thy life for me, I pray Thee to write Thy adorable name on my poor heart; so that having it always imprinted in my heart by love, I may also have it ever on my lips, by invoking it in all my necessities.  If the devil tempts me, Thy name will give me strength to resist him; if I lose confidence, Thy name will animate me to hope; If I am in affliction, Thy name will comfort me, by reminding me of all Thou hast endured for me.  If I find myself cold in Thy love, Thy name will inflame me by reminding me of the love Thou hast shown me.  I have fallen into so many sins, because I did not call on Thee; from henceforth Thy name shall be my defense, my refuge, my hope, my only consolation, my only love.  Thus do I hope to live, and so do I hope to die, having Thy name always on my lips.

Announcement of Christ’s Birth:

December 25th anno Domini 2016

The 26th Day of the Moon

In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in the year 2959th from the flood, in the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses, in the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King, in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the 194th Olympiad, in the 752nd from the foundation of the city of Rome, in the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, (all kneel down) was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh.

Upon the same 25th day of December were born into the better life

At Rome, in the Apronian cemetery, the holy virgin Eugenia, who in the time of the Emperor Gallienus, after many works of power, and after enlisting bands of sacred virgins for Christ, suffered long under Nicetius, Prefect of the city, and at length was slain with the sword (about 258).

At Nicomedia, many thousand holy martyrs. Upon the feast of Christ’s birth they had come together unto the Lord’s house, and the Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut, and all things made ready for fire round about it then he set a tripod and incense in front of the door, and sent an herald to proclaim in a loud voice that whosoever would escape burning should come forth arid offer incense unto Jupiter. Whereunto they all replied with one voice, that they would far rather die for Christ’s sake, whereupon he kindled the fire and they were consumed, and were born in heaven upon that same day whereupon it had pleased Christ to be born into this world to save it.

At Barcelona, in Spain (in the year 1256), the holy confessor Peter Nolasco, founder of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Ransom for the redemption of captives. He was famous for his graces and miracles, and Alexander VIII. commanded his feast to be kept upon the last day of January.

V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God.

From my publication, Praying the Mass during Advent, by Dom Gueranger:

Thus have passed before us, in succession, all the generations of the world.22 Each of them is asked if it has seen Him whom we are expecting, and each is silent; until the name of Mary is pronounced, and then is proclaimed the Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, made Man. St. Bernard speaking of this announcement says: “The voice of joy had gone forth in our land, the voice of rejoicing and of salvation is in the tabernacles of the just. There has been heard a good word, a word that gives consolation, a word that is full of gladsomeness, a word worthy of all acceptance. Resound with praise, ye mountains, and all ye trees of the forests clap your hands before the face of the Lord, for he is coming. Hearken, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth! be astounded and give praise, O all ye creatures! but thou, O man, more than all they! JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDAH! Who is there, that is so hard of heart, that this word does not touch him? Could anything be told us sweeter than this? Could any news delight us like this? Was such a thing ever heard, or anything like it ever told to the world? JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDAH! O brief word of the Word abridged! and yet how full of heavenly beauty! The heart, charmed with the honeyed sweetness of the expression, would fain diffuse it and spread it out into more words; but no, it must be given just as it is, or you spoil it: JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, IS BORN IN BETHLEHEM OF JUDAH!”