Daily Archives: June 8, 2010
One never ceases to be amazed at the ability of so many people to warp the most elementary concepts of logic, provided it helps them to feel good, important, modern or even supposedly clever. The always excellent Father Zuhlsdorf reports of the usual protest of a colourful bunch of women in pursuit of that logical, theological and, well, anatomical impossibility: the Female Priesthood. This would be funny if the mere existence of such extraordinary utterances were not a sad indication of the state of utter decay in which the Teaching has fallen after the happy experiments of the last decades.
Granted, the ladies are gravely confused even for the standard of your average Catholic, but how many Catholics really know why? How many Catholics think that the Church opposes (oh, that word…) “female priesthood” just because of her “conservatism”? If you were to ask your average Catholic in, say, San Luis Obispo whether he thinks that one day the Church might have (oh, that word…) “priestesses”, how many do you think would react with a hearty laugh and how many would answer that “one day the Church might be forced to react to societal changes”? I am terrified of writing this, but I strongly suspect that nowadays most Catholics believe that Male Priesthood is a choice. Which, if you think of it, is a beautiful witness of the decades long, relentless work of so many priests and bishops to undermine everything Catholic and to substitute it with the shallow, sugary, politically correct, insipid fare served at so many Protestant and at all Secularist tables.
If you, dear reader, are in need of a well-grounded and definitive knowledge of why there will never be a priestess before cats can bark I suggest the reading of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, the encyclical letter of John Paul II dealing with the issue. It is easy to read, pretty well argued and unmistakably clear in saying that the nonsense must come to an end and that even the discussions about the expediency of having Shrek as the next President of the United States (or of having “priestesses”, or such like) are not allowed.
For your convenience, the link is provided on this very same blog, under Church Teaching. Have fun and spare a thought for the poor women.
Has a priest ever told you anything about the rosary? If he has, you can count yourself among a tiny and fortunate minority of the faithful. More likely, your priest has rather preferred to entertain you about so-called anthropogenic global warming, social justice, the necessity of not kicking the cat, and such like. Let us correct this unfortunate situation with some short remarks.
There are some regional variations of the rosary and every faithful can adjust some parts as he likes. In short, a typical rosary would be recited this way:
1) Sign of the Cross. Creed of the Apostles; Pater Noster; three Hail Marys; Glory Be; Fatima prayer.
2) Five decades each composed of the following: Pater noster; ten Hail Marys; Glory Be; Fatima Prayer. At the beginning of each decade you can introduce a short pause to reflect on the mystery and/or to ask Our Lord or the Blessed Virgin for a particular grace.
3) “Hail, Holy Queen”. Sign of the Cross.
During the three Hail Marys of the introduction you can meditate on the three Theological Virtues (Hope, Faith and Charity). During each of the ten Hail Marys of every decade you can meditate on the traditional mysteries of the day or substitute them with some other meditation you prefer. The traditionally used mysteries are – in this context – 15 episodes of the life of Our Lord or of the Blessed Virgin. They are divided into groups of five, whereas every day you meditate on a different set of five mysteries, one mystery for every decade. The five mysteries added for some reason by John Paul II are not traditional and are therefore not considered here, but again there is no obligation as to what is the object of the meditation.
The way to pray (and the beauty of the rosary) is to allow your lips to regularly go through the Hail Marys whilst keeping your mind fixed on the relevant mystery. The mind being what it is, you’ll discover that you are easily distracted but the fact that you are vocally (much better than mentally) reciting the Hail Marys will help your mind to wander its thoughts on the meaning of the words of the Hail Mary and failing that, the vocal recitation will contribute to your fast recovery from your distraction.
Traditionally, a vocal recitation of the prayers will not require you to be sure that you never, ever lose concentration (and you will!). What will initially happen is a constant bouncing of your mind from the meditation to the words of the Hail Mary to what you want to eat for dinner and back to the words of the Hail Mary or to the meditation, in a constant play of wandering thoughts whilst still remaining more or less anchored in the meditation. In time, you will discover that you become more and more focused on the mysteries and your rosary becomes more spiritual, more relaxed (because you are not constantly “trying to stay focused”) and somewhat more rapid.
When a good practice has been attained, allow some twenty minutes for the rosary in its entirety (meaning here: the daily five decades). You can split the rosary into its components but if you interrupt a decade you’ll have to recite it again from the start. To remain attentive it is a tradition to imagine that every Hail Mary is a rose you are giving to Mary, with the rosary being a beautiful garland. You want your garland to be beautiful and your roses fresh, right?
The rosary is a beautiful way to transform boring times of your day into an uplifting experience: for instance whilst waiting for the train or as an alternative to reading junk newspapers during your commute. A complete decade will take you (with practice) not more than three or four minutes. You’ll see how refreshingly beautiful it is.
Many are the Internet sites dedicated to the Rosary. Therein you will find descriptions of the mysteries and visual helps to aid your meditation efforts. The spiritual meaning of the rosary will also be discussed more in-depth and you will often find interesting historical information about the history and evolution of this beautiful devotion. Two links are given here on the right, under “Devotions”. Please do not neglect to read the Promises of Mary to the Christians who recite the rosary!
Here ends this little introduction. I hope that you will find the Rosary uplifting and that you will one day start his recitation as a daily practice. I have found the practice extremely beneficial and cannot imagine a life without it anymore.
Best wishes to you.
The prayer to St. Michael the Archangel was created by Pope Leo XIII in 1886 after a vision. The vision was clear as to the fact that the XX century would be the one in which Our Lord would allow Satan to try (if he can of course) to destroy the Church. Leo XIII ordered this prayer to be added to the prayers after mass (called the Leonine Prayers) which he himself had introduced two years before.
Today it appears very clearly how dramatically authentic Pope Leo XIII’s vision was. The XX century has been, indeed, one of great tribulation for the Church, with Satan attacking and severely damaging Her from the inside. Fittingly, the prayers after Mass were officially suppressed in 1964.
More than fifty years later, the devastations caused by Vatican II on one side and – to a much greater extent – from the “spirit of Vatican II” on the other side are all too apparent. We can clearly see now how Satan acted, we have the damages in front of our eyes. Still, we can also see that the Church survived the attack; that she slowly but surely begins to react and to get her act together; that she is now rapidly recovering not only the notion of proper Liturgy, but the understanding of Her mission.
We can also see that even in the midst of such havoc, no doctrinal damage has been suffered. The Holy Ghost has in such difficult times protected the Church as he always does: leaving the men who run Her free to be as corrupt and evil as they want but never allowing them to touch Her doctrinal purity.
Today we see a slow, but unstoppable recovery and have additional evidence that the gates of Hell will never prevail. We stand in horror at the scale of the devastation, but in awe at the way the sancta sanctorum of Catholicism, the doctrinal corpus, has been left undamaged by the bombardments of both the “aggiornamento” and his bastard child, the “spirit of Vatican II”.
I invite the readers to memorize this beautiful prayer and to recite it after Mass and whenever they are confronted with a manifestation of aggressive secularism in their daily lives. It is a beautiful and uplifting prayer. It is wonderfully politically incorrect. It is, I do not doubt, powerful.
Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio;
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute in infernum detrude.