Daily Archives: November 1, 2010
I stumbled upon another Rosary site. Well, not only a Rosary site, really. This is a kind of one-stop-shop for many of the needs of the modern Cyber-Catholic. Modestly, there is no emphasis about who are the authors of this site but by clicking around it would appear that it is the brainchild of an association called Auxilium Christianorum. Massive kudos to them.
The site is divided in sections.
There is a Rosary section which very focused on the actual way of praying the rosary. Half a dozen of different traditions and methods of Rosary praying are described in detail. The influence of Simon of Montfort is particularly evident. The entire Rosary section is entirely built upon the pre-Conciliar Rosary structure. The “luminous” mysteries are completely ignored and whilst not less than eleven Papal encyclicals are reported, JP II’s Rosarium Virginis Mariae is spectacularly absent. I begin to think that there may be a message behind that, but I’m not sure which 😉 .
Basically, the entire section is vastly Vatican II-free, and so much better for it. Still, who has written this is well endowed with common sense, and very modern in approach. The “helpful suggestions” include to pray simplified versions of the rosary if one hasn’t time or is too lazy for the full five decades with all the trimming; to not neglect, in case, also to pray the rosary whilst driving (very easy, this, and can be done vocally; in the end a lot of people talk by driving all the time); or, as regards the new-ish and not uncontroversial fashion of wearing a rosary, to not have a problem in wearing is, but by taking it out to use it, in a bold public display of Catholicism. Also please note that these people are traditionalists, but not sedevacantists. The beautiful audio version in Latin (one of the many versions of the Rosary of this excellent site) is recited by none other than… Pope John Paul II! Still no “luminous” mysteries, though…. .
A second section of the site is dedicated to the “Little Office of the Blessed Virgin”, a simplified version of the Divine Office for the use of the laity. This version seems to be further simplifies inasmuch as the first two hours (matins and lauds) are supposed to change daily, which here seems to have been substituted for a standard version. Still, the material is considerable, well presented and available in both English and Latin. This is an excellent resource for all those who want to try to see whether the little office is a devotion for them, and the latin text is a welcome addition.
The third section is very modestly (and inappropriately, I would add) called Catholic Calendar, but it is so much more than that. It is a complete Catholic Almanac with a wealth of resources: saint of the day, daily reading of the Mass; daily reading from the rule of St. Benedict; Martirology; daily reading from the Imitation of Christ; daily reading from the “secret of Mary” (link to full version available); a beautiful “saint picture of the day” with reflections (today, 1st November, it seems to be from Gustave Dore’s “Paradise” after Dante, it is very beautiful), and a lesson of the Catechism of.. Trent (today, All Saints, unavailable and with other reflections instead). This is a source of massive Catholic wisdom and prayer, changing every day and made conveniently available within the same site.
The following section is the “Total Consecration to Mary” after the fashion of Simon of Montfort. The devotion and procedure for the consecration are explained in detail.
The last section is, like a jewel on the crown, the most complete and best presented description of the Fatima apparitions (and more: see Immaculate Heart of Mary part) I have ever read. The material is vast, but still very easy to read. Like all the others, this section too is extremely orthodox and you won’t find any trace of modern imbecility a’ la Vincent Nichols here. Statements like “War, disease, and natural disasters are punishments for sin” are prominently and unapologetically displayed. This site deals with Truth, not with popularity.
Summa summarum, this site deserves to become one of your standard Catholic links from today. Everything here is accurate, from the theology to the attention to practical matters to the very accurate (and I would say: professional) layout and presentation. It is joy to use and explore.
I look forward to many happy (and some less happy, but prayerful) hours in the company of this beautiful site.
A prayer for those who have created such beauty is more than in order.
The American Papist has an interesting article about the NYT’s prediction of the Catholic vote in the coming Mid-Term elections. It would appear that – among the electorate generically defining itself as “Catholic” – the swing from the Democrats to the Republican is a barely believable 34 percent.
Beside reading such forecasts cum grano salis (it’s only a forecast; Obama was an oh so fashionable candidate two years ago; Catholics have already rather liked Republicans in the past, with George W Bush being the most recent example), we must consider that such a swing is unprecedented. Might it well be that the decline in popularity of Obama has few precedents, too, the fact still remain that when it has become clear and it has been insistently repeated that this President is nothing to do with Christian values, Christians have begun abandoning him in drove. Which drives me nicely to my point.
It is undeniable that the American Bishops, as a body, do not do enough to protect Catholic values among their sheep. Still, there are a handful of courageous Bishops who are never afraid of an “unpopular” headline and the general climate is much, much more Catholic than in the UK.
Take Archbishop Chaput for example, or the future Cardinal Burke before he moved to Rome, or the sadly soon-to-retire Bruskewitz. They are/were all people who can make national headlines; people willing to stir the placid waters of political correctness and rampant secularism by throwing the one or other Catholic stone in the stinking pond of secularist anti-Christian values.
I cannot imagine that this hasn’t made a difference. Not a 34-point difference for sure, but a difference in the cultural climate in which Catholic are called to operate and, importantly, vote. In two words, people are starting to open their eyes and in time, even a handful of brave Bishops will not fail to awaken a growing number of up to now not properly informed or soundly asleep Catholics.
This is, clearly, not what is happening in England and Wales, where the Bishops are the best allies of the secular leftist society and they either actively helped Labour to push its secular agenda (say: “sex education” for children; so-called “homo marriages”; neglect of proper Catholic teaching in Catholic schools; nice jobs given to Labour MPs in need of a perk) or gave an opposition which was not strong enough and determined not to offend anyone (say: adoption agencies). All this whilst Summorum Pontificum is eagerly boycotted, and Anglicanorum Coetibus at best ignored.
The situation in the US shows us that when good shepherds start doing their job, sheep start following them. It must be so, then once the Catholic message is insistently repeated, there is no way Catholics can – giving them sufficient space to come to term with uneasy truths never told to them before – avoid being affected by it. The beauty of Catholicism is that by its very nature every sustained, repeated call to orthodoxy will always fall on attentive ears, then in Catholicism’s case there is no need to define what “orthodoxy” is, merely to know that it exists and that it demands observance. This is a much easier exercise than to, say, define “Tea Party ideals” or “Republican values”.
If our Bishops started doing their job instead of limiting themselves to be automatic distributors of platitudes and convenient soundbites, things would start changing in Blighty too. Not today and not tomorrow of course; but in time, the effect would be felt.
Today, Cameron is scared senseless from a couple of hundred thousand homosexuals who don’t even vote for him. Let him confront, say, one million angry Catholics and see how he’ll react. Methinks, he’ll become a fan of the Tridentine Mass and tell us that he has always felt that way.
The Hierarchy of E&W betrays his sheep every day. None of them, not one, is worthy of his office. What is happening in the US exposes once more all their inadequacy, incompetence, corruption or very simply loss of faith.
Let us hope that this disgraceful generation of bad shepherds will soon be reformed or, rather less unrealistically, removed. Up to that point, we can only look at the US and sigh.