Returning to the Blog

I managed to work out how to get back on this old blog, and now I’m ready to return to the blogosphere.

For me, the most important part of this blog is the links to the Latin works that can be found online, particularly the Summa Aurea de Laudibus Beatissimae Virginis Mariae.

But, this is only useful for people who can read Latin.

Someday, perhaps, some of these texts will be translated into English. Someday…

Benjamin Franklin on Dissent

It’s rather unusual for me to be quoting Ben Franklin, but I happen to be watching a TV special John Wayne put together called Swing Out, Sweet Land, and it had this quote from Franklin… a quote that is found barely anywhere on the Internet. This is the attitude we who are old enough to remember still remember.

“Let us be aware in these infant years of our beloved Republic. . . There are those who wait to celebrate our failure. Be not disheartened, this will always be so, for we have lighted our candle of liberty in a dark world and each of us is in charge of keeping it lighted. And though the winds of dissent may threaten our flame, despair not, remembering that a nation which allows dissent is stronger from with-in and brighter from with-out. For when dissent becomes a crime, hope becomes despair. …

“Dissent, but dissent honorably. Dissent with faith in your hearts, not despair. Dissent to rebuild not to destroy. Dissent from with-in for dissent from with-out becomes attack. Speak out for what you believe in at least as loudly as you speak against the system, for gentlemen, if ours is a generation to say democracy will not administer to the people, let it be a conscious decision arrived at only after every opportunity for man to rule himself has failed.” … Benjamin Franklin

The Return of the Blog

It was down for a while there, but it’s back. At this time, I would just like to quote from an Angelus address of St. John Paul II:

Mary, in fact, when considered in the fullness of the Church’s mystery and mission, not only expresses its independent personality, at the apex and at the beginning of the Church, but, in the dynamics of the history of salvation, she is also so intimately united with the Church that she seems to be an embodiment and a living image of the mystical personality of the Church herself, the Bride of Christ, signifying from the first moment of her existence all the wealth of grace that animates the Church.

Angelus Address, December 11, 1983

Charles Untz

It doesn’t hurt to ask…

Well, here’s the prayer to ask for the intercession of Charles Untz, a teenager who died in 2000 and some consider to have been a rather holy young man. A very simple website testifies to him: My Lady’s Knight.

A prayer asking his intercession:

Oh, Jesus, in these most difficult times for teenagers You gave the grace of purity, prayers, obedience, and fidelity to Your servant Charles. It was his desire to always do Your will and to become a saint. He fostered a great love for You in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and a deep devotion to Your Most Holy Mother Mary whom Charles simply called, “My Lady”. We now ask You to glorify Your servant Charles on earth by granting the petition we now make through his intercession: (mention your request here). Amen.

Cornelius a Lapide’s Marian Commentaries on Scripture

I found a rather useful doctoral dissertation concerning the commentary of Cornelius a Lapide and Mariology.

The dissertation is entitled Cornelius a Lapide’s biblical methodology used in Marian texts and its comparison with a contemporary approach. It was written by the Very Rev. James Presta. It contains a number of translations into English from the commentary that you won’t find anywhere else.

The thesis is available for free online download at this link. Scroll to the bottom and select “download.”

Dangers of Chemical Contraception Finally Getting Attention

Vicki Thorn has an article at Catholic Pulse that explains that, after all these years, the dangers and problems of chemical contraception (which is supposed to be, of course, very safe) are finally coming out in books and even a planned documentary. I quote from her article below:

It seems to me that there is a tidal wave of awareness surfacing among women that birth control is not good for our bodies. In 2013 the book Sweetening the Pill: or How We Got Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control by Holly Grigg-Spall was published by Zero Books. Ricki Lake is working on a documentary based on Holly’s book. It is interesting to see there is a new term being used in the media by supporters of contraception to describe those who warn of its dangers: “Birth Control Truthers.” It seems to ring true in truth and title, though it is supposed to be derogatory!

It seems that women and men have not been really informed as to the side effects of chemical contraceptives. Many are quick to say of these potential side effects, “But the chances are so low!” but if it happens to you or a loved one, it becomes 100 percent.

And, of course, there are times, more commonly for younger women, that the pill does not prevent pregnancy.

Full Article: The Real War on Women

Catholic Novels of the 19th Century (free online)

Here’s a list of some of these available.

Alice Sherwin: An Historical Tale in the Days of St. Thomas More by C.J.M.

Rosemary, or Life and Death by Dr. Huntington

Blind Agnese, or, The little spouse of the Blessed Sacrament by Cecilia M. Caddell

The Pearl of Antioch: A Picture of the East at the End of the Fourth Century by Marc Antoine Bayle

Also, The Martyrdom of St. Cecilia, a drama

A Rather Slow Blog

I intended to do more blogging during the Lent, but it didn’t happen.

I think part of the reason is that I don’t feel like I have anything particularly original to say. Others are saying things more clearly and probably reaching a lot more people. I know that I have no regular visitors to the blog, and I don’t really expect any. There aren’t enough updates to this thing.

I suppose some of the people who listen to me on WAOB might be interested in following the blog if they knew it existed, and I actually updated it.

Perhaps that could be the target audience…

Somewhere along the line….

I recently saw some statistics on a particular community of religious women, and I now have a better understanding of why some communities (well, actually there are a number of them) haven’t had vocations for quite a while, and if they do have any, they aren’t very young.

This community listed all living members and the year they took first vows. Most took first vows in the 1940s or 1950s. Some took vows in the 1960s, but when you get to 1964, that is the last year for almost all of them. There are a few exceptions, a 1968 here, a 1970 there, and even a 1977! Most, however, that are still living and still in the community entered before 1965.

I’m sure there were many that entered from 1965 to, say, 1973 or so, but almost all of them left.

Those who had their novitiate and took vows before all the changes seemed to have a greater sense of the profound nature of the vows. They were marrying Christ for life in a particular religious community–this was not just about the community but about Christ and the Church. They weathered all the storms.

Now, though, some groups are merging with other groups, and this is taking its toll on even existing members. If I vowed to a particular community and the community no longer really exists, do I continue on in this new “merged” community with a different constitution?

It’s getting tougher and tougher, but the answer has been there all along, every day, 24/7: return to orthodoxy. True, it may not guarantee vocations, but it will definitely not hurt.

Sometimes, the answer is so close you don’t see it. It’s so clear that it is transparent to you. For many of these “most from the pre 1965 era” groups, it’s too late.

We are now celebrating the 50th anniversary of Vatican II. I think some groups are mourning the poor implementation within their communities. (This is not entirely their fault, because often “experts” presented workshops that told them what was “expected” of them, and the experts had an agenda that had nothing to do with Vatican II.) At least some members of the communities are mourning. Unfortunately, the leaders tend to forge ahead, rearrange those deck chairs, and prepare to leave behind a legacy once they are all gone.