{    Cnytr   }

{Wednesday, August 31, 2005  }

.:{Hurricane Katrina}:.


My goodness.

Until now, I had been too absorbed in my own little world to take notice of what's been going on in the rest of the world. Hurricanes hit, we've been hit by them before (at the time I was 7 or 11 or something and I found it "exciting"), so I had no idea the extent of the hurricane or the damage it's caused.

It didn't even fully hit when the news center, showing an areal view of the Superdome in LA completely surrounded by water, accidentally witnessed a man jumping to his death.

But now I'm hearing things on St. Blog's (esp. the ever-poignant Penitens) and reading the news that my golly, this is serious. About fifteen minutes ago, Moniales posted that the Lockport Dominicans are okay, and most of the other Dominicans have been evacuated with 8 unaccounted-for.

I know very few people personally in LA (the one girl I do know would have been at school and out of the path of the hurricane at the time it struck). With the Dominicans mostly accounted for, I wonder about one other person: does anybody know how Fr. Bryce Sibley is doing?

Our Lady of Perpetual Help, pray for us!
posted by Lauren, 6:04 PM | link | 5 comments

.:{Jurisdiction}:.


It is a most unfortunate custom growing today that we layfolk like to dictate to the priests what we think they ought to do. Perhaps this is in retaliation for the percieved "pre-Vatican II" notion of the laity as the people who "pay, pray and obey". Though both obtained some amount of prevelancy previously, obviously neither are correct.

This having been said, I think it more correct for layfolk to charitably rebuke other layfolk especially when it comes to liturgical matters (as I have taken the liberty of doing here).

And so we come to another issue touched upon in the linked post: jurisdiction.

Priests understand this to some extent: you don't walk into somebody else's parish and start telling people what to do. Bishops definitely understand this. But for some reason this hasn't yet trickled down the chain of command to the layfolk (and some seminarians).

I'm from a parish that's coming back. It had some shockingly disgusting architecture and questionable rubrics from the '60s and '70s alright, and recently the thing was rebuilt, though far from perfect and still suffering from a dearth in musical discernment/knowledge/talent (albeit this is growing more and more occasional rather than normative), and some unfortunate customs of the parish. But one has to get to know the parish. It's not at all a bad parish, nor a poor one. It's quite a good one, in fact, though the casual observer may not be quick to pick up on this.

And quite often, in fact, he doesn't.

And then letters to the bishop and blahblahblah ... a whole lot of hell raised for very little reason at all. Quote Redemptoris Sacramentum all you like -- the Bishop was there recently, foo', and he knows exactly what the parish is like. We will worry about it so you don't have to.

In other words, if one is not not registered in a parish, leave it alone (in terms of criticism). It is not one's business to correct the faults of every parish around you. Work on your own parish first.

I find this occurs quite a lot when people travel and go on vacation.

I say this because I attend daily mass on campus. At daily mass, one tends to get to know faces of other regular attendees (in fact I was sitting in a pew before mass at the place where I went during the summer, and the girl in front of me turned around and introduced herself "because [I] see you here all the time!"; I found that cute). While I have not been here long enough to know all The Faces, nobody recognized the guy in one of the back rows. And adult, not a teacher, don't think he's a student here.

Mass was a little ... intersting. Usually the Franciscans run campus ministry, and they or nearby priests say the 12:15 mass. However, we had a visiting priest from the diocese of Trenton the other day. Although we couldn't hear him half the time, he made it clear that he thought we should all come stand around the altar ala concelebrants when it came time for the liturgy of the Eucharist. This ... was very stressful. Fortunately the circle was big enough that it stretched down into the first pew as well, where I hid with a few other people. So we were still technically listening to father and technically not breaking rubrics either. The sign of peace suffered from the usual fiasco of the much-extended chatter (nono donuts and coffee come after mass) encouraged by father. He meant well, but oh dear ...

The words were fine, the mass was valid, and after communion the congregation returned to their previous seats in the pews.

It was fine. It wasn't great. I could have been much, much, much worse. No technical liturgical abuses were committed of which I am aware.

But that guy that nobody noticed. After mass, he made snarky comments to the students as they were exiting, and asked if they knew the celebrant; it may be much to presume that he intended to write a letter to the cardinal with this information, but it's the only reason that comes to mind at the moment.

Sir, we appreciate your respect and reverence for the liturgy. We at the school like to think we hold the same. However, we question whether or not it is for you to go writing letters (or if you aren't, stop bugging the students while they're still in the church; get a blog insteaad ;) ).

I myself (and my most excellent mother) have fallen victem to this same error previously and have been in different ways rebuked for it. However, it has recently become apparent how annoying and sometimes wrong this can be. Like coming into another person's family and telling them how to raise their kids. One simply doesn't do it (unless one is a priest; I have to say this is my all-time priest-pet-peeve. Fathers, please, DON'T come over to our house and start trying to raise my nieces and nephews).

And so that is my Cnytr rant of the day.

By the way, I placed (by the skin of my teeth and your prayers) into the necessary Latin class. Thanks much!
posted by Lauren, 5:06 PM | link | 4 comments

{Tuesday, August 30, 2005  }

.:{Man Accused of Sexual Assault Becomes Father}:.


(Yahoo news)

Sun Aug 28, 5:06 PM ET

LINCOLN, Neb. - A 14-year-old girl whose 22-year-old husband is charged with sexually assaulting a minor has given birth to their daughter, and the man said he plans to plead not guilty in the case.

The girl became pregnant when she was 13, and her mother gave permission in May for Matthew Koso to take her daughter to Kansas to marry.

Nebraska requires people to be at least 17 before they can marry. But Kansas does not have a minimum age as long as both parents or guardians approve or the marriage is approved by a judge, said a spokesman for Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has charged Koso with first-degree sexual assault, punishable by up to 50 years in prison if convicted.

"Of course the marriage is valid ... but it doesn't matter," he said. "I'm not going to stand by while a grown man ... has a relationship with a 13-year-old — now 14-year old — girl."

Koso told the Lincoln Journal Star he expected to plead not guilty at his arraignment on Tuesday.

"I feel like I'm sitting on top of the world right now," he said Friday, speaking about the baby's birth. "But I do get worried that this is going to turn out in a bad way and I'm going to lose everything I've got."

Bruning has said Koso is a friend of the girl's half brother and began a relationship with her when she was 12.


This ... is a strange yet thought-provoking story. The status of whether both parties gave mutual unconstrained consent at the wedding is alone an interesting question, but behold -- he is happy about the arrival of his child. Shocking, no? Many people in the "personally opposed" category want the "rape and incest" allowance cushion for abortion, solving, of course, nobody's problems but only adding to them. I wonder what would happen if half the women subject to the most shocking and deplorable crime of rape would have the children they conceive in 2% of all cases.

So she had the child. The father is happy.

No idea how to tackle the other issues in this story.
posted by Lauren, 8:25 AM | link | 0 comments

{Sunday, August 28, 2005  }

.:{For Sale on eBay}:.


A replica of Fr. Stone's painting. Ho. Lee. Cow.

Or not cows. Horses.

Lovely ones.



Equus pulcher
currens per campos
quo te procedis
vento flante ungulae cirris?
Volo tibi dare dulcia,
vectus super saepes,
quotidie ungulas polire,
orthodonten adducere.
Equus pulcher,
non equellum iam,
circamcurrens
portans virun tergo
velut carrus noctu,
velut carrus noctu...!"


This translation of "My Lovely Horse" brought to you by LaurenB and TylerT.

Season Two of Father Ted. Aaaahhhhh.
posted by Lauren, 8:58 PM | link | 2 comments

{Friday, August 26, 2005  }

.:{Corona -- not the beer}:.




Holy cow ... a real tonsure, a real corona! I've only ever seen them on the SSPX Dominicans. As this picture was taken at WYD, I hope that implies a faithful Franciscan rather than a traditionalist/schismatic one.

Needs a bit of a shave, though.
posted by Lauren, 1:01 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{Evil Olivity to keep your Day Going}:.


It is good for a person to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.

Because then you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes!

Furthermore, the random Dominican saint of the day: Saint Peter Gonzales.

And now, if you'll pardon me, day one million and five of CUA orientation beckons.
posted by Lauren, 7:54 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, August 22, 2005  }

.:{"And above all, I entrust myself to your prayers..."}:.


Bloggians,

This week is a massive busy week which includes studying for and taking a Latin placement exam (yes yes I know one isn't supposed to study, but I'm kind of paranoid. What if I don't test into my class? Arrrggh!), CUA orientation (arrrghhh, lots of freshmen), and generally trying to get myself straightened out before the start of the school year. On MONDAY. Ack. School nerves. I would REALLY appreciate your prayers.

But also because of this, I've no idea when I'll have time to blog. I'll do my best.

God bless. ~~
posted by Lauren, 8:10 PM | link | 1 comments

{Thursday, August 18, 2005  }

.:{For Your Dominificanication}:.


posted by Lauren, 10:37 PM | link | 4 comments

{Sunday, August 14, 2005  }

.:{Have died and gone to heaven.}:.




Captions?

( From the Corriere. Just because Zadok's not around to do it. ;) )
posted by Lauren, 8:40 PM | link | 7 comments

{Saturday, August 13, 2005  }

.:{Though I said I'd only do Dominic for a while}:.


Let's look a the persons making accusations in the case of Monsignor Clark:

1) the husband of the secretary, who is divorcing his wife and is obviously emotionally involved in the case
2) the 14-year-old daughter
3) the husband's sister.

Anyone else? I don't know, but these three personages have investments elsewhere (a 14 year old is a kid and kids are easily swayed and in court and in the papers their testimony is taken with a grain of salt).

Msgr. Clark has resigned and not quit, and both deny allegations.

There is apparently video footage of their entering a hotel and leaving some hours later, but this is apparently because they were driving and she was tired. She slept while he did paperwork.

It's quite possible and I in my seeming naivete say quite probable; perhaps it wasn't a very wise decision, but still. I don't think they yet have any truly damning evidence.

Whether the accusations are true or not, it just goes to show how paranoid we have become and how anti-clerical and anti-celibate the world is ("if such a vocal, moralistic priest can't remain celibate, why should we?").

I find the whole incident depressing.
posted by Lauren, 9:28 AM | link | 4 comments

{Friday, August 12, 2005  }

.:{O Beate Pater Dominice}:.




from a manuscript by Fra Angelico
posted by Lauren, 8:44 AM | link | 2 comments

{Thursday, August 11, 2005  }

.:{St. Dominic: A Homily}:.




At a lovely Latin Novus Ordo mass on the feast of St. Dominic, presided over by a priest who bore, to my mind, somewhat of a resemblance to Cardinal Schoenborn, this homily was given. Both the presider and the homilist are diocesan priests belonging to the Third Order of St. Dominic.

I met the homilist (one Fr. P) after the mass; he was able to identify me from the blog (!) so I felt less weird when I requested (and most graciously was given) the kind permission to post his informative homily (of which he claims only the first and third sections to be his doing, the second section being largely a paraphrase of both the Dialogue and Fausto Appetente Die).

And so without much further ado, a homily given on the feast of St. Dominic by Fr. P.

~~~

At this morning’s regular parish Masses in which we celebrated St Dominic, we spoke of the standard story of his life, the founding of the Order of Preachers, and his holy death. At this Mass, in which we desire to give special honor to St Dominic in the company of those whom we assume to be already familiar with the basics of the life of the great saint, it is perhaps more suitable to take a different approach.

The life of St Dominic is one of seeming paradoxes: he valued truth above all else, yet was gentle and kind with those who went astray. He spoke only of God or to God, yet was often found amongst the people. He told his followers to spare nothing for the sake of studies, yet made them spend much of the day begging for sustenance.

These are seeming paradoxes because only at first glance do they seem contrary; from the viewpoint of Heaven they are in perfect accord. Only to the world do truth and charity seem opposites; to the spiritual man, revealing the truth is the highest charity, and practice of charity is the highest truth, for God Himself is gentle first truth, as St Catherine of Siena frequently says, and God is also love, as St John says; and between the two there can be no division. Hence the motto of the Order is Veritas, Truth. His focus on God is reconciled with his concern for the salvation of souls both by knowing that God desires us to labor for the salvation of others so that He Himself might be glorified, and by another motto of the Order, Contemplare et contemplata aliis tradere, to contemplate and to hand on to others the fruits of the things contemplated. This also explains how the early friars could live in such strict poverty and yet be masters of intellectual endeavor; for they learned not so much from books, but from the Cross, and the Lord God is the dispenser of wisdom and knowledge, and He did not hesitate to illumine the minds of those Dominicans who both begged and studied so that an hour of their study bore more fruit than a week of a normal scholar’s toil.

St Dominic gave the day to his neighbors, and the night to God. He only said Mass privately, because he would be so overcome at the thought of Christ there present that he would weep profoundly. He would often spend all night in the church, and when he was weary and necessity of sleep constrained him, he rested his head upon an altar for a brief while; God Himself provided him with energy to go on. During the night, three times he would scourge himself with a chain of iron, one for himself, another for the sinners of the world, and the third for the souls in purgatory. God gave him the graces to do all this and more besides, always with a joyful look on his face and a kind manner about him, because he had been chosen to save the world and the Church from the clutches of darkness.

There was a monk, before the establishment of the order, who had a vision and saw the Blessed Virgin kneeling, with her hands joined, praying her son for the human race. And he withstood her request, and at the last he said to her: Mother, what may I do more for them? I have sent to them patriarchs and prophets, and little have they heeded them. Then I came to them myself, and after that I have sent to them apostles, and they have slain them. I sent to them also martyrs, confessors, and doctors, and they accorded not to them, nor to their doctrine. But because I will not refuse your request, I shall give to them my preachers, by whom they may be illumined and made clean, or else I shall come against them myself if they will not heed them.

A Franciscan friar later recounted to many of the friars of the Order of Preachers that when S. Dominic was at Rome for the confirmation of his order by the pope, this Franciscan had a vision of Jesus Christ in the air, holding three spears in his hand, and brandishing them against the world, and his mother ran hastily to him, and asked of him what he would do. And he said to her: All the world is full of vices, of pride, of lust, and of avarice, and therefore I will destroy them with these three spears. Then the Blessed Virgin fell down at his feet and said: Dear son, have pity, and withhold thy justice by thy mercy. And Christ said to her: See how many wrongs and injuries they do to me? And she answered: Son, temper thy wrath and tarry a little; I have a true servant and a noble fighter against the vices, who shall run over all and vanquish the world, and subdue them under thy reign. And our Lord said: I am appeased and receive your prayer, but I would see whom you would send in so great an office. And then she presented to him S. Dominic, and Christ said: Truly this is a good and noble fighter, and shall do diligently what you have said.

God the Father revealed to St Catherine of Siena that St Dominic ordered the Dominicans in perfect harmony with the Divine Plan, wishing that his sons should apply themselves only to God’s honor and the salvation of souls, with the light of knowledge as their principal foundation. The Lord told St Catherine, “He was a light which I gave the world by means of Mary, placed in the mystical body of the Holy Church as an extirpator of heresies.”

II

Why is it that St Dominic was given to the Church and the world by means of Our Lady? Firstly, because Mary gave him his habit. Loving the Blessed Virgin as a Mother, confiding chiefly in her patronage, Dominic started his battle for the Faith. He invoked the help of the Virgin Mother herself, frequently using these words: "Make me worthy to praise thee, Sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies." How pleased was the Heavenly Queen with her pious servant may be easily gathered from this, that she used his ministry to teach the Most Holy Rosary to the Church; that prayer which, being both vocal and mental, in the contemplation especially of the mysteries of revelation, is most adapted to fostering piety and every virtue. Rightly, then, did Dominic order his followers, in preaching to the people, to inculcate frequently this manner of prayer, the effectiveness of which he had experienced. He knew, on the one hand, Mary's authority with her Son to be such that whatever graces he confers on men she has their distribution and apportionment. On the other hand, he knew that she is of a nature so kind and merciful that, seeing that it is her custom to aid the suffering of her own accord, it is impossible she should refuse the petitions of those who pray to her. Accordingly the Church salutes her as "the Mother of Grace and the Mother of Mercy," and has so found her always, but especially in answer to the Rosary. The true Dominican who follows in the footsteps of St Dominic, then, will always take Mary as his Mother and Queen and the Rosary as both his sword and shield against the forces of error and evil.

And it is precisely with these dark forces that St Dominic desired his children to wage war, so that God might be the more glorified and so that the souls purchased with Christ’s own Blood might be saved from eternal death. Accordingly, the Dominican order from the beginning was famed for its learning, not for learning’s own sake, but so that men might know the truth, and the truth would set them free. Its special mission was always to heal the various wounds of error and to shine the unadulterated light of the Christian Faith, seeing that nothing is such a hindrance to eternal salvation as the ignorance of the truth and perversity of doctrine. “It was not strange, then,” writes Pope Benedict XV in his encyclical Fausto Appetente Die, “that the eyes and hearts of all should be turned towards this new apostolate which was based upon the Gospel and the teachings of the Fathers and commended by the abundance of all branches of knowledge.” St Dominic sought the truth, and the truth is Jesus Christ, Who is ultimate truth and true reality.

III

Reality is the center of Thomist and therefore Dominican thought - what is. From this comes the motto of the order, Veritas. Truth is reality. Reality is truth. Truth is, the great scholastic theologians tell us, conformity of the intellect with the object perceived. That is, the mind sees the thing as it really is. It is objective. Modern philosophy, especially personalism and phenomenology, concern themselves instead with what the subject (i.e. the person) perceives, regardless of whether or not it is grounded in reality. This produces instead the conformity of the object perceived with the intellect, i.e., things are only what you think they are, not what they are in themselves. (Some phrase it as “the conformity of the object with one's life” - different words, same error.) It is, in this erroneous conception, subjective. Obviously this would be disastrous in the long run for things like moral absolutes, dogmas, and revealed truths. Thus the Order has always sought to preserve truth by pointing to reality, which is also God Himself; for once man detaches himself from that safe and solid anchor, he soon sets adrift into a maelstrom of errors, and is tossed this way and that by every passing wind until he ends in shipwreck.

St Dominic desired his sons to preserve union with the Rock of Peter, upon which Our Lord built His Church. It is recorded that, prostrate at the feet of Pope Innocent III, he vowed himself to the defense of the Roman Pontificate, and that the same Pope the following night saw him in a vision sustain on his courageous shoulder the tottering foundation of the Lateran Basilica, which symbolizes the papacy. Pope Benedict XV tells how St Dominic thought of gathering from pious and devout lay people a certain sacred militia which would defend the rights of the Church and resist heresy with vigor. Hence arose the Third Order of the Dominicans. About this it is worth quoting the pope at length:

Now the Dominican institutes, as you yourself understand, Venerable Brethren, are not less opportune at present than in the time of their Founder. How many today, destitute of the bread of life, that is, celestial doctrine, are, as it were, in a state of starvation. How many, deceived by the appearance of truth, are turned away from the Faith by a variety of errors. That priests may minister fittingly to the necessities of all these by the Word of God, how zealous must they be for the salvation of others and how grounded in solid knowledge. How many, too, ungrateful and forgetful children of the Church, are turned away from the Vicar of Jesus Christ by ignorance of facts or by a perverse will.

St Dominic knew that his mission would be one that would need to be sustained until the end of the world, for evil never sleeps and error constantly arises; thus, on his deathbed, he promised that he would be of more help to his brethren from Heaven than he had been on earth. From this comes the beautiful Dominican antiphon: O spem miram, quam dedisti mortis hora, te flentibus, dum post mortem promisisti, te profuturum fratribus; O wonderful hope which you gave to those who wept for you at the hour of your death, promising after your departure to be helpful to your brethren.

Things are no different today than they were in the time of St Dominic, or of Pope Benedict XV, at the turn of the 20th century. The blackened clouds of error still menace us; let the torch of truth then be lit, so that its flame may consume the world with the light of Christ. The onslaught of the evil one rages against us within and without; let us lift high the Rosary and look to Our Lady as our help and our sure source of victory. Let the spirit of St Dominic, the champion of truth, the devout son of Mary, the imitator of Christ, live on in all those who seek the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

O Spem Miram - O wonderful hope which you gave to those who wept for you at the hour of your death, promising after your departure to be helpful to your brethren.

To which the response is:

Imple, Pater, quod dixisti, nos tuis juvans precibus.

Fulfill, Father, what you have said and help us by your prayers.

Amen.

posted by Lauren, 11:26 PM | link | 2 comments

{Wednesday, August 10, 2005  }

.:{Fifteen Tuesdays continued: Third Tuesday}:.




Meditation for the third Tuesday

On the Contempt Which Our Blessed Father had for All Earthly Things

Ubi enim est thesaurus tuus, ibi est et cor tuum.

For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also. – St. Matthew VI, 21

FIRST POINT

Let us consider the heroic detachment which our Blessed Father had for all earthly things. He valued them so little that he never bestowed on them a thought or affection The world tried to deceive and seduce him by the offer of its good, honors, and pleasures: but with what promptitude and generosity did he not repel its attacks and unmask its illusions! Still young, he renounced the riches of his father and was reduced to such poverty that he was obliged to beg for his daily bread. To the brilliancy of his birth he preferred the obscurity of the religious life, and so great was his aversion to honors that he declared several times to his brethren that with his staff in hand he would flee during the night to some exile rather than accept the episcopacy or any other dignity.

To the solicitations of pleasures he opposed most severe mortifications and an absolute self-denial, mortifying his flesh and subduing all the vices and inclinations of corrupt nature. In a word, no attraction of perishable things was ever able to allure him, to awaken in him a passion of complacency, sadness, joy, hope or fear; living in the world as if dead to all that was not Jesus, nothing could please him that did not belong to this only treasure of his heart.

We believe ourselves to be detached from the world because we profess to despise it. But is the world truly crucified to us, and are we crucified to it? Could one not yet find in our conduct some contradiction to the moral teachings of the Gospel? Let us once and for all detach ourselves from all that is not God, and say with St. Francis de Sales: “Lord, either take me from the world or take the world from my heart.”

SECOND POINT

Let us consider that our Holy Patriarch, having disengaged his heart from all earthly attachment, turned all his thoughts and affections towards heavenly things. From his earliest years he deprived himself of the games and amusements of childhood in order to spend long hours at prayer. Whilst studying at Palencia, his pastime was to frequent places of piety. Having at an early age renounced the world, he led amongst the Canons of Osma an entirely angelic life, hardly ever showing himself outside the enclosure; in fact, during his whole life he had no other affection than for Jesus and for His service. It seemed that there was nothing on earth worthy of his attention, so everything served only direct his exterior actions to God, directing them towards Him as rays towards their center, and he made use of all things to ascent interiorly to God. His joys and sufferings, work and rest, the presence of those he loved or their absence, in a word, everything served him as the means of uniting himself to the One whom he had taken for the only portion of his inheretence.

And we, children of this glorious Father, we who should be his perfect imitators, what are our thoughts and affections? Do we look often at that Heavenly country towards which we journey, in order to detach our hearts from this land of exile where we are condemned to live for yet a little while? Alas! What are we doing here below? Who will lead us to that city of virtues, of which the Most High Himself has laid the foundations, where we will no longer sigh for Him, for those we love, for those who love us? Here our hearts are daily broken: we suffer much anguish; every day we are forced to exclaim: “Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” We must, however, bear all this with patience; we must, as fully as our daily solicitudes permit, recollect our souls in Him who can remove us from these solicitudes. It is in Him alone we can find rest. Apart from him, we shall see nothing but abundant sorrows and tribulations. But if it is in Jesus alone that we can find our rest, why seek for this rest in creatures? Do they not say to us: “I am not made for you, seek elsewhere for your peace, joy and consolation.” “Sursum corda!” Let us raise our hearts. Let Heaven be our treasure and our hearts be there.

Let us honor today the third joyful mystery of the Rosary, the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and let us beg, by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and St. Dominic, contempt of the world.
posted by Lauren, 8:52 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Happy Laurencemas!}:.



Madonna delle ombre in the S. Marco convent, Firenze

O Laurence, thou David, thou great-martyr,
Thou mighty warrior and judgment-seat of the Emperor,
Thou didst set at nought the blood-stained hands
Of thy tormentors.
Thou wast a follower of Him Who is desirable and mighty,
Who with His hand alone can conquer the cruel despot’s strongholds,
And Whose love maketh His warriors holy,
And generous with their blood.
Insofar as thou sawest Him in the loss of this present life,
Thou didst scorn the emblems of the Cæsar, and laugh the judge’s threats to scorn.
In vain it is the headsman rendeth thy fingernails,
It is in vain the pyre’s burning thy gridiron doth enfold.
The impious man, the City’s prefect grieveth,
Conquered by a broiled fish—the food of Christ.
This honeycomb of the Lord rejoiceth, living with Him,
Rising again with Him, filled to the full with Christ.
O Laurence, wreathed with laurel amongst warriors,
O unconquerable David of the everlasting King:
Ever entreat with Him to pardon His lowest servants,
O martyr and mighty foot-soldier!

(From the Mass for the Octave (Apodosis) of Saint Laurence, 17 August, Old Sarum Rite Missal)

The Deacon Lawrence wrought a good work, who by the Sign of the Cross gave sight to the blind; yea, he dispersed among the needy the riches of the Church.

O Almighty God, who didst give unto blessed Lawrence power to be more than conqueror in his fiery torment, grant unto us, we beseech thee, the power to quench the flames of our sinful lusts. Through Christ Our Lord.


Beatus Laurentius Christi Martyr triúmphat coronatus in caelis: veníte, adoremus Dominum.

O behold, it is mine own gracious name-saint's feast day today!

St. Lawrence (or St. Laurence or Lorenzo as I like to call him) is one of the few saints specifically recalled for being a deacon (and thus, says a friend of mine, is almost always depicted wearing a lovely red dalmatic).

Furthermore, one would think, upon frequenting churches in Italy, that St. Lawrence is the only other Saint as his image appears so very often. He is in the famous chapel in Ravenna, practically skipping to his own martyrdom. He is all over Florence, as seen above, as he is the namesake also of Lorenzo di Medici, huge patron of the Renaissance. Thus it follows logically that Lorenzo would give Fra Angelico et alia the nudge to include his own saint. The painting above couldn't be more Medici -- in addition to S. Lorenzo are Cosimo and Damiano (Sts. Cosmos and Damian, after whom was his son Cosimo di Medici named). Of course there is St. Mark after whom the convent is named, Our Holy Father Dominic, our great shining star of the order St. Thomas Aquinas, and also St. Peter of Verona aka St. Peter Martyr.

In addition, Fra Angelico painted a series of images from the life of S. Lorenzo:

St. Lawrence receiving the treasures of the church from St. Sixtus
The Deaconate ordination of St. Lawrence
St. Lawrence giving alms
St. Lawrence before Valerius and the Martyrdom of St. Lawrence

But even after Lorenzo's time he was popular, as Bernardo Strozzi's painting The Compassion of St. Lawrence depicts.

Furthermore, there are, I belive, three (well-known) churches dedicated to St. Lawrence in Rome; at least, Zadok dragged -- I mean, took -- me to three of them at one point (save one, but he directed me there anyway). Out of the scads of them, four are station churches:

S. Lorenzo in Panisperna, S. Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, S. Lorenzo in Lucina, and S. Lorenzo in Damaso.


S. Lorenzo Fuori le Mura

The Perseid meteor shower has also been known since the Middle Ages as "the burning tears of St. Lawrence".

From Ravenna to Rome, there's no escaping the jocular martyr who is the patron saint of, among other things, brewers, comedians, confectioners, cooks, deacons, laundry workers, librarians/libraries, the poor, Rome, schoolchildren and students, seminarians and vinters.

And so happy feast day to me, all others named Lawrence (i.e. my father) or Lauren or Lorenzo or Lorenza. Furthermore, happy feast day to all my priestlings (namely my adopted seminarians and deacons ... the priests who have been ordained, too). Seeing as this saint is the patron of brewers, vinters, cooks and confectioners, I suggest dinner from the grill accompanied by a nice red wine, followed by beer and Tirimisu.

And this is why the Medieval era was a happy one.

The antiphons and reading and other randomness taken from the old breviary of this day.

From the sermons of Pope St. Leo:

When the fury of the heathen power was raging against Christ's choicest members, in aiming in especial at such as were in Holy Orders, the wicked persecutor turned fiercely on the Levite Lawrence, who was remarkable, not only as a minister of the Sacraments, but also as distributor of the property of the Church, promising himself a double prey by the taking of this one man, namely, to make him betray the consecrated treasure, and apostasize from the true faith. The wretch was thus doubly fired by his greed for money and his hatred of the truth. His greed urged him to seize the gold, and his wickedness to rob a believer of his chief treasure, even of Christ himself. Wherefore he first demanded from this upright steward of the sacred treasury, to bring him the wealth of the Church, for which his rapacity longed. But the pure-minded Levite shewed him where these riches were laid up. For he brought forward before him a great multitude of the holy poor, by the feeding and clothing of whom he had laid up all that he had, in such wise, that it could be lost no more, and was now all the safer, as the way of spending it had been the holier.

Being thus frustrated, the robber loudly complained ; and burning with indignation against a religion which enjoined such a use or riches, he attempted a still greater theft. From him in whose possession no gold was to be found, the robber thereupon demanded the dearest of treasures, even that possession which had made the young man rich in holiness. He commanded Lawrence to deny Christ. Seeing the immoveable firmness of the Levite's soul, he made ready to assail the same with appalling tortures, of which the failure of any one was to be followed by another more fearful still. He ordered the Christian's limbs to be torn on the rack. After this he was scourged to the point of death. Then he was condemned to be slowly roasted over a fire. To this end he was laid on a gridiron, underneath which were burning coals, wherefrom the iron bars themselves became hot. Thus as the torturers with their iron forks, constantly turned and re-arranged his limbs and body, his agony was kept keener, and his sufferings made to last the longer.

O raging cruelty, in nothing wast thou the gainer! In nothing didst thou profit! That which can die passeth by degrees beyond thy torments. And when Lawrence departed to heaven, thou wast brought to nothing. The love of Christ could not be overcome by thy fires, for the flame which burnt outwardly on his body was colder than the fire which burnt inwardly in his soul. Wherefore, dearly beloved, let us rejoice with spiritual joy, and make our boast in the Lord, who is wonderful in his Saints! Them hath he appointed unto us as a protection and an example. And thus he hath made known his glory through the whole world, that from the rising up of the sun, even unto the going down of the same, wherever those stars of Levitical light do shine, like as Jerusalem is made glorious by Stephen, even so is Rome made resplendent by Lawrence.


Some biographical details omitted in the hagiography but remembered in the responses:

R. Whither goest thou without thy son, O my father? O Priest of God, why dost thou set forth without thy Deacon? * It hath never been thy use to offer the Sacrifice without a Minister.
V. Wherein have I been displeasing to thy Paternity? Hast thou found me unworthy to be called thy son? Make trial of me now, and see if I be a useless servant, for I am he unto whom thou hast committed the administration of the Cup of the Lord's Blood.
R. It hath never been thy use to offer the Sacrifice without a Minister.


It is said that St. Lawrence met with St. Sixtus as he (Sixtus) was being led to his own martyrdom, whereupon he put to him the question "whither goest thou without thy son, O my father?" etc.

R. Leave me not, Holy Father, for I have already distributed thy treasures. * I leave thee not, O my son, neither do I forsake thee ; verily the truth of Christ calleth thee to a sterner wrestling than mine.
V. We who are old men have an easier race to run ; thou in thy youth are kept for a more glorious victory over the enemy ; yet three days, and thou shalt follow me, the Deacon behind the Priest.
R. I leave thee not, O my son, neither do I forsake thee ; verily the truth of Christ calleth thee to a sterner wrestling than mine.


The response of St. Sixtus to St. Lawrence.

R. The blessed Lawrence cried and said : My God do I worship, and him only do I serve, * And therefore I am not afraid of thy tortures.
V. The darkness is no darkness with me, but the night is as clear as the dawning, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
R. And therefore I am not afraid of thy tortures.


The pious words of St. Lawrence at his trial. At his martyrdom (over a flaming grill), he is reputed to have said "turn me over, for I am done on this side!"
posted by Lauren, 12:00 AM | link | 0 comments

{Tuesday, August 09, 2005  }

.:{Jesus the Teacher}:.


Then Jesus took his disciples up the mountain and gathered them around him, he taught them saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,
Blessed are the meek,
Blessed are they that mourn,
Blessed are the merciful,
Blessed are they who thirst for justice,
Blessed are you when persecuted,
Blessed are you when you suffer,
Be glad and rejoice for your reward is great in heaven.

Then Simon Peter said, "Do we have to write this down?"
And Andrew said, "Are we supposed to know this?"
And James said, "Will we have a test on this?"
And Philip said, "I don't have any paper."
And Bartholomew said, "Do we have to turn this in?"
And John said, "The other disciples didn't have to learn this."
And Matthew said, "Can I go to the bathroom?"
And Judas said, "What does this have to do with real life?"

Then one of the Pharisees who was present asked to see Jesus's lesson plan and inquired of Jesus, "Where is your anticipatory set and your objectives in the cognitive domain?"

And Jesus wept.


Reminded of this by a Pontifications post:

And Jesus said unto them, "And whom do you say that I am?" His disciples replied, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the ontological foundation of the context of our very selfhood revealed." And Jesus replied, "What?"

Via the Peeping Thomists, who rock my Dominican socks.
posted by Lauren, 10:59 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Fifteen Tuesdays Continued: Second Tuesday}:.


Meditation for the second Tuesday

On the Charity of Our Blessed Father Towards His Neighbor

Hoc est praeceptum meum, ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. – St. John XV, 12

FIRST POINT

Let us consider the warmth of our Blessed Father’s charity. As much as he loved God in himself, so much did he love his neighbor, the image of God. With St. Paul, “He looked upon himself as a debtor of his affections and works towards all men.” Because he saw God in his neighbor, it was always his aim to lead souls to Him, making no exceptions and working for all with the same solicitude and assiduity. He knew that in recompense for his charity he ordinarily received only ingratitude, blows, persecution, and injuries, but nothing could restrain the charity of him who had only Jesus in view. If thus he had for all men a strong, generous and devoted love, for his brethren he had the love and tenderness of a mother. Cherishing all other Religious Orders, he always spoke of them with praise.

If we really love Jesus we will love our neighbor with the same purity of affection as our Blessed Father, and we will love with a charity greater than any other those who are united to us by the links of a spiritual fraternity, those with whom we share the bread of the Heavenly Father’s family. Let us then love one another as He loved us. But to love with this purity which God demands from hearts consecrated to Him, let us distrust our natural inclinations, above all our antipathies and sympathies. Let us not love others for the sake of their good manners, talents, their gifts of mind, of nature, or of fortune, but solely for Jesus and in view of pleasing Him, regarding all others and ourselves with them as members of that same body of which he is the head.

SECOND POINT

The charity of our Blessed Father was neither sterile nor idle. It was not only fruitful in affection and in words, but it was active and efficacious. He worked with indefatigable ardor for the good of each one, extending his charity to Christian, to infidel and to reprobate; and, touched with compassion for such as had gone astray, he could not think of their fate without shedding abundant tears. He did not render evil for evil, nor malediction for malediction; he did good even to those who had offered or would return him evil. He received with love those who came to confess to him; and he suggested to the ignorant a means of expressing themselves; he exhorted his penitents to take courage in their good resolutions, and to return to him.

He visited prisoners, consoling them by his conversation. Never was he heard to say a bitter or offending word, or one that savoured of flattery or of slander. With touching goodness he consoled his sick brethren, supporting them in an admirable way in their infirmities. He was their comforter, and in this scarcely could anyone replace him. When punishing faults according to the rigor of the rules, he knew how to compassionate the guilty and he lamented much when obliged to inflict a penance. After his long vigils, he would enter the cells and arrange the bedclothes which had been tossed aside in sleep. It was his desire that his brethren’s every need should be satisfied, and when unable to supply their needs in any other way, he often worked miracles in their favor.

Amiable to all, rich and poor, Jews and infidels, he was in return loved by all with the exception of the heretics, whom he attacked and confounded by his controversies and preaching, but whom nevertheless he unceasingly exhorted to repentance. When he had sold all his books and spent the last of his resources to relieve the poor, a poor widow presented herself to ask his help in ransoming one of her children. Alas! What could the Saint do? He had nothing left. To console the unfortunate mother he offered himself to her, begging earnestly that she sell him in order to redeem her son from captivity.

If we cannot carry our charity towards the neighbor as far as to imitate this admirable Saint in desiring to place ourselves in slaver for the ransom of a poor creature, let us at least deprive ourselves of our satisfactions in order to render service to our brethren, and be agreeable to them for our Lord’s sake. In no way can we be more pleasing to our holy Patriarch and better loved by him than by the faithful practice of this virtue of charity, recommended so often in the Gospel. If from Heaven St. Dominic sees each of us taking delight in serving our brethren, helping, supporting and charitably excusing them, willing to yield all thought and interest of self to the interest of a holy unity, if he sees us striving to have but one heart and soul, it is without doubt that he will love and bless us as his most dear children.

Let us honor today the second Joyful Mystery of the Rosary, the Visitation, and let us beg though the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and Saint Dominic, the grace of perfect charity towards our neighbor.
posted by Lauren, 10:02 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{The Fifteen Tuesdays}:.




The following is taken from a random booklet I found at job #2. At the end of this series of postings, they will be collected into a .pdf file and made available on the site. For now, here is the introduction and the meditations for the first Tuesdays.

Apologies that these are supposed to be said before the feast day of our Holy Father Dominic, but I didn't find it in time. I still find these useful devotions and meditations nonetheless. Further apologies for any typos.

~~~

MEDITATIONS ON THE LIFE AND VIRTUES OF ST. DOMINIC

TO BE USED ON THE FIFTEEN TUESDAYS PRECEDING HIS FEAST

Translated from the French by

Dominican Nuns
Corpus Christi Monastery
Menlo Park, California

Nihil obstat
J. M. Byrne
Censor deputatus
Imprimi potest
+ Patricius L. Ryan
Vicarius Generalis

MEDITATIONS ON THE LIFE AND VIRTUES OF ST. DOMINIC

These meditations may serve as preparation for the feast of our Blessed Father on the fifteen Tuesdays which precede it.

The devotion of the Fifteen Tuesdays consists in receiving the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist on fifteen consecutive Tuesdays in honor of the mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary and of St. Dominic.

The origin of this devotional practice is as follows: in 1631 Florence saw the solemn beginning of the devotion of the fifteen Tuesdays. A plague was devastating the city. Father Michel Bruni, a Dominican of the Convent of Santa Maria Novella, conselled the stricken inhabitants to place themselves under the protection of St. Dominic and to consecrate to him the fifteen remaining Tuesdays before the 8th of August, the day of his feast. This advice was followed, Heaven was appeased and the plague ceased. The same year St. Dominic appeared to a weeping woman, whose husband had lain ill for several years, and said to her (though she did not recognize him): “Go to the Church of the Friars Preachers; there kneeling before the Altar of St. Dominic promise him to go to confession and approach the Sacred Table for fifteen consecutive Tuesdays in honor of the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary and of the Holy Patriarch, and I promise you that your husband will be cured. I assure you besides, that all those who will embrace this devotion will be heard.” The woman made the promise which had been asked of her and on her return home found the invalid cured. Many other singular favors having been obtained by the practice of this devotion, it was richly indulgenced by Innocent VII and several other Sovereign Pontiffs. Pius VII granted one hundred days indulgence for each Tuesday and a plenary indulgence on one of the Tuesdays (at one’s own choice) to those who receive the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist for fifteen consecutive Tuesdays, in a church of the Order of St. Dominic and pray according to the usual intentions(1). These indulgences can be gained only once a year.

Tuesday has from the earliest days of the Order been peculiarly dedicated to St. Dominic. In the year 1233, on Pentecost Tuesday, there took place at Bologna in Italy, the first solemn translation of the body of our Blessed Father, St. Dominic. This translation was made by the Archbishop of Ravenna, assisted by four Bishops, in the presence of the magistrates of the town and an immense concourse of people. God having deigned to illustrate this solemnity by miracles, it became necessary to have another translation on the following Tuesday in order to satisfy the devotion of the faithful.

The veneration towards the Holy Patriarch increasing daily, it was ordered in 1239 and 1272 that in all the Convents of the Order, the Office and Mass in honor of St. Dominic were to be celebrated on Tuesdays that were not impeded. It was thus that from the beginning of the Order, Tuesday was consecrated to our Blessed Father.

The following meditations may be used in aiding one to enter into the spirit of the devotion o the fifteen Tuesdays and to gather its fruits.

A small Italian work entitled “Imitatzione di San Dominico”, printed in Turin in 1826, has suggested the form for the meditations; the facts which are related in them have been, however, almost exclusively taken from Mamachi’s Annals of the Order of Friars Preachers, and from the judicial report of the depositions made by the witnesses for the canonization of St. Dominic. (2)

1. A plenary indulgence may now be gained on every Tuesday.
2. 2. This report will be found in full in the Bollandists at the feast of the Saint, August 4th, 632.

Meditations for the first Tuesday

On the Humility of Our Blessed Father

Quid autem habes quod non accepisti? Si autem accepisti, quid gloriaris quasi non acceperis?

What has thou that thou has not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it? -- St. Paul I Corinthians, IV, 7.

FIRST POINT

Let us consider the sentiments of humility of our Blessed Father. St Dominic, great by the splendor of his birth, greater still by the qualities of his mind and heart and by the many graces and gifts with which Heaven had endowed him, had nevertheless such lowly estimation of himself that the graves writers his contemporaries testified that they had never seen anyone surpass, or even equal him in this virtue. He never said or did anything which savoured of pride; on the contrary he regarded himself as the most miserable of all men. Thence proceeded his endeavor to hide the favors Heaven bestowed on him, the pain he felt at the least shadow of applause, the care with which he fled from honors and dignities. He understood that he was what he was only by the effect of a gratuitous grace from God; and although he had always preserved his innocence, he regarded himself as the greatest sinner in the world.

Each time he entered a town or village, he was accustomed to kneel and beg God not to permit him, a sinner charged with innumerable crimes, to draw down any harm on the inhabitants or to cause the entire ruin of the place. In truth he never missed any occasion of debasing himself.

Is there any comparison between us and this great soul, so pure, so innocent, so holy, so rich in merit? We are poor, stripped of every virtue, inconstant in good, agitated by our passions; and with such reason for humiliation, we do not yet know ourselves and we foment thoughts of self-elevation, of vanity and pride. Nevertheless, if God took away from us the good which belongs to him, what would remain to us?

SECOND POINT

Let us consider in our Blessed Father the effects of true humility, which are a profound contempt of self and an ardent desire of being despised by others for the love of Jesus annihilated. St. Dominic fled from all the occasions where he could acquire consideration and reputation. Hiding with all his power and his gifts, virtues and miracles, he retired in sadness and affliction from the places where he had been received with demonstrations of esteem, and he frequented by preference those where he met with contempt and insults. Thus one day on being asked the reason which made him prefer to stay at Carcasonne rather than at Toulouse, he replied that the town most agreeable to him was the one wherein the most people despised him. He never permitted his miracles to be divulged for fear of being honored as a saint when he considered himself guilty of the greatest crimes. He asked of his brethren to be relieved of the government of the Order, saying to them with a profound sentiment of humility: “I deserve to be deposed because I am useless and without vigor.” His manner and bearing displayed the contempt which he had for himself.

Striving to humble himself to the last, he wished to make his general confession, before death, in the presence of twelve Fathers. And when near death, having been taken by his brethren to the Church of Sainte Marie-du-Mont, he there learned that the monk who governed the Church had declared himself unwilling to let the body be removed elsewhere. “No, no,” the Saint exclaimed, “I should not rest elsewhere than under the feet of my brethren; for fear that I die in this vineyard, take me away that you may bury me in our Church.”

How far are we removed from the perfection of this saintly Model? If a sharp word is said to us, or if gratitude, respect or esteem is found lacking, what sentiments of vexation, shame and indignation do we not experience? Let us deplore our misery conjuring our Blessed Father to obtain for us this true humility of heart which he drew from the Heart of Jesus, in order that we may become worthy of our vocation which obliges us to work with all our strength for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Let us honor today the first joyful mystery of the Rosary, the Annunciation, and let us ask by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin and St. Dominic the virtue of humility. (1)


1. As the Fifteen Tuesdays are also meant to honor the Fifteen Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, the subjects of these meditations relate as much as possible to the fruit of each mystery.
posted by Lauren, 9:31 AM | link | 1 comments

{Monday, August 08, 2005  }

.:{More to come}:.




Novus athleta Domini
collaudetur Dominicus
qui rem conformat nomini,
vir factus evangelicus.

Mundum calcans sub pedibus
accinxit cor ad proelia,
nudus occurrens hostibus,
Christi suffultus gratia.

Pugnat verbo, miraculis,
missis per orbem fratribus,
crebros adiungens sedulis
fletus orationibus.

Sit trino Deo et simplici
laus, honor, decus, gloria,
qui nos prece Dominici
ducat ad caeli gaudia

Having attended a most beautiful Novus Ordo this evening (the excellent homily I intend to post soonish, with the permission of the Fr. P who gave it), I find myself with no time left to blog before work tomorrow.

However as I have the entire Dominican proper of today to post, not to mention a pious devotion of the Fourteen Tuesdays to post and explain, I shall be treating this feast day as an octave! At least on the blog. ;)

Furthermore, Wednesday is Laurencemass! Much happiness in the month of August.
posted by Lauren, 11:06 PM | link | 1 comments

.:{O Spem Miram}:.




A happy feast day to all Dominicans. Much love for all my fellow Dominicans (especially third-orders and most especially and lovingly my dear mother, who in the Order is Sr Mary Magdalene, TOP).








Rejoice, sweet Mother Church, to whom
This happy festal day is given,
In mind of him who from thy womb
Is born a saint this day to Heaven.

Our mighty Father, who led forth
And marshalled his great preacher-host,
With glory crowned now leaves this earth
To dwell on Heaven's blissful coast.

From the prison of flesh set free,
See how he shines with beams from Heaven!
And for his garb of poverty
A robe of royalty is given.

The fragrant tomb, the frequent sign,
Clear proof to all mankind afford
How much of grace and power divine
Christ's servant shareth with his Lord.

To God the Three and One be praise
And honor, strength and glory given:
And may He deign our souls to raise
Through our sweet Father's prayers to Heaven.

Amen.
Gaude Mater Ecclesia,
Laetam agens memoriam,
Quae novae prolis gaudia
Mittis ad caeli curiam.

Praedicatorum Ordinis
Dux et Pater Dominicus
Mundi jam fulget terminis,
Civis effectus caelicus.

Carnis liber ergastulo,
Caeli potitur gloria:
Pro paupertatis cingulo
Stola dotatur regia.

Fragrans odor de tumulo
Cum virtutum frequentia,
Clamat pro Christi famulo
Summi Regis magnalia.

Trino Deo et simplici
Laus, honor, virtus gloria,
Qui nos prece Dominici
Ducat ad caeli gaudia.


Amen.



attr. Constantino de Medici
posted by Lauren, 9:52 PM | link | 2 comments

{Tuesday, August 02, 2005  }

.:{Tempus fugit}:.


Apologies for the dearth in blogging, which will probably go on a short while longer. End of work, start of school, and undeserved $100 DC ticket are on the plate at the moment. There simply aren't enough hours in the day, nor days in the week. Of course, if there were more days in the week I'd probably be working then, too, so I'd never have any time anyway. As long as I'm poor I work mad hours and days a week.

Happy feast day, though, of the beloved mother of Our Holy Father Dominic, Bld. Jane (or Joan) of Aza, of which Catholic Forum says only

Castilian noble. Lay woman noted for her physical and spiritual beauty. Married to Felix de Guzman, warden of Calaruega, Burgos. Mother of four. Her oldest son, Anthony became a priest, the middle son was Blessed Manez, and the youngest was Saint Dominic de Guzman. When pregnant with Dominic, she had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with a torch it carried in its mouth; a dog bearing a torch in its mouth became a symbol for the Dominicans. Popular devotion to Joan sprang up almost immediately upon her death.

...I note that St. Dominic was a youngest child. Cough cough.

That is all. For now.
posted by Lauren, 10:51 PM | link | 2 comments