Monday, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 7, 2013
Monday, April 1, 2013
Top 10 Most Memorable April Fools Day Moments from the Tweeting Fathers
NB: Twitter usernames reflect those of the preceding millennia and are not to be confused with 21st century accounts.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Alright, Lord, alright. I can take Your hint. This morning, I read through some of Francis's prayers from The Writings of Saint Francis of Assisi (tr. Robinson, OFM, 1906) on my Logos Bible Software. I came upon the Canticle of the Sun, rendered into a more literal English.
Here’s a stanza one never hears:
That’s right, that's from the Canticle of the Sun. To quote my toddler: "Zowie!"
The full stanza:
From the which no living man can flee.
Woe to them who die in mortal sin;
Blessed those who shall find themselves in Thy most holy will,
For the second death shall do them no ill.
That's no 14th century redaction! Read the whole canticle here. Perhaps some musical accompaniment for you while you listen:
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Read and enjoy: Saturday of the Akathist in Icons and Hymns
Monday, March 11, 2013
A number of things give me comfort concerning the imminent conclave, but I will list just three of them:
1. The fidelity of the Lord, who made the promise:
2. The transformation of Peter in the Holy Spirit of Pentecost in Acts:
This was the same apostle who fled to weep bitterly after having denied Jesus. Because the sanctification of the Church through Peter is accomplished in the Holy Spirit, we have nothing to fear.
Peter himself of all Jesus’ disciples might not have been a papabile in his own conclave (had there been conclaves at the time)—strengths: zeal, faith; weaknesses: denied Jesus three times, simple fisherman, puts foot in mouth at times, not on Twitter. What I am saying is that a perceived weak candidate could be selected and God will use his weaknesses for the strength of the body, that is, the Church.
No matter who walks out on the balcony over the next week or more, Catholics know this in their faith-filled hearts. After all, who needs God if a candidate with no weaknesses emerges to lead the Church on his own? He will be weak. He will be a "sinful man" (Lk 5:8), but he will also be a holy man. The media have yet to learn this, and so will focus upon the man’s weaknesses (which, by the way, they hope to manipulate and exploit), but in the power and majesty of our God, who is faithful and true to his promises, we may be assured of the stability and strength of the Church, led by Peter under the patronage of Our Lady.
3. Pope emeritus Benedict XVI knew this truth, and so he said the following, which should give us all comfort: “And among you, in the College of Cardinals, there is also the future pope to whom today I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience.” Among his last messages to us is the message of the peace of reverence and obedience to the Holy Father, to whom even Pope Benedict subjects himself.
The Pope will be Catholic, that is, orthodox.
The next pope, whoever he may be, will be Peter. He will be orthodox; it’s the guarantee of Jesus. Peter passes on the truth of the faith—it’s the divinely sealed guarantee of Pentecost. Really, who knows what name he will choose or where he will be from? This, however, is one projection you can take to the bank.
John Paul II: "Be not afraid!" Benedict XVI: "Follow me." As the shepherd who stands in the place of the Shepherd addresses the sheep, we need not fear. We will recognize the voice of the one who has called us, to whom we must answer.
- There has never been a Pope from west of the Atlantic.
- There has never been a Pope from south of the Sahara.
- There has never been a Pope from the Far East.
In fact, all Popes—some more scholarly historian please correct me if I’m wrong—have been from various Europe nations, from Asia Minor, or from Northern Africa. Most Popes, in fact, have been from Italy, which makes sense. He is the Bishop of Rome.
My bold prediction:
The next Holy Father will neither come from Italy nor even Europe, but from elsewhere.
I realize that there are many good and worthy European candidates—Schola, Schönborn, Erdö. One of these may be chosen. But I think that it is only a matter of time before the Church looks to the East, to the West, or to the South. It seems to me (and again, what do I know?), that the time is right. The Church is booming and lively in Africa. A great many Catholics live in Latin America and the next World Youth Day is in Brazil (consider that the 2005 WYD was in Köln, Germany, and the preceding conclave selected a German). The Philippines and India are epicenters of Catholic devotion and strength in Asia.
It may seem like I’m not going out on much of a limb here. But think about it. The last non-European Pope was—again, correct me if I am mistaken, as I may be—Pope Gelasius I of Africa. Now, that was from c. 492-496. The world was vastly different. If the average age of the conception of our ancestors was 25, we would have to go back about 60 generations! Muhammed’s parents had not even been born!
The world seems to share this excitement that this could happen, but I do not think that many people truly grasp how huge this will be. The media will seize upon this kind of change and of course spin this as though the cardinals are voting for doctrinal change. But no matter who is chosen, the media and the "progressives" will discover how strong is the church's continuity in the midst of change. Some may be disappointed, but the world’s Catholics will not be once they see the next Holy Father.
Nonetheless, if this sort of change is on the horizon, the conclave may be longer than usual, and, of course, we must fast and pray intensely for the cardinals!
Correction: There were three Popes from Syria in the 700s, so there has not been a non-European Pope since 741.
Friday, March 8, 2013
The Catholic geek in me would love to see an Urban IX. What about Anastasius V? Ooh, that's nice! And when is someone going to come along and claim the name Sixtus VI? That itself would be a bold move. Benedict XVI resigned after having visited a couple of years prior the tomb of Pope St. Celestine V. The Pope who followed him was Boniface VIII. Whoever chooses Boniface X will have to redeem the name from some of his predecessors (Dante had Boniface VIII in the 8th circle of hell). Celestine VI? No, probably not. What about Peter II? Not a chance. That name is too loaded thanks to the prophecy attributed to St. Malachy. If the Pope is looking for something eschatological, how about Telesphorus II? That name means "bringing to an end."
Let's look at some of the more probable ones, after which I will make my bold prediction:
- Pius XIII--This name bears a lasting and excellent legacy. The truth of Pius XII's work to save Jews during WWII would make this choice good for relations with them (although the media will continue to try to smear Pius XII's name by clinging to the long-debunked black legend). Particularly if reunion with SSPX is a goal of the next pontificate, this name would be a worthy choice. This choice is quite likely.
- Leo XIV--Leo XIII was the oldest pope and the third-longest reigning pope. Leo XIII famously heard the discussion between God and Satan in which the evil one requested 100 years to destroy the Church. After the conversation, he wrote the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel to be prayed after every Mass. Some have theorized that this 100 years began around 1916 or 1917 and the Fatima apparitions. This would be quite a prophetic choice.
- John XXIV--John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council. If a Pope chose XXIV, the media would be uproariously ebullient that the newly elected Holy Father would call a Third in which they themselves would be able to settle matters of Church doctrine once and for all. I think this choice is a bit unlikely, particularly since the past two popes have chosen names to pick up with the legacies of their most recent name-bearers.
- Benedict XVII--This name would be unlikely if an elderly pope is chosen, but may be more probable if a younger pope is chosen, as a way of showing continuity in the face of sharp distinction.
- Gregory XVII--This would be an intriguing choice. Gregory means awake or watchful. With the world in increasing turmoil, financial distress, upheaval in nature, and corruption in politics, we need a watchful Pope like Benedict XVI. Gregory XVI was also an advocate for human rights, condemning the slave trade with a papal bull of 1839.
- John Paul III--This name, I think, is less likely than Pius, Benedict, or Leo. But then, who am I? There would be a lot of excitement in the choice of this name, particularly as the memory of John Paul II lives vividly in our hearts.
- Francis I / Dominic I--It's going to happen someday. Another Franciscan or a Dominican is going to be elected at some point (although there have not been that many) and he is going to take one of these names. I think we'll first have a Dominic I. Just a hunch.
- Thomas I / Augustine I--Pure Catholic awesome! May it happen someday. There are so many great saints who would be worthy choices for a I. Chrysostom? Bonaventure? Maximus? Ignatius? Justin? Irenaeus?
My bold prediction: The next Holy Father will be...
Pope Paul VII.
What better way to continue in the theme of the new evangelization than to take upon himself the name of the primary evangelist to the gentiles? The world needs a St. Paul figure, a writer, a journeyman, to stand in the Areopagoi of today to proclaim the message boldly and with all power and apostolic zeal of the Petrine office. Benedict XVI resigned in anticipation of these types of abilities in the next Holy Father. Less than three months ago, Paul VI was declared venerable. Benedict XVI also pulled heavily from Paul VI's Populorum Progressio in his final encyclical Caritas in Veritate. I think this name is the perfect choice.
But then again I remind you, who am I? Your guess is as good as mine!
Update, 3/13/13: So I was off with this prediction. Further, my "hunch" was wrong, too! I love how the Lord takes the extra step to keep me humble. He has a lot of work to do, as you can tell. As to my "bold" predictions, I guess I was 2 for 3 (or should I say 2 for 4 thanks to my "hunch"). Not bad.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Unitati christifidelium integre studentes quid iubet Dominus? Orare semper, iustitiam factitare, amare probitatem, humiles Secum ambulare.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) January 20, 2013
Plures hodie comparent rerum species falsae. Verum fideles si videri ipsi cupiunt christiani, dubitare haud debent contra aquam remigare.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) January 23, 2013
Dominica tandem dies quid nobis importat? Propria quidem domi focique est dies. Atqui pertinet in primis ad Ipsum.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) January 27, 2013
Diligitur homo Patre a Deo quisque. Ne propterea se neglegi ipsum sensiat umquam, Domini cum corde in amanti penitus insculpatur.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) January 30, 2013
Omnes nunc viros mulieresque capit mens Nostra religiosam votis vitam viventes: Christum paupertate castitate oboeditione fideles sectantor.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 2, 2013
Mariam imitamur virginem, filii dum eius dicta facta amplexamur ac tutamur Iesu, Illum vita in nostra ut reminiscamur Dominum.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 3, 2013
Sunt Dei creata cuncta munera. Pendere haec a Conditore singula Ipso tantummodo agnoscentes nos libertatem adipiscemur pacemque.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 6, 2013
Confidamus misericordis Dei necesse est potentia. Sumus tametsi peccatores, transfigurat Illius tamen nos ex integroque format gratia.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 10, 2013
Quadragesimae hoc quod iam inimus tempore nostrum conversionis officium redintegramus studiumque plus nempe Deo spatii tribuendo.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 13, 2013
Idoneum praebet Quadragesimale se tempus quo veluti nostrae ipsius vitae fides in Deum recipiatur fundamentum totiusque immo Ecclesiae.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 17, 2013
Obsecro unico hoc temporis puncto ego vos obtestor Deo ut pro me preces moveatis et omni Ecclesia dum eidem Domino fidimus provido cuncti.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 24, 2013
Pervolo equidem esse ut sese christifideles gaudeant omnes abs Deoque, Nobismet Suum Qui crediderit Filium, diligi perspicue.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 27, 2013
Vestro pro favore amoreque me testificor libens vobis gratissimum. Christum laetantes utinam collocetis semper vitae medium columen vestrae.— Benedictus PP. XVI (@Pontifex_ln) February 28, 2013
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
How can faith in Jesus be lived in a world without hope?— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
We can be certain that a believer is never alone. God is the solid rock upon which we build our lives and his love is always faithful— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
Everyone’s life of faith has times of light, but also times of darkness. If you want to walk in the light, let the word of God be your guide— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 19, 2012
Mary is filled with joy on learning that she is to be the mother of Jesus, God’s Son made man.True joy comes from union with God— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 19, 2012
When you deny God, you deny human dignity. Whoever defends God is defending the human person.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 21, 2012
We do not possess the truth, the truth possesses us. Christ, who is the truth, takes us by the hand.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 21, 2012
At the end of the year, we pray that the Church, despite her shortcomings, may be increasingly recognizable as Christ’s dwelling place— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 21, 2012
What family Christmas tradition from your childhood do you still remember?— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 24, 2012
The cribs that we built in our home gave me much pleasure. We added figures each year and used moss for decoration.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 24, 2012
May Our Lord bless you and watch over you in the new year.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 1, 2013
When we entrust ourselves to the Lord completely, everything changes. We are children of a Father who loves us, and never leaves us.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 2, 2013
The Wise Men followed the star and reached Jesus, the great light that illuminates all of humanity.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 6, 2013
Please join me in praying for Syria, so that constructive dialogue will replace the horrendous violence.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 7, 2013
Nigerians have a special place in my heart, as so many have been victims of senseless violence in recent months.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 7, 2013
May we defend the right of conscientious objection of individuals and institutions, promoting freedom and respect for all.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 7, 2013
Following Christ’s example, we have to learn to give ourselves completely. Anything else is not enough.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 9, 2013
In this Year of Faith, may every Christian rediscover the beauty of being reborn in the love of God and living as his true children.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 13, 2013
What happens in Baptism?We become united forever with Jesus, to be born again to a new life.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 13, 2013
If we have love for our neighbor, we will find the face of Christ in the poor, the weak, the sick and the suffering.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 16, 2013
What does the Lord ask of us as we work for Christian unity? To pray constantly, do justice, love goodness, and walk humbly with Him.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 20, 2013
Many false idols are held up today. For Christians to be faithful, they can’t be afraid to go against the current.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 23, 2013
I join all those marching for life from afar, and pray that political leaders will protect the unborn and promote a culture of life.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 25, 2013
What does Sunday, the day of the Lord, mean for us? It is a day for rest and for family, but first of all a day for Him.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 27, 2013
Every human being is loved by God the Father.No one need feel forgotten, for every name is written in the Lord's loving Heart.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) January 30, 2013
Today I have a special though for every religious: may they always follow Christ faithfully in poverty, chastity and obedience.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 2, 2013
Today I have a special thought for every religious: may they always follow Christ faithfully in poverty, chastity and obedience.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 2, 2013
Let us imitate the Virgin Mary in welcoming and guarding theword of Jesus, in order to recognize him as Lord in our lives— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 3, 2013
Everything is a gift from God: it is only by recognizing this crucial dependence on the Creator that we will find freedom and peace.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 6, 2013
We must trust in the mighty power of God’s mercy. We are all sinners, but His grace transforms us and makes us new.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 10, 2013
During the season of Lent which begins today, we renew our commitment to the path of conversion, making more room for God in our lives.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 13, 2013
Lent is a favourable time in which to rediscover faith in God as the foundation of our lives and of the Church’s life— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 17, 2013
In these momentous days, I ask you to pray for me and for the Church, trusting as always in divine Providence.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 24, 2013
If only everyone could experience the joy of being Christian, being loved by God who gave his Son for us!— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 27, 2013
Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) February 28, 2013