Monday, October 31, 2011

Spiritual Motherhood

Please note that at the top of the right hand sidebar here, I have begun to transfer links to blogs and sites of specific interest to Spiritual Mothers and their friends. The above image comes from the original booklet published by the  Congregation for Clergy at whose site the full text can be found.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

That blasphemous Paris play: Cardinal Vingt-trois ignores Christian revulsion and condemns violent protests of 'integriste-lefebvrists'

The Cardinal, in an interview with Radio Maria, said he had not seen the play. Oh, come on your Eminence, do you really expect us to believe that you don't know that this play involves desecrating the face of Christ with human excrement? We are not interested in your partisan battles with the 'Integristes'. By all means, if you must, then take this opportunity to have a crack at them, but what we really wanted to hear from you was an absolute condemnation of the play itself. As Catholics we expected you to defend and build up the body of Christ in a Europe that is falling to pieces.

To say the least, not impressed; to say the most, devastated.

Meanwhile on the other side of 'La Manche', we have the good bishop of Shrewsbury, giving heart to our priests. Thanks be to God.  An episcopal bench is only as loyal to Peter as is the nuncio of the country in question. Prayers always for Archbishop Mennini and for his French.equivalent.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

'If I only had time'? Well, you'll get an extra hour tonight as long as you don't forget to put your clocks back.

Noel Coward once famously mused on 'the potency of cheap music'. I think this is a fair example of the phenomenon. Saint Ephraem knew a thing or two about it. He would have changed the words only minimally and turned it into a hymn of love for the Holy Trinity.

Back to plainchant on Tuesday!

Anyway God bless, and don't stay up too late.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

'High Master' Pope Benedict takes the boys on a 'school journey' to Assisi

First instruction for the journey, 'No fighting at the back!'

Later instruction at Assisi, 'No fighting whatsoever, ever.'

Palestrina - Missa Brevis - Kyrie

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Eve of 'Assisi 2011'

Trust our Holy Father:

'I will do everything I can to make a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event impossible.'
Pope Benedict to his friend Lutheran pastor Peter Beyenhaus in a letter dated March 4, 2011.

The letter also makes it clear that the Holy Father knew that the only way he could control the event, which would have been celebrated in any case, was by going to it himself.

See here and here

Also I think he wants us to understand the train journey as a better witness of pilgrimage, than a plane or helicopter flight. He is due to arrive in Assisi at 9.45am after a journey of an hour and a half. So, be with him in prayer from about 8am tomorrow morning,(7am UK time) and in the meantime God bless you, and sleep well..

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Important footnote to last night's post

The events described last night took place several years before I met my husband. He knows all about them, and of their importance to me. They have not affected or diminished the happiness of the 23 years of marriage with which God has blessed us, and for which we continually give thanks.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

'Love hurts', recorded by the group 'Nazareth' in 1976

The song is raw, and disturbing in its raging and impotent agony.. It certainly expresses how I felt in 1976 when I gave up 'the love of my life', and then my father died. It took me thirty years to get over those losses, but then in 2006, I began to learn what Christ's Love is really about. No words can begin to convey my gratitude for the beginning and continuing of that healing knowledge..

I think my credentials as a Gregorian, Polyphonic, Latinist are well known here

So I do hope the next post doesn't shock too much!

Spititual Mothers Community Room News 2 Three of the recent best to warm your hearts.

1.Cardinal Piacenza on 21st century priests

2. Study finds Priests leading happy healthy lives

3. Dr. Jeff Mirus takes the long view on dissenting priests, and a very hopeful and positive view it is

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Holy Father at work with cat

h/t to Catholicism Pure and Simple.

Unfortunately I don't think this was taken at the Vatican, although it could just be at Castel Gandolfo. It's probably at one of those places on his travels, where a cat was supplied to keep him company. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spiritual Mothers Community room News 1: Irish Vocations

ZENIT - Got a Vocation? An App to Help You Find Out

Since I posted this, Fr Gabriel Burke has put up more details on his blog.
See here

Thank you Father. It's so heartening to see these initiatives being reported, particularly after all the recent negative news.

With the assurance of prayer for you and for the Church in Ireland,

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Susan, er, what did you say her name was?...................

Of course I know it, but am not going to print it here.

Thanks to 'Reluctant Sinner' and 'Protect the Pope' for keeping us informed this day about the ignorance, at best, of this poor female, and what has happened as the result of her deeply inflammatory, defamatory  and totally inaccurate remark about our dear Pope.

Surely, those who are against him in the Church, will realise that this kind of  ill-informed idiocy will not help their cause.And I think that those outside the Church who are determined to denigrate him, have begun to 'shoot their bolt'. Well actually, I think that began in the build up to his visit to the UK last year. There was media 'over kill' beforehand, and then people saw for themselves that a great lie had been told to them. People have to buy newspapers, or at least I think they still do, but I suspect that the British mainstream media knows that in 2010 if forfeited the trust of its captive readership.

Ms SS is way off the mark.

More on this as the moment dictates. God bless all here.

In Christo pro Papa

Loving Pope Benedict to bits - literally!

Official title of this clip - 'Benedict XVI embraces Mother Veronica Berzoza, founder of Iesu Communio. Rather I'd say, she embraces him in the emotion of the moment. It didn't surprise me as she had already spoken of her love for him during her earlier Testimony at the meeting of New Evangelisers. His response is typically warm and gracious and it is clear from Mgr Ganswein's expression that she has not overstepped the bounds of propriety. All the same, being English, it shocked me a bit at first!

Three cheers and many prayers for Bishop Michael Smith and his Diocese of Meath, Ireland

ZENIT - Irish Diocese Gets Taste of 2012 Eucharistic Congress

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eve of Saint Luke: Barbara Bonney "Laudate Dominum" Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Saint Luke, pray for us.

Spiritual Mothers of Priests:The Oasis welcomes a new feature

Some Oasis readers may know that I have another blog that is supposed to concentrate on news which is of specific interest to Spiritual Mothers of priests and their friends.(link in right hand sidebar here) When it started, the Oasis was not half as busy as it is now, and over recent months I have been constantly worried by not having the time to maintain the other blog. I've therefore decided to bring the Spiritual Mothers into the Oasis. From now on any news which is relevant to them will appear here and not on the original Spiritual Mothers blog. I'm not going to delete the site. It has many relevant links in its sidebar, and even though I may eventually find time to duplicate them in the right hand sidebar here., I'll probably leave things as they are over there.

The last week has gone by very quickly and really I could have done with more time off to catch up spiritually and practically, but then as a retired teacher, I am used to that sensation! As it is, My intention was to post about this weekends events connected with the New Evangelisation, but the Vatican site has already published the Holy Father's promised Motu Proprio on the subject of the 'Year of Faith'. Studying that has taken up the rest of my spare time today. My only fear is that certain types of priests and bishops will give as little attention to it as they have done to some of his other initiatives. I pray that this fear proves to be unfounded.

God bless and preserve our dear Pope Benedict.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Week's retreat from Blogging but DV when I get back, probably 'There'll be some changes made'....

I hope to be back next Monday, and no, I'm not sneaking off to Father Z's blogfest at the Coal Hole in the Strand, more's the pity. Oh and I'm not, as the song says, gong to 'change the way I strut my stuff'.  That might prove a tad undignified! Just a few adjustments but definitely not in style or content. In any case there's a lot on my plate at the moment and I need the space. If you can spare a Hail Mary for us, Colin and I will be most grateful.

God bless all here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Living through 'Lepanto II', 2011. Yes, now in the third millennium!

As you can see, the painting below is not of the Battle of Lepanto but of St. John Bosco's dream  of the 'Barque of Peter' and the two pillars towards which the Holy Father is trying to guide her. (They are seen there on the horizon, the one pillar surmounted by Mary our Blessed Mother and the other by the Blessed Sacrament. I for one believe the saint's dream to have been prophetic. I should be surprised if any readers here are unfamiliar with it.  (For brief background, read here. ) The link leads you to an enlarged version of the painting and you can clearly see which part of the dream it depicts. The dead Pope lies on the deck. His successor has taken over. I am not going to invite opinion about when 'Lepanto II' began, but sure as eggs, we are up to our necks in it now.

If the Battle of Lepanto took place as the response of Christendom to the gravest peril in her history at that time, what now? It was a single naval battle that took place in a specific geographical area on a particular date. Now it is very different and it is worse. Christendom is attacked not only by the Ottomans, but by the secularism, atheism and hedonism  of the West, and from within her own fortress. And any day we can read  over our morning coffee what the dissidents have said a few hours earlier. It is a cancerous and sprawling horror. That is what we are called to fight in 'Lepanto II'..

440 years after Lepanto we are facing an even more grave peril. Pius V, who called the Church to prayer at a time when news of his exhortation must have taken some time to get through, apparently 'knew 'of the Lepanto victory  before the confirming news got through to him a fortnight after the battle. He reigned only six years. Our dear Holy Father Benedict has already reigned longer. But his task is incomparably more complex. 

Saint Pope Pius V, Our Lady of Victories, Our Lady of the Rosary pray for our Holy Father Benedict and for us, his flock.We are in that churning sea. We must fight. And we will do it with the help of your Rosary.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tomas Luis de Victoria - Ave Maria

The eve of Our Lady of the Rosary 2011: The 1,000th post on the Oasis.

This blog was three years old on September 20th. Thank you dearest Mother for helping me to keep going during those years. Every time I ask, you still keep saying, 'Do as He tells you'. Every day at Adoration, I give my 'Yes'. The blog will continue unless that 'Yes' demands that it be silenced.

I beg your prayers and now go to find some special music and an image to mark this day.

God bless all my readers and also the SPPX leaderhip as they enter into deliberation this weekend. I have never been, and do not intend to be, affiliated to the Society in any way, but it is clear to me that our Holy Father longs for their reconciliation. I can never forget that as Cardinal Ratzinger, he wept on the day that
 Archbishop Lefebvre changed his mind.

'All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.'

Prefect of Congregation for Clergy in LA, and on St Bruno's day, hats off to the King of Liqueurs

Cardinal Piacenza in LA takes fearless swipe at the 'We are Church' brigade.
ZENIT - Profile of a Priest

Rorate Caeli has  a  pointedly good extract too..

Have a holy and happy feast of Saint Bruno - a day which we traditionally celebrate with a post-prandial glass of Green Chartreuse, the king of liqueurs and the most effective digestif ever invented. Thanks be to God and to the monks of the Grande Chartreuse.
Aside from the usual bottle and its famously strong contents, there is another even more powerful version. I don't know whether it is still available but it used only to be supplied on special order from the monastery. I can't remember what alcoholic proof it was but the monks recommend it be treated with great respect and taken on a lump of sugar like a vaccine!

 Saint Bruno, pray for us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fr. Barron comments on Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Germany

This is very, very good. Father concentrates on Pope Benedict's addresses to the Bundestag, and to the Ecumenical Council. Also, if you haven't already found them, Fr Lombardi's comments on the address to Seminarians are highly recommended.  See here

'Os iusti meditabitur sapientiam' -Gregorian Chant

Gradual from today's Mass, 1962 Missal
The mouth of the just shall mediate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgment.
v. The law of his God is in his heart and his steps shall not be supplanted.

Have a holy and happy St. Francis' day.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pope Benedict's visit to Germany: Part 5: girl altar servers, reception of Holy Communion, and who's been blowing the Roman pipe of rumour'?

Girl altar servers:
I don't intend to rehearse the argument about  girl 'altar boys'. They are licit in Germany and the Holy Father, who never has them in Saint Peter's would have wanted to avoid the almost certain outcry there would have been had he banned them from his German liturgies. But at least one wished that some taste had been exercised when it was decided what they would wear, particularly at a Papal celebration. The 'girls' at the Berlin Mass (and with Dylan Parry I wondered whether they were in fact grown women) must have been deeply devoted to their 'serving' role and completely lacking in worldly vanity, in order to wear such ugly garments, which looked as if they had been salvaged at the last minute from the used flour-sack pile at the local mill or bread factory. The result was to make the girls stand out as proverbial sore thumbs. I am sure that cannot have been the intention of the 'organisers'. My commenter, 'Genty' suggested that a general feature of this trip was that girl servers outnumbered boys. I can't say I noticed that and haven't had time to check the videos, but if he is right it would lend weight to the argument that the minute girls enter sacristy and sanctuary, boys tend to make themselves scarce.

The manner of receiving Holy Communion:
The fact that most of the German faithful received in the hand was quite startling. There can only be two reasons for this. One, an ignorance of the Holy Father's example and teaching on the matter, or two, a determination to ignore those things, either in complete disagreement with him or in the belief that listening to the Holy Father is a mere option.. This above all (apart from at Erfurt Cathedral) showed the German Church to be stuck firmly in the 70s and 80s. Since Pope Benedict began his practice of giving the Host on the tongue to kneeling faithful, there has been, and continues to be, a steady increase among congregations at his publicly televised Masses in Italy and other European countries, of those who are following suit. His teaching by example is being seen to work. But not in his native land. Germany is definitely far out on a limb.

Papal resignation?
Even before the Pope left Germany the rumour about his intention to resign next year on his 85th birthday had begun to circulate and was said to have its source in the Vatican and to be doing the rounds there. Why was this rumour publicised at this particular moment? I do think it was by design and not by accident.

Here are my instinctive and considered answers:
1.The Vatican is well known to house its own 'gossip shop', and the people who involve themselves with it rarely, if ever, act for the good of the Church.

2. Only the most naive would imagine that there is not in the Vatican, a group which is opposed to Benedict's vision for the future of the Church.

3. Using quotes from 'Light of the World' and from Mgr Georg Ratzinger's recently published book, 'Mein Bruder der Papst', they manage to hint that the Pope will resign. Of course they would have been well-pleased if the German trip had been a complete disaster. 'Well tough that it wasn't' they say, 'but let's circulate the rumour anyway'.

4.This rumour is so negative and potentially damaging because it frightens the truly faithful who know of the Holy Father's increasing physical frailty, and because it encourages those who are more concerned about the election of his successor and trying to influence the next conclave in a modernist direction. In short it is potentially wounding to the Body of Christ. The above makes me suspicious of this rumour and those who have launched it.

As Shakespeare said:
 'Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures'
and I for one am among those who 'will stop the vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks'.
At the beginning  of Henry IV Part II, Rumour admits thus of himself:
'Upon my tongue continued slanders ride
The which in every language I pronounce
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.'

'Genty' also laments that the Holy Father looked so weary and resigned in Germany, in contrast to his energy and positivism when in the UK last year. I think this is explained by the fact that he saw the UK as new territory for evangelisation and that inspired the effectiveness of his visit to us. In Germany, sadly, he knew what awaited him and what to expect from his own.

When he got back to Rome he was quoted as having said at last Wednesday's General Audience that the visit had been 'a feast of faith'. I couldn't remember his having said that and checked the recording. I could not find that quote. I did find in his speech to the Evangelical Council that he had said their meeting was 'a feast of shared faith'.

Pray, pray, and pray unceasingly for our most Holy Father..

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pope Benedict's visit to Germany - Part 4: 'Censored' (?) Papal speeches and powerless or blighted Bishops?

The speeches of the Pope that were not televised live:

Perhaps the Vatican self-censored its own cameras because it was nervous about the manner in which the Pope would be received. From a Catholic point of view it is therefore extremely difficult to know whether the visit was a huge success or not. It is a ground for some concern that the reduced live programming was perhaps the result of intervention from internal German Catholic groups, but I tend to the opinion that it was probably the Vatican that curtailed the comprehensive nature of the coverage. This was strikingly obvious when compared with the very much more open presentation of all the other trips of his pontificate.
We still do not know how these groups received his speeches. German and non-German mainstream reporting has been bitty and, as we have regrettably come to expect, sometimes ignorant and inaccurate. However we can only be grateful to the Holy See that it has published the texts of all these speeches. Taken together they give a thorough overall picture of the Church's relationships with Jews, with Moslems, with the Orthodox, and with non-Catholic Christians, particularly as they have developed in Germany since the end of the second World War. And who better to give such a concise and telling history lesson than Joseph Ratzinger who lived his adolescence and then 60 years of priesthood through the entire epoch in question?

Turning now to the speeches to Catholic groups, the one to Seminarians was the most beautiful. How is it possible for a man to be so forceful in the points he makes and yet to be so gentle and loving?  I regret that we weren't able to see the reaction of these men. And even the implied criticism in the speech to the Council of the Central Committee of German Catholics did not come over harshly but as an important warning all the same. Pope Benedict acknowledged that the Church in Germany is "superbly organised", but he went on immediately to ask, "is there a corresponding spiritual strength?" And he went on, "If we do not find a way of genuinely renewing our faith, all structural reform will remain ineffective."  Basically the message was, 'You are too big and too impersonal. Get small.' This reminded me so much of Cardinal Ratzinger's reservations about Bishops Conferences, as they appeared in 1985. (The Ratzinger Report pages 58 ff.) In the last full address before the departure ceremony, to Catholics engaged in the life of the Church and Society, the Holy Father spoke of  'change'. He most definitely was not thinking of the kind of change longed for by progressives, that the Church must 'get with it', abolish celibacy, start ordaining women and allow the homosexual lobby to force a redefinition of marriage. He did not mention any of these things but powerfully quoted Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who replied when asked what should change in the Church , "You and I". As I understood it both she and he were talking about that constant inner personal  conversion that with God's grace should characterise our earthly pilgrimage. Neither was talking about the above-mentioned wished for changes in doctrine and practice.

And the entire programme of our Holy Father's speeches and homilies in Germany was shot through with the precious golden thread of his pontificate. Namely: No active apostolate will be truly and fully fruitul unless it is based on prayer and closeness to the Face of Christ, adored in the Eucharist.

The attitude and influence of the German Bishops:

I didn't know a lot about the post-conciliar Church in Germany before this morning's study exercise at the Vatican website, that is apart from the exasperating Hans Kung, and the fact that the Central Committee of German Catholics is thought by some to be the most powerful and wealthy (?) lay organisation in the world.  I am now a lot better informed, thanks to our Holy Father, about religious belief and lack of it, in his native land. I didn't expect the Berlin Mass to be wonderful, but as you know I was shocked rigid by it. Archbishop Woelki,who is very young at 55,  has only been in possession of his See since August this year. He has not yet (according to Wikipedia) received his pallium. He looked uncomfortable and miserable throughout the Mass. I felt quite sorry for him. He is a 'Benedictine' appointment and I wondered at the time whether he felt dreadful about presenting such a spectacle and such awful music to the Pope. Also at the time, the feeling began to grow that the German bishops have willingly or otherwise ceded their control to the laity. This feeling grew steadily as the Holy Father's visit unfolded. By the time I found Peter Seewald's lament that the 'organisers' of the youth vigil had entirely neglected any spiritual preparation for the event, I was more or less convinced that those organisers were not people with whom Pope Benedict (or you and I for that matter) could see eye to eye as far as prayer and the liturgy are concerned. And I wondered how many of them were lay people. The other thing that jarred constantly during the trip, Mass outside Erfurt Cathedral being the only exception, was the insistence on the part of most people of being more concerned to look for themselves on the big screens and to wave inanely at the camera when they spotted themselves. There was hardly any sense of reverence or absorption in what was going on at the Altar. The Pope and the bishops probably didn't see this pathetic display, for which thank God, but for those of us who had to watch this childish narcissism, it was  distracting and deeply disturbing. Conversely, one little girl wept, I think at the beginning of the prayer vigil, and I wept with and for her..

Of course some of the bishops may have approved of the over-loud and shallow music and I noticed two or three of them joining in with the 'lyrics'.  Men in mitres and chasubles shouldn't be allowed to embarrass themselves and us in such a way.

One can only pray that the bishops who do not like the way things have gone will be able to get this huge and ugly genie back in the bottle.

Cat feeding time here, and then cooking. Last post of this series as soon as I have time.


Up since first light and still running behind time

Spent the morning studying all those missing German speeches of the Holy Father on the Vatican website. Quite an eye-opener for me, I can tell you. They make me feel even more let down that we were not able to receive them live. There is a video link to all of them and from the two I have watched, it is clear that they were conducted behind closed doors. Cameras were indeed excluded. We therefore have very little idea about the atmosphere of interaction at these meetings, or of how the Holy Father's words were received.

To be continued later. Will probably have something up by tea time, with prayers for the help of my Guardian Angel!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Feast day of St Therese of Lisieux

Father Mark Kirby is posting a triduum in honour of Saint Therese. It can be found through the sidebar here, at 'Vultus Christi'.
Have a holy and happy day everyone, especially those members of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma who are meeting at Our Lady of the Rosary, Blackfen today in response to Fr Tim's kind and gracious hospitality. I am so sorry I cannot be there, but am offering prayers for a fruitful meeting and a happy blogfest afterwards.

(Part 4 of my series on the Holy Father's German visit will follow tomorrow, DV. It's a short working day here, and the available time must be mainly devoted to domestic responsibilities . I leave for Mass at 6pm. So a late supper at about 8pm.)