Wednesday, 17 July 2019

A Sad Day-On This Day 101 Years Ago the Satanic Revolution Murdered the Imperial Family

One hundred one years ago today the Bolsheviks murdered the Russian Imperial Family. Whilst I am not Orthodox, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the Royal Martyrs, so I have appended some Orthodox prayers in their honour.

And here is a link to a page at the Parish website of Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church (ROCOR), in Baltimore, MD, that contains a great deal of information on the martyred Imperial Family, The Royal Martyrs and a page from a Greek Orthodox source with more information, The Royal Martyrs Of Russia.









A Prayer On Behalf Of The
Child-Martyr Crown Prince Alexis of Russia 
Written by Father Nektarios Serfes

Let us Pray, To The Lord:
Out of the depths of my heart I cried unto Thee, O Lord,
Who came into the World to save us,
Be ever-merciful until us all,
Look at us not in judgement,
At the killing and persecution of Thy amirable and innocent Child-Martyr Alexis,
Who truly agonized in illness, and who loved all and cared for all,
Who was pure, and lifted up his sweet innocent soul to Thee in prayer,
Forgive us, who has been patient with all our sins,
to grant merciful peace to us all, and to all those who love Thee -Forgiveness! Rejoice, O' Child-Martyr Alexis, we who cry unto thee,
to pray for us poor sinners, and all children!




Grand Duchesses Anastasia and Marie 


Tropar-Dismissal Hymn of the Royal Martyrs. First Tone

Most noble and sublime was your life and death, O Sovereigns;* wise Nicholas and blest Alexandra, we praise you,* acclaiming your piety, meekness, faith, and humility,* whereby ye attained to crowns of glory in Christ our God,* with your five renowned and godly children of blest fame. * Martyrs decked in purple, intercede for us.

Kontakion of the Royal Martyrs. Second Tone

Royalty and martyrdom were joined together, O blest ones, * in your death for righteousness and right belief, O wise Sovereigns, * Nicholas and Alexandra, * with your five children. *Hence, Christ our God hath deemed you worthy of thrones in Heaven; * and with twofold crowns of glory, * ye reign for ever, * adorned with grace divine.


Let Us Pray To The Lord!
Lord, Have Mercy!

O' CHRIST our true loving God, who came into the world to save us, and lead us back into Thy Kingdom, forgive us, who have sinned before Thee, and Thy people. Look upon us with love, and with mercy! Help us to love one another as Thou has taught us and grant us strength to bare our Cross. Do not cast us away from Thy face, nor be angry with us because of our many sins, but redeem us from pride. In that Thou has anointed us with Thy holy Oil, and the water of holy Baptism,and grants us Thy holy Communion, be ever so merciful unto us who loveThee. Amen!

Let us all remember to humbly pray to the HOLY ROYAL MARTYRS, AND THE NEW MARTYRS OF RUSSIA, as we all struggle for our salvation.


O Merciful,
Loving God!

Forgive us as we have in our human weakness sinned before Thee,
In the merciful slaughter of the night of Thy beloved family,
The Passion-bearers Nicholas and Alexandra
And the innocents Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, and Alexei,
Renew in us O'God Thy love and forgiveness,
That we may all walk once again on the path of salvation,
Lift up Thy hands O God,
Against pride, against the things which we have wickedly done in Thy sight,
Greet They beloved royal martyred family within Thy Kingdom on our behalf whom we love,
Asking them to interceed and to pray for us,
Judge us not O God to whom at the King of ages,
And to Whom belongs all Glory, Honor and Worship unto the ages of ages.
Amen.





Akathist:
To The Tsar Great Martyr Nicholas Emperor Of All Russia
Written by Daniel Stolypin
Compiled by Father Nektarios Serfes
15 February 1999
Boise, Idaho U.S.A.

The following is presented with permission from the author: Daniel Stolypin, who wrote this Akathist to the Tsar and Great Martyr Nicholas, Emperor of All Russia, when he was at a very young age, and now resides in Chicago.
I would like to humbly thank Daniel for his kind permission to post this Akathist. Daniel Stolypin was related to Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin 1862-1911.
Kontakion 1
O passion bearer chosen from birth and incarnation of the love of Christ, * we sing thee praises as one who did love all the fatherland. * As thou hast boldness before the Lord, * enlighten our darkened minds and hearts that we may cry to thee: *
Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Ikos 1
The Creator of angels did send thee to the Russian land as an angel of meekness and instructor to thy people, as He did choose thee after the example of His Only Begotten Son to be a sacrifice of redemption for the sins of the people.  And we, marveling at the Providence of the Almighty towards thee, cry out with contrition:    Rejoice, O likeness of Christ.
    Rejoice, sacrifice of whole burnt offering.
    Rejoice, adornment of the Tsar's of Russia.
    Rejoice, thou who gavest an example of meekness and forgiveness to all.
    Rejoice, true hope of the offended.
    Rejoice, unshakable foundation of faith.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.



Kontakion 2
    The All good Mother of God, seeing her chosen place, the Russian land, defiled by the abomination of corruption, chose thee from thy birth as a most pure one who would be for the cleansing of Russia, that all might as a funeral lamentation make a hymn to thee: Alleluia.
Ikos 2
    The pre eternal Mind did fore know thy salvation and thy life, prefigured by Job the Much Suffering, joining thy birth and the memory of the righteous one.  And we, recalling our sins and lawless deeds, with trembling of heart and contrition of soul cry out to thee thus:
    Rejoice, thou who didst endure abuse and trials from thine own people.
    Rejoice, thou who didst preserve the Faith to the end.
    Rejoice, example of meekness.
    Rejoice, guardian of the worship of God.
    Rejoice, rule of humility.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 3
    The power of the Most High did overshadow thee, O God crowned Nicholas, who didst fight back to enlighten the West in its false wisdom, that the world might cry out to God: Alleluia.
Ikos 3
    Having fervor for the enlightenment of those gone astray, thou, O right believing Tsar, was zealous for the erection of churches, the glorification of the relics of the Saints who pleased God, the planting of Christian enlightenment, and the protection of the unfortunate against violence, and so the Christian world cried out to thee thus:
    Rejoice, namesake of St. Nicholas upon the earth.
    Rejoice, fellow intercessor with St. Seraphim in Heaven.
    Rejoice, planter of Orthodoxy.
    Rejoice, bearer of the Light of Christ.
    Rejoice, teacher of Christian patience.
    Rejoice, intercessor for Orthodox Christians.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 4
    Thou didst not fear the storm of folly and abuse, O Passion bearer Nicholas, when thou didst renounce agreement with the enemies for the destruction of the fatherland; and thou didst endure censure, imprisonment, and death, crying to the Almighty: Alleluia.
Ikos 4
    Hearing of the tumults of the Russian land and beholding the destruction of Christians, thou didst unceasingly pray, that the alleged Mother of God save Orthodox Russia.  Wherefore, we cry out to thee:
    Rejoice, fragrant incense of prayer.
    Rejoice, inextinguishable lamp of faith.
    Rejoice, admonisher of the violent by the meekness.
    Rejoice, consoled of the disconsolate amid sorrows.
    Rejoice, lover of heavenly things.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 5
    Thou hast been revealed as a God-guided star for Russians in the diaspora, O Tsar Nicholas; for, gathering them together in thy name, thou dost show the path to the rebirth of the Russian land, that we may hear angels crying out: Alleluia!
Ikos 5
    Seeing that thy meekness and humility accomplished nothing, thou didst place all thy hope in the Most Pure Mother of God and give thyself entirely into the hands of the Almighty, that even the senseless might be instructed to sing to thee:
    Rejoice, vanquisher of pride,
    Rejoice, invincible rampart of the infirm.
    Rejoice, enlightenment of the proud.
    Rejoice, overflowing love for thy people.
    Rejoice, fervent sacrifice for the Russian land.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God-crowned Tsar and great passion- bearer.

Kontakion 6
    The ends of the world preach thy glory, and thy word hath gone forth into all the earth; for there is no sacrifice thou wouldst not have offered for the good of the Russian land, thereby teaching thy people to sing in thanksgiving to God: Alleluia. 
Ikos 6
Thou didst shine forth greater than the sun for the Russian land, O Tsar Nicholas, revealing thine intercession for the Orthodox people even unto death, that all might be converted to Christ and hasten to thee. Therefore we hymn thee thus:
    Rejoice, O light that hath come out of the East.
    Rejoice, example to Orthodox kings.
    Rejoice, unquenchable shining of righteousness.
    Rejoice, unsetting luminary of meekness.
    Rejoice, fatherly exhortation to sinners.
    Rejoice, fervent glorification of the righteous.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God-crowned Tsar and great passion-bearer.

Kontakion 7

    Wishing to strengthen Orthodox Faith on earth, thou didst move thy whole kingdom to the defense of the wronged land of Serbia, that all might cry out to God: Alleluia.

Ikos 7
    The Lord did manifest thee as a new Noah, a builder of salvation for the Russian people, that all, remembering thy labors, might cry out ceaselessly thus:
    Rejoice, helmsman of the Russian ship.
    Rejoice, consoled of the Slavs in misfortunes.
    Rejoice, guide of Russians.
    Rejoice, proclaimer of the love of peace.
    Rejoice, planter of Christian virtues.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 8
    We see strange wonder in thee, O Nicholas, who many times wast saved by the right hand of the Most High and was crowned by a martyr's crown with thy children and kinsmen, that we might cry out to God the Provider of all things: Alleluia.
Ikos 8
    Thou was entirely a defender for all Christians, O divinely chosen Nicholas, and didst show a double intercession for the Slavic peoples, moving them to sing to thee in praise:
    Rejoice, defense of the offended.
    Rejoice, exhortation to offenders.
    Rejoice, refuge of the grieving.
    Rejoice, intercessor for the persecuted.
    Rejoice, intercessor for the persecuted.
    Rejoice, peacemaker in thy life.
    Rejoice, champion of Christians after thy murder.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 9
    By many wonders did the Lord reveal His good will to the Russian people, until they did grieve Him mightily; but being called by thee in repentance, we cry out together unto God: Alleluia.
Ikos 9
    Eloquent orators, like voiceless fish, cannot express the height of thy patience; but we, beholding the abyss of our fall, cry out in contrition of spirit:
    Rejoice, unvanquishable patience.
    Rejoice, unwavering faithfulness of Christians.
    Rejoice, wise teacher of the foolish.
    Rejoice, thou who didst give an example to the faithful in thy life and martyr's death.
    Rejoice, thou who didst suffer for the sins of thy people.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 10
    Christ the Knower of hearts, Who founded His Church on the blood of martyrs, desiring to save all men, did place thee, O Passion-bearer Nicholas, as the foundation of the new house of the Russian realm, that all within it might cry out to God: Alleluia.
Ikos 10
    Thou art a rampart for all who hasten to thee with faith, and an inextinguishable protection for the Orthodox world, and thou dost teach all the faithful to glorify thee thus:
    Rejoice, manifestation of heavenly things on earth.
    Rejoice, new strength for those grown faint in virtues.
    Rejoice, dawn that hath shone forth on the land of Russia.
    Rejoice, river that doth nourish all her boundaries.
    Rejoice, teacher of the humility of wisdom.
    Rejoice, planter of faith and love.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer

Kontakion 11
    Offering a hymn to the Most Holy Trinity even unto thy death, thou didst finish thy course and keep the Faith, by which thou dost move all Orthodox Christians to sing: Alleluia.
Ikos 11
    Thou wast sent by the Giver of Light to the Russian land like an immaculate lamb, and thou didst lay down thy life for the redemption of our sins, that we all might ceaselessly glorify thee thus:
    Rejoice, sacrifice beloved of God.
    Rejoice, unquenchable abundance of love.
    Rejoice, praise of the faithfulness of Christ.
    Rejoice, invisible blowing of the Spirit.
    Rejoice, mirror of wisdom.
    Rejoice, hope of the hopeless.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 12
    Divine grace which health the infirm did fore know thee as an imperishable healing for thy subjects who cry out to God: Alleluia.
Ikos 12
    Hymning thy sufferings, O Passion-bearer Nicholas, we bow down before thy patience,  for the power of the Almighty Trinity was manifest in thee, that we might all with one accord cry out:
    Rejoice, beloved child of Christ.
    Rejoice, thou who didst conduct thine immaculate children and faithful servants to Christ.
    Rejoice, thou who didst aid the Queen to be righteous and a martyr.
    Rejoice, thou who didst truly direct thy people.
    Rejoice, thou who didst not bring abuse to the honor of thy fatherland.
    Rejoice, thou who didst gain the Kingdom of Heaven.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God crowned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 13
    O most wondrous and most glorious Passion-bearer Nicholas, look down upon thy earthly kingdom and thy people, for we have no answer for our sins, and entreat the Almighty that He may not enter into judgment with us, but might vouchsafe us ceaselessly to cry out: Alleluia {three times}.
Ikos 1
    The Creator of angels did send thee to the Russian land as an angel of meekness and instructor to the people, and He did choose thee after the example of His Only Begotten Son to be a sacrifice of redemption for the sins of the people.  And, we, marveling at the Providence of the Almighty towards thee, cry out with contrition:
    Rejoice, O likeness of Christ.
    Rejoice, sacrifice of whole burnt offering.
    Rejoice, adornment of the Tsars of Russia.
    Rejoice, thou who gavest an example of meekness and forgiveness to all.
    Rejoice, true hope of the offended.
    Rejoice, unshakable foundation of faith.
    Rejoice, O Nicholas, God-corwned Tsar and great passion bearer.

Kontakion 1
     O passion-bearer chosen from birth and incarnation of the love of Christ, * we sing thee praises as one who did love above all thy fatherland. * As thou hast boldness before the Lord, * enlighten our darkened minds and hearts that we may cry to thee: *
  Tropar ion, Tone 5
    Thou didst meekly endure the loss of an earthly kingdom, * and bonds and many sufferings from the fighters against God, * witnessing of Christ even unto death, * O great Passion-bearer and God crowned Tsar Nicholas. * Wherefore Christ God did crown thee and thy Queen and children with a martyr's crown in Heaven; * do thou entreat Him to have mercy on the Russian land and to save our souls.
A Prayer To The Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas
O holy passion-bearer Tsar Martyr Nicholas! The Lord has chosen thee as His anointed one to judge with mercy and righteousness thy people and to be the guardian of the Orthodox Kingdom.
This royal service and the care for souls thou hast completed with the fear of God.  Testing thee as gold in the furnace, the Lord has allowed bitter sorrows to come upon thee, as to the much suffering Job, by depriving thee of thy royal throne and sending upon thee martyric death. Having meekly endured all this, like a true slave of Christ, thou art partaking of the highest glory at the Throne of the God of All, together with the Holy Martyrs, the holy Tsarina Alexandra, the holy youth Crown Prince Alexis, and the holy princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia and with the faithful servants of thine, as well as with the holy Martyr Grand Duchess Elizabeth and with all the Royal Martyrs and the Holy Martyr Barbara.
For as having great boldness before Christ King, for whose sake thou hast endured everything, pray with us, that the Lord might forgive the sin of thy people, who did not stop thy slaughter, as King and Anointed One of God, that the Lord will deliver the suffering land of Russia from the fierce and godless ones, who came upon it because of our sin and apostasy, and that He will restore the throne of Orthodox Tsars, and to us will grant forgiveness of sins and will instruct us on every good deed, that we might acquire humbleness, meekness and love, as these Martyrs have done, that we will be vouchsafed the Heavenly Kingdom, where together with thee and all the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, we might glorify Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.


Holy Royal Martyrs
Tsar Nicholas & Family
Pray Unto God For Us!




Glory Be To God For All Things!

17 July, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations for Every Day

The Voice of God
1. God speaks to us in many ways by means of created things. We see His glory in the stars of the firmament, (Cf. Ps. 13:2) in the seas, mountains and valleys, and in the trees and flowers. St. Therese was once examining the petals of a flower when she exclaimed: “How good thou art, O God!”
God also speaks within us. Sometimes He sees how absorbed we are in worldly affairs and He stirs up in us a restlessness and a longing for Heaven. When we fall into sin, He pricks us with remorse and appeals to us to rise again, making us realise that everything else is empty and futile if we have lost Him. He speaks to us still more clearly by means of Revelation, which is contained in Sacred Scripture as officially interpreted by the Church.
The revealed Word of God has always been with us to answer the searchings of the human heart and to allay its anxieties. The Gospel is as new and as illuminating today as yesterday. It is a book which we should study reverently and diligently in order to solve our personal problems and the problems of mankind.
Let us listen to God when He speaks to us in these diverse ways. Let us respond to His appeals and carry out whatever He requires of us in our daily lives.
2. God also speaks to us through His Saints.
The Saints are men in whom God dwells in such a special way that their entire personalities reflect Him. They live the Gospel perfectly. They have renounced themselves in order to belong completely to God. Not only have they overcome their evil inclinations, but they have conquered themselves in the process of that Christian annihilation which sublimates human nature rather than destroys it. They have enthroned God in the place of their own will and of their own ego, so that like St. Paul they can claim: “It is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me.”
God still speaks to us through His Saints, for even in this troubled and mechanical age there are pure and humble souls dedicated to God and the service of their fellow-men. Whenever we encounter one of these privileged beings, whether in the pages of a book or in our actual surroundings, let us pay attention to him and do our best to imitate his virtues.
3. It will go hard with the man who refuses to listen to God. He has reason to be afraid when he lets God's inspirations and graces pass him by. Anyone who is deaf to God's appeals cannot be saved.
God spoke many times in the heart of His apostle Judas, but he did not listen. Even in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas betrayed his Master with a kiss, Jesus spoke to him and called him His friend, giving him the kiss of peace and forgiveness. But the traitor spurned this last appeal and went his way. May this never be our fate. “Be not silent,” let us plead. “Lord, be not far from me!” (Ps. 34:22) Above all, let us listen obediently to His voice from whatever source it comes, and let us do what He advises us.

IN LUMINE FIDEI: 17 JULY – SAINT ALEXIUS (Confessor)

IN LUMINE FIDEI: 17 JULY – SAINT ALEXIUS (Confessor): Alexius was born in Rome in about 350 AD, to the senator Euphemius. Leaving his spouse a virgin on the night of his marriage, he withdrew...

17 July, A Chesterton Calendar

JULY 17th

You may come to think a blow bad because it humiliates. You may come to think murder wrong because it is violent, and not because it is unjust.

‘The Ball and the Cross.’

Chesterton, G. K.. The G. K. Chesterton Collection [50 Books] (Kindle Locations 44597-44599). Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.

18 July, The Roman Martyrology

Quintodécimo Kaléndas Augústi Luna sexta decima Anno Domini 2019

On the morrow we keep the feast of the holy Confessor Camillus de' Lellis, founder of the Congregation of Regular Clerks for ministering to the sick, whose birthday, [in the year 1614,] to the better life: was recorded upon the 14th of this present month of July, and whom the Supreme Pontiff Leo XIII proclaimed the patron in heaven of the sick and of those that tend them. 
July 18th 2019, the 16th day of the Moon, were born into the better life: 

At Tivoli, the holy Symphorosa, wife of the holy martyr Getulius, along with her seven sons Crescens, Julian, Nemesius, Primitivus, Justin, Stacteus, and Eugene. Under the Emperor Hadrian the Mother, on account of her invincible constancy, was first long beaten with palm branches, then hung up by the hair, and lastly tied to a stone and thrown into the river her sons stretched upon posts by pullies, finished their testimony by divers ways of death, [about the year 120.] Their bodies were afterwards brought to Rome, and in the time of the Supreme Pontiff Pius IV, they were found in the Diaconal church of the Holy Angel at the Fish-pond. 
At Carthage, the holy Virgin and martyr Gondines. Because of her Confession of Christ the Pro-consul Rufinus caused her to be four different times racked she was horribly tormented with tearing by hooks, she suffered long a foul imprisonment, and in the end she was slain with the sword, [in the year 203.] 
At Dorostorum, in Mysia, the holy Martyr Aemilian, who was cast into a furnace under the President Capitolinus, in the time of the Emperor Julian the Apostate, and so received the palm of martyrdom. 
At Utrecht, the holy martyr Frederick, Bishop [of that see, in the year 838.] 
In Gallicia, in Spain, the holy Virgin and martyr Marina. 
At Milan, holy Maternus, Bishop [of that see,] who for the sake of Christ and of the church unto him committed was cast into prison, under the Emperor Maximian, and oftentimes beaten, and at length fell asleep in the Lord, glorious for much testifying. 
At Brescia, holy Philastrius, Bishop of that city, who fought much both by word and writing against the heretics, and especially the Arians, of whom he suffered many things, and at length fell asleep in peace, as a Confessor famous for miracles, [in the year 386.] 
At Metz, in Gaul, holy Arnulph, Bishop [of that see,] famous for holiness and the gift of working wonders, who chose to live as an hermit and fell asleep in blessedness, [in the year 641.] 
At Segni, the holy Confessor Bruno, Bishop [of that see, in the year 1125.] 
At Forlimpopoli, on the Emilian Way, holy Ruffillus, Bishop of that city, [in the year 385.] 
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.

Memes of the Day



Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Church Militant Headlines— July 16, 2019

UK sentences another child to 'death by doctor', Canadians will hold a Rosary Rally on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary.


A Carmelite Prayer to the Virgin

A bit of Carmelitana for the Feast Day.

From New Liturgical Movement 

By Gregory DiPippo

In the Breviary of the Carmelite Order, which keeps its patronal feast today, the following antiphon is appointed to be said every day after Vespers or Compline. (The English translation is taken partly from this post on Vultus Christi, the blog of Silverstream Priory, with several alterations of my own.)
Ave, Stella matutina,
Peccatorum medicina,
Mundi princeps et Regina.

Virgo sola digna dici,
Contra tela inimici
Clypeum pone salutis
Tuae titulum virtutis.

Tu es enim virga Jesse,
In qua Deus fecit esse
Aaron amygdalum,
Mundi tollens scandalum.

Tu es area compluta,
Caelesti rore imbuta,
Sicco tamen vellere.

Tu nos in hoc carcere
Solare propitia,
Dei plena gratia.

O Sponsa Dei electa,
Esto nobis via recta
Ad aeterna gaudia,

Ubi pax est et gloria.
Tu nos semper aure pia,
Dulcis, exaudi, Maria
Hail, morning star,
Medicine of sinners,
Ruler and Queen of the world,

Alone worthy to be called a virgin,
Against the spears of the enemy
Set the shield of salvation,
The sign of Thy virtue.

For you are the rod of Jesse,
In whom God made to be
Aaron’s almond, taking away
the scandal of the world.

Thou are the ground rained upon,
Imbued by heaven’s dew,
Though the fleece stayed dry.

In this prison do thou console us ,
Mercifully console us,
Who art full of God’s grace

O chosen spouse of God
Be for us the straight road
To eternal joys

Where peace and glory are.
Do Thou ever hear us
With devoted ear, sweet Mary.

In the following recording of it, note that the cantor has taken the common medieval habit of pronouncing Latin more or less like the vernacular to extremes, exaggerating the U of modern French. (The ensemble who recorded this, Diabolus in Musica, takes its name from a common term for the tritone, a dissonance which was generally disliked and avoided in medieval music theory, hence the name “the devil in the music.”)


According to Archdale King in his book The Liturgies of the Religious Orders, the great scholar of the Carmelite liturgy, Fr Benedict Zimmerman, claimed that this antiphon was “without any doubt” composed by St Simon Stock himself, the English Carmelite and general of the Order to whom the Virgin revealed the brown scapular. However, Guido Dreves, the author of the 48th volume of the Analecta hymnica, attributed it to Peter the Venerable, an abbot of Cluny who died a century before St Simon’s time. The words “Aaron’s almond” refer to the episode of the flourishing of Aaron’s staff in Numbers 17, generally understood in the Middle Ages as a prophetic symbol of the Mother of God’s virginity, as was the episode of Gideon’s fleece in Judges 6, 36-40.

The antiphon is then followed by a versicle and prayer.
V. Pray for us, Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Defend, we ask o Lord, by the intercession of the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, this Thy family, from every adversity, and in Thy great mercy protect it, that boweth before Thee with all its heart, from the snares of all enemies. Through Christ, our Lord. (Defende, quaesumus, Domine, beata Maria semper Virgine intercedente, istam ab omni adversitate familiam tuam, et toto corde tibi prostratam, ab hostium proitius tuere clementer insidiis. Per.)

Then the following invocation is said.
V. In omni tribulatione et angustia, sucurrat nobis pia Virgo Maria. R. Amen.
(In every tribulation and anguish, may the Holy Virgin Mary come to our aid.

And a final prayer, which mentioned several of the more Carmelite Saints.
Oremus. Omnipotens, et clementissime Deus, qui Montis Carmeli Ordinem gloriosissimae Virginis Mariae Genitricis Filii tui Domini nostri Jesu Christi, sacrato titulo insignitum, Sanctorum tuorum Patris nostri Eliae, et Elisaei Prophetarum, Angeli et Anastasii Martyrum, Cyrilli et Alberti Confessorum, Euphrasiae, Teresiae et Mariae Magdalenae Virginum, et aliorum plurimorum meritis decorasti: tribue nobis quaesumus, ut per eorum suffragia ab instantibus malis animae et corporis liberati, ad te verum Carmeli verticem gaudentes pervenire valeamus. Per. (Almighty and most merciful God, who has adorned the order or Mount Carmel, that is distinguished by the sacred title of the most glorious Virgin Mary, the Mother of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, with the merits of Thy Saints, the prophets Elijah, our father, and Elisha, the martyrs Angelus and Anastasius, the confessors Cyril and Albert, the virgins Euphrasia, Theresa and Mary Magdalene, and very many others; grant us, we ask, that being delivered by their prayers from present evils of soul and body, we may be able to come rejoicing to Thee, the true height of Carmel. Through the same...)

The Virgin Mary and Carmelite Saints, by Pietro Novelli, 1641; from the Carmelite church of Palermo, Siciliy.

Vatican’s Former Doctrine Head Criticizes Amazon Synod Working Doc for ‘False Teaching’

Stop the Shamazon Sin-od! It's an attempt by Francis and his lickspittle toadies to destroy the Church!

From LifeSiteNews

By Maike Hickson

July 16, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The cardinal who was tasked by Pope Benedict with defending the doctrine of the Catholic Church has criticized the Pan-Amazon Synod's working document (Instrumentum Laboris) for its "radical u-turn in the hermeneutics of Catholic theology" and for its "false teaching."
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), said the "main problem" with the working document is that "key terms are not being clarified." His statement was released on the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (read full statement below). 
"What is a synodal path, what is integral development, what does a Samaritan, missionary, synodal, and open Church mean, or a Church reaching out, the Church of the Poor, the Church of the Amazon, and more? Is this Church something different from the People of God or is she to be understood merely as the hierarchy of Pope and Bishops, or is she a part of it, or does she stand on the opposite side of the people?" Müller states. 
The Cardinal, who held his post at the CDF from 2012-2017, especially takes issue with the working document's claim that there are new sources of "Revelation" related to geographical locations such as the Amazon region. 
"If here a certain territory is being declared to be a 'particular source of God's Revelation,' then one has to state that this is a false teaching, inasmuch as for 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has infallibly taught that Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition are the only sources of Revelation and that no further Revelation can be added in the course of history," he stated. 
"As Dei Verbum states, 'we now await no further new public revelation' (4). Holy Scripture and Tradition are the only sources of Revelation, as Dei Verbum (7) explains: 'This sacred tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from whom she has received everything, until she is brought finally to see Him as He is, face to face.' 'Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church' (Dei Verbum 10)," the Cardinal added. 
Most importantly, in Cardinal Müller's view, the relationship of Holy Scripture and Tradition on the one side and the Magisterium on the other has been put “upside down” in the Vatican document. He asks: “Has the Church of Christ been placed by her Founder as a sort of raw material into the hands of bishops and popes, which they now – illuminated by the Holy Spirit – can rebuild into an updated instrument also with secular goals?”
The approach of the working document, he says, is that “the whole line of thought turns in self-referential and circular ways around the newest documents of Pope Francis' Magisterium,” and that there are a few “references to John Paul II and Benedict XVI,” with Holy Scripture and the Church Fathers being quoted rarely. In this way, the Magisterium – which is meant to "interpret" and "regulate" the Revelation that is “fully” contained in Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition – becomes the tail that wags the dog, thus turning the hermeneutics of Catholic theology "upside down."
Cardinal Müller goes on to show how the authors of the working document show a “special loyalty to the Pope” by quoting him intensely, even referring to Pope Francis' “mantra,” a word which the cardinal himself calls “sloppy.” Müller even shows that some quotations and references in the text are simply incorrect, thus indicating a lack of academic carefulness.
The German prelate also rejects the idea of a “cosmovision” that is to be found in the Vatican working document.
“A cosmovision with its myths and the ritual magic of Mother 'Nature,' or its sacrifices to 'gods' and spirits,” he states, “which scare the wits out of us, or lure us on with false promises, cannot be an adequate approach for the coming of the Triune God in His Word and His Holy Spirit.”
Müller states that “the cosmos, however, is not to be adored like God, but only the Creator Himself.”
Müller shows where the synodal text goes wrong in its understanding of “inculturation,” since inculturation has only a limited place within the Church's missionary activity. The Incarnation is the starting point of the Church's missionary activity; “this self-communication of God as a Grace and life of each man is being spread in the world by way of the Church's proclamation of her life and her cult – that is to say, by way of the world mission according to the universal mandate of Christ.”
What is missing in the working document, the Cardinal and former dogmatics professor explains, is a "clear witness to the self-communication of God in the verbum incarnatum, to the sacramentality of the Church, to the Sacraments as objective means of Grace.”
The Sacraments, he adds, cannot be inculturated, but merely some “secondary external” elements. The Church witnesses to the Incarnation and to the Sacraments “so that eternal life is the reward for the conversion to God, the reconciliation with Him, and not only with the environment and our shared world.”
He concludes: "Instead of presenting an ambiguous approach with a vague religiosity and the futile attempt to turn Christianity into a science of salvation by sacralizing the cosmos and the biodiverse nature and ecology, it is important to look to the center and origin of our Faith: 'In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature' (Dei Verbum 2)."
Cardinal Müller is not the first high-ranking prelate to criticize the document. Last month, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the two remaining dubia cardinals, issued a critique of the document, calling it “heretical” and an “apostasy” from Divine Revelation. He called upon Church leaders to “reject” it with “all decisiveness.” 
Cardinal Raymond Burke has also commented on remarks made by Amazon Synod organizers, saying that relaxing priestly celibacy for the Amazon region would affect the universal Church. “It is not honest” to suggest that the October meeting is “treating the question of clerical celibacy for that region alone,” he said last month. 
Bishop Marian Eleganti, the auxiliary bishop of Chur, Switzerland has also statedthat if ideas in the working document are adopted, they "will contaminate the whole Mystical Body of the Church – and gravely damage it."
Cardinal Müller's statement is being published simultaneously in four languages: in Italian by Corrispondenza Romana; in German by Die Tagespost, Kath.net, and CNA Deutsch; and in Spanish by Infovaticana.
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Full statement by Cardinal Müller on the Pan-Amazon Synod working document
“For any other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus.” (1 Cor 3:11)
On the Concept of Revelation as found in the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod
By Cardinal Gerhard Müller 
1. On the method of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL)
Nobody would question the goodwill of those who are involved in the preparation and implementation of the synod for the Church in the Amazon and with their intention to do everything possible in order to promote the Catholic Faith among the inhabitants of this large region and its fascinating landscape. 
The Amazon region is to serve for the Church and for the world “as a pars pro toto, as a paradigm, as a hope for the whole world.” (IL 37) Already this very task assignment itself shows forth the idea of an “integral” development of all men in the one house of the earth, for which the Church declares herself to be responsible. This idea is again and again to be found in the Instrumentum Laboris (IL). The text itself is divided into three parts: 1) The Voice of the Amazon; 2) Integral Ecology: The Cry of the Earth and of the Poor; 3) A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: Challenges and Hope. These three parts are built according to the scheme which also Liberation Theology uses: Seeing the situation – judging in light of the Gospels – acting for the establishment of better life conditions.
2. Ambivalence in the Definition of Terms and Goals
As it often happens when such workshop-texts are being written, there are always teams of people with a similar mindset who work on individual parts with the result that there arise some tiresome redundancies. If one were strictly to take out all the repetitions, the text easily could be reduced to half of its length, and even less.
But the main problem is not the quantitatively excessive length, but the fact that the key terms are not being clarified and they are overused: what is a synodal path, what is integral development, what does a Samaritan, missionary, synodal, and open Church mean, or a Church reaching out, the Church of the Poor, the Church of the Amazon, and more? Is this Church something different from the People of God or is she to be understood merely as the hierarchy of Pope and Bishops, or is she a part of it, or does she stand on the opposite side of the people? Is People of God a sociological or theological term? Or is it not, rather, the community of faithful, who, together with their shepherds, are on the pilgrimage unto eternal life? Is it the bishops who should hear the cry of the people, or is it God Who, just as He once did it with Moses during Israel's slavery in Egypt, now tells the successors of the Apostles to lead the faithful out of the sin and apart from the godlessness of secularist naturalism and immanentism unto his salvation in God's Word and in the Sacraments of the Church?
3. Hermeneutics Put Upside Down
Has the Church of Christ been placed by her Founder as a sort of raw material into the hands of bishops and popes, which they now – illuminated by the Holy Spirit – can rebuild into an updated instrument also with secular goals? 
The structure of the text presents a radical u-turn in the hermeneutics of Catholic theology. The relationship between Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition on the one side, and the Church's Magisterium on the other, has been classically determined in such a way that Revelation is fully contained in Holy Scripture and Tradition, while it is the task of the Magisterium – united with the sense of the Faith of the whole People of God – to make authentic and infallible interpretations. Thus, Holy Scripture and Tradition are constitutive principles of knowledge for the Catholic Profession of Faith and its theological-academic reflection. The Magisterium, on the other hand, is merely active in an interpretative and regulative manner (Dei Verbum 8-10; 24)
In the case of the IL, however, it is exactly the opposite. The whole line of thought turns in self-referential and circular ways around the newest documents of Pope Francis' Magisterium, furnished with a few references to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Holy Scripture is being quoted little, and the Church Fathers barely at all, but then only in an illustrative manner, and for the sake of supporting convictions that are already preexisting for other reasons. Perhaps one wishes thereby to show a special loyalty to the Pope, or one thus believes oneself to be able to avoid the challenges of theological work when one constantly refers back to his well-known and often repeated keywords, which the authors call – in a pretty sloppy manner – “his mantra” (IL 25). This flattery is then being carried to its extreme when the authors also add – after their statement that “the active subjects of inculturation are the indigenous peoples themselves” (IL 122) – the odd formulation, namely: “As Pope Francis has affirmed, 'Grace supposes culture.'” As if he himself had discovered this axiom – which is of course a fundamental axiom of the Catholic Church herself.  In the original, it is Grace which presupposes Nature, just as Faith presupposes Reason (see Thomas Aquinas, S. th. I q.1 a.8). 
Next to the confusing of the roles of Magisterium on the one side and of Holy Scripture on the other, the IL even goes so far as to claim that there are new sources of Revelation. IL 19 states: “Furthermore, we can say that the Amazon – or another indigenous or communal territory – is not only an ubi or a where (a geographical space), but also a quid or a what, a place of meaning for faith or the experience of God in history. Thus territory is a theological place where faith is lived, and also a particular source of God’s revelation: epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God.” If here a certain territory is being declared to be a “particular source of God's Revelation,” then one has to state that this is a false teaching, inasmuch as for 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has infallibly taught that Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition are the only sources of Revelation and that no further Revelation can be added in the course of history. As Dei Verbum states, “we now await no further new public revelation” (4). Holy Scripture and Tradition are the only sources of Revelation, as Dei Verbum (7) explains: “This sacred tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from whom she has received everything, until she is brought finally to see Him as He is, face to face.” “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church” (Dei Verbum 10).
Besides these striking statements and references, the organization Rete Ecclesiale Panamazzonica (=REPAM) – which has been tasked with the preparation of the IL and which was founded for that very reason in 2014 – as well as their authors, of the so-called Theologia india [Indian Theology], mostly quote themselves.
It is a closed society of people with absolutely the same worldview, as can easily be seen on the list of names of pre-synod meetings in Washington and Rome, which contains a disproportionately large number of mostly German-speaking Europeans. 
One is immune to serious objections, because these can only be based on monolithic doctrinalism and dogmatism, or ritualism (IL 38; 110; 138), as well as on clericalism that is incapable of dialogue (IL 110), and on the rigid way of thinking of the pharisees and on the pride of reason on the side of the scribes. To argue with such people would just be a loss of time and a wasted effort. 
Not all of them have experience with South America and are only present because they think it to be in accordance with the official line and because they control the themes at the synodal path of the German Bishops' Conference and of the Central Committee of German Catholics (abolishment of celibacy, women in the priesthood and in key power positions against clericalism and fundamentalism, adapting the revealed sexual morality to the gender ideology and to the appreciation for homosexual practices) that is concurrently taking place. 
I myself have been active in the pastoral and theological field in Peru and other countries for 15 consecutive years, each for 2-3 months. It was mainly in southern-American parishes and seminaries, and thus I do not now judge with a purely eurocentric perspective, as some would like to tell me in a reproachful manner.
Every Catholic will agree with one important intention of the IL, namely that the peoples of the Amazon may not remain the object of colonialism and neo-colonialism, the object of forces who only think about profits and power, at the cost of happiness and the dignity of other people. It is clear in the Church, society, and state that the people who are living there – especially our Catholic brothers and sisters – are equal and free agents in their lives and work, their Faith and their morality – in our common responsibility before God. But how can this be achieved?
4. The Point of Departure is God's Revelation in Jesus Christ
Without doubt, the proclamation of the Gospel is a dialogue, which corresponds to the Word (=Logos) of God addressed to us and to our response in the free gift of obedience to the Faith (Dei Verbum 5). Because the mission comes from Christ the God-Man and because He passed His Mission on from the Father onto His Apostles, the alternatives of a dogmatic approach “from above” versus a pedagogical-pastoral approach “from below” make no sense, only if one would reject the “divine-human principle of pastoral case” (Franz Xaver Arnold). 
But man is the addressee of the universal missionary mandate of Jesus (Matthew 28:19), “the universal and sole mediator of salvation between God and all mankind” (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:4 seq.). And man can reflect, with the help of his reason, upon the sense of life between birth and death, and his life is shaken by existential crises of human existence, and he sets in life and death his hope in God, the origin and goal of all being. 
A cosmovision with its myths and the ritual magic of Mother “Nature,” or its sacrifices to “gods” and spirits which scare the wits out of us, or lure us on with false promises, cannot be an adequate approach for the coming of the Triune God in His Word and His Holy Spirit. Much less can the approach be a scientific-positivistic world view of a liberal bourgeoisie which accepts of Christianity only a comfortable remnant of moral values and civil-religious rituals.
In all seriousness, in the formation of future pastors and theologians, shall the knowledge of classical and modern philosophy, of the Church Fathers, of modern theology, of the Councils, now be replaced with the Amazonian cosmovision and the wisdom of the ancestors with their myths and rituals?
Should the expression “cosmovision” merely mean that all created things are interdependent, it would be a mere commonplace. Due to the substantial unity of body and soul, man stands at the intersection of the fabric of spirit and matter. But the contemplation of the cosmos is only the occasion for the glorification of God and His wonderful work in nature and history. The cosmos, however, is not to be adored like God, but only the Creator Himself. We do not fall on our knees before the enormous power of nature and before “all kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Matthew 4:8), but only before God, “for it is written, the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve” (Matthew 4:10). It is thus that Jesus rejected the diabolical seducer in the desert. 
5. The Difference between Incarnation of the Word and Inculturation itself as a Way of Evangelization
The “Theologia indigena and the eco-theology” (IL 98) is a brainchild of social romantics. Theology is the understanding (intellectus fidei) of God's Revelation in His Word in the Faith-Profession of the Church, and not the continuously new mixture of world feelings and world views or religious-moral constellations of the cosmic feeling of all-in-one, the mixing of the feeling of one's own self with the world (hen kai pan). Our natural world is the creation of a Personal God. Faith in the Christian sense is thus recognition of God in His Eternal Word which became Flesh; it is illumination in the Holy Spirit, so that we recognize God in Christ.  With the Faith, the supernatural virtues of hope and charity are communicated to us.  That is how we understand ourselves as children of God, who, through Christ, say to God in the Holy Spirit, “Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15). We put our whole trust in Him, and He makes us His sons, who are free of the fear of the elementary forces of the world and of the demonic appearances, gods and spirits, which maliciously await us in the unpredictability of the material forces of the world. 
The Incarnation is a unique event in history which God has freely determined in His universal will of salvation. It is not an inculturation, and the inculturation of the Church is not an incarnation (IL 7;19;29;108). It was not Irenaeus of Lyon, in his 5thbook of Adversus haereses (IL 113), but Gregory of Nazianzus who formulated the principle: “quod non est assumptum non est sanatum – that, which has not been assumed, is not redeemed either.” (Ep. 101, 32) What is meant here was the completeness of human nature against Apollinaris of Laodicea (315-390) who thought that the Logos in the Incarnation only assumed a nature, without a human soul. That is why the following sentence is completely abstruse: “Cultural diversity calls for a more robust incarnation in order to embrace different ways of life and cultures.” (IL 113)
The Incarnation is not the principle of secondary cultural adaptation, but concretely and primarily also the principle of salvation in the “Church as Sacrament of salvation of the world in Christ” (Lumen Gentium 1:48), in the Church's Profession of Faith, in her Seven Sacraments, and in the episcopacy with the Pope at the head, in Apostolic succession. 
Secondary rites from the traditions of the peoples can help to ingrain into the culture the Sacraments, which are the means of salvation instituted by Christ. They may, however, not become independent, so that, for example suddenly marriage customs become more important than the Yes-Word [“Ja-Wort”] which is constitutive for the Sacrament of Matrimony itself. The sacramental signs, as they have been instituted by Christ and the Apostles (word and material symbol), cannot be changed at any price. Baptism cannot be validly administered in any other way than in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and with natural water; and in the Eucharist, one may not replace with local food the bread made of wheat and the wine from the vine. That would not be inculturation, but an inadmissible interference into Jesus' Will as founder [“Stiftungswillen”] and also would be a destruction of the unity of the Church at her sacramental center.
When inculturation here is referring to the secondary external celebration of divine worship and not to the Sacraments – which is ex opere operato, through the living Presence of Christ, the founder and true giver of Grace in these sacramental signs – then the following sentence is scandalous, or it is at least thoughtless: “Without this inculturation the liturgy can be reduced to a 'museum piece' or 'property of a select few.'” (IL 124)
God is not simply everywhere and equally present in all religions, as if the Incarnation would be merely a typically mediterranean phenomenon. In point of fact, God as Creator of the world is present as a whole and in each individual human heart (Acts 17:27seq) – even if the eyes of man are often blinded by sin, and his ears are deaf to God's Love. But He comes by way of His Self-Revelation in the history of His chosen people Israel, and He comes very close to us ourselves in His Incarnate Word and in the Spirit which has been poured into our hearts. This self-communication of God as a Grace and life of each man is being spread in the world by way of the Church's proclamation of her life and her cult – that is to say, by way of the world mission according to the universal mandate of Christ.
But He already works with His helping and prevenient Grace also in the hearts of those men who do not yet know Him expressly and by name, so that, when they hear about Him in the Apostolic proclamation, they can identify Him as the Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3).
6. The Criterion of Discernment: the Historical Self-Communication of God in Jesus Christ
What is missing in the IL is a clear witness to the self-communication of God in the verbum incarnatum, to the sacramentality of the Church, to the Sacraments as objective means of Grace instead of mere self-referential symbols, to the supernatural character of Grace, so that the integrity of man does not only consist of the unity with a bio-nature, but in the Divine Sonship and in the grace-filled communion with the Holy Trinity and so that eternal life is the reward for the conversion to God, the reconciliation with Him, and not only with the environment and our shared world. 
One cannot reduce the integral development merely to the provision of material resources. Because man receives his new integrity only by way of perfection in Grace, here now in Baptism, whereby we become a new creature and children of God, and then one day in the Beatific Vision in the community of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit and in communion with His saints. (1 John 1:3; 3:1 seq).
Instead of presenting an ambiguous approach with a vague religiosity and the futile attempt to turn Christianity into a science of salvation by sacralizing the cosmos and the biodiverse nature and ecology, it is important to look to the center and origin of our Faith: “In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature” (Dei Verbum 2).
Translation Maike Hickson