30 November 2019

Why Thomas Aquinas Distrusted Islam

The Angelic Doctor on the subject of Islam.

From Breitbart

By Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.

The 13th-century scholar Thomas Aquinas, regarded as one of the most eminent medieval philosophers and theologians, offered a biting critique of Islam based in large part on the questionable character and methods of its founder, Mohammed.

According to Aquinas, Islam appealed to ignorant, brutish, carnal men and spread not by the power of its arguments or divine grace but by the power of the sword.

Aquinas, a keen observer of the human condition, was familiar with the chief works of the Muslim philosophers of his day–including Avicenna, Algazel, and Averroes–and engaged them in his writings.

Since Islam was founded and spread in the seventh century, Aquinas—considered by Catholics as a saint and doctor of the Church—lived in a period closer to that of Mohammed than to our own day.

In one of his most significant works, the voluminous Summa contra gentiles, which Aquinas wrote between 1258 and 1264 AD, the scholar argued for the truth of Christianity against other belief systems, including Islam.

Aquinas contrasts the spread of Christianity with that of Islam, arguing that much of Christianity’s early success stemmed from widespread belief in the miracles of Jesus, whereas the spread of Islam was worked through the promise of sensual pleasures and the violence of the sword.

Mohammad, Aquinas wrote, “seduced the people by promises of carnal pleasure to which the concupiscence of the flesh goads us. His teaching also contained precepts that were in conformity with his promises, and he gave free rein to carnal pleasure.”

Such an offer, Aquinas contended, appealed to a certain type of person of limited virtue and wisdom.

“In all this, as is not unexpected, he was obeyed by carnal men,” he wrote. “As for proofs of the truth of his doctrine, he brought forward only such as could be grasped by the natural ability of anyone with a very modest wisdom. Indeed, the truths that he taught he mingled with many fables and with doctrines of the greatest falsity.”

Because of the weakness of Islam’s contentions, Aquinas argued, “no wise men, men trained in things divine and human, believed in him from the beginning.” Instead, those who believed in him “were brutal men and desert wanderers, utterly ignorant of all divine teaching, through whose numbers Muhammad forced others to become his followers by the violence of his arms.”

Islam’s violent methods of propagation were especially unconvincing to Aquinas, since he found that the use of such force does not prove the truth of one’s claims, and are the means typically used by evil men.

“Mohammad said that he was sent in the power of his arms,” Aquinas wrote, “which are signs not lacking even to robbers and tyrants.”

At the time Aquinas was writing, Islam was generally considered a Christian heresy, since it drew so heavily on Christian texts and beliefs. Aquinas wrote that Mohammed “perverts almost all the testimonies of the Old and New Testaments by making them into fabrications of his own, as can be seen by anyone who examines his law.”

According to the noted historian Hilaire Belloc, Islam “began as a heresy, not as a new religion. It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy. It was a perversion of Christian doctrine. Its vitality and endurance soon gave it the appearance of a new religion, but those who were contemporary with its rise saw it for what it was—not a denial, but an adaptation and a misuse, of the Christian thing.”

In his Summa contra gentiles, Aquinas ends his argument against Islam by offering a backhanded compliment to Mohammed, noting that he had to keep his followers ignorant in order for them to remain faithful.

It was, Aquinas wrote, “a shrewd decision on his part to forbid his followers to read the Old and New Testaments, lest these books convict him of falsity.”

“It is thus clear that those who place any faith in his words believe foolishly,” he wrote.

Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome

Remembering When Christian Cavalry Smashed the Muslim Army and Saved Europe

Where are our Graf Ernst Rudiger von Starhembergs and our King Jan Sobieskis now that we need them again!?
From LifeSiteNews

By Jonathon Van Maren

November 27, 2019 (The Bridgehead) — Europe is filled with great Gothic churches, but for me Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral has always been one of the greatest. Not because her soaring bell tower and serrated steeples are so much more beautiful than those of other cities, but because it was St. Stephen's that presided over some of Europe's most consequential battles, when the forces of Islam rode up to Vienna to smash through into Europe and do to her great cathedrals what they did to Constantinople's Hagia Sophia. I had the opportunity not only to explore the church earlier this year (Mozart's funeral was held here, and the bones of St. Valentine are kept in a chest in one of the chapels), but to give a brief speech on a stage in front of the church for the Austrian March for Life.

The Ottomans thought St. Stephen's was a prize, too, and when they laid siege to Vienna in 1529, Sultan Suleiman I (the Magnificent) was riding high. He had been racking up victories across the continent, and decided that the first great conquest that would lead to his domination of Europe would be the magnificent city of Vienna. He boasted that he would be having breakfast in St. Stephen's Cathedral within two weeks of the siege. When the date came and went, Vienna's defenders, a coalition that included German Landsknechts, Spanish Musketeers, and Italian mercenaries, both Catholic and Protestant, sent the sultan a message to let him know that his breakfast was getting cold. Fierce defenders and savage weather eventually drove the Ottomans back, and Christian Europe, for the time being, was safe.

In July of 1683, the Ottomans decided to try again, this time under the ambitious leadership of "Black" Mustafa, the Empire's grand vizier. They arrived to lay siege to the city, demanding surrender. Count Ernst Rudiger von Starhemberg, the commander of Vienna's garrison, scorned the ultimatum: "Let them come; I'll fight to the last drop of blood." As the siege dragged on and hunger and exhaustion began to fell the city's inhabitants, it began to look as if the defenders might have to do just that. Frantic pleas for assistance were sent out to the leaders of Christian Europe, calling for men and arms to repel the invaders. The calls were heeded, and a massive relief force made up of soldiers from Saxony, Baden, Franconia, Bavaria, Swabia, and Poland began to move towards Vienna.

The battle, a chaotic, bloody affair, began on September 11, 1683 — but there is one moment that stands out, immortalized against the backdrop of an epic struggle between civilizations. As Black Mustafa and the Turks tried desperately to force their way into the city before the relief troops could swing the advantage to the defenders, the Polish King Jan Sobieski emerged from the forests on the hills above the Ottoman attackers. At 6 PM, at his command, an awe-inspiring cavalry charge plunged over the crests of the hills and pounded towards the invaders, a magnificent force of 18,000 horsemen. The Polish king, at the head of 3,000 heavy lancers known to history as the Winged Hussars, led the charge. These knights were named for the wings of birds of prey attached to the backs of their armour, which streamed behind them in the wind and made them resemble a cloud of avenging angels.

The Winged Hussars and the thousands of cavalrymen that followed them smashed into the Ottomans, trampling many of them to death. By the time the horsemen hammered down the hill, many of them were simply riding too fast to stop, and they cut through the enemy troops like a battering-ram of horse, man, and steel. The charge proved to be the fatal blow to the Ottoman siege, and the battle to save Vienna was won within three hours. With the battle in hand and Vienna saved from the forces of Islam once again, King Jan Sobieski sat down in his tent to write a letter to his adored wife, something he did nearly every day when he was forced to be away from her.

There is an interesting cultural footnote to all of this. Most people do not know that J.R.R. Tolkien's famous Battle of Pelennor Fields, the struggle for the city of Minas Tirith between the soldiers of Gondor and the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron recounted in The Return of the King, is actually based on the charge of King Jan Sobieski and his Winged Hussars. Tolkien sets the scene with chilling foreboding: "It was dark and dim all day. From the sunless dawn until evening the heavy shadow had deepened, and all hearts were oppressed. Far above a great cloud streamed slowly westward from the Black Land, devouring light, borne upon war; but below the air was still and breathless, as if all the Vale of Anduin waited for the onset of a ruinous storm."

As the battle began in earnest, King Theoden emerges from the forest ahead of his cavalry, the fearsome Rohirrim. As he contemplates the destruction of the city, the king hears a booming sound from Minas Tirith, and suddenly stands erect: "Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before:

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

"With that, he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains."

Walking through Vienna last month, I stumbled across an iron plaque with Jan Sobieski's visage peering out from it near the Hapsburg palaces bolted to a wall, cloaked in regal finery and sporting an impressive moustache. The plaque had been placed there in September of 1983 — I couldn't read the inscription on it — but someone had very recently placed a ribboned wreath beneath it to commemorate what the Polish king had done for Vienna, and for civilization itself, all those years ago. For some reason, seeing the wreath cheered me up. Perhaps it is because it is encouraging to see that a few people still remember their history, and still take the time to honor those who took the weight of civilization on their shoulders when everything hung in the balance.

Published with permission from The Bridgehead.


Is there in the law of God any precept relating to the virtue of charity?

Yes (XLIV. 1).
What is this precept?

This precept is the following: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, with thy whole mind, with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength" (XLIV. 4).
What do these words mean precisely?

They mean that in all our actions our intention should be directed towards God; that all our thoughts should be subject to Him; and that all our affections should be regulated according to His will; and that all our external acts should be performed in fulfilment of His will
Is this precept of charity a great precept?

Yes, it is indeed the greatest of all the precepts, since it contains virtually all other precepts, for these are ordained to it (XLIII. 1-3).
Is this precept of charity one and single, or does it embrace several other precepts?

This precept taken in its fulness is both one and many; and this means that understood in its proper sense it alone is sufficient in the order of charity; for in very truth one cannot love God without loving one's neighbour whom we must love for God's sake; but in order that the precept may be properly understood by all, to this first precept is added a second, which is really not distinct from the first, viz., "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (XLIV. 2,3,7).
Are these precepts of charity contained in the Decalogue?

No, for these precepts of charity precede, and as it were dominate, the Decalogue; indeed, the precepts contained in the Decalogue were only given in order that the carrying out of the precepts of charity might be assured (XLIV. 1).
Are these precepts of charity in the supernatural order manifest of themselves without any need of their being promulgated?

Yes, for just in the same way as there is a law of nature inborn in all which commands that in the natural order God must be loved above all and all things else for His sake; so it is a law essential to the supernatural order that God, who is the fount of all in this order, must be loved with a supernatural love above all and all things else for His sake.
Then, not to love God above all, and not to love one's neighbour as oneself, is to run counter to what is essential in the order of the affections?

Yes, this is so.


The First Crusade - Episode 8: Bohemond, Godfrey, and Raymond at Constantinople , 1096-1097

Real Crusades History #12
Part 8 of the First Crusade series, deals with the arrival of Bohemond of Taranto, Raymond IV of Toulouse, and Robert Curthose at Constantinople, where they meet with Emperor Alexius Comnenus, ruler of the Byzantine Empire. We'll learn why Alexius mistrusted Bohemond, but trusted Raymond. We'll also learn about Godfrey of Bouillon's interaction with Alexius at the Byzantine capital.


238. Q. What is the Holy Eucharist? A. The Holy Eucharist is the Sacrament which contains the body and blood, soul and divinity, of our Lord Jesus Christ under the appearances of bread and wine.

245. Q. What do you mean by the appearances of bread and wine? A. By the appearances of bread and wine I mean the figure, the color, the taste, and whatever appears to the senses.

249. Q. When did Christ give His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood? A. Christ gave His priests the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood when He said to the Apostles, Do this for a commemoration of Me.

250. Q. How do the priests exercise this power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ? A. The priests exercise this power of changing bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the words of consecration in the Mass, which are the words of Christ: This is My body; this is My blood.


Please note that there are gaps in the numbering, and some questions are out of order, because the questions are numbered to agree with the 'Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism' (Baltimore Catechism #4)

Word of the Day: Lay Apostolate

LAY APOSTOLATE. Any form of service for the religious welfare of others practiced by the Catholic laity. More commonly refers to apostolic lay activity performed as part of an association or society. The lay apostolate, since the Second Vatican Council, may be one of three types: apostolic work done by the laity but totally supervised by the hierarchy; apostolic work conducted by the laity but officially responsible to the hierarchy; and the apostolic work totally conducted by lay men or women but approved by the hierarchy.

Should an Advent Wreath Be in the Sanctuary?

This will not be popular in many quarters, but the answer is 'No'.

From Romanitas Press

By Louis J. Tofari

During the liturgical seasons of the Church, we witness a variety of customs that help us to enliven our Faith, both through the sacred liturgy and customs observed in the home—or domestic traditions.

​One such domestic custom is the Advent Wreath, a decoration of circular evergreen festooned with four candles which counts down the weeks of the Advent Season to the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

The presence of this wreath in the home also serves as a reminder of the necessity to spiritually prepare ourselves during the time of Advent for the Birth of the Savior.

However, it is important that we understand that the Advent Wreath is merely a domestic custom, but not a liturgical practice. This is evidenced by the fact that the wreath’s candles are not considered “cultus candles”—that is, candles used for ritualistic purpose in the context of the sacred liturgy.[1] Nor does any rubrician or liturgical reference manual on candles or church decorations (such as Candles in the Roman Rite), mention the Advent Wreath as a possible practice within the sanctuary (let alone the church).

The Advent Wreath practice is not mentioned as a liturgical practice because strictly-speaking it is a merely domestic custom. Just like hanging one’s stockings up for the visit of St. Nicholas of Bari. Or the moving of the Three Magi figurines through one’s house from the First Sunday of Advent until the Feast of the Epiphany when they finally reach the Christ Child at the manger. All of these home practices are well and good, but again, they do not have any place within a church.[2]

Now within the sanctuary, it is the liturgical decorations that should foremost call to our minds the penitential preparation for Advent, such as the violet vesture on the altar (e.g., the antependium, conopaeum, and missal stand veil[3]), and some places may even follow the laudable practice of using unbleached altar candles. On the other hand, a lighted Advent Wreath in the sanctuary can be somewhat distracting from these official decorations and even focus of the altar itself.

Some might object that the Paschal Candle can also distract from the altar, but it must be recalled that this candle is an official liturgical (or cultus) candle and of the most supreme importance. For this candle is solemnly blessed and lit with the Paschal Fire and it represents Our Lord Himself and the triumph of His Resurrection. So there can be no comparison between the presence of the domestic Advent Wreath and of the liturgical Paschal Candle in the sanctuary.

Also strictly-speaking, only cultus candles should be used within the sanctuary (e.g., as on the altar, in the sanctuary lamp, or held by the acolytes or torchbearers). Such cultus candles include even the use of additional ones for solemnizing an occasion as on a greater feast or to show additional dignity to Our Lord when exposed in the Blessed Sacrament (e.g., standard candles or candelabra) as well as to pay respect to the deceased (e.g., catafalque candles). Of course, there is even the use of votive candles—which by name are devoted to a specific cultus—and even these are usually situated outside the sanctuary precinct. In all of these cases, these extra candles are mentioned in the rubrics or by liturgical authorities for a cause of cultus.

I have heard some object to the presence of the Advent Wreath in the sanctuary as it is Protestant in origin. Personally, I believe that this is a rather weak argument, since the Catholic Church can (and has) adopted and baptized many non-Christian practices as her own for the sacred liturgy, such as the hieratic Itala Vetus form of Latin used in the Roman Canon.[4] Thus, it is my opinion that the strongest argument for not displaying an Advent Wreath in the sanctuary is the liturgical, or cultus, one.

Even if it were true that the Advent Wreath had a Protestant origin—though I believe that this claim is not entirely historically accurate—the fact is, this decoration undoubtedly integrates Catholic symbols as will be explained below. Furthermore, today the custom of the Advent Wreath tends to actually be more associated with Catholicism then with Protestantism, while its use within Catholic homes has been traditionally encouraged by such authorities as Fr. Francis X. Weiser, author of Handbook of Christian Feasts & Customs.[5] So while the Advent Wreath is not a liturgical practice and thus should not be present in the sanctuary, on the other hand, it is much to be recommended as a custom for Catholics to observe in their homes.

For the last few paragraphs perhaps, many readers have probably been anxiously waiting to read whether or not an Advent Wreath could possibly be displayed elsewhere in the church, say in the nave or narthex. In my opinion, the answer is yes, and I have seen some edifying examples of this practice (e.g., suspending a large wreath from the ceiling). But then again, one would wonder what would be the overall benefit in doing this, since liturgically-speaking, Advent is already—and officially—represented in the church by the sanctuary appointments and vestments of the sacred ministers, let alone the propers of the Mass. Another caveat is that such a decorative display should be situated so that it does not interfere with the view of the sanctuary or altar.

To conclude this piece about the Advent Wreath, let us briefly examine its symbolisms and thus better understand the message that it should give to us in the comfort of our Catholic homes as we prepare for the coming of our Divine Infant Savior.

Evergreen boughs have long been decoratively used since ancient times to signify hope and everlasting life, as well as festive joy. In the context of the Advent Wreath, the evergreen reminds us to have hope in the coming of the Christ our Savior—the Messiah—and the redemption of everlasting life that He will obtain for us (particularly through the special graces that the liturgical season of Christmas will bestow upon us). This in turn will bestow on us the supernatural joy that only Christ can give.

Furthermore, the scent of evergreen boughs (e.g., of pine or fir) provides a clean and refreshing odor, further impressing upon us through our senses of the importance of purifying our souls during Advent.

The circular wreath signifies the eternity of the Holy Trinity, and one could even say, the eternity of time, in which the coming—or advent—of the Only-Begotten Son of the Father for the redemption of mankind was always in the mind of Almighty God.

The four candles signify the preparatory four weeks, or Sundays, of Advent. Today these candles are often colored, three as violet and a fourth as rose. The rose-colored candle is for the Third Sunday of Advent, also called “Gaudete Sunday” after its Introit which commends us to “rejoice for the Lord is near”. The rose candle also indicates the unique Roman custom of this Sunday, when rose-colored vestments are worn instead of violet to signify a sense of subdued joy that our penance during Advent and expectation for Christmas is nearly at an end.

It is interesting to note, that originally, four white—or even unbleached—candles were used for the Advent Wreath. While in some places, even a larger fifth candle was situated in the center of the wreath—signifying the birth of Christ—which was lit during the Christmas Octave to show the accomplishment of Advent’s preparations.

Another commonly included decoration on the evergreen itself is the presence of fruits of the tree, such as apples, pine cones or nuts. These “fruits” represent the additional sweet blessings (as signified by a fruit such as an apple)—or future growth in sanctifying grace (as signified by the seed bearing cones or nuts)—we expectantly hope to obtain from Christ’s birth and during the subsequent Christmas season.


1 In Latin, the word cultus refers to an official form of religious practice (or rite). It can also be used to refer to the “cult of the saints”, meaning the form of veneration or devotion given to them by the Catholic Church.

2 Concerning the Nativity Scene or crèche seen customarily erected in churches during Advent and Christmas time, two distinctions should be noted. First, this is an immemorial and ancient Roman Catholic practice (which even predates St. Francis of Assisi’s famous incident of 1223—read more about the history of the praesepe here), and second, ideally this non-liturgical display should not be situated within the main sanctuary (though it can be placed in a side chapel).

Also, there is often some customary ceremonial attached to the manger scene, such as processing through the church before or after Midnight Mass with the celebrant bearing a figure of the Divine Infant, and after solemnly placing it in the crib, incensing the Christ Child—this practice in particular is derived from the ceremony observed at the actual birthplace of Our Lord in Bethlehem.

Another example is an actual liturgical practice (sanctioned by the Sacred Congregation of Rites) where the Infant Child is displayed above the altar in conjunction with the altar cross, and is separately incensed during Mass (e.g., before the Introit and during the Offertory) along with the altar cross.

3 More can be read about these appointments in the books, The Liturgical Altar and A Guide for Altar and Sanctuary.

4 For more information about this fascinating aspect about one of the two kinds of liturgical Latin used in the Roman Mass (the other being the Vulgate of St. Jerome), see Dr. Christine Morhmann’s excellent book, Liturgical Latin, Its Origins and Character.

​5 First published in 1958. A version of this invaluable book was printed by TAN Books in 1998 under the title, Religious Customs in the Family: The Radiation of the Liturgy into Catholic Homes, and is available from Christianbook.com.

Melbourne Childcare Centre Cancels Christmas Event Due to ‘Cultural Sensitivities’

One parent complained! And all the Christians are expected to just bow down to the Culture of Death!
From 3AW693
A childcare centre in Melbourne’s south east has canned a Christmas event due to “cultural sensitivities”.

Neil Mitchell was alerted to the news by caller Felix on Friday.
He said his daughter worked at the centre and it had cancelled its Christmas pageant because one parent complained.
3AW Mornings has since contacted the childcare centre, which confirmed the news.
Audio on 3AW Mornings at the link.

Popular Christmas Carol ‘Joy to the World’ Deemed “Too Religious” by Californian School

She wasn't even going to sing the words! The MUSIC was 'too religious'! They did relent after threat of legal action.

From ClassicFM

By Rosie Pentreath 

A 13-year-old pianist had to fight her case to perform the traditional Christmas carol after her school nearly prevented her performance.

A school in California tried to prevent a 13-year-old pianist from performing popular Christmas carol, ‘Joy to the World’ as it was deemed “too religious”.

According to a Facebook post made public by the girl’s mother, the school was uncomfortable with her daughter’s choice of repertoire and to “err on the side of caution” suggested the pianist might perform ‘Jingle Bells’ instead as “People of all (or no) religions can enjoy it as a song of the winter season”.

The pianist, whose name is Brooklyn Benzel, was backed up by her mum who corresponded with the school via email, making a case for the carol’s wonderful Christmas message and lack of explicitly Christian content – while also pointing out that Benzel would not be singing the lyrics anyway – and eventually threatened to take legal action.

The school (South Sutter Charter School in California), apparently changed their position and allowed Benzel to perform the joyous carol as planned.

Read more: What are the lyrics to ‘Joy to the World’, and who actually composed the Christmas carol?

“Don’t mean to interrupt your Sunday afternoon football...,” Benzel’s mother, Julianne, writes on Facebook.

“Just keeping y’all aware: Brooklyn’s piano sample for the semester ‘Joy to the World’ has been rejected as ‘too religious’. You think we’re going to relent even one bit?!? You know we’ll take it as far as necessary.”

Read her full description of how the on-again, off-again carol ban played out in the post below:

Don’t mean to interrupt your Sunday afternoon football...just keeping ya’all aware: Brooklyn’s piano sample for the semester “Joy to the World” has been rejected as “too religious.” You think we’re going to relent even one bit?!? You know we’ll take it as far as necessary. Stay tuned... #FirstAmendment #CA04 #Benzel2020🇺🇸

Excommunication Threat in SU Pro-Choice Row

The Culture of Death marches on in the UK!
From The Tablet

By Ellen Teague

'A matter of deep regret.' Archbishop Stack on the students' union pro-choice policy. 

Catholic students have been urged not to participate in official societies of Cardiff University’s Students’ Union after it voted at its AGM last week to adopt an official pro-choice stance.

The Catholic chaplain, Fr Sebastian Jones, said that no Catholic could remain a member of an organisation that upholds “the promotion of, and material support for, the procurement of abortions”. He warned that participation, “would risk [students] incurring excommunication”.

Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff told The Tablet this week: "It is a matter of deep regret that the Student's Union of Cardiff University has adopted this policy”.

"It stifles the right of free speech on this important issue and such freedom of speech, thought, and ideas, should surely lie at the heart of a university education,” he said.

However, the Students’ Union has noted that “if students vote in favour of a position, it does not mean that students who have opposing views are censored or their views are not welcome”.

Two days before the annual meeting on 21 November, Fr Jones wrote an open letter to the Catholic Society saying the motion offends the University’s Catholic community. “It introduces new divisions and will fuel new prejudices among student societies,” he wrote. He said the motion “would violate Cardiff University’s principle of inclusivity and diversity which to date has extended to all people of faith”. He particularly feared discrimination against the Students for Life Society. When the Students’ Union adopted the pro-choice motion, the Catholic Society immediately left the guild of societies.

Fr Sebastian expressed "great personal sadness" that other Christian groups supported or did not speak against the motion. The Cardiff Anglican and Methodist Society, which supported the motion, suggested that the motion itself was, “in reaction to the formation of the Students For Life Society, whose very existence is misogynistic and divisive – it is a society created to target people who choose to have abortions”. It added: “A ‘pro-choice’ position acknowledges different situations students may find themselves in and having the Union’s official position be ‘pro-choice’ is clearly the best option that ensures a safe space for all.”


Who says there's no Culture War? My next three posts come from three different countries in the Anglosphere, the UK, the US, and Australia. They all represent facets of the battle between sanity, morality and civilisation and the insanity, immorality, and barbarism of the Culture of Death. 

This is no longer simply a matter of keeping our Faith out of the public square or making of it a 'private matter'. The Culture of Death wants to annihilate the Faith! Hilaire Belloc predicted this in 1938, when he wrote the final chapter of his excellent book, The Great Heresies, entitled 'The Modern Phase'.

The enemy which the Faith now has to meet, and which may be called "The Modern Attack," is a wholesale assault upon the fundamentals of the Faith-upon the very existence of the Faith. And the enemy now advancing against us is increasingly conscious of the fact that there can be no question of neutrality. The forces now opposed to the Faith design to destroy. The battle is henceforward engaged upon a definite line of cleavage, involving the survival or destruction of the Catholic Church. And all-not a portion-of its philosophy.

We know, of course, that the Catholic Church cannot be destroyed. But what we do not know is the extent of the area over which it will survive; its power of revival or the power of the enemy to push it further and further back on to its last defences until it may seem as though anti-Christ had come and the final issue was about to be decided. Of such moment is the struggle immediately before the world.

The truth is becoming every day so much more obvious that within a few years it will be universally admitted. I do not entitle the modern attack "anti-Christ"-though in my heart I believe that to be the true term for it: No, I do not give it that name because it would seem for the moment exaggerated. But the name doesn't matter. Whether we call it "The Modern Attack" or "anti-Christ" it is all one; there is a clear issue now joined between the retention of   Catholic morals, tradition, and authority on the one side, and the active effort to destroy them on the other. The modern attack will not tolerate us. It will attempt to destroy us. Nor can we tolerate it. We must attempt to destroy it as being the fully equipped and ardent enemy of the Truth by which men live. The duel is to the death.
He was, however, incorrect in his opinion of how soon Catholics would realise that it is a battle to the death. He wrote, 'The truth is becoming every day so much more obvious that within a few years it will be universally admitted.' Even today, over 70 years later, there are still people who refuse to admit the obvious.

They think that if only we 'tone it down', we shall be left alone. If we agree to 'live and let live', the enemy will declare a truce. The 'I'm personally opposed, but...' politicians are a shining example of the failure of such a tactic.

Others, like Rod Dreher, suggest withdrawing into a sort of Catholic enclave or compound. I cannot be the only one who thinks that concentrating your forces, which (at least at present) are appreciably weaker than the enemy's, into a 'ghetto' is a tactically mad idea. Siege warfare or the Warsaw Ghetto, anyone? They are out to destroy us! And the sooner we wake up the better. There is no better way to lose the war than to not believe there is a war going on!

Paul VI’s Contempt for Catholics Who Did Not Welcome the Liturgical Reform

Fifty years ago today was a black day in the history of the Catholic Church. It was the First Sunday of Advent, 1969, the day that Paul VI pretended the NO became mandatory. Here Dr K shows the utter contempt in which Paul held those who did not agree to the destreuction of the Mass.

From New Liturgical Movement

By Dr Peter Kwasniewski 

As we approach the melancholy 50th anniversary of the going-into-effect of Pope Paul VI’s Apostolic Constitution Missale Romanum with the first mandatory celebration of the Novus Ordo Missae on the first Sunday of Advent, November 30, 1969, it is worthwhile to recall how frequently this vexed and vexing pope felt the need to address the “naysayers” of his day who were complaining about the stream of ever-increasing changes to the Roman liturgy implemented throughout the 1960s. Some readers will already be familiar with the astonishing general audiences of March 1965 and November 1969 (on which I have offered a detailed commentary: “A Half-Century of Novelty: Revisiting Paul VI’s Apologia for the New Mass”), but few, perhaps, will be aware of other public addresses in which he continued his tirade against the reform’s non-enthusiasts.

Pope Paul had a curious way of speaking, as if a rapturous majority of laity and clergy were rushing to embrace the new form of the Mass with zeal for active participation, like happy citizens of a Communist Workers’ Paradise. Evidence both published and anecdotal, together with an ever-more precipitous decline in church attendance throughout the 1960s and 1970s, suggest that no more than a tiny minority felt the “good vibrations” of the Bugnini Boys. [1] Paul VI’s contempt, therefore, was directed not only at the majority of his coreligionists (which would have been unsaintly enough); it was, in reality, directed against centuries of traditional Catholic practice that, in spite of whatever faults it may have had, kept large numbers attached to the Church and to their Faith, with a piety and seriousness that could rarely be found, and never surpassed, outside of Catholicism. The advice of Louis Bouyer in 1956 had gone unheeded: “We must not try to provide an artificial congregation to take part in an antiquarian liturgy, but rather to prepare the actual congregations of the Church today to take part in the truly traditional liturgy rightly understood.” [2]

In this article, I would like to offer some quotations from Paul VI, courtesy of that enormous doorstopper called Documents on the Liturgy 1963–1979 — a book that would enjoy a more accurate acronym if its title were Documents Undermining Liturgical Life 1963–1979 — that reveal the full amplitude, or better, narrowness, of the pontiff’s mind as to the meaning of participatio actuosa and the flagitious behavior of those who stubbornly resisted the march of progress.

Address to Italian Bishops, 14 April 1964 (DOL 21)
“The liturgical reform opens up to us a way to reeducate our people in their religion, to purify and revitalize their forms of worship and devotion, to restore dignity, beauty, simplicity, and good taste to our religious ceremonies. Without such inward and outward renewal there can be little hope for any widespread survival of religious living in today’s changed conditions. … [P]romote sacred song, the religious, congregational singing of the people. Remember, if the faithful sing they do not leave the Church; if they do not leave the Church, they keep the faith and live as Christians.”

General Audience, 13 January 1965 (DOL 24)
“Through your [sc., laity’s] own endeavor to put the Constitution on the Liturgy into exact and vital effect you show yourselves to have that understanding of the times which Christ recommended to his first disciples (see Mt 16:4) and which the Church today is in the process of awakening and recognizing in adult Catholics. . . . You show that you understand the new way of religion which the current liturgical reform intends to restore . . . The Church’s solicitude now broadens; today it is changing certain aspects of ritual discipline that are now inadequate and is seekingly boldly but thoughtful to plumb their ecclesial meaning, the demands of community, and the supernatural value of ecclesial worship. To understand this religious program and to enjoy its hoped-for results we must all change our settled way of thinking regarding sacred ceremonies and religious practices as calling for no more than a passive, distracted assistance. We must be fully cognizant of the fact that with the Council a new spiritual pedagogy has been born. That is what is new about the Council and we must not hang back from making ourselves first the pupils and then the masters in this school of prayer now at its inception. It may well happen that the reforms will affect practices both dear to us and still worthy of respect; that the reforms will demand efforts that, at the outset, are a strain. But we must be devout and trusting: the religious and spiritual vista that the Constitution opens up before us is stupendous in its doctrinal profundity and authenticity, in the cogency of its Christian logic, in the purity and richness of its cultural and aesthetic elements, in its response to the character and needs of modern man.”

Address to Pastors and Lenten Preachers, 1 March 1965 (DOL 25)
“Here are some of the issues: to change so many attitudes that in a number of respects are themselves worthy of honor and dearly held; to upset devout and good people by presenting new ways of prayer that they are not going to understand right away; to win over to a personal involvement in communal prayer the many people used to praying — or not praying — in church as they please; to intensify training in prayer and worship in every congregation, that is, to introduce the faithful to new viewpoints, gestures, practices, formularies, and attitudes, amounting to an active part in religion than many are unused to. In a word, the issue is engaging the people of God in the priestly liturgical life. Again, we say that it is a difficult and delicate matter, but adding that it is necessary, obligatory, providential, and renewing. We hope that it will also be satisfying.”

General Audience, 17 March 1965 (DOL 27)
“What do people think about the reform of the liturgy? . . . First, there are those that give evidence of a degree of confusion and therefore of uneasiness. Until now people were comfortable; they could pray the way they wished; all were quite familiar with the way the Mass proceeded. Now on all sides there are new things, changes, surprises: it has even gone so far as to do away with ringing the Sanctus bell. Then there are all those prayers that no one can any longer find; standing to receive Communion; the end of the Mass cut off abruptly after the blessing. Everyone makes the responses; there is much moving about; the prayers and the readings are spoken out loud. In short, there is no more peace, things are understood less than before, and so on. We shall not criticize these views because then we would have to show how they reveal a poor understanding of the meaning of religious ceremonial and allow us to glimpse not a true devotion and a true appreciation of the meaning and worth of the Mass, but rather a certain spiritual laziness which is not prepared to make some personal effort of understanding and participation directed to a better understanding and fulfillment of this, the most sacred of religious acts, in which we are invited, or rather obliged, to participate.”

(You couldn’t make this stuff up!)

Homily at Parish in Rome, 27 March 1966 (DOL 33)
“The Council has taken the fundamental position that the faithful have to understand what the priest is saying [3] and to share in the liturgy; to be not just passive spectators at Mass but souls alive . . . Look at the altar, placed now for dialogue with the assembly; consider the remarkable sacrifice of Latin, the priceless repository of the Church’s treasure. The repository has been opened up, as the people’s own spoken language now becomes part of their prayer. Lips that have often been still, sealed as it were, now at last begin to move, as the whole assembly can speak its part in the colloquy . . . No longer do we have the sad phenomenon of people being conversant and vocal about every human subject yet silent and apathetic in the house of God. How sublime it is to hear during Mass the communal recitation of the Our Father! In this way the Sunday Mass is not just an obligation but a pleasure, not just fulfilled as a duty, but claimed as a right.”

Quite possibly the most fantastical and least realistic Pope in history
Paul VI was prophetic about contraception, but he was no prophet when it came to liturgy:

General Audience at Castelgandolfo, 13 August 1969 (DOL 45)
“Through an intense and prolonged religious movement, the liturgy, crowned, and, as it were, canonized by Vatican II, has gained a new importance, dignity, accessibility, and participation in the consciousness and the spiritual life of the people of God and, we predict, this will continue even more in the future.”

Note how, three years after his complaints in 1966, Paul VI is still harping on the theme of resistance to reform, and the vices it indicates:

General Audience at Castelgandolfo, 20 August 1969 (DOL 46)
“A second category, whose ranks have swelled with troubled people after the conciliar reform of the liturgy, includes the suspicious, the criticizers, the malcontents. Disturbed in their devotional practices, these spirits grudgingly resign themselves to the new ways, but make no attempt to understand the reasons for them. They find the new expressions of divine worship unpleasing. They take refuge in their moaning, which takes away their ancient flavor from texts of the past and blocks any taste for what the Church, in this second spring of the liturgy, offers to spirits that are open to the meaning and language of the new rites sanctioned by the wisdom and authority of the postconciliar reform. A not very difficult effort at acceptance and understanding would bring the experience of dignity, simplicity, and newfound antiquity in the new liturgies and would also bring to the sanctuary of each person’s self the consolation and life-giving force of community celebrations. The interior life would yield a greater fullness.”

General Audience, November 26, 1969 (DOL 211)
       “A new rite of the Mass: a change in a venerable tradition that has gone on for centuries. This is something that affects our hereditary religious patrimony, which seemed to enjoy the privilege of being untouchable and settled. It seemed to bring the prayer of our forefathers and our saints to our lips and to give us the comfort of feeling faithful to our spiritual past, which we kept alive to pass it on to the generations ahead.

“It is at such a moment as this that we get a better understanding of the value of historical tradition and the communion of the saints. This change will affect the ceremonies of the Mass. We shall become aware, perhaps with some feeling of annoyance, that the ceremonies at the altar are no longer being carried out with the same words and gestures to which we were accustomed — perhaps so much accustomed that we no longer took any notice of them. This change also touches the faithful. It is intended to interest each one of those present, to draw them out of their customary personal devotions or their usual torpor.

       “We must prepare for this many-sided inconvenience. It is the kind of upset caused by every novelty that breaks in on our habits. We shall notice that pious persons are disturbed most, because they have their own respectable way of hearing Mass, and they will feel shaken out of their usual thoughts and obliged to follow those of others. Even priests may feel some annoyance in this respect. So what is to be done on this special and historical occasion? First of all, we must prepare ourselves. This novelty is no small thing. We should not let ourselves be surprised by the nature, or even the nuisance, of its exterior forms. …

 “It is Christ’s will, it is the breath of the Holy Spirit which calls the Church to make this change. A prophetic moment is occurring in the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church. This moment is shaking the Church, arousing it, obliging it to renew the mysterious art of its prayer.

       “It is here that the greatest newness is going to be noticed, the newness of language. No longer Latin, but the spoken language will be the principal language of the Mass. The introduction of the vernacular will certainly be a great sacrifice for those who know the beauty, the power and the expressive sacrality of Latin. We are parting with the speech of the Christian centuries; we are becoming like profane intruders in the literary preserve of sacred utterance. We will lose a great part of that stupendous and incomparable artistic and spiritual thing, the Gregorian chant. We have reason indeed for regret, reason almost for bewilderment. What can we put in the place of that language of the angels? We are giving up something of priceless worth. But why? What is more precious than these loftiest of our Church’s values?

       “The answer will seem banal, prosaic. Yet it is a good answer, because it is human, because it is apostolic. Understanding of prayer is worth more than the silken garments in which it is royally dressed. Participation by the people is worth more — particularly participation by modern people, so fond of plain language which is easily understood and converted into everyday speech.”
General Audience, 3 November 1971 (DOL 53)
       “The Church praying (Ecclesia orans) has received at the Council its most splendid idealization. We must not forget that regarding the stirring reality of liturgical reform. Great weight, even regarding the spiritual conditions of today’s world, is due to that reform because of its originating, pastoral intent to reawaken prayer among the people of God. This is to be a pure and shared prayer, that is, interior and personal, yet at the same time public and communal. Its meaning is not simply a matter of ritual, pertaining to the sacristy or an arcane and merely liturgical erudition. Prayer is to be a religious affirmation, full of faith and life: an apostolic school for all seekers of the life-giving truth; a spiritual challenge thrown down before an atheistic, pagan, and secularized world.”

*       *       *
From our vantage fifty years later, as we watch the liturgical reform either imploding on itself or being slowly undone by an ever-stronger traditionalist movement, we can benefit from the hindsight of knowing what not to do to one’s precious inheritance, and energetically commit ourselves to doing the opposite. For the great irony is that it is not, and was never, the “new” liturgy that serves as “an apostolic school for all seekers of the life-giving truth; a spiritual challenge thrown down before an atheistic, pagan, and secularized world.” Instead, more and more, we see how aptly this description suits the classical Roman rite, risen as a phoenix from its ashes.

The choice before us: a Roman Missal from 1948, or . . .

[1] The Beach Boys’ hit “Good Vibrations” appeared in 1966, the year in between the provisional 1965 missal and the Missa Normativa of 1967.

[2] Life and Liturgy (1956), pp. 14-15, cited by Alcuin Reid in the Introduction to Beauduin’s Liturgy, the Life of the Church.

[3] This claim is, of course, a bald lie on Paul VI’s part, since the Council took no such position, and in fact took a different one. It was a lie he repeated on dozens of occasions.


The Mad Monarchist debunks a few of the many myths about monarchy.

From The Mad Monarchist

Rebutting Republican Myths
Monarchies are un-democratic! 
Not true. Actually, most monarchies in the world today are more democratic than most republics in the world. Further, in most republics (even the United States) the President is not directly elected by the people anyway. However, being democratic is not necessarily a good thing. Benevolent leaders and bloodthirsty dictators have both come to power through democracy.

Monarchies are too expensive!
Not true, not by a long shot. Some monarchs (such as the Prince of Liechtenstein) cost the public nothing at all. In the United Kingdom, the money the Queen grants the government from the Crown Estates is considerably more than the allowance she receives from the Civil List, so Britain effectively makes money off the monarchy. Republics often spend more on their presidents, past presidents and first families than monarchies do on their royal houses. Many countries (like Australia, Jamaica or Canada) share a monarch and pay nothing and monarchies do not have the constant, massive expense of elections and political campaigns for the top job.

Hereditary monarchy just isn’t fair!
Why not? How can any system for determining national leadership be absolutely fair? It hardly seems fair that one person should receive the top job simply because he or she is more popular. Surely the correct criteria should be how qualified a person is rather than if they are good at making speeches, more photogenic or being more gifted at graft and deceit. In a monarchy the top job goes to someone trained from birth to fill that role. In a republic, even under the best circumstances, an elected president will take half their term learning to do the job and the other half campaigning to retain it; hardly a model of efficiency. Hereditary succession seems much more “fair” than granting power to those able to swindle enough money and promise enough favors to the powerful to obtain the highest office in the land.

Monarchies are dangerous! What if the monarch is incompetent?
The same question could be asked about republican leaders. However, rest assured, monarchs who are not capable of fulfilling their duties can be replaced and have been throughout history. Take two of the oldest and most stable monarchies; in Great Britain, when King George III became incapacitated the Prince of Wales was made regent and exercised his duties for him. Similarly, in Japan, when the Taisho Emperor was no longer able to fulfill his duties, the Crown Prince took over those duties for him as regent. On the other hand, even in the most successful republic in the world, the United States, only two presidents have ever been impeached and neither one was actually removed from office.

Monarchy is an archaic throwback! It’s simply out of date!

Certainly monarchy is an ancient institution as it developed naturally from the dawn of time and the growth of human civilizations. However, democracy and republicanism is just as archaic. The Greek city-states of ancient times tried direct democracy and found it of very limited value, lasting only so long as people found out they could vote themselves the property of others. Republicanism was tried on a large-scale by the ancient Romans and yet they too found that it caused too many divisions, factions and civil wars before they decided a monarchy was preferable. The oldest republic in the world today was founded in 301 AD. How out of date is that?

What about cruel monarchs like Nero or Attila the Hun? Surely no benefits could be worth risking leaders like that!
Actually, far more people have been butchered in wars or massacred by those in power since the start of the revolutionary period than in all history previously. Nero or Attila the Hun were unsavory characters but nowhere near as bad as republican monsters like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong or Pol Pot. It has only been in the post-revolutionary era of mass politics and political ideologies that governments have taken to killing their own people in huge numbers. Nero was cruel to his own family and later persecuted Christians who were still a tiny minority and Attila the Hun, as ruthless as he was toward his enemies, ruled his own people well from what we know and with justice. No monarch ever wiped out as many of their own people as the communist dictators of the Twentieth Century, all of whom did so in the name of “the people” and “fairness”.

Royals are too out of touch. They have no idea how regular people live.
Some people believe this, but it simply isn’t true. Queen Elizabeth II was a mechanic and truck driver during World War II, the King of Thailand is a renowned jazz musician and composer, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark has painted illustrations for several books, including the Danish edition of “The Lord of the Rings”. The Emperor of Japan grows his own rice, the King of Cambodia was a practically anonymous dance instructor before coming to the throne and many royal heirs take ordinary jobs, often in obscure places where they are unknown, after finishing school. Despite what people think, royal life is not all champagne and caviar. Compare this to many presidents who have often never worked outside the public sector in their entire lives, never served in the military (as most royals do) or ever known any other life besides making speeches and casting votes.

At best, monarchs are unnecessary. A president could do just as good a job.
Not true at all. Some republics have ceremonial presidents that are supposed to be non-political but they still invariably have a political background and are beholden to the party that appoints them. A monarch, on the other hand, is above all political divisions and has a blood connection to the history of the country, its traditions and most deeply held beliefs. No politician could ever represent a people in the way a monarch can whose family history has been the history of the country itself.

Monarchies must be bad or else there would be more of them!
That argument could only begin to make sense if most monarchies had fallen because of a conscious decision by the whole people to see them end. This has certainly not been the case. Most monarchies have fallen because of brute force exerted by a powerful, motivated minority or because their country was defeated in war and their state collapsed. How about looking at how people live? The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development annually puts out a list of the best countries to live in based on a variety of factors and monarchies invariably outrank republics by far. Last year, 2012, is a typical case with 8 out of the top 10 best countries to live in being monarchies; the only republics to make the top 10 were the United States and Switzerland. If republics are so great, shouldn’t their people be living better lives than those in monarchies?

Monarchs are so set apart, they cannot represent ordinary people.
Actually, that is precisely why they can represent everyone in a way no politician ever could. President Hollande of France is an agnostic socialist, so how can he truly represent those French who are Catholic or capitalists? President Napolitano of Italy was a long-time communist, which is certainly not representative of most Italians. President Obama of the US, a liberal from Hawaii, cannot have much in common with a conservative from South Carolina. Yet, a monarch, because they are set apart, can represent everyone because they are not from any particular group.

Republics bring progress, monarchies only oppressed.
Historical fact says otherwise. Time and time again history has shown that the end of monarchy makes things worse for a country, not better. In France it resulted in the “Reign of Terror” that saw tens of thousands of people get their heads chopped off. In Russia, the loss of the monarchy allowed the Bolsheviks to take power who then created the Soviet Union which spread oppression around the world and murdered millions of people. In China the result was a chaotic period of warlord rule followed by the bloodiest civil war in human history and then a communist dictatorship that took the lives of 60 million people. The end of monarchy in Germany and Austria resulted in divided republics that allowed Adolf Hitler to come to power, devastate the continent and butcher 9 million people. The fall of the Shah of Iran allowed a radical theocracy to take power that has spread terrorism around the world and brutally oppressed its own people. These are only a few of the examples that could be cited and the facts are inarguable.

30 November, Antonio Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Blessedness of the Clean of Heart

1. “Blessed are the clean of heart,” says Jesus in the Beatitudes, for they shall see God. (Mt. 5:8) “The sensual man,” adds St. Paul, “does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor. 2:14)

How true this is. When the flesh gains control over the spirit and our lower instincts enslave the intellect, we are overcome by confusion and spiritual blindness. No longer can we see God's reflection in created things; no longer do we hear His voice. Impurity and sensuality lead to disregard for the law of God, whereas purity of heart makes it easy for us to love His law.

One day, as was his custom, St. Joseph Cafasso went to the prison to visit the convicts. Among them there was a hardened old sinner who was interested neither in God nor in confessing his sins. The Saint met him and tried to persuade him to kneel down and make his confession. "I do not believe in God," replied the old man. The Saint simply looked at him. "Kneel down," he said, "confess your sins, and afterwards you will believe." It turned out as he had predicted. The old crime-hardened sinner told his sins, wept for them, and became a new man. It was as if the scales had fallen from his eyes, which now saw God clearly once more. Through the forgiveness of his sins he found again the way of supernatural love.

We should be grateful to God that we are not in the same state as this poor prisoner was, but it is probable that we have been often disturbed by impure suggestions. On these occasions we may have lost sight of God and our high and pure ideals may have suffered an eclipse. We must preserve our chastity, however. With this purpose in view we should renew our good resolutions in the presence of God and should constantly implore His grace and the protection of the Blessed Virgin.

2. The clean of heart will see God. St. Thomas observes that the heart may and should be purified in two ways, even as God may be seen in two ways. (S. Th., II-II, q. 8. a. 7) The first essential is to purify the disturbed passions, which blind the soul to heavenly things. The second is to cleanse the mind and to make it immune from error and from evil fancies so that it may be permanently enlightened by God.

Similarly, the vision of God is twofold. When we see God perfectly, we see His Divine Essence, and such happiness is possible only in the Beatific Vision. There is also an imperfect vision of God, by which we see Him not in Himself but in created things. We can and should have this vision in this life. All the wonders of creation are rays of the eternal beauty of God. Creatures, therefore, should form for us a mystical ladder which leads us to God. We should never become entangled with transient worldly goods, but should see and love God in them all. The Saints were clean of heart and could see God more clearly than the most learned scholars.

3. Let us conclude this meditation with an appropriate prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas. "Make my heart watchful, O God, so that no vain thought may distract it from You. Make it noble, so that it may never be seduced by any base affection. Make it upright, so that no evil intention may defile it. Make it steadfast, so that troubles may not dismay it. Make it free, so that it may not yield to the onslaughts of passion. Grant me, my God, the intelligence to understand You, the love to seek You, the wisdom to find You, words to please You, the perseverance to wait faithfully for You, and the hope of embracing You at last. Grant that I, a repentant sinner, may bear Your chastisements with resignation. Poor pilgrim that I am, may I draw on the treasury of Your grace and may I one day be eternally happy with you in heavenly glory. Amen."


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 30 NOVEMBER – SAINT ANDREW (Apostle and Martyr): Dom Prosper Guéranger: Let us read the life of this glorious fisherman of the lake of Genesareth, who was afterwards to be the successo...

30 November, A Chesterton Calendar



I am quite certain that Scotland is a nation; I am quite certain that nationality is the key of Scotland; I am quite certain that all our success with Scotland has been due to the fact that we have in spirit treated it as a nation. I am quite certain that Ireland is a nation. I am quite certain that nationality is the key of Ireland; I am quite certain that all our failure in Ireland arose from the fact that we would not in spirit treat it as a nation. It would be difficult to find, even among the innumerable examples that exist, a stronger example of the immensely superior importance of sentiment, to what is called practicality, than this case of the two sister nations. It is not that we have encouraged a Scotchman to be rich; it is not that we have encouraged a Scotchman to be active; it is not that we have encouraged a Scotchman to be free. It is that we have quite definitely encouraged a Scotchman to be Scotch.
'All Things Considered.

1 December, The Roman Martyrology

Kaléndis Decémbris Luna quinta Anno Domini 2019

On the morrow we keep the Feast of the holy Confessor Felix de Valois, of whom mention is made upon the 4th day of November.
December 1st 2019, the 5th day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

The first Sunday of the Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Prophet Nahum, who sleepeth in Begabar.
At Rome, (about the year 283,) the holy martyrs the Priest Diodorus, and the Deacon Marianus with many others, who gained the glory of martyrdom by command of the Emperor Numerian.
There likewise the holy martyrs Lucius, Rogatus, Cassian, and Candida.
On the same day, the holy martyr Ansanus, who confessed Christ at Rome, under the Emperor Diocletian, and was cast into prison then was brought to Sienna, in Tuscany, where he was beheaded, and so finished the course of his testimony, (about the year 304.)
At Ameria, in Umbria, under the same Diocletian, the holy martyr Olympias. He was a man of consular rank, who had been converted by blessed Firmina, and died upon the rack, (about the year 284.)
At Arbela, in Persia, the holy martyr Ananias.
At Narni, the holy martyr Proculus, Bishop (of that see,) who, after many good works, was beheaded by order of Totila, King of the Goths.
At the city of Casala, the holy martyr Evasius, Bishop (of that see.)
At Milan, holy Castritian, Bishop (of that see,) who gained great praise for his worthy acts and his godly and pious conduct of affairs during the most troublous times of the Church.
At Brescia, holy Ursicinus, Bishop (of that see.)
At Noyon, (in, probably, the year 659,) holy Eloy, Bishop (of that see,) whose marvelous life is commended by the number of signs wrought through him.
At Verdun, (in the year 591,) holy Ageric, Bishop (of that see.)
On the same day, holy Natalia, the wife of the blessed martyr Hadrian. She ministered for a long time to the holy martyrs who were kept in prison at Nicomedia under the Emperor Diocletian, and after their battle was over went to Constantinople, where she fell asleep in peace.
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
R. Thanks be to God.