31 May 2024

Towards the New Ecumenism

'The Old Ecumenism has failed' as it was bound to do as a condemned heresy. The only true ecumenism is corporate communion with the Catholic Church!

From Crisis

By Philip Primeau

The Old Ecumenism has failed. What we need today is a New Ecumenism, dedicated to unity via full communion with the Catholic Church.

Next year marks seventeen centuries since the first ecumenical council. The anniversary is an appropriate occasion for the Church to again commit herself to the project of Christian unity. If the end of the last century saw the birth of the New Evangelization, let the beginning of this century see the birth of the New Ecumenism.

Some orthodox Catholics might balk at this proposal—not unfairly, given the dismal results of the Old Ecumenism, which often seems to accept or even advance the utter fragmentation of Christianity (I use the present tense because this effort has aged but not quite perished). At best, the Old Ecumenism cultivates mutual understanding among Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox; at worst, it affirms the legitimacy of communities beset by varying degrees of error. In any event, it does nothing to resolve the underlying crisis.

However, such indifference does not accord with authentic ecumenism. Despite predictable shortcomings and a frustrating naivete typical of its era, Unitatis Redintegratio teaches that ecumenism is meant to “promote Christian unity.” Of course, Christian unity is necessarily Catholic unity, as the very name “Catholic” implies. Thus, the fathers declared that “Christ the Lord founded one Church and one Church only” and that He 

entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God.

Hence the primary elements of the New Ecumenism (i.e., the true ecumenism): first, Christ established one holy Church upon the apostles and their successors cum Petro et sub Petro; second, Christian unity therefore entails full communion with this Church; third, it follows that every Catholic has an obligation to draw men into the Church by those means consonant with justice and charity. So stated, we see that “ecumenism” is really just an endeavor to magnify the unity, sanctity, catholicity, and apostolicity of the Church.

But what does the New Ecumenism look like, practically speaking? How does it differ from the Old Ecumenism on the ground? Here we must think boldly, creatively—as Pope Francis recommends.

To start with, the New Ecumenism must be driven by the bishops of the world, as opposed to the laity or the Roman See. For each bishop is himself the visible principle of unity for his particular church, charged with maintaining apostolic doctrine and worship, and he must concern himself with anyone who wears the label “Christian.” Additionally, Protestantism is a highly variegated phenomenon that requires concrete and immediate treatment that cannot regularly be expected from the Roman See. (Note that we chiefly contemplate a Protestant-facing ecumenism, not only because Catholics and Protestants are greatly intermingled as compared to Catholics and Orthodox, but also for more subtle theological reasons that cannot be elucidated here.)
Moreover, the New Ecumenism must think in terms of communities, not individuals. Bishops must actively engage Protestant ministers in their dioceses with the express goal of bringing entire congregations into full communion. To this end, the Holy See must supply or streamline canonical procedures for incorporating Protestant congregations as parishes and admitting Protestant ministers (including those with wives) to the sacred orders of the diaconate and the presbyterate.    

Relatedly, bishops must cultivate theological experts well-versed in Protestant doctrine: men and women of evident sanctity and eminent learning, capable of managing constructive dialogue intended to remove obstacles in the path to Catholic unity. These experts should hold conferences, discourses, and respectful disputations with Protestant ministers, anticipating that such encounters will tend shortly toward Catholic communion. Further, bishops must frequently celebrate Holy Mass for the sake of unity, inviting important Protestants to these celebrations, so that they might be exposed to the saving mysteries and illuminated by pure teaching.

Finally, the Holy See must collaborate with bishops in the production of alternative liturgical books suited to the modes of worship customarily employed by formerly Protestant communities. Obviously, a dispensation of this sort would require a good deal of prudence and not a few guardrails. Yet one can imagine a “low church” evangelical service modified only to include the Eucharistic prayer. No doubt, this prospect is distasteful to many Catholics—especially those nourished by the traditional Roman Rite—but it is arguably a concession demanded by current realities. 

The upcoming commemoration of Nicaea offers an outstanding opportunity to begin remedying the fractures that have grievously weakened our divine religion. Christian unity must be—can only be—Catholic unity. May all Catholics, especially those endowed with the noble rank of bishop, embrace the New Ecumenism, so that the words of St. Paul might soon be realized without caveat or qualification: 

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 5:4-6)

The Benefits of a Classical Education?

'In 100 years we have gone from teaching Latin and Greek in High School to teaching remedial English in college.' ~ Joseph Sobran

From The Imaginative Conservative

By E.J. Hutchinson

Some familiarity with the ancient world really does enliven one’s appreciation of the arts and literature of the European tradition and its geographical and cultural penumbra. I was reminded of this recently in an apparently trivial—but, for all that, rather delightful—way. 

Are there any “benefits of a classical education,” as Hans Gruber puts it in Die Hard? As it turns out, understanding the reference in Die Hard itself is one of those benefits, even if the villain happens to be using a fake quotation.

But, to speak more generally, some familiarity with the ancient world really does enliven one’s appreciation of the arts and literature of the European tradition and its geographical and cultural penumbra. I was reminded of this recently in an apparently trivial—but, for all that, rather delightful—way. 

The Scene

Not long ago, I was reading Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous to some of my children. A contemporary review in The Atlantic Monthly calls it “one of those simple, vigorous conceptions which we have come to expect from [Kipling].” We found it to be so, though I will admit that a good third of it went right over my head due to my lack of familiarity with late nineteenth century sailing argot. The amount of specialized vocabulary makes Melville’s “Cetology” look like a remedial whale picture-book for preschoolers. But let that pass.

As I say, I was reading Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous to some of my children. In chapter 4, the men and boys of the crew of the We’re Here are below, diverting themselves with song during a time of rough seas. The turn of Harvey Cheyne, the rich kid—The Atlantic’s anonymous reviewer, with somewhat greater imagination, calls him “a putty-faced, impudent fifteen-year-old”—rescued from the sea by the We’re Here’s salt-of-the-earth sailors, to offer a musical selection comes. But all he knows is a bit of something called “Skipper Ireson’s Ride” that he had learned at camp.

“Skipper Ireson’s Ride” is a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92). And Disko, the captain of the ship, doesn’t like it; he therefore forbids Harvey to proceed. 

And why doesn’t he like it? Well, it’s historically false, in his view:

“All you’re goin’ to say,” said Disko. “All dead wrong from start to finish, an’ Whittier he’s to blame.”

The Background

On October 28, 1808, Benjamin Ireson, the captain of the Betsy, found a sinking ship called the Active off the North Atlantic coast of New England. Ireson wanted to attempt a rescue, but his crew did not. So the Active was left to fend for itself, and when the crew members found themselves in, er, hot water for cowardice in their home port of Marbelhead, Mass., they blamed Ireson for making them run away. Leonee Ormond, the editor of the Oxford World’s Classics edition of Kipling’s novel, continues the tale:

The arrival of four survivors from the Active seemed to confirm the crew’s story, and  resulted in the so-called “ride,” during which Ireson was dragged through the streets, and tarred and feathered. The inhabitants of Marblehead eventually recognized their mistake, but Whittier’s poem served to perpetuate the original story.

In Captains Courageous, Disko takes the part of Ireson and offers an apologia on his behalf. As a captain himself, he naturally takes umbrage at Whittier’s anti-capitanical slander, and will brook none of it aboard his own vessel. Instead, he gives what he takes to be the true account that exonerates Ireson from blame, concluding by with a judgment and a moral, “Ben Ireson weren’t no sech kind o’ man as Whittier makes aout; my father he knew him well, before an’ after that business, an’ you beware o’ hasty jedgments, young feller.”

Whence and whither Whittier?

I wasn’t familiar with this story or the poem, so I suggested to my children that we pause our reading at this juncture and read Whittier’s ballad. I duly looked it up and did so.

Sure enough, Whittier’s amusing poem is written from a (playful) perspective of high dudgeon and schoolmarmish ire (if you will pardon the expression) at Captain Ireson. A number of features stand out to the classically inclined. 

First, there is the name of the villain, whom Whittier calls “Floyd Ireson,” and, in the stylized accent of the poem’s persecuting womenfolk (on whom more in a trice), “Flud Oirson.” Why “Floyd”? After all, the man’s name was Benjamin. 

Thanks to Wikipedia, we can glean that Mr. Ireson had the nickname “Flood.” “Floyd,” then, seems to be a corruption of Ireson’s nickname, presumably modified, in good Homeric fashion, in the oral transmission of the tale as it made its way to Whittier. Can you say pa-ja-wo-ne? Sure you can.

My “first” above was perhaps premature, at least with respect to order of appearance. For Whittier has already given the reader something classical from the outset, even before the mention of Ireson’s name that might lead one to speculate about oral tradition. In the third line, we are greeted by none other than Apuleius:

Of all the rides since the birth of time,
Told in story or sung in rhyme, —
On Apuleius’s Golden Ass,
Or one-eyed Calender’s horse of brass,
Witch astride of a human back,
Islam’s prophet on Al-Borák, —
The strangest ride that ever was sped
Was Ireson’s, out from Marblehead!

Anyone who has read The Golden Ass knows it is filled with fanciful tales and weird magic as its protagonist goes from man to donkey and back to man—but now as a devotee of Isis. Mention of the ancient novel here, then, marks Whittier’s tale out as partaking of the same enchanted atmosphere, an atmosphere marked by the poem as oriental (two of the other references are to the One Thousand and One Nights and a story about the prophet Muhammad)—a connection that is somewhat amusing given how far west we are in the story.

For his own ride, poor Ireson is dressed up in a way reminiscent of a mythical creature as it might be described by the witches of Macbeth (“Body of turkey, head of owl,/Wings a-droop like a rained-on fowl,/Feathered and ruffled in every part”) prior to being run out of town in a cart. 

The cart is rolled by “Scores of women, old and young,/Strong of muscle, and glib of tongue.” This is one feature of the story to which Kipling’s Disko takes special exception. “’Tweren’t the women neither,” Disko says, “that tarred and feathered him—Marblehead women don’t act that way—’twas a passel o’ men an’ boys, an’ they carted him araound town in an old dory till the bottom fell aout, and Ireson he told ’em they’d be sorry for it some day.”

So why does Whittier make the change? Did he get bad information? Is he just lying? (Or both? Hesiod tells us that the Muses know how to lie and lead the poets astray.) Those explanations are possible, I suppose, but a classical explanation works better. Whittier womanizes the—well, whatever the opposite of a welcoming committee is in order to portray them as Bacchants, the crazed female worshipers of Dionysus. 

I mentioned the East a moment ago. The worship of Dionysus as depicted in, for instance, Euripides’s Bacchae has a particularly Eastern flavor, and this makes for a nice link with the opening stanza quoted above. The place of Dionysus’s “Easternness” in “Western” contexts has often puzzled participants and professors alike, and Whittier’s poem raises the same apparent contradiction, albeit in a lighthearted way.

Lest one think I merely conjecture, I hasten to add that Whittier makes the connection to Dionysus explicit. In the third stanza, he describes the women as follows:

Wrinkled scolds with hands on hips,
Girls in bloom of cheek and lips,
Wild-eyed, free-limbed, such as chase
Bacchus round some antique vase,
Brief of skirt, with ankles bare,
Loose of kerchief and loose of hair,
With conch-shells blowing and fish-horns’ twang,
Over and over the Mænads sang…

The scene of chase on an “antique vase” puts one in mind of a rowdier iteration of Keats’s “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” In Whittier’s vase-simile, the women and girls pursue Bacchus; but it does not take long for the world of the comparison to seep into the “real” world of the poem, so that the women and girls become, within a few lines, “Maenads” themselves. Euripides’s Bacchae, indeed.

If one desired yet stronger evidence to connect Whittier’s women to Euripides’s female chorus, he should focus on the last word just quoted, “sang”: they are a chorus, too. And what they sing is what is elsewhere in the poem referred to as “the shrill refrain.” It goes like this: 

“Here ’s Flud Oirson, fur his horrd horrt,
Torr’d an’ futherr’d an’ corr’d in a corrt
By the women o’ Morble’ead!”

It is sung by the chorus in oratio recta four times, though some version of it closes each of the poem’s nine stanzas. The repetition of the refrain is reminiscent of, say, the fourth stasimon of the Bacchae (977-1032), with its refrain that begins ἴτω δίκα φανερός… (“Let justice be manifested and go forth…”).

If the women are the chorus of Bacchantes, that makes Ireson Pentheus. But, in a surprising reversal worthy of Euripides himself, this Pentheus is not torn limb from limb, but instead escapes. As he is being carted out of town, the madness of vision overtakes Ireson in a way that calls to mind Aeschylus’s Orestes or one of Seneca’s tragic heroes. 

“Hear me, neighbors!” at last he cried, —
“What to me is this noisy ride?
What is the shame that clothes the skin
To the nameless horror that lives within?
Waking or sleeping, I see a wreck,
And hear a cry from a reeling deck!
Hate me and curse me, — I only dread
The hand of God and the face of the dead!”

It is not physical punishment he fears, but his own bad conscience and the judgment of God. In the final stanza, “they cut him loose” and, refiguring his madness in a Christian key as being due to “sin,” they leave him in God’s hands.

So what?

I’m not sure there’s all that much more to make of this, to be honest. But “Disko” is a homophone of disco, “I learn,” and I learned something I didn’t know in chasing down this reference. Or, rather, a couple of things: about an incident in American history; about Kipling’s reading and his use of the literary tradition in the form of Whittier’s poem; and about Whittier’s own classical frame of reference and allusive practice. 

With respect to the last, I simply note—it is somewhat banal, but the banal often needs saying—that some familiarity with the classical canon can greatly enrich one’s encounters with literature and art in the most unexpected places. In this instance, I came away with a respect for Whittier (about whom I had been almost entirely ignorant) that I did not have before. The frisson of such surprising discovery is, in addition to anything else it might be, fun

And though this sort of thing (that is, astonishment, admiration, and enjoyment) does not loom large in The New Yorker’s most recenmoral panic about classical education, it does in my own experience of it. That’s not nothing.

The featured image is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Bishop Challoner's Meditations - Saturday Within the Octave of Corpus Christi


Consider first, that what, above all things, renders these divine mysteries venerable to a Christian, and that which principally calls for his faith and devotion, is the real presence of Jesus Christ, true God and true man, and of all that he contains both as God and as man, in the blessed Eucharist. This real presence we learn from the express words of truth itself so often repeated in the Holy Scripture, and from the express declaration of the church of God, against which the gates of hell can never prevail. Upon these two pillars of truth, the word of God, and the church of God, the humble and faithful Christian securely rests. Bow thyself down then, my soul, to adore this sacred truth. Let no proud thought of opposition arise in thee against this great mystery. Captivate thy understanding to the obedience of faith. Remember that the glory and merit of faith is to believe what thou canst not see; that the Almighty can do infinitely more than thou canst comprehend; and that no effort of mercy, bounty, and love can be too great for him who died for love.

Consider 2ndly, how many ways this Lord of ours, who is both our creator and our redeemer, communicates himself to us. He came down from heaven, and took our flesh and blood, in order to make us partakers of his divinity, and to carry us up to heaven. He offered up that flesh and blood upon the cross, as a sacrifice for us, to deliver us from sin and hell, and to purchase mercy, grace, and salvation for us. And he gives us here verily and indeed the same flesh and blood, to be our food, comfort, and support in our pilgrimage, till he brings us, by virtue of that food, to our true country, where he will give himself to us for all eternity. Thus in his incarnation and birth, he made himself our companion; in his passion and death, the price of our ransom; in the banquet of his last supper, our food amid nourishment; and in his heavenly kingdom, our eternal reward. O my soul, what return shall we be able to make him for giving himself so many ways to us? Alas! dear Lord, we have nothing to give but what is thine already - we have nothing to give that is worthy of thee. But be pleased to accept of all that our poverty can afford; and let this whole being of ours be for ever dedicated to thy love as a whole burnt offering, to lie always upon thy altar, there burning and consuming with that divine fire which thou camest to cast upon the earth, and which thou so much desirest should be enkindled.

Consider 3rdly, what ought to be our sentiments in coming to these divine mysteries, in consequence of our faith of the real presence of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, in this blessed sacrament. O! what reverential awe ought we to bring with us, when we draw near so tremendous a majesty; in whose sight the whole creation is a mere nothing? What fear and dread when we enter into his sanctuary, who is infinitely pure and holy, who sees all our guilt, and cannot endure iniquity? What sentiments of humility, when we reflect what he is, and what we are? What sorrow and contrition for all our past treasons and offences against this infinite goodness? What sentiments of gratitude for his giving us here his own self; in this wonderful manner? What desires of returning him love for love? O! how would a Christian be affected, if he visibly and evidently saw his God before him in his approaching to this blessed sacrament! A lively faith, which apprehends things invisible, as if they were visible, would produce the like affections. O! give us, sweet Jesus, this lively faith.

Conclude ever to admire and adore the incomprehensible ways by which God is pleased to communicate himself to us. Resolve to correspond in the best manner you are able with the riches of his bounty and goodness, by approaching to these divine mysteries with faith, with fear, and with love.

1 June, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

1. All devotions which have been approved by the Church are valuable because they are acts of religion which have as their object the author of all holiness and source of all goodness. By these acts God is adored, thanked and supplicated by His children who have been redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and to the Saints is also directed ultimately towards God, Who has endowed His faithful servants, especially the Mother of Jesus, with His gifts and graces and has established them as mediators by His throne. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, however, is not one of the many pious practices merely permitted or recommended by the Church. Fundamentally, it is a devotion which is essential for any Christian in so far as it is the cult of the love of God made man for our sakes.

We know that Christianity is the religion of love. “God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16) Everything flows from God's love for mankind—both the Creation and the Redemption, for God created us out of love and redeemed us with the love of His only-begotten Son Who became man and died for us; and both the Old and the New Law, for the basis of the Old Law was “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength,” (Deut. 6:4) and the commandment of charity was called by Jesus His own commandment, on which His entire teaching was based. The Sacraments, especially the Blessed Eucharist, have their origin in the same infinite love. So have the graces which God gives us, our justification through the merits of our Redeemer, and the final reward for which we hope in Heaven. Devotion to the Sacred Heart is the worship of this infinite love, of which it is a living symbol.

2. When we consider it under its fundamental aspect as the cult of the love of God rather than of the Incarnate Word, devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is as old as Christianity, even though it is only in recent centuries that it has assumed its present symbolism. “He who does not love does not know God,” says St. John, “for God is love.” (1 John 4:8) “And we have come to know,” he continues, “and have believed, the love that God has in our behalf. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16) This cult of the love of God, particularly of the love of God made man, vibrates throughout the pages of the Gospel and of the writings of the Apostles, especially of St. John and of St. Paul. In the works of the Fathers there are references to the Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance, from which flowed all the infinite graces of the Church for our redemption. We are reminded of this in the Encyclical published by Pope Pius XII in the year 1956. But the specific cult of the love of God as symbolised by the Heart of Jesus was explicitly approved by the Church after Jesus Himself appeared in the year 1674 to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and showed her His Heart on fire with love for men.

3. We should have a very high regard, therefore, for this devotion to the Sacred Heart. We should excite in our hearts acts of love which will compensate in some way for the infinite love which Jesus has for us. Finally, we should try and make our lives correspond with our love by emulating as far as possible the holy and immaculate life of Jesus Christ.

Ejaculation: May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere known and loved.

Eastern Rite ~ Feasts of 1 June AM 7532

Today is the Feast of the Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher and Those with Him.

The Holy Martyr Justin the Philosopher was born around 114 at Sychem, an ancient city of Samaria. Justin’s parents were pagan Greeks. From his childhood, the saint displayed intelligence, a love for knowledge and a fervent devotion to the knowledge of Truth. When he came of age he studied the various schools of Greek philosophy: the Stoics, the Peripatetics, the Pythagoreans, and the Platonists, and he concluded that none of these pagan teachings revealed the way to knowledge of the true God.

Once, when he was strolling in a solitary place beyond the city and pondering about where to seek the way to the knowledge of Truth, he met an old man. In the ensuing conversation, he revealed to Justin the essential nature of the Christian teaching and advised him to seek the answers to all the questions of life in the books of Holy Scripture. “But before anything else,” said the holy Elder, “pray diligently to God, so that He might open to you the doors of Light. No one is able to comprehend Truth, unless he is granted understanding from God Himself, Who reveals it to each one who seeks Him in prayer and in love.”

In his thirtieth year, Justin accepted holy Baptism (between the years 133 and 137). From this time Saint Justin devoted his talents and vast philosophical knowledge to preaching the Gospel among the pagans. He began to journey throughout the Roman Empire, sowing the seeds of faith. “Whosoever is able to proclaim Truth and does not proclaim it will be condemned by God,” he wrote.

Justin opened a school of Christian philosophy. Saint Justin subsequently defended the truth of Christian teaching, persuasively confuting pagan sophistry (in a debate with the Cynic philosopher Crescentius) and heretical distortions of Christianity. He also spoke out against the teachings of the Gnostic Marcian.

In the year 155, when the emperor Antoninus Pius (138-161) started a persecution against Christians, Saint Justin personally gave him an Apology in defence of two Christians innocently condemned to execution, Ptolemy and Lucias. The name of the third remains unknown.

In the Apology, he demonstrated the falseness of the slander against Christians accused unjustly for merely having the name of Christians. The Apology had such a favourable effect upon the emperor that he ceased the persecution. Saint Justin journeyed, by decision of the emperor, to Asia Minor where they were persecuting Christians with particular severity. He proclaimed the joyous message of the imperial edict throughout the surrounding cities and countryside.

The debate of Saint Justin with Rabbi Trypho took place at Ephesus. The Catholic philosopher demonstrated the truth of the Christian teaching of faith on the basis of the Old Testament prophetic writings. Saint Justin gave an account of this debate in his work Dialogue with Trypho the Jew.

A second Apology of Saint Justin was addressed to the Roman Senate. It was written in the year 161, soon after Marcus Aurelius (161-180) ascended the throne.

When he returned to Italy, Saint Justin, like the Apostles, preached the Gospel everywhere, converting many to the Christian Faith. When the saint arrived in Rome, the envious Crescentius, whom Justin always defeated in debate, brought many false accusations against him before the Roman court. Saint Justin was put under guard, subjected to torture and suffered martyrdom in 165. The relics of Saint Justin the Philosopher rest in Rome.

In addition to the above-mentioned works, the following are also attributed to the holy martyr Justin the Philosopher:

1) An Address to the Greeks

2) A Hortatory Address to the Greeks

3) On the Sole Government of God

Saint John of Damascus preserved a significant part of Saint Justin’s On the Resurrection, which has not survived. The church historian Eusebius asserts that Saint Justin wrote books entitled

The Singer

Denunciation of all Existing Heresies and

Against Marcian

In the Russian Church, the memory of the martyr is particularly glorified in temples of his name. He is invoked by those who seek help in their studies.

The holy martyrs Justin, Chariton, Euelpistus, Hierax, Peonus, Valerian, Justus and the martyr Charito suffered with Saint Justin the Philosopher in the year 166. They were brought to Rome and thrown into prison. The saints bravely confessed their faith in Christ before the court of the prefect Rusticus. Rusticus asked Saint Justin, whether he really thought that after undergoing torture he would go to heaven and receive a reward from God. Saint Justin answered, “Not only do I think this, but I know and am fully assured of it.”

The prefect proposed to all the Christian prisoners that they offer sacrifice to the pagan gods. When they refused he issued a sentence of death, and the saints were beheaded.

Troparion — Tone 4

O Justin, teacher of divine knowledge, / you shone with the radiance of true philosophy. / You were wisely armed against the enemy. / Confessing the truth you contended alongside the martyrs, / with them, ever entreat Christ our God to save our souls!

Kontakion — Tone 2

The whole Church of God is adorned with the wisdom of your divine words, O Justin; / the world is enlightened by the radiance of your life. / By the shedding of your blood, you have received a crown. / As you stand before Christ with the angels, pray unceasingly for us all!


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 1 JUNE – SAINT ANGELA MERICI (Virgin): Angela de Merici was born to virtuous parents at Decenzano (a town in the diocese of Verona near Lake Benago in Venetian territory) in ...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: 1 JUNE – SATURDAY WITHIN THE OCTAVE OF CORPUS CHRISTI: Dom Prosper Guéranger: Man has been cast forth from Eden, and is gone into the dreary land of his exile. He has nothing left him of t...


IN LUMINE FIDEI: JUNE – THE MONTH OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS: L’Abbé Martin Berlioux (1829‒1887): The devotions of the Month of Mary have just been brought to a close, and the result of tho...

1 June, The Chesterton Calendar

JUNE 1st

The great lords will refuse the English peasant his three acres and a cow on advanced grounds, if they cannot refuse it longer on reactionary grounds. They will deny him the three acres on grounds of State Ownership. They will forbid him the cow on grounds of humanitarianism.

'What's Wrong with the World.'

1 June, The Holy Rule of St Benedict, Patriarch of Western Monasticism

CHAPTER VII. Of Humility

31 Jan. 1 June. 1 Oct.

The third degree of humility is, that a man for the love of God submit himself to his superior in all obedience; imitating the Lord, of Whom the apostle saith: “He was made obedient even unto death.”

2 June, The Roman Martyrology

Quarto Nonas Iúnii Luna vicésima quarta Anno Dómini 2024

June 2nd 2024, the 24th day of the Moon, were born into the better life:

At Rome, the holy martyrs Marcellinus the priest, and Peter the Exorcist.
They were teaching the faith to many in prison in the time of Diocletian, when Serenus the judge, after putting them to terrible bonds and many torments, caused them to be beheaded at the place which was then called the Black Wood, but the name of which was afterwards changed in honor of the Saints, and called the White Wood.
Their bodies were buried in the crypt, hard by the body of holy Tibertius, and holy Pope Damasus in after-days decorated their grave with a set of verses.
In Campania, the holy martyr Elmo, Patriarch [of Antioch.] Under the Emperor Diocletian he was first hided with scourges laden with lead, then heavily beaten with cudgels, after which resin, sulphur, lead, pitch, wax, and oil were poured over him, but he still appeared unharmed.
Thereafter at Formi, under Maximian, he was tortured again with diverse and most cruel sufferings but God preserved him to strengthen others, until at length, famous for his testimony, he fell asleep in a holy death at the call of the Lord. His body was afterwards taken to Gaeta.
At Lyon, the holy martyrs Photinus the Bishop, Sanctus the Deacon, Vetius, Epagathus, Maturus, Ponticus, Biblides, Attalus, Alexander, and Blandina, with many others, whose mighty and constant contendings, in the time of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Lucius Verus, are written in the Epistle of the Church of Lyon to the Churches of Asia and Phrygia; among these the holy Blandina, weaker by sex, frailer in body, lower in social position, underwent contendings more long and more sharp, and remaining still inflexible, was slain by the sword, and so followed the others whom she had exhorted to victory.
At Rome, [in the year 657,] the holy Confessor Pope Eugenius I.
At Trani, in Apulia, [in the year 1094,] the holy Confessor Nicholas Peregrini, whose wonderful works were published in a Council at Rome under Pope Urban II.
℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
℟. Thanks be to God.

Meme of the Moment


From St Thomas Aquinas Seminary. You may follow the Office at Divinum Officium.

Longest-Serving Flight Attendant Was a Committed Catholic

An amazing story of a committed Catholic and a committed mother. And what a work ethic! She held the same job for 67 years!!!

From Aleteia

By John Burger

Bette Nash began as a "stewardess" in 1957 and chose to be close to home to be with her son who has Down syndrome. She passed away on May 24.

When she began her career, Bette Nash was known as a stewardess. She served lobster and champagne on the flights on which she worked and carved beef for those who requested it. She offered cigarettes for passengers who desired an after-meal smoke.

Sixty-six years later, Bette Nash earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-serving flight attendant. Along the way, she developed a sort of fan club among regulars on her Washington-Boston route. Someone dubbed it the “Nash Dash.”

Nash passed away while in hospice care on May 24 at the age of 88, after battling breast cancer. Her obituary noted that “beyond her professional achievements, Bette was a dedicated member and volunteer at Sacred Heart Church in Manassas, Virginia. Her faith and service to the church community were central to her life, providing comfort and support to many.”

Bette Nash’s funeral Mass will be held at Sacred Heart on June 10.

The obituary adds that she will be remembered “not only for her extraordinary career but also for her warmth, generosity, and the countless lives she touched.”

Charm school

Born Mary Elizabeth Burke on New Year’s Eve, 1935, she grew up in Pleasantville, New Jersey, a suburb of Atlantic City. The jet age was still young, and flying was widely regarded as exotic and exciting. Bette was attracted to what she perceived of the life of a flight attendant.

“It just looked so elegant. And romantic. It was the romance of the skies. You could take off and be in another world almost,” Nash told The Boston Globe in 2007.

She studied business at Sacred Heart College in Belmont, North Carolina, a now defunct school that was operated by the Sisters of Mercy. Returning to New Jersey, she applied to and was accepted by Eastern Airlines. After an obligatory course in etiquette and dress in what was called “charm school,” she began working in November 1957.

Devoted mom

“She began flying out of Washington in 1961, usually shuttle hops to New York and Boston — an assignment she preferred, even when seniority gave her the choice of routes, because she could return to her home in Northern Virginia every evening to care for her son, who had Down syndrome,” The New York Times reported.

Eastern eventually sold off its East Coast routes to Donald J. Trump’s short-lived airline, the Trump Shuttle, the newspaper said. After it closed in 1992, the routes went to US Airways, which was bought by American in 2015. “Nash remained in place the whole time,” said The Times.

In 2017, at a ceremony at Reagan National Airport to mark her 60th anniversary, American Airlines presented her with a pair of diamond earrings and a $10,000 donation to the Sacred Heart food bank where she volunteered.

The ceremony ended, and she was soon working a shuttle to Boston. But, The Times said, “as the plane taxied to the runway, a pair of fire trucks doused the plane with a water-cannon salute, an honor usually reserved for retiring pilots.”

Nash never officially retired from American. She first entered the Guinness records in 2021 as the flight attendant with the longest career, said The Times. “She ultimately served for 67 years. A year later she entered the records again as the oldest active attendant.”

Mink coats to flip-flops

In 2017, she expressed a touch of regret for the ways things have changed over the course of her career. “In the old days, we saw a lot of mink coats,” she said. “Today, we see a lot of flip-flops.”

Bette was predeceased by her husband, James Nash. She is survived by her son, Christian Nash, and her sister, Barbara Jannarone.

She also leaves behind many grateful fliers. Reacting to American Airlines’ announcement of Nash’s death, one person posted on Instagram, “Please, put her name on a 777 or the 787! She deserves to fly the world with her great history!”

Was Benedict XVI Restraining The Rise Of The Antichrist?

A Potentially Unpopular Take On Vigano's Incredible Claim About Pope Francis

Stations of the Cross by St Alphonsus Liguori

The Holy Rosary

Friday, the Sorrowful Mysteries, in Latin with Cardinal Burke.

Is Monarchism Right-Wing?

Monarchism is the belief in the importance and value of a monarchy as a form of government. It can be associated with traditionalism and support for the preservation of traditional institutions. Monarchism is often compared to a republic, which is a form of government where the head of state is not a monarch but an elected or appointed official. 

While monarchism can be associated with right-wing ideologies, it is not exclusively a right-wing idea and can also align with progressive and anti-establishment politics.

Can You Be Saved Without the Eucharist?

With Fr Andrew Hofer, OP, MLitt, MDiv/STB, STL, PhD, Assoc. Professor of Patristics and Ancient Languages, Director of the Doctoral Program, Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC.

True Happiness Is Not What You Think It Is

The search through the ages for what defines happiness. I agree with the Angelic Doctor that true happiness consists of beholding the Beatific Vision.

From Aleteia

By Daniel Esparza

For centuries, philosophers have tried to define what happiness is. The ancient Greeks articulated this pursuit through the notion of 'eudaimonia.'

For centuries, philosophers have tried to define the concept of happiness. The ancient Greeks articulated this pursuit through the notion of eudaimonia. The word, as is often the case with Greek, is a composite. It derives from the Greek words eu (good) and daimon (spirit or guiding force). Put together, the idea of “having a good spirit” implies living well, having a good life. Eudaimonia is thus not merely a state of transient pleasure or material success; it is about fulfilling one’s potential and achieving a profound sense of well-being.

But the question remains: what truly constitutes a good life?

Defining happiness

The Stoics posited that eudaimonia is not to be defined in terms of pleasure but rather in terms of living in accordance with nature and reason. For them, true happiness is achieved mainly by cultivating four virtues: wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance. The Stoics held that external goods and pleasures were of no intrinsic value; what mattered was the rational use of these externals. By exercising rational control over one’s desires and emotions, an individual can achieve an inner peace that constitutes eudaimonia.

In contrast, Epicurus identified eudaimonia with pleasure, but emphasized that the highest form of pleasure is not found in indulgence, but in attaining ataraxia — a state of freedom from disturbance and pain. He posited that the most pleasant life is one devoid of fear and bodily discomfort, advocating for simple pleasures, intellectual pursuits, and the cultivation of friendships. All of this, to maximize long-term pleasure by minimizing pain and unnecessary desires.

Aristotle’s concept of eudaimonia, as presented in his Nicomachean Ethics, regards it as an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue over a complete life. He surely acknowledged the importance of external goods such as wealth, health, and friends, but saw them as contributory rather than sufficient. Aristotle posits that true happiness is achieved through the cultivation of intellectual and moral virtues, which involve reason and the proper function of human beings. Pleasure is a natural consequence of virtuous actions, rather than the ultimate objective.

A medieval twist

Despite their differences, all three traditions agree that a well-lived life extends beyond mere hedonistic pleasure, aiming at a deeper, more enduring form of happiness. Thomas Aquinas concurred with the Greeks that true happiness, or beatitudo, is not merely a matter of pleasure. He posited that this state of happiness arises from living in accordance with reason and attaining one’s ultimate purpose, which is to know and love God.

This is where Aquinas’ perspective diverges from the others. While Aristotle believed that eudaimonia could be achieved in this life, Aquinas saw perfect happiness as something that could only be attained in the afterlife, in direct union with God. Nevertheless, this does not preclude the possibility of experiencing a “foreshadowing” of true happiness in the present.

Imperfect happiness

Aquinas postulated that a virtuous life leads to a kind of “imperfect happiness” (felicitas). Far from being mere consolation, this felicitas is rather a profound sense of tranquility, fulfillment, and purpose that arises from aligning oneself with God’s plan. But, again, the question arises: how can this happiness be cultivated? Well, Aquinas identified several key elements.

1. Virtuous living is the foundation of a virtuous life. It might seem obvious, but that’s not exactly the case. The cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance, and fortitude serve as a moral compass, guiding individuals towards making sound decisions — the cornerstones of a well-lived life.

2. The capacity to reason and discern truth is a defining feature of the human condition. An understanding of one’s place in the universe and of God’s plan allows for the making of choices that contribute to one’s ultimate happiness.

3. The cultivation of a relationship with God. Prayer, reflection, and living in accordance with God’s love facilitate a connection with the source of all good. This connection engenders a tranquility that transcends the vicissitudes of terrestrial gratification.

Experiencing authentic joy

It can be seen that Aquinas’ perspective is not one of waiting for the afterlife at all. It is about living in a manner that facilitates our proximity to God and enables us to experience authentic joy in the present moment. Such fulfillment may be attained through a life lived charitably, the use of one’s abilities for constructive purposes, or an appreciation of the aesthetic beauty that surrounds us.

By striving for virtue, employing reason, and fostering a relationship with God, we cultivate Aquinas’ “imperfect happiness.” This type of happiness grounds us in the present and guides us on our journey towards ultimate fulfillment. While perfect happiness may be beyond the scope of our earthly experience, Aquinas offers a path for navigating this life with purpose, meaning, and a foundation for enduring joy.

10 Ways to Restore June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

June was dedicated to the Sacred Heart long before Satan dedicated it to sin and perversion. Let's reclaim it!

From One Peter Five

By Timothy Flanders, MA

The month of June belongs to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

It’s already been claimed for His Majesty for centuries, and the Kingdom of His Sacred and Eucharistic Heart already holds sway over the universe since His glorious Ascension to His Throne – how much more a single month in the calendar year?

Our readers don’t need to be made aware what this month has become.

The good news is that when you look at it, it almost feels like God already knew this filth would happen, and already charged June with the liturgical power necessary to soften hardened hearts, and save souls and societies.

From the Apostles Fast, to the Octave of Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart in the center, with the summer bonfire for St. John (that proto-martyr for marriage!) and Peter and Paul, culminating in First Vespers of the Feast of the Precious Blood (whose collect is an invocation against demons).

From Chadiwck’s wonderful book published by the marvelous St. Augustine’s Academy Press

It dawned on me recently, that our two lay sodalities, the Crusade of Eucharistic Reparation and the Fellowship of St. Nicholas, act with one purpose in this month, according to the first intentions of our Patroness, Our Lady of Fatima under her Russian icon. And so we’re spending all of June focusing on the spiritual greatness thereof, and this June is only the beginning.

1. Restore the Apostles Fast in your Domestic Church and Parish

We wonder why there is so much demonic activity in our society. Actually, His Majesty has already explained that: a demon of this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting (Mt. xvii. 20).

Let’s swallow the hard truth: it is because of our lukewarm penance that God is punishing us by unleashing demons in society. Read the Holy Scriptures (start with Judges). Read the message of Fatima.

This is how this works.

The answer is simple, but not easy. If we do not do penance, God will continue to pour out His wrath until we do. Therefore, brethren in Christ, hear the word of the Lord from the greatest of Prophets:

Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit worthy of penance. And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham for our father. For I tell you that God is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham. For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire (Mt. iii. 7-10).

I know fasting is hard – that’s the point. But don’t worry, you can join our lay sodality (English and Spanish) to do it together with other traditional Catholics from around the world! Fasting has a long tradition in Christendom of being done together to strengthen ourselves to complete it, and to corporately petition God.

The manifesto of our lay sodality

OK, fine, but what is the Apostles Fast? It’s one of the things that God gave us in June centuries before June was usurped by Satan.

One of the most ancient features of June is the great feast of Peter and Paul. This is a universal feast on June 29, in both the Latin and Greek rites, which includes a significant fast of preparation from Monday after Trinity through the Vigil of Ss. Peter and Paul, June 28. This fast is not as strict as Lent, and the Latin custom was always a local custom (like St. Michael’s or St. Martin’s Lent).

If you can’t make the whole month, you can still join our sodality and follow the Tier 1 rules (required), and just add a little for the Apostles Fast every June: add Wednesday abstinence to Friday this year. Next year, add Mondays too, etc.

It’s better to attempt some fasting for penance and reparation with good intent and fail, than to do nothing during June. We have to make reparation to Almighty God for sins committed in June, which cry to heaven for vengeance. Do you want fire to come down from heaven and consume your city? I sure don’t. So let’s act like it.

And this fast is a perfect opportunity – in the month of the Octave of Corpus Christi before the Feast of the Precious Blood! – to offer fasting as Eucharistic Reparation in line with our central lay sodality, founded by Athanasius Schneider.

2. You Do Not Need Permission from Clerics (much less the secular government!) to Exercise your Parental Rights

Our children must grow up knowing what June is all about. In fact, they should feel excited every year for this great month because of what you tell them and what you do as a family this month (more on domestic church customs coming soon). As our contributing editor, Dr Joseph Shaw notes in his important text, “what they fear is thousands of little platoons of families fighting against them.” Let’s overturn the tyrannous, clericalisthyperüberultramontanist regime in Church and State! It’s easy as a mustard seed.

What I need to stress here is that parents have a duty to form their children in the Faith and educate them, which creates a corresponding right – given directly from God to the parent – to protect their children from demonic attack. And God will judge you, O Parent, if you fail to exercise this right.

Therefore fear God, and not the store manager or police officer they called.

Fear God, and not your angry bishop or priest.

Fear God, and not jail time.

This is that serious. If this sounds extreme, you’re either not a parent or you have not grasped how evil the demons really are, and how much they delight in destroying children’s hearts. If they cannot murder children in the womb and prevent their baptism, fallen angels desire to feast on the souls of children more than anyone else. Just as Our Lord loves children best, the demons hate children the most, consumed with envy that they will inherit the thrones in heaven lost by the demons.

Therefore, O Parents, understand your rights and duties before God, then do what your gut instinct tells you to do, for the sake of your children. Obviously you should follow the law, but you should also disobey unjust laws.

Moreover, no clerics can tell us what to do in this area, since this is the temporal domain, ruled by lay people. It’s not their business to tell us how to raise our children and defend them from demons, and this is explicitly confirmed in Magisterial documents, even out of Vatican II (see Lumen GentiumApstolicam Actuositatem, and even Gaudium et Spes).

The Vatican has no right to tell Ugandan lay rulers how to rule the temporal order – that’s the lay domain by the Vatican’s own definition.[1]

3. You Don’t Need Clerical Permission to form a Lay Sodality

Once you’ve shaken your mind out of our clericalisthyperüberultramontanist era, understand that no lay group needs permission from a priest to form a lay sodality. These have always been the backbone of Christianising the temporal order – Guilds themselves arose from lay fraternities and sodalities.

Once you’ve committed to something in your domestic church – fasting, reparation, boycotts, etc. – the next step is to form a lay sodality in your parish.

So what is a lay sodality?

It’s merely a group of lay people who organise regular prayer and pious works on their own initiative. If a cleric tries to interfere, you can quote to him Vatican II.[2] God willing, you have a priest who is not a clericalist hyperüberultramontanist and he can support your lay sodality. But if not, carry on with your sodality, and understand this is your right and duty directly from God by your Confirmation.

4. You Don’t Need Clerical Permission for a Public Procession

Again, God already dedicated June to marches in honour of His Eucharistic Heart. We’ve been doing this for centuries. We are deeply grateful that more bishops are finally promoting Corpus Christi Processions. But this is just the beginning. We need lay-led processions more and more, with or without clerical involvement. This is a strong tradition in Christendom, along with all sorts of pageantry and plays, put together by the lay sodalities and Guilds (again, see the video linked above about Guilds).

So once you have your lay sodality set up, why not organise a procession during the Octave of Corpus Christi (which leads up to the feast of the Sacred Heart) in honour of Christ the King? The Sacred Heart should already be enthroned as King of your Home. Now enthrone Him in the “liturgy of the streets.” Make Banners, crosses, learn a bunch of hymns, then process down main street and show everyone the splendor of truth!

Our Spanish brethren know how to do this.

I guarantee you – even Protestants will thank you for this.

5. Retake God’s Glorious Sign from Satan

This brings us to something that to me, seems essential to include in the banners and signs that you make for your procession: the rainbow. Not the Satanic, inverted rainbow, but God’s rainbow.

He instituted it HIMSELF. It belongs to Almighty God for thousands of years. Period. Full stop.

One of the most conspicuous features of this glorious sign of God – in contrast to its Satanic inversion – is that it is curved. This is how it appears in the natural world (besides the fact that the true sign has seven colours, unlike the Satanic version which only has six, predictably).

Here’s a beautiful depiction from Mrs. Michael Harrison in her traditional liturgy of the home calendar:

Notice the curved rainbow, as God intended it.

If you do a procession for the Sacred Heart in June and fly this banner, everyone will take notice. And the fallen angels will hate it.

6. Reach out to your friend or family member now who identifies as “LGBT”

At this point in this article let’s take a step back and marvel at how Jesus Christ revealed His Sacred and Eucharistic Heart to us and created this month for His glory. For it is this Heart, wounded for our transgression, that softens every evil heart – starting with our own. His Heart is the lover of souls, Who leaves the ninety-nine sheep to go to find the one lost sheep and rejoices to find him; Who sheds his Precious Blood to save us. O how precious and loved is one single soul created by God!

We must remember that the people who march in “Pride parades” are persons formed in the image of God. They desperately need the love of the Sacred Heart. It may seem impossible to reach someone like this, but just reach out in faith and let Jesus Christ do the work. These people need love and compassion – that’s the first truth they need to hear and feel, much like the rest of us. They need someone who is willing to be their friend and love them no matter what. Then you can tell them the whole truth, if their hearts are open to it. This is especially a duty of charity for those who are not parents, I think, who can spend the time necessary to cultivate a friendship like this.

Don’t forget – against the lies of James Martin – that the Church has done this for decades (with success!) in the apostolate known as Courage International. This helps souls who struggle with Same Sex Attraction (SSA) and other such afflictions, with the love of the Sacred Heart. If you do know someone who has an open heart to facing their SSA as a faithful Catholic, direct them here to Courage and keep Christian friendship with them.

7. Observe the Octave of Corpus Christi

The feast of the Sacred Heart was revealed by Christ to be directly connected to this Octave, which also resulted, logically, in the Feast of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, and His Excellency has expressed his desire with his crusade for a “Day of Reparation for Crimes Against the Most Holy Eucharist” in each diocese as the octave day of Corpus Christi.

So June revolves around, and hinges on, this Octave. Again, just because Ven. Pius XII tragically attacked this Octave, does not mean lay people are obliged to throw it down the memory hole too. There are many ways to do this, and you can restore old customs (and make up your own new ones!) for your domestic church, lay sodality and parish. God willing, we will have an article on this coming soon. But here’s some ideas right now:

8. Boycotts Have Actually Worked In the Past

As we discuss below: Catholics have a good history in these United States (and elsewhere) of bringing the heretics to their knees by attacking their idolatry to money.

What we need here is not just public statements about a boycott, but an actual boycott. This kind of social action flows directly from the lay sodality. All you do is create a requirement that all members boycott this or that thing, and commit to it. Start in your domestic church, then go to your lay sodality, your parish, your diocese, and see where it goes from there.

If you are starting on the national level of any country, and think that you need to create a massive project, you’re not thinking like a Catholic – subsidiarity in the key. The Mustard Seed will conquer Empires, as it already has in history again and again.

9. Reserve a Billboard for Next Year

This is a very expensive, but highly effective thing that you can do from your lay sodality. Raise the money to reserve one for next June. Along the same lines, create bumper stickers like “June Belongs to the Sacred Heart,” etc.

10. Commit Now to a Penitential Pilgrimage – Offer it up for a Person Who Identifies as “LGBT”!

We have to seriously commit to doing the penance necessary to merit the grace for a single soul who is afflicted like this. Maybe you don’t even know someone like this – then offer it up for someone you don’t know! Read about the great Christian tradition of pilgrimage and find one now to commit to every year (stay tuned for more on this at OnePeterFive). Or go to Holy Communion every Friday in June for the same intention. In fact, if you haven’t already completed the First Friday devotions, tomorrow is your Holy Day of Opportunity! If you’ve already completed this devotion, commit to every First Friday for the rest of your life and offer it up for this intention and for those who have not done this devotion.

11. Bonus: Share this and all our June Articles and Podcasts!

This whole month we are dedicating to these issues, according to the intentions of our patrons and lay sodalities. So this last one is easy: just share this post on social media now and subscribe to our mailing list. Then get off the internet and get on your knees.

This article was originally published in June of MMXXIII. 

[1] The only way a cleric can interfere in the temporal order is when the lay rulers commit a clear and public sin, such as Joe Biden advocating child murder. Otherwise, this is the lay domain, not the clerical domain. But we live in a clericalisthyperüberultramontanist era, and very few (clerics or lay) seem to understand this (even when Vatican II itself shouts it!) and this is most conspicuous in the death penalty controversy.

[2] “The laity must not be deprived of the possibility of acting on their own accord” (Apostolicam Actuositatem, 24).