Monday, October 15, 2018

Oppositions

To the cult of man who has made himself God, the Church opposes the cult of God-made-man.

To the absence of God in the world, the Church opposes His Real Presence on the altar.

To the banality and sterility of evil, the Church opposes the wondrous life-giving Cross.

To the sacrificial machinery of liberalism, the Church opposes the one liberating Sacrifice of Calvary.

To the empire of the Prince of this world, the Church opposes the inbreaking of the kingdom of heaven.

To ineffectual laments and humanistic dreams, the Church opposes her potent Sacraments of life and death.

To the hollow monotony of materialism, the Church opposes the adoration and vigilance of hosts of angels, each its own species with its own voice of praise.

To navel-gazing nihilism, the Church opposes the only human beings who are fully real: the saints.

To the worship of free will, the Church opposes the service of charity.

To the obsession with activity, the Church opposes the inscrutable power of resting at the feet of Christ.

To instant communication, the Church opposes timeless communion.

To the pursuit of novelty and relevance, the Church opposes her perpetual newness and essential rightness.

To the stifling self-limitations of modern art, the Church opposes the grandeur and creativity of the arts she has nurtured in her bosom.

To the noise of the modern world, the Church opposes the still, small voice of God.

To the cacophony of amplified sound, the Church opposes the imperturbable silence of her prayer.

To the ennervating clichés of worldly music, the Church opposes the elevating freshness of her chant.

To inundation with empty words and shifting images, the Church opposes one Word of infinite density and one stable set of signs.

To suffocating pleasures of the flesh that end in worms, the Church opposes the flight of contemplation and the glory of resurrection.

To the deathly ennui of life without God, the Church opposes being lost in Christ and found by Him.

To the idolatry of Progress and mindless modernization, the Church opposes the inexhaustible fruitfulness of age-old Tradition.

*          *          *
If there were ever a body of people that called itself “the Church” but did NOT oppose the world in these ways, we would know that it is not and cannot be the immaculate Bride of Christ, permanently united to Him, imitating Him, faithful to Him; it is not and cannot be the Mystical Body founded and sustained by Jesus Christ, its Head and Master. This, in turn, may prompt the realization that the Church is smaller, more scattered, more of a remnant than perhaps we had been accustomed to thinking before.

It may also prompt the realization of the irreducible centrality of authentic religious life, in which all of these characteristics of the true Church are concentrated and crystallized, enfleshed and exalted.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

What Does the Canonization of Paul VI Mean for the Liturgy and Liturgical Reform?

This article was originally published last December, when the first reports were coming out about the possible canonization of Pope Paul VI, but had not yet been confirmed. It is here reposted with a few changes, mostly by way of elimating the theoretical “would”, “if”, etc. I do not say anything here about whether his canonization is per se appropriate or opportune, but I commend this article on the subject by Dr Kwasniewski to our readers’ attention. I ask those who wish to comment here to address only the question of what the canonization means for the future prospects of the liturgy and liturgical reform.

The short answer is: absolutely nothing.

The canonization of a Saint does not change the facts of his earthly life. It does not rectify the mistakes he made, whether knowingly or unknowingly. It does not change his failures into successes, whether they came about through his fault or that of others. When St Joseph Calasanz died in 1648, the religious order he had founded, the Piarists, was to all intents and purposes destroyed. Ten years after Calasanz was canonized, another religious founder, St Alphonse Liguori was tricked by a close friend and early collaborator into signing a document which badly compromised the Redemptorist Order, and he was openly reproved by his confreres for having destroyed it. (The life of St Joseph Calasanz was one of his favorite books for spiritual reading in his later years.) These are historical facts which were not in the least bit altered by their later canonization and the later restoration of their orders.

Likewise, there have been and still are many Catholic historians who believe that St Pius V’s excommunication of Queen Elizabeth I of England, and his decree releasing her subjects from obedience to her, was a significant error in judgment; they are not bad or disloyal Catholics for holding such an opinion. There are others who hold exactly the opposite opinion, and they are not good and loyal Catholics merely for the fact of holding such an opinion.

I mention St Pius V particularly because he also, of course, gave the Church a significant reform of the liturgy. It will surely be argued from the canonization of Paul VI that his liturgical reform must be held in the same veneration shown to that of St Pius V in the post-Tridentine period. This will be a false comparison on every level, and should be flatly rejected as such. The Pius V reform is significant precisely because it was deliberately conceived as a very conservative reform in the proper sense of the term, a reform that sought to conserve the authentic tradition of Catholic worship, and change only what it was felt to be absolutely necessary to change for the good of the Church. The Paul VI reform is significant for exactly the opposite reason, because it introduced more changes into the liturgy and more rapidly than had ever happened before in the Church’s history.

The reform of the liturgical books begun by St Pius V and continued by his successors was one of the great successes of the Counter Reformation, and one from which the Church unquestionably drew many spiritual benefits. This does not change the fact that, unwittingly, it also set in motion a process by which the other Uses of the Roman Rite were gradually Romanized, and many valuable things (such as nearly the entire corpus of Sequences) were effectively lost. Many liturgical writers have regretted such losses, and whether one agrees with them or not, they have not been bad Catholics for doing so. The same applies to the reform of the Breviary by St Pius X; and likewise, many Catholics hold Pope Pius XII in the highest regard for a variety of good reasons, while disliking the Holy Week reform which he promulgated.

All of which is to say, the intrinsic merits or demerits of the post-Conciliar reform, and its status as a success or a failure, have not been changed in any way, shape or form by the canonization of Paul VI. No one can honestly say otherwise, and no one has the right to attack, silence or call for the silencing of other Catholics if they contest that reform. If that reform went beyond the spirit and the letter of what Vatican II asked for in Sacrosanctum Concilium, as its own creators openly bragged that it did; if it was based on bad scholarship and a significant degree of basic incompetence, leading to the many changes now known to be mistakes; if it failed utterly to bring about the flourishing of liturgical piety that the Fathers of Vatican II desired, none of these things have changed today. Just as the canonizations of Pius V and X, and the future canonization of XII, did not place their liturgical reforms beyond question or debate, the canonization of Paul VI does not put anything about his reform beyond debate, and no one has any right to say otherwise.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Cathedral of St Lawrence in Trogir, Croatia

Here is another one of the beautiful churches which Nicola visited this summer during his trip to Croatia, the cathedral of St Lawrence in Trogir, on the Dalmatian coast. The church was built to replace a very ancient one which was destroyed by the Saracens when they sacked the city in 1123, but not begun until almost a century later, in 1213, and only fully completed in 17th century. The bell-tower was constructed over the course of 200 years, from the end of the 14th century to the end of the 16th; hence the difference in style between the various stages.


The church is especially known for this Romanesque portal, made by a local master sculptor named Radovan, who completed and signed it in 1240.
The doorposts are decorated with statues of Eve on the left side, Adam on the right, the Apostles and other Saints, images of the labors of man, the months of the year, and a variety of fantastic creatures typical of Romanesque sculpture.


Books on Liturgy and the Sacraments for Sale

Fr Thomas Simons of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Comstock Park, Michigan, has a second list of books for sale, this time books about the liturgy, for which he is hoping to find good homes where they will be used and studied. This list includes several rare and out-of-print titles and original editions. The proceeds from the sale of these titles will go to benefit his parish school; you can contact him directly for more information about the books, and arrangements for purchase, shipping and handling at the following email address: frtsimons@holytrinitycp.org. Only U.S. orders can be handled; postage will vary depending on the number of books purchased. Larger orders are sent by FedEx, smaller ones by USPS priority rate (2 days).

Josef A. Jungmann

1. The Early Liturgy, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, IN, 1959, 314 pages, $45.

2. Pastoral Liturgy, Herder & Herder, NY, 1962, 430 pages, $50.

3. Public Worship: A Survey, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1957, 249 pages, $40.

4. The Mass of the Roman Rite: Its Origins and Development (2 volumes), Benziger Brothers, NY, 1949, 494/531 pages, $85.

5. Liturgical Worship: An Inquiry into its Fundamental Principles, Frederick Pustet Co, New York, 1941, 141 pages, $35.


Archdale A. King

6. Liturgy of the Roman Church, Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, WI, 1957, 476 pages, $60.

7. Liturgies of the Past, Longmans, London, 1959, 487 pages, $60.

8. Liturgies of the Religious Orders, Longmans, London, 1955, 431 pages, $60.

9. Eucharistic Reservation in the Western Church, Sheed & Ward, NY, 1965, 258 pages, $50.

10. The Rites of Eastern Christendom (2 volumes), Catholic Book Agency, Rome, Italy, 1947/1948, 678/668 pages, $85.

11. Concelebration in the Christian Church, A.R. Mowbray & Co, London, 1966, 149 pages, $45.


Various Authors

12. The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy, Adrian Fortescue, Longmans, London, 1922, 429 pages, $45.

13. Christian Worship: Its Origin and Evolution, Msgr. L. Duchesne, SPCK, London, 1931, 593 pages, $50.

14. The Roman Pontifical: A History and Commentary, Dom Pierre De Puniet, OSB, Longmans, London, 1932, 279 pages, $55.

15. The Origins of the Modern Roman Liturgy, S.J.P. Van Dijk, OFM & J. Hazelden Walker, Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1958, 586 pages, $50.

16. Essays in Early Roman Liturgy, Alcuin Club Collections No 46, G. G. Willis, SPCK, 1964, 147 pages, $40.

17. Further Essays in Early Roman Liturgy, Alcuin Club Collections No 50, G. G. Willis, SPCK, London, 1968, 267 pages, $45.

18. The Eighth-Century Gelasian Sacramentary: A Study in Tradition, Bernard Moreton, Oxford University Press, London, 1976, 222 pages, $45.

19. The Leonine Sacramentary: A Reassessment of its Nature and Purpose, D. M. Hope, Oxford University Press, London, 1971, 164 pages, $45.

20. Comparative Liturgy, Anton Baumstark, The Newman Press, Westminster, MD, 1958, 249 pages, $45.


21. The Progress of the Liturgy, Dom Olivier Rousseau, OSB, The Newman Press, Westminster, MD, 1951, 219 pages, $30.

22. The Shape of the Liturgy, Dom Gregory Dix, The Seabury Press, NY, 1945/1982, 777 pages, $35.

23. The Use of Lights in Christian Worship, Alcuin Club Collections No 51, D. R. Dendy, SPCK, London, 1959, 197 pages, $45.

24. The Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church, J. M. Neale, AMS Press, NY, 1970 (reprinted from the 1855 London edition), 368 pages, $40.

25. The Early History of the Liturgy, J. H. Srawley, Cambridge University Press, London, 1949, 240 pages, $35.

26. Fundamentals of the Liturgy, Rev. John H. Miller, CSC, Fides Publishers, Inc., Notre Dame, IN, 1959, 531 pages, $40.

27. The Influence of the Synagogue upon the Divine Office, Alcuin Club Collections No 45, C. W. Dugmore, The Faith Press Ltd, Westminster, London, 1964, 151 pages, $35.

28. History of the Roman Breviary, Msgr. Pierre Batiffol, Longmans, London, 1912, 341 pages, $70.

29. A Handbook of the Liturgy, Rudolf Peil, Herder & Herder, NY, 1960, 317 pages, $40.

30. The Liturgy of the Roman Rite, Ludwig Eisenhofer & Joseph Lechner, Herder, Freiburg & Nelson, Edinburgh-London, 1961, 507 pages, $45.

31. Catholic Liturgies, translated and adapted from the German of Richard Stapper, STD, Professor of Liturgy at the University of Muenster by David Baier, OFM, STD, St. Anthony Guild Press, Patterson, NJ, 1935, 379 pages, $40.

32. Egeria: Diary of a Pilgrimage, Ancient Christian Writers, translated by George E. Gingas, Newman Press, NY, 1970, 287 pages, $40.

33. Christian Worship in East and West: A Study Guide to Liturgical History, Herman A.J. Wegman, Pueblo Publishing Company, NY, 1985, 390 pages, $35.

34. The Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus, translated into English with Introduction and Notes by Burton Scott Easton, Archon Books (with permission of Cambridge University Press, London), 1962, 112 pages, $35.

35. Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources, Cyrille Vogel (translated and revised by William Storey and Niels Rasmussen, OP), The Pastoral Press, Washington, DC, 1986, 443 pages, $35.

36. Theological Dimensions of the Liturgy, Dom Cyprian Vagaggini, OSB, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1976, 996 pages, $55.


37. The Sacrament Reserved, Alcuin Club Collections No 21, W. H. Freestone, A.R. Mowbray & Co, London & Oxford, 1917, 281 pages, $90.

38. The Theologies of the Eucharist in the Early Scholastic Period, Gary Macy, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1984, 248 pages, $35.

39. The Liturgy and the Word of God, Martimort, Jounel, Danielou, von Balthasar, Bouyer, Roguet, Gelineau, Coudreau, Moeller, Lecuyer, Spuelbeck, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1959, 183 pages, $30.

40. Liturgy and Spirituality, Gabriel M. Braso, OSB, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1971, 297 pages, $30.

41. The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy from the Tenth to the Eighteenth Century, John Harper, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1991, 337 pages, $40.

42. Eucharist: Theology and Spirituality of the Eucharistic Prayer, Louis Bouyer, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1968, 484 pages, $45.


43. The Eucharist in the Primitive Church, Edward J. Kilmartin, SJ, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1965, 181 pages, $40.

44. The Rite of Concelebration of Mass and of Communion under Both Species, Pierre Jounel, Desclee Company, New York, 1967, 197 pages, $35.

45. Concelebration: Sign of the Unity of the Church, Jean Carroll McGowan, RSCJ, Herder & Herder, New York, 1964, 128 pages, $30.

46. Proclaiming God’s Message: A Study in the Theology of Preaching, Domenico Grasso, SJ, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1965, 272 pages, $35.

47. Liturgical Piety, Louis Bouyer, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1955, 284 pages, $35.

48. Rite & Man: Natural Sacredness and Christian Liturgy, Louis Bouyer, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1963, 220 pages, $35.

49. The Bible and the Liturgy, Jean Danielou, SJ, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame, 1956, 372 pages, $35.

50. Basic Liturgy: A Study in the Structure of the Eucharistic Prayer, Bro. George Every, SSM, The Faith Press, London, 1961, 126 pages, $35.

51. Early Christian Worship, Oscar Cullmann, The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1953, 126 pages, $30.

52. The Canon of the Mass and Liturgical Reform, Cipriano Vagaggini, Alba House, Staten Island, NY, 1967, 200 pages, $35.

53. A Commentary on the Prefaces and the Eucharistic Prayers of the Roman Missal, Msgr. Louis Soubigou, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1971, 340 pages, $40.

54. Rome and the Vernacular, Angelus A. De Marco, OFM, The Newman Press, Westminster, MD, 1961, 191 pages, $35.

55. Bread and the Liturgy: The Symbolism of Early Christian and Byzantine Bread Stamps, George Galavaris, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1970, 235 pages, $40.

56. Baptism and Confirmation, Burkhard Neunheuser, OSB, Herder, Freiburg, 1964, 252 pages, $40.


57. Christian Initiation: The Reformation Period, Alcuin Club Collections no 51, J. D. C. Fisher, SPCK, London, 1970, 271 pages, $40.

58. Christian Initiation 1552-1969: Rites of Baptism and Confirmation since the Reformation Period, Alcuin Club Collections No 52, Peter J. Jagger, 1970, 321 pages, $40.

59. The Seal of the Spirit: A Study in the Doctrine of Baptism and Confirmation in the New Testament and the Fathers (2nd Edition), G. W. H. Lampe, SPCK, London, 1967, 344 pages, $45.

60. Christian Initiation in Spain: c. 300-1100, T. C. Akeley, OGS, Darton, Longman & Todd, London, 1967, 223 pages, $40.

Liturgical Books for Sale: Update

Fr Thomas Simons of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Comstock Park, Michigan, has asked me to post this list of liturgical books which he has for sale, hoping to find them good homes where they will be used and studied. The proceeds from the sale of these titles will go to benefit the parish school; you can contact him directly for more information about the books, and arrangements for purchase, shipping and handling at the following email address: frtsimons@holytrinitycp.org. Only U.S. orders can be handled; postage will vary depending on the number of books purchased.

UPDATE ON OCTOBER 12: Of the titles listed below, only 5 and A are still available. I have removed the titles already sold. Another list of titles which Fr Simons has available will be published very shortly.

5.  Ordo Hebdomadae Sanctae Instauratus, Mame Publisher (Printed in France), 1956, 126 pages, embossed, red edges, ribbon, good condition, $175.

A. The Roman Missal in Latin and English for Masses for Holy Week and Easter, Collegeville, The Liturgical Press, 1966, 268 pages, red leatherette binding, gold stamped, 3 ribbons, excellent condition, $75.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Liturgical Notes on the Maternity of the Virgin Mary

The traditional observance of October as the month of the Holy Rosary begins, of course, with the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, and the institution of the feast of the Holy Rosary, also called the feast of Our Lady of Victory. Two years later, at the request of the Dominican Order, Pope Gregory XIII (1572-85) granted the feast to all churches which had an altar of the Rosary. After another important victory against the Ottoman Turks, the Battle of Peterwardein in 1716, Clement XI (1700-21) extended the feast to the entire Roman Rite. In accordance with the common custom of the time, it was originally fixed to the first Sunday of October, regardless of the date; partly because the victory at Lepanto was on the first Sunday of October, partly because, with the continual reduction of the number of holy days of obligation, feasts were often fixed to Sunday so that they might be kept with greater solemnity by the people. The custom of permanently fixing feasts to particular Sundays was abolished by Pope St Pius X as part of the breviary reform of 1911, and the feast of the Holy Rosary then assigned to the calendar date of Lepanto, October 7.

The Battle of Lepanto, by an unknown artist, late 16th century, now in the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.
Once October had been well established as a Marian month, two other feasts were then created for the second and third Sundays of October, called the feasts of the Maternity and of the Purity of the Virgin Mary. Of these two, the former gradually grew in popularity, to the point where the 1911 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia says, “At present the feast is not found in the universal calendar of the Church, but nearly all diocesan calendars have adopted it.” The latter was at least popular enough to be routinely found in the appendix “for certain places” of most editions of the Roman Missal and Breviary printed in the later 19th and early 20th centuries.

In 1931, Pope Pius XI extended the feast of the Virgin’s Maternity to the universal calendar, assigning it to October 11th, which was then the first free day of the month. A breviary lesson was added to the feast, which explains that the Pope intended it to serve as a liturgical commemoration of the 15th centenary of the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus. The third Ecumenical council was held in that city in 431 to refute the heresy of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, by which he rejected the liturgical use of the title “Mother of God” for the Virgin Mary. Shortly thereafter, Pope Sixtus III (432-40) built the basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Mother of God, which still preserves a famous mosaic with episodes of Her life on the arch over the altar. Pope Pius XI also notes in this lesson that had arranged for extensive restorations of the basilica, “a noble monument of the proclamation of Ephesus,” and particularly the mosaic.

The upper left section of the mosaic on the triumphal arch of Saint Mary Major, with the Annunciation above and the Adoration of the Magi below. To the right of the Annunciation, the angel comes to reassure St Joseph. In the Adoration of the Magi, Christ is shown as a young child, but not as an infant, since the Gospel of St Matthew does not say how long after the Birth of Christ the Magi came to Him.
October 11 was then set by Pope St John XXIII as the opening day of the Second Vatican Council in 1962. Pope John had a great devotion to Pope Pius IX, who was not yet a Blessed in his time, and whom he very much wished to canonize. Pius IX had proclaimed the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and fifteen years later, set the feast of the Immaculate Conception as the day for the opening of Vatican I. As Bl. Pius had placed his council under the protection of the Mother of God by opening it on one of her feast days, so did St John, the feast in question being also a commemoration of yet another ecumenical Council, and one especially associated with the Church’s devotion to the Virgin.

The crest of Pope St John XXIII, in the atrium of St Peter’s Basilica; the opening date of Vatican II is written beneath it, without reference to the feast of the Maternity of the Virgin Mary.
In the post-Conciliar liturgical reform, the feast of the Maternity of the Virgin Mary was suppressed, on the grounds that the newly-created Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, on January 1st made it superfluous, another fine example of the law of unintended consequences. The offical account of the changes made to the calendar, published by the Vatican Polyglot Press in 1969, explains this new feast in reference to the “Synaxis of the Mother of God” which the Byzantine Rite keeps on December 26th.

But in point of the fact, the latter observance arises from a particular Byzantine custom, by which several major feasts are followed by the commemoration of a sacred person who figures prominently in the feast, but who is, so to speak, overshadowed by another. These are usually, but not invariably, called “σύναξις (synaxis)” in Greek, “собóръ (sobor)” in Church Slavonic; that of St John the Baptist is kept on January 7th, the day after the Baptism of the Lord, that of St Gabriel the day after the Annunciation, that of the Twelve Apostles after Ss Peter and Paul, and that of Ss Joachim and Anne, the Virgin’s parents, on the day after Her Nativity. These are not the principal feasts of the persons honored by these “synaxes”, and one also finds in the Byzantine Calendar the feasts of St John on June 24 and August 29, of St Gabriel on June 11, the Apostles each on their own day (rarely the same as in the Roman Rite), and St Anne on July 26.

September 9th is also kept by the Byzantines as the commemoration of the “Fathers of the Third Ecumenical Council at Ephesus”; a most appropriate choice, since the liturgical New Year of the Byzantine Rite is on September 1st, and the Nativity of the Virgin is therefore the first Marian feast of the year. And indeed, the Maternity of the Virgin Mary would be better described, despite its title, as a Roman version of this Byzantine feast of the Fathers at Ephesus. The Byzantine Rite also has similar commemorations of the Fathers of the other ecumenical councils, as well as a joint commemoration of those of the first six, and another of Second Nicea.

An icon of the “Synod of the Holy Fathers”, in which the Emperor Constantine holds a scroll with the opening words of the Nicene Creed in Greek.
Pope St John XXIII died on June 3, 1963, a day which at the time had no feast on the General Calendar, but in the Novus Ordo was made the feast of the Ugandan Martyrs canonized in 1964. Despite the oft-stated modern preference for keeping Saints’ feasts on the anniversary of their death, or as near to it as possible, his feast day was assigned at the time of his beatification, for those places which kept it, to the anniversary of the opening of Vatican II. His feast and that of St John Paul II were extended to the general calendar as optional memorials in 2014; the latter is assigned to October 22, the day of his inauguration as Pope in 1978, since the day of his death, April 2, is very often impeded by Holy Week or Easter week.

Back in Print: Two Classic Liturgical Commentaries, Benson’s Two Greatest Historical Novels, and the Bestselling Vocations Pamphlet of the 20th Century

Os Justi Press (my spare-time republishing entity, which still doesn't have its own website...) is pleased to announce new reprints of five works that should never have gone out of print in the first place. All are available from Amazon sites; the links are below.

Robert Hugh Benson. The King’s Achievement. New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1957. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. xiv + 368 pp. Paperback, $16.95.

Robert Hugh Benson. By What Authority? New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1957. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. x + 372 pp. Paperback, $16.95.

I will start with my two all-time favorite historical novels, both by Robert Hugh Benson: The King’s Achievement, set in the times of Henry VIII, St Thomas More, St John Fisher, and the dissolution of the English monasteries, and By What Authority?, set in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and St Edmund Campion. The words "suspenseful, poignant, lyrical, brutal, and triumphant" come to mind in describing this pair of novels, in which Benson vividly depicted a world vexed and torn by religious debates, intrigues, and violence.

Indeed, the author, who profoundly researched the Reformation period and, although the son of the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, ended up converting to Roman Catholicism, knew what he was talking about both historically and personally. He writes with remarkable psychological penetration into the motives, the good and bad will, found on all sides, and convincingly portrays holiness, indifference, ambition, and evil. I found these novels illuminating about our contemporary situation, as well, since the Catholic Faith and fallen human nature never change.

The publisher's description of The King's Achievement:
One of the most coldly calculated acts of Henry VIII during the Reformations was the dissolution of the monasteries. Monks and nuns were driven from their cloisters; the abbeys were plundered and turned over to greedy courtiers. From these ignoble proceedings came Robert Hugh Benson's inspiration for this great historical novel, the story of a house divided against itself. The Torridon brothers are sworn to serve different masters; one is a monk, in love with the Mass and the Faith of Ages, the other an agent of Thomas Cromwell, in love with a protege of Sir Thomas More. Among the giant figures who move through the tale are those of St John Fisher and St Thomas More, the ruthless King Henry VIII, and the grasping Cromwell and Cranmer. Their actual deeds are carefully woven onto this harrowingly romantic tale of the attempted destruction and resilience of the Catholic Faith in England.
The publisher's description of By What Authority:
The fates of two young people caught in a conflict of ideals is the theme of this stirring and tragic novel, set in the England of Elizabeth I. At a time when to follow the Old Religion meant at the least heavy fines and at the worst death, Puritan-bred Anthony and Isabel Norris find themselves drawn to the Church of their forefathers. Monsignor Benson has peopled his story with characters who, while remaining staunchly themselves, nonetheless illustrate the tensions of the time: low intriguers, valiant men and women, heroic figures such as Edmund Campion and the inscrutable Queen Elizabeth. In a story which delves into the deepest reaches of the Catholic and Anglican dilemma, Benson's own life struggles shine forth, ultimately finding their solution in the "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church." 
These novels went out of print decades ago, and until now have been available only in the most disgracefully OCRed, typo-ridden, badly formatted versions. To remedy this problem, Os Justi has scanned and made available the novels as published in 1957 in New York. The covers on both sides have been ornamented with period portraits suggestive of the characters in the novels. (I have my son Julian to thank for these beautiful cover designs.)


Canon A. Croegaert, The Mass: A Liturgical Commentary. Vol. 1: The Mass of the Catechumens. Trans. J. Holland Smith. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1958. x + 251 pp. Paperback, $17.95.

Canon A. Croegaert, The Mass: A Liturgical Commentary. Vol. 2: The Mass of the Faithful. Trans. J. Holland Smith. Westminster, Maryland: The Newman Press, 1959. x + 311 pp. Paperback, $18.95.

This pair of volumes, conveniently divided between the two parts of the Mass, is a testimony to the discriminating historical sense, robust theology, and fervent spirituality of the original Liturgical Movement in its healthy phase, and a melancholy reminder of what intelligent and sympathetic appreciation of Catholic tradition looked like on the eve of the Pauline revolution, before that tradition was swept away.

Now that the genuine Mass of the Roman Rite is returning to so many places, it is time that resources like these should be available again, not only for theoretical purposes but for a living and practical knowledge of the traditional rites of our religion, on the part of clergy who celebrate them, religious who live from them, and laity who assist at them.

The author, Canon Croegaert of Malines, follows a "conservative" line in the sense that he narrates how the liturgy developed over the centuries but instead of expressing skepticism or dismay about medieval and Baroque developments, he grasps the deep logic of their development and explains how they are beneficial. He occasionally points out abuses but is generally so entranced with the beauty of the liturgy as a whole and in all its parts that he is content to offer the history, make observations about elements that have fallen away or been modified, and point out ceremonial issues for the clergy. Here is the publisher's description:
Many priests express a desire for a deeper knowledge of the meaning and history of the rites and prayers of the holy sacrifice they celebrate every day, but have neither the leisure for research nor the sources, which are scattered through a great number of books, pamphlets and reviews. It has been our aim to provide a methodical and practical book for the clergy — one which will be useful both for their own instruction and in their apostolate. The order of the parts of the traditional Latin Mass has been followed throughout and each of the ceremonies is described separately. Each of the chapters provides a general introduction to its subject, a summary of the history of its origins and development and a description (where applicable) of the rite itself. The emphasis throughout is on the practical: on doctrine, history, liturgy and ascetic theology. 
Two short quotations from the work: "The Mass is the sacrifice of redemption itself, set before men, and made present in the midst of them, with all its power of glorification in honour of the Holy Trinity, with all its power of life and sanctification for us." And: "Christ has ordered the adoration of the Father by the Church in a definite pattern — through the sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments, the rites and ceremonies of which have been defined in every detail by the Church."


Rev. Pierre Chaignon, SJ. The Sacrifice of the Mass Worthily Celebrated. Trans. Most Rev. Louis de Goesbriand. With a preface and meditation aids by Dom Bede Babo, OSB. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1951. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. x + 214 pp. Paperback, $14.95.

This work is a translation (by the late bishop of Burlington, Vermont, no less) of a work originally composed in the 19th century by a Jesuit who specialized in the spiritual direction of priests. The book belongs to that wonderful genre, alas nearly gone extinct after the asteroid impact of the Council, of liturgical spiritual reading for clergy to aid them in offering the holy mysteries digne, attente, devote (worthily, attentively, devoutly).

Thus, Part I is about due preparation, and speaks of the excellence of the sacrifice of our altars, the holiness required by the altar, the particular virtues foremost at the altar, the power of sanctification made available to the priest at the altar, and immediate preparation, while Part II concerns the aims and methods a priest may use during the very celebration of the Mass to increase his concentration, fervor, and benefit, together with the obligation and the blessings of making a good thanksgiving. (As a layman, I also found its contents applicable by analogy to those who are striving to make the most out of their time in church during divine worship.)

Here is the publisher's summary:
Very much has been written in more recent times about the Mass and the cooperation of the laity in it; comparatively little, however, has been written concerning the attitude of the priest towards this Holy Sacrifice. And yet, if St. Thomas Aquinas is right to say “every time we celebrate the memory of his Host, we exercise the work of our redemption” (Summa III.83.1), then so mighty a work requires the best preparation. Father Pierre Chaignon, S.J. (1791–1883) was a French Jesuit priest and spiritual writer who devoted his life to the spiritual direction of other priests, giving an estimated three hundred retreats to French clergy over the course of thirty years. His deep love for the clergy and his concern for their sanctification shines forth in this beautiful book, which helps the priest to prepare well for Mass, celebrate it well, and then make a good thanksgiving afterwards. To stress the importance of his theme, “the worthy celebration of Mass by the priest,” the author incorporates in his work the mind of St. Thomas Aquinas, the fervor of St. Alphonsus de Liguori, the spirit of St. Charles Borromeo, and the zeal of St. Ignatius. Since its appearance, this work has been found very serviceable for meditation and spiritual reading. Father Chaignon’s clarity of thought and exactness of reasoning make the book well adapted to modern conditions under which priests also find themselves compelled to do things in a hurry.

Fr. William Doyle, SJ. Vocations. First published in 1913. Many editions in Ireland and beyond. Repr. Os Justi Press, 2018. vi + 48. Paperback, $7.00.

This classic from 1913, written by the lovable and heroic Fr. Willie Doyle who has been receiving a great deal more attention in recent years (including being the subject of a docudrama at EWTN), became an instant bestseller when it was first released, and was sold in the hundreds of thousands, in at least ten languages. Scores of clergy and religious told Fr Doyle later on that it was instrumental in awakening them to their vocations. I am not at all surprised, as it is probably the most clear-talking, inspiring, inviting, and positive booklet about priestly and religious vocations ever written.

In a letter to his father in 1917, shortly before his death on the battlefield as a World War I chaplain, Fr. Willie wrote: "After my ordination ... I was struck by the fact that there was nothing one could put into the hands of boys and girls to help them to a decision except ponderous volumes, which they could scarcely read." This little booklet is different: it gets right to the point, basing itself squarely on the sayings of Our Lord and the examples of His saints. Some of the chapters include "What is a vocation?," "Signs of a vocation," "Motives for entering religion [i.e., religious life]," "Trying a vocation," "Importance of following a vocation," "Opposition," "Objections," "Advantages of religious life."

If you are discerning a vocation; if you know people who are; if you are a parent who hopes and prays for vocations; if you are a priest or religious encouraging vocations; if you are working with children or young adults and are looking for good reading to give to them — I strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of this, give it a read, and see what you think. Fr. Willie's powerful little book (less than 50 pages) deserves to reach a great readership.

(For those who'd like to read more about Fr Willie, my daughter Genevieve published a short biography of him with choice quotations at OnePeterFive, on the exact 100th anniversary of his brave death on August 16, 1917.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

“Fearless Heralds of the Truth” - The Order of a Synod in the Traditional Pontifical, Third Day (Reprint from 2015)

This is the final part of the order of a synod according to the 1595 Pontifical of Pope Clement VIII; here are the links to part 1 and part 2. We are reposting this series for the Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment; let us pray that the bishops of the current assembly may indeed be “fearless heralds of the truth.”

The third day of the synod begins as the first two. After Mass, a faldstool is placed before the altar, and the bishop, in cope and precious miter, accompanied by deacon and subdeacon, kneels before the altar, and intones the same antiphon as on the first day: “Exáudi nos, Dómine, quoniam benigna est misericordia tua: secundum multitúdinem miseratiónum tuárum réspice nos, Domine. – Hear us, o Lord, for kindly is Thy mercy; according to the multitude of Thy mercies look upon us, o Lord.” The choir continues the antiphon, followed by the whole of Psalm 68, “Save me o God, for the waters have entered unto my soul”, during which the bishop sits until the psalm is finished and the antiphon repeated.

The bishop then turns to the altar and says:
Let us pray. Crying out to Thee, o Lord, with the cry of our heart, we ask as one, that, strengthened by the regard of Thy grace, we may become fearless heralds of the truth, and be able to speak Thy word with all confidence. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.
All answer “Amen”, and the bishop adds a second prayer.
Let us pray. Almighty and everlasting God, who in the sacred prophecy of Thy word, did promise that where two or three would gather in Thy name, Thou wouldst be in their midst, in Thy mercy be present in our assembly, and enlighten our hearts, that we may in no way wander from the good of Thy mercy, but rather hold to the righteous path of Thy justice in all matters. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.
The bishop now sings, “Oremus”, the deacon “Flectamus genua”, and the subdeacon, after a pause, “Levate”, after which the bishop sings this prayer.
O God, who take heed to Thy people with forgiveness, and rule over them with love, grant the spirit of wisdom to those to whom Thou hast given to rule over discipline; that the shepherds may take eternal joy from the good progress of holy sheep. Through our Lord Jesus Christ etc.
The deacon then sings the following Gospel, Matthew 18, 15-22, with the normal ceremonies of a Pontifical Mass.
At that time: Jesus said to His disciples: If thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand. And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican. Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning anything whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by My Father who is in heaven. For where there are two or three gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. Then came Peter unto Him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.
The First Vatican Council
As on the previous two days, the bishop now kneels to intone the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, which is continued by the choir, after which he sits at a chair which is set up facing the assembly, and addresses it. A brief model for his address is given, accompanied by a rubric that he himself, or a “learned and suitable man” appointed by him to this task, may address the synod with words more appropriate to the circumstances for which it was called.
Venerable and most beloved brethren, it is fitting that all things which have not been done properly, or as fully as they ought, in regard to the duties of ecclesiastics, and the priestly ministries, and canonical sanctions, because of various distractions, or (which we cannot deny) our own and others’ idleness, should be sought out by the unanimous consent and will of us all, and humbly recited before your charity; and thus, whatever is in need of correction may be brought to a better estate by the help of the Lord. And if anyone be displeased by what is said, let him not hesitate to bring the matter before your charity with kindliness and gentility, so that all which is established or renewed by this our assembly, may be kept and held in the harmony of holy peace by all together, without contradiction, to the increase of all our eternal blessedness.
There are then read out the constitutions put forth for the approval of the synod (presumably those which were voted upon the previous day), which are confirmed by those assembled. The bishop sits, and commends himself to the prayers of all present; the names of all those who are supposed to be present are read out, and each answers “Adsum – Present.” Notice is taken of those who are not present, so that they may be fined by the bishop.

In the Pontifical, there follows an immensely long model sermon, over 1000 words in Latin, in which the bishop reminds the priests of their many duties, both spiritual (“Receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ with all reverence and fear.”) and temporal (“Let your churches be well decorated and clean.”) The bishop then says another prayer.
O Lord, the human conscience hath not such strength that it can endure the judgments of Thy will without offense; and therefore, because Thy eyes see our imperfection, deem as perfect that which we desire to conclude, merciful God, with the end of perfect justice. We have asked for Thee to come to us in the beginning, we hope in this end to have Thee forgive what we have judged wrongly; to wit, that Thou spare our ignorance, forgive our error, and grant, though the prayers now completed, perfect efficacy to the work. And since we grow faint from the sting of conscience, lest ignorance draw us into error, or hasty willfulness steer justice wrong, we ask this, we beseech Thee, that if we have brought upon ourselves any offense in the celebration of this synod, that we may know we are forgiven by Thy mercy. And since we are about to dismiss this synod, let us be first released from every bond of our sins, as forgiveness followeth transgressors, and eternal rewards follow those that confess Thee. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.
The bishop gives the Pontifical blessing and proclaims an indulgence. The archdeacon then sings “Let us depart in peace”, and all answer “In the name of Christ.” All rise and accompany the bishop back to his residence.

Relics of the Blessed Card. Newman and Pope Pius XII

Yesterday was the feast day of Bl. John Henry Newman, and our friend Fr Adrian Hilton of the Cincinnnati Oratory sent in some pictures of relics of his Oratorian confrere from his collection. It was also the 60th anniversary of the death of Pope Pius XII, and he included two relics of the future Saint, one of his zucchettos, and a letter. I have added some photos of the solemn Mass celebrated yesterday at the Oratory for the feast day.

This book was given as a prize to Arthur Richards, a student at the Oratory school, and signed by Card. Newman on the bookplate.


 A fragment of one of his copes, along with a prayer for canonization.
A letter in which Card. Newman expresses his regrets for his inability to contribute an article to an encyclopedia, pleading old age. He was 82 at the time, but would live to be 89.
A zucchetto worn by Pope Pius XII, with the certificate of authenticity, given while he was still alive. Many of these were and still are obtained by bringing a white zucchetto to a Papal audience, and offering it to the Pope, who then exchanges it with the one he has been wearing. An old friend of my family, JP McFadden, who was the founder of the Human Life Review, once did this at a Papal audience in the early 1950s. The Pope, however, mistook the woman standing next to him for McFadden’s wife, and gave his zucchetto to her. She was in fact an American reporter known for her strong anti-Catholic sentiments, but she was so moved by Pius XII’s mere presence that she insisted on keeping it.

A New Dominican Rite Mass in Jerusalem

I received word from a friend that a regular Sunday traditional Mass in the Dominican Rite has been established in Jerusalem; it will be celebrated at the Austrian Hospice, located in the Old City on the via Dolorosa, at the crossing of El Wad Street. For more information and updates, write to jlmtlmass@gmail.com.


Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The 60th Anniversary of the Death of Pope Pius XII

From the archives of British Pathé, a remarkable tribute to Pope Pius XII at the time of his death (October 9, 1958), accompanied with some rare and beautiful footage of the Papal Mass.

“Cardinal Pacelli was crowned Pope in 1939. On the last anniversary of that coronation, he had served 19 years as supreme head of the Catholic Church, through the World War, and when that had passed, through threats and rumors of more war to come. But though on all sides enemies assailed the Faith, the Christian citadel held fast. By his courageous guidance, at all times firm and unfaltering, Pius XII steered the Church safely though dangers, where a less able Pope might have failed. By divine blessing, he was spared long enough to leave Catholicism sound in body, unassailable in faith.”

Dominican Rite 1939 Altar Missal Reprinted

A piece of happy news has come to my attention; a hard-working friar of St Vincent Ferrer Priory in New York City has gotten out a reprint of the 1939 Dominican Rite Altar Missal. This Missal is in smaller format than the large 1933 and 1965 altar versions, as it was intended for travel. The use of it still requires updating the calendar to 1962 (download this on the left-sidebar at Dominican Liturgy), and use of the 1961 revised rubrics for collects as well as a couple other rubrical items, but it is eminently usable and in print!

A friar who uses it tell me that the paper is thicker than that used in the original printing, so users will probably want to get a book-cover, e.g. one for a large Bible, so that lies flat. I believe it also needs ribbons and tabs. You can purchase it at Amazon or at many other used-book sites on the web.

Anyone Interested in a New Ministry? Turning Prison Cells into Monastic Cells

Offering the Incarcerated a New Freedom

I was interested, along with many others, judging from the response of readers, to hear that a regular Latin Mass is to take place in San Quentin State Prison in California. What was especially exciting about the story was that 25 men from the prison volunteered to learn Gregorian chant and form a schola for the Mass; I understand even more turned up for the first practice. Read about it here: Twenty-five Inmates to Form Chant Schola for Regular Latin Mass in San Quentin Jail.

Let’s hope that the momentum for such a wonderful initiative will continue after such a heartening start. This story sparked off an idea in my mind for a ministry that could work in harmony with this, and which is a development of something that I have done in the past for veterans at the VA Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Wouldn’t it be great if prisoners were able to sing the Liturgy of the Hours, and could be taught to do so without anyone from outside participating? The Liturgy of the Hours is, as the Catechism tells us, the most powerful and effective form of prayer that there is after the Mass. This would enable them to sing in community if permitted, or individually.
A cell in San Quentin Prison

A Carthusian cell
I know that there a many prison ministries doing good work, but I don’t know of one that is liturgically focused in this way. (Please do let me know if any already exist.) Also, I do not have a lot of knowledge of what prison life is like, and so it may be that I am being naive about the possibility of this happening.
Nevertheless, I am wondering if enough people in the East Bay area, where I live, would like to meet regularly to form a small group to practice singing the Liturgy of the Hours; and then we can offer ourselves as a group to any institutions that might be interested - who knows, perhaps even San Quentin!
You don’t need to be an expert singer or even know how to read music. If you can hit a note and have the confidence to sing loudly in the shower, that’ll be fine. And, if you like the idea but live somewhere else… then perhaps you can take the initiative and do it yourselves. The more the merrier.
I envision that our group would sing in English and work with the Anglican Ordinariate translation and psalm cycle - it’s the simplest arrangement of the psalms to use if we have take materials in to the the people we work with.
Musically, I intend to use the Way of Beauty psalm tones, which are traditional Gregorian tones developed for English, and to use a drone and in some instances some four-part harmonies (Paul Jernberg’s wonderful arrangements). These all work naturally with mixed or all male voices and are easy to sing. My experience is that even the four-part harmonies are easily taught to singers at the level I have described.
The first goal is to establish a group of singers as a teaching choir which can sing the Office confidently, and then we will approach a variety of institutions with a view to passing on to others. The hope for the prisoners is first to make it possible for everyone to sing with us, then to train them to a level where they can do it without us; they could then even teach new recruits to join in without any help from us. These materials are simple enough for this to be possible and good enough, I believe, that they will want to make it happen.
If we get this far, then I see no reason why some of the people who want to go this far with us, would not also want to learn other forms of prayer that complement the singing of the Office, for example, contemplative prayer; and undertake spiritual exercises that will enrich their lives, such as those described in the Vision for You book. We could also offer some basic instruction in scripture so that they can understand the texts they are praying.
There are no vows here, no obligation to do anything we offer them. People go just as far as they are willing and able. But given that they have so much time, I suspect that those that feel the benefits of a little, are as likely to want to do much. There is, one might argue, a strict Rule of community already present, albeit enforced by rule of law. If this is informed by a program of liturgical, para-liturgical and personal prayer then the impact through grace might, I believe, be profound: on the individuals, on the community as a whole, and even on the society outside the walls. It would create, almost of necessity, a Carthusian-type spirituality, where most is done in solitude and the men or women occasionally come together to pray in community.
Some might wonder if the prisoners would want to do this. Well, the only way to find out is to offer it to them and see. I believe that some will want to given the enthusiasm for chanting the Mass. By God’s grace some will have happier lives and so seeing this will want to go deeper. After all, we worship God for our own sake, not for God, because we are happier for doing so. And this point can be made directly to the inmates: that all the personal prayers and exercises offered will deepen and enrich that act of worship and in turn its effectiveness in transforming their lives.
This ‘try-it-and-see’ approach, a bit like Pascal’s wager, can work. I know because it worked with me. This is the evangelization tactic used to convert me 20 years ago.
This has to be worth a try!
The first step is for a group of volunteer singers to meet and become proficient at singing the Office, leading others and teaching them to do it. (Any who think they would like to get involved, please contact me: davidicons@gmail.com).

Monday, October 08, 2018

Exclusive NLM Interview with Archbishop Sample: Why Young People Are Attracted to Traditional Liturgy

Archbishop Sample offering the Holy Sacrifice at the National Shrine
NLM is pleased to present the following transcription of an interview conducted by Julian Kwasniewski with the Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of Portland, in connection with the Sacred Liturgy Conference in Salem, Oregon, June 27–30, 2018. Much of what his Excellency says is highly pertinent to the Youth Synod taking place at the Vatican this month. This interview is published here for the first time.


Julian Kwasniewski: First off, I just have to say thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Archbishop Sample: I want to encourage you young people, and especially young people who are serious about their faith and about the sacred liturgy. I want to do everything I can to encourage you.

JK: The first question I want to start with is very simple. What is a priest?

AS: It is a simple question and it might strike someone as kind of an odd question — we all “know” what a priest is because we see them. But do we really understand who the priest is?

I think over time, perhaps particularly since the Council, there has been a reduction, if you will, in people’s understanding of the nature of the priesthood and its place within the Church. A lot of people have come to see the priest as what he does. The focus is what the priest does. Even that has changed a lot, but I think the average person might say the priest celebrates Mass, he hears confessions, he supervises the parish, he administers things. They see his functions; they don’t see his identity. That is key: his priestly identity. Who is he? It’s not so much what he does; it’s who he is, because everything he does flows from who he is.

So who is he? He is a man chosen by God, called to this order and through the sacrament of Holy Orders, through the laying on of hands and the prayer of the church; he is sacramentally configured to Christ the High Priest. There is that an ontological change that takes place in him, change on the very level of his being. He becomes something new, since his soul is forever marked with the character of the priesthood, so that he can minister in the Church in the person of Christ the head, in persona Christi capitis. So there is a close identification between the ordained priest and the High Priest, Jesus Christ; he is called to be an alter Christus, another Christ. All Christians are by our baptism called to be other Christs, but the priest in a particular way represents Christ in the Catholic Church.

He participates in the tria munera, the threefold office of Jesus Christ, as Priest, Prophet, and King. The priest is ordained to teach, to sanctify, and to rule or govern God’s people in the name and person of Christ. He is to teach the doctrine of the Church, always according to the mind of the Church and in harmony with the magisterium. He is a sanctifier; he is the one who sanctifies God’s people, especially through the sacraments, and most especially through the celebration of Holy Mass and the hearing of Confession. He is a shepherd, the guide of the community, he points the way to eternal life.

If we understand who the priest is in this sense — the sense in which the Church understands who the priest is — then we see that all the functions that he does and all the things he does flow from this essential identity.

Celebrating a pontifical Mass in Rolduc

JK: I wonder if you could tie that in with the recent Corpus Christi procession that you did, since it seems to manifest the three gifts you were talking about: it is a witness to the Church’s teaching; it publicly witnesses to the ruling position of the Faith in society; and it is a practice that can sanctify us who participate in it.

AS: Right. As I was processing with Our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist through the streets of Portland — and we went through a part that is a very secular area — all I kept thinking to myself was, “Lord Jesus, take possession of these streets, these streets belong to you. Reclaim them, Lord Jesus.” And when we were in the park for the Rosary and Benediction before we turned around, and headed back to the Cathedral, that was my prayer. People were walking by and amazed at this group of people marching and praying. I’m sure many of them were thinking “what is this thing you have on the altar there,” and of course, it was Our Blessed Lord. But I kept thinking to myself, “Lord, these streets belong to you. Reclaim and sanctify them.”

JK: How would you relate this experience of Eucharistic adoration to your episcopal motto: Vultum Christi Contemplari. What does your motto tell us about what you just said?

AS: I took my motto from the writings of St. John Paul II, who I consider my patron saint, quite honestly. I have no connection to him by name, but I really do consider him my patron saint now. He has been a great inspiration to me; I’m not sure I would be a priest today if it was not for him.

This idea of contemplating Christ’s face was something that John Paul II wrote a lot about. In Novo Millenio Ineunte, he recalls the scene in the Gospels where the Greeks come to Philip and they say, “We want to see Jesus.” The Holy Father picks up on that idea and says that this question, “we want to see Jesus,” is a question that is really in the heart of every person in the world today. Even if they don’t know it, they want to see the face of Jesus. He said they don’t want Christians just to talk about Christ — the world wants us to show them Christ. That’s our job: to let the light of Christ’s face shine before the generations of the new millennium. But, he goes on to say, our task would be hopelessly inadequate had we not first contemplated His face.

So he said we must contemplate the face of Christ. We must know Him intimately and deeply, we must cultivate that close personal relationship with the Lord, in order for us to show Him to the world. It’s very close to my own spirituality of prayer and being in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and just contemplating Christ’s presence in His Face. This is where my motto came from.

Later, in his last encyclical, Ecclesia Dei Eucharistia, John Paul II put it very bluntly: This is the task that I have set before the Church at the beginning of the new millennium, Vultum Christi contemplatri, to contemplate the face of Christ. And then he also speaks of the Marian dimension which he develops in his pastoral letter on the Rosary, that we contemplate the Face of Christ through Mary in the praying of the Rosary.

JK: Do you think the pope’s emphasis on contemplation is related to the problem of activism in our times?

AS: Yes. John Paul II is saying, “Church: This is your task. To first contemplate the face of Christ ourselves so that we may then let it shine before the nations.” Since we cannot give to the world what we do not have, we must first know Christ before we bring Him to others. For a Catholic in the world (not a contemplative religious), there must be a balance between contemplation and work, knowing Christ deeply and intimately, adoring him in prayer, in order for one to effectively carry on the apostolic works of the Church.


JK: It seems that many young people these days are rediscovering contemplation and an ability to give themselves joyfully to Christ through loving the Latin Mass and the old liturgical prayer of the Church.

AS: That’s a very good point, and it’s a point I made in the homily I gave at the Solemn Pontifical Mass at the National Shrine in Washington D.C. You know, the Church was filled with young people!

A lot of times, priests expect that if you go to a Traditional Latin Mass according to the 1962 missal, the church will be filled with grey hair, old people filled with nostalgia for days gone by, and that they have a sort of emotional attachment to the liturgy they grew up with.

But more and more, the majority of the people in the church at these masses are people who never lived during the time when this was the ordinary liturgy, that is, before the Council. If you are under a certain age (and that age is getting higher and higher), you never experienced this liturgy growing up. And yet young people — which is something Pope Benedict XVI said in his letter to the world’s bishops when he issued Summorum Pontificum — have discovered this [form] too, and have found it very spiritually nourishing and satisfying. They have come to love and appreciate it.

That is amazing to me: young people who have never experienced this growing up in the postconciliar Church, with the Ordinary Form (sometimes celebrated well, sometimes very poorly with all kinds of aberrations and abuses), have still discovered the Latin Mass and are attracted to it.

JK: What, in your view, accounts for that attraction?

AS: I would say its beauty, its solemnity, the sense of transcendence, of mystery. Not mystery in the sense of “Oh, we don’t know what’s going on,” but rather, that there is a mysterium tremendum celebrated here, a tremendous mystery. The liturgy in the old rite really conveys the essential nature and meaning of the Mass, which is to represent the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ which he offered on the Cross and now sacramentally, in an unbloody manner, in the Holy Mass.

I think young people are drawn to it because it feeds a spiritual need that they have. There is something to this form of the liturgy, in and of itself, that speaks to the heart of youth. Young people will continue to discover this, and they will be the ones who carry forward the Extraordinary Form when the older generation goes to their reward. Certainly this will be young people of your generation, but ... I’m 57. I was baptized in the old rite, but by the time I was aware and cognizant of Mass, we had already come to the new liturgy. So everybody younger than me has no experience really of this liturgy. Anyone under my age could be considered “young” in discovering this beautiful liturgy!


JK: Your Excellency, what would you say is the most important element of tradition for the Catholic youth to hold and cherish at this time?

AS: I think what young people need to do first is to discover — and many have — the Church’s tradition. Many young people have been deprived, in a certain way, of our Catholic heritage, of the great tradition which is ours in the Catholic Church. I know for myself I feel I was ... I don’t want to say cheated because that sounds like someone did it intentionally out of ill will for me ... but I feel like I was deprived of real teaching and appreciation and contact with my Catholic culture and my Catholic tradition and where we come from. I lived in and grew up in an age when there was this attitude that the Church had, in some way, hit a reset button at Vatican II, and that we could let go of all the past, as if the Church needed a new beginning and a fresh start.

You are far too young to have lived through that experience, and you are very blessed to live in the time that you do, because there was nothing like this for me when I was growing up. I grew up in a time when all of those things in the past had to be cast aside. Even something as simple as the Rosary, it was kind of discouraged — or if not discouraged, it was certainly not encouraged. I never saw Eucharistic Exposition and Benediction until I was a college student. I never knew such a thing existed. I grew up when there was a lot of experimentation with the Mass, always trying to make it “fresh and new.” There was a period of time growing up when you came to Mass on Sunday, and you just didn’t know what was going to happen next! The changes were coming so fast, and not just changes but experimentation and aberrations. So I was deprived of any contact with my tradition; I discovered it, on my own, as a college student.

JK: Was the liturgy the only area in which you felt deprived of contact with tradition, or are you speaking more broadly?

AS: In ‘tradition’ I would certainly also include the teachings of the Church that I never learned. I never understood what the Mass was — and I went to 12 years of Catholic school. If you has asked me what the Mass meant, I would probably have told you that it was a reenactment of the Last Supper, the last meal which Jesus shared with His disciples and in which He gave them His Body and Blood ... which is part of the truth. But the idea that the Mass was in any way a sacramental re-presentation of the paschal mystery, that Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary was made truly, sacramentally present at the altar — and that it is an altar, and not just a table! — that would have been a foreign idea to me.

So certainly part of the tradition is that young people need to be deeply in touch with the Faith, what we believe, what the Catechism teaches. Young people must not take it for granted that what they have received in education (whether in a Catholic school or a religious education program) is an adequate formation in the Faith. They need to really delve into the teachings of the Church, the Catechism, they need to read good, solid books and articles, and other media forms, whether internet or movies. So that is part of it.

But of course, a big part of our tradition is our liturgical tradition. It’s in our DNA — and that’s why many are attracted to the traditional forms of the liturgy — because it’s in our Catholic DNA. Young people need to acquaint themselves with the richer, deeper tradition. Vatican II did not hit a reset button. Although, perhaps, the tradition needed to be renewed and refreshed, it never was meant to be destroyed or cast aside.

Pontifical Mass at Rolduc

JK: Would you put sacred music into this category, too?

AS: The rich liturgical tradition of the Church includes her sacred music. We don’t have to have pop music at Mass. The first time I heard Gregorian chant was when I was a college student. I’d never heard of chant before. When I heard it in a music appreciation class at a secular university, I hadn’t a clue what it meant, but it instantly spoke to my heart—instantly. The first time I heard it I was moved, really moved. So there is this rich liturgical, sacred music tradition that we need to recapture, recover, that young people need to learn about.

Moreover, we should all have devotions in our life. Devotions extend what the liturgy begins. Things like the Rosary, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, Eucharistic Adoration, other devotions to the Blessed Virgin, having favorite saints, patron saints that you pray to, Stations of the Cross…All these rich parts of our Catholic devotional tradition feed the life of faith and extend what we experience in the sacred liturgy, but also lead us back to it.

JK: Do you have any additional advice for young traditional Catholics trying to recover their tradition? 

AS: I’d say there is a tendency sometimes to see these things — doctrine, liturgy, devotions — in opposition to things like works of charity, works of mercy. I would emphasize that we must not get to a place where all we are concerned about is being of right doctrine (orthodoxy), having right liturgy (orthopraxy), good sacred music, that we are doing all the right devotions. If we are not doing works of mercy, the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, if we are not taking care of the poor and disadvantaged, then we are not living fully our Catholic faith. That’s part of our tradition too!

I think traditional-minded Catholics should not let, perhaps, the more liberal elements in the church co-opt the works of justice and mercy as being “something of the new Church.” Catholics have always been steeped in the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Church of the ages is the one that built hospitals and took care of the sick and the poor and the dying, built schools to educate poor children without opportunities.

The works of justice and mercy are also very much a part of our tradition, and I would caution young people not to get so focused on the other elements we spoke of that they forget that Jesus teaches us to love, to serve those who are in need. Remember the parable He gives us on the Last Judgment, when he separates the sheep from the goats. He does not separate them based on whether they are praying the traditional prayers or not. He separates them based on “when I was hungry did you feed me, when I was thirsty did you give me to drink, when I was homeless, did you shelter me, when I was sick and in prison did you visit me?” This is the basis of the judgment… it’s not an either/or!

This is a tendency I see: if you are a “progressive Catholic,” you are all about the social justice issues, taking care of the poor, working for justice and everything, but your liturgical worship tends to be a bit off and maybe you reject other moral teachings of the Church, while sometimes traditionally-minded Catholics are characterized as being all about the Mass, and right worship, right music, right devotions, the right vestments, orthodox teaching, and don’t care so much about the poor and works of mercy.

We’ve got to pull this together: it is not an either/or, it is a both/and in the Church. The works of mercy go back to the apostolic times, go back to the Acts of the Apostles; as St. Paul says, we must always take care of the poor. This is deeply traditional in our Church.

Archbishop Sample with prison inmates

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