Sunday, March 11, 2007

Feast of Pope St Gregory the Great

Doctor of the Church
Apostle of the English
and my principal patron

Gregory the Great was a Roman, the son of Gordian the Senator. As a young man he studied philosophy, and afterwards discharged the office of Praetor. After his father's death he built six monasteries in Sicily, and a seventh in honour of St. Andrew, in his own house at Rome, hard by the Church of Saints John and Paul at the ascent of the hill Scaurus. In this monastery of St. Andrew, he and his masters, Hilarion and Maximian, professed themselves monks, and Gregory was afterwards Abbot. Later on, he was created a Cardinal Deacon, and sent to Constaninople as legate from Pope Pelagius to the Emperor Tiberius Constantine. Before the Emperor he so successfully disputed against the Patriarch Eutychius, who had denied that our bodies shall verily and indeed rise again, that the Prince threw the book of the said Patriarch into the fire. Eutychius himself also soon after fell sick, and when he felt death coming on him, he took hold of the skin of his own hand and said in in the hearing of many that stood by : I acknowledge that we shall all rise again in the flesh.

Gregory returned to Rome, and, Pelagius being dead of a plague, he was unanimously chosen Pope. This honour he refused as long as he could. He disguised himself and took refuge in a cave, but was betrayed by a fiery pillar. Being discovered and overruled, he was consecrated at the grave of St. Peter. He left behind him many ensamples of doctrine and holiness to them that have followed him in the Popedom. Every day he brought pilgrims to his table, and among them he entertained not an Angel only, but the very Lord of Angels in the guise of a pilgrim. He tenderly cared for the poor, of whom he kept a list, as well without as within the city. He restored the Catholic faith in many places where it had been overthrown. He fought successfully against the Donatists in Africa and the Arians in Spain. He cleansed Alexandria of the Agnoites. He refused to give the Pall to Syagrius, Bishop of Autun, unless he would expel the Neophyte heretics from Gaul. He caused the Goths to abandon the Arian heresy. He sent into Britain Augustine and divers other learned and holy monks, who brought the inhabitants of that island to believe in Jesus Christ. Hence Gregory is justly called by Bede, the Priest of Jarrow, the Apostle of England. He rebuked the presumption of John, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had taken to himself the title of Bishop of the Universal Church, and he dissuaded the Emperor Maurice from forbidding soldiers to become monks.

Gregory adorned the Church with holy customs and laws. He called together a Synod in the Church of St. Peter, and therein ordained many things ; among others, the ninefold repetition of the words Kyrie eleison in the Mass, the saying of the word Alleluia in the Church service except between Septuagesima inclusive and Easter exclusive, and the addition to the Canon of the Mass of the words : Do thou order all our days in thy peace. He increased the Litanies, the number of the Churches where is held the observance called a Station, and the length of the Church Service. He would that the four Councils of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon should be honoured like four Gospels. He released the Sicilian Bishop from visiting Rome every three years, willing them to come instead once every five years. He was the author of many books, and Peter the Deacon declareth that he often saw the Holy Ghost on his head in the form of a dove when he was dictating them. It is a marvel how much he spake, did, wrote, and legislated, suffering all the while from a weak and sickly body. He worked many miracles. At last God called him away to be blessed for every in heaven, in the thirteenth year, sixth month, and tenth day of his Pontificate, being the 12th day of March. This day is observed by the Greeks, as well as by the Western Church, as a festival, on account of the eminent wisdom and holiness of this Pope. His body was buried in the Church of St. Peter, hard by the Private Chapel.

From the Roman Breviary readings for Matins

Democratic naturalism and anti-democratic naturalism

From the Things that are not Caesar's by Jacques Maritain.

As I live 400 yards from the European Parliament, I can say that I have little trace of democracy there in five years and much democratism. Democracy is slowly being drained away in modern European states and as no-one could put their finger on the day when England was no longer Catholic, looking back no-one will be able in Europe to know the date when tyranny started its rule.

" Democracy, lawful in itself," Pere Garrigou-Lagrange wrote recently, " may degenerate into democratism, into a kind of religion which confuses the order of grace and the order of nature or tends to reduce the supernatural truth of the Gospel to a social conception of human order, to transform divine charity into philanthropy, humanitarian-ism and liberalism. The Church may then intervene in virtue of her very magistracy. She cannot forget the maxim : corruptio optimi pessima ; the worst form of corruption is that which attacks what is best in us, the most exalted of the supernatural virtues, the soul of all the others. If there is nothing better in this world than true charity, which loves God above all things and its neighbour for the love of God, there is nothing worse than false charity, which reverses the very order of love, by making us forget the infinite goodness of God and His imprescriptible rights, to stuff our ears with the rights of man— equality, liberty and fraternity. The formal object of an essentially supernatural virtue so becomes confused with that of a feeling not unfrequently largely inspired by envy. Is that not the essence of the democracy-religion which completely falsifies the idea of the virtue of charily and at the same time that of virtue indissolubly bound with justice ? To seek to discover in it the spirit of the Gospel would be mere illuminism. To realise it, it is sufficient to apply the main rule for die discerning of spirits : ' The tree is judged by its fruits ' : the fruits produced by the works of Rousseau are not the fruits of the Gospel. “To react properly against such democratism and by those who profit by it to the great detriment of their country, is it sufficient to give the helm a vigourous turn in the opposite direction, in the human order? Is it sufficient to recall the benefits conferred by the natural hierarchy of values once established by the guilds in the artisan world, the benefits conferred by an intellectual aristocracy and a landed aristocracy, the advantages derived from a monarchy which brought about unity and continuity in the home and foreign policy of a great country, to protect it against its enemies both within and without ? If such a reaction takes place only or mainly in the human order, and not sufficiently in the supernatural order of faith and love of God, it runs the risk of falling into the opposite extreme to that which it is fighting. Not only can it not effectively substitute, as it ought, for false notions of charity and justice the true conception of these virtues, but it can easily degenerate into an aristocratic naturalism recalling the wisdom of Greece and its intellectual pride in opposition to the spirit of the Gospel. The profound significance of the teaching of Our Lord respecting humility and love of our neighbour would be thenceforth lost : ' / confess to tkee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones' (Matthew xi. 25). * This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you' {John xv. 12). " To react against the naturalist conception of charity which is as it were the soul of democracy-religion, une must safeguard oneself against the opposite extreme which would be a contrary form of naturalism. One must rise above these two extremes to the culminating point which unites the theological and moral virtues, living faith, resolute hope, the supernatural love of God and our neighbour, of our very enemies, divine charity indissolubly bound to true justice. To rise to such a height, Christian humility is required ; it is a fundamental virtue and alone can repress the pride which tends to pervert every political conception and to warp every form of government. Humility must be accompanied by docility of the mind with regard to every natural and supernatural truth. It is the only way to supreme truth and true religion. Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP Vie Spirituelle March 1927.

Something old, something new

Article defending the Latin Mass in The Tablet:

"The modern liturgy is here to stay but, in response to Andrew Cameron-Mowat (The Tablet, 24 February), a liturgical scholar whose work earned praise from Cardinal Ratzinger argues that the older liturgical forms have something legitimate to offer to the Church of today - and tomorrow

Early in the morning of 20 April 2005 I received an email from a liturgist friend: 'I've already sent in my request for an indult to be allowed to continue to say the modern Mass during the new pontificate,' he quipped. I laughed heartily, because the last thing Pope Benedict would ever do would be to use his authority to proscribe a liturgical rite that has nourished the faith and life of at least two generations of Catholics - regardless of his appreciation of the value of the pre-conciliar liturgy, and of his support for the discussion of a possible 'reform of the [liturgical] reform'. "

The motu proprio can only enrich the Catholic Church

says UK Catholic Herald

Norbertines to leave Manchester, UK

Basilica to close:

"Thank you to everyone who gave so generously to the “Friends of Corpus Christi” in the hope of building a new Priory. Altogether you raised £10,000 which is truly amazing and a great mark of your kindness. In the coming weeks, we will write to everyone who gave their address when “buying a brick” and inform them of our decision to move away from Varley Street. We will either return the donation or ask permission to use that money for the education of our future priests; they are the real building blocks of the future. "

The Austrian Family Minister, Andrea Kdolsky


She lives with a partner and has published book, "Childless and then? No baby in tow" She criticises the politicised exaltation of motherhood.

Of her partner

"Such a great partnership, who knows what it would be like if we had a baby".

Discothèque de Dieu- 3D


or God's Disco. The Sanctuary in Lourdes started the year in a prayerful and thoughtful manner worthy of the great sanctuary. I think not!

Purveyers of error

buy Catholic Churches.