Monday, November 24, 2008

Abbey returns to Old Rite- world first.

Cathcon translation of Zurück zum Glauben der Väter-Back to the Faith of the Father

In the Trappist Monastery of Mariawald in the Eifel an unexpected event has taken place which is unique in the world. On the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple - 21st November - the German Trappist abbey of Mariawald gained from Rome the permission to return to the Old Rite and their original religious discipline.

According to observers, this is a unique event in church history.

The Trappist were founded as a reform order of the Cistercians. Their day was marked by lengthy prayers, hard work and strict fasting and silence. In the wake of the Second Vatican, the religious discipline almost totally broke down.

The Abbey of Mariawald is located near the town of Heimbach in the Eifel in the district of Cologne. It is located in the Diocese of Aachen.

The monastery was founded in April 1795 for the first time and refounded in 1861 by the Alsatian Trappist Abbey of Ölenberg.

The monastery was also closed during the Kulturkampf and in the time of National Socialism.

Between the years 1962 and 1964, the monks adapted the monastery church to the then current liturgical fashions.

Today fourteen monks live in the Abbey under the direction of Abbot Joseph Vollberg. The hours of prayer for the monks begin at 4:00 am.

The Abbey of Mariawald is today funded by operating a restaurant, a bookshop, a liqueur factory and a monastery shop. The monastery has a guesthouse attached.

Abbot Joseph Vollberg (45) was raised in Wetzlar. He is the ninth abbot of Mariawald.

After military service and management studies in Giessen, he joined Mariawald on 1 December 1986. He studied theology in the Cistercian Abbey of the Holy Cross in Vienna.

On 26 January 1992, he was solemnly professed. In August 2003, the monk was appointed superior ad ad nutum and obtained thereby the rights of an abbot.

Then on 17 December 2005, Dom Josef received diaconal orders and on 29 June 2006 was ordained a priest by the Bishop of Aachen, Heinrich Mussinghoff.

In November 2006 the Convent Chapter chose Vollberg as the Abbot for life of the Abbey of Mariawald.

His solemn Abbatial consecration was on 26 January 2007 in the abbey church of the monastery.

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Relics of St Teresa of Lisieux taken into space.

“I have the vocation of an Apostle. I would like to travel over the whole earth to preach Your Name and to plant your glorious Cross on infidel soil. But 0 my Beloved, one mission would not be enough for me, I would want to preach the Gospel on all five continents simultaneously and even to the most remote isles. I would be a missionary, not for a few years but from the beginning of creation until the consummation of the ages.” (Story of a Soul)

The Summa Theologicae on prayers for the dead

The suffrages for the dead (Supplementum, Q. 71). Probably not written or if so only in outline form by St Thomas, but no error is to be found here.

Can suffrages performed by one person profit others?
Can the dead be assisted by the works of the living?
Do the suffrages of sinners profit the dead?
Do suffrages for the dead profit those who perform them?
Do suffrages profit those who are in hell?
Do they profit those who are in purgatory?
Do they avail the children in limbo?
Do they, in any way, profit those who are heaven?
Do the prayer of the Church, the Sacrament of the altar, and almsgiving profit the departed?
Do indulgences granted by the Church profit them?
Does the burial service profit the departed?
Do suffrages for one dead person profit that person more than others?
Do suffrages for many avail each one as much as if they were offered for each individual?
Do general suffrages avail those for whom special suffrages are not offered, as much as special and general suffrages together avail those for whom they are offered?"

Mondays- dedicated to the Holy Angels


St Thomas Aquinas on the angels

Summa Theologica First Part Question 51
Article 1. Whether the angels have bodies naturally united to them?
Objection 1. It would seem that angels have bodies naturally united to them. For Origen says (Peri Archon i): "It is God's attribute alone--that is, it belongs to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as a property of nature, that He is understood to exist without any material substance and without any companionship of corporeal addition." Bernard likewise says (Hom. vi. super Cant.): "Let us assign incorporeity to God alone even as we do immortality, whose nature alone, neither for its own sake nor on account of anything else, needs the help of any corporeal organ. But it is clear that every created spirit needs corporeal substance." Augustine also says (Gen. ad lit. iii): "The demons are called animals of the atmosphere because their nature is akin to that of aerial bodies." But the nature of demons and angels is the same. Therefore angels have bodies naturally united to them.

Objection 2. Further, Gregory (Hom. x in Ev.) calls an angel a rational animal. But every animal is composed of body and soul. Therefore angels have bodies naturally united to them.

Objection 3. Further, life is more perfect in the angels than in souls. But the soul not only lives, but gives life to the body. Therefore the angels animate bodies which are naturally united to them.

On the contrary, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that "the angels are understood to be incorporeal."

I answer that, The angels have not bodies naturally united to them. For whatever belongs to any nature as an accident is not found universally in that nature; thus, for instance, to have wings, because it is not of the essence of an animal, does not belong to every animal. Now since to understand is not the act of a body, nor of any corporeal energy, as will be shown later (75, 2), it follows that to have a body united to it is not of the nature of an intellectual substance, as such; but it is accidental to some intellectual substance on account of something else. Even so it belongs to the human soul to be united to a body, because it is imperfect and exists potentially in the genus of intellectual substances, not having the fulness of knowledge in its own nature, but acquiring it from sensible things through the bodily senses, as will be explained later on (84, 6; 89, 1). Now whenever we find something imperfect in any genus we must presuppose something perfect in that genus. Therefore in the intellectual nature there are some perfectly intellectual substances, which do not need to acquire knowledge from sensible things. Consequently not all intellectual substances are united to bodies; but some are quite separated from bodies, and these we call angels.

Reply to Objection 1. As was said above (Question 50, Article 1) it was the opinion of some that every being is a body; and consequently some seem to have thought that there were no incorporeal substances existing except as united to bodies; so much so that some even held that God was the soul of the world, as Augustine tells us (De Civ. Dei vii). As this is contrary to Catholic Faith, which asserts that God is exalted above all things, according to Psalm 8:2: "Thy magnificence is exalted beyond the heavens"; Origen, while refusing to say such a thing of God, followed the above opinion of others regarding the other substances; being deceived here as he was also in many other points, by following the opinions of the ancient philosophers. Bernard's expression can be explained, that the created spirit needs some bodily instrument, which is not naturally united to it, but assumed for some purpose, as will be explained (2). Augustine speaks, not as asserting the fact, but merely using the opinion of the Platonists, who maintained that there are some aerial animals, which they termed demons.

Reply to Objection 2. Gregory calls the angel a rational animal metaphorically, on account of the likeness to the rational nature.

Reply to Objection 3. To give life effectively is a perfection simply speaking; hence it belongs to God, as is said (1 Samuel 2:6): "The Lord killeth, and maketh alive." But to give life formally belongs to a substance which is part of some nature, and which has not within itself the full nature of the species. Hence an intellectual substance which is not united to a body is more perfect than one which is united to a body.

It is related in the life of St. Thomas Aquinas that, as a reward for his overcoming a temptation against purity, he was girded with a cord by angels, and that in consequence he was never again tempted against this virtue. This cord is still preserved in the Church at Chieri near Turin. Soon after the saint's death many of the faithful began to wear a cord in honour of St. Thomas, to obtain the grace of purity through his intercession.

Feast of St John of the Cross


St. John of the Cross, priest, confessor, and Doctor of the Church. He was the associate of St. Teresa in the reform of Carmel. His birthday is mentioned on December 14.

Stanzas Of The Soul
1. One dark night,
fired with love's urgent longings
- ah, the sheer grace! -
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
- ah, the sheer grace! -
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
- him I knew so well -
there in a place where no one appeared.

5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

Third Edition of the Roman Missal for the ordinary Rite