Friday, July 31, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 5


O Holy Priest of Ars, you knew how important was a good confession for the Christian life. It was to procure the happy fruits of millions of souls that you agreed to be in an uncomfortable confessional, which was like a prison, up to 15 to 16 hours on certain days.
I will try to develop the habit of frequent confession, to prepare properly each time and to have always regret for my sins, so that the grace of final perseverance but also the sanctification of my soul will be assured. Ask this grace for me.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Anglican Orders

It would seem the Anglican church is going with the two track system proposed by Archbishop Rowan Williams, which I mentioned below. In an interesting article, it would seem that a cathedral is offering separate male and female blessed communion.
n Anglican cathedral is trying to accommodate those of its faithful who do not accept female clergy by allowing parishioners to decide whether to accept communion bread blessed by its female canon or by a male priest. Blackburn Cathedral in Lancashire recently installed Rev. Sue Penfold as a residential canon. Cathedral canon Andrew Hindley explained the decision to This Is Lancashire, saying it was agreed by all the clergy that it was the best way to handle what they called a “mixed economy.”

The congregation can choose whether to receive communion bread blessed by Rev. Penfold or bread blessed by a male priest at the main cathedral service on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

“This situation is not ideal, but we are trying to be inclusive,”[The buzzword of the age.] Canon Hindley said, adding that Rev. Penfold had been appointed to Blackburn Cathedral to reflect the “board views” of the Church of England.

The communion practice was announced to worshipers when it was introduced last year but it is reportedly implemented in a “very discreet manner.”

The practice was attacked by Sally Barnes of the Anglican feminist group Women and the Church. She said it was “unacceptable and disgraceful” to turn communion into “a buffet.” [Interestingly, the Truth is also treated in a buffet style as well, take what you please] She claimed the practice labeled women as “tainted” and that many people in the area have complained about it.

The traditional-leaning Anglican group Forward in Faith, which opposes women bishops, said the practice was unusual. According to This Is Lancashire, group spokesman Stephen Parkinson called it “bonkers” and said he did not understand why the women priests put up with it.

It is a bad sign when both the traditional-leaning and the, say, "progressive" leaning groups both oppose your practice.

The Anglican church's teachings are nebulous at best, when it comes to the nature of communion and the eucharist; the sense of any sort of real presence is left up to the individual to discern. By having a practice such as this, it acknowledges that there is some sort of problem.

I see parallels with the situation in the Catholic Church and the SSPX. One of the serious issues that needs to be hammered out relates to the validity of the Novus Ordo of the Mass. The Church clearly posits the validity of the Mass and the other sacraments under all rites the Church sanctions, but there still are some who, for various reasons, question or flatly deny the validity of these rites. I liken this Anglican situation to keeping separate tabernacles/ciboria for the Sacred Body consecrated at the Traditional Latin Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass, because some people may deny the validity of the new Mass. If the Anglican church teaches that women can be validly ordained, and validly preform their religious services, then it leads them into error by maintaining some separation of the blessed bread.

Of course, since the Anglican Church lacks valid orders (at least for the most part) and lacks valid sacraments, this discussion is purely academic. It is a sign of the times for their church, however, as they slowly lose any sense of identity they may have had. No longer will a set of beliefs or practices define what it means to be an Anglican, now all that is left is a sense of history or (small t) tradition.

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 4


Saint John Mary Baptist Vianney, you were so adamant against sin, yet so sympathetic and so ready to welcome the sinner. I come to you today as if you were still alive, as if I were kneeling at your feet and you could hear me. Bend towards me, listen to the repentant confidence for the weaknesses and miserable deeds of mine.
Priest of the Lord, inexhaustible Confessor, obtain for me the horror for sin. You wanted us First to avoid the occasion of sin. I want totake your advice and make the resolution to break bad habits and to avoid the dangerous occasions of sin. Help me today to examine my conscience.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Anglican Implosion

Breaking into this novena, is some news on the Anglican/Episcopalian front. Archbishop Rowan Williams must be intent on completely dismantling the worldwide Anglican communion, but, of course, the members seem even more committed to the cause.

Article, with my emphasis and [comments].
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, head cleric in the Church of England, has responded to the Episcopal Church’s decision to allow the ordination of homosexual bishops. Saying that a change in Anglican teaching, if necessary, would require broader agreement, he proposed a “two-track” church structure which recognizes “two ways of being Anglican.” [Why two? If there are two possible ways to Truth, then perhaps three, or 756 thousand.]

Writing in a July 27 document titled “Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future,” Archbishop Williams said the wording of the resolution showed that it did not want to “cut its moorings from other parts of the Anglican family.” [Heretics no longer leave the Church; Catholics also have this problem.] The two most controversial resolutions, he said, do not have the “automatic effect” of overturning the moratoria on homosexual clergy.

However, he said the resolutions do not suggest the General Convention will “repair the broken bridges into the life of other Anglican provinces” and have led to the expression of “very serious anxieties.” [Putting it mildly.]

He said the issue is not simply about civil liberties, human dignity, or the freedom of individual Christians to form their consciences. [I had to read this twice. It would seem that Anglicans have the freedom to form their own consciences. Of course, Catholics, and indeed all persons, have that freedom, but that gives us the ability to be wrong. It is not in the power of Christians in good standing to form their consciences against the mind of the Church.]

“It is about whether the Church is free to recognize same-sex unions by means of public blessings that are seen as being, at the very least, analogous to Christian marriage,” he said.

Based on the Christian Church’s consistent reading of the Bible for two millennia, the archbishop said, an innovation would require “the most painstaking biblical exegesis” and “a wide acceptance of the results within the Communion.”

“This is not our situation in the Communion,” he said, noting that persons living in homosexual unions cannot represent the Anglican Church without “serious incongruity.”

He also counseled Anglicans to recall how a local church decides on a “sensitive and controversial matter” so as not to be “completely trapped in the particularly bitter and unpleasant atmosphere of the debate over sexuality, in which unexamined prejudice is still so much in evidence and accusations of bad faith and bigotry are so readily thrown around.” [The Truth depends on geography.]

He suggested the possibility of a “twofold ecclesial reality,” with a “covenanted” Anglican global body fully sharing a vision of how the Church should be. To this would be joined “in less formal ways” associated local churches in “various kinds of mutual partnership.”

Rather than a “two-tier” system, he suggested, this is a “two-track model” with two ways of “witnessing to the Anglican heritage.” [A Church founded in the Anglican tradition? Perhaps similar to a Catholic school founded in the Jesuit tradition.]

“The ideal is that both 'tracks' should be able to pursue what they believe God is calling them to be as Church, [even if they are believing something wrong. We still believe in absolute Truth] with greater integrity and consistency,” he continued.

“It helps to be clear about these possible futures, however much we think them less than ideal, and to speak about them not in apocalyptic terms of schism and excommunication,” he said, stating that they are “two styles of being Anglican.”

“All of this is to do with becoming the Church God wants us to be, [as opposed to the Church WE want to be] for the better proclamation of the liberating gospel of Jesus Christ,” the Archbishop of Canterbury’s document concluded. He said the present situation should be seen not as “an unhappy sent of tensions” but rather “an opportunity for clarity, renewal and deeper relation with one another” and with God.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s conciliatory statement contrasts with the response of prominent biblical scholar and Anglican Bishop of Durham N.T. Wright, who said the Episcopal Church’s recent decision formalized a “schism” and marked a “clear break” with the Anglican Communion. Bishop Wright also criticized those Episcopalians who have “long embraced a theology in which chastity, as universally understood by the wider Christian tradition, has been optional.”

The Anglican Communion is hemorrhaging belief. When they set off from the Barque of Peter in their own dinghy they would have needed a very steady hand at the tiller, just to keep from capsizing in the seas of this world. This action is tantamount to letting go of the wheel and allowing the boat to go adrift. By not clarifying the Anglican Communion's position on these issues, he is basically opening up the Church to any and all sorts of beliefs, sacrificing Truth for unity.

Novena to St. John Vianney - Day 3


Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney because of your love of God you showed great charity towards your neighbor. You could not preach on the Love of God without burning tears of love. During your last years, it seemed as though you could not talk about any thing else or live for anything else. Thus you sacrificed yourself to your neighbor by consoling, absolving and sanctifying them to the limits of your strength.
Your charity inspires me to greater love of God, a love which is shown more by acts then by words. Help me to love my neighbor generously as Christ loves them.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney

Today is Day 2 of the Novena. Same rules apply, same recommendations, same source.


Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney, what confidence the people had in your prayers! You could not leave your old rectory or your humble church without being surrounded by imploring souls, who appealed to you as they would have appealed to Jesus Himself during His earthly life. And you, O good Saint, gave them hope by your words, which were full of love for God.
You, who had always counted entirely on the heart of God, obtain for me a deep filial trust in His Providence. As the hope of divine goods fills my heart, give me courage and help me to always obey the Commandments of God.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Novena to St. John Vianney

Today, it would seem marks the first day of a novena to St. John Vianney, an especially relevant topic in this Year for Priests. This is taken from EWTN, though you could find/adapt your own.


Saint John Marie Baptist Vianney you were born of a deeply religious mother; from her you received the Holy Faith; you learned to love God and to pray. At a young age, you were seen kneeling in the front of the statue of Mary. Your soul was supernaturally carried towards the things on High. Despite the high cost, you answered your vocation!
Against many obstacles and contradictions, you had to fight and suffer to become the perfect priest which you were. But your deep spirit of faith supported you in all these battles. 0 Great Saint you know the desire of my soul; I would like to serve God better; from Him I have received so many good things. For this, obtain for me more courage and especially the depth of faith.
Many of my thoughts, words, and actions are useless for my sanctification and for my salvation, because this supernatural spirit does not stir up my life. Help me to be better in the future.
Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ...
(mention silently your special intentions).
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

O St John Vianney, Patron of Priests, pray for us and for all priests!

I recommend praying in a special way for your parish priest, or perhaps if you have a priest spiritual director, for him, or really any priest(s) who have touched your lives. Mention them by name.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Morning Offering

This is another in my unnumbered and non-regular series on my own personal spirituality.

Today I will discuss the morning offering. This is one of a list of things I hope to fully incorporate into my daily life. It is a wonderful practice which helps to orient one's life to the will of God. By offering our day, in its actions and thoughts, to the Lord, we both serve to turn our day into a prayer, and also remind ourselves of the presence and providence of God.

There are many formulas for the morning offering, and a quick internet search would yield many different, good ones. I recommend choosing one that resonates with your own life and spirituality. The one I presently recite follows.
LORD GOD Almighty, Thou hast brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by Thy mighty power, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed, as to be always just in Thy sight. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
I found this in my handy handbook of indulgences, it is the Latin Domine Deus omnipotens prayer, and has a partial indulgence attached to it.

If you are interested in developing your personal spirituality, I recommend reciting some form of a morning offering. It is quick and easy, and reminds you to direct your actions to God in all you do.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Post overdue

This post is way overdue, but unfortunately, real life got in the way. Yes, I do intend to continue with this. Yes, I'm working on Caritas in Veritate, and I do intend to reflect on it. No, I don't know when I will post next.