Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter 2015

Start 
V. O Lord, ✠ open thou my lips.
R. And my mouth shall declare thy praise.
V. O God, ✝ come to my assistance;
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost. 
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Alleluia.
Invitatorium {Antiph. ex Proprio de Tempore} 
Ant. Surréxit Dóminus vere, * Allelúia.
Ant. Surréxit Dóminus vere, * Allelúia.
Veníte, exsultémus Dómino, iubilémus Deo, salutári nostro: præoccupémus fáciem eius in confessióne, et in psalmis iubilémus ei.
Ant. Surréxit Dóminus vere, * Allelúia.
Quóniam Deus magnus Dóminus, et Rex magnus super omnes deos, quóniam non repéllet Dóminus plebem suam: quia in manu eius sunt omnes fines terræ, et altitúdines móntium ipse cónspicit.
Ant. Allelúia.
Quóniam ipsíus est mare, et ipse fecit illud, et áridam fundavérunt manus eius (genuflectitur) veníte, adorémus, et procidámus ante Deum: plorémus coram Dómino, qui fecit nos, quia ipse est Dóminus, Deus noster; nos autem pópulus eius, et oves páscuæ eius.
Ant. Surréxit Dóminus vere, * Allelúia.
Hódie, si vocem eius audiéritis, nolíte obduráre corda vestra, sicut in exacerbatióne secúndum diem tentatiónis in desérto: ubi tentavérunt me patres vestri, probavérunt et vidérunt ópera mea.
Ant. Allelúia.
Quadragínta annis próximus fui generatióni huic, et dixi; Semper hi errant corde, ipsi vero non cognovérunt vias meas: quibus iurávi in ira mea; Si introíbunt in réquiem meam.
Ant. Surréxit Dóminus vere, * Allelúia.
V. Glória Patri, et Fílio, * et Spirítui Sancto.
R. Sicut erat in princípio, et nunc, et semper, * et in sǽcula sæculórum. Amen.
Ant. Allelúia.
Ant. Surréxit Dóminus vere, * Allelúia.
Invitatory {Antiph. from the Proper of the season} 
Ant. The Lord is risen, indeed, * Alleluia.
Ant. The Lord is risen, indeed, * Alleluia.
Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms. 
Ant. The Lord is risen, indeed, * Alleluia.
For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. For the Lord will not cast off his people: for in his hand are all the ends of the earth, and the heights of the mountains are his. 
Ant. Alleluia.
For the sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. (genuflect)Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us: For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand. 
Ant. The Lord is risen, indeed, * Alleluia.
Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works. 
Ant. Alleluia.
Forty years long was I offended with that generation, and I said: These always err in heart. And these men have not known my ways: so I swore in my wrath that they shall not enter into my rest. 
Ant. The Lord is risen, indeed, * Alleluia.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost. 
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Ant. Alleluia.
Ant. The Lord is risen, indeed, * Alleluia.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Sermon to begin the Triduum


Sermon of the Right Reverend Dom Jean Pateau
Abbot of Our Lady of Fontgombault
(Fontgombault, April 2, 2015)

Cum dilexisset eos... in finem dilexit eos.
Having loved his own… He loved them unto the end.
Jn 13:1

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
My dearly beloved Sons,

The Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, the institution of which we commemorate tonight, the Paschal mystery, death and rise of Jesus: are these something that God gives us or owes us? 

At the beginning of the Triduum Paschale, which covers the period extending from the morning of Maundy Thursday to that of Easter, this is a crucial question. The actions of our Christian lives will depend on our answer as we face these mysteries that underlie our faith: "If Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain." (1 Co 15:14) 

If the Paschal mystery is my due, basically I don't have to worry about it. It is, so to speak, in the order of things. God takes care of me, and it is normal. God carries out, as it were, His job of God. 

But if the Paschal mystery is a gift, and if its author is God, then the standpoint shifts radically. God, the Maker of the universe, gives Himself to His creature, the Almighty to him who is powerless. A new dimension opens up in our relationship with God, and consequently in our relationship with others, the dimension of freely given love. The washing of the feet, that the liturgy invites us to reenact today, is part of this viewpoint.


The first words of the Gospel that we have just heard sound as a summary of the Paschal gift. In St. John's Gospel, they precisely open the narration of theTriduum Paschale. Jesus' hour, the hour of His ultimate love testimony, of His passing, of His Passover, has now come.

Before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour was come, that He should pass out of this world to the Father: having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. (Jn 13:1)

Shall we accept to receive this testimony? It is not easy to allow Jesus to wash our feet. Peter, first of all, experiences it to his own cost. To him, God's divinity should express itself in power, not in the humility of a slave's gesture. Who among us has not some ideas concerning what God should do, or at least what He should not tolerate?

Peter is ready to unsheathe his sword to protect God. He is not yet ready to make himself, as God makes Himself, the servant of his brothers, to wash their feet.

Peter considers that he has no need for a humble and merciful God, but rather for a powerful and avenging God. Will it still be the case within a few hours?

After he has betrayed Jesus by denying Him three times, after he has experienced in the high priest's house Jesus' look upon him, Peter will grasp that the path of God in his life entails his acceptation of a merciful look on his miserable life. As he meets Jesus' eyes he becomes aware of how small God makes Himself, of how He makes Himself a beggar of love before the sinner. What has become of the disciple proud to follow Jesus? He no longer exists. Peter withdraws and weeps bitterly. Does he weep upon his fault? That is the usual interpretation. But would he not rather weep before the wealth of mercy that has just been meted out to him? Peter has understood and he weeps. 

He, who from the very beginning had wanted to shield God through his strength and power, has stumbled. He receives the assistance of the look of Jesus, a prisoner, humiliated, ridiculed, and very soon crowned with thorns.

Peter weeps because the Lord offers him His testimony of love unto the end. Before His humiliated disciple, Jesus makes Himself very small, He makes Himself a beggar of his love. Peter wanted to offer Him his weapons, Jesus requires of him his tears, his heart, his life. A few days later, by the Sea of Tiberias, this look will become a word: "Simon, son of John, lovest thou me more than these?" (Jn 21:15)

Today, this same question must resound in our hearts.

Tomorrow the Crucified's open arms will offer the world to come and drink from the pierced side the cleansing flows of grace. "It is consummated." (Jn 19:30)

As He gave His life for His friends by dying on the Cross, Jesus has burst in upon every man's life. From all tabernacles on earth, under the humble shape of the Host, this cry still resounds: "Do you love Me?" What is at stake from now on for each man, each society, is to answer this call of the Lord. Through the sacraments, and especially the sacrament of penance, God comes and offers us anew His grace. Priests, consecrated people, Christians, all men of good will, are the echo of the word of God unto the ends of the earth.

Why are there so many profanations, so many smashed tabernacles, so many burned churches? Why so many slaughtered Christians, or more generally excluded from public life, derided by today's men and societies?

Before the Cross, before the tabernacle, no one may remain indifferent. Derision, profanations, are indeed but the refusal to receive the beggar of love Who knocks on our door and Who has nothing to offer us but His love. It is quite easy to have in one's life an idol, a glib talker, a coach… It is far more difficult to have a beggar, a Crucified as a master. In Jesus, Peter has found faithful love, love that can withstand treachery, love that gives itself unto the gift of one' life, love unto the end.

When we receive kneeling the sacrament of His body and blood, God gives Himself, a beggar of love. He expects from us hearts, and not weapons. The friend of Jesus cannot be satisfied with a cheap love, a part-time faithfulness, if he wants to convert the world.

As Peter, today's world protects its own gods: gold, power, unfaithfulness, contempt of others' lives, the culture of death and throw-away. In the school of the Crucified, a beggar of love, let us become in our turn beggars of love, by our mercy, our look upon others. Let us imitate the gesture of the Lord, the washing of the feet, the look upon St. Peter. Let us listen to His words of consolation. Then, from the parched eyes of today's men, will flow the tears that some past evening have wet Peter's eyes. To them is aimed the commandment of fair love.

May Mary, the very loving Mother, make us on these days hold fast at the foot of the Cross.

Amen. 

The Cross in my pocket

I carry a cross in my pocket, a simple reminder to me of the fact that I am a Christian, no matter where I may be.

This little cross is not magic, nor is it a good luck charm. It isn't meant to protect me from physical harm. It's not for identification for all the world to see. It's simply an understanding between my Saviour and me.

When I put my hand in my pocket to bring out a coin or a key the cross is there to remind me of the price He paid for me.

It reminds me too to be thankful for my blessings day by day and to strive to serve Him better in all that I do and say. It's also a daily reminder of the peace and comfort I share with all who know my Master and give themselves to His care.

So I carry a cross in my pocket reminding no one but me that Jesus Christ is Lord of my life if only I'll let Him be.

Anon.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas 2015

Unto us a Saviour is born!

To all our readers, a very holy and blessed Christmas. May the light of Christ the King who comes to us as the Child reign in our hearts.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Pray for the powerful intercession of St Philomena!

St. Philomena - Prayers visit below and read about her powerful intercession before the throne of God

http://www.wayofholiness.net/St-Philomena-Prayers.html

Prayer

O Faithful Virgin and glorious martyr, St. Philomena, who works so many miracles on behalf of the poor and sorrowing, have pity on me. Thou knowest the multitude and diversity of my needs. Behold me at thy feet, full of misery, but full of hope. I entreat thy charity, O great Saint! Graciously hear me and obtain from God a favorable answer to the request which I now humbly lay before thee… (Here specify your petition.) I am firmly convinced that through thy merits, through the scorn, the sufferings and the death thou didst endure, united to the merits of the Passion and death of Jesus, thy Spouse, I shall obtain what I ask of thee, and in the joy of my heart I will bless God, who is admirable in His Saints. Amen.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Cardinal Raymond Burke visits Melbourne: Solemn Pontifical Mass and Confirmation and other events

His Eminence Cardinal Raymond Burke will be visiting Melbourne from 29 August 2014.

Below is His Eminence's programme, culminating in Solemn Pontifical Mass at St Aloysius, the Parish of Blessed Henry Newman, The Personal Parish for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, St Aloysius Church, 233 Balaclava Road, Caulfield North, Victoria.


Friday, August 29, 5.30 pm

Low Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form, Sacred Heart Church, 199 Rathdowne St, Carlton 3053

Friday, August 29, 6.30 pm

Theology at the Pub with Q&A "Marriage, Divorce and Annulments", The Pumphouse Hotel, 128 Nicholson St, Fitzroy, 3065

Saturday, August 30, 9.00 am

World Congress of Families' Regional Meeting, "Life, Freedom and Family" St Patrick's Hall, 16 Childers St, Mentone, 3194

Saturday, August 30, 11.30 am

"Natural Law and Conscience - Key to Freedom and to the Integrity of Marriage and the Family" (Key Note Address by Cardinal Burke), St Patrick's Hall, 16 Childers St, Mentone, 3194


Sunday, August 31, 10.30 am

Solemn Pontifical Mass & Confirmations in the Extraordinary Form, St Aloysius' Church


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Prayer to St Jude: the St Jude Prayer

St Jude (Thaddaeus): St Jude Prayer
Like St Anthony and the St Anthony Prayer, St Jude is also widely known as the saint of desperate causes and there are various form of the St Jude Prayer.

His intercession is particularly powerful as he was one of the 12 Apostles, the brother of St James the Less, and was known as Thaddaeus too. Tradition says he preached in Judea, Samaria, Syria, Mesopotamia and Lybia returning to Jerusalem around AD62 where his brother St Simeon was elected as Bishop of Jerusalem.

The canon includes his Epistle to the Eastern Churches which denounces the heresies of Gnostics amongst others, and opens with the words "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to them that are beloved in God the Father and preserved in Jesus Christ and called".  His intercession has been sought for desperate causes particularly since that Epistle calls for perseverance in the faith despite great difficulties.

Tradition has him being martyred in Armenia.

His feast is kept on 28 October in the New Calendar and the Traditional Calendar along with St Simon.

You can invoke his powerful aid using the following prayers.  And don't forget to make known and encourage devote to this great saint.

PRAYER TO ST JUDE

Most Holy Apostle, Saint Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honours and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of.  

Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone.

Make use I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of.  

Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly [here make your request] and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever.  

I promise, O Blessed Saint Jude, to be mindful of this great favour, to always honour you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you.  Amen.

Saint Jude, Hope of the Hopeless, Pray for me.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Prayer to St Anthony: the St Anthony Prayer

St Anthony Prayer - St Anthony of Padua
St Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) is one of the most well-known saints and there are many St Anthony Prayers.  

As a great preacher and, on account of his theological instruction, he became known by the title "Hammer of Heretics" and the fame of this Franciscan spread throughout Europe but particularly Italy where he was to be a patron saint.

In this Prayer Novena, you ask for his powerful intercession making your request one each day of the nine day cycle.  Along with the St Jude Prayer the St Anthony Prayer and Novena is powerful for difficult cases.

OPENING PRAYER

O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, and through the condescension of Jesus in coming in the form of a little child to rest in your arms, obtain for me of His bounty the grace which I ardently desire from the depths of my heart. [State your intention now].  You who were so compassionate toward miserable sinners, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may once again be magnified by the granting of the particular request  [State your intention now] which I now ask for with persevering earnestness. Amen

Pray one Our Father,
one Hail Mary, and
Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

THEN FOR EACH DAY IN THE NOVENA CYCLE SAY THE FOLLOWING ON THE APPROPRIATE DAY

DAY ONE

O holy St. Anthony, gentlest of saints, your love for God and charity for his creatures made you worthy while on earth to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me the favour I seek in this novena [State your intention now]. The answer to my prayer may require a miracle; even so, you are the saint of miracles. O gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and thee gratitude of my heart will always be yours.
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY TWO

O miracle-working St. Anthony, remember that it never has been heard that you left without help or relief anyone who in his need had recourse to you. Animated now with the most lively confidence, even with full conviction of not being refused, I fly for refuge to thee, O most favored friend of the Infant Jesus. O eloquent preacher of the divine mercy, despise not my supplications but, bringing them before the throne of God, strengthen them by your intercession and obtain for me the favor I seek in this novena [State your intention now].
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY THREE

O purest St. Anthony, who through your angelic virtue was made worthy to be caressed by the Divine Child Jesus, to hold him in your arms and press him to your heart. I entreat you to cast a benevolent glance upon me. O glorious St. Anthony, born under the protection of Mary Immaculate, on the Feast of her Assumption into Heaven, and consecrated to her and now so powerful an intercessor in Heaven, I beseech you to obtain for me the favor I ask in this novena [State your intention now]. O great wonder-worker, intercede for me that God may grant my request.
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY FOUR

I salute and honor you, O powerful helper, St. Anthony. The Christian world confidently turns to you and experiences your tender compassion and powerful assistance in so many necessities and sufferings that I am encouraged in my need to seek you help in obtaining a favorable answer to my request for the favor I seek in this novena [State your intention now]. O holy St. Anthony, I beseech you, obtain for me the grace that I desire.
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY FIVE

I salute you, St. Anthony, lily of purity, ornament and glory of Christianity. I salute you, great Saint, cherub of wisdom and seraph of divine love. I rejoice at the favors our Lord has so liberally bestowed upon you. In humility and confidence I entreat you to help me, for I know that God has given you charity and pity, as well as power. I ask you by the love you did feel toward the Infant Jesus as you held him in your arms to tell Him now of the favor I seek through your intercession in this novena [State your intention now].
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY SIX

O glorious St. Anthony, chosen by God to preach his Word, you received from Him the gift of tongues and the power of working the most extraordinary miracles. O good St. Anthony, pray that I may fulfill the will of God in all things so that I may love Him, with you, for all eternity. O kind St. Anthony, I beseech you, obtain for me the grace that I desire, the favor I seek in this novena [State your intention now].
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY SEVEN

O renowned champion of the faith of Christ, most holy St. Anthony, glorious for your many miracles, obtain for me from the bounty of my Lord and God the grace which I ardently seek in this novena [State your intention now]. O holy St. Anthony, ever attentive to those who invoke you, grant me that aid of your powerful intercession.
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY EIGHT

O holy St. Anthony, you have shown yourself so powerful in your intercession, so tender and so compassionate towards those who honor you and invoke you in suffering and distress. I beseech you most humbly and earnestly to take me under your protection in my present necessities and to obtain for me the favor I desire [State your intention now]. Recommend my request to the merciful Queen of Heaven, that she may plead my cause with you before the throne of her Divine Son.
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!

DAY NINE

Saint Anthony, servant of Mary, glory of the Church, pray for our Holy Father, our bishops, our priests, our Religious Orders, that, through their pious zeal and apostolic labors, all may be united in faith and give greater glory to God. St. Anthony, helper of all who invoke you, pray for me and intercede for me before the throne of Almighty God that I be granted the favor I so earnestly see in this novena (State [State your intention now].
One Our Father, one Hail Mary, and Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!
May the divine assistance remain always with us.
Amen
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Amen.
O God, may the votive commemoration of blessed Anthony, your confessor, be a source of joy to your Church, that she may always be fortified with spiritual assistance, and deserve to enjoy eternal rewards. Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider - May 2014

We point you to the May 2014 interview of the Catholic Herald with Bishop Athanasius Schneider conducted by freelance journalist Sarah Atkinson.

The full text of the interview has been made available courtesy of the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales and has been approved by the bishop (emphases are ours).  Please visit there to spike their numbers and see the photos provided.
  
Interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan for Catholic Herald

BAS: ‘To my knowledge and experience, the deepest wound in the actual crisis of the Church is the Eucharistic wound; the abuses of the Blessed Sacrament.
‘Many people are receiving Holy Communion in an objective state of mortal sin...This is spreading in the Church, especially in the western world. There people very rarely go to Holy Communion with a sufficient preparation.
‘Some people who go to Holy Communion live in irregular moral situations, which do not correspond to the Gospel. Without being married, they go to Holy Communion. They might be divorced and living in a new marriage, a civil marriage, and they go nevertheless to Holy Communion. I think this is a very, very grievous situation.
There is also the question of the objectively irreverent reception of Holy Communion. The so-called new, modern manner of receiving Holy Communion directly into the hand is very serious because it exposes Christ to an enormous banality.
‘There is the grievous fact of the loss of the Eucharistic fragments. No one can deny this. And the fragments of the consecrated host are crushed by feet. This is horrible! Our God, in our churches, is trampled by feet! No one can deny it.
‘And this is happening on a large scale. This has to be, for a person with faith and love for God, a very serious phenomenon.
‘We cannot continue as if Jesus as God does not exist, as though only the bread exists. This modern practice of Communion in the hand has nothing to do with the practice in the ancient Church. The modern practice of receiving Communion in hand contributes gradually to the loss of the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.
‘A priest and a bishop cannot say this practice is ok. Here is at stake the most holy, the most divine and concrete on Earth.'

Q. You are standing out on your own in this?
BAS: ‘I am very sad that I am feeling myself as one who is shouting in the desert. The Eucharistic crisis due to the modern use of Communion in hand is so evident. This is not an exaggeration. It is time that the bishops raise their voices for the Eucharistic Jesus who has no voice to defend himself. Here is an attack on the most Holy, an attack on the Eucharistic faith.
Of course there are people who receive Holy Communion in the hand with much devotion and faith, but they are in a minority. The vast mass, though, are losing the faith through this very banal manner of taking Holy Communion like common food, like a chip or a cake. Such a manner to receive the most Holy here on earth is not sacred, and it destroys by time the deep awareness and the Catholic faith in the real presence and in the transubstantiation.’

Q. Is the Church going in the opposite direction from where you are going?
BAS: ‘It seems that the majority of the clergy and the bishops are content with this modern use of Communion in hand and don’t realize the real dangers connected with such a practice. For me this is incredible. How is this possible, when Jesus is present in the little hosts? A priest and a bishop should say: “I have to do something, at least to gradually reduce this. All that I can do, I have to do.” Unfortunately, though, there are members of the clergy who are making propaganda of the modern use of Communion in the hand and sometimes prohibiting receiving Communion on the tongue and kneeling. There are even priests who are discriminating those who kneel for Holy Communion. This is very, very sad.
‘There is also an increasing stealing of hosts, because of distributing Communion directly in the hand. There is a net, a business, of the stealing of Holy Hosts and this is much facilitated by Communion in the hand.
‘Why would I, as a priest and bishop, expose Our Lord to such a danger, to such a risk? When these bishops or priests [who approve of Communion in the hand] have some item of value, they would never expose this to great danger, to be lost or stolen. They protect their house, but they do not protect Jesus and allow him to be stolen very easily.’

Q. In respect of the questionnaire on the issue of family – people are expecting big changes.
BAS: ‘There is on this issue a deal of propaganda, put about by the Mass media. We need to be very careful. There are the official anti-Christian mass media worldwide. In almost every country it is the same content of news, with the exception perhaps of the African and Asian countries or in the East of Europe.
‘Only on the Internet can you spread your own ideas. Thanks be to God the Internet exists.
‘The idea of changes in marriage and moral laws to be done at the upcoming synod of bishops in Rome, comes from mostly the anti-Christian media. And some clergy and Catholics are collaborating with them in spreading the expectations of the anti-Christian world to change the law of God concerning marriage and sexuality.
‘It is an attack by the anti-Christian world and it is very tragic and sad that some clergy are collaborating with them. To argue for a change the law of God, they use in a kind of sophism the concept of mercy. But in reality this is not mercy, this is cruel.
‘It is not mercy, for instance, if someone has a disease to leave him in his miserable condition. This is cruel.
‘I would not give, for instance, a diabetic sugar, this would be cruel of me. I would try to take someone out of this situation and give them another meal. Perhaps they won’t like it to begin with, but it will be better for them.
‘Those of the clergy who want admit the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion operate with a false concept of mercy. It is comparable with a doctor who gives a patient sugar, although he knows it will kill him. But the soul is more important than the body.
‘If the bishops admit the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, then they are confirming them in their errors in the sight of God. They will even close down the voice of their conscience. They will push them more into the irregular situation only for the sake of this temporal life, forgetting that after this life, though, there is the judgment of God.
‘This topic will be discussed in the synod. This is on the agenda. But I hope the majority of the bishops still have so much Catholic spirit and faith that they will reject the above mentioned proposal and not accept this.

Q. What is this crisis you mention?
BAS: ‘This is a broader crisis than the reception of the Blessed Sacrament. I think this issue of the reception of Holy Communion by the remarried will blow up and show the real crisis in the Church. The real crisis of the Church is anthropocentrism, forgetting the Christocentrism. Indeed, this is the deepest evil, when man or the clergy are putting themselves in the centre when they are celebrating liturgy and when they are changing the revealed truth of God, e.g. concerning the Sixth Commandment and human sexuality.
‘The crisis reveals itself also in the manner in which the Eucharistic Lord is treated. The Eucharist is at the heart of the Church. When the heart is weak, the whole body is weak. So when the practice around the Eucharist is weak, then the heart and the life of the Church is weak. And when people have no more supernatural vision of God in the Eucharist then they will start the worship of man, and then also doctrine will change to the desire of man.
‘This crisis is when we place ourselves, including the priests, at the centre and when God is put in the corner and this is happening also materially. The Blessed Sacrament is sometimes in a cupboard away from the centre and the chair of the priest is in the centre. We have already been in this situation for 40 or 50 years and there is the real danger that God and his Commandments and laws will be put on the side and the human natural desiring in the centre. There is causal connection between the Eucharistic and the doctrinal crisis.
‘Our first duty as human beings is to adore God, not us, but Him. Unfortunately, the liturgical practice of the last 40 years has been very anthropocentric.
'Participating in liturgy is firstly not about doing things but praying and worshipping, to love God with all your soul. This is true participation, to be united with God in your soul. Exterior participation is not essential.
‘The crisis is really this: we have not put Christ or God at the centre. And Christ is God incarnated. Our problem today is that we put away the incarnation. We have eclipsed it. If God remains in my mind only as an idea, this is Gnostic. In other religions e.g. Jews, Muslims, God is not incarnated. For them, God is in the book, but He is not concrete. Only in Christianity, and really in the Catholic Church, is the incarnation fully realised and this has to be stressed therefore also in every point of the liturgy. God is here and really present. So every detail has meaning.
‘We are living in an un-Christian society, in a new paganism. The temptation today for the clergy is to adapt to the new world to the new paganism, to be collaborationists. We are in a similar situation to the first centuries, when the majority of the society was pagan, and Christianity was discriminated against.’

Q. Do you think you can see this because of your experiences in the Soviet Union?
BAS: ‘Yes, [I know what it is] to be persecuted, to give testimony that you are Christian.
‘We are a minority. We are surrounded by a very cruel pagan world. The temptation and challenge of today can be compared with the first centuries. Christians were asked to accept the pagan world and to show this by putting one grain of incense into a fire in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol. But this was idolatry and no good Christian put any grain of incense there. They preferred to give their lives, even children, lay people, who were persecuted, gave their lives. Unfortunately there were in the first century members of the clergy and even bishops who put grains of incense in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol or who delivered the books of the Holy Scripture to be burned. Such collaborationist Christians and clerics were called in those times “thurificati” or “traditores”.
‘Now, in our days the persecution is more sophisticated. Catholics or clergy are not asking to put some incense in front of an idol. It would be only material. Now, they neo-pagan world wants us to take over its ideas, such as the dissolution of the Sixth Commandment of God, on the pretext of mercy. If some clergy and bishops start to collaborate with the pagan world today in this dissolution of the Sixth Commandment and in the revision of the way God created man and woman, then they are traitors of the Faith, they are participating ultimately in pagan sacrifice.’

Q. Can you see a split coming in the Church?
BAS: ‘Unfortunately, for some decades some clergy have accepted these ideas of the world. Now however they are following them publicly. When these things continue, I think, there will be an interior split in the Church of those who are faithful to the faith of their baptism and of the integrity of the Catholic faith. There will be a split with those who are assuming the spirit of this world and there will be a clear split, I think. One can imagine that Catholics, who remain faithful to the unchangeable Catholic truth may, for a time, be persecuted or discriminated even on behalf of those who has power in the exterior structures of the Church? But the gates of the hell, i.e. of the heresy, will not prevail against the Church and the Supreme Magisterium will surely issue an unequivocal doctrinal statement, rejecting any collaboration with the neo-pagan ideas of changing e.g. the Sixth Commandment of God, the meaning of sexuality and of family. Then some 'liberals', and many collaborators with the spirit of this world, many modern “thurificati et traditores” will leave the Church. Because the Divine truth will unresistingly bring the clarification, will set us free, and will separate in the midst of the Church the sons of the Divine light and the sons of the of the pseudo-light of this pagan and anti-Christian world. I can presume that such a separation will affect each level of the Catholics: lay people and even not excluding the high clergy. Those clergy who accept today the spirit of the pagan world on morality and family declare themselves Catholics and even faithful to the Pope. They even declare extremists those who are faithful to the Catholic faith or those who are promoting the glory of Christ in the liturgy.’

Q. Do you feel you have been declared an extremist?
BAS: ‘I have not been declared as such formally. I would say such clergy are not in the majority but they have acquired a lot of influence in the Church. They managed to occupy some key positions in some Church offices. Yet this is not power in the eyes of God. Truly powerful are the little ones in the Church, who conserve the faith.
‘These little ones in the Church have been let down and neglected. They have kept the purity of their faith and they represent the true power of the church in the eyes of God and not those who are in administration. Thanks be to God, the numbers of these little ones are growing.
‘I spoke for instance with young students in Oxford [picture left]  and I was so much impressed by these students, I was so glad to see their purity of faith and their convictions, and the clear Catholic mind. Such examples and groups are growing in the Church and this is the work of the Holy Spirit. This will renew the Church. So I am confident and hopeful also in respect of this crisis in the Church. The Holy Ghost will win this crisis with this little army.
‘I am not worried about the future. The Church is Christ’s Church and He is the real Head of the Church, the Pope is only the Vicar of Christ. The soul of the Church is the Holy Spirit and He is powerful. However we are now experiencing a deep crisis in the Church as it happened several times in two thousand years.

Q. Will it get worse before it gets better?
BAS: ‘I have the impression that it will be worse. Sometime the things have to go to the depths and then you will see the collapse of this anthropocentric, clerical system, which is abusing Church administration power, abusing the liturgy, abusing the concepts of God, abusing the faith and the piety of the little ones in the Church.
‘Then we will see the rising of a renewed Church. This is already preparing. Then this liberal clerical edifice will crash down because they have roots and no fruits.

Q. Some people would say you are worrying about unimportant things, what about the poor?
BAS: ‘This is erroneous. The first commandment which Christ gave us was to adore God alone. Liturgy is not a meeting of friends. It is our first task to adore and glorify God in the liturgy and also in our manner of life. From a true adoration and love of God grows love for the poor and our neighbour. It is a consequence. The saints in two thousand years of the Church, all those saints who were so prayerful and pious, they were all extremely merciful for the poor and to care for the poor.
‘In these two commandments are all the others. But the first commandment is to love and adore God and that is realised in a supreme manner in the sacred liturgy. When you are neglecting the first commandment, then you are not doing the will of God, you are pleasing yourself. Happiness is to fulfil the will of God, not to fulfil our will.’

Q. How long will it be before the Church is renewed?
BAS: ‘I am not a prophet. We can only presume. But, if you look at the history of the Church, the deepest crisis was in the fourth century, that was Arianism. This was a tremendous crisis, all the episcopacy, almost all, collaborated with the heresy. Only some bishops remained faithful, you could count them on the fingers of one hand. This crisis lasted more or less 60 years.
Then the terrible crisis of the so-called Obscure century, the 10th century, when the papacy was occupied by some very wicked and immoral Roman families. They occupied the papal chair with their corrupt sons, and it was a terrible crisis.
The next period of harm was the so-called exile of Avignon and was very damaging to the Church, causing the great occidental schism. All these crisis lasted some 70-80 years and were very bad for the Church.
Now we are, I would say, in the fourth great crisis, in a tremendous confusion over doctrine and liturgy. We have already been in this for 50 years. Perhaps God will be merciful to us in 20 or 30 years? ‘Nevertheless we have all the beauty of the divine truths, of divine love and grace in the Church. No one can take this away, no synod, no bishop, not even a Pope can take away the treasure and beauty of the Catholic faith, of the Eucharistic Jesus, of the sacraments. The unchangeable doctrine, the unchangeable liturgical principles, the holiness of the life constitute the true power of the Church.’

Q. Our time is seen as a much more liberal era in the Church.
BAS: ‘We have to pray that God will guide his Church from this crisis and give to his Church apostles who are courageous and holy. We need defenders of the truth and defenders of the Eucharistic Jesus. When a bishop is defending the flock and defending Jesus in the Eucharist, then this bishop is defending the little ones in the Church, not the powerful ones.’

Q. So you don’t mind being unpopular?
BAS: ‘It is quite insignificant to be popular or unpopular. For every clergy the first interest is to be popular in the eyes of God and not in the eyes of today or of the powerful. Jesus said a warning: Woe of you when people speak good of you.
‘Popularity is false. Jesus and the apostles rejected popularity. Great saints of the Church, e.g. SS Thomas More and John Fisher, rejected popularity and they are the great heroes. And those who today are worried with the popularity of the mass media and public opinion, they will not be remembered in the history. They will be remembered as cowards and not as heroes of the Faith.’

Q. The media has great expectations of Pope Francis.
BAS: ‘Thanks be to God, Pope Francis has not expressed himself in these ways that the mass media expect from him. He has spoken until now, in his official homilies, very beautiful Catholic doctrine. I hope he will continue to teach in very clear manner the Catholic doctrine.’

Q. On sharing Holy Communion with Anglicans and others?
BAS: ‘This is not possible. There are different faiths. Holy Communion is not a means to achieve unity. It is the last step, not the first step. It would be a desecration of the Holy. Of course, we have to be one. Yet we have differences in belief, some substantial differences. The Eucharist is a sign of the deepest unity. It would be a lie, it would be contradictory to logic sharing Holy Communion with non-Catholics.
‘Ecumenism is necessary in order to be in contact with our separated brethren, to love them. In the midst of the challenge of the new paganism, we can and have to collaborate with serious non-Catholics to defend the revealed Divine truth and the natural law, created by God.’
‘It will be better not to have such a structure when the State is governing the life of the Church, such as for instance the appointments of the clergy or the bishops. Such a practice of a state church would damage the Church itself. In England e.g. the State is governing the Church of England. Such an influence of the State can corrupt spiritually and theologically the church, so it is better to be free from such an established state church.’

Q. On women in the Church.
BAS: ‘Women are called the weaker sex, given they are physically weaker, however they are spiritually stronger and more courageous than men. It is courageous to give birth. Therefore God gave the woman a courage that a man doesn’t have.
‘Of course, there were many courageous men in the persecutions. Yet God loves to choose the weak ones to confuse the powerful. For instance the Eucharistic women, about which I spoke in my book Dominus Est worked in their families and desired to help the persecuted priests in a very exceptional way. They would never have dared to touch the holy hosts with their fingers. They would refuse to even read a reading during Mass. My mother, for example who is still living in Germany, aged 82, when she first went to the West, she was shocked, scandalised, to see women in the sanctuary during Holy Mass. The true power of the Christian and Catholic woman is the power to be the heart of the family, the domestic church, to have the privilege to be the first who gives nourishment to the body of his child and also to be the first who gives nourishment to the souls of the child, teaching it the first prayer and the first truths of the Catholic faith. The most prestigious and beautiful profession of a woman is to be mother, and especially to be a Catholic mother.’

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Some wise words

And yet the Requiem Mass for a priest contains the cry of St. Paul: "O death where is thy victory? O death where is Thy sting", as if to stir us from our sorrow and remind us that death is but one half of the Christian paradox: for because of the victory of the cross, death has been transformed into the very gateway to life.  This same cross is understood by so few that St. Paul says it is "unto the Jews a stumbling block and unto the Gentiles foolishness." (1Cor 1:23)

The Gentiles whom St. Paul was working to convert understood that man had a natural desire within himself to live forever.  But without the true faith, they thought this could only be achieved through great deeds which would live on in the minds of generations of men forever in works such as those of Homer and late Plutarch.  

See http://fssp.org/en/kwalker.htm