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.


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.


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!



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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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!


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.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
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.

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.  


Tuesday 8 July 2014

Prayer against storms

Jesus Christ a King of Glory has come in Peace. +
God became man, + and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ was born of a Virgin.+
Christ suffered.+
Christ was crucified.+
Christ died.+
Christ rose from the dead.+
Christ ascended into Heaven. +
Christ conquers. +
Christ reigns. +
Christ orders. +

May Christ protect us from all storms and lightning.+
Christ went through their midst in Peace, +
and the Word was made flesh. +
Christ is with us with Mary. +
Flee you enemy spirits because the Lion of the Generation of Juda, the Root of David, has won. +

Holy God! + 
Holy Powerful God! + 
Holy Immortal God! +
Have mercy on us.


Prayer for the Pope Emeritus


O God, true shepherd of all the faithful, look with kindness upon Thy servant Pope Benedict XVI, whom Thou set as head and shepherd of Thy Church.

We give Thee thanks for Thy grace at work in him as he had led us by word and example: in his teaching, in his prayer and in his great love.

Grant him Thy strength in frailty, comfort in sorrow, and serenity amid the trials of this world; and guide Thy Church, built on the rock of Peter, with the power of Thy Spirit as we continue on the path that leads to Thee.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Pope

Pro Pontifice

Let us pray for the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis, that His Holiness may be a worthy Successor of St Peter: O God, the Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful, graciously look upon Thy servant Francis, whom Thou hast been pleased to appoint over Thy Church; grant, we beseech Thee, that both by word and example he may edify those over whom he is set, and together with the flock committed to his care, may attain to eternal life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday 7 July 2014

Summorum Pontificum: the Seventh Anniversary

It was seven years ago today that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI issued his Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum and the accompanying letter, liberalising the Old Mass, variously known as the Traditional Latin Mass, the Tridentine Mass, the Old Rite, Vetus Ordo, the Old Mass and which has also since become known as the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.

We give thanks to Almighty God for this gift, and the courage of Benedict XVI in issuing the Motu Proprio. He has suffered as a result: His Holiness has told us as much.

We also give thanks for everything that has happened since which has seen the promotion of God-centred, transcendent worship in the form of the Traditional Mass and the promotion of a more reverent celebration of the Ordinary Form.

It is natural, given this is the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, to consider what, if any, advances there have been in the celebration of the older form and its effects on the newer form of the Mass. 

Every day, we see reports of the growth in celebrations of the Extraordinary Form all over the world, its attraction to the young who are experiencing it for the first time, the uptake of newly ordained priests and other clergy who are learning to celebrate it. As Benedict XVI foresaw, the older form is having a positive influence on the promotion of reverent celebration of the Novus Ordo too.  This is all positive.  And the progress is there. But it is gradual, slow, often painstaking work.  Nothing is happening in a hurry.  It’s also on a limited scale. We are not talking about millions and millions of Catholics.

And, of course, things are not great everywhere and at all times.  Whilst there are many stories of very supportive bishops and others would are positively in favour, there remain stories of situations around the world that suggest open hostility to the older forms and to reverent worship more generally.  In other places still, it’s a studied indifference as if Summorum Pontificum never existed, with nothing done to raise its profile and nothing done to bring this to the lay faithfuls’ awareness. As some have quipped, faced with Summorum Pontificum some bishops are implementing Quattuor Abhinc Annos.

And, since Benedict XVI’s abdication and the election of Pope Francis, the mood also seems to be different.  Whereas there was a feeling of full steam ahead during the pontificate of Benedict XVI, the election of Pope Francis has seemingly slowed things down.  So much so, that some have declared the death of the Reform of the Reform (which we will deal with another time).

It seems uncontroversial to conclude that whilst Pope Francis respects the liturgical vision of the Pope Emeritus, His Holiness does not prioritise it particularly.  In the early days of his Pontificate, His Holiness eschewed certain externals which suggested he had other priorities and he then dispensed with liturgical law on particular occasions presumably with the intention of making a “greater” point.  Did that however suggest a position directly against the liturgical vision of the Pope Emeritus?  Well, taken as a whole and with the benefit of more than a year of this pontificate, it doesn’t seem so, and there is enough in his public statements and actions to suggest this.  However, this doesn’t stop some seeking proof of a rejection of the Pope Emeritus’ vision in these actions, and in particular in the events affecting the Franciscans of the Immaculate and, ultimately, the stalled negotiations with the Society of St Pius X.  It also does not stop the incessant interpreting in some quarters of every move and countermove of ecclesiastical authorities on these issues.  Whilst all these are realities, and they affect the lives of real people, there is a risk that too much focus on it unduly distracts from the work of promoting and celebrating worthily our divine liturgy; a work that never stops.

Even if we accept that Pope Francis’ priorities are elsewhere, does this change anything for those seeking greater reverence, transcendence and, where it is desired, greater availability of the Traditional Mass?  Is the need for transcendent worship really dependent on who sits on the Throne of Peter as the Servant of the Servants of God? Whilst it’s self-evidently a great help that the Successor of St Peter openly and consistently champions it and is an exemplar all the time, isn’t it also independent of all that?  Rather, we think it goes to the “legitimate aspirations” which Pope Saint John-Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have recognised as being present with all the faithful who find the older forms of spiritual  use to them. It is consistent with Catholic Tradition and the tradition of our closest brothers in the faith, the Orthodox Churches.  And it’s consistent in our belief in the Real Presence and its implications for our lives here and hereafter, regardless of the form of the liturgy we as individual Catholics are drawn to are which is available to us.  A liturgy with only serves to celebrate ourselves rather than being centred on God, serves no-one, least of all ourselves.

And so, in giving thanks to Almighty God for Summorum Pontificum, and in remembering our beloved Pope Emeritus on this day, let us also pray for Our Holy Father, Pope Francis in his arduous task of governing the Church and for the continuing progress throughout the world of the worthy celebration of the Mass in all forms and all its rites so that God may be glorified, His people grow in love and mercy and His people – us – be saved. 

Sunday 6 July 2014

Catholic Bibles Online

For those looking to find Catholic Bibles online, you could consider the following links which form the best sources:

The Douay-Rheims

The Vatican (The New American Bible)

Catholic Online

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Of particular note is the newly produced Knox Bible, which is a classic and highly recommended, available for purchase here at Baronius Press (or through Amazon - search the link to the right)

Saturday 5 July 2014

Latin Mass Text: comparing the Novus Ordo with the Traditional Latin Mass text

The call by some Lutherans to restore Latin to the Lutheran liturgy reminded us of the request we often encounter: what exactly is the text of the Novus Ordo in Latin when compared to the Traditional Latin Mass.

To that end, we suggest a visit here for a comparison between the texts of the Novus Ordo and the Traditional Latin Mass.

This comparison reminds us that the production of the Novus Ordo was not a mere translation of the old Mass into the vernacular. The text was a re-writing of the Mass.

You will note the Novus Ordo translation is the ICEL version.