Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Catholic "Counter-Revolution." The Sacred Heart

Jean Cottereau, nicknamed Jean Chouan
The War of the Vendee brings to the screen the powerful and largely unknown story of the valiant, six-year struggle of the people called the War in the Vendée ( Guerre de Vendée ) in a small section of western France to restore their Holy Religion and their King". 
In 1793, after enduring three and a half years of mounting persecution of the Church by the architects of the French Revolution, a small band of faithful peasants and nobles began a Catholic "counter-revolution." 
Steeped in the influence of St. Louis de Montfort, and wearing their rosaries and emblems of the Sacred Heart, their sacrifices resulted in countless martyrdoms — and ultimately won the restoration of religious freedom for all of France.

They Revile And Persecute You

"That fat priest whose name you asked is the Abbe Gudin, a Jesuit, obstinate enough — perhaps I ought to say devoted enough, — to remain in France in spite of the decree of 1793, which banished his order. He is the firebrand of the war in these regions and a propagandist of the religious association called the Sacre-Coeur. Trained to use religion as an instrument, he persuades his followers that if they are killed they will be brought to life again, and he knows how to rouse their fanaticism by shrewd sermons. You see, it is necessary to work upon every man's selfish interests to attain a great end."

French Jesuit, French Prophecy: The Orval Prophecy

The prophecy of the Solitary of Orval. The conclusion has been supposed to imply a prediction of the end of the world; and, by the calculation of the number of as many moons as are mentioned, that event would thus take place within a period of fifty years from the present time. But it does not appear absolutely to follow that the " wall of fire " placed before the comprehension of the inspired Solitary, that he should see no more, should be referred to the " end of all things," because he has exclaimed just previously—" But all is over!" This expression he has already used before in a different .sense. Any disquisition, however, upon the uncertain fulfillment of a very uncertain prophecy, would be again a discursive ramble, that would lead us much too far out of our beat.
The other French prophecy, to which allusion has been made, professes to be only of a much later date. It is said to have emanated from a Jesuit priest, who died towards the end of the last century at Bordeaux, in the "odour of sanctity," and to have been communicated by him to a novice residing with him in an establishment of the Jesuits at Poitiers, some time previous to the outbreak of the first French Revolution. It is supposed to have been transcribed and preserved by the novice, who after wards became himself a Jesuit priest, and by him to have been given into the hands of several persons, who still possess it, or who may have in turn given circulation to it.
Not much importance was attached to it until the events of the Revolution, which confirmed so many of its predictions, were accomplished; and again, since the events of the present year, it has been called to men's minds. Like the Orval prophecy, its predictions, as regards what is now past,
have been wonderfully distinct, and, relative to the events of this present year, no less so. With respect to its existence previously to these latter events, the writer can also give testimony, as in the case of the Orval prophecy, that it was transcribed as far back as the year 1836, from the mouth of the superieure of a convent in Lyons, who testified that she had heard it from the novice to whom it was first delivered. The authenticity of its prophetic revelations can thus be proved as far as regards the present day. It bears, in many respects, a great analogy to the Previsions of the Solitary of Orval, and the predictions it delivers coincide in most respects with the latter: but it contains distinct references to other events, of which the Orval prophecy makes no mention. As the revelation also of a holy church- man, prophetically inspired, its contents naturally refer, in a great measure, to the state of the church, or perhaps even to the condition of the order of the Jesuits alone. The whole is necessarily couched in mysterious language in this respect: and it ought, perhaps, to be premised that the "counter-revolution" alluded to refers to the triumph of the priesthood in general, or, as was before said, of the Jesuit order. The portions of this prophecy which have fallen into the writer's hands refer only to the events immediately following the fall of Napoleon; although he has been assured that, in other copies, it goes back to circumstances antecedent to the first Revolution.
"There will then be a reaction," says the portion now before us, "which shall be thought to be the counter-revolution—it will last during some years, so that people shall suppose that peace is really restored: but it will be only a patchwork—an ill-sewn garment. There will be no schism; but still the Church shall not triumph. Then shall come disturbances in France : a name hateful to the country shall be placed upon the throne. It will not be until after that event that the counter-revolution shall take place. It will be done by strangers. But two parties will first be formed in France, who will carry on a war of extermination. One party will be much more numerous than the other, but the weaker shall prevail. Blood will flow in the great towns, and the convulsion shall be such that men might think the last day to be at hand.
But the wicked will not prevail, and in this dire catastrophe shall perish of them a great multitude. They will have hoped to have utterly destroyed the Church; but for this they will not have had time, for the fearful crisis shall be of short duration. There will be a movement when it will be supposed that all is lost; but still all shall be saved. The faithful shall not perish ; such signs will be given them as shall induce them to fly the city.
During this convulsion, which will extend to other lands, and not be for France alone, Paris shall be so utterly destroyed, that when, twenty years after wards, fathers shall walk with their children, and the children shall ask, ' Why is that desolate spot?' they shall answer, ' My children, here once stood a great city, which God destroyed for its crimes.' After this fearful convulsion, all will return to order, and the counter-revolution shall be made. Then shall the triumph of the Church be such that nothing like it shall be ever seen again, for it will be the last triumph of the Church on earth."
Link (here)
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (here)

"Socialism Opposes Traditional Religion"

Liberalism originally came from the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, while Socialism had evolved even beyond that. Socialism was a broad movement which, generally, called itself  “progressive.” It was active in those places where industrialization had taken place. Along with England, France, and Germany, Bohemia would be included in such a description. 
Socialism opposed traditional religion which it linked to a feudal, class-divided world that was soon to be just as forgotten as the sick old empire itself. 
The individualism of “personal salvation” had been replaced, so the thinking went, with a concern for humanity itself. Trade unions were organized around the ideas of Karl Marx and others. Religion was the opium of the people.
Link (here) to read the full article by Fr. Brian Van Hove, S.J. entitled, The 1920 Czechoslovak National Church and Rome.

Between Sardinic And Sarcastic

I get the whole "plural you" and "singular you" and the "formal you" and "informal" you from studying French and Spanish, but I still think the translators could have given us both a literal translation and an understandable one by simply saying, "God, you who see..." Or "God, who sees..." Nothing would have been lost and intelligibility would have been gained. It would have helped people to participate fully, actively and consciously, as the church desires.
Link (here) to read the full piece by Fr. James Martin, S.J. at In All Things

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

St. Stanislas Kostka, S.J. "I See The Most Blessed Virgin With The Angels"

A.d. 1569.
The young Stanislas, being drawn to embrace the religious life, and to enter into the Society of Jesus, and finding his father utterly unwilling to give his consent, after two years fell ill, and appeared to be at the point of death. The consolations of religion were denied him, for being placed in the house of a Lutheran no one was willing to call a priest to give him the Viaticum. Then full of deep sorrow, the youth addressed himself to St. Barbara, the patroness of the dying, beseeching her to obtain for him the Holy Viaticum, that he might die a good death. His prayer was heard. Full of confidence he slept, and during his sleep two angels appeared to him, from whose hands he received what he had begged for—the Bread of Life, the Most Holy Body of the Lord. At the same, time the Most Blessed Virgin, whom he loved tenderly, appeared to him, and revealed to him that he should not die then, but that he should enter into the Society of Jesus.
As soon as his health was restored he hastened to the Provincial of the Jesuits in Vienna, who, however, fearing the displeasure of his father, refused his request. The Saint, putting his trust in God, and taking advice from his confessor, left Vienna in a pilgrim's garb, wandered to Augsburg, and after that to Dillengen, where resided at that time Blessed Peter Canisius, Provincial of the Order, and begged of him to be received. The father did not at once grant his request, but admitted him on probation. Stanislas undertook all the menial offices which were put upon him with such sweetness and alacrity that the novices were astounded. Three weeks after Peter sent him to Rome, to the General of the Order, St. Francis Borgia, with the request that he should be allowed to enter the Order according to his desire. Here he threw himself at the feet of the holy Francis, who gave him the much-coveted habit on the feast of St. Simon and St. Jude.
And now he entered into the duties of his state with all the fire and energy of a burning love of God. But never was his face so lighted up with holy joy, never did his love of God appear more intense, than when he assisted at Holy Mass. After Communion be would fall into an ecstasy, and then such blissful words would come from his lips that even the fathers who had grown gray in the ways of holiness were never tired of listening to him.
This love of Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament not only gave him an unalterable peace, of which nothing was able to rob him, but it seemed to overflow on all who came near him. A novice, who could not attain that inward peace, applied one day to the holy youth, begging him that he would pray for him. 'Come,' said he, 'and let us go into the church, and pray before the Most Holy Sacrament.' Scarcely had they approached the altar and begun to pray when the heart of the novice was filled with consolation and peace.
The venerable father of the Order had the greatest joy in this holy youth, but he soon found that the flower was ripe for heaven, and would speedily be called there to unfold its fullest beauty. Stanislas himself had an anticipation of his early death, saying that he hoped to be called to heaven on the feast of the Assumption of his dear mother Mary that he might celebrate it there with the holy angels. His prediction no one would attend to, seeing that he gave no signs of illness. But on the eve of the feast of St. Lawrence he sickened; and on entering the infirmary he signed his bed with the sign of the cross, and with an expression of joy exclaimed, 'If it be God's will that I should rise again from this bed, His will be done; but believe me, I shall never again rise therefrom.' His sicknesss was a tertian fever, without apparent danger. On the 14th of August he lost consciousness a little after midday. When it returned he asked for the Holy Viaticum. For the last time he received the Body of the Lord, lying on the ground, after which he was anointed. When he had passed some time in prayer he asked for a crucifix, and, after kissing it, cried suddenly, 'I see the Most Blessed Virgin with the angels;' and so he fell asleep on the 15th of August 1568, in the eighteenth year of his age.

Link (here) to read the original contained in the book entitled, Legends of the Blessed Sacrament by Emily Mary Shapcote

Fordham Law Students For Reproductive Justice

Students at Fordham University complain that the Catholic school won't prescribe birth control at its campus clinics — and that this policy isn't made clear to incoming students. Now they're hosting an off-campus clinic as an alternative. Bridgette Dunlap of Fordham Law Students for Reproductive Justice writes in a statement,
Fordham University prohibits the prescription of contraception in its health centers and the distribution of condoms on its campuses. Students who purchase insurance from Fordham incur a $100 "per condition" deductible to see an off-campus doctor for birth control; for students who learn of the school's policies only after visiting a Fordham health center, this may be in addition to the cost of an annual exam at Fordham. Fordham administrators and health center staff say there is a health exception to the undocumented prescription ban, but in practice students have been turned away even with records of serious medical conditions.
Link (here) to Jezebel to read the lengthy story.

Monday, November 28, 2011

"I Will Be Propitious To You In Rome."

The Vision of St. Ignatius at La Sorta
I was able to visit St. Peter's Basilica and the tomb of Blessed John Paul II, as well as to buy some souvenirs. I had "Pranzo," the large midday meal, with Cardinal Raymond Burke, a great friend of the Apostleship of Prayer who always includes our annual leaflet in his Christmas cards. Our meetings began on Tuesday and I was busy with those through Saturday when we met with Fr. Adolfo Nicolas, the General of the Jesuits and Director General of the Apostleship. On Saturday night we went to a place that figures into Jesuit history--La Storta--where 
St. Ignatius had a vision of the Father placing him with the Son who was carrying His cross. He heard the words, "I will be propitious to you in Rome." As we celebrated Mass in this tiny chapel, we offered our work to the Father with the Son, praying that the Holy Spirit would continue to guide us and the Apostleship of Prayer around the world. 
We were grateful that God had been so "propitious" to us during our meetings.

Link (here) to the full blog post by Fr. James Kubicki, S.J.  at his blog Offer It Up

The Jesuit College Of Quebec

"(W)ith the Approbation of His Excellency the Governor, there is a School opened in the Jesuit College, by Patrick McClement, where he teaches English in the best Method, with Writing, Arithmetic vulgar and decimal, the Extraction and Use of the square and cube Roots, Book-keeping, Mensuration of all Manner of Superficies and Solids, &c. &c." Quebec Gazette, Sept. 5, 1776 
The Jesuit College of Quebec Collège des Jesuites est 1635
This advertisement marked the beginning of Patrick McClement's short career as the first government authorized paid lay teacher in the province of Quebec. Although discharged soldier John Fraser had probably been teaching there for several years, McClement was the first to receive the governor's approval. After the Conquest of 1760, religious communities such as the Ursulines, the Jesuits and the Sulpicians re-established their schools. And a number of laypeople, mostly male anglophone Protestants, established private schools to teach boys subjects as varied as first-language literacy and dancing.
Link (here) to read the full story at The Gazette


Fr. Peter Bisson, S.J.
Plans to put an outdoor, industrial recycling facility next door to the Martyrs' Shrine have shocked the Jesuits and galvanized a campaign to protect the environmentally sensitive Wye Marsh. The Jesuits are asking Midland, Ont.'s town councillors to reverse their decision to rezone a site to allow Recycling Specialties Inc. to bring in truckloads of metal, paper, cardboard, wood, plastic and other material for sorting and processing. Neither the Jesuits who run Martyrs' Shrine nor Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons — a provincial park built around a recreation of the first Christian settlement in Ontario and the graves of St. Jean de Brébeuf and St. Gabriel Lallemant — were notified before the zoning change on April 26.  Previously zoned highway commercial, the land directly across from the front steps of the shrine is now zoned industrial. The direct neighbours of the site fell outside of the Ontario Planning Act's mandatory 120-metre notification zone and on the other side of the town's border with the Township of Tay. "We've been good neighbours for almost 100 years, so this really took us by surprise," said Jesuit Father Peter Bisson. The Jesuits have teamed up with Huronia Historical Parks to launch a "Protect Martyrs' Shrine/Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons" Facebook page. "We think this could really damage the prayerful atmosphere of Sainte-Marie, especially the church where the grave sites are, as well as the shrine," said Bisson.
Link (here) to the Catholic Register

Green Monkey

As one enters the Jesuit Middle School of Omaha (JMSO) building, it is easy to see that it is decorated in traditional African colors of green, gold, red and black. There are many colorful tiles and painted lines displayed throughout the hallways, common area and even the gymnasium. However, the sixth grade class is taking the “green” color one step further by incorporating the Green Monkey Recycling Project into their curriculum. According to Mr. Mansour, project moderator and sixth grade teacher, the Green Monkey Project was born during a reading class in September 2006 during a lesson on sequence of events. Students were asked to invent characters and make up a story to practice sequence of events. From there, the Green Monkey and his nemesis, the Orange Tiger, were born. The class soon developed a story line about how the Orange Tiger destroyed the Green Monkey’s village, probably by polluting it. In an effort to make JMSO more eco-conscious, students researched various forms of recycling and pollution. With its mascot the Green Monkey, the then fifth grade class created the Green Monkey Schools website, dedicated to recycling and “green” uses of resources. Recycling bins for paper, metal and plastic products are located throughout the school and collected weekly for pick up. In addition, JMSO also utilizes printer cartridge recycling, double-sided copies, turning off the lights when not in use and energy conservation with computers and monitors. Students have also traveled to Holy Name, St. Pius/St. Leo, Holy Ghost and All Saints grade schools to present their ideas and to ‘audit’ the recycling efforts practiced at their schools.
Link (here) to JMSO

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A New Jesuit Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba

Pope Benedict XVI announced on Friday the appointment of a highly educated Jesuit priest as the new bishop of the Fontibon district in Bogota. Born in Quito, Ecuador in 1951, Juan Vicente Cordoba went on to study philisophy, technology and history at Bogota's Pontificia Javeriana University, before specializing in clinical psychology at Rome's Pontificia Gregoriana University. The clergy has held numerous academic positions during his time in Colombia's Jesuit order, including rector of San Pedro Claver College in Bucaramanga, and dean of the faculty of medicine at Bogota's Pontificia Javeriana University.
Link (here) to Columbia Reports

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ignatian Emphases

.......allowing oneself to be guided through the fashions of Ignatian hagiography, one cannot help but feel a certain critical distance from contemporary images of Ignatius. One need not be uncommonly astute to see that past Ignatian emphases differ from present ones, and that these present emphases align neatly with present sensibilities: Ignatius the “lay” pilgrim rather than Ignatius the priestly fundador, Ignatius the “world affirming” rather than Ignatius the “mortified,” Ignatius the validator of inner experience rather than Ignatius the champion of ecclesial authority, etc

Fr. John Dear, S.J., "Beate Stolte Will Lead Us In Sitting Meditation"

Beate Stolte
I've been invited over the years to give Dharma lectures at Upaya Zen Center, a gorgeous Buddhist peace and meditation center in Santa Fe. Recently, Upaya Zen Center invited Natalie Goldberg and me to offer a weekend retreat together on writing and peacemaking. The date is set for April 27-April 29, 2012, and we're calling it The End of War, the Beginning of Peace: The Life and Practice of Creative Nonviolence. Along with the Upaya director and Buddhist leader Sensei Beate Stolte, we will explore the journey from violence to nonviolence, examining its different aspects in our interior lives, our interpersonal relationships (family, friends, work) and our efforts with grassroots justice and disarmament movements. I will offer reflections on these areas of nonviolence while Natalie will lead timed writing exercises for us to journal about our experiences and thoughts on violence and nonviolence. Throughout the weekend, Beate Stolte will lead us in sitting meditation in the magnificent meditation hall. We will have time for silence, small and large group discussion, and shared peace.
Link (here) to NCR fishwrapper to read the full blog post by Fr. John Dear, S.J.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

This Beautiful Church Is Typical Of Early Jesuit Works

The relics of St. Peter Canisius, S.J.
The website of the Fraternity of St. Peter's apostolate in western Switzerland, centered around the general house in Fribourg, has a nice album of photographs of Confirmations recently held in the Church of St. Michael, part of the former Jesuit college of Fribourg. The sanctuary of this beautiful church is typical of early Jesuit works, very wide, with no liturgical choir, making it ideal for Pontifical ceremonies; under the main altar rest the relics of St. Peter Canisius, founder of the college, who died in 1597. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Arnaud Evrat, F.S.S.P., in the presence of His Excellency Pierre Farine, the Auxiliary Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, who performed the Confirmations. These photographs give a good idea of the particular ceremonies of the Missa coram episcopo, in which some of the rituals of the Mass (e.g. the blessing of the incense) are performed by the bishop at the throne, rather than by the actual celebrant of the Mass.
Link (here) to read the full blog post at The New Liturgical Movement

America Continues To Publish In Support Of The Radical Occupy Movement

The endless sniping that Occupy Wall Street must embrace a specific set of demands, or political party are so terribly misconceived.  A generation is being formed in nonviolence and democratic organizing.  There is something profoundly good at work here.
Link (here) to read the full post at America Magazine by Vincent Miller

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fr. Philip Endean, S.J. "Now It's As Though A Spouse Has Left Me..."

Fr. Philip Endean, S.J.
I would have no problem saying goodbye to the 1973 Missal that has shaped my prayer life since I was a teenager if I had the remotest sense that we were being given something better, and that its riches were being given us in a new and richer form. This is not the case. 
We are the victims of an abuse of power and of gross incompetence. That said, the world is not lost. We are indeed being led into something new. But this new reality has the character of no longer feeling at home in a Church that, for all its faults, I have loved and tried to serve as best I can. Now it's as though a spouse has left me, as though I simply have no ecclesial home. 
The Kingdom of God in some ways will have to be found beyond, outside the liturgy-perhaps exclusively so. God will still be there for me somehow, I have no doubt-but the Church has finally said it's not a welcoming place for me and for right-thinking people.
Link (here) to America Magazine go down in the comments section of Fr. James Martin's blog post on the new Mass Translation to read this comment by British Jesuit Fr. Philip Endean, S.J.

Fr. John Morse, S.J. 75 Children 3 Decades Others Nearly 400 Children

"Father Morse's face is what I remember. Not the other kids. Not my teachers. Just his face." 
Father John Morse, S.J. is accused of molesting at least 75 foster children at the school over the course of some 3 decades. Others at St. Mary's are belived to have abused nearly 400 more. All of them were under DSHS supervision. 
Morse denies molesting children. He was never prosecuted for any crime because the statute of limitations has run out. He currently lives in a Jesuit retirement home in Spokane, under 24 hour supervision. A settlement with other victims earlier this year bankrupted the Northwest Jesuit Order.
Link (here)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Jesuit In Purgatory

Fr. James Pellentz, S.J.
One night the Voice made the Livingstons get up three times to pray for a certain soul in Purgatory. And when one of the girls began to think- "...after all the souls could have saved themselves and so they have deserved their pains! And besides the whole thing is exaggerated" when suddenly they all heard a voice shrieking: 
"Help! Help!" When asked what kind of help was needed it replied, "Prayers, for we are in excruciating torments!"
At that moment a human hand was burned into a nearby piece of clothing, leaving the spaces between the fingers not scorched. The entire family saw both the flame and the hand. Father Demetrius A. Gallitzin asked for and was given this extraordinary piece of clothing with the burnt hand impressed upon it, and later he often showed this "relic" while giving testimony to the supernatural events that occurred in the Livingston home. On another occasion the mystic Voice once asked Mr. Livingston to pray for three hours for the soul of a "Fr. Pellins" (Jesuit Father James Pellentz, S.J., Bishop Carroll's recently deceased Vicar-General).
Link (here) to the supernatural case of The Wizard Clip
What is Purgatory? (here)
Doctor of the Church St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J. on Purgatory (here) , (here) and (here)

When It Hits The Fan

Dozens of youth in Colombia reacted against Jesuit priest Father Carlos Novoa's support for abortion and called on Colombian bishops and the Society of Jesus to make a statement on the controversy. 
“It is very disappointing and frustrating to see people who have received formation as Jesuits not defending the message of Christ and the principles for which St. Ignatius of Loyola fought his entire life,” said student protestor Liz Rodriguez. 
On Nov. 12, young people gathered outside the Pontifical Xavierian University in Bogota where Fr. Novoa teaches to protest against his repeated statements in favor of abortion. In several recent radio and television interviews, Fr. Novoa defended the practice through his own interpretation of passages from John Paul II’s encyclical "Evangelium Vitae," documents from Vatican II and canon law. Maria Isabel Magana, a student taking part in the protest, said that 
“the statements by Fr. Novoa have been very damaging to the Church because they contradict the messages that have been part of the magisterium and tradition of the Church throughout history which Pope Benedict XVI has also defended.” “When a priest goes contradicts this message in the media, he is confusing the faithful. This attitude must be counteracted with courage and rigor,” 
she added. Another protestor, Ramon Cortes, said Fr. Novoa’s statements are ultimately damaging to the pro-life movement at large. 
Link (here) Creative Minority Report
Go (here) to read about Fr. Carlos Novoa, S.J.

FBI Violent Crimes Task Force Arrests Jesuit In Chicago

Fr. Richard James Kurtz, S.J.
A 67-year-old Roman Catholic priest was arrested Monday at the Lincoln Park headquarters of his Jesuit order. In this Intelligence Report: a child sex abuse case that authorities say began in Detroit, took place in Colorado and concluded in Chicago.
The priest accused of sexually assaulting a boy is Father Richard Kurtz. He was arrested by agents from the FBI violent crimes task force in a case from 10 years ago when Kurtz was a teacher at a Catholic high school in Michigan. Kurtz was taken into custody without any trouble at the Jesuit's Society of Jesus headquarters on North Clark Street. He is being held on $100,000 bond and extradition proceedings have been started by authorities in Colorado.
The longtime priest is accused of sexually assaulting a child while on a trip to Douglas County, Colorado in 2001. At the time, Father Kurtz was a chemistry teacher at University of Detroit High School in southeastern Michigan. Authorities tell the I-Team that Kurtz and the boy knew each other. Although the crime occurred 10 years ago, sheriff's investigators in Colorado said it was June of this year that they were notified by Jesuit officials in Detroit of the allegation. 
Link (here) to the full article.

Monday, November 21, 2011

“What Is The Nature Of This Reality”

Consider the following: in the known universe, there could be up to one million million galaxies, each containing one million million stars, which itself might constitute 4% of a much larger unseen universe (if theories of dark matter and dark energy are true), the totality of which might have any number of dimensions -- between 4 and 57, depending on which theory is invoked. According to current theory, this universe came into existence in a Big Bang 14 thousand million years ago at what is taken to be the beginning of time, and it may be one of an infinite number of universes. From the smallest scales (microscopic aspects) of our universe which confront us with quarks as fundamental building blocks of matter (as we know it at the moment), to the possible existence of the Higgs Boson (the ‘God’ particle), to notions of quantum foam and virtual particles in a quantum vacuum, to the large-scale structure of the cosmos which presents us with exotic objects such as black holes, the reality which we call the cosmos provokes wonder and leads to fundamental questions which affect every human being: “What is the nature of this reality”, “what does it all mean”, “what is my place in this cosmos”, “what is the origin and fate of what I behold”, “what is the meaning of life”, and, simply, “why”
Link (here) to the full essay by Fr. David Brown, S.J. at The New Jesuit Review

The Fake Jesuit

His name was Father Arthur Scott, he was dressed in the outfit of a Jesuit priest with a Society of Jesus lapel pin, and he bore a gift......Mark Augustus Landis had dressed as a Jesuit priest because he had been taught by one in London, and was amused by the reaction. “I’ve helped out a lot of people. They come up to me at airports and tell me of their problems. There’s not much to being a priest. Some comforting words, that sort of thing. And a blessing.”
Link (here) to read the fascinating article at FT by John Gapper 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I Know Of A Jesuit Accused Of ?

Jesuit Fr. James Martin, author and culture editor for America magazine, to appear on a video about an aspect of the problem -- the "grandiose narcissist" -- that he learned about during a conference on the church's problems. It is an element of the problem that has been discussed at length by psychiatrists and psychologists at conferences and in papers, but it's not been included often enough in the wider, popular discussion. It needs to be emphasized -- as Martin does in the video -- that the inescapable bottom line is that sexual abuse of children is a crime, and the first reaction of any individual or group when learning of such behavior should be a call to police. But much still remains to be understood about how this happens.
In a recent phone conversation, Martin said the description of "grandiose narcissist" -- often the charismatic teacher or leader about whom it is extremely difficult to imagine behavior such as sexually abusing children -- helped to explain some of the institutional reaction to such charges. 
He's read about the phenomenon in secular institutions, but has at times seen it from the inside, as a priest and member of a religious community. "Frequently, the people charged with abuse are in the community, or in your family or in your school, and so teachers, students and community members see them all the time," while the victims often remains anonymous and at a distance. "Victims may not want to reveal themselves," Martin said. So within the community or family or school, often when charges are made, the accused becomes more easily seen as the victim, thanks to his proximity. Within the institution, the abuser may be known, familiar, around; the victim is often not. 
Thanks to the narcissist's focus on himself, and thanks to the grandiose person's tendency to magnify their suffering, it is difficult for those around him not to make the accuser's "suffering" the central event. In one instance Martin knows of, one priest reacted to an accusation against his confrere by citing all the good he had done and all the "suffering" he had undergone after being removed from ministry, and called him a saint.
A third priest responded: "Saints don't abuse children."
Link (here) to read the full article at NCR 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

French Jesuit On "Things So Great"

The Rapture of St. Teresa by Bernini
Father Louis Lallemant, S.J., in his Spiritual Doctrine, remarks: 'A soul which by mortification is thoroughly cured of its passions, and by purity of heart is established in a'state of perfect health, is admitted to a wonderful knowledge of God, and discovers things so great that it loses its power of acting through its senses. Hence proceed raptures and ecstasies, which indicate, however, by the impression which they produce in those who have them, that they are not altogether purified or accustomed to extraordinary graces; for in proportion as a soul purifies itself, the mind becomes stronger and more capable of bearing divine operations without emotion or suspension of the senses, as in the cases of our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, the Apostles and certain other Saints, whose minds were continually occupied with the most sublime contemplations, united with wonderful interior transports, but without there being anything apparent externally in the way of raptures and ecstasies.'
Link (here)

Pro Abortion Boilerplate

Harriet K. Goodheart, Assistant Vice President for University Communications at Saint Joseph’s University released this statement to the Cardinal Newman Society:
Lynn Sherr
Lynn Sherr’s lecture is sponsored by the Classics and Ancient Studies Programs. According to the director of the Classics program, she will not speak  as a Classics scholar but as a highly successful journalist and author who can speak to the great value of studying Classical languages, history, and culture (she was a Greek major at Wellesley College).  The lecture she gave at University of New Hampshire (“Why in Heaven’s Name Are You Majoring in Greek?”) was a good model for the type of presentation she might give at SJU. The Catholic, Jesuit identity of Saint Joseph’s University is paramount, reflected daily in the classrooms, campus life and residence halls.  Saint Joseph’s is also a private, independent and comprehensive university, where academic rigor and faith come together in a full exchange of ideas.  The emphasis is on a complete educational experience for every student. Saint Joseph’s is fully aware of its multiple responsibilities and remains committed to providing a forum for the expression of differing points of view.  This is not done for the purpose of condoning specific behavior, but to promote an informed and compassionate understanding of contemporary issues.  Further, the university supports diversity as a means of educating students about basic human differences.  Social justice, like cura personalis, is deeply rooted in the Catholic, Jesuit tradition.
Link (here) to read the full story at The Cardinal Newman Society
The definition of boilerplate (here)

Friday, November 18, 2011


A.d. 1550.
Until the sixteenth century all Christian people over the world were united in the one true faith and in the belief of the glorious presence of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Blessed Eucharist. The Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar was the Life, the Light, and the Strength of the Church and of all her children. True that in the eleventh century Berengarius attempted to deny this great mystery; but as an ignis fatuus the heresy disappeared, and the Catholic faith became only the more solidly and firmly rooted in the hearts of the faithful. From that time spread mightily the solemnity of Corpus Christi till it was celebrated throughout the world and by the entire Church.
But Almighty God, in the mystery of His counsels, permitted the Catholic unity to be violated in that unhappy sixteenth century, and in the heart of Germany arose the heresies which were to separate millions upon millions of the children of the Church from participation in the Most Adorable Eucharist, and thus estrange them from the most loving Heart of Jesus. Nevertheless, at that very time when Lutheranism and Calvinism and the innumerable forms of Protestantism of which these have been the parents seemed about to extinguish the love of God in the Blessed Sacrament, it pleased God to raise up a body of men whose souls should be fired with a yet more glowing love for Him, and who should rekindle in the hearts of men the love of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Ignatius Loyola was born in Spain at the Castle of Loyola. In early years his ambition was to be great as a soldier, but he learned the will of God concerning his vocation before he had attained the height of his career. He was wounded at the siege of Pampeluna, and his recovery being slow he desired to read all he could of the noble deeds of knighthood; such books, however, were not within reach, and the Lives of the Saints were brought instead, in order to beguile the tedium of his convalescence. In these he found the source of true honour and glory, and the worldly fetters which chained him broke away. He devoted himself to God, and became the founder of the Company of Jesus.
When St. Ignatius and his companions were ordained, Ignatius resolved to pass a year iu preparation for the celebration ol his first Mass; and ,when this time had expired he still deferred the awful solemnity from month to month. At length, at the end of eighteen months,
on the feast of Christmas, in the chapel of the Crib of the Infant Jesus, he offered himself in union with this spotless sacrifice, as a freewill offering to the service of God. Two years afterwards he received from Pope Paul III. the ratification of his Society, and he was chosen by his companions as their first general.
St. Ignatius had learned by his own experience the marvellous effects of worthy communion. 
He required at the least an hour for the celebration of his Mass, and frequently being in a rapture he would occupy a much longer time at the Most Holy Sacrifice. Father Nicholas Lannoy, who on one occasion was present at his Mass, observed at the Memento that a flame of fire hovered over his head. He was on the point of hurrying in order to extinguish it, but was suddenly arrested by the sight of the face of the Saint, which beamed with divine light, and an illuminated expression of his eyes, which appeared to be lost in the contemplation of the Almighty. 
The ardour of divine love, which increased in every Communion, consumed the Saint to such a degree that it was not possible for him to say Mass daily.
One Christmas-day, after having said his second Mass, he became so weak that it was necessary to carry him to his room, as he was believed to be dying. As he stood at the altar, the beating of his heart was audible. A stranger who happened to be present one day, and perceived the tears that he shed, approached secretly to Father Strada, who had served the Saint's Mass, and said to him, 'He who has just said Mass must indeed be a great sinner. Let us hope that God has forgiven him. He has wept enough.'
The room which the Saint occupied was separated from the church by a partition. He caused an opening to bo made in the wall, over against the tabernacle, and here he passed his happiest hours.
St. Ignatius died with the holy Name of Jesus on his lips on the 31st July 1556.

Link (here) to read the original, contained in the book entitled, Legends of the Blessed Sacrament by Emily Mary Shapcote

James Joyce On Spanish Jesuit

Fr. Juan Mariana de Talavera, S.J.
.....that the rights of property are provisional and that in certain circumstances it is not unlawful to rob. Everyone would act in that belief. So I will not make you that answer. Apply to the Jesuit theologian Juan Mariana de Talavera who will also explain to you in what circumstances you may lawfully kill your king and whether you had better hand him his poison in a goblet or smear it for him upon his robe or his saddlebow. Ask me rather would I suffer others to rob me or, if they did, would I call down upon them what I believe is called the chastisement of the secular arm? 
Link (here) to read the portion of the James Joyce quote from the semi-autobiographical novel entitled, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. 
Joyce refers to Jesuits nine times in this book, see them (here) 
The notorious g@y Jesuit Fr. Robert Carter credits this book for his conversion to the Catholic faith.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fr. Thomas P. Rausch, S.J. On Neo-Con Catholicism

Scott Hahn
I have come to be more sympathetic to some of the new apologists’ concerns. There is no question that they are addressing some real needs for a considerable number of contemporary Catholics, for example evangelization and religious illiteracy. I too have become increasingly interested in evangelization, partly as a result of my involvement over the last 15 years with Evangelical Protestants and partly because I have long had a sense that Catholics are not very evangelical as a church—in spite of the great efforts of Pope John Paul II since the beginning of his pontificate to call the church to a greater sense of its evangelical mission. 
And after almost 30 years of teaching in a Catholic university, I have become increasingly concerned about the enormous religious and theological illiteracy of so many young Catholics today, something many of us experience even in our own families . . . 
The great popularity of the new apologists among conservative Catholics is evidence that they are addressing some very real needs. Many people have come back to the church through their influence.
Link (here) to read the quote at Dave Armstrong's Biblical Evidence For Catholicism.

Jesuit On The Sin Of Sloth

Boredom refers to a certain emptiness of soul or lack of passion; acedia refers to the sadness that comes from our unwillingness to tackle the difficulties involved in attaining something good; laziness more generally refers to the torpor and idleness of one who is not inclined to exert himself. Sloth encompasses all these ideas and more. 
In his Pocket Catholic Dictionary, the late Jesuit Fr. John Hardon defined sloth as "sluggishness of soul or boredom because of the exertion necessary for the performance of a good work. The good work may be a corporal task, such as walking; or a mental exercise, such as writing; or a spiritual duty, such as prayer." One might have the impression that sloth is not a typically American sin. 
The virtues of diligence and industriousness are deeply ingrained in our nation’s Protestant work ethic. Our youth learn early on that the way to get ahead—at least for those who don’t win the lottery—is by working hard. The early bird catches the worm. Early to bed, early to rise. In a competitive, dog-eat-dog business world, everyone is looking for an "edge," and that typically comes from outworking the competition. 
Link (here) to Catholic Answers

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Karl Keating And Fr. Thomas P. Rausch, S.J.

The new apologists are criticized for harboring skepticism regarding some of today’s theologizing. Fr. Thomas P. Rausch, S.J. says, "Whatever their primary motivation, these new apologists are deeply suspicious of modern scholarship." He sees "a lack of sympathy for mainstream Roman Catholic theology." The new apologists suffer from "an inability to reconcile faith with critical reason," and they "appear unable to enter into a real dialogue with modernity, with the critical questions it raises for faith."

If I may be so bold as to criticize these comments, I would note first that "contemporary Catholic theology" is not of one cloth. William May is not Charles Curran. Joseph Ratzinger is not Edward Schillebeeckx. Bernard Orchard is not Raymond Brown. Each of these men is a Catholic theologian writing today, and thus each produces "contemporary Catholic theology." If the new apologists are unsympathetic to the thought of the second man in each pairing, it is no more and no less accurate to say that the opponents of the new apologists are unsympathetic to the thought of the first man in each pairing. Thus, it would be equally accurate—and equally meaningless—for the new apologists to say of their detractors that they are unsympathetic to that half of "contemporary Catholic theology" which is the one more closely aligned with the thought of John Paul II. Fr. Rausch claims that the new apologists "are relentlessly hostile to contemporary Catholic theology precisely because it is critical." This is incorrect, on two grounds. The new apologists use much contemporary Catholic theology, such as that produced by Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Avery Dulles, Aidan Nichols, and even Francis Sullivan (the latter with occasional reservations, admittedly). To the extent the new apologists are "hostile" to "contemporary Catholic theology," their "hostility" is either to heterodoxy, as exemplified in the promotion of priestly ordination for women or in the rejection of Humanae Vitae, or to poorly reasoned positions, such as those adduced in favor of the late dating of the New Testament books.

Let us grant that "hostility" toward some "contemporary Catholic theology" exists (though I think it might better be described as "skepticism"). What is the origin of it? Fr. Rausch says the new apologists dislike what he identifies as mainstream theology because it is critical and they are not. But much of that theology is critical only in a certain sense. It is critical in that it criticizes what has been the received teaching or understanding. But it is often quite uncritical when looking at itself. 
Link (here) to read Karl Keating's full article at Catholic Answers, entitled No Apology from the New Apologists.

The Jesuit Happy Hour

William Peter Blatty embarked on his writing career as a comic novelist and also produced screenplays for popular comedies like the Pink Panther movie A Shot in the Dark. But, in recent decades, he has returned to the problem of human suffering in Legion, a sequel to The Exorcist, and Dimiter, a complex thriller about revenge and forgiveness, stretching from Albania to Jerusalem, that the author views as his most ambitious work. “Dimiter is a Christ figure. I intended a parallel to my personal belief that it was necessary that Christ suffer and die. We have the answer that faith gives us, but there is another way to think about it: What if Christ had died of pneumonia. Would we ever have heard of him?”  “He had to die publicly, visibly, so that no agent at a Hollywood party could deny it,” said Blatty. The author’s childhood was shadowed by abandonment — his father left his mother when Blatty was still a toddler, and the two endured a long struggle for survival. For the second decade of his life, Blatty was a scholarship kid who won a full ride to Georgetown University — after the hungry Jesuit, who consumed three helpings at his mother’s dinner table, gave Mrs. Blatty the idea that her son should sit for an exam. The plot for The Exorcist was seeded when Blatty heard a professor “repeat a story he had picked up at the Jesuit happy hour about a case of demonic possession.”
Link (here) to read the full story at The National Catholic Register

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Suicidal Jesuit

A German priest belonging to the Society abandoned the Order, and passed into the service of the Archbishop of Treves. There it pleased God to afflict him with a contagious malady, so that he was shunned by every one, and would have been totally deserted, but for a poor old woman, who took compassion on him. Sometimes the violence of his sufferings caused him to fall senseless; and when, restored to himself, he reflected on his miserable condition, both of soul and body, despair took possession of his mind. His misery increased to such an extent, that one day he was about to put an end to his existence by cutting his throat, when the woman coming in, seized his hand, and got possession of the knife. But she could not prevent him from dashing himself from a window upon a heap of stones, where he was found bleeding and mangled, though still breathing 
Then God was pleased to touch the heart of this unfortunate man. and to enlighten him both as to his guilty life, and the criminal resolution which had led him to rush upon self-destruction. His courage revived; he invoked the holy Father whom he had abandoned, and made a vow to St. Ignatius, that if he recovered from the desperate situation in which he then was, he would go on foot to Rome, and throw himself at the feet of Father Francis Borgia, then Vicar General of the Order, and declaring his repentance, entreat that holy man to grant him the favor of re-admission into the Society; or if judged unworthy of this, permission to remain all his life as a servant, attached to the house. 
Whilst he made this promise, his face bathed with tears of repentance, he suddenly felt that he was cured, not only of the dreadful consequences of his fall, but also of the contagious malady which threatened him with approaching dissolution. He immediately set off for Rome, in company with Father Francis Cortero, to place himself under the authority of the General, and fulfil his vow.
Link (here) to the book entitled, History of the Life and Institute of St. Ignatius
Photo (here)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fr. Arnold Damen, S.J. The Church or The Bible ?

Pope Benedict XVI paging through the St. John's Bible
What is the means God has given us whereby we shall learn the truth that God has revealed? "The Bible," say my Protestant friends, "the Bible, the whole of the Bible, and nothing but the Bible." But we Catholics say, "No; not the Bible and its private interpretation, but the Church of the Living God." I will prove the facts, and I defy all my separated brethren --- and all the preachers in the bargain --- to disprove what I will say tonight. I say, then, it is not the private interpretation of the Bible that has been appointed by God to be the teacher of man, but the Church of the Living God. For, my dear people, if God has intended that man should learn His religion from a book --- the Bible --- surely God would have given that book to man; Christ would have given that book to man. Did He do it? He did not. 
Christ sent His Apostles throughout the whole universe and said: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." Christ did not say, "Sit down and write Bibles and scatter them over the earth, and let every man read his Bible and judge for himself." If Christ had said that, there would never have been a Christianity on the earth at all, but a Babylon and confusion instead, and never one Church, the union of one body. Hence, Christ never said to His Apostles, "Go and write Bibles and distribute them, and let everyone judge for himself." 
That injunction was reserved for the Sixteenth Century, and we have seen the result of it. Ever since the Sixteenth Century there have been springing up religion upon religion, and churches upon churches, all fighting and quarreling with one another. And all because of the private interpretation of the Bible. Christ sent His Apostles with authority to teach all nations, and never gave them any command of writing the Bible. And the Apostles went forth and preached everywhere, and planted the Church of God throughout the earth, but never thought of writing. The first word written was by Saint Matthew, and he wrote for the benefit of a few individuals. He wrote the Gospel about seven years after Christ left this earth, so that the Church of God, established by Christ, existed seven years before a line was written of the New Testament. 
Saint Mark wrote about ten years after Christ left this earth; Saint Luke about twenty-five years, and Saint John about sixty-three years after Christ had established the Church of God. Saint John wrote the last portion of the Bible --- the Book of Revelation --- about sixty-five years after Christ had left this earth and the Church of God had been established. 
The Catholic religion had existed sixty-five years before the Bible was completed, before it was written. Now, I ask you, my dearly beloved separated brethren, were these Christian people, who lived during the period between the establishment of the Church of Jesus and the finishing of the Bible, were they really Christians, good Christians, enlightened Christians? Did they know the religion of Jesus? Where is the man that will dare to say that those who lived from the time that Christ went up to Heaven to the time that the Bible was completed were not Christians?
It is admitted on all sides, by all denominations, that they were the very best of Christians, the first fruit of the Blood of Jesus Christ. But how did they know what they had to do to save their souls? Was it from the Bible that they learned it? No, because the Bible was not written. And would our Divine Saviour have left His Church for sixty-five years without a teacher, if the Bible is the teacher of man? Most assuredly not. Were the Apostles Christians, I ask you, my dear Protestant friends? You say, "Yes, sir; they were the very founders of Christianity." 
Now, my dear friends, none of the Apostles ever read the Bible; not one of them except perhaps, Saint John. For all of then had died martyrs for the Faith of Jesus Christ and never saw the cover of a Bible. Every one of them died martyrs and heroes for the Church of Jesus before the Bible was completed. How, then, did those Christians that lived in the first sixty-five years after Christ ascended --- how did they know what they had to do to save their souls? 
They knew it precisely in the same way that you know it, my dear Catholic friends. You know it from the teachings of the Church of God, and so did the primitive Christians know it. Not only sixty-five years did Christ leave the Church He had established without a Bible, but over three hundred years. 
The Church of God was established and went on spreading itself over the whole globe without the Bible for more than three hundred years. In all that time the people did not know what constituted the Bible.
In the days of the Apostles there were many false gospels. There was the Gospel of Simon, the Gospel of Nicodemus, of Mary, of Barnabas, and the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus. All of these gospels were spread among the people, and the people did not know which of these were inspired and which were false and spurious. Even the learned themselves were disputing whether preference should be given to the Gospel of Simon or that of Matthew --- to the Gospel of Nicodemus or the Gospel of Mark, the Gospel of Mary or that of Luke, the Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus or the Gospel of Saint John the Evangelist. 
Link (here) to the full homily by Fr. Arnold Damen, S.J.entitled The Church or The Bible