Archive for December, 2009

Puer natus est

“Per secoli, il primo suono del giorno di Natale veniva udito nelle inconfondibili note del Puer natus est, che era e rimane l’introito per la Messa natalizia del Giorno in tutte le forme del rito Romano. L’intervallo di quinta con cui si apre, nel canto gregoriano segnala di solito un annuncio importante, e qui ce n’è uno incomparabilmente importante.

Non so pensare ad un caso migliore per sostituire l’inno processionale (es. canzone di Natale..) che non questo introito proprio. Abbiamo ascoltato canzoni natalizie da settimane, se non mesi. Questo canto invece si sente solo alla messa di quest’unico giorno. Dirò di più: questo canto sensazionale dovrebbe essere udito in ogni parrocchia del mondo nel giorno glorioso del 25 dicembre. Questa musica è il giorno di Natale.”  (Jeffrey Tucker)

“For many centuries, the first sound on Christmas day was heard in the unmistakable opening notes of Puer natus est, what was and remains the introit for the Mass on Christmas day in all forms of the Roman Rite. The interval of a fifth in chant usually represents an important announcement, and here is one that is exceedingly important.

I can’t think of a better case for replacement the processional hymn (i.e. Christmas song) with the proper introit. We’ve been hearing carols for weeks, even months. This is only heard at Mass on this one day. Indeed, this stunning song should be heard in every parish in the world on the glorious morning of 25th December. This is music that is Christmas day.” (Jeffrey Tucker)



I wish to thank you all for taking the time to leave a comment. All your comments have always been rich with substance and it’s always worthwhile to go back and read some of the archived ones. A community is built around people and their views. Leaving comments is a way of showing that you care and want to share your opinion with others including the owner of the blog.  I sincerely feel we are all part of a big ‘blog’ family and I always remember you all in my prayers. I will not be able to post again until after the holidays so I wish you – and all your families – a blessed Christmas and holy New Year.

See you in 2010!

Vi ringrazio tutti, amici di blog, sia chi ha lasciato un commento sia chi è passato e ha letto silenziosamente.

Vi auguro di passare delle feste serene in famiglia, con lo sguardo allargato verso il mondo ma sempre fisso sulla Sacra Famiglia.

Non avrò accesso al blog nei prossimi giorni, fino a dopo le feste.

Buon Santo Natale a tutti e felice Anno Nuovo. Ci risentiamo nel 2010!

Church asking for forgiveness?

Are Church Authorities morally obliged to publicly beg for forgiveness for the sins committed by our ancestors in the Faith?

To ask for forgiveness for sins committed centuries ago is definitely open to misunderstandings and misinterpretations. But all Catholics of good faith should agree on two facts: first, that not only individual Catholics, but Catholics in positions of authority have, in the course of history, sinned gravely against Justice and Charity. To refuse to admit this sad fact is not a valid Catholic stance: Truth must be faced. But it must also be said emphatically that this in no way impugns the Holiness of the Church as Bride of Christ, for every sin committed by members of the Church is explicitly condemned by the Gospel that the Saviour gave us. The worst enemy of Christ will never find a single word in His teaching advocating violence, injustice and brutality. In other words, those who have sinned against their ‘enemies’ (atheists, heretics, etc.) have branded themselves as bad Catholics.

Secondly, can one obtain forgiveness by confessing to descendants of victims the sins committed by our ancestors against theirs? Can one objectively ask and obtain forgiveness for the sins of others, even if these others are related to us by Faith, or by blood? A sin is always an individual offense, There is only one case in which all of us are guilty of the same sin: the Crucifixion of our Saviour, the King of the Jews. In this unique case, nostra culpa (our fault) is also very specifically mea culpa (my fault). There is only one exception: His Holy mother, a young Jewish Virgin.

But is it not true that when grave evils have been committed by people close to us, it should affect us more deeply than if they were committed by people of other faiths, other countries, or different blood? The answer is ‘yes’. Granted that there should be a feeling of solidarity with people related to us – however, we should make a clear distinction between asking publicly for forgiveness for the faults committed by our ancestors and officially condemning their actions. These should be publicly anathematized, denounced, rejected, detested. By officially condemning horrors committed in the past, the Church exonerates Herself from the sins of her unworthy children, whose evil deeds are condemned by the Gospel. In other words, the Church – while condemning the sins of Her children – should publicly de solidarize Herself from sinners who betray her Holy Teaching.

We all know or have heard about fathers who declare that ‘he is no longer my son’, ‘I disown him because of what he has done’. But to disown him (that is to condemn his evil deeds) does not free a parent from the obligation to pray for him and to love him in Christ, in spite of his sinfulness.

This public condemnation would achieve what ‘asking for forgiveness’ intends to do – and at the same time it eschews possible misunderstandings, that is, the misinterpretation given by the news media that ‘the Church now finally acknowledges Her sins and therefore She cannot claim to be Holy and to have the fullness of Truth’!

It is the strict duty of the teaching Church to condemn heresies. This cannot be repeated enough in an age of ‘dictatorial relativism’ where every error is viewed as a legitimate ‘point of view’, an age in which Truth is viewed as ‘divisive’ and ‘opinions’ as a bridge of peace between people.  The word anathema sit has rightly been used by St. Paul and in Councils, and I do not hesitate to write that these condemnations were ‘charitable anathemas’. They intended to warn God’s children of the poison of heresy. But has this justified condemnation always been coupled with charity for the person whose views have been rightly condemned? Charity and Truth essentially belong together. Some people can be ‘ferocious’ in their defence of truth. Fanatics are always Pharisaical, and unfortunately this danger is still very much alive. To proclaim Truth without love is to inject a subtle poison into its message. This is why Christ forbade a devil to proclaim that He was ‘the Christ, the Son of the Living God’ – the devil had spoken the Truth with hatred in his heart.

Should we expect Jews today to ask Christians for forgiveness for having persecuted them at the beginning of Christianity as related in the Acts of the Apostles? Are Anglicans to beg us for forgiveness for the murders of St. John Fisher, St. Thomas More, Edmund Campion and hundreds of others?

Moses transmitted to the Chosen people the Divine Message. He could not prevent them from adoring the golden calf. Let us not forget that one can only ask for forgiveness for the harm done to oneself – directly or indirectly, but one cannot repent for sins one has not committed and obtain absolution from men. God alone can forgive sins – hence the scandal that the words of Jesus triggered in the Jews when He declared: ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee’ –  He was, in fact, declaring his Divinity.

Ego sum Immaculata Conceptio

Centocinquantacinque anni fa, era il Venerdì 8 dicembre 1854, fin dalle 6 del mattino furono aperte le porte della Basilica di San Pietro. Alle ore 8 la Basilica era gremita di fedeli, quasi 50.000. Alle 10 dalla Cappella Sistina si muove la lunga processione di 53 Cardinali, 43 Arcivescovi e 99 Vescovi, provenienti da tutto il mondo, diretta verso l’altare papale, ove il papa Pio IX celebrò la solenne santa Messa. Come di rito, al termine del canto del Vangelo in greco e poi in latino, il Cardinale Macchi, decano del Collegio Cardinalizio, si prostrò ai piedi del Pontefice domandando, con voce sorprendentemente energica, per i suoi 85 anni, il decreto sull’Immacolata Concezione della Beata Vergine Maria, “che avrebbe cagionato gioia in Cielo e il massimo entusiasmo sulla terra”.

Dopo il canto allo Spirito Santo del Veni Creator, il Papa, seduto sul trono, lesse con tono grave e voce alta la solenne definizione dogmatica: “A onore della santa e individua Trinità, a gloria e ornamento della Vergine Madre di Dio, per l’esaltazione della fede cattolica, e per l’incremento della religione cristiana, con l’autorità del Signore Nostro Gesù Cristo, dei beati Apostoli Pietro e Paolo, e Nostra, dichiariamo pronunciamo e definiamo che la dottrina, la quale ritiene che la beatissima Vergine Maria, nel primo istante della sua concezione, per singolare grazia e privilegio di Dio onnipotente, ed in vista dei meriti di Gesù Cristo Salvatore del genere umano, sia stata preservata immune da ogni macchia di colpa originale, è dottrina rivelata da Dio e perciò da credersi fermamente e ostantemente da tutti i fedeli”.

Dal momento in cui il Cardinale decano aveva fatto la richiesta della promulgazione del decreto fino al Te Deum cantato dopo la Messa Pontificale, al segno dato dal colpo di cannone esploso da Castel Sant’Angelo, e per lo spazio di una ora, tutte le campane di Roma suonarono a festa per celebrare un giorno così glorioso per la Chiesa e per l’umanità.

Tutti i presenti affermarono che, al momento solenne il papa Pio IX fu investito dall’alto da un fascio di luce che ne illuminò il volto solcato di lacrime. Alcuni studiosi attestano che in nessun periodo dell’anno, tanto meno di dicembre, da nessuna finestra della Basilica Vaticana un raggio di sole può scendere ad illuminare qualunque punto dell’abside, nella quale si trovava Pio IX. Questo induce a pensare che sia stato un segno soprannaturale, con cui il Cielo confermava l’atto dogmatico del Vicario di Cristo in terra.

“My Lady is beautiful, beautiful beyond compare; so beautiful that when one has seen her once, one would wish to die so as to see her again; so beautiful that when one has seen her, one can no longer love anything earthly.”

St. Bernadette

“Still more was it becoming that God should preserve her from Original Sin, for He destined her to crush the head of that infernal serpent, which, by seducing our first parents, entailed death upon all men; and this our Lord foretold: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head.” (Gen. 3: 15) But if Mary was to be that valiant woman brought into the world to conquer Lucifer, certainly it was not becoming that he should first conquer her, and make her his slave; but it was reasonable that she should be preserved from all stain, and even momentary subjection to her opponent. The proud spirit endeavoured to infect the most pure soul of this Virgin with his venom, as he had already infected the whole human race. But praised and ever blessed be God, Who, in His infinite goodness, preendowed her for this purpose with such great grace, that, remaining always free from any guilt of sin, she was ever able to beat down and confound his pride, as Saint Augustine says: ‘Since the devil is the head of Original Sin, this head it was that Mary crushed: for sin never had any entry into the soul of this Blessed Virgin, which was consequently free from all stain.’ And Saint Bonaventure more expressly says, ‘It was becoming that the Blessed Virgin Mary, by whom our shame was to be blotted out, and by whom the devil was to be conquered, should never, even for a moment, have been under his dominion’.”

St. Alphonsus Liguori

Common sense

One of the most appealing aspects of Catholicism is its enduring common sense, its unfailingly perfect blueprint for living happily and peacefully in this life and achieving eternal salvation in the process. The beauty, logic, and grace of its sacraments can be found in no other religion. Even though the gate is narrow, we have been promised by Our Divine Saviour that we can gain heaven if we persevere in our Faith. And yet, the simple and virtuous life to which most good Catholics aspire has become complicated lately, due in good part to the confusing behavior and leadership of the Catholic hierarchy and especially its embrace of ‘political correctness’.

Political correctness is, in fact, a manifest incorrectness.

Political correctness leads to many contradictions and much confusion, especially when found in the Mystical Body of Christ and particularly in the successors of the Apostles. Others have written extensively and more expertly on the subject but let me consider for the moment a few examples which help make my point.

Many good Catholics today are strongly committed to and actively involved in the fight against the destruction of human life by abortion on demand. They make enormous personal sacrifices on behalf of pro-life causes and are willing to take to the streets to win this battle. Yet, most of their bishops give only lip service to this struggle and, in the name of political correctness refuse to chastise publicly political and other Catholic public officials who aid and support these murderous practices. They ignore the example of many of their own  (e.g.:  John Fisher)  who refused to be intimidated by the King himself.

The Catholic Church has been involved recently in one of the most despicable sexual scandals in its history, a scandal that has virtually destroyed the Church’s credibility and its moral authority. In answer to this scandal, the bishops formed committees, they pleaded for forgiveness and understanding and for our patience while they  allegedly corrected the situation. Yet they refuse to admit to the rampant homosexuality responsible for the problem, they refuse to cry out against this terrible sin, mainly for fear of offending the homosexual activists within and outside of their ranks.

What about putting a stop to those public figures receiving communion but are clearly living in mortal sin? What about  obedience to the Pope and providing the extraordinary form of the Mass in all parishes? What about ‘holy anger’ against the rampant corruption among African bishops?

All of these violations of common sense and good will are to the Catholics in the pews a widening of the credibility gap to a virtual chasm. Oh, if only these bishops had the courage, the conviction, the faith of St. Thomas Becket! If only there were a St. Francis de Sales   or a St. Charles Borromeo among our bishops today!

There are countless other glaring contradictions driven by the poisonous posturing of political correctness that have surfaced in today’s Church. One in particular comes to mind in the form of the so-called outreach for unity with other religions. This false ecumenism (nothing to do with the encyclical ‘Dominus Jesus’  is one of the most deadly forms of political correctness, with its constant apologies and its unworthy search for areas of compromise on both doctrine and liturgy. The Roman Catholic Church is the only religion in the world that holds and professes the full and essential body of truths necessary for man’s salvation. That is why our leaders and all of us who are Catholics and enjoy the fullness of the Faith are obligated to believe and to propagate these truths to our fellow men without blemish.

Common sense tells us that if our Catholic message is to be fully understood and accepted it must be taught clearly and in its entirety and our personal example must reflect our beliefs with no compromise. Jesus spoke unambiguously and without fear of men’s opinions.  As His faithful followers we can do no less.

The Catholic Faith makes perfect sense – let’s use our common sense in living it, in teaching it.


Mi piace visitare le chiese. Tutte le volte che mi trovo in un paese, in una cittadina o in una grande metropoli e ne incontro una sulla mia strada, ci entro volentieri. E non solo per un fatto devozionale, ma anche in ricerca di cose belle. Si, perché tutte le chiese offrono sempre qualcosa da ammirare: spesso sono dei veri e propri musei con ingresso gratuito. Una delle cose che più mi attrae, sono le vetrate – ma solo quando queste rappresentano con chiarezza un personaggio o un evento storico o biblico.

Un paio d’anni fa ebbi a leggere come un maestro di spiritualità le paragonava alle anime. Scure, incomprensibili e tristi se prive di luce, ma splendenti di mille entusiasmanti colori, se baciate dal sole. Egli sosteneva, con una ragione incontestabile mista a poesia, che la grazia divina, l’amicizia divina, trasforma le anime in splendori di bellezza come il sole trasforma anonimi vetri grigi, in sfolgoranti opere d’arte. Da un po’ di tempo però mi è capitato di imbattermi solo in strane vetrate, moderne, nelle quali macchie di colore dalle forme incomprensibili mi lasciano perplessa sul loro significato.

A volte, parlando con un sacerdote o con un parrocchiano lì presente, mi sento dire frasi del genere: ‘L’autore ha voluto esprimere il suo personale modo di vedere la creazione …’, ‘E’ l’interpretazione intensa e personalissima dell’episodio della fuga in Egitto …’, ‘Rappresenta l’istituzione dell’eucaristia come il pittore l’ha sentita nel suo intimo …’, ‘Raffigura la preghiera che sale a Dio …’, ecc. Io ascolto sempre con attenzione le spiegazioni, ma rimango nel contempo molto perplessa. Esattamente come rimasi perplessa sabato scorso di fronte ad un quadro, in un negozio d’arte moderna, rappresentante triangoli, rombi, esagoni, quando lessi il titolo nella sottostante targhetta: ‘Ragazze al mare’.

Io mai sarei arrivata, con le mie sole forze, ad immaginare che quelle forme geometriche avessero un simile significato, ed anche allora mi scontrai con l’usurata formula: ‘Ma, Signora, pensi all’abilità del pittore, capace di reinterpretare la realtà … ecc.’ Mi sorse il dubbio, un po’ cinico, che il famoso artista semplicemente non fosse in grado di dipingere figure umane, e che avesse ripiegato sulle più semplici figure geometriche al fine di mascherare questa sua incapacità.

Amo i bei disegni, i colori, i quadri ad olio, gli acquarelli, i mosaici, e ammiro questa vena artistica che il Creatore ha donato ai miei simili ma in molti casi oggi, scusate, è come se la mano di un vandalo, solo per odio contro coloro che amano il bello, o per invidia ed incapacità di concepire una scena sacra o ammirare le bellezze della creazione e riprodurle fedelmente, avesse gettato un grosso sasso contro una splendida vetrata o dispettosamente sarebbe passato sopra un quadro strofinando la pittura con le sue mani e i suoi piedi, annullando ogni sembianza con la realtà.

La gente ama il bello. Le persone si affezionano alle belle opere che trasfondano un po’ di se stesse, del loro mondo, della loro vita, e patiscono se le vede distruggere o danneggiare. E tanto più il loro animo è sensibile, tanto più ne soffrono.

Ardisco troppo a sostenere che in qualche modo a noi incomprensibile anche Dio – pur felicità infinita ed immutabile – patisce se vede la sua opera migliore, quella che ha fatto a Sua immagine e somiglianza, quella che più ha amato ed ama, deturpata, disgregata e avvilita?

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My Patron Saint

Archangel Gabriel

God's Messenger

Another beautiful day! Praise the Lord.

December 2009
« Nov   Jan »


The most beautiful thing this side of heaven!


e-campagna: Io sto con il Papa


Dopo due millenni di studi, di ricerche e di esplorazioni scientifiche, la genesi del canto gregoriano resta un mistero irrisolto



The story of our salvation!

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INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

“Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto XVI: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”

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The Catholic Church doesn’t need progressives, Nor does it need Reactionary Conservatives - It badly needs Catholic Traditionalists that practice faith, hope and charity. So don’t be shy! Come forward.

“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward - in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed and will not prevail against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing - the historic Catholic Church - was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
(G.K. Chesterton)

Anno Sacerdotale

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.

Quest'anno sia anche un'occasione per un periodo di intenso approfondimento dell'identità sacerdotale, della teologia del sacerdozio cattolico e del senso straordinario della vocazione e della missione dei sacerdoti nella Chiesa e nella società.

Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

In Domino laudabitur anima mea.

"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.

Cantate …

Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)

Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.

“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)

Lo Spirito Santo

Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!


Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.

“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)

"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)

"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.