Saturday 27 May 2017

St. Philip Neri delivers Sermon on St. Philip's Day in Toronto!

On the Feast of St.Philip Neri, at Holy Family Church in Toronto, run by the Fathers of the Toronto Oratory, the sermon was unexpectedly given by the "sweetest of fathers", St. Philip himself. St. Philip delivered his homily in the manner of one of his spiritual sons, the now Blessed John Henry Newman. Speaking cor ad cor loquitur, the saint whispered the following words:

Well! when shall we have a mind to begin to do good? Let no one wear a mask, otherwise he will do ill; and if he has one, let him burn it. Men should often renew their good resolutions, and not lose heart because they are tempted against them.

Let persons in the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the court, professions, or labour, are any hindrance to the service of God. In dealing with our neighbour, we must assume as much pleasantness of manner as we can, and by this affability win him to the way of virtue.

Perfection does not consist in such outward things as shedding tears and the like, but in true and solid virtues. Let a man frequent the holy Sacraments, go to sermons, and be often reading the Lives of Saints. Let a man always think that he has God before his eyes. When a man is in an occasion of sin, let him look what he is doing, get himself out of the occasion, and avoid the sin.

The greatest help to perseverance in the spiritual life is the habit of prayer, especially under the direction of our confessor. There is nothing the devil fears so much, or so much tries to hinder, as prayer. An excellent method of preserving ourselves from relapsing into serious faults, is to say every evening, “To-morrow I may be dead.” A man without prayer is an animal without the use of reason.

To leave our prayer when we are called to do some act of charity for our neighbour, is not really a quitting of prayer, but leaving Christ for Christ, that is, depriving ourselves of spiritual sweetnesses in order to gain souls.

If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a crucifix, and think that Christ has shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave his enemies, but prayed the Eternal Father to forgive them also.Let him remember also that when he says the Pater Noster every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance upon them. Men are generally the carpenters of their own crosses. 

If we wish the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray, we must practise humility and obedience. The fruit we ought to get from prayer, is to do what is pleasing to the Lord. A virtuous life consists in mortifying vices, sins, bad thoughts, and evil affections, and in exercising ourselves in the acquisition of holy virtues. Let us be humble and keep ourselves down:- Obedience! Humility! Detachment!

We must take care of little faults: for he who once begins to go backward, and to make light of such defects, brings a sort of grossness over his conscience, and then goes wrong altogether. The servant of God ought to seek knowledge, but never to show it or make a parade of it. The devil has a crafty custom of sometimes urging spiritual persons to penances and mortifications, in order that by going indiscreet lengths in this way, they may so weaken themselves as to be unable to attend to good works of greater importance; or be so intimidated by the sickliness they have brought upon themselves as to abandon their customary devotions, and at last turn their backs on the service of God.

The true medicine to cure us of pride, is to keep down and thwart touchiness of mind. Humility is the true guardian of chastity. When a man has fallen he ought to acknowledge it in some such way as this: “Ah, if I had been humble I should not have fallen!” If we wish to help our neighbour, we must reserve neither place, hour, or season, for ourselves. To obtain perfectly the gift of humility, four things are required: to despise the world, to despise no person, to despise one’s self, to despise being despised. We ought to hope for and love the glory of God by means of a good life.

To begin and end well, devotion to our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God, is nothing less than indispensable. Let us think of Mary, for she is that unspeakable virgin, that glorious lady, who conceived and brought forth, without detriment to her virginity, Him whom the width of the heavens cannot contain within itself. The true servant of God acknowledges no other country but heaven. Be devout to the Madonna, keep yourself from sin, and God will deliver you from your evils.

In order to enter Paradise we must be well justified and well purified. Let the young man look after the flesh, and the old man after avarice, and we shall all be saints together. Where there is no great mortification there is no great sanctity. We must give ourselves to God altogether. God makes all his own the soul that is wholly given to him. Let us reflect that the Word left heaven, and stooped to become man for us. 

Besides pardoning those who persecute us, we ought to feel pity for the delusion they are labouring under. To one who really loves God, there is nothing more harassing or burdensome than life. Let young men be cheerful, and indulge in the recreations proper to their age, provided they keep out of the way of sin. Not to know how to deny our soul its own wishes, is to foment a very hot-bed of vices. The hour is finished - we may say the same of the year; but the time to do good is not finished yet.

Friday 26 May 2017

St. Philip Neri ~ Apostle of Rome

May 26th is the Feast of St. Philip Neri. 

A blessed Feast day to all! 

Thursday 11 May 2017

Our Lady of Fatima: 100th Anniversary Traditional Latin Mass for Catholics in the Greater Toronto Area

May 13 is the 100th anniversary of the appearance of the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother of God at Fatima, Portugal. In the traditional calendar, May 13 is the Feast (3rd class) of St. Robert Bellarmine.  In the new calendar for the Novus Ordo Missae, it is the "Optional Memorial" of Our Lady of Fatima. An "Optional Memorial" is just that, the priest can choose the text for Our Lady of Fatima or the Ferial. The traditional calendar was never updated liturgically to recognise the appearance of Our Lady at Fatima.

In the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI made possible the updating of the traditional Mass calendar of 1961 to include more current feasts and saints. Recently, the Pontifical Council Ecclesia Dei in the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith decreed that Our Lady of Fatima could be celebrated on May 13 in the traditional Mass. How appropriate then that the first change should be for Our Lady and in 2017, to recognise the 100th anniversary of her appearance at Fatima.

Please visit Una Voce Toronto for further information. 

Saturday 6 May 2017

The Holiness of Celibacy

A poor, angry, confused man who left the Catholic Church has recently written an article denouncing celibacy and blaming it for the sexual abuse of children by pervert priests, yet all the while rejecting the truth of the matter: homosexual pervert infiltrators into the Sacred Priesthood.

Celibacy is firstly a gift from God. Celibacy is the imitation of Christ, Our Lord; who was celibate. Priests are called to imitate Christ to a very close degree. This is not a denial that priests are not sexual beings. Everything we do has a sexual component to it. But sexuality is far, far more than the marital act, or any licit act that may lead to or enhance the marital act. Indeed, the marital act is a sign of holiness and reflects something of the love of the Holy Trinity. Sexual love is a great gift from God to man and woman within the state of matrimony.

A priest, a nun gives up the marital act because they are following more closely Christ, the Lord. But they do not give up their sexuality. Priests should be real men, more than even soldiers - they should be soldiers for Christ. Nuns too - do not become asexual beings. Sisters retain their feminine sexuality, but in abstaining from acts proper to the marital state they focus their feminine sexuality on loving - non physically - all who come within their reach.

Priests and nuns are not forbidden to have holy friendships. We can think of St. Jerome and St. Paula, St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Frances de Chantal, or St. Francis and St. Clare. One can be quite sure that their non-physical love was much stronger than the vast, vast majority of love between husbands and wives. In Paradise, they are now receiving their reward by being closer to each other than can ever be imagined. Truly celibacy has its rewards - not only in this life, but in (and this is what is infinitely more important) the never, ever ending afterlife of Heaven.

Wednesday 3 May 2017

Catholic Education in Toronto has gone LGBT

There is a profound crisis in Catholic education going back well into the 1980s. Over the years the degree of dissent has become more open. A few years ago it was the strident dissenter, Joanna Manning. Today, it is the open, aggressive promotion of homosexuality amongst vulnerable children and youth. The Catholic Register, the Archdiocese of Toronto are apparently blind to the realities of what is taking place in our once Catholic schools. 

The following two screenshots are contradictory. If one is true, the other cannot be true.

Monday 1 May 2017

The Second Vatican Council was for Renewal not Betrayal

I'm re-posting portions of a seminally important Angelus address by Pope Paul VI (April 25, 1968) on the Second Vatican Council.  I had earlier included this reference in a post entitled "renewal not betrayal" (words of the Holy Father himself) in which the Holy Father was fighting the dissent that had spread through many sections of the Church immediately following the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council. I've re-arranged the final paragraph in point form - leaving the integrity of the wording intact - to emphasize the Holy Father's identification of key points of reference vis-a-vis true renewal.

1968 was a critical year in the Church as it saw an explosion of dissent against Humanae Vitae. In Canada, the bishops' Winnipeg Statement did much to fudge the issue and create a false interpretation of conscience. Yes, the encyclical was wonderful teaching, yes it was the Catholic ideal - BUT  - follow your conscience. 

It should be noted that many bishops opposed the Winnipeg Statement,..but the damage was done. More will follow on this litmus test of loyalty to Christ and His Church. It will be enough to mention that Pope Paul's 1968 Angelus address on Humanae Vitae was entitled: "We had no doubt". Simply put, the then Vicar of Christ re-affirmed against a decadent world, that each and every act of artificial contraception was and is objectively intrinsically evil.

There are many things that can be corrected and modified in Catholic life, many doctrines that can be studied more deeply, completed and expressed in more comprehensible terms, many rules than can be simplified and better adapted to the needs of our times. 

But there are two matters beyond argument: the truth of the Faith, authoritatively sanctioned by tradition and by the ecclesiastical magisterium, and the constitutional law of the Church. Obedience must be given to the ministry of the pastoral government  that Christ has established, and that the wisdom of the Church has developed and extended in the various members of the mystical and visible body of the Church, to guide and strengthen the many component parts that make up the People of God. 

  1. renewal, yes. Arbitrary change, no. 
  2. History of the Church, ever living and new, yes. Historicism destructive of traditional dogma, no. 
  3. Theological integration according to the teaching of the Council, yes. Theology deriving from arbitrary subjective theories, often borrowed from hostile sources, no. 
  4. A Church open to ecumenical charity, to responsible dialogue, to the recognition of Christian values among our separated brethren, yes. An irenic theology that betrays the truth of the faith and adopts certain negative principles which have contributed to the separation of so many Christians from the centre of unity of the Catholic communion, no. 
  5. Religious liberty for all in civilised society, and liberty of personal adherence to religion according to the well-considered choice of the individual conscience, yes. Liberty of conscience as the criterion of religious truth, without reference to the authenticity of serious and authorized teaching, no. And so on.   
 (Angelus Address, April 25, 1968).