Fr. Gabriel Gillen, O.P., assigned to the Church of St. Joseph in the West Village, discusses this Sunday’s reading’s for The Catholic Channel’s Word to Life. He is joined by Fr. Richard Donahoe, a diocesan priest from Birmingham, AL, and former rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham.
Word to Life airs every Friday at 1 PM (EST) on Sirius 159/XM 117.
As the Formula of your Institute says, the Society of Jesus was founded in the first place “for the defence and propagation of the faith”. In an age when new geographical horizons were unfolding, Ignatius’ first companions placed themselves at the Pope’s disposal so that “he might use them wherever he deemed it would be for the greater glory of God and the benefit of souls” (Autobiography, n. 85). Thus, they were sent to proclaim the Lord to peoples and cultures that did not yet know him. They did so with a courage and zeal that have lived on to our day as an exemplary inspiration.
We wish our friends over at St. Ignatius of Loyola parish a happy patronal feast!
your Son honored St. Martha
by coming to her home as a guest.
By her prayers
may we serve Christ in our brothers and sisters
and be welcomed by you into heaven, our true home.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Great and glorious patriarch, St Joachim, and good St Anne, what joy is mine when I consider that you were chosen among all God’s holy ones to assist in the fulfillment of the mysteries of God, and to enrich our earth with the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. By this singular privilege, you have become most powerful with both the Mother and her Son, so as to be able to obtain for us the graces that are needful to us.
With great confidence I have recourse to your mighty protection, and I commend to you all my needs, both spiritual and temporal, and those of my family. Especially do I entrust to your keeping the particular favour that I desire and look for from your intercession.
And since you were a perfect pattern of the interior life, obtain for me the grace to pray earnestly, and never to set m heart on the passing goods of this life. Give me a lively and enduring love for Jesus and Mary. Obtain for me also a sincere devotion and obedience to Holy church and the sovereign pontiff who rules over her, in order that I may live an die in faith and hope and perfect charity. Let me ever invoke the holy Names of Jesus and Mary. And may I thus be saved. Amen.
Our sister Dominican parish, St. Catherine of Siena, will be offering two lectures on the Liturgy of the Eucharist.
As you may know, a newly revised and much improved translation of the Mass will probably be in use by Advent or Christmas-time next year.
Recently ordained Fr. John Chrysostom Kozlowksi, O.P. will show how we can take this revision as a graced opportunity to deepen our understanding and participation in the sacrifice of the Mass.
The first lecture is this Wednesday, is free, and open to the public.
I join Fr. Gabriel Gillen, O.P. for The Catholic Channel’s Word to Life. We are joined in the studio by Fr. John Chrysostom Kozlowski, O.P., who is recently ordained for our province, and assigned this summer to St. Catherine of Siena in NY for hospital ministry. Also joining us by phone is Bro. Austin Litke, O.P., a deacon serving this summer at St. Mary in New Haven, CT.
Word to Life airs every Friday at 1 PM (EST) on Sirius 159/XM 117.
St. Bridget is the patroness of Sweden. After having served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Blanche, and after her holy husband died (with whom she had made a pilgrimage to Compostela), she adopted an ardent life of penance and prayer.
She is perhaps most well known for her private revelations, and her famous 15 Prayers that end with the following prayer:
O Sweet Jesus! Pierce my heart so that my tears of penitence and love will be my bread day and night; may I be converted entirely to Thee, may my heart be Thy perpetual habituation, may my conversation be pleasing to Thee, and may the end of my life be so praiseworthy that I may merit Heaven and there with Thy saints, praise Thee forever. Amen.
Mary Magdalene, who was healed by the Lord Jesus, followed him with great love and ministered to him (Lk 8.3). Later, when the disciples fled, Mary Magdalene stood at the cross with the Mother of the Lord, John, and some of the women (Jn 19.25). On Easter morning, Jesus appeared to her and sent her to announce the news of his resurrection to the disciples (Mk 16.9, Jn 20.11-18). (From the Dominican Ordo)
St. Mary Magdalene is especially invoked by Dominicans because she preached to the apostolic preachers, and after being converted to the Lord, tradition reports that she was unparalleled in her life of penitence and purity.
St. Lawrence Brindisi (1559 – 1619)
Perhaps you read “The New Abortion Providers” in this past Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. Below is a brief reflection that I sent in to the editor:
Not only eerily antiseptic, Ms. Bazelon’s cover article, “The New Abortion Providers” (7.18.10) is also ensconced in a misleadingly narrow course of logic.
First, it presents only two kinds of religious (Catholic) persons: on the one hand, the “extremist” protester and murderer (… of abortionists, that is); and on the other hand, the noble feminist or the resigned cooperator. Not only is this a false dichotomy; it is also wrong to suggest that the only voice against making abortion “mainstream” is that of the former.
Second, her article nowhere addresses the possibility that there are rational reasons for opposing abortion. Apparently, it’s entirely irrelevant. She talks about the solicitude and training of the “new abortion provider” as if it were a constitutive factor in determining the nature of what an abortion ideally is.
In line with the second, it thirdly reduces the “moral complexities” of providing abortion to personal feelings — e.g., the “brutally visceral response” a pregnant woman experienced while performing an abortion.
For an issue that this country is more or less equally divided on, it is absurd that the goodness of abortion should be granted as a self-evident premise or reduced to what we feel about it.
Even if these three threads of reasoning were not truly problematic, one might wish that Ms. Bazelon had pursued them less partially.
To the first, she could have interviewed not only her postmodern heroes but also some of her demonized protesters, especially those with similarly sympathetic characteristics, (such as being “tall and graceful, with auburn hair and freckles”).
To the second, she could have queried whether the scientific status of the embryo is openly discussed by resident trainees for abortion — e.g., that there is a radical genetic uniqueness and developmental continuity between the newly conceived organism and the birthed child.
And to the third, she could have interviewed longtime abortionists and asked them about their accrued feelings of community service and personal accomplishment, and how many of these contented healers are men or women.
But even so, I fear Ms. Bazelon would have been selective enough to terminate any objective conception of the truth, mainstream or otherwise.
For another response to this piece, visit this editorial here.
I join Fr. Gabriel Gillen for The Catholic Channel in the studios of Sirius Radio/XM to discuss this week’s upcoming readings.
We were joined by Mrs. Gina Loehr, a mother of two who helps her husband run their dairy farm in Wisconsin. She is the author of books on spirituality for women. (She is also sister to Fr. Anthony Giambrone, O.P., whom some of you may remember was here for a month as a deacon).
Also with us was Fr. Luke Bett, O.P., a Dominican priest from the vicariate in Kenya.
“Word to Life” airs every Friday at 1 PM (EST) on Sirius 159 and XM 117.
Today culminates several days of celebration leading up to the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel at St. John Martyr parish, on 72nd Street off of York Avenue.
The celebration begins at 7 PM. There will be a Solemn Mass, a distribution of brown scapulars, and enrollment in the Confraternity of the Brown Scapulars.
St. Bonventure – Doctor
The Seraphic Doctor’s Prayer after communion, which is included in the Roman Missal:
Pierce, O my sweet Lord Jesus, my inmost soul with the most joyous and healthful wound of your love, with true serene and most holy apostolic charity, that my soul may ever languish and melt with love and longing for you, that it may yearn for you and faint for your courts, and long to be dissolved and to be with you.
Grant that my soul may hunger after you, the bread of angels, the refreshment of holy souls, our daily and supernatural bread, having all sweetness and savor and every delight of taste; let my heart hunger after and feed upon you, upon whom the angels desire to look, and may my inmost soul be filled with the sweetness of your savor; may it ever thirst after you, the fountain of life, the fountain of wisdom and knowledge, the fountain of eternal light, the torrent of pleasure, the richness of the house of God.
May it ever compass you, seek you, find you, run to you, attain you, meditate upon you, speak of you and do all things to the praise and glory of your name, with humility and discretion, with love and delight, with ease and affection, and with perseverance unto the end; may you alone be ever my hope, my entire assistance, my riches, my delight, my pleasure, my joy, my rest and tranquility, my peace, my sweetness, my fragrance, my sweet savor, my food, my refreshment, my refuge, my help, my wisdom, my portion, my possession and my treasure, in whom may my mind and my heart be fixed and firm and rooted immovably, henceforth and forever. Amen.
Kateri was born in 1656 of an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk Chief in the Mohawk fortified village of Canaouaga or Ossernenon (modern day Auriesville) in upstate New York. When she was only 4 years old her parents and brother died of smallpox. Kateri survived the disease, but it left her face badly scarred and her eyesight impaired. Because of her poor vision, Kateri was named “Tekakwitha”, which means “she who bumps into things”.
Nearly two years after her baptism… she escaped to the Mission of St. Francis Xavier, a settlement of Christian Indians in Canada… Here she was known for her gentleness, kindness, and good humor.
On Christmas Day 1677 Kateri made her first holy communion and on the Feast of the Annunciation in 1679 made a vow of perpetual virginity. She also offered herself to the Blessed Mother Mary to accept her as a daughter.
During her time in Canada, Kateri taught prayers to children and worked with the elderly and sick. She would often go to Mass both at dawn and sunset. She was known for her great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Cross of Christ.
During the last years of her life, Kateri endured great suffering from a serious illness. She died on April 17th, 1680, shortly before her 24th birthday, and was buried in Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada.
Kateri’s final words were “Jesus — Mary — I love you.”
Witnesses reported that within a few minutes of her death, the pock marks from smallpox completely vanished and her face shone with radiant loveliness.
Before her death, Kateri promised her friends that she would continue to love and pray for them in heaven. Both Native Americans and settlers immediately began praying for her heavenly intercession. Several people, including a priest who attended Kateri during her last illness, reported that Kateri had appeared to them and many healing miracles were attributed to her.
[From the website of the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha]
Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
Christopher Hitchens is tired.
Indeed, he confirmed reports of his cancer diagnosis by way of understatement. One can hear his avowed independence from God and religion echo in the background. But he seems to be tired with the world and even his own imagination, although it hasn’t stopped him from writing and speaking… and earning.
(One of the enviable conceits of English wit is that its possessor always seems to be saying something new.)
This past Sunday’s New York Times Book Review carries a review by Hitchens on its first page. The book is a fictional retelling of the Gospels by Philip Pullman. Pullman, you may recall, is the author of the Golden Compass trilogy, an ardently anti-religious and anti-Christian series of novels for children – a series that, but for JK Rowling, would be the all-time best-seller of”children’s literature” in the UK.
In his review, Hitchens bemoans Pullman’s unimaginative attempt to compromise between secularism and faith. Such atheism seems feigned; it’s simply Liberal protestantism redivivus. The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ tries to recover the sagacious man from the totem charlatan… and in such a way that the figurehead of contemporary Liberal Christianity, Rowan Williams, has discerned a “voice of genuine spiritual authority” in the Jesus character (as quoted by Hitchens).
Ironically, Hitchens himself seems to be obdurate (and therefore obtuse?) in his refusal to probe critically the complexities of secularism and faith.
In reading a few reviews of Hitch-22, a few things bear mention.
Hitchens displays the vice of name-dropping. He is constantly informing his readers of the important persons he knows and is (or was) friends with. This respect for persons should be more widely recognized as problematic and contradictory in the onetime Trotskyite. And even if his militaristic verve is more or less firing from the right rather than left side these days, nevertheless, his claims to speak for humanity ring hollow. Like all demagogues, Hitchens is in a position to proclaim his version of the good news to “the people” only because he believes he is superior enough to do so.
Hitchens’s narcissism is unmissable. Indeed, the continuing thread between his articulate advocacy for South American Marxists and the United States’ recent war campaigns seems to be his desire to be close to significant events in global history.
Hitchens refers to his sense of historical significance as “intoxicating.” But as Ian Buruma notes in the New York Review of Books, “The trouble with intoxication, figurative or not, is that it stands in the way of reason. It simplifies things too much, as does seeing the world in terms of heroes and villains. Or, indeed, the dogmatic notion that all religion is bad, and secularism always on the right side of history.”
That’s the sense that one gets from reading Hitchens: that he thinks intensely but not rightly; that he judges but does not discriminate. I think The New Criterion‘s Christopher Caldwell is spot-on when he finds in Hitchens proof for distinguishing between “honesty” and “integrity”: to be possessed of the former is not to be so of the latter. Indeed, it is an intellectual and moral travesty of our modern times that we popularly hold honesty or authenticity as fungible with truth and rectitude.
All this being said, we might hold out hope for Hitchens. We might, after all, feel sorry for a man whose mother committed a double suicide with a runaway Anglican cleric. And, having thought that his heritage was the “Church of England,” he later discovered that his mother (and therefore he himself) was actually Jewish.
Perhaps it’s all reason enough to be religiously confused and angry.
Regardless, maybe Hitchens’s vehemence is something that merits not so much angry opposition as cool indifference. His words may be scintillating; but they’re really not all that interesting.
Then again, genuine benevolence might be the more noble disposition.
Christopher Hitchens entitled his best-selling crusade against God and religion (as well as Western civilization, it must be noted), “God Is Not Great.” Consciously wrought or not, his title is both a contradiction and malediction against the famous first line of St. Augustine’s Confessions, “Magnus es Domine [Great are you, O Lord].” To say “God is not great” is a confession, directed not only against Christian doctrine but against God’s personal invitation to know and love Him. Augustine addresses his personal “Lord”; Hitchens speaks of “God,” which one reasonably suspects is a cipher for himself (whence, perhaps, the man’s mania to destroy this empty projection). At any rate, Hitchens’s own work manifests St. Augustine’s classic understanding of sin as being curvatus in se – curved in on oneself.
But the Doctor of Grace was able to identify the incurvature of sin after having been opened up toward God by the grace of divine dilation. Appropriately, we have no better a source than him for the maxim, “hate the sin, love the sinner.”
It’s hard, but worth the try.
To watch the first in a series of videos recording debate between Christopher Hitchens and John Haldane (a Thomist philosopher), click below.
I join Fr. Gabriel Gillen for the Catholic Channel at Sirius/XM to discuss this Sunday’s readings. Joining us by telephone are Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P., who teaches moral theology at Providence College (and is my classmate), and Fr. James Mary Sullivan, O.P., whom some of you may remember as having lived here a few years ago, and is now the Novice Master for our upcoming class of 21.
Jennifer Senior, who writes for New York, has a piece on “why parents hate parenting,” titled, “All Joy and No Fun.”
In it, she reprises some of the popular data that is circulated to suggest parenting is more likely to make people miserable than happy.
And yet people continue to have children.
One of her main theses is that the nature of parenting has changed dramatically. And while her thoughts are interesting, the meat of her idea can be reduced to a complaint of ego-transfer – children are no longer about the parents, rather, parents are about the children.
Before urbanization, children were viewed as economic assets to their parents. If you had a farm, they toiled alongside you to maintain its upkeep; if you had a family business, the kids helped mind the store. But all of this dramatically changed with the moral and technological revolutions of modernity. As we gained in prosperity, childhood came increasingly to be viewed as a protected, privileged time, and once college degrees became essential to getting ahead, children became not only a great expense but subjects to be sculpted, stimulated, instructed, groomed. (The Princeton sociologist Viviana Zelizer describes this transformation of a child’s value in five ruthless words: “Economically worthless but emotionally priceless.”) Kids, in short, went from being our staffs to being our bosses.
Senior’s article is devoted to figuring out the seeming contradiction between the natural impulsion to bear and raise children… and the suffocating effects she describes. Her reflections, therefore, are not without contradiction.
A few generations ago, people weren’t stopping to contemplate whether having a child would make them happy. Having children was simply what you did. And we are lucky, today, to have choices about these matters. But the abundance of choices—whether to have kids, when, how many—may be one of the reasons parents are less happy.
That being recognized, Senior begins to tack in a way that could lead to the right kinds of answers and insights.
The answer to that may hinge on how we define “good.” Or more to the point, “happy.” Is happiness something you experience? Or is it something you think?
She’s close, in distinguishing between feeling and meaning, but the modern perspective is irreducibly subjective and solipsistic: It reduces reality to what one experiences or thinks.
The better questions are, Is happiness qualitative or constitutive? Is happiness transcendent of individual perception?
Although she means it in a way different than would the classical philosopher and Christian, she appropriately avers that, for many of us, purpose is happiness.
Indeed, our end is God and living according to His plan, and with it can come a happiness that is in fact felt and meant… as well as everlasting.
“The Argentinean daily La Nacion featured a story this week on the Dutch soccer player Wesley Sneijder, who scored the winning goal against Brazil in the World Cup quarter finals last week. The article revealed his conversion and baptism, which took place shortly before he traveled to South Africa for the tournament.”
[For the rest of this article, visit Catholic News Agency.]
The USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage has recently published a number of videos, articles, and catechetical aides on its website. The resources made available are intended to promote a sound understanding of “marriage” in its natural and sacramental dynamics; they should also enable Catholics to converse more ably with detractors of this elemental institution.
I join Fr. Gabriel Gillen, O.P. and Br. Thomas Aquinas Dolan, O.P. for the Catholic Channel in the studios of Sirius/XM to discuss this Sunday’s readings.
Brother “TA” is a veteran missionary, who served nearly thirty years and founded as many churches in Pakistan.
In spiritual preparation for this rightly celebratory weekend, our Archbishop proffers a “spiritual declaration of dependence on God.”
In a somewhat related vein, another prominent archbishop, His Excellency Charles Chaput, recently posted on the contemporary exigencies of liturgical worship. He writes,
We’re surrounded in our daily lives by monuments to our power over nature and necessity. The trophies of our autonomy and self-sufficiency are everywhere—buildings, machines, medicines, inventions. Everything seems to point to our capacity to provide for our every need through our own know-how and technology.
Again the question becomes: What does this do to the central premise of our worship—that we are creatures dependent upon our Creator, and that we owe thanksgiving to God for every good gift, beginning with the gift of life?
Chaput reminds us – as Pope Benedict has been – that the central place of the liturgy in God’s plan of salvation. For Chaput, because the liturgy is itself a kind of Eucharistic pedagogy, it is meant to be evangelical, heavenly, and inspiring. The full article can be found here.
As many of you know by now, the Dominican Province of St. Joseph (which serves the Northeast, USA) elected a new Prior Provincial (our major superior) a couple of weeks ago – Very Rev. Brian M. Mulcahy, O.P.
Fr. Mulcahy is already known to many of you, as his previous assignment as vicar of and assistant to the provincial (“Socius”) led him to reside at St. Vincent Ferrer about a year ago. Many have expressed gratitude for his preaching and celebration of the liturgy, which he regularly offers.
Please continue to pray for him as he leads our province to follow in the footsteps of our Holy Father Dominic.