Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fr. George Rutler on the New Translation, on Liturgists and on Ad Orientem

I have always been a fan of Fr. George Rutler because I find him as a man of culture. I respect his views and I love his preaching over EWTN. With what he wrote on the New English translation, liturgists and Ad Orientem, I couldn't have said it better!
Read and be educated:
Fr. George Rutler on the New Translation, on Liturgists and on Ad Orientem

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pro Multis

"The current translation of the words of Jesus over the cup has been changed in accord with the method of literal translation. The words “it will be shed for you and for all” have been revised to read “which will be poured out for you and for many” because the original Latin says pro multis (for many), not pro omnibus (for all). The new translation ignores the exegetical context of the words Jesus pronounced at the Last Supper. He was not restricting his offer of salvation to a group of people. His sacrifice was for all, as the New Testament affirms again and again, although every one must welcome in faith his offer of salvation. The apprehension that the word “all” might be interpreted as automatic salvation for all does not justify the shift to “many”. In most languages “many” and “all” are not mutually inclusive. As it stands, the new English translation of pro multis does not render faithfully what Jesus declared at the Last Supper...In 2006 the Congregation for Divine Worship sent a letter to the presidents of the conferences of bishops regarding the translation of pro multis. It urged them to correct the current translation “for all”, because the Latin text says “for many”. It elucidates that the phrase “for many” is the exact translation, while “for all” is not a translation but a catechetical explanation of the words Jesus pronounced over the cup. Biblical exegetes, like Albert Vanhoye, beg to differ." (Fr. Anscar Chupungco, WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THE ENGLISH LITURGY?)

By saying "The new English translation of pro multis does not render faithfully what Jesus declared at the Last Supper," is Fr. Chupungco implying that ICEL's mistranslation of pro multis to "for all men" is the faithful rendition of our Lord's words? He invokes the ignorance of "the exegetical context of the words of Jesus pronounced at the Last Supper" for the insistence on behalf of the more literal translation of pro multis to "for many". While invoking the authority of modern exegesis, Fr. Chupungco disregards what the Catechism of the Council of Trent said about the matter: "The additional words for you and for many, are taken, some from Matthew (26:28), some from Luke (22:20), but were joined together by the Catholic Church under the guidance of the Spirit of God. They serve to declare the fruit and advantage of His Passion. For if we look to its value, we must confess that the Redeemer shed His blood for the salvation of all; but if we look to the fruit which mankind have received from it, we shall easily find that it pertains not unto all, but to many of the human race. When therefore (our Lord) said: for you, He meant either those who were present, or those present or those chosen from among the Jewish people, such as were, with the exception of Judas, the disciples with whom He was speaking. When He added, And for many, He wished to be understood to mean the remainder of the elect from among the Jews or Gentiles.

With reason, therefore, were the words for all not used, as in this place the fruits of the Passion are alone spoken of, and to the elect only did His Passion bring the fruit of salvation. And this is the purport of the Apostle when he says: Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many (Heb. 9:28); and also the words of our Lord in John: I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, because they are thine (Jn. 17:9)." (J. McHugh and C. Callian, Catechism of the Council of Trent, 227-28.)

St. Alphonsus Liguori, bishop and doctor of the Church, has this to say about the matter: "The words pro vobis et pro multis are used to distinguish the virtue of the blood of Christ from its fruits; for the blood of our Savior is of sufficient value to save all men, but its fruits are applicable only to a cetain number and not to all, and this is their own fault. Or, as the theologians say, this precious blood is (in itself) sufficiently (sufficienter) able to save all men, but (on our part) effectually (efficaciter) it does not save all - it saves only those who cooperate with grace." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Treatise on the Holy Eucharist.)

Well, of course, Fr. Chupungco's party will say that I quote from pre-Vatican II sources and such already speaks of ignorance about modern exegesis. But is this not what St. Pius X warned us of? I think that his warning about the Modernists' bias against the Fathers of the Church can also speak for their bias against anything that is associated with Tradition:

"The Modernists pass judgement on the holy Fathers of the Church even as they do upon Tradition. With consummate temerity they assure the public that the Fathers, while personally most worthy of all veneration, were entrirely ignorant of history and criticism, for which they are only excusable on account of the time in which they lived." (Pope Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, 8 September 1907, 42.)
Fr. Chupungco mentioned that in 2006, the CDW sent a letter to the presidents of the episcopal conferences urging them to correct the translation "for all" because the Latin text says "for many." I could not remember the CBCP or even my own bishop sending any circular directing the correction of the translation "for all" to "for many." Why is it so? Is it because the Philippine bishops regard Fr. Chupungco as the only liturgical authority? How about the authority of the Holy See? I think we should remember that theologians, no matter how brilliant they are, should not see themselves as above the Holy See. Episcopal conferences, while relying on the expertise of their consultants, must give the letters from the Holy See greater weight than the opinion of their experts.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

On the Narrow Way

Last Sunday, we honored the mystery of the Assumption of our Lady. We saw how at the end of her mortal life, she entered heaven. Today, our Lord admonishes us to imitate our Lady: “Try to enter through the narrow gate, for many will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” To enter through the narrow gate of heaven ought to be our life’s project, our main concern for nothing is as important as the salvation of our soul. The Code of Canon Law has for its final Canon: “The salvation of souls…in the Church must always be the supreme law.”

When we honor our Lady’s Assumption, many have the impression that the Blessed Virgin sang and danced her way to heaven. After all, being conceived without sin, how could entering heaven be any harder for her? However, we fail to understand that the gates of heaven were narrow for her as they are narrow for us. In other words, she who was spared of sin was not spared of the struggle that is demanded of any one who wishes to enter heaven.

The gates of heaven are narrow as opposed to the wide road that leads to perdition. This means that the salvation of our souls demands difficult conditions for us. We, Christians on earth, belong to that province of God’s Kingdom known as the Church Militant. Militancy, which characterizes our lives on earth, consists of both vigilance and struggle. “Happy will that servant be whom the Master finds vigilant at his return,” the Lord told us two Sundays ago. St. Paul tells us to “Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” We must not give in to spiritual sloth by being too comfortable with the things of this world. Rather, we should strive to work for treasures in heaven.

The Letter to the Hebrews, which we heard as 2nd reading, reminds us of the necessity of putting up this struggle for the narrow gates of heaven: “Do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves he disciplines, he scourges every son he acknowledges. Endure your trials as ‘discipline’; God treats you as sons. For what ‘son’ is there whom his father does not discipline?” In fact even Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, “learned obedience by the suffering he endured.” He himself acknowledged that “it is necessary for the Son of man to suffer in the hands of evil men in order to enter into his glory.” The same is true for our Lady. Yes, she may have been exempted from sin but she was not spared of the sorrows of this valley of tears. Nothing could compare to her sorrow as she stood beneath the Cross of her dying Son. Indeed, what Simeon prophesied to her was fulfilled: “A sword shall pierce your heart.” If Christ endured his Cross and Our Lady her sorrow, why shouldn’t we have a share in the crosses and the sorrows of this life? We cannot enter heaven only on the grounds that we ate and drank with the Lord: “And you will say, ‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’ Then he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, you evil doers.’” As Thomas a Kempis said, “Many are the Lord’s friends at his table but very few of his Cross.” It is not enough to keep him company at his table for one is not the Lord’s friend unless he accompanies him to the Cross. “At the time, all discipline seems a cause not of joy but for pain, yet later it brings the fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.”

There is now an advertisement of Manny Pacquiao who is shown all bruised and wounded. But on his limbs and his waist hung the 7 championship belts that he had. There was a caption that said, “Aray ko. Galing ko.” This is the point of what our Lord said: “Enter through the narrow gates.” No pain, no gain. No guts, no glory. No Cross, no Resurrection.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

"Now We are well aware that the hope of salvation can never be absent wherever hearts are turned with sincere and ardent piety to the most holy Mother of God. Though attempts be made by men, no matter how powerful or impious, to extirpate the Christian religion and Christian virtue from the minds of the citizens, and though Satan himself may strive with every means to foster this sacrilegious struggle—as is described in the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles: 'For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and the powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places' (Eph 6:12)—yet notwithstanding, when Mary interposes her powerful protection, the gates of hell cannot prevail.

She, in fact, is the most loving and most powerful Mother of God and of us all, and never was it heard that anyone has had suppliant recourse to her and has not experienced her most efficacious protection. Continue, therefore, as you have been doing, to venerate her with fervent piety, and to love her ardently and to invoke her with these words which you have been accustomed to address to her: 'To you alone has it been given, O most holy and most pure Mother of God, unfailingly to have your petitions ever answered.'"

Pope Pius XII, Carissimis Russiae Populis , 1952.

On the Modernist as Reformer

"It is abundantly clear how great and how eager is the passion of such men (modernists) for innovation. In all Catholicism, there is absolutely nothing on which it does not fasten. They wish philosophy to be reformed, especially in the ecclesiastical seminaries. They wish the scholastic philosophy to be relagated to the history of philosphy and to be classed among absolute systems, and the young men to be taught modern philosphy which alone is true and suited to the times in which we live. They desire the reform of theology: rational theology is to have modern philosophy for its foundation, and positive theology is to be founded on the history of dogma. As for history, it must be written and taught only according to their methods and modern principles. Dogmas and their evolution, they affirm, are to be harmonized with science and history. In the Catechism, no dogmas are to be inserted except those that have been reformed and are within the capacity of the people. Regarding worship, they say, the nuber of external devotions is to be reduced, and steps must be taken to prevent their further increase, though, indeed, some of the admirers of symbolism are disposed to be more indulgent on this head. They cry out that ecclesiatical government requires to be reformed in all its branches, but especially in its disciplinary and dogmatic departments. They insist that inwardly and outwardly it must be brought into harmony with the modern conscience, which now wholly tends towards democracy; a share in ecclesiastical government should therefore be given to the lower ranks of the clergy, and even to the laity, and authority, which is too much concentrated, should be decentralized. The Roman Congregations, and especially the Index and the Holy Office, must be likewise modified. The ecclesiasticl authority must alter its line of conduct in the social and political world, while keeping outside its political organizations, it must adapt itself to them, in order to penetrate them with its spirit. With regards to morals, they adopt the principle of the Americanists, that the active virtues are more important than the passive, and are to be more encouraged in practice. They ask that the clergy should return to their primitive humility and poverty, and in that their ideas and action they should admit the principles of Modernism; and there are some, who, gladly listening to the teaching of their Protestant masters, should desire the suppression of the celibacy of the clergy. What is left in the Church which is not to be reformed by them and according to their principles?"

Pope St. Pius X, Pascendi Dominici Gregis, Sept. 8, 1907, 38.

The reformist ideas of Modernists which St. Pius X condemned in 1907 seem to be the "stuff" which the "reform" of the Church today is made of. The question is: Should we really adapt the Church to the trends of modernity? Should it rather not be the Church elevating the modern world to the realm of the Gospels that we have received from Christ and the Apostles? When the Church proclaims to the Gentiles, should the teachings of Christ conform with the spirit of the world? Shouldn't it be rather that the world abandons its worldly spirit and take upon itself the image of Christ?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oratory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

I met the owner of the property which we wish to acquire for the Oratory which we wish to build for the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. The meeting was a very cordial one and the project seems to be a very promising one. The property is a three hundred square meter lot along a major thoroughfare. The owner herself feels a special attachment to the Latin Mass and so I think she was heaven sent. As I have told our congregation of Mass goers, I intend to put this Oratory under the patronage of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as I am truly convinced that the restoration of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite is one of the signs of the promised triumph of our Lady's Immaculate Heart. It will be an Oratory for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, a Center for the Pastoral Care of Catholics who are attached to the Extraordinary Form, and a Resource Center for Traditional Catholic Culture.

We need to raise twenty million pesos (PhP 20, 000, 000.00) or four hunrdred fifty thousand US dollars (US$ 450, 000. 00) to acquire the property. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose feast we will celebrate on Sunday, August 22, 2010, assist this endeavor with her motherly intercession.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On the Glory of Mary

We cannot honor our Lady too much because whatever we do to venerate her, it will still be nothing as compared to the honor that the Lord Jesus bestowed upon her at her assumption. We may be able to clothe her images with vestments of gold but still it is nothing because Christ clothed his Mother with the sun. We may melt all our jewelries to create an enormous golden crown for her but still it is nothing because the Lord crowned her with stars. We may let her feet rest on pillows but Christ has given her the moon as her footstool. With what glory has Christ honored His Mother! Even the superlative of the honor we are able to show her will still be lacking as compared to the glory and honor with which the Lord clothed his Mother.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On the Assumption of our Lady

For the past Sundays, the readings have constantly confronted us with the futility of the things of this earth and of the necessity of store up for ourselves treasures in heaven. The series of readings began with the rich man whom the Lord called a fool for failing to learn about the ephemeral quality of earthly things, youth, strength, fame, and influence. Last Sunday, the Lord showed us the wise and faithful servant who has found his peace in the service of the Lord: “Happy will that servant be whom his Master finds vigilant at his return. Amen I say to you he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them.”

Today’s feast gives a human face to that wise and faithful servant, who is no other than the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our Lady is known to us as the Mother of God but to herself, she embraced the name “Handmaid”: “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me as you have said,” she said to the angel. Our Lady has always acknowledged the greatness of God and the humility of her own person: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord…for He has looked with favor upon his lowly servant.” Throughout her life, Mary saw herself as the lowly servant of the Lord. And our Lord recognized this fact for he calls his Mother blessed on account of her motherhood and of her discipleship: “Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” Elizabeth in today’s gospel reading acknowledges Mary’s beatitude as one of motherhood (Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb) and of discipleship (Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.)

And what did our Lord say about the beatitude of the wise and faithful servant? He said, “He will gird himself, have them recline at table and proceed to wait on them.” St. Bernardine of Siena wrote: “Jesus, to honor the triumph of His most sweet Mother, went forth in His glory to meet and accompany her.” Our Lord prepared more than just a table for her in his Kingdom. He prepared a throne: “It was precisely for this purpose that the Redeemer was pleased to ascend to Heaven before His Mother: He did so not only to prepare a throne for her in that Kingdom, but also that He might Himself accompany her with all the blessed spirits, and thus render her entry into Heaven more glorious, and such as became one who was His Mother.” (St. Anselm, Bishop and Doctor of the Church) “If the mind of man can never comprehend the immense glory prepared in Heaven by God for those who on earth have loved Him (1 Cor. 2:9), who can ever comprehend the glory that He has prepared for His beloved Mother who, more than all men, loved Him on earth; no one, even from the first moment of creation, loved Him more than all men and angels united?” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux) The Lord knows how to repay His servants. He is never outdone in the liberality of His graces to those who love Him. The honor that He lavished upon His Mother at her Assumption makes Our Lady’s immense love for Him look so little. “Today she is welcomed by Him whom she herself welcomed when He came to the hamlet of this earth of ours. But with what honor He welcomed her, with what exaltation and what glory! There was not on earth a worthier spot than the temple of her virginal bosom, nor was there in Heaven a place more exalted than the seat where Mary was enthroned by her Divine Son…Who can conceive how great was the glory of the Queen of the world, as she advanced, or with what depth of devotion and affection the whole multitude of the heavenly legions went forth to meet her; with what glad canticles she was conducted to her glorious throne; with what placid mien, what serenity of countenance, what divine embraces she was welcomed by her Son, and exalted above all creatures, with the honor which such a Mother merited, and the glory which became so great a Son?” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux)

The Assumption proves the point we have been reiterating for the past Sundays: Everything is vanity except being at the service of God. As we rejoice in the glory with which our Lord clothed His Mother and Disciple, may we look to her for inspiration and consolation. As we continue to be tossed in the stormy sea of this world, may we fix our eyes upon her who is now enthroned in Heaven. To her we say: “To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of your womb, Jesus. O Clement, O Loving, O Sweet Virgin Mary.”

The Dormition of Our Lady

It had been handed down to us from of old, that at the time of the glorious passing of Our Lady, all the holy Apostles, who were then toilling in various parts of the world for the salvation of mankind, were in an instant caught up into the air, and borne together to Jerusalem. There a vision of angels appeared to them, and they heard the chant of the Angelic Powers. And thus with glory to God, she yielded up her blessed soul into the hands of her Maker. As for her body, which in an ineffable manner had harbored God, it was carried out for burial amidst the hymns of Angels and of the Apostles, and was laid ina tomb in Getsemani, and for three days the songs of Angels continued without ceasing.

At the end of the three daysm the melody of the Angels ceased, and Thomas, who alone had been absent, having come on the third day, and desiring to pay homage to that body which had harbored God, the Apostles opened the tomb, but search as they would, nowhere could they discover the sacred body. They found only the clothes in which it had been enshrouded and being refreshed with the ineffable fragbrance which proceeded from them, they once more closed the tomb. Astounded at the extraordinary and mysterious event, they could but conclude, that He Whom it had pleased to take flesh of the Virgin Mary, and of her to be made Man and to be born - though He was God the Word and the Lord of glory - and Who kept her virginity unimpaired even after childbirth, had also been pleased, upon her departure hence, to shield her sinless body from decay, and to honor it by removal hence before the common and universal resurrection. There were present then together with the Apostles, the most holy Timothy, the first Bishop of the Ephesians, and Dionysius the Areopagite, as he himself attests in what he wrote to the aforesaid Timothy with reference to Blessed Hieromtheus, who was also present on that occasion. ("Once he had spoken, any further speech is out of place," so the Areopagite), "for even among our Divinely inspired Pontiffs he shone, as you yourself were witness, when, as you remember, we also and many of our holy brethren had come together to view the body which had given birth to Life, and harbored God. There were present James, the brother of the Lord, and Peter, supreme head and eldest of theologians, and having seen the sacred body,we were all pleased to chant , as each one might, the praises of the infinite goodness and power of God.

St. John Damascene, Doctor of the Church

Friday, August 13, 2010

On the Dormition of our Lady

"If this Mother lived her Son's life, she also died her Son's death...Having collected in her spirit all the most beloved mysteries of the life and death of her Son by a most lively and continued memory of them, and withal, ever receiving directly the most ardent inspirations which her Child, the Sun of Justice, has cast upon human beings, in the highest noon of His charity; and besides, making on her part also, a perpetual movement of contemplation, at length the sacred fire of this divine love consumed her entirety as a holocaust of sweetness, so that she died thereof, the soul being wholly ravished and transported into the arms of the dilection of her Son."

St. Francis de Sales

Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prayer of Baldwin

Lord, take away my heart of stone, a heart so bitter and uncircumcised, and give me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a pure heart. You cleanse the heart and love the clean heart. Take possession of my heart and dwell in it, contain it, and fill it, You who are higher than the heights of my spirit and closer to me than my innermost self! You are the pattern of all beauty and the seal of all holiness. Set the seal of Your likeness upon my heart! In Your mercy set Your seal upon my heart, God of my heart and the God who is my portion for ever! Amen.

From a treatise by Baldwin, Bishop of Canterbury

Office of Readings, Thursday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time