Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper

A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 9:11-12

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Over at Catholic Answers, I have had another thread locked while I was in the middle of composing a reply. In this case, the discussion was whether is a trustworthy site, and in particular whether they had put up some faked screenshots here, in order to discredit EWTN. I have linked to the Fisheaters website several times in this blog.

Here is what I wanted to post:

Originally Posted by LilyM
Originally Posted by MikeDunphy
Do you think that Fisheaters may have faked the screenshots?
It's not impossible - certainly anti-Catholics have faked all sorts of things over the centuries!
I don't know whether it helps any, but three people (VoxClamantis, AdoramusTeChriste, Mark) in a Fisheater's discussion forum here say they saw the original answer with their own eyes. Also, Hillary from the Devout Life blog commented on the answer here, when it first came out. I think Ian's comment on a follow-up post on the same blog here sounds authentic, although of course that is a judgment call.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Confession hours at Sts. Peter and Paul

Father Jim Nowak at Sts. Peter and Paul in Naperville is unusually generous in scheduling time for confessions. But for some reason, most of the times are not listed in the parish bulletin.

Sunday: 7 - 7:45 pm
Tuesday: 10 am - noon (chapel), 6:30-7:30 pm
Thursday: 7:30-8 am, 4:30-5 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 1 pm (chapel), 4 - 5 pm

(The above hours add up to about 10 times as much time as for most of the nearby parishes! Finally, a priest not stingy in dispensing God's mercy.)

Confession is also available at SSPP parish by appointment,
AND, occasionally, just before Mass,
AND, this Lent, during holy week:
Holy Thursday: 5 - 6 pm
Good Friday: 5 - 6 pm
Holy Saturday: 10 - 11 am

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Harbouring Rancour

Resentment is linked with rancour. When the intellect forms the image of a brother's face with a feeling of resentment, it is clear that it harbours rancour against him. 'The way of the rancorous leads to death' (Prov. 12:28. LXX), because 'whoever harbours rancour is a transgressor' (Prov. 21:24. LXX).

If you harbour rancour against anybody, pray for him and you will prevent the passion from being aroused; for by means of prayer you will separate your resentment from the thought of the wrong he has done you. When you have become loving and compassionate towards him, you will wipe the passion completely from your soul. If somebody regards you with rancour, be pleasant to him, be humble and agreeable in his company, and you will deliver him from his passion.

St. Maximos the Confessor
Third Century on Love (from the Philokalia)

(Septuagint links here)

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Woe to the pastors

Woe to the pastors, that destroy and tear the sheep of my pasture, saith the Lord.
Therefore thus saith the Lord the God of Israel to the pastors that feed my people: You have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold I will visit upon you for the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
And I will gather together the remnant of my flock, out of all the lands into which I have cast them out: and I will make them return to their own fields, and they shall increase and be multiplied.
And I will set up pastors over them, and they shall feed them: they shall fear no more, and they shall not be dismayed: and none shall be wanting of their number, saith the Lord.

Jeremias 23:1-4

It seems to me this could be read as a warning to many of the priests and princes of the Church of recent years. (See also Jeremias 10:21).

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Catholic Truths Quiz

Check your knowledge of Catholic truths with this quiz from Paramedic Girl.

You are 100% educated in Catholic truths!

Wow! You are totally educated in the Catholic faith. A real genius! Have you thought of teaching the faith to others? Be sure to share your wealth of knowledge with those who need it.

Catholic Truths
Take More Quizzes

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Feast of the Annunciation

Today is the feast of the Annunciation. On this day and Christmas, we kneel during the creed at the words "By the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary and became man", in reverence for the mercy and miracle of God becoming man for our salvation, and in acknowledgment of the fiat of Mary, pure of heart and filled with grace, who consented to bear our Savior, and bring Him into the world. (In the traditional Mass, Catholics always kneel during the creed at these words).

Ordinarily, the feast of the Annunciation is observed on March 25th, nine months before Christmas, but when it falls on a Sunday in Lent, it is moved to the next Monday. Personally, I wish the Church had not chosen to move this holiday; an occasional contemplation of the connection between our Lord's incarnation and passion might be fruitful; but the Church in her wisdom has chosen otherwise.

The Angelus

V: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary

R: And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

V: Hail Mary, full of grace: The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

R: Holy Mary, Mother of God: Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

V: Behold, the handmaid of the Lord.

R: Be it done unto me according to thy word.

V: Hail Mary ...

R: Holy Mary ...

V: And the Word was made flesh

R: And dwelt among us.

V: Hail Mary ...

R: Holy Mary ...

V: Pray for us, O holy Mother of God,

R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V: Let us pray.

All: Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy grace unto our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ, our Lord, Amen.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

To Fast Again

The ritual observance of dietary rules — fasting and abstinence from meat in Lent, and abstinence from meat and meat products every Friday, as well as the Eucharistic fast from midnight before the reception of Communion — were as much defining marks of Catholicism before the council as abstention from pork is a defining characteristic of Judaism. The Friday abstinence in particular was a focus of Catholic identity which transcended class and educational barriers, uniting “good” and “bad” Catholics in a single eloquent observance. Here was a universally recognized expression of Catholicism which was nothing to do with priests or authority.

But instead of seeing this as one of its greatest strengths, ...

[Read the rest of Eamon Duffy's article here.]

The article concludes:

The authoritarian narrowing of the tradition to, in essence, a body of doctrines to be believed and orders from above to be obeyed, was a decisive factor in desensitizing ordinary Catholics, clerical as well as lay, to the beauty and independent value of their inherited observances — matters over which no authority has or ought to have absolute control. The ordinary members of the Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches have a far less authoritarian mentality than Catholics, a far more widespread and lively sense of the richness of their traditions of prayer and practice, and a far more secure sense of ownership by the people of the symbols which provide continuity with the Christian past and guidance to its future.

The realization that perhaps too much was carelessly abandoned in the years after the council is now widespread — it is even something of an official view in the later years of the present pontificate — and has helped fuel sometimes scary projects for a restoration of “real Catholicism,” programs in which the vigorous exercise of authority from above looms very large. Such programs are at least as bad as the ills they seek to remedy. There are no quick fixes: tradition cannot be rebuilt to a neat program and by orders from Rome. Our shared past can only be excavated by shared endeavor, by a painful and constant process of reeducation and rediscovery; in that process, we start from where we are, not where we wish we had stayed. The Church cannot afford the pleasures and false securities of reaction. But that is not to say that in our march into the needs and opportunities of the twenty-first century we should not try once more to summon up some of the deeper resources of our own tradition, and try to rediscover within it once more some of the supports which helped our fathers and mothers to live the gospel. We could do worse than rededicate ourselves to the observance of fasting and abstinence.


I wonder which scary programs, "at least as bad as the ills they seek to remedy", Professor Duffy had in mind? Still, not a bad article.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lúireach Phádraig

I bind to myself today
the strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity,
The Creator of the Universe.

I bind to myself today
the virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
the virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
the virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
the virtue of His coming on the Judgment Day.

I bind to myself today
the virtue of the love of seraphim,
in the obedience of angels,
in the hope of resurrection unto reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs,
in predictions of Prophets,
in preaching of Apostles,
in faith of Confessors,
in purity of holy Virgins,
in deeds of righteous men.

I bind to myself today
the power of Heaven,
the light of the sun,
the brightness of the moon,
the splendour of fire,
the flashing of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of sea,
the stability of earth,
the compactness of rocks.

I bind to myself today
God's power to guide me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to teach me,
God's eye to watch me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to give me speech,
God's hand to guide me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
against the snares of demons,
against the seductions of vices,
against the lusts of nature,
against everyone who meditates injury to me,
whether far or near,
whether few or with many.

I invoke today all these virtues
against every hostile merciless power
which may assail my body and my soul,
against the incantations of false prophets,
against the black laws of heathenism,
against the false laws of heresy,
against the deceits of idolatry,
against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.

Christ, protect me today
against every poison,
against burning,
against drowning,
against death-wound,
that I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the stern,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today
the strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity,
The Creator of the Universe.

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Learning Christ

Intending to go somewhere else, this morning, when I turned on the computer, I went straight to this bookstore's website and this prayer:

Teach me, my Lord,
to be sweet and gentle
in all the events of life -
in disappointments,
in the thoughtlessness of others,
in the insincerity of those I trusted,
in the unfaithfulness of those on whom I relied.

Let me put myself aside,
to think of the happiness of others
to hide my little pains and heartaches,
so that I may be the only one to suffer from them.

Teach me to profit by the suffering
that comes across my path.
Let me so use it that it may mellow me,
not harden nor embitter me;
that it may make me more patient,
not irritable.
That it may make me broad in my forgiveness,
not narrow, haughty and overbearing.

May no one be less good
for having come within my influence.
No one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble
for having been a fellow-traveler
in our journey toward ETERNAL LIFE.

As I go my rounds
from one distraction to another,
let me whisper from time to time,
a word of love to Thee.

May my life be lived in the supernatural,
full of power for good,
and strong in its purpose of sanctity.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Called to Freedom

For you were called to freedom, brethren;
only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love be servants of one another.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word,
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
But if you bite and devour one another,
take heed that you are not consumed by one another.
But I say, walk by the Spirit,
and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,
and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh;
for these are opposed to each other,
to prevent you from doing what you would.
But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are plain:
fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery,
enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit,
envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.
I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;
against such there is no law.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus
have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
Let us have no self-conceit,
no provoking of one another,
no envy of one another.

Galatians 5:13-26


If you totally fulfil the command to love your neighbour, you will feel no bitterness or resentment against him whatever he does. If this is not the case, then the reason why you fight against your brother is clearly because you seek after transitory things and prefer them to the commandment of love.

St. Maximos the Confessor

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

whoever wishes to be great

from today's gospel:

But Jesus summoned them and said,
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them,
and the great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.
Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:25-28

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Liturgy Watch

A good idea from Alive and young:

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The New Mass: Design vs. Implementation

From a thread on the Catholic Community Forum:

A well-documented post from Unitas on the discrepancy between what various church documents call for in the Mass and what the average church-goer sees on Sunday:


36. 1. Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.

2. But since the use of the mother tongue, whether in the Mass, the administration of the sacraments, or other parts of the liturgy, frequently may be of great advantage to the people, the limits of its employment may be extended. This will apply in the first place to the readings and directives, and to some of the prayers and chants, according to the regulations on this matter to be laid down separatelyin subsequent chapters.

There is, in practice, no latin at all in the current mass of our rite.

From the same document:

112. The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art...

114. The treasure of sacred music is to be preserved and fostered with great care.

116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

119. In certain parts of the world, especially mission lands, there are peoples who have their own musical traditions, and these play a great part in their religious and social life. For this reason due importance is to be attached to their music, and a suitable place is to be given to it, not only in forming their attitude toward religion, but also in adapting worship to their native genius, as indicated in Art. 39 and 40.

There is none of the sacred music mentioned in this document at any of the new masses I attend.

And some more:

120. In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things. But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship,..."

I haven't seen an organ used in mass for years. It's all folk guitars and bongos.


[88.] ...Only when there is a necessity may extraordinary ministers assist the Priest celebrant in accordance with the norm of law.[173]

[151.] Only out of true necessity is there to be recourse to the assistance of extraordinary ministers in the celebration of the Liturgy. Such recourse is not intended for the sake of a fuller participation of the laity but rather, by its very nature, is supplementary and provisional.

[158.] Indeed, the extraordinary minister of Holy Communion may administer Communion only when the Priest and Deacon are lacking, when the Priest is prevented by weakness or advanced age or some other genuine reason, or when the number of faithful coming to Communion is so great that the very celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged.[259] This, however, is to be understood in such a way that a brief prolongation, considering the circumstances and culture of the place, is not at all a sufficient reason.


Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion.(99) They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. (100)

This function is supplementary and extraordinary

I see as many as 10 EM's at mass, and at least 4.


[154.] As has already been recalled, “the only minister who can confect the Sacrament of the Eucharist in persona Christi is a validly ordained Priest”.[254] Hence the name “minister of the Eucharist” belongs properly to the Priest alone.

[156.] This function is to be understood strictly according to the name by which it is known, that is to say, that of extraordinary minister of Holy Communion, and not “special minister of Holy Communion” nor “extraordinary minister of the Eucharist” nor “special minister of the Eucharist”, by which names the meaning of this function is unnecessarily and improperly broadened.

Hmm.. And I always thought they were called "Eucharistic Ministers"...

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,[178] if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.[179]

I've seen our Lord sitting on pews, in the bathroom and even in the trash. Has the priviledge in receiving Him in the hand ever been revoked? Nope.

[93.] The Communion-plate for the Communion of the faithful should be retained, so as to avoid the danger of the sacred host or some fragment of it falling.[180]

I haven't seen one of those in use for years.

It's obvious that what was envisioned for the new mass and what's in practice are two different things. In many cases it's people being given and inch and taking a mile.

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

"A couple years away" from repaired translation

The chairman of Vox Clara says that the Church is now “dangerously close” to having the first draft of the new text completed.

According to Cindy Wooden of Catholic News Service, "a new translation of the Mass probably is a couple years away from parish use".


Latest rumor: motu before Easter

The latest Motu Proprio rumor comes from SyrianCatholic of the blog Ecce Agnus Dei. He writes most notably:

The Motu Proprio liberalizing the Mass known as that of St. Pius V, so much awaited, will be published before Easter Sunday.

SC provides details about the motu which are much the same as those that have been published previously, with the omission of the authority of bishops to forbid particular priests from celebrating the traditional Mass, and the addition of an option for groups of lay people to request the assistance of the Ecclesia Dei commission for help in getting a traditional Mass.

There is no indication of how accurate or complete this information is.


Fr. Z provides a link to the letter (in French) which SC quotes. He also makes no attempt to evaluate its credibility.

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Fasting from Anger

Being a lover of meekness no less than of wisdom, I determined within myself to spend some days without yielding to anger; just as I might have bound myself to abstain from drunkenness and wine, as is the custom in certain feasts, where the use of this drink is forbidden. I next continued to exert special efforts for one or two months, and made short trials of my strength. Thus, in course of time, I came to bear with greater troubles and annoyances, being able to maintain my mastery over myself, so as to remain calm, gentle, and devoid of all anger. By these means I kept myself unstained by evil words, debasing actions, and the shameless lusts which, for a passing gratification, leave the soul pierced through and through with deep remorse and poignant regrets.

- Plutarch (as quoted by Fr. John Baptist Scaramelli, S.J.)


In my own eccentric and wavering path towards perfection, I hope to use Plutarch's example as a model; anger is my predominant fault and sin. When the anger of my heart is tamed, I hope next to cultivate a greater gratitude towards the Lord for the good things He has given me.

I went to confession today. I never mentioned ingratitude as a problem, but the priest taught me a little prayer for patience that included thanksgiving. I was pleased to see my current goal and next goal thus tied together, and the gift of that prayer in itself helped me a little towards gratitude.

Being not necessarily the sharpest tack in the box, I immediately forgot the prayer, but I remember the general idea.

Thank you God; I'm sorry for my sins. Please help me more.


I hope the Holy Ghost guides you gently but irresistibly towards becoming the saint that you are meant to be, good reader.

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