Springtime or Drought?

Louie Verrecchio has negatively interpreted the pontificate of Venerable Paul VI in the light of a statement, made by Joseph Ratzinger more than forty years ago, about a “smaller” “more faithful” postconciliar Church. The fuller quote from the Ignatius press record of the statement is as follows:

From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge–a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so will she lose many of her social privileges. In contrast to an earlier age, she will be seen much more as a voluntary society, entered only by free decision. As a small society, she will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members. Undoubtedly she will discover new forms of ministry and will ordain to the priesthood approved Christians who pursue some profession. In many smaller congregations or in self-contained social groups, pastoral care will normally be provided in this fashion. Alongside this, the full-time ministry of the priesthood will be indispensable as formerly.

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The Spirit of Summorum Pontificum

In this essay I continue to register my thoughts on traditionalism and liturgy, specifically with a discussion of the expressed motives for Pope Benedict’s promulgation of the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum.  After this post I plan to take up where I left off with my “Traditionalist Sleight of Hand” essay.

The current biformity of the Roman rite, established formally by the Motu Proprio, Summorum Pontificum, is a reality that has existed and has been spoken about as such by Joseph Ratzinger for many years.  He has said numerous times that the old form, that is, the Extraordinary Form, was never abrogated.  However, the Motu Proprio establishes by way of “universal law” this biformal liturgical discipline, presumably, attempting to stabilize, at least for now, this condition as the liturgical status quo:  two forms, one ordinary, the other extraordinary.  The motives for this have been variously interpreted, and it seems to me that something parallel but antithetical to what happened in regard to the interpretation of the documents of the Second Vatican Council has happened in respect to the text of Summorum Pontifcum.   I hope to make this clear as well as suggest a sound alternative. Continue reading

An Evening Dawn (Updated)

We had the privilege of interviewing Dawn Eden at the friary Tuesday night.  One of the AirMaria friars had presence of mind to interrupt her prayers discreetly and ask her for a little time.  She most graciously consented and we are most grateful.

AirMaria has the complete interview and Dawn has posted the YouTube uploads (3 parts) to her blog.  The whole interview is well worth the watch.

I have known about her story for some time, but I did not realize how Marian and, in particular, how Kolbean she is.  That being said, I am blogging separately here on Dawn’s interview because I was deeply struck by what she said about the Blessed Mother and chastity.  The point in question is in the third part of the interview, below, where Fra Roderic asks Dawn a question about her work at 2:25.

I learned that very often people who have such an anger toward Christianity, anger towards the Church, anger towards people who promote chastity–this anger comes out of a fear of being judged, and the fear of being judged often manifests itself in a real aversion to Mary and Marian purity because they believe that the purity judges them.  .  . I myself had that fear of Mary.  It’s something that in a sense I am still working on, even though intellectually I know that there is nothing to fear. Continue reading

Theology of the Head and Heart, Part II

(Part I can be found here.)

Theology of the Heart

Rereading Genesis in light of the spousal symbol in the Letter to the Ephesians enables us to grasp a truth which seems to determine in an essential manner the question of women’s dignity, and, subsequently, also the question of their vocation: the dignity of women is measured by the order of love, which is essentially the order of justice and charity (Mulieris Dignitatem, 29).

Clearly, the Theology of the Head enjoys the same primacy that faith does in respect to the other virtues, insofar as reason enlightened by faith provides the mean for all the other virtues and since without faith it is impossible to please God. Hence, man is to the family what faith is to the other virtues. Yet the dignity of women “measured by the order of love” suggests not only the virtue of obedience but the vocation to be the heart of the family, its core and center.

One here could enter into the debate of which ultimately has primacy, intellect or will, or as scholastics posed the question: In what does the essence of beatitude consist: the Intellectual vision of Infinite Truth or rest of the will in the Infinite Good? That debate is not going to be settled here.

Even so, the will does enjoy primacy in its own right when considered under the aspect of the perfection of virtue which is found in Charity, or what John Paul II calls in the above quote, “the order of love.” Knowledge leads to love. Love cannot be real unless it is based on truth, but if the apprehension of the truth does not lead to love, then such an apprehension is vain and sterile.

This primacy of love points to the reason why woman is the heart of the home, and the mother, the heart of the family. Woman is the guardian of the heart and hearth. Continue reading