Tuesday, June 28, 2011

He Walks in Beauty

Now Athos will see beauty all around him, and join his tenor voice and his violin to the music of the stars and the communion of saints in everlasting praise of our Holy and Triune God.

Thanks be to God for the life of Jeffry Leonard Morris Hendrix, born December 14, 1954, died June 28, 2011.

Posted by God's Weaver, his wife Mochel Morris

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our Lady's Discipleship


The Holy Father's Message of Hope for Today


The Holy Father recently spoke about the dark times through which he lived as a youth, speaking of how "Hitler had subjected one country after another, Poland, Denmark, the Benelux States and France, and in April of 1941 -- precisely in this season 70 years ago -- he had occupied Yugoslavia and Greece."


"It seemed that the Continent was in the hands of this power that, at the same time, cast doubt on the future of Christianity," the Pontiff said.


He had joined the "Sodality of Our Lady" as a young man and, although the dissolution of the seminaries hindered it, this bond continued, since "Catholicity cannot exist without a Marian expression."


"To be Catholics means to be Marian ... that in the Mother and by the Mother we find the Lord," he said.

We have great hope in following Our Lady's example of discipleship. To read the full text of his message go here.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Coren - Fighting the Good Fight

Author and apologist Michael Coren appears in Peter Jackson's extended DVD boxed-sets. He, and others, help to explain the influences on young J. R. R. Tolkien. Now, ZENIT reports, he has a new book that helps to defend the Catholic Church in the continuing onslaught of cultural attacks facing Her today.

A convert himself from Judaism, Coren apparently ranges over a variety of topics and incidents from his life, according to ZENIT. The book, Why Catholics Are Right, may be purchased here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sheed - Understanding the Trinity

For the Record: The late author and publisher, Frank Sheed, offered this to help understand the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. Courtesy of Ignatius Insight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Knox - Praying for All Souls

WE ALWAYS DO THINK OF them, don't we, as the poor souls in Purgatory. That seems curious, from one point of view; from one point of view they are so much better off than we are. You and I might go to hell; they can't. We sometimes think of them enviously for that reason. They are like friends who have gone on ahead, and successfully jumped over the precipice that lay in our path; we haven't jumped it yet - how much better off they are than we! Yes, but from another point of view they are hard up, the holy souls, desperately hard up. We can still merit; they can't. Nothing they can do can give them any relief, can bring them any nearer to the heaven which is their only desire, their only dream.

If you will, they are like people who have got plenty of money at the bank, but no cash in their pockets; what is the use of money if one can't get at it? So they ask for our prayers, which can help them; our prayers, which we ought to give generously, just as the saints give their prayers to us. So, each year, November reminds us about the Communion of Saints; about the help we can get, about the help we can give. You remember the fable about the lion which was caught in a net, and the mouse that helped it by eating through the net so that it could get out? You and I are like that when we pray for the souls of Christians departed. They are much more splendid people than you and I are; they are already on the last lap of their journey home. But they are held up on that journey, and they can't help themselves; we can help them, and it isn't presumptuous to think of ourselves as helping them, even splendid people who have fallen gloriously in battle - we are the mice nibbling away at the bonds which hold them, that is all.

- Ronald A. Knox, "The Communion of Saints (I)",
The Creed in Slow Motion

+ Saint Philip Neri

(Check out below >>)

Also - by Allison
Also - by Elizabeth Scalia

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday Evening Reflections on Hell

I can still recall - with an importance borne out by the seriousness with which the grown-ups seemed to consider the topic - a Sunday evening when my evangelical pastor father's church held a Revival service. We had a guest preacher and got to dine him (No wining him - we were teetotalers!) before the church service. My sister and I speculated who would "come forward" to the altar rail to either "get saved" (in some cases, again) or renew their "personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ." In any case, it was serious, and we were inculcated from a very early age on the FACTs of the Last Four Things.

Adults can't manufacture those values; there is no winking to the audience, I am thankful to say. My father and my mother were in deadly earnest when it came to them, and my sister, Linda, and I caught those values.

So, it wasn't surprising to me to find myself after the revival preacher's sermon to find myself coming forward to the altar rail to "accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior." It wasn't that I hadn't done so before in private, so to speak; but in our neck of the woods, it you didn't trudge up where everybody could watch you do it, it just didn't count to your credit. See?

Well, I still believe in those Four Last Things, but I also know that I need the fullness of the Church that Jesus our Lord founded on Saint Peter ("Rocky") in Matthew 16, including all the sacramental grace that our Lord provides us creatures made in His image, imago dei. (For more read A Little Guide for Your Last Days.)

In fact, Dale Alquist puts succinctly the words and thoughts of fellow convert, G. K. Chesterton. (I would say fellow author, but the audacity sticks in my craw with an accompanying choking sensation.) A quick and easy essay just doesn't get much better than this one all of a Sunday evening. Read, read, pilgrim, and never forget GKC's insights in A Happy Little Reflection on Hell. And, thank you, too, Dale Ahlquist.

Don't you wish more people thought about the Four Last Things. Like those who garner power with a smug grin of happy and healthy human existence; at least, for now?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ka ... Beauty

On this auspicious day, when, if the news we hear from some quarters is correct, the "world" (κόσμος) will come to an end, may I make the recommendation that we all grab a cool drink and enjoy some truth, goodness, and beauty. If you cannot find any near by, start with Daniel Mitsui's THE LION & THE CARDINAL. Then you are on your own, gentle reader ...

Imagine - Not John Lennon

Well, we can dream, can't we?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Byrd, Tallis, and Today


Here is an excellent documentary on the age of Henry VIII, the ruination of Catholicism in England, the dissolution of the monasteries (+/-20 a month), and the Catholic musicians, Thomas Tallis and William Byrd.

As I have said, a close and careful study of the (so-called) English "reformation" is important indeed for Catholics today.

Powers and principalities will always seek to do away with the Church and misunderstand Her Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. Tallis and Byrd, composers, give us reason for Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Knox - Parables

IT WOULD BE quite natural to suppose that the Incarnate Revelation of Truth would announce a single message to all alike in plain, unmistakable language ... as a matter of fact he did not, and has told us that he did not. After uttering the parable - surely a very simple one - of the sower sowing his seed, he goes out of his way to explain that he does not want all his audience to penetrate the full meaning of what he is talking about. That, surely, is something for us to think over.

- Ronald A. Knox

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Beastie Attack and Musical Praying

'Had a rough day yesterday - I won't go into the gory details of the attack, but suffice it to say, my beastie had a field day with my body and I sat tight until my appointment for a shot at the Infusion Center to help boost my white blood cell count.

I found myself bouncing between the Giro d'Italia and EWTN mid-morning - both of which were, of course, fabulous. I saw my new friend and acquaintance, Marcus Grodi, interviewing an oldish looking fellow from Canada, Terry Hatty, former vocalist with The Guess Who, and stayed to watch.

His story about making his "journey home" isn't particularly theological or, probably, pertinent to many of our stories, but I found him to be a true victory; I know so many of his ilk who follow the progressivist propaganda line and flounder off into sad endings. Terry, on the other hand, has managed to keep his music alive and revert to Mother Church.

Go here if you want to see the interview with an aging rock and roll singer, and hear a sampling of his musical prayers. Great pipes for a fellow of his age!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mitsui - Cathedrals ... in Color

Did you happen to know, asked the sadly ignorant blogger, that the great cathedral churches of Christendom were once rich in polychromatic color - both on their exteriors and interiors?

Once again, the inimitable church art historian (and extraordinary artist) Daniel Mitsui brings to light of day a fact of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty that yours truly did not until as of late have at his disposal.

I'll let our inestimable friend and brother in Christ show you what the above, Amiens Cathedral, looks like under the astonishing spotlights and lasers looks like by going, gentle reader, here. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BOOKs


Yet another prototypical optical reading device is about to hit the market. And, don't you know, we do (of course) need one. I will let you read about it from the sales manifesto below:


Device to Replace Electronic Media


Introducing the new Bio-Optic Organized Knowledge device, trade named BOOK. BOOK is a revolutionary breakthrough in technology: no wires, no electric circuits, no batteries, nothing to be connected or switched on. It's so easy to use, even a child can operate it. Compact and portable, it can be used anywhere - even sitting in an armchair by the fire - yet it is powerful enough to hold as much information as a CD-ROM disc.


Here's how it works: BOOK is constructed of sequentially numbered sheets of paper (recyclable), each capable of holding thousands of bits of information. The pages are locked together with a custom-fit device called a binder which keeps the sheets in their correct sequence. Opaque Paper Technology (OPT) allows manufacturers to use both sides of the sheet, doubling the information density and cutting costs. Experts are divided on the prospects for further increases in information density; for now, BOOKs with more information simply use more pages. Each sheet is scanned optically, registering information directly into your brain. A flick of the finger takes you to the next sheet.


BOOK may be taken up at any time and used merely by opening it. BOOK never crashes or requires rebooting, though like other display devices, it can become unusable if exposed to high ambient temperatures. The "browse" feature allows you to move instantly to any sheet, and move forward or backward as you wish. Many come with an "index" feature, which pinpoints the exact location of any selected information for instant retrieval.


BOOK can be stored for an almost unlimited amount of time without connecting any outside power source. Many BOOK units may be stored together as they cause no interference with one another, even when placed in close proximity. An optional "BOOKmark" accessory allows you to open BOOK to the exact place you left it in a previous session - even if the BOOK has been closed.


BOOKmarks fit universal design standards; thus, a single BOOKmark can be used in BOOKs by various manufacturers. Conversely, numerous BOOK markers can be used in a single BOOK if the user wants to store numerous views at once. The number is limited only by the number of pages in the BOOK.


You can also make personal notes next to BOOK text entries with an optional programming tool, the Portable Erasable Nib Cryptic Intercommunication Language Stylus (PENCILS). Portable, durable, and affordable,


BOOK is being hailed as a precursor of a new entertainment wave. Also, BOOK's appeal seems so certain that thousands of content creators have committed to the platform and investors are reportedly flocking. Look for a flood of new titles soon. Try it! You'll like it!


***


Okay, okay. Enough tongue-in-cheek. If you happen to need the tactile experience of not merely seeing a mock-page turn as one does on iPad; if you happen to love the smell of old (but not mildewy ) books; if you can't stand to see a shelf standing without being filled with books, BOOK is obviously the "device" of choice for you! I strongly suggest Alibris if you know the author and/or title for which you are looking, though Amazon will do in a pinch.


I completed my Ronald Arbuthnott Knox collection, picking and choosing very carefully (there are bargains to be found; another joy of BOOK buying). Go, thou; and choose wisely.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Gibson Watching

Two points make a straight line, or so I'd tell my math class students who would ever bother to use a straight edge to draw a straight line. So what do I see browsing the web today? Two stories on Mel Gibson. I will let you 'draw' your own conclusions about the two points here* and here, gentle reader.

*Lest you write-off what appears to be a brain-less comedy, remember that Jodi Foster starred in a thought-provoking film, Contact, that left the door open for agnostics to move toward theism some years back. Why would she direct a new film and co-star with Mel Gibson to boot? Perhaps time will tell.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fools and Pilgrims

Nothing since Graceland comes near to excellence until now. Go thee, purchase his new album So Beautiful or So What. For sheer heart-rending poignancy, The Rewrite. Best call-and-response preachin' - Getting Ready for Christmas. Hands down best answer to his (long time ago now) nihilistic song, The Boxer, Questions for the Angels.

Go! Get thee hence, hear, and respond in faith to this prophetic aging voice. Hey! Aren't they the best kind, after all?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Reading Signs of the Times

Good advice and discernment regarding recent current events here, here, and here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The No-Men Pt. 4 - Knox

(This completes Knox's essay, "The No-Men")

THAT'S WHY I WANT TO appeal to you all, as you remember the English martyrs, to cultivate jealously and watchfully your own independence of mind ... You live in a frightful age of propaganda; books, newspapers, and above all the wireless are trying hard all the time to influence your mind; and a great deal of that propaganda is directed in a steady stream against the Catholic religion. Not openly, but in a insidious way; the worshippers of the State are always so selecting and so presenting the news that the Catholic Church always gets mixed up with what is unpopular at the moment, always appears as the enemy of liberty and of progress. It's a highly elaborate business and oh, it's boring! But you are going to live in a world which swallows all that sort of dope ... I don't say that you'll lose the faith, but you'll be a passenger; you'll be no use to the Church, when she wants you. Keep your independence of mind; only half believe what you hear; suspend judgement, think for yourself, learn for yourself. If I am privileged to meet any of you later on, I don't very much mind what else has happened to you ... if only you've preserved your independence of mind. God bless you all, and give you grace to do it.

- Ronald A. Knox

Monday, May 2, 2011

The No-Men Pt. 3 - Knox


"Well," you say, "that's all ancient history. It's got nothing to do with us; the sort of problems which bothered people early in the sixteen century don't bother us." Well, in a sense that's true. Nobody bothers nowadays about the King, God bless him, being Head of the Church in England. It tickles the English citizen to read in the paper that their Majesties attended divine worship yesterday at Sandringham. "Sooner it was them than me", he reflects; but on the whole he rather likes the Church of England to be part of the set-up of monarchy in this country; it gives him a solid sense of prosperity. But as to King George being supreme Head of the Church, he bothers about it as little King George himself. In that sense, the whole controversy which cost More and Fisher their lives is a dead controversy now. But in a more general sense, we haven't nearly finished with it. It was all part of that general attack of Satan against the Catholic Church, which started immediately after our Lord's death, and is going on still (emphasis added).

Satan, like so many half-educated people, likes to be thought original, but he's really repeating himself all the time in slightly different ways. You will find that about your own temptations, if you look into them; you imagine at first sight that he's really pulled off something absolutely new on you, and then, when you trace it back a bit, you find it was just the same old story, the same kind of pride, the same kind of carelessness, which had landed you several times before. And so it has been with his grand attack on the Christian Church. For the first few centuries it was the Roman emperors that were the trouble; Christians were persecuted because they wanted to worship God instead of worshipping the Roman emperor. The Roman Empire fell, and there was a pause, a good long pause, and kings began to become important all over Europe; so Christians like St. John and St. Thomas were persecuted because they wanted to obey God instead of obeying the king. Nowadays, kings are at a discount, and the modern world has started to worship a dreadful thing called the State. Fascism or Communism, it's all the same thing really; it's just worship of the State. And because they hold out against this worship of the State, because they won't let the State dictate to them how they are going to worship and how the Church is going to be organized, people are being killed now all over Europe. We heard plenty about it when it was the Nazis who were doing it; we don't hear so much about it now that it isn't the Nazis. But the thing is going on; more and more the shadow of atheism is falling over the whole of eastern Europe. And it is quite on the cards that within your lifetime the main strength of the Catholic Church will lie in the English-speaking countries; the very countries we have been accustomed to think of as Protestant! France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, - you can't bet what is going to happen there. It's quite probable that you, later on, will find yourself having to pull your socks up, and help to save the Catholic Church, humanly speaking, from going under. (The No-Men will conclude in Pt. 4)

- Ronald A. Knox

Friday, April 29, 2011

'Opportunities' in Catholic Education


Each morning, right after fulfilling my chivalric duties of devotion, I spend a minimum of fifteen minutes reading. Usually the author who receives my undivided attention at this time is Monsignor Ronald A. Knox (Eton, Oxford). During World War II and the German bombings of industrial and municipal centers, Monsignor Knox had the opportunity to retire to the countryside of England to work on his translation of the Bible. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? So it is amazing how the Holy Spirit sees things, most often, differently.

Just as Knox was settling into the lovely manor setting, it was decided that the manor would also be an extraordinary setting for Catholic school girls to continue their studies, far removed from the Blitz .

Indeed, now Knox would have the delightful daily opportunity to say Mass, hear weekly confessions, and generally serve as chaplain to gaggles of prepubescent schoolgirls while he attempted his mandated work of translation. Ah, yes. How plans change!

I thought of this as I read Monsignor Charles Pope's post, A Catholic University and Recovered Catholic Identity - A Study of Change and Possibility of Reform (a fine article, but one to which I will not allude here except as a jumping-off place).

When I was confirmed into the Catholic Church ten years ago this summer, I went looking for work and was honored to be offered a teaching position at a Catholic school in northern Virginia (St. Charles Borromeo School, pictured above as it looked when I arrived there). I remained there, a fixture in the sixth grade for nearly all of those ten years (the students, both male and female, probably looked at me as a "fixture" of sorts, also).

While working diligently to fulfill the requirements mandated by the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools, I found some of the most amazing times of learning came in planned, yet never choreographed, moments. For example, each morning students came in, hung up coats, etc., prepared for the day, sat and read the Gospel for Mass for the day, and then answered a related question on the board in their "Bellwork Journal."

Using these questions, I sought to help students move into "higher cognitive thinking" (Bloom) and also make them dig more deeply into the meaning of faith, morals, and other vital teachings of the Church. We would discuss the question and their answers before our Morning Offering and intentions.

I am grateful for the years that our Lord allowed me to teach in a Catholic school classroom. Never neglect to cherish and support your parish school (if you have one) and/or your diocesan Catholic schools. It is a unique place of growing, learning, catechesis, morality in action, and other "opportunities" for the Holy Spirit to help the young to come into a closer, richer relationship with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit ... and their "neighbor as themselves" (Mark 12, 30-31).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tornado Victims - Prayers

Violent storms continue to march across the United States. I recall vividly the frantic yet familiar drill of heading to the basement as a boy in Indiana, the most damaging and murderous being the Palm Sunday Tornadoes of 1965.

Please keep in prayer the victims and their families of this week's spate of killer weather.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The No-Men Pt. 2 - Knox


I HAVE BEEN INSISTING ON THAT, partly because it enormously enhances the credit of their performance. Mr. Belloc has written very well on that point. He writes of St. Thomas - and it was equally true of St. John - as follows: "To allow oneself to be killed, of one's own choice, in full life, rather than pay the price of yielding upon one dry, narrow, intellectual point; having, to sustain one ... neither enthusiasm within, nor the sense of agreement from others without, this is to die alone indeed! He had no enthusiasm for the Papacy; all his life he had been a reformer in the full sense of the word ... Nor was the extraordinary man supported from without ... The average Englishmen had little concern with the quarrel between the crown and Rome; it did not touch his life. The Mass went on just the same, and all the splendours of religion ... To the ordinary man of that day anyone, especially a highly-placed official, who stood out against the King's policy, was a crank ... No, he was not supported from without."

If you want to realize how lonely these two men must have felt in making their protest against the tyranny of King Henry, you have only to look at the sort of way More's wife talked about it, when she went to visit him in prison. "I marvel," she said, "that you, that hitherto have been taken for a wise man, will now so play the fool, to lie here in this close, filthy prison, and be content to be thus shut up among rats and mice, when you might be abroad at your liberty, and with the favour and goodwill both of king and his council, if you would but do as all the bishops and best learned men of his realm have done. And seeing that you have at Chelsea a right fair house, your library, your gallery and all other necessities so handsome about you, where you might in the company of me, your wife, your children and household be merry, I muse what a God's name you mean, here still thus fondly to tarry."

Thus was More's second wife, and she wasn't the ancestress of anybody here, so there is no reason why we should be specially polite about her. But I think it is fair to remember that her point of view was probably the common point of view about the line More was taking. And it was worse when his daughter Margaret came and tried to talk him round, because she was a really good woman and he was very fond of her ... Put this question to yourself for a moment. If your father, or someone you were very fond of, was in prison, and about to be martyred on a point of conscience, would you advise him to stick to his point of conscience? or would you advise him to cave in? ... Life is difficult, isn't it? (No-Men Pt 3 continues here.)

- Ronald A. Knox

It Never Left


It is tempting to think we are past
this sort of thing. But we aren't. We have "one holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church" comprised of well over a billion people (and growing) that proclaims the truth and reality of the doctrine of Original Sin. So, when we take one last sip of coffee, fold the paper, turn the lock, and head off to work, we don't worry about the statuary at the parish. Or our priest(s). Or how well the ushers might handle the breaking-in of disruptors during either a major feast celebration or even a Saturday evening "There's-that-guy-in-his-bermuda-shorts" Vigil Mass.

What we forget in our daily functional atheism are the anthropological realities that our Lord's Church defines so well in the Catechism; specifically, the symptomology of paganism of all those outside the sphere and protection of our Lord's sacramental "containment system" (if you will allow such a crass way of describing it).

Read through Paganism, parts 1-3. Girard and Satinover give the Church's Magisterium two excellent tools for understanding what we still face; indeed, at a growing rate.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The No-Men Pt. 1 - Knox


I'M GOING TO TALK to you about two great saints: St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, the two most influential people, in their day, among the ranks of the English martyrs ... I'm not going to tell you a lot about those two saints. I expect you know a good deal about them already; one of you is descended from one of them. I just want you to seize on one splendid quality about them; their utter independence of mind. You see, the really curious thing about the English martyrs is that there were so few of them. Here you have a completely Catholic country which in a matter of twenty years or so goes Protestant, and nobody seems to mind very much. Why weren't all the other people martyrs too? And the answer to that question is the same as the answer to the question, Why did the Germans ever let the Nazis get into power? - you can give it in four words: MOST MEN ARE SHEEP. You can get them to accept anything, by bluffing them, by bullying them, by applying soft soap when it's needed. But there are a few of the important people in any generation to whom you can't do that. They are not stupid enough to be hoodwinked by propaganda. They are too honest to be bribed with preferment. And they have just that touch of hardness about their minds which won't consent to sacrifice principle for the sake of general peace and calm. You can do nothing with such people, except martyr them. Such were St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More.

Don't run away with a wrong impression of them; they weren't disagreeable sort of people in the literal sense; that is, in the sense that they were fond of disagreeing with their fellow-men. They weren't cranks with a passion for writing letters to The Times every day, not a bit of it. You couldn't have had a more human, companionable friend than St. Thomas More, a jollier host, a more open-minded critic of the world around him. Nor must you suppose that these men, either of them, were backwoods Conservatives, Colonel Blimps, with the fixed idea that what had been good enough for their grandfathers must be good enough for them. On the contrary, they were in the very van of the progressive movement. In the great revival of learning that was taking place just then, St. John Fisher took an enormous part, and kept on building colleges at the university. It's true that he always built them at Cambridge, which strikes some of us as bad taste; but probably Cambridge needed them more.

Anyhow, this is quite certain - that if these two men took a different line from most of their contemporaries, it wasn't because they were tiresome, cross-grained people, and it wasn't because they were people who disliked everything that was modern, and went about saying, "What I mean to say is, what?" They were men loved by their fellows, and typical of their age. That is why they were martyred. If they had been less representative people, they would have been left alone. (Pt. 2 will continue "The No-Men".)

- Ronald A. Knox

Easter Monday

This joyous Easter Monday, let us call to mind, gentle reader, the Victory which was won, yea, e'en for each of us. In the coming days, I will be reproducing, excerpt by excerpt, portions of Monsignor Ronald A. Knox's little talk on standing firm in a milieu of satanic revolution, "No-Men," from his little volume, The Gospel in Slow Motion. In it, he lauds St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher. He compares the truth that MOST MEN ARE SHEEP vs. the few who are not stupid enough to be hoodwinked by propaganda. About the latter, he says, "You can do nothing with such people, except martyr them."

Rejoice!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ Is Risen

(I)F THERE IS ONE institution in the world which, by common consent of its friends and foes, is rooted in the past, indifferent , when it is not hostile, to this feverish propaganda of innovation all around it, it is the Catholic Church. During the last three days we have been assisting at ceremonies which have plunged us back into our Christian past; ceremonies which in part, I suppose, have come down to us almost from the catacombs. We have heard the Church, as she prayed over us, suddenly breaking away from the Latin which is her native tongue and take refuge in Greek, like a very old man who, in his second childhood, remembers the language of his youth; we have heard snatches of chants long disused, seen the survivals of ceremonies which belong to an older world than ours. Still, obstinately, the Church takes refuge in her remote past while she announces to us complacently: "Christ is risen; all things are made new."

So much her friends admit; her enemies are not slow to add that she herself is nothing better than a cumbrous survival, an institution, once great, that has outlived its usefulness, ripe for the scrap-heap. Kept going, who knows how? Partly from sentimental loyalty; partly from the force of long habit, but ... Her vitality is profound, witnessed from age to age not by revolutions or new deals, but by the fresh shoots of devotion and charity which she puts forth continually, age after age. It is always spring with her, hers is a perpetual youth; she has but to remember the three words, "Christ is risen", and with the very sound of them, all things are made new.

That spring, that youth, belong as of right, not only to the Church at large, but to the life of the individual Christian ... in the life of grace, ah, if we could only see it, there is a perpetual burgeoning of new life, not merely from one Easter to another, from one retreat to another, but with every worthy reception of the sacraments. Perpetual spring, perpetual renovation of our natures, if we could only catch the hour of grace, utilize it, make it our own. Whatever you are, and at whatever time of life you are, that possibility of spiritual renewal is with you no less surely than if you were a boy at school again, or just leaving school to make your way in the world. Christ is risen; those tidings can neither lose their force with age, nor be staled by repetition; Christ is risen, and life, for the Christian, is always new.

- Ronald A. Knox

Easter

Our Holy Father proclaimed the Good News at the Easter Vigil in this homily. Had I been able to attend, I would have heard again with joy what Rocco Palmo says is the church's greatest song (if you generally don't assist at the Easter Vigil, take the time to drench yourself in its truth, goodness, and beauty). For friends who like St Thomas need a bit more evidence to believe, have them read Mark Shea's piece here.

Enjoy with gratitude this Day of days, join in splendor our Savior's praise:

Rejoice, heavenly powers! Sing choirs of angels!
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!

Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!