Quotidian (10)

15 June 2018 | Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today is the final day of the girls’ Spanish Summer Camp in Wake Forest. After dropping them off, I heard Mass at St. Catherine’s parish and then made my way back to Wake Forest Coffee Company.

Last night I had dinner at Mitch’s Tavern in Raleigh with a friend who is considering the seminary. To encourage him along, I gifted him my set of The Hours of the Divine Hours in Latin and English (1963). I’ve been using my Breviarium Monasticum (1920) and thought I shouldn’t hoard my books, as the Savior teaches: Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old [nova et vetera] (Mt. 13.52). (See here)

From The Life and Labours of Saint Thomas of Aquin by Fr. Roger William Bede Vaughan, O.S.B., Archbishop of Sydney (d. 1883)

The reception of a child in those days was almost as solemn as a profession in our own. His parents carried him to the church; and whilst they wrapped his hand, which held the petition, in the sacred linen of the altar, they promised, in the presence of God and of His saints, stability in his name. There is no hint that the sacrifice was not considered to have been irrevocably offered, after this oblation had been made to God.

The children’s training was in keeping with the holiness of their consecration. They were confided to the care of a large-hearted and God-fearing man. The one object was, to fill their souls with God, to teach them the power of knowledge, and the force of love — to educate the intellect, and to purify the hear (16-17)

And a little later:

Nor was mental culture neglected in the midst of these spiritual influense. Thomas was taught the first elements of knowledge by the monks. The fragmentary Latin Grammar of the period, Donatus, Priscian, or Didymus would, by frequent repetitions, by fixed upon the memory. The the Psalter, and passages from the poets, were learnt by hear. Æsop’s Fables, Theodolus, and the Sentences of Cato, led into the gallery of the ancient Classics. Ovid, Horace, and Persius were favourite authors; while Seneca was treated with special reverence, as one of the most enlightened moralists of ancient times. Then Lucan, Statius, and Virgil, who were looked upon as seers in the midst of heathendom, on account of certain curiously prophetic passages in their writings, prepared the student for his course of rhetoric. Cicero, Quintilian, and the Stagyrite opened the door to the science of God, and of the saints. That S. Thomas passed through a course resembling this, to say the least, is eminently probably.

These were tranquil days for the young Aquino, days of growth —  just as nature rests in the first warm days of early spring, before it bursts into leaf and flower. To breathe at peace under the light of truth, far from the contention of tongues, and then to meditate, and resolve in the presence of one Eternal Witness,  — this has been the education of many a man of iron will, of soaring spirit, and of blameless life (20-21).

Roma Antica
Giovanni Paolo Pannini, “Roma Antica” (1756-57)
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Quotidian (9)

13 July 2018 | Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Saint Antony (OFM) was, first of all, an Augustinian monk, but he was so impressed by the martyrdom of five Franciscans who had been spreading the faith in Morocco that he became a Franciscan friar himself, so that he could preach the gospel in Africa too. Illness obliged him to leave Morocco, and a storm then drove his ship to Sicily, so that he found himself taking part in the General Chapter of the Franciscans in 1221, where he met Saint Francis of Assisi himself. His preaching career then took him to northern Italy and southern France, then a stronghold of the Albigensian heresy. Later he returned to Italy, to Padua, where he was an outstanding preacher and the first Franciscan theologian. His sermons are full of gentleness, but he reproved the wicked with fearless severity – especially backsliding clergy and the oppressors of the weak. His shrine is a centre of pilgrimage, and he is also the patron saint of the lost and found.

Back in the Wake Forest Coffee Company, reading and writing thank-you notes, while the big girls continue at Summer Spanish Camp. Also working on my post, “Praying Compline,” for my Divine Office series.

Reading: Nigel Spivey, “They built the wall” (A review of Adrian Goldworthy’s new book on Hadrian’s Wall (The New Criterion, June 2018) [link]

Reading: Ben Kane, “Rome vs Greece: a little-known clash of empires” (The Irish Times, 11 June 2018) [link]

Podcast: “The Goddess of the Young,” i.e., Artemis (The History of Ancient Greece) [link]

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Gustave Caillebotte, “Portrait of Henri Cordier” (1883)

Quotidian (8)

11 July 2018 | The Memorial of St. Barnabas the Apostle

Saint Barnabas was born in Cyprus. He was one of the early converts in Jerusalem and vouched for St Paul when he appeared before the elders there. He accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey and later went to Cyprus with his cousin John Mark (Mark the evangelist) to preach the gospel there. He was probably martyred at Salamis in Cyprus, sometime before the year 61.

The second antiphon from Lauds: Majórem caritátem nemo habet, ut animam suam ponat quis pro amícis suis. Or Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Tomorrow, in my Benedictine Breviary (1922), continues the Octave of the Most Sacred Heart, though the feast’s Octave was suppressed in 1955.

This morning I took my older daughters to an STMA colleague’s house in Wake Forest for the first day of Spanish Camp, where the girls will spend half the day learning and having fun. MM attended last year and Va is very excited to attend with her big sister this year.

One of the advantages of Spanish Camp week is attending daily Mass (8:30 am) at beautiful St. Catherine of Siena parish (see below). The Mass was said by Rev. Chesco Garcia, the former parochial vicar for Hispanic ministry at Sacred Heart Cathedral. His microphone cut out sometime before the sacring, which was fine with me; in this, it took on a low-mass feel, and I’ve always been a proponent of microphone-less masses.

See Kevin White’s short article, “Drop the Mic” from First Things in 2012.

The Editorial Board, “The Catholic School Difference” (The Wall Street Journal, 1 June 2018) [link]

The authors found statistically meaningful evidence that students in Catholic schools exhibited less disruptive behavior than their counterparts in other schools. “According to their teachers, Catholic school children argued, fought, got angry, acted impulsively, and disturbed ongoing activities less frequently,” the authors write. Specifically, students in Catholic schools “were more likely to control their temper, respect others’ property, accept their fellow students’ ideas, and handle peer pressure.” In other words, they exhibited more self-discipline.

K. E. Colombini, “Atheists and Their Beliefs” (First Things, 7 June 2018) [link]

But a second interesting correspondence goes unremarked. The popular revival of astrology and other pseudo-sciences comes at a time when schools are throwing resources into variants of STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) curricula, which have largely supplanted the humanities disciplines (art, literature, and history). We are neglecting the humanities, which offer a true understanding of the human heart, in order to develop better touchscreens and smartphone apps, so that our youth can get better horoscopes and learn new yoga poses. This state of affairs confirms Chesterton’s original quote, and shows how much work needs to be done. There is a real cure for the anxiety afflicting today’s youth, but it’s hard work and the answer is not really found in the digital cloud, but well beyond.

St. Catherine, OP
St. Catherine of Siena in Wake Forest, NC

Quotidian (7)

7 June 2018 | Thursday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (Sacratissimi Cordis Jesu), and begins tonight during Vespers.

Rule, O Lord, with Your sweet yoke in the midst of Your enemies.

Before transitioning to Holy Name of Jesus, the Bishop of Raleigh’s cathedra resided at Sacred Heart on Hillsborough St. in downtown Raleigh. Sacred Heart was my parish for near thirteen years (2004-2017).

Reading: Michael Dirda, “Aristotle’s lisp, why Socrates loved dancing and other tales of ancient thinkers” (The Washington Post, 6 June 2018) [link]

Sacred Heart Church in Raleigh, NC

The Divine Office

My Short History

Even before my reception into the Roman Catholic Church, I have been praying the Divine Office, in some capacity or another. Beginning with my college friends, we said Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer using the Shorter Christian Prayer books in my professor’s chapel.

Upon entering the Church at Easter 2003, my professor, now Fr. John David Ramsey of the Diocese of Richmond and pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, VA, gifted me a complete four-volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours.

While at Duke Divinity School, a close friend and fellow student, Dr. Ty Monroe, now Visiting Professor at Assumption College in Worchester, MA, and I said Morning Prayer using the larger Christian Prayer breviary with the Liturgy of the Hours volume for that particular season.

At STMA, we say Morning Prayer (Lauds) using the Shorter Christian Prayer breviary, adjusting for the particular memorial, feast, or solemnity.

In the Fall of 2016, Franz Klein, a former colleague of mine, taught me the Divine Office in Latin using his four-volume Liturgia Horarum, with varying success.

In the summer of 2016, I purchased the Breviarium Monastacum (1920), a small four-volume set in Latin alone that had previously belonged to a Sr. Mary Karline, O.S.B., a religious sister in the Benedictine Order, who used this set at early as 1922.

In the winter of 2017, I purchased The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin (1963), a three-volume set, which I regularly use to pray on my own.

Lastly, in the summer of 2018, I purchased the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Ambrosius Benson, “Young Woman in Orison Reading a Book of Hours” (1520s)

My horarium, using Benedictine Breviarium Monasticum (1920),  for June & July 2018:

4:45 – 5:30am, Matins [ad matutinum], also called the Office of Readings
6:00 – 6:25am, Lauds [ad laudes], also called Morning Prayer
7:00 – 7:20am, Prime [ad primam]
9:00 – 9:15am, Terce [ad tertium], also called Midmorning Prayer
12:00 – 12:15pm, Sext [ad sextam], also called Midday Prayer
3:00 – 3:15pm, None [ad nonam], also called Midafternoon Prayer
6:30 – 7:00pm, Vespers [ad vesperas], also called Evening Prayer or Evensong
9:00 – 9:20pm, Compline [ad completorium], also called Night Prayer

I don’t say every hour every day but there is the goal of doing so.

Quotidian (6)

6 June 2018 | Wednesday of the Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

It is also the memorial of Saint Norbert, Bishop.

Archbishop of Magdeburg, he helped Pope Innocent II to triumph over the anti-pope Anacletus. He founded the Order of Premonstratensians, and died A.D. 1134.

On this feast I am reminded of friend’s story, who while studying at Oxford met an Norbertine abbot-Father, and my friend asked, “Abbot Father, what would you say is the charism that you and your brethren attempt to foster at your abbey and in your order?” And the Abbot Father said, simply, “Elegance, darling.”

A short piece on the Norbertines from New Liturgical Movement

Lastly, I direct you to the First Things articles of Norbertine Michael W. Hannon, whose story you can read here:

“Against Heterosexuality” (First Things, March 2014) [link; and a reply to his many replies]

“Some Millennial Frustrations with America’s New Evangelization” (First Things, 2 February 2014) [link]

“The Dominican Option” (First Things, 15 July 2013) [link]

Reading: Sam Guzman, “Work, Faith, and the Paradox of Grace” (The Catholic Gentleman, 5 June 2018) [link]

Norbertine Abbey Church, Averbode, Belgium

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4 June 2018 | Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

For the first forty years of his life Boniface was known as Wynfrith. He was born in Devon and educated at the monastery at Exeter, and then joined the Benedictine abbey at Nursling, near Southampton. He was a teacher and preacher, but he desired to preach the gospel in a foreign land.

In 718, Pope Gregory II commissioned him to do so, at the same time changing his name from Wynfrith to Boniface.Boniface left England, never to return, and took the gospel to the heathen tribes of Germany, where he had great success. He himself was created Bishop of Mainz, and he founded or restored dioceses in Bavaria, Thuringia, and Franconia. In his later years he worked with King Pepin the Short to reform the Frankish church, and then, over seventy years old, set out to evangelize Friesland (part of modern Holland) where he was set upon and murdered, on 5 June 754.

He is buried at Fulda, near Frankfurt, in the monastery he founded himself, and is honoured as the apostle of Germany.

See a short piece on St. Boniface and Germany from New Liturgical Movement

Podcast: John Haldane, “Darkness in the City of Angels: Evil as a Theme, Vice as a Fact” (The Thomistic Institute, 24 Jan 2018) [link via SoundCloud]

Reading: Fr. Jacques Philippe, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart.

Reading: Neal Mukherjee, “A Veritable No Man’s Land, Off the Coast of Scotland” (The New York Times, 7 May 2018) [link]