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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Father Muñoz, Update

The Sisters of the Oasis thank you for your prayers for Father Muñoz.
Father has undergone surgery on his aorta artery.
The operation was successful and the haemorrhage has been stopped.
He is still alive and recovering.
We thank God and the Immaculata for this.
Please continue pray for him.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Father Muñoz, critical condition

Your prayers are requested for
Reverend Father Muñoz
the founder of the contemplative
Sisters of the Oasis in Spain.
Father Muñoz is in a critical condition following serious internal haemorrhaging.

Friday, May 22, 2009

+ The Ascension Night Blessing +

Ascension Night, Papa Stronsay pier
the blessing of Saint Alphonsus.
(Rubric: left click pictures to see everything clearly)
Without a breath of wind, there was a solemn silence over the still sea water that was only intermittently broken by the distant voices of our nearest neighbours; they were swimming. The clouds, in sky and sea, seemed to keep the memory of Our Lord's Ascension: "And when He had said these things, while they looked on, he was raised up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." [Acts 1]
A little altar had been set up on board: Two candles and the crucifix, the images of Our Mother of Perpetual Succour, St. Alphonsus and St Nicholas the patron saint of seafarers.
Propitare, Domine, supplicationibus nostris
et bene+dic navem istam dextera tua sancta...
... and by Thy holy hand bless + this ship and its passengers, as Thou wert pleased to let your blessing hover over Noah's ark in the Deluge. Reach out ... to them, as Thou didst to blessed Peter as he walked upon the sea. Send Thy holy angel from on high to watch over it and all on board...., and to guide its course through calm waters to the desired port. ...
The seals, our nearest neighbours

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

+ Last night 8.00 p.m. - Rendezvous on the high sea +

Ship ahoy!
What vessel are you?
First look
what a beautiful sight
... just the right size ...
Permission to come aboard, Father?
At last, six months overdue
-she was going to be home last Christmas-
Saint Alphonsus
arrives in Stronsay
Fr. Anthony at the helm.
There is a marble altar
church furnishings to bring across,
sheep and cattle to move,
stone chips, fuel, tractor, trailer and machinery...
... the monastery is not finished yet ...
On with the work!
Welcome home to the Saint Alphonsus!

Note to Lost Sheep

Dear Lost Sheep

Thank you for your comment. You could get a hotmail account since they are free. Then whenever you are on-line you could check that account even if you do not have a computer of your own.
However, I can always answer your letters by posting a reply. Unfortunately this one was too long to be accepted by the Comment Box.

The place to begin is with the basic questions:
1) What if the Sedevacantists are right? –this was your question.

The Sedevacantists cannot be right because Our Lord said that He would be with His Church to the end of time and the Church has defined the perpetuity of the Papacy.

Now there are sede vacante periods between every Papacy. However the Sedevacantists claim there has been no Pope since Pius XII (50 years) and that Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI are all anti-popes. Therefore, presuming there was to be a Conclave to elect a new Pope, there are not even any Cardinals left from the time of Pius XII to elect one. For most people the idea is preposterous but, for many traditionalists, myself included, when you have seen the scandals, when the soul aches and nothing seems to make any sense, Sedevacantism seems the best solution to the crisis in the Church. But, having had the experience, in my opinion, the only salvageable aspect of Sedevacantism it that it may help you to make a clear choice in favour of whole heartedly accepting Pope Benedict XVI as the true Pope of the Catholic Church.

The SSPX solution of both accepting the Pope and rejecting obedience to him imprisons souls in a mental limbo whereby they continually recognise the Pope in name but never obey him in fact. This solution is dangerous for the soul and mind. At least Sedevacantism does not mix yes and no together.

Sedevacantism is clean thinking, logical. With logic and mathematical precision applied to past Papal Bulls, Definitions or Encyclicals the Sedevacantists make their case. But Catholicism is more than a computation of logic and mathematics applied to theology after the fashion of the Rabbis of the Talmud.

My conclusion is that the Catholic Church is NOT the Sedevacantist Diaspora. My conclusion is based on Faith in Jesus Christ who through His Church has defined that the Papacy would be continual. I do not accept that for 50 years there could be no Pope. But my conclusion can be doubted by Sedevacantists because it may be argued that the Church has not defined that there could not be a sede vacante period for 50 years. And, Our Lord has said that, when he comes, will He find Faith on the Earth?

Therefore I support my conclusion that the Catholic Church is not the Sedevacantist Diaspora by noting that the Church of Pope Benedict XVI has the Church’s Mark of Holiness and that the Sedevacantist Diaspora does not.

Sedevacantism shows itself to be only human, and not at all the Church, since the Mark of Holiness is absent. This is particularly evident in the absence of charity and the presence of unholy-bitterness that for many has been an identifying Mark of Sedevacantism. I conclude that this unholy bitterness is God's providential sign that Sedevacantism is NOT the continuation of the True Church of Jesus Christ.

Whereas, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ ruled by Pope Benedict XVI there is a superabundance of charity, holiness, forgiveness and generous long-suffering. Be careful. For traditionalists this has often been obscured. Traditionalists do not look to the Church to find its Mark of Holiness. Generally they look to the Church to point out only the liturgical abuses, vile clerical impurity, scandals and distortions of doctrine.

But this is a distraction and is not to the point. Our Lord described the Church as the field in which wheat and cockle will grow together until the Day of Judgment. There has always been, and always will be, the presence of the cockle that, finally, will be tied into bundles to burn. That there is a lot or a little cockle in the field of the Church is not the point. The point is: there is wheat.

The Mark of Holiness is still clearly present in the Church ruled by Pope Benedict XVI and it can be verified by all who would go to investigate it.

In the Holy Church ruled by Pope Benedict XVI there are still HOLY CONFESSORS ( for one example, the imprisoned faithful, priests and bishops in China). Sedevacantism has no Holy Confessors.

There are still HOLY MARTYRS (for one example, in 1996 the seven Cistercians monks of Algeria). Sedevacantism has none of these either.

There are holy bishops, priests, laity, religious and virgins: until recently there was the presence of Sister Lucy of Fatima, obedient daughter of the Popes, with whom Sedevacantism has nobody to compare.

Even in Her present trials and terrible crisis the Church ruled by Benedict XVI has Her Marks of UNITY, HOLINESS, CATHOLICITY and APOSTOLICITY.

The Sedevacantist Diaspora is schismatic and sterile.

There is no reasonable doubt that the True Church of Jesus Christ is that One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic body ruled by Pope Benedict XVI to whom, for salvation, all men must be subject.

2) Who ordained the Sedevacantist priest who runs your chapel? -This is my question to you.

This is an important point for everything to do with your future possible options. Was he ordained by a bishop of the Church or by a SSPX bishop? Or was he ordained by one of the many Sedevacantist bishops who are not recognised by the Church?
If he was not ordained by a bishop of the Church or a bishop of the SSPX you cannot possibly continue to frequent that chapel. So this is the first question to sort out.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

+ J's letter +

Dear Friends,

I was grateful to J for giving me permission to post his letter. I thought it was better to turn off the comments so that his honest voice would not be debated but would be heard more clearly and respected. J is a youth struggling with the crisis in the Church, striving to be faithful, hoping to persevere. At 15 years of age it isn't easy.
J was born in the 1990’s. “Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.” [Benedict XVI, Letter to Bishops, about the Motu proprio 7.7.7]
It is a statement of personal integrity and attachment to Our Lord that a youth, rather than abandoning the Faith as many do, rather than going along with the crowds of the mute or of the Liturgical abusers, rather keeps aloof, and holds fast to Christ by praying his missal at home because there is no safe church to go to near his town. This could only be a desperate stop-gap measure and we do not encourage it for others.
What J sought was a respectful offering of the Mass. He went. He waited. He wanted to be fed. But driven away by irreverence, that always shocks the souls that truly seek God, this youth, like so many others, led by God's light found the old Mass, the holy hill, the tabernacle. (... ipsa me deduxerunt, et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum et in tabernacla tua...) There, like the deer that longs for running streams, he slaked somewhat his thirst for God, and there, too, he found the atmosphere and space to raise his heart and mind unto the God who giveth joy to his youth.
J also raises the subject of the Holy Father. “ I was thinking like a sedevacantist while trying to believe I professed the Pope to be the real Pope.” His words here are accurate for many.
J has come to the right conclusion: He can be loyal to the Church and be in the Church while staying true to the Latin Mass and the traditional theology and traditions. He can’t be expected to learn everything by himself. He needs a priest and has asked for one. Please pray three Hail Mary's for J.
Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

+ A letter from "J" +

Received today, it speaks for itself:
Hello Father.
Please excuse me if this e-mail may be an inconvenience to you.
I'm fifteen years old and I don't go to a Novus Ordo Mass. And there isn't a Latin Mass close to me so I have to stay home and I pray the 1962 Missal on Sunday's. There were so many liturgical abuses and irreverences and so many horrible things at the Novus Ordo Mass that I decided that I could not attend it anymore.
But more, for two years my mindset has been of the SSPX.
Since seeing your break from the SSPX and seeing how you still remain loyal to the Latin Mass and traditional theology, I realized that I too can do that.
I guess what I am asking is first, for your prayers.
Second, maybe if there is anyone that I could contact, from the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter or Institute of Christ the King that could maybe answer my questions for me.
Thank your for your support of tradition and to your fidelity to the Pope.
When I first learned about the Transalpine Redemptorists, years ago, I was pleased that someone continued the Tradition of the Great St. Alphonsus. And when I first learned your coming to the Pope, I was perplexed, but then I thought to myself, how is it bad that someone is pledging allegiance to the Pope?
I was thinking like a sedevacantist while trying to believe I professed the Pope to be the real Pope.
It was your example that finally led me to the conclusion that I can be loyal to the Church and be in the Church while staying true to the Latin Mass and the traditional theology and traditions.
I don't recall any of the Saints saving the Church by working outside of it. Thank you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

+ Reply to a "Lost Sheep" +

Received this morning in our blog comments:
Father: Please, I need your prayers. Presently I attend a sedevacantist chapel. I go there because it is reverent, blessedly quiet, and quite peaceful. I am not sure what to believe any more. This month of May I have been praying to Our Lady to let me know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what to do. Will you pray with me and for me please?
Thank you.
A Lost Sheep


Dear Lost Sheep,
Thank you for writing and asking for prayers. We have begun praying with you and also for you, just as you asked. In the chapel you go to you have found reverence and peaceful quiet. You can pray. Keep praying and, although you have come to a point where you do not know what to believe any more, do not panic; the doubt will pass; Our Lord and Our Lady will not leave you in perpetual uncertainty.
You called yourself ‘a lost sheep.’ Well done. Now you need to recognise and accept the name of the Shepherd Our Lord has given to you. It is Pope Benedict. He is your shepherd and you belong to his fold, the Catholic Church.

The Shepherd of the Flock

Dear Lost Sheep, look at the photograph of your Shepherd and then, when you are ready, take a pen and a piece of paper, kneel down and write the following note:
“I believe in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ upon the Apostle Peter, and today I fully accept Pope Benedict XVI as the true Pope of the Catholic Church and I submit myself to his authority in obedience to the same Jesus Christ who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.”
Then sign the paper and put the date beside your signature.
I advise you to make this act of submission to the Vicar of Christ. You will see the good that it will do for you.
Secondly, make a firm decision that you will no longer go to the sedevacantist priest for Confession. This is important. Do not go to Confession to him since he has no jurisdiction to forgive sins. Do not open up to him since he will try to convince you of his errors. In fact, unless you know for sure that he was ordained by a SSPX bishop or by Archbishop Lefebvre you really must not trust his priestly Orders at all, because the Catholic Church does not recognise them.
With these things agreed, you should soon find a chapel of the Fraternity of St. Peter or another chapel where the old Mass is offered by some good, orthodox priest. This is no longer difficult, especially in the United States of America.
I know that this news presents you with the Cross since it is difficult to change and the need to change may raise many questions or bring unrest to your soul. It will pass. Trust me, it is worth it. The chapel you are in may be beautiful but, unless you are under the authority of your true Shepherd, Pope Benedict XVI, you will not be in your Father’s house; but in the house of a stranger. You need your Shepherd. Dear lost sheep, you must start for home.
If you need any help you can write to me by pressing the ‘Contact Me’ button. You will find the internet address of the Society of St. Peter on the links at the left of the screen.
May Our Mother of Perpetual Succour guide you and lead you along the rest of the way home.
Please also pray for us.
Your devoted servant
Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Friday, May 15, 2009

+ "No other name ..." To refuse submission to Pope Benedict is not an option +

Today, at a distance of some twenty centuries, Peter’s Successor, the Bishop of Rome, stands before that same empty tomb and contemplates the mystery of the Resurrection. Following in the footsteps of the Apostle, I wish to proclaim anew, to the men and women of our time, the Church’s firm faith that Jesus Christ “was crucified, died and was buried”, and that “on the third day he rose from the dead”. Exalted at the right hand of the Father, he has sent us his Spirit for the forgiveness of sins. Apart from him, whom God has made Lord and Christ, “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12).
-Pope Benedict XVI
15 May 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

+ White Night -preparation for our 10th Anniversary +

Looking across to Papa Stronsay
On the 31st May, Feast of the Queenship of Mary, we will celebrate the 10th anniversary of our aquisition of the island of Papa Stronsay in Orkney.
The pier in last night's "White Night".

We can never be sufficiently grateful to God for all that He has done for us... Baptism, Penance, Holy Communion, Monastic Life and the Priesthood, ... ineffable gifts.
To that superabundance, we add the gift of a place to live, -our monastery in Papa Stronsay, Orkney.
Monks first came to this holy island in ancient times and remained until after the Middle Ages. 'Papa Stronsay' means "Priests' island of Stronsay." In those past ages the island was called "Papa in Litia" and "Papa Minora" which translate as "Little Papa", "Little Priests' island".
Now, soon for ten years, priests and monks, we have returned to Little Priests' Island, Papa Stronsay.
We will sing God's praises here.
Highlanders in the White Night
The Orkney islands are now in that period of the year where there is light for most of the night. Since these 'nights' are not dark at all, yet nor are they bright, they are sometimes called "White Nights" in Northern countries.
These photographs were taken last night between 9.30 and 10.00 p.m. when the sky was cloudy, and the sea, perfectly still, was a mirror of the sky. The still air carried the sounds of nature: a few ducks swimming on the sea; the calling of the seals; and the breathing and moving of Papa Stronsay's Highland cattle.

Highland beasts of the Lord, wild and tame,
bless the Lord, in His White Night.
Benedicite, maria et flumina, Domino.
Benedicite, cete, et omnia quae moventur in aquis, Domino:
Benedicite, omnes volucres caeli, Domino.
Benedicite, omnes bestiae et pecora Domino:
Benedicite, filii hominum, Domino.
Seas and rivers bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures bless the Lord;
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt Him above all forever.
Et nox illuminatio mea in deliciis meis.
And the night shall light up my joy.
(Exsultet of the Paschal Mystery)

Friday, May 08, 2009

+ Princeps gloriosissime Michael Archangele,* +

Let us celebrate the feast
of the glorious Captain of the angelic hosts
Today is the commemoration of his apparition
on Mount Gargano.
Hic est Michael archangelus, princeps militiae angelorum:*
Cujus honor praestat beneficia populorum,
et oratio perducit ad regna coelorum, Alleluia.

This is Michael the Archangel, the chief of the angelic hosts:*
He repays by blessings the honour shown him by the faithful;
and his prayer leads us to the kingdom of heaven, alleluia.

That the blessed Archangel Michael has often appreared to men, is attested both by the authority of sacred Scripture, and by the ancient tradition of the Saints. Hence the memory of these apparitions is commemorated in divers places. As, heretofore, Michael was honoured by the Synagogue of the Jews as guardian and patron, so he now by the Church of God. A celebrated apparition of the Archangel took place under the pontificate of Gelasius I, in Apulia, on the top of Mount Gargano, at the foot of which lies the town of Siponto.
A bull, belonging to a man who lived on the mountain, having strayed from the herd, was found after much searching caught fast in the mouth of a cave. One of its pursuers shot an arrow, in order to rouse the animal by a wound; but the arrow rebounding, struck him that sent it. This circumstance excited so much fear in the bystanders, and in them that heard of it, that no one dared to go near the cave. The inhabitants of Siponto, therefore, consulted the bishop; who answered that in order to know God's will, they must spend three days in fasting and prayer.

At the end of three days, the Archangel Michael intimated to the bishop that the place was under his protection, and that what had occurred was an indication of his will that God should be worshipped there, in honour of himself and the angels. Whereupon, the bishop repaired to the cave together with his people. They found it to be shaped like a church, and began to use it for the celebration of divine service. Many miracles were afterwards wrought there. Not long after Pope Boniface dedicated a church in honour of St. Michael in the great Circus of Rome, on the third of the Kalends of October (29 September), the day on which the Church celebrates the memory of all angels. But today's feast is kept in commemoration of the apparition of Michael the Archangel.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Block by block - The Feast of St. Joseph the Workman

V. Verbum Dei, per quod facta sunt omnia, alleluia.
R. Dignatus est operari manibus suis, alleluia.
V. The Word of God, by Whom all things were made, alleluia.
R. Did not disdain to work with His hands, alleluia.
The Feast of St. Joseph the Workman
Brother Matthew and Brother Xavier
V. Gloria et exemplar opificum, sancte Ioseph, alleluia.
R. Cui oboedire voluit Filius Dei, alleluia.
V. O St. Joseph, glory and model of workmen, alleluia.
R. Whom the Son of God chose to obey, alleluia.
Fratres: Pax Christi exultet in cordibus vestris...
Brethren: may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts....
[Little Chapter of the Feast, Lauds, Terce, Vespers]
Ioseph, opifex sancte, opera nostra tuere, alleluia.
Joseph, holy workman, be the guardian over all our works, alleluia.
Omne quodcumque facitis ...
Whatever you do in word or in work,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
[Little Chapter of the Feast, Sext]
Quodcumque facitis...
Whatever you do, work at it from the heart
as for the Lord and not for men....
[Little Chapter for the Feast, None]
Visita, quaesumus, Domini, habitationem istam,
et omnes inimici ab ea longe repelle:
Angeli tui sancti habitent in ea,
qui nos in pace custodiant;
et benedictio tua sit super nos semper.
Let us pray.
Visit this house, O Lord;
keep the devil's wily infleunce away from it.
Let Thy holy Angels dwell here,
to guard us in peace.
And let Thy blessing rest upon us always.
[Office of Compline]

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