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Friday, April 30, 2010

The passing of Cardinal Mayer, R.I.P.

The passing of a truly holy monk and priest.
A true Spiritual Father.

Paul Augustin Mayer O.S.B., R.I.P.
(23 May 1911 – 30 April 2010)

Born at Altötting (Passau) 23 May 1911;
Professed in the Abbey of Metten 17 May 1931;
Ordained priest 25 August 1935;
Elected Abbot of Metten 3 November 1966;
Received the abbatial blessing 10 December 1966;
Secretary of the Congregation for Religious and Secular Institutes 8 September 1971;

Named Titular Archbishop of Satriano 6 January 1972;
consecrated 13 February 1972 at Rome,
in Saint Peter`s Basilica,
by His Holiness Pope Paul VI,
assisted by
Bernard Jan Cardinal Alfrink, Archbishop of Utrecht,
and by William Cardinal Conway, Archbishop of Armagh.

Pro-Prefect of the Congregation for the Sacraments
and of the Congregation for Divine Worship 8 April 1984.

Cardinal Deacon of San Anselmo all`Aventino 25 May 1985.

Prefect of the Congregation for the Sacraments
and of the Congregation for Divine Worship 27 May 1985;
resigned as Prefect of both Congregations 1 July 1988.

President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
from 2 July 1988 to 1 July 1991.

Cardinal Priest of the Title of San Anselmo all`Aventino 29 January 1996.

Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat ei.
Requiescat in pace

Thursday, April 29, 2010

We have much to discuss - you and I ...

The Homily of
His Lordship
Bishop Slattery
of Tulsa Diocese, USA
Given in the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,
Washington, D.C.

on the occasion of the
5th anniversary

of the ascension of Benedict XVI
to the throne of Peter.

Ad multos annos!

We have much to discuss - you and I …

… much to speak of on this glorious occasion when we gather together in the glare of the world’s scrutiny to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter.

We must come to understand how it is that suffering can reveal the mercy of God and make manifest among us the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, crucified and now risen from the dead.

We must speak of this mystery today, first of all because it is one of the great mysteries of revelation, spoken of in the New Testament and attested to by every saint in the Church’s long history, by the martyrs with their blood, by the confessors with their constancy, by the virgins with their purity and by the lay faithful of Christ’s body by their resolute courage under fire.

But we must also speak clearly of this mystery because of the enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age.

From the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months to the suffering of the Church’s most recent martyrs in India and Africa, welling up from the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed and the undocumented, and gathering tears from the victims of abuse and neglect, from women who have been deceived into believing that abortion was a simple medical procedure and thus have lost part of their soul to the greed of the abortionist, and now flowing with the heartache of those who suffer from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or the emotional diseases of our age, it is the sufferings of our people that defines the culture of our modern secular age.

This enormous suffering which can take on so many varied physical, mental, and emotional forms will reduce us to fear and trembling - if we do not remember that Christ - our Pasch - has been raised from the dead. Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion - if we do not remember that Christ - our hope - has been raised for our sakes. Jesus is our Pasch, our hope and our light.

He makes himself most present in the suffering of his people and this is the mystery of which we must speak today, for when we speak of His saving presence and proclaim His infinite love in the midst of our suffering, when we seek His light and refuse to surrender to the darkness, we receive that light which is the life of men; that light which, as Saint John reminds us in the prologue to his Gospel, can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking.

Our suffering is thus transformed by His presence. It no longer has the power to alienate or isolate us. Neither can it dehumanize us nor destroy us. Suffering, however long and terrible it may be, has only the power to reveal Christ among us, and He is the mercy and the forgiveness of God.

The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father.

But the point which we must clarify is that Christ reveals Himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in His Passion and who are thus obedient to Christ’s command that we take up our cross and follow Him. Suffering by itself is simply the reminder that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt.
This is the meaning of Peter’s claim that he is a witness to the sufferings of Christ and thus one who has a share in the glory yet to be revealed. Once Peter grasped the overwhelming truth of this mystery, his life was changed. The world held nothing for Peter. For him, there was only Christ.

This is, as you know, quite a dramatic shift for the man who three times denied Our Lord, the man to whom Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Christ’s declaration to Peter that he would be the rock, the impregnable foundation, the mountain of Zion upon which the new Jerusalem would be constructed, follows in Matthew’s Gospel Saint Peter’s dramatic profession of faith, when the Lord asks the Twelve, “Who do people say that I am?” and Peter, impulsive as always, responds “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”

Only later - much later - would Peter come to understand the full implication of this first Profession of Faith. Peter would still have to learn that to follow Christ, to truly be His disciple, one must let go of everything which the world considers valuable and necessary, and become powerless. This is the mystery which confounds independent Peter. It is the mystery which still confounds us: to follow Christ, one must surrender everything and become obedient with the obedience of Christ, for no one gains access to the Kingdom of the Father, unless he enter through the humility and the obedience of Jesus.

Peter had no idea that eventually he would find himself fully accepting this obedience, joyfully accepting his share in the Passion and Death of Christ. But Peter loved Our Lord and love was the way by which Peter learned how to obey. “Lord, you know that I love thee,” Peter affirms three times with tears; and three times Christ commands him to tend to the flock that gathers at the foot of Calvary - and that is where we are now.

Peter knew that Jesus was the true Shepherd, the one Master and the only teacher; the rest of us are learners and the lesson we must learn is obedience, obedience unto death. Nothing less than this, for only when we are willing to be obedient with the very obedience of Christ will we come to recognize Christ’s presence among us.

Obedience is thus the heart of the life of the disciple and the key to suffering in Christ and with Christ. This obedience, is must be said, is quite different from obedience the way it is spoken of and dismissed in the world.

For those in the world, obedience is a burden and an imposition. It is the way by which the powerful force the powerless to do obeisance. Simply juridical and always external, obedience is the bending that breaks, but a breaking which is still less painful than the punishment meted out for disobedience. Thus for those in the world obedience is a punishment which must be avoided; but for Christians, obedience is always personal, because it is centered on Christ. It is a surrender to Jesus Whom we love.

For those whose lives are centered in Christ, obedience is that movement which the heart makes when it leaps in joy having once discovered the truth.

Let us consider, then, that Christ has given us both the image of his obedience and the action by which we are made obedient.

The image of Christ’s obedience is His Sacred Heart. That Heart, exposed and wounded must give us pause, for man’s heart it generally hidden and secret. In the silence of his own heart, each of us discovers the truth of who we are, the truth of why we are silent when we should speak, or bothersome and quarrelsome when we should be silent. In our hidden recesses of the heart, we come to know the impulses behind our deeds and the reasons why we act so often as cowards and fools.

But while man’s heart is generally silent and secret, the Heart of the God-Man is fully visible and accessible. It too reveals the motives behind our Lord’s self-surrender. It was obedience to the Father’s will that mankind be reconciled and our many sins forgiven us. “Son though he was,” the Apostle reminds us, “Jesus learned obedience through what He suffered.” Obedient unto death, death on a cross, Jesus asks his Father to forgive us that God might reveal the full depth of his mercy and love. “Father, forgive them,” he prayed, “for they know not what they do.”

Christ’s Sacred Heart is the image of the obedience which Christ showed by his sacrificial love on Calvary. The Sacrifice of Calvary is also for us the means by which we are made obedient and this is a point which you must never forget: at Mass, we offer ourselves to the Father in union with Christ, who offers Himself in perfect obedience to the Father. We make this offering in obedience to Christ who commanded us to “Do this in memory of me” and our obediential offering is perfected in the love with which the Father receives the gift of His Son.

Do not be surprised then that here at Mass, our bloodless offering of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary is a triple act of obedience. First, Christ is obedient to the Father, and offers Himself as a sacrifice of reconciliation.

Secondly, we are obedient to Christ and offer ourselves to the Father with Jesus the Son; and thirdly, in sharing Christ’s obedience to the Father, we are made obedient to a new order of reality, in which love is supreme and life reigns eternal, in which suffering and death have been defeated by becoming for us the means by which Christ’s final victory, his future coming, is made manifest and real today.

Suffering then, yours, mine, the Pontiffs, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory. It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come.

Do not be dismayed that there many in the Church have not yet grasped this point, and fewer still in the world will even dare to consider it, but you know this to be true and it is enough, for ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.

If then someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke only of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came to this Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery and if someone asks what I said of the present situation, tell them only that we must - all of us - become saints through what we suffer.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In the fold of Peter, which is Thine.

The Good Shepherd-Pope

Divine Shepherd of our souls!

Divine Shepherd of our souls!
how great is thy love for Thy sheep!
Thou givest even Thy life to save them.
The fury of wolves does not make Thee flee from us;
Thou becomest their prey, that we may escape.
Thou didst die in our stead, because Thou wast our Shepherd.

...that he might supply thy place
after thy departure from this world...

We are not surprised at Thy requiring from Peter
a greater love than Thou didst require from his brother Apostles:
Thou didst will to make him their and our shepherd.
Peter answered Thee without hesitation, that he loved Thee;
and Thou didst confer upon him Thine own name,
together with the reality of Thine office,
in order that he might supply Thy place after Thy departure from this world.

Preserve us, O Jesus, in the fold of Peter, which is Thine.

Be thou blessed, O divine Shepherd!
for Thy having thus provided for the necessities of Thy fold,
which could not be one,
were it to have many shepherds without one supreme shepherd.
In obedience to Thy command,
we bow down before Peter, with love and submission;
we respectfully kiss his sacred feet;
for it is by him that we are united to Thee;
it is by him that we are Thy sheep.
Preserve us, O Jesus, in the fold of Peter, which is Thine.
Keep far from us the hireling who usurps the place and rights of the shepherd.
He has intruded himself, or been intruded by violence, into the fold,
and would have us take him as the master;
but he knows not the sheep, and the sheep do not know him.
Led, not by zeal, but by avarice and ambition,
he flieth at the approach of danger.
He that governs through worldly motives
is not a man to lay down his life for others.
The schismatic pastor loves himself; he does not love Thy sheep;
how could he give his life for them?
Protect us, O Jesus, from this hireling!
He would separate us from Thee, by separating us from Peter,
whom thou hast appointed Thy Vicar;
and we are determined to recognize no other.

Anathema to him who would command as in Thy name,
and yet not be sent by Peter!

Anathema to him who would command as in Thy name,
and yet not be sent by Peter!
Such a pastor could be but an impostor;
he would not rest on the foundation;
he would not have the keys of the kingdom of heaven;
to follow him would be our ruin.

...thus we may defy every tempest...

Grant, then, Good Shepherd, Jesus!
that we may ever keep close to Thee and to Peter;
that as he rests upon Thee, we may rest upon him;
and thus we may defy every tempest,
for Thou, dear Lord, hast said:
A wise man built his house upon a rock;
and the rain fell, and the floods came,
and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house,
and it fell not ;
for it was founded on a ROCK.

[St Matt. vii 24, 25.]

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Holy Shroud without patches

Exposition of the Holy Shroud
-without patches-

The visits of the first pilgrims began at 6.30 p.m. last Saturday:
over 12.000 people, (12.140),
out of which about 480 from abroad.

The number of visits booked has almost reached 1.5 million.

At 1 p.m. the visits booked turned out being
out of which 93% from Italy.

There are almost 60.000 reservations from Wester Europe countries:
22.000 from France,
12.000 from Germany,
9.000 from Spain,
7.000 from Sweden.

30.000 from Eastern Europe:
10.000 from Poland,
7.000 from Russia.

13.000 from the American Continent:
9.000 from the United States
and over 1.000 from Mexico.

2.000 from Asia.

Some visits were booked from Africa and Oceania.

There is an excellent tool to view the Shroud without its patches at:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

At 83 years of age tomorrow -the Holy Father will have much to suffer...

God bless our Pope!
The great, the good!

The anti Papal slant in the news media continues.
Time, CNN, when they have no more mud to sling
dig up dead popes from the centuries past.
The exhibitionist atheists
Christopher Hitchens and

Richard Dawkins,
(Richard Dawkins is
described as the Rev. Ian Paisley of the atheistic movement.)

have asked the Australian barrister Geoffrey Robertson
to draw up a case to arrest Benedict XVI
for alleged cover-up of paedophilia in the Church.

Pope Pius IX mocked.

How edifying and refreshing at least in this that, no Pope has been as unpopular as Benedict XVI since Blessed Pius IX had to flee Rome in 1870. The Holy Father is in good company.

Public mockery of Pope Pius IX using The Keys to snuff out the light of the sun of modern civilisation.

Pope Benedict XVI mocked as Sith,
the Evil Emperor of Star Wars.

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
is unjustly targeted, vilified and mocked

which is a clear sign
that the world rejects him and that he belongs to Christ.

If the world hate you, know ye,
that it hath hated me before you.

If you had been of the world,
the world would love its own:
but because you are not of the world, but
I have chosen you out of the world,

therefore the world hateth you.

Remember my word that I said to you:

The servant is not greater than his master.

If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you."
(Jn. 15:18).

The words of Our Lady of Fatima are being fulfilled in these days:

"To prevent this, I shall come to ask
for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart,
and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays.
If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted,
and there will be peace;
if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world,
causing wars and persecutions of the Church.
The good will be martyred,

the Holy Father will have much to suffer,
various nations will be annihilated.
In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.
The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me
and she will be converted,
and a period of peace will be granted to the world."
(13 July 1917)

On May 18, 1936, Lucia asked Our Lord as to why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making the consecration. Our Lord replied, "Because I want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that it may extend its cult later on and put the devotion of the Immaculate Heart besides the devotion to My Sacred Heart." Lucia answered, "But, my God, the Holy Father probably will not believe me unless You Yourself move him with a special inspiration."
Our Lord answered,
"The Holy Father, pray much for the Holy Father.
He will do it, but it will be late.

Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to her."

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

John 17:11?

There really is so much liturgical variety in the world. I saw these two ceremonies recently and thought that they provided a very deep insight into how two very different cultures approach the same action – the worship of God. Reading the following passage of Holy Scripture made me think a bit: “Holy Father, keep them in thy name whom thou has given me; that they may be one, as we also are.” John 17:11.?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday

Below you can find the photos from Holy Saturday morning, the Easter Vigil and Easter Sunday morning.

Holy Saturday Tenebrae.

Brother sings one of the Lamentations.

The Easter Vigil.

Father blesses the paschal candle...

...and lights it from the Holy Fire

The Deacon carries the candle in procession to the church and places it on a large candlestick.

It is incensed.

Brother sings one of the prophesies.

Blessing the Paschal Water.

The Paschal Candle is lowered into the water three times.

Holy Mass - The Deacon sings the Gospel.

Easter Sunday Morning.

The Holy Fire is taken across the sea to the chapel on Stronsay where Holy Mass is to be celebrated.

Leaving the Papa Stronay pier.

A holy and happy Easter to all our family and friends!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Good Friday

Below are some of the photos from our ceremonies on Good Friday.

The Stations of the Cross.

Fr. Anthony Mary, F.SS.R. gives the blessing with the relic of the True Cross.

Our large relic of the True Cross was the possession of Mary Queen of Scots who wore it on her person. She gave it to her Lady in Waiting the very night before she was unjustly executed.

The Afternoon Liturgical Action.

Faithfull from Stronsay are attending the holy Easter Triduum on Papa Stronsay.

Post Liturgical Devotion -
Procession to the Sepulchre.

Our statue of the body of Christ is carried in procession to a prepared sepulchre. The Rosary is said.

Pausing along the way to sing one of the Lamentations of Jeremiah.

The sepulchre of Our Lord.

Fr. Anthony sings the concluding part of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John.

Each person venerates the statue of Our Lord's body while hymns are sung.

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