A Little While Now

The Basilica of St. Benedict, Norcia, destroyed Sunday, 30 October 2016.
The Basilica of St. Benedict, Norcia, destroyed Sunday, 30 October 2016.

In septimo mense, vigesima et prima mensis, factum est verbum Domini in manu Aggæi prophetæ, dicens: Loquere ad Zorobabel, filium Salathiel, ducem Juda, et ad Jesum, filium Josedec, sacerdotem magnum, et ad reliquos populi, dicens:

Quis in vobis est derelictus,
qui vidit domum istam in gloria sua prima?
et quid vos videtis hanc nunc?
numquid non ita est, quasi non sit in oculis vestris?
Et nunc confortare, Zorobabel, dicit Dominus;
et confortare, Jesu, fili Josedec, sacerdos magne;
et confortare, omnis populus terræ, dicit Dominus exercituum:
et facite (quoniam ego vobiscum sum, dicit Dominus exercituum)
verbum quod pepigi vobiscum cum egrederemini de terra Ægypti:
et spiritus meus erit in medio vestrum: nolite timere.

Quia hæc dicit Dominus exercituum:
Adhuc unum modicum est,
et ego commovebo cælum, et terram, et mare, et aridam.
Et movebo omnes gentes,
et veniet desideratus cunctis gentibus:
et implebo domum istam gloria,
dicit Dominus exercituum.

Meum est argentum, et meum est aurum,
dicit Dominus exercituum.
Magna erit gloria domus istius novissimæ plus quam primæ,
dicit Dominus exercituum:
et in loco isto dabo pacem,
dicit Dominus exercituum.

In vigesima et quarta noni mensis, in anno secundo Darii regis, factum est verbum Domini ad Aggæum prophetam, dicens: Hæc dicit Dominus exercituum: Interroga sacerdotes legem, dicens: Si tulerit homo carnem sanctificatam in ora vestimenti sui, et tetigerit de summitate ejus panem, aut pulmentum, aut vinum, aut oleum, aut omnem cibum, numquid sanctificabitur? Respondentes autem sacerdotes, dixerunt: Non. Et dixit Aggæus: Si tetigerit pollutus in anima ex omnibus his, numquid contaminabitur? Et responderunt sacerdotes, et dixerunt: Contaminabitur.

Et respondit Aggæus, et dixit:

Sic populus iste,
et sic gens ista ante faciem meam, dicit Dominus,
et sic omne opus manuum eorum:
et omnia quæ obtulerunt ibi, contaminata erunt.
Et nunc ponite corda vestra a die hac et supra,
antequam poneretur lapis super lapidem in templo Domini.
Cum accederetis ad acervum viginti modiorum,
et fierent decem;
et intraretis ad torcular, ut exprimeretis quinquaginta lagenas,
et fiebant viginti.
Percussi vos vento urente, et aurugine,
et grandine omnia opera manuum vestrarum:
et non fuit in vobis qui reverteretur ad me, dicit Dominus.
Ponite corda vestra ex die ista, et in futurum,
a die vigesima et quarta noni mensis:
a die qua fundamenta jacta sunt templi Domini,
ponite super cor vestrum.
Numquid jam semen in germine est,
et adhuc vinea, et ficus,
et malogranatum, et lignum olivæ non floruit? ex die ista benedicam.

Et factum est verbum Domini secundo ad Aggæum in vigesima et quarta mensis, dicens: Loquere ad Zorobabel ducem Juda, dicens:

Ego movebo cælum pariter et terram,
et subvertam solium regnorum,
et conteram fortitudinem regni gentium:
et subvertam quadrigam et ascensorem ejus,
et descendent equi, et ascensores eorum,
vir in gladio fratris sui.
In die illa, dicit Dominus exercituum, assumam te,
Zorobabel, fili Salathiel, serve meus, dicit Dominus:
et ponam te quasi signaculum,
quia te elegi, dicit Dominus exercituum.

— Aggæus ii.

Such is Truly Demoniac, Blind, and Dumb

Saint Augustine in His Study by Sandro Botticelli, 1480, Chiesa di Ognissanti, Florence, Italy.
Saint Augustine in His Study by Sandro Botticelli, 1480, Chiesa di Ognissanti, Florence, Italy.

Dæmonium enim habens, cæcus et mutus est, qui non credit Deo; et subditus est diabolo, qui non intelligit, et non confitetur ipsam fidem, vel qui non dat laudem Deo. S. Augustinus, Quæst. Ev., i, 4.

St. Paul via Duck Dynasty

Statue of the Saint before the façade of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome, Italy.
Statue of the Saint before the façade of the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Rome, Italy.

An nescitis quia iniqui regnum Dei non possidebunt? Nolite errare: neque fornicarii, neque idolis servientes, neque adulteri, neque molles, neque masculorum concubitores, neque fures, neque avari, neque ebriosi, neque maledici, neque rapaces regnum Dei possidebunt.

— I Corinthians vi. 9-10.

Reality Upturned into Perversity

Crucifix by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Santa Maria del Santo Spirito di Firenze, Florence.
Crucifix by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, Santa Maria del Santo Spirito di Firenze, Florence.

We have heard so much in the past year about the mercy of God, as if the mercy of God does not depend on the justice of God. Without justice there is no mercy. The mission of the Church is not primarily to proclaim the mercy of God. The mission of the Church is to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The mercy of God is surely seen and exemplified once and for all in the Cross of Jesus Christ. There is no greater symbol of God’s mercy and love. Those silly “resurrected Christs” that are placed on a cross over an altar in some Catholic churches are a product of sentimentality and denial of the justice of God. And yet when one looks at the Cross one sees there the terrible, horrible, judgment of God on this world of sin, that God would have to have his Son die in this way: what does that say about this world, about you and me? The obvious answer is quite negative. But you see, the deepest answer to that question is Love, there is the answer. But not the cheap love the world would have us believe in, love defined as what I want to do, love defined apart from the laws of God, love defined so as to upturn reality into perversity, a false love that is doomed to hell, as Dante saw, as Christ told us, as St. Paul wrote, that is doomed to death, for it is the opposite of Love.

— From homily on the Last Sunday after Pentecost, 2013,
Fr. Richard G. Cipolla,
Saint Mary’s Norwalk, Connecticut.

(h/t to Rorate Cæli)

As Courtly or Country Vessels

But Thou, O my God, hadst already taught me by wonderful and secret ways, and therefore I believe that Thou taughtest me, because it is truth, nor is there besides Thee any teacher of truth, where or whencesoever it may shine upon us. Of Thyself therefore had I now learned, that neither ought any thing to seem to be spoken truly, because eloquently; nor therefore falsely, because the utterance of the lips is inharmonious; nor, again, therefore true, because rudely delivered; nor therefore false, because the language is rich; but that wisdom and folly are as wholesome and unwholesome food; and adorned or unadorned phrases as courtly or country vessels; either kind of meats may be served up in either kind of dishes.

— St. Augustine, Confessions, Book V., Chapter vi.

Only a Remnant

A remnant will turn back, only a remnant of Jacob, to God, the Mighty One. Countless though Israel be as the sea sand, only a remnant of it will return; there must be a sharp reckoning first, before we are restored, abundantly, to his favour. Short and sharp is the reckoning the Lord, the God of hosts, will make, with the whole world for the scene of it.

Isaiah x. 21-23.

Tae Win Oor Liberty

Crucifixion of St. Andrew; Carlo Braccesco, 1495; Galleria Franchetti, Ca’ d’Oro, Venice, Italy.
Crucifixion of St. Andrew; Carlo Braccesco, 1495; Galleria Franchetti, Ca’ d’Oro, Venice, Italy.

By the cross oor Andrew bore
By the sword oor William wore
By the crown our Robert swore
Tae win oor Liberty
Ca’ the falcon frae the glen,
Ca’ the eagle frae the ben
Ca’ the lion frae his den
Tae win oor Liberty

By the man wha’s faith was old
By the man they sold for gold
By the man they’ll never hold
Tae win oor Liberty
Ca’ the thieves o’ Liddesdale
Ca’ the spears o’ Annandale
Ca’ the brave o’ Yarrowvale
Tae win oor Liberty

By the arm that bends the bow
By the arm that plies the blow
By the arm that lays them low
Tae win oor Liberty
Ca’ the banners frae the West
Ca’ the raven frae his nest
Ca’ the clans that dance the best
Tae win oor Liberty

By the field that once was green
By the shield of silver sheen
By the sword in battle keen
Tae win oor Liberty
Bless the man wha’s faith we hold
Bless the man in chains they sold
Bless the man in cloth o’ gold
Wha’ won oor Liberty
Bless the man in cloth o’ gold
Wha’ won oor Liberty

Liberty, The Corries.

Iam Regnaturus Vincit Nunc Hic Superatur

Mosaic of St. Michael the Archangel and the Dragon, Basilica di San Marco, Venice; by Francesco Zuccato; XVI century.
Mosaic of St. Michael the Archangel and the Dragon, Basilica di San Marco, Venice; by Francesco Zuccato; XVI century.

Ever Gazing Up to Thee

Interior Mosaic, Ascension Dome, Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, Venice.
Interior Mosaic, Ascension Dome, Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, Venice.

Hail the day that sees Him rise, Alleluia!
To His throne above the skies, Alleluia!
Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia!
Reascends His native heaven, Alleluia!

There the glorious triumph waits, Alleluia!
Lift your heads, eternal gates, Alleluia!
Christ hath conquered death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!

Circled round with angel powers, Alleluia!
Their triumphant Lord, and ours, Alleluia!
Conqueror over death and sin, Alleluia!
Take the King of glory in, Alleluia!

Him though highest Heav’n receives, Alleluia!
Still He loves the earth He leaves, Alleluia!
Though returning to His throne, Alleluia!
Still He calls mankind His own, Alleluia!

See! He lifts His hands above, Alleluia!
See! He shows the prints of love, Alleluia!
Hark! His gracious lips bestow, Alleluia!
Blessings on His church below, Alleluia!

Still for us His death He pleads, Alleluia!
Prevalent He intercedes, Alleluia!
Near Himself prepares our place, Alleluia!
Harbinger of human race, Alleluia!

Master, (will we ever say), Alleluia!
Taken from our head to day, Alleluia!
See Thy faithful servants, see, Alleluia!
Ever gazing up to Thee, Alleluia!

Grant, though parted from our sight, Alleluia!
Far above yon azure height, Alleluia!
Grant our hearts may thither rise, Alleluia!
Seeking Thee beyond the skies, Alleluia!

Ever upward let us move, Alleluia!
Wafted on the wings of love, Alleluia!
Looking when our Lord shall come, Alleluia!
Longing, gasping after home, Alleluia!

There we shall with Thee remain, Alleluia!
Partners of Thy endless reign, Alleluia!
There Thy face unclouded see, Alleluia!
Find our heaven of heavens in Thee, Alleluia!

Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise, Charles Wes­ley, Hymns and Sacred Poems, 1742.

Flee from Cruel Lands

Girolamo Savonarola.

The reason why I entered into a religious order is this: first, the great misery of the world, the wickedness of men, the rapes, the adulteries, the thefts, the pride, the idolatry, the vile curses, for the world has come to such a state that one can no longer find anyone who does good; so much so that many times every day I would sing this verse with tears in my eyes: Alas, flee from cruel lands, flee from the shores of the greedy. I did this because I could not stand the great wickedness of the blind people of Italy, especially when I saw that virtue had been completely cast down and vice raised up.

— Girolamo Savonarola in a letter to his father (25 April 1475).

The Holy Ghost Shall Come upon Thee

The Cestello Annunciation by Sandro Botticelli, 1489-90; tempera on panel; 150 x 156 cm; Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

With Garrulous Loquacity

Irish Chapel of St. Columbanus in the Vatican Grottoes.

Below is the chapter appertaining to monastic silence from the Regula Monachorum of Columbanus Hibernus.

Saint Columbanus (540 – 23 November 615; Irish: Columbán, meaning “the white dove”) was an Irish missionary notable for founding a number of monasteries on the European continent from circa 590 in the Frankish and Lombard kingdoms, most notably Luxeuil (in present-day France) and Bobbio (Italy), and stands as an exemplar of Irish missionary activity in early mediæval Europe.

He spread among the Franks a Celtic monastic rule and Celtic penitential practices for those repenting of sins, which emphasized private confession to a priest, followed by penances levied by the priest in reparation for the sin. He is also one of the earliest identifiable Hiberno-Latin writers.

* * *

Of Silence (IV)

The rule of silence is decreed to be carefully observed, since it is written: But the nurture of righteousness is silence and peace.’’

Isa. 32.17

And thus, lest one be apprehended as guilty of much talking, it is needful that he keep silence, except for things profitable and necessary, since according to Scripture, in many words sin will not be lacking.’’

Prov. 10.19

Therefore the Saviour says: By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.’’

Matt. 12.37

Justly will they be damned who would not say just things when they could, but preferred to say with garrulous loquacity what is evil, unjust, irreverent, empty, harmful, dubious, false, provocative, disparaging, base, fanciful, blasphemous, rude, and tortuous. Therefore we must keep silence on these and kindred matters, and speak with care and prudence, lest either disparagements or swollen oppositions should break out in vicious garrulity.