SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Life & Soul
August 06, 2020
Fr Dominic Allain
“Vanità di vanità, ogni cos’ e vanità,” we sang to a hauntingly sad melody. St Philip Neri used to make his novices sing this song and we, as their 20th-Century counterparts, were taught it by Dr Mary Remnant for performance in one of her lecture recitals at the London Oratory. The evening was billed as
August 06, 2020
Fr John Zuhlsdorf
While we worship our Triune God, we venerate our human and angelic family in the Church Triumphant. There is no one more august to whom we offer praise than the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The months of June and July are respectively dedicated to devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and
August 06, 2020
Fr Lawrence Lew, OP
“Ferragosto” is celebrated on August 15 in Italy, and it is the high point of the summer months, around which holidays and shop closures are centred. This period of mid-summer rest and festivity dates to 18 BC during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus (after whom the month is named), but it has come
August 06, 2020
Archbishop John Wilson
A delinquent and wastrel; a murderer executed for his crime. Surely a bad example? Well, yes, if you ignore his conversion. “In five hours I shall see Jesus,” said Jacques Fesch shortly before he was guillotined in October 1957, aged 27. Seven last words that signpost redemption. Is it possible to find Christ and change?
August 02, 2020
Fr John Zuhlsdorf
The Collect for the 18th Ordinary Sunday was not in any previous edition of the Missale Romanum. The ancient Veronese Sacramentary has a close cousin used by our ancestors. Our modern version simplified the grammar. I found similar vocabulary in the works of Cicero (d BC 43 – Ep. ad fam. 2.6.4), in the writings
July 31, 2020
Bishop David McGough
Eighteenth Sunday of the Year Isaiah 55: 1-3; Romans 8: 35 & 37-39; Matthew 14: 13-21 “When evening came, the disciples went to Jesus and said, ‘this is a lonely place, and the time has slipped by; so send the people away, and they can go to the villages to buy themselves some food.’  Jesus replied, ‘There
July 26, 2020
Fr John Zuhlsdorf
On the 17th Ordinary Sunday the Collect for Holy Mass once again presents us with military imagery. At this time of the year Holy Mother Church seems to be trying to make a point: we are pilgrim soldiers marching through this world and we had better be disciplined if we are going to attain our
July 24, 2020
Bishop David McGough
Seventeenth Sunday of the Year 1 Kings 3: 5 & 7-12; Romans 8: 28-30; Matthew 13: 44-52 The Collect for the seventeenth Sunday of the year prays that the Lord might so guide us that “we may use the good things that pass in such a way as to hold fast, even now, to those
July 24, 2020
Fr John S Hogan
Edel Quinn’s life is a reminder that fruitfulness and authentic success often emerge from failure, from giving up one’s hopes and choices to God. Born in Cork in 1907, the daughter of a bank official and his wife, Edel’s early life was subject to constant change. Her education came to an abrupt end when she
July 24, 2020
Thomas Storck
In one of her letters, the American novelist Flannery O’Connor relates how, at a dinner party, one of the guests – an ex-Catholic – called the Eucharist a nice symbol. O’Connor replied, “Well, if it’s a symbol, to hell with it.” This incident highlights a fundamental point about the Catholic faith: if it’s not true,
July 24, 2020
Charles Coulombe
The first half of the 20th century produced incredible amounts of bloodshed, warfare and social unrest: of the hapless nations visited by these plagues, Austria was among the foremost. Yet the Catholic empire-turned-rump-republic also produced some of the brightest lights during that dark time, and one of these was Hildegard Burjan (1883-1933). She was born
July 17, 2020
Fr John Zuhlsdorf
Last year I wrote about the Collect for the Novus Ordo’s 16th Ordinary Sunday. But this time I have a little more room and, after all, repetita iuvant. Our prayer has an antecedent in a 9th century manuscript, the Sacramentarium Bergomense. Hence, this oration probably has its roots in the forerunners of the Ambrosian Rite of Milan: