Archive for August, 2005

Juliana of Norwich

August 28, 2005

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA

English mystic of the fourteenth century, author or recipient of the vision contained in the book known as the “Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love”. The original form of her name appears to have been Julian. She was probably a Benedictine nun, living as a recluse in an anchorage of which traces still remain in the east part of the churchyard of St. Julian in Norwich, which belonged to Carrow Priory. According to her book, this revelation was “shewed” to her on 8 or 14 May (the readings differ), 1373, when she was thirty years and a half old. This would refer her birth to the end of 1342. Her statement, that “for twenty years after the time of this shewing, save three months, I had teaching inwardly”, proves that the book was not written before 1393. An early fifteenth-century manuscript, recently purchased for the British Museum from the Amherst library, states that she “yet is on life, Anno Domini 1413”. It is probable that this is the manuscript cited by Francis Blomefield, the eigtheenth-century historian of Norfolk, and that a misreading of the date led to the statement that she was still living in 1442. Attempts have been made to identify her with Lady Julian Lampet, the anchoress of Carrow, references concerning legacies to whom occur in documents from 1426 to 1478; but this is manifestly impossible. The newly-discovered manuscript differs considerably from the complete version hitherto known, of which it is a kind of condensation, lacking the beginning and the end. Only three, much later, manuscripts of the fuller text are known to exist. The earliest, in the Bibliothèque Nationale at Paris (from which the book was first edited by Serenus de Cressy in 1670), dates from the sixteenth century; the other two, both in the British Museum and not independent of each other, belong to the seventeenth. The better of the latter is evidently a copy of a much earlier original. Whatever be their precise date, these “Revelations”, or “Shewings”, are the most perfect fruit of later medieval mysticism in England. Juliana described herself as a “simple creature unlettered” when she received them; but, in the years that intervened between the vision and the composition of the book, she evidently acquired some knowledge of theological phraseology, and her work appears to show the influence of Walter Hilton, as well as neo-Platonic analogies, the latter probably derived from the anonymous author of the “Divine Cloud of Unknowing”. There is one passage, concerning the place in Christ’s side for all mankind that shall be saved, which argues an acquaintance with the letters of St. Catherine of Siena. The psychological insight with which she describes her condition, distinguishing the manner of her vision and recognizing when she has to deal with a mere delusion, is worthy of St. Teresa. When seemingly at the point of death, in the bodily sickness for which she had prayed in order to renew her spiritual life, she passes into a trance while contemplating the crucifix, and has the vision of Christ’s suffering “in which all the shewings that follow be grounded and joined”. The book is the record of twenty years’ meditation upon that one experience; for, “when the shewing, which is given for a time, is passed and hid, then faith keepeth it by grace of the Holy Ghost unto our lives end”. More than fifteen years later, she received “in ghostly understanding” the explanation, the key to all religious experience: “What? wouldest thou wit thy Lord’s meaning in this thing? Wit it well: Love was His meaning. Who sheweth it thee? Love. Wherefore sheweth He it thee? For love. Hold thee therein, thou shalt wit more in the same. But thou shalt never wit therein other without end.” With this illumination, the whole mystery of Redemption and the purpose of human life become clear to her, and even the possibility of sin and the existence of evil does not trouble her, but is made “a bliss by love”. This is the great deed, transcending our reason, that the Blessed Trinity shall do at the last day: “Thou shalt see thyself that all manner of thing shall be well.” Like St. Catherine, Juliana has little of the dualism of body and soul that is frequent in the mystics. God is in our “sensuality” as well as in our “substance”, and the body and the soul render mutual aid: “Either of them take help of other till we be brought up into stature, as kind worketh.” Knowledge of God and knowledge of self are inseparable: we may never come to the knowing of one without the knowing of the other. “God is more nearer to us than our own soul”, and “in falling and rising we are ever preciously kept in one love.” She lays special stress upon the “homeliness” and “courtesy” of God’s dealings with us, “for love maketh might and wisdom full meek to us.” With this we must correspond by a happy confidence; “failing of comfort” is the “most mischief” into which the soul can fall. In the Blessed Virgin the Lord would have all mankind see how they are loved. Throughout her revelation Juliana submits herself to the authority of the Church: “I yield me to our mother Holy Church, as a simple child oweth.”

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The Cloud of Unknowing

August 28, 2005

“A BOOK OF CONTEMPLATION THE WHICH IS CALLED THE CLOUD OF UNKNOWING, IN THE
WHICH A SOUL IS ONED WITH GOD”

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Sunday Mass Readings

August 28, 2005

EWTN

Sunday, August 28, 2005
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-9
Psalm: Psalm 63:2-6, 8-9
Second Reading: Romans 12:1-2
Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27

Little Sisters, take good care for the aged, for in them you are caring for Christ Himself.
— Bl. Jeanne Jugan

QUEEN OF HEAVEN

August 21, 2005

Regina Mundi

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Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven

This website is dedicated to God and all people, world wide, who seek a greater spiritual connection with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Our Lord, Jesus.

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Mass Readings

August 21, 2005

EWTN

Sunday, August 21, 2005
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: Isaiah 22:19-23
Psalm: Psalm 138:1-3, 6, 8
Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

The Eucharist is a burning coal that sets us on fire. Fire is active by nature and tends to spread. When the soul is under the action of the Eucharist, it is forced to cry out; “O my God, what shall I do in return for so much love?” And Jesus answers; “Thou hast to resemble Me, to live for Me, and to live of Me.” The transformation will be easy; when it is a matter of love; one does not walk; one runs and flies.

St. Peter Julian Emyard

Glorious Assumption

August 15, 2005

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Our Lady’s Feast Day

August 15, 2005

Catholic Encyclopedia
 The Feast of the AssumptionThe Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 15 August; also called in old liturgical books Pausatio, Nativitas (for heaven), Mors, Depositio, Dormitio S. Mariae. This feast has a double object: (1) the happy departure of Mary from this life; (2) the assumption of her body into heaven. It is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin. THE FACT OF THE ASSUMPTIONRegarding the day, year, and manner of Our Lady’s death, nothing certain is known. The earliest known literary reference to the Assumption is found in the Greek work De Obitu S. Dominae. Catholic faith, however, has always derived our knowledge of the mystery from Apostolic Tradition. Epiphanius (d. 403) acknowledged that he knew nothing definite about it (Haer., lxxix, 11). The dates assigned for it vary between three and fifteen years after Christ’s Ascension. Two cities claim to be the place of her departure: Jerusalem and Ephesus. Common consent favours Jerusalem, where her tomb is shown; but some argue in favour of Ephesus. The first six centuries did not know of the tomb of Mary at Jerusalem. The belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is founded on the apocryphal treatise De Obitu S. Dominae, bearing the name of St. John, which belongs however to the fourth or fifth century. It is also found in the book De Transitu Virginis, falsely ascribed to St. Melito of Sardis, and in a spurious letter attributed to St. Denis the Areopagite. If we consult genuine writings in the East, it is mentioned in the sermons of St. Andrew of Crete, St. John Damascene, St. Modestus of Jerusalem and others. In the West, St. Gregory of Tours (De gloria mart., I, iv) mentions it first. The sermons of St. Jerome and St. Augustine for this feast, however, are spurious. St. John of Damascus (P. G., I, 96) thus formulates the tradition of the Church of Jerusalem: St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known to the Emperor Marcian and Pulcheria, who wished to possess the body of the Mother of God, that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven. Today, the belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is universal in the East and in the West; according to Benedict XIV (De Festis B.V.M., I, viii, 18) it is a probable opinion, which to deny were impious and blasphemous. THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTIONRegarding the origin of the feast we are also uncertain. It is more probably the anniversary of the dedication of some church than the actual anniversary of Our Lady’s death. That it originated at the time of the Council of Ephesus, or that St. Damasus introduced it in Rome is only a hypothesis. According to the life of St. Theodosius (d. 529) it was celebrated in Palestine before the year 500, probably in August (Baeumer, Brevier, 185). In Egypt and Arabia, however, it was kept in January, and since the monks of Gaul adopted many usages from the Egyptian monks (Baeumer, Brevier, 163), we find this feast in Gaul in the sixth century, in January [mediante mense undecimo (Greg. Turon., De gloria mart., I, ix)]. The Gallican Liturgy has it on the 18th of January, under the title: Depositio, Assumptio, or Festivitas S. Mariae (cf. the notes of Mabillon on the Gallican Liturgy, P. L., LXXII, 180). This custom was kept up in the Gallican Church to the time of the introduction of the Roman rite. In the Greek Church, it seems, some kept this feast in January, with the monks of Egypt; others in August, with those of Palestine; wherefore the Emperor Maurice (d. 602), if the account of the “Liber Pontificalis” (II, 508) be correct, set the feast for the Greek Empire on 15 August. In Rome (Batiffol, Brev. Rom., 134) the oldest and only feast of Our Lady was 1 January, the octave of Christ’s birth. It was celebrated first at Santa Maria Maggiore, later at Santa Maria ad Martyres. The other feasts are of Byzantine origin. Duchesne thinks (Origines du culte chr., 262) that before the seventh century no other feast was kept at Rome, and that consequently the feast of the Assumption, found in the sacramentaries of Gelasius and Gregory, is a spurious addition made in the eighth or seventh century. Probst, however (Sacramentarien, 264 sqq.), brings forth good arguments to prove that the Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, found on the 15th of August in the Gelasianum, is genuine, since it does not mention the corporeal assumption of Mary; that, consequently, the feast was celebrated in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Rome at least in the sixth century. He proves, furthermore, that the Mass of the Gregorian Sacramentary, such as we have it, is of Gallican origin (since the belief in the bodily assumption of Mary, under the influence of the apocryphal writings, is older in Gaul than in Rome), and that it supplanted the old Gelasian Mass. At the time of Sergius I (700) this feast was one of the principal festivities in Rome; the procession started from the church of St. Hadrian. It was always a double of the first class and a Holy Day of obligation. The octave was added in 847 by Leo IV; in Germany this octave was not observed in several dioceses up to the time of the Reformation. The Church of Milan has not accepted it up to this day (Ordo Ambros., 1906). The octave is privileged in the dioceses of the provinces of Sienna, Fermo, Michoacan, etc. The Greek Church continues this feast to 23 August, inclusive, and in some monasteries of Mount Athos it is protracted to 29 August (Menaea Graeca, Venice, 1880), or was, at least, formerly. In the dioceses of Bavaria a thirtieth day (a species of month’s mind) of the Assumption was celebrated during the Middle Ages, 13 Sept., with the Office of the Assumption (double); to-day, only the Diocese of Augsburg has retained this old custom. Some of the Bavarian dioceses and those of Brandenburg, Mainz, Frankfort, etc., on 23 Sept. kept the feast of the “Second Assumption”, or the “Fortieth Day of the Assumption” (double) believing, according to the revelations of St. Elizabeth of Schönau (d. 1165) and of St. Bertrand, O.C. (d. 1170), that the B.V. Mary was taken up to heaven on the fortieth day after her death (Grotefend, Calendaria 2, 136). The Brigittines kept the feast of the “Glorification of Mary” (double) 30 Aug., since St. Brigitta of Sweden says (Revel., VI, l) that Mary was taken into heaven fifteen days after her departure (Colvenerius, Cal. Mar., 30 Aug.). In Central America a special feast of the Coronation of Mary in heaven (double major) is celebrated 18 Aug. The city of Gerace in Calabria keeps three successive days with the rite of a double first class, commemorating: 15th of August, the death of Mary; 16th of August, her Coronation. At Piazza, in Sicily, there is a commemoration of the Assumption of Mary (double second class) the 20th of February, the anniversary of the earthquake of 1743. A similar feast (double major with octave) is kept at Martano, Diocese of Otranto, in Apulia, 19th of November. [Note: By promulgating the Bull Munificentissimus Deus, 1 November, 1950, Pope Pius XII declared infallibly that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was a dogma of the Catholic Faith. Likewise, the Second Vatican Council taught in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium that “the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, when her earthly life was over, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things (n. 59).”]

ONLINE HOLY CARDS

August 14, 2005

Rosary House

The link above leads to a wonderful page of online Holy cards. It is the parent directory of the cards, so you will have to click on the links to see which cards are which. I can’t seem to find a description page, although I have seen one before. I just learned how to put two images side by side, so here is an example of one of the cards!

Prayer Request Board

August 14, 2005

InternetPrayers.com

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For many month, this net prayer board was not working correctly. It wouldn’t let me log-in, etc. I noticed yesterday that it was fully operational, so I am posting the location again for those of you interested. It is not a specifically Catholic board, but it is a nice one. As a side benefit for those of you who are net junkies, it has one of the largest avatar galleries I have ever seen! I was reading the sticky note by Admin about the ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ and I noticed he listed Thomas Moore’s website as a resource, but I have to say that I am always suspicious of anyone who professes to have spiritual answers for your problems but wants to sell you a book, video or tape. That, to me, is not what true spirituality is about.

The World’s Illusion, Spiritual Awakening and Enlightenment

August 14, 2005

successconsciousness.com

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By Remez Sasson

The world around us looks so real, and to proclaim that it is only an illusion may seem sheer nonsense. How can it be? Yet, it is possible to accept this idea. I believe you agree with me, if I say that the body is some sort of an extraordinary machine. It is made up of a combination of materials, but it functions as a unit. Can you say confidently that you are the body? Are you the hair that is cut and thrown away when you go to the hairdresser? Are you your fingers nails, nose, legs or thighs?

The body changes through the years, are you this changing form?

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