THE SACRED RULE
for Properly Celebrating the Most
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
DO NOT DO at
Mass what you would not
do were you standing at the foot of Christ hanging on the
Cross before you.
the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass what you would
were you standing at the foot of Christ hanging on the Cross
— for at Holy Mass you
at the crucifixion of Christ on the Cross,
really and truly.
Had you closed your eyes for
a moment while standing before Christ on the Cross, you
would be where you are this day at the Most Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass.
what you would have done. DO
what you would never have done.
This is the proper disposition of the soul at every
Why we have Lost God
(“What is the Matter?”)
We live in a world of matter
Matter is the substance
of the senses. It is apprehensible. We touch it, feel it, manipulate it,
make things of it, and even destroy it (yes, I know the principle of “the
conservation of matter”, but you get the point.) It is tactile, sensuous,
and often pleasing to the eye, the touch, and our other senses. It alternately
excites us and repels us. It is what we see when we open our eyes, what
we feel when we touch anything.
It is the world we know
Increasingly, it is the
only world we know. Every other “possible world” has receded
before the incursion of the senses and the accompanying demand for instantaneity:
pleasure now, satisfaction now, information
now, fulfillment now — and on a broader level,
peace now, justice now and equality now.
We have all heard the political and social mantra that first came to us
from the tumultuous and purple-hazed 60’s by now, and we even know its cadence.
The “cause” matters not, for the response has by now become childishly reflexive:
“What do we want?” (insert whatever here) “When do we
want it? Now!”
Again. And again. And again, as though repeatedly demanding what we want
like a spoiled child will produce it … because it worked when we were children.
Our parents taught us by example, by collapsing before the incorrectitude of the negative
We always got what we wanted.
And so did our parents.
Do you want anything — however absurd? Then agitate, demand, and never take
“no” as an answer, however unimpeachable the authority. Not even from God. Not even from His Church
which we hold to be both the the Bride and the Body Christ. We want to “feel” justified, be “affirmed” in our childishness, and
have our way if “the other”
is unwilling — however clear, however ontologically defining the principles upon which
and in which it exists in se —and if we are denied our desires, then we will legislate
them, find some obscure or unbalanced “academic” to "authenticate" us, a celebrity
“in solidarity” with our petulance to publicize us, and a venal politician to “empower”
us … until our desires become our laws — which
is to say, until our senses grasp, seize, what they lust for.
Politics is the venue of power, not mind. Hollywood is the venue of entertainment,
not reality which, despite the protestations of the senses, is only discernible
through the mind and that impetuously inconvenient faculty called reason
that we abhor because it defies us.
The Parallax of Reason ...
We do not want reason. We
do not want mind. We want sensation — the stimulation and
the satisfaction of the senses! What have we to do with inflexible reason?
With God? With things less than rhapsodic, with lasting concepts … even
purported everlasting realities … with the deliverances of anything devoid
of tactility, before the contempt of the court of immediacy that governs
We ourselves are composed of matter — we recognize this even if we have
forgotten that it is only half the equation of our being human, for the other
half is spirit … the immaterial soul which is not apprehensible by the senses,
only by the mind, a concept perhaps best expressed by the German noun, “Geist”
that alternately denotes, “the mind”, “the psyche”, “spirit”, “soul”, and
We are profoundly more than our appetites. Just as God is profoundly more
than “feeling good about oneself.” Eternity extends before us — and we know
it, but we treat it as we treat time: passing, changing, mutable, pliable
to our desires. And for a while it is so.
But we know that it will not always be so. We sense “ending”. We intuit
that there is a terminus to our being in time and that something must lie
beyond it — even if it is the skeptic's cold, sterile, embalmed "nothing" that we
nevertheless irresistibly perceive as something in what we
persist in describing as "nothingness".
Because we are permeated with time and insensible (and this is not the same
as “inapprehensible”) to the eternal, we even perceive “nothingness”
— despite our insistence that it is otherwise — as somehow perduring. It
is a tentative state of utter suspension — even while we declare that
nothing is suspended. It is a kind of eternal obit that will declare,
somehow inscribe, even monumentally testify to our being long after it has
ceased and presumably never to be read.
When we lost God — whenever that might have been — we lost our raison
d'être. We do not know it because we refuse to confront it and we do
not confront it because we have not known God, or once having known Him
have repudiated Him, even denied Him, in favor of our own temporal
desires which, like their objects in space and time, will surely
pass. Only God remains. History testifies to this.
Desistite, et agnoscite me Deum: "Be still and know that
I am God!"
Our restlessness is both an invitation by God and the testimony to our
blindness apart from Him.
Announcing the Formation of a New
and Unique Apostolate Launched by Nuns in the UK
We are pleased to announce the
formation of a new Apostolate created by a Community of Poor Clare
Colettine Cloistered Nuns in Hawarden, Wales, which endeavors
to bring laymen and laywomen, the old and the young, into close personal
communion with a Religious Order that began in the Middle Ages and continues
to this day in the distinct Franciscan charism authentically lived in
a Papally Enclosed monastery in the UK. It is an opportunity for laymen,
laywomen, the elderly and even children, to share in the spiritual treasury
of prayer and good works that the Nuns gather up in offering to God
by the lives they live and the prayers they utter — now in communion
with you! The following letter from the Poor Clare Nuns is addressed
to you ... and to us.
For the readers of the Boston Catholic
Journal — announcing the formation of the Companions
of St Clare & St Colette.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit, created for you in
love, we have the joy to announce to you the launching of, “The
Companions of Saint Clare & St Colette”.
This initiative is a response to so many people amongst the
laity who over the years have expressed the desire to be affiliated
with the Ty Mam Duw Poor Clare Colettine Community, North Wales,
UK, in some way or other. It has been our hope for a long, long
time, and much prayer has gone into this endeavour. We pray
that it will meet a very definite need that so many people feel:
the need to pray in a practical, livable way in the spirit of
Saint Clare & Saint Colette and to be united with the Community.
It is open to all: men, women and children.
Our Abbess, Mother Damian, and the Community have created a
little booklet, which is intended to help you pray, and if you
find you need help regarding the contents of the booklet you
are free to visit us, write or e-mail us. There is also a silicone
band, your badge of membership, a tangible reminder of your
belonging to us, and we to you.
If you would like to be a, Companion of St Clare & St
Colette please be so kind as to forward us your land
address so that we can send you the Booklet and Band.
An e-mail distribution list is being compiled so that from time
to time, for example, during Advent and Lent a follow up mail
will be sent out to The Companions of Saint Clare and Saint
The Booklet and the band are our gift to you. We are all part
of the family of God. You can repay us by praying for the Community
and all whom our lives touch.
Your loving little Sisters at Ty Mam Duw
Ty Mam Duw Poor Clare Colettines Community
Upper Aston Hall Lane, Hawarden,
CH5 3EN WALES GB
Editor's note: a
PDF file of the booklet can be downloaded here which
you can print or save on your computer and use immediately.
The Chaplet of Saint Colette (with audio files) and
ClareTestament of Saint Colette and
A Commentary on the Poor Clare Testament of Saint Colette
"From a Monastery Garden"
Reflections on our Life in Christ through the Heart of
a Consecrated and Cloistered Nun
Every so often, we will bring you reflections
from a Consecrated and Cloistered Nun which help us to see our way forward
though difficult — and even wonderful — occasions in our lives. She
is the Bride of Christ — We suggest that you listen to her carefully.
It may be the very reason that you have come to this page ...
although you could not have possibly foreseen it — but God did.
Let us impart blessings
one to another. A blessing is so infrequently
encountered these days ... and yet it is a practice
at the heart of Holy Mother the Church and of Catholic
families for over 2000 years! In this holy gesture
made with the Sign of the Cross, we invoke God Himself
when we bless another, and implore all His gifts
and protection — so needed in these days
of persecution: the persecution of the Church,
of Christians throughout the world, and of Christ
Especially dear to us in
cloistered life is the Blessing of Saint Colette,
which we share with you below:
I pray that the Blessed Holy Spirit will always
keep you in his holy grace and lead you at last
to eternal glory.
May the Father in his Mercy,
the Son, by his holy Passion,
and the Holy Spirit, the fountain of peace, sweetness,
love and all consolation
come down upon you and remain with you always."
(The Blessing of Saint Colette)
humility and love in the Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Dear Little Hearts,
the somewhat disillusioned little band had returned from
Amiens and Noyon to Corbie, Sister Colette turned, as
usual, after God, to Fr Henri for guidance and
advice. As always Father Henri turned up trumps!
When Father Henri had seen the miserable reception that
Colette had received in Picardy he secretly sent a
message to Pope Benedict, asking permission to
begin the reform in another part of France. He had also
sent a second dispatch to his brother Alard de Baume in
Savoy, asking his brother if he would accommodate Sister
Colette and the two postulants in the De Baume castle
until he, Henri, could make better plans for their
Alard de Baume loved his brother Henri very much, and
said he would welcome them all with open arms, but he
had great personal concerns since his wife was nearing
the end of her pregnancy and was very ill.
When Colette, Marie, Guilemette and Fr Henri arrived at
the De Bauma Castle they were met with a distraught and
suffering Alard, his wife was in labour and dying.... it
Alard looked desperately at Sister Colette; would she,
would they, please come and pray for his wife.
The party made haste to the bedside to find Madame de
Baume deathly white. Colette approached the good woman,
took her hand, and placing her other upon her forehead
slowly traced the sign of the Cross while praying upon
her cold forehead.
A miracle occurred: Madame de Baume showed a response,
Colette then asked to go to the Chapel where she
prostrated herself full length on the floor and prayed.
Sorrow was turned into joy one hour later, with the
sweet sounds of a baby crying. The child had been born
safely and was perfect and Madame de Baume, although
exhausted, was alive and showing signs of progress. What
joy rang out! Alard ordered all the lights to be put on
in the castle: he had a new daughter ... she was named
It is this miracle that is the origin of the cult of St
Colette as a patron of expectant mothers.
Baby Petronilla came to be known by her pet name,
How great is the providence of God! Perrine was
eventually to become a sister herself and be Colette’s
secretary. We owe her so much, as it was Sister Perrine
who was enough to write a notebook with her knowledge of
Saint Colette which is one of the main foundations for
books written about Colette today. But more of Perrine
In humility and love
in the Sacred Heart of
"What is Holiness?"
Holiness — sanctity — is simply the conformity of
the will to the will of God.
If you listen to no other homily on being a Catholic
and your obligation to love God and your neighbor ...
listen to this:
The Law of Love by Venerable Servant of God Fulton
The Complete Martyrology in
Friday October 24th in
the Year of Grace 2014
This Day, the Twenty-Fourth Day of October
At Venosa, in Basilicata, the birthday of the
holy martyrs Felix, African bishop, Audactus and Januarius, priests,
Fortunatus and Septimus, lectors. In the time of Diocletian,
after having been a long time loaded with fetters, and imprisoned in
Africa and Sicily by the governor Magdellian, as Felix refused
absolutely to deliver the sacred books, according to the emperor's
edict, they finally closed their lives by being beheaded.
At Nagran, in Arabia Felix, the passion of the
Saint Aretas and his companions, to the number of three hundred and
forty, in the time of the emperor Justin, under the
Jewish tyrant Dunaan. After them was burned
alive a Christian woman, whose son, five years old, confessed Christ
lisping, and as he could neither by caresses nor threats be stopped,
he rushed into the fire in which his mother was burning.
At Cologne, St. Evergistus, bishop and martyr.
At Constantinople, St. Proclus, bishop.
In Bretagne, the departure from this life of
St. Maglorious, bishop, whose body rests at Paris.
In Campania, St. Mark, solitary, whose
renowned actions have been recorded by St. Gregory.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors,
and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy
Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany
of the Saints)
Response: Thanks be to God.
Roman Martyrology by Month
Why the Martyrs Matter
Each day we bring you
a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had
suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church,
and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom
— and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would
cost them their lives.
They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church,
and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short
time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their
death — and at so great a cost!).1
What would motivate men, women, even children and entire
families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully
devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?
Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when
the first flame licked at their feet, after the first
eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in
mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over
their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense
to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would
be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all,
under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state?
What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered
without conviction, compared to your own life and the
lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are
merely placating the state with empty gestures …
Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their
mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they
value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive
to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess
that we do not?
Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given
in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it
in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness;
fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible
reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful,
of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful;
of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within
it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant
We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will make
us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they
died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most
us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering
for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of
the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The
road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses,
and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown
to the world, but known to God. Loveless marriages.
Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age.
Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose
lives became Crosses because they would not flee God,
the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in
the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary
through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate
each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small
sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of
countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know,
but whom the world does not know.
“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”,
Christ said to His Apostles 2.
“I have given you an example.”
And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the
Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal
Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited
"De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and
Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an in-depth
historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop
THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and
accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth
in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious
deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church;
of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross,
whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized.
In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has
been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which
the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her
all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through
and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ,
without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious
and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and
to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort
her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of
tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with
Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in
all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and
practices what He commands.
If the world has
its "Legions of Honor," why should not also the Church
of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the
truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and
women who have been tainted with vice, have had their
memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments
erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary
talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater
or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal
order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes
and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have
overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled
upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts,
words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover
labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting
love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories
likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts
of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should
not eternity; if man, why should not God? "Thy friends,
O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality
is exceedingly exalted." Whom His Father so dearly loved,
the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises,
and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly
honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with
jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on
The wisdom of
the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled
only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated.
The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ
lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They
were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose
mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and
grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars
of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still
appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently
even than did their words to the men of their own generation,
while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though
dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with
sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe
forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into
which they have entered still lingers in their bones,
and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many
an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's
mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so
many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly
ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom,
by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the
Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent
appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human
heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent
The Church knows
and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she
is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy
joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing
Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect
and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime
teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness,
our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which
the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very
crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion "If
other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why
not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of
the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown
of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead
in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious
mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all
the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously
spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for
this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the
poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure
the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends
of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain
His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?"
It is a consoling
evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country
to find the Martyrology here published, for the first
time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its
rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population.
It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to
the members of our numerous religious Communities of
both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day
has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely
a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied,
who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and
with great profit, the brief page of each day's models
of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings
of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff
to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant,
from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of
Let all, then,
procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this
Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console
us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will
make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness,
and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull
and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting
mansions prepared for us in Heaven!
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland
Printable PDF Version
The Lapsi were early Catholics
who renounced the Faith and either sacrificed to the
Roman gods by edict from the emperor, or offered incense
to them to escape Imperial persecution and death, and
who later returned to the Faith when persecution subsided.
However, Christ warns us,
“Every one therefore that shall confess me before men,
I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven.
But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny
him before my Father who is in heaven.” (St.
2 St. John