The CAPG's Blog
According to the provisions of the Old Law, the priesthood was the property of a caste. The office descended from father to son within the limits of certain family in a certain tribe. In the New Law the whole Christian community is declared to be " as chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people." Therefore now no race of men, no nation, no kindred, no condition of life, is debarred from the sanctuary. The sons of every family are eligible to serve at the altar. The one thing necessary is that the Lord have need of them. "No man," says St. Paul, "taketh the honor unto himself unless he is called of God, even as Aaron was." A divine vocation to the priesthood is required, and that vocation the still, small voice of the Spirit of God is ever whispering to the chose ones among your children. Oh happy are you, if your prayers, your counsel and your example teach them to answer, like the child of Anna in the silence of the tabernacle: "Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."
But once the priest is called of God, he must be ready, like Abraham, to go forth from his father's house, and, if needs be, from his native land. For him there is no sweet dream of home; for him no hope of the love of wife or child. Henceforth his home is the house of God; henceforth his spouse is Holy Church, his children the flock of Christ. He is adopted into the order of Mechisedech, of whom it is written that he was "without father, without mother, without genealogy or length of days, but made like unto the Son of God."
It is this assimilation to the Son of God that cuts off the Catholic priest from his own people. He is no longer a mere man 'whose father we know, whose mother we know, whose brothers and sisters are amongst us." He is God's messenger. He is no longer the playmate of our boyhood, the companion of our youth. He is the ambassador of the Great King. He is not even the brilliant scholar, the wise administrator, the kindly friend or the sage counselor. Henceforth and forever he is the fellow-laborer of Jesus Christ. When you bring your children to him that he may pour upon them the waters of regeneration, it is Christ Himself that baptizes. When he lifts his hand in absolution in the tribunal of penance, the sentence is ratified in the high court of heaven by the Judge of all. When he offers the sacrifice of the Mass, the Victim is caught up by the Holy Angels of God and borne to the altar on high, in the sight of the Divine Majesty, and is made His own by the Eternal Priest Himself who stands ever living to make intercession for men.
To co-operate with Jesus Christ, nay, to bear the very Person of Jesus Christ in the salvation of the world, this is the proper work of the Catholic priest. And behold, what high mysteries we touch here! Of all the dark ways of God none is so unsearchable as His love for the world, His hunger for men's souls.
The Priest is a Man of God.
He, of all men, must be a man of faith, a man of sacrifice. He must be a lover of God, a lover of God's people, the example of God's love for men. He bears faith to men, for he is the instrument through whom God works.
His faith should be full, it should be clearly defined, intelligently appreciated, and intelligently made known. He should be a man of faith, who believes in God in the full meaning of belief; who believes in his Church, in the teachings of the Fathers and Councils, who is loyal to his Bishop and the Holy See, who trusts implicitly in Providence.
His life should be above reproach, for he deals with sacred things, he handles holiness; he must be as Timothy, “Blameless, sober, prudent.”
Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas have said that no greater power or dignity than the power and dignity of consecrating the body of Christ was ever bestowed on man; and no greater sanctity or perfection can be conceived than the sanctity and perfection required for so divine an action, in the priest. To him, above all men, is said the word of Christ, “Be perfect, imitate Me, be My disciple.”
Woe to him, if by him any scandal comes.
To him is given power over the body of Christ, At his word, Christ the Lord comes in the sacrament of the Eucharist and dwells upon our altars to be the food and nourishment of our souls. By his acts, in conjunction with man's repentance, sins are remitted. In his hands, according to the scheme of salvation, are the keys of the kingdom of Heaven.
Oh, indeed he should be a man of faith!
Source: Our Church, Her Children and Institutions, 1908, Rt. Rev. T.J. Conaty, D.D.
Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary (1945)
picture by Robert Kennedy
Our Lady of North Carolina, Sacred Heart Downtown raleigh
"On coming to the Diocese a little over five months ago, I discovered
that the Diocese of Raleigh had no diocesan patron. After talking the
matter over with the Right Reverend and Very Reverend Consultors, as
well as with a number of the Diocesan clergy, I petitioned His Holiness
Pope Pius XII to declare, by Apostolic Brief, Our Blessed Mother, under
the title of her Immaculate Conception, as the patron of this diocese.
I have just received a cablegram from Monsignor Alfonso Carinci,
Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, advising that His
Holiness has granted our request.
Although the eighth of December is a day for general rejoicing in America, since our country is dedicated to our heavenly Mother under this title there is an especial reason this year, and every year thereafter, for rejoicing on the eighth of December in the Diocese of Raleigh, for we have God’s own Mother under the title of her Immaculate Conception as our heavenly patron. In each church of the Diocese this day should be a day of general Communion of the faithful, especially of the children, and following the last Mass, or in the evening, Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament should be given, during which the enclosed Act of Consecration should be recited. I ask all to pray fervently to Our Heavenly Mother for the gift of faith for those outside the Church."
-- Bishop Vincent Waters, December 8th 1945 (The Bulletin)
Efficacy of the Mass
At the hour of death the Masses you have heard will be your greatest consolation. Every Mass will go with you to judgment and plead for pardon. At every Mass you can diminish the temporal punishment due to your sins, more of less, according to your fervor.
Assisting devoutly at Mass you render to the Sacred Humanity of our Lord the greatest homage. He supplies for many of our negligences and omissions. He forgives you all your unknown sins which you never confessed.
You afford the souls in purgatory the greatest possible relief.
One Mass heard during your life will be of more benefit to you than many heard for you after your death
You are preserved from many dangers and misfortunes which would otherwise have befallen you. You shorten your purgatory by every Mass.
Every Mass wins for you a higher degree of glory in heaven.
Source: Our Young People, 1916
April 9 Maundy Thursday
It is now uncommon to hear Maundy Thursday referred to as Holy Thursday. This is a mistake. Holy Thursday is a name belonging absolutely from time immemorial to the Feast of the Ascension. Maundy is a significant name and ought therefore to be jealously guarded. Enough of that element of religion which serves to make it popular has been lost in the course of past centuries.
The word Maundy is derived, through the French maundier, from the Latin mandatum: "Mandatum novum do vobis," (a new commandment I give unto you) John, 13:34. The Mandatum or Maundy was the ceremony of the washing of the feet and almsgiving observed on this day, both of which were performed as a token of that brotherly love which Christ so earnestly inculcated at the last supper.
The ceremony of the washing of the feet was and is part of the liturgy. It was performed by Pope, Bishop, and priest, and kings, nobles and peasants, imitated their example. Twelve poor men were selected to be the recipients of the dignitaries' favor.
The Maundy is observed in the ceremonies of the church, and in may religious communities even at the present time.
Visiting the repositories is a custom as popular of old as it is today. It is indeed edifying to Catholic and non-Catholic alike to witness the spontaneous demonstration of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and deeper than we are aware of is the impression produced on the multitude of unbelievers around us by this and similar acts of faith.
source: Maine Catholic Historical Magazine
It was, (...), when Charleston was scourged by disease that the charity and heroism of the bishop were put to the test. "When that frightful scourge," writes W.G.Read, "the yellow fever, desolated Charleston, he was ever at his post." This is nothing new or strange to those who know the Catholic Priesthood. But when the Protestants of Charleston saw this apostolic man hurrying under the fiery noons of August and September, or the deadly midnight dew, to assist and console the victim of the plague, usually of the humblest and the poorest, they could not but exclaim, in the sincerity of their wonder and admiration: "This is Christian charity!"
"A near relative of mine, speaking of him to me, said: "I met him one forenoon, while the fever was at its highest, brushing along through, perhaps, the hottest street in the city. When I tell you he was blazing, I do not exaggerate - he was literally blazing! The fire sparkled from his cheeks, and flashed from his eyes! I shook hands with him, and as we parted, I thought to myself, my dear fellow, you will soon have enough of this!"
"But his work was not yet done. No! Season after season, amid vice, squalidity, and wretchedness, where intemperance, perhaps, kept maudlin watch by the dying and the dead; while the sob of sorrow was broken by the shriek of destitution and despair - there still stood Bishop England, the priest, the father, and the friend - to assure the penitent - to alarm the sinner - to pity and to succor - baptized again and again - unto his holy function, in that frightful black vomit - the direct symptom of the malady!"
Source: Trials and Triumphs of the Catholic Church in America by P.J. Mahon, James M. Hayes
Fr. Chabloz had received a sunstroke that left him weak and feverish. This was followed by the influenza, then epidemic, and while ill he was carried several miles to administer the Sacraments to a dying man. Pneumonia then seized our friend and he succumbed.
Fr. Chabloz was young - thirty-five years of age. Although born in France, his people had moved to Italy, where later he joined the Society of Jesus and offered himself for the missions. One of his hardest trials on leaving Italy was the reluctance of his own father - who chided him because he preferred the pagan Chinese - to have him go; but the father received grace to bow to God's will, and we now learn that he died shortly before his priestly son. May both be now united in God!
From Fr. Novella, S.J.
Source: The Field Afar, Volume 14. June 1920
The Black Death in Scandinavian countries
The King feared that "all our misdeeds should lead the same "plaga" and mortality to our subjects." He had, therefore, taken responsibility for the well-being of the people. He had summoned their bishops, a number of Councillors of the realm and canons of the cathedrals whose bishops could not, at so short notice, attend the meetings where measures should be discussed that "could please God and induce Him by his grace to bestow his mercy on us". They had agreed on the following measures:
"all people throughout all the Realm of Sweden, rich, ecclesiastics, laymen, old and young, females and males, should come barefooted to their parish churches on Friday in every week and confess their belief in God, His righteousness and power, with appropriate humility. They should walk (in procession) around the church with their sacred treasures (relics, images of saints, and so on), attend Mass with invocation of God on that day, make their offerings on the altar of the pennies that they could afford, so that others could receive alms. The Church wardens should distribute this offer among poor people and it should under no circumstances come in the hands of the priest. We order and advise you that on each Friday every Christian shall fast on water and bread: those who do not want to do that shall at least abstain from all fish and fast on ale and bread.
Mass shall be said in honor of Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, that She would deign to ask her blessed Son on her behalf to turn His wrath away from these countries for the sake of our humility. Every bishop has granted 40 days of indulgence to all those in his diocese who have prepared themselves for their deaths and made proper confessions, which all human beings are advised to do these days. ... For this reason, We convey to all human beings the curative advice for their souls that every human being, while God still has given him some time, to cleanse his conscience, make his confession and with full contrition do penance for his sins, so that when God will visit him, He will find him so ready that his souls would be taken in God's hand.
Source: The Black Death and Later Plague Epidemics in the Scandinavian Countries ...By Ole Jørgen Benedictow page 171
Open wide the doors to Christ - and His Churches
What we are witnessing in these hours is dramatic — certainly throughout Italy, but in a tragically exemplary way, in Rome, the heart of Catholicism.
The scenario is all the more disconcerting as what is at stake is not only public health but the salvation of souls — and for some time now we, as Pastors, have stopped inflaming the hearts of our faithful with the desire for eternal salvation. We have thus deprived them of those supernatural gifts which make us capable of facing trials here below, even the assaults of death, with the power of faith and that spark of inexhaustible and unshakable hope which comes to us from our yearning for the destiny of glory for which we were created.
The statements of the Italian Episcopal Conference, those of the Cardinal Vicar of Rome, as well as the surreal and spectral images that have come to us from the Vatican, are many expressions of the darkening of the faith that has struck the heights of the Church. The Ministers of the Sun, as St Catherine of Siena was fond of calling them, have caused the eclipse, and delivered the flock to clouds of thick darkness (cf. Ezekiel 34:12).
Regarding the measures of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI): when those issued by the State were still limited only to at risk areas, to certain activities and at precise times of day, the CEI had already cancelled the totality of public liturgical celebrations in all the churches of the territory, helping to fuel fear and panic and depriving the faithful of the indispensable comfort of the sacraments. It is difficult not to think that such a measure was suggested to the president of the CEI by the one who, protected by the Leonine Walls, has been dreaming for seven years now of an outgoing, rugged, field hospital Church, which does not hesitate to embrace everyone and to get dirty.
Cardinal Bassetti, so eager that he seems more zealous than the king, appears to have forgotten a very important lesson: that the Church, in order to serve the common good and the State, must never give up being herself, nor fail in her mission to proclaim Christ, our only Lord and Savior. She must beware of obscuring her divine prerogatives of Wisdom and Truth and in no way abdicate the Authority that comes to her from the Sovereign of the kings of the earth, Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The ecclesial events of these hours have manifested clearly — if there was still any need — the tragic subjection of the Church to a State that is striving and doing all it can to destroy the Christian identity of our Italy, by enslaving it to an ideological, immoral, globalist, Malthusian, abortionist, migrant agenda that is the enemy of man and of the family. The goal of this agenda is the destruction of the Church, and certainly not the good of our country.
Open, throw open wide the doors to Christ! Open, throw open wide the doors of our churches so that the faithful may enter in, repent of their sins, participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and draw upon the treasury of graces that flow from the pierced Heart of Christ, our only Redeemer who can save us from sin and death.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Translation by Diane Montagna
How can the lighting of a candle before some shrine help us?
The same way in which the offering can help us - by the good motive governing our action: "Whatsoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in name... he shall not lose his reward." (Mark iv 40).
The burning of a small candle is an insignificant action; but if it is done for God's glory and to honor one who is near to God, it becomes a meritorious action. "Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God." (I Cor. x. 13.) "Whatsoever you do in word or in work, all things do ye in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Col. iii, 17). There is no reason why a candle could not or should not be burned to God's glory and in the name of Christ. The motive prompting a devout candle before the shrine of our Lord or saint is the very motive that urges a good citizen to drape a flag about the picture or statue of George Washington on February 22. How can a piece of cloth add to Washington's honor or assist the citizens? The representatives of a foreign nation goes to Mount Vernon and places a wreath of flowers upon Washington's tomb. We applaud and deem that our country has been honored. There is no need to explain or analyze that sentiment; it is a natural one, and everybody understands and appreciates it. That same sentiment is elevated to a religious and supernatural sphere when a Catholic burns a candle before the shrine of one of God's heroes. His intention is to honor the memory of that saint and thus give glory to God in whose cause that saint lived and worked and died; he asks the saint to pray to God for him; he begs God to hear and answer the saint's intercession; he is urged to imitate the saint's virtues; he feels inclined to serve God better. In other words, he performs an action which his supernatural motives render pleasing to God and of great benefit to himself.
Source: Our young People, a Home Magazine, Nov. 1916
Understanding Latin at Mass
It is not necessary to understand every word of Latin said by the priest at Catholic Religious services, any more than it is necessary to understand every word enunciated by Caruso or Gadski in grand opera!
Source: Our Young People, 1916
The indefectibility of the Church
Perhaps the most emotionally challenging and political incorrect dogma of Catholic Christianity is that of the visible Church's indefectibility, i.e., her continued existence to the end of the world with her teaching, her hierarchical constitution, and her worship essentially intact.
Saturday in Ember Week of Advent:
Blessed art Thou, Lord God of our fathers, praised above all, renowned above all for ever;
Blessed is Thy holy and glorious name, praised above all, renowned above all for ever.
Blessed art Thou, who reignest on Thy kingly throne, praised above all, renowned above all for ever.
Blessed art Thou, who art throned above the cherubim, and gazest down
into the depths, praised above all, renowned above all for ever.
Blessed art Thou, high in the vault of heaven, praised above all, renowned above all for ever.
Then they cried out upon all things the Lord had made, to bless him, and praise him, and extol his name for ever.