Thursday, December 24, 2015

Benedict XVI on Christmas

"God becomes so close that it is possible to see and touch him. The Church contemplates this ineffable mystery and the liturgical texts of this Season are steeped in wonder and joy; all Christmas carols express this joy. Christmas is the point at which Heaven and earth converge."

Pope Benedict XVI, 4 January 2012, General Audience in Rome.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ratzinger on Modernism

“The text was, if one may use the label, utterly the product of the 'anti-Modernist' mentality that had taken shape about the turn of the century. The text was written in a spirit of condemnation and negation, which ... had a frigid and even offensive tone to many of the Fathers. And this despite the fact that the content of the text was new to no one. It was exactly like dozens of text-books familiar to the bishops from their seminary days: and in some cases, their former professors were actually responsible for the texts now presented to them.”


“The real question behind the discussion can be put this way: Was the intellectual position of ‘anti-Modernism’ — the old policy of exclusiveness, condemnation and defense leading to an almost neurotic denial of all that was new — to be continued? Or would the Church, after it had taken all the necessary precautions to defend the Faith, turn over a new leaf and move on into a new and positive encounter with its own origins, with its brothers and with the world today?”

Father Jospeh Ratzinger, Theological Highlights of Vatican II, (1966, pp. 17-18)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Ratzinger on Gaudium et Spes

If it is desirable to offer a diagnosis of the text (Gaudium et Spes) as a whole, we might say that (in conjunction with the texts on religious liberty, and world religions) it is a revision of the Syllabus of Pius IX, a kind of countersyllabus ... Let us be content to say here that the text serves as a countersyllabus and, as such, represents on the part of the Church, an attempt at an official reconciliation with the new era inaugurated in 1789. … the one-sidedness of the position adopted by the Church under Pius IX and Pius X in response to the situation created by the new phase of history inaugurated by the French Revolution was, to a large extent, corrected via facti, especially in Central Europe, but there was still no basic statement of the relationship that should exist between the Church and the world that had come into existence after 1789. In fact, an attitude that was largely pre-revolutionary continued to exist in countries with strong Catholic majorities. Hardly anyone will deny today that the Spanish and Italian Concordat strove to preserve too much of a view of the world that no longer corresponded to the facts. Hardly anyone will deny today that, in the field of education and with respect to the historico-critical method in modern science, anachronisms existed that corresponded closely to this adherence to an obsolete Church-state relationship.

 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, pp. 381-382.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cardinal Ratzinger on Liturgy - 2
“For fostering a true consciousness in liturgical matters, it is also important that the proscription against the form of liturgy in valid use up to 1970 should be lifted. Anyone who nowadays advocates the continuing existence of this liturgy or takes part in it is treated like a leper; all tolerance ends here. There has never been anything like this in history; in doing this we are despising and proscribing the Church’s whole past. How can one trust her present if things are that way? I must say, quite openly, that I don’t understand why so any of my episcopal brethren have to a great extent submitted to this rule of intolerance, which for no apparent reason is opposed to making the necessary inner reconciliations within the Church.”

God and the World: A Conversation with Peter Seewald, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2002, p. 416.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Prayers of St. Anthony of Padua to Our Lady 

We beg you, our Lady and our hope, you, who are the star of the sea, illumine your children, engulfed in the turbulent sea of sin; guide us to the safe harbor of forgiveness, so we may successfully complete the journey of our life with your protection. With his help whom you carried in your womb, and nourished at your holy breasts. To him be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

We ask you, Our Lady, you who are called the morning star, dispel with your light the thick fog of allurements to evil which fills our souls. Like the light of the moon, replenish our emptiness, and dissipate the darkness of our sins, so that we may attain the fullness of eternal life and the light of never diminishing glory. With his help, who made you our light, and although born from you, gave you life. To him be honor and glory from age to age. Amen.

Our Lady, our only hope, we are asking you to illumine our souls with the brilliance of your grace, to cleanse us with the splendor of your purity, to cheer us with the warmth of your presence, and to reconcile us to your Son, that we may be worthy of his glory. With his help who assumed his glorious flesh from you and who wished to live in your womb for nine months. To him be honor and glory through all eternity. Amen.

Lady and Mother of God, your name is like a fortified tower in which every sinner finds refuge and salvation. O sweet name, a name which comforts sinners. O name of blessed hope. You, O Virgin, are in the recesses of the soul. Your name is like a shining light, like a sweet taste in the mouth, like a delightful song in the ears of your children. Amen.

O Mary, you are a throne in which is located the glory of the Father. On this throne Jesus Christ, true Wisdom, took his place, Glory Itself, greater than any of the angels, who lived on earth in our flesh. You, blessed Mary, became the seat of that Glory, Jesus Christ, to whom be honor and praise from age to age. Amen.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Benedict XVI on Charismatic Renewal
"Young ecclesial communities are a gift from God and their contributions should be valued and welcomed with trust.…The ecclesial communities which bloomed after the Second Vatican Council, are a unique gift of the Lord and a precious resource for the life of the Church.…The movements and new communities are like an inrush of the Holy Spirit in the Church and in contemporary society. One of the positive elements and aspects of the communities of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal is precisely the importance given by them to the charisms and gifts of the Holy Spirit, and their merit lies in having reminded the Church of the actuality (of these gifts)."
Benedict XVI, on the occasion of the 13th international conference of the Catholic Fraternity of Covenant Charismatic Communities and Fellowships, October 2008).

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ratzinger on Silence in Liturgy

"We are realizing more and more clearly that silence is part of the liturgy. We respond, by singing and praying, to the God who addresses us, but the greater mystery, surpassing all words, summons us to silence. It must, of course, be a silence with content, not just the absence of speech and action. We should expect the liturgy to give us a positive stillness that will restore us. Such stillness will not be just a pause, in which a thousand thoughts and desires assault us, but a time of recollection, giving us an inward peace, allowing us to draw breath and rediscover the one thing necessary, which we have forgotten. That is why silence cannot be simply “made”, organized as if it were one activity among many. It is no accident that on all sides people are seeking techniques of meditation, a spirituality for emptying the mind. One of man’s deepest needs is making its presence felt, a need that is manifestly not being met in our present form of the liturgy. For silence to be fruitful, as we have already said, it must not be just a pause in the action of the liturgy. No, it must be an integral part of the liturgical event." 

Josef Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 209.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Quotes by St. Anthony of Padua

Image result for "remains of st. anthony of padua"
Remains of Saint Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the Church
"Grace awaits there where God calls us; if we are not present at this appointments though, we lose the grace which was due to us. "

“The gate of Heaven is low and those who wish to enter must bend down: this was taught to us by Jesus Himself, Who when dying, bowed His head.”

“Human life is similar to a bridge and a bridge is made for crossing and not for remaining upon.”

“Confession is the gate of Heaven. O truly the gate of Heaven and the gate of Paradise, since through it the penitent is invited to kiss the feet, hands and face of God: the feet of His mercy, the hands of His grace and the face of His pardon. O house of God, O gate of Heaven, O confession! Blessed is he who dwells in you! Blessed is he who humbles himself in you! Humble yourselves therefore dearest brethren, and enter through this mystical gate.”

 “The preaching of heretics is impure in comparison with the most pure teachings of the Church… They resemble a beast named Iamia, which has the face of a human and the body of an animal. They, in fact, in order to deceive more easily, show themselves with an amiable appearance saying courteous words, but beneath they are hiding their bad intentions.”

“Let us beseech Jesus Christ, dearest brethren, Who with His humility defeated diabolical pride, that He may grant us the grace to overcome pride and haughtiness of heart with humility, and to show in our attitude a sincere humility, in order thus to reach His glory: by the grace of He Who is the Blessed One for all eternity. Amen!”

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Saint Francis of Assisi to His Followers before His Death 

"Act bravely, my Brethren; take courage, and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissensions, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the wicked will increase.

The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. 

At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death.

Then scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it.

There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God.

Then our Rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect.

Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. but the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in Him. And in order to be like their Head, [Christ] these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than man, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy.

Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer."

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ratzinger on Spontaneity and Creativity in Liturgy great­ness of the liturgy depends — we shall have to repeat this frequently — on its unspontaneity (Unbeliebigkeit) …. Only respect for the liturgy’s fundamental unspontaneity and pre-existing identity can give us what we hope for: the feast in which the great reality comes to us that we ourselves do not manufacture but receive as a gift. This means that “creativity” cannot be an authentic category for matters liturgical. In any case, this is a word that developed within the Marxist world view. Creativity means that in a universe that in itself is meaningless and came into existence through blind evolution, man can creatively fashion a new and better world.

Modern theo­ries of art think in terms of a nihilistic kind of creativity. Art is not meant to copy anything. Artistic creativity is under the free mastery of man, without being bound by norms or goals and subject to no questions of meaning. It may be that in such visions a cry for freedom is to be heard, a cry that in a world totally in the control of technology becomes a cry for help. Seen in this way, art appears as the final refuge of freedom. True, art has something to do with freedom, but freedom understood in the way we have been describing is empty. It is not redemptive, but makes despair sound like the last word of human existence. This kind of creativity has no place within the liturgy. The life of the liturgy does not come from what dawns upon the minds of individuals and plan­ning groups. On the contrary, it is God’s descent upon our world, the source of real liberation. He alone can open the door to freedom. The more priests and faithful humbly surrender themselves to this descent of God, the more “new” the liturgy will constantly be, and the more true and personal it becomes. Yes, the liturgy becomes personal, true, and new, not through tomfoolery and ba­nal experiments with the words, but through a coura­geous entry into the great reality that through the rite is always ahead of us and can never quite be overtaken.  

Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 170

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Archives of the Order (5) - Statutes of Fra Roger De Moulins 


The Chapter-General of 1181


In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. In the year of the incarnation of Our Lord 1181 in the month of March, on the Sunday on which they chant Laetare Jerusalem (i.e. 22nd March), I, Roger, servant of Christ's poor, in the presence of the clerical and lay brethren seated around the Chapter-General, to the honour of God and the glory of our Religion, and the support and benefit of the sick poor.
  1. It is commanded that the statutes of the church aforesaid and the benefits for the poor afterwards written should be kept and observed forever, without going contrary to them in any respect. Concerning the churches it is commanded that they should be arranged and regulated at the disposition of the Prior of the clerics of the Hospital with regard to books clerics vestments priests chalices censers perpetual light and other ornaments.
  2. And secondly, it is decreed with the assent of the brethren that for the sick in the Hospital of Jerusalem there should be engaged four wise doctors, who are qualified to examine urine, and to diagnose different diseases, and are able to administer appropriate medicines.
  3. And thirdly, it is added that the beds of the sick should be made as long and as broad as is most convenient for repose, and that each bed should be covered with its own coverlet, and each bed should have its own special sheets.
  4. After these needs is decreed the fourth command, that each of the sick should have a cloak of sheepskin and boots for going to and coming from the latrines, and caps of wool.
  5. It is also decreed that little cradles should be made for the babies of the women pilgrims born in the House, so that they may lie separate, and that the baby in its own bed may be in no danger from restlessness of its mother.
  6. Afterwards it is decreed the sixth clause, that the biers of the dead should be concealed in the same manner as are the biers of the brethren, and should be covered with a red coverlet having a white cross.
  7. The seventh clause commands that wheresoever there are hospitals for the sick, that the Commanders of the houses should serve the sick cheerfully, and should do their duty by them, and serve them without grumbling or complaining, so that by these good deeds they may deserve to have their reward in the glories of heaven. And if any of the brethren should act contrary to the commands of the Master in these matters, that it should be brought to the notice of the Master, who shall punish them according to the sentence of the house commands.
  8. It was also decreed, when the council (i.e. Chapter-General) of the brethren was held, that the Prior of the Hospital of France should send each year to Jerusalem one hundred sheets of dyed cotton to replace the coverlets of the poor sick, and should reckon them in his Responsion together with those things which shall be given in his Priory to the House in charity.
  9. In selfsame manner and reckoning the Prior of the Hospital of St. Gilles should purchase each year the like number of sheets of cotton and send them to Jerusalem, together with those things which shall be given in his Priory for the love of God to the poor of the Hospital.
  10. The prior of Italy each year should send to Jerusalem for our lords the sick two hundred ells of fustian (cotton sheets) of divers colours, which he may reckon each year in his Responsion.
  11. And the Prior of Pisa should send likewise the like numbers of fustians.
  12. And the Prior of Venice likewise, and all should be reckoned in their Responsions.
  13. And likewise the Bailiffs this side of the sea should be particular in this same service.
  14. Of whom the Bailiff of Antioch should send to Jerusalem two hundred ells of cotton cloth for the coverlets of the sick.
  15. The prior of Mont Pelerin (i.e. Tripoli) should send to Jerusalem two quintals of sugar for the syrups, and the medicines and the electuaries of the sick.
  16. For this same service the Bailiff of Tabarie (i.e. Tiberias) should send there the same quantity.
  17. The Prior of Constantinople should send for the sick two hundred felts.
  18. Moreover guarding and watching them day and night, the brethren of the Hospital should serve the sick poor with zeal and devotion as if they were their lords, and it was added in Chapter-General that in every ward (rue) and place in the Hospital, nine sergeants should be kept at their service, who should wash their feet gently, and change their sheets, and make their beds, and administer to the weak necessary and strengthening food, and do their duty devotedly, and obey, in all things for the benefit of the sick.


Let all the brethren of the House of the Hospital, both those present and those to come, know that the good customs of the House of the Hospital of Jerusalem are as follows:
  1. Firstly the Holy House of the Hospital is accustomed to receive sick men and women, and is accustomed to keep doctors who have the care of the sick, and who make the syrups for the sick, and who provide the things that are necessary for the sick. For three days in the week the sick are accustomed to have fresh meat, either pork or mutton, and those who are unable to eat it have chicken.
  2. And two sick persons are accustomed to have one coat of sheepskin (pelice de brebis), which they use when going to the latrines (chambres), and between two sick persons one pair of boots. Every year the House of the Hospital is accustomed to give to the poor one thousand cloaks of thick lamb skins.
  3. And all the children abandoned by their fathers and mothers the Hospital is accustomed to receive and to nourish. To a man and woman who desire to enter into matrimony, and who possess nothing with which to celebrate their marriage, the House of the Hospital is accustomed to give two bowls (escueles) or the rations of two brethren.
  4. And the House of the Hospital is accustomed to keep one brother shoemaker (corvoisier) and three sergeants, who repair the old shoes (soliers) given for the love of God. And the Almoner is accustomed to keep two sergeants who repair the old robes that he may give them to the poor.
  5. And the Almoner is accustomed to give twelve deniers to each prisoner, when he is first released from prison.
  6. Every night five clerics are accustomed to read the Psalter for the benefactors of the House.
  7. And every day thirty poor persons are accustomed to be fed at table once a day for the love of God, and the five clerics aforesaid may be among those thirty poor persons, but the twenty-five eat before the Convent, and each of the five clerics should have two deniers and eat with the Convent.
  8. And on three days of the week they are accustomed to give in alms to all who come there to ask for it, bread and wine and cooked food.
  9. In Lent every Saturday, they are accustomed to celebrate Maundy for thirteen poor persons, and to wash their feet, and to give to each a shirt and new breeches and new shoes, and to three chaplains, or to three clerics out of the thirteen, three deniers and to each of the others, two deniers.
  10. These are the special charities decreed in the Hospital, apart from the Brethren-at-Arms whom the House should maintain honourably, and many other charities there are which cannot be set out in detail each one by itself. And that these things be true good men and loyal here bear witness, that is to say Brother Roger, Master of the Hospital, and Brother Bernard the Prior and all the Chapter-General.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Tenth anniversary of Benedict XVI's election

"And now, at this moment, weak servant of God that I am, I must assume this enormous task, which truly exceeds all human capacity. How can I do this? How will I be able to do it? All of you, my dear friends, have just invoked the entire host of Saints, represented by some of the great names in the history of God’s dealings with mankind. In this way, I too can say with renewed conviction: I am not alone. I do not have to carry alone what in truth I could never carry alone. All the Saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me. And your prayers, my dear friends, your indulgence, your love, your faith and your hope accompany me.

The purpose of our lives is to reveal God to men. And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him. The task of the shepherd, the task of the fisher of men, can often seem wearisome. But it is beautiful and wonderful, because it is truly a service to joy, to God’s joy which longs to break into the world.

My dear friends – at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love his flock more and more – in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves."

Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at the Mass for the Imposition of the Pallium and Conferral of the Fisherman's Ring for the Beginning of the Petrine Ministry of the Bishop of Rome, St. Peter's Square, 24 April 2005

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Benedict XVI on Fatima - a prophecy for 2017?"At a time when the human family was ready to sacrifice all that was most sacred on the altar of the petty and selfish interests of nations, races, ideologies, groups and individuals, our Blessed Mother came from heaven, offering to implant in the hearts of all those who trust in her the Love of God burning in her own heart. At that time it was only to three children, yet the example of their lives spread and multiplied, especially as a result of the travels of the Pilgrim Virgin, in countless groups throughout the world dedicated to the cause of fraternal solidarity. May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions hasten the fulfilment of the prophecy of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity."

Homily of Pope Benedict XVI during Holy Mass at the Esplanade of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima
Thursday, 13 May 2010

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ratzinger on the Orthodox Church“Rome must not require more from the East with respect to the doctrine of primacy than what had been formulated and was lived in the first millennium . . . Rome need not ask for more. Reunion could take place in this context if, on the one hand, the East would cease to oppose as heretical the developments that took place in the West in the second millennium and would accept the Catholic Church as legitimate and orthodox in the form she had acquired in the course of that development, while, on the other hand, the West would recognize the Church of the East as orthodox and legitimate in the form she has always had.”

Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology, San Francisco, Ignatius, 1987, p. 199.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Archives of the Order (4) - Chapter Generals of Fra. Jobert
In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
  • Let all men know of those who are, and those in the future shall be sons of Holy Mother Church, that I Jobert, Master of the Hospital of Jerusalem, with the good will and unanimous consent of all our brethren assembled in our Common Chapter, before the presence and witness of the passion and resurrection of Our Lord, have given and granted in permanent possession to our blessed lords, that is to say to the poor of the hostels (Xenodocheum) of the Hospital of Jerusalem, and to Brother Steven the Hospitaller at the present time, and to their successors who shall come after them perpetually for all time, two casales, that is to say the casales of St. Mary and Caphaer, with all their possessions and appurtenances within and without, for the provision of white bread which should be given to them forever; and if by chance it should happen that the corn should fail in the casales or be insufficient to provide for the needs of the poor, enough should be taken from the Treasury to purchase white bread and to provide sufficient for the poor; and if should happen that the wheat from the casales should be mixed with evil herbs, good wheat should be taken measure for measure from the granary of the Hospital, and so sufficient should be provided for our lords the poor. And in order that this gift may be established and unaltered forever, we have caused this charter to be sealed with our seal; and if anyone from henceforward would go to contrary to this Holy Commandment, or would distort it, may he be damned with Judas the traitor in everlasting damnation, with Cain and Dathan and Abiron, whom the earth swallowed up, may he be cursed with the curse. Amen.
  • Each loaf should be the weight of two marks, and should be given to two poor persons.
  • This decree was made in the year of the Incarnation of Our Lord 1176. 



In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
These are the customs which should be observed in the House of the Hospital of Jerusalem.
  1. The first morning Mass should not be begun before it is day, nor should the Commander of any house order the priest to chant mass. And no priest should chant mass twice in a day, unless by chance the body of the dead person be there, and then in this manner, first should be chanted the mass for the day, if it be a Sunday or a day of Festival, and afterwards should be chanted that for the dead, if a body be present there. And everywhere where a deceased (brother) of the hospital shall be buried, the day of his death should be written in the calendar. And for thirty days masses should be chanted for his soul. And when the Trental shall be completed, the day the anniversary should always be celebrated for his soul, and when the church where the Trental shall be celebrated has three priests, one should celebrate the Trental, and the other two chant the masses for the day. And if two priests only be there where the Trental should be celebrated, the service should be shared between them, and the gratuity. And when there shall be there no more than one priest, they shall obtain another a stranger to celebrate the service of the Trental.
  2. And when it shall be celebrated, one besant and a new shirt and breeches, according to the custom of the House, should be given to him. And if it be impossible to find a stranger priest. and the priest of the house be without the company of another priest, the Trental should be celebrated in this manner, that is to say that every day he should chant for the dead except on Sundays and days of solemn festival; and then afterwards he should make the commemoration and remembrance for the brother that is departed. But when the thirty days shall be passed, and after the number of days on which commemoration should be made only for the soul of the brother shall be fulfilled by the Trental, and there should be given to the priest the charity aforesaid. And if by chance these things should happen in Lent in the houses where there shall be no more than one priest, let it be postponed until after Easter, and then let celebration be made for the soul of the brother without delay.
  3. And let the brethren always take care to have a light in the church, and let the chalice for administration be of silver, and the censor of silver.
  4. And it is commanded that the bodies of pilgrims or of other Christians, who shall die after the Hour of Vespers, should be left until the next day; and in the Hospital, where they shall have died, let them not lie upon their biers without a light. And the next day before Prime they should be carried to the church, and after Mass should be buried; the biers of the dead should be like those that are in Jerusalem.
  5. The bodies of the brethren should be watched in the church, and the clerics should be around them chanting their psalms, and the tapers should be lighted. Of the charity that is given to the priests for the Trental the house should retain nothing; but for the Trentals of strangers the brethren should retain the half.
  6. For the public and private masses the priests should have nothing for themselves, except so much as the brethren should wish to give them of their own free will.
  7. Of the payments from confessions the sixth part should be given to the priests and the clerics, not by contract but of grace; but in casales where there shall be no burgesses, and no one except one priest, the arrangements aforesaid shall be at the discretion of the Commander of the house, and the gratuity of the clerics he shall give as shall seem good to him.
  8. Of the wills and legacies, which shall be made to vicars up to one besant, the half should be given to them; but the legacies and wills, which shall be left to the Hospital , when they shall be paid over, the brethren should receive them without deduction.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ratzinger on Latin in Liturgy would be in favour of a new openness toward the use of Latin. Latin in the Mass has come meanwhile to look to us like a fall from grace. So that, in any case, communication is ruled out that is very necessary in areas of mixed culture... Let's think of tourist centers, where it would be lovely for people to recognize each other in something they have in common. So we ought to keep such things alive and present. If even in the great liturgical celebrations in Rome, no one can sing the Kyrie or the Sanctus any more, no one knows what Gloria means, then a cultural loss has become a loss of what we share in common. To that extent I should say that the Liturgy of the Word should always be in the mother tongue, but there ought nonetheless to be a basic stock of Latin elements that would bind us together. 

Cardinal Ratzinger, God and the World, SF, CA: Ignatius, 2002, pp. 417-18

Monday, February 23, 2015

Ratzinger on Liturgical Dancing

Liturgical dance - Maitland, New Castle 01
Liturgical dancing group for girls, at Sacred Heart Cathedral, New Castle, Australia (May 2014).
Dancing is not a form of expression for the Christian liturgy. In about the third century, there was an attempt in certain Gnostic-Docetic circles to introduce it into the liturgy. For these people, the Crucifixion was only an ap­pearance. Before the Passion, Christ had abandoned the body that in any case he had never really assumed. Danc­ing could take the place of the liturgy of the Cross, be­cause, after all, the Cross was only an appearance. The cultic dances of the different religions have different pur­poses—incantation, imitative magic, mystical ecstasy— none of which is compatible with the essential purpose of the liturgy of the “reasonable sacrifice”. It is totally absurd to try to make the liturgy “attractive” by introducing dancing pantomimes (wherever possible performed by professional dance troupes), which frequently (and rightly, from the professionals’ point of view) end with applause. 

Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment. Such attrac­tiveness fades quickly—it cannot compete in the market of leisure pursuits, incorporating as it increasingly does various forms of religious titillation. I myself have expe­rienced the replacing of the penitential rite by a dance performance, which, needless to say, received a round of applause. Could there be anything farther removed from true penitence? Liturgy can only attract people when it looks, not at itself, but at God, when it allows him to enter and act. Then something truly unique happens, beyond competition, and people have a sense that more has taken place than a recreational activity. None of the Christian rites includes dancing.  [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 198]

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Archives of the Order (3) - The Rule of the Order of St. John


In the name of God, I Raymond Servant of Christ's poor and Warden of the Hospital of Jerusalem, with the counsel of all the Chapter, both clerical and lay brethren, have established these commandments in the House of the Hospital of Jerusalem.
  1. HOW THE BRETHREN SHOULD MAKE THEIR PROFESSION: Firstly, I ordain that all the brethren, engaging in the service of the poor, should keep the three thing with the aid of God which they have promised to God, that is to say, chastity and obedience, which means whatever thing is commanded them by their masters, and to live without property of their own: because God will require these three things of them at the Last Judgement.
  2. WHAT THE BRETHREN SHOULD CLAIM AS THEIR DUE: And let them not claim more as their due than bread and water and raiment, which things are promised to them. And their clothing should be humble, because Our Lord's poor, whose servants we confess ourselves to be, go naked. And it is a thing wrong and improper for the servant that he should be proud, and his Lord should be humble.
  3. CONCERNING THE CONDUCT OF THE BRETHREN AND THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCHES AND THE RECEPTION OF THE SICK: Moreover this is decreed that their conduct should be decorous in church, and that their conversation should be appropriate, that is to say, that the clerics, deacons and sub-deacons, should serve the priest at the altar in white raiment, and if the thing shall be necessary another cleric should render the service, and there should be a light every day in the church, both by day and by night, and the priest should go in white raiment to visit the sick, bearing reverently the Body of Our Lord, and the deacon and the sub-deacon, or at least an acolyte should go before, bearing a lantern with a candle burning, and the sponge with the holy water.
  4. HOW THE BRETHREN SHOULD GO ABROAD AND BEHAVE: Moreover, when the brethren shall go to the cities and castles, let them not go alone but two or three together, and they shall not go there with those whom they would, but with those whom their Master shall order, and when they shall become there where they would go, let them remain together as united in their conduct as in their dress. And let nothing be done in their movements which might offend the eyes of anyone, but only that which reveals their holiness. Moreover, when they shall be in a church or in a house or in any other place where there are women, let them keep guard over their modesty, and let no women wash their heads or their feet, or make their beds. May Our Lord, who dwells among his saints, keep guard over them in this matter.
  5. BY WHOM AND HOW ALMS SHOULD BE SOUGHT: Also let religious persons, both clerical and lay brethren, go forth to seek alms for the holy poor; also when they shall seek for a lodging (hostel), let them go to the church or to some suitable person and let them ask of him their food for charity sake, and let them buy nothing else. But if they should not find anyone who will give them the necessaries, let them buy by measure one meal only, on which they shall live.
  6. CONCERNING THE ALMS OBTAINED AND CONCERNING THE PRODUCE OF THE HOUSES: Also let them take neither land nor security from the alms collected, but let them deliver them up to the Master with an account in writing, and let the Master deliver them up with his own account in writing to the poor in the hospital; and let the Master receive from all the Obediences the third part of the bread and wine and of all food, and that which shall be surplus should be added to the alms, and let him hand it over in Jerusalem to the poor with his own account in writing.
  7. WHO AND IN WHAT MANNER THEY SHOULD GO ABROAD TO PREACH: And let not any of the brethren, of whatever Obedience they may be, go to preach or to make collections, except only those whom the Chapter and the Master of the Church shall send. And let those same brethren, who shall go to make collections, be received in whatever Obedience they shall come, and let them receive such food as the brethren have ordained among themselves, and let them demand no other thing. Also let them carry with them a light, and in whatever house they shall be lodged (herbergié), let them cause the light to burn before them.
  8. CONCERNING THE CLOTHING AND FOOD OF THE BRETHREN: Furthermore also we forbid the brethren to wear at any time brightly coloured cloth (dras ysambruns ne galembruns) or furs of animals (pennes sauvages) or fustian. Also let them not eat more than twice in the day, and let them eat no meat on Wednesdays or Saturdays, or from Septuagesima until Easter, except those who are sick or feeble; and let them never lie down naked, but clothed in shirts or linen or wool, or in other similar garments.
  9. CONCERNING BRETHREN GUILTY OF FORNICATION: But if any of the brethren, and may such a thing never happen, through sinful passion shall fall into fornication, if he shall sin in secret, let him do his penance in secret, and let him impose upon himself suitable penance; and if it shall be well known and proved absolutely for certain, then in that town in which he shall have committed the sin, on the Sunday after Mass, when the people shall have left the church, let him be severely beaten and flogged with hard rods (verges) or leather thongs (corroies) in the sight of all by his Master or by other brethren commanded by the Master, and let him be expelled out of all our company: and afterwards if Our Lord shall enlighten the heart of that man, and he shall return to the House of the Poor, and shall confess himself to be guilty and a sinner and the transgressor against the law of God, and shall promise amendment, he should be received and for a whole year should be treated as a stranger, and the brethren should observe during this period of time whether he be satisfactory, and afterwards let them do as shall seem good to them.
  10. CONCERNING BRETHREN QUARRELING AND STRIKING ONE ANOTHER: Also if any brother dispute with another brother, and the Procurator of the House shall have heard the complaint, the penance should be as follows: he shall fast for seven days, the Wednesday and the Friday on bread and water, and he shall eat seated on the ground without table and without napkin (toaille). And if the brother shall strike another brother he shall fast for forty days. And if he shall depart from the House, or the Master under whose authority he shall be, wilfully and without the leave of his Master, and afterwards he shall return, he shall eat for forty days seated on the ground, and shall fast on Wednesdays and Fridays on bread and water; and for as long a time as he has been absent, let him be treated as a stranger, unless by chance the time should have been so long that the Chapter should think proper to modify it.
  11. CONCERNING THE SILENCE OF THE BRETHREN: Also at table, as the Apostle says, let each one eat his bread in silence, and let him not drink after Compline. Also let the brethren keep silence in their beds.
  12. CONCERNING BRETHREN MISBEHAVING: And if any brother shall not conduct himself well, and shall be admonished and corrected by his Master or by other brethren twice or three times, and if, at the instigation of the Devil, he will not amend his ways not obey, he should be sent to us on foot with a written report of his sin; and always a small allowance (procuration) should be given to him sufficient to enable him to come to us, and we will correct him; and also no brother should strike the sergeants subject to him for any fault or sin they may commit, but let the Master of the House and the brethren exact vengeance in the presence of all; but always let the sentence (justice) of the House be maintained completely.
  13. CONCERNING BRETHREN FOUND WITH PRIVATE PROPERTY: And if any of the brethren have made a disposition of private property at his death, he shall have concealed it from his Master, and afterwards it shall be found upon him, let that money be tied round his neck, and let him be led naked through the Hospital of Jerusalem, or through the other houses where he dwells, and let him be beaten severely by another brother and do penance for forty days, and he shall fast on Wednesdays and Fridays on bread and water.
  14. WHAT OFFICE SHOULD BE CELEBRATED FOR THE DECEASED BRETHREN: Moreover we command that this statue should be made, which is most necessary for us all, and we ordain it in commanding that for all the brethren who die in your Obedience thirty Masses should be chanted for the soul of each; and at the first Mass each of the brethren, who shall be present, shall offer one candle with one Denier. Which Deniers, as many as there shall be, should be given to the poor for God's sake; and the priest who shall chant the Masses, if he be not of the House, should have provision in the Obedience on those days; and on completion of the office, the Master should render charity to the said priest, and let all the garments of the deceased brother be given to the poor; also let the brother priests, who shall sing the Masses, pray for his soul to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and let each of the clerics chant the Psalter, and each of the lay brothers 150 paternosters. And also concerning all other sins and matters and complaints let them judge and decide in Chapter with righteous judgement.
  15. HOW THE THINGS HERE DETAILED ARE TO BE FIRMLY MAINTAINED: All these things, just as we have detailed them above, we command and ordain in the Name of Almighty God, and of the Blessed Mary, and of the Blessed St. John, and of the poor, that these same things should be kept with the utmost strictness.
  16. HOW OUR LORDS THE SICK SHOULD BE RECEIVED AND SERVED: And in that Obedience in which the Master and the Chapter of the Hospital shall permit, when the sick man shall come there, let him be received thus, let him partake of the Holy Sacrament, first having confessed his sins to the priest, and afterwards let him be carried to bed, and there as if he were a Lord, each day before the brethren to eat, let him be refreshed with food charitably according to the ability of the House; also on every Sunday let the Epistle and the Gospel be chanted in that House, and let the House be sprinkled with holy water at the procession. Also if any of the brethren, who hold Obedience in different lands, coming to any secular person offering allegiance and giving him the money of the poor, in order that those persons should cause the said brethren to prevail by force against the Master, let such brethren be cast out of all the company
  17. IN WHAT MANNER BRETHREN MAY CORRECT BRETHREN: Also if two or more brethren shall be together, and one of them shall conduct himself outrageously by evil living, the other of the brethren should not denounce him to the people nor to the Prior, but first let him chastise him by himself, and if he would no be chastised, let him join with himself two or three brethren to chastise him. And if he should amend his ways, they should rejoice at it; but if he be not willing to amend his ways, then let him write down the guilt of the brother, and let him send it to the Master privately, and according at the Master and the Chapter shall order let it be done concerning him.
  18. HOW ONE BROTHER SHOULD ACCUSE ANOTHER BROTHER: Let no brother accuse another brother unless he be well able to prove it; and if he shall accuse him and be unable to prove it, he is no true brother.
  19. THAT THE BRETHREN BEAR ON THEIR BREASTS THE SIGN OF THE CROSS: Also let all the brethren of all the Obediences, who now and henceforward shall offer themselves to God and to the Holy Hospital of Jerusalem bear on their breasts the cross, on their cassocks (chapes) and on their mantles, to the honour of God and the Holy Cross that God by that banner (gonfanon), and through faith and works and obedience, may guard and defend us in soul and in body, with all our Christian benefactors from the power of the Devil in this world and the next. Amen.