Thursday, December 31, 2009

Predestination in Sacred Scripture

From Garrigou-Lagrange, OP - Predestination, Ch. 1 (available through ITOPL):

The Gospel is the good tidings of the redemption of the human race which must be preached to all, for our Savior said: "Going therefore, teach ye all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And behold I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world." St. Paul says in like manner: "God will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a redemption for all." (2)

God never commands what is impossible and He makes the fulfilment of His precepts really possible for all, both when they are of obligation and according as they are known. However, there are souls that through their own fault are lost; and souls, at times, that have enjoyed a close intimacy with the Savior, as was the case with the "son of perdition." There are others, the elect, who will infallibly be saved. Among these are children who die shortly after being baptized, and adults who, by divine grace, not only can observe the commandments, but actually do so and obtain the gift of final perseverance. Jesus in His sacerdotal prayer said to His Father: "Those whom Thou gavest Me have I kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture may be fulfilled."(3) Speaking in more general terms, Jesus says again: "My sheep hear My voice. And I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them life everlasting: and they shall not perish for ever. And no man shall pluck them out of My hand. That which My Father hath given Me is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of the hand of My Father. I and the Father are one."(4) There are elect chosen by God from all eternity. Jesus spoke of them on several occasions. Once He said: "Many are called, but few are chosen." (5) He announced the destruction of Jerusalem, the distress of those times of trial, and He added: "Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened." (6)

The precise meaning of these utterances of our Savior are made known to us by what St. Paul tells us about predestination, by which God directs and brings the elect infallibly to eternal life. In one of his epistles we read: "What hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?"(7) It is but the comment on the words of the Master, who said: "Without Me you can do nothing." (8) St. Paul also says: "For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His good will." When writing to the Ephesians, he speaks explicitly about predestination. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ," he says, "who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. As He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in His sight in charity. Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself, according to the purpose of His will. Unto the praise and glory of His grace, in which He hath graced us in His beloved Son."(10) Again, with more clarity of precision, he writes: "We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good: to such as according to His purpose are called to be saints. For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. And whom He predestinated, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified. And whom He justified, them He also glorified." (11)

With St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and St. Bellarmine, we must remark that in this last text the words, "whom He foreknew, He also predestinated," do not refer to the divine foreknowledge of meritorious acts. Nowhere in St. Paul do we find any foundation for this interpretation, and it would contradict several of his texts, especially this one and the ones we are about to cite. The meaning is: "those whom God foreknew, looking favorably upon them," which is a frequent acceptation of the verb "to know" in the Bible, as in the text: "God has not cast away His people which He foreknew."(12) This exegesis of St. Augustine, St. Thomas, and St. Robert Bellarmine is upheld at the present day by Lagrange, Allo, Zahn, Julicher, and others.(13)

In the Epistle to the Romans (chaps. 9-12), St. Paul in plain terms also sets forth God's sovereign independence in the dispensation of His graces. The Jews, who were the chosen people, are rejected because of their unbelief, and salvation is announced to the Gentiles as a result of Israel's obduracy. The Apostle prophesies, however, the final conversion and salvation of the Jews, and he formulates the principle of predilection, which is applied to nations and individuals: "What shall we say then? Is there injustice with God? God forbid! For He saith to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy. And I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy." (14)

Hence the Apostle's conclusion: "O the depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God! How incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made him? For of Him and by Him and in Him are all things. To Him be glory for ever. Amen." (15)

We shall return later on to a discussion of the literal meaning and scope of these texts, when we present the scriptural background for the teaching of St. Thomas. It suffices for the present to point out with the Thomists and St. Robert Bellarmine (16), what Scripture has to say about the gratuitousness of predestination to eternal life. Such is the teaching of Scripture, which declares three indisputable things on this point, namely: (1) God has chosen certain persons to constitute the elect.(17) (2) He has caused this election to be efficacious so that they will infallibly get to heaven: "My sheep shall not perish for ever. And no man shall pluck them out of My hand."(18) "Whom He predestinated, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified. And whom He justified, them He also glorified."(19) (3) God's choice of the elect was entirely gratuitous and previous to any consideration of foreseen merits: "Fear not little flock, for it hath pleased your Father to give you a kingdom."(20) "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go and should bring forth fruit and your fruit should remain."(21) "Even so then, at this present time also, there is a remnant saved according to the election of grace. And if by grace, it is not now by works, otherwise grace is no more grace."(22) "As He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy,"(23) and not because we were so, or because He foresaw that we would be so by our own efforts. "For whom He foreknew (in His benevolence), He also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son." (24)

From all these passages of Scripture, St. Augustine formulated this classical definition: "Predestination is the foreknowledge and preparedness on God's part to bestow the favors by which all those are saved who are to be saved."(25) St. Augustine is still more explicit on this point when he writes: "God already knew, when He predestined, what He must do to bring His elect infallibly to eternal life."(26)


1. Matt. 28: 19-20.
2. I Tim. 2: 3-5.
3. John 17: 12.
4. Ibid., 10: 27-30.
5. Matt. 22: 14.
6. Ibid., 24: 22.
7. I Cor. 4: 7.
8. John 15: 5.
9. Phil. 2: 13
10. Eph. 1: 3-7.
11. Rom. 8: 28--30.
12. Rom. 11: 2; d. Matt. 7: 23; Gal. 4: 9; I Cor. 8: 3; 13: 12; II Tim. 2: 19: Ps. 1: 6.
13. Father Lemonnyer, O.P., has explained the deep significance of this standard text of Rom. 8: 28-30, in his article entitled: "Predestination," which was written for the Dict. de th éol. cath. He remarks that God's intention is manifested in this text by two acts: first, there is the act of foreknowing: "those whom He foreknew" (29); then the act of predestinating: "whom He predestinated" (30). But the act of first intention seems to be passed over in silence. As a matter of fact, remarks Father Lemonnyer, it is indicated in the final clause of v. 29: "that He might be the firstborn amongst many brethren:" Here we have this divine intention. . . . This presupposed intention suffices to provide the means for its realization, that is, the discerning and decreeing of the putting of it into effect. This discernment is the foreknowledge, and this decree is the predestination. Both are evidently acts of the practical reason moved by a preconceived intention."
Father Lemonnyer insists upon the gratuitous character of the divine purpose, which is the reason of our salvation and our call. It seems that this gratuitousness must be extended to predestination. Cf. II Tim. 1: 9; Eph. 1: 11; Tit. 3: 5.
14. Rom. 9: 14-17; cf. Lagrange, Epitre aux Romains, 1916, chap. 9, p. 244.
15. Ibid., 11: 33-36.
16. De gratia et lib. arb., Bk. II. chaps. 9-15.
17. Matt. 20: 16; 24: 31; Luke 12: 32; Rom. 8: 33; Eph. 1: 4.
19. John 10: 27 f.; d. Matt. 24: 24; John 6: 39.
20. Rom. 8: 30
21. Luke 12: 32.
22. John 15: 16.
23. Rom. 11: 5.
24. Eph. 1: 4.
25. Rom. 8: 29.
25. De dona perseverantiae, chap. 14.
26. De praedestinatione sanctorum, chap. 10

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Prayer for the Jews

Taken from The Roman Missal, Good Friday (Preces):

Let us pray also for the faithless Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Let us pray. 
Let us kneel. 
[pause for silent prayer

The Synagogue, Shown Blindfolded

Almighty and eternal God, who dost not exclude from thy mercy even Jewish faithlessness: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Oremus et pro perfidis Iudæis: ut Deus et Dominus noster auferat velamen de cordibus eorum; ut et ipsi agnoscant Iesum Christum, Dominum nostrum. 

(Oremus. Flectamus genua. Levate

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui etiam iudaicam perfidiam a tua misericordia non repellis: exaudi preces nostras, quas pro illius populi obcæcatione deferimus; ut, agnita veritatis tuæ luce, quæ Christus est, a suis tenebris eruantur. Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus: per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

The Jews still await the coming of the Messias; Jesus did not fit the bill.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Solesmes Method is Neither Upbeat Nor Rhythmless

The Music Sheet:
(Listen to Videos Below)

How NOT to Sing It, Part 1:

How NOT to Sing It, Part 2:

How to Sing It CORRECTLY:

It's all in the Ictus!

Vatican II: Non-Infallible Extraordinary Magisterium

From Emmanuel Doronzo, OMI - The Channels of Revelation (available thru ITOPL):

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Quaeritur: Why Not Sign the 'Manhattan Declaration'?


Quaeritur: You say you will not sign the 'Manhattan Declaration' because it is not in line with the Church's teaching. What teaching do you speak of? Are you still in the Roman Catholic Church, and under the Pope?

Respondeo: The Manhattan Declaration affirms three things:

a) The sanctity of human life from conception to its natural end.
b) The traditional views on marriage and the family.
c) Religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

I am completely in favor of (a) and (b); it is (c) that I have problems with. It's precisely because I'm a traditional Roman Catholic who is faithful to the Magisterium of all ages that I cannot accept that. The third point contradicts Catholic teaching.  This is no novel teaching that I made up, but the traditional teaching of the Church. Unfortunately, on this point we have been victims of liberal pressure and propaganda and most Catholics today are embarrassed of this teaching--and it for this reason you never hear it anymore.

It can be summarized thus:

  • A Catholic state does NOT have the right to COERCE individuals or communities to practice the Faith PRIVATELY.
  • A Catholic state does NOT have the right to COERCE individuals or communities to practice the Faith PUBLICLY.
  • A Catholic state does NOT have the right to PREVENT individuals or communities from practicing false religions PRIVATELY.
  • A Catholic state DOES have the right to PREVENT individuals and communities from practicing false religions PUBLICLY.

Therefore, no individual or community has a God-given, natural right to spread, teach, or practice publicly the errors of a false religion (if there were such a natural right, then the Catholic states of the past would have violated this right by preventing their non-Catholic citizens from spreading their heresies and other pernicious errors).

And it is this point that the 'Manhattan Declaration' denies, when it states: 

Immunity from religious coercion is the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and PUBLICLY their deeply held religious convictions. What is true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.

This contradicts the constant teaching of the ordinary papal magisterium. I recommend Michael Davies' excellent book on the subject, The Second Vatican Council and Religious Liberty, for a detailed explanation of this teaching and an account of how it became unpopular (though never retracted) after the Second Vatican Council.

In Festo Sancti Joannis Evangelistae (Dec. 27), Acta

Feast of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
Station at Saint Mary Major

From Matins of the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist
Online source:
The Psalms and Antiphons for the Second Nocturn are taken from the Common
Absolutio: Ipsíus píetas et misericórdia nos ádjuvet, qui cum Patre et Spíritu Sancto vivit et regnat in sæcula sæculórum.
R.  Amen.

Absolution:  May his loving-kindness and mercy assist us.  Who, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, for ever and ever.
R.  Amen.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 4: Deus Pater omnípotens sit nobis propítius et clemens.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 4:  May God the Father Almighty shew us his mercy and pity.
R.  Amen.

Lesson iv

Ex libro sancti  Hierónymi Presbyteri de Scriptóribus ecclesiásticis
The Lesson is taken from the Book on Ecclesiastical writers, written by St. Jerome the Priest
Cap. 9
Joánnes Apóstolus, quem Jesus amávit plúrimum, fílius Zebedæi, frater Jacóbi Apóstoli, quem Heródes post passiónem Dómini decollávit, novíssimus ómnium scripsit Evangélium, rogátus ab Asiæ epíscopis, advérsus Cerínthum, aliósque hæréticos, et máxime tunc Ebionitárum dogma consúrgens, qui ásserunt Christum ante Maríam non fuísse : unde et compúlsus est divínam ejus nativitátem edícere.
The Apostle John, whom Jesus loved, was a son of Zebedee, and the brother of that James the Apostle who was beheaded by Herod soon after our Lord suffered.  He was the last of the Evangelists to write his Gospel, which he published at the request of the Bishops of Asia against Cerinthus and other hereticks, and particularly against the then spreading doctrine of the Ebionites, who asserted that Christ had had no existence before Mary.  It was therefore needful for the Evangelist to declare his eternal and divine generation.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Qui vícerit, fáciam illum colúmnam in templo meo, dicit Dóminus :  * Et scribam super eum nomen meum, et nomen civitátis novæ Jerúsalem.
V.  Vincénti dabo édere de ligno vitæ, quod est in paradíso Dei mei.
R.  Et scribam super eum nomen meum, et nomen civitátis novæ Jerúsalem.
R.  Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, saith the Lord : *  And I will write upon him my new Name, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem.
V.  To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
R.  And I will write upon him my new Name, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 5: Christus perpétuæ det nobis gáudia vitæ.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 5: May Christ bestow upon us the joys of life eternal.
R.  Amen.

Lesson v

Quarto décimo ígitur anno, secúndam post Nerónem persecutiónem movénte Domitiáno, in Patmos ínsulam relegátus, scripsit Apocalypsim, quam interpretátur Justínus Martyr et Irenæus.  Interfécto autem Domitiáno, et actis ejus ob nímiam crudelitátem a senátu rescíssis, sub Nerva príncipe rédiit Ephesum :  ibíque usque ad Trajánum príncipem persevérans, totas Asiæ fundávit rexítque ecclésias : et conféctus sénio, sexagésimo octávo post passiónem Dómini anno mórtuus, juxta eámdem urbem sepúltus est.
In the fourteenth year of Domitian, whilst this same was stirring up the second persecution after that of Nero, John was exiled to the Island of Patmos where he wrote his Apocalypse, whereon commentaries have been composed by Justin Martyr and Irenaeus.  When Domitian was killed, the Senate annulled all his acts on account of their excessive severity, and the Apostle returned to Ephesus during the reign of Nerva.  There he remained until the time of Trajan, and founded and governed all the churches of Asia.  There also in an extreme old age, he died, in the sixty-eighth year after the Lord's passion, and was buried near the same city of Ephesus.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

The ruins of the basilica of St. John, Ephesus
R.  Diligébat autem eum Jesus, quóniam speciális prærogatíva castitátis amplióri dilectióne fécerat dignum :  * Quia virgo eléctus ab ipso, virgo inævum permánsit.
V.  In cruce dénique moritúrus, huic Matrem suam vírginem vírgini commendávit.
R.  Quia virgo eléctus ab ipso, virgo in ævum permánsit.
R.  And Jesus did love John much, for the prerogative of a singular purity made him worthy of a fuller love ; * Who was virgin when Jesus chose him, and thereafter kept himself virgin.
V.  Dying on the Cross, the Lord commended his Virgin-Mother to his virgin disciple.
R.  Who was virgin when Jesus chose him, and thereafter kept himself virgin.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 6: Ignem sui amóris accéndat Deus in córdibus nostris.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 6: May God enkindle in our hearts the fire of his holy love.
R.  Amen.

Lesson vi

Ex Commentáriis ejúsdem in Epístolam ad Gálatas
The Lesson is taken from the Commentary upon the Epistle to the Galatians, by the same author
Lib. 3, cap. 6
Beátus Joánnes Evangelísta, cum Ephesi morarétur usque ad últimam senectútem, et vix inter discipulórum manus ad ecclésiam deferrétur, nec posset in plura vocem verba contéxere ; nihil áliud per síngulas solébat proférre colléctas, nisi hoc : Filíoli, dilígite altérutrum.  Tandem discípuli et fratres, qui áderant, tædio affécti quod éademsemper audírent, dixérunt : Magíster, quare semper hoc lóqueris?  Qui respóndit dignam Joánne senténtiam : Quia præcéptum Dómini est ; et, si solum fiat, súfficit.
The blessed Evangelist John lived at Ephesus down to such an extreme old age that he was with difficulty supported in the arms of his disciples and so was carried to the church.  And being unable to articulate many words, he was wont to utter each time to the congregation the simple words : Little children, love one another.  At last his disciples and brethren were weary of hearing these words so often, and asked him : Master, wherefore ever sayest thou this only?  Whereto he gave an answer worthy of John : It is the commandment of the Lord, and if this only be done, it is enough.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.

R.  In médio Ecclésiæ apéruit os ejus, * Et implévit eum Deus spíritu sapiéntiæ et intelléctus.
V.  Jucunditátem et exsultatiónem thesaurizávit super eum.
R.  Et implévit eum Deus spíritu sapiéntiæ et intelléctus.
V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Et implévit eum Deus spíritu sapiéntiæ et intelléctus.
R.  In the midst of the congregation he opened his mouth : * And the Lord filled him with the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.
V.  He shall find joy, and a crown of gladness.
R.  And the Lord filled him with the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.
V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  And the Lord filled him with the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Introit for Christmas, Mass of the Day


Click link below for music sheet.

Friday, December 25, 2009

In Nativitate Domini (Dec. 25), Evangelium & Homilia

Stations at: 
St Mary Major, Altar of the Crib
(Midnight Mass & Mass of the day)
St Anastasia 
(Mass at Dawn)

St. Mary Major, Altar of the Crib

Sequéntia sancti Evangélii secúndum Lucam (2:1-14).

In illo témpore : Exiit edíctum a Cæsare Augústo, ut describerétur univérsus orbis. Hæc descríptio prima facta est a præside Syriæ Cyríno: et ibant omnes ut profiteréntur sínguli in suam civitátem. Ascéndit autem et Joseph a Galilæa de civitáte Názareth in Judæam in civitátem David, quæ vocátur Béthlehem: eo quod esset de domo, et família David, ut profiterétur cum María desponsáta sibi uxóre prægnánte. Factum est autem, cum essent ibi, impléti sunt dies ut páreret. Et péperit Fílium suum primogénitum, et pannis eum invólvit, et reclinávit eum in præsépio: quia non erat eis locus in diversório. Et pastóres erant in regióne eádem vigilántes, et custodiéntes vigílias noctis super gregem suum. Et ecce Angelus Dómini stetit juxta illos, et cláritas Dei circumfúlsit illos, et timuérunt timóre magno. Et dixit illis Angelus: Nolíte timére: ecce enim evangelízo vobis gáudium magnum, quod erit omni pópulo: quia natus est vobis hódie Salvátor, qui est Christus Dóminus, in civitáte David. Et hoc vobis signum: Inveniétis infántem pannis involútum, et pósitum in præsépio. Et súbito facta est cum Angelo multitúdo milítiæ cæléstis laudántium Deum, et dicéntium: Glória in altíssimis Deo, et in terra pax homínibus bonæ voluntátis.

῾Η γέννησις τοῦ ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ

Β´\ΕΓΕΝΕΤΟ δὲ ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις ἐκείναις ἐξῆλθε δόγμα παρὰ Καίσαρος Αὐγούστου ἀπογράφεσθαι πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην. 2 αὕτη ἡ ἀπογραφὴ πρώτη ἐγένετο ἡγεμονεύοντος τῆς Συρίας Κυρηνίου. 3 καὶ ἐπορεύοντο πάντες ἀπογράφεσθαι, ἕκαστος εἰς τὴν ἰδίαν πόλιν. 4 ἀνέβη δὲ καὶ ᾿Ιωσὴφ ἀπὸ τῆς Γαλιλαίας ἐκ πόλεως Ναζαρὲτ εἰς τὴν ᾿Ιουδαίαν εἰς πόλιν Δαυΐδ, ἥτις καλεῖται Βηθλεέμ, διὰ τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν ἐξ οἴκου καὶ πατριᾶς Δαυΐδ, 5 ἀπογράψασθαι σὺν Μαριὰμ τῇ μεμνηστευμένῃ αὐτῷ γυναικί, οὔσῃ ἐγκύῳ.  6 ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν τῷ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ ἐπλήσθησαν αἱ ἡμέραι τοῦ τεκεῖν αὐτήν, 7 καὶ ἔτεκε τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς τὸν πρωτότοκον, καὶ ἐσπαργάνωσεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἀνέκλινεν αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ φάτνῃ, διότι οὐκ ἦν αὐτοῖς τόπος ἐν τῷ καταλύματι. 8 Καὶ ποιμένες ἦσαν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ τῇ αὐτῇ ἀγραυλοῦντες καὶ φυλάσσοντες φυλακὰς τῆς νυκτὸς ἐπὶ τὴν ποίμνην αὐτῶν. 9 καὶ ἰδοὺ ἄγγελος Κυρίου ἐπέστη αὐτοῖς καὶ δόξα Κυρίου περιέλαμψεν αὐτούς, καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν φόβον μέγαν. 10 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ὁ ἄγγελος· μὴ φοβεῖσθε· ἰδοὺ γὰρ εὐαγγελίζομαι ὑμῖν χαρὰν μεγάλην, ἥτις ἔσται παντὶ τῷ λαῷ, 11 ὅτι ἐτέχθη ὑμῖν σήμερον σωτήρ, ὅς ἐστι Χριστὸς Κύριος, ἐν πόλει Δαυΐδ. 12 καὶ τοῦτο ὑμῖν τὸ σημεῖον· εὑρήσετε βρέφος ἐσπαργανωμένον, κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ. 13 καὶ ἐξαίφνης ἐγένετο σὺν τῷ ἀγγέλῳ πλῆθος στρατιᾶς οὐρανίου αἰνούντων τὸν Θεὸν καὶ λεγόντων· 14 δόξα ἐν ὑψίστοις Θεῷ καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς εἰρήνη, ἐν ἀνθρώποις εὐδοκία.

From Matins of Christmas
Online Source:

Lesson vii
Léctio sancti Evangélii secúndum Lucam
The Lesson is taken from the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Chap. 2, 1-14
In illo témpore : Exiit edíctum a Cæsare Augústo, ut describerétur univérsus orbis.  Et réliqua.
At that time : There went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  And so on, and that which followeth.
Homilía sancti Gregórii Papæ
A Homily by St. Gregory the Pope
Homilía 8 in Evangelia

The Census at Bethlehem, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Quia, largiénte Dómino, Missárum solémnia ter hódie celebratúri sumus, loqui diu de evangélica lectióne non póssumus : sed nos áliquid vel bréviter dícere, Redemptóris nostri Natívitas ipsa compéllit.  Quid est enim, quod nascitúro Dómino mundus descríbitur, nisi hoc, quod apérte monstrátur, quia ille apparébat in carne, qui eléctos suos adscríberet in ætérnitáte?  Quo contra de réprobis per prophétam dícitur : Deleántur de libro vivéntium, et cum justis non scribántur.  Qui bene étiam in Béthlehem náscitur : Béthlehem quippe domus panis interpretátur. Ipse namque est, qui ait : Ego sum panis vivus, qui de cælo descéndi.  Locus ergo, in quo Dóminus náscitur, domus panis ántea vocátus est ; quia futúrum profécto erat, ut ille ibi per matériam carnis appáreret, qui electórum mentes intérna satietáte refíceret.  Qui non in paréntum domo, sed in via náscitur : ut profécto osténderet, quia per humanitátem suam, quam assúmpserat, quasi in aliéno nascebátur.
By God's mercy we are to say three Masses today.  Hence there is not much time left for preaching on this passage of the Gospel.  Nonetheless the Feast of the Lord's Birthday constraineth me to speak a few words.  I will begin at once by asking why this numbering for taxation took place at the Lord's Birth, and why all the world was enrolled?  Was it not to make us mindful that one had now appeared in the flesh who would enroll his elect in the book of life?  And note, on the other hand, how the Prophet saith of the reprobate : Let them be wiped out of the book of the living, and not be written among the righteous.  Note also that the Lord was born in Bethlehem, which same signifieth the House of Bread, and thus was meetly the birthplace of him who hath said : I am the Living Bread which came down from heaven.  The place, then, where our Lord was born was already called the House of Bread because therein was he to appear who would feed the souls of the the faithful unto life eternal.  Not in his Mother's house was he born, but away from home.  And this should make us mindful that our mortality, in which he was born, was not the home of him who is begotten of the Father before all worlds.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Beáta víscera Maríæ Vírginis, quæ portavérunt ætérni Patris Fílium : et beáta úbera, quæ lactavérunt Christum Dóminum : Qui hódie pro salúte mundi de Vírgine nasci dignátus est.
V.  Dies sanctificátus illúxit nobis : veníte, Gentes, et adoráte Dóminum.
R.  Qui hódie pro salúte mundi de Vírgine nasci dignátus est.
R.  Blessed is the womb of the Virgin Mary that bore the son of the everlasting Father : and blessed are the paps which gave suck to Christ the Lord : * Who as on this day did vouchsafe to be born of the Virgin for the salvation of the world.
V.  Holy is the day that is dawning for us ; come all ye nations, and worship the Lord.
R.  Who as on this day did vouchsafe to be born of the Virgin for the salvation of the world.

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 8:  Per evangélica dicta deleántur nostra delícta.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 8:  By the Gospel words today may our sins be done away.
R.  Amen.

Lesson viii
Léctio sancti Evangélii secúndum Lucam
The Lesson is taken from the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Chap. 2, 15-20
In illo témpore : Pastóres loquebántur ad ínvicem : Transeámus usque Béthlehem, et videámus hoc verbum, quod factum est, quod Dóminus osténdit nobis.  Et réliqua.
At that time : The shepherds said one to another : Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  And so on, and that which followeth.
Homilía sancti Ambrósii Epíscopi
A Homily by St. Ambrose the Bishop
Lib. 2 in cap. 2 Lucæ circa medium

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Vidéte Ecclésiæ surgéntis exórdium : Christus náscitur, et pastóres vigiláre cœpérunt ; qui géntium greges, pécudum modo ante vivéntes, in caulam Dómini congregárent, ne quos spiritálium bestiárum per offúsas nóctium ténebras pateréntur incúrsus.  Et bene pastóres vígilant, quos bonus pastor infórmat.  Grex ígitur pópulus, nox sæculum, pastóres sunt sacerdótes.  Aut fortásse étiam ille sit pastor, cui dícitur : Esto vígilans, et confírma.  Quia non solum epíscopos ad tuéndum gregem Dóminus ordinávit, sed étiam Angelos destinávit.
Behold the beginning of the Church.  Christ is born, and the shepherds keep their watch.  Yea, they keep their watch like as becometh those who would gather together the scattered sheep of the Gentiles (which had hitherto lived like as brute beasts) and lead them into the fold of Christ, that they might need no longer to suffer the ravages of spiritual wolves in the night of this world's darkness.  How wide awake are those shepherds whom the Good Shepherd stirreth up.  Their flock is the people.  The night is the world.  For these shepherds are the Priests.  And perhaps that Angel, too, is a shepherd to whom in the Apocalypse is said : Be watchful and strengthen.  For God hath ordained to watch over his flock not Bishops only but Angels also.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.
R.  Verbum caro factum est, et habitávit in nobis :* Et vídimus glóriam ejus, glóriam quasi Unigéniti a Patre, plenum gratiæ et veritátis.
V.  Omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil.
R.  Et vídimus glóriam ejus, glóriam quasi Unigéniti a Patre, plenum gratiæ et veritátis.
V.  Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
R.  Et vídimus glóriam ejus, glóriam quasi Unigéniti a Patre, plenum gratiæ et veritátis.
R.  The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, * And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
V.  All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made.
R.  And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
V.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R.  And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Birthplace of our Lord and Saviour
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

V.  Jube domne, (Dómine) benedícere.
V.  Vouchsafe, Reverend Father (O Lord), thy blessing.
Benedíctio 9:  Verba sancti Evangélii doceat nos Christus Fílius Dei.
R.  Amen.

Benediction 9:  By the words of the holy Gospel, may Christ the Son of God be our teacher.
R.  Amen.

Lesson ix
Léctio sancti Evangélii secúndum Joánnem
The Lesson is taken from the Holy Gospel according to John
Chap. 1, 1-14
In princípio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.  Et réliqua.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And so on, and that which followeth.
Homilía sancti Augustíni Epíscopi
A Homily by St. Augustine the Bishop
Tract. 1 in Joánn., circa med.

Ne vile áliquid putáres quale consuevísti cogitáre, cum verba humána soléres audíre, audi quid cógites : Deus erat Verbum.  Exeat nunc néscio quis infidélis Ariánus, et dicat quia Verbum Dei factum est.  Quómodo potest fíeri, ut Verbum Dei factum sit, quando Deus per Verbum fecit ómnia?  Si et Verbum Dei ipsum factum est : per quod áliud verbum factum est?  Si hoc dicis, quia hoc est verbum Verbi, per quod factum est illud ; ipsum dico ego únicum Fílium Dei.  Si autem non dicis verbum Verbi, concéde non factum, per quod facta sunt ómnia.  Non enim per seípsum fíeri pótuit, per quod facta sunt ómnia.  Crede ergo Evangelístæ.
Lest ye consider what I have to say as worthless, which is the judgement ye so often pass upon the word of a man, ponder this : The Word was God!  Now perhaps some Arian unbeliever may have the audacity to say the Word of God was made, and is therefore a creature.  How can the Word of God be a creature, since by him all things were made, and he is thus the Creator?  If the Word of God be a creature, then there must be some other Word, not a creature, whereby he was made.  And what Word is that?  If thou sayest that it was by the word of the Word himself that he was made, I answer that God had no Word other than his one only-begotten Son.  But unless thou sayest it was by the Word's own word that the Word was made, thou art forced to confess that he by whom all creaturely things were made was not himself made at all, but is himself the uncreated Maker of everything that was made.  Wherefore, believe the Gospel.
V.  Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R.  Thanks be to God.


  Te Deum laudámus: * te Dóminum confitémur.
  Te ætérnumPatrem * omnis terra venerátur.
  Tibi omnes Angeli, * tibi Cæli, et univérsæ Potestátes:
  Tibi Chérubim et Séraphim * incessábili voce proclámant:
  We praise thee, O God, * we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
  All the earth doth worship thee, * the Father everlasting.
  To thee all Angels cry aloud, * the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
  To thee Cherubim and Seraphim * continually do cry.
During the following Tersanctus all make a profound reverence:
  Sanctus * Dóminus Deus Sábaoth.
  Pleni sunt cæli et terra * majestátis glóriæ tuæ.
  Te gloriósus * Apostolórum chorus,
  Te Prophetárum * laudábilis númerus,
  Te Mártyrum candidátus * laudat exércitus.
  Te per orbem terrárum * sancta confitétur Ecclésia,
  Patrem * imménsæ majestátis;
  Venerándum tuum verum * et únicum Fílium;
  Sanctum quoque * Paráclitum Spíritum.
  Tu Rex glóriæ, * Christe.
  Tu Patris * sempitérnus es Fílius.
  Holy, * Lord God of Sabaoth;
  Heaven and earth are full * of the Majesty of thy glory.
  The glorious company of the Apostles * praise thee.
  The goodly fellowship of the Prophets * praise thee.
  The noble army of Martyrs * praise thee.
  The holy Church throughout all the world * doth acknowledge thee;
  The Father, * of an infinite Majesty.
  Thine honourable, true, * and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, * the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory, * O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting * Son of the Father.

During the following verse all make a profound reverence:
  Tu, ad liberándum susceptúrus hóminem: * non horruísti Vírginis uterum.
  Tu, devícto mortis acúleo, * aperuísti credéntibus regna cælórum.
  Tu ad déxteram Dei sedes, * in glória Patris.
  Judex créderis * esse ventúrus.
  When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, * thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb.
  When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, * thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
  Thou sittest at the right hand of God, * in the glory of the Father.
  We believe that thou shalt come * to be our Judge.
Here all genuflect.
    Te ergo quæsumus, tuis fámulis súbveni, * quos pretióso sánguine redemísti.
  We therefore pray thee, help thy servants, * whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious Blood.
Here all rise.
  Ætérna fac cum Sanctis tuis * in glória numerári.
  Salvum fac pópulum tuum, Dómine, * et bénedic hereditáti tuæ.
  Et rege eos, * et extólle illos usque in ætérnum.
  Per síngulos dies * benedícimus te.
  Make them to be numbered with thy Saints, * in glory everlasting.
  O Lord, save thy people, * and bless thine heritage.
  Govern them, * and lift them up for ever.
  Day by day * we magnify thee;
During the following verse by local custom a profound reverence is made:
  Et laudámus nomen tuum in sæculum, * et in sæculum sæculi.
  Dignáre, Dómine, die isto * sine peccáto nos custodíre.
  Miserére nostri, Dómine, * miserére nostri.
  Fiat misericórdia tua, Dómine, super nos, * quemádmodum sperávimus in te.
  In te, Dómine, sperávi: * non confúndar in ætérnum.
  And we worship thy Name * ever, world without end.
  Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us * this day without sin.
  O Lord, have mercy upon us, * have mercy upon us.
  O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us, * as our trust is in thee.
  O Lord, in thee have I trusted, * let me never be confounded.
V.  Dóminus vobíscum.
R.  Et cum spíritu tuo.
V.  The Lord be with you.
R.  And with thy spirit.
Concéde, quæsumus, omnípotens Deus: ut nos Unigéniti tui nova per carnem Natívitas líberet; quos sub peccáti jugo vetústa sérvitus tenet.  Per eúmdem Dóminum.
Let us pray.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that the new birth, in the flesh, of thine only-begotten Son, may deliver us whom slavery from of old doth keep under the yoke of sin.  Through the same.
V.  Dóminus vobíscum.
R.  Et cum spíritu tuo.

V.  Benedicámus Dómino.
R.  Deo grátias.
V.  The Lord be with you.
R.  And with thy spirit.

V.  Bless we the Lord.
R.  Thanks be to God.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Quaeritur: What is the Best of the Manuals?


Quaeritur: 1. What are the most authoritative scholastic Manuals of Theology? I am basically looking for a list of great multi-volume compendia of exhaustive and thorough scholastic theology. Could you please list as many as you know, in order from best to less-good? It doesn't matter what language they are in, as long as they are thorough, meaty, etc... I know there are a few Summae and manualia written, but I don't know the names and authors.

2. What is the best compendium of scholastic theology next to St. Thomas' Summa? This is similar to the question above. I am just looking for a book similar to the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas, but written by a different author, who would have a little different spin on the subjects.

3. Do you know of any thorough compendia of theology written by Eastern Catholic theologians? If they were scholastic in style, that would be great, but I have heard that the East did not adopt scholasticism--but don't Eastern Catholics have theologians too? And if so, then what do they write? Do they not write anything thorough?

Respondeo: 1. Well it depends on what level of thomistic scholarship you are looking for. Obviously there are the commentaries on the Summa themselves, such as those of Cajetan, the Salamancan Fathers, Bañez, John of St. Thomas, etc. which are certainly much more detailed and thorough theology books, which truly advance Thomistic thought by posing new questions and making further distinctions. It is not without wonder that Leo XIII had Cajetan´s commentary on the Summa, attached to the Leonine edition of St. Thomas' Opera, and I can hardly recommend a more useful commentary. For a more extensive list, see the Ite ad Thomam Out-of-Print Library (ITOPL).

Otherwise if you are looking for more abbreviated "manuals" or Summae designed more often for undergraduate seminary training, there are obviously a million of them, and depending on the subject that you are researching, some prove more helpful than others. The Jesuit works of Billot, and the Spanish fathers, are very eminent, and more useful for their positive sources, and development in Ecclesiology. De Groot OP tries to develop a manual on ecclesiology according to the mind of St. Thomas, and is very useful.

However, for one who wants a more modern commentary on St. Thomas' work, which engages the history of subsequent debate up to modern times, I most highly recommend the works of the Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange, OP, who provides wonderful commentaries, truly imbued with the spirit and wisdom of his master, with sufficient detail while at the same time preserving a very unified vision of the whole of theology and its unity with the gift of wisdom, made perfect in charity and the practice of the spiritual life.

2. I would recommend the works of Rev. Garrigou Lagrange OP, or from the Jesuit school, Billot and the Spanish Jesuits' Sacrae Theoogiae Summa.

3. I am not aware of any, besides St. John Damascence's De fide orthodoxa, but this was written in the 8th Century, so its theology is not nearly as developed as that of Aquinas. Modern byzantine theologians tend to be more patristic in style, and less scholastic. Their theology did not develop much, as most all of them fell into schism for a thousand years, thus rejecting the development of Catholic dogma and, with it, the principles of Catholic theology, and most theological advancement. But I do recommend De fide orthodoxa: though by no means as sophisticated as those of the scholastics, his work is quite refreshing and uplifting. Maybe you could read this after you're done with one (or more) of the scholastic manuals.

I hope this helps.

Many blessings,
-Fr. Romanus.