Monday 20 November 2017

Pope Benedict XVI and the Great Reveal

I expect that Benedict XVI reigned as Pope for a great deal longer than his official tenure from 2005 - 2013 would suggest. Back in the day when the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was seen as really very important indeed (has anybody heard anything from Archbishop Ladaria recently or has he gone on an extended holiday?) the then Cardinal Ratzinger was Pope John Paul II's right-hand man and right-hand men are significant. As John Paul II's illness deepened in the 1990s and his ability to govern effectively became limited, I expect that the competences Joseph Ratzinger took on became more papal. Perhaps his experiences under John Paul II even gave the then Cardinal Ratzinger his novel and hugely problematic idea of a bifurcated papacy with an active and contemplative ministry.

St John Paul II still today has his critics in traditional circles, Koran-kissing, Assisi gathering Popes do somewhat give the impression of a tarnished papacy, but at no stage in either Benedict XVI's or John Paul II's reign did Catholics feel that the axe was being laid to the moral foundations of the Church. What has astonished me and many others is the 'great reveal' that has taken place with the removal of just one man at the summit of the Church.

It would seem very much that the removal of the one man has revealed what we can see is a kind of 'mystery' that leaves many Catholics bewildered and shaken in their faith. Around them, both Benedict and John Paul II had a few, but perhaps not many, senior members of the Church as bulwarks of support. Both were strong in their Catholic faith and in their Catholic identity. But in hindsight - such a wonderful but often bitter tasting thing - the presence of even a few pillars of Catholic orthodoxy gathered close to the Chair of Peter turned out to be entirely dependent on the faith of the person in the Chair.

The election of Pope Francis represents the definitive crossing of the rubricon for the Catholic Church. Perhaps it is temporary, perhaps it is not, but both Amoris Laetitia and Magnum Principium are documents that suggest we have reached a moment of full disclosure, a moment in the Church's history when the Church's slide into irrelevance, of being subsumed into the decaying culture of the once Catholic West is virtually guaranteed. There is no trumpet to announce the surrender of the Catholic Church from false apostles to announce the Church's surrender to the evil forces at work in the world. There will probably be no announcement to this effect. All we will receive as Catholics is mini-announcements. Praise for an abortionist here. A bishop reinventing the Mass there. The invitation of Planned Parenthood to the Vatican here. Such are, I am sure many readers will agree, the announcements of a counter-Church established within the bosom of the bride of Christ.

The true Catholic Church, however, the one faithful to her Lord, to use the words of the Second Vatican Council's own phrase, would now seem to 'subsist' within the walls of a fabricated Catholic Church, fashioned by human hands, constructed by enemies of Christ, because the takeover of the "official" Catholic Church is by now all but complete. This is the Church which, of course, our Lord has promised, cannot be destroyed and against which the gates of Hell cannot prevail.

Everybody who believes in the ordinary Magisterium of the Church once proclaimed without any sense of embarrasment by Popes and which finds its expression in the Catechism of the Church was sitting very comfortably knowing that the Vicar of Christ was a strength and bulwark against the demon and nobody thought for a moment that what was taking place in their Diocese and their local parishes could ever happen to Rome. Why were we so naive? Did we consider that Christ's promises meant what we had thought they mean or did we not read Christ's promises in a sensible way? For 2,000 years no Pope - no, not even an "Antipope" - has tried to separate the moral teaching of the Church from her pastoral practise. No "Antipope" in history has ever actively sought the dilution of Christian doctrine on morality.

Antipope Benedict XIII
Ultimately, however, the resignation of Benedict XVI and the great reveal that this has engendered - though catastrophic in the short term - catastrophic indeed it is, for souls - will purify the Church, but the truly disturbing thing to realise is that the true Church - the one which is faithful to Christ, the one that is faithful to His teaching, is small. We must praise and give thanks to God for men of courage such as Cardinal Burke and the small number of cardinals and bishops who have stepped forward at a time of great crisis in the heart of the Church, but we must also be astonished at the lack of faith of so many of the Hierarchy.

Yes, the reality check is here and it is most painful and salutary. We might ask the question: Of what use to the Church is a doctrinally sound and exemplary man of virtue in the Chair of Peter if anything between 50 - 90% of bishops and clergy do not believe him and are, in fact, implacably opposed to the Catholic truth. Of what use is this exemplary and holy Pope in the outcome that in your local parish, your priest tells you that the Mission of the Church consists of caring for our neighbour but that Baptism itself is not in any way necessary for Salvation. Of what use is this Pope if your bishop, for example, writes pastoral letters with words to the effect that Confession is an unnecessary, repetitive or even burdenesome duty on a soul. How heartening is it really to know that the 'man at the top' is doctrinally sound if on the ground, where real life is lived, bishops and clergy give the impression that they simply don't believe in God or the Real Presence or devotion to the Mother of God and are fundamentally liberal in outlook? Was it really that consoling to know that at least the Pope was Catholic? Really? Even when nearly nobody in the Church but you listened to a single word he had to say?

If we really want evidence of the wholesale abandonment of the Lord by His people, we need not look to the mad things happening in Rome under the reign of Pope Francis. No, if we really want to see evidence of the wholesale abandoment of the Lord by His people, we must look to the reaction against Francis's actions and his subtly deceptive documents. How strong is that? We must ask, how many Cardinals have signed the dubia asking for clarification on Catholic doctrine held by the Pope? How many? Four. Two of them are now dead. So that's now two. Will this number increase? One can forgive the Team Francis for feeling incredibly confident of the success of their 'revision' of the Catholic Faith, we must forgive Archbishop Paglia, Fr James Martin S.J, Cardinal Cupich, Cardinal Tobin and the small number of Francis activists in the clergy and the Hierarchy who are brimming with (over) confidence in the carrying out of their ideas, because the counter movement within the Church, which should be the Church Militant is so weak and vulnerable. Few Cardinals, they can be counted on one hand, few bishops, they too can be counted on one hand, are actually coming forward to refute the errors that are coming from Rome. It is not so much that the Church Militant is 'giving up' and surrendering to the spirit of the age adopted from the summit of the Church, it is rather that the Church on Earth is not very militant at all.

Yes, Benedict XVI's abdication of the Chair of Peter was indeed the great reveal. It has revealed something of a mystery of iniquity working behind the scenes, it has revealed in all its gory reality, the pack of wolves who surrounded him and who were waiting for him to fall. However, it has revealed much more than that, that the apostasy we now see occuring within the Universal Church was already in operation in your town, in your city, in your home, in your Church. Already the Church faithful to her Lord was there, already the Church unfaithful to Christ, an adulterous Church was there and had been for years, even decades.

Ultimately, Benedict XVI's abdication reveals something about Benedict XVI, something about his trust in Christ, something about the 'new' Pope, something about the papacy itself, but more importantly, it reveals what was already in plain sight, but which so many of us overlooked, that faithlessness, heresy and godlessness had become so among clergy and bishops that it was foolhardy of us to look at the Pope and at WYD gatherings and say, 'Yes, I see the faith is strong!' No, the faith is not strong. Perhaps it is stronger in Poland.

No. When Catholics organise a million man march on Vatican City to protest against the destruction of Christian faith and morals undertaken or the presence of Planned Parenthood at the Vatican, or 100 - 200 million people sign a petition rebuking seemingly heretical suppositions in a papal document, or when entire bishop's conferences stand up to reject both a rupturous interpretation of Amoris Laetitia or Magnum Principium, then yes, then, maybe then we can call the Catholic Church strong. When Catholics demand that their pastors give them the undiluted Catholic Faith, then we can say that the faith is strong.

Yes, the Great Reveal may have revealed the mystery of iniquity at work in the Bride of Christ - I see no reason to doubt this - and may even have revealed a subtle form of apostasy at the summit of the Church, but it also reveals something about you and something about me, something about your priest and something about your bishop. It reveals something about our character and our faith. Are we faithful to Jesus Christ or not? Will we fight for our faith or let wolves ravage it and rebel bishops rape the Church? There is not a single member of the Church Triumphant who is not on the side of those who fight for Jesus Christ. Christ is Victor. Our Lady's Immaculate Heart will triumph!

There may indeed be many clergy and many bishops who are afraid now to speak out in defence of the Lord and His Teachings or to rebuke the terrible things that come from Rome, but laity, clergy and bishops, Cardinals as well, must know this. If those who seek not the restoration of all things in Christ but instead the reconciliation of Church with the world on the world's terms are in any sense victorious for a time, though they can never be triumphant, it is because we, the Body of Christ, are letting this happen. No Pope has the authority to destroy the Church. Nobody may rape or molest the Bride of Christ! But they do not see any substantial opposition to their programme. A petition here, a letter there, a theologian here, they are all easily dismissed. What is not easily dismissed? An army. What is this army? The Church Militant. Who are its soldiers? Those of any rank confirmed to be soldiers of Christ.

Where are the soldiers of Christ?

In establishing the answer to this question, we will, I expect, be establishing at least a partial answer as to why the good Lord has permitted this crisis in the Church. Of what use would Pope Leo XIV be to the Church tomorrow if the Church refused to fight for Her right to be fed by a Successor of Peter worthy of the name?  Of what use would Pope Leo XIV be to the Church tomorrow if 75% or more of bishops and clergy despised him and rejected him because he stood up for the truth of Jesus Christ and a similar percentage among clergy, bishops and laity had no faith in the Blessed Sacrament?

Honestly, I used to think the Catholic Faith was so very simple. 'The Pope's Catholic so all is right with the Church!' Everybody tolerated the heretical priest down the road. Everybody tolerated the heretical bishop in his diocese. Everybody tolerated the dissenting theologian who obviously had no faith, the Catholic author who propagated heresy and profitted from it.  The Catholic university which  was anything but. The Catholic school which gave its pupils sex tips. The Church of the future, if it has a future, will not be like this.  The people of God will not stand for it.

I don't know what Pope Francis has to do to provoke the raising up of generals to form this army that will terrify those who seek the overthrow of the Catholic Church for an imitation of it devoid of Christian doctrine and morality.  Apart from a diocese that has 'too many' vocations, there is only one think that is going to keep Pope Francis up at night. And that's this. An army of people young and old of every rank, from the great to the small shouting, 'We Want God'. Until the Catholic Church has this spirit, I now see, we have precisely the Pope we deserve. 

If we will not fight for our glorious Catholic Faith, for the defence of the Church, we deserve Francis and, more, we deserve worse! If we Catholics desire that the Pope be Catholic and tolerate apostasy and faithlessness everywhere else, we are not worthy of Jesus Christ and we're certainly not worthy of Pope Leo XIV, and the Pope of the restoration of the Church will find few helpers and not many friends upon his accession to the Throne.  Right now, the Church is indeed a field hospital. The only combatants laying down dead or wounded, however, are faithful Catholics. The heretics are doing just fine, nor do they see a substantial opposition.  Unless that changes, a great and holy Pope makes no real difference to the Church in the future. We must pray for the resurrection of Christian Europe, a Europe that gave the Popes a Holy League, that was willing to shed its blood than permit alien religions take over Christendom, a Church of martyrs, a nation sealed for battle in Confirmation against the foes of Christ. We must pray that our clergy and bishops, the faithful among them will make a fortress of their Dioceses and parishes against the coming onslaught, and an onslaught it will be and that the Body of Christ convulses with  righteous anger against a regime that seeks the destruction of Christian morals. It happened in Poland. It can happen in the Church.

St John Paul II, pray for us!

Poles! You're going the wrong way! Rome is that way!


Anonymous said...

Mr. Bones this is not an article, it's a monument, chapeau, IMHO Benedict's abdication is not a mistery in a riddle, it's a challenge, Christ or nothing, Das Nichtige he called it, a very small church? Prof.Ratzinger wrote this many years ago, in the 60ies, and unfortunately the Rubicon has been crossed and Caesar will never come back. We have to be strong, Our Lord won't leave us alone. Thanks.

philipjohnson said...

Dead right you are!Keep the Faith and keep going to the Latin Mass.This Bergoglian storm will pass and we will see the Triumph of The Immaculate Heart of Mary soon.Judgement awaits and they should be very scared of Hell.Bergoglio knows that and he is scared.

Richard Turpin said...

What can I say? A truly magnificent article.
I just wish that many, many catholics could read it.
As you truly say. We do deserve to be in our present state.

Dennis Leary.

Kathleen1031 said...

I'm in total agreement, but I lack imagination. What would this look like. I have no idea what to do. People need leadership, or at least, I certainly do. I want nothing to do with this apostate church, nor do I want to support it in any way.
I'm ready to do my part, but what is it!

John Haggerty said...

As you say, a subtle form of apostasy at the head of the Church?
It is worth asking why so many of the Catholic clergy were drawn to modernism.
And whether there is an agreed definition on what modernism constitutes.
Dissatisfaction with seminary life in the pre-Vatican II Church is a possible reason for the growth of modernism.
Priests and nuns expressed their dissatisfaction in modernist posturings, little realizing that the hard-line modernists had their own far-sweeping agendas.
These thoughts came to me as I perused a sociological study of the lived experience of Irish diocesan priests between 1960 and 2010.
The three oldest priests interviewed by the author 'recalled the pre-Vatican II Church with a sense of nostalgia' but also said it was 'very regimented and legalistic with many pernickety rules'.
Of seminary life a retired priest of the 1960s said, 'Maynooth was like a prison ... it set out to destroy your individuality ... it didn't scar me like many other guys ... Fear was everywhere and some bullying too.'
Another priest of the same generation said, 'Clonliffe was absolutely appalling. The staff were arrogant and remote ... It was so infantile, you might as well have been in kindergarten.'

From 'Thirty-Three Good Men - Celibacy, Obedience and Identity' by John A Weafer (Columba Press 2014).
Dr. Weafer was the first lay director of the Irish Bishops' Council for Research and Development in Maynooth. A writer and researcher for more than 30 years, he is married with three children and lives in Leixlip, Ireland.

Banjo pickin girl said...

Great article. One tiny little thing. When old-fashioned Polish people received a gift they would kiss it. JPII kissed the Koran that was handed to him as a gift because it was a gift, not because it was a Koran. This kissing tradition is out of fashion now and you will rarely see it.

packin' sarcasm among other things said...

A stirring manifesto. I am ready (and have been since Confirmation 59 years ago) to sign up and fight. We are like sheep though and will need an honorable Shepherd to follow.

john haggerty said...

I am haunted by your phrase, 'Right now the church is a field hospital.'
If God's people are suffering from spiritual afflictions, where are the doctors of the faith?
I think we are agreed that modernism long pre-dates Pope Francis, though both he and the current Jesuit General have been indoctrinated by modernism much more than they can ever know.
The problem is complex and historic.
It pre-dates Vatican II and the liturgical disaster of the new mass.
It goes back to the New Criticism of the 19th Century and to the Enlightenment as well.
It concerns the manner in which we read the sacred deposits of Scripture, and the way in which we understand Christ's solemn prayer before his Passion (the Gospel of St. John) for the unity of his people.
Seminaries have taught modernism as a matter of course.
A former priest (Richard Bennett) said that the writings of Bultmann were a main diet in his seminary reading.
If a modernist like Bultmann (who didn't believe in the second coming of Christ) was being taught in seminaries, then why weren't anti-modernist thinkers taught as well?
Dr James White, a reformed American theologian and Calvinist, has said that the leading Catholic theologians today are all modernist. (See Dr. White's podcasts on YouTube.)
Liberal Protestant churches are riddled with modernism.
Take the book 'The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus' (Eerdman 2009) by Dale C Allison, a respected New Testament scholar.
Writing on eschatology, Professor Allison says of Christ's teaching on the end of the world:
'Although he often spoke in parables, I cannot say that he understood the last judgment and attendant events to be figurative in the same way that I do. An unbiased reading of the evidence informs us that the ancients in general and Jesus in particular took their eschatology much more literally than do many of us. So here we must go our own way, without Jesus in the lead, just as we must go our own modern way in reinterpreting Genesis - and any number of other biblical texts - in opposition to the assumptions of our predecessors in the faith, including Biblical writers.' (Page 99)
One could spend hours studying these three sentences, but note the way in which the writer moves from Jesus back to Genesis. It's a clean sweep. We must break with the church of the past, he insists.
Anyone who questions modernist assumptions ('An unbiased reading of the evidence') will be accused of having a pre-critical understanding of the Bible.
Francis Schaeffer spoke of a world view which prevails in everything we read and see and hear. Modernity's project is total.
Schaeffer wanted Jesus in the lead, and a Biblical christology at the church's beating heart.
G.K. Chesterton said that modernists were not just trying to change what we think, they were also attempting to change the WAY in which we think.
The faith of fallen men is in peril if we forget this even for a moment.
The death of God (thank God) is figurative, but the death of man is real.

John Haggerty

Anonymous said...

You felt all was well w/the church from WYD???????????? Guess you never heard Mother Angelica going off after WYD 1993 when a woman was Jesus during the stations.

Guess you never saw any of this either.

In addition, JP2 or Benedict appointed ALL the bishops and cardinals that elected Bergoglio--not sure how you can call either one of them faithful. Seriously, Bones, how many siblings do you have? How many children do you have? Was that all NFP or was it birth control? Since Humanae Vitae pastoral practice differed from the law of the church. Also how many virgins do you know who got married in the Catholic Church since 1970? Weren't they all living in sin, fornicators or maybe even living together when they married? And didn't they all wear white wedding gowns? The Catholics in the pews are just as hypocritical and unfaithful as the local priest and bishop.

Banjopickingirl: do you have any proof that JP2 kissed every gift he received? Did he kiss most of the gifts he received? Did he kiss ANY of the gifts he received -- or did he just kiss the KORAN?

john haggerty said...

Pope John Paul may have felt that kissing the Koran would help Christian-Muslim relations, and prevent violence and deaths.
Much more disturbing was his inexplicable endorsement of paganism.
He gathered world faith leaders at Assisi.
John Paul received the cult leader Sri Chinmoy Ghose on two occasions and told him, 'I bless your divine work.'
Sri Chinmoy's disciples meditate daily on a photo of their guru, who claimed he had achieved what he called 'God consciousness'.
Ghose demanded complete submission from all his disciples, and claimed he could see into their past lives, believing as he did in reincarnation.
A demonic tyrant, Ghose said that there were many divine sons of God apart from Jesus. Ghose proclaimed himself a son of God on the world stage of the United Nations.
In this respect he was no different from the Korean leader of the pernicious 'Moonie' cult, known as the Unification Church.
(See the blog '15 Years in Shining Darkness' by a traumatized ex-Chinmoy disciple.)
Now I am all for friendly interfaith dialogue, but our mission must be to bring all souls to faith in Jesus Christ as the only mediator between God and men.
How could John Paul's advisors in the Vatican NOT have known that Chinmoy ran a cult?
Does the Vatican want a one-world faith?
This would be to go the way of the Theosophy cult.
(See the blog 'Two Popes, Mother Teresa and an Indian Guru' for photos of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul meeting Chinmoy Ghose.)
Last year the Sri Chinmoy choir toured Catholic cathedrals, abbeys and churches in Ireland.
Pope Francis blessed the Sri Chinmoy 'peace run'.
The Chinmoy cultists would not get inside the door of any of the Scottish reformed churches where I worship.
As the Apostle Paul said, 'If we or an angel from heaven preach another Gospel than the one we have preached to you, let him be accursed.'

John Haggerty

Anonymous said...

"Pope John Paul may have felt that kissing the Koran would help Christian-Muslim relations, and prevent violence and deaths. Much more disturbing was his inexplicable endorsement of paganism."

Perhaps he was endorsing paganism to help Christian pagan relations and prevent violence and deaths.

Why didn't all those popes who fought Islam in the crusades, kiss the Koran to avoid violence and deaths?

Islam traditionally is grouped w/Idolatry which is paganism (sentence was removed by VC2 popes): "Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God."

john haggerty said...

In my earlier comment I referred to Catholic modernists.
In his recent work 'The Book of the People - How to Read the Bible' the prize-winning biographer and historian A.N. Wilson refers to the influential Roman Catholic scholar Thomas Brodie OP and says:
'He actually believes that Jesus was a literary construct. He believes the same, too, of Paul.'
Sadly A.N. Wilson, who wrote a biography of C.S. Lewis, inclines to Brodie's way of thinking. Good men go badly wrong, I'm afraid.
I mean no offence to Catholic sensibilities when I say that it was the work of Protestant theologians which saved my faith.
Books such as J Gresham Machen's 'The Virgin Birth of Christ' and 'What is Faith?'; and Professor John Murray's masterpiece, 'Redemption Accomplished and Applied'.
It was Machen who said that liberal Christianity was another religion.
I shudder to think what Machen would say of 'Progressive Christianity' which has destroyed the Church of Scotland and has created a moral wilderness both here and in the USA.
This man-centred religion that is at the heart of the new Progressive Kirk will not survive the 21st Century.
Regarding Chinmoy Ghose, see the Catholic blog 'A Guru, Two Popes and Mother Teresa' by Patrick O'Brien; and a Protestant blog 'Galatians 4: More on Hinduism - the Popes, Mother Teresa and a Guru'.
Blackness of darkness is our portion if we have any discourse with devils like Chinmoy Ghose and their schemes of a One World Religion.

M. Prodigal said...

But what happens when the bulwark and sign of contradiction becomes the very instrument for malformation of conscience? When its universal charity for sinners mutates into a parody of itself and degenerates into empathy for sin? When its voice grows feeble and no longer calls man higher to become his true self?

Michael O'Brien

M. Prodigal said...

And to Kathleen: Yes we need shepherds for the people are wondering in places that are cloudy and dark and no one is coming for them! And the Lord said, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." (Mt 10:28) But we are being snatched or plucked away from God! I mention this to the Lord and beg His enlightenment for souls to know Him. If souls were falling into hell like snowflakes as seen by the children at Fatima 100 years ago, the blizzard must be a "white-out" now. Lord, help us: we are perishing! Our children and grandchildren do not know you and our 'shepherds' are not guiding us to Your sheepfold.

john haggerty said...

The comments from M Prodigal are deeply troubling and thus prophetic. Christ's sheep are as he states,'wandering in places that are cloudy and dark'.
His point about the truth being warped to become a 'universal charity for sinners' is profound and disturbing; we are indeed perishing; the sheep are not being fed the Word of God.
In this context of unremitting crisis let me recommend a new book by Hank Hanegraaff (president of the Christian Research Institute) 'Muslim - What You Need to Know About the World's Fastest Growing Religion'(Thomas Nelson).
The author outlines the core beliefs of Islam, its historic origins, inner conflicts, the significance of the Levant to the Jewish people and to Christians, the Caliphate, Sharia, Tawhid, Hadith, Sunni, Shiite, the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic State. All in just in 200 pages along with a concise bibliography and scholarly notes.
The author's conclusions are as troubling as M Prodigal's on the state of the church:

'Despite its incoherence, the Muslim cult - one billion six hundred million strong and growing - is poised to fill the vacuum left by a Western culture slouching inexorably toward Gomorrah.'

But he ends on a note of hope, 'The only real solution to a disintegrating West and resurgent Islam is what the prophetic pen of Os Guinness wisely designated *renaissance* - the power of the gospel however dark the times.'

In 1973 I read Os Guinness's remarkable first book 'The Dust of Death' and very quickly left the toxic Sri Chinmoy cult, obeying the call of the Gospel.
Mr Guinness saw the problem then as he does now, and he sees the problem's solution - the West's return to the Christian faith.
We need to pray continually for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit among God's people.


john haggerty said...

'Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: abide ye here, and watch with me.'

Matthew 26:38 English Revised Version

This is the only occasion in the Gospel when the Lord Jesus Christ asks for the prayers of sinful men, in this case the Apostles, in the garden of Gethsemane. On the night before his death.

Not long before my night prayers I often listen to hymns on YouTube. May I suggest some beautiful hymns for those in a state of sorrow?

Soul of My Saviour, Truro Cathedral Choir.
The Old Rugged Cross.
Abide With Me - God's Country (from the lovely but treacherous coast of N. Yorkshire).
For Those in Peril on the Sea.
It is well with my soul (downloaded katiekatew) with its immortal phrase, 'for Christ hath regarded my helpless estate'.
It is well - the tragic story behind the amazing hymn by Horatio Spafford.
My Song is Love Unknown.
And Can it be that I should Gain? (Charles Wesley).
Oh For A Thousand Tongues (Wesley).
He Who Would Valiant Be (Bunyan).
Forgive Our Foolish Ways.
Be Thou My Vision.

The CD of the Psalms of the Trinity Psalter recorded by the Scottish Festival Singers (IPCP CD101) are quite wonderful, though I have not checked to see if they are available on Youtube.

I can recommend an exceptional book on the subject, 'The Psalter Reclaimed - Praying and Praising with the Psalms'(Crossway 2013) by Gordon Wenham, a scholar of the Old Testament and adjunct professor at Trinity College, Bristol.

Often I attend the Free Church of Scotland and the Free Presbyterian Church in order to hear the Psalms being sung, a practice I would like to see the Catholic Church following.

And since we are now in Advent, here are YouTube hymns celebrating the mystery of the Incarnation, when the Second Person of the Trinity entered into our sinful human condition so that we might be saved through his atoning death on Calvary:

O Holy Night.
O Come O Come Emmanuel.
O Come All Ye Faithful.
Angels We Have Heard.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing.
See Amid the Winter Snow.
In the Bleak Midwinter.
Silent Night.

Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote wonderful Christmas choral music as did Benjamin Britten.
At my Catholic school, Saint Pius X, we sang Britten's 'This little babe, so few days old, has come to light on Satan's fold'.

john haggerty said...

In my haste to make a garland of hymns for troubled times available on YouTube, I quite forgot the following:

Sweet Sacrament Divine.
Hail Redeemer, King Divine.
O Sacred Head Sore Wounded - IPFW Choral Ensemble.
Lead Kindly Light (John Henry Newman) Arundel Cathedral.
Here I Am, Lord.
I Will Sing the Wondrous Story (of the Christ who died for me).
Amazing Grace.
Bring Flowers of the Rarest, also known as Queen of the May.
O Queen of the Holy Rosary.
As I Kneel Before You.

YouTube Advent carols might also include:

Quelle est cette odeur agreable (Guildford Cathedral Choir).
Angels from the Realms of Glory.
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.
Come, Thou Redeemer of the Earth.
Coventry Carol (Westminster Cathedral Choir).
Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Ralph Vaughan Williams.
Balulalow (Peter Warlock).
The Holly and the Ivy.
In Dulci Jubilo.
Ding Dong Merrily on High.
Un flambeau, Jeanette, Isabelle.
Lullaby My Jesus (Warlock).
O Come Divine Messiah.
Away in a manger.
Mary's boy child.
The Virgin Mary had a baby boy.

That last carol ends on a ringing proclamation of our salvation in Jesus Christ with the stupendous words, 'O My Lord, You sent your son for us. O My Lord, we were enslaved to sin.'
It is wonderful to hear a black Gospel choir sing these great words; they express the helpless condition in which all humanity lies without Christ.

During Advent I often play 'The Cambridge Singers Christmas Album' directed by John Rutter (Collegium Records) as well as 'A Christmas Present from Polyphony' (Hyperion) City of London Sinfonia, Stephen Layton conductor.

Also on YouTube listen to 'Musical Aramaic rendition of the Our Father that moved the Pope in Georgia'.
It is sung in the language spoken by Jesus who came in the form of a servant.

John Haggerty said...

Last night I was uplifted by the National Youth Choir of Scotland (YouTube) singing 'The Lord of Sea and Sky' also known as 'Here I am, Lord'.

My sister who lives in Cheltenham suggested some more Nativity hymns:

While Shepherds Watch Their Flock By Night.
As of Gladness Men of Old.
Once in David's Royal City.
God Rest Thee Merry Gentlemen.
Good King Wencelas.
We Three Kings.
The First Nowell.
O Little Town of Bethlehem.

In the country churches in the Cotswold villages, not too far from Cheltenham, I have felt the real presence of the Holy Spirit.
Gustave Holst was born in Cheltenham and his home is now a museum; the tiny church where he was organist is still there, a priceless gem in the high wolds of Gloucestershire.
Cirencester's parish church is a masterpiece in its own right; and there is a plaque in Cirencester's lovely back streets marking the church hall where John Wesley preached.
Churches in Burford, Stow-in-the-Wold, Elkstone, Winchcombe and Snowshill are must visits.

And this Christmas let us not forget to sing 'Joy to the World, the Lord Has Come' which I would like as the closing hymn at my funeral.
A Christian funeral should be a joyous occasion because we really are going home to be with Christ.

JTLiuzza said...

"Saint John Paul II, pray for us"

If only we had a guy like that running the Church for almost three decades, we wouldn't be here.

The Pope Who Won't Be Buried

It has been a long time since I have put finger to keyboard to write about our holy Catholic Faith, something I regret, but which I put larg...