Our Lady of the Rosary
ON THIS PAGE:
Extra (second and third) Collects (orations)?
Biomedical Ethics? (Continued)
What are the Moral Aspects of the Great Depression
Advent and the Advent Wreath?
[ Q&A ARCHIVES ]
Question: I heard a sermon this summer, in
which the priest said that “Liberalism was condemned.” What exactly is
Answer: “Liberal” and “Liberalism” are
among the words used most ambiguously in the English language. The root
word comes from the Latin “libera,” meaning “free,”
“abandoned,” or “fearless.” In centuries past we spoke of the liberal
arts and occupations as being those studies and fields of employment suitable
for freemen (as opposed to serfs)—they would be fields of study and employment
somewhat detached from the practical and necessary; pursuits like
philosophy and literature that mark a relatively affluent society.
“Liberal” may connote generosity or over indulgence (“he poured the
chocolate sauce quite liberally; permissiveness (“students can do
anything in that liberal’s class”); egalitarian (“he is a racial
liberal”). In the past, when much of the world was Mercantilist, the
word referred to those who wanted limited government, with little or no
involvement in business and finance—in modern America it means virtually the
opposite as a political and economic term. In the past liberalism might
have meant licentiousness—in modern America, at least for the “politically
correct” it has become:
a. Not limited to or by
established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or
dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for
reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior
of others; broad-minded.
Certainly, one ought to be open to appropriate reforms of
things needing reform, and civilization would still not be using the wheel if
everyone were closed to “new ideas for progress.” But this modern
definition does seem to overlap somewhat with the liberalism condemned by the
Remember that individual men and women are “endowed by
their Creator with certain unalienable rights”; that these rights and
corresponding duties are expressed in the Natural Moral Law; and that
governments rule with divine authority insofar as their rule is in accordance
with that Natural Law. Neither the individual nor the society is exempt
from adherence to the Natural Law. Saint Thomas Aquinas informs us:
Human law is law only by
virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it
flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is
called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of
Man is free to act as he chooses within the bounds of the
Natural Moral Law. The Liberalism condemned by the Church is the
Liberalism that exempts either or both the individual and the society from
obedience to the Natural Law.
In the saintly Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Libertas
Præstantissimum, we read:
13. Moreover, the
highest duty is to respect authority, and obediently to submit to just law; and
by this the members of a community are effectually protected from the
wrong-doing of evil men. Lawful power is from God, "and whosoever
resisteth authority resisteth the ordinance of God' ; wherefore, obedience is
greatly ennobled when subjected to an authority which is the most just and
supreme of all. But where the power to command is wanting, or where a
law is enacted contrary to reason, or to the eternal law, or to some ordinance
of God, obedience is unlawful, lest, while obeying man, we become disobedient to
God. Thus, an effectual barrier being opposed to tyranny, the authority in
the State will not have all its own way, but the interests and rights of all
will be safeguarded - the rights of individuals, of domestic society, and of all
the members of the commonwealth; all being free to live according to law and
right reason; and in this, as We have shown, true liberty really consists.
14. . . . But many
there are who follow in the footsteps of Lucifer, and adopt as their own his
rebellious cry, "I will not serve"; and consequently substitute
for true liberty what is sheer and most foolish license. Such, for instance, are
the men belonging to that widely spread and powerful organization, who, usurping
the name of liberty, style themselves liberals.
15. What naturalists or
rationalists aim at in philosophy, that the supporters of liberalism, carrying
out the principles laid down by naturalism, are attempting in the domain of
morality and politics. The fundamental doctrine of rationalism is the
supremacy of the human reason, which, refusing due submission to the divine and
eternal reason, proclaims its own independence, and constitutes itself the
supreme principle and source and judge of truth. Hence, these followers of
liberalism deny the existence of any divine authority to which obedience is due,
and proclaim that every man is the law to himself; from which arises that
ethical system which they style independent morality, and which, under the guise
of liberty, exonerates man from any obedience to the commands of God, and
substitutes a boundless license. The end of all this it is not difficult to
foresee, especially when society is in question. For, when once man is
firmly persuaded that he is subject to no one, it follows that the efficient
cause of the unity of civil society is not to be sought in any principle
external to man, or superior to him, but simply in the free will of individuals;
that the authority in the State comes from the people only; and that, just as
every man's individual reason is his only rule of life, so the collective reason
of the community should be the supreme guide in the management of all public
affairs. Hence the doctrine of the supremacy of the greater number, and that all
right and all duty reside in the majority. But, from what has been
said, it is clear that all this is in contradiction to reason. To refuse any
bond of union between man and civil society, on the one hand, and God the
Creator and consequently the supreme Law-giver, on the other, is plainly
repugnant to the nature, not only of man, but of all created things; for, of
necessity, all effects must in some proper way be connected with their cause;
and it belongs to the perfection of every nature to contain itself within that
sphere and grade which the order of nature has assigned to it, namely, that the
lower should be subject and obedient to the higher.
16. Moreover, besides this,
a doctrine of such character is most hurtful both to individuals and to the
State. For, once they ascribe to human reason the only authority to decide what
is true and what is good, and the real distinction between good and evil is
destroyed; honor and dishonor differ not in their nature, but in the opinion and
judgment of each one; pleasure is the measure of what is lawful; and, given a
code of morality which can have little or no power to restrain or quiet the
unruly propensities of man, a way is naturally opened to universal corruption. . . .
Furthermore, with ambitious designs on sovereignty, tumult and sedition will be
common amongst the people; and when duty and conscience cease to appeal to them,
there will be nothing to hold them back but force, which of itself alone is
powerless to keep their covetousness in check. Of this we have almost daily
evidence in the conflict with socialists and members of other seditious
societies, who labor unceasingly to bring about revolution. It is for those,
then, who are capable of forming a just estimate of things to decide whether
such doctrines promote that true liberty which alone is worthy of man, or
rather, pervert and destroy it.
Socialism is, of course, a species of this condemned
liberalism, in that it usurps the God given economic rights of individuals,
making the state responsible for distributing their wealth as its elite ruling
body sees fit, and in some cases telling the individual where to work and what
to produce. Popes Leo XIII, Pius XI, and Pius XII had some
strong words about Socialism and Communism, which we hope to revisit in future
Question: How do I find the “extra”
collects, secrets, and postcommunions that you pray at Mass. They are not
in my missal.
Answer: They are in most Daily missals if you
know where to look. The prayers in question—usually referred to as the
“orations,” or, less precisely, as the “collects,” were mandatory on
Sundays and ferial days (days associated with the Sunday cycle) before the reign
of Pope Pius XII and appeared in hand missals printed before the mid-1950s.
They were not forbidden, and many traditional priests continue to pray them as
before the liturgical changes began in earnest.
Most newer daily missals contain a list of “votive” or
“occasional” prayers, seasonal prayers of the Blessed Virgin (perhaps within
her Saturday Masses), and prayers for the dead. The prayers of the day are
found in the Mass of the day. The second and third prayers can be prayed with
the priest, according to the table below.
It is Father’s custom to add the seasonal prayers of the
Blessed Virgin, and a prayer corresponding to the intention of Mass (if one
exists, otherwise usually “for peace”), up to a total of three prayers in
Masses of the Saints.
As the official prayers of the Church, all of these are
most valuable, and ought not to be omitted out of laziness or haste.
Table of Collects, Secrets, and Postcommunions
Sundays & Ferias of
Advent, Ferias of
Epiphany, Sundays after Epiphany
|Seasonal prayers of
the Blessed Virgin
||For the Church (or)
For the Pope
|Sundays and Ferias
after Feb 2 and before Ash Wednesday
intercession of the Saints
||At the choice of the
intercession of the Saints
||For the living &
|Passiontide, but not
Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, or Good Friday
||For the Church (or)
For the Pope
|After Low Sunday,
before Vigil of Pentecost
||Seasonal prayers of
the Blessed Virgin
||For the Church (or)
For the Pope
||For the Church (or)
For the Pope
|After Trinity Sunday
intercession of the Saints
||At the choice of the
|Octaves of Christmas,
and of Pentecost thru Tuesday
||As in the Missal
Note that during these Octaves the Creed is recited and
the Preface is that of the feast having the Octave
of Ascension, Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, St. John, All Saints
||Mass as on the feast
with prayers of the Blessed Virgin and for the Church or the Pope or of
the saint’s day with second prayers of the feast according to the
|Octaves of Assumption
& Immaculate Conception
||Mass as on the feast
with prayers of the Holy Ghost, (and for the Church or the Pope after
Assumption or of the
saint’s day with second prayers of the feast according to the calendar
1. If there is no table of the Seasonal prayers of
the Blessed Virgin, they are taken from the Saturday Masses of the Blessed
2. The prayers "For the Church" may
alternatively be called "Against those who persecute the
Continued from last month]
Answer: Some of the abominations urged by
modern bio-ethicists include:
“No one should be thought
of as alive until about three days after birth,” adding that parents would
then “be allowed the choice” to keep their baby or “allow” their child
to die.... “no newborn should be declared human until it has passed
certain tests regarding its genetic endowment, and that if it fails these tests
it forfeits the right to life.”
given the opportunity to develop properly before birth, and given the essential
early socializing experiences and sufficient nourishing food during the crucial early
years after birth, will ultimately develop into a human being.”
“To provide a high
quality of life for all, there must be fewer people.” [White House “Science
Czar”] Holdren and his co-authors spend a portion of the book discussing
possible government programs that could be used to lower birth rates.
Those plans include forcing single women to abort their babies or put them up
for adoption; implanting sterilizing capsules in people when they reach puberty;
and spiking water reserves and staple foods with a chemical that would make
people sterile. To help achieve those goals, they formulate a "world
government scheme" they call the Planetary Regime, which would
administer the world's resources and human growth, and they discuss the
development of an “armed international organization, a global analogue of a
police force” to which nations would surrender part of their sovereignty.”
“Perhaps those agencies,
combined with UNEP and the United Nations population agencies, might eventually
be developed into a Planetary Regime—sort of an international superagency for
population, resources, and environment. Such a comprehensive Planetary Regime
could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of
all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable, at least insofar as
international implications exist. Thus the Regime could have the power to
control pollution not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but also in such
freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes that cross international boundaries or
that discharge into the oceans. The Regime might also be a logical central
agency for regulating all international trade, perhaps including assistance from
DCs to LDCs, and including all food on the international market.
“The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for
determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for
arbitrating various countries' shares within their regional limits. Control of
population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the
Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
“Planetary Regime? Earth? Scotty,
Scotty! Beam me up now!
There is no intelligent life on this planet!
Beam me up now!
Species is irrelevant;
[Peter] Singer claims that by these criteria [rationality and
self-consciousness] some animals are persons, including “whales, dolphins,
monkeys, dogs, cats, pigs seals, bears, cattle, sheep, and so on, perhaps even
to the point where in might include all mammals.” On the other hand,
some humans would not be persons, including newborn human infants, disabled or
not, and people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease or other severe cognitive
disabilities—people whom Singer claims are not self conscious or rational....
“Since neither a newborn infant nor a fish is a person the wrongness of
killing such beings is not as great as the wrongness of killing a person.”
Cass Sunstein [Obama's
newly confirmed regulatory “czar”] also has strongly pushed for the removal
of organs from deceased [and not quite deceased!] individuals who did not
explicitly consent to becoming organ donors. In his 2008 book, "Nudge:
Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth and Happiness," Sunstein and
co-author Richard Thaler discussed multiple legal scenarios regarding organ
donation. One possibility presented in the book, termed by Sunstein as
"routine removal," posits that "the state owns the rights to
body parts of people who are dead or in certain hopeless conditions, and
it can remove their organs without asking anyone's permission."
Or, simply, the state thinks it owns everything, including
you and me.
Morality of the Great Depression?
Question: Were there moral aspects to the
Great Depression? A lot of people
suffered for well over a decade. Shouldn’t someone be held responsible?
Can we prevent such a thing from happening again?
The Great Depression was the opportunity for Hoover and Roosevelt to expand the
agencies under Executive direction—to extend the Depression both in time and
severity—and ultimately to establish permanent agencies with the ability to
legislate without the action of Congress, and to exert powerful control over
every sector of the economy and many aspects of private life. The
agency names are often reduced to three or four letter abbreviations—the
“alphabet soup agencies.” In this installment, I will be quoting
extensively from John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth (New York:
Devin Adair, 1948), which may be found online at www.rooseveltmyth.com /book/hbzfrm.htm.
Mr. Flynn was an eyewitness to the Great Depression. The other selection
will be from Thomas Fleming, The New Dealers’ War (New York: Basic
RFC Slush Fund ●
One agency might fund another, perhaps requiring political
connection, and perhaps without any Congressional oversight:
Where did PWA [Public Works
Administration] money come from? As previously noted Congress appropriated
some. Hundreds of millions more came from the Reconstruction Finance
Corporation, which bought bonds issued by the PWA The RFC turned out
to be the behind-the-scenes banker of the New Deal. Soon after its powers
were expanded by the Emergency Banking Act of 1933, it became clear to many in
Congress "that here was a device that would enable them to provide for
activities that they favored for which government funds would be required, but
without any apparent increase in appropriations," reported Chester Morrill,
secretary to the Federal Reserve. "After they had done that, there need be
no more appropriations and its activities could be enlarged indefinitely, as
they were almost to fantastic proportions." Historian James S. Olson
noted that "the Reconstruction Finance Corporation financed a host of other
New Deal agencies, because its huge reserves and fiscal independence gave
Roosevelt the power to act without specific congressional authorization.
The RFC provided $40 million
to the Farm Credit Administration, $44 million to the Regional Agricultural
Credit Corporation, $55 million to the Federal Farm Mortgage Corporation,
$83 million to the Federal Housing Administration,$125 million to
Federal Home Loan banks, $145 million to the federal Farm Loan
Commissioner, $175 million to the Resettlement Administration, $200 million
to the Homeowner's Loan Corporation, and $246 million to the Rural
Electrification Administration. The RFC supplied $1 billion dollars
to the Works Progress Administration, so that it could begin work soon after it
was set up in 1933.
Sometimes the agencies were run by bureaucrats with no
knowledge of what they were handling:
.... Harold Ickes, present
as the petroleum czar, chimed in with a declaration that the [rubber] shortage
could easily be solved by collecting a million tons of scrap rubber from
junkyard owners and other patriotic Americans.
The director of the WPB's
rubber program, Arthur Newhall, was a former rubber manufacturer. He
goggled at Ickes's figure and told him that it was "fantastically
high." He was the only rubber expert in the room but that did not
matter to FDR, who was thinking politically, not realistically. Roosevelt
knew that Ickes required careful handling. If Honest Harold did not get
his way, Drew Pearson and other columnists would soon be hearing about
ineptitude in the Oval Office. A beaming president announced the rubber
problem was solved and told Ickes to launch a nationwide scrap rubber collection
The drive was a fiasco,
At the end of five frantic weeks, in which the President made a statement and
Ickes ran around like an out-of-control windup toy, the nation had collected
only 335,000 tons of scrap rubber. Ickes was reduced to trying to
confiscate the rubber mats on the floors of the Interior Department buildings.
The Public Buildings Administration blocked him, saying that it would lead to an
epidemic of broken hips when people started falling on the slippery marble
floors. In the last gasp, Ickes was caught stealing a rubber mat from the
White House. Compounding the petroleum czar's folly was the fact that
rubber mats were made from recycled rubber and were useless in the production of
Not to be confused
with the WPB was the WPA, the Works Progress Administration, later the Work
Between 1935 and 1943, the
WPA provided almost 8 million jobs. The program built many public buildings,
projects and roads and operated large arts, drama, media and literacy projects.
It fed children and redistributed food, clothing and housing. Almost every
community in America has a park, bridge or school constructed by the agency.
Expenditures from 1936 to 1939 totaled nearly $7 billion.
The “large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects
served to cement a permanent relationship between the Administration and the
Democrat Party with the myriad of writers, journalists, photographers, and other
media people. Roosevelt used the agencies and their employees like a
"ward boss" only at the federal level.
In the first WPA district
of Kentucky, one WPA official went to work on Governor Chandler. He took his
orders from the administration political headquarters in Kentucky. He put nine
WPA supervisors and 340 WPA timekeepers on government time to work preparing
elaborate forms for checking on all the reliefers in the district. Having done
this they then proceeded to check up on the 17,000 poor devils who were drawing
relief money to see how they stood on the election. The Senate committee got
possession of these forms.
In the second WPA district,
another WPA official who was the area engineer, managed a thorough canvass of
the workers in Pulaski and Russell counties. The WPA foremen were given sheets
upon which they had to report on the standing of the reliefers in the political
campaign. It became a part of Mr. Hopkins' WPA organization in Kentucky to learn
how many of the down-and-out had enough devotion to Franklin D. Roosevelt to be
entitled to eat. It was not sufficient for an indigent Kentuckian to be just
down and out and hungry. He had to believe that the President of the United
States was his redeemer and had to be ready to register that belief at the
polls. The reliefers were asked to sign papers pledging themselves to the
election of the senior senator from Kentucky. They were given campaign buttons
and told to wear them and there were instances where, if they refused, they were
thrown off the WPA rolls.
All this, of course, was in
a Democratic primary where only Democrats could vote. But there were a lot of
poor Republicans in Kentucky who couldn't vote in the Democratic primary so long
as they were Republicans. So they were told to change their registration and
become Democrats, or no WPA jobs for them.
Advent and the
Blessing of the Advent Wreath
Church's custom is to introduce her important feasts with a vigil of fast and
abstinence. We are asked to prepare for celebration by a period of prayer and
penance. In the case of Christmas and Easter, the Church's two most important
feasts, she bids us prepare with an entire season -- Advent and Lent,
respectively. In modern times, Advent, and even Lent, are all too often ignored.
This is a sad mistake, for Catholics who fail to observe the spirit of these two
seasons lose a great deal of the spiritual benefit offered by the great feasts.
Advent has us adopt
the mood of expectation found in those devout Jews who lived before the time of
Christ. Since the time of Adam and Eve, they waited with longing for the coming
of the Messiah, the Anointed One who would deliver them from the bondage of sin.
This first Advent lasted not weeks, but thousands of years. We are asked to put
ourselves in the position of those who waited so long, and so patiently, so that
at Christmas we can truly share the joy of the angels in their singing “Gloria
in excelsis Deo." We are asked to wait, so that we may understand the
feeling of fulfillment in the old man, Simeon, as he held the Christ child in
the temple and said, "Now, Lord, Thou mayest dismiss Thy servant, in peace,
according to Thy word....."
Advent demands that
we adopt a spirit of penance and humility. We are not very different from those
first burdened with original sin. Just as Adam and Eve before us, we too have
sinned -- and only the Christ can take away that stain of sin. We are asked,
during this season, to examine our lives, and to plan to do better in the
future. This is the start of the new Church year; a time for New Year's
resolutions, and new beginnings. A careful examination of conscience, and
sacramental confession are in order, so that we may approach the manger of the
new born Christ in sinless purity.
The secular forces
of modern society have taken over many of our Catholic holy days, and removed
much of their religious significance. In many cases, they have been transformed
into nothing more significant than an excuse to eat and drink too much, or a
gimmick to enrich the merchants. Too many Catholics are eager to replace the
realities of the Faith with bunnies, goblins, chocolate hearts, green beer, or
Santa Claus. The modern observance of Christmas begins with Santa arriving on
the last float of the Thanksgiving day parade, and leaves no room for the
preparation of Advent, for the birth of our Savior at Christmas, or for His
manifestation to the world at Epiphany
As Catholics, we
should resist this secularization as much as we are able. We should make a
serious effort to observe Advent in the traditional way the Church. It may not
be possible to avoid all of the parties of the season, but we surely can hold
off with our own until the proper time. We should make some resolutions about
prayer, fasting, and penance -- and we should stick to them. Family dinner
around the Advent wreath, and readings from the scripture (Isaias, and the first
few chapters of Luke and Matthew) should replace at least some of the usual T.V.
Keep a good Advent,
and you will then be rewarded with the joy and blessings of our Infant Savior as
we celebrate His birth on Christmas day.
The Advent Wreath
A wreath made with
greens, and holding four candles, serves as the table centerpiece, and the focus
of family prayer for many Christians during the Advent season. The wreath may be
purchased from a religious goods shop, or made from wire and local greenery. One
rose colored and three purple candles recall the liturgical colors for the four
Sundays of the season. At Christmas, the colored candles may be replaced with
white. Ribbons of an appropriate color may be added, and in spacious homes may
be used to suspend a large wreath from the ceiling.
Father, or head of household may bless the wreath with the following prayer:
+ Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who hath made
heaven and earth.
Father: Let us
pray. O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth Thy blessing +
upon this wreath, and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the
coming of Christ, and may receive from Thee abundant graces. Through Christ our
All: Amen. (The
wreath is sprinkled with holy water.)
prayer, appropriate to the week of Advent, precedes the lighting of the candle(s)
and the blessing before meals.
Father: O Lord,
stir up Thy power, we beg Thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve
to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and saved by Thy
deliverance. Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen. (One
purple candle is lit.)
Father: O Lord,
stir up our hearts that we may prepare the ways of Thine only begotten Son, that
through His coming, we may be made worthy to serve Thee with purified minds.
Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen. (Two
purple candles are lit.)
Father: O Lord, we
beseech Thee, incline Thine ear to our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of
our minds by the grace of Thy visitation. Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen. (The
rose and two purple candles are lit.)
Father: O Lord, we
beseech Thee, stir up Thy power and come; and with great might deliver us, that
with the help of Thy grace, Thy merciful forgiveness may hasten what our sins
impede. Through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen. (All of
the candles are lit.)