The SPL Weekly: Issue № 18


From SPL

This Great Sacrament We Hail: 2 Eucharistic Hymns by Thomas Aquinas
Listers, “down in adoration falling / this great sacrament we hail.” The Feast of Corpus Christi is amongst the most important feasts of the liturgical calendar, especially given our modern epidemic of misbelief or disbelief amongst Catholics in the Eucharist as the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7 Introductory Catholic Thoughts on Machiavelli’s The Prince
Machiavelli did much more than separate morals and politics.

“In general, Machiavelli is seen as the philosopher who separated morality from politics and advocated the “end justifies the means” principle to govern political thought. At worst, he sometimes seen as the thinker who freed political thought from religion and other superfluous external moral codes, and rooted it in practical reality. However, taking the perspective of the ancients looking forward to Machiavelli – not modernity looking back – it is evident that Machiavelli did much more than separate morality from politics. He separated politics from an ordered cosmos.”

5 More Short Stories That Every Catholic Should Read
Listers, fiction has a savage appeal to authors and readers because they get entertainment out of some character’s suffering or unhappiness. However, to the credit of all fans of the written word, they also derive entertainment in a resolution, but that always means that something must first be resolved. Why are we, members of humanity, so obsessed with this tension between conflict and resolution?

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Elsewhere on the Internet

VIDEO: Corpus Christi Procession (1941)
Humbling to see thousands of Irish folk, from the Army to young children, process publicly through the streets of Cork and adore the Eucharist.

NYT runs dung-caked Mary painting again, won’t run Muhammad cartoons
The paper previously defended its decision not to run Muhammad cartoons because they “do not normally publish images or other material deliberately intended to offend religious sensibilities.” Our Blessed Mother covered in elephant dung? No problem, evidently.

VIDEO: What to Expect from Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the Environment

“It is not as if the Catholic Church has never commented on environmental issues ever before in the past. So, here is what the encyclical will contain…”

Marian Devotion As The Best Christian Answer To Modernity

“If the modern heresies are really a coordinated assault on human nature, then what better response than to contemplate and put forward God’s masterpiece among His creatures, the one in whom human nature is most perfected by grace?”

Should Children be in Church or in Cry Rooms?

“a loud Mass, one which includes plenty of gooing and gaaing, is a sign of a healthy parish. Young people are getting married and having babies, lots of them, and providing more souls for the kingdom of heaven.  It would be a pity to shove these little victories aside for our own selfish feelings.”

Pope Francis Decries ‘Crisis’ of Traditional Marriage
Pope Francis breaks silence on Irish “Yes Vote”:

“Less than a week after Ireland’s landslide passage of a gay marriage referendum, which the Vatican qualified as ‘a defeat for humanity,’ Pope Francis underscored the indispensable role of mothers and fathers and said that when marriage is seen ‘as a mere form of emotional gratification,’ it loses its value for society.”

Cardinal Kasper Back Pedals on Papal Endorsement of Controversial Proposal
Good, good, good.

“No … he did not approve my proposal. The Pope wanted that I put the question, and afterwards in a general way, before all the Cardinals, he expressed his satisfaction with my talk. But not the end, not in the … I wouldn’t say he approved the proposal, no, no, no.”

One Chancery, Six Charges – Twin Cities Church Hit With Criminal Counts

“Two years since a storm of revelations of abuse and cover-up began bearing down on the archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis, yesterday saw the tumult take yet another eruptive turn as the bankrupt Twin Cities church was institutionally charged with six “gross misdemeanors” of child endangerment stemming from its handling of a now-jailed and laicized cleric whose pattern of misconduct is alleged to have continued into 2011.”

Pope Francis wants Vatican liturgy chief to continue the work of Benedict XVI

“Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, revealed in a letter sent to a liturgical conference this week that when he was appointed to his post, Pope Francis indicated a desire to continue the liturgical work done by his predecessor as Bishop of Rome.”

Why I Am NOT Leaving the Catholic Church

“Before I became Catholic, I disdained the Church for many of the reasons that caused people to fall away from the Faith. But to paraphrase Chesterton, I thought I had tried the Catholic Church and found it wanting, when in fact I had found it difficult and left untried. Once I truly opened myself up – opened myself simply to being fair to the Church, to considering the infinite Truths it tenderly cared for in spite of and in the midst of the Church shepherds’ small or glaring imperfections, I realized that the Church is a Truth and a Body unlike any other.”

The Economist on the man crisis

“As a free-market oriented publication, The Economist is usually very interested in incentives and bargaining. The working class men they are talking about are rational agents: they are responding to incentives. The change in behaviour The Economist describes from the hard-working, dependable working class men of yore to the selfish layabouts to today – both stereotypical generalisations, but with a grain of truth – is, therefore, a response to incentives. The Economist’s powers of economic analysis seem to have deserted it here, however: the articles display no interest in how useful incentives could be restored in some form.”

On the Purpose of Aridity in the Spiritual Life

“None of us who commit to prayer and the spiritual life enjoy those periods during which prayer, liturgy, or spiritual reading seem dry or dull. But such moments are necessary—or so it would seem—for God permits them.”

Don’t miss the lovely recording of Sicut Cervus at the bottom of the page.

Pope Francis on Medjugorje: it’s almost decision time

“When asked by a Bosnian journalist about the status of his decision on the Marian apparitions in Medjugorje on his flight from Sarajevo to Rome, Pope Francis said that after a lengthy study, a decision could be coming soon.”

African, European bishops’ meeting promotes an authentic ‘joy of the family

“The participants included bishops from Africa and eastern Europe, who were among the strongest defenders of the Church’s traditional teaching and practice at the 2014 Synod of Bishops, and who are certain to promote Christian values and to counter any initiatives that would go beyond Catholic teaching.”

What ‘renewing the Church’ really requires
Wow. Very straight talk from Archbishop Chaput, here’s a sample:

“So, what is to be done? We can start by understanding that the Church 20 years from now — even here in Philadelphia, which values tradition so highly — will be smaller, less wealthy, less influential and probably less free to do her work than at any time in the last century. For believers, our job, starting now, is to make sure she is also more zealous, more faithful and better led.”

Holy See puts Fellay in charge of trying one of his own priests

“This is not the first time the SSPX has made recourse to Rome when it comes to delicta graviora and dispensations from priestly obligations. What is new in this case is that the former Holy Office headed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller has decided to entrust the case to Mgr. Fellay himself, making him first-instance trial judge.”

Transgender Surgery Isn’t the Solution
Is society placing politics over science? Dr. McHugh, former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital:

“This intensely felt sense of being transgendered constitutes a mental disorder in two respects. The first is that the idea of sex misalignment is simply mistaken—it does not correspond with physical reality. The second is that it can lead to grim psychological outcomes.”

‘Call me Caitlyn, or else’: the rise of authoritarian transgender politics
Society demands we praise.

“The photo is indeed iconic. And not just in the shallow celeb meaning of that word. It’s iconic in the traditional sense, too, in that it’s being venerated as an actual icon, a devotional image of an apparently holy human. It’s an image we’re all expected to bow down to, whose essential truth we must imbibe; an image you question or ridicule at your peril, with those who refuse to genuflect before it facing excommunication from polite society. Yesterday’s Jennermania confirms how weirdly authoritarian, even idolatrous, trans politics has become.”

Corpus Christi: No Other Religion Has Dared This

“Apart from Christianity, no other religion has ever dared assert such a close propinquity between God and men. Indeed, even among Christians, all do not believe in the reality of this presence.”


“The difficulty of explaining ‘why I am a Catholic’ is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.” — G.K. Chesterton

Thank you for reading!

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