Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Monday, April 19, 2021
The martyrs were both arrested in late 1678, imprisoned in the Castle Gaol in Cardiff and finally tried in May, 1679. They were executed together on July 22, 1679 in Pwllhalog, near Cardiff at a site known as the "Death Junction".
The Friends of the Ordinariate blog offers these profiles of the two priests:St. John Lloyd, the older of the two saints by some 15 years, was born at about 1630, and went to the Royal English College at Valladolid, being ordained priest on 7th June 1653. The following April he returned to Wales, and spent 24 years ministering among the Catholics of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire operating over a vast area. His brother was also a secular priest: Fr William Lloyd, who was also imprisoned in the Titus Oates plot, but died as a result of his torture before he was executed.
John Lloyd was arrested 20th November, 1678 and placed in solitary confinement, until being united in a cell with the younger Philip Evans.
St Philip Evans was born in Monmouthshire in 1645, studied at St. Omer, in France, and was ordained for the Society of Jesus in 1675. He immediately returned to Wales, and spent the next four years administering the Sacraments around Abergavenny, in his native Monmouthshire, staying in various different houses and continuing largely unmolested. He stayed at Sker House, with the Tuberville Family, where he was eventually arrested, in the wake of the Titus Oates plot. His betrayer was the younger bother of the owner of the house. He was arrested on the 4th December, 1678. He was then taken to Cardiff and imprisoned in the Castle Goal. For the first few weeks of his incarceration he was in solitary confinement, before being put in the same cell as Fr. John Lloyd. They were imprisoned until trial in May of 1679.
Their trial found them guilty of being priests, and they were sentenced to be hung, drawn and quartered on the 9th May, 1679. It was not, however, until July that the sentence was decreed to be carried out. Philip, a light hearted man, was found playing tennis (they were allowed quite a bit of liberty) on the 21st July when news that the execution was to take place the following day reached him. The jailer told him he should return to prison, to which he responded “what haste is there? First let me play out my game!” which he duly did.
Philip was also a fine harp player, and when his jailers came to collect the two priests on the morning of the execution, they found Philip playing his harp, in spite of his leg shackles. These shackles took an hour to remove, so tight were they, and caused him excruciating pain.
Sunday, April 18, 2021
Edward Short, who sent me the review copy of this new volume in the Newman Millennium Edition, provides a most comprehensive introduction, describing the occasion of Newman's lectures, the location, the press coverage, Newman's composition of the lectures, and the autobiographical nature of the lectures (his look back at his participation in the Oxford Movement was almost a rehearsal for the Apologia pro Vita Sua 14 years later). Short also provides a precis for each of the lectures, and extensive commentary on the critical reaction to them, from newspapers at the time, William Makepeace Thackeray, John Mason Neale, J.M. Capes (who left the Church of the England for the Catholic Church and then left the Catholic Church to return to the Church of England), and other contemporaries--but also Christopher Dawson, Owen Chadwick, ("the doyen of Newman detractors"), John Griffin, Newman biographer Ian Ker, Robert Pattison (author of The Great Dissent), and Stanley L. Jaki, OSB, the previous editor of these lectures (Real-View Books).
Short's footnotes, which are sometimes so long that the text at the top of the page may be only two or three lines, are equally comprehensive, identifying people, texts, and even the context of Newman's mention and use of those cited sources. I admit that sometimes I merely scanned the notes while reading the text while in the midst of Newman's argument, but they provide great resources for understanding the argument, notwithstanding.
In Part Two of the these lectures, after offering the remaining members of the Movement of 1833--notice that name used by Newman dates the Oxford Movement, placing it in the past--evidence of their parlous position in the Church of England, he admits that these arguments have mainly been negative. Now he will offer more positive arguments to deny their views of the Catholic Church based on five issues:
- The Social State of Catholic Countries (not evidence against the Sanctity of the Catholic Church)
- The Religious State of Catholics (not evidence against the Sanctity of the Catholic Church either)
- Differences among Catholics (not evidence against the Unity of the Catholic Church)
- Heretical and Schismatical Bodies within the Catholic Church (not evidence against the Catholicity--universality--of the Catholic Church)
- Ecclesiastical History of the Catholic Church (not evidence against the apostolicity--the unbroken line of Tradition--of the Catholic Church)
What, then, you are saying comes, in fact, to this: We would rather deny our initial principles, than accept such a development of them as the communion of Rome, viewed as it is; we would rather believe Erastianism, and all its train of consequences, to be from God, than the religion of such countries as France and Belgium, Spain and Italy. This is what you must mean to say, and nothing short of it. (pp. 264-265)
The world believes in the world's ends as the greatest of goods; it wishes society to be governed simply and entirely for the sake of this world. Provided it could gain one little islet in the ocean, one foot upon the coast, if it could cheapen tea by sixpence a pound, or make its flag respected among the Esquimaux or Otaheitans, at the cost of a hundred lives and a hundred souls, it would think it a very good bargain. What does it know of hell? it disbelieves it; it spits upon, it abominates, it curses its very name and notion. Next, as to the devil, it does not believe in him either. We next come to the flesh, and it is "free to confess" that it does not think there is any great harm in following the instincts of that nature which, perhaps it goes on to say, God has given. How could it be otherwise? who ever heard of the world fighting against the flesh and the devil? Well, then, what is its notion of evil? Evil, says the world, is whatever is an offence to me, whatever obscures my majesty, whatever disturbs my peace. Order, tranquillity, popular contentment, plenty, prosperity, advance in arts and sciences, literature, refinement, splendour, this is my millennium, or rather my elysium, my swerga; I acknowledge no whole, no individuality, but my own; the units which compose me are but parts of me; they have no perfection in themselves; no end but in me; in my glory is their bliss, and in the hidings of my countenance they come to nought.
Such is the philosophy and practice of the world;—now the Church looks and moves in a simply opposite direction. It contemplates, not the whole, but the parts; not a nation, but the men who form it; not society in the first place, but in the second place, and in the first place individuals; it looks beyond the outward act, on and into the thought, the motive, the intention, and the will; it looks beyond the world, and detects and moves against the devil, who is sitting in ambush behind it. It has, then, a foe in view; nay, it has a battle-field, to which the world is blind; its proper battle-field is the heart of the individual, and its true foe is Satan.
My dear brethren, do not think I am declaiming in the air or translating the pages of some old worm-eaten homily; as I have already said, I bear my own testimony to what has been brought home to me most closely and vividly as a matter of fact since I have been a Catholic; viz., that that mighty world-wide Church, like her Divine Author, regards, consults for, labours for the individual soul; she looks at the souls for whom Christ died, and who are made over to her; and her one object, for which everything is sacrificed—appearances, reputation, worldly triumph—is to acquit herself well of this most awful responsibility. Her one duty is to bring forward the elect to salvation, and to make them as many as she can:—to take offences out of their path, to warn them of sin, to rescue them from evil, to convert them, to teach them, to feed them, to protect them, and to perfect them. (pp. 267-269)
Image Credit: (Used under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license) Statue outside the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly known as Brompton Oratory, in London (the second location of the London Oratory; Newman presented these lectures at the King William Street location)
Saturday, April 17, 2021
In the first part, "Communion with the Roman See the Legitimate Issue of the Religious Movement of 1833", I think Newman succeeded completely proving that those remaining in the Oxford Movement had no true home in the Church of England. He demonstrates to them that they will have no meaningful influence on the Church or the Nation, since the Church serves the Nation and the Nation rules the Church. Newman uses the recent history of the Gorham Judgment to show them this. Queen Victoria's Privy Council ruled that Baptism wasn't really a Sacrament after all and that a minister of the Church of England didn't really need to believe it was a Sacrament, effecting the grace of God it symbolized in the pouring of water and the words "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." Of course, members of the Movement of 1833 had been totally supportive of Bishop Philpott of Exeter not to ordain the Reverend George Cornelius Gorham and were disappointed in the Queen's Privy Council decision, because it meant the State ruled on a Church issue (the exact reason that Keble presented his sermon on the "National Apostasy" in 1833).
Newman probably convinced many that their position in the Church of England was tenuous: the Movement of 1833 was foreign to the Erastian Church of England; it was not derived from that National Church; it was not moving in the direction of the National Church which was moving in the direction of the Nation ("progressively"); they could not expect to remain a party, a branch, or a sect in the Church of England. So he concludes in the last lecture of this section:Therefore, I say now,—as I have said years ago, when others have wished still to uphold their party, after their arguments had broken under them—Find out first of all where you stand, take your position, write down your creed, draw up your catechism. Tell me why you form your party, under what conditions, how long it is to last, what are your relations to the Establishment, and to the other branches (as you speak) of the Universal Church, how you stand relatively to Antiquity, what is Antiquity, whether you accept the Via Media, whether you are zealous for "Apostolical order," what is your rule of faith, how you prove it, and what are your doctrines. It is easy for a while to be doing merely what you do at present; to remain where you are, till it is proved to you that you must go; to refuse to say what you hold and what you do not, and to act only on the offensive; but you cannot do this for ever. The time is coming, or is come, when you must act in some way or other for yourselves, unless you would drift to some form of infidelity, or give up principle altogether, or believe or not believe by accident. The onus probandi will be on your side then. Now you are content to be negative and fragmentary in doctrine; you aim at nothing higher than smart articles in newspapers and magazines, at clever hits, spirited attacks, raillery, satire, skirmishing on posts of your own selecting; fastening on weak points, or what you think so, in Dissenters or Catholics; inventing ingenious retorts, evading dangerous questions; parading this or that isolated doctrine as essential, and praising this or that Catholic practice or Catholic saint, to make up for abuse, and to show your impartiality; and taking all along a high, eclectic, patronising, indifferent tone; this has been for some time past your line, and it will not suffice; it excites no respect, it creates no confidence, it inspires no hope.
And when, at length, you have one and all agreed upon your creed, and developed it doctrinally, morally, and polemically, then find for it some safe foundation, deeper and firmer than private judgment, which may ensure its transmission and continuance to generations to come. And, when you have done all this, then, last of all, persuade others and yourselves, that the foundation you have formed is surer and more trustworthy than that of Erastianism, on the one hand, and of immemorial and uninterrupted tradition, that is, of Catholicism, on the other.
You tell me, my brethren, that you have the clear evidence of the influences of grace in your hearts, by its effects sensible at the moment or permanent in the event. You tell me, that you have been converted from sin to holiness, or that you have received great support and comfort under trial, or that you have been carried over very special temptations, though you have not submitted yourselves to the Catholic Church. More than this, you tell me of the peace, and joy, and strength which you have experienced in your own ordinances. You tell me, that when you began to go weekly to communion you found yourselves wonderfully advanced in purity. You tell me that you went to confession, and you never will believe that the hand of God was not over you at the moment when you received absolution. You were ordained, and a fragrance breathed around you; you hung over the dead, and you all but saw the happy spirit of the departed. This is what you say, and the like of this; and I am not the person, my dear brethren, to quarrel with the truth of what you say. I am not the person to be jealous of such facts, nor to wish you to contradict your own memory and your own nature, nor am I so ungrateful to God's former mercies to myself, to have the heart to deny them in you. As to miracles, indeed, if such you mean, that of course is a matter which might lead to dispute; but if you merely mean to say that the supernatural grace of God, as shown either at the time or by consequent fruits, has overshadowed you at certain times, has been with you when you were taking part in the Anglican ordinances, I have no wish, and a Catholic has no anxiety, to deny it.
Why should I deny to your memory what is so pleasant in mine? Cannot I too look back on many years past, and many events, in which I myself experienced what is now your confidence? Can I forget the happy life I have led all my days, with no cares, no anxieties worth remembering; without desolateness, or fever of thought, or gloom of mind, or doubt of God's love to me and providence over me? Can I forget,—I never can forget,—the day when in my youth I first bound myself to the ministry of God in that old church of St. Frideswide, the patroness of Oxford? nor how I wept most abundant, and most sweet tears, when I thought what I then had become; though I looked on ordination as no sacramental rite, nor even to baptism ascribed any supernatural virtue? Can I wipe out from my memory, or wish to wipe out, those happy Sunday mornings, light or dark, year after year, when I celebrated your communion-rite, in my own church of St. Mary's; and in the pleasantness and joy of it heard nothing of the strife of tongues which surrounded its walls? . . .
And now, my brethren, will it not be so, as I have said, of simple necessity, if you attempt at this time to perpetuate in the National Church a form of opinion which the National Church disowns? You do not follow its Bishops; you disown its existing traditions; you are discontented with its divines; you protest against its law courts; you shrink from its laity; you outstrip its Prayer Book. You have in all respects an eclectic or an original religion of our own. You dare not stand or fall by Andrewes, or by Laud, or by Hammond, or by Bull, or by Thorndike, or by all of them together. There is a consensus of divines, stronger than there is for Baptismal Regeneration or the Apostolical Succession, that Rome is, strictly and literally, an anti-Christian power:—Liberals and High Churchmen in your Communion in this agree with Evangelicals; you put it aside. There is a consensus against Transubstantiation, besides the declaration of the Article; yet many of you hold it notwithstanding. Nearly all your divines, if not all, call themselves Protestants, and you anathematize the name. Who makes the concessions to Catholics which you do, yet remains separate from them? Who, among Anglican authorities, would speak of Penance as a Sacrament, as you do? Who of them encourages, much less insists upon, auricular confession, as you? or makes fasting an obligation? or uses the crucifix and the rosary? or reserves the consecrated bread? or believes in miracles as existing in your communion? or administers, as I believe you do, Extreme Unction? In some points you prefer Rome, in others Greece, in others England, in others Scotland; and of that preference your own private judgment is the ultimate sanction.
What am I to say in answer to conduct so preposterous? Say you go by any authority whatever, and I shall know where to find you, and I shall respect you. Swear by any school of Religion, old or modern, by Ronge's Church, or the Evangelical Alliance, nay, by Yourselves, and I shall know what you mean, and will listen to you. But do not come to me with the latest fashion of opinion which the world has seen, and protest to me that it is the oldest. Do not come to me at this time of day with views palpably new, isolated, original, sui generis, warranted old neither by Christian nor unbeliever, and challenge me to answer what I really have not the patience to read. Life is not long enough for such trifles. Go elsewhere, not to me, if you wish to make a proselyte. Your inconsistency, my dear brethren, is on your very front.
Friday, April 16, 2021
In 1878 a discovery was made in an attic of the Jesuit priest’s house in Holywell. A wooden box containing two skulls, and a variety of other bones wrapped in an ancient linen jacket. One of the skulls had a large hole in the cranium. Some of the bones showed evident signs of having been cut with a sharp knife. This indicated that these bones related to two individuals who had been hanged, drawn and quartered, and whose bones had been hidden for safety, possibly for two centuries.
Fr Morris was invited to investigate and made this drawing. He speculated that they were martyrs because of the age of the bone and the fact that they had been hidden in a Jesuit house, but made no suggestion as to their identities.
So whose bones were they? And why were they kept together?
“The starting point is you look at the evidence in front of you,” she told CNA in an interview. “So you have two skulls. One has a hole in the cranium, and many of the bones that are associated with the two skulls show evidence of having been cut with a sharp knife.”
“The immediate premise that you draw from that is that at least one of these two was dismembered after death and that one of the heads was stuck on a spike.”
“They both said, ‘Look, this must be Evans and Lloyd because they were very closely associated in life.’ They spent their last six months or so together in prison. They were executed at the same time. They were buried, or disposed of, at the same time, and they are always spoken of as a pair, if you like, because of the close friendship they had during life.”
“So it makes perfect logical and historical sense for these two bones of these very closely associated men to have been rescued together, and secreted together.”
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica the 1829 Emancipation Act left these protections of the Protestant religion of the Church of England in place:In 1829 this carefully restricted freedom again to practise the proscribed religion was extended by the statute commonly known as the Catholic Emancipation Act (io Geo. IV., c. 7). It further disestablished oaths and declarations against Transubstantiation, the invocation of saints and the sacrifice of the mass, by making such oaths and declarations no longer a qualification for member ship of parliament or the holding of any office, franchise or civil right, except offices in or connected with the Established churches, or in any educational institution in regard to which such oaths obtained. But a new oath, against any attempt to subvert the Protestant religion, was imposed upon Members of Parliament, naval, military and municipal officers and electors. Priests were forbidden to sit in the House of Commons, but all civil and mili tary offices were thrown open to Catholics, except the regency of the kingdom, the lord chancellorship, the lord-lieutenancy of Ire land and the high commissionership of the Church of Scotland.
Also they could not present to livings in the Church of England.
Many other restrictions upon religious liberty were maintained. Judicial and municipal officers were forbidden to attend in their insignia any public worship, except in a building of the Established Church; priests and monks were prohibited from conducting ceremonies or wearing habits save in their churches or private houses. Jesuits and all other male persons under religious vows already in the country were to register themselves—they did so for many years—and the entry into the country of those not already there was forbidden, with the exception of those of them who, being natural born British subjects, had left the country temporarily, and of others who might get a licence from a Protestant secretary of State to come into the country for a period not exceeding six months. To admit a person into a religious order was made a misdemeanour; the admitted person was to be banished for life, and transported for life if he had not gone within three months after the sentence of banishment. An attempt (apparently the only attempt) to enforce this law against religious orders was made as late as 1902, but the magistrate refused a summons and was upheld by the High Court : R. v. Kennedy; 86 Law Times Rep. 753. In 1898 parliament had declined to pass a bill for repealing the law, but it has now been repealed by the Roman Catholic Relief Act, 1926.
The author of the article in the Encyclopedia Britannica believes that Catholics are completely free to practice their religion in England as long as they don't interfere with the affairs of the Church of England, but he does offer a caveat to his stated confidence:
Monday, April 12, 2021
I was sad to hear about the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, mostly because I empathize with Queen Elizabeth II, as I am a widow too. Since the man who had been her stay and support is gone, as is mine, I feel for her.
Also my mother and she share the same birthday, April 21--we always joked about whose turn it was the make the official birthday greeting call.
And I am not a royalist. If I was a royalist, I would have to be a Jacobite and regard the current occupant of the throne as the usurper of the Catholic Stuart line, descendants of King James II and VI, the Old Pretender, and the Young Pretender, since there aren't any descendants of the Cardinal Pretender! So I'm not posting this because of burning interest in the House of Windsor. By the way, my parents lived on WINDSOR Street in their own little palace.
No, my interests are mostly because of the issue of Catholicism and/or religion in England, and secondarily just because of the human interests of family and history.
Prince Philip was born on the island of Corfu as the Greek ruling family was going to exile. He was baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church, which probably means that he received all three Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Chrismation (Confirmation), and Holy Communion as an infant.
He certainly endured and survived a confusing and disrupted childhood in the early to mid twentieth century. Yet I recall reading a review in the Wall Street Journal of a recent biography last year (I can't access the full review now) that he never revealed much about that childhood and youth. His biographer stated that “For him duty is at the center of everything. It is not a choice.” so he just did his duty and didn't talk about it that much. That's probably one reason his death is receiving so much attention now: that almost unheard of sense of duty and reserve when self-promotion is the norm combined with self-proclaimed victim-hood.
His family separated after their exile from Greece in the throes of the Greco-Turkish war and World War I; Philip studied on the Continent and in England and fought for England in World War II (in the Royal Navy); his four sisters had married Germans and Philip's brothers-in-law fought for Germany and some joined the Nazi Party. His father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, resided in the south of France and Monaco; his mother, Princess Alice of Battenburg (known as Princess Andrew in Greece after her marriage), who was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, was congenitally deaf and was committed to an asylum in Switzerland for a time.
Alice had joined the Anglican Church, but when she and Prince Andrew were married, their ceremonies were first Civil, then Lutheran AND Greek Orthodox. She later became Greek Orthodox, while her son Philip joined the Anglican Church. I don't know if his Orthodoxy (if he had remained a member of the Greek Orthodox Church) would have been any impediment to his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth, but Geoffrey Fisher, then the Archbishop of Canterbury received him into the Church of England in October 1947 before their wedding on November 20 that year. Prince Philip's surviving sisters could not attend the wedding (nor Elizabeth's coronation in 1953) because of their Nazi connections.
His mother is the person who fascinates me most: she is known as a "Righteous Among the Nations" because of her aid to the Jews in Greece during World War II. She followed the example of her relative, the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia, becoming a religious sister in the Orthodox (Greek) Church while Elizabeth became a nun in the Russian Orthodox Church. She died in England but is buried in the same church as Elizabeth, the Church of Mary Magdalene at Gethsemane in Jerusalem. Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna has been canonized a saint in the Russia Orthodox Church and is honored as a martyr at Westminster Abbey!
Since Prince Philip died on the Friday of the Octave of Easter, and Gospel readings for the Masses of the Catholic Church have been filled with references to St. Mary Magdalen, I've chosen a painting of St. Mary Magdalen with the Resurrected Jesus to illustrate this post: Appearance of Jesus Christ to Maria Magdalena (1835) by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov, a Russian painter (1808-1858).
In the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection of the Dead, may Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, rest in the peace of Christ.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
So I've read Short's introduction and am reading the lectures now, in the midst of Lecture V, "The Providential Course of the Movement of 1833 [Newman's term for the Oxford or Tractarian Movement he had previously led with Keble and Pusey] not in the Direction of a Party in the National Church". Short's footnotes throughout these lectures are also very thorough, identifying works, literary allusions, people Newman refers to, etc., providing additional depth of context.Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages, which I purchased at Eighth Day Books:Tolkien’s Modern Reading addresses the claim that Tolkien “read very little modern fiction, and took no serious notice of it.” This claim, made by one of his first biographers, has led to the widely accepted view that Tolkien was dismissive of modern culture, and that The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are fundamentally medieval and nostalgic in their inspiration.
In fact, as Holly Ordway demonstrates in this major corrective, Tolkien enjoyed a broad range of contemporary works, engaged with them in detail and depth, and even named specific titles as sources for and influences upon his creation of Middle-earth.
Drawing on meticulous archival research, Ordway shows how Tolkien appreciated authors as diverse as James Joyce and Beatrix Potter, Rider Haggard and Edith Nesbit, William Morris and Kenneth Grahame. She surveys the work of figures such as S.R. Crockett and J.H. Shorthouse, who are forgotten now but made a significant impression on Tolkien. He even read Americans like Longfellow and Sinclair Lewis, assimilating what he read in characteristically complex ways, both as positive example and as influence-by-opposition.
Tolkien’s Modern Reading not only enables a clearer understanding of Tolkien’s epic, it also illuminates his views on topics such as technology, women, empire, and race. For Tolkien’s genius was not simply backward-looking: it was intimately connected with the literature of his own time and concerned with the issues and crises of modernity. Ordway’s ground-breaking study reveals that Tolkien brought to the workings of his fantastic imagination a deep knowledge of both the facts and the fictions of the modern world.
At any rate no credence whatever could have been given to this particular charge made by these notorious 'visitors'; for although, according to them, West Acre was by far the foulest lived of all the Norfolk religious houses, in October of the very year when their report of the prior of Westacre's personal and conventual enormities had been rendered, William Wingfield was one of the fourteen Norfolk gentlemen specially appointed by the king to abide in their counties and act as justices to keep good order during the absence of the rest of the gentlemen and noblemen during the northern rebellion, the priors of West Acre and Castle Acre being the only two ecclesiastics of the county selected for this honour. (fn. 23)
On 15 January, 1538, West Acre Priory, with the dependent priory or cell of Great Massingham and all its possessions, was surrendered to Robert Southwell, attorney of the Augmentation Office, to be held by him for a year with remainder to the king. The surrender was signed by the prior and seven of the canons. This was the first of the monastic 'surrenders,' and its farcical character is clear; for a month earlier (16 December, 1537) Sir Roger Townsend wrote to Cromwell saying that all the goods of West Acre Priory had been sequestrated according to order and inventories taken. On 9 December there had been some endeavour otherwise to dispose of the monastic property. Commissioner Layton waxed wroth on this subject, and in a letter to Cromwell from West Acre, three days after its 'surrender,' he wrote:—
As for Westacre, what falsehood in the prior and convent, what bribery, spoil, and ruin contrived by the inhabitants it were long to write; but their wrenches, wiles, and guiles shall nothing them prevail. (fn. 24)
Prior Wingfield, notwithstanding his reputed sins and trickery, had the handsome pension granted him of £40 per annum, of which he was still in receipt in 1555; he also held the rectory of Burnham Thorpe.
The 'surrender' of West Acre was accompanied by a vaguely but extravagantly worded 'confession' of lax living. The better known and absurd so-called 'confession' of the monks of St. Andrew's, Northampton, has been dealt with in another volume of this series. (fn. 25) The private correspondence of the visitors with the Lord Privy Seal makes it quite clear that these two confessions (the only ones on record) were written by them; it is more than probable that neither the canons of the one house nor the monks of the other had any knowledge whatsoever of the documents in question. This is a grave charge to make against Ap Rice, Legh, and Layton; but those who have studied the Cromwell correspondence at the Public Record Office at first hand cease to be surprised at any depth of moral turpitude displayed by his active agents. (fn. 26)
Monday, April 5, 2021
As he notes the question he sought to answer is "What" Is Finished? What is "It"? He was a Protestant when he first considered the question and as he studied it studied Jewish and early Christian sources it influenced his decisions as a pastor and professor. Those decisions led him and those attending his church and his classes to say that he was beginning to sound too much like a Catholic. In this book (I read Rome Sweet Home years ago and can't remember if he mentions this particular issue of his reading and research before his conversion) Hahn reveals that this effort to answer the question What is "It"? led him to study the teachings of the Catholic Church and to an even more momentous decision: to become a Catholic.
I do recall that he highlights the experience of attending Mass in the church at Marquette University and the great impact of that experience in Rome Sweet Home--and he includes that story in this book too.
Each chapter is divided into sections with punning headings: Hallel Can You Go?; Pasch, Presence, and Future; Sealed with a Curse; Seder Rite Words; Justin Case, etc. Those puns and word play shouldn't make the reader think that Hahn is not dealing with these questions of ritual, sacrifice, and salvation with appropriate depth and reflection.
As I attended the Holy Triduum, especially as the Gospel of John was proclaimed on Good Friday, echoes of Hahn's book were in my ears.
Highly recommended. He succeeds in presenting his research and conclusions dramatically as they occurred in his own life and theologically in their meaning and impact on how we worship in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
In this sermon Newman discusses the importance of feasts in general from the Old Testament to the New (the parting feast of Laban and Jacob; the Passover; Elisha's slaughtering the oxen for a feast before he follows Elijah; the feast with St. Matthew after he follows Jesus). Then he remarks:Nay, may we not say that our Lord Himself had commenced His ministry, that is, bade farewell to His earthly home, at a feast? for it was at the marriage entertainment at Cana of Galilee that He did His first miracle, and manifested forth His glory. He was in the house of friends, He was surrounded by intimates and followers, and He took a familiar interest in the exigencies of the feast. He supplied a principal want which was interfering with their festivity. It was His contribution to it. By supplying it miraculously He showed that He was beginning a new life, the life of a Messenger from God, and that that feast was the last scene of the old life. And, moreover, He made use of one remarkable expression, which seems to imply that this change of condition really was in His thoughts, if we may dare so to speak of them, or at all to interpret them. For when His Mother said unto Him, "They have no wine," He answered, "What have I to do with thee?" [John ii. 3, 4.] He had had to do with her for thirty years. She had borne Him, she had nursed Him, she had taught Him. And when He had reached twelve years old, at the age when the young may expect to be separated from their parents, He had only become more intimately one with them, for we are told that "He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them." [Luke ii. 51.] Eighteen years had passed away since this occurred. St. Joseph (as it seems) had been taken to his rest. Mary remained; but from Mary, His Mother, He must now part, for the three years of His ministry. He had gently intimated this to her at the very time of His becoming subject to her, intimated that His heavenly Father's work was a higher call than any earthly duty. "Wist ye not," He said, when found in the Temple, "that I must be about My Father's business?" [Luke ii. 49.] The time was now come when this was to be fulfilled, and, therefore, when His Mother addressed Him at the marriage feast, He answered, "What have I to do with thee?" What is between Me and thee, My Mother, any longer? "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand." [Mark i. 15.]
And hence the words which I have quoted were but the introduction to others like them, in which He seemed to put His Mother from His thoughts, as being called to the work of a divine ministry. When He was told that His Mother and His brethren stood without, and sent unto Him, calling Him, He seemed to answer, that henceforth He had no mother and no brethren after the flesh, for He was called on to fulfil His own precept, as fulfilling all righteousness, and to "hate His father and mother, and brethren and sisters, yea, and His own life also." [Luke xiv. 26.] "He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My Mother? and who are My brethren? and He stretched forth His hand towards His disciples, and said, Behold My Mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven" (about whose "business," in His own former words, He was then engaged), "the same is My brother and sister, and Mother." [Matt. xii. 48-50.]
He took leave then of His Mother at a feast, as He afterwards took leave of His disciples at a feast. But there is perhaps a still closer connexion between the feast of Cana and His Paschal Supper, and, as we are already engaged in the subject, it may be allowable to proceed with it.
It will be observed, then, that though He was bidding farewell to His earthly home in the one, and His disciples in the other, yet in neither case was He leaving them for good, but for a season. His Mother He acknowledged again when He was expiring; His disciples on His resurrection. And He gave both the one and the other intimations, not only that He was then separating Himself from them, but also that it was not a separation for ever. . . .
Although Newman offered this sermon at the end of the pre-Lenten Septuagesima period, "Our Lord's Last Supper and His First" presents some wonderful insights into the first two days of the Holy Triduum, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Wishing you all a holy and blessed Triduum, I'll be back on Easter Monday! God bless you all!