Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Thomas More's Successor and Judge

Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley of Warren died on April 30, 1544--he managed to die safely in his bed with his head intact by serving Henry VIII very well. A lawyer by training, Audley served Cardinal Wolsey and served in Parliament, representing Essex and he continued to rise in office throughout Henry VIII's reign. 

Audley participated in the trials and executions of not only Thomas More and John Fisher, but also of Thomas Cromwell, and he sentenced the rebels of the Pilgrimage of Grace to death. For these and other services (the annulment of Henry VIII's marriage to Anne of Cleves, for instance), he was not only knighted but became a member of the Order of the Garter. He succeeded Thomas More in nearly several offices: as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and as Speaker of the House of Commons in 1529, as Lord Keeper of the Great Seal in 1532, and as Lord Chancellor in 1533. 

In August of 1534, when Thomas More had been in the Tower of London for four months, Audley visited Alice Alington, More's step-daughter (Lady Alice's daughter by her first marriage). He thought that Thomas More was being stubborn about the Oath of Succession and told Alice two Aesop fables to illustrate the issue. Margaret Roper wrote to her father, and More replied: thus The Dialogue on Conscience was composed.

And at the trial of St. Thomas More, Audley made two mistakes: first, he tried to pass sentence before letting More speak after being found guilty and second, he let More speak:

Interrupting Audley, More calmly stated: “My lord, when I was toward the law, the manner in such a case was to ask the prisoner before judgment why judgment should not be given against him.”

Audley was undoubtedly anxious about the role he was now playing in the condemnation of an old friend and honored colleague. This unease may well explain the departure he had made from established procedure. But that anxiety would have been even greater had he known what More was about to do.

Aware that his words would echo throughout England, throughout Europe, and throughout subsequent history, Sir Thomas More now brought into full play all of the rhetorical power and legal expertise that a lifetime of training had placed at his disposal. . . .

According to this parliamentary history website, there has been some controversy about his activity at these trials and about his religious positions:

If his knightly status exempted Audley from the trial of Anne Boleyn in 1536 (it was not he but John, 8th Lord Audley, who took part in this), he was involved in all the other state trials of these years. His conduct in these trials, and especially in More’s, has been much criticized but it deserves to be judged in the light of Audley’s own beliefs concerning the rights of the sovereign and the duties of the subject. No such criticism, despite occasional and clearly prejudiced charges of favouritism and corruption, can be levelled against his conduct as an equity judge, and even in cases of treason his attitude is illustrated by his advice in 1536 that the Duke of Suffolk should be armed against the Lincolnshire rebels with a commission to try cases of treason, showing that he took for granted, even in such circumstances, the necessity of a trial at common law.

Audley’s religious position is difficult to assess. A correspondent of Melanchthon named him with Cromwell and Cranmer as friends to Protestantism but, if he was, the friendship was always qualified by his allegiance to the King whose policies he faithfully carried out, a course which in general gives an impression of conservatism. Thus an anonymous enthusiast for the Act of Six Articles (31 Hen. VIII, c.14) again linked Audley with Cromwell as two men who, this time in contrast to Cranmer and to other bishops, had been ‘as good as we can desire’ in the furtherance of the measure. Audley was equally content to follow Cromwell’s lead and what few clashes there were between them arose largely out of minor questions of patronage.

Audley also benefited from the Dissolution of the Monasteries, receiving grants of Holy Trinity Priory in Aldgate, London (which had been founded by Queen Matilda or Maud, Henry I's wife) and Walden Abbey, where his grandson, Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk built Audley End, which is now part of the English Heritage program. He founded Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge in 1542, after the Benedictine's Buckingham College was closed. 

Audley's title as 1st Baron Audley of Warren died with him. One of his daughters, Margaret, married Thomas Howard, the 4th Duke of Norfolk (who was executed by Elizabeth I).

Image source and copyright information: anonymous artist.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Newman and Converts and the Church

Matt Swaim--who also works for the Coming Home Network--and I will talk about Blessed John Henry Newman and conversion on the Son Rise Morning Show at about 7:50 a.m. Eastern DST/6:50 a.m. Central DST. All last week we prayed at the daily Masses of the Octave of Easter for those who joined the Church at the Easter Vigil, particularly through Baptism. According to CRUX, publishing a story by the Catholic News Service:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tens of thousands of new Catholics are expected to join the Catholic Church at Easter Vigil liturgies in parishes throughout the United States the night of April 20.

While a precise number was not available, reports from 89 U.S. Latin-rite dioceses, roughly half the total number, indicate that their dioceses alone will account for about 37,000 Catholics joining the Church.

As the article states, many of those who became Catholic on Saturday, April 20, came through a parish Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. They were prepared for the Rites of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion, through study, prayer, reflection, questions and answers, practices and rehearsals, and the final decision to join the Catholic Church, either leaving another faith community or coming to the Sacraments for the first time.

But how has the Church or the individual parish been prepared to receive them? Welcome them beyond a "recruiting" process, and help them become part of the parish? The process of initiation can't end at the Easter Vigil.

That was a concern Newman certainly had about the individuals and groups of Anglican converts coming to the Catholic Church in the 1840's and later. The converts had to be prepared for the Church, but he also thought the Church needed to be prepared for them: how to welcome them; how to integrate them; how to make use of their education and abilities. As he commented:  “There are those who only wish to convert, and then leave the poor converts to shift for themselves, as far as knowledge of their religion goes. The other end which is so important, is what I call levelling up." He did not want failed conversions: “I am afraid to make hasty converts of educated men lest they should not have counted the cost & should have difficulties after they have entered the Church . . . . ” 

It is true that Newman thought the Catholic Church in England needed to focus on making sure the Catholics she had were well formed and educated, but he also worked with hundreds of prospective converts, helping them prepare for life in the Catholic Church, to understand what they faced with their families and friends, etc. But when he knew that they believed that the Catholic Church was the one, true Church that Jesus had founded, he insisted that they should become Catholics as soon as possible and he pointed to the example of himself and others who may suffered loss and trouble in temporal matters, but had received great spiritual consolation and comfort in knowing they were in the "one fold of Christ." 

Father Stanley Jaki and Peter Wilcox have written about the letters Newman sent to prospective converts and those who had joined the Church, advising them, consoling them, urging them to be patient, forbearing, and brave.

The Anglican Ordinariate, which will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus this November 4th, provides a structure for groups of Anglicans coming into the Catholic Church. The Pastoral Provision which Pope John Paul II arranged in 1980 still assists individual Anglicans and Episcopalians. The Coming Home Network--perhaps I should interview Matt!--reaches out to all Protestant pastors and their families to help them in their journeys to the Catholic Church. For most of the men, women and children who became Catholic at the Easter Vigil on April 20, however, it will be up to the parishes they joined to help them progress in their love of Jesus and His Church.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Quasimodo Sunday and Notre Dame de Paris

In the Extraordinary Form of the Latin Rite, this Sunday, the Sunday that ends the Easter Octave, is called either Low Sunday or Dominica in Albis, referring to the neophytes who had been baptized at the Easter Vigil putting aside their white baptismal garments and becoming part of their congregations. It has also been called Quasimodo Sunday because of this Sunday's Introit, whether Ordinary or Extraordinary Form:

Quasimodo geniti infantes, alleluia: rationabiles, sine dolo lac concupiscite, alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Like newborn infants, you must long for the pure, spiritual milk, that in him you may grow to salvation, alleluia.

As the Catholic Encyclopedia explains this traditional nomenclature:

The origin of the name is uncertain, but it is apparently intended to indicate the contrast between it and the great Easter festival immediately preceding, and also, perhaps, to signify that, being the Octave Day of Easter, it was considered part of that feast, though in a lower degree. Its liturgical name is Dominica in albis depositis, derived from the fact that on it the neophytes, who had been baptized on Easter Eve, then for the first time laid aside their white baptismal robes. St. Augustine mentions this custom in a sermon for the day, and it is also alluded to in the Eastertide Vesper hymn, "Ad regias Agni dapes" (or, in its older form, "Ad cœnam Agni providi"), written by an ancient imitator of St. Ambrose. [An English adaptation is "At the Lamb's High Feast We Sing"] Low Sunday is also called by some liturgical writers Pascha clausum, signifying the close of the Easter Octave, and "Quasimodo Sunday". . .

In the Ordinary Form it is called Divine Mercy Sunday or the Second Sunday of Easter. 

But to continue with the theme of Quasimodo Sunday: that's how the fictional "Hunchback of Notre Dame" gets his name. Because Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame found the hunchbacked, deformed baby on the Second Sunday of Easter he named him after the introit's first word. As this website explains the word Quasimodo, we can see the sad joke Frollo was playing on the poor baby as he is "almost" "the standard of measure":

The word quasimodo is a compound of two Latin words (split in the Missale Romanum), quasi and modo, meaning “almost” and “the standard of measure.” Thus, the combination means “almost the standard of measure,” which in the new translation is reduced to “like.”

The quotation takes its cue from 1 Peter 2:2, which in the RSV reads, “Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation.” (Incidentally, the Latin in the Vulgate reads, “Sicut modo geniti infantes, rationale sine dolo lac concupiscite, ut in eo crescatis in salutem.”)

In her current state, the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is "almost the standard of measure" of herself: she is standing, but she is deformed and damaged by the fire. She cannot be used for her true purpose of the worship of God the Father through the Sacrifice and Sacrament of the Mass, for prayer and devotion, for Baptisms, Confessions, and Weddings, etc. Her parishioners, those who go there every Sunday and throughout the week, have to go to other churches for Mass (although not technically a parish she serves as one for those in the neighborhood). As we continue to celebrate Easter and the new life Jesus brought us through the forgiveness of sins, I am sure that Notre Dame de Paris will someday be like herself again if we remember and protect what she is supposed to be: a church, not a monument, an Altar and a Tabernacle, not a tourist destination.

Christ is Risen! Truly, He Risen! 

Happy Easter to all Orthodox Christians! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Theology on Tap: Newman's Kansas Connections

Monday, April 29 will be a Newman Day for me! I have my brief interview on the Son Rise Morning Show early in the morning. Then in the evening I travel to Hutchinson, Kansas to present to the Theology on Tap group. The poster above gives all the details.

I will talk briefly about Newman himself and the progress of his cause, which has been aided much by Catholics in the USA: the man who organized and developed the formal presentation of his cause for canonization was an American Jesuit, Father Vincent Blehl, and the two miracles sought and obtained through Newman's intercession occurred in the USA!

But my main focus will be all the events that I know of at least since 1979 that have taken place here in the diocese of Wichita, Kansas. All the great speakers, lectures, programs, presentations, etc. Many of the best Newman scholars in the world have been here: Father Ian Ker, Dr. John Crosby, Avery Cardinal Dulles, Joyce Sugg, Sister Kathleen Dietz, and many others. This is the Kansas Connection: through our Newman Centers and Kansas Newman College now Newman University, the name of Newman and his life and works have been part of our diocesan history.

Preview: Blessed John Henry Newman and Conversion

Since we are still in the Easter Season--Easter is not just a day, it is a Liturgical Season lasting 50 days until Pentecost--Anna Mitchell and I thought the next appropriate topic to discuss in our Newman series would be conversion. By that we mean specifically becoming a Catholic Christian. Many people have joined the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil: either being initiated as a Christian, receiving Baptism, Confirmation, and First Holy Communion in one night; or being confirmed and receiving their First Holy Communion (because they'd already been baptized). So Matt Swaim and I will talk about Newman and Conversion on the Son Rise Morning Show on Monday, April 29 at the usual time: about 7:50 a.m. Eastern DST/6:50 a.m. Central DST. Listen live here.

That Newman was a convert to Catholicism is well-known: his feast day on October 9 celebrates his conversion.

He also instructed and helped prospective converts from the Church of England to become Catholic, preparing them for the challenges they'd face and working with the Church to be prepared for a special group of Anglican ministers and families, some of them representing the power of the English Establishment. They were educated people, bringing talents and leadership skills the Church should be aware of and make use of.

The Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, Father Julian Large, wrote in November 2018 about how converts to Catholicism sometimes feel underappreciated and reminded them that Blessed John Henry Newman had to work through those feelings too:

Latecomers to the Faith who are made to feel that their convert status makes them second class citizens in the eyes of some of those who make a profession out of religious commentary can take comfort in the knowledge that Blessed John Henry experienced all of this before them. The sincerity of Newman’s conversion is beyond question to anyone of good faith. As an Anglican he had increased in his sympathy for doctrines such as Transubstantiation and the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, having considered them individually in the light of their antiquity and of their compatibility with Holy Scripture. When he made his profession of Faith in front of Father Dominic Barberi, however, he was declaring that from now on he would embrace these truths, and every other Catholic doctrine, on the grounds that they were taught by Christ’s Church. He was assenting to his firm belief that the Catholic Church was founded by Our Lord as the pillar and the foundation of saving truth, with divinely invested authority to teach on faith and morals. He brought himself to his knees before an authority which he firmly believed to be at the service of Truth, but he also fell to his knees in the knowledge that in the Church on earth that divinely invested authority is always liable to be abused by fallen men who are prone to sin, and whose intellects are often too dim to appreciate the truths they have been commissioned to teach. But he accepted this. He accepted it because he was willing to suffer for and with the Church, because he loved Her as the Mystical Body of Christ on earth, and He believed Her to be true. Newman is an example to all of us of patience and genuine piety. Suffering with and for the Church is one of the ways we show our love for Christ, and one of the signs that our faith is alive.

For those of us who are converts to the Faith, Newman shows us how to be good converts. We must be docile, and obedient to lawful authority. But we should also be dogged in our pursuit of all truth, and we must be willing to suffer for our insistence on it. The religious submission of mind and will which we owe to the teaching authority of the Church never obliges us to submit ourselves to humbug, bluster and spin, but only to Catholic Truth in its soul-saving fullness.

Newman's correspondence with prospective and neophyte converts would fill "six to seven hundred pages" according to the late Father Stanley Jaki.  Fr. Peter Willi wrote an article for the International Centre of Newman Friends on "Newman as a Convert and Counsellor of Converts" in which he describes some of the advice Newman offered those thinking about becoming Catholic:
Newman often talks about this absolutely necessary condition. “Be convinced in your reason that the Catholic Church is a teacher sent to you from God, and it is enough. I do not wish you to join her, till you are. If you are half convinced, pray for a full conviction, and wait till you have it. It is better indeed to come quickly, but better slowly than carelessly….”[40]

Nobody should join the Roman Catholic Church while unable to accept the fullness of her doctrine. Whoever has not reached the personal certainty that the Roman Catholic Church contains the fulness of truth, should remain in his own ecclesial communion. This applied to Newman’s highly appreciated and saintly friend John Keble.[41] Although on the threshold of the Roman Catholic Church, he died with a good conscience, even though, objectively, it was erroneous. Throughout his life he had sincerely and honestly searched for the truth and had lived according to his insight. He accepted practically all of the Catholic doctrines, but never recognized the necessity of unity with the Bishop of Rome, the successor of Saint Peter. Therefore his conscience obliged him to remain in the Anglican Communion.

The beauty of the liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church and the fact that someone is drawn to it, are not, for example, reasons sufficient to justify the step of conversion. It is, however, possible for someone to hear the call to become a Roman Catholic, and to gain the certainty that the Roman Church is the true Church, while participating in her liturgy.

On the way to conversion the would-be convert accumulates one argument after another in favour of entering the Catholic Church and accepting her doctrine. It may also happen that, without any initiative on his/her part, the Holy Spirit awakens motives and insights in the future convert which point to conversion. The reasons are cumulative and mutually supportive, urging the free will towards conversion. The will is urged to act not only by reason, but also by conscience. According to Newman, religious processes and decisions necessarily include the action of reason and in no way should they exclude it. On the other hand, such processes and decisions should not be limited to reason alone.

My experience here in the United States has been that converts are sought and welcomed. The Diocese of Wichita has a strong RCIA program (of course it varies from parish to parish) and highlights the celebrations of the Rite of Election each Lent and publishes the list of those becoming Catholic in the diocesan newspaper after the Easter Vigil too--by parish! Some of my best friends are converts. With the attention given to converts by the Coming Home Network and all the conversion stories that are published (for example), perhaps it's different here in the USA.
More on Monday about how Newman thought the Church should be prepared for converts and how Pope Benedict XVI's Anglicanorum Coetibus in some ways fulfilled his hopes.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Get Ready for Next Lent, and the One After That . . .

Now that Lent is over, I'll reveal what I read during Lent (as spiritual reading). One of the books I read I also reviewed for Homiletic & Pastoral Review and the review was just posted:

Among my annual preparations for Lent, amidst planning menus for Fridays, searching out schedules for Stations of the Cross (preferably with Exposition, Adoration, and Benediction) and other devotional opportunities, and deciding what charitable causes to support, selecting spiritual reading for the season is essential. Catholic publishers provide a wide array of choices from classic to contemporary, for different age groups or other demographics, with reflections, prayers, activities, and suggested penances, etc.
Father Thomas Hoisington’s new Reflections on the Sacred Liturgy from In Hoc Est Caritas Press offers readers an excellent alternative not just because of its focus on the lectionary readings for every day of Lent, but also because he includes all three Sunday reading cycles (A, B, and C). This one book will be beneficial for reflection and meditation from 2019 through 2032: I should live so long! It’s also a useful volume for priests preparing Sunday homilies or daily feverinos and for RCIA catechists in preparing catechumens and candidates for the Scrutinies and Holy Week.
With passing references to outside authorities (St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Thomas More, Bl. John Henry Newman, the Catechism of the Catholic Church) Father Hoisington heeds his own counsel that “we should never underestimate the depth of Sacred Scripture” (45) when seeing how the readings at Mass connect with each other and with our lives as Catholic Christians. Each reflection makes connections within the lectionary readings for the day, or between those readings and common Lenten devotions like the Stations of the Cross, the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, or between the readings and the Sacraments, especially of Baptism, Confession, and Holy Communion. The entire book is suffused with Catholic doctrine, devotion, and morality. For example, when describing how God can bring great good out of evil, he tells us, “If you find it hard to acknowledge this, pray an entire rosary without taking your eyes of the crucifix” (39), thus reminding us that God responded to the “happy fault of Adam” with the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery. . . .
Father Hoisington's book is available here in both Kindle and paperback.

I joined a study group in another parish at the invitation of a friend to read Dom Lorenzo Scupoli's The Spiritual Combat:

Salvation and spiritual perfection should not be sought haphazardly; a strategy is needed to win the battle for our souls.

The Spiritual Combat, first published in 1589, provides timeless guidance in spiritual discipline. St Francis de Sales (1576-1622) read from it himself every day and recommended it to everyone under his direction. 

Vigorous, realistic and full of keen insight into human nature, 
The Spiritual Combat consists of short chapters based on the maxim that in the spiritual life one must either "fight or die". Fr. Scupoli shows the Christian how to combat his passions and vices, especially impurity and sloth, in order to arrive at victory. 

This is the original TAN edition now with updated typesetting, fresh new cover, new size and quality binding, and the same trusted content.

This was a challenging book because Dom Scupoli does not make any room for mediocrity in the spiritual life. You can't be a little bit holy, obeying God's will only when it conforms to your will!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Wedding at Notre Dame de Paris

On April 24, 1558, Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scotland, married Francois (or Francis), the Dauphin of France in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. The illustration above dates from the reign of King Louis XIV, but it shows how the Sun King had "renovated" or "wreckovated" the cathedral so it could be more useful for big royal events. When Mary and Francois married there would have been a Rood Screen between the nave and the sanctuary. The only church in Paris with a surviving Rood Screen is St. Etienne-du-Mont.

This History Today article explains how the marriage came about since Mary of Guise had sent her daughter to France to forestall the pressure from Henry VIII to arrange a marriage with his son and heir Edward:

It was not a prospect Mary of Guise could tolerate and in 1548 the five-year-old Mary was sent to her grandmother Antoinette of Guise in France, where her Scottish entourage was considered appallingly barbarous and swiftly got rid of, and she was brought up as a Catholic Frenchwoman. French became her first language, she always called herself Marie Stuart and she loved dancing and hunting. She grew up delightfully charming, graceful and attractive, the French fell in love with her and Henry II of France resolved to marry her to his son and heir, the sickly dauphin Francis. A marriage treaty was signed with the Scots, which provided that Scotland and France should eventually be united under Mary and Francis as one kingdom. There were also secret agreements, which the youthful and inexperienced Mary signed, that would have made Scotland a mere adjunct of France.

Mary was fifteen and Francis fourteen when they were married with spectacular pageantry and magnificence in the cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris, by the Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen, in the presence of Henry II, Queen Catherine de’ Medici, the princes and princesses of the blood and a glittering throng of cardinals and nobles. The Duke of Guise was master of ceremonies. Mary in a white dress with a long train borne by two young girls, a diamond necklace and a golden coronet studded with jewels, was described by the courtier Pierre de Brantôme as ‘a hundred times more beautiful than a goddess of heaven … her person alone was worth a kingdom.’ The wedding was followed by a procession past excited crowds in the Paris streets to a grand banquet in the Palais de Justice with dancing far into the night.

This website provides more detail about the ceremony, the festivities, the procession to the Louvre, and the banquet there.

This wedding was one of the historical events that the mainstream media brought up after the fire at Notre Dame last week.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

St. Philip Howard's Maternal Grandfather

Henry FitzAlan, grandfather of St. Philip Howard, was born on April 23, 1512. He was the 12th Earl of Arundel and the last FitzAlan to hold that title, which upon his death on February 24, 1580, was inherited by Philip through his mother, Mary FitzAlan, Henry's third daughter, who had married Thomas Howard, the 4th Duke of Norfolk. FitzAlan served Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I to various degrees of success and failure, sometimes in grave danger, according to the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica entry:

He was one of the twelve counsellors nominated in Henry VIII.’s will to assist the executors, but he had little power during the protectorship of Somerset or the ascendancy of Warwick (afterwards duke of Northumberland), and in 1550 by the latter’s device he was accused of embezzlement, removed from the council, confined to his house, and fined £12,000—£8000 of this sum being afterwards remitted and the charges never being proved. Subsequently he allied himself with Somerset, and was implicated in 1551 in the latter’s plot against Northumberland, being imprisoned in the Tower in November. On the 3rd of December 1552, though he had never been brought to trial, he signed a submission and confession before the privy council, and was liberated after having been again heavily fined. As Edward’s reign drew to its close, Arundel’s support was desired by Northumberland to further his designs on the throne for his family, and he was accordingly reinstated in the council and discharged of his fine. In June 1553 he opposed Edward’s “device” for the succession, which passed over his sisters Mary and Elizabeth as illegitimate, and left the crown to the children of the duchess of Suffolk, and alone of the council refused the “engagement” to support it, though he signed the letters patent. On the death of Edward (July 6, 1553) he ostensibly joined in furthering the duke’s plans, but secretly took measures to destroy them, and according to some accounts sent a letter to Mary the same evening informing her of Edward’s death and advising her to retreat to a place of security. Meanwhile he continued to attend the meetings of the council, signed the letter to Mary declaring her illegitimacy and Lady Jane Grey’s right to the throne, accompanied Northumberland to announce to Jane her accession, and urged Northumberland to leave London and place himself at the head of the forces to attack Mary, wishing him God-speed on his departure. In Northumberland’s absence, he gained over his fellow-councillors, and having succeeded with them in getting out of the Tower, called an assembly of the corporation and chief men of the city, denounced Northumberland, and had Mary proclaimed queen, subsequently riding off to join her with the Great Seal at Framlingham. On the 20th of July he secured Northumberland at Cambridge, and returned in triumph with Mary to London on the 3rd of August, riding before her with the sword of state. 

Rewarded for his assistance:

He was now made a privy councillor and lord steward, and was granted several favours and privileges, acting as high constable at the coronation, and obtaining the right to create sixty knights. He took a prominent part in various public acts of the reign, was a commissioner to treat for the queen’s marriage, presided at the trial of the duke of Suffolk, assisted in suppressing Wyatt’s rebellion in 1554, was despatched on foreign missions, and in September 1555 accompanied Philip to Brussels. The same year he received, together with other persons, a charter under the name of the Merchant Adventurers of England, for the discovery of unknown lands, and was made high steward of Oxford University, being chosen chancellor in 1559, but resigning his office in the same year. In 1557, on the prospect of the war with France, he was appointed lieutenant-general of the forces for the defence of the country, and in 1558 attended the conference at the abbey of Cercamp for the negotiation of a peace. He returned to England on the death of Mary in November 1558, and is described to Philip II. at that time as “going about in high glee, very smart” and with hopes of marrying the queen, but as “flighty” and of “small ability.”

Things did not go smoothly for him under Elizabeth I because he was a staunch Catholic:

He was reinstated in all his offices by Elizabeth, served as high constable at her coronation, and was visited several times by the queen at Nonsuch in Surrey. As a Roman Catholic he violently opposed the arrest of his co-religionists and the war with Scotland, and in 1560 came to blows with Lord Clinton in the queen’s presence on a dispute arising on those questions. He incurred the queen’s displeasure in 1562 by holding a meeting at his house during her illness to consider the question of the succession and promote the claims of Lady Catherine Grey. In 1564, being suspected of intrigues against the government, he was dismissed from the lord-stewardship and confined to his house, but was restored to favour in December. In March 1566 he went to Padua, but being summoned back by the queen he returned to London accompanied by a large cavalcade on the 17th of April 1567. Next year he served on the commission of inquiry into the charges against Mary, queen of Scots. 

He got involved in Norfolk's plots to become Mary, Queen of Scots' fourth husband (even though the Earl of Bothwell, imprisoned in Denmark, was still alive), and worked with Philip II of Spain to overthrow Elizabeth:

Subsequently he furthered the marriage of Mary with the duke of Norfolk, his son-in-law, together with the restoration of the Roman Catholic religion and government, and deposition of Elizabeth, in collusion with Spain. He made use of the incident in 1568, of the seizure of treasure at Southampton intended for Philip, as a means of effecting Cecil’s overthrow, and urged upon the Spanish government the stoppage of trade. He is described in 1569 to Philip as having “good intentions,” “whilst benefiting himself as he was very needy.” In January he alarmed Elizabeth by communicating to her a supposed Spanish project for aiding Mary and replacing her on her throne, and put before the queen in writing his own objections to the adoption of extreme measures against her. In June he received with Norfolk and Lumley 6000 crowns from Philip. In September, on the discovery of Norfolk’s plot, he was arrested, but not having committed himself sufficiently to incur the charge of treason in the northern rebellion he escaped punishment, was released in March 1570, and was recalled by Leicester to the council with the aim of embarrassing Cecil. He again renewed his treasonable intrigues, which were at length to some extent exposed by the discovery of the Ridolfi plot in September 1571. He was once more arrested, and not liberated till December 1572 after Norfolk’s execution.

He is fortunate to have died in bed after being nursed by his eldest daughter, Jane Lumley, Baroness Lumley at Arundel Castle, before she predeceased him in 1578. He was buried in the chapel. His son and heir Henry had died in 1556; Jane and John Lumley, Baron Lumley had no children; and Thomas Howard, the 4th Duke of Norfolk and his son-in-law having been executed on June 2, 1572, Philip Howard became the 13th Earl of Arundel. Sometimes Henry is designated the 19th Earl of Arundel and Philip the 20th.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Also in the Tower in April 1534: Doctor Nicholas Wilson

After remembering the 485th anniversary of the beginning of St. Thomas More's imprisonment in the Tower of London last week, I noted this article from the Cambridge Independent that cited new evidence for the dating of a portrait of Margaret Beaufort, Henry VIII's paternal grandmother. She was the patron of John Fisher, who was the Bishop of Rochester, and her confessor. According to the article:

The portrait was commissioned shortly after Lady Margaret’s death, around 1510, by John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester and Lady Margaret’s advisor.

In 1534 he fell out of favour with King Henry VIII, Lady Margaret’s grandson, and his home was raided by the king’s henchmen, who stole or destroyed many of his possessions, including books he had promised to St John’s College Library.

But the portrait of Lady Margaret was safe at the Bishop of Rochester’s palace in Lambeth Marsh and was transported to St John’s shortly afterwards to ensure it would not be destroyed.

By "he fell out of favour" the writer means that John Fisher was stripped of his title as bishop by the new Supreme Head and Governor of the Church of England and imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Thomas More wrote two letters in English to another occupant of the Tower who had refused the Oath as well: Dr. Nicholas Wilson. He had been in the Tower for ten days before More arrived. According to the Dictionary of National Biography, Wilson was a:

Roman catholic (sic) divine, born near Beverley, was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1508–9, and commencing D.D. in 1533. He was related to John Wilson, prior of Mount Grace in Yorkshire (Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, xiv. ii. 748). Before 1527 he was appointed chaplain and confessor to Henry VIII (ib. iv. 2641). On 7 Oct. 1528 he was collated archdeacon of Oxford, and in the same year received from the king the vicarage of Thaxted in Essex (ib. iv. 4476, 4521, 4546). Wilson was a friend of Sir Thomas More and of John Fisher, bishop of Rochester, and was a zealous Roman catholic (sic), frequently acting as an examiner of heretics (Foxe, Actes and Monuments, ed. Townsend, iv. 680, 703, 704). On 28 March 1531 he was presented by the king to the church of St. Thomas the Apostle in London (Letters and Papers, v. 166), and in 1533 he was elected master of Michaelhouse at Cambridge. In the latter year, however, when the divorce of Catherine of Aragon was debated in convocation, he joined the minority in asserting that the pope had power to grant a dispensation in case of marriage with a deceased brother's widow. About that time he was employed by the papal party as an itinerant preacher in Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cheshire. He also visited Bristol, where he encountered Latimer, and threatened him with burning unless he mended his ways (Strype, Eccles. Mem. 1822, I. i. 245; Letters and Papers of Henry VIII, vi. 247, 411, 433, xii. ii. 952). His opposition to the king soon involved him in peril, and on 10 April 1534, a week before the arrest of Fisher and More, he was committed to the Tower for refusing to take the oath relative to the succession to the crown (ib. vii. 483, 502, 575, viii. 666, 1001; Foxe, v. 68). He was attainted of misprision of treason by act of parliament, deprived of all his preferments, and condemned to perpetual imprisonment. Confinement soon caused his resolution to falter. Before his own execution More wrote him two kindly letters, telling him that he heard that he was going to take the oath, and that he for his own part should never counsel any man to do otherwise (More, English Works, i. 443). Wilson, however, hesitated for many months longer, and on 17 Feb. 1535–6 Eustace Chapuys, the imperial ambassador, wrote to Granvelle that it was reported that Henry intended putting him to death (Letters and Papers, x. 308). In 1537 he took the oath, and on 29 May he received a pardon (ib. xii. i. 1315, 1330, ii. 181). 

So he remained in the Tower for almost two years after Fisher and More were tried, condemned, and executed! He probably wasn't considered as important as Fisher and More for prosecution and execution.

In the letters (numbers 13 and 14 in this book) More sent Wilson (I don't know if the letters Wilson sent More survived), Wilson seems to have expressed first his decision to take the Oath and then some uncertainty about whether or not he should, perhaps in response to More's reply to his first letter. More's letters are "kindly" because he does not condemn Wilson's decision or even try to dissuade him; he refuses to disclose why he won't take the Oath, yet he recounts some of the background to his decision: how King Henry VIII knew his position on the king's marital matters for a long time; how More had studied the Fathers and Councils of the Church, and how Wilson knew much of this, etc. 

If you read the rest of Wilson's biography, you'll see that he just stayed out of trouble until his death in 1548. He was suspected of communicating with recusants and with Rome; he submitted to the authority of the King and Parliament in religious matters but he ended up in the Tower again in 1540 but was released again in 1541. I suppose we could say he survived, but he still endured questioning, arrest, and royal disfavor until he died.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

"See With the Eyes of Your Soul": St. Aelred on the Resurrection

As I noted last month, Saint Aelred of Rievaulx's letter to his anchorite sister contained some beautiful meditations on the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus. Aelred encouraged his sister to imagine that she was there witnessing these events. When it comes to the Resurrection, he tells her to follow Mary Magdalen to the tomb and there meet the Risen Christ:

After all this, make sure that you do not quit the fellowship of Mary Magdalen; but when she goes to Christ's sepulchre with her sweet-smelling balms to anoint Christ's body, follow her. Ah Lord, sister, if only you might be worthy to see with the eyes of your soul that which Mary saw with the eyes of your body . . . within the sepulchre, one angel at the head, another at the foot, singing and praising the joy and bliss of Christ's resurrection . . . Jesus looking happily on Mary Magdalen who was weeping, full for sorrow His death . . . now His sweet voice as He call her by name: 'Mary!' What could be sweeter than this word, or more joyful and blissful--Mary! Now Mary, let thy tears run down, and thy sighs come forth. What heart didst thou have, what spirit, what strength, when thou didst fall headlong at Christ's feet, and didst greet Him saying: 'Rabboni!' I pray thee tell me, with what affection, with what burning desire of thy heart thou didst cry out, for thou couldst not say more for sobbing and weeping when thou saidst, 'Rabboni'. The great love thou didst have for Jesus had filled all the senses of thy body and soul.

Saint Aelred meditates on Jesus's command, Noli me tangere/Touch me not and it is hard to tell who is speaking, Mary Magdalen or Aelred:

Why, blissful Lord? Why may I not come near to Thee? Why may I not touch thy dear feet that were pierced for me with nails on the cross? Why may I not handle them, nor kiss them? Good Jesus, has Thou become a stranger to me, and no more my friend, now that Thy body is even more glorious after Thy resurrection? Now for sure, I will not let Thee go, and I will not go from Thee. I shall never cease from weeping. My breast and heart will break for sobbing and sighing unless I touch thy feet just once. And then says the merciful Jesus: 'I am not yet ascended to my Father.' That which you ask, He says, is not taken from you but is only delayed. 'Go to my brethren, and say to them: I ascend to my Father. . . . '

Then Mary runs from the garden, and surely she runs all the faster, so that she may come back to it more quickly. . . .

And he notes that Mary Magdalen's wish to grasp the feet of Jesus is fulfilled:

I beg you to notice how that which was at first denied is now granted to Mary Magdalen and her companions. As the gospel says: 'They went and clasped Jesus about His feet.' (Matthew 28:9)

Christ Is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Today is my mother Rita's birthday! God bless her in Heaven in that eternal Easter of joy and love!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

"A Relic of Papistry?" The Simnel Cake

History Today shares this post about the history of the Simnel Cake, a lighter fruit cake enjoyed either on Laetare Sunday as a break from the Lenten fast or at Easter. Alexander Lee cites the tradition as described by Elizabeth Gaskell, novelist and biographer of Charlotte Bronte, as she grew up in Cheshire after her mother's death:

Writing to her friend, the poet Mary Howitt, on 18 August 1838, she recalled with delight the local festivals she had enjoyed as a girl. There was ‘Lifting Monday’ and ‘Lifting Tuesday’, when the village girls would burst into houses and lift the menfolk into the air until they were given a gift. Then there were the May Day celebrations, when the streets were decorated with coloured sand and branches were hung above everyone’s doors. But by far the tastiest time of year was mid-Lent Sunday – also known as Laetare or Mothering Sunday. For then, Elizabeth explained:
Instead of frumenty [a sort of sweet porridge], we eat Simnel cake: a cake made variously, but always with saffron for its principal ingredient. This I should fancy was a relic of Papistry, but I wonder how it originated. Lambert Simnel, the imposter in Henry the Seventh’s time was a baker’s son, I think. The show windows are filled with them, [and] high and low eat them.
Since Gaskell’s day, simnel cake has changed a great deal. Now eaten at Easter, rather than in the middle of Lent, it tastes – and looks – quite different from how it did in the early 19th century. Although it is still a light, rich fruit cake, packed with raisins, sultanas and lemon zest, saffron is now rarely used. Two layers of marzipan or almond paste – unknown to the Georgian recipe – are also added, one in the middle and one on top; and 11 marzipan balls – said to represent the 11 faithful apostles – are generally used for decoration. The method is different, too. Whereas it was once boiled, then baked, it is today baked and then grilled.

Lee explains the supposed Tudor connection:

For some time, simnel remained an ambiguous word. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it continued to be used primarily to describe a type of flour – or occasionally as a metonym for baking generally. Lambert Simnel, the Tudor pretender who briefly threatened the rule of Henry VII in 1487, was, as Gaskell noted, probably the son of a baker who owed his name to the flour that was his father’s stock in trade. But at the same time, simnel could also be used to refer to any sort of bread or cake made with the flour. When Myles Coverdale produced his English translation of the Bible in 1535, he rendered Ezekiel 16:19 – which in the Vulgate reads Et panem meum quem dedi tibi, similam, et oleum, et mel (‘And my bread, which I gave to you, the flour and oil and honey’) – as: ‘Thou didst eate nothinge but symnels, honney and oyle’; but when Thomas Cogan’s The Hauen of Health (1584) was published five decades later, it included a reference to ‘Cakes of all forms, Simnels, Cracknels, Bunnes … and other things made of wheate flour’.

Please read the rest there. Modern recipes: Mary Berry, Nigela Lawson, and the BBC.

Lambert Simnel was the pretender who survived during Henry VII's reign. He was pardoned, employed by the king in his kitchen and as a falconer, married, and died between 1525 and 1535. He may have been the father of Richard Simnel, an Augustianian canon at St. Osgth's Priory in Essex, suppressed in 1539.

Friday, April 19, 2019

For Good Friday: My Song Is Love Unknown

My song is love unknown,
My Saviour’s love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But O! my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then “Crucify!”
is all their breath,
And for His death
they thirst and cry.

Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight,
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
Themselves displease,
and ’gainst Him rise.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay,
Yet cheerful He
to suffering goes,
That He His foes
from thence might free.

In life no house, no home,
My Lord on earth might have;
In death no friendly tomb,
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heav'n was his home;
But mine the tomb
Wherein he lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King!
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
in Whose sweet praise
I all my days
could gladly spend.

According this United Methodist Church site:

Samuel Crossman (1624-1684), an Anglican minister, received a bachelor of divinity at Penbroke (sic) [Pembroke] College, Cambridge. He then served both an Anglican parish at All Saints, Sudbury, and a Puritan congregation. 

Crossman sympathized with the Puritan cause as a dissenting religious body within the context of the Anglican Church of England. He participated in the 1661 Savoy Conference, which attempted to revise the Book of Common Prayer so that it could serve both Puritans and Anglicans. 

The Conference was unsuccessful, and the 1662 Act of Uniformity expelled some 2,000 Anglican ministers, including Crossman. He recanted and was soon ordained in 1665, becoming a royal chaplain. He was called to a position in Bristol in 1667 and became Dean of Bristol Cathedral in 1683. 

This poignant meditation of the Passion of Christ was published just before Crossman’s ordination, in The Young Man’s Meditation (1664). This short book of poems was reprinted in 1683, and the poem appeared for the first time as a hymn in the Anglican Hymn Book in 1686, just two years after the author’s death. 

On the first line of the poem, I have linked a performance of the hymn setting by John Ireland. The illustration is from the Book of Hours of Angers.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

April 17, 1534: St. Thomas More in the Tower

On April 13, 1534, Thomas More was presented with the Act of Succession and the oath it required at Lambeth Palace in the presence of three other Thomases and one William: Audley, Cranmer, Cromwell, and Benson (The last Abbot and first Dean of Westminster Abbey). Then More was held in the custody of Benson for a few days. By April 17 he was in the Tower of London and wrote to his daughter Meg about his questioning earlier that week. He left the Tower again for trial on July 1, 1535 and then for the last time on July 6, 1535 for his beheading.

The Latin Mass magazine published an article I wrote titled "The Long Lent of St. Thomas More" in its Winter/Spring 2015 issue (print or on-line subscription only). In it I demonstrated that More was preparing either for death from natural causes or by execution throughout those long months in the Tower of London:

From April 17, 1534, through the trial and execution of the three Carthusian priors (John Houghton, Augustine Webster, and Robert Lawrence) with Father John Haile and the Angel of Syon, Father Richard Reynolds on May 4, 1535; the trial and execution of John Cardinal Fisher in June of that year, and his own trial on July 1, 1535, Thomas More prepared for his death in the Tower of London. For more than 14 months in the Tower, More observed a Long Lent of repentance and devotion. He meditated on the Passion of Christ, particularly on His Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed to repent of all past sins and to wean himself away from all worldly concerns and seems to have marked his progress toward preparing to die. The purpose of this article is to examine those methods of preparation and thereby trace signs of More’s progress and final acceptance of death.

I examine two of his Tower works: The Sadness of Christ and his "Godly Meditation" prayer and then look at More's progress toward death and martyrdom through his letters to his daughter Margaret Roper and of course his trial and execution. You may read many of the letters from the 14 months he was held in the Tower of London in a great collection with updated English spelling and punctuation from Scepter Publishers. Scepter also publishes an excellent edition of another of St. Thomas More's Tower Works, A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation. Oh, and Scepter published my book too!

I was on Kresta in the Afternoon on Monday afternoon, discussing the events of April 13 through 17, 1534 with Dr. Matthew Bunson. You'll find the podcast of that program here.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

From 2008: Pope Benedict XVI at the Cathedral of Notre Dame

When I came home from Mass and lunch yesterday, the news story about the devastating fire at Notre Dame de Paris was on television. I remembered all the times Mark and I visited Notre Dame, attended Mass at Notre Dame, or just walked by it. When Pope Benedict XVI prayed Vespers in Notre Dame on September 12, 2008, we watched it on EWTN. He spoke about the Cathedral in terms of its legacy and its beauty as a gift of God:

Blessed be God who has brought us together in a place so dear to the heart of every Parisian and all the people of France! Blessed be God, who grants us the grace of offering him our evening prayer and giving him due praise in the very words which the Church’s liturgy inherited from the synagogue worship practised by Christ and his first disciples! Yes, blessed be God for coming to our assistance – in adiutorium nostrum – and helping us to offer him our sacrifice of praise!

We are gathered in the Mother Church of the Diocese of Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral, which rises in the heart of the city as a living sign of God’s presence in our midst. My predecessor, Pope Alexander III, laid its first stone, and Popes Pius VII and John Paul II honoured it by their presence. I am happy to follow in their footsteps, a quarter of a century after coming here to offer a conference on catechesis. It is hard not to give thanks to the Creator of both matter and spirit for the beauty of this edifice. The Christians of Lutetia had originally built a cathedral dedicated to Saint Stephen, the first martyr; as time went on it became too small, and was gradually replaced, between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, by the great building we admire today. The faith of the Middle Ages built the cathedrals, and here your ancestors came to praise God, to entrust to him their hopes and to express their love for him. Great religious and civil events took place in this shrine, where architects, painters, sculptors and musicians have given the best of themselves. We need but recall, among so many others, the architect Jean de Chelles, the painter Charles Le Brun, the sculptor Nicolas Coustou and the organists Louis Vierne and Pierre Cochereau. Art, as a pathway to God, and choral prayer, the Church’s praise of the Creator, helped Paul Claudel, who attended Vespers here on Christmas Day 1886, to find the way to a personal experience of God. It is significant that God filled his soul with light during the chanting of the Magnificat, in which the Church listens to the song of the Virgin Mary, the Patroness of this church, who reminds the world that the Almighty has lifted up the lowly (cf. Lk 1:52). As the scene of other conversions, less celebrated but no less real, and as the pulpit from which preachers of the Gospel like Fathers Lacordaire, Monsabré and Samson transmitted the flame of their passion to the most varied congregations, Notre-Dame Cathedral rightly remains one of the most celebrated monuments of your country’s heritage. Following a tradition dating back to the time of Saint Louis, I have just venerated the relics of the True Cross and the Crown of Thorns, which have now found a worthy home here, a true offering of the human spirit to the power of creative Love.

We agreed with this sentiment as we had often felt it during Mass or before the Blessed Sacrament behind the High Altar:

Dear friends, during Vespers this evening, we are united in thought and prayer with the voices of the countless men and women who have chanted this psalm in this very place down the centuries. We are united with the pilgrims who went up to Jerusalem and to the steps of its Temple, and with the thousands of men and women who understood that their earthly pilgrimage was to end in heaven, in the eternal Jerusalem, trusting Christ to guide them there. What joy indeed, to know that we are invisibly surrounded by so great a crowd of witnesses!

Today, by the way, is Joseph Ratzinger's birthday: April 16, 1927.

This is a precious document of the Vespers of the Monday of Holy Week, chanted in Notre Dame before it closed its doors yesterday--before the fire. 

Seeing the great cathedral on fire, being destroyed before my eyes through those digital images, was heart-breaking to me. I looked through our photo albums and cried: I was there with Mark and he was there with me and we were in awe.

Je vous salue Marie,
pleine de grâce
Le Seigneur est avec vous,
vous êtes bénie entre toutes les femmes
et Jésus, le fruit de vos entrailles, est béni.
Sainte Marie,
Mère de Dieu,
priez pour nous,
pauvres pécheurs
maintenant et à l’heure de notre mort.

Image credit, published under a Creative Commons License

Monday, April 15, 2019

Blessed John Henry Newman and the Passion

This morning, Anna Mitchell and I will discuss one of Blessed John Henry Newman's great sermons for Good Friday, "The Crucifixion" on the Son Rise Morning Show at 'my usual time', 6:50 a.m. DST Central/7:50 a.m. DST Eastern. I recommend reading it during Holy Week, along with the others I linked last Friday.

Newman, of course, continued this devotion to the Passion of Jesus as a Catholic. You can see how becoming Catholic freed him to express his love in more passionate, intimate terms. Blessed John Henry Newman never developed an "Italianate" style of devotion, as Father Faber of the London Oratory was accused of, but in this Litany of the Passion, for private use published in his Meditations and Devotions, Newman expresses in detail the sufferings of Christ:

Jesus, the Eternal Wisdom, Have mercy on us.
The Word made flesh, Have mercy on us.
Hated by the world, etc
Sold for thirty pieces of silver,
Sweating blood in Thy agony,
Betrayed by Judas,
Forsaken by Thy disciples,
Struck upon the cheek,
Accused by false witnesses,
Spit upon in the face,
Denied by Peter,
Mocked by Herod,
Scourged by Pilate,
Rejected for Barabbas,
Loaded with the cross,
Crowned with thorns,
Stripped of Thy garments,
Nailed to the tree,
Reviled by the Jews,
Scoffed at by the malefactor,
Wounded in the side,
Shedding Thy last drop of blood,
Forsaken by Thy Father,
Dying for our sins,
Taken down from the cross,
Laid in the sepulchre,
Rising gloriously,
Ascending into Heaven,
Sending down the Paraclete,
Jesus our Sacrifice,
Jesus our Mediator,
Jesus our Judge, Have mercy on us.

In his 1849 Discourses to Mixed Congregations, Newman spoke about the "Mental Sufferings of Our Lord in His Passion":

EVERY passage in the history of our Lord and Saviour is of unfathomable depth, and affords inexhaustible matter of contemplation. All that concerns Him is infinite, and what we first discern is but the surface of that which begins and ends in eternity. It would be presumptuous for any one short of saints and doctors to attempt to comment on His words and deeds, except in the way of meditation; but meditation and mental prayer are so much a duty in all who wish to cherish true faith and love towards Him, that it may be allowed us, my brethren, under the guidance of holy men who have gone before us, to dwell and enlarge upon what otherwise would more fitly be adored than scrutinised. And certain times of the year, this especially, call upon us to consider, as closely and minutely as we can, even the more sacred portions of the Gospel history. I would rather be thought feeble or officious in my treatment of them, than wanting to the Season; and so I now proceed because the religious usage of the Church requires it, and though any individual preacher may well shrink from it, to direct your thoughts to a subject, especially suitable now, and about which many of us perhaps think very little, the sufferings which our Lord endured in His innocent and sinless soul.

You know, my brethren, that our Lord and Saviour, though He was God, was also perfect man; and hence He had not only a body, but a soul likewise, such as ours, though pure from all stain of evil. He did not take a body without a soul, God forbid! for that would not have been to become man. How would He have sanctified our nature by taking a nature which was not ours? Man without a soul is on a level with the beasts of the field; but our Lord came to save a race capable of praising and obeying Him, possessed of immortality, though that immortality had lost its promised blessedness. Man was created in the image of God, and that image is in his soul; when then his Maker, by an unspeakable condescension, came in his nature, He took on Himself a soul in order to take on Him a body; He took on Him a soul as the means of His union with a body; He took on Him in the first place the soul, then the body of man, both at once, but in this order, the soul and the body; He Himself created the soul which He took on Himself, while He took His body from the flesh of the Blessed Virgin, His Mother. Thus He became perfect man with body and soul; and as He took on Him a body of flesh and nerves, which admitted of wounds and death, and was capable of suffering, so did He take a soul, too, which was susceptible of that suffering, and moreover was susceptible of the pain and sorrow which are proper to a human soul; and, as His atoning passion was undergone in the body, so it was undergone in the soul also.

As the solemn days proceed, we shall be especially called on, my brethren, to consider His sufferings in the body, His seizure, His forced journeyings to and fro, His blows and wounds, His scourging, the crown of thorns, the nails, the Cross. They are all summed up in the Crucifix itself, as it meets our eyes; they are represented all at once on His sacred flesh, as it hangs up before us—and meditation is made easy by the spectacle. It is otherwise with the sufferings of His soul; they cannot be painted for us, nor can they even be duly investigated: they are beyond both sense and thought; and yet they anticipated His bodily sufferings. The agony, a pain of the soul, not of the body, was the first act of His tremendous sacrifice; "My soul is sorrowful even unto death," He said; nay; if He suffered in the body, it really was in the soul, for the body did but convey the infliction on to that which was the true recipient and seat of the suffering.

Perhaps in this last meditation, "Jesus Our Daily Sacrifice" from a series for Good Friday, Blessed John Henry Newman describes the greatest blessing of his life as a Catholic priest: The Sacrifice of the Mass:

OUR Lord not only offered Himself as a Sacrifice on the Cross, but He makes Himself a perpetual, a daily sacrifice, to the end of time. In the Holy Mass that One Sacrifice on the Cross once offered is renewed, continued, applied to our benefit. He seems to say, My Cross was raised up 1800 years ago, and only for a few hours—and very few of my servants were present there—but I intend to bring millions into my Church. For their sakes then I will perpetuate my Sacrifice, that each of them may be as though they had severally been present on Calvary. I will offer Myself up day by day to the Father, that every one of my followers may have the opportunity to offer his petitions to Him, sanctified and recommended by the all-meritorious virtue of my Passion. Thus I will be a Priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedech—My priests shall stand at the Altar—but not they, but I rather, will offer. I will not let them offer mere bread and wine, but I myself will be present upon the Altar instead, and I will offer up myself invisibly, while they perform the outward rite. And thus the Lamb that was slain once for all, though He is ascended on high, ever remains a victim from His miraculous presence in Holy Mass under the figure and appearance of mere earthly and visible symbols.

Let us pray for all who day by day have calls upon us.

My Lord Jesus Christ, Thou hast given me this great gift, that I am allowed, not only to pray for myself, but to intercede for others in Thy Holy Mass. Therefore, O Lord, I pray Thee to give all grace and blessing upon this town and every inhabitant of it—upon the Catholic Church in it, for our Bishop, and his clergy, and for all Catholic places of worship and their congregations. I pray Thee to bless and prosper all the good works and efforts of all priests, religious, and pious Catholics—I pray for all the sick, all the suffering, all the poor, all the oppressed—I pray for all prisoners—I pray for all evil doers. I pray for all ranks in the community—I pray for the Queen and Royal Family—for the Houses of Parliament—for the judges and magistrates—for all our soldiers—for all who defend us in ships—I pray for all who are in peril and danger. I pray for all who have benefited me, befriended me, or aided me. I pray for all who have asked my prayers—I pray for all whom I have forgotten. Bring us all after the troubles of this life into the haven of peace, and reunite us all together for ever, O my dear Lord, in Thy glorious heavenly kingdom. Amen.