Historic St. Anthony Catholic Church
258 Ohio, Wichita, Ks
2nd St. & Ohio
Two blocks east of Old Town
Sunday Mass at 1:oo
English/Latin missals provided. Join us for coffee and donuts after mass downstairs in the St. Clair/Sunshine room, south exterior basement entrance.
Pastor of St. Anthony Parish: Fr. Ben Nguyen
EFLR Celebrants: Fr. John Jirak, Fr Nicholas Voelker
Master of Ceremonies: Tony Strunk
Choir Director: Bernie Dette

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Did You Know

Mass Propers, the readings that change everyday, can be found in the red missalettes at the entrance of church?

Fr. Nicholas Voelker celebrates Low Mass Saturdays at 8:00 a.m., St. Mary's Catholic Church, 106 East 8th street, Newton. There is no mass this Saturday, January 30, 2016.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Post #164

Topics: Abbot AndersonThe Rugged Road of the Beatitudes Conclusion... Feast of the Annunciation: March 25...A Prayer for Japan


“Remember, O man, that dust thou art, and to dust thou shalt return.”

"Support us, Lord, 
as with this Lenten fast
we begin our Christian warfare,
so that in doing battle against the spirit of evil
we may be armed with the weapon of self-denial.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen".
...and now for the necessaries.
Please note: St. Anthony Catholic Church is one of two local churches celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass (EFLR) in the Wichita area. Though this blog is loosely centered around this parish and it's members, Venite Missa Est! is by no means, in any way an official voice of, or for, St. Anthony Parish or the Diocese of Wichita. Venite Missa Est! is strictly a private layman's endeavor.


Abbot Anderson, The Rugged Road of the Beatitudes, conclusion
Reflections on the Philosopher Pope
Submitted by Larry Bethel

Here concludes the Lenten talks by the Right Reverend Philip Anderson, OSB, Abbot, Our Lady of the Annunciation Monastery of Clear Creek (OK)

So what can we say about this effort toward perfection, how can we grasp such a thing in the framework of our Lenten meditations?  I would like the whole process to mountain-climbing.  We have to climb a kind of mountain of perfection.  The analogy has often been used, for example by Saint John of the Cross in his Ascent of Mount Carmel.  To give it a more biblical name, it would be the mountain of the Beatitudes.  The perfect one, the Saint, is the one who climbs the rugged and upward road of the Beatitudes.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. 
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall be filled. 
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 
Blessed are the pure of heart: for they shall see God. 
Blessed are the peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God 
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

As is often the case in Holy Scripture, this biblical series of spiritual qualities has no strict logical order, as would naturally be the case, say with a Greek philosopher describing the moral life.  Divine revelation—and this is a most eminent page of Revelation—has its own Divine logic that transcends what the most brilliant human minds can put together.  There is nonetheless something more excellent in the “higher” Beatitudes (lower on the list, higher up the mountain), dealing with mercy, purity of heart, peace and the giving of one’s life as a martyr; there is something very fundamental about the beginning, about poverty in spirit, another name perhaps for humility. 

Saint Benedict, who is known as the Patriarch of the monks of the West, likens this climb of perfection to going up a ladder, the ladder of humility.  It is really the same image as the mountain climb (Saint John Climacus, icon of spiritual ladder).  Through false exaltation, through spiritual pride, a man really lowers himself, whereas, paradoxically, the one who humbles himself (literally touches the ground, the dirt, humus) rises spiritually toward the beatitude of life in God, toward the dance of Paradise regained.  The biblical reference is Jacob’s ladder, which you remember from reading the book of Genesis…His dream near Mount Bethel, vision of angels.  The monk strenuously climbs this ladder of humility day-by-day, imitating the holy angels, amid the difficulties of his life of penance, work and prayer, Ora et Labora.  

All religious, not just monks, climb this mountain of perfection through what are called the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.  This climb, which is in many ways corresponds to that of the Beatitudes, begins with poverty, both material and spiritual.  The religious can own nothing of his own or her own.  That is a renunciation that is more exterior, the least difficult.  Then comes, for those who vow these counsels--and also for all Christians in a certain way--then comes chastity, by which a person renounces something less external, “closer to home”, a fundamental good of the body and of our human life for the sake of the Kingdom.  

Then comes an even more intimate and radical renunciation, that of obedience, by which we give up our own will and let God’s take the place.

In a more general way, speaking of this climb up the spiritual mountain as it presents its challenges to those in the world as to those inside the cloister there are three basic stages (something of an over-simplification, but a useful one):  the first there is a time when the accent is on purification, purgation.  You have to “get out of town” so to speak, away from the hustle and bustle, the confusion and distractions of life in the world.  On a retreat, for example.  Serious sin and important imperfections as well as bad habits have to be eliminated.  The second stage, often simultaneous with the first in part is that of illumination, that is to say of a spiritual education gained from listening to teachers or--especially--from reading.  This is called lectio divina in monastic language.  This is a quiet, meditative type of reading, devoid of all haste.  

Finally there comes the most important step, one that cannot adequately be described.  It is called the “unitive life” sometimes, that is to say it involves a kind of special union with God.  There would be a great deal to say about this, and yet we do not want to cheapen such a miracle of grace by speaking too much.

Most of you are not religious.  You might wonder what form all of this might take for you in your busy day-to-day lives.  There is an example that might be helpful.  There is the case of Judith Cabaud (nee Anthony): (born 8 July 1941 in New York) is an American-born French writer and musicologist. She was born into a Jewish-American family of Polish and Russian heritage.  After studying science at the University of New York, she went to Paris and obtained her degree in French civilization in 1960 at the Sorbonne, and converted to Catholicism.  She has published several books, but the most notable is Sur Les Balcons du Ciel (in English, Where Time Becomes Space, 1979).

Perhaps, like Judith Cabaud, some of you might attain to the upper reaches of the contemplative life even while living an active life in the world; perhaps God will grant you a foretaste, just a glimpse of things to come--of the dance of angels, of a certain beatitude even amid the confusion of the world.

However, it would be quite unrealistic, untrue, to leave you with the impression that life can be a joyful climb towards Paradise regained, without mentioning something else.  Along the way of the Beatitudes that leads up the mountain of perfection there always comes that moment—we might call it the ‘vertigo moment’, of a kind of desperate difficulty.  You see, the mountain of perfection is also Mount Calvary.  We must meet the Cross.  The time comes when the sunshine that brightened our path is blocked.  Like Moses, we enter into a cloud (Holy Spirit?).  We are stuck on a sheer cliff, unable either to go up or to go down.  It is the Dark Night of the Soul.  On the road to Easter there must be Good Friday.  It cannot be helped.  Why? Nature of evil.  In the end (surprisingly) life thus makes ‘a better story’.  Whose story? Yours and God’s too.  God wants your life to be a true adventure, something worth living, and not just a “safe” excursion to the closest strip-mall.  But what if—in this great and adventurous mountain-climb-- I fall?  Well, God will catch you, sustain you, but you have to at least start climbing…God created us without our consent, but He wants us to contribute to our salvation and sanctification. 

         Finally, there remains the attitude of Our Lady, that of humility.  Ecce-Fiat.  Patron of this church in Houston and also of our Abbey in Oklahoma.  Our Motto is: “Ecce-Fiat” from the Gospel of the Annunciation.  Ecce = humility; Fiat = obedience.  They both lead to Magnificat at top of mountain, where God is all and God is love and we will be happy and blessed, having climbed the mountain of the Beatitudes and having re-entered the Paradise we lost, once upon a time.  Thank you and may God bless you and yours.



The Feast of the Annunciation
Friday, March 25, 2011
Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!" But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the Child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

The Annunciation
The Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, is one of the most important in the Church calendar. It celebrates the actual Incarnation of Our Savior the Word made flesh in the womb of His mother, Mary.

The biblical account of the Annunciation is in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint Luke, 26-56. Saint Luke describes the annunciation given by the angel Gabriel to Mary that she was to become the mother of the Incarnation of God.

Here is recorded the "angelic salutation" of Gabriel to Mary, 'Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee" (Ave, gratia plena, Dominus tecum - Lk 1:28), and Mary's response to God's will, "Let it be done to me according to thy word" (fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum) (v. 38)

This "angelic salutation" is the origin of the "Hail Mary" prayer of the Rosary and the Angelus (the second part of the prayer comes from the words of salutation of Elizabeth to Mary at the Visitation).

The Angelus, a devotion that daily commemorates the Annunciation, consists of three Hail Marys separated by short versicles. It is said three times a day -- morning, noon and evening -- traditionally at the sound of a bell. The Angelus derives its name from the first word of the versicles, Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae (The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary).

Mary's exultant hymn, the Magnificat, found in Luke 1:46-55, has been part of the Church's Liturgy of the Hours, at Vespers (evening prayer), and has been repeated nightly in churches, convents and monasteries for more than a thousand years.

The Church's celebration of the Annunciation is believed to date to the early 5th century, possibly originating at about the time of the Council of Ephesus (c 431). Earlier names for the Feast were Festum Incarnationis, and Conceptio Christi, and in the Eastern Churches, the Annunciation is a feast of Christ, but in the Latin Church it is a feast of Mary. The Annunciation has always been celebrated on March 25, exactly nine months before Christmas Day.

Two other feasts honoring Our Lord's mother, the Assumption (August 15), and the Immaculate Conception (December 8), are celebrated as Holy Days of Obligation in the United States and many other countries. New Year's Day, January 1, is observed as a Solemnity of Mary. The Annunciation was a Holy Day throughout the Universal Church until the early 20th century. Many Catholics who are deeply concerned with the defense of the life of unborn children believe it would be fitting if the Feast of the Annunciation were restored to this status. Although it seems unlikely that it will be added to the Church calendar as a Holy Day of Obligation, we can certainly take on the "obligation" ourselves to attend Mass. In any case, it is most appropriate that we encourage special celebrations in the "Domestic Church".

One sign of the significance this Christian feast had throughout Western culture is that New Year's Day was for centuries celebrated on March 25. It was believed by some ancient Christian writers that God created the world on March 25, and that the fall of Adam and the Crucifixion also took place March 25. The secular calendar was changed to begin the year on January 1 (in 1752 in England and colonies, somewhat earlier on the continent).

Another remnant of the historic universality of Christianity in the West is the use of BC (before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini The Year of Our Lord) to denote periods of time in history. There has been an attempt in some circles to change BC to BCE (before the common era), and AD to CE (common era) -- and although it is true that the religious significance of our system of dating has been effectively obliterated -- nevertheless, Christians and non-Christians alike consent to the birth of Christ as the "fulcrum" of the dating the events of human history.


A Prayer for Japan
Whispers in the Loggia

In the wake of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, resulting tsunamis and nuclear chaos that have ravaged Japan over the last 12 days, in a message over the weekend the president of the Japanese bishops, Archbishop Leo Jun Ikenaga SJ of Osaka, issued the following prayer, requesting its circulation that the church "might all pray in unity" for the victims of the disaster:

Merciful God, you never depart from us even in the worst of times; be with us in both our joy and in our sadness. Grant your aid and encouragement to those who suffer in the face of this great calamity. We, too, continue to offer you our prayers and sacrifices for their sake. Bring us with all possible haste to the day when all can live in safety. May all those who have lost their lives in the devastation find peaceful repose in your presence. Mother Mary, pray for us.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

With Caritas Japan coordinating long-term recovery efforts on the ground -- and the US' Catholic Relief Services seeking out "pathways" to funnel aid in from these shores -- Ikenaga said "it is to be hoped that we will all offer whatever concrete forms of assistance we have the means to provide."

Their toll compounded by the planet's most severe nuclear emergency since Chernobyl in 1986, the quake and tsunamis have claimed over 9,000 lives. Early estimates of the damage have veered into the $300 billion range, making the quake the world's costliest natural disaster to date.

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