It’s been said that yours truly has no unpublished thought. That means that for the past two weeks when the blog was down I’ve had no thoughts at all. I must admit that the keyboard helps me to think. Yes, that’s a thing. No keyboard = No brain. ;-)
Before the diocesan retreat for all us priests with the Bishop and Vicar General toward the beginning of October, I myself took the blog down motu proprio. I’ve done this before. The problem is that if the blog is up at all, I’m distracted. Not good for a retreat. That worked for the good of the retreat. Afterward I noted that the break itself was beneficial as I raced round about the back ridges of Appalachia catching up in providing the Sacraments to the Lord’s Little Flock.
Taking a moment to look behind the blog itself, I noticed that all sort and manner of people have been coming to the blog despite its being locked down, despite my having changed out long gobbledegook passwords for others as long and as gobbledegook. That didn’t slow any special readers down even for a nanosecond. Not being a hacker at all, I find that to be amazing, which tells you that I’m so very naïve. Whatever.
This break has been my own great reset, especially in the spiritual life, with the Rosary. More on that later. There are many things I would like to bounce off kind readers in times to come, while that is possible. There are a lot of things happening. And there are a lot of ostriches with plenty of sand all around. That itself is a sign to me that things will get much worse before they get any better. If a keyboard helps me to think, any readers actually keep me in line. And for that I am grateful.
While I have actually won chess games of the 64 squares kind over against my “Shadow” in years gone by, the chess that I have been immersed in during my priestly life has been in the midst of ecclesiastical politics amidst heretical and powerful ecclesiastics. Meanwhile, the Zed head has lightened it up with the basta thing.
The doctor did a very thorough type of antibody test, which had multiple indicators of being positive for Covid antibodies, meaning that it is very likely that I had it fairly recently, say, at the beginning of my six week saga. The first couple of weeks were Covid, not so bad, but when the viral pneumonia hit… BAM! so very tired and weak.
But the white blood cell count is back up to normal, and I do have heaps more energy, but the doctor said I still have to take it easy and concentrate on getting better, mainly RESTING! Yikes…
I’ll be doing all daily and weekend Masses, but not 5:30 AM Sunday morning at church for Adoration and Confessions before more Adoration and Confessions across the mountain at 8:00 AM, then two Masses and then Communion Calls until night. Just the Masses, and I’m spreading out the Communion Calls. So:
Vigil Mass 6:00 PM Saturday (Spanish) at Holy Redeemer in Andrews, preceded by Confessions.
8:30 AM Sunday Mass at Prince of Peace in Robbinsville, preceded by Confessions.
11:00 AM Sunday Mass at Holy Redeemer in Andrews, preceded by Confessions.
GRAEME WOOD JUNE 9, 2021 […] Princeton’s classics department had ceased requiring its students to study Latin and Greek […]. A classics department without Latin and Greek is like a math department without multiplication and division, or an art department without paint. More than a thousand years ago, the monk Ælfric prefaced his Latin Grammar by saying it was “the key that unlocks the understanding of books.” I had a vision of a new generation of Princeton classicists, sniffing and thwacking at padlocked volumes of Thucydides or Cicero with looks of total incomprehension, like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson trying to get the files “in the computer” in Zoolander.”
The writer goes on to say that the effect of taking away the requirement will be that more people will enroll in the classics department and more will end up taking Latin and Greek than before. Whatever. I bet they just don’t have the people who can teach the languages anymore. This is happening all around. Self-imposed dark ages, here we come.
Now consider the Pontifical Biblical Institute, the most academic of all Catholic institutions and the pride of the Jesuits who run it (right into the ground). A “licentiate” there is considered a doctorate at Harvard Divinity School, or it used to be back in the day. Not so sure now. When I was getting my degree at the PIB, there was already talk of dumbing down languages when these are absolutely essential to knowing the Scriptures in their historical philological veracity. Within a year or two, for instance, after my departure, the propaedeutic year (before you’re even an actual student), the student who doesn’t know the alphabet in Greek or Hebrew (Latin and modern languages are presumed and must be proven), must, in their first semester, go through what most seminaries will do in three years for Greek, and what Harvard Divinity School will only do in two full years of classes for Hebrew (using their own grammar). In the second semester, just to give an example for the Hebrew, the student is expected to be able to parse and translate say, Deuteronomy, Joshua, first and second Samuel, first and second Kings, first and second Chronicles… and some poetical texts with all their hapax legomena. :-)
The problem with the PIB’s dumbing down – at least their desire back in the day – is that they actually wanted the dumbing down so that the post-Vatican II dumbing down couldn’t possibly be reversed. I have heard this from first-hand sources so many times by such diverse players in such different academic circles and with such rebellious joy that I just can’t imagine that they are pulling a Princeton, dumbing down so as to build everything back. No.
There is hope however. I have met many students at the PIB who are quietly rebelling even while getting their degrees. The present on-their-last-legs profs who hotly desire dumbing down will soon be replaced by those who want the living Truth of Jesus, the Truth that we find in the Scriptures. And that a source of consolation. God always wins.
Dealing with anti-lifers takes quite a bit of time. I offer that sacrifice to the Lord. It’s the least I can do, right?
We’ve been doing up some church sanctuary renovation, not wreckovation, mind you. This is ongoing, but a report on the progress in just a bit.
The garden is progressing nicely. Just some weeding and watering and occasional planting and harvesting. This is a much needed retreat, if you will, much as the Lord spoke about for the Apostles and Himself.
Sacraments! This past weekend we had 4 Baptisms, 11 Confirmations, 4 first Holy Communions, plus we offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by way of the priest in Holy Orders, as preceded by Confessions, of course. We didn’t have any Marriages or Last Rites. :-)
Various and sundry sit-downs, important, time consuming, very beneficial for all involved, including yours truly.
Research on various and sundry… um… themes… which have suddenly come up and are problems that must be tackled… these have taken most of my time.
When I first proposed this as part of “chapter one” of a doctoral thesis on critica textus at “The Greg”, my “second reader” – a Cardinal with untold influence in the Roman Curia, a “papabile” at the time, a Scripture Scholar” in his own right (having spent decades of his life teaching Scripture in seminaries) rebelled, you know, because it went directly to and smashed down the very violent and dark heart of Luther’s rebellion, and would have brought non-Catholic Christians to their knees around the altar of Sacrifice of the Word of God Incarnate. What is desired by so many today is that we are fake-nice together in our divisions, violently sundering the souls of all.
He later confessed (not sacramentally) that he had spent six weeks daily in the Secret Archives combing through that first chapter, word by word, verifying, confirming in the Secret Archives that which I correctly hypothesized but, having no personal access to the vaults in question, could not check on myself. That work of his – he ironically being an enemy to what I was writing – is invaluable, a treasure, for the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. That an ultra-competent enemy confirms the veracity of what he himself hates acts as an incentive to continue. This cardinal, now deceased many years, was a biblical scholar in his own right, one of the most brilliant minds in the history of the Church, just not on the right side of the Living Truth of Christ our God.
But I cannot follow up on going further with this chapter, such as in getting my own hands on the volumes and documents in question, even though he’s now dead, because of the present state of the Roman Curia. Sad, that. Since his death, many bishops have helped me in my requests for alternate routes of investigation as aided by the Secretariat of State and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The responses from “State” and the Secretary Archbishop of “Doctrine” were, um… jaded ambiguity obviously written for possible publication in future. Vomitable evasion. Running scared, are we?
This cardinal at the time had the right to let me go though all the archives on my own, with no supervision (and that should tell you something). I had requested some months to do just this. I knew what to look for (by description) and era, and knew that I would need access to special archives of influential cardinals of the the 20th Century (three in particular) but did not receive that delegation. Instead, this cardinal had ordered the Prefect to do a search for what I required, having him quickly put the “failed” results of a two-minute search into discoverable format, though, as he later “confessed”, only as a ruse to get me to stop so that the truth of the matter might not become known. This hard copy letter, I’m sure with archived copies, was very carefully construed. And he admitted that face-value misrepresentation (a lie) to my face, way after that, while I was on my way to teach, far away from the Holy See.
If I had the time, the place, a venue, the freedom to write, I would push out a more popular version able to be read at least by the highly degreed who at the same time are highly faithful. The truth is hated so much by the unfaithful that – even if academically capable – they would about die reading the truth of how things really are, the battle between Satan and God, hell doing it’s best to stomp on Holy Mother Church being that intense. The scandal of evil is sometimes too much even for the truly very evil. It is like reading about their own judgement.
I am getting older. At least let me share some rules deciphering that treasure map above. Anyone taking up this up with access to the Secret Archives, the deceased cardinals’ archives, to archives in the Secretariat of State and Holy Office, to the private archives of the Holy Father (throughout the past, say, 140 years) might benefit in their efforts to be honest and discerning about nay-sayer comments if they are able to figure out the rules for discernment of that treasure map. I wish I had the time and space and freedom to write about such things, but if not, here we are:
Firstly, my own pedantic translations of the decrees of the 4th session of Trent, not breaking up the sentences, but letting the flow of thought be manifested as it is in Latin. Let the words swirl about in your heart and soul and mind just as Our Lady “threw about” the words of her Son in her own heart, as the Holy Gospels repeat often. Take in the relationship of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium of the Church. It is glorious. This is THE STATEMENT of the Counter-Reformation that Sixtus V will later take up in such a way that the gift of infallibility will shine forth.
Sacrosancta – The first, dogmatic decree of the Council of Trent.
“The Most Sacred Ecumenical and General Tridentine Synod, convened legitimately in the Holy Spirit, with the three Legates of the Apostolic See presiding over it, is itself proposing for perpetuity in plain sight, so that, having cast down errors, the very purity of the Gospels may be conserved within the Church… [The purity itself of the Gospel…] which, before promised through the prophets in the holy Scriptures, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, first promulgated with His own mouth, and then commanded to be preached by His Apostles to every creature, as the fountain of all, both saving truth, and moral discipline; and seeing clearly that this truth and discipline are contained in the written books, and the unwritten Traditions which, received by the Apostles from the mouth of Christ himself, or from the Apostles themselves, the Holy Spirit dictating, have come down onto us, transmitted almost as if by hand… [The Synod] following the examples of the orthodox Fathers, receives and venerates with an equal affection of piety, and reverence, all the books both of the Old and of the New Testament — seeing that one God is the author of both — as also the said Traditions, as well those appertaining to faith as to morals, as having been dictated, either by Christ’s own word of mouth, or by the Holy Spirit, and preserved in the Catholic Church by a continuous succession. [At this point, the list of books is provided.] If anyone, however, will not receive as sacred and canonical these same integral books with all of their parts, [Box (A) – original languages] as they have been accustomed to be read in the Catholic Church and [Box (B) – the mere translation] as are had in the Old Latin Vulgate edition, and will hold in contempt the aforementioned Traditions knowingly and with considered judgment: let him be anathema.”
Insuper – The second, disciplinary decree of the Council of Trent.
The words in bold italics are Box (C). Only this first sentence is especially important, since the rest of the decree speaks of the how to go about publishing a less than perfect edition of the Vulgate until such time as the normative edition is approved, Box (D).
“Moreover, the same sacred, holy Synod, considering that no small utility may redound to the Church of God, if, out of all Latin editions, it is known which of the sacred books in circulation is being held to be authentic, establishes and declares that [Box (C)] this same ancient and vulgate edition, whose usage is proved along all centuries in the same Church, be, in public lectures, disputations, sermons and expositions, held as authentic, and that no one dare or presume to reject it for whatever pretext.”
An attentive reading of the two decrees of the fourth session of the Council of Trent will bear out the following distinctions. Usually, (B) is ignored by falsely equating it with both (C) and (D).
1. Of three equivocations, only number two ➁ is valid. 2. Boxes (A) and (B) are from Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the Council of Trent. This is a dogmatic decree. 3. Boxes (C) and (D) are from Insuper, the second decree of the same session. This is a disciplinary decree which does, nevertheless, have dogmatic content. 4. (A) refers to that which God has inspired in whatever original language, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. That which is inspired is canonical. However, this is not to be found all in one manuscript, but, with the passage of the centuries, spread throughout many manuscripts, one phrase here, one there. 5. (B) refers to words and phrases used in the Latin Vulgate from the beginning until the publication of the decree. The Latin, a mere translation, is not inspired, but because of constant use by the Church, has a text which is more easily known, and can act as a sieve for the original language manuscripts. 6. (C) has the same content as that found in (B). 7. (D) does not have the same content as (B) and (C). Permission is given to print the best edition possible (see “potissimum”) to date. This recognizes that the project may be continue for a long time. 8. What is in (B) is a help to discover what is in (A); it would be advantageous to make good use of (B). 9. One cannot yet be sure what is in (B), as there are many manuscripts yet to consider. 10. Translations should be made only after the textual extensions of (A) and (B) have been duly studied. 11. Translations should be made from (A), noting that a correct sense of (A) can be found in (B).
It has to be in the original language manuscripts, and those always have to have been read, but also in the same way in the very unique Vulgate mentioned here. The use was in the Latin in the commentary of the Fathers, in preaching, in the Liturgy, that is, not only Holy Mass, but in the very extensive Liturgy of the Hours, etc. The idea is that God will not abandon that which He has inspired in the words of the Word of God, and it’s use is manifested in the Latin Vulgate, words of the Word of God used in Holy Mass, in the Sacrifice of the Word of God Himself.
The Fathers of Trent knew they didn’t have THE VULGATE spoken about in the decrees, and begged for this as time went on since they were using the Vulgate to issue their dogmatic decrees. The first to attempt this was Sixtus V in 1590 (44 years later), and he failed. The second to attempt this was Saint Robert Bellarmine, who thought he had burned all copies of what Sixtus V had attempted throughout Europe, with only two remaining, locked in vaults in the Vatican and the Pontifical Biblical Institute, with myself seeing those copies in both places, hand corrected by Sixtus V himself…
People lose their faith in the face of all this because they cannot take being an abstract, impersonal, legalistic “religion of the book” who don’t even have that book 100%. But we are not that as Catholics. We are a family of faith with Scriptures issuing from inspiration, sure, but also from inside the family of living faith, which has that revelation already by way of Sacred Tradition, that is, those traditiones which are the articles of faith, if you will, but actually the very revelation of God Himself to His little flock by way of supernaturally infused faith, which is provided with supernaturally infused charity. If we are certain about 99.99% of what’s in the Scriptures, with the other remaining bits being uncertain for now so as to help us look to the earthly Holy Father of the Family of Faith, that’s O.K. Belong to the family of faith! That’s important.
Just to say, there untold numbers of conflicting original language manuscripts and even more conflicting Latin Vulgate manuscripts. Work is being done to establish both, but more on that ludicrous fiasco in future.
By the way, a most beautiful quasi definition of Sacred Tradition is at hand here in the first decree saying “almost as if by hand”, that is, but not that way, though it seems so, as the faith is univocal for all and it seems as if it is passed on as if by hand, and is certainly occasioned by things we mere humans do, but it is, in the end, the work of the Holy Spirit, who provides for us faith with charity and necessarily hope.
Post-script: I wanted to put this up yesterday, 8 April, as that is the 475 anniversary of promulgation of Session IV of the Council of Trent mentioned above, mere months after Luther died.
Also, just to say, I have listed some 28 projects for myself that are important for the life of the Church – going to the heart of problems with solutions provided – a good half dozen of which must be written out. But, I have no time, no space, no freedom to write such things. I need 24/7/365 to time and space and freedom to do this, but have it not. This weighs on me terribly. Somehow, some way…
As long time readers know, at the top of the list, with the above, is a popularizing version of the thesis on Genesis 3:15, on original sin and its transmission, on the Immaculate Conception, and therefore on the the Scriptures being one fulfilled in the other, all inspired, all truthful, all consistent, with the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, our Redeemer and, please God with our acceptance in grace, our Savior. Christ our God, the Suffering Servant, is the Key of Knowledge, the One who came to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Mary’s role in this is with her Son.
Can’t really remember, but that may be the first time I ever gave financially to any appeal, but this was a good friend’s good friend’s kid. There are other ways to give. Prayer is HUGE. Did that too. Usually I promote high service little to no overhead absolutely to be trusted organizations. But this little guy needs help.
A good friend of mine, Father Gordon MacRae, has deleted his Twitter account before Twitter could delete his account. I’m going to do the same, just leaving this post up for a day or two for twitter followers to see it. Why wait to be put on a blacklist? As it is said, once you’re on the list…
Feeling locked out while your locked down? You can’t comment on AriseLetUsBeGoing, just another WordPress.com blog? People tell me this once in a while, but I’m perplexed about this.
There is no log-in, despite what the screen-grab indicates above. What WordPress should say is that you can either:
fill in the form manually, the email address (however generic) and name (or internet handle)
OR – [not logging-in] – you can fill in the forms automatically by clicking on the icons of your WordPress, Twitter or FaceBook account if you have them. You don’t have to have those accounts to fill in the form manually.
Or, is that not true? Does anyone see any other kind of form different from the one above?
So, the mandatory canonical diocesan retreat that never was because of COVID-19 is over (we priests of Charlotte Diocese did up our own retreats). More on that later.
This week I’ve begun a series of staycations vs vacation. Priests in the boonies never get much of a chance to go anywhere because there is only one priest per parish vs the city slickers who can have as many as four priests per parish. That’s just fine by me. I love staycations.
The picture above was taken last night at a priest-friend’s house. We barbequed some brats and chicken breasts and squash and cucumbers. He’s a fantastic chef. I took the opportunity to go to Confession. It’s been ten days or so. I love Confession.
I will be putting up some posts. I’m working on one about the fruit of the retreat. God is good. So are guardian angels.
420 years. Hahaha. I human year is seven dog years. The above is a card I received from out East. Anyway, getting to that which is more relevant, 1 human year is about 2 donkey years. I measure life in donkey years. So in human years I’m 60, but in donkey years I’m 120. And that’s the iconic biblical age. Meanwhile, what is age? Grace turns to glory as St Paul says, and that’s eternal in heaven.
Oh my! What building is this, and where? A word to the wise. Mail Fraud is a Federal Crime in these USA along the lines of RICO, with jurisdiction claimed by the Feds if there’s anything interstate or international. We do have an extradition agreement with the very friendly country from where this activity originates. Let’s take a quick gander at 18 USC § 1341:
“Whoever, having devised or intending to devise any scheme or artifice to defraud, or for obtaining money or property by means of false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises, or to sell, dispose of, loan, exchange, alter, give away, distribute, supply, or furnish or procure for unlawful use any counterfeit or spurious coin, obligation, security, or other article, or anything represented to be or intimated or held out to be such counterfeit or spurious article, for the purpose of executing such scheme or artifice or attempting so to do, places in any post office or authorized depository for mail matter, any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by the Postal Service, or deposits or causes to be deposited any matter or thing whatever to be sent or delivered by any private or commercial interstate carrier, or takes or receives therefrom, any such matter or thing, or knowingly causes to be delivered by mail or such carrier according to the direction thereon, or at the place at which it is directed to be delivered by the person to whom it is addressed, any such matter or thing, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both. If the violation occurs in relation to, or involving any benefit authorized, transported, transmitted, transferred, disbursed, or paid in connection with, a Presidential declared major disaster or emergency (as those terms are defined in section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122), or affects a financial institution, such person shall be fined not more than $1,000,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.
On face value, a certain person in another country has done this with me multiple times over the last number of years, and is insisting on continuing this activity in future regardless of my vociferous rejections. Amounts have escalated.
Without wanting at all to cash anything, I had the last volley of a financial instrument investigated internationally. There is no such account number anywhere for anything.
Please, don’t send anything. I won’t cash anything. I can’t. I won’t. Sorry. It is what it is. Sorry I can’t explain more. I can’t do anything with it. It isn’t going to happen. Don’t do it. Sorry. I have my reasons. Please respect that. Having said that, please, accept my blessing and gratitude. May the Prince of the Most Profound Peace shower abundant blessings upon you and your family.
People come to the parish from all over the country. It really is very beautiful here. The Great Smoky Mountains are the most visited National Park in the country. The “Anglo” couple that came to the “Spanish Mass” last night, however, were not here for the sightseeing and leaf-lurking now that the colors of the trees are changing gloriously. They arrived at night and left at night. 980 miles 14 hours 26 mins return trip in one day. That’s not as the crow flies, but as the car drives, pretty much, I’m guessing, to the inch, to the second (not counting stops or the Mass), to the pews here at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, NC, all the way from […].
Since we’re the tiniest parish in North America, any visitors stand out.
After Mass, I asked: “Where’re y’all from?”
[…] was the answer.
“That’s a really long way!” I exclaimed.
“Yes, we just got here and we’re going back right now. We came just for the Mass. All you for, Father Byers. And thank you for the homily. It was good.”
“Be safe out there!” I said as they scampered out the door.
They looked alert, but dead tired. Nice couple. The “For you, Father Byers” wasn’t connected with anything I was up to at Mass last night, and surely this wasn’t about the homily. So, that, of course, left me wondering. Theirs was not an easy trip. And they were as old as me, so they would really be tired when they got back sometime on Sunday. I hope they made it back safe and sound.
Someone dropped a comment to say that following the blog via email doesn’t work for her because the link in the email notification is corrupted. Anyone else with that problem? This has apparently been going on for many months. Mind you, server names from Google and YouTube are frequently present, spending great amounts of time and going through very many posts, in other words, real people, not just bots. So, what’s that?
Besides Fathers Day and Mothers Day, our Mexican friends also have the Day of the Child. The piñata was beaten to death. Very sweet, that.
The suspension rope was attached to the shrine of Mary on the one side, and someone on the roof of the carport of the social hall held the other side, lifting the piñata now and again so that it would be even more difficult to be smashed apart by the blindfolded participant. Wildly swinging a stick much like a baseball bat can be pretty dangerous, but the insurance company hasn’t forbidden it, and, in the end, no one was hurt during this fun. What a good idea, Fathers Day, Mothers Day, AND the Day of the Child.