Friday, August 29, 2008

Fine Art Friday - Ingres and David

Terry of Idle Speculations has written a very interesting and revealing post entitled Rome and a Tale of Two Artists.

The artists referred to in the piece are Jean-Auguste Dominque Ingres and his friend François-Marius Granet. However, what peaked my interest was the following:

Unlike his teacher, David, Ingres did not involve himself in politics

I do not remember knowing that Ingres had been a pupil of artist Jacques-Louis David. Could it be that I forgot?

It has been many years that I studied art history in college. Back then I was intrigued by David's subject matter, especially the visually disturbing yet intriguing Death of Marat. It is in recent years that the beauty of Ingres' masterpieces have touched my Catholic heart.

Death of Marat - David

There is a comparative study at the Royal Academy of Arts of the above painting and the portrait of Napoleon below.

Napoleon in his Studies at the Tuileries

Picture source for the painting below of Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres' Pius V is another blog I will soon be adding to my side bar Hallowed Ground

Ingres Pius V
Pope Pius V

Ingres Joan of Arc
Jeanne d'Arc

Picture source for the above Ingres' painting here There is also good information on the artist and painting there too.

Ingres Virgin of the Eucharist
Our Lady of the Eucharist

Virgin of the Adoption
Virgin of the Adoption

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Story of a Book Cover

Greg Sousa

Ed shares the story of his son and a very special book cover

Saintly Quotes - Friendship Bears Fruit Both in This Life and the Next

St. AelredPicture source
In human life nothing holier can be desired, nothing more useful sought after, nothing is harder to find, nothing sweeter to experience, nothing more fruitful to possess than friendship. For it bears fruit both in this life and the next, showing forth all virtues in its sweetness and in its strength destroying vice. It softens the blows of adversity and moderates elation in prosperity.

Without friendship there can be hardly any happiness among humans; they may well be compared to animals if they have no one to rejoice with them in good fortune or sympathize with them in sorrow, no one to whom they can unburden themselves in time of trouble, or with whom they can share some especially uplifting or inspiring insight.

Alas for anyone who is alone and has no one to lift him up when he falls. Without a friend one is indeed alone. But what joy it is, what security, what a delight to have someone to whom you dare to speak as to another self; to whom you are not afraid to admit that you have done something wrong, or shy of revealing some spiritual progress you have made; someone to whom you can entrust all the secrets of your heart and with whom you can share your plans.

St. Aelred of Rievaulx

Shared by Sue

Saintly Quote - Suffering With Joy

St. John Chrysostom
When we suffer anything for Christ's sake, we should do so not only with courage, but even with joy.

If we have to go hungry, let us be glad as if we were at a banquet. If we are insulted, let us be elated as though we had been showered with praises. If we lose all we possess, let us consider ourselves the gainers. If we provide for the poor, let us regard ourselves as the recipients. Anyone who does not give in this way will find it difficult to give at all. So when you wish to distribute alms, do not think only of what you are giving away; think rather of what you are gaining, for your gain will exceed your loss.

And not only in the matter of almsgiving, but also with every virtue you practice: do not think of the painful effort involved, but of the sweetness of the reward; and above all remember that your struggles are for the sake of our Lord Jesus. Then you will easily rise above them, and live out your whole lifetime in happiness; for nothing brings more happiness than a good conscience.
St. John Chrysostom

Shared by Sue

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Saintly Quote - The Essence of Love is Humility

St. Therese
I understood too that the love of our Lord is revealed in the simplest soul who offers no resistance to His grace as well as in the most sublime soul. In fact, since the essence of love is humility, if all souls were like those of the learned saints who have illuminated the Church by the light of their teaching, it would seem as if God would not have very far to descend in coming to their hearts. But He has created the baby who knows nothing and whose only utterance is a feeble cry; He has created people who have only the law of nature to guide them; and it is their hearts that He deigns to come down to, those are His flowers of the field whose simplicity delights him. In coming down in that way the good God proves His infinite greatness.

Just as the sun shines at the same time on cedar trees and on each little flower as if it was the only one on earth, so our Lord takes special care of each soul as if it was His only care.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux

Shared by Sue

St. Joseph - Protector of the Family

St. Joseph

Because Saint Joseph was the representative of our Heavenly Father on earth, because he acted as Christ's father in His life on earth, he is the divinely appointed head of the Holy Family. The Holy Family of Saint Joseph, The Blessed Mother and the Son of God is the beginning and the model for the great Family of God, His Church here on earth. In this way, Saint Joseph is father to all of us.

A model for fathers, Saint Joseph is invoked as a protector of the family. A carpenter by trade, he has been declared the patron saint of all working people, of craftsmen and of the poor. He is the model of a perfect Christian life and the patron of a happy death. His patronage also extends over the Mystical Body of Christ, over the Christian family, the Christian school, and all individuals who in their need appeal to his charity and powerful intercession, especially at the hour of death.

Saint Joseph, pray for our fathers, husbands, sons and brothers.
Shared by Sue

Act Of Faith And Adoration Before Holy Communion

Blessed Sacrament
MY LORD Jesus Christ, I believe that Thou art truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I believe that in Holy Communion I shall receive Thy sacred body and Thy precious blood. My faith in Thy real presence in the Holy Eucharist is firmly founded on Thy word, O eternal Truth. My Saviour and my God, with the angels who surround Thy altar-throne, I bow down in humble adoration before Thy Majesty.

Thank you Sue

Those Who Foster in the Hearts of Children Indifference to the Blessed Virgin Mary

Mater Dolorosa
Consider the Blasphemies of those who openly seek to foster in the hearts of children indifference or contempt, and even hatred for our Immaculate Mother.

With all the power at his command, the Archfiend wants to deny the Virgin the opportunity to use her children as agents of grace. To achieve this end, he would first render her maternal womb infertile, barren, robbing her of those future conduits of grace, performing, in effect, a spiritual abortion. What he would like to do is completely deprive the Holy Spirit of any future means of sanctifying the Chosen by corrupting the children and turning them away from her, and even against her. This is the terrible iniquity which is the fourth sin and the fourth stage in this conflict between Mary and Lucifer announced in Genesis, “I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed;” (Gen. 3:15).

Removing little ones from her side before they can be nurtured into fully-developed enlistees in her cause, the Devil would strip her of her Motherhood and deprive the Holy Ghost of this conduit of grace. By negation, this crime confirms the truth of our Faith whereby we believe that the Sanctifier does indeed save souls through the spiritual maternity of His Immaculate Spouse.

St. Maximilian Kolbe affirmed this belief in his typically concise manner: “Till the end of the world it will be the task of the Holy Ghost to form the new members predestined to glory in the Mystical Body of Christ”. As St. de Montfort shows, “this task is carried to completion with Mary, in Mary and through Mary.”

How many souls will be cast into Hell in the future because of this sin?
Shared by Sue

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Saintly Quote - Hating No One

St. John Chrysostom

Two things are required of us, here and now: to acknowledge our sins and to forgive others; the first, so that the second may become easier. For someone properly aware of his own behavior and its shortcomings will be the more forgiving to his fellow humans. And that does not mean forgiveness in words merely, but from the heart, lest in our resentment we turn the sword on ourselves. The more he has injured you, the greater the forgiveness of your own sin, in consequence.

Let us take care that we hate no one, so that God may still love us; so that even though we may be owing him a thousand talents he may yet be generous and merciful to us.

Has someone offended you? Be merciful to him, then; do not hate him. Weep and lament for him, but do not show aversion. For it is not you who have offended God, but he; you will do well to put up with it.

Recall how Christ was content to be crucified— and yet shed tears over those who did it. That must be your disposition also: the more you are wronged, the more you must lament for the wrongdoers. For it is we who profit from this— and greatly— but not they.
St. John Chrysostom

Shared by Sue

Catholic Schools Must Strive to form Saints

Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton

In his column in the Catholic Key, Bishop Robert W. Finn from the Diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph emphasized that “Catholic schools exist for a supernatural purpose:” to assist students in developing virtue on their path to ‘eternal salvation.’
Catholic schools must strive to form saints, says bishop

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Bl. Jacob Gapp

August 13th was the memorial of Blessed Jacob Gapp. Brother John M. Samaha, S.M. wrote and shared the following recently:

Blessed Jacob Gapp, S.M., may well be considered another patron of the Catholic press as well as a patron of justice and peace advocates. Because the Gestapo condemned him for his unwavering adherence to the Catholic faith and his unabashed denunciation of National Socialism (Nazism), Father Jacob Gapp was guillotined by the Nazis in Berlin at the Ploetzensee Prison on August 13, 1943.

Pope John Paul II beatified him in 1996.

Before entering the Society of Mary in his native Austria, this intrepid Marianist priest had served in the Austrian army in World War I, was wounded and decorated for valor, and suffered as a prisoner of war in northern Italy. This experience taught him to loathe war, selfishness and greed, arrogant pride, political and social injustice. As a young Marianist religious and teacher of religion he was unstinting as a militant advocate for the poor, the needy, and the oppressed.

This action made Father Gapp a serious irritant to the Nazis after they annexed Austria in 1938. For his own safety and for the welfare of the Marianist school where he was teaching in Graz, his superiors moved him from place to place for parish work. The Nazi regime forbade him to teach. Some pupils in the Tyrol told a school inspector in October 1938 that Father Gapp explained to them the Gospel message of brotherly love and their obligation to love and respect “Frenchmen, Czechs, Jews, and communists alike, as they were all human beings.” He insisted, “God is your God, not Adolf Hitler.”

Realizing that the spoken word and the printed word clearly possessed a power lacking in the sword of militarism, he employed the Catholic press as a weapon of choice. And he read avidly to study the thorny problem of National Socialism and all its ramifications.

Imbued with the message of Pope Pius XI’s encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge (On the Church and the German Reich) and the statements of the Austrian bishops, Jacob Gapp had formed a lucid and sound judgment about the utter incompatibility of National Socialism and Christianity. In his preaching he emphasized this truth fearlessly, and he taught the uncompromising law of love for all people without reference to nationality or religion.

In a fateful sermon in his home parish of St. Lawrence at Wattens in the Tyrol on December 11, 1938, this seasoned Marianist priest staunchly defended Pope Pius XI against the attacks of the Nazis, knowing that his words were being monitored by the Gestapo. He urged the faithful to read Catholic literature rather than Nazi propaganda, and to follow the lead of the Catholic press. This bold move forced him to leave his native country and escape to France. A few months later his anti-Nazi audacity required that he flee Bordeaux and enter Spain, where he assisted in several schools and parishes served by the Marianists. But in Spain, which had Nazi sympathies engendered during its Civil War, even among his fellow Marianists he stood alone and was misunderstood because of his rejection of the Nazi diatribe. Yet his zeal for the cause he so fervently espoused was not diminished.

In the summer of 1942 the beleaguered Father Jacob Gapp visited the British consulate in Valencia to inquire about a visa to England. He also wanted to learn what was really happening in Germany and in Nazi-occupied Europe, especially concerning the Church. The consulate staff gave him a stack of newspapers and magazines. Among them were copies of The Tablet, a weekly journal edited by Catholic laity in London. The Tablet provided reports about the persecution of the Church, internment camps, pastoral letters like that of the Bishop of Calahorra in Spain criticizing the Nazi ideology, and objective reports from the war fronts. Shunning the biased propaganda material, Father Jacob began to distribute The Tablet, returning regularly to the consulate for new copies.

Shadowed by the Nazis over the years, he was arrested through a deceptive trap that lured him across the border into occupied France, where the Gestapo arrested him and hustled him to prison in Berlin. In January 1943, for two long and intense days he was interrogated nonstop by the Gestapo. Jacob Gapp welcomed the opportunity to present his case. The Gestapo interrogators were particularly interested in his visits to the British consulate in Valencia, and in the “subversive propaganda against the Fatherland” he had repeatedly collected there and distributed. Calmly and firmly the prisoner explained that The Tablet was not propaganda: “It is a good, Catholic journal. The writing is sound, and I even intended to subscribe.”

Willingly and vigorously the martyr-to-be not only admitted he consistently opposed the Nazi regime and all it represented, but explained when and why he had done so. He virtually flew in the face of the interrogators. His reasoning and candor stunned the Nazi agents. First and foremost he was a Marianist religious and Catholic priest, conscience-bound to place God before Caesar. Since the Nazis were bent on destroying the Church, he was convinced it was his duty to blaze a trail of resistance and opposition, to educate with truth, and to be a role model of fidelity.

For his honesty and integrity Father Jacob Gapp was sentenced to death for treason and guillotined. His body was destroyed because the Gestapo feared the people would revere him as a martyr. Reportedly Heinrich Himmler, the cunning manipulator of the Nazi leadership, expressed the opinion that Germany would win World War II without difficulty if there were a million party members as committed as Jacob Gapp. Even the enemy admired his tenacious and unstinting adherence to conviction.

Today we honor Blessed Jacob Gapp as a modern-day champion of the Catholic press, which strives to be a source of truthful reporting. Because he respected the Catholic press as the vehicle the Church employs to reveal the Good News for our day, we are invited to call on him to help us to appreciate and promote a more effective Catholic press – print and electronic -- with a wider readership, and to use the Catholic press as he did for the cause of truth and justice.

As the Church regards St. Francis de Sales as patron of the Catholic press, who intercedes for writers and publishers, we can call on Blessed Jacob Gapp as a patron for readers of the Catholic press. We can request him to assist all who turn to the Catholic press for a reliable source of information.

• The author:
Brother John Samaha has been a Marianist for 60 years. After a variety of assignments in education in the United States and Lebanon, he is now retired at the Marianist Center in Cupertino, California.

Used with Permission.

Silence in Church

Holy Eucharist

Even before the celebration itself, it is commendable that silence be observed in the church, in the sacristy, in the vesting room, and in adjacent areas, so that all may dispose themselves to carry out the sacred action in a devout and fitting manner.
General Instruction of the Roman Missal #45

Shared by Sue

The Nun

Mother Angelica

I watched The Nun on EWTN last evening. I really did not know what to expect but the previews from the documentary looked very good.

If someone had asked me to guess which country the subject of this documentary was about, Sweden would not have been in my top 10 guesses. Yet this young nun was indeed from a Swedish family living in Sweden.

St. ThereseSurprisingly, the woman who documented "Marta's" life just prior to her entry into the very strict Carmelite order, and who followed her story for over 10 years, was not even religious. Yet, she did a very decent job as one can see by the results of this documentary.

Marta comes from a very devout and large Catholic family. They live on a farm with their own chapel and lots of love. Their father is a Church deacon. The mother is full of life and very loving and motherly. It is no wonder that this type of environment helped to nurture a vocation in their daughter.

To contrast the story, one of Marta's two brothers is spotlighted. He professes to not know whether or not there is a God. Yet, as far as I could tell, he seems to spiritual in his own way.

For those who missed it you still have a chance:

THE NUN 1 hr.
Get an inside look at a religious vocation taking shape in the rich environment of European Catholic family life in this unique documentary look at a Swedish Catholic family and their daughter Marta who has decided to become a Carmelite Nun.
Sat 8/23/08 8:00 PM ET & 5 PM Pt
Sun 8/24/08 2:00 AM ET & Sat 11 PM PT
Thu 8/28/08 1:00 PM ET & 10 AM PT