Issue: March 2024

Letter from the District Superior

The prayer of Our Lord is continued on this earth by the members of His Mystical Body, which is like an extension of His humanity. This is especially true at the liturgy, where Our Lord unites with us in the worship of God.

Devotional Headwaters: The Liturgy as a Source of Devotion

If all graces flow from Calvary, logic then would show us that all true devotion, as an act of the virtue of religion—a supernatural act, founded on grace—must also flow from that same Sacrifice. Continuing that logic, the other parts of the Christian Liturgy—being the official prayer of the Church Herself, and therefore the prayer of Christ to His Father—also form the primary devotional source for all Christians.

Rediscovering Devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus

Many Catholics have a beautiful and strong devotion to special attributes of Our Lord: the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Precious Blood, the Holy Name of Jesus. Catholics observe holy days and pray litanies in honor of these beloved characteristics of Our Lord. But at one point in Catholic history, another devotion was as well-known and beloved as that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus—the Holy Face devotion. This devotion was given to the Church by Our Lord Himself, who said it is “the most beautiful work under the sun.”

The Rub of Rubrics: On Praying the Divine Office as a Layman

But if using a hand missal presents difficulties, or does at first, navigating a Divine Office book can also be intimidating. One might spend a whole office trying to find commemorations, remember collect conclusions, or stumbling over unfamiliar Latin psalm verses. Anxiety arising from such a situation runs counter to the purpose of prayer in the first place: focus on God, rather than on the elements of the prayer itself.

Mary Immaculate and the Miraculous Medal

On the front of the Medal, the “Joyful side,” Mary is shown standing on a globe as Queen of heaven and earth. She is stepping on a serpent (see Genesis 3:15); her obedience to God’s will crushes the head of the devil and overcomes the disobedience of our first parents, Adam and Eve. The rays of light streaming from her hands represent graces that Mary obtains from her Son and dispenses to those who ask her for them. The picture is framed by the intercessory prayer, “O Mary, conceived without sin.…”

“My Mother, make haste!”: Devotion to the Seven Sorrows

Apart from praising Mary as “Regina Martyrum” or the “Queen of Martyrs,” Holy Mother Church celebrates two feasts in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, namely one on the Friday right before Good Friday and the other on September 15.

Sodalities: Schools of the Catholic Apostolate

Where will we train the good Catholic of tomorrow?—It is prudent and even practical, before we venture into this inquiry, first to resolve the defining question: what is meant by the term “good Catholic”? I

On Wayside Shrines

Imagine you are a medieval Christian traveling along a dusty road on your way to a distant village. Suddenly, you see a small wooden structure ahead on the right side of the road, which, upon coming closer, is found to contain within it a small statue of Our Lady of Good Success. This beautiful little wayside shrine inspires you to persevere on your expedition, while bringing to mind the stories of countless saints who embarked on long and arduous earthly journeys in order to instill in souls a love for Christ and a desire to attain eternal life.

Three Ways to Approach Sacred Art for the Beginner

Imagine that on three successive days in Rome, you visit three historical churches—St. Peter’s Basilica, the Basilica di Santa Sofia, and the Catacombs of Priscilla. One would be hard pressed to find three churches more visually distinct in the way they portray sacred art. But regardless of the genres, figures, and changing tastes of the times, what is sacred art for? How are we as faithful supposed to read this art?

Liturgy and Personality: How the Liturgy Forms the Human Person

This celebration of the Mass was disjointed and distracted, and I was disjointed and distracted. I realized that the New Liturgy is out of place, not only in the classical architecture of older churches, but also in the soul’s sense of the proper act of religion, the sense of reverential and ordered worship of God. Often in churches like the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the traditional Mass is held only in the crypt of the church and very early in the morning, if at all. This is a tragedy. The Liturgy, in the form that the Church performed it for nearly two millennia, glorifies God in a fitting, beautiful, and timeless way. It has also nourished generation upon generation of saints because, in conveying the spirit of Christ, it clearly carries the right human spirit. That is, it is specially fitted to human formation, even in its simplest elements.

The Words and Actions that Compose the Mass

In the following excerpt, de Vert shows how many ceremonies of the Mass and Office arise from the interplay between word and gesture, since “men love naturally to represent what they say, and to accompany it with exterior signs, actions, and movements.”

One Piece at a Time: Piecemeal Piety and the Liturgical Solution

In the world of souls, there is a similar anomaly which is far more common. It is a problem found among even the most devout and regular Catholics. It hampers progress, causes deformity and disproportion in the spiritual life, and leads to disappointed hopes at best and spiritual ruin at worst. It is a problem that occurs when we assemble our spiritual lives “one piece at a time.”

Post-Conciliar Censorship in the Secrets and Postcommunions of Eastertide

Compared to the traditional Roman Missal, which has proper Masses for each day in the Octave of Easter and each Sunday after Easter, as well as for the Ascension, its Vigil and the following Sunday, the Novus Ordo has a much larger number of prayers in its Eastertide. In the course of the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms, all Sundays and ferial days in this season were assigned proper Masses, with collects unique to each day and a larger number of super oblata and postcommunion prayers used.

Questions and Answers

Did Joan of Arc attend the Traditional Mass as I know it, before Vatican II?

The Last Word

This occasion for reminding our readers of the role played by “The Last Word” column has been provided by a change of the District Superior in Canada. Fr. David Sherry has now moved on to take charge of the District of Great Britain and Ireland, and has been replaced by Fr. Yves le Roux. It is thus my pleasure to welcome Fr. le Roux to these pages, starting with the next issue, and to rejoice in the continued collaboration of the Canadian District in The Angelus.