Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Feast of Saint Augustine

Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord, that spirit with which you endowed your Bishop Saint Augustine that, filled with the same spirit, we may thirst for you, the sole fount of true wisdom, and seek you, the author of heavenly love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Litany in honour of Saint Augustine


Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
pray for us.

Holy Mother of God,
pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins,
pray for us.

Holy Father Augustine,
pray for us.

Saint Augustine, example of contrite souls,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, son of the tears of thy mother Monica,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, light of teachers,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, exterminator of heresies,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, illustrious warrior against the foes of the Church,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, pillar of the True Faith,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, vessel of Divine Wisdom,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, rule of conduct for apostolic life,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, whose heart was inflamed with the fire of Divine Love,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, humble and merciful father,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, zealous preacher of the Word of God,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, illumined expounder of Sacred Scripture,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, ornament of bishops,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, light of the True Faith,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, noble defender of Holy Church,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, refulgence of the glory of God,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, blossoming olive tree of the House of God,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, indefatigable adorer of the Most Holy Trinity,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, inexhaustible fountain of Christian eloquence,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, shining mirror of holiness,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, model of all virtues,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, consoler of the distressed,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, comforter of the forsaken,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, friend and helper of the poor,
pray for us.

St. Augustine, our father,
pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us, O Lord.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

Let Us Pray

O God, Who didst disclose to Saint Augustine
the hidden mysteries of Thy wisdom
and didst enkindle in his heart
the flame of Divine Love,
thus renewing in Thy Church
the pillar of cloud and fire,
graciously grant that we may pass safely
through the storms of this world
and reach the eternal fatherland
which Thou didst promise us,
through Christ Our Lord.

Amen



Saint Augustine, pray for us and for all theologians.

CapX: What is NATO doing to protect its Baltic frontier?

CapX: What is NATO doing to protect its Baltic frontier?

By Edward Hamilton Stubber

"NATO has had some success in developing its cyber security. The 2014 Industry Cyber Partnership, is an initiative that establishes cooperation between NATO and private companies of member countries on cyber-security collaboration. In addition, NATO’s 2016 Technical Agreement on Cyber Defence with the EU has provides a broad platform for information sharing on cyber-defence.
However, cyber security experts at the Tallin-based think tank and NATO training facility for cyber-attacks, the CCDCOE, believe NATO’s cyber security policy is weak. They believe that as well as cooperative agreements that aim to prevent attacks and share information, NATO needs to increase its digital military capabilities by develop a full range of quick offensive response strategies. They point to the recent hacks on the Democratic National Convention in the US, and that the lack of response by NATO will encourage further aggression."

Essays about Homelessness in the US, by Kirsten Anderberg



The author of these essays has experienced homelessness herself, which gives them a very human quality and this subjective element makes them powerfully compelling. This comes out particularly in the essay Once you've been homeless, you can never go back, which talks about the permanent scarring and trauma left by homelessness, which those who have never experienced it cannot relate to.

She talks about the role of mental hospitals as homeless shelters in one of the essays. In the past, homeless people were forced into mental hospitals against their wills. Today, homeless people desperately try to present with mental health problems to gain admission to psychiatric wards. I have seen that a lot in my job as a substance misuse worker. Our author follows this with an interesting essay on unmarked graves in mental asylums. She also writes about the impact of homelessness on children, who are forced into a posture of suspicion and hostility towards society.

I think the most important essay in this book is the one which talks about how homelessness completely deprives people of privacy. This deprivation forces people who are homeless to withdraw into themselves and to erect mental barriers against society. This raises questions about strategies for addressing homelessness. Homeless people are often offered only shelters and hostels that provide minimal privacy. Their access to housing is made conditional upon their participation in programs that they may be wary of. This adds to the case for a housing first approach to homelessness which sees housing as a basic need that should be addressed immediately. Current policy in the UK often seems to treat homelessness not as a problem in itself, but a result of wider social problems.

There are some socialist views expressed in this book. I disagree with the author's anti-capitalist stance, but I prefer the anger of a socialist to the prejudiced sneering of a conservative. The author's socialism particularly comes out in an essay, which blames homelessness, as well as other problems on land ownership. Of course, getting rid of land ownership would cause its own problems. The re-appropriation of white farm lands in Zimbabwe led to famine in that country.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone seeking an insight into the great evil of homelessness.

Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment: Ordinariates and Thompson

Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment: Ordinariates and Thompson

"A reader has asked my comments on a recent Catholic Herald article by Damian Thompson. The notes which follow are, of course, purely and entirely my own private opinions.

DT, poor poppet, rarely gets things quite right. Hostility towards the Ordinariate is by no means anything like universal among the CBCEW. Quite the opposite. I have experienced only kindness and generosity from Crispian Hollis and Philip Egan, successive bishops of the diocese in which I geographically reside. Bishop Egan is a most distinguished and orthodox bishop who is exercising a very fine teaching ministry and is admired as a pastor by his laypeople and clergy alike. I consider it a piece of great good fortune to be living within his jurisdiction, even though he is not my bishop; and (from what I hear) there are not a few benevolent Catholic bishops around.

Nor is DT anywhere near being right in suggesting that the Ordinariate is about to fade away. The enthusiasm for it, and the sheer joie de vivre at our meetings, are almost palpable. It is true that one or two priests have "gone native" and submerged themselves into the Diocesan Churches, but this is not our major problem. Lack of money, of course, is. We had, as Anglicans, built up a number of quite wealthy organisations in our 150 years, but some 'continuing Anglo-Catholics' were so unkeen to see any of this shared out between them and us that they went to the Charity Commissioners. I can hardly deny that our poverty holds us back. It makes us, and our Ordinary, rather ... er ... beholden ..."

Father Ed's Blog: Why I remain optimistic about the Ordinariate

Father Ed's Blog: Why I remain optimistic about the Ordinariate

"Furthermore we should be encouraged that the points raised in the article did not come as a surprise. The reality is that Ordinariate II – as Damian names it- has been a work in progress behind the scenes for some time. It is what occupies our recently elected Deans and the Ordinary’s council, which led them to write the report ‘growing up and growing out’. A report which notes how when we first arrived the priority was simply to get clergy housed and cared for- and it is only now, five years on, that we are strong enough to ask more pertinent questions. How is the Ordinariate served in each situation? What needs to change?

Which is to say the baby Benedict delivered is becoming a toddler under Francis. And we are only just now able to begin the real process of growth and development. That would be my caveat to this article- things in their infancy are rarely as strong as they will become in maturity! Doubtless smaller groups will vanish and mistakes will and have been made. But the miracle is that we are still here- we do have successes to celebrate and we do exist at the heart of the reform of the reform. And – best of all- where we are allowed to flourish we bring growth and health. Hurrah!

Ultimately then I welcome the article. It is full of insight if a little off in terms of tone in places. But the bottom line is that I remain very optimistic. God has called us to something extraordinary and he will not abandon us…so long as we are brave and insightful and ready to take risks. Message received and understood in these quarters. Onwards and upwards we go…"

ConservativeHome: Why I‘m supporting the Homelessness Reduction Bill

ConservativeHome: Why I‘m supporting the Homelessness Reduction Bill

by David Mackintosh MP

"Picture the scene: you’ve worked and paid your taxes for most of your adult life, but recently things have spiralled out of control and you’ve ended up without a roof over your head. Perhaps you’ve suffered a bereavement, a relationship breakdown or mental ill health. Quite reasonably, you approach your council for help, only to be told you aren’t a ‘priority’ under the law because you’re not deemed ‘vulnerable’ enough, despite having nowhere to live. Doesn’t sound right does it?

Yet all too often this is exactly what happens, as I found out recently during a major Select Committee inquiry into homelessness – the first of its kind for a decade. As we now publish our final report, it’s clear to me that something needs to change, and with social justice high on the government’s agenda, I believe our recommendations can make an important contribution."

I fully support this bill. We need to radically change our housing policy to eliminate homelessness.

Friday, 26 August 2016

The Feast of Saint Monica



O God, who console the sorrowful
and who mercifully accepted
the motherly tears of Saint Monica
for the conversion of her son Augustine,
grant us, through the intercession of them both,
that we may bitterly regret our sins
and find the grace of your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.


Litany of Saint Monica and Saint Augustine

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Response: pray for us.

Mary, our Mother and the Mother of Jesus,
Mary, our Mother of Consolation,
Mary, the source of our hope,
Mary, the refuge of sinners,
Mary, the guiding star of our lives,
Mary, source of strength in our weakness,
Mary, source of light in our darkness,
Mary, source of consolation in our sorrows,
Mary, source of victory in our temptations,
Mary, who leads us to Jesus,
Mary, who keeps us with Jesus,
Mary, who redeems us through Jesus,
Mary, Mother of Consolation, our Patroness,

St. Augustine, triumph of divine grace,
St. Augustine, so faithful to grace,
St. Augustine, glowing with pure love of God,
St. Augustine, filled with zeal for God’s glory,
St. Augustine, bright star in the firmament of the Church,
St. Augustine, so great and so humble,
St. Augustine, dauntless defender of the Faith,
St. Augustine, vanquisher of heresy,
St. Augustine, prince of bishops and doctors,
St. Augustine, our father,

St. Monica, devout mother of St. Augustine,
St. Monica, whose prayers won Augustine from sin,
St. Monica, whose prayers gave Augustine to God,
St. Monica, pattern for wives,
St. Monica, model of mothers and mother of saints,
St. Monica, exemplar of widows,
St. Monica, devoted to prayer,
St. Monica, so patient in trials,
St. Monica, so resigned in sorrow,
St. Monica, so happy in death,
St. Monica, devoted child of Mary, Mother of Consolation,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of Consolation,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V. Pray for us, O holy father, Saint Augustine,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

V. Pray for us, O holy mother, Saint Monica,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray

Lord Jesus Christ, Father of mercies and God of all consolation, grant to Thy servants, that joyfully venerating Thy most pure Mother Mary as Our Lady of Consolation, we may be consoled by her in our sorrows, fortified in our trials through life, and in dying, may merit the ineffable consolations of Heaven for all eternity.
Amen.


Saint Monica, pray for us, for all mothers and for young people.

Ready to Assist

Wolfowitz to Vote for Clinton

Reuters: Former Bush adviser Wolfowitz to vote for Clinton

Paul Wolfowitz, a Republican adviser to former U.S. President George W. Bush, plans to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November presidential election despite his "serious reservations", Der Spiegel magazine reported on Friday.

Wolfowitz, who served as deputy defense secretary under Bush and also as president of the World Bank, said he viewed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as a security risk because of his admiration of Russian President Putin and his views on China, the magazine reported.

"It's important to make it clear how unacceptable he is," the magazine quoted Wolfowitz as saying in an interview.

Wolfowitz joins a long list of Republicans who have said they will not vote for Trump.

"I wish there was a candidate whom I could support enthusiastically. I will have to vote for Hillary Clinton, although I have serious reservations about her," he said.

Coffee and Canticles: St. Louis IX and Disappointing Children

Coffee and Canticles: St. Louis IX and Disappointing Children

One year, after finishing this reading, I wondered whether St. Louis' son took this advice to heart and became a king worthy of such a father. Unfortunately, Louis, son of Louis, died before he could succeed to the throne. The next son, Phillip, is described in Wikipedia as "soft, timid and indecisive." The description of his reign, although not horrible, doesn't come across as that of a great king. He was mediocre at best.

If your children don't seem to be turning out quite the way you'd hoped, you might find a sympathetic saintly friend in Louis IX.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Novenas: Prayers of Intercession and Devotion, by William Storey



William Storey, Novenas: Prayers of Intercession and Devotion, 2005 Loyola Press


On this blog I have previously reviewed two novena collections, the CTS Handbook of Novenas to the Saints and the American Treasury of Novenas. I've also reviewed another prayer book edited by William Storey, A Catholic Book of Hours.

The distinctive feature of this book is that the novenas are accompanied by a sort of prayer office, with a psalm, a short reading, a canticle and a litany. Some of these contain the Magnificat as a canticle, which feels awkward to say when one is saying the Magnificat as part of the Liturgy of the Hours. I sometimes say these offices, but more often I just say the novena prayer.

The selection of novenas to saints is a bit limited. Favorites like St. Anthony of Padua and Saint Joseph are there, but there is no novena to Saint Rita or Saint Anne. Oddly we get some novenas to individuals that have not yet been canonized- Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Dorothy Day and Oscar Romero. These choices clearly reflect the anti-traditionalist preferences of the editor. However, we do get a novena to Saint John the Baptist, who tends to get forgotten. There are also no novenas for the Marian feasts of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. The Novena to the Good Shepherd was new to me and a nice addition.

Not bad, but I think I liked Treasury of Novenas better.

Eagles Over Estonia

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

The Feast of Saint Louis, King of France



O God, who brought Saint Louis from the cares of earthly rule to the glory of a heavenly realm, grant, we pray, through his intercession, that, by fulfilling our duties on earth, we may seek out your eternal Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


Saint Louis, pray for us, for France and for all kings and queens.

New Atlanticist: Ukraine at Twenty-Five

New Atlanticist: Ukraine at Twenty-Five

by John E. Herbst


"All three of us were heavily engaged with policy development related to Ukraine and Russia in the mid-1990s. In retrospect, some of our concerns at the time were overblown. The infamous CIA National Intelligence Estimate, for example, which predicted that Ukraine might split in two, proved spectacularly wrong. Ukrainian politicians, despite their many flaws, largely managed the substantial differences in outlook between the country’s east and west.

Ukraine has also done an admirable job of containing the intolerant demons of its not-so-distant past. Anti-Semitism and difficult relations between Ukrainians and Poles were a feature of life in Ukraine for centuries. Today, dialogue between ethnic Ukrainians and Jews, and between Ukrainians and Poles, has become a feature of Ukrainian life. Moscow’s claims in 2014 that fascists had come to power in Kyiv and that anti-Semitism was rife proved to be Kremlin-concocted fantasies. In the past two years, extreme nationalist politicians have fared poorly in Ukrainian politics.

Sadly for Ukraine and for the people of Russia, however, Russian President Vladimir Putin has pursued a policy of growing authoritarianism at home and an ideal of empire abroad. This has sparked a major challenge for Kyiv. In a sense, Putin bet on the flawed analysis of the 1990s’ National Intelligence Estimate when he began his covert war to foster separatism in the Donbas. The unwillingness of most ethnic Russians and Russophones in the Donbas to rise up explains why the Kremlin needed to send in regular army units in August 2014 and again in February 2015 to keep the so-called “Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics” in operation. In fact, Putin’s illegal seizure of Crimea and war in the Donbas have fostered a modern Ukrainian consciousness and patriotism that is driving the country forward toward Europe and away from an imperial Russia."

Why the Brexit Vote Was Bad Democracy

Ready to Fight