|Core: noun, the most important part of a thing, the essence; from the Latin cor, meaning heart.|
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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Friday, November 29, 2002
"Driven by Love"
By Fr. John Jacob Hugo.
Gerard Serafin has blogged the text of Fr. Hugo's memorial sermon for his dear friend Dorothy Day.
My recollection which my very well be faulty after all these years is that Fr. Hugo did not himself preach this sermon. He was not well enough, indeed, to attend Dorothy's funeral. But he wrote this sermon IIRC for a memorial service which, in the end, he could not attend either. Somebody else was going to preach from his text.
I remember him reading it to me one day: he wanted to know how it sounded. He sat at his desk, and I sat opposite in a rocking chair. It was a long time ago, so I hardly remember it: but I am sure it is the same sermon, because the first line stuck in my mind and I recognized it instantly: "This celebration, I am told, is intended to bring together those especially who have had a historic relationship with the Catholic Worker." I must say, Fr. Hugo expressed his opinion to me that most of the Catholic Worker movement had become so... I don't know how else to say it... secularized that he feared that the sermon would be lost on many people hearing it because they simply would not comprehend Dorothy's divine motivations.
The text quotes St. John of the Cross:
"My occupation: love. It's all I do."
Fr. Hugo used to say that he thought that line was the most beautiful in all of poetry. (Pace Dante.) The Saint had become Fr. Hugo's favorite poet late in life: in fact, I recall him taking up the slender volume of St. John's poetry and saying "This is all the spiritual reading I need nowadays."
For those who might be interested to know, I credit Fr. Hugo's love of St. John's poetry, and of Gerard Manley Hopkins' poetry too, for sparking my own deeper interest in poetry. He gave me, more than twenty years ago, a copy of the third edition of John Frederick Nims' translation of the Saint's poetry. He said it was the first really good translation, and "There is only one theme running through all, the love of the bride for the Bridegroom." He also liked Chesterton and Belloc: I have his copy of Belloc's Sonnets and Verse. I still remember with what delight he read aloud "Lines to a Don". :)
"My Heart on the Line"
Family Ties in real life.
The other day, The Washington Post ran an article by a liberal writer whose son is now a Marine:
Before my son became a Marine, I never thought much about who was defending me. Now when I read of the war on terrorism or the coming conflict in Iraq, it cuts to my heart. When I see a picture of a member of our military who has been killed, I read his or her name very carefully. Sometimes I cry....
Why were I and the other parents at my son's private school so surprised by his choice? During World War II, the sons and daughters of the most powerful and educated families did their bit. If the immorality of the Vietnam War was the only reason those lucky enough to go to college dodged the draft, why did we not encourage our children to volunteer for military service once that war was done?
Have we wealthy and educated Americans all become pacifists? Is the world a safe place? Or have we just gotten used to having somebody else defend us? What is the future of our democracy when the sons and daughters of the janitors at our elite universities are far more likely to be put in harm's way than are any of the students whose dorms their parents clean?
I feel shame because it took my son's joining the Marine Corps to make me take notice of who is defending me. I feel hope because perhaps my son is part of a future "greatest generation." As the storm clouds of war gather, at least I know that I can look the men and women in uniform in the eye. My son is one of them. He is the best I have to offer. He is my heart.
In the wake of Thanksgiving Day, I think we should reflect on how much we owe to those who dedicate their lives, and sometimes risk their lives, for the safety, health, and security of others, and to be grateful for them: our soldiers and sailors and others in the military; police and firefighters; and, EMS and other medical personnel.
"Restoring the Use of the Prayers of Pope Leo XIII after Mass"
At Catholic Exchange yesterday.
In the blog referenced above, I posted some of the text of an e-mail which claimed that the Leonine Prayers had never been officially suppressed and that "what is not explicitly forbidden is implicitly allowed" is a "basic principle" which may be applied to Catholic liturgy. Neither of these claims is correct. (And the latter is rendered moot by the former being wrong.)
Unfortunately, Catholic Exchange posted the entire text of the e-mail yesterday.
I don't oppose the restitution of the Leonine Prayers; I don't support it either: I have no opinion about doing so. I just happen to think that readily verifiable claims ought to be accurate. Go figure. :)
The Last Gospel and the Leonine Prayers were explicitly and specifically suppressed in Inter Oecumenici 48j, an instruction from the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy, approved by Pope Paul VI, issued September 26, 1964, and effective March 7, 1965.
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