Pope Leo XIII wrote this encyclical in 1883. It could well have been written last week. There are phrases in this encyclical that are astonishing relevant to what the Church is living in this present hour.
Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII on Devotion to the Rosary
To all the Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops and
Bishops of the Catholic World in the Grace and
Communion of the Apostolic See.
Venerable Brethren, Health and the Apostolic Benediction.
The supreme Apostolic office which we discharge and the exceedingly difficult condition of these times, daily warn and almost compel Us to watch carefully over the integrity of the Church, the more that the calamities from which she suffers are greater. While, therefore, we endeavour in every way to preserve the rights of the Church and to obviate or repel present or contingent dangers, We constantly seek for help from Heaven – the sole means of effecting anything – that our labours and our care may obtain their wished for object. We deem that there could be no surer and more efficacious means
The photo shows Ireland’s amazing Rosary Priest — not the famous Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. (1909–1992), but a youthful Dominican Father Gabriel Harty, now 93 years of age, still thriving and still preaching the Holy Rosary — a priest whom I admire and esteem.
There is no problem or difficulty
that cannot be solved or resolved
by faithful persevering recourse to my Mother’s most holy Rosary.
The Rosary is my Mother’s gift to the poor and to the simple,
to the little ones who alone are capable of hearing the Gospel
in all its purity and of responding to it with a generous heart.
It is to such as these
— the childlike and the weak, the poor and the trusting —
that the Rosary is given.
It is to such as these that the Rosary belongs.
There are no sufferings that cannot be borne peacefully
so long as a soul is praying the Rosary.
Through the Rosary all the grace and power of my mysteries
passes through my Mother’s Immaculate Heart
into the hearts of the little ones who invoke
The Collect of Saint Bruno is, at a first glance, astonishing in that it does not even mention his characteristic grace: solitude. One would expect a prayer with some allusion to the silence of the desert and to Saint Bruno’s life alone with God. Instead, this is what the liturgy gives us:
Sancti Brunónis Confessóris tui, quaesumus, Dómine, intercessiónibus adiuvémur: ut, qui maiestátem tuam gráviter delinquéndo offéndimus, eius méritis et précibus, nostrórum delictórum véniam consequámur.
May the intercession of Saint Bruno, Thy Confessor, help us, we beseech Thee, O Lord; that we, who have weightily offended Thy Majesty by sin, may, by his merits and prayers, obtain forgiveness for our misdeeds.
What exactly is going on in this Collect? How does it relate to Saint Bruno’s life? And how does it relate to your life and to mine? We begin, as is customary, by asking for the saint’s intercession. To intercede means, literally, to put oneself between two parties; to stand in the middle, representing the interests of one to another. We acknowledge, then, that today, in a special way, Saint Bruno places himself in Christ
My first awareness of the 1924 Apostolic Constitution of Pope Pius XI, Umbratilem, dates from about forty–five years ago. Was it in reading Dom Chautard, or DomThomas Verner Moore, or Dom Eugene Boylan? I no longer recall where exactly I found the allusion to the text, but it must have made a great impression on me, for I have never forgotten it. What has stayed with me all these years is that was a vigorous defense of the enclosed contemplative life. I did not realise, at the time, that, in writing it, Pope Pius XI also affirmed Pope Leo XIII’s condemnation of “Americanism” in Testem Benevolentiae (22 January 1899).
Two Baneful Isms
“Americanism” and “Modernism”, of course, go forward hand in hand; where one finds one, one will find the other. “Americanism” is the pragmatic face of “Modernism”. Whereas the old European Modernists willingly indulged a fuzzy fascination with “contemplation” and “mysticism”, and even appreciated the quaint evidence of monasticism (particularly of the–ruins–in–the–garden variety) the New World Modernists showed themselves eager to be done with the confining constraints of anything even remotely resembling monastic ascetical practices, so as to