Today was different - I knew that there were two deliveries that might arrive this morning. One would be a new wireless modem from Tiscali to whom I have now transferred my phone line and who should soon be giving me some faster broadband access. For £20 per month, they are promising me 8Mb broadband, phone line rental and free calls any time in the UK and to places like the USA, Canada and Australia. Now you'll pile in and tell me what terrible problems you have with Tiscali ...
It wasn't the Tiscali modem but something better: my order from St Philip's Books. My good friend Christopher Zealley has a bookshop in Oxford very near the Catholic Chaplaincy, and a thriving mail-order business. He had a stall at the Merton Conference which he stocked with books that he thought might be of interest to the participants. He was right about that. Since I already had a heavy suitcase to carry on the tube through London, I asked him to send them on to me in the post. Hence today's delivery which is here displayed unpacked:
Felix Zualdi CM "The Sacred Ceremonies of Low Mass" edited with additions and notes by the Rev M. O'Callaghan CM. Revised and harmonised with the latest decrees and the new code by the Rev J S Sheehy CM (1931).
I wonder if the Vincentians are considering resuming this excellent work for priests in the light of Summorum Pontificum ;-) In this book, the priest does not arrive at the altar until page 61.
"The Ritual Explained" by the Rev W. Dunne, Professor of Moral Theology at St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw. (1940)
I wonder if ... (Stop it! - Ed.) This will help me to get the ceremonies of infant baptism etc. more faithfully in keeping with the maxim "Say the Black. Do the Red."
"Devout Reflections on Various Spiritual Subjects for the profit of souls who desire to advance in divine love by St Alphonsus de' Liguori" newly translated by Fr Edmund Vaughan CSSR. (1901)
I wonder if ... (Look! I told you... Ed.) I'll buy anything by St Alphonsus. In general I like to acquire any books of meditations like this. I might use this one or the next one when I have finished Cardinal Wiseman's Meditations on the Sacred Passion.
"St Anselm's Book of Meditations and Prayers" translated from the Latin by M.R. with a preface by His Grace the Archbishop of Westminster (1872)
I wonder if ... (That's the last time! - Ed.) These are a little long to use for a single meditation but there is a lot of good stuff in there about the howling of the demons and the malice of sin. Here's an example just picked at random:
Fling thyself, miserable mortal, down into the black abyss of a woe unmedicined, thou that didst choose to fling thyself into the pit of a horrible iniquity. Wrap thee about, poor wretch, in guise of terrible grief, thou that didst all willingly launch into the slime of hellish filth. And thou, steeped in crime, muffle thyself round with horrid glooms of inconsolable wailing, thou that didst wanton wilfully in the quagmire of so grovelling indulgence.If you are doing theology at A-Level or at university, you simply must find a way to work that quotation from St Anselm into your essay on the ontological argument.
"Pontifical Ceremonies. A study of the episcopal ceremonies" by the Reverend Pierce Ahearne DD BCL and the reverend Michael Lane STL BA. (1947)
The famous "Ahearne and Lane" - a much sought-after text. I am happy to have spent out on acquiring this classic. Before the next Pontifical Mass at the throne, I want to read this so that I can knowledgeably converse with Gordon Dimon on the finer points of the ceremonial.
"The Mass. The Presence of the Sacrifice of the Cross" by Charles Journet. Translated by Fr Victor Szczurek O. Praem. (2008)
In the preface, the Most Rev Salvatore Cordileone, Auxiliary Bishop of San Diego says:
"Fr Szczurek has done the English-speaking world a great service in making this work accessible at this time. A thoughtful reading of this text will contribute to the authentic Eucharistic renewal so desired by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Happily it will also help promote a wider knowledge of the writings and person of Charles Cardinal Journet, a great theologian from whom we have so much to learn in our own time."Amen to that! I'll have to put this on the bibliography for my course on the sacraments - and find some time to edit the section on the sacrifice of the Mass using this and other sources.