25 Essays by Robert D. Hickson - 640 pages - EBOOK - PDF, Kindle, & EPUB
Archbishop Vigano's Preface
Memory is a fundamental element of a people’s identity, civilization andculture: a society without memory, whose patrimony consists solely of apresent without a past, is condemned to have no future. It is alarming thatthis loss of collective memory affects not only Christian nations, but alsoseriously afflicts the Catholic Church herself and, consequently, Catholics.This amnesia affects all social classes and is not the result of chance, but ofsystematic work on the part of those who, as enemies of the True, Goodand Beautiful, must erase any ray of these divine attributes from even themost marginal aspects of social life, from our idioms, from memories ofour childhood and from the stories of our grandparents. The Orwellianaction of artificially remodeling the past has become commonplace in thecontemporary world, to the point that a class of high school studentsare unable to recognize an altarpiece depicting a scene from the life ofChrist or a bas-relief with one of the most revered saints of the past. Dr.Robert Hickson calls this inability “deficiency of dogmatic understanding”,“Catholic illiteracy of pestilential proportions”.Tabula rasa: millions of souls who only twenty or thirty years ago wouldhave immediately identified the Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan orSaint Jerome or Saint Mary Magdalene are capable of seeing only two menalong a river, an old man with a lion and a woman with a vase. Readingthe pages of Dante, Manzoni or one of the great Christian writers of thepast, many Catholics can no longer grasp the moral and transcendentsense of a culture that is no longer their common heritage, a jealouslyguarded legacy, the deep root of a robust plant full of fruit.In its place we have a bundle of the confused rubbish of the myths of theRevolution, the dusty Masonic ideological repertoire, and the iconographyof a supposed freedom won by the guillotine, along with the persecutionof the Church, the martyrdom of Catholics in Mexico and Spain, theend of the tyranny of Kings and Popes and the triumph of bankers andviii Gratitude, Contemplation, and the Worth of Catholic Literatureusurers. A lineage of kings, saints, and heroes is ignored by its heirs, whostoop to boasting about their ancestors who were criminals, usurpers,and seditious traitors: never has falsification reached the point of suchincomprehensible perversion, and it is evident that the desire to artificiallycreate such ancestry is the necessary premise for the barbarization of theoffspring, which is now practically accomplished.We must also recognize that this removal has found significantencouragement also among those who, within the Catholic Church,have erased two thousand years of the inestimable patrimony of faith,spirituality and art, beginning with a wretched sense of inferiority instilledin the faithful even by the Hierarchy since Vatican II. The ancient apostolicliturgy, on which centuries of poetic compositions, mosaics, frescoes,paintings, sculptures, chiseled vases, illuminated chorales, embroideredvestments, plainchants and polyphony have been shaped, has beenproscribed. In its place we now have a squalid rite without roots, bornfrom the pen of conspirators dipped in the inkwell of Protestantism; musicthat is no longer sacred but profane; tasteless liturgical vestments andsacred vessels made of common material. And as a grey counterpoint tothe hymns of St. Ambrose and St. Thomas, we now have poor paraphraseswithout metrics and without soul, grotesque paintings and disturbingsculptures. The removal of the admirable writings of the Fathers of theChurch, the works of the mystics, the erudite dissertations of theologiansand philosophers and, in the final analysis, of Sacred Scripture itself –whose divine inspiration is sometimes denied, sacrilegiously affirmingthat it is merely of human origin – have all constituted necessary stepsof being able to boast of the credit of worldly novelties, which beforethose monuments of human ingenuity enlightened by Grace appear asmiserable forgeries.This absence of beauty is the necessary counterpart to an absence ofholiness, for where the Lord of all things is forgotten and banished, noteven the appearance of Beauty survives. It is not only Beauty that hasbeen banished: Catholic Truth has been banished along with it, in all itscrystalline splendor, in all its dazzling consistency, in all its irrepressiblecapacity to permeate every sphere of civilized living. Because the Truthis eternal, immutable and divisive: it existed yesterday, it exists todayand it will exist tomorrow, as eternal and immutable and divisive as theWord of God.Certainly, behind this induced amnesia, there is a Trinitarian heresy. Andwhere the Deceiver lurks, the eternal Truth of God must be obscured inorder to make room for the lie, the betrayal of reality, the denial of the past.In a forgery that is truly criminal forgery, even the very custodians of thedepositum fidei ask forgiveness from the world for sins never committed byour fathers – in the name of God, Religion or the Fatherland – supportingthe widest and most articulated historical forgery carried out by theenemies of God. And this betrays not only the ignorance of History whichis already culpable, but also culpable bad faith and the malicious will todeceive the simple ones.Rediscovering memory, even in literature, is a meritorious and necessarywork for the restoration of Christianity, a restoration that is neededtoday more than ever if we want to entrust to our children a legacy to bepreserved and handed down as a tangible sign of God’s intervention inthe history of the human race: how much Providence has accomplishedover the centuries – and that art has immortalized by depicting miracles,the victories of the Christians over the Turk, sovereigns kneeling at thefeet of the Virgin, patron saints of famous universities and prosperouscorporations – can be renewed today and especially tomorrow, only if wecan rediscover our past and understand it in the light of the mystery ofthe Redemption.This book proposes the noble purpose of restoring Catholic memory,bringing it back to its ancient splendor, that is, the substance of aharmonious and organic past that has grown and still lives today, just asthe hereditary traits of a child are found developed in the adult man, oras the vital principle of the seed is found in the sap of the tree and in thepulp of the fruit. Robert Hickson rightly shows us, in the restoration ofmemory, the way to rediscover the shared faith that shapes the traits of ashared Catholic culture.In this sense it is significant – I would say extremely appropriate, even ifonly by analogy – to have also included Christian literature among theSacramentals, applying to it the same action as that of blessed water, theglow of the candles, the ringing of bells, the liturgical chant: the invocationof the Virgin in the thirty-third canto of Dante’s Paradiso, the dialogueof Cardinal Borromeo with the Innominato, and a passage by Chestertonall make Catholic truths present in our minds and, in some way, theyrealize what they mean and can influence the spiritual life, expandingand completing it. Because of this mystery of God’s unfathomable mercywe are touched in our souls, moved to tears, inspired by Good, spurredto conversion. But this is also what happens when we contemplate analtarpiece or listen to a composition of sacred music, in which a ray ofdivine perfection bursts into the greyness of everyday life and shows us thesplendor of the Kingdom that awaits us.The author writes: “We are called to the commitment to recover the life andfull memory of the Body of Christ, even if in our eyes we cannot do much torebuild that Body”. But the Lord does not ask us to perform miracles: Heinvites us to make them possible, to create the conditions in our souls andin our social bodies so that the wonders of divine omnipotence may bemanifested. To open ourselves to the past, to the memory of God’s greatactions in history, is an essential condition for making it possible for us tobecome aware of our identity and our destiny today so that we may restorethe Kingdom of Christ tomorrow.+ Carlo Maria ViganòTitular Archbishop of UlpianaApostolic Nuncio28 August 2020Saint AugustineBishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Book One - Volume 1 - God: His Knowability, Essence, and Attributes - 480 pages - EBOOK - PDF
Many Catholics living today can remember when priests were well trained in theology and could express the Faith properly in their sermons and in their writing. That is because they were given sound teaching at the seminary in Logic, Philosophy, and Dogmatic Theology from textbooks such as this 12 volume set. The famous Pohle-Preuss manual was used in many seminaries in America and other countries prior to the 1950's when seminary training began to go downhill.
This particular manual was used in the Jesuit seminary where Fr. Leonard Feeney, who was one called by his Jesuit superior "the greatest theologian we have in America...by far" was trained. This beautiful hardbound series is an exact reproduction of the edition originally published in 1911, and it was written by Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pohle an edited by Arthur Preuss.
Joseph Pohle was a Jesuit and one of the founding faculty members of the Catholic University of America as well as a frequent contributor to the Catholic Encyclopedia. He died in 1922 after having produced one of the clearest and most succinct and useful systematic studies of Catholic theology ever published. This series is invaluable for priests, seminarians, and anyone interested in a systematic study of dogmatic theology.
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Book Two includes
Volume Volume 2 - The Divine TrinityVolume 3 - God: The Author of Nature and the Supernatural - 686 pages
Book Three - Volume 4 Christology - Volume 5 Soteriology - Volume 6 Mariology - 684 pages - EBOOK - PDF
Book Six - Volume 10 The Sacraments Part 3 & Volume 11 The Sacraments Part 4 & Volume 12 Eschatology - 704 pages - EBOOK - PDF
Jean OussetAction is a definitive manual on Catholic Action by one of the 20th Century's great lay Catholic scholars of Catholic Action. This book discusses not only the theory of Catholic Social Action but examines it from practical standpoints: why should Catholic laymen feel called to action for the spread of Catholic social principles in society, how can they make that action effective, and how can they manage the resources available for action. Anyone who has ever felt that something must be done to save society from chaos and collapse should consider this book a must read.
. . . Once [Gustavus Adolphus] took the field, Richelieu found that he had called up the devil, and that the devil was too much for him. Hilaire Belloc, 1930
Belloc has written elsewhere that the victory of the Reformation in England led to its victory in much of the rest of Europe. That victory unleashed the forces of social disintegration, Protestantism, Capitalism, and anti-Catholicism and let them to challenge the tradition of Monarchy on the field of battle. This book tells the story of how Charles I came to face those forces, manipulated by the Money Power, and how and why he failed. Charles I reads like "a ripping yarn", but it explores the personalities, the issues, the clashes, and the circumstances as they were. Thus it is not "acceptable orthodoxy." But it is real history.