Potpourri of Popery, St. Albert Edition

It's actually the feast of St. Margaret of Scotland today, but I started the post on Thursday, and St. Albert never gets any attention, so I'm sticking with him. Doctor of the Church and tutor to St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Albert the Great acquired the nickname, "teacher of everything there is to know." He was a scientist --indeed, with Roger Bacon, one of the founders of "Science" as we know it-- although since he lived before the age of Science, he was considered popularly to be a wizard. He was convinced that creation speaks of God and thus the slightest bit of scientific knowledge revealed something about God.

Sunday was the feast of St. Martin of Tours, and the Pope dedicated his Angelus address to the guy with half a cape (the most famous story about St. Martin always seems to me to be the epitome of ineffective and "feel-good" charity, but what do I know?). I delight in this paragraph:
St. Martin’s charitable gesture inscribes itself in the same logic that moved Jesus to multiply the loaves of bread for the famished crowds, but above all to leave himself in food for humanity in the Eucharist, supreme sign of God’s love, "sacramentum caritatis." It is in the logic of sharing that the love of neighbor is concretely expressed.
Not because it's earth-shattering, but because we spent the 80s hearing that "the real miracle" of the loaves and fishes was that Jesus got the hoarding hordes to share as if the point of the story was a big picnic and not the foreshadowing of the Eucharist. It's just pleasant to see the matter resolved aright.
Wednesday's Audience was a St. Jerome, part deux.
A passionate love for Scripture pervaded all of Jerome's life, a love that he sought to also awaken in the faithful. To a spiritual daughter he recommended: "Love sacred Scripture and wisdom shall love you; love it tenderly, and it will protect you; honor it and you shall receive its caresses. Let it mean to you as much as your necklaces and your earrings mean to you" (Ep. 130,20). And again: "Love the science of Scripture, and you shall not love the vices of the flesh" (Ep. 125,11).
But not sola scriptura:
For him an authentic interpretation of the Bible always had to be in harmony with the faith of the Catholic Church. This is not an external requirement imposed on the book. The book itself is the voice of the people of God in pilgrimage, and only in the faith of these people we find the right frame of mind to understand sacred Scripture. Hence Jerome warned: "Stay firmly attached to the traditional doctrine that has been taught to you, so that you can preach according to the right doctrine and refute those who contradict it" (Ep. 52,7).

In particular, given that Jesus Christ founded his Church on Peter, he concluded that every Christian has to be in communion "with the chair of St. Peter. I know that on this stone the Church is built" (Ep. 15,2). Consequently, he declared: "I am with whoever is united to the chair of St. Peter" (Ep. 16).
The Pope's letter on St. John Chrysostom (it's addressed to the bishops and all the faithful) is nowhere to be found on any of the sites dedicated to such things. Perhaps it's because the papal audiences dedicated to Chrysostom seem to be drawn from this text --this is similar, but much amplified. Fortunately, Fr. Z. has taken it upon himself to translate for us (follow his link to his document):
John spoke movingly of the sacramental effects of Holy Communion upon believers. “Christ’s blood causes the image of our King to be fresh within us, produces unspeakable beauty, and does not permit the nobleness of our souls to waste away, but waters it continually, and nourishes it.” For this reason, St John, echoing the Holy Scriptures, insistently and frequently exhorted the faithful to approach the altar of the Lord worthily, “not lightly and … out of custom and form,” but with “sincerity and purity of soul”.

He insisted that interior preparation for Holy Communion should include repentance for one’s sins and gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice on behalf of our salvation. He thus urged the lay faithful to participate fully and devoutly in the rites of the Divine Liturgy and, with this same disposition, to receive Holy Communion. “Let us not, I beg you, slay ourselves by our irreverence, but with awe and purity draw near to it; and when you see it set before you, say to yourself: ‘Because of this Body am I no longer earth and ashes, no longer a prisoner, but free: because of this I hope for heaven, and to receive the good things therein, immortal life, the portion of angels, to converse with Christ’.”

It's Italian Catholic Social Week, and B16 sent a message on "the common good." The editors of the LA Times (see post below) might have read it before they mouthed off:
In the Encyclical "Deus Caritas Est," I wanted to recall that "the formation of just structures is not directly the duty of the Church, but belongs to the world of politics, the sphere of the autonomous use of reason" (n. 29). I then noted that: "The Church has an indirect duty here, in that she is called to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run" (ibid.). What better occasion than this to reaffirm that working for a just order in society is a direct task proper to the lay faithful?
(For that matter, certain US bishops might profitably study that too, but don't get me started.) And lookee here, relevant to some combox discussion carried on here for some weeks now. Faced with all kinds of ethical and political challenges:
be ready to welcome the great opportunity that these challenges offer and not to react with a defeatist withdrawal into themselves, but on the contrary, with a renewed dynamism, to trustingly open themselves to new relationships and not waste any energy that could contribute to ... cultural and moral growth.
  • Iraq: Recall the famous Michael Yon photo of Muslims replacing the cross on a Chaldean Catholic Church? It was to prepare for the return of the bishop --and he celebrated mass there today. Photos here.
  • Oz:Cardinal Pell celebrated mass in the extraordinary form. Here's his homily, in which he traces Marian devotion from the Roman catacombs to Vatican II. Very nice remarks about the mass of John XXIII at the close.
  • Ravenna: Here's the Ravenna document, exhaled jointly in October by the two lungs of the Church. It was major news in Greece, but we haven't heard peep about it here. They're calling it minor, but it seems pretty major to me. Here's Cardinal Kasper:
    The important development," he explained, "is that for the first time the Orthodox Churches have said yes, this universal level of the Church exists and also at the universal level there is conciliarity, synodality and authority; this means that there is also a primate; according to the practice of the ancient Church, the first bishop is the Bishop of Rome."
  • US: The bishops concluded their annual conference. Cardinal George of Chicago was elected Prez. Further commentary on the two main documents in another post, but Cardinal O'Malley is a bit more blunt than his confreres:
    Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, saying the Democratic Party has been persistently hostile to opponents of abortion rights, asserted yesterday that the support of many Catholics for Democratic candidates "borders on scandal."
  • Cardinal Dulles on "Saving Ecumenism from Itself."
And finally: Also rans: the rejected new mysteries of the Rosary.