Why popes bless with three fingers according to Aramis’s Jesuit adviser in Three Musketeers

Aramis is one of the The Three Musketeers (Bantam Classic) in Alexandre Dumas’s book. Aramis is a Jesuit Novice who is writing his thesis in preparation for his ordination to the priesthood. Aramis’s adviser is a Jesuit, and his adviser suggested to him the following topic in Latin:
“Ultraque manus in benedicendo clericis inferioribus necessaria est.” In English, “Both hands are necessary for priests of the lower orders when they give benediction.” The Jesuit adviser explained to Aramis:

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit.

After the RH Bill: The Age of Catacombs

Procession in the catacombs

Procession in the catacombs

Welcome to the Age of Catacombs. The Secular State is now against the Catholic Church in the Philippines. We need to prepare for a long protracted warfare for souls. This is the Year of Faith. This is my proposed battle plan:

For Priests

1. Increase devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass. Organized groups to make Holy Hours at least once a week or once a month. Encourage proper dress at mass, especially for priests. Encourage kneeling to receive communion and discourage communion in the hand. Use the Nicene Creed and kneel at the mention of Incarnation.

2. Encourage priests and seminarians to wear their cassock as a habit inside and outside the Church. If they don’t believe the idea, they can at least try it for a month and compare the reactions of people to their presence.

3. Revise the seminary formation. A priest should have read all of Summa Theologica before ordination. He must also know how to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in both ordinary and extraordinary forms. He must also be able to speak, write, and read in Latin.

For the Laity

1. Form confraternities of the holy rosary in every school and parish. UST and the Dominican schools can lead here. The Dominicans wiped out the Albigensian heresy before. They can do so again with the same tried and true method: the rosary. The members promise to say the rosary everyday, as a group if possible.

2. Revise the Religion curriculum taught in Catholic schools for K-12. The curriculum must make sure that at Grade 12, each student should have read all books of the Bible and all articles of the Catechism. They should be able to know whether a statement conforms to the teachings of the Catholic Church or not and answer True or False accordingly. Or better yet, they should be able to cite the actual passage of the Catechism.

3. Form Catholic apologetics groups in every college. A Chesterton Society used to exist in Ateneo de Manila. Debating for the sake of debating is useless unless it is done with charity, and with the purpose of conversion to the Catholic Faith.

4. Encourage more women to spend more time at home, so that they become the primary educators of their children. The formation of children should not be relinquished to house helpers. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”–William Rose Wallace.

5. Encourage religious orders to analyze their histories. They should ask the following questions: “When was our order at the peak of its numbers and spiritual strength? What did we do then? When was our order at the lowest in numbers and spiritual strength? What did we do then?” By this simple exercise, the religious orders would know in a very scientific manner substantiated by history how to increase their numbers and spiritual strength.

6. Read more Papal Encyclicals and less newspapers. Read more about the history of the Catholic Church. Read the lives of Saints instead that of movie stars.

7. Read St. Ignatius’s Guide for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church.

Enbrethiliel of Sancta Sanctis blog: the art of Catholic prose

Sancta Sanctis blog is a written by a professional freelance writer and traditionally-minded Catholic.  The blog’s author is Enbrethiliel and her icon is a young lady playing a classical guitar.   I do not know Enbrethiliel personally, but I read a few of her posts, and from them I learned who she is.


The name Enbrethiliel is probably a shortened form of Elbereth Gilthoniel in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.  Elbereth is one of Middle Earth’s “gods” who sang the world to existence, based on their knowledge of the Music in the Mind of Illuvatar  (Almighty God).  She is named in Silmarrillion as Varda, the Lady of the Stars, who sits at the right hand of  Manwe–a sitting position similar to that of Christ the King and Mary the Queen in the Union of the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary:

When Manwe there ascends his throne and looks forth, if Varda is beside him, he sees further than all other eyes, through mist, and through darkness, and over the leagues of the sea.  And if Manwe is with her, Varda hears more clearly than all other ears the sound of voices that cry from east to west, from the hills and the valleys, and from the dark places that Melkor has made upon Earth.  Of all the Great Ones who dwell in this world the Elves hold Varda most in reverence and love.  Elbereth they name her, and they call upon her name out of the shadows of Middle-earth, and uplift it in song at the rising of the stars.

So what does the name Enbrethiliel tell us about the lady behind the blog?  She is a literature major and a Tolkien fan.  Her posts are replete with references to Greek tragedies and English epics.  She says she also loves the prose of Chesterton–those long sentences built from words upon words, phrases upon phrases, and clauses upon clauses, until you reach the end of the paradox, and see truth expressed in a single line, in a single DOGMA OF FAITH.  Tolkien does this too at times when he wants to slowly narrate the coming of the dawn on the fields of Rohan or the sudden fall of Baradur, the fortress of Sauron.

Enbrethiliel’s prose has the hallmarks of the writers she admires, but she is her own style–humorous, briliant, frank, sincere.  I love to read her posts, not only to know more about our Catholic Faith in the Philippines, but also to study her prose as a specimen of good blogging.  If she she writes well enough for 30-minute posts, how much more wondrous must it have been to read her more finely crafted pieces, not necessarily those she was paid to write, but those she herself admires and enjoys reading again and again.

Enbrethiliel has a devotion to Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Indeed, one of her posts is about the Lady of the Philippines; the others are on St. Faustina and the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Just as the blogger loves music, she also loves the harmony of the truths of the Catholic Faith.  When she hears a discordant note, as when the Archbishop of Manila recommends the communion by the hand and not on the tongue, she cries out loud.

Sancta Sanctis

I do not know how to translate Sancta Sanctis.  My Latin is still poor.  But Sancta is probably the root of Santa or Saint and Sanctis is the root of sanctity.  So the probable translation is “from holiness to holiness,” a growth in holiness.

What does the name Sancta Sanctis say about the author?  The author loves Latin.  She says she always have the Latin Grammar book at her side.  So probably she speaks and writes well in Latin, which is handy for a literature major who would never be satisfied until she reads the original, untranslated texts: Dante’s Purgatorio in Italian and San Juan de la Cruz’s poems in Spanish.

I haven’t read her post about the traditional mass, though, since she appears  to go only to a Novus Ordo mass; for otherwise, the communion by the hand would not be an issue for her.  But I am sure, she would love to be in a Latin mass if it is in her parish.

Holiness to holiness.  Enbrethieliel wants to grow in holiness.  Many of her posts are about saints, our models for holiness.  Her favorite saint is St. Therese of Liseux.  She also once posted about her devotion to St. Thomas More: she asked him to treat her like one of his daughters, and help her become a literature major.  Her prayer was granted, but she admitted that her fervor has waned.  She wants to bring it back.

I enjoyed reading Enbrethiliel’s Sancta Sanctis blog.  I am still reading her older posts: they never grow stale, for they are not news to be read today and forgotten tomorrow; her posts are ever new.  Like Wordsworth watching daffodils, I read and read but little thought, what wealth this blog to me had brought.