Please fast and pray every Thursday for the renewal of the Catholic Church in America. Please note: The Cybersociety will fast on Fridays beginning January 2013, in accordance with ancient custom.

Friday, October 25, 2013


Speculator astat desuper / qui nos diebus omnibus / actusque nostros prospicit / a luce prima in vesperum.

There is One who from above /
Watches how the still hours move.

(Latin hymn from the Liturgy of the Hours translated by Bl. John Henry Newman)

Friday, October 18, 2013

More About St. Pius V

He was a Dominican--no wonder he turned to his Blessed Mother in times of danger. His papacy was marked by manifold crises. To the east, the enemy was Islam; to the north, Protestantism; at home, decadence, nepotism, and corruption. He gathered the Catholic nations together to defeat the Turk. With the aid of St. Charles Borremeo, he vigorously implemented the reforms of the Council of Trent. With the aid of St. Philip Neri and the example of his own holiness, he reformed the clergy of Rome.

He seems to have had a wry sense of humor. On his accession to the papacy, he remarked, "In our Dominican convent, living solely to God, and occupied with our salvation, we firmly hoped to be saved; elected bishop and cardinal, we began to fear; now that we are elected pontiff, we despair of our salvation." He reigned effectively for seven years (1565-1572). He was canonized in 1712.

Friday, October 11, 2013


Monday was the feast of the Holy Rosary. On Sunday, October 7, 1571, as the population of Rome processed in honor of the Virgin and prayed the Rosary in the streets, a combined Christian fleet sailed to meet the Ottoman Turks, late conquerors of Cyprus, in the Gulf of Lepanto. With undaunted courage amidst horrific slaughter, they won an overwhelming victory, checking the Islamic advance into the Mediterranean. In gratitude, Pope St. Pius V, a Dominican, added the title "Mary, Help of Christians" to Our Lady's Litany. 

"Whoever knows the Old and New Testaments, and then reads the Koran, clearly sees the process by which it completely reduces Divine Revelation. It is impossible not to note the movement away from what God said about Himself....Islam is not a religion of redemption. There is no room for the Cross and Resurrection....the tragedy of redemption is completely absent. For this reason not only the theology but also the anthropology of Islam is very distant from Christianity." (Pope St. John Paul II, Crossing the Threshold of Hope.)

They said to themselves, 'We will utterly subdue them'....Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and an impious people reviles your name. Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild animals....Do not forget the clamor of your foes, the uproar of your adversaries. (Psalm 74)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi

"Thus the Friars Minor, unable to accept in full Francis's Testament, were caught up in the more complex and more rigid network of disciplinary and constitutional regulations. Yet the new life that Francis himself had lived and shown to others remained and remains in the the model for a type of sanctity which all recognize as Franciscan. It has enriched the spirit of all a new manifestation of the brotherhood of all men and of the share of all creatures in the beauty and benevolence of God; as a showing forth of the Gospel lived in its fullness with a detail and clarity rare to equal in any age; and as a revelation of the imitation of Christ crucified, in love and suffering, which, though present in all Christian sanctity, appeared in Francis in a new form." (David Knowles, Saints and Scholars, 1962).