Saturday, May 15, 2004
That the Greatness and Charity of God Is Shown to Men in the Sacrament
The Voice of the Disciple
Trusting in Thy goodness and great mercy, O Lord, I draw near, the sick to the Healer, the hungering and thristing to the Fountain of life, the poverty-stricken to the King of heaven, the servant to the Lord, the creature to the Creator, the desolate to my own gentle Comforter. But whence is this unto me, that Thou comest unto me? Who am I that Thou shouldest offer me Thyself? How doth a sinner dare to appear before Thee? And how dost thou vouchsafe to come to the sinner? Thou knowest Thy servant, and Thou knowest that he hath in him no good thing for which Thou shouldest grant him this grace. I confess therefore mine own vileness, I acknowledge Thy goodness, I praise Thy tenderness, and I give Thee thanks for Thine exceeding great love. For Thou doest this for Thine own sake, not for my merits, that Thy goodness may be more manifest unto me, Thy charity more abundantly poured out upon me, and Thy humility more perfectly commended unto me. Therefore because this pleaseth Thee and Thou hast commanded that thus it shall be, Thy condescension pleaseth me also; and oh that mine iniquity hinder it not.
O most sweet and tender Jesus, what reverence, what giving of thanks is due to Thee with perpetual praise for the receiving of Thy sacred Body and Blood, the dignity whereof no man is found able to express. But what shall I think upon in this Communion in approaching my Lord, whom I am not able worthily to honour, and nevertheless whom I long devoutly to receive? What shall be better and more healthful meditation for me, than utter humiliation of myself before Thee, and exaltation of Thine infinite goodness towards me? I praise Thee, O my God, and exalt Thee for evermore. I despise myself, and cast myself down before Thee into the deep of my vileness.
Behold, Thou art the Saint of saints and I the refuse of sinners; behold, Thou stoopest unto me who am not worthy to look upon Thee; behold, Thou comest unto me, Thou willest to be with me, Thou invitest me to Thy feast. Thou willest to give me the heavenly food and bread of angels to eat; none other, in truth, than Thyself, The living bread, which didst descend from heaven; and givest life to the world.
Behold, whence this love proceedeth! what manner of condescenion shineth forth herein. What great giving of thanks and praise is due unto Thee for these benefits! Oh how salutary and profitable Thy purpose when Thou didst ordain this! How sweet and pleasant the feast when Thou didst give Thyself for food! Oh how admirable is thy working, O Lord, how mighty Thy power, how unspeakable Thy truth! For Thou didst speak the word, and all things were made; and this is done which Thou hast commanded.
A thing wonderful, and worthy of faith, and surpassing all the understanding of man, that Thou, O Lord my God, very God and very man, givest Thyself altogether to us in a little bread and wine, and art so our inexhaustible food. Thou, O Lord of all, who hast need of nothing, hast willed to dwell in us through Thy Sacrament. Preserve my heart and my body undefiled, that with a joyful and pure conscience I may be able very often to [celebrate, and] receive to my perpetual health. Thy mysteries, which Thou hast consecrated and instituted both for Thine own honour, and for a perpetual memorial.
Rejoice, O my soul, and give thanks unto God for so great a gift and precious consolation, left unto thee in this vale of tears. For so oft as thou callest this mystery to mind and receivest the body of Christ, so often dost thou celebrate the work of thy redemption, and art made partaker of all the merits of Christ. For the charity of Christ never groweth less, and the greatness of His propitiation is never exhausted. Therefore, by continual renewal of thy spirit, thou oughtest to dispose thyself hereunto and to weigh the great mystery of salvation with attentive consideration. So great, new, and joyful ought it to appear to thee when thou comest to communion, as if on this self-same day Christ for the first time were descending into the Virgin's womb and becoming man, or hanging on the cross, suffering and dying for the salvation of mankind.
But Mark Sullivan over at Irish Elk just celebrated his second blog-o-versary. Ad multos annos, Marcus!
And I beseech thee through those most holy fifteen joys that thou didst have in thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and through that holy, great compassion and most bitter sorrow thou didst have when thou didst see our Lord Jesus Christ nude, lifted upon the cross, hanging, crucified, wounded, thirsty, served gall, heard Him cry out, and then saw Him die.
And through the five wounds of thy Son, through the contraction of His flesh because of the great pain of His wounds, through the sorrow thou didst have when thou didst see Him wounded, through the fountains of His blood, through all His passion, through all the sorrow of thy heart, and through the fountains of thy tears, I beseech thee along with all the saints and elect of God.
Come and hasten to my aid and counsel, in all my prayers and requests, in all my difficulties and necessities, and in all those things that I may do, may say, or may think, in every day, hour, and moment of my life. And obtain for me, thy servant, from thy beloved Son a full measure filled with all mercy and consolation, with all counsel, with all aid and help, with all blessing and holiness, with all salvation, peace and prosperity, with all joy and eagerness. Obtain also an abundance of all good things, spiritual and bodily, and the grace of the Holy Spirit so He may set all things in good order for me, guard my soul, guide my body, uplift my senses, control my ways, approve my actions, perfect my wishes and desires, instill holy thoughts, forgive my past evils, emend those of the present and temper those in the future, and grant me an honest and honorable life. May He grant me victory over all the adversities of this world, peace of mind and body, good hope, charity, faith, chastity, humility and patience. May He guide and protect the five senses of my body, make me fulfill the seven works of mercy, make me keep the ten commandments and make me firmly believe the twelve articles of the faith. May He keep me free and defend me from the seven deadly sins until the end of my life.
In my last days show unto me thy face. Show me the day and hour of my death. Hear and graciously listen to my humble prayer and grant me eternal life. O most sweet Virgin Mary, Mother of God and of mercy, hear and answer me.
Obsecro te, Domina Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, pietate plenissima, summi regis filia, Mater gloriosissima, Mater orphanorum, consolatio desolatorum, via errantium, salus et spes in te sperantium, Virgo ante partum, Virgo in partu, et Virgo post partum, fons misericordiae, fons salutis et gratiae, fons pietatis et laetitiae, fons consolationis et indulgentiae, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem laetitiam qua exultavit spiritus tuus in illa hora quando tibi per Gabrielem Archangelum annuntiatus et conceptus Filius Dei fuit, et per illud divinum mysterium quod tunc operatus est Spiritus Sanctus, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem gratiam, pietatem, misericordiam, amorem, et humilitatem per quas Filius Dei descendit humanam carnem accipere in venerabilissimo utero tuo, et in quibus te respexit quando te commendavit sancto Ioanne apostolo et evangelista, et quando te exaltavit super choros angelorum, et per illam sanctam ineffabilem humilitatem qua respondisti Archangelo Gabrieli, "Ecce ancilla Domini. Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum."
Et per gloriosissima quindecim gaudia quae habuisti de Filio tuo Domino nostro Iesu Christo, et per illam sanctam maximam compassionem et acerbissimum cordis dolorem quem habuisti quando Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum ante crucem nudatum et in ipsa levatum vidisti, pendentem, crucifixum, vulneratum, sitientem fel apponi, clamantem audisti et morientem vidisti.
Et per quinque vulnera Filii tui, et per contractionem viscerum suorum prae nimio dolore vulnerum, et per dolorem quem habuisti quando vidisti eum vulnerari, et per fontes sanguinis sui et per omnem passionem eius et per omnem dolorem cordis tui, et per fontes lacrimarum tuarum et cum omnibus sanctis et electis Dei.
Venias et festines in auxilium et consilium meum. In omnibus orationibus et requisitis meis. Et in omnibus angustiis et in necessitatibus meis et in omnibus rebus illis in quibus ego sum facturus, locuturus, aut cogitaturus omnibus diebus ac noctibus, horis, atque momentis vitae meae. Et in famulo tuo impetres a dilecto Filio complementum omni misericordia et consolatione, omni consilio, omni auxilio et omni adiutorio, omni benedictione et sanctificatione, omni salvatione, pace et prosperitate, omni gaudio et alacritate, etiam abundantiam omnium bonorum spiritualium et corporalium et gratiam Spiritus Sancti qui me bene per omnia disponat, animam meam custodiat, corpus regat, sensus erigat, mores componat, actus probet, vota et desideria mea proficiat, cogitationes sanctas instituat, praeterita mala indulgeat, praesentia emendet, futura moderetur, vitam honestam et honorabilem mihi tribuat. Et victoriam contra omnes adversitates huius mundi, beatam pacem spiritualem et corporalem mihi tribuat. Bonam spem, caritatem fidem castitatem humilitatem et patientiam. Et quinque sensus corporis mei regat et protegat, septem opera misericordiae complere me faciat, duodecim articulos fidei1 et decem praecepta legis firmiter credere et tenere me faciat. Et a septem peccatis mortalibus me liberet et defendat usque in finem vitae meae.
Et in novissimis diebus meis ostende mihi faciem tuam. Et annunties mihi dies et hora obitus mei. Et hanc orationem meam supplicem suscipias et exaudias. Et vitam aeternam mihi tribuas. Audi et exaudi me dulcissime Virgo Maria, Mater Dei et misericordiae.
"In the Gospel, St. John has recorded a wonderful phrase of Our Lady. At the wedding of Cana she turned to the waiters and said: 'Do whatever he tells you.' That is what it is all about - getting people to face Jesus and ask him: 'Lord, what do you want me to do?'"
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Prompt obedience, when we are called or asked to do some errand or some act of service.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Would that there was something of Andrew Jackson in Mitt Romney. Confronted with a US Supreme Court ruling he did not like (I think it ordered him to keep open the Bank of the United States which he fervently wanted to close), he just said, "The justices have made their decision. Now let us see them enforce it."
Jackson ordered the Bank closed, and the Court was powerless to stop him. No officer of the executive branch would do anything but follow the President's orders, the Supreme Court be damned.
Likewise, Lincoln, at the start of the Civil War, ignored Supreme Court writs of habeus corpus for Confederate sympathizers he had jailed, and drew up contingency plans to have the pro-Confederate Chief Justice Taney, the author of Dred Scott, arrested. Fortunately, the old buzzard died before Lincoln had to put the plan into operation.
Courts have an inherent weakness, which was intended by the Founding Fathers as a practical check on their power. They have no ability to enforce their orders if the executive is firm in resisting them. They can be ignored if they are acting in a tyrannical manner as in ordering Massachusetts to accept gay marriages.
Given that Massachusetts is preparing to amend its constitution to outlaw gay marriages, and that the court is unreasonable in creating a situation in which gay marriages will be performed for a couple of years before the amendment is passed (and if there are no "marriages" performed, that amendment would be passed).
A constitutional crisis? Yep. But one brought on by the unreasonableness and intransigence of the SJC, not by the governor.
But Mitt will never do that. He is too much a man of the establishment to grasp the possibilities, or the urgency of the matter for civilization.
Down we go.
"The mother of God, who looked for her Son so anxiously when he was lost (through no fault of her own) and experienced such great joy in finding him, will help us retrace our steps and put right whatever may be necessary when, because of our carelessness or our sins, we have been unable to recognize Christ. With her help, we will know the happiness of holding him in our arms once more and telling him we will never lose him again."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A good, sincere, sorrowful confession of our sins and failures, in the sacrament of Penance.
Mother of mercy,
Do you shield me from the enemy
And receive me at the hour of my death.
Maria, Mater gratiae,
tu me ab hoste protege
et hora mortis suscipe.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Had trouble getting Blogger to publish this morning.
When I was creating the Ave Maris Stella file, I hit a key I should not have hit just as I was creating the file, and everything I had been working on for 30 minutes just disappeared. Poof. Start all over.
Then I had difficulty getting Yahoo to post a holy card image of Our Lady of Fatima as the front page photo for the club (and ultimately failed).
Now I can't get it to put the old image of the Immaculate Heart back.
I have a friend who is thinking of entering the Church, and I will probably end up as his sponsor. I went looking in the library for a copy of any edition of the Baltimore Catechism (so I don't have to loan out mine, or print it up from on-line). Six million books, and no Baltimore Catechism!
When I looked for a book one of the priests had recommended for my friend to read, there was only one copy apparently in Eastern Massachusetts- in the Malden Public Library, and they withdrew it from circulation.
Days like this really try one's patience.
On the bright side, it is a nice sunny day, temperate, a light breeze with ample shade and the trees leafing out nicely (and starting to lose their spring green for summer green :( ). No one that I know of is dead or seriously hurt.
Although it is not Friday, it is the 13th. I might have known.
You can find an e-text of Revelations of Divine Love at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group (Links, then Great Catholic Writings, feel free to browse around while you are there, and membership is always absolutely FREE).
God's own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav'nly rest.
Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve's name.
Break the sinners' fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.
Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.
Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.
Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.
Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one.
AVE maris stella,
Dei Mater alma,
atque semper Virgo,
felix caeli porta.
Sumens illud Ave
funda nos in pace,
mutans Hevae nomen.
Solve vincula reis,
profer lumen caecis
mala nostra pelle,
bona cuncta posce.
Monstra te esse matrem:
sumat per te preces,
qui pro nobis natus,
tulit esse tuus.
inter omnes mites,
nos culpis solutos,
mites fac et castos.
Vitam praesta puram,
iter para tutum:
ut videntes Iesum
Sit laus Deo Patri,
summo Christo decus,
tribus honor unus.
"I like to go back in my imagination to the years Jesus spent close to his mother, years which span almost the whole of his life on earth. I like to picture him as a little child, cared for by Mary, who kisses him and plays with him. I like to see him growing up before the loving eyes of his mother and of Joseph, his father on earth. What tenderness and care Mary and the holy Patriarch must have shown toward Jesus, as they looked after him during his childhood, all the while, silently, learning so much from him. Their souls would become more and more like to soul of that Son, who was both man and God. This is why his mother, and after her St. Joseph, understand better than anyone the feelings of the heart of Christ; and the two of them are thus the best way, I would say the only way, to reach the Savior."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
The effort of doing our ordinary work well, on time, with competence and finesse.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
O that I were amongst the number of those whose sanctity allows them to communicate daily. But since I am unworthy, do Thou, O Lord, supply my want of the proper dispositions. Grant me pardon of my manifold sins, which I detest from the bottom of my heart, because they displease Thee. Cast Thy compassionate eye upon me, and purify my soul, that the ardent desire which I conceive of being united to Thee by a worthy communion may be speedily accomplished. But until this happy moment, I earnestly entreat Thee, O dearest Lord, that Thou wouldst make me a partaker of all those advantages which the Communion of the priest may produce in Thy people. By the efficacy of this live-giving Sacrament, increase my faith, strengthen my hope; revive in my soul the rays of divine charity, and inflame my heart with Thy love, that it may pant only for Thee, and live for Thee alone.
Chile, against all the evidence of familial instability, homelessness, drug abuse, welfare dependence, alcoholism, and sexual libertinism that divorce has caused everywhere else, has legalized divorce.
Will they never learn?
O Domina mea! O Mater mea! Tibi me totum offero, atque, ut me tibi probem devotum, consecro tibi [hodie*] oculos meos, aures meas, os meum, cor meum, plane me totum. Quoniam itaque tuus sum, o bona Mater, serva me, defende me ut rem ac possessionem tuam. Amen.
"The mystery of Mary helps us to see that in order to approach God, we must become little. Christ said to his disciples: 'Believe me, unless you become like little children again, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.' "To become children, we must renounce our pride and self-sufficiency, recognizing that we can do nothing by ourselves. We must realize that we need grace and the help of God our Father to find our way and keep it."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A visit to a lonely person to share the joy of trusting in God alone.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Disgusting stuff, and most of it probably happened. In the culture that allowed Birmingham, Paquin, Shanley, and Geoghan to flourish, what surprise is there that lesbian nuns were getting in on the act with (mostly) female students?
Went to chapel this past Sunday myself and was treated to the "best" of Haugen and Haas. Just wished for it to end. You really should not have to feel that way at Mass.
Next Sunday, I'll try to get to either the very traditional parish in the North End run by the Franciscans, or to the Indult Mass (perhaps one of the last dozen or so that we will ever hear in Boston, if Holy Trinity is closed). In either place, the music will be comfortable. The Holy Trinity music is splendid, a feast for the soul, whether there is a choir there or not, Low Mass or High Mass. Saint Leonard of Port Maurice has good, decent fare with an Italian lady soloist/organist who doesn't venture into "Gather" or similar hymnals very often.
But our friend at Sacred Miscellany does not have the option of just venturing a few blocks to a better Mass (yes, I said better, I'm not arguing validity, merit, or grace: if it doesn't make you clench your fists in anger and grind your teeth, it is a better Mass).
Hang in there, Mary Jane.
"'Going into the house, they saw the child with Mary, his mother.' Our Lady is always near her Son. The Magi are not received by a king on a high throne, but by a child in the arms of his mother. Let us ask the Mother of God, who is our mother, to prepare us the way that leads to the fullness of love...Her sweet heart knows the surest path for finding Christ."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A visit to a poor person to communicate our Lady's concern for that person.
Ave, augustissima Regina pacis, sanctissima Mater Dei, per sacratissimum Cor Iesu Filii tui Principis pacis, fac ut quiescat ira ipsius et regnet super nos in pace. Memorare, o piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a saeculo quemquam tua petentem suffragia esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia, ad te venio. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere, sed audi propitia et exaudi. O clemens, o pia o dulcis Virgo Maria.
Monday, May 10, 2004
"She teaches us to have charity. Remember the scene of the presentation of Jesus in the temple. An old man, Simeon, said to Mary, 'Behold: This child is destined to bring about the fall of many and the rise of many in Israel - and to be a sign, which people will refuse to acknowledge, so that the thoughts of many hearts shall be made manifest. As for your own soul, it shall have a sword pierce it.' So great is Mary's love for all mankind that she, too, fulfilled Christ's words: 'Greater love has no man than this, that he should lay down his life for his friends.'"
Let us offer to our Mother today:
A pilgrimage to one of her shrines.
O Virgo et Mater sanctissima, cuius animam in divini Filii tui passione doloris gladius pertransivit, et quae in gloriosa eius resurrectione perennem triumphantis laetitiam percepisti; impetra nobis supplicibus tuis, ita sanctae Ecclesiae adversitatibus Summique Pontificis doloribus consociari, ut optatis etiam consolationibus laetificari cum ipsis mereamur, in caritate et pace eiusdem Christi Domini nostri.
Sunday, May 09, 2004
Mom's Lullabye 1 (to the tune of Brahms Lullabye)
Go to bed, go to bed, I've had enough of your bullshit
Close your eyes, you little monster, before I blister your behind
I'll explain, you're a pain when you're tired and cranky
I get cranky sometimes too, it's cause I'm sick and tired of you
No you can't, have one more drink
No I won't read you one more story
I have had, it up to here
I could use a drink myself.
2 ( to the tune of My favorite things)
Pampers and potties and runny red noses
Babies are seldom a bed full of roses
Whining and crying and carrying on
This is what sucks about being a mom
Babies are cute, but just when they're sleeping
New mothers don't realize soon they'll be keeping
Hours that Dracula couldn't live on
This is what sucks about being a mom
When a toy breaks, when your back aches
When you're feeling down
Real moms aren't impressed when they see a big mess
They just know there's a child around.
3 (tune of Over the Rainbow)
Let me go to the bathroom
Let me watch some TV or talk on the telephone
I hate Ernie and Burt
And Barbie too
I'm sick to death of the Smurfs so give me a break, tonight.
I know how much you love me and
You know how much I love you dear
Please my darling daughter
Won't you go and bug your father
I don't want you near me!
Let me sit down to eat let me rest a while
I don't know if my feet could survive through another child
Living with a kid like you
Is like being keeper of a zoo!
You should be in a cage!
I intend to change the image for the feasts of important saints and other holy days. But I think this one, introduced to me by Chris at Maine Catholic and Beyond (for whom please continue to pray) will be the default image, the one there when there is nothing major pending. It will certainly stay there through May.
How could I forget? Well, since 1998, Mothers' Day has just been for me a day to visit a graveyard, leave some flowers, and say a prayer or two. All the mothers in my life, or who should have been in my life are dead.
For Kathryn and June, Nora and Felicia, and Susan (the only great-grandmother whose name I know):
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls, and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
St Ambrose: "We have loved them during life; let us not abandon them until we have conducted them by our prayers into the house of the Lord."
An Irish boy was leaving,
Leaving his own native home,
To cross the broad Atlantic,
Once more he wished to roam,
And as he was leaving his mother,
Who was standing on the quay,
She threw her arms around his waist,
And this to him did say,
A mother's love's a blessing,
No matter where you roam,
Keep her while she's living,
You'll miss her when she's gone,
Love her as in childhood,
Though feeble, old and grey,
For you'll never miss your mother's love,
Till she's buried beneath the clay.
And as the years go onwards,
I'll settle down in life,
And choose a nice young colleen,
And take her for my wife,
And as the babes grow older,
And climb around my knee,
I'll teach them the very same lesson,
That my mother taught to me.
Nothing more true than the chorus.
"You must look at the Child in the manger. He is our Love. Look at him, realizing that the whole thing is a mystery. We need to accept this mystery on faith and use our faith to explore it very deeply. To do this, we must have the humble attitude of a Christian soul."
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Small hidden sacrifices, especially those that go against the grain.
Be our intercessor and advocate at the hour of and judgment; deliver us from the fire that is not extinguished and from the outer darkness; make us worthy of the glory of thy Son, O dearest and most clement Virgin Mother. Thou indeed art our only hope most sure and sacred in God's sight, to Whom be honor and glory and majesty and dominion for ever and ever world without end.
O PURA et immaculata, eademque benedicta Virgo, magni Filii tui universorum Domini Mater inculpata, integra et sacrosanctissima, desperantium atque reorum spes, te collaudamus. Tibi ut gratia plenissimae benedicimus, quae Christum genuisti Deum et Hominem: omnes coram te prosternimur: omnes te invocamus et auxilium tuum imploramus. Eripe nos, o Virgo sancta atque intemerata, a quaecumque ingruente necessitate et a cunctis tentationibus diaboli.
Nostra conciliatrix et advocata in hora mortis atque iudicii esto: nosque a futuro inexstinguibili igne et a tenebris exterioribus libera: et Filii tui nos gloria dignare, o Virgo et Mater dulcissima ac clementissima. Tu siquidem unica spes nostra es securissima et sanctissima apud Deum, cui gloria et honor, decus atque imperium in sempiterna saecula saeculorum.