Saturday, March 05, 2005

Prayer of Saint Thomas More

We are at the half-way point of Lent, and I've decided to republish here St. Thomas More's prayer which is part of every lenten Holy Hour for me (and which I recommend strongly). This way, I don't have to link to it in the files of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group.

Give me the good grace, Lord,
To set the world at naught.
To set my mind fast upon Thee
To not hang upon the blast of mens' mouths.

To be content to be solitary.
To not long for worldly company.
To be concerned with the world less and less.
To rid my mind of all the world's busy-ness.
To not long for any worldly things.
To deem unpleasant even hearing the of the world.

To be gladly thinking of God alone.
To call piteously for His help.
To lean upon God for comfort.
To labor busily to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
To make myself meek and humble under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my past sins.
To suffer adversity patiently for the purging of them.

To bear gladly my Purgatory here.
To be joyful of tribulations.
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life.
To bear the Cross with Christ.
To have the last things always in remembrance.
To have my ever-possible always before my eyes.
To make no stranger to me.
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the Judge comes.

To have continually in mind the Passion that Christ suffered for me.
To give Him thanks continually for His benefits.
To redeem the lost time that I have wasted.
To abstain from vain discussion.
To eschew light and foolish mirth and merriment.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.

To set the loss of worldly substance, friends, liberties, and life, at naught,
If their loss means the gaining of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends,
For the brothers of Joseph could never have done him so much good
With their love and favor as they did with their malice and hatred.

These attitudes are more to be desired by every man than all the
Treasure of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen,
Were it all gathered and laid together upon one heap.

Written while a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1534, the year of his martyrdom. Slightly revised by GTF, 2004

Saturday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano

Prayers, Readings and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Saturday Holy Hour
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (you have to be a member of Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group)Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine (scroll down)
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrowful Mysteries

Friday, March 04, 2005

Friday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Lorenzo in Lucina

Prayers, Readings, and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Friday Holy Hour
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (must be logged in to Yahoo, and be a member of Recta Ratio)Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine (scroll down)
Devotions To the Holy Cross (scroll down)
Stations of the Cross

Thursday, March 03, 2005

To Bishop Lynch:

What the %#&* !

This Makes My Gorge Rise

Disgusting beyond words.

Fast For Terri

Earl Appleby has suggested that Catholics concerned with saving the life of Terri Schiavo undertake a fast from now until March 18th, the date the court has given for her judicial murder to recommence.

A Domino Is Falling In Lebanon

First a popular, peaceful revolution, and now pressure on Syria from the US and the rest of the civilized world (even the French) to withdraw from Lebanon.

Mark Sullivan at Irish Elk has more on the "Cedar Revolution."

This is what the Afghan and Iraqi campaigns were designed to bring about. Now if only this kind of thing can happen in Iran and Syria itself.

Christianity In the West May Be In A Period of Relative Decline

But so is atheism worldwide.

The Halfway Point

We have reached the halfway point of Lent. It is a good time to examine our Lenten sacrifices and our plan for spiritual growth during this holy season of penitence, and make what adjustments are necessary, and recommit as needed. Above all, think about the Sacrament of Penance, and the goal of genuinely worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist.

The Holy Father's Health Continues To Mend

He may leave the hospital by Easter.

Continue to remember him in your prayers. When you do the Stations of the Cross each Friday in Lent, remember to pray not just for his stated intentions, but also for him personally.

Archbishop Chaput Is Good On His Feet

He gave as good as he got in this confrontational environment. Good to see a feisty, orthodox prelate.

But it is sad to reflect that, after Bruskewitz, Chaput, Burke, and maybe Cardinal George, there is little to boast of among the American bishops.

Thanks to Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam for the link.

The Calendar Says Spring Is Only A Couple of Weeks Away

But this morning at 7, it was 12 degrees with a windchill of -4. The forecast for the weekend says it will be cold with intermittent snow and flurries.

Let us hope that the old saw about March comning in like a lion, but going out like a lamb applies this year. I've been jonesing for spring weather since right after Christmas, and the January thaw we had was a terrible tease.

Thursday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
SS. Cosma e Damiano in Via Sacra (Fori Imperiali)

Prayers, Readings, and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Thursday Holy Hour
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (must be logged into Yahoo and be a member of Recta Ratio)
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine (scroll down)
Devotion To the Holy Face

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A Great Entry On Forgiveness

From Penitens.

It is interesting that Penitens brought this up just now. Last night, that Gospel was in my mind very much, as it had been the Sunday Gospel 2 weeks after a catastrophe of non-forgiveness occurred to me. I had heard that Gospel that morning (almost 19 months ago) in high hopes, but the forgiveness I had hoped it would lead to did not materialize.

Forgiving is not easy. In fact it is hard, harder for some than for others. It is hard because it is not just the words, "I forgive you, now screw", but a wiping of the slate clean and a complete do-over, a restart. While I have a fairly easy time doing that, others might not.

How do you do that? Will not there always be a memory of having been hurt, even deeply hurt? Yeah, there will be a memory, but emotional and psychological detachment from the circumstances helps. As for me, I tend to be very detached from particular circumstances anyway. In most cases, you can come to an understanding that the other party had reasons for what she or he did. They may not seem like good reasons to us, but they probably seemed like good reasons to them at the time.

And in today's culture (actually the last 50 years' culture) of disposable relationships, including marriages, one side does a wrong, and no matter how many other non-wrongs they do, or why they did the wrong, they are discarded, vows about "better or worse," "good times or bad," "richer or poorer," "until death do you part" notwithstanding.

And the secular court system, and even the diocesan tribunals in the US, do nothing to bring the parties back together. In fact, they work on the basis that separation, permanent separation, is best. Society with its constant geographic mobility and lack of rootedness in one place also encourages relationships to never be mended, but just given up.

The unexplored country of this Gospel passage is what to do while awaiting that forgiveness. The expectation enshrined in the reading is that the forgiveness ought to be instantaneous. But what if it isn't? What if the state of non-forgiveness goes on and on and on? What is the unforgiven party to do?

The unforgiven party is left in a sort of limbo. She or he might have forgiven the faults of the other and the harms she or he suffered due to them long ago, but she or he remains unforgiven, and the friendship dissolved. There is nothing for that unforgiven party to do but wait for grace to operate, in whatever form, on the non-forgiving party. The initiative has to be with the party that has to do the forgiving.

Ultimately, God's mercy and absolution is a lot easier to obtain than man's. The model for all of us is the infinite mercy and absolute forgiveness of God. But men are not at their best in living up to that model. They rarely achieve the level of forgiveness that they ought, and therein lies a problem for society.

Wednesday In the Third Week of Lent

Station Church:
S. Sisto (SS. Nereo e Achilleo)

Prayers, Readings, and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Wednesday Holy Hour
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (Must be logged in to Yahoo, and be a member of Recta Ratio: its always free, and I keep a tight lid on spam)
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine (scroll down)
Seven Prayers of Saint Gregory

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Holy Father Is Recovering Normally

He is starting respiratory rehab.

Please keep him in your prayers.

If You Are Looking For A New 1962 Missal

This looks like the real thing.

Complete with the Imprimatur of Bishop Bruskewitz.

Those hand-me-downs from the 1950s and 1960s are becoming too fragile for daily use. I had a 1939 mini prayerbook, and 3 months of daily use had the text separating from the binding and pages falling out on their own. That was one of the reasons I started Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group and the book I'm still working on: so that I could have a permanent treasury of traditional prayers, hymns, and images.

First We Lost Jordan Marsh

Now indiscriminate corporate acquisitions and homogenization will take away Filene's name from the Boston shopping community.

It is not the mergers that I object to. It is the ruthless suppression of traditional store names.

Next thing you know, they'll be naming the new Boston Garden (I refuse to use the corporate name) the Derek Jeter Center, because some flaming a-hole from New York bought the naming rights: ooops--already has happened.

Men of Harlech

A traditional Welsh martial song.

Hark, I hear the foe advancing
Barbed steeds are proudly prancing
Helmets in the sunbeams glancing
Glitter through the trees.

Men of Harlech, lie ye dreaming
See ye not their falchions gleaming
While their pennons gaily streaming
Flutter in the breeze.

From the rocks resounding
Let the war cry sounding
Summon all at Cambria's call
The haughty foe surrounding

Men of Harlech, on to glory
See your banner famed in story
Waves these buring words before ye,
"Welshmen scorn to yield!"

Mid the fray see dead and dying
Friend and foe together lying
All around the arrows flying
Scatter sudden death.

Frightened steeds are wildly neighing
Brazen trumpets loudly braying
Wounded men for mercy praying
With their parting breath.

See they're in disorder,
Comrades, keep close order
Ever they shall rue the day,
They ventured o'er the border.

Now the Saxon flees before us,
Victr'ry's banner floateth oe'er us,
Raise the loud exulting chorus,
"Welshmen win the field!"

The Royal Welch Fusiliers about to give the American rebels something they will not like

Part of another version is sung by members of B Company, 24th Regiment of Foot (South Wales Borderers) defending Roarke's Drift against 5,000 Zulus at the climax of the movie, Zulu. It is the emotional highpoint of the film, and was quite well done.

Saint David's Night

We have reached the first of the three spring-time feasts of the patron saints of the British Isles. Saint David (Dewi Sant) is the patron saint of Wales. Welsh troops fighting English troops (I believe on Saint David's Day, if Shakespeare was correct) in the medieval period needed something to distinguish themselves from the enemy. They pulled up coarse grass which rather resembled leeks, and stuck it in their caps. Thus the leek became associated with all things Welsh.

23rd Light Infantrymen on the march back from Concord

Tonight would be the grand dinner in the officers' mess of the Royal Welch Fusileers (formerly the 23rd Regiment of Foot), a regiment with, shall we say "unique," folkways.

The Regimental mascot is traditionally a goat with gilded horns. The goat actually went into battle with the grenadier company at Bunker Hill and survived. The 23rd Regiment had a splendid fighting record in the American Revolution, and was considered one of three "elite" line regiments selected for Cornwallis' southern campaign.

On Saint David's Night guests and new members of the mess, after considerable draughts of the "water of life" stand (if they can still stand) with one booted foot on their chair, and one on the table, and eat an entire leek (yes, including the hot part) while saying "For God and Saint David," in Welsh. I've done this. Happy Saint David's Day to my friends in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

Saint David

According to tradition, St. David was the son of King Sant of South Wales and St. Non. He was ordained a priest and later studied under St. Paulinus. Later, he was involved in missionary work and founded a number of monasteries. The monastery he founded at Menevia in Southwestern Wales was noted for extreme asceticism. David and his monks drank neither wine nor beer - only water - while putting in a full day of heavy manual labor and intense study.

Around the year 550, David attended a synod at Brevi in Cardiganshire. His contributions at the synod are said to have been the major cause for his election as primate of the Cambrian Church. He was reportedly consecrated archbishop by the patriarch of Jerusalem while on a visit to the Holy Land. He also is said to have invoked a council that ended the last vestiges of Pelagianism. David died at his monastery in Menevia around the year 589, and his cult was approved in 1120 by Pope Callistus II. He is revered as the patron of Wales.

Tuesday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Pudenziana al Viminale

Prayers, Readings, and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Tuesday Holy Hour
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (Must be logged in to Yahoo, and be a member of Recta Ratio: its free)
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine (scroll down)
Devotion of the Seven Last Words

Snowing Again In Boston

Last night, we had about 6 inches dumped on us, and, after stopping for a few hours, it is snowing lightly again.

I was talking with a fellow selling newspapers downtown this morning. We agreed that standing out in the snow and cold for a couple of hours is good for you, it builds character. Those people in Florida and other sun-worshippers' places are wussies, weak, soft, effeminate, girlie-men.

But we also agreed that we'd both gladly become weak, soft, effeminate girlie-men if it meant we could walk around in polo shirts and shorts in January, February, or March, and not have to have kleenex permanently attached to our noses to catch the drip 5 months out of the year, and not be continuously coughing, sneezing, and hacking from Thanksgiving until Easter.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Monday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Marco al Campidoglio

Prayers, Readings, and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Monday Holy Hour
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (You have to be logged in to Yahoo, and be a member of Recta Ratio)
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine (scroll down)
Devotion of the Five Sacred Wounds

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Third Sunday of Lent

Station Church:
S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura

Prayers, Readings, and Reflections for today

My devotions for a Lenten Sunday Holy Hour
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More (join Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group to see it)
Psalter of St. Jerome
Threnus Prayer of St. Augustine (Included as conclusion to above)

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