Saturday, December 29, 2007
The Madonna's Lullaby
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Mary sings, the ravished heavens
Hush the music of their spheres;
Soft her voice, her beauty fairer
Than the glancing stars appears;
While to Jesus, slumbering nigh,
Thus she sings her lullaby:
"Sleep, my Babe, my God, my Treasure,
Gently sleep; but ah! the sight
With its beauty so transports me,
I am dying with delight;
Thou canst not Thy mother see,
Yet Thou breathest flames to me.
"If within your lids unfolded,
Slumbering eyes, Thou seemest so fair;
When upon my gaze Thou doth open,
How shall I Thy beauty bear?
Ah! I tremble when Thou wakes,
Lest my heart with love should break.
Cheeks than sweetest roses sweeter,
Mouth where lurks a smile Divine,
Though the kiss my Babe should waken,
I must press those lips to mine.
Pardon, Dearest, if I say
Mother's love will take no nay."
As she ceased, the gentle Virgin
Clasped the Infant to her breast,
And, upon His radiant forehead
Many a loving kiss impressed.
Jesus woke and on her face
Fixed a look of heavenly grace.
Ah! that look, those eyes, that beauty,
How they pierce the Mother's heart!
Shafts of love from every feature
Through her gentle bosom dart.
Heart of stone! can I behold
Mary's love, and still be cold?
Where, my soul, thy sense, thy reason?
When will these delays be o'er?
All things else, how fair so ever,
Are but smoke: resist no more!
Yes! 'tis done! I yield my arms
Captive to those double charms.
If, alas, O heavenly beauty!
Now so late those charms I learn,
Now at least, and ever, ever
With thy love my heart will burn,
For the Mother and the Child,
Rose and Lily undefiled.
Plant and fruit, and fruit and blossom,
I am theirs, and they are mine;
For no other prize I labor,
For no other bliss I pine.
Love can every pain requite,
Love alone is full delight.
Friday, December 28, 2007
But there is good news.
On December 16th, Father Connolly, Holy Trinity's administrator, accepted the application of the Holy Trinity parish community for a weekly celebration of Mass according to the Missal of Blessed John XXIII, pursuant to the Holy Father's motu proprio document Summorum Pontificum. The Mass may well be in the morning, before the 10am German/English Novus Ordo Mass.
The only catch is that the parishioners have to find a priest willing to say the Mass there.
I pray that the services of a willing priest can be regularly obtained. This is the first big sign of Summorum Pontificum's effect in the Archdiocese of Boston. The only other 1962 Missal Mass I know of in the city is at St. Columkill's in Brighton, on First Friday evenings.
For me personally, this is a matter of great hope. I don't drive, and MIL/Newton isn't very accesible via the T on the Sunday schedule (it would be an enormous hassle to get there on the T in time for Mass, and virtually impossible to make it there with time for Rosary and prayers before Mass).
But if the traditional Mass comes back to Holy Trinity, that would be an enormous blessing!
The Coventry Carol
1. Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child.
By, by, lully, lullay.
2. O sisters, too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day;
This poor Youngling for whom we sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.
3. Herod the King, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day;
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young, to slay.
4. Then woe is me, poor Child, for Thee,
And ever mourn and say;
For Thy parting, nor say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.
In Herod's time, a slaughter of holy innocent babes was an outstanding once-in-a-lifetime event. For us, the murderous sin of abortion has made the slaughter of holy innocents a daily, constant massacre. God help us!
What Child Is This?
What Child is this Who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Why lies He in such mean estate,
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross He bore for me, for you
Hail, hail, the Word Made Flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel
"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."
"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather
"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."
In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The Twenty-Fifth Day of December
In the year, from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created Heaven and earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine; from the flood, two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven; from the birth of Abraham, two thousand and fifteen; from Moses and the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, one thousand five hundred and ten; from the anointing of King David, one thousand and thirty-two; in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome; in the forty-second year of the empire of Octavian Augustus, when the whole world was at peace, in the sixth age of the world, Jesus Christ, eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having elapsed since His conception, is born in Bethlehem of Juda, having become Man of the Virgin Mary.
Taken From "The Roman Martyrology"
Published by Order of Gregory XIII, Revised by Authority of Urban VIII and Clement X
Augmented and Corrected in 1749 by Benedict XIV, Translated by Ralph Collins, B.A.
Imprimatur: Louis B. Kucera, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of Lincoln, 1946
Monday, December 24, 2007
It is a time for beginning the Christmas feast, after the first Christmas Masses have been said. it is the occasion for opening a single Christmas Eve gift, for reading the Nativity Story, for lighted candles, enjoying the Christmas Tree, and the most treasured Christmas albums, lighting the single white candle in the center of the Advent wreath. It is a night of hanging stockings, leaving cookies and milk for old Saint Nick, for roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding, for eggnog and mince pie. It is a time for family and homely entertainment amid holly and ivy, candles (even if electric) in the window,
After the dinner on Christmas Eve, it is the time to sit back. The frantic pace of shopping, baking, cooking, wrapping, sending greetings, and entertaining is over. The spiritual preparation is done as well. A good confession has been made, and God willing, you can be housled in something close to a state of grace, baring only the veial sins committed since the confession. Sometimes, I wish I could just pop into the confessional seconds before receiving the Blessed Sacrament, as that is the only way this sinner can be clean enough for Him.
Days of rest are ahead. Now is the time to be those you love best. The anxiety and stress of modern Christmas is a thing of the past.
I wish all of my readers the most Joyous and Blessed Christmas, and the most Happiest and Most Prosperous New Year!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
The Twelve Days of Christmas
I Saw Three Ships
The Boar's Head Carol and Here We Come A Wassailing
Labels: Annual Cycles
O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!
From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:
THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
(If this Sunday fall on December 24, it is omitted, and in its
place is said the Office of Christmas Eve)
We have now entered into the week which immediately precedes the
birth of the Messias. That long-desired coming might be even
tomorrow; and at furthest, that is, when Advent is as long as it
can be, the beautiful feast is only seven days from us. So that
the Church now counts the hours; she watches day and night, and
since December 17 her Offices have assumed an unusual solemnity.
At Lauds, she varies the antiphons each day; and at Vespers, in
order to express the impatience of her desires for her Jesus, she
makes use of the most vehement exclamations to the Messias, in
which she each day gives Him a magnificent title, borrowed from
the language of the prophets.
Today, she makes a last effort to stir up the devotion of her
children. She leads them to the desert; she shows them John the
Baptist, upon whose mission she instructed them on the third
Sunday. The voice of the austere Precursor resounds through the
wilderness, and penetrates even into the cities. It preaches
penance, and the obligation men are under of preparing by self-
purification for the coming of Christ. Let us retire from the
world during these next few days; or if that may not be by reason
of our external duties, let us retire into the quiet of our own
hearts and confess our iniquities, as did those true Israelites,
who came, full of compunction and of faith in the Messias, to the
Baptist, there to make perfect their preparation for worthily
receiving the Redeemer on the day of His appearing to the world.
See, then, with what redoubled earnestness the Church, before
opening the book of her great prophet, repeats her invitatory:
The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.
From the Prophet Isaias.
The land that was desolate and impassable shall be glad, and the
wilderness shall rejoice, and shall flourish like the lily. It
shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and
praise; the glory of Libanus is given to it, the beauty of Carmel
and Saron. They shall see the glory of the Lord, and the beauty of
our God. Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak
knees. Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not. Behold
your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will
come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be
opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall
the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall be
free: for waters are broken out in the desert, and streams in the
wilderness. And that which was dry land, shall become a pool, and
the thirsty land springs of water. In the dens where dragons dwelt
before shall rise up the verdure of the reed and the bulrush. And
a path and a way shall be there, and it shall be called the holy
way: the 1melean shall not pass over it and this shall be unto you
a straight way, so that fools shall not err therein. No lion shall
be there, nor shall any mischievous beast go up by it, nor be
found there: but they shall walk there, that shall be delivered.
And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and shall come into
Sion with praise, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads:
they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and mourning shall
Oh, the joy of Thy coming, dear Jesus! How great it must needs be,
when the prophecy says it shall be like an everlasting crown upon
our heads. And could it be otherwise? The very desert is to
flourish as a lily, and living waters are to gush forth out of the
parched land, because their God is coming. Come, O Jesus, come
quickly, and give us of that water, which flows from Thy sacred
Heart, and which the Samaritan woman, the type of us sinners,
asked of Thee with such earnest entreaty. This water is Thy grace;
let it rain upon our parched souls, and they too will flourish;
let it quench our thirst, and we will run in the way of Thy
precepts and examples. Thou, O Jesus, art our way, our path, to
God; and Thou art Thyself God; Thou art, therefore, both our way
and the term to which our way leads us. We had lost our way; we
had gone astray as lost sheep: how great Thy love to come thus in
search of us! To teach us the way to heaven, Thou hast deigned to
come down from heaven, and then tread with us the road which leads
to it. No! there shall be no more weak hands, nor feeble knees,
nor faint hearts; for we know that it is in love that Thou art
coming to us. There is but one thing which makes us sad: our
preparation is not complete. We have some ties still to break;
help us to do it, O Saviour of mankind! We desire to obey the
voice of Thy Precursor, and make plain those rugged paths, which
would prevent Thy coming into our hearts, O divine Infant! Give us
to be baptized in the Baptism of the waters of penance; Thou wilt
soon follow, baptizing us in the Holy Ghost and love.