Saturday, December 13, 2008

Requiescat In Pace

I learned as I perused this morning's on-line edition of the Globe that Avery Cardinal Dulles has died. This renowned theologian earned a non-voting Cardinal's red hat when he was over the age of 80, without ever having been a bishop, because of his staunchly orthodox defense of the Catholic Faith. God rest this good servant.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine.
Et lux perpetua luceat in ei.
Requiescat in pace.


Santa Lucia

From The Golden Legend

Santa Lucia customs. Scroll down for lots of links.

St. Lucia's Saffron Bread

On December 13 people in Sweden celebrate St. Lucy's Day. They remember how Lucia, a young girl, brought food to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome
during the time of Emperor Diocletian. In order that she could carry the food and see where she was going in the dark, Lucia wore candles on her head. On St. Lucy's Day each year by tradition one of the daughters of the family is chosen to be St. Lucy. She gets up early and takes coffee and 'Lucia' buns (Saffronsbrod) to the rest of the family who are still in bed. She dresses in a white robe with a scarlet sash and wears on her head a crown of green leaves with five candles in it. Sometimes she is escorted by boys dressed in long white shirts and pointed hats, called star boys.

· 2 tsp sugar
· 1/2 cup warm water
· 1 tsp saffron powder
· 8 cups strong plain flour (all purpose flour)
· 4 tsp salt
· 1/2 cup butter
· 3/4 cup castor (table) sugar
· 1/4 cup raisins
· 1 tsp ground cardamom
· 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
· beaten egg for brushing

· 1 tbsp chopped almonds
· 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cube sugar

1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water and add yeast.

2. Mix the saffron powder with 1 tbsp hot water.

3. Leave about 20 minutes, until frothy.

4. Sift flour and salt and rub in the butter. Add castor sugar, cardamom and raisins.

5. Mix to a dough with the yeast mixture and milk and add saffron.

6. Knead thoroughly, return to bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

7. Shape into small buns, put on a greased baking tray until doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds.

8. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Cool on a cooling tray.

10. Serve fresh with coffee.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy! Hail, Mary for whom we fondly yearn and through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our consolation in trial and our refuge from every danger and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thine only-begotten Son. Happy are they who love thee, Our Lady! I beg of thee, listen graciously to the prayers of this thy servant, a miserable sinner. Scatter the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness so that I may be pleasing in thy sight.
From The Raccolata


Friday, December 12, 2008

Prayer Request

Please in your charity find time to pray for Jeff Culbreath of Stony Creek Digest, who suffered a heart attack yesterday. He is two years younger than I am and has a young family!!!! I have always liked Jeff's work.


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Remember, O Beloved Jesus,
Who for the love of me didst agonize on the Cross,
and from that throne of truth didst announce the
completion of the work of our Redemption, through which,
from being the children of wrath and perdition,
we are become the children of God and the heirs of Heaven:

Have mercy on all the faithful in their agony,
and on me also when I shall be in that extremity,
and, through the merits of Thy Precious Blood,
detach us entirely from the world and from ourselves,
and at the moment of our agony give us grace
sincerely to offer Thee the sacrifice of our life
in expiation for our sins.


Our Lady Of Guadalupe

Read about this feast of Our Blessed Lady at Catholic Tradition.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rorate Caeli

Rorate caeli desuper, et nubes pluant iustum.

Ne irascaris Domine, ne ultra memineris iniquitatis: ecce civitas Sancti facta est deserta: Sion deserta facta est: Jerusalem desolata est: domus sanctificationis tuae et gloriae tuae, ubi laudaverunt te patres nostri.

Consolamini, consolamini, popule meus: cito veniet salus tua: quare maerore consumeris, quia innovavit te dolor? Salvabo te, noli timere, ego enim sum Dominus Deus tuus, Sanctus Israel, Redemptor tuus.

Drop down dew, ye heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the Just One.

Be not angry, O Lord, and remember no longer our iniquity : behold the city of thy sanctuary is become a desert, Sion is made a desert. Jerusalem is desolate, the house of our holiness and of thy glory, where our fathers praised thee.

Be comforted, be comforted, my people; thy salvation shall speedily come. Why wilt thou waste away in sadness? why hath sorrow seized thee? I will save thee; fear not: for I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Redeemer.

Tip of the silver-laced cocked hat to The New Liturgical Movement and to Fra Lawrence Lew, OP


Prayer Request

In your charity, please remember in your prayers this day Ginny the Inspired Traditionalist's father, Frank, who is undergoing a surgical procedure this morning. Please pray for the intercession of St. Peregrine for him.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For Advent Reflection

Maxims Of Saint Alphonsus de Liguori to attain perfection:

1. To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ.

2. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ.

3. Often to meditate on his Passion.

4. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love.

5. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions.

6. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament.

7. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross.

8. To desire Paradise and death, in order to be able to love Jesus Christ perfectly and for all eternity.

9. Often to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.

10. To accept contradictions for the sake of Jesus Christ.

11. To rejoice in the happiness of God.

12. To do that which is most pleasing to Jesus Christ, and not to refuse him anything that is agreeable to him.

13. To desire and to endeavor that all should love Jesus Christ.

14. To pray always for sinners and for the souls in purgatory.

15. To drive from your heart every affection that does not belong to Jesus Christ.

16. Always to have recourse to the most holy Mary, that she may obtain for us the love of Jesus Christ.

17. To honor Mary in order to please Jesus Christ.

18. To seek to please Jesus Christ in all your actions,

19. To offer yourself to Jesus Christ to suffer any pain for his love.

20 To be always determined to die rather than commit a willful venial sin.

27. To suffer crosses patiently, saying, "Thus it pleases Jesus Christ."

22. To renounce your own pleasures for the love of Jesus Christ.

23. To pray as much as possible.

24. To practice all the mortifications that obedience permits.

25. To do all your spiritual exercises as if it were for the last time.

26. To persevere in good works in the time of aridity.

27. Not to do nor yet to leave undone anything through human respect.

28. Not to complain in sickness.

29. To love solitude, to be able to converse alone with Jesus Christ.

30. To drive away melancholy [i.e. gloom].

37. Often to recommend yourself to those persons who love Jesus Christ.

32. In temptation, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, and to Mary in her sorrows.

33. To trust entirely in the Passion of Jesus Christ.

34. After committing a fault, not to be discouraged, but to repent and resolve to amend.

35. To do good to those who do evil.

36. To speak well of all, and to excuse the intention when you cannot defend the action.

37. To help your neighbor as much as you can.

38. Neither to say nor to do anything that might vex him. And if you have been wanting in charity, to ask his pardon and speak kindly to him.

39. Always to speak with mildness and in a low tone.

40. To offer to Jesus Christ all the contempt and persecution that you meet with.

41. To look upon [religious] Superiors as the representatives of Jesus Christ.

42. To obey without answering and without repugnance, and not to seek your own satisfaction in anything.

43. To like the lowest employment.

44. To like the poorest things.

45. Not to speak either good or evil of yourself.

46. To humble yourself even towards inferiors.

47. Not to excuse yourself when you are reproved.

48. Not to defend yourself when found fault with.

49. To be silent when you are disquieted [i.e. upset].

50. Always to renew your determination of becoming a saint, saying, "My Jesus, I desire to be all Yours, and You must be all mine."

From St. Alphonsus de Liguori, The Incarnation Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ, Rev Eugene Grimm Trans., Redemptorist Fathers, Brooklyn, Publishers (1927) pp. 437-439.


These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things

I see that I have been tagged by The Catholic Cavemen for the Favorites Meme, which has been making the rounds lately. I guess the object of this meme is to list 6 of my favorite things.

Here goes.

1. Christmas Eve. The Christ Child is in the crib of the Nativity. The journey to Midnight Mass awaits in a couple of hours. A wonderful dinner of onion soup, rare tenderloin beef, Yorkshire Pudding, gravy, mashed potatoes, mince pie, mead and my Captain Morgan-rich eggnog are digesting. The presents, except for one each, are still wrapped under the tree. There is no television. Christmas music from favorite CDs plays on the stereo. Only the lights of the tree illumine the room. Dozens of candles aid the Christmas tree in lighting the house, reflecting off the garlands of holly and ivy around every doorway and banister. The stockings are hung. A glass of eggnog is in hand, and I am settled comfortably in a chair, counting my many blessings, regretting my mistakes, perhaps reading A Christmas Carol or A Child's Christmas In Wales to those I love assembled around (who are not giggling). I might nibble on some Stilton, or Cheddar. O Holy Night. O Night Divine.

2. Cigar Aficianado magazine has arrived, and I am sealed off from the world for 1-2 hours, with a double of Glenlivet 18 (straight, of course) and a Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur No. 1, luxuriating in the super-premium toys advertised in its pages, that i probably could never afford in a hundred years.

3. Cooking time. Whether it is the annual preparation for a holiday, or just weekly regular meals like straw and hay or meatloaf, chicken chowder or garlic mashed taters, I relish my time in the kitchen. I love to have all the tools to make the work easier, and wheel the dishes, one by one to the table. I like to scorch a steak, and put dijon mustard over it. In particular, I love dessert. I dearly love a good custard, with extra vanilla and plenty of nutmeg. And some have noticed that much of what I make, particularly at Christmas, has booze in it. Oh well.

4. St. Patrick's Day. The austerity and abstinence of Lent is lifted for a day to celebrate St. Patrick and Irishness with my favorite Irish music: Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, The Chieftains, The Dubliners, The Irish Rovers, The Wolfe Tones, Planxty, Cherish the Ladies, Celtic Woman, Tonny Kenney. And with the Irish music comes Irish food: Champ rich with Irish back bacon, smoked shoulder, Irish soda bread. And of course there is a pipe or two of tobacco, and Jamesons just short of excess. Then to bed, and back to Lent the next day.

5. Holy Hour. There is no better time than time spent before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer. I try to get one in every day. My preference would be to have my Holy Hour (or, as it often works out, my Holy Hour and A Half) in a darkened gothic interior, with the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration in a monstrance. But most often, it takes place only in a modern church, well-lit, with people going in and out, in front of the Tabernacle. My mind tends to wander, so I have to keep it busy with a regular program of prayer: Rosary, any novena prayers I am praying at the time, including listing all of our dire needs, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Angelus, Prayer To the Holy Ghost, Acts Of Faith, Hope, and Charity, Prayer of Saint Gertrude, the very similar Morning Offering, Indulgenced Prayer Before the Crucifix, Prayer To Saint Michael, Prayer of Saint Thomas More, Prayer To the Guardian Angel, De Profundis, prayers for all of our dead, listing them, Prayer For Deceased Parents, Prayers For the Holy Father, the Prayers of Saint Ambrose and Saint Thomas Aquinas Before Mass, Spiritual Communion, Divine Praises, Anima Christi, St. Pio's Prayer After Communion, Tantum Ergo, and the proper Marian Antiphon for the season.

6. Mass In the Extraordinary Form, with chant. I love making the Latin responses. Dignum et justum est.

Oh yeah. i am probably supposed to tag somebody. If you want to do this meme, consider yourself tagged.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Cardinal Arinze Retires As Head Of the Congregation for Divine Worship

¨The Holy Father has accepted the resignation presented by His Eminence Card. Francis Arinze, having reached the age limit, from his position as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and has named to succeed him in the same position His Eminence Card. Antonio Cañizares Llovera, up to now Archbishop of Toledo (Spain).¨

Source: Holy See Press Office

Cardinal Arinze has been a great friend to those committed to a "reform of the reform." His stewardship in that office will be missed, though his successor seems solid enough, too.


Getting More Aggressive About Keeping Christ In Christmas


Venerable Fulton Sheen

December 9th is the anniversary of his death, and will be his feast day when he is officially canonized.


Monday, December 08, 2008

A Clip Of Gabriel's Message For The Immaculate Conception

Our Most Highly Favored Lady


The Immaculate Conception Of Our Blessed Lady

Today is one of the principal feasts of Our Blessed Lady, and a Holy Day of Obligation

From Dom Prosper Gueranger's The Liturgical Year.

Prayer For the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius XII
Enraptured by the splendor of thy heavenly beauty, and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into thine arms, O Immacuate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in thy most loving heart appeasement of our ardent desires, and a safe harbor from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled thee, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of thy conception until the day on which, after thine assumption into Heaven, He crowned thee Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths! O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with thy heavenly perfume! O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of Hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds. Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness. In thy name, resounding harmoniously in Heaven, may they recognize that they are brothers, and that the nations are members of one family, upon which may there shine forth the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications, and above all obtain for us that, one day, happy with thee, we may repeat before thy throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around thine altars: Thou art all-beautiful, O Mary! Thou art the glory, thou art the joy, thou art the honor of our people!

From Saint Alphonsus Liguori's The Glories of Mary

Saint Maximilian Kolbe on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception

Novena For the Immaculate Conception, Day 8

Invocation (to be Said Every Day of the Novena):

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary,
O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

O Mary, Mother of God and Mother of us, thou who by a singular privilege, in virtue of the foreseen death of our Redeemer, wast redeemed from the first moment of thy conception and preserved immune from every spot of Original Sin, we firmly believe in this thy privilege and we proclaim it aloud, saying: "Thou art all fair, O Mary, and in thee there is no stain"; thou art the Immaculate; thy raiment is white as snow; thy face shines like the sun; in thee we marvel at the brightness of eternal light and the spotless mirror of Divine beauty. Like the Divine Redeemer, thou art wholly and utterly fair, for in Him there can be no stain and thou art His most perfect reflection.

We all rejoice in the Lord, as we celebrate the feast that recalls this singular privilege of thine, O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, and we unite ourselves to thee in magnifying and thanking Our Lord, Who through thee hath done such wondrous deeds, and hath given us in thee good cause for rejoicing.

We would be ever worthy to love thee and to sing thy glories, O Mary, our Immaculate Mother, but we are by nature sons of wrath, and only by grace can we become thy children
and acceptable unto thee. From thee we hope for assistance in obtaining the pardon of our sins, the strength to overcome our wicked passions, and to escape the snares. laid for us by the world and the devil. Wherefore, O Immaculate Mother, Mary, inspire in us an intense hatred of sin, perfect contrition for the sins we have committed, and a lively fear of falling again into sin; make our hearts and our bodies immaculate, lest we be confounded forever; and so, being cleansed of sin, with our passions under control, and the enemies of our salvation overcome, with pure hearts burning with love of thee, may we be able to sing to thee with unfaltering voices: "Thou art all fair, O Mary, and in thee there is no Original Stain; thou art our glory, thou art our joy."

Glorious things are spoken of thee, O Mary; for He that is mighty hath done great things unto thee.

Hail Mary...

Novena For the Immaculate Conception, Day 9
Invocation (to be Said Every Day of the Novena):

Thou art all fair, O Mary,
The Original Stain is not in thee.
Thou art the glory of Jerusalem,
Thou, the joy of Israel,
Thou, the great honor of our people
Thou, the advocate of sinners.
O Mary,
O Mary,
Virgin most prudent,
Mother most merciful,
Pray for us,
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

Salutation of Saint Francis to the Virgin Mary

Hail, holy Lady, most holy Queen! Mother of God, Mary ever-Virgin! Chosen by the most holy Father of Heaven, and by Him, with His most holy and beloved Son and the Spirit Paraclete, consecrated! Thou in whom was and is all the fullness of grace and of goodness! Hail, thou, His palace! Hail, thou, His tabernacle! Hail, thou, His home! Hail, thou, His vesture! Hail, thou, His handmaid! Hail, thou, His Mother! And hail, too, all ye holy virtues which, by the grace and light of the Holy Ghost, are poured into the hearts of the faithful, to make them from faithless ones, faithful children of God.

Consecration to Our Blessed Mother

My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to thee, and to show my devotion to thee I consecrate to thee this day, my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being without reserve, Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for Thy Son, we entreat Thee, Who didst preserve Her from all stain of sin by the Death of that same Son, foreseen by Thee, to grant that through Her intercession, we also may be made clean, and so may come to Thee, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Hail Mary...


Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Day That Will Live In Infamy

Sixty-seven years ago.

Always be prepared.


If Today Were Not A Sunday

It would be the feast of Saint Ambrose, Doctor of the Church

The Catholic Encyclopedia

The Golden Legend

This prayer of his is a weekly part of my prayer life, as I pray it before Mass, even though I only communicate sacramentally 2-3 times per year.

Saint Ambrose's Prayer Before the Most Blessed Sacrament

O loving Lord Jesus Christ, I a sinner, presuming not on my own merits, but trusting in Thy mercy and goodness, with fear and trembling approach the table of Thy most sacred banquet. For I have defiled both my heart and body with many sins, and have not kept a strict guard over my mind and my tongue. Wherefore, O gracious God, O awful Majesty, I, awretched creature, entangled in difficulties, have recourse to Thee the fount of mercy; to Thee do I fly that I may be healed, and take refuge under Thy protection, and I ardently desire to have Him as my Saviour, whom I am unable to face as my Judge.

To Thee, O Lord, I show my wounds, to Thee I lay bare my shame. I know that my sins are many and great, on account of which I am filled with fear. But I trust in Thy mercy, of which there is no end. Look down upon me, therefore, with the eyes of Thy mercy, O Lord Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and Man, crucified for men. Hearken unto me, for my hope is in Thee; have mercy on me, who am full of misery and sin, Thou who wilt never cease to let flow the fountain of mercy.

Hail, Victim of Salvation, offered for me and for all mankind on the gibbet of the cross! Hail, Noble and Most Precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away all the sins of the whole world! Remember, O Lord, Thy creature, whom Thou hast redeemed by Thy Most Precious Blood.

I am grieved because I have sinned. I desire to make amends for what I have done. Take away from me therefore, O most merciful Father, all my iniquities and sins, that, being purified both in soul and body, I may worthily partake of the Holy of Holies. Grant that my reception of Thy Body and Blood, which I purpose, unworthy though I am, may bring to me pardon for my sins, the perfect cleansing of my faults, the expulsion of all evil thoughts, and the renewal of pure feelings, the health and efficacy of good works, pleasing unto Thee, and a most strong protection both in soul and body against the snares of my enemies.


The Second Sunday Of Advent

Station Church:
The Holy Cross In Jerusalem

Act of Communion During Advent, from The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB(my otherwise impressive collection of Dom Gueranger's meditations on the Sundays of the year is lacking during Advent):

It is true that everything in Advent is so arranged as to be a preparation for the coming of the Saviour at the feast of Christmas, and that the spirit of the faithful should be one of earnest expectation of this same Saviour; and yet, such is the happy lot of the children of the new Law, that they can, if they wish it, really, and at once, receive this God whom the Church is expecting; and thus, this familiar visit of Jesus will become itself one of the preparations for His great and solemn visit. Let those, then, who are living the life of grace, and to whom the glorious day of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ will bring an increase of spiritual life, not omit to prepare, by Communion, for the reception they intend to give to the heavenly Spouse on the sacred night of His coming. These Communions will be interviews with their divine Lord, giving them confidence, and love, and all those interior dispositions wherewith they would welcome Him who comes to load them with fresh grace, for this Jesus is full of grace and truth.

They will understand this better by reflecting on the sentiments which the august Mother of Jesus had in her blessed soul during the time which preceded the divine birth. This birth is to be an event of more importance, both to the salvation of mankind and to Mary's own glory, than even that of the first accomplishment of the Incarnation; for the Word was made Flesh in order that He might be born. The immense happiness of holding in her arms her Son and her God, would make the sacred hour of Jesus' birth dearer and happier to Mary, than even that in which she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, and received from Him the divine fruit of her womb.

During those nine months, when she knew that her Jesus was so undividedly hers, what must have been the happiness which filled her heart! It was a bliss which was a worthy preparation for that more blissful night of Bethlehem.

Christians! your Communions during Advent are to prepare you for your Christmas joy, by giving you something of the delight which Mary felt before the birth of Jesus.

Knowing that thou art about to enter under my roof, O eternal God, Jesus Son of the Father, I have need of all my faith. Yes, it is thou who art coming to me, thou who didst enter into Mary's virginal womb, making it the sanctuary of thy Majesty. Thou didst send thine angel to her, and she believed his word, when he said: 'Nothing is impossible to God: the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee.' She believed, and then conceived in her chaste womb him who had created her. Thou hast not sent an angel to me, O my Saviour, to tell me thou art coming into my heart. Thou hast spoken thyself, and thou hast said: 'I am the living Bread come down from heaven: he that eateth my Flesh and drinketh my Blood, abideth in me and I in him.' Thou hast willed that these words of thine, spoken so many hundred years ago, should reach me by thy Church, that thus I might have both the certainty that they are thine, and the merit of bowing down my reason to the deepest of mysteries. I believe then, O Jesus! Help the weakness of my faith. Enable me to submit, as Mary did, to thy infinite wisdom; and since thou desirest to enter under my roof, I bow down my whole being before thee, using her blessed words: 'May it be done to me according to thy word;' for how dare I, who am but nothingness, resist thee, who art all wisdom and power!


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