Saturday, June 05, 2010

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Prayer By Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O most holy and pure Virgin! O my Mother! You who are the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the advocate and refuge of sinners! I, a most wretched sinner, now come to you. I honor you, great Queen, and give you humble thanks for the many favors which have come to me in the past through your intercession. I love you, Lady most worthy of all love, and by the love which I bear you, I promise ever in the future to honor you, and to do what lies in me to win others to your love. Receive me as your servant, and cover me with the mantle of your protection, you who are the Mother of mercy! And since you have so much power with God, implore him to deliver me from all temptations, and to give me the grace ever to overcome them. Pray for me that I may love Christ in this world as you love him, and intercede for me that I may have the grace of a good death. O my Mother! by your love for God I beseech you to be at all times my helper, but above all at the last moment of my life. Cease not your supplications until you see me safe in heaven, there for countless ages to bless you and, your holy company, to worship and adore your Son, for ever and ever. Amen.


Sunday After the Ascension

I remember in one of my grade school history survey books, there was a colored picture of a suitably zealous Saint Boniface felling the pagan oak tree as he tried to convert the Saxons of Germany to the Faith. As I recall, the Saint Boniface in that picture looked more like a Viking than an Anglo-Saxon Benedictine.

But at least the image, inaccurate as it was, made the name of St. Boniface stay with me all these years.

Read more about Saint Boniface at Wikipedia, and The Catholic Encyclopedia

A Google image search failed to turn anything like that up. But Breviary.net didn't let us down.

Receiving leave from the Holy Father to bring the Faith to the Saxons

He crowned Pepin King of the Franks, making him a patron of the Carolingian dynasty.

His martyrdom

We have an image of this martyr's primary relic:

And his bishop's mitre:

O God, who by the labours of blessed Boniface, thy Martyr and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to call many nations to the knowledge of thy Name : mercifully grant that we, who as on this day do keep his feast, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight.

Thank you, Good Saint Boniface, for favors granted on June 5th!

Saint Boniface, please continue to pray for us!


Friday, June 04, 2010

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer Before Confession, From The Roman Sacramentary, translated by Michael W. Martin:

O Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who hast made me out of nothing in Thine image and likeness, and hast redeemed me with Thine own Blood; whom I, a sinner, am not worthy to name, to call upon, or to contemplate.

I humbly beg Thee, I earnestly beseech Thee, to look mercifully on me, Thy wicked servant. Thou who hadst mercy on the woman of Canaan and Mary Magdalene; Thou who didst spare the publican and the thief upon the cross, have mercy upon me.

To Thee, most compassionate Father, I confess my sins, which even if I wished to hide, I could not. O Lord. Spare me, O Christ, whom I not long ago greatly offended by thought, by word, by deed, and in every way in which I, a weak human being and sinner, have been able to do so through my most grievous fault.

Therefore, O Lord, I ask Thy clemency, Thou who descended from heaven for my salvation, who raised up David from his fall to sin. Spare me, O Lord. Spare me, O Christ, Thou who spared Peter who denied Thee. Thou art my Creator and my Redeemer, my Lord and my Savior, my King and my God.

Thou art my hope and my trust; my guide and my succor; my comfort and my strength ; my defense and my deliverance; my life, my health, and my resurrection; my light and my longing; my help and my protection.

I pray and entreat Thee, help me and I shall be safe; direct me and defend me; strengthen me and comfort me; confirm me and gladden me ; enlighten me and come unto me. Raise me from the dead; for I am Thy creature, and the work of Thy hands.

O Lord, despise me not, for I am Thy servant, ever so bad, ever so unworthy and a sinner: but without exception, whether good or bad, I am always Thine. To whom shall I flee, unless I come to Thee? If Thou rejecteth me, who will receive me? If Thou despiseth me, who will look at me?

Recognize me therefore as unworthy, flying to Thee ever so worthless and unclean. For if I am worthless and unclean, Thou canst cleanse me. If I am blind, Thou canst enlighten me. If I am infirm, Thou canst heal me. If I am dead, Thou canst revive me. For greater is Thy mercy than my iniquity. Greater is Thy piety than my impiety. Thou art able to dismiss more than I can commit, and spare more than I, a sinner, can sin.

Therefore, despise me not, O Lord, neither regard my iniquities; but according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies have mercy upon me, the chief of sinners, and be gracious unto me.

Tell me soul, "I am Thy salvation." For Thou hast said, "I do not wish the sinner to die, but to repent and live." Turn Thou unto me, O Lord, and be not angry with me.

I implore Thee, most compassionate Father, on account of Thy mercy, I beg Thee and pray Thee, that Thou wouldst lead me to a good end, to true penance, to a perfect confession, and to worthy satisfaction for all my sins.


Thursday, June 03, 2010

Corpus Christi 2010

Today, the Thursday after Trinity Sunday, should be the feast of Corpus Christi, though, even in parishes where the traditional Mass is said, it is usually transferred to this coming Sunday for liturgical and pastoral convenience.

O Sacrum Convium
O Sacrum convivium, in quo Christus sumitur: recolitur memoria passionis eius; mens impletur gratia et futurae gloriae nobis pignus datur.

V. Panem de caelo praestitisti eis;
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem.

Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili Passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti; tribue, Per desiderium illud, quo hoc Pascha cum discipulis manducare desiderasti, quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus: Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.

O Salutaris Hostia
O Salutaris Hostia
Quae caeli pandis ostium.
Bella premunt hostilia;
Da robur, fer auxilium.

Uni trinoque Domino
Sit sempiterna gloria:
Qui vitam sine termino,
Nobis donet in patria.


Photo courtesy of Mark Scott Ablen, of Rome Of the West
Christi Corpus, ave, sancta de virgine natum,
Viva caro, Deitas integra, verus homo.
Salve vera salus, vis, vita, redemptio mundi
Liberet a cunctis nos tua dextera malis.
Christi Sanguis, ave, caeli sanctissime potus,
Unda salutaris crimina nostra lavans.
Sanguis ave lateris Christi de vulnere sparse,
In cruce pendens unda salutaris, ave.

Ave Verum Corpus Natum
Ave verum Corpus natum
De Maria Virgine:
Vere passum, immolatum
In cruce pro homine:
Cuius latus perforatum
Fluxit aqua et sanguine:
Esto nobis praegustatum
Mortis in examine.

O Iesu dulcis!
O Iesu pie!
O Iesu Fili Mariae.

Adoro Te Devote
Adoro te devote, latens Deitas,
quae sub his figuris vere latitas:
tibi se cor meum totum subiicit,
quia te contemplans totum deficit.

Visus, tactus, gustus in te fallitur,
sed auditu solo tuto creditur;
credo quidquid dixit Dei Filius:
nil hoc verbo Veritatis verius.

In cruce latebat sola Deitas,
at hic latet simul et humanitas;
ambo tamen credens atque confitens,
peto quod petivit latro paenitens.

Plagas, sicut Thomas, non intueor;
Deum tamen meum te confiteor;
fac me tibi semper magis credere,
in te spem habere, te diligere.

O memoriale mortis Domini!
panis vivus, vitam praestans homini!
praesta meae menti de te vivere
et te illi semper dulce sapere.

Pie pellicane, Iesu Domine,
me immundum munda tuo sanguine;
cuius una stilla salvum facere
totum mundum quit ab omni scelere.

Iesu, quem velatum nunc aspicio,
oro fiat illud quod tam sitio;
ut te revelata cernens facie,
visu sim beatus tuae gloriae.

Sacris Solemniis
Sacris solemniis
iuncta sint gaudia,
et ex praecordiis
sonent praeconia;
recedant vetera,
nova sint omnia,
corda, voces, et opera.

Noctis recolitur
cena novissima,
qua Christus creditur
agnum et azyma
dedisse fratribus,
iuxta legitima
priscis indulta patribus.

Post agnum typicum,
expletis epulis,
Corpus Dominicum
datum discipulis,
sic totum omnibus,
quod totum singulis,
eius fatemur manibus.

Dedit fragilibus
corporis ferculum,
dedit et tristibus
sanguinis poculum,
dicens: Accipite
quod trado vasculum;
omnes ex eo bibite.

Sic sacrificium
istud instituit,
cuius officium
committi voluit
solis presbyteris,
quibus sic congruit,
ut sumant, et dent ceteris.

Panis Angelicus
Panis angelicus
fit panis hominum;
dat panis caelicus
figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis:
manducat Dominum
pauper, servus et humilis.

Te, trina Deitas
unaque, poscimus:
sic nos tu visita,
sicut te colimus;
per tuas semitas
duc nos quo tendimus,
ad lucem quam inhabitas.

Verbum Supernum
Verbum supernum prodiens,
nec Patris linquens dexteram,
ad opus suum exiens,
venit ad vitae vesperam.

In mortem a discipulo
suis tradendus aemulis,
prius in vitae ferculo
se tradidit discipulis.

Quibus sub bina specie
carnem dedit et sanguinem;
ut duplicis substantiae
totum cibaret hominem.

Se nascens dedit socium,
convescens in edulium,
se moriens in pretium,
se regnans dat in praemium.

Lauda Sion
Lauda Sion Salvatorem,
lauda ducem et pastorem,
in hymnis et canticis.
Quantum potes, tantum aude:
quia maior omni laude,
nec laudare sufficis.

Laudis thema specialis,
panis vivus et vitalis
hodie proponitur.
Quem in sacrae mensa cenae,
turbae fratrum duodenae
datum non ambigitur.

Sit laus plena, sit sonora,
sit iucunda, sit decora
mentis iubilatio.
Dies enim solemnis agitur,
in qua mensae prima recolitur
huius institutio.

In hac mensa novi Regis,
novum Pascha novae legis,
phase vetus terminat.
Vetustatem novitas,
umbram fugat veritas,
noctem lux eliminat.

Quod in coena Christus gessit,
faciendum hoc expressit
in sui memoriam.
Docti sacris institutis,
panem, vinum in salutis
consecramus hostiam.

Dogma datur christianis,
quod in carnem transit panis,
et vinum in sanguinem.
Quod non capis, quod non vides,
animosa firmat fides,
praeter rerum ordinem.

Sub diversis speciebus,
signis tantum, et non rebus,
latent res eximiae.
Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
manet tamen Christus totus
sub utraque specie.

A sumente non concisus,
non confractus, non divisus:
integer accipitur.
Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
quantum isti, tantum ille:
nec sumptus consumitur.

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
sorte tamen inaequali,
vitae vel interitus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis:
vide paris sumptionis
quam sit dispar exitus.

Fracto demum sacramento,
ne vacilles, sed memento
tantum esse sub fragmento,
quantum toto tegitur.
Nulla rei fit scissura:
signi tantum fit fractura,
qua nec status, nec statura
signati minuitur.

Ecce Panis Angelorum,
factus cibus viatorum:
vere panis filiorum,
non mittendus canibus.
In figuris praesignatur,
cum Isaac immolatur,
agnus Paschae deputatur,
datur manna patribus.

Bone pastor, panis vere,
Iesu, nostri miserere:
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre
in terra viventium.
Tu qui cuncta scis et vales,
qui nos pascis hic mortales:
tuos ibi commensales,
coheredes et sodales
fac sanctorum civium.
Amen. Alleluia.

Salve, salutaris Victima, pro me et omni humano genere in patibulo crucis oblata. Salve, pretiose sanguis, de vulneribus crucifixi Domini nostri Iesu Christi profluens, et peccata totius mundi abluens. Recordare, Domine, creaturae tuae, quam tuo pretioso sanguine redemisti.

Tantum Ergo

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
Veneremur cernui:
Et antiquum documentum
Novo cedat ritui:
Praestet fides supplementum
Sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
Laus et iubilatio,
Salus, honor, virtus quoque
Sit et benedictio:
Procedenti ab utroque
Compar sit laudatio.


Laudes Divinae
Benedictus Deus.
Benedictus Nomen Sanctum eius.
Benedictus Iesus Christus, verus Deus et verus homo.
Benedictum Nomen Iesu.
Benedictum Cor eius sacratissimum.
Benedictus Sanguis eius pretiosissimus.
Benedictus Iesus in sanctissimo altaris Sacramento.
Benedictus Sanctus Spiritus, Paraclitus.
Benedicta excelsa Mater Dei, Maria sanctissima.
Benedicta sancta eius et immaculata Conceptio.
Benedicta eius gloriosa Assumptio.
Benedictum nomen Mariae, Virginis et Matris.
Benedictus sanctus Ioseph, eius castissimus Sponsus.
Benedictus Deus in Angelis suis, et in Sanctis suis.

Litaniae de Sanctissimo Sacramento
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison
Christe, eleison
R. Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, audi nos
R. Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.
R. Christe, exaudi nos.
Pater de caelis, Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
Spiritus Sancte, Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus,
R. miserere nobis.
Panis vive, qui de caelo descendisti,
R. miserere nobis.
Deus absconditus et Salvator,
R. miserere nobis.
Frumentum electorum,
R. miserere nobis.
Vinum germinans virgines,
R. miserere nobis.
Panis pinguis et deliciae regum,
R. miserere nobis.
Iuge sacrificium,
R. miserere nobis.
Oblatio munda,
R. miserere nobis.
Agne absque macula,
R. miserere nobis.
Mensa purissima,
R. miserere nobis.
Angelorum esca,
R. miserere nobis.
Manna absconditum,
R. miserere nobis.
Memoria mirabilium Dei,
R. miserere nobis.
Panis supersubstantialis,
R. miserere nobis.
Verbum caro factum, habitans in nobis,
R. miserere nobis.
Hostia sancta,
R. miserere nobis.
Calix benedictionis,
R. miserere nobis.
Mysterium fidei,
R. miserere nobis.
Praecelsum et venerabile Sacramentum,
R. miserere nobis.
Sacrificium omnium sanctissimum,
R. miserere nobis.
Sacrificium vere propitiatorium pro vivis et defunctis,
R. miserere nobis.
Caeleste antidotum, quo a peccatis praeservamur,
R. miserere nobis.
Stupendum supra omnia miraculum,
R. miserere nobis.
Sacratissima Dominicae Passionis commemoratio,
R. miserere nobis.
Donum transcendens omnem plenitudinem,
R. miserere nobis.
Memoriale praecipuum divini amoris,
R. miserere nobis.
Divinae affluentia largitatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Sacrosanctum et augustissimum mysterium,
R. miserere nobis.
Pharmacum immortalitatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Tremendum ac vivificum Sacramentum,
R. miserere nobis.
Panis omnipotentia Verbi caro factus,
R. miserere nobis.
Incruentum sacrificium,
R. miserere nobis.
Cibus et convivia,
R. miserere nobis.
Dulcissimum convivium, cui assistunt Angeli ministrantes,
R. miserere nobis.
Sacramentum pietatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Vinculum caritatis,
R. miserere nobis.
Offerens et oblatio,
R. miserere nobis.
Spiritualis dulcedo in proprio fonte degustata,
R. miserere nobis.
Refectio animarum sanctarum,
R. miserere nobis.
Viaticum in Domino morientium,
R. miserere nobis.
Pignus futurae gloriae,
R. miserere nobis.
Propitius esto,
R. parce nobis, Domine.
Propitius esto,
R. exaudi nos, Domine.
Ab indigna Corporis et Sanguinis tui susceptione,
R. libera nos, Domine.
A concupiscentia carnis,
R. libera nos, Domine.
A concupiscentia oculorum,
R. libera nos, Domine.
A superbia vitae,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Ab omni peccandi occasione,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Per desiderium illud, quo hoc Pascha cum discipulis manducare desiderasti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Per summam humilitatem, qui discipulorum pedes lavisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Per ardentissimam caritatem, qua hoc divinum Sacramentum instituisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Per Sanguinem tuum pretiosum, quem nobis in altari reliquisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
Per quinque vulnera huius tui Corporis sacratissimi, quod pro nobis suscepisti,
R. libera nos, Domine.
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut in nobis fidem, reverentiam et devotionem erga hoc admirabile Sacramentum augere et conservare digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut ad frequentem usum Eucharistiae per veram peccatorum confessionem nos perducere digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut nos ab omni haeresi, perfidia ac cordis caecitate liberare digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut sanctissimi huius Sacramenti pretiosos et caelestes fructus nobis impertiri digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Ut in hora mortis nostrae hoc caelesti viatico nos confortare et munire digneris,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Fili Dei,
R. te rogamus, audi nos.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. parce nobis, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. exaudi nos, Domine.
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi,
R. miserere nobis, Domine.
Christe, audi nos
R. Christe, audi nos.
Christe, exaudi nos.
R. Christe, exaudi nos.
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison
Christe, eleison
R. Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison
R. Kyrie, eleison.
Pater Noster ...
Ave Maria, ...
V. Panem de caelo praestitisti eis,
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem.
Deus, qui nobis sub Sacramento mirabili Passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti; tribue quaesumus, ita nos Corporis et Sanguinis tui sacra mysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

A Midweek Mix Of Tunes

Liam and Paddy Clancy and Tommy Makem on Pete Seeger's TV show, The Old Woman From Wexford

Kate Rusby, Sir Eglamore

Planxty, Arthur McBride

Art Garfunkel, Barbara Allen

The Corries, Rattlin' Bog

The City Waits, Uptails All

Paddy Reilly & The Dubliners, The Fields Of Athenry

The English National Opera, Behold The Lord High Executioner from Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado

Jerry Bryant & The Starboard Mess, Don't Forget Your Old Shipmate


Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Glorious First Of June

Aficianados of the Royal Navy in the Age of Fighting Sail know today as the anniversary of Lord Howe's great thumping of the navy of Revolutionary France in 1794.


June 2010

Walden Pond, Concord, MA in June

June is devoted the The Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Important feasts celebrated during the month of June include:

2nd St Erasmus (Elmo)
3rd St. Clotilde
5th St. Boniface
6th St. Norbert
8th St. Medard
9th St. Columkill
12th St. Gaspar Bertoni
13th St. Anthony of Padua
15th St. Vitus
17th St. Botolph
19th St. Odo of Cambrai and Bl. Sebastian Newdigate, Humphrey Middlemore, Thomas
Woodhouse, and William Exmew (martyrs)
20th Bl. Anthony Turner, John Fenwick, John Gavan, Thomas Whitbread, and William Harcourt (martyrs
21st Bl. John Rigby (martyr)
22nd SS Thomas More and John Fisher
23rd Midsummer Night's Eve
24th St. John the Baptist (Nativity) Midsummer Day
26th St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer
27th Our Lady of Perpetual Help
29th SS. Peter and Paul

June this year is entirely part of the time after Pentecost, or "Ordinary Time," in which season we will remain until Advent. There are no embertides in June, or until September for that matter.

The published prayer intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for June 2010 are:

That priests, united to the Heart of Christ, may always be true witnesses of the caring and merciful love of God.

That the Holy Ghost may bring forth from our communities numerous missionary vocations, willing to fully consecrate themselves to spreading the Kingdom of God.


Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

V. Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine
R. Et lux perpetua luceat in eis.
V. Requiescant in pace.
R. Amen.


Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

Most Holy Mary, Mother all-good and all-loving, when I remember my sins and think of the moment of death, I tremble and scarcely know where to turn. But my hope is in the Blood of Jesus Christ and thy powerful intercession, O my loving Mother.

Comforter of the afflicted, be with me in that hour, console me in that great affliction. If even now the remorse over my sins, the uncertainty of pardon, the danger of relapse, and the rigor of Divine Justice so frighten me, how will it be with me then?

Ah my Lady, obtain for me before death comes a deep sorrow for my sins, true amendment, and fidelity to God for the remainder of my days.

And when at last the hour of death arrives, O Mary my hope, help me in that terrible anguish in which I will find myself. Strengthen me against despair over the remembrance of my sins, which the devil will call up before me.

Obtain for me the grace to call upon thee over and over in that dread hour, so that I may die with thy name and the name of thy most holy Son on my lips.Thou hast granted this grace to so many of thy clients. I too desire it and hope for it.


Queenship Of Our Blessed Lady


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shirley & Dolly Collins

The look is very 60s/70s, but the music is traditional.
Pleasant And Delightful


Tyburn Tree


Daily Marian Prayer And Image

From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O MARY, of all creatures thou art the noblest, the purest, the holiest, the most sublime, the most beautiful. Oh, that all knew you, my Lady, and loved thee as thou deserveth!

I too, though I am a sinner, love thee, my most amiable Queen. And yet I love thee too little. I long to love thee with a greater and more tender affection, and it is thou who must obtain this grace for me. To love thee is a singular mark of predestination, a grace that God grants to those who are saved.

Then too, my Mother, I realize my great obligation to love thy Son; I see that He deserves an infinite love. Since thou desireth so much to see Him loved, obtain this grace for me --- a deep love for Jesus Christ.

I have no wish for earthly goods, for honors, for riches. I ask for that which thine heart desires far more, to love my God alone. Is it likely that thou wilt not help me in my desire, which is so pleasing to thee? Ah no, for even now thou art praying for me.

But I am consoled in thinking that so many Souls in Heaven and saintly people on earth love thee for thy goodness and beauty. Above all, I rejoice that God Himself loves thee alone, more than He loves all men and Angels together.

Pray for me, Mary; pray and never cease to pray until thou dost greet me in Heaven. There I shall possess my God forever . There too I shall possess my dearest Mother.


Trinity Sunday 2010

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, OSB:

ON the day of Pentecost the holy apostles received, as we have seen, the grace of the Holy Ghost. In ac­cordance with the injunction of their divine Master,1 they will soon start on their mission of teaching all nations, and baptizing men in the name of the holy Trinity. It was but right, then, that the solemnity which is intended to honour the mystery of one God in three Persons should immediately follow that of Pentecost, with which it has a mysterious connection. And yet, it was not until after many centuries that it was inserted in the cycle of the liturgical year, whose completion is the work of successive ages.

Every homage paid to God by the Church’s liturgy has the holy Trinity as its object. Time, as well as eternity, belongs to the Trinity. The Trinity is the scope of all religion. Every day, every hour, belongs to It. The feasts instituted in memory of the mys­teries of our redemption centre in It. The feasts of the blessed Virgin and the saints are but so many means for leading us to the praise of the God who is One in essence, and Three in Persons. The Sunday’s Office, in a very special way, gives us, each week, a most explicit expression of adoration and worship of this mystery, which is the foundation of all others, and the source of all grace.

This explains to us how it is that the Church was so long in instituting a special feast in honour of the holy Trinity. The ordinary motive for the institution of feasts did not exist in this instance. A feast is the memorial of some fact which took place at a certain time, and of which it is well to perpetuate the remem­brance and the influence. How could this be applied to the mystery of the Trinity? From all eternity, be­fore any created being existed, God liveth and reigneth, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. If a feast in honour of that mystery were to be instituted, it could only be by fixing some one day in the year, whereon the faithful would assemble for offering a more than usually solemn tribute of worship to the mystery of Unity and Trinity in the one same divine Nature.

The idea of such a feast was first conceived by some of those pious and recollected souls, who are favoured from on high with a sort of presentiment of the things which the Holy Ghost will achieve, at a future period, in the Church. So far back as the eighth century, the learned monk Alcuin had had the happy thought of composing a Mass in honour of the mystery of the blessed Trinity. It would seem that he was prompted to this by the apostle of Germany, Saint Boniface. That this composition is a beautiful one, no one will doubt that knows, from Alcuin’s writings, how full its author was of the spirit of sacred liturgy; but, after all, it was only a votive Mass, a mere help to private devotion, which no one ever thought would lead to the institution of a feast. This Mass, however, became a great favourite, and was gradually circu­lated through the several Churches; for instance, it was approved of for Germany by the Council of Selingenstadt, held in 1022.

In the previous century, however, a feast properly so called of holy Trinity had been introduced into one of the Churches of Belgium--the very same that was to have the honour, later on, of procuring to the Church’s calendar one of the richest of its solemnities.

Stephen, bishop of Liege, solemnly instituted the feast of holy Trinity for his Church, in 920, and had an entire Office composed in honour of the mystery. The Church’s law, which now reserves to the holy See the institution of any new feast, was not then in existence; and Riquier, Stephen’s successor in the See of Liege, kept up what his predecessor had begun.

The feast was gradually adopted. The Benedictine Order took it up from the very first. We find, for instance, in the early part of the eleventh century, that Berne, the abbot of Reichna, was doing all he could to propagate it. At Cluny, also, the feast was established at the commencement of the same century, as we learn from the Ordinarium of that celebrated monastery, drawn up in 1091, in which we find men­tion of holy Trinity day as having been instituted long before.

Under the pontificate of Alexander II, who reign­ed from 1061 to 1073, the Church of Rome, which has frequently sanctioned the usages of particular Churches by herself adopting them, was led to pass judgment upon this new institution. In one of his decretals, the Pontiff mentions that the feast was then kept in many places; but that the Church at Rome had not adopted it, and for this reason: that the adorable Trinity is, every day of the year, unceasing­ly invoked by the repetition of the words: Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui sancto; as likewise by several formulas expressive of praise.

Meanwhile, the feast went on gaining ground, as we gather from the Micrologus; and, in the early part of the twelfth century, we have the learned abbot Rupert, who may justly be styled a doctor in litur­gical science, explaining the appropriateness of that feast’s institution in these words: ‘Having celebrated the solemnity of the coming of the Holy Ghost, we, at once, on the Sunday next following, sing the glory of the holy Trinity; and rightly is this arrangement ordained, for, after the coming of the same holy Spirit, the faith in, and confession of, the name of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, immediately began to be preached, and believed, and celebrated in Baptism.’

In our own country, it was the glorious martyr, St. Thomas of Canterbury, that established the feast of holy Trinity. He introduced it into his archdio­cese, in the year 1162, in memory of his having been consecrated bishop on the first Sunday after Pentecost. As regards France, we find a Council of Arles, held in 1260 under the presidency of archbishop Florentinus, solemnly decreeing, in its sixth canon, the feast of holy Trinity to be observed with an octave. The Cistercian Order, which was spread throughout Europe, had ordered it to be celebrated in all its houses, as far back as the year 1230. Durandus, in his Rationale, gives us grounds for concluding that, during the thirteenth century, the majority of the Latin Churches kept this feast. Of these Churches, there were some that celebrated it, not on the first, but on the last, Sunday after Pentecost; others kept it twice: once on the Sunday next following the Pentecost solemnity, and a second time on the Sun­day immediately preceding Advent.

It was evident, from all this, that the apostolic See would finally give its sanction to a practice, whose universal adoption was being prompted by Christian instinct. John XXII, who sat in the Chair of Saint Peter as early as the year 1334, completed the work by a decree, wherein the Church of Rome accepted the feast of holy Trinity, and extended its observance to all Churches.

As to the motive which induced the Church, led as she is in all things by the Holy Ghost, to fix one special day in the year for the offering of a solemn homage to the blessed Trinity, whereas all our adorations, all our acts of thanksgiving, all our peti­tions, are ever being presented to It: such motive is to be found in the change which was being introduced, at that period, into the liturgical calendar. Up to about the year 1000, the feasts of saints marked on the general calendar, and universally kept, were very few. From that time, they began to be more nume­rous; and there was evidence that their number would go on increasing. The time would come, when the Sunday’s Office, which is specially consecrated to the blessed Trinity, must make way for that of the saints, as often as one of their feasts occurred on a Sunday. As a sort of compensation for this cele­bration of the memory of God’s servants on the very day which was sacred to the holy Trinity, it was considered right that once, at least, in the course of the year, a Sunday should be set apart for the exclusive and direct expression of the worship which the Church pays to the great God, who has vouch­safed to reveal Himself to mankind in His ineffable Unity and in His eternal Trinity.

The very essence of the Christian faith consists in the knowledge and adoration of one God in three Persons. This is the mystery whence all others flow. Our faith centres in this as in the master-truth of all it knows in this life, and as the infinite object whose vision is to form our eternal happiness; and yet, we know it only because it has pleased God to reveal Himself thus to our lowly intelligence, which, after all, can never fathom the infinite perfections of that God, who necessarily inhabiteth light inaccessible.4 Human reason may, of itself, come to the knowledge of the existence of God as Creator of all beings; it may, by its own innate power, form to itself an idea of His perfections by the study of His works; but the knowledge of God’s intimate Being can come to us only by means of His own gracious revelation.

It was God’s good-pleasure to make known to us His essence, in order to bring us into closer union with Himself, and to prepare us, in some way, for that face-to-face vision of Himself which He intends to give us in eternity. But His revelation is gradual: He takes mankind from brightness unto brightness, fitting it for the full knowledge and adoration of Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity. During the period preceding the Incarnation of the eternal Word, God seemed intent on inculcating the idea of His Unity, for polytheism was the infectious error of mankind; and every notion of there being a spiritual and sole cause of all things would have been effaced from the earth, had not the infinite goodness of God watched over its preservation.

Not that the old Testament Books were altogether silent on the three divine Persons, whose ineffable relations are eternal; only, the mysterious passages, which spoke of them, were not understood by the people at large; whereas, in the Christian Church, a child of seven will answer those who ask him, that, in God, the three divine Persons have but one and the same Nature, but one and the same Divinity. When the Book of Genesis tells us that God spoke in the plural, and said: ‘Let Us make man to Our image and likeness,’ the Jew bows down and be­lieves, but he understands not the sacred text; the Christian, on the contrary, who has been enlightened by the complete revelation of God, sees, under this expression, the three Persons acting together in the formation of man; the light of faith develops the great truth to him, and tells him that, within himself, there is a likeness to the blessed Three in One. Power, understanding, and will, are three faculties within him, and yet he himself is but one being. In the Books of Proverbs, Wisdom, and Ecclesiasticus, Solomon speaks, in sublime language, of Him who is eternal Wisdom; he tells us--and he uses every variety of grandest expression to tell us—of the divine essence of this Wisdom, and of His being a distinct Person in the Godhead; but how few among the people of Israel could see through the veil! Isaias heard the voice of the Seraphim, as they stood around God’s throne; he heard them singing in alternate choirs, and with a joy intense because eternal, this hymn: ‘Holy! Holy! Holy! is the Lord!’ But who will explain to men this triple Sanctus, of which the echo is heard here below, when we mortals give praise to our Creator? So, again, in the Psalms, and the prophetic Books, a flash of light will break suddenly upon us; a brightness of some mysterious Three will dazzle us; but it passes away, and obscurity returns seemingly all the more palpable; we have but the sentiment of the divine Unity deeply impressed on our inmost soul, and we adore the Incomprehensible, the sovereign Being. The world had to wait for the fullness of time to be completed; and then, God would send into this world His only Son, begotten of Him from all eternity. This His most merciful purpose has been carried out, and the Word made Flesh hath dwelt among us. By seeing His glory, the glory of the only-begotten Son of the Father, we have come to know that, in God, there is Father and Son. The Son’s mission to our earth, by the very revelation it gave us of Himself, taught us that God is eternally Father, for whatsoever is in God is eternal. But for this merciful revelation, which is an anticipation of the light awaiting us in the next life, our knowledge of God would have been too imperfect. It was fitting that there should be some proportion between the light of faith, and that of the vision reserved for the future; it was not enough for man to know that God is One.

So that, we now know the Father, from whom comes, as the apostle tells us, all paternity, even on earth. We know Him not only as the creative power, which has produced every being outside Him­self; but, guided as it is by faith, our soul’s eye respectfully penetrates into the very essence of the Godhead, and there beholds the Father begetting a Son like unto Himself. But, in order to teach us the mystery, that Son came down upon our earth. He Himself has told us expressly that no one knoweth the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal Him. Glory, then, be to the Son, who has vouchsafed to show us the Father! and glory to the Father, whom the Son hath re­vealed unto us!

The intimate knowledge of God has come to us by the Son, whom the Father, in His love, has given to us.11 And this Son of God, who, in order to raise up our minds even to His own divine Nature, has clad Himself, by His Incarnation, with our human nature, has taught us that He and His Father are one; that Theyare one and the same Essence, in distinc­tion of Persons. One begets, the Other is begotten; the One is named Power; the Other, Wisdom, or Intelligence. The Power cannot be without the Intelligence, nor the Intelligence without the Power, in the sovereignly perfect Being: but, both the One and the Other produce a third Term.

The Son, who had been sent by the Father, had ascended into heaven, with the human Nature which He had united to Himself for all future eternity; and lo! the Father and the Son send into this world the Spirit who proceeds from Them both. It was a new Gift, and it taught man that the Lord God was in three Persons. The Spirit, the eternal link of the first two, is Will, He is Love, in the divine Essence. In God, then, is the fullness of Being, without beginning, without succession, without in­crease; for there is nothing which He has not. In these three eternal Terms of His uncreated Substance, is the Act, pure and infinite.

The sacred liturgy, whose object is the glorification of God and the commemoration of His works, follows, each year, the sublime phases of these manifestations, whereby the sovereign Lord has made known His whole self to mortals. Under the sombre colours of Advent, we commemorated the period of expectation, during which the radiant Trinity sent forth but few of Its rays to mankind. The world, during those four thousand years, was praying heaven for a Libe­rator, a Messiah; and God’s own Son was to be this Liberator, this Messiah. That we might have the full knowledge of the prophecies which foretold Him, it was necessary that He Himself should actually come: a Child was born unto us,13 and then we had the key to the Scriptures. When we adored that Son, we adored also the Father, who sent Him to us in the Flesh, and with whom He is consubstantial. This Word of life, whom we have seen, whom we have heard, whom our hands have handled in the Humanity which He deigned to assume, has proved Himself to be truly a Person, a Person distinct from the Father, for One sends, and the Other is sent. In this second divine Person, we have found our Mediator, who has reunited the creation to its Creator; we have found the Redeemer of our sins, the Light of our souls, the Spouse we had so long desired.

Having passed through the mysteries which He Himself wrought, we next celebrated the descent of the holy Spirit, who had been announced as coming to perfect the work of the Son of God. We adored Him, and acknowledged Him to be distinct from the Father and the Son, who had sent Him to us with the mission of abiding with us. He manifested Him­self by divine operations which are peculiarly His own, and were the object of His coming. He is the soul of the Church; He keeps her in the truth taught her by the Son. He is the source, the principle of the sanctification of our souls; and in them He wishes to make His dwelling. In a word, the mystery of the Trinity has become to us, not only a dogma made known to our mind by revelation, but, more­over, a practical truth given to us by the unheard-of munificence of the three divine Persons: the Father, who has adopted us; the Son, whose brethren and joint-heirs we are; and the Holy Ghost, who governs us, and dwells within us.

Let us, then, begin this day, by giving glory to the one God in three Persons. For this end, we will unite with holy Church, who in her Office of Prime recites on this solemnity, as also on every Sunday not taken up by a feast, the magnificent Symbol known as the Athanasian Creed. It gives us, in a summary of much majesty and precision, the doctrine of the holy Doctor St. Athanasius, regarding the mysteries of the Trinity and the Incarnation.

Athanasian Creed

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic faith.

Which faith except everyone do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

And the Catholic faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity,

Neither confounding the Persons nor dividing the Substance.

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is one: the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated and the Holy Ghost uncreated

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensible.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal.

And yet they are not three Eternals, but one Eternal.

As there are not three Uncreated nor three Incomprehensibles, but one Uncreated and one Incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty.

And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord.

And yet not three Lords, but one Lord.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be God and Lord,

So are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say, There be three Gods or three Lords.

The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

The Son is of the Father alone, not made nor created, but begotten.

The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son, neither made nor created nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

And in this Trinity none is before or after other; none is greater or less than another;

But the whole three Persons are coeternal together and coequal, so that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshiped.

He, therefore, that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe faithfully the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man;

God of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man of the substance of His mother, born in the world;

Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting,

Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood;

Who, although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ:

One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the manhood into God;

One altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person.

For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ;

Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead;

He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty; from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies and shall give an account of their own works.

And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic faith; which except a man believe faithfully and firmly, he cannot be saved.


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