Saturday, August 07, 2010
O Most Blessed Mother,
Heart of love, heart of mercy,
Ever listening, caring, consoling,
Hear our prayer.
As thy children,
We implore thine intercession with Jesus thy Son.
Receive with understanding
And compassion the petitions
We place before thee today, especially ...
We are comforted in knowing
Thy heart is ever open to those
Who ask for thy prayer.
We trust to thy gentle care and intercession,
Those whom we love
And who are sick or lonely or hurting.
Help all of us, Holy Mother,
To bear our burdens in this life
Until we may share eternal life
And peace with God forever.
Labels: Our Blessed Lady
Friday, August 06, 2010
Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
Lord! enlighten me, that I may feel the injustice which I have done Thee, and the eternal chastisements I have deserved, by offending Thee. My God! I feel a great remorse for having offended Thee; but this pain consoles me. Hadst Thou sent me to hell, as I deserved, the thought of the trifle for which I was damned should be the hell of my hell. But now this remorse, I say, consoles me; because it encourages me to hope for pardon from Thee, who hast promised to pardon all who repent. Yes, my Lord! I repent of having outraged Thee. I embrace this sweet pain of remorse. I even entreat Thee to increase it, and to preserve it in my heart till death, that I may always weep bitterly over the offences I have offered to Thee. My Jesus! pardon me. O my Redeemer! who, to procure mercy for me, hadst not mercy on Thyself, but condemnedst Thyself to die through pain in order to deliver me from hell, have mercy on me. Grant that my remorse for having offended Thee may keep me always sorrowful, and, at the same time, inflame my whole soul with love for Thee, who hast loved me so tenderly, who hast borne with me so patiently, and who now, instead of chastising me, enrichest me with Thy lights and graces. I thank Thee, O my Jesus! and I love Thee. I love Thee more than myself. I love Thee with my whole heart. Thou knowest not how to despise a soul that loves Thee. I love Thee. Do not banish me from Thy face. Receive me, then, into Thy friendship, and do not permit me ever more to lose Thee. Mary, my Mother! accept me for thy servant, and bind me to Jesus, thy Son. Ask him to pardon me, to give me his love and the grace of perseverance till death.
Labels: Friday At the Foot Of the Cross
From a sermon by Pope Saint Leo the Great on the Transfiguration:
The Lord took chosen witnesses and in their presence revealed his glory. That is to say, the form of body which he had in common with other men, he so transfigured with light, that his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment became exceeding white, even as snow. Now the chief purpose of this Transfiguration was to remove from the hearts of the disciples their fear of the Cross. So, before their eyes, was unveiled the splendour of his hidden majesty, that the lowliness of his freely-chosen suffering might not confound their faith. But nonetheless there was also thus set forth, by the providence of God, a sure and certain hope for holy Church, whereby the whole Body of Christ should know with what great a change it is yet to be honoured. For the members of that Body whose Head hath already been transfigured in light may promise themselves a share in his glory.
Labels: Our Lord
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Magnificent altar and baroque canopy
Read more about Saint Mary Major (in Italian, "Santa Maria Maggiore").
Bernard Cardinal Law is currently archpriest of this basilica.
Labels: Our Blessed Lady
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Peter Bellamy, The Shepherd Of the Downs
The Dubliners, Fiddlers' Green
The Real Mackenzies, Will Ye Nae Come Back Again?
Brendan Bowyer, Boulavogue
The City Waites, The North Country Lovers
Makem & Clancy, Mary Mack
The Corries, Sunday Driver
Labels: Pleasing Tunes
Here is what The Golden Legend has to say about him.
And the Catholic Encyclopedia
It was Saint Dominic who first put the Rosary in the form we know it.
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
O God, Who hast commanded us to honour our father and our mother, in the tenderness of Thy mercy and have pity on the souls of my mother Kathryn and father George, and forgive them their trespasses, and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting light. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, as one God, now, and in the world of worlds.
V. Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,
R. And may perpetual light shine upon her.
V. May she rest in peace.
A Mother's Love's A Blessing
1. An Irish boy was leaving,
Leaving his own native home,
Crossing the broad Atlantic,
Once more he wished to roam,
And as he was leaving his mother,
Who was standing on the quay,
She threw her arms around his waist,
And this to him did say,
A mother's love's a blessing,
No matter where you roam,
Keep her while she's living,
You'll miss her when she's gone,
Love her as in childhood,
Though feeble, old and grey,
For you'll never miss a mother's love,
Till she's buried beneath the clay.
2. And as the years go onwards,
I'll settle down in life,
And choose a nice young colleen,
And take her for my wife,
And as the babes grow older,
And climb around my knee,
I'll teach them the very same lesson,
That my mother taught to me.
A mother's love's a blessing,
No matter where you roam,
Keep her while she's living,
You'll miss her when she's gone,
Love her as in childhood,
Though feeble, old and grey,
For you'll never miss a mother's love,
Till she's buried beneath the clay.
Labels: Requiescat In Pace
Monday, August 02, 2010
August 1st was the date of his death, and is his feast in the ordinary mode of the Latin Rite. In the extraordinary mode, his feast is August 2nd, presumably to avoid conflict with that of Saint Peter Ad Vincula.
His biography from the Catholic Encyclopedia
There is an excellent short biography (20 pages, lavishly illustrated) by Brother Matthew, MICM, of Saint Alphonsus in a 1998 back issue of From the Housetops that I currently have. It can be ordered here.
I cannot personally recommend his The Glories of Mary highly enough. It is not just a book that every Catholic should own, but one that every Catholic should study and take to heart.
A selection of his spiritual writings, and those of other Redemptorists, is available on the website of the Papastronsay Sons Of the Most Holy Redeemer (formerly known as the Transalpine Redemptorists).
I highly recommend his Visits To the Blessed Sacrament, as well.
His method for making the Stations of the Cross is the very best and most timeless ever. I speak as one who grew up with the ever-so-au-courant version with pictures of little kids burned by napalm in Vietnam and other images of the 1960s rather than with genuine Catholic tradition. The best version of Saint Alphonsus' Stations, convenient for carrying with you into church for the devotion, is available from TAN for only $1.50.
Saint Alphonsus, who suffered terrible arthritic pain and a curvature of the spine that left his chin impressed onto his chest for the last years of his life, is the patron of those suffering from arthritis.
He painted this crucifix:
This is one of his most urgent sermons:
Sermon for the Third Sunday After Easter, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
THIRD SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
On the value of time.
"A little while, and now you shall not see me” -John, xvi. 16.
There is nothing shorter than time, but there is nothing more valuable. There is nothing shorter than time; because the past is no more, the future is uncertain, and the present is but a moment. This is what Jesus Christ meant when he said: 1' A little while, and now you shall not see me”. We may say the same of our life, which, according to St. James, is but a vapour, which is soon scattered for ever. “For what is your life? It is a vapour which appeareth for a little while” -James, iv. 14. But the time of this life is as precious as it is short; for, in every moment, if we spend it well, we can acquire treasures of merits for Heaven; but, if we employ time badly, we may in each moment commit sin, and merit Hell. I mean this day to show you how precious is every moment of the time which God gives us, not to lose it, and much less to commit sin, but to perform good works and to save our souls.
1. “Thus saith the Lord: In an acceptable time I have heard thee, and in the day of salvation I have helped thee” -Isa., xlix. 8. St. Paul explains this passage, and says, that the acceptable time is the time in which. God has determined to confer his favours upon us. He then adds: “Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” -II. Cor., vi. 2. The Apostle exhorts us not to spend unprofitably the present time, which he calls the day of salvation; because, perhaps, after this day of salvation, there shall be no salvation for US. The &time ' says the same Apostle, 'I is short: it remaineth that they that weep be as though they wept not; that they that rejoice, as if they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; and they that use this world, as if they used it not” -1. Cor., vii. 29, 30, 31. Since, then, the time which we have to remain on this Earth is short, the Apostle tells those who weep, that they ought not to weep, because their sorrows shall soon pass away; and those who rejoice, not to fix their affections on their enjoyments, because they shall soon have an end. Hence he concludes, that we should use this world, not to enjoy its transitory goods, but to merit eternal life.
2. “Son”, says the Holy Ghost, “observe the time” -Ecel., iv. 23. Son, learn to preserve time, which is the most precious, and the greatest gift that God can bestow upon you. St. Bannerdine of Sienna teaches, that time is of as much value as God; because in every moment of time well spent, the possession of God is merited. He adds, that in every instant of this life a man may obtain the pardon of his sins, the grace of God, and the glory of Paradise.” Modico tempore potest homo lucrari gratiam. et gloriam”. Hence St. Bonaventure says, that no loss is of greater moment than the loss of time” -ser. xxxvil. in Sept.
3. But, in another place, St. Bernardine says, that, though there is nothing more precious than time, there is nothing less valuable in the estimation of men. “Nil pretiosius tempore, nil vilius reputatur” -ser. ii., ad Schol. You will see some persons spending four or five hours in play. If you ask them why they lose so much time, they answer: To amuse ourselves. Others remain half the day standing in the street, or looking out from a window. If you ask them what they are doing, they shall say in reply, that they are passing the time. And why, says the same saint, do you lose this time? Why should you lose even a single hour, which the mercy of God gives you to weep for your sins, and to acquire the divine grace? “Donec hora pertranseat, quam tibi ad agendam poenitentiam, ad acquirendam. gratiam, miseratio conditoris indulserit”.
4. O time despised by men during life, how much shall you be desired at the hour of death, and particularly in the other world! Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in Heaven nor in Hell. In Hell, the damned exclaim with tears: “Oh! that an hour were given to us”. They would pay any price for an hour or for a minute, in which they might repair their eternal ruin. But this hour or minute they never shall have. In Heaven, there is no weeping; but, were the saints capable of sorrow, all their wailing should arise from the thought of having lost in this life the time in which they could have acquired greater glory, and from the conviction that this time shall never more be given to them. A deceased Benedictine nun appeared in glory to a certain person, and said, that she was in Heaven, and in the enjoyment of perfect happiness; but that, if she could desire anything it would be to return to life, and to suffer affliction, in order to merit an increase of glory. And she added, that, to acquire the glory which corresponded to a single Ave Maria, she would be content to suffer till the day of judgment, the long and painful sickness which brought on her death. Hence St. Francis Borgia was careful to employ every moment of his time for God. When others spoke of useless things, he conversed with God by holy affections: and so recollected was he, that, when asked his opinion on the subject of conversation, he knew not what answer to make. Being corrected for this, he said: I am content to be considered stupid rather than lose my time in vanities.
5. Some of you will say:What evil am I doing? Is it not, I ask, an evil to spend your time in plays, in conversations, and useless occupations, which are unprofitable to the soul? Does God give you this time to lose it?” Let not”, says the Holy Ghost,” the part of a good gift overpass thee” -Eccl., xiv. 14. The workmen of whom St. Matthew speaks, did no evil; they only lost time by remaining idle in the streets. But they were rebuked by the father of the family, saying: “Why stand you here all the day idle?” -Matt., xx. 6. On the day of judgment Jesus Christ shall demand an account, not only of every month and day that has been lost, but even of every idle word. Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it on the day of judgment” -Matt., xii. 36. He shall likewise demand an account of every moment of the time which you shall lose. According to St. Bernard, all time which is not spent for God, is lost time.” Omne tempus quo de Deo non cogitasti, cogita te perdidisse” -Coll. I., cap. viii. Hence the Holy Ghost says:” Whatsoever thy hand is able to do, do it earnestly; for neither work nor reason shall be in Hell, whither thou art hastening” -Ecel., ix. 10. What you can do to-day, defer not till to-morrow; for, on to-morrow you may be dead, and may be gone into another world, where you shall have no more time to do good, and where you shall only enjoy the reward of your virtues, or suffer the punishment due to your sins.” To-day, if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts” -Ps., xeiv. 8. God calls you to confess your sins, to restore ill-gotten goods, to be reconciled with your enemies. Obey his call to-day; for it may happen that, on to-morrow, time may be no more for you, or that God will call you no more. All our salvation depends on corresponding with the divine calls, and at the time that God calls us.
6. But some of you will perhaps say: I am young; after some time I will give myself to God. But, remember that the Gospel tells us, that Jesus Christ cursed the fig tree which he found without fruit, although the season for figs had not yet arrived.“It was not the time for figs” -Mark, xi. 13. By this the Saviour wished to signify, that man at all times, even in youth, should produce fruits of good works; and that otherwise, like the fig tree, he shall be cursed, and shall produce no fruit for the future. “May no man hereafter eat any more fruit of thee for ever” -ibid., v. 14. “Delay not to be converted to the Lord, and defer it not from day to day; for his wrath shall come on a sudden” -Eccl., v. 8, 9. If you find your soul in the state of sin, delay not your repentance nor your confession; do not put them off even till to-morrow; for, if you do not obey the voice of God calling you to-day to confess your sins, death may this day overtake you in sin, and to-morrow there may be no hope of salvation for you. The Devil regards the whole of our life as very short, and therefore he loses not a moment of time, but tempts us day and night. “The Devil is come down unto you having great wrath, knowing that he bath but a short time” -Apoc., xii. 12. The enemy, then, never loses time in seeking to bring us to Hell: and shall we squander the time which God has given us to save our souls?
7. You say:I will hereafter give myself to God. But “why”, answers St. Bernard, “do you, a miserable sinner, presume on the future, as if the Father placed time in your power?” -serm. xxxviii. de Part., etc. Why do you presume that You will hereafter give yourself to God, as if he had given to you the time and opportunity of returning to him whenever you wish? Job said with trembling, that he knew not whether another moment of his life remained:” For I know not how long I shall continue, and whether after a while my Maker may take me away” -xxxii. 22. And you say: I will not go to confession to-day; I will think of it to-morrow. “Diem tenes”, says St. Augustine, “qui horam non tenes”. How can you promise yourself another day, when you know not whether you shall live for an hour? “If”, says St. Teresa, “you are not prepared to die to-day, tremble, lest you die an unhappy death”.
8. St. Bernardine weeps over the blindness of those negligent Christians, who squander the days of salvation, and never consider that a day once lost shall never return.” Transeunt dies, salutis et nemo recogitat sibi perire diem et nunquam. rediturum” -Serm. ad Scholar. At the hour of death they shall wish for another year, or for another day; but they shall not have it: they shall then be told that time shall be no more. What price would they not then give for another week, for a day, or even for an hour, to prepare the account which they must then render to God? St. Lawrence Justinian says, that for a single hour they would give all their property, all their honours, and all their delights. “Erogaret opes, honores, delicias, pro una horula” -Vit. Solit., cap. x. But this hour shall not be granted to them. The priest who attends them shall say: Depart, depart immediately from this Earth; for you time is no more. Go forth, Christian soul, from this world”.
9. What will it profit the sinner who has led an irregular life, to exclaim at death: Oh! that I had led a life of sanctity I Oh! that I had spent my years in loving God! How great is the anguish of a traveller, who, when the night has fallen, perceives that he has missed the way, and that there is no more time to correct his mistake! Such shall be the anguish at death of those who have lived many years in the world, but have not spent them for God. “The night cometh, when no man can work” -John, ix. 4. Hence the Redeemer says to all: “Walk whilst you have light, that the darkness overtake you not” -John, xii. 35. Walk in the way of salvation, now that you have the light, before you are surprised by the darkness of death, in which you can do nothing. You can then only weep over the time which you have lost.
10. “He hath called against me the time” -Thren., i. 15. At the hour of death, conscience will remind us of all the time which we have had to become saints, and which we have employed in multiplying our debts to God. It will remind us of all the calls and of all the graces which he has given us to make us love him, and which we have abused. At that awful moment, we shall also see that the way to salvation is closed for ever. In the midst of these remorses, and of the torturing darkness of death, the dying sinner shall say: Oh! fool that I have been! O life mispent! O lost years, in which I could have gained treasures of merits, and have become a saint I but, I have neglected both, and now the time of saving my soul is gone for ever. But, of what use shall these railings and lamentations be, when the scene of this world is about to close, the lamp is on the point of being extinguished, and when the dying Christian has arrived at that great moment on which eternity depends?
11. “Be you then also ready; for, at what hour you think not, the Son of Man will come” -Luke, xii. 40. The Lord says: “Be prepared”. He does not tell us to prepare ourselves when death approaches, but to be ready for his coming; because when we think least of death, the Son of Man shall come and demand an account of our whole life. In the confusion of death, it will be most difficult to adjust our accounts, so as to appear guiltless before the tribunal of Jesus Christ. Perhaps death may not come upon us for twenty or thirty years; but it may also come very soon, perhaps in a year or in a month. If any one had reason to fear that a trial should take place, on which his life depended, he certainly would not wait for the day of trial, but would as soon as possible employ an advocate to plead his cause. And what do we do? We know for certain that we must one day be judged, and that on the result of that judgment our eternal, not our temporal, life depends. We also know that that day may be very near at hand; and still we lose our time, and, instead of adjusting our accounts, we go on daily multiplying the crimes which will merit for us the sentence of eternal death.
12. If, then, we have hitherto employed our time in offending God, let us henceforth endeavour to bewail our misfortune for the remainder of our life, and say continually with the penitent King Ezechias: “I will recount to thee all my years in the bitterness of my soul” -Isa., xxxviii. 15. The Lord gives us the remaining days of life, that we may compensate the time that has been badly spent.” Whilst we have time, let us work good” -Galat., vi. 10. Let us not provoke the Lord to punish us by an unhappy death; and if, during the years that are past, we have been foolish, and have offended him, let us now attend to the Apostle exhorting us to be wise for the future, and to redeem the time we have lost.” See, therefore, brethren, now you walk circumspectly, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil,... understanding 'g what is the will of God” -Epli., v. 15, 16, 17. “The days are evil”. According to St. Anselm, the meaning of' these words is, that the days of this life are evil, because in them we are exposed to a thousand temptations are evil; and dangers of eternal misery; and therefore, to escape perdition, all possible care is necessary. “What”, says St. Augustine, “is meant by redeeming the time, unless, when necessary, to submit to temporal loss in order to gain eternal goods?” -de hom. 50, hom. 1. We should live only to fulfil with all diligence the divine will; and, should it be necessary, it is better to suffer in temporal things, than to neglect our eternal interests. Oh! how well did St. Paul redeem the time which he had lost! St. Jerome says, that though the last of the apostles, he was, on account of his great labours, the first in merits.” Paul, the last in order, but the first in merits, because he laboured more than all”. Let us consider that, in each moment, we may lay up greater treasures of eternal goods. If the possession of all the land round which you could walk, or of all the money which you could count in a day, were promised you, would you lose time? or would you not instantly begin to walk over the ground, or to reckon the money? You now have it in your power to acquire, in each moment, eternal treasures; and will you, notwithstanding, mispend your time? Do not say, that what you can do to-day, you can also do to-morrow; because this day shall then be lost to you, and shall never return. You have this day; but perhaps to-morrow will not be given you.
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, please pray for us!
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Sunday, August 01, 2010
The Feast of Saint Peter Ad Vincula is the Feast of Peter's Chains. Saint Peter, having been arrested, was held in custody, but miraculously was permitted to escape. Two links said to be from the chain that he was confined in are venerated at the church of Saint Peter Ad Vincula at Rome.
The Feast of Saint Peter's Chains was superimposed over the pre-Christian start of the harvest festivals (but with less success than with Christmas, Easter, and All Saints' Day). Though Lammas has lost much of its significance in the last hundred years, it has more cultural resonance than Saint Peter's Chains.
In Western Europe, the harvest is about 3 weeks earlier, on average, than in New England. We think of harvest time as September and October. But even in our own suburban gardens, aren't the first tomatoes ready about now? Raspberries and blackberries are a few days away. Sweet corn is about ready here. Apples will start ripening in a few weeks. Six weeks to fresh sweet cider!
While we are in agriculture mode, a rather rare thing for me, take a look at Mary Alexander's gardening tips.
Just because we are no longer an agricultural society does not mean that we need to lose touch with the traditional seasonal tempo of life.
This was also the beginning of the Autumn fair season. One still hears an Irish folk song called "The Oulde Lammas Faire."
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle long ago
I met a pretty colleen who set me heart a-glow
She was smiling at her daddy buying lambs from Paddy Roe
At the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
Sure I seen her home that night
When the moon was shining bright
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
At the ould Lammas Fair boys were you ever there
Were you ever at the Fair In Ballycastle-O?
Did you treat your Mary Ann
To some Dulse and Yellow Man
At the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
In Flander's fields afar while resting from the War
We drank Bon Sante to the Flemish lassies O!
But the scene that haunts my memory is kissing Mary Ann
Her pouting lips all sticky from eating Yellow Man
As we passed the silver Margy and we strolled along the strand
From the ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle-O!
There's a neat little cabin on the slopes of fair Knocklayde
It's lit by love and sunshine where the heather honey's made
With the bees ever humming and the children's joyous call
Resounds across the valley as the shadows fall
Sure I take my fiddle down and my Mary smiling there
Brings back a happy mem'ry of the Lammas Fair
For your edification in things edible and Irish, Dulse is a dried seaweed eaten as a vegetable, and Yellowman is a kind of toffee.
Think about it--there are 7 or 8 weeks to the Topsfield Fair and other fairs start before that. King Richard's Medieval Faire starts Labor Day weekend now. Many towns on the North Shore have their August festivals, probably the equivalent of the medieval fair near Lammas. Salem has its Heritage Days in August, a week-long festival of street fair, parade, and fireworks, along with ice cream "Scooper Bowls and Chowderfests. Beverly has Homecoming Week, and Newburyport has Yankee Homecoming this month.
Many towns in medieval and early modern Europe held large fairs on or near Lammas that brought people from far and near to the closest thing Europe then had to a mall. In medieval Europe, those fairs took on a much greater commercial significance than their descendants do today. The fairs were mobile, spending a few days in a given location (like a modern carnival).
The largest Lammas Fair that continues to this day is the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Lammas is the only resting point we have until the Feast of the Assumption in two weeks. It is our chance to assess how the summer is going, whether it will be an early autumn, or whether the heat will persist past Labor Day.
You don't need to be Haydn Pearson (The Countryman essayist in The New York Times 50 years ago) to notice that Autumn is on the way. Some sickly trees will start to change by the end of the month. In fact, one year I was shocked to see trees near the Prudential Center in Boston starting to turn yellow in mid July! Despite signs of the approach of fall, it may still be hot now and then, especially in early August. The "Dog Days," which began July 25th or so, may hold sway until the middle of the month. But the cooler days will start to be noticed more, especially after the fifteenth of August. By mid-month the growing shortness of the days will be evident.
With regard to the "Dog Days," a reader one year very helpfully sent this in for our edification (thank you very much!):
2) These Transitus days give us an extra bonus for feasting days of saints we love. St. Swithin's Feast is July 2, but "St. Swithin's Day" is July 15, his Transitus; and it is on the latter date that the weather depends. In France the weather saint is St. Medard (June 8), and the farmers know that "Quand it pleut a la saint-Medard, it pleut pour quarante jours plus tard."
3) In the USA, July 3 marks the beginning of Dog Days, and if it rains on this day, you'll have plenty of rain for the forty-day period of Dog Days. Plus the usual phenomena of dogs getting irritable and snakes biting more frequently, with especially powerful venom. My grandmother used to keep a dish filled with water in the yard for the dogs during Dog Days.
Autumn-themed decor started showing up in stores a few weeks ago. There were back-to-school displays (stacks of binders) in Walmart in June, a few days after school ended! And one weekend at the end of July, I saw in a TJ Maxx/HomeGoods store a startling array of fall, Halloween, and Thanksgiving decorative items. What, no Christmas decorations yet? Well, yes. Lemaxx Christmas Village displays are popping up already in AC Moore and Michaels.
Unfortunately, I and my fellow ragweed allergy sufferers will start to be miserable in about 10 days, and will stay that way until the first hard frost in October. It has not bothered me as much in Salem or in Boston. Not much ragweed nearby to trouble me. But when I am in the suburbs, or in more rural areas, gosh do my sinuses act up!
May the Lord bless this harvest and provide ample food for all His people. As a practical matter, your local food pantry does not want you to bake a loaf of bread for them. But today, as we celebrate the harvest, it would be great to write a $10.00check to them, so they can buy bread for ten families for the week.
Bread For Lammas
Since this is the day to celebrate first fruits of the wheat harvest, why not share a few recipes for bread? After all, grains are the staff of life, and are basic to our culture, indeed to all human survival. And the Bible is full of references to bread and its liturgical significance.
Our Lord decided upon bread as the form His Body would take for us.
The liturgical readings at Mass at this time of year focus on grain, wheat, bread, and the harvest.
And I must admit a terrific fondess for breads. Indeed, you might say that my body has never met a carbohydrate it did not take a serious liking to, and invite to stick around for life in a pleasant spot around my middle.
Vanilla Spice Bread
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups high-gluten bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1.Place water, milk, vanilla extract, brown sugar, white sugar, cardamom, coriander, vegetable oil, and salt into the pan of a bread machine in that order. Pour the flour onto the other ingredients, and sprinkle the flour with yeast. Set the bread machine to the Dough cycle; turn on the machine.
2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5-inch bread pan.
3.When the Dough cycle is completed, remove the dough from the machine, punch down if necessary, form into a loaf, and place into the prepared bread pan with the seam side down. Cover and let rise until doubled, 20 to 30 minutes.
4.Bake in the preheated oven until the loaf is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to finish cooling on a rack.
Garlic Yeast Bread
2/3 cup water (70 to 80 degrees F)
2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon dried basil
1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select basic bread setting. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). Great for a roast beef sandwich.
Anise Almond Loaf
3/4 cup water (70 to 80 degrees F)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon anise seed
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1.In bread machine pan, place first eight ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select basic bread setting. Choose light crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed). Just before the final kneading (your machine may audibly signal this), add almonds.
Part of the Grand Allee at the Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA
Important feasts celebrated during August include:
1st St. Peter Ad Vincula (Lammas)
2nd St. Alphonsus Liguori
4th St. Dominic de Guzman
6th The Transfiguration
7th St. Cajetan
8th St. Jean Marie Vianney
9th St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
10th St. Lawrence
12th St. Clare of Assisi
15th Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
16th St. Stephen of Hungary
18th St. Jane Frances de Chantal
19th St. John Eudes
20th St. Bernard
22th The Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Lady(moved in 1970 Ordo to the Friday after Sacred Heart)
24th St. Bartholomew
25th St. Louis of France
27th St. Monica (Novus Ordo)
28th St. Augustine of Hippo
29th Martyrdom of John the Baptist
30th St. Rose of Lima
Note, August, especially early August, is one of the places where feasts in the traditional Ordo, and those of the new Ordo differ the most. I follow the traditional Ordo for the most part, though I acknowledge the changes made, and note new saints added to the calendar.
The First Saturday of August is Saturday August 7th.
The First Friday of August is Friday August 6th.
The monthly dedication for August is to the Immaculate Heart of Our Blessed Lady.
August falls entirely within the Time After Pentecost. There are no embertides in August.
Since August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart, and the Feast of the Assumption (a holy day of obligation) falls on August 15th, it would be appropriate to make a novena to the Immaculate Heart beginning August 14th, the vigil of the Assumption, and ending on the Feast (Old Style) of the Immaculate Heart on August 22nd.
Novena To the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Immaculate Heart of Mary, full of love for God and mankind,
and of compassion for sinners, I consecrate myself entirely to thee.
I entrust to thee the salvation of my soul. May my heart be ever
united with thine, so that I may hate sin, love God, and my
neighbor, and reach eternal life together with those whom I love.
Mediatrix of All Graces and Mother of Mercy, remember
the infinite treasure which thy Divine Son has merited by His
sufferings and which He has confided to thee for us, thy children.
Filled with confidence in thy motherly Heart, which I venerate
and love, I come to thee with my pressing needs.
Through the merits of thy loving Heart, and for the sake of
the Sacred Heart of Jesus, obtain for me the favor I ask:
[Mention your request.]
Dearest Mother, if what I ask for should not be according to
God's Will, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater
benefit to my soul. May I experience the kindness of thy
motherly Heart and the power of thine intercession with Jesus
during life and at the hour of my death.
Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's published prayer intentions for the month of August, 2010:
That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties.
That the Church may be a “home” for all people, ready to open its doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger, or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries.
Labels: First Of the Month Almanac
THE destruction of Jerusalem has closed that portion of the prophetic Scriptures which was based on the institutions and history of the figurative period. The altar of the true God, built by Solomon on the summit of Moriah, was the authentic evidence of the true religion, to those who were then living under the Law of expectation. Even after the promulgation of the new Testament, the continued existence of that altar (the only one heretofore recognized by the Most High as His own1 ) was some sort of an excuse for such of the Jews as clung obstinately to the old order of things. That excuse was taken away when the temple was so destroyed as that not a stone was left on a stone; and the blindest partisans of the Mosaic system were compelled to acknowledge the total abrogation of a religion which was reduced by God Himself to the impossibility of ever offering the sacrifices essential to its existence.
The considerateness wherewith the Church had, so far, treated the Synagogue would henceforward be unmeaning. As the beautiful queen 'and bride, she was now at full liberty to show herself to all nations, subdue their wild instincts by the power of the Spirit, unify them in Christ Jesus, and put them by faith into the substantial, though not visible,2 possession of those eternal realities which had been foreshadowed by the Law of types and figures.
The new sacrifice, which is no other than that of the cross and of eternity, is now, more than ever, evidently the one sole centre, where her life is fixed in God with Christ her Spouse,3 and from which she derives her energy in labouring for the conversion and sanctification of all future generations of men. The Church, now more than ever fruitful, is more than ever receiving of that life of union which is the cause of her admirable fecundity.
We cannot, therefore, be surprised, that the sacred liturgy, which is the outward expression of the bride's inner life, will now more than ever reflect this closeness of her union with God. In the fifteen weeks we have still to spend of this Time after Pentecost, there is no such thing as gradation, no connexion, in the Proper of the Sundays' Masses. Even in the Lessons of the night-Office, dating from August, the historic Books have been replaced by those which are called the Sapiential; and these, in due time, will be followed by the Books of Job, Tobias, Judith and Esther. Here again there is no connexion, further than that of sanctity in precept or in example. So far, we have found more or less of oneness of idea between the Lessons of the Office and the Proper of the Mass; but, beginning with this tenth Sunday, these are independent of each other.
Henceforward, therefore, we must limit our commentary to the Proper of each Sunday's Mass; and in doing this, we shall be respectfully taking the teachings which the holy Spirit, 'who divideth as He willeth,'4 gives us, unitedly with the Church, in each portion of each Sunday's liturgy. Each Epistle and Gospel, especially; and then, each Introit and Collect, each Gradual and Offertory, each Secret, Communion and Postcommunion, will be a precious and exquisitely varied instruction. We shall see all this in the Epistle of this tenth Sunday.
The fall of Jerusalem--that great event, which told men how the prophecies were going to be gloriously fulfilled, now that the Jewish opposition was so completely removed--is one more solemn proclamation of the reign of the Holy Ghost throughout the entire earth; for, as we said of Him at the grand Pentecost solemnity, 'He hath filled the whole world.'5 We have much to learn from the tone our holy mother the Church puts in the liturgy of these remaining fifteen Pentecostal Sundays. In the admirable teachings she is now going to give to her children, there is no logical arrangement or sequel. She is as intent as ever on leading souls to holiness and perfection: yet it is not by following a method of any sort, but by applying to us the united power of the divine sacrifice and the word of the Scripture, to which she sweetly adds her own; and the holy Spirit of Love breathes upon it all, where He willeth, and when He willeth.6
This Sunday is, in some years, the second of the dominical series which opened with the feast of Saint Laurence, and took its name of Post Sancti Laurentii from the solemnity of the great deacon-martyr. It is also sometimes called the Sunday of humility, or of the pharisee and publican, because of the Gospel of the day. The Greeks count it as the tenth of Saint Matthew, and they read on it the episode of the lunatic, which is given in the seventeenth chapter of that Evangelist.
Labels: The Liturgical Year