Saturday, May 07, 2011

Daily Marian Prayer and Image

O compassionate Mother, most sacred Virgin, behold at thy feet the traitor, who, by paying with ingratitude the graces received from God through thy means, has betrayed both thee and him. But I must tell thee, O most blessed Lady, that my misery, far from taking away my confidence, increases it; for I see that thy compassion is great in proportion to the greatness of my misery. Show thyself, O Mary, full of liberality towards me: for thus thou art towards all who invoke thy aid.

All that I ask is that thou shouldst cast thine eyes of compassion on me, and pity me. If thy heart is thus far moved, it cannot do otherwise than protect me: and if thou protectest me, what can I fear? No, I fear nothing; I do not fear my sins, for thou canst provide a remedy; I do not fear devils, for thou art more powerful than the whole of hell; I do not even fear thy Son, though justly irritated against me, for at a word of thine he will be appeased.

I only fear lest, in my temptations, and by my own fault, I may cease to recommend myself to thee, and thus be lost. But I now promise thee that I will always have recourse to thee; O, help me to fulfill my promise. Lose not the opportunity which now presents itself of gratifying thy ardent desire to succor such poor wretches as myself. In thee, O Mother of God, I have unbounded confidence.

From thee I hope for grace to bewail my sins as I ought, and from thee I hope for strength never again to fall into them. If I am sick, thou, O heavenly physician, canst heal me. If my sins have weakened me, thy help will strengthen me. O Mary, I hope all from thee; for thou art all-powerful with God.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

From HIS FAVORITE PRAYERS: St. John Neumann, C.SS.R.

O my Mother Mary, Mother of God, turn not thine eyes from me on account of my sins. I desire to love thee as a little child. I am not worthy that thou shouldst think of me. How can I say that I love thee when my sinful life proves the contrary. I weep but what do such tears as mine avail me. Are they tears of penance? Alas, how insignificant is my penance compared with my sins! O Mother, help me whose sins crucified thy Son.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Daily Marian Prayer and Image

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

O Mother of holy love, our life, our refuge, and our hope, thou well knowest that thy son Jesus Christ, not content with being himself our perpetual advocate with the eternal Father, has willed that thou also shouldst interest thyself with him, in order to obtain the divine mercies for us. He has decreed that thy prayers should aid our salvation, and has made them so efficacious that they obtain all that they ask. To thee therefore, who art the hope of the miserable, do I, a wretched sinner, turn my eyes.

I trust, O Lady, that in the first place through the merits of Jesus Christ, and then through thy intercession, I shall be saved. Of this I am certain; and my confidence in thee is such, that if my eternal salvation were in my own hands, I should place it in thine, for I rely more on thy mercy and protection than on all my own works.

My mother and my hope, abandon me not, though I deserve that thou shouldst do so. See my miseries, and, being moved thereby with compassion, help and save me. I own that I have too often closed my heart, by my sins, against the lights and helps that thou hast procured for me from the Lord. But thy compassion for the miserable, and thy power with God, far surpass the number and malice of my sins.

It is well known to all, both in heaven and on earth, that whosoever is protected by thee is certainly saved. All may forget me, provided only that thou dost remember me, O Mother of an omnipotent God. Tell him that I am thy servant; say onl that thou defendest me, and I shall be saved. O mary, I trust in thee; in this hope I live; in it I desire and hope to die, repeating always, "Jesus is my only hope, and after Jesus the most Blessed Virgin Mary" ("Unica spes mea Jesus et post Jesum Virgo Maria").


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

My God, prostrate in Thy presence, I adore Thee; and I intend to make the following protestations, as if I were on the point of passing from, this life to eternity:

My Lord, because Thou art infallible truth, and hast revealed it to the holy Church, I believe in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; three Persons, but only one God, who eternally rewards the just with heaven, and punishes sinners with hell. I believe that the second Person—that is, the Son of God —became man and died for the salvation of men; and I believe all that the holy Church believes. I thank Thee for having made me a Christian; and I protest that in this holy faith I wish to live and die.

My God, my hope, trusting in Thy promises, I hope from Thy mercy, not through my merits, but through the merits of Jesus Christ, for the pardon of my sins, perseverance in Thy grace, and, after this miserable life, for the glory of heaven. And should the devil, at death, tempt me to despair at the sight of my sins, I protest that I wish always to hope in Thee, my Lord, and that I wish to die in the loving arms of Thy goodness.

O God, worthy of infinite love! I love Thee with my whole heart, and more than I love myself; and I protest that I wish to die making an act of love, that thus I may continue to love Thee for eternity in heaven; which, for this purpose, I ask and desire from Thee. And if, O Lord! instead of loving Thee, I have hitherto despised Thy infinite Goodness. I am sorry for it with my whole heart, and I protest that I wish to die bewailing and detesting forever the offences I have offered to Thee. I purpose, for the future, to die rather than commit another sin. And, for the love of Thee, I pardon all who have offended me.

O my God! I accept death, and all the pains that will accompany my death. I unite them to the sorrows and to the death of Jesus Christ, and offer them in honor of Thy supreme dominion, and in satisfaction for my sins. O Lord! for the sake of the great sacrifice of himself which Thy divine Son offered on the altar of the cross, accept this sacrifice of my life, which I offer to Thee. I now, for the moment of my death, resign myself entirely to Thy divine will, protesting that I wish to die, saying: O Lord! Thy will be always done.

Most holy Virgin Mary, my advocate and my mother, thou, after God, art and shalt be my hope and consolation at the hour of death. I now invoke thee, and pray thee to assist me in that great passage. My dear queen, do not abandon me at that last moment. Come, then, and take my soul, and present it to thy Son. From this moment I expect thee, and hope to die under thy protection and prostrate at thy feet. My protector, St. Joseph, St. Michael the archangel, my angel-guardian, my holy advocates, come all, and assist me in that last battle with hell.

And Thou, my crucified Love—Thou, my Jesus, who, to obtain for me a good death, hast voluntarily chosen so painful a death, remember at that hour that I am one of the sheep which Thou hast purchased with Thy blood. O my Saviour, who alone can console me and save me at that hour when every one on this earth will have abandoned me, and when no friend will be able to assist me! make me then worthy to receive Thee for my Viaticum. Do not permit me to lose Thee forever, and to go forever to remain at a distance from Thee. No, my beloved Saviour, since I now embrace Thee, receive me then into Thy holy wounds. At my last breath I intend to breathe forth my soul into the loving wound in Thy side, saying now, for that moment: Jesus and Mary, I give Thee my heart and my soul: Jesus and Mary, I give Thee my heart and my soul.

Happy suffering, to suffer for God! Happy death, to die in the Lord!

I embrace Thee, my good Redeemer, that I may die in Thy embraces. If, O my soul! at your departure from this world, Mary assists you, and Jesus receives you, death will be for you not death, but sweet repose.

‘Tis blessed to suffer, Creator most kind;

‘Tis blessed to die, and to suffer for Thee.

I embrace Thee, O Crucified! hoping to find

Thine arms everlasting in death circling me.

So it will not be death, but ineffable rest.

That shall close at the last on these earth-wearied eyes,

When my forehead by Mary is soothingly prest,

And Jesus receives my last penitent sighs.

A Short Prayer to be said every day to Jesus crucified, and to our Lady of Sorrows, to obtain the grace of a happy death.

My Lord Jesus Christ, by that bitterness which Thou didst endure on the cross, when Thy blessed soul was separated from Thy most sacred body, have pity on my sinful soul, when it leaves my miserable body to enter into eternity.

O Mary! by that grief which thou didst experience on Calvary in seeing Jesus expire on the cross before thine eyes, obtain for me a good death, that loving Jesus and thee, my Mother, in this life, I may attain heaven, where I shall love thee for all eternity.


Thursday, May 05, 2011

Daily Marian Prayer And Image

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

Behold, O Mother of my God, my only hope, Mary, behold at thy feet a miserable sinner, who asks thee for mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole Church, and by all the faithful, the refuge of sinners. Thou art consequently my refuge; thou hast to save me. I will say with William of Paris, Thou knowest, most sweet Mother of God, how much thy Blessed Son desires our salvation ("Tu . . . enim, dulcissima Dei Mater, nosti quantum placeat benedicto Filio tuo salus nostra"—Rhèt. Div. c. 18). Thou knowest all that Jesus Christ endured for this end. I present thee, O my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus: the cold that he endured in the stable, his journey into Egypt, his toils, his sweat, the blood that he shed, the anguish which caused his death on the cross, and of which thou wast thyself a witness. O, show that thou lovest thy beloved Son, and by this love I implore thee to assist me. Extend thy hand to a poor creature who has fallen, and asks thy help. Were I a saint, I would not need seek thy mercy: but because I am a sinner, I fly to thee, who art the Mother of Mercies. I know that thy compassionate heart finds its consolation in assisting the miserable, when thou canst do so, and dost not find them obstinate. Console, then, thy compassionate heart, and console me this day; for now thou hast the opportunity of saving a poor creature condemned to hell; and thou canst do so, for I will not be obstinate. I abandon myself into thy hands, only tell me what thou wouldst have me do, and obtain for me strength to execute it, for I am resolved to do all that depends on me to recover the divine grace. I take refuge under thy mantle. Jesus wills that I should have recourse to thee, in order not only that his blood may save me, but also that thy prayers may assist me in this great work; for thy glory, and for his own, since thou art his Mother. He sends me to thee, that thou mayst help me. O Mary, see, I have recourse to thee; in thee do I confide. Thou prayest for so many others, pray also for me; say only a word. Tell our Lord that thou willest my salvation, and God will certainly save me. Say that I am thine, and then I have obtained all that I ask, all that I desire.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A Mid-Week Mix To Make You Rue Its Return: Hocktide Morris Dancing and Maypole Special Edition

Cotswold Morris Dancing

Morris Dancing At Oxford

Hexham MorrisMen, The Lass Of Richmond Hill

Morris Dance at Arnold Arboretum, Boston

More From the Arnold Arboretum

May Pole Dancing at Winterborne Stickland Fete 2006

Gloucestershire Morris Men, Stanines Morris

A Fourth Grade Maypole Dance

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Daily Marian Prayer and Image

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

O my sovereign Queen and worthy Mother of my God, most holy Mary; I seeing myself, as I do, so despicable and loaded with so many sins, ought not to presume to call thee Mother, or even to approach thee; yet I will not allow my miseries to deprive me of the consolation and confidence that I feel in calling thee mother; I know well that I deserve that thou shouldst reject me; but I beseech thee to remember all that thy Son Jesus has endured for me, and then reject me if thou canst.

I am a wretched sinner, who, more than all others, have despised the infinite majesty of God: but the evil is done. To thee have I recourse; thou canst help me; my Mother, help me. Say not that thou canst not do so; for I know that thou art all-powerful, and that thou obtainest whatever thou desirest of God; and if thou sayest that thou wilt not help me, tell me at least to whom I can apply in this my so great misfortune. "Either pity me," will I say with the devout St. Anselm, "O my Jesus, and forgive me, and do thou pity me, my Mother Mary, by interceding for me, or at least tell me to whom I can have recourse, who is more compassionate, or in whom I can have greater confidence than in thee" ("Aut miseremini miseri, tu parcendo, tu interveniendo; aut ostendite, ad quos tutius fugiam misericordiores; et monstrate, in quibus certius confidam potentiores"—Orat. 50).


Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Hock Tuesday

The end of Easter festivities. The liturgical season of Paschaltide goes on until Whitsunday, but it is back to work amidst the joys of Spring (which now, in early May, is just beginning here in Boston this year).


Daily Marian Prayer And Image

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

O Lady, O ravished of hearts! ("O Domina, quae rapis corda.") I will exclaim with St. Bonaventure: "Lady, who with the love and favor thou showest thy servants dost ravish their hearts, ravish also my miserable heart, which desires ardently to love thee. Thou, my Mother, hast enamoured a God with thy beauty, and drawn him from heaven into thy chaste womb; and shall I live without loving thee? "No, I will say to thee with one of thy most loving sons, John Berchmans of the Society of Jesus, I will never rest until I am certain of having obtained thy love; but a constant and tender love towards thee, my Mother, who hast loved me with so much tenderness" ("Nunquam quiescam, donec habuero tenerum amorem erga Matrem meam, Mariam"), even when I was ungrateful towards thee.

And what should I now be, O Mary, if thou hadst not obtained so many mercies for me? Since, then, thou didst love me so much when I loved thee not, how much more may I not now hope from thee, now that I love thee? I love thee, O my Mother, and I would that I had a heart to love thee in place of all those unfortunate creatures who love thee not. I would that I could speak with a thousand tongues, that all might know thy greatness, thy holiness, thy mercy, and the love with which thou lovest all who love thee. Had I riches, I would employ them all for thy honor. Had I subjects, I would make them all thy lovers. In fine, if the occasion presented itself I would lay down my life for thy glory. I love thee, then, O my Mother; but at the same time I fear that I do not love thee as I ought; for I hear that love makes lovers like the person loved. If, then, I see myself so unlike thee, it is a mark that I do not love thee. Thou art so pure, and I defiled with many sins; thou so humble, and I so proud; thou so holy, and I so wicked. This, then, is what thou hast to do, O Mary; since thou lovest me, make me like thee. Thou hast all power to change hearts; take, then, mine and change it. Show the world what thou canst, do for those who love thee. Make me a saint; make me thy worthy child. This is my hope.


Monday, May 02, 2011

Saint Joseph the Carpenter

The foster father of Our Lord's feast in his role as provider for the Holy Family and model for those who work. His general feast was on March 19th.

This year, the feast is transferred to Monday since May 1st was a Sunday.


Hock Monday

Normally the return to regular life after the Easter hiatus from work.

Learn more about Hocktide here.


Daily Marian Prayer and Image

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

O most holy Mother Mary, how is it possible that I, having so holy a mother, should be so wicked? a mother all burning with the love of God, and I loving creatures; a mother so rich in virtue, and I so poor? Ah, amiable Mother, it is true that I do not deserve any longer to be thy son, for by my wicked life I have rendered myself unworthy of so great an honor. I am satisfied that thou shouldst accept me for thy servant; and in order to be admitted amongst the vilest of them, I am ready to renounce all the kingdoms of the world. Yes, I am satisfied. But still thou must not forbid me to call thee mother. This name consoles and fills me with tenderness, and reminds me of my obligation to love thee. This name excites me to great confidence in thee. When my sins and the divine justice fill me most with consternation, I am all consoled at the thought that thou art my mother. Allow me then, to call thee mother, my most amiable mother. Thus do I call thee, and thus will I always call thee. Thou, after God, must be my hope, my refuge, my love in this valley of tears. Thus do I hope to die, breathing forth my soul into thy holy hands, and saying, My Mother my Mother Mary, help me, have pity on me!


Pop Goes the Weasel

Bin Laden is dead, as we all know by now. Kudos to the Navy Seals who performed this service to mankind. They even disposed of the trash at sea.

The Obama Administration did something right in not consulting Pakistan. Had they done so, the poxed bastard would have been tipped off and been nowhere to be found. Serious quesations remain about the complicity of the Pakistani goverment.

May all of those who worked with bin Laden, spported him, gave him or his organization money, or even had a kindly word or thought about him or his cause meet the same fate very swiftly.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Low Sunday/Divine Mercy Sunday

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

Our neophytes closed the Octave of the Resurrection yesterday. They were before us in receiving the admirable mystery; their solemnity would finish earlier than ours. This, then, is the eighth day for us who kept the Pasch on the Sunday, and did not anticipate it on the vigil. It reminds us of all the glory and joy of that feast of feasts, which united the whole of Christendom in one common feeling of triumph. It is the day of light, which takes the place of the Jewish Sabbath. Henceforth, the first day of the week is to be kept holy. Twice has the Son of God honoured it with the manifestation of his almighty power. The Pasch, therefore, is always to be celebrated on the Sunday; and thus every Sunday becomes a sort of Paschal feast, as we have already explained in the Mystery of Easter.

Our risen Jesus gave an additional proof that he wished the Sunday to be, henceforth, the privileged day. He reserved the second visit he intended to pay to all his disciples for this the eighth day since his Resurrection. During the previous days, he has left Thomas a prey to doubt; but to-day he shows himself to this Apostle, as well as to the others, and obliges him, by irresistible evidence, to lay aside his incredulity. Thus does our Saviour again honour the Sunday. The Holy Ghost will come down from heaven upon this same day of the week, making it the commencement of the Christian Church: Pentecost will complete the glory of this favoured day.

Jesus' apparition to the eleven, and the victory he gains over the incredulous Thomas—these are the special subjects the Church brings before us to-day.

By this apparition, which is the seventh since his Resurrection, our Saviour wins the perfect faith of his disciples. It is impossible not to recognize God in the patience, the majesty, and the charity of him who shows himself to them. Here, again, our human thoughts are disconcerted; we should have thought this delay excessive; it would have seemed to us that our Lord ought to have at once either removed the sinful doubt from Thomas's mind, or punished him for his disbelief. But no: Jesus is infinite wisdom, and infinite goodness. In his wisdom, he makes this tardy acknowledgement of Thomas become a new argument of the truth of the Resurrection; in his goodness, he brings the heart of the incredulous disciple to repentance, humility, and love; yea, to a fervent and solemn retractation of all his disbelief. We will not here attempt to describe this admirable scene, which holy Church is about to bring before us. We will select, for our to-day's instruction, the important lesson given by Jesus to his disciple, and through him to us all. It is the leading instruction of the Sunday, the Octave of the Pasch, and it behooves us not to pass it by, for, more than any other, it tells us the leading characteristic of a Christian, shows us the cause of our being so listless in God's service, and points out to us the remedy for our spiritual ailments.

Jesus says to Thomas: 'Because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed!' Such is the great truth, spoken by the lips of the God-Man: it is a most important counsel, given, not only to Thomas, but to all who would serve God and secure their salvation. What is it that Jesus asks of his disciple? Has he not heard him make profession that now, at last, he firmly believes? After all, was there any great fault in Thomas's insisting on having experimental evidence before believing in so extraordinary a miracle as the Resurrection? Was he obliged to trust to the testimony of Peter and the others, under penalty of offending his divine Master?

Did he not evince his prudence, by withholding his assent until he had additional proofs of the truth of what his brethren told him? Yes, Thomas was a circumspect and prudent man, and one that was slow to believe what he had heard; he was worthy to be taken as a model by those Christians who reason and sit in judgment upon matters of faith. And yet, listen to the reproach made him by Jesus. It is merciful, and withal so severe! Jesus has so far condescended to the weakness of his disciple as to accept the condition on which alone he declares that he will believe: now that the disciple stands trembling before his risen Lord, and exclaims, in the earnestness of faith, `My Lord and my God!' oh! see how Jesus chides him! This stubbornness, this incredulity, deserves a punishment: the punishment is, to have these words said to him: `Thomas! thou hast believed, because thou hast seen!'

Then was Thomas obliged to believe before having seen? Yes, undoubtedly. Not only Thomas, but all the Apostles were in duty bound to believe the Resurrection of Jesus even before he showed himself to them. Had they not lived three years with him? Had they not seen him prove himself to be the Messias and the Son of God by the most undeniable miracles? Had he not foretold them that he would rise again on the third day? As to the humiliations and cruelties of his Passion, had he not told them, a short time previous to it, that he was to be seized by the Jews in Jerusalem, and be delivered to the gentiles? that he was to be scourged, spit upon, and put to death?

After all this, they ought to have believed in his triumphant Resurrection, the very first moment they heard of his Body having disappeared. As soon as John had entered the sepulchre, and seen the winding-sheet, he at once ceased to doubt; he believed. But it is seldom that man is so honest as this; he hesitates, and God must make still further advances, if he would have us give our faith! Jesus condescended even to this: he made further advances. He showed himself to Magdalen and her companions, who were not incredulous, but only carried away by natural feeling, though the feeling was one of love for their Master.

When the Apostles heard their account of what had happened, they treated them as women whose imagination had got the better of their judgment. Jesus had to come in person: he showed himself to these obstinate men, whose pride made them forget all that he had said and done, sufficient indeed to make them believe in his Resurrection. Yes, it was pride; for faith has no other obstacle than this. If man were humble, he would have faith enough to move mountains.

To return to our Apostle. Thomas had heard Magdalen, and he despised her testimony; he had heard Peter, and he objected to his authority; he had heard the rest of his fellow-Apostles and the two disciples of Emmaus, and no, he would not give up his own opinion. How many there are among us who are like him in this! We never think of doubting what is told us by a truthful and disinterested witness, unless the subject touch upon the supernatural; and then we have a hundred difficulties. It is one of the sad consequences left in us by original sin.

Like Thomas, we would see the thing ourselves: and that alone is enough to keep us from the fulness of the truth. We comfort ourselves with the reflection that, after all, we are disciples of Christ; as did Thomas, who kept in union with his brother-Apostles, only he shared not their happiness. He saw their happiness, but he considered it to be a weakness of mind, and was glad that he was free from it!

How like this is to our modern rationalistic Catholic! He believes, but it is because his reason almost forces him to believe; he believes with his mind, rather than from his heart. His faith is a scientific deduction, and not a generous longing after God and supernatural truth. Hence how cold and powerless is this faith! how cramped and ashamed! how afraid of believing too much l Unlike the generous unstinted faith of the saints, it is satisfied with fragments of truth, with what the Scripture terms diminished truths. It seems ashamed of itself.

It speaks in a whisper, lest it should be criticized; and when it does venture to make itself heard, it adopts a phraseology which may take off the sound of the divine. As to those miracles which it wishes had never taken place, and which it would have advised God not to work, they are a forbidden subject. The very mention of a miracle, particularly if it have happened in our own times, puts it into a state of nervousness. The lives of the saints, their heroic virtues, their sublime sacrifice -- it has a repugnance to the whole thing! It talks gravely about those who are not of the true religion being unjustly dealt with by the Church in Catholic countries; it asserts that the same liberty ought to be granted to error as to truth; it has very serious doubts whether the world has been a great loser by the secularization of society.

Now it was for the instruction of persons of this class that our Lord spoke those words to Thomas: `Blessed are they who havenot seen, and have believed.' Thomas sinned in not having the readiness of mind to believe. Like him, we also are in danger of sinning, unless our faith have a certain expansiveness, which makes us see everything with the eye of faith, and gives our faith that progress which God recompenses with a super-abundance of light and joy.

Yes, having once become members of the Church, it is our duty to look upon all things from a supernatural point of view. There is no danger of going too far, for we have the teachings of an infallible authority to guide us. `The just man liveth by faith.' Faith is his daily bread. His mere natural life becomes transformed for good and all, if only he be faithful to his Baptism. Could we suppose that the Church, after all her instructions to her neophytes, and after all those sacred rites of their Baptism which are so expressive of the supernatural life, would be satisfied to see them straightway adopt that dangerous system which drives faith into a nook of the heart and understanding and conduct, leaving all the rest to natural principles or instinct? No, it could not be so.

Let us therefore imitate St Thomas in his confession, and acknowledge that hitherto our faith has not been perfect. Let us go to our Jesus, and say to him: `Thou art my Lord and my God! But alas! I have many times thought and acted as though thou wert my Lord and my God in some things, and not in others. Henceforth I will believe without seeing; for I would be of the number of those whom thou callest blessed!'

This Sunday, commonly called with us Low Sunday, has two names assigned to it in the Liturgy: Quasimodo, from the first word of the Introit; and Sunday in albis (or, more explicitly, in albis depositis), because on this day the neophytes assisted at the Church services attired in their ordinary dress. In the Middle Ages it was called Close-Pasch, no doubt in allusion to its being the last day of the Easter Octave. Such is the solemnity of this Sunday that not only is it of Greater Double rite, but no feast, however great, can ever be kept upon it.

At Rome, the Station is in the basilica of St Pancras, on the Aurelian Way. Ancient writers have not mentioned the reason of this Church being chosen for to-day's assembly of the faithful. It may, perhaps, have been on account of the saint's being only fourteen years old when put to death: a circumstance which gave the young martyr a sort of right to have the neophytes round him, now that they were returning to their everyday life.


The Introit repeats those beautiful words of St Peter, which were addressed, in yesterday's Epistle, to the newly baptized. They are like new-born babes, lovely in their sweet simplicity, and eager to drink from the breasts of their dear mother, the Church, the spiritual milk of faith -- that faith which will make them strong and loyal.

The Apostle St John here tells us the merit and power of faith: it is, says he, a victory, which conquers the world, both the world outside, and the world within us. It is not difficult to understand why this passage from St John's Epistles should have been selected for to-day's Liturgy: it is on account of its being so much in keeping with the Gospel appointed for this Sunday, in which our Lord passes such eulogy upon faith.

If, as the Apostle here assures us, they overcome the world who believe in Christ, that is not sterling faith which allows itself to be intimidated by the world. Let us be proud of our faith, esteeming ourselves happy that we are but little children when there is a question of receiving a divine truth; and let us not be ashamed of our eager readiness to admit the testimony of God. This testimony will make itself heard in our hearts, in proportion to our willingness to hear it. The moment John saw the winding-bands which had shrouded the Body of his Master, he made an act of faith; Thomas, who had stronger testimony than John (for he had the word of the Apostles, assuring him that they had seen their risen Lord), refused to believe: he had not overcome the world and its reasonings, because he had not faith.

The two Alleluia Versicles are formed of two texts alluding to the Resurrection. The second speaks of the scene which took place on this day, in the cenacle.

We have said enough about St Thomas' incredulity; let us now admire his faith. His fault has taught us to examine and condemn our own want of faith; let us learn from his repentance how to become true believers. Our Lord, who had chosen him as one of the pillars of his Church, has been obliged to treat him with an exceptional familiarity: Thomas avails himself of Jesus' permission, puts his finger into the sacred wound, and immediately he sees the sinfulness of his past incredulity.

He would make atonement, by a solemn act of faith, for the sin he has committed in priding himself on being wise and discreet: he cries out, and with all the fervour of faith: My Lord and my God!

Observe, he not only says that Jesus is his Lord, his Master, the same who chose him as one of his disciples: this would not have been faith, for there is no faith where we can see and touch. Had Thomas believed what his brother-Apostles had told him, he would have had faith in the Resurrection; but now he sees, he has experimental knowledge of the great fact; and yet, as our Lord says of him, he has faith. In what? In this, that his Master is God. He sees but the humanity of Jesus, and he at once confesses him to be God. From what is visible, his soul, now generous and repentant, rises to the invisible: `Thou art my God!'

Now, O Thomas! thou art full of faith! The Church proposes thee to us, on thy feast, as an example of faith. The confession thou didst make on this day is worthy to be compared with that which Peter made, when he said: `Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God!'

By this profession, which neither flesh nor blood had revealed to him, Peter merited to be made the rock whereon Christ built his Church: thine did more than compensate thy former disbelief; it gave thee, for the time, a superiority over the rest of the Apostles, who, so far at least, were more taken up with the visible glory, than with the invisible divinity, of their risen Lord.

Since the reign of Pope John Paul II, this has been known also as Divine Mercy Sunday, based on the revelations given by Our Lord to Saint Faustina Kowalska.

Learn more about the Divine Mercy devotion here.

Do not overlook the plenary indulgence granted to the faithful on the feast of Divine Mercy.

I am not one of those traddies who scoff at it, in effect because it was the product of Pope John Paul's reign. Whatever their arguments, they would have nothing to criticize about it if it were the product of Pope Pius XII's reign. To me, it has as much validity as the private revelations to Saint Margaret Mary that led to the devotion to the Sacred Heart.


Magpie Lane For Maying

May Day Carol

Jack In the Green/Jack's Alive

The Painful Plough

May Song


Daily Marian Prayer and Image

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

O, Mother of my God, and my Lady Mary; as a beggar, all wounded and sore, presents himself before a great queen, so do I present myself before thee, who art the Queen of heaven and earth. From the lofty throne on which thou sittest, disdain not, I implore thee, to cast thine eyes on me, a poor sinner. God has made thee so rich that thou mightest assist the poor, and has constituted thee Queen of Mercy in order that thou mightest relieve the miserable. Behold me then, and pity me: behold me and abandon me not, until thou seest me changed from a sinner into a saint. I know well that I merit nothing; nay more, that I deserve, on account of my ingratitude, to be deprived of the graces that, through thy means, I have already received from God. But thou, who art the Queen of Mercy, seekest not merits, but miseries, in order to help the needy. But who is more needy than I?

O, exalted Virgin, well do I know that thou, who art Queen of the universe, art already my queen; yet am I determined to dedicate myself more especially to thy service, in order that thou mayest dispose of me as thou pleasest. Therefore do I address thee in the words of St. Bonaventur: "Do thou govern me, O my Queen, and leave me not to myself" ("Domina, me tuae dominationi committo, ut me plenarie regas et gubernes; no mihi me relinquas."—Stim. Div. Am. p. 3, c. 19). Command me; employ me as thou wilt, and chastise me when I do not obey; for the chastisements that come from thy hands will be to me pledges of salvation. I would rather be thy servant than the ruler of the earth. I am thine; save me ("Tuus sum ego, salvum me fac."—Ps. cxviii. 94). Accept me, O Mary, for thine own, and as thine, take charge of my salvation. I will no longer be mine; to thee do I give myself. If, during the time past I have served thee ill, and lost so many occasions of honoring thee, for the future I will be one of thy most loving and faithful servants. I am determined that from this day forward no one shall surpass me in honoring and loving thee, my most amiable Queen. This I promise; and this, with thy help, I hope to execute.


May 2011

Tulip beds at the Boston Public Garden

1st Saint Joseph the Carpenter
2nd Saint Athanasius
4th Saint Monica
5th Saint Pius V
11th Saints Phillip & James
13th Saint Robert Bellarmine
15th Saint Jean Baptiste de la Salle
18th Saint Venantius
25th Saint Gregory VII
26th Saint Phillip Neri
27th Saint Bede
28th Saint Augustine and Blessed Margaret Pole

The First Friday is Friday May 6th.
The First Saturday is Saturday May 7th.

This year, May is entirely in Paschal Time. There are no Embertides in May this year. Rogationtide begins with Rogation Monday on Monday May 30th, and Rogation Tuesday on Tuesday May 31st.

Monday May 30th is also the secular holiday of Memorial Day in the United States.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's published prayer intentions for May 2011 are:

That those who work in the media may always respect truth, solidarity and the dignity of each person.

That the Lord may grant the Church in China the capacity to persevere in fidelity to the Gospel and to grow in unity.


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