Saturday, July 09, 2011
O my Queen, I can never be really thy child unless I am humble; but dost thou not see that my sins, after having rendered me ungrateful to my Lord, have also made me proud? O my Mother, do thou supply a remedy. By the merit of thy humility obtain that I may be truly humble, and thus become thy child.
Labels: Our Blessed Lady
Friday, July 08, 2011
Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O Lord, have mercy upon me! I see that I have deserved to be vomited forth by Thee, for the many defects with which I serve Thee. Miserable I am, for I see my self without love, without confidence, and without desire. O my Jesus! abandon me not; stretch forth Thy powerful hand, and drive me from this depth of lukewarmness in which I see myself fallen. Grant this through the merits of Thy passion, in which I trust. O holy Virgin, pray to Jesus for me!
Labels: Friday At the Foot Of the Cross
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Matt Malloy, Christy Moore, & Donal Luney, Jenny's Chickens
Mhairi Hall Trio with Donal Lunny, A Good Winter
The Corrs, Toss The Feathers
Celtic Woman, The Butterfly
The Corrs and the Chieftains
Labels: Pleasing Tunes
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
He founded the Barnabitesw, and helped establish the Forty Hours Devotion.
Saint Anthony Maria, please pray for us!
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Monday, July 04, 2011
Nothing could be more American than watching fireworks on July 4th. Yet, for many in remote areas, this is not practical. Your town may not be putting on a display this year because of budget constraints. Or you might not be able to get to the nearest fireworks display.
It is a tradition here at Recta Ratio to link to virtual fireworks displays you can enjoy in the comfort of your own study. So turn off the lights, crank up the volume on your speakers, plug some John Phillips Sousa, some Handel Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks, and some Williamsburg Corps of Fifes and Drums into the CD player, pour yourself some wine, and put some more mustard on that hot dog!
I always link to Hogpainter's fireworks display. For the record, I recently figured out that this is a guy who paints motorcycles. So "hogs" are motorcycles. Live and learn.
And try this one.
But you activate it by left-clicking the mouse within the field.
I like this one, too.
This one allows you to watch fireworks over the White House and over New York City, or at a carnival or baseball game.
This one over New York Harbor reminds me of the one 20 years ago (can it be that long?) when the Statue of Liberty was newly rehabbed and President Reagan came for the show and watched from the deck of USS Iowa. We surely need another Reagan now to set the country going again.
Happy Independence Day!
Labels: Fun Stuff
For those men who signed the Declaration of Independence on July 2nd, 1776, the odds did not look very good. Public opinion polls, if they existed, probably would have told them that only one-third of the population favored the course upon which they were about to embark. One-third was indifferent. One-third opposed independence. The men gathered from the thirteen colonies in Philadelphia, even without polling, probably had a sense that this was the case.
The army which would be the primary instrument of winning independence was scarcely disciplined, poorly uniformed, badly armed, and ill-supplied with food and ammunition. Pay was a promise (which, in fact, was mostly ignored 7 years later). Its generals had no experience commanding larger bodies of troops than a battalion.
True, there had been some victories. Boston had been rendered untenable for the enemy, and he had evacuated it. Fort Ticonderoga had fallen to a surprise attack, and supplied the heavy artillery that had led the British to evacuate Boston. Montreal had been captured, though that invasion force had been stopped at Quebec, and even now was building an anti-invasion fleet on Lake Champlain. The delegates in Philadelphia probably did not know it, but an enemy invasion of Charleston, SC had been averted a few days before.
But there had also been defeats. Despite inflicting heavy losses on the enemy, Bunker Hill had been captured. The attempt to capture Canada had failed miserably.
Most significant was what was coming. As the delegates debated independence, they knew that the British army that had left Boston was en route from Halifax, probably heading for New York. If their spies were accurate, that army would rendezvous with another escorted by an even larger fleet. Large numbers of British and German troops had driven the American Northern Army from Canada, and were poised to drive down Lake Champlain. These troops who would confront their own tattered, inexperienced army were the best Europe could field. British troops who had conquered an empire just 15 years before would be joined by excellent troops from Brunswick and Hesse Cassel, Frederick the Great's best allies. The enemy was supported by professional artillerists, and by a navy that was (despite peacetime decline and corruption) still, ship-for-ship, the best in the world. Thousands of their fellow countrymen would be happy to take up arms alongside the British army. To make matters worse, the Indian nations were ready to take up arms on behalf of the King, raising the prospect of burned farms, scalped settlers, and women and children abducted into captivity among the savages.
The men in Philadelphia must have found the prospect of declaring independence a daunting task. In the next three months, the most likely outcome was that the British army would take New York, flatten their own army, and then march on Philadelphia to hang them for treason. Their property would be taken from their families. At best they would become fugitives constantly on the run from British authorities.
But the best of them had a vision for the future, and strong reasons to feel the need to break with the past. The vision was that they would govern themselves, as they actually had for the most part, until the Imperial government decided to tap America for revenue to pay for keeping the peace with the Indians. John Winthrop's vision of a city set upon a hill remained a strong one, and merged with Locke's ideas about government, and newer ideas coming from Adam Smith about how an economy ought to be allowed to develop. A unified vision of a new nation which would serve as a beacon of liberty for all nations emerged, and was in the forefront of the minds of the men in Philadelphia. They had in this synthesis of ideas and in adapting to conditions on the American frontier, become a new nationality in need of a new nation.
And yet, despite all the obstacles, it was the vision that prevailed, and not the balance of forces. It is that vision that we celebrate today. John Adams, who did more than anyone to push the cause of independence through Congress, wrote to his wife that July 2, 1776 (the day the Declaration was approved):
"...Will be the most memorable epocha in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverence by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more."
May it always be so.
Labels: American Patriotism Is Not A Sin
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Saint Thomas, please pray for us!
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
THE faithful soul has now witnessed in the holy liturgy the close of the mysteries of our redemption. The Holy Ghost has come down to support her during this second portion of her career, by forming and developing within her the fullness of the Christian life as taught by her divine Saviour when on earth. He begins by teaching her how to pray. Prayer, said our Lord, must be continual: we ought always to pray, and not to faint,1 We know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the holy Spirit helpeth our infirmity, and Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings2.
In the Introit and the whole Mass for this Sunday, we are taught that prayer must have, amongst its other requisite qualities, that of humble repentance for our past sins, and of confidence in God’s infinite mercy.
This is the Third Sunday after Pentecost; it is the first that has no rubrical connexion with the great feasts we have been solemnizing; it is a Sunday with all the simplicity of the Office of the Time.
The miseries of this present life are the test to which God puts His soldiers; He passes judgment upon them, and classifies them, according to the degree of courage they have shown. Therefore is it, that we all have our share of suffering. The combat has commenced. God is looking on, watching how each of us comports himself. The day is not far off, when the Judge will pass sentence on the merits of each combatant, and award to each one the recompense he has won. Combat now; peace and rest and a crown, then. Happy they who, during these days of probation, have recognized the mighty hand of God in all the trials they have had, and have humbled themselves under its pressure, lovingly and confidingly! Against such Christians, who have been strong in faith, the roaring lion has not been able to prevail. They were sober, they were watchful, during this their pilgrimage. They were fully convinced of this, that every one has to suffer in the present life; they therefore never sighed and moaned, as though they were the only sufferers; they did not assume the attitude of victims, and call it resignation; but they took each trial as it came, and, without talking to every one about it, they quietly and joyously united it with the sufferings of Christ. O true Christians! you will be joyous for all eternity, when there will be made the manifestation of that eternal glory in Christ Jesus, which He will pass on to you, that you may share it with Him for ever!
But it is from St. Gregory the Great that the Church, in her Matins of this Sunday, took the commentary on this Gospel. And in the sequel of his homily, the holy doctor gives us the explanation of the parable of the woman and the ten groats. ‘He,’ says St. Gregory, ‘that is signified by the shepherd is also meant by the woman. Jesus is God; He is the Wisdom of God. And because good coin must bear the image of the king upon it, therefore was it that the woman lost her groat, when man, who had been created after God’s image, strayed from that image by committing sin. But the woman lights a lamp; the Wisdom of God hath appeared in human flesh. A lamp is a light which burns in a vessel of clay; and Light in a vessel of clay, is the Divinity in our flesh. It is of the vessel of His Body, that this Wisdom says: My strength is dried up like a potsherd.4 For, just as clay is made hard by the fire, so His strength was dried up like a potsherd, because it has strengthened unto the glory of His resurrection, in the crucible of sufferings, the Flesh which He (Wisdom) had assumed…. Having found the groat she had lost, the woman calleth together her friends and neighbours, saying: Rejoice with me I because I have found the groat which I had lost. Who are these friends and neighbours, if not the heavenly spirits, who are so near to divine Wisdom by the favours they enjoy of the ceaseless vision? But we must not, meanwhile, neglect to examine why this woman, who represents divine Wisdom, is described as having ten groats, one of which she loses, then looks for, and again finds. We must know, then, that God made both angels and men, that they might know Him; and that having made both immortal, He made both to the image of God. The woman, then, had ten groats, because there are nine orders of angels, and man, who is to fill up the number of the elect, is the tenth groat; he was lost by his sin, but was found again, because eternal Wisdom restored him, by lighting the lamp, that is, by assuming his flesh, and through that working wonderful works, which led to his recovery’.5 The Offertory is an outpouring of gratitude and love for the God who dwelleth in Sion; He does not abandon them that seek Him; He does not forget the poor man’s prayer.
Labels: The Liturgical Year