Saturday, September 03, 2011
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief thou experienced when thou witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and death of thy divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to thee, the holy and immaculate Mother of God.
Labels: Our Blessed Lady
September 3rd is his feast in the Ordo in use before 1970. He was canonized in 1954 by Servant of God Pope Pius XII.
In the 1970 Ordo, this is the feast of Saint Pope Gregory the Great. September 3rd is the date of the beginning of his pontificate. His feast is March 12th (the date of his death) in the traditional Ordo. The move was made because March 12th always falls in Lent, and there are no obligatory memorials during that season.
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Friday, September 02, 2011
O my crucified Lord Jesus, I kneel at Thy feet. Do not cast me out, although I come to Thee as a sinner. I have offended Thee much in the past, but I resolve to no longer do so in the future.
O my God, I place all my sins before Thee; I have considered them and know they do not deserve pardon. But I beg Thee to be mindful of Thy sufferings which show the value of the Precious Blood that flows from Thy veins.
Close Thine eyes to my lack of merit and open them to the abundance of Thine infinite merit. As Thou deigned to die for my sins, graciously grant me forgiveness of all of them, so that I may no longer feel their burden which oppresses me beyond measure.
Help me, dear Lord, for I desire to become good at any cost. Uproot, take away, and destroy in me everythning that is contrary to Thy will. Enlighten me that I may be enabled to walk in Thine holy light all the days of my life.
Labels: Friday At the Foot Of the Cross
Saint Stephen Of Hungary, please pray for us!
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
O Lord, take away from me my heart of stone, my hardened heart, my uncircumcised heart and grant unto me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a clean heart! O Thou who purifieth the heart and loveth the clean heart, possess my heart and dwell in it, containing it and filling it, higher than my highest and more intimate than my most intimate thoughts. Thou who art the image of all beauty and the seal of all holiness, seal my heart in Thine image and seal my heart in Thy mercy, O God of my heart and God, my inheritance in the world of worlds.
Labels: Friday At the Foot Of the Cross
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Apple orchard at Brooksby Farm, Peabody, MA
The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, the feast being on September 15th.
Important feasts celebrated during September include:
1. St. Giles
2. St. Stephen King of Hungary
3. St. Pope Pius X
5. Bl. Mother Theresa of Calcutta
8. Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
9. St. Peter Claver (USA)
12. Most Holy Name of Mary
13. St. John Chrysostom
14. Exaltation of the True Cross
15. Our Lady of Sorrows
16. SS. Cornelius and Cyprian
17. St. Robert Bellarmine and Bl. Hildegard von Bingen
19. St. Januarius
21. St. Matthew
22. Martyrs of Valencia
23. St. Pio of Pietrelcina
24. Our Lady of Mercy and Our Lady of Walshingham
26. SS. Cosmas and Damian
27. St. Vincent de Paul
28. St. Wenceslaus
30. St. Jerome
September is entirely in the Season After Pentecost (Ordinary Time for those using the 1970 Ordo).
The First Friday of September is Friday, September 2nd.
The First Saturday of September is Saturday, September 3rd.
The Michaelmas Embertide takes place on Wednesday, September 21st, Friday, September 23rd, and Saturday, September 24th.
Monday, September 5th is the secular US holiday of Labor Day.
Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's published prayer intentions for the month of September, 2011 are:
That all teachers may know how to communicate love of the truth and instill authentic moral and spiritual values.
That the Christian communities of Asia may proclaim the Gospel with fervor, witnessing to its beauty with the joy of faith.
Labels: First Of the Month Almanac
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
He was "not born," in that he was delivered essentially by Caesarian Section.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus, please pray for us!
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Saint Rose of Lima, please pray for us!
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Monday, August 29, 2011
Labels: Our Saintly Brethern
Sunday, August 28, 2011
WITH the Greeks, this Sunday—their eleventh of Saint Matthew -- is called the Parable of the King, who calls his servants to account.1. In the western Church, it has gone under the name of Sunday of the deaf and dumb, ever since the Gospel of the pharisee and the publican has been assigned to the tenth. To-day's Mass, as we now have it, still gives evidence as to what was its ancient arrangement. Our commentary on to-day's liturgy will show us this very plainly.
In the years when Easter falls nearest to March 21 the Books of Kings are continued as lessons of Matins up to, but never beyond, this Sunday. The sickness of the good king Ezechias, and the miraculous cure he obtained by his prayers and tears, are then the subject of the first lessons of the night-Office.2
The learned and pious Abbot Rupert, writing on this Sunday's Mass previous to the change made in the order of the Gospel Lessons, thus explains the Church's reason for selecting the following Introit: 'The publican in the Gospel accuses himself, saying: "I am not worthy to lift up mine eyes to heaven." St. Paul, in the Epistle, does in like manner, and says: "I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God." As, then, this humility, which is set before us that we may practise it, is the guardian of the union between the servants of God, because it keeps them from being puffed up one against the other,3 it is most appropriate that we should first sing the Introit, which tells us that God maketh men, in His house, abide together as though they were all but one soul.'4
The Collect which follows is most touching, when we see it in the light of the Gospel formerly fixed for this Sunday. Though that connexion has now been broken, yet the appropriateness is still very striking; for the Epistle, as Abbot Rupert was just telling us, continues to urge us to humility by proposing to us the example of St. Paul; the humility of the repentant publican has been anticipated. Our mother the Church is all emotion at beholding this publican, this object of contempt to the Jew, striking his breast, and scarce able to put his sorrow into words: she, with motherly tenderness, comes and takes up his faltering prayer, and gives it her own eloquence. Nothing could exceed the delicate way in which she asks of the Omnipotent that, in His infinite mercy, He would restore peace to troubled consciences, by pardoning them their sins, and granting them what they, poor sinners, are too afraid to presume to ask for.
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui abundantia pietatis tuaelig; et merita supplicum excedis et vota: effunde super nos misericordiam tuam; ut dimittas quaelig; conscientia metuit, et adjicias quod oratio non præsumit. Per Dominum.
In illo tempore: Exiens Jesus de finibus Tyri, venit per Sidonem ad mare Galilææ inter medios fines Decapoleos. Et adducunt ei surdum et mutum, et deprecabantur eum, ut imponat illi manum. Et apprehendens eum de turba seorsum, misit digitos suos in auriculas ejus: et exspuens, tetigit linguam ejus: et suspiciens in cœlum, ingemuit, et ait illi: Ephpheta, quod est, adaperire. Et statim apertæ sunt aures ejus, et solutum est vinculum linguæ ejus, et loquebatur recte. Et præcepit illis, ne cui dicerent. Quanto autem eis præcipiebat, tanto magis plus prædicabant: et eo amplius admirabantur, dicentes: Bene omnia fecit: et surdos fecit audire, et mutos loqui.
Jesus is no longer in Judea; the names of the places mentioned in the beginning of to-day's Gospel tell us that the Gentile world has become the scene of the divine operations for man's salvation. What manner of man, then, is this who is led to the Saviour, and the sight of whose miseries makes the Incarnate Word heave a sigh? And what is the meaning of the extraordinary circumstances which produce the cure? A single word of Jesus could have done it all, and His power would have shone forth all the more brightly. But the miracle which is here related contains a great mystery; and the Man-God, who aims mainly at giving us a lesson by this His mercy, makes the exercise of His power subordinate to the teaching which He desires to convey to us.
The holy fathers tell us that this man represents the entire human race,32exclusive of the Jewish people. Abandoned for four thousand years in the sides, that is, in the countries of the north, where the prince of this world was ruling as absolute master,33 it has been experiencing the terrible effects of the seeming forgetfulness on the part of its Creator and Father, which was the consequence of original sin. Satan, whose perfidious craftiness caused man to be driven out of Paradise, has made him his own prey, and nothing could exceed the artifice he has employed for keeping him in his grasp. Wisely oppressing34 his slave, he adopted the plan of making him deaf and dumb, for this would hold him faster than chains of adamant could ever do. Dumb, he could not ask God to deliver him; deaf, he could not hear the divine voice; and thus the two ways forobtaining his liberty were shut against him. The adversary of God and man, satan, may boast of his tyranny. The grandest of all God's creations looks like a failure; the human race, in all its branches, and in all nations, seems ruined; for even that people which God had chosen for His own, and which was to be faithful to Him when every other had gone astray,35 has made no other use of its privileges than to deny its Lord and its King, more cruelly than all the rest of mankind.
What, then? Is the bride, whom the Son of God came to seek upon the earth -- is the society of saints, to be limited to those few who declared themselves His disciples during the years of His mortal life? Not so; the zeal of the newly formed Church, and the ineffable goodness of God, produced a far grander result. Driven from Jerusalem, as her divine Spouse had been, the Church met the poor captive of satan beyond the boundaries of Judea; she would fain bring him into the kingdom of God: and, through the apostles and their disciples, she brings him to Jesus, beseeching Him to lay His divine hand upon him. No human power could effect his cure. Deafened by the noise of his passions, it is only in a confused way that he can hear even the voice of his own conscience; and, as to the sounds of tradition, or the speakings of the prophets, they are to him but as an echo, very distant and faint. Worst of all, as his hearing, that most precious of our senses, is gone, so, likewise, is gone the power of making good his losses; for, as the apostle teaches, the one thing that could save him is faith, and faith cometh by hearing.36
Our Jesus groans when they have brought this poor creature before Him. He is grieved at seeing the cruelties the enemy has inflicted on this His own privileged being, this beautiful work, of which He Himself served as model and type to the blessed Trinity, at the beginning of the world.37 Raising up to heaven those eyes of His sacred Humanity —those eyes whose language has such resistless power—He sees the eternal Father acquiescing in the intentions of His own merciful compassion.38 Then, resuming the exercise of that creative omnipotence which, in the beginning, had made all things to be very good,39 and all His works to be perfect, 40 He, as God and as the Word,41 utters the mighty word of restoration: Ephpheta! Be thou opened! Nothingness, or rather (in this instance) ruin, which is worse than nothingness, obeys the well-known voice; the ears of the poor sufferer are opened, joyfully opened to the teachings, which his delighted mother the Church pours into them. She is all the gladder, because it is her prayers that have won this deliverance; and he, to whom faith comes now through hearing, finding that his tongue can speak, speaks, or rather sings, a canticle of praise to his God.
And yet, as we were observing, our merciful Lord, by this cure, aims not so much at showing the power of His divine word as at giving a glorious teaching to His followers; He wishes to reveal to them, under certain visible symbols, the invisible realities produced by His grace in the secret of the sacraments. It is for the sake of such teaching that the Gospel has mentioned such an apparently trifling detail as this—that when the deaf and dumb man was brought before Him, He took him apart—apart, so to say, from the multitude of the noisy passions and the vain thoughts42 which had made him deaf to heavenly truths. After all, would there be much good in curing him if the occasion of his malady were not removed, and he were to relapse perhaps that same day? So, then, having by this separation taken precautions for the future, Jesus inserts into the man';s ears His own divine fingers which bring the Holy Ghost,43 and make to penetrate right to the ears of his heart the restorative power of this Spirit of love. And finally, more mysteriously, because the truth which was to be expressed is more profound, He touches with the saliva of His sacred mouth that tongue which had become incapable of giving glory and praise; and Wisdom (for it is she that is here mystically signified) -- Wisdom, 'that cometh forth from the mouth of the Most High,'44 and flows for us from the Saviour's fountains45 as a life-giving drink 46 -- openeth the mouth of the dumb man, just as she maketh eloquent the tongues of speechless infants.47
Therefore it is that the Church -- in order to show us that the event recorded in to-day's Gospel is figurative, and regards not merely one individual man, but all of us -- has prescribed that the circumstances which accompanied the cure of this deaf and dumb sufferer shall be expressed in the ceremonies of holy Baptism. The priest, before pouring the water of the sacred font on the person who is presented for Baptism, puts on the catechumen's tongue the salt of wisdom, and touches his ears, saying: Ephpheta! that is, Be opened!48
There is an instruction of another kind included in our Gospel, and worthy of our notice, as closely bearing on what we have been saying regarding humility. Our Lord imposed silence on those who had been witnesses of the miraculous cure, although He knew that their praiseworthy enthusiasm could never allow them to obey Him. By this injunction, He wished to give a lesson to His followers, that if, at times, it is impossible to keep men from being in admiration at the works they achieve -- if, sometimes, the holy Spirit, in opposition to their wishes, forces them to undergo public applause for the greater glory of the God whose instruments they are -- yet must they always do all in their power to avoid being noticed; they must prefer to be despised,49 or, at least, not talked of; they must love to be hidden in the secret of the face of God;50 and, after the most brilliant, just as truly as they would after the most menial, duties, they must say from the heartiest conviction: 'We are unprofitable servants, we have but done what we ought to do.'51
It is again the hymn of the humble, whether delivered, or healed, or glorified, by God, which is sung in the Offertory.
Labels: The Liturgical Year