Saturday, March 17, 2007

Saturday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano

Devotions for a Lenten Saturday holy hour:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrowful Mysteries

Friday, March 16, 2007

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona Dhaoibh !

Sure, here it is past the Ides of March, and I haven't posted a single item on the approaching St. Patrick's Day. Not exactly what you would expect for a Fitzpatrick from the Boston area, whose grandfather and grandmother emigrated from Clare at the time of the Irish Civil War in the early 1920s, and was a golf pro down on the "Irish Riviera," better known as Scituate, MA. Sloth. No other excuse for it. Pure sloth, God forgive me!

People have been wearing intense amounts of green all week. The Saw Doctors, the Pogues (yes, Shane McGowan is still this side of the daisies, despite years of concentrated efforts to put himself in a position to push them up), Celtic Woman, the Dropkick Murphys, and many other Irish groups are playing Boston this week. Sad to say, there will be no Tommy Makem and the Makem Brothers in Melrose this year. I have heard that Tommy is curtailing his schedule for health reasons, and the boys are playing out in Michigan, with their new partners, the Spain Brothers.

Here are some links to Irish and Saint Patrick posts from Recta Ratio's archives and a few other spots on the net:

Our Patron and Ghostly Father

Feasting the Saint, and Watering the Shamrock

The Book of Kells

Skellig Michael Where the Irish Saved Civilization

Irish High Crosses

Our Lady of Knock

How To Make a Saint Patrick's Cross Button

How To Make a Saint Brigid's Cross

The Death of Michael Collins

My Favorite Irish Movies

The Aran Islands

Turlough O'Carolan

The Makem Brothers and Tommy Makem

In Hoc Signo Vinces: The Irish Brigade of His Most Christian Majesty

My Irish Songbook

Famous Fitzpatricks

Also, you can scroll down in my links column on the right, to find a good set of links pertaining to things Irish (scroll way down, to "The Importance of Being Irish").

You can print up this Celtic Cross and make an appropriate St. Patrick's Day button out of it.

And I'll conclude with my favorite version of St. Patrick's Lorica (Breastplate):

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven, (God the Father)
Light of sun, (God the Son)
Radiance of moon, (Our Blessed Lady)
Splendor of fire, (God the Holy Ghost)
Speed of lightning, (Saint Michael)
Swiftness of wind, (Saint Gabriel)
Depth of sea, (Saint John the Baptist)
Stability of earth, (Saint Joseph)
Firmness of rock. (Saint Peter)

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and all evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise.

Christ in the heart and mind of every one who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me or to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me or my works,
Christ in every ear that hears me or hears of me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Friday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Lorenzo in Lucina

Devotions for a Lenten Friday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotions To the Holy Cross

Stations of the Cross

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Thursday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church: Ss. Cosma e Damiano in Via Sacra (Fori Imperiali)

Devotions for a Lenten Thursday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion To the Holy Face

More Photos of the Pontifical Mass At Stamford

My blogging partner Ginny posted some at her site recently. And now The New Liturgical Movement has more.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Midway Point of Lent

Lent has, altogether, 46 days, from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday, inclusive. It started on Wednesday, February 21st. Tomorow, March 15th, is 23 days since Ash Wednesday, and 23 days until Holy Saturday. So we are at the mid-way point of Lent.

This is an excellent time to assess how you are doing. Are you keeping up on spiritual reading and special prayers? How are your Lenten sacrifices going? Are you being faithful to what you resolved? And how is your almsgiving and general charity? There is still plenty of time to adjust to make the end of Lent the spiritual preparation you want it to be.

I know one of the toughest things for me is that I don't eat meat during Lent. And weeks on-end of pbjs, tuna salad, cheese pizza, and filet-o-fish sandwiches can get to you. This year, I haven't touched hummus, an experiment from years gone by that I look upon with disdain now. So far, I have done OK, only having had to pick the pepperoni off a pizza once.

Last year, I posted some meatless recipes that you might want to try. All these recipes, and a whole lot more, are included in the files of Recta Ratio The Yahoo Group. In fact, there are over 500 recipes there now.

I have discovered some new meatless options that I recommend.

Take some nice fresh pita bread, and fill a bowl with Dietz and Watson Hoagie dressing. Dip the pita bread into the dressing.

Also, pretzels and nutella. I didn't give up chocolate this year, except on Fridays and Ember Days, so this works.

Fresh crusty croissants and nutella.

Synder's has some new Buffalo Hot Pretzel nuggets. Dip them in fresh chunky blue cheese dressing.

Tortellini Salad.

Provolone Cheese on Scali. A nice twist on the traditional bread and cheese.

And, getting sick of McDonald's Filet-O-Fish burgers, I have branched out my fast-food experience, to Wendy's Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potatoes.

Sacramentum Caritatis

So far, so good. Lots of good stuff like recommending that all priests in seminary learn Latin and chant. Latin and chant to be regularly used in the Missa Normativa. Priestly celibacy re-affirmed. Tabernacle recommended to be on the old high altar, or in a similar central location if the old high altar is no longer there, or if it is a new church.

It is a little lacking in the, "And those who persist in this noxious practice are anathema," department, as in "The practice of using altar girls unless there are no boys in the parish who can be persuaded, dragooned, or even horse-whipped into serving, shall cease immediately.". But I didn't really expect we would get that.

Wednesday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Sisto (SS. Nereo e Achilleo)

Devotions for a Lenten Wednesday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms & the prayers against the Seven Deadly Sins
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer
Seven Prayers of St. Gregory

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Pudenziana al Viminale

Devotions for a Lenten Tuesday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Seven Last Words

Sacramentum Caritatis

The Post-Synodal Exhortation is now available. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but will over the next few days.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Motu Proprio Watch

Well, the Post-Synodal Exhortation comes out tomorrow.

And people are writing extensively now about the said-to-be-forthcoming motu proprio.
The question is, is this Australian eport, and the Italian report it is based on, genuine journalism based on fact, or are they just speculation based on previous speculation?

Sometimes, I wonder if the Holy Father understands the dynamic of modern communications, and the expectations that get built up on the internet with every report. This isn't like the old days when you could hold a document in secret for years, and take your time to weigh the pros and cons over a long period of time about the impact of that particular document. If a document is of significant import, and people know about it (and with so much media around, people will know about it because we are all plugged in, and sources will talk) they expect to see it, and tend to become impatient and angry when it isn't released within a timeframe they can understand. I know that is irrational, and that, under such conditions, Lincoln could never have issued the Emancipation Proclamation, since he had to wait until the Union victory at Antietam to be in a position of strength to issue it.

If the Holy Father is not going to issue the motu proprio, he ought to just say that he isn't. If he is, he ought to just issue it.

This process of constant rumor, where speculated release dates come and go without publication, but sources continue to whisper that it is coming, is disheartening and demoralizing to the faithful who once waited in joyful hope, but now are reduced to a jaded "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude. People earnestly waiting for this document are tormented by those outside of full-and-perfect-communion-with-Rome status with taunts of, "It'll never happen," and "Benedict isn't to be trusted," and "See, I told you so." It is like the Psalmist tormented by unbelievers with the taunt "Where is thy God?".

What real good is the Holy Father doing in delaying publication that isn't being counteracted by discouraging his most ardent supporters who have been in anticipation of the release of this document, like a child waiting for Christmas morning, almost since the 19th of April, 2005. His total silence in his public pronouncements on the issue, not even vouchsafing a, "Yes, it is on the way," only leads to skepticism about his intentions, and turns more people, in despair, towards less-than-full-communion-with-Rome status. At least with the Apostolic Exhortation on the 2005 Eucharistic Synod, he did last week tell us it was on the way.

Maybe Pope Benedict is a very cautious man, who wants some sort of consensus on controversial issues. There were indications of such a view in proposed reforms he mentioned before ascending to the Papacy, including using the College of Cardinals like a Senate.

Maybe he is playing some sort of inside game, in which he is twisting elbows behind the scenes. There may be intricacies that we are unaware of.

But to the layman, he doesn't have to do that. Whatever limitations he is working under are largely self-imposed. He is the Pope. That makes him Chairman and CEO, with vested control of the vast majority of the outstanding shares of the One, True, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Roman Catholic Church, Inc., and, much more importantly, the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the successor of Saint Peter, who holds in his hand the Keys of the Kingdom. What he says goes, and any liberal cardinal or cardinals who don't like it can pound sand. They are not the Pope, thank God. Who rules in Rome, to parphrase Kaiser Wilhelm, the House of Ricard, or the House of Ratzinger?

If the French and German cardinals oppose the release of the motu proprio on the grounds that the SSPX is already too powerful in their countries, then the response to them is that, if they took proper care of the flocks that have been entrusted to them, and prevented the gross liturgical abuses and wreck-o-vations of traditional churches that have taken place there, they would have much fuller congregations, and the SSPX would be on the margin. So is Pope Benedict to blame because they have not, for 30 years and more, been doing their jobs properly? No. So he can, in good conscience, tell them to clean up their acts in their own dioceses, and then they won't have to worry about the SSPX.

Let us hope that Sacramentum Caritatis will be the shot across the bow, and abrupt change in their marching orders to the liberal bishops and priests of the world that it needs to be, and that it will be very shortly followed up by the motu proprio on much greater freedom and some institutional protection for the traditional Mass, as the two projects go hand-in-hand as part of a strategy for restoring Catholic worship to where it ought to be. A widely available traditional Latin Mass coupled with a more reverent and majestic way of celebrating the normative mode of the Latin Rite is a two-pronged strategy to restore the Mass. Both prongs need to be in place for the plan to work.

What happens when both prongs are in place and work? The Mass is offered universally in a more fitting and perfect sacrifice to the praise and glory of God. That is the most important thing. But if Catholic liturgy is put back toether, people who have lapsed over the last 30 years out of disgust are drawn back to the Faith, Anglicans and Lutherans of a more conservative bent are lead to abandon their heresy and schism, and return to Rome, the Orthodox, seeing ht eWest become serious on the issue of liturgy again, become more willing to work with Rome, and the Orthodox faithful are drawn back to Rome in the same way that Anglicans and Lutherans will be. And there will be greater unity in Christendom 30 years hence because of this than there would have been otherwise. These are goals we must pursue. And no amount of disgruntlement from Cardinals Ricard or Mahony or their ilk can stand in the way.

So, dear Holy Father, in all due respect, GET ON WITH IT!

Monday of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Marco al Campidoglio

Devotions for a Lenten Monday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Five Sacred Wounds

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Shell-Shocked, We Emerge From Our Hidey-Holes, and Ask, "Is It Over?"

I just looked at the long-range forecast for Boston for the next 2 weeks, and, after a week of frigid temperatures that would be more common in mid-January than mid-March, temperatures are supposed to be predominately in the 40s, with some 50s and an occasional day in the high 30s.

This week we will mark the midway point of Lent (and have a little breather in the forms of Saint Patrick's Day, Saint Joseph's Day, Laetare Sunday, and Lady Day). We just turned the clocks ahead an hour yesterday (3 weeks in advance of the normal time). The amount of sunlight in the afternoon had already lengthened quite nicely. Some birds are becoming more vocal. Can the buds on the trees, and tulips and daffodils and forsythia be far away?

If this is the end of winter, we can be pleased with the lack of snow. We only had measurable snow a couple of times here in the city, and totally escaped anthing with more than 4 inches of the dreaded white stuff. In a city where the snow on the ground in mid-winter can often be measured in feet, that is quite remarkable. But I would desribe the winter as "normally" cold. November and December and the first week in January were quite mild. But from mid-January until the end of February, we shivered pretty much without let-up. We are just lucky that we weren't buried at the same time. Then at the end of February things seemed to grow a little mild, only to be brought up short by last week's arctic conditions.

I think "global warming" is utter bunk. But we have benefitted greatly from the effects of El Nino.

The Third Sunday Of Lent

Station Church: S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura

Devotions for a Lenten Sunday holy hour:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Psalter of St. Jerome
Threnus Prayer of St. Augustine

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B.:

"The Third Sunday Of Lent"

Ever since the promulgation of the Gospel, the power of satan over the human body has been restricted by the virtue of the cross, at least in Christian countries; but this power resumes its sway as often as faith and the practice of Christian piety lose their influence. And here we have the origin of all those diabolical practices, which, under certain scientific names, are attempted first in secret, and then are countenanced by being assisted at by well-meaning Christians. Were it not that God and His Church intervene, such practices as these would subvert society. Christians! remember your baptismal vow; you have renounced satan: take care, then, that by a culpable ignorance you are not dragged into apostasy. It is not a phantom that you renounced at the font; he is a real and formidable being, who, as our Lord tells us, was a murderer from the beginning (Jn. 8:44).

But if we ought to dread the power he may be permitted to have over our bodies; if we ought to shun all intercourse with him, and take no share in practices over which he presides, and which are the worship he would have men give him: we ought, also, to fear the influence he is ever striving to exercise over our souls. See what God's grace has had to do in order to drive him from our soul! During this holy season, the Church is putting within your reach those grand means of victory-fasting, prayer, and almsdeeds. The sweets of peace will soon be yours, and once more you will become God's temple, for both soul and body will have regained their purity. But be not deceived; your enemy is not slain. He is irritated; penance has driven him from you; but he has sworn to return. Therefore, fear a relapse into mortal sin; and in order to nourish within you this wholesome fear, meditate upon the concluding part of our Gospel.

Our Saviour tells us that when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water. There he writhes under his humiliation; it was added to the tortures of the hell he carries everywhere with him, and to which he fain would give some alleviation by destroying souls that have been redeemed by Christ. We read in the old Testament that sometimes, when the devils have been conquered, they have been forced to flee into some far-off wilderness: for example, the holy Archangel Raphael took the devil, that had killed Sara's husbands, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt (Tob. 8:3). But the enemy of mankind never despairs of regaining his prey. His hatred is as active now as it was at the very beginning of the world, and he says: "I will return into my house, whence I came out." Nor will he come alone. He is determined to conquer; and therefore, he will, if he think it needed, take with him seven other spirits, even more wicked than himself. What a terrible assault is being prepared for the poor soul, unless she be on the watch, and unless the peace, which God has granted her, be one that is well armed for war! Alas! with many souls the very contrary is the case; and our Saviour describes the situation in which the devil finds them on his return: they are swept and garnished, and that is all! No precautions, no defence, no arms. One would suppose that they were waiting to give the enemy admission. Then satan, to make his repossession sure, comes with a sevenfold force. The attack is made; but there is no resistance, and straightways the wicked spirits entering in, dwell there; so that the last state becometh worse than the first; for before there was but one enemy, and now there are many.

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