Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Of the Fourth Week In Lent

Stational Church: S. Nicola in Carcere

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 23, 2007

Saint Joseph's Abbey, Flavigny

The New Liturgical Movement pointed us in the direction of the new website of the Benedictine house at Flavigny sur Ozerain, France.
Lots of good images of monastic life. I couldn't resist, on this Lenten Friday, this one of the Twelfth Station of the Cross:

More to come in the future.

Interesting Tidbit

Over at Rorate Caeli.

Wonder what it means.

But don't jump to conclusions. If I remember correctly, last year, when there also were rumors of the motu proprio's release before Easter, there were similar audiences with these same two cardinals in the space of a couple of days, and that had everyone speculating that release was imminent, when it was not.

After what we have been through on this, I have to fall back on the "I'll believe it when I see it," line.

Friday of the Fourth Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Eusebio all'Esquilino

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

Two weeks until Good Friday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Practice Of a Daily Holy Hour

From The Real Presence Association's website:

The Challenge of a Daily Holy Hour
By George Francis

When a person spends an hour before the Blessed Sacrament, that hour of precious time is absorbed into eternity. Time given to the Lord becomes eternity. For the person who habitually makes a holy hour before the tabernacle, is no longer absorbed with the things of this world. His heart is filled with fire for eternal truth. In fact, the heart is taken out of this world and transformed into an eternal flame for Christ.

When we give the Lord, truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, one hour of adoration, our hearts and souls are remade by him. Our minds and wills, weakened by Temporal absorption, are strengthened by the Sacred Heart of Jesus who gives us the wisdom of eternity.


See how our thoughts are taken away and replaced with his thoughts. See what holy, magnificent inspirations come to us while we "waste" an hour kneeling before him. The apostles spent all night fishing and caught nothing. So many spend each day only concerned with worldly affairs, never lifting but a moment of prayer to the Lord. Jesus comes and stands before the apostles and tells them to lower their nets. Great inspiration awaits us in the presence of the tabernacle. There were so many fish that the nets were overflowing, bursting with a miraculous catch. Only in the presence of Jesus do our thoughts, words, and deeds become his.

Give the Lord a daily holy hour and watch sixty minutes gently tick into eternity. In time, our changed hearts glowing in the Eternal Heart of Christ will automatically, willingly, lovingly be drawn to adore him for one hour each day.

We will not only want to act as he acts, but will desire that others around us do also. Even though most of the time, we will be unaware of the effect our transformed heart is having on others, the Eternal Heart, Jesus Christ, will be working through us, to ransom souls for eternity.

Christ Beckons

In all the tabernacles of the world, Christ beckons each one of us to spend but one hour with him. In return, love of the Eucharist, love for souls will be given to us. Our nets will be full, our hearts caught up with the Lord. A daily holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament is a most effective means for preparing our minds and hearts for eternity. The door of the tabernacle is really the threshold of eternity. What hour wasted away shopping, watching television could ever be compared to an hour spent with Jesus?

What better way is there to consecrate all our activities, our entire day, our whole life? Spend sixty minutes each day before the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity! To know and love God we must spend time with him.

Let each of us spend one hour each day with him, fixing our eyes on Jesus who hides his glory, humbles himself so that we can approach him without fear. Focus your eyes on him but one hour each day and your eyes will see everything through his eyes. We will become more and more like him and people we meet, even though far from him, will know we have been with him. For his love will be radiating through us as we seek to bring others to him, as we desire with all our hearts to see Jesus loved, adored and obeyed.

Love eternal burning brightly but hidden,
If only estranged hearts would listen,
To thy call from the depths of thy tabernacle,
To lost souls who far from thy grace fall,
What ineffable peace and joy
Would swell in men who would desire
Thee loved again and again,
By hearts now aflame with love for thee,
Adoring thy real presence
What burning charity!

Reprinted from Soul Magazine, Nov/Dec 1989

Fessio Out At Ave Maria University

Frankly, I have been completely on the sidelines regarding the whole AMU situation. Three salient items have surfaced for those of us with only a passing interest in the matter. So this is a good time for me to say what has been in the back of my mind about all this.

1) The relocation of the law school to Florida. I know this might upset my fellow tobaccophiles and future brethern at the bar at Fumare, but if the rest of the university is in Florida, why shouldn't the law school move there as well? It only makes sense to me.

2) The chapel design. Awful. Crappy. Ridiculous. Vulgar. Modernistic. Just plain wrong. But it's Monaghan's money, to spend as he wishes. I just wish the man had better taste. But good taste and money seldom go hand-in-hand. It is us paupers who have a clear, unified vision, and sure good taste. We just don't have the money to put the dreams into effect.

3) Fessio, Excellence, and Conflicting personalities. Frankly, I don't go in for charismatic-style liturgy. In fact, I would run (and at my weight, that is no easy chore) to get away from that. Yes, Perfect Sacrifice and all, but some Perfect Sacrifices are more aesthetically pleasing than others. Father Fessio favored the Novus Ordo in Latin, said ad orientem, with all the chants, smells, and bells, in a strictly reverent manner. No approach to prottie snake-chucking going on there. But the people around Monaghan are said to be of a more charismatic persuasion. That situation could not persist. Both Fessio and Monaghan are said to be, "my way, or the highway" types. They could not co-exist for long.

Fessio's impeccable reputation brought in many very high-quality students. But there are Catholic colleges with a more unified vision, Christendom, Thomas More in New Hampshire, and Thomas Aquinas come to mind, with even better academic reputations.

With Fessio, there was hope that AMU would take its place with these 3 others as genuine paradigms of the Catholic vision of higher education. Without him, frankly, I think it will wither on the vine, no matter how much money Monaghan pours into it. In the end, Monaghan would have been better off just signing the checks, and letting Fessio design things and run things. Instead, he had to play Rockefeller to his own little Catholic Williamsburg. The result will be that, like Williamsburg, AMU and Monaghanville, or whatever the community centered on the university is supposed to be called, will end up as a museum: a dead place, not a thriving community, a relic of bygone glory and unthought-through dreams.

Thursday Of the Fourth Week In Lent

Station Church: Ss. Silvestro e Martino ai Monti

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Not All Church Renovations Are Bad News

Rome of the West shows us one in St. Louis, MO that is rather nice.

For Your Lenten and Especially Passiontide Meditation

Passiontide is fast approaching. In the traditional Ordo, Passion Sunday is this coming Sunday. You might benefit from meditating on our Lord's Most Dolorous Passion by gazing upon this amazing plaster statue, three feet high, of Our Lord after the scourging. There is also a version with the Crown of Thorns.

The same company also offers a Corpus for your Crucifix.
They don't come cheap.

Wednesday of the Fourth Week In Lent

Station Church: St. Paul Outside the Walls

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 20, 2007

The Via Dolorosa by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

This great late Italian Baroque painter was working at the same time the American Colonies were coming to maturity. He died in 1770, and was born in 1696. His son, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, was perhaps the last of the Italian Baroque artists, though his style seems to bear the marks of romanticism, too.

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True Blue Reaganites: Resist Rudy McRomney, The Three-Headed RINO

I found this over at Pro Ecclesia, Pro Familia, Pro Patria

Find out more about this here.

Tuesday of the Fourth Week In Lent

Station Church: S. Lorenzo in Damaso

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

Monday, March 19, 2007

Feast of Saint Joseph

Litany of Saint Joseph
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
Pray for us.
Holy Joseph,
Pray for us.

Noble Son of the House of David,
Pray for us.
Light of the Patriarchs,
Pray for us.
Husband of the Mother of God,
Pray for us.
Chaste Guardian of the Virgin,
Pray for us.
Foster-father of the Son of God,
Pray for us.
Sedulous Defender of Christ,
Pray for us.
Head of the Holy Family,
Pray for us.
Joseph most just,
Pray for us.
Joseph most chaste,
Pray for us.
Joseph most prudent,
Pray for us.
Joseph most valiant,
Pray for us.
Joseph most obedient,
Pray for us.
Joseph most faithful,
Pray for us.
Mirror of patience,
Pray for us.
Lover of poverty,
Pray for us.
Model of all who labor,
Pray for us.
Glory of family life,
Pray for us.
Protector of Virgins,
Pray for us.
Pillar of families,
Pray for us.
Consolation of the afflicted,
Pray for us.
Hope of the sick,
Pray for us.
Patron of the dying,
Pray for us.
Terror of the demons,
Pray for us.
Protector of the holy Church,
Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. He made him master of his house,
R. And ruler of all his possesions.

Let us pray:
O God, Thou wert pleased to choose Saint Joseph as the husband of Mary and the guardian of Thy Son. Grant that, as we venerate him as our protector on earth, we may deserve to have him as our intercessor in heaven. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

The Extensive Patronage of Saint Joseph

Zeppole di San Guiseppe
Or you can stop in at Maria's Pastry Shop, on Cross Street in Boston's North End for some, if you don't feel like making the pastry yourself.

The Sicilian Custom of St. Joseph's Day Altars

And do not forget St. Joseph's vital role as patron of a happy death. Many saints are associated with the deathbed. St. Peter with his binding and loosing powers is popularly said to be the gatekeeper of Heaven. St. Michael has been said to be the escort of the newly departed soul, and the one who protects it from the demons waiting by the deathbed to snatch the soul and drag it to Hell. Our Blessed Lady is, of course, vital here, too (don't forget your daily Three Aves for a Happy and Holy Death). But St. Joseph is a principal patron of the deathbed. Why? Just think: he died in the arms of Jesus and Mary. Who has ever had a happier death than he?

O Blessed Joseph, thou gavest thy last breath in the loving embrace of Jesus and Mary. When the seal of death shall close my life, come with Jesus and Mary to aid me. Obtain for me this solace for that hour - to die with thy holy arms around me. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I commend my soul, living and dying, into thy sacred arms.

A Maltese Good Friday Procession

From Zejtun, Malta. Many more images and explanatory text here.

Motu Proprio Watch

The latest rumors are that publication will be between Lady Day and Easter. Or maybe it will be during Easter Week. Or maybe just before Ascension Thursday, or maybe on the vigil of Whitsunday. Or maybe in time for the Assumption...Anyone for Christmas?

I seem to remember rumors that publication would be on Maundy Thursday of last year, too.

Maybe they mean Maundy Thursday, 2009...

Rorate Caeli also republishes, and translates, an interview with Cardinal Castrillon de Hoyos, the head of Ecclesia Dei.

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Monday of the Fourth Week In Lent

Station Church: Ss. Quattro Coronati al Celio

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

Winter's Last Gasp (We Hope!)

Over the weekend, New England experienced a travel nightmare, as snow on Friday afternoon and night accumulated (only 3 inches or so in Boston, but much more elsewhere) then turned to freezing rain, sleet, and finally, hours of pouring rain. And of course, overnight, the slush and puddles froze solid.

Now, a few days later, the sidewalks are mostly clear, and temperatures all week are not supposed to get below 43 during the day, with 50s, even upper 50s at the end of the week. So we should see some genuine melting. And a look ahead at Accuweather's 15-day forecast shows genuinely spring-like temps, 50s and 60s, through the beginning of April (the forecast doesn't quite get to the Sacred Triduum, but stops a few days short).

There are just 14 days until the Red Sox start playing games that count. My final, and very minimal, interest in basketball or hockey was wiped out over the weekend, when BC was eliminated in the second round of March Madness. So bring on baseball!!!!

The vernal equinox is coming up in the next couple of days. With the early start of daylight savings, we hae sun until 7pm already.

As yet, I have not seen any new buds, no signs of daffs pushing up out of the ground, or willows yellowing, or forsythia blooming. But that will come if the next two weeks are as mild as they are said to be.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Blessed Fra Angelico

If today were not a Sunday, it would be the commemoration of Blessed Fra Angelico, one of the most inspiring of artists in the great Catholic tradition, and a man in religious life.

Crucifixion With Saint Dominic, by Fra Angelico

Laetare Sunday

Station Church: S. Croce in Gerusalemme

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, OSB:

This Sunday, called, from the first word of the Introit, Lætare Sunday, is one of the most solemn of the year. The Church interrupts her lenten mournfulness; the chants of the Mass speak of nothing but joy and consolation; the organ, which has been silent during the preceding three Sundays, now gives forth its melodious voice; the deacon resumes his dalmatic, and the subdeacon his tunic; and instead of purple, rose-coloured vestments are allowed to be used. These same rites were practised in Advent, on the third Sunday, called Gaudete. The Church's motive for introducing this expression of joy into to-day's liturgy is to encourage her children to persevere fervently to the end of this holy season. The real mid-Lent was last Thursday, as we have already observed; but the Church, fearing lest the joy might lead to some infringement on the spirit of penance, has deferred her own notice of it to this Sunday, when she not only permits, but even bids, her children to rejoice!

The Station at Rome is in the basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem, one of the seven principal churches of the holy city. It was built in the fourth century, by the emperor Constantine, in one of his villas called Sessorius, on which account it goes also under the name of the Sessorian basilica. The emperor's mother, St. Helen, enriched it with most precious relics, and wished to make it the Jerusalem of Rome. With this intention she ordered a great quantity of earth taken from Mount Calvary to be put on the site. Among the other relics of the instruments of the Passion which she gave to this church was the inscription which was fastened to the cross; it is still there, and is called the Title of the Cross. The name of Jerusalem, which has been given to this basilica, and which recalls to our minds the heavenly Jerusalem towards which we are tending, suggested the choice of it as to-day's Station. Up to the fourteenth century, when Avignon became for a time the city of the Popes, the ceremony of the golden rose took place in this church; at present, it is blessed in the palace where the sovereign Pontiff happens to be residing at this season.

The blessing of the golden rose is one of the ceremonies peculiar to the fourth Sunday of Lent, which is called on this account Rose Sunday. The thoughts suggested by this flower harmonize with the sentiments wherewith the Church would now inspire her children. The joyous time of Easter is soon to give them a spiritual spring, of which that of nature is but a feeble image. Hence, we cannot be surprised that the institution of this ceremony is of a very ancient date. We find it observed under the pontificate of St. Leo IX. (eleventh century); and we have a sermon on the golden rose preached by the glorious Pope Innocent III., on this Sunday, and in the basilica of Holy Cross in Jerusalem. In the middle ages, when the Pope resided in the Lateran palace, having first blessed the rose, he went on horseback to the church of the Station. He wore the mitre, was accompanied by all the Cardinals, and held the blessed flower in his hand. Having reached the basilica, he made a discourse on the mysteries symbolized by the beauty, the colour, and the fragrance of the rose. Mass was then celebrated. After the Mass, the Pope returned to tile Lateran palace. Surrounded by the sacred college, he rode across the immense plain which separates the two basilicas, with the mystic flower still in his hand. We may imagine the joy of the people as they gazed upon the holy symbol. When the procession had reached the palace gates, if there were a prince present, it was his privilege to hold the stirrup, and assist the Pontiff to dismount; for which filial courtesy he received the rose, which had received so much honour and caused such joy.

At present, the ceremony is not quite so solemn; still the principal rites are observed. The Pope blesses the golden rose in the vestiary; he anoints it with holy chrism, over which he sprinkles a scented powder, as formerly; and when the hour for Mass has come, he goes to the palace chapel, holding the flower in his hand. During the holy Sacrifice, it is fastened to a golden rose-branch prepared for it on the altar. After the Mass, it is brought to the Pontiff, who holds it in his hand as he returns from the chapel to the vestiary. It is usual for the Pope to send the rose to some prince or princess, as a mark of honour; sometimes, it is a city or a Church that receives the flower.

We subjoin a free translation of the beautiful prayer used by the sovereign Pontiff when blessing the golden rose. It will give our readers a clearer appreciation of this ceremony, which adds so much solemnity to the fourth Sunday of Lent. 'O God! by whose word and power all things were created, and by whose will they are all governed! O Thou that art the joy and gladness of all Thy faithful people! we beseech Thy divine Majesty, that Thou vouchsafe to bless and sanctify this rose, so lovely in its beauty and fragrance. We are to bear it, this day, in our hands, as a symbol of spiritual joy; that thus the people that is devoted to Thy service, being set free from the captivity of Babylon by the grace of Thine only-begotten Son who is the glory and the joy of Israel, may show forth, with a sincere heart, the joys of that Jerusalem, which is above, and is our mother. And whereas Thy Church, seeing this symbol, exults with joy for the glory of Thy Name; do thou, O Lord! give her true and perfect happiness. Accept her devotion, forgive us our sins, increase our faith; heal us by Thy word, protect us by Thy mercy; remove all obstacles; grant us all blessings; that thus this same Thy Church may offer unto Thee the fruit of good works; and walking in the odour of the fragrance of that Flower, which sprang from the root of Jesse, and is called the Flower of the field, and the Lily of the valley, may she deserve to enjoy an endless joy in the bosom of heavenly glory, in the society of all the saints, together with that divine Flower, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.'

We now come to the explanation of another name given tot the fourth Sunday of Lent, which was suggested by the Gospel of the day. We find this Sunday called in several ancient documents, the Sunday of the five loaves. The miracle alluded to in this title not only forms an essential portion of the Church's instructions during Lent, but it is also an additional element of to-day's joy. We forget for an instant the coming Passion of the Son of God, to give our attention to the greatest of the benefits He has bestowed on us; for under the figure of these loaves multiplied by the power of Jesus, our faith sees that Bread which came down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.1 'The Pasch,' says our Evangelist, 'was near at hand'; and, in a few days, our Lord will say to us: 'With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you.'2 Before leaving this world to go to His Father, Jesus desires to feed the multitude that follows Him; and in order to do this, He displays His omnipotence. Well may we admire that creative power, which feeds five thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and in such wise that even after all have partaken of the feast as much as they would, there remain fragments enough to fill twelve baskets. Such a miracle is, indeed, an evident proof of Jesus' mission; but He intends it as a preparation for something far more wonderful; He intends it as a figure and a pledge of what He is soon to do, not merely once or twice, but every day, even to the end of time; not only for five thousand men, but for the countless multitude of believers. Think of the millions, who, this very year, are to partake of the banquet of the Pasch; and yet, He whom we have seen born in Bethlehem (the house of bread) is to be the nourishment of all these guests; neither will the divine Bread fail. We are to feast as did our fathers before us; and the generations that are to follow us, shall be invited as we now are, to come and taste how sweet is the Lord.3

But observe, it is in a desert place, as we learn from St. Matthew,4 that Jesus feeds these men, who represent us Christians. They have quitted the bustle and noise of cities in order to follow Him. So anxious are they to hear His words, that they fear neither hunger nor fatigue; and their courage is rewarded. A like recompense will crown our labours, our fasting and abstinence, which are now more than half over. Let us, then, rejoice, and spend this day with the light-heartedness of pilgrims who are near the end of their journey. The happy moment is advancing, when our soul, united and filled with her God, will look back with pleasure on the fatigues of the body, which, together with our heart's compunction, have merited for her a place at the divine banquet.

The primitive Church proposed this miracle of the multiplication of the loaves as a symbol of the Eucharist, the Bread that never fails. We find it frequently represented in the paintings of the catacombs and on the bas-reliefs of the ancient Christian tombs. The fishes, too, that were given together with the loaves, are represented on these venerable monuments of our faith; for the early Christians considered the fish to be the symbol of Christ, because the word 'fish' in Greek is made up of five letters, which are the initials of these words: Jesus Christ, Son (of) God, Saviour.

In the Greek Church this is the last day of the week called, as we have already noticed, Mesonestios. Breaking through her rule of never admitting a saint's feast during Lent, she keeps this mid-Lent Sunday in honour of the celebrated abbot of the monastery of Mount Sinai, St. John Climacus, who lived in the sixth century.

GTF Note:
Of course, since this is Laetare Sunday, in the UK Mothering Sunday from the custom of processing to a parish's "mother church", you should be eating Simnel Cake, the traditional treat for this occasion. The recipe is over at Recta Ratio: The Yahoo Group.

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