Saturday, September 01, 2007

Why Saturday Belongs To Our Blessed Lady

Fellow Catholic Restorationist Chris Gillibrand has the low-down on how Saturday became our Blessed Lady's day.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

September is dedicated to Our Lady's Seven Sorrows, so the September installments of Our Blessed Lady's Saturday are, too.

Prayer Before an Image of the Mother of Sorrows

O most compassionate Mother, what bitterness filled thy heart when thou didst embrace the lacerated Body of thy Son with thy virginal arms, press Him lovingly to thy maternal heart, and cover Him with tenderest kisses. I remind thee of this inexpressible bitterness, in virtue of which I beseech thee to obtain for me forgiveness of my sins.

O Mary, pray for me, a poor sinner, to thy Jesus Whom thou didst hold in thy arms. Take the wounded Body of thy Son into thy maternal arms, and offer Him in this condition to the Heavenly Father for me. Offer His pierced Heart, His Passion and Death, and all thy own immeasurable sorrows to obtain grace and mercy for me, particularly (mention the favor you desire here). Amen.

Holy Mother, pierce me though; in my heart each wound renew of my Saviour Crucified.

O Mary, our hope, have pity on us!



Apples ready for picking at Bolton Orchards, Bolton MA.
September in New England, and old England, and Ireland and Normandy for that matter, is the start of the apple harvest.

Important feasts celebrated during September include:

3. St. Gregory the Great
2. The Martyrs of September
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
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
29. Michaelmas
30. St. Jerome

The month of September is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, the feast being on September 15th.

The First Friday of September is Friday, September 7th.
The First Saturday of September is Saturday, September 1st (today).

The Michaelmas Embertide takes place on Wednesday September 19th, Friday September 21st, and Saturday September 22nd. The entire month of September is within the Time After Pentecost, or Ordinary Time.

The Holy Father's motu proprio document Summorum Pontificum, liberating the traditional Mass, takes effect on September 14th, the feast of the Exhaltation of the True Cross.

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's published prayer intentions for the month of September, 2007 are:

That the ecumenical assembly of Sibiu in Rumania may contribute to the growth of unity among all Christians, for whom the Lord prayed at the Last Supper.

That following Christ joyfully, all missionaries may know how to overcome the difficulties they meet in everyday life.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Ant. Remember not, Lord, my offenses, nor the offenses of my fathers, nor takest Thou vengeance upon them.

Psalm 101
1 The prayer of the poor man, when he was anxious, and poured out his supplication before the Lord. 2 Hear, O Lord, my prayer: and let my cry come to thee. 3 Turn not away thy face from me: in the day when I am in trouble, incline thy ear to me. In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me speedily. 4 For my days are vanished like smoke: and my bones are grown dry like fuel for the fire. 5 I am smitten as grass, and my heart is withered: because I forgot to eat my bread.

6 Through the voice of my groaning, my bone hath cleaved to my flesh. 7 I am become like to a pelican of the wilderness: I am like a night raven in the house. 8 I have watched, and am become as a sparrow all alone on the housetop. 9 All the day long my enemies reproached me: and they that praised me did swear against me. 10 For I did eat ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping.

11 Because of thy anger and indignation: for having lifted me up thou hast thrown me down. 12 My days have declined like a shadow, and I am withered like grass. 13 But thou, O Lord, endurest for ever: and thy memorial to all generations. 14 Thou shalt arise and have mercy on Sion: for it is time to have mercy on it, for the time is come. 15 For the stones thereof have pleased thy servants: and they shall have pity on the earth thereof.

16 And the Gentiles shall fear thy name, O Lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 17 For the Lord hath built up Sion: and he shall be seen in his glory. 18 He hath had regard to the prayer of the humble: and he hath not despised their petition. 19 Let these things be written unto another generation: and the people that shall be created shall praise the Lord: 20 Because he hath looked forth from his high sanctuary: from heaven the Lord hath looked upon the earth.

21 That he might hear the groans of them that are in fetters: that he might release the children of the slain: 22 That they may declare the name of the Lord in Sion: and his praise in Jerusalem; 23 When the people assemble together, and kings, to serve the Lord. 24 He answered him in the way of his strength: Declare unto me the fewness of my days. 25 Call me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are unto generation and generation.

26 In the beginning, O Lord, thou foundedst the earth: and the heavens are the works of thy hands. 27 They shall perish but thou remainest: and all of them shall grow old like a garment: And as a vesture thou shalt change them, and they shall be changed. 28 But thou art always the selfsame, and thy years shall not fail. 29 The children of thy servants shall continue: and their seed shall be directed for ever.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be always in the World of Worlds.

Ant. Remember not, Lord, my offenses, nor the offenses of my fathers, nor takest Thou vengeance upon them.

Prayer Against Gluttony
O wretched me, who hath forsaken Thee, Lord God, the font of living water. I have dug myself cisterns of earthly delights, broken cisterns, that can hold no living water! (cf Jer 2:13) Verily have I forgotten to eat my bread, the bread of life, having in it all delight and sweetness of taste. Instead I was eager to fill my belly with the husks pigs eat. (Lk 15:16) As yet food was in the mouth of the Sons of Israel, when God's anger descended upon them: and is so often spared me, who thru intemperance of food and drink has been formed in the likeness of a beast and not in Thy image, O God. O how in the end might I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink. May my food be to do Thy will in everything, Thou who shalt make us drink from the river of Thy delights. (Ps 35:9)


Thursday, August 30, 2007

The End of Summer

Yes, I know. On the calendar, summer persists until the Autumnal Equinox around the 22nd or 23rd of September. But that is a mere convenience and convention. In reality, summer is winding down as we speak.

Evidence? Kids are either already back in school (and we all know what I think about that) or savouring the lasts days of summer vacation. The annual exodus from Nantucket, Kennebunkport, Newport, Long Island and the Jersey Shore is about to begin in earnest.

The days are growing notably shorter. The sun is setting earlier and rising later. I think we have lost an hour or more of evening daylight since July 4th.

Some less healthy trees are already beginning to turn. The apple harvest has started (and pick-your-own apple season begins in a few weeks). Pumpkins are almost ripe on the vines.

The cycle of August/Lammas fairs is winding down, to be replaced by the Harvest fairs of autumn. Bartholomew Fair would be just ending. King Richard's Renaissance Fair opens this weekend. The Topsfield Fair opens in a month.

And yes, of course, stores are starting to fill the shelves with fall and Halloween items. But, there was plenty of that to see even in late July.

As of yet, the days are still fairly warm. In fact, the blistering August sun can make even a day no hotter than 82 quite unpleasant if you are not in the shade. But cooler days are ahead. This weekend temps are supposed to stay in the comfortable 70s. And summer's grip has been weakening for almost two weeks now, with some cooler days sneaking in, and the real steam heat hopefully a thing of the past.

Gosh, I may have to abandon my summer uniform of shorts and polo shirts soon, and return to the basics of the rest of the year: oxford-collar button-down shirts and khakis.

This is the time I think of iced tea with cucumber sandwiches, homemade ice cream, and Brideshead Revisited, the ultimate back-to-school book (and also the finest Catholic novel of the 20th century).

A desperate grasp at leisure is in order for the end of August and first couple of days of September. We may not be staying for an extended visit at the country house of some chums enshrined in the ranks of the gentry. But cucumber sandwiches and bottles of iced tea, and a spot in the shade with the pipe seem to be the thing for the next few days, and are within our grasp.

The rush of Fall will soon be upon us. There will be apples to pick, pumpkins to peruse, foliage to peep at, cider to taste, mincemeat to make up, Christmas cakes to age, Halloween decorations to set up, and then the dead to pray for, thanks to give to God, and then Christmas to prepare for. This is a resting place in the cycle of the year. We won't have another true rest until the days following Christmas.

Take your ease now. That is why we have this "down time" of the annual cycle.

End of Summer on Nantucket


Requiescant In Pace

Two Boston firefighters were killed last night while fighting a fire in West Roxbury. Twelve more are injured. Please, pray for the dead, and the living. Requiescant in pace.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007


The concept of students returning to school before Labor Day. It deprives families of those languid last days of summer, culminating in the drive home either on Labor Day or the day after (because truly civilized schools do not begin classes until the Wednesday, or Thursday after Labor Day). It disrupts family summer vacation. And it just isn't right, since everyone knows school is supposed to start in September.

I know that, in my own youth, I used to cling to those last few days of happiness during the Labor Day weekend for dear life, and tried everything to make them go by as slowly as possible.

But more and more, you see kids getting back to school earlier. It is sad to think that these kids are being increasingly deprived of a proper summer vacation. True, they get out of school a little earlier. But that is a sad trade-off, since the last few days of school are purely honorary anyway.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Critical Series

Not for the Red Sox, who are now leading the AL East by a relatively comfortable 8 games, but for the Yankees, who would like to close it to 5, and revive their chances in the AL Wild Card race, where they are only trailing by 2.

But the teams are on opposite trajectories. Boston is coming off a 4-game sweep in which they pummelled the White Sox thus:
24 - W at Chicago WSox, 11-3 (WP: J.Beckett; LP: J.Garland)
24 - W at Chicago WSox, 10-1 (WP: C.Schilling; LP: J.Danks)
25 - W at Chicago WSox, 14-2 (WP: T.Wakefield; LP: M.Buehrle)
26 - W at Chicago WSox, 11-1 (WP: J.Tavarez; LP: J.Vazquez)

That is a combined 46-7!

The Yankees lost last night to the Tigers in the last game of their 4-game series, while the Red Sox had a day off to prepare for the media circus.

But the Yankees are always dangerous. They swept the Sox earlier this season. Anything can happen.

The Sox would like to put the Yankees away permanently in this series. A sweep would knock them 11 back. Even taking two out of three pushes them 9 back. And just winning one game means the Yankees would be 7 back.

Let's hope that, at the end of this series, the Yankees are 11 back. I don't like late-season drama.


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