Saturday, March 29, 2008

Traditional Vocations Blog

An excellent clearinghouse of links to traditional orders that support the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, as well as traditional Catholic religious life.

Do the Transalpine Redemptorists and the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart need to be added?

I think that there are reasons for them not being included, beyond plain oversight.

Until the Transalpine Redemptorists, who have accepted the Holy Father's revision of the Good Friday prayer for the Jewish people, come a little further down the road of full communion, it might be premature to include them. But I think they are headed in the right direction, and should make the list in the future.

And the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart seem to be in two camps. The ones in Still River are in communion with Rome. Under the old indult, they provided the indult Mass for the Worcester Diocese. The ones in New Hampshire adhere more closely to the late Father Feeney's vehemence in denouncing the modern Church (and that was before Vatican II). So maybe that whole situation needs to be sorted out first.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Mary, Mother of grace,
Mother of mercy,
Shield me from the enemy
And receive me at the hour of my death.

This prayer carried a partial indulgence, and may still carry one if you do not believe that the Church has retracted the gracious indulgences formerly granted for many prayers.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer of Expiation To the Sacred Heart

Dearest Jesus, Whose love poured forth upon mankind is so ungratefully repaid with forgetfulness, coldness and disdain, behold us prostrate before Thine Altar. We strive to pay Thee special honour and thus make amends for the wrong done on every side to Thy loving Heart.

Nevertheless remembering that even we have not always been free from that guilt and unworthiness, moved too by deep sorrow, first of all we entreat Thy mercy for ourselves. We are ready and longing to make amends, not only for our own wrongdoing, but also for the wickedness of others who, straying from the path of salvation and stubborn in disobedience, refuse to follow thee, their shepherd and guide, or trampling under foot the vows of their Baptism, have shaken off the sweet yoke of Thy law. For all this grievous sin we are eager to atone, and moreover resolute to amend each separate evil; whatever is immodest and shameful whether in life or in attire; the many snares set for the undoing of innocent souls; Holy days dishonoured; loathsome blasphemies against thee and Thy Saints: insults offered to Thy Vicar and Thy priesthood; the very Sacrament of Divine Love slighted or profaned by dreadful sacrilege; lastly, the open affronts of nations which deny her just rights to the Church founded by thee, and reject her

Would that with our own blood we could wash away these offences. Still that the outraged honour of God may be restored, we can and we do invoke that atonement which once upon the Cross Thou didst offer to Thy Father, and which day by day thou dost ever renew upon the Altar. And we join therewith the expiation made by the Virgin Mother, by all the Saints, and by the piety of Thy faithful. From our hearts we promise -----Thy grace aiding us-----to make good, so far as in us lies, for our own past sins and those of others, and for all our indifference to Thy great love, by steadfast faith, innocency of life, perfect observance of the laws of Thy Gospel, most of all the law of charity; and furthermore to hinder with all our might every offence against Thee and to enlist in Thy following all whomsoever we may.

Most gracious Jesus, accept, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of our Blessed Lady, our Patroness in Reparation, the obedience which freely offers this expiation, vouchsafe to bestow upon us the great grace of perseverance, deign to keep us faithful in Thy service even unto death; so that we may all at last reach our home where Thou dost live and reign with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God, for ever and ever.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Training To Serve the Traditional Mass

Father Higgins is training as many boys as possible to serve at Traditional Masses. And he is training some priests, as well.

That is what the Boston area needs most, more priests, particularly younger priests, able and willing to say the Traditional Mass.


After Easter

Of course, just about everyone is back to the normal work routine now, even if they used whatever it took to get Good Friday and Easter Monday off. We are still in the Octave of Easter, but that doesn't have a lot of consequence in everyday life.

The intense experience of sacrifice, penance, and worship of Lent, Passiontide, Holy Week, and Easter are now passed. As always, I wore myself out on Good Friday. Private meditation and Divine Mercy, Stations, The Passion of St. John chanted, the Improperia, the Veneration of the Cross, Mass of the Pre-Sanctified, the Burial Ceremony, O Sacred Head Surrounded and God of Mercy and Compassion. That oddly empty feeling of leaving the church with no holy water to bless oneself, not genuflecting to the Blessed Sacrament, as the tabernacle is now empty. Four hours of intense devotion leaves me drained, but satisfied.

All the work of Easter dinner, and decorating for Easter, and the Easter baskets is done. Now we are back with just the normal routine relationship with Our Lord, Our Blessed Lady, and the Saints. The Blessed Sacrament is back in the tabernacle, the sanctuary lamp burning low already. The Prisoner Of the Tabernacle awaits His brief release for Corpus Christi. Visit Him. Condole with Him.

I think now, more than ever, we need to make frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. We need to put in holy hours of reparation to the Sacred Heart for the blasphemies so unthinkingly committed by so many. And if you feel an emptiness now that Easter celebration is over in the secular world (where the Easter candy is 50% or even 75% off now), an emptiness akin to what people feel with the passing of Christmas, take that emptiness to the Blessed Sacrament, and it will be filled there. More to the point, that emptiness will be made worthwhile.

It was a cliche in my childhood that Easter brings new life. We heard it endlessly. Spring with its blossoming flowers and budding trees, its longer sunlight. But I think the point can be taken too far, and was, by many people, who started to describe Catholics as "Resurrection People." Of course we are that, too, but there would be no Resurrection without Good Friday, the Passion, and the Cross.

Maybe the post-Easter ennui that many feel is a cross to be borne, to be made use of, to be overcome. It is unrealistic to expect people to be completely upbeat, even with the celebration of the Resurrection so much a part of our lives. We have experienced the intense devotion of the Triduum. Now, we must, to some extent, drink of the bitter chalice we are left with as the Easter lilies begin to wither.

Again, take it to that Prisoner In the Tabernacle. He is waiting, alone, neglected in most churches, in some, off in some dim corner or hidden out of view. Visit Him, and heal the emptiness you feel. Make a daily, or at least frequent, visit with Him part of your routine. Don't worry if you don't know what to pray, or how to pass an hour keeping watch. Bring a good prayerbook with you, and read the prayers. Do it frequently, and you will develop a rapport with Him, which will ease the awkwardness.

After all, look at what He suffered for you. That should be never so vivid in your mind as it is now, with annual viewings of The Passion of the Christ, Jesus Of Nazareth, or Ben Hur so fresh in the mind.

"Couldest thou not watch but one hour with Me?"


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sox Lose Game 2

Another early morning start (well, early morning by Boston standards) for the Red Sox, this time with a different result. They lost 5-1 to the As. So much for the Japan trip. Back to Spring Training.


Is It Really Spring?

According to the calendar, Maundy Thursday was the first day of Spring. But the weather here has given little hint that we are indeed in that pleasant season. No warm breezes blow. No pleasant sunny days on which one can linger outside comfortably. Just rain, cold, raw, dampish weather. Even when it is sunny, it feels like you are living inside a refrigerator. According to my records, we have not had a genuinely warm and pleasant day here in Boston since early January, when we flirted with 70 degrees for one day. And even then, once the sun went down, as it does fairly early in early January, I recall the day turning sharply colder. Since then, for weeks on end, it has been unremittingly cold, and raw, and unpleasant.

What I am waiting for is a day with no wind, no damp chill, a day when you can be outside for 8 hours without the bitter cold working through the various layers you are wearing, a day when no hat, gloves, or hood are necessary to combat the chill.

Yes, I know, there is much more afternoon sunlight, since daylight savings started very early this year. We are past Easter and the Vernal Equinox. Buds are starting to be noticeable on some trees. And we have much to be thankful for in that this past winter was not particularly snowy, and that we did not entertain any record-breaking cold air. But it has been unceasingly cold, and not the least bit mild, for a long time, without any break. And that is very unusual for a New England winter.

Maybe our old friend, the late Tommy Makem, who wrote the following song, can add his prayers from a happier world for some warmer weather for his adopted home in New England.

The Rambles Of Spring

There's a piercing wintry breeze
Blowing through the budding trees
And I've buttoned up my coat to keep me warm
But the days are on the mend
And I'm on the road again
With my fiddle snuggled close beneath my arm

I've a fine, felt hat
And a strong pair of brogues
I have rosin in my pocket for my bow
O my fiddle strings are new
And I've learned a tune or two
So, I'm well prepared to ramble and must go

I'm as happy as a king
When I catch a breath of spring
And the grass is turning green as winter ends
And the geese are on the wing
And the thrushes start to sing
And I'm headed down the road to see my friends


I have friends in every town
As I wander up and down
Making music at the markets and the fairs
Through the donkeys and the creels
And the farmers making deals
And the yellow headed tinkers selling wares


Here's a health to one and all
To the big and to the small
To the rich and poor alike and foe and friends
And when I return again
May our foes have turned to friends
And may peace and joy be with you until then


- Words and music by Tommy Makem
In Mar., 1977


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today Would Normally Be Lady Day

March 25th is normally Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation. But when it falls in Easter Week, it is transferred to the Monday after Low Sunday. St. Joseph, whose feast fell during Holy Week, is transferred to the Tuesday after Low Sunday. So next Week will be a joyous one, with Divine Mercy Sunday followed by Lady Day and St. Joseph's feast.

Poor St. Patrick does not get transferred at all. So St. Patrick's Day won't come until next year.


Easter Meat-Fest

The long meatless drought of Lent was over Sunday. Bacon was devoured for breakfast, while ham, Swedish Meatballs, St. George's Chicken Parcels, Roast Beef Salad (Rare Italian Roast Beef rolled up and marinated in Creamy Vidalia Onion Dressing with Mancini Roasted Sweet Red Peppers), and pepperoni rolled up in cresent rolls all graced dinner.

Other things I gave up for the duration of Lent have come back, too. I listened to about 6 CDs on Sunday. This morning, it was back to the regular routine of crossword and Su Doku. And a mocha from Starbucks started off Easter morning. And Easter dinner preparation featured a couple of fingers' depth of Jameson.

Life is good. Sacrifice is good, too. But for the rest of the year, Fridays and Ember Days will be enough sacrifice.


Opening Day, Sort Of

The games have more the feel of exhibition season, and in fact, Spring Training was interrupted to play this series with the Oakland As in Japan. I doubt the wisdom of disturbing the team's preparation in Florida with this long-arsed trip to the back side of the world, cutting short the vital preparation for a repeat championship. A good case can be made that the fortunes and best interests of the team and Boston's fans are being sacrificed to Major League Baseball's desire to open up the Japanese market.

But on paper, anyway, it is Opening Day for the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox, who have won now 2 World Series titles in the 21st Century (to the Yankees' NONE!). But of course, we all know that the REAL Opening Day is in April, at Fenway Park.

At least this year, Opening Day, even this gimcrack opening in Japan, is after Easter, so there is no conflict with Holy Week or Easter Sunday. We can eat our Fenway Franks in peace (except on Friday!).

The game began at 6:05 am, and the Red Sox are trailing 4-3 in the 8th as of 8:50 am.

Update: The Sox tied it up in the 9th, 4-4.

Further Update:
Sox won 6-5 in the 10th!!! An auspicious start.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

He is truly risen! Alleluia!

All the pain and sacrifice of Lent is over. Good Friday is behind us, as is the wait of Holy Saturday.

May Easter joy be with you and your families!

Haec dies, quam fecit Dominus:
Exsultemus, et laetemur in ea.
Confitemini Domino, quoniam bonus:
Quoniam in saeculum misericordia ejus.

Image found at Holy Cards For Your Inspiration, I think. But who really knows, since my database has around ten thousand images from all over the internet collected over many years.

Exsultet iam angelica turba caelorum: exsultet divina mysteria: et pro tanti Regis victoria, tuba insonet salutaris.

Gaudeat et tellus tantis irradiata fulgoribus: et aeterni Regis splendore illustrata, totius orbis se sentiat amisisse caliginem.

Laetetur et mater Ecclisia tanti luminis adornata fulgoribus: et magnis populorum vocibus haec aula resultet.

V. Dominus vobiscum.

R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

V. Sursum corda.

R. Habemus ad Dominum.

V. Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.

R. Dignum et iustum est.

Vere dignum et iustum est, invisibilem Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Filiumque eius unigenitum, dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, toto cordis ac mentis affectu, et vocis ministerio personare.

Qui pro nobis aeterno Patri Adae debitum solvit: et veteris piaculi cautionem pio cruore detersit. Haec sunt enim festa paschalia, in quibus verus ille agnus occiditur, cuius sanguine postes fidelium consecrantur.

Haec nox est, in qua primum patres nostros, filius Israel eductos de Aegypto, Mare Rubrum sicco vestigio transire fecisti. Haec igitur nox est, quae peccatorum tenebras columnae illuminatione purgavit.

Haec nox est, quae hodie per universum mundum in Christo credentes, a vitiis saeculi et caligine peccatorum segregatos reddit gratiae, sociat sanctitati.

Haec nox est, in qua, destructis vinculis mortis, Christus ab inferis victor ascendit.

O mira circa nos tuae pietatis dignatio!

O inaestimabilis dilecti o caritatis: ut servum redimeres , Filium tradidisti!

O certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est!

O felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!

In huius igitur noctis gratia, suscipe, sancte Pater, laudis huius sacrificium vespertinum: quod tibi in hac cerei oblatione sollemni, per ministrorum manus de operibus apum, sacrosancta reddit Ecclesia.

Oramus ergo te, Domine, ut cererus iste in honorem tui nominis consecratus, ad noctis huius caliginem destruendam, in deficiens perseveret.

Et in odorem suavitatis acceptus, supernis luminaribus misceatur.

Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat. Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum: Christus Filius tuus, qui, regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit, et tecum vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum.

R. Amen

Remember, we begin using a new Marian Antiphon at the end of the day's Office, and the same Antiphon replaces the Angelus:

Regina, caeli, laetare, Alleluia:
Quia quem meruisti portare, Alleluia,
Resurrexit sicut dixit, Alleluia.
Ora pro nobis Deum, Alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, Alleluia,
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, Alleluia.

Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut, per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae.
Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum.

Victimae Paschali
laudes immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
Quid vidisti in via?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos in Galilaeam.

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

Alleluia, Alleluia!
Pascha nostrum immolatis est Christus.


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