Saturday, April 12, 2008
O most sacred Virgin Mary, O Queen of Angels, how beautiful, accomplished, and perfect, has Heaven made thee! O that I could appear to God as thou appearest to me. Thou art so beautiful and gracious that with thy beauty thou ravishest hearts. When thou art seen, everything appears deformed, all beauty is eclipsed, every grace is lost sight of; as the stars disappear at the rising of the sun.
When thy tenderly devoted servant, Saint John Damascene, contemplated thee, and when he saw that thou wast so beautiful, it seemed to him that thou hadst taken the flower and that which was best in every creature, and therefore he called thee "the loveliness of nature," the grace and comeliness of every creature.
Saint Augustine, the bright light of doctors, contemplated thee, and thou didst appear to him so fair and beautiful, that he called thee the countenance of God, and it did not seem to him adulation. Thy devout son Albert the Great contemplated thee, and to him it seemed that all the graces and gifts which were in the most celebrated women of the old dispensation, were all in a much higher degree in thee: the golden mouth of Sarah, which, smiling, rejoices Heaven and earth; the sweet and tender look of the faithful Lia, with which thou didst soften the heart of God, hardened against sinners; the splendor of countenance of the beautiful Rachel, for with thy beauty thou dost eclipse the sun; the grace and demeanor of the discreet Abigail, by which thou didst appease an angry God; the vivacity and strength of the valiant Judith, for by thy power and thy grace thou dost subdue the most ferocious hearts.
In fine, O sovereign Princess, from the immense ocean of thy beauty the beauty and grace of all creatures flowed forth as rivers. The sea learnt to curl its waves, and to wave its crystal waters from thy golden hair, which gracefully floated over thy shoulders and ivory neck. The crystal fountains and their transparent depths learnt their tranquil and steady flow from the serenity of thy beautiful brow and placid countenance. The lovely rainbow, when in full beauty, learnt with studious care its graceful bend from thy eyebrows, thus better to send forth its rays of light. The morning star itself, and the sweet star of night, are sparks from thy beautiful eyes. The white lilies and ruby roses stole their colors from thy lovely cheeks. Envious purple and coral sigh for the color of thy lips. The most delicious milk and sweetest honey are distillations from the sweet honeycomb of thy mouth. The scented jasmine and fragrant Damasc rose stole their perfume from thy breath. The loftiest cedar and the most erect, the fairest cypress, were happy when they beheld their image in thy erect and lofty neck. The palm tree, emulous and jealous, likened itself to thy noble stature. In fine, O Lady, every created beauty is a shadow and trace of thy beauty. And thus I wonder not, O sovereign Princess, that Heaven and earth place themselves under thy feet; for such are they, and thou art so great, that to he only under thy feet enriches them, and they esteem themselves happy and blessed in kissing them. Thus did the moon rejoice when the evangelist Saint John saw her under thy feet, and the sun increased in splendor when it clothed thee with its rays of light. The Evangelist, blinded by the brilliancy of thy light, was lost in wonder and ravished out of himself at the sight of so stupendous a miracle of beauty, in which the beauty of Heaven and earth was concentrated, and he said, "There appeared a great sign in Heaven." A great miracle appeared in the heavens-----a miracle which filled the Angels with astonishment, and caused the earth to tremble. That miracle was, a woman clothed from head to foot in light and splendor. The resplendent Sun itself chose her for His Mother, and placed Himself in her womb; the fair moon covers her feet as sandals edged with silver; a multitude of stars crown her brow, and, emulating one with another, bind her locks together, and form upon her head a diadem of precious gems: "and on her head a crown of twelve stars."
Thus, O most sacred Virgin, the Saints, considering thee in the midst of such splendor more beautiful than the sun, and more fair than the moon, which are the ornament and concentration of all beauty; and considering the acclamations of joy which attend thee in Heaven, can never cease their astonishment at thy beauty, and can only exclaim and burst forth in acclamation of wonder and astonishment. Saint Peter Damian exclaims in his admiration, "O holy and most holy of all Saints, richest treasure of all sanctity." Saint Bernard: "O admirable Virgin, O woman honor of all women, the best, the greatest that the world ever possessed. Saint Epiphanius: "O heaven, greater and vaster than the heavens themselves; O Virgin, truly full of grace." And the Catholic Church, in the name of all, exclaims, "O most clement, most pious, and most sweet Virgin Mary."
And I also, O heavenly Princess, with thy permission, although I am the least of thy servants, I will also make my acclamations of wonder and astonishment. O gracious and beautiful heaven, more vast than the heavens themselves, for they cannot contain God, Who is immense, but He concealed Himself in thy womb; O richest of all treasures, in which was deposited the treasure of our redemption; O Mother of sinners, under whose mantle we are defended; O consolation of the world, in which all who are afflicted, infirm, and disconsolate, find consolation; O beautiful eyes, which steal hearts; O coral lips, which imprison souls; O generous hands, filled with lilies, and which always distribute graces; O pure creature, who appearest a God, and whom I should have taken for a God, had not faith taught me that thou art not so, although thou hast a splendor, and I know not what of Divine sovereignty; O great Lady, empress of Heaven, enjoy for a thousand eternities the greatness of thy state, the immensity of thy greatness, and the happiness of thy glory. We only beseech thee, O compassionate Mother, not to forget us, who glory in being thy servants and children. And since in thee are deposited all graces, and the best and most privileged of all created things, grant, O Lady, that we, thy devout children, may be favored more beyond comparison than are all other men on earth.
The whole world should know that the dear children of Mary are the best of Heaven and earth: they are the spoilt children, who enjoy all the choicest possessions of their Mother; they are the beloved Benjamins, who being caressed in the bosom of the Queen of Heaven, are doubly favored and doubly caressed by the Majesty of God. This I hope, O most beautiful Rachel; and this I am confident that thou wilt do, O sovereign Princess. In the name of what thou art, do it; for all Heaven prostrate at thy feet beseeches thee, and with importunity asks it of thee. Say only yes, pronounce only a loving consent; be it done, be it done, fiat, fiat! O men, of what are you thinking? How can you love earthly, deceitful, and lying creatures, which betray you and cause you to lose your souls, your bodies, Paradise, and God! And why do you not love the most loving, the most amiable, the most faithful Mary, who, after having enriched you with consolations and graces in this life, will obtain you from her Divine beloved Son the eternal glory of Paradise? O Mary, Mary, more beautiful than all creatures, lovely after Jesus above all loves, more dear than all created things, gracious above every grace, pity this miserable heart of mine; miserable because it does not love thee; and it ought to love thee. Thou canst inflame it with thy holy love. Turn, O Mary, thy loving eyes upon me; look at me, and draw me to thee; and grant that after God I may love no other but thee, most gracious, most amiable Mary, Mother of Jesus, and my Mother.
From The Glories Of Mary, by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Friday, April 11, 2008
But as the saying goes, "It was a lovely Boston Spring. The afternoon was sunny and warm, and it almost didn't rain at all. Buds appeared on the tree." Today, it is cooler, and the east wind that has dominated our weather for months on end has reasserted itself. The clouds are back, with rain expected this afternoon. And it will be much cooler this weekend, with Monday's high, as of yesterday's forecast, expected to be no warmer than 43 degrees. And this is April. No wonder Eliot called it the "cruellest month."
Labels: New England Things
Now I like my daily cup. So much so that this past Lent, I did not even try to give it up, as previous efforts to go without caffeine for the duration have left me sick. Like Lucky Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, I don't feel fully human until the day's cup begins to filter through the system, filling me with a feeling of warmth and benevolence.
But I'm not drinking coffee that some animal has already eaten and excreted. That is just too out there. Besides, I could not afford it.
Tip of the Silver-Laced Cocked Hat to Steve.
And while we are on the subject of Starbucks, I should note their new chocolate bars. I had a Dark Chocolate Mocha bar about two weeks ago that I had bought in Shaw's. I see that this week, CVS has them on sale 2/$5, which is a pretty good price for a premium bar of chocolate (sale ends Saturday). It seems to me that this sort of infusion of caffeine is just right for situations where you don't want to take it in in liquid form.
Prayer To the Sacred Heart from The Raccolta:
O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee, and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
O God, Who hast commanded us to honour our father and our mother, in Thy mercy have pity on the souls of my father George and my mother Kathryn, and forgive them their trespasses, and make me to see them again in the joy of everlasting light. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end.
V. Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine.
R. Et lux perpetua luceat eis.
V. Requiescant in pace.
Labels: Requiescant In Pace
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Today is a near-holiday in Massachusetts, at least for the 38,000 or so folks who have tickets for today's Red Sox home opener.
So far, the season has been mediocre at best. An opening two-game split in Japan with the A's, followed by a sweep of two games with the A's in Oakland, and being swept in three in Toronto. The starting pitching has been shaky, and the bullpen worse.
But now, with the defending World Champions back in Fenway, the season really gets under way. Enough of the foolish globe-hopping. The Sox have reason to pitch a major b-tch at MLB for doing this to them, unfairly handicapping and limiting the team's spring training routine and preparation, and opening them in three foreign and strange countries (Japan, Canada, and California) before returning them to the Sacred Soil of the Hub of the Universe, New England, the fount of all that is good in life.
Today, baseball comes back to Boston, and some fairly decent weather for it, too. The game with the Tigers is important, as will be the next series with Sauron and his well-bankrolled army of Orcs. But there is nothing like Opening Day in Boston, no matter who they play.
Oh yeah, and they get their bling today.
Labels: Boston Red Sox
Monday, April 07, 2008
Archdiocesan Reorganization News
On March 14, 2008 Most Rev. Robert Hennessey, bishop of the Central Region of the Archdiocese, formally presented to the Presbyteral Council his recommendation that Holy Trinity Parish be closed. Fr. Connolly was present at that meeting and has reported that there were no objections or challenges raised by the Council members during the discussion period. The Council subsequently voted to endorse the Bishop's recommendation.
The astonishing thing is that, even though the traditional Mass has been back at Holy Trinity for two months now, this item has elicited no comment in the Save Holy Trinity Yahoo Group.
So those of us who hoped that bringing the traditional Mass back to Holy Trinity would strengthen its position, and make it less likely to be closed, were wrong. The value of the real estate it sits on is very large (though, with the current depressed real estate market, perhaps less so than previously) and the Archdiocese seems determined to have that money.
Bill Buckley and Charlton Heston within about a month of each other. As Lord Escher wrote almost a hundred years ago, "All the old buoys which have marked the channels of our lives seem to have been swept away."
Requiescat in pace.
Labels: Requiescat In Pace