Saturday, January 23, 2010

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

Hail, White Lily, of the ever-peaceful and glorious Trinity!

Hail, Vermilion Rose, the delight of Heaven, of whom the King of Heaven was born and by whose milk He was nourished! Do thou feed our souls with the effusions of thy Divine influences.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

The Penitent's Litany

Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies,
blot out my iniquity. [Psalm 50:3].

Lord, have mercy on me.
Christ, have mercy on me.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on me.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on me.
God the Holy Ghost, Perfecter of the elect, etc.
Holy Trinity, one God, etc.
O God, Who by the voice of Thy prophets and Apostles
dost call upon us incessantly to be converted and to abandon our evil ways,
O Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who didst Thyself come on earth to call sinners to repentance,
O Jesus, the Good Shepherd, Who didst come among us to seek and to save the lost sheep,
O Jesus, Who hast declared that unless we do penance, we shall perish everlastingly,
O Jesus, Who desirest not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live,
O Jesus, Who hast assured us that there shall be joy in Heaven
over one sinner that is converted and does penance,
O Jesus, Who, in the example of the prodigal son returning home to the bosom of his father,
hast inspired us with confidence in Thy tenderness,
O Jesus, Who for the sake and salvation of sinners wast pleased to undergo so many hardships,
abors and fatigues,
O Jesus, Who didst not refuse to receive publicans and public sinners,
in order to draw them to repentance,
O Jesus, Who callest upon us to be converted to Thee with all our hearts,

Have mercy upon me,
O Lord, and hear my prayer.
Have mercy upon me,
O Lord, and hear my petition.
From all evil, Deliver me, O Lord.
From all sin, Deliver me, O Lord.
From the spirit of impenitence and from all hardness of heart, etc.
From final impenitence, etc.
By Thy Baptism and holy fasting,
By Thy labors and sorrows,
By the merits of Thy Precious Blood, which Thou hast shed for my sins,
On the Day of Judgment,
That Thou would vouchsafe in Thy mercy to create in me
a new heart and a new mind,
I beseech Thee to hear me, O Lord.
That Thou would vouchsafe to conduct me to true repentance,
I beseech Thee to hear me, O Lord.
That as I have imitated the Prodigal in his sins,
so may I also imitate him in his sorrow, etc.
That as I am the lost sheep, so Thou, as the Good Shepherd,
deign kindly to carry me back to the fold upon Thy shoulders,
That as hitherto I have served iniquity unto iniquity,
so henceforth I may serve justice unto sanctification,
That I may cultivate all the virtues of the truly penitent
and bring forth fruits worthy of piety,
That for the time to come, renouncing all impiety and worldly desires,
I may live chastely, soberly and innocently,
That Thou wilt give me the grace and courage to resist my passions,
to bend my will to obedience to Thy laws,
and to crucify my flesh with its vices and concupiscences,
That, like the prudent virgins in the Gospel, I may be always watchful,
that I may cherish prayer and that I may cultivate industry,
That I may with confidence have recourse to the throne of grace,
that thus I may obtain grace in seasonable aid,
That Thou wouldst not deal with me according to my sins,
but in Thine infinite tenderness, have pity upon me,
That I may so purify myself by penance and by the sufferings of this life
as to avoid those torments which are reserved for the impenitent hereafter,

O Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare me, O Lord.
O Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear me, O Lord.
O Lamb of God,
Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy upon me, O Lord.

Let Us Pray.
O God, Who willest not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live, vouchsafe in Thy mercy to look down in compassion upon my misery and my weakness, in order that, remembering that I am only dust and ashes and that soon, in punishment for my sins, I must return to dust and ashes again, I may thus be prepared to receive the pardon of my manifold offenses and receive that recompense which Thou hast promised to the penitent, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.

O Father of Mercies and Tender Physician of our Souls, I have grievously sinned against Thee, and I am no longer worthy to be called Thy child. I have repaid Thy benefits with ingratitude and Thy graces with neglect. I have merited Thy displeasure and have deserved the heavy weight of Thy punishments. Deeply aware of this, my unhappy state, behold, I now present myself before Thee to implore Thy pardon. Pardon me then, O God of Love, and remember not the sins of my past life. Remember only that Thou art my Father and that I am still Thy child. Thy mercy still exceeds the greatness of my misery. Wherefore, O God, unworthy sinner that I am, I will not cease to confide in Thee. In Thee, O Lord, I have trusted; let me not be confounded forever. I propose from henceforth daily to bewail my past ingratitude, and I now make at Thy feet the firm resolution never more to offend Thee mortally, and to fly with the most prudent care from all those occasions which I know by experience are dangerous to my weakness. By the help of Thy grace, I will adopt the securest means of overcoming my passions and of subduing my evil habits, through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Saint Agnes

The Golden Legend on Saint Agnes

Saint Agnes, please pray for us!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The People Of Massachusetts Won Back Their Senate Seat Last Night

In what could best be described as a popular uprising against the entrenched power of liberal Democrats both here in Massachusetts and nationwide, the people of Massachusetts won back their US Senate seat. For more than 40 years, the seat has been in bondage to the Kennedy family and its minions.

In real terms, it makes a difference only at the margin. The Democrats had 61 votes at their disposal. When Brown takes his seat, they will have only 60. This isn't enough to stop more liberal judges and Supreme Court justices being appointed. This won't stop planned tax increases. And it is far short of reversing Row v. Wade.

But sometimes marginal differences can have a big impact. The situation is that the Democrats cobbled together a coalition to get 61 votes (enough to prevent a Republican filibuster and push through whatever version of healthcare "reform" the
Democrat leadership wanted) through all sorts of corrupt deals. Now that the people of the Bluest of Blue States have rebelled and tossed a seat to the Republicans, those deals may fall apart. The coalition members will begin to jump ship, or increase their demands. Or both.

Moreover, this is a mid-term election year, and two incumbent Democrat senators have already announced that they will step down. More will follow, and there will be an even bigger impact in the House. Brown's victory last night sets the stage for what should be a good Republican comeback year, which may very well result in one or both houses of Congress ending up back under Republican control.

And that means big trouble for Obama and his cult members, both in getting their poisonous agenda passed, and in getting re-elected in 2 years. Now is the time for Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, and Tim Pawlenty to step up, and start making themselves better candidates.

On a personal level, I have not been so pleased with any electoral development in Massachusetts since 1990. So this morning, I am in a good mood. I celebrated by putting a little extra cocoa in my coffee. I'm celebrating now, because Lent is coming soon enough.


Saint Sebastian

Saint Sebastian, please pray for us!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Decisive Day

Brown campaigning yesterday
Photo courtesy of Mark Sullivan at his new group blog, The Jury Box

Today Massachusetts' voters go to the polls to fill the open US Senate seat. Though the local media are veiling late poll numbers in obscurity, Drudge is running as his top headline that the latest poll shows Scott Brown up by 9%.

If fervor and enthusiasm, and not the corrupt calculation of the big-city machines, determine who will win, it will be Scott Brown. It seems nearly everyone who doesn't live at the public trough is not just for Brown, but eager to see him win. I see it every day on the streets of Boston: eager, often young, Brown supporters walking by carrying signs. I see very little enthusiasm for Coakley.

Being the Democrat nominee conveys a tremendous advantage. The public sector is huge, and has been aggressive in registering voters who depend on government in one way or another. Public workers routinely get election days off, so that they can not just vote themselves, but also make sure they drive a few like-minded folks to the polls. Being the Democrat nominee means that there will be 200% turnout from every graveyard in the city, and they will all be voting for you. The unions, the "street priests," the neighborhood activists will all be out in force dragging Coakley voters to the polls.

And yet.

I can sense that there is very little enthusiasm for Marcia Coakley, as Patrick Kennedy calls her. People see the prospect of this being a "doube-dip" recession, see the government trying to take over 1/6th of the US economy, the health care system, see rampant incompetence in national security policy, see massive government spending that will leave an enormous legacy of debt and high taxes, and want to change course. Coakley is the candidate of standing pat with old liberal Democrat ideas. And I don't think people want that. Or her.

Scott Brown offers hope. Maybe we can deflect this take-over of the health care system before it is too late. Brown's election provides the margin for a filibuster, and that will bring the 5-8 Democrat votes produced only by arm-twisting and payoffs out of the pro-takeover fold.

Perhaps more imporantly, electing Scott Brown, a pretty moderate Republican with some good conservative notions would send a message to the country that even the most liberal of states is not willing to continue to put up with the direction Obama has set out. And that could turn this year's mid-term elections into a Republican steamroller likely to end with at least one house of Congress back in Republican hands and the other closer to it.




Monday, January 18, 2010

Saint Peter's Chair At Rome

V. Tu es Petrus.
R. Et super hanc petram ædificábo Ecclésiam meam.

Saint Peter, please pray for us!
Saint Paul, please pray for us!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

If Today Were Not A Sunday

It would be observed liturgically as the feast of Saint Anthony the Abbot.

Saint Anthony is the father of all monks living in community.

See Catholic Tradition's page on him.

Saint Anthony the Abbot, please pray for us!


The Second Sunday After Epiphany

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper gueranger, OSB:

THE third Mystery of the Epiphany shows us the completion of the merciful designs of God upon the world, at the same time that it manifests to us, for the third time, the glory of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The star has led the soul to faith; the sanctified Waters of the Jordan have conferred purity upon her; the Marriage-Feast unites her to her God. We have been considering, during this Octave, the Bridegroom revealing himself to the Spouse; we have heard him calling her to come to him from the heights of Libanus; and now, after having enlightened and purified her, he invites her to the heavenly feast, where she is to receive the Wine of his divine love.

A Feast is prepared; it is a Marriage-Feast; and the Mother of Jesus is present at it, for it is just that, having co-operated in the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, she should take part in all that her Son does, and in all the favours he bestows on his elect. But, in the midst of the Feast, the Wine fails. Wine is the symbol of Charity or Love, and Charity had failed on the earth; for the Gentiles had never tasted its sweetness; and as to the Synagogue, what had it produced but wild grapes? The True Vine is our Jesus, and he calls himself by that name. He alone could give thatWine which gladdeneth the heart of man; he alone could give us that Chalice which inebriateth, and of which the Royal Psalmist prophesied.

Mary said to Jesus: They have no Wine. It is the office of the Mother of God to tell him of the wants of men, for she is also their Mother. But Jesus answers her in words which are apparently harsh: Woman! what is it to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come. The meaning of these words is, that, in this great Mystery, he was about to act, not as the Son of Mary, but as the Son of God. Later on, the hour will come when, dying upon the Cross, he will do a work, in the presence of his Mother, and he will do it as Man, that is, according to that human nature which he has received from her. Mary at once understands the words of her Son, and she says to the waiters of the Feast, what she is now ever saying to her children: Do whatsoever he shall say to you.

Now, there were six large waterpots of stone there, and they were empty. The World was then in its Sixth Age, as St Augustine and other Holy Doctors tell us. During these six ages, the earth had been awaiting its Saviour, who was to instruct and redeem it. Jesus commands these waterpots to be filled with water; and yet water does not suit the Feast of the Spouse. The figures and the prophecies of the ancient world were this water, and until the opening of the Seventh Age, when Christ, who is the Vine, was to be given to the world, no man had contracted an alliance with the Divine Word.

But, when the Emmanuel came, he had but to say, Now draw out, and the waterpots were seen to be filled with the wine of the New Covenant, the Wine which had been kept to the end. When he assumed our human nature---a nature weak and unstable as water---he effected a change in it; he raised it up even to himself, by making us partakers of the divine nature; he gave us the power to love him, to be united to him, to form that one Body, of which he is the Head, that Church of which he is the Spouse, and which he loved from all eternity, and with such tender love, that he came down from heaven to celebrate his nuptials with her.

St Matthew, the Evangelist of the Humanity of our Lord, has received from the Holy Ghost the commission to announce to us the Mystery of Faith by the star; St Luke, the Evangelist of Jesus' Priesthood, has been selected, by the same Holy Spirit, to instruct us in the Mystery of the Baptism in the Jordan; but the Mystery of the Marriage-Feast was to be revealed to us by the Evangelist John, the Beloved Disciple. He suggests to the Church the object of this third Mystery, by this expression: This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and he MANIFESTED his glory. At Bethlehem, the Gold of the Magi expressed the Divinity of the Babe; at the Jordan, the descent of the Holy Ghost and the voice of the Eternal Father proclaimed Jesus (known to the people as a carpenter of Nazareth) to be the Son of God; at Cana, it is Jesus himself that acts, and he acts as God, for, says St Augustine, he who changed the water into wine in the waterpots could be no other than the same who, every year, works the same miracle in the vine. Hence it was that, from that day, as St John tells us, his disciples believed in him, and the Apostolic College began to be formed.

The Introit proclaims the joy of this day, which shows us human nature espoused to the Son of the eternal Father. Surely the earth will henceforth surrender itself wholly to the love and praise of this sacred Name which, in the Marriage Feast, has become that of the Sons of Adam.

Omnis terra adoret te, Deus, et psallat tibi: psalmum dicat nomini tuo, Altissime.

Ps. Jubilate Deo omnis terra, psalmum dicite nomini ejus: date gloriam laudi ejus. Gloria Patri. Omnis terra.

Let all the earth adore thee, and sing to thee, O God: let it sing a psalm to thy name, O Most High.
Ps. Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to his name; give glory to his praise. Glory be to the Father. Let all the Earth.

This name of Sons of God which has become ours by right through the bond of the sacred nuptials is none other, as Jesus himself tells us in his Beatitudes, than Peace---the Peace of God, ours truly through the action of his grace ever working it out within us. In the Collect Peace again figures as the final end of God's government both in heaven and on earth, likewise as the supreme desire of the Church.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui cœlestia simul et terrena moderaris: supplicationes populi tui clementer exaudi, et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus. Per Dominum.

Almighty and Eternal God, supreme Ruler both of heaven and earth, mercifully give ear to the prayers of thy people, and grant us peace in our time. Through, etc.

Lectio Epistolæ beati Pauli Apostoli ad Romanos.
Cap. XII.

Fratres: Habentes donationes secundum gratiam, quæ data est nobis, differentes: sive prophetiam secundum rationem fidei, sive ministerium in ministrando, sive qui docet in doctrina, qui exhortatur in exhortando, qui tribuit in simplicitate, qui præest in sollicitudine, qui miseretur in hilaritate. Dilectio sine simulatione. Odientes malum, adhærentes bono: Caritate fraternitatis invicem diligentes: Honore invicem prævenientes: Sollicitudine non pigri: Spiritu ferventes: Domino servientes: Spe gaudentes: In tribulatione patientes: Orationi instantes: necessitatibus sanctorum communicantes: Hospitalitatem sectantes. Benedicite persequentibus vos: benedicite et nolite maledicere. Gaudere cum gaudentibus, flere cum flentibus: idipsum invicem sentientes: non alta sapientes, sed humilibus consentientes.

Lesson from the Epistle of St Paul the Apostle to the Romans.
Ch. XII.
Brethren: Having different gifts, according to the grace that is given us, either prophecy, to be used according to the rule of faith: or ministry, in ministering; or he that teacheth, in doctrine; he that exhorteth in exhorting; he that giveth with simplicity; he that ruleth with carefulness; he that sheweth mercy with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Hating that which is evil, cleaving to that which is good. Loving one another with the charity of brotherhood: with honour preventing one another. In carefulness not slothful, in spirit fervent: serving the Lord : rejoicing in hope: patient in tribulation: instant in prayer: communicating to the necessities of the saints: pursuing hospitality. Bless them that persecute you: bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep. Being of one mind one towards another, not minding high things, but consenting to the humble.

This peace which characterizes, in the abode of saints, the Sons of God, effects in like measure on earth the oneness of the Bride, that is of the Church: peace it is that makes her to be but one body wherein the many members find their multiplicity upheld and guided by the head, the one lord; their functions, so diverse in themselves, regulated and brought under the rule and love of the Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. The Epistle which has just been read sets before us the different operations of this peace which has as its ruling motive Charity, the Queen of virtues, and which is so essential to Christianity; the Apostle specifies in detail its forms and conditions and adapts its practice to every social condition and circumstance of life. Of such value does the Church judge these considerations, that, on the following Sunday, she resumes the text of the Apostle where today she has interrupted it.

Far from a divine life in the peace of God which was its precious gift, the human race incurred death with its penalty of separation. Let us then in the Gradual sing of this wonder that has been wrought in our midst, and with the angelic choirs exalt the Lord in praise and admiration.

Misit Dominus verbum suum, et sanavit eos: et eripuit eos de interitu eorum.
V. Confiteantur Domino misericordiæ ejus, et mirabilia ejus filiis hominum. Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Laudate Deum omnes Angeli ejus: laudate eum omnes virtutes ejus. Alleluia.

The Lord sent his word and healed them: and delivered them out of their distresses.
V. Let the mercies of the Lord give glory to him: and his wonderful works to the children of men. Alleluia, alleluia.
V. Praise ye the Lord, all his angels, praise him all his hosts. Alleluia.

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem.
Cap. II.

In illo tempore: Nuptiæ factæ sunt in Cana Galilææ, et erat Mater Jesu ibi. Vocatus est autem et Jesus et discipuli ejus ad nuptias. Et deficiente vino, dicit Mater Jesu ad eum: Vinum non habent. Et dicit ei Jesus: Quid mihi et tibi est, mulier? nondum venit hora mea. Dicit Mater ejus ministris: Quodcumque dixerit vobis, facite. Erant autem ibi lapideæ hydridæ sex, positæ secundum purificationem Judæorum, capientes singulæ metretas binas vel ternas. Dicit eis Jesus: Implete hydrias aqua. Et impleverunt eas usque ad summum. Et dicit eis Jesus: Haurite nunc, et ferte architriclino. Et tulerunt. Ut autem gustavit architriclinus aquam vinum factam, et non sciebat unde esset, ministri autem sciebant qui hauserant aquam; vocat sponsum architriclinus, et dicit ei: Omnis homo primum bonum vinum ponit, et cum inebriati fuerint, tunc id quod deterius est; tu autem servasti bonum vinum usque adhuc. Hoc fecit initium signorum Jesus in Cana Galilææ, et manifestavit gloriam suam, et crediderunt in eum discipuli ejus.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to John.
Ch. II.

At that time, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the Mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus also was invited, and his disciples to the marriage. And the wine failing, the Mother of Jesus saith to him, They have no wine. And Jesus saith to her, Woman, what is it to me and to thee? my hour is not yet come. His Mother saith to the waiters, Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye. Now there were set there six waterpots of stone; according to the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three measures apiece. Jesus saith to them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And Jesus saith to them, Draw out now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast: and they carried it. And when the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, and knew not whence it was, but the waiters knew who had drawn the water; the chief steward calleth the bridegroom, and saith to him, Every man at first setteth forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

O the wonderful dignity of man! God has vouchsafed, says the Apostle, to show the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which had no claim to, nay, were unworthy of such an honour. Jesus bids the waiters fill them with water and the water of Baptism purifies us; but, not satisfied with this, he fills these vessels, even to the brim, with that heavenly and new Wine, which was not to be drunk save in the kingdom of his Father. Thus, divine Charity, which dwells in the Sacrament of Love, is communicated to us; and that we might not be unworthy of the espousals with himself, to which he called us, he raises us up even to himself. Let us, therefore, prepare our souls for this wonderful union, and, according to the advice of the Apostle, let us labour to present them to our Jesus with such purity as to resemble that chaste Virgin, who was presented to the spotless Lamb.

During the Offertory, the Church resumes her songs of joy and gives free course to her holy transports. All faithful souls are invited by her to the celebration of this adorable Mystery, the intimate union of man with God.

Jubilate Deo universa terra: psalmum dicite nomini ejus, venite et audite, et narrabo vobis omnes qui timetis Deum, quanta fecit Dominus animæ meæ. Alleluia.

Shout with joy to God, all the earth, sing ye a psalm to his name. Come and hear, all ye who fear God, and I will tell you what great things he hath done for my soul. Alleluia.

Oblata, Domine, munera sanctifica: nosque a peccatorum nostrorum maculis emunda. Per Dominum.

Sanctify, O Lord, our offerings, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through, etc.

The Communion Antiphon recalls once more the miracle of the changing of the water into wine. This was only a dim figure of that wondrous transformation which is accomplished on our altars, only a symbol of that divine Sacrament, the food of our souls whereby, in an unspeakable way, is realized our union with God.

Dicit Dominus: Implete hydrias aqua et ferte architriclino. Cum gustasset architriclinus aquam vinum factam, dicit sponso: Servasti vinum bonum usque adduc. Hoc signum fecit Jesus primum coram discipulis suis.

The Lord saith: Fill the waterpots with water and carry to the chief steward of the feast. When the chief steward had tasted the water made wine, he said to the bridegroom : Thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus before his disciples.

Augeatur in nobis, quæsumus Domine, tuæ virtutis operatio: ut divinis vegetati sacramentis, ad eorum promissa capienda tuo munere præparemur. Per Dominum.

May the efficacy of thy power, O Lord, be increased in us, that being fed with thy divine sacraments, we may, through thy bounty, be prepared to receive what they promise. Through, etc.


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