Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer

One of the misfortunes of being a traddie is being locked into the Ordo circa 1962, which prevents saints recently canonized like Saint Josemaria and Saint Padre Pio from being liturgically recognized.

Saint Josemaria's little guide to spirituality, The Way, ought to be on every Catholic bookshelf, right next to The Imitation Of Christ and The Glories Of Mary.


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Act Of Consecration To the Immaculate Heart Of Mary

I, N., a faithless sinner-- renew and ratify today in thy hands, O Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day, for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Act Of Reparation To the Most Precious Blood

Adorable Jesus, Lamb without spot, who ceasest not to pour forth Thy Divine Blood in order to appease and justice of Thy Heavenly Father; innocent and thrice holy Victim, who hast paid for the guilty a ransom infinite in merit and in sacrifice, I come before Thee to render thanksgiving for Thy benefits to us, and to make some poor amends for the crimes committed upon earth. Lord, how small, alas, are the number of those who do Thee honor, and how numerous, on the contrary, are they who despise and trample under foot Thy Precious Blood! How many daily satiate Thee with the approbrium of Calvary!

O Jesus, by the potent voice of Thy Divine Blood, and in the name of the infinite merits of Thy heart-rending Passion, I implore Thy mercy, not for myself alone, but for the many souls who, resisting the call of grace, refuse to seek, at the foot of the Cross, or under the shadow of the Tabernacle, pardon and life. Pity, gentle Jesus, pity all these; pity also those who dare to approach Thee all uncleansed, and to mingle Thine adorable Blood with the mire of their sins. Yes, pity, mercy, pardon! We implore these graces in the name of Thy Blood and Thy Eucharist!

Most holy Mary, bless me! Take my heart, hold it fast, and keep it in perpetual adoration before the altar; that there it may ever be, glorifying Jesus, and making reparation for the outrages offered to His Blood.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Midweek Mix

Planxty, The Jolly Beggar

The City Waites, The Lunatick Lover

The Yetties, The Lincolnshire Poacher

Cherish The Ladies, The Ballad of the Fox Hunter

Makem & Clancy, I Wish I Was A Hunting

The Corries, Parcel O'Rogues

ThreeLegsOMan, Hunting the Hare,

A good rendition on guitar. The best version I've heard is acapella by Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts, but it isn't available yet.

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Rocky Road To Dublin


Saint John's Eve, Or Mid-Summer Night

Also known as Midsummer Day's Eve.

The Church typically celebrates saints on the anniversary of their entering into eternal life. Only three persons' nativities are celebrated.

The Nativity of our Lord, of course is the second most important feast of the year(Christmas). We celebrate His Nativity, of course, be cause He is God the Son, and the Redeemer of all mankind.

The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8th, though it does not generate a great deal of devotional attention. We celebrate her nativity because she was the ark of the new covenant, and the only woman conceived without the stain of original sin.

And St. John the Baptist's nativity on June 24th has always been more popular, because it is one of those natural coincidences between the celebration of the natural year, and the Christian calendar. We celebrate St. John the Baptist's nativity because he was sanctified in his mother's womb, when Our Lady visited her and St. John leapt in joy inside her.

It is close to the longest day of the year (the summer solstice), as Christmas is close to the shortest. It was typically celebrated in medieval times with Mass, bonfires, rolling flaming cart wheels downhill, public feasting, flower garlands, gathering of herbs (especially St. John's Wort), and religious processions.

And most of the jollification took place on the Eve of St. John's Nativity, which would be tonight. Most holydays were celebrated as wakes, with the merrymaking beginning the evening before, just as we today consider Christmas celebrations to have begun after the first Mass for Christmas (4pm on Christmas Eve).

Also, like Christmas, it is a "quarter day," when quarterly rents and other obligations were due. The Quarter Days are March 25th (Lady Day) June 24th (Midsummer Day) September 29th (Michaelmas), and December 25th (Christmas).

Andrew at The Shrine of the Holy Whapping has more on St. John's Eve customs.

See also what Wilson's Almanac has to say about the celebration of St. John's Night.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Saints Thomas More and John Fisher, Martyrs

June 22nd is the feast of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, the two most prominent Catholic men martyred by King Henry VIII, of evil memory.

Both were high and respected officials in the court of Henry VIII, and both refused to accept King Henry as head of the Church in England. Both were beheaded for their orthodoxy.

For Saint Thomas More, who most know through the magnificent portrayal by Paul Scofield (who died in the last few years) in the 1960s film adaptation of Robert Bolt's play A Man For All Seasons, I offer my very slight adaptation of a prayer More wrote while a prisoner in the Tower of London in 1534, some months before he was martyred.

Give me the good grace, Lord,
To set the world at naught.
To set my mind fast upon Thee
To not hang upon the blast of mens' mouths.

To be content to be solitary.
To not long for worldly company.
To be concerned with the world less and less.
To rid my mind of all the world's busy-ness.

To not long for any worldly things.
To deem unpleasant even hearing the fantasies of the world.
To be gladly thinking of God alone.
To call piteously for His help.
To lean upon Him for comfort.
To labor busily to love Him.

To know my own vileness and wretchedness.
To make myself meek and humble under the mighty hand of God.
To bewail my past sins.
To suffer adversity patiently for the purging of them.
To bear gladly my Purgatory here.

To be joyful of tribulations.
To walk the narrow way that leadeth to life.
To bear the Cross with Christ.
To have the last things always in remembrance.
To have my ever-possible death always before my eyes.
To make death no stranger to me.
To foresee and consider the everlasting fire of Hell.
To pray for pardon before the Judge comes.

To have continually in mind the Passion that Christ suffered for me.
To give Him thanks continually for His benefits.
To redeem the lost time that I have wasted.
To abstain from vain discussion.
To eschew light and foolish mirth and merriment.
To cut off unnecessary recreations.

To set the loss of worldly substance, friends, liberties, and life, at naught,
If their loss means the gaining of Christ.

To think my worst enemies my best friends,
For the brothers of Joseph could never have done him so much good
With their love and favor as they did with their malice and hatred.

These attitudes are more to be desired by every man than all the
Treasure of all the princes and kings, Christian and heathen,
Were it all gathered and laid together upon one heap.

I also ask you to examine Jay's tribute to Saint Thomas More, with its excellent links.

For Saint John Fisher, who had been chaplain to the Queen Mother before becoming a bishop (he was the only English Catholic bishop who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy) I can only advert your attention to his wonderful Exposition Of the Seven Penitential Psalms, which belongs on the shelf of every Catholic with a desire to repent for his sins through the Penitential Psalms. The Ignatius Press editon, which I read years ago, and plan to read again soon, is both faithful to the letter of the original and wonderfully graspable for the modern reader.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

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

THE fourth Sunday after Pentecost was called, for a long period, in the west, the Sunday of mercy, because, formerly, there was read upon it the pas­sage from St. Luke beginning with the words: 'Be merciful, as your Father is merciful.' But, this Gospel having been since assigned to the Mass of the first Sunday after Pentecost, the Gospel of the fifth Sunday was made that of the fourth; the Gospel of the sixth became that of the fifth; and so on, up to the twenty-third. The change we speak of was, however, not introduced into many Churches till a very late period;1 and it was not universally received till the sixteenth century.

Whilst the Gospels were thus brought forward a week, in almost the whole series of these Sundays, the Epistles, Prayers, and the other sung portions of the ancient Masses were, with a few exceptions, left as originally drawn up. The connexion which the liturgists of the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries had fancied they found between the Gospel and the rest of the liturgy for these Sundays was broken. Thus the Church spared not those favourite views and explanations which were at times far­fetched; and yet she did not intend thereby to condemn those writers, nor to discourage her children from perusing their treatises, for, as the holy reflections they contained were frequently sug­gested by the authority of the ancient liturgies, such reading would edify and instruct. We are quite at liberty, then, to turn their labours to profit; let us only keep this continually before us—that the chief connexion existing between the several portions of the proper of each Mass for the Sundays after Pentecost consists in the unity of the sacrifice itself.

In the Greek Church there is even less pretension to anything approaching methodical arrangement in the liturgy of these Sundays. On the morrow of Pentecost they begin the reading of the Gospel of St. Matthew, and continue it, chapter after chapter, up to the feast of the Exaltation of the holy Cross, in September. St. Luke follows St. Matthew, and is read in the same way. The weeks and Sundays of this season are simply named according to the Gospel of each day; or they take the name of the evangelist whose text is being read: thus, our first Sunday after Pentecost is called by them the first Sunday of St. Matthew; the one we are now keeping is their fourth of St. Matthew.

So important is the Sunday's liturgy, destined each week to honour such profound mysteries, that, for a long time, the Roman Pontiffs kept down the number of feasts which were above the rank of semi-doubles; that thus the Sunday, which is itself a semi-double, might not be superseded. It was not till the second half of the seventeenth century that this discipline of reserve was relaxed. Then it was that it had to give way in order thereby to meet the attacks, made by the Protestants and their allies the Jansenists, against the cult of the saints. It was needful to remind the faithful that the honour paid to the servants of God detracts not from the glory of their Master; that the cult of the saints, the members of Christ, is but the con­sequence and development of that which is due to Christ their Head. The Church owed it to her Spouse to make a protest against the narrow views of these innovators, who were really aiming at lessening the glory of the Incarnation by thus denying its grandest consequences. It was, there­fore, by a special inspiration of the holy Spirit that the apostolic See then permitted several feasts, both old and new, to be ranked as of a double rite. To strengthen the solemn condemnation she had pronounced against the heretics of that period, she wisely adopted the course of allowing the feasts of saints to be sometimes kept on Sundays, although these latter were considered as being especially reserved for the celebration of the leading mysteries of our Catholic faith, and for the obligatory attend­ance of the people.

The Sunday, or dominical, liturgy was not, how­ever, altogether displaced by the celebration of any particular feast on the Lord's Day; for, no matter how solemn soever the feast falling on a Sunday may be, a commemoration must always be made of the Sunday, by adding its Prayers to those of the occurring feast, and by reading its proper Gospel, instead of that of St. John, at the end of Mass. Neither let us forget that after the assisting at the solemn Mass and the canonical Hours, one of the best means for observing the precept of keeping holy the sabbath-day is our own private meditation upon the Epistle and Gospel appointed by the Church for each Sunday.

Recently, however, in view of the great increase in the number of festivals of Saints kept by the Universal Church, which had resulted in the Sunday liturgy being very rarely used, the Holy See has thought well to ordain that greater or lesser double feasts falling on Sundays shall be merely commemorated in the Mass and Office of the day. Henceforth the Mass of the season is said on every Sunday throughout the year which is not occupied by a double feast of the first or second class, or by a Feast of Our Lord. Thus the Sunday liturgy is restored to its former high rank in the scheme of the Church's year.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?