Saturday, December 18, 2010

O Adonai

December 18

O Adonai, and Ruler of the house of Israel, Who didst appear unto Moses in the burning bush, and gavest him the law in Sinai, come to redeem us with an outstretched arm!

Latin version:
O Adonai, et Dux domus Israel, qui Moysi in igne flammæ rubi apparuisti, et ei in Sina legem dedisti: veni ad redimendum nos in brachio extento.

From Godzdogz:


Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

O Virgo virginum, quomodo fiet istud? Quia nec primam similem visa es nec habere sequentem. Filiae Ierusalem, quid me admiramini? Divinum est mysterium hoc quod cernitis.

O Virgin of virgins, how shall this be? For neither before thee was any like thee, nor shall there be after. Daughters of Jerusalem, why dost thou marvel at me? What thou beholdst is a divine mystery!

An O Antiphon now only used in the Norbertine liturgy.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday At the Foot of the Cross

Maxims for the Direction of a Soul that Desires to Obtain Perfection in the Love of Jesus Christ
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

1. To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ.

2. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ.

3. Often to meditate on his Passion.

4. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love.

5. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions.

6. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament.

7. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross.

8. To desire Paradise and death, in order to be able to love Jesus Christ perfectly and for all eternity.

9. Often to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.

10. To accept contradictions for the sake of Jesus Christ.

11. To rejoice in the happiness of God.

12. To do that which is most pleasing to Jesus Christ, and not to refuse him anything that is agreeable to him.

13. To desire and to endeavor that all should love Jesus Christ.

14. To pray always for sinners and for the souls in purgatory.

15. To drive from your heart every affection that does not belong to Jesus Christ.

16. Always to have recourse to the most holy Mary, that she may obtain for us the love of Jesus Christ.

17. To honor Mary in order to please Jesus Christ.

18. To seek to please Jesus Christ in all your actions.

19. To offer yourself to Jesus Christ to suffer any pain for his love.

20 To be always determined to die rather than commit a willful venial sin.

21. To suffer crosses patiently, saying, "Thus it pleases Jesus Christ."

22. To renounce your own pleasures for the love of Jesus Christ.

23. To pray as much as possible.

24. To practice all the mortifications that obedience permits.

25. To do all your spiritual exercises as if it were for the last time.

26. To persevere in good works in the time of aridity.

27. Not to do nor yet to leave undone anything through human respect.

28. Not to complain in sickness.

29. To love solitude, to be able to converse alone with Jesus Christ.

30. To drive away melancholy.

37. Often to recommend yourself to those persons who love Jesus Christ.

32. In temptation, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, and to Mary in her sorrows.

33. To trust entirely in the Passion of Jesus Christ.

34. After committing a fault, not to be discouraged, but to repent and resolve to amend.

35. To do good to those who do evil.

36. To speak well of all, and to excuse the intention when you cannot defend the action.

37. To help your neighbor as much as you can.

38. Neither to say nor to do anything that might vex him. And if you have been wanting in charity, to ask his pardon and speak kindly to him.

39. Always to speak with mildness and in a low tone.

40. To offer to Jesus Christ all the contempt and persecution that you meet with.

41. To look upon [religious] Superiors as the representatives of Jesus Christ.

42. To obey without answering and without repugnance, and not to seek your own satisfaction in anything.

43. To like the lowest employments.

44. To like the poorest things.

45. Not to speak either good or evil of yourself.

46. To humble yourself even towards inferiors.

47. Not to excuse yourself when you are reproved.

48. Not to defend yourself when found fault with.

49. To be silent when you are disquieted.

50. Always to renew your determination of becoming a saint, saying, "My Jesus, I desire to be all Yours, and You must be all mine."

Source: The Incarnation, Birth, and Infancy of Jesus Christ 1927


O Sapientia

December 17

O Wisdom that comest out of the mouth of the Most High, that reachest from one end to another, and orderest all things mightily and sweetly, come to teach us the way of prudence!

O Sapientia, quæ ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiæ.

From Godzdogz:


Friday In the Advent Embertide

After a brief one-day break to stuff ourselves with meat, we are back to the concentrated penitential period known as the Advent Embertide, as we step up the prayers, and add fasting, abstinence, and almsgiving as the season changes to winter and we prepare for Christmas.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not An Ember Day

Thursdays are never Ember Days, even though the Wednesday before, and Friday after are. So you and I can eat meat and be slackers today.


Sixty-six Years Ago, The Battle Of the Bulge Began

On December 16th, 1944, three German armies began an offensive along the Western Front, under cover of low clouds and fog. The Germans threw some 600 tanks into the attack, and aimed them at 3 American divisions (one veteran divison badly in need of rest and replacements after months of fighting, and 2 brand new, untried units) holding a quiet sector of the line in the Ardennes.

The German objective was ambitious, perhaps too ambitious given the resources available to them. The wooded Ardennes was to be crossed, pushing aside the American resistance, the River Meuse was to be crossed in the vicinity of Dinant, where the Germans had broken through in 1940, and the port of Antwerp was to be reached. If they got there, they would cut the Allied line in two, probably driving the Brits int he north into the sea. Taking Antwerp would also disrupt Allied logistical arrangements, as they were using the port to bring in supplies.

German secrecy had been impressive. Planning for the offensive began in September. Reserves of manpower, fuel, ammunition, and armored vehicles were carefully husbanded for it. All orders concerning the attack had been banned from radio traffic, and were delivered by hand of officer only.

The result was that the Allies were caught by surprise, since almost everyone thought the Wehrmacht was finished and that the war would soon be over. Eisenhower and Montgomery had a well-publicized 5 Pound bet on whether it would end by Christmas or not. Patton was due to begin an offensive south of the area the Germans attacked in a few days. Many senior officers were on leave, and the General Bradley had only the two American Airborne Divisions, the 82nd and 101st, in reserve, and both were refitting after having been committed too long to the fighting in Holland in September and October.

The Allies had been able to completely thwart all Geman efforts at an armored offensive, in large part because, with unchallenged air supremacy, Allied planes swooped down on attacking German formations with machine guns, bombs, and rockets, and took a heavy toll on German tanks, supply columns, and massed troops.

But the low clouds and fog meant (in 1944) that virtually no Allied planes were flying.

The Germans managed to penetrate the Allied line, though a stiff shoulder on the northern flank of the attack around Elsenborn Ridge and the villages of Krinklet and Rocherath held up progress. To the south, there was less in the way of natural lines of resistance, though a mixture of American units were holding a vital crossroads at Bastonge. Thus the German gains looked like a large "bulge" in the Allied line.

Bradley reacted slowly, but decisively. Patton was ordered to call off his offensive in the Saar, and get his units on the move north to drive into the German gains from the south. The 82nd Airborne was sent to help stiffen resistence around Elsenborn Ridge, and the 101st was committed to hold Bastonge. Montgomery ordered British units to backstop the Americans, holding a line on the far bank of the River Meuse.

The fighting around Bastonge, with the 101st going in virtually unarmed, and scrounging ammunition from the dead and wounded, and holding for more than a week (in fact, they moved very little in over a month of fighting), the pompous German demand for surrender, and the response from the acting diviisonal commander, Brig. McAuliffe, "Nuts!" is the stuff of which legends are made.

With Patton driving up from the south towards Bastonge, and every man who could carry a gun being scrapped out of billets behind the lines and made into combat infantry replacements, with the clearing of the skies for the Allied air forces shortly before Christmas, the tide turned against the Germans. The 2nd US Armored Division, with a lot of help from close air support from the Army Air Corps, stopped the German 2nd Panzer Division in the vicinity of Celles, a few miles from the Meuse.

It took a month of very hard fighting, some of it in deep snow (though on December 16th, based on many photographs I have examined, the weather appears to have been raw with rain and fog, but no snow over most of the sector) before the Germans were made to slowly give back every square inch they gained in the first 5 days of the offensive.

What was the significance of the Battle of the Bulge?

It shortened the war considerably, since in using up his reserves in this attack, Hitler wasted an opportunity to use them to blunt the Russian winter offensive that carried them onto German soil, and eventually to Berlin itself. It turned the American soldiers, most of whom had had a relatively easy war since breaking out of Normandy, into first-rate soldiers, who met Hitler's best, and stopped them. And it showed, yet again, the importance of air power in modern warfare. The lack of air power allowed the Germans to make an impressive advance, and when that ability to utilize airpower was restored, the German gains were reversed.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday In the Advent Embertide

Today is the beginning of the Advent Embertide, a period of fasting, abstinence, extra prayer, and almsgiving in penitential preparation for Christmas, and marking the trasition of the seasons from Autumn to Winter. Friday and Saturday are Ember Days as well, but Thursday is not.


Mid-Week Mix

Advent Edition Part 3: The O Antiphons by the Dominican Friars of Blackfriars, England via their YouTube channel, Godzdogz.

O Sapientia, December 17th

O Adonai, December 18th

O Radix Jesse, December 19th

O Clavis David, December 20th

O Oriens, December 21st

O Rex Gentium, December 22nd

O Emmanuel, December 23rd

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ember Alert!

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Advent Embertide. Remember, additional fasting, abstinence, prayers, and almsgiving for the blessings of the season and in preparation for Christmas.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa Lucia

From The Golden Legend

Santa Lucia customs. Scroll down for lots of links.

St. Lucia's Saffron Bread

On December 13 people in Sweden celebrate St. Lucy's Day. They remember how Lucia, a young girl, brought food to persecuted Christians hiding in the catacombs in Rome
during the time of Emperor Diocletian. In order that she could carry the food and see where she was going in the dark, Lucia wore candles on her head. On St. Lucy's Day each year by tradition one of the daughters of the family is chosen to be St. Lucy. She gets up early and takes coffee and 'Lucia' buns (Saffronsbrod) to the rest of the family who are still in bed. She dresses in a white robe with a scarlet sash and wears on her head a crown of green leaves with five candles in it. Sometimes she is escorted by boys dressed in long white shirts and pointed hats, called star boys.

· 2 tsp sugar
· 1/2 cup warm water
· 1 tsp saffron powder
· 8 cups strong plain flour (all purpose flour)
· 4 tsp salt
· 1/2 cup butter
· 3/4 cup castor (table) sugar
· 1/4 cup raisins
· 1 tsp ground cardamom
· 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
· beaten egg for brushing

· 1 tbsp chopped almonds
· 1 tbsp coarsely crushed cube sugar

1. Dissolve sugar in the warm water and add yeast.

2. Mix the saffron powder with 1 tbsp hot water.

3. Leave about 20 minutes, until frothy.

4. Sift flour and salt and rub in the butter. Add castor sugar, cardamom and raisins.

5. Mix to a dough with the yeast mixture and milk and add saffron.

6. Knead thoroughly, return to bowl, cover and allow to rise until doubled in bulk.

7. Shape into small buns, put on a greased baking tray until doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle with coarse sugar and almonds.

8. Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. Cool on a cooling tray.

10. Serve fresh with coffee.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Remember, It's Ember

Gaudete Sunday brings to mind that this coming Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday constitute the Advent Embertide, days of special fasting, abstinence, prayer, and almsgiving in preparation for the coming of the Lord at Christmas.

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Gaudete Sunday (The Third Sunday Of Advent)

From The Liturgical Year, by Abbot Prosper Gueranger O.S.B.

Today, again, the Church is full of joy, and the joy is greater
than it was. It is true that her Lord has not come; but she feels
that He is nearer than before, and therefore she thinks it just to
lessen somewhat the austerity of this penitential season by the
innocent cheerfulness of her sacred rites. And first this Sunday
has had the name of given to it, from the first word of
the Introit; it also is honoured with those impressive exceptions
which belong to the fourth Sunday of Lent, called The
organ is played at the Mass; the vestments are rose-colour; the
deacon resumes the dalmatic, and the subdeacon the tunic; and in
cathedral churches the bishop assists with the precious mitre. How
touching are all these usages, and how admirable this
condescension of the Church, wherewith she so beautifully blends
together the unalterable strictness of the dogmas of faith and the
graceful poetry of the formulae of her liturgy! Let us enter into
her spirit, and be glad on this third Sunday of her Advent,
because our Lord is now so near unto us. Tomorrow we will resume
our attitude of servants mourning for the absence of their Lord
and waiting for Him; for every delay, however short, is painful
and makes love sad.

The Station is kept in the basilica of St. Peter, at the Vatican.
This august temple, which contains the tomb of the prince of the
apostles, is the home and refuge of all the faithful of the world;
it is but natural that it should be chosen to witness both the joy
and the sadness of the Church.

The night Office commences with a new Invitatory. The voice of the
Church no longer invites the faithful to come and adore in fear
and trembling Her language
assumes another character; her tone is one of gladness; and now,
every day, until the vigil of Christmas, she begins her nocturns
with these grand words:

The Lord is now nigh; come, let us adore.

Now let us take the book of the Prophet, and read with the Church:

From the Prophet Isaias. Ch. xxvi.

In that day shall this canticle be sung in the land of Juda. Sion
the city of our strength: a Saviour, a wall, and a bulwark shall
be set therein. Open ye the gates and let the just nation, that
keepeth the truth, enter in. The old error is passed away, thou
wilt keep peace: peace, because we have hoped in thee. You have
hoped in the Lord forevermore: in the Lord God mighty for ever.
For he shall bring down them that dwell on high, the high city he
shall lay low. He shall bring it down even to the ground,
he shall pull it; down even to the dust. The foot shall tread it
down; the feet of the poor, the steps of the needy. The way of the
just is right, the path of the just is right to walk in. And in
the way of thy judgements, O Lord, we have patiently waited for
thee: thy name and thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. My
soul hath desired thee in the night: yea, and with my spirit
within me in the morning early I will watch to thee.

O holy Roman Church, city of our strength / behold us thy
children assembled within thy walls, around the tomb of the
fisherman, the prince of the apostles, whose sacred relics protect
thee from their earthly shrine, and whose unchanging teaching
enlightens thee from heaven. Yet, : it is by
the Saviour, who is coming, that thou art strong. He is thy
, for it is He that encircles, with His tender mercy, all
thy children; He is thy , for it is by Him that thou art
invincible, and that all the powers of hell are powerless to
prevail against thee. Open wide thy gates, that all nations may
enter thee; for thou art mistress of holiness and the guardian of
truth. May the , which sets itself against the faith,
soon disappear, and peace reign over the whole fold! O holy Roman
Church! thou hast forever put thy trust in the Lord; and He,
faithful to His promise, has humbled before thee the haughty ones
that defied thee, and the proud cities that were against thee.
Where now are the Caesars, who boasted that they had drowned thee
in shine own blood? where the emperors, who would ravish the
inviolate virginity of thy faith? where the heretics, who, during
the past centuries of shine existence, have assailed every article
of thy teaching, and denied what they listed? where the ungrateful
princes, who would fain make a slave of thee, who hadst made them
what they were? where that empire of Mahomet, which has so many
times raged against thee, for that thou, the defenceless State,
didst arrest the pride of its conquests? where the reformers, who
were bent on giving the world a Christianity, in which thou west
to have no part? where the more modern sophists, in whose
philosophy thou west set down as a system that had been tried, and
was a failure, and is now a ruin? and those kings who are acting
the tyrant over thee, and those people that will have liberty
independently and at the risk of truth, where will they be in
another hundred years? Gone and forgotten as the noisy anger of a
torrent; whilst thou, O holy Church of Rome, built on the
immovable rock, wilt be as calm, as young, as unwrinkled as ever.
Thy path through all the ages of this world's duration, will be
right as that of the just man; thou wilt ever be the same
unchanging Church, as thou hast been during the eighteen hundred
years past, whilst everything else under the sun has been but
change. Whence this thy stability, but from Him who is very truth
and justice? Glory be to Him in thee! Each year, He visits thee;
each year, He brings thee new gifts, wherewith thou mayst go
happily through thy pilgrimage; and to the end of time, He will
visit thee, and renew thee, not only with the power of that look
wherewith Peter was renewed, but by filling thee with Himself, as
He did the ever glorious Virgin, who is the object of thy most
tender love, after that which thou bearest to Jesus Himself. We
pray with thee, O Church, our mother, and here is our prayer:
'Come, Lord Jesus! Thy name and Thy remembrance are the desire of
our souls: they have desired Thee in the night, yea, and early in
the morning have they watched for Thee.'

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If Today Were Not a Sunday

It would be the feast of Our Lady Of Guadalupe.

Read about this feast of Our Blessed Lady at Catholic Tradition.

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