Saturday, January 29, 2011

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

INVIOLATE, spotless and pure art thou,
O Mary Who wast made the radiant gate of the King.

Holy mother of Christ most dear,
receive our devout hymn and praise.

Our hearts and tongues now ask of thee
that our souls and bodies may be pure.

By thy sweet sounding prayers
obtain for us forgiveness forever.

O gracious queen, O Mary,
who alone among women art inviolate.


Saint Francis de Sales

Here is a brief biography of this great saint of the Counter Reformation and Doctor of the Church.

His An Introduction To the Devout Life, which I read for the first time last year, is a Catholic classic. Here it is in e-text.

You don't really need that St. John's Wort.
One of the principle effects of holy abandonment in God is evenness of spirits in the various accidents of this life, which is certainly a point of great perfection, and very pleasing to God. The way to maintain it is in imitation of the pilots, to look continually at the Pole Star, that is, the Divine Will, in order to be constantly in conformity with it. For it is this will which, with infinite wisdom rightly distributes prosperity and adversity, health and sickness, riches and poverty, honor and contempt, knowledge and ignorance, and all that happens in this life. On the other hand, if we regard creatures without this relation to God, we cannot prevent our feelings and disposition from changing, according to the variety of accidents which occur.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O my Jesus! what has induced Thee to give Thyself entirely to us for our food? After this gift, what more remains for Thee to give us in order to oblige us to love Thee? Ah, Lord! give us light, make us understand the excess of Thy love in becoming food in order to unite Thyself to poor sinners! But, if Thou givest Thyself entirely to us, it is just that we too give our whole being to Thee. O my Redeemer! how have I been able to offend Thee, who hast loved me so tenderly, and who hast done so much to gain my love? Thou hast become man for my sake, Thou hast died for me, Thou hast become my food; tell me, what more couldst Thou have done? I love Thee, O infinite Goodness! I love Thee, O infinite Love! Lord, come often to my soul; inflame my whole heart with Thy holy love; grant that I may forget all things in order to think only of Thee, and to love nothing but Thee. Most Holy Mary, pray for me, and, by thy intercession, make me worthy to receive thy Son frequently in the Holy Sacrament.


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Boston is essentially crippled by last night's snowstorm. Cross country skies, dog sleds, and snow shoes will soon replace cars and buses as the principal means of transportation. We had too much snow choking city streets and sidewalks from the last couple of storms. The 8 or so additional inches we picked up last night pretty much finished us off. It has been so unrelentingly cold that there has been virtually no melting worth speaking of, where we are used to freeze and thaw cycles. It hasn't been above freezing very much at all throughout January (really since about a week before Thanksgiving). The sight of grass is a distant memory.

And to make things even better personally, I have that chest cold that lingers until the temperature improves. I've had it since before Christmas, and it shows no signs of going away. The slightest exertion leaves me coughing helplessly and unproductively. And my cough is a harsh barking one that could clear a room quickly.

Oh the joys of winter in New England!


Saint John Chrysostom

Doctor of the Church.

The greatest of the Greek doctors.

The Golden Legend

He had this to say to people who like to chat and socialize in church:

When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.

Saint John Chrysostom


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mid-Week Mix

Love, Courtsship, Marriage, and its Travails

The Orthodox Celts, The Star Of the County Down

Ronnie Drew, Courtin' In the Kitchen

The Rankin Family, Fare Thee Well, Love/Mairi's Wedding

Makem & Clancy, Mary Mack

The Irish Rovers, Mick McGuire

Tommy Makem, William Bloat

Wench Work, The Wife's Lament

Kate Rusby, The Yorkshire Couple

Ronnie Drew and The Dubliners, Seven Drunken Nights


Saint Polycarp

Today is the feast of Saint Polycarp, the long-lived disciple of Saint John the Evangelist.

Here is his life according to The Golden Legend.
Saint Polycarp, please pray for us!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Conversion Of Saint Paul

Gosh! It has been a month since Christmas.

At least this year, Septuagesima is still almost a month away: very late this year.

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


Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 22-23, 1879

This small victory came in the aftermath of the total destruction of a much larger British force in the open at Isandlwana.


The Third Sunday After Epiphany

See what Dom Gueranger has to say about today's Mass.


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