Saturday, April 02, 2011

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when you stand in the sight of the Lord, to speak good things for us and to turn away His indignation from us.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew,
Of my Savior crucified.
Let me to my latest breath,
In my body bear the death,
Of that dying Son of thine.
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh
Lest in flames I burn and die.
In that awful judgment day.
Christ, when Thou shall call me hence,
Be Thy Mother my defense.
Be Thy Cross my victory.
While my body here decays,
May my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in paradise with Thee. Amen.

V. Pray for us, O most sorrowful Virgin,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Let intercession be made for us, we beseech You, O Lord Jesus Christ, now and at the hour of our death, before the throne of Your mercy, by the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your Mother, whose most holy soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow, in the hour of Your bitter Passion. Through You, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

Our Lady of a happy Death, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.


Blessed Pope John Paul II

This is the anniversary of his death and will be his feast day once he is canonized.

The official beatification is May 1st, Divine Mercy Sunday.

Blessed Pope John Paul II, please pray for us!


Saturday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
O my Lord, and whom shall I seek but Thee, Who art come from Heaven to earth to seek after me and save me from perdition?

Devotions for a Lenten Saturday holy hour:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows
Sorrowful Mysteries


Friday, April 01, 2011

April Fools, We Wish

This morning, we early risers in Boston were greeted with an inch of slush on the ground, and lovely 60 mph downdraughts.

And this is opening day (not Opening Day, as that only happens in Fenway, but opening day, as the Olde Town Team begins the season on the road in Texas: 4:05 first pitch) so the irony of a winter storm lashing the region makes nature's practical joke all that much more bitter.


April 2011

British troops working their way along the Battle Road on the way back to Boston

Important feasts observed during the month of April include:

2nd Bl. Pope John Paul II
3rd St. Richard of Chichester
4th St. Isidore of Seville
5th St. Vincent Ferrer
7th St. Jean Baptist de la Salle
9th St. Mary of Cleopas
13th St. Pope Martin I (martyr) and Bl. John Lockwood (martyr)
15th Bl. Damien deVeuster (Father Damien of Molokai)
16th Martyrs of Saragossa
20th St. John Payne and Bl. Francis Page and John Finch (martyrs)
21st St. Anselm of Canterbury
23rd St. George (martyr)
24th St. Ives
25th St. Mark the Evangelist
26th Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Pope Cletus
27th St. Zita
28th St. Louis de Montfort, and Saint Paul of the Cross
29th St. Catherine of Siena and St. Peter of Verona (martyr)

The First Friday of the month is Friday, April 1st.
The First Saturday of the month is Saturday April 2nd.

The month begins in Lent, and the Sacred Triduum takes place after Maundy Thursday (April 21st) and continues through Easter Sunday April 24th. The rest of the month is in the Time of the Easter Season. Low Sunday/Divine Mercy Sunday is on May 1st. Hock Monday is May 2nd. Hock Tuesday is May 3rd.

There are no embertides in April this year.

The secular holiday of Patriots' Day falls on Monday April 18th in Massachusetts and Maine, honoring the beginning of the American War of Independence on April 19, 1775.

The intentions of our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI for the month of April, 2011 are:

That the Church may offer new generations, through the believable proclamation of the Gospel, ever-new reasons of life and hope.

That missionaries, with the proclamation of the Gospel and their witness of life, may bring Christ to all those who do not yet know Him.


Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Remember not, O Lord, my offenses, nor the offenses of my fathers, nor takest Thou vengeance upon them.

Psalm 50/51
3 HAVE MERCY ON ME, O God, * according to Thy great mercy; and according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies: * blot out my iniquity.
4 Wash me from my iniquity; * and cleanse me of my sin.
5 For I acknowledge my iniquity, * and my sin is always before me.
6 Against Thee alone have I sinned and done evil in Thy sight; * that Thou mayest be justified in Thy sentence and mayest overcome when judged.
7 For behold, I was conceived in sin, * and in sin my mother conceived me;
8 For behold, Thou hast loved truth, * and the uncertain and hidden things of Thy wisdom Thou hast shown me.
9 Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed, * Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.
10 Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, * and the bones Thou hath crushed shall rejoice.
11 Turn away Thy face from my sins, * and blot out all my iniquities.
12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, * and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
13 Cast me not from Thy presence, * and take not Thy holy spirit from me.
14 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation, * and strengthen me with Thy spirit.
15 I will teach the unjust Thy ways, * and the wicked shall be converted to Thee.
16 Deliver me from blood guilt, O God, the God of my salvation * , and my tongue shall extol Thy justice.
17 Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord, * and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.
18 For if Thou didst desire sacrifice, I would have indeed given it, * with a burnt offering Thou art not pleased.
19 A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit, * a contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou shalt not despise.
20 Deal favorably, O Lord, in Thy good will with Sion * that the walls of Jerusalem may be built up.
21 Then shalt Thou accept the sacrifice of justice, oblations and whole burnt offerings, * then shall they lay calves upon Thy altar.

GLORY be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Prayer Against Lust
Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and now I am not worthy to be called Thy son. What shall I, wretched that I am, do? For Thy Spirit shall not remain in man, for he is flesh. Oh have mercy on me, have mercy! I attribute to Thy infinite goodness that I am not taken along with the many thousands of the damned, who the cursed abomination of lust casts headlong into Gehenna even today. Shall I therefore sin again? O Jesus, in the love of base pleasures shall I again trample under foot Thy most precious Blood poured forth in the washing away of my sins? Far from it, O Jesus, far from it! I beseech Thee, O Son of the most chaste Virgin Mary to free me from the spirit of fornication. Wash me from my iniquities and cleanse me from my sin. Do not cast me from Thy face nor take Thy Holy Spirit from me!

Remember not, O Lord, my offenses, nor the offenses of my fathers, nor takest Thou vengeance upon them.


Friday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Lorenzo in Lucina

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
Oh my Lord, I have been one of those unhappy souls who, having received so many graces , lights, and calls have ungratefully forgotten and foresaken Thee. Accept me, for the sake of Thy mercy,now that I return to Thee with a penitent and sorrowful heart, never again to leave Thee. O Treasure of life, O Love of my soul!

Devotions for a Lenten Friday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotions To the Holy Cross

Stations of the Cross


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mid-Lent Day

Here we are. At the end of the day today, 23 days will have elapsed since Ash Wednesday, and 23 days will remain until the end of Holy Saturday. This is a good time to check on your Lenten program of sacrifice, and assess how you are measuring up. Also a good time to try to catch up with your Lenten reading program, and your program of prayer for Lent.

I will confess that there is a certain ennui now. Twenty-three more days of Wendy's fish combos. In some years, when Christmas falls on a Monday or Tuesday, Advent is shorter than the Lent we have already endured, and we have another one yet to go.

But remember, it is not really about the sacrifices and the extra prayer and spiritual reading. Those really just prepare the mind and body. It is really all about making a thorough examination of conscience and getting yourself into a proper confessional before a proper priest sometime late in Holy Week and making a thorough good confession so that you can communicate worthily for Easter Sunday. That is what the Church requires, and what we must aim at accomplishing. There is still plenty of time to do this.

Try this examination of conscience composed by the inestimable Father George W. Rutler.


Thursday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
Ss. Cosma e Damiano in Via Sacra (Fori Imperiali)

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Ligouri:

Yes, my Jesus, into Thy hands I place my life and my death; in Thee I abandon myself entirely, and I recommend my soul to Thee now for the last moments of my life. Receive it into Thy wounds, as Thy Father received Thy spirit, when Thou didst expire on the cross.

Devotions for a Lenten Thursday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion To the Holy Face


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wedndesday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Sisto (SS. Nereo e Achilleo)

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:
Oh my reviled Lord, Thou art the King of Heaven, the Son of the Most High; Thou surely deservest not to be ill-treated and despised, but to be adored and loved by all creatures. I adore Thee, I bless Thee, I thank thee, I love Thee with all my heart. I repent of having offended Thee. Help me, have pity on me.

Devotions for a Lenten Wednesday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms & the prayers against the Seven Deadly Sins
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer
Seven Prayers of St. Gregory


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Pudenziana al Viminale

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

My sweet Lord, if others banish Thee, I will not banish Thee. there was once an unhappy time when I ungratefully banished Thee from my soul; but now I set a greater value on being united with Thee than on the possession of all the kingdoms of the earth. Oh my God, who shall ever be able again to separate me from Thy love?

Devotions for a Lenten Tuesday Holy Hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Seven Last Words


Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Of the Third Week In Lent

Station Church:
S. Marco al Campidoglio

From The Passion And Death Of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O my Jesus! Remind me always of the death Thou hast suffered for me, and give me confidence. I tremble lest the devil should make me despair at death by bringing before my view the many acts of treason I have committed against Thee. How many promises have I made never more to offend Thee after the light Thou hast given me! and, after all my promises, I have, with the hope of pardon, again turned my back upon Thee. Then, have I insulted Thee because Thou didst not chastise me? My Redeemer! give me a great sorrow for my sins before I leave this world. I am sorry. O Sovereign Good! for having offended Thee. I promised to die a thousand times rather than abandon Thee. But make me in the mean time feel that Thou hast said to me what Thou didst say to Magdalene - Thy sins are forgiven thee - by giving me, before death, a great sorrow for all my iniquities, otherwise I fear my death will be troubled and unhappy. Be not Thou a terror to me; Thou art my hope in the day of affliction. Jer. 17:17. O my crucified Jesus! be not a terror to me in my last moments. If I die before I have wept over my sins and have loved Thee, Thy wounds and Thy blood will inspire me with fear rather than with confidence. I do not ask of Thee consolations and earthly goods during the remainder of my life; I ask of Thee sorrow and love. O my dear Savior! hear my prayer for the sake of that love which made Thee offer Thy life in sacrifice for me on Calvary. Mary, my Mother! obtain for me these graces, along with holy perseverance till death.

Devotions for a Lenten Monday holy hour:
Dies Irae
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Threnus Prayer of Saint Augustine
Devotion of the Five Sacred Wounds


Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Third Sunday of Lent

Station Church:
S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura

Devotions for a Lenten Sunday holy hour:
Divine Mercy Chaplet
Seven Penitential Psalms
Prayer of St. Thomas More
Psalter of St. Jerome
Threnus Prayer of St. Augustine

Here is a link to Michael W. Martin's excellent translation of the Psalter Of Saint Jerome. It is too long to post directly here.

From The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ, by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori:

O my God! I thank Thee, for making me now remain at Thy feet and not in hell, which I have so often deserved. But of what use would the life which Thou hast preserved be to me, should I continue to live without Thy grace. Ah! may this never be I have turned my back upon Thee I have lost Thee, O my Sovereign Good! I am sorry for it with my whole heart. Oh, that I had died a thousand times, rather than have offended Thee! I have lost Thee; but the prophet tells me that Thou art all goodness, and that Thou art easily found by the soul that seeks Thee. If I have hitherto fled away from Thee, I now seek Thee, and seek nothing but Thee. I love Thee with all the affections of my heart. Accept me. Do not disdain to give Thy love to a soul that has at one time despised Thee Teach me what I must do in order to please Thee; I am ready and willing to do it. Ah, my Jesus! save this soul, for which Thou hast given Thy blood and Thy life; and, in order to save me, give me the grace always to love Thee in this and in the next life. This grace I hope for through Thy merits. For this I also hope, O Mary! through thy intercession.

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

Ever since the promulgation of the Gospel, the power of Satan over the human body has been restricted by the virtue of the cross, at least in Christian countries; but this power resumes its sway as often as faith and the practice of Christian piety lose their influence. And here we have the origin of all those diabolical practices, which, under certain scientific names, are attempted first in secret, and then are countenanced by being assisted at by well-meaning Christians. Were it not that God and His Church intervene, such practices as these would subvert society. Christians! remember your baptismal vow; you have renounced satan: take care, then, that by a culpable ignorance you are not dragged into apostasy. It is not a phantom that you renounced at the font; he is a real and formidable being, who, as our Lord tells us, was a murderer from the beginning (Jn. 8:44).

But if we ought to dread the power he may be permitted to have over our bodies; if we ought to shun all intercourse with him, and take no share in practices over which he presides, and which are the worship he would have men give him: we ought, also, to fear the influence he is ever striving to exercise over our souls. See what God's grace has had to do in order to drive him from our soul! During this holy season, the Church is putting within your reach those grand means of victory-fasting, prayer, and almsdeeds. The sweets of peace will soon be yours, and once more you will become God's temple, for both soul and body will have regained their purity. But be not deceived; your enemy is not slain. He is irritated; penance has driven him from you; but he has sworn to return. Therefore, fear a relapse into mortal sin; and in order to nourish within you this wholesome fear, meditate upon the concluding part of our Gospel.

Our Saviour tells us that when the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through places without water. There he writhes under his humiliation; it was added to the tortures of the hell he carries everywhere with him, and to which he fain would give some alleviation by destroying souls that have been redeemed by Christ. We read in the old Testament that sometimes, when the devils have been conquered, they have been forced to flee into some far-off wilderness: for example, the holy Archangel Raphael took the devil, that had killed Sara's husbands, and bound him in the desert of upper Egypt (Tob. 8:3). But the enemy of mankind never despairs of regaining his prey. His hatred is as active now as it was at the very beginning of the world, and he says: "I will return into my house, whence I came out." Nor will he come alone. He is determined to conquer; and therefore, he will, if he think it needed, take with him seven other spirits, even more wicked than himself. What a terrible assault is being prepared for the poor soul, unless she be on the watch, and unless the peace, which God has granted her, be one that is well armed for war! Alas! with many souls the very contrary is the case; and our Saviour describes the situation in which the devil finds them on his return: they are swept and garnished, and that is all! No precautions, no defence, no arms. One would suppose that they were waiting to give the enemy admission. Then satan, to make his repossession sure, comes with a sevenfold force. The attack is made; but there is no resistance, and straightways the wicked spirits entering in, dwell there; so that the last state becometh worse than the first; for before there was but one enemy, and now there are many.

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