Saturday, June 11, 2011

Our Blessed Lady's Saturday

The Mount of Olives witnesseth
the awful agony of God:
His soul is sorrowful to death,
His sweat of blood bedews the sod.

And now the traitor's work is done:
the clamorous crowds around Him surge;
Bound to pillar, God the Son
quivers beneath the blood-red scourge.

Lo! clad in purple soiled and worn,
meekly the Savior waiteth now
while wretches plait the cruel thorn
To crown with shame His royal brow.

Sweating and sighing, faint with loss
of what hath flowed from life's red fount,
He bears the exceeding heavy Cross
up the verge of Calvary's mount.

Nailed to the wood of ancient curse,
between two thieves the Sinless One
still praying for His murderers,
breathes forth His soul, and all is done!

All honor, laud, and glory be,
o Jesu, Virgin-born to Thee;
all glory, as is ever meet,
to Father and to Paraclete.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday At the Foot Of the Cross

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus de Liguori

O my God! I offer Thee my life, and I am prepared to die at any hour that may be pleasing to Thy holy will. “Thy will be done;” ever, ever, may Thy will be done.

O Lord! if Thou willest to leave me in life for some time longer, blessed be Thy name; but I desire not life, except to spend it all in loving Thee and giving Thee pleasure. If Thou wilt that I should die of this sickness, still blessed art Thou. I embrace death to do Thy will, and I repeat, “Thy will, Thy will be done;” I only beg Thee to help all through this hour. “Have mercy on me, O God! according to Thy great mercy.” If, then, Thou wilt that I should leave this earth, I declare that I desire to die, because thus Thou wilt have it.

I desire also to die, in order that, by the pain and bitterness of my death, I may satisfy Thy divine justice for all my sins, through which I have offended Thee and deserved hell.

I desire also to die, that I may nevermore offend Thee, or cause Thee displeasure in this life.

I also desire to die in acknowledgment of the gratitude which I owe Thee for all the benefits and gifts that Thou hast given me, contrary to all my own deserts.

I desire to die, that I may show that I love Thy will more than my life.

I desire, if it pleases Thee, to die now, at a time when I trust I am in Thy grace, in order to be assured that I shall praise and bless Thee forever.

I desire, above all, to die, in order that I may come to love Thee eternally, and with all my powers, in heaven; where, through Thy blood, O my Redeemer! I hope to come, and to be sure of never ceasing to love Thee through all eternity. O my Jesus! Thou didst accept the death of the cross through love of me; I accept death, and all the pains that await me, through love of Thee. Therefore I say with St. Francis, “May I die, O Lord! through love of Thee, who, through love of me, didst not disdain to die.”1

I pray Thee, O my Saviour, my love, and my only good! by Thy holy wounds and Thy bitter death, make me to die in Thy grace, and through Thy blood suffer me not to perish. O sweetest Jesus! suffer me not to be separated from Thee.

O Lord! drive me not away from Thy face. I confess that, through my sins, I have deserved hell, and I mourn for them more than for any evil; and I hope to come to heaven to praise forever the great mercies Thou hast shown to me. “The mercies of the Lord I shall sing forever.”

I adore Thee, O my God! who hast created me. I believe in Thee, O Eternal Truth! I hope in Thee, O Infinite Mercy! I love Thee, O Supreme Goodness! I love Thee above everything; I love Thee more than myself, for Thou art worthy of being loved. And because I love Thee, I repent with all my heart for having despised Thy grace. I promise Thee to suffer every kind of death, and a thousand deaths, rather than displease Thee.

O Jesus! Son of God, who didst die for me, have pity upon me! My Saviour, save me; and let it be my salvation to praise Thee through eternity.

O Mary, Mother of God! pray to Jesus for me; now it is the time for thee to aid me. Mary, Mother of grace, Mother of mercy, do thou defend us from the enemy, and receive us in the hour of death. To thy protection we fly, O holy Mother of God! O Mary, holy Mother of God! pray for us sinners.

St. Joseph, my patron and father, help me in this hour. St. Michael the Archangel, deliver me from the devils who lie in wait for my soul. O my holy advocates, and ye saints of paradise, pray to God for me.

And Thou, my Jesus crucified, at the moment when I must breathe my last breath, receive my soul in Thy arms; to Thee I recommend it; remember that Thou hast redeemed me with Thy blood. “We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood.”2 O my crucified Jesus! my love and my hope, whether I live or die, I declare that I desire Thee alone, and nothing more. Thou art my God and my all, and what else can I desire but Thee! “What have I in heaven or upon earth! Thou art the God of my heart and my portion forever.”3 Thou art the love of my heart; Thou art all my riches!

To Thee, then, I recommend my soul; to Thee, who hast redeemed it with Thy death. Into Thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit:4 Thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth! Trusting in Thy mercy, I therefore say, In Thee, O Lord! have I hoped; I shall not be confounded forever. O Mary, thou art my hope; to thee, therefore, I say again, In thee, O Lady! have I hoped; I shall not be confounded forever


Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sunday In the Octave Of Ascension Thursday

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

O King of glory, Lord of hosts, who didst this day ascend in triumph above all the heavens! leave us not orphans, but send upon us the Spirit of truth, promised by the Father, alleluia.

JESUS has ascended into heaven. His Divinity had never been absent; but, by the Ascension, His Hu­manity was also enthroned there, and crowned with the brightest diadem of glory. This is another phase of the mystery we are now solemnizing. Besides a triumph, the Ascension gave to the sacred Humanity a place on the very throne of the eternal Word, to whom it was united in unity of Person. From this throne, it is to receive the adoration of men add of angels. At the name of Jesus, Son of Man, and Son of God,--of Jesus who is seated at the right hand of the Father almighty,--' Every knee shall bend, in heaven, on earth and in hell.'

Give ear, O ye inhabitants of earth! This is the Man Jesus, who heretofore was a little Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes; who went through Judea and Galilee, not having where to lay His head; who was bound by the sacrilegious hands of his enemies, was scourged, crowned with thorns, nailed to a cross; who, whilst men thus trampled Him, as a worm, beneath their feet, submitted-His will to that of His Father, accepted the chalice of suffering, and, that He might make amends to the divine glory, shed His Blood for the redemption of you sinners. This Man Jesus, child of Adam through Mary the immaculate, is the master-piece of God's omnipotence. He is 'the most beautiful of the sons of men'; the angels love to fix their gaze upon Him; the blessed Trinity is well-pleased with Him; the gifts of grace bestowed on Him surpass all that men and angels together have ever received. But He came to suffer, and suffer for you; and though He might have redeemed you at a much lower price, yet would He generously overpay your debts by a superabundance of humiliation and suffering. What reward shall be given to Him? The apostle tells us in these words: 'He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross; for which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name, which is above all names.'

You, then, who compassionate with Him in the suffering whereby He wrought your redemption; you who devoutly follow Him in the stages of His sacred Passion; now raise up your heads, and look up to the highest heaven! Behold this Jesus 'crowned with glory and honour because He suffered death'! See how the Father has magnified Him in return for His having 'emptied Himself, taking the form of a ser­vant,' though in His other nature, He was equal with God. His crown of thorns is replaced by a crown of precious stones. The cross that was laid on His shoulders is now the ensign of His power. The wounds made by the nails and the spear are now like five bright suns that light up all heaven. Glory, then, be to the justice of the Father, who has dealt thus with His Son! Let us rejoice at seeing the Man of sorrows become now the King of glory; and let us, with all the transport of our souls, repeat the hosanna wherewith the angels welcomed Him into heaven.

Nor must we suppose that the Son of Man now that He is seated on the throne of His Divinity, is inactive in His glorious rest. No; the sovereignty bestowed upon Him by the Father, is an active one. First of all, He is appointed Judge of the living and of the dead, before whose judgement-seat we must all stand. No sooner shall our soul have quitted the body, than she shall be presented before this tribunal, and receive from the lips of the Son of Man the sen­tence she will have deserved. O Jesus! by the glory Thou didst receive on the day of Thine Ascension, have mercy on us at that moment whereon depends eternity.

But the judgeship of our Lord Jesus Christ is not to be confined to this silent exercise of His sovereign power. The angels, who appeared to the apostles after His Ascension, told us that He is to come again upon the earth; that He is to descend through the clouds, as He ascended; and that then shall be the last judgement, at which the whole human race is to be present! Throned on a cloud, and surrounded by the angelic host, the Son of Man will show Himself to mankind, and this time with all majesty. Men shall see Him whom they pierced; the imprints of those wounds, which will give additional beauty to His sacred Body, will be an object of terror to the wicked, while to the good they will be a source of unspeakable consolation. The shepherd, seated on His ethereal throne, will separate the goats from the sheep. His voice, after so many ages of silence, will make itself once more heard upon this earth: He will speak to impenitent sinners, condemning them to eternal torments; He will speak to the just, calling them to approach Him, and ascend, body and soul, into the region of everlasting bliss. ...

In the middle-ages, the Sunday within the octave of the Ascension was called the Sunday of roses, because it was the custom to strew the pavement of the churches with roses, as a homage to Christ who ascended to heaven when earth was in the season of flowers. How well the Christians of those times appreciated the harmony that God has set between the world of grace and that of nature!


If Today Were Not A Sunday...

It would be the feast of one of my primary patrons and heavenly friends, Saint Boniface.

I remember in one of my grade school history survey books, there was a colored picture of a suitably zealous Saint Boniface felling the pagan oak tree as he tried to convert the Saxons of Germany to the Faith. As I recall, the Saint Boniface in that picture looked more like a Viking than an Anglo-Saxon Benedictine.

But at least the image, inaccurate as it was, made the name of St. Boniface stay with me all these years.

Read more about Saint Boniface at Wikipedia, and The Catholic Encyclopedia

A Google image search failed to turn anything like that up. But Breviary.net didn't let us down.

Receiving leave from the Holy Father to bring the Faith to the Saxons

He crowned Pepin King of the Franks, making him a patron of the Carolingian dynasty.

His martyrdom

We have an image of this martyr's primary relic:

And his bishop's mitre:

O God, who by the labours of blessed Boniface, thy Martyr and Bishop, didst vouchsafe to call many nations to the knowledge of thy Name : mercifully grant that we, who as on this day do keep his feast, may by his advocacy find favour in thy sight.

Thank you, Good Saint Boniface, for favors granted on June 5th!

Saint Boniface, please continue to pray for us!


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