Saturday, March 17, 2018

St. Patrick's Breastplate

From New Advent, the following is a literal translation from the old Irish text.


I bind to myself today:
The strong virtue of the Invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.
I bind to myself today:
The virtue of the Incarnation of Christ with His Baptism,
The virtue of His crucifixion with His burial,
The virtue of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
The virtue of His coming on the Judgement Day.
I bind to myself today:
The virtue of the love of seraphim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the hope of resurrection unto reward,
In prayers of Patriarchs,
In predictions of Prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faith of Confessors,
In purity of holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I bind to myself today:
The power of Heaven,
The light of the sun,
The brightness of the moon,
The splendour of fire,
The flashing of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of sea,
The stability of earth,
The compactness of rocks.
I bind to myself today:
God's Power to guide me,
God's Might to uphold me,
God's Wisdom to teach me,
God's Eye to watch over me,
God's Ear to hear me,
God's Word to give me speech,
God's Hand to guide me,
God's Way to lie before me,
God's Shield to shelter me,
God's Host to secure me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the seductions of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against everyone who meditates injury to me,
Whether far or near,
Whether few or with many.
I invoke today all these virtues:
Against every hostile merciless power
Which may assail my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against every knowledge that binds the soul of man.
Christ, protect me today:
Against every poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against death-wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the poop [deck],
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today:
The strong virtue of an invocation of the Trinity:
I believe the Trinity in the Unity
The Creator of the Universe.

Originally posted 3/17/2006.
Re-posted 3/17/2009.
Re-posted 3/17/2010.
Re-posted 3/17/2011.
Re-posted 3/17/2012.
Re-posted 3/17/2013.
Re-posted 3/17/2014.
Re-posted 3/17/2015.
Re-posted 3/17/2016.
Re-posted 3/17/2017.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

March 2018 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Evangelization: Formation in Spiritual Discernment. That the Church may appreciate the urgency of formation in spiritual discernment, both on the personal and communitarian levels.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Into The Desert Again

And so it begins.

Our preparation for the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, celebrated this year on April 1 (no fooling).

The liturgical season of Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, which is today. The next forty days the People of God, as a whole and as individuals, are called to repentance and conversion, to seek the face of the Lord and abide in His shadow. While this should happen every day, the next 6+ weeks brings it more into focus.

Like lost sheep, we have strayed. Like the Prodigal Son, we have lost our way. But like the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the paralytic man--like anyone who has sinned, if and when we return to the loving and merciful presence of God, we are on the way to fulfilling the redemption won by Christ on the Cross. As St. Augustine said, while He has created us without our co-operation, we will not be saved without it either.

The clarion call of more prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will be heard again in today's Gospel reading. How well we heed it, how well we implement those things even more into our lives, in short, how we become more loving of God and neighbor is set before us as a challenge to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is. The universal vocation to humanity is holiness. We who were created in His image and likeness must, with the help of His grace, remove the tarnish so that His light shines brighter in a world that seemingly doesn't recognize the darkness in which it lives.

It is time to rend our hearts. It is time to amend our lives. It is time to be purified.

It is a lifetime journey.

It can start with the steps adorned in purple.

Friday, February 02, 2018

PM: Special Edition--Feast Of The Presentation

In the calendar associated with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, this marks the end of the Christmas season. In Simeon's canticle is another recognition of the Savior of the world.

The celebration of this feast has a similar form to Palm (Passion) Sunday. Instead of palm leaves and branches, however, candles for use throughout the coming year are blessed.
Behold, our Lord will come with power, to enlighten the eyes of his servants, alleluia.
Is. 35:4-5
This antiphon gathers the faithful before upcoming procession. The Light of the world has arrived and will be recognized by those who have sought Him.

After the blessing of the candles, the faithful proceed to the church, lighted candles in hand. One of the following antiphons are sung:
A light for revelation to the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.
V.  Lord, now you let your servant go in peace, according to your word.
V. For my eyes have seen your salvation.
V. Which you have prepared in the sight of all people.
Luke 2:32; V. 29-31
The last of the Lucan canticles continues the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. Israel's glory can now be shown to the rest of the world.
Sion, adorn your bridal chamber and welcome Christ the King; take Mary in your arms, who is the gate of heaven, for she herself is carrying the King of glory and new light. A Virgin she remains, though binging in her hands the son before the morning star begotten, whom Simeon, taking in his arms announced to the peoples as Lord of life and death and Saviour of the world.
The Old (and soon to be New) Covenant are called to worship the Infant King, the Promise of Ages. The Ark of this New Covenant is also honored, but only in relationship to the "blessed fruit of her womb."
Simeon had received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. And  when they brought the child into the Temple, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying, "Lord, now you can let your servant go in peace."
Luke 2:26-29
Contrast this to what St. Thomas said after the Resurrection. But Simeon always believed before he saw; his touching was an absolute "faith seeking (and finding) understanding."
They offered for him unto the Lord "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" as it is written in the law of the Lord.
V. When the time of Mary's purification had been completed, according to the law of Moses, they brought Jesus to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord.
Luke 2: 24, 23; V. 22
How fitting is this Responsory. As the Lord was offered in the Temple, we now offer Him in our Church.
Your merciful love, O God, we have received in the midst of your temple. Your praise, O God, like your name, reached the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with saving justice.
V. Great is the Lord and worthy of all praise, in the city of our God, on his holy mountain.
Psalm 47: 10, 11; V. 9
How fitting this Introit, also heard on the 14th. Sunday of Ordinary Time. Like Simeon, we prepare to receive His Real Presence in true worship.
Behold, the Lord, the Mighty One, has come; and kingship is in his grasp, and power and dominion.
V.  Endow the King with your judgment, O God, and the King's son with your righteousness.
Malachi 3:1, 1 Chronicles 29:12; V. Psalm 71:2
And why not the Introit from the Solemnity of the Epiphany as an option? It is, in a very real sense, another manifestation of the Lord to all the world.
We have received your mercy, O God, in the midst of your temple; even as your name, so does your
praise extend to the ends of the earth.
V. All that we have heard, we have now seen, in the city of our God, on his holy mountain.
Psalm 47:10, 11; V. 9
If it was not heard as the Introit, it will be as the Gradual (as it is heard on the 31st. Sunday of Ordinary Time). We have received Love and Mercy Incarnate; praise and adoration is the only response.
The old man was carrying the infant child; but it was the child who was guiding the man.
In the Alleluia, Simeon was carrying the Child in his heart long before he carried Him in his arms. May we all be blessed as he was.
Grace has been poured out on your lips; therefore, God has blessed you for ever, world without end.
In the Offertory, recall the Second Reading of the Mass of the Nativity:  During The Night--"The grace of God has appeared...." (cf. Titus 2:11) As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.
Simeon has received a revelation from the Holy Spirit, that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah.
Luke 2:26
In the Communion, Simeon had seen and worthily received the Lord. Have we?

Thursday, February 01, 2018

February 2018 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal: Say “No” to Corruption. That those who have material, political or spiritual power may resist any lure of corruption.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Marching On

Label this post "making up for lost time".

I traditional comment on the annual Right-To-Life March in Washington, DC. Normally held on the anniversary of the two Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion, Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, last year's event was pushed back to January 27 so as to not conflict with Inauguration Day events. Thinking I had more time to compose something, I put it on the back burner of my mind. Guess what happens when you forget about something being on the stove?

Last year's march was highlighted by a live speech made by the newly inaugurated Vice-President of the United States. This year's rally, taking place today, ups the ante. The President of the United States, the man who was sworn into office last year, will speak via teleconference from the White House to those gathered this year.

So what has happened on the front of the battlefield of abortion in the culture war the past two years?

Perhaps the most significant developments for the pro-life movement since January 22, 1973.

The largest provider of abortions is under tremendous pressure, both legally and financially. Undercover film has exposed illegal practices related to this medical procedure. More states have discontinued funding to them, causing more of their clinics to close. The federal government is further scrutinizing their actions in a more serious vein than ever before.

Legislation at state and national levels are being proposed and enacted. A very significant bill is working its way through the process at the Capital; similar bills are being considered at state houses. If any are passed, they certainly will be challenged in the courts, as it strikes at one of the pillars of the Supreme Court decision of 45 years ago.

Perhaps the biggest change of all is one of perception. I do not doubt the sincerity of those at the forefront who have worked tirelessly to reverse the damage this scourge has caused. Theirs is one of heroic virtue. Perhaps there are those in the political world who only give lip service to the pro-life cause, who only talk a good game but don't follow through. Then there are those who actually play the game, with results ranging a wide spectrum of success. But it seems like in the past two years the gains made are going to last. It has not hurt that the current occupant of the Oval Office has strongly supported the effort since his campaign and election, giving an empowerment rarely experienced. Momentum seems to be on the side of life more than ever; the pro-(poor-) choice side seems to have displayed more fear in the face of their defeats.

The pro-life movement can rejoice at their recent successes. It can retain its confidence and optimism. Yet, it still needs to be vigilant and persistent. While it is closer to its ultimate goal, history also teaches how gains can become losses in a heartbeat.

Which is why today is needed and will continue to be needed until it finds the ultimate success. And that will only be possible if the words of Francis Scott Key are applied:
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And we continue to do the hard work.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Every Knee Should Bend

Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 
Phil. 2:6-11
In my 2016 Christmas Eve Reflection, using this passage as a focal point for a phrase, I had wondered if people have forgotten that Jesus is God. With at least 70% of the faithful not believing in the Real Presence (depending on the poll you have seen), it is no wonder why one may see such casual, if not irreverent behavior, during Communion. Many people, using lex orandi, lex credendi as a starting point, question the posture of standing and receiving the Sacred Host on the hand versus kneeling and receiving on the tongue, saying this contributes to the lack of reverence.

I made mention I genuflect as I pass by the Tabernacle outside of Mass, praying the "Jesus Prayer" as I pause there. I also bow my head at the mention of the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and during the recitation of the Gloria Patri, as is/was customary. I do that to remind me of the very thing I decry, to give witness to the fact that He is here among us.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. You may not see it on your calendar, as it was seemingly removed and then restored. In keeping with a positive take on the 2nd. Commandment, there are two prayers you can use to honor "the name which is above every name."


The first is one of the six officially approved litanies of the Church. The Litany of the Holy Name invokes titles associated with Jesus. A partial indulgence is gained for its recitation.

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Spirit,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God,
R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of Saints.

V. Be merciful, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Your wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of fornication.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Your inspirations.
By the mystery of Your holy Incarnation.
By Your Nativity.
By Your Infancy.
By Your most divine Life.
By Your labors.
By Your agony and passion.
By Your cross and dereliction.
By Your sufferings.
By Your death and burial.
By Your Resurrection.
By Your Ascension.
By Your institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
By Your joys.
By Your glory.

V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.
V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You have said, "Ask and you shall receive, seek, and you shall find, knock, and it shall be opened to you." Grant, we beg of You, to us who ask it, the gift of Your most divine love, that we may ever love You with our whole heart, in word and deed, and never cease praising You.

Give us, O Lord, as much a lasting fear as a lasting love of Your Holy Name, for You, who live and are King for ever and ever, never fail to govern those whom You have solidly established in Your love.
R. Amen.


The other is a very familiar prayer at the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. The Divine Praises are recited as the Sacred Host is being returned to the tabernacle. It can also be used to make reparations for blasphemy and profane language.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His Most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most Holy.
Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her Glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.


Perhaps one or both of these can be your New Year's resolution in terms of the spiritual life.


Originally posted 1/3/2017.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

January 2018 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Evangelization: Religious Minorities in Asia. That Christians, and other religious minorities in Asian countries, may be able to practice their faith in full freedom.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Monday, January 01, 2018

Hail, Theotokis!

Fish Eaters presents the Akathis Hymn to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


Originally posted 1/1/2011.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.

Another New Year's Indulgence

For those of you who were unable to gain the indulgence from singing "Te Deum" last night, fear not.

You have another opportunity today.

Singing the hymn "Veni, Creator Spiritus", as it does on Pentecost Sunday, also carries with it a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.

You will find the words and a familiar translation here.


Originally posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.