Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year; Old Song

The sands runs out of the hourglass known as 2016. A new time piece is in place. With it comes the hope and optimism that what is ahead will be better that what was left behind. Then, an old familiar tune to an old familiar poem by Robert Burns start to play. We join in singing both verses and chorus:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu'd the gowans fine;
But we've wandered mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidled i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

May our eternal God grant us abundant blessings in this new year. May He show us what it important in this life so as to be with Him in the next. May the coming twelve months bring  Him glory and praise.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

The Best New Year's Hymn

New Advent provides the background to this hymn.

The website provided the Latin and English.

From The Handbook of Indulgences:
A partial indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who recite the hymn, Te Deum, as an act of thanksgiving.  The indulgence will be a plenary one if this hymn is publicly recited on the last day of the year.

Te Deum laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi Caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae!
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te.
Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

V. Benedictus es, Domine, Deus patrum nostrorum.
R. Et laudabilis, et gloriosus in saecula.
V. Benedicamus Patrem et Filium, cum Santo Spiritu.
R. Laudemus et superexaltemus eum in saecula.


O God, we praise Thee: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
Thee, the Father, all the earth doth worship.
To Thee all the Angels, the Heavens and all the Powers,
To Thee the Cherubim and Seraphim cry out without ceasing:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Full are the Heavens and the earth of the majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles praises Thee,
The admirable company of Prophets praises Thee,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Thee, the Holy Church throughout the world doth confess:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
Thou, O Christ, are the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Thou, having taken it upon Thyself to deliver man, didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Thou, having overcome the sting of death, hast opened to believers the Kingdom of Heaven.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
Thou, we believe, art the Judge to come.
We beseech Thee, therefore, to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance!
And govern them, and exalt them forever.
Day by day we bless Thee
And we praise Thy Name forever: yea, forever and ever.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, this day to keep us without sin.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have trusted in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee I have trusted; let me not be confounded forever.

V. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
R. And worthy to be praised and glorified for ever.
V. Let us bless the Father and the Son, with the Holy Ghost.
R. Let us praise and magnify Him for ever.


Originally posted 12/31/2011.
Re-posted 12/31/2012.
Re-posted 12/31/2013.
Re-posted 12/31/2014.
Re-posted 12/31/2015.

Farewell Speech For 2016

What a tumultuous year. (And I think that may be the kindest thing that could be said about the previous twelve months.)

Pick your subject. The 2016 United States Presidential election (and the nominating process leading to it). The seemingly sudden spate of deaths to notable celebrities these past 366 days. The increase of tension between opposing factions no matter what the topic. "Peace on earth" was nothing more than a wishful thought at times.

Even in my own private life, the ups and downs were as turbulent. A job in February didn't work out. A return to a seasonal position from last year was more physically taxing, as a severe back muscle spasm in August required a trip to the emergency room, where a MRI revealed a slight disk bulge between the 4th. and 5th. lumbar vertebrae, causing even more personal concern about what type of work could I do. Even a stint selling Christmas trees for a local store just seemed to demand more of my body. While the status quo is status quo, the plan to "Go Forward" had more reverse motion.

I must say, however, that completing my "Propers Meditation" was a success, even if it was just sticking with it. It is said that everyone has a book in them. Consider what I did a very rough first draft.

But 2017 will come with all its fanfare. As it should. And whether we are ready or not for it. We should cherish the chance to begin anew as we display a new calendar. The question is whether we have learn from those things that defeated us. Have we, and are we, in the words of author Matthew Kelly becoming a better version of our selves with the help of God's grace? (Of course, we need to define "better".)

So, where does one go from here? Where else? Toward God. Toward Jesus Christ. St. Peter had it spot on:  "Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." (John 6:68) It is only "through Him, and with Him, and in Him" where we will find fulfillment.

2017 comes soon. Could it be worse than what came before? Possibly.

But, in our eternal optimism, in hoping with hope, we look for better.

May we find it.

As the lyric in the song "Send In The Clowns":  "Well, maybe next year."

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Christmas Day Card

May the Word made Flesh bring you and yours joy today and always. May the Christ Child bring peace on earth and to your home. May the newborn King of Kings and Lord of Lords bestow His love upon all now and forever.

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Proclamation Of The Birth Of Christ

Anno a creatione mundi, quando in principio Deus creavit coelum et terram, quinquies millesimo centesimo nonagesimo nono:
A diluvio vero, anno bis millesimo nongentesimo quinquagesimo septimo:
A nativitate Abrahae, anno bis millesimo quintodecimo:
A Moyse et egressu populi Israel de Aegypto, anno millesimo quingentesimo decimo:
Ab unctione David in regem, anno millesimo trigesimo secundo:
Hebdomoda sexagesima quinta juxta Danielis prophetiam:
Olympiade centesima nongentesima quarta:
Ab urbe Roma condita, anno septingentesimo quinquagesimo secundo:
Anno imperii Octaviani Augusti quadragesimo secundo:
Toto urbe in pace composito:
Sexta mundi aetate:
Jesus Christus aeternus Deus, aeternique Patris Filius, mundum volens adventu suo piisimo consecrare, de Spiritu Sancto conceptus, novemque post conceptionem decursus mensibus, in Bethlehem Judae nascitur ex Maria Virgine factus homo:


The year from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created heaven and earth, five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine:
From the deluge, the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven:
From the birth of Abraham, the year two thousand and fifteen:
From Moses and the going out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the year one thousand five hundred and ten:
From David's being anointed king, the year one thousand and thirty-two:
In the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel:
In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad:
From the building of the city of Rome, the year seven hundred and fifty-two:
In the forty-second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus:
The whole world being in peace:
In the sixth age of the world:
Jesus Christ, the eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, wishing to consecrate this world by his most merciful coming, being conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months since his conception having passed, In Bethlehem of Juda is born of the Virgin Mary, being made Man:

The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of our great God and savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good. 
When the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy,He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.
Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7

Originally posted as "Behold, I Bring You Good News"; 12/24/2005.
Linked in "Repeat The Sounding Joy"; 12/24/2006.
Re-posted 12/24/2007.
Re-posted 12/25/2008.
Re-posted 12/24/2009.
Re-posted 12/24/2010.
Re-posted 12/24/2011.
Re-posted 12/24/2012.
Re-posted 12/24/2013.
Re-posted 12/24/2014.
Re-posted 12/24/2015.

2016 Christmas Eve Reflection

The Second Reading of the Feast of the Nativity--Mass During the Day:
Brothers and sisters:
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways
to our ancestors through the prophets;
in these last days, he has spoken to us through the Son,
whom he made heir of all things
and through whom he created the universe,
who is the refulgence of his glory,
the very imprint of his being,
and who sustains all things by his mighty word.When he had accomplished purification from sins,
he took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
as far superior to the angels
as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

For to which of the angels did God ever say:
You are my son; this day I have begotten you?
Or again:
I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me?
And again, when he leads the firstborn into the world, he says:
Let all the angels of God worship him.

Hebrews 1:1-6
I had a bit of a problem for this year's Christmas Eve Reflection. I just simply didn't have a topic for the longest time. Then inspiration came. (Thank you, Holy Spirit.)

The past two years have seen the use of "lectio divina" on the two readings from St. Paul's letter to Titus found in the Christmas Masses. I continue in the same vein, this year using the passage from the opening of the letter to the Hebrews. While sentence structure may not allow for many short snippets, there will be ample opportunity to mine much insight.

"In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets." Even since Eden, when Adam and Eve disobeyed (did not hear) the word of God and His instruction, God has taken the initiative to re-call humanity to Him. The pre-prophetic time of  the Old Testament is replete with God speaking to the crowning of His creation, especially His encounters with Abraham and Moses, when covenant and Law were given to the Chosen People. Even the establishment of the Kingdom of Israel was another opportunity for listening. Then came the prophets, a more direct bearer of God's word. They spoke of the love of God, the need of repentance, and the promise of redemption. Even the prophet who bridged Old and New Testament, St. John the Baptist, continued to deliver this message. But their words were only an echo of the Word.

"In these last days." These words ring as true today as they did in the 1st. Century. While we live in the here and now, we are coming to end of time, whether our own death or the end of the world. Our salvation awaits us if we but just listen for and to the Word made Flesh.

"He has spoken to us through the Son." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was in God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) To begin the fulfillment of the promise of redemption, God the Father sent into the world through the Holy Spirit, via the Blessed Virgin Mary, His only begotten Son, through Whom the world was made. It is His birth we celebrate today, in spite of the attempt the secular world to minimize, if not eliminate, this Word from our vocabulary.

And how the Second Person of the Trinity has spoken. We hear of  His Life, Death, and Resurrection as articulated by Him through the Evangelists. We continue to hear the Word through His Bride, the Church which He established. It was this Couple which brought us Sacred Scripture, so we could continue to listen to what He said. It is through His Bride the Sacramental Life He established is administered. As our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, spoke back over two millennia, He continues to speak to us today and until "the life of the world to come".

"Whom he made heir of all things."As Son, He is heir to all the Father has created. Through the Son, we have become co-heirs. We will share the Trinitarian Life, the Beatific Vision promised to us if only we heed the voice at His Baptism and Transfiguration and "listen to Him" and the Church whose authority is from Him.

"And through whom he created the universe." Not only is Jesus the rightful heir to what His Father has created, He helped created what is to become His. Recall the refrain in the creation story, "And God said." It is no coincidence St. John opened his Gospel with the same phrase which opened Genesis. The re-creation of the world had to be like its creation. The Word had to be spoken; "the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

"Who is the refulgence of his glory." Glory can only reflect glory; Light can only reflect light. As St. Paul says in his first letter to the Corinthians, we only see dimly now. But even in that dimness, we see Him as He truly is.

"The very imprint of his being." Like Father, like Son. "God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God. begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father." Of the same substance. People complained about the use of that word when the Roman Missal was more accurately translated in 2011. As Jesus said, "The Father and I are one." End of argument.

"And who sustains all things by his mighty word." We return to Genesis. God creates and sustains with His Word. That Word last infinitely and eternally. And that Word holds all in the palm of His hand. "Of the Father's love begotten, 'ere the world began to be."

"When he had accomplished purification from sins." There is no redemption without sacrifice. There is no re-birth without death. There is no Resurrection without a Nativity. There is no Easter without a Christmas. The Incarnate Word had to be born, become "like us in all things but sin" so as to reconcile us to the Father as the Father willed.

"He took his seat at the right hand of the Majesty on high." "He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty." Thus we complete the story of Jesus' earthly life in these brief sentences in the first half of this reading. He came, lived, died, rose, and ascended. He did the will of His Father.

"As far superior to the angels." How can the angels, created by God, be superior to Jesus, Who is God? That was Lucifer's downfall. That was ours. But unlike Satan, we have been redeemed. We only need to cooperate with the grace of God to make it happen.

"As the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs." Hearken to another Second Reading, this one from Palm Sunday:
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. 2:8-11
Jesus--A variant of Joshua--God saves. Emmanuel--God is with us. This is the name the Christ Child inherited. This is the name which should be reverenced, as should His Real Presence. Have people forgotten that Jesus is God? I wonder about that at times. (And, just in case you think I don't practice what I preach, I do genuflect in front of the tabernacle as I pass it and bow my head when I hear the Holy Name.)

"For to which of the angels did God ever say:  You are my son; this day I have begotten you?" Does this sound vaguely familiar? It is the Introit for the Feast of the Nativity--Mass During the Night (Psalm 2:7). The announcing of the birth of our Savior bring not only joy to the world, but also awe, so much so the heavenly host were inspired to sing the first Gloria.

"Or again:  I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me?" From the First Reading of the Solemnity of St. Joseph (2 Samuel 7:14a), this confirms the house of David is to be the royal lineage. It is from this house St. Joseph came and thus "legitimizes" Jesus as a rightful heir to the throne. But is goes much deeper than that. The Kingdom of God has now come to earth and is to be established, which Christ as its Ruler.

"And again, when he leads the firstborn into the world." Is there not an echo of the Last Judgement in this phrase? Is there not also an echo of the admonition of St. James in his letter? Re-born by baptism, works sustained in faith, the new firstborn are those who are like Nicodemus, who heard the Word and acted upon it.

"He says:  Let all the angels of God worship him." Psalm 97:7b is referenced here. Creatures can only worship a Creator. Worshiping themselves is a form of idolatry, which an angel (or a human) loyal to God would never do. And being able to see God as He is (as we hope to do as well), they can do nothing but adore Him.

Tonight we adore Him, albeit veiled in flesh. But this is only so we can be "caught up in the love of God we cannot see." Our God is here. "Come and worship...Christ, the newborn King."

Hodie Christus natus est.

Soon To Blossom

For the past three Advent seasons the Holy Family Catholic Church Choir has sung an arrangement by David Ashley White of a 16th. Century German folk song originally used as part of pilgrimages before Christmas. It is the first three verses which are commonly used today, thank to a translation by Henry S. Drinker.

1. Maria walks amid the thorn,
Kyrie eleison.
Maria walks amid the thorn,
Which seven years no leaf has born.
Jesus and Maria.

2. What 'neath her heart doth Mary bear?
Kyrie eleison.
A little child doth Mary bear,
Beneath her heart He nestles there.
Jesus and Maria.

3. And as the two are passing near,
Kyrie eleison,
Lo! roses on the thorns appear,
Lo! roses on the thorns appear.
Jesus and Maria.

The imagery of barrenness, lifelessness, and death miraculously being revived makes it a great contemplative point for the past four weeks. Much like St. John the Baptist in Elizabeth's womb recognizing the Christ Child in Mary's, life recognizes life.

Soon the barrenness of this Advent will pass.

Ero cras.

Friday, December 23, 2016

O Antiphon: God Is With Us

Again the LORD spoke to Ahaz:
Ask for a sign from the LORD, your God; let it be deep as the nether world, or high as the sky!
But Ahaz answered, "I will not ask! I will not tempt the LORD!"
Then he said: Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God?
Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:10-14

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
"Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us."
When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. He had no relations with her until she bore a son, and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 1:18-25

Emmanuel. God is with us. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)

Even though man left God, He never left us. The Word was always there: in the rainbow, the visitors to Abraham, the plagues, the cloud, the manna, the tablets, the ark, the temple, the tiny whispering sound, the speech of the prophets and psalmists, and whatever examples you may find elsewhere in the Old Testament.
In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe,who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word.
Hebrews 1:1-3

Echoes of sound and glimmers of light. The faintest sensory perceptions for the soul damaged by Original Sin. Reflections of true reality. All pale in comparison.
And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14

God is with us.

God is still with us.

"And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20b)
Behold, God's dwelling is with the human race. He will dwell with them and they will be his people and God himself will always be with them (as their God).

Revelations 21:3


Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster, exspectatio gentium, et Salvator earum: veni ad salvandum nos Domine Deus noster.


O Emmanuel, our King and our Law-giver, Longing of the Gentiles, yea, and salvation thereof, come to save us, O Lord our God!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

O Antiphon: King Of Kings

Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; But upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory.
Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance.
Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you: Your sons come from afar, and your daughters in the arms of their nurses.
Then you shall be radiant at what you see, your heart shall throb and overflow, For the riches of the sea shall be emptied out before you, the wealth of nations shall be brought to you.
Caravans of camels shall fill you, dromedaries from Midian and Ephah; All from Sheba shall come bearing gold and frankincense, and proclaiming the praises of the LORD.
All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered for you, the rams of Nebaioth shall be your sacrifices; They will be acceptable offerings on my altar, and I will enhance the splendor of my house.

Isaiah 60:1-7
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage....Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance....After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2:1-2,7,9-11

It was a question which framed the beginning and end of His life.

A question of identity.

"Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage." (Matthew 2:2)

Strangers in a strange land, the Magi saw a glimmer of the Light and inquired about to Whom it lead. When told, they were able to hear the Word and find Him, while those who help them wanted to silence the echo. The echo would now grow louder because more would be able to hear it.

"Are you the King of the Jews?" (John 18:33b)

An earthly ruler, feeling threatened by the Word (history does repeat itself, doesn't it?), asked again. He directly heard, but could not respond. In the end, he would help to attempt to silence once and for all the Word.

And even in between those two questions, people wanted to know if they were among royalty.

They were right.

Found in the Book of Revelation (cf. 11:15, 19:6 and 19:16, KJV), used by Charles Jennens in a libretto, and set to music by Georg Frideric Handel, the Word reigns just as true at His birth, death, resurrection, Good Friday of 1742, and today.
Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's refection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Rex Gentium, et desideratus earum, lapisque angularis, qui facis utraque unum: veni, et salva hominem, quem de limo formasti.


O King of the Gentiles, yea, and desire thereof! O Corner-stone, that makest of two one, come to save man, whom Thou hast made out of the dust of the earth!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

O Antiphon: Light From Light

Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness; for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.
Isaiah 8:23b-9:4


Jesus said to them, "The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light....Whoever believes in me believes not only in me but also in the one who sent me, and whoever sees me sees the one who sent me. I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness. And if anyone hears my words and does not observe them, I do not condemn him, for I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. Whoever rejects me and does not accept my words has something to judge him: the word that I spoke, it will condemn him on the last day, because I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and speak.And I know that his commandment is eternal life. So what I say, I say as the Father told me."

John 12:35-36; 44b-50

Return again to the creation story. What was the first thing formed from nothing by the Word? Light. But Who was this Light? St. John gives the answer (and expounds on it further in his first letter):
What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race; the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (1:3b-5)
Yet, once it thought it had succeeded with Adam and Eve, the darkness tried and tried again to overcome the Light during salvation history. But just as the echo of the Word still remained, so did a glimmer of Light. Noah saw it in the rainbow. Moses, who already viewed the burning bush, was privileged to see more than a glimmer on Mt. Siani. The Magi followed a star.

All of these pale when the Word spoke plainly:
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12b)

Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae, et sol justitiae: veni, et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.


O Dayspring, Brightness of the everlasting light, Son of justice, come to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

O Antiphon: The Keys Of The Kingdom

Thus says the Lord, the GOD of hosts: Up, go to that official, Shebna, master of the palace,
Who has hewn for himself a sepulcher on a height and carved his tomb in the rock: "What are you doing here, and what people have you here, that here you have hewn for yourself a tomb?"
The LORD shall hurl you down headlong, mortal man! He shall grip you firmly
And roll you up and toss you like a ball into an open land To perish there, you and the chariots you glory in, you disgrace to your master's house!
I will thrust you from your office and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe, and gird him with your sash, and give over to him your authority. He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.
I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot, to be a place of honor for his family;
On him shall hang all the glory of his family: descendants and offspring, all the little dishes, from bowls to jugs.
On that day, says the LORD of hosts, the peg fixed in a sure spot shall give way, break off and fall, and the weight that hung on it shall be done away with; for the LORD has spoken.
Isaiah 22:15-2
When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?"
They replied, "Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

Matthew 16:13-19

How powerful is the Word. From nothing, creation sprang forth when He was uttered. He speaks and the Law is given. Any oration from Him is full of wisdom and truth.

Perhaps, as is suggested in the verse from Isaiah above, the ability to bind and loose is the most powerful message He delivers. To bind a not so heavy yoke upon us, unlike the Pharisees he chastises in His ministry. To loosen us from the bondage of sin. To bind us together as brothers and sisters in Him. To loosen us from the fear which keeps us from loving each other. To bind our sufferings with His. To loosen the grip of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

But the most powerful thing this Word says is to the gates of Heaven, "Open. I closed you when Adam and Eve did not listen to Me. Because I now have taken on the nature of the crown of My creation and have redeemed them with My life, because I obeyed My Father, I make it possible for them to enter the Kingdom if they heed My voice. My church, My bride, has been entrusted with My words, My teachings, My sacramental grace to make heeding My voice an easy yoke. Those who heed My church heed My voice, and I will raise them up on the last day."
"The King of Glory comes, the nation rejoices.
Open the gates before Him, lift up your voices."


Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel; qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis, et nemo aperit: veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.


O Key of David, and Sceptre of the house of Israel, that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth, come to liberate the prisoner from the prison, and them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.

Monday, December 19, 2016

O Antiphon: From Jesse's Tree

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide,
But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.
Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.
The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox.
The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.
There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.
On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
Isaiah 11:1-10


The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse,
Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah.
Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph.
Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah.
Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah.
Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah.
Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile.
After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah.
Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

Matthew 1:1-17

The genealogy of Jesus found in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew (1-17), the Gospel proclamation for the Mass of Christmas Eve, established Him as a descendant of the royal bloodline of David. It also connects Him to our father in faith, Abraham. Through the trials he endured, the father of many nations faithfully obeyed (heard) the Word.

How appropriate the Word would once again be proclaimed through his lineage. Some 42 generations later, a man who was in that line would have to do the same thing as Abraham. Like his ancestor and his betrothed, Joseph was visited by an angel. The heavenly being brings a similar message which Gabriel announced to Mary. Again, the words were only secondary. Again, the Word is more than an echo.

Like "father of faith," like "son." Two righteous men, the same act of faith. Both obeyed a timeless Word.


Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem Gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, jam noli tardare.


O Root of Jesse, which standest for an ensign of the people, at Whom the kings shall shut their mouths, Whom the Gentiles shall seek, come to deliver us, do not tarry.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

O Antiphon: The Law Giver

Now will I rise up, says the LORD, now will I be exalted, now be lifted up.
You conceive dry grass, bring forth stubble; my spirit shall consume you like fire.
The peoples shall be as in a limekiln, like brushwood cut down for burning in the fire.
Hear, you who are far off, what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my might.
On Zion sinners are in dread, trembling grips the impious: "Who of us can live with the consuming fire? who of us can live with the everlasting flames?"
He who practices virtue and speaks honestly, who spurns what is gained by oppression, Brushing his hands free of contact with a bribe, stopping his ears lest he hear of bloodshed, closing his eyes lest he look on evil--
He shall dwell on the heights, his stronghold shall be the rocky fastness, his food and drink in steady supply.
Your eyes will see a king in his splendor, they will look upon a vast land.
Your mind will dwell on the terror: "Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?"
To the people of alien tongue you will look no more, the people of obscure speech, stammering in a language not understood.
Look to Zion, the city of our festivals; let your eyes see Jerusalem as a quiet abode, a tent not to be struck, Whose pegs will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes severed.
Indeed the LORD will be there with us, majestic; yes, the LORD our judge, the LORD our lawgiver, the LORD our king, he it is who will save us.
Isaiah 33:10-22

Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.  Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 5:17-20

The first "O Antiphon" speaks of wisdom and how it created order from the chaos. It was the first time the Word was heard clearly and obediently. Even though Adam and Eve disobeyed (did not hear), God would not abandon the crowning glory of His creation to death. There were always glimmers of hope in early salvation history when the Word was more than an echo, for example, when Noah and Abraham obeyed the commands given them by God.

It was, however, time for the Word to become, in a sense, visible.

Enter Moses.

God was once again speaking His Word, this time through a mouthpiece which only knew how to stutter. The strange and awesome sight of the burning bush, where and when the Word revealed His name for the first time, was just the opening dialog. The ten plagues was a not so subtle way of getting everyone's attention. The parting of the Red Sea was just an exclamation point.

Now, fast forward to Mount Sinai.

The Word was about to become, in a sense, visible.

Recall the scene from the Book of Exodus. God came as a dense cloud. This holy mountain shook from the conversation between God and Moses. The Chosen People were commanded to worthily prepare themselves. Then, on the third day, when God finished speaking to Moses, He then spoke to the Israelites through Moses.

God gave them the Decalogue.

The Word became, in a sense, visible.

Despite it being "ten words" on stone tablets, it is still the undivided Word.


Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

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


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!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

O Antiphon: The Coming Of Wisdom

"The LORD begot me, the first-born of his ways, the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
From of old I was poured forth, at the first, before the earth.
When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains or springs of water;
Before the mountains were settled into place, before the hills, I was brought forth;
While as yet the earth and the fields were not made, nor the first clods of the world.

"When he established the heavens I was there, when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
When he made firm the skies above, when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
When he set for the sea its limit, so that the waters should not transgress his command;
Then was I beside him as his craftsman, and I was his delight day by day,
Playing before him all the while, playing on the surface of his earth; and I found delight in the sons of men.

"So now, O children, listen to me; instruction and wisdom do not reject!
Happy the man who obeys me, and happy those who keep my ways,
Happy the man watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts;
For he who finds me finds life, and wins favor from the LORD;
But he who misses me harms himself; all who hate me love death."
Proverbs 8:22-36


At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Matthew 11:25-30

Looking at the beginning of this antiphon, I am drawn to the opening of the Gospel of St. John, which is proclaimed at the Mass of Christmas Day:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
It is tied together with the creation story found in the first chapter of Genesis. Each day is climaxed by the phrase "Then God said." Each time, the Father, on the breath of the Spirit uttered the Word, His Son, Jesus Christ. "And so it happened." No matter what was created, it came about through the Trinity. The whole of creation from "one end to another" is ordered mightily and sweetly--it is "very good."

Then entered sin.

Then entered the need for salvation.

Throughout salvation history, the Word was uttered repeatedly, from Abraham to Moses to David to the prophets to John the Baptist. Some did heed the Word again, much like Elijah hearing the faint whispering sound (1 Kings 19:11-12). But these utterings were only echoes of Genesis. One knows how faint an echo becomes after the first repetition, no matter how loud the original sound.

So became the need for re-creation. The Word was then uttered "to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary." Note that when she accepted ("Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word"), she was not heeding the words of Gabriel. She heard the Word as clearly as the first fruits of creation.

Et Verbum caro factum est. Et habitavit in nobis.

There would be no more echoes.


Fr. Z's reflection can be found here.
Fr. Kirby's reflection can be found here.


Click here to listen to the chant.

O Sapientia, quae ex ore Altissimi prodiisti, attingens a fine usque ad finem, fortiter suaviterque disponens omnia: veni ad docendum nos viam prudentiae!


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!

Counting The "O's" Once More

No matter how long or short the season of Advent is, or no matter the quantity or quality of your preparation for Christmas, these next seven days bring into focus the reason for this liturgical season. Whether one is praying Vespers in the Divine Office or the Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, when it comes time for the Canticle of Mary, a most familiar pattern reappears. As welcomed as an old friend with something more to discover, the antiphons preceding this part of the prayer bring a tiding of comfort and joy while still we anticipate the birth of the Christ Child.

As has been my tradition every year of this 'blog's existence, I once again present my series of posts on the seven "O" Antiphons. As I still have the original, updated, and current versions and look back on their development, the message, ever ancient, is still ever new. While I haven't added anything to them recently, these meditations, I hope, still speak for themselves.

Arguably my most popular posts, I blow away the dust from a year in storage and place them on the mantle for your perusal.

May you glean what you are able.

They come later today; I hope you do as well.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Ora Pro Nobis

As patroness of the United States of America under this title, we are under her care. On this feast day, let us pray for the welfare of our country, that we may continue to be "one nation, under God".
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone that fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, O virgin of virgins, my mother; to you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer them. Amen.
St. Bernard


Originally posted 12/8/2005.
Re-posted 12/8/2006.
Re-posted 12/8/2015.

Monday, December 05, 2016

In Memory Of...

Francis Joseph Rolling
Born: March 24, 1935
Died: December 5, 1991
Requiescat In Pace.


Originally posted 12/5/2005.
Re-posted 12/5/2008.
Re-posted 12/5/2009.
Re-posted 12/5/2010.
Re-posted 12/5/2011.
Re-posted 12/5/2012.
Re-posted 12/5/2013.
Re-posted 12/5/2014.
Re-posted 12/5/2015.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

December 2015 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal Intention - End to Child-Soldiers.  That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization Intention - Europe. That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to  life.
Reflections for these intentions are found here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Mediation For Advent

Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

To be recited 15 times a day from the Feast of St. Andrew's (November 30) until Christmas.

(Fedora Doff to Drew at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping.)


Originally posted 12/1/2005.
Re-posted 11/29/2008.
Re-posted 11/28/2009.
Re-posted 11/27/2010.
Re-posted 11/26/2011.
Re-posted 12/2/2012.
Re-posted 11/30/2013.
Re-posted 11/29/2014.
Re-posted 11/28/2015.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Advent Prayer

O Lovely Infant Jesus, You will abide with me once more.
O that I might prepare for You an agreeable dwelling place in my heart.
Jesus, Almighty Savior, come to my aid!
Bless me, hands of my infant Savior!
May Your love remain in my heart, dear Jesus!
Be born again in me.
Bless me and give me simplicity of heart, humility, and obedience.

St. John Neumann (1811-1860)


Originally posted 11/26/2005.
Re-posted 11/29/2008.
Re-posted 11/28/2009.
Re-posted 11/27/2010.
Re-posted 11/26/2011.
Re-posted 12/2/2012.
Re-posted 11/30/2013.
Re-posted 11/29/2014.
Re-posted 11/28/2015.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Four Full Weeks

It is here.

The beginning of a new liturgical year. The beginning of a new liturgical time. The beginning of our remembrance of the beginning of our salvation.

The advent of Advent.

While you are materially preparing for Christmas, you also need to spiritually prepare as well. This year we have all 28 days of the season, as the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord falls on a Sunday. While not as severe as Lent (despite the color reminders in both priestly vestments and Advent wreath candles), the penitential admonition of St. John the Baptist still hangs in the air.

So, how will you "prepare the way of the Lord" this time? Meditate on the daily Mass readings? Maybe assist at a weekday Mass more often than you do? Find time for the Rosary, perhaps focusing on the Joyful Mysteries? Take advantage of one of the myriad books that offer reflections about this season? The promptings of the Holy Spirit are limitless.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle, we need to be a little more like Mary while we work like Martha. The material side of Christmas eventually gets done. While the spiritual side can be never ending, at least we can work on it, whatever our widow's mite is in this regard.

And it will go by all too quickly, even thought we have all of it.

Make the most of it so you can make the most of Christmas.

"Veni, veni, Emmanuel."

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016 Thanksgiving Day Card

May you "Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow". May you rejoice at all the benefits you have received. May the gathering of family and friends this day be one of festivity and warmth.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Producing Melody; Creating Harmony

For this year's tribute to the patron saint of music, St. Cecelia, I present to you a poem which shows how man, cooperating with the world over which he has dominion, creates beauty in the form of music.

      Before man came to blow it right
        The wind once blew itself untaught,
      And did its loudest day and night
        In any rough place where it caught.

      Man came to tell it what was wrong:
        It hadn't found the place to blow;
      It blew too hard - the aim was song.
        And listen - how it ought to go!

      He took a little in his mouth,
        And held it long enough for north
      To be converted into south,
        And then by measure blew it forth.

      By measure. It was word and note,
        The wind the wind had meant to be -
      A little through the lips and throat.
        The aim was song - the wind could see.

"The Aim Was Song" (from the collection New Hampshire, 1923)
Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Royal Hymn

In honor of the Feast of Christ the King, I present excerpts of the hymn Christus Vincit as it was chanted at the 2010 CMAA Winter Chant Intensive. (In case you want to know what I look like, I am the first one in the front pew with the rest of the men.)

The text and translation is courtesy of The Parish Book of Chant.


Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat!

Exaudi, Christe.

Benedicto, Summo Pontifici, in unum populos doctrina congreganti caritate: Pastori gratia gregi obsequentia.

Salvator mundi, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancta Maria, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancte Petre, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancte Paule, Tu illum adjuva.
Sancte Benedicte, Tu illum adjuva.

Rex regum! Rex noster! Spes nostra! Gloria nostra!

Magistratibus et omnibus concivibus nobiscum orantibus: cordis vera quies votorum effctus.

Auxilium christianorum, Tu illos adjuva.
Sancte Michael, Tu illos adjuva.
Sancte Benedicte, Tu illos adjuva.

Ipsi soli imperium, laus et jubilatio per infinita saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Tempora bona habeant! Tempora bona habeant redempti Sanguine Christi.


Pax Christi veniat! Regnum Christi veniat! Deo Gratias! Amen.


Christ conquers! Christ reigns! Christ commands!

Give ear, O Christ!

To the Supreme Pontiff [Benedict], who gathereth into one all peoples through doctrine, in charity: let there be dignity for our Shepherd, and obedience for his flock.

O Saviour of the world, grant him assistance.
Holy Mary,...
Holy Peter,...
Holy Paul,...
Holy Benedict,...

King of Kings! Our King! Our hope! Our glory!

To the magistrates and all fellow citizens praying with us: let the effect of their devotions be true rest for the heart.

O help of Christians, grant them assistance.
Holy Michael,...
Holy Benedict,...

Let all power, praise, and jubilation be to Him alone, through endless ages to ages. Amen.

May they have prosperous times! May they have prosperous times by the redemptive Blood of Christ!


Let the Peace of Christ come! Let the Reign of Christ come! Thanks be to God! Amen.


Originally posted 11/20/2011.
Re-posted 11/25/2012.
Re-posted 11/23/2014.
Re-posted 11/22/2015.

Christus Rex

To Jesus Christ, our Sov'reign King,
Who is the world's salvation,
All praise and homage do we bring,
And thanks and adoration.

Refrain:  Christ Jesus Victor, Christ Jesus Ruler!
Christ Jesus, Lord and Redeemer!

2. Thy reign extend, O King benign,
To ev'ry land and nation,
For in Thy kingdom, Lord divine,
Alone we find salvation.


3. To Thee and to Thy Church, great King,
We pledge our hearts' oblation,
Until before Thy throne we sing,
In endless jubilation.


From the 2 Hearts Network, here is a link to prayers specifically about our King of Kings and Lord of Lords.


Originally posted 11/25/2007.
Re-posted 11/21/2010.
Re-posted 11/25/2012.
Re-posted 11/24/2013.
Re-posted 11/23/2014.
Re-posted 11/22/2015.

Friday, November 18, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

There are two option; the second is for Cycles B and C.
Amen I say to you:  in as much as you have done it to one of the least these, my brethren, you have done it to me. Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the world.
Matthew 25:40, 34
This is the measure of how we are to love our neighbor so as to love God. The reward for this is the greatest--a place at the table of the Eternal Wedding Banquet.
The Lord will sit on his royal throne forever; the Lord will bless his people in peace.
Ps. 28: 10b, 11b
Christ is the victory, ruler, and commander of the world. He shall be peace.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

Ask of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance and the utmost parts of the earth as your possession.
Ps. 2:8
As we are adopted children of God, we also share the gifts He has bestowed. Through Jesus our Brother we must reign as He would.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away; and his kingdom shall not be destroyed.
Daniel 7:14
The Kingdom of God has been established in both heaven and earth.By Christ's own word,"the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
V. All the kings of the earth shall adore him; all nations shall serve him.
Ps. 71:8; V. 11
The Magi in Matthew's accounting symbolize all the earth and those who dwell in it. They recognize the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; so should we.

Monday, November 14, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--Solemnity Of Christ The King

The Lamb who has been slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and wisdom, and strength, and honor; let glory and dominion be his for ever and ever.
V. Endow the King with your judgement. O God, and the King's son with your righteousness.
Rev. 5:12 and 1:6; V. Ps. 71
From manger to cross to empty tomb, Our Lord Jesus Christ reigns.Taking His seat at the right hand of the Father, the Son rules with all the gifts of diving majesty.

Friday, November 11, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two options; the second is for Cycles B and C.
"Lord, you delivered five talents unto me; behold, I have gained five more."
"Well done, good and faithful servant; because you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your Lord."
Matt. 25:20, 21
I may not have five talents, but I also pray I don't have only one. We must always cooperated with God's grace to increase what we do have of our selves and our lives.
Amen I say to you, whatever you ask in you prayers, believe that you shall receive it, and it shall be granted unto you.
Mark 11:24
A reminder that we always need to ask for "our daily bread" so it may be given to us. We are also reminded that our wills need to be aligned with God's for our prayers to be effective.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord, Lord, hear my prayer; out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord.
Ps. 129:1, 2
It is not just only our own individual prayer we offer here. It is the prayer which is ever before God--the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice.
Ps. 129:1, 2
From the depths of our souls comes the groaning of our prayer which only the Holy Spirit can decipher. It is this deep longing for God which is the cornerstone of our communion with Him.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

You have delivered us, Lord, from those who afflict us; and you have put to shame those who hate us.
V. In God we shall take pride all day long; and we shall celebrate your name forever.
Ps.43:8: V. 9
God has fulfilled the final petition of the Lord's Prayer. The Cross is the sign that we have won the victory.

Monday, November 07, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--33rd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

The Lord said, "I am pondering thoughts of peace and not of affliction; you shall call upon me, and I will hear you; and I will bring you back from all the land where you are held captive."
V. O Lord, you have blessed your land; you have put an end to Jacob's captivity.
Jeremiah 29:11, 12, 14; V. Ps. 84
God has set us free from whatever binds us, including sin. In this freedom to choose the good, we will find the peace He has promised.

Friday, November 04, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two options; the second is for Cycles B and C.
The five wise virgins took oil in flasks with their lamps; at midnight there was a cry; "Behold, the bridegroom is here; come out to meet Christ the Lord."
Matt. 25:4, 6
The Bridegroom, the Real Presence, has arrived. Let us worthily come and be in common union with Him.
The Lord is my shepherd and I shall want nothing; he has set me in a land of abundant pastures; he has lead me to life-renewing waters.
Ps. 22:1, 2
We lack nothing if we allow Christ to lead our lives. Do we, the sheep of His flock, listen to and for the voice of the Good Shepherd?

Thursday, November 03, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Guide my footsteps, O Lord, according to your word, so that no iniquity may ever gain the upper hand, O Lord.
Ps. 118:133
To follow Christ means to walk the narrow path. He is our guide to heaven if we but heed His words.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two options; the second is for Cycles B and C.
The five wise virgins took oil in flasks with their lamps; at midnight there was a cry; "Behold, the bridegroom is here; come out to meet Christ the Lord."
Matt. 25:4, 6
Death comes like a thief in the night. Are we prepared to meet our Triune God when that time comes?
He has established peace in your boundaries, and he fills you with the finest wheat.
Ps. 147:3
The "peace which surpasses all understanding" comes only from Christ. His own Body is the finest of wheat; the Bread of Life is most filling.

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays-32nd. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Let my prayer ascend like incense in your presence, O Lord.
V. May the lifting of my hands be an evening sacrifice.
Ps. 140:2
All our supplications rise to the eyes and ears of God. We hope they are found worthy of the praise and adoration due Him.

PM: Special Edition--Solemnity Of All Saints

"...and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and of the life of the world to come." We bring into focus the Communion of Saints.
Let us all rejoice in the Lord as we celebrate this feast day in honor of all the saints; it is a solemnity which causes the Angels to rejoice, and to praise together the Son of God.
V. Rejoice in the Lord, all you righteous; praise befits those who are upright.
V. Ps. 32
The Church Militant celebrates the Church Triumphant. Where they have gone, we hope to follow.
Revere the Lord, all you saints of his; for there is no want among those who fear him.
V. Those who seek the Lord shall lack no good thing.
Ps. 33:10; V. 11b
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." From this holy reverence comes all the gifts God will bestow on us.
Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will comfort you.
Matt. 11:28
Jesus removes the heavy burden of sin from us. His yoke, His Cross, while demanding, is still easier that the yoke of the Devil.
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no malicious torment will ever touch them; in the eyes of the unwise they seem to have died; but they are dwelling in peace, alleluia.
Wisdom 3:1, 2, 3
The comfort found in this verse is unmatched. As this is the opening of the First Reading of the first Mass of the Commemoration of All the Faithfully Departed (All Souls Day), go and meditate upon the whole thing.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called Sons of God; blessed are those who suffer persecution for the sake of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matt. 5:8, 9, 10
Recall all the rest of the Beatitudes as well. These are the marks of those who have been sanctified.