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.)

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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)

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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.

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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.

Feliciter!

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

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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!

Joyously!

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

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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.

(Refrain)

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

(Refrain)

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

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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

Veteran's Day Acknowledgement




My two brothers were veterans of the Air Force. I have other relatives who have served in various branches of the military. I personally owe them a debt of gratitude for their service to the country. To all other veterans, that gratitude, while not as personal, is nonetheless heartfelt.

Our active military personnel take the following oath (those in the National Guard take a similar oath which includes obeying orders from their state's Governor):
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
For those who preserve our freedom, we salute you!

NOTE: I gave a Fedora Doff to a Facebook friend who posted a video on my wall which I had placed here in 2010. I no longer have that link.

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Originally posted 11/11/2010.
Re-posted 11/11/2011.
Re-posted 11/11/2012.
Updated and edited 11/11/2013.
Re-posted 11/11/2014.
Re-posted 11/15/2015.

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.

The Church Suffering


Le Jour des Morts by William Bougueareau

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; they shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the LORD shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect.

Wisdom 3:1-9

The last on the list of the seven Spiritual Works of Mercy is to pray for the dead. The month of November is devoted to doing that, as many parishes have a "Book of the Dead" and remember "those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith." Fish Eaters also has an article describing other practices to free souls from Purgatory.

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Requiem aeternam dona ei (eis) Domine; et lux perpetua luceat ei (eis).
Requiescat (Requiescant) in pace. Amen.

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Eternal rest grant unto him/her (them), O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him/her (them).
May he/she (they) rest in peace. Amen.

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Originally posted 11/2/2006.
Re-posted 11/2/2008.
Re-posted 11/2/2009.
Re-posted 11/2/2010.
Re-posted 11/2/2012.
Re-posted 11/2/2013.
Re-posted 11/2/2014.
Re-posted 11/2/2015.

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.

Today's Hymn

The words are from the pen of William Walsham How; the tune to which this is sung, Sine Nomine, was composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Note how well this compares to all of today's Readings.

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For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
who thee by faith before the world confessed,
thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the apostles' glorious company,
who bearing forth the cross o'er land and sea,
shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
is fair and fruitful, be thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
and seeing, grasped it, thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
and win, with them the victor's crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
we feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
all are one in thee, for all are thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
and hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
the saints triumphant rise in bright array;
the King of glory passes on his way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth's wide bounds, from ocean's farthest coast,
through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
and singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

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All you holy men and women, pray for us.

Where they are, we hope to follow.

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Originally posted 11/1/2006.
Re-posted 11/1/2009.
Re-posted 11/1/2011.
Re-posted 11/1/2012.
Re-posted 11/1/2013.
Re-posted 11/1/2014.
Re-posted 11/1/2015.

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.

November 2016 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal Intention - Countries Receiving Refugees.  That the countries which take in a great number of displaced persons and refugees may find support for their efforts which show solidarity.
Evangelization Intention - Collaboration of Priests and Laity. That within parishes, priests and lay people may collaborate in service to the community without giving in to the temptation of discouragement.
Reflections for these intentions are found here.