Thursday, September 14, 2017

In Hoc Signo Crucis Vinces



Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow and in everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we awake; when we are in the way and when we are still. Great is that preservative; it is without price, for the poor's sake; without toil, for the sick, since also its grace is from God. It is the Sign of the faithful, and the dread of evils; for He has triumphed over them in it, having made a shew of them openly; for when they see the Cross, they are reminded of the Crucified; they are afraid of Him, Who hath bruised the heads of the dragon. Despise not the Seal, because of the freeness of the Gift; but for this rather honor thy Benefactor.
St. Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315 - 386

V. We adore Thee, O Christ, and we bless Thee;
R. Because by Thy holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

++++++++++

En ego, O bone et dulcissime Iesu, ante conspectum tuum genibus me provolvo, ac maximo animi ardore te oro atque obtestor, ut meum in cor vividos fidei, spei et caritatis sensus, atque veram peccatorum meorum poenitentiam, eaque emendandi firmissimam voluntatem velis imprimere; dum magno animi affectu et dolore tua quinque vulnera mecum ipse considero ac mente contemplor, illud prae oculis habens, quod iam in ore ponebat tuo David propheta de te, o bone Iesu: Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos: dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea. Amen.

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Behold, O good and most sweet Jesus, I fall upon my knees before Thee, and with most fervent desire beg and beseech Thee that Thou wouldst impress upon my heart a lively sense of faith, hope and charity, true repentance for my sins, and a firm resolve to make amends. And with deep affection and grief, I reflect upon Thy five wounds, having before my eyes that which Thy prophet David spoke about Thee, o good Jesus: "They have pierced my hands and feet, they have counted all my bones." Amen.

**********

Originally posted 9/14/2006.

A Stumbling Block


Refrain:
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim,
Till all the world adore His sacred Name.

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
The hosts of God in conquering ranks combine.

(Refrain)

Each newborn servant of the Crucified
Bears on the brow the seal of Him Who died.

(Refrain)

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
As Thou hast promised, draw the world to Thee.

(Refrain)

So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory.

(Refrain)

But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. (Galatians 6:14)

I include my post from 2006 as well.

**********

Originally posted 9/14/2007.
Re-posted 9/14/2011.
Re-posted 9/14/2012.
Re-posted 9/14/2014.
Re-posted 9/14/2015.
Re-posted 9/14/2016.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A 'Blogger's Dozen

I can't believe it's been twelve years since this first appeared on the internet.

Then again, I can't believe this 'blog has continued for this long. I started this shortly after the crest of 'blogging began and have been riding that wave until now. There have been times I have wondered out loud if I should hang it up and reduce the cacophony of chatter that has only increased since then.

It has been a small, quiet voice. My Faith has been my guide. My leanings toward things liturgical and musical in the Catholic Church have been my Polaris. My personal story has been a detour. The peaks and valleys of posts have seemingly correlated with my own waning and waxing of living my life.

At times, it's been a chore. (But ask any professional writer if this is not the case.) But, for the most part, this is still a labor of love. While I have "required" times where I have to move the muse into action, I still maintain a level of spontaneity about posting. My philosophy is to (hopefully) make meaningful comments. I tend not to get in over my head, but perhaps more venturing into the deep end is what's needed to keep what very little relativity I have. Less re-posting (although I have traditions to maintain); more new material.

I do cherish my history.

The "here and now" is still my place.

The future still awaits.

My twelve-year old invitation is still open:

"Welcome to my infinitesimal corner of the universe!"

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bitter Sixteen


When General Lord Charles Cornwallis formally surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown, VA on October 19, 1781, legend has it the British army band played a tune called "When The King Enjoys His Own Again". The lyrics associated with it at the time was an English ballad titled "The World Turned Upside Down". While this story has been historically refuted, the last line in each of the song's five verses seemed very appropriate:
Yet let's be content, and the times lament, you see the world turn'd upside down.
History does seem to repeat itself on occasion. For sixteen years ago today, the world again was turned upside down. Someone could make the argument it hasn't been righted since.

Once again we mark the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack on this country's soil. Four commercial airliners were turned into suicide bombs. Two struck each of the "Twin Towers" in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. One slammed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC. The last one was headed to the Capitol Building, but was diverted into a field near Shanksville, PA.

The damage to the Pentagon was repaired. The "Freedom Tower" now stands near where those two buildings at the World Trade Center were destroyed. The crash site of the fourth plane is now a National Memorial.

But nothing could ever replace the loss of life.

The death toll:  2,996.

To paraphrase Gordon Lightfoot, "And all that remains are the faces and the names of the spouses, the sons, and the daughters." (Living memorials, indeed.)

Plenty of ink and pixels have been used since then in an attempt to answer the simplest yet most complex question humans can ask:  "Why?"

I don't have nor will I ever have an answer. Who other than God understands evil? How from the depth of the heart and soul comes this kind of darkness? We will never fully know while we are here.

Perhaps we can take some comfort in these words from St. Paul:
We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose....What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?...What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?...No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:28, 31, 35, 37-39
The world was turned upside down because of sin. We lament what it has done to creation and ourselves. Yet, we can find not only contentment, but joy in the love God has shown us in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. By His stripes we are healed. By His brokenness we are made whole. We only need to cooperate with His Grace by which we are made perfect. By His Passion the world was righted.

The scars of that day will remain will us. Today is a somber and solemn occasion, a time to recollect and grieve a little more. There will be plenty of commentary other than my own; seek and reflect upon those words. There will be ceremonies commemorating these event; avail yourself to one if possible.

Never Forget.

Friday, September 01, 2017

September 2016 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Parishes: That our parishes, animated by a missionary spirit, may be places where faith is communicated and charity is seen.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

PM: Special Edition--Feast Of The Transfiguration

When I did my meditations on the Propers in 2016, I omitted some of the feast days as they did not fall on a Sunday. Since this one does this year, it would be a good time to "catch up" on the "neglected" ones.
Of you my heart has spoken:  Seek his face. It is your face, O Lord, that I seek; hide not your face from me.
V. The Lord is my light and my Salvation; whom shall I fear?
Ps. 26:8, 9; V. 1
One of the two Introits for the Second Sunday of Lent as well (as the Gospel Reading that day is the same). While it is our sins that cause us to hide our face, God still calls us from hiding.
Your beauty surpasses that of all the children of me; grace is poured out upon your lips.
V. My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my works to the King; my tongue is like the pen of an agile scribe.
Ps. 44:3; V. 2
Rarely heard, this Graduale is from the Second Sunday after Christmas (as the Solemnity of the Epiphany instead is celebrated in parts of the world). When we seek and find the face of the Lord, where truth, beauty, and goodness come together, our lips proclaim what our heart speaks.
He is the splendor of eternal light, an unspotted mirror and the image of His goodness.
Wisdom 7:26
This obviously speaks of the Son. And as Jesus said, He can only reflect what He sees the Father doing.
You have crowned him with glory and honor, and you have placed him over the work of your hands, O Lord.
Ps. 8:6,7
This originally refers to humanity. It finds its true fulfillment in Jesus after His Death and Resurrection, where His Divinity and Humanity are one.
As for the vision you have seen, tell no one until the Son of Man has risen form the dead.
Matt. 17:9
He is Risen indeed! And we should proclaim the fulfillment of the Law and Prophets in Him.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

August 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Artists.  That artists of our times, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Life At The Speed Limit

It's that time of the year again.

It's that time of my life again.

Another candle on the cake. (No jokes about if I need a fire extinguisher. Inquire when I reach 100.)

And while the status quo is still status quo, there are some things that have changed.

Some not so good. The slight bulge in my disc between the 4th. and 5th. lumbar vertebrae, causing the back problems that will be with me for the rest of my life. Between that and my tendonitis in my right elbow, my limited ability to do manual labor, and to do it for any length of time. The anxiety that is causing regarding my working career, as I still seek a full-time position that will utilize my talents without stressing those joints. The worry about the meager income I do earn, knowing it's not close to meeting my financial needs. (And, no, I am not asking for monetary help. I had that already. And to this day, it is still appreciated.)

In a word, I am a little more than a little scared.

But then, there are some things that not changed.

Those are good. I am still fighting to earn my place in the working world with the right job. I still have belief in my abilities. I still have hope my patience and perseverance will be rewarded. I still have plans and dreams and goals and schemes. Although it is being tried and tested, I still have faith I will come through this.

In a word, I am not letting this beat me.

"With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." It is. I am grateful to still be among the living, enjoying the gift of life which God has bestowed. While there are times my negative emotions betray the stoic in me, I still hold true to the phrase of St. Irenaeus. And while I may cloud that glory with pessimism and fear, it may be the end of the poem "Footprints" is right now more a reality than even I realize.

Over the past few months I have developed a new catch phrase. While the first part of it is always of grateful praise, the second half could be left open to interpretation, based on apprehension or anticipation. I use it to mark the end of a significant part of my life, no matter how small.

Today, I use it to mean I am ready (willing and able are different matters) to "Go Forward".

"Thank you, God. What's next?"

Let's see "what's next" in the next twelve months.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Happy Birthday To US



God Bless the United States of America!

**********

Originally posted as "Happy 230th. Birthday" 7/4/2006.
Part of post "Independence Day Reprints" 7/4/2007.
Re-posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2010.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.

Patriotic Serenade

The tune is a German adaptation of the national anthem of the United Kingdom. Samuel Francis Smith created the original lyrics in 1831. True patriot's love expressed (with apologies to Canada).

**********
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims' pride,
From ev'ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song;
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our fathers' God to Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.
**********
Originally posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.

National Praise And Petition

It was originally a poem by Katharine Lee Bates. The hymn was composed by Samuel A. Ward a decade earlier. The two were combined in 1910.

**********
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country lov'd,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.
**********
Originally posted 7/4//2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.

Song For The Day

It is considered the country's "unofficial national anthem" (and sometimes debated that it should be made official).

Whether or not it was Irving Berlin's intention, to me it is more a hymn (and is a hymn nothing more than a prayer set to music) than anything else.

Listen and enjoy.

Then maybe pray these words really come to fruition.

**********

Originally posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.

Birth Certificate

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America



When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. -- Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.



He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.


He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.



He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.



He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.


In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred. to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.



We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. -- And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.



**********

Originally posted 7/4/2006.
Part of post "Independence Day Reprints" 7/4/2007.
Re-posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2010.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.

Let Freedom Ring




Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof. (Leviticus 25:10)

**********
Originally posted 7/4/2006.
Part of post "Independence Day Reprints" 7/4/2007.
Re-posted 7/4/2008.
Re-posted 7/4/2009.
Re-posted 7/4/2010.
Re-posted 7/4/2011.
Re-posted 7/4/2012.
Re-posted 7/4/2013.
Re-posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016.

Carroll's Invocation

When I first saw this prayer posted at Fr. Z's Blog (the former WDTPRS) in 2012, I had wanted to bring it to my infinitesimal corner of the universe. Now is a wonderful time to do it. A fedora doff to Fr. John Zuhlsdorf for this small part of American religious history, a prayer just as needed today as it was when first uttered.

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We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name. 
We pray Thee, Who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope N., the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation. 
We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty. 
We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability. We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. 
Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Prayer For Government, 1791
John Archbishop Carroll (1735-1815)
Archbishop of Baltimore, 1789-1815

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Originally posted 7/4/2014.
Re-posted 7/4/2015.
Re-posted 7/4/2016

Saturday, July 01, 2017

1-5-O, Canada



A very happy sesquicentennial to our neighbors to the north.

A brief explanation of just what they are celebrating. (Quite a civics lesson.)

May you see many more years.

And may we continue to be good neighbors.

National Anthem Sweet


In honor of Canada Day (once upon a time called Dominion Day), I present the lyrics to one of the most melodious national anthems in the world.

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O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
**********

A history of how the song developed can be found here.

**********

Originally posted on 7/1/2009.
Re-posted on 7/1/2010.
Re-posted on 7/1/2011.
Re-posted on 7/1/2013.
Re-posted on 7/1/2014.
Re-posted on 7/1/2016.

July 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Lapsed Christians.  That our brothers and sisters who have strayed from the faith, through our prayers and witness to the Gospel, may rediscover the merciful closeness of the Lord and the beauty of the Christian life.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

There is also this note:
Pope Francis has decided to keep one monthly prayer intention. He is no longer proposing an urgent prayer intention. However, on every Sunday on which he gives an Angelus Address, he asks for prayers for specific people and situations that are of deep concern to him.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Heart Of A Mother


From St. Brigid Catholic Church; San Francisco, CA

(NOTE: The feast this year has been superseded by the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.)

The First Saturday Devotion came as a result of visions received by the last surviving Fatima seer at that time, Lucia, although they were mentioned in the apparition on July 13, 1917.

While not a part of this devotion, the following litany, after the rosary, is the most beautiful petition for intercession from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Litany Of The Blessed Virgin Mary

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. God the Father of Heaven.
R. Have mercy on us. (Repeat after each invocation.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
God the Holy Spirit.
Holy Trinity, one God

V. Holy Mary.
R. Pray for us. (Repeat after each invocation.)
Holy Mother of God.
Holy Virgin of virgins.

Mother of Christ.
Mother of divine grace.
Mother most pure.
Mother most chaste.
Mother inviolate.
Mother undefiled.
Mother most amiable.
Mother most admirable.
Mother of good counsel.
Mother of our Creator.
Mother of our Savior.

Virgin most prudent.
Virgin most venerable.
Virgin most renowned.
Virgin most powerful.
Virgin most merciful.
Virgin most faithful.

Mirror of justice.
Seat of wisdom.
Cause of our joy.
Spiritual vessel.
Vessel of honor.
Singular vessel of devotion.

Mystical rose.
Tower of David.
Tower of ivory.
House of gold.
Ark of the Covenant.
Gate of Heaven.
Morning star.
Health of the sick.
Refuge of sinners.
Comforter of the afflicted.
Help of Christians.

Queen of angels.
Queen of patriarchs.
Queen of prophets.
Queen of apostles.
Queen of martyrs.
Queen of confessors.
Queen of virgins.
Queen of all saints.
Queen conceived without Original Sin.
Queen assumed into Heaven.
Queen of the most holy Rosary.
Queen of families.
Queen of peace.

V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Grant, we beg You, O Lord God, that we Your Servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Mary, ever Virgin, be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Originally posted 7/2/2011,
Re-posted 6/8/2013.
Re-posted 6/27/2014.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Making Of Hearts


From St. Brigid Catholic Church; San Francisco, CA

The First Friday Devotion was revealed to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque during an eighteen month period beginning December 27, 1673. It includes recitation of the following litany.

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Litany To The Sacred Heart Of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ, have mercy.
V. Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us.
R. Christ, graciously hear us.

V. God, the Father of Heaven.
R. Have mercy on us. (Repeat after each invocation.)
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World.
God, the Holy Spirit.
Holy Trinity, one God.

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father.
Heart of Jesus, formed in the womb of the Virgin Mother by the Holy Spirit.
Heart of Jesus, united substantially with the word of God.
Heart of Jesus, of infinite majesty.
Heart of Jesus, holy temple of God.
Heart of Jesus, tabernacle of the Most High.
Heart of Jesus, house of God and gate of heaven.
Heart of Jesus, glowing furnace of charity.
Heart of Jesus, vessel of justice and love.
Heart of Jesus, full of goodness and love.
Heart of Jesus, abyss of all virtues.
Heart of Jesus, most worthy of all praise.
Heart of Jesus, king and center of all hearts.
Heart of Jesus, in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Heart of Jesus, in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Divinity.
Heart of Jesus, in whom the Father is well pleased.
Heart of Jesus, of whose fullness we have all received.
Heart of Jesus, desire of the everlasting hills.
Heart of Jesus, patient and rich in mercy.
Heart of Jesus, rich to all who invoke You.
Heart of Jesus, fount of life and holiness.
Heart of Jesus, propitiation for our sins.
Heart of Jesus, saturated with revilings.
Heart of Jesus, crushed for our iniquities.
Heart of Jesus, made obedient unto death.
Heart of Jesus, pierced with a lance.
Heart of Jesus, source of all consolation.
Heart of Jesus, our life and resurrection.
Heart of Jesus, our peace and reconciliation.
Heart of Jesus, victim for our sins.
Heart of Jesus, salvation of those who hope in You.
Heart of Jesus, hope of those who die in You.
Heart of Jesus, delight of all saints.

V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord
V. Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.

V. Jesus, meek and humble of Heart.
R. Make our hearts like unto Yours.

Let us pray: Almighty and everlasting God, look upon the Heart of Your well-beloved Son and upon the acts of praise and satisfaction which He renders unto You in the name of sinners; and do, in Your great goodness, grant pardon to them who seek Your mercy, in the name of Your same Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You forever and ever. Amen.

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Originally posted 7/1/2011.
Re-posted 6/5/2013.
Re-posted 6/27/2014.
Re-posted 6/3/2016.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Pange Lingua/Tantum Ergo

Pange, lingua, gloriosi
Corporis mysterium,
Sanguinisque pretiosi,
quem in mundi pretium
fructus ventris generosi
Rex effudit Gentium.

Nobis datus, nobis natus
ex intacta Virgine,
et in mundo conversatus,
sparso verbi semine,
sui moras incolatus
miro clausit ordine.

In supremae nocte cenae
recumbens cum fratribus
observata lege plene
cibis in legalibus,
cibum turbae duodenae
se dat suis manibus.

Verbum caro, panem verum
verbo carnem efficit:
fitque sanguis Christi merum,
et si sensus deficit,
ad firmandum cor sincerum
sola fides sufficit.

Tantum ergo Sacramentum
veneremur cernui:
et antiquum documentum
novo cedat ritui:
praestet fides supplementum
sensuum defectui.

Genitori, Genitoque
laus et iubilatio,
salus, honor, virtus quoque
sit et benedictio:
procedenti ab utroque
compar sit laudatio.
Amen. Alleluia.

V. Panem de caelis praestitisti eis. (T.P. Alleluja)
R. Omne delectamentum in se habentem. (T.P. Alleluja)

Oremus: Deus, qui nobis sub sacramento mirabili, passionis tuae memoriam reliquisti: tribue, quaesumus, ita nos corporis et sanguinis tui sacramysteria venerari, ut redemptionis tuae fructum in nobis iugiter sentiamus. Qui vivis et regnas in saecula saeculorum.

R. Amen.

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Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
of His flesh the mystery sing;
of the Blood, all price exceeding,
shed by our immortal King,
destined, for the world's redemption,
from a noble womb to spring.

Of a pure and spotless Virgin
born for us on earth below,
He, as Man, with man conversing,
stayed, the seeds of truth to sow;
then He closed in solemn order
wondrously His life of woe.

On the night of that Last Supper,
seated with His chosen band,
He the Pascal victim eating,
first fulfills the Law's command;
then as Food to His Apostles
gives Himself with His own hand.

Word-made-Flesh, the bread of nature
by His word to Flesh He turns;
wine into His Blood He changes;-
what though sense no change discerns?
Only be the heart in earnest,
faith her lesson quickly learns.

Down in adoration falling,
Lo! the sacred Host we hail;
Lo! o'er ancient forms departing,
newer rites of grace prevail;
faith for all defects supplying,
where the feeble sense fail.

To the everlasting Father,
and the Son who reigns on high,
with the Holy Ghost proceeding
forth from Each eternally,
be salvation, honor, blessing,
might and endless majesty.
Amen. Alleluia.

R. Thou hast given them bread from heaven.
V. Having within it all sweetness.

Let us pray: O God, who in this wonderful Sacrament left us a memorial of Thy Passion: grant, we implore Thee, that we may so venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood, as always to be conscious of the fruit of Thy Redemption. Thou who livest and reignest forever and ever.

R. Amen.

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Originally posted 6/18/2006.
Re-posted 6/10/2012.
Re-posted 6/2/2013.
Re-posted 6/22/2014.
Re-posted 5/29/2016.

Corpus Christi Sequence


Lauda Sion Salvatorem,
lauda ducem et pastorem,
in hymnis et canticis.
Quantum potes, tantum aude:
quia maior omni laude,
nec laudare sufficis.

Laudis thema specialis,
panis vivus et vitalis
hodie proponitur.
Quem in sacrae mensa cenae,
turbae fratrum duodenae
datum non ambigitur.

Sit laus plena, sit sonora,
sit iucunda, sit decora
mentis iubilatio.
Dies enim solemnis agitur,
in qua mensae prima recolitur
huius institutio.

In hac mensa novi Regis,
novum Pascha novae legis,
phase vetus terminat.
Vetustatem novitas,
umbram fugat veritas,
noctem lux eliminat.

Quod in coena Christus gessit,
faciendum hoc expressit
in sui memoriam.
Docti sacris institutis,
panem, vinum in salutis
consecramus hostiam.

Dogma datur christianis,
quod in carnem transit panis,
et vinum in sanguinem.
Quod non capis, quod non vides,
animosa firmat fides,
praeter rerum ordinem.

Sub diversis speciebus,
signis tantum, et non rebus,
latent res eximiae.
Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
manet tamen Christus totus
sub utraque specie.

A sumente non concisus,
non confractus, non divisus:
integer accipitur.
Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
quantum isti, tantum ille:
nec sumptus consumitur.

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
sorte tamen inaequali,
vitae vel interitus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis:
vide paris sumptionis
quam sit dispar exitus.

Fracto demum sacramento,
ne vacilles, sed memento
tantum esse sub fragmento,
quantum toto tegitur.
Nulla rei fit scissura:
signi tantum fit fractura,
qua nec status, nec statura
signati minuitur.

Ecce Panis Angelorum,
factus cibus viatorum:
vere panis filiorum,
non mittendus canibus.
In figuris praesignatur,
cum Isaac immolatur,
agnus Paschae deputatur,
datur manna patribus.

Bone pastor, panis vere,
Iesu, nostri miserere:
Tu nos pasce, nos tuere,
Tu nos bona fac videre
in terra viventium.
Tu qui cuncta scis et vales,
qui nos pascis hic mortales:
tuos ibi commensales,
coheredes et sodales
fac sanctorum civium.
Amen. Alleluia.

++++++++++

Zion, to Thy Savior sing,
to Thy Shepherd and Thy King!
Let the air with praises ring!
All thou canst, proclaim with mirth,
far higher is His worth
than the glory words may wing.

Lo! before our eyes and living
is the Sacred Bread life-giving,
theme of canticle and hymn.
We profess this Bread from heaven
to the Twelve by Christ was given,
for our faith rest firm in Him.

Let us form a joyful chorus,
may our lauds ascend sonorous,
bursting from each loving breast.
For we solemnly record
how the Table of the Lord
with the Lamb's own gift was blest.

On this altar of the King
this new Paschal Offering
brings an end to ancient rite.
Shadows flee that truth may stay,
oldness to the new gives way,
and the night's darkness to the light.

What at Supper Christ completed
He ordained to be repeated,
in His memory Divine.
Wherefore now, with adoration,
we, the Host of our salvation,
consecrate from bread and wine.

Words a nature's course derange,
that in Flesh the bread may change
and the wine in Christ's own Blood.
Does it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of light transcending,
leaps to things not understood.

Here beneath these signs are hidden
priceless things, to sense forbidden;
signs, not things, are all we see.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
yet is Christ in either sign,
all entire confessed to be.

And whoe'er of Him partakes,
severs not, nor rends, nor breaks:
all entire, their Lord receive.
Whether one or thousand eat,
all receive the selfsame meat,
nor do less for others leave.

Both the wicked and the good
eat of this celestial Food:
but with ends how opposite!
With this most substantial Bread,
unto life or death they're fed,
in a difference infinite.

Nor a single doubt retain,
when they break the Host in twain,
but that in each part remain
what was in the whole before;
For the outward sign alone
may some change have undergone,
while the Signified stays one,
and the same forevermore.

Hail! Bread of the Angels, broken,
for us pilgrims food, and token
of the promise by Christ spoken,
children's meat, to dogs denied!
Shown in Isaac's dedication,
in the Manna's preparation,
in the Paschal immolation,
in old types pre-signified.

Jesus, Shepherd mild and meek,
shield the poor, support the weak;
help all who Thy pardon sue,
placing all their trust in You:
fill them with Your healing grace!
Source of all we have or know,
feed and lead us here below.
grant that with Your Saints above,
sitting at the feast of love
we may see You face to face.
Amen. Alleluia.

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Originally posted 6/18/2006.
Re-posted 6/6/2010.
Re-posted 6/26/2011.
Re-posted 6/10/2012.
Re-posted 6/2/2013.
Re-posted 6/22/2014.
Re-posted 5/29/2016.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Long May It Wave


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1892-1923

I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

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1923-1954

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

**********

1954-Present

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.

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A brief history of the pledge can be found here.
A brief history about the day can be found here.
A brief history about the flag can be found here.

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Stories regarding burning of the flag as an act of protest against the country are numerous. A local radio announcer recorded this essay about respecting this country's most important and visible symbol (transcription is mine):
Hello. Remember me? Some people call me Old Glory. Others call me the Star-Spangled Banner. But, whatever they call me, I'm your flag--the flag of the United States of America. Something has been bothering me. I thought I might talk it over with you, because it's about you and me.

I remember some time ago people would line up on both sides of the street to watch the parade. Naturally, I was leading every one of them, proudly waving in the breeze. When your Daddy saw me coming, he removed his hat, placed it over his left shoulder so that his hand was over his heart. Remember? And you. I remember you standing there, straight as a soldier. You didn't have a hat, but you were giving the right salute. Remember your little sister? Not to be outdone, she was saluting the same as you, with her right hand over her heart. Remember?

What happened? I'm still the same old flag. Oh, I've added a few more stars since you were a boy. A lot more blood has been shed since those parades of long ago. But now, somehow, I don't feel as proud as I used to feel. Now when I come down your street, you just stand there with your hands in your pockets. You may give me a small glance, then you look away. I see children running around you shouting; they don't seem to know who I am. I saw one man take his hat off and then he looked around; and when he didn't see anyone else take their hat off, he quickly put his back on again.

Is is a sin to be patriotic today? Have you forgotten what I stand for and where I have been? Take a look at the memorial honor rolls; see the names of those patriotic Americans who gave their lives to keep this Republic free. When you salute me, you are actually saluting them.

Well, it won't be long until I'm coming down your street again. So when you see me, please--stand straight, place your hand over your heart, and I'll know that you remember. I'll salute you by waving back.
**********

Originally posted 6/14/2006.
Re-posted 6/14/2011.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Deja Vu

"I hope it doesn't happen again for a long time."

That was the final remark of this event.

Well, it seems "a long time" is just over seven years.

Yesterday, it happened again.

This time it was at the other parish where I apply my musical skills. I had just arrived (having cantored at my home parish) just as the "Gloria" was being sung. After the Opening Prayer had been recited, we waited for the Lector to proceed to the ambo. The only problem was that there was no Lector.

The situation was eerily similar to what had happened back in 2010. The solution was the same, however. After looking around, I made eye contact with the deacon (as there was a visiting priest celebrating the Mass) and tapped my hand on my chest while mouthing, "I'll do it." Once I got to the ambo, everything proceeded as usual (only this time I just had the readings to proclaim).

My only concern was that of being presumptuous. Since I am not a member of that parish, I would have preferred someone else stepping forward. But there had been enough of an awkward time lapse. I just did the right thing.

Shall I prepare for this sometime in 2024?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Glory Be To...


From the Athanasian Creed:
...And the Catholic Faith is this, that we worship one God in Trinity and Trinity in Unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost is all One, the Glory Equal, the Majesty Co-Eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost. The Father Uncreate, the Son Uncreate, and the Holy Ghost Uncreate. The Father Incomprehensible, the Son Incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost Incomprehensible. The Father Eternal, the Son Eternal, and the Holy Ghost Eternal and yet they are not Three Eternals but One Eternal. As also there are not Three Uncreated, nor Three Incomprehensibles, but One Uncreated, and One Uncomprehensible. So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not Three Almighties but One Almighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not Three Gods, but One God. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not Three Lords but One Lord. For, like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by Himself to be and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Religion to say, there be Three Gods or Three Lords. The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

So there is One Father, not Three Fathers; one Son, not Three Sons; One Holy Ghost, not Three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is afore or after Other, None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-eternal together, and Co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity....
This is He Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is To Come.

This is I AM.

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Originally posted 6/19/2011.
Re-posted 5/26/2013.
Re-posted 6/15/2014.
Re-posted 5/31/2015
Re-posted 5/22/2016.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Hymn For Pentecost

Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.

Qui diceris Paraclitus,
altissimi donum Dei,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.

Tu, septiformis munere,
digitus paternae dexterae,
Tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.

Accende lumen sensibus:
infunde amorem cordibus:
infirma nostri corporis
virtute firmans perpeti.

Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque dones protinus:
ductore sic te praevio
vitemus omne noxium.

Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium;
Teque utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.

Deo Patri sit gloria,
et Filio, qui a mortuis surrexit,
ac Paraclito,
in saeculorum saecula. Amen.

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Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

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Originally posted 6/4/2006.
Part of post "Tongues Of Fire" posted 5/27/2007.
Re-posted 5/23/2010.
Re-posted 6/12/2011.
Re-posted 4/18/2013.
Re-posted 6/8/2014.
Re-posted 5/24/2015.
Re-posted 5/15/2016.

Pentecost Sequence

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte caelitus
lucis tuae radium.

Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum
veni, lumen cordium.

Consolator optime,
dulcis hospes animae,
dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,
in aestu temperies
in fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,
reple cordis intima
tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,
nihil est in homine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,
riga quod est aridum,
sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,
in te confidentibus,
sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium.

Amen, Alleluia.

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Come, Holy Spirit,
Send forth from on high
The radiance of thy light.

Come, thou, father of the poor,
Come, dispenser of all good gifts,
Come thou, light of our hears.

Supreme Comforter,
Beloved guest of our soul,
Its most desirable nourishment.

In the midst of labor, rest.
A cool breeze to temper the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed light,
Fill the innermost being.
The very hearts of they faithful.

Without thy divine strength
No good dwells in man,
Nothing but what turns to ill.

Wash away every stain,
Irrigate all dryness,
Heal every wound.

Make supple all that is rigid,
Give ardor to things grown cold,
Straighten every crooked path.

Grant to thy faithful
Who put their trust in thee,
The blessing of thy sevenfold gifts.

Grant us the reward of a virtuous life,
A death which leads to salvation,
To the gift of eternal joy.

Amen. Alleluia.

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Originally posted 5/23/2010.
Re-posted 6/12/2011.
Re-posted 5/19/2013.
Re-posted 6/8/2014.
Re-posted 5/24/2015.
Re-posted 5/15/2016.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

June 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
National Leaders.  That national leaders may firmly commit themselves to ending the arms trade, which victimizes so many innocent people.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Monday, May 01, 2017

May 2017 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Christians In Africa.  That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.
A reflection for this intention is found here.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The "Other" Prayer

As mentioned in a previous post, the Regina Coeli now takes the place of the Angelus when the church bells peel morning, noon, and night during the Easter Season. This is a wonderful reminder of our salvation during the next 50 days.

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V. Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia,

V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia,
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et lætare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.

Oremus.  Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum lætificare dignatus es:
præsta, quæsumus, ut per eius Genitricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuæ capiamus gaudia vitæ.  Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.
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V.
Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
R. For He Whom thou was made worthy to bear. Alleluia.

V. Has risen as He said. Alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God. Alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. For the Lord hath risen indeed. Alleluia.

Let us pray: O God, Who through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast vouchsafed to make glad the world, grant us we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain unto the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

**********

Originally posted 4/16/2006.
Re-posted 4/4/2010.
Re-posted 4/8/2012.
Re-posted 3/31/2013.
Re-posted 4/20/2014.
Re-posted 4/5/2015.
Re-posted 3/27/2016.

Easter Sequence

 
The Resurrection of Christ, by Peter Paul Rubens

Victimae Paschali laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves: Christus innocens Patri reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando: dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis, et gloriam vidi resurgentis.
Angelicos testees, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea: praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere: Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

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Christians, to the Paschal victim offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb; and Christ, the undefiled, hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended: combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose; I saw Christ's glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting; shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen: He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia.

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He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter, Everybody!

**********

Originally posted Easter Sunday 2006.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2007.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2008.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2009.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2011.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2012.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2013.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2014.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2015.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2016.

Some messages never change.

2017 Easter Card






May the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bring you eternal joy. May He Who once was dead but now is alive bring you infinite peace. May the Son of God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, bring you everlasting love.

He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter, Everybody!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

This Candle's Perfect Praises

If one really thinks about it, there are no words that can truly describe the joy the soul feels about being redeemed. How can our limited minds understand what has really happened? What finite expression could adequately describe an event of infinite love and mercy?

It is Grace; Sanctifying Grace to be most specific. It is a free, unmerited gift from God. He Who bring us into and sustains our existence by His will grants us the privilege to be called adopted children of His through the life, death, and resurrection of His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. We are heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven if only we cooperate with this unfathomable power.

Our response to this is also a gift. I am sure one could comb Scriptures to find appropriate promptings inspired by the Holy Spirit. That same Spirit has also led many a saint to convey some sense of this ecstasy. May I submit, however, that the closest we come to the most sincere heart- and soul-filled reply we could have is found in the Exsultet.

Having had the humble honor of proclaiming this text, even though I am more unworthy than the clerics whose rightful duty it is, it is still in its intonation the closest we can come to joy unbridled. This hymn of glory, laud, and honor to our Redeemer King makes our sweet "Hosanna" ring. It is the true affirmation in our Profession of Faith. It is faith, hope, and love animated completely.

May those who have this role tonight bring forth that joy and set the stage for the rest of the Easter Vigil.

The text, in both Latin and English, is provided.

Seven Last Words: Waiting And Trusting


Crucified Christ with Saint John the Evangelist, the Virgin, and Saints Dominic and Jerome
by Fra Angelico

This concludes a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit." (Luke 23:46, cf. Psalm 31:6)
Before the feast of Passover, Jesus realized that the hour had come for him to pass from this world to the Father. He had loved his own in this world, and would show his love for them to the end.

John 13:1
His final acts. One last attempt to reveal Himself to the world (again, a fragment of a Psalm which would be familiar to all, another one which portrayed His Passion). And then, He dies.

"What wondrous love is this, O my soul?" A love which takes a soul a lifetime to understand, much less appreciate, much less articulate, much less emulate. A love eternal.

And now comes the ultimate act of trust. In His humanity, He can no longer do anymore. In a sense, He has become a child again--placed in His Mother's arms, wrapped in cloth, laid to rest in a place not His own. He has now placed His trust in the Father, a trust that the plan of salvation would come to fruition.

His work on earth is done. His job--to re-create the world--is completed. The six days from Palm Sunday to Good Friday are over. "Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken." (Genesis 2:2)

And so He rests.

And so we wait.

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Originally posted 4/15/2006 as "Seven Last Words: Trusting".
Re-posted 4/7/2007 as "Seven Last Words: Waiting."
Re-posted 3/22/2008.
Re-posted 4/11/2009.
Re-posted 4/3/2010.
Re-posted 4/23/2011.
Re-posted 4/7/2012.
Re-posted 3/30/2013.
Re-posted 4/19/2014.
Re-posted 4/4/2015.
Re-posted 3/26/2016.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Be Reminded Again Of Mercy


 Good Friday also marks the start of the Novena to the Divine Mercy.

This post from 2006 provides all the details.

"Jesus, I Trust In You!"

Seven Last Words: Completion


Christ Crucified Between Two Thieves by Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.


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"It is consummated." (John 19:30)

Many of you have or will hear and/or read these or similar words today.

His Hour has finally come. With the coming of the darkness, it seems as if the first day of creation was being undone. Is not, in fact, what has been really happening since His entry into Jerusalem six days ago? Genesis, redux. All of creation is being re-newed. Made new again.

But not by destroying it, as Satan tried to do to Him. Redeeming it with His death. Reconciling it with the Trinitarian Life. Gathering it as He did His Cross. Healing it with the stripes of the scourging. Washing it clean with the blood and water which will soon flow from His side. Offering it all back to the Father.

This new work of creation is done. God has said again, with His Word, it is very good. Jesus has done all He could. Like the groom and bride, Heaven and earth are once again united in a new and everlasting covenant.

No Greater Love.

"It is consummated."

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Originally posted 4/14/2006.
Re-posted 4/6/2007.
Re-posted 3/21/2008.
Re-posted 4/10/2009.
Re-posted 4/2/2010.
Re-posted 4/22/2011.
Re-posted 4/6/2012.
Re-posted 3/29/2013.
Re-posted 4/18/2014.
Re-posted 4/3/2015.
Re-posted 3/25/16.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Seven Last Words: Wanting

Cristo Crucificado by Zurbaran

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"I thirst." (John 19:28)

Was this an echo of another conversation Jesus had earlier in the Gospel of St. John, when He asks the Samaritan woman to give Him water from Jacob's well? No one overheard that exchange; remember, the disciples were returning as she was leaving. But, this short statement hearkens back to that incident.

The entire story (John 4:4-42) has hints of the Passion. Jesus and the Samaritan woman met at about noon, the same time when Jesus was fixed to the Cross. While she wondered if He was greater than Jacob, recall the crowd who wondered if He was greater than Elijah. He was still hoping people would recognize Him, just as He began to reveal Himself to her (John 4:10). Her coming to believe echoed the words of the Centurion. But the greatest clue was in His words to her as she spoke of where true worship of God would take place, seemingly as a foreshadowing of what was to come (John 4:19-24).

Jesus has had nothing to drink since the Last Supper. His scourging drained much blood. His carrying the Cross sapped what little strength He was conserving. He had to be severely dehydrated. Yes, He thirsted.

But not for water. I have read somewhere His thirst upon the Cross is for the salvation of all. But, is it also possible that His human nature was thirsting to see the living God?
O God, you are my God whom I seek; for your my flesh pines and my soul thirsts like the earth, parched, lifeless and without water.

Psalm 63:2
Jesus, in His life and in His death, has an unquenchable desire to draw all to Him. Soon, it would be sated.

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Originally posted 4/13/2006.
Re-posted 4/5/2007.
Re-posted 3/20/2008.
Re-posted 4/9/2009.
Re-posted 4/1/2010.
Re-posted 4/21/2011.
Re-posted 4/5/2012.
Re-posted 3/28/2013.
Re-posted 4/17/2014.
Re-posted 4/2/2015.
Re-posted 3/24/2016.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Seven Last Words: Utter Abandonement


Christ Crucified by Velazquez

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Eli, Eli, lema sabacthani?" ("My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?") (Matthew 27:46b; cf. Psalm 22:2)

When the crowd heard this from Jesus, they responded by saying He was invoking Elijah. They must have forgotten Him saying there was Someone greater than Elijah amongst them. They also must have forgotten this was the opening line of a Psalm surely heard at times in their synagogues.

While all words in the Bible lead to the Word, some more than others point directly to Him. Psalm 22 is a case in point. Still a Teacher, still calling out to Israel to see Him as He truly is--their redeemer, Jesus leaves no stone unturned as His humanity begins to drain away. Indeed, as He said earlier in His ministry, this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.

Yet, how eerily these words echo in Heaven as well as on earth. A member of the Trinity, a union of Perfect Love, wondering out loud if He is no longer part of Them. Has God rejected Himself? The Begotten Son, forgotten? The Beloved, unloved? We can't fathom it.

Such is the Paschal Mystery. We can find the paradoxes. There are times when we seek answers to those contradictory questions. But, as Fr. John Powell, SJ, wrote in several of his books, we need to seek not peace of mind, but rather peace of heart. "Then God's own peace, which is beyond all understanding, will stand guard over your hearts and minds, in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

Perhaps, Jesus thought of another passage to help His align His will to the Father's in this time of seemingly utter abandonment. It is a quote to quiet our souls and asks us to trust in the One Who is worthy of that trust. Maybe, just maybe, it helped Him in this moment.

"Be still, and know that I am God."

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Originally posted 4/12/2006.
Re-posted 4/5/2007.
Re-posted 3/19/2008.
Re-posted 4/8/2009.
Re-posted 3/31/2010.
Re-posted 4/20/2011.
Re-posted 4/4/2012.
Re-posted 3/27/2013.
Re-posted 4/16/2014.
Re-posted 4/1/2015.
Re-posted 3/23/2016

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Seven Last Words: Gifts Of Others


This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Woman, behold thy son. . . .Behold thy mother." (John 19:26-27)

Although other accounts of the Passion mention other people near the Cross, it was the Blessed Virgin Mary and the disciple whom Jesus loved who had the courage to draw as close as possible in His agony. A love greater than their fear, they stood in the place of Adam and Eve, in a sense. In proxy of all humanity.

Jesus, in His humanity, would have never remembered the words of Simeon. Jesus, in His divinity, would have known them intensely. I don't think it is possible to determine who's heart was more broken at this moment; between the Son and the Mother, they both had to be aching infinitely.

Yet, in this moment of incredible anguish, love still abounds.

Jesus gave His Mother His adopted "children", those who worship in Spirit and Truth, those who Love as He demonstrated time after time, those who observe the Great Commandments, those who He has saved.

Jesus gave St. John, as the representative of His Church at this moment, the greatest example of what holiness is, the sign of what His grace can do in us, the model of what saying "yes" to Him means, the true meaning of what humanity is.

No small gifts.

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Originally posted 4/11/2006.
Re-posted 4/3/2007.
Re-posted 3/18/2008.
Re-posted 4/7/2009.
Re-posted 3/30/2010.
Re-posted 4/19/2011.
Re-posted 4/3/2012.
Re-posted 3/26/2013.
Re-posted 4/15/2014.
Re-posted 3/31/2015.
Re-posted 3/22/2016.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Seven Last Words: The Promise

Crucifixion by Matthias Gruenewald

This continues a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Amen I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:43)

From the website Catholic Community Forum:
One of the thieves crucified with Jesus, the other being traditionally known as Gestas; Dismas is the one who rebuked the other, and asked for Christ's blessing.

An old legend from an Arabic infancy gospel says that when the Holy Family were running to Egypt, they were set upon by a band of thieves including Dismas and Gestas. One of the highwaymen realized there was something different, something special about them, and ordered his fellow bandits to leave them alone; this thief was Dismas.
While St. Joseph taught Him the skills of carpentry, Jesus was actually a farmer. Recall the Parable of the Seeds, the need for harvesters, the call to die to self in order to be fruitful. While He was very familiar with wood (first the Manger and now the Cross), He came to reap and gather the most precious crop of all--souls.

Seeds of grace are what He planted. Some sprouted quickly (St. Paul). Some needed nurturing (the Samaritan woman at the well). Some matured with the help of others (St. Augustine, thanks to St. Monica). Some died on the vine (Judas). Now, one which had laid dormant for some 30 years blossoms.

The Church teaches it is never too late to repent. Salvation is close at hand when sincerely sought.

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Originally posted 4/10/2006.
Re-posted 4/2/2007.
Re-posted 3/17/2008.
Re-posted 4/6/2009.
Re-posted 3/29/2010.
Re-posted 4/18/2011.
Re-posted 4/2/2012.
Re-posted 3/25/2013.
Re-posted 4/14/2014.
Re-posted 3/30/2015.
Re-posted 3/21/2016.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Seven Last Words: Lacking Knowing


Kreuzigung by Bernardo Daddi

This begins a series of short meditations upon the statements made while Jesus hung on the Cross.

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"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (Luke 23:34)

One has to wonder how many times this thought crossed the mind of Jesus during His ministry before He uttered it at His crucifixion. Certainly not when people converted upon encountering Him, whether by His words or deeds. Certainly not when people asked Him in faith for something. And certainly not when He showed forgiveness through His words and deeds.

Yet, one will find example after example of those who "know not what they do." The Scribes and Pharasees debating Him. The rich young man walking away from His invitation. James and John asking for their seats. The crowds shouting their "Hosanna". Peter--well, pick an incident.

Judas Iscariot. Caiaphas. Herod. Pontius Pilate.

We, when we sin.

Yes, there are degrees of culpability. But, because of Original Sin, there is damage done to our wills and intellects. And it is that damage that does not allow us to truly realize in the very core of our being what our sinfulness does to us. It is in that sense we "know not what we do." It is the war within us mentioned by St. Paul.

Yet, is that not what metanoia is all about? Is that not why we, "with the help of Thy Grace," seek to uproot in our souls that which separates us from God? Is that not why we examine our consciences and seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to continue to strengthen what has been weakened?

It is the level of sanctity asked of us ("Be therefore perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect."). It is the level of sanctity achieved by the saints. It is a level of sanctity we can have. The Son has asked the Father with the Spirit that this may be. It continues its fruition when we seek it.

"Father, forgive them."

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Originally posted 4/9/2006.
Re-posted 4/1/2007.
Re-posted 3/16/2008.
Re-posted 4/5/2009.
Re-posted 3/28/2010.
Re-posted 4/17/2011.
Re-posted 4/1/2012.
Re-posted 3/24/2013
Re-posted 4/13/2014.
Re-posted 3/29/2015.
Re-posted 3/20/2016.