Wednesday, February 14, 2024

An Early Call To Repentence


Ready or not, Lent is here.

Yes, it seems to have come unannounced (because it is rare to hear the Proclamation of Easter and the Moveable Feasts at Epiphany). Yes, it seems we just celebrated the Christmas Season (because there were only five Sundays between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday this year). Yes, because it "conflicts" with Valentine's Day (and the Feast of Ss. Cyril and Methodius). Yes, because we are only in the middle of February.

Remember how long a thousand years is in God's eye (cf. Psalm 90:4).

Now is the acceptable time to rend your hearts and remove the speck from your eye. The Church has graciously set aside the next forty days for us to draw closer to God. With prayer, fasting, and almsgiving we have the opportunity to be refined like gold in fire

How can we, the People of God, become holier during this time so as to fulfill our baptismal promises better? This is the focus of Lent. From the tried and true to something we wanted to try, our spiritual disciplines now have more direction and purpose.

The challenge is once again before us.

Accept the grace of God and use it to become more of  “'a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises' of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." (cf. 1 Peter 2:9)

Time's a wasting.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

February 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

For the Terminally Ill. We pray that those with a terminal illness, and their families, receive the necessary physical and spiritual care and accompaniment.
(UPDATE:  2/9/2024).  A reflection for this intention can be found here.

Friday, January 19, 2024

State (Battle) Lines

The weekend nearest January 22 is a bittersweet time for those in the pro-life movement. On the negative side, it is the remembrance of the anniversary of the 1972 Supreme Court decisions of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, rulings that allowed for unrestricted abortions in this country. For over 50 years it has been a time of peaceful protest as well as the herculean effort to change hearts and minds. And while there have been incremental steps forward (as well as backward), the giant leap for humanity was the ruling June 24, 2022 of Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe's (as well as Casey v. Planned Parenthood) "settled precedent" on this most controversial subject.

The pro-life events last year had many celebratory moments. But in the back of everybody's mind was the stark reality this SCOTUS decision, while a major victory, now made the pro-life challenge even more daunting. In fact it became at least 50 times difficult. All this did was now return the legal question to the states. (Nor has it entirely stopped the federal government's attempts to enshrine this so-called right into law on a national level.)

In the over 18 months since Dobbs took effect, the battles have increased and intensified in individual state legislatures, courts, and ballot boxes. And it is easier to keep score. Progress or regression has more measurables now--the passing of laws, rulings, or constitutional amendments at the state level. But the color representing those achievements still remains the same. Unfortunately, depending on your political persuasion, the country can still be colored red or blue regarding this. It is just becoming more clearer which hue goes where.

What does this mean for the pro-life movement? In a sense, it is still more of the same. The changing of hearts and minds continues. Limited resources are more stretched. There are more threats of violence to those whose voices are raised loud enough to be effectively heard. And there is still the bully pulpit that is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, where the current occupant has perhaps staked his entire political career (some of a religious nature would opine at the cost of his soul) on cementing his legacy with this issue.

The response is still the same. More prayer and fasting (for this is a spiritual battle as well); more speaking the truth in love (for the opposition is still winning the war of words); more grassroots efforts (for this is where the pro-life movement is most effective); more visible signs of support for not only mother (and father?) and child but those who have been scarred by this act (for true compassion is shown in loving deeds). This is what we do best:  offer authentic hope and love.

We are 366 days from inaugurating the next President of the United States. But we can't be assured of that person's support; we have seen what the political tides do to this issue. We still have to pray as if it were up to God and work as if it were up to us.

And both are right to do.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

January 2024 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

Here is the intention for this month when prayer the Morning Offering:

For the Gift of Diversity in the Church. We pray that the Holy Spirit may help us to recognize the gift of different charisms within the Christian community and to discover the richness of different traditions and rituals in the Catholic Church.
A reflection for this intention can be found here.

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Every Knee Should Bend

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Originally posted 1/3/2017.
Re-posted 1/3/2018.
Re-posted 1/3/2019.
Re-posted 1/3/2020.
Re-posted 1/3/2022.
Re-posted 1/3/2023.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Hail, Theotokis!


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

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Originally posted 1/1/2011.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.
Re-posted 1/1/2023.

Another New Year's Indulgence

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

You have another opportunity today.

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

You will find the words and a familiar translation here.

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Originally posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.
Re-posted 1/1/2023.

Perpetual Resolution


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Originally posted 1/1/2007.
Re-posted 1/1/2013.
Re-posted 1/1/2014.
Re-posted 1/1/2015.
Re-posted 1/1/2016.
Re-posted 1/1/2017.
Re-posted 1/1/2018.
Re-posted 1/1/2019.
Re-posted 1/1/2020.
Re-posted 1/1/2021.
Re-posted 1/1/2022.
Re-posted 1/1/2023.

Sunday, December 31, 2023

After The Countdown


You know what my 2023 has been like. I have heard other people mention it wasn't a very good year for them. So be glad that we literally and figuratively can turn the page and start fresh. Let the words of the Scottish poet Robert Burns remind us to remember, but not repeat, the past:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless you abundantly in 2024. May you keep Him close to you the next 12 months. May He bestow upon you every grace you need when you seek Him.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

The Best New Year's Hymn



New Advent provides the background to this hymn.

The website FishEaters.com provided the Latin and English.

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

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

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

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


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Originally posted 12/31/2011.
Re-posted 12/31/2012.
Re-posted 12/31/2013.
Re-posted 12/31/2014.
Re-posted 12/31/2015.
Re-posted 12/31/2016.
Re-posted 12/31/2017.
Re-posted 12/31/2018.
Re-posted 12/31/2019.
Re-posted 12/31/2020.
Re-posted 12/31/2021.
Re-posted 12/31/2022.