Monday, February 29, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--4th. Sunday Of Lent

Rejoice, O Jerusalem; and gather round, all you who love her; rejoice in gladness, after having been in sorrow; exult and be replenished with the consolation flowing from her motherly bosom. 
V. I rejoiced when it was said unto me: "Let us go to the house of the Lord." 
Cf. Isaiah 66:10, 11; V. Ps. 121
I see here Jerusalem as an archetype of Holy Mother Church, who gathers her brood under her wing to nurture, instruct, admonish, and protect them. We are glad to "go home", we know we are welcomed there; we have a place.

Friday, February 26, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--3rd. Sunday Of Lent

There are two option presented this day.
The sparrow has found herself a home, and the turtle dove a nest in which to lay her young: at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God! Blessed are they who dwell in your house, they shall praise you for ever and ever. 
Ps. 83:4-5
This is also found as one of the Communion antiphons for the 16th. Sunday Of Ordinary Time. Remember what Jesus said about our worth compared to sparrows and lilies. We who dwell in the house of God, especially after receiving His Real Presence, will continue to be like Mary, "full of grace".
"Whosoever drinks the water that I shall offer", said the Lord (to the Samaritan woman), "shall have within him a spring of water welling up unto eternal life." 
John 4:13, 14
Only Jesus can quench the thirst within us. That dryness is caused by the separation between God and us because of our sins.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--3rd. Sunday Of Lent

The ordinances of the Lord are right, bringing joy to all hearts, sweeter than honey or the honeycomb. Therefore your servant will observe them. 
Ps. 18: 9, 10, 11, 12
To obey God is to love Him, because you are keeping His commandments. Joy comes in doing the will of the Father.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

PM: Tract Wednesdays--3rd. Sunday Of Lent

I have lifted my eyes up unto you, who dwell in the heavens. 
V. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hands of their masters; 
V. And as the eyes of a maidservant to the hands of her mistress; 
V. So do our eyes look unto the Lord our God until he have mercy on us. 
V. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. 
Ps. 122:1-3
The eyes of a sinner seeking forgiveness turn toward God. He in His loving kindness and mercy will take back the repentant heart. The Prodigal can come home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--3rd. Sunday Of Lent

Arise, O Lord, let not man prevail; let the gentiles be judged in your presence. 
V. When my enemies are turned back in defeat, they shall lose strength and perish before your face. 
Ps. 9:20; V. 4
We who are assailed by our enemies must rely on the power of God. Only he can bring for the victory according to His will.

Monday, February 22, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--3rd. Sunday Of Lent

We are presented two options today.
My eyes are forever turned towards the Lord; for he shall release my feet from the snare; look upon me and have mercy on me, for I am abandoned and destitute. 
V. Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; my God, I trust in you, let me not be put to shame. 
Ps. 24:15, 16; V. 1-2
We look toward God, Who is all-loving and all-merciful, to make us whole again. While we ask for mercy, we must also remember the petition in the Our Father about forgiving others.
When I vindicate my holiness through you, I will gather you from all lands, and I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness; and I will give you a new Spirit; (Added during the Easter Season:  alleluia, alleluia). 
V. I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. 
Ezek. 36:23, 24, 25, 26: V. Ps. 33
This Introit, along with being a choice for today, is one of the choices for the Feast of Pentecost:  Vigil Mass (with the alleluias being omitted if used during Lent). While you see why it is a great choice for Pentecost, we are also given a new Spirit whenever we are reconciled to God after the Sacrament of Penance. We shall be made clean again.

Friday, February 19, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--2nd. Sunday Of Lent

Tell no one about the vision you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead. 
Matt. 17:9
The Gospel readings for this Sunday are the synoptic accounts of the Transfiguration. While still veiled, we are still beholding His Real Presence, as did Peter, James, and John.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--2nd. Sunday Of Lent

I will meditate on your commandments which I love exceedingly; I will lift up my hands towards your commandments which I love. 
Ps. 118:47, 49
"If you love me, you will keep my commandments." The words of Jesus at the Last Supper echo throughout these verses.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

PM: Tract Wednesdays--2nd. Sunday Of Lent

You have caused the earth to quake, O Lord, you have rent it open. 
V. Repair its breaches, for it totters. 
V. May your chosen ones escape the menacing bow and be delivered. 
Ps. 59:4, 6
The power of the Most High is again on display. So also is His mercy for those who fear Him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--2nd. Sunday Of Lent

Let the nations know that God is your name; you alone are the Most High over all the earth. 
V. O my God, sweep them away like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind. 
Ps. 82:19; V. 14
When Moses asked God for His name so that he may tell it to the Israelites, God replied, "I AM WHO AM." Soon God would show His power over all the earth via the Ten Plagues before the Exodus. It is in this we trust to overcome our enemies.

Monday, February 15, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--2nd. Sunday Of Lent

There are two choices for the Introit this Sunday.
My heart declared to you : "Your countenance have I sought; I shall ever seek your countenance, O Lord; do not turn your face from me." 
V. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? 
Ps. 26:8, 9; V. 1
We continually seek the face of God and ask Him not to turn away from us. We are reminded that all who seek will find.
Remember your mercies, Lord, and your love which is from all eternity. Do not let our enemies triumph over us; deliver us, O God of Israel, from all our tribulations. 
V. Unto you, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul; O my God, I trust in you, let me not be put to shame. 
Ps. 24:6, 3, 22; V. 1-2
More in tune with the penitential spirit, we who are sinners ask for forgiveness. We place our trust not in the princes of the world but the Prince of Peace.

Friday, February 12, 2016

A Reason For This Season

Fedora doff to Sam Guzman, the creator of the 'blog named above.

PM: Communion Fridays--1st. Sunday Of Lent

He will overshadow you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will encompass you with a shield. 
Ps. 90:4, 5
This is not a mistake; it is the identical verse as the Offertory. Sometimes ideas need to be repeated so as to be understood. God cares for you. Deeply.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--1st. Sunday Of Lent

The Lord will overshadow you with his pinions, and you will find refuge under his wings. His faithfulness will encompass you with a shield. 
Ps. 90:4, 5
"See what love the Father has bestowed on us...." With great fatherly care and providence, He will guard your life.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

These Forty Days

Once again, we prepare for Easter.

Once again, we join Jesus on His way to the Cross.

Once again, we contemplate on His Passion and what it means.

In this the Jubilee Year of Mercy, we are presented with the time and opportunity to continue to understand why God chose this way to redeem us.

While we are called to repentance every day, the Church gives us this time to focus on conversion of heart, mind, and soul.

For those of you who may come across my words, I ask you one question, something of a mini-theme of mine at times.

Are you living what I call the "Johannine lie"? (See John 9:40-41.)

We seemingly don't hear about sin anymore. It is as if we have been desensitized to its presence to the point where it doesn't exist. While the Devil's biggest accomplishment is the denial of his existence, his second is the denial of right and wrong. Ask Adam and Eve about that one. Are we blinded to that fact in the world and in our own lives? The quip goes that saints know they are sinners, while sinners think they are saints.

There is not one part of our lives that is not in need of metanoia--thought, word, or deed.

We are given this moment in the liturgical year to truly "repent, and believe in the Gospel."

Let us take this time to continue to become more and more a child of God.

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

PM: Special Edition--Ash Wednesday

The Church's liturgically built-in season of repentance has begun.
Your mercy extends to all things, O Lord, and you despise none of the things you have made. You overlook the sins of men for the sake of repentance. You grant them your pardon, because you are the Lord our God.
V. Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for my soul confides in you. 
Wisdom 11:24, 25, 27; V. Ps. 56
Remember in the story of creation (Genesis 1), we were made in the image and likeness of God, who pronounced us "very good". While sin has diminished us, God has always taken the initiative in calling us back to Him, as this Introit demonstrates.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for my soul confides in you.  
V. He has sent from heaven and saved me; he has put to shame those who trampled upon me. 
Ps. 56:2; V. 4
Echoing the verse from the Introit, the Gradual is our basic prayer for the next forty days. We ask for His forgiveness so as to find favor and become His adopted children.
Lord, do not requite us according to the sins we have committed or according to our iniquity. 
V. Lord, remember not our sins of old; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low. 
V. Help us, O God, our Saviour, and for the glory of your name, deliver us, O Lord; and forgive us our sins, for your name's sake. 
Ps. 102:10; V. Ps. 78:8, 9
The beginning of Lent brings us, instead of the Alleluia, what is known as the Tract as a different way of preparing us for the Gospel and enforcing the idea we are in a reflective, penitential time. Here, we are again asking for the mercy of God and not be judged by our unrighteousness. We seek His compassion.
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and have not let my foes rejoice over me. O Lord, I cried unto you and you healed me. 
Ps. 29:2, 3
Harkening back to the verse from the Gradual, the Offertory is the beginning of our praise and thanksgiving, that God has not forsaken us.
He who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord, shall bear fruit in due season. 
Ps. 1:2b, 3b
This Communion verse is our "homework" until the end of March. Most importantly, we need to meditate on the fulfillment of the law, Jesus Christ, Who we have just received. Remember His promise of remaining in us if we remain in Him.

PM: Tract Wednesday--1st. Sunday Of Lent

He who abides in the shelter of the Most High, shall remain under the protection of the Lord of Heaven.
V. He shall say to the Lord: "You are my protector and my refuge;" my God, in whom I trust.
V. For he has set me free from the snare of the fowler, and from cutting words.
V. He will conceal you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge.
V. His faithfulness will shield you as with a buckler, you will not suffer the terrors of the night:
V. You shall fear neither the arrow that flies by day, nor the conspiracy that stalks in the darkness, nor destruction, nor the demon of noonday.
V. A thousand will fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right, but you shall remain unharmed. 
V. For to his Angels he has given a commandment concerning you, to keep you in all your ways.
V. In their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.
V. On the asp and the basilisk you will tread and trample the lion and the dragon.
V. Because he has put his hope in me I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
V. He shall call out to me, and I shall answer him: I am with him in tribulation.
V. I will rescue him and honor him; with long days will I satisfy him; and I shall let him see my saving power. 
Ps. 90:1-7; 11-16
During Lent, the Alleluia is replaced with what is known as the Tract. The purpose is the same:  to prepare the congregation to hear the Gospel. On this first Sunday in this penitential season, the message is one of the compassion and care of God of those who seek Him of those who turn from sin and seek His mercy and love.

The length of this will be uncomfortable to a modern-day congregation, who are rather accustomed to a minimalistic approach to liturgy. (And is one of a few Propers during Lent which are longer than the usual one or two verses.) But would not listening to this in its entirety, meditating on the words of a good translation while hearing this melody, be a way to awaken your soul to the reality of God's providence and stir up hope and trust in Him (as well as contrition for your sinfulness), He Who has counted all the hairs on your head and find you infinitely more valuable than a fallen sparrow, which is also under His care?

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--1st. Sunday Of Lent

To his Angels he has given a commandment concerning you, to keep you in all your ways. 
V. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. 
Ps. 90:11-12
Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who created Heaven and earth. He even gives you an angel to protect you as you work to be holy in the sight of God.

Monday, February 08, 2016

PM: Introit Mondays--1st. Sunday Of Lent

When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will rescue him and honor him; with long life will I satisfy him. 
V. He who abides in the shelter of the Most High, shall remain under the protection of the God of Heaven. 
Ps. 90:15, 16 V. 1
We begin this season of penitence by calling to God. If we remain faithful to Him, turning away from our sins, we will always have a home with Him, "on earth as it is in Heaven".

Friday, February 05, 2016

PM: Communion Fridays--5th. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Two Communion antiphons are used this Sunday. The first is for Cycle A and C.
I will go in to the altar of God, to the God who gives joy to my youth. 
Ps. 42:4
This is the opening prayer in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. As we go to receive Him in His Real Presence, we are reminded that only He can give us true joy in the youth of our existence, our earthly life.
A multitude with diseases, and those who were troubled by unclean spirits, came unto him, because a power emanated from him which healed them all. 
Luke 6:17, 18, 19
We come to Him because our lives are not whole. His healing power of both body and soul, evident throughout the Gospels, bears witness to the mercy and love of God.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

PM: Offertory Thursdays--5th. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Render secure my footsteps in your paths so that my feet do not slip; incline your ear and hear my words; display your wonderful mercies, O Lord, Saviour of those who place their hope in you. 
Ps. 15:5, 6, 7
Asking for guidance, asking in hope, we plead with God to be gracious with us in our petitions.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

PM: Alleluia Wednesdays--5th. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Praise the Lord all nations; praise him in unison, all peoples. 
Ps. 116:1
Alleluia is Hebrew for "praise the Lord". In our liturgy we come together to give God His due.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

PM: Gradual Tuesdays--5th. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

There are two Graduals for this Sunday. The first is for Cycle A.
He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his justice endures for ever and ever. 
V. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the descendants of the righteous will be blessed. 
Ps. 111:9; V. 2
This reminds me of the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1-16). God is generous beyond all telling, a giving rooted in true justice.
Bring your offerings and come into his courts; worship the Lord in his holy dwelling place. 
V. The Lord shall strip bare the thick forests and in his temple all shall proclaim his glory. 
Ps. 95:8, 9; V. Ps. 28:9
An invitation to "venite adoramus". As we see Him "face to face", we shall acclaim our praises.

Monday, February 01, 2016

February 2016 Morning Offering Prayer Intentions

Here are the intentions for this month when reciting the Morning Offering:
Universal Intention - Care For Creation. That we may take good care of creation–a gift freely given–cultivating and protecting it for future generations.
Evangelization Intention - Asia. That opportunities may increase for dialogue and encounter between the Christian faith and the peoples of Asia.
Reflections for these intentions are found here.

PM: Introit Mondays--5th. Sunday Of Ordinary Time

Come, let us worship God and bow down before the Lord; let us shed tears before the Lord who made us, for he is the Lord our God. 
V. Come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise unto God our Saviour. 
Ps. 94:6, 7; V. 1
The opening words in Latin are," Venite, adoramus Deus." Nearly identical to the refrain of "Adeste Fideles", we are once again called to adore the Lord in His home. Our response is one of joy, praise, and exultation.