Sunday, April 04, 2021

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.

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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.
Re-posted 4/16/2017.
Re-posted 4/1/2018.
Re-posted 4/21/2019.
Re-posted 4/12/2020.

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!

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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.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2017.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2018.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2019.
Re-posted Easter Sunday 2020.

Some messages never change.

2021 Easter Card


May our Risen Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ grant you abundant blessings. May the Lamb of God Who once was slain bestow upon you mercy and peace. May He Who is the Resurrection and the Life endow you with love, light, and joy.

Happy Easter, Everybody!

He Is Risen! He Is Risen, Indeed! 

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Haec Igitur Nox Est

In the crown which is the Church's liturgical rites, tonight and tomorrow are the shiniest jewels in it. Only rivaled by Christmas and Corpus Christi processions in its pageantry and splendor, this weekend is the apex of how the source and summit of our Faith is majestically presented. This is especially true of the Easter Vigil, with the added emphasis of initiating new members into the Mystical Body of Christ.

Truly, "this is the night". Like Christmas, we acknowledge and welcome our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in all His Divinity and Humanity coming into the world . However, He is "veiled in flesh" in a different way and comes forth from a different place. The "glory" in which He manifests Himself, partially revealed at the Transfiguration, is now on full display in the Resurrection. And while the eternal interjected itself in the temporal at the Nativity, it has now "overcome the world" on this third day.

Such an event should be a cause for the greatest celebration we can execute. And the tone is set when the great hymn of praise, the Exsultet, is proclaimed after the lighting and presentation of the Paschal Candle. We are exhorted to exult, be glad, and rejoice as we recall the events of salvation history, not only in this hymn, but the entirety of this Mass.

"This is the night." Listen carefully when you hear this phrase, repeated time and again throughout its proclamation. Marvel in awe and wonder of what Jesus Christ has done for us.

Both the Latin and English texts are provided for your meditation.

Haec igitur nox est.

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.
Re-posted 4/15/2017.
Re-posted 3/31/2018.
Re-posted 4/20/2019.
Re-posted 4/11/2020.

While We Wait

The following is from the Office of Readings of the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours. It is a ancient homily preserved in this liturgy for this day. Its tone reflects the mood of the day and the anticipation of what is to come

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The Lord's Descent Into The Underworld

Something strange is happening – there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
  
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve, he who is both God and the son of Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: “My Lord be with you all.” Christ answered him: “And with your spirit.” He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: “Awake, O sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.”
  
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and for your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated. For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
  
See on my face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On my back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See my hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
  
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced my side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in hell. The sword that pierced me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
  
Rise, let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but I will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.

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Fedora doff to the Catholic Company, an on-line Catholic book and gift shop with headquarters in Charlotte, NC. They provide a daily newsletter with meditations, the daily readings for the Mass, a saint of the day, and links to the Divine Office/Liturgy of the Hours. This post's inspiration comes from today's e-mail.

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Originally published 4/20/2019.
Re-posted 4/11/2020.

Friday, April 02, 2021

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 3/25/2016.
Re-posted 4/14/2017.
Re-posted 3/30/2018.
Re-posted 4/19/2019.
Re-posted 4/10/2020.

A Call For Mercy


Today marks the beginning of the Divine Mercy Novena. A devotion which has gained popularity over the last two decades, it recitation over the next nine days earns those who pray it a plenary indulgence (subject to the usual conditions).

I have sporadically posted about this, mostly as a reminder about the start of the novena. For further information, go here.

"Jesus, I trust in You."

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Night Shadows Falling

"Tenebrae factae sunt super universam terram."

"There was darkness over the whole earth."

This fragment from the Gospel of St. Matthew (cf. 27:45) sets the mood for the next three liturgical days.

The Light of the World is preparing to be extinguished.

Up to this point He had never shone brighter. His entrance into Jerusalem showed that. The crowds were at fever pitch. Sacred and secular authorities wondered what would happen now.

Satan was ready to strike. He had prepared someone to aid in his bidding. It only cost 30 pieces of silver.

But there was still much to be done. His last Passover meal on earth, merged with the eternal Wedding Feast. The "first" Tenebrae service in Olivet. The two trials. All the tribulations. The "Via Dolorosa".

The somberness underlying Holy Thursday morphs into the utter desolation of Good Friday and the grieving of Holy Saturday. The Church dutifully notes this in Her rites and rituals.

There is still much to be done. While "Do this in remembrance of Me" specifically refers to the institution of the Mass, could it not be said in a general way about the whole of the liturgical calendar and even more so the Sacred Triduum? It is these next three days, our High Holy Days, with all of their ceremonies, that our Lord and Saviour will shine the brightest.

Take part as best as you are able. “The light will be among you only a little while. Walk while you have the light, so that darkness may not overcome you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.” (John 12:35-36)

The darkness comes soon enough.

Lent is over.

Tenebrae factae sunt super universam terram.

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.
Re-posed 4/13/2017.
Re-posted 3/29/2018.
Re-posted 4/18/2019.
Re-posted 4/9/2020.

April 2021 Morning Offering Prayer Intention

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

Fundamental rights. We pray for those who risk their lives while fighting for fundamental rights under dictatorships, authoritarian regimes and even in democracies in crisis.

A reflection for this intention is found here.