O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hurry Up! Your Soul's Getting Cold

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Ninth Day
1228 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: "Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

1229 [St. Faustina:] Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love; and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined;
Either the fire dies, or the ice melts.
But by Your mercy, O God,
You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy....

O day of eternity, O day so long desired,
With thirst and longing, my eyes search you out.
Soon love will tear the veil asunder,
And you will be my salvation.

O day most beautiful, moment incomparable,
When for the first time I shall see my God,
The Bridegroom of my soul and Lord of lords,
And fear will not restrain my soul.

O day most solemn, O day of brightness,
When the soul will know God in His omnipotence
And drown totally in His love,
Knowing the miseries of exile are o'er.

O happy day, O blessed day,
When my heart will burn for You with fire eternal,
For even now I feel Your presence, though through the veil.
Through life and death, O Jesus, You are my rapture and delight.

O day, of which I dreamed through all my life,
Waiting long for You, O God,
For it is You alone whom I desire.
You are the one and only of my heart; all else is naught.

O day of delight, day of eternal bliss,
God of great majesty, my beloved Spouse,
You know that nothing will satisfy a virgin heart.
On Your tender Heart I rest my brow.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Friday, April 29, 2011

How To Do A Wedding

I found this on CatholicVote. It is the introduction to the wedding ceremony in the Church of England. For the record, the title of this post supports the words of the Anglican ceremony specifically, independent of the royal wedding itself (which obviously prompted this). The royal wedding is protestant, so it is largely off my radar, but the Anglicans really got it right with the wording of their ceremony. The Roman Ritual has no introduction whatsoever, it begins immediately with the vows. Not even an Adiutorium nostrum. Nothing. Rather disappointing and crudely done, at least the beginning of it. We're capable of better.

This is what the Anglican clergy say (my emphases and comments):
“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here, in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; [Note the word "holy". It's more than just "matrimony".] which is an honorable estate, instituted of God himself, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and His Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle which he wrought, in Cana of Gallilee, and which is commanded in holy writ to be honorable among all men, and therefore it is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly; [I posted earlier that a couple needs an actual vocation from God to get married.] but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.

[Note that the reasons for Holy Matrimony are listed. It is important to be constantly reminded of them, since society distorts Holy Matrimony so much.] First, it was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will of God, [not the will of human passions] and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of His holy Name. [i.e. parents must pass on the faith, which requires that they actually know and practice it themselves. Therefore, since faith is required for a proper marriage, it should be no surprise that marriage is a sacrament.]
Secondly, it was ordained that the natural instincts and affections, implanted by God, should be hallowed and directed aright; [Natural urges have a purpose. That is to fuel an expression of marital love that uses pleasure to procreate. We call this expression "sex".] that those who are called of God [again: vocation] to this holy estate, should continue therein in pureness of living. [Purity continues well into marriage. Sex is never about pleasure, not even in marriage. It is an expression of love for the purpose of procreation.]

Thirdly, it was ordained for the mutual society, health, and comfort that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and in adversity. [i.e. the spouses mutually support one another through the highs and lows of life. At the root of being in love is wanting the companionship of the other through life.]

[To the congregation:]
Therefore, if any man can shew any just cause why they may not be lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter forever hold his peace.

[To the couple:]
I require and charge you both, [NB:] as ye will answer on the dreadful day of judgment when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, that if either of you know any impediment why ye may not be lawfully joined together in Matrimony, ye do now confess it. For be well assured, [NB:] that so many as are coupled together otherwise than God’s word doth allow are not joined together by God; neither is their Matrimony lawful.[Marriage is not about doing what you want as a couple to be happy. It's about obeying God's will for your life. Homosexuality is never God's will. Holy Matrimony is never about lust or romance. It is about family. Dating couples have romance; only the married may have families. Families are not to be created outside of holy matrimony. Marriage is a vocation and a sacrament. Ergo, God is the One in charge of it and we can't pretend that we are in charge in any way. All we can do is obey God's will for our lives and control our passions and desires. It's really quite simple: God can give us a much happier life than we can give ourselves, just because He's God. We can give ourselves some pretty happy stuff, but He can give us even happier stuff. That's why we need to obey Him. That and we'll go to Hell if we don't obey Him. That's important too. If anyone enters marriage for dishonest reasons, that will be revealed on the day of judgement. Speaking of the day of judgement, I agree with CV when he says that the NO needs language like that.]
I think that this (or something similar) should be inserted at the beginning of the Catholic ceremony, because we need a proper beginning to our ceremony and these things need to be said anyway. They also need to be said from the pulpit on top of that.

Requiem Aeternam Dona Eis Domine...

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Eighth Day
1226 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.

1227 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From the terrible heat of the cleansing fire
Rises a plaint to Your mercy,
And they receive comfort, refreshment, relief
In the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way than through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pray for Those Who Pray for Conversions

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Seventh Day
1224 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

1225 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord
Is especially loved by Him.
She is always close to the living fountain
And draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, [Jesus:] "I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy."
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

This Guy Really is a Know-it-all

It's like God wants me to take a .50 caliber rifle and turn the secular idea of love and marriage into swiss cheese or a colander. I'm not sure which. I'm still discerning. Pray for me.

Via Fr. Z, Fr. Know-it-all really unloads his frustration on some bride who was either doing a pretty darn horrible job of preparing for marriage or was just really in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is a long rant by Fr. K-i-a, but well worth the read and pretty hilarious (at least to me). Now where's my red pen...?

My emphases and comments.
Warning: THIS EPISODE OF THE REV. KNOW IT ALL IS EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE. [Really? I as a God-fearing traddie found it hilarious.] IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR ANYONE YOU KNOW. [I would beg to differ.] PLEASE READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE. [Repped. *Definitely* worth reading.] THE REV. KNOW IT ALL IS NOT OPPOSED TO ALL WEDDING CELEBRATIONS. [Neither am I. I just want them done God's way. Not her way, God's way.] HE IS NOT TALKING ABOUT YOUR WEDDING WHICH WAS A TRIUMPH OF PERSONAL SANCTITY AND GOOD TASTE. HE IS PROBABLY JUST HAVING A BAD DAY.

Dear Rev. Know it all,
I visited your church once and am thinking about having my wedding there. How long is your main aisle?
Mary O’Burne

Dear Mary,
I am often asked that question, and never quite understand it. Are brides curious about the length of the aisle because they think a longer aisle may give them a few more minutes to back out of the whole thing? Or, as I suspect, does a long aisle prolong the glorious promenade of which a young girl dreams as she thumbs through bridal magazine as she contemplates her special day, when all eyes focus on her as she approaches her enchanted prince and all the world thinks she’s gorgeous and knows that she has bagged her man just as surely as a Wisconsin bricklayer bags a deer and ties it onto the roof of his pick up truck? [Typical secular pride. It's not about you little missy, it's about GOD creating a permanent bond between you and your man. It hit you that you love this guy and you "just know". It's no longer deep mutual infatuation. Now, you love the guy. (If you don't you have no business gettin' hitched.) That love is the actual grace that pulls you into the sanctifying grace of marriage. The moment it hits you that you love him is the moment of your vocation. That's an actual grace. The moment you get married, it becomes a sanctifying grace and a permanent bond.] I have certainly seen a few grooms who look like a frightened deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck. [Given the pride of most women, I don't blame them.]

[OK, this next part requires a basic understanding of grace and how in works (in general and in the Sacrament of Matrimony) in order to properly appreciate it:] Why is it that weddings cause people to spend so much time, energy and money? And more money. The average American wedding costs almost $29,000, according to “The Wedding Report”, a market research publication. $29,000!” Oh, by the by, the usual donation to the church is about $200.00. That $200 goes to the church, not to the priest. The usual gift to the priest is a hearty handclasp. [A nice thanks for that grace... It's like your mom bore you for 9 months, labored to birth you, raised you as a small child with many nights filled with dirty diapers and you hungry and crying incessantly instead of sleep only to be completely ignored by you. So let's not appreciate the suffering and sacrifices priests make to give spiritual life as a mother gives physical life...] The usual cost of the photographer is $2,000.00. All this tells me that the photographs are ten times more important than the grace of the sacrament, in most peoples’ estimation. The usual fee for the DJ is $1,500.00. I am consoled by this. It means that painful, occasionally obscene music loud enough to cause brain damage is only 7.5 times more important than the grace of the sacrament.

You must be thinking why is this guy so down on weddings? I am down on some weddings because I am very “up” on the sacrament of matrimony and really in favor of marriage. [OOHRAH!!!] That’s why the modern method of marrying and the wedding industry make me crazy. They militate against marriage. Here is the heart of my complaint. IT IS STUPID TO SPEND MORE TIME AND MONEY PREPARING FOR THE WEDDING THAN YOU DO PREPARING FOR THE MARRIAGE!!! I have known people who are still paying the credit card bills generated by the wedding years after the marriage is over. [Fail.]
The Modern Method of Marriage, a Reprise. The following is taken from my own experiences and things people have told me (outside of confession, you’ll be glad to know.) Here goes.

A young man and a young woman meet and have a few dates. They go for a weekend at a bed and breakfast where they bed one another, and then have breakfast. [I've seen this play out too many times.] If he isn’t too much of a jerk and she isn’t too picky, they are then an item. She goes to the doctor gets a prescription and goes on to a more permanent form of birth control. [Happens too many times.] At some time during this stage, the uncomfortable meeting with the parents happens. Everyone is polite and “supportive.” Secretly the father of the young woman who knows exactly what’s going on, contemplates buying a gun [I agree with him.] and the mother of the young man begins gossiping with whomever will listen about how her little boy could do better. After a while, if things hold up, they begin to have the conversation about taking their relationship to the “next level” by which they mean shacking up, as we used to call it. [It's called concubinage. The girl was an innocent young girl. Now she's a concubine. Let's not lie to ourselves.] Now, I think it’s called moving in together. [It's called concubinage.]
Mom and Dad buy housewarming gifts in an attempt to, once again, be supportive. They don’t want their little dears to hate them [They usually already do anyway.] and besides, it’s what everyone is doing these days, so it can’t be wrong. [The only place that thinking leads is Hell.] They have vague thoughts about getting married at that point and mom explains to grandma and to friends at church that they are just doing it to save money for the wedding. [Church? You're lucky if mom goes to Church.] At this stage an engagement ring may appear. At some point, when they think about getting the house and the kids, because that’s what you do, they decide to have the wedding. [No respect for that grace I mentioned earlier.]
They rent the hall and then go see the priest. He tells them there are four other weddings that day and they respond, “but we’ve rented the hall already.” [As usual... Let's do things in backwards order: the reception before the wedding.]
Someone suggests a garden wedding if the church is occupied. The priest says we can’t do garden weddings. (More on this later.) The young couple begins to complain about how narrow-minded the Church is with all these rules and regulations. [Who do they think gave them their vocation, assuming they even have one (which many times is a biiiiiiig assumption)?] They eventually pick a date. Then the bottom drops out. It seems the groom is not Catholic. He was baptized in the First Reformed Church of the Druids, though he never practiced. This means there must be a dispensation for the marriage, another irritating Catholic invention, and the wedding date cannot be confirmed until the dispensation is received.
The bride goes back to her doctor, this time for a prescription for valium. Her mother joins her on this visit. Finally the dispensation is granted, The groom’s druid will do one of the readings at the wedding, the loans are taken out, the banns are published. [Why all this fuss with the Church? Well, this happed because that vocation ain't very important to the little dears... They just want to be happy.] Then there is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The best man comes to the rehearsal drunk out of his mind, the groom only slightly tipsy. The bride is furious at everyone for some reason known to her alone. [What did I say about that pride thing?] Probably because the groom is far more interested in drinking and watching the football game on his hand held computer thing than he is in gazing lovingly into her eyes in anticipation of the great day. [Which is what he would be doing if he wanted her and not just her body.] In fact they haven’t been, well... friendly in weeks. It is, after all, football season. [God (specifically the Love of the Holy Ghost) just isn't there as the rock foundation for their relationship.] 
[The modern Church lacks many things...] The special day comes, the best man is still drunk, the groom is hung over, no one knew about that interesting tattoo that the maid of honor had way low on her back, now revealed by the plunging back of her dress that is held up only by wishful thinking. [...modesty...] Grandma, upon reading the logo of the maid of honor’s tattoo, has fainted. Somewhere in all this the vows are exchanged, [...reverence for the Sacred...] and quite a few of the wedding party receive their first Holy Communion that day, however one of the ushers puts the host in his suit pocket not having a clue what it is. (This actually has happened to me twice.) [...reverence for the Sacred...]The pictures have been taken.
The noise level in the church reaches that of an English soccer match after the riot has broken out. [...reverence for the Sacred...]The children are jumping off the altar [...and let's not forget reverence for the Sacred.] and the priest is scowling at everyone. Now on to the pictures in the forest preserve, a “must” at every wedding. There the wedding party is attacked by mosquitoes, one of the children falls into the lagoon and the bride is having a hard time smiling for the photos. The best man passes out. On to the reception.
The bride loses it because the shade of fuchsia in the floral center pieces clashes with the shade of fuchsia in the wedding party’s outfit. The groom adjourns to the bar where the game is on the television. The wedding dinner is served as music is played at a mind numbing volume. Grandma is better now. She has turned off her hearing aid. [Lucky her.] The priest is seated with the pious relatives in plaid suit coats and leaves shortly after the grace before meals. [Smart priest.]
The best man makes the toast which drones on about how he loves the groom and one begins to wonder. The college roommate/maid of honor does the same for the bride, going on for fifteen minutes about how she knew the bride would find eternal marital bliss the moment she met her in the third grade and they have been like sisters ever since. Then at some point, there is a video presentation of embarrassing photos not unlike the ones that are now shown at wakes. [At no point does it start to be about that grace thing...]
The bar opens up again. The music reaches levels that cause blood to drip from some peoples’ nose and ears. The joyous event ends with the bride and groom being the last to leave the hall. They are slow to go up to the room they have rented in the hotel because nothing new or beautiful awaits them there. [Sin degrades our dignity...] The groom promptly falls asleep, being heavily sedated already, and, as he snores away, with his shoes still on, our blushing bride, having shed her dress of virginal white [quotes on "virginal". A travesty that she wore white and a bigger travesty that she isn't a virgin. This isn't about oppressing rules, it's about our dignity as human beings.], thinks back on this day, her special day, the most important day in her life, the day she has dreamt of since she was a little girl.
They will stay an extra day at the hotel, but cannot afford the time or money to go on a honeymoon because on Monday [no doubt after missing Mass on Sunday] they will both be back at work in order to pay off the colossal bill that their special day has incurred. For some reason, the bride is depressed. [Maybe because her prideful way of doing love is a sham and only God's call is real?] Perhaps she is realizing that the high point of her life is now past and the rest of it will be spent with the lump that is now snoring beside her with whom she has never really had a serious conversation, except about the proper shade of fuchsia for the floral centerpieces. [You'd think talking about love (read: God's call) and marriage (read: marriage, not the wedding) should have come up at some point.] So it is that we celebrate the marriage of Christ and His Church in these enlightened and tolerant times. [...because we need to be open-minded and tolerant in the spirit of the age as the Vatican Council inspired us...]

Remember, none of these things happened at your wedding, thank God and don’t think from reading this that I am down on marriage or even weddings. I love a wedding celebration when there is something to celebrate. Also, it is never too late to begin again by taking Christ and His gospel seriously.
PLEASE SPEND MORE TIME AND MONEY PREPARING FOR THE MARRIAGE THAN YOU DO PREPARING FOR THE WEDDING.

Yours,
Rev. Know-it-all

P.S. Garden weddings. They look good in all the bridal magazines but they are just opportunities to feed biting insects and suffer from sunburn. It is however amusing to watch the bridesmaids sinking in the mud as they try, after a few margaritas to maneuver the newly laid sod in spiked heals. [ROFL!] The bride is generally exhausted from not having slept for three weeks as she worries about the weather reports which are promising a 50 percent chance of typhoons and earthquakes that day. And destination weddings. Don’t get me started on Destination Weddings! You want to be married with just your closest friends on a beach in Maui. That means that Grandma can’t go because she hasn’t flown since the Hindenburg Disaster, and is thinking of cutting you out of the will, and all the friends and relatives who aren’t with you on the beach in Maui realize they aren’t very close to you after all. And I haven’t a clue how long the aisle is here at St. Dymphna’s. [Best. Ending. Ever.]
I feel better about myself now. I feel much more relaxed knowing that there are priests like this guy around. St. Dymphna is the patroness of mental patients. Coincidence?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pray for the Obedient and Submissive Brides

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Sixth Day
1220 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

1221 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy, and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

1222 A truly gentle and humble soul
Already here on earth the air of paradise breathes,
And in the fragrance of her humble heart
The Creator Himself delights.

1223 Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek and humble souls, and upon the souls of little children, who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pray for the Conversion of Modernists

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Fifth Day
1218 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion.

1219 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to adore the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of Your unity,
A fount of mercy flows from Your Heart.
The omnipotence of Your mercy, Oh God.
Can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

From Coal to Diamonds...

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Fourth Day
1216 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me the pagans and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.

1217 [St. Faustina:] Most Compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love
Enlighten the souls in darkness;
Grant that these souls will know You
And, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pray for the Bride of the Nymphios

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Third Day
1214 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

1215 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable.
Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them.
When You cast upon us an eye of pity,
You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

We Take Our Nymphios, Rejecting All Others

Easter Sunday - I Class Feast with I Class Octave
Missa Resurrexi

Epistle: I Cor. 5:7-8 [Reject the old leaven in favor of the new.]
Gospel: Mk. 16:1-7 [Mark's Resurrection.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Today we see Our Divine Lover, Our Nymphios (Bridegroom, i.e. Ecce Homo) gloriously magnified. Today we see Him in the new life He offers us. Today Our Lover comes down to His garden. We are His Bride. He wants to be with us. He wants to give us that life of infinite joy that He alone, as God, has the ability to give. It is a life of loving Christ. Christ wants us to love Him. When you love someone, just being with them gives you great joy. It is a joy that human language cannot describe, because human language just isn't powerful enough. It must be experienced to be understood. Christ wants you to love Him so that you can share this joy. Christ already loves you and just wants to be with you. All He wants from you is to reciprocate that love. Your Divine Lover wants you to love Him in return. If you share in His love and return His love, rejecting the world to be with Him alone, then you shall live that life of infinite joy where suffering and sin do not exist.

It is rejecting the world to be with Christ alone that is the hard part. That is our suffering. That is our passion. If we survive that, then we win the victory with Christ and will be joined to Him in infinite joy. It is very great suffering, but it is love of God, which overflows into love of neighbor, that gives us the strength to bear the suffering. Love motivates us to suffer, knowing that on the other side is victory, that life of joy, that makes the suffering worth it. Today, in the Resurrection, we have a preview of that victory. We see the victory in Christ. We see Christ in that new life. We see that we will share in that victory and life of infinite joy if we reject the world in favor of life with Christ alone.

We look again at the world as see just how difficult it is to reject it. Rejecting the world brings great suffering. However, not rejecting the world brings about even greater suffering: Eternal Hellfire. Rejecting the world and being with Christ alone brings that life of joy that completes us. Only at that point are we satisfied. Any other life always leaves us desiring more. The pleasure might be brief, it might be long-lasting, but it always ends. Even if it takes a while, it still leaves us wanting more. Only that life with Christ can complete us, leaving us satisfied. Everything else passes, even if it takes a while. This is what St. Paul exhorts us to today: to throw out the old leaven in favor of the new leaven. We cannot keep any of the old. We cannot keep attachments to the world. We must attach ourselves to Christ alone. He is Our Bridegroom, Our Lover. Because He loves us, He wants to with us. He loves us and wants us to reciprocate His love. There is no room for another. He calls us to reject the world in favor of union with Him alone. It is difficult suffering to reject the world, but He suffered first. He already suffered and rose to this new life He wants to give us. Today we see Him in this life. He wants us to follow Him through the suffering that comes with following Him, rejecting all others. If we are faithful to Him, we will be with Our Lover in His garden forever in this new life to which He has risen today.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our Lover Has Come to His Garden, Gloriously Magnified

Holy Saturday - I Class Feria
Missa...wait a minute...

1st Lesson: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-2 [The story of creation.]
2nd Lesson: Ex. 14:24-31; 15:1 [The parting of the Red Sea.]
3rd Lesson: Is. 4:2-6 [The Lord will protect us after purifying us in Baptism.]
4th Lesson: Deut. 31:22-30 [The people of God will be gathered and taught His laws and they must obey them.]
Epistle: Col. 3:1-4 ["If you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above."]
Gospel: Mt. 28:1-7 [Matthew's Ressurection]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Christus factus est pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis: Propter quod et Deus exaltavit illum, et dedit illi nomen quod est super omne nomen. "Christ became for us obedient unto death, even death on a cross: And for this God has exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every other name." That is what we have been saying in the Divine Office at every hour during the Triduum. Each day we have said more and more, until saying the full antiphon today. We have been making progress to that exaltation. Tonight, on this holiest of nights, we see that exaltation.

We started sad. We heard Our Blessed Lord say in Gethsemane, Tristis est anima mea usque ad mortem. "My soul is sad unto death." He wanted to bitter chalice of suffering to pass because of the weakness of the humanity He took upon Himself at the Incarnation. He made the sacrifice of obedience. Sometimes obedience is the greatest sacrifice we can make, accepting suffering we don't have the strength to bear, just because we love the person for whom we are suffering so we are willing to bear any suffering for their sake and so that we might be with them. This is how Christ loves us. This is what He has done for us. As God, His Divinity strengthened His Humanity such that He could feel far greater pain than any of us ever could. He made Himself obedient unto the worst suffering for our good, that we might be with Him and not with sin. Christ bore the greatest suffering, the greatest mockery, the greatest physical pain, the greatest emotional pain. He humbled Himself in suffering more than anyone else ever could. His Divinity is what enabled Him to humble Himself so much with so much suffering.

For this God has exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every other name. There is no joy without suffering. There is no victory without fighting. There is no exaltation without humility. God only exalts those who endure suffering. If you don't endure suffering, you have not merited any exaltation. Christ suffered for us because His love for us gave Him the strength to suffer so much. His love for us pushed Him to suffer for us, that we might be purified of our sins, abandon them, be cleansed of them, never return to them, and be with Him alone. Tonight we see that new life. Tonight we see the risen Christ. The Resurrection is a preview of what will happen to us if we stay faithful to Him. By Rising, Christ promises to raise us in the same way on the condition that we stay faithful to Him and reject sin entirely. Tonight we see the life that God offers us. All we need to do is decide to reject the world and to be with God alone.

Christ has His victory tonight. Tonight He gains that new life, where He alone is King and sin has no place and does not exist. Love pushed Him to suffer to get to new life with us. Tonight He gets that new life. Tonight He gets that life He hoped for so much. He wants to spend it with us. He loves us. We are His Bride. He wants to be with us. He wants us to share that perfect life that He alone, as God, has the power to give. That life of joy, where there is no sin, only the infinite joy He alone is capable of giving. All we have to do is reject the world and accept Him instead; not together with the world, but instead of the world. That rejection of the world in favor of Him is our suffering. The joy He offers us is far greater than any suffering. The Lover has come down to His garden. He comes down gloriously magnified, as we hear in the Gradual after the 2nd Lesson, about the Crossing of the Red Sea. Let us go be with Him. Tonight we see Our Nymphios (Bridegroom, i.e. Ecce Homo) in glory. Our Lover has come to His garden, gloriously magnified. Let us be with Our Divine Lover and reject the world entirely.

Pray for Priests. They Need It.

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
Second Day
1212 [Jesus:] Today bring to Me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

1213 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see us may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God's love
Dwells in pure hearts,
Bathed in the Sea of Mercy,
Radiant as stars, bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company [of chosen ones] in Your vineyard-upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son, in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation, and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pray for All Men as Christ Did on the Cross

Divine Mercy Novena

From St. Faustina's Diary:
[Introduction to the whole novena:]
1209 Jesus, I trust in You. Novena to The Divine Mercy which Jesus instructed me to write down and make before the Feast of Mercy. It begins on Good Friday.

[Jesus:] "I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to ' the fount of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need in the hardships of life and, especially, at the hour of death.

On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father. You will do this in this life and in the next. I will deny nothing to any soul whom you will bring to the fount of My mercy. On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls."

[St. Faustina:] I answered, "Jesus, I do not know how to make this novena or which souls to bring first into
Your Most Compassionate Heart." Jesus replied that He would tell me which souls to bring
each day into His Heart.

First Day
1210 [Jesus:] "Today, bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

1211 [St. Faustina:] Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins, but upon the trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Oh omnipotence of Divine Mercy, Salvation of sinful people, You are a sea of mercy and compassion; You aid those who entreat You with humility.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy forever and ever. Amen.
Say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Love is Expressed by Suffering, not Good Times

Good Friday - I Class Feria
Missa Doni Praesanctificati (Mass of the Presanctified Gifts)

1st Lesson: Osee 6:1-6 [The Lord is about to heal the wounds of His people.]
2nd Lesson: Exodus 12:1-11 [Precept of the Paschal Supper.]
Gospel: John 18:1-40; 19:1-42 [John's Passion]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Today is the highest day of the year for this blog's titular. Today is the day when the story of Ecce Homo happens. Today is the day Christ is mocked. Today is the day that Christ endures physical pain. Today is the day that Christ endures emotional pain. Today is the day that Christ endures our pain. Whatever our suffering might be, today Christ suffers the same pain, only more intensely. His Divinity increases His capacity for feeling pain. Our human weakness and finiteness limits how much pain we can feel before we've had too much and it gets beyond out abilities. In order to us to be able to feel more pain, Christ needs to increase our abilities. As Christ increases our pain, He increases our abilities. Why does He increase our pain? Why does He give us heartbreak, illness, death to our loved ones, unemployment, and every manner of suffering? Because He loves us.

Suffering joins us to Christ. The more we suffer, the more we are joined to Christ. Christ suffered. He suffered our of love. He loves us so much that He is willing to do anything and suffer any fate to be with you. Love gives you the strength to suffer. The more we love Christ, the more we are willing to suffer for Him. When you love someone, you are willing to do anything to be with the person; you, them, together, safe and sound. Without love, suffering is wrong, discouraging and prevents progress. Many people look at the Catholic religion, see suffering, and run. They reject it. They have not love. To pick up your cross and carry it requires love. You need to love the person for whom you are suffering. That love makes the suffering worth it. Love gives you the strength to suffer whatever pain comes you way for the sake of that person.

Christ loves you. His love for you is so strong, that He endured His entire passion, the whole time thinking about how you rejected Him in favor of sin. He spent His passion thinking about how you lived your life in sin instead of with Him. All He wants is for you to reciprocate His love. He wants you to return His love. Whether or not you are called to love this, that, or the other person, you are always called to love God. Everyone is called to love God more than anyone else. If we love God, we are willing to suffer for Him, that we might be with Him. If we love God, then we want to be with Him and that love gives us the strength to suffer anything we might have to so that we can be with Him. Suffering is an expression of love. As St. Teresa of Avila put it, "Love is the cross and the cross is love." Also, Fr. John Corapi said, "You run from cross, you run from love." Today we hear Pilate ask in the Gospel, Quid est veritas? "What is truth?" I ask, Quid est caritas? "What is love?" Anyone can put up with easy times for the sake of someone. Only those who love the person will suffer the hardest times for the sake of the person. That's True Love. In love, you don't care what the suffering is or how bad it is. You are perfectly willing to suffer any pain for the person, no matter how hard it is for you. The passion was hard for Christ. He asked for the bitter chalice of suffering to pass. He accepted it out of love. That's True Love. If we love Him, we are likewise willing to suffer for Him. If we love our neighbor we are likewise willing to suffer for the neighbor.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Lover Has Come Down to His Garden.

Holy Thursday - I Class Feria
Missa Nos Autem

Epistle: I Cor. 11:20-32 [St. Paul's account of the Last Supper and admonition not to receive unworthily.]
Gospel: Jn. 13:1-15 [Washing of the Feet.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Christ gave us the Eucharist so that He could always be with His Bride. The Eucharist is the Intimacy between Christ and His Bride. At the Qui Pridie, we have the highest moment of the Mass. In the priest, we see the line between God and man fade away. At that moment, the priest is most joined to Christ. At that moment the priest is the Nymphios. He is the Bridegroom. The priest repeats the actions of Christ, but really, since he is a priest, he is doing them the first time. It is the only time made present again.
Qui pridie quam pateretur, accepit panem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas et elevavit oculis in caelum ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipotentem tibi gratias agens, benedixit, fregit, deditque discipulis suis, dicens: Accipite, et manducate ex hoc omnes. HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM.

"Who, the day before He suffered, took bread in His holy and venerable hands, and with His eyes lifted up to Heaven, to You God His almighty Father gave You thanks, blessed it, broke it, gave it to His disciples, saying: Take this all of you and eat of this. THIS IS MY BODY."
Having repeated Christ's actions the priest bows forward and says the words of Consecration: HOC EST ENIM CORPUS MEUM. "THIS IS MY BODY."  All at the same instant, the priest sacrifices himself, offering his body for the sinner, that grace might come down through him. Christ likewise gives His body for sinners. He, the Nymphios, is made present, that He may be intimate with the sinner. She sees that her Divine Bridegroom wants to be intimate with her despite all her sins against Him. She is in awe of that great love He has for her, of His great mercy. All she can say is Nigra sum sed formosa. "I am black but beautiful." There is only One God, so where one Person of the Trinity is, the others, by necessity, are as well. God the Holy Ghost, who is Love Itself and joins her to her Beloved, is made present. God the Father, who created the sinner and gave her the beauty she desecrated by her life of sin is made present. All this happens at that same instant. Christ and the priest, so perfectly joined to each other, give their bodies. All of God is made present, as eternity mixes with space and time. The Divine Lover, the Nymphios, Love Itself, the Creator, who alone gives the sinner her beauty, is made present.
Simili modo postquam cenatum est accepiens et hunc praeclarum calicem in sanctas ac venerabiles manus suas: tibi gratias agens benedixit, diditque discipulis suis, dicens: Accipite, et bibite ex eo omnes. HIC EST ENIM CALIX SANGUIS MEIS, NOVI ET AETERNI TESTAMENTI, MYSTERIUM FIDEI, QUID PRO VOBIS ET PRO MULTIS EFFUNDETUR IN REMISSIONEM PECCATORUM. Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in Meam commemorationem facietis.

"In like manner, after He had supped, taking also this excellent chalice in His holy and venerable hands: also giving thanks to You, He blessed it, gave it to His disciples, saying: Take this all of you and drink of it. THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD, OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL TESTAMENT, THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, WHICH WILL BE POURED OUT FOR YOU AND FOR MANY FOR THE REMISSION OF SIN. Whensoever you do this, do this in commemoration of Me."
The priest and Christ together pour out their life. Every human civilization has recognized that blood is the life-force of living things. The Aztecs, to whom Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared, called blood "most precious water" in their language, as it is the force of life itself. In the chalice, we have the Life-force of He Who is Life Itself. The sinner drinks and gasps, taking life back into her body, after sin destroyed it. She bathes in this Blood, and It washes away her sins. She swims in this Blood, and is intimate with her Divine Nymphios, drowning in His infinite love for her. The Lover has come down to His garden.

We finish with the words, Haec quotiescumque feceritis, in Meam commemorationem facietis. "Whensoever you do this, do this in commemoration of Me." This is the institution of Holy Orders. The priesthood exists to allow the Nymphios to be intimate with His Bride. There is no other reason. There is no way to justify the existence of the priest, except to say that he exists to establish that intimacy between Christ and His Bride. Other than the sacraments, a priest is useless, as anyone can do all the other things he does. A priest alone offers Sacrifice. A priest alone forgives sins. A priest alone pours life in a soul. Sin takes life and the Sacraments give it. The Seven Sacraments are the only reason why the priest exists. He is the Nymphios made present by his ordination. Aside from establishing the intimacy between Christ and the Church, he is only a man; he is nothing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Christ Wants You to Come Back...


Holy Wednesday - I Class Feria
Missa Ut In Nomine
In the Eastern Rites, today, yesterday, and the day before are feasts of the Nymphios (Bridegroom, i.e. Ecce Homo)

Lesson: Is. 62:11; 63:1-7 [Christ suffers for the people instead of crushing them.]
Epistle: Is. 53:1-12 [The suffering servant. A prophecy of Christ's passion.]
Gospel: Lk. 22:39-71; 23:1-53 [Luke's Passion.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Christ loves the Church as a man loves His Bride. Just as a man is willing to forgive His beloved, no matter how big her offence, so too Christ wishes to forgive us, no matter how big the offence. A man is impatient to forgive his beloved bride, because he just wants to be with her. He wants to live his life with her and have her companionship. All she has to do is repent. The man is impatient to forgive. He is just waiting for her to repent and abandon her sin against him. All this is merely a reflection of Christ's love for His Bride the Church. Christ's marriage with the Church is the original, all other sacramental marriages are based on that. Christ is impatient to forgive us. He is just waiting for us to repent and abandon our sins. He wants to be with us and have our companionship. He wants to accompany us in everything we do in our everyday lives and He wants us to keep Him company in the Eucharist. He loves it when we make a Holy Hour. (Tomorrow is Holy Thursday. Make a Holy Hour tomorrow night.) He loves it when we take an hour out of our day (or night) to be with Him. He loves us and wants to be with us. That is why we have the Eucharist. That is what we celebrate tomorrow: the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Priesthood that makes the Holy Eucharist present.

Why Do Girls Dress Like Tramps?

Simple. They're raised that way by their parents.

Consider this, via CatholicVote.

Retailers make clothes for girls in single-digit ages that are designed to increase the girl's sex appeal and invite boys to treat them like objects that exist solely to give them sexual pleasure instead of treating them like, you know, actual human beings. Then the girl wonders why she can't find a good man that actually loves her-not a man that "loves" her body, but rather a man that loves her. She is, from six and seven years old, taught to flaunt her body in a sexually appealing way. The clothes marketed to girls that age (ok, girls of every age, but bear with me) are designed to make her body more sexually appealing.

Now of course, that's not according to God's standard of treating the human body, especially the female version, as His work of art, His greatest masterpiece of physical creation. Rather this sex appeal is according to the world's standard of treating the human body as an object of lust, such that it is not good for anything but being taken advantage of for lustful pleasure.

Now these girls are not old enough to drive (some are a full decade away!) and aren't old enough to have a job. Where do they get their clothes? Parents. Who drives them to the mall and pays for their clothes? Parents. Not any of their friends or anyone at school, but the parents. Parents are the ones getting their girls these clothes. Parents are dressing their girls in a manner that puts their bodies on display as objects of pleasure, contrary to their actual beauty as God's works of art. Some parents want their girls to look like tramps, others find it harmless fun. Then the girl grows up and can't find a man that respects her instead of just her body no matter how hard she tries. No surprise. Cause and effect. Why is she treated like a tramp by men? She was raised to dress like one, act like one, and invite boys to treat her that way.

That is how society treats women. Society can't properly respect women because society doesn't respect God. You'll never respect the art if you don't respect the Artist. Society can't survive without God. Without God, we do nothing but manipulate each other and take advantage of each other. We need no more proof, this has been going on for thousands of years. The only reason to rebel against the strictness of traditionalist, orthodox, Catholic morality is out of a desire for pleasure, no matter how many people you have to disrespect to attain that end.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

All for You My Love...


Holy Tuesday - I Class Feria
Missa Nos Autem
In the Eastern Rites, yesterday, today, and tomorrow are feasts of the Nymphios (Bridegroom, i.e. Ecce Homo)

Epistle: Jer. 11:18-20 [Meekness of Christ amidst suffering and persecution.]
Gospel: Mk. 14:32-72; 15:1-46 [Mark's Passion.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are some of the highest days of the year for the Nymphios, the titular of this blog. These are observed in the East, but in the West we are not to far off. On these days, we have the Magdalene repenting of her sexual sins, realizing that God loves her more than any man on earth, followed twice by the story of the Nymphios: the Passion readings. When it comes to celebrating the Nymphios, these days are out-ranked only by the Triduum immediately after it.

This two week season of Passiontide-and especially this week, Great Week, Holy Week-is when we celebrate the love our Bridegroom has for us. He so much desires to see us pure and beautiful and together with Him that He sacrificed even Himself to see that happen. He went silently through His trial and execution, as we see in the Gospel. Jeremiah tells us that He was the meek and silent lamb of the sacrifice. Today's Epistle is essentially a short version of the Gospel and the Gospel is essentially a long version of the Epistle.

Christ loves so strongly, as a husband loves his bride, that He is willing to bear any suffering for her sake. It is not a human love, but the vocation to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony; it is a Divine love that the Holy Ghost created by the call to that sacrament and strengthens by that sacrament. It is with that kind of love that Christ loves the Church. So much so, that sacramental marriages are merely reflections of Christ's marriage with the Church. It is by mimicking Christ's marriage that sacramental marriages become good. Christ's marriage is the original, model, and pattern on which sacramental marriages are based. How can anyone go through what Christ went through in today's Gospel and remain silent as He did? Love alone can enable a person to bear that kind of suffering. When a couple is in love, they are always willing to forgive each other, no matter how big the offense. In fact, they are even impatient to forgive, that is how much they want to be with the other person. All this is merely a reflection of Christ's love for His Bride the Church. Isaias will tell us more about this tomorrow.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Christ's Quest for Your Love


Holy Monday - I Class Feria
Missa Judica Domine
In the Eastern Rites, today, tomorrow and Wednesday are feasts of the Nymphios (Bridegroom, i.e. Ecce Homo).

Epistle: Is. 50:5-10 [Isaias describes the pain of Christ's passion and the resulting victory.]
Gospel: Jn. 12:1-9 [The Magdalene repents of her sins and anoints Our Blessed Lord's feet.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Passiontide is when we celebrate Christ's love for us. He loves us. He is our Nymphios, our Bridegroom. He wants to be with us. When we go off and do our own thing, He gets offended. He is heartbroken and in a fit of Divine Rage wants to destroy the life we have built for ourselves and replace it with His life with us. We get an insight into this love and pain in today's epistle. The prophecy states that Christ endured great mockery. His beard was plucked and He was spit upon. What does this tell us? He was treated as a fool. What did He do to deserve that? All He wanted was to be with us. We rejected Him in favor of sin. Because of His love for us, He still wanted to be with us. He wanted to take us back as if our sins never happened. This is how love moves you too feel when you fall in love with someone (not deep mutual infatuation, but love-the vocation to marriage). If a wife cheats on her husband (assuming that they are in love and not just seriously infatuated), he wants her back. He is willing to take her back instantly as soon as she repents. He just wants to be with her and live his life with her. This is how Christ loves His Bride, the Church. Christ loves us and when we run away into sin, He wants us back and is willing to forgive us just like this.

However, that is not how the world sees it. The world insults Him for wanting the sinner back. The world says that He is not being respectful of her by condemning what she does as "sin". He is intolerant. Further, the world mocks Our Blessed Lord by saying that the sinner rejected Him and that He needs to accept that. She has set up her life, it doesn't involve Him, and He needs to accept that, move on, and leave her alone so that she can sin in peace. Ox feces. Christ never abandons sinners. He wants all sinners to convert, reject their sinful lives and return to Him. He loves all people and wants all people to be with Him. He wants all people to reject their sinful lives and go be with Him. He is mocked for this as being intolerant of their lives and innumerable other insults. He is delusional for thinking that these sinners might ever convert. This is what Christ is told by the world.

How does Christ respond? He says, "The Lord God is my helper, therefore am I not confounded." What does it mean to be confounded? To be confounded is to be defeated in confusion. It is defeat and confusion brought upon you at the same time. It is a total defeat. That is what the world vainly tries to inflict on Our King. He knows His Father will exalt Him, as St. Paul told us yesterday, so He says, "therefore have I set my face as a most hard rock, and I know that I shall not be confounded. He is near that justifieth me, who will contend with me?" He loved, even to the point of death, so He shall be given the victory. That is what St. Paul said yesterday.

We see such a victory today in the Gospel. The Magdalene rejected Christ in favor of sin. Christ created her body, only to have her abuse it for pleasure and let guys take advantage of it for their own pleasure. She used whatever excuse she could think of to defend her sexual relationships, saying that he loves her or he paid a good price or whatever excuse she used. She was called to offer herself up to God, as we all are, but she rejected Him in favor of sin. Now, she has repented. she realized that God loved her in the way I have described. She realized that all along, He just wanted to be with her. He wasn't going to use her body for His pleasure, He loves her. Other guys used her for pleasure, God actually loves her. When she realized she was supposed to have this all along in her life, she was filled with huge remorse and devastation. She went out and used roughly a year's salary for a laborer or other blue-collar worker to buy the best ointment to try and make it up to Him. His love was now able to show itself. He just wants to be with her, in this life and in eternity. She finally realized just how much God loves her and that He never stopped loving her. Even after she rejected Him for sin, He didn't stop loving her. Love doesn't give up. Love conquers all. If you really love the person, you won't give up on them. You will never abandon them. You will get them back. That is how Christ loves us. When we run away, He wants us back and will never abandon us. What does He want from us? He wants us to reciprocate His love for us. That's how love works, it wants to be reciprocated. He doesn't want His love for you to be empty, He wants you to return His love. He wants you to love Him in return. That's all that Christ wants, is for you to reciprocate His love. Christ wants you back. We are in the homestretch of this penitential time. Go to confession. Go to Him. He misses you. He wants you back.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My Mischievous Mind

I want to do an Asperges using this sprinkler (starting at 2:51, especially after 3:07):



This is Palm Sunday in the East.

PICS: High Mass in the Rite of Braga (Part I)

Missa Cantata for Palm Sunday in the Rite of Braga - Part I: Procession

I like to post liturgical eye candy. Today we pig out.

Today on a whim I decided it would be a good day to bring my camera to Church. It's Palm Sunday after all-there would be a procession before High Mass at Holy Name in Providence, RI. Wow. Good call. Mass was not in the Roman Rite, but in the Rite of Braga, celebrated by Fr. Joseph Santos, pastor there, but incardinated at Braga, Portugal. Being Portuguese myself, I have a natural interest in this rite. I was spoiled today to see one of the other Western Rites, so I'll spoil you too. It has been seldom seen after Vatican II, since the other Western Rites (which all use Latin as their language) are rather similar to the Tridentine Rite (or better put, the Roman Rite as mandated by Trent). Braga, together with Toledo and Milan, is one of three dioceses other than Rome to have it's own rite. There used to be more. Trent changed that. Braga is one of those rites that was over 200 years old at the time (the year 1570), so it was allowed to survive. The other western rites belong to religious orders. All these rites are variations of the Roman Rite, either developing along side it or being an offshoot of it. After Vatican II, many of these rites were oppressed (not suppressed) by modernists demanding vernacular and communal liturgy. The most recent edition of the Missale Bracarense is from 1924, so we are really being spoiled today. 1924 is better than 1962, no?

Mass was two hours long (procession and passion, it adds up...), so I'll split this into three parts: the Procession, Mass of the Catechumens, and Mass of the Faithful. I took 129 pictures and 51 made it into the final cut, far to many for one post. A couple servers reminded me of Mac McLernon as they too don't want their faces on the internet. I made them anonymous using the appropriate liturgical color.

I'll point out the differences with the Roman Rite as we go along. The procession has the most differences. In the Roman Rite (I mean the 1962 ed. obviously) we have an antiphon, one prayer for the blessing of the palms, distribution of the palms, Gospel, and procession. In the Rite of Braga it's much longer. You'll notice that violet vestments are used throughout, as was the case at Rome before 1956. While the (questionable) idea of using red vestments for the procession was introduced at Rome in 1956, the Mass remaining violet, it was never introduced at Braga. You'll also notice that images are unveiled today in the Rite of Braga for this Mass only, so the cross isn't veiled.

First the choir sings an antiphon (Jn 11:47-49, 50, 53) as the clergy enter. 

Then we have a Lesson (Is 62: 11-12)...
...a Gradual (Ph. 2:8-9)...
...and the Gospel (Mt 21: 1-9; the same as Rome).
Next, five prayers followed by a preface bless the palms.
The palms are distributed. The priest places the palm on the
processional cross, which features quite prominently.

The procession begins.

You'll notice that in the Rite of Braga, the thurifer &
crucifer wear dalmatics. They wear simply cassock,
surplice, and dalmatic. 
The Procession.

The Procession.

The Procession.

The Procession. Great shot of the cope.
The set of vestments was gorgeous. I took
many pictures of them specifically.

The Procession.

The procession stops thrice for the priest to genuflect to
the processional cross. Each time he sings, Ave Rex Noster.
"Hail, Our King"

Another of the three genuflections.
The Procession approaches the door.

The priest knocks on the door with the
processional cross saying the Attolite portas.
The porter asks, Quis est iste Rex gloriae?
This is done thrice, each time the priest
responds with one of the three
Dominus statements from Ps 23. You'll
remember this from the Roman Rite
Consecration of a Church (Think FSSP
Seminary in Nebraska). 

The door is opened.

They enter the Church for Mass.

PICS: High Mass in the Rite of Braga (Part II)

Missa Cantata for Palm Sunday in the Rite of Braga - Part II: The Mass of Catechumens

Part I

The priest changes into Mass vestments at the chair, gets his chalice, and goes to the altar.

In the Rite of Braga, the chalice is prepared before Mass if
it's a Low Mass or Missa Cantata. If a Missa Solemnis,
this is done at the Gradual and Alleluia/Tract.

The chalice is prepared.

The paten is placed atop the prepared chalice and the
whole thing covered again with the veil.

 The Prayers at the Foot of the Altar differ from Rome thusly: an Ave Maria is said at the beginning, before the sign of the cross. Also, this is the Confiteor: Confiteor Deo omnipoteni, et beatae Mariae Virgini, et sanctis Apostolis Petro et Paolo, et omnibus sanctis et vobis, fratres: quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, locutione, opere, et omissione: mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Ideo deprecor beatissimam Virginem Mariam, et omnes Sanctos et Sanctas Dei, et vos, fratres, orare pro me. "I confess to almighty God, and the blessed Virgin Mary, and the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints and you, brothers: that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, statement, deed, and omission: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech the most blessed Virgin Mary, and all the [male] Saints and [female] Saints of God, and you, brothers, to pray for me" The servers say tibi Pater "to you father" appropriately, as at Rome.

Prayers at the foot of the Altar. The priest then greets the
altar with the same prayers as Rome.

Introit, Kyrie, Collect, and Epistle, as at Rome. Most of
the propers are the same as Rome.

On the 2nd Sunday of the Passion, we have a genuflection
in the Epistle, the hymn to the crucified Christ in
Philippians.

The Gospel is done the same as at Rome, however, the Passions are done differently. At Rome the Gospel for Palm Sunday (Matthew's Passion) was shortened in 1956. This was not done at Braga. We still have the longer version of Matthew's Passion. However, the verses not in the post 1956-Roman Missals is still set apart. I'll get to that in a minute. The Passion starts in the same way as at Rome. No incense or candles, no Dominus vobiscum, no response to the title. At the genuflection and pause at the death of Christ, we get the first difference: the priest strikes the missal with his palm and during the silence, all say some short prayer in whispered voices, such as the Apostle's Creed or Our Father.  The final part, about the setting of the guard, was read at Rome as part of the passage, but is no longer read at all. At Braga, those verses are read with incense and candles. At a Solemn Mass, the deacons get their blessings at that point and the book incensed before those verses. Each Passion reading is done in this way, both the pause and the ceremony for the last few verses.

Reading of the Gospel: Matthew's Passion.

Pause at the death of Christ.

The final part is read with full ceremony.

Altar during the homily.