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

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Behold the Broken Heart of Jesus

Come O Sinner and behold the love of Christ for His Bride the Church. The love the Divine Bridegroom receives from the Heavenly Father He gives to His Bride that She may return this love to the Father through Her Divine Bridegroom that they may be joined in eternity, perfectly pure and nourished by Divine Love.

Christ offers Himself in the sacrifice of obedience on the cross to fill His Bride the Love of the Father. She reciprocates this love by also offering the sacrifice of obedience, returning the Love of the Father to Him through Her Divine Bridegroom.

The love He receives is the love He gives to Her. The love She receives is the love She gives Him. The love they as one receive from the Father is the love they give to Him. They live forever as one beating heart. Just as the heart receives blood and then gives it, one chamber to the next, in one continuous cycle of pumping, so too they beat forever, giving to each other the love they have received in an endless cycle of sacrifice for each other. They are the Infinite Heart, giving each other Divine Love for eternity.

Thou wert created by God O Sinner to return the love that God dost give thee as honey from the rock,1 but thou instead didst sting with thy stinger by running away into a life of sin. Just as the bee dies after stinging, so too thou art dead in sin. The eternal cycle of the Infinite Heart was broken just so that thou could have a few years of pleasure. But the Love of God is stronger and even with a Broken Heart, He sacrifices Himself still to fill thee with the Father's Love. Thou didst sin, a past act, but God dost love thee, a continuous act. Thy sins are overwhelmed by the the Blood gushing forth from the Sacred Heart, washing thee clean2 and restoring the endless cycle of Divine Love.

Arise, arise O Sinner and give thy honey to the Lord. Arise, arise and utter a canticle, offering reparation for breaking the Sacred Heart.

1Ps 80:17
2Ap. 7:14

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Marriage and the Grandmother of God

Icon of the Conception of the Theotokos
(It's key elements are St. Anne, St. Joachim, and a bed)

Come O Sinner and behold the Holy Ancestor of God St. Anne, Mother of the Theotokos. How holy must have been the union that yielded the Immaculate Conception! How perfectly conformed to Divine Love must have been that union in a perfect prefigurement of Christ and His Bride! Let us marvel at the marriage that raised the Immaculate and All-Pure Mother of Christ Our God. Let us stand in awe at she who was given the grace of being the grandmother of God. Arise, arise O Sinner and beg the Lord to reveal His Love to the world. Arise, arise and utter a canticle, that marriage might be raised to it's proper dignity.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Behold the Magdalene and Offer Thy Spikenard

Come O Sinner and behold the example of St. Mary Magdalene. She defiled her virginal body with the greatest of sins and became notorious for her life of obsessively pursuing all the world's empty pleasures for many years and having no relationship with God. But God still claimed her as His lost sheep1 and softening her heart, had His feet washed with the tears of her repentance, fully regretting everything she ever did to hurt her Divine Lord, and dried with her hair and received from her the sweetest perfume of spikenard to anoint His sacred feet, which were soon to be pierced on the Holy and Life-Giving Cross for the forgiveness of her great many sins.2 Faithfully, she stood by Him as He poured Himself out to the Father for her and the rest of His Bride, the Church.3 So much was she converted, so much did she regret every last one of her sins, so much did she do penance for all of her sins, that she was given the grace of being the first witness of the Resurrection, the Apostle to the Apostles, being charged to tell the chosen twelve of the Lord's rising with great mercy for the world.4 Arise, arise O Sinner and repent of thy sins. Arise, arise and utter a canticle, that by anointing the Lord's feet with thy repentance thou mightest be anointed by Him with the oil of gladness above thy brethren.5

1Mt 18:11-14
2Jn 12:1-8
3Jn 19:25
4Jn 20:11-18
5Ps 44:8

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rain Fire From Above!

Icon of St. Elias being taken up into Heaven

Come O Sinner and behold St. Elias the Prophet who orchestrated the sacrifice atop Mount Carmel to prove which was the True God: Baal or the Lord.1 Two sacrifices were prepared, one for the Lord and one for Baal, but neither was lit. Both sides were to ask their god to light the sacrifice himself. The one who did so was the real one. The priests of Baal prayed and danced from the sunrise while Elias sat and did nothing. At noon Elias mocked the priests of Baal and insulted them for Baal's inability to light the sacrifice. After noon the priests of Baal cut themselves excessively that Baal might light the sacrifice, all the while Elias sat silently, but alas the sun set and no fire had come. Elias then arose and drenched his sacrifice for the Lord in water such that the water filled a trench about the altar. Calling upon by Elias, the Lord quickly lit the sacrifice with a great fire from Heaven such that the sacrifice, the altar, and even the water in the trench were all consumed. The priests of Baal were then all slain for they had fabricated an idol, the work of human hands, and worshiped it, claiming it to be God. Baal was a farce from the beginning, the work of human hands. He has a mouth but he speaks not. He has eyes but sees not. He has ears but hears not nor is their any breath in his mouth.2 The Lord alone is real. He made us and not we ourselves.3 He made us to live in His Love, to be living lamps for the fire of his Love which cries out, "Put me as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell, the lamps thereof are fire and flames. Many waters cannot quench charity, neither can the floods drown it: if a man should give all the substance of his house for love, he shall despise it as nothing."4 Arise, arise O Sinner and follow the sacrificial Love of God, not man made pleasures. Arise, arise and utter a canticle that the world might know the Love of God.

13 Kings 18:21-40
2Ps 134:16-17
3Ps 99:3
4Cant. 8:6-7

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Arise Arise and Enter Into the Altar of God

Come O Sinner and utter a canticle of the Love of God. How can a sinful human sing the glory of God? Behold the Holy Prophet Isaias, who when God willed he be sent to prophesy to the Lord's people, had his lips purified with a live coal from the altar in Heaven and his sins were cleansed.1 Thou didst dwell in darkness living as the world lives and God showed thee the flaming fire of His Love from Heaven like a burning sun that thou mightest give thyself to Him to live His Love and sing a canticle unto the glory of God. But thou didst reject the Love of God and ran off into the world's empty pleasures like the prodigal son who ran off into a life of dissipation.2 But God has not retracted His Love for thee and it burns still. As the prodigal son's father awaited his son's return so too the Heavenly Father awaits thee. God still extends His love to thee for thou art still the same person, still created by God to live in His Love. Arise now and be purified of thy sins to live the Love of God for the Lord will separate thy sins from thee as the east is from the west3 that thou mightest be a pure vessel of Divine Love in the image of Christ and sing a canticle unto His glory. Be learned in the ways of Divine Love and forget the ways of the world's emotions4, for the Lord's ways are not the world's ways and the Lord's ways are exalted above the world's ways as the Heavens are above the earth.5 Arise that thou mightest see the Heaven of Divine Love and not the Hell of worldly lusts. Arise, arise O Sinner and live in Divine Love. Arise arise and utter a canticle to God who gave joy to thy youth.6

1Is 6:6-7
2Lk 15:11-32
3Ps 102
4Ps 44
5Is 55:8-9
6Ps 42:4

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How Can I Sing?

Come O Sinner and behold the grand majesty of Divine Love. It burns without beginning or end for it is the presence of the Infinite and Immortal King of Heaven. Behold the Vessel of this Love, Christ Our Lord, who sacrificed Himself upon the cross to fill His Bride the Church with this love, that She might return this Love and be thus joined to Him. The Sacraments are Their union and the Supreme Sacrament, the Eucharist, is Their intimacy, where They are truly One Flesh. St. Thomas bade his tongue to sing the glorious mystery of this Body1, but how can a mortal tongue ever comprehend so great a love, let alone sing it? Only God can comprehend His Love and only a tongue endowed with speech from the Holy Ghost can sing a canticle of love, as did Solomon.2

Behold then how God creates earthly bridegrooms and brides as vessels of this love. Like Christ, the bridegroom offers himself to the Father to fill his bride under him with this Divine Love. Like the Church, she gives herself to return God's Love to her bridegroom, and through him, to God. As one, they become the image of Christ, not unto their benefit, but for the glory of God. In the union of Christ and the Church they have their union. Their bond, the Sacrament of Marriage, is in the bond of Christ and His Church, the Sacraments. They bud forth as off-shoots to reveal Divine Love to the nations, for Christ reveals His Love through His Bride the Church to join Her to Him and commands Her to make believers of all nations3 that all men might be thus joined to Him.4 Upon beholding this, all earthly pleasure is naught. Human emotions and passions are but minuscule and insignificant parodies created by Satan to spite God out of his hatred of all things Divine. The greatest pleasures of the world are but rapidly passing memories, in comparison to the Infinite and Immortal Love of God. Since it is passing, earthly pleasures lead only to death. Since it's origin and end is God, Divine Love leads only to eternal life. Adoro te devote, latens Deitas, Quæ sub his figuris vere latitas. Tibi se cor meum totum subicit, Quia te contemplans totum deficit.5 Arise, arise O Sinner and proceed to Divine Love. Arise, arise and be purified in body and soul that thou mightest be a worthy vessel of Divine Love and not cast into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

1St. Thomas Aquinas' hymn Pange Lingua
2The Old Testament Canticle of Canticles
3Mt 28:19-20
41 Tm 2:3-4
5I devoutly adore Thee, O hidden Deity, truly hidden under these figures. My heart completely surrenders to Thee, for seeing Thee, all else must yield.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Flower of Carmel

O Flower of Carmel, fill us with the Love of thy Son, that we
may live the lives we were created to live.

I love the pink lilies in the picture.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rest in Divine Love

Come O Sinner and rest in the Love of Christ the Bridegroom. Smell the flowers that perfume His inner chambers. Clean thyself of thy sins that though might enter. Behold how Christ the Bridegroom offers Himself  to the Father on the cross to fill His Bride the Church with Divine Love and how She purifies Herself from Her sins that, receiving this Love, She might return It and be united Him in Paradise. See how She cries out in Her Liturgy in the words of the Royal Prophet: "What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things he hath rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord."1 Only the Divine Love She has received is a worthy offering to Her Divine Bridegroom. Behold how an earthly bridegroom separates himself from his sins to fill his bride with Divine Love and how she separates herself from her sins to return that same Divine Love to him that they might be the image of Christ unto their mutual salvation and God's glory. Just as Christ laid down His life as the Lamb of the Sacrifice of Calvary to save His Ecclesial Bride from the sins she stubbornly clings to, so too they sacrifice them selves to rescue each other from the sins they stubbornly cling to, that Divine Love might flow through each of them to the other. Arise, arise O Sinner and wash thyself clean in the Blood of the Lamb! Arise, arise and utter a canticle, praising God through the Divine Love He shows thee!

1Ps 115:12-13

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Work of Christ the Bridegroom

Here we see the essential work of Christ as Bridegroom of the Church:
"O Lord, may our Mediator Jesus Christ make these offerings agreeable to Thee: and along with Himself may He offer us to Thee as a thank-offering: Who livest and reigneth."-Secret of the Votive Mass of Christ the Priest.

In one single act, Christ gives Himself to His Bride in the Eucharist (Eucharist=thanksgiving; which we hear in the prayer) and, being thus filled with Him, She becomes a part of Him and they, as One Whole, are offered up by Christ to the Father. They exist in sacrifice where they are offered to the Father together, Him as Her Protector and Her as His Support. Likewise earthly bridegroom and bride exist in a state of offering themselves to the Father together for each other, him as her protector and her as his support; each giving the other what he needs to get to Heaven.

In the Postcommunion we see the fruits of this sacrifice (emphasis mine):

"We beseech Thee, O Lord, may the Divine Host which we have offered up and received quicken us: that, bound to thee by an eternal love, we may bear fruit that will abide forever. Through Our Lord."-Postcommunion of the Votive Mass of Christ the Priest.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Arise O Sinner and Walk

Come O sinner and behold the paralytic cured by Christ this day.1 Paralyzed by sin, when the man was cured by Christ and commanded by Him "Arise!" he arose out of sin and walked home, returning whole again. Harken unto the call of Christ the Bridegroom who calls thee to repentance. He bids thee rise from thy sins, for He has died to lift thee and make thee whole again, returning thee to virginal purity, washed clean in His Most Precious Blood. Render Him now atonement for thy sins, for He did create thee for His purposes and thou hast defrauded Him by thy life of sin. Give thyself back to Him as the possession that was always justly His and offer a sacrifice of atonement for having defrauded Him of thyself whom He loves and even died for. He offered Himself to the Father that He may be used to sanctify thee. For love is a sacrifice offered to God for thy beloved not some emotion of mortal man which passes and dies. Arise, arise O sinner out of thy sins and become the image of Christ! Arise, arise and utter a canticle, singing the glory of the love of God!

1Mt 9:1-8; today's Gospel in the Byzantine Rite.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Love Defeats the Lusts of the Flesh

Come O Sinner and enter the loving embrace of Christ the Bridegroom, wherein rests St. Maria Goretti. Faithful to her Divine Lover, she resisted the advances of the much older Alessandro. Refusing to enter into a life of enjoyment according to the worlds manner of enjoying vain pleasures, she condemned Alessandro's desires as sinful and not capable of resulting in anything save eternal damnation. With righteous anger she hated his sins and remained faithful to Christ the Bridegroom, even unto the point of death, for such is the worth of the Immortal Love of God. She hated iniquity and loved justice, therefore God her God anointed her with the oil of gladness above her brethren.1 Be thou faithful and receive every blessing of the Lord, abandoning the empty promises of the devil before thou findest thy life bankrupt. Behold how St. Maria converted he who tried to seduce her from beyond the grave, making him a model of chastity after showing him in a vision how the lily of purity is consumed by the fire of his lust. Arise, arise O Sinner and, like Maria, enter into the altar of God, to God who giveth joy to thy youth.2 Arise, arise and utter a canticle that the men of the flesh lusting against the spirit3 might be converted and themselves preach this same Love of God following the notorious sinner St. Augustine.

1Ps 44:8
2Ps 42:4
3Gal 5:17

St. Maria Goretti's Relics

Canonization of St. Maria Goretti
Her mother and a converted
Alessandro were present.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is the virtue by which we refuse to retaliate against that which is disagreeable to us. That the thing is disagreeable doesn't mean that it is a good or an evil, but only a perceived evil. A child might reluctantly obey his parent; that is patience. A husband might restrain himself when his wife cheats on him and pray for her instead of yelling at her and giving her what she deserves; that too is patience.

Our refusal to retaliate does not mean we agree with the disagreeable thing. The child does not agree with the parent, but still, in patience, obeys him. The husband really does not agree with his wife's infidelity, but still bears the wrong with patience. However, because the husband's disagreeable thing is evil, the husband has an obligation the child does not: to change the disagreeable thing. The child cannot morally change the parent's orders, since the parent is right. However, since the wife is (very) wrong, the husband can go about changing it and in fact has an obligation to change it, just because the thing is wrong. He has an obligation to God, as her husband, to get his wife to heaven. That obligates him to eliminate the thing that is disagreeable to him, even though, in patience, he must not retaliate against it.

Icon of Extreme Humility
He has as his example Christ the Bridegroom, who, in patience, opened not His mouth (Is 53:7) and offered Himself to the Father to be used to sanctify His Bride the Church. This sacrifice is the essential element of Matrimony: the sacrifice of yourself to God to be used to sanctify your spouse. This sacrifice on the part of Christ, offered on Calvary for the sins committed against Him, is the perfect fulfillment of the verse, "Instead of making me a return of love, they detracted me: but I gave myself to prayer." (Ps 108:4) This is the perfection of christian patience. Christ did not retaliate against the disagreeable thing (sin), but still was obligated by the moral law to stop it (for this disagreeable thing happens to be evil), so He offered Himself to God as a sacrifice for the atonement of the thing which was both disagreeable and evil. To bear a wrong patiently (i.e. not to retaliate) is charitable, but to bear it patiently while working to stop it is even more charitable for then you are working to save the soul of the one committing the evil act. To bear a wrong patiently while refusing to stop it is sinful because then you are refusing to stop evil. If one can stop an evil act under his own power then he must do so and in patience, such as stopping a thief without beating him until he has only blood and pus coming from his mouth. You are only trying to convert him; God can inflict His wrath on him by Himself. If however, one does not have the power to stop the evil, such as the man whose wife plays the harlot, then he can only bear his wife patiently while giving himself to God for her conversion, which is his whole vocation in the first place.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Arise My Friend, the Time for Pruning is Come

A voice calls out to the sinner:

Arise O Sinner and come! The Mother of God approacheth bearing Christ the Bridegroom. Rejoice with John the Baptist, Best Man to the Divine Bridegroom, at the sight of our salvation.1 Be not like unto the foolish virgins, inattentive and focused on the enjoyment of their own lives, lest thou be overcome with sleep, lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom together with those wretched women.2 Rouse thyself out of thy sleep O Sinner and cry out to the approaching Mother of God. Go forth with the wise virgins to meet Christ the Bridegroom.3 Behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. He is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. He calls out, "Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come."4 Thy flesh O Sinner, the temple of the Holy Ghost, was pure at thy birth, but thy sanctity hast been fouled by a Godless life. Be made pure in the Immaculate One; she cometh to take off all thy sins and clothe thee in her own purity.5 She will adorn thee in the garment of salvation and the vesture of gladness.6 Stand on the right hand in gilded clothing, surrounded with variety.7 Cast off the poverty of thy sins O Sinner and be adorned with a crown as a bridegroom and as a bride with comeliness.8 Arise, arise O Sinner cast off thy vain pleasures and give thyself to the life for which thou wast created; to be the image of Christ the Bridegroom. Arise, arise and utter a canticle with the Mother of God: "My soul shall rejoice in the Lord."9

Robe of the Mother of God

*The title of the post referenced the antiphon "Nigra sum sed formosa" ("I am black but beautiful") and today's reading for the Visitation (Cant. 2:8-12).
1Today in the Latin Rite it is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
2Troparion of Christ the Bridegroom
3Mt 25:1-13
4Cant. 2:8-12 (the reading for the Feast of the Visitation)
5Today in the Byzantine Rite it is the feast of the Disposition of the Robe of the Mother of God
6Byzantine vesting prayers, at the stikharion (Is 61:10)
7Ps 44:10
8Byzantine vesting prayers, at the stikharion (Is 61:10)
9Byzantine vesting prayers, at the stikharion (Is 61:10); Lk 2:46

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Washing in Blood Makes You Pure

A voice calls out to the sinner:

Come O Sinner and bathe in the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ.1 Thou wast created in virginal purity and offered the Love of God as the fuel and foundation of thy life. Thou didst reject It and, like the prodigal son, ran off into a life of loose living, O Sinner. Bathe now in the Blood of Our Blessed Lord, which washes thee clean of all filth, restores thee to thy virginal purity, and brings thee to the life for which thou was created by God. Arise, arise O Sinner and bathe in rejuvenating Blood of Our Blessed Lord! Arise, arise and utter a canticle, washing thyself clean in the Blood of the Lamb!2

1Today is the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ
2Ap. 7:14