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

Friday, June 28, 2013

Card. Ranjith on Eastern Liturgy vs. Modern Latin Liturgy

Cardinal Ranjith comparing Eastern and Western Liturgies, saying that Eastern Liturgies (Eastern Catholic and Orthodox) are majestic and profound, whereas Latin Rite liturgy has been emptied of its meaning in the name of "Vatican II" and rendered "boring", even though the Traditional Latin Rite preserves the necessary sense of holy awe and giving of self to God that has always been preserved in the Eastern Churches.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

By Being Seperated, He Draws All to Himself

Behold how the bridegroom endures everything contrary to his nature as bridegroom as a penance for his bride; all the attacks, insults, rejection, being deprived of unity with his beloved, and watching evil flourish with her. Like a lamb led to the slaughter, he opens not his mouth and endures all things patiently as a sacrifice to the Father for her sake. Why should he fear any of these things or be troubled by them? By enduring them as a sacrifice offered to the Father, all things in her contrary to Divine Love are destroyed by Divine Love. So powerful is the Divine and so weak is sin. She is completely purified and made perfectly disposed towards the grace her bridegroom offers her. She is cleansed of her sins such that she always belonged entirely to God and nothing contrary to Divine Love remains in her. Her bridegroom exists to give himself to the Father to take care of her. Joined to the Father, then, he gives himself to her to fill her with Divine Love and filled with him, she becomes a part of him, and through him, becomes a part of God. That is his only purpose, to join his bride to the Father.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Forerunner Sounds the Trumpet of Glory

Today is born the voice of the Word of God, the best man to Christ the Bridegroom, the one who broke the curse of the barrenness of his mother, and loosed the tongue of his father, for it was not fitting for Zachary to remain silent when the Voice appeared. Nothing shall be called impossible for God for through the Holy Forerunner God is glorified, for the barren woman, well beyond the years of the ways of women, conceives and bears a son and God's creation bows to Him by moving beyond its own limits to glorify Him, for when God wills it, the law of nature, which He Himself established, is abolished to offer unto Him an offering worthy of His Divine Nature to proclaim His glory to the nations. Thus, this day the Forerunner heralds the glory of Christ the Bridegroom who is coming in glory with great mercy for His Bride.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Demons & God's Power

Today at Divine Liturgy, for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, we hear the Gospel of the exorcism into swine (Mt 8:28-9:1). There are several lessons we can take from this passage. Besides the fact that the Devil and his demonic and human minions really do exist and really are trying to destroy us, one lesson is that no matter how much trouble the devil and the world can give us (for the entire world has been the kingdom of the devil since the fall of Adam), God is more powerful. So much so, that the Gerasens were more intimidated by Christ's brief show of power than they were by the demons who had lived there for some time.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Help Us to Participate in Thy Son's Suffering...

...that we may participate in His Resurrection.

We participate in His Passion by penance and carrying our daily crosses, but especially in the Eucharist, the Carnal Intimacy between Christ and His Bride, which is the Very Crucifixion Itself made present before us. Only by joining ourselves to Christ in the Flesh can we hope to survive death for He alone survives death. "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you." (Jn 6:54)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

It's Been Hundreds of Years...

...but making fun of Martin Luther still hasn't gotten old:

Internal corruption in the Latin Rite is no excuse to reject Church Teaching or the practices that of necessity result from Church Teaching.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The World We Live In

We are living in a world where if you do not worship at the altar of lust you are hated and ostracized by society. If you do not put in your pinch of incense at the altar of lust you are labeled as "intolerant" as they call it when in fact they are the ones "intolerant" of you. The Bible says two things about the devil which are very important here. First, that he is the most shrewd (in some translations "cunning") creature God created. Second, that he was a liar from the beginning. When people hate you for not supporting to the sin of lust when others commit it, it is not you that they hate, but rather the Love of God that you proclaim in rejecting the sin of lust when you see it. "If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you." (Jn 15:18)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Union With God and It's Fruit

How fitting is it that the great feasts of Corpus Christi and Sacred Heart are so adjacent on the calendar! For Christ gives us His Flesh, that filled with Him we might become a part of Him and rest in His Heart! We are consumed by that which we consume and become a part of God! Christ and the Church-the Two become One Flesh and She rests in His Sacred Heart!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Simultaneously Painful and Consoling

Theotokos, help me to be close to Thy Son in His suffering, that sharing in his pain might be a worthy penance and that the closeness of His presence might be a sweet consolation.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Corpus Christi Procession Photos

Today at Holy Ghost Church in Tiverton, RI we had a Missa Cantata and procession for the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate (a get well soon to Fr. Jay Finelli).

Here are some pics of the procession, yours truly holding the cope (on the priest's right):

Intimacy with Our Beloved and His Name

My Thy Sacred Flesh permeate every beat of my heart that I may transmit Thy love to my neighbor and be Thy presence to my neighbor.

The Holy Eucharist is the carnal intimacy between Christ and His Bride the Church. Aside from the External Solemnity of Corpus Christi, today is, before anything else, the Second Sunday after Pentecost. Here is today's Collect and Fr. Z's translation:

Sancti nominis tui, Domine, timorem pariter et amorem fac nos habere perpetuum: quia numquam tua gubernatione destituis, quos in soliditate tuae dilectionis instituis.
Make us to have, O Lord, constant fear and, in equal degree, love of Your Holy Name: for You never abandon with Your steering those whom You establish in the firmness of Your love.

This same collect is also said at the end of the Litany of the Holy Name. When someone falls in love, the name of their beloved becomes something sacred. It is something revered because a person's name is a manifestation of who they are. It is a powerful symbol and manifestation of the beloved to the lover. The name of his beloved is always on his lips and he repeats it to himself often, since the name of his beloved is a manifestation of her to him. The one in love is offended by not only any misuse of his beloved's name and any ill-statement connected to her name, but even by other people who have the same name but spelled differently, as if they butchered the name of the one he loves so dearly. Even ill-statements about other people with the same name puts him on guard. So let us have a constant fear and constant love for the Holy Name of Our Beloved and remain intimate with Him in the Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

What an Early Christian Church Looked Like

Before the days of fancy Churches, this is what the inside of a Church looked like:

This is what the early Christians saw when going to church. In the absolute earliest days, the Altar and the rest of the church were separated by a huge curtain. The Antiochean Tradition preserves this practice to the present day. It took a century or two to develop the iconostasis and from then on the early Church had churches like this one. It is the Lower Church at the Fedorovskiy Cathedral in St. Petersburg (h/t to Jordanville Journal), which served as the "home parish" of the Russian Imperial Family. Actually, the iconostasis is a bit short (looks like an altar rail, which didn't develop until the renaissance; the wall was taller until then), but you can see the icons of the Mother of God and Christ are quite tall (a little ironic given that the iconostasis is short). Visible over the gate is the canopy over the Holy Table and the icon of the Mystical Supper (Last Supper) on the wall. Those two elements are very ancient and were more popular then than they are now. Above the steps is the choir for the clergy. Below the steps is the area for the congregation. Of course the ceiling is made to look like it's in some sort of catacombs, and appropriately enough this is the crypt level of a cathedral. By contrast, the Upper Church is in the baroque style, which typifies churches after the early Church period.