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- 01/25/18--12:49: _EF Candlemas in Bro...
- 01/25/18--18:23: _Happy New Year from...
- 01/26/18--06:15: _Past Articles on Se...
- 01/26/18--14:19: _The Church of St Fr...
- 01/27/18--05:58: _Announcing the 2018...
- 01/28/18--00:31: _The Feast of St Joh...
- 01/28/18--10:51: _Septuagesima Sunday...
- 01/29/18--03:11: _EF Candlemas in Jer...
- 01/29/18--12:16: _Who’s Afraid of Pre...
- 01/30/18--08:01: _Where Can Catholics...
- 01/30/18--09:00: _Ignatian Retreat in...
- 01/31/18--04:45: _Byzantine Subdiacon...
- 01/31/18--05:00: _Preaching from the ...
- 01/31/18--18:47: _The Island and Basi...
- 02/01/18--06:20: _Burying the Allelui...
- 02/01/18--09:53: _EF Candlemas in New...
- 02/01/18--13:00: _The Byzantine Rite ...
- 02/01/18--15:00: _Photopost Request: ...
- 02/02/18--05:00: _The Presentation of...
- 02/02/18--08:41: _Dominican Rite Miss...
- 01/25/18--12:49: EF Candlemas in Brooklyn
- 01/25/18--18:23: Happy New Year from the Artists in the Sacristy
- 01/26/18--06:15: Past Articles on Septuagesima
- 01/26/18--14:19: The Church of St Francis Xavier in Lucerne, Switzerland
- 01/27/18--05:58: Announcing the 2018 Norcia Summer Theology Program
- 01/28/18--00:31: The Feast of St John Chrysostom, and Mozart’s Birthday
- 01/28/18--10:51: Septuagesima Sunday 2018
- 01/29/18--03:11: EF Candlemas in Jersey City, New Jersey
- 01/29/18--12:16: Who’s Afraid of Predestination?
- 01/30/18--09:00: Ignatian Retreat in Allentown, NJ, Feb. 17-19
- 01/31/18--04:45: Byzantine Subdiaconal Ordination in California
- 01/31/18--05:00: Preaching from the Propers of the Mass — An Example from Ireland
- 01/31/18--18:47: The Island and Basilica of St Julius
- 02/01/18--06:20: Burying the Alleluia 2018
- 02/01/18--09:53: EF Candlemas in New York City
- 02/01/18--13:00: The Byzantine Rite of Ordination (Minor Orders and Subdiaconate)
- 02/01/18--15:00: Photopost Request: Candlemas 2018
- 02/02/18--05:00: The Presentation of Christ and Purification of the Virgin 2018
- 02/02/18--08:41: Dominican Rite Missa Cantata in Oakland, California, Tomorrow
part 1: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/02/the-antiquity-and-universality-of-fore.html
part 2: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/02/the-antiquity-and-universality-of-fore_11.html
part 3: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/02/the-antiquity-and-universality-of-fore_14.html
part 4: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2017/02/the-antiquity-and-universality-of-fore_15.html
You may also the following of interest:
The Stations Church of Septuagesima
Septuagesima in the Ambrosian Rite
In 2015, we noted a good piece on the subject by the well-known Catholic blogger Amy Wellborn; our link to her piece also refers to an article on the subject by liturgical scholar Dr Lauren Pristas.
Finally, in 2016, we published some photos from the Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian, who revived a medieval custom of writing the word Alleluia on a large piece of parchment, and then after Vespers burying it in the churchyard, so that it could be dug up again on Easter Sunday. If anyone else does this and has pictures, we will be very glad to share them with our readers; you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|William Blake, Job|
This summer’s program will be: “Human Suffering and Divine Providence: Thomas’s Commentary on the Book of Job.” We will do a close reading of Thomas’s Commentary on Job, considered one of the saint’s finest and most interesting Biblical commentaries, written about an Old Testament book that has always been a favorite with preachers, moralists, and artists.
The affliction of just men is what seems especially to impugn divine Providence in human affairs. For although it seems irrational and contrary to Providence at first glance that good things sometimes happen to evil men, nevertheless this can be excused in one way or another by [invoking] divine compassion. But that the just are afflicted without cause seems to undermine totally the foundation of Providence. Thus the varied and grave afflictions of a specific just man called Job, perfect in every virtue, are proposed as a kind of theme for the question intended for discussion. (From Aquinas’s Prologue)This year, the program is pleased to welcome as a guest tutor Dr. Michael Sirilla, director of the graduate theology program at Franciscan University of Steubenville. Additionally, Fr. Thomas Crean, OP, of the Dominican priory in Leicester, England, and Fellow of the AMCSS, will be joining us. Fr. Crean is currently teaching at Newman College, Ireland. Besides the daily seminars and lectures offered by the tutors, there will be a guest lecture by Fr. Benedict Nivakoff, OSB, Prior of the monastery, as well as Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, its founder. The two-week program culminates in an authentic scholastic disputation, moderated by one of the tutors.
In addition to the academic program, there is the opportunity to participate in the daily life of worship of the Benedictine monks who live and pray in the mountains overlooking the birthplace of SS. Benedict & Scholastica. Optional excursions include a trip to Orvieto, where St. Thomas lived while he was writing the Commentary on Job.
Participants are encouraged to plan for extra time before or after the program in order to explore Rome, the glorious foundation seat of the Church. Indeed, the program ends on the day before the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, so participants could attend the Papal Mass at St. Peter’s on that day. Tickets will be arranged for all who are interested.
For more information, including costs and registration, visit the Summer Program details page.
The St. Albert the Great Center is dedicated to the revival of theology undertaken according to the mind and method of the great scholastics, and in particular, the work of St. Thomas Aquinas. All are welcome to apply, including graduate students, seminarians, clergy, and religious. The AMCSS will issue an official transcript with a grade for any who requests it.
The Byzantine Rite keeps on January 30th a feast with the imposing title (again, from my copy of the Hieratikon) “Our Fathers among the Saints, the Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian (i.e. Gregory of Nazianzus) and John Chrysostom.” This commemoration arose from a vivid dispute in the 11th century as to which of the three should be regarded as the Church’s greatest theologian and teacher, a dispute in which people formed parties that called themselves “Basilians” (not, of course, in reference to the religious order), “Gregorians,” or “Johannites”. It was resolved when all three Saints appeared to John, bishop of Euchaita (a city fairly close to where Chrysostom died), saying “There are no divisions among us, and no opposition to one another.” The Byzantine Calendar keeps the feasts of St Basil on January 1st, and Gregory Nazianzen on the 25th, the days of their respective deaths; therefore, the principle feasts of all three, as well as their joint commemoration, all occur within the same month. Along with St Athanasius, all three were declared Doctors of the Church by Pope St Pius V in 1568.
|A 17th-century icon of the Three Holy Herarchs. (image from wikipedia)|
While the tradition of keeping the Saints’ feasts on the day of their death is certainly very ancient, and for that reason alone laudable, it was frequently applied with more zeal than wisdom to the Calendar reform of 1969. One could hardly keep St Basil as a mere commemoration on the newly-created Solemnity of the Mother of God, which replaced the Circumcision in the Roman Rite, even if commemorations still existed. He and Gregory were therefore given a joint feast on January 2nd. Chrysostom, on the other hand, was moved from January 27th to September 13th, the day before his death. It is perplexing, to say the least, why any of this was thought necessary, especially in an age purportedly so concerned with ecumenism. The final result of these changes is that none of these Saints keeps his traditional Western day, not even the one shared by the East; none of them moves to his Byzantine feast day; and none of them moves to his death day.
The prayer: Mercifully hear the prayers of thy people, O Lord, we beseech Thee; that we, who are justly afflicted for our sins, may be mercifully delivered for the glory of Thy Name.
Aña: Dixit Dóminus ad Adam: De ligno quod est in medio paradísi, ne cómedas: in qua hora coméderis, morte moriéris.
Oratio: Preces pópuli tui, quáesumus, Dómine, clementer exaudi: ut, qui juste pro peccátis nostris afflígimur, pro tui nóminis gloria misericórditer liberémur.
This recording comes from the Abbey of LeBarroux, which broadcasts the Hours live everyday, and has a few days worth of previous Offices available to listen and download, all at the following address: https://www.barroux.org/en/liturgie/listen-to-our-offices.html
Hanc igitur oblationem servitutis nostrae, sed et cunctae familiae tua, quaesumus, Domine, ut placatus accipias: diesque nostros in tua pace disponas, atque ab aeterna damnatione nos eripi, et in electorum tuorum jubeas grege numerari.This petition is a liturgical distillation of the teaching of the Apostle Paul, as found especially in Romans 8 and Ephesians 1.
We therefore beseech Thee, O Lord, to be appeased and accept this oblation of our service, as also of Thy whole family; and to dispose our days in Thy peace, and command that we be rescued from eternal damnation and numbered among the flock of Thine elect.
Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto himself: according to the purpose of his will … In whom we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things according to the counsel of his will. (Eph 1:5, 1:11).Verifying yet again the Golden Axiom lex orandi, lex credendi, we find this truth perfectly enshrined in a number of places in the usus antiquior, such as the Dies Irae Sequence of the Requiem Mass, and in the following Secret from the Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost:
For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of his Son; that he might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. And whom he predestinated, them he also called. And whom he called, them he also justified. And whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Rom 8:29–30).
Pro nostrae servitutis augmento sacrificium tibi, Domine, laudis offerimus: ut, quod immeritis contulisti, propitius exsequaris.In what is perhaps the most beautiful of all such liturgical testimonies, the Postcommunion for the usus antiquior Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, a relatively recent addition from the 16th century (and incorporated into the general calendar in the 18th), reads thus:
May this sacrifice of praise that we offer to Thee, O Lord, be for an increase of our servitude [i.e., our service to Thee]: that what Thou hast begun without our merits Thou mayest mercifully bring to completion.
Omnipotens æterne Deus, qui creasti et redemisti nos, respice propitius vota nostra: et sacrificium salutaris hostiæ, quod in honorem nominis Filii tui, Domini nostri Jesu Christi, majestati tuæ obtulimus, placido et benigno vultu suscipere digneris; ut gratia tua nobis infusa, sub glorioso nomine Jesu, æternæ prædestinationis titulo gaudeamus nomina nostra scripta esse in cælis.
O almighty and everlasting God Who didst create and redeem us, look graciously upon our prayer, and with a favourable and benign countenance deign to accept the sacrifice of the saving Victim, which we have offered to Thy Majesty in honour of the Name of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: that through the infusion of Thy grace we may rejoice that our names are written in heaven, under the glorious Name of Jesus, the pledge of eternal predestination.The doctrine of predestination (with varying accents and nuances) was taught without embarrassment by all the Fathers of the Church, and received its definitive account in Question 23 of the Prima Pars of the Summa theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas. In the twentieth century, Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange devoted much of his labor to explicating and defending the Angelic Doctor’s teaching on just this point, as, for example, in his excellent (if unimaginatively titled) book Predestination.
If anyone doubts that the Catholic Church has always taught and still teaches the doctrine of predestination — obviously, not an erroneous Protestant version of it, but the true notion — he may satisfy himself by consulting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nn. 257, 600, 2012, 2782, and 2823. The Catechism deftly steers clear of the Dominican-Molinist controversy by merely repeating multiple times the statements of St. Paul, and adding only this gloss: “To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he established his eternal plan of ‘predestination,’ he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace” (n. 600).
|From the main portal of Notre Dame cathedral, Paris|
Command that we be rescued from eternal damnation and numbered among the flock of Thine elect. With this pair of entreaties, the Roman Canon repudiates the universalist mentality of our age, which assumes that men will be saved unless they conscientiously and egregiously reject God. On the contrary, the Canon embodies the truth of the Catholic Faith as taught by the Fathers, Doctors, and premodern Popes of the Church, for whom man, due to his inheritance of original sin, cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven unless he dies and rises with Christ in baptism.
Without entering here into subtle exegesis of John 3, we can say as a matter of fact that the consensus of Catholic theologians from ancient times until the early twentieth century was that mankind is a massa damnata (“condemned crowd”) and that Christ came into the world to save sinners from the destruction due to our sins, inherited and actual. The sole path of salvation is to be clothed with Christ, incorporated into His Mystical Body, and to die in a state of sanctifying grace. As Scott Hahn says in a lecture on the Gospel of John, “the history of salvation is also the history of damnation”: Christ came into the world for judgment, to cause separation by revealing the truth and exposing darkness. This is why the Roman Martyrology carefully records not only the names of each martyr, but the names of their persecutors as well.
Moreover, in utter opposition to Pelagianism, the Church teaches that God, not man, takes the first step in the renewal of our life; that all our sufficiency is from Him (2 Cor 3:5); that no man comes to Jesus unless the Father draws him (Jn 6:44); that we become adopted sons of God by His predestinating purpose (Eph 1:5); that we persevere by His gift, not by our own efforts. In short, God must number us in the flock of His chosen ones; He knowingly and lovingly chooses us to be the “rational sheep” (as the Akathist hymn says) of His flock. He does not, as it were, happen to find us there in the sheepfold and express pleasant surprise; He brings us there and keeps us there.
All this the Roman Canon succinctly transmits in words as simple as they are sobering: Command that we be rescued from eternal damnation and numbered among the flock of Thine elect.
But why is this doctrine important to us spiritually?
In modern times we are constantly told how good we are, how well-intentioned, and how much we are victims of our environment or upbringing, entitled to various compensations. We are reassured of the greatness of man, of his dignity and rights. But we are in sore danger of forgetting fundamental truths about our condition. We are fallen beings alienated from God, from our neighbors, even from our very selves. We have no rights to stand on before God; we are like “filthy rags,” as Isaiah says (Is 64:4). We are utterly dependent on the divine Mercy at every moment — for our very existence, for our conversion to good, for our repentance from evil, for our escape from damnation, and above all, for the gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus.
We stand at the edge of an abyss of neverending misery into which we may fall at any moment by mortal sin, if our life is snuffed out before we have repented of it, or if the Lord does not, in His mercy, prevent us from falling or, after we have fallen, grant us the gift of repentance. “Lead us not into temptation…” Lead us not into the abyss. Command that we be rescued from eternal damnation. This is reality, as opposed to the shallow fantasy of egoism, the “broad path that leads to destruction,” with which our contemporary culture envelops us.
The doctrine of predestination has as its positive spiritual effects a deep and abiding thanksgiving to the Lord for His mercies without number, since He died for us while we were yet His enemies, that we might become His friends; a profound humility at having been chosen by God for no beauty of our own but solely that He might make us beautiful in His sight; a sober watchfulness and earnestness, lest our names be erased from the Book of Life; and, most of all, a constant recourse to prayer, that we will be established more and more in Christ, and not in ourselves, for it is by “being made conformable to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29), and in no other way, that our predestination is actually accomplished.
In response to so great a mercy, the Church places the words of the Psalmist on the lips of her priests as they receive the Precious Blood, price of our souls:
What shall I render to the Lord for all the things that He hath rendered to me? I will take the chalice of salvation, and I will call upon the Name of the Lord. Praising I will call upon the Lord, and I shall be saved from mine enemies.It is therefore of immense importance for nourishing the right faith of the people that the doctrine of predestination, transmitted pure and entire in the Roman Canon, be present to priests in their celebration of the Mass and to the people in their participation in it.
 In yet another display of theological “neutralization,” the Novus Ordo — from whose calendar the feast of the Holy Name had initially been purged by Paul VI, no doubt because it was a Baroque accretion, only to be replaced later under John Paul II as an “optional memorial” — politely trims down this postcommunion to an acceptable banality: “May the sacrificial gifts offered to your majesty, O Lord, to honor Christ's Name and which we have now received, fill us, we pray, with your abundant grace, so that we may come to rejoice that our names, too, are written in heaven.” The doctrine is there, but as if muffled beneath several layers of sterile cotton.
 Cf. Rom 13:14, Gal 3:27; cf. Mt 22:12.
 Cf. Jn 9:39; cf. Jn 3:16–21, 5:24–29; Lk 12:51.
 Although not intended to be the focus of this article, it surely ought to be disturbing from the point of view of lex orandi, lex credendi that the sole anaphora of the Western Church, prayed every day at every Mass from ancient times until the 1960s, was displaced by alternative Eucharistic prayers in 1970 — a novelty and rupture the magnitude of which had never been seen in the history of any liturgical rite. See Fr. Cassian Folsom, O.S.B., “From One Eucharistic Prayer to Many: How it Happened and Why,” first published in the Adoremus Bulletin 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6 (September, October, and November 1996). Fr. Cassian quotes an Italian liturgist on the Roman Canon: “its use today is so minimal as to be statistically irrelevant.” (This was more true of the nineties than it is today, when we are enjoying some fruits of Benedict XVI's pontificate.) This rupture best illustrates the untenability of asserting that the usus antiquior and the usus recentior are merely two versions of the same thing, namely, the Roman Rite. It makes little difference that the passages from Ephesians 1 and Romans 8 are contained in the new lectionary (e.g., Weds of week 30 per annum, year I; 17th Sunday per annum, Year A; Thurs of week 28 per annum, year II; Immaculate Conception, 2nd reading), since readings come and go, like birds at a bird-feeder, whereas the danger of damnation and the divine mercy of predestination are woven into the very fabric of the traditional Roman rite. Moreover, most of the prayers that point to predestination in the usus antiquior have been either removed or toned down in the usus recentior, so that it would be much more difficult to establish that the revised liturgy teaches clearly and unambiguously this Scriptural and traditional doctrine.
Hexaemeron.org a non-profit based in the US, founded in 2003, which offers short courses and workshops in a variety of locations around the world, but has its main focus in North America. It is founded by Orthodox Christians, and is welcoming and respectful to Roman and Byzantine Catholics.
All their classes in painting, carving and embroidery are always of the highest quality, and the work of two of their teachers has been featured in the past on this site. Some readers will be familiar with painter Marek Czarnecki, who is Catholic. I wrote about two icons of Western saints that he painted for Our Lady of the Mountains, in Jasper Georgia, here.
Here is his Saint Cecilia:
Another teacher that readers may be familiar with is the Canadian icon carver, Jonathan Pageau. Here is his icon of Jonah.
In addition to the meditations, the traditional Mass will be sung each day, as well as parts of the Divine Office; there will also be plenty of opportunities for spiritual direction and Confession.
The retreat will begin in the early afternoon of Friday, February 16 and finish on the afternoon of Sunday, February 18, with the parish choral Vespers. (The First Sunday of Lent, President’s day weekend.) In order to cover the expenses (Fr. Hernan’s travel from France, food, donation to the parish, etc) we suggest a donation of $60. Also, please bring a sleeping bag.
To confirm your attendance please read the Google doc at this link and fill out the registration form. If you have any questions please contact email@example.com. Feel free to forward this invitation to any else you think would be interested.
The ordination was celebrated after Matins and the hierarchical vesting of the bishop, during which he is repeatedly incensed by the deacons.
(I post the following with the kind permission of Dom Mark Kirby, O.S.B., Prior of the Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration at Silverstream Priory in Ireland. It first appeared at Vultus Christi. Dom Mark has long been a proponent of infusing homilies with the salt and pith of the Propers of the day's Mass, a practice that deserves far more use than it seems to get.—PAK)
LAST THURSDAY, our priest oblates (diocesan priests living in the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict, and spiritually anchored in the monastery, whilst labouring in the vineyard of the Lord) met at Silverstream for a day of recollection. I spoke to them of the Propers of the Mass: the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Tract, Sequence, Offertory, and Communion, as given in the Roman Missal and in the Roman Gradual. Together we reviewed article 65 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, which text authorises the priest to preach on the Proper of the Mass, something rarely done.
65. The homily is part of the Liturgy and is strongly recommended, for it is necessary for the nurturing of the Christian life. It should be an exposition of some aspect of the readings from Sacred Scripture or of another text from the Ordinary or from the Proper of the Mass of the day and should take into account both the mystery being celebrated and the particular needs of the listeners.Our oblate, Father John Fisher, who serves in a parish that follows the usus recentior, took up the challenge and preached on the Introit of the Mass of the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Here is his homily.
Before the singing of hymns was permitted at Mass after the Second Vatican Council, the introit (or Entrance Antiphon as it is now called) was sung by the choir as the priest made his way to the altar in the entrance procession. Some of you may well remember Canon Pentony’s famous choir singing those beautiful Latin texts. In the modern liturgy, the introit chant has been shortened to a one-line antiphon that is supposed to be sung but is usually recited by the priest. However, this simplification is no excuse for ignoring the meaning and importance of an integral text of the Mass which the Church, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, gives to her children to help them enter more fully into the sacred liturgy they are about to celebrate. Each Mass has its own unique antiphon. It is usually a verse from the psalms, the prayer book which Our Lord himself prayed while he was on earth, or from some other book of the Bible. The antiphon is meant to be a spiritual voice that welcomes us, sets the tone of the Mass of the day and points us in the direction of the deep spiritual meanings that the texts of that particular Mass want to reveal to us. You might sometimes have heard a particular priest welcome people at the start of Mass and say, “The theme of today’s Mass is….”. He needn’t have bothered! The tone or theme has already been set by the Entrance Antiphon.
If the antiphon is a voice, then who is it that is speaking? On rare occasions, on the feasts of saints, it is the voice of the actual saint being commemorated that day. But normally it is one of two voices: either the voice of Christ speaking to the Father, or the voice of the Church (which is the body of Christ) calling to Jesus Christ, her God and spouse. If we look at today’s antiphon it is easy to see that this is the voice of the Church, crying out to her Lord in desperation to save her and to lead her back from her exile so that she can then do what is her very purpose and destiny: to praise and thank her God.
When this psalm was written, the Jewish people experienced the pain of exile and alienation. They were evicted from the Holy Land and had to live for years in exile in Babylon, prisoners of a pagan people who did not share their religion or way of life. This pain has always been felt by the Church throughout her history and is most keenly felt today. The Church, unlike Israel, does not have a country to call her own. Christians must always live and work in a world that does not always accept the teachings of Christ and at times does not even tolerate our beliefs or morals. One of our earliest Christian writings, the Epistle to Diognetus, vividly describes the predicament of Christians in the Roman Empire:
“Christians are not distinguished from the rest of humanity by country, language, or custom. They live in their own countries, but only as aliens; they participate in everything as citizens, and endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign country is their homeland, and every homeland is a foreign country. They marry like everyone else, and have children, but they do not leave their unwanted children to die. They share their food but not their wives. … They live on earth, but their citizenship is in heaven. … They love everyone, and by everyone they are persecuted. They are unknown, yet they are condemned; they are put to death, yet they are brought to life. … They are dishonoured, yet they are glorified in their dishonour; they are slandered, yet they are proven right. They are cursed, yet they bless; they are insulted, yet they offer respect. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers. Those who hate them are unable to give a reason for their hostility. In a word, what the soul is to the body, Christians are to the world.”Today’s Entrance Antiphon reminds us that the Church has ever lived in this predicament. At certain times and in certain places she feels this alienation more sharply. Catholics here in the north often felt marginalised, aliens in their own country as they endured discrimination and hatred because of their religion. Today, that is the experience of good Catholics throughout the western world as countries that were traditionally Christian become secularised. We increasingly find people with power and the influence of the media not just scorning the gospel but trying to force us to conform to modern values which are profoundly anti-Christian. The ways of the nations, of the ‘modern world’, are not the ways of God. They are not our ways. They leave us hurt and alienated. In a world where liberal capitalism has run amok and over 80% of the world’s profit goes to 1% of its people, Christians can only cry out in the voice of our antiphon: “Save us O Lord! Gather us from the nations.” In our own area, where the fruits of the drug trade which begins with gangs in far off lands, bring only grief and anxiety to families, we can only cry out: “Save us O Lord! Gather us from the nations.” As the right to life of the unborn is threatened throughout Ireland so that the State would no longer “cherish all the children of the nation equally” as the Eighth Amendment currently does, we can only cry out: “Save us O Lord! Gather us from the nations.” And lest we ever become like England where one in five pregnancies now ends in abortion, or like Holland or Belgium where even the vulnerable sick and elderly are also killed, or like Canada where businesses must actually state that they uphold immoral practices including abortion in order to receive government grants, we pray to our Saviour with all our heart: “Save us O Lord! Gather us from the nations.”
In today’s readings God answers this cry. In the first reading he promises to send strong, prophetic leaders to his people who will teach them God’s ways and not the ways of false gods. Please pray at this time for our bishops and for all pro-life workers and politicians that the Lord will strengthen them and help them win the struggle to protect the most basic and precious right to life in Ireland. As Christians it is our duty to pray for this country and all its people and to try to influence it for the good: to be the soul for the body of the country, in the words of the Epistle to Diognetus. Let us not grow weary in this, our sacred duty. Let us pray with the responsorial psalm that our fellow citizens’ hearts will not be hardened but that they will hear the voice of Truth. In the gospel, Jesus defeated the evil spirits. He is the Holy One of God. Against him, the Prince of this world, the devil, cannot stand. As Ven. Fulton Sheen said: “God has his day. The devil has his hour.” Strong in this faith, may we endure our current dark hour in the history of civilisation knowing that soon the day will dawn when Christ the Sun of Justice will once again shine out in all his splendour. If we stay strong in faith and hope and active in charity we will merit some day to reach our true homeland with all the elect gathered from every nation. There will our happiness be complete as we give thanks to God for his mercy and goodness and find our eternal glory in praising Him.
|The Island of St Julius (Isola di San Giulio) in the Lado d'Orta. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Luca Casartelli)|
|The Basilica of St Julius (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Rollopack)|
|An old postcard showing the island from the other side.|
|An old postcard of the pulpit.|
|The bull symbolizing St Luke the Evangelist. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Wolfgang Sauber.)|
|Decorations on the reverse of the pulpit, a centaur, a deer attacked by two wild animals, and a vegetable pattern. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by the Fondo Paolo Monti, 1965)|
|Another old postcard showing the Baroque interior of the church and the pulpit.|
|The relics of St Julius in the crypt chapel.|
|A clearer view (Image from Wikimedia Commons by BMK Wikimedia , CC BY-SA 3.0 license)|
|A 15th century fresco of the Trinity, with stories from the life of St Julius below. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Laurom)|
|The Doctors of the Church, attributed to Tommaso Cagnola, late 15th century (This and the following image from Wikimedia Commons by Wolfgang Sauber.)|
|The Nativity of Christ, also attributed to Cagnola.|
One of the most popular was to write the word on a board or piece of parchment, and then after Vespers bury it in the churchyard, so that it could be dug up again on Easter Sunday. Our friends from the Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian in La-Londe-les-Maures, France, observe this every year, the black cope otherwise used only at funerals.
|From last year’s Candlemas photopost, the blessing of the candles at the house of the Society of St Paul in Tokyo, Japan.|
Mosaic of the early 11th century, from the monastery of Hosois Loukas in Boetia, Greece. (public domain image from Wikipedia; click to enlarge.)
A Dominican Rite Missa Cantata will sung at the Priory of St. Albert the Great, the house of studies of the Western Dominican Province in Oakland, California, tomorrow, February 3, at 10:30 am. This will be the first of the Dominican Rite First Saturday Masses of Spring semester, 2018.
The celebrant will be Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P., Professor of History at the Dominican School of Philosophy & Theology. The servers and schola will be composed of student brothers of the Western Dominican Province.
The St. Albert the Great Priory Chapel is located at 6170 Chabot Road in Oakland, with ample parking available on the street or the basketball court parking lot.
The coming Dominican Rite Sung Masses for the First Saturday Devotion will be celebrated on March 10, April 7, and May 5.