Friday, May 26, 2017

Pentecost Novena

The Pentecost novena begins today, even for those who did not get to celebrate the Ascension yesterday. Scott Richert provides the prayers here. The Golden Sequence makes a superb novena prayer as well.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,        Come, Holy Spirit,
et emitte caelitus                send forth the heavenly
lucis tuae radium.               radiance of your light.

Veni, pater pauperum,      Come, father of the poor,
veni, dator munerum         come giver of gifts,
veni, lumen cordium.         come, light of the heart.

Consolator optime,             Greatest comforter,
dulcis hospes animae,         sweet guest of the soul,
dulce refrigerium.               sweet consolation.

In labore requies,                In labor, rest,
in aestu temperies               in heat, temperance,
in fletu solatium.                  in tears, solace.

O lux beatissima,                 O most blessed light,
reple cordis intima               fill the inmost heart
tuorum fidelium.                  of your faithful.

Sine tuo numine,                  Without your divine will,
nihil est in homine,               there is nothing in man,
nihil est innoxium.                nothing is harmless.

Lava quod est sordidum,     Wash that which is unclean,
riga quod est aridum,           water that which is dry,
sana quod est saucium.        heal that which is wounded.

Flecte quod est rigidum,      Bend that which is inflexible,
fove quod est frigidum,        warm that which is chilled,
rege quod est devium.          make right that which is wrong.

Da tuis fidelibus,                    Give to your faithful,
in te confidentibus,                who rely on you,
sacrum septenarium.            the sevenfold gifts.

Da virtutis meritum,             Give reward to virtue,
da salutis exitum,                  give salvation at our passing on,
da perenne gaudium,            give eternal joy.
Amen, Alleluia.                      Amen, Alleluia.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ascension of the Lord

(Icon of the Ascension by Andrei Rublev)

Let us look towards Heaven.
Our desires, on this Day, should be, that we may follow our Jesus to life everlasting, and overcome all the hindrances that we may have to encounter on the way thither....
A tradition, handed down from the early ages, and confirmed by the revelations of the Saints, tells us that the Ascension of our Lord took place at the hour of Noon. The Carmelites of St. Teresa's Reform honour this pious tradition by assembling in the Choir, at the hour of mid-day on the Ascension; and spend it in the contemplation of this last of Jesus' mysteries, following him, in thought and desire, to the throne of his glory.
Let us, also, follow him; but before looking on the bright Noon which smiles on his triumph, let us go back in thought to his first coming among us. It was at mid-night, in the stable of Bethlehem. That dark and silent hour was an appropriate commencement to the three and thirty years of his life on earth. He had come to accomplish a great mission: year by year, and day by day, he laboured in its fulfillment. It was nigh to its fulfillment, when men laid their sacrilegious hands upon him, and nailed him to a Cross. It was mid-day, when he was thus raised up in the air; but the Eternal Father would not permit the sun to shine on Jesus' humiliation. Darkness covered the face of the earth ; and that Day had no Noon. Three hours after, the sun re-appeared. Three days after, the Crucified rose again from the Tomb, and it was at the early dawn of light.
On this day, yea at this very hour, his work is completed. He has redeemed us, by his Blood, from our sins ; he has conquered death by his "Resurrection to life :—had he not a right to choose, for his Ascension, the hour when the sun is pouring forth his warmest and brightest beams... ~Abbot Gueranger's The Liturgical Year
Here is the Ascension hymn, translated by Fr. Mark:
Jesu, nostra redemptio,
Amor et desiderium,
Deus Creator omnium,
Homo in fine temporum.


O Jesus, our redemption,
our love, and our desire,
God, Creator of all things,
become Man in the fullness of time.

Quae te vicit clementia,
Ut ferres nostra crimina,
Crudelem mortem patiens,,
Ut nos a morte tolleres!


What tender love, what pity
compelled Thee to bear our crimes,
to suffer a cruel death
that we, from death, might be saved?

Inferni claustra penetrans,
Tuos captivos redimens,
Victor triumpho nobili
Ad dextram Patris residens:


Into death’s dark cloister didst Thou descend,
and from it captives free didst bring;
Thy triumph won, Thou didst take Thy place,
Thou, the Victor, at the Father’s right.

Ipse te cogat pietas,
Ut mala nostra superes,
Parcendo, et voti compotes
Nos tuo vultu saties.


'Twas a tender love, a costly compassion
that pressed Thee our sorrows to bear;
granting pardon, Thou didst raise us up
to fill us full with the splendour of Thy face.

Tu esto nostrum gaudium,
Qui es futurus praemium:
Sit nostra in te gloria
Per cuncta semper saecula. 


Thou art already the joy of all our days,
Thou Who in eternity will be our prize;
let all our glory be in Thee,
forever, and always, and in the age to come.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Our Lady, Help of Christians

The history of the feast.
This commemoration was introduced in the liturgical calendar by decree of Pope Pius VII on September 16, 1815, in thanksgiving for his happy return to Rome after a long and painful captivity in Savona and France due to Napoleon’s tyrannical power.

By order of Napoleon, Pius VII was arrested, 5 July, 1808, and detained a prisoner for three years at Savona, and then at Fontainebleau. In January, 1814, after the battle of Leipzig, he was brought back to Savona and set free, 17 March, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, the Patroness of Savona.
The journey to Rome was a veritable triumphal march. The pontiff, attributing the victory of the Church after so much agony and distress to the Blessed Virgin, visited many of her sanctuaries on the way and crowned her images (e.g. the “Madonna del Monte” at Cesena, “della Misericordia” at Treja, “della Colonne” and “della Tempestà” at Tolentino). The people crowded the streets to catch a glimpse of the venerable pontiff who had so bravely withstood the threats of Napoleon. He entered Rome, 24 May, 1814, and was enthusiastically welcomed.  (McCaffrey, “History of the Catholic Church in the Nineteenth Cent.”, 1909, I, 52).

The invocation “Help of the Christians” is very old, having been included in the Litany of Loreto by Pope Saint Pius V in 1571, as a token of gratitude to the Most Holy Virgin, by virtue of Christendom’s’ victory in the famous battle of Lepanto. (Read entire article.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

54 Day Holy Face Novena for Our President

From Fr. Richard Heilman:
I am convinced we are in the throes of the greatest spiritual war of all times (I wrote about it here). While much of it is played out in the political theatre, it goes to the heart of everything we Christians hold near and dear to us, because it is a battle fought for Deus Vult (The will of God). The enemy, just as it was in the Crusades, is seeking to seize ground by force and unjust tactics, while we are trying to protect this ground or even reclaim surrendered ground. Daniel Greenfield writes
A civil war has begun.

This civil war is very different than the last one. There are no cannons or cavalry charges. The left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.
 Our President and his administration are experiencing an unprecedented full-on assault. They are using the classic Saul Alinsky “Rules for Radicals,” Rule #12:
“Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.“ Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”
A civil war, yes, but, without a doubt, a spiritual war. Even the witches are coming out and joining forces to seize power for the radical secular – anti-God – left (read HERE).

But, we have the supernatural power of God on our side. Of the many spiritual weapons at our disposal, the Chaplet of the Holy Face remains one of the most powerful. The Chaplet of the Holy Face of Jesus is a favorite of Cardinal Burke’s, especially in times of intense spiritual warfare, which we all understand we face at this moment in time.

Saint Athanasius relates that the devils on being asked what verse in the Scriptures they feared the most, replied: “That with which the 67th Psalm commences: Let God arise, and let His Enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Him flee from before His face!” They added that this verse always compelled them to take flight.

While we are all gearing up for Novena for Our Nation, beginning August 15 to October 7 (please mark your calendar), many feel we need to stay in the battle “right now.”

So, here is what we are going to do …
54 Day Holy Face Novena
Beginning Wednesday, May 24, we are asking as many as possible to join ranks in this spiritual combat to ask protection for the President and his administration. May 24th “happens” to be a day the witches are doing their “spells thing” and May 24th “happens” to be the day the President is meeting with Pope Francis. This will conclude 54 days later on July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Those who enlist in this 54 Day Holy Face Novena, will be asked to offer three things each day
  1. Pray the Chaplet of the Holy Face (the “how to” can be found HERE)
  2. Pray St. Patrick’s Lorica Prayer for the President (found HERE)
  3. Add a daily penance (see March to Mount Carmel) (Read more.)
**********************************************************************************
May 24 is the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians, a good day to begin the 54 days of prayer. I have never heard of the "March to Mount Carmel" penance suggested but if Fr. Richard recommends it then no doubt it is worthwhile. I do not know what became of my Holy Face Chaplet, if I ever had one, although I seem to have every other imaginable chaplet. So I will be substituting the Holy Face novena prayer and litany (below) for the chaplet.

The image above is the drawing of the imprint of Our Lord's face on the Veronica veil, as it is venerated in the Carmelite Order, and propagated by Sister Marie de Saint Pierre and Venerable Leo Dupont. It was a devotion spread to protect the people from Communism, which had begun to manifest itself as a political movement in 1848.

Here is the prayer of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux to the Holy Face:
O Jesus, who in Thy bitter Passion didst become "the most abject of men, a man of sorrows," I venerate Thy Sacred Face whereon there once did shine the beauty and sweetness of the Godhead; but now it has become for me as if it were the face of a leper! Nevertheless, under those disfigured features, I recognize Thy infinite Love and I am consumed with the desire to love Thee and make Thee loved by all men. The tears which well up abundantly in Thy sacred eyes appear to me as so many precious pearls that I love to gather up, in order to purchase the souls of poor sinners by means of their infinite value. O Jesus, whose adorable Face ravishes my heart, I implore Thee to fix deep within me Thy divine image and to set me on fire with Thy Love, that I may be found worthy to come to the contemplation of Thy glorious Face in Heaven. Amen.
Another site with everything about the Holy Face devotion is HERE.

Relic of the Veronica Veil at St. Peter's Basilica

The Litany of the Holy Face of Jesus
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
R. Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world.
R. Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
R. Have mercy on us.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, radiant splendour of the Father,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, spotless mirror of the majesty of God and image of His goodness,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, where radiates the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, joy of the Virgin Mary,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Who allowed Thyself to be embraced by little children,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, covered with sadness at the departure of the rich young man,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose gaze converted the sinful woman
and transformed the heart of Peter,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, sought by all those who love Thee,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, light of all the upright of heart,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose radiant beauty is veiled to the proud,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, in Whose light our misery lies open,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose compassionate gaze wants to take away our bitterness,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose meekness is so sweet that it transforms souls,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, on which we read Thine infinite Charity,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose look of mercy enfolds the whole world,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which will never be sufficiently honoured,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, covered with a sweat of blood,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, touched by the infamous traitor’s kiss,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, crowned with thorns,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, insulted by hatred, negligence, and infidelities,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, buffeted by servants, struck by soldiers, and bruised abusively by the crowd,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, stained with spittle, dust, and blood,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, despised by the powerful of this world,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, trembling with sorrow upon meeting Mary,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, tenderly wiped by Veronica,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, on which we can read all the traces of our sins,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, hidden in the Holy Sacrament,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which the Angels so greatly desired to see and before which they can only be silent and adore,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose brightness will one day be the reward of the just and the most burning punishment of sinners,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, before which the elect cast their crowns in everlasting praise,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, Whose radiance is all the beauty of holy souls,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Most Holy Face of Jesus, which will transfigure us from glory to glory,
R. Look upon us, and have mercy.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
V. Behold, O God our protector.
R. And look upon the Face of Thy Christ.
Let us pray.
O Lord Jesus Christ, glory of the Heavenly Father
and light of souls,
we beseech Thee with confidence that,
as we make our way amidst the shadows of this world,
the splendour of Thy Face may shine upon us,
that in the light of Thy Countenance,
we may at length merit to contemplate the eternal light
in which Thou livest and reignest with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
forever and ever.
R. Amen.
Psalm 67 is used in exorcisms.
Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered: and let them that hate him flee from before his face.
2As smoke vanisheth, so let them vanish away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3And let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness.
4Sing ye to God, sing a psalm to his name, make a way for him who ascendeth upon the west: the Lord is his name. Rejoice ye before him: but the wicked shall be troubled at his presence,
5who is the father of orphans, and the judge of widows. God in his holy place:
6God who maketh men of one manner to dwell in a house: Who bringeth out them that were bound in strength; in like manner them that provoke, that dwell in sepulchres.
7O God, when thou didst go forth in the sight of thy people, when thou didst pass through the desert:
8The earth was moved, and the heavens dropped at the presence of the God of Sina, at the presence of the God of Israel.
9Thou shalt set aside for thy inheritance a free rain, O God: and it was weakened, but thou hast made it perfect.
10In it shall thy animals dwell; in thy sweetness, O God, thou hast provided for the poor.
11The Lord shall give the word to them that preach good tidings with great power.
12The king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved; and the beauty of the house shall divide spoils.
13If you sleep among the midst of lots, you shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and the hinder parts of her back with the paleness of gold.
14When he that is in heaven appointeth kings over her, they shall be whited with snow in Selmon.
15The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain.
16Why suspect, ye curdled mountains? A mountain in which God is well pleased to dwell: for there the Lord shall dwell unto the end.
17The chariot of God is attended by ten thousands; thousands of them that rejoice: the Lord is among them in Sina, in the holy place.
18Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive; thou hast received gifts in men. Yea for those also that do not believe, the dwelling of the Lord God.
19Blessed be the Lord day by day: the God of our salvation will make our journey prosperous to us.
20Our God is the God of salvation: and of the Lord, of the Lord are the issues from death.
21But God shall break the heads of his enemies: the hairy crown of them that walk on in their sins.
22The Lord said: I will turn them from Basan, I will turn them into the depth of the sea:
23That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thy enemies; the tongue of thy dogs be red with the same.
24They have seen thy goings, O God, the goings of my God: of my king who is in his sanctuary.
25Princes went before joined with singers, in the midst of young damsels playing on timbrels.
26In the churches bless ye God the Lord, from the fountains of Israel.
27There is Benjamin a youth, in ecstasy of mind. The princes of Juda are their leaders: the princes of Zabulon, the princes of Nephthali.
28Command thy strength, O God: confirm, O God, what thou hast wrought in us.
29From thy temple in Jerusalem, kings shall offer presents to thee.
30Rebuke the wild beasts of the reeds, the congregation of bulls with the kine of the people; who seek to exclude them who are tried with silver. Scatter thou the nations that delight in wars:
31ambassadors shall come out of Egypt: Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands to God.
32Sing to God, ye kingdoms of the earth: sing ye to the Lord: Sing ye to God,
33who mounteth above the heaven of heavens, to the east. Behold he will give to his voice the voice of power:
34give ye glory to God for Israel, his magnificence, and his power is in the clouds.
35God is wonderful in his saints: the God of Israel is he who will give power and strength to his people. Blessed be God.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization

Cardinal Burke calls for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. From Voice of the Family:
I now return to the third part of the Secret or Message of Fatima. Without entering into a discussion regarding whether the third part of the Secret has been fully revealed, it seems clear from the most respected studies of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, that it has to do with the diabolical forces unleashed upon the world in our time and entering into the very life of the Church which lead souls away from the truth of the faith and, therefore, from the Divine Love flowing from the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus. Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité, in his monumental study of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, writes the following regarding the third part of the Secret or what is often called the Third Secret:
In short, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary undoubtedly refers much more to the third Secret than even the second. For the recovery of peace will be a gift from Heaven, but it is not, properly speaking, the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Her victory is of another order, supernatural, and then temporal by addition. It will first be the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy, and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors.[23]
 As horrible as are the physical chastisements associated with man’s disobedient rebellion before God, infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements for they have to do with the fruit of grievous sin: eternal death. As is clear, only the Faith, which places man in the relationship of unity of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the mediation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, can save man from the spiritual chastisements which rebellion against God necessarily brings upon its perpetrators and upon the whole of both society and the Church.

The teaching of the Faith in its integrity and with courage is the heart of the office of the Church’s pastors: the Roman Pontiff, the Bishops in communion with the See of Peter, and their principal co-workers, the priests. For that reason, the Third Secret is directed, with particular force, to those who exercise the pastoral office in the Church. Their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant teaching and practice, whether through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach, and their silence endangers mortally, in the deepest spiritual sense, the very souls for whom they have been consecrated to care spiritually. The poisonous fruits of the failure of the Church’s pastors is seen in a manner of worship, of teaching and of moral discipline which is not in accord with Divine Law. (Read more.)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fatima

"And a great sign appeared in the heavens, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon at her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." Apocalypse 12:1

During her final apparition at Fatima in October 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary was dressed as Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, holding the brown scapular; she was obviously encouraging everyone to wear the garment of grace, just as she urged everyone to pray the rosary on a daily basis. 750 years before, Our Lady had given the scapular to St Simon Stock, telling him: "Whosoever shall die wearing this scapular shall not suffer eternal fire."

On July 13, 1917, Our Lady at Fatima showed the three little children the Vision of Hell; it was the first part of the controversial "Secret of Fatima," and in some ways, the most terrible aspect of it, for hell is a place where anyone can go if they break God's law and do not repent. The children were so frightened by the vision that afterwards all earthly sufferings seemed like nothing. I think someone once said that Our Lord in the Gospels warns His disciples about hell "where the worm dieth not, and the flame is not extinguished" (Mark 9 :44) more often than He promises them Heaven, "for straight is the way and narrow is the gate that leads to life, and few there are that find it." (Matthew 7:14)

Along with the scapular and rosary, Our Lady asked that we perform the duties of our state in life; she knew that in future times how difficult it would become to fulfill one's most basic obligations to God and to other people, and yet the fulfillment of those duties often is the difference between heaven and hell. Yet, as the saints testify, many have been saved because they clung to some small token of devotion to Our Lady in spite of everything, and the Mother of Mercy interceded for them. As the angel at Fatima instructed the three children to pray:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are in most need of thy mercy!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Compunction

From Vultus Christi:
Repentance is not something that we produce in ourselves. It is not an emotion that we wring out ourselves by morbid introspection. Certain discourses about “exciting” oneself to sentiments of contrition would almost suggest that it has to do with a manipulation of one’s emotions. Repentance — compunction — begins not with us, but with God. A man repents when the Word of God, “more piercing than any two edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), strikes the heart and pierces it through, leaving a great gaping wound that becomes a port of entry for divine grace. It has always been thus.
So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it. (Isaias 55:11).
This speeding Word, shot like an arrow from God to man, is the very Word that in the second chapter of the book of Acts struck and pierced the hearts of those who listened to Peter:
Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? (Acts 2:37)
This is the Word that struck and pierced the heart of the young Antony in Egypt in about the year 270. Saint Athanasius recounts, in his Life of Antony, that no sooner had Antony heard the liturgical proclamation of the Gospel than he went out of the church to put into practice what he had heard. The man wounded by the Word of God is compelled to cry out, even if it is with much groaning, “I cannot remain as I am. Things cannot remain as they are. Lord, what wouldst Thou have me do?” (Read more.)
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