Saturday, December 16, 2017

Christmas Novena

The novena in honor of the Divine Infant begins today. Let us pray for the unborn, and for all the children in the world, especially those who are suffering abuse or neglect.

INFANT OF PRAGUE NINE DAY NOVENA
 
[You may state your special intention for the Novena at the start
on the first day, or ask it anew each day.]


ORIGINAL PRAYER OF VEN. CYRIL TO THE MIRACULOUS INFANT JESUS OF PRAGUE 

JESUS, unto Thee I flee,
Through Thy mother praying Thee
in my need to succor me.

Truly, I believe of Thee
God Thou art with strength to shield me;
Full of trust, I hope of Thee
Thou Thy grace wilt give to me.

All my heart I give to Thee,
Therefore, do my sins repent me;
From them breaking, I beseech Thee,
Jesus, from their bonds to free me.

Firm my purpose is to mend me;
Never more will I offend Thee.

Wholly unto Thee I give me,
Patiently to suffer for Thee,
Thee to serve eternally.
And my neighbor like to me
I will love for love of Thee.

Little Jesus, I beseech Thee,
In my need to succor me,
That with Joseph and Mary
And the Angels, I may Thee
Once enjoy eternally. Amen.


FIRST DAY:
 
Happily familiar to Catholics the world over is the little Infant of Prague. The dear and charming statues of Him, copied from the miraculous image in the capital of harassed Czechoslovakia, belong now to the whole of Catholicity. Today they can be found everywhere. Christ is a king, the King. 

This fact we celebrate in the majestic, glorious Feast of Christ the King. But Christ is the King not only of power and might. He is the King not alone of terrible love, ruling from His Cross, the conquering monarch entering into the glory of His Heavenly kingdom. 

He is also the Infant King, the king of Bethlehem and of the nursery in Nazareth . . . the king too small to defend Himself save by flight into Egypt . . . the king small enough to hide in the Host or in a human breast. 

So before the little Infant of Prague we say:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
 
SECOND DAY:
 
Fundamental to Christianity and basic to our faith and hope is the fact that the Son of God, the second Person of the Blessed trinity, became a Baby. 

This was the wonder that exalted the early Christians and repelled the pagan monarchs.
Suddenly the best of good news broke over the horizon. The remote God was as near as Bethlehem. The great God had become as small as a baby. The hands that fashioned the universe were infant hands. The all-creative voice that had cried the stupendous "Fiat lux," broke into the cries of babyhood. 

"We can pick up our God in our arms and hold Him as we hold a child." The thought made early Christians joyous as they took Him as their guest in the Eucharist. 

To the pagan world the idea was repellent. A king must be powerful, aloof, threatening, crowned with awesome majesty. He must be reached through messengers and surrounded by the restraining pomp of courts. 

So God became a Baby. Christianity was born with the birth of an Infant King. Christ's birth was a rebirth for human souls. 

Before the Infant King we say: 

THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
 
THIRD DAY:
 
It was given to Wise Men to see the kingdom of Infancy. A million, million Christians have prayerfully and happily followed the Magi as they traveled from pagandom onto the very center of the Church. 
 
Exultantly Catholics have seen these men, the wisest of their times, pierce the thin veil of babyhood and know that a Child could be a king, and God could in His quest of hearts assume the most heartwarming disguise. 

Wise as only the holy are wise, they saw the majesty in humility and the strength in love. Before the Infant King they placed their royal treasures. 

How like they were to those holy souls who in far-off Prague placed about the Infant King the trappings of royalty. The three Wise Men gave Him jewels to stud into a crown, and gold to beat into fine thread for His royal raiment, and the perfumes that were burned only in the braziers that sent clouds of sacrificial incense upward to God. 

History repeats itself in glad insistence. The gifts that were laid at the feet of the Infant of Bethlehem, modern faith has duplicated for the Infant of Prague. 

We join the Magi in saying:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
 
FOURTH DAY:

Our age likes to think of itself as wise and grown up and sophisticated. Often we see our age for what it is, old and tired and faltering to an atomic grave. 

It was the wisest of all teachers, Christ Himself, Who reminded us that unless we become as little children we shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 

Nicodemus was puzzled by the whole idea of rebirth, infancy, childhood. Christ explained to him, on that secret night of his abashed visit, the rebirth through Baptism. All His life Christ explained to the tired old world of His age the importance of the virtues that keep the world young. 

Sin makes men old. Virtue keeps them immortally young. Sin speeds us to quick death. 
Virtue wings us to endless life. "Suffer the little children to come unto me . . . for such is the Kingdom of God" . . . men and women of childlike faith in their Father in Heaven . . . men and women unwearied by the dull pounding of sin . . . 

How wise the Church to encourage us, of this weary old generation, to kneel before the holy Infant and learn once more the beauties of childhood and the virtues of a heart that never grows old. 

Before the young King, the Infant God, we say:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
 
FIFTH DAY:
 
"Unless you . . . become as little children . . ." 

Who among us does not turn back to the happy days of childhood? The incredible moment of our first Holy Communion . . . the day when in Confirmation we became temples of the Holy Spirit . . . the years when mother and father were all in all to us and carried every burden and guarded us against all dangers. 

Those were the days without worry or burden, without the demands of each day pressing hard upon us. The world was new and beautiful, and God was very near. We walked with our guardian Angel. We knew the Saints by their favorite names. 

Sin had not put its lines on our soul. We loved purely, and we acted on warm, generous impulses. Why regret childhood? Saints grow old; but they are the happy children of God's tenderest protecting care, whatever their weight of years or mantle of responsibility. We might ask God to give us back the childhood of our souls, our simple faith, our untarnished love, our clear vision of the supernatural, our trust in our fellow men, our glimpses of Heaven all around us. 

All this we ask of the Infant of Prague in:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
 
SIXTH DAY:
In an age that depends upon adult cleverness, it is like God to work miracles before the statue of a little child. 

The statue of the Infant of Prague has been a wonder-working statue. In itself it is, as all statues are, stone or plaster or wood. In its symbolism it is deep and precious and meaningful. 

So it has been that near the feet of the Baby King the sick have found their health, the troubled their peace, the weary their rest, the doubting their faith, the despairing their hope. 

Strangely enough it has been toward temporal affairs, the affairs that are constantly bungled and mismanaged by the wise adults of earth that the miracles have flowed most frequently. Why not? God has used the wisdom of the simple to confound the wise, as He used the Babe of Bethlehem to upset the wiles of Herod and brought into ancient Egypt the eternal Word of God, His Infant Son. 

Miracles there will always be, but only for the trusting hearts. In a cynical world, only a humble heart shall be so blessed. So asking for simple faith, which is always the fountain of the greatest miracles, we say: 

THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
 
SEVENTH DAY:

Before the Infant Christ was born into the world, childhood was not a precious thing. Life was cheap, and the attitude of the pagan world toward new life was contemptuous. Only those who were strong enough to enforce their demands had any rights. 

Then came the Infant Christ, and for the first time childhood became precious. Every baby born into the world by God's hope and design was His child and heir. Christianity saw in strong, pure, religious youth the guarantee of strong, pure, religious nations. 

Marriage was founded no longer chiefly upon the lust of man and woman, a love that was to ripen into the living symbol of love --- the newborn baby. The child completed upon earth the trinity of the home--- itself an incarnate spirit of love --- as the Holy Spirit of love completed the Trinity in Heaven. 

Today, our nation and almost all of the nations of the world have once more spurned the precious gift of life and infancy, in its blood-lust for abortion and fetal experimentation.They violate their own dignity and know not what it is they truly do. We need the Infant of Prague and His innocence more than we ever have. 

As we look upon the Infant of Prague, we are glad that God became weak so that we could learn tenderness and mercy to the weak. We are glad that the Infant in the holy house gave marriage its high dignity and the home its beautiful sanctity.
Conscious of the dignity of of childhood, we say:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING
EIGHTH DAY:

Children give us an amazing opportunity to show our generosity. The decent adult cannot fail to feel a strong impulse toward giving when he sees the smile and the outstretched hands of an infant. 

Infancy becomes and excuse for human generosity. Certainly infancy has the power to waken even in the most selfish breasts the desire to give. Christmas proves this power --- Christmas that centers around the Child in the manger and the children in our homes.
Those holy souls who bedecked the Infant of Prague manifested beautifully this response of human generosity to childhood. 

They clothed the Infant as we love to clothe a child in rich robes. They placed upon His Infant head a jeweled crown. 

Then they did in symbol what God had done in reality: They placed in the tiny hands of the Infant Christ the world, of which He is Creator and over which He rules, and the scepter, symbol of His dominion over all mankind. So does God impress on a worldly-wise and selfish world, the need of simple, generous love. And He commands our love in the guise of a baby.
Out of generous hearts we speak:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING 

NINTH DAY:

Christ is our King; of that there is no doubt. Though He was battered and broken, He could stand in the presence of Pilate, representative of Rome's powerful monarch, and accept the governor's wondering question about His royalty.
"You say ----- and rightly ----- that I am king." 

No other king was ever more truly king in his own right than was Christ. As St. John points out in his glorious opening verses, the world is His, for He made it. 

When He established the unending Kingdom of His Church, He took over the world, knowing that the Church would see kingdoms and empires, republics and democracies rise and fall while it went its calm way. 

But most important He is King because a million, million men and women have freely and gladly accepted Him. He is the King of hearts, the Monarch of souls, the Ruler of men's lives, the Master of their destinies. He is the Sovereign Who never disappoints, the Emperor Who walks at the side of His humblest subject. 

He Who said: "I will be with you all days even to the consummation of the world," has chosen to keep His promise to us in our day in the guise of an infant, if only to confound our worldliness. 

Before the Infant King we say:
 
THE PRAYER OF CHRIST THE KING

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Purity of Mary

Lately I have had any number of discussions with various friends and acquaintances about whether the Blessed Virgin Mary struggled with the concupiscence of the flesh. Let us begin with the definition of concupiscence as given in the Catholic Encyclopedia:
In its widest acceptation, concupiscence is any yearning of the soul for good; in its strict and specific acceptation, a desire of the lower appetite contrary to reason. To understand how the sensuous and the rational appetite can be opposed, it should be borne in mind that their natural objects are altogether different. The object of the former is the gratification of the senses; the object of the latter is the good of the entire human nature and consists in the subordination of reason to God, its supreme good and ultimate end. But the lower appetite is of itself unrestrained, so as to pursue sensuous gratifications independently of the understanding and without regard to the good of the higher faculties. Hence desires contrary to the real good and order of reason may, and often do, rise in it, previous to the attention of the mind, and once risen, dispose the bodily organs to the pursuit and solicit the will to consent, while they more or less hinder reason from considering their lawfulness or unlawfulness. This is concupiscence in its strict and specific sense. As long, however, as deliberation is not completely impeded, the rational will is able to resist such desires and withhold consent, though it be not capable of crushing the effects they produce in the body, and though its freedom and dominion be to some extent diminished. If, in fact, thewill resists, a struggle ensues, the sensuous appetite rebelliously demanding its gratification, reason, on the contrary, clinging to its own spiritual interests and asserting it control. 'The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh.'
According to Fr. John Hardon, S.J. in his classic work The Catholic Catechism: "From the time of her conception, Mary was freed from all concupiscence and also (on attaining the use of reason) free from every personal sin during the whole of her life." (The Catholic Catechism, p.158) In The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church, writes of Mary:
Mary certainly could not be tormented at death by any remorse of conscience, for she was always pure, and always free from the least shade of actual or original sin, so much so, that of her it was said: 'Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.' From the moment that she had the use of reason, that is, from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception, in the womb of Saint Anne, she began to love God with all her strength, and continued to do so, always advancing more and more, throughout her whole life, in love and perfection. All her thoughts, desires, and affections were of and for God alone: she never uttered a word, made a movement, cast a glance, or breathed, but for God and His glory; and never departed a step, or detached herself for a single moment, from the Divine love. (The Glories of Mary, p. 351)
Here are excerpts of what the Fathers wrote of Mary and her purity (one gets the distinct impression that they did not view her as a typical teenage girl):

Patristic writings on Mary's purity abound.
  • The Fathers call Mary the tabernacle exempt from defilement and corruption (Hippolytus, "Ontt. in illud, Dominus pascit me");
  • Origen calls her worthy of God, immaculate of the immaculate, most complete sanctity, perfect justice, neither deceived by the persuasion of the serpent, nor infected with his poisonous breathings ("Hom. i in diversa");
  • Ambrose says she is incorrupt, a virgin immune through grace from every stain of sin ("Sermo xxii in Ps. cxviii);
  • Maximus of Turin calls her a dwelling fit for Christ, not because of her habit of body, but because of original grace ("Nom. viii de Natali Domini");
  • Theodotus of Ancyra terms her a virgin innocent, without spot, void of culpability, holy in body and in soul, a lily springing among thorns, untaught the ills of Eve, nor was there any communion in her of light with darkness, and, when not yet born, she was consecrated to God ("Orat. in S. Dei Genitr.").
  • In refuting Pelagius St. Augustine declares that all the just have truly known of sin "except the Holy Virgin Mary, of whom, for the honour of the Lord, I will have no question whatever where sin is concerned" (On Nature and Grace 36).
  • Mary was pledged to Christ (Peter Chrysologus, "Sermo cxl de Annunt. B.M.V.");
  • it is evident and notorious that she was pure from eternity, exempt from every defect (Typicon S. Sabae);
  • she was formed without any stain (St. Proclus, "Laudatio in S. Dei Gen. ort.", I, 3);
  • she was created in a condition more sublime and glorious than all other natures (Theodorus of Jerusalem in Mansi, XII, 1140);
  • when the Virgin Mother of God was to be born of Anne, nature did not dare to anticipate the germ of grace, but remained devoid of fruit (John Damascene, "Hom. i in B. V. Nativ.", ii).
  • The Syrian Fathers never tire of extolling the sinlessness of Mary. St. Ephraem considers no terms of eulogy too high to describe the excellence of Mary's grace and sanctity: "Most holy Lady, Mother of God, alone most pure in soul and body, alone exceeding all perfection of purity ...., alone made in thy entirety the home of all the graces of the Most Holy Spirit, and hence exceeding beyond all compare even the angelic virtues in purity and sanctity of soul and body . . . . my Lady most holy, all-pure, all-immaculate, all-stainless, all-undefiled, all-incorrupt, all-inviolate spotless robe of Him Who clothes Himself with light as with a garment . . . flower unfading, purple woven by God, alone most immaculate" ("Precationes ad Deiparam" in Opp. Graec. Lat., III, 524-37).
  • To St. Ephraem she was as innocent as Eve before her fall, a virgin most estranged from every stain of sin, more holy than the Seraphim, the sealed fountain of the Holy Ghost, the pure seed of God, ever in body and in mind intact and immaculate ("Carmina Nisibena").
  • Jacob of Sarug says that "the very fact that God has elected her proves that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary". It seems, however, that Jacob of Sarug, if he had any clear idea of the doctrine of sin, held that Mary was perfectly pure from original sin ("the sentence against Adam and Eve") at the Annunciation.
Paul Haffner in his book The Mystery of Mary offers a brilliant discussion about Mary and concupiscence which I recommend reading in full. Haffner says: Not only was Our Lady freed from original and actual sin, but also from concupiscence....The Angelic Doctor offers the various opinions of absence of concupiscence in Mary....Either that concupiscence was entirely taken away from her by her first sanctification or it was fettered. (The Mystery of Mary, pp 93-94)

As for the relationship of Our Lady and St. Joseph, St. Augustine of Hippo (who was not the first Calvinist as some people seem to think, but a Father, Doctor, Bishop and Saint of the Church) remarks that theirs was a true marriage, albeit unconsummated according to the flesh. To quote St. Augustine (I know, he would not be popular on the preaching circuit today):
The entire good, therefore, of the nuptial institution was effected in the case of these parents of Christ: there was offspring, there was faithfulness, there was the bond. As offspring, we recognise the Lord Jesus Himself; the fidelity, in that there was no adultery; the bond, because there was no divorce. [XII.] Only there was no nuptial cohabitation; because He who was to be without sin, and was sent not in sinful flesh, but in the likeness of sinful flesh, Romans 8:3 could not possibly have been made in sinful flesh itself without that shameful lust of the flesh which comes from sin, and without which He willed to be born, in order that He might teach us, that every one who is born of sexual intercourse is in fact sinful flesh, since that alone which was not born of such intercourse was not sinful flesh. Nevertheless conjugal intercourse is not in itself sin, when it is had with the intention of producing children; because the mind's good-will leads the ensuing bodily pleasure, instead of following its lead; and the human choice is not distracted by the yoke of sin pressing upon it, inasmuch as the blow of the sin is rightly brought back to the purposes of procreation. This blow has a certain prurient activity which plays the king in the foul indulgences of adultery, and fornication, and lasciviousness, and uncleanness; while in the indispensable duties of the marriage state, it exhibits the docility of the slave. In the one case it is condemned as the shameless effrontery of so violent a master; in the other, it gets modest praise as the honest service of so submissive an attendant. This lust, then, is not in itself the good of the nuptial institution; but it is obscenity in sinful men, a necessity in procreant parents, the fire of lascivious indulgences, the shame of nuptial pleasures. Wherefore, then, may not persons remain man and wife when they cease by mutual consent from cohabitation; seeing that Joseph and Mary continued such, though they never even began to cohabit?
St Alphonsus Liguori has a more poetic approach (which is why I long ago took him for my spiritual father) especially when discussing anything to do with the Most Holy Virgin. Of Our Lady's marriage to St. Joseph he says:
By reason of her purity, the Blessed Virgin was also declared by the Holy Ghost to be beautiful as the turtledove : 'Thy cheeks are beautiful as the turtle-dove's.'7 'Mary,' says Aponius, 'was a most pure turtle-dove.'8 For the same reason she was also called a lily : 'As the lily among the thorns, so is my love among the daughters.' 9 On this passage Denis the Carthusian remarks, that Mary was compared to a lily amongst thorns, because all other virgins were thorns, either to themselves or to others ; but that the Blessed Virgin was so neither to herself nor to others, for she inspired all who looked at her with chaste thoughts. This is confirmed by Saint Thomas, who says, that the beauty of the Blessed Virgin was an incentive to chastity in all who beheld her. Saint Jerome declared that it was his opinion, that Saint Joseph remained a virgin by living with Mary ; for, writing against the heretic Helvidius, who denied Mary's virginity, he says, ' Thou sayest that Mary did not remain a Virgin. I say, that not only she remained a Virgin, but even that Joseph preserved his virginity through Mary.'3 An author says, that so much did the Blessed Virgin love this virtue, that to preserve it, she would have been willing to have renounced even the dignity of Mother of God. This we may conclude from her answer to the archangel: 'How shall this be done, because I know not man ?'3 and from the words she afterwards added: 'Be it done to me according to thy word,'4 signifying that she gave her consent on the condition that, as the angel had assured her, she should become a Mother, only by the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. (The Glories of Mary, pp. 457-458)
I think we are safe in assuming that the love Our Lady and St. Joseph had for each other was the love of true spouses but the love which spouses share in heaven. Because of Mary and Joseph's unique mission as parents of the Son of God, they began to live the life of Heaven even amid the many perils, trials, and sufferings of earth.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross

The feast of Our Holy Father St. John of the Cross is today. Here are some of his Counsels:

"Anyone who complains or grumbles is not perfect, nor is he even a good Christian."

"Anyone who trusts in himself is worse than the devil."

"Anyone who does not love his neighbor abhors God."

"Whoever flees prayer flees all that is good."

"Conquering the tongue is better than fasting on bread and water."

"Suffering for God is better than working miracles."


More HERE.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Fr. Mark has a beautiful post for this solemnity. Here are the words of the Mother of God to the Aztec, Saint Juan Diego:
Hear and let it penetrate into your heart, my dear little son: let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you: let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Also do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?
Fr. Angelo also has a magnificent discussion on such a sublime feast day for our country:
The iconography of heaven referenced in my post for the Immaculate Conception, particularly as it relates to the Miraculous Medal, finds an antecedent in the miraculous image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that was painted on St. Juan Diego’s tilma by the Virgin Herself. She is clothed with the sun and is standing on the moon. Though the artists rendition above includes the serpentine imagery from Apocalypse 12, the actual image on the tilma has no depiction of the serpent. One might think that any reference to Genesis 3:15 is only indirect by way of the allusion through the commonality of The Woman. But not so. In fact, the heavenly iconography of Guadalupe passes from the prophecy of Genesis and the vision of St. John right into the history that it was intended to address. The image itself is a miracle that manifests and perpetuates the Virgin’s presence. We see what Juan Diego saw. Once Our Lady’s command to build a temple was obeyed the image came to rest on Tepeyac Hill, where formerly, before the conquest of Mexico by Cortes, there had been a shrine to the Aztec goddess Coatlicue....
Think about this: Juan Diego was given a mission to be Our Lady’s instrument to crush the serpent’s head in New Spain. He simply obeyed in trust and total abandonment. All he really needed to do was take the message to the bishop. The result was that the image was produced miraculously and then placed where our Lady wanted it, right over the serpent’s head, over the mockery of truth, life, beauty and motherhood.
Here are the words of Pope John Paul II on the final struggle:
We are today before the greatest combat that mankind has ever seen. I do not believe that the Christian community has completely understood it. We are today before the final struggle between the Church and the Anti-Church, between the Gospel and the Anti-Gospel.

The Virgin of Guadalupe

Women's Guild explores the symbols hidden in the miraculous image, saying:
Clothing is often so much more than a few pretty things to wear, as the iconography of Our Lady of Guadalupe shows. It is important to bear in mind her status as the most important Mexican religious and cultural symbol, from her apparition to an indigenous Mexican, Juan Diego, during a period of conversion to Christianity from the Aztec religion, to her role as a symbol of national unity during the War of Independence.

Sun and moon: as in Revelation 12:1, "arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars". However in this case the stars are on the cloak and there are far more than twelve. Another interpretation is of an image of triumph over the Aztec sun and moon deities -in fact the little squashed figure underneath may be a winged moon god.

Cloak: Blue and green were Aztec colours of divinity. I have seen detailed argument that the arrangement of stars is that which appeared in the night sky on the date of the apparition, although to my untrained eye they do seem quite regularly spaced.

Dress: Rose coloured, as one might expect given that the apparition story involves the production of Castilian roses from a Mexican hill. Interpretations of the pattern range from more roses, to a contour map of Mexico.

Belt: A black belt was an Aztec symbol of pregnancy.

Brooch: On the original icon, and some detailed reproductions, it is possible to see a cross shaped brooch at her neck. Despite the indigenous influences, she is definitely a Christian figure.

So, the clothing of one relatively simple and well known image of Our Lady can lead to many interesting discoveries -more of her political and social implications as a Mexican national symbol are discussed in this essay.
 More HERE.

Monday, December 11, 2017

St. Maravillas of Jesus

Today is the memorial of Saint Maria Maravillas de Jesus, OCD. What fascinates me about this saint is that she led her nuns through the Second Vatican Council to a more profound living of the Carmelite charism without discarding tradition. She sought only the original inspiration of the foundress, the Holy Mother Saint Teresa, as was recommended by the council fathers.
It redounds to the good of the Church that institutes have their own particular characteristics and work. Therefore let their founders' spirit and special aims they set before them as well as their sound traditions-all of which make up the patrimony of each institute-be faithfully held in honor. (Perfectae Caritatis)

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent

Here is a meditation from Dom Gueranger:
The Roman Church makes the Station today in the basilica of Holy-Cross-in-Jerusalem. It was in this venerable church that Constantine deposited a large piece of the true Cross, together with the title which was fastened to it by Pilate's order, and which proclaimed the kingly character of the Saviour of the world. These precious relics are still kept there; and, thus enriched with such a treasure, the basilica of Holy-Cross-in-Jerusalem is looked upon, in the Roman liturgy, as Jerusalem itself, as is evident from the allusions made in the several Masses of the Stations held in that basilica. In the language of the sacred Scriptures and of the Church, Jerusalem is the image of the faithful soul; and the Office and Mass of this Sunday have been drawn up on this idea, as the one of the day. We regret not to be able here to develop the sublime beauty of this figure; and must proceed at once to the passage, which the Church has selected from the prophet Isaias. There she tells her children how well founded are her hopes in the merciful and peaceful reign of the Messias. But first let us adore this Divine Messias:

Come, let us adore the King, our Lord, Who is to come.
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