Thursday, April 26, 2018

Our Lady of Good Counsel

Thank you, Our Mother of Good Counsel, for many favors received. Fr. Mark has a beautiful meditation on this miraculous picture of the Holy Mother of God. To quote:
One who seeks counsel of the Mother of God is never disappointed and never without hope. She is the most compassionate and effective of all counselors. The liturgy takes a wonderful promise from the book of Proverbs, and places it in Our Lady's mouth: "He that shall find me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord" (Prov 8:35).

The verse that follows is also significant: "But he that shall sin against me, shall hurt his own soul. All that hate me love death" (Prov 8:36). One who sins against Mary, hurts his own soul. One who hates Mary loves death. The place given — or not given — to the Virgin Mother of God is a fundamental criterion in the discernment of spirits. The love of Mary is a wellspring of healing and of life. Love Mary, then, and all the rest will be given you besides. (Read entire post.)

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Angels and Dragons

From ACNM:
In these dark times we must contemplate and understand the spiritual battle we are facing. We must take a step back and ask ourselves, “What is happening to the world and to us?” The answer is that mankind is at the threshold of the greatest combat we have ever faced. The Church and the world are at crossroads. We are under siege! In the words of Pope Benedict XVI on February 17, 2013, “The time of testing is here!”

We must understand the struggle, the weapons, and the tactics of the enemy, but most importantly we must understand without a doubt that, Our side outnumbers theirs” (2 Kings 6:16) lest humanity loses hope and everyone follows after the beast …yes even the elect if it were possible. (Mark 13:20)

Remember God’s holy angels outnumber the fallen angels. Only, “A third of the stars,” (Rev. 12:4) were cast down to the earth. Two thirds of God’s holy angels remained faithful and are now standing by for us to engage them in the fight. Yes, in Book of Revelation, “Stars are angels.” (Rev. 1:20)

St. Thomas Aquinas says, “All have to wage spiritual combat with our invisible enemies.” We must enter the fray; none can stand by dispassionate or idle for, “The ‘spiritual battle’ of the Christians new life is inseparable from the battle of prayer.” (CCC 2725) All have to pick up spiritual weapons (Mass, the Word of God, Confession, Adoration, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Rosary, Divine Office etc) or accept to be taken captive by the red dragon (Rev.13:10), as there will be a time when the whole world will marvel at him (as when a whole country marveled at Hitler). (Read more.)

Monday, April 23, 2018

St. George's Day


Saint George is venerated with a special cultus in Belgium, Bulgaria, Brazil, England, Georgia, Greece, India, Italy, Lebanon, and Russia. Among the Proper Offices for Matins of the feast of Saint George the Martyr one finds several "dragon" responsories drawn from the Apocalypse of Saint John. Think what you will of Saint George and the dragon, I find it salutary to recall the old legend. We are all, in one way or another, locked in spiritual combat with the ancient dragon, our hateful foe. (Read more.)

Fr. Blake
has some inspiring words as well.
I love saints like St George, whose true story is lost in myth. In both stories George becomes a Christian "everyman". The first legend reminds us that despite every attempt to overcome him by God's grace George endures and survives all, and even in death is victorious.
The second story draws on apocalyptic imagery, the dragon is the symbol of evil, the power of sin, but here it is to be contrasted with the pure virgin. I am reminded of St Athanasius' struggle for twenty years in the tomb against demons. In all of us there is the pure virgin and the dragon.
George, here takes on the attributes of St Michael (Michael means "Who is like God"), in his struggle he overcomes evil which then becomes subject to purity.
(Artwork St George and the Dragon by Sydney Meteyard)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Saint John Paul II on Silence

From Vultus Christi:
Again and again, I return to Pope Saint John Paul II’s magnificent Apostolic Letter  2 May 1995, Orientale Lumen. When it was promulgated twenty–three years ago, its luminous doctrine pierced my heart and compelled me to a prayer of adoration and silence. I often put it into the hands of men at the beginning of the monastic journey. I have referred to it in every retreat that I have been called upon to teach. Orientale Lumen treats of tradition, of monasticism, of spiritual fatherhood, of the sacramental economy, of the sacred liturgy, of the adorable face of Christ, and of the adoring silence of which we all have need lest, Pope Saint John Paul II says, we “delude ourselves that it is enough to heap word upon word to attract people to the experience of God”. Here, then, is the magnificent portion of the text in which Pope Saint John Paul II summons the Church to enter the silence distilled by adoration in spirit and in truth. (Read more.)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Christ is Risen! Alleluia, Alleluia!


I like the idea that beauty and holiness are the apologia for Christianity. The beauty of Christianity needs to shine out more; this is where the celebration of the liturgy becomes central. And the goodness of Christianity, i.e. the holiness of self-giving love (the witness of charity) and of prayer, needs to be sustained and developed. And this too, certainly: that the one thing Christianity has to offer is Easter. Simply: Christ is risen!Dom Hugh Gilbert (from A Conservative Blog for Peace)
The Regina caeli is said in place of the Angelus during Eastertide.
Queen of Heaven
V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.
R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia.
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Regina caeli
V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia.
R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.
V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia.
R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, perpetuae capiamus gaudia vitae. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.



The Easter Sequence

Here is the Easter Sequence, to be sung before the Gospel during the Easter Octave:
Victimae Paschali laudes immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves: Christus innocens Patri reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando: dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, Quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis, et gloriam vidi resurgentis.
Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea: praecedet suos in Galilaeam.
Scimus Christum surrexisse a mortuis vere: Tu nobis, victor Rex miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

++++++++++

Christians, to the Paschal victim offer sacrifice and praise.
The sheep are ransomed by the Lamb; and Christ, the undefiled,
hath sinners to his Father reconciled.
Death with life contended: combat strangely ended!
Life's own Champion, slain, yet lives to reign.
Tell us, Mary: say what thou didst see upon the way.
The tomb the Living did enclose; I saw Christ's glory as He rose!
The angels there attesting; shroud with grave-clothes resting.
Christ, my hope, has risen: He goes before you into Galilee.
That Christ is truly risen from the dead we know.
Victorious King, Thy mercy show!
Amen. Alleluia
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