10 August 2020

Prayer for the Conversion of England


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14 July 2020

A Hymn of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa

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Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa of Portugal is not well known to many North American Catholics save for those of Portuguese backgrounds and others who have been touched by this holy one of God.  Her message intersects in a profound way with that of Sr. Lucia of Fátima, and faithful Catholics would do well to make her acquaintance among the holy company of the Blesseds of the Church.  The following is one of her ecstatic poems in praise of the Tabernacles of the Lord in our Catholic churches where the Lord's Eucharistic Divine Presence abides with us.


HYMN TO THE TABERNACLES

Oh my Jesus, I want each pain that I feel, each palpitation of my heart, each time I breathe, each second of the hours I pass, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

I want each movement of my feet, my hands, my lips, my tongue, each time that I open my eyes or close them, each tear, each smile, each joy, each sadness, each tribulation, each distraction, contrariety or trouble, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

I want each letter of the prayers I recite or hear to recite, all the words that I pronounce or hear to pronounce, that I read or hear to read, that I write or see someone writing, that I sing or hear to sing, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

I want each time I kiss your holy images or those of your and my beloved Mama, and your saints, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Oh Jesus, I want each little drop of rain that falls from the sky to the land, all the water contained in the world, offered drop by drop, all the sands of the sea and everything the sea contains, to be Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Oh Jesus, I offer You the leaves of the trees, all the fruits that they mmight have, the little flowers offered petal by petal, all the little grains of seeds and cereals in the world, and everything contained in the gardens, fields and mountains, I offer everything as Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Oh Jesus, I offer You the feathers of the small birds, their own warbling, the fur and the voices of all the animals, as Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Oh Jesus, I offer You the day and the night, the heat and the cold, the wind, the snow, the moon, the moonlight, the sun, the sunset, the stars of the sky, my sleep, my dream, as Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Oh Jesus, I offer You everything the world contains, all its greatness, wealth and treasures, everything which happens to myself, everything I use to offer to You, everything one can imagine, as Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Oh Jesus, accept the sky, the land, the sea, everything, everything they contain, as if everything was mine and everything I could make use of and offer You as Acts of love for your Tabernacles. 

Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, pray for us.
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11 July 2020

O God of Unchangeable Power and Eternal Light

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DEUS, incommutabilis virtus et lumen aeternum, respice propitius ad totius Ecclesiae mirabile sacramentum, et opus salutis humanae perpetuae dispositionis effectu tranquillius operare; totusque mundus experiatur et videat dejecta erigi, inveterata renovari et per ipsum Christum redire omnia in integrum, a quo sumpsere principium; Dominum Nostrum Jesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia sæcula sæculorum. Amen.


GOD of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favourably upon thy whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of thy Providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of Salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

10 July 2020

R. Somerset Ward: The Road to God in darkness

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R. Somerset Ward writes:

“And what can possibly be the meaning of this coldness and darkness of the soul? Surely it is God’s test. How should we ever grow without tests? We say to God, ‘I want Thee more than I can say.’ God replies, ‘Do you really want Me?’ And straightaway in our prayers we find darkness and coldness, and the numbing loss of energy. If we were speaking the truth, we go on praying in spite of it; if we were not, we stop. And if we go on praying, the darkness becomes not a hindrance but a help, for the measure by which God values our prayers is the amount of desire in them, and it shows much greater desire to pray in darkness than in the light.

For this reason it has been said that we walk faster on the Road to God in darkness than in light. If you persist in prayer through darkness, you will assuredly find yourself after the darkness has passed much nearer to God.” 


Reginald Somerset Ward: His Life and Letters 
Bishop Edmund R. Morgan, ed.
London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd, 1963, p. 141.

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09 July 2020

Dorothy Kerin, Anglican stigmatist

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A prayer by the sainted Dorothy Kerin from her own notebook:


By the bruising of my whole life,
strengthen me with sympathy
for every wounded soul,
 
and let my prayers be as balm 
for the wounds of thy children, 
that they may be healed.


And here is another blessing for you, dear reader, from Dorothy Kerin's vision of the Garden and of the weeds concerning which she writes:


"After some years, I was unhappy in my heart, that I had done so badly, with difficulties and how badly I had used the grace given me.

Dorothy Kerin

"I was in prayer, when I found myself in the Garden. I had not been there for some time and there was a difference. It was fuller of flowers, and the scent more exquisite. Our Lady was there. She took my hand for she knew how bewildered I was about things. She led me to different plants. Her tears were still wet on them. Then I was alone. I saw a heap of weeds Our Lady must have pulled up. Then the Holy Spirit showed me everything I had done to produce these weeds, since the King made the garden. The stem of the Hope plant has a tendril clutching it, the weed was fear, the Charity weed was judging, the Faith plant was despair. Then I knelt down on the grass and confessed my faults to the King of the Garden. It is impossible to tell you the joy that forgiveness brought me."

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R. Somerset Ward on the Blessed Sacrament (Anglican Patrimony)

R. Somerset Ward and Bede Griffiths, Guildford Cathedral, England

R. Somerset Ward: Section on "Holy Communion" in 'To Jerusalem'


Of the Blessed Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ we may well say with the Patriarch Jacob, “This is none other than the Gate of heaven,” for assuredly at the consecration a door is opened into Heaven and through it comes the Lord of Love bearing His Life to men.  

Nevertheless this sight is not for all eyes to see, and it is with Christians at the Eucharist as it was with the blind man healed by our Lord ; at first they see nothing but hear a voice ; then they see but dimly “men as trees walking” ‘ and lastly they see the Glory that is there.  Let us, therefore, set down in poor words that which happens in the Blessed Sacrament, and then the way to know it.

It is hard for us who live in this world, manifest to our senses, to know that it is a prison ; that we are bound by earthly bodies in a circular prison while all round the outside of our prison is freedom and the other and true world : the world of eternal life.   Nevertheless so it is, nor are there any ways by which we may escape from prison into the true life save three : prayer, the Blessed Sacrament, and death.  in all these ways a soul may leave the body and pass through a door opened in the shell of the prison into the world of eternal life.  In the first two ways the soul must return from its excursion, but in the third it remains.  We may not compare these ways, for in order to make comparison we need to know the whole extent of each and no human being may do this.  Nevertheless we may say that each in its order is more universal than the one before it.

So in the Blessed Sacrament there is opened, before each Christian, a door.  Through this door our Lord Himself enters this world. I beseech you to consider this a moment.  We know that our Lord is in all things our perfect example.  Here daily He sets before us an example of perfect humility.  In all the glory of His Ascended Majesty, the Judge of all the world comes to us, not as in Bethlehem for all the race, but for a few poor dazed and blind souls gathered together to meet Him.  While they wait there, battling with distracting thoughts, cold and with little love, He lowers Himself in exquisite pity to come to their prison for love of them.  Truly He does, Himself, that which He requires of us in the Day of Judgement, for we are sick and He visits us, we are in prison and He comes unto us. 

Nor is this all, for He Himself brings with Him the food of life.  All life is in Him, and from this overflowing store He feeds the sick prisoners, giving them life and strength for their bodies in His Body and for their souls in His blood.  It is this Eternal Life, from the world of eternal life, which keeps alive the soul of the world ; which glows and vibrates in each soul, lighting something in other souls, and feeding the spiritual life of the world.  Daily is the prison of the world of our senses broken into by the victorious Lord, daily are the souls therein filled with the life which will enable them to break out of it into their true home, the world of eternal life.

It would, however, be a narrow view of this great means of grace which limited its purpose to this world of ours.  For the life which proceeds from the other world is like a wave which, passing through the door, floods those who receive it, and then like a wave recedes, drawing them with it through the gate.

Many are they who know these things to be true yet long to experience them.. It were well that they should remember in the first place that in general the approach to any spiritual experience is by a long and slow growth ; that, above all, long training and practice are needed.  This seems to be especially true of the Blessed Sacrament : for it is usually only by slowly learning devotion and concentration, by a long desire, and by the constant frequenting of this Holy Communion that the soul comes to the experience.  First comes the conviction, the certainty, that there is a Presence in the Blessed Sacrament.  Then perchance the soul is aware on certain occasions of a direct message at the time of Communion and this may happen frequently.  Then very dimly the Presence becomes more real, bringing a new sense of awe.  While, finally, for those happy few whom God brings to this state, comes the frequent entry into the world of eternal life, the overpowering sense of the entering Lord, and the moment of blissful Communion.

There is no royal way for those who seek the full revelation of this Sacrament.  It is only by patient discipline and long practice that clear sight comes.  I held as more important than they are, but I append a few maxims which may assist the soul.

I.  It is Desire which is they key to the door of experience.
2.  True desire manifests itself in patience and perseverance.
3.  Perseverance is chiefly shown in maintaining constant standard in preparation for Holy Communion, and thanksgiving after it.
4.  Distracting thoughts are not sins unless they are consciously persisted in.
5.  It is as well to have certain places in the service at which the attention is always specially concentrated (e.g., Prayer for Church militant.  Sanctus.  Prayer of oblation) ; this serves as a safeguard against vagueness.
6.  The true experience may be known by the joy and vitality it brings.
7. There is no way to prolong experience beyond the time our Lord wills, but we can remove all hindrances to its prolongation on our part by complete and constant surrender.

It is painful to write words on this subject knowing their poverty and how little they touch even the fringe of that which is in this Sacrament. Nevertheless I pray that all who read them may be aware of the open door, and of the Lord Who enters, of the life He brings, and, if it be His will, of the world from which He comes.

04 July 2020

TS Eliot: 'Forgive us, O Lord, we acknowledge ourselves'

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Forgive us, O Lord, we acknowledge ourselves as type of the
                 common man,
Of the men and women who shut the door and sit by the fire;
Who fear the blessing of God, the loneliness of the night of God,
         the surrender required, the deprivation inflicted;
Who fear the injustice of men less than the justice of God;
Who fear the hand at the window, the fire in the thatch, 
         the fist in
         the tavern, the push into the canal,
Less than we fear the love of God.
We acknowledge our trespass, our weakness, our fault; we
        acknowledge
That the sin of the world is upon our heads; that the blood of the
        martyrs and the agony of the saints
Is upon our heads.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Blessed Thomas, pray for us.


Conclusion: Murder in the Cathedral
T. S. Eliot
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July 4th USA: Archbishop John Carroll's Prayer (1791)

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Archbishop John Carroll

We pray, O almighty and eternal God, who through Jesus Christ has revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy name.

We pray Thee, who alone are good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, the Pope, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, all other bishops, prelates and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise among us the functions of the Holy Ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray O God of might, wisdom and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.

Let the light of Thy Divine Wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of Peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for His Excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that Peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed, who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of Divine Worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance. To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Saviour.

Amen.

+ Archbishop John Carroll
1791

03 July 2020

Saint Isidore's Prayer to the Holy Ghost

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I cannot stress how important it is to pray this prayer daily during this time, this present darkness.  No one sees what tomorrow brings or what will come in the next hour, but for each step we take, minute by minute by minute, we need the Holy Spirit who is the Lord and Giver of Life to inhabit the whole of our life, our prayer, our thoughts, and our actions.  





The Prayer of Saint Isidore of Sevilla



        Here we are before thee, O Holy Ghost. 
        We feel the burden of our infirmities, 
        but we are united all together in Thy name: 
        come to us, help us, enter into our hearts: 
        teach us what we should do, 
        the path to follow, 
        do for us what Thou askest us to do. 
        Be the only one to propose and guide our decisions, 
        because only Thou, with the Father and the Son, 
        hast a name that is glorious and holy. 
        Do not allow us to offend justice, 
        Thou, who lovest order and peace, 
        Let not ignorance lead us astray, 
        Let not human sympathy bias us, 
        Do not let people or office influence us. 
        Keep us intimately close to Thee 
        with the gift of Thy Grace, 
        so that we may be only one thing with Thee, 
        and nothing may separate us from the Truth. 
        Gathered in Thy Holy Name, 
        may we be good and firm, 
        so that all we do may be in one accord with Thee, 
        awaiting that the faithful fulfillment of our duty 
        may lead us to the eternal good. Amen.

02 July 2020

Spiritual Communion

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For those of us who cannot attend Holy Mass or otherwise receive the Blessed Sacrament, we can pray this act or prayer seeking spiritual communion with Our Lord Jesus Christ.  


My Jesus, 
I believe that You are present 
in the Most Holy Sacrament.

I love You above all things, 
and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment 
receive You sacramentally, 
come at least spiritually into my heart.

I embrace You as if You were already there 
and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You. 
Amen.


Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament Exposed



Saint Isaac the Syrian: Offer Up Prayer Full of Tears




Via the Reverend Canon A.M. Allchin of + Memory Eternal +


Saint Isaac the Syrian writes:

    An elder was once asked 'What is a compassionate heart?'

    He replied, 'It is a heart on fire for the whole of creation, for humanity, for the birds, for the animals, for demons and for all that exists.

    'At the recollection and at the sight of them such a person's eyes overflow with tears owing to the vehemence of the compassion which grips his heart; as a result of his deep mercy, his heart shrinks and cannot bear to hear or look on any injury or the slightest suffering of anything in creation.

    'This is why he constantly offers up prayer full of tears, even for the irrational animals and for the enemies of truth, even for those who harm him, so that they may be protected and find mercy. He even prays for the reptiles as a result of the great compassion which is poured out without measure - after the likeness of God - in his heart. '


The heart of compassion: 
daily readings with St Isaac of Syria 
(London 1989), p9. 
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01 July 2020

Requiescat in Pace: Msgr Georg Ratzinger

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Please of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of Msgr Georg Ratzinger who died today.

 Msgr Georg Ratzinger is the brother of Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger).

 ℣. Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine
℟. Et lux perpetua luceat ei.

℣. Requiescat in pace.
℟. Amen.

The Family Ratzinger