22 November 2014

Pope Benedict on Christ the King


The following is from Pope Benedict's remarks before the Angelus  on the 25th of November A.D. 2012:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today the Church celebrates Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This solemnity comes at the end of the liturgical year and brings together the mystery of Jesus “firstborn from the dead and ruler of the kings of the earth” (Collect Year B), extending our gaze towards the full realisation of the Kingdom of God, when God will be all in all (cf 1 Cor 15.28). 

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem says: “We announce not only the first coming of Christ, but also a second which is much more beautiful than the first. The first, in fact, was a manifestation of suffering, the second brings the diadem of divine kingship…..in the first, He was subject to the humiliation of the Cross, in the second He is surrounded and glorified by a host of angels” (Catechesis XV,1 Illuminandorum, De secundo Christi adventu: PG 33, 869 A). 

All the mission of Jesus and the contents of His message consist in announcing the Kingdom of God and implementing it among men through signs and wonders. “But – as the Second Vatican Council reminds us – above all, the Kingdom is made manifest through the person of Christ (Lumen gentium, 5), who established it through His death on the Cross and His Resurrection, whereby He showed Himself to be the Lord and Messiah, the High Priest for eternity. 

This Kingdom of God was entrusted to the Church, which is the “seed” and the “beginning”, and has the task of announcing it and spreading it amongst all peoples through the strength of the Holy Spirit. 

At the end of time, the Lord will deliver the Kingdom to God the Father and will present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love.

Pope Benedict
Dear friends, we are all called to prolong God’s saving work by converting ourselves to the Gospel, by placing ourselves with conviction in the footsteps of that King who came not to be served but to serve and to bear witness to the truth (cf Mk 10.45, Jn 18.37). 

[ . . . ] May the Virgin help each one of us to live this present time as we await the return of the Lord, as we decisively pray to God: “Your Kingdom come”, and as we carry out those works of light which bring us ever closer to Heaven, knowing that, in the tormented affairs of history, God continues to build His Kingdom of love.


21 November 2014

Bishop Conley: 'Looking to the East'


Below is the opening of a fine column by Bishop Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska:

Looking to the east

Jesus Christ will return in glory to the earth.

We do not know when he will return. But Christ promised us that he would return in glory, “as light comes from the east” to bring God’s plan of redemption to its fulfillment.

In 2009, Bishop Edward Slattery, of Tulsa, Okla., wrote that “the dawn of redemption has already broken, but the sun —Christ Himself—has not yet risen in the sky.”

In the early Church, Christians expected that Christ would come soon—any day. There was hopeful expectation. They were watchful—they looked to the sky in the east to wait for Christ. And because they did not know when he would return, they proclaimed the Gospel with urgency and enthusiasm, hoping to bring the world to salvation before Christ returned.

It has been nearly two thousand years now since Christ ascended into heaven. It has become easier to forget that he will come again to earth. It has become easier to forget that we must be waiting, we must be watching, and we must be ready.

In the season of Advent, as we recall Christ’s Incarnation at Christmas, we are reminded to be prepared for Christ’s coming. In the Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent this year, Nov. 30, Christ tells us his disciples “to be on the watch.”

“You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,” Jesus says. “May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.”  [. . .]

I strongly suggest the reading of the rest of the bishop's column please click here.


17 November 2014

Recalling a Great Sermon


The following transcription remains the finest sermon I have heard from a Catholic bishop in the USA, a homily preached by Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception from A.D. 2010:

The Most Rev. Edward J. Slattery
We have much to discuss – you and I …
… much to speak of on this glorious occasion when we gather together in the glare of the world’s scrutiny to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter.
We must come to understand how it is that suffering can reveal the mercy of God and make manifest among us the consoling presence of Jesus Christ, crucified and now risen from the dead.
We must speak of this mystery today, first of all because it is one of the great mysteries of revelation, spoken of in the New Testament and attested to by every saint in the Church’s long history, by the martyrs with their blood, by the confessors with their constancy, by the virgins with their purity and by the lay faithful of Christ’s body by their resolute courage under fire.
But we must also speak clearly of this mystery because of the enormous suffering which is all around us and which does so much to determine the culture of our modern age.
From the enormous suffering of His Holiness these past months to the suffering of the Church’s most recent martyrs in India and Africa, welling up from the suffering of the poor and the dispossessed and the undocumented, and gathering tears from the victims of abuse and neglect, from women who have been deceived into believing that abortion was a simple medical procedure and thus have lost part of their soul to the greed of the abortionist, and now flowing with the heartache of those who suffer from cancer, diabetes, AIDS, or the emotional diseases of our age, it is the sufferings of our people that defines the culture of our modern secular age.
This enormous suffering which can take on so many varied physical, mental, and emotional forms will reduce us to fear and trembling – if we do not remember that Christ – our Pasch – has been raised from the dead. Our pain and anguish could dehumanize us, for it has the power to close us in upon ourselves such that we would live always in chaos and confusion – if we do not remember that Christ – our hope – has been raised for our sakes. Jesus is our Pasch, our hope and our light.
He makes himself most present in the suffering of his people and this is the mystery of which we must speak today, for when we speak of His saving presence and proclaim His infinite love in the midst of our suffering, when we seek His light and refuse to surrender to the darkness, we receive that light which is the life of men; that light which, as Saint John reminds us in the prologue to his Gospel, can never be overcome by the darkness, no matter how thick, no matter how choking.
Our suffering is thus transformed by His presence. It no longer has the power to alienate or isolate us. Neither can it dehumanize us nor destroy us. Suffering, however long and terrible it may be, has only the power to reveal Christ among us, and He is the mercy and the forgiveness of God.
The mystery then, of which we speak, is the light that shines in the darkness, Christ Our Lord, Who reveals Himself most wondrously to those who suffer so that suffering and death can do nothing more than bring us to the mercy of the Father.
But the point which we must clarify is that Christ reveals Himself to those who suffer in Christ, to those who humbly accept their pain as a personal sharing in His Passion and who are thus obedient to Christ’s command that we take up our cross and follow Him. Suffering by itself is simply the promise that death will claim these mortal bodies of ours, but suffering in Christ is the promise that we will be raised with Christ, when our mortality will be remade in his immortality and all that in our lives which is broken because it is perishable and finite will be made imperishable and incorrupt.
This is the meaning of Peter’s claim that he is a witness to the sufferings of Christ and thus one who has a share in the glory yet to be revealed. Once Peter grasped the overwhelming truth of this mystery, his life was changed. The world held nothing for Peter. For him, there was only Christ.
This is, as you know, quite a dramatic shift for the man who three times denied Our Lord, the man to whom Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Christ’s declaration to Peter that he would be the rock, the impregnable foundation, the mountain of Zion upon which the new Jerusalem would be constructed, follows in Matthew’s Gospel Saint Peter’s dramatic profession of faith, when the Lord asks the Twelve, “Who do people say that I am?” and Peter, impulsive as always, responds “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
Only later – much later – would Peter come to understand the full implication of this first Profession of Faith. Peter would still have to learn that to follow Christ, to truly be His disciple, one must let go of everything which the world considers valuable and necessary, and become powerless. This is the mystery which confounds independent Peter. It is the mystery which still confounds us: to follow Christ, one must surrender everything and become obedient with the obedience of Christ, for no one gains access to the Kingdom of the Father, unless he enter through the humility and the obedience of Jesus.
Peter had no idea that eventually he would find himself fully accepting this obedience, joyfully accepting his share in the Passion and Death of Christ. But Peter loved Our Lord and love was the way by which Peter learned how to obey. “Lord, you know that I love thee,” Peter affirms three times with tears; and three times Christ commands him to tend to the flock that gathers at the foot of Calvary – and that is where we are now
Peter knew that Jesus was the true Shepherd, the one Master and the only teacher; the rest of us are learners and the lesson we must learn is obedience, obedience unto death. Nothing less than this, for only when we are willing to be obedient with the very obedience of Christ will we come to recognize Christ’s presence among us.
Obedience is thus the heart of the life of the disciple and the key to suffering in Christ and with Christ. This obedience, is must be said, is quite different from obedience the way it is spoken of and dismissed in the world.
For those in the world, obedience is a burden and an imposition. It is the way by which the powerful force the powerless to do obeisance. Simply juridical and always external, obedience is the bending that breaks, but a breaking which is still less painful than the punishment meted out for disobedience. Thus for those in the world obedience is a punishment which must be avoided; but for Christians, obedience is always personal, because it is centered on Christ. It is a surrender to Jesus Whom we love.
For those whose lives are centered in Christ, obedience is that movement which the heart makes when it leaps in joy having once discovered the truth.
Let us consider, then, that Christ has given us both the image of his obedience and the action by which we are made obedient.
The image of Christ’s obedience is His Sacred Heart. That Heart, exposed and wounded must give us pause, for man’s heart it generally hidden and secret. In the silence of his own heart, each of us discovers the truth of who we are, the truth of why we are silent when we should speak, or bothersome and quarrelsome when we should be silent. In our hidden recesses of the heart, we come to know the impulses behind our deeds and the reasons why we act so often as cowards and fools.
But while man’s heart is generally silent and secret, the Heart of the God-Man is fully visible and accessible. It too reveals the motives behind our Lord’s self-surrender. It was obedience to the Father’s will that mankind be reconciled and our many sins forgiven us. “Son though he was,” the Apostle reminds us, “Jesus learned obedience through what He sufferered.” Obedient unto death, death on a cross, Jesus asks his Father to forgive us that God might reveal the full depth of his mercy and love. “Father, forgive them,” he prayed, “for they know not what they do.”
Christ’s Sacred Heart is the image of the obedience which Christ showed by his sacrificial love on Calvary. The Sacrifice of Calvary is also for us the means by which we are made obedient and this is a point which you must never forget: at Mass, we offer ourselves to the Father in union with Christ, who offers Himself in perfect obedience to the Father. We make this offering in obedience to Christ who commanded us to “Do this in memory of me” and our obediential offering is perfected in the love with which the Father receives the gift of His Son.
Do not be surprised then that here at Mass, our bloodless offering of the bloody sacrifice of Calvary is a triple act of obedience. First, Christ is obedient to the Father, and offers Himself as a sacrifice of reconciliation. Secondly, we are obedient to Christ and offer ourselves to the Father with Jesus the Son; and thirdly, in sharing Christ’s obedience to the Father, we are made obedient to a new order of reality, in which love is supreme and life reigns eternal, in which suffering and death have been defeated by becoming for us the means by which Christ’s final victory, his future coming, is made manifest and real today.
Suffering then, yours, mine, the Pontiffs, is at the heart of personal holiness, because it is our sharing in the obedience of Jesus which reveals his glory. It is the means by which we are made witnesses of his suffering and sharers in the glory to come.
Do not be dismayed that there are many in the Church who have not yet grasped this point, and fewer yet still in the world will even dare to consider it. But you – you know this to be true – and it is enough. For ten men who whisper the truth speak louder than a hundred million who lie.
If, then, someone asks of what we spoke today, tell them we spoke only of the truth. If someone asks why it is you came here to Mass, say that it was so that you could be obedient with Christ. If someone asks about the homily, tell them it was about a mystery. And if someone asks what I said to the present situation, tell them only that we must – all of us – become saints through what we suffer.

Nota Bene: 2015 Nellie Gray Mass

Announcement of the 2015 Third Annual Nellie Gray Mass

Mass of the Holy Innocents

The Paulus Institute for the Propagation of Sacred Liturgy, Washington, DC, is pleased to announce that the Third Annual Nellie Gray Mass will take place after the 42nd March for Life, Thursday, January 22, 2015.

The Mass will be celebrated at 4 p.m. in the Extraordinary Form (traditional Latin Mass) at St. Mary Mother of God Church at 5th and H Sts. NW in downtown Washington DC.

St. Mary’s was Nellie Gray’s place of worship at the 9 a.m. Sunday Mass in the Extraordinary Form, which she loved and held deeply related to her cause for The March for Life.

A Pontifical Solemn High Mass will be celebrated at the faldstool by The Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, S.T.B., M.Div., S.T.L., J.D., J.C.D., M.B.A., Bishop of Springfield in Illinois. The Mass of The Holy Innocents will be said as a votive Mass for the Unborn.

Assisting ministers will be Rev. Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, Assistant Priest; Rev. Monsignor Charles Pope, Deacon (Pastor, Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian Church, Archdiocese of Washington); and Rev. Paul Scalia, Subdeacon (Bishop’s Delegate for Clergy, Diocese of Arlington).

The choir will be The Schola Cantorum of The Lyceum School in South Euclid, Ohio, who sang so beautifully at this year’s Nellie Gray Mass.

All are invited.

Contact The Paulus Institute through their website, www.ThePaulusInstitute.org.

Donations to The Paulus Institute can be sent to:
The Paulus Institute
308 S. Green St., Berkeley Springs, WV 25411-1414

The Paulus Institute requests your most generous contribution to St. Mary Mother of God Church at the collection to be taken during Offertory of the Mass.

16 November 2014

Prince Hans-Adam II: The State in the Third Millennium


I am reading a most remarkable book that should be read by all Catholics who have a serious interest in political theory and constitutional law. It is entitled "The State in the Third Millennium" by Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. 

In his introduction the Prince writes:

What kind of state does humanity want in the third millennium? President Kennedy, whom I had the honor to meet personally when I was a young man, said in his Inaugural Address in 1961: “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” As a young, idealistic person, I was in those days convinced by this statement.

Today, I may not have lost all of my ideals, but decades of experience in national and international politics, including many years as the head of state of a small but modern democracy, have convinced me of the truth of the reverse statement: Ask not what a citizen can do for the state, but rather what the state can do better for the citizen than any other organization. This organization could be a community, an international organization, or a private company. 

I would like to set out in this book the reasons why the traditional state as a monopoly enterprise not only is an in efficient enterprise with a poor price–performance ratio, but even more importantly, becomes more of a danger for humanity the longer it lasts. 

Princess Marie & Prince Hans-Adam II

Hans-Adam II
The Reigning Prince of Liechtenstein
van Eck Verlag, 2009

[Publisher's Notice:  Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein is able to look at the modern nation-state from many different angles: as a head of state; as a politician, who had to win popular votes in a direct democracy; as a businessman active not only in his own state but also in different continents; as an amateur historian fascinated by the evolution of humanity and the influence of military technology, transportation and the economy on the size of states. He analyses those forces that have influenced human history in the past and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. These include religions, ideologies, military technology and economics. He suggests how to make the traditional democratic constitutional state both more democratic and more efficient. He also discusses strategies on how to realise worldwide the modern democratic constitutional state in the third millennium. His goal is that people don't have to serve the state anymore and be threatened by wars or other state measures, but that all states have been turned into peaceful service companies which serve the people and humanity. That is the purpose of the draft constitution for the state of the third millennium which closes this eloquent, lucidly argued and exemplarily concise manifesto.]

14 November 2014

These times


For a long time now this blog of mine has languished in a twilight state.  This will begin to change soon.

I have sat under obedience to wise guidance from my spiritual director to wait until I am specifically called upon by God or the Blessed Mother to write of my personal experiences with the Lord and the Saints... especially those that would now be categorised as having occurred during near-death experiences.  Now the time to write of these things is nearly at hand.

I suspect that the Lord has told me to prepare myself spiritually to begin writing is because these are days of confusion where we stand in the midst of a spiritual battleground but do not fully understand that we are all being called to spiritual warfer.  Soon even those who think a new springtime is just around the corner will instead see that 'an axe has been taken to the root'.

We must fortify ourselves and clean up our souls 'while it is yet day'.  If you have not been to Mass in a while or have not been to confession, call your parish and make an appointment with your priest for Confession.  Or if your parish priest is not big on the Sacrament of Confession ... find a parish where the priest takes seriously his role as a Confessor and make an appointment to see him post haste.  [Your priest may not have time to simply chat or visit, but I have yet to meet a sincere priest who did not make time for a specifically requested appointment for Confession.] 

Each day when you log on to the internet, begin your time by unfailingly saying Fr. Zuhlsdorf's internet collect:

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Also, I heartily encourage everyone to take up a new devotional practise.  If you do not pray the Rosary, start praying it.  I recommend to all that on a daily basis we take up the Golden Arrow Prayer which the Lord Jesus dictated to Sister Mary of St. Peter:

May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and ineffable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.

[After receiving this prayer, Sister Mary of St. Peter was given a vision in which she saw the Sacred Heart of Jesus delightfully wounded by this "Golden Arrow", as torrents of graces streamed from It far the conversion of sinners.]

For those truly looking for a powerful devotion to anchor the spiritual warfare they are facing or are about to face, I recommend with all my heart the Devotion to The Holy Face of Jesus.  Please click here for Holy Face Devotion resources for praying to Our Lord.

I also recommend praying the full and entire Litany to the Holy Face of Jesus each and every Friday.  Please click here for this beautiful and powerful form of prayer and devotion.

It goes without saying that our prayers must be accompanied by actions and sacrifices pleasing to the Lord and which also bear witness to the truth of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Saint Veronica, pray for us to the Lord.

12 November 2014

10 November 2014

Saward: The Poverty of the Church...


“The Poverty of the Church and the Beauty of the Liturgy”
Father John Saward


Stoneham, Mass.: Ordinariate Requiem Mass

It ain't over till the fat lady sings ...



09 November 2014

Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.


Holy Infant Christ, hear our prayer.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us.


Out of the Mouths of Babes


Little Leo's Table Prayer ... in Latin


07 November 2014

Needing to Know the Lives of the Saints


With thanks to St. Tikhon's Monastery, Bookstore, and Press, I share with you, dear reader, a fine quote from St. Justin Popovich of the Serbian Orthodox Church:

"In [the Lives of the Saints] it is clearly and obviously demonstrated:

"There is no spiritual death from which one cannot be resurrected by the Divine power of the risen and ascended Lord Christ; there is no torment, there is no misfortune, there is no misery, there is no suffering which the Lord will not change either gradually or all at once into quiet, compunctionate joy because of faith in Him.

"And again there are countless soul-stirring examples of how a sinner becomes a righteous man in the Lives of the Saints: how a thief, a fornicator, a drunkard, a sensualist, a murderer, an adulterer becomes a holy man-there are many, many examples of this in the Lives of the Saints; how a selfish, egoistical, unbelieving, atheistic, proud, avaricious, lustful, evil, wicked, depraved, angry, spiteful, quarrelsome, malicious, envious, malevolent, boastful, vainglorious, unmerciful, gluttonous man becomes a man of God — there many, many examples of this in the Lives of the Saints."

Saint Justin Popovich
of Chelije
1894 - 1979


Pure evil


Kenya’s Catholic bishops are charging two United Nations organisations with sterilizing millions of girls and women under cover of an anti-tetanus inoculation programme sponsored by the Kenyan government. 
According to a statement released Tuesday by the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, the organization has found an antigen that causes miscarriages in a vaccine being administered to 2.3 million girls and women by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. Priests throughout Kenya reportedly are advising their congregations to refuse the vaccine. 
“We sent six samples from around Kenya to laboratories in South Africa. They tested positive for the HCG antigen,” Dr. Muhame Ngare of the Mercy Medical Centre in Nairobi told LifeSiteNews. “They were all laced with HCG.” 
Dr. Ngare, spokesman for the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, stated in a bulletin released November 4, “This proved right our worst fears; that this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise using a proven fertility regulating vaccine. This evidence was presented to the Ministry of Health before the third round of immunization but was ignored.”

This is not the first time such evil has been perpetrated via vaccines.

Please click here to read the entirety of this very important article.


We are Catholic. We are sacred.


The video I am posting here includes a musical track that is not really my cup of tea... but it has grown on me.  Some of you will no doubt love the song, and some of you may prefer to view it with the sound turned off.  You may wish to play your own favourite Catholic music whilst viewing it. The visual imagery and text is simply splendid.  

My favourite bit of image and text is "We are blessed." Unfortunately, the video that follows cannot be viewed in all countries of the world:

If you do not see the video above, please click here to view it on the YouTube website (provided that it is available in your part of the world).


06 November 2014

05 November 2014

HRH Prince Charles: Warning on Loss of Religious Freedom


The Prince of Wales has said what needed to be said by a person of his standing on the world stage:

Prince Charles this week spoke again of his ”mounting despair” at the plight of Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities in northern Iraq and Syria.

Concerned at the deterioration of religious tolerance around the world, the heir to the British throne warned that “the very freedom on which society is built is threatened with destruction”.

The prince was speaking in a seven-minute video address for the launch in the House of Lords on Tuesday of the Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014, produced by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

In the video the prince praised the report and spoke of his “mounting despair” at the expulsion of Christians, Muslims and Yazidis from parts of northern Iraq by Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

“It is an indescribable tragedy that Christianity is now under such threat in the Middle East … [where] people of different faiths [have been] living together peaceably for centuries,” he said. “It seems to me that our future as a free society – both here in Britain and throughout the world – depends on recognising the crucial role played by people of faith,” he said.

Urging religions to engage in inter-faith dialogue, a process which he said required humility and maturity, the Prince of Wales cited Pope Francis, who in his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, said: “Interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world.”

The prince also urged governments to honour their commitment to freedom of religion in the United Nations declaration of human rights, although noted that “even in the West this right is often challenged”.

Please click here to open a new page with the entire article from The Tablet.


Also, please remember to donate as generously as possible to Aid for the Church in NeedPlease click here to be taken to the ACN website.

Let us not forget to pray to the Lord for the Prince and all of the Royal Family especially H.M. the Queen.

St. Isaac of Nineveh and St. Jacob of Saroug, pray for us.

01 November 2014

All Saints, All Souls: Radio Walsingham


Please do listen to RADIO WALSINGHAM ONLINE.  We have especially beautiful selections for All Saints and All Souls... and for this time of year which some call All Saints Tide.

Please click here to go to RADIO WALSINGHAM's listening website.

If you should like to listen without advertising, please join and become a VIP member for a nominal fee.  As a VIP member, you may listen without any commercial interruptions from Live365.com.

May the souls of the faithful departed, 
through the mercy of God, 
rest in peace.  

31 October 2014

I love thy Church, O God


There is a hymn text by the grandson of Jonathan Edwards that is still sung in many churches in North America. 
Rev. Dr. Timothy Dwight

This text by the Rev. Dr. Timothy Dwight IV (1752-1817) is the earliest hymn written by an U.S. American still in regular use.  Dwight reworked Psalm 137 and turned it into a hymn of love for the Lord Jesus Christ's Church.

The full text is never printed in today's hymnals, and it is the full text that most interests me. The theologically interesting note in the text is the identification of the Kingdom of the Lord with the Church on Earth.  The hymn text draws together the individual's Christian action together within the mission and work of the Church as the manifestation and revelation of the Kingdom on Earth.  This is a text a catholic Christian could pray with heart and soul.

The following version is a conglomerate text from several different printings. I suspect that the first edition of this text may be slightly different, but I do not have a copy in hand:

I love thy Kingdom, Lord,
The house of thine abode,
The Church our blest Redeemer saved
With His own precious blood.

I love thy Church, O God.
Her walls before thee stand,
Dear as the apple of thine eye,
And graven on thy hand.

If e’er to bless thy sons
My voice or hands deny,
These hands let useful skills forsake,
This voice in silence die.

Should I with scoffers join
Her altars to abuse?
No! Better far my tongue were dumb,
My hand its skill should lose.

For her my tears shall fall
For her my prayers ascend,
To her my cares and toils be given
Till toils and cares shall end.

Beyond my highest joy
I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows,
Her hymns of love and praise.

Jesus, Thou Friend divine,
Our Saviour and our King,
Thy hand from every snare and foe
Shall great deliverance bring.

Sure as thy truth shall last,
To Sion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield
And brighter bliss of Heaven.

Tim­o­thy Dwight IV
Psalms of Da­vid


30 October 2014

The Savour of Blessedness


“Already is there on you the savour of blessedness, O ye who are soon to be enlightened: already are you gathering spiritual flowers, to weave heavenly crowns withal: already hath the fragrance of the Holy Ghost refreshed you: already are you at the entrance-hall of the King's house: may you be brought into it by the King! 

“For now the blossoms of the trees have budded; may but the fruit likewise be perfected! Thus far, your names have been given in, and the roll-call made for service; there are the torches of the bridal train, and the longings after heavenly citizenship, and a good purpose, and a hope attendant; for he cannot lie who hath said, To them that love God, all things work together for good. 

“God is indeed lavish in His benefits: yet He looks for each man's honest resolve: so the Apostle subjoins, To those who are called according to their purpose. Honesty of purpose makes thee called: for though the body be here, yet if the mind be away, it avails nothing.”

St. Cyril of Jerusalem in The Procatechesis 

(as found in Frank Cross,
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem's Lectures 
on the Christian Sacraments)