17 January 2017

Repost: Notre-Dame d'Espérance de Pontmain

The following post appeared in January of A.D. 2014.  It seemed wise to print it again in anticipation of Candlemas on 2 February and also to increase knowledge of Our Lady of Hope and the apparition of Notre-Dame d'Espérance de Pontmain. Added to the original is the beautiful "Inviolata" and a YouTube recording of "Inviolata" and "Gaudio" by the group Psallentes:

Be sure to read a beautiful post by the Prior of Silverstream Priory, Ireland regarding Our Most Beautiful Mother who appeared at Pontmain as Our Lady of Hope.  

The anniversary of her apparition occurred earlier in January, but there is something about this apparition of the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Hope, that always speaks to me of the full message of Candlemas, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the TempleI hope that with prayer and some contemplation it may likewise speak to you.  

So I post this link here to the Prior's article here for your contemplation in anticipation of the great feast of Candlemas which we celebrate this Sunday, 2 February 2014.

Be sure to support the monks of Silverstream Priory, Stamullen, Ireland.

Très douce Vierge Marie,
Tu as dans ton apparition à Pontmain,
rappelé l’importance de la prière,
fortifié en nos cœurs l’Espérance
et apporté la Paix.
Daigne accueillir favorablement aujourd’hui
la prière ardente que nous t’adressons
pour que s’établisse dans nos cœurs, nos familles,
notre Nation et toutes les Nations,
la PAIX, 
fruit de la justice, de la vérité, de la charité.

Augmente en nos âmes le désir de vivre pleinement notre foi,
sans aucune compromission, dans toutes les circonstances de notre vie.
Aide-nous à toujours comprendre les autres
et à les aimer profondément en Dieu. Amen.

Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria,
quae es effecta fulgida caeli porta.
O Mater alma Christi carissima,
suscipe pia laudum praeconia.
Te nunc flagitant devota corda et ora,
nostra ut pura pectora sint et corpora.
Tu per precata dulcisona,
nobis concedas veniam per saecula.
O benigna! O Regina! O Maria,
quae sola inviolata permansisti.

"Inviolata"  and "Gaudio" from a late mediaeval Bruges Processionale
Hendrick Vanden Abeele, director

Ave, dulcissima Maria!+

Forgotten Hymn: "O Worship Jesus Now"


A favourite but forgotten hymn. If one clicks on the image below, one should then see the image much enlarged and easier to read the music and the text.  A larger version of the text follows afterward.

+Laus Deo.

Political Article by Glenn Greenwald

A political article others have recommended to me claiming its veracity:

Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using UnVerified Claims ...

15 January 2017

Wiltener Sängerknaben: Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (Nicolai)


Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (Nicolai)
Wiltener Sängerknaben

Chorale Book for England (1863)
Catherine Winkworth, translator

Omnis terra adorat Te, Deus

Prayer upon Entry into a Church or Chapel


I thought it worthwhile to reprint this excellent prayer.  Many times one enters a church, but kneeling down to pray we do not always know quite what to say to God.  This is a fine prayer for such times or to use as a normative practice wherein the prayer is learnt by heart.

I think, dear Reader, it is clear how useful this would be also when entering into an Adoration Chapel to pray before Our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.

Omnis terra adorat Te, Deus!

Continuing from Yesterday: A Musical Setting by Fr. du Perron


Yesterday I posted some examples of ways in which Coelius Sedulius' great hymn had been translated with the starting point being a translation of the Revd Dr John Mason Neale of memory eternal.

Today I would like to turn your attention to the full text as incorporated into a setting by a French-Canadian Catholic priest, Fr. Nicolas du Perron (d. 1963).  In November of last year, Jeff Ostrowski posted regarding this setting: click here.  He included his own rendition of the setting:

He also provided via the Corpus Christi Watershed website a PDF file for the singer or chorister.  It beautifully shows both what is sung in Latin and provides a clear and excellent translation of the the hymn by Coelius Sedulius from the fifth century A.D.  Even though you may not read music or be a singer, I encourage you to download the PDF and enjoy the beautiful way it is presented and thereby encounter Sedulius' beautiful hymn in a complete form: click here for the PDF.

A final word: please consider financially supporting the work of CCWatershed.  Jeff Ostrowski, the website, and its resources are tremendous treasures of our church.  I cannot stress how important it is to support this apostolate with our prayers, and for those of you with the financial means I urge you to donate to support this work.  

When there is a great deal unstable in the Catholic Church, it is vitally important that we support those bastions of truth and beauty who faithfully carry forward the essential Catholic truths and traditions and likewise bear witness to that unfailing light of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Omnis terra adorat Te,  Deus!

Of Epiphanytide and an Epiphany Hymn

The Lutheran Hymnal published in the USA is as sacred to some traditional Lutherans as The Hymnal 1940 is to some traditional Episcopalians in the USA. Of course, there are other traditionally-minded Lutherans in the USA for whom THE hymnal is The Service Book and Hymnal  which contained the first Lutheran Eucharistic Prayer since the Reformation... but I digress.

In The Lutheran Hymnal we find a lovely Epiphany hymn:

The star proclaims the King is here;
But, Herod, why this senseless fear?
He takes no realms of earth away
Who gives the realms of heavenly day.

The wiser Magi see from far
And follow on His guiding star;
And led by light, to light they press
And by their gifts their God confess.

Within the Jordan's crystal flood
In meekness stands the Lamb of God
And, sinless, sanctifies the wave,
Mankind from sin to cleanse and save.

At Cana first His power is shown:
His might the blushing waters own
And, changing as He speaks the word,
Flow wine, obedient to their Lord.

All glory, Jesus, be to Thee
For this Thy glad epiphany;
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.

From The Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood we have an mp3 recording of the above text sung to the chant melody No. 28 ... which for some of us makes it clear that the above is a translation of the Epiphany chant Hostis Herodes impie (which has two Latin versions).  Not only is it that, but it is also an altered form of an original translation by that sainted Anglican the Revd Dr John Mason Neale.  

There are many altered versions of Dr Neale's translation such as the following:

1. When Christ's appearing was made known,
King Herod trembled for his throne;
But He Who offers heavenly birth
Sought not the kingdom of this earth.

2. The eastern sages saw from far
And followed on His guiding star;
By light their way to Light they trod,
And by their gifts confessed their God.

3. Within the Jordan's sacred flood
The heavenly Lamb in meekness stood,
That He, to Whom no sin was known,
Might cleanse His people from their own.

4. And O what miracle divine,
When water reddened into wine!
He spake the word, and forth it flowed
In streams that nature ne'er bestowed.

5. All glory, Jesus, be to Thee
For this Thy glad epiphany:
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.

And as Dr Neale's translation appeared in the 1908 edition of GR Woodward's Songs of Syon:

1. Why, impious Herod, vainly fear
That Christ the Saviour cometh here?
He takes not earthly realms away,
Who gives the crown that lasts for aye.

2. To greet his birth the Magi went,
Led by the star before them sent:
Called on by light, to Light they press’d,
And by their gifts their God confess’d.

3. In holy Jordan’s purest wave
The heavenly Lamb vouchsafed to lave;
That he, to whom was sin unknown,
Might cleanse his people from their own.

4. New miracle of power divine!
The water reddens into wine:
He spake the word, and pour’d the wave
In other streams than nature gave.

5. All glory, Lord, to thee we pay,
For thine Epiphany to-day;
All glory, as is ever meet,
To Father and to Paraclete. Amen.

And yet again, another variation reflecting the revised version of the Latin original:

How vain the cruel Herod’s fear,
When told that Christ the King is near!
He takes not earthly realms away,
Who gives the realms that ne’er decay.

The Eastern sages saw from far
And followed on His guiding star;
By light their way to Light they trod,
And by their gifts confessed their God.

Within the Jordan’s sacred flood
The heavenly Lamb in meekness stood,
That He to whom no sin was known,
Might cleanse His people from their own.

And oh, what miracle divine,
When water reddened into wine!
He spake the word, and forth it flowed
In streams that nature ne’er bestowed.

All glory, Jesu, be to Thee
For this Thy glad Epiphany:
Whom with the Father we adore
And Holy Ghost forevermore.

Editors of hymnals cannot resist the temptation to tinker with the text of an hymn in English and often that tinkering impulse moves from temptation to flagrant sin with regard to the integrity of a translator's poetic text.  Fortunately, the original and the many alterations of Dr. Neale's translation all reveal insights into the original text that are salutary ... even as they sometimes also needlessly accommodate the unrelenting drive to put the Prayer Book English into today's new-speak.  

One should note that the version in The Lutheran Hymnal intentionally alters the first stanza and the first line by taking the emphasis away from Herod and placing it on the Star of Bethlehem and  Jesus our King. It was because of the birth of Jesus the King and the Guiding Star that Herod was put in a panic after all. There is a great deal of merit to the alterations and overall shape and tenor of the version found in The Lutheran Hymnal.

The Latin original is credited to Coelius Sedulius ca. A.D. 450 and was taken from a much larger hymn of his. The Latin text was revised which also adds to the many translations, alterations, and variations on Sedulius' original text.  The Christmas chant A solis ortus cardine also comes from the same longer hymn by Sedulius. +

Setting by Pedro de Escobar

+ + +

To my mind the restyling of the time after Epiphany as Epiphanytide is far better than "Ordinary Time".  The patterns for such a church season can be found in some English language liturgical books of Lutherans and Episcopalians/Anglicans wherein they unite the three original commemorations of the Feast of the Epiphany (i.e., the Manifestation of Christ to the Magi, the Baptism of Christ in the River Jordan, and the First Miracle at Cana in Galilee) within the Season of Epiphany but spread out upon 3 separate occasions.  

The additional Sunday Eucharistic liturgical texts of in the construction of this season all express in one fashion or another the Manifestation and Revelation of Jesus Christ to the World culminating in either a celebration of the Transfiguration at the level of a feast on the last Sunday of this season or simply with the Transfiguration of Our Lord as the subject of the prayers and Gospel for the Last Sunday after Epiphany.

In the Eastern Orthodox Churches the Feast of the Theophany of Christ celebrates all three events including the paraliturgical blessing of the waters with the priest throwing the cross of blessing into the waters to be retrieved by young men ... a genuine act of festival that unites the liturgy to the public square, so to speak.

The current Novus Ordo Roman Lectionary puts the Gospel reading of the Transfiguration squarely within Lent where it has its own rhyme and reason within the schema of the Eucharistic three-year Lectionary.  

For my own part I would want a Lectionary in which the Transfiguration Gospel is read on the culminating Sunday of Epiphanytide and would then be read again on the Sunday before Palm Sunday as well as the proper Feast on August 6th.  

Of course, dear Reader, I should confess that the Feast of the Transfiguration has been for me at a very personal level my favourite traditional Feast of Our Lord and His Ministry in the Western Christian Kalendar.  Naturally, I should want the Transfiguration Gospel read and proclaimed as often as possible.

God and man made manifest!

"Why doth that impious Herod fear"

Click on the above for a larger version

14 January 2017

Prayer for Canonisation of Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos


Special Prayer for Canonisation

Oh my God, I truly believe
you are present with me.
I adore your limitless perfections.
I thank you for the graces and gifts you gave 
to Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos.
If it is your Holy Will, 
please let him be declared a Saint of the Church,
so that others may know and imitate his holy life.
Through his prayers, please give me this favour ...
(here, mention your special intentions)


You may wish to read "The Life of Francis Xavier Seelos" at seelos.org

Please consider donating to the Blessed Father Seelos' Shrine in New Orleans, Louisiana: click here.

Read of his ministry in St. Louis at Saint Mary of Victories Catholic Church by clicking here. Please consider giving a gift of support to the parish in Blessed Seelos' name.

Praise God for the blessed company of all faithful people.

12 January 2017

Anglican Patrimony: from 'A Taste of Liberty' (Canon A.M. Allchin)

“What is being said here? First, that the once for all event of Christ, his life and teaching, his death and Resurrection, is only the first part of the work of God for man's healing and restoration. What was done once for all, in a certain time and a certain place, is now to become alive and real in all times and in all places. The Son of God, the Redeemer, gives order and structure to this world. The Spirit, the Life-Giver, produces life and variety, multiplicity and richness. And this second activity that is carried forward in the life and experience of each Christian, is something which can rightly be compared with that first great act of God in Christ Jesus.  Jesus promised his disciples that they would do the same or indeed greater works than he did.  Following on God's Incarnation, his taking our nature into himself, there comes at Pentecost man's inspiration, God's breathing his Spirit into the very life and being of man so that we should become sharers in his nature.

“As such, we need order consistency and faithfulness in our lives, of course, but that does not mean that they must be rigid, monotonous or uneventful. Quite the reverse is true. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Life and fruitfulness; he gives more than we expect, and whenever we meet life, human or divine, we find it to be unexpected. This breathing of the Spirit of God into the life and being of man enables the new community, the new reality of the Church to come into being so that we can live to the full the new life in Christ and become sharers in his nature.

“This is a very high and demanding teaching, but it is also an immensely strengthening one.  It helps us to make sense of aspects of our faith which are often difficult for people of our generation who are vividly aware of the immense size and age of the universe and of the length and complexity of human history. How can all that, we ask, be centred and summed up in one life and death? Can the Church really always be turning back to those thirty years in Galilee and Jerusalem — that one afternoon on the hill of the Cross? Our faith tells us that to the unique and unrepeatable work of God in the Incarnation of his Son, there corresponds another work going on constantly, the work of the Spirit, who is also Lord, who is the giver, the creator of life and growth. And it is the Spirit who makes us share in the very life and vitality of God himself. There is another work being carried forward through all nations in all centuries which multiplies and diversifies the action of God and lifts man up into union with the divine.”

The Revd Father Donald Allchin

A Taste of Liberty 
pp. 11-12
Convent of the Incarnation
Fairacres Oxford
© The Sisters of the Love of God 1982


11 January 2017

Dietrich von Hildebrand: "Watch ye therefore ..."

Dietrich von Hildebrand:

The man formed by the Liturgy is the man who is awake in the highest sense of the word. He is not only inwardly open to hearing the voice of God; he is not only aware of the ultimate Truth, but he also looks on all earthly goods in their true light. Far removed from all bluntness, indifference, stoic insensibility, and passiveness, his awakened ear is open to every created thing in its mysterious message from above and in its God-given meaning. His heart is open to the precious and noble character of created things such as water, for instance, as disclosed in the blessing of the baptismal water.

What a contrast to the blunt, obvious conceptions of earthly goods received from God's paternal hand is found int he liturgical "Benedicite!" What constantly awakened gratitude! "The eyes of all wait upon Thee, O Lord, and Thou givest them their meat in due season (Oculi omnium in te sperant, Domine, et tu das escam illorum in tempore opportuno )." "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts which we are about to receive from Thy bounty (Benedic, Domine, nos et haec tua dona, quae de tua largitate sumus sumpturi )." "We give Thee thanks, O almighty God, for all Thy mercies (Agimus tibi gratias omnipotens Deus, pro universis beneficiis tuis )." At the same time, everything is organically placed into relation with the supernatural so that our spirit can rejoin again and again the unique and eternal, the goal of our hope: "May the King of eternal glory make us participate in the divine banquet (Mensae caelestis participes faciat nos Rex aeternae gloriae)."

The man formed by the Liturgy watches, so to speak, with a "burning lamp in his hand," and "with girt loins," for the advent of the Lord. His life is a life of longing, hope, gratitude, solemn emotion, and openness to the mysteries of being. We see how deeply wakefulness is linked with reverence, with the consciousness that an adequate response is due to value, and with the sense of the right gradation of values. The awakened man is also conscious of the ultimate tie which binds him to all men before God; he sees Christ in his neighbor; he lives in the truth of the Mystical Body of Christ. To the extent that a man is awakened in this sense, he exists fully as a person; he genuinely lives; his life is true; he is a personality in the original sense of the word.

Today it is particularly important to stress this point. In a legitimate reaction against an analytical, self-reflective consciousness, many have fallen into the cult of a naive unconsciousness, a childish unwakefulness. This is a falling into Charybdis in order to avoid Scylla. A wrong self-consciousness is, of course, disastrous, whether it takes the form of a squinting at the accomplishment of our life (in a curious looking backward at our actions and attitudes just in the living moment instead of focusing on the object) or whether it takes the form of an intellectual analysis and dissection of the world and ourselves in which we no longer see the woods for the trees. In either case, it is a hypertrophy of the analytical attitude which leaves no room for a contemplative possession of an obejct. But the unconscious man also is incomplete; he is an inauthentic half-man.

True consciousness, an indispensable element of personality and an essential part of transformation in Christ, is nothing but wakefulness. It means emerging from all the mists of the vital and the unconscious into the brightness of the logos; it means being irradiated by the lumen Christi. It also means the ripening toward that full wakefulness which we shall actually possess only in eternity when we shall be flooded by the lumen gloriae, when we no longer see through a glass in an obscure manner but face to face, and when we no longer know in part but know as we have been known.

The great motto of this earthly life must be, "Watch ye therefore, because you know not the day nor the hour!"

Dietrich von Hildebrand

Liturgy and Personality:
The Healing Power of Formal Prayer

Sophia Institute Press, 1993
pp. 101-103


09 January 2017

Baptism of Christ: "When Jesus Went to Jordan's Stream"


Almighty and everlasting God, who by the Baptism of thy well-beloved Son Jesus Christ in the River Jordan didst sanctify water to the mystical washing away of sin; Mercifully look upon us, who have been cleansed of sin and sanctified with the Holy Ghost, that we may be kept safe in the ark of Christ’s Church; and grant that we, being steadfast in faith, joyful through hope, and rooted in charity, may so pass the waves of this troublesome world, that finally we may come to the land of everlasting life, there to dwell with thee for ever and ever, world without end. Amen.

(In the Collect above, one will recognise in large part the Collect from the Baptism of Infants in Anglican prayer books.  It is a beautiful prayer.)

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan didst proclaim him thy beloved Son and anoint him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptised into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Saviour; who with thee and the same Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

When Jesus Went to Jordan's Stream
(Unser Herr sum Jordan Kam)
Saint Mark's Cathedral Choir
Saint Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, Seattle

USA's Transition of Power


In the month of January there is supposed to be a transition of power in the United States of America from one elected President to the next elected President.

I do not think such a transition should be taken for granted. 

I ask my readers to engage in daily prayer before and on the 20th of January for this transition in Presidents to take place without problem or diversion.

I suggest at least a novena of either the Holy Rosary for this occasion or the daily recitation of the Litany in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer (USA) or the Great Litany in The Book of Common Prayer 1979 (USA) [or as it appears in The Book of Divine Worship of the Pastoral Provision of St. John Paul II].  Those outside the United States would find the Litany in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England sufficient for this cause.

There are of course many other ways to undertake such serious daily prayer such as attendance at a novena of daily Masses, or a novena of hours before the Blessed Sacrament of the Lord Jesus Christ.  If you are from a different Christian tradition with its own method for such daily serious prayer such as daily prayer, Bible reading, and fasting, then please undertake it.

I believe the people of the United States are in need of our prayerful assistance to see this transition of power through to its proper and Constitutional conclusion.

Nevertheless, not what we will be done but that which the Holy Trinity wills.


08 January 2017

Anglican: To JESUS the Life of Our Flesh


Life in Christ.

To JESUS the life of our flesh,
Who quickeneth whom He willeth :
To JESUS the life of our soul,
Who came that we might live 
more abundantly:
To Jesus the life of His Church,
Who loved her and gave Himself for her :
Let all mankind in earth and in paradise,
Reconciled by His death, 
and saved by His life,
Give glory and honour, worship and praise,
Now and for ever and ever.

Thanksgivings - Wednesday
E. Milner-White

+Laus Deo.

07 January 2017

Healey Willan: Three Kings


Three Kings
Healey Willan, composer
Sung by Chanticleer

"Who knocks tonight so late?"
the weary porter said.
Three kings stood at the gate,
each with a crown on head.

The serving man bowed down,
the Inn was full, he knew.
Said he, "In all this town
is no fit place for you."

A light in the manger lit;
there lay the Mother meek.
Said they, "This place is fit.
Here is the rest we seek."

Come, come. They loosed their latchet strings,
so stood they all unshod
"Come in, come in, ye kings,
and kiss the feet of God."

+Venite adoremus

Anglican: The Holy Child Jesus (Bishop Ken)


The following is an Anglican meditation written by the sainted Bishop Thomas Ken as part of several simple guides to Christian prayer and life for a younger person, a young scholar at school.  I have posted this before, but it remains valuable at this time when our thought of the Divine Child now begin to turn to His earthly life and ministry. The spellings are as found in the edition I have.

May the Child Jesus bless you in the reading of it, and may Thomas Ken pray for us.

This, good Phil. is the lowest degree of duty, and it should be your dayly endeavour, to improve in your devotion, as well as in your learning, and the more effectually to move you to so happy an improvement, I advise you on Sundays and Holy-days, attentively to read over this following Meditation, and to propose to your self, the Holy Child Jesus, for your example.

A Meditation on the Holy Child Jesus.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who when Thou wert twelve years old, didst go up to Jerusalem with Thy Parents, after the custom of the Feast, to eat the Passover, and to worship Thy Heavenly Father.

El Divino Niño, Hanceville, Alabam
        O blessèd Saviour, give me grace like Thee, to make Religion my first, and chiefest care, and devoutly to observe, all solemn times, and all holy Rites, which relate to Thy worship.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who when Thy Parents returned home, didst stay behind in Jerusalem, and after three days, wast found of them in the Temple, sitting in the midst of the Doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

        blessèd Saviour, who in Thy very Childhood, didst triumph over all the vain delights of youth; and wouldst choose no place, but the Temple to reside in, Mortifie in me, all inordinate love of sensual pleasure, which may pervert me from my duty; raise in me an awful reverence of Thy House, an early devotion in my Prayers, and a delight in Thy Praises.

        blessèd Jesu, who didst choose before all others, the company of the Doctors, and didst both hear them, and ask them Questions; give me grace to abhor all lewd company, and all filthy communication, give me grace to love wise, and sober, and profitable, and religious conversation, and to be diligent, and inquisitive after learning, and whatsoever is good.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who when Thy Father, and Mother had sought Thee, sorrowing, didst reply to them, How is it that ye sought me, wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers business?

        blessèd Jesu, who from Thy infancie didst make it Thy whole imployment, to do Thy Fathers will, kindle in me a forward zeal for Thy Glory, that I may consecrate my youth to Thy service, and make it the great business of my life, to know and fear, to love and obey, my Heavenly Father.

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who didst at last return home with Thy Parents, and wert subject to them!

        blessèd Jesu, give me grace to honour my Parents, and Governours, and readily to obey all their lawful commands!

        Glory be to Thee, O Lord Jesus, Glory be to Thee, who in those tender years, wert blessed with such Heavenly wisdom, that all that heard Thee, were astonished at Thy understanding and answers, who didst dayly increase in this Heavenly wisdom, and in favour with God and Man!

        O Lord Jesu, bless me with all abilities of mind and body, that may make me dayly increase in my Learning; but above all, bless me with Wisdom from above, and give me Thy Holy Spirit to assist, and enlighten me, that as I grow in Age, I may dayly grow in Grace, and in the knowledge of Thee, and in favour with God and Man; and every day more and more conformable to Thy Unsinning and Divine example.

Amen, Lord Jesus, Amen.

O Jesus, Roi d’Amour, 
j’ai confiance en ta Miséricordieuse Bonté.

Mère Yvonne-Aimée, priez pour nous.