31 March 2007

Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners

An Anglo-Catholic litany

Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, sorrowing in thine agony and sharing in thy bitter cup, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful O Lord, to us sinners and at the pleading of thy mother, suffering in thy sufferings and bruised with thy stripes, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, who saw thee crowned with thorns and robed with shame, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, whose love unvanquished trod thy way of sorrows, O Jesus mercy;
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Be merciful, O Lord, to us sinners, and at the pleading of thy mother, whose soul was pierced beneath thy Cross, O Jesus mercy.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.
Eric Milner-White

"Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy on me."
Saint Margaret Clitherow

29 March 2007

Versions of Sub tuum praesidium

In Greek from about 250 A.D. in the Coptic Church we read:
Ὑπὸ τὴν σὴν εὐσπλαγχνίαν,
καταφεύγομεν, Θεοτόκε,
τὰς ἡμῶν ἱκεσίας,
μὴ παρίδης ἐν περιστάσει,
ἀλλ' ἐκ κινδύνων λύτρωσαι ἡμᾶς,
μόνη ἁγνή, μόνη εὐλογημένη.

In English this is:

Beneath your compassion,
We take refuge, O Mother of God:
do not despise our petitions in time of trouble:
but rescue us from dangers,
only pure, only blessed one.

The Church Slavonic of the Old Believers:
Подъ твою милость,
прибѣгаемъ богородице дѣво,
молитвъ нашихъ не презри в скорбѣхъ.
но ѿ бѣдъ избави насъ,
едина чистаѧ и благословеннаѧ.
Beneath thy mercy,
we take refuge, O Virgin Mother of God:
disdain not our supplications in our distress,
but deliver us from perils,
O only pure and blessed one.

The Russian Orthodox version since 1586:

Подъ твое благоѹсробїе
прибѣгаемъ Богородице,
моленїѧ наша не презри во ωбстоѧнїй,
но ѿ бѣдъ исбави ны,
едина Чистаѧ, и Благословеннаѧ
Beneath thy tenderness of heart
we take refuge, O Mother of God,
disdain not our supplications in our necessity,
but deliver us from perils,
O only pure and blessed one.

Byzantine Christians sing this at the end of Vespers in Great Lent, and in other seasons the triple invocation Пресвѧтаѧ Богородице спаси насъ (Most Holy Mother of God, save us) may be added.

In Latin, we find this prayer in the following form at about the 11th c AD :

Sub tuum praesidium confugimus,
Sancta Dei Genetrix.
Nostras deprecationes ne despicias
in necessitatibus [nostris],
sed a periculis cunctis
libera nos semper,
Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.
We fly to your patronage,
O holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions
in [our] necessities,
but from all dangers
deliver us always,
O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.

I do not care for the English translation above. "Patronage" simply does not convey the depth of meaning of praesidium. I much prefer the English version of my Anglo-Catholic childhood:

We fly to thy protection,
O holy Mother of God;
despise not our petitions in our necessities
but deliver us always from all dangers,
O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.

The Evangelical Chaplet of Pope John Paul II

Some further thoughts on the Luminous Mysteries

In a previous post I sketched out some thoughts about the Mysteries of Light offered to Holy Church by Pope John Paul II.

I hold that these would best be employed as a separate Evangelical Chaplet of Pope John Paul II rather than being incorporated into the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I would like to offer another idea for this devotion in light of Pope John Paul's great and holy desire for Holy Mother Church to fully breathe with both Her lungs i.e., the Eastern and the Latin. The idea is very simple. Incorporate the Jesus Prayer into the Chaplet further giving this Chaplet its own character. Such a practice would make this devotion an appropriate form of prayer to accompany the work of seeing true Unity in Christ such as Pope Benedict XVI and the Ecumenical Patriarch's efforts in this direction. Pope Benedict's strong work in this regard is an element in common with the previous pontificate of Pope John Paul II. One can easily revisit this teaching in Pope John Paul's Ut unum sint.

So how would we actually do this? After announcing and meditating upon each mystery (for these are Evangelical Mysteries) one would first say the Jesus Prayer on the chain before the first Hail Mary. Thereafter it would be said 'on the chain' before each Hail Mary.

What then about the concluding prayers, the Hail Holy Queen and final collect? I would recommend using the ancient and magnificent Sub tuum praesidium and then follow it with the Trisagion. Sub tuum praesidium and Trisagion are used in both the Eastern churches and the Latin church.

In a future post I will endeavour to present these ideas more completely.

Mysteries of Light? Luminous what?

An expansion of thoughts I posted on Fr. Z's blog.

I am one who loves the content of the Luminous Mysteries, but I loathe the name for these and their all too sudden inclusion within the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Clearly, the title within a Catholic context should refer to the Light of World Jesus Christ. But the title does not make that link clear, and sadly this devotion comes off with a title that is decidedly more New Age sounding than Catholic.

This then is a missed opportunity for the New Evangelisation to which our late Sovereign Pontiff called us --a New Evangelisation in which, by way of example, we must specifically articulate the Christian Truth over and against the New Age counterfeits. In the larger world there are plenty of people who chase after "the Light" and claim to be "embraced by the Light" and absolutely none of that has anything at all to do with Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

What then should these Mysteries of Pope John Paul II be called? I offer that they should be called at the very least "The Evangelical Mysteries" because the content is centered on the three years of Our Lord Jesus Christ's preaching of His Evangelium. But more to the point, these mysteries should be a useful tool for the Church and not a point of needless contention. Rather these mysteries could form the heart of a specific devotion to compliment the New Evangelisation and to reach out to Evangelicals separated from us.

Far better for everyone if we called these Mysteries instead
"The Evangelical Chaplet of John Paul II"
and perhaps in time
"The Evangelical Chaplet of St. John Paul the Great"

I am not one who believes the Church is served well by Popes, Cardinals or Bishops changing devotions that have stood the test of time. If Pope John Paul II had said we would now say in place of the Hail Mary "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Amen." -- vast numbers of the faithful would have arisen to oppose it.

Oh yes, a few would have said that Pope John Paul II's every word was Gospel pure and heaven-sent. But this sort of pronouncement by our late Holy Father was not ex cathedra, and none are bound by it. Likewise, the offering of the Mysteries of Light by Pope John Paul II -- while an extraordinary gift for and counterpart to the New Evangelisation -- need not be driven into the time-honoured 15 decade Rosary of Our Lady's 150 Psalms of Angelic Salutations. Offerings and suggestions do not equal ex cathedra declarations or clearly stated articulations of the Magisterium.

I believe the Church should pray and meditate on the content of these mysteries because the content is from the very heart of the Church's own story, the very telling of the Evangelium of Jesus Christ. Yes, pray these mysteries on Thursday, or when travelling, or when especially interceding for the current Pontiff -- but please let us give them a strong and worthy name -- a solid title that both makes clear what these mysteries are all about and also gives credit to Pope John Paul II for his strong teaching of the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ:

The Evangelical Chaplet of Pope John Paul II

28 March 2007

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's Internet Prayer

Orátio ante colligatiónem in interrete:

Omnípotens aetérne Deus,qui secúndum imáginem Tuam nos plasmástiet omnia bona, vera, et pulchra, praesértim in divína persóna Unigéniti Fílii Tui Dómini nostri Iesu Chrísti, quaérere iussísti, praesta, quaésumus, ut, per intercessiónem Sancti Isidóri, Epíscopi et Doctóris, in peregrinatiónibus per interrete, et manus oculósque ad quae Tibi sunt plácita intendámuset omnes quos convenímus cum caritáte ac patiéntia accipiámus. Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.

A prayer before logging onto the internet:

Almighty and eternal God,who created us in Thine imageand 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.

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

27 March 2007

Lenten Prayers

I have deferred repentance,
and Thou hast prolonged patience,
O Thou that art mercy,
Thou that art a fountain inexhaustible.

Lancelot Andrewes

Lord, who hast died for us, beside whose awful mercy we confess that he who is not burned with love needeth to be purged with tears: Grant us such penitence as may be no reproach to us before Thine angels, and such love as shall carry us into their choirs; which praise Thee with the Father and the Holy Ghost, God most glorious, for ever.

Eric Milner-White
A Cambridge Bede Book

A Recent Anglican Prayer of Confession in Simple Language

Merciful God,
we have sinned
in what we have thought and said,
in the wrong we have done
and in the good we have not done.
We have sinned in ignorance:
we have sinned in weakness:
we have sinned through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry.
We repent and turn to you.
Forgive us, for our Saviour Christ's sake,
and renew our lives to the glory of your name.

A New Zealand Prayer Book

O Holy Jesus Christ,
grant us so to perfect our repentance
that our sins may be buried in Thy Grave;
and our hearts be prepared to greet Thee
with loving joy
on the morning of Thy resurrection,
Who didst die and wast buried
and didst rise again for us,
our only Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Author unknown

23 March 2007

From the Kenyan Anglican Holy Communion

Almighty God,
you bring to light
things hidden in darkness,
and know the shadows of our hearts:
by your Spirit,
cleanse us, revive us and renew us,
that we may walk in the light,
and glorify your name,
through Jesus Christ,
the light of the world. Amen

This very beautiful prayer shows the Kenyan genius for taking the Anglican tradition, drawing from the treasures of the Holy Scriptures, and bearing witness to what the Holy Spirit has done among them in Kenya. This striking collect takes the traditional Anglican Collect for Purity (originally a Sarum Use vesting prayer), casts it as a prayer to be said by all, and brings to it the hermeneutic and experience of the East African Revival -- to respond to Jesus Christ who calls us out of darkness to live in His marvellous light by living and walking in the Light of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

22 March 2007

Reparation to the Lord Jesus Christ Truly Present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar

O LORD JESUS CHRIST, who for our salvation didst endure the outrages of those who crucified thee, and now endurest the irreverence of those who discern thee not: Rather than withhold thy Sacred Presence from our Altars, give us grace to bewail the indignities committed against thee; and to repair, as far as lies in our power, and with devout love, the many dishonours thou still continuest to receive in this Adorable Mystery; Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

O MY LORD AND MY GOD, MY GOD AND MY ALL, who hast willed to abide with us always in this Wonderful Sacrament, thus ever-glorifying thy Father by making present thy Passion in perpetual Memorial, and giving unto us thy very Self, the Food of Life: Grant us grace to grieve with a hearty sorrow for the insults offered thy Holy Mystery, and with sincere love to offer reparation for the many abuses and sacrileges thou still continuest to receive in thy Blessed Sacrament, who livest and reignest with the Father, in the Unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy and Immortal,
have mercy upon us.

Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy and Immortal,
have mercy upon us.

Holy God,
Holy and Mighty,
Holy and Immortal,
have mercy upon us.

21 March 2007

The Ambassadors of Christ

Monsignor Ronald Knox

The Church ordains its ministers at the four seasons; this is our spring sowing. Hence today's epistle (The Epistle for the first Sunday in Lent, II Corinthians, vi, 1-10) gives us St. Paul's picture of the ideal minister of religion. He is not to be a mere town-crier, announcing doom, but an ambassador, making himself loved and respected by the people he is accredited to. He must have the patience that can take any kind of discomfort; nine instances are given, three of them just ordinary bad luck, three of them arising from human enmity, three of them incidental to the work itself.

More positive qualities are demanded, and we are given a list of four -- purity (not a morbid horror of sex, but the love of beauty untarnished); familiarity with God in prayer; unresentfulness (nobody must imagine that our remonstrances are dictated by personal feeling; graciousness, that kindly spirit towards everybody which makes a man loved. Then follows another list of the four resources which lie at our disposal; constant expectation of guidance from the Holy Spirit; a love of souls which sees the image of Christ in each; a conviction of the supernatural; and perhaps, now and again, one of those special providences which unexpectedly lighten our task.

The soldier is content to be armed against attack on his exposed side, the left; we must be armed right and left against flattery no less than against criticism. "That was a wonderful sermon of yours!" will do us no good in eternity. It doesn't matter what people say about us; we shall be called hypocrites, nobodies, a Victorian survival, unpopular, kill-joys, money-grubbers, other-worldly--it doesn't matter, so long as we do our best not to give real ground for offence.

"A pity we don't get more men like that!" says the layman, as he hears his spiritual pastor reading out this improbable list of qualifications. But that is the whole point of the Ember Days; we ought to be praying for more "men like that." Every church gets the ministry it deserves, and we shall do more good by expecting much of the clergy than by complaining of what we get.

Msgr. Ronald Knox
Lightning Meditations

20 March 2007

Roman Catholic - Anglican Heritage

Hymn: Author of Creation's Story

For Penny Norman, tssf

Author of creation's story,
God and Father of the Light,
Loving us you sent your Servant
Christ to save us from death's night.
God the Son
He has won
Life eternal for each one.

Perfect trust and benediction
Are the gifts our Christ bestows.
Each new member of his Body
Feeds on him and by faith grows;
Love outpoured,
Christ adored,
Jesus present, Friend and Lord.

Fire of hope, great Holy Spirit;
Searching round with kindling spark;
Find within my soul a dwelling;
Light your flame and seal God's mark,
Cross and call,
Christ my all,
Signed by these I shall not fall.

Words (c) Copyright 2000 by Vincent Uher
Suggested tune: Michael (Herbert Howells)

19 March 2007

God bless you this St. Joseph's Day!

St. Joseph, Guardian of the Redeemer, pray for us.

Oh St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God, I place in thee all my interest and desires. Oh St. Joseph, do asssist me by thy powerful intercession, and obtain for me from thy divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. So that, having engaged here below thy heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers. Oh St. Joseph, I never weary contemplating thee, and Jesus asleep in thine arms; I dare not approach while He reposeth near thy heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me, and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.

14 March 2007

An Intercession for the Church

From Wednesday at the Sixth Hour

I believe in one holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church ;
And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Let us pray :
For the Church Catholic.
For the holy Catholic Church from one end of the world to the other, let us beseech the Lord ;
Lord, have mercy.

That she may be established in peace, immovable and unshakable upon the rock of her faith ;
Lord, have mercy.

For particular churches that are persecuted and suffereing ;
Lord, have mercy.

For them that are rich or poor or weak or tempted ;
Lord, have mercy.

For our own church ;
Lord, have mercy.

That she may offer herself a pure sacrifice of prayer and lowly service ;
Lord, have mercy.

That she may be truly catholic in faith and love ;
Lord, have mercy.

That she may use her freedom for the ministry of Truth ;
Lord, have mercy.

That she may be at peace within her borders ;
Lord, have mercy.

For all who love Christ and pray with us, yet are in separation ;
Lord, have mercy.

The Lord be with you ;
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

GRACIOUS Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth ; in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purge it ; and where it is in error, direct it ; where it is superstitious, rectify it ; where anything is amiss, reform it ; where it is right, strengthen and confirm it ; where it is in want, furnish it ; where it is divided and rent asunder, make up the breaches of it ; O thou Holy One of Israel. Amen.

Let us pray :
For the Church Apostolic.
That we may continue steadfast in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers, we humbly pray :
Lord, hear us.

For our fathers the bishops and rulers of the Christian Church ;
Lord, hear us.

That they may be blameless, vigilant, and holy ;
Lord, hear us.

For the priests and shepherds of Christ's flock ;
Lord, hear us.

That they may burn with the love of souls, and be mighty to convert;
Lord, hear us.

For the deacons and ministers of the household of God ;
Lord, hear us.

For those who have heard and answered the call to Holy Orders ;
Lord, hear us.

That their hearts may be kindled, and their minds enlightened in the days of making ready ;
Lord, hear us.

The Lord be with you ;
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

O GOD, who dost ever hallow and protect thy Church : Raise up therein, through thy Spirit, good and faithful stewards of the mysteries of Christ ; that, by their ministry and example, the Christian people may abide under thy protection, and be guided in the way of truth ; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, ever, world without end. Amen.

Let us pray :
For the Holiness of the Church.
That everywhere and at all times, in the power of faith and the ministry of love, she may show forth Christ, by inward spirit and outward deed;
We beseech thee, O Lord.

For the faithful in every land;
We beseech thee, O Lord.

That they may be strengthened and confirmed in sacrament and prayer, and in every good work ;
We beseech thee, O Lord.

For those pledge to the perfection of Jesus, under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience;
We beseech thee, O Lord.

For all guilds and confraternities devoted to the building up of Christian life;
We beseech thee, O Lord.

The Lord be with you;
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

VOUCHSAFE, we beseech thee, O Lord, to strengthen and confirm all thy faithful, and to lift them up more and more continually to heavenly desires ; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Let us pray :
For the Unity of the Church.
That the bitter grief of a sundered Church may pass away ;
Lord, hear us.

That the Holy Spirit may bind us in new fellowship to seek peace and ensue it ;
Lord, hear us.

For a new and living faith in the communion of saints ;
Lord, hear us.

That the unity and clear vision of those at rest may help our blindness ;
Lord, hear us.

That our broken fellowship on earth may not mar our share in the perfect fellowship above;
Lord, hear us.

The Lord be with you ;
And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

O LORD Jesu Christ, who didst say to thine Apostles, Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: Regard not our sins, but the faith of thy Church, and grant her that peace and unity which is agreeable to thy will ; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Our Father . . .

O GOD of unchangeable power and eternal light, look favourably on thy whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery ; and by the tranquil operation of thy perpetual providence carry out the work of man's salvation ; and let the whole world feel and see that things which were cast down are being raised up ; that those which had grown old are being made new ; and that all things are returning to perfection, through him from whom they took their origin, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

E. Milner-White & B.T.D. Smith
Cambridge Offices and Orisons

Wednesday at the Sixth Hour

The Office of Galillee: The Kingdom of God and its Citizens

O God, make speed to save us;
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost ;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

In Pre-Lent and Lent
Praise ye the Lord.
The Lord's Name be praised.

All other times.

The Church of God a kingdom is,
Where Christ in power doth reign,
Where spirits yearn till seen in bliss
Their Lord shall come again.

Glad companies of saints possess
This Church below, above ;
And God's perpetual calm doth bless
Their paradise of love.

An altar stands within the shrine
Whereon, once sacrificed,
Is set, immaculate, divine,
The Lamb of God, the Christ.

There rich and poor, from countless lands,
Praise Christ on mystic Rood ;
There nations reach forth holy hands
To take God's holy Food.

O King, O Christ, this endless grace
To us and all men bring,
To see the vision of thy face
In joy, O Christ, our King.
(The English Hymnal, 488)


Antiphon. Ye are the light of the world : a city set on a hill.

Magnus Dominus.

GREAT is the Lord, and highly to be praised : in the city of our God, even upon his holy hill.
2 The hill of Sion is a fair place, and the hoy of the whole earth : upon the north-side lieth the city of the great King ; God is well known in her palaces as a sure refuge.
3 For lo, the kings of the earth : are gathered, and gone by together.
4 They marvelled to see such things : they were astonished, and suddenly cast down.
5 Fear came there upon them, and sorrow : as upon a woman in her travail.
6 Thou shalt break the ships of the sea : through the east-wind.
7 Like as we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God : God upholdeth the same for ever.
8 We wait for thy loving-kindness, O God : in the midst of thy temple.
9 O God, according to thy Name, so is thy praise unto the world's end ; thy right hand is full of righteousness.
10 Let the mount Sion rejoice, and the daughter of Judah be glad : because of thy judgements.
11 Walk about Sion, and go round about her : and tell the towers thereof.
12 Mark well her bulwarks, set up her houses : that ye may tell them that come after.
13 For this God is our God for ever and ever : he shall be our guide unto death.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost :
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

Antiphon. Ye are the light of the world : a city set on a hill.



JESUS said:
The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the corner.

Thanks be to God.


Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets : Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone :
Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets : Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

Ye also, as living stones, are built up a spiritual house ;
Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
Ye are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets : Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.

The city lieth four square ;
And the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The Lord be with you ;

And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast built thy Church upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner stone ; Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee ; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Lord be with you
And with thy spirit.
Let us bless the Lord ;
Thanks be to God.

(Here shall follow the Intercessions.)

E. Milner-White & B.T.D. Smith
Cambridge Offices and Orisons

13 March 2007

Holy Family, pray for us.

Infant Jesus, have mercy upon us.
O Joseph and Mary, pray for us.

11 March 2007

The Liturgy forms man in wakefulness

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

Msgr. Knox on "Miracles"

"And a miracle-a miracle is a very simple thing by comparison. It happens when, once and again in these long aeons of the world's existence, God expresses His will more directly, by suspending for a moment, at one tiny pin-point of space, the operation of those laws which could have no force and no validity but from Him. Just in the millionth instance God does, without the aid of secondary causes, what He is continually doing by means of secondary causes. Just in the millionth instance He multiplies bread instead of multiplying the wheat. Just in the millionth instance He will have the dew form not everywhere but just here. Is that so much of a privilege to claim for the Omnipotent? Is that impossible with God, with such a God?"

Msgr. Ronald Knox

09 March 2007

For Eastertide

For Steve Collins

Great angels all adore Him

and hearts both brave and true.
Behold the Living Saviour
Who makes creation new!
Though slain from the foundation
of all the world we know,
He triumphs over evil,
and in His steps we go.

Remember how in Egypt
God's people decked the door
with blood from lambs to mark them
their sons Death would passo'er.
The Lamb of God, of Mary
has shed His Blood to sign
the Cross, the Christian's doorway
into the Life divine.

Death's stronghold could not hold Him.
The gates of hell He smashed.
Christ frees from Satan's clutching
all souls His Blood has washed.
From death, alive and risen
in victory to reign,
He soon returns. Behold Him!
Hallelujah! Amen!

Words: Copyright © 1998 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.
Text revision for "Aurelia": Copyright © 2007 Vincent Uher. All rights reserved.

Tune: Aurelia

Save the Liturgy! Save the World!

With thanks to Father Z. for sharing this!

As for me and my house,
We pray for a Motu Proprio for the Sarum Use!

So Vincent, do you pray the Rosary?

Absolutely! It is one of the greatest gifts to us and a most powerful weapon in overcoming evil motions within one's heart as well as in the world. But chiefly it draws us to behold the Lord Jesus Christ through His Mother's eyes. There has never been a more perfect human vision of Jesus than through Mary's sinless eyes and with Mary's immaculate heart.
My method in praying the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary is to pray the traditional fifteen mysteries. If I cannot do this at one time without interruption, I apportion them out through the course of the day. I often use the Rosary Meditations in the Anglo-Catholic St. Augustine's Prayer Book, a true treasure.

I pray the Luminous Mysteries of Pope John Paul II (followed by the Walsingham Litany of Our Lady) at various times and especially when travelling.

On days that are exceedingly busy, it is important to pray more not less.

I always use the Fatima Prayer and the traditional English versions of the prayers I learnt as an Anglo-Catholic child. Sometimes I pray the Rosary in Latin - especially when I feel distracted by my own stray thoughts. I continue to pray for the conversion of Russia through the Immaculate Heart of Mary when offering the Holy Rosary.

In seeking the Face of Christ whilst praying, I say the Jesus Prayer before each Hail Mary in this fashion: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

I hope that answers my kind anonymous Reader's question. God bless.

Mater Dolorosa

08 March 2007

07 March 2007

A Prayer of the Suffering

This is another day, O Lord.
I know not what it will bring forth,
but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be.
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
Make these words more than words,
and give me the Spirit of Jesus.

The Book of Common Prayer 1979

05 March 2007

A Prayer of Humiliation

For the Church or Nation

Dan. ix.

O LORD, the great and dreadful GOD,
which keepest covenant and mercy
with them that love Thee
and keep Thy commandments :
We have sinned and have dealt perversely,
and have done wickedly and have rebelled,
even turning aside from Thy precepts
and from Thy judgements.
O LORD, righteousness belongeth unto Thee,
but unto us confusion of face as at this day,
because we have sinned against Thee.

To the L
belong mercies and forgivenesses,
but we have rebelled against Him :
neither have we obeyed
the voice of the LORD our GOD,
to walk in His laws which He set before us.
O LORD, according to all Thy righteousness,
let Thine anger and Thy fury, I pray Thee,
be turned away ;
because for our sins
and for the iniquities of our fathers
Thy people are become a reproach
to all that are round about us.

Now therefore, O our G
hearken unto the prayer
of Thy servant, and to his supplications,
and cause Thy face to shine
upon Thy sanctuary that is desolate.
O my GOD, incline Thine ear and hear :
open Thine eyes, and behold our desolations,
and the city, which is called by Thy name.
For we do not present our supplications
before Thee for our righteousnesses,
but for Thy great mercies.

ORD, hear : O LORD, forgive :
O LORD, hearken and do : defer not :
For Thine own sake, O my GOD ;
Because Thy city and Thy people are called
by Thy name.

from Sursum Corda
A Handbook of Intercession and Thanksgiving
W.H. Frere & A. A. Illingworth
October 1898

The Month of St. Joseph

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, pray for us.

St. Joseph, terror of demons, pray for us.

Facing God

Turning Towards the Lord

Hymn for Lent 2: O Christ the King

O Christ the King, the royal banners rise.
Thy Cross, thy standard we raise to the skies,
And hail thee, “Lord!” and bow before thine eyes.
Praise_ to Jesus! All praise and glory!

Transfigured thou upon the mountain’s height
Revealed the glory of the Bridegroom’s face
And showed to them thy purpose and thy Light.
Praise_ to Jesus! All praise and glory!

The Cross, thy throne where thou wast lifted high
Embracing all the broken world’s dark heart
Till blood and water gushed when pierced was thine.
Praise_ to Jesus! All praise and glory!

Death could not hold thee, nor a tomb contain,
O Love and Life, who now from heav’n dost reign,
The King of kings, the Lord who healeth pain.
Praise_ to Jesus! All praise and glory!

Copyright © 2006 by Vincent Uher,
Lenten version Copyright
© 2007 by Vincent Uher
This text is sung to the tune Sine Nomine

St. Leo the Great, pray for us.

From the Office of Readings, Second Sunday in Lent, Pope St. Leo the Great on the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

The Lord reveals his glory in the presence of chosen witnesses. His body is like that of the rest of mankind, but he makes it shine with such splendour that his face becomes like the sun in glory, and his garments as white as snow.

The great reason for this transfiguration was to remove the scandal of the cross from the hearts of his disciples, and to prevent the humiliation of his voluntary suffering from disturbing the faith of those who had witnessed the surpassing glory that lay concealed.

With no less forethought he was also providing a firm foundation for the hope of holy Church. The whole body of Christ was to understand the kind of transformation that it would receive as his gift. the members of that body were to look forward to a share in that glory which first blazed out in Christ their head.

The Lord had himself spoken of this when he foretold the splendour of his coming: Then the just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Saint Paul the apostle bore witness to this same truth when he said: I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not to be compared to the future glory that is to be revealed in us. In another place he says: You are dead, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

This marvel of the transfiguration contains another lesson for the apostles, to strengthen them and lead them into the fullness of knowledge. Moses and Elijah, the law and the prophets, appeared with the Lord in conversation with him. This was in order to fulfil exactly, through the presence of these five men, the text which says: Before two or three witnesses every word is ratified. What word could be more firmly established, more securely based, than the word which is proclaimed by the trumpets of both old and new testaments, sounding in harmony, and by the utterances of ancient prophecy and the teaching of the Gospel, in full agreement with each other?

The writings of the two testaments support each other. The radiance of the transfiguration reveals clearly and unmistakably the one who had been promised by signs foretelling him under the veils of mystery. As Saint John says: The law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. In him the promise made through the shadows of prophecy stands revealed, along with the full meaning of the precepts of the law. He is the one who teaches the truth of the prophecy through his presence, and makes obedience to the commandments possible through grace.

In the preaching of the holy Gospel all should receive a strengthening of their faith. No one should be ashamed of the cross of Christ, through which the world has been redeemed.
No one should fear to suffer for the sake of justice; no one should lose confidence in the reward that has been promised. The way to rest is through toil, the way to life is through death. Christ has taken on himself the whole weakness of our lowly human nature. If then we are steadfast in our faith in him and in our love for him, we win the victory that he has won, we receive what he has promised.

When it comes to obeying the commandments or enduring adversity, the words uttered by the Father should always echo in our ears: This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I am well pleased; listen to him.

Mille grazie a Papa Z.
for reminding me of how glorious
the Latin of Pope St. Leo the Great is!

Behold our Lord transfigured

A beautiful post and original hymn by the beloved pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church (Anglican Use) in San Antonio, Texas, Fr. Christopher G. Phillips:

Click on the link above and treat yourself to something wonderful for the week of the Second Sunday in Lent!

04 March 2007

Traditional Anglican Collects for the Second Sunday in Lent

ALMIGHTY God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves; Keep us both outwardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This Collect is to be read every day in Lent after the Collect appointed for the Day.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent; Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer

03 March 2007

"Not my will but Thine be done"

O LORD JESUS CHRIST, who didst die for me and give Thyself for me, grant me the light of Thy Holy Spirit that I may know what Thou wouldst have me to do. I offer myself entirely to Thee to do what seemeth good in Thy sight: not my will but Thine be done. Correct whatsoever Thou seest amiss in me, strengthen my weak resolutions, restrain my wayward desires, remove all hindrances to the fulfilment of Thy will, and give me grace so to follow the leadings of Thy Providence, that my life may be spent to Thy honour and glory, in whatsoever way it pleases Thee, who livest and reignest, GOD for ever and ever. Amen.

A Manual of Devotion
The Rt. Rev. Thos. F. Gailor
Episcopalian Bishop of Tennessee, USA

02 March 2007

Litany for Friday

O Lord, Who didst come to call sinners to repentance,
Call them still and make them answer Thy call.

Be merciful to those who have no cloke for their sin,
But have seen and hated both Thee and Thy FATHER.

Thou Who didst melt the hardness of the thief,
Soften the hearts of all who are impenitent.

Thou Who didst recover the woman that was a sinner,
Recover all those who have fallen away from Thee.

Thou Who didst call Zaccheus from the sycamore tree,
Arouse the careless and arrest the curious.

Thou Who didst speak the words of spirit and of life,
Enlighten the ignorant and teach the unlearned;

Dispel all prejudices, correct all errors,
Establish Thy people in the truth of the gospel.

Thou Who didst call S. Matthew from the receipt of custom,
Deliver many souls from the slavery of the world.

Thou Who didst pray for Thy murderers,
Pity those who oppose Thy rule and persecute Thy servants.

Thou Who didst cast out many devils,
set free many by the power of Thy grace,
who are possessed by the devils of drink and lust.
Deliver the victims of pride and anger, of greed and selfishness.

Thou Who didst satisfy the doubts of S. Thomas,
Deal gently with those who can scarcely believe.

Thou Who didst uplift the sinking S. Peter,
Support all those who are weak and unstable.

Thou Who didst come to proclaim deliverance. to captives,
Pity all prisoners and loose the chain of their sins.

Thou, Who didst heal the impotent man,
Uphold those who are weakened by past sin.

Thou Who didst still the tempest on the lake,
Rebuke the storms of passion and anger,
and bid the waves be still.

Thou Who didst heal the withered hand,
Recover for many the faculties which they have lost,
of prayer and work, of self-control and self-sacrifice.

Thou Who didst make both the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak,
Open deaf ears to Thy message;
Loosen stammering tongues to speak words of penitence.

Thou Who didst put to shame the woman of Samaria,
Reveal to many who are living in sin the shame of their life,
and bring them to repentance.

Thou Who didst raise the dead to life,
Quicken dead souls to the life of righteousness.

Who didst come to save Thy people
from their sins,
Save us, O SAVIOUR.

from Sursum Corda

Advice and warning

A friend noticed that I had bought a number of books from a man who goes by the screen name sacerdote on EBay.

He asked if I would recommend him.

I told my friend, Not in a thousand million years.

If I could I'd bring out the robot from Lost in Space at this point to say:

"Danger. Danger, Will Robinson. Danger."

Avoid sacerdote.

I recommend Christians buy their books elsewhere. A lesson learned from a hard experience.

Lamenting our sins, Acknowledging our brokenness

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made,
and you forgive the sins of all who are penitent:
create and make in us new and contrite hearts,
that we, worthily lamenting our sins,
and acknowledging our brokenness,
may obtain of you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Alternative Collect for Ash Wednesday
Anglican Church of Australia