30 January 2017

An Ancient Preface for the Dedication of a Church


Ancient Preface for the Dedication of a Church

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Lift up your hearts.
R.  We lift them up unto the Lord. 
V. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God. 
R.  It is meet and right so to do.

IT is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks unto thee, O Lord holy, Father Almighty, everlasting God:

WHO as the giver of all good things dwellest in this House of Prayer reared by human hands, and by the unceasing operation of thy grace dost sanctify the Church which thou thyself hast founded. And verily thy Church is the true House of Prayer, of which these visible buildings are but the figures. It is the Temple of the habitation of thy glory, the Throne of unchanging truth, the Holy Place wherein everlasting love abideth. It is the Ark which bringeth us, who are delivered from the deluge of the world, into the haven of salvation. It is the beloved and only Bride which Christ hath purchased with his Blood and quickened by his Spirit; in whose bosom we, who have been regenerated by thy grace, are fed with the milk of the Word, are strengthened with the Bread of Life, and are comforted by the help of thy mercy. This is that Bride that on earth, being holpen by the Bridegroom, fighteth the good fight of faith, and being crowned by him in heaven, singeth the songs of triumphant joy.

AND therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the company of the heavenly host, we sing the majesty of thy glory, evermore praising thee, and saying:

HOLY, HOLY, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest.

An ancient Eucharistic Preface for the Dedication of a Church.

29 January 2017

Uher Hymn: For Candlemas



Now light your lamps, ye Christians wise 
and gather 'neath Christ's Star. 
The Light of lights, the Prince of Peace 
has come here from afar. 
No warrior he, the Word made flesh, 
the Servant of us all, 
the Child whose breathing brings us peace, 
whose heartbeat saves us all. 

God's mother's face reveals his light 
as moon shines by the sun, 
And Joseph's eyes filled full with joy 
gleam bright with God's own Son. 
O Christ our God, true face of God 
now cradled in their arms, 
O please accept what gifts we bring: 
our hearts, our minds, our love. 

Child Jesus, hear our fervent prayer 
for peace to reign on earth;
for great and small, for rich and poor, 
for each to know their worth. 
Though fallen be the human race 
and sin and hate abound,
give peace to all for in each face 
thy image still is found. 

O sing, you blessèd company 
of faithful people. Sing 
for God the Child whose very light 
demands the darkness flee. 
O Trinity of endless light, 
with love our praise we bring 
where Wisdom found a cave for house 
to bring forth earth's true king. 

 Copyright © 2007 Vincent Uher 
 Suggested tune: Forest Green 

Thomas Traherne: The Holy Virgin (Anglican Patrimony)


Previously I posted a phrase from the saintly Thomas Traherne that I thought worth committing to memory on the Solemnity of the Assumption and the octave following.  Today, dear Reader, please allow me to share a bit more of this mid-seventeenth century Anglican Priest-Poet's praise of God for the Holy Virgin.  

Keep in mind that this is written by an Anglican priest in the Church of England a number of centuries ago,  but is it not an expression of praise at the very heart of the teachings of the Apostolic, Catholic, and Orthodox Church of those early centuries after the Out-Pouring and Indwelling of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost?  Is it not one with the same heart of devotion as found in the writings of St. Ephrem, the prayerful petitions of the Litany of Loreto, and the praises of the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos?

Thomas Traherne writes:

"And first, O Lord, I praise and magnify thy Name
For the Most Holy Virgin-Mother of God,
who is the Highest of thy Saints.
The most Glorious of thy Creatures.
The most Perfect of all thy Works.
The nearest unto Thee in the Throne of God.

Whom thou didst please to make
Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son.
Spouse of the Eternal Spirit,
Tabernacle of the most Glorious Trinity.
Mother of Jesus.
Mother of the Messias.
Mother of him who was the Desire of all Nations.
Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Mother of the King of Heaven.
Mother of our Creator.
Mother and Virgin.
Mirror of Humility and Obedience.
Mirror of Wisdom and Devotion.
Mirror of Modesty and Chastity.
Mother of Sweetness and Resignation.
Mirror of Sanctity.
Mirror of all Virtues.
The most illustrious Light in the Church,
wearing over all her beauties the veil of Humility
to shine the more resplendently in thy Eternal Glory ..."

Assumption of the Mother of God by Francesco Botticini


28 January 2017

2 Prayers of Eric Milner-White


           When I pray in my chamber, 
           I build a sanctuary there. 
           When I cast a prayer out upon the street, 
           a spire rises suddenly to the skies. 
           When, without voice, my soul prays in any place, 
           my whole being becomes a church. 
           When my faith kindles and flames into praise
           the whole created world becomes a Minster. 
           Yet none of these were temples except God come to it; 
           and come he will, if so I build. 
           But how much more shall he not come
           to the Altar himself has built?
           whither he has invited, nay bidden us to meet him?
           where he has set out the feats
           and provided his Life for food, 
           his Passion for drink? 
           Here is the temple of temples, 
           the holy of holies, 
           himself the light, himself the altar, 
           himself the host, himself the feast. 
           Here let devotions rise up like incense, 
           here union and communion be made with God, 
           be his abiding here with us
           and ours in Him. 
           Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord; 
           Hosanna in the highest.

           Let me come into the church of God
           to meet the Spirit of God:
           not to give religion an hour,
           but to live in the eternal;
           not to maintain a decorous habit,
           but to bow in the holy place before the Holy One;
           not to judge the words of a preacher,
           but to draw life from the Word and Truth everlasting;
           not to be moved or soothed by music,
           but to sing from the heart divine praises;
           not that mine eyes roam over architecture or congregation,
           but that my soul look up to the King in his beauty,
           and my heart plead the needs of his children;
           not that my thoughts escape out into the world,
           but that they be still, and know that thou art God.

           Let me go, and go again, into the house of the Lord,
           and be gald, and give thanks, and adore,
           my King and my God.

Prayer to the Holy Ghost (St Isidore of Sevilla)

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

San Isidoro de Sevilla

2 Prayers of Eric Milner White (Anglican Patrimony)


O my God,
bring me, even now, to the mansions
which thy Son prepareth for them that love thee.
Every day make me to dwell in the eternal,
and live unto thee.
Let me walk in that heavenly city
of which the Lamb is the light:
let me serve as in the courts
where the Lamb reigneth:
let me follow the Lamb
whithersoever he goeth:
and fear not, cease not, to battle for right
after the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Let my conversation be in heaven
with thy blesséd and beloved,
the whole company of the redeemed;
and with hierarchies of angels
praising, worshipping, and adoring him
that sitteth upon the throne for ever and ever.

Bring us, O Lord God, 
at our last awakening 
into the house and gate of heaven,
to enter into that gate and dwell in that house,
where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling
but one equal light,
no noise nor silence,
but one equal music,
no fears nor hopes
but one equal possession,
no ends nor beginnings,
but one equal eternity,
in the habitations of thy majesty and thy glory,
world without end.

Eric Milner-White
of Memory Eternal

27 January 2017

St Mother Teresa on Human Rights


Human rights are not a privilege conferred by government. They are every human being’s entitlement by virtue of his humanity. The right to life does not depend, and must not be declared to be contingent, on the pleasure of anyone else, not even a parent or a sovereign. 
~Mother Teresa

CS Lewis: The Great Dance (Anglican Patrimony)

“The splendour, the love, and the strength 
be upon you.” 

The extended excerpt printed below comes from C.S. Lewis' Perelandra, one of the books in his Space Trilogy.  I think everyone should read everything C.S. Lewis wrote, but I acknowledge that in this day and age it is unlikely that most of those who read this and other blogs shall have had the time or the inclination to read Lewis' Space Trilogy.  This Trilogy is in many ways the beginning of Science Fiction and Space Fantasy as we know it, but these books are so much more.

The following quotation may prove confusing at first, but imagine you have entered a temple on a non-terrestrial plane and beings greater than yourself are praising the Creator and trying to explain to you how things really are in the Great Creation all about you in this Universe.  Drink in the words, and keep on reading.  One can read it through and then come back and pour over each paragraph.

No one knows the extent of C.S. Lewis' own mystical experiences.  Some have believed that he experienced such things of God that he struggled for language to explain to the average Joe precisely what he had encountered in God.  I think the following passage from Perelandra goes a long way towards touching upon those things that would make certain kinds of christians very, very nervous.  And other believers like me, well, such words delight the soul as they do touch on bright and luminous things of God that are beyond the pages of a sacred book or the precise rendition of liturgical choreography ... the substance of which leads to the very Heart of the Creator of All.

C.S. Lewis writes:

“We would not talk of it like that,” said the first voice. “The Great Dance does not wait to be perfect until the peoples of the Low Worlds are gathered into it. We speak not of when it will begin. It has begun from before always. There was no time when we did not rejoice before His face as now. The dance which we dance is at the centre and for the dance all things were made. Blessed be He!”

Another said, “Never did He make two things the same; never did He utter one word twice. After earths, not better earths but beasts; after beasts, not better beasts but spirits. After a falling, not recovery but a new creation. Out of the new creation, not a third but the mode of change itself is changed for ever. Blessed be He!”

And another said, “It is loaded with Justice as a tree bows down with fruit. All is righteousness and there is no equality. Not as when stones lie side by side, but as when stones support and are supported in an arch, such is His order; rule and obedience, begetting and bearing, heat glancing down, life growing up. Blessed be He!”

One said, “They who add years to years in lumpish aggregation, or miles to miles and galaxies to galaxies, shall not come near His greatness. The day of the fields of Arbol will fade and the days of Deep Heaven itself are numbered. Not thus is He great. He dwells (all of Him dwells) within the seed of the smallest flower and is not cramped: Deep Heaven is inside Him who is inside the seed and does not distend Him. Blessed be He!”

“The edge of each nature borders on that whereof it contains no shadow or similitude. Of many points one line; of many lines one shape; of many shapes one solid body; of many senses and thoughts one person; of three persons, Himself. As in the circle to the sphere, so are the ancient worlds that needed no redemption to that world wherein He was born and died. As is a point to a line, so is that world to the far-off fruits of its redeeming. Blessed be He!” 

“Yet the circle is not less round than the sphere, and the sphere is the home and fatherland of circles. Infinite multitudes of circles lie enclosed in every sphere, and if they spoke they would say, For us were spheres created. Let no mouth open to gainsay them. Blessed be He!” 

“The peoples of the ancient worlds who never sinned, for whom He never came down, are the peoples for whose sake the Low Worlds were made. For though the healing what was wounded and the straightening what was bent is a new dimension of glory, yet the straight was not made that it might be bent nor the whole that it might be wounded. The ancient peoples are at the centre. Blessed be He!”

“All which is not itself the Great Dance was made in order that He might come down into it. In the Fallen World He prepared for Himself a body and was united with the Dust and made it glorious for ever. This is the end and final cause of all creating, and the sin whereby it came is called Fortunate and the world where this was enacted is the centre of worlds. Blessed be He!”

“The Tree was planted in that world but the fruit has ripened in this. The fountain that sprang with mingled blood and life in the Dark World, flows here with life only. We have passed the first cataracts, and from here onward the stream flows deep and turns in the direction of the sea. This is the Morning Star which He promised to those who conquer; this is the centre of worlds. Till now, all has waited. But now the trumpet has sounded and the army is on the move. Blessed be He!”

“Though men or angels rule them, the worlds are for themselves. The waters you have not floated on, the fruit you have not plucked, the caves into which you have not descended and the fire through which your bodies cannot pass, do not await your coming to put on perfection, though they will obey you when you come. Times without number I have circled Arbol while you were not alive, and those times were not desert. Their own voice was in them, not merely a dreaming of the day when you should awake. They also were at the centre. 

“Be comforted, small immortals. You are not the voice that all things utter, nor is there eternal silence in the places where you cannot come. No feet have walked, nor shall, on the ice of Glund; no eye looked up from beneath on the Ring of Lurga; and Ironplain in Neruval is chaste and empty. Yet it is not for nothing that the gods walked ceaselessly around the fields of Arbol. Blessed be He!”

“That Dust itself which is scattered so rare in Heaven, whereof all worlds, and the bodies that are not worlds, are made, is at the centre. It waits not till created eyes have seen it or hands handled it, to be in itself a strength and splendour of Maleldil. Only the least part has served, or ever shall, a beast, a man or a god. But always, and beyond all distances, before they came and after they are gone and where they never come, it is what it is and utters the heart of the Holy One with its own voice. It is farthest from Him of all things, for it has no life, nor sense, nor reason; it is nearest to Him of all things for without intervening soul, as sparks fly out of fire, He utters in each grain of it the unmixed image of His energy. Each grain, if it spoke, would say, I am at the centre; for me all things were made. Let no mouth open to gainsay it. Blessed be He!”

“Each grain is at the centre  The Dust is at the centre  The Worlds are at the centre  The beasts are at the centre. The ancient peoples are there. The race that sinned is there. Tor and Tinidril are there. The gods are there also. Blessed be He!”

“Where Maleldil is, there is the centre  He is in every place. Not some of Him in one place and some in another, but in each place the whole Maleldil, even in the smallness beyond thought. There is no way out of the centre save into the Bent Will which casts itself into the Nowhere. Blessed be He!”

“Each thing was made for Him. He is the centre  Because we are with Him, each of us is at the centre  It is not as in a city of the Darkened World where they say that each must live for all. In His city all things are made for each. When He died in the Wounded World He died not for me, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, he would have done no less. Each thing, from the single grain of Dust to the strongest eldil, is the end and the final cause of all creation and the mirror in which the beam of His brightness comes to rest and so returns to Him. Blessed be He!”

“In the plan of the Great Dance plans without number interlock, and each movement becomes in its season the breaking into flower of the whole design to which all else had been directed. Thus each is equally at the centre and none are there by being equals, but some by giving place and some by receiving it, the small things by their smallness and the great by their greatness, and all the patterns linked and looped together by the unions of a kneeling with a sceptred love. Blessed be He!”

“He has immeasurable use for each thing that is made, that His love and splendour may flow forth like a strong river which has need of a great watercourse and fills alike the deep pools and the little crannies, that are filled equally and remain unequal, and when it has filled them brim full it flows over and makes new channels. We also have need beyond measure of all that He has made. Love me, my brothers, for I am infinitely necessary to you and for your delight I was made. Blessed be He!”

“He has no need at all of anything that is made. An eldil is not more needful to Him than a grain of the Dust: a peopled world nor more needful than a world that is empty: but all needless alike, and what all add to Him is nothing. We also have no need of anything that is made. Love me, my brothers, for I am infinitely superfluous, and your love shall be like His, born neither of your need nor of my deserving, but a plain bounty. Blessed be He!”

“All things are by Him and for Him. He utters Himself also for His own delight and sees that He is good. He is His own begotten and what proceeds from Him is Himself. Blessed be He!”

“All that is made seems planless to the darkened mind, because there are more plans than it looked for. In these seas there are islands where the hairs of the turf are so fine and so closely woven together that unless a man looked long at them he would see neither hairs nor weaving at all, but only the same and the flat. So with the Great Dance. Set your eyes on one movement and it will lead you through all patterns and it will seem to you the master movement. But the seeming will be true. Let no mouth open to gainsay it. There seems no plan because it is all plan: there seems no centre because it is all center. Blessed be He!”

“Yet this seeming also is the end and final cause for which He spreads out Time so long and Heaven so deep; lest if we never met the dark, and the road that leads no whither, and the question to which no answer is imaginable, we should have in our minds no likeness of the Abyss of the Father, into which if a creature drop down his thoughts for ever he shall hear no echo return to him. Blessed, blessed, blessed be He!”

And now, by a transition which he did not notice, it seemed that what had begun as speech was turned into sight, or into something that can be remembered only as if it were seeing. He thought he saw the Great Dance. It seemed to be woven out of the intertwining undulation of many cords or bands of light, leaping over and under one another and mutually embraced in arabesques and flowerlike subtleties.

Each figure as he looked at it became the master figure or focus of the whole spectacle, by means of which his eye disentangled all else and brought it into unity— only to be itself entangled when he looked to what he had taken for mere marginal decorations and found that there also the same hegemony was claimed, and the claim made good, yet the former pattern not thereby dispossessed but finding in its new subordination a significance greater than that which it had abdicated.

He could see also (but the word “seeing” is now plainly inadequate) wherever the ribbons or serpents of light intersected, minute corpuscles of momentary brightness: and he knew somehow that these particles were the secular generalities of which history tells— peoples, institutions, climates of opinion, civilisations, arts, sciences, and the like— ephemeral coruscations that piped their short song and vanished.

The ribbons or cords themselves, in which millions of corpuscles lived and died, were things of some different kind. At first he could not say what. But he knew in the end that most of them were individual entities. If so, the time in which the Great Dance proceeds is very unlike time as we know it. Some of the thinner and more delicate cords were beings that we call short-lived: flowers and insects, a fruit or a storm of rain, and once (he thought) a wave of the sea. Others were such things as we also think lasting: crystals, rivers, mountains, or even stars.

Far above these in girth and luminosity and flashing with colours from beyond our spectrum were the lines of the personal beings, and yet as different from one another in splendour as all of them from all the previous class. But not all the cords were individuals; some were universal truths or universal qualities. It did not surprise him then to find that these and the persons were both cords and both stood together against the mere atoms of generality which lived and died in the clashing of their streams: but afterwards, when he came back to earth, he wondered.

And by now the thing must have passed altogether out of the region of sight as we understand it. For he says that the whole solid figure of these enamoured and interinanimated circlings was suddenly revealed as the mere superficies of a far vaster pattern in four dimensions, and that figure as the boundary of yet others in other worlds: till suddenly as the movement grew yet swifter, the interweaving yet more ecstatic, the relevance of all to all yet more intense, as dimension was added to dimension and that part of him which could reason and remember was dropped farther and farther behind that part of him which saw, even then, at the very zenith of complexity, complexity was eaten up and faded, as a thin white cloud fades into the hard blue burning of the sky, and a simplicity beyond all comprehension, ancient and young as spring, illimitable, pellucid, drew him with cords of infinite desire into its own stillness. He went up into such a quietness, a privacy and a freshness that at the very moment when he stood farthest from our ordinary mode of being he had the sense of stripping off encumbrances and awaking from trance, and coming to himself. With a gesture of relaxation he looked about him. . . .

C.S. Lewis
The Macmillan Company

“The splendour, the love, and the strength 
be upon you.” 


A Litany of Our Lady of Sorrows [Anglican Patrimony]

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

Prayer: Jesus Our Master


Jesus, our Master, 
meet us while we walk in the way, 
and long to reach the heavenly country; 
so that, following Your light 
we may keep the way of righteousness, 
and never wander away 
into the darkness of this world's night, 
while You, 
who are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, 
are shining within us; 
for Your own Name's sake. Amen.


Of Darkness and Prayer (Anglican Patrimony)


“And what can possibly be the meaning of this coldness and darkness of the soul? Surely it is God’s test. How should we ever grow without tests? We say to God, ‘I want Thee more than I can say.’ 

God replies, ‘Do you really want Me?’ 

And straightaway in our prayers we find darkness and coldness, and the numbing loss of energy. 

If we were speaking the truth, we go on praying in spite of it; if we were not, we stop. And if we go on praying, the darkness becomes not a hindrance but a help, for the measure by which God values our prayers is the amount of desire in them, and it shows much greater desire to pray in darkness than in the light. 

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

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


26 January 2017

Eucharistical Prayers of Charles Henry Brent (Anglican Patrimony)

"With God in Prayer"

Christ of the Passion, who at the Last Supper didst bequeath to the Church a perpetual memorial of the Sacrifice of the Cross, help us in this holy Sacrament steadfastly to contemplate Thy redeeming love, that we may ever be mindful of the price wherewith Thou hast bought us; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God world without end. Amen.

O Christ of the Eucharist, who in a special manner dost manifest Thyself to Thy people in the Sacrament of Thy body and blood, make Thyself known to us in the Breaking of the Bread, that by faith we may clearly see Thy form and humbly adore Thy presence, who art God forever and ever. Amen.

O Living Bread, that camest down from heaven to give abundant life to the world, in this Sacrament of the holy food, feed us with Thy body and Thy blood, that we may live in Thy life, labor in Thy strength and inherit Thy joy; who livest and reignest, God, world without end. Amen.

Grant, O Son of God, that as Thou and the Father are one, so we Thy people may be bound together in Thee, Unite in mutual forbearance, loyalty, and brotherly kindness, us Thy brethren who are fellow-guests at this Thy Table, that we, being moved by the common impulse of Thine eternal purpose, may promote the peace of Thy Kingdom in the daily interminglings of our common life; whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost we worship and glorify as God forever and ever. Amen. 

Charles Henry Brent
PECUSA Bishop of the Philipinne Islands (1902-1918)
PECUSA Bishop of Western New York (1918-1929)
Memorial: Episcopal Church, March 27
Memorial: Philippine Episcopal Church, August 25

+Laus Deo!

Anglican Patrimony: O JESUS Living in Mary


O JESUS, living in Mary,
come and live in thy servants,
in the spirit of thy holiness,
in the fullness of thy might,
in the truth of thy virtues,
in the perfection of thy ways,
in the communion of thy mysteries.
Subdue every hostile power
in thy spirit,
for the glory of the Father.

Saint Gianna Berretta Molla


Saint Gianna Berretta Molla, pray for us.

Saint Gianna Berretta Molla, pray for my country.

Saint Gianna Berretta Molla, pray that we may receive the grace 
to confess our sins and receive the forgiveness of God our Creator 
through the Precious Blood of the Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, 
His beloved Son and our Living Lord and Saviour.

St Gianna Berretta Molla, pray for us.

Saint Gianna Berretta Molla : Biography (The Vatican)

Saint Gianna Berretta Molla : Saint Gianna Physicians Guild

Saint Gianna Berretta Molla : The Society of St Gianna

Quotations from Saint Gianna

"Whatever God wants".

"If one were to consider how much Jesus has suffered, one would not commit the smallest sin".

"When one does one's own duty, one must not be concerned, because God's help will not be lacking".

"Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God".

"The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for all that He, in His goodness, sends to us day after day".

"God's Providence is in all things, it's always present".

"Lord, keep Your grace in my heart. Live in me so that Your grace be mine. Make it that I may bear every day some flowers and new fruit".

"One earns Paradise with one's daily task".

"Why do you not succeed in doing good? It's because you do not pray enough".

"Also in suffering, let us say: Thanks be to God".

+Laus Deo

Prince Hans-Adam II: "The State in the 3rd Millennium"

In 2014, I printed the following in this blog and am now re-reading the book by Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. As the general populace of the West is increasingly rejecting the globalist model of state-directed and state-driven governance, the Prince's evaluations and ideas are very valuable as a part of considering alternatives that are faithful to the Gospel of Christ.

+ + +

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 inefficient 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.]

21 January 2017

Saint Vincent, Protomartyr of Spain

Feastday: January22 

Hard by the Holy Well, there is a major relic of St. Vincent of Saragossa in the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. This was always a cause for joy for me to see a ferretory bearing a relic of my patron saint so close to the Holy Well and the Holy House in the Anglican shrine at Walsingham.

Now some men named 'Vincent' are given the name because of other saints such as St. Vincent de Paul or St. Vincent Ferrer, but the very first saint in the Catholic Church named Vincent was the first Holy Martyr of Spain. From Wikipedia we gather the following about the great preaching saint:

St. Vincent, the protomartyr of Spain, is variously called Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Vincent of Huesca, Vincent the Deacon, or St. Vincent Martyr. He is the patron saint of Lisbon. His feast day is January 22 in the Roman Catholic Church, and November 11 in the Eastern Orthodox Churches. He was born at Huesca and martyred under the Emperor Diocletian around the year 304.

Vincent served as the deacon of Valerius of Saragossa, the city's bishop. Imprisoned in Valencia for his faith, and tortured on a gridiron, Vincent, like many early martyrs in the early hagiographic literature, succeeded in converting his jailer. Though he was finally offered release if he would consign Scripture to the fire, Vincent refused.

The earliest account of Vincent's martyrdom is in a carmen (lyric poem) written by the poet Prudentius, who wrote a series of lyric poems, Peristephanon ("Crowns of Martyrdom"), on Hispanic and Roman martyrs. Prudentius describes how Vincent was brought to trial along with his bishop Valerius, and that since Valerius had a speech impediment, Vincent spoke for both, but that his outspoken fearless manner so angered the governor that Vincent was tortured and martyred, though his aged bishop was only exiled.

According to legend, after being martyted, ravens protected St. Vincent's body from being devoured by wild animals, until his followers could recover the body. His body was taken to what is now known as Cape St. Vincent; a shrine was erected over his grave, which continued to be guarded by flocks of ravens. King Alfonso Henriques (1139-1185) had the body of the Saint exhumed in 1173 and brought it by ship to the Monastery of São Vicente de Fora in Lisbon. This transfer of the relics is depicted on the coat of arms of Lisbon.

Three elaborated hagiographies, all based ultimately on a lost 5th century Passion, circulated in the Middle Ages.

Though Vincent's tomb in Valencia became the earliest center of his cult, he was also honoured at his birthplace and his reputation spread from Saragossa. The city of Oviedo in Asturias grew about the church dedicated to Vincent.

Beyond the Pyrenees, he was venerated first in the vicinity of Béziers, and at Narbonne. Castres became an important stop on the international pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela when the relics of Vincent were transferred to its new abbey-church dedicated to Saint Benedict from Saragossa in 863, under the patronage of Salomon, count of Cerdanya.

When the Catholic bishops of Visigothic Iberia succeeded in converting King Reccared and his nobles to Trinitarian Christianity they built the cathedral of Córdoba in honour of Vincent. When the Moors came, in 711, the church was razed and its materials incorporated in the Mezquita, the "Great Mosque" of Cordoba.

Vincent is also the patron of vintners and vinegar-makers.

And finally, as Saint Vincent is my patron saint that makes today my Saint's Name Day! May we by grace share in the perseverance of St. Vincent and so never tire to bear witness to Christ the Eternal Word. So let us all remember the good Saint Vincent -- the first in Spain to lay down his life for the sake of the Lord of Life, our Saviour Jesus Christ -- and ask him to pray for us and to intercede for the entire Diaconate in Christ. Amen.

Good St. Vincent Martyr,
pray for us
who are named for thee.

+Laus Deo.