Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dominica I in Quadragesima: "Ductus est Iesus in desertum...

...a Spiritu, ut tentaretur a diabolo. Et cum ieiunasset quadraginta diebus et quadraginta noctibus, postea esuriit."

"My bread is to do the will of Him who sent me."

"The temptation in the desert shows Jesus, the humble Messiah, who triumphs over Satan by his total adherence to the plan of salvation willed by the Father." (CCC 566)

Deus, qui Ecclesiam tuam annua Quadragesimali observatione purificas: praesta familiae tuae; ut quod a te obtinere abstinendo nititur, hoc bonis operibus exsequatur.
Per Dominum
nostrum Iesum Christum Filium qui tecum, vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for Dominica I in Quadragesima.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tempus Quadragesimae

Lent is the approximately forty day period celebrated by the Church each year to prepare for the Lord's resurrection at Easter. All Catholics between the ages of 18 and not yet 59 are bound by precept of the Church to abstention from meat on Ash Wednesday and on all the Fridays of Lent, and fasting on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Fasting, at a minimum, means eating one full meal and two other, smaller, meals together which do not constitute a second full meal. Catholics age 14 up to those not yet 18, and age 59 up to those not yet 80 are bound only by the rules of abstinence from meat. Fasting and abstinence should always be accompanied by prayer, whether privately or publicly at daily Mass. The Church also requires what has come to be called the "Easter duty", which means every Catholic who has made their first Confession must receive this Sacrament of forgiveness at least once a year, during the Lenten season.

The great forty days fast, "begun under the Law and the Prophets and hallowed by Christ himself" (hymn at Matins) has always been one of the essential practices of Lent. The liturgy alludes to it continually and the Lenten preface reminds us of it at every Mass during this season. But fasting goes hand in hand with prayer. Like all the penitential exercises of Lent, it is offered to God in union with the sacrifice of the Cross, renewed daily at Mass.

Every day of Lent has its proper Mass, because, in fact, the whole Christian community in Rome used formerly to be present at Mass daily during Lent. It is for this reason also that each of these Masses has a stationed church -- the Church at which the Mass was celebrated for the community. Even nowadays the Lenten stations arouse much interest in Rome, and the whole Latin Church, which by the celebration of the stational Mass unites its intention with the keeping of Lent at the center of the Christian world.

At other seasons of the year there are ordinarily feasts of saints celebrated during the week; during Lent, it is the Proper of the season, devoted entirely to the mysteries of Christ, which should dominate the interest of the faithful. That indeed is the precise intention of the Church, and it is one worthy of our respect. The Sundays of Lent are Sundays of the first class: their Mass is always said. Ash Wednesday is a first class ferial day which gives way to no other Mass. The Ember days are second class ferial days which take precedence even over local feasts of the second class. The other ferial days of Lent are of the third class and take precedence over Commemorations and feasts of the third class, which can no longer be kept in Lent. When another Mass is said, the Mass of the ferial days is always commemorated.

Every ferial Mass of Lent has, after the Postcommunion, a Prayer over the people, before which is said: "Bow down your heads before God." The penitential character of this season is emphasized by the silence of the organ. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the penitential tract of Ash Wednesday is repeated: "Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed." The suppression of the 'Gloria in excelsis' and 'Alleluia' is maintained, the celebrant and ministers are vested in violet, and the deacon and subdeacon wear folded chasubles in place of the dalmatic and tunicle, which are symbols of joy.

-- The Saint Andrew Missal

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feria IV Cinerum: "Amplius lava me"

Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.
Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum, dele iniquitatem meam.
Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea: et a peccato meo munda me.
Quoniam iniquitatem meam ego cognosco: et peccatum meum contra me est semper.
Tibi soli peccavi, et malum coram te feci: ut iustificeris in sermonibus tuis, et vincas cum iudicaris.
Ecce enim in iniquitatibus conceptus sum: et in peccatis concepit me mater mea.
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti: incerta et occulta sapientiae tuae manifestasti mihi.
Asperges me hyssopo, et mundabor: lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Auditui meo dabis gaudium et laetitiam: et exultabunt ossa humiliata.
Averte faciem tuam a peccatis meis: et omnes iniquitates meas dele.
Cor mundum crea in me, Deus: et spiritum rectum innova in visceribus meis.
Ne proicias me a facie tua: et spiritum sanctum tuum ne auferas a me.
Redde mihi laetitiam salutaris tui: et spiritu principali confirma me.
Docebo iniquos vias tuas: et impii ad te convertentur.
Libera me de sanguinibus, Deus, Deus salutis meae: exsultabit lingua mea iustitiam tuam.
Domine, labia mea aperies: et os meum adnuntiabit laudem tuam.
Quoniam si voluisses sacrificium, dedissem utique: holocaustis non delectaberis.
Sacrificium Deo spiritus contribulatus: cor contritum, et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.
Benigne fac, Domine, in bona voluntate tua Sion: ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem.
Tunc acceptabis sacrificium iustitiae, oblationes, et holocausta: tunc imponent super altare tuum vitulos

-- Ad Laudes II, Feria IV Cinerum, Breviarium Romanum

Praesta Domine fidelibus tuis: ut jejuniorum veneranda solemnia, et congrua pietate suscipiant, et secura devotione percurrant.

Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum, vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for Ash Wednesday.

(Photo by mcitl: Eric burning palms to prepare for Ash Wednesday. The Sacramentary directs: "The ashes used today come from the branches blessed the preceding year for Passion Sunday".)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

S. MATTHIAE APOSTOLI: "Et statuerunt...Matthiam"

"Et statuerunt duos, Ioseph, qui vocabatur Barsabas, qui cognominatus est Iustus: et Matthiam"
- De Actibus Apostolorum"
, Cap. I, 23

"Si duodecim stellas ibi sunt, non est ubi sedeat tertius decimus Paulus Apostolus et non erit quomodo judicet: et ipse se judicaturum dixit, non homines tantum, sed et angelos. Quos angelos, nisi apostatas angelos? Nescitis, inquit, quia angelos judicabimus? Responderet ergo turba: Quid te jactas judicaturum? Ubi sedebis? Duodecim sedes dixit Dominus duodecim Apostolis: unus cecidit Judas, in locum ipsius sanctus Matthias ordinatus est; impletus est duodendrius numerus sedium: Primo locum inveni, ubi sedeas, et sic te minare judicaturum. Duodecim ergo sedes quid sibi velint, videamus. Sacramentum est cujusdam universitatis, quia per totum orbem terrarum futura erat Ecclesia: unde vocatur hoc aedificium ad Christi compagem."

-- De Expositione sancti Augustini Episcopi super Psalmum octogesimum sextum, S. Matthiae Apostoli Ad Matutinum, Breviarium Romanum

(Photo: Sankt Matthias Abbey, Trier.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Aeterna gaudia consequamur


Concede nos quesumus omnipotens Deus beati Petri confessoris tui atque Pontificis monita et exempla sectari: ut per terrestrium rerum conceptum aeterna gaudia consequamur.

Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum, vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Viva il Papa! All called to "fervent prayer" for him today

.- Saying Pope Benedict XVI has been “unjustly attacked,” the head of the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has called for this Sunday, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, to be a day of fervent prayer for the Holy Father.

“Pope Benedict XVI has been unjustly attacked. There has been a resurgence of the unsavoury and aggressive attitudes that many thought belonged to the past,” Fr. Joaquín Alliende, International President of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) said on Friday.

Referring to “serious errors” in “certain bodies within the Holy See,”Fr. Alliende’s statement claimed “these acknowledged mistakes have been seized upon to launch an astonishing avalanche of attacks.”

“The dignity of the papacy and the person of Benedict XVI himself have been crudely insulted. Many people have manipulated the facts, while others have frivolously abandoned the important fundamentals of our humanist tradition.

“This unworthy dealing with the truth does grave damage to the dialogue between civil society and the great religions. It is a sign of cultural degeneration.”

Fr. Alliende warned that “old sectarian emotions” are being revived and that there has been an attempt to undermine “an irreprochable moral figure, one of the great beacons of hope for coming generations.”

Despite these “strident attacks,” Fr. Alliende said Pope Benedict’s personality “emerges untouched” as a figure who “incarnates rationality, lucid wisdom and courteous kindness.”

Read the full article here.

Quinquagesima Sunday: "as 'in a mirror, dimly' "

Only Christians can accept suffering not as the punishment of an angry God, but as the inescapable consequence of original sin.

"Now, however, 'we walk by faith, not by sight'; (2 Cor 5:7) we perceive God as 'in a mirror, dimly' and only 'in part.' (1 Cor 13:12) Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith is often lived in darkness and can be put to the test. The world we live in often seems very far from the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice, and death, seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation against it." (CCC 164)

"In solidarity with the blessed Passion of the Lord, every human person can accept suffering as a gift and aing as a gift and a grace unto salvation. In particular this is made possible by the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. One of the effects of the sacrament is of union with the passion of Christ."
(CCC 1521)

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for Quinquagesima Sunday.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Crescite, et multiplicamini, et replete terram."

Confitebor tibi quia terribiliter magnificatus es: mirabilia opera tua, et anima mea cognoscit nimis.
Non est occultatum os meum a te, quod fecisti in occulto et substantia mea in inferioribus terrae.
Imperfectum meum viderunt oculi tui, et in libro tuo omnes scribentur: die formabuntur, et nemo in eis.
Mihi autem nimis honorificati sunt amici tui, Deus: nimis confirmati sunt principatus eorum.
Dinumerabo eos, et super arenam multiplicabuntur: exsurrexi et adhuc sum tecum.

Si occideris, Deus, peccatores: et viri sanguinum declinate a me:
Quia dicitis in cogitatione: Accipient in vanitate civitates tuas.
Nonne qui oderunt te, Domine, oderam? et super inimicos tuos tabescebam?
Perfecto odio oderam illos: et inimici facti sunt mihi.
Proba me, Deus, et scito cor meum: interroga me, et cognosce semitas meas.
Et vide, si via iniquitatis in me est: et deduc me in via aeterna.

Psalmus 138(14-24), Breviarium Romanum, Feria sexta ad Vesperas

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Profound disappointment!

A profound disappointment: the "beautiful birth" of an orthodoxy merely on paper in the Church is completely undermined by the emasculation of the liturgy accomplished by rampant abuses, innovations and aberrations.

The great work on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, so heralded as a sign of hope and new birth in the Church, has been rendered "stillborn" by the heterodox attacks upon the "letter" of faith, the false and malevolent "spirit" evident in the campaign of attacks upon the liturgy that grows apace.

God have mercy upon all those who are false, traitors to the faith of Jesus Christ our Lord and His true vicars on earth, Benedict and his predecessors.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"A flag in the wind"

Fr Wagner's parishioners slam Bishop of Linz

"We would like to take this opportunity to express our lack of understanding of the Diocesan Bishop. First he was pleased that the Holy Father had placed at his side, in the person of our parish priest, such a good man as auxiliary bishop. Then, however, when considering his withdrawal, he is suddenly relieved. Just one comparison strikes us: A flag in the wind always turns towards the side from where the best wind is coming."

Thanks to Catholic Church Conservation and

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Holy Father under attack in Austria, Germany

Make no mistake about it, the fierce outcry against the Holy Father's epsicopal appointments and initiatives to bring unity within the Church are a personal attack.

Holy Father Benedict has declared war against an orthodoxy that exists only on paper but not in liturgy or life. For years we have produced orthodox catechisms and documents ad nauseum while the liturgy is gutted, manipulated and deformed into an unrecognizable mess. This ruin of the Church's prayer has resulted in a ruin of the Church's life, with Catholics leaving in droves for other versions of a Christianity without the Cross, of which there are many. A betrayal of the Cross of Christ is a betrayal against the Church herself, an evisceration of the Body of Christ which must be faithful to the whole Gospel or to none of it. There is no middle way: "If you are lukewarm I will spit you out of my mouth".

Benedict XVI has declared war on the toothless version of Christianity that has gutted Holy Mother Church in the name of a supposed "spirit of Vatican II" which has laid waste to the praxis of Holy Faith in liturgy and life. There is no such thing as a "spirit of the Council" which sets itself up in opposition to the letter of that same Council without disastrous results.

Vociferous opposition to Vatican decisions is a ruse and thinly veils the real objective which is an attack upon the Pope by those who have placed themselves on the opposing side in the battle for the life of the Church. God grant them the grace to see the true danger in which they stand by opposing the Vicar of Christ.

Pray for the Holy Father
. God grant him strength in the battle, length of life and victory over his enemies.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Novena for the Holy Father

V. Orémus pro Pontífice nostro Benedícto.

R. Dóminus consérvet eum, et vivíficet eum, et beátum fáciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in ánimam inimicórum eius.

-- Preces, Breviarium Romanum.

Pray for the Pope February 14 - 22. Details here

Dominica Sexagesima: be "terra bona."

"Semen cecidit in terram bonam, et attulit fructum, aliud centesimum, et aliud sexagesimum."

Be "good soil": "those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience"
(Luke 8, 15)

How to "hold fast"? How to "bring forth fruit"? Through prayer.

"The tradition of Christian prayer is one of the ways in which the tradition of faith takes shape and grows, especially through the contemplation and study of believers who treasure in their hearts the events and words of the economy of salvation, and through their profound grasp of the spiritual realities they experience." (CCC 2651)

Deus, qui conspicis, quia ex nulla nostra actione confidimus: concede propitius; ut contra adversa omniaDoctoris Gentium protectione muniamur.
Per Dominum
nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum, vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for Dominica Sexagesima.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Season of Septuagesima

With the season of Septuagesima begins the second cycle of the Church's year.

The Christmas cycle is centered round the birth of our Saviour; the Easter cycle is centered round his passion and Resurrection. In both, however, the theme is the same - the radical transformation of our lives by Christ's coming into this world. But whereas Christmas represents salvation coming from on high, the transformation of our life by the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word, Easter is salvation won by our Lord Jesus Christ's passion and death. Christmas means the coming of our Saviour-already we experience the joy of being saved, since our Saviour has come among us. Easter means our Lord in conflict with the devil and the powers of evil from which he issues triumphant, crushing Satan and rising in glory taking us in his wake to our heavenly home; Easter means the redemption of man obtained at the price of the cross.

The liturgical season which begins with Septuagesima and continues until the end of Lent is marked as a period of struggle and toil which we must undergo with Christ, leading, by his grace, to the victory and triumphant joy of Easter. On the days after Easter comes the gladness of the baptized raised up with Christ to a new life. Taken as a whole the Easter cycle puts before us the most fundamental and striking aspect of our life: men's sin and weakness expiated and mastered by Christ's redemption. It reminds us that Christ came to us as our Redeemer; we need redemption. And it is as the redeemed that our real realtionship with God is to be found; the felix culpa of the Easter vigil has no other meaning than the overflowing joy of the redeemed who exult in their redemption.

(St. Andrew Missal)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dominica Septuagesima: "In principio creavit Deus caelum et terram" fecit in ea hominem."

"God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life." (CCC 1)

"For many are called, but few are chosen." (Mt. 20, 16)

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy offers a reflection for Dominica Septuagesima.

(Photo: Detail, Creation by Michelangelo, Sixtine Chapel.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

North American Distribution of FSSP 1962 Breviarium Romanum

North American readers may be pleased to learn that Preserving Christian Publications is now selling the new edition of the 1962 Breviarium Romanum that was jointly produced by German publisher Nova et Vetera and the FSSP.

Thanks to The NLM.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto

Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

-- Breviarium Romanum, De precibus, divini Officii ad Laudes et Vesperas

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ave, Regina caelorum


2. - A die 2 februarii usque ad feriam IV Hebdomadae sanctae inclusive:

V. Dignare me laudare te, Virgo sacrata.
R. Da mihi virtutem contra hostes tuos.
Oremus: Concede, misericors Deus, fragilitati nostrae praesidium: ut, qui sanctae Dei Genitricis memoriam agimus; intercessionis eius auxilio, a nostris iniquitatibus resurgamus. Per eundem Christum Dominum nostrum. Amen.

In Purificatione B. Mariae Virginis: "Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuæ Israel"

Nunc dimittis servum tuum Domine secundum verbum tuum in pace
Quia viderunt oculi mei salutare tuum
Quod parasti ante faciem omnium populorum
Lumen ad revelationem gentium et gloriam plebis tuae Israel.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, majestatem tuam supplices exoramus: ut, sicut unigenitus Filius tuus hodierna die cum nostrae carnis substantia in templo est praesentatus; ita nos facias purificatis tibi mentibus praesentari.
Per eundem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.