Saturday, November 22, 2003

For Saturday

From "The Akathist Hymn"

"Hail, O Tabernacle of God the Word!
Hail, O Holy One, more holy than the saints!
Hail, O Ark that the Spirit has gilded!
Hail, Inexhaustible Treasure of Life!
Hail, Precious Crown of rightful authorities!
Hail, Sacred Glory of reverent priests!
Hail, Unshakable Tower of the Church!
Hail, Unbreachable Wall of the Kingdom!
Hail, O you through whom the trophies are raised!
Hail, O you through whom the enemies are routed!
Hail, O healing of my body!
Hail, O salvation of my soul!
Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!

[RESPONSE]: Hail, O Bride and Maiden ever-pure!

KONTAKION (Priest or Cantor)

O Mother worthy of all praise, you who have given birth to the Word, the Holiest of the Holy, accept this present offering, deliver all men from every affliction, and save from the future punishment those who cry out to you: 'Alleluia!' "

Please, please....
somebody in authority, follow Mr. Vere's advice !
The Feast of St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
is today. There is information on her here.. I blogged a poem on her last year. Prayers for all musicians, particularly those who use their gifts to assist at the Sacred Liturgy, would be most welcome. (That would include prayers for your humble webscribe and the choir to which she belongs.) For others who have her as a special patron, especially these wonderful Religious, happy feast day !

"Who has not heard of the abundant favours gained by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, and of the marvellous consequences which have attended the invocation of St. Antony of Padua? These phenomena are sometimes reported of Saints in their lifetime, as well as after their death, especially if they were evangelists or martyrs. The wild beasts crouched before their victims in the Roman amphitheatre; the axe-man was unable to sever St. Cecilia's head from her body, and St. Peter elicited a spring of water for his jailor's baptism in the Mamertine. St. Francis Xavier turned salt water into fresh for five hundred travellers; St. Raymond was transported over the sea on his cloak; St. Andrew shone brightly in the dark; St. Scholastica gained by her prayers a pouring rain; St. Paul was fed by ravens; and St. Frances saw her guardian Angel. I need not continue the catalogue; here what one party urges, the other admits; they join issue over a fact; that fact is the claim of miracles on the part of the Catholic Church; it is the Protestants' charge, and it is our glory." - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., Lectures on the Present Position of Catholics in England

Today is also the feast of a set of fairly recently beatified Martyrs of England, Scotland, and Wales. The anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis is today as well, and in honor of those martyrs who died for Christ's Church and the memory of a great Christian who, alas, did not (despite the hopes of the Professor) find his way into the Catholic Church during in his lifetime, I would suggest that prayers for Christian unity would be appropriate.

Friday, November 21, 2003

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
is today.

"Such, then, is the truth ever cherished in the deep heart of the Church, and witnessed by the keen apprehension of her children, that no limits but those proper to a creature can be assigned to the sanctity of Mary. Therefore, did Abraham believe that a son should be born to him of his aged wife? then Mary's faith must be held as greater when she accepted Gabriel's message. Did Judith consecrate her widowhood to God to the surprise of her people? much more did Mary, from her first youth, devote her virginity. Did Samuel, when a child, inhabit the Temple, secluded from the world? Mary too was by her parents lodged in the same holy precincts, even at the age when children first can choose between good and evil. " - Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O. "On the Fitness of the Glories of Mary", Discourses to Mixed Congregations

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

On November 19, 1876
Venerable John Henry Newman preached a sermon on the First and Second Advents, of which we have the following notes:

" [The First and Second Advents]
1. The mustard seed.

2. The Church between the two comings of Christ.

3. Those comings both awful, Mal. iii, and Mal. xxiv. 29, etc.

4. [But] this difference—the first expected; the latter sudden—Mark xiii.—the ten virgins.

5. The first—Jacob's prophecy [the time fixed, i.e. when the sceptre shall have departed from Judah]—Daniel's 70 weeks=490 years.

6. The second [sudden] like the Flood and [the destruction of] Sodom—Luke xvii. 26-30.

7. Hence 'watch and pray,' Mark xiii.

8. And so St. Paul—a first duty to wait, 1 Thess. i. 10 ['to wait for his son from heaven'], Rom. xii., and Heb. x.

9. But it may be said, What difference between this and waiting for the death of each?

10. Against building and planting—progress.

11. Making this structure and polity of visible society a god to be worshipped, though the individual dies.

12. No, all we see will come to nought, however great and beautiful, Isa. ii. finis."

The Rat of the Week over at the Rat Fan Club
is one tough cookie, as a certain snake found out to its loss.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I think that when he wrote this...
the Venerable was being a bit too hard on himself.....

The Brand of Cain

I bear upon my brow the sign
Of sorrow and of pain;
Alas! no hopeful cross is mine,
It is the brand of Cain.

The course of passion, and the fret
Of godless hope and fear,—
Toil, care, and guilt,—their hues have set,
And fix'd their sternness there.

Saviour! wash out the imprinted shame;
That I no more may pine,
Sin's martyr, though not meet to claim
Thy cross, a saint of Thine.

November 18, 1832.
The Feast of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Virgin
is today. There is information on her here.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Mr. Sullivan at Irish Elk
has links to the Oxford Oratory.
The Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary
is today. There is information on her here.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

For those wondering about Fr. Michael and his attempt at acting as a Subdeacon for that Tridentine Rite Nuptial Mass...
things went well, but not exactly as planned. The one who was supposed to be acting as deacon did not show up, and Fr. Michael had to fill in for him. I will get more details later.
Also, it seems that Fr. Michael ran into a parishoner of St. Blog's while he was in DC - the Man with Black Hat. I'll get more details on that as well.....

The Pittsburgh Secular Oratory doesn't have a webpage
unless my blog counts. However, our brothers and sisters in Philadelphia do have a site, and I have added a link to it on the left.
On November 16th, 1844
Venerable John Henry Newman, who had resigned from the Anglican ministry the previous year but was still struggling with whether he should join the Catholic Church or not, wrote the following in a letter to a friend:

"I am going through what must be gone through; and my trust only is that every day of pain is so much taken from the necessary draught which must be exhausted. There is no fear (humanly speaking) of my moving for a long time yet. This has got out without my intending it; but it is all well. As far as I know myself, my one great distress is the perplexity, unsettlement, alarm, scepticism, which I am causing to so many; and the loss of kind feeling and good opinion on the part of so many, known and unknown, who have wished well to me. And of these two sources of pain it is the former that is the constant, urgent, unmitigated one. I had for days a literal ache all about my heart; and from time to time all the complaints of the Psalmist seemed to belong to me.

And as far as I know myself, my one paramount reason for contemplating a change is my deep, unvarying conviction that our Church is in schism, and that my salvation depends on my joining the Church of Rome. I may use argumenta ad hominem to this person or that; but I am not conscious of resentment, or disgust, at any thing that has happened to me. I have no visions whatever of hope, no schemes of action, in any other sphere more suited to me. I have no existing sympathies with Roman Catholics; I hardly ever, even abroad, was at one of their services; I know none of them, I do not like what I hear of them.

And then, how much I am giving up in so many ways! and to me sacrifices irreparable, not only from my age, when people hate changing, but from my especial love of old associations and the pleasures of memory. Nor am I conscious of any feeling, enthusiastic or heroic, of pleasure in the sacrifice; I have nothing to support me here.

What keeps me yet is what has kept me long; a fear that I am under a delusion; but the conviction remains firm under all circumstances, in all frames of mind. And this most serious feeling is growing on me; viz. that the reasons for which I believe as much as our system teaches, must lead me to believe more, and that not to believe more is to fall back into scepticism.

A thousand thanks for your most kind and consoling letter; though I have not yet spoken of it, it was a great gift."

If it were not Sunday
it would be the feast of several interesting saints, including Agnes of Assisi, Gertrude the Great, Joseph Moscati, and Margaret of Scotland.

Music at the 11:30 am Mass
Processional Hymn: "Jesus Shall Reign"
Offertory: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say"- Thomas Tallis (1505-1585)
Communion: "Ave Verum Corpus" - William Byrd (1543-1623)
Recessional Hymn: "Holy God, We Praise Thy Name"