Wednesday, 11 December 2019
"And now, in heaven, a great portent appeared; a woman that wore the sun for her mantle, with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars about her head." - Apocalypse 12:1
The term Rorate comes from the first word of the Introit of the Votive Mass for Our Lady in Advent, which is what this is. In Northern Europe during the medieval era, Rorate Masses were done in the early morning in almost complete darkness, hence its association of being said by candleight in our time. (The Propers for the Mass can be found here.)
This Saturday, please feel welcome to attend either one of these Masses - although a treat is in store for those who attend the Sung Mass.
May the grace of God fill us all as we enter the closing days of Advent.
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
The first is one called The Camp of Saints. It is run by a local man. He is a newish convert - he only entered the Church in 2017 - but he has taken to the Faith with a sense of passion I used to have. He is fairly active on Twitter, and you can look him up here at @jamesdcos.
The second is A Sign of Hope. It is run by Charlie Johnston. While I do not know anything about Mr. Johnston other than his name, I am impressed by his posts, which speak to a man given to deep introspection and erudition.
The third and final blog is run by Matt Livermore. You can access it here. I came across Mr. Livermore when he was publicising some beautiful artwork. One example is below. I have only just come across the blog he runs, and am impressed.
In these time of ours, sincere Catholics need to support one another - even if it is as simple as putting a blog on a blog-reader.
Saturday, 7 December 2019
Dear Catholic friends, next Saturday, December 14th, the early morning traditional Rorate Mass will be celebrated in two locations in the Toronto area.
Please attend, and bring family, friends, and those interested in discovering the Truth.
Friday, 6 December 2019
St. Nicholas still remains a a very important saint for a number of Nations. In central-north Europe, as well as the eastern European Nations who are predominantly Orthodox, the holy bishop is deeply venerated.
President Vladimir Putin, venerating relics of St. Nicholas
Sadly, this great man is but a mere "memorial" in the Latin calendar (including the pre-conciliar calendar). In the decadent West he has been twisted from a saintly bishop into a Nordic pagan Bacchus.
|St. Nicholas and "Black Peter", his Moorish assistant. |
A Polish tradition.
To all readers who still retain a devotion to St. Nicholas, a happy, joyous Feast Day. Now say a prayer to St. Nicholas, and look under your pillow for some sweets!
Thursday, 5 December 2019
Last night, I chanced upon these words from The Imitation of Christ:
Look upon the lively examples of the holy Fathers in whom shone real perfection and the religious life, and you will see how little it is, and almost nothing that we do. Alas, what is our life when we compare it with theirs? Saints and friends of Christ, they served our Lord in hunger and in thirst, in cold, in nakedness, in labor and in weariness in watching, in fasting, prayers and holy meditations, and in frequent persecutions and reproaches. Oh, how many grievous tribulations did the Apostles suffer and the martyrs and Confessors and Virgins, and all the rest who resolved to follow the steps of Christ! For they hated their lives in this world, that they might keep them in life everlasting. Oh, what a strict and self-renouncing life the holy Fathers of the desert led! What long and grievous temptations did they bear! How often were they harassed by the enemy, what frequent and fervent prayer did they offer up to God, what rigorous abstinence did they practice!
What a valiant contest waged they to subdue their imperfections! What purity and straight forwardness of purpose kept them towards God! By day they labored, and much of the night they spent in prayer; though while they labored, they were far from leaving off mental prayer, They spent all their time profitably. Every hour seemed short to spend with God; and even their necessary bodily refreshment was forgotten in the great sweetness of contemplation. They renounced all riches, dignities, honor and kindred; they hardly took what was necessary for life. It grieved them to serve the body even in its necesssity. Accordingly, they were poor in earthly things, but very rich in grace and virtues.In this holy season of Advent, let us seek perfection as the Church Fathers did - and many after them.
A good start towards this end would be to follow the request made by four exorcists in the wake of the Amazonian Synod - to offer up tomorrow, December 6th, as a day of fasting in reparation for the sins committed during that Synod.
More information can be found here.
A blessed Advent to all of our readers.
Monday, 2 December 2019
Apologies for being a day late.
This Sunday, the first of the ecclesiastical year, is called, in the chronicles and charts of the middle ages, Ad te levavi Sunday, from the first words of the Introit; or, Aspiciens a longe, from the first words of one of the responsories of Matins.
The Station * is at St. Mary Major’s. It is under the auspices of Mary - in the splendid basilica which possesses the crib of Bethlehem, and is therefore called, in ancient documents, St. Mary’s ad Praesepe - that the Roman Church recommences, each year, the sacred cycle. It would have been impossible to select a place more suitable than this for saluting the approach of the divine birth, which is to gladden heaven and earth, and manifest the sublime portent of a Virgin Mother. Let us go in spirit to this august temple, and unite in the prayers which are there being offered up: they are the very ones we also use, and which we will now explain.
[* The Stations marked in the Roman missal for certain days in the year, were formerly processions, in which the whole clergy and people went to some given church, and there celebrated the Office and Mass. This usage, which dates from the earliest period of the Roman Church, and of which St. Gregory the Great was but the restorer, still exists, at least in a measure; for the Stations are still observed, though with less solemnity and concourse of people, on all the days specified in the missal.]
In the night Office, the Church commences the reading of the Book of Isaias, who, of all the Prophets, has the most distinctly and explicitly foretold the Messias; and she continues this same Book until Christmas day inclusively. Let us strive to enter into the teaching of the holy prophet, and let the eye of our faith affectionately recognize the promised Saviour in the descriptions, sometimes consoling and sometimes terrifying, under which Isaias depicts Him.
The first words of the Church, in the still midnight, are these:
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come.
This first duty of adoration complied with, let us listen to the oracle of the prophet Isaias, delivered to us by the holy Church.
Ch. i.The vision of Isaias, the son of Amos, which ho saw concerning Juda and Jerusalem, in the days of Ozias, Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings of Juda. Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken: I have brought up children, and exalted them: but they have despised me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel hath not known me, and my people hath not understood. Woe to the sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a wicked seed, ungracious children. They have forsaken the Lord, they have blasphemed the holy One of Israel, they are gone away backwards. For what shall I strike you any more, you that increase transgression? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad. From the sole of the foot unto the top of the head, there is no soundness therein; wounds, and bruises, and swelling sores; they are not bound up, nor dressed, nor fomented with oil.
These words of the holy prophet, or rather of God who speaks to us by the prophet, should make a deep impression on the children of the Church, at this opening of the holy period of Advent. Who could hear without trembling this voice of our Lord, who is despised and unknown even at the very time when He is coming to visit His people? Lest men should be terrified at the splendour of His majesty, He divested Himself of it; and far from acknowledging the divine power of Him who thus humbled Himself out of love to them, these men have refused even to know Him; and the crib where He lay after His birth, had, at first, but two dumb animals to honour or notice it. Do you feel, Christians, how just are the complaints which your God here makes? And how your indifference for all His love is an insult? He calls heaven and earth to witness; He utters anathema against the sinful nation, His ungrateful children. Let us honestly confess that we, too, have not known the value of our Jesus’ visit to us, and that we have but too faithfully imitated the obduracy of the Jews, who heeded not the bright light when it burst upon their darkness. In vain did the angels sing on that December night; in vain did shepherds receive and welcome the invitation to adore the Babe and know Him; in vain did the Magi come from the east, asking where they were to find the crib of the King that was born. At this last example, the city of Jerusalem was somewhat moved; but the astonishment was only for a moment, and the old indifference soon stifled the good tidings.
Thus it is, O Jesus, that Thou comest unto darkness, and darkness does not comprehend Thee. We beseech Thee, let our darkness comprehend the light, and desire it. The day will come when Thou wilt disperse the spiritual and voluntary darkness of men by the awful light of Thy justice. Thy glory, O sovereign Judge, will be magnificent on that day, and we love to think upon Thy having it: but during these days of our life on earth, deliver us from Thy wrath. We are one great wound from the sole of the foot unto the top of the head; Thou knowest not where to strike: be, then, a Saviour, O Jesus, in this coming, for which we are now preparing. The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is sad: come, and raise up this head which shame and vile passions bow down to the earth. Come, and comfort this heart oppressed with sin and fear. We confess it, our wounds are deep and sore; come, thou good Samaritan, pour in Thy soothing oil and heal them.
The whole world is in expectation of its Redeemer; come, dear Jesus, show Thyself to it by granting it salvation. The Church, Thy bride, is now commencing another year, and her first word is to Thee, a word which she speaks in the anxious solicitude of a mother for the safety of her children; she cries out to Thee, saying: ‘Come!’ No, we will go no farther in our journey through the desert of this life without Thee, O Jesus! Time is passing quickly away from us; our day is perhaps far spent, and the shades of our life’s night are fast coming on; arise, O divine Sun of justice. Come! guide our steps and save us from eternal death.
- From Dom Prosper Gueranger's commentary on Advent I in The Liturgical Year.