Ad Te Levávi Ánimam Meam

To Thee have I lifted up my soul (Introit – 1st Sunday of Advent)

Nous Rendons Grâce a Dieu

Posted by james0235 on May 23, 2010

This afternoon I attended a concert at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church called Nous Rendons Grâce à Dieu or We give thanks to God, the last phrase spoken by the people in the Mass in French. Last year’s My Spirit Rejoices was also held on Pentecost so maybe this is an annual thing. I certainly hope it is.

The calendar on the parish website listed this as “a program of French music” but, with I believe one exception, it was all Latin but by French composers. The choir at St. Francis of Assisi seems to be made up of some very talented people under very good direction. And that combination sometimes seems hard to find.

Quite a few years ago at one parish in Central Ohio that I will not name I asked the pastor about the possibility of having some Gregorian chant or traditional Catholic hymns instead of the usual St. Louis Jesuits, Marty Haugen, and David Haas. His response was “I don’t think that is necessary.” When I pointed out to him some of the things that the popes and bishops have written on music in the Mass I believe the terms he used were “archaic” and “pre-Vatican II” – and this was in reference to quotes from the Vatican II documents themselves. I am not exactly sure how Vatican II can be pre-Vatican II but his arguments in defense of his liturgical abuses were just as powerful. But, that is a topic for another day.

Seeing that this was going nowhere I decided to approach the music director with my requests. She actually had no idea what Gregorian chant was – she had never heard of it. And in reference to my request for some traditional Catholic hymns in place of the folk music she responded that we often have traditional Catholic hymns – and then she gave City of God, On Eagle’s Wings, Be Not Afraid, and several other songs I cannot remember as examples.

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Asperges Me

Posted by james0235 on May 23, 2010

In the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite the priest sprinkles holy water on the people before the principal Mass on Sundays. Beginning on Pentecost the Antiphon that is sung at this time changes from the Vidi Aquam to the Asperges Me.  These Antiphons can be used as part of the Rite of Sprinkling before Mass in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. When the Rite of Sprinkling is used it replaces the Penitential Rite in that Mass.

On Sundays, especially in the Season of Easter, in place of the customary Act of Penitence, from time to time the blessing and sprinkling of water to recall Baptism may take place.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal 51

Asperges me, Domine, hyssopo et mundabor,
Lavabis me, et super nivem dealbabor.
Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.

You will sprinkle me, O Lord, with hyssop and I shall be cleansed
You will wash me, and I shall be whitewashed more than snow is.
Pity me, O God, according to Your great mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
As it was in the beginning, is now, and always shall be in ages of ages. Amen.


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Pentecost Novena

Posted by james0235 on May 13, 2010

Regardless of whether you live in a diocese that celebrates the Ascension of the Lord today, 40 days after Easter just like the original Ascension, or if you live in a diocese that will be transferring the Ascension to this coming Sunday so that you will not be forced to undergo the terrible burden of attending Mass on a day that is not Sunday, the Pentecost Novena begins tomorrow.

Mary and the Apostles spent the 9 days from the Ascension to Pentecost in prayer. And this is the origin of Novenas.

Novena to the Holy Spirit for the Seven Gifts

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Ascension Thursday Sunday

Posted by james0235 on May 13, 2010

Once again Ascension Thursday Sunday is upon us. Despite the Ascension of the Lord occurring exactly 40 days after the Resurrection many U.S. bishops insist on transferring it to the 7th Sunday of Easter, the Sunday before Pentecost – 43 days after we celebrate the Resurrection. In the U.S. only those dioceses located within the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha, and Philadelphia celebrate the Ascension Thursday instead of Ascension Sunday.

It is not a question of if it is permissible to transfer the Ascension to the following Sunday – the Code of Canon Law gives this authority to the Episcopal Conference with the approval of the Holy See (Code of Canon Law 1246) – rather the question is why would the bishops wish to do this? Does anyone truly benefit spiritually from having one less Mass to attend on a weekday once a year?

But, even though most U.S. dioceses will not be celebrating the Ascension today those parishes offering the Holy Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, permission for which was affirmed for all priests of the Roman Rite in Pope Benedicts XVI’s Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, will be celebrating the Ascension today, regardless of what the rest of the diocese is doing. The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has confirmed that this is permitted.

So ends my annual rant on Ascension Thursday Sunday.

There is a rubric after the Gospel in the 1962 Roman Missal, the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, that reads as follows:

After the Gospel of the High Mass, the Paschal Candle, figure of the risen Christ, is extinguished; it is removed after Mass.

So, immediately after we hear of Christ’s Ascension into heaven:

“…And the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into Heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God…” (Mark 16:14-20)

the Easter Candle, the symbol of Christ’s presence which has been in the Sanctuary since he arose from the dead at the Easter Vigil, is extinguished. This beautiful little ceremony is, of course,  used in those parishes using the 1962 Roman Missal. But, it works a bit differently with the 1970 Roman Missal, the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, in use in most parishes:

The paschal candle has its proper place either by the ambo or by the altar and should be lit at least in all the more solemn liturgical celebrations of the season until Pentecost Sunday, whether at Mass, or at Morning and Evening Prayer. After the Easter season the candle should be kept with honor in the baptistry, so that in the celebration of Baptism the candles of the baptized may be lit from them. In the celebration of funerals, the paschal candle should be placed near the coffin to indicate that the death of a Christian is his own passover. The paschal candle should not otherwise be lit nor placed in the sanctuary outside the Easter season.

Congregation for Divine Worship, Pascahele Solemnitatis 99

The Easter Candle remains in use until Pentecost, the end of the Season of Easter rather than the Ascension when Christ is no longer with us.  Unfortunately, I think that we really lost some amazing symbolism with the loss of that rubric.


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The Most Important Person on Earth

Posted by james0235 on May 9, 2010

“The Most Important Person on earth is a mother.  She cannot claim the honor of having built Notre Dame Cathedral. She need not.  She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral – a dwelling for an immortal soul, the tiny perfection of her baby’s body…The angels have not been blessed with such a grace.  They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to Heaven.  Only a human mother can.  Mothers are closer to God the Creator than any other creature; God joins forces with mothers in performing this act of creation…What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother?”

Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty

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May Day

Posted by james0235 on May 1, 2010

In 1955 Pope Pius XII established May 1st as the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker. On the modern Liturgical Calendar in use since the release of the 1970 Roman Missal this Feast Day ranks as a Memorial. The institution of this Feast by Pope Pius was in response to communist-backed “May Day” celebrations on the 1st of May and served to offer a Christian view of labor. Communism, and really Socialism as well, are incompatible with the Catholic faith and both have been repeatedly condemned by the Holy See:

To this goal also tends the unspeakable doctrine of Communism, as it is called, a doctrine most opposed to the very natural law. For if this doctrine were accepted, the complete destruction of everyone’s laws, government, property, and even of human society itself would follow.

Blessed Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus 16 – November 9, 1846


Hence we have reached the limit of horrors, to wit, communism, socialism, nihilism, hideous deformities of the civil society of men and almost its ruin. And yet too many attempt to enlarge the scope of these evils, and under the pretext of helping the multitude, already have fanned no small flames of misery. The things we thus mention are neither unknown nor very remote from us.

Pope Leo XIII, Diuturnum 23 – June 29, 1881


If Socialism, like all errors, contains some truth (which, moreover, the Supreme Pontiffs have never denied), it is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.

Pope Pius XI, Quadragesimo Anno 120 – May 15, 1931


See to it, Venerable Brethren, that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error. And the greater the antiquity and grandeur of the Christian civilization in the regions where Communism successfully penetrates, so much more devastating will be the hatred displayed by the godless.

Pope Pius XI, Divini Redemptoris 58 – March 19, 1937


Now, the Catholic Church is no stranger to the cause of worker’s rights. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that “The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that cry to heaven”: … injustice to the wage earner” (CCC 1867). And when it comes to presenting a solid Christian view of labor I don’t believe that it should be any surprise that devotion to St. Joseph has long been the vehicle chosen to do so.

The Gospels present him as both “a righteous man” (Matthew 1:16, 18-21, 24a) and a laborer – Jesus is called “the carpenter’s son” (Matthew 13:54-58). The Church presents these passages to us on the Solemnity of St. Joseph (Gospel 1st Option) and on the Memorial of St. Joseph the Worker (Gospel) respectively. And notice that Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical condemning atheistic communism, Divini Redemptoris quoted above, on March 19th – the Solemnity of St. Joseph. A bit closer to our own day Pope John Paul II held up St. Joseph, as a laborer,  as a model of holiness for us all:

Work was the daily expression of love in the life of the Family of Nazareth. The Gospel specifies the kind of work Joseph did in order to support his family: he was a carpenter. This simple word sums up Joseph’s entire life. For Jesus, these were hidden years, the years to which Luke refers after recounting the episode that occurred in the Temple: “And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them” (Lk 2:51). This “submission” or obedience of Jesus in the house of Nazareth should be understood as a sharing in the work of Joseph. Having learned the work of his presumed father, he was known as “the carpenter’s son.” If the Family of Nazareth is an example and model for human families, in the order of salvation and holiness, so too, by analogy, is Jesus’ work at the side of Joseph the carpenter. In our own day, the Church has emphasized this by instituting the liturgical memorial of St. Joseph the Worker on May 1. Human work, and especially manual labor, receive special prominence in the Gospel. Along with the humanity of the Son of God, work too has been taken up in the mystery of the Incarnation, and has also been redeemed in a special way. At the workbench where he plied his trade together with Jesus, Joseph brought human work closer to the mystery of the Redemption.

Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Custos 22 – August 15, 1989

The more time that I spend meditating on the life and the work of St. Joseph the more I am coming to appreciate him as a role model. Over the past few years I have slowly been growing in devotion to him. And this is something I foresee continuing well into the future.



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Sad But True

Posted by james0235 on April 24, 2010

I found this on Craigslist of all places. And it does seem to be representative of how the mainstream media portrays just about everything that doesn’t support a left-wing agenda.

This is how the media portrays the illegal immigration situation in this country.
A Harley rider is passing the zoo, when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents. The biker jumps off his bike, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents, who thank him endlessly.

A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter says, “Sir, this was the most brave and gallant thing I saw a man do in my whole life.” The biker replies, “Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger, and acted as I felt right.” The reporter says, “Well, I’m a journalist from The New York Times, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page … So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?”

The biker replies, “I’m a U.S. Marine and a Republican.”

The following morning the biker buys The New York Times to see if it indeed brings news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

U.S. MARINE ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH!

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The Pope’s Baptism

Posted by james0235 on April 3, 2010

(This is just such a cool story that I feel the need to repost it every year on Holy Saturday.)

young-ratzinger.jpgI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn. The fact that my day of birth was the last day of Holy Week and the eve of Easter has always been noted in our family history. This was connected with the fact that I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust.

(Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memories, 1927-1977, p. 8 )

benedict.jpg

We know that he went on to accomplish great things. The question now is how many future priests, bishops, or even popes are being baptized? How many future deacons? How many future nuns? And most importantly of all: how many future saints?

Be sure to ask anyone you know being baptized or entering into full Communion with the Catholic Church  if they have ever given any thought to their vocation.

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Regina Caeli

Posted by james0235 on March 29, 2010

Being that it is Holy Week I ‘ll post this now as I don’t know that I will be spending much time at all online in the next few days.

Beginning with Compline on Holy Saturday the Seasonal Marian Antiphon changes from the Ave Regina Caelorum to the Regina Caeli. The Regina Caeli is prayed until the evening of Trinity Sunday. In addition to its use in the Liturgy of the Hours at the end of Compline (Night Prayer) it also replaces the Angelus during the Easter Season.

Regina cæli, lætare, alleluia:

Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia.

Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia.

Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia.

For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia.

Has risen, as He said, alleluia.

Pray for us to God, alleluia.

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Lenten Practices

Posted by james0235 on February 17, 2010

In past few years I have steadily increased my Lenten practices. At my peak last year and the year before I was praying at least one office from the Liturgy of the Hours daily, doing other spiritual reading, attending Mass on at least 2 weekdays, attending Stations of the Cross weekly, and I did a 24 hour fast at least once a week – but more often than not is was every Wednesday and Friday of Lent.

This year I am not nearly as prepared. I am not exactly sure of the reasons but I am just not up for all of that. But, I will be trying to pray the Liturgy of the Hours a bit more often than I have been lately – everything has to start with prayer. And then I will have to see where to go from there.

I was once very, very briefly part of a group that met once a week to pray Vespers together. There were 3 of us and we would meet and pray in front of the tabernacle. By week 2 there were 2 of us. And by week 3 it was only me. I think that part of the reason why I don’t seem to be able to pray the LOTH consistently – I pray it for a few months and then take a month or 2 off before taking it up again – is that it really is designed as community prayer and that is how it works best. It does work well as private prayer for an individual. But, that it not how it is intended – it’s not the ideal.

I’ll just have to see how far I can get this year.

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