Posted by james0235 on April 6, 2012
The royal banners forward go,
The Cross shines forth in radiant glow;
Where he, the Life, did death endure,
And yet by death did life procure.
His feet and hands outstretching there,
He willed the piercing nails to bear,
For us and our redemption’s sake
A victim of himself to make.
There whilst he hung, his sacred side
By soldier’s spear was opened wide,
To cleanse us in the precious flood
Of water mingled with his blood.
Fulfilled is now what David told
In true prophetic song of old,
To all the nations, ‘Lo,’ said he,
‘Our God is reigning from the tree.’
Blest Three in One, our praise we sing
To thee from whom all graces spring:
As by the cross thou dost restore,
So rule and guide us evermore.
Posted in holy week, lent | Tagged: holy seek, lent, Vexilla Regis, Vexilla Regis Prodeunt | Leave a Comment »
Posted by james0235 on February 22, 2012
Grant, O Lord, that we may begin with holy fasting this campaign of Christian service, so that, as we take up battle against spiritual evils, we may be armed with weapons of self-restraint. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Collect, Ash Wednesday
We kick of Lent with this, the opening prayer, or Collect, for Ash Wednesday. And what an opening it is. The Church is reminding us that we are at war and “our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.” (Ephesians 6:12 NAB) and our weapon in this fight is the self-restraint that is learned by disciplining the body through fasting.
The very idea of waging a “campaign of Christian service” is very evocative of Matthew 16 where Jesus tells us that the gates of hell will not be able to stand against the Church. This doesn’t just mean that the Church will not be overcome by the powers of hell. Rather, Jesus puts hell itself on the defensive. The Church brings the battle to the forces of evil and she will be victorious.
I couldn’t help but notice the different tone this prayer has compared to previous years considering the new, corrected Mass translations. The previous “translation”, rather than having us wage a “campaign of Christian service” had us asking God to “protect us in our struggle against evil”. It really feels different to be marching to victory rather than cowering in fear.
Posted in lent, liturgy, scripture, spiritual warfare | Tagged: ash wednesday, collect, ephesians, ephesians 6, lent, mass, matthew, matthew 16, opening prayer | Leave a Comment »
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.
Posted in lent, Prayer | Tagged: ash wednesday, fasting, lent, liturgy of the hours, Stations of the Cross | Leave a Comment »
Posted by james0235 on March 2, 2008
Today, the 4th Sunday of Lent, is known as Lætáre Sunday. The term is taken from the Introit, or Entrance Antiphon, of the Mass:
Lætáre, Jerúsalem, et convéntum fácite, omnes qui dilígitis eam; gaudéte cum lætítia, qui in tristítia fuístis, ut exsultétis, et satiémini ab ubéribus consolatiónis vestræ.
Rejoice, Jerusalem! Be glad for her, you who love her; rejoice with her, you who mourned for her, and you will find contentment at her consoling breasts.
It is one of only 2 days during the Liturgical year (the other being Gaudéte Sunday) where Rose-colored vestments may be used instead of the typical Violet-colored vestments (GIRM 346).
Much like on Gaudete Sunday few Catholics are likely to actually hear the reason for the name given to this Sunday. The Introit (Entrance Antiphon) will be used in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. But, as it is very common in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite to replace the Entrance Antiphon with a hymn the Antiphon will probably go unheard by most Catholics.
Posted in lent, liturgy | Tagged: entrance antiphon, introit, laetare, laetare sunday, lent, liturgy, mass | Leave a Comment »
Posted by james0235 on February 6, 2008
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the aged eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessed face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in lent, quotes | Tagged: ash wednesday, lent, poetry, t.s. eliot | 1 Comment »
Posted by james0235 on February 5, 2008
When considering a color scheme for this blog I originally chose purple as it was the 1st Sunday of Advent. My original thought was that maybe I would change the color throughout the Liturgical Year. Most of the year this would leave the color green – the color of Ordinary Time or the Time after Epiphany and the Time after Pentecost. Green just happens to be my favorite color. So, I thought I had everything figured out.
But as Advent was coming to a close and and an early Lent was fast approaching (Lent begins of February 6th this year and February 4th is the earliest date possible for it) I began to think more and more about these penitential Seasons as well as the Season of Septuagesima in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite (the 3 Sundays before Lent) which also shares the color purple with Advent and Lent.
I have decided to keep “penitential purple” year-round as a reminder to myself that it penance is not something to think about only during Advent and Lent. Rather, the whole of Christian life “ought to be a continual penance” (Council of Trent, Session XIV).
Posted in advent, blog, lent | Tagged: advent, lent, penance, penitential, purple, septuagesima, trent | Leave a Comment »