Also, parishes and families who've literally "buried the alleluia" on Septuagesima Sunday now dig it up again.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Also, parishes and families who've literally "buried the alleluia" on Septuagesima Sunday now dig it up again.
Something strange is happening -- there is a great silence on earth today, a great silence and stillness. The whole earth keeps silence because the King is asleep. The earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. God has died in the flesh and hell trembles with fear.
He has gone to search for our first parent, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow the captives Adam and Eve. The Lord approached them bearing the Cross, the weapon that had won him the victory. At the sight of him Adam, the first man he had created, struck his breast in terror and cried out to everyone: 'My Lord be with you all.' Christ answered him: 'And with your spirit.' He took him by the hand and raised him up, saying: 'Awake, o sleeper, and rise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.'
I am your God, who for your sake have become your son. Out of love for you and your descendants I now by my own authority command all who are held in bondage to come forth, all who are in darkness to be enlightened, all who are sleeping to arise. I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in Hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise up, work of my hands, you who were created in my image. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in Me and I in you; together we form one person and cannot be separated.
For your sake I, your God, became your son; I, the Lord, took the form of a slave; I, Whose home is above the heavens, descended to the earth and beneath the earth. For your sake, for the sake of man, I became like a man without help, free among the dead. For the sake of you, who left a garden, I was betrayed to the Jews in a garden, and I was crucified in a garden.
See on My Face the spittle I received in order to restore to you the life I once breathed into you. See there the marks of the blows I received in order to refashion your warped nature in my image. On My back see the marks of the scourging I endured to remove the burden of sin that weighs upon your back. See My hands, nailed firmly to a tree, for you who once wickedly stretched out your hand to a tree.
I slept on the cross and a sword pierced My side for you who slept in paradise and brought forth Eve from your side. My side has healed the pain in yours. My sleep will rouse you from your sleep in Hell. The sword that pierced Me has sheathed the sword that was turned against you.
Rise. Let us leave this place. The enemy led you out of the earthly paradise. I will not restore you to that paradise, but will enthrone you in heaven. I forbade you the tree that was only a symbol of life, but see, I who am life itself am now one with you. I appointed cherubim to guard you as slaves are guarded, but now I make them worship you as God. The throne formed by cherubim awaits you, its bearers swift and eager. The bridal chamber is adorned, the banquet is ready, the eternal dwelling places are prepared, the treasure houses of all good things lie open. The kingdom of heaven has been prepared for you from all eternity.
From Fish Eaters
Friday, March 21, 2008
As to symbols, there is a beautiful one recounted in this tale to tell your children -- the legend of the dogwood tree: It is said at the time of the Crucifixion, the dogwood was comparable in size to the oak tree and other monarchs of the forest. Because of its firmness and strength it was selected as the timber for the Cross, but to be put to such a cruel use greatly distressed the tree. Sensing this, the crucified Jesus in His gentle pity for the sorrow and suffering of all said to it: "Because of your sorrow and pity for My sufferings, never again will the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a gibbet. Henceforth it will be slender, bent and twisted and its blossoms will be in the form of a cross -- two long and two short petals. In the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints -- brown with rust and stained with red -- and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see this will remember."
From Fish Eaters
By Lactantius, 4th c.
Whoever you are who approach, and are entering the precincts of the middle of the temple, stop a little and look upon me, who, though innocent, suffered for your crime; lay me up in your mind, keep me in your breast. I am He who, pitying the bitter misfortunes of men, came hither as a messenger of offered peace, and as a full atonement for the fault of men. Here the brightest light from above is restored to the earth; here is the merciful image of safety; here I am a rest to you, the right way, the true redemption, the banner of God, and a memorable sign of fate. It was on account of you and your life that I entered the Virgin's womb, was made man, and suffered a dreadful death; nor did I find rest anywhere in the regions of the earth, but everywhere threats, everywhere labours.
First of all a wretched dwelling in the land of Judged was a shelter for me at my birth, and for my mother with me: here first, amidst the outstretched sluggish cattle, dry grass gave me a bed in a narrow stall. I passed my earliest years in the Pharian regions, being an exile in the reign of Herod; and after my return to Judaea I spent the rest of my years, always engaged in fastings, and the extremity of poverty itself, and the lowest circumstances; always by healthful admonitions applying the minds of men to the pursuit of genial uprightness, uniting with wholesome teaching many evident miracles: on which account impious Jerusalem, harassed by the raging cares of envy and cruel hatred, and blinded by madness, dared to seek for me, though innocent, by deadly punishment, a cruel death on the dreadful Cross.
And if you yourself wish to discriminate these things more fully, and if it delights you to go through all my groans, and to experience griefs with me, put together the designs and plots, and the impious price of my innocent Blood; and the pretended kisses of a disciple, and the insults and strivings of the cruel multitude; and, moreover, the blows, and tongues prepared for accusations. Picture to your mind both the witnesses, and the accursed judgment of the blinded Pilate, and the immense Cross pressing my shoulders and wearied back, and my painful steps to a dreadful death.
Now survey me from head to foot, deserted as I am, and lifted up afar from my beloved mother. Behold and see my locks clotted with blood, and my blood-stained neck under my very hair, and my head drained with cruel thorns, and pouring down like rain from all sides a stream of blood over my divine face. Survey my compressed and sightless eyes, and my afflicted cheeks; see my parched tongue poisoned with gall, and my countenance pale with death. Behold my hands pierced with nails, and my arms drawn out, and the great wound in my side; see the blood streaming from it, and my perforated feet, and blood-stained limbs. Bend your knee, and with lamentation adore the venerable wood of the Cross, and with lowly countenance stooping to the earth, which is wet with innocent blood, sprinkle it with rising tears, and at times bear me and my admonitions in your devoted heart.
Follow the footsteps of my life, and while you look upon my torments and cruel death, remembering my innumerable pangs of body and soul, learn to endure hardships, and to watch over your own safety. These memorials, if at any time you find pleasure in thinking over them, if in your mind there is any confidence to bear anything like my sufferings, if the piety due, and gratitude worthy of my labours shall arise, will be incitements to true virtue, and they will be shields against the snares of an enemy, aroused by which you will be safe, and as a conqueror bear off the palm in every contest.
If these memorials shall turn away your senses, which are devoted to a perishable world, from the fleeting shadow of earthly beauty, the result will be, that you will not venture, enticed by empty hope, to trust the frail enjoyments of fickle fortune, and to place your hope in the fleeting years of life.
But, truly, if you thus regard this perishable world, and through your love of a better country deprive yourself of earthly riches and the enjoyment of present things, the prayers of the pious will bring you up in sacred habits, and in the hope of a happy life, amidst severe punishments, will cherish you with heavenly dew, and feed you with the sweetness of the promised good. Until the great favour of God shall recall your happy" soul to the heavenly regions, your body being left after the fates of death. Then freed from all labour, then joyfully beholding the angelic choirs, and the blessed companies of saints in perpetual bliss, it shall reign with me in the happy abode of perpetual peace.
From Fish Eaters
Thursday, March 20, 2008
In Germany, Maundy Thursday is known as "Green Thursday" (Grundonnerstag), and the traditional foods are green vegetables and green salad, especially a spinach salad. In Latin countries, Jordan almonds ("confetti") are eaten today and also throughout Eastertide.
Back when Kings and Queens of England were Catholic, they, too, would wash the feet of 12 subjects, seeing the footwashing rite also as an example of service and humility. They would also give money to the poor on this day, a practice is said to have begun with St. Augustine of Canterbury in A.D. 597, and performed by Kings since Edward II. Now the footwashing isn't done (it was given up in the 18th c.), but a special coin called "Maundy Money" is minted and given to the selected elderly of a representative town.
On this day, one may gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions, by reciting the Tantum Ergo (Down in Adoration Falling).
From Fish Eaters
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Nos autem gloriari oportet in cruce Domini nostri Jesu Christi: in quo est salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra, per quem salvati, et liberati sumus.
Deus miseraeatur nostri, et benedicat nobis; illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri.
In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, coelestium, terrestrium et infernorum: quia Dominus factus est obediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis: ideo Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris.
Domine exaudi orationem meam: et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The Restoration in Progress: Ordination Pictures from the Institute of Christ the King's Seminary in Gricigliano
The series presents a Judas who anguishes over his loyalties to Jesus and to Caiaphas and a Pilate who struggles to manage his wife’s social aspirations and his career while trying to keep a lid on tensions in Jerusalem.
The creators of “The Passion,” which will be aired in four installments, said they wanted to “understand the motives of characters.”
Frank Deasy, the series writer, said he wanted to discover the motives behind Judas’ betrayal “I’ve always had a problem with Judas in ‘Passion’ stories in that he suddenly and inexplicably betrays Jesus,” he said. “I was keen to develop a psychological reality to Judas’s portrayal.”
Nigel Stafford-Clark, who produced the BBC series, said he wanted to put the characters’ actions in context “so you can see it from their point of view and realize that what they did felt legitimate”.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Stafford-Clark said, "By such accounts as there are from the time, Caiaphas was reckoned to be a fair man and a good high priest. [He was] a man doing a very difficult job and doing it well." A BBC spokesman said, "We are not seeking to subvert or rewrite the Gospel narrative – we are just retelling it to bring it alive for a contemporary audience."
The series will conclude on Easter Sunday and stars Paul Mawle as Jesus, Paul Nicholls as Judas, and James Nesbitt as Pilate.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Nos autem gloriari oportet in cruce Domini nostri Jesus Christi: in quo est salus, vita, et resurrectio nostra, per quem salvati, et liberati sumus.
Deus misereatur nostri, et benedicat nobis; illuminet vultum suum super nos, et misereatur nostri.
"Today, again, our Saviour sets out in the morning for Jerusalem. His intention is to repair to the temple, and continue His yesterday's teachings. It is evident that His mission on eart is fast drawing to its close. He says to His disciples: 'You know that after two days shall be the Pasch, and the Son of Man shall be delivered up to be crucified...' Having entered the city, Jesus directs His steps toward the temple. No sooner has he entered, than the chief priests, the scribes, and the ancients of the people, accost Him with these words: 'By what authority dost Thous these things? and who has given Thee this authority, that Thou shouldst do these things?' We shall find our Lord's answer given in the Gospel... As on the two proceeding days, Jesus leaves the city toward evening: He passes over Mount Olivet, and returns to Bethania, where He finds His blessed Mother and His devoted friends."
I first became aware of the existence of Catholic social teaching when I was in high school and read Richard Tawney's Religion and the Rise of Capitalism. Later I discovered the papal social encyclicals and the voluminous secondary literature of commentaries and studies. And later still I became sufficiently acquainted with it so that I began to talk to others and eventually to write about it. In the course of this I have noticed again and again the same reactions among that minority of Catholics who have even heard of the Church's social doctrine. Confining myself to Catholics who manifest a desire to be orthodox and conform their beliefs to the teaching of the Magisterium, there are, of course, some who wholeheartedly accept Catholic social teaching. But I am afraid that the larger number does not. Of these, one encounters, in the first place, libertarians, or near libertarians, those who attribute to the free market some quasi-divine ability to sort out the rights and wrongs of human behavior and who oppose any, or almost any, interference with its workings. A few of this group make no bones about their contempt for and rejection of Catholic social teaching. Because it does not accord with their own ideas about wealth creation or competition or assorted other economic ideas, they regard the papal teaching - especially before Centesimus Annus - with open derision. Despite this, they manage to retain a reputation for orthodoxy.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
"Let us now go over in our minds the other events which happened to our divine Lord on this day of His solemn entry into Jerusalem. St. Luke tells us that it was on His approach to the city, that Jesus wept over it, and spoke these touching words: 'If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace! But now they are hidden from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone; because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation.'"
"The sacred historian tells us that Jesus, immediately upon His entrance into the city, went to the temple and cast out all them that sold and bought there. This was the second time that He had shown His authority in His Father's house, and no one had dared to resist Him. The chief priests and pharisees found fault with Him, and accused Him to His face, of causing confusion by His entry into the city; but our Lord confounded them by the reply He made. It is thus that in after ages, when it has pleased God to glorify His Son and the Church of His Son, the enemies of both have given vent to their rage; they protested against the triumph, but they could not stop it. But when God, in the unsearchable ways of His wisdom, allowed persecution and trial to follow these periods of triumph, then did these bitter enemies redouble their efforts to induce the very people, that had cried Hosanna to the Son of David, to clamour for His being delivered up and crucified. They succeeded in fomenting persecution, but not in destroying the kingdom of Christ, and His Church. The kingdom seemed at times, to be interrupted in its progress; but the time for another triumph came. Thus will it be to the end; and then after all these changes from glory to humiliation, and from humiliation to glory, the kingdom of Jesus and of His bride will gain the last and eternal triumph over this world, which would not know the time of its visitation."
From The Liturgical Year- Abbot Gueranger, O.S.B (St. Bonaventure Publications, 2000)