31 December 2007
You'll find prayers, devotions, and musings about the Christian life. Best of all I hope that you see how the Holy Spirit never left the Church founded by Jesus Christ on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets and continues His work today.
Have a happy new year!
29 December 2007
To be connected with the church is to be associated with scoundrels, warmongers, fakes, child-molesters, murderers, adulterers and hypocrites of every description. It also, at the same time, identifies you with saints and the finest persons of heroic soul within every time, country, race and gender. To be a member of the church is to carry the mantle of both the worst sin and the finest heroism of the soul ... because the church always looks exactly as it looked at the original crucifixion, God hung among thieves.
28 December 2007
That said, let's go a step further... our Guardian Angels fought Satan and his rebels in the battle of heaven. We have war veterans on our side who know how to fight against the devil!
Supreme Leaders of the Heavenly Hosts, we implore you that by your prayers you will encircle us, unworthy as we are, with the protection of the wings of your immaterial glory, and guard us who fall down I before you and fervently cry: Deliver us from dangers, for you are the commanders of the Powers above.
The Roman Catholic Church dedicates the month of October to the Holy Angels since they are celebrated on the second.
27 December 2007
Another one of my favorite titles for the Blessed Virgin Mary is "Queen of Prophets".
The word of God came through the mouth of the prophets, finally the WORD became flesh through Mary.
Like the prophets of the Old Covenant she leads us to Christ.
She is the means by which the prophecies were fulfilled.
By saying yes to the archangel, Mary became the first to receive Christ. She is our example, our leader, our Queen.
She was there on Pentecost, and would have been the one that the disciples looked to when the Holy Spirit came. I imagine them asking her, "Is this Him? This sound like wind, these tongues of fire?" She nodded, lifted her hands, then danced at this reunion with the Spirit she experienced three decades before at the Annunciation--but this time the Spirit would remain with her, the disciples, and the Church.
26 December 2007
25 December 2007
Christ comes from heaven; go to meet Him!
Christ is on earth; be exalted!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
And praise Him with joy, O people,
for He has been glorified!
~ St. Cosmas the Melodist, Nativity Canon, Ode 1
~ Adeste Fidelis
Whom have we, Lord, like you?
The Great One who became small,
the Wakeful who slept,
The Pure One who was baptized,
the Living One who died,
The King who abased himself to ensure honor for all.
Blessed is your honor!
It is right that man should acknowledge your divinity,
It is right for heavenly beings to worship your humanity.
The heavenly beings were amazed to see how small you became,
And earthly ones to see how exalted.
~ St. Ephrem the Syrian
E sursum Agnus mittitur
laxare gratis debitum;
omnes pro indulgentia
vocem demus cum lacrimis.
The Lamb descends from heaven above
to pardon sin with freest love:
for such indulgent mercy shewn
with tearful joy our thanks we own.
~ Prudentius, Vox Clara
24 December 2007
What struck me was how reverent it was. The piety of the people was inspiring. Everything had a purpose--the candles, the procession, the music. We did our best to follow along. That was my first midnight Mass on Christmas.
I started out alone in a black turtle neck while we sang "O Come, O Come Emmanuel". Next, the green tree frame was added and the kids sang another carol. With each carol the kids added different ornaments that represented something about the incarnation and salvation.
Very minimalist and quirky, yet instructive and fun.
Be sure to make a church service part of your Christmas Eve. Keep the MASS in Christ-Mass.
23 December 2007
One attitude is to be a humble disciple who considers the Catholic Church as the Body of Christ illumined by the Holy Spirit and created by the Father to preserve the Faith.
The other attitude is the innovative explorer who considers himself as the supreme judge of what is. This person takes the ground that man can teach himself with just a Bible and conclusions that he hopes are from the Holy Spirit.
If the Bible and not the Church was meant to be the revealer of truth, then why write books or preach sermons? Why have ordination and Bible Colleges? All someone would need to do is read or hear the Bible and come to the correct conclusion by the power of the Holy Spirit without any human intervention. Everyone would believe the same thing miraculously simply by the words of Scripture.
But what do we see? 22,000 denominations all claiming to read the same Bible. Children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. Every heresy started with private interpretation of Scripture.
The Church empowered by the Holy Spirit spread among the nations before the New Testament was written. Even after the Epistles and Gospels appeared, not every community had a copy—the Faith spread by word of mouth under the authority of Bishops taught by the Apostles and annointed to safeguard the Truth. Her Liturgy and Sacraments were established four-hundred years before the New Testament Canon.
So what attitude do you have? Will you come to the Temple of the Spirit built with living stones on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets with Jesus as the Cornerstone? Will you trust in the Lord with all your heart or lean on your own understanding?
22 December 2007
21 December 2007
20 December 2007
In the words of the Prophet that follow in the same context, He says plainly, For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language (Zeph. 3:9): since, after the Resurrection, when the Holy Ghost was sent forth the gift of tongues was granted, that they may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord. (Catechetical Lecture 14:7)
“Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not” (1 Cor. 14:22) Those who do not believe that Jesus rose from the dead will be convinced because He ascended into Heaven and sent the Holy Spirit as a witness.
The “tongues of angels”, the heavenly language, is given as a sign to those who surrender to the Holy Spirit. It is a reversal of Babel according to many Church Fathers. Where God once brought confusion and discord, He now brings unity (Eph. 4:4).
Salvation is confirmed with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will (Heb. 2:4). The Holy Spirit is a sign that Christ abides in us (1 John 3:24).
When we don’t know what to pray the Spirit can call on the name of the Lord (1 Cor 14:14). “For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Cor. 2:10) Speaking in tongues is speaking to God (1 Cor. 14:2). Through the Spirit we cry “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6) and we have access to the Father (Eph. 2:18).
Again, hear what St. Cyril says about the Holy Spirit:
A mighty ally and protector, therefore, have we from God; a great Teacher of the Church, a mighty Champion on our behalf. Let us not be afraid of the demons, nor of the devil; for mightier is He who fighteth for us. Only let us open to Him our doors; for He goeth about seeking such as are worthy (Wisdom 6:16) and searching on whom He may confer His gifts. And He is called the Comforter, because He comforts and encourages us, and helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered (Rom. 8:26.), that is, makes intercession to God. (Catechetical Lecture 16:19-20)
“And may the God of peace, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, count all of you worthy of His spiritual and heavenly gifts—To whom be glory and power for ever and ever. Amen.” (C.L. 16:32)
The Holy Spirit is the love of God come down to earth. Mary is human love rising to meet God.
Jesus Christ is the heart of this union: the intersection of a two-fold love.
We must try to understand the meaning of this union between the Holy Spirit and His instrument, the Blessed Virgin. We must try to plumb the depths contained in this truth: that Christ is the fruit of this mutual love.
At the heart of the Credo are the words: “And Jesus was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary.”
~ Cardinal Suenens
19 December 2007
18 December 2007
Oh! If only devotion to the Holy Spirit inflamed the world, then should we see the face of the earth renewed, and Faith and Charity would triumph over everything.
"Send your Spirit and create us. Renew the face of the earth."
If you desire to correct faults, and you feel you cannot; if you languish with tepidity and it seems you can do no good, but, still you wish to be fervent, try to be devout to the Holy Spirit, invoking Him often and with your whole hearts. Excite in yourselves strong desires to receive Him, repeat often to Him,
"Place your own heart in me God, pour your own Spirit in me. Ready me and I will be made right, and strong and holy."
If you invoke Him with a humble and trusting heart, filled with good desires, He will descend with His blessed light and inflaming fire; He will come and penetrate into the very core of your heart, purifying it, changing it, enlightening it, enflaming it and comsuming it with the flames of His holy and divine love.
As soon as we begin to desire Him, He begins to favour us, because pious and holy desires are like the forerunners of God in the soul, and as soon as we, by the grace of God, form a holy desire, the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul says, will work in us with ineffable sighs. Let us suplicate Him, then, to inspire us with ardent desires which will prepare us to receive Him.
~St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, May 26, 1895
14 December 2007
I venerate you with all my heart, O most holy Virgin, as the Spouse of the Holy Spirit; and I consecrate to thee my heart with all its affections: obtain for me of the Holy Trinity the graces necessary for salvation.
O sacred Virgin! Spouse of the Holy Spirit, whose pure soul was the chosen tabernacle of that heavenly Spirit, and who above all creatures was plentifully enriched with His choicest gifts and graces, intercede for me, and by your powerful prayers prepare me for the happiness I so sincerely desire.
O Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, your holiness and obedience changed the course of history through the redemptive power of your Son. You give us the example of discipleship and what it means to witness to the Way, the Truth and the Life—Jesus.
Mother, help me; spouse of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me the great gift of the Holy Spirit. Let me be filled with the Holy Spirit; let me be inflamed with love; let me be filled to overflowing with the sweet Spirit of God.
Mother, spouse of the Holy Spirit, through whom we receive the Holy Spirit, pray for us, that we may live in light in this world, and come hereafter to the eternal light of heaven.
О Магу! You are that most happy and most highly-lauded Spouse in the Canticles, whom the Heavenly Bridegroom introduced into His wine cellar, you are replenished with the wine of charity, but more especially with the spirit of prophecy, with which you were enlightened above all the other saints, not only to foresee future events, but to attain to the knowledge and intimate acquaintance of the most sublime mysteries. Ah! I earnestly supplicate you, obtain for me the light of understanding, that I may fully comprehend the malice and heinousness of sin, and the dangerous condition of the sinner, and that, by this knowledge, I may attain to an amendment of life. O Mary, Queen of the prophets, pray for us!
Since you are the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, the Dispenser of His treasures, and his sweet Stewardess; since you have been enriched beyond all other creatures with his heavenly gifts, obtain for us, as you obtained it for the Apostles, His coming into our hearts; and for this end obtain for us the grace to imitate, so far as in us lies, the examples of your humility, your purity, and your charity.
Immaculate Spouse of the Holy Spirit, House of Gold, obtain for me the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Since prayer is the key to God's Heart and draws down upon us every good and perfect gift, teach me to pray frequently for these gifts. Keep me humble and pure of heart so as to make myself worthy of receiving them.
Obtain for me also, O blessed Virgin, that I may so ravish the heart of your Spouse that He may inflame my heart with Divine love, and render it the scene of His merciful operations.
Heavenly Father, who hast Mary for Thy daughter, Have mercy on us.
Eternal Son, who hast Mary for Thy mother, Have mercy on us.
Holy Spirit, who hast Mary for Thy spouse, Have mercy on us.
13 December 2007
~ La Vie de N. S. Jesus Christ Meditée
"We stand in great need of an immediate interior strengthening of the will, which no one save the Holy Ghost can afford us; and then, too, some sudden exterior relief from the threatening danger can avail us, such as the good spirits and angels are wont to bestow. Both Mary can and will obtain for us ; for she is the spouse of the Holy Ghost and the queen of angels. Omnipotent by her intercession with God, she can obtain for us grace sufficient and efficacious to stand and conquer in the battle of salvation. Her mighty protection suffices to suppress interior temptations, to strike down the enemies that attack us from without, and to keep us from sin."
~ Bp. John Theodor Laurent, 1901
~Gregory Thaumaturgus, Homily On The Annunciation (3rd c.)
"Our example is the Mother of Jesus, the spouse of the Holy Ghost. It is the duty and high privilege of every one of us, “to form Jesus Christ in our hearts to the praise and glory of God,”—so Holy Scripture teaches. Each one of us in his degree is summoned to this high calling. "Whosoever shall do the will of My Father, Who is in heaven," our Master said, “he is my brother, and sister, and mother.” The Holy Ghost, by Whose overshadowing power God was made man in Mary's womb, effects this mystical work of grace in the souls of men."
~Abbe de Brandt, Growth in the Knowledge of the Lord
~Fr. Henry Van Rensselaer, S.J.
11 December 2007
Just as the prophet's mind is moved by divine inspiration to know something supernaturally, so too is it possible for the mind of the miracle worker to be moved to do something resulting in the miraculous effect which God causes by His power. Sometimes this takes place after prayer, as when Peter raised to life the dead Tabitha (Acts 9:40): sometimes without any previous prayer being expressed, as when Peter by upbraiding the lying Ananias and Saphira delivered them to death (Acts 5:4,9). Hence Gregory says (Dialog 2:30) that "the saints work miracles, sometimes by authority, sometimes by prayer." In either case, however, God is the principal worker, for He uses instrumentally either man's inward movement, or his speech, or some outward action, or again the bodily contact of even a dead body.
~ St. Thomas Aquinas
10 December 2007
06 December 2007
It seems like the Holy Spirit has been trying to drive this point home with me and I share it here since it may benefit others, especially among Charismatics. We believe in miracles, but are we attending to the miracle of our own sanctification?
"In truth it is a greater miracle to root out from one’s own flesh the incentives to wantonness than to cast out unclean spirits from the bodies of others, and it is a grander sign to restrain the fierce passions of anger by the virtue of patience than to command the powers of the air, and it is a greater thing to have shut out the devouring pangs of gloominess from one’s own heart than to have expelled the sickness of another and the fever of his body. Finally it is in many ways a grander virtue and a more splendid achievement to cure the weaknesses’ of one’s own soul than those of the body of another. For just as the soul is higher than the flesh, so is its salvation of more importance, and as its nature is more precious and excellent, so is its destruction more grievous and dangerous." ~St. John Cassian, Second Conference of Abbot Nesteros, Chapter 8
Our Lord would retreat to pray and prepare before he faced the crowd. If the God-man needed such time, how much more do we feeble sons of Adam and daughters of Eve need to prepare before praying for the healing and deliverance of others?
Damian Stayne, the founder of Cor et Lumen Christi and the initiator of worldwide “charism schools”, to train Catholics in the use of the gifts of healing and prophecy says that, “I had to spend time in real repentance and go to confession. I felt strongly the need to be right with God for him to use me, as sin can get in the way to hearing God and moving in the anointing.”
05 December 2007
If you get the opportunity to attend a full-blown Latin Mass go for it. We have a beautiful old parish downtown Denver that does it for their early Sunday service. WOW!
That said, I was watching EWTN and saw a show about the Misionaries of the Poor down in Jamaica. The sermon was enthusiastic and the Mass was joyful with people clapping and playing tambourines, raising their hands in worship. Would the brothers be able to reach these people if they came out chanting in Latin?
This is what Vatican II had in mind. Giving local congregations the freedom to adapt the Mass to their culture and personality. Critics say that this ruined the Liturgy, and dumbed it down. Sure, there were some goofy experiments in the seventies like the Polka Mass. But now the dust has settled.
One thing that bugged me when I was Eastern Orthodox was how some churches tried to “out orthodox” each other. Some felt that the Liturgy had to be in Greek or Church Slavonic to please God. I prefer “Thee” and “Thou” when referring to God in prayer and song and found myself looking down on the Greeks and OCA who used “You” and “Your”. Maybe because it sounds more like “Theos” or “Dei”? Of course, one finds the same silliness among Evangelicals—I remember when a “prophecy” that wasn’t in Elizabethan English wasn’t considered as being from the Holy Spirit!
I love chant whether it be Gregorian, Sarum, Byzantine, Znammeny, or Ruthenian. I also love a good worship band. And let’s throw in a few 19th century hymns for good measure, especially John Mason Neale or Edward Caswall.
How wonderful that Mother Church embraces them all. One community here in Denver embodies what I’m talking about. The Community of the Beatitudes has Byzantine Vespers, Latin Vespers, a Charismatic prayer group, and Jewish folk dancing. Talk about the Universal Church!
The true worshippers do so in spirit and in truth. Wherever you are I hope you experience both—the Holy Spirit touching you as you worship and the Truth handed down the the Apostles through the Church in her Liturgy.
Thus I continue to declare myself a Charismatic Byzantine Anglo-Catholic!
04 December 2007
I know of at least two musical arrangements of the “Jesus Prayer” in English that I like: one is from the City on a Hill CD "The Gathering" arranged by Phil Madiera (an Anglican) and one by the St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox kid’s choir. The goal of prayer without ceasing, however, was best achieved for me when I set the Latin translation of the prayer to Sarum chant.
When I became Eastern Orthodox thirteen years ago I heard about the "Jesus Prayer". I read "Way of the Pilgrim" and the Philokalia. I bought a prayer rope. The prayer is simple "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Its origin is the prayer of the publican from the parable of Jesus. But I never saw the "Uncreated Light" that Gregory Palamas talked about.
The "Jesus Prayer" or "Prayer of the Heart" is a mantra used by Eastern Orthodox Christians along with special breathing techniques and bodily posture, in order to reach the place of the heart where God's uncreated light dwells. The practice is part of the Hesychast teachings found in the Philokalia and is, for the most part, the only mystical tradition in the Orthodox church.
The Western Catholic Church has never fully accepted Hesychasm because it makes a distinction between the energies or operations of God and the essence of God. In western Catholic theology as it has developed since the Scholastic period, there can be no distinction between the energies or operations and the essence of God (see, e.g., the Summa Theologiae of St Thomas Aquinas). So really, it's an issue between Greek Platonist philosophy and Latin rationalist Aristoteleanism.
Controversy aside, the prayer itself is a simple and potent devotion.
25 November 2007
~Thomas a' Kempis, Imitation of Christ
It's so easy for me to insult people or make crude comments. Often easier than thanking or complimenting them. I've become more conscious of this bad attitude and will be making an effort to bless rather than curse. I work in a garage with auto mechanics who say some rathings, and I'll admit that I can keep up with them. Through prayer and watchfulness I will make a change.
Jesus, you said that it is what comes out of a man that defiles him. Lord, I am a man of unclean lips living in the midst of an unclean people. My tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison, capable of nullifying the good that I do. Help me to keep my tongue free from evil and my lips from speaking deceit. Help me to guard my ways, Lest I sin with my tongue. You said that the lips of the righteous feed many--help me to provide a feast not a dung heap. Amen
07 November 2007
Now for the irony... when the Charismatic Renewal started in the Catholic Church it brought people closer into communion. We see a deeper devotion to the Eucharist (ordinary bread and wine transformed into the Body and Blood of Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit) and the Virgin Mary (the "spouse" of the Holy Spirit). A new understanding of the Saints (those sanctified by the Holy Spirit) developed. And a greater love of Scripture (inspired by the Holy Spirit) and Holy Tradition (also inspired by the Holy Spirit).
06 November 2007
For this it is which it is possible for all men generally to learn and practice, but the working of miracles and signs is not always necessary, nor good for all, nor granted to all. Humility therefore is the mistress of all virtues, it is the surest foundation of the heavenly building, it is the special and splendid gift of the Saviour. For he can perform all the miracles which Christ wrought, without danger of being puffed up, who follows the gentle Lord not in the grandeur of His miracles, but in the virtues of patience and humility. But he who aims at commanding unclean spirits, or bestowing gifts of healing, or showing some wonderful miracle to the people, even though when he is showing off he invokes the name of Christ, yet he is far from Christ, because in his pride of heart he does not follow his humble Teacher.
For when He was returning to the Father, He prepared, so to speak, His will and left this to His disciples: “A new commandment,” said He, “give I unto you that ye love one another; as I have loved you, so do ye also love one another:” and at once He subjoined: “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love to one another.” He says not: “if ye do signs and miracles in the same way,” but “if ye have love to one another;” and this it is certain that none but the meek and humble can keep.
Wherefore our predecessors never reckoned those as good monks or free from the fault of vainglory, who professed themselves exorcists among men, and proclaimed with boastful ostentation among admiring crowds the grace which they had either obtained or which they claimed. But in vain, for “he who trusteth in lies feedeth the winds: and the same runneth after birds that fly away.”For without doubt that will happen to them which we find in Proverbs: “As the winds and clouds and rain are very clear so are these who boast of a fictitious gift.”
And so if any one does any of these things in our presence, he ought to meet with commendation from us not from admiration of his miracles, but from the beauty of his life, nor should we ask whether the devils are subject to him, but whether he possesses those features of love which the Apostle describes.
~ St. John Cassian: Second conference of Abbot Nesteros on divine gifts, chapter 7
For when one believed that for the cure of his leprosy the will of Christ alone was sufficient He healed him by the simple consent of His will, saying: “I will, be thou clean.” When another prayed that He would come and raise his dead daughter by laying His hands on her, He entered his house as he had hoped, and granted what was asked of Him. When another believed that what was essential for his salvation depended on His command, and answered: “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed,” He restored to their former strength the limbs that were relaxed, by the power of a word, saying: “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed so be it unto thee.” To others hoping for restoration from the touch of His hem, He granted rich gifts of healing. To some, when asked, He bestowed remedies for their diseases. To others He afforded the means of healing unasked: others He urged on to hope, saying: “Willest thou to be made whole?” to others when they were without hope He brought help spontaneously. The desires of some He searched out before satisfying their wants, saying: “What will ye that I should do for you?” To another who knew not the way to obtain what he desired, He showed it in His kindness, saying: “If thou believest thou shalt see the glory of God.” Among some so richly did He pour forth the mighty works of His cures that of them the Evangelist says: “And He healed all their sick.” But among others the unfathomable depth of Christ’s beneficence was so stopped up, that it was said: “And Jesus could do there no mighty works because of their unbelief.”
And so the bounty of God is actually shaped according to the capacity of man’s faith, so that to one it is said: “According to thy faith be it unto thee:” and to another: “Go thy way, and as thou hast believed so be it unto thee;” to another “Be it unto thee according as thou wilt,” and again to another: “Thy faith hath made thee whole.”
~ St. John Cassian: Conference of Abbot Chæremon. on the protection of God
05 November 2007
01 November 2007
A throne with the Lamb in the midst is seen, in His beauty beyond compare,
And a sea of glass, and a rainbow arch, and a throng in vestments of white,
Who prostrate fall and their Sanctus lift where the seven lamps of Fire shed their light.
"What!" cries the World, "Do you really think that the glory of Heaven is like this?
O fools, to believe that worship and song will fill up your measure of bliss:
Better gifts I bestow, the love of the world, ambition's reward and renown."
O World, thy rewards will be wanting there, thy pomp, and thy perishing crown.
See! Angel-borne censers are flinging the smoke of incense up to the Throne,
Powers, Principalities veiling their face from glories to mortals unknown;
And the City four-square, rings forth with the shout, "Worthy the Lamb that was slain."
The City of peace, where, tears wip'd away, there is no more sorrow or pain.
"What!" rails the Flesh, "Do you really think that the joy of your Heaven will be found
In vestments and lights, prostrations and forms, and prayers in a wearisome round?
I have better delights than these for mine, pride of life, and lust of the eyes."
O Flesh, pride and lust will have no place there, nor the serpent in angel's guise.
Her gates are of pearl, and her city gold, her foundations of precious stone,
Nor ray of the sun, nor of silver moon for light in her borders is shown;
And the cry goes up like the thunder's peal, or the sound of the waters' force,
As the nine-fold ranks of the Angel-choir, sweetest antiphons sing in course.
"What!" sneers the Fiend, "Do you really think that your Heaven is a temple of praise,
Where Intellect falls at visions of God, through ages of infinite days?
Man worship thyself, thou, greater than He, be throned in a temple as well."
O Fiend, thy dark form is never seen there, nor one of thy legions of hell.
Ah ! the World, I suppose, is worldly wise, and the Flesh to the flesh is true,
And the Devil stands well to the gates of Hell, lest his victims grow too few;
Foolish and weak, superstitious, misled; thus these three in their pride condemn,
But I turn me once more to the open door of the New Jerusalem.
~ William Chatterton Dix
"A Vision of All Saints & Other Poems", 1871
(conclude with three Hail Marys)
This is my slightly modified version of the obviously pre-Vatican II prayer found in The Raccolta by Ambrose St. John, 1877. Here's the original "Prayer for the Conversion of the Greek Schismatics":
O Immaculate Virgin Mary, we thy servants, and sons of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, full of confidence in thy powerful protection, humbly beseech thee that thou wouldst deign to implore of the Holy Ghost, by the honour and glory of His eternal procession from the Father and the Son, the abundance of His gifts for our seperated brethren, the Greek schismatics, that, enlightened by His vivifying grace, they may re-enter into the bosom of the Catholic Church, under the infallible guidance of her supreme pastor and teacher the Sovereign Roman Pontiff; and thus, sincerely re-united to us by the indissoluble bonds of the same faith and the same charity, they may, with us, glorify , by the practice of good works, the most august Trinity, and at the same time honour thee, O Virgin Mother of God, full of grace, now and through all ages. Amen. (conclude with Ave Maria thrice)
30 October 2007
Axios! Axios! Axios!
I love going through old prayer books and finding different devotions. Here's one to the Sacred heart of Jesus that uses the Rosary...
Rosary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
On the Cross: Anima Christi
Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ's side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malicious enemy defend me
In the hour of my death call me
And bid me come unto Thee
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
Forever and ever
On the larger beads: Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like Thine.
On the small beads: Sweet heart of my Jesus, make me love Thee ever more and more.
At the end of ten: Sweet heart of Mary, be my salvation.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
St. Joseph, friend of the Sacred Heart, pray for us.
O dearest Jesus! Accept this little chaplet which we humbly offer in honor of Thy Sacred Heart, renewing our solemn consecration with the resolution of repairing by an increase of love all the outrages It receives in the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.
While attending a "Western Rite" Orthodox Church I became interested in the Rosary and Sarum Chant arrangements of the Psalms. This led me deeper into the devotions of the west and eventually to the Roman Catholic Church.
I still pray with icons. When I need an Eastern fix I stop by the local Byzantine Catholic parish. Everything I loved about the Orthodox Church is part of the Catholic Church, but I found a COMPLETE Orthodoxy. I have a variety of devotional practices to chose from.
Many Orthodox apologists claim that the East is spiritual while the West is scholastic. This is not the case--just read the Sts. Theresa (of Avila & Liseaux), St. Alphonsus Ligouri, or even Pope John Paul II and one sees a deep spirituality. Look at all the diverse orders of monastics and their devotions. One could spend a lifetime studying the writings of the Western mystics and just scratch the surface.
The Charismatic Renewal is encouraged and growing in the Catholic Church, while it has been repressed and even "disciplined" in Orthodoxy (just ask Fr. Eusebius Stephanou). I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit: healing, prophecy, word of knowledge, etc. I believe in "speaking in tongues" as a devotional practice.
I'll expound on all these points in future postings, so stay tuned.
29 October 2007
Using a Rosary start with the Our Father, Hail Mary & Apostles Creed.
On the single bead before each decade: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On the ten beads of each decade: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Conclude by repeating three times: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
If you watch EWTN at all you've probably seen the contemporary "worship" version that appears every Saturday at 3pm EST.
You can watch a version of it on GodTube
The DVD is available here...
"May God in His mercy grant that every day we may be troubled, tried, disciplined, or make some progress." ~ St. Augustine (Sermon 16A, 12)