Saturday, May 31, 2008

Protector in te sperantium

At the end of Vespers, upon making the proper commemoration of the eve, I was struck by the wonderful collect for tomorrow, the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost (called Respice in me, after its Introit):

Protector in te sperantium, Deus, sine quo nihil est validum, nihil sanctum: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam, ut, te rectore, te duce, sic transeamus per bona temporalia, ut non amittamus æterna. Per Dominum...

O God, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy; that, thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ’s sake our Lord. Amen.

The English is that of the BCP collect for the 4th after Trinity, following Cranmer: really, though he was a most vile heresiarch, he certainly had the gift of making excellent translations. (I note with interest that my St Andrew Daily Missal provides this text for the collect, with only very minor adjustments.) This fine, if Anglican, translation has been brought into word-for-word official use in Catholic worship in The Book of Divine Worship of the Anglican Use, wherein it is found appointed for the Sunday closest to the 27th of July, following recent ECUSA diktat.

Steak and Ale

As the proverb hath it, Feed the man meat. For this cause, I just had a good panfried porterhouse steak, good and juicy (altho' I wished for it a bit rarer - must remember to cook it even more rapidly next time), with some chips and pickled onions, and a glass of Unibroue's Don de Dieu ale on lees (9%). A toast to the founding of Quebec city by Champlain, on the Don de Dieu, some four centuries ago this year.

Imagine, Bad Queen Bess had steak and ale daily - for breakfast! Indeed she had the heart and stomach of a king, albeit the heretic and wicked heart of her father.

A cup of tea to finish is coming up, and then I'll repair to the chapel for Vespers of the Blessed Virgin.

St Theodore the Studite: How to Pray

There are a number of delightful short writings of St Theodore the Studite available in English translation at Anastasis, a site which is a great mine for those interested in Byzantine liturgy and devotion; the saint's advice on prayer for a religious named Anna is most apposite.

The Αἴτησις - II

Yesterday I was just exhausted after work; it was all I could manage to come into presence of Our Lord ethroned upon the altar, and during the Holy Hour (and Low Mass following) finish off the Hours for the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of our Jesus, He Who loves and saves us, and comes to us in the Sacrament and Sacrifice, that He may give us rest.

Today has been a lazy day; must still say Matins of the Queenship of Our Lady (I tend to allow myself the modern help of treating this as an Office of Readings, to be said pro opportunitate, as else its length tends to scare me off and takes away from my devotion to the Office, especially since I rarely have time to fit in Matins AND Lauds and Prime in the morning), and then her Vespers (I was surprised to find, consulting the Ordo, that one only commemorates the Sunday tonight). What is nice about this is that tonight's Compline will have its traditional Psalms - 4, 90, and 133 - which I far prefer to the variable weekday ones; if only the Roman Breviary had kept these invariable!

BTW, I think the Novus Ordo is much more sensible (!) in that it places the feast of the Queenship of Our Lady on the octave day of the Assumption, and moves the feast of her Immaculate Heart from that day to this, that is, to the Saturday following the feast of Our Lord's Sacred Heart on Friday.

But to return to my perusing of the Byzantine Liturgy: here is the Litany of Supplication (Αἴτησις), both in its original Greek, and in the Latin translation made long years past by Erasmus (slightly edited, to match the Greek):

Πληρώσωμεν τὴν [ἑωθινὴν / ἑσπερινὴν] δέησιν ἡμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ.

Κύριε, ἐλέησον.

Ἀντιλαβοῦ, σῶσον, ἐλέησον καὶ διαφύλαξον ἡμᾶς ὁ Θεὸς τῇ Σῇ χάριτι.

Κύριε, ἐλέησον.

Τὴν ἡμέραν [or, ἑσπέραν] πᾶσαν τελείαν, ἁγίαν, εἰρηνικὴν καὶ ἀναμάρτητον παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου αἰτησώμεθα.

Παράσχου, Κύριε.

Ἄγγελον εἰρήνης, πιστὸν ὁδηγόν, φύλακα τῶν ψυχῶν καὶ τῶν σωμάτων ἡμῶν παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου αἰτησώμεθα.

Παράσχου, Κύριε.

Συγγώμην καὶ ἄφεσιν τῶν ἀμαρτιῶν καὶ τῶν πλημμελημάτων ἡμῶν παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου αἰτησώμεθα.

Παράσχου, Κύριε.

Τὰ καλὰ καὶ συμφέροντα ταῖς ψυχαῖς ἡμῶν καὶ εἰρήνην τῷ κόσμῳ παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου αἰτησώμεθα.

Παράσχου, Κύριε.

Τὸν ὑπόλοιτον χρόνον τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ μετανοίᾳ ἐκτελέσαι παρὰ τοῦ Κυρίου αἰτησώμεθα.

Παράσχου, Κύριε.

Χριστιανὰ τὰ τέλη τῆς ζωῆς ἡμῶν, ἀνώδυνα, ἀνεπαίσχυντα, εἰρηνικὰ καὶ καλὴν ἀπολογίαν τὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ φοβεροῦ Βήματος τοῦ Χριστοῦ αἰτησώμεθα.

Παράσχου, Κύριε.

Τῆς Παναγίας, ἀχράντου, ὑπερευλογημένης, ἐνδόξου, Δεσποίνης ἡμῶν Θεοτόκου καὶ ἀειπαρθένου Μαρίας, μετὰ πάντων τῶν Ἁγίων μνημονεύσαντες, ἑαυτοὺς καὶ ἀλλήλους καὶ πᾶσαν τὴν ζωὴν ἡμῶν, Χριστῷ τῷ Θεῷ παραθώμεθα.

Σοί, Κύριε.

Ὅτι [ἀγαθὸς καὶ φιλάνθρωπος Θεὸς / Θεὸς ἐλέους, οἰκτιρμῶν, καὶ φιλανθρωπίας] ὑπάρχεις, καὶ σοὶ τὴν δόξαν ἀναπέμπομεν, τῷ Πατρὶ καὶ τῷ Υἱῷ καὶ τῷ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων.



Compleamus [matutinam / vesperam] precationem nostram Domino.

Domine, miserere.

Suscipe, serva, miserere et custodi nos, Deus, gratia tua.

Domine, miserere.

Diem [or, Vesperum] totum perfectum, [sanctum,] pacificum et sine peccato a Domino petamus.

Concede, Domine.

Angelum pacis, fidelem ducem, custodem animarum et corporum nostrorum a Domino petamus.

Concede, Domine.

Veniam et remissionem peccatorum et delictorum nostrorum a Domino petamus.

Concede, Domine.

Bona et animabus nostris competentia, [Bona et utilia animæ nostræ,…] et pacem mundo a Domino petamus.

Concede, Domine.

Residuum tempus vitæ nostræ in pace et pœnitentia transigere a Domino petamus.

Concede, Domine.

Christianum vitæ nostræ finem, sine dolore et dedecore, pacificam, et bonam ante terribile tribunal [Christi] defensionem petamus.

Concede, Domine.

Sanctissimæ, intemeratæ, super omnes benedictæ, Dominæ nostræ Deiparæ et semper virginis Mariæ cum omnibus sanctis memoriam agentes, nosmetipsos et mutuo, et totam vitam nostram Christo Deo consecremus.

Tibi, Domine.

Quia bonus et benignus Deus es, et tibi gloriam referimus, Patri, et Filio, et sancto Spiritui, nunc et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Αἴτησις

Having finished all my Office earlier (but for Compline, of course) - Matins, Lauds and Prime before work, Terce and Sext in breaks, and, having gone to Glendalough for Confession, None before it and Vespers afterward, coram Sanctissimo - I felt like saying some litanic prayers, and picked up my Byzantine Divine Liturgy book: this is the Litany of Supplication (Αἴτησις) - the first two petitions are not of its special form, but belong with it...

Let us complete our [morning/evening] prayer to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

Help us, save us, have mercy on us, and protect us, O God, by Thy grace.

Lord, have mercy.

1. For this whole day [evening], that it may be perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless, let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.

2. An Angel of peace, a faithful guide, a guardian of our souls and bodies, let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.

3. Forgiveness and remission of our sins and transgressions, let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.

4. Things that are good and profitable for our souls and peace for the world, let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.


5. To complete the remaining time of our life in peace and repentance, let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.

6. Christian ends to our life, painless, blameless, peaceful, and of good defence before the fearful Judgement Seat of Christ, let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.

Commemorating our All-Holy, spotless, exceedingly blessed, glorified Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

To Thee, O Lord.

For thou art [a good and philanthropic God / a God of mercy, compassion, and philanthropy], and unto Thee do we send up glory, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, both now and ever and unto the ages of the ages.


Where the asterisk is, I sometimes add the following from Lancelot Andrewes, to make up the number to seven supplications (numero Deus impari gaudet - Virgil):

Whatsoever things are true,
whatsoever things are honest,
whatsoever things are just,
whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely,
whatsoever things are of good report,
if there be any virtue
and if there be any praise,
that we may think on these things
and practise these things,
let us ask of the Lord.

Grant this, O Lord.

— Lancelot Andrewes, Preces Privatæ. F.E. Brightman, tr. (London: Methuen & Co., 1903) 24, l. 28 – 25, l. 4. (Cf. Phil. iv, 8.)

I also call to mind the prayer of St Ioannikos (Ioannicius) the monk (d. 846), the Latin for which the Martyrology entry for 3rd November tells us:

Ἡ ἐλπίς μου Πατήρ, καταφυγή μου Υἱός, σκέπη μου τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, Τριὰς Ἁγία, δόξα σοι. Ἀμήν.

Spes mea Deus, refugium meum Christus, protector meus Spiritus Sanctus. [Trinitas Sancta, gloria tibi. Amen.]

My hope is the Father, my refuge is the Son, my protection is the Holy Ghost. Holy Trinity, glory to Thee. Amen.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Vale, Petre

I felt rather unwell today, and in fact had to leave work early; a good long sleep made me feel a lot better, and whatever was the matter seems to have passed, thanks be.

It was lucky that I was over whatever had been ailing me by this evening, since this was the last chance for my housemates and I to meet up with Peter, our friend from Bunbury, since Peter, having come up to Perth for a few days, is returning to Bunbury tomorrow, and will leave Australia on the 15th prox., since he's joining the Carmelite Monks in Wyoming.

Peter came round, and we had some fairly hearty soup I concocted (shades of that budae jjigae I had last week!), together with some beer (Unibroue, from Quebec). He recommended that I blog about all this, so here you are, Pete!

I had to drive him over to Fr Rowe's place, since he's staying there overnight so as to be able to get into town very early in the morning to meet a friend, and so we shared a last bit of conversation, a mix of seriousness and joking.

Partly humorously, I suggested that he write up in his cell the text Quoniam propter te mortificamur tota die (Ps 43:22), once he arrives to begin his hidden life of contemplation and penance!

More seriously, I think that the following text of St Paul (Colossians iii, 1-17), a favourite of mine (especially the opening verses, used in the Office at Eastertide), bears much consideration, whether as a monk or indeed as any Christian, seeking to save one's soul:

Therefore, if you be risen with Christ, seek the things that are above; where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God:
Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth.
For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ shall appear, who is your life, then you also shall appear with him in glory.
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, lust, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is the service of idols.
For which things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of unbelief,
In which you also walked some time, when you lived in them.
But now put you also all away: anger, indignation, malice, blasphemy, filthy speech out of your mouth.
Lie not one to another: stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds,
And putting on the new, him who is renewed unto knowledge, according to the image of him that created him.
Where there is neither Gentile nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free. But Christ is all, and in all.
Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:
Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also.
But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:
And let the peace of Christ rejoice in your hearts, wherein also you are called in one body: and be ye thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you abundantly, in all wisdom: teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual canticles, singing in grace in your hearts to God.
All whatsoever you do in word or in work, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Well, this has probably been the last time I shall see Peter; he has very kindly promised to pray for me and all the others here in Perth, and I ask any readers to pray for him, that he persevere in his holy vocation if such be God's will for him.

I would also appreciate prayers at the moment, for I have various things to deal with, and would appreciate spiritual aid.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Some Liturgical Devotions to St Philip Neri

This is the Vesper hymn from the traditional Ambrosian Rite for St Philip Neri:

Sacrum Philippum canticum
Terræque et astra concinant:
Implevit hic virtutibus
Terras, et astra civibus.

Rectæ magister semitæ,
Dux gentis, ara pauperum,
Ardens lucerna in Israel;
Sic ille Romæ splenduit.

Inter sepulchra martyrum
Orat, latetque pervigil:
Ex his sepulchris prodiens
Vitam resumit cœlicam.

Romanæ honorem purpuræ,
Quo plus meretur, respuit;
Et major ostro et infulis
Virtute sola fulgurat.

Illapsa flamma pectori
Divini amoris æstuat,
Et corde claudi nescia
Costas refractas dividit.

Ad astra jam cor altius
Vulnus per illud evolat;
Et fusa late in proximos
Divina flagrat caritas.

Hæc caritatis vulnera
Plagas coæquant martyrum:
Hic cordis ignis æstuans
Flammas adæquat Seraphim.

Ergo rogamus supplices,
Philippe, summo Numini
Tu nostra pande pectora,
Tuis ut urat ignibus.

Deo Patri sit gloria
Ejusque soli Filio
Cum Spiritu Paraclito
In sempiterna sæcula. Amen.

According to the Oratorian Proper, the 1st Nocturn readings are from Ecclesiasticus 51:11-30 [RSV] (Vulg. 51:15-38), the 2nd Nocturn readings are those of the Breviary previous to its last preconciliar reform, and the readings for the 3rd Nocturn are as follows:

Lectio VII.

Lectio sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam.

In illo tempore; dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Sint lumbi vestri præcincti, et lucernæ ardentes in manibus vestris. Et reliqua.

Homilia sancti Ambrosii Episcopi.

Lib. 7. In Lucam. [Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam VII, 131-132]

Beati servi illi, quos cum venerit Dominus invenerit vigilantes. In superioribus vigilare nos voluit, per omnia expectantes momenta Domini Salvatoris adventum; ne dum aliquis remittit, et negligit, et de die in diem opera sua differt, judicii futuri die, vel propria morte præventus meritum suæ commendationis amittat; et illa quidem in omnes præcepti forma generalis. (Quod si dixerit servus ille in corde suo, moram facit Dominus meus venire). Verum series sequentis exempli dispensatoribus, hoc est Sacerdotibus, videtur esse proposita, quo sciant sibi gravem in futurum pœnam esse subeundam, si sæcularibus intenti deliciis, familiam Domini, plebemque commissam sibi gubernare neglexerint. Ille autem servus, qui cognovit voluntatem Domini sui, et non præparavit, et non fecit secundum voluntatem ejus, vapulabit multis.

(A reading of the holy Gospel according to Luke.

At that time, Jesus said to his disciples: Let your loins be girt, and lamps burning in your hands. And the rest.

A homily of St Ambrose the Bishop.

Blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh, shall find watching. Above, he wished us to expect at all times the Coming of our Saviour , lest when someone relax and neglect his tasks, putting them off from day to day, he be prevented by the day of the future Judgement or his own death and lose the merit of his worth. And, surely, that is the general form of a precept for all. But if that servant shall say in his heart: My lord is long a coming… is indeed the link with the following example for stewards , that is, it seems to be set before Priests, whereby they may know that they will suffer severe punishment in the future, if, intent on worldly pleasures, they have neglected to govern the Lord’s Household and the people entrusted to them. And that servant who knew the will of his lord, and prepared not himself, and did not according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. )

Lectio VIII.

Sed quia exiguus est profectus, et parva meritorum gratia, supplicii metu ab errore revocari, majorque prærogativa caritatis et amoris est Dominus ad promerendam sui gratiam studia nostra acuit, et acquirenda cupiditate divinitatis inflammat dicens: Ignem veni mittere in terram. Non utique illum ignem consumptorem bonorum, sed bonæ voluntatis auctorem, qui aurea Dominicæ domus vasa meliorat, fœnum vero consumit, et stipulam, et sæcularia omnia mundi voluptate concreta; perituræque opus carnis exurit; ille ignis divinus, qui flammigerabat in ossibus Prophetarum, sicut Sanctus dixit: Quia factus est sicut ignis ardens flammigerans in ossibus meis. Est enim ignis Domini, de quo dictum est: Ignis ante eum ardebit.

(But because the profit is slight and the grace of merits little, in being recalled from error by the fear of punishment, and the prerogative of charity and love is greater, therefore the Lord sharpens our zeal to express his grace and inflames us with the desire for divinity, saying, I am come to send fire on the earth, surely not that fire which destroys the good, but the author of good will, which refines the golden vessels of the Lord’s House, but consumes hay and halm. And worldly things, stiffened by the pleasure of this age and the work of the perishable flesh are burned by that divine fire which blazed in the bones of the prophets, as a Saint says: But it was as burning fire flaming in my bones. For there is a fire of the Lord of which it is said, Fire shall go before him.)

Lectio IX.

Sint autem lumbi vestri præcincti, et lucernæ ardentes; et ideo, quia nox est dies hujus vitæ, lucerna est necessaria. Hunc ignem in se etiam Amaon, et Cleophas a Domino missum esse testatur, dicentes: Nonne cor nostrum ardens erat in via, cum aperiret nobis Scripturas? Evidenter itaque docuerunt, qualis istius ignis sit operatio, qui secreta cordis illuminat . Et ideo fortasse Dominus in igne venturus est, ut resurrectionis tempore vitia universa consumat, suique conspectu desideria compleat singulorum; meritorumque, et mysteriorum lumen accendat.

(Let therefore your loins be girt, and lamps burning. And, therefore, because the night is the day of this life, a lamp is needful. Do not also Ammos and Cleophas bear witness that this fire was sent to them from the Lord, saying, Was not our heart burning… on the way, when he opened to us the scriptures? Thus, they clearly taught what is the operation of that fire which illumines the secrets of the heart. Thus, perchance, the Lord is to come in fire, so that at the time of the Resurrection, he may consume all offences, and by his appearance fulfil the desires of individuals and of the deserving, and kindle the light of mysteries.)

Here is the traditional Oratorian Preface for St Philip, with my poor translation:

Vere dignum, et justum est, æquum et salutare nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, æterne Deus.
Qui beatum Philippum gratiæ tuæ muneribus, amoris igne æstuare fecisti: qua ineffabili charitate inflammatus, novam ad animarum lucrum Congregationem instituit, et quæ aliis dedit salutis monita, operum exhibitione complevit.
Quæsumus clementiam tuam ut illius nos festivitate (commemoratione) lætifices, exemplo piæ conversationis exerceas, verbo prædicationis erudias, grataque tibi supplicatione tuearis.
Et ideo cum Angelis et Archangelis cum Thronis et Dominationibus cumque omni militia cœlestis exercitus, hymnum gloriæ tuæ canimus, sine fine dicentes:

(Truly it is worthy and just, right and salutary for us always and everywhere to give thanks unto thee, holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal God.
Who hast made blessed Philip by the gifts of thy grace to burn with the fire of love: enkindled by that ineffable charity, he instituted a new Congregation for the gain of souls, and those salutary precepts he gave others, he accomplished by the example of his deeds.
We beseech therefore thy clemency, that thou mayest give us joy by his feast (commemoration), exercise us by the example of his pious conduct, instruct us by the word of his preaching, and protect us by his thankful supplication unto thee.
And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with every army of the host of heaven, we sing a hymn to thy glory, saying without end:)

Finally, here are the traditional and the modern responsories for Matins/Office of Readings for the saint, together with references to their sources; I have dared to add three compositions of my own at the end, for private devotion only:


First Nocturn – Responsories referring to the Marvellous Dilation of St Philip’s Heart by the Fire of Divine Love of the Holy Ghost

Resp. 1

R. Repletus Spiritus sancto beatus Philippus ascensiones suas disposuit in corde suo; * Et totis visceribus diligebat Dominum. V. Dedit ei Spiritus Domini sapientiam, et prudentiam multam nimis, et latitudinem cordis. * Et totis visceribus diligebat Dominum.

“repletus Spiritus sancto Petrus” – Acts 4:8
“Paulus, repletus Spiritus sancto” – Acts 13:9
“ascensiones in corde suo disposuit” – Ps 83(84):6
“qui totis visceribus diligebat Christum Regem” – Aña ad Magn., Vespers of St Martin of Tours
“Dedit quoque Deus sapientiam Salomoni et prudentiam multam nimis, et latitudinem cordis” – 3(1) Kings 4:29a

Resp. 2

R. Spiritus sanctus a throno procedens, illius cor penetravit * Novo sanctificationis signo. V. Advenit ignis divinus confringens, urens, et illuminans; et tribuit ei charismatum dona. * Novo sanctificationis signo.

“R. Spiritus sanctus, procedens a throno, Apostolorum pectora invisibiliter penetravit novo sanctificationis signo: * Ut in ore eorum omnium genera nascerentur linguarum, alleluja. V. Advenit ignis divinus, non comburens, sed illuminans et tribuit eis charismatum dona. * Ut in ore…” – Matins of Pentecost (Feria II in Oct. Pent., R. ii)

Resp. 3

Amore vulneratus languebat jugiter dicens: * Quis me separabit a caritate. V. Certus sum enim, quia neque mors, neque vita, poterit me separare a caritate Dei, quoniam ipse in me manet, et ego in eo. * Quis me separabit a caritate. Gloria Patri… * Quis me separabit a caritate.

“Caritate Dei vulneratus languebat jugiter” – Lesson 5, Matins of St Philip Neri
«Vulneratus caritatis sum ego» – saying of St Philip Neri
Cf. “quia amore langueo” – Cant 2:5c & 5:8c
Cf. “Vulnerasti cor meum… vulnerasti cor meum…” – Cant 4:9
“Quis ergo nos separabit a caritate” – Rom 8:35a
“Certus sum enim quia neque mors, neque vita” – Rom 8:38a
“poterit nos separare a caritate Dei” – Rom 8: 39b
“in illo manet, et ipse in eo” – 1 Jn 3:24a
“quoniam in eo manemus, et ipse in nobis” – 1 Jn 4:13a
“quoniam… Deus in eo manet, et ipse in Deo” – 1 Jn 4:15b
“in me manet, et ego in illo” – Jn 6:57b
“qui manet in me et ego in eo” – Jn 15:5

Second Nocturn – Responsories referring to the Death of St Philip

Resp. 4

R. Oculis et manibus in cælum semper intentus: * Invictum ab oratione spiritum non relaxabat. V. Clamans clamabat ad Dominum: Quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem Dei? * Invictum ab oratione spiritum non relaxabat.

“Oculis ac manibus in cælum semper intentus, invictum ab oratione spiritum non relaxabat.” – V. of R. ii, Matins of St Martin of Tours
“R. Oculis ac manibus in cælum semper intentus, * Invictum ab oratione spiritum non relaxabat.” – R. of R. iv., Matins of St Martin of Tours
“Oculis ac manibus in cælum semper intentus, invictum ab oratione spiritum non relaxabat, alleluja. ” – Aña 4, Lauds & Vespers of St Martin of Tours
“clamabat ad Dominum, dicens” – Judith 9:1b
“quando veniam, et apparebo ante faciem Dei?” – Ps 41(42):3b

Resp. 5

R. Obitum suum longe ante præscivit, dixitque fratribus: * Cupio dissolvi, et esse cum Christo. V. Interiora mea intra me efferbuerunt absque ulla requie. * Cupio dissolvi, et esse cum Christo.

“Beatus Martinus obitum suum longe ante præscivit, dixitque fratribus, * Dissolutionem sui corporis imminere, quia judicabat se jam resolvi.” – R. of R. v., Matins of St Martin of Tours
“desiderium habens dissolvi, et esse cum Christo” – Phil 1:23b
“interiora mea efferbuerunt absque ulla requie” – Job 30:27a

Resp. 6

R. [Hodie] Philippus migravit a sæculo gemma sacerdotum. * Per quem in cælo viventem tanta miracula coruscant. V. O virum ineffabilem, nec labore victum, nec morte vincendum. * Per quem in cælo viventem tanta miracula coruscant. Gloria Patri… * Per quem in cælo viventem tanta miracula coruscant.

“Martinus episcopus migravit a sæculo: vivit in Christo gemma sacerdotum.” – V. of R. viii, Matins of St Martin of Tours
“O ineffabilem virum, per quem nobis tanta miracula coruscant!” – Aña 6, Matins of St Martin of Tours
“O virum ineffabilem, nec labore victum, nec morte vincendum, qui nec mori timuit, nec vivere recusavit!” – Aña 3, Lauds & Vespers of St Martin of Tours

Third Nocturn – Responsories referring to St Philip’s Desires for His Congregation of the Oratory

Resp. 7

R. Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur: * In eas omnis qui petit accipit, qui quærit invenit, et pulsanti aperietur. V. Lætificabo eos in domo orationis. * In eas omnis qui petit accipit, qui quærit invenit, et pulsanti aperietur.

“domus mea domus orationis vocabitur” – Is 56:7d
“Omnis enim qui petit, accipit: et qui quærit, invenit: et pulsanti aperietur.” – Mt 7:8 & Lk 11:10
“lætificabo eos in domo orationis” – Is 56:7b

Resp. 8

R. Obsecro itaque, filii, orationes fieri, postulationes, gratiarum actiones pro omnibus: * Et diligite decorem domus Dei. V. Manete in vocatione; attendite lectioni, et doctrinæ; conversationem inter gentes habete bonam. * Et diligite decorem domus Dei. Gloria Patri… * Et diligite decorem domus Dei.

“Obsecro igitur primum omnium fieri obsecrationes, orationes, postulationes, gratiarum actiones, pro omnibus hominibus ” – 1 Tim 2:1
“Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuæ” – Ps 25:8a
“Obsecro itaque vos ego vinctus in Domino, ut digne ambuletis vocatione, qua vocati estis” – Eph 4:1
“manete in vocatione” – not a Scriptural quotation, but quoted by St Gaspar del Bufalo (1836)
“attende lectioni, exhortationi, et doctrinæ”- 1 Tim 4:13b
“conversationem vestram inter gentes habentes bonam” – 1 Pet 2:12a

II. Responsories for Office of Readings of St Philip Neri

Resp. 1 (shortened form of Matins Resp. 8)

R. Obsecro itaque, filii, manete in vocatione, attendite lectioni et doctrinæ. * Conversationem inter gentes habete bonam. V. Et diligite decorem domus Dei. * Conversationem inter gentes habete bonam.

“Obsecro itaque vos ego vinctus in Domino, ut digne ambuletis vocatione, qua vocati estis” – Eph 4:1
“manete in vocatione” – not a Scriptural quotation, but quoted by St Gaspar del Bufalo (1836)
“attende lectioni, exhortationi, et doctrinæ”- 1 Tim 4:13b
“conversationem vestram inter gentes habentes bonam” – 1 Pet 2:12a
“Domine, dilexi decorem domus tuæ” – Ps 25:8a

Resp. 2 (seems suitable to be Matins Resp. 9)

R. Fratres, gaudete, perfecti estote, exhortamini invicem, idem sapite, pacem habete; * Et Deus dilectionis et pacis erit vobiscum (T.P. alleluja). V. Deus autem spei repleat vos omni gaudio et pace in credendo. * Et Deus dilectionis et pacis erit vobiscum (T.P. alleluja).

De cætero, fratres, gaudete, perfecti estote, exhortamini, idem sapite, pacem habete, et Deus pacis et dilectionis erit vobiscum. — 2 Cor. 13,11
Deus autem spei repleat vos omni gaudio et pace in credendo. — Rom 15,13a

III. Three More Proposed Responsories (Relating to St Philip’s Life), as if for use in the Monastic Rite (which needs 12 Responsories for Feasts)

Resp. 1

R/. Dominus Jesus invenit Philíppum. * Et dicit ei: Sequere me.
V/. Et vocavit Philíppum, unum de amicis suis. * Et dicit ei: Sequere me.

Et vocavit Philippum, unum de amicis suis — 1 Mach 6,14a
[Jesus] invenit Philippum. Et dicit ei Jesus: Sequere me. — Jo 1,43b

Resp. 2

R/. Philíppus ascendens in Civitatem, prædicabant illis Christum. Intendebant autem turbæ his quæ a Philíppo dicebantur, unanimiter audientes, et videntes signa quæ faciebat. * Factum est ergo gaudium magnum in Civitate.
V/. Cum vero credidissent Philíppo evangelizanti de regno Dei, adhærebant Philíppo. Videntes etiam signa et virtutes maximas fieri, stupentes admirabantur. * Factum est ergo gaudium magnum in Civitate.

Philippus autem descendens in civitatem Samariæ, prædicabant illis Christum. Intendebant autem turbæ his quæ a Philippo dicebantur, unanimiter audientes, et videntes signa quæ faciebat. Factum est ergo gaudium magnum in illa civitate.
Cum vero credidissent Philippo evangelizanti de regno Dei…
…adhærebat Philippo. Videns etiam signa et virtutes maximas fieri, stupens admirabatur. — Act 8:5,6,8,12a,13b

Resp. 3

R/. Omnibus omnia factus sum, ut omnes facerem salvos. * Repletus sum consolatione; superabundo gaudio.
V/. Puto autem quod et ego Spiritum Dei habeo. * Repletus sum consolatione; superabundo gaudio.

Omnibus omnia factus sum, ut omnes facerem salvos. — 1 Cor 9,22b
Repletus sum consolatione; superabundo gaudio. — 2 Cor 7,4b
Puto autem quod et ego Spiritum Dei habeo. — 1 Cor 7,40b

Rachmaninoff Vespers

We sang Mass of the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost as usual this morning, supplemented with a Procession in honour of the Blessed Sacrament at its end. In the afternoon - after getting the booklets ready for the Brothers of the Oratory tomorrow - I went with Fr Rowe, Rosemary and Peter to hear the Perth Collegium sing Rachmaninoff's Vespers (a.k.a. All-Night Vigil). Our mate Justin had a starring role thrust upon him, for at the last moment one of the other soloists was taken ill and Justin had to sing the other man's part as well as his own. The music was stunning, and the choir, not to mention Justin, acquitted themselves with aplomb. Afterward, we went out for Chinese (at the nearby Jade Flowers Chinese Restaurant, in Cambridge St, Wembley - I recommend it), together with and followed by some drinks and suchlike, and much good conversation. I even read the assembled brethren Dom Alban Butler's account of the death of St Philip Neri, to prepare us for tomorrow's feast, which ended with these stirring words:

St. Philip, inflamed with the love of God and a desire of praising him worthily, after offering him all the affections of his soul, and the homages of all his creatures, seeing in their poverty and inability nothing equal to his infinite greatness, comforted himself in finding in the Mass a means of glorifying him by a victim worthy of himself. This he offered to him with inexpressible joy, devotion, and humility, to praise and honor his holy name, to be a sacrifice of perfect thanksgiving for his infinite benefits, of expiation for sin, and of impetration to obtain all graces. Hence in this sacrifice he satiated the ardent desires of his zeal, and found such an excess of overflowing love and sweetness in the closest union of his soul with his divine Redeemer.

(from Vol. V of The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints by the Rev. Alban Butler, the 1864 edition published by D. & J. Sadlier, & Company)

To celebrate the day, I plan to read the Oratorians' 1st class Office of their Founder, kindly provided by one of their number. The Holy Hour for the Brethren of the Oratory (with Simple Exposition, Litany of St Philip, a half-hour of meditation, and Benediction to finish) will start at 5.30pm, to be followed by sung Mass at 6.30pm, and a gaudeamus afterward. Justin and I will sing the Propers, together with Mass V (Kyrie magnæ Deus potentiæ), the Veni Creator at offertory, Pange lingua at communion, and "Rejoice the Lord is King" for a recessional.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Second Sunday after Pentecost - 9th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

From Fr Faber:

XII. ST PHILIP’S DAY. [1861] [2nd part: III.]

III. How did he work upon his times? What did he tell people to do? His times were bad, as ours are; and he was raised up, remember, to be the apostle of his times in the centre and capital of all Christendom.
1. The things he did not do; yet other saints had done them.
(1) He never went the world’s way, nor borrowed its methods, however good or promising or lawful they might be.
(2) He preached no reforms, but the secret reforms of single souls.
(3) He founded no intellectual school of philosophy or theology.
(4) He stood aloof from all political movements or views, as things not to his purpose. Indeed I cannot fancy St. Philip having any views; his whole soul was in the Church; his views were not views, they were faiths, principles, obediences.
(5) He attacked nothing, unless indeed it were sin, frivolity, worldliness, and the reluctance of rich people to give large alms; not even did he attack dress or expensiveness, intensely as he hated both the one and the other.
2. What did he tell people to do? Oh strange foolish wisdom of the Gospel!
(1) To keep in their own places, and attend to their ordinary actions, avoiding change, avoiding excitement.
(2) To be exceedingly simple, and not to mind criticisms and talk. If you are devout to St. Philip, he will give you the grace not to care what people say of you — and is not that perfect happiness?
(3) To be always reading the lives of the saints, because that makes an atmosphere, and excludes worldliness without trouble.
(4) To pray, frequent the sacraments, and hear a great many sermons.
(5) To love everybody, to praise everybody, and to find good in everybody. And all this because of the one mastering thought and sovereign love of God.
What was there wonderful in all this? Was it not strangely commonplace, for a saint in whose broken heart the Holy Ghost dwelt supernaturally, and who was the recognised Apostle of great Rome? Yes! this was wonderful, — that he kept to it, that he mixed nothing else with it, that he added nothing else to it, that he persevered in this bare singleness of purpose. This is in my eyes a greater miracle than we read in any of the lives of the saints.
See then, brethren, to what a conclusion we have come! The saint, who had the Holy Ghost in his miraculously dilated heart, is the most commonplace of saints; yet he is also the most peculiar and individual of saints, because of the persevering simplicity of his commonplaceness. Oh how much there is to learn, how much to learn of God and Jesus Christ in this one fact, that St. Philip became the Apostle of Rome, a second Peter and a second Paul in his one self, through the mere perseverance of his enthusiastic, unadventurous simplicity!

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 376-8]

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Our Lady Help of Christians

A grand day off: a feast, a feast of Our Lady. A day to spend at Mass and in prayer, a day to spend with friends, a rainy day, a day for lounging in a bookshop...

Since the Proper for Australia's 1st class Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians doesn't seem to be online, I will append it below.

Note that all is from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary (beware - this link gives the wrong short lesson at Prime; it should be that of the season, according to the '62), except for -

(a) the Collect (Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui ad defensionem);

(b) the Hymns, of which there are two (Sæpe dum Christi populus cruentis at Vespers and Matins, and Te Redemptoris Dominique nostri at Lauds);

(c) the Magnificat and Benedictus Antiphons (Ecce, Maria erat spes nostra at first Vespers, Ad te, o sancta Dei Genetrix at Lauds, and Sancta Maria, succurre miseris... tuum sanctum implorant auxilium at second Vespers, though, rather confusingly, this is, apart from its proper ending, the same as the Common Magnificat antiphon for first Vespers);

(d) the Proper Lessons for Nocturns II and III (from St Bernard's sermons, numbers 69 and 70, except for Lesson vi, which is "from public records");

(e) the Proper ending of Responsory vii at Matins (tuum sanctum implorant auxilium - this of course being, in its versicle, the same as the second half of the second Magnificat antiphon).


Die 24 Maji
Beatæ Mariæ Virginis sub titulo Auxilium Christianorum
Patronæ principalis Australiæ

Omnia de Commune Festorum B.M.V., præter ea quæ hic habentur propriæ.

In I Vesperis


Sæpe dum Christi populus cruentis
Hostis infensi premeretur armis,
Venit adjutrix pia Virgo cælo
Lapsa sereno.

Prisca sic patrum monumenta narrant,
Templa testantur spoliis opimis
Clara, votivo repetita cultu
Festa quotannis.

En novi grates liceat Mariæ
Cantici lætis modulis referre
Pro novis donis, resonante plausu
Urbis et Orbis.

Oh dies felix, memoranda fastis,
Qua Petri Sedes fidei magistrum
Triste post lustrum reducem beata
Sorte recepit!

Virgines castæ, puerique puri
Gestiens clerus, populusque grato
Corde Reginæ celebrare cæli
Munera certent.

Virginum Virgo, benedicta Jesu
Mater, hæc auge bona: fac, precamur,
Ut gregem Pastor Pius ad salutis
Pascua ducat.

Te per æternos veneremur annos,
Trinitas, summo celebranda plausu;
Te fides mentes, resonoque linguæ
Carmine laudent.


Ad Magn. Aña. Ecce, Maria erat spes nostra, ad quam confugimus in auxilium, ut liberaret nos, et venit in adjutorium nobis.


Omnipotens et misericors Deus, qui ad defensionem populi christiani in beatissima Virgine Maria perpetuum auxilium mirabiliter constituisti: concede propitius; ut, tali præsidio muniti certantes in vita, victoriam de hoste maligno consequi valeamus in morte. Per Dñm.

Ad Matutinum

Hymnus Sæpe dum Christi populi cruentis, ut supra

In II Nocturno

Sermo sancti Bernardi Abbatis
(Ex Serm. de 12 stellis [Dom. infra Oct. Assumptionis B.M.V., 1, 2])

Lectio iv

Vehementer quidem nobis, dilectissimi, vir unus et mulier una nocuere: sed gratias Deo, per unum nihilominus virum, et mulierem unam omnia restaurantur, nec sine magno faenore gratiarum. Et quidem sufficere poterat Christus: siquidem et nunc omnis sufficientia nostra ex eo est: sed nobis bonum non erat esse hominem solum. Congruum magis ut adesset nostrae reparationi sexus uterque. Jam itaque nec ipsa mulier benedicta in mulieribus videbitur otiosa: invenietur equidem locus ejus in hac reconciliatione. Opus est enim mediatore ad mediatorem Christum: nec alter nobis utilior quam Maria. Crudelis nimium mediatrix Heva, per quam serpens antiquus pestiferum etiam ipsi viro virus infudit: sed fidelis Maria, quae salutis antidotum et viris et mulieribus propinavit. Illa enim ministra seductionis, haec propitiationis; illa suggessit praevaricationem, haec ingessit redemptionem. Quid ad Mariam accedere trepidet humana fragilitas? Nihil austerum in ea, nihil terribile; tota suavis est, omnibus offerens lac et lanam. Revolve diligentius evangelicae historiae seriem universam: et si quid forte increpatorium, si quid durum, si quod denique signum vel tenuis indignationis occurrerit in Maria, de caetero suspectam habeas, et accedere verearis.

Lectio v
[2, 3, 4, 5]

Quod si, ut vere sunt, plena magis omnia pietatis et gratiae, plena mansuetudinis et misericordiae, quae ad eam pertinent, inveneris, age gratias ei, qui talem tibi mediatricem benignissima miseratione providit, in qua nihil possit esse suspectum. Denique omnibus omnia facta est; sapientibus et insipientibus copiosissima charitate debitricem se fecit. Omnibus misericordiae sinum aperit, ut de plenitudine ejus accipiant universi, captivus redemptionem, aeger curationem, tristis consolationem, peccator veniam, justus gratiam, Angelus laetitiam. Ipsa praeterita non discutit merita; sed omnibus sese exorabilem, omnibus clementissimam praebet, omnium denique necessitates amplissimo quodam miseratur affectu. Ipsa est quondam a Deo promissa mulier serpentis antiqui caput virtutis pede contritura; cujus plane calcaneo in multis versutiis insidiatus est, sed sine causa. Sola enim contrivit universam haereticam pravitatem. Contriti sunt insidiatores, conculcati supplantatores, confutati derogatores, et beatam eam dicunt omnes generationes. Jam si Ecclesia lunae intelligenda videtur vocabulo, habes mediatricem evidenter expressam: Mulier, inquit, amicta sole, et luna sub pedibus ejus. Amplectamur Mariae vestigia, et devotissima supplicatione beatis illius pedibus provolvamur. Teneamus eam, nec dimittamus, donec benedixerit nobis: potens est enim.

Lectio vi
(Ex publicis monumentis)

Præsentissimum Deiparæ auxilium ad religionis hostes profligandos, sæpe populus christianus mirum in modum expertus est: ex quo factum, ut sanctissimus Pontifex Pius quintus post insignem victoriam, intercedente beatissima Virgine, a Christianis de Turcarum tyranno apud Echinadas insulas reportatam, in Litaniis Lauretanis eandem Reginam cælorum inter alia præconia Auxilium Christianorum appellari constituerit. Sed illud in primis memorabile est, atque explorati miraculi loco habendum, quod cum Romanus Pontifex Pius septimus impiorum consiliis et armis ex apostolica Petri Sede exturbatus, et arcta custodia, præsertim Savonæ per annos quinque, eoque amplius fuisset detentus, viis omnibus penitus interclusis, ne Dei Ecclesiam regere posset, nullo similis persecutionis in priscis annalibus exemplo, inopinato et præter omnium expectationem contigit, ut ingenti plausu, ac velut universi orbis manibus pontificio solio restitueretur. Quod et secundo accidit, dum iterum commoto turbine, ab Urbe discedens sacro comitante Cardinalium collegio, Liguriam contendit. Verum præsentissimo Dei beneficio, cessante procella, quæ grave minabatur excidium, Romam, plaudentibus præ novo gaudio populis, reversus est. Antea tamen, quod in votis habuerat, et captivitate detentus exsequi insignem Savonæ imaginem Deiparæ Virginis sub titulo Matris Misericordiæ solemni ritu propriisque manibus decoravit. Quam mirabilem rerum vicissitudinem idem Pontifex Maximus Pius septimus totius eventus intime conscius, cum intercessione sanctissimæ Dei Genetricis, cujus potentem opem, et ipse impense imploraverat, acceptam merito referret in ejusdem Virginis Matris honorem sub appellatione Auxilii Christianorum, sollemne festum indixit perpetuo celebrandum die mensis Maji vigesimo quarto, faustissimi sui in Urbem reditus anniversario, approbato etiam Officio proprio, ut tanti beneficii distincta et perennis exstet memoria, et gratiarum actio.

In III Nocturno

Lectio sancti Evangelii secundum Lucam
Lectio vii (Cap. 11,27-28)

In illo tempore: Loquente Jesu ad turbas, extollens vocem quædam mulier de turba, dixit illi: Beatus venter qui te portavit. Et reliqua.

Sermo sancti Bernardi Abbatis

(In Nativitate B.M.V. [De aquæductu 6, 7])

Intuere, o homo, consilium Dei, agnosce consilium sapientiae, consilium pietatis. Caelesti rore aream rigaturus, totum vellus prius infudit; redempturus humanum genus, pretium universum contulit in Mariam. Altius ergo intuemini, quanto devotionis affectu a nobis eam voluerit honorari, qui totius boni plenitudinem posuit in Maria: ut proinde si quid spei in nobis est, si quid gratiae, si quid salutis, ab ea noverimus redundare, quae ascendit deliciis affluens. Totis ergo medullis cordium, totis praecordiorum affectibus, et votis omnibus Mariam hanc veneremur; quia sic est voluntas ejus, qui totum nos habere voluit per Mariam. Haec, inquam, voluntas ejus est, sed pro nobis.

R/. vii Felix namque es, sacra Virgo Maria, et omni laude dignissima: * Quia ex te ortus est sol justitiæ, Christus, Deus noster. V/. Ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu: sentiant omnes tuum juvamen, quicumque tuum sanctum implorant auxilium. * Quia.

Lectio viii

In omnibus siquidem, et per omnia providens miseris, trepidationem nostram solatur, fidem excitat, spem roborat, diffidentiam abigit, erigit pusillanimitatem. Ad Patrem verebaris accedere, solo auditu territus, ad folia fugiebas: Jesum tibi dedit mediatorem. Quid non apud talem Patrem Filius talis obtineat? Exaudietur utique pro reverentia sua: Pater enim diligit Filium. Sed forsitan et in ipso majestatem vereare divinam, quod licet factus sit homo, manserit tamen Deus. Advocatum habere vis et ad ipsum? Ad Mariam recurre. Pura siquidem humanitas in Maria, non modo pura ab omni contaminatione, sed et pura singularitate naturae. Nec dubius dixerim, exaudietur et ipsa pro reverentia sua. Exaudiet utique Matrem Filius, et exaudiet Filium Pater.

Lectio ix
[7, 8]

Filioli, haec peccatorum scala, haec mea maxima fiducia est, haec tota ratio spei meae. Quid enim? Potestne Filius aut repellere, aut sustinere repulsam? Non audire, aut non audiri Filius potest? Neutrum plane. Invenisti, ait Angelus, gratiam apud Deum: feliciter. Semper haec inveniet gratiam, et sola est gratia qua egemus; nimirum sola est gratia, qua salvamur. Quid nos alia concupiscimus, fratres? Quaeramus gratiam, et per Mariam quaeramus, quia quod quaerit, invenit, et frustrari non potest. Quaeramus gratiam, sed gratiam apud Deum: nam apud homines gratia fallax. Quaerant alii meritum, nos invenire gratiam studeamus. Quid enim? Non gratiae est quod hic sumus? Profecto misericordiae Domini est, quod non sumus consumpti nos.

Ad Laudes


Te Redemptoris Dominique nostri
Dicimus Matrem, speciosa Virgo,
Christianorum decus, et levamen
Rebus in arctis.

Sæviant portæ licet inferorum,
Hostis antiquis fremat, et minaces,
Ut Deo sacrum populetur agmen,
Suscitet iras.

Nil truces possunt furiæ nocere
Mentibus castis, prece quas vocata
Annuens Virgo fovet, et superno
Robore firmat.

Tanta si nobis faveat Patrona,
Bellici cessat sceleris tumultus,
Mille sternuntur, fugiuntve turmæ,
Mille cohortes.

Tollit ut sancta caput in Sione
Turris, arx firmo fabricata muro,
Civitas David,clypeis et acri
Milite tuta.

Virgo sic fortis Domini potenti
Dextera, cæli cumulata donis,
A piis longe famulis repellit
Dæmonis ictus.

Te per æternos veneremur annos,
Trinitas, summo celebranda plausu:
Te fides mentes, resonoque linguæ
Carmine laudent.


Ad Bened. Aña. Ad te, o sancta Dei Genetrix, clamavimus, et per te venit Domini auxilium nobis.

In II Vesperis

Hymnus Sæpe dum Christi populi cruentis, ut supra

Ad Magn. Aña. Sancta Maria, succurre miseris, juva pusillanimes, refove flebiles, ora pro populo, interveni pro clero, intercede pro devoto femineo sexu: sentiant omnes tuum juvamen, quicumque tuum sanctum implorant auxilium.

I did delight in the Office today, though Matins of three Nocturns is long, and was all the Office I got though after the 9am Low Mass; I returned to the Pro. late in the morning for Lauds, Prime, Terce and Sext. None came later in the day; and now for Vespers...

Votive Mass of the Holy Cross

Yesterday, being a Friday feria, Fr Rowe said a votive Low Mass of the Holy Cross. Several of its texts, if not all, are quite thought-provoking, particularly the Offertory, which is surely in fact a Secret set to music:

Protege, Domine, plebem tuam per signum sanctæ Crucis ab insidiis inimicorum omnium: ut tibi gratam exhibeamus servitutem, et acceptabile fiat sacrificium nostrum. Alleluja.

I have rediscovered my little book of Byzantine Rite prayers, and used it yesterday before, during, and after Mass. Since, in Australia, 1st Vespers of Our Lady Help of Christians were in order, I borrowed Fr's Breviary (since my FSSP reprint doesn't have it) to pray them, and have since borrowed from him a copy of the Australian supplementary offices.

Since it was the eve of Our Lady Help of Christians, after Mass we sang James McAuley's martial hymn, "Help of Christians guard this land", which was a fitting choice, since it also alludes to our only hope of victory, Christ and His Cross:

Help of Christians guard this land
From assault or inward stain;
Let it be what Christ has planned,
His new Eden where you reign.

Teach us that in Christ your Son
Lies the wisdom to be free;
For the cross which we would shun
Is Man's tree of liberty.

Should the powers of hell arise
And our peace be trampled down,
In that night of blood and lies
Show us still your twelve starred crown.

Take from us the coward heart,
Fleeting will, divided mind;
Give us sight to play our part
Though the world around is blind.

Image of the risen life
Shining in eternity,
Glimmer through our earthly strife,
Draw us to your victory.

After Mass we all had a chance to catch up and have a bit to eat and drink, which made a pleasant end to a good day. I'm glad that over this week I've discovered that I can both work full-time and fit in the '62 Breviary, so I think I'll stick with it now. I like the way one gets all the psalms each week.

Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, Patroness of Australia - 8th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

From Fr Faber:

XII. ST PHILIP’S DAY. [1861] [1st part: I.-II.]

I. For two hundred and sixty-six years [lege four hundred and thirteen years] St. Philip has been looking upon the Face of God: he has never wearied. It is ever new; the years have sped silently away; they have not been like years; no springs or autumns, no winters or summers; there has been the calmness of eternity.
1. How much the world has gone through since, and his own favourite Rome.
2. His own work, how it has lasted and spread — and to how many souls it has gone!
3. Does not the thought of him, and of his calm looking upon the Face of the Most Holy Trinity this day, make us long for heaven. The times are evil — that makes us long for heaven. We are evil ourselves, we are wearied of our own foolishness — oh how we long for the security, the peace, the truth, the charity of heaven! Oh yes! most of all for the charity of heaven.
II. But there are lives on earth which have a look, a feeling, a fragrance of eternity about them. This was quite a distinguishable characteristic of St. Philip’s life.
1. How his years were like eternal years — so still, so swift, so calm, so like each other.
2. Full of crosses, yet no ripples, no rufflings, no sounds at all — it was too deep.
3. He was called an apostle — think of Roman roads and hurrying toil — he in his room for the most part, or in quiet churches, or leisurely pacing the streets of Rome: he stationary, and Rome flowed by him, touched at him as at a harbour, and went on all controlled by him.
4. Yet he was like an apostle in his love of the primitive times, and early Christian life; hence his simplicity, his unity — he kept aloof from the world, yet exercised an almost ubiquitous influence, through his simplicity and his love. People told him he might influence it more by leading a more public life. No! he knew his place; he had ascertained his calling; he was stationary, like eternity.
5. His unity was like eternity. He had only one thought, only one secret, only one way, only one work: to make God dearer to men, and that in direct ways, never indirect, however excellent. Hence his success, hence that remarkable, and it would have seemed so unlikely, oracle of the Church, which authoritatively conferred upon him the title of Apostle of Rome. Is not it strange? An apostle shy and hidden, keeping out of people’s way, shunning every kind and shape of notoriety; a light whose power was in its being well-nigh invisible. [ctd]

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 375-6]

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday of the 1st Week after Pentecost - 7th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

Around this hour, after midnight after the day of Corpus Christi in 1595, St Philip passed from this world to his everlasting reward.

From Fr Faber:


All God’s works come to an end, and for the most part their end is more beautiful than their beginning; and the end is often the beginning of a more heavenly and eternal beauty. How true this is of the deaths of the saints. [Cf. Pretiosa in conspectu Domini mors sanctorum ejus. Ps. cxv. 15.]
The feeling in the morning all through the house, and then all through Rome, when St. Philip’s death was known. What it must have been to have lived with a saint!
I. As if the end of the world was come; what next? there is no next! He had grown into the habits of men’s lives; and yet, though warned in every way, they found themselves unprepared.
II. His ways, his words, his looks, his haunts, all grow vivid and into a unity to them; they begin to understand him.
III. Hence they want him most, now that he is gone; to whom are they to go to confession? How are they to do without his room, now become like a sacrament to them? He has been so quietly necessary to them, that it is incredible he should be gone. They feel as if they also should have died with him, for how can they go on?
IV. Yet, strange to say, a growing joy makes itself felt in their hearts. The joy comes from within, and without any apparent natural cause.
V. They see him on his bier in church, and as he gave light and perfume in his life, so he gives light and sheds sweet odours down on the souls of those who kneel there. It is the light of God, the sweet odour of Jesus Christ. [Cf. II Cor. ii. 15; Eph. v. 2.]
VI. Spiritually he will continue to give this light and to shed this perfume in our souls in an especial manner on his feast-day year by year until Jesus comes to Judge the world.
He has many places to look to this evening, many Oratories to bless with his paternal benediction; many hearts to touch with his love, many benefactors of his Congregations to enrich with especial graces; many souls to fill with his light and perfume; but the Blessed can do all these things quietly in God. I feel that his light and perfume are coming to us here. By the light we see God and the shores of the Eternal Land more plainly. By the perfume we lose more and more of our relish for earthly things and are secretly drawn to Jesus. O St. Philip, St. Philip! my Father and my Master! how fair is that light, and how peculiar is the fragrance of that perfume! Sweet light of St. Philip! oh, that we may always walk by it! Sweet perfume of St. Philip! oh, that it may always cling about our souls like a sensible presence of our Blessed Lord! Father, be not afraid, do not doubt we will come to thee in Paradise!

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 373-5]

Mass coram Sanctissimo

As is the custom at the Pro., after Adoration all afternoon, tonight our Corpus Christi Missa Cantata was sung before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, with Procession and Benediction (accompanied with the Pange lingua of course) immediately afterward. Quartessence gave us Byrd's Mass for four voices (but with Kyrie in plainchant, Credo III sung by all, and only the last invocation of the Agnus Dei in polyphony, so as not to hold up communion), together with the rest of the Gregorian Proper (but for psalm-toning the Gradual and Alleluia to save time by reason of the long Sequence), an Offertory Motet - Cantate Domino (Ps 95:1-3) by Hassler, quite my favourite - and two Communion Motets: Panis angelicus and O sacrum convivium. To conclude, we sang St Alphonsus' "O Bread of heaven" (see an earlier posting of this).

I had forgotten that this special day the Mass is said coram Sanctissimo, and was delighted to have this privilege. Again, after Lauds, Prime and Terce before work, Sext at lunch, and None after finishing up for the day, I was able to come to the church in time to be shriven, and then say Matins (out of order) and Vespers before Our Lord in the monstance upon the exposition throne, and to pray the Canon for Holy Communion (of which a version is linked to here) as part preparation for so great a Guest. As Fr Rowe said at the end of his sermon, Aquinas tells us that the effect of the Sacrament is the transformation of men into God, and as St Thérèse said, Our Lord does not descend from heaven to dwell in a golden ciborium, but rather to dwell in another heaven, the faithful heart. To make some thanksgiving, I used the Byzantine prayers after Holy Communion.

A friend and visitor to this blog, Peter from Bunbury, has come up for a while, and was at Mass; afterward, he and I had dinner with Fr Rowe and watched his DVD of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Peter will not be with us much longer: he flies to the States on the 15th of June to join the Carmelite Monks in Wyoming.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Feast of Corpus Christi - 6th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

Corpus Christi, 1595, was the last day of St Philip's life. He had recently regained the strength to say Mass, and few suspected that his life had reached its eventide. In the morning, he said Mass with extraordinary fervour, as though singing rather than saying the words, and spent the rest of the day in spiritual conversations, in the reciting of the Office, and in the hearing of confessions. And early the next morning, he died. From Fr Faber:


While all saints do all the good they can find to do, each has a sphere peculiarly his own, a work which peculiarly belongs to him, and by which more especially all after ages will know him in the Church. Now what was St. Philip’s sphere?
I. The spheres of saints.
1. There are aggressive saints like St. Ignatius: there are also inventive saints.
2. There are revolutionary saints like St. Francis.
3. Historical saints like St. Athanasius — raised up to save an epoch.
4. There are reforming saints like St. Charles [Borromeo].
5. There are saints who perfume the Church like sufferers and contemplatives.
6. How St. Philip had an element of all these saints in him.
II. His choice of a sphere.
1. He was not allowed a foreign missionary field.
2. He sent many into religion, but did not enter it himself.
3. His associations and instincts were all for primitive times; not for mediæval saints, who would hardly allow salvation out of the cloister; nor for modern ideas, which refused perfection out of convents.
4. St. Philip took the world; took pity on it, and taught that men and women might live in the world, and be as perfect as the highest saints.
III. How he exemplified this.
1. In his dislike of change — home is not the world, as convent people say it is.
2. In his stress laid on the heart — so like a thorough Scriptural saint!
3. In founding his Congregation for the help of those in the world.
4. In his wideness of spirit admitting all varieties and even opposites of goodness.
5. In his choice of great cities for his sons to work in.
IV. His peculiar attraction.
I observe that those who have a devotion to him mostly have an enthusiastic devotion. Yet they can hardly say on what it rests: it is rather some nameless attraction than any specific grace or sweetness. Also it is not to his work, or to his grace, but to himself — it is not to anything of St. Philip’s but to St. Philip. This nameless attraction is fitted for a sphere consisting of such diversified materials. It is justly called an attraction, an instinct, a spell: — it draws us to him, quietly moulds us — quietly heats us — quietly changes us — quietly makes us all for God. I have often wondered what precisely it is, this nameless charm, but I do not know. We feel it — and are silent, and our heart fills with it, and we are happy in being his children and at his feet: — and somehow all he does for us, and all he does in us, and all he makes us do, and all the liberty he gives us, and his loving of us, and his frightening of us — all somehow brings us round to God!

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 371-3]

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Music for Corpus Christi

Just now I'm listening to a CD of Josquin Desprez' Missa Pange Lingua sung by Ensembles Clément Janequin and Organum, under the direction of Marcel Pérès. The clarity of their singing, and the beauty of the music, is stunning: it's a favourite CD of mine. What a pity that, though it includes the Proper, plus an O salutaris hostia (used at the Elevation at Mass) and the Pange lingua, it doesn't include the Sequence...

1st Vespers of Corpus Christi coram Sanctissimo

I had a bright idea - doubtless an illumination of my intellect by the Holy Ghost, as Fr Paul Newton once taught me - on the way home: I popped into the church at Highgate, which has a large and well-appointed perpetual adoration chapel (only two candles on the altar though, sigh!), and there I prayed 1st Vespers of Corpus Christi before Our Divine Lord, truly present in the Sacrament of His Love. I think the secondary cause of my coming there was my noticing the rubric, to the effect that if the Hour were read before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, one should kneel for the stanza Tantum ergo Sacramentum of the office hymn - which I therefore did, with a glad heart.


The antiphons of this Office repay careful attention; for they are the careful compositions of St Thomas Aquinas, composed as he meditated on the Sacred Scripture and Psalmody of the Church, and which have parallels in the Dominican antiphons for such feasts as that of St Stephen, in that each is based on the text of the psalm that it accompanies, while giving it a further nuance - for instance, according to the traditional reading of the Church, she herself is mentioned in the fourth and fifth antiphons as she whose children are as young shoots of the olive around the Lord's Table, she whose borders have been granted peace by the Lord:

Sacérdos in ætérnum * Christus Dóminus secúndum órdinem Melchísedech, panem et vinum óbtulit. (Cf. Ps 109:4; Gen. xiv, 18; Heb., passim)

Miserátor Dóminus * escam dedit timéntibus se in memóriam suórum mirabílium. (Cf. Ps 110:4b-5a,4a)

Cálicem salutáris * accípiam : et sacrificábo hóstiam laudis. (Ps 115:13a,17a)

Sicut novéllæ olivárum, * Ecclésiæ fílii sint in circúitu mensæ Dómini. (Cf. Ps 127:3b)

Qui pacem * ponit fines Ecclésiæ, fruménti ádipe sátiat nos Dóminus. (Cf. Ps 147:14)

O quam suávis est, * Dómine, spíritus tuus, qui, ut dulcédinem tuam in fílios demonstráres, pane suavíssimo de cælo præstito, esuriéntes reples bonis, fastidiósos dívites dimíttens inánes. (Cf. Wisdom xii, 1; xvi, 21, 20; St Luke i, 53)


While today I attended a less than ideal Novus Ordo, tomorrow there will be a 6.30pm Missa Cantata at the Pro., with Quartessence come to sing the chant and a polyphonic Mass, while beforehand, from after the 12.10pm Low Mass, there will be Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, so hopefully I can come and worship, praying the Hours and more, and get Benediction as well. It will be great, and a holy feast, a very small yet real foretaste of heaven, where we shall love and doxologize God evermore: which I pray God grant me and all men, of His infinite mercy and love.


UPDATE: I only realized much later that today was the anniversary of Fr Michael Rowe's ordination to the sacred priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in 1994. Ad multos annos!

Wednesday of the 1st week after Pentecost - 5th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

A feria! I've just begun Matins... apparently, while the Holy See never created a Vigil for Corpus Christi, which begins with 1st Vespers tonight, there was an indulgence for fasting or somesuch on this Wednesday before the Feast.


For St Philip's Novena, from Fr Faber:


I do not think that any devout person can look long on St. Philip’s picture without growing somewhat afraid of him. He is the Apostle of liberty, and yet somehow not a man to take liberties with.
I. We meet with men in the world
1. Whom we admire and love — yet are not at ease with — feel untruthful with. We have an instinctive fear of their influence, and are restless when we have to do with them.
2. There is something in them which we wish away: and yet if it was away they would not be the same men, nor should we ourselves love and admire them so much.
3. It is their reality — their genuineness — their truth — not so much their truthfulness as their truth.
II. Reality.
1. A real man is a man without secrets or diplomacy.
2. His extreme simplicity, and his singleness of purpose, invest him with a kind of sternness, so that we feel rebuked in his presence.
3. Yet his heart is always full of gushing sympathies and kindness.
4. He has a sort of impatience with foolishness, insincerity, and circuitousness.
5. He sometimes tries us by the way he keeps to the one point, and slips off disguises, and walks on such a very straight road.
III. To live with such a man is an education in itself, and this is just what St. Philip was. I dare say sometimes men thought him even wooden, because he was so pertinaciously real, never unbending from his simplicity, never giving his genuineness a holiday.
1. His common sense in plans, in government, in direction: his dislike of changes, and of nonsense talked in the confessional.
2. His sternness which flashed out when any insincerity came in his way, or any making of difficulties.
3. The stress he laid on perseverance, by which he prevented liberty of spirit from degenerating into off-handness and free-and-easiness.
4. His crusade against human respect — the queer things he did himself and made his people do. All meant nothing more or less than this.
5. His mortification of the judgment also made men real, while it hindered liberty from becoming license.
Of all the things which I admire in our Holy Father I admire none so much as his reality. It is the great want of the times. It is the grace of all graces which we every one of us stand most in need of.

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 369-71]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday of the 1st Week after Pentecost (St Bernardine of Siena) - 4th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

As St Bernardine preached, we ought ever call upon the most sweet and salvific name of Jesus, for there is no other Name under heaven given unto men whereby we may be saved - whereas, to this Most Holy Name, every knee shall bow:

Jesu, Jesu, esto mihi Jesus.

(Jesu, Jesu, be to me Jesus, that is, Saviour.)


For the Novena to St Philip Neri -another saint who never tired of repeating the Holy Name of Jesus - from Fr Faber:


I. All saints seem to have given scandal in their day, St. Philip is no exception.
1. This taking scandal at saints is an evidence of corruption.
2. It was the same with our Blessed Lord. And the world never learns; it would take the same amount of scandal, both in amount and kind, if He came again.
3. That in which each saint gives scandal, is his characteristic peculiarity; and in that will be found to consist the eminence of his holiness and sanctity in its earlier stages, not very easily distinguishable from eccentricity.
II. What people took and take exception to in St. Philip is his liberty of spirit and absence of method.
1. As a saint in his own life.
(1) He was long years in Rome and yet joined no religious order.
(2) He took all his steps as direction and obedience suggested, but even then formed no great or definite plans.
(3) He was ready to give up his works at any moment.
(4) His own spirituality was singularly free, and left to God’s action on him day by day.
2. As a founder and superior.
(1) The way his Congregation grew up piecemeal.
(2) He would not let his subjects have their time to themselves.
(3) He would not have vows in it.
(4) He made the separation of each house essential, that they might not band together for any common end, or to forward any definite views.
(5) His dislike of attachment to their work in his subjects.
3. As a master of the spiritual life.
(1) Absence of set rules and methods; each day was to supply its own materials.
(2) His penitents were to keep in their own spheres and at their social duties.
(3) His little interference with their external things.
(4) His spirit of prayer so full of liberty as to method.
(5) His variety of direction without any recognisable technical peculiarity of his own.
III. Two schools of holiness in the Church, the school of captivity and the school of liberty. St. Philip, like St. Francis of Sales, singularly of the latter.
1. It came from his immense devotion to the Person of the Holy Ghost. Docility to inspirations was to him instead of rule.
2. This made him immensely interior. God was his one demand in himself and in others.
3. His horror of mere formality and habit, or woodenness, or anything cut and dry. This made him negligent, sometimes startlingly so, of externals.
Both systems are holy; I do not say that one is in itself better than the other; both are from God. But I bless God that He has given to His Church the system of liberty as well as that of holy captivity; because I feel for myself that I never could be spiritual on the captivity system, whereas I hope that I may some day or other attain to spirituality on the other system.
II. Living with St. Philip daily.
1. Meeting his clear quiet eye every morning, feeling that we were seen through, that nothing was unnoticed, nothing unremembered.
2. Feeling how easily and also how deeply pained he could be, how he revolted from all insincerity and pretences.
3. Made uncomfortable by feeling that we had weaknesses, he had not.
4. In good times we should enjoy it, in bad chafe under it.
5. His sternness would grow on our notice — and yet his sweetness be ever gaining more empire.
6. Why should such a man attract? Because we have all a distrust of self at bottom — we do not like standing alone — life is a grave thing — we like to lean on some one of whom we are sure — and in sorrow and such like times he was all sweetness and support.

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 366-9]

Monday, May 19, 2008

Boodae Jjeegae, or Caveat Emptor

I have managed to square the circle! Today I fitted in the traditional Breviary, despite work, and also got to Low Mass (and confession of devotion). Furthermore, I found a way to squeeze in a Rosary: from after the Sanctus till reception of Communion, and it worked wonders for my devotion.

After Mass, I went to dinner at a local Korean restaurant. Now, I have loved Korean food ever since I first had it, but haven't had enough of it to really understand it, if that makes sense... anyway, apart from some nice steamed dumplings, I decided to be adventurous and order the special of the day, something completely unknown to me labelled "Boodae Jjeegae", or 부대찌개.

LOL, it was VERY hot!

I just sat there like a stunned mullet after somehow managing to eat it!

I console myself with the thought that it must be good for my sinuses, and all the kimchi in it is bound to have medicinal virtues.

Postscript: I see the delightful wait staff had a good joke on their gullible Western customer: budae jjigae is "army base stew", invented by starving Koreans after the Korean War, and made up from U.S. army leftovers, including such exotic Oriental delights as spam, hot dogs, baked beans and instant noodles, all mixed together with kimchi and lots of gochujang (hot pepper paste)...

I shall definitely return to that restaurant in any case, but next time, I'll stick to the menu!

Monday of the 1st Week after Pentecost (St Peter Celestine) - 3rd Day of Novena to St Philip Neri

From Fr Faber:


Let us go as foreigners to Rome in the sixteenth century; it is full enough of associations, and of relics, and of shrines, and of the Sovereign Pontiff, to hide in the beauty of its spiritual brightness a thousand living saints as completely as if they were shrouded in the earthly gloom of the catacombs. We hear talk of Father Philip, and listen, and go to see him. We write home what we have seen and heard. We see him in his room — the vineyard — the street.
I. The look of his life.
1. A kindhearted priest with much zeal, yet somewhat irregular and eccentric in his zeal — otherwise commonplace enough.
2. He has joined no religious order, and seems to have formed no extensive plans.
3. He is shy and rather to be sought than comes forward.
4. There is no look of austerity about him — he is rather free and easy and jocund.
5. Surely it is an exaggeration to speak of him as a saint; for there are no secrets about him; we see the whole of him, perhaps a man to love rather than revere. Yet we left him with our hearts softened and gently filled with God — undoubtedly a good man, a very good man.
II. The reality of his life.
1. His heart miraculously filled with the Holy Ghost: his ribs broken.
2. His Mass of five hours daily.
3. His constant reading of the secrets of hearts.
4. Surrounded with light, and distilling strange perfumes of some aromatic heaven.
5. Miracles going out from him almost like ordinary actions, and his living without food.
III. This contrast is the type of his holiness: the three hidden lives of Jesus, divine eclipsed by human, glorious by passible, holy by unaffectedness — such was St. Joseph’s holiness, and such St. Philip’s.
1. St Philip’s studious pursuit of secrecy — he risked scandal rather than be found out.
2. His looking only to ends and not to means, to God, not to devotions, &c.
3. His finding God equally or even preferably in very little things.
4. His meekness, though he knew he was going to be canonized.
5. Yet it was the very wonderfulness of his sanctity which caused him to look so commonplace.
Should we know a saint if we met one? I doubt it. This is sad to think, but very profitable. How we might have left St. Philip, and turned down the Banchi toward St. Peter’s, and thought how commonplace he was, how he talked on ordinary subjects, how careless about giving edification, what light odd things he said for a grave old priest, and what a sly look of mischief there was in his eye when we parted. And while we walked and thus criticised, behold! he in the secret of his room is floating in the air, waving to and fro like a branch in the summer wind, girdled with a golden light, hearing unutterable words and seeing unutterable things deep down in God!

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 364-6]

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Angelic Trisagion

The Angelic Trisagion is a highly appropriate official prayer of the Order of the Most Blessed Trinity. I am just about to go pray it, together with Vespers, in the chapel, and suggest any visitors might do the same, if the Spirit so move them, to join in the praise and worship of God in Three Persons, the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Low Mass for Trinity Sunday

Since the choir was all either absent or sick (as I am, with a cold), we had no sung Mass today, alas; on the positive side, the 9.15 am Mass only took 45 minutes including hymns at start and end, and Leonine prayers, which was good, especially for Fr Rowe, who's hurt his foot and was limping.

I did miss singing the glorious Introit for the feast, which I first learnt from my dear old choirmaster, Bede Dunne, back in Hobart when I was part of the Gregorian schola there in the mid-1990's:

It has always interested me how the Introit, Offertory and Communion today are all based on Tobit xii, 6 - reiterating the glorious truth that God the Trinity loves us and hath wrought for us mercy:

Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas atque indivisa Unitas: confitebimur ei, quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

Benedictus sit Deus Pater, unigenitusque Dei Filius, Sanctus quoque Spiritus: quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

Benedicimus Deum cæli, et coram omnibus viventibus confitebimur ei, quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

(It is unsurprising that the Gradual and Alleluia are likewise from the Canticle of the Three Youths in Daniel iii.)

The Trinity Preface, said or sung, is always marvellous, and I have many green Sundays coming on which to enjoy it...

On an Eastern note, I took with me to Mass my copy of The [Byzantine] Divine Liturgy Explained, to pray its fine prayers after Communion, and as ever I savoured therein one of my favourite lines, a doxology from one of those prayers:

Σὺ γὰρ εἶ τὸ ὄντως ἐφετόν, καὶ ἀνέκφραστος εὐφροσύνη τῶν ἀγαπώντων σε, Χριστὲ ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν, καὶ σὲ ὑμνεῖ πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Ἀμήν.

(For Thou art the One truly sought for, and the unutterable gladness of those that love Thee, Christ our God, and Thee the whole creation hymneth unto the ages. Amen.)

After the 11.15 am Mass and necessary packing up, I chaffeured Fr, as agreed, since he needed someone to drive him down to Mandurah in his own car, to give him a chance to have a nap on the way. It took just over 45 minutes, and when we got there I dropped Fr off to take communion to a shut-in (giving me a chance to finish Matins almost, which BTW has fine readings from SS Fulgentius and Gregory Nazianzen). We then drove over to Gerard's house, where a roast beef lunch was waiting for us - on the way, Fr finished off Matins for me with its Te Deum and collect. That, apart from the Divine Mercy chaplet, was as much prayer as we managed to fit in!

Fr Rowe was to drive on to Bunbury for the 6 pm Mass there, but Gerard instead took me to the train station, where I caught the 3.07 train to Perth. It took just under an hour, and gave me a chance to say Lauds and the Little Hours (Athanasian Creed at Prime, yay!), plus get in a little reading of my own.

Now I'm off to visit a relative of mine...

Trinity Sunday - 2nd Day of Novena to St Philip Neri

Glory to Thee, Trinity! - and to captives, liberty.

(See my earlier post regarding the Trinitarians.)

Today I again quote from Fr Faber as part of the lead-up to St Philip's feast:


All lives of men are beautiful in their changes and vicissitudes, all full of romance and poetry: or like various music, a quiet pastoral, a stirring march, a pathetic drama, a touching elegy, or strains of mutable, fitful sweetness. Such is man’s life as outward Providence ordains it: sin mars it. We are concerned now with a life lived in the sixteenth century in the great city of Rome, which with manifold vibrations is working still on earth.
I. St. Philip’s Picture.
1. The aged priest for the most part ashy pale, not foreign-looking to us.
2. With a soft mellow sweetness as of one to be familiar with, yet with a sternness underneath as of one not to take liberties with.
3. Very simple and childlike, yet with a depth as of one who knew secrets and had seen visions. We do not exactly know why, but as we look on him we think of St. Joseph.
II. The Boyhood.
1. He was born in beautiful Florence, on the eve of St. Mary Magdalen. The gravity and sweetness of his childhood, which yet was not without traits of humour and fun and geniality.
2. Gaeta — the cleft mountain — the inheritance renounced.
III. The beginnings at Rome.
1. He was drawn there by instinct, and lived there at first as a tutor in poverty and silence.
2. In catacombs, and studying in moonlit porticoes.
3. Receiving pilgrims and visiting hospitals.
4. Priesthood — St. Girolamo — the Seven Churches — beginnings of the Oratory — his penitents.
IV. The sort of life.
1. Absence of all singularity.
2. Miracles daily, and ecstasies almost continually.
3. Apostolate of conversation and supernatural outbreaks of devotion.
4. He silently took possession of all Rome as a perfume fills a room.
5. After eighty years he dies. And this life so beautiful on earth was quietly translated to heaven, to be continued still more beautifully — and on earth houses rose up all over the world to catch the image of that life, and to try to live it over again, and everywhere loving hearts gather round these houses and feel instinctively a joy and a security in belonging to St. Philip.

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 363-4]

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Office Update

Well, the day's dose of Breviary is done, bar Compline: distractions abounded, with some moments of devotion, but in 50 minutes I got from Matins to Vespers inclusive - not that speed is anything to be proud of, but I don't have all the time in the world. Even with the short Matins of Whitsuntide, the Breviary is a big commitment, and on an ordinary feria I'd allow at least a good hour to say the all the Hours. But the flip side is one feels in continuity with all those who have thus worshipped God on earth down the centuries; the modern Divine Office is very good, I mainly use it in fact and have for over a decade, but when and if I have the time to pray the Breviary, it somehow feels right.

Although I used the 1962 Breviary, I observe, to aid devotion (rather as St Ignatius advises one to lift up one's mind to God while on the way to pray, for the space of an Our Father), the older rules about saying a Pater, Ave and Credo before Matins and Prime, and a Pater and Ave before Terce, Sext, None, and Vespers, plus a Pater and Dominus det nobis at the end of all, with the Marian anthem &c. to finish.

Of course, Paschaltide has therefore just ended for me, and it's the eve of Trinity Sunday; I noticed that I'd marked the third and fourth antiphons of 1st Vespers, for they are in fact in poetry, being doxologies in the metre, which I think is called the Sapphic metre. For this reason, I sang them to a tune I know, as I did the Vesper hymn; although I only sang the actual Gregorian for the marvellous Veni Creator at Terce.

Obscure Phrases

Now don't get me wrong, I love the Vulgate, and love saying my prayers in Latin - which reminds me, having had a lazy off-colour day, I must soon hie me to the chapel for to read today's Office - but some of its phrases are... unusual. For instance, Psalm 67(68):16-17a, according to the Psalter, and as the Douay hath it -

... * Mons Dei, mons pinguis:
Mons coagulatus, mons pinguis: * ut quid suspicamini montes coagulatos?

...The mountain of God is a fat mountain. A curdled mountain, a fat mountain.
Why suspect, ye curdled mountains?

Question mark indeed! What does this mean?

I recently picked up an Orthodox translation of the Septuagint Psalter, which rather unhelpfully renders the Greek thus:

ὄρος τοῦ θεοῦ ὄρος πῖον ὄρος τετυρωμένον ὄρος πῖον
ἵνα τί ὑπολαμβάνετε ὄρη τετυρωμένα...

The mountain of God is a butter mountain, a curdled mountain, a butter mountain.
Why suppose ye that there be other curdled mountains?...

This curious text I've been praying all week, as part of the psalms at Matins of the Pentecost Octave.

From what I know of the Byzantine interpretation of a like phrase in the Septuagint of Abbacum/Avvacoum iii, 3a (that's Habacuc or Habakkuk) -

ὁ θεὸς ἐκ Θαιμαν ἥξει καὶ ὁ ἅγιος ἐξ ὄρους κατασκίου δασέος...

God shall come forth out of Thaeman, and the Holy One out of a mountain overshadowed and densely wooded.

(which the Vulgate simply gives as Deus ab austro veniet, et Sanctus de monte Pharan, interpreting not the second but the first Hebrew word)

- this second obscure text is understood as prophesying Christ's birth from the Holy Virgin, who indeed is overshadowed by the Holy Ghost and brings forth the Holy One of God (cf. St Luke i, 35).

To return to the psalm at issue, I know that fatness is a symbol of richness and blessedness, but the text is still left rather hard to comprehend. At least it's fun!

Novena to St Philip Neri - 1st Day

Today I'm feeling a bit unwell, and taking things slowly...

However, today I must begin my Novena to St Philip Neri, and intend to do so, first of all, by praying each day the Litany of St Philip Neri, which may be found, together with Newman's Novena to him, here.

However, I also wish to post here, since they aren't otherwise online, some other items referring to Holy Father Philip, such as those of Fr Faber's own sermon notes that can be assembled to make up a Novena; and, since Faber's notes on St Philip only extend to eight in the book I consulted, I choose to begin with his sermon notes for Pentecost, since today is Whit Saturday, and also because these notes refer to St Philip's own unique communion with the Holy Ghost:

GOD A GOD OF FIRE. [Whitsunday, 1858]

I. I am come to cast fire on the earth, and what will I but that it be kindled? [Ignem veni mittere in terram, et quid volo nisi ut accendatur?] — St. Luke xii. 49. How strange this sounds from Jesus, meek and humble of heart! [Cf. St. Matthew xi. 29.]
1. Compare the spirit of it with the night of the Incarnation and the night of Bethlehem.
2. Or the quiet fires in the hearts of Mary and Joseph in the holy House of Nazareth.
3. Or with the abysses of the abjection of the Passion.
4. Or with the secret apparitions of the beautiful Forty Days after the Resurrection.
5. Or with the passive, patient stillness of the Blessed Sacrament.
II. Yet the scene at Pentecost.
1. They wait, Mary in the midst, and the chosen few, for Him Who is to be so much to them that it was well that Jesus should go away. [Cf. Acts i. 13, 14; St John xvi. 7.]
2. They wait for Him, Who is eminently the Spirit of Jesus, and who will bring to mind all he said. [Cf. St. John xiv. 26.]
3. For Him with Whom Jesus in His Human Nature has now been ten days in heaven! Oh, the marvellous occupations of those ten days!
4. He comes to them in the vehement majesty of a mighty wind, and scatters Himself in showers of fire like cloven tongues. [Cf. Acts ii. 2, 3.]
5. So that Mary and the Apostles seemed to the multitudes to be drunk with new wine. [Cf. Acts ii. 13.]
III. God always a God of fire.
1. He calls Himself so: The Lord thy God is a consuming fire. Deut. iv. 24. [& Heb. xii. 29.]
2. He appeared as such to Isaias; as a whirlwind and enfolding fire to Ezekiel. [Cf. Ezech. i. 27.] St. John says (Apoc. i. 14), His eyes were as a flame of fire.
3. Burning Bush: in the inner folds of the desert, and ravines of Horeb, to Moses. [Ex. iii. 2.]
4. (Daniel vii. 9, 10.) His throne like flames; the wheels of it like burning fire, and a swift stream of fire issued forth from before Him: vision seen in the first year of Baltassar, King of Babylon.
5. In these sweet fires we are to dwell eternally. Isaias (xxxiii. 14) asks, which of you can dwell with devouring fire? which of you shall dwell with everlasting burnings? and the answer is, he that walketh in justices.
IV. So our religion is a religion of fire.
1. It was the one will of Jesus to kindle this fire on earth.
2. The Holy Ghost is never otherwise in the heart than as fire.
3. The fires of the Eternal Father are to be our everlasting home.
4. What manner of fire should we have then?
Fiery love, fiery faith, fire consuming self, fire burning the world out of our hearts, fire likely to make men think us drunk or mad.
5. What is the case in reality? Do we burn? Are we vehement? Do our hearts throb and beat tumultuously with the love of God? Do we understand that lifelong broken heart of our great father St. Philip, burst with the ball of fire, which was the Holy Ghost? — Oh if our religion be a moral indifference, a calm bargaining with God, a prudential speculation, a discreet fear of hell, a frigid propriety, a servile keeping of the letter of God’s law, — it may be a religion — but is it the religion written in the Bible? Is it the fire which it was our dearest Lord’s one will to kindle?
Oh that the Divine Person would come down upon us with His fire to-day, would break our hearts with the magnificent excesses of the love of God, would burn us with the pain of the great pleasure of His fire! Sweet, gentle, plaintive, vehement, fiery, enthusiast Spirit! — Oh that He would so light His flames in our hearts that from this hour our whole life should be nothing but an unbroken Pentecost!

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 103-5]

This certainly makes for a good examination of conscience!

Furthermore, it corresponds to the heartfelt plea of these chants, readings, and collects used at the Ember Saturday Mass today - or rather, to what should be felt in the heart when praying them:

The charity of God is diffused throughout our hearts, alleluia, by the indwelling of His Spirit in us, alleluia. ... [Introit, from Romans v, 5 (which is also read as part of today's Epistle, and is used also for the Feast of St Philip)]

Mentibus nostris, quæsumus, Domine, Spiritum Sanctum benignus infunde: cujus et sapientia conditi sumus, et providentia gubernamur. Per... in unitate ejusdem Spiritus Sancti...

(Into our minds, we beseech, Lord, the Holy Spirit benignly pour: by Whose wisdom we were created and by Whose providence we are governed. Thro'... in the unity of the same Holy Ghost...)

I will pour out My Spirit over all flesh... And moreover over my servants and handmaids in those days I will pour out my Spirit... [From the 1st Lesson - Joel ii, 28-32]

Illo nos igne, quæsumus, Domine, Spiritus Sanctus inflammet: quem Dominus noster Jesus Christus misit in terram, et voluit vehementer accendi: Qui tecum vivit... in unitate ejusdem...

(May the Holy Ghost inflame us with that fire, we beseech, Lord, that our Lord Jesus Christ sent to earth, and vehemently willed to enkindle: Who with Thee liveth... in the unity of the same... [Cf. St Luke xii, 49])

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love. [Alleluia verse after the fourth lesson]

Veni, Sancte Spiritus,
et emitte cælitus
lucis tuæ radium.

Veni, pater pauperum,
veni, dator munerum
veni, lumen cordium.

Consolator optime,
dulcis hospes animæ,
dulce refrigerium.

In labore requies,
in æstu temperies
in fletu solatium.

O lux beatissima,
reple cordis intima
tuorum fidelium.

Sine tuo numine,
nihil est in homine,
nihil est innoxium.

Lava quod est sordidum,
riga quod est aridum,
sana quod est saucium.

Flecte quod est rigidum,
fove quod est frigidum,
rege quod est devium.

Da tuis fidelibus,
in te confidentibus,
sacrum septenarium.

Da virtutis meritum,
da salutis exitum,
da perenne gaudium.
Amen. Alleluja.

I try to pray to the Holy Spirit in these terms, and will redouble my efforts!