Saturday, March 29, 2014

Third Saturday In Lent

Today, the 29th of March, is the Saturday of the Third Week of Lent, Station at St. Susanna's.  Susanna was a Roman virgin who was martyred under the Emperor Diocletian.  An account of the test of the chaste Susanna is the Epistle for today.  As Father first read it through in Latin and I read along in my Missal, and then as I heard it again in English, so many different thoughts and actions stood out like bold print on a white page.  Her husband Joakim, an honourable man from a town that was less than honourable, (Babylon), the vivid description of the evil elders who fell into lust as they perverted their own minds, one scene after another.  The multitude  believed them as being the elders and the judges of the people, and they condemned her to death.  Susanna's cry out to God, her total faith in Him.  And then God raises up Daniel, who silences the people as he speaks the truth, truth that cuts through the lies of the perverted elders.  O thou seed of Chanaan and not of Juda, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart: thus did you do to the daughters of Israel, and they for fear conversed with you: but a daughter of Juda would not abide your wickedness.  Young Daniel the Prophet, speaking of things that only he knew?  The thread of forgiveness weaves its way through the narrative, until truth triumphs in the end and God's Justice is brought forth.  This reading, coupled with the Gospel for today, John viii. 1-11, the woman pardoned by Jesus for her crime of adultery, shows us that God's mercy is beyond our understanding, as Jesus shows us. The scribes and pharisees thought they could finally pin him down once and for all by bringing to Him a, as they saw it, an open and closed case, a women caught in the act of adultery.  First the words to the scribes and pharisees; He that is without sin, cast the first stone; then His words to her, Go, and now sin no more.  To abstain from sin and cultivate virtue.  How can I find the love that brings forth such charity, such forgiveness?  I pray to God that I have not run up to that forgiveness wall, where my charitable acts are reserved for some and not all?  thoughts for me to work on as I move through Lent.  

One last thought.

After receiving I'm usually just quiet with my own prayers of thanksgiving, but today, for some reason (I was told, I know it!) I turned to the section of the St. Andrew Missal, Thanksgiving After Mass And Holy Communion.  I opened to the Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, which I don't recall ever reading, but thought I must share.  This is an unbelievably moving and beautiful prayer.

  I give Thee thanks, O holy Lord, Father almighty, eternal
God, who hast vouchsafed, not for any merits of mine, but
solely out of the condescension of Thy mercy, to satisfy me
a sinner, Thine unworthy servant, with the precious Body
and Blood of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray that
this holy Communion be not to me a condemnation unto
punishment, but a saving plea unto forgiveness.  May it be
unto me the armour of faith and the shield of good will.
May it be the emptying out of my vices, the extinction of all
concupiscence and lust, the increase of charity and patience, 
of humility and obedience, and of all virtues; a strong defense
against the snares of all enemies, visible and invisible; the
perfect quieting of all my evil impulses, both fleshly and 
ghostly; a firm cleaving unto Thee, the one true God; and
a pledge of a blessed destiny.  And I beseech Thee, that
Thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring me, a sinner to that inef-
fable banquet, where Thou, with Thy Son and the Holy
Ghost, art to Thy saints true light, fullness of content, eternal
joy, gladness without alloy and perfect bliss.  Through the
                                       same Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LINEN ON THE HEDGEROW: How to love that boring Latin Mass

LINEN ON THE HEDGEROW: How to love that boring Latin Mass: The link address is here..... H/T to Joseph Shaw at LMS Chairman for his post on a young ...

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Never Satisfied.

For a little more than a week now I've been sort of following a diet that my wife is on.  It's mostly at night, I, we (my son and I) eat what she eats; and it's all good, high in fiber, tasty, all that, but I never really feel full, never do I have that feeling of yeah, that was a really good meal and I am stuffed.  There is often that ( mini voice in my head speaking) Yeah, that was pretty good, but I am still hungry! but I know that this is good for me so I'll try to soldier up and move on.  "I'll have one cookie, please".  Oh well.  But the more I think about it the more I see the parallels between this trying to eat right and the spiritual life, especially my spiritual life.  At one time I was a member of a Secular Franciscan Order, and I am a professed Secular Franciscan.  I say was, because I no longer follow that way of the Franciscans.  The S.F. live the complete modern theology Catholicism, tied up completely with the Novus Ordo Mass, which we (H and I) do not attend.  How could we?  Once we discovered the Rule of 1221 and began attending the TLM our lives changed completely.  What we thought was good food for the soul was nothing but food for the man, an exhalation to ourselves.  For me, to go to Holy Mass, I almost always come away with a longing for more.  When I go to Mass and I leave I'm not completely satisfied, completely filled up as after a nice big meal.  No, Mass for me is what it is, the Sacrifice of Calvary in an un-bloodied manner, but also it serves as a sustaining event until the next Mass, and also, especially a Low Mass, can be a time of beautiful reflection and prayer.  I love especially the Low Mass during the week,  (praise God I am able to attend one!) 7:00am, before work.  A beautiful way to begin the day.  And then that time spent allows the mind, body and soul to come together in a correct way to begin the work day.  But there is always that longing, that desire for more of God, more of this holy life that I believe most of us long to live, are called to live.  In a perfect world is to be left alone, to follow the Words of Our Lord in order to achieve our final goal, Heaven.  I know this isn't happening, not to very many of us.  Our state of life leaves us no other choice but to get muddy, get dirty almost each and every day.  And that is alright, it is our duty to show ourselves to the world, to give good example.  That may be the only way we can call souls to God nowadays. The wave of this world is about to wash over us, and we, a bit like clams in their shells must hunker down and let this madness pass over us.  Our longing will sustain us, like a deep prayer that echos in our breast, our favorite one that we resort to in dark times.  The fullness of fluff that passes for a lot of Christianity today will perhaps overwhelm the world we live in for awhile, maybe even though our lifetime, but we can do nothing about that.  Strive for more, never let our hunger be satisfied, never live to say 'This is all there is in my spiritual life", never be satisfied with ourselves. The life of a Christian is a constant war against the world, the flesh and the devil.  Once we are satisfied, we have lost.  

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.