Fidelity to the Word
Our Lord and His Holy Apostles at the Last Supper


A blog dedicated to Christ Jesus our Lord and His True Presence in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist


Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the way of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who liveth and reigneth, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, through all the ages of ages.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge


When the lord brought back the captivity of Sion, we became like men comforted. Then was our mouth filled with gladness; and our tongue with joy. Then shall they say among the Gentiles: The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us: we are become joyful. Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as a stream in the south. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Going they went and wept, casting their seeds. But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves.
Psalm 125

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Act of Consecration

Our Father who art in heaven...

Hail, Mary, Full of Grace, ...

Glory be to the Father... (7 Times)

Abide in Rebecca's soul, O Good and Holy Spirit.
In Thy care may she find healing.
May she whom the doctors could not cure
find comfort and peace in Thee
from now until the day of judgment,
and in the age to come.

Teach her all things
so that she may endure all things without bitterness,
and learn compassion and wisdom.
From Thee may she learn to fear nothing
except offending Thee, Holy God,
and may she live forever as Thy true daughter.

May she live forever as a child of the light,
rejoicing in Thy goodness
and worshipping the Father
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

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Blessed Virgin Mary, our queen, pray for her.
Saint Petronilla, pray for her.

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Friday, May 30, 2014

For the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit

O Lord Jesus Christ
Who, before ascending into heaven,
did promise to send the Holy Spirit
to finish Thy work
in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples,
deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to us,
that He may perfect in our souls
the work of Thy grace and Thy love.

Grant us the Spirit of Wisdom
that we may despise the perishable things of this world
and aspire only after the things that are eternal,

the Spirit of Understanding
to enlighten our minds with the light of Thy divine truth,

the Spirit of Counsel
that we may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God,

the Spirit of Fortitude
that we may bear our crosses with Thee
and that we may overcome with courage
every obstacle that keeps us from Thy kingdom,

the Spirit of Knowledge
that we may know God and know ourselves
and grow perfect in the science of the Saints,

the Spirit of Piety
that we may find the service of God sweet and amiable,

and the Spirit of Fear
that we may be filled with a loving reverence
towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.

Mark us, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples,
and animate us in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

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The Lord Protects His People Forever


They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Sion: he shall not be moved for ever that dwelleth in Jerusalem. Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth now and for ever. For the Lord will not leave the rod of sinners upon the lot of the just: that the just may not stretch forth their hands to iniquity. Do good, O Lord, to those that are good, and to the upright of heart. But such as turn aside into bonds, the Lord shall lead out with the workers of iniquity: peace upon Israel.
Psalm 124

Root Rebecca immovably in Thy providence, Holy Father of All, and let Thy Spirit descend upon her as the dewfall, reviving her soul.

And there abide, O Good and Holy Spirit.
In Thy care may she find healing.
May she whom the doctors could not cure
find comfort and peace in Thee
from now until the day of judgment.

Teach her all things
so that she may endure all things without bitterness,
and learn compassion and wisdom.
Let no unrest trouble her soul,
let no darkness return.

May she live forever as a child of the light,
rejoicing in Thy goodness
and worshipping the Father
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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I wrote the above prayer last night, to be part of another home-made novena to the Holy Spirit. I hope that this one will bring you more substantial and long-lasting benefits than you received from last year's novena. Alas for you, you still have the same sorry sinner praying for you this year.

Pope Saint Felix I, please pray for her.
Saint Joan of Arc, please pray for her.

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“I will be to Israel like a refreshing dew from heaven. Israel will blossom like the lily; it will send roots deep into the soil like the cedars in Lebanon.”
Hosea 14:5

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Our Father who art in heaven...

Hail, Mary, Full of Grace, ...

Glory be to the Father... (7 Times)

Act of Consecration

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Enter through the Door which leads to Life


If it had not been that the Lord was with us, let Israel now say: If it had not been that the Lord was with us, when men rose up against us, perhaps they had swallowed us up alive. When their fury was enkindled against us, perhaps the waters had swallowed us up. Our soul hath passed through a torrent: perhaps our soul had passed through a water insupportable.

Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us to be a prey to their teeth. Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken, and we are delivered. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 123

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Bless the Lord, Rebecca, Who alone has the power to rescue us from death, Who has preserved you from destruction. Bless the Lord, Rebecca, Who wills to deliver you out of all bondage to sin. The Lord knows our weakness, but He loves us unceasingly. He will forgive you and free you. In the time He has chosen, when you are ready, He will welcome you to the place He has prepared for you, where He abides forever. There you will be comforted. There you will rejoice. I pray that the time will be soon. Through Christ our Lord.

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“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.
In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I shall go, and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be.
And whither I go you know, and the way you know.”
Thomas saith to him: “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”
Jesus saith to him: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”
John 14:1-6

Holy Savior, Who ascended into Heaven this day, draw Rebecca after You, I pray, and send your angel to escort her to paradise.

Blessed King, Prince of Peace grant her rest and life in Thee.

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Prayers upon prayers for you sweet friend. And may God receive them as sweet incense, not as noisy yammering. Hoping in yesterday's Gospel, I pray that God will restore your soul, and that through Christ a bond of charity will unite us forever.

St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi, pray for her.

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May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
in the knowledge of Him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to His call,
what are the riches of glory
in His inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of His power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of His great might,
which He worked in Christ,
raising Him from the dead
and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And He put all things beneath his feet
and gave Him as head over all things to the Church,
which is His body,
and the fulness of Him who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:17-23

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

knock, and it shall be opened unto you


Best of friends, on this last day before Ascension Day, I pray once more the Rogation Day prayers for you. May God forgive you your sins, save you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life. Amen.

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To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. Behold as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters, As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us: for we are greatly filled with contempt. For our soul is greatly filled: we are a reproach to the rich, and contempt to the proud.
Psalm 122

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At that time Jesus said to His disciples: Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and shall say to him: Friend, lend me three loaves, because a friend of mine is come off his journey to me, and I have not what to set before him; and he from within should say: Trouble me not, the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed: I cannot rise and give thee. Yet if he shall continue knocking, I say to you, although he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise, and give him as many as he needeth. And I say to you: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that kicketh it shall be opened. And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, known how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask Him?
Luke 11:5-13

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Saint Augustine of Canterbury, pray for her.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We shall go into the house of the Lord


Dear friend, I pray again yesterday's Rogation Day prayers for you.

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I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem, which is built as a city, which is compact together. For thither did the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord: the testimony of Israel, to praise the name of the Lord. Because their seats have sat in judgment, seats upon the house of David.

Pray ye for the things that are for the peace of Jerusalem: and abundance for them that love thee. Let peace be in thy strength: and abundance in thy towers. For the sake of my brethren, and of my neighbours, I spoke peace of thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for thee.
Psalm 121

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He heard my voice from His holy temple, alleluia: and
my cry before Him came into His ears, alleluia, alleluia.

I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength: the Lord is my firmament,
my refuge and my deliverer.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost,
as in the beginning, and now, and always, and to the age of ages.

He heard my voice from His holy temple, alleluia: and
my cry before Him came into His ears, alleluia, alleluia.

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Pope Saint John I, pray for her.

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It is recorded of Saint Bede the Venerable that
The Saint was employed in translating the Gospel of St. John from the Greek up to the hour of his death, which took place on Ascension Day, 735. "He spent that day joyfully," writes one of his scholars. And in the evening the boy who attended him said, "Dear master, there is yet one sentence unwritten." He answered, "Write it quickly." Presently the youth said, "Now it is written" He replied, "Good! thou hast said the truth—consummatum est; take my head into thy hands, for it is very pleasant to me to sit facing my old praying-place, and there to call upon my Father." And so on the floor of his cell he sang, "Glory be to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;" and just as he said "Holy Ghost," he breathed his last, and went to the realms above.
I am grateful that you also remembered our heavenly Father until the end of your life. May you dwell in His house forever.

Saint Bede, pray for her.

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Monday, May 26, 2014

Rogation


These three days preceding Ascension Thursday are the lesser Rogation days, in which we pray for God's mercy.  The prayers that follow are prayed before the start of Mass.  I pray them now for Rebecca...


ANTHEM ¤ Ps. 43. 26
Exsurge, Domine, adjuva nos, et libera nos propter nomen tuum. (Alleluia.) -- Deus auribus nostris audivimus: patres nostri annuntiaverunt nobis. V.: Gloria Patri . . . -- Exsurge, Domine . . .
Arise, O Lord, help us and deliver us for Thy Name's sake. (Alleluia). -- (Ps. 43. 2). We have heard, O God, with our ears; our fathers have told us. V.: Glory be to the Father . . . -- Arise, O Lord . . .


LITANY OF THE SAINTS
   Kyrie, eleison.
   Christe, eleison.
   Kyrie, eleison.
   Christe, audi nos.
   Christe, exaudi nos.
   Pater de couelis Deus, miserere nobis
   Fili, Redemptor mundi, Deus, miserere nobis
   Spiritus Sanctus, Deus, miserere nobis
   Sancta Trinitas, unus Deus, miserere nobis
   Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis
   Sancta Dei Genetrix, ora pro nobis
   Sancta Virgo virginum, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Michael, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Gabriel, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Raphael, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Angeli et Archangeli, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti beatorum Spirituum ordines, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Joannes Baptista, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Joseph, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Patriarchae et Prophetae, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Petre, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Paule, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Andrea, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Jacobe, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Joannes, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Thoma, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Jacobe, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Philippe, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Bartholomaee, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Matthaee, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Simon, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Thaddaee, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Matthia, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Barnaba, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Luca, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Marce, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Apostoli et Evangelistae, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Discipuli Domini, orate pro nobis
   † Omnes sancti Innocentes, orate pro nobis
   Sancte Stephane, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Laureni, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Vincenti, ora pro nobis
   † Sancti Fabiane et Sebastiane, ora pro nobis
   † Sancti Joannes et Paule, ora pro nobis
   † Sancti Cosma et Damiane, ora pro nobis
   † Sancti Gervasi et Protasi, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Martyres, orate pro nobis
   Sancte Silvester, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Gregori, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Ambrosi, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Augustine, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Hieronyme, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Martine, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Micolae, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Pontifices et Confessores, orate pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Doctores, orate pro nobis
   Sancte Anttoni, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Benedicte, ora pro nobis
   † Sancte Bernarde, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Dominice, ora pro nobis
   Sancte Fransisce, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Sacerdotes et Levitae, orate pro nobis
   Omnes sancti Monachi et Eremitae, orate pro nobis
   Sancta Maria Magdalena, ora pro nobis
   Sancta Agatha, ora pro nobis
   † Sancta Lucia, ora pro nobis
   Sancta Agnes, ora pro nobis
   Sancta Cecilia, ora pro nobis
   † Sancta Catharina, ora pro nobis
   Sancta Anastasia, ora pro nobis
   Omnes sanctae Virgines et Viduae, orate pro nobis
   Omnes Sancti et Sanctae Dei, intercedite pro nobis
   Propitius esto, parce nobis, Domine
   Propitius esto, exaudi nos, Domine
   Ab omni malo, libera nos, Domine
   Ab omni peccato, libera nos, Domine
   † Ab ira tua, libera nos, Domine
   † A subitanea et improvisa morte, libera nos, Domine
   † Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine
   † Ab ira, et odio, et moni mala voluntate, libera nos, Domine
   † A spiritu fornicationis, libera nos, Domine
   † A fulgure et tempestate, libera nos, Domine
   † A flagello terraemostus, libera nos, Domine
   † A peste, fame et bello, libera nos, Domine
   A morte perpertua, libera nos, Domine
   Per mysterium sanctae Incarnationis tuae, libera nos, Domine
   Per adventum tuum, libera nos, Domine
   Per nativatatem tuam, libera nos, Domine
   Per baptismum et sanctum jejunium tuum, libera nos, Domine
   Per crucem et passionem tuam, libera nos, Domine
   Per mortem et sepulturam tuam, libera nos, Domine
   Per sanctam resurrectionem tuam, libera nos, Domine
   Per admirabilem ascensionem tuam, libera nos, Domine
   Per adventum Spiritus Sancti Paracliti, libera nos, Domine
   In die judicii, libera nos, Domine
   Peccatores, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut nobis parcas, te rogamus, audi nos
   † Ut nobis indulgeas, te rogamus, audi nos
   † Ut ad veram poenitentiam nos perducere digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut Ecclesiam tuam sanctam regere et conservare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut domnum apostolicum et omnes ecclesiasticos ordines in sancta religione conservare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut inimicos sanctae Ecclesiae humiliare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut regibus et principibus christianis, pacem et veram concordiam donare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   † Ut cuncto populo christiano pacem et unitatem largiri digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   † Ut omnes errantes ad unitatem Ecclesiae revocare, et in fideles universos ad Evangelii lumen perducere digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut nosmetipsos in tuo sancto servitio confortare et conservare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   † Ut mentes nostras ad caelestia desideria erigas, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut omnibus benefactoribus nostris sempiterna bona retribuas, te rogamus, audi nos
   †Ut animas nostras, fratrum, propinquorum, et benefactorum nostrorum ab aeterna damnatione eripias, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut fructus terrae dare et conservare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut omnibus fidelibus defunctis requiem aeternam donare digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   Ut nos exaudire digneris, te rogamus, audi nos
   † Fili Dei, te rogamus, audi nos
   Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, parce nobis, Domine.
   Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, exaudi nos, Domine.
   Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis.
   Christe, audi nos.
   Christe, exaudi nos.
   Kyrie, eleison.
   Christe, eleison.
   Kyrie, eleison.
   Pater noster . . . (secreto)
V.: Et ne nos inducas in tentationem.
R.: Sed libera nos a malo.

   Lord, have mercy on us.
   Christ, have mercy on us.
   Lord, have mercy on us.
   Christ, hear us.
   Christ, graciously hear us.
   God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
   God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us
   God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us
   Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us
   Holy Mary, pray for us
   Holy Mother of God, pray for us
   Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us
   St. Michael, pray for us
   St. Gabriel, pray for us
   St. Raphael, pray for us
   All ye holy Angels and Archangels, pray for us
   All ye holy orders of blessed Spirits, pray for us
   St. John the Baptist, pray for us
   St. Joseph, pray for us
   All ye holy Patriarchs and Prophets, pray for us
   St. Peter, pray for us
   St. Paul, pray for us
   St. Andrew, pray for us
   † St. James, pray for us
   St. John, pray for us
   † St. Thomas, pray for us
   † St. James, pray for us
   † St. Philip, pray for us
   † St. Bartholomew, pray for us
   † St. Matthew, pray for us
   † St. Simon, pray for us
   † St. Thaddeus, pray for us
   † St. Matthias, pray for us
   † St. Barnabas, pray for us
   † St. Luke, pray for us
   † St. Mark, pray for us
   All ye holy Apostles and Evangelists, pray for us
   All ye holy Disciples of our Lord, pray for us
   † All ye holy Innocents, pray for us
   St. Stephen, pray for us
   St. Lawrence, pray for us
   St. Vincent, pray for us
   † St. Fabian and St. Sebastian, pray for us
   † St. John and St. Paul, pray for us
   † St. Cosmas and St. Damian, pray for us
   † St. Gervase and St. Protase, pray for us
   All ye holy Martyrs, pray for us
   St. Sylvester, pray for us
   St. Gregory, pray for us
   † St. Ambrose, pray for us
   St. Augustine, pray for us
   † St. Jerome, pray for us
   † St. Marin, pray for us
   † St. Nicholas, pray for us
   All ye holy Bishops and Confessors, pray for us
   All ye holy Doctors, pray for us
   St. Anthony, pray for us
   St. Benedict, pray for us
   † St. Bernard, pray for us
   St. Dominic, pray for us
   St. Francis, pray for us
   All ye holy Priests and Levites, pray for us
   All ye holy Monks and Hermits, pray for us
   St. Mary Magdalen, pray for us
   St. Agatha, pray for us
   † St. Lucy, pray for us
   St. Agnes, pray for us
   St. Cecilia, pray for us
   † St. Catharine, pray for us
   St. Anastasia, pray for us
   All ye holy Virgins and Widows, pray for us
   All ye holy Men and Women, Saints of God, pray for us
   Be merciful, spare us, O Lord
   Be merciful, graciously hear us, O Lord
   From all evil, deliver us, O Lord
   From all sin, deliver us, O Lord
   † From Thy wrath, deliver us, O Lord
   † From sudden and unprovided death, deliver us, O Lord
   † From the snares of the devil, deliver us, O Lord
   † From anger, and hatred, and all ill will, deliver us, O Lord
   † From the spirit of fornication, deliver us, O Lord
   † From lightning and tempest, deliver us, O Lord
   † From the scourge of earthquake, deliver us, O Lord
   † From plague, famine, and war, deliver us, O Lord
   From everlasting death, deliver us, O Lord
   Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy coming, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy Nativity, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy Baptism and holy fasting, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy Cross and Passion, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy Death and Burial, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy holy Resurrection, deliver us, O Lord
   Through Thy wonderful Ascension, deliver us, O Lord
   Through the coming of the Holy Ghost, the Paraclete, deliver us, O Lord
   In the day of judgment, deliver us, O Lord
   We sinners, beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst spare us, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   † That Thou wouldst pardon us, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   † That Thou wouldst bring us to true penance, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our Apostolic Prelate, and all orders of the Church in holy religion, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of holy Church, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   † That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give peace and unity to all Christian People., we beseech Thee, to hear us
   † That Thou wouldst restore to the unity of the Church all who have strayed from the truth, and lead all unbelievers to the light of the Gospel, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us in Thy holy service, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   † That Thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   † That Thou wouldst deliver our souls, and the souls of our brethren, relations, and benefactors from eternal damnation, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant eternal rest to all the faithful departed, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   That Thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   Son of God, we beseech Thee, to hear us
   Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
   Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
   Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
   Christ, hear us.
   Christ, graciously hear us.
   Lord, have mercy on us.
   Christ, have mercy on us.
   Lord, have mercy on us.
   Our Father . . . (secretly)
V.: And lead us not into temptation.
R.: But deliver us from evil.

PSALM 69 ¤ O GOD MAKE HASTE TO HELP OUR SOUL
   Deus, in adjutorium meum intende: * Domine: ad adjuvandum me festina.
   Confundantur et revereantur, * qui quaerunt animam meam:
   Avertantur retrorsum, et erubescant, * qui volunt mihi mala:
   Avertantur statim erubescentes, * qui dicunt mihi: Euge, euge.
   Exsultent et laetentur in te omnes qui quaerunt te, * et dicant semper: Magnificetur Dominus: qui diligunt salutare tuum.
   Ego vero egenus, et pauper sum: * Deus, adjuva me.
   Adjutor meus, et liberator meus es tu: * Domine, ne moreris.
   Gloria Patri, et Filio, * et Spiritui Sancto.
   Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, * et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
   V.: Salvos fac servos tuos.
   R.: Deus meus, sperantes in te.
   V.: Esto nobis, Domine, turris fortitudinis.
   R.: A facie inimici.
   V.: Nihil proficiat inimicus in nobis.
   R.: Et filius iniquitatis non apponat nocere nobis.
   V.: Domine, non secundum peccata nostra facias nobis.
   R.: Neque secundum iniquitates nostras retribuas nobis.

   V.: Oremus pro Pontifice nostro N...
   R.: Dominus conservet eum, et vivifice eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum ejus.
   V.: Oremus pro benefactoribus nostris
   R.: Retribuere dignare Domine, omnibus nobis bona facentibus propter nomen tuum vitam aeternam. Amen.
   V.: Oremus pro fidelibus defunctis.
   R.: Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
   V.: Requiescant in pace.
   R.: Amen.

   V.: Pro fratribus nostris absentibus.
   R.: Salvos fac servos tuos, Deus meus, sperantes in te.
   V.: Mitte eis, Domine, auxilium de sancto.
   R.: Et de Sion tuere eos.
   V.: Domine, exaudi orationem meam.
   R.: Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
   V.: Dominus vobiscum.
   R.: Et cum spiritu tuo.

   O God, come to my assistance: O Lord, make haste to help me.
   Let them be ashamed and confounded, that seek after my soul.
   Let them be turned backward and put to confusion, that desire my hurt.
   Let them be turned back with shame, that say unto me, Aha, aha.
   Let all those that seek Thee be joyful and glad in Thee, and let such as love Thy salvation say continually: Let the Lord be magnified.
   But I am poor and needy: help me, O God.
   Thou art my helper and my deliverer: O Lord, make no delay.
   Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
   As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
   V.: Save Thy servants.
   R.: Who hope in Thee, O my God.
   V.: Be unto us, O Lord, a tower of strength.
   R.: From the face of the enemy.
   V.: Let not the enemy prevail against us.
   R.: Nor the son of wickedness have power to hurt us.
   V.: O Lord, deal not with us according to our sins.
   R.: Neither requite us according to our iniquities.

   V.: Let us pray for our Sovereign Pontiff N...
   R.: The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
   V.: Let us pray for our benefactors.
   R.: Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy Name's sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good, Amen.
   V.: Let us pray for the faithful departed.
   R.: Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
   V.: May they rest in peace.
   R.: Amen.

   V.: For our absent brethren.
   R.: Save Thy servants, who hope in Thee, O my God.
   V.: Send them help, O Lord, from the holy place.
   R.: And from Sion protect them.
   V.: O Lord, hear my prayer.
   R.: And let my cry come unto Thee.
   V.: The Lord be with you.
   R.: And with Thy spirit.
   Let us pray. -- O God, whose property is always to have pity and to spare, receive our humble petition: that we, and all Thy servants who are bound by the chains of sin, may by the compassion of Thy goodness mercifully be absolved.
   Graciously hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy suppliants, and pardon the sins of them that confess to Thee: that, in Thy bounty, Thou mayest grant us both pardon and peace.
   In Thy clemency, O Lord, show unto us Thine unspeakable mercy: that Thou mayest both loose us from all our sins, and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.
   O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people making supplication to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thine anger, which we deserve for our sins.
   Almighty, everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant N., our Sovereign Pontiff, and direct him according to Thy clemency into the way of everlasting salvation, that by Thy grace he may both desire those things that are pleasing to Thee, and perform them with all his strength.
   O God, from whom are holy desires, right counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give: that our hearts being devoted to the keeping of Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies being removed, the times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.
   Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fires of the Holy Ghost: that we may serve Thee with a chaste body and please Thee with a clean heart.
   O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins: that through devout supplications they may obtain the pardon which they have always desired.
   Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance: that every prayer and work of ours may begin always from Thee, and through Thee may be happily ended.
   Almighty, everlasting God, who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all, of whom Thou foreknowest that they will be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee, that they for whom we intend to pour forth our prayers, whether this present world still detain them in the flesh, or the world to come hath already received them out of their bodies, may, through the intercession of all Thy Saints, by the clemency of Thy goodness, obtain the remission of all their sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth . . .
   R.: Amen.
   V.: Dominus vobiscum.
   R.: Et cum spiritu tuo.
   V.: Exaudiat nos omnipotens et misericors Dominus.
   R.: Amen.
   V.: Et fidelium animae per misericordiam Dei requiescant in pace.
   R.: Amen.

   R.: Amen.
   V.: The Lord be with you.
   R.: And with thy spirit.
   V.: May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.
   R.: Amen.
   V.: And may the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
   R.: Amen.

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I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me. My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. May he not suffer thy foot to be moved: neither let him slumber that keepeth thee. Behold he shall neither slumber nor sleep, that keepeth Israel. The Lord is thy keeper, the Lord is thy protection upon thy right hand.

The sun shall not burn thee by day: nor the moon by night. The Lord keepeth thee from all evil: may the Lord keep thy soul. May the Lord keep thy coming in and thy going out; from henceforth now and for ever.
Psalm 120

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Pope Saint Eleutherius, pray for us.
Saint Philip Neri, who lived in the world but was not mastered by it, pray for us.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Ascend to Virtue and Perfection


“Ad Dominum. A prayer in tribulation. A gradual canticle. The following psalms, in number fifteen, are called gradual psalms, or canticles, from the word gradus, signifying steps, ascensions, or degrees: either because they were appointed to be sung on the fifteen steps, by which the people ascended to the temple: or, that in the singing of them the voice was to be raised by certain steps or ascensions: or, that they were to be sung by the people returning from their captivity and ascending to Jerusalem, which was seated amongst mountains. The holy fathers, in a mystical sense, understand these steps, or ascensions, of the degrees by which Christians spiritually ascend to virtue and perfection; and to the true temple of God in the heavenly Jerusalem.”
(from Richard Challoner's notes for the Douay–Rheims Bible)

A Blessed Sunday to you, Rebecca. On your behalf, one per day, I will pray the 15 gradual psalms, praying that you ascend God's holy mountain towards perfection and bliss.

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In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and he heard me. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips, and a deceitful tongue. What shall be given to thee, or what shall be added to thee, to a deceitful tongue? The sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals that lay waste. Woe is me, that my sojourning is prolonged! I have dwelt with the inhabitants of cedar:

My soul hath been long a sojourner. With them that hated peace I was peaceable: when I spoke to them they fought against me without cause.
- Psalm 119

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Dearest friend, we have lingered too long in shadows. We need to seek a better place, a wide open place where the light shines. Your home is not with the violent. You and I must take the path they have scorned; it is the path of mercy that leads out of the valley of the shadow of death.

Do not listen to the voice of those who speak with devilish voices. You heard in your life much that was false, and seemed to believe some of it, for a while. Flattery or insult, incitement or discouragement, do not let any faithless or malicious word that you have heard cause you to hesitate to enter by the narrow gate. Do not let the memory of evil counsel weigh you down as you climb the strait path. Set aside such useless baggage, and ascend to virtue and perfection. Keep only the good that you received. Saint Luke tells us that just "one thing is necessary" [Luke 10:42]. Seek out Christ, setting aside all else, and, finding Him, listen to Him. Beloved, our Shepherd calls your name. Hear His voice and follow Him.

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“Turn your face toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you”. -Maori proverb
Leave the darkness of this sad world behind you, sweet friend, and walk as a child of the light.

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Pope Saint Gregory VII, pray for her.
Pope Saint Urban I, pray for her.
Saint Bede the Venerable, pray for her.
Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, pray for her.
Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, pray for her.

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lead, Kindly Light


I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.

Dear Rebecca, may God bless you forever. May the saints welcome you as a friend among friends into Heaven, and there may you find peace, and there may you find comfort. By the grace of the almighty, may you and I meet there, and rejoice.

May the grace of God strengthen you, and gladden your heart forever. May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you: forgiving your sins and lighting a path for you away from all bitterness and pain and into salvation.

1 א Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are they who search his testimonies: that seek him with their whole heart.
3 For they that work iniquity, have not walked in his ways.
4 Thou hast commanded thy commandments to be kept most diligently.
5 O! that my ways may be directed to keep thy justifications.
6 Then shall I not be confounded, when I shall look into all thy commandments.
7 I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned the judgments of thy justice.
8 I will keep thy justifications: O! do not thou utterly forsake me.

9 ב By what doth a young man correct his way? by observing thy words.
10 With my whole heart have I sought after thee: let me not stray from thy commandments.
11 Thy words have I hidden in my heart, that I may not sin against thee.
12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy justifications.
13 With my lips I have pronounced all the judgments of thy mouth.
14 I have been delighted in the way of thy testimonies, as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on thy commandments: and I will consider thy ways.
16 I will think of thy justifications: I will not forget thy words.

17 ג Give bountifully to thy servant, enliven me: and I shall keep thy words.
18 Open thou my eyes: and I will consider the wondrous things of thy law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.
20 My soul hath coveted to long for thy justifications, at all times.
21 Thou hast rebuked the proud: they are cursed who decline from thy commandments.
22 Remove from reproach and contempt: because I have sought after thy testimonies.
23 For princes sat, and spoke against me: but thy servant was employed in thy justifications.
24 For thy testimonies are my meditation: and thy justifications my counsel.

25 ד My soul hath cleaved to the pavement: quicken thou me according to thy word.
26 I have declared my ways, and thou hast heard me: teach me thy justifications.
27 Make me to understand the way of thy justifications: and I shall be exercised in thy wondrous works.
28 My soul hath slumbered through heaviness: strengthen thou me in thy words.
29 Remove from me the way of iniquity: and out of thy law have mercy on me.
30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments I have not forgotten.
31 I have stuck to thy testimonies, O Lord: put me not to shame.
32 I have run the way of thy commandments, when thou didst enlarge my heart.

33 ה Set before me for a law the way of thy justifications, O Lord: and I will always seek after it.
34 Give me understanding, and I will search thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me into the path of thy commandments; for this same I have desired.
36 Incline my heart into thy testimonies and not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes that they may not behold vanity: quicken me in thy way.
38 Establish thy word to thy servant, in thy fear.
39 Turn away my reproach, which I have apprehended: for thy judgments are delightful.
40 Behold I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy justice.

41 ו Let thy mercy also come upon me, O Lord: thy salvation according to thy word.
42 So shall I answer them that reproach me in any thing; that I have trusted in thy words.
43 And take not thou the word of truth utterly out of my mouth: for in thy words have I hoped exceedingly.
44 So shall I always keep thy law, for ever and ever.
45 And I walked at large: because I have sought after thy commandments.
46 And I spoke of thy testimonies before kings: and I was not ashamed.
47 I meditated also on thy commandments, which I loved.
48 And I lifted up my hands to thy commandments, which I loved: and I was exercised in thy justifications.

49 ז Be thou mindful of thy word to thy servant, in which thou hast given me hope.
50 This hath comforted me in my humiliation: because thy word hath enlivened me.
51 The proud did iniquitously altogether: but I declined not from thy law.
52 I remembered, O Lord, thy judgments of old: and I was comforted.
53 A fainting hath taken hold of me, because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
54 Thy justifications were the subject of my song, in the place of my pilgrimage.
55 In the night I have remembered thy name, O Lord: and have kept thy law.
56 This happened to me: because I sought after thy justifications.

57 ח O Lord, my portion, I have said, I would keep the law.
58 I entreated thy face with all my heart: have mercy on me according to thy word.
59 I have thought on my ways: and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60 I am ready, and am not troubled: that I may keep thy commandments.
61 The cords of the wicked have encompassed me: but I have not forgotten thy law.
62 I rose at midnight to give praise to thee; for the judgments of thy justification.
63 I am a partaker with all them that fear thee, and that keep thy commandments.
64 The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy justifications.

65 ט Thou hast done well with thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word.
66 Teach me goodness and discipline and knowledge; for I have believed thy commandments.
67 Before I was humbled I offended; therefore have I kept thy word.
68 Thou art good; and in thy goodness teach me thy justifications.
69 The iniquity of the proud hath been multiplied over me: but I will seek thy commandments with my whole heart.
70 Their heart is curdled like milk: but I have meditated on thy law.
71 It is good for me that thou hast humbled me, that I may learn thy justifications.
72 The law of thy mouth is good to me, above thousands of gold and silver.

73 י Thy hands have made me and formed me: give me understanding, and I will learn thy commandments.
74 They that fear thee shall see me, and shall be glad: because I have greatly hoped in thy words.
75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are equity: and in thy truth thou hast humbled me.
76 O! let thy mercy be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.
77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, and I shall live: for thy law is my meditation.
78 Let the proud be ashamed, because they have done unjustly towards me: but I will be employed in thy commandments.
79 Let them that fear thee turn to me and they that know thy testimonies.
80 Let my heart be undefiled in thy justifications, that I may not be confounded.

81 כ My soul hath fainted after thy salvation: and in thy word I have very much hoped.
82 My eyes have failed for thy word, saying: When wilt thou comfort me?
83 For I am become like a bottle in the frost: I have not forgotten thy justifications.
84 How many are the days of thy servant: when wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me?
85 The wicked have told me fables: but not as thy law.
86 All thy statutes are truth: they have persecuted me unjustly, do thou help me.
87 They had almost made an end of me upon earth: but I have not forsaken thy commandments.
88 Quicken thou me according to thy mercy: and I shall keep the testimonies of thy mouth.

89 ל For ever, O Lord, thy word standeth firm in heaven.
90 Thy truth unto all generations: thou hast founded the earth, and it continueth.
91 By thy ordinance the day goeth on: for all things serve thee.
92 Unless thy law had been my meditation, I had then perhaps perished in my abjection.
93 Thy justifications I will never forget: for by them thou hast given me life.
94 I am thine, save thou me: for I have sought thy justifications.
95 The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I have understood thy testimonies.
96 I have seen an end to all persecution: thy commandment is exceeding broad.

97 מ O how have I loved thy law, O Lord! it is my meditation all the day.
98 Through thy commandment, thou hast made me wiser than my enemies: for it is ever with me.
99 I have understood more than all my teachers: because thy testimonies are my meditation.
100 I have had understanding above ancients: because I have sought thy commandments.
101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way: that I may keep thy words.
102 I have not declined from thy judgments, because thou hast set me a law.
103 How sweet are thy words to my palate! more than honey to my mouth.
104 By thy commandments I have had understanding: therefore have I hated every way of iniquity.

105 נ Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my paths.
106 I have sworn and am determined to keep the judgments of thy justice.
107 I have been humbled, O Lord, exceedingly: quicken thou me according to thy word.
108 The free offerings of my mouth make acceptable, O Lord: and teach me thy judgments.
109 My soul is continually in my hands: and I have not forgotten thy law.
110 Sinners have laid a snare for me: but I have not erred from thy precepts.
111 I have purchased thy testimonies for an inheritance for ever: because they are a joy to my heart.
112 I have inclined my heart to do thy justifications for ever, for the reward.

113 ס I have hated the unjust: and have loved thy law.
114 Thou art my helper and my protector: and in thy word I have greatly hoped.
115 Depart from me, ye malignant: and I will search the commandments of my God.
116 Uphold me according to thy word, and I shall live: and let me not be confounded in my expectation.
117 Help me, and I shall be saved: and I will meditate always on thy justifications.
118 Thou hast despised all them that fall off from thy judgments; for their thought is unjust.
119 I have accounted all the sinners of the earth prevaricators: therefore have I loved thy testimonies.
120 Pierce thou my flesh with thy fear: for I am afraid of thy judgments.

121 ע I have done judgment and justice: give me not up to them that slander me.
122 Uphold thy servant unto good: let not the proud calumniate me.
123 My eyes have fainted after thy salvation: and for the word of thy justice.
124 Deal with thy servant according to thy mercy: and teach me thy justifications.
125 I am thy servant: give me understanding that I may know thy testimonies.
126 It is time, O Lord, to do: they have dissipated thy law.
127 Therefore have I loved thy commandments above gold and the topaz.
128 Therefore was I directed to all thy commandments: I have hated all wicked ways.

129 פ Thy testimonies are wonderful: therefore my soul hath sought them.
130 The declaration of thy words giveth light: and giveth understanding to little ones.
131 I opened my mouth and panted: because I longed for thy commandments.
132 Look thou upon me, and have mercy on me, according to the judgment of them that love thy name.
133 Direct my steps according to thy word: and let no iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the calumnies of men: that I may keep thy commandments.
135 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: and teach me thy justifications.
136 My eyes have sent forth springs of water: because they have not kept thy law.

137 צ Thou art just, O Lord: and thy judgment is right.
138 Thou hast commanded justice thy testimonies: and thy truth exceedingly.
139 My zeal hath made me pine away: because my enemies forgot thy words.
140 Thy word is exceedingly refined: and thy servant hath loved it.
141 I am very young and despised; but I forgot not thy justifications.
142 Thy justice is justice for ever: and thy law is the truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have found me: thy commandments are my meditation.
144 Thy testimonies are justice for ever: give me understanding, and I shall live.

145 ק I cried with my whole heart, hear me, O Lord: I will seek thy justifications.
146 I cried unto thee, save me: that I may keep thy commandments.
147 I prevented the dawning of the day, and cried: because in thy words I very much hoped.
148 My eyes to thee have prevented the morning: that I might meditate on thy words.
149 Hear thou my voice, O Lord, according to thy mercy: and quicken me according to thy mercy.
150 They that persecute me have drawn nigh to iniquity; but they are gone far off from the law.
151 Thou art near, O Lord: and all thy ways are truth.
152 I have known from the beginning concerning thy testimonies: that thou hast founded them for ever.

153 ר See my humiliation and deliver me: for I have not forgotten the law.
154 Judge my judgment and redeem me: quicken thou me for thy word's sake.
155 Salvation is far from sinners; because they have not sought thy justifications.
156 Many, O Lord, are thy mercies: quicken me according to thy judgment.
157 Many are they that persecute me, and afflict me; but I have not declined from thy testimonies.
158 I beheld the transgressors, and I pined away; because they kept not thy word.
159 Behold I have loved thy commandments, O Lord; quicken me thou in thy mercy.
160 The beginning of thy words is truth: all the judgments of thy justice are for ever.

161 ש Princes have persecuted me without cause: and my heart hath been in awe of thy words.
162 I will rejoice at thy words, as one that hath found great spoil.
163 I have hated and abhorred iniquity; but I have loved thy law.
164 Seven times a day I have given praise to thee, for the judgments of thy justice.
165 Much peace have they that love thy law, and to them there is no stumbling block.
166 I looked to thy salvation, O Lord: and I loved thy commandments.
167 My soul hath kept thy testimonies: and hath loved them exceedingly.
168 I have kept thy commandments and thy testimonies: because all my ways are in thy sight.

169 ת Let my supplication, O Lord, come near in thy sight: give me understanding according to thy word.
170 Let my request come in before thee; deliver thou me according to thy word.
171 My lips shall utter a hymn, when thou shalt teach me thy justifications.
172 My tongue shall pronounce thy word: because all thy commandments are justice.
173 Let thy hand be with me to save me; for I have chosen thy precepts.
174 I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord; and thy law is my meditation.
175 My soul shall live and shall praise thee: and thy judgments shall help me.
176 I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost: seek thy servant, because I have not forgotten thy commandments.

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Saint Vincent of Lérins, pray for her.
Saints Donatian and Rogatian, pray for her.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Create a clean heart in me, O God


Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Dearest friend, I hope you do not recall too well, but lust is a difficult sin. It coarsens the mind and impairs judgment, so that the addled soul may try to make excuses for its sin, if it has left room for thought at all. It leaves the sinner forgetful of God, and makes him unkind to any who might get in the way of his self-destruction. It manipulates and destroys souls. It is the most common of sins.

Where other sins repulse witnesses, lust can ensnare and poison them, too, particularly in this morally-disordered pseudo-therapeutic talk-show age of ours, where virtue is so lightly regarded and poorly learned. This is the age in which you and I have been formed. How deeply did we breathe in the spirit of the age?

Let us pray that we might receive a better spirit. Let us pray for the grace to decisively set aside unchastity and all sin, and to live the life of grace. What a small thing it is to not embrace sin, to live a simple, holy life, but we have made it difficult. May we do better henceforth. And if the judgment of God falls on us, and His correction is hard to endure, let us remember that God chastises those He loves only to prepare them for greater joy.

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined: and I will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say: Thou art my people: and they shall say: The Lord is my God.

Zechariah 13:9

Heavenly Father, we have sinned against heaven, and before Thee, and are not worthy to be called thy children. By thought, by word, by look, by action we have scorned Thy word and now face Thy dread judgment. What hope do we have, when our sins, so numerous, are always before thee, and Thy law fixed and eternal?

Have pity on us, Thy poor servants, remember our weakness, and not because of any goodness in us, but because of Thine Own goodness, and for the love of the Sacred Heart of our Savior, grant us Thy forgiveness.

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1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.
12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
18 Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar.

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Saint Julia, holy virgin, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, lily of chastity and temperance, pray for us.

Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.

Matthew 5:8

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Food and Fasting


Dinners were our delight.  I have many happy memories of dinner-and-a-show with you.  I put on weight, this last decade, eating your delicious cooking.  Despite what I may have suggested on occasion, gluttony is not one of the seven cardinal virtues.  It made a different top seven list.

You knew better, of course. You could see the value of moderation. You didn't see the point of fasting, though. I didn't push the point, since the Church never asked you to fast (first because you were non-Catholic, later because you were over the age of 59). Perhaps I was embarrassed to mention that over-indulgence leaves one more vulnerable to sins of impurity. (I have noticed that yielding to anger can have that effect, too. Let one demon in, and he brings his friends and they have a party in your soul. Such houseguests are difficult to evict). Fasting has the opposite effect. Never fasting, you did not know that.

Now, my bodiless friend, you must fast until the resurrection.

I should have pointed out that the saints fasted, and their austerities drew them closer to God. Jesus fasted, too. I could have mentioned that just as grace before meals draws our thoughts to God, so too does fasting. Fasting clarifies our thinking and helps us to place God first. I hesitated to mention fasting as training in self-control, since I provided you with such a poor model of self-control, but there is that, too, and fasting, with prayer and alms-giving, are gifts that we can offer to God in reparation for our sins.

... but, as you said more than once, "blah, blah, blah..." You don't need opinions, you need prayers. So I pray:

Help us, O God, our Savior, and for the glory of Thy Name, O Lord, deliver us; and forgive us our sins for Thy Name's sake. Grant us the grace, I pray, to repent, to do penance, and to sin no more. O Holy Father, make us Thy true children, temperate, discerning good from evil, choosing the good and steady in Thy service.

Merciful God, strengthen us and teach us to rein in the impulses of our lower selves which do not honor Thee. Help us to resist temptation and to be more generous in doing good, until it becomes our nature to speak and act always according to Thy wisdom.

Saint Yvo Helori, Saint Rita of Cascia, pray for us that we be freed from gluttony and all immoderate desires, so that we may be guided by reason and the Divine light in all that we do, glorifying God with our thoughts and actions. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

An Inheritance Incorruptible


15 And he said to them: Take heed and beware of all covetousness; for a man's life doth not consist in the abundance of things which he possesseth.
16 And he spoke a similitude to them, saying: The land of a certain rich man brought forth plenty of fruits.
17 And he thought within himself, saying: What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said: This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and will build greater; and into them will I gather all things that are grown to me, and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul: Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years take thy rest; eat, drink, make good cheer.
20 But God said to him: Thou fool, this night do they require thy soul of thee: and whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.
Luke 12

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O Holy Spirit, Thou Treasury of Goodness and source of all blessings, guide us so that we may see and value things according to their true worth. All that we have, we receive from Thee, grant us also the grace to hear Thee, and to listen to Thee, and to follow Thy promptings, so that we may make good use of the talents which Thou hast entrusted to us.

Good Saint Hospitius, pray for us, that we may not mourn overmuch what we had to leave behind or could not acquire, but that we will cling instead to God, Who alone can give us life.

Holy Saint Cristóbal, who gave away your last remaining possessions to your killers, pray for us, that passing things may have as light a hold on our souls, and that we will end in charity.

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19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Matthew 6

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Dear Rebecca, may we also remember to be grateful. Thank you for your friendship. For the good things we shared, let us both thank God.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Contra acediam


Dearest of friends,

My prayer for you this day is that you will know that with God's help you can overcome any obstacle that you now face, that you will know that you will not be left without His help forever, that you will remember that He sends us trials for the sanctification of our souls. Place your hope in Him, take up the cross He has appointed for you, and may God grant me the grace to do the same.

May his grace strengthen us against all thoughts of indolence and despair, and help us to endure and overcome.

Saint Bernardine of Siena, pray for us that we may always be prompt to recognize and obey God's will for us, and faithful in the execution of our duties.

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1 Hear, O Lord, my prayer: give ear to my supplication in thy truth: hear me in thy justice.

2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight no man living shall be justified.

3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul: he hath brought down my life to the earth. He hath made me to dwell in darkness as those that have been dead of old:

4 And my spirit is in anguish within me: my heart within me is troubled.

5 I remembered the days of old, I meditated on all thy works: I meditated upon the works of thy hands.

6 I stretched forth my hands to thee: my soul is as earth without water unto thee.

7 Hear me speedily, O Lord: my spirit hath fainted away. Turn not away thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.

8 Cause me to hear thy mercy in the morning; for in thee have I hoped. Make the way known to me, wherein I should walk: for I have lifted up my soul to thee.

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O Lord, to thee have I fled:

10 Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. Thy good spirit shall lead me into the right land:

11 For thy name's sake, O Lord, thou wilt quicken me in thy justice. Thou wilt bring my soul out of trouble:

12 And in thy mercy thou wilt destroy my enemies. And thou wilt cut off all them that afflict my soul: for I am thy servant.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Anger worketh not Justice


Dear friend,

I started praying two days ago that God would free both you and me from the cardinal sins. I hope you don't backslide as much as I do. Can you backslide in Purgatory? I don't know. I don't what you experience, or how you experience it. I don't know whether you are in time or out of time, and if you are in time, whether time there has anything to do with time here. I think not. But I don't know. In the depths of my ignorance, not only do I pray for you, but I presume to offer you advice, as if I had more experience with the afterlife than you, and then I post the advice, as if you were staying someplace with high speed internet access. Silly me. You didn't bother reading this blog even when you were living the next town over.

Still, I will continue to pray, to hope, and to offer a one-man Greek chorus of commentary on your salvation. Maybe one day we can talk about whether this made any sense. I even hold onto the hope that you can somehow hear me urging you on, or sense a connection and know that you are loved. Through Christ we are connected. Though Him I say to you: grow, be more than you were; lovely as that was, you were flawed. Christ can make you whole. I pray that God will bless you abundantly.

Yesterday's epistle at the TLM was from St. James:

Dearly beloved, Every best gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no change nor shadow of alteration. For of His own will hath He begotten us by the word of truth, that we might be some beginning of His creature. You know, my dearest brethren. And let every man be swift to hear but slow to speak and slow to anger. For the anger of man worketh not the justice of God. Wherefore, casting away all uncleanness and abundance of naughtiness, with meekness receive the ingrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

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Saint Peter Celestine, pray for us, that we may be freed from all shadow of anger and resentment.

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My atheist, always-opinionated, almost-always-angry brother comes in and sits a few feet from me while I am writing the above, and instantly I am annoyed. I don't want him to see what I am writing. He starts playing a commercial on his computer, and I get more annoyed. He goes away and I am relieved. He comes back, starts pounding on his keyboard, and tapping on the table, and I can't concentrate. I never want to speak to him, which is unkind. I am far from self-mastery and holiness.

Saint Pudentiana, pray for us, that we may learn patience and acquire peaceful hearts.

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O God, who makest the faithful to be of one mind and will: grant to Thy people to love that which Thou dost command and to desire that which Thou dost promise, that amid [and beyond] the changes of the world, our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are to be found. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, throughout all the ages of ages. Amen.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Through Sorrow to Beauty


I went to the New Horizons concert yesterday. The conductor, Maryann Flock, dedicated the performance of Nimrod from Elgar's Enigma Variations to your memory [she misses you, too].

It is a work of sweet melancholy, named only incidentally for the Biblical figure; the variation is really named for Augustus Jaeger, Elgar's friend, who encouraged him to not give up, but to make new music, even when his troubles seemed overwhelming.

And that is what you must do, too, meine Freundin. Through all your troubles, in the depths of your heart, offer, if you can, a song of thanksgiving to our Maker for His blessings. If such is now beyond your strength, then wait and endure, sustained by the hidden God Who gives us life, while He helps you to expiate your sins, to grow in charity, and to become perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect.

At last, Saint Rebecca, when you are worthy of that name, when all the desires of your soul are rightly ordered and you can raise your eyes to our Maker unashamed, then you will make music again joyfully to the honor of His name, and you will know the reason for your gifts, and the purpose for your burdens.

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Today, instead of a set prayer, I offer on your behalf a prayerful reading from Holy Scripture, the twelfth chapter of Saint Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews:

1 And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us:
2 Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God.
3 For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds.
4 For you have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin:
5 And you have forgotten the consolation, which speaketh to you, as unto children, saying: My son, neglect not the discipline of the Lord; neither be thou wearied whilst thou art rebuked by him.
6 For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
7 Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons; for what son is there, whom the father doth not correct?
8 But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are made partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.
9 Moreover we have had fathers of our flesh, for instructors, and we reverenced them: shall we not much more obey the Father of spirits, and live?
10 And they indeed for a few days, according to their own pleasure, instructed us: but he, for our profit, that we might receive his sanctification.
11 Now all chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield, to them that are exercised by it, the most peaceable fruit of justice.
12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,
13 And make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed.
14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness: without which no man shall see God.
15 Looking diligently, lest any man be wanting to the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up do hinder, and by it many be defiled.
16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau; who for one mess, sold his first birthright.
17 For know ye that afterwards, when he desired to inherit the benediction, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, although with tears he had sought it.
18 For you are not come to a mountain that might be touched, and a burning fire, and a whirlwind, and darkness, and storm,
19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which they that heard excused themselves, that the word might not be spoken to them:
20 For they did not endure that which was said: And if so much as a beast shall touch the mount, it shall be stoned.
21 And so terrible was that which was seen, Moses said: I am frighted, and tremble.
22 But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels,
23 And to the church of the firstborn, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel.
25 See that you refuse him not that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke upon the earth, much more shall not we, that turn away from him that speaketh to us from heaven.
26 Whose voice then moved the earth; but now he promiseth, saying: Yet once more, and I will move not only the earth, but heaven also.
27 And in that he saith, Yet once more, he signifieth the translation of the moveable things as made, that those things may remain which are immoveable.
28 Therefore receiving an immoveable kingdom, we have grace; whereby let us serve, pleasing God, with fear and reverence.
29 For our God is a consuming fire.

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Saint Paul, holy apostle, pray for us, that we may freely lay aside every weight and sin that hinders us from running the race that God has proposed to us.

Saint Venantius, holy martyr, pray for us that we may be freed from envy and malice and all sin, and love God with our whole hearts, and our whole souls, and our whole minds, and our neighbor as ourselves.

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Let us extol His Name together


Another psalm I pray for you, dearest friend, and if my words do not reach your ears, God hears them, and may He deliver you from all troubles and bless you forever:

33 For David, when he changed his countenance before Achimelech, who dismissed him, and he went his way. [1 Kings 21.]
I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise shall be always in my mouth.
In the Lord shall my soul be praised: let the meek hear and rejoice.
O magnify the Lord with me; and let us extol his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me; and he delivered me from all my troubles.
Come ye to him and be enlightened: and your faces shall not be confounded.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him: and saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord shall encamp round about them that fear him: and shall deliver them.
O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet: blessed is the man that hopeth in him.
10 Fear the Lord, all ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
11 The rich have wanted, and have suffered hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good.
12 Come, children, hearken to me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
13 Who is the man that desireth life: who loveth to see good days?
14 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
15 Turn away from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it.
16 The eyes of the Lord are upon the just: and his ears unto their prayers.
17 But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil things: to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
18 The just cried, and the Lord heard them: and delivered them out of all their troubles.
19 The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart: and he will save the humble of spirit.
20 Many are the afflictions of the just; but out of them all will the Lord deliver them.
21 The Lord keepeth all their bones, not one of them shall be broken.
22 The death of the wicked is very evil: and they that hate the just shall be guilty.
23 The Lord will redeem the souls of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall offend.


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Merciful Lord, Help and Refuge of the poor, in Whom we hope, grant to your servants pure, simple hearts, clarity of understanding, true contrition for our sins and reconciliation to Thee, almighty God. Lord please grant that Rebecca and I may meet again in friendship, and that together we may extol Thy holy name. Through Christ our Saviour, Thy Son, Who with Thee reigns in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, forever and always. Amen.


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Saint Paschal Baylon, Seraph of the Eucharist, pray for us, that we may be strengthened against self-serving pride and all the deceits of this world, so that we may finally enter the heavenly city, and dwell there in peace, united finally in perfect charity with each other and with the Blessed Trinity.  Through Christ our Lord.

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