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


Stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved

Philippians 4:1

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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