Saturday, 13 May 2017

FATIMA CENTENARY - 100 YEARS - 13 May 1917 to 13 May 2017

Let us rejoice...

...at the centenary of the apparition of our Lady at Fatima
13 May 1917 to 13 May 2017
as the Pope canonises the visionary shepherd children
St Jacinta
and
 St Francisco




St Jacinta, Sister Lucia, St Francisco...
Thank God for the  beautiful innocence of these simple but saintly children...

 The story of Fatima...

The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, appeared six times to three shepherd children ("the Three Seers") near the town of Fatima, Portugal between 13 May and 13 October 1917.

Appearing to the children, the Blessed Virgin told them that She had been sent by God with a message for every man, woman and child living in our century. Coming at a time when civilization was torn asunder by war and bloody violence, She promised that Heaven would grant peace to all the world if Her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed. Our Lady said:

"If my requests are granted ... there will be peace"

Our Lady of Fatima explained to the children that war is a punishment for sin and warned that God would further castigate the world for its disobedience to His will by means of war, hunger and the persecution of the Church, the Holy Father and the Catholic Faithful. God's Mother prophesied that Russia would be God's chosen "instrument of chastisement," spreading the "errors" of atheism and materialism across the earth, fomenting wars, annihilating nations and persecuting the Faithful everywhere. Our Lady said:

"If y requests are not granted, Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martryed, the Holy Father will suffer much and various nations will be annihilated."

In all Her appearances at Fatima, the Blessed Mother repeatedly emphasized the necessity of praying the Rosary daily, of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mount Carmel and of performing acts of reparation and sacrifice.

To prevent the terrible chastisement at the hands of Russia and to convert "that poor nation", our Lady requested the solemn public Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart by the Pope and all the Catholic bishops of the world. She also asked that the Faithful practice a new devotion of reparation on the first Saturday of five consecutive months ("The Five First Saturdays").

The heart of our Lady's Message to the world is contained in what has come to be called the "Secret" which she confided to the Three Seers in July 1917.

The Secret actually consists of three parts, the first two of which have been publicly revealed.

The first part of the Secret was a horrifying Vision of hell "where the souls of poor sinners go" and contained an urgent plea from Our Lady for acts of prayer and sacrifice to save souls.

The second part of the Secret specifically prophesied the outbreak of World War II and contained the Mother of God's solemn request for the Consecration of Russia as a condition for world peace. It also predicted the inevitable triumph of Her Immaculate Heart following Russia's consecration and the conversion "of that poor nation" to the Catholic Faith. 

The last part of the Secret (often called the "Third Secret") has not yet been made public, but was written down by Lucia Dos Santos, the last living Fatima seer, in 1944 and has been in the possession of the Holy See since 1957.

Most informed sources speculate that this portion of the Secret concerns chaos in the Catholic Church, predicting widespread apostasy and a loss of faith beginning in the seventh decade of the 20th Century.

Can anyone now doubt that such is exactly what has happened to the Catholic Church in our time....an unprecedented crisis of faith and authority. 


From the film On the 13th Day...


Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
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Thursday, 4 May 2017

INVENTIO CRUCIS - 3rd May - the Feast of the Invention (finding) of the True Cross by Empress St Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great


INVENTIO CRUCIS

3rd May

the Feast of the Invention (finding) of the True Cross by Empress St Helena, 
mother of the Emperor Constantine the Great...




Here is the Roman Empress St Helena pictured with the True Cross.

The Feast of the Invention (Finding) of the True Cross is another great feast that was done away with by the wrecker Bugnini.

St. Helena, mother of Constantine the great, is often depicted holding a cross because according to the tradition she found the true cross in Jerusalem.

The Roman Emperor Constantine was elected Emperor by the Roman Army at Eboracum (York in Britain) in 312, and in the following year, legalized Christianity with the Edict of Milan.

About this time, Constantine’s mother, St. Helena, converted to Christianity.

With the authority of her son, St. Helena went to Palestine in search of the Holy Cross about the year 324.

St Helena built churches marking the place of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and the site of the Ascension.

Three crosses were found in a rock-cistern as well as the titulus (the wood plaque inscribed with the words Jesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum in Hebrew, Greek and Latin - "Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews"). The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built over the site.


TITULUS CRUCIS
a sacred relic in the Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, displayed in reverse so that the words can be better seen and an ancient reconstruction placed over the top of the reliquary showing what is written on the now very old wood of the titulus proclaiming our Lord King of the Jews in the 3 sacred languages.


A woman, dying from a terminal disease, was brought to the spot. She touched the crosses, one by one. After she touched the third cross, she was cured, thereby identifying the true cross.

St Ambrose preached that when St. Helena found the true cross:

"she worshipped not the wood, but the King, Him who hung on the wood. She burned with an earnest desire of touching the guarantee of immortality."


St Cyril of Jerusalem, in his letter to the Emperor Constantius (Constantine’s son and successor), stated "The saving wood of the cross was found at Jerusalem in the time of Constantine."

In his fourth Catechetical Lecture, he wrote:

"He was truly crucified for our sins. For if you would deny it, the place refutes you visibly, this blessed Golgotha, in which we are now assembled for the sake of Him who was here crucified; and the whole world has since been filled with pieces of the wood of the Cross."

Many of the older depictions of the crucifixion show a skull with two crossed bones at the foot of the cross. The tradition is that Adam was buried at Calvary. When our Lord died, His Precious Blood flowed down, through cracks in the earth, onto Adam's skull.

In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem one finds the Chapel of Adam underneath the Chapel of Golgotha.

The Feast of the Triumph of the Cross, which comes much later on 14 September, is the feast marking the day when the Emperor Heraclius re-captured the True Cross from the Persians who had stolen it from Jerusalem.

It was on that great feast day that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict gloriously reigning, ordered the freeing of the traditional Roman rites which, he declared, had never been abrogated (numquam abrogatam).

A truly glorious victory of the Holy Cross indeed!

On these great feasts, let us remember the words of St. Francis of Assisi:


"We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world."

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Sunday, 30 April 2017

GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY - "Ego sum Pastor bonus..."


Ego sum Pastor bonus, allelúja: et cognósco oves Meas, et cognóscunt Me Meæ. Allelúja, allelúja.

I am the good Shepherd, alleluia: and I know My sheep, and Mine know Me, alleluia, alleluia.

The Gospel is from John 10: 11-16:

In illo témpore: Dixit Jesus Pharisæis: "Ego sum Pastor bonus. Bonus pastor ánimam suam dat pro óvibus. Mercenárius autem et qui non est pastor, cujus non sunt oves própriæ, videt lupum veniéntem, et dimíttit oves, et fugit: et lupus rapit et dispérgit oves: mercenárius autem fugit, quia mercenárius est, et non pértinet ad eum de óvibus. Ego sum Pastor bonus: et cognósco oves meas, et cognóscunt me meæ. Sicut novit me Pater, et ego agnósco Patrem: et ánimam meam pono pro óvibus meis. Et alias oves hábeo, qum non sunt ex hoc ovíli: et illas opórtet me addúcere, et vocem meam áudient, et fiat unum ovíile, et unus pastor."

At that time Jesus said to the Pharisees: "I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep: and the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling, and he hath no care for the sheep. I am the good Shepherd: and I know Mine, and Mine know Me, as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father: and I lay down My life for My sheep. And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd."


Take note all pastors and bishops and be not hirelings but true shepherds.

We should also note that our Lord says He has sheep that are "not of this fold" who shall hear His voice - perhaps better than those who are currently of His Flock - and they shall become part of the Flock, too.

This should teach us to be humble and not to presume or become complacent. Some who are not currently of the Flock may be judged better than us to sit amongst the saints in Heaven.

Let us pray for them, also, and remember that the Catholic Church is for all, including those who are not yet members. It is not a convenient little club only for cradle Catholics.

God chose the Israelites but all but a few later rejected Him and he transferred His favour to the Gentiles who converted to Him and loved Him better than many of His own chosen people.



 
Lord Jesus, Good Shepherd of us, your flock, have mercy on us and protect us!


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Saturday, 22 April 2017

QUASIMODO SUNDAY - "As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile..."


Dominica in Albis Deponendis

(Sunday when the newly baptised finally put off their white garments of Easter)

also called

Quasimodo Sunday

or

Low Sunday
 
or

Close-Pasch

and

the Feast of Divine Mercy


Buoninsegna. Christ appears to the Disciples. 1308-11.



"Quasimodo geniti infantes, alleluia, rationabile sine dolo lac concupiscite.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

"As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia" 
[1 Peter 2:2; Introit for the Mass of Low Sunday]



Our Lord appeared first to St Mary Magdalene and then the women at the tomb (Luke 24:1-10).
 
Later on the Day of Resurrection, Sunday, the first day of the week, he appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) and then he appeared again to them in a closed room in Jerusalem and gave them the power, as priests, to forgive sins (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).
 
8 (Jewish) days later (Jewish and Roman days start at sundown), on the following Sunday, he appeared to them again and cured the doubts of St Thomas the Doubter (John 20:26-29).
 
He then appeared to them a 3rd time, by the sea of Tiberias, when there was a miraculous draught of fish and he heard St Peter's confession for denying him 3 times (John 21:1-23).
 


"Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. 

He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. 

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed."
[John 20:19-29; Gospel of Low Sunday]


 

Caravaggio. Doubting Thomas. 1602-1603.


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Sunday, 16 April 2017

EASTER SUNDAY - "I have seen the Lord!"


Happy Easter to all!

Christus surrexit,
sicut dixit,
alleluia!

Christ is risen
as He said!
Alleluia!



Correggio. Noli me tangere. 1525

"When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices so that they might come and anoint Jesus...and on a sabbath morning they came to the sepulchre after sunrise...and looking up they saw that the stone was rolled back. Alleluia!"
[Taverner, Dum transisset sabbatum from Mark 16, sung at the Easter Vigil mass of Holy Saturday night]

"The Angels said to her 'Woman, why are you weeping?'. She said to them 'Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him'. Saying this she turned round and saw Jesus standing but she did not know that it was Jesus. Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him 'Sir, if you have carried Him away tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away'. And Jesus said to her 'Mary'. She turned and said to Him in Hebrew 'Rabboni!'".
[John 20]
"She went and said to the Disciples 'I have seen the Lord!' "[John 20.18]


John Taverner (1490-1545). Dum Transisset Sabbatum. Sung by the Tallis Scholars.

Dum transisset Sabbatum,
Maria Magdalene et Maria Jacobi et Salome
emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Alleluia!
Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum orto iam sole ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Alleluia!
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Alleluia!

And when the Sabbath was past,
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome
had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Alleluia!
And very early in the morning, the first day of the week,
they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun that they might come and anoint him.
Alleluia!
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Alleluia!
[Dum Transisset Sabbatum - taken from the Gospel of St Mark, Ch16]



Carl Heinrich Bloch. The Resurrection. 1881.

Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Praecedet vos in Galilaeam.
Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum
Turbae fallaci.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

[Wipo of Burgundy, Victimi Paschali Laudes. 1040. Sung on Easter Sunday]

Surrexit Christus hodie! Alleluia!

Christ is risen today! Alleluia!
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Saturday, 15 April 2017

EASTER VIGIL - the Twelve Prophecies...time to restore them


The Twelve Prophecies.

Yes, twelve.

What are the Prophecies? They are the readings at the Easter Vigil.

The Easter Vigil is one of the oldest of ceremonies in the Christian Church.

During it the Catechumens are given their last instruction, in the porch of the Church, before being introduced into the Church, one by one, during the reading of the Prophecies.

The rest of the congregation listen to the Prophecies which are the story of salvation from the Creation of the World to the Birth and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

So far as we are able to tell there have always been 12 Prophecies. They begin at Genesis with God creating the world and end with the story of Nebuchadnessar, the later Epistle and Gospel telling of the Resurrection of Christ.

These ceremonies are thus of ancient and most hallowed and sacred origin. None but the most impious would dare to interfere with such ancient rites which come to us from the earliest of times in the Church.

The structure of the Vigil has been as follows:

1. The Blessing of the Fire and the Paschal Candle (with the grains of incense in the shape of a Cross) and the singing of the Exultet by a Deacon, followed by the Procession into Church and the spreading of Lumen Christi, the Light of Christ (signified by slowly re-lighting the lamps in the Church).

2. The Prophecies, sung just as the Catechumens, dressed in white robes, are, one by one, introduced into Church.

3. The Blessing of the Baptismal Water (if there is a Font) by which the Catechumens will be baptised.

4. The Litany of the Saints during which the Catechumens are baptised.

5. The Solemn Mass of the Vigil during which the Neophytes, newly baptised, will communicate.

This is then followed by Compline of the Easter Vigil (now Solemn Lauds of Easter Day since the Vigil is celebrated around midnight and not in the afternoon or morning).

Until Bugnini's cut and paste job of 1955, the Easter Candle was not lit directly from the Easter fire but rather from a three-branched olive stem housed in a candelabrum which was lit, to signify the Holy Trinity and the olive branch of peace, first from the Easter fire. From this triple branch, introduced into the Church with the chant of Lumen Christi, as now, was then lit the Easter Candle, standing in the Sanctuary atop its pillar, to symbolise the Pillar of Fire that, by night, led the Children of Israel out of bondage. Thereafter, the lamps of the Church were then slowly lit - not all at once in a rush but slowly - to symbolise the gradual spreading of the Light of Christ throughout the world.

This was but some of the most ancient, most fitting and beautiful symbolism that the irreverent Bugnini dared to interfere with.

Moreover, in the early Church and right up until around 1100AD or thereabouts, the ceremonies began late in the evening and did not conclude until daybreak. Psalms, chants and prayers were sung - as they still are among the Greeks - and ceremonies and rituals were carried out in search of Christ's sacred but resurrected Body by way of demonstration that He had risen in deed and would not return until the morrow when He would first be seen by St Mary Magdalene and mistaken for the gardener.




 
John Taverner (1490-1545). Dum Transisset Sabbatum.
The Holy Women come early on the Sabbath to the tomb to anoint the Body of Jesus but He is not there - Allelluia!
 

There is a lot of talk about how it was wrong to celebrate the Vigil during the day and not at night and that this was an abuse which crept in over the years. This is true and I see no reason for not returning the Vigil to its place at night. It is not an issue.

That argument is a distraction from the main issue which is that the 12 Prophecies were cut from 12 to 4 by the scheming and devious Bugnini when he "reformed" the Easter Triduum in 1955.

He did this in his usual underhand way by soothing the concerns of Pope Pius XII that the changes were small and reasonable. The Pope was deceived by Bugnini - and he was not the first so to be deceived!

The changes are major and all the worse for being done to so ancient a ceremony that comes to us from the earlies times, hallowed as they are by ancient usage and tradition.

The necessity for the 12 Prophecies, quite apart from their being ancient, hallowed and traditional, is that they tell the story of salvation from Creation to Christ.

Cutting them to only 4 is thus a complete nonsense since it does not tell the story of salvation but only a few unconnected bits i.e. Genesis, Exodus and the crossing of the Red Sea, a short piece from Isaiah and a reversion back to Deuteronomy.

Bugnini has done little more than take a pair of scissors to the 12 Prophecies and cut 8 of them out more or less arbitrarily.

By what conceivable right did this relatively minor Vatican official dare to do such a thing to so ancient and hallowed a right? And how can his arbitrary slashing be in any way right or conducive to edify the people? It is but a piece of wonderful impudence introduced by a kind of deception.

Indeed, so impudent was it that, when the new rites were being constructed, he felt that he had to restore some of the readings so that, in the Novus Ordo, it is possible, once again, to have most, if not all, of the 12 ancient Prophecies.

In this sense, then, and ironically, the Novus Ordo Easter Vigil is superior to that of 1955 and 1962!

The Greeks were, and remain, horrifed by what they regard as yet further blasphemy by the Latins in interfering with the ancient ceremonies, since they, the Greeks, still continue with the full ancient ceremonies that have been in place since the earliest times.

Even today, the Greek Church begins the ceremonies in the late evening and continues near enough until dawn, the Faithful, having processed around the Church in search of their Crucified Lord, waiting threafter with expectation, chanting and praying, for their Resurrected Saviour.



The empty tomb....
 
It makes us Latins look weak indeed by comparison!

Now we are weaker still, since Bugnini chopped the Prophecies by a third.


In the Basilica of St John Lateran, there were, in effect, 24 Readings since the ancient Propheices were sung twice over, once in Greek and once in Latin, another ancient ceremony.

Moreover, from the days of the early Church right up until the late 19th century - and in various places even well into the 20th century - the Deacon sang in the Exultet not only prayers for the Pope and bishops but also prayers for the Roman Emperor and the civil rulers.




Emperor Charles IV at prayer, wearing the ancient imperial crown. 1375.
Detail from a votive panel of Jan Ocko of Vasim.
 
This ancient prayer was not formally removed from the Exultet until Bugnini removed it in 1955, although Pope Pius XII, under strong pressure from Republican American prelates in 1942 when the Vatican was under the immediate threat of the Nazi Republicans, allowed it to be left out.

Let me conclude with that ancient prayer for the Roman Emperor, prayed throughout the Catholic world for so many centuries during the Easter Vigil:

EASTER VIGIL – THE EXULTET
PRAYERS FOR THE ROMAN EMPEROR

(The lamps were traditionally lit but gradually from the Paschal fire halfway through the Exultet to signify the Resurrection of Jesus Christ)

Respice etiam ad devotissimum imperatorem nostrum (Nomen) cujus tu, Deus, desiderii vota praenoscens, ineffabili pietatis et misericordiae tuae munere, tranquillum perpetuae pacis accommoda, et coelestem victoriam cum omni populo suo.

Regard also our most devout Emperor [Name] and since Thou knowest, O God, the desires of his heart, grant by the ineffable grace of Thy goodness and mercy, that he may enjoy with all his people the tranquillity of perpetual peace and heavenly victory.

Restore to us our 12 ancient Prophecies, O Lord!



A Pillar of Fire by night went before the Children of Israel...



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HOLY SATURDAY - "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted unto the Lord thy God!"


When the Lord was buried...
 



"Remember, Lord, what is come upon us: consider and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned unto aliens, our houses to strangers. We are become orphans without a father, our mothers are as widows...our fathers have sinned and are no more and we have borne their iniquities.
[Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday, prayer of the prophet Jeremiah]

"I am counted among them that go down to the pit. I am become like a man without help free among the dead."
[Responsory, Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday]

"For when every commandment of the Law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of goats and calves and of goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people saying, this is the blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined upon you. The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry in like manner he sprinkled with blood. And almost all things according to the Law are cleansed with blood and without shedding of blood there is no remission."
[Heb. ix.]

"When the Lord was buried they sealed the sepulchre rolling a stone before the mouth of the sepulchre and placed soldiers to guard Him."
[Responsory, Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday]

Friday, 14 April 2017

GOOD FRIDAY - "O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"


Good Friday


Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci? Ego quidem plantavi te vineam meam speciosissimam: et tu facta es mihi nimis amara: aceto namque sitim meam potasti: et lancea perforasti latus Salvatori tuo.

Ego dedi tibi sceptrum regale: et tu dedisti capiti meo spineam coronam.

Popule meus, quid feci tibi? Aut in quo contristavi te? Responde mihi!



"What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me, for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink and with a lance thou pierced the side of thy Saviour!

I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst give My head a crown of thorns…

O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"



Titian. Christ Crowned with Thorns. 1540.


"For he hath taken us and he will heal us: he will strike and he will cure us. He will revive after two days: on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight. We shall know and we shall follow on, that we know the Lord...for I desired mercy and not animal sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than holocausts."
[Hosea 6, First lesson sung at the Good Friday Service of the Mass of the Pre-sanctified]

"He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the whole chastisement that made us whole and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers, he opened not his mouth."
[Isaiah 53, Epistle for Wednesday in Holy Week]



Titian. Ecce Homo. 1560.


"Jesus answered: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from hence’. Pilate therefore said to Him ‘Art Thou a King then?’ Jesus answered ‘Thou sayest that I am a King. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony of the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice…

…Then therefore Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him and the soldiers plaiting a Crown of Thorns, put it upon His head and they put upon Him a purple mantle and they came to Him and said ‘Hail King of the Jews!’ and they gave Him blows."
[John 18]

Regnavit a ligno Deus.
"God hath reigned from a tree."
[From Vexilla Regis, St Venantius Fortunatus, sung during the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

"What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me, for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink and with a lance thou pierced the side of thy Saviour!
… For thy sake I scourged Egypt with its first-born and thou didst deliver Me up to be scourged…
… I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst give My head a crown of thorns…
… I exalted thee with great strength and thou didst hang Me on the gibbet of the Cross…
O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"
[Improperia or Reproaches of Christ to His people and to us all, from the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus.
"O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow."
[Lamentations of Jeremiah, sung at Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds) on Maundy Thursday]



Diego Velázquez. Christ Crucified. c. 1632.


"And they took Jesus and led Him forth. And bearing His cross, He went forth to that place that is called Calvary but in Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified Him and with Him two others, one on each side and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title also and he put it upon the Cross and the writing was ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’… and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin."
[John 18]
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...

MAUNDY THURSDAY - "A new commandment I give you...love one another..."


Maundy Thursday

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret. The Last Supper. 1896.
 
"And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 'This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first in the months of the year...on the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses... and it shall be a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH, a male, of one year...and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof and put it upon both the side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire and unleavened bread with wild lettuce... neither shall there remain any thing of it until morning. If there be anything left you shall burn it with fire. And thus shall you eat it: you shall gird your reins and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands and you shall eat in haste for it is the Phase (that is the Passage) of the Lord... And I shall see the blood and shall pass over you...and this day shall be for a memorial to you and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance'... And Moses said... 'Thou shalt keep this thing as a law for thee and thy children forever...and when your children shall say to you "What is the meaning of this service" you shall say to them "It is the victim of the passage of the Lord when He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians and saving our houses..."
[Exod 12]


The Paschal lamb without blemish is tied and led to slaughter
Scripture fittingly depicts the Christ as an innocent lamb led to the slaughter - the innocent "Lamb of God" sacrificed for the wicked sins of ungrateful and rebellious men, going dumb, innocent and in silence to torture and death at the hands of sinful men
.

"Now the feast of the unleavened bread which is called the Pasch was at hand...and when the hour was come He sat down and the twelve apostles with Him and He said to them 'With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer, for I say to you that from this time I will not eat it till it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God'... And taking bread He gave thanks, and brake and gave them saying 'This is my body which is given up for you. Do this for a commemoration of me'. In like manner the chalice also, after He had supped, saying 'This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you'.
[Luke 22]

"On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He the paschal victim eating,
First fulfils the Law's command.
Then as food to all His brethren
Gives Himself with His own hand"
[Pange lingua gloriosi, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that His hour was come...having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And when supper was ended... He riseth from supper and..having taken a towel, girded Himself. After that, He putteth water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded...Then after He had washed their feet and taken His garments, being set down again, He said to them 'Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord. And you say well; for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
[John 13]


Dirk van Baburen. Christ washing the Disciples' feet. 1616.


Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

[John 13:34, sung at the Maundy Mass]

Ubi caritas et amor ubi Deus est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

"Where charity and love are there is God. The love of Christ has gathered us together. Let us rejoice in Him and be glad. Let us fear and love the living God and let us love one another with a sincere heart."
[John 2:3-4, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"And going out He went, according to His custom, to the Mount of Olives and His disciples also followed Him... and kneeling down He prayed saying 'Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from me but not yet my will but Thine be done'...And He being in agony, He prayed the longer and His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground."
[Luke 22:39-44]

ALEPH: Quomodo sedet sola civitas, plena populo, facta es quasi vidua; domina gentium, princeps provinicarum, facta est sub tributo.

ALEPH: How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

[Lamentations of Jeremiah 1:1, the beginning of Tenebrae (Matins & Lau) for Maundy Thursday]


"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow!" Gustave Doré. Lamentations.1866.

Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum, qui exhortabamini mori pro me?
Vel Judam non videtis quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judaeis?
Quid dormitis? Surgite et orate, ne intretis in tentationem.
Vel Judam non videtis quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judaeis

"Could you not watch one hour with me,
After exhorting one another to die for Me?
Or do you not see Judas?
He is not sleeping,
but is hurrying to betray me.
Why do you sleep?
Rise and pray,
that you may not enter into temptation!"

[Maundy Thursday Matins (Tenebrae), Lesson viii Response]



Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-82). Christ in the Garden of Olives.

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SPY WEDNESDAY - "...and they appointed him thirty pieces of silver..."


"Then went one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot to the chief priests and said to them 'what will you give me to deliver Him unto you?'. And they appointed him thirty pieces of silver..."


Caravaggio. The Taking of Christ. 1602.

Unus ex discipulis meus tradet ne hodie: Vae illi per quem tradar ego. Melius illi erat si natur non fuisset...Qui intingit mecum manum in paropside, hic me traditurus est in manus peccatorum.
"One of my disciples shall today betray me. Woe to him by whom I am betrayed. Better for him that he had not been born...whoever shall dip his hand with me into the dish, by him shall I be betrayed into the hands of sin."
[Matt 16:23-25, Responsory 6 at Tenebrae on Maundy Thursday]






"Then went one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot to the chief priests and said to them "what will you give me to deliver Him unto you?". And they appointed him thirty pieces of silver and from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray Him."
[Matt 26:14-16]

"Thus saith the Lord God 'tell the daughter of Sion, behold Thy Saviour cometh; behold His reward is with Him and His work before Him. Who is this that cometh from Edom with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in greatness of strength?'"
[Isaias 62:63]
"There is no beauty in Him, nor comeliness; and we have seen Him and there was no sightliness that we should be desirous of Him; despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows and despised, whereupon we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows, and we have thought Him as it were a leper and as one struck by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, everyone hath turned aside into his own way and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was His own will and he opened not His mouth: He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and He shall not open His mouth...He hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in His mouth...He hath delivered His soul unto death and was reputed with the wicked and hath borne the sins of many and hath prayed for the transgressors.
[Isaias 53:2]
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Sunday, 9 April 2017

PALM SUNDAY - "The children of the Hebrews bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest!"


...Christ, the King of Kings, enters the Holy city of Jerusalem mounted on a donkey, on the first Palm Sunday
 

 ...and so begins HOLY WEEK, the holiest week of the year

The great and ancient service on Palm Sunday celebrates the entry of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST into the city of Jerusalem, riding on a donkey with its young colt or foal, signifying the Old and the New Testaments, to be welcomed by His people as a king, a priest, a prophet and a saviour and as the very Messias and King whom they had been awaiting for centuries but, in a few short days, were to reject.

This entry of the humble Christ into the city was foretold and prophesied by the prophet, Zechariah:

"Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the war-horses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth".
(Zechariah 9:9-10)


Pedro de Orrente. Christ's entry into Jerusalem. c.1620


The Palm Sunday service is a particularly fine one, albeit lengthy.

In the pre-1955 rite, which is far superior, more Biblical and very ancient, it takes 3 hours.

The palms are blessed with many hymns, psalms, chants and prayers, and the people receive them, the choir singing Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum (the children of Israel carrying olive branches), and there is a short-form mass at the altar.

The antiphons recall Noah and the Flood and Moses leading the children of Israel out of Egypt to the Promised Land.

After this comes the Procession out of the Church, singing psalms, and then back to the front portal of the Church where we sing Gloria, laus et honor, tibi sit, Rex Christe Redemptor - "Glory, praise and honour be to thee, King Christ Redeemer!".

At the door, two cantors have entered and the doors are shut. They sing in response to the Gloria laus and then the Subdeacon, outside, knocks on the door with the end of the processional cross. The doors open, to signify the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem and our entry into Heaven, and the procession moves back into the church, singing an ancient chant, Ingrediente Domino - "Going in to the Lord..."

Then the principal mass begins with many haunting and beautiful chants being sung, and then the Passion according to St Matthew in long form is sung, starting at the anointing of the feet of Jesus by St Mary Magdalene in the house of Simon the Leper.

This is a fitting way to recall the beginning of the Passion when our Lord was welcomed as a king and prophet into the holy city of Jerusalem by His people who, only days later, were to betray Him unto their Roman enemies to torture and death.

Soon many of those same Romans were to be converted whilst many of God's chosen rejected the very Messias whom they had been awaiting for so long.

In former times, the celebrating priest would, for the procession, sit upon a donkey to which is attached its colt, as our Lord Himself so sat on the original Palm Sunday.

It is a remarkable fact that every donkey, of the sort upon which our Lord rode, has, by nature, marked upon its back, a black cross to signify the fact that, one day, the Creator of heaven and earth would sit upon the back of this same animal for His entry into the Holy City of Jerusalem, but one week before he would be led, in that came city, to death upon the Cross.


The black cross is clearly visible upon the back of every donkey so that nature itself testifies to the role the donkey would play in carrying the Creator of heaven and earth into the Holy City of Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

In former times, too, the Roman Emperor would lead the Patriarch of Jerusalem on a donkey up to the church door as part of the ceremonies and as a gesture of humility on his part. Sadly, the tradition later died out.

This tradition was continued by the Russian Tsars, also, until the custom was suppressed by the modernising, "enlightened" and very brutal dictator, Tsar Peter I, just as so much has been throughtlessly suppressed in our own liturgy in the Latin West.

It is a fitting imitation of the humility of JESUS CHRIST for the chief spiritual ruler to ride upon a donkey on this day, led by the chief temporal ruler.

Chesterton's poem captures the spirit admirably.

The Donkey

by G.K.Chesterton

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil's walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.


How admirable, too, for God Himself to have chosen to be received into the Holy City mounted upon a donkey, a stubborn, ill-featured, irrational creature, so like man when in sin, but one marked from the beginning of time to bear the Saviour Himself in solemn procession before the very sinners whom God has chosen to redeem with His own blood.

Here is a recording of the antiphon Pueri Hebraeorum, psalms and chants sung during the procession of the cross and palms (and, traditionally, with the priest sitting upon a donkey).






Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.
Ant. The Hebrew children bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.


Psalm 23 (24)
Domini est terra, et plenitudo eius, * orbis terrarum et universi qui habitant in eo.

Quia ipse super maria fundavit eum, * et super flumina praeparavit eum.


[Repeat Antiphon]


Attolite portas, principes vestras: † et elevamini, portae aeternales: * et introibit rex gloriae.


Quis est iste rex gloriae? † Dominus fortis et potens: * Dominus potens in praelio


[Repeat Antiphon]


Attolite portas, principes vestras: † et elevamini, portae aeternales: * et introibit rex gloriae.


Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus virtutum ipse est rex gloriae.


[Repeat Antiphon]


Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.


Domini est terra et quae replent eam, * orbis terrarum et qui habitant in eo.


Nam ipse super maria fundavit eum, * et super flumina firmavit eum.


[Repeat Antiphon]


Attolite, portae, capita vestra, et attolite vos, fores antiquae, * ut ingrediatur rex gloriae!


Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus fortis et potens, Dominus potens in praelio.


[Repeat Antiphon]


Attolite, portae, capita vestra, et attolite vos, fores antiquae, * ut ingrediatur rex gloriae!


Quis est iste rex gloriae? * Dominus exercituum: ipse est rex gloriae.


[Repeat Antiphon]


Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.



The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: the world and all they that dwell therein.

For He hath founded it upon the seas: and hath prepared it upon the rivers.


The children of the Hebrews bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.


Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.


Who is this King of Glory? The Lord who is strong and mighty: the Lord mighty in battle.


The children of the Hebrews bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.


Lift up your gates, O ye princes, and be ye lifted up, O eternal gates: and the King of Glory shall enter in.


Who is this King of Glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.


The children of the Hebrews bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out and saying, Hosanna in the highest.


Glory be 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.


Ant. Pueri Hebraeorum, portantes ramos olivarum, obviaverunt Domino, clamantes, et dicentes: Hosanna in excelsis.
Ant. The children of the Hebrews bearing olive branches, went forth to meet the Lord, crying out, and saying, Hosanna in the highest.


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Friday, 7 April 2017

Martin McGuinness the murderer goes to judgment...

Few words are the fitting response to news of the death of murderer, violent revolutionary, impudently false "Catholic", liar, cheat and fake "peace" advocate, Martin McGuinness.

As a traitor to Church and State and a murderer, in any sane country he would have been locked away long, long ago. Instead, as the Daily Telegraph reveals, police were told to "stop investigating" him:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/21/martin-mcguinness-took-ira-victims-secrets-grave-say-families/

Shame, shame, shame.

The best we can do is to pray for his soul and ask God to forgive him his most grievously sinful life and hope that he so deceived himself that he did not fully realise the depth of his awful sins, murdering not only innocent men, women and even children of other nations but, even worse, his very own people.

Let us remind ourselves of the true face of the violent revolutionary claiming to sit in murderous judgment against his own lawful government and Sovereign whilst dishonestly claiming to be a "Catholic".

He was a terrorist and the gang-leader of a group of Marxist-Communist, revolutionary thugs, terrorists and murderous gunmen calling itself the Irish Republican Army, a foul, murderous organisation, successor to the Irish Republican Brotherhood and Fenians who were roundly condemned by Blessed Pope Pius IX and by every Irish bishop until sections of the Irish Church went sour and became disloyal to God.

As Catholic Bishop of Ardfert and Aghadoe (i.e. Bishop of Kerry), Bishop David Moriarty, put it:

"when we look down into the fathomless depth of this infamy of the heads of the Fenian conspiracy, we must acknowledge that eternity is not long enough, nor hell hot enough to punish such miscreants".

And if anyone is in any doubt, then hear the words of the murderer McGuinness out of his own mouth:




"Death. Certainly."

Blood-curdlingly horrible...

These are the odious words of a vile murderer and a bloody revolutionary dealer in death and destruction!

No man has the right to order the murder of another and no private citizen has the right to sit in judgment upon his own government, since an inferior may not judge a superior.

Did he forget the 5th Commandment: thou shalt do no murder?

The true political philosophy of Martin McGuinness was that of Satan - non serviam, "I shall not serve" - and, like all revolutionaries, derives from the diabolical madness and bloodthirsty Catholic-hating terror of the French Revolution and the Protestant republican rebellion of Oliver Cromwell, the republican traitor and revolutionary who did not hesitate to lay waste to Ireland and murder tens of thousands of innocent Irish men, women and children.

These are the true inspiration of revolutionary Martin McGuinness. McGuinness was a cowardly lackey of the French Revolution and of Protestant republican Cromwellites.

From those poisoned sources flow the streams of both Communism and Nazism.

It is not surprising therefore, that the Fenians, the IRA and Sinn Fein were happy to gorge themselves at the bloody source of both those most odious and mass-murdering heresies.

When it suited, the Fenians would raise the Red flag or the Black flag of Nazism, as they found convenient.

Let us not forget that, during World War II, the father of Gerry Adams himself, guided the Nazi bombers in to bomb his own city of Belfast.

Let us not forget that Sinn Fein/IRA sympathised with the Nazis throughout World War II.

Let us not forget that the annual assembly of Sinn Fein, the Ard Fheis, regularly endorses Marxian revolutionary principles, and supports all the lousy nostrums of modern secularism - abortion and abortifacient pills, population "control", radical Feminism, liberal divorce laws, the attack upon traditional marriage, euthanasia and the "mercy" killing of the old and disabled etc etc etc.

They stink in the nostrils of God.

As Jenny McCartney wrote in The Spectator magazine:

"During the Troubles, McGuinness firmly believed that the cause of a united Ireland could be furthered by killing, and he was broad in his selection of targets.

One illustration: according to Liam Clarke and Kathryn Johnston’s book Martin McGuinness: From Guns To Government, ‘McGuinness personally supervised the Derry IRA’s first major success of 1987.’ That ‘success’ was for two IRA men first to murder a psychology student called Leslie Jarvis, who taught leatherwork to inmates in Magilligan prison and was therefore deemed a ‘legitimate target’. The killers then used the dead man as bait, switching his briefcase with one containing a bomb. When two policemen arrived on the scene and examined the case, they were both blown to smithereens. An IRA volunteer interviewed by the authors explained that ‘McGuinness was in the house opposite watching everything. He quite often liked to be close when things went off to watch and see… it was part of his strategy, his way of refining operations.’"

These were not "operations" but cold-blooded murder, planned by thugs and criminals of the worst kind: McGuinness and his gang.

In his later years, when he claimed to be a peace advocate, McGuinness never apologised for the murders he, himself, orchestrated and carried out and never resiled from his rebellion against the lawful rulers whom God appointed over him to obey.

In so claiming to rebel unlawfully and murderously against those rulers, and to murder their servants, he served himself and Satan, not God and the people.

We can but hope that he died repentant and pray for his soul - all the more that his soul is in need for those prayers given the very seriously evil deeds of his life.

Sic transit gloria mundi...


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