Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Weighted Breviary

Over the past few months I haven't been praying my offices. There are countless reasons why I haven't, but those really don't matter. Along with not praying my offices, I haven't been reading any spiritual writings. A few days ago I came out of whatever "funk" I was in and went to pick up where I left off reading in Fulton Sheen's "A Priest is not his own," and it just happened to be that the chapter that I left off on was talking about praying the divine offices. (That's God!)

A lot of people have trouble praying the offices because it is sometimes tiresome and not as intimate a prayer as one can achieve (in most cases). But we need to remember that in it we gather up not only the intentions of the Church, but also all of the the sinners, those who turn away from God, and those who physically and emotionally can't pray.

Sheen relates this to Our Lord who was sinless, yet he took on the sins of the world. When we pick up the breviary we are picking up all unbelievers, fallen-away Catholics, and the burden of the Church throughout the world.

The breviary is not a personal prayer; it is an official prayer, that's why it's called "The official prayer of the Church." When we pray the divine offices we are praying for everyone else, and in a sense, isn't praying for others over our own personal prayers a good thing? If all of our prayers were personal wouldn't that be selfish?

In the breviary we are making an act of love not only for the Church, but for her enemies. The breviary is a test of our strength. It helps one to die to oneself for the betterment of humanity, the good and bad. We shouldn't look at praying these prayers as some kind of consolation, but rather as a struggle, as a little piece of the cross. In doing so, we will in turn learn to enjoy it and turn it to the glory of God.

What is so amazing about the divine offices is that it is the universal prayer that all religious take vows to pray all around the world. That means that 24/7, 365 days a year every second someone is praying for the Church and for the whole of humanity.

Not everyone is called to pray the divine offices, and that is perfectly fine! The clergy take care of that for us (the laity). They pray the offices for us who can't, who don't have time. The majority of the laity work inside "the world," and aren't able to pray for their redemption and the world's redemption all of the time. That's why there are monks and nuns! They take care of us who aren't able to pray. While we in turn carry out our lives in a christian manner and spread that faith to everyone else.

It is a bloodline that pumps the faith through the whole of humanity.

The church is the Body of Christ. So to have a body you need a heart, and that's the cloistered nuns and monks who pray for us who can't pray all of the time. They pump the blood (the faith) out to everyone else. The skin is the laity. The laity (or skin) is what everyone sees, it is the face of the church. We need lots of people to be laity so that they can spread the good news and live a christian life. Likewise, we don't need as many people to be the heart and live a cloistered life. Then all of the other religious are at different locations in the body, the diocesan priests are like the muscles who are closest to the skin (we need lots of muscles, but not as much as we need skin), while the deeper you go into the body the more of a monastic life you live until you reach the heart.

So, there are many reasons to pray the divine offices, and I'm going to try to get back to praying them, I really do love to pray them.

Act of Consecration to Jesus Christ the Incarnate Wisdom, by the hands of Mary

O Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most
adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the
Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore thee
profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father
during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal
bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of
Thine Incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated
Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me
from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify
Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself
to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make
me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful
and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises
which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I
have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be
called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is
nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy
repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy
and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have
recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother,
whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It
is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition,
the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition, and
preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O Immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the
Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden
and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen
of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is
subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of
sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires
which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end
receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I
present to thee.

I, (name), a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in
thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever
Satan, his pomps and works, and I give myself entirely to
Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross
after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful
to Him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee
this day for my Mother and mistress. I deliver and
consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my
goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of
all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to
thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all
that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy
good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and
in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my
slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection
which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy
maternity, in homage to the power which both of you
have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the
privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee.
I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek
thy honor and glory and to obey thee in all things.
O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His
eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by
thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me
the grace to obtain the true wisdom of God; and for that
end receive me among those whom thou lovest and
teachest, whom Thou leadest, nourishest and protectest
as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a
disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom,
Jesus Christ Thy Son, that I may attain, by thine
intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His
age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Does God exist?!

So awesome.

(Taken for Te Deum Laudamus!)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Alright...

I'm sick of it. I'm not going to let the devil keep me from carrying out writing on my blog. I've had enough of it. I was knocked down pretty hard over the past month, but I'm starting to get back up and I'm ready for the fight. I'm going to do what God calls me to do, and I think continuing my writing on here is one of His callings.

When everything is taken away from us we always have God. If God IS, then that means that God IS in all that we receive, good or bad. Even when it feels as though the "perfect storm" hits, and every aspect of "our life" is falling apart, we still have God who is there for each of us intimately.

Frankly, I don't know how pagans do it!?!? How do they live their lives without God to help them? If there was no God, then life wouldn't be worth living. I couldn't do it! How would one keep going if God didn't exist!? Then again, one wouldn't be here if God didn't exist so one wouldn't have the chance to endure life without God... Hmm...

Anyways,

The devil is REALLY good at what he does. That's why he's the devil. But we have God on our side, who will ultimately prevail! We just need to stay strong and true to Him and we will come out of the fight with His abundant love and graces.

In the past I have talked about growing battles and trials that will ultimately cause us to stand up for our faith and how great suffering will come to the church, and we will reach a point at which we will have to stand up for our faith, and remain true to God and His teachings.

Well, it has begun. We are in the middle of it. We must stay strong and remain consecrated to Mary, the Saints and God. We mustn't stray away from His guiding light.

We are in a time of spiritual warfare. Whatever others may say, the devil, as far as Christian belief is concerned, is a puzzling but real, personal and not merely symbolical presence. You can't have one without the other. There is no good without bad. He who does not believe in the devil does not believe in the Gospel. We have to believe in both, and act on both rather than covering our ears to the thought of evil people who are actually trying to destroy us. This is a reality that we all face. The devil and his demons are real.

Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from the side of Christ, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me; O good Jesus, hear me; within your wounds, hide me; let me never be separated from you; from the evil one, protect me; at the hour of my death, call me; and bid me to come to you; that with your saints, I may praise you forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Alma Redemptoris Mater

"Loving Mother of the Redeemer, gate of Heaven, star of the sea, assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again. To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator, yet remained a virgin after as before. You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting, have pity on us poor sinners."



Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti, Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti, Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Taking up our Cross

From St Faustina's Diary for February 8:

True love is measured by the thermometer of suffering, Jesus. I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of communal life, for the misinterpretations of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans.

Thank You, Jesus, for interior sufferings, for dryness of spirit, for terrors, fears, and incertitudes, for the darkness and the deep interior night, for temptations and various ordeals, for torments too difficult to describe, especially for those which no one will understand, for the hour of death with its fierce struggle and all its bitterness.

I thank You, Jesus, You who first drank the cup of bitterness before You gave it to me, in a much milder form. I put my lips to this cup of Your holy will. Let all be done according to Your good pleasure; let that which Your wisdom ordained before the ages be done to me. I want to drink the cup to its last drop, and seek not to know the reason why. In bitterness is my joy, in hopelessness is my trust. In You, O Lord, all is good, all is a gift of Your paternal Heart. I do not prefer consolations over bitterness or bitterness over consolations, but thank You, O Jesus, for everything! It is my delight to fix my gaze upon You, O incomprehensible God. . . .

O Uncreated Beauty, whoever comes to know You once cannot love anything else. I can feel the bottomless abyss of my soul, and nothing will fill it but God Himself. I feel that I am drowned in Him like a single grain of sand in a bottomless ocean.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Mystics

My dad is in the process of writing a four movement choral piece using four mystics and what they said. The piece will be in each of the mystics own language, and will have very unique styles and dynamics pertaining to the text being sung.

Here are the movements in their order (and some info. about the mystics):

I. Maria Faustina- Divine Mercy

"Jezu, Ufam Tobie"
(Jesus I trust in you)

II. John of the Cross- Noche Oscura
"En una noche oscura,
Con ansias, en amores inflamada,
!oh dichosa ventura!
Sali sin ser notada
Estanda ya mi casa sosegada.

A oscura y segura,
Por la secreta escala disfrazada,
!oh dichosa ventura!
A oscura y en celada,
Estando ya mi casa sosegada."
(One dark night,
Fired with love's urgent longings
--ah, the sheer grace!--
I went out unseen,
My house being now all stilled.
In darkness, and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised,
--ah, the sheer grace!--
In darkness and concealment,
My house being now all stilled.")

III. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
"Non sopporto piĆ¹ la mia croce"
(I cannot bear this cross anymore.)

IV. Venerable Solanus Casey
"We must be faithful to the present moment,
or we will frustrate the plan of God for our lives.
Blessed be God in all His designs!"


He is planing on having the Balladiers (Coldwater High School's top choral ensemble of sixteen) sing this. When we do, I will record it and post it on here for you to listen to. I will also be writing more about each of the four mystics, in relation to their writings being used, sometime in the near future.