Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sad but Beautiful

I love how one book leads to another leads to another, etc. Reading Thomas Howard's books lead me to books by Joseph Pearce; books such as The Quest for Shakespeare, Literary Giants, Literary Catholics, Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc and others.

And now I am delighted to discover that there is a great, orthodox, Catholic literary/cultural journal edited by Joseph Pearce. And one of my favorite bloggers, Fr. Dwight Longenecker writes a regular column on film for the journal. The journal is called St Austin Review--StAR.

I went to the website and found this article on Gregorian Chant, which I would like to share with you.

Sad but Beautiful

“It sounds kind of sad,” the little girl said.

It was sad. I was in a classroom full of middle schoolers. We had just
learned to sing a very simple Gregorian chant, a setting of the
Sanctus. And despite the fact that this was a Catholic school, neither
the music teacher nor any of her students had ever sung even the most modest chant melody before.

I was reminded of the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and particularly of
the deep and abiding sadness that permeates his tales of Middle-earth. In those tales, ages and ages have come and gone, and the remote histories and legends of the earliest times are largely forgotten. But the Elves were the keepers of the legends. They were the stewards of the ancient wisdom and lore that linked generation to generation back to the very creation of Middle-earth…back to the time when the earliest peoples had spoken and lived with the Valar, those mighty angels and servants of God Himself.

Tolkien’s Elves were immortal, and so they were, as such, natural
guardians of history and wisdom. But Tolkien modeled these mythical
beings after the Benedictine monks of Europe. The western monastic
tradition, which began with the Rule of St. Benedict, spread throughout Europe during the Dark Ages. And in those times, as the
Roman Empire crumbled and western civilization was overrun by waves of conquerors, all ancient lore and wisdom was gathered by the monks and preserved. And the prayerful temple music of the ancient Hebrews was remembered and modified to suit the celebration of the Catholic Mass, becoming what we know today as Gregorian chant. Read the rest of the article here.

Archbp. Carroll’s “Prayer for Government”

From the wonderful blog, What Does The Prayer Really Say -

"The following prayer was composed by John Carroll, Archbishop of Baltimore, in 1791. He was the first bishop appointed for the United States in 1789 by Pope Pius VI. He was made the first archbishop when his see of Baltimore was elevated to the status of an archdiocese.

John was a cousin of Charles Carroll of Maryland, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Americans among the readership might print it and bring it to your parish priests and ask them to use it after Mass, perhaps on Inauguration Day.

This needs no translation for Catholics who love their country!"

Click here for the prayer- and join in praying this prayer for your country.


Morning Offering

Most Holy and Adorable Trinity, one God in three Persons, I firmly believe that You are here present; I adore You with the most profound humility; I praise You and give You thanks with all my heart for the favors You have bestowed on me. Your Goodness has brought me safely to the beginning of this day. Behold, O Lord, I offer You my whole being and in particular all my thoughts, words and actions, together with such crosses and contradictions as I may meet with in the course of this day. Give them, O Lord, Your blessing; may Your divine Love animate them and may they tend to the greater honor and glory of Your Sovereign Majesty. Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI

Universal Prayer of Pope Clement XI

For All Things Necessary to Salvation
(Composed by Pope Clement XI, A.D. 1721.)

O my God, I believe in Thee; do Thou strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in Thee; do Thou secure them. I love Thee, teach me to love Thee daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended Thee, do Thou increase my sorrow.

I adore Thee as my first beginning; I aspire after Thee as my last end. I give Thee thanks as my constant benefactor; I call upon Thee as my sovereign protector.

Grant, O my God! To conduct me by Thy wisdom to restrain me by Thy justice, to comfort me by Thy mercy, to defend me by Thy power.

To Thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings; that henceforward I may think of Thee, speak of Thee, refer all my actions to Thy greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever Thou shalt appoint.

Lord, I desire that in all things Thy will may be done because it is Thy will, and in the manner that Thou willest.

I beg of Thee to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.

Give me strength, O my God! To expiate my offenses, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper for my state of life.

Fill my heart with tender affection for Thy goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor, and contempt of the world.

May Thy grace help me to be submissive to my superiors, consider my inferiors better than myself, faithful to my friends, and charitable to my enemies.

Assist me to overcome sensuality by mortification, avarice by alms-deeds, anger by meekness, and tepidity by devotion.

O my God! Make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in dangers, patient in affliction, and humble in prosperity.

Grant that I may be ever attentive at my prayers, temperate at my meals, diligent in my employments, and constant in my resolutions.

Let my conscience be ever upright and pure, my exterior modest, my conversation edifying, and my behavior disciplined and proper.

Assist me, that I may continually labor to overcome nature, to correspond with Thy grace, to keep Thy commandments, and to work out my salvation.

Make me realize, O my God! the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven the shortness of time, and the length of eternity.

Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear thy judgments, and in the end obtain heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quote of the Day

Why remain sad and idle? Why exhaust thyself in the anguish of melancholy? Have courage, do violence to thyself; meditate on the passion of Jesus Christ, and thou shalt overcome thy sorrow. - BLESSED HENRY SUSO

Saturday, January 10, 2009

“Seven Days of Musical Heaven”

“Seven Days of Musical Heaven”

June 22-28, 2009 (Monday noon through Sunday morning)
Loyola University, Chicago, Illinois
Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America

Find out more here.

Prayer to Saint Michael

Sancte Michael Archangele,
defende nos in proelio.
contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
tuque, Princeps militiae caelestis,
Satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
divina virtute, in infernum detrude.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits
who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Catholic Worship

From a wonderful blog I've recently discovered, Standing on My Head, by Father Dwight Longecker -

What you see pictured here is something called Catholic Worship. This is an ancient form of Christian worship that everyone thought was going to die out, but it is making a comeback.

Catholic worship is characterized by a God-centered act of devotion rather than a people centered act of fellowship. It is focussed on a corporate act of sacrifice offered by a priest rather than a corporate act of togetherness offered by a 'gathering leader'. Catholic worship focusses on a supernatural transaction that takes place between God and human beings. This transaction is called 'redemption' or 'salvation'. It was accomplished by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross two thousand years ago.
Read more here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Christ's birth was a "cosmic revolution," Pope says at Epiphany Mass

Christ's birth was a "cosmic revolution," Pope says at Epiphany Mass

Vatican, Jan. 6, 2009 (CWNews.com) - Jesus is "the center of the universe and history," Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for the feast of the Epiphany, which is observed in Rome on the traditional date, January 6.

Recalling the voyage of the Magi to see the Christ Child, the Pope said that the star which guided the wise men to Bethlehem was a signal of a "cosmic revolution" that took place with the birth of the Son of God. Pagans looked to the sky for omens, believing that their fates were influenced by the blind movements of the heavens, the Pope observed. But with the Incarnation of Christ, the faithful came to realize that the universe is controlled not by anonymous forces but by a loving personal God. Read the rest here.

Friday, January 2, 2009

J.R.R. Tolkien on the Eucharist

"Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament... There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth, and more than that: Death. By the divine paradox, that which ends life, and demands the surrender of all, and yet by the taste -or foretaste- of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships (love, faithfulness, joy) be maintained, or take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man's heart desires.

The only cure for sagging or fainting faith is Communion.

Continue reading here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Conversation with Peter Kreeft

A Conversation with Peter Kreeft
His style, both in teaching and in writing, is as unpretentious as it is fervent: in deeply profound, elegant, and often entertaining ways, Peter Kreeft questions the assumptions of modern thought with the wonderful wisdom and wit of a wider worldview.

Refusing to restrict reason to the narrow confines of modern philosophy, Kreeft draws deeply from all areas of human experience. He is fond of saying that his role of a professor is merely to introduce a student to a great thinker by means of their work, and then to allow them to converse: "Student, meet Socrates. Socrates, meet student." It is our hope that this interview will serve a similar purpose: "Reader, meet Prof. Kreeft."

Read the interview here.