The priests of St. Francis de Sales Oratory are live streaming Mass on the Feast of St. Benedict, Saturday morning at 8am CDT. Link here. St. Benedict is one of the principal patrons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.
Today is the feast of the great Doctor of Charity, one of the patron saints of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. If you assist at Mass at an Institute apostolate today (hint: there are two more chances to do so at St. Francis de Sales Oratory, 12:15pm and 6:30pm) you may obtain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions.
The Institute celebrates a proper Mass for the saint, but in the Roman Missal for the feast of a Doctor of the Church, today’s epistle seems most appropriate for these dark times:
EPISTLE 2 Tim. 4:1-8
Beloved: I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus, Who will judge the living and the dead by His coming and by His kingdom, preach the word, be urgent in season, out of season; reprove, entreat, rebuke with all patience and teaching. for there will come a time when they will not endure the sound doctrine; but having itching ears, will heap up to themselves teachers according to their lusts, and they will turn away their hearing from the truth and turn aside rather to fables. But be watchful in all things, bear with tribulation patiently, work as a preacher of the Gospel, fulfill your ministry. As for me, I am already being poured out in sacrifice, and the time of my deliverance is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. For the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just Judge, will give to me in that day; yet not to me only, but also to those who love His coming.
Blessed feast day to you all!
By T.S. Eliot
‘A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.’
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.
Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory
All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.
Merry Christmas, dear Readers! I was motivated by all of the end-of-decade (sic— the end of the teens will be next year at this time, don’t @me) recaps in the media these days to check out this little blog for posts from this day ten years ago. You know, maybe to write about the very different scene we thought we had back then, compared to the reign of
mercy terror we have now. And the post below is what I found.
After reading it, I thought I could have posted the exact post this year. And you know what? I will. Happy New Year to you all:
As we end the calendar year, here within the Octave of Christmas and on the Feast of Pope St. Sylvester I (of whom I can never think without recalling Benson’s Lord of the World), ready to usher in the New Year tomorrow on the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord, I thought I would put out a few lines.
1. I pray that all my readers are having a blessed and holy Christmas; I thank you for the many well-wishes and words of encouragement you have sent during the year. I thank those whom I annoy for sending me the many amusing comments that usually lift my spirits–and only occasionally dampen them– as well.
2. The end of the year is a traditional time of thanksgiving for the blessings of a loving, almighty God. So for myself, I thank Him most of all for His Being, His Love, and all that He does for us. It is pretty nice of Him to keep the world and all of us in existence, and He sent His only Son to suffer, die and rise to save us from sin. I thank God for His Holy Catholic Church, which is the means of the salvation of man. I am grateful for His Mother, and I thank her as well for all she does to assist me as I try to work out my salvation in fear and trembling. I renew my consecration of myself, my family, my work and all that I do to her. Mother, do with me as you will.
I thank God for the embarrassing bounty of spiritual and material blessings He gives me. My sainted wife, my beautiful children, the means to earn a living to support them, good friends, family and everything else.
I thank Him for our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, who just might be Benedict the Great one day. Summorum Pontificum is not his only achievement, but it would be enough, I think, to merit the title. I thank God for the many faithful sons and daughters in the priesthood and religious life whom I have been privileged to meet and get to know, often because of this ridiculous blog, especially for my spiritual director.
And I thank Him for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest. I credit the Institute with being the oasis of the faith in my life.
3. St. Francis de Sales Oratory will be singing a solemn Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year today at 5 pm. The faithful who attend may receive a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions of detachment from sin, sacramental confession, Holy Communion, and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father.
Te Deum laudamus:
te Dominum confitemur.
Te aeternum Patrem
omnis terra veneratur.
Tibi omnes Angeli;
tibi caeli et universae Potestates;
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim
incessabili voce proclamant:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt caeli et terra
maiestatis gloriae tuae.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.
Te per orbem terrarum
sancta confitetur Ecclesia,
Patrem immensae maiestatis:
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem,
non horruisti Virginis uterum.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo,
aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.
(kneeling)Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni:
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.
Salvum fac populum tuum,
Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.
Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.
Per singulos dies benedicimus te;
Et laudamus Nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.
Miserere nostri domine, miserere nostri.
Fiat misericordia tua,
Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.
In te, Domine, speravi:
non confundar in aeternum.
(Translation, because it’s Christmas:)
We praise thee, O God :
we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee :
the Father everlasting.
To thee all Angels cry aloud :
the Heavens, and all the Powers therein.
To thee Cherubin and Seraphin :
continually do cry,
Holy, Holy, Holy :
Lord God of Sabaoth;
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty :
of thy glory.
The glorious company of the Apostles : praise thee.
The goodly fellowship of the Prophets : praise thee.
The noble army of Martyrs : praise thee.
The holy Church throughout all the world :
doth acknowledge thee;
The Father : of an infinite Majesty;
Thine honourable, true : and only Son;
Also the Holy Ghost : the Comforter.
Thou art the King of Glory : O Christ.
Thou art the everlasting Son : of the Father.
When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man :
thou didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.
When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death :
thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God : in the glory of the Father.
We believe that thou shalt come : to be our Judge.
(kneeling) We therefore pray thee, help thy servants :
whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious blood.
Make them to be numbered with thy Saints : in glory everlasting.
O Lord, save thy people :
and bless thine heritage.
Govern them : and lift them up for ever.
Day by day : we magnify thee;
And we worship thy Name : ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord : to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us : have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us :
as our trust is in thee.
O Lord, in thee have I trusted :
let me never be confounded.
Merry Christmas again, and a very happy and blessed New Year!
Blessed feast day to all readers! The faithful who assist at Mass at an apostolate of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest– like the Seminary of St. Philip Neri, pictured above, for example– can obtain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions. I’m not sure about the Seminary’s Mass schedule today, but you still have time to attend the Solemn High Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory tonight at 6:30pm.
In these days of woe, and in all days for that matter, Mary is our sure hope. She is the Mediatrix of all Graces, the Help of Christians. The great feast of her Immaculate Conception approaches. This year, as always, St. Francis de Sales Oratory celebrates a Novena of Masses in preparation for the feast, with sermons delivered by some of the finest preachers in the Archdiocese and beyond. The photo above contains the times and relevant information.
Why not do something useful and place our urgent needs at the feet of Our Lord through the intercession of Our Lady?
I know there is no immediate connection between the two (though in the Divine economy there absolutely is a connection), but today I have been reflecting on the loss of Raffaella Stroik, who was such a beautiful person, inside and out. A beautiful dancer, a Mass-going Catholic, in whose cause of death no foul play is suspected by authorities. And yet she is gone. She exuded beauty in her art, her relationships with those she knew, and in her soul. All that beauty and life gone from this world.
And then I think of the destroyer on the throne of Peter, presiding over the intentional destruction of the Mass and the faith it embodies and guards. A destruction that began long before Raffaella Stroik’s birth. I think of wounding by this man and his cohort of the Church that gives eternal life, day after day, without remorse. Their legacy is death and despair.
And I weep for us all, in the beauty passing daily from this world.
Blessed Feast of all Saints to you and yours. Today is a holy day of obligation; if you haven’t made Mass yet, St. Francis de Sales Oratory still has Masses at 12:15pm and 6:30 pm. The Gospel of today:
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
Sign trolls itself:
As my wife famously said, “Mass in the Grass! The only way I’d go is if I had smoked it.”
This is a good move, and a smart one, by His Grace. It is not only right to do this, but this is one situation where it pays to be ahead of the curve. As this article from New Republic shows, a bishop who really offers transparency without threat of action looks good by comparison.