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Saturday, May 7, 2016


 And the Lord will create, upon everyplace of Mount Sion and where He is called upon, a cloud  and a smoke and brightness of flaming fire in the night :for over all the glory shall be a protection.  And there shall be a tabernacle for a shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a security and covert from the whirlwind and from rain.         Isaias 4:5-6  
 File:Rembrandt - The Risen Christ Appearing to Mary Magdalen ...
The Risen Christ by Rembrandt

 No man’s life runs smoothly and unbrokenly.   To us all in God’s good time comes the constant interchange of light and shade, that perfects so well the great masterpiece we call our life. 
 Sorrow comes and joy rides close behind in the shadows.  Today we sit about our fireside and no darkness reigns in our little home, tomorrow the vacant chair tells once again its world-old story.  Life is a hard reality, at times a very hard reality, so hard that our poor hearts are affrighted at the gaunt vision of our own cheated dreams.   

 Childhood days pictured a fairyland where “grownups” moved and were wondrously happy, envied masters of themselves.  But childhood days have faded  into the misty past  and with them their fairyland and time has made life tell its own true changing story.  Grief has long since burdened our faltering hearts:  grief for those that are with us no more; grief for the living whose wayward lives make it hard to check the ever-rising prayer that God had deigned long since to call them to Himself; grief for our own sad mistakes that maybe line all too closely our waning days.

  But then as day drives back the night, joy, too has come:  the joy of well-merited success and the fullness of heart as we told our loved ones the long story of efforts crowned at last; the joy of father and mother as they watch their little ones growing into maturity, safe-shielded from the world’s  dark shafts;  the joy of holy men and women who have> prevented the sun with their cloistered rising to praise their God and labor all day in the classroom or at the bedside of the sick, teaching souls to love the God who made them.  

   Life has its sorrows and life has its joys, too, but its sorrows will be all too heavy and its joys will be tainted and unsanctified unless we bring them one and all to the foot of the altar.  There is the tabernacle for a shade in the daytime from the heat, the daytime of pleasure when all is well with us and we are prone to forget our God, and “for a security and covert from the whirlwind and from rain,” and the darkness of trial and overburdening grief.  To us the Prophet Balaam speaks in ways beyond his knowing:   
“How beautiful are thy tabernacles, O Jacob, and thy tents, O Israel” – the tabernacles where Emmanuel dwells, the tents where the Son of Man lingers yet a while – “as woody  valleys, as watered  gardens near the rivers, as tabernacles which the Lord hath pitched, as cedars by the waterside”! 

 There is our good Master, Rabboni, waiting for us in the dawn light a He waited of old for Magdalene; listening for our footfall at eventide, even as He listened for the knocking of the sick and the halt at His humble home in Galilee.  He will be to us“a cloud by day and a smoke and brightness of flaming fire in the night,” ever guiding, ever leading us on unswervingly to our home beyond the grave. 

  Jesus, gentle Saviour, God of wondrous forethought for those You love, life is all too strange a problem for me to face alone. I need You for my guide, that I fail not in the dark and wander not in the noonday of my powers.  Be close to me, then, good Jesus, and leave me not alone.  I know You do not, but what I mean is, make me know, make me remember that You are with me always.  When the sun of life shines full, make me mindful of You, the Man of Sorrows, “who having joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame” and when the night of grief steals from us the light we love  , let me remember that this  everyone is sure of that worshippeth Thee, that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to mercy.  For Thou art not delighted in our being lost: because after a storm Thou makest a calm and after tears and weeping Thou pourest in joyfulness” 

 When all the world is comfortless,  And wrapped in gloom as black as night.  Remind me, Lord in my distress One spot on earth is always bright 

Friday, May 6, 2016

"By this our decree, to be valid IN PERPETUITY, we determine and order that NEVER shall anything be added to, omitted from, or changed in this Missal. . .At no time in the future can a priest, whether secular or order priest, ever be forced to use any other way of saying Mass. And so as to preclude once and for all any scruples of conscience and fear of ecclesiastical penalties and censures, we herewith declare that it is in virtue of our Apostolic Authority that we decree and determine that this our present order and decree is to last in PERPETUITY and can never be legally revoked or amended at a future date. . . And if anyone would nevertheless ever dare to attempt any action contrary to this order of ours, given for all times, let him know that he has incurred the wrath of Almighty God and of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul."

Thursday, May 5, 2016

- Start Friday, May 6 (nine days before the feast of Pentecost)

The novena to the Holy Ghost is the oldest of all novenas since it was
first made at the direction of Our Lord when He sent His apostles back to
Jerusalem to await the coming of the Holy Ghost on the First Pentecost. It
is still the only novena officially prescribed by the Church. Addressed to
the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, it is a powerful plea for the
light, strength and love so sorely needed by every Christian.

Holy Spirit! Lord of Light!
From Thy clear celestial height.
Thy pure beaming radiance give!

Only one thing is important -- eternal salvation. Only one thing,
therefore, is to be feared -- sin. Sin is the result of ignorance,
weakness, and indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of
Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind,
strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure
our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "The Spirit
helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But
the Spirit Himself asketh for us."

Almighty and eternal God, Who has vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and
the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to
send forth from heaven upon us Thy sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom
and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of
Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer
myself, soul and body, to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the
brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the
might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I
live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to
grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin
against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always
watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious
inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy
compassion, to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced Feet of
Jesus, and looking at His five wounds, and trusting in His Precious Blood,
and adoring His opened side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable
Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never
sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the
Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, "Speak Lord, for Thy servant
heareth." Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to
send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and
Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in
my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom
that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only
after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten
my mind with the light of Thy divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel that I
may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the
Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may
overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the
Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in
the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service
of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a
loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.
Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in
all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, Thou Light of all that live!

The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us
dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises,
not from the thought of hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial
submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of
wisdom, detaching us from the worldly pleasures that could in any way
separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts,
and in His sight will sanctify their souls."

Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may
set Thee, my Lord and God, before my face forever, help me to shun all
things that can offend Thee, and make me worthy to appear before the pure
eyes of Thy Divine Majesty in heaven, where Thou livest and reignest in the
unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, God, world without end. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Thou, of all consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our
most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons
and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His
authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible
Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is
filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion, not a
burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a
love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His
sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and
supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the
will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the
most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect,
and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong
tribulation. "He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved."

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude uphold my soul in time of troubles and
adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give
me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be
overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill!

The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their
true worth–in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of
creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose
as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God
even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of
life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the
friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him
that possesseth it."

Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will
of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may
realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation,
looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, helps us to grasp the meaning
of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by
Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to
penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be
quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive,
but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that
is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and
increasing in the knowledge of God."

Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know
and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see
the eternal light of Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear
vision of Thee and the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Heal our wounds--our strength renew;
On our dryness pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away!

The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it
to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult
circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and
Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the
course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and
Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless
treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all things, pray to the Most
High, that He may direct thy way in truth."

Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may
always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it
away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy
commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray!

Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues,
Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of Wisdom it is written "all good
things come to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It
is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects
charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom
enlightens the mind to discern and relish things divine, in the
appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of
Christ yields a divine sweetness according to the words of the Savior:
"Take up thy cross and follow me, for my yoke is sweet and my burden

Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly
things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them
above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me
to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore
In Thy sevenfold gifts, descend:
Give them comfort when they die;
Give the life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end. Amen.

The gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us
to practice them with greater docility to divine inspiration. As we grow in
the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Ghost, our
service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue becomes
more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and
consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Ghost. These Fruits in turn
render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful
incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is
to reign.

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity,
joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance,
that I may never weary on the service of God, but by continued faithful
submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in
the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father (seven times)
Act of Consecration
Prayer for the Seven Gifts

Saturday, April 23, 2016

How pleasing are your tabernacles, Lord God of Hosts.
Turgis, 902