Introduction

This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

Related website: http://www.liturgialatina.org/





Sunday, 31 July 2016

31st July, St Ignatius Loyola, Confessor

St. Ignatius of Loyola, Confessor

Ignatius was born in Northern Spain, in 1491. He was the eleventh child of the Lord of Loyola, and at the age of fifteen, came as page to the court of king Ferdinand V.

His ardent and martial nature caused him to choose a military career. At the siege of Pamplona, he was severely wounded in the leg. During his long convalescence, in the absence of books of chivalry for which he had a passion, they gave him the lives of Jesus Christ and of the saints to read. This reading was for him a revelation. It dawned on him that the Church also has her army which, under the orders of the representative of Christ, fights to defend here below the sacred interests of the God of hosts.

[To the three religious vows St. Ignatius adds a fourth by which the members of the Society of Jesus bind themselves to go wherever the Pope will send them for the salvation of souls.]

He then laid down his sword at the feet of the Virgin, in the famous Benedictine Abbey at Montserrat, and his generous soul, once enamoured of worldly glory, now only longed for the greater glory of the King whom henceforth he will serve (Collect). Throughout the night of March 25, when the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word is solemnized, after confessing his sins he kept his knightly vigil, and the Mother of God armed him for Christ and the militant Church, His spouse. Soon he became General of the Society of Jesus, raised by Providence to combat Protestantism, Jansenism and returning paganism.

On the mountain the sons of Benedict, as a prelude to the liturgy in heaven, will continue the solemn celebration of the divine offices which Ignatius will recommend to the faithful, and whose sacred melodies he never heard without tears; and he, sacrificing himself to his mission, goes down into the plain to oppose with his valiant troops, the attacks of the hostile army whose violent onslaughts are always directed against his Institute (Epistle). Wherefore, to preserve in his sons the intense interior life required by the militant activity to which he devotes them, St. Ignatius subjects them to a strongly organized hierarchy and teaches them, in a masterly treatise highly approved of by the Church, his spiritual exercises which have sanctified thousands of souls. It has been affirmed that it was the practice of the Exercitatorium of the Benedictine Cisneros, abbot of Montserrat in 1500, which inspired him with the idea. Guided by grace, he realized it however at Manresa in a different and very personal way.


[The third of the eighteen rules made by St. Ignatius, as the crowning of the Spiritual Exercises, "that we may have the true sentiments of the orthodox Church," recommends to the faithful the Canticles of the Church, the psalms and the different canonial hours at their appointed times. And at the head of this book, in order to enable one to draw most profit from these Exercises, he rules in his twentieth note that he who can do so is to choose, for the duration of the Exercises, a dwelling whence he may easily go to the offices of Matins and Vespers, as well as to Mass " (Liturgical Year : July 31th, St. Ignatius of Loyola).]

St. Ignatius arms his sons giving them for their shield the name of Jesus (Introit), for their breastplate the love of God which the Saviour came to enflame on earth (Communion) and whose symbol, the Sacred Heart, they gloriously bear in the folds of their flag; and for their sword, preaching, writing, teaching and all other forms of apostolate.

[When he sent missionaries abroad he used to say to them: " Go, my brothers, Inflame the world and spread everywhere the fire which Jesus Christ came to kindle on the earth" (Communion).]

It was in a Benedictine monastery in Spain that at the feast of the Annunciation, St. Ignatius first used these arms; in a chapel of the Benedictine Abbey of Montmartre that on the Feast of the Assumption in 1534 and later on at the altar of the Virgin of the Basilica of St. Paul-without-the-Walls, served by Benedictines, that was born the Society of Jesus, that noble chivalry of Christ, and lastly it was the Benedictine Pope Pius VII, a native of Cesena and a monk of its abbey, who in 1814 re-established it in all its rights. It is therefore God Himself who unites at the feet of the Blessed Virgin these two Orders which powerfully help the Church, for Martha and Mary, action and contemplation, both contribute, by different means, to the glory of God. The mottoes of these two religious families are alike: " In all things God be glorified! I.O.G.D." and: "To the greater glory of God! A.M.D.G."

Not to do anything except for the glory of God and to do everything for His greater glory is the perfection of holiness. It is the end of the creation, the end of man's elevation to a supernatural life, the end indeed of the evangelical precepts which cause generous souls to renounce, by vow, things that are lawful, in order to devote themselves more freely to the interests of God, and to render to Him in its entirety the accidental glory He had been deprived of by man's use of unlawful things.

Benedict has filled Europe with his missionary monks whose principal work is to praise God, and Ignatius with his priest-apostles (Gospel) who make manifest their interior life by their untiring activity.

From Montserrat, twelve monks with their Superior started with Christopher Columbus for the new Continent. From Lisbon, started Francis Xavier who first evangelized Japan and China. It is the same tree of the love of God which, on different branches, bears the same fruit.

On July 31, 1556, St. Ignatius died pronouncing the name of Jesus, and his society spread throughout the world. It numbers nowadays forty four provinces, and several hundreds of colleges.

[The Society of Jesus numbers 23 canonized saints, 142 beatified, 3 venerables and over 100 whose 29 causes are being discussed. It had in 1934 24,270 members : there were 24,000 at the time of the suppression. It has given to the Church illustrious prelates and a large number of apostles, learned men, educators and influential men, as is proved by the numerous congregations or religious associations which have imbibed the spirit of the Pounder, and by the many pious institutions under the direction of the sons of St. Ignatius. The Apostleship of Prayer for instance, is believed to number some 30 millions associates.]

May we obtain by the intercession of St. Ignatius so to be sanctified in truth (Secret) by the sacred mysteries of Mass and Communion, the source of all holiness, that with the help of this saint, we may after his example, so combat evil on earth, as to be crowned with him in heaven (Collect).



In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, caelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum: et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris. * Gloriabuntur in te omnes, qui diligunt nomen tuum: quoniam tu benedices justo.
In the name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in heaven, on earth and under the earth: and let every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. * All they that love Thy name shall glory in Thee: for Thou wilt bless the just.
(From the Introit of Mass, Philemon 2:10-11 and Psalm 5:12-13.)

Deus, qui ad majorem tui nominis gloriam propagandam, novo per beatum Ignatium subsidio militantem Ecclesiam roborasti: concede; ut, ejus auxilio et imitatione certantes in terris, coronari cum ipso mereamur in caelis.
O God, who for the spreading of the greater glory of Thy name didst, by means of blessed Ignatius, strengthen Thy church militant with a new army; grant that by his aid and by his example we may so fight on earth as to become worthy to be crowned with him in heaven. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07639c.htm

11th Sunday after Pentecost

Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

In to-day's liturgy the Church teaches us that almighty God gives divine aid to those who ask for it with confidence.

It was owing to his prayer that Ezechias recovered from a mortal disease and that his people were delivered from their enemies, and it was through His prayer on the cross that Jesus rose from the dead (Epistle), and that He raises His people to a new life by baptism of which the cure of the deaf-mute, due also to our Lord's prayer (Gospel) was a type.

Since it was by the power of the Holy Ghost that our Lord drove out the evil spirit from the deaf-mute and that priests in Christ's name expel the devil from the soul of the baptized, we can understand how the eleventh Sunday after Pentecost is connected with the Paschal Mystery, in which we celebrate, after the resurrection of Christ, the descent of the Holy Ghost on the Church, and when catechumens are baptized with water and the Holy Ghost, so that as St Paul teaches, being buried with Christ they may also rise with Him.

The kingdom of the ten tribes (Israel) lasted about two hundred years (938-726) and had nineteen kings, almost all of whom did evil in the sight of the Lord.

Then God, to punish them, delivered their country into the hands of their enemies. In 722, B.C., Salmanasar besieged Samaria and led Israel captive into Assyria, their place being taken by heathen who themselves became half converted to Israel's God. These were called Samaritans, from Samaria itself.

The kingdom of Juda lasted about three hundred and fifty years (938-586), and had twenty kings. Once only was the royal house on the point of extinction, when it was saved by the priests who hid Joas in the temple in the time of Athalia. Many of these kings were wicked, others, like Solomon ended badly, but four of them, namely, Josaphat, Joathan, Ezechias and Josias, were, up to the very end, great servants of God.

In the divine office for this week we read of Ezechias, the thirteenth king of Juda. " He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign : and he reigned nine and twenty years in Jerusalem." It was in the sixteenth year of his reign that faithless Israel was led into captivity. "King Ezechias," says Holy Scripture, " trusted in the Lord God of Israel: so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Juda, nor any of them that were before him ... wherefore the Lord also was with him: and in all things to which he went forth he behaved himself wisely "

When Sennacherib, king of Assyria, wished to take Jerusalem, Ezechias went up to the temple, and there addressed a prayer to God as pure as any prayer of David or Solomon. Thereupon the prophet Isaias told Ezechias to fear nothing for God would protect his kingdom; and the angel of the Lord struck one hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp, so that Sennacherib, terrified, returned by forced marches to Niniveh, where he perished by the sword. When He had annihilated the kingdom of impenitent Israel, God granted more than a hundred years more of national survival to repentant Juda.

However, Ezechias fell seriously ill and Isaias told him that he was going to die; whereupon, addressing almighty God, the King said: " I beseech thee, O Lord, remember how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is pleasing before thee " (Magnificat antiphon). Then Isaias was sent by almighty God to Ezechias with this message : " I have heard thy prayer and I have seen thy tears: and behold I have healed thee. On the third day thou shalt go up to the temple of the Lord."

As a matter of fact Ezechias was cured and reigned for another fifteen years. This cure of the king, who escaped from the kingdom of death on the third day, is a type of the resurrection of our Lord. For the Epistle to-day the Church has chosen a passage where St Paul reminds us that " Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day," and that it is by our faith in this doctrine that we shall be saved, like the apostle himself.

For the same reason the Introit is from Psalm LXVII, in which the same apostle sees a prophecy of the ascension (Ephesians 4:8), which is the complement of our Lord's resurrection, as we say in the Credo : " He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead : He ascended into heaven." The Offertory is from Psalm XXIX which is also applied by the Church to our Lord's ascension, and in which the psalmist actually says : " Thou hast healed me." In its turn the Gradual, speaks of Him whose flesh has " flourished again ".

It was owing to the prayers which Ezechias poured forth to God, and to the tears which he shed on his death-bed, that he was restored to life, " Ezechias was visited by sickness," says St. Jerome, " and was told that he was going to die, so that, turning to the Lord, he might ward off His decree. Therefore the king shed many tears " (2nd Nocturn).

In the same way it was by His prayer " offered with a strong cry and tears " on the cross (Gradual), that Christ obtained His resurrection. Further, as it was due to the prayers of Ezechias that the people of Juda were delivered from the attacks of Sennacherib, so it was through our Lord's prayers that the true people of God were delivered, for, in the words of the Easter Preface, He " by dying hath taken away the sins of the world, and by rising again hath restored our life ". Since it is by baptism that we are buried with Christ and that we rise again with Him to a new life, to-day's Gospel is that of the cure of the deaf-mute, which, while reminding us of the cure of Ezechias, puts before our eyes a rite used by the Church herself in Holy Baptism. Jesus puts his fingers into the ears of the deaf-mute to show that it is by the Holy Ghost " the finger of God " that He drives out the evil spirit; He touches the tongue of the man with saliva to show that He is going to loose his tongue that it may utter words of wisdom; and He raises His eyes to heaven and groans to make it clear that it is from God that He expects the cure of the afflicted man, as the answer to His prayer.

"He raised His eyes to heaven," says St Gregory in effect, "and groaned, not because He thought it necessary to groan, He who Himself gave what He asked, but to teach us to groan to heaven to Him who reigns in heaven, that He may open our ears by the gift of the Holy Ghost, and by saliva from His mouth, that is, by the knowledge of His divine word, may loose our tongue that it may be able to preach the truth " (3rd Nocturn).

Therefore, speaking by the power of God, our Lord says: "Ephpheta, which is, be thou opened: and immediately the ears of the deaf-mute were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed." So, in baptism, the priest, having put a little salt, representing wisdom, into the child's mouth, in Christ's name and by the power of the Holy Ghost, commands the unclean spirit to withdraw from the baptized person. Then he takes a little saliva and touches the ears and the nostrils of the child with it, saying, like our Lord : "Ephpheta," open your heart to the things of faith. And the soul passes shortly after from the death of sin in which it lay buried, and which made it deaf and dumb in the supernatural world, and rises to a new life.

By restoring to us the divine life, baptism unites us with our Lord's resurrection of which the cure of Ezechias was a type. Therefore " all rejoice in God their helper, and sing aloud to the God of Jacob " (Alleluia) who, " out of the abundance of " His " loving kindness ", is wont to go beyond the hopes and desires of the suppliant, and to pour forth His mercy upon them (Collect), by distributing to us in abundance the fruits of the Holy Ghost (Communion).

Deus in loco sancto suo: Deus qui inhabitare facit unanimes in domo: ipse dabit virtutem, et fortitudinem plebi suae. * Exsurgat Deus, et dissipentur inimici ejus: et fugiant, qui oderunt eum a facie ejus.
God in His holy place; God who maketh men of one mind to dwell in a house; He shall give power and strength to His people. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face.
(Psalm 67:67,2 from the introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui abundantia pietatis tuae et merita supplicum excedis et vota: effunde super nos misericordiam tuam; ut dimittas quae conscientia metuit, et adjicias quod oratio non praesumit. 
O almighty and eternal God, who in the abundance of Thy loving kindness art wont to give beyond the deserts and desires of those who humbly pray; pour down upon us Thy mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and granting us those blessings which we dare not presume to ask.
(Collect)

Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Marcum.
In illo tempore: Exiens Jesus de finibus Tyri, venit per Sidonem ad mare Galilaeae, inter medios fines Decapoleos. Et adducunt ei surdum et mutum, et deprecabantur eum, ut imponat illi manum. Et apprehendens eum de turba seorsum, misit digitos suos in auriculas ejus: et exspuens, tetigit linguam ejus: et suspiciens in caelum, ingemuit, et ait illi: Ephphetha, quod est adaperire. Et statim apertae sunt aures ejus, et solutum est vinculum linguae ejus, et loquebatur recte. Et praecepit illis, ne cui dicerent. Quanto autem eis praecipiebat, tanto magis plus praedicabant: et eo amplius admirabantur, dicentes: Bene omnia fecit: et surdos fecit audire, et mutos loqui.

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Mark.
At that time, Jesus going out of the coasts of Tyre, came by Sidon to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring to Him one deaf and dumb, and they besought Him that He would lay His hand upon him. And taking him from the multitude apart, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, He groaned and said to him : Ephpheta, which is, Be thou opened : and immediately his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke right. And He charged them that they should tell no man : but the more He charged them so much the more a great deal did they publish it; and so much the more did they wonder, saying: He hath done all things well; He hath made both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak. 
(St Mark 7:31-37)


Saturday, 30 July 2016

30th July, SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs

SS. Abdon and Sennen, Martyrs

Abdon and Sennen, born in Persia "were arrested and taken to Rome under the Emperor Decius. They were scourged with cords weighted with lead and beheaded" (Roman Martyrology). This was in the middle of the third century (A. D. 254).

Intret in conspectu tuo, Domine, gemitus compeditorum: redde vicinis nostris septuplum in sinu eorum: vindica sanguinem sanctorum tuorum, qui effusus est. * Deus, venerunt gentes in haereditatem tuam: polluerunt templum sanctum tuum: posuerunt Jerusalem in pomorum custodiam.
Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbours sevenfold in their bosom; revenge the blood of Thy saints, which hath been shed. * O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance: they have defiled Thy holy temple: they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit.
(Psalm 78:11-12,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui sanctis tuis Abdon et Sennen ad hanc gloriam veniendi copiosum munus gratiae contulisti: da famulis tuis suorum veniam peccatorum; ut Sanctorum tuorum intercedentibus mentis, ab omnibus mereantur adversitatibus liberari.
O God, who didst endow Thy holy martyrs Abdon and Sennen with abundant gifts of grace that they might come to their present glory; forgive the sins of Thy servants, that the merits of Thy saints pleading on their behalf, they may deserve to be delivered from all adversity.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01032a.htm

Friday, 29 July 2016

29th July, SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, martyrs

SS. Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, martyrs

"Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it, and, indeed, to neglect to confound evil men - when we can do it - is no less a sin than to encourage them." Pope St. Felix III.

The holy Pontiff Felix III is a Pope of the fourth century. He was martyred in Tuscany in the time of the Arians (A.D. 365). He is sometimes referred to as Pope Felix II - there was a Pope Felix II in the earlier part of the fourth century, who is usually regarded as an antipope, and this causes confusion in enumeration.

Simplicius and Faustinus, denounced as Christians to the persecutors, were put to death at Rome under Diocletian A.D. 304. Beatrice, their sister, was arrested and strangled in prison. Leo II placed the relics of these three martyrs in a church at Rome dedicated in their names.

Sapientiam sanctorum narrent populi, et laudes eorum nuntiet Ecclesia: nomina autem eorum vivent in saeculum saeculi. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Let the people show forth the wisdom of the saints, and the Church declare their praise: and their names shall live unto generation and generation. * Rejoice in the Lord, O ye just : praise becometh the upright.
(Ecclesiasticus 44:15,14 and Psalm 32:1 from the introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine: ut, sicut populus christianus Martyrum tuorum Felicis, Simplicii, Faustini et Beatricis temporali solemnitate congaudet, ita perfruatur aeterna: et, quod votis celebrat, comprehendat effectu.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that as Christian people rejoice in being able to celebrate the temporal solemnity of Thy martyrs Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice, so they may also rejoice thereat in life eternal and receive the fruit of the sacrifice which they offer.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia.
On St Felix: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06030b.htm
On the Antipope Felix II: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06030a.htm
On SS Simplicius, Faustinus and Beatrice: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14003a.htm

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

The liturgy for this Sunday seeks to impress upon us the true notion of Christian humility, which consists in attributing to the grace of the Holy Ghost whatever sanctity we may have attained; for our acts can only be of a supernatural character, if they are inspired by the Holy Ghost whom our Lord sent down upon His apostles on the day of Pentecost and whom He never ceases to give to those who ask.

Our salvation is an impossible task if we try to accomplish it alone, for left to ourselves, we are but weak and sinful. It is almighty God to whom we are indebted when we avoid sin, gain pardon, forsake wrongdoing and do good, for none can even utter our Lord's name by an act of supernatural faith, affirming His divinity and kingship, except by the Holy Ghost (Epistle).

Therefore pride is God's enemy, since it claims for itself the gifts which the Holy Ghost alone distributes to such as He will, and so by making us think that we are sufficient in ourselves, it hinders the manifestation of the divine power in our souls. How can God forgive us (Collect), if we will not confess our guilt? How can He have compassion on us, and show us His mercy (Collect) if we have within us no acknowledged wretchedness upon which His divine heart can have pity?

On the contrary, the humble man is glad to acknowledge his nothingness, knowing that on this condition alone will the power of Christ come into his heart.

The Church develops these thoughts to-day because the Breviary lessons for this week supply two examples, one of pride, the other of great humility. After the figure of Elias, contrasting so strongly with Achab and Jezebel, of whose terrible punishment we read in the divine office, that of the young Joas stands out in powerful opposition to Athalia. The daughter of Achab and Jezebel, quite as wicked as her mother, Athalia had married Joram the king of Juda, and as he died shortly after, the queen found herself mistress of the kingdom of Juda, and to secure her position had almost the whole family of David massacred. However Josaba, the wife of the high priest Joiada, took Joas, the youngest of the royal family, from his cradle, and hid him in the temple.

For six years Athalia ruled the country and set up altars of Baal right in the very temple courts. In the seventh year the high priest, surrounded by determined men, showed them Joas, then seven years old, and told them to form a bodyguard round the royal child, and to kill anyone who attempted to break through their ranks. Then when the people crowded into the temple court at the hour of the prayer, Joiada brought forward Joas and anointed and crowned him in sight of the whole multitude, amidst applause and cries of "Long live the King."

Athalia, hearing all this outcry, left her palace and went into the court. Seeing the young king seated on the tribunal surrounded by the chief men of the nation, amidst the shouts of the people, accompanied by the sound of trumpets, she rent her clothes and cried: "Treason and plot!" At the high priest's command she was put out of the sacred precincts, and brought to the threshold of her palace, where she was killed. Then the crowd rushed into the temple of Baal where they did not leave one stone upon another.

Meanwhile the king, Joas, sat on the throne of David, his grandfather, and reigned forty years in Jerusalem, where he worked at repairing and beautifying the temple (Alleluia, Communion). Holy Scripture gives him this excellent praise: "Joas did that which was right before the Lord." These words form the Magnificat Antiphon for the first Vespers of this Sunday, echoed by that of the second Vespers, taken from to-day's Gospel: "This man went down into his house justified rather than the other, because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." "Those who exalt themselves," says St. Augustine, "are known by God from afar. From far off He looks upon the proud but forgives them not." On the other hand, the humble, like the publican, confess themselves guilty. " He struck his breast, he chastised himself, therefore God forgave the man who acknowledged his wretchedness. For why is it surprising that God no longer sees him as a sinner, when he himself acknowledges that he is one? He stands afar off, this publican, but God sees him from close at hand" (Matins)

In the same way the lowly-minded boy, Joas, was accepted of God, because his attitude before Him was what it should be. "He did that which was right before the Lord." On the contrary, Athalia was proud and wicked. She did not do what was right before the Lord, and she despised and insulted those who did their duty, for pride towards God always shows itself by contempt towards our neighbour. Pascal says that there are two kinds of men, saints who think themselves guilty of every fault and sinners who believe themselves guilty of none. The first are humble and God will exalt them with glory; the second are full of pride, and He will humble them by chastisement.

"God," says St. Chrysostom, "drowned the world, caused Sodom to be burned by fire, and the sea to swallow up the army of the Egyptians for it is He who has stricken the guilty with all the blows which have fallen upon them, and will do so still more. But, you say, God is merciful. Then are all these things merely words? Does the rich man who despised Lazarus receive no punishment? Are the foolish virgins in no way rejected by the bridegroom? Will not he who was at the wedding feast with soiled garments in no wise perish, bound hand and foot? Will not he who exacted the last farthing from his companion be delivered to the tormentors? Do you think that God will confine Himself to threats? To me it seems easy to prove the contrary and we may judge beforehand what God will do in the future, from what He has said and done in the past. Let us then have constantly in mind the dread tribunal, chains fastened for fall eternity, outer darkness, gnashing of teeth and the gnawing and poisonous worm" (2nd Nocturn).

This will be the best way to foster in ourselves that humility which makes say with the Church: "When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, who is before all ages and remains forever" (Introit). "Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of Thy eye: let Thy eyes behold the things which are equitable" (Gradual.) "To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: neither let my enemies laugh at me: for none of them that wait on Thee shall be confounded" (Offertory).

Cum clamarem ad Dominum, exaudivit vocem meam, ab his, qui appropinquant mihi: et humiliavit eos qui est ante saecula, et manet in aeternum: jacta cogitatum tuum in Domino, et ipse te enutriet. * Exaudi, Deus, orationem meam, et ne despexeris deprecationem meam: intende mihi, et exaudi me.
When I cried to the Lord He heard my voice, from them that draw near to me; and He humbled them, who is before all ages, and remains for ever: cast thy care upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. * Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication; be attentive to me and hear me.
(Psalm 54:17,18,20,23,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui omnipotentiam tuam parcendo maxime et miserando manifestas: multiplica super nos misericordiam tuam; ut ad tua promissa currentes, caelestium bonorum facias esse consortes.
O God, who dost manifest Thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity; increase Thy mercy towards us, that we, seeking the way of Thy promises, may be made partakers of Thy heavenly treasures. 
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, Jesus spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves as just, and despised others. Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a Publican. The Pharisee standing, prayed thus with himself: O God, I give Thee thanks that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers; as also is this publican. I fast twice in the week; I give tithes of all that I possess. And the Publican standing afar off would not so much as lift up his eyes towards heaven, but struck his breast saying: O God, be merciful to me a sinner. I say to you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: because every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. 
(St Luke 18:9-14)

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

To-day's liturgy lays stress on the terrible punishments which will one day be inflicted on those who have denied Christ. They will all perish and not one of them will enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who have been faithful to Him through all the adversities of this life, will also one day, be saved from the hands of their enemies and will follow him into heaven, whither he went at His Ascension, whose feast the Church celebrates at Paschaltide. These thoughts about God's justice are suggested on this ninth Sunday after Pentecost by the story of the prophet Elias which the Church reads in the Breviary at this time.

After Solomon's death the twelve tribes of Israel were divided into two kingdoms, Israel and Juda. The second of these consisted of the tribes of Juda and Benjamin, with Jerusalem as capital, while the first was composed of the remaining ten tribes, having for its capital Sichem, then Samaria.

To this latter kingdom belonged the prophet Elias, who dwelt in the desert of Galaad in Samaria. A man of great virtue and austere life he wore a tunic woven of camel's hair and a leathern girdle. " With zeal, zealous for the Lord God of Hosts", he left the desert three times to convey the divine warnings to Achab, the seventh king of Israel and the queen, Jezebel, who seduced the people into idolatry ; to secure the death of the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal whom he had put to confusion on Mount Carmel, and to foretell to the king who had taken Naboth's vineyard for himself, that he would die bathed in his own blood, and to the queen, who had been Achab's evil genius, that her blood would flow on the spot where Naboth's flowed, while dogs should devour her flesh.

For these reasons Elias was persecuted by the Israelites and by Achab and Jezebel, and was obliged to flee to Mount Horeb to escape death. Later on, when Ochozias Achab's son had become king, Elias advised him not to consult Beelzebub the god of Accaron as he intended but rather the God of Israel.

Upon this Ochozias sent him a captain of fifty soldiers to summon him to come down from the mountain and to account for his words, but Elias answered: " If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume thee, and thy fifty." And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and the fifty that were with him (Breviary).

Still later, Elias set out towards the Jordan with Eliseus, and when they had crossed the river, a fiery chariot and horses separated them from each other, while Elias went up by a whirlwind into heaven. Then Eliseus took up Elias's mantle that had fallen from him, and received a double portion of his spirit, while all Elias' disciples exclaimed: "The spirit of Elias hath rested upon Eliseus."

On one ocassion, when Elias was on his way up to Bethel he was mocked by some small boys, crying: "Go up, thou bald head. Go up, thou bald head." And Elias cursed them in the name of God whom they had offended, "and there came forth two bears out of the forest and tore them two and forty boys."

All his life, Elias, with his words of fire, championed the rights of almighty God. Much later John the Baptist "came forward in the spirit and power of Elias", clad like him, and like him dwelling in the desert; defending, with the same impassioned voice, the same rights of God, and foretelling the separation which Christ, who was at hand, would make between the chaff and the wheat. " He will gather the wheat into his barns, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." " Elias," says St. Augustine, " was a type of our Redeemer and Lord. Elias suffered persecution from the Jews; our Lord, the true Elias, was despised and rejected by this same people. Elias left his own country; Christ forsook the synagogue and made welcome the Gentiles " (2nd Nocturn).

_Continuing the comparison, we may say that God rescued Elias from his enemies by raising him into the sky; and in the same way he took Christ from among His enemies, by making Him go up to heaven on Ascension Day. "Deliver me from my enemies, O my God, and defend me from them that rise up against me." (Alleluia).

Elias, carried away in a chariot of fire, was in the language of the Fathers, the type of Jesus ascending to heaven. The Gradual uses the same verse of the eighth psalm which the liturgy employs on Ascension Day. " O Lord, our Lord, how admirable is thy name in the whole earth. Thy magnificence is elevated above the heavens." The Introit adds : " Behold God is my helper and the Lord is the protector of my soul. Save me, O God, by Thy name and deliver me by Thy strength." This triumph of Christ over those who hated Him, typified by that of Elias over his despisers, will be ours also, if we do not "tempt Christ", that is, if we avoid idolatry, impurity, and murmuring (Epistle), remaining faithful to grace. For if our Lord continues to be offered up on our altars to "make His work to avail on our behalf " (Secret), and if "eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood, we abide in Him and He in us" (Communion), it is in order that "united" to Him (Postcommunion) we may faithfully keep His judgments which are "sweeter than honey" (Offertory).

St. Paul indeed, tells us: "God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it" (Epistle). Let us therefore, beseech the Lord that His merciful ears "may be open to the prayers" of His suppliants and, in order that to those who seek He may surely give that for which they ask, He may make us to ask only for those things which are well-pleasing to Him (Collect).

But divine justice is not content with protecting the just against their enemies and with rewarding them for their fidelity; it punishes also those who do evil. Elias threatened the faithless kingdom of Israel and made fire from heaven to fall on his enemies (Breviary). The Israelites who tempted Christ by their murmurings perished by fiery serpents (Epistle), and Jerusalem, over which our Lord wept and whose punishment he foretold for its rejection of Himself, was destroyed by war and fire (Gospel). Three and twenty thousand of the children of Israel, we read, perished in one day through fornication and many were destroyed because of their murmuring. " Now," St. Paul tells us, " all these things happened to them in figure, and they are written for our correction " (Epistle).

More than a million Jews perished at the destruction of Jerusalem because they had rejected the Messias, and in the Gospel (see the first Sunday of Advent and the twenty-fourth after Pentecost), our Lord always compared this tragic ending to the catastrophies which will mark the end of all time when God will come to judge the world by fire

At that moment, the divine judge will accomplish the separation of the good from the evil, rewarding the first and banishing from the kingdom of God all who have denied Him by their unbelief or their sin, just as He drove from the Temple, the type of the Church on earth and in heaven, the traffickers who had transformed that house of God into a den of thieves (Gospel). " Turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in Thy truth, O Lord my protector " (Introit). For then the time of mercy will have passed, and that of justice only will remain. " Wherefore," says the apostle, " he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall " (Epistle).

Ecce Deus adjuvat me, et Dominus susceptor est animae meae : averte mala inimicis meis, et in veritate tua disperde illos, protector meus, Domine. * Deus, in nomine tuo salvum me fac : et in virtute tua libera me.
Behold God is my helper, and the Lord is the protector of my soul: turn back the evils upon my enemies, and cut them off in Thy truth, O Lord my protector. * Save me, O God, by Thy name, and deliver me in Thy strength.
(From the Introit of Mass, Psalm 53:6-7,3)


Pateant aures misericordiae tuae, Domine, precibus supplicantium: et ut petentibus desiderata concedas; fac eos, quae tibi sunt placita, postulare.
Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy suppliant people; and that Thou mayest grant them their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please Thee. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, when Jesus drew near to Jerusalem, seeing the city, He wept over it saying : If thou also hadst known, and that in this day, the things that are to thy peace : but now they are hidden from thy eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and straiten thee on every side; and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee; and they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone, because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation. And entering into the temple, He began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought, saying to them : It is written, My house is the house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves. And He was teaching daily in the temple.
(St Luke 19:41-47)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

13th July, St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr

St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr

"At Rome," says the Roman Martyrology, "feast of St. Anacletus, Pope and Martyr, who governed the Church of God and honoured it by his illustrious martyrdom."

Participating in the fulness of the priesthood of Christ (Introit, Alleluia, Offertory) this holy Pontiff also shared in His sufferings (Epistle). Head of the Church, he trembled not before the prince of this world, and became one of the foundation stones of the Church in the first centuries (Gospel).

He decreed that all bishops should be consecrated by three bishops at least; that clerics should be publicly ordained by their own bishop, and at their Mass of Ordination, they should all receive Holy Communion. He received the crown of martyrdom (Communion), after having occupied the Holy See about ten years, and was buried on the Vatican in 112.

Sacerdotes Dei, benedicite Dominum: sancti et humiles corde, laudate Deum. * Benedicite, omnia opera Domini, Domino: laudate et superexaltate eum in saecula.
O ye priests of the Lord, bless the Lord: O ye holy and humble of heart, praise God. * All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt Him above all for ever.
(Daniel 3:84,87,85)

O God, who givest us joy by the annual solemnity of blessed Anacletus, Thy martyr and bishop, mercifully grant that we may rejoice in his protection whose birthday we celebrate.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01446a.htm

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

12th July, SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

SS. Nabor and Felix, Martyrs

These two saints, who had St. Ambrose for their panegyrist, received the palm of martyrdom at Milan under Diocletian, in 303.

Salus autem justorum a Domino: et protector eorum est in tempore tribulationis. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
But the salvation of the just if from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. * Be not emulous of evildoers; nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:39,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Praesta, quaesumus, Domine: ut, sicut nos sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Naboris et Felicis natalitia celebranda non deserunt; ita jugiter suffragiis comitentur.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that even as we never fail to keep the birthday of Thy holy martyrs Nabor and Felix, so we may enjoy their continual intercession.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10666b.htm

12th July, St. John Gualbert, Abbot

St. John Gualbert, Abbot

John Gualbert was born at Florence, towards 999. One Good Friday, escorted by his armed attendants, he met alone and unattended, the murderer of his brother. He was about to pierce him with his lance when the murderer threw himself at his feet and craved pardon for the sake of Jesus crucified. John remembered the loving words of the Gospel and embraced him as a brother.

Still more touched by grace he became a monk and soon a lawgiver like Moses (Epistle), he founded at Vallombrosa in Tuscany a new Order to which he gave the rule of St. Benedict (Communion) and which is still flourishing after more than eight centuries of existence.

Simony reigned everywhere in Italy. His firmness and eloquence banished this disorder from Tuscany and brought back his country to integrity of faith and manners. So, when he died in 1073, they inscribed on his tomb: To John Gualbert, citizen of Florence, liberator of Italy.

Os justi meditabitur sapientiam, et lingua ejus loquetur judicium: lex Dei ejus in corde ipsius. * Noli aemulari in malignantibus: neque zelaveris facientes iniquitatem.
The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom, and his tongue shall speak judgement: the law of his God is in his heart. * Be not emulous of evildoers: nor envy them that work iniquity.
(Psalm 36:30-31 and 1 from the Introit of Mass)

May the intercession of the blessed Abbot John, we beseech Thee, O Lord, commend us unto Thee, that what we cannot have through our own merits, we may obtain through his patronage.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15262a.htm

Monday, 11 July 2016

11th July, The Solemnity of St Benedict, Abbot, Patriarch of Monks

The Translation of the Relics of St Benedict.


The Feast of St Benedict, on 21st March, being in Lent has no octave and is thus shorn of a certain amount of solemnity. The feast on 11th July is of the same rank but also possesses an octave compensating for this lack, as its title indicates. In England, it has taken the place of the very ancient feast of the Translation of the relics of the Saint (from Monte Cassino to the Abbey of Fleury, in France), which is still observed in some Benedictine Congregations.

St. Benedict is called the Doctor of humility. He was a prophet and wrought miracles and "was filled with the spirit of all the just" says St. Gregory. (His empire over devils is still exercised nowadays by the medal of St. Benedict which works wonders especially in missionary countries where Satan is most powerful.)

Among his sons are counted more than twenty popes, and an immense number of bishops, doctors, apostles, learned men and educators who have deserved well of humanity and of the Church. (Five sons of St. Benedict are numbered among the Doctors of the Church. St Augustine of Canterbury converted England; St. Boniface, Germany; St. Amandus, St. Willibrord, St. Anscharius and others brought to the faith more than twenty pagan nations.)


By his life he powerfully co-operated in the work of redemption and his glorious death has made him the patron of holy dying.

Benedictine Propers from the Missale Monasticum.

Faciam te in gentem magnam, et benedicam tibi, et magnificabo nomen tuum, erisque benedictus. * Benedic, anima mea, Domino: et omnia quae intra me sunt nomini sancto ejus.
I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name: and thou shalt be blessed. * Bless the Lord. O my soul, and let all that is within me bless his holy name.
(Genesis 2:2 and Psalm 102:1, from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatissimum Confessorem tuum Benedictum, omnium justorum spiritu replere dignatus es: concede nobis famulis tuis ejus Solemnitatem celebrantibus; ut ejusdem spiritu repleti, quod, te donante, promisimus, fideliter adimpleamus.
O God, who wouldst fill thy most blessed Confessor Benedict with the spirit of all the righteous: grant unto us thy servants who celebrate his solemnity, that filled with his spirit, we may faithfully accomplish by thy assistance, that which we have promised.
(Collect)

Domine, praevenisti eum in benedictionibus dulcedinis : posuisti in capite ejus coronam de lapide pretioso. * Vitam petiit a te, et tribuisti ei longitudinem dierum in saeculum saeculi.
O Lord, thou hast prevented him with blessings of sweetness : thou hast set on his head a crown of precious stones. * He asked life of thee, and thou hast given him length of days for ever and ever.
(Gradual: Psalm 20:4-5)

Alleluia, alleluia. Vir Dei Benedictus omnium justorum spiritu plenus fuit: ipse intercedat pro cunctis monasticae professionis.
Alleluia, alleluia. The man of God, Benedict was filled with the spirit of all the just: may he intercede for all of the monastic profession.

Sequence for the Mass of St Benedict

Laeta quies magni ducis,
Dona ferens novae lucis,
Hodie recolitur.

Caris datur piae menti,
Corde sonet in ardenti,
Quidquid foris promitur.

Hunc per callem orientis 
Admiremur ascendentis
Patriarchae speciem.

Amplum semen magnae prolis
Illum fecit instar solis
Abrahae persimilem.

Corvum cernis ministrantem,
Hinc Eliam latitantem
Specu nosce parvulo.

Elisaeus dignoscatur,
Cum securis revocatur
De torrentis alveo.

Illum Joseph candor morum, 
Illum Jacob futurorum
Mens effecit conscia.

Ipse memor suae gentis,
Nos perducat in manentis.
Semper Christi gaudia.
Amen.

Joyful rest of our leader, that brings the gift of a new light, we commemorate you today.

Grace is given the loving soul, may our ardent heart be united to the songs of our lips.

By the radiant way going up to the east, let us admire our Father rising to heaven, equal to the patriarchs.

His innumerable posterity, figure of the sun, made him like to Abraham.

See the crow serving him and recognize hence Elias hiding in a little cave.

Recognize Eliseus, when he bids return the axe from beneath the current.

It is Joseph through his life without stain; it is Jacob bringing future things to mind.

May he be mindful of his people, and may he lead us till we behold with him the eternal joys of Christ.
Amen.

Tamquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum, quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo: et folium ejus non defluet, et omnia quaecumque faciet prosperabuntur.
He is like unto a tree that is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in due season: and his leaf shall not fall off, and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper.
(Offertory: Psalm 1:3)

Suscipe, omnipotens Deus, haec sacra munera, quae in beati Patris nostri Benedicti Abbatis festivitate tibi offerimus; ut sicut illi amorem tuum eximium tribuisti, ita et in nobis ejus patrocinio divinae caritatis flammas accendas.
Receive, O almighty God, this sacred oblation, which we offer unto Thee on the festival of our holy Father Benedict the Abbot: so that even as thou didst grant him thy ardent love, so also thou wouldst, through his protection, inflame in us the fire of divine love.
(Secret)

Benedictionem omnium gentium dedit illi Dominus, et testamentum confirmavit super caput ejus: agnovit eum in benedictionibus suis, et conservavit illi misericordiam suam.
The Lord gave him the blessing of all nations, and confirmed his covenant on his head : he acknowledged him in his blessings, and preserved for him his mercy.
(Communion: Ecclus. 44:25-26)

Divini Sacramenti pasti deliciis, te, Domine, benedictionum fons et origo, supplices exoramus; ut per intercessionem beatissimi Patris nostri Benedicti, benedictionis tuae gratiam consequamur.
Fed with the delights of the divine sacrament, we address our supplications to Thee, O Lord, the source and origin of all blessings, that by the intercession of our most holy Father Benedict, we may receive the grace of thy blessing.
(Postcommunion)

The sequence sung by the monks of Norcia: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXO7hrxdzZ8

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Benedict: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02467b.htm

11th July, St Pius I, Pope and Martyr

St. Pius I, Pope and Martyr

The Cycle makes us honour to-day a saint whom "God anointed with His holy oil " (Gradual) and whom He invested with the fulness of His priesthood (Introit, Alleluia) by raising him to the pontifical throne after St. Hyginus in 142, others say in 167.

He prescribed that the feast of the Resurrection should only be kept on a Sunday, which thenceforth became the chief of all Sundays.

He established a baptistry in the house which St. Pudentiana and St. Praxedes had placed at his disposal, and where their father, the Senator Pudens, had already received St. Peter. He transformed into a title-church the adjoining baths of Novatus, where is held the Station on the Tuesday in the third week of Lent. On account of the stay of the first Sovereign Pontiff, he dedicated it under the title of Pastor.

To fulfil his office of good shepherd, he feared not to renounce his own life (Gospel), and endured many hardships, which hastened his end, for his sheep and for Christ the supreme Pastor. He received at the same time as the crown of martyrdom the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him (Epistle), and was buried in 150 on the Vatican.

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento, Domine, David, et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince: that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclesiasticus 45:30 and Psalm 131:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Be mindful of our weakness, O almighty God, and since the burden of our deeds is grievous to us, grant that the glorious intercession of blessed Pius Thy martyr and bishop may protect us.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12126b.htm

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost

At Pentecost the Church received the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and to-day's liturgy shows us its happy results. This blessed Spirit makes us children of God since we are led by Him to say in simple truth: Our Father. Therefore we are assured of our heavenly inheritance (Epistle). But to obtain this assurance we must live for God, in living by Him (Collect), letting ourselves be led in all things by the Spirit of God (Epistle), so shall we one day be welcomed by God into everlasting dwellings (Gospel).

In this lies the true wisdom we learn from the story of Solomon, the reading of which is continued in the Breviary during this week, where an account is given of the great work to which this great king devoted his whole life.

Solomon built the temple of the Lord in the city of Jerusalem in obedience to the wish of his father David, who could not build it himself because of the unceasing wars waged against him by his enemies. Solomon took three years to prepare the material, namely, the stones which eighty thousand men dug out of the quarries of Jerusalem and wood from the cedars and cypresses, felled by thirty thousand men on Mount Libanus in the kingdom of Hiram. When all preparations had been made, the actual building was begun in the four hundred and eightieth year after the flight from Egypt, and lasted seven years. Hewn stone, woodwork and panelling had been so exactly measured beforehand that the work took place in the greatest possible silence. In God's house was heard neither axe nor hammer nor any iron tool while the building was going on.

For the plans of his temple, Solomon took Moses' tabernacle; giving it much larger proportions and accumulating it in all the riches that he could. The floors and ceilings made of precious wood were set off with plates of gold and the altars and tables were all gilded, while the candelabra and sacred vessels were of solid gold. Gilt palms and cherubim adorned all the temple walls.

When the work was finished, Solomon dedicated the temple to the Lord with great solemnity. In the presence of all the elders of Israel and of an immense crowd of people, representing the twelve tribes, the priests brought in the Ark of the Covenant, containing Moses' Tables of the Law, to its place under the spread wings of two gilt cherubim, ten cubits high, which stood in the Holy of Holies. Thousands of sheep and oxen were sacrificed, and as the priests left the Holy of Holies a cloud filled the House of the Lord.

Then Solomon, raising his eyes to heaven, besought almighty God to hear the supplications of all those, Israelite or stranger, who should come in the varying circumstances of their lives, to pray to Him in this place, consecrated to His Name. Moreover, he asked that God would hear those who, with face turned towards Jerusalem and the temple, should address their petitions to Him, to show clearly that He had chosen this house for His abode and that nowhere else was there a God like that of Israel.

The celebration of the Dedication of the temple lasted fourteen days, accompanied by sacrifices and sacred feasts, after which the people returned home, blessing the king and with grateful hearts for all the good that the Lord had done to Israel since the days of the Covenant on Sinai. And the Lord, appearing to Solomon a second time, said in effect: "I have heard thy prayer ... I choose and sanctify this house which thou hast built, my eyes and my heart shall be there always to watch over my faithful people."

In to-day's Mass, the Church sings some verses of six different psalms in which are summed up all the thoughts expressed in Solomon's prayer. "Great is the Lord and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of God, in his holy mountain" (Introit and Alleluia). "Who is God, but Thee, O Lord?" (Offertory). It is "in the midst of his" temple, that the outpouring of God's mercy is received (Introit), and that one may "taste and see that the Lord is sweet" (Communion), for He is "a God-protector and a place of refuge", for all who hope in Him (Gradual).

In the same way that Solomon's reign was a rough copy and image of that of Christ (2nd Nocturn), so the temple which he built at Jerusalem was but a figure of heaven, where God dwells and where He hears the prayers of men. It is to the holy mountain and the city of God (Alleluia) that we shall go one day to praise Him forever, for the Epistle tells us that if we live by the Spirit, mortifying the deeds of the flesh within us, we are the children of God, and therefore, as heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ we shall enter heaven, the place of our inheritance.

The Gospel completes this thought when it tells us, in the form of a parable, how we can use the "mammon of iniquity" to make sure of our entry into everlasting dwellings. An unjust steward, charged with having wasted his master's goods, makes friends for himself with the help of the goods the latter had entrusted to his care, that after his disgrace there might be those who would receive him into their houses.

Thus, teaches our Lord, should the children of light rival the energy of the children of the world, and copying the foresight of this functionary, make use of the goods placed at their disposal by almighty God to help the needy, thus making for themselves friends in heaven. For those who have borne their privations on earth in a Christian spirit will pass to the world above and will there bear witness to their benefactors at the time when all will have to give account of their stewardship to the divine Judge.

Suscepimus, Deus, misericordiam tuam in medio templi tui: secundum nomen tuum, Deus, ita et laus tua in fines terrae: justitia plena est dextera tua. * Magnus Dominus, et laudabilis nimis: in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto ejus.
We have received Thy mercy, O God, in the midst of Thy temple; according to Thy name, O God, so also is Thy praise unto the ends of the earth : Thy right hand is full of justice. * Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised, in the city of God, in his holy mountain.
(Psalm 47:10-11,2 from the introit of Mass)

Largire nobis, quaesumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quae recta sunt, propitius et agendi: ut, qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus.
Grant to us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as are right; that we who cannot exist without Thee, may be able to live according to Thy will.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Luke.
At that time, Jesus spoke to His disciples this parable : There was a certain rich man who had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods ; and he called him, and said to him : How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship, for now thou canst be steward no longer. And the steward said within himself: What shall I do, because my lord taketh away from me the stewardship ? To dig I am not able : to beg I am ashamed. I know what I will do, that when I shall be put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. Therefore calling together every one of his lord's debtors, he said to the first: How much dost thou owe my lord? But he said : A hundred barrels of oil. And he said to him : Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. Then he said to another : And how much dost thou owe ? Who said : A hundred quarters of wheat. He said to him : Take thy bill, and write eighty. And the lord commended the unjust steward, for as much as he had done wisely : for the children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light. And I say to you : Make unto you friends of the mammon of iniquity, that when you shall fail, they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.
(St Luke 16:1-9)

10th July, The Seven Brothers, Martyrs: and SS Rufina and Secunda, Virgins and Martyrs

The Seven Brothers Martyrs; and SS. Rufina and Secunda, Virgins, Martyrs

The Church, celebrating to-day the triumph of the seven sons of saint Felicitas, who were martyred under their mother's eyes, praises this courageous woman (Epistle), who, by exhorting them to die, "was herself victorious in all of them".

She extended her maternity to the souls of her children by making them accomplish the will of God (Gospel, Communion, see November 23). They died in A.D. 150 under the Emperor Antoninus.

A century later Rufina and Secunda, sisters by birth, became doubly so by mixing their blood at the same execution, rather than lose the virginity they had consecrated to Jesus, their Spouse. They were martyred at Rome under the Emperors Valerian and Gallienus, in 257.

Laudate, pueri, Dominum, laudate nomen Domini: qui habitare facit sterilem in domo, matrem filiorum laetantem.  * Sit nomen Domini benedictum: ex hoc nunc, et usque in saeculum.
Praise the Lord, ye children, praise ye the name of the Lord; who maketh the barren woman to dwell in a house, the joyful mother of children.* Blessed be the name of the Lord, from henceforth now and forever.
(Psalm 112:1,9,2 from the Introit of Mass)


Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui gloriosos Martyres fortes in sua confessione cognovimus, pios apud te in nostra intercessione sentiamus.
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that we, who acknowledge the boldness of  thy glorious martyrs in confessing Thy name, may experience likewise their loving  intercession for us. (Collect)


From the Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Felicitas and her sons: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06028a.htm

Saturday, 9 July 2016

9th July, SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs

SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, Martyrs

Among the Christian heroes who fought resolutely against heresy and laid down their lives rather than adhere to the schism in England, a place of honour is due to cardinal John Fisher and to the chancellor Thomas More.

John Fisher, born at Beverley in 1469, chancellor of the academy of Cambridge, later for 33 years bishop of Rochester, refuted in many books the protestant errors (Breviary.)

Thomas More, born in London in 1478, a layman, married and the father of a family, learned jurist and scholar, was made High Chancellor of England by Henry VIII.

Both were imprisoned in the Tower of London by order of the king because they were opposed to his illegitimate union with Anna Boleyn and because they refused him the usurpated title of supreme head of the Church of England in matters spiritual as well as temporal.

John Fisher, created cardinal by Pope Paul III, ascended the scaffold on the 22th of June 1535 and was beheaded after reading this sentence of the Gospel: "This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (Alleluia)

Thomas More was beheaded in his turn on the 6th July 1535 for having resisted, after the example of the great doctor of the law Eleazar (Epistle), all solicitations on the part of his own family and which he deemed contrary to his conscience and to the rights of God, of Christ and the Church (Gospel).

Pius XI solemnly canonized these two saints on the 19th of March 1935.

May the merits and the prayers of these martyrs of the true faith and of the primacy of the Church of Rome obtain that we may be united in Christ by the same profession of faith (Collect).

Astiterunt justi ante Dominurn, et ab invicem non sunt separati: calicem Domini biberunt, et amici Dei sunt.
The just stood before the Lord and were not separated from each other: they drank the chalice of the Lord, and have been called friends of God.
(Antiphon of the Magnificat)

Multae tribulationes justorum, et de his omnibus liberavit eos Dominus: Dominus custodit omnia ossa eorum: unum ex his non conteretur. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
Many are the afflictions of the just; but out of them all will the Lord deliver them. The Lord keepeth all their bones: not one of them shall be broken. * I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall be always in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:20-21,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatos Martyres tuos Joannem et Thomam, verae fidei et Romanae Ecclesiae principatus propugnatores, inter Anglos suscitasti: eorum meritis ac precibus concede; ut ejusdem fidei professione, unum omnes in Christo efficiamur et simus.
O God, who didst raise up Thy blessed martyrs, John and Thomas, from among the English to be the defenders of the true faith and of the primacy of the holy Roman Church, grant that through their merits and prayers, we may all become and remain one by the profession of the same faith.
(Collect)

Alleluia, alleluia. Haec est vita aeterna, ut cognoscant te solum Deum verum, et, quem misisti, Jesum Christum. Alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia. This is eternal life : That they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent. Alleluia.
(Alleluia verse)

Catholic Encyclopaedia on St Thomas More: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14689c.htm
On St John Fisher: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08462b.htm

Friday, 8 July 2016

8th July, St. Elizabeth Queen of Portugal and Widow

St. Elizabeth Queen of Portugal and Widow

The Church exhorts us to-day to praise God for the holy works of blessed Elizabeth. A daughter of Peter II, king of Aragon, she inherited the name and virtues of her great-aunt, St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

Her father, seeing her holiness, used to say that she would surpass all other women of royal race (Epistle, Communion). She married Denis I, king of Portugal.

She had received the prerogative of re-establishing peace where there had been divisions and of mitigating the fury of war (Collect). When she became a widow she took the habit of the Third Order of St. Francis, distributed her riches and acquired at this price the precious pearl and the hidden treasure of life everlasting (Gospel). She died at Estremos in 1336 and her body has remained incorrupt.

Cognovi, Domine, quia aequitas judicia tua, et in veritate tua humiliasti me: confige timore tuo carnes meas, a mandatis tuis timui. * Beati immaculati in via, qui ambulant in lege Domini.
I know, O Lord, that Thy judgements are equity, and in Thy truth Thou hast humbled me: pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear, I am afraid of Thy judgements. * Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.
(Psalm 118:75 and 120:1 from the Introit of Mass).

Clementissime Deus, qui beatam Elisabeth reginam, inter ceteras egregias dotes, bellici furoris sedandi praerogativa decorasti: da nobis, ejus intercessione, post mortalis vitae, quam suppliciter petimus, pacem, ad aeterna gaudia pervenire.
O most merciful God, who didst endow the blessed queen Elizabeth among other excellent gifts, with the privilege of appeasing the fury of war; grant us by her intercession, that after peace in this mortal life, which we humbly implore, we may attain eternal joys.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05391a.htm

Thursday, 7 July 2016

7th July, SS Cyril and Methodius, Bishops and Confessors

SS Cyril and Methodius, Bishops and Confessors

Still filled with a holy love for her apostles, whose octave she has concluded, the Church celebrates to-day the feast of St. Cyril and of St. Methodius "who both promised under oath to persevere in the faith of blessed Peter and of the Roman Pontiffs," and brought innumerable recruits to Peter from among the Bulgarians, Moravians and Bohemians. Brothers by blood, they were born in the ninth century at Salonica and distinguished themselves by their progress in the sciences at Constantinople.

Anointed bishops by Pope Adrian II (Introit, Epistle, Alleluia), they converted the Slavonic nations (Collect). To them is attributed the Slav alphabet: into which tongue they translated the Scriptures and celebrated the sacred rites. St. Cyril died in 869 and was buried at Rome near the relics of St. Clement, which he had brought from Chersonesus. St. Methodius died in 885.

Sacerdotes tui, Domine, induant justitiam, et sancti tui exsultent: propter David servum tuum, non avertas faciem Christi tui. * Memento, Domine, David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. * O Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
(Psalm 131:9-10,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui Slavoniae gentes per beatos Confessores tuos atque Pontifices Cyrillum et Methodium ad agnitionem tui nominis venire tribuisti: praesta: ut, quorum festivitate gloriamur, eorum consortio copulemur.
Almighty and everlasting God, who, by the ministry of Thy blessed confessors and bishops Cyril and Methodius, wast pleased to bring the nations of Slavonia to the knowledge of Thy name: grant that we who glory in keeping their festival may have fellowship with them for evermore. 
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04592a.htm

7th July. In Memoriam.

7th July 2005.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es.


Wednesday, 6 July 2016

6th July, The Octave-Day of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles

The Octave-Day of SS Peter and Paul, Apostles

To-day concludes, by a special Mas, the concert of praise offered during eight days by the Church to the Apostles Peter and Paul, whose names are eternal (Introit, Epistle).

Sapientiam sanctorum narrent populi, et laudes eorum nuntiet ecclesia: nomina autem eorum vivent in saeculum saeculi. * Exsultate, justi, in Domino: rectos decet collaudatio.
Let the people shew forth the wisdom of the Saints, and the Church declare their praise; and their names shall live unto generation and generation. Ps. Rejoice in the Lord, ye just: praise becometh the upright.
(Ecclus 44:14-15 and Psalm 32:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, cujus dextera beatum Petrum ambulantem in fluctibus, ne mergeretur, erexit, et coapostolum ejus Paulum, tertio naufragantem, de profundo pelagi liberavit: exaudi nos propitius, et concede; ut amborum meritis, aeternitatis gloriam consequamur. 
O God, whose right hand upheld blessed Peter walking upon the waves, lest he should sink, and delivered his fellow-apostle Paul when shipwrecked for the third time from the depth of the sea; hear us in Thy mercy, and grant that through their merits we may obtain the glory of everlasting life.
(Collect)

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

5th July, St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Confessor

St Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Confessor



Anthony Mary was born of a noble family at Cremona. Penetration of mind, added to integrity of life, raised him above his school fellows. Having won his degree of Doctor of Medicine at Padua, he understood by a warning from God, that he was called to heal spiritual rather than bodily diseases. Like the young man in the Gospel, he had from childhood observed the commandments; more faithful than he, he left everything to follow Jesus (Gospel). He founded the Order of Clerks Regular whose members are called Barnabites, because they took up their abode near the Church of St. Barnabas. St. Anthony Mary gave them St. Paul as, model and protector. He was, like the great apostle, filled with super-eminent knowledge of Christ (Collect). Wherefore the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia and Communion apply to him the very words of the apostle, and the Epistle is that in which the Doctor of the Gentiles gives to his disciple Timothy the counsels that guided him in his teaching.

Consoled by a heavenly vision of the apostles, he died a holy death at the age of thirty-six in 1539.

Sermo meus, et praedicatio mea non in persuasibilibus humanae sapientiae verbis, sed in ostensione spiritus, et virtutis. * Confitebor tibi, Domine, in toto corde meo, in consilio justorum et congregatione.
My speech and my preaching was not in the persuasive words of human wisdom, but in the showing of spirit and power. * I will praise Thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; in the council of the just, and in the congregation.
(1 Corinthians 2:4 and Psalm 110:1 from the Introit of Mass)

Fac nos, Domine Deus, supereminentem Jesu Christi scientiam, spiritu Pauli Apostoli ediscere: qua beatus Antonius Maria mirabiliter eruditus, novas in Ecclesia tua clericorum et virginum familias congregavit.
Make us, O Lord God, in the spirit of Paul the apostle, thoroughly to learn the science of Jesus Christ, which surpasseth all understanding, by which blessed Anthony Mary enriched Thy Church with new families of clerics and virgins.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01588a.htm

Monday, 4 July 2016

4th July, Prayer for the United States of America

Prayer for the Government

Abridged from a Prayer composed by Archbishop Carroll A. D. 1800 for the United States of America

We pray Thee, O Almighty and Eternal God, who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue, with unchanging faith, in the confession of Thy name.

We pray Thee, O God of might, wisdom, and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist, with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude, the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people, over whom he presides, by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of the Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government; so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge, and may perpetuate to us the blessings of equal liberty.

We pray for his Excellency the Governor of this State, for the members of the Assembly, for all Judges, Magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare; that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise to Thy unbounded mercy all our brethren and fellow-citizens, throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge, and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union and in that peace which the world cannot give; and, after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

3rd July, St. Leo II, Pope and Confessor

St. Leo II, Pope and Confessor

Leo II, a Sicilian by birth, participated in the full priesthood of Christ (Introit, Epistle, Gradual, Alleluia) on becoming Pope. Guided by the Holy Ghost he gave their full value to the spiritual riches of the Church committed to his care by Jesus (Gospel, Communion).

He approved the acts of the sixth Council which condemned those who taught that Christ has only one will. Well versed in sacred singing, he perfected the melodies of the psalms and of the hymns of the Church. He was truly the father of the poor and by his example and preaching led every one to virtue. He died in 683 and was buried in the basilica of St. Peter.

Let us imitate the example of this saint (Collect) who was one of the successors of St. Peter on the pontifical throne.

Sacerdotes tui, Domine, induant justitiam, et sancti tui exsultent: propter David servum tuum, non avertas faciem Christi tui. * Memento, Domine, David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
Let Thy priests, O Lord, be clothed with justice, and let Thy saints rejoice: for thy servant David's sake, turn not away the face of Thy anointed. * O Lord, remember David and all his meekness.
(Psalm 131:9-10,1 from the Introit of Mass)

Deus, qui beatum Leonem Pontificem Sanctorum tuorum meritis coaequasti: concede propitius; ut, qui commemorationis ejus festa percolimus, vitae quoque imitemur exempla.
O God, who didst raise up blessed Pope Leo to rank with Thy saints in merit; grant, in Thy mercy, that we, who keep his festival, may also follow the example of his life.
(Collect)

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09157a.htm

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

In words addressed to the Holy Ghost, "sevenfold" in grace, the Church prays in the Sequence for Pentecost:
"Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord,
Whose only hope is in Thy Word
Thy sevenfold gift of grace."

The first of these gifts is the fear of God which is the foundation of all the others (Gradual); the seventh is the gift of wisdom, an enlightenment from the Holy Ghost, thanks to which our intelligence is able to contemplate the truths of faith, set in a glorious light and in doing so to find great joy.

The sacred number seven which is borne by this Sunday (the seventh after Pentecost), suggests that it is this gift of wisdom that is the object of to-day's liturgy, and that with the Church itself, we ought to ask it from the Holy Ghost.

No better subject could have been chosen for the Breviary lessons for this week than the story of David's last days, for as St. Jerome says, "all bodily force weakens in old men, while only wisdom increases in them" (2nd Nocturn); and the story of his son Solomon, famous for his wisdom beyond all other kings. When David saw that his death was not far off, from among his sons he named Solomon, "the Lord's well-beloved" as his successor. Then the prophet Nathan took Solomon to Gihon. "And Sadoc the priest took a horn of oil out of the tabernacle and anointed Solomon. And they sounded the trumpet and all the people said: "God save King Solomon."

David, in a last charge to his son, reminding him that it was for him to build the temple of the Lord, said: "Take thou courage and show thyself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord thy God to walk in His ways, that the Lord may confirm His words which He hath spoken of me, saying: "Thy name is strengthened and thy posterity will reign forever. Do, therefore, according to thy wisdom, for thou art a wise man."

And David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city which bears his name, after reigning seven years in Hebron and twenty-three in Jerusalem, a strong fortress which he had taken from the Philistines.

"And Solomon sat upon the throne of his father David and his kingdom was strengthened exceedingly." He was only a young man of seventeen; he loved the Lord and sacrificed to Him. On one occasion at Gabaon after he had offered a sacrifice similar to that mentioned by Daniel in to-day's Offertory, and also alluded to in the Secret, "The Lord appeared to Solomon" saying: "Ask what thou wilt that I should give thee". And Solomon said: "O Lord God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father. And I am but a child. Give, therefore, to thy servant an understanding heart, to judge Thy people and discern between good and evil." And the Lord said to Solomon: "Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life or riches, nor the lives of thy enemies, but hast asked for thyself wisdom to discern judgement, behold, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart; insomuch that there hath been no one like thee before thee, nor shall arise after thee. Yea, and the things also which thou didst not ask, I have given thee: to wit riches and glory, so that no one hath been like thee among the kings in all days here before."

As God had promised, Solomon became not only the wisest, but the most powerful and magnificent of the kings of Israel. All the other sovereigns brought him presents and every nation who, until then, had despised Israel, began to seek an alliance with it. The Queen of Saba, who came to censure Solomon, was full of admiration at all that she saw and heard (Gradual). The Egyptian Pharao of the time, gave him his daughter in marriage and Hiram, king of Tyre, made a treaty with him. In return for the corn, barley, wine and oil, which the countryside of Palestine yielded in abundance, Hiram sent Solomon the priceless timber of the forests of Libanus as well as workmen to help the Israelites build the Temple.

King Solomon taught his people the fear of the Lord, who, on His part protected him in all his undertakings, and, among other things, saved him when his eldest son endeavoured to supplant him in the kingdom (Communion). In this way the words were fulfilled which were spoken by Solomon himself and of which St Jerome reminds us in to-day's office: "Refuse not wisdom and she will keep thee. Take possession of wisdom, acquire prudence; lay hold of her and she will raise thee up; through her thou wilt receive honour and when thou hast embraced her she will heap favours upon thy head and put upon thee a crown of glory." On this St Jerome comments: "Truly he who meditates day and night on the law of the Lord becomes with years more teachable, more formed through experience, wiser through the passage of time and in his old age he gathers the sweetest fruits of his former labours" (2nd Nocturn).

What the fruits of wisdom are, St Paul points out in the Epistle: "What fruit had you therefore in those things, of which you are now ashamed? ... For the end of them is death. But now being become servants to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end life everlasting" (Epistle). In the Gospel, our Lord tells us: "By their fruits you shall know them ... Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit." And He adds: "Not every one that saith to me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven; he that doeth the will of my Father who is in Heaven."

In commenting on to-day's Introit, St. Augustine remarks: "Hand and tongue must agree together; let the one glorify God and the other act accordingly." True wisdom does not consist only in hearing God's words but in fulfilling them; not only in praying to Him, but in showing Him by our actions that we love Him. "The Gospel," says St. Hilary, "warns us, that pleasing words and kindly airs are to be appraised according to the fruit of a man's works, and that a man is to be judged, not only as he paints himself in words but as he shows himself in deeds, since often the sheep's clothing serves to hide the fierceness of the wolf. Therefore, it is by our mode of life that we must merit eternal happiness, desiring what is good, avoiding evil and obeying the heavenly precepts with our whole heart, so that through the fulfilment of such duties we may be acknowledged by God" (3rd Nocturn).

Solomon, the peaceful monarch is none other than a type of Christ. His reign, hailed by all peoples, heralds that of the Messias, who is the true King of peace; Solomon, the wisest of kings foreshadows the Son of God whose heavenly Father said on Mount Tabor: "Hear ye Him" (Gradual). He is a type of that Incarnate wisdom who will teach us the fear of the Lord (Gradual), and the way to distinguish good from evil (Gospel). The holocausts offered at the dedication of Solomon's temple (Offertory) are like that of Abel, types of that unique and bloody sacrifice which Christ offered on Calvary and which He consummated in heaven where He entered after having obtained the victory over all His enemies.

This is the burden of the forty-sixth Psalm (Introit) in which the Fathers have seen under the symbol of the Ark of the Covenant, brought back by the people amid shouts of triumph from the field of battle to Mount Sion, a figure of the triumphant Ascension of our Lord into the heavenly kingdom.

Omnes gentes, plaudite manibus: jubilate Deo in voce exsultationis. * Quoniam Dominus excelsus, terribilis: Rex magnus super omnem terram.
Clap your hands, all ye nations: shout unto God with the voice of joy. * For the Lord is most high, He is terrible ; He is a great King over all the earth.
(Psalm 46:2-3 from the introit of Mass)

Deus, cujus providentia in sui dispositione non fallitur: te supplices exoramus; ut noxia cuncta submoveas, et omnia nobis profutura concedas.
O God, whose providence in the ordering of all things never fails ; we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all harmful things, and to give us those things which are profitable for us. Through our Lord.
(Collect)

Continuation of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit shall be cut down, and shall be cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them. Not every one that saith to Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father who is in heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
(St Matthew 7:15-21)