Pray for us O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Pray for us O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
In use since ~1256 AD.
January 28, 2012 (Feast of St Thomas Aquinas), offered at St Thomas Aquinas College, California
What a happy day in Christendom! But let us remember a beatification isn’t about the man, but about what God perfected in the man.
The very nature of the religion of the Old Testament, as a religion of revelation, implied a heavy leaning on the reading of the sacred books. The worship of the ancient Israelites naturally adopted the use of the Psalms from the very beginning. The use of such psalms was commonplace in every aspect of Jewish prayer, from the heights of the Temple, to the local synagogue and even within the lowliest household. As such, it was inevitable that the Church would also embrace the psalms which she would inherit from the Jews—songs which belonged to the person of the Messiah, who is her bridegroom. Before the Mass has ever begun, the fiftieth psalm (LXX) is recited during the rite of sprinkling with holy water. The psalm, whose antiphon begins with the ninth verse, “asperges me Domine hyssopo,” “you shall sprinkle me, O Lord, with a branch of hyssop” is selected to accompany this rite for the obvious imagery it invokes. As the sprinkling rite continues, the body of the psalm, verse 3, is recited, “Have mercy on me, God, according to your great mercy.” At the end of the rite, the Minor Doxology is sung, followed by the antiphon Asperges.
Historically, this has never been considered a part of the formal Mass, even from antiquity. It is possible that this rite developed in the West during the eighth or ninth centuries. Still, the recitation of Psalm 50 was always included in the private prayers at the foot of the altar before the beginning of Mass. From Easter to Pentecost, the antiphon verse 9 is replaced by the Vidi Aquam, “I saw water flowing from the Temple,” an allusion to Ez. 40. Likewise verse 3 is replaced by Psalm 117:1, “Give praise to the Lord for He is good.” This change is made in light of the events of the Passion as the Church moves from asking the Lord for His mercy, to rejoicing in having received it abundantly. The bond between the two sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion is pronounced clearly in this rite. This is a visible reminder of our baptism and the necessity of purification from our sins. We may not receive the Lord unless He wash away the stains of our sins through baptism. The prayer is composed by a sinner, who feels the weight of his sins more than his sickness. The priest here relies on the Lord to be purified before he should dare to ascend the steps of the altar of sacrifice.
It is St. Augustine who properly explains the imagery that the psalm presents: “Hyssop we know to be a herb humble but healing: to the rock it is said to adhere with roots. Thence in a mystery the similitude of cleansing the heart has been taken. Do thou also take hold, with the root of your love, on your Rock: be humble in your humble God, in order that you may be exalted in your glorified God. You shall be sprinkled with hyssop, the humility of Christ shall cleanse you.” (Expositio Ps 50)
An absolutely huge post featuring photos from the Sacred Triduum at St. John Cantius, Chicago. These photos are exquisite!
The Vigil of Easter
I am immensely grateful to Br. Joshua Caswell, SJC, for sharing these with me.
Today is the day on which it is implied that Judas first conspired with the Sanhedrin to betray the Lord Jesus. Today let us consider how many times we have betrayed Our Lord while claiming to be a faithful disciple. Either He is Lord, or He is not. There can be no gray area. Take time this Triduum to examine your life and continue conversion!
Dante Alighieri, L’Inferno: Judas is lodged in the mouth of Satan along with Brutus and Cassius.
It is always remarkable to witness the activities of the Pontiff especially during Holy Week and the Sacred Triduum.
Photos found at NLM:
Sorry blogging has been light. Blogging must come second to living. I’m helping my mother prepare for full communion with the Church this Easter. Pray for her!
Laetare Jerusalem: et conventum facite, omnes qui diligitis eam: gaudete cum laetitia, qui in tristitia fuisstis: ut exsultetis, et satiemini ab uberibus consolationis vestrae
The words are from the amazing Archbp. Fulton Sheen. The amazing statuary can be found at the shrine of the Holy Stairs in Rome. The stairs are crowded. They are painful and difficult to ascend on the knees, and there are many of them. These are the stairs which God Himself ascended in ignominy so that He might later ascend into glory.
From Evil Has Its Hour…
Pulling down upon Himself the burden of the world’s sin, as if He Himself has been guilty of sin; thrusting into His hand every open deed of evil and every secret deed of shame, as if He Himself has committed them, He breaks out into a bloody sweat, as the crimson drops like so many words write on the pages of earth the story of its greatest Love and its fondest Hope.
When He had prayed, He came back to His chosen three, and found them wrapped both in their cloaks and in sleep. In return for His Love Our Lord had asked but one small thing that they fall not asleep. He bade them stay awake like sentries of earth and bade them pray like sentries of heaven. Everything slept about them. The city with its white-washed walls sprawling over the hills, was asleep; in all the houses of all the cities of the world, men were sleeping. Perhaps the only ones awake were a thief in ambush in the dark, or a fond mother at the bedside of her sick child, or a sophomoric youth over a cup of wine in a dimly lighted tavern, asking his fellows: “Does God exist?”
But why watch and pray? Because in times of crisis, evil can be more awake than goodness. Evil never sleeps. Across this hill comes the evil man. Judas is his name. He leads a band of soldiers, Sadducees, and Pharisees, bearing lanterns and torches and weapons. Judas has already given to them a sign saying: “Whomsoever I shall kiss, that is he; lay hold on him and lead him away carefully” (Mark 14:44). Then throwing his arms about the neck of Jesus, he blistered His lips with a kiss. That kiss was at once the first and most horrible sullying of the lips which had pronounced the most heavenly words ever heard on this mad earth of ours. The betrayal of holy things must always be prefaced by a mark of affection. The kiss was the first use of the Trojan Horse in the history of Christianity! Oh, how religion must guard against those wicked influences which say they are friends of religion.
This was no surprise to the Master. The very day He announced the Eucharist, He made known that Judas would betray Him. A few hours ago, before He gave the Eucharist, He told Judas himself he would betray Him. It was thus around His most solemn promise and His most noble gift that the betrayal centered. As St. John put it: “Jesus therefore knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and said to them: Whom seek ye? They answered him: Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith to them: I am he” (John 18:4-5). When He said this the whole cohort of them fell backwards to the ground. Some burst of majesty halted them, some flaming glory which surpasses our puny minds. It was another way of revealing that no man could take His life away, but that He could lay it down Himself.
“And Jesus said to the chief priests, and magistrates of the temple and the ancients, that were come unto him: Are ye come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness” (Luke 22:52-53).
In clear unmistakable language, Our Divine Lord here tells us that God permits the evil begotten of the rebellious hearts of men to have its brief holiday even at the expense of God Himself. The ignorant think that a war creates difficulties for belief in God. And here the God-man says that the evil seed man has planted will bear fruit in our evil hour! It is not God’s goodness we should doubt. It is our own! Evil did not come from God. It came from our sin, our pride, our egotism. Therefore it will have its hour! Are we not living at such a moment now in the world’s history? Do not the times in which we live belong to Satan and the power of Darkness, where-in Divine Law is ignored, sanctuaries polluted, family life trampled under the feet of false freedom, and children raised as if there were no Cross, no Savior, and no Divine Love? But if evil has its hour, how meet it? Will the sword be enough?
See Also: St. John Lateran