UPDATE: Card. Sarah’s book – The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise

There’s goes my reading schedule!

My copy in English of Robert Card. Sarah’s book, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise, arrived today.

US HERE – UK HERE

This is the translation of  Le Force du Silence, hitherto only in French, is as I write available to PRE-ORDER in ENGLISH. It will be released on 15 April (Holy Saturday).  A great Eastertide reading gift to yourselves or friends.

 

The original French, if you prefer…

US HERE – UK HERE

And if you haven’t read it yet…

US HERE – UK HERE

May I suggest that you give Card. Sarah’s books to your priests?

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Fr. Z’s prayers for before and after hearing confessions

confession-731x1024As I was rooting around for something I posted in the past, I found this which, by coincidence, I posted 3 years ago to the day.

Here are the prayers I usually say before and after hearing confessions.

They are taken from a small, old prayer book for priests from 1935.

We need new editions of these old prayer books for priests!

I have used these prayers during my whole priesthood now, over a quarter century.  They say it all. You could do a lot worse, Fathers, than to adopt them as your own. They provide a realistic view of the gravity of the office and work of the confessor.  They hold up ideals… ideals – which back in the day – we were expected to attain without namby-pamby excuses.  They are a mirror in which we can scrutinize ourselves as confessors. They are at the same time sobering and consoling.

In the following, I added accents to help your pronunciation. Over time, they become old friends.  The Latin, frankly, is richer in content then the translations, below. I provide a recording of the prayers in Latin, at the end.

ORATIO SACERDOTIS ANTEQUAM CONFESSIONES EXCIPIAT

Da mihi, Dómine, sédium tuárum assistrícem sapiéntiam, ut sciam iudicáre pópulum tuum in iustítia, et páuperes tuos in iudício. Fac me ita tractáre claves regni caelórum, ut nulli apériam, cui claudéndum sit, nulli claudam, cui aperiéndum. Sit inténtio mea pura, zelus meus sincérus, cáritas mea pátiens, labor meus fructuósus. Sit in me lénitas non remíssa, aspéritas non sevéra; páuperem ne despíciam, díviti ne adúler. Fac me ad alliciéndos peccatóres suávem, ad interrogándos prudéntem, ad instruéndos perítum. Tríbue, quaeso, ad retrahéndos a malo sollértiam, ad confirmándos in bono sedulitátem, ad promovéndos ad melióra indústriam: in respónsis maturitátem, in consíliis rectitúdinem, in obscúris lumen, in impléxis sagacitátem, in árduis victóriam: inutílibus collóquiis ne detínear, pravis ne contáminer; álios salvem, me ipsum non perdam. Amen.

PRIEST’S PRAYER BEFORE HEARING CONFESSIONS

Grant to me, O Lord, that wisdom seated beside Thy throne, that I may know how to judge Thy people with justice, and Thy poor ones with discernment. Make me so to use the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, that I may open them to no one upon whom they should be closed, nor close them upon any to whom they should be opened. May my intention be pure, my zeal sincere, my charity patient, my labor fruitful. Let there be in me a gentleness which is not negligent, a severity which is not harsh; let me not look down on the poor; let me not fawn upon rich. Make me pleasant for attracting sinners, prudent in questioning them, resourceful in directing them. Grant, I beseech Thee, ingenuity for drawing them back from sin, earnestness in confirming them in good, diligence in urging them to better things: grant me good judgment in responses, rectitude in advice, light in obscure matters, wisdom in complications, victory in adversities: Let me not be detained in useless conversations, let me not be stained by perversities; let me save others, and let me not lose myself. Amen.

ORATIONES SACERDOTIS POSTQUAM CONFESSIONES EXCEPERIT

Dómine Iesu Christe, dulcis amátor et sanctificátor animárum, purífica, óbsecro, per infusiónem Sancti Spíritus cor meum ab omni affectióne et cogitatióne vitiósa, et quidquid a me in meo múnere sive per neglegéntiam, sive per ignorántiam peccátum est, tua infiníta pietáte et misericórdia supplére dignéris. Comméndo in tuis amabilíssimis vulnéribus omnes ánimas, quas ad paeniténtiam traxísti, et tuo pretiosíssimo Sánguine sanctificásti, ut eas a peccátis ómnibus custódias et in tuo timóre et amóre consérves, in virtútibus in dies magis promóveas, atque ad vitam perdúcas aetérnam: Qui cum Patre et Spíritu Sancto vivis et regnas in saecula saeculórum. Amen.

Dómine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, súscipe hoc obséquii mei ministérium in amóre illo superdigníssimo, quo beátam Maríam Magdalénam omnésque ad te confugiéntes peccatóres absolvísti, et quidquid in sacraménti huius administratione neglegénter minúsque digne perféci, tu per te supplére et satisfácere dignéris. Omnes et síngulos, qui mihi modo conféssi sunt, comméndo dulcíssimo Cordi tuo rogans, ut eósdem custódias et a recidíva praesérves atque post huius vitae misériam mecum ad gáudia perdúcas aetérna. Amen.

PRIEST’S PRAYERS AFTER HEARING CONFESSIONS

Lord Jesus Christ, sweet lover and sanctifier of souls, I pray Thee, through the infusion of the Holy Spirit, purify my heart from every corrupt feeling or thought and, through Thy infinite compassion and mercy, deign to make good any transgression whatsoever made by me in my service due to my negligence or my ignorance. I commend to Thy most lovable wounds all the souls whom Thou hast drawn to repentance, and whom Thou hast sanctified by Thy Precious Blood, so that Thou mayest guard them from every sin and keep them in Thy love and in Thy fear, promote in them each day more virtues, and lead them to eternal life. You who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, accept this ministry of my obedience with that surpassing love with which Thou didst absolve St. Mary Magdalene and all sinners flying to Thee for refuge, and whatever in the administration of this Sacrament I performed negligently and less than worthily, deign to supply and satisfy. I commend to Thy most sweet Heart each and every person who has just now confessed to me, asking that Thou mayest guard them and keep them from backsliding and, after the misery of this life, that thou mayest lead them with me to the joys everlasting. Amen.

I used good ol’ “Thou” and retained something of the flowery style of yesteryear because, after all, there’s really nothing wrong with that at all.

I have turned on the combox moderation. I will accept comments from priests or bishops, which I receive in the combox or in email, and I will even anonymize them on request. I will more than likely not – not – post any comment made by a lay person or a permanent deacon. I am not really talking to you. Go ahead and call it clericalism: you are merely being permitted to listen in because, given that this is a blog, I can’t stop you. Read HERE if you want my defense. I might… might… post something of a transitional deacon or a seminarian (still laity)… might. Make it really good. Impress me.

Finally, lay people, please pray for your priests. Pray that they will soften and hear confessions if they don’t or won’t. Pray that they will be good and faithful confessors who will use good judgment, will not not use false charity or false compassion, will not fake in order to be liked, and will always do his best with the help of God’s grace.

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BAD REASON #873 for not going to confession

From the 24 March 2017 print edition of The Catholic Herald, the UK’s best Catholic weekly… for which I, by the way, write a a rather unheralded short weekly column.  The title: Omnium Gatherum

17_03_27_CH_Piers_Morgan

BAD REASON #873 for not going to confession when you know you ought to.

Friends… please…

GO TO CONFESSION!

If it has been a long time, GO ANYWAY.  Make an appointment outside of regular confession time if you think you might need a while.

You can subscribe to The Catholic Herald and read many things which they don’t put online… including my unheralded but usually engaging column.

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LENTCAzT 2017 28 – Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent: The worst wound of all

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017Today is Tuesday of the 4th Week of Lent.  The Roman Station is San Lorenzo in Damaso.

GO TO CONFESSION!

Today we hear something from Fulton Sheen’s Calvary and the Mass, in the chapter about the Confiteor.

US HERE – UK HERE

These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.

You might chime in if these podcasts are useful to you.

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ASK FATHER: Priest doesn’t purify vessels, leaves them overnight

Mass_1st ablutionFrom a reader…

I am a university student who attends daily mass at the college parish. Every day, the priest does not purify the vessels, leaving them with the Sacred Species out for sometimes hours or all night after mass. The pastor insists that the sacristan is permitted to purify vessels, though it’s clear that one must be at least an acolyte to do so. I’ve petitioned the bishop to institute me so that I can purify them licitly, since the sacristan does a sloppy job in doing so, all to no avail. Should I purify them to avoid sacrilege?

There’s a scene in the movie The Mission in which the priest takes the Blessed Sacrament in procession, followed by women and children, while they are under assault by the Spanish military, sent to suppress the Reducciones.  The soldier hesitate at first, but then, goaded by their officers, they shoot priest who falls to the ground. A young woman picks up the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament and continues the procession as the gunfire continues.

Of course, some readers out there might at this point suggest that a layperson should never carry the Blessed Sacrament in procession. Yet, (and recognizing that this film is, while quasi-historical, a work of fiction) one cannot fault the young fictional woman for showing respect and honor to Our Lord in the Sacrament of the Altar, attempting to avoid sacrilege, and giving witness to her faith.

History abounds with stories of circumstances which excuse what would be in normal circumstances violations of liturgical discipline.

Sticking to movies for a moment, in that classic The Cardinal – which has great liturgical moments – we vicariously relive the horrific riot in October 1938 when a Nazi mob of 5000 stormed the palace of the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna.  In a rush, the clerics seek to protect the Blessed Sacrament from desecration.  In an entirely un-liturgical way they consume the Hosts, not without reverence.  They were clerics, of course.  But you get the point.

They purified the vessel, too! How apt.

Firstly, we should all stop and say a prayer for this priest. The disrespect he shows to the Blessed Sacrament and the neglect he demonstrates for his priestly duties may indicate deeper problems. Priests are, every day, under assault from Satan. God’s grace sustains and strengthens us, but temptations are real. Priests are weak human beings. Whether this priest struggles with doubts of faith, laziness, pride – or he was appallingly poorly trained – does not matter: pray for him.

Next, it sounds you have done what should be done.  You asked the priest and found out that he, wrongly, believes the sacristan can purify the sacred vessels. You asked the bishop to institute your as an acolyte, so that you can licitly purify the vessels, and the bishop has not acquiesced. It seems to me that – given the extraordinary circumstances – you can in good conscience care for the sacred vessels and the Blessed Sacrament quietly, unobtrusively, and without fanfare.  Don’t to go about telling everyone that “Father’s not doing his job so I have to step in and do it for him”.  That would be bad for many reasons.

Meanwhile, were you to write a brief, respectful, factual, wholly objective letter to the bishop to explain the situation with a copy of the letter to the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, it is possible that there could be down the line some movement in this regard.  Be sure of the facts before you write.

And don’t forget to pray for the priest.

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Fulton Sheen on “False Compassion”

A cup of really strong Mystic Monk Coffee can help you to wake up.   This video could have the same effect on liberals (to whom I also recommend Mystic Monk Coffee – eventually – when they convert and are worthy).

He reallay starts revving up at about 7:50.

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NYC – 28 March – Requiem for a Priest

I received notice that a 1 year anniversary Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, 28 March in New York City at the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel for the late Fr. John E. Halborg.

I met Fr. Halborg only a few times.  He sometimes said Mass at Holy Innocents.  However, I was moved to post about his death last year not just because he, like me, was a convert, but also because of the pretty awful way the living handled his funeral.   They pretty much completely disrespected his clearly written wishes.

So, if you are in the area, please consider attending the Requiem.

In any event, please stop and say a prayer for this priest.  Priests need prayers after their earthly lives, too.

17_03_27_Halborg_Requiem

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ASK FATHER: Hosts brought to altar at Communion, not before consecration

12_08_17_angels_monstranceFrom a reader…

Today at mass, after the priest had completed the Eucharistic Prayer, and we had moved past the Agnus Dei, one of the EMHCs noticed that the Chalices and Ciboriums with unconsecrated hosts (those meant for distribution to those at Mass) had not been placed on the altar.
Instead they had been on a table to the back left of the priest who presumably had no idea they were there (he looked quite shocked when the EMHC went to move them to the altar). They then proceeded to distribute communion as normal with those hosts and chalices that had not been on the altar during the consecration.
My question is: were those hosts consecrated, being behind the priest, and not on the altar? Would it matter whether he knew they were there?
I abstained from receiving lest I receive what was passed off as, but not really, the Blessed Sacrament, but I wondered what I should do.
Also, now that the leftover unconsumed hosts have been placed in the Tabernacle, what do I do if I return to Mass at the same Church. With my knowledge, must I be wary of receiving those possibly unconsecrated hosts, being passed off as the Eucharist? Thank you for your response!

Priests are trained, or ought to be trained, to have the intention, at least the moral intention, to consecrate the elements that are placed on the corporal upon the altar.  Priests have it drilled into them, and they drill it into themselves, that if it is on the corporal, it gets consecrated.  They don’t have to have a specific immediately conscious intention about each and every single host.  A general, or moral intention is adequate.

The practice of priests making a act of intention before they go out to celebrate Mass should be revived.  I warmly urge every priest (and bishop) who reads this to learn the Formula of Intention and even to print it, frame it, and locate it near where you put on your vestments.  There are other good prayers for the priest’s preparation to say Mass, but I think this is the most important and basic.  The Formula can be found in every copy of the traditional Missale Romanum.  I also found it in the Latin 2002 Missale Romanum.  I don’t happen to have to hand an English volume, but I’ll bet a translation is in the appendix.  Here is the text:

Ego volo celebrare Missam, et conficere Corpus et Sanguinem Domini nostri Iesu Christi, iuxta ritum sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae, ad laudem omnipotentis Dei totiusque Curiae triumphantis, ad utilitatem meam totiusque Curiae militantis, pro omnibus, qui se commendaverunt orationibus meis in genere et in specie, et pro felici statu sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. My purpose is to celebrate Mass and to confect the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the rite of the holy Roman Church to the praise of almighty God and all the Triumphant Church (in Heaven), for my good and the good of all the Church Militant (on Earth), and for all who have commended themselves to my prayers in general and in particular, and for the favorable state of the holy Roman Church.
Gaudium cum pace, emendationem vitae, spatium verae paenitentiae, gratiam et consolationem Sancti Spiritus, perseverantiam in bonis operibus, tribuat nobis omnipotens et misericors Dominus. Amen May the almighty and merciful Lord grant us joy with peace, amendment of life, room for true repentance, the grace and consolation of the Holy Spirit and perseverance in good works. Amen.

Back to the specific question.

In my opinion, the priest did not validly consecrate the hosts in the ciboria that were left on the credence table.

It might have mattered should he have know about them, remaining on the credence table, but then he ought to have had them brought to the altar.  In your description, you say that he was “quite shocked” when the ciboria were brought up, which indicates that he didn’t know of them and, therefore, didn’t intend to consecrated them.  Hence, they were not consecrated.

It is possible that the priest then spoke the words of consecration over those hosts.  However, even in the context of Mass that’s not good.  A priest mustn’t consecrate one species apart from the other.  What he should have done, in my opinion, is simply explain to the people that the ciboria were left on the table, they were not consecrated and there would not be enough consecrated Hosts for everyone.  He should explain that, yes, they were at Mass because he had consecrated and consumed his Host and Blood from the chalice and that they had fulfilled their obligation and he his obligation to say Mass for the intention offered.  Done.   That could have been a learning experience for many.

However, there is such a mania today that everyone must always go to Communion at every Mass, that Father was psychologically driven to do something else.

If the priest did not consecrate those hosts, and they were distributed, he would have committed a grave sin.  Please, Lord, I hope he didn’t do that.  Furthermore, if he put unconsecrated hosts into the tabernacle then he would cause people – albeit unwittingly – to commit acts of idolatry were they to venerate them.  Please, Lord, I hope he didn’t do that.  And he would sin again, sacrilegiously, by leaving them there and – quod Deus avertat – distributing them at another Mass!  If Father knows for sure which ciboria are in question, he should take steps to correct the situation.

In any event, it is better simply to explain what happened and learn from it than too do something imprudent and, potentially, scandalous.

For your part, I would refrain from receiving Communion for a few days, at least if you see that hosts from the tabernacle are being distributed.  Also, you would not be out of line to contact the priest and ask him about what you saw.  Be calm, respectful, factual, and listen carefully to his explanation.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood, Seminarians and Seminaries | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

1 Year Ago: Mother Angelica, RIP

Today is the 1st anniversary of the death of Rita Antoinette Rizzo, better known as Mother Angelica, the foundress of EWTN and many other initiatives.

May those who carry on with her work not disgrace her memory.

Here is one of the defining moments of her ministry.

It was World Youth Day in Denver.  There was a “stations of the cross” that was , quite frankly, blasphemous.  Mother reacted strongly.

Please, all of you, pray for her. She would love that Masses are offered for her. She would love rosaries.

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LENTCAzT 2017 27 – Monday of the 4th Week of Lent: Are you really sorry?

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017Today is Monday of the 4th Week of Lent.  The Roman Station is the fascinating Santi Quattro Coronati.

GO TO CONFESSION!

Today we get a hard message from a wise old abbot.

Some of the music used in some of these podcasts is from Matthew Curtis Motecta Trium Vocum.  US HERE UK HERE

These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes and a ‘Laetare’ Sunday ROSE POLL

17_03_26_Laetare_SMPB_01Was there a good point in the sermon you heard at the Mass to fulfill your Sunday obligation?  Let us know.

For my part, for the TLM this morning, I spoke of the flow of Lent, from Pre-Lent to the Vigil and about how the Church liturgically dies.    For the Novus Ordo, I reviewed necessary elements for making a good confession, including confession of all mortal sins in number and kind and therefore the need to make a daily examination of conscience.  I spoke also about a firm purpose of amendment.  Thereupon, a gave some suggestions for how to establish good habits (making an examination of conscience) and breaking bad habits (willingness to suffer and having a plan for doing something else).

And now, since this is Laetare Sunday, what vestments did you who belong to the Roman Rite see for Mass?  Let’s have a POLL.  Anyone can vote but you have to be registered and approved to use the combox.  For more on the liturgical color rosacea, HERE

For 'Laetare' Sunday 2017, at my Roman Rite Mass I saw...

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LENTCAzT 2017 26 – 4th Sunday of Lent – Laetare: The finger that taught the world

17_02_28_LENTCAzT_2017Today is the Fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare Sunday from the first word of the first chant of the Mass.  The Roman Station is Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, where the relics of the Passsion are preserved.

GO TO CONFESSION!

Some of the music used in some of these podcasts is from Matthew Curtis Motecta Trium Vocum.  US HERE UK HERE

These daily 5 minute podcasts for Lent are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season and to thank the benefactors who help me and this blog.

Posted in LENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

25 March – Feast of the Good Thief: St. Dismas

Titian_Christ_Good_Thief_Dismas_smToday is Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation, the instant of the Incarnation.

However, 25 March is also the Feast of the Good Thief, St. Dismas!

Luke 23:39-43:

And one of those robbers who were hanged, [Gesmas] blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other [Dismas] answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art condemned under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.

It makes the heart ache, to read these words addressed to that penitent sinner.  Would that they were address to each one of us.

But wait!  They can be.

Holy Church has the Lord’s own authority to forgive sins, to loose and to bind!

It is exercised by His bishops and priests!

GO TO CONFESSION!

Daniel Mitsui – Crucifixion

UPDATE: 

There is a legend that, during the Holy Family’s flight from Herod to Egypt, they ran into Dismas, who was exercising his trade of thievery.  Dismas was going to rob them, but seeing the Infant Jesus, he instead gave them shelter in his lair and let them go on their way without harming them.  Dismas would continue to be a nefarious ne’er-do-well.  His intellect still darkened by sin on Calvary kept him from recognizing Christ’s Mother.

 

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FOLLOW UP: Requests for GREGORIAN MASSES and priests who can say them

UPDATE 25 March:

I’ve had a few email requests, so I will repost in case there are priests who can accept a Gregorian Mass stipend.

Please take careful note of what I describe, below.

___ Original Published on: Dec 14, 2016 ___

mass sacrificeEvery once in a while someone will ask me if I can take a Gregorian Mass intention (i.e. 30 straight days for the same intention, usually for the soul of someone who has died).

I have then put on my yenta cap and posted here on the blog asking if there are priests out there who can take them. I then forward requests to those priests. I have nothing to do with the stipend, which the parties work out for themselves.

Today I received a note from a priest who says that he can take a Gregorian Mass stipend. I now have quite a few priests on my “Available” list.

If you, dear readers, want Gregorian Masses said, drop me a note (HERE) and I will forward your request to a priest on my list. I won’t have anything to do with setting the stipend. Period.

Petitioners put: GREGORIAN MASS REQUEST in the subject line. Put that in the subject line so that I will be able to find you in my email:  GREGORIAN MASS REQUEST  [UPDATE: It is amazing that people write and put something else in the subject line!  No… really… put just that… unless you want me to miss your email.]

Priests: Put AVAILABLE FOR GREGORIAN MASS in the subject line.  Just that.  Not anything else.  Just that. Drop me a note (HERE)

Folks, think about this.  

Are you looking for a truly spiritual Christmas gift to give?  How about having Gregorian Masses said for the deceased priests who served you?   Don’t necessarily pick the priests who were seriously holy guys.  How about picking priests who were troubled or who were liberal and, therefore, probably not exactly faithful?   Have Masses said for the priests who really need your spiritual care?

I know that I would appreciate your prayers after my own death.   I appreciate your prayers in this life too!   You can have Masses said for both the living and the dead.  Pray for your priests, dead and alive.   We need your prayers.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Four Last Things, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Mail from priests | Tagged | Leave a comment

Wherein Fr. Z muses about Lady Day, 25 March

"Cestello"Annunciation - Botticelli (1489-1490)

“Cestello”Annunciation – Botticelli (1489-1490)

This is one of my favorite Annunciations, though I quite like some modern versions as well. The angel – a mighty being by far exceeding our mere humanity – approaches Mary with great humility, placing himself below her. Note also the courtly, grace-filled gestures and postures, so typical of Botticelli and that era. The perspective, which points out of the window, lends a sense of endlessness, hence eternity. With this moment, all of history and creation are forever changed.

Sometimes in the history of our salvation the stars line up to portend amazing events.  These stellar alignments are sometimes literally stellar, as in the case of the Star of Bethlehem.  I, for one, buy the arguments for the Star made HERE (which also concerns what lined up with your planet’s yellow star on that first Good Friday).

Years line up, too.  Take the curious situation we face this year, when many portentous anniversaries are coincident.  It’s a bit unnerving.

But I digress.  This is about Lady Day, the Feast of the Annunciation.  This is the day when we celebrate the moment of the Incarnation.  Mary says her “Fiat” and the Eternal Word takes our humanity into an indestructible bond with His divinity.  From the instant of His conception, nothing would ever be the same again.  And so we celebrate 25 March – nine months before the Feast of the Nativity – with great attention.

This is the day there occurred that which drives us of the Roman Rite to our knees with great frequency.  In our traditional liturgical practice, we take a knee every time in the Last Gospel of Mass Father says: et verbum caro factum est… and the Word was made flesh.  We genuflect every time we sing in the Creed: et homo factus est… and he was made man. The Son, consubstantial with the Father from before creation, becomes consubstantial with His human Mother, with our humanity in the instant of the Incarnation after the Annunciatory Archangel’s announcement to Mary Annunciate that she would conceive… if she agreed.

One gets the impression that God gives us clues in the mighty whirling clock of the heavens.  After all, God knows how to do this stuff.  Had there been tiny variations in strong and weak nuclear forces in the fractions of a second after the beginning of material creation, if the Big Bang Theory is correct, and we wouldn’t be here.  God is precise. His precision in creation suggests that we should pay close attention to the celestial signs He puts in front of and above our faces.

It was the very moment when the “fullness of time” began.

How much did hang upon that momentary meeting?

The 25th of March has, through history, has been considered the most important day of the year. In ancient times it was thought that many events critical for our salvation took place on this same date.  Augustine posited that that Christ’s Incarnation, His Conception, as well as His Crucifixion, His Death, was on 25 March.  They also thought that God’s “Day of Rest”, the Eight Day after Creation was 25 March.  Moreover, the Hebrews crossing of the Red Sea (death and resurrection, the fall of man and his rising in baptism) and Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac (the two-fold prefiguring of Christ, priest and victim in one Person, ascending the hill to the altar/Cross) were on, yes, 25 March.

In other news, on this day, Frodo and Sam reached Mount Doom.  You know what happened next.

One gets the impression that God gives us clues in the mighty whirling clock of the heavens.  After all, God knows how to do this stuff.  Had there been tiny variations in strong and weak nuclear forces in the fractions of a second after the beginning of material creation, if the Big Bang Theory is correct, and we wouldn’t be here.  God is precise. His precision in creation suggests that we should pay close attention to the celestial signs – and calendrical coincidences – which He graciously puts in front of and above our faces.

 

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