vendredi, janvier 22, 2010

Pray the Holy Mass

Don’t pray at Holy Mass, but pray the Holy Mass. The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice, dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the Altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the Altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens on the Altar. When acting in this way, you have prayed Holy Mass. (Saint Pius X)
This can help you!

lundi, janvier 18, 2010

Robert E. Lee's birthday

The unveiling of the monument to General Lee
By Father Abram Joseph Ryan
(May 29, 1890)

At noon, or a little after, General Early, who presided, in the absence of General Joseph E. Johnston, called the assemblage to order and introduced the orator of the day, Major Daniel. He rose amid deafening cheers – a man strikingly handsome, with soul power in his face. He combines in face and manner the powers of Edwin Booth and John McCullough, the actors. He began his oration in a simple, yet striking way, alluding to the home of Lee before the war. His power of description is strong. It was only the preface to a glorious oration. He rose as he proceeded as a man who is climbing the slopes of a mountain to see the setting sun when he reaches its summit. And his hearers followed him. Half-way up the slope of his oration he seemed to rest, but you could see in his face and hear in the tremor of his voice and his graceful swaying gestures that he rested for a purpose. I think it was the glory-hour of his address. When he flung back his classic head and alluded to President Davis, with his heart in his voice, and in words that were royal, he stilled the crowd for a few minutes; but when he closed his glorious eulogy on him who suffered vicariously for every Confederate man, woman and child, and who is still disfranchised by the Federal Government, the stillness was broken by such grand thunders of applause that the orator was obliged to pause. It was the grand Southern Amen to words grand as they were, and grandly spoken of a man grander than any words. Some eyes were moist with tears then – tributes to our President, who suffered for us all. God bless him. The orator went on, rising higher and higher in his eloquence, and when he concluded, there was one man in that audience who said to himself: “The orator equals the occasion.”

Then General Early. His words were brief, but he commanded your humble servant to come forward and face a crowd already entranced with glorious eloquence. I obeyed: said a few words, recited the “Sword of Robert Lee” and stole away. Stonewall Jackson’s daughter, Julia, unveiled the statue. Crowds went in and came out, and the faces of most were sad. Clouds were gathering away over on the mountains. The sun went down, and Lexington will never see such a day again, because the world will never know another Robert Lee.

Equestrian statue of Robert Lee by French sculptor Jean Antonin Mercié.

The Sword of Robert Lee

Forth from its scabbard, pure and bright,
Flashed the sword of Lee!
Far in the front of the deadly fight,
High o'er the brave in the cause of Right
Its stainless sheen, like a beacon light,
Led us to Victory!

Out of its scabbard, where, full long,
It slumbered peacefully,
Roused from its rest by the battle's song,
Shielding the feeble, smiting the strong,
Guarding the right, avenging the wrong,
Gleamed the sword of Lee!

Forth from its scabbard, high in the air
Beneath Virginia's sky--
And they who saw it gleaming there,
And knew who bore it, knelt to swear
That where that sword led they would dare
To follow--and to die!

Out of its scabbard! Never hand
Waved sword from stain as free,
Nor purer sword led braver band,
Nor braver bled for a brighter land,
Nor brighter land had a cause so grand,
Nor cause a chief like Lee!

Forth from its scabbard! How we prayed
That sword might victor be;
And when our triumph was delayed,
And many a heart grew sore afraid,
We still hoped on while gleamed the blade
Of noble Robert Lee!

Forth from its scabbard all in vain
Bright flashed the sword of Lee;
'Tis shrouded now in its sheath again,
It sleeps the sleep of our noble slain,
Defeated, yet without stain,
Proudly and peacefully!

dimanche, janvier 17, 2010

The true Religion

By Blaise Pascal

"The sign of the true Religion must be that it obliges men to love God. That is quite right, yet while none enjoined it, ours has done so. It must also have understood about concupiscence and weaknesses; ours has done so. It must have provided the remedies; one is prayer. No other religion has asked God to make us love and follow Him."

"True Religion teaches us our duties, our weaknesses, pride and concupiscence, and the remedies, humility and mortification."

mercredi, janvier 06, 2010

Sermon for the Feast of the Epiphany

The proclamation of Moveable Feasts, or Noveritis, that we have just heard is a very ancient tradition of the Church that certainly comes from Alexandria, great city of culture and of knowledge. There were astronomers who were asked by the Patriarch to find out the date of Easter for each year. Remember that the date of Eastern is determined by the lunar calendar, which has been definitively established by the First Council of Nicaea on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the equinox of spring. Keep also in your mind that at this time, not everybody had a calendar, and that internet was not yet invented. What seems obvious for us was certainly not in the old days. So it was necessary to let know all the different churches of the dates of the major feasts of the liturgical year.

Once the Patriarch of Alexandria was notified of the date of Easter, he sent the news to the other Patriarchs of the Eastern Churches and to the Pope who could then notify the Patriarchs of the Western Churches. The Bishops made a custom of sending an epistola festivalis which was a pastoral letter announcing the dates of Easter and of all the major moveable feasts of the year. The whole Church could then celebrate the great mysteries of our Faith at the same time. This custom even became a canonical obligation in certain places. We have for example a canon from the Council of Orléans in 541 that commands the priests to send delegates to their bishops before the Feast of the Epiphany in order to enquire about the date of the liturgical Feasts and to inform their parishioners on the day of the Epiphany.

The choice of the day of the Epiphany for such an announcement is certainly due to some practical reason. The Epiphany of Our Lord is a major Feast and was attended by all the faithful; and it takes place at the beginning of the year. But as often, some spiritual motives are joined to the practical ones. The date of Easter was told by the astronomers who study the movement of the stars. It is precisely a star that led the Wise Men to the Baby Jesus.

Dom Guéranger also says that this custom shows both the mysterious connection which unites the great Solemnities of the year one with another, and the importance the Faithful ought to attach to the celebration of that which is the greatest of all, and the centre of all Religion. After having honored the King of the universe on the Epiphany, we shall have to celebrate him, on the day which is now announced to us, as the conjuror of death.

The Feast of the Epiphany is the feast of the manifestations of the Divinity of Our Lord, the Sun of Justice that shines now into the world. The Wise Men, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost came to adore the Baby Jesus; at the time of His Baptism, the Father Himself gave testimony of the Divinity of His Son; and in Cana of Galilee the Incarnate Word performed His first public miracle. As the mystery of the Epiphany brings upon us three magnificent rays of the Sun of Justice (Dom Guéranger), the celebration of this mystery brings a light on the whole liturgical calendar. The Epiphany is indeed great Feast, and the joy caused us by the Birth of our Jesus must be renewed on it, for, as though it were a second Christmas Day. The Epiphany shares with the Feasts of Christmas, Easter, Ascension, and Pentecost, the honor of being called, in the Canon of the Mass, a Day most holy. It is also one of the cardinal Feasts, that is, one of those on which the arrangement of the Christian Year is based; for, as we have Sundays after Easter, and Sundays after Pentecost, so also we count six Sundays after the Epiphany.

So dear brethren, it is with a great solemnity and religious feeling that we ought to spend this holy day. Let us remember with joy and gratitude the gift of the Incarnation. May the light of Christ shine in our hearts and in our lives! Let us keep it throughout the year so that 2010 can really be a year of grace, marked by the celebration of the mysteries of Our Savior Jesus Christ. Let us go in spirit to the manger of Bethlehem with the Wise Men and adore our Redeemer. And may our Blessed Mother be always with us, so that we can recognize the signs of her Divine Son.

mardi, janvier 05, 2010

Traditional Catholic Music at Batesville

With for the First time since the foundation of Batesville (around 1810)
A Corsican Tantum Ergo
(I mean, THE Corsican Tantum Ergo, now famous in Cherokee Village)

Humm... I cannot have a better picture of the announcement, so you can click below to read it in PDF file... Sorry for my lack of computeur mastery !