Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Salve Regina

I'm sorry I've been MIA.  Be back soon!  In the meantime, please enjoy this beautiful recording of the Salve Regina by the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia.
Post by Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

St. Michael in Time of Peace - Gilbert K. Chesterton

On this beautiful feast of St. Michael, I thought I'd share this poem by G. K. Chesterton.

This poem was first published in The Legion Book (London 1929), and again in G. K.'s Weekly (September 24, 1936). The poem also appeared in Chesterton Review, May 1990 (Vol 16 No 2).

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword.

When the world cracked because of a sneer in heaven,
Leaving out for all time a scar upon the sky,
Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:
Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.

Down through the universe the vast night falling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
Far down the universe the deep calms calling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)
Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness
In the huge holy sempiternal silence
In the beginning was the Word.

When from the deeps of dying God astounded
Angels and devils who do all but die
Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions
Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
God beyond God and greater than His Name.

Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)
Round us and under us the thronged world sleeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
Edge upon the honour and the blade unrusting
Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring
Ready as when it rang upon the targe.

He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
Shall he be softened for the softening of the cities
Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?
They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
Break man with famine, fetter them with gold,
Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling
For He was more than murdered. He was sold.

Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mustering,
Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot
Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
Only establish when the world is broken
What is unbroken is the word.

Saint Michael the Archangel Statue

Text copied from the iPieta app on my iPod.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Veni Creator Spiritus

English Translation: 
Creator-Spirit, all-Divine,
Come, visit every soul of Thine,
And fill with Thy celestial flame
The hearts which Thou Thyself didst frame.

O gift of God, Thine is the sweet
Consoling name of Paraclete—
And spring of life and fire and love
And unction flowing from above.

The mystic sevenfold gifts are Thine,
Finger of God’s right hand divine;
The Father’s promise sent to teach
The tongue a rich and heavenly speech.

Kindle with fire brought from above
Each sense, and fill our hearts with love;
And grant our flesh, so weak and frail,
The strength of Thine which cannot fail.

Drive far away our deadly foe,
And grant us Thy true peace to know;
So we, led by Thy guidance still,
May safely pass through every ill.

To us, through Thee, the grace be shown
To know the Father and the Son;
And Spirit of Them both, may we
Forever rest our faith in Thee.

To Sire and Son be praises meet,
And to the Holy Paraclete;
And may Christ send us from above
That Holy Spirit’s gift of love.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Reluctant Saint

Today is the feast day of St. Joseph of Cupertino!  So, in honor of this fine and fascinating saint, I shall add my first movie review to Catholic Inklings.

Reluctant Saint
This is one of those movies that I remember from my childhood.  One of my dad's favorites, we watched in a lot, as I recall.  And it really is a great Catholic family movie.

Maximilian Schell stars as a humorously clumsy Giuseppe, a young man in 17th century Italy who you know means well but is really quite hopeless in all matters of practical life.  His mother desperately blackmails, er, persuades her brother to get him into the monastery.  There, Joseph is quite happy and comfortable working in the stables, but God has other plans for him. 

One of the things that I think this movie illustrates beautifully is that it is not necessarily the smartest and the most learned who are closest to God, rather it is the ones who are most childlike and trusting.  Giuseppe's love for God and for Mary is so simple and unassuming, and God chose to bless him with miracles and levitations, not the smarter, wiser monks.

St. Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of Aviators, Flying, and Studying.

I highly recommend this movie for all ages.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stabat Mater

Today is the feast of the Seven Dolors of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  You can find out more about this beautiful devotion here.   The Mass for this feast was not celebrated, this also being a Sunday, but had it been, the sequence would have been this beautiful hymn:  

English Translation:

The mother stood sorrowing

by the cross, weeping
while her Son hung there;

Whose soul, lamenting,
sorrowing and grieving,
has been pierced by the sword.

O how sad and afflicted
was that blessed
Mother of her only-begotten Son.

Who wept and grieved
and trembled to behold
the torment of her glorious child.

What man would not weep
if he saw the Mother of Christ
in such torment?

Who could not be sorrowful
to behold the pious mother
grieving with her Son?

For the sins of His people
she saw Jesus in torment
and subjected to the whip.

She saw her sweet Son
dying, forsaken,
as He gave up the spirit.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What We’re Reading Wednesday....

    Yay!  I get to do a WWRW! What We're Reading Wednesday, that is. When I first saw this link up, I thought it was just such a great idea, and “I should do that!”   Then I didn’t and the next week  rolled around, and the next, and, well, you get the idea.  You are also getting an idea of how I write.  This is a new blog!  And I get to do a WWRW!  Onward and upward!

  First book: Campaigners for Christ Handbook, by David Goldstein.  I found this lovely gem at an antique store, I’m sure.  Or maybe it was a flea market?  I don’t even remember anymore.  But it fit my criteria for a “take home” book - published before 1955, and with an Imprimatur, no less!  The first printing was in 1931, the Nihil Obstat was by Patrick J. Waters, Ph. D., and the Imprimatur by William Cardinal O’Connell, Archbishop of Boston.  

According to the forward:  
“This book is a handy compilation of doctrinal, historical, and statistical data and arguments to be used by Campaigners for Christ in their endeavor to reconcile their fellow-Americans of differing beliefs to the cause of unity in Christ and His Church.  In it will be found the basic teachings of Catholicity as well as answers to inquiries and objections with which the campaigners are likely to be confronted while addressing open-air meetings in the interest of things Catholic.” 
There is no one book that you can read to fully understand the faith, but there are many, many books that give a good general overview.  I think this book is one of them.  Each chapter covers a different topic, presents the Catholic’s belief on the subject, then briefly explains that belief.  This book was written to be used by Catholic lay street preachers, essentially, and the chapters were to give them some extra tools in their work with those who did not believe.  I’m only on Chapter 4 right now.  What really stood out to me this week while reading the chapter on Religion, were the quotes from George Washington’s Farewell Address.  To quote here a part, Washington said:
Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
 Wise words.

  Also this week, a bit of Chesterton.  I hope I always have Chesterton on my WWRW.  He is quite possibly my favorite author.  I’m working on reading the last three chapters of Orthodoxy in preparation for our Chesterton Meeting this Friday.  I should say I am listening to the last three chapters.  I downloaded it from LibriVox, so I can listen while doing dishes, or crocheting, or driving.  I do not recommend Orthodoxy as a first jump into G. K. Chesterton’s work.  It is very, very Chesterton.  He has a way of telling things that brings you around in many circles and gets you very lost, then drops you off at your destination in such a way that you realize you now know exactly where you are - most of the time.  It is absolutely delightful, like a roller-coaster.  And like roller-coasters, it is best to start on the small, slow ones.  Orthodoxy is more the upside-down-and-vertical-drop kind.  I love it.
P.S. I will be getting the blog in order a bit at a time here.  Don't worry, I'm not always this crazy.  I don't think….

Monday, September 9, 2013

Reflections in Adoration…. What does it mean to be Catholic?

What does it mean to be “Catholic”?  It is more than simply baptism, or Mass.  It is more than receiving Christ in the Eucharist.  But what is it?  Why is it?
If you ask me why I am Catholic, my short answer would be “I am Catholic because I believe in absolute Truth, and I believe that the Catholic Church holds, teaches, and preserves that Truth.”  But even that cannot make me a “good” Catholic.  I must act on that conviction.  I must not only know the Truth, I must also live according to that Truth.  A person may know that a certain antidote will save their life, but if they don’t take that antidote, they will still die, regardless of their knowledge.
Enter the saints.  They took the Truth and acted upon it.  G. K. Chesterton referred to the saints as antidotes in his biography of St. Thomas Aquinas. The saints tend to provide what is lacking in their time (and the times they influence) by exaggeration. We are all called to be saints, it is true.  In fact, all who are in the state of grace are saints, as the word saint simple means “holy.” Yet very few are called to be antidotes, I think.  We are to take the virtues of the great saints and apply them to our daily, much varied, lives.  It would do us great good if we would study the Faith, as did St. Thomas Aquinas – but few are called to devote our entire lives to that study.  It would be good for us to do with less, as did St. Frances of Assisi, but few are called to leave everything to be God’s Troubadour.
Read. Read, read, read.  If you don’t have time to read, find audiobooks and listen.  Did you know you could get The Confessions of Saint Augustine on LibriVox?  There are many, many saints, displaying the virtues in so many ways. The Church recognizes the saints not for THEIR benefit, but for OUR benefit.  The are examples for us.  And they are friends.