Pope Benedict XVI

"Beauty... is not mere decoration, but rather an essential element of the liturgical action, since it is an attribute of God Himself and His revelation."
(Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 35)

22 February 2012

Ash Wednesday

Memento, homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris 

Remember man that thou art dust and unto dust thous shalt return
(Gen. 3:19).

The images below are taken from an engraving in the 1595 Pontificale Romanum Clementis VIII. pont. max. iussu restitutum atque editum

They form a series of three illustrating the public expulsion of penitents from the community of the church on Ash Wednesday. After listening to a sermon by the bishop on the expulsion of Adam from paradise, the exemplar for their own expulsion, the penitents wearing hair shirts, carrying candles, and weeping are ejected from the church.

"Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood, and perjury. Privation of these is true fasting" (St Basil the Great).

19 February 2012

Quinquagesima Sunday

Sung Mass at 5pm, St Patrick's Church, College Rd, Kilkenny.

Image source: Jerome Nadal SJ
"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, * and all things that are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished for He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, 
and shall be mocked and spitted on; and they shall scourge Him,
 and put Him to death, and the third day He shall rise again."
(Benedictus antiphon of Laudes taken from today's Gospel reading)

As Lent is fast approaching the Gospel of today (Luke 18:31-43) brings with it the announcement of Christ that he will undergo the Passion. The Apostles did not understand theses things, and since they dreamed of only triumphs and of occupying the first places in the kingdom, an allusion to the Passion upset and scandalized them. Are we not the same?

"To those who dream only of prosperity and earthly glory, the language of the Cross is incomprehensible. Those who have a purely material ideal of life find it very difficult to understand any spiritual significance, and especially that of suffering. St. Paul said that Christ Crucified was "unto the Jews indeed a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness" (1 Cor. 1:23)."

"To human wisdom, suffering is incomprehensible; it is disconcerting; it can lead one to murmur against Divine Providence and even to lose all trust in God. However, according to Divine Wisdom, suffering is a means of salvation and redemption. And it was necessary "for Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His Glory" (cf. Luke 24:26) So to for the Christian it is necessary to be refined in the crucible of sorrow in order to attain to sanctity, to eternal life." 

The Cross is Your standard Lord Jesus Christ; I should be ashamed to ask to be delivered from it!

(Extracts from: Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magadalen O.C.D. 'Divine Intimacy'.)

O Divine Love, 
conceal yourself, leap over our suffering, make us obedient!

Arouse and confuse us.

Shatter all our illusions and plans so that we lose our way and see neither path nor light
until we have found You.

(Jean-Pierre de Caussade, 'The Sacrament of the Present Moment' (L'Abandon a la Providence Divine) p.35.)

01 February 2012

Solemn Sung Mass - Candlemas

Solemn Sung Mass 
7pm, Thursday 2nd of February

St. James's Parish Church, Glenmore, County Kilkenny (nr. New Ross, Wexford.)

"Lumen ad revelationem gentium,
 et gloriam plebis tuae Israel"