Sunday, March 31, 2019

St. Augustine: John 5:1-16: Blind man healed at the Sheep Gate

Now let us see what He intended to signify in the case of that one whom He Himself, keeping the mystery of unity, as I said before, deigned to heal out of so many sick folk. He found in the number of this man’s years the number, so to speak, of infirmity: “He was thirty and eight years in infirmity.” How this number refers more to weakness than to health must be somewhat more carefully expounded. I wish you to be attentive; the Lord will aid us, so that I may fitly speak, and that you may sufficiently hear. The number forty is commended to our attention as one consecrated by a kind of perfection. This, I suppose, is well known to you, beloved. The Holy Scriptures very often testify to the fact. Fasting was consecrated by this number, as you are well aware. For Moses fasted forty days, and Elias as many; and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ did Himself fulfill this number of fasting. By Moses is signified the law; by Elias, the prophets; by the Lord, the gospel. It was for this reason that these three appeared on that mountain, where He showed Himself to His disciples in the brightness of His countenance and vesture. For He appeared in the middle, between Moses and Elias, as the gospel had witness from the law and the prophets.

Whether, therefore, in the law, or in the prophets, or in the gospel, the number forty is commended to our attention in the case of fasting. Now fasting, in its large and general sense, is to abstain from the iniquities and unlawful pleasures of the world, which is perfect fasting: “That, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we may live temperately, and righteously, and godly in this present world.” What reward does the apostle join to this fast? He goes on to say: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of the blessed God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” In this world, then, we celebrate, as it were, the forty days’ abstinence, when we live aright, and abstain from iniquities and from unlawful pleasures. But because this abstinence shall not be without reward, we look for “that blessed hope, and the revelation of the glory of the great God, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ.” In that hope, when the reality of the hope shall have come to pass, we shall receive our wages, a penny (denarius). For the same is the wages given to the workers laboring in the vineyard, as I presume you remember; for we are not to repeat everything, as if to persons wholly ignorant and inexperienced. A denarius, then, which takes its name from the number ten, is given, and this joined with the forty makes up fifty; whence it is that before Easter we keep the Quadragesima with labor, but after Easter we keep the Quinquagesima with joy, as having received our wages. Now to this, as if to the wholesome labor of a good work, which belongs to the number forty, there is added the denarius of rest and happiness, that it may be made the number fifty.

Remember what I laid down: I want to explain the number thirty-eight of the years of that impotent man, why that number thirty-eight is one of weakness rather than of health. Now, as I was saying, love fulfills the law. The number forty belongs to the perfecting of the law in all works; but in love two precepts are committed to our keeping. Keep before your eyes, I beseech you, and fix in your memory, what I say; be ye not despisers of the word, that your soul may not become a trodden path, where the seed cast cannot sprout, “and the fowls of the air will come and gather it up.” Apprehend it, and lay it up in your hearts. The precepts of love, given to us by the Lord, are two: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind;” and, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” With good reason did the widow cast “two mites,” all her substance, into the offerings of God: with good reason did the host take “two” pieces of money, for the poor man that was wounded by the robbers, for his making whole: with good reason did Jesus spent two days with the Samaritans, to establish them in love. Thus, whilst a certain good thing is generally signified by this number two, most especially is love in its twofold character set forth to us thereby. If, therefore, the number forty possesses the perfecting of the law, and the law is fulfilled only in the twin precepts of love, why dost thou wonder that he was weak and sick, who was short of forty by two?

Preces: Lent IV: Monday and Tuesday

Monday: Lauds
Benedicámus Deo Patri, qui nobis largítur ut hoc quadragesimáli die sacrifícium laudis ei offerámus. Eum deprecémur, invocántes: Cæléstibus, Dómine, nos ínstrue disciplínis.
Omnípotens et miséricors Deus, concéde nobis spíritum oratiónis et pæniténtiæ,
—ut caritáte tui et hóminum ardeámus.
Da nos tibi cooperári, ut ómnia instauréntur in Christo,
—atque iustítia et pax in terris abúndent.
Intimam totíus creatúræ natúram et prétium áperi nobis,
—ut, te celebrántes, eam in cármine laudis nobis consociémus.
Ignósce nobis, qui Christi tui præséntiam in paupéribus, míseris et moléstis ignorávimus,
—nec vériti sumus Fílium tuum in his frátribus nostris.

Let us bless God the Father, who grants us on this Lenten day to offer to a him a sacrifice of praise.
Invoking him let us pray: Instruct us in heavenly disciplines.
Almighty God, give us a spirit of prayer and repentance, that we may be ardent in love of you and men.
Grant us to cooperate in restoring all things in Christ, and that justice and peace may abound on earth
Reveal to us the inner nature of all creation and its worth, that we, celebrating you, may share with it
In a hymn of praise.
Forgive us, who have not recognized Christ present in the poor, the afflicted, and those in danger, and we who have not turned to your Son in these our brothers.

Magnificétur Deus Pater, qui, ex ore Fílii sui, simul orántibus quodcúmque petiíssent se datúrum promísit. Qua promissióne freti eum implorémus: Propitius esto, Dómine, pópulo tuo.
Dómine, qui legem, in monte Sínai Móysi datam, per Christum tuum perfecísti,
—da ut omnes eam in córdibus inscríptam agnóscant et fœderis instar custódiant.
Sollicitúdinem de frátribus sibi commíssis, præpósitis tríbue,
—et subditórum corda ad illos induc adiuvándos.
Mentem et cor missionariórum tua virtúte corróbora,
—et plúrimos óperis sócios ubíque éxcita illis.
Grátiam tuam in púeris da cum annis aduléscere,
—et in iuvénibus amórem tuum cum probitáte morum profícere.
Meménto ómnium fratrum nostrórum, qui in te obdormiérunt,
—atque ætérnæ vitæ eos redde consórtes.

May God the Father be magnified, who has promised through the mouth of his Son that to those who pray he will grant whatever they seek.  Trusting in this promise we implore him: Be gracious, O Lord, to your people.
O Lord, who perfected in Christ the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai, grant that all may know this law written on their hearts and keep it in accordance with the covenant.
Give to those in authority solicitude for the brothers entrusted to them, and to lead the hearts of those under them to bring aid to them.
Strengthen the minds and hearts of missionaries with your strength and stir up many companions to help everywhere.
Give your grace to children as they grow in years, and that your love might grow in the young along with uprightness of life.
Remember all our brothers who sleep in you, and make them to share in life eternal.

Tuesday Lauds
Grátias Deo Patri, qui Unigénitum suum, Verbum carnem factum, nobis dedit, ut sit noster cibus et vita. Eum deprecémur: Verbum Christi hábitet abundánter in nobis.
Frequentióre verbi tui auditióne nos dúcere tempus hoc quadragesimále concéde,
—ut Christum, Pascha nostrum, in magna sollemnitáte religiósius honorémus.
Spíritus Sanctus tuus nos dóceat,
—ut ad verum et bonum sequéndum dúbios et errántes hortémur.
Præsta nobis, ut Christi tui áltius percipiámus mystérium,
—et vita nostra id clárius exprimámus.
Purífica et rénova Ecclésiam tuam his diébus salútis,
—ut magis ac magis testimónium tibi éadem reddat.

Thanks to God the Father, who gave to us his Only-begotten Son, the Word made flesh, that he might be our food and life. Let us entreat Him: May the Word of Christ dwell in us abundantly.
Grant us that we spend this time of Lent in more frequently hearing your Word, * that, on the great solemnity of Easter, we may honor Christ, our Passover with greater devotion.
May Your Holy Spirit teach us, * to exhort the doubting and erring to follow the true and good.
Grant us to understand more deeply the mystery of your Christ, * and to express it more clearly in our life.
Purify and renew your Church in these days of salvation, that more and more she may give testimony to you.

Dóminum Iesum, qui exaltátus in cruce ómnia ad se traxit, magnificémus et mente pia exorémus: Trahe ad te univérsa, Dómine.
Dómine, lux, quæ e mystério crucis tuæ emánat, áttrahat omnes,
—ut te viam, veritátem et vitam agnóscant.
Da cunctis te sitiéntibus aquam vivam,
—ne sítiant in ætérnum.
Doctrinárum et ártium cultóres illúmina,
—ut hómines regno tuo effíciant aptióres.
Move omnes, qui ob peccáta et scándala a te discessérunt,
—ut rédeant ad te et in dilectióne tua permáneant.
Omnes defúnctos nostros in cæléstes sedes admítte,
—ut cum beáta María Vírgine sanctísque ómnibus collæténtur.

Let us magnify and with a devoted mind ask the Lord Jesus, who, lifted up on the cross, drew all things to himself: Draw all things to yourself, O Lord.
O Lord, may the light, which shines forth from the mystery of your cross, draw all, * that they may know you as the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Give yourself to all who thirst for living water, * that they not they thirst forever.
Enlighten those who cultivate knowledge and the arts, * that men may be made more fit for your kingdom.
Arouse all, who because of sins and scandals have abandoned you, * to return to you and to abide in your love.
Admit all our departed into your heavenly dwelling, * that they may rejoice together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the saints.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Homily of St. John Chrysostom: John 4:43-54: On imperfect faith

There was a nobleman whose son was lying sick at Capernaum. Some people think that this is the same man as that mentioned by S. Matthew, but we can see he is a different one, not only by his rank, but also by his faith. For one, when Christ was willing to come, begged him to stay; while the other was for bringing him to his house when he had made no such offer. One said "I am not worthy to receive thee under my while the other pressed him: "Lord, come down before that my son die". And what was Christ's answer? " You must see signs and miracles happen or you will not believe. "

Indeed, it was at least a partial faith that he had come and asked, and the evangelist admits this later when he reports Jesus as saying "Go back home, thy son is to live, and the man began his journey home putting his trust in the words Jesus had spoken to him. What, then does he mean by this? The man believed, but his faith was not whole and entire. And we can see this from the way he asked at what hour the fever left the boy. For he wanted to know whether the fever had gone of its own accord or at the command of Jesus. But when he learned that it was the day before at the seventh hour, he and all his household found faith. Do you see how he found faith on the word of his servants, not of Christ? And in saying this the evangelist censures the state of mind he was in when he came. For it was this that brought him to faith, and before the sign his trust was not very great. There is nothing very marvelous in his coming and asking; for all fathers, moved by their great love not only consult reputable doctors but also, in their desire to leave no avenue unexplored, go to those in whom they put no real trust.

I would have you consider how great a weakness this man's very words reveal. For he ought, at least after the rebuke of his motives if not before, have had a high opinion of Christ, yet hear how he still keeps firmly on the ground: "Come down" he says, "before my boy dies." As though Jesus were not able to raise up the dead or did not know in what condition the boy lay.

Therefore, he rebuked him and appealed to his conscience, thus showing that the signs were performed principally for the good of the soul. For in this he cured the sick soul of the father, no less than the son, thus urging us to attend not to the signs, but to the teaching. The signs are not for the faithful, but for those who lack faith and are dull witted. For when he says " You must see signs and wonders happen or you will not believe, " he means "You do not yet possess proper faith, but still think of me as a prophet." For he revealed himself and showed that true faith in him was independent of signs when he said to Philip: Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? Let my actions convince you where I cannot?

Let us not expect miracles, or seek for pledges of the divine power. For I now see many people here who showed much more piety and devotion when their son or their wife was ill to get some consolation from it. But we ought to continue to give thanks and praise even if we do not get what we ask for. For this is what the rightminded servants and strong lovers of God do: flying to him not only in easy times but also in trouble and distress, for these also come from the loving kindness of God. It is where the Lord loves that he bestows correction; there is no recognition of any child of his without chastisement. And when a man serves him only when things are easy, he does not show very great signs of love nor does he have a very real love for Christ.

St. Cyril of Alexandria: The Prodigal Son

What then is the object of the parable? Let us examine the occasion which led to it; for so we shall learn the truth. The blessed Luke therefore had himself said a little before of Christ the Saviour of us all, "And all the publicans and sinners drew near unto Him to hear Him. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured saying, This man receives sinners and eats " with them." As therefore the Pharisees and Scribes made this outcry at His gentleness and love to man, and wickedly and impiously blamed Him for receiving and teaching men whose lives were impure, Christ very necessarily set before them the present parable, to show them clearly this very thing, that the God of all requires even him who is thoroughly steadfast, and firm, and who knows how to live holily, and has attained to the highest praise for sobriety of conduct, to be earnest in following His will, so that when any are called unto repentance, even if they be men highly blameable, he must rejoice rather, and not give way to an unloving vexation on their account.

For we also sometimes experience something of this sort. For some there are who live a perfectly honourable and consistent life, practising every kind of virtuous action, and abstaining from everything disapproved by the law of God, and crowning themselves with perfect praises in the sight of God and of men: while another is perhaps weak and trodden down, and humbled unto every kind of wickedness, guilty of base deeds, loving impurity, given to covetousness, and stained with all evil. And yet such a one often in old age turns unto God, and asks the forgiveness of his former offences: he prays for mercy, and putting away from him his readiness to fall into sin, sets his affection on virtuous deeds. Or even perhaps when about to close his mortal life, he is admitted to divine baptism, and puts away his offences, God being merciful unto him. And perhaps sometimes persons are indignant at this, and even say, 'This man, who has been guilty of such and such actions, and has spoken such and such words, has not paid unto the judge the retribution of his conduct, but has been counted worthy of a grace thus noble and admirable: he has been inscribed among the sons of God, and honoured with the glory of the saints.' Such complaints men sometimes give utterance too from an empty narrowness of mind, not conforming to the purpose of the universal Father. For He greatly rejoices when He sees those who were lost obtaining salvation, and raises them up again to that which they were in the beginning, giving them the dress of freedom, and adorning them with the chief robe, and putting a ring upon their hand, even the orderly behaviour which is pleasing to God and suitable to the free.

It is our duty, therefore, to conform ourselves to that which God wills: for He heals those who are sick; He raises those who are fallen; He gives a helping hand to those who have stumbled; He brings back him who has wandered; He forms anew unto a praiseworthy and blameless life those who were wallowing in the mire of sin; He seeks those who were lost; He raises as from the dead those who had suffered the spiritual death. Let us also rejoice: let us, in company with the holy angels, praise Him as being good, and loving unto men; as gentle, and not remembering evil. For if such is our state of mind, Christ will receive us, by Whom and with Whom, to God the Father be praise and dominion with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever, Amen.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Homily by S. Augustine, Bishop: Sermon 115 on the Words of the Lord. Ch. II

THE Pharisee might at least have said, I am not as many men are. What does he mean by other men, except everyone save himself? I, says he, am righteous, the others are sinners. I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers. And lo, he makes the occasion of the publican standing there into a subject for even greater pride, adding, Or even this publican, I, says he, am singular. He is like the rest. I am not, says he, such a man as he is, by reason of my righteous deeds, by means of which I am not unrighteous.

I FAST twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. If you look into his words to find what he is asking of God, you will find nothing. He went up to pray, but instead he praised himself; moreover, he was scornful of the one who was praying.

NOW the publican stood afar off, and yet he was near to God. His conscience kept him away, but his piety brought him near. Now the publican stood afar off, and yet the Lord was nigh at hand. For though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: as for the proud, (for such men as the Pharisee,) he beholds them afar off. Though God beholds them, he does not pardon them.

HEAR yet more of publican’s lowliness. more of the It was a comparatively small thing that he stood afar off, and would not lift up his eyes to heaven: that he might be seen, not that he might see; he did not dare to look up: his conscience weighed him down, hope lifted him up. But hear this further thing. He smote upon his breast. He punished himself.  Therefore, the Lord forgave him as he confessed. He smote upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner. Lo, he is the one who prays. Is it surprising that the Lord pardons him, when he acknowledges his fault?

Homily by S. Ambrose, Bishop, Bk. 7 on Luke Ch. 16: The Prodigal Son

NOTICE that the divine patrimony is given to those that ask it. Neither think the father to blame in giving it to his younger son. For there is no weakness of age in the kingdom of God, nor does faith decline with years. And he who asked considered himself worthy to receive. Would that he had never gone away from his father, then had he never known the drawback of his age. Then leaving his father's house, he took his journey into a far country, and began to be in want. It is well said that he wasted his patrimony, he who withdrew from the Church.

HE took his journey into a far country. How much further can one go, than from oneself: to be separated, not by territories, but by behavior: to be cut off, not by frontiers, but by desires; and, as though consumed with the heat of riotous living, to be severed from the company of the Saints? Truly he who separates himself from Christ is an exile from his fatherland, for he is a citizen of the world. But we are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. For we who were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. Let us not be angry with those who are returning from a far country; for we too have been in a far country, as Isaiah teaches, as it is written, They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Therefore, the far country is the shadow of death.

BUT as for us, unto whom Christ is the Lord and breath of life, we live under the shadow of Christ. Therefore, does the Church say, I sat down under his shadow with great delight. Yet that man wasted all his natural gifts by his riotous living. But thou that hast received the image of God, who hast been given his likeness, waste it not in living like an animal. Thou art God's handiwork: Say not to a stock: Thou art my father, lest thou become like a stock, as it is written, They that make them are like unto them.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Collect: Lent IV

The collect for Lent IV is a mishmash of sources and sources misapplied. See Lauren Pristas.

Deus, qui per Verbum tuum humáni géneris reconciliatiónem mirabíliter operáris, præsta, quæsumus, ut pópulus christiánus prompta devotióne et álacri fide ad ventúra sollémnia váleat festináre.

Deus, qui per Verbum tuum humáni géneris reconciliatiónem mirabíliter operáris, præsta, quæsumus,
From Gelasianum Vetus 178 Wednesday after Lent II

ut pópulus christiánus . . . prompta devotióne et álacri fide
From St Leo the Great, Sermon Lent II

Interestingly enough what is not picked up in the sources is the necessity of fasting. Perhaps this is a misguided attempt to give a nod to Laetare  Sunday.

O God, who through your Word do wondrously work the reconciliation of the human race, grant, we beseech you, that the Christian people with prompt devotion and ready faith may be able to hasten to the coming solemnity.

Preces: Lent: Sunday: IV

Vespers I

Magnificémus Deum, cui cura est de ómnibus. Eum invocémus, dicéntes: Da, Dómine, salútem redémptis.
Deus, dator múnerum et fons veritátis, reple donis tuis collégium Episcopórum,
—et fidéles, iis concréditos, serva in Apostolórum doctrína.
Caritátem tuam infúnde ómnibus, qui de uno pane vitæ commúnicant,
—quo arctióre unitáte fruántur in córpore Fílii tui.
Véterem hóminem cum áctibus suis nos exspoliáre concéde,
—et Christum Fílium tuum novum indúere hóminem.
Concéde, ut omnes per pæniténtiam peccatórum suórum véniam obtíneant,
—et supérnæ fiant Christi tui satisfactiónis partícipes.
Fac ut in pace tua defúncti te sine fine laudent in cælo,
—ubi et nos te in ævum celebratúros sperámus.

Let us magnify God, who cares for all things. Let us call upon him, saying: Grant salvation to the redeemed.
O God, the giver of gifts and the source of truth, fill the College of bishops with your gifts, and preserve
those entrusted with these things in the Apostolic teaching.
Pour out your charity on all, who partake of the one bread of life, by which they may enjoy a closer unity in the body of Christ.
Grant us to reject the old man and his deeds, and to put on the new man, Christ, your son.
Grant that all through repentance may attain pardon of their sins, and share in the heavenly satisfaction of your Christ.
Grant that those who have died in your peace may praise you without end in heaven, where we also hope to celebrate you forever.


Deum glorificémus, cuius bonitátis infinítus est thesáurus, et per Iesum Christum, qui est semper vivens ad interpellándum pro nobis, eum deprecémur dicéntes: Accénde in nobis ignem tui amóris.
Deus misericórdiæ, fac ut hódie abundémus in opéribus pietátis,
—atque omnes nostram experiántur humanitátem.
Qui in dilúvio Noe per arcam salvásti,
—salva catechúmenos in aqua baptísmatis.
Præsta nos non solo pane satiári,
—sed omni verbo, quod procédit de ore tuo.
Fac ut omnes dissensiónes componámus,
—ut pace et caritáte, te donánte, gaudeámus.

Let us glorify God, to whom belongs an infinite treasury of goodness, and through Jesus Christ, who ever lives to make intercession for us, let us ray to him saying: Enkindle in us the fire of your love.
God of mercy, grant us today to abound in works of mercy, and that all may experience our humanity.
You who saved Noah through the ark, save the catechumens in the water of baptism.
Grant us not to be filled by bread alone, but by every word, which proceeds from your mouth.
Grant that we calm all dissensions, that by your gift, we may rejoice in peace and charity.

Vespers II

Grátias Christo, cápiti et magístro nostro, semper agámus, qui venit ministráre et ómnibus benefácere. Ideo humíliter fidentérque ab eo petámus: Vísita, Dómine, famíliam tuam.
Adésto, Dómine, epíscopis et presbýteris Ecclésiæ tuæ, qui munus tuum cápitis et pastóris partícipant,
—ut per te ad Patrem omnes addúcant.
Angelus tuus iter agéntes comitétur,
—ut omnes ánimæ corporísque insídias devítent.
Doce nos homínibus ministráre,
—ut te imitémur, qui venísti ministráre, non ministrári.
Fac ut in omni humána communitáte frater adiuvétur a fratre,
—ut sint, te astánte, quasi cívitas firma.
Miséricors esto univérsis defúnctis,
—eósque in lumen vultus tui admítte.

Let us always give thanks to Christ, our head and teacher, who came to serve and bless all. Therefore, let us humbly and faithfully ask of him: Visit your family, O Lord.
Draw near to the bishops and priests of your Church, who share in your office of head and shepherd,
That through you they may lead all to the Father.
May your Angel accompany those who are traveling, that they may avoid all the snares of body and soul.
Teach us to minister to men, that we might imitate you, who came to minister, not to be ministered to.
Grant that in every human community, brother may be helped by brother, that before you they may be like a strong city.
Be merciful to all the departed, admit them into the light of our countenance.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Preces: Lent III: Saturday: Lauds

Christum Dóminum glorificémus, qui, ut nova creatúra hómines fíerent, lavácrum regeneratiónis instítuit eísque córporis et verbi sui mensam appósuit. Eum deprecémur, dicéntes: Rénova nos, Dómine, grátia tua.
Iesu, mitis et húmilis corde, índue nos víscera misericórdiæ, benignitátem et humilitátem concéde,
—ac patiéntiam cum ómnibus fac nos sectári.
Doce nos vere próximos esse míseris atque afflíctis,
—ut te bonum Samaritánum imitémur.
Beáta Virgo, mater tua, intercédat pro sacris virgínibus,
—ut consecratiónem, qua tibi sunt devótæ, in Ecclésia impénsius colant.
Donum tuæ misericórdiæ nobis largíre,
—ac peccáta et pœnas nobis dimítte.

Let us glorify Christ the Lord, who in order to make men a new creation, instituted the washing of regeneration, and appointed to them the table of his Body and Word. Let us pray to him, saying: Renew us, O Lord, by your grace.
Jesus, meek and lowly of heart, endue us with the tenderness of mercy, grant us kindness and humility,
and make us strive to be patient with all.
Teach us truly to be near to the suffering and afflicted, that we may imitate you, the Good Samaritan.
May the blessed Virgin, your Mother, intercede for the holy virgins, that in the Church they may cultivate more deeply the consecration through which they are devoted to you.
Grant to us the gift of your mercy and forgive our sins and punishments.

St. Ambrose: LETTER LXVI.

HERE is a mystical exposition of Aaron's taking the earrings of the women to make the golden calf, and of other details connected with it.

2. While Moses was receiving the Law on Mount Sinai the people were with Aaron the Priest. Prone as they were to transgress, we do not find that they committed sacrilege so long as the Law was being delivered, but when the Divine Voice ceased, sin overtook them, so that they required gods to be made them. Aaron, thus constrained, asked for their rings and the women's earrings, which, when given to him, he cast into the fire, and the head of a calf was molten of them.

3.  We can neither excuse this great priest, nor dare we condemn him. It was not however unadvisedly that he deprived the Jews of their rings and earrings; for they who designed sacrilege could have neither the seal of faith nor ornaments of their ears. And he said well, Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives; not as leaving the men their earrings, but in order to shew that they had them not. Fitly also are the earrings taken from the women, that Eve may not again hear the voice of the serpent.

4.  Because they had listened to sacrilegious counsel, an image of sacrilege was formed by the melting of their earrings; for he who hears amiss is wont to perpetrate sacrilege. Why the head of a calf came forth, the sequel shews, for it was signified thereby, either that in time to come Jeroboam would introduce this kind of sacrilege, and that the people of the Hebrews should worship golden calves; or else that all unbelief bears the semblance of brutal and savage folly.

5.  Moses, incensed by this unworthy act, broke the tables, and ground the head of the calf to powder, that he might abolish all traces of their impiety. The first Tables were broken in order to the restoration of the second, whereby, through the preaching of the Gospel, unbelief was broken to pieces, and done away. And thus Moses brought down this Egyptian pride, and repressed this self-exalting arrogance, by the authority of the eternal Law. Wherefore David also says, The Lord shall break the cedars of Libanus, and shall reduce them to pieces, as a calf of Libanus.

6. The people drank up all their perfidy and pride, that impiety and arrogance might not drink them up. For it is better that everyone should prevail over the flesh and its vices, that it may not be said that prevailing death hath swallowed him up, but rather, Death is swallowed up in victory; O death, where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory? And of the Lord it is said, He shall drink of the brook in the way; for He received the vinegar, that He might drink up the temptations of all men.

7. But in his causing every man to slay his neighbor, the parents their children, the brother his brother, we find an evident precept that religion is to be preferred to friendship, piety to kindred. For that is true piety which prefers divine things to human, eternal to temporal. Wherefore also Moses himself said to the sons of Levi, Who is on the Lord's side, let him come to me. And he said unto them. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go throughout the camp, that thus, by the contemplation and love of the Divine Majesty all human ties and affections might be destroyed. It is written that three thousand men were slain, nor need we feel any jealousy of the number being so great, for it is better that by the punishment of a few the body should be exonerated, than that vengeance should be taken on all; nor indeed does any punishment of wrong against God appear too severe.

8.  Again, the ministry of the Levites, whose portion is God, was chosen for this work, as being more holy than the others: for they know not how to spare their own who know nothing of their own, for to the holy God is everything. Now he is the true Levite and punisher and avenger, who kills the flesh that he may preserve the spirit, such as he was who says, I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection. And who are such close neighbors as the flesh and the soul? What is so akin to us as the passions of the body? These the good Levite slays within himself with that spiritual sword which is the word of God, sharp and powerful.

9.  There is also a sword of the Spirit, which pierces the soul, as was said to Mary, A sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Is not the flesh united with the soul by a kind of fraternal bond? Is not discourse also related and akin to our mind? When therefore we check our discourse, that we may not incur the sin of much speaking, we put aside the rights of blood, and loose the bonds of this fraternal correction. Thus by the force of reason the soul severs from itself its irrational and, as it were, cognate part.

10.  And so Moses taught the people to rise against their neighbors, by whom faith was in danger of being mocked, and virtue hindered, that whatever in us was straying from virtue, perplexed by error, or entangled in vice might be cut off. By this direction to the people he obtained not only a mitigation of the Divine wrath and a turning away of offence, but even conciliated for them grace.

Preces: Lent III: Friday


Grátias agámus Christo Dómino, qui in cruce móriens nobis vitam cóntulit, eúmque ex corde deprecémur: Per mortem tuam vivífica nos.
Magíster et Salvátor noster, qui fídei tuæ documénta nobis contulísti, nosque innovásti glória passiónis,
—fac ne veterascámus in áctibus pravitátis.
Præsta nobis, ut hódie cibórum saturitátem córpori nostro subtráhere sciámus,
—ut frátribus nostris indigéntibus succurrámus.
Da hunc sanctum quadragesimálem diem a te nos devóte suscípere,
—et per ópera misericórdiæ tibi consecráre.
Córrige mentes nostras rebélles,
—nosque magnánimos éffice.

Let us give thanks to Christ the Lord, who in dying on the cross brought life to us, and let us pray to him from the heart: Through your death, give us life.
Our Teacher and Savior, who conferred on us the evidence of faith in you, and has renewed us by the glory of your passion, that we may not grow old in sinful deeds.
Grant that today we know to deprive our body of fullness of food, that we may come to the aid of our brothers in need.
Grant that we devoutly receive from you this holy Lenten day, and consecrate it with works of mercy.
Correct our rebellious minds and make us generous in spirit.


Dóminum Iesum, qui per próprium sánguinem pópulum sanctificávit, deprecémur: Miserére, Dómine, pópulo tuo.
Redémptor noster, per passiónem tuam tríbue fidélibus membra sua mortificáre, in certamínibus contra mala et advérsa sústine eos, spe róbora firmióre,
—quo expeditióres ad resurrectiónem tuam celebrándam occúrrant.
Fac ut christiáni, ob prophéticum munus, notítiam tui ubíque diffúndant,
—atque ardéntis fídei, spei et caritátis testimónio eam confírment.
Confórta virtúte tua omnes afflíctos,
—eísque consolándis fratérnas fac nos curas impéndere.
Doce fidéles passiónem tuam in ærúmnis suis participáre,
—ut salutáre tuum in seípsis maniféstent.
Auctor vitæ, meménto eórum, qui de hac vita transiérunt,
—eísque resurrectiónis glóriam largíre.

Let us entreat the Lord Jesus, who through his own blood has sanctified his people: Have mercy, O Lord, upon your people.
Our Redeemer, through your passion, grant that the faithful mortify their bodies, sustain them in their battles against evil and adversity, strengthen them with hope.
Grant that Christians through their prophetic vocation may pour forth knowledge of you everywhere,
and with ardent faith, hope and love confirm it by their testimony.
Comfort all the afflicted by your strength, and cause us to offer them brotherly care to console them.
Teach the faithful to share in your passion in their difficulties, that your salvation may be revealed in
Author of life, remember those have passed from this life and grant to them the glory of the resurrection.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Preces: Lent III: Thursday


Christum Dóminum nostrum laudántes, qui ut lux mundi appáruit, ne ambularémus in ténebris sed lumen vitæ haberémus, ei supplicémus: Verbum tuum sit lucérna pédibus nostris.
Benigníssime Deus, concéde nobis hódie in tui imitatióne profícere,
—ut, quod in primo cécidit Adam in te dénuo erigátur.
Præbe verbum tuum lucérnam pédibus nostris,
—ut, veritátem faciéntes, caritáte in te crescámus per ómnia.
Doce nos ad ómnium bonum propter nomen tuum fidéliter ágere,
—ut humána família magis per Ecclésiam illuminétur.
Fac nos per sincéram conversiónem, amicítiam tuam magis magísque fovére,
—et offénsas sapiéntiæ atque bonitáti tuæ illátas expiáre.

Praising Christ our Lord, who has appeared as the light of the world, that we might not walk in darkness but have the light of life, let us entreat him: May your word be a light unto our feet.
O most kind God, grant us today to advance in imitation of you, that what fell in the first Adam ay be raised up anew in you.
Show your word as a light upon our feet, that, acting in accordance with the truth, through love we may in all things increase in you.
Teach us to act faithfully for the good of all on account of your name, that the human family may be enlightened more through your Church.


A Christo Dómino, qui nobis dedit mandátum novum mútuæ dilectiónis, flagitémus: Caritátem plebis tuæ, Dómine, adáuge.
Magíster bone, doce nos in frátribus temetípsum dilígere,
—atque in iis benefácere tibi.
Qui in cruce pro carnifícibus tuis véniam a Patre impetrásti,
—da nobis inimícos dilígere et pro persequéntibus nos oráre.
Per mystérium córporis et sánguinis tui, amórem, virtútem et fidúciam nostram adáuge;
—débiles corróbora, mæstos consoláre, spem agonizántibus infúnde.
Lux mundi, qui cæco nato post ablutiónem lumen vidére tribuísti,
—catechúmenos per lavácrum aquæ et verbo vitæ illúmina.
Defúnctos sátia dilectióne tua ætérna,
—nosque inter eléctos tuos connúmera.

May we ask from Christ the Lord, who gave us a new commandment of love: Increase the love of your people.
Good Master, teach us to love you in the brethren and to bless you in them.
You who on the cross prayed from the Father forgiveness for your executioners, grant to us that we may love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Through the mystery of your body and blood, increase our love, strength, and faith; strengthen the weak, console the sorrowful, pour out hope upon those who are dying.
O Light of the world, who granted light to the man born blind after washing, enlighten the catechumens through the washing of water and the word of life.
Fill the departed with your eternal love, number us among your elect.  

Preces: Lent III: Tuesday & Wednesday


Benedicámus Christo, qui se nobis dedit ut panem de cælo descendéntem, atque ad eum oratiónem nostram dirigámus: Christe, panis et medéla animárum, róbora nos.
Dómine, fac ut, eucharístico satiáti convívio,
—dona sacrifícii paschális plene participémus.
Tríbue nobis verbum tuum in corde bono et óptimo retinére,
—ut fructum afferámus in patiéntia.
Fac ut in perficiéndo órdine mundi tibi álacres cooperémur,
—ut per Ecclésiam tuam præcónium pacis facílius diffundátur.
Peccávimus, Dómine, peccávimus,
—dele iniquitátes nostras grátia tua salutári.

Let us bless Christ, who gave Himself to us as the bread come down from heaven, and to him let us direct our prayer: O Christ, the bread and medicine of souls, strengthen us.
O Lord, grant that, filled by the Eucharistic feast, * we may share fully in the gifts of the paschal sacrifice.
Grant us to preserve your word in a good and great heart, * that we may bear fruit in patience.
Grant that in perfecting the order of the world, we may eagerly cooperate with you, * that through your Church, the proclamation of peace may the more readily be poured out.
We have sinned, O Lord, we have sinned, * blot out our offences by your saving grace.


Christum Dóminum, a quo iubémur ut vigilántiam et oratiónem advérsus tentatiónes adhibeámus, eníxe deprecémur: Atténde, Dómine, et miserére.
Christe Iesu, qui congregátis ad orándum in nómine tuo te affutúrum promisísti,
—nos tecum Patrem in Spíritu Sancto semper oráre concéde.
Cæléstis Sponse, máculas ab Ecclésia tua dilécta exclúde,
—eámque ambuláre concéde in spe et virtúte Spíritus Sancti.
Hóminis amátor, redde nos sollícitos de próximo nostro, sicut unicuíque mandásti,
—ut salutáre lumen tuum vivídius ómnibus effúlgeat.
Rex pacífice, da pacem tuam in mundo vigére,
—ut præséntia tua salutáris ubíque magis percipiátur.
Omnibus defúnctis beátæ æternitátis intróitum résera,
—eísque incorruptiónis áperi limen et glóriæ.

Let us eagerly pray to Christ the Lord, by whom we are commanded to be vigilant and to offer prayers against temptations: Hearken, O Lord, and have mercy.
Christ Jesus, who promised you would be present with those gathered for prayer in your name, * grant us ever to pray with you to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
Heavenly Spouse, drive away defilement from your beloved Church, * and grant that she may walk in the hope and strength of the Holy Spirit.
Lover of man, make us solicitous for our neighbor, just as you have commanded each of us, * that your saving light may shine more vividly upon us all.
King of peace, grant that your peace grow in the world, * that the presence of your salvation may everywhere be the more readily seen.
To all the departed open the entrance to blessed eternity, * and to them the threshold of incorruption and glory.


Benedicátur Auctor salútis nostræ, qui vult hómines fíeri in se novam creatúram, ut vétera tránseant et ómnia renovéntur. Quaprópter viva spe fulti eum rogémus: Rénova nos, Dómine, in Spíritu tuo.

Dómine, qui cælum novum terrámque novam promisísti, semper nos rénova per Spíritum tuum,

—ut in cælésti Ierúsalem te iúgiter perfruámur.

Da nos tecum operári ut hunc mundum Spíritu tuo imbuámus,

—atque in iustítia, caritáte et pace cívitas terréna finem suum efficácius assequátur.

Tríbue nos omnes desídias et neglegéntias castigáre,

—et supérnis delectári munéribus.

Líbera nos a malo,

—nosque a fascinatióne nugacitátis, quæ bona obscúrat, defénde.

Blessed be the Author of our salvation, who wills that men become a new creation in him, that the old may pass away and all things be renewed. Therefore, radiant in living hope, let us ask Him: Renew us, O Lord, in your Spirit.

O Lord, who promised a new heaven and a new earth, renew us ever by your Spirit, * that we may ever enjoy you in the heavenly Jerusalem.

Grant that we work with you that this world may be filled with your Spirit, * and  the earthly city by justice, love and peace may more effectively attain its purpose.

Grant us to cast off all our sloth and negligence, * and to delight in the gifts that are above.

Deliver us from evil, * and protect us from the attraction of vanity, which obscures good things.


Deum omnipoténtem et providéntem exaltémus. Ipse scit ómnia quibus índiget pópulus suus, sed vult nos primum de regno suo sollícitos. Ideo acclamémus: Advéniat regnum tuum et iustítia eius.

Pater sancte, qui Christum ut pastórem animárum nostrárum dedísti, adésto pastóribus et pópulis eórum diligéntiæ créditis, ne gregi desit cura pastóris,

—neque pastóribus obœdiéntia gregis.

Induc christiános, ut fratérna pietáte infírmis auxiliéntur,

—et ipsi Fílio tuo in iis subvéniant.

Fac ut nondum Evangélio credéntes Ecclésiam tuam ingrediántur,

—eámque bonis opéribus semper ædíficent in caritáte.

Da nobis peccatóribus véniam a te impetráre,

—et simul reconciliári cum Ecclésia tua.

Præsta, ut defúncti ad vitam tránseant ætérnam,

—et semper tecum commoréntur.

Let us exalt the almighty and providential God. He knows all which his people need, but wills us first to seek His kingdom. Therefore, let us cry out: May your kingdom come with its righteousness.

Holy Father, who have given Christ as the Shepherd of our souls, be present to the shepherds and the people entrusted to their diligence, that the shepherd's care of the flock fail not, * nor the flock's obedience to the shepherds.

Lead Christians to help the sick in fraternal love, * and to come to the aid of your Son in them.

Grant that those not yet believing in the Gospel may enter your Church, * and always build her up in charity by good works.

Grant us sinners to obtain pardon from you, * and likewise to be reconciled with your Church.

Grant that the deceased may pass over to eternal life, * and ever abide with you.