Wednesday, June 25, 2014

St. Josemaria, Sacred Heart+Q&A

I've said it before, but summer tricks me every year, promising more time to relax and/or work on interesting projects, but in reality making both of those things more difficult: my disabled son is out of school, requiring more supervision from me, plus the increase in yard and garden work, however pleasant in some ways, sucks up all that time that I'd imagined would be devoted to writing, trying out new hobbies, or whatever it was I'd imagined would happen during the summer. Not that I'm complaining. I love summer. But it does throw me off. Hence, not a lot of blog post these days.

Welcome new reader Stephanie Reese! Jump in with a comment or question any time you want.

I just learned that one Coffee&Canticles fan has a Divine Office group going on Reddit. I was so please to lean this--the more sites and blogs and chat groups devoted tot he Liturgy of the Hours, the better. I had thought that--aside from actual online breviaries, Coffee&Canticles was the only show in town, and am thrilled to learn that this is not so.

Anyway, I learned from the Divine Office Reddit blog that tomorrow is the memorial of St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei, and that the moderator has assembled the propers and readings for this memorial. But whether you use the weekday tomorrow OR go with what he has found, it's important to keep in mind that Friday is the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus,--a solemnity--so you will want to go with Evening Prayer I for this feast on Thursday evening.
Caring for visiting grandchildren yesterday made it impossible for me to attend mass for the solemnity of the birth of St. John the Baptist. That reminded me of what a great gift we have in the Liturgy of the Hours. No matter what our circumstances, we could join the universal Church in celebrating this holy day. This one handy book gives us psalms, scripture readings, key gospel and other bible verses relevant to the Baptist.  I mean, if I had said to myself "I'd like to do a bible study on St. John the Baptist", I couldn't have found a better, ready made program than the Office of Readings, plus morning and evening prayer for June 24th. What's more, while I did that "bible study" I was also offering prayer and praise to God with the rest of the Church.  

What  deal!

Okay, if you have any questions or comments, fire away.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Veni, Creator Spiritus!

Just loving today's liturgy--both Mass and LOTH. After communion today I got to sing several verses of one of my favorite chants, Veni, Creator Spiritus.

In today's second reading in the Office of Reading from St. Irenaeus, something new jumped out at me. (Amazing how that can still happen after so many years.)  It says, So when the Son of God became the Son of Man, the Spirit also descended upon him, becoming accustomed in this way to dwelling with the human race, to living in men and to inhabiting God's creation.  

The idea of any Person of the Blessed Trinity having to become "accustomed" to anything has me  both totally flummoxed  and delighted at the same time. Sounds as if the Holy Spirit wasn't so sure about this idea of dwelling in and among us sinners, and thought it best to ease into it graduallly, starting out with the pure and perfect humanity of Jesus. After getting used to  that, He'd take the next step and move on to the hearts of sinful--but redeemed--humanity, through the sacraments of baptism and confirmation. I'm not saying that my imagination was producing the best theology here, but it was an interesting point to consider, and I'm wondering if there are any good commentaries on St. Irenaeus that elaborate on this concept.

Beyond that, the reading ended with the lovely analogy between the Holy Spirit and the Innkeeper in the parable of the Goo Samaritan. I've written about this in other Pentecost posts. There's nothing like the early fathers of the church for mining the scriptures and coming up with gems like this. No modern commentator can hold a candle to them. They are amazing and I'm so grateful that the Church introduces them to us through the Office of Readings.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Post-Pentecost breviary explained, plus Q&A

We haven't done a Q&A post on a long time. So here is one. Ask any question at all in the comments and an answer will be forthcoming.

Here is a revised form of my annual post-Pentecost post, wherein I explain how to figure out where you are in the breviary.  If this is still too confusing, just use a breviary app or website until July 6th.

Wishing you all a blessed Pentecost.

Once the grand finale of the Easter season, namely Pentecost, has passed us by this weekend, one might tend to think that things go "back to normal" in the liturgy. After all, we do call it "Ordinary Time", right?

But no, not exactly. For one thing, the term "ordinary" in  "Ordinary Time"  does not quite correspond to the,um ordinary definition: routine, normal, business-as-usual. It mostly refers to the fact that the Sundays and weeks are numbered, or "ordered". (Although we certainly can feel the contrast between the solemn events of the previous holy seasons as compared to ordinary time, so we're not entirely wrong to feel that Ordinary time is somewhat ordinary in the popular English sense of the word.)
For another thing, for those who use mostly  hard copy breviaries, rather than rely on breviary websites to do their work for them, the next week or so can be among the most confusing of the entire year. Although we enter Ordinary time as of Monday, there are no Sundays of Ordinary Time until July!  All this makes for plenty of head scratching as we flip here and there trying to figure things out.
So just keep an eye on your parish calendar if you forget what week we're in. Or print  this post and keep it in your book.

Monday starts the 10th week of ordinary time, using week II of the Psalter. But there is no 10th Sunday because of Pentecost.
Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday. (with its own special liturgy in the proper of Seasons. DON'T use the 11th Sunday. Do continue on Monday with the 11th week (Psalter week III) on Monday.
The Sunday after (6/22) that is Corpus Christi (with its own special liturgy), so DON"T use the 12th Sunday of Ordinary time. Continue on Monday with the 12th week and week IV of the Psalter.
The next Sunday, June 29th, happens to be the Solemnity of St. Peter&Paul, one of those rare saint's days whose liturgy supersedes that of Sunday.  Use week I of the Psalter the following week (13th in Ordinary Time)
Then we shall be back to nothing but Sundays in Ordinary time starting on July 6th, clear through until Christ the King in November.
Hope this is helpful.

PS. There was a great little bit in the Office of Readings today where a sixth century anonymous African answers the question, "Why don't Christians still have the gift of tongues nowadays is the Holy Spirit is still  with them?" I won't spoil it for you. Look it up in your book, or on ibreviary.