Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Custom Breviary Covers--Order Now for Christmas!

A few weeks ago I had an email from a nice lady named Alyssa Lehman, of Walton, Kentucky. She has a home business making custom covers for missals, breviaries, and Bibles. She asked whether  I'd like a free sample of her work, inviting me to send her the measurements of my breviary, and to go to her "Missal Cover Shop" website to choose a color and a design. Her hope was that I'd be pleased enough with the results to do a review here at Coffee&Canticles. 

An offer to good to refuse, right?

Anyway, it came a few days ago:

It took me a long time to pick a  design. You will see why when you look at the large selection of lovely embroidered Catholic symbols.  I knew I wanted a cross, and there were several of these to choose from (plus lots of other designs). Finally I settled on  this one.

The cover is made from a very sturdy imitation  leather.  It's fabric on the inner side--not just a sheet of soft vinyl. 

 Each inside cover has  a pocket for holy cards, my psalm tone card,
 my Te Deum leaflet and more  holy cards of my favorite heavenly friends.
 A zipper--great feature if I get in  the habit of actually using it. Like for all those nights when I leave the breviary out on the front porch.This  will protect it from unfortunate incidents involving dew or rain.
 Space left for the ribbons to hang out.

Here it is open on my lap.  

To sum up, it looks beautiful, feels nice, looks sturdy, and is a fitting way to protect a liturgical book.
This would make a great gift for any breviary lover that you know. Keep in mind that Alyssa makes these one at a time, with great care. This is not something run up in  a few minutes in an overseas factory. Therefore, if you do have Christmas gift giving (or receiving) in mind, act soon, okay?

The name of Alyssa's business, by the way, is Leah's Legacy.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Joyous Obedience of the Stars

picture credit: maf6355.blogspot.com
This is a re-run of an old post on a favorite scripture passage. 

Today's   first reading from the Office of Readings (Baruch3:9-15) again delighted me with one of my very favorite, thought obscure, verses of Sacred Scripture:
He...before whom the stars at their posts
 shine and rejoice;
When He calls them,
they answer, "Here we are!"
shining with joy for their Maker. 

It's like something out of a child's fairy tale, transforming these vast balls of burning gas into a persons, and friendly ones at that. In fact it transforms them into children eager to please their Father. 

This verse puts me in mind of two things. First, C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.  In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader it is revealed that the stars of Narnia are rational beings, who after their long lives in the heavens may  come to live down on earth. 

Second, I think of medieval theology,  which explains that the movement of the stars and the planets is supervised by the angels: that God delegates  some of his ongoing work in holding all creation together to his mightiest servants. One can read these words and picture the angels, joyful in doing the work God has given them, shouting out their nightly greetings to their Creator.

Third, every created thing, rational or non-rational, animate or inanimate, truly does offer praise to its creator simply by doing that which it was created to do.  So this scripture verse reminds me of how blessed are the stars, how happy they would be if they were rational, because they do fulfill  God's will perfectly. In this we might well envy them.

Then, jumping ahead to tomorrow's (Sunday's) second reading from the OOR, we read  St. Clement's letter to the Corinthians, which  takes up the topic of order and obedience in nature.

By his direction the heavens are in motion, and they are subject to him in peace. Day and night fulfill the course he has established without interfering with each other. The sun, the moon and the choirs of stars revolve in harmony at his command in their appointed paths without deviation

So if you enjoy stargazing, enjoy this weekend's lessons from the Divine Office.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Memorial of St. John Paul the Great Today!

Use DivineOffice.org or ibreaviary.com for the Office of Readings' second reading, which is an excerpt of the saint's homily at the inauguration of his pontificate. Great stuff.

If you are very fond of St. John Paul, then you may wish to use texts from the Common of Pastors: for a Pope in your breviary, rather than the weekday texts.  That is what I will be doing.

I chose this picture because I am (maybe) in it, somewhere in the second tier at Yankee stadium on that amazing October evening in 1979. What an unforgettable experience. It was almost (not quite) anti-climatic when, after the popemobile departed the stadium, my boyfriend turned to me and proposed.  Bill knew what he was doing. After spending three hours in the presence of a saint and pope who continually urged us to say Yes! to life and to love, what else could I do but accept?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

And He shall purify the sons of Levi

 Yesterday the Office of Readings contained this verse from the book of Malachi: "and he shall purify the sons of Levi...that they may offer unto the Lord an offering  of righteousness."(3:3, King James version) This at once brought to mind one of my favorite choruses from Handel's Messiah.  It's a fantastic piece of music.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mercy Alert! Prisoners Need Breviaries!

One spiritual work of mercy is to "visit the imprisoned", at times rendered to "free the imprisoned" .

In America, Catholic response to the needs of prisoners lags sadly behind the response of many protestant denominations. But one very bright spot is Dismas Minstry, a group I've mentioned several times before on this blog.

Dismas Ministry aids prisoners in many ways, including giving them study courses in the Catholic faith, the Bible, and Catholic Prayer. After completing this last course, some  prisoners wish to pray the Liturgy of the Hours on a daily basis.

They need breviaries, since prisoners are not allowed to have smart phones or regular computer access for the free online breviaries.

We Coffee&Canticles people have "adopted" this aspect of Dismas Ministry. That means when director Ron Zeilinger gets a request from a prisoner for a single or four volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours, he turns to us as First Responders. So far, you wonderful people have provided a good number of books to deserving prisoners who are thirsting to sanctify their hours with the psalms, scriptures, and readings the Church provides.

Today I received a new email from Ron:

Hello Daria,
We have  had a couple requests for the full set of the Liturgy of Hours from inmates. I thought I would notify you and ask if you might send out an appeal to your readers. We don’t want to burden the generosity of these good people however, and if necessary, will send them the shorter version of Christian Prayer. We have a couple of those on hand.
Blessings and thanks,

Ron Zeilinger, DirectorDismasMINISTRYPO Box 070363
Milwaukee WI 53207

I wrote back to Ron saying I'd get right on this. 

If these prisoners want the four volume breviaries, I think they should have them. They need the beauty and spiritual food that the Office of Readings can supply. 

Last time I checked, the best price for single or four volume sets was found at Barnes and Noble.  Today I see that they are a bit cheaper at Amazon.  Or, if it's easier for you, just send the price of the breviaries (or a smaller amount that you can afford) directly to Ron at Dismas Ministry, using Paypal Include a note to let him know what it's for, or just write "Coffee&Canticles Breviary fund". 

If you order from a source that requires a street address for UPS delivery, use this address:  Ron Zeilinger, Dismas Ministry, 3195 S. Superior St. ,  Suite 101L, Milwaukee, WI 53207

Another thought:  prisoners are not picky! If you have a four volume set that you are not using, send that! 

Also please let us know in the comments below or a private message to me if you are doing this. The sooner we know, the sooner Ron can relax. My private email is: thesockeys "at" gmail "dot" com.  

Many thanks. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Look to the Liturgy (not Twitter) for Answers

I just had to share this lovely post from Vultus Christi.  I had written recently about those instances where we find a line in the day's Office that speaks to us personally. But this post takes that idea and runs with it with greater depth. The hook is the turmoil surrounding this week's Synod on the Family in Rome:  how many of us are less than edified by stories of various machinations and worried about possible outcomes. But this author has the right perspective on it all:

Before going down to Vespers last evening, I remarked to Father Benedict that I was far more interested in what the Magnificat Antiphon would be than in the latest tweets about the Synod. I was not disappointed. 

So go read the rest.  

Take note that the monastery where the author resides is using  the traditional (Extraordinary form) breviary and missal, so you will not find his quotes from yesterday's mass and vespers to match your Christian Prayer breviary!