Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I learned from the saints this week&weekly Q&A

St. Norbert,June 6th

A couple of wonderful lessons in the Office of Reading this week.

Monday and Tuesday: St. Dorotheus the abbot talks about how much peace we lose trying to defend ourselves, justify our own  actions, blame those who criticize us, etc. He says things that almost remind me of GK Chesterton , who had a flare for paradox. In today's parlance, a flare for the counterintuitive. For example:

The man who finds fault with himself accepts all things cheerfully--misfortune, loss, disgrace, dishonor, and any other kind of adversity. he believes he is deserving of all these things and nothing can disturb him. No one could be more at peace than this man. 

Even if someone criticizes or injures you with not the least shred of provocation on your part, says the abbot, you should still take it calmly, and tell yourself that perhaps this is God's way of administering a little justice to you for some past time when you did annoy or injure others.  Reminds me of times I've had to punish my kids for some transgression, and when they complained that the punishment was too harsh, I'd tell them, "on the off chance that you are correct, then see it as just punishment for some of the other things you've done and gotten away with."

Wednesday: We learn from one of my favorites, Saint Gregory the Great, a perennial lesson about persuading others of the truth. It's not enough to be right and hit folks over the head with THE TRUTH.  Instead we have to teach with gentleness and humility. I think Gregory was very much the sort of Pope we have right now.
Thursday: the second reading for the feast of St. Norbert shows that even when a bishop is a saint, he can be met with hostility and protest when trying to reform dissident priests. In fact, Norbert was unsuccessful in reforming the clergy of his time. A saint's goal is to obey and do what God has given him to do, and not to worry about the results. I hope that the Pope and bishops who right now are dealing with dissident nuns will remember St. Norbert.

Okay. Q&A Time.
Anything bugging you about the breviary? Confused about what prayers to say for some of these saint's days ? Need info on rubrics and options when you pray the Liturgy of the Hours?   Ask away!


  1. Been viewing your blog for a few months now and find it interesting and informative. My question is do you happen to have any inkling as to when a new revised/updated breviary will be published? With the Third edition of the Missal just published I was hoping for an updated breviary soon to follow. Thank you.

  2. Your is the big, hot, burning question of every breviary geek. I periodically ask several people who might know, and so does another reader of this blog who has a friend who used to work for ICEL, and hence might have access to some inside info. The short but disappointing summary of our research is that yes, a new edition is planned, but right now it's only in the earliest stages of planning, and so it will be at least several years until we see it. This is because there are many factors that have to come together. Obviously the parts of the breviary that match the new mass translation (mass Collects=breviary concluding prayers)are one change. An entirely different one is the psalter. A Revised Grail psalms translation was approved several years ago. It is almost certain that this will be put in our breviary, but I gather still under discussion. Third are some additional elements that Rome added to the official Latin breviary (Liturgia Horarum editio typica Altera (1985-2000)Then there's the Bible readings. The New American Bible has been updated since the original breviary came out in 1976. They have to decide whether to continue with that OR to make the scripture readings in the LOTH match the Sunday lectionary, which is NOT the New American Bible. So there's lot to discuss, and the whole legal/copyright stuff takes forever as well.
    I recently received a Kenyan breviary, which already has the Revised Grail Psalms plus the new antiphons for Sunday gospel canticles (3-yr cycle), but still has the old translation concluding prayers. I will enjoy that when I'm praying alone until that mythical new American translation comes out.
    I'm glad you like the blog.

  3. No questions just a couple of comments. I loved Monday and Tuesday's second readings. So glad you mentioned them. Also, today's first reading from Job when God finally responds to all of Job's complaints--Where were you when I laid the foundation of the world?-- has got to be one of my top ten favorite Bible passages ever.

    1. I love this one too. In one sense, he doesn't really answer Job's question specifically, but he gives the framework that answers all the "whys?" that ever have and ever will be asked.