Thursday, June 22, 2017

Blooper Alert.

If you read the previous post before 1pm Eastern Standard Time, please go  back and read it again. I'd left out something very important. 

Solemnity Alert! Corrected and Updated!

Thanks to alert reader Mike, I have to correct this post, which in its previous iteration talked only about the solemnity of St. John the Baptist. Mike reminded me of another and greater Solemnity on Friday.

Tomorrow (Friday)  is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That means Evening Prayer I  tonight (Thursday) would be that of the Sacred Heart. (No more Sts.Thomas More&John Fisher)
For the same reason, the Solemnity of St. John the Baptist does not get an Evening Prayer I, because solemnities of the Lord trump solemnities of saints.

Thank you, Mike.

However, the Baptist's Nativity does get an Evening Prayer II, even on a Saturday evening, because solemnities trump Sundays in ordinary time.

I love all the liturgical folklore regarding this feast. For example, it is noted that  from the day of the Baptist's birth,  just after the summer solstice, the days start getting gradually shorter each day until that of winter. Then, from around the time of Christmas, they begin getting longer once more. Remember how John the Baptist says of Jesus, "He must increase, I must decrease."? I've always loved that.

Today is St. Thomas More and John Fisher. The second reading, from St. Thomas letter from prison, is one of the highlights of the the Office of Readings, I think. It bears more frequent reading than once a year. It's both bracing and comforting at the same time.

Thomas More tends to overshadow St. John Fisher, since there is no Oscar winning film about his life. And today, on their shared memorial, we only hear from Thomas. However, St. John Fisher speaks to us twice in the Office of Readings during the rest of the year. His commentaries on Psalms 101 and 120 are excerpted on Friday of week 3 in ordinary time, and Monday in the 5th week of lent, respectively.  You might want to peruse those today if you have a 4 volume breviary.

Friday, June 16, 2017

A Gymnasium for the Soul

Don't miss Office of Readings today and tomorrow.

Or if you are not an OOR regular, and don't feel you have the time, then just do the second readings. These are among the handful of readings we get through the year that specifically address the importance, the greatness, the beauty, and the excellence of praying the Psalms.

When you do your morning and evening prayer, day in, day out, year after year, there is a temptation to stop paying attention. To feel that it is getting old. No longer fresh and meaningful that way it used to be when you first began doing the Liturgy of the Hours. You begin to wonder if it's time to quit and look for some new daily prayer routine whose very novelty will make you pay more attention.

Perish those thoughts!

Read, carefully, the second readings from the Explanation of the Psalms by St. Ambrose, which appear in our breviaries both today and tomorrow. Then, go forth with resolve to stick with your daily psalter, asking the Lord to open your heart to everything He is trying to teach you there.

 In the Book of Psalms there is profit for all, with healing power for our salvation. There is instruction from history, teaching from the law, prediction from prophecy, chastisement from denunciation, persuasion from moral preaching. All who read it may find the cure for their own individual failings. All with eyes to see can discover in it a complete gymnasium for the soul, a stadium for all the virtues, equipped for every kind of exercise; it is for each to choose the kind he judges best to help him gain the prize.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Ordinary Time Alert!

Sunday is Pentecost; Ordinary time starts on Monday. So we will be in a week of Ordinary time that has no Sunday. Which week will that be, you ask?

The ninth week.

How do I know that?

Because looking back at my church calendar I see that the last week of ordinary time we had (just before Lent started) was the 8th.   Therefore, we pick up OT  again with the 9th week.

The psalter will be week I. I know this because 9 is one more than 8. All weeks that are multiples of 4 will use week IV of the psalter. Multiples of 4, plus 1, will always use week I of the psalter. Multiples of 4, plus 2, will always use week II of the psalter, and so on.  Memorize this rule and save yourself the bother of having to look things up.

The next two weeks after this one (10th and 11th weeks) will simlarly not have ordinary Sundays because they are the feasts of the Most Holy Trinity and Corpus Christi, respectively. But each following Monday will resume with the regular order of the psalter: week II after Trinity Sunday and week III after Corpus Christi.  We finally get an actual Sunday or Ordinary time on June25th.

Does this make everything clear?

Pentecost Blessings to you all.