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Sunday, May 01, 2011

Trees of Love

“For you are all trees of love, and without love you cannot live, for you have been made by Me for love…” wrote St Catherine of Siena in her “Dialogues” between God and the soul.

As we enjoyed the splendour of Friday's Wedding in the great Abbey of Westminster some prophetic words came to mind at the sight of the nave lined with 2 Hornbeam and 6 English Maple trees (see video further down).

It is related of the confessor Dom John Baptist de Feckenham, the last Abbot of Westminster, that he was engaged in planting Elm trees when he was handed the message which, by an act of Parliament, dissolved his monastery and exiled the monks.

The bearer remarked, with a significant smile, that he had planted those trees in vain; for neither he nor his monks would enjoy them.

“Not in vain,” answered the saintly Abbot. “Those who come after me may, perhaps, be scholars and lovers of retirement; and whilst walking under the shade of these trees they may sometimes think of the olden religion of England and the last Abbot of this place.” And he went on with his planting.

Thank God that 450 years since Abbot de Feckenham planted those trees many an Englishman has returned to thinking of the olden religion of England.

The singing of the “Ubi Caritas” at the Wedding and the mention to Her Royal Highness Catherine of St Catherine of Siena, whose holy death
took place on the same day, 29 April, 1380, remind us that the grace of Faith is always extended to our Sovereigns and that its acceptance relies perhaps on our prayers, suffering and love.
On Friday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge presented a beautiful image to the world of human love and royal dignity, that edified us and made us proud to be British.

The gothic vaults of Westminster Abbey.

As they left the Abbey below the avenue of trees they had “planted” for their wedding day under the Gothic vaults – the stone patterns themselves representing interlaced branches – we could only wish with all our hearts that this tree of their espousals, so sweetly planted, will produce fragrant blossoms, with many scents of great variety.

As the Prince salutes, his bride bows her head.

There was some support for the Royal wedding! Lines of police slowly lead loyal supporters towards Buckingham Palace.

God save our future King and Queen, William and Catherine!

As the Royal Family stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, there was a flypast of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight consisting of a Lancaster bomber, a Spitfire and a Hurricane.

There were over 5000 street parties organised throughout Britain. The above is an great example of a street party!

The Scottish Royal Standard proudly flies over Papa Stronsay.

Domine, salvum fac Reginam nostram Elizabeth.
“Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!”


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Wonderful post!

Ben Whitworth said...

Et exaudi nos in die quam invocaverimus te!

I didn't know that wonderful story about Abbot Feckenham, one of the great but neglected figures in our Catholic history.

Anonymous said...

A very lovely post, filled with the Charity of Christ. However, I'm a bit confused by the following reference:

... and the mention to Her Royal Highness Catherine of St Catherine of Siena ...

Can you please elaborate?

Transalpine Redemptorists said...

The sermon at the wedding began with these words:

"Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire." So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.

Anonymous said...

I'm happily astonished that a Catholic saint was invoked at the royal wedding presided over by the Church of England. Princess Catherine would make a most lovely Catholic Queen of England someday. Let us hope and pray for her conversion, as well as that of Prince William.

Anonymous said...

Great to read this post, Father. So nice to see another Katharine present at the wedding too..the Duchess of Kent who converted to the Catholic Faith...a shining star in the royal family

Paddy said...

A wisely 'ecumenical' post - God bless your work.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures-especially the closeup of the new Duchess of Cambridge with her veil over her face...very mysterious.

I cried with joy when I heard the opening words of Bishop Chartres' sermon, quoting St. Catherine of Siena (surprisingly, St. Catherine of Siena's feast day is listed on the Anglican calendar!)!

William and Catherine looked very much in love-and I pray that their marriage will be a long and happy one!

And I'm an American of Irish/German descent!

God Save The Queen!

Barb in NY

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