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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Landmark in History for Pope Benedict XVI

Today, February 29th,
Pope Benedict XVI
now gloriously reigning
the sixth oldest Pope
in the history of the Church
completing 84 years, 10 months, 2 weeks and 1 day.

The five older reigning Popes were:
Innocent XII 85 years old
Pius XI 85 years old
Clement X 86 years old
Clement XII 87 years old
who served as pope until he was 93.

Dominus conservet eum,
et vivificet eum,
et beatum faciat eum in terra,
et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

May the Lord preserve him,
and give him life,
and make him blessed upon the earth,
and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Ancient Doorway to a Lovely Lent.

This ancient doorway
to a lovely Lent
is inviting you to enter.

If you would like to know what to do for Lent
try this:

1 Prayer:
Say the following prayer
every time you pass through a doorway of any kind.

Incline unto my aid, O God!
O Lord, make haste to help me!

or if you would like to say it in Latin:
Deus, in adjutorium meum intende;
Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina!

Incline unto my aid, O God!
O Lord, make haste to help me!

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende;
Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina!

(Goal: To pray always.)

2 Abstinence:
Sacrifice eating all meat and eggs
for the 40 days plus the Sundays.

I will abstain from all meat, -but only for Lent!

I will abstain from eggs, -but only until Easter!

This was part of the Catholic Lent
for far longer than 1200 years ...
... until about 1900;

they also had the burden of strict fasting.

But you could more easily undertake this abstinence
since you are not also obliged to their strict fasting;
this is only the abstinence.

If you are looking for something solid for Lent
I would say:
Why not try it?

It is all traditional, ancient, from our Fathers in the Faith.

One clear prayer.
One full abstinence.
One lovely Lent.

Appreciate the centuries of abstaining
that brought us
the beautiful Easter Egg!

As for other things, go to Confession as soon as possible.
Remember that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
are days of Fast and Abstinence.

May you have a blessed and Holy Season of Lent!

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Participate for a minute in the Forty Hours.

This evening at 5.00 p.m. we opened
The Forty Hours Devotion.
We are not many but we are all delighted to have
these hours of grace with Our Lord.

We invite you to participate in the Forty Hours,
from your computer,

by making a spiritual communion.
This takes nearly one minute.
Give Him a minute of love and desire.

Jesus waits for our love and desire.
Information on Spiritual Communions:
A Spiritual Communion consists in an ardent desire to receive
Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament
and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.
The Holy Council of Trent greatly praises Spiritual Communions
and encourages the faithful to practise them.

Here is how to do it and
what to say to Jesus from your heart:

My Jesus
I believe that Thou art truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love Thee above all things and
I desire to possess Thee within my soul.
Since I am unable now to receive Thee sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace Thee as being already there,
and unite myself wholly to Thee;
never permit me to be separated from Thee.

That's a Spiritual Communion
here is the shorter 10 second version.

I believe that Thou, O Jesus, art present in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love Thee and desire Thee!
I embrace Thee; oh never leave me.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Visit of Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P.

Last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
we had the pleasure of a visit from Fr. Aidan Nichols, O.P.
of Blackfriars, Cambridge.
Here he is seen celebrating Holy Mass for the community
according to the Dominican Rite.

In this Rite,
the chalice is prepared with wine and water before
the prayers at the foot of the altar.

A third candle is placed on the altar after the Offertory.

The Elevation.

The priest's arms are fully extended for the
Unde et memores

after the Consecration.

Reception of Holy Communion.

Also present were a private retreatant (far left) ...

and an aspirant exploring his vocation.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

A Little Piece of History

It is always a thrill to think of the centuries and millennia that have gone into making the venerable Liturgy we have today; how many saints, holy monks, nuns, priests and lay folk have sanctified themselves while celebrating or assisting at this Liturgy.

It is even more of a thrill when you can put your hands, so to speak, on evidence that much of that Liturgy is the same now as it was all those years ago.

This page of the manuscript Laon 239, written around the year 930, shows part of the Holy Mass for today, Septuagesima Sunday.

When comparing the text of that ancient Mass to the text used in today's celebration you can see that they are exactly the same.

Clearly the interpretation of the chant is a little different today (yes, those markings above the words are the neums of Gregorian Chant!), but the words of the Mass have remained unchanged for over 1000 years! Have a look at the Offertory, for example (highlighted in the manuscript):

Bonum est confiteri Domino et psallere nomini tuo Altissime.

It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to thy name, O most High.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Thank you.

Thank you Father Anthony Mary, confrères and friends
for the kind messages that you have sent me.

I remember you all, your families and your intentions
at the altar of God.

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is our greatest mainstay
during this earthly exile.
After Baptism and the Holy Mass
my greatest treasure is the monastic calling.

Of that calling, St Gregory of Nyssa said:

To find God is to seek him unceasingly.
The reward of the search is to go on seeking.
For to find God is never to have had your fill of desiring Him.

I ask the grace to ever seek after Him
and that He never gives up on me.
Thank you for your prayers.

Fr Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

Profession Day, 2 February, 1972, aged 18.
I am on the left with Br M. with whom I had been a novice
the previous 12 months.
Christchurch, New Zealand.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

40 Days and 40 Years

The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
is 40 days after Christmas
(which was according to the Law of Moses).

The number 40 has an important significance
in the workings of God’s plan of salvation.
At the Flood the rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights.
The children of Israel ate Manna for 40 years in the desert.
Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights in the mountain with God
before he received the ten conmmandments.
David slew Goliath on the 40th day.
David reigned for 40 years.
Solomon reigned for 40 years.
Elias in the strength of the food given him by the angel
walked 40 days and 40 nights
unto the mount of God, Horeb.
And most importantly Our Lord fasted for
40 days and 40 nights in the desert
and tarried 40 days amongst us before His Ascension.

This year,
on 2 February,
Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple
Fr Michael Mary celebrates the
40th anniversary

of his entry into Religion and the service of God.

Father Anthony Mary
and all the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer
join with all his family and friends
to wish Father a
Happy Anniversary,
a long life and a crown above.
We wish him many blessings
and assure him of our filial devotion and prayers.

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