Tag Archives: Divine Office

Christmas Eve 2015

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Artwork by William Kurelek

From Divine Office:

“Today you will know the Lord is coming, and in the morning you will see his glory.”

Isaiah 11:1-3a

A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord,
and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord

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Ah, Holy Jesu

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Ah, holy Jesu, how hast Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted.

Who was that guilty? Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesu, hath undone Thee.
’Twas I, Lord, Jesu, I it was denied Thee!
I crucified Thee.

Lo, the Good Shepherd for the sheep is offered;
The slave hath sinned, and the Son hath suffered;
For man’s atonement, while he nothing heedeth,
God intercedeth.

For me, kind Jesu, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For my salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesu, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.

“Ah, holy, Jesu, how thou hast offended” by Choir of the Abbey School Tewkesbury; Words: Johann Heerman, Devoti Musica Cordis, 1630 (Herzliebster Jesu); translated from German to English by Robert S. Bridges, 1899.

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Its Cold Outside

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Last night, while praying Divine Office, as I arrived at Psalm 91, I remembered what it was like to be a small child. To be secure. To be protected. To be safe. To be loved. To not have a care in the world. For a brief moment I snuggled under that Wing of Abba Father. I didn’t want to leave the amazing comfort I found there. All I desire is that.

As brief as that consolation was last night, what came next was unstoppable crying. As I was pulled from the shelter of Abba Father, a memory replaced the comfort. I was a little child in my pajamas with my slippers on. It was the heart of winter and bitter cold outside. I had just gotten ready for bed and walked into the kitchen. Something called me to the side door in the kitchen and I remember going outside to do something. I don’t remember why I left the house. But I did, and did what I needed to do, quickly, as I walked back to the side door, my dad closed the door and locked it. I was very little at the time and my slippers were sliding on the ice. I knocked as hard as I could and he wouldn’t come to let me back in. He couldn’t hear me. I started crying very hard because it was very cold and no one knew I was outside. As I walked through the snow, around the house to get to the front door, I fell and was now wet and freezing as I slipped on the ice on the sidewalk to get to the front door. I pounded as hard as I could and my dad was still not coming. I reached up with all my might, climbing up on the railing on the porch and rang the bell.

The door opened and there stood my dad in SHOCK, seeing who it was as I shivered at the door. He opened the door fast and let me in. Nothing mattered at that moment. NOTHING! I was back in warmth. My dad was never a “hugging” person or very affectionate. But he was at that moment. He knew how cold it was out there. He could tell how long I was pounding. He wrapped me in his blanket and he warmed me up on his couch.

That security of a parent can never be matched or replaced. When Abba Father allowed me last night to see it again, for as brief as it was, it truly has become all I ever want. Just to spend eternity wrapped in His warmth. With Him, holding me tight.

That time I had spent on the “outside”, was extremely dangerous. As it was with my faith! It became apparent to me how important it is to TELL Abba Father everything before I just go “thinking” I can handle anything alone. Such is my journey back home from “exile”. And yes, its cold “outside”.

What sparked this reflection:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: “My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!”

It is he who will free you from the snare
of the fowler who seeks to destroy you;
he will conceal you with his pinions
and under his wings you will find refuge.

You will not fear the terror of the night
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the plague that prowls in the darkness
nor the scourge that lays waste at noon.

A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand fall at your right,
you, it will never approach;
his faithfulness is buckler and shield.

Your eyes have only to look
to see how the wicked are repaid,
you who have said: “Lord, my refuge!”
and have made the Most High your dwelling.

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Since he clings to me in love, I will free him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: “I am with you,”
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

With length of life I will content him;
I shall let him see my saving power.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and will be for ever. Amen.

“Night holds no terrors for me sleeping under God’s wings.”

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Monday Night Vespers

For the past few weeks, every Monday night, I have been blessed to be a part of singing Vespers and Compline (Night Prayer) in my parish, with the Brothers of the Little Oratory. Granted, I have not been blessed with a singing voice in the least and feel I am a hinder to them rather then special add. LOL But they are most definitely a blessing to our parish and to me.

For my readers who do not know what vespers are, even Vatican II stressed the importance of every Catholic praying the Liturgy of the Hours or otherwise known as Divine Office. Please check out the link HERE. Litergy of the Hours is the official set of daily prayers prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited at the canonical hours by the clergy, religious orders, and laity. The Liturgy of the Hours consists primarily of psalms supplemented by hymns and readings. Together with the Mass, it constitutes the official public prayer life of the Church. Upon ordination to the Diaconate, the daily recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours becomes a canonical obligation. The Liturgy of the Hours also forms the basis of prayer within Christian monasticism.
The Liturgy of the Hours, along with the Eucharist, has formed part of the Catholic Church’s public worship from the earliest times.

Praying Vespers on Monday Night is an absolute treat to my soul. Although, I do pray the Divine Office daily. It is prayed in Gregorian Chant, completely in Latin. Last night was the first night I let go of my inhibitions and sung without fear. I have to admit I have never been able to carry a tone but with the help of this group, and the Holy Spirit, I am working on that. As I was praying last night, the Holy Spirit reminded me of something I used to do as a very young child. When I was about four or five, in my parents basement, there was a metal bookcase. More like a utility cabinet that kept books. In it, were my older sisters school books and one of them was the Liturgy of the Hours. I used to take it out and try to read it. Never knowing what it was. I used to ponder about how hard it was to be “Big”. To have to learn all this new stuff. I would sit and stare at the Latin and the voice notes and wonder when I would be able to read them and understand them. I never knew what it was or what it meant. One day, my older sister came home and seen me flipping through the book and said something on the order of “Your Reading Gregorian Chant now? I’ll believe its a miracle when you actually start singing it”. And walked away.

Well??? Here we are. Forty one years later and look! I’m singing Gregorian Chat, the Divine Office, and the glory goes to God.

EDIT TO ADD:

I have to mention the school my older sisters attended was Mother Théodore Guérin High School. Saint Mother Théodore Guérin (1798 – 1856), designated by the Vatican as Saint Theodora, is the foundress of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana, a congregation of Catholic nuns. After a standard process of approval within the church often referred to as a “cause for sainthood,” she was beatified by Pope John Paul II in October 1998 and finally canonized a saint of the Roman Catholic church on October 15, 2006, by Pope Benedict XVI.

Thank you for your intercession Saint Theodora. I truly understand how serious our Lord’s intrest is, in my soul and every soul on earth.

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