Please fast and pray every Thursday for the renewal of the Catholic Church in America. Please note: The Cybersociety will fast on Fridays beginning January 2013, in accordance with ancient custom.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Blessings

Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
Patient of labor, when the end was rest,
Indulged the day that housed their annual grain,
With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain.
--Alexander Pope
They shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the new wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd;
their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more.
I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
(Jeremiah 31:12-13)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Feast of Christ the King

"We see then Our Lord Jesus Christ crowned with many crowns--King, because of His nature, true God from true God; King necessarily of all creation, since in Him all things were made....King, further, in His mission, since through Him...are all things to be 'recapitulated,' brought to a head, receive their explanation....The crowded scroll of the world's history remains ever sealed with its seven seals [till] the Lamb be sent forth from God's throne, Who looses the seals and reads the book, Solver and Solution...the Omega no less than the Alpha of the book that contains all words.

...And lo, having his head thus crowned with many crowns, He lays them, as far as He may, aside. Being rich, he becomes poor. Master of all, He comes among one who serves....For the sake of that uncrowning, we love Him: the little son of Mary, the working lad, the labouring man of Nazareth. The man who walked hungry amid the waving corn, who sank exhausted in the patch of shade beside the ancient well, who slept in the cabin of the little boat, 'His head upon a pillow.' Terrified, heart-sick, in Gethsemane; heart-broken on the Cross; sending Magdalen to be His messenger; known, at Emmaus, when He broke bread. And the vast duty of our subjecthood almost narrows itself to this: try, when you can remember, to do some action of your day simply that it may please Him, for no other reason than that." (C.C. Martindale, S.J., Christ the King)

Friday, November 15, 2013

End of Ordinary Time

                  Thou hast set all the borders of earth; thou hast made summer and winter--Ps.74

Since our post for Corpus Christi, I ran across another term for Ordinary Time, one I like much better: "ordered time." We do not live in darkness, but in the age of the Church: a time for preaching, study, and understanding; for patience, fortitude, and quiet confidence. Graced time.

Here at headquarters, we've been graced by a priest at Sunday Mass who uses Eucharistic Prayer I, the ancient Roman canon. How elegant and stately it is, a legacy of the Church often overlooked. Appropriate to our theme, Raymond Moloney, S.J. says: "The first Eucharistic Prayer invites us to a renewed emphasis on the goodness of created things and a return to the natural rhythms of existence, of which the giving of gifts to the Creator is one."  (Our Eucharistic Prayers, 1985)

Friday, November 8, 2013


No, not just hands drooping with the hammer's weight,
not the taut torso, muscles shaping their own style,
but thought informing the work,
deep, knotted wrinkles on his brow,
and, over his head, joined in a sharp arc, shoulders
and veins vaulted;

So for a moment he is a Gothic cathedral,
cut by a vertical thought born in the eyes.
("The Quarry," Karol Wotyla, Easter Vigil & Other Poems, translated by J. Peterkiewicz.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Chanting at the Crystal Sea

Hark! the sound of holy voices,
Chanting at the crystal sea,
'Alleluia, alleluia,
 alleluia,' Lord, to Thee;
Multitude, which none can number,
Like the stars in glory stands,
Clothed in white apparel, holding
Palms of victory in their hands.

They have come from tribulation,
And have washed their robes in blood,
Washed them in the blood of Jesus,
Tried they were, and firm they stood;
Mocked, imprisoned, stoned, tormented,
Sawn asunder, slain with sword,
They have conquered Death and Satan,
By the might of Christ the Lord.

Now they reign in heavenly glory,
Now they walk in golden light,
Now they drink, as from a river,
Holy bliss, and infinite;
Love and peace they taste forever,
And all truth and knowledge see
In the beatific vision
Of the blessed Trinity.

(Christopher Wordsworth, 1862)