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, December 26, 2014

After the Angels

"Glory to God in the highest!" rang a shout from every throat;
We stood there motionless, our souls suspended--
As had the shepherds who first heard that hymn--
Until the the ground grew still and the hymn ended.
(Dante Alighieri, Purgatorio, Canto XXII, tr. by John Ciardi)

Friday, December 19, 2014

In Dulci Jubilo

Now let us sing with joy and mirth,
In honour of our Lordes birth,
Our heart's consolation
Lies in praesepio,
And shines as the sun...

"When the servant heard the beloved name of Jesus so sweetly sung, he was so happy in heart and mind that all the sufferings he had ever endured disappeared." (Henry Suso, The Life of the Servant)

Henry Suso was a Dominican friar and mystic. When the angels visited him circa 1328, they sang In Dulci Jubilo to celebrate the Savior's birth. We know this German/Latin carol most familiarly in its Victorian incarnation, Good Christian Men, Rejoice. The above is a 16th century translation. "Praesepio" is manger.

Friday, December 12, 2014


"What graces all these little crosses have been....It seems they are so small. [But] they do their work. How God works on your soul by these obscure and unremarkable sufferings that cleanse and drain your wounds! I am glad of every kind of trouble that I have had and thank God in advance for all the trials that are to come." (Thomas Merton, The Sign of Jonas, entry for December 13, 1948.)

He makes the rough places in you plain. Yet his yoke is easy, and his burden light.

Friday, December 5, 2014

"Advent is a time for rousing....It is precisely while he is still deep in the helpless, semi-conscious state, in the pitiable weakness of that borderland between sleep and waking, that man finds the golden thread which binds earth to heaven and gives the benighted soul some inkling of the fullness it is capable of realizing and is called upon to realize." (Alfred Delp, S.J., 1907-1945)