Introit

Introit
Traditional Mass

Wednesday, February 28, 2007



EMBER WEDNESDAY IN SPRING

God gives the very grace by which men seek Him throughout a fervent Lent, just as He called Moses to the mountain top of revelation for a stay of forty days and nights, and as He fed Elias for a walk of forty days and nights to the mount of God. The lenten Ember Days have a double purpose: to offer to God the spring season with its sowing and planting, and to pray and fast for those to be ordained this coming Saturday.

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps. 24:6, 3, 22)
Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your mercy are from of old, that our enemies may never rule over us. Deliver us from all our distress, O God of Israel. Ps. 24:1-2) I have lifted up my soul to You, O Lord; in You, O my God, I place my trust. Let me not be put to shame. V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
V. Let us pray. Let us kneel.
R. Arise!
O Lord, mercifully hear our prayers and let Your right hand of power shield us against our enemies. Through Our Lord . . .

LESSON (Ex. 24:12-18)
In those days, the Lord said to Moses: "Come up to me into the mount, and be there; and I will give thee tables of stone, and the law, and the commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them."
Moses rose up, and his minister Josue: and Moses going up into the mount of God, Said to the ancients: "Wait ye here till we return to you. You have Aaron and Hur with you: if any question shall arise, you shall refer it to them."
And when Moses was gone up, a cloud covered the mount. And the glory of the Lord dwelt upon Sinai, covering it with a cloud six days: and the seventh day he called him out of the midst of the cloud. And the sight of the glory of the Lord, was like a burning fire upon the top of the mount, in the eyes of the children of Israel. And Moses entering into the midst of the cloud, went up into the mountain: And he was there forty days and forty nights.

GRADUAL (Ps. 24:17-18)
The cares of my heart are multiplied; deliver me from my distress, O Lord. V. See my wretchedness and my suffering, and forgive all my sins.

PRAYER
O Lord, look with favor upon the devotion of Your people. As we mortify our bodies through abstinence, may our souls be refreshed by this good work. Through our Lord . . .

READING (III Kings 19:3-8)
In those days, Elias came to Bersabee of Juda, and left his servant there, And he went forward, one day's journey into the desert. And when he was there, and sat under a juniper tree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: "It is enough for me, Lord; take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers." And he cast himself down, and slept in the shadow of the juniper tree: and behold an angel of the Lord touched him, and said to him: "Arise and eat." He looked, and behold there was at his head a hearth cake, and a vessel of water: and he ate and drank, and he fell asleep again. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said to him: "Arise, eat: for thou hast yet a great way to go." And he arose, and ate and drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, unto the mount of God, Horeb.

TRACT (Ps. 24:17, 18, 1-4)
Deliver me from my distress, O Lord. See my affliction and my suffering, and forgive all my sins. V. I have lifted up my soul to You, O Lord; in You, O my God, I place my trust. Let me not be put to shame, nor let my enemies exult over me. V. No one who waits for You shall be left in confusion; let all those be confounded who trust in vain things.

GOSPEL (Matt. 12:38-50)
At that time, certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying: "Master, we would see a sign from thee." Who answering said to them: "An evil and adulterous generation seeketh a sign: and a sign shall not be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was in the whale's belly three days and three nights: so shall the Son of man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon here. "And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: 'I will return into my house from whence I came out.' And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation."
As he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold his mother and his brethren stood without, seeking to speak to him. And one said unto him: "Behold thy mother and thy brethren stand without, seeking thee." But he answering him that told him, said: "Who is my mother, and who are my brethren?" And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said: "Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 118:47-48)
I will meditate on Your commandments, which I love dearly; and I will lift up my hands to Your commands, which I cherish.

SECRET PRAYER
We offer this sacrifice to You, O Lord, to atone for our sins. Mercifully absolve us from our wrong-doing and exert Your power over the inconstancy of our hearts.

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 5:2-4)
Hear my call for help and hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God; for to You I pray, O Lord.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
O Lord, may the reception of Your Sacrament cleanse us from our hidden faults, and guard us against the deceptions of our enemies. Through our Lord . . .

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Lord, enlighten our minds with Your own clear light, that we may understand our duties and fulfill them with courage. Through Our Lord . . .




Tuesday, February 27, 2007



SAINT GABRIEL OF OUR LADY OF SORROWS

Gabriel Possenti (1838-62), the son of a distinguished Italian lawyer, entered the novitiate of the Passionist Fathers, receiving in religion the name of Brother Gabriel of Our lady of Sorrows. The story of the remaining six years of this young saint's life is largely a record of an extraordinary effort to attain spiritual perfection in small things, but his devotion to Mary was exceptional. Pope Leo XIII said of him: "Because of his filial love for Mary at the foot of the cross, he deserves to take his place by St. John, the beloved disciple, to whom Jesus in His dying hour commended His Mother."

ENTRANCE HYMN (Eccli. 11:13)
The eye of God has looked upon him for good, and He has lifted him up from his low estate and has exalted his head; and many have been in admiration of him and have glorified God. Ps. 72:1. How good is God to Israel, to those whose heart is upright! V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O God, You taught blessed Gabriel to meditate constantly on the sorrows of Your most sweet Mother, and You exalted him by glorious virtues and miracles. Through his prayers and example may we share the sorrows of Your Mother and come to eternal life under Her motherly care; who lives and rules with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Commemoration of TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Look kindly upon Your household, O Lord. May the mortification of our bodies purify our minds also and make us desire You. Through our Lord . . .

READING (I John 2:14-17)
Beloved, I write unto you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and you have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, nor the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the charity of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the concupiscence of the flesh and the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life, which is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passeth away and the concupiscence thereof: but he that doth the will of God abideth for ever.

GRADUAL (Ps. 30:20)
How great and manifold are the delights, O Lord, which You have stored up for those who fear You! V. Which You show to them who hope in You, in the sight of the children of men.

TRACT (Ps. 83:6-7, 11, 13)
Blessed is the man whose help is from You; who has determined in his heart to make the journey through the vale of tears to the place he seeks. V. I had rather to be one of the lowest in the house of my God than to live in the dwelling place of sinners. V. He will not withhold good things from those who walk in innocence. O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You!

GOSPEL (Mark 10:13-21)
At that time, they brought to him young children, that he might touch them. And the disciples rebuked them that brought them. Whom when Jesus saw, he was much displeased and saith to them: "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Amen I say to you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter into it." And embracing them and laying his hands upon them, he blessed them.
And when he was gone forth into the way, a certain man, running up and kneeling before him, asked him: "Good Master, what shall I do that I may receive life everlasting?" And Jesus said to him: "Why callest thou me good? None is good but one, that is God. Thou knowest the commandments: Do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, bear not false witness, do no fraud, honour thy father and mother."
But he answering, said to him: "Master, all these things I have observed from my youth." And Jesus, looking on him, loved him and said to him: "One thing is wanting unto thee. Go, sell whatsoever thou hast and give to the poor: and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 115:16-17)
O Lord, I am Your servant, and the son of Your handmaiden. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to You a sacrifice of praise.

SECRET PRAYER
We offer You, O Lord, this life-giving sacrifice in memory of blessed Gabriel. make us always remember the sacrifice of Your death, and let us share in the abundant effects of that sacrifice through the merits of the sorrowing Virgin; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Commemoration of TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

O Lord, be moved to compassion by our offerings and shield us from all danger. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Apoc. 3:20)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man listens to My voice and opens the door to Me, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with Me.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
O Lord, on this feast of Your holy confessor Gabriel, we give thanks for all we have received from You. Graciously accept our gratitude through the hands of the glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, from whom You took flesh--the same flesh that we have received in this Banquet of Salvation; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Commemoration of TUESDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK OF LENT

Almighty God, grant that we may attain the salvation promised us through this Sacrament. Through Our Lord . . .

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Let our prayers come before You, O Lord. drive away all evil from Your Church. Through Our Lord . . .






Monday, February 26, 2007



MONDAY OF THE FIRST WEEK IN LENT

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps, 122:2)
As the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters, so are our eyes on the Lord, our God, until He have pity on us. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us! Ps. 122:1. To You, who are enthroned in heaven, have I lifted up my eyes. V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O Lord of our salvation, change our hearts and enlighten us by Your heavenly teachings, that this Lenten fast may be profitable to us. Through Our Lord . . .

READING (Ezech. 34:11-16)
For thus saith the Lord God: "Behold I myself will seek my sheep, and will visit them. As the shepherd visiteth his flock in the day when he shall be in the midst of his sheep that were scattered, so will I visit my sheep, and will deliver them out of all the places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples, and will gather them out of the countries, and will bring them to their own land: and I will feed them in the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the habitations of the land. I will feed them in the most fruitful pastures, and their pastures shall be in the high mountains of Israel: there shall they rest on the green grass, and be fed in fat pastures upon the mountains of Israel. I will feed my sheep: and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost: and that which was driven away, I will bring again: and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve, and I will feed them in judgment," says the Lord Almighty.

GRADUAL (Ps. 83:10, 9)
Behold our protector, O God, and look upon Your servants. V. O Lord, God of hosts, hear the prayers of Your servants.

TRACT (Ps. 102:10; 78:8-9)
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. O Lord, remember not our iniquities of the past; let Your mercy come quickly to us, for we are being brought very low. (All Kneel.) V. Help us, O God our Savior, and for the glory of Your name, O Lord, deliver us; and pardon us our sins for Your names sake.

GOSPEL (Matt. 25:31-46)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, "And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty. And all nations shall be gathered together before him: and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left. Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you covered me: sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came to me.' "Then shall the just answer him, saying: 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry and fed thee: thirsty and gave thee drink? Or when did we see thee a stranger and took thee in? Or naked and covered thee? Or when did we see thee sick or in prison and came to thee?' And the king answering shall say to them: 'Amen I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me.' "Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: 'Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty and you gave me not to drink. I was a stranger and you took me not in: naked and you covered me not: sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also shall answer him, saying: 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not minister to thee?' Then he shall answer them, saying: 'Amen: I say to you, as long as you did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.' And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 118:18, 26, 73)
I will lift up my eyes and consider Your wondrous deeds, O Lord, that You may teach me Your way of justice. Give me understanding that I may learn Your commandments.

SECRET PRAYER
Bless these gifts we offer You, O Lord. May they cleanse us from the stain of our sins. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

COMMUNION HYMN (Matt. 25:40, 34)
Amen I say to you, whatever you did for one of these, the least of my brethren, you did for Me. Come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
O Lord, may the banquet of salvation, of which we have partaken with joy, bring us a new life. Through our Lord . . .

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
Free us from the slavery of our sins, O Lord, and mercifully shield us from the punishments these sins deserve. Through our Lord . . .



Sunday, February 25, 2007



FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT


After our first brave efforts of Lent, our natural inclinations tend to reassert themselves. Temptations may increase their strength or their frequency. Hence the danger of discouragement and of slackening in the observance of generous lenten resolutions. It is the critical hour, in which temptation may surprise us, turn our thoughts inward upon peresonal problems, and make us forget the sufferings of other men. Brother to all men, Jesus showed that temptation can be a way of redeeming souls--our own and those of others. "In that He Himself has suffered and has been tempted, He is able to help those who are tempted" (Heb. 2:18)

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps. 90:15-16)
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him, I will deliver him and glorify him with length of days. Ps. 90:1. He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High shall abide in the protection of the God of heaven. V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O God, each year You purify the Church through the lenten observance. May the good works of Your Church obtain for us the grace we ask for through our self-denial. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

READING (II Cor. 6:1-10)
Brethren: We do exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain. For he saith: In an accepted time have I heard thee and in the day of salvation have I helped thee. Behold, now is the acceptable time: behold, now is the day of salvation. Giving no offence to any man, that our ministry be not blamed. But in all things let us exhibit ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in tribulation, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in prisons, in seditions, in labours, in watchings, in fastings, In chastity, in knowledge, in longsuffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Ghost, in charity unfeigned, In the word of truth, in the power of God: by the armour of justice on the right hand and on the left: By honour and dishonour: by evil report and good report: as deceivers and yet true: as unknown and yet known: As dying and behold we live: as chastised and not killed: As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing: as needy, yet enriching many: as having nothing and possessing all things.

GRADUAL (Ps. 90:11-12)
God has given his angels charge over you, that they guard you in all your ways. V. Upon their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

TRACT (Ps. 90:1-7; 11-16)
He who dwells inm the shelter of the Most High shall abide in the protection of the God of heaven. V. He shall say to the Lord, "You are my support and my refuge; my God, in You I trust." V. For he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word. V. He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust. V. His truth shall compass thee with a shield: thou shalt not be afraid of the terror of the night. V. Of the arrow that flieth in the day, of the business that walketh about in the dark: of invasion, or of the noonday devil. V. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee. V. For he hath given his angels charge over thee; to keep thee in all thy ways. V. In their hands they shall bear thee up: lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. V. Thou shalt walk upon the asp and the basilisk: and thou shalt trample under foot the lion and the dragon. V. Because he hoped in me I will deliver him: I will protect him because he hath known my name. V. He shall cry to me, and I will hear him: I am with him in tribulation, V. I will deliver him, and I will glorify him. I will fill him with length of days; and I will shew him my salvation.

GOSPEL (Matt. 4:1-11)
At that time, Jesus was led by the spirit into the desert, to be tempted by the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards he was hungry. And the tempter coming said to him: "If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread." Who answered and said: "It is written,

Not in bread alone doth man live, but in every word that proceedeth from the
mouth of God."

Then the devil took him up into the holy city, and set him upon the pinnacle of the temple, And said to him: "If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down, for it is written:

That he hath given his angels charge over thee, and in their hands shall they
bear thee up, lest perhaps thou dash thy foot against a stone."
Jesus said to him: "It is written again:

Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."
Again the devil took him up into a very high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, And said to him: "All these will I give thee, if falling down thou wilt adore me." Then Jesus saith to him: "Begone, Satan: for it is written:

The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and him only shalt thou serve."

Then the devil left him; and behold angels came and ministered to him.

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 90:4-5)
The Lord will cover you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall find refuge. His truth shall surround you with a shield.

SECRET PRAYER
O Lord, we solemnly offer You our sacrifice at the beginning of Lent, and pray that by observing abstinence we may also learn to avoid sinful pleasures. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 90:4-5)
The Lord will cover you with His shoulders, and under His wings you shall find refuge. His truth shall surround you with a shield.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
May the worthy reception of the Blessed Sacrament give us new strength, O Lord. May it cleanse us from our old selves and bring us closer to our salvation. Through our Lord . . .


Saturday, February 24, 2007


SAINT MATTHIAS

Apostle

After the Ascension of Jesus, St. Peter proposed to the assembled faithful that they choose a disciple of Christ to fill the place of the traitor Judas in the first missionary band. Lots were drawn, with the result in favor of Matthias. According to one ancient tradition, this missioner labored in Ethiopia and was martyred there. Thus did St. Matthias receive "the crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him" (James 1:12).

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps. 138:17)
Your friends are greatly honored by me, O God; their pre-eminence is definitely established. Ps. 138:1. O Lord, You have proved me and You know me; You know when I sit and when I stand. V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O God, You made blessed Matthias one of the group of Your apostles. May his intercession enable us to feel the effects of Your mercy. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

Hear our prayers, O Lord, and help us strictly observe the solemn fast that was enjoined upon us as a healing for our body and our soul. Through Our Lord . . .

READING (Acts 1:15-26)
In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty): "Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: 'Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein.' And 'His bishopric let another take.'
" Wherefore of these men who have companied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection."
And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: "Thou, Lord, who knowest the heart of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place." And they gave them lot, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

GRADUAL (Ps. 138:17-18)
Your friends are greatly honored, o God; their pre-eminence is definitely established. V. Were I to try to number them, they would be more numerous than the sands.

TRACT (Ps. 20:3-4)
You have granted him his heart's desire; You have not refused him the wish of his lips. V. You have made him excel by Your choicest blessings. V. You have placed on his head a crown of precious stones.

GOSPEL (Matt. 11:25-30)
At that time Jesus answered and said: "I confess to thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones. Yea, Father: for so hath it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered to me by my Father. And no one knoweth the Son but the Father: neither doth any one know the Father, but the Son, and he to whom it shall please the Son to reveal him. Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is sweet and my burden light."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 44:17-18)
You shall make them princes through all the land; they shall remember Your name, O Lord, in every generation and age.

SECRET PRAYER
May Your blessed apostle Matthias join his prayers to the sacrifice we offer to Your name, O Lord, so that it may win Your pardon and protection for us. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

O Lord, accept this sacrifice, which You have instituted in order that man may be at peace with God. May it cleanse us from sin so that our love may also be acceptable to You. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Matt. 19:28)
You who have followed Me shall sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
O Almighty God, may our reception of Your Holy Sacrament and the intercession of Your blessed apostle Matthias bring us Your pardon and peace. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

We are nourished by the Bread of Heavenly life, O Lord. May this Sacrifice that is hidden under the veil of mystery in this life help us through all eternity. Through Our Lord . . .

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE

Let us pray. Bow down your heads before God.

O Lord, may the faithful be strengthened by the reception of Your Sacramental Gifts. And having received Them, may they hunger after Them still; and through hungering, may they come constantly to be nourished by Them. Through Our Lord . . .

Friday, February 23, 2007



SAINT PETER DAMIAN
Bishop and Doctor of the Church

The tenth century was a dark age for the Church, but an upsurge of faith and morals began soon after the year 1000. One of the foremost apostles of reform was Peter Damian (1007-72), a native of Ravenna, Italy. Seven Popes in succession sought his advice, and St. Peter induced two antipopes to withdraw their pretensions to the Holy See. He often said: "We can never restore primitive discipline when once it is decayed; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair the breach."

Mass of a
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, except

PRAYER
O Almighty God, grant that we may follow the teaching and example of Your blessed confessor bishop Peter, and turn away from the things of earth that we may attain the joys of heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
Watch over the fast we have undertaken, O Lord, and let this bodily penance also be a truly spiritual exercise to make us strong. Through Our Lord . . .

Thursday, February 22, 2007



SAINT PETER'S CHAIR AT ANTIOCH

This feast commemorates the seven years during which Pope Peter ruled the Church from Antioch before he went to Rome. Since the majority of the Jews had rejected Christianity, Peter left Jerusalem and founded the see of Antioch among the Gentiles. In that large Eastern city, Christianity took deep root, and it was there that the faithful were first called by the name of Christians. After seven years the Vicar of Christ transferred his see to Rome, the very center of the ancient world, so that from it the messengers of salvation might radiate to the uttermost ends of the earth.

PRAYER
O God, You have entrusted the keys of the kingdom of heaven to Your blessed apostle Peter and have given him the power of bishop to bind or to loose. May his intercession free us from the slavery of sin; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

Commemoration of SAINT PAUL
O God, you have instructed many nations through the preaching of the blessed apostle Paul. Let the power of his intercession with You help us who venerate his memory this day.

Commemoration of THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
O God, sin offends You but penance can turn away Your anger. Hear the prayers of Your suppliant people and do not punish us in anger, even though our sins justly deserve it. Through Our Lord . . .


Wednesday, February 21, 2007



ASH WEDNESDAY


Today's Mass embodies the spirit of Lent. All are reminded to be sorry for sin and to do penance, but not in a spirit of showy sadness or of inward despair. Rather, let the sincere and humble prepare with inner joy to celebrate their baptism in Christ. By living their baptismal promises, they enter more deeply into Christ's suffering. Knowing God's desire to forgive, t heal, and to share with all men His own divine life, we discipline our passions gladly and with confidence in victory. God gives the grace for every Lenten restraint. Therefore everyone should receive the blessed ashes, both as a means of grace and as a reminder to do penance unobtrusively, for personal sins and for the sins of all mankind.

Before the Mass, the celebrant vested in alb, purple stole, and cope, goes up to the altar for the blessing of the ashes.

THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE ASHES

The celebrant stands and receives ashes on his head; he then distributes them to the clergy and the congregation, who kneel before him. He admonishes each one as he places ashes on his head:

Remember, man, that you are dust, and into dust you shall return.

THE MASS

ENTRANCE HYMN (Sap. 11:24, 25, 27)
You are merciful to all, O Lord, and hate none of the things that You have made. When men repent, You overlook their sins and pardon them; for You are the Lord our God. Ps. 56:2. Have pity on me, O God, have pity on me, for my soul trusts in You. V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O Lord, may the faithful begin the solemn season of fast with fitting piety, and may they continue through to its end with unwavering devotion. Through our Lord . . .

READING (Joel 2:12-19)
Now, therefore, saith the Lord. Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly,
Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Between the porch and the altar the priests, the Lord's ministers, shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathens should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God? The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people. And the Lord answered, and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.

GRADUAL (Ps. 56:2, 4)
Have pity on me, O God, have pity on me, for my soul trusts in You. V. He has sent from heaven, and saved me; He has made them a reproach who trample upon me.

TRACT (Ps. 102:10; 78:8-9)
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. V. O Lord, remember not our iniquities of the past; let Your mercy come quickly to us, for we are being brought very low. (All Kneel.) V. Help us, O God our Savior, and for the glory of Your name, O Lord, deliver us; and pardon us our sins for Your name's sake.

GOSPEL (Matt. 6:16-21)
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, "And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, sad. For they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen I say to you, they have received their reward. But thou, when thou fastest anoint thy head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret, will repay thee.
"Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through, and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 29:2-3)
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have upheld me, and have not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord, I cried out to You and You have healed me.

SECRET PRAYER
O Lord, make us truly fit to offer these gifts with which we commemorate the institution of this blessed Sacrament. Through our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 1:2-3)
He who meditates on the law of the Lord day and night shall bring forth his fruit in due season.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
O Lord, may this Sacrament which we have received make our fasting an acceptable offering to You and a healthful remedy to our souls. Through our Lord . . .

PRAYER OVER THE PEOPLE
O Lord, look with mercy upon those who worship before Your majesty. May Your heavenly aid always strengthen those who have feasted upon Your divine Sacrament. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.




Tuesday, February 20, 2007



THE PLACE OF THE MASS IN THE DIVINE PLAN

CHRIST'S INTERVENTION

At this tragic moment in the history of humanity, when the Blessed Trinity could have, conceivably, left us to shift for ourselves (i.e. left us in our state of hopeless misery); Jesus, listening only to His divine Heart, intervened:

"Father, these men are for Me the sign and expression of Your love. They are My children--as this earth is already My garden. They are Mine, for it was for My sake that You gave them life and being. Already, they have captivated My Heart! Never will I abandon them! Since they are incapable of knowing My joy, I am determined to share their misery."

"Christ was to have come in glory; like the bridegroom, whose arrival on the wedding day is joyously awaited by the wedding guests. Now His coming will take place under the reign of Sin; in a body capable of being crushed by suffering; with a Heart that affliction will overwhelm, but that only love can break! He will come to destroy sin; this 'wall of separation' between God and man--between man and man. He will reconcile in His Blood Heaven and earth. He will unite the peoples."

[To be continued]



Monday, February 19, 2007


THE PLACE OF THE MASS IN THE DIVINE PLAN
Continued

THE BREAK IN THE HARMONY OF THE DIVINE PLAN--SIN

Alas, man is free to destroy God's harmonious plan! "Everything is in equilibrium, because everything tends toward God. All things cohere, because all things are submissive to the Author of life and being. But this adhesion to God is effected in a free act of love. The freedom with which man is adorned, gives to the entire creation an incomparable majesty. God thus receives a praise that is spontaneous. This very freedom, however, exposes the one enjoying it to immense peril. Let man but once refuse to spread forth his hands in a gesture of oblation, and the whole order of things falls apart."

But one day man, in a gesture of pride and egoism, rejected his priesthood. His role of mediator no longer satisfied him. Man "would be like God." Through his lips, Satan once more uttered his cry of rage, "I will not serve!"

By his refusal, man shattered the universe. For the universe rested on man as the arch on the keystone, or as the spider's web on the supporting filament, or as a house of cards on the bottom card.

The entire universe turned against man, its betrayer. In chorus, it hurled back into the teeth of man the cry that man had dared to address to God, "I will not serve!"

First of all, man's own body revolted. man, terror-stricken, suddenly beheld within himself the unleashing of sinful passions. Henceforth, seven fetters, which theology is later to designate by the title of "Capital Sins," will shackle his formerly free impulses--Adam and Eve "perceive themselves to be naked."

Man is deeply stricken in the very harmony of his being: "I will multiply your sorrows and your conceptions; in sorrow shall you bring forth children."

Social discord now corresponds to inner imbalance. "You shall be under your husband's power, and he shall have dominion over you."

Looming up on the horizon, in addition to these "domestic squabbles," are quarrels between families, wars between city and city, between nation and nation, world war, revolution.

The animal kingdom, over which man formerly reigned, rises up in its turn. The earth itself refuses to co-operate with man. Only at the cost of a struggle, will man be able to wrest from it miserably a few meagre fruits: "Cursed is the earth in your work. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you."

Man is broken, disoriented. Suffering is to be, henceforth, his earthly portion. "In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread . . . In sorrow shall you bring forth children."

Man, created to be the friend of Christ, has gone astray in the disobedience of Adam. Humanity, separated from Christ, is without form or beauty. "The races of men, no longer unified by the life of Jesus, who made of them one body and rendered them--in Him--pleasing to God; array themselves in opposite camps and tear one another to shreds. Separation from Christ unleashed inevitably hatred, blood, tears, death, and damnation. The world, through its own fault, now lives in fear."

Will God remain deaf, insensible, to the cry of His distressed creature? Will He punish or pardon?

[From 'YOUR MASS AND YOUR LIFE', to be continued]

Sunday, February 18, 2007



QUINQUAGESIMA SUNDAY

Excitement and tension are in the prayers and lessons of today's Mass. There is an appreciation of what Christ our Leader must endure for mankind's redemption, and a joy at the sure outcome of His warfare with Satan. We are confident that love will triumph.
Baptism commits everyone to carry a cross, especially the cross of consistent, unobtrusive charity. As Jesus commanded the blind man of Jericho to be brought to Him, so He commands His members to bring to Him those who need Him as their light and their love. We fulfill our own baptismal promises by helping others to renounce Satan and to put on Christ.

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps. 30:3-4)
Be a God of protection to me, a place of shelter to give me safety. For You are my strength and my refuge; for Your name's sake You will lead me and nourish me. Ps. 30:2. In You, O Lord, have I hoped; let me never to be put to shame. In Your justice rescue me and set me free. V. Glory be . . .
PRAYER
Hear our prayers, we beg You, O Lord. Free us from the slavery of our sins, and protect us against all adversity. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Commemoration of SAINT SIMEON, Bishop and Martyr

St. Simeon was a close relative of the Blessed Virgin. The Apostles chose him to succeed the martyred St. James the Lesser as bishop of Jerusalem. In all probability Simeon directed the Christians in their retreat to Pella, when the Holy City was destroyed. During Trajan's persecution, Simeon was denounced to the governor Atticus as being not only a Christian, but also a descendant of David. The venerable bishop endured two days of torture before his crucifixion in the year 106.

PRAYER
Almighty God, look upon our weakness and the heavy burden we carry because of our own deeds. Let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Simeon in Heaven be our protection. Through Our Lord . . .

READING (I Cor. 13:1-13)
Brethren: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I should have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely, is not puffed up, Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil: Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth: Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void or tongues shall cease or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part: and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity.

GRADUAL (Ps. 76:15, 16)
You are the God who alone works wonders; You have made known Your power among the nations. V. With Your strong are You have freed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph.

TRACT (Ps. 99:1-2)
Sing joyfully to God, all the earth; serve the Lord with gladness. V. Come before Him with joyful song. Know that the Lord is God. V. He made us, not we ourselves; and we are His people, the flock He tends.

GOSPEL (Luke 18:31-43)
At that time, Jesus took unto him the twelve and said to them: "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and all things shall be accomplished which were written by the prophets concerning the Son of man. For he shall be delivered to the Gentiles and shall be mocked and scourged and spit upon. And after they have scourged him, they will put him to death. And the third day he shall rise again."
And they understood none of these things, and this word was hid from them: and they understood not the things that were said.
Now it came to pass, when he drew nigh to Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the way side, begging. And when he heard the multitude passing by, he asked what this meant. And they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying: "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me."
And they that went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried out much more: "Son of David, have mercy on me."
And Jesus standing, commanded him to be brought unto him. And when he was come near, he asked him, Saying; "What wilt thou that I do to thee?" But he said: "Lord, that I may see." And Jesus said to him: "Receive thy sight: thy faith hath made thee whole." And immediately he saw and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 118:12-13)
Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your commandments. With my lips I have pronounced all the judgments of your mouth.

SECRET PRAYER
May this offering cleanse us from our sins, O Lord, and may it sanctify Your servants in body and soul for the celebration of this sacrifice. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 77:29-30)
They ate, and were well filled, and the Lord gave them what they craved. They were not cheated of their desires.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
Almighty God, we pray that the reception of this Bread of Heaven may strengthen us against all adversity. Through Our Lord . . .



Saturday, February 17, 2007



THE PLACE OF THE MASS IN THE DIVINE PLAN
Continued

MAN'S RETURN

Man, having come from God, must return to God: his Final End. "You have made us for you, O God," cried St. Augustine, "and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You!"

The creation--a work of sheer mercy, a stooping of the Creator toward the creature--returns to God, chanting a hymn of praise and thanksgiving. A feather from a bird, a ray of light, a finely modulated voice, a drop of water falling to earth, a hastening ant, a seed sprouting from the earth, the stars that whirl in the firmament with never a collision; all are directed by God to that magnificent end for which He has ordained them--man's pleasure, Christ's happiness, and finally, the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.

"All are yours, and you are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (I Cor. 3:23)

Man looks; and the purity of his heart enables him to read God's message, inscribed in wondrous characters in the vast book of the universe. "Immediately, he perceives the sensation of an intense movement of life, pulsating throughout the entire universe. Man hears the prayer of all living creatures inviting him--as if a dumb man were to pluck him silently by the sleeve--to praise the God who gave them existence."

Man, mute with astonishment, observes that all this munificence is intended for him. He hears (as will hear many centuries later, St. Francis of Assisi) the voice of creation whispering to him, "O man, it was God who created me for you!" Man feels like a child in a Christian land who has just discovered--at the foot of the chimney--the profusion of gifts and toys left there for him by loving hands, in honor of the Savior's birth. His poor heart, almost bursting with happiness at so many proofs of love, opens like an alabaster vase and breathes forth its perfume in an act of pure love and endless gratitude. And in this act of charity proceeding from man's heart and lips, the whole creation returns--through him--its thanks to God! For this was the admirable task entrusted to man: to be the intermediary (after Christ), the living link between creation and Creator; to be a priest, an authorized offerer of thanks.
[From 'YOUR MASS AND YOUR LIFE']

Friday, February 16, 2007


THE PLACE OF THE MASS IN THE DIVINE PLAN

continued

7--What is meant by these expressions: "Through Him, with Him, and in Him?"

Let us make another comparison.

Here is an example. A rich father is about to give a cherished daughter in marriage. This father, because of his love for his daughter, has had a lovely cottage built for her in an enchanting corner of the country. He has completely furnished the cottage; and has even engaged servants, domestic help, and so on.

Here again, all these preparations--the result of the father's love for his daughter--may have been made far in advance of the wedding date. But they have been made solely in view of the marriage on which all these provisions hinge, toward which they converge.

Although the father is doing this purely because of his love for his daughter, the son-in-law will also share in the benefits. Why? Because of the latter's union with the cherished daughter. Except for this union, the father certainly would not have done anything for the young man; nor spent a penny on him.

With this example as a guide, it is easy to understand the meaning of expressions such as, "through Him, with Him, and unto Him, we are made pleasing to God the Father."

To the degree that the marriage is a success and the young man pleases the girl, the father will feel affection for him and be favorably disposed toward him. The more the father-in-law sees his son-in-law trying to make his daughter happy, the more benefits will he shower upon him. As for the son-in-law, if he wants his father-in-law to do him a favor, or pardon him for some youthful prank, he will ask his young bride to intercede for him.

The practical application is not far to seek.

In the same degree in which we are united to our Lord and working for His interests, the Heavenly Father loves us and pardons our sins "through Him"--through His intercession--and showers us with His blessings; even to the sharing in His divine life, and Heaven, the heritage of His divine Son.

If God's love for Christ obtains for us the inestimable gift of life; Jesus' love for us obliges, as it were, His Father to extend His mercy and paternal solicitude toward us. It is this ardent affection of Christ for us--as we shall see later on--that saves us from the eternal loss of Heaven and from death-dealing sin.

[From 'Your Mass and Your Life', to be continued]

Thursday, February 15, 2007


SAINTS FAUSTINUS AND JOVITA
Martyrs

Faustinus, a priest and Jovita, a deacon, were brothers, born into a family of the nobility in Brescia, Italy. They preached the Christian religion openly during the persecution under the Emperor Hadrian. When neither threats nor torments could shake their fidelity to Christ, Hadrian ordered their beheading about the year 121.
The two brothers were sent to the amphitheater to be devoured by lions, but four of those came out and lay down at their feet. They were left without food in a dark jail cell, but Angels brought them strength and joy for new combats. The flames of a huge fire respected them, and a large number of spectators were converted at the sight. Finally sentenced to decapitation, they knelt down and received the death blow. The city of Brescia honors them as its chief patrons and possesses their relics, and a very ancient church in that city bears their names.

PRAYER
We are made happy, O God, by the annual feast of Your holy martyrs Faustinus and Jovita. As we joyously remember the merits of these saints, may we also be inspired by their example. Through Our Lord . . .

SECRET PRAYER
O Lord, hear the prayers we offer on the feast of Your saints. Since we cannot rely on our own merits, let the merits of those who have been pleasing to You help us. Through Our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
We have been nourished by the Sacrament of Salvation, O Lord. Help us also through the prayers of Your saints whom we honor this day. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and rules with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


SAINT VALENTINE
Priest and Martyr

During the persecution under Emperor Claudius II, Valentine, a zealous priest in Rome, ministered boldly to the martyr. He was arrested and taken before the prefect, who made tempting offers to induce him to apostatize. Finding that he was wasting his breath, the prefect condemned Valentine to death. The beheading took place on February 14, about the year 270. The true follower of Christ ignores worldly caution when he is called upon to bear witness to Jesus. "The inclination of the flesh is death, but the inclination of the spirit, life and peace" (Rom. 8:6)

PRAYER
O Almighty God, today we are celebrating the birthday of Your blessed martyr Valentine. Hear his prayers and rescue us from all the dangers that threaten us. Through Our Lord . . .

SECRET PRAYER
O Lord, graciously accept the gifts we offer You, and let them help us in our salvation through the merits of Your blessed martyr Valentine. Through Our Lord . . .

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
May this heavenly Sacrament bring us health of soul and body, O Lord, and may the intercession of the blessed martyr Valentine make us feel the power of the Sacred Rite which we have celebrated. Through Our Lord . . .

Tuesday, February 13, 2007



THE PLACE OF THE MASS IN THE DIVINE PLAN
CONTINUED


6 -- How can Christ be first in the thought of God, the Exemplar or Model of creation; and at the same time come to earth so long after the first man appeared on earth?


To understand this, let us make a comparison.

Suppose that you--in Montreal--decide to go to Quebec City. The first thought that comes to mind is "Quebec." But before you arrive in Quebec, you must first take several steps. You must go by automobile or else buy a railroad ticket. You must pass through all the towns between here and Quebec, and the last place you will reach will be Quebec. That is why we say: "That which is first in the order of intention, is last in the order of execution."
[From 'Your Mass and Your Life']

Monday, February 12, 2007


THE SEVEN FOUNDERS OF THE
SERVITE ORDER
Confessors

In the thirteenth century, the prosperous city of Florence was torn by political struggles and troubled by heresy. Seven young Florentines offered their lives to atone for the sins of their fellow citizens. They became hermits, meditating constantly on the Passion of Jesus and the sorrows of Mary at the foot of the cross. In 1240 our Blessed Lady inspired the holy solitaries to found a new order, the Servants of Mary. The society grew amazingly and from Italy spread to France, Germany, Poland, and even Asia.

ENTRANCE HYMN (Sap. 10:20-21)
The just sang to Your holy name, O Lord; with one accord they praised Your victorious hand. For wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, and made the tongues of infants eloquent. Ps. 8:2. O Lord, our Lord, how glorious is Your name over all the earth V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O Lord Jesus Christ, through the seven blessed fathers You enriched Your Church with the new Order of Servites in order to keep alive the memory of the sorrows of Your most holy Mother. May we be united in the sorrows of these saints so that we may also share in their joys; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .

READING (Eccli. 44:1-15) [Sir.]
Let us now praise men of renown and our fathers in their generation. The Lord hath wrought great glory through his magnificence from the beginning. Such as have borne rule in their dominions, men of great power, and endued with their wisdom, shewing forth in the prophets the dignity of prophets, And ruling over the present people, and by the strength of wisdom instructing the people in most holy words. Such as by their skill sought out musical tunes, and published canticles of the scriptures. Rich men in virtue, studying beautifulness: living at peace in their houses. All these have gained glory in their generations, and were praised in their days. They that were born of them have left a name behind them, that their praises might be related: And there are some, of whom there is no memorial: who are perished, as if they had never been: and are become as if they had never been born, and their children with them. But these were men of mercy, whose godly deeds have not failed: Good things continue with their seed, Their posterity are a holy inheritance, and their seed hath stood in the covenants. And their children for their sakes remain for ever: their seed and their glory shall not be forsaken. Their bodies are buried in peace, and their name liveth unto generation and generation. Let the people shew forth their wisdom, and the church declare their praise.

GRADUAL (Isa. 65:23; Eccli. 44:14)
My chosen ones shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth in distress, for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their posterity with them. V. Their bodies are buried in peace and their name lives unto generation and generation.

TRACT (Ps. 125:5-7)
They who sow in tears shall reap in joy. V. They went forth weeping to sow their seed. V. But on their return they shall come with joy; carrying their sheaves.

GOSPEL (Matt. 19:27-29)
At that time, Peter answering, said to him: "Behold we have left all things, and have followed thee: what therefore shall we have?" And Jesus said to them: "Amen I say to you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the seat of his majesty, you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Isa. 56:7)
I will bring them unto My holy mountain, and I will make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their holocausts and their victims shall please Me upon My altar.

SECRET PRAYER
O Lord, graciously accept the sacrifice we offer You. Through the prayers of Your saints inflame us with love for the sorrowing Virgin Mother of Your Son and let us serve You in freedom of spirit. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (John 15:16)
I have chosen you from the world that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
We are refreshed by the Sacrament of Heaven, O Lord. May we follow the examples of these saints, whom we honor today, and stand faithfully beneath the cross of Jesus with Mary His Mother, in order that we may also share in the effects of His redeeming sacrifice. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .


Sunday, February 11, 2007



SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY

This Sunday moves deeper into immediate preparation for Lent. It is a day of testing the soil of human hearts, to find out how ready everyone is for the good seed of grace that God is sure to offer. Has our vision enlarged to see all men as our brothers? Has our love reached out to all the world's sufferers, at least by sympathy and prayer? Is our hand open to the needy of our local community?
The Prayer recalls that in old Rome this Mass was always said at the "stational" church of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls.

ENTRANCE HYMN (Ps. 43:23-26)
Awake! Why are you asleep, O Lord? Arise! Cast us not off forever! Why do you hide your face and forget our troubles? Our bodies are pressed to the earth. Arise, O Lord, help us, and free us! Ps. 43:2. O God, our ears have heard, our fathers have spoken to us. V. Glory be . . .

PRAYER
O God, You see that we place no trust in our ability and actions. May the prayers of the Doctor of the Gentiles defend us against all adversity. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of THE APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

During the year 1858 our Blessed Lady appeared eighteen times from February 11 to July 16 to Bernadette Soubirous, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a destitute day laborer of Lourdes in France. Through this humble child, the Mother of God announced to the world her sublime title of the Immaculate Conception and a special message of penance and love.
Mary of the Immaculate Conception is the national patron of the Church in the United States of America, and so we should develop a special interest in helping to fill the treasury of graces that our compassionate Mother distributes so freely for the conversion of sinners to God.

PRAYER
O God, You prepared a fitting dwelling place for Your Son by preserving the Blessed Virgin immaculate at the moment of her conception. Grant health of mind and body to all of us who celebrate the feast of Blessed Mary's apparition today. Through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord . . .

READING (II Cor. 11:19-33; 12:1-9)
Brethren: For you gladly suffer the foolish: whereas yourselves are wise. For you suffer if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take from you, if a man be lifted up, if a man strike you on the face.
I seek according to dishonour, as if we had been weak in this part. Wherein if any man dare (I speak foolishly), I dare also. They are Hebrews: so am I. They are Israelites: so am I. They are the seed of Abraham: so am I. They are the ministers of Christ (I speak as one less wise): I am more; in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods: once I was stoned: thrice I suffered shipwreck: a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.
In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren: In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness: Besides those things which are without: my daily instance, the solicitude for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is scandalized, and I am not on fire?
If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things that concern my infirmity. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for ever, knoweth that I lie not. At Damascus, the governor of the nation under Aretas the king, guarded the city of the Damascenes, to apprehend me. And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall: and so escaped his hands. If I must glory (it is not expedient indeed) but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ: above fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth), such a one caught up to the third heaven. And I know such a man (whether in the body, or out of the body, I know not: God knoweth): That he was caught up into paradise and heard secret words which it is not granted to man to utter.
For such an one I will glory: but for myself I will glory nothing but in my infirmities. For though I should have a mind to glory, I shall not be foolish: for I will say the truth. But I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth in me, or any thing he heareth from me.
And lest the greatness of the revelations should exalt me, there was given me a sting of my flesh, an angel of Satan, to buffet me. For which thing, thrice I besought the Lord that it might depart from me. And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee: for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

GRADUAL (Ps. 82:19, 14)
Let the nations know that You whose name is God, alone are the Most High over all the earth. V. O my God, whirl them about like chaff before the wind!

TRACT (Ps. 59:4, 6)
You have shaken the earth, O Lord, and thrown it into confusion. V. Repair the cracks in it, for it is tottering. V. That they may flee out of bowshot; that Your chosen ones may escape.

GOSPEL (Luke 8:4-15)
At that time, when a very great multitude was gathered together and hastened out of the cities, unto him, he spoke by a similitude. "The sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the way side. And it was trodden down: and the fowls of the air devoured it. And other some fell upon a rock. And as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And other some fell among thorns. And the thorns growing up with it, choked it. And other some fell upon good ground and, being sprung up, yielded fruit a hundredfold." Saying these things, he cried out: "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
And his disciples asked him what this parable might be. To whom he said: "To you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to the rest in parables, that 'seeing they may not see and hearing may not understand.' Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And they by the way side are they that hear: then the devil cometh and taketh the word out of their heart, lest believing they should be saved. Now they upon the rock are they who when they hear receive the word with joy: and these have no roots: for they believe for a while and in time of temptation they fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they who have heard and, going their way, are choked with the cares and riches and pleasures of this life and yield no fruit. But that on the good ground are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it and bring forth fruit in patience."

OFFERTORY HYMN (Ps. 16:5, 6-7)
Keep my steps steadfast in Your paths, that my feet may not falter. Incline Your ear and hear my words. Show Your wondrous kindness, O Savior of those who trust in You, O Lord.

SECRET PRAYER
May the sacrifice we offer You, O Lord, bring us new life and keep us safe. Through our Lord . . .

Commemoration of THE APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

O Lord, we offer You this sacrifice of praise through the merits of the glorious and immaculate Virgin. May it please You and win for us the health of body and mind we seek. Through Our Lord . . .

COMMUNION HYMN (Ps. 42:4)
I will go in to the altar of God, to God who gives joy to my youth.

POSTCOMMUNION PRAYER
Almighty God, we humbly ask that those who are nourished with Your Sacrament may live a life of worthy service pleasing to You. Through Our Lord . . .

Commemoration of THE APPARITION OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES

O Lord, You have nourished us with the Food of Heaven. May Your immaculate Mother now strengthen us with her own power and help us to reach our everlasting home; who lives and rules with God the Father . . .



Saturday, February 10, 2007


SAINT SCHOLASTICA
Virgin

St. Scholastica was the twin sister of St. Benedict, the Patriarch of Western monasticism. She was born in Umbria, Italy, about 480. Under Benedict's direction, Scholastica founded a community of nuns near the great Benedictine monastery Monte Cassino. We are told that Scholastica "could be sated or wearied with the words of grace which flowed from St. Benedict's lips." Inspired by Benedict's teaching, his sister devoted her whole life to seeking and serving God. St. Scholastica died in the peace of Christ in the year 547. Tradition holds that at her death her soul ascended to heaven in the form of a dove.

Mass of a VIRGIN, except

PRAYER
O God, you brought the soul of the blessed virgin Scholastica to heaven in the form of a dove in order to bring to our notice her life of innocence. Through the prayers and merits of Your saint may we live such a life that we too may attain everlasting happiness. Through Our Lord . . .