Traditional Mass

Tuesday, January 31, 2012



(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)



"In Welsh monastic institutions it was arranged that the Psalms should be sung day and night without intermission. You may say that not one of the Saints who taught the Faith in England failed (as records show) to love and use the Psalms in all circumstances: St. Dunstan died with Psalm 90, 4-5 upon his lips, 'He will give thee the shelter of His arms; under His wings thou shalt find refuge.'
So did St. Thomas Becket; so did men so similar, yet so different, as Charlemagne and Hildebrand. Charlemagne, savage as he was, liked even to be nicknamed 'David' by his friends, so did he love the Psalms. St. Francis of Assisi
trod with loving awe on the very stones, remembering those words: 'He set my feet upon a rock and made firm my steps.' Psalm 39, 3. St. Louis of France never took his seat as judge without repeating from Psalm 105, 3: 'Blessed are they that keep the statutes and that do at all times what is just.' And he, too, died repeating a Psalm.

[To be continued]

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

English: Looking west across 37th Street at Ho...Image via Wikipedia

When I lived in New York City, I loved to attend the Latin Mass at St. Agnes Church at 43rd St. and 3rd Ave. It was the only Latin Mass celebrated at that time. Later the Bishop of Brooklyn authorized a Latin Mass in Queens, where I lived, at Christ the King High School in Middle Village. I served the Mass as an altar boy, which was celebrated by an elderly priest. Sometimes I had to help the priest get up after he genuflected, his legs were not strong, but I loved assisting him and serving in this way. Now that I'm old I need someone to help me up too! Anyway, I'm so happy to have these memories and to have experienced these wonderful and happy events in my life.

Wednesday, January 25, a Missa Cantata for the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul will be celebrated at 6 P.M. at the Church of the Holy Innocents (West 37th Street between Broadway and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan).

The Holy Innocents Schola will sing Henri Dumont's plainchant Messe Royale du Priemier Ton, the first time this ordinary setting has been sung at Holy Innocents since the weekday sung Masses in the traditional rite began.

The video below provides a sample of the music (in another choir's rendition) laid under some pictures from Holy Innocents:  

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Sunday, January 22, 2012



(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)



"It is impossible fully to follow the Psalms through history: enough, perhaps, to say that Pope John VIII granted the request of Saints Cyril and Methodius that 

the Scriptures might be translated into the Slav tongue in the words of the 150th Psalm: 'Let all that hath breath praise the Lord'; that St. Patrick recited the whole Psalter every day, and is said to have gained a unique victory over the Druids (equipped with chariots) by his recitation of 'Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, But we will call upon the name of the Lord our God.' Ps. 19,8; that St. Columba could recite the Psalms by heart though he READ only the alphabet; and the exquisite story of his death is interwoven with that of his writing out the Psalter. 

[To be continued]

Tuesday, January 17, 2012



(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)

Saint Jerome in his Study, fresco by Domenico ...

Image via Wikipedia

"As for St. Jerome, who in a sense directed these ladies, we know how continuously he worked at the Psalter. The election of St. Martin as Bishop of Tours was decided by an 'accidental' quotation, by a layman, from Psalm 8. Everyone knows how in East and West monastic life was practically regulated by the Psalms. When Ambrose rebuked the Emperor Theodosius, he could say, 'You have copied David in your crime: copy him in your repentance,' and be understood; for when Theodosius did penance, he is said to have done so in the words of Psalm 118, 25: 'Deep lies my soul in the dust, restore life to me, as thou hast promised.'
[To be continued]

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Anthony was born in Egypt of wealthy Christian parents at about the middle of the third century. After the death of his parents, he left the world and sought the solitude of the desert. Although Anthony undertook severe mortifications to overcome the ceaseless temptations he endured, yet he saw the secret of Christian sanctity not in bodily chastisement but in love of God. So many disciples followed him that he founded two monasteries on the bank of the Nile, and directed the lives of his monks according to the Gospel precept of perfection. This patriarch of all monks died in the year 356 in a cave near the Red Sea, at the age of 105.

Mass of an Abbot, except

Let the Blessed Abbot Anthony intercede for us, O Lord. May his prayers win us Your help, since our own actions cannot merit it. Through Our Lord . . .

GOSPEL Luke 12:35-40
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, "Let your loins be girt and lamps burning in your hands. And you yourselves like to men who wait for their lord, when he shall return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching. Amen I say to you that he will gird himself and make them sit down to meat and passing will minister unto them. And if he shall come in the second watch or come in the third watch and find them so, blessed are those servants. But this know ye, that if the householder did know at what hour the thief would come, he would surely watch and would not suffer his house to be broken open. Be you then also ready: for at what hour you think not the Son of man will come."

May the offerings we lay upon Your sacred altar, O Lord, bring us closer to our salvation through the intercession of the blessed abbot Anthony. 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.

May the Sacrament we have received and the prayers of the blessed abbot Anthony protect us, O Lord. Grant also that we may imitate the virtues of this saint who is our intercessor with You in Heaven. Through Our Lord . . .

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Raising Children

Feast of the Holy Family [Traditional Feast Day January 8th]

by the Carmelites of the Holy Trinity in Washington

Martin Schongauer - The Holy Family - WGA21040

Image via Wikipedia

Taken from
More than a century ago, on April 9th, 1888, Therese Martin entered the Carmel of Lisieux where she was to die 9 years later in the odor
of sanctity. But we should make no mistake: St. Therese did not become a Saint in 9 years. The young girl of 15 who crossed the threshold of Carmel that day had already advanced quite far on the "straight way that leads to Heaven". Her parents were her first "Novice Masters" and their own holiness strongly influenced the future Saint. It is certainly worth noting that both Mr. and Mrs.
Martin are candidates for beatification. They have already passed the first step towards canonization by being declared Venerable. Many of the letters written by St. Therese's mother are still extant and,
besides giving us many details about the Martin family, they form almost a treatise on Catholic education.

Mrs. Martin understood very well that Catholic education means much more than morning and evening prayer, attendance at Mass and sending
the children to a good Catholic school. After bestowing natural life, parents must see to it that their children receive also supernatural life through Baptism. And then, they have to foster the development both of the body and of the soul. Mrs. Martin, as a truly Catholic mother, always gave priority to the soul. She considered her children
as a sacred trust received from God and never lost sight of this important truth: a child is not a plaything.


On October 19, 2008, World Mission Sunday, Louis Martin and Marie Zelie Guerin, the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, were declared blessed in Lisieux, France, by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins]


If baptism removes original sin, it nevertheless leaves in the soul
the four wounds of malice, infirmity, ignorance and concupiscence.
Anyone who has been around little children knows that this is no mere
theory. Very soon little ones begin to manifest evil tendencies. Too
often, parents smile at these childish outbursts of anger, jealousy,
stubbornness, pride, etc... which they even consider "cute". No, a
child is NEVER CUTE when he is stubborn, proud, etc... Vices are like
weeds. If you uproot them as soon as they show up, you will pull the
whole thing out without difficulty. But, do not weed your garden for
a few weeks... and you will see the result! If children are corrected
from their early childhood, the whole task of education will be much
easier. Mrs. Martin never showed any weakness. She never allowed
stubbornness or childish whims. Writing to her brother about Pauline
(the future Mother Agnes of Jesus), she could say: "I have never
spoiled her, and LITTLE THOUGH SHE WAS, I never let anything pass
unchecked. Without making a martyr of her, I nevertheless made her
obey." Children can easily be "fussy" at table. St. Therese's parents
never gave way on this point. At table, children had to behave
themselves and no grumbles at dishes they did not like much were ever
tolerated. This may seem trivial matter, and how often parents take
the easy way out by just yielding to their children. No one will deny
that it is a trying task to train children to eat everything, but it
is of much greater importance than it may seem at first sight. In
fact, you do not only train your children's eating habits, you also
train their will, and they will need a strong will to remain Catholic
in our apostate world. In Lent, Mrs. Martin would subject the menu to
some restrictions and all the fasts of the Church were scrupulously
observed, which is an example all Catholic families should follow. It
proves to be a great means of promoting a true spirit of mortification
in the children.

You may raise the objection: "What a dull life for children!" Oh, no!
The Martin family was happy and cheerful and the five girls were very
lively. Mrs. Martin had a real gift for stimulating the generosity of
her children. She always used supernatural motives to persuade them to
fulfill their duties: a sinner to convert, to console Our Lord, etc...
In a letter, she reports that her eldest daughter, Marie, valiantly
faced the dentist -- remember, they did not put your mouth to sleep
in those days! -- to obtain graces for her grandfather who had died
recently. Marie was only 9 years old then, and she even felt sorry
when the dentist did not pull out her tooth. "It is a pity", she
exclaimed, "Grandpa would have left Purgatory!" Later on, when her
eldest daughters had reached their teens, Mrs. Martin knew how to let
them talk freely with her. She deemed it very important that her girls
could express their mind fully so that, with much tact and kindness,
she could rectify her daughters' judgment and teach them how to look
at everything from the standpoint of Faith. The best praise of her
"educational system" was given her by her own daughters at the
process of beatification of St. Therese: "We were not spoiled. Our
mother watched very carefully over her children's souls, and not the
smallest fault ever went unreproved. Her training was kind and
Thérèse Aux Roses 1912 par Céline Martin, Le m...

Image by marc dan via Flickr

loving, but attentive and thorough."

St. Therese of the Child Jesus is probably the only Saint about whose childhood we have so many details. In the first four and a half years of St. Therese's life, Mrs. Martin wrote over 120 letters, mainly to her brother and to her daughter Pauline. These letters are an invaluable source of information. They reveal to us the dawn of sanctity in a soul as well as the important part played by the parents in the formation of a Saint. In spite of all her good qualities, St. Therese was not born a Saint. Like the rest of us, she had been wounded by original sin and if her defects were small, they were nevertheless real. there is, for instance, the delightful incident of the two sugar rings, a treasure for a little girl. St. Therese, who had a heart of gold, resolved to give one of the rings to her sister Celine. Alas, on the way home she lost one of the precious rings. What was she to do? Should she give the only ring left to Celine or keep it for herself? The shrewd little girl soon found the solution to this dilemma and declared that, unfortunately,
it was Celine's ring that got lost! And the Saint comments: "See, how
from childhood we instinctively safeguard our own interests!" And who
will not see the "daughter of Eve" in the little Therese who thought
she would have looked much nicer with her arms bare when her mother
had her wear a pretty dress but with long sleeves?! St. Therese had
remarkable qualities too, especially her crystal-clear honesty. Mrs.
Martin could write, with some legitimate parental pride: "The little
one would not tell a lie for all the gold in the world." Little
Therese would always avow her baby faults to her parents without
seeking any excuse and would then ask for forgiveness and await her
punishment. There is something very charming in this innocent child
and it is best expressed in Mrs. Martin's own words, in a letter to
Pauline: "She (Therese) had broken a small vase, the size of my
thumb, which I had given to her that morning. As usual when she has
any accident, she came at once to show it to me. I showed some
displeasure. Her little heart swelled...A moment later, she ran to me
and said: 'Don't be sad, Mother, when I earn money, I promise you I
will buy you another.' As you see it will be a while before I get

St. Therese was an oversensitive little girl. Her eyes would easily
fill with tears. One day Celine accused her of "bringing up her dolls
badly and letting them have their way." That was enough to make
Therese cry. Yet she did not have a weak character, on the contrary
she had a very strong will and could even be stubborn. Referring to
her two main "weaknesses", i.e. her oversensitiveness and her strong
will, St. Therese wrote: "With such dispositions, I feel sure that,
had I been brought up by careless parents, I would have become very
wicked, and would maybe even have lost my soul." Such a statement
should arouse in parents a salutary fear and make them realize their
responsibility. Try to imagine what St. Therese would have become if
she had spent most of her time sprawled on the carpet watching TV or
listening to rock music, if she had been free to indulge all her
whims...A good form of examination for parents would be the answer to
the following question: "Would St. Therese have become a Saint if she
had been brought up the way I bring my children up?" If the answer is
"no", then think of the account Mrs. Martin would have had to render
to God if, through a careless upbringing, she had deprived God and
the world of St. Therese... We are sure you will then lose no time in
reforming your method of education, for the greater good of your soul
and of your children's souls.

Let us place ourselves at Mrs. Martin's school. The first thing to
bear in mind is that, by baptism, any child is God's child. Several
times a day, Mrs. Martin would put on her little girl's lips this
little prayer: "My God, I give You my heart; Take it, please, so that
no creature may possess it, but You alone, Jesus." St. Therese was
taught to do everything to please God, and for love of Jesus. One
day, Therese could not open the door of the room where Celine was
having her lessons. In her frustration, she lay down in front of the
door. Her mother told her that she should not behave like this. But
the next day, when she found herself before the closed door, she lay
down on the floor again. Her sister Mary told her: "Little Therese,
you hurt the little Jesus very much when you do this." Therese looked
up at her sister. She had understood and she never did it again. Her
mother initiated her from a very early age in the art of making
sacrifices and when St. Thérèse wrote that since the age of three she
had never refused anything to the Good God, it was a tribute not only
to her personal holiness but also to Mrs. Martin's method of

There is no cry-room in France and St. Therese had to behave herself
in church. She loved to go to Mass and at two and a half she would
cry if she could not go not only to Mass but also to Vespers. Even
though she was very intelligent, she nevertheless surprised her
parents when she declared one day: "The sermon was better than usual,
Thérèse et sa Mère - Détail de la Châsse des É...

Image by marc dan via Flickr

but it was long all the same"!! Cry-rooms are not bad in themselves, but alas, too often parents use them as nurseries. It is certainly easier to let your little ones cry, play and eat in the cry-room than to discipline them and teach them how to behave in the House of God. But how many children are drastically retarded in their spiritual growth because up to the age of three, four, or five they have never
attended Mass outside of a cry-room, playing, eating, etc... Parents must apply to themselves the words of St. Paul (I Cor. 3:9). They are "God's helpers", and their children are "God's tillage, God's building". God found in Mrs. Martin a faithful collaborator. To be the mother of a Saint was her happiness on earth and it is her glory in Heaven. This happiness and this glory are meant to be yours too, if you cooperate with God in the work of the sanctification of your children.

Sincerely in Christ
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
"Pray and work for souls"

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Monday, January 02, 2012



(The translation of the Psalms and the brief introductory comments on the Psalms of this Little Office of the Blessed Virgin are taken largly from: The Psalms and Canticles by George O'Neill, S.J. [Bruce Publishing Co. 1937.] The late Father O'Neill's work has long been out of print.)

Psalm 1, Verse 1 and 2 in Biblia Hebraica Stut...

Image via Wikipedia



"It is clear from the New Testament that the Apostles, St. Paul included, were steeped in the Psalms (cf. the magnificent exordium to the "Hebrews"). The Psalms were at once incorporated into the Liturgy; if the New Testament provided the first Christians with the image of the Shepherd and the Lamb, it was the Psalms which handed on that of the Stag eagerly seeking the living water. The acta Martyrum are full of instances which show Martyrs, even quite young boys, earnestly repeating verses from the Psalms while being tortured. St. Ambrose says that people talked in church when other parts of the Scriptures were read, but, when the Psalms were recited, all were silent; and that a man should blush if he did not begin the day with a Psalm, since even the birds devoutly sing at morning and at dusk. . . .

Paula and Eustochius wrote from Bethlehem to Marcella that the 
ploughman, the reaper, and the vinedresser sang the Psalms to lighten their
work. St. Gregory Nazianzen, while still a pagan, dreamed that he was singing 'I was glad when it was said to me: We will go up to the house of the Lord.' (Psalm 121), and the dream haunted him, and he came thus to baptism. When St. Monica died, all her son's companions sang the Psalm: 'I will sing of mercy and judgment, To Thee, O Lord, will I sing' (Psalm 100) to console him; and he (St. Augustine) died with the Penitential Psalms written up large before his bed. Marcell, mentioned above, actually gathered a group of women around her, studied Hebrew so as to sing the Psalms properly, learned the entire Psalter by heart, and apparently recited the whole of it daily. Paula died with the Psalms: 'How beloved is thy dwelling place, O Lord of Hosts' and 'I love the Lord' (Ps. 83 & 114) on her lips; and round her dead body Psalms were sung for three whole days. 

[To be continued]

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