Archive for the 'Devotions' Category

9th Saturday in Ordinary Time

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From the Office of Readings

Psalm 131 (132)
The divine promise to the house of David

With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.

O Lord, remember David

and all the many hardships he endured,
the oath he swore to the Lord
his vow to the Strong One of Jacob.

“I will not enter the house where I live
nor go to the bed where I rest.
I will give no sleep to my eyes,
to my eyelids I will give no slumber,
till I find a place for the Lord,
a dwelling for the Strong One of Jacob.”

At Ephrata we heard of the ark;
we found it in the plains of Yearim.
“Let us go to the place of his dwelling;
let us go to kneel at his footstool.”

Go up, Lord, to the place of your rest,
you and the ark of your strength.
Your priests shall be clothed with holiness;
your faithful shall ring out their joy.
For the sake of David your servant
do not reject your anointed.

With an honest heart I have offered up all things joyfully, O my God.

Corpus Christi 2010

Today we had Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the Chapel of St Joseph Institution International. I served Mass together with the usual brothers. The music was very beautiful. Of notice is the Sequence before the Gospel, named Lauda Sion. It was 24 verses long. I think the schola took about six or seven minutes to finish singing it. It was good, allowing the meaning to sink into me. This sequence was composed by St Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century. It perfectly summarizes all the teachings on the Holy Eucharist.

Some of the verses which are very striking, especially:

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
sorte tamen inaequali,
vitae vel interitus.
Mors est malis, vita bonis:
vide paris sumptionis
quam sit dispar exitus.

Both the wicked and the good
eat of this celestial Food:
but with ends how opposite!
With this most substantial Bread,
unto life or death they’re fed,
in a difference infinite.

It reminds us to prepare ourselves well to receive Holy Communion, to be in state of grace before that. Many Catholics do not prepare themselves well for Communion. It is very lamentable. If we do not take this seriously, we are eating to our death. Blessed are those who prepare well, for they are eating to eternal life. This is what they mean when the verse writes ‘but with ends how opposite!’. All the good and bad Catholics eat the same Holy Eucharist, yet the outcome is different! Those who eat well, go to heaven. Those who do poorly, go to hell.

In the Ordinary Form, the priest (or extraordinary minister if you are unfortunate) will say ‘Corpus Christi’ or ‘Body of Christ’ before administering the Holy Sacrament to the recipient. In the Extraordinary Form, the full words are ‘Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.’ or in English ‘May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ keep your soul unto life everlasting. Amen.’

In the new rite we acknowledge that the Holy Communion is the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, but perhaps we have forgot one thing; we are eating it so that we may enter heaven. It cannot be simplified as just having a family meal every Sunday. This is a matter of life and death!

It was one of the most impactful Masses I have served. I understood what was going on. I managed to pray. Best of all is, despite recent events I felt peaceful. Absolute bliss. It was indeed a foretaste of heaven. It is as the hymn Ave Verum Corpus goes, ‘Be a foretaste of sweetness to me; In my death’s great agony’

After Mass we carried on with the Procession of the Blessed Sacrament. We sang a number of hymns, including O Salutaris Hostia, one English version of O Salutaris Hostia, Pange Lingua Gloriosi, and the rarely heard Te Deum Laudamus.

Another thing which struck me was, after the ablutions and before the Post Communion prayer, I saw that the altar was bathed with sunlight. Absolutely amazing.

Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam meam in vitam aeternam. Amen.

Midway through Long Lent

Forty days in the desert with Our Lord.

The dryness is starting to get to me. The absence of a day job does this to me. The job hunt is fruitless so far. I had two job interviews this year, but no luck yet. So I reviewed my resume and decided to rewrite it. And continue applying for more jobs.

It is a great opportunity to put things in order. I am not doing well with my spiritual life either. Recently I have acquired The Soul of the Apostolate by Jean-Baptiste Chautard. This is an awesome book which teaches that those with a good interior life will be fruitful in evangelization.

One chapter entitled Action Made Fruitful attempts to categorize different kinds of souls.

Starting with the most sinful we have:

1) Hardened in Sin
2) Surface Christianity
3) Mediocre Piety
4) Intermittent Piety
5) Sustained Piety
6) Fervor
7) Relative Perfection
8 ) Heroic Perfection
9) Complete Sanctity, which is the most saintly state.

I seem to be alternating between 3 and 4, barely touching 5. I won’t type the descriptions of each state, they are quite long. Cultivating the interior life is so difficult.

There is a Legion Officers Training Camp next weekend. I hope it will be fruitful in passing on the values for these prospective leaders. Past generations have come and gone. When will there be a generation who will stay faithfully?

I’ve heard it so often: A vocation without sacrifice is not a vocation. Even a lay apostle must make sacrifices. How can I inculcate this spirit in my legionaries?

I am looking forward to the end of Lent. The end of Lent also coincides with the end of the current module I am taking.

Statistics is madness. I am not enjoying this module, though I’m forcing myself to. Why? I might need to use this in whatever occupation I take up one day. For example, biostatistics or public health. After not doing very well for the first test, I think it’s time to take it more seriously.

I need to find an alternative strategy to studying for tests and exams. I got a distinction for the first module Human Biology & Disease, and I think I’ll be able to scrape through Biological Organic Chemistry. I enjoy isolating myself in my room to study for hours, but when I get full time work I won’t have this luxury.

I hope all this is not in vain.

Offering it up

Allocutio for Curia Meeting 19 July 2009

In the course of our work, we will encounter many difficulties. They may be big and small, but there is one thing in common: we like to complain about them. It is not wrong to release some frustration or to tell your troubles to a close friend, but sometimes we end up hurting others if we are not careful with our words. And the problem is nowhere to being solved because we are just so tired. Maybe we should learn to offer up our suffering. What does it mean? We can make an act of love by saying ‘My God I offer you my suffering’. We can also tie it in with an intention. For example, for someone’s healing or conversion. We can also this during the sacred liturgy especially the Holy Mass. As the priest offers up the holy sacrifice of bread and wine, we too must raise up our hearts ‘Sursum Corda’.

What are the benefits? We can cultivate the virtues of patience, resignation to the divine will, and perseverance. It gives us a sense of peace because our suffering is made holy; it is not in vain. We also avoid harming others. When we offer up our suffering to God, we can be sure that he is also watching over us, always ready to help.

and you forgave the guilt of my sin

Psalm 31 (32)

Antiphon: Happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no blame.

Blessed is he whose sins are forgiven,
whose transgressions are hidden away.
Happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no blame,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silent,
my bones grew old
as I groaned all day long.
While your hand lay heavy on me,
by day and by night,
my strength was dried up as if by summer heat.
I made my sin known to you,
and I did not hide my faults.
I said “I will bear witness against myself before the Lord,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
This is why every saint will pray to you in due time,
and even in the great flood he will not be touched.
You are my refuge, you will preserve me from trouble,
you will surround me with cries of deliverance.
I will give you understanding and teach you the path you are to follow;
I will keep watch over you.
Do not be like the horse and the mule,
without understanding:
if you approach them with bit or bridle,
they will not come near.
Many are the sufferings of the wicked,
but the Lord’s mercy will protect those who trust in him.
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you just.
Shout for joy, you upright of heart.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen.

Antiphon: Happy the man to whom the Lord imputes no blame.

Pray for the Ex. Wanderer, pray for me

Hail Queen of Heaven

Hail, Queen of heav’n, the ocean star,
Guide of the wand’rer here below;
Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care:
Save us from peril and from woe.

Mother of Christ, O Star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid,
We sinners make our prayers through thee;
Remind thy Son that He has paid
The price of our iniquity.

Virgin most pure, O star of the sea,
Pray for the sinner, pray for me.

And while to Him Who reigns above
In Godhead one, in Persons three,
The Source of life, of grace, of love,
Homage we pay on bended knee:

Do thou, bright Queen, O star of the sea,
Pray for thy children, pray for me.

I am not looking forward to this week’s exercise. I’ll see you guys in a week, hopefully. Please pray for me!

Office of Readings for Tuesday 28 August 2007

Today is the Memorial of St Augustine of Hippo.

Reading from The Confessions of Saint Augustine

O Eternal Truth, true love and beloved eternity

Urged to reflect upon myself, I entered under your guidance the innermost places of my being; but only because you had become my helper was I able to do so. I entered, then, and with the vision of my spirit, such as it was, I saw the incommutable light far above my spiritual ken and transcending my mind: not this common light which every carnal eye can see, nor any light of the same order; but greater, as though this common light were shining much more powerfully, far more brightly, and so extensively as to fill the universe. The light I saw was not the common light at all, but something different, utterly different, from all those things. Nor was it higher than my mind in the sense that oil floats on water or the sky is above the earth; it was exalted because this very light made me, and I was below it because by it I was made. Anyone who knows truth knows this light.

O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity, you are my God, and for you I sigh day and night. As I first began to know you, you lifted me up and showed me that, while that which I might see exists indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew myself to be far away from you in a region of unlikeness, and I seemed to hear your voice from on high: “I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me”.

Accordingly I looked for a way to gain the strength I needed to enjoy you, but I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who is also God, supreme over all things and blessed for ever. He called out, proclaiming I am the Way and Truth and the Life, nor had I known him as the food which, though I was not yet strong enough to eat it, he had mingled with our flesh, for the Word became flesh so that your Wisdom, through whom you created all things, might become for us the milk adapted to our infancy.

Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.


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Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us