Merry Christmas!

Well, after two days of preparing the Church from the carpet to the candles and having sung First Vespers, I am able to wish you a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

I have been wanting to share some of the matter of my reading (the very little I’ve read) from the past few days, but at the moment there isn’t time.

Instead, I thought I would post some preliminary photos of the Church.

  
  
  
 

Vespers: 
  
  

Divine Liturgy:

  

After the Solemn High Pontifical Mass with Cardinal Burke:

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My beloved home parish, Immaculate Conception Church in Omaha, NE (don’t worry, I was not bilocating):

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I was trilocating…the Carmel of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nebraska (humor after a 23-hour day yesterday):

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May you rest in the peace and the love of the Holy Family! Recall the silence in which Christ came and be at peace in this restless and forgetful world. He came because He loves you.

The Other Side of Rome, literally.

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I prepared this little video from some other events that took place in Rome on Our Lady’s Feast. Yes, have hope.

I took some photos from the Solemn High Mass yesterday and from the annual procession for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The Alma Redemptoris is sung by a priest and myself in front of the Icon of Our Lord and Our Lady at Santissima Trinita dei Pellegrini. I was able to expose the Icon for the Feast, and before closing the veil at the end of the day, we sung the solemn tone of the Alma. It just so happened that I had an electronic device recording for nine hours (as I forgot to grab it earlier) and it recorded the Alma. Beautiful!

Betimes, on the other side of the planet, the place I call ‘the Rome of the West,’ lovely Pontifical Vespers took place:

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Year of Mercy

This surely hits me right between the eyes with the message of Mercy…thanks to my friend for sharing what the Italian newspapers are reporting as a rendering of tomorrow’s light show for the opening of the Year of Mercy. Let’s hope they are not like this…though I think a light show on the facade of Saint Peter’s is still inappropriate.

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Most friends know that I really like penguins, but I think I like them a little less now. Of course, this is very well done aesthetically. But it certainly creates unintentionally a mockery of Mercy and Faith.

I think we need more Mercy than the above-mentioned cute little guys.

Oh and this next one certainly says, ‘Go to Confession!!’

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Yes, I had the same reaction.

In other realms, I end my preparation for Consecration to Mary today and will renew my consecration to Our Lady tomorrow along with the host of my fellow parishioners from Immaculate Conception Church in Omaha. Pray for us!

The point being with the beginning of the Year of Mercy tomorrow, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, go to confession and consecrate yourself to Mary Immaculate, and her Immaculate Heart!

Oh Blessed Sacrament, oh Heart of Jesus!

We had a day of prayer at our parish in Rome today. It began with a Solemn High Mass. I would include the music, but I still don’t know how to create a podcast (by the way, any suggestions taken concerning this matter). A priest and I sang the chants for the Mass. Following the Mass, we had a day of Eucharistic adoration including sermons, the Rosary, and other devotions.

In light of this day, I share with you the Litany of the Sacred Heart edited according to the suggestion I made a few weeks ago here to change the evocation of the Heart of Jesus to that of the Blessed Sacrament.

Litany of the Blessed Sacrament for private devotion:

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Son of the Eternal Father, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, formed by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mother, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, substantially united to the Word of God, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, of Infinite Majesty, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Sacred Temple of God, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, Tabernacle of the Most High, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, House of God and Gate of Heaven, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, abode of justice and love, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, full of goodness and love, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, abyss of all virtues, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, most worthy of all praise, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, king and center of all hearts, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, in whom dwells the fullness of divinity, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, in whom the Father was well pleased, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, desire of the everlasting hills, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, patient and most merciful, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, enriching all who invoke Thee, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, fountain of life and holiness, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, propitiation for our sins, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, loaded down with opprobrium, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, bruised for our offenses, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, obedient unto death, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, pierced with a lance, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, source of all consolation, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, our life and resurrection, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, victim for our sins, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, salvation for those who trust in Thee, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, hope of those who die in Thee, have mercy on us.
Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, delight of all the saints, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.

Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thine most-beloved Son, and upon the praises and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and appeased by worthy homage, pardon those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy Great Goodness in the name of the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

Some pictures of the day:

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Jesus, each time I look at the sacred Host,
sancify my eyes,
that they may close more and more
to all that is merely earthly.

Jesus, each time I look at the sacred Host,
send a ray of divine light into my soul,
that I may better know Thee and myself.

Jesus, each time I look at the sacred Host,
send a flame of divine love into my heart
to consume everything in it
that is displeasing to Thee
and to set it all on fire with Thy love.

Now and in eternity
may my only desire be to contemplate
the infinite beauty of Thy divine countenance
which delights the angels.

Amen.

Happy Feast of San Crisogono! And, of course, Saint John of the Cross!

I have been meaning to get to San Crisogono, as it is just across the river. My intention was to see Blessed Anna Maria Taigi, to pray especially for the women of my home parish and to pray for all women to take this holy one’s advice and example. She lived first as an obedient and loving wife, second as a gentle mother, and third as a mystic who received special graces from Our Lord. Note the order! Her duties came first, even before holy things and graces of locutions and visions.

I say this because nowadays we see so many ignore their duties. So many excuses are made and so few are able to extend a hand to help or a shoulder to bear some of the load. Laziness. Pleasure. Oh the days when distractions were holy things…

Anyway(s), I exhort you, I too need to follow this exhortation, to take the example of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi and live your duties well. Don’t forget prayer is also a duty.

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The Nave.

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Blessed Anna Maria Taigi!

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I assume San Crisogono is in the High Altar. I will verify this. Happy Feast!

Patroness of Omaha

It’s a long story, but I once called, in all seriousness, Omaha the ‘Rome of the West.’ I received blank stares from all of my Italian friends. My conviction stands. I post with Omaha on mind and the Patroness of the Archdiocese, Saint Cecilia.

After the usual Roman pranzo, my friends and I went to Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. Of course, we stopped in San Francesco a Ripa on the way and received a tour of a chapel where Saint Francis of Assisi stayed when he first came to Rome and was trying to present his Rule to the Holy Father.

Santa Cecilia was open and even had the most important chapels open. One being the Chapel that was converted from the Saint’s house, particularly the bath room (which was also one site of attempted martyrdom). The other being the crypt. Oh I would love to be the sacristan in one of these ancient Churches.. ‘oh sure Father, you can say the traditional Latin Mass at the crypt Altar of Saint Cecilia, no problem…’ Oh, I digress.

Well, here are the pictures. Be assured I prayed for the Archdiocese of Omaha especially!

When there is an arrow pointed with ‘Santuario’ above it, follow the arrow…

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This is the room where Saint Francis stayed

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I thought this angel’s expression was funny.

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Part of the ‘bathhouse’ chapel. It was the room where martyrdom of the Saint was attempted.

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Modern mosaics, but quite refined. Saint Cecilia, pray for us!

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Thanks to my good friend who provided the photos.
Happy Feast of this beautiful Saint! We need her courage!!

Obedience of Mary, Obedience to Mary

I begin with the passage for today for the preparation of the consecration of oneself to Our Lady according to the method of Saint Louis de Montfort, the True Devotion to Mary.

Imitation of Christ: Book 3, Chapter 13
Of the Obedience of One in Humble Subjection,
After the Example of Jesus Christ

My son, he that endeavoreth to withdraw himself from obedience, withdraweth himself from grace; and he who seeketh for himself private benefit (Matt. 16:24), loseth those which are common. He that doth not cheerfully and freely submit himself to his superior, it is a sign that his flesh is not as yet perfectly obedient unto him, but oftentimes kicketh and murmureth against him. Learn thou therefore quickly to submit thyself to thy superior, if thou desire to keep thine own flesh under the yoke. For more speedily is the outward enemy overcome, if the inward man be not laid waste. There is no worse nor more troublesome enemy to the soul than thou art unto thyself, if thou be not well in harmony with the Spirit. It is altogether necessary that thou take up a true contempt for thyself, if thou desire to prevail against flesh and blood. Because as yet thou lovest thyself too inordinately, therefore thou art afraid to resign thyself wholly to the will of others. And yet, what great matter is it, if thou, who art but dust and nothing, subject thyself to a man for God’s sake, when I, the Almighty and the Most Highest who created all things of nothing, humbly subjected Myself to man for thy sake?

I became of all men the most humble and the most abject (Luke 2:7; John 13:14), that thou mightest overcome thy pride with My humility. O dust! learn to be obedient. Learn to humble thyself, thou earth and clay, and to bow thyself down under the feet of all men. Learn to break thine own wishes, and to yield thyself to all subjection.

Now this meditation speaks about the humility and obedience of Our Lord, which you should meditate on, but it also reminds me of the obedience of Our Lady. I was reading the Glories of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Ligouri the other day and came across the following:

“[If] executioners had been wanting…[Mary] herself would have crucified [Christ] in obedience to the Will of the Father, who had decreed He should die for our salvation…[with] more resolution [than Abraham had in consenting to sacrifice his son] , as she was holier, and more obedient than Abraham.”

I was taken aback by this statement, as I do not think of it enough. The Saint continues to describe Mary’s obedience and leads to discussing that a motive for this obedience is her love for each one of us. She loves you more than all the love of the saints combined. It’s a love that is so contrary to the ‘love’ that so many profess these days. It’s a love we are seeking for, yet so many turn from this tender Mother. Why?

Rest in Mary’s arms. Make her your safeguard, your refuge. Be a true son of the Blessed Mother, our model in obedience and our guide in imitating Christ.

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