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Second O Antiphon - O Adonai. Advent 2012 Father Reto Nay Gloria Retreat in preparation for Christmas Second O Antiphon - O AdonaiMore
Second O Antiphon - O Adonai.
Advent 2012
Father Reto Nay
Gloria Retreat in preparation for Christmas
Second O Antiphon - O Adonai
16:04
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Excellent spiritual insight and valuable preparation for the celebration of Christmas
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189

Reflection for the Feast of St Linus

Qui non bajulat crucem suam, et venit post me, non potest meus esse discipulus.[1] Whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, is not able to be my disciple. Sacred tradition holds that St …More
Qui non bajulat crucem suam, et venit post me, non potest meus esse discipulus.[1]
Whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, is not able to be my disciple.
Sacred tradition holds that St Linus succeeded St Peter as bishop of Rome. The main source for this is St Irenaeus whose own biography is steeped with the history of the infant church. He was born of Christian parents in Smyrna, now Izmir in Turkey but then a Greek city in the first half of the second century. He was a student of Polycarp, himself a disciple of St John in Ephesus. Having been ordained a priest for Lugdunum in Gaul, present day Lyon, he was sent from there to Rome to consult with the Pope, Eleutherus, at that time. Returning to Lyon he was appointed bishop succeeding the first bishop, St Pothinus who had been martyred in the persecution of Marcus Aurelius. In his magnum opus “Against Heresies”, a major overview of Christian doctrine and a polemic against the various spurious teachings of the day, primarily …More
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87

For the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity

O altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei: quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et investigabiles viae ejus![1] O the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge: how unfathomable …More
O altitudo divitiarum sapientiae et scientiae Dei:
quam incomprehensibilia sunt judicia ejus, et investigabiles viae ejus![1]

O the depth of the riches of God’s wisdom and knowledge:
how unfathomable are his judgments, and inscrutable his ways!

“The Church also esteems the Muslims, who worship the one God, living and subsistent, merciful and omnipotent, the Creator of heaven and earth.”[2] It might surprise that this meditation commences with such a declaration from the Second Vatican Council. Yet in the current climate of widespread migration and an attendant upsurge in Islam, there is a pressing need to reinforce appreciation of the Christian creed and thereby establish the distinctions between the two faiths.
The current pontiff has given an impression at Abu Dhabi that we have a belief in common with Islam. The feast of Trinity Sunday, however, brings into stark relief the truth of God’s self-disclosure in both Old and New Testaments and the necessity for seeking to better understand …More
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241

Reflection for the Feast of St Andrew

A boy is here, who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many? The gospels of Matthew and Mark specify that Andrew, as the brother of Simon Peter, was called with him from …More
A boy is here, who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these among so many?
The gospels of Matthew and Mark specify that Andrew, as the brother of Simon Peter, was called with him from their fishing partnership to follow a new vocation as the first disciples of Jesus. Luke also refers to Andrew but only implicitly at that first summons, and indirectly at his account of the miraculous draught of fish at Gennesaret.[1] By contrast, John gives more detail by informing that Andrew and another unnamed associate had been already disciples of John the Baptist.[2] This gives the clue to Andrew’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah. You will recall that the Baptist, recognizing his second cousin at Bethany where he was baptizing, pointed out that Jesus was Agnus Dei - the Lamb of God.
John then relates that Andrew and his companion, turning to see of whom the Baptist was speaking, went to greet Jesus and accept his invitation to “the place where he lived and, (in the language of …More
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302

For the Feast of St Cecilia

6th century mosaic of St Cecilia St Apollinare Nuova, Ravenna How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a foreign land? Should I forget you Jerusalem, let my right hand be sent to oblivion.[1] There …More
6th century mosaic of St Cecilia
St Apollinare Nuova, Ravenna
How shall we sing the song of the Lord in a foreign land?
Should I forget you Jerusalem, let my right hand be sent to oblivion.[1]
There must be good reasons for the fact that St Cecilia is revered as the patroness of music, musicians and poets, although there is insufficient documentation to know how this came about. She was martyred between 176 and 180 AD, during the imperium of Marcus Aurelius. By the fourth century, a church dedicated to her had been built in Trastevere, now a suburb of Rome, above a dwelling that is considered to have been her villa.[2] In 1599 during church renovations, her body was exhumed, discovered to be incorrupt, replicated in marble by the eminent sculptor, Maderno, then re-interred in her church. Today, first and foremost, she is the patroness of Sacred Music.
Early last year, in an address marking the 50th Anniversary of Musicam Sacram, Pope Francis remarked that “a certain mediocrity, …More
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156

On the Feast of St Linus

Qui non bajulat crucem suam, et venit post me, non potest meus esse discipulus.[1] Whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, is not able to be my disciple. Sacred tradition holds that St …More
Qui non bajulat crucem suam, et venit post me, non potest meus esse discipulus.[1]
Whoever does not bear his cross, and come after me, is not able to be my disciple.
Sacred tradition holds that St Linus succeeded St Peter as bishop of Rome. The main source for this is St Irenaeus whose own biography is steeped with the history of the infant church. He was born of Christian parents in Smyrna, now Izmir in Turkey but then a Greek city in the first half of the second century. He was a student of Polycarp, himself a disciple of St John in Ephesus. Having been ordained a priest for Lugdunum in Gaul, present day Lyon, he was sent from there to Rome to consult with the Pope, Eleutherus, at that time. Returning to Lyon he was appointed bishop succeeding the first bishop, St Pothinus who had been martyred in the persecution of Marcus Aurelius. In his magnum opus “Against Heresies”, a major overview of Christian doctrine and a polemic against the various spurious teachings of the day, primarily …More
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142

Meditation for the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross

Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.[1] For us Christ became obedient even to death, moreover death on a cross. Because of this, God both exalted …More
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.[1]
For us Christ became obedient even to death, moreover death on a cross.
Because of this, God both exalted him and gave him the name which is above every name.[2]
In the current irreligious age, 14th September has no special significance. Perhaps it has been eclipsed by more recent sensational calamities. However in the great contemplative communities it marks the beginning of the major penitential season that extends until next Easter excepting Sundays and solemn feast-days. The period of fasting draws attention to the centrality of the cross in Christian existence. Without the cross there is no Easter, no salvation, no genuine Christian life, no rewarded eternity. Accordingly, there is an urgent requirement for all followers of Christ, to find it and embrace it, yet so many would rather a Christianity without it!
It was the mother of Constantine, Empress Helena,[3] who was responsible for locating …More
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197

For the Feast of St Gregory the Great

Few places in the city of Rome are as impressive as the church of San Gregorio Magno. It stands high on the Coelian Hill approached by a vast flight of travertine steps. From its impressive portals one …More
Few places in the city of Rome are as impressive as the church of San Gregorio Magno. It stands high on the Coelian Hill approached by a vast flight of travertine steps. From its impressive portals one looks across to the Coliseum with the Arch of Constantine and beyond them to the region of the palace of the Caesars. It requires only a little imagination, though, to appreciate that this was once the home, and later, the monastery of Gregory, the first pope of that name. Still preserved are some remains of the family home and its memorials. Here it is easy to appreciate Gregory’s world: a vision from the Coelian Hill that took in not only the seat of government of the vast empire, but all the inhabitants of that empire as far as its limits.
Born into the Roman nobility about the year 540, Gregory belonged to the old classical world that was passing away. The splendour of his native city had been dimmed considerably by the incursions of barbarians from the north. It was almost one hundred …More
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164

For the Feast of the Assumption

Signum magnum apparuit in caelo: mulier amicta sole, et luna sub pedibus eius, et in capite eius corona stellarum duodecim. A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon …More
Signum magnum apparuit in caelo: mulier amicta sole, et luna sub pedibus eius, et in capite eius corona stellarum duodecim.
A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon beneath her feet and on her head a crown of twelve stars.[1]
Pope Pius XII formally defined the dogma of the Assumption in 1950. It solemnly proclaimed that the Blessed Virgin Mary, at the close of her earthly life, was taken body and soul into heaven, thereby affirming that her sharing the eternal glorification wrought by the passion, death and resurrection of her Divine Son, really forms part of the deposit of faith received from the apostles. It also maintains that, because of her Immaculate Conception, her mortal remains were not subject to the consequences of sin. This was not a new doctrine, only a confirmation of how the faithful have understood Mary’s role and honoured position in Christian revelation since apostolic times.
It is a remarkable mystery that she who is “blessed among …More
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160

On the Feast of St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Neque fortitude poterit nos separare a caritate Dei.[1] No power whatever will be able to separate us from the love of God. Edith Stein, born in Breslau, Silesia in 1891 was the youngest of eleven …More
Neque fortitude poterit nos separare a caritate Dei.[1]
No power whatever will be able to separate us from the love of God.
Edith Stein, born in Breslau, Silesia in 1891 was the youngest of eleven children in an observant Jewish family, keeping Sabbath at the synagogue assiduously. The city had been annexed by the Prussians in 1741 and remained Prussian, then German until, in 1945, the province of Silesia was returned to Poland and the name of its capital no longer Breslau but Wroclaw. It is about 260kms northwest of Wadowice near the Slovakian border, the birthplace of Karol Woytila, now St John Paul II. Edith’s father died while she was an infant, yet the family persevered largely because of the industry and energy of her mother and siblings. Edith herself admitted to being precocious but as she grew older, became more introverted and highly sensitive. By the time she reached twenty-five, she had matriculated, advanced to Breslau university for undergraduate study in psychology, had …More
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3152

On the Feast of the Transfiguration

Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου, ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα, ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ. This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I have delight, listen to him.[1] These beautiful powerful words have rung out …More
Οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ Υἱός μου, ὁ ἀγαπητός, ἐν ᾧ εὐδόκησα, ἀκούετε αὐτοῦ.
This is my Son, the beloved, in whom I have delight, listen to him.[1]
These beautiful powerful words have rung out across the ages, echoing those uttered at the baptism of the beloved Son in the Jordan, as the only utterance that God the Father is ever recorded as saying in the New Testament. They correspond with the assertion of St John of the Cross that “the Father only spoke but once; it was his Word. He spoke it eternally and in eternal silence”. They are mirrored in the prologue to St John’s gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God …. in Him was life and the life was the Light of mankind …. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us: and we saw his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.[2]
The three synoptic gospels and the second epistle of St Peter faithfully record this episode that took place on a high mountain, Mt Tabor, soon after naming Simon …More
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The Greek original is already translated immediately following. The layout is misleading. PW
Ultraviolet
@Starlight777 "Graecum est; non legitur". ;-) The ground on which many scholars stand gets just as shaky when the Latin alphabet disappears.
One more comment
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182

Reflection on the Feast of St James

Let whoever would become great among you be your servant, and whoever would be foremost among you be a slave.[1] These words were addressed to James and his brother John in the presence of a gathering …More
Let whoever would become great among you be your servant, and whoever would be foremost among you be a slave.[1]
These words were addressed to James and his brother John in the presence of a gathering that included the other apostles and their mother Salome, the wife of Zebedee. The latter had been intent on securing a place of precedence for her two sons. It must have been a moment of great embarrassment for these two, judging from the nature of the Lord’s reply to this unrivalled request. A fresh examination of the particular passage recorded by St. Matthew, illuminates what actually lies behind its note of admonition.
“Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him, with her sons, and bowing before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, ‘What do you desire?’ She said to him, ‘Direct that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom’. In answer, Jesus said, ‘You know not what you are asking. Are you able to drink the …More
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189

The Sadness of Christ

From De Tristitia Christi composed by Thomas More in the Tower of London awaiting execution. 1535. Feast Day 9 July. See now, when Christ comes back to his apostles for the third time, there they are …More
From De Tristitia Christi composed by Thomas More in the Tower of London awaiting execution. 1535. Feast Day 9 July.
See now, when Christ comes back to his apostles for the third time, there they are, buried in sleep, though he commanded them to bear up with Him and to stay awake and pray because of the impending danger; but Judas the traitor at the same time was so wide awake and intent on betraying the Lord that the very idea of sleep never entered his mind.
Does not this contrast between the traitor and the apostles present to us a clear and sharp mirror image (as it were), a sad and terrible view of what has happened through the ages from those times even to our own? Why do not bishops contemplate in this scene their own somnolence? Since they have succeeded in the place of the apostles, would that they would reproduce their virtues just as eagerly as they embrace their authority and as faithfully as they display their sloth and sleepiness!
For very many are sleepy and apathetic in …More
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256

For the Feast of St Thomas

Let us also go that we may die with him.[1] ΄Άγωμεν καί ήμείς ίνα άποθάνμεν μετ΄ αύτοϋ Thomas who is called Didymus (Δίδυμος)[2], apart from being ranked among the lists of the apostles …More
Let us also go that we may die with him.[1]
΄Άγωμεν καί ήμείς ίνα άποθάνμεν μετ΄ αύτοϋ
Thomas who is called Didymus (Δίδυμος)[2], apart from being ranked among the lists of the apostles, is first revealed in the gospel of St John as a brave and resolute disciple of the Lord. The episode of this initial revelation of his character records that Jesus was sent for because Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary of Bethany was gravely ill. The sacred text reports that Jesus lingered for two days before responding to the call, then announced that he would return to Judaea. The disciples protested “Master, the Jews just now were seeking to stone you, and you are going there again?” Jesus replied: “Lazarus is dead: and for your sake I am glad I was not there so that you may believe: but let us go to him”.
It is Thomas who voices the lead quotation, “let us also go …“, note that he has perceived that the Lord is in great danger, yet he aligns himself with him and determines to share the same …More
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64

A Reflection for the Feast of the Sacred Heart

Tollite iugum meum super vos et discite a me quia mitis sum et humilis corde. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me because I am meek and humble of heart.[1] It was St Gertrude the Great,[2] an …More
Tollite iugum meum super vos et discite a me quia mitis sum et humilis corde.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me because I am meek and humble of heart.[1]
It was St Gertrude the Great,[2] an abbess of the prestigious Cistercian abbey of Helfta in thirteenth century Saxony who championed the mystical theology of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Her writings are typical of this era, coupling the images evoking the cycle of the liturgical year with the romantic vernacular poetry of the Minnesingers.[3] She thought pictorially - colourful and dramatic images were translated into clear, straightforward descriptive language, as vivid and relevant today as then. Perhaps her most beautiful revelation that has captured the imagination of countless souls is her insight into the heart of Christ, expressed as his own words:
“When I behold anyone in his agony who has thought of Me with pleasure, or who has performed any works deserving of reward, I appear to him at the moment of death with a …More
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190

A Meditation for the Feast of Corpus Christi

O sacrum convivium! In quo Christus sumitur, recolitur memoria passionis ejus, mens impletur gratia, et future gloriae nobis pignus datur.[1 O sacred banquet! In which Christ is received, the memorial …More
O sacrum convivium! In quo Christus sumitur, recolitur memoria passionis ejus, mens impletur gratia, et future gloriae nobis pignus datur.[1
O sacred banquet! In which Christ is received, the memorial of his passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given.
These words, set as a beautiful anthem by Thomas Tallis, among so many others, serve to bind together all the elements of the mystery of the Blessed Eucharist highlighted by this feast. They draw one back to the sixth chapter of St John’s Gospel where Jesus insists that he is “the living bread come down from heaven” and that whoever eats of “this bread” will have eternal life. This is no ordinary bread for he gives his corpus, “body”, his flesh.
The gospel records that he announced this challenging doctrine when teaching in the synagogue at Capharnaum and that his followers were so taken aback that most left him. It seems only the twelve and a few others remained. Jesus explained that “the words …More
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The Future of the Traditional Roman Rite Mass

Whit-Saturday, 29th May, 2021 Summorum Pontificum: A Looming War? As I put these thoughts down on this last day of Paschaltide, my thoughts go back to another Whit Saturday: 13th June, 1992. On that …More
Whit-Saturday, 29th May, 2021
Summorum Pontificum: A Looming War?
As I put these thoughts down on this last day of Paschaltide, my thoughts go back to another Whit Saturday: 13th June, 1992. On that day, His Lordship, George Pell (then Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne) celebrated Solemn Pontifical Mass in accordance with the traditional Roman Rite (1962 Missal) in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. It was the first such Mass at St Patrick’s for over 20 years, and Bishop Pell had graciously agreed to offer the Mass at the request of the Ecclesia Dei Society of Australia (of which I was the founding Chairman). About a thousand of the Faithful were in attendance on that cold but sunny Saturday morning. It was an unforgettable event, and an occasion of great grace. This was one of the many first fruits of the resurgence of the traditional Mass, which had been given great impetus by the 1988 Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II, Ecclesia Dei. Since 2011, we have been blessed to have a weekly …More
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189

A Reflection for the Feast of Pentecost

Veni Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita; imple superna gratia quae tu creasti pectora.[1] Come creator Spirit - visit the minds of your people: fill with heavenly grace the hearts that you created. …More
Veni Creator Spiritus, mentes tuorum visita;
imple superna gratia quae tu creasti pectora.[1]

Come creator Spirit - visit the minds of your people:
fill with heavenly grace the hearts that you created.
The words of this lovely eighth century hymn carry our minds and hearts back to the Upper Room in Jerusalem where, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit infused the community of Christ’s first disciples with “superna gratia”, empowering them to continue the mission of Jesus who will be with them always. St. Luke[2] underlines the fact that the Holy Spirit came to the disciples as they were gathered in prayer, united with the apostles (including the newly elected Matthias), together with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Picture that scene. One might even speculate that after Our Lord’s ascension, they prayed in the style of the Veni Creator Spiritus since they had been promised explicitly that the Father’s “advocate”[3] would come. There it is in St John’s account:
The advocate …More
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106

A Reflection for Easter

For the Feast of Christ’s Resurrection from the Dead Τού γνώναι Χριστόν αύτού καί τήν δύναμιν τής άναστάσεως. All I want to know is Christ and the power of his resurrection.[1] By …More
For the Feast of Christ’s Resurrection from the Dead
Τού γνώναι Χριστόν αύτού καί τήν δύναμιν τής άναστάσεως.
All I want to know is Christ and the power of his resurrection.[1]
By proclaiming that his sole ambition is knowledge of Christ and experience of his resurrection, St Paul leads the believer to the core doctrine of Christianity, expressed in the creeds. By being raised from the dead, Jesus manifests his one-ness with God and the ultimate conquest of evil, in fulfilment not only of prophesies of the ancient scriptures but those he had made himself.
In his first letter to the Corinthians, St Paul explains “….and if Christ has not risen, vain is your faith, for you are still in your sins. Hence, they also who have fallen asleep in Christ, have perished! If, with this life only in view, we have had hope in Christ, we of all people are the most to be pitied. But now Christ has risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by a man came death, by a …More
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136

A Reflection for Good Friday

For the Commemoration of Christ’s Passion Velum templi scissum est in duo, a summo usque deorsum. The veil of the temple was rent in two from top to bottom.[1] In the account of the crucifixion recorded …More
For the Commemoration of Christ’s Passion
Velum templi scissum est in duo, a summo usque deorsum.
The veil of the temple was rent in two from top to bottom.[1]
In the account of the crucifixion recorded by St Mark this text is set immediately after the moment Jesus expired on the cross: “…Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.”[2] It also bears a direct relation to the verses just prior, recording details of the mockery of Christ once he was nailed to the cross: “The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said, ‘Aha! So it was you who would destroy the temple and rebuild it within three days!”[3]
Moreover it relates to one of the charges brought against Jesus before the Sanhedrin, “We heard him say: ‘I am going to destroy this temple made by human hands, and in three days build another not made by human hands’,”[4] as well as the observation made by Jesus to the disciples when they stood in awe of the temple’s magnificence: “See how great those stones are, Master! …More