Showing posts with label Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office. Show all posts

Monday, 2 November 2015

All Soul' Day. The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam (edition 1938 Sheed & Ward, Guest Guest House 1960s).

The Commemoration of all Faithful Departed 
Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office, 
Night Office 2 November 2015   
  The Spirit of Catholicism by Karl Adam (1876-1966)
(edition  1938 Sheed & Ward, Guest Guest House 1960s).
Chapter IX: The Catholicity of the Church

I became all things to all men, that I might save all (1 Cor. ix, 22).

The Church Suffering and the Church Militant constitute in their relations a second circle of most vital activities.  
(pages 140-142) Having entered into the night "wherein no man can work," the Suffering Church cannot ripen to its final blessedness by any efforts of its own, but only through the help of others—through the intercessory prayers and sacrifices (suffragia) of those living members of the Body of Christ who being still in this world are able in the grace of Christ to perform expiatory works. The Church has from the earliest times faithfully guarded the words of Scripture (2 Macch. xii, 43 ff.) that "it is a holy and a wholesome thing to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins." The suppliant cry of her liturgy: "Eternal rest give to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them," can be heard already in the Acts of the martyrdom of SS Perpetua and Felicitas (A.D. 203) and is represented in numerous sepulchral inscriptions of the most ancient period, while theologians and Fathers of the Church, beginning with Tertullian, have supplied its substantial proof. The theology of the schismatical Greek Church agrees with Latin theology in its belief in the efficacy of prayers for the dead. So fundamental indeed and so natural to man's hope and desire and love is this belief, that historians of religion have discovered it among almost all non-Christian civilized peoples: a striking illustration of Tertullian's saying that the human soul is naturally Christian.

The Catholic, therefore, is jealous to expiate and suffer for the "poor souls," especially by offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice, wherein Christ's infinite expiation on the Cross is sacramentally re-presented, and stimulating and joining itself with the expiatory works of the faithful, passes to the Church Suffering according to the measure determined by God's wisdom and mercy. So the saying of St. Paul that the members of the Body of Christ "are mutually careful one for another" (1 Cor. xii, 25) is nowhere more comprehensively and luminously fulfilled than in the Church's suffrages for her dead children. When, in the Memento of the Mass, in the presence of the sacred Oblation and under the gaze so to speak of the Church Triumphant, she cries to heaven: "Be mindful also, O Lord, of thy servants and handmaids .... who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace," then truly heaven and earth greet each other, the Church Triumphant, Suffering and Militant meet in a "holy kiss," and the "whole" Christ with all His members celebrates a blessed love-feast (agape), a memorial of their communion in love and joy and pain. 
+ + + 

Karl Adam -   

Karl Adam has brilliantly succeeded in achieving his purpose and "The Spirit of Catholicism" now stands as one of the finest introductions to the Catholic faith  ...

Sunday, 1 November 2015

All Saints The Church Triumphant 'the life of glory is richer far than the life of grace'

Product Details  
Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office, 

Karl Adam - The Spirit of Catholicism.  
The Church Triumphant (eccles a triumphans).—Hosts of the redeemed are continually passing into heaven, whether directly, or mediately by the road of purification in the Suffering Church. They pass into the presence of the Lamb and of Him who sits upon the throne, in order face to face—and no longer in mere similitude and image—to contemplate the Trinity, in whose bosom are all possibilities and all realities, the unborn God from out of whose eternal wellspring of life all beings drink existence and strength, motion and beauty, truth and love. There is none there who has not been brought home by God's mercy alone. All are redeemed, from the highest seraph to the new- born child just sealed by the grace of baptism as it left the world. Delivered from all selfish limitations and raised above all earthly anxieties, they live, within that sphere of love which their life on earth has traced out for them, the great life of God. It is true life, no idle stagnation, but a continual activity of sense and mind and will. It is true that they can merit no longer, nor bear fruit now for the Kingdom of Heaven. For the Kingdom of Heaven is established and grace has finished its work. But the life of glory is richer far than the life of grace. The infinite spaces of the Being of God, in all Its width and depth, provide a source in which the soul seeks and finds the satisfaction of its most intimate yearnings. New possibilities continually reveal themselves, new vistas of truth, new springs of joy. Being incorporated in the most sacred Humanity of Jesus, the soul is joined in most mysterious intimacy to the Godhead Itself. It hears the heartbeats of God and feels the deep life that pulsates within the Divinity. The soul is set and lives at the center of all being, whence the sources of all life flow, where the meaning of all existence shines forth in the Triune God, where all power and all beauty, all peace and all blessedness, are become pure actuality and purest present, are made an eternal now.
This life of the saints, in its superabundant and inexhaustible fruitfulness, is at the same time a life of the rich est variety and fullness. The one Spirit of Jesus, their Head and Mediator, is manifested in His saints in all the rich variety of their individual lives, and according to the various measure in which every single soul, with its own special gifts and its own special call, has received and employed the grace of God. The one conception of the saintly man, of the servant of Christ, is embodied in an infinite variety of forms. The Litany of the Saints takes us rapidly through this "celestial hierarchy." Beginning at the throne of the most holy Trinity and passing thence to Mary, the Mother of God, and then through the hosts of the angelic choirs to the solitary penance of the great Precursor, St. John the Baptist, it leads us to St. Joseph, the foster-father of the Lord, the man of quiet dutifulness and simplicity of soul. Next to them tower the figures of the Patriarchs and Prophets, primitive and sometimes strange figures, but men of strong faith, of sacred constancy, of ardent desire. Sharply contrasted with them are the witnesses of the fulfillment, the apostles and disciples of the Lord: Peter, Paul, Andrew, James and the rest. And while every name denotes a special gift, a special character, a special life, yet all are united in one only love and in one gospel of joy and gladness. And around and about these outstanding figures what a harvest and rich crop of infinite color and in infinitely divese fields! All holy martyrs—All holy bishops and confessors—All holy doctors—All holy priests and levites—All holy monks and hermits—All holy virgins and widows—All saints of God. It is that "great multitude which no man can number, of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues: standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands" (Apoc.vii, 9).

Thursday, 29 October 2015

The Lord of History by Jean Danielou

Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office, 
The Lord of History  
THURSDAY 26/10/2015
First Reading
Jeremiah 27:1-15
          Responsory Is 55:8-9; fer 27:5
My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. +As the heavens are high above the earth, so are my ways high above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts.
V. It is I who by my great power and outstretched arm made the earth, with the people and animals that are on the earth, and I can give it to whomever I please. + As the heavens ...

Second Reading     From The Lord of History by Jean Danielou
If a missionary is to testify before the world concerning the mind of God, he must first enter into that mind himself, he must be led by the Holy Spirit into the depths in God's nature, he must contemplate with awe the scale and boldness of the divine plan. The soul of the Blessed Virgin was enlightened at the time of her visitation by such a spiritual vision of the ways of providence, so that she cried out, in the Magnificat, My soul magnifies the Lord ... because he who is mighty ... has wrought ... wonders. "Magnify" means to recognize the greatness of God's works, to stand amazed at the magnificence of his operations. Generally, people fail to see these things, being blinded by the spectacle of earthly grandeur, and unaware of the glory of God. They are readily moved to admiration of temporal achieve­ments: the power of the great nations opposing one another in our time, or the dynamic influence of the human mind evinced by such as Nietzsche, or Marx, fills them with astonishment, even while they forget the immeasurable might of God's activity.
What the Holy Ghost does for the apostle is to raise up his understanding from the plane of human activity to the level of the divine working. For, indeed, as the Lord said to Isaiah, he does not think as you think, deal as you deal. Men and women have their own ideas, but these are not God's; they would like to organize the world in a certain fashion, but this is not God's fashioning; they pursue a goal which is not God. There is some relationship between these two distinct worlds, but it is not one of identity. The apostle is a person whom the Holy Spirit has taken up into the ways of God, and whom he will help to cooperate in them, making him instrumental in their fulfilment, as we may see in the case of the prophets throughout the ages of Old Testament history.
Today the Holy Spirit still affords us the same religious understanding of the historical process, the same spiritual insight into the realities of our own time. Thus when we look at contemporary events we may see further than the children of this world, who perceive only the outward husk of things; we need not explain everything in terms of the conflicting material interests of classes and nations. Behind the scenes, another conflict is engaged, between Christ and the powers of evil, for the possession of nations and of souls. It is only the Spirit of God that enables us to transcend the limitations of human insight, and to read the unanswerable riddle of our times.

Responsorv Eph 6:10-12
Be strong in the Lord, with the strength of his power. + Put on the full armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles
of the devil.
V. Our struggle is not against human adversaries, but against cosmic powers, against the rulers and governors of this dark age, against the superhuman forces of evil in the heavenly realms. + Put on ...


Friday, 23 October 2015

Jan van Ruysbroeck Seven Steps in the Ladder of Spiritual Love

Night Office 
Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office,
We behold that which we are,
and we are that which we behold.

The Blessed John of Ruysbroeck (1293 or 1294 – 2 December 1381), "the Admirable" also known as John RuusbroecJan van Ruusbroec or Jan van Ruysbroeck, was one of the Flemish mystics of the medieval Catholic Church.  

FRIDAY 23rd. October 2015

First Reading
Jeremiah 22:10-30
          Responsory       Lam 2:1
How the Lord in his anger has brought darkness on the daughter
of Zion! + From heaven to earth he has cast down the honour of Israel.
V. On the day of his anger he has remembered his footstool no
more. + From heaven ...

Second Reading
From The Seven Steps in the Ladder of Spiritual Love by Jan van Ruysbroeck

The first fruit which springs from good will is voluntary poverty. Those who are poor of their own will live free and without care for all earthly goods that are not needful. For like a wise merchant, they have traded earth for heaven, and followed the saying of the Lord, that one cannot serve God and the kingdom of the world. They have left all that can be possessed with earthly love, and purchased voluntary poverty. This is the field in which they have found the kingdom of God; for blessed are the poor in spirit: theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of God is love and charity, and the practice of all good works; whence comes it that those who are thus poor in spirit are generous, pitiful, kind, mild, truthful and honest toward all who are in need of them, so that they may bear witness before the tribunal of God that with the bounty bestowed on them by God, they wrought works of mercy. For among earthly things they have nothing of their own, but all that they have is common to God and to his household.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, who possess nothing transi­tory; for they have followed Christ. They shall be rewarded in virtues a hundredfold, and shall look forward to the glory of God and life everlasting.

But rash and foolish are the covetous, for they give heaven for earth, which earth they know that they must shortly lose. The poor in spirit scale the skies; the covetous are plunged into hell; and when the camel shall pass through the needle's eye, then shall the covetous enter into heaven. And even though they live poor in earthly things, if they choose not God before all and die in their avarice, doubtless they shall perish.

The covetous prefer the husk to the kernel, the shell to the yolk. Those who cleave to gold and love earthly goods eat poison that brings death, and drink the water of eternal sorrow. The more they drink, the more they thirst; the more they own, the more they long for. Though they have much, they are not satisfied; they want everything they see that is another's; and all they have seems to them as nothing. Scarce anyone loves them, for the covetous deserve no love. They are much like the devil's claws; for what they grasp they cannot let go, and they guard what they have won by fraud until they die. Then indeed they lose all and straightway the pangs of hell take hold on them; for they are the image of hell which is not sated by what it seizes, and though it possesses many, is none the better. All that it seizes it holds fast and yet ever gapes for its hellish guests.

Wherefore beware of avarice, which is the root of all sin and evil.  

Responsory       1 Tm 6:9-10.8
People who long to be rich fall into temptations and snares, and many senseless and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. + The love of money is the root of all evil.
V. As long as we have food and clothing, let us rest content. + The love of ...

Encountered the SEVEN Steps of Ladder Spiritual raised my eyes to the passing association, The TEN Mystic Ladder. 
No surprise then to the Link:,steps#fnf_viii.xix-p1.1   
Saint John of the Cross
10 steps 0f the mystic ladder of Divine  love

Begins to explain the ten steps231 of the mystic ladder of Divine love, according to Saint Bernard and Saint Thomas. The first five are here treated.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Albert Gelin. an outstanding Old Testament scholar in the Catholic world from 1931 Lyons University.

    Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office, 

First Reading
Zephaniah     3:8-20
Responsory Zep 2:3; Ps 22:26
Seek the Lord all you in the land who live humbly, obeying his commands. + Seek integrity, seek humility.
V. The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord shall praise him. + Seek integrity ...

Second Reading
From The Poor of Yahweh by Albert Gelin

Israel, as it advances along the road of history, constantly encounters God. "Days of the Lord" succeed one another; his appearances are either beneficent or awe-inspiring, either a reward or a punishment, depending on Israel's moral conduct.

This punishment, in the first perspective of the covenant, could not fail to be medicinal and educational. However, after the eighth century, sins multiplied and their gravity increased. Infringements of justice scandalized Amos; Isaiah knew well that he lived in the midst of people of unclean lips; Zephaniah rebuked Judah for faults of pride; Jeremiah was forced to the conclusion that a state of sin existed that made conversion almost impossible. Israel had to learn to accept the sanction of vindictive justice! Yet these prophets, despite all their sombre predictions, never lost hope in God's plan for the future. In their eyes the remnant theme safeguarded the theology of the covenant. Henceforth, the task and promises which were once en­trusted to the people of Israel as a whole would belong to a small and select group of Israelites. The Israel of tomorrow will be the remnant.

In the seventh century the remnant was given a special name that was to last until the coming of Christ and that made them a people apart. The prophet Zephaniah identified the people of the future as a people of "the poor."

Zephaniah witnessed Judah's first great humiliation. At the end of the eighth century Assyria cut the Promised Land in half as the result of Sennacherib's victorious conquest. Jerusalem was saved by a miracle, but Asshur's protective custody left the people little freedom. Perhaps it was this humbling situation that inspired the prophet to choose the suggestive vocabulary in which he formulated his spiritual synthesis. Israel's endemic poverty had attracted the charitable pity of the Deuteronomist and the prophets. Amos had sympathized with the stooped and emaciated people. Zephaniah borrowed these words and trans­figured them: they ceased to denote failure and became a claim for protection. People must be poor before God, just as they were already poor in the presence of Asshur. Specifically, this meant the rooting out of all pride. Zephaniah invited his con­temporaries to spiritual poverty, which is faith plus abandonment, humility and absolute confidence. He insisted that poverty be substituted for pride and made it the authentic spiritual attitude. This fundamental position includes the rectitude of the whole moral life. Lastly, the covenant vocabulary clarified the vocabulary of poverty and justice: the remnant is the people of the future, to whom belong the messianic promises of security and abundance.

Responsory      Lk 4:16-18; Mt 5:3
Jesus stood up to read and found the passage which says: The spirit of the Lord is upon me because + he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
V. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.+ He has anointed ...

Friday, 9 October 2015

Night Office, St. Bernard - picture from Thomas Merton

 Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office, 

'The only known photograph of God' Used with Permission of the Merton Legacy Trust and the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University. 
  Sent: Thursday, 8 October 2015, 18:41
Subject: Thomas Merton - his photograph & humour

Dear Father Donald,
Your seminar on Saturday - I omitted to mention the man behind the lens of so many of his atmospheric photos, and his humour (see attached!)

St. Bernard, passage below, rings the pendulum of ‘benevolent / malevolent’. Bernard keeps us often in suspense.

'They enjoyed the Lord's blessings but were utterly ignorant of the Lord of Hosts because he ruled all things so silently'.

'... the one who mightily but invisibly created the world, rules it wisely, and safeguards it benevolently'.

Tomorrow monks are attending the Celebration of Thomas Merton and workshop of photographs of Merton – in the mode....

FRIDAY 9th October 2015.

First Reading    2 Kings 21:1-18.23 - 22:1
Responsory     Ps 52:1.2.5-7
Why do you boast of your wickedness, you champion of evil? You love evil more than good, falsehood more than truth. + For this God will destroy you, uproot you from the land of the living.
V. The just shall laugh and say: Here is the man who refused to make God his refuge. + For this God ...

Second Reading
From a sermon by Saint Bernard
Sermones in Canticle VI, 2-3: PL.183, 803-804.

Human beings experienced constant benefits but the bene­factor was hidden from them. He reached indeed from end to end mightily, arranging all things pleasantly, but humankind did not perceive him. They enjoyed the Lord's blessings but were utterly ignorant of the Lord of Hosts because he ruled all things so silently. They were from him but not with him; they had life through him but did not live for him; they had understanding from him but did not know him, for they were estranged, ungrateful, foolish. In the end they attributed exist­ence, life, and understanding not to the author of these but to nature or even, much more stupidly, to fortune; many also conceitedly claimed that much was the result of their own diligence and abilities. Think of all that seductive spirits arro­gated to themselves, and all that was attributed to sun and moon or earth and water or even things made by mortal hands! Deference was paid to plants and trees and the tiniest most contemptible seeds as to divinities.

Thus, alas, did men and women lose their true glory, exchanging him for the image of a bull that eats grass. But taking pity on them in their errors, God graciously came from his shaded, thickly wooded mountain and placed his tent in the sun. To those who knew only the flesh he offered his flesh that through it they might learn to perceive the spirit. For while in the flesh he did works through the flesh that were not of the flesh but of God: commanding nature, conquering fate, showing human wisdom to be folly, and vanquishing tyrannous demons. He openly showed himself to be the one through whom these things, whenever they occurred, had all been prepared at one and the same time. In the flesh and through the flesh he worked miracles openly and mightily, spoke a saving message, endured undeserved suffering, and made it clear that he is the one who mightily but invisibly created the world, rules it wisely, and safeguards it benevolently. Finally, when he preached the good news to the ungrateful, offered signs to unbelievers, and prayed for his crucifiers, did he not clearly show himself to be the one who with his Father daily makes his sun rise upon the good and the wicked and the rain fall on the just and the unjust? He himself said as much: If I do not do the works of my Father, do not believe me.

Responsory Ti    3:4; Mt 1:21
When the kindness and generosity of God our Saviour dawned upon the world, it was not because of any good deeds of ours but from compassion that + he saved us through the cleansing water of rebirth and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit which he generously poured out on us through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
V. You shall call him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. + He saved us ...