24 April 2017

Except you ravish me.


Today's readings:
And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness...
Acts 4:29

At this time there were about 3,000 Christians in the whole world. Some Protestants would have us imagine that, essentially, those 3,000 would be the entire population of Heaven. I'm not going to wager a Universalism that I won't win because of free will, but I will wager the divine economy is a bit more lenient that some want to imagine. Those 3,000 Christians had a job to do: to witness to the Kingdom of Jesus and as they set about their business they met little opposition. Yet what they met was real enough. So they prayed one kick-butt prayer:
Sovereign Lord, maker of heaven and earth and the sea and all that is in them, you said by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of our father David, your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly? The kings of the earth took their stand and the princes gathered together against the Lord and against his anointed. Indeed they gathered in this city against your holy servant Jesus whom you anointed, Herod and Pontius Pilate, together with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do what your hand and your will had long ago planned to take place. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak your word with all boldness, as you stretch forth your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are done through the name of your holy servant Jesus.
The Douay is even better:
Lord, thou art he that didst make heaven and earth, the sea and all things that are in them. Who, by the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of our father David, thy servant, hast said: Why did the Gentiles rage: and the people meditate vain things? The kings of the earth stood up: and the princes assembled together against the Lord and his Christ. For of a truth there assembled together in this city against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, To do what thy hand and thy counsel decreed to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants that with all confidence they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thy hand to cures and signs and wonders, to be done by the name of thy holy Son, Jesus. 
There are two things that I find awesome about this prayer: first although they recount the history of Jesus' passion, there is no blame. Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and the Jews all conspired To do what thy hand and thy counsel decreed to be done. Everything was sucky, yes: but it was only what God wanted. In fact, in God's mercy, that's all that ever really happens. (All things work for the good of those who love the Lord.) So, the Church prays, "Here in Jerusalem everyone assembled against Jesus to do exactly what you planned anyway. Caiaphas, Pilate, Herod, even mighty Augustus obeys God's plans." Now that the local authorities, though, are getting wise - and telling the Church to stop being the Church - the reaction is praising God.

How different is that from us today? On the one hand some act as if we cannot do the work the Church is called to do if the law does not allow us to. Some are afraid of losing tax benefits, or other practicalities. Some are convinced that the very end of Christianity in America is upon us. And some who have us hide away, to protect ourselves from the world: locked in a perpetual Upper Room Option, for fear of the world.

To this cringing, the Early Church - all 3,000 of them - who are about to change the spiritual, sexual, relational, financial, and political shape of the known world, all say: fiddlesticks. This is them saying fiddlesticks:
That's the second thing that's awesome about this prayer - all in verse 29 - "Take note of their threats and give us the cojones to not care." (It's in the Greek...ok, maybe not.) Most importantly, and actually in the Greek, the Church asks for the grace to proclaim God's Logos. That's Jesus, brothers and sisters: the logic by which all of everything is understood and, without whom you may have all the facts in the world, but not the Truth.

Being told "Don't do anything in the name of Jesus ever again" the Church did not run away and hide but rather trusted in God's divine mercy and said, "God's got this and we're just going to keep going." This, my friends, is the Pascha Option. Life has won. #GodWins It doesn't matter how the state changes definitions, or how far the world goes to kill us off. In fact, we know that when the world does that, we're doing something right! When the Church kneels down and says, "Just give us the grace to do what you told us to do..." God's divine Boo-yah! shakes the house.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, so I will just admit how I fail all the time. I'm scared a lot. I need this prayer every moment of the day. I need to remember the Pascha Option. It's deceptively simple: We're a mess. God came - himself - to fix us and transformed the very fabric of the universe. Now, even the sucky things are God restoring us to his glory. The Jesus Psalter would have us pray "Jesus, send me here my purgatory." Send me here all the tribulations and pains I can handle to prune off my pride, my impatience, my lack of charity, my lust. That way I can be more-fit for the society of angels. Send me here the pains I deserve, the sharp corners I must turn. Put me here in the rock tumbler and make me into the Christian you want me to be.

John Donne prays:
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. 
None of those pains are designed to make me shut up proclaiming the divine Logos: rather, in grace, I have to breath deep of the Divine Light and shout, all the louder, from the root-top.


23 April 2017

Peregrinations

Some will know my birth-name was Bill.
Billy as my Mom calls me.
And some will know my spiritual path looks like this.
And some will just have to keep praying.
How I get there is not as important as getting there at all.

This post is made in ironic self-defense.
And sort of a sub-blog.

The Thomas Option


Today's Readings:
On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews... Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
John 20:19a, 24

Where was Thomas that first night and why was he not locked up for fear with all the others?

Fear of the Parties in Power does not mean there was any real danger. For all we know from our point in history, perhaps literally every Jew is Jerusalem was home enjoying a family meal and avoiding leavened products. Maybe they thought they'd finally done away with this trouble-maker and his disciples were only so much dust. The Romans didn't care: they did their job and killed the guy, albeit a bit unwillingly. I don't think they would want to risk much trouble on the feast either.
In the lessons from Acts this week at Mass, it would seem that Peter has to remind Caiaphas about the guy he had killed.  I don't think anyone cared. Yet the disciples had seen their master slain.  I don't think they were illogically afraid. Yet we can never know how in sync they were with what was actually going on in Jerusalem at that time. It seems possible that their emotions were getting away from them. That crazy woman was getting annoying about her gardener. Matthew says when they saw him, "they worshipped him" but, even then, "some doubted".

So where was Thomas?

The Church Fathers posit the "earthliness" or, if you will, "carnal" nature of Thomas' lack of faith. And I'm ok with that. But let me read that same claim a bit further.

Would not the same man who says "Unless I see and touch him" also say "Unless I see a soldier coming at me, I'm not going to worry about it"?  When the Apostles were hiding out, is it not possible that, seeing how scared they were, Thomas did the manly (maybe brash and stupid as well) thing and went out to grab some food? Later, when Luke and Cleopus get back from Emmaus, "The Eleven" are all there, so he was only out for a short while. "We need food: someone has to get it and I'm not going to let my fear run away with me..." sounds like the same bro who would later say, "I'm not going to let my false hopes run away with me."

This is the Thomas Option then: to not hide out for fear of Jews or Romans. To get out and do something in the service of the Community that might get you killed and know that Jesus was talking to us when he said "blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe."






17 April 2017

Third Petition - Jesus Psalter


To see all the other notes in this series, click on "Jesus Psalter" or in the labels below. To see the first post click here.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus strengthen me. (x10)

Jesus strengthen me in soul and body to the performance of all virtue for thy pleasure, whereby I may attain to thy everlasting joy and felicity.
Mercifully grant me firm purpose to amend my life, doing penance for all the years I have misspent to thy displeasure in the practices of impious thoughts, enjoyments, words, deeds, and evil customs; in breaking thy commandments for which I deserve damnation and thine enmity.
Make my heart obedient to thy will and ready, for love of thee, to perform all the works of mercy.
Grant me the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the eight Beatitudes, the four Cardinal virtues; and, by the frequent and pious reception of thy Holy Sacraments, dispose me to thy devotion.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.
Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.

Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)


These petitions engage in one of the best pious customs of the period: making lists. This one is actually a meta-list, a list of lists! Contra the "impious thoughts, enjoyments, words, deeds, and evil customs; in breaking thy commandments" the writer posits the 14 Works of Mercy (7 corporeal, 7 spiritual),  the seven fruit of the Holy Spirit, the Eight Beatitudes, and the 4 Cardinal Virtues. Then the prayer invokes the Seven Sacraments. This pray asks for a lot! Again there is the realization that what went before Grace was sinful, take away my stoney heart and give me a heart of flesh set on fire for love of you.

16 April 2017

This happened...


Preparing to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ on Saturday Night, gathered in one room, not knowing it about each other, were:

  1. A Fraternity Brother whom I've known for 30 years.
  2. A Coworker whom I hadn't met yet.
  3. A Goddaughter from the Orthodox Church, and her husband, now returned home.
  4. A musician with enough Anglican History to pick all the right sort of music and keep me singing most of the night.
  5. Two people with whom I've spoken maybe 20 words? Who had a gift for me I wasn't expecting.
  6. A man with a bad pun on my name.
  7. A whole lot of new friends I didn't know I had.
  8. Quite a lot I already knew.



That, in a nutshell, has been my experience of the Catholic Church. "Here comes everybody." The Anglican, Prot, Eastern, Benedictine, Marian... all meet here. And some new things: the Courage Apostolate, the Angelic Warfare Confraternity, the Jesus Psalter. I used to be afraid of Dominicans... cuz of the Inquisition, you know. I didn't know my family included a Catholic martyr. The number of Lapsed Catholics - or as my friend, Bernardo says, "Collapsed Catholics" - that are in my life is astounding. Everything is here.

There are good places and bad places in the Church. There are good and bad people. There are corners of Mother Church that are nuttier than the darkest pools of Orthodox Converts on the internet; there are folks more triumphalist and sectarian than the bazillion Holy Remnant "True Churches" of Orthodoxy. Yet there is a wideness in God's Mercy, and a depth in the Church that cannot be obscured by the shallow bywaters. For every Saint Maria of Paris there is a Dorothy Day, for every Czar Martyr Nicholas, there is a St Louis. There's something else as well: I can't put my finger on it. Only half-jokingly it seems, Tu Es Petros really is a thing, after all.

Maybe it's just sheer numbers for in Russia or Greece it must be the same for the Eastern Church. Orthodoxy preaches the same divinely revealed moral teachings as the Roman Church. Yet in this country she rarely gets accused (other than by her own members) of interfering in modern secular "values" and "moral choices". Orthodoxy is "Mystical" whereas the Catholic Church is political and scary. Those politics can be viewed as isolated from the Church's Doctrines and thus as "Left" or "Right". Or they can be taken as an integral whole and seen as transcending earthly partisanship. But these political actions can (nearly) never be confused with "mystical" and "spiritual but not religious", therefore, "safe" for the modern world.

Perhaps in Russia or Greece, she does hospitals and orphanages and food for the poor. I say "perhaps" but I'm reasonably certain of it. Were I in Russia, it's Catholicism that would be the Boutique. Here, it's hard for a member of the Orthodox Parish Council to donate a sign to hang outside with service times for fear the wrong sort of people will come in the door.

Some would say I've left the Boutique and gone to Wal*Mart. But the grace is no less dearly given, nor the piety less deeply prayed, the teachings no less strongly struggled for or lived. The podcasts tend to be about beer, politics, and birthin' babies. The priests tend to sound rather like Bros and Bubbas. Or - and I'm hella lucky here - Surfer Dudes.

I'm on Aisle 42, near the avocados, hunting camo, and inflatable pools. I'm trying to engage the culture and learn New Evangelism, Theology of the Body, and Rosary-based-but-not-the-Rosary forms of prayer.

Also I'm in love.

Christ is Risen!


The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom 

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.
If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.
If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.
If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast.
If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof.
If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing.
If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.
And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering.
Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second.
You rich and poor together, hold high festival.
You sober and you heedless, honor the day.
Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast.
The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously.
The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free.
He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.
By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive.
He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh.

And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.
It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked.
It was embittered, for it was slain.
It was embittered, for it was overthrown.
It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.
It took a body, and met God face to face.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life reigns.
Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

-----

A desktop image, based on the Resurrection Icon by Mark Dukes for St Gregory of Nyssa Parish in San Francisco. At one time this Icon was given to all new members of the parish.  Click on it to embiggen and save to use as a desktop if you wish.

14 April 2017

Sonnet for Friday's Dawn


X - Peter
Now Peter, liar, rock, Apostle, friend
Here come I carefully to you: for pot
& kettle are both black. May we be not
That far by prayer each from the other's end.

The Priceless One betray’d by campfire hot:
Your Galilean drawl just cant. Yet I
Without a legal threat will try
To hide by options crafty, Christ forgot.

Dear Peter, priests through you our Christ did buy.
But watching here in pity & with fear
We hear betrayal as the dawn grows near:
Despair not lest away you trod & die.

Lo e’en the very Church's rock will bend
Until unfailing grace God to him send.

13 April 2017

For late Thursday night


IX - The Garden
In lunar brilliancy they walking show
mid leafy branches' budding scented bloom
& grasses warmed in vernal sun now groom
Gethsemane, in paschal light aglow.

We waiting here, he forward goes for room
To falling, praying, moaning, sighing, bled
To sobbing, straining, weeping, sweating, red
Till far away is heard the tramp of doom

Apostles wake upon their grassy bed
To find the traitor with the temple guards
Is come. And boldly striding cross the yards
Afore Messiah stop’d he smiling said

Hail Master! Teacher surly me you know.

With both lips with no words the nails in go.

12 April 2017

A 2nd Sonnet for Thursday

VIII - Eucharist
He wash'd their feet & now would make them free:
a mundane miracle will now combine.
The God-Man bids that man on God will dine
& daily service now makes unity.

These common building blocks of bread & wine
our Saviour takes into his holy hands
& those, around him sat, his love commands
in mystic rites to make all men divine.

The Apostolic preaching in all lands
will be enliven'd by this bread. God gives
to Church  her dancing food. She moves & lives
By sacraments now altar'd by Christ's hands.

Salt, flour, water, grapes, & yeast we see
yet very flesh & blood of God they be.

First Sonnet for Thursday


VII - The Washing
At Table: Christ Mandatum Novum do
to us that we in love should brothers hold
as He embodies love for us. Thus bold
in love the nations seeing might him know.

Example: washing feet in servant's mold!
To each apostle come in turn: St Pete
refuses God now kneeling at his feet.
"An not I wash you then be gone" is told.

Yet even strengthen'd well this night unmeet
you will deny me thrice. Belov'd take heart:
you show how human weakness plays its part
til providential saving plan's complete

Reshod thus Peter savéd, wash'd did go
to felling by a maid at sunrise crow.

10 April 2017

The Final Sonnets (for now)


V Spy Wednesday - Judas
Now Judas thief & liar, devil, friend
Here come I carefully to you: for pot
& kettle are both black. & we are not
That far I think each from the other's end.

The Priceless One you sold for not a lot:
the price of one escapéd slave. Yet I
just any petty lust or care will buy
with love I owe to him; his love forgot.

Dear Judas, priests through you the Christ did buy
I understand & pity for I fear
That I your course can eas'ly find quite near:
Your steps for hunger's slake I trod & die.

Lord Christ forbid that I my feet will wend
on damning ways that Satan to me sends.

VI Interlude
The actors all are here in place, our play
is set! The curtain ready rises now:
Apostles, Traitor, Priests, & King all bow.
Let us kneel down to watch the passion fray.

Here Pharisees assembled make a vow.
Here Judas strides with kiss through garden's night.
Here Pilot waits for judging by his light.
Here Christ the Lamb of God all disavow.

Foul Clergy here will mock & slay a blight.
Confus'd Apostles here lost to a man.
Great Romans here made tools in God’s own plan.
Poor Women here will, mourning, get it right.

Tiz God's victor'ous Coronation Day
when death itself our God by death shall slay!

Two more Holy Week Sonnets


III Holy Monday - Pharisees
Ye scribes & lawyers, hypocrites ye brood
of vipers: pharisees who twirl the law
to lure a proselyte into your maw
then spit out worse; within your precepts stewed!

The Torah's words from out your crooked craw
draw obligations far too hard to bear.
Our God's Revealéd words for making fair
you twist in ways that Moses never saw.

But turn ye now from that corrupted fare
& belly up to God's reforming grace
Which calls the people of another race
to make both one in his redeeming care

The Jews & Gentiles both hath God pursu'd
Would at his table both by Christ include.

IV Holy Tuesday - the Harlot
When trapp'd in sins the night without a moon
is dark: no hope nor freedom found in lust
that fills this moment's craving only. Trust
Alone in God can make his lovers swoon.

To Christ now so she comes. As come she must
for rest, to whom men come for passions' fall.
So she whose empt'ing man can't fill can call
to him whose emptying salvation thrust

to hell and every time of Terra's ball.
His feet that soundéd first in Eden's glen
she bathes in tears. She dries with hair & then
anointing them: her love repairs her fall.

Yet Judas fails to see this grace who soon
is damnt as dances she to Jesus' tune.

09 April 2017

First three sonnets for Holy Week


Prelude
O Lord always majestic is thy name.
No man may sing thy praises worthily
& mould'ring - wanting words to hear & see
is often in believers' hearts thy fame.

Still yet we try with prose & harmony
to render mysteries in physic's space:
depicting love as icons show thy face
to offer latria enfleshedly.

If Donne like saints, though sleeping, lend his grace
unlettered I make bold on pages ink'd
to build in classic form of couplets link'd
& structured verses, thus thy praises trace.

Lest Onan's songs on formless pride I frame
Creator God the Word my words enflame.

I - Lazarus Saturday
Tiz better to have lov'd & lost: so said
the Bard when speaking of the heart's romance.
What would he say of God & man who dance
As friends til mortal man is stoppéd dead?

Then God can weeping fall in mourner's trance
While sisters, neighbors, pharisees, & all
will wonder at his healing advent's stall:
when but one touch restor'd the blind man's glance.

But God has come prophetic'ly to fall
the gates of death. Our Lover's voice will part
hell's ramparts. Raising Laz'rus by God's art:
The tyrant soon will rule an empty hall.

Here he whom four days dead in darkness tread
Rejoices now and rests in his own bed

II - Palm Sunday
All glory laud & honor children sing:
to thee hosanna, Lord, hosanna! Praise
we thee with them, our olive branches raise.
Thy train in triumph through the gate we bring

With garments strewn the road to glory lays:
what ails the crowd that soon they'll turn away?
Here where we hear hosanna cried today
great hearts will fail as darkness on them preys.

O Lord prevent our hearts that make essay
of crowning Thee as Israel's King & God
from dancing to temptation's tunes that prod
like cattle us, thine image thus to slay.

Let us not join them as thy hands they sting
with nails & in our name they kill their king.

08 April 2017

The Second Petition - The Jesus Psalter

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, help me. (x10)

Jesus help me to overcome all temptation to sin and the malice of my ghostly enemies.
Help me to spend my time in virtue and in labors acceptable to thee, to repress in my flesh the motions of sloth, gluttony, and lust.
Help me to have a heart fully in love with virtue and the holy desire of Thy glorious presence.
Help me through pious and peaceful living with my neighbors to have and to keep a good name, to Thy honor, and to my consolation.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.
Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.

Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)


Here (and in the first petition) we see the general themes laid out, of taking things one has - sloth, gluttony, lust - and exchanging them for things one should have: a love of virtue and a desire for God's presence. In this prayer "a good name" assumes that all one's neighbors are more-pious, holier Christians than oneself and that to have their good judgement is to have become more like them. This is very orthodox thinking in the Christian East as well as the West: I am the only sinner I know. Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short, but I am the only sinner I know. The state of your soul is not for me to judge, but rather something for which I should intercede and always assume the best.

The prayer to "haue my hart enamored of vertue, & the glorious prefence of thee" as it is printed in the 1599 text, is one of a sort that will be seen often: my heart is drawn away from you, God, but give me a heart, rather, that is drawn to you that I can become more like you.

The First Petition - Jesus Psalter

This whole series can be found under Jesus Psalter Series in the sidebar. The reader is referred there for "how to" and any historical notes. To the latter I will add more as I find them. Each petition will be posted in the same format: the petition itself, which is to be said ten times, followed by a collection of prayers compiled from my available sources, including in bold, the ones that see to be "the original" prayers, to differentiate them. (It will be noted that the first prayer is always the Petition plus an embolism which clarifies the intention. Then the closing prayer, Pater Noster, and Ave. 

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, have mercy on me. (x10)

Jesus, have mercy on me, O God of compassion, and forgive the many and great offenses I have committed in Thy sight. 
Many have been the follies of my life, and great are the miseries I have deserved for my ingratitude.
Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, who am unable to help myself.
Deliver me from setting my heart upon any of Thy creatures, which may divert my eyes from continually looking up to Thee.
Grant me grace henceforth, for the love of Thee, to hate sin: and out of a just esteem of Thee, to despise worldly vanities.

Have mercy on all sinners, O Jesus, I beseech Thee; turn their vices into virtues and, making them true observers of Thy law and lovers of Thee, bring them to bliss in everlasting glory.
Have mercy also on the souls in Purgatory, for Thy bitter passion, I beseech Thee, and for Thy glorious name, Jesus.

O blessed Trinity, one true God, have mercy on me.

Our Father (or Pater Noster). Hail Mary (or Ave Maria)

A comment on the common concluding prayer, of course, "All Sinners" includes the person praying. The subtext of "change their vices into virtues" is that all vices are only misdirected virtues. There is no positive evil: only a deficiency of good in some area. One fails to love God enough and loves other things instead. But it is still love.

03 April 2017

Jesus Psalter - Notes and Practice


Each section of the Psalter (a Section is Five Decades) opens with the recitation of two verses of Scripture, Philippians 2:10-11.
In nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum, Et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia Dominus Jesus Christus in gloria est Dei Patris.
In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth: And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. 
The Psalter of 1599 (above, left) only has two petitions in the first decade while the later edition has many more. The online edition has several petitions of the same sort as the later one.
Jesus, have mercy on me, O God of compassion, and forgive the many and great offenses I have committed in Thy sight. Many have been the follies of my life, and great are the miseries I have deserved for my ingratitude. Have mercy on me, dear Jesus, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, who am unable to help myself. Deliver me from setting my heart upon any of Thy creatures, which may divert my eyes from continually looking up to Thee.  Grant me grace henceforth, for the love of Thee, to hate sin: and out of a just esteem of Thee, to despise worldly vanities. 
Because of this (and other differences between the editions) it seems that the earlier texts of the devotion might have had only one or two petitions - plus the prayer "Have mercy on all sinners" &c., ending in the Pater Noster and the Ave. The whole point was to set up a meditation on the thirty-fold invocation. "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..." a couple of petitions and the meditation (ad hoc by the devotee, or prompted by other materials).  It helps if we think of this like a Rosary. We know an Rosary is supposed to be more than just quickly saying the ten Aves and one Pater Noster, one Gloria, and one O, my Jesus. But most of the time - especially in public recitation - the Rosary gets turned into just that.

When you read a text on how to pary the Rosary there is a complex "Contemplation" included for each decade.  You'll not get it memorized! You're not supposed to: it's intended as a bridge or springboard to your own inner world. I hear advice that people should "say the Rosary while driving" and I think "OMG No!  It's hella more dangerous than cellphones!"  It's a bit more involved: it can take minutes to read, but an hour to pray. I see some advising doing only a decade of the rosary in 15 mins: thus, a properly done one would take almost an hour and a half. That's advanced - very advanced - but not a bad target. Nor is it, in time, a bad target for the Psalter.