27th October – Feast of Christ the King!

Comment:

We are reflecting upon, and discussing, the shocking state of the Church on various threads; We have noted that Our Lord, Christ the King, is being abused and insulted at the highest levels in His Church today.  The human element in the Church is all but obscuring the divine.  Let us, therefore, use this Feast Day thread as a small means of reparation, as well as celebration. Take a few minutes to share your favourite hymns and prayers, devotions, novenas, pilgrimages etc. as a means of reminding ourselves that, despite the scandalous outward appearances, Christ is  remaining true to His promise to be with His Church right to the end:  “…And behold, I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.” (Matt 28:20)  

Real faith is required of us today – we cannot merely, as some put it, “cling to a tribal identity”.  Perhaps a short extract from the life of St Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, will point us towards the attitude of soul which we might most profitably embrace at this time – the saint is writing (to her Superior) about the affliction of her “dark night of the soul”: 

From the time of my childhood I felt that one day I should be set free from this land of darkness. I believed it, not only because I had been told so by others, but my heart’s most secret and deepest longings assured me that there was in store for me another and more beautiful country—an abiding dwelling-place. I was like Christopher Columbus, whose genius anticipated the discovery of the New World. And suddenly the mists about me have penetrated my very soul and have enveloped me so completely that I cannot even picture to myself this promised country . . . all has faded away. When my heart, weary of the surrounding darkness, tries to find some rest in the thought of a life to come, my anguish increases. It seems to me that out of the darkness I hear the mocking voice of the unbeliever: “You dream of a land of light and fragrance, you dream that the Creator of these wonders will be yours for ever, you think one day to escape from these mists where you now languish. Nay, rejoice in death, which will give you, not what you hope for, but a night darker still, the night of utter nothingness!”

Dear Mother, this description of what I suffer is as far removed from reality as the first rough outline is from the model, but I fear that to write more were to blaspheme . . . even now I may have said too much. May God forgive me! He knows that I try to live by Faith, though it does not afford me the least consolation. I have made more acts of Faith in this last year than during all the rest of my life.  (Chapter IX, The Story of a Soul).

Maybe we should compete with this great saint and Doctor of the Church, in making many acts of Faith, not just on this beautiful Feast, but every day throughout the worsening crisis in the Church.  Here’s one – if you have a favourite, please share:

An Act of Faith…

O MY GOD, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.   Amen.

Hail, Christ the King! 

31/5: The Queenship of Our Lady

Note:  only two of the verses published below, are sung in the video, but included here for the record (so to speak!)

Bring flowers of the rarest
bring blossoms the fairest,
from garden and woodland and hillside and dale;
our full hearts are swelling,
our glad voices telling
the praise of the loveliest flower of the vale!

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Their lady they name thee,

Their mistress proclaim thee,
Ah, grant that thy children on earth be as true
as long as the bowers
are radiant with flowers,
as long as the azure shall keep its bright hue

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Sing gaily in chorus;
the bright angels o’er us
re-echo the strains we begin upon earth;
their harps are repeating
the notes of our greeting,
for Mary herself is the cause of our mirth

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.
O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today,
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May

Comment: 

Earlier in the Month of Mary, a few of the families who attend the traditional Mass at the SSPX chapel in Glasgow, organised a little gathering for the purpose of crowning Our Lady’s statue.  Since these families double as Catholic Truth readers, I was invited along.  It turned out to be a truly beautiful experience. 

The host family has a statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in their garden, which is large enough to allow the children to play/kick a ball around etc.  The afternoon began with a buffet lunch and, following some play time (and chat time for the adults), everyone gathered round the statue for the crowning.  Girls, assorted ages and from the different families, were primed to place the lovely crown of flowers on the statue’s head as we began singing each chorus.  They did so perfectly.   An adult would remove the crown at the end of the chorus, and then it would be placed again on the statue by the next girl in line – and this until all three choruses had been sung, and every girl had had the privilege of placing the crown on Our Lady’s head.  It was absolutely beautiful. 

Later, when everyone had abandoned the garden and gathered in the living room, where a statue of Our Lady of Fatima takes pride of place, the children asked if they could again crown the statue.  That’s understandable; as the novus ordo Mass-goers keep telling us, everyone, especially the young, “like to be actively involved…”  😀  Of course, anyone who can’t see the difference between this sort of “active involvement” and the (literal) mass takeover in parishes in the past fifty years, needs help.  

Anyway, afraid of over-kill, of perhaps putting them off hymn singing forever, if not the Faith itself, I suggested that we just do the crowning, not necessarily sing the three verses/choruses of the hymn again. The youngsters would have none of it!  They insisted on singing the hymn again, every verse and every chorus.  And sing along they did, so seriously, so touchingly. 

There is no question about it, the sparks of devotion, love of Our Lord and Our Lady, are ignited when we sing the “old hymns” – you know, the ones which raise our hearts, minds and souls to the things of God and help to embed and deepen our love for Christ and His Mother.   

So, enjoy the above lovely rendering of Bring Flowers of the Rarest – and maybe next year YOU might organise a crowning party for your family and friends.  

For now, as this Month of Mary draws to a close, I wish a very happy Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary to one and all! 

Who’s Your Favourite Saint… And Why?

Comment:

This year,  for reasons beyond our control, we missed out on marking the Feast of All Saints (1st November) so, better late than never, here we go…

Tell us the name of your favourite saint  (imagine you are forced to choose just one)  and explain why.  In what way does that particular saint help your spiritual and religious life.