Quotidian (10)

15 June 2018 | Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today is the final day of the girls’ Spanish Summer Camp in Wake Forest. After dropping them off, I heard Mass at St. Catherine’s parish and then made my way back to Wake Forest Coffee Company.

Last night I had dinner at Mitch’s Tavern in Raleigh with a friend who is considering the seminary. To encourage him along, I gifted him my set of The Hours of the Divine Hours in Latin and English (1963). I’ve been using my Breviarium Monasticum (1920) and thought I shouldn’t hoard my books, as the Savior teaches: Every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old [nova et vetera] (Mt. 13.52). (See here)

From The Life and Labours of Saint Thomas of Aquin by Fr. Roger William Bede Vaughan, O.S.B., Archbishop of Sydney (d. 1883)

The reception of a child in those days was almost as solemn as a profession in our own. His parents carried him to the church; and whilst they wrapped his hand, which held the petition, in the sacred linen of the altar, they promised, in the presence of God and of His saints, stability in his name. There is no hint that the sacrifice was not considered to have been irrevocably offered, after this oblation had been made to God.

The children’s training was in keeping with the holiness of their consecration. They were confided to the care of a large-hearted and God-fearing man. The one object was, to fill their souls with God, to teach them the power of knowledge, and the force of love — to educate the intellect, and to purify the hear (16-17)

And a little later:

Nor was mental culture neglected in the midst of these spiritual influense. Thomas was taught the first elements of knowledge by the monks. The fragmentary Latin Grammar of the period, Donatus, Priscian, or Didymus would, by frequent repetitions, by fixed upon the memory. The the Psalter, and passages from the poets, were learnt by hear. Æsop’s Fables, Theodolus, and the Sentences of Cato, led into the gallery of the ancient Classics. Ovid, Horace, and Persius were favourite authors; while Seneca was treated with special reverence, as one of the most enlightened moralists of ancient times. Then Lucan, Statius, and Virgil, who were looked upon as seers in the midst of heathendom, on account of certain curiously prophetic passages in their writings, prepared the student for his course of rhetoric. Cicero, Quintilian, and the Stagyrite opened the door to the science of God, and of the saints. That S. Thomas passed through a course resembling this, to say the least, is eminently probably.

These were tranquil days for the young Aquino, days of growth —  just as nature rests in the first warm days of early spring, before it bursts into leaf and flower. To breathe at peace under the light of truth, far from the contention of tongues, and then to meditate, and resolve in the presence of one Eternal Witness,  — this has been the education of many a man of iron will, of soaring spirit, and of blameless life (20-21).

Roma Antica
Giovanni Paolo Pannini, “Roma Antica” (1756-57)
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Quotidian (9)

13 July 2018 | Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Saint Antony (OFM) was, first of all, an Augustinian monk, but he was so impressed by the martyrdom of five Franciscans who had been spreading the faith in Morocco that he became a Franciscan friar himself, so that he could preach the gospel in Africa too. Illness obliged him to leave Morocco, and a storm then drove his ship to Sicily, so that he found himself taking part in the General Chapter of the Franciscans in 1221, where he met Saint Francis of Assisi himself. His preaching career then took him to northern Italy and southern France, then a stronghold of the Albigensian heresy. Later he returned to Italy, to Padua, where he was an outstanding preacher and the first Franciscan theologian. His sermons are full of gentleness, but he reproved the wicked with fearless severity – especially backsliding clergy and the oppressors of the weak. His shrine is a centre of pilgrimage, and he is also the patron saint of the lost and found.

Back in the Wake Forest Coffee Company, reading and writing thank-you notes, while the big girls continue at Summer Spanish Camp. Also working on my post, “Praying Compline,” for my Divine Office series.

Reading: Nigel Spivey, “They built the wall” (A review of Adrian Goldworthy’s new book on Hadrian’s Wall (The New Criterion, June 2018) [link]

Reading: Ben Kane, “Rome vs Greece: a little-known clash of empires” (The Irish Times, 11 June 2018) [link]

Podcast: “The Goddess of the Young,” i.e., Artemis (The History of Ancient Greece) [link]

cropped-cropped-cropped-caillebotte-22portrait-of-henry-cordier22-188311.jpg
Gustave Caillebotte, “Portrait of Henri Cordier” (1883)

The Divine Office

My Short History

Even before my reception into the Roman Catholic Church, I have been praying the Divine Office, in some capacity or another. Beginning with my college friends, we said Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer using the Shorter Christian Prayer books in my professor’s chapel.

Upon entering the Church at Easter 2003, my professor, now Fr. John David Ramsey of the Diocese of Richmond and pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newport News, VA, gifted me a complete four-volume set of the Liturgy of the Hours.

While at Duke Divinity School, a close friend and fellow student, Dr. Ty Monroe, now Visiting Professor at Assumption College in Worchester, MA, and I said Morning Prayer using the larger Christian Prayer breviary with the Liturgy of the Hours volume for that particular season.

At STMA, we say Morning Prayer (Lauds) using the Shorter Christian Prayer breviary, adjusting for the particular memorial, feast, or solemnity.

In the Fall of 2016, Franz Klein, a former colleague of mine, taught me the Divine Office in Latin using his four-volume Liturgia Horarum, with varying success.

In the summer of 2016, I purchased the Breviarium Monastacum (1920), a small four-volume set in Latin alone that had previously belonged to a Sr. Mary Karline, O.S.B., a religious sister in the Benedictine Order, who used this set at early as 1922.

In the winter of 2017, I purchased The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin (1963), a three-volume set, which I regularly use to pray on my own.

Lastly, in the summer of 2018, I purchased the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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Ambrosius Benson, “Young Woman in Orison Reading a Book of Hours” (1520s)

My horarium, using Benedictine Breviarium Monasticum (1920),  for June & July 2018:

4:45 – 5:30am, Matins [ad matutinum], also called the Office of Readings
6:00 – 6:25am, Lauds [ad laudes], also called Morning Prayer
7:00 – 7:20am, Prime [ad primam]
9:00 – 9:15am, Terce [ad tertium], also called Midmorning Prayer
12:00 – 12:15pm, Sext [ad sextam], also called Midday Prayer
3:00 – 3:15pm, None [ad nonam], also called Midafternoon Prayer
6:30 – 7:00pm, Vespers [ad vesperas], also called Evening Prayer or Evensong
9:00 – 9:20pm, Compline [ad completorium], also called Night Prayer

I don’t say every hour every day but there is the goal of doing so.

Quotidian (3)

30 May 2018 | Wednesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
In the traditional Roman Calendar, we remember St. Felix, pope and martyr. Also, in France St. Joan of Arc, who is at the moment my oldest daughter’s patron, is celebrated.

Last night and into the early AM, I kept a vigil alight for my middle daughter. Her temperature has continued above 100, waking up in the wee hours, coughing and sweating. I’ve always enjoyed the late/early hours for reading and for prayer; I just wish my daughters and wife weren’t sick.

My wife went to her Physician’s Assistant and found out she may have Pharyngitis, which sounds, both in the word itself and the way my wife’s voice intones, like Laryngitis. For this reason, she needs more time for rest and less hands-on time with the girls. Deo gratias, it’s summer recess for me, though this is eerily like Christmas Holiday when I came home to a house of Norovirus.

I have had a few minutes of the Divine Office and to begin reading Fr. Guy Bedeouelle, O.P.’s Saint Dominic: The Grace of the Word. The biography, originally penned in French and published in 1982, attempts to sketch the life of the saint in light of his evangelical preaching and apostolic life. In fact, it’s one part biography, one part exhortation to live and preach like the great father of the Order of Preachers.

Tomorrow in the Extraordinary Form is the Feast of Corpus Christi, traditionally celebrated on the Thursday following the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity, which was last Sunday. In the Ordinary Form, Corpus Christi will be celebrated this Sunday (3 June). What’s more, the E.F. celebration of Corpus Christi replaces Pope St. Pius XII’s Immaculate Heart of Mary, which has been transferred to June 9 in order to fall the day after the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, my old parish’s titular feast day.

But, in the current calendar, May 31st is the now the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the Virgin visited her cousin Elizabeth, the Forerunner leaped for joy at the presence of the Savior in the Virgin’s womb. In the old calendar, this feast was celebrated in early July, but “is now transferred to the last day of May, between the solemnities of the Annunciation of the Lord and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, which agrees more aptly with the Gospel narrative.”*

* Calendarium Romanum (1969), p. 93: Transfertur nunc in ultimam diem mensis maii, inter solemnitates Annuntiationis Domini et Nativitatis S. Ioannis Baptistae, quo aptius consentiat narrationi evangelicae. 

St. Dominic
Fra Angelico, “The Mocking of Christ”