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Sexagesima Sunday –God’s extravagance

GesimasWith Vespers tonight, we keenly recall in the Liturgy the extravagance of God. Sunday is Sexagesima in the Extraordinary Form–there are roughly 60 days until Easter.

Comparatively, the Eastern Churches have also begun their preparation for Lent. The Byzantine Church will have Meat Fare Sunday this weekend; it introduces the beginning of faithful’s abstinence of meat.

We observed Septuagesima Sunday last week, and next week we observe Quinquagesima Sunday. The “Gesimas” are the preparatory weeks before for the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday in the Latin Church. The sacred Liturgy is characterized by the absence of the organ unless to support the signing, the suppression of the Gloria in excelsis and the Alleluia, and the priest dons violet vestments.

Dom Prosper Guéranger gives us a terrific sense of today’s Liturgy.

Moreover, you may want to read Lauren Priests’ 2010 insightful article, “Parachuted into Lent: The Suppression of Septuagesima.”

The overarching theological theme is the covenant God made with Noah due the Flood. The Gospel of Luke gives us the narrative of the sower of the seed.   We know the Sower is the Lord;  the seed is His Word.

The Word has gone out to the ends of the earth by the Divine Sower ushering in for us what is known as the biblical Hundredfold. There is no place where He has not cast seed.  Hence, we believe that God is extravagant in sharing His Word, His Love, His Justice, His  generosity, and ultimately, Himself. Some may say, God is unreasonable in His generosity but that line of thinking is incoherent with Divine Revelation.

Our following the Word of God is live the Gospel making sure the the seed sown lands on good ground. kind of ground are you?

Saint Gregory the Great taught, “Man casts seed to the ground, when he places a good intention in his heart; and he sleeps, when he already rests in the hope which attends on a good work. But he rises night and day because he advances amidst prosperity and adversity, though he knows it not for he is as yet unable to measure his increase, and yet virtue, once conceived, goes on increasing.”

Septuagesima –running the race

septuagesima 2016We see in liturgical history, the Church in France in the thirteenth century there is a change in how we live the Lex Orandi tradition with the singing of Vespers on the eve of Septuagesima Sunday, the 9th Sunday before Easter (the Byzantine Church hears the gospel of the Prodigal Son thus beginning their preparation for Great Lent). At this time we ought to notice the visual and auditory elements change: organ is silenced, the Alleluia is buried, violet is worn for priestly vesture. This verse appears:

We are unworthy to sing a ceaseless Alleluia. Our sins bid us interrupt our Alleluia. The time is at hand when it behoves us to bewail our crimes.

Read more about this pre-Lent period by Dom Prosper Guéranger, OSB in his The Liturgical Year:

John Betjeman eulogized “Septuagesima” in his Poems in the Porch.

Septuagesima – seventy days
To Easter’s primrose tide of praise;
The Gesimas – Septua, Sexa, Quinc
Mean Lent is near, which makes you think.
Septuagesima – when we’re told
To “run the race”, to “keep our hold”,
Ignore injustice, not give in, and practise stern self-discipline;
A somewhat unattractive time
Which hardly lends itself to rhyme.

Collegium Sanctorum Angelorum (College of the Holy Angels) to be established

Collegium Sanctorum Angelorum announces the establishment of a new college to serve traditional Catholics and its supporting subsidiary, HEAVENLY ROAST COFFEE.

Collegium Sanctorum Angelorum (College of the Holy Angels) will be a residential, four-year college that will provide a liberal arts education (A.A. and B.A.) that is faithful to the intellectual, moral, spiritual, and liturgical traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, and a formation in Catholic living, called ore et labore, both at affordable rates (under $13,500) for tuition, room and board.

The college will open in fall of 2019, and it will also provide a formation in Catholic living through regular prayer (including Mass and parts of the Divine Office), opportunities for every student to work in support of the mission of the college, co-curricular activities that will support intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and moral discernment, and a faculty/staff that is committed to providing exemplary models of Catholic living.

The college is as concerned about formation as it is about information. Thus, the residential aspect of the college is critical, and it will constitute a program of prayer, centered on the traditional Latin Mass and parts of the Divine Office, work, and study.  The formation will be essentially contemplative in nature, to which the traditional forms of prayer are more naturally aligned.  (This will also serve the needs of traditional Catholics, for whom there is currently no four-year college devoted to such a traditionally oriented formation.)

The college will keep its costs affordable by limiting the size and scope of the program, by supporting the program with auxiliary income-producing enterprises – one of which is HEAVENLY ROAST COFFEE – and by using technology to achieve efficiencies wherever possible.

Through a strict adherence to the tenets of Ex corde ecclesiae, and a by thorough screening of faculty, staff and students, the college will provide an education that is faithful to the magisterium of the Church. Every member of the faculty and staff at the college will be a practicing Catholic in full communion with the Holy Catholic Church, will be fully supportive of the purposes of the Collegium, and will sign the Collegium’s pledge of fidelity to the magisterium of the Catholic Church and its oath rejecting the philosophy of Modernism.

YOU CAN HELP IN 5 WAYS:

  1. Visit the Collegium’s website: www.collegiumsanctorumangelorum.org, sign up for our newsletters and announcements, and follow our blog.
  2. Join and like the Collegium’s Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1000345869993413/.
  3. Visit www.heavenlyroastcoffee.com, and sign up for our announcements and sales offerings, and buy your coffee from Heavenly Roast Coffee.
  4. Visit https://www.facebook.com/heavenlyroastcoffee and ‘like’ the page, and share it.
  5. Pray this prayer every day: Prayer to the Holy Angels

Bless the Lord, All you His Angels, You who are mighty in strength and do His will.   Intercede for me at the throne of God, and by your unceasing watchfulness protect me in every danger of soul and body.   Obtain for me the grace of final perseverance, so that after this life I may be admitted to your glorious company and may sing with you the praises of God for all eternity.

O all you holy Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones; Dominions, Virtues and Powers; Principalities, Archangels and Angels; and especially you, my dear Guardian Angel, intercede for me and obtain for me the special favor of the success of the College of the Holy Angels.

(Our Father … 10x – one for each of the orders of angels and one for your guardian angel, that as they intercede for the Collegium, all things will be done according to the will of Our Father in heaven.)

Contact: edwardschaefer@collegiumsanctorumangelorum.org

Holy Family Feast

holyfamToday the liturgical calendar for the Traditional Latin Mass observes the Feast of the Holy Family. In addition to the important theological and liturgical considerations, this feast day is special to the members of the Saint Gregory Society because in 1986 we had a solemn Mass initiating the work of the Society.

Something to pray about:

Christ’s human family is made holy by his presence in its midst. The primary lesson of the feast of the Holy Family, as celebrated within Christmastide, lies here. Just as the incarnate only begotten Son of God makes his family holy, so he wants to make our families holy as well. This purpose fits with the whole economy of salvation by which he comes to share our humanity in order to accomplish something that is completely beyond our capacities, namely, that, sharing in his divinity, we become children of the Father. The feast of the Holy Family is not simply intended to present an example to be imitated or a model to be reproduced, but the possibility of Christ’s transforming grace made actual in our own families.  When approving the feast of the Holy Family, Pope Leo XIII wrote: “When a merciful God determined to complete the work of human reparation which the world had awaited throughout long ages, He so established and designed the whole, that from its very inception, it would show to the world the sublime pattern of a divinely constituted family. In this [Holy Family] all men should see the perfect example of domestic unity, and of all virtues and holiness” (Neminem Fugit, 14 June 1892, §1).

Archbishop J. Augustine DiNoia, O.P.
Vice President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei
Homily excerpt for the Feast of the Holy Family, 2016