PRAYER FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY

Dear Friends of St. Mary’s Hermitage,

PRAYER FOR THE SOULS IN PURGATORY

The month of November will shortly be upon us, and our thoughts turn toward Purgatory and the holy souls who dwell there for a time, expiating their faults. Holy Mother Church admonishes us to pray more especially for these souls, both known and unknown to us, during November.

A custom we keep at our Hermitage here is to place the names of deceased family members and other loved ones in our book of remembrance and place it on the altar, and our priest faithfully remember these souls at each Mass offered during the entire month of November. We wish to invite you to send us, before November 1st, the names of your loved ones who are deceased, and we will be happy to include these souls in this great benefit of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for their speedy release and eternal peace. As many as seven Masses are offered here at our chapel each week, and a remembrance of your deceased loved ones will be made at each Mass, each day of the month of November, starting on Holy Souls Day, November 2nd. Please forward your names if you wish to add a loved one to our list.

Please state the full name of person and which country and the year they passed away (the country is for demographic purposes only) and email them to St. Mary’s Hermitage placing Remembrance in your subject line.

The names will then be added to our book of remembrance in calligraphy. It is customary to normally make a Donation which you can at: Donate Here.

Giving whatever you can which will be given to the funeral grant fund for those who cannot pay to bury their loved ones, but if you can not do so do not worry we will pray for them regardless.

Throughout the month of November please remember to pray each day the following prayer:

O gentle Heart of Jesus, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament, ever consumed with burning love for the poor captive souls in Purgatory, have mercy on them. Be not severe in Your judgments, but let some drops of Your Precious Blood fall upon the devouring flames. And, Merciful Saviour, send Your angels to conduct them to a place of refreshment, light and peace. Amen.

Frá Ugo-Maria

THE WAY OF PRAYER

In the living tradition of prayer, each Church proposes to its faithful, according to its historic, social, and cultural context, a language for prayer: words, melodies, gestures, iconography. The Magisterium of the Church15 has the task of discerning the fidelity of these ways of praying to the tradition of apostolic faith; it is for pastors and catechists to explain their meaning, always in relation to Jesus Christ.

Prayer to the Father

There is no other way of Christian prayer than Christ. Whether our prayer is communal or personal, vocal or interior, it has access to the Father only if we pray “in the name” of Jesus. The sacred humanity of Jesus is therefore the way by which the Holy Spirit teaches us to pray to God our Father.

Prayer to Jesus

The prayer of the Church, nourished by the Word of God and the celebration of the liturgy, teaches us to pray to the Lord Jesus. Even though her prayer is addressed above all to the Father, it includes in all the liturgical traditions forms of prayer addressed to Christ. Certain psalms, given their use in the Prayer of the Church, and the New Testament place on our lips and engrave in our hearts prayer to Christ in the form of invocations: Son of God, Word of God, Lord, Savior, Lamb of God, King, Beloved Son, Son of the Virgin, Good Shepherd, our Life, our Light, our Hope, our Resurrection, Friend of mankind. . . .

But the one name that contains everything is the one that the Son of God received in his incarnation: JESUS. The divine name may not be spoken by human lips, but by assuming our humanity The Word of God hands it over to us and we can invoke it: “Jesus,” “YHWH saves.”16 The name “Jesus” contains all: God and man and the whole economy of creation and salvation. To pray “Jesus” is to invoke him and to call him within us. His name is the only one that contains the presence it signifies. Jesus is the Risen One, and whoever invokes the name of Jesus is welcoming the Son of God who loved him and who gave himself up for him.17

This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.” It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the publican and the blind men begging for light.18 By it the heart is opened to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy.

The invocation of the holy name of Jesus is the simplest way of praying always. When the holy name is repeated often by a humbly attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases,19 but holds fast to the word and “brings forth fruit with patience.”20 This prayer is possible “at all times” because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus.

The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior’s steps. The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world.

“Come, Holy Spirit”

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”21 Every time we begin to pray to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit who draws us on the way of prayer by his prevenient grace. Since he teaches us to pray by recalling Christ, how could we not pray to the Spirit too? That is why the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action.

If the Spirit should not be worshiped, how can he divinize me through Baptism? If he should be worshiped, should he not be the object of adoration?22

The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit.23 Jesus insists on this petition to be made in his name at the very moment when he promises the gift of the Spirit of Truth.24 But the simplest and most direct prayer is also traditional, “Come, Holy Spirit,” and every liturgical tradition has developed it in antiphons and hymns.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.25

Heavenly King, Consoler Spirit, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere and filling all things, treasure of all good and source of all life, come dwell in us, cleanse and save us, you who are All Good.26

The Holy Spirit, whose anointing permeates our whole being, is the interior Master of Christian prayer. He is the artisan of the living tradition of prayer. To be sure, there are as many paths of prayer as there are persons who pray, but it is the same Spirit acting in all and with all. It is in the communion of the Holy Spirit that Christian prayer is prayer in the Church.

In communion with the holy Mother of God

In prayer the Holy Spirit unites us to the person of the only Son, in his glorified humanity, through which and in which our filial prayer unites us in the Church with the Mother of Jesus.27

Mary gave her consent in faith at the Annunciation and maintained it without hesitation at the foot of the Cross. Ever since, her motherhood has extended to the brothers and sisters of her Son “who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties.”28 Jesus, the only mediator, is the way of our prayer; Mary, his mother and ours, is wholly transparent to him: she “shows the way” (hodigitria), and is herself “the Sign” of the way, according to the traditional iconography of East and West.

Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries. In countless hymns and antiphons expressing this prayer, two movements usually alternate with one another: the first “magnifies” the Lord for the “great things” he did for his lowly servant and through her for all human beings29 the second entrusts the supplications and praises of the children of God to the Mother of Jesus, because she now knows the humanity which, in her, the Son of God espoused.

This twofold movement of prayer to Mary has found a privileged expression in the Ave Maria:

Hail Mary [or Rejoice, Mary]: the greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer. It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greets Mary. Our prayer dares to take up this greeting to Mary with the regard God had for the lowliness of his humble servant and to exult in the joy he finds in her.30

Full of grace, the Lord is with thee: These two phrases of the angel’s greeting shed light on one another. Mary is full of grace because the Lord is with her. The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is the source of all grace. “Rejoice . . . O Daughter of Jerusalem . . . the Lord your God is in your midst.”31 Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells. She is “the dwelling of God . . . with men.”32 Full of grace, Mary is wholly given over to him who has come to dwell in her and whom she is about to give to the world.

Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. After the angel’s greeting, we make Elizabeth’s greeting our own. “Filled with the Holy Spirit,” Elizabeth is the first in the long succession of generations who have called Mary “blessed.”33 “Blessed is she who believed. . . . “34 Mary is “blessed among women” because she believed in the fulfillment of the Lord’s word. Abraham. because of his faith, became a blessing for all the nations of the earth.35 Mary, because of her faith, became the mother of believers, through whom all nations of the earth receive him who is God’s own blessing: Jesus, the “fruit of thy womb.”

Holy Mary, Mother of God: With Elizabeth we marvel, “And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”36 Because she gives us Jesus, her son, Mary is Mother of God and our mother; we can entrust all our cares and petitions to her: she prays for us as she prayed for herself: “Let it be to me according to your word.”37 By entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: “Thy will be done.”

Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death: By asking Mary to pray for us, we acknowledge ourselves to be poor sinners and we address ourselves to the “Mother of Mercy,” the All-Holy One. We give ourselves over to her now, in the Today of our lives. And our trust broadens further, already at the present moment, to surrender “the hour of our death” wholly to her care. May she be there as she was at her son’s death on the cross. May she welcome us as our mother at the hour of our passing38 to lead us to her son, Jesus, in paradise.

Medieval piety in the West developed the prayer of the rosary as a popular substitute for the Liturgy of the Hours. In the East, the litany called the Akathistos and the Paraclesis remained closer to the choral office in the Byzantine churches, while the Armenian, Coptic, and Syriac traditions preferred popular hymns and songs to the Mother of God. But in the Ave Maria, the theotokia, the hymns of St. Ephrem or St. Gregory of Narek, the tradition of prayer is basically the same.

Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus’ mother into our homes,39 for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.40

IN BRIEF

Prayer is primarily addressed to the Father; it can also be directed toward Jesus, particularly by the invocation of his holy name: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.”

“No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’, except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3). The Church invites us to invoke the Holy Spirit as the interior Teacher of Christian prayer.

Because of Mary’s singular cooperation with the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church loves to pray in communion with the Virgin Mary, to magnify with her the great things the Lord has done for her, and to entrust supplications and praises to her.


15 Cf. DV 10.
16 Cf. Ex 3:14; 33:19-23; Mt 1:21.
17 Rom 10:13; Acts 2:21; 3:15-16; Gal 2:20.
18 Cf. Mk 10:46-52; Lk 18:13.
19 Cf. Mt 6:7.
20 Cf. Lk 8:15.
21 1 Cor 12:3.
22 St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Oratio, 31,28:PG 36,165.
23 Cf. Lk 11:13.
24 Cf. Jn 14:17; 15:26; 16:13.
25 Roman Missal, Pentecost Sequence.
26 Byzantine Liturgy, Pentecost Vespers, Troparion.
27 Cf. Acts 1:14.
28 LG 62.
29 Cf. Lk 1:46-55.
30 Cf. Lk 1:48; Zeph 3:17b.
31 Zeph 3:14,17a.
32 Rev 21:3.
33 Lk 1:41, 48.
34 Lk 1:45.
35 Cf. Gen 12:3.
36 Lk 1:43.
37 Lk 1:38.
38 Cf. Jn 19:27.
39 Cf. Jn 19:27.
40 Cf. LG 68-69.

THE LITURGY IN THE EARLY CHURCH

During the early days of the Church, both Saturday AND Sunday were kept as holidays but soon Sunday came to be preferred because the Lord had risen from the dead on a Sunday – and again, two consecutive holidays with the attendant need for communities to gather in common made the community itself increasingly vulnerable to police detection and penetration. The fact that it was also on a Sunday that the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Apostles in the Upper Room did not damage the speed of the trend to adopt only Sunday as the proper holiday of observation.

How Our Lord celebrated the first Divine Liturgy is clearly delineated in the New Testament accounts of the Last Supper. We have had portrayed for us there the simplest elements of that Most Holy Sacrifice.

Our Lord took the bread and wine and prayed over them, He offered them up to the Father with a blessing and then consecrated them, changing them into His Own Precious Body and Blood.  He then gave them to the apostles in Holy Communion. Communion.  Oneness.  With Him. PHYSICAL one-ness with Him, as “well” as spiritual.

Last Supper
Do this in commemoration of me. (Luke 22:19).

The Saviour told the apostles to do the same thing.  To do it in commemoration of Him, and to bear witness concerning Him until the end of time.  They did so faithfully.  Wherever they preached the Gospel they also celebrated the Eucharist.

At first the Jewish-Christian converts continued to pray and perform their religious worship obligations in the Temple at Jerusalem. They went to the synagogues, reserving the celebration of the Eucharist until the evening hours when it was usually joined to the communal meal they then took as a matter of custom. It was in this way that they obeyed the Lord to “do this in commemoration of Me” when He instituted the Blessed Sacrament as an evening meal.

Problems, however, arose swiftly, as they always do when someone either sets himself apart or is seen by others to be set apart – or even to be simply “different” somehow.  It wasn’t long at all before the Jewish authorities initiated a persecution of the Jews. The Romans as yet had no part in it – it was, for them, a purely local and religious matter to be settled among the Jews themselves.  Soon, however, the politics of the region brought down the Legions of Rome upon Jerusalem, and with the rage of Rome, Jerusalem was quite literally destroyed.

Simultaneously, alongside the destruction of Palestine and the levelling of Jerusalem, gentiles were beginning to join the Christians at an ever-increasing rate.  More and more thousands of Gentiles were entering the Church.  It became quite impossible, if only because of the numbers, to frequent the local synagogue and to be a Christian at the same time.  The numbers of converts made the one impossible, the persecution made the other equally impossible.

sacraments initiation
Sacrament of Initiation

Christians, however, never completely outgrew their synagogal background. Among those elements which were borrowed from our Jewish heritage came the service we still call the “Liturgy of the Catechumens.” Today we refer to it more commonly as “The Liturgy of the Word,” but it reflects in form (and almost as much in content) the old synagogal forms, by which the Christians now held their own synagogue services, which quickly developed into a kind of synagogal service in the morning, and a Eucharistic service in the evening. The format eventually developed over the centuries into the entire form known as “The Office,” “The Divine Office,” “The Liturgical Hours,” or any of a dozen other appellations which came to describe those processes by which Christians have ever sought to turn the entire day into a way of worshipping, glorifying and praising God. Beginning with the “Liturgy of the Catechumens” in the morning (something like “lauds” now), frequent prayer during the day (probably as a matter of simple convenience developing into naturally marked times such as mid-morning, noon, mid-afternoon, early evening, etc.), and completed at the end of the day with the full Eucharistic service combined with a meal or supper which we still remember as “The Agape,” the Feast of Love.

It is not difficult to understand, however, that it swiftly became difficult for people to gather twice for service on Sundays, particularly under the burdens inflicted by growing persecution. Frequent movement to and from identifiable locations would quickly prove the undoing of a clandestine group simply trying to stay alive. The era of the Great Persecutions (64-313 A.D.) made it necessary to assemble secretly. Not every city had “catacombs.” So, at a very early date, it became customary to join the synagogue service together with the Eucharistic service into one sacred function. Very soon into the Christian era we have the Divine Liturgy already formed into its current form, at least in broad outline.

catacombe1
Catacombs San Callisto  Rome c. 300 A.D

First one would find the “Liturgy of the Catechumens” as the beginning part of the service.  So-called because the catechumens, those converts still taking instructions in the faith but not yet baptised, were allowed to be present ONLY at this portion of the service.  The Eucharistic Feast itself was only for the initiates – and the Byzantine Liturgies to this day commemorate that fact by calling for the catechumens to depart just prior to the profession of faith. There would be readings from the sacred scriptures (at that time, mostly the Old Testament; much of the New Testament had not yet been written, and much of what had been written had not yet percolated its way throughout the entire community, though much had). Then would follow the “Liturgy of the Faithful” from the fact that only baptised believers could be present during the celebration of the Eucharist. Today this is still called the Liturgy of the Eucharist (literally, in Greek, “Thanksgiving”) because the Liturgy proper, or the confection of the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, took place at that point – the chief characteristic of the Christian service.

During the early days of the Church, both Saturday AND Sunday were kept as holidays but soon Sunday came to be preferred because the Lord had risen from the dead on a Sunday – and again, two consecutive holidays with the attendant need for communities to gather in common made the community itself increasingly vulnerable to police detection and penetration. The fact that it was also on a Sunday that the Holy Spirit had descended upon the Apostles in the Upper Room did not damage the speed of the trend to adopt only Sunday as the proper holiday of observation.

There is a remnant, however, even today remaining in the Byzantine Rite of the early state of things.  Liturgically, Saturday is “still” a liturgical day in the East.  And the Liturgical Day still begins at sundown. And the Liturgical Year still begins on September 1st. Even though Sunday is the Day of Obligation, on which all are obliged to render public worship to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Saturday in the Byzantine Rite is not a fast day, except for the Saturdays of Lent, and even in Lent the Liturgy is always celebrated on Saturday, whereas during Lenten weekdays the Liturgy is NOT celebrated. Only the “Liturgy of the Pre-Sanctified” is celebrated traditionally on Lenten weekdays, and that is not truly a liturgy because it lacks a consecration. It is, in fact, Vespers joined to a communion service, and the consecrated species are actually consecrated at a prior Liturgy. Hence, of course, the name “Pre-Sanctified.” Additionally, there are many Saturdays during the Liturgical Year that have Propers of the Liturgy, like the Sundays. There “are” no “propers” for, say, the Sixth Wednesday after Pentecost. There IS for the First Saturday of Lent; or for Lazarus Saturday; or Akathistos (Ἀκάθιστος) Saturday; or for the five All Souls’ Saturdays. Saturdays in the Eastern Rites are “almost” as sacred as are Sundays.

Early Persecution Of Christians
Persecution of Early Christians

The persecutions lasted more than 200 years – a long time. A time quite long enough for necessary practices to harden into traditions, habits of mind and attitudes. Constantine issued the famous Edict of Milan in 313, not, as customarily has been said, “establishing Christianity as the state religion,” a false statement, but establishing their freedom to practice Christianity without let or hindrance, just as the other religions in the Empire had been accustomed during the entire history of the period. It simply restored Christians to equal status. The establishment of Christianity as the state religion came considerably later. Strictly speaking, however, the Edict of Milan did no more than permit Christians to come out of hiding, build churches and basilicas and hold services freely, without fear of punishment, persecution or discrimination, as often and as long as they wished, whenever and however they so chose.

At that point, the development of the Liturgy flowered greatly, bringing with it a richness and diversity quite unexpected by everyone involved. And bringing with it problems which nobody could have foreseen, and difficulties which, because unanticipated, would have the most serious consequences for the history of the world.

Copyright © 1997 Catholic Information Network (CIN) – 04-14, 2003
Courtesy of Catholic Information Network (CIN)

Continue reading “THE LITURGY IN THE EARLY CHURCH”

Catholic Comic Book on Saint Bruno the Carthusian – for our Spanish Readers

En 1086, San Bruno Fundó la Orden de los Cartujos en el Delfinato francés de Chartreuse. En ese lugar el santo estableció su célebre monasterio, combinando las severas reglas de los ermitaños del desierto egipcio con las de los monasterios occidentales.

Screen Shot 2018-06-25 at 12.04.41
Portada de la Revista “Vidas Ejemplares” de México sobre San Bruno

Recientemente, hemos encontrado una Revista Católica para los jóvenes en nuestros Archivos en español sobre la vida de San Bruno el Cartujo.

 

En 1086, San Bruno Fundó la Orden de los Cartujos en el Delfinato francés de Chartreuse. En ese lugar el santo estableció su célebre monasterio, combinando las severas reglas de los ermitaños del desierto egipcio con las de los monasterios occidentales.

Está destinado principalmente para niños, pero también es bueno para adultos y queríamos compartirlo con nuestros lectores. Lo hemos incluido en un documento PDF para que se pueda leer en sus dispositivos electrónicos o se puede imprimir para su uso. El copyright ha expirado.

Por favor, pasa este libro a tus hijos para su educación católica.

Nuestras oraciones y bendiciones están con usted.

⬇︎Haga clic en el enlace a continuación para descargar la revista sobre San Bruno, el fundador de la Orden Cartuja.

Vidas Ejemplares San Bruno

⬆︎Click on the link above to download the magazine on San Bruno the founder of the Carthusian Order

We recently found a Catholic Magazine for the young in our Archives in Spanish on the life of Saint Bruno the Carthusian.

In 1086, San Bruno founded the Order of the Carthusians in the French Delfinato de Chartreuse. In this place the saint established his famous monastery, combining the severe rules of the hermits of the Egyptian desert with those of the western monasteries.

It is intended mainly for children but also good for adults and we wanted to share it with our readers. We have mede it into a PDF document so that it can be read on your electronic devices or it can be printed out for your use. The copyright has expired.

Please pass this book on to your children for their Catholic education.

Our prayers and Blessings are with you.