Monday, August 31, 2009
(15) If anyone shall not confess the holy ever-virgin Mary, truly and properly the Mother of God, to be higher than every creature whether visible or invisible, and does not with sincere faith seek her intercessions as of one having confidence in her access to our God, since she bare him, [let him be anathema.](17) If anyone denies the profit of the invocation of Saints, [ditto.]
(My plan would be: to restructure the Hours and the Psalms assigned thereto in a more traditional manner; to have three Matins lessons by dropping the passage from von Speyr and dividing Newman's into two; to reassign the antiphons at Terce, Sext, None and for the Vigil canticles to Lauds and Vespers, so that these have five each; to move the short responsories from Lauds and both Vespers to Terce, Sext, and None; to reuse the versicles at Terce, Sext and None at Lauds and both Vespers; and to delete the intercessions at Lauds and Vespers, as also the Vigil canticles and Gospel. This would produce a "Little Office of St Joshua", since I would only provide three Matins psalms.)
[* Note that, since this was thirty years before the C. of E. revised its Office lectionary in 1871, the psalms and lessons read that day were as follows: at Matins, Psalm 68 (Vulg., 67), Joshua x and St Mark xiii; at the Holy Communion, I John iv, 7-21 and St Luke xvi, 19-31 (Dives and Lazarus); and at Evensong, Psalms 69 & 70 (Vulg. 68 & 69), Joshua xxiii and II Cor. x. This explains some of Newman's allusions.]
O Lord God, Creator of all things, dreadful and strong, just and merciful, who alone art the good kind, who alone art gracious, who alone art just and almighty and eternal, who deliverest Israel from all evil, who didst choose the fathers and didst sanctify them:Receive the sacrifice for all thy people Israel, and preserve thy own portion, and sanctify it.Gather together our scattered people: deliver them that are slaves to the Gentiles and look upon them that are despised and abhorred: that the Gentiles may know that thou art our God. Punish them that oppress us, and that treat us injuriously with pride. Establish thy people in thy holy place, as Moses hath spoken.
Raymond, called by the cognomen Not-born, for against the common law of nature he was brought forth into the light from the cut-open side of his dead mother, rejecting childish games and the enticements of the world, so gave himself to works of piety, that all marvelled in the adult virtues of a child. The Mother of God, whom he sedulously petitioned, he loved exceedingly. Entering religion under the title of ransom or of the merciful redemption of captives, his virginity, which he had previously consecrated to the blessed Virgin, he always cultivated, and shone with all other virtues, especially with charity for Christians who under the power of pagans lived a miserable life. Him Gregory IX amongst the Cardinal fathers enrolled*; but the man of God, in that dignity abhorring all pomps, always held most tenaciously to religious humility. At Cardona [near Barcelona], prest down by deadly disease but armed by the sacraments of the Church, he passed to the Lord on the last Sunday of August, in the year 1240. - But Thou, O Lord, have mercy on us! R/. Thanks be to God.Te Deum laudamus...[* Modern research shews that this pious tradition stems from an understandable confusion of St Raymond with Robert Somercote, Cardinal 1238-1241; sixteenth century writers mistakenly assumed that the Pope had elevated St Raymond to this dignity as a mark of respect for his great sufferings as a voluntary prisoner of the Moors.]
Sunday, August 30, 2009
- The Annunciation to St Zachary that he and his wife St Elizabeth will at last conceive a son, who shall be the Herald of Christ (this event is commemorated in the liturgy on the Vigil of St John Baptist);
- The Visitation (whereat the unborn John leaps in St Elizabeth's womb, sanctified by the Holy Ghost and rejoicing at the approach of the unborn Saviour borne in the Immaculate Virgin, just as David leapt before the Ark);
- The Nativity of St John the Baptist (at which St Zachary broke forth in the Benedictus, sung by all generations world without end);
- The Lord's Baptism (administered by the humble and trembling Baptist, to fulfil all righteousness);
- The Decollation of St John (which feast we have just marked - the supreme witness borne to Christ by His Forerunner).
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that the words, which we have heard this day with our outward ears, may through thy grace be so grafted inwardly in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, to the honour and praise of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Friday, August 28, 2009
For laughter they make bread and wine, that the living may feast: and all things obey money. (Ecclesiastes x, 19)
Fecisti nos ad te, Domine, et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te.(Thou hast made us for Thyself, Lord, and our heart is restless until it rest in Thee.)
Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: but put on the Lord Jesus Christ: and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences.
Deus, qui ineffabili providentia beatum Augustinum ab errorum tenebris ad lucem evangelicæ veritatis adduxisti: da nobis, quæsumus, ut, qui ejus [hodie] Conversionem colimus, ejusdem ad te precibus, actus nostros in melius reformemus. Per...(God, Who didst bring blessed Augustine by Thine unspeakable Providence from the darkness of error to the light of Gospel truth: give unto us, we beseech, that we who observe his Conversion [to-day], at the prayers of the same to Thee, may reform our actions for the better. Through...)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Our Lady of Lourdes, Health of the Sick, pray for us.Grant us, Thy servants, we beseech, Lord God, to rejoice in perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary Ever-Virgin to be delivered from present sorrow, and to have fruition of eternal joys. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Every good and every perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights. (James i, 17a)
Glory be to God for His inexpressible gift! (II Cor. ix, 15)
Monday, August 24, 2009
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui hujus diei venerandam sanctamque lætitiam in beati Apostoli tui Bartholomæi festivitate tribuisti: da Ecclesiæ tuæ, quæsumus; et amare quod credidit, et prædicare quod docuit. Per...(Almighty everlasting God, Who hast granted a venerable and holy joy to this day in the festival of Thy blessed Apostle Bartholomew: give unto Thy Church, we beseech, both to love what he believed, and to preach what he taught. Through...)
Sunday, August 23, 2009
- lights (that is, candles, frowned upon by Puritans as dregs of Popery),
- Eucharistic vestments (as opposed to lay clothes, Geneva gowns and choir vestments suited to the Office only),
- wafer bread (as opposed to the common leavened loaf),
- the mixed chalice (as opposed to the Protestant practice, due to Luther, of omitting adding water to the wine),
- incense (despised as Romish, although its use hadn't quite died out at the English cathedrals till the eighteenth century, lastly at Ely, where the first-recorded case of allergy to incense is recorded as bringing about its retirement),
- the Eastward position (the ancient and Catholic position of the priest at the altar, again against the innovation of Luther - despite trendy twentieth-century notions, modern research reinforces the original consensus that ad orientem is the correct way to stand at God's board, and has been since the foundation of the Church).
- a move from appalling, low-brow and heterodox music to decent, good-quality and orthodox music at Mass (at the very least, from bad songs to better hymns; and better still, where the church has the resources, a return ought be made - as Vatican II said! - to Gregorian chant having pride of place, in concert with sacred polyphony);
- singing of the liturgy, such as the responses, the collects, the Preface and so forth (the priest and people should sing! for this is in accord with all tradition, and reinforces the sacral nature of the proceedings - but in Australia this is very rare, and minimalism reigns);
- much greater use of incense (see previous comments);
- return to more Latin (see previous comments!);
- male servers only (the allowance on specious canonical grounds of women servers is productive of great confusion among the faithful, as it seems to point toward the heretical idea of eventual allowance of women priests - indeed, arguably female servers are a greater scandal than Communion on the hand, since they suggest that the matter of the sacrament of Holy Orders is to be changed);
- instituted lectors only (why on earth those to read at Mass should be unvested layfolk, let alone ladies, I have never understood - just listen to the solecisms to hear why);
- Mass facing East (in consonance with all tradition, in emphasis on the offering of the Sacrifice, and in opposition to that heretic Luther);
- Holy Communion received on the tongue, and whilst kneeling (note that the ancient and universal rule is to receive on the tongue, but kneeling communion came in only about five hundred years ago - in the Byzantine Rite, one doesn't kneel).
Deus, qui per gloriosissimam Filii tui matrem beatum Ildefonsum confessorem tuum atque pontificem, misso de thesauris cælestibus munere, decorasti: concede propitius; ut, per ejus preces et merita, munera capiamus æterna. Per eumdem...(God, Who by the most glorious mother of Thy Son didst adorn blessed Ildefonsus Thy confessor and pontiff with a gift sent from the celestial treasuries, graciously grant, that, by his prayers and merits, we may lay ahold of gifts eternal. Through the same...)
O Domina mea, dominatrix mea, dominans mihi, mater Domini mei, ancilla Filii tui, genitrix factoris mundi, te rogo, te oro, te quæso, habeam spiritum Domini tui, habeam spiritum Filii tui, habeam spiritum Redemptoris mei, ut de te vera et digna sapiam, de te vera et digna loquar, de te vera et digna quæcumque dicenda sunt dicam.O my Lady, my ruler, ruling me, Mother of my Lord, Handmaid of thy Son, Mother of the world's maker, I pray thee, I beg thee, I beseech thee, that I may have the spirit of thy Lord, that I may have the spirit of thy Son, that I may have the spirit of my Redeemer, that I may truly and worthily know thee, that I may truly and worthily speak about thee, that I may truly and worthily say whatsoever ought be said about thee.(De virg. perp. s. Mariæ, Cap. I ab init.: PL 96, 58A-58B.)At nunc venio ad te, sola Virgo mater Dei, procido coram te, sola opus Incarnationis Dei mei; humilior coram te, sola inventa mater Domini mei; rogo te, sola inventa ancilla Filii tui, ut obtineas deleri facta peccati mei, ut jubeas mundari me ab iniquitate operis mei, ut facias me diligere gloriam virtutis tuæ, ut reveles mihi multitudinem dulcedinis Filii tui, ut des mihi loqui et defendere fidei sinceritatem Filii tui; concedas etiam mihi adhærere Deo et tibi, servire Filio tuo et tibi, famulari Domino tuo et tibi; illi sicut factori meo, tibi sicut gentrici factoris mei; illi sicut Domino virtutum, tibi sicut ancillæ Domini omnium; illi sicut Deo, tibi sicut matri Dei; illi sicut redemptori meo, tibi sicut operi redemptionis meæ.And now I come unto thee, sole Virgin Mother of God; I prostrate before thee, sole masterwork of the Incarnation of my God; I humble myself before thee, alone found to be the Mother of my Lord; I beg thee, alone found to be the Handmaid of thy Son, that thou mayst obtain the removal of my sins, that thou mayst command me to be cleansed from the iniquity of my works, that thou mayst make me to love the glory of thy power, that thou mayst show unto me the manifold sweetness of thy Son, that thou mayst give unto me to speak and defend the truthfulness of faith in thy Son; grant unto me even to cling to God and to thee, to serve unto thy Son and unto thee, to wait upon thy Lord and upon thee; unto Him as my maker, unto thee as the mother of my maker; unto Him as the Lord of might, unto thee as the handmaid of the Lord of all; unto Him as God, unto thee as the Mother of God; unto Him as my Redeemer, unto thee as the work of my redemption.(ibid., Cap. 12 ab init.: PL 96, 105B-105C)Ideo ego servus tuus, quia tuus filius Dominus meus. Ideo tu domina mea, quia tu ancilla Domini mei. Ideo ego servus ancillæ Domini mei, quia tu domina mea facta es mater Domini tui. Ideo ego factus servus tuus, quia tu facta es mater factoris mei. Oro te, oro te, sancta Virgo, ut de illo Spiritu habeam Jesum, de quo tu genuisti Jesum. Per illum Spiritum accipiat anima mea Jesum, per quem concepit caro tua eumdem Jesum. Ab illo Spiritu sit mihi nosse Jesum, a quo tibi adfuit nosse habere et parturire Jesum. In illo Spiritu humilis excelsa loquar de Jesu, in quo confiteris esse te ancillam Domini, optans fieri tibi secundum verbum angeli. In illo spiritu diligam Jesum, in quo tu hunc adoras ut dominum, intueris ut filium. Tam vere timeam hunc Jesum quam vere idem cum esset Deus, erat subditus parentibus suis.Therefore I am thy servant, for thy Son is my Lord. Therefore thou art my mistress, for thou art the handmaid of my Lord. Therefore I am the servant of the handmaid of my Lord, for thou art, my lady, made the mother of thy Lord. Therefore I am made thy servant, for thou art made the mother of my maker. I pray thee, I pray thee, holy Virgin, that I may possess Jesus by that Spirit by Whom thou didst bear Jesus. By that Spirit may may soul accept Jesus, by Whom thou didst conceive of thy flesh the same Jesus. From that Spirit may I know Jesus, from Whom it was possible for thee to know to have and to give birth to Jesus. In that Spirit may I so humble speak high things of Jesus, in Whom thou didst confess thyself to be the handmaid of the Lord, desiring that it be done to thee according to the angel's word. In that spirit may I love Jesus, in which thou dost adore Him as Lord, and know him as (thy) Son. So may I truly fear this Jesus just as the Same, while he was God, was subject to His parents.(ibid., Cap. XII: PL 96, 106A-106B)
To Thee have I lifted up my eyes, * Who dwellest in heaven.Behold as the eyes of the servants * are on the hands of their masters,As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: * so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until He have mercy on us.Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us: * for we are greatly filled with contempt.For our soul is greatly filled: * we are a reproach to the rich, and contempt to the proud.Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: * and to the Holy Ghost.As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: * world without end. Amen.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to give testimony of the light, that all men might believe through him. He was not the light, but was to give testimony of the light. That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. Who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
My heart hath exulted in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God, for I have been made glad in Thy salvation. (I Kings ii, 1)Almighty everlasting God, Who didst prepare a worthy dwelling for the Holy Ghost in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary: graciously grant, that with devout mind recalling the feast of the same immaculate Heart, we may be able to live according to Thy heart. Through our Lord... in the unity of the same Holy Ghost...
Friday, August 21, 2009
FAITH AND LITERATURE:
“AARON” BY GEORGE HERBERT.
Priests preparing to celebrate the Sacred Mysteries may well feel unworthy of the office entrusted to them. In this, the first of a series of articles examining aspects of Christian faith as expressed in literature, they will perhaps find a consoling subject for meditation, as part of their prayer before Mass, in the following work of the English metaphysical poet George Herbert.
Holinesse on the head,
Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
To leade them unto life and rest.
Thus are true Aarons drest.
Profanenesse in my head,
Defects and darknesse in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place where is no rest.
Poore priest thus am I drest.
Onely another head
I have, another heart and breast,
Another musick, making live not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest:
In him I am well drest.
Christ is my onely head,
My alone onely heart and breast,
My onely musick, striking me ev’n dead;
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in him new drest.
So holy in my head,
Perfect and light in my deare breast,
My doctrine tun’d by Christ, (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest)
Come people; Aaron’s drest.
– George Herbert (1593-1633), The Temple.
A Commentary on “Aaron”.
“Each verse of Herbert’s poem suggests metrically the swelling and dying sound of a bell; and, like a bell, the rhymes reiterate with the same sound” (Herbert J. C. Grierson, Metaphysical Lyrics and Poems of the Seventeenth Century: Donne to Butler (pp. 231-2), Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1921). The iambic meter swells from trimeter, to quadrimeter, to pentameter, and then contracts again. In the five verses of five lines apiece (and note that Aaron’s name has five letters) a constant pattern is repeated: the first line of each verse concerns the symbolism of the priest’s head; the second line, that of his breast; the third, that of the bells and of music; the fourth, that of the rest afforded by the same; and the fifth, that of the complete dress of the Lord’s servant, the priest. Each line, then, is a repetition, and as it repeats, conflicts and contrasts arise like reverberations; these develop until the ideal presented in the first stanza is achieved in the last. Further, in each verse, the rhyme-words are the same, as a bell sounds always the same. The poem rings out Herbert’s theme, a godly theme: that of the typic Aaron, the model priest, fulfilled in Christ, in whom alone the Christian priest is made fit to minister.
As is common in this metre, the stress in the first foot of each line is often reversed (it is trochaic); however, less common, and so more noteworthy, is the occasional reversal of other feet. Hence “holiness” and “light” in the first verse, “defects” and “unto” in the second, “onely” in the third, “Christ” in the fourth, and “perfect” in the fifth, all stand at the start of lines, and are emphasised by trochaic feet. Stronger emphasis is created by trochaic feet in medial positions, as occurs for the first word or words in “raising the dead,” “thus am I drest”. More important still is the occurrence of half-stress as well as full stress in the same foot, as in “in whom I,” “ev’n dead,” “new drest,” “deare breast,” “come people” – these emphasise the points being conveyed. Finally, there are four lines in which several elements come into play; two of these lines have defective feet. “Thus are true Aarons drest” and “That to the old man I may rest” each contain both an initial trochee and a subsidiary stress – in the former on “true,” in the latter on “man”. “I am well drest” and “My alone onely” both consist of defective feet - the first two syllables are unstressed, the last two are both stressed, as in some forms of Greek poetry. Noting these accentual emphases helps to comprehend the poem’s conceptual emphases.
Reflection upon the first verse calls to mind St Aaron the First High Priest, who is a premier type of Christ the Eternal High Priest. Upon his head, as we read in Exodus xxviii, is a mitre bearing a golden plate inscribed Sanctum Domino, that is, “Holy to the Lord” (Exodus 28:36), and so having “holiness on the head”. Within the ephod “on the breast” repose the mysterious Urim and Thummim, literally “lights and perfections,” according to the Masoretic vocalization, as marginally noted in the Authorized Version so familiar to Herbert; or rendered as Doctrinam et Veritatem, doctrine and truth (Exodus 28:30), as the Vulgate prefers, and to which reference is made in line 23 of the poem.
Round about the hem of Aaron’s vesture were sewn bells, and the similitudes of pomegranates; and the bells would sound as Aaron passed into the Holy of Holies, “that he may not die” (Exodus 28:35). In Christian times it became conventional to allude to the fringe of “harmonious bells below” as representative of mellifluous preaching verily “raising the dead”, and of “the preacher’s duty to lead his people to life and rest through the sounding of his bells” (Rosemund Tuve, A Reading of George Herbert (p. 155), Faber and Faber, London, 1952) – that is, of his very preaching (kerygma) of none other than Christ’s teaching: “he that heareth you, heareth me” (St Luke 10:16). As the Lord said, “Amen, amen, I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live” (St John 5:25).
“Thus are true Aarons drest” – note here how “true” is almost fully stressed – this can be read as a foreshadowing of the true Aaron, Christ, who is later referred to explicitly. The parallel here drawn between Aaron and Christ, and of the fulfilment in Christ of the ideal presaged in Aaron’s splendour, is representative of the fulfilment of the Old and former Testament in the New and eternal one, and of the new covenant of “grace abounding” fulfilling and surpassing the precepts laid down under the old covenant of the Law. Christ is “a priest forever” (Hebrews 5:6; 7:17, 21) of a more exalted kind than Aaron, as St Paul teaches in his Epistle to the Hebrews: “who is not dead” – no, he can ever deliver man from the “place where is no rest”: “I am the First and the Last, and alive, and behold I am living for ever and ever, and have the keys of death and of hell” (Apocalypse 1:17-18). That presaged in the Tabernacle and Temple of old is now made a reality in the new Temple, which is the Church, as many other of Herbert’s poems make clear.
In the Church, the mystical body of Christ, Christ the Head thereof ministers to his very members by way of his ministers, the priests, who act in persona Christi capitis (in the person of Christ the Head: see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1548). And so “another head / I have,” and again it is reiterated more strongly “Christ is my onely head,” and thus the priest is made “holy in my head”. Here the poem’s tripartite structure comes to the fore: first given is an image of the prophetic type of priesthood; then comes a confession of the sad present state of a member thereof; then Herbert tells how the all-too-evident “profaneness... defects and darknesse” may be made, in Christ, into joyous “light and perfections”. So Aaron and Christ are presented as relating to a Christian priest – the first gives him a biblical exemplar, which by his own works he cannot fully imitate; the second gives him the divine grace and character to be what he needs must be. As St Thomas Aquinas writes, “Christ is the source of all priesthood: the priest of the old law was a figure of Christ, and the priest of the new law acts in the person of Christ” (Summa Theologiae III, 22, 4c).
In “the more particular of the present case,” the “poore priest” contemplates how he is engrafted into these august mysteries. How can he, sinful son of Adam, in badness “thus am I drest” (note the plaintive “thus,” so stressed), minister in the sanctuary, in the holy place? So in line 8, “noise” is likely used in the sense of a band of musicians, in this case representing the tumult of ungodly passions, threateningly tolling the passing-bell of fearful living-death-in-sin, and of the second death, “where their worm dieth not” (St Mark 9:43) and “where there is no rest”; this nicely contrasts with the “onely musick” of line 18, which is Christ, who acts “striking me ev’n dead” – that is, as a clapper strikes in a bell, and with power, “ev’n dead”. “Without whom I could have no rest” – only by dying to sin and rising with Christ can he hope to minister fittingly. Dying to the “old man” so strongly imaged, dying to the first and sinful Adam, and living anew in Christ, the second and last Adam, is a central Pauline theme: “For you are dead; and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3); and again, “stripping yourselves of the old man with his deeds and putting on the new” (Colossians 3:9-10). “He must die, that, thereby, Christ may increase in him” (Sr Thekla, George Herbert: Idea and Image (p. 292), Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Assumption, Newport Pagnell, England, 1974; cf. St John 3:30).
By holy baptism, as is stated in Romans chapter 6, he must have already died indeed with Christ, to be regenerated and born again in him “making live not dead”, as do all Christians, who thereby share in the common or baptismal priesthood; so what more is here asked? As he is a priest, it is implied that he must share in something more of Christ’s priesthood, of a higher degree and kind, even though the language is baptismal. The Christian priest, as far as his own self goes, “does not measure up... But then he remembers the indelible character of his priesthood and the grace of orders, the grace of the Christ whose power is made perfect in human weakness” (John Saward, Christ is the Answer (p. 131), T. and T. Clark Ltd., Edinburgh, 1995). The ministerial priesthood is that special character which fits the priest for his sacred office, to “be in him new drest”, definitively newly attired in Christ, to share in the priestly office of Christ. The priesthood, that most holy of all offices on earth, is necessarily most Christocentric.
In lines 12 and 17, Christ is called “another heart”, and more strongly still “my alone only heart,” referring to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, inseparably part of his sacred Humanity and so still within Christ’s verily “deare breast”, worthy of adoration, symbol of love and of the animation by Christ’s grace and love of all of who “have put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27) – and so, emphatically, “In him I am well drest”. It reinforces the truth of being “alive in Christ Jesus,” living by and in him alone. Indeed, as Pope John Paul II has said, “The priest always, and in an unchangeable way, finds the source of his identity in Christ the priest” (Holy Thursday Letter to Priests (1986), n. 10). For the Church, for the plebs sancta Dei (holy people of God) the priest, their very servant, pours forth preaching and “doctrine tun’d by Christ” who “lives in me while I do rest”; he serves them by ministering in the sanctuary, and may truly say with vigour “Come people; Aaron’s drest.”
Patristic Postscript: the True Aaron.
“Like ointment on the head, which ran down upon the beard, upon the beard of that Aaron.” By the priest Aaron, that Priest is indicated who alone fulfills the sacrament of the true High Priest (veri pontificis sacramentum), not with a victim of another kind, but in the oblation of His own body and blood: same Priest, same Victim, Propitiator and Propitiation, the One who effects all the mysteries for which He was announced. Who died, and was buried, and rose again, He ascended into heaven, exalting human nature above every other name, and sending the Holy Spirit, whose unction would penetrate every Church (cujus unctio omnem ecclesiam penetraret).
— St Prosper of Aquitaine, Expositio psalmorum (Explanation of the Psalms), on Ps 132(133):2; cited in Jurgens, W. A. The Faith of the Early Fathers, Vol. 3, p. 194, §2040.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Memorare, O piissima Virgo Maria, non esse auditum a sæculo, quemquam ad tua currentem præsida, tua implorantem auxilia, tua petentem suffragia, esse derelictum. Ego tali animatus confidentia ad te, Virgo virginum, Mater, curro, ad te venio, coram te gemens peccator assisto. Noli, Mater Verbi, verba mea despicere, sed audi propitia et exaudi. Amen.Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.