31 May 2014

The Visitation according to Houselander


Caryll Houselander
Caryll Houselander writes of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Elizabeth in her magnificent book The Reed of God:

Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile.

There is one exquisite incident in our Lady’s Advent in which this is clearly seen: the Visitation.

And Mary rising up in those days went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda.(Luke 1:39) How lyrical that is, the opening sentence of St. Luke's description of the Visitation. We can feel the rush of warmth and kindness, the sudden urgency of love that sent that girl hurrying over the hills. "Those days" in which she rose on that impulse were the days in which Christ was being formed in her, the impulse was his impulse.

Many women, if they were expecting a child, would refuse to hurry over the hills on a visit of pure kindness. They would say they had a duty to themselves and to their unborn child which came before anything or anyone else.

The Mother of God considered no such thing. Elizabeth was going to have a child, too, and although Mary's own child was God, she could not forget Elizabeth's need — almost incredible to us, but characteristic of her.

She greeted her cousin Elizabeth, and at the sound of her voice, John quickened in his mother's womb and leapt for joy.

I am come, said Christ, that they may have life and may have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Even before he was born his presence gave life.

If Christ is growing in us, if we are at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life seems to be, from it he is forming himself; if we go with eager will, in haste, to wherever our circumstances compel us, because we believe that he desires to be in that place, we shall find that we are driven more and more to act on the impulse of his love. And the answer we shall get from others to those impulses will be an awakening into life, or the leap into joy of the already wakened life within them.

It is not necessary at this stage of our contemplation to speak to others of the mystery of life growing in us. It is only necessary to give ourselves to that life, all that we are, to pray without ceasing, not by a continual effort to concentrate our minds but by a growing awareness that Christ is being formed in our lives from what we are. We must trust him for this, because it is not a time to see his face, we must possess him secretly and in darkness, as the earth possesses the seed. We must not try to force Christ’s growth in us, but with a deep gratitude for the light burning secretly in our darkness, we must fold our concentrated love upon him like earth, surrounding, holding, and nourishing the seed.

We must be swift to obey the winged impulses of his Love, carrying him to wherever he longs to be; and those who recognize his presence will be stirred, like Elizabeth, with new life. They will know his presence, not by any special beauty or power shown by us, but in the way that the bud knows the presence of the light, by an unfolding in themselves, a putting forth of their own beauty.

Caryll Houselander
The Reed of God

Richter: Bach Visitation Cantatas

J.S. Bach: Cantata for the Visitation 
of the Blessed Virgin Mary to St. Elizabeth

BCA175 BWV10 Cantata for Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

00:00 1 Chor Mein Seel erhebt den Herren
03:45 2 Aria(S) Herr, der du stark und machtig bist
10:45 3 Recitativo(T) Des Hochsten Gut und Treu
11:54 4 Aria(B) Gewaltige stosst Gott vom Stuhl
14:51 5 Duetto(A,T) & Choral Er denken der Barmherzigkeit
17:02 6 Recitativo(T) Was Gott den Vatern alter Zeiten
18:45 7 Choral Lob un Preis sei Gott
Edith Mathis (S)
Anna Reynolds (A)
Peter Schreier (T)
Kurt Moll (B)
Munchener Bach-Chor/Orchester
Karl Richter 

BWV147 Cantata for Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Maronite Catholic Archbishop Consecrates Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Archbishop Samir Nassar, the Maronite Catholic Archbishop of Damascus, will consecrate Syria to the Immaculate Heart of Mary today following the evening Mass at the Maronite Cathedral in Damascus.

In his text Maronite Catholic Archbishop Nassar will ask Our Lady and in an act of filial ‘homage’ of faith, love and trust – to solemnly consecrate the Syrian nation to your Immaculate Heart. Take it from our fragile hands into Your own; defend it and guard it as Your own property; make Jesus reign, conquer and rule in it. Outside of Him there is no salvation…

We, the bishops of your people, feel a terrible storm raging round us, threatening to disperse and destroy the faithful flock of those who bless You because You are the Mother of Jesus. Afflicted, we stretch out our suppliant hands towards Your Son, as we cry out ‘save us, O Lord, for we perish!’… Intercede for Syria, O Our Lady, in this grave hour when from all around blow furious winds, bringing cries of death against Your Son and against civilization founded on His teachings, deceiving minds, perverting hearts and lighting the fires of hatred and revolution in the world. Help of Christians, pray for us!


29 May 2014

Finzi: God Is Gone Up

In the Anglican tradition "Holy Thursday" is Ascension Thursday :
The Celebration of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gerald Finzi: 'God Is Gone Up'
The Choirs of Wells Cathedral

The Ascension of the Lord


'Ascension of the Lord' mosaic in Monreale, Sicily

Gregorian Chant: Viri GalilaeiT

The Ascension Introit from Liber Usualis (1961), pp. 846-847
Schola Cantorum - Wiener Hofburgkapelle


28 May 2014

Patrick Gowers: 'Viri Galilaei'


Patrick Gowers: Viri Galilaei for chorus and organ


27 May 2014

Breathing Death, Killing Earth

Very few are willing to discuss the phenomenon of persistent contrails from airplanes that were not present in our skies for most of my life.  Many call these "chemtrails" and as such others seek to debunk those who wish to raise alarm about the billowing aerosolised haze.  

I am not aware of many Catholics or other Christians speaking out and sounding the alarm about these billowing trails of aerosolised material in the skies overhead with the noted exception of the late Sr. Rosalie Bertell, GNSH, PhD.  

I do not know what they are, but I know they should not be in our skies.  I know that after an intense web of these persistent contrails fills the skies that many elderly suffer illness and the death rates of the sick and elderly rise.  

Because this is such a frightening issue most prefer to bury their heads.  Here is the much beloved and admired Sr. (Dr.) Rosalie Bertell, GNSH making brief comment about "chemtrails":

Recently, an aerospace technician named Jens (surname not released) has come forward at a public rally trying to release information he possesses about what these persistent aerosolised airplane contrails actually are.  [At this point I invoke the name of the late Sr. Rosalie Bertell, PhD, a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart, and beg her for her intercession so the truth of these things may be revealed and that which is false made clear by the Spirit of holiness and truth. (If you do not know of Dr. Rosalie Bertell, you should.)]

Below is the youtube video of Jens speaking at a public rally.  Obviously, I do not know if this is a stunt or if he is in fact one of that rare breed of whistleblowers.  I bring this to your attention because we must awaken and demand that our skies be cleared of this billowing mist and haze that is filling our atmosphere with God knows what.  

If you have time be sure to read Sr. Rosalie Bertell's famous book Planet Earth: The Latest Weapon of War.  It is almost impossible to find in hard copy today, but it can be read via Google Books online.

24 May 2014

Muslims Stone, Assault Christians Near Bethelehem

What will you do about it?

St. George slaying the dragon
Christian Arab residents of the village of El-Khader in the Bethlehem area were savagely attacked by local Muslims as they celebrated a Christian holiday last week. A report by CAMERA, an organization which monitors anti-Israel bias in the media, reported that Christians attempting to enter Saint George’s Monastery in the village were intimidated and attacked with rocks and stones. [...]
“Some local Muslims either tried to park a car too close the church and/or tried to enter the church during a service honoring St. George - the initial instigation isn’t clear,” she wrote. “But when the intruders were asked to leave, one of them stabbed a Christian man who was outside the church serving as a guard. He was hospitalized. Several then started throwing stones at the church. 7 or 8 Christians were injured and some physical damage was done - broken windows etc. The police didn’t show up for an hour.”

Please also be sure to contact the White House, your Governor, your Senators, and your Members of Congress and demand that each of them make public denunciations of this outrageous violence by ordinary Muslims against Christians on the sacred feast of St. George the Martyr.

Also, please request the government's intervention with the Israeli government to require protection of all Christians in Israel — including the Arab and Armenian Christians — if Israel desires to continue receiving funding from the USA.  The same demands must be made of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and those running Gaza.

If you live in another nation please likewise contact your Member of Parliament, Prime Minister, and Head of State and request a denunciation of this atrocity from their offices.  Please also request immediate action by your governmental ministers and authorities to protect the Arab and Armenian Christians within Israel and the Palestinian Authority and Gaza.


22 May 2014

from the Anglican Bombay Liturgy

The following is from The Bombay Liturgy of 1923 (rev. 1948) of the Anglican Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon which looked to the St. Thomas Christians of India for its liturgical inspiration drawing from the Orthodox Liturgy of Malabar.  This looking to the East is an essential element of Anglicanism beginning with the editing work of Thomas Cranmer, continuing with the Caroline Divines, and developing further in the modern Anglican liturgical movement. 

This liturgy appeared in the supplement to the 1960 Book of Common Prayer of the C.I.P.B.C. as A Liturgy for India.  This section — from the Liturgy of Malabar — for The Administration of the Holy Mysteries has inspired developments in Anglican liturgical texts and Hymnals to the present day.

Priest.  Peace be with you.
People. And with thy spirit.

Then shall the Deacon say:
Let us pray unto the Lord that he make us worthy to partake of these his holy mysteries.

And the Priest shall say the prayer following:

Grant us thy blessing, we beseech thee, O Lord; and of thy mercy vouchsafe that in all purity of heart and mind we may receive the Communion of the Body and Blood of thy Son: who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth for ever. Amen.

And, turning himself to the people, he (or the Bishop, if he be present) shall bless them, saying: 
May the mer+cy of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all, my brethren, for ever.

Then shall the Deacon say: 
Give we heed in fear.

And the Priest, lifting the Gifts above the altar, shall say:

Holy things for holy persons.

And the People shall answer:
There is none other Holy 
save the Holy Father, the Holy Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Living and Holy Spirit, 
One God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Glory to God in the Highest. Amen.
Hosanna to the Son of David. 
Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. 
The Lord is God and hath shined upon us. 
Hosanna in the Highest.

Then shall he first receive the Gifts in both kinds himself, saying when he partaketh of the bread:
The Body of Christ, the Bread of Life.
And, when he partaketh of the cup: 
The Blood of Christ, the Chalice of Life.
And to whomsoever the Gifts be administered, these same words shall be used therewith.

And thereafter he shall deliver the same to such of the Deacons and other persons within the sanctuary, as shall be minded to partake of the Holy Communion. Meanwhile a hymn may be sung.

The Priest shall turn to the west, and descend to the Sanctuary step, bearing the Holy Gifts, and saying:

May the blessings of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ be on those who bear these Holy Gifts, and on those who dispense them, on those who receive them, and all who have partaken and do partake of them. May the grace of God be on us and on them here and hereafter for ever.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world; 
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world; 
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world; 
grant us thy peace.

Praise be to thee, O Lord our God, for ever. Praise be to thee. Praise be to thee. O Lord Jesu Christ, may thy Holy Body which we eat, and thy holy Blood which we drink, be not for our condemnation, but for our life and salvation. Have mercy upon us.

The Priest returns to the altar.

All the earth shall bow down before thee, and adore thee. 
Every tongue shall praise thy holy Name. 
Thou art the raiser of the dead 
and the good hope of those who lie in the grave. 
We give thanks to thee, O Lord, for thy gracious mercy towards us.

Here shall those of the people who desire to partake of the Gifts come forward.

And to the words of administration, both of the bread and of the cup, the communicant shall answer, Amen.

And during the administration of the Holy Sacrament to the people shall be sung:

Strengthen, Lord, for holy service hands which took thy mysteries here;
Be the ears which heard thy praises shielded from the voice of fear;
Eyes which saw thy great compassion see thy blessed hope appear.

May the tongues which chanted ‘Holy’ ever unto truth incline;
Grant the feet which walked thy temple in the land of light to shine;
Bodies, by the Body nourished, quicken thou with life divine.

With thy worshippers abide thou; may thy love direct our ways;
Hear the prayers we lift before thee, and accept our thankful praise.
May thy peace and mercy keep us safe from harm through all our days.

In the hour of thine appearing may we stand before thy face;
Raise we ever glad hosannas for the wonder of thy grace;
For thy love hath shined upon us to redeem our mortal race.

Lord, who deign’st on our offences mercy’s pardoning streams to pour,
Grant us grace to own thy God-head and in reverent faith adore,
To thy sovereignty uplifting praise and blessing evermore. Amen.

Or some other hymn


Offertory Prayer, India, BCP 1960


An Offertory Prayer from the 1960 Book of Common Prayer of the Church of India, Pakistan, Burma, and Ceylon:

Then shall the Priest say:

Let us pray.

All things come of thee, and of thine own do we give unto thee, O Creator of the world, who art ever adored by the holy Angels. We humbly beseech thee to accept at our hands these (alms and) oblations, which we present at thy Holy Table, and with them the offering of ourselves to the service of thy divine Majesty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The People may say this Prayer with the Priest.


21 May 2014

The Lord's Prayer of The Assyrian Church of the East

The Order of the HOLY QURBANA according to the Liturgy of Mar Addai and Mar Mari, the Blessed Apostles, is endlessly fascinating to me and of great interest to all students of early Christian euchological formulae.  

Of particular interest to me are the uses of The Lord's Prayer in the Liturgy.  We find it in a "customary" place in the Liturgy, but there is also a second "praise" version of the Lord's Prayer at the end of the Holy Qurbana before the final benediction.  

If, dear reader, you are familiar with the traditional Anglican Eucharistic liturgies, this version of this 'praise' form of The Lord's Prayer occupies a place similar to The Gloria at the end of the Anglican Holy Communion, that final note of joy, as I was taught long, long ago.  

What follows below is an official translation granted authority by His Holiness Mar Khanania Dinkha IV, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East from a bilingual edition of the Liturgy compiled by Deacon Lawrence Namato.

ALL: Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Holy, holy holy art Thou, our Father in heaven. Heaven and earth are full of the greatness of thy glory. Angels and men cry to thee, Holy, holy, holy art Thou.

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in Heaven, so on earth. Give us the bread of our need this day, and forgive us our offences, as we have also forgiven those who have offended us. And bring us not to trial, but deliver us from the Evil One. For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory for ever: Amen.

Priest: Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:
Deacons/People: From everlasting and forever and ever. Amen.

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Holy, holy holy art Thou, our Father in heaven. Heaven and earth are full of the greatness of thy glory. Angels and men cry to thee, Holy, holy, holy art Thou.

Deacons: Let us pray: Peace be with us.

After the Lord's Prayer is concluded the priest will offer the benediction called "Khothama" or "Sealing".

Pray for Iranian Protestant Pastor


Pastor Saeed Abedini beaten and returned to prison

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-American, was severely beaten and forcibly transferred from the hospital where he'd been receiving treatment back to prison. The transfer came without warning and again raises concern for his safety as he is returned back to prison. 

The transfer came entirely without warning to family members inside Iran. They confirmed that Saeed was beaten at the hospital and then forcibly returned to prison. "The reason for the transfer is unclear and according to family members, one of the guards who was involved in the transfer mentioned the Iranian nuclear talks as a possible motive," said Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice.
The entire article may be read HERE.

18 May 2014

Hymn: Mary of Walsingham


The hymn "Mary of Walsingham"

17 May 2014

From "The Practice of Religion"


The Holy Catholic Church is a Divine Institution founded and commissioned by Our LORD JESUS CHRIST, to set forth the Christian Religion and to minister the Word and the Sacraments. The Church is, therefore, the Preserver of Truth, the Dispenser of Grace, and the Guide in Morals. She is Guided by the HOLY GHOST and speaks by Divine Authority. 

The Church sets forth that which is right, necessary and of obligation as to Doctrine, Discipline and Worship.  Her members are pledged by their Baptismal and Confirmation Vows to conform to all that is commanded by the Church. Her authority and not private judgment is the sole judge as to Teaching and Practice, which the Church has clearly set forth in Creeds, Scriptures, Liturgies, Councils and Canons. 
Fr. A. Campbell Knowles, D.D.

The "Faith once for all delivered to the saints," which the Church teaches, is unchanging as to the Divine Revelation, but is adapted to all persons, all places, and all time.  Christian people are bound both to hold and live the Catholic Religion and to regard the Faith as a precious trust given to them to preserve and hand down unchanged from generation to generation.

The Practice of Religion
The Revd Archibald Campbell Knowles
Morehouse-Gorham Company
New York, 1950


16 May 2014

Solar Roadways

An idea:  Solar Roadways | Indiegogo

There are several solar power roadway ideas out there, and the one featured above is getting some worthy attention at the moment.

11 May 2014

Dominus regit me


The King of love my Shepherd is
Tune: Dominus regit me
Westminster Abbey

The Lord is my Shepherd
Javier Busto, composer

The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd;
therefore shall I lack for nothing.

Carl Nielsen's 'Dominus regit me'

Aled Jones • Chichester Psalms, 2nd movement

Dominus regit me.

09 May 2014

Fr. Phillips on Microchimerism

Ave Maria!
Ave Jesu Christe!
I encourage you to read Fr. Phillips blog post on Microchimerism: click here.

I am struck by the implications of what it means that cells from the body of the Lord Jesus Christ would have migrated up into the brain of the Blessed Virgin Mary and elsewhere in her body.

Likewise, the Blessed Mother's cells would have migrated into His body as she carried Him to birth.  Those cells would have been in His body on the Cross and rising from the Tomb.

I do not think many are prepared to discuss the theological implications of microchimerism and the meaning of the Son living his life in the Mother and the Mother living in the Son.

Let the ruminations ensue.

08 May 2014

An Armenian Sanctuary Prayer


[...]  And again for peace 
let us beseech the Lord. 
Let us praise the Almighty God, 
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
who has made us worthy to stand 
in this place of glorification 
and to sing spiritual songs; 
may the Almighty Lord, our God, 
save us and have mercy upon us.

The Prayer in Sanctuary

In this holy abode and in this place of glorification, 
in this dwelling place of angels, 
and in this Temple of purification, 
before these God-accepted and resplendent holy symbols 
and before this holy sanctuary, 
we all humble ourselves and worship You with awe; 
we praise and glorify
Your holy, wondrous and triumphant Resurrection, 
and together with the heavenly hosts 
we offer You praise and glory 
together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, 
now and always forever and ever. Amen.

from The Badarak, pp. 21-22
The Sacred Music And the Divine Liturgy
of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Glendale, California, 1997


07 May 2014

Caryll Houselander: The Risen Christ

An Excerpt from the Chapter "The Prayer of the Body"

Before Christ died he literally gave us his sacramental body in his own hands. Day after day he is born in the consecrated hands of the priest ; in a man's hands he is lifted up and offers himself to the Father. It is fitting, then, that so often our offering of self through the body must be made literally with our hands.

Caryll Houselander
What an expression of himself a man's hands are. When he comes to die, what a story his hands tell. They have taken on the shape and colour and texture of his work. They are the story of his life. When Madame Curie lay dead, the most beautiful testimonial to her life's work was in her hands lying simply on the coverlet, scarred with burns of radium.

Long before Christ gave us his body in his own hands they were hardened by toil, beautiful with the line and muscle and sinew of the hands of an artisan, and hollowed out by the wooden mallet to cup the chalice and hold the nail. But in the consummation of his self-giving, these hands which had given   in so many ways were helpless, fastened back, immovable, to a plank.

At that moment his body was broken, the heart was broken, the flesh and blood separated. Every day the suffering of the Lord's body is shown in the breaking of the bread.

Sooner or later, our prayer of the body too becomes the helpless hands, the falling away of self, the breaking of the bread.  Sickness, old age, death ; these must come, and when they come it seems that our service is ended. There is exhaustion which makes it first an effort, then an impossibility, to lift the hand up to make the sign of the cross; no more liturgical acts in daily life, gestures and symbols that worship God and give Christ's love to men.

Everything falls away from us, even memories— even the weariness of self. This is the breaking of the bread, the supreme moment in the prayer of the body, the end of the liturgy of our mortal lives, when we are broken for and in the communion of Christ's love to the whole world.

But it is not the end of the prayer of the body. To that there is no end. Our dust pays homage to God, until the endless morning of resurrection wakens our body, glorified.

Caryll Houselander
The Risen Christ
Sheed and Ward, New York


Fr. Malachi Martin, Fatima, Russia et.al.


Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

I received a flurry of email recently from individuals looking for a video of a presentation made at a Fatima Conference of some sort that had to do with Malachi Martin.  From the details given I was not sure which group was meant as there are several different Fatima groups within and outside the Catholic Church.  Some of them firmly believe that Russia was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope St. John Paul II and others believe that the Blessed Mother's commands were never fulfilled by any of the Roman Pontiffs starting with the recently canonised Pope John XXIII.

To make a long story short, I did locate the video on the internet in several locations. Those who asked for my help in locating it were looking for specific information, and I trust they found it in this video.  Given today's crisis in Ukraine, I think most folk would be interested in the portion regarding Fr. Martin's read on the collapse of the Soviet Union and the nature of the current Russian state. 

Be forewarned though that if you believe all is well with the Catholic Church... and you cannot abide hearing anything to the contrary, this video is assuredly not for you.  Better for you to pray a Rosary or devoutly read the Scriptures, then watch this. 

If you are like me and are endlessly sifting through the chaff looking for a few kernels of wheat, then perhaps you may find something in this video.  

One final caveat: should you be predisposed to discount anything having to do with the late priest Malachi Martin, I suspect you will not find any value in watching the video below.  Of course, if you are a fan of Fr. Martin and his works of 'faction', I'd think you'd eat this up with a spoon, as they say:

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.


05 May 2014

Troparia of the Resurrection, Tones 1 and 2

from the Octoechos

Tone 1, Troparion
When the stone had been sealed by the Jews, and soldiers were guarding Thy most pure Body, Thou didst arise on the third day, O Saviour, granting life to the world; therefore, the powers of heaven cried out to Thee, O Giver of life: Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Christ. Glory to Thy kingdom. Glory to Thy dispensation, O Thou Who alone lovest mankind.

Tone 1, Kontakion
As God Thou didst arise from the tomb in glory, and didst raise up the world with Thyself; human nature hymneth Thee as God, and death hath vanished. Adam exulteth, and Eve, now freed from bonds, rejoiceth, crying aloud. Thou, O Christ, art He Who granteth resurrection unto all.

Tone 1, Theotokion
When Gabriel greeted thee, O Virgin, Rejoice; and at his voice the Master of all became incarnate in thee, the holy ark, as the righteous David said, thou wast shown to be more spacious than the heavens, because thou didst carry thy Creator: Glory to Him Who came to dwell in thee. Glory to Him Who came forth from thee. Glory to Him Who set us free by thy childbirth.

Tone 2, Troparion
When Thou didst descend unto death, O Life immortal, then didst Thou slay Hades with the radiance of Thy Divinity; and when Thou didst raise the dead from the nethermost depths, all the powers of heaven cried out to Thee: O Life-giver, Christ God, glory to Thee.

Tone 2, Kontakion
Thou didst arise from the tomb, O all-powerful Saviour, and Hades was terrified to behold this wonder; and the dead arose, while creation, on seeing it, rejoiceth with Thee; and Adam also is glad, and the world, O my Saviour, singeth Thy praises for ever.

Tone 2, Theotokion
All thy mysteries are beyond comprehension; all are exceedingly glorious, O Mother of God. Sealed in purity and preserved in virginity, thou wast yet known to be a true mother, who gave birth to the true God. Do thou entreat Him that our souls be saved.

Old Orthodox Prayer Book
Second Edition
Russian Orthodox Church of the
Nativity of Christ (Old Rite)
Erie, Pennsylvania

03 May 2014

Pope Francis: I Wept


Pope Francis wept when he learned of the recent crucifixions of Syrians:


Syrian Church: U.S. Fueling Instability in Syria


Be sure to read the important report by Katie Gorka at Breitbart.  Here is an excerpt:

A growing number of Syrian Christian leaders are traveling to the United States to plead with lawmakers to stop sending arms to the rebels. The most recent visitor is the Patriarch of the Church of Antioch, His Beatitude Gregorios III, who is based in Damascus.

For the first three years of the civil war, Syria’s Christian leaders have not been frequent visitors to the U.S., in part fearing reprisals when they return to Syria, but also because they have been reluctant to engage in what they see as political issues. But with the civil war now in its fourth year, they are taking a more public stance. Visiting Washington, D.C., in January of this year to speak about the war, Bishop Armash Nalbandian, primate of the Armenian Church of Damascus, said that after he witnessed the bombing of the St. John of Damascus School, which killed nine children, he did not care anymore about his own safety. He said he will now do and say anything to help end the war.

But speaking out against the war puts church leaders in a difficult position. They want to protect their congregations and their nation, but they then face accusations of supporting the Assad regime. His Beatitude Gregorios said, “Everybody asks me, ‘Are you for or against the regime?’ I tell them, I am not for or against the regime; I am not for or against the opposition. I am for stability.” The complaint that many in Syria now have is that while Assad is far from an ideal ruler, they fear more what would follow in the wake of his downfall. The Patriarch continued, “All the churches in the Middle East are saying the same thing: ‘We want stability, but Europe and the United States are ignoring us.’”


02 May 2014

Chaldean Patriarch: Church in Iraq Ruined After US-Led Invasion


The great achievement of the Presidency of George W. Bush is that his policies and his concocted invasion of Iraq succeeded in destroying the ancient Christian churches that had survived Mohammed and the onslaught of Islam.  

Ultimately the United States and the United Kingdom and their allies are responsible for creating this disaster through their illegal invasion of Iraq that has all but erased the ancient Christian communities and their enduring witness to the Lord Jesus Christ.

We remember especially the martyred Chaldean Catholic priest Ragheed Ganni who wrote, "The situation here is worse than hell."

[Zenit.org] The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq has said the Church in his country is "ruined" eleven years after the US-led invasion of Iraq. 
“1,400 years of Islam could not uproot us from our land and our churches, while the policies of the West [have] scattered us and distributed us all around the world,” Patriarch Louis Raphaël I Sako said. 
The patriarch, who has governed the Eastern Catholic Church since February 2013 said, “intervention by the West in the region did not solve the problems" but instead "produced more chaos and conflict.”

God will judge, and with certainty we know we are closer to that Day of Judgement than we were yesterday. I am convinced that the wealthy Churches will likewise be judged for doing nothing to save these communities or to evacuate the diminishing numbers of survivors to the safety of Christian nations and secular states.


May is the Blessed Mother's Month

Our Lady of America, pray for us.

Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven. Alleluia.
He whom Thou wast meet to bear. Alleluia.
As He promised hath arisen. Alleluia.
Pour for us to God thy prayer. Alleluia.

V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia.

Let us pray.
O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, hast been pleased to give joy to the whole world, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.