Sing the Te Deum in thanksgiving for the past year and the Veni Creator for new year, and gain a
In the Enchiridion Indulgentiarum, 4th edition, 26:
§ 1. A plenary indulgence is granted to the Christian faithful who, in a
church or in an oratory, are present [take part] in a recitation or solemn
chant of: …
1° the hymn Veni Creator … on the first day of the year, imploring divine assistance for the whole of the coming year…
2° the Te Deum hymn, on the last day of the year, in
thanksgiving to God for the favors received in the course of the entire year.
Latin Catholics are accustomed to fasting once a year
at Lent. Historically speaking, there was a time when the tradition of fasting
was proposed a few more times a year than merely Lent, e.g., the Assumption fast, the Saints’ fast and the Advent
The end times are indeed near at hand. That is not to say that the “12/12/2012” Mayan prediction of the end of the world is true –it is not– or that the rapture approach is insightful. But if you really believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior then an acknowledgement of our living in the end times is the right way to live. The Scripture readings in these final weeks of the liturgical year, but especially this week, prepare the believer to face the fact of the final things, sometimes called the Four Last Things: death, judgement, heaven, and hell. We can’t get away from these things. If we could, then there would be no need of a Messiah, of the Cross and Resurrection, the Eucharist, the sacraments, the Church, and a spiritual life; no need for salvation. If there is no probability of hell, then there is no need of salvation.
So how can we honestly and proactively approach today’s feast, and this holiday season in a way that will get us past the public façade of wise-guy banter and beyond the disconnect between hard realities and sincere beliefs and honest ideals? How might we bravely allow our deeper humanity to shine forth in the midst of some extreme assaults on such things as tenderness, hope, and compassion?
Today’s readings, along with monastic wisdom and psychological insight suggest the following: Daily if not hourly slow down the frantic pace of our media interaction, verbosity, and endless tasks: daily if not hourly return to the temple of our own person and the holy and fertile ground of our interior life. Daily if not continually express appreciation for whatever someone does that makes my life richer today: Daily or at least once in a while do something simple but concrete and different, for the express purpose of nurturing the human spirit, within yourself, for someone else, and for the future.
In these days in the post Christ the King observance and before Advent, let’s pray for the grace to know ourselves more deeply so as to accept more fully “divine work” in our lives with the gift of discernment showing us the way to the Father.
An Orthodox friend of mine posted this prayer and icon in light of the weather storm Sandy coming our way, and I am reposting. State government predictions are sounding exaggerated right now, but one can really tell. In Connecticut, along the waterfront, it is predicted that four high tide cycles will be exceptional, and rough weather–high winds and rain– over 36-48 hours. In category four areas more than 362 thousand people expect some inconvenience. Let’s not tempt fate. In charity, let’s pray to the Divine Master, “A Prayer at the
Threat from Malevolent Winds and Sea Storms.”
O Master, Lord our God, Who by Thy
Consubstantial and Un-originate Word, and Thy Life-Giving Spirit Who is equal in
honor, hast brought all things out of nothingness into being; Who hast
established the sand as bounds to the sea, and weighed the mountains and the
valleys in a balance; Who hast measured the skies and holdest the water in the
palm of Thy hand; Who hast given to this visible world of the senses its laws
and rules, its harmony and order; Who hast appointed changes to the weather and
variations in the orbit of the sun; Who, through the mingling of the elements,
holdest all things together by Thine inexpressible power, and keepest them free
from harm and intact: Do Thou Thyself, O All-Good King, extending to us Thine
innate and customary love and goodness, visit the work of Thy hands. Do not
deprive us of Thy mercies and Thy compassion, and do not destroy Thine
inheritance, for Thou hast ineffably created us in Thine own image.