Tag Archives: Epiphany

Journey of the Magi

JOURNEY OF THE MAGI

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory, 
 Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters, 
 And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
 And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
 Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
 Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation:
 With a running stream and a water-mill beating

the darkness
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow,
 Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
 Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
 And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
 And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
 Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
 And I would do it again, but set down

This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death: There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was 
 Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
 We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
 But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
 With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T.S. Eliot

Benedict XVI to new bishops: Our criterion is the Lord himself…fear of God frees us


Adoration of Magi GPreviati CL poster 2012.jpg

We honor the witness of the Magi, Casper, Melchior and Balthasar. The Seekers from the East following the signature of God to the star burning brightly over the Light of the World. Saint John
Chrysostom taught, “If the Magi had come in search of an earthly king, they
would have been disconcerted at finding that they had taken the trouble to come
such a long way for nothing. Consequently they would have neither adored nor
offered gifts. But since they sought a heavenly king, though they found in him
no signs of royal pre-eminence, yet, content with the testimony of the star
alone, they adored: for they saw a man, and they acknowledged a God.”

As you know Pope Benedict ordained 4 priests to the Order of Bishops today at the Sacrifice of the Mass for the Solemnity of the Epiphany. The Pope, per usual, hits the ball out of the park. He speaks eloquently about the ministry of the bishop for the Church. I read the following homily with astonishment. I am in awe of the profound nature of the vocation; I am sad to know so many called to this office by the Spirit and the Church live it with such lack of faith, hope, and charity, with a lack of mercy and the good of the people put in his charge. On this feast we pray for all the pastors of the Church, including the bishops. Let’s look with mercy as the Lord has shown us mercy. Pay close attention to Pope.

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Blessing of Chalk


Christmas-related themes, very present in Gil ...

Gil Vicente’s Epiphany

On this feast of the Epiphany of the Lord, the Church teaches us that this is a yet another important the manifestation of the Eternal Incarnate Word of God. Since we Catholics view creation with a particular lens, that is a sacramental lens, it is traditional for the priest to bless chalk and incense today; most often you see this blessing in the Polish Catholic community but it’s a really a catholic custom for all people.

We can note two meanings of the letters of inscription. First, the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Second, the letters abbreviate the Latin words Christus mansionem benedicat. May Christ bless the house.” Hence, the purpose of the blessing is to manifest Grace. The recalling that the Magi were the first of the nations to recognize the Divine Infant as the King of the Nations, and to acknowledge that we seek the face of God. The blessing and imposition of chalk reminds us that God is the origin of all blessings of our home and life.

By placing the crosses with the Epiphany inscription we remember that with the Incarnation there is also the Paschal Mystery.

As it noted by students of culture, the Epiphany inscription is made above the front door, so that all who enter and depart this year may enjoy God’s blessing. “The month of January still bears the name of the Roman god Janus, the doorkeeper of heaven and protector of the beginning and end of things. This blessing of “christens” is the ancient Roman observance of the first month. The inscription is made of chalk, a product of clay, which recalls the human nature taken by the Adorable and Eternal Word of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit” (MDK).

To bless your home this Epiphany, first read the Prologue of Saint John’s Gospel, followed by the Our Father, and the following Collect; then write the inscription for this year above your front door with blessed chalk.

Blessing of Chalk

V. Our help is the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.

V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray.

Bless, O Lord God, this creature chalk to render it helpful to Thy people. Grant that they who use it in faith and with it inscribe upon the doors of their homes the names of Thy saints, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, may through their merits and intercession enjoy health of body and protection of soul. Through Christ our Lord.

And the chalk is sprinkled with Holy Water.

Epiphany Inscription over the Doorway of the Home

20 + C + M + B + 13

Benedict XVI ordains 4 bishops

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me and sent me to preach the good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted. (LK 4:18; entrance antiphon)


Today we see the episcopal ordination of four priests. On this feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI ordained four men he’s known to be good repute to serve the Church of Christ in a new, dynamic way. With prayer to the Holy Spirit and laying on of hands, the following priests are ordained to the Order of Bishop:

Georg Gänswein arms.jpg

Georg Gänswein, 56, Prefect of the Papal Household

Fortunatus Nwachukwu, 52, Apostolic Nuncio to Nicaragua

Nicholas Thevenin, 54, Apostolic Nuncio to Guatemala

Angelo
Zani, 62, Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education

All four were given the title of archbishop in recognition of work done, and to be done.

With the Church we pray,

O God, eternal Shepherd, who, governing your flock with watchful care, choose to join these your servants and Priests to the College of Bishops this day, grant we pray, that by their holiness of life they may everywhere prove to be true witnesses to Christ.

(the coat of arms belong to Arcbbishop Georg Gänswein)
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Epiphany, brightest and best of the sons of the morning

Epiphany Giotto2.jpg
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!
Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining,
Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall;
Angels adore Him, in slumber reclining, —
Maker, and Monarch and Savior of All.
Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,
Odors of Edom, and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain, and pearls of the ocean,
Myrrh from the forest, or gold from the mine?
Vainly we offer each ample oblation,
Vainly with gifts would His favor secure;
Richer by far is the heart’s adoration,
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.
Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,
Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid!
Star of the East, the horizon adorning,
Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid!
Reginald Heber (1783-1826)
Anglican Bishop of Calcutta
poet
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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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