Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Protect the Pope will be reinstated in the morning!

Deacon Nick has let me know that he has now employed the asterisk! Many thanks Deacon. I know my objection may have seemed prudish to some. Can't help it. I'm an old fashioned girl! Time and a place and all that.

Temporary removal of 'Protect the Pope' from bloglist

I have had to remove this because P the P has quoted direct from Andrew Brown, and in so doing has made a four letter word appear on the Oasis List. . I will replace the site when the good Deacon posts again with another title.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pope Benedict and the 'Eucharistic Springtime' etc.

During his catechesis at this week's General Audience, the Pope affirmed with joy that the Church is experiencing a 'Eucharistic Springtime'. I was very happy to hear him say that, albeit a little surprised. It is natural to want to know how he has come to that conclusion. He gave only one concrete example, namely the Eucharistic Adoration in Hyde Park during his September visit to the UK. Indeed that was a wonderful surprise, but it was a very public event, the success of which must, to a condiderable extent, have been due to the Pope's own presence and the example of his own devotion. I pray that he has many other sources of information which prompted him to make that announcement on Wednesday. If he has, I wish he would tell us. That would really give us all tremendous strength and encouragement.

As it is, we now have another problem because the Osservatore has made a less that prudent editorial decision and leaked from the Seewald book not to be published until Tueseday. One begs forgiveness for saying that with friends like this, Pope Benedict hardly needs enemies. He has plently outside the Church, as is plain. One has to wonder whether these people at OR are deliberate saboteurs out to destroy a potentially great papacy, or are they merely but damagingly incompetent. Either way, enough is enough. Going off to check whether Sandro Magister has said anything about this, so will leave you now.

How refreshing that at yesterday's public Consistory and today's Mass there was not one camera shot of those dreadful fidgeting boys in the Sisine choir. In fact there weren't any shots of the choir at all. Hope this is a new policy. That whole thing is so distracting. They seemed to sing better without the attention of the camera.

The Gabrieli style brass consort from one of the balconies was a stroke of ge(marini)us?

btw, thought I spotted the Triple Tiara dangling again from the Papal window today at the Angelus.

Thank you for your prayers for the priest mentioned in my last Spiritual Mothers post.

In Chrito pro Papa

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Prayer request for a priest in Crisis

Please see my other blog for details, that is Spiritual Mothers of Priests - fourth link in sidebar here after 'Search this blog'.

Monday, November 8, 2010

This morning's Liturgy in St. Romain exceeded all expectation

As planned my husband unlocked the church at 7.30am. It was cold and pouring with rain. Just before 8am I went across to turn on the lights in the main body of the building and to light the sanctuary lamp in the chapel of the Virgin where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. Judging that the priests would prefer privacy for their Office I then retired to the house before they arrived. I went back at 8.50 and as I opened the church door I heard singing. Going in as quietly as possible, I turned into the west end of the south transept. And there a glorious sight met my eyes. Pere Marchand was there with not one, but two other priests, the three ranged immediately in front of the Blessed Sacrament chanting the psalms of Lauds, directly to and for the Lord. They were singing in French to a harmonised setting which could have been one of the many written during the 20th century by Cistercian monks, which are familiar to me from visits to a Trappistine monastery about 20 km from here. I once mentioned here that Pere Marchand has a beautiful but totally unshowy singing voice. So did his confreres. All three were profoundly musical and although they were in harmony they sang as one. Riveted to the spot, I could not have been any more 'spellbound' even had they been singing Plainchant!

By the time the Psalms were completed Christiane had joined me. (She takes me to Mass at nearby St. Severin whenever possible.) As the office proceeded, she silently brought two chairs and we sat next to each other in the absolute stillness of prayer until it ended. Pere Marchand then brought the two priests to meet us. One was from the Bordeaux Archdioece and the other from Limoges Diocese. We thanked them for the privilege of being able to hear the sung Office and I managed to explain that for me it had been an answer to prayer. Many times when I'm alone with our Lord, I have told Him how much I long for more people to pray and adore Him here; and how I long for the church to be filled with music. One of the priests commented that he was glad that now when I'm alone with the Blessed Sacrament, I will always remember the occasion. I agreed and said that each time I would offer Him that living memory.

Then to my astonishment two more priests arrived and the five went into the Sacristy to vest for Mass. It transpired that they were all from the same year at the Seminary (Bordeaux). It was their annual day together, for discussion and the sharing of experience in their parishes.

And so it happened that our little congregation of two had a concelebrated Mass, also sung by our five priests in the same style as the Office had been before it. At times during the Mass I had to 'pinch myself' to make sure it was really happening. The word 'surreal' took on a new meaning a new truth. The nearest I can get is 'above earthly reality'. (Remember that we have Mass here only three times a year, and that in itself is a new arrangement since Pere Marchand began his ministry as our Abbe. Before that, and for nearly 20 years, there was nothing.) But today Our Lord had gathered five of His beloved sons in our little church, and had seen fit to allow myself and Christiane to be present. It was the priests' private Mass but I was allowed to see, and trust Christiane did too, the love of Christ for these young priests, and theirs for Him. There was no question of feeling excluded, or of not participating. Quite the reverse, it was an utter joy to be there. Such words were totally irrelevant and only occur to me now because of those who like to apply them in regard to the laity at Mass. Anyone who wants to use those words should have been in my shoes this morning. At the moment I can write very little else that is intelligible about it, if indeed I have been intelligible so far ; I am still too moved to make any sense with words, but have no doubt that this occasion will feature in future posts, as the experience shakes down and perhaps, I become capable of expressing its many messages.

Deo gratias

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monday November 8: the crack of dawn in St. Romain

Normal weekly post delayed until tomorrow night.

Pere Marchand phoned me this afternoon to let me know that in the morning, he and a visiting priest friend will pray their Office in St. Romain Church, and then the visitor will celebrate Mass. The church must be open by 7.30am so an early night is required. I can't possibly estimate how long it has been since such a thing has happened.

Further reports as soon as possible, on this extraordinary event.

Deo gratias

In Christo pro Papa