Friday, 1 July 2022

1st July - the Feast of the Precious Blood and the first day of the Battle of the Somme....

The Feast of the Precious Blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ...

The Precious Blood of Christ was poured out for our salvation in expiation of our sins

Devotion to the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord God, existed from the time of the Passion of our Lord.





In Catholic belief, the Blood of Christ is precious because it is Christ’s own great ransom paid for the redemption of mankind. As there was to be no remission of sin without the shedding of the blood of the Lamb of God, Christ the “Incarnate Word” not only offered his life for the salvation of the world, but he offered to give up his life by a bloody death, and to die upon the Cross for the salvation of mankind.

The modern Feast of the Precious Blood, celebrated in Spain in the 16th century, was later introduced to Italy by Saint Gaspar del Bufalo in the 19th century.




In 1848-9, the red revolutionaries staged an uprising and takeover in Papal Rome, led by the very people whom the Pope had released from prison upon his elevation to the Pontificate.

Blessed Pope Pius IX had granted a parliamentary constitution to the Papal States, released political prisoners and ordered the gates of the Roman Jewish ghetto to be demolished (which the orthodox Jews later complained about because orthodox Jews prefer to enclose themselves in a ghetto every Friday shabbat).


Blessed Pope Pius IX

For these liberal gestures, the revolutionaries did not thank the Pope…they seized the opportunity to attack him all the more, shameless hypocrites that they were.

On 15 November 1848, on his way to open the new Parliament of the Pontifical States (the Cancelleria now occupied by the Roman Rota and the Roman Signatura), Count Pellegrino Rossi, the Pope’s new liberal-minded Prime Minister, after opening the gates with his key was surrounded by a revolutionary mob and stabbed to death.


Count Pellegrino Rossi,
papal Prime Minister murdered by red revolutionaries in cold blood...

The stabber was Angelo Brunetti, known as “Ciceruacchio” a brutal revolutionary thug and fanatical Italian nationalist who supported other nationalist fanatics like Giuseppe Garibaldi, repudiating Catholicism for the proto-Fascism of Giuseppe Mazzini. Brunetti brutally murdered Count Rossi in cold blood on the steps of the Cancelleria.

Brunetti who, like most Italian nationalists, hated Catholic Austria that ruled northern Italy, was captured by Austrian police trying to commit more terrorist acts and was justly tried, convicted and shot.

During the Roman revolution, the Pope’s personal prelate was shot by revolutionaries whilst walking in the gallery of the papal Palazzo. The Palazzo was surrounded by fanatical revolutionaries and the Pope barely escaped with his life out of the back door disguised as a simple priest standing on the back of a carriage.

Blessed Pope Pius IX went into exile at Gaeta in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

A Roman Republic was declared in February 1849. 

The Pope responded from his exile by excommunicating all active participants. 


The Republic was openly hostile to the Catholic Church, celebrating Good Friday with huge fireworks on Saint Peter's Plaza and desecrating Saint Peter's Basilica on Easter Sunday with a secular Republican victory celebration.

The public finances were spent liberally leading to an early financial disaster; palaces, convents and churches were plundered for valuables and art work. In addition to the official pillaging, private gangs roamed through the city and the countryside, murdering, raping and stealing and spreading fear among the citizens of the Papal States.

They were, as usual, a disgusting gang of murderous thugs of the sort that prevailed in France during the French revolution and fit only for the lower reaches of Hellfire.

As Blessed Pope Pius IX went into exile he had as his companion Father Giovanni Merlini, third superior general of the Fathers of the Most Precious Blood.


Blessed Pope Pius IX,
disguised as a simple priest, escapes the murderous Italian nationalist revolutionaries by fleeing from the back of the papal palace to a coach which takes him into exile to Gaeta in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies... 

After they had arrived at Gaeta, Don Giovanni Merlini suggested that His Holiness make a vow to extend the feast of the Precious Blood to the entire Church, if he would again recover possession of the Papal States.

On 30 June 1849, the day the French army conquered Rome and sent the fanatics of the red revolution packing, the Pope sent his domestic prelate, Joseph Stella, to Father Merlini with the message: 

“The Pope does not deem it expedient to bind himself by a vow; instead his Holiness is pleased to extend the feast [of the Precious Blood] immediately to all Christendom”.

On 10 August of the same year, he officially included the feast of the Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the General Roman Calendar for celebration on the first Sunday in July, the first Sunday after 30 June, the anniversary of the liberation of the city of Rome from the insurgents.

Later, Pope St Pius X moved the feast to 1 July.


Pope St Pius X who tried to prevent the Great War from breaking out...

In Blessed Pope John XXIII's 1960 revision of the General Roman Calendar, the feast was classified as of the first class.

Shamefully and disgracefully, the feast was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969, by order of Pope Paul VI.

The Battle of the Somme – the precious blood of innocent young men is poured out on the battlefield for the sins of faithless old men...

The very same fanatical revolutionaries and secularists who had sought to topple the Pope, later succeeded in 1870 and Blessed Pope Pius IX became a prisoner of the Vatican (to which palace he had moved from the Quirinal, as being safer).

A conspiracy of secularists all over Europe was now bent upon destroying Christian monarchy altogether and replacing it with secular republicanism, modelled upon revolutionary France.

This conspiracy, often led by Freemasons and other sectaries, led directly to World War I in which the revolutionaries hoped to see Christian monarchy swept away forever.

Only Pope Benedict XV and the young Austrian Emperor, Blessed Charles I, (who came to the Austrian throne in November 1916) were striving for peace and an end to the brutal war.

They did not succeed.

On 1 July 1916, the British army launched its planned offensive near the Somme river to coincide with a similar French offensive, further south.




It was believed that a massive artillery bombardment would obliterate the German opposition and the infantry, followed later by cavalry, would be able simply to walk over no-man’s-land, into the German trenches leading to the war’s end.

The generals could not have been more wrong.

The Germans had built deep dugouts and were able to survive the terrible shelling. They quickly came out of their dugouts with their machine guns intact and re-mounted them ready to defend their positions.

The advancing British and Empire troops were massacred in huge numbers, covering the battlefield in the precious blood of young men.

The first day on the Somme was, in terms of casualties, the worst day in the history of the British army, which suffered 57,470 casualties, of which nearly 20,000 died.




These casualties occurred mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line. 

The road to Bapaume was defended largely by Australian troops, many of them Catholics, and they were slaughtered horribly, hallowing the earth of France with the precious blood of young men in the first bloom of adult life. 

A memorial to the fallen Australians stands today, at Villers-Brettoneaux, high on a hill overlooking the Somme river, a name now so redolent with the loss of precious young blood.

One writer has opined that, even a century later:

“‘the Somme' remains the most harrowing place-name” 


in the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth.



Millions of women learned by cold telegram of the death of their husbands, sweethearts, brothers and sons killed in that most brutal war that deprived so many women of future husbands and families and the nation of its best young men...

The battle was largely in vain since any ground gained was later re-taken by the Germans.

The first day of Battle of the Somme is a paradigm for the whole war: a war engineered by sour, old men, Freemasons and secularists by and large, seeking the end of Christian monarchy and not caring how many young men they killed in the process.

These young men thought they were fighting for justice and died fighting heroically, and innocently for the most part, spilling their precious blood as the price for a world saturated by sin, unbelief, cynicism and evil.




All over the battlefields of France in that war were left the shattered remains of bodies amidst smashed churches and broken crucifixes symbolising a kind of renewed crucifixion of Christ, a holy sacrifice shared by millions of innocent young men who were slaughtered on the battlefields and who gave up the precious blood of their young lives in a kind of expiation for the faithless sins of the generation of old men and politicians who were content to send them out to die in a war that should never have been.


Battlefield graveyard and cemetery of the First World War in France...

It was a war that wrecked the remnants of Christendom and opened the way for the horrors of Communism and Nazism.

Let us then pray for the millions who died in that most awful of wars and remember the pleas of our Lady who came to the world, in the midst of that terrible war, at Fatima, to warn us of the consequences of sin and faithlessness.

And let us pray for the millions of innocent young men who died in that terrible war.

Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them....

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis....







At a Calvary near the Ancre
by Wilfred Owen
One ever hangs where shelled roads part.
In this war He too lost a limb,
But His disciples hide apart;
And now the Soldiers bear with Him.

Near Golgotha strolls many a priest,
And in their faces there is pride
That they were flesh-marked by the Beast
By whom the gentle Christ's denied

The scribes on all the people shove
And bawl allegiance to the state,
But they who love the greater love
Lay down their life; they do not hate.



Here dead we lie
by A E Housman 
Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure, 
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.






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Sunday, 24 April 2022

Quasimodo Sunday - "As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile..."

Dominica in Albis Deponendis

(Sunday when the newly baptised finally put off their white garments of Easter)

also called

Quasimodo Sunday

or

Low Sunday
 
or

Close-Pasch

and

the Feast of Divine Mercy


Mose Bianchi. Mother Breast-feeding. 1895.

"Quasimodo geniti infantes, alleluia, rationabile sine dolo lac concupiscite.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia."

"As newborn babes, alleluia, desire the rational milk without guile. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia" 
[1 Peter 2:2; Introit for the Mass of Low Sunday]

"Deinde dicit Thomae: infer digitum tuum huc et vide manus meas, et affer manum tuam et mitte in latus meum et noli esse incredulus sed fidelis.
Respondit Thomas et dixit ei: Dominus meus et Deus meus!"
"Then He said to Thomas 'Put in thy fingers hither and see my hands and bring hither thy hand and put it into my side and be not faithless but believing'. Thomas answered and said to him 'My Lord and my God!' " 
[John 20:27-28; Gospel of Low Sunday]

"Dearly beloved, laying away all malice and all guile and dissimulations and envies and all detractions as new-born babes desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation, if so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet...for you are a chosen race, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people that you may declare His virtues who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
[1 Peter 2:2-3, 9]

"Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. And when he had said this, he shewed them his hands and his side. The disciples therefore were glad, when they saw the Lord. He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained. Now Thomas, one of the twelve, who is called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him: We have seen the Lord. But he said to them: Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them. Jesus cometh, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said: Peace be to you. Then he saith to Thomas: Put in thy finger hither, and see my hands; and bring hither thy hand, and put it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing. Thomas answered, and said to him: My Lord, and my God. Jesus saith to him: Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed."
[John 20:19-29]

"In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. (1588)

It's a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them. (848)

Before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the doors of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the doors of My mercy must pass through the doors of My justice... (1146)"

[Diary of Divine Mercy, Revelation of our Lord to St Maria Faustina (Kowalska) of the Blessed Sacrament]


St Faustina Kowalska, messenger of Divine Mercy
  
"Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis" [Latin]
"Hagios Theos, hagios ischyros, hagios athanatos, eleison imas" [Greek]
"Elohim hakadosh, Elohim hakol yakhol, rakhem aleinu, veal kol haolam" [Hebrew]

"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us"

[The ancient prayer of the Trisagion from the Improperia or "Reproaches" of the Good Friday liturgy in Latin, Greek, Aramaic and English, dating back to at least the 5th century. They form part of the Divine Mercy prayers requested of St Faustina by our Lord.]


"Feed my sheep".
Rafaello Sanzio. The gift of the keys to Peter.
Buoninsegna. Christ appears to the Disciples. 1308-11.


Our Lord appeared first to St Mary Magdalene and then the women at the tomb (Luke 24:1-10).

Later on the Day of Resurrection, Sunday, the first day of the week, he appeared to the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) and then he appeared again to them in a closed room in Jerusalem and gave them the power, as priests, to forgive sins (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25).

8 (Jewish) days later (Jewish and Roman days start at sundown), on the following Sunday, he appeared to them again and cured the doubts of St Thomas the Doubter (John 20:26-29).

He then appeared to them a 3rd time, by the sea of Tiberias, when there was a miraculous draught of fish and he heard St Peter's confession for denying him 3 times (John 21:1-23).



Caravaggio. Doubting Thomas. 1602-1603.


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Saturday, 16 April 2022

HAPPY EASTER - "I have seen the Lord!"

Happy Easter to all!

Christus surrexit,
sicut dixit,
alleluia!

Christ is risen
as he said!
Alleluia!



Correggio. Noli me tangere. 1525

"When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome, bought spices so that they might come and anoint Jesus...and on a sabbath morning they came to the sepulchre after sunrise...and looking up they saw that the stone was rolled back. Alleluia!"
[Taverner, Dum transisset sabbatum from Mark 16, sung at the Easter Vigil mass of Holy Saturday night]

"The Angels said to her 'Woman, why are you weeping?'. She said to them 'Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him'. Saying this she turned round and saw Jesus standing but she did not know that it was Jesus. Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him 'Sir, if you have carried Him away tell me where you have laid Him and I will take Him away'. And Jesus said to her 'Mary'. She turned and said to Him in Hebrew 'Rabboni!'".
[John 20]
"She went and said to the Disciples 'I have seen the Lord!' "[John 20.18]


John Taverner (1490-1545). Dum Transisset Sabbatum. Sung by the Tallis Scholars.



Dum transisset Sabbatum,
Maria Magdalene et Maria Jacobi et Salome
emerunt aromata ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Alleluia.
Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum orto iam sole ut venientes ungerent Jesum.
Alleluia.
Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto.
Alleluia.

And when the Sabbath was past,
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Salome
had brought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Alleluia.
And very early in the morning, the first day of the week,
they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun that they might come and anoint him.
Alleluia.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Alleluia.
[Dum Transisset Sabbatum - taken from the Gospel of St Mark, Ch16]




Carl Heinrich Bloch. The Resurrection. 1881.


Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
Reconciliavit peccatores.
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando,
Dux vitae mortuus, regnat vivus.
Dic nobis Maria, quid vidisti in via?
Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
Et gloriam vidi resurgentis:
Angelicos testes, sudarium et vestes.
Surrexit Christus spes mea:
Praecedet vos in Galilaeam.
Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum
Turbae fallaci.
Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
Tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
Amen. Alleluia.

[Wipo of Burgundy, Victimi Paschali Laudes. 1040. Sung on Easter Sunday]



Surrexit Christus hodie! Alleluia!

Christ is risen today! Alleluia!


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HOLY SATURDAY - "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, be converted unto the Lord thy God!"


When the Lord was buried...



"Remember, Lord, what is come upon us: consider and behold our reproach. Our inheritance is turned unto aliens, our houses to strangers. We are become orphans without a father, our mothers are as widows...our fathers have sinned and are no more and we have borne their iniquities.
[Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday, prayer of the prophet Jeremiah]

"I am counted among them that go down to the pit. I am become like a man without help free among the dead."
[Responsory, Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday]

"For when every commandment of the Law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of goats and calves and of goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people saying, this is the blood of the Testament which God hath enjoined upon you. The tabernacle also and all the vessels of the ministry in like manner he sprinkled with blood. And almost all things according to the Law are cleansed with blood and without shedding of blood there is no remission."
[Heb. ix.]

"When the Lord was buried they sealed the sepulchre rolling a stone before the mouth of the sepulchre and placed soldiers to guard Him."
[Responsory, Tenebrae (Matins) of Holy Saturday]

Friday, 15 April 2022

GOOD FRIDAY - "O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"

Good Friday

Quid ultra debui facere tibi, et non feci? Ego quidem plantavi te vineam meam speciosissimam: et tu facta es mihi nimis amara: aceto namque sitim meam potasti: et lancea perforasti latus Salvatori tuo.

Ego dedi tibi sceptrum regale: et tu dedisti capiti meo spineam coronam.

Popule meus, quid feci tibi? Aut in quo contristavi te? Responde mihi!



"What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me, for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink and with a lance thou pierced the side of thy Saviour!

I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst give My head a crown of thorns…

O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"



Titian. Christ Crowned with Thorns. 1540.


"For he hath taken us and he will heal us: he will strike and he will cure us. He will revive after two days: on the third day he will raise us up and we shall live in his sight. We shall know and we shall follow on, that we know the Lord...for I desired mercy and not animal sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than holocausts."
[Hosea 6, First lesson sung at the Good Friday Service of the Mass of the Pre-sanctified]

"He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the whole chastisement that made us whole and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter and like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers, he opened not his mouth."
[Isaiah 53, Epistle for Wednesday in Holy Week]



Titian. Ecce Homo. 1560.


"Jesus answered: ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now my kingdom is not from hence’. Pilate therefore said to Him ‘Art Thou a King then?’ Jesus answered ‘Thou sayest that I am a King. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, that I should give testimony of the truth. Everyone that is of the truth heareth My voice…

…Then therefore Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him and the soldiers plaiting a Crown of Thorns, put it upon His head and they put upon Him a purple mantle and they came to Him and said ‘Hail King of the Jews!’ and they gave Him blows."
[John 18]




CRUX fidelis,
inter omnes
arbor una nobilis;
nulla talem silva profert,
flore, fronde, germine.
Dulce lignum, dulci clavo,
dulce pondus sustinens!

"FAITHFUL Cross! Above all other,
one and only noble Tree!
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peers may be;
sweetest wood and sweetest iron!
Sweetest Weight is hung on thee!"

[From Crux Fidelis by St Thomas Aquinas, sung during the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

Regnavit a ligno Deus.
"God hath reigned from a tree."

[From Vexilla Regis, St Venantius Fortunatus, sung during the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

"What more ought I to have done for thee, that I have not done? I planted thee, indeed, My most beautiful vineyard and thou hast become exceeding bitter to Me, for in My thirst thou gavest Me vinegar to drink and with a lance thou pierced the side of thy Saviour!
… For thy sake I scourged Egypt with its first-born and thou didst deliver Me up to be scourged…
… I gave thee a royal sceptre and thou didst give My head a crown of thorns…
… I exalted thee with great strength and thou didst hang Me on the gibbet of the Cross…
O my people! What have I done to thee? Wherein have I offended thee? Answer me!"

[Improperia or Reproaches of Christ to His people and to us all, from the Good Friday Service of the Passion]

O vos omnes, qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus.
"O all ye that pass by the way, attend and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow."

[Lamentations of Jeremiah, sung at Tenebrae (Matins and Lauds) on Maundy Thursday]


Diego Velázquez. Christ Crucified. c. 1632.

"And they took Jesus and led Him forth. And bearing His cross, He went forth to that place that is called Calvary but in Hebrew Golgotha, where they crucified Him and with Him two others, one on each side and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title also and he put it upon the Cross and the writing was ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews’… and it was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin."
[John 18]
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MAUNDY THURSDAY - "A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you...."


Maundy Thursday

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret. The Last Supper. 1896.
 
"And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 'This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first in the months of the year...on the tenth day of this month let every man take a lamb by their families and houses... and it shall be a lamb WITHOUT BLEMISH, a male, of one year...and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month and the whole multitude of the children of Israel shall sacrifice it in the evening. And they shall take of the blood thereof and put it upon both the side posts and on the upper door posts of the houses wherein they shall eat it. And they shall eat the flesh that night roasted at the fire and unleavened bread with wild lettuce... neither shall there remain any thing of it until morning. If there be anything left you shall burn it with fire. And thus shall you eat it: you shall gird your reins and you shall have shoes on your feet, holding staves in your hands and you shall eat in haste for it is the Phase (that is the Passage) of the Lord... And I shall see the blood and shall pass over you...and this day shall be for a memorial to you and you shall keep it a feast to the Lord in your generations with an everlasting observance'... And Moses said... 'Thou shalt keep this thing as a law for thee and thy children forever...and when your children shall say to you "What is the meaning of this service" you shall say to them "It is the victim of the passage of the Lord when He passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, striking the Egyptians and saving our houses..."
[Exod 12]


The Paschal lamb without blemish is tied and led to slaughter
Scripture fittingly depicts the Christ as an innocent lamb led to the slaughter - the innocent "Lamb of God" sacrificed for the wicked sins of ungrateful and rebellious men, going dumb, innocent and in silence to torture and death at the hands of sinful men
.

"Now the feast of the unleavened bread which is called the Pasch was at hand...and when the hour was come He sat down and the twelve apostles with Him and He said to them 'With desire I have desired to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer, for I say to you that from this time I will not eat it till it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God'... And taking bread He gave thanks, and brake and gave them saying 'This is my body which is given up for you. Do this for a commemoration of me'. In like manner the chalice also, after He had supped, saying 'This is the chalice, the new testament in my blood, which shall be shed for you'.
[Luke 22]

"On the night of that last supper,
Seated with His chosen band,
He the paschal victim eating,
First fulfils the Law's command.
Then as food to all His brethren
Gives Himself with His own hand"
[Pange lingua gloriosi, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"Before the festival day of the Pasch, Jesus knowing that His hour was come...having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end. And when supper was ended... He riseth from supper and..having taken a towel, girded Himself. After that, He putteth water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded...Then after He had washed their feet and taken His garments, being set down again, He said to them 'Know you what I have done to you? You call me Master and Lord. And you say well; for so I am. If then I being your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet."
[John 13]


Dirk van Baburen. Christ washing the Disciples' feet. 1616.

Mandatum novum do vobis ut diligatis invicem sicut dilexi vos, dicit Dominus.

"A new commandment I give you that you love one another as I have loved you, saith the Lord."

[John 13:34, sung at the Maundy Mass]





Ubi caritas et amor ubi Deus est. Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor. Exultemus et in ipso jucundemur. Timeamus et amemus Deum vivum. Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

"Where charity and love are there is God. The love of Christ has gathered us together. Let us rejoice in Him and be glad. Let us fear and love the living God and let us love one another with a sincere heart."
[John 2:3-4, sung at the Maundy Mass]

"And going out He went, according to His custom, to the Mount of Olives and His disciples also followed Him... and kneeling down He prayed saying 'Father, if Thou wilt, remove this chalice from me but not yet my will but Thine be done'...And He being in agony, He prayed the longer and His sweat became as drops of blood trickling down upon the ground."
[Luke 22:39-44]




 
ALEPH: How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!

[Lamentations of Jeremiah 1:1, the beginning of Tenebrae (Matins & Lau) for Maundy Thursday]


"How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people! How is she become as a widow!" Gustave Doré. Lamentations.1866.

Una hora non potuistis vigilare mecum, qui exhortabamini mori pro me?
Vel Judam non videtis quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judaeis?
Quid dormitis? Surgite et orate, ne intretis in tentationem.
Vel Judam non videtis quomodo non dormit, sed festinat tradere me Judaeis

"Could you not watch one hour with me,
After exhorting one another to die for Me?
Or do you not see Judas?
He is not sleeping,
but is hurrying to betray me.
Why do you sleep?
Rise and pray,
that you may not enter into temptation!"

[Maundy Thursday Matins (Tenebrae), Lesson viii Response]


Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-82). Christ in the Garden of Olives.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2022

SPY WEDNESDAY: "thirty pieces of silver"

"Then went one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot to the chief priests and said to them 'what will you give me to deliver Him unto you?'. And they appointed him thirty pieces of silver..."


Caravaggio. The Taking of Christ. 1602.


Unus ex discipulis meus tradet ne hodie: Vae illi per quem tradar ego. Melius illi erat si natur non fuisset...Qui intingit mecum manum in paropside, hic me traditurus est in manus peccatorum.
"One of my disciples shall today betray me. Woe to him by whom I am betrayed. Better for him that he had not been born...whoever shall dip his hand with me into the dish, by him shall I be betrayed into the hands of sin."
[Matt 16:23-25, Responsory 6 at Tenebrae on Maundy Thursday]






"Then went one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot to the chief priests and said to them "what will you give me to deliver Him unto you?". And they appointed him thirty pieces of silver and from thenceforth he sought opportunity to betray Him."
[Matt 26:14-16]

"Thus saith the Lord God 'tell the daughter of Sion, behold Thy Saviour cometh; behold His reward is with Him and His work before Him. Who is this that cometh from Edom with dyed garments from Bosra, this beautiful one in his robe, walking in greatness of strength?'"
[Isaias 62:63]
"There is no beauty in Him, nor comeliness; and we have seen Him and there was no sightliness that we should be desirous of Him; despised and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows and despised, whereupon we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows, and we have thought Him as it were a leper and as one struck by God and afflicted. But He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by his bruises we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray, everyone hath turned aside into his own way and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was offered because it was His own will and he opened not His mouth: He shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and He shall not open His mouth...He hath done no iniquity, neither was there deceit in His mouth...He hath delivered His soul unto death and was reputed with the wicked and hath borne the sins of many and hath prayed for the transgressors.
[Isaias 53:2]
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