Blessed Trinity Sunday

Athanasian Creed

Whoever wishes to be saved must, above all, keep the Catholic faith. For unless a person keeps this faith whole and entire, he will undoubtedly be lost forever. This is what the catholic faith teaches: we worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity. Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance. For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, another of the Holy Spirit.

But the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have one divinity, equal glory, and coeternal majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and the Holy Spirit is.

The Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated. The Father is boundless, the Son is boundless, and the Holy Spirit is boundless. The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal.

Nevertheless, there are not three eternal beings, but one eternal being. So there are not three uncreated beings, nor three boundless beings, but one uncreated being and one boundless being. Likewise, the Father is omnipotent, the Son is omnipotent, the Holy Spirit is omnipotent.

Yet there are not three omnipotent beings, but one omnipotent being. Thus the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.

However, there are not three gods, but one God. The Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord. However, there are not three lords, but one Lord. For as we are obliged by Christian truth to acknowledge every Person singly to be God and Lord, so too are we forbidden by the Catholic religion to say that there are three Gods or Lords.
The Father was not made, nor created, nor generated by anyone. The Son is not made, nor created, but begotten by the Father alone. The Holy Spirit is not made, nor created, nor generated, but proceeds from the Father and the Son. There is, then, one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits. In this Trinity, there is nothing before or after, nothing greater or less. The entire three Persons are coeternal and coequal with one another. So that in all things, as is has been said above, the Unity is to be worshiped in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity.

He, therefore, who wishes to be saved, must believe thus about the Trinity. It is also necessary for eternal salvation that he believes steadfastly in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is both God and man. As God, He was begotten of the substance of the Father before time; as man, He was born in time of the substance of His Mother. He is perfect God; and He is perfect man, with a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father in His divinity, but inferior to the Father in His humanity. Although He is God and man, He is not two, but one Christ. And He is one, not because His divinity was changed into flesh, but because His humanity was assumed unto God. He is one, not by a mingling of substances, but by unity of person. As a rational soul and flesh are one man: so God and man are one Christ. He died for our salvation, descended into Hell, and rose from the dead on the third day. He ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father almighty. From there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. At His coming, all men are to arise with their own bodies; and they are to give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good deeds will go into eternal life; those who have done evil will go into the everlasting fire.

This is the Catholic faith. Everyone must believe it, firmly and steadfastly; otherwise He cannot be saved. Amen.

Blessed Feast of the Ascension!

Beloved, below is one of the loveliest homilies on the Ascension of Our Lord I have heard. It gets better as this Benedictine Bishop of Aberdeen goes on. Do listen to the end! 

A most blessed Feast of the Ascension to you all . . . until, please God, we see Him face to face. 

 Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.

A Blessed Mother’s Day to Every Mother!

On this very special Mother’s Day, we would like to share with you the woman who is called “The Mother of Saints”. Her name is Saint Emmelia of Caesarea. 

Saint Emmelia is the mother of five saints, some of whom will surprise you! They are: Saint Macrina, Saint Basil, Saint Peter of Sebaste, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, and Saint Theosebia. 

There is a most beautiful article in EWTN’s library that tells of the life of Saint Basil (who is celebrated by both the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Church), and with the life of this glorious saint, the upbringing that he and his siblings experienced by such a saintly mother. The article is too long to include here, but you can go to: http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/basil.htm.

We wish every mother, from the moment of conception of every child, a most blessed and glorious Mother’s Day, in the Mother of God, the most Blessed Virgin, the Mother of Mothers, our Model and our Hope, through whom every grace is given. 

With our love and prayers,
Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.

Truth, Beloved!

 We greet you on this Ash Wednesday with a message from one of the Church’s outstanding priests, Father Gerald Murray, whose talk at the recent Lepanto Conference in New York gives us the start to this holy Lenten season that is sorely needed. Well did Father Murray title his talk: 

“Truth, Holiness and Obedience to God’s Word: the Remedy for the Church’s Travails” 

I had the wonderful privilege of attending the Lepanto Conference, now in its second year, sponsored by the Society of St. Hugh of Cluny. Further information and talks from this year’s conference can be found at: http://sthughofcluny.org/2019/02/the-second-lepanto-conference-part-i.html and https://www.facebook.com/events/2462826193746314/

Here is Father Murray’s talk, with introduction by Father Kevin Cusick: 

Our love and prayers to you all for
a most holy and blessed Lent, 

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B. 
and the Daughters of Mary, Mother of Israel’s Hope 

A Little Levity in the midst of our Ailing World!

Beloved, I have been told that the video below has been on social media for a month or so. However, I (un-social media person that I am) never saw it prior to its appearance as a Fox News item this morning. I am astonished that our high tech youth of today were not at all familiar with this non-push-button contraption! 

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/watch-2-adorably-clueless-teens-17-baffled-by-a-rotary-phone

While we’re on “old-fashioned”, here is a beautiful and heart-warming story about a phone outdated by even the one above: 

The Old Phone on the Wall…. Hello 

When I was a young boy, my father had one of the first telephones in our neighborhood…. I remember the polished, old case fastened to the wall. The shiny receiver hung on the side of the box. I was too little to reach the telephone, but used to listen with fascination when my mother talked to it. 

Then I discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device lived an amazing person. Her name was “Information Please” and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anyone’s number and the correct time. 

My personal experience with the genie-in-a-bottle came one day while my mother was visiting a neighbor. Amusing myself at the tool bench in the basement, I whacked my finger with a hammer, the pain was terrible, but there seemed no point in crying because there was no one home to give sympathy. 

I walked around the house sucking my throbbing finger, finally arriving at the stairway. The telephone! Quickly, I ran for the footstool in the parlor and dragged it to the landing. Climbing up, I unhooked the receiver in the parlor and held it to my ear. 

“Information, please” I said into the mouth piece just above my head. 

A click or two and a small clear voice spoke into my ear. 

“Information.” 

“I hurt my finger…” I wailed into the phone, the tears came readily enough now that I had an audience. 

“Isn’t your mother home?” came the question. 

“Nobody’s home but me,” I blubbered. 

“Are you bleeding?” the voice asked. 

“No,” I replied. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.” 

“Can you open the icebox?” she asked. 

I said I could. 

“Then chip off a little bit of ice and hold it to your finger,” said the voice… 

After that, I called “Information Please” for everything.. I asked her for help with my geography, and she told me where Philadelphia was. She helped me with my math. 

She told me my pet chipmunk that I had caught in the park just the day before, would eat fruit and nuts. 

Then, there was the time Petey, our pet canary, died. I called, “Information Please,” and told her the sad story. She listened, and then said things grown-ups say to soothe a child. But I was not consoled. I asked her, “Why is it that birds should sing so beautifully and bring joy to all families, only to end up as a heap of feathers on the bottom of a cage?” 

She must have sensed my deep concern, for she said quietly, ” Wayne, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.” 

Somehow I felt better. 

Another day I was on the telephone, “Information Please.” 

“Information,” said in the now familiar voice. “How do I spell fix?” I asked. 

All this took place in a small town in the Pacific Northwest. When I was nine years old, we moved across the country to Boston. I missed my friend very much. “Information Please” belonged in that old wooden box back home and I somehow never thought of trying the shiny new phone that sat on the table in the hall. As I grew into my teens, the memories of those childhood conversations never really left me. 

Often, in moments of doubt and perplexity I would recall the serene sense of security I had then. I appreciated now how patient, understanding, and kind she was to have spent her time on a little boy. 

A few years later, on my way west to college, my plane put down in Seattle. I had about a half-hour or so between planes. I spent 15 minutes or so on the phone with my sister, who lived there now. Then without thinking what I was doing, I dialed my hometown operator and said, “Information Please.” 

Miraculously, I heard the small, clear voice I knew so well. 

“Information.” 

I hadn’t planned this, but I heard myself saying, 

“Could you please tell me how to spell fix?” 

There was a long pause. Then came the soft spoken answer, “I guess your finger must have healed by now.” 

I laughed, “So it’s really you,” I said. “I wonder if you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time?” 

I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me. I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls.” 

I told her how often I had thought of her over the years and I asked if I could call her again when I came back to visit my sister. 

“Please do”, she said. “Just ask for Sally.”

Three months later I was back in Seattle. A different voice answered, “Information.” I asked for Sally. 

“Are you a friend?” she said. 

“Yes, a very old friend,” I answered. 

“I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” she said. “Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died five weeks ago.” 

Before I could hang up, she said, “Wait a minute, did you say your name was Wayne?” 

Yes,” I answered. 

“Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you.” 

The note said, “Tell him there are other worlds to sing in. He’ll know what I mean.” 

I thanked her and hung up. I knew what Sally meant. 

https://www.johnpratt.com/items/email/2012/old_phone.html

God bless and keep you and all whom you love, 

Mother Miriam of the Lamb of God, O.S.B.

O Eternal Father, after having thanked thy infinite bounty for thy exceeding benefits in the past, we humbly implore pardon for our manifold sins and negligences, for the time we have consumed and wasted in vanities and in things that profit not unto salvation, and for the woeful want of correspondence with Thy graces which we have so habitually manifested.

But filled with confidence in Thy mercy, so lavishly displayed in a multitude of ways, we ask Thy blessings upon our good purposes and resolutions. For now we renew the sacred promises we made in Baptism, when we first became Thy children and heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and we renounce Satan with all his works and pomps.

Firmly convinced that the salvation of our immortal souls is the one great business of life, the purpose for which we have come into the world, we solemnly resolve for the future not only to do all in our power to avoid every grievous sin in thought, word, and deed but also to shun every unnecessary occasion that might imperil our souls. We further resolve to fulfill with greater exactness and fidelity the duties of our station in life, to give more attention to our progress in things spiritual, to be more devoted to holy Mass, to receive the Sacraments more frequently, and to pray more often and more fervently.

Bless, O my God, these good resolutions which we offer to Thee at this, the threshold of a new year. Give us Thy precious grace and make us truly wise. The days and years of our life are passing so swiftly away. Help us, in Thy mercy, to utilize them, as we ought to do, for Thy greater honor and glory, for the good of our neighbor, and for our sanctification. The night cometh in which no man can work longer; soon, at best, we shall have to appear before Thee to render an account of our stewardship. May we then be found worthy to receive from Thee that divine welcome: “Well done, good and faithful servants, enter into the joy of thy Lord.”

i http://www.dailycatholic.org/issue/11Jan/jan1lit.htm

 Homily for the 4th Sunday of Advent1

 Roráte caeli, désuper, et nubes pluant iustum. . . 

“Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior” (cf. Isaiah 45:8). 

The prophet Isaiah greets us in today’s Entrance Antiphon and helps us to prepare for Christmas. Dr. Pius Parsch writes that “(Isaiah’s) cry must become our own. Before God comes to us, He demands preparation. He will not force His gifts upon us. We must desire them, we must be spiritually hungry.” Parsch makes this great statement: “Advent desire means that we must cultivate a fruitful soil for the seed of grace, that we become receptive to God’s kingdom” (The Church’s Year of Grace, Vol. I: Advent to Candlemas, p. 134). This applies directly to these words from the prophet Isaiah: “Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.” This prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled with the coming of the Divine Child. By analogy, we can say that He has come down from heaven as a drop of dew from the clouds. 

Though this is an analogy, this imagery is quite accurate. Remember the Gospel of the Annunciation. The Angel Gabriel said to Mary: “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.” She is full of grace. She is filled with the Holy Spirit to overflowing. Because the Lord is with her in a singular way, she is the soil that is receptive for the dew which drops down from the clouds of heaven. In fact, it is a cloud from heaven that dropped down upon her. The angel announced: “The Holy Spirit will descend upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” It was the glory cloud of the Holy Spirit. That same cloud descended upon the Holy of Holies in the Temple. When the cloud descended, God took His seat on His throne upon the Cherubim. And when that cloud descended upon Mary, God claimed His throne in the Immaculate cloister of her womb. The drop of dew which is the Word of God, found a receptive soil in her. “Drop down dew from above, you heavens, and let the clouds rain down the Just One; let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.” Mary was the Immaculate rich soil which brought forth the Savior. 

The Eternal Word entered into human flesh. That is really the meaning of the word ‘Advent’. Ad means ‘into’ and vent from the verb ‘venir’ means to come. So, the Eternal Word came into this world, into human flesh, into the womb of Mary, so that He could come into our hearts. 

The consequence of the Eternal Son of God entering into human flesh, is that He has entered into time. Time is fleeting. So, the moment Mary has heard these words, she begins planning her journey. She sets out in haste. Immediately, the Word of God sends out His Holy Spirit to those around Him. From the womb, Jesus sends His Holy Spirit to the infant John in the womb. “St. Augustine is even of the opinion that the unborn Baptist was miraculously endowed with the use of reason and will so that he could joyfully recognize, believe in and say Yes to his Lord” (Saward, Redeemer in the Womb, p. 25). Whether this is true or not, the Church has not defined; but it is certain that this event fulfills the prophecy made by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah promising that “[John] will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb” (Luke 1:15). “The grace of the Holy Spirit flows from Jesus through Mary to John and from John to Elizabeth” (Saward, 26). 

And where does this happen? It happens on a mountain. Mary hastens to the hill country. She ascends the mountain in order to meet the Just One in the clouds whence He came, having dropped down like dew from above. He has come to her from heaven and she now goes to be near heaven to prepare and to be of service to her Son’s first disciple, still in the womb himself. 

Mary makes haste. We too must make haste. Time is short and God has given us these last days of Advent to prepare. In those days, Mary came to the mountain. This day we have come here to this holy mountain: the altar of God; as near to heaven as we can come in this life. Mary received the Word of God and she conceived and bore fruit in her womb. We have received the Word of God in this Mass. Let our souls now be prepared as rich soil for the Word of God that will drop down like dew from the clouds of heaven. 

“Let the earth be opened and bring forth a Savior.” 

1. A homily by Fr. Eric M. Andersen, Sacred Heart-St. Louis in Gervais, OR  December 23rd, 2012, Dominica IV Adventus, Anno C