Ha Jolly Ha

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Holy Parents

Last year, I sought out an image of Sts. Joachim and Anne for my older sister. Few artistic representations exist and most of them represent the Meeting at the Golden Gate, a delightful legend which was unfamiliar to me. I soon discovered that the Protoevangelium, one of the apocryphal writings, includes a little known account of Our Lady's parents, birth and upbringing. Over the centuries, a tradition developed around it, and the story even makes an appearance in that famed collection, The Golden Legend. Here is an excerpt:

"Joachim, which was of Galilee of the city of Nazareth, espoused Saint Anne of Bethlehem, and they were both just and without reproach or reprehension in the commandments of our Lord, and divided all their substance in three parts: that one part was for the temple, that other they gave to the poor and pilgrims, and the third was for themselves and their meiny to live with, and thus lived twenty years in marriage without having any lineage. And then they avowed to our Lord that if he sent to them any lineage they should give it to him, for to serve him. For which thing they went every year into Jerusalem in three principal feasts, so that in the feast of Encenia, that was the dedication of the temple, then Joachim went unto Jerusalem with his kindred, and came to the altar with the others and would have offered his offering. And when the priest saw him, he put him apart by great despite, and reproved him because he came to the altar of God, and said to him that it was convenable that a man cursed in the faith should not offer to our Lord, ne he that was barren should be among them that had fruit, as he that had none to the increase of the people of God. And then Joachim, all confused for this thing, durst not go home for shame, because they of his lineage and his neighbours which had heard it should not reprove him. And then he went to his herdmen, and was there long, and then the angel appeared to him only, and comforted him with great clearness, and said to him that he should not doubt ne be afraid of his vision, and said: I am the angel of our Lord sent to thee for to denounce to thee that thy prayers have availed thee and been heard, and thy alms be mounted tofore our Lord. I have seen thy shame and heard the reproach. That thou art barren is to thee no reproach by right, and God is venger of sin and not of nature. And when he closeth the belly or womb, he worketh so that he openeth it after, more marvellously. And the fruit that shall be born shall not be seen to come forth by lechery, but that it be known that it is of the gift of God. The first mother of your people was Sara, and she was barren unto the ninetieth year, and had only Isaac, to whom the benediction of all people was promised. And was not Rachel long barren? And yet had she not after Joseph, that held all the seigniory of Egypt? which was more strong than Samson, and more holy than Samuel? And yet were their mothers barren. Thus mayst thou believe by reason and by ensample that the childings long abiden be wont to be more marvellous. And therefore Anne thy wife shall have a daughter, and thou shalt call her Mary, and she, as ye have avowed, shall be from her infancy sacred unto our Lord, and shall be full of the Holy Ghost sith the time that she shall depart from the womb of her mother, and she shall dwell in the temple of our Lord, and not without, among the other people, because that none evil thing shall be had in suspicion of her, and right as she shall be born of a barren mother, so shall be born of her marvellously the son of a right high Lord. Of whom the name shall be Jesus, and by him shall health be given to all the people. And I give to thee the sign, that when thou shalt come to the golden gate at Jerusalem, thou shalt meet there Anne thy wife, which is much amoved of thy long tarrying, and shall have joy of thy coming. And then the angel, when he had said this, he departed from him. And as when Anne wept bitterly and wist not whither her husband was gone, the same angel appeared to her, and said all that he had said to her husband, and gave to her for a sign that she should go into Jerusalem, to the golden gate, and there she should meet with her husband which was returned. And thus by the commandment of the angel they met, and were firm of the lineage promised, and glad for to see each other, and honoured our Lord and returned home, abiding joyously the promise divine. And Anne conceived and brought forth a daughter, and named her Mary."

May Sts. Joachim and Anne, blessed parents of the Holy Virgin, serve as a model and inspiration for every Christian home!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Morbid Interest

Bill Powell writes another fine post, waxing eloquent on Calvin Elliott and the troubling question of usury.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

St. Raphael, Medicine of God, Ora Pro Nobis!

My newborn nephew was gravely ill last week. In thanksgiving for his steady recovery and as a plea for his future health, here is a litany in honor of his glorious patron, St. Raphael the Archangel:

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
Jesus, King of Angels, have mercy on us.

Mary, Queen of the Angels, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, whose name means "God has healed", pray for us.
Saint Raphael, preserved with the good Angels in God's kingdom, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, one of the seven spirits that stand before the Most High, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, ministering to God in heaven, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, noble and mighty Messenger of God, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, devoted to the Holy Will of God, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, who offered to God the prayers of the father Tobit, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, traveling-companion of the young Tobias, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, who guarded your friends from danger, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, who found a worthy wife for Tobias, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, who delivered Sarah from the evil spirits, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, who healed the father Tobit of his blindness, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, guide and protector on our journey through life, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, strong helper in time of need, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, conqueror of evil, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, guide and counselor of your people. pray for us.
Saint Raphael, protector of pure souls, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, patron Angel of youth, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Angel of joy, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Angel of happy meetings, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Angel of chaste courtship, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Angel of those seeking a marriage partner, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Angel of a happy marriage, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Angel of home life, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, Guardian of the Christian family, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, protector of travelers, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, patron of health, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, heavenly physician, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, helper of the blind, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, healer of the sick, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, patron of physicians, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, consoler of the afflicted, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, support of the dying, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, herald of blessings, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, defender of the church, pray for us.

Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world; have mercy on us.

Pray for us, O glorious Saint Raphael the Archangel,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
God, you graciously gave the Archangel Raphael as a companion to Your servant Tobias on his journey. Grant us, Your servants, that we may ever enjoy his protection and be strengthened by his help. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Habemus Papam!

Enemies of the true Faith beware. The Shepherd is losing patience with wolves in sheep's clothing.

Hat tip to Steve Skojec for the link.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fellay Responds

Archbishop Fellay, Superior General of the Society of Pius X, has issued a letter in response to the recent Motu Propio. My mother, wonderfully proficient in the French language, provided me with a spiffin' translation:

Press release of the Superior General of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X.

By means of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, pope Benedict XVI has restored to its rights the Tridentine Mass, clearly affirming that the Roman Missal promulgated by Saint Pius V was never abrogated. The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X rejoices to see the Church thus recover its liturgical Tradition, giving to the priests and to the faithful who have been up to the present time deprived of them, the possibility of having free access to the treasure of the traditional Mass for the glory of God, the good of the Church and the health of souls. For this great spiritual benefit, the Fraternity of Saint-Pius X expresses to the Sovereign pontiff its lively gratitude.

The letter which accompanies the Motu Proprio does not obscure, however, the difficulties which still remain. The Fraternity of Saint-Pius X forms the wish that the favorable climate founded by the new provisions of the Holy See will make it possible - after the withdrawal of the decree of excommunication which continues to injure its bishops - to calmly address the doctrinal points in litigation.

Lex orandi, lex credendi, the law of the liturgy is that of the faith. In fidelity to the spirit of our founder Mgr. Marcel Lefebvre, the attachment of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint-Pius X to the traditional liturgy is indivisibly united to the faith which has been professed “always, everywhere and by all”.

Menzingen, July 7, 2007
Mgr. Bernard Fellay

Hat tip to the Cornell folks for the link.

First Fruits

I just got goosebumps reading this news at Stony Creek Digest.

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Mystery with a Puzzle

I figure it's about time for a frivolous post. If you are mystified by the title...ha! my purpose succeeded.

Anyways, I cracked open a collection of Dorothy Sayers' mysteries this weekend and made the acquaintance of the inimitable Lord Peter Wimsey and his congenial valet Bunter. If you are entirely ignorant of his lordship, Wikipedia has a substantial entry chronicling his illustrious history. I enjoyed this quote from Sayers:

“Lord Peter's large income ... I deliberately gave him ... After all it cost me nothing and at the time I was particularly hard up and it gave me pleasure to spend his fortune for him. When I was dissatisfied with my single unfurnished room I took a luxurious flat for him in Piccadilly. When my cheap rug got a hole in it, I ordered him an Aubusson carpet. When I had no money to pay my bus fare I presented him with a Daimler double-six, upholstered in a style of sober magnificence, and when I felt dull I let him drive it. I can heartily recommend this inexpensive way of furnishing to all who are discontented with their incomes. It relieves the mind and does no harm to anybody.”

To get to the point, however, I am in the throes of the most outrageous, brain-numbing obsession, solving a crossword puzzle from “The Fascinating Problem of Uncle Meleagar’s Will.” In place of standard clues, it presents a dizzying array of riddles united by one classical(ie., ancient Rome) theme.