Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dear Ones,

How marvelous to be Catholic and to know that the wonders of Christmas do not end in a single day—the Octave of Christmas is this wonderful 8 days that encompass such beautiful days as St Stephen the Martyr, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, and the Feast of the Holy Family—and culminating on the First with our Feast of the Mother of God, Mary Most Holy and the Circumcision of our Lord.

And then of course extends to the 12 Days of Christmas which will culminate on January 6th for The Epiphany of our Lord. And then of course the Christmas season lasts for 40 Days—how wonderful to be Catholic. You should really get into the tradition like I do, I do not mail my Christmas cards till after the 25th and keep on writing them through the whole 40 day Christmas Season. giggles

Please do not miss this wonderful opportunity:
Two Plenary Indulgences are available as follows:
1. Reciting the Te Deum (privately) on December 31.
2. Reciting Veni Creator Spiritus on January 1st.

If you want to share my New Years Eve Celebration plans you can join me at the Monastery of the Infant Jesus of the Discalsed Carmelite Sisters on Flowers Street in Oak Cliff for Midnight Mass--you need to get there by 11:30 to be ready to do the Te Deum before Mass and then end Mass on the morning of the First with the Veni Creator Spiritus--you get your Holy Day of Obligation and the two Plenary Indulgences all in one fell swoop--what a deal--after some prayers of thanksgiving and Adoration, you are off to a good sleep and wake to your Black Eyed Peas for New Years Day Brunch. And of course we will all be keeping up our decorations and creche sets till January 6th--my Wise Men are still Traveling from Afar across the Living Room and Dining Room till that happy day--and I am still listening to my 25+ Christmas CD collection as I sip hot tea or Scotch as the mood requires in front of the the fireplace--ah the fireplace chats.

Those who claim that indulgences are no longer a part of the Church's teachings today are misinformed Indulgences are the enactment of the authority given to Peter and to the Church, which Christ established to extend the mercy of God to the Christian faithful. Temporal punishment due for sins is a Doctrine of the Church as explained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1471 thru 1479., and Code of Canon Law, c. 994.

Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because if its association with St. Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving. First attributed to Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now accredited to Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana (4th century). It is used at the conclusion of the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours on Sundays outside Lent, daily during the Octaves of Christmas and Easter, and on Solemnities and Feast Days. The petitions at the end were added at a later time and are optional. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it in thanksgiving and a plenary indulgence is granted if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year.

TE DEUM laudamus: te Dominum confitemur.

O GOD, we praise Thee: we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord.
Te aeternum Patrem omnis terra veneratur.

Everlasting Father, all the earth doth worship Thee.
Tibi omnes Angeli; tibi Caeli et universae Potestates;

To Thee all the Angels, the Heavens and all the Powers,
Tibi Cherubim et Seraphim incessabili voce proclamant:

all the Cherubim and Seraphim, unceasingly proclaim:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Pleni sunt caeli et terra maiestatis gloriae tuae.

Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
Te gloriosus Apostolorum chorus,

The glorious choir of the Apostles,
Te Prophetarum laudabilis numerus,

the wonderful company of Prophets,
Te Martyrum candidatus laudat exercitus.

the white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Te per orbem terrarum sancta confitetur Ecclesia,

Holy Church throughout the world doth acknowledge Thee:
Patrem immensae maiestatis:

the Father of infinite Majesty;
Venerandum tuum verum et unicum Filium;

Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Sanctum quoque Paraclitum Spiritum.

and the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
Tu Rex gloriae, Christe.

O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Tu Patris sempiternus es Filius.

Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
Tu ad liberandum suscepturus hominem, non horruisti Virginis uterum.

Thou, having taken it upon Thyself to deliver man, didst not disdain the Virgin's womb.
Tu, devicto mortis aculeo, aperuisti credentibus regna caelorum.

Thou overcame the sting of death and hast opened to believers the Kingdom of Heaven.
Tu ad dexteram Dei sedes, in gloria Patris.

Thou sitest at the right hand of God, in the glory of the Father.
Iudex crederis esse venturus.

We believe that Thou shalt come to be our Judge.
Te ergo quaesumus, tuis famulis subveni: quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.

We beseech Thee, therefore, to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Aeterna fac cum sanctis tuis in gloria numerari.

Make them to be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
V. Salvum fac populum tuum, Domine, et benedic hereditati tuae.

V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance!
R. Et rege eos, et extolle illos usque in aeternum.

R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Per singulos dies benedicimus te.

V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. Et laudamus nomen tuum in saeculum, et in saeculum saeculi.

R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yea, forever and ever.
V. Dignare, Domine, die isto sine peccato nos custodire.

V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Miserere nostri, Domine, miserere nostri.

R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Fiat misericordia tua, Domine, super nos, quemadmodum speravimus in te.

V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. In te, Domine, speravi: non confundar in aeternum.

R. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame.

Veni Creator Spiritus is a hymn normally sung in Gregorian Chant and is considered the "most famous of hymns." It was written by Rabanus Maurus in the 9th Century . The hymn is often sung at occasions such as the entrance of Cardinals to the Sistine Chapel to elect a new Pope, as well as the consecration of bishops, the ordination of priests, the dedication of churches, the celebration of synods or councils, the coronation of kings and other solemn events. It means "come Holy Spirit Creator" and commemorates the feast of Pentecost. The hymn was probably first assigned toVespers. Its use at Terce commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost at the third hour of the day. Below is the original Latin and its English translation:


Veni, Creator Spiritus
mentes tuorum visita
Imple superna gratia
quae tu creasti pectora.
Qui Paraclitus diceris,
Donum Dei Altissimi,
fons vivus, ignis, caritas,
et spiritalis unctio.
Tu septiformis munere,
dextrae Dei tu digitus;
tu rite promissum Patris,
sermone ditans guttura.
Accende lumen sensibus,
infunde amorem cordibus,
infirma nostri corporis,
virtute firmans perpeti.
Hostem repellas longius,
pacemque duces protinus,
ductore sic te praevio,
vitemus omne noxium.
Per te sciamus da Patrem,
noscamus atque Filium,
te utriusque Spiritum
credamus omni tempore.
Sit laus Patri cum Filio,
Sancto simul Paraclito:
nobisque mittat Filius
charisma Sancti Spiritus.

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.
Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God's hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father, Thou
Who dost the tongue with power imbue.
Kindle our senses from above,and make our hearts o'erflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high the weakness of our flesh supply.
Far from us drive the foe we dread,and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,turn from the path of life aside.
Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,of both the eternal Spirit blest.
Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven.

God bless you and yours and the very merriest of Christmas to you and all of yours. I look forward to many more stirring chats by the fire in 2009.

Eve of the Feast of Mary Most Holy, Mother of God, and our Mother

If you're confused about the Church's publications of several books on indulgences over the past 200 years, allow me to give a brief teaching:

The new 'Manual of Indulgences' or Enchiridion Indulgentiarum is a hardcover English edition of the 1999 Enchiridion Indulgentiarum published by the Holy See. It replaced the the 'Enchiridion of Indulgences' published by Liberia Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City in l968 and authorized by Pope Paul VI after Vatican II in the Apostolic Constitution on the 'Revision of Indulgences.' However, the Vatican's new l999 Enchiridon Indulgentiarum lists only 33 indulgences, instead of earlier 74, that one may gain. Before the Enchiridion of 1968, there was 'The Raccolta' or original manual of indulgences. 'The Raccolta' was translated into English in l950 from the official l807 edition 'Enchiridion Indulgentarum' issued by the Sacred Penitentiary Apostolic, with the latest revision being done in l898 by the Sacred Congregation of the Indulgences. 'The Raccolta' contains prayers and pious exercises to which indulgences have been attached by the popes; also the decrees granting these indulgences and the conditions necessary for gaining them.

I have both of these indulgence books in my home Catholic library. All of the indulgences in each book have been approved by the Popes of the Church, so they are all still valid and licit to use. I take the Raccolta with me to my Holy Hour. You can get a reprint easily on the Internet.

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