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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Et sub pennis ejus sperabis

I hope that the last few days have been particularly happy and holy. Happy feasts of St Patrick and dear St Joseph - and the commemoration of St Benedict for tomorrow!

I have enjoyed learning more about St Patrick and the hill of Tara, and finally, after many years, really celebrating the feast in the proper manner that it deserves, particularly as it is a Solemnity in Australia.

Laetare was beautiful. I had a small thought on the introit. On both Laetare and Gaudete Sundays, the rose is worn in place of weeks of violet, with flowers, organ, and respite from penitential disciplines. Gaudete is an imperative - a joyful shout from the rooftops from whence one can begin to make out the first outlines of Christ on the horizon. Rejoice! Yet, laetare - be thou glad. It's very much more intimate, a consoling embrace from Christ in under the cool shadow of His wings. Scapulis suis obumbrabit tibi.

There are so many wonderful images from the introit alone, that the heart rejoices much over, that the hand cannot write! It mentions being filled from the breast with consolation. I thought, why not the bowels, the very depths, visceribus, like in Psalm 50? Because we are still on pilgrimage. We are not yet at the place of final and relaxed rejoicing. Christ has stopped with us for this one day in particular, really and awesomely in time, to take our hearts and to fortify them with the supernatural strength that will be required to enter into the 'domum Domini'. It's near time for the final assault. It's time to go.

I've also come to realise that as much as grace is required to fast, grace is also necessary to feast! Authentic conviviality is a grace from God!

Along the way of the past week, the Lord has been particularly delightful. I'm sure that we all have a good number of little things to be very grateful for. I've enjoyed the Lord's wit in the Gospels, from humourously testing Philip, to the smile He must have smiled when discussing 'meat' with the Samaritan woman, and in the presence of the disciples - who had just returned after 'popping down to the supermarket'. I love it! I love that the lessons over two consecutive days had great figures from the Old Testament with the words of the Lord on their lips - 'Quid vis ut faciam tibi' and 'Nolite timere'. I love the prefiguring of the Lord's triumph over death in the Psalms - something that He was keeping as the ultimate surprise! He is so GOOD! He is so good that I even got to experience the feeling of what it would have been like to have witnessed the stupendousness of a miracle during Our Lord's earthly ministry - in very interesting circumstances!

As always, there is much going on, and much to do. There will be a Pontifical Mass celebrated from the faldstool by his Lordship, Bishop Christopher Prowse in Melbourne on Good Shepherd Sunday, April 22nd. There will be more details about that soon.

I'm also looking forward to the 4th Sunday after Easter - and am currently at paragraph 36 of SC! Only 61 to go! C'est magnifique!

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