Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thou art Peter

"Tu es Petrus, * et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam."
"Thou art Peter * and upon this Rock I will build My Church."
This wonderful line is the antiphon before the fifth Psalm of First Vespers for the Feast of St. Peter and Paul. What a sublime thing to read, isn't it?  No matter how unsettling our lives might seem at this moment, how beautiful is to remind ourselves that we are Catholics and that our refuge in times of trouble is Christ.  I do not know about you, my good reader, but this makes me very peaceful.  As long as we stick with the See of St. Peter, God will reward our loyalty and will give us all the graces needed so that we save our souls. Now, it is true, not every Catholic will be saved.  This terrifies us greatly and brings us with dread as we ponder our upcoming judgment.  Nevertheless, the graces will be there and so we will have no excuse once our lives are judged by Our Blessed Lord.

How much time do we have until this judgment?  I do not know my good reader but we must keep working in Our Lord's Vineyard.  Let us consider ourselves (and this is the secret in the art of salvation) to be the worst of all sinners and acknowledging that by our actions, we deserve hell.  Is this hard to believe? Yes. However, as we grow in holiness, our sinful nature will become apparent to us and we will not be thinking about the sins of others.

May the Holy Apostles St. Peter and St. Paul help us so that we may be with Them in eternity.

Pray for me, a sinner.

28 June 2015
V Sunday After Pentecost

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday Evening Chant: Agni Parthene

For today's selection, we leave the classical world and enter the spiritual realm with "Agni Parthene" chanted by the Monks at Simonos Petras Monastery at Mt. Athos.  A beautiful chant dedicated towards Our Love, The Blessed Virgin.

Pray for me, a sinner.

27 June 2015
Saturday of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Unseen Warfare

Even though there are many immoral videos on Youtube, there are also many of them that are quite enlightening.  60 Minutes did a wonderful piece on the monks at Mt. Athos a while back which brought viewers into a world of Byzantium that has been hidden for the most part.  Even though many things stood out to me, one thing that I will not forget is what a monk/priest said about what happens on the mountain (see second video, 3:40 mark)

"This place looks like a summer resort, like a holiday resort, like a retreat, but it's not, it's an arena.  The unseen warfare.  That's right.  We fight against the angels of the dark side, you see.  Of the demon, of the Devil, Satan."
When I heard this, I only thought of one thing.  Yes, Yes, Yes.  This monk understands something that most men who live life will never even touch the surface of.  You see, we do not have to be monks to engage in this warfare.  For any man who wants to be saved must fight and battle against the Devil.  We might not be monks, but our houses must be arenas of this "unseen warfare."  We will save our souls based on the work we do in our homes.  It is at home where we can build a spiritual base and start the process of detachment and humility.  It is here, unseen to the eyes of our family, where we will fight the Devil in a battle that will lead to either our salvation or damnation.

How many things in our lives can we detach from?  How many false attachments can we throw aside?  Oh friends, let us not pass our time here in this valley of tears by wasting it on worldly endeavors.  God gives us time so that we may save our souls by doing prayer and penance.  May our homes be arenas of unseen warfare.

Pray for me, a sinner.

25 June 2015
Feast of St. William

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Znamenny Chant

This blog has attempted from time to time to bring forth the importance of Sacred Music.  Even though I mostly focus on the West, I am growing in appreciation of the traditions of the East (I plan on going to my first Divine Liturgy on July 5th!)  One of these traditions come by the way of Russia in the form of Znamenny Chant.  This form of chant was quite prevalent in Russia until the unfortunate reforms of the Patriarch Nikon in the seventeenth century when he viciously attacked the traditions of the Russian Orthodox Church by reforming the liturgy to Greek sensibilities.  One of the things that was lost in these reforms was Znamenny Chant.  Now mostly utilized by Old Believers, the video below shows its noble simplicity.

24 June 2015
Feast of the Nativity of the Forerunner

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Haereticum hominem post unam et secundam correptionem devita

Living in California, I used to be surprised when I saw some building on the street proclaiming themselves as "Iglesia de Cristo".  Now, however, I am not shocked and am used to seeing these stupid signs across the city.  Protestantism is a heresy and henceforth the father of the movement is the Devil himself.  Satan hates Christ and hates His Bride, the Church and hence attempts to confuse the faithful with many means.  One of these means is by poisoning the minds of those who are simple with the deadly poison of heresy.  Most of those who attend these Hispanic dominated Protestant meetings are ex-Catholics who were completely ignorant of their Faith.  Leaving the Faith of their fathers, the Faith that will bring them salvation, they leave to become Protestant heretics.  Not only this, but they are extremely vocal about this and sway more naive family members to leave the Church to enter their heretical movement.  This Satanic plan has been going on for a while and one can simply look at the statistics of the religious demographics in Latin America which was once a bastion for the Catholic Faith.

My fellow Catholics, we may be the greatest of sinners however let us pray to the Holy Trinity that we never leave our Holy Faith to become heretics.  For only the man who perserves to the end will be saved.

"In petra exaltavit me, et nunc exaltavit caput meum super inimicos meos. Circuivi, et immolavi in tabernaculo ejus hostiam vociferationis; cantabo, et psalmum dicam Domino."

23 June 2015
Vigil of the Nativity of the Forerunner  

The Nativity of the Forerunner

V. Fuit homo missus a Deo.
R. Cui nomen erat Ioannes.

V. There was a man sent from God.
R. Whose name was John.

From the First Vespers of the Feast of St. John the Baptist

Monday, June 22, 2015


"An angel fell from heaven without any other passion except pride, and so we may ask whether it is possible to ascend to Heaven by humility alone, without any other of the virtues."

-St. John Climacus 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Benedicite, maria et flumina

There is a woman that I am very much in love with.  She is quite grand and I do not know why the Good Lord put her in my tracks.  Once I was telling her that she was like the ocean.  You see, the ocean is so majestic when you look at it from the shore.   The horizons seem to stretch out to eternity and the waves seem to take your breath away.  Nevertheless, the true beauty is seen only when you go under the waters and see the hidden world that awaits the dazzled invader!  You would see great creatures and one could literally get lost as he goes down into this underwater civilization.  (I need not tell you how this relates to her, I am sure you get what I am getting at).

I came to this same realization about Holy Mother Church today after the High Mass. The Church has so many victories and is so beautiful on the outside.  This can be seen by the Sacred Architecture, Sacred Music, Sacred Liturgy and many other gems that the Church has.  However, only a few people ever go under to delve into the hidden pearls of salvation.  Let us not waste our lives simply being content with the surface.  We must be willing to go deeper and deeper down the depths of the Church in order that the Gospel is lived within us.  That it becomes our very inner fabric.

This is the art of salvation.

21 June 2015
IV Sunday After Pentecost

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday Evening Music: Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor

Today we head over to Russia to hear, what I think is, one of the greatest pieces of all time.  Rachmaninoff, like Chopin, was a master at his craft.  He brought a strong Russian theme to his work and this is prevalent in the piece below.

Enjoy your Saturday night with Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor!

20 June 2015
Saturday of the Blessed Virgin 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Happy Feast Day of St. Ephrem the Syrian!

"Ephraem was of Syrian descent, and son of a citizen of Nisibis. While yet a young man he went to the holy bishop James, by whom he was baptized, and he soon made such progress in holiness and learning as to be appointed master of a flourishing school at Nisibis, a city of Mesopotamia. After the death of the bishop James, Nisibis was captured by the Persians, and Ephraem went to Edessa. Here he settled first on the mountain among the monks, and then, that he might avoid the great numbers of men who flocked to him, he adopted the eremitical life. He was ordained deacon of the Church of Edessa, but refused the priesthood out of humility. He was conspicuous with the splendour of every virtue and strove to acquire piety and religion by professing true wisdom. He placed all his hope in God alone, despised all human and transitory things, and always longed for the divine and eternal."
Fourth Lesson of Matins, Feast of St. Ephrem the Syrian

One of the greatest Saints the Church has in Her long list of holy men and women.  If you have time today, please read some of His hymns/poems.  To say that they are beautiful would be an understatement.

"Glory to that Hidden One Who even to the mind
is utterly imperceptible to those who investigate Him.
But by His grace through His humanity
a nature never before fathomed is now perceived.
His hands bound and fettered, His feet nailed and fastened,
by His own will He clothed Himself with a body for those who seized Him.
Blessed is He Whom freedom crucified, when He permitted it.
Blessed is He Whom also the wood bore, when He allowed it.
Blessed is He Whom even the grave enclosed, when He set limits to Himself.
Blessed is He Whose will brought Him
to the womb and to birth and to the bosom and to growth.
Blessed is He Whose changes revived our humanity."

-From the Nativity Hymn of St. Ephrem 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


As a Catholic first, and a Indian second, I feel a special joy when I see a Syro-Malankara Liturgy.

The West has so far to go in liturgy when you juxtapose Western worship in comparison with the liturgies of the East.   Less talk about social justice and more about proper worship!

16 June 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Saturday Evening Music: Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor

I had a different piece lined up for today but I heard this composition by Mozart today on the radio and thought it was quite special.   I am a huge admirer of Mozart's works and so I plan on posting many of his pieces on these Saturday evening visits to the classical world.  Enjoy!

13 June 2015
S. Antonii de Padua

Friday, June 12, 2015

Gregorian Chant

You know that one place in your heart that is hidden that it is often forgotten by yourself as well?  Gregorian Chant has the ability to find that secret place.  Not only does it find it, but it has the ability to reveal to it secrets that most will not discover on their earthly pilgrimage.  Below are some of my favorite pieces.

Gloria XI

Sanctus XI


Salve Sancta Parens (Introit for the Feast of the Visitation-July 2nd!)

Propers for Easter Sunday

How can Haec Dies (see last video, 4:42 mark) not burn your heart with fire for Love Of Christ? 

12 June 2015
Sanctissimi Cordis Domini Nostri Iesu Christi

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Men in the Cave

On this Octave Day of Corpus Christi (or Feast of St. Barnabas in the 1962 Missal) I was thinking about how important the externals and music are when the Liturgy is celebrated.  There is a certain segment of the Church who I would consider to "low church" who would be in favor of pure "simplicity."  They would say things like:

Why do we need elaborate chasubles when cheaper ones will work too?
Why Gregorian Chant?  It is too complex for the People of God.  What we need is Dan Schutte and some guitars.
What is the need for a High Altar when a simple table altar will work as well?
Traditionalists should stop worrying about expensive chalices and patens are start to worry about the poor in the streets!  
When I hear comments like these and others made in a similar fashion, I must confess that it perturbs me greatly.  When you look at the life of man, his whole day is full of the banal.  He goes through the daily duties of his life and even though he might look forward to certain part, it he was honest with himself, he would tell you that those duties are mundane.  However, when such a man goes to Church on Sunday, does he not deserve the greatest of Divine splendor?  Why does Divine Worship have to be bland as well?  This reminds me of a certain Priest who would give financial support to the homeless only if they attended Mass first.  The parish offered both the Old and New Rite and it was clear that over time, more of the homeless were attending the Traditional Rite.  Father, being curious about this, asked one of the homeless men why he went to the Mass in the Old Rite.  I do not recall the exact response but I believe that the man told the Priest that the TLM was sublime and showed him a Beauty that he had never experienced.

I like this story because many of us have fallen into this mindset where religion needs to simple and complexity should be left to the "more important things in life."  For example, how many of those who object to the chant Civabit Eos (Introit for Corpus Christi) and would give great shouts of joy for Schutte's Here I am Lord?
  True Sacred Music
What?  Why?
The really tragic thing about it is that since so many Catholics have grown up with music like Schutte's, they will object with great anger if you told them that their music "ministry" has failed them.  They are like the men, who in Plato's Allegory of the Cave, refuse to leave their cave and would even kill someone from the outside just to preserve their state of ignorance.

Wake up, my fellow Catholics!  You deserve better.  You deserve all the Tradition the Church has!  You have this one life to save your soul and so use all the Wisdom the Church has given us for 2000 years.  The Chant, the Old Rite, the Traditional Office, these will be your anchors towards Heaven and your consolations here on your pilgrimage.

11 June 2015
Octave Day of Corpus Christi

Monday, June 8, 2015

Day VI in the Octave of Corpus Christi

Quam multi de altari accipiunt, et moriuntur, et accipiendo moriuntur! Unde dicit Apostolus: Judicium sibi manducat et bibit. Nonne buccella Dominica venenum fuit Judae? Et tamen accepit. Et cum accepit, in eum inimicus intravit: non quia malum accepit, sed quia bonum male malus accepit. Videte ergo, fratres, panem caelestem spiritaliter manducate, innocentiam ad altare apportate. Peccata, etsi sunt quotidiana, vel non sint mortifera; antequam ad altare accedatis, attendite quod dicatis: Dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Si dimittis, dimittetur tibi: securus accede, panis est, non venenum.
That eateth and drinketh unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to himself." Is it not written " When Jesus had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, and after the sop Satan entered into him" And yet he took it. And when he had eaten it, the enemy entered in and possessed him. Not because what he ate was evil, but because he, being evil, dared to eat that which was good. Look to it well, then, brethren, that ye take spiritually the Bread Which cometh down from heaven. Bring innocency with you to the Altar. Though your sins be daily, let them not be deadly. Before ye draw near to the Altar, think well what it is that ye say "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us." "For, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you" and ye may draw near boldly, for unto you It is Bread, and not poison.
 From the Third Nocturn of Matins in Day VI in the Octave of Corpus Christi 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturday Evening Music: Chopin's Fourth Ballade

On Saturday evenings, after First Vespers, I plan on posting musical pieces/compositions/songs that I would consider to be "good" music.  Some will be of a classical bend while many other pieces will be more modern.

Without further ado, I present to you, Chopin's Fourth Ballade!

Happy Feast Day of St. Norbert!

When I converted to the Church, one of the first Churches that I attended for the Sunday TLM was a Norbertine run parish.  It was here where I was slowly introduced to the beauties of this most august Liturgy with all its splendor.  I am very much in gratitude of this saint for I am convinced that he had something to do with my discovery of the Mass of St. Pius V.  (Now only if I can attend a Mass in the Norbertine Rite!)

Deus, qui beatum Norbertum Confessorem tuum atque Pontificem, verbi tui praeconem eximium effecisti, et per eum Ecclesiam tuam nova prole foecundasti: praesta quaesumus: ut eiusdem suffragantibus meritis, quod ore simul et opere docuit, te adiuvante exercere valeamus. Per Dominum Nostrum....
O God, Who made blessed Norbert, thy Confessor and Bishop, a brilliant preacher of thy word, and through him enriched thy Church with a new religious family, grant, we beseech thee, that by his prayerful intercession and thy help, we may be able to do what he has taught us by his words and deeds.  Through Our Lord...

6 June 2015
Feast of St. Norbert

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Diabolical Plan

I was watching one of St. Josemaria Escriva's old videos where he was talking about how The Devil in the 60s and 70s introduced new fashions to women in order to destroy their modesty.  Being born in the early 90s, I have no clue about what happened during this time frame but knowing about the sexual revolution it is quite clear that it was not a wonderful time for modesty and purity.  The Devil introduced these fashions in dress and trends in sex which told women that if they followed these trends, they would feel the joy of being liberated. 

The Devil's plan goes like this:
  • Corrupt the girls when they are young.  Tell them to wear immodest clothing and to act and to talk impurely.  
  • If they are corrupted in this way then it will only be a matter of time when they engage in sexual relations with men (or with women).
  • If they are doing this then they fall into other addictions and will slowly fall into the grasps of the Evil One.
  • Make them despair.  Keep lying to them by telling they need more of these vices to be happy.
  • Rinse and repeat.  
  • Final Result:  The soul dies in a state of utter collapse.  The soul enters hell. 
Satan's plan also results in another dreadful situation.  These girls who are corrupted will become mothers one day and their daughters will be led to these sinful habits that their parents are engaging in.  Thus, leading the cycle to continue and ending with more souls in hell.

It is now 2015.  These issues which were brought up in the 1960s and 70s have not changed but have become gradually worse.  Society now glorifies impurity, pornography, per-maritial sex, homosexuality, transgenderism and many other abominations.  Let us pray for those in the world, yes, but let us always pray for ourselves first.  Even if we are fortunate to be in a state of grace, we know that it very possible to fall into these sins that the world promotes.  Without the grace of God, we would be a mess.  Let us have zero trust of self and place all of our hope and trust in The Holy Trinity.

3 June 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gems from the Office

Exspécta Dóminum, viríliter age:  et confortétur cor tuum, et sústine Dóminum.
Expect the Lord, do manfully, and let thy heart take courage, and wait thou for the Lord.
Viríliter ágite, et confortétur cor vestrum, omnes, qui sperátis in Dómino. 
Do ye manfully, and let your heart be strengthened,  all ye that hope in the Lord.
The first verse is from Psalm 26 and the second verse is from Psalm 30.  These Gems were in the Divine Office today (Terce and Sext respectfully) and I found that it was interesting that two verses that were incredibly similar were found on two different hours.   The reason why I posted these two verses was because when I had prayed them earlier this morning, I was reminded on how important our patience and our hope in the Lord is.

In life, we often tell Our Lord that we want A, B, or C without any regard of what A, B, or C might do for us if we actually get it.  I can not count the number of times I have not received what I have asked for and then looking back and saying "Now I know why I did not get it!"  When we are caught up in the moment, we can ask for detrimental things that will lead us away from Christ and bring us closer to Satan.  What these two verses remind me of is the fact that eventually, if we have led holy lives and repented of our sins, the Lord will answer our cries with a definite YES.  This YES will occur when we have left this Vale and will enter heaven. I think Our Lady told St. Bernadette that She could not promise her happiness in this life but only in the next. These verses get that point across.  We should pray to Our Lord for temporal needs, however let us pray first for the grace of final perseverance and henceforth saving our souls in that process.

As we go through the discomforts of daily life, let us remember to strengthen our hearts and hope in the Lord.

1 June 2015
Feast of St. Angela Merici