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What is the Breviary Online?

 

The Official Prayer of the Church

 

Next to the Holy Mass, the Divine Office (or Breviary) is the most important prayer offered to God.  It is offered by the Church and in the name of the Church, conferring multifold graces and blessings on those who recite it worthily, attentively and devoutly.  Normally the domain of priests and religious, the Church has continued to recommend her official prayer to the faithful.  However, until now, the complexity of the rubrics and a lack of suitable translations has deterred many.

 

Now Accessible to the Layman

 

With the help of modern technology, it has become easier to overcome these problems.  The result is the Roman Breviary published by the Confraternity of Ss. Peter & Paul in both Latin and English.  No knowledge of the liturgy is required.  All you have to do is click on the feastday, and then on the Canonical Hour you want to say.  The rest is just like reading a book—everything is laid out for you in order according to the rubrics of the day.  No more flicking through the ribboned sections of a weighty volume.  No more apprehension that you are forgetting some obscure rubric.  It's all there spelled out, in order, every day.

 

Learn More about the Breviary

 

And if you do want to deepen your knowledge of the Breviary or the Confraternity, this website can help you with that too.  We already provide a short history of the Breviary, instructions on when to recite which Hours, a brief commentary on the psalms, and much more.  And for those who would really like to understand the rubrics in greater depth, we provide in our bookstore a detailed but simply written electronic manual entitled How to Say the Breviary.  We shall be expanding this website regularly with more information, so check back with us frequently.  And may God reward your prayers by bestowing on you all those spiritual favours that come from a devout reading of the Church's Divine Office.

 

Is this Breviary for You?

 

Check out the Features

 

Link to our Features Page to see what a difference our online edition of the traditional Roman Breviary can make in your life.

 

Check out a Sample Day

 

Link to the Office for the Feast of St. Pius X, our secondary patron.  You can browse through the various Hours of the Office and get a feel for what to expect.

 

Check out the artwork, the original photos, play some of the music.  We hope you enjoy the experience.   More importantly do you think this approach to prayer is something that could be spiritually beneficial for you?

How Do I Get Started?

 

Register and Subscribe

 

Register

 

Link to our online Breviary homepage.  Underneath the login form is a box, with the words First-Time User? and Register Here in red letters underlined.  Click on this link and complete the short form.  Click the Sign up link.

 

Subscribe

 

Log in to our webiste using the user name and password you have chosen.  When you first attempt to Recite the Breviary you will be linked to the subscription page.  Here you may choose from our monthly subscription of $2.50 (USD) per month, or $24.00 for an annual subscription.  Or simply send a check to the address provided on our Contacts page.

  Quadragesima

February 22, 2015

Lead us Not into Temptation

Today is Quadragesima Sunday, also known as the First Sunday in Lent. We call it Quadragesima because this word means “Forty”, and of course Lent is forty days long. As we know, it’s forty days long to commemorate the forty days and forty nights that Our Lord fasted in the wilderness. Today’s Gospel focuses our attention on this period of fasting which Our Lord spent in the desert before embarking on his public ministry. As Christians, we always try to be followers of Christ, and today we follow him into the desert, fasting as he did, doing penance as he did, preparing ourselves as he did.

What are we preparing for? What comes at the end of Lent? Easter of course, and the Resurrection of Christ. So we are preparing first of all for the great holy day of Easter, with its outburst of joy that we’ll be able to celebrate all the more gladly, coming as it does in such sharp contrast to the bleak days of fasting and penance that precede it.

But as usual with everything we practice in the Church’s Liturgical Year, we may interpret Lent at another, more personal, level. For what does Easter represent if not the resurrection of our own bodies at the last judgment? And how are we to prepare for that last judgment, that Day of Wrath when the eternal and irrevocable sentence will be passed on us? We must prepare ourselves by fervent prayer and fasting. Why? Because by mortifying our own appetites, our own desires, our own will, we can bring them more easily into subjection to the Will of God. Our fallen nature draws us into sin. So we fight against that nature by forcing it to conform to the laws of God and a life of virtue. And by living this godly life, we hope that God will find us worthy on that last day, when the trumpet shall sound, and we shall stand incorruptible before the throne of God. Worthy to rejoice with God, worthy to enjoy his presence in the life everlasting.

We mortify our own will and do God’s instead. This is the lesson which Our Blessed Lord wanted to show us by going out into the wilderness and fasting for forty days and forty nights. Let us then follow Christ beyond our usual comfortable existence, out into the wilderness, where, with great determination, we now begin our great fast of Lent, subduing our bodies and preparing them for that glory everlasting. Follow Christ. Imitate him. I am told that the book that has been printed more than any other in history, other than the Bible, is The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. And interestingly enough, it’s In that book that we read these ominous words: “There is no position so holy, no place so retired, where there are not temptations.” At the end of Our Lord’s forty days in the desert, we read in today’s Gospel how he found temptation out there in the desert. After no food or shelter for forty days, our Saviour was tired, cold and weak with hunger, every aspect of his being had been weakened by this grueling penance. And of course, at our weakest moments we are the most prone to temptation.

Along came the Devil to tempt the Son of God. And Our Lord permitted the devil to tempt him, firstly to show that he was a man, like us in all things except sin. Secondly, he wanted to show us how to deal with temptation. For deal with them we must! It is impossible for us to live without temptations. In fact, our virtue, our sanctity, does not consist in being exempt from these temptations, but in being able to overcome them. Our Lord has shown us that, by undergoing and overcoming these same temptations himself. Every saint in heaven today is there, not because he wasn’t tempted, but because he fought against his temptations, and repelled them. Temptation then is the struggle from which no man can escape. God even wishes this struggle to be the price of eternal life. “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation,” says St. James in his Epistle, “for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life.”

This then surely is one of the main benefits of Lent. We do penance, we give things up, we accept our crosses and even take on a few more. Why? To help us deal with temptation. For what is it that stands between us, as we live our comfortable lives, and the life of the world to come? It’s temptation. For without temptation there is no sin. And without sin there is no hell. We avoid hell by refusing sin. And we avoid sin by resisting temptation.
In today’s Gospel, we learn from Our Lord what our attitude should be towards temptation, and how we should behave when we are tempted. He teaches us first of all to have great confidence in God. It is clear that he has the spirit of perfect filial confidence in his Father in heaven. When the devil offers him bread, he refuses to satisfy his hunger, saying that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” When the devil tempts him a second time, he refuses to perform a brilliant miracle by throwing himself off the pinnacle of the temple and being saved from falling by the intervention of the holy Angels. Instead he admonishes the devil that “thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” And finally, when the devil offers Our Lord dominion over all the nations of the earth if only he will bow down and worship him, Jesus replies: “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.” The answer to each of the three temptations of the devil is the same: God, God, and God. This is what we must learn from the example of Our Lord today. We are not going to escape temptation. We will be tempted. We must fight those temptations. And we must fight those temptations with complete and utter confidence in God.

Certainly we should have confidence in God. After all, if God permits us to be tempted, he never permits us to be tempted beyond our strength. With every temptation that God permits, he extends to us at the same time a special actual grace to resist and overcome it. So never be disturbed by even the most violent of temptations, but simply accept them as your opportunity to place yourself under the loving protection of Almighty God, your loving Father. Remember that Satan tempts us in order to destroy us. God allows the temptation in order to reward us.

Other than putting your trust in God, the other thing you need to do when temptation strikes is to resist it. That sounds fairly obvious, doesn’t it. Nevertheless it bears saying. Resist it. Don’t entertain it even for a few minutes on the grounds that you’ll deal with it later when it becomes a problem. No. Resist it immediately and strongly. If you put your hand in the tiger’s cage, the tiger will grab it with his teeth, clamping down with his jaws and holding on tight, pulling your whole arm into the cage, and then the rest of you. The devil will do the same thing. Don’t offer the devil your hand in the first place. It’s much easier to get rid of a temptation if you do so at the first sign of trouble. It’s easier to stomp out a smouldering campfire rather than wait until it becomes a full-scale forest fire. All life’s problems are best dealt with quickly before they become too big to handle, and temptations are no exception. “Watch and pray,” Our Lord told us, “lest ye fall into temptation”. And on another occasion, he explained how we should know our own weakness, our weakest points. We can be sure the devil knows our weaknesses. And where the fence is lowest, there the devil jumps. That’s why he attacked Our Lord at his weakest moment. And yet he endured the temptation, like us in everything except sin. And after this victory over his temptations and the wickedness and snares of the devil, what do we see? “Angels came and ministered unto him.” We have our own Guardian Angels ever before us. Let’s stand aside and allow them to do their job in protecting us from harm. Let’s cooperate with their efforts to lead us not into temptation, and pray for their help that, ultimately, the good Lord may deliver us from evil.

 Sermons from the Chaplain