Sermons

Sermons

For Sundays and Holydays

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.

  Palm Sunday

March 29, 2015

High Crimes and Misdemeanours

We have just listened to the details of the sufferings to which Our Lord Jesus Christ was submitted. It is not a pleasant story, how human beings could inflict such mental and physical pain on another human being. When we consider that this was not just a human being, but the very Son of God, he who was in the beginning with God, and without whom was not any thing made that was made, without whom none of his persecutors could even take a breath, we then begin to realize the scale of the crime they perpetrated.

But we must take a step back from the immensity of what took place that day. It is too big for us to cope with just the infinite offense of a single venial sin, let alone the crime of nailing the Son of God to a cross. And yet, when you do step back and look at it from that point of view, isn’t it after all the same thing? For after all, just one of my own venial sins would have been enough for our Savior to have died on the Cross. That infinite offence of just one sin against God demanded an infinite response, if we were not to be condemned to an eternity locked out of heaven. The blood of a lamb or an ox was not enough, not even the blood of a man, a human sacrifice. It required the Blood, the most Precious Blood of God made man.

There is really nothing that can be added to this story told in St. Matthew’s Passion: everything we need to know in order to save our souls is contained in this narrative. We could spend the rest of our lives, not just these next few days, contemplating the events of this week. A hundred, a thousand lessons are contained in this story, and it would seem almost futile to attempt to pull out one or two and talk about them. Which lessons would we choose? Forgiveness perhaps? That this crime of Deicide by the Jews, so infinitely grave as it was, was freely forgiven by Our Lord, and yet we can’t even bring ourselves to forgive a harsh word, an insult even? Shame on us! Or the lesson that we sleep even as the Apostles slept that night in the Garden, and don’t even attempt to share Our Lord’s terrible agony as he sweat blood, and suffered almost unto death? That we don’t have the time, the energy, the courage, to give of ourselves, to embrace our own crosses and to help Our Lord carry his, by sharing its weight with him? Shame on us! That we can’t even bring ourselves to renounce our attachment to sin, self-indulgence, pleasure, material wealth, when Our Lord is stripped of his garments and nailed to the wood of the Cross? Yes, shame on us, because we are indeed his shameful creatures. We are the dust of the earth, we will return to the dust when we die, and yet meanwhile, we cling to so many things that serve only to draw us closer and closer to damnation.

Perhaps this is the most important lesson we can take from Calvary. The lesson of humility, recognizing our own worth. We might not be able to grasp the enormity of this terrible crucifixion, but one thing we can surely grasp: That in spite of our sins, our high crimes and misdemeanors, Our Lord nevertheless died for us. Pitiful creatures though we are, Our Lord loves each and every one of us so much that he suffered all this for each and every one of us. For you. For me. For many, unto the remission of our sins. “Pro multis, in remissionem peccatorum.”

With this knowledge, we can arm ourselves with new courage. And arm ourselves we must. Because the only alternative to courage is despair – either we follow St. Peter in his penitence, or Judas in his ultimate self-loathing. Yes, we are wicked, but yes too, God loves us. The arms of our Savior nailed to the Cross are open wide to receive us. Even his Most Sacred Heart was opened wide by the lance so that we may enter in. And then from that gaping wound: Vidi Aquam—I saw water flowing from the side of Christ. Water to cleanse and purify us from our sins, just as at the end of the forty days of the Great Flood, the earth stood purged and clean for man to rise from his sin and begin again, refreshed.
He is ready to forgive all our offences, even those against his only–begotten Son. Let us not throw that forgiveness and love back in his face. Let us gratefully kneel this week at the foot of the Cross, acknowledge our numberless offences, and humbly ask pardon for what we have done.


 Sermons from the Chaplain