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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.

 

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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.

  Sunday within the Octave of Sacred Heart

June 14, 2015

Lost and Found

What a very tragic word is our word Lost. We use it in so many different contexts, and it seems as though none of them convey anything but mishap and sorrow. From the little girl who has lost her favorite doll, to the grieving mother who has lost her child. From childhood to eternity, we run the risk of losing things, some small, some more significant. And the risk only seems to grow the older we get: we start by losing a toy, then perhaps a baseball game. We go through the childhood stages of losing our temper, losing our battles for control with parents and teachers. As we grow older, we might lose our job, or lose an election, maybe lose our chance of marrying the man or woman we love. And then we grow older still, and we lose our teeth, our memory, our health; we might lose our mind, or perhaps we lose the will to live. Eventually we will lose our battle for survival and lose our life. And then ultimately, most sadly of all, some of us will lose our soul.

Yesterday was the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of lost things. Those of us who keep losing things have developed a great devotion to this saint, because he finds them for us. And for that reason he walks very closely in the footsteps of the Sacred Heart. To honour St. Anthony is to honour the Sacred Heart also. Why?

Is it any wonder that St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of lost things, is such a powerful intercessor? Because how can the loving Sacred Heart, who takes such delight in seeking and finding the souls of men, refuse the prayers of a saint who asks him to restore things that are lost?

Today, the day after St. Anthony’s feasstday, is the Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart. And it is no coincidence that today’s Gospel is all about losing things. In his parables, Our Lord paints two separate pictures of loss. First the man who has a hundred sheep, and leaves ninety-nine of them to go look for the one that is missing. Then the woman with ten pieces of silver, who loses one and combs the house looking for the one that is lost. The meaning of the parables is explained by Our Lord, that there is greater joy over one sinner who repents than over the nine, or the ninety-nine even, who are just and have no need of repentance.

This is the message the Church would have us learn on this Sunday within the Octave of the Sacred Heart. The image of Christ the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep, our loving Saviour going in search of the repentant sinner. Is it any wonder then, that St. Anthony of Padua, the patron saint of lost things, is such a powerful intercessor? Because how can the loving Sacred Heart, who takes such delight in seeking and finding the souls of men, refuse the prayers of a saint who asks him to restore the things that are lost?

“Behold this Heart which has so loved men,” said Our Lord when he appeared to St. Margaret Mary. And for us to understand this love, we need to compare it to the way we ourselves love. We all have loved. We have loved parents, children, our husbands, wives. We love in different ways, sometimes passionately, sometimes with a more steady, a more stable love. Love is, after all, a many-splendoured thing. Sometimes we take our love for granted. More tragically, we often take those whom we love for granted. Usually it is only when we fear losing these persons, fear their loss, that we love them most. This is perhaps the kind of loss we find hardest to endure.

Perhaps you still fear losing someone you love. Or perhaps you are already grieving. But whether we fear the losses of the future, or whether we are already acquainted with a past loss, one thing we know, that when we experience this loss or the fear of this loss, we love these persons with a greater love now than we have ever known.

We know that God allows such loss, and with it such great suffering, for many reasons. Certainly, one reason is to remind us of the finality of death. By showing us that our loved ones do not return, we are reminded that once we are dead, we won’t be coming back either. We won’t be given the chance to do those things we ought to have done, or to undo the things we ought not to have done. It’s over, and we will be judged according to the state of grace, or the state of sin, in which we die.

But I sometimes think that an even more important reason God permits the death of our loved ones is so that he can give us a taste, a very bitter taste, but a taste nonetheless, of that most intense feeling of love that comes with loss. So that we can be reminded, so that we can actually feel, in some tiny way, some pale reflection, the type of love the Sacred Heart feels for the sinner who is lost in his sin. When our loved ones die, we know they don’t come back, and that a curtain has been drawn for the rest of our lives to separate us from them. More than anything, we want them to come back to us. But they cannot. What incredible joy would we have to rediscover him or her living once more amongst us. Imagine then the joy experienced in heaven when that loved one, the object of the love of God and angels, repents from his sin, and his dead soul is returned to a life of grace. It is as though they have returned from the dead.

This gives us a faint glimmer, a pale reflection, of the love the Sacred Heart has for us, as he goes in search of souls to save, and sinners to lead home. As he has sought us, and given us every grace that we might save our souls and be with him for ever. How much he has sought for and cared for us! Our Blessed Saviour, our loving Good Shepherd has sought me out, has found me, and has led me back out of sin to his sheepfold, where he has prepared a table in my sight, and where I may no longer be afraid to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. This is my joy, our joy, that we have been given another chance. That if we stay within the fold of grace, our souls will not be lost forever. But It is also, and infinitely more, the joy of the Sacred Heart of Jesus who is always in search of souls to save, always longing to free us from the snares of sin, to wash us in his Blood, to feed us with his Body.

Last week during the octave of Corpus Christi, we contemplated the greatest of all the gifts of God to men, the Holy Eucharist. What could possibly be greater than this gift? And yet, huge as it is, this sacramental gift is still just the outward sign of something far greater. It’s the tip of the iceberg. The Holy Eucharist, certainly, is the gift that crowns all other gifts of the love of Jesus for men. But now we must think beyond the gift to the very reason, the source and the cause of this gift, and of all God’s other gifts. This week we must move from the tip of the iceberg to the tip of a lance. And we must follow that lance, as the soldier Longinus pushes it upwards into the very side of God himself. This lance penetrates the very Heart of Jesus. And it is to this most Most Sacred Heart that we have been brought this week. Look at this heart, “Behold this Heart, which hath so loved men.” And we behold, and we see that this Heart is nothing other than the infinite love of God, covering us, overshadowing us, shielding us, protecting us, seeking us when we are lost. And we behold the very essence of the glory of God. For what is this essence, if not love? We see, as St. Paul says, the “breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and we know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge”.

The love which passeth knowledge. And yet we can know this love. We can know it because the Sacred Heart has been opened with a lance for all to see and know. It has been exposed to the gaze of our imperfect little minds in all its infinite glory, and we have seen his glory. Vídimus glóriam ejus, glóriam quasi Unigéniti a Patre, plenum grátiæ et veritátis. We have seen his glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And now, during this Octave of the Sacred Heart, this glory is declared unto the heavens and to all the corners of the earth. “And the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

And what shall be our response to this glory of the love of God? In the most famous of the apparitions of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary, Jesus revealed himself to her as she knelt in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. He showed her his most Sacred Heart, and, complained that in return for his unbounded love he met with nothing but outrages and ingratitude from mankind. Outrages and ingratitude! Is that all we have to offer back to God for all the good things he has given unto us? In the same apparition, Jesus asked that a new feastday be eestablished to venerate his Sacred Heart, so that it may be duly honoured, and so that the faithful could expiate for all the insults offered to God by sinful men. This is the feast we celebrated Friday, and which we continue to celebrate today and throughout the Octave. This is what we are asked to do. Venerate the Sacred Heart. Make reparation.

And when Christ comes again, in his glory to judge both the quick and the dead, think ye, he asks, if he shall find faith in this earth? We look around at the state of the world, and we sometimes wonder too. But it isn’t for us to ask this question. On the contrary, our job is to answer it. We answer it by keeping that faith, by struggling on to make sure that this faith of our fathers is not “lost”! That our children do not lose their faith. That they have it, that they keep it, and that they love it. Love it enough not just to practice it themselves, but love it so much that they will want to pass it on to their children, and their children’s children, so that the faith of God and the love of God shall not perish from the earth.

And so, finally, we stand, humbled, before this image of God’s glory that is his love, his Sacred Heart. We know we are incapable of loving enough in return. Let us therefore approach the throne of God, let us kneel before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the source of all love, and let us simply implore, that we may love him, daily more and more.

 Sermons from the Chaplain