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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?

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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.

  Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

July 12, 2015

How Does Your Garden Grow?

During that first momentous week of history, that week when on the first day God created the Light and separated it from the darkness, and saw that the Light was good; during that first week when he created all the stars in the heavens and all the birds of the air and the fishes of the sea; during that first week when God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul; then did the Lord God plant a garden. “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden,” says the Book of Genesis, “and there he put the man whom he had formed.”
And what did Our Lord make to grow in this Garden of Eden? Holy Scripture tells us that “Out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food.” Nothing but good trees did God plant in this garden. Good to look at, and bearing good fruit. And he could have stopped right there, and goodness is all we would ever have known.

However, God wanted to be loved freely. He is not satisfied with the love shown him by the lifeless rocks, or by trees and flowers that sway in the wind and obey his natural laws, nor even with the love of the animals and birds and fishes, who by their God-created nature instinctively follow the laws of God. To be loved freely. This was the very reason for Creation. The reason why he created Man, a higher being, endued with reason and with free will, who would surely therefore freely choose to love his Creator, with all his heart and mind and soul. Or would he? Man had to be tested. There had to be a freely made choice, whether or not Man would freely love God by submitting his human will to the divine, by freely and voluntarily obeying God’s laws. What laws? There weren’t any laws yet. And so God made a law. Just one law. First he created another tree of a very different sort, and planted it in the very center of the Garden. It looked like all the other trees, pleasant to behold, and bearing what looked like good fruit. And God gave Adam and Eve their one and only law, that they should not eat of the fruit of that tree. Because this was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Remember that Good and Evil are not two separate and distinct things or beings. Evil is nothing but the absence of Good, just as Darkness is the absence of Light. So far, Adam and Eve had known only what God had created. And everything that God had created was good. But we know what happened next. Adam and Eve were about to come into contact with the knowledge of something God did NOT create, the knowledge of the absence of good, the knowledge of the absence of God in their souls. We are all too familiar with that dreadful day when Eve wandered alone into the middle of the garden and was confronted and tempted by the ancient Serpent. How she tasted the fruit and then enticed her husband Adam to do the same. How they both tasted the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. And now they knew Evil. They became acquainted with the Absence of Good, as sanctifying grace was withdrawn from their souls, and they realized with horror that they had committed an unspeakable act which had separated them from God, who is all Good. They had freely chosen to disobey him. They had committed a sin!

Between that awful day and the coming of the Messiah, that separation of God and Man continued. But then one day the Archangel Gabriel appeared to a young maiden. A young maiden who had been specially chosen by God and prepared for this moment by being the first and only person ever to be conceived without the sin of Adam and Eve. And the moment she acquiesced freely to God’s request that she be the Mother of his Son, at that instant when she was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost, there came an end to that long separation of God and Man, as God became Man in her womb. God and Man were reunited that day, and blessed Mary crushed the head of Satan with her heel.

Before the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, mankind was the servant of sin. St. Paul tells us in today’s Epistle that “When ye were the servants of sin, ye brought forth the fruits of death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” This is what makes things different today, since Our Lord freed us from the bondage of sin. We can now produce good fruit. “Fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” This holiness is the fruit of our Christian life.

And this of course brings us to the whole point of the lesson the Church gives us this Sunday, why she reminds us that by your fruits shall ye be known. We must examine ourselves most carefully on this point. What is, ask yourselves, truly, the fruit of your Christian life? Here we all are, gathered together again, just another Sunday, just another routine weekend when we roll up to church Sunday morning, and sit there quietly while some dude in fancy clothes performs some ritual in a language we don’t understand, we put a few dollars in the collection plate so they can afford to do it again next week, then we go home and get down to the real business of watching football and putting the ribs on the grill. Is that it? Is that how we are supposed to love God with all our hearts and minds and souls? Is this the response God is looking for after creating us out of the dust of the earth, after being scourged, and mocked, and crowned with thorns, and nailed to a cross so that we might not be separated from him for ever? Be honest with yourselves. Has this Mass become a part of your routine, like brushing your teeth or taking out the trash?

I’m sure that most of you here will simply smile and say, no, that’s not me. And perhaps you’re right. Perhaps you can congratulate yourselves that you’re better than that. Don’t. Because none of us can ever rise to the holiness that God asks, nay, demands of us. None of us can ever possibly rise by ourselves to the degree of perfection that God tells us is necessary for us to save our souls. And so thank God for the seven Sacraments. Thank God that he has given us these sources of grace, especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, so that we can rise when we fall, and be nourished with all the graces of his eternal Being. Thank God that he has given us these Sacraments to raise us up from the dust from which we were created, from the stench of sin into which we have so often fallen, to raise us up into the loving arms of his Divine Son, stretched out in welcome on the Cross, and into the very Heart of Jesus, opened with the lance so that we may mystically enter into God’s very being, and he into ours.

That is our call today. To look in the mirror, and make sure that “holiness is the fruit of our Christian life.” Is it? Are we at least making progress in virtue?

Every Christian is like a tree planted in Our Lord’s vineyard. Our Lord, the divine Gardener, has planted our soul in good, fertile ground, in the Holy Catholic Church, where our souls are watered by the living water of grace that flows from the Sacraments. He has tended to us as we grow, cutting off our useless branches by means of trials, curing our diseases and attachment to sin by his Passion and death. He has watered our roots with his Precious Blood. What more could he have done for us than what he has done? And then one day, Our Lord comes to his vineyard, and he finds us, his little tree, that he has planted and nourished and fed and cared for. And he looks, and he asks what kind of fruit his little tree is bearing. By their fruit ye shall know them. And when he looks to you, will he see the fruit of holiness? Or will he see in your fruit the maggots of ingratitude, indifference, attachment to your own pleasures? Don’t wait for Our Lord to pay his final visit to your vineyard for the harvest. Because on that dread day when the grapes of wrath are stored, “quando caeli movendi sunt et terra” (as the priest will pray over your casket), there will be no more chances, and by your fruit ye shall be known—forever. Either as good fruit to be lovingly gathered into the harvest, or as rotten, putrid fruit, to be thrown into the pit of fire.

So work with God while ye may. Cooperate with the divine Gardener. He may have expelled us from the Garden of Eden, but he has nevertheless built this other garden in his sight, this vineyard in which we may grow in holiness, this vineyard we call the Catholic Church. Ask the head Gardener for whatever you need to cultivate your fruit. Ask for those other Gifts of God–the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost. The gifts of wisdom and understanding and counsel and fortitude, of knowledge and piety and fear of the Lord, all those gifts that we so desperately need to grow in holiness. It’s not enough just to go to confession, to avoid sin. It’s not enough to spray Weed-B-Gon. That won’t make fruit appear on our trees. We need seeds and water and fertilizer before we can grow in virtue, grow our fruits.

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost are like Miracle-Gro. They will help us grow quickly, allowing to form those perfections of the Christian life which we can never hope to attain without them. Those perfections which we call, not by chance, the Twelve Fruits of the Holy Ghost. Yes, you will be known by your fruit. And these are those twelve fruits, those perfections, by which we hope to be known by God and our neighbour. Look at these fruits, choose one or two of them, or choose all twelve, and be known by their name: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control, and Chastity.

Are we known yet by any of these names? Let’s face it, what are we really known as? “Traditional Catholics”? And what is the fruit of traditional Catholicism? If only we could say “Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience,” and so on. But the rest of the world, those poor unfortunates who are seeking so hard to find something better, what do they see in us? To these people, WE are the fruit of traditional Catholicism. And it’s up to us then, how traditional Catholicism is to be known. Is the “traddie” label to be associated for ever with hypocrisy, fanaticism, self-righteousness, arrogance; with being holier-than-thou, condemning of others, divisive, cliquish, opinionated? Is it by these fruits we want to be known? And how our Holy Mother Church is to be known? Because we are the fruits of that Church, and by us shall she be known! Listen one more time, please, to the list of fruits of the Holy Ghost: Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Generosity, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Modesty, Self-control, and Chastity; and remind yourselves from this time forth that the more of us that are known by these fruits, the more not only we but the true Catholic Church of tradition might be known for holiness—one of the four marks, if you will remember of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This is how we are to recognize the true Church. By these four marks, including holiness. So if you want our traditional form of Catholicism to be recognized as the true form of the Church, if you want to restore the Church, then let your fruits be holy too.

So, how does your garden grow? First weed out the sins, then plant the seeds of virtue. Use the Seven Sacraments as your heavenly food. Implore the help of God’s Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost so that your virtues flourish. And then let your fruits ripen and shine forth. Be known by these fruits by your neighbour who, you may be sure, sees and judges all you do. And be known by these fruits by God, who most certainly sees and judges all you do. The day of the harvest is fast approaching. So remember that on that day “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” It’s time to do a little gardening.


 Sermons from the Chaplain