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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.

  Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

August 2, 2015

A Tale of Two Sinners

We can call Our Lord’s parable in today’s Gospel the “Tale of Two Sinners.”  We know they are both sinners from the very beginning of the story:  “Two men went up into the temple to pray.”  As soon as we hear the words “two men” we know we are dealing with two sinners, because all men are sinners.  One of the men is a proud and pompous Pharisee, who struts his way to the front of the temple.  The other man creeps into the temple unobserved and remains hidden in the dark shadows at the back.   Their demeanour does not belie the fact that they are both sinners.  But look at the difference with which they approach God.  The Pharisee at the front of the temple makes a great display of himself, thanking God that he is “not as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.  I fast twice a week, I give away a tenth of all that I possess.”  The second man, a publican, remains in obscurity beating his breast, and confessing to God his sins in prayers of abject humility and penitence: “O God, be merciful unto me, a sinner.”

Let’s compare these two men.  Who is the better of the two?  Our Lord, of course, tell us that it is the publican at the back of the temple who goes away “justified” rather than the other.  And he tells us why.  He reminds us that “every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

The lesson is there for us to take.  Let’s apply it to ourselves, for we are all like these men insofar as we are all sinners.  No doubt there are elements of both men in our character, and Our Lord is quite clear that we must try to eradicate any traits we might have of the proud Pharisee, while we must emulate the example of the humble publican.  Let’s take a closer look at one essential difference between them.  What does the Pharisee do that the publican doesn’t do?

The Pharisee compares himself to the other man.  “Thank God I’m not like other men like this publican over here.”  How easy it is for us to do the same thing.  “Thank God I’m a traditional Catholic, that I know my faith, that I follow the commandments of God and the Church, that I do things the right way—not like Novus Ordo people, or Protestants, or Jews, or Muslims.”  “Thank you God, for making me a good man.  For making me so much better than people like Barack Obama, or Pope Francis,”—or whatever boogey man you choose to compare yourself to.  It’s so easy to do this, isn’t it?  After all, we are better than these bad guys, aren’t we?  Or are we?  Let’s remember that’s for God to judge.  God will decide who is better than someone else.  And Our Lord certainly doesn’t like the Pharisee’s way of thinking, where we tell God that we are better than the other person.  He doesn’t want us to exalt ourselves.  When we think we are better than someone else, we are guilty of pride, that deadly sin of pride that cometh before a fall.  And if we exalt ourselves, then surely shall we be humbled.

Take another look at the publican, the man whose example we are supposed to follow.  He doesn’t compare himself to the Pharisee.  He doesn’t fall into the trap of saying: “God, I thank thee that I’m not like this Pharisee over there, all puffed up and full of himself.  Thank you, God, for making me humble instead.”  If he had, he would have been no better than the other man.  What he does though is to compare himself not with other men, but with God.  God who is all good, all loving, all merciful.  And in the presence of such a God, how can he do anything other than prostrate himself in the shame of knowing what a terrible sinner he is.  As we all are.  For who is like unto God? as St. Michael demanded of Lucifer, the greatest, most beautiful and most powerful of all the angels.  Even Lucifer was nothing next to God.  And certainly, we, with our foibles, our weaknesses, our attachments to material things and our own appetites and pleasures, we mere mortals are shamefully wanting when we come before God’s presence and recognize his greatness.

And so we must abase ourselves, not exalt ourselves.  Let’s never congratulate ourselves for anything good we do, or for a job well done!  Rather let us remember our faults, our own faults, our own most grievous faults.  Let us never, ever compare our good points and talents with those of other men.  Perhaps they have been given different gifts.  Perhaps they are striving harder to accomplish less, while we find it oh so easy to do so much more!  Remember that God looks at the efforts, not the results.  Maybe they are struggling with temptations, weaknesses, disadvantages that we know nothing about.  We might know they are sinners, but we don’t know, we can’t know, why they sin, or how hard they struggle against their sin.  This is for God alone to judge.

When we kneel before God, we must avoid all such comparisons between ourselves and others, and instead remember that it is to God alone, in all his infinite holiness, that we must compare ourselves!  What are we before God?  Who is like unto God?  Remember man, that thou art dust!  Forget everyone else, and beg mercy for your own soul.  “O God, be merciful unto me, a sinner.”  This is the man who will go down to his house justified.  This is the man who will save his soul.


 Sermons from the Chaplain