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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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Register and Subscribe

 

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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.

  Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

August 9, 2015

Will Wonders Never Cease?

If you read between the lines of today’s Gospel, we will find a rather sad commentary on human nature. As Our Lord approaches the town of Decapolis, his reputation apparently precedes him. The crowds rush out to see this man who works miracles. They are excited because they have heard he can perform wonders, and like children at a birthday party, they want to see the magician perform his tricks for them. And so when they present to Our Lord “one that was deaf and had an impediment to his speech”, we must suspect that it is not so much out of compassion for this poor afflicted man, but rather that they are motivated by curiosity and simple thrill-seeking.

Nevertheless, Our Lord cures the man. True, he first looks up to heaven and sighs, making us wonder if he is perhaps exasperated by the attitude of the crowd. But he does heal the deaf-mute all the same, to the gratitude of the poor man, and the frenzied delight of the crowd. “Tell no man about this”, Our Lord admonishes them. “But the more he charged them,” says the Gospel, “so much the more they published it.” They just couldn’t hold their tongues, but had to go around buzzing the latest big news, “Did you hear what just happened?”

If Our Lord lived today, and performed miracles here in Cincinnati, would we see the conversion of hundreds of thousands? Would we see a religious revival with empty churches refilled, long lines in front of the confessionals, crowds gathering to recite the Rosary? Or would we see the local news anchors broadcasting their live reports, the crowds going wild and taking selfies with the Messiah on their iPhones, teenage girls fainting in delirium, and the same whoops of delight that they showed in Decapolis all those many years ago. After all, we live in a celebrity culture today that far outdoes the mentality of first-century Galilee. Just a half century or so ago, people still had respect for kings, popes and presidents. Today, they are just celebrities, and when they come to town, the paparazzi chase them through the streets, we wave our handkerchiefs, take our photographs, and then can’t wait to get home to tell all our friends on Facebook who we’ve just seen.

And of course, nobody cares what the man says, nobody cares about the values he endorses, nobody has any interest in obeying the man’s authority, or respecting his wishes, or following his good example, or believing in him. After all, celebrities come and go, and our only stability in such a world as this is to cheer them on, and then to cheer them off, while we remain unchanged. This, I fear, is what Christ would find if he walked the Streets of West Chester today. He would be welcomed as a celebrity, and people would be more interested in what he can do, than in who he is.

Let’s not condemn such an attitude out of hand though, when we ourselves are partly guilty of it. For after all, aren’t we more concerned about what God can do for us when we have a problem, than what he has already done for us on the Cross? Don’t we turn to God only when we have a favour to ask? When we want him to intervene on our behalf? When we want him to perform a miracle for us? How many times a day do we remember his sacrifice on Calvary and give tearful thanks for our redemption? You see, we’re really not so far from the madding crowd, are we, demanding miracles and party tricks? And shame on us.

It’s no wonder then, that Our Lord sighs as he looks up to heaven. We can almost hear the frustration in his voice as he says to the deaf and dumb man “Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.” He cures the man, obviously not to please the crowds, but out of the pure motive of compassion he has for this pawn of the multitude, who through no fault of his own has been dragged in front of Our Lord for their entertainment. For him Our Lord has pity. And so we must hope that in spite of our own negligence in prayer when things are going well for us, he will take equal pity on us and our loved ones when we cry out for his mercy.

Note too what ails the man. He is deaf, and because he is deaf, he is not able to speak properly. You’ll find this is a normal occurrence with deaf people, especially those who have no hearing whatever. They have never heard human speech and so they don’t know what it’s supposed to sound like. They learn the mechanics of how to move their tongue and their lips and what to do. But when they speak, they sound strange to us.

The Church today has forgotten how to speak properly. They have spent such a long time since Vatican II shutting their ears to the voice of God, to the sound of the traditional language of faith and of moral values, the language of authority with which the Church used to speak, that they themselves have become deaf to God’s words, and now their voices sound strange to us. They babble about interfaith dialogues, and the people of God, and the theology of the body, and we wonder what on earth are they talking about.

The voice of God though continues to ring out in tones clear and true: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments;” “Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and mind and strength.” The words of God echo out the same message as they did when he first spoke them, and it is the message, not the miracles, that we are instructed to take to the world, teaching them and baptizing them in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We are charged by Christ to spread his Gospel, to bring his truth to mankind. His miracles were simply a way of proving that what he said was true. We mustn’t be distracted by the extraordinary away from what is truly important. Our mission is to take Christ’s message to Cincinnati and beyond, and without seeking fame and fortune, simply to repeat his words to the deaf and the dumb, asking for that one miracle of opening ears once more to receive the grace to hear these words of truth, and the grace to join us in speaking again with one clear voice the Holy Gospel of Christ.

 Sermons from the Chaplain