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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.

  Saint Luke the Evangelist and Mission Sunday

October 18, 2015

Lambs Among Wolves

The Church sets aside the third Sunday of October every year as Mission Sunday, and asks us to pray for the Missions. Our third Collect at Mass is for the Propagation of the Faith, the spreading of the Gospel so that in the entire world there may remain not one tiny corner where the people have not had the opportunity to receive the Word of God and become members of his Mystical Body the Church. By happy coincidence this year, today is also the feast of St. Luke, who was as you all know one of the four Evangelists, who along with Saints Matthew, Mark and John wrote the four Gospels, the very books by which that Word of God has been spread throughout the heathen nations.

The message that St. Luke disseminated in his Holy Gospel is the same message that we still endeavor to convey in these dark times of the 21st century. The message may be the same, but the world in which it is preached is vastly different.

We must remember that God gave to man the great gift of free will. God does not give gifts so that he can take them back later. And so, having given us this ability to make whatever choices we want, he does not interfere with those decisions. Nor, except for the occasional miracle, does he intervene in the consequences of those decisions we make. The course of world events has been guided by the hand of God only in the sense that God has given us the graces to avoid sin and to follow his will. But history shows that more often than not, men have chosen to disregard those graces and follow their own will, which, because of our fallen nature, has generally guided them into all manner of dangerous situations.

Those occasional miracles we mentioned did now and again prevent total disaster—the example of the Battle of Lepanto is a good example, where the fervent prayers of the entire Christian world stopped the Muslims in their plans to invade and conquer Catholic Europe. But there have been other events which have had far-reaching and often calamitous consequences for the world, and which have gradually dragged that same Catholic Europe, center for so many years of our western civilization, further and further away from God, and gradually into the cesspool of sin we witness today. And after the moral decay of Europe, the whole world followed.

Think for a moment what the world might have been were it not for the Protestant Reformation, the rise of Freemasonry, the French Revolution with its dangerous perversion of the notions of liberty, equality and fraternity. All these rebellions against the will of God eventually brought us to the overthrow of the monarchies, the rise of globalism, and eventually the contempt for the authority of God that we see today. After the corruption of the State it was then the turn of the Church, who, instead of remaining the last bastion of truth and virtue, decided to open its windows to the world and allow its demons to enter the very Holy of Holies.

With Vatican II, and in particular with the general abolition of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the days of Satan’s triumph had begun. They continue today, as the world prepares for the coming of the Antichrist.

This is the world in which we must now preach our Gospel. It is nothing like the world of St. Luke. Our Lord had been born in the fullness of time, when all the world was at peace, and the Roman Empire imposed a unity over all the nations. The pagan deities were growing old, and the minds and souls of men of good will were open to the message of redemption. Today, the sophisticated but twisted minds of men seem to be clamped shut. Very open in some ways, open to every form of error and perversity imaginable, but shut, oh so tight, against the values of Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular. Even the “Catholic Church” is today the sworn enemy of the Catholic Church.

All this makes it very difficult to attract the allegiance of the men of good will who are still out there. It is not easy for people to understand when we tell them that the Catholic Church founded on Peter the first Pope is the one, true and only path to salvation, while at the same time we accuse Peter’s apparent successor of defecting in his role as universal Shepherd. And when protestant mega-churches are flourishing financially and attract thousands of fervent followers every Sunday, how can we expect to attract people to our tiny enclaves of mostly silent devotion, where the only words they hear are in a language they don’t understand? The answer is, that humanly speaking, our task to evangelize in this current climate is naturally almost impossible.

And yet, today is Mission Sunday. Gone may be the days when tens of thousands of Catholic churches across America emptied their wallets into the collection baskets to support the dozens of religious orders who were devoted to spreading the Gospel across the world. And yet we still have our missions. We are no longer called to travel very far to be in mission territory—the entire world, not just the jungles of Africa any more, but our own neighborhood, has become mission territory, and the missionaries today, my dear brethren, are us.

The Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula was founded as a missionary order in this pagan world. Our task is no less than to restore the Church to her former position as a lighthouse of truth and virtue in the tempest-tossed seas of error and vice that threaten to swamp us all. Again, we invite all those men of good will who are ready to help in any way. We refuse to follow St. Peter in his triple denial of the Saviour. We follow him instead as he cast aside the chains of his imprisonment, armed with the keys of the kingdom. Our motto is “Tibi Claves”—thine are the keys, and if we want to unlock our own chains and free ourselves from the great apostasy, the modernist heresy “that presseth down upon us”, we must take those keys and find the liberty and peace that is found only in our service to the most High God.

That is why today, we need to pray to St. Luke the Evangelist. Although the world we live in is so very different from his, our message hasn’t changed, and the urgency with which it must be preached has not diminished, but increased. The state of our world today is far, far worse than at any time in its history, and we can’t just sit back and wait for the intervention of God. At the Battle of Lepanto, it was the fervent prayers of the entire Christian world that prevented a disaster. Churches, filled with the faithful reciting their rosary, convents filled with monks and nuns, all praying for victory against the Muslim hordes. Where is that world today? And where are those prayers? Let’s not be expecting any miracles any time soon.

Instead, let’s remember the commandment of Our Lord to go forth teaching and baptizing in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Let’s remember the words of today’s Holy Gospel, which you may have noticed, were written by St. Luke himself: “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” We are lambs among wolves—our task is not an easy one. But it is what is expected of us. Our Lord once wondered if he would find faith in the world when he returned to judge the quick and the dead. If he comes today, will he at least find us few, willing and eager to spread that faith and bring the good news of the Gospel, of Redemption, to an uncaring world? Or will he find us as he found the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane, sleeping? We cannot allow ourselves the luxury of sleeping through this crisis, when there is so much to be done. We cannot turn a blind eye when Our Lord’s Mystical Body today is suffering even as his soul suffered in the Garden—“my soul sorroweth unto death.” No. “Go ye forth: behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves.” We have a mission.

 Sermons from the Chaplain