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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.

 

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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.

  Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

November 8, 2015

An Enemy Hath Done This!

November is the month of the Holy Souls. Last Monday we commemorated all the souls of the faithful departed in the three Requiems of All Souls Day, and throughout this entire month we should try to have as many Masses offered as we can for our departed loved ones. Believe me, they will be grateful for our prayers and sacrifices, and for all the efforts we make to alleviate their suffering in Purgatory. This last week our Guild of St. Peter ad Vincula launched a new website dedicated to these suffering souls in Purgatory. Its aim is to provide Catholics with suitable prayers for the dead, and encourage them to say these prayers, to have Masses offered, and to recite the Office of the Dead. Please visit this site often, especially this month of November. The address is www.allsoulsguild.net. I hope you’ll find it an efficacious way of helping your departed loved ones: our Guild of All Souls has what we call a Bead List, a list of names of our dear departed which you can submit on the website and for whom our priests offer Mass every single month. There’s an easy form to submit, you don’t have to include a Mass stipend—it’s just an easy way to have Masses offered on a regular basis for those who have gone before us. Please help those who cannot help themselves.

This week in particular, we turn our attention to those who laid down their life for their country. Those of our armed forces, the dearest and the best of this land, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their nation. Not just of this country, but patriotic men and women from every land, who gave up their life for their homeland. On this Sunday closest to the anniversary of the end of hostilities at the end of the First World War, we commemorate the Fallen. Throughout the world today, on this Remembrance Sunday, the living gather around the cenotaphs and the war memorials, and lay wreaths in memory, lest we forget. In the United States for some reason, we keep these customs on Memorial Day the month of May, and the anniversary of the Armistice is dedicated instead to the veterans of our armed forces. This coming Wednesday, November 11, we give thanks for all the men and women who served in our armed forces, and who survived, who came home. To them, on behalf of all the rest of us who live in freedom and comfort today because of their sacrifices, I offer our humble gratitude. But together with those surviving veterans let us remember also today those who were left behind on those battlefields of Europe and the Pacific, of Korea and Vietnam and the deserts of the Middle East. To those soldiers and sailors, airmen and marines who survived, the Fallen cry out:

    When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
    For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.

And in the Ode of Remembrance For the Fallen, recited today at churches, cemeteries, and cenotaphs across the globe, we join in acknowledging their sacrifice and vow never to forget:

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
    We will remember them.

The veterans who came home from all that carnage, all that terrible loss of life, they above all others appreciate Peace. Only they know the cost of Peace. They understand, perhaps much better than we do, what St. Paul means in his Epistle today, when he says: if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” We need to take these words to heart, have the highest regard for Peace, and preserve it intact. “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts,” says St. Paul.

Without Christ there can never be peace. Christ was born in the silence of midnight in the bleak mid winter of Bethlehem. “Glory to God in the highest,” sang the Angels at Bethlehem, “and peace on earth to men of good will.” From the peace of that night, Our Lord grew up to teach us that “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” We have been repeating these Gospel words almost every day during this octave of All Saints. And not only in the Beatitudes did Christ preach the Gospel of Peace, but by his almost every word, his miracles, and his example.

And yet, with all the emphasis Our Lord places on peace, there rings out a bugle call of warning now and again: “Think not,” reminded our divine Saviour, “that I am come to bring peace on earth. I am come not to bring peace but a sword.” What a stark reminder that no matter how much we might try to keep the peace, there are others sometimes who are equally determined to pick a fight. And sometimes we have no choice but to fight back. Not in the spirit of revenge certainly, and always with charity, always ready to forgive our enemies. But it is a fight. We are in constant warfare against the forces of evil, and we have a moral responsibility to defend those who depend on us. This duty is as natural as that of the mother bear protecting her cubs, parents guarding their children from danger, and governments their people.

There is nothing more unnatural than the mother who would destroy her own child. But in the larger scheme of things, the government who would use its power against the good of its own people is the same perversity. It must never be forgotten that the first duty of a government is to protect the nation and its people. And yet there are those who think nothing of sacrificing the lives of our good men of the armed forces, of laying upon the altar the dearest and the best, for no better reason than to make themselves more rich and more powerful. These same governments think nothing of laying upon the altar of Moloch the blood of tens of thousands of the unborn. These are not the peacemakers. These are they who would wage war most foul against the laws of God and of the good nature he created. For them there can never be peace.

It is not our place to make peace with these powers of evil. For us, peace is what we must proclaim, like the angels of Bethlehem, to men of good will. But we must be ready to defend ourselves and fight to the death against those who are not. We must have the courage and the wisdom to recognize evil when we see it, to behold the iniquities that surround us today and say, like the householder in today’s Gospel, “An enemy hath done this.”

Let us beg God for the wisdom to tell them apart, the men of good will from those who would attack God’s holy kingdom. But once we know where our own battle lies, and for each of us this will be in different places, different times, against different enemies. But when we are shown our path, then we must march resolutely forward toward the battle lines, fearful of the outcome perhaps, but determined to lay down our lives for our Saviour, our Redeemer, our King. Our fallen soldiers have taught us an important lesson, that Peace comes at a price, and that price always represents sacrifice, and often our lifeblood.

Whether your battle is against poverty, or life-threatening disease, against injustice or persecution, whether your fight is with the temptations of the flesh or the spirit, or with the world and its vanities, or with the very devils of hell, remember today’s Gospel and examine closely what Christ has told us is the best way to proceed. When the servants ask the householder whether they should immediately gather up the destructive tares from among the wheat, he warns them that too much impatience in the beginning will lead them to destroy the wheat along with the tares. Far better to wait for the harvest, when we can more easily distinguish the tares from the wheat, and can separate them. We need to bide our time in this warfare against the enemy. For example, with the hundreds of thousands of migrants flooding into Europe right now from Syria and the Middle East. How many of them are genuine refugees, fleeing from the terrible persecutions against Christians and other groups that are going on right now? And how many of them are ISIS infiltrators, fifth columnists who will set up terrorist cells amongst us? Shall we condemn them all? Not according to today’s Gospel. We must wait until the harvest, and only then separate the enemies of God from among the good people. Patience is the key to Peace.

Today is a good day for remembering. Let us remember those who fell in the service of our country. Let us remember also those who came back, many of them with missing limbs or other scars, physical and psychological. They have fought our battles in our name. They have taught us that Peace must be paid for, and sometimes at a terrible price. Let us remember first and foremost that we cannot always send others to fight our wars for us, and that we too must do battle. When we look around us we can see plenty worth fighting for, and if we do as St. Paul says and put on the armor of charity which is the bond of perfection, we will know whom to fight, when to fight, and how to fight. And when our fighting is over, when we have “fought the good fight”, we can finally lay down our arms and find the peace that passeth all understanding, the eternal rest and perpetual light of God’s heavenly and everlasting kingdom.

 Sermons from the Chaplain