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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.

  Twenty-Sixth and Last Sunday after Pentecost

November 22, 2015

From End to Beginning

Today is the 26th Sunday after Pentecost. It is also the last Sunday after Pentecost. We are at the very end of Trinitytide, which began all the way back in June, and is the longest of all the seasons of the Church’s calendar. That liturgical calendar of the Church also ends this week—we are at the very end of the Church’s liturgical year. And like all endings, it is a time for looking back. A time to review what we have accomplished over the past year.

I’m not speaking about the accomplishments we have made in our career, in our finances, in our education, or our standard of living. Our review should me more like an examination of conscience, where we look back to last November at this time, and we ask ourselves one very simple question: “Am I closer to God now than I was then? Or am I farther away?”

I pray God that each and every one of us today can be happy with his answer to that question. Because we can never stand still in our relationship with God. It’s as impossible as staying in the same place while swimming in a fast-flowing river. We are always moving. And that movement is either towards God or away from him. If God is farther away from you now than he was last year, you need to really examine your conscience hard, and determine what went wrong. Because you’re going the wrong way, taking the wrong path somehow, and if you continue in that direction, eventually you will lose God altogether and with him your soul.

To prevent that from happening, our holy Mother the Church places before us today the terrifying picture of the end of the world. There’s a great deal going on in the world today. Wars and rumours of wars abound. Who knows where we’re headed. But let me say at least this: that while we might not know the day and the hour when these things shall come to pass, we do know one thing, namely that it will happen one day, and we’re a year closer to it than we were last November. Maybe it’s very close. I don’t know. Neither do you. And neither does anyone else. But eventually it will come to pass as our Lord prophesied. And even more important to realize is that, in a certain sense, for each and every one of us it will happen in our own lifetime. To be precise, it will take place at the end of our lifetime, at the moment of our death, when the time comes to meet our Maker.

And so therefore, once a year, at the very end of the year, we are reminded to keep our minds focused on the last things: death, judgment, heaven and hell, and to keep our souls prepared. The four last things. Three out of the four we shall most certainly experience for ourselves. The first two are evident, and are for everyone. Death shall surely come into our midst and the Grim Reaper will come a-calling one day. The next thing that happens is that we are judged. The stakes couldn’t be higher on that day. That judgment will determine which of the other two last ends is ours. Whether we will spend all eternity in heaven or in hell, and this is going to depend on how we live our life here and now. Whether we are moving towards God or away from him.

When we think about death and judgment, we imagine distant, far-off events. We fondly imagine that death will come to us when we’re 100 years old after spending a pleasant and pleasurable youth, followed by suitable church-going and multiple Rosaries when we’re old enough and feel like making up for our misspent youth. When we’re no longer capable of having fun and become so bored that we “have nothing better to do”. Who knows, maybe it will work out that way for us. God could postpone death for us until we reach a ripe old age. But how many examples are we personally familiar with, where God did not provide the luxury of a long life? Don’t count on it. Death could come to any one of us this afternoon. God forbid, but please—be ready for the judgment that follows.

Heaven or hell? Eternal happiness or eternal torment. No one likes to be reminded of these things, but this Sunday is the day where we can clearly focus on them. So again, think about it. Quo vadis? Whither goest thou? Are you moving towards God or away from him? After all, it’s ultimately up to you how you lead your life. When you stand before God you won’t be able to blame anybody else for the state of your soul. You can love God and love your neighbour. Or you can squander the opportunities God gives you to love him and your neighbour. What torment it must be for the damned souls in hell to remember every second of every day of their life, and to see every single opportunity they wasted. Opportunities to go to Confession, opportunities to avoid the occasion of sin, to practice a particular virtue, to attend Mass and receive Holy Communion, to say a Rosary, do a good turn for others… Hell is full of countless tens of thousands of souls who were given the same opportunities we have today. Like us, they said “later”. Like St. Augustine they postponed their conversion until another day. But unlike St. Augustine, they squandered their last chance, unaware probably that it was their last chance, and death intervened to bring them before the judgment seat before they were prepared. How much grief must they suffer today because they waited too long. And they will suffer the same gnawing of grief not just all day today, but tomorrow, and the day after and from this time forth forevermore, and it will never end, and it will never get any better, and you can only imagine the pit in your stomach as you’re sentenced by your loving Saviour, and realize that the rest of eternity will be spent in utter torment with no chance of escape.

This suffering of the damned souls is not because of God. It comes from our own unwillingness to serve God. All too often it’s because of our own defiance of the laws of God. But even more often it’s from our laziness in using the simple daily opportunities to do good. Our lack of will to correspond with the graces God gives us. God wants all men to be saved, and he gives all of us plenty of opportunities to come to him in heaven. Let us not mock God by turning our back on those opportunities, walking away from his open arms as he tries to welcome us into the life of grace. Instead, turn your back on the world, on its vanities, on its pleasures and riches, on its sinfulness, shut them out of your life once and for all, and convert unto God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength.

After all, look around you at this world. What does it truly have to offer? Pleasure? Money? Power over others? Would we really trade everlasting and total happiness in heaven for any of these things? All these things were created by God for us. Not so we would spend our life seeking them as an end in themselves, but for us to use according to his holy will, not for our fleeting pleasures. All we have, good and bad, whether it be good looks, intelligence, a specific talent, all good things come from above. They are given us by God in order to help us save our souls. So why on earth would we look to these things to replace God and the things of heaven? Why look to them to help us go against the will of God, and commit sin? It makes no sense. Are we guilty of this? Let’s take a look back on the last year, find the faults that have taken us away from God instead of drawing us ever closer to him.

This last Sunday of the year, let’s make the resolution now to put an end in our life to whatever attracts us away from Our Blessed Lord. Let this attraction, this attachment, come to an end along with the Church’s year. So that next Sunday, the first Sunday of the next liturgical year, Advent Sunday, we can make New Year’s resolutions to bring us back to God. “Turn thou us, O God our Saviour. And let thine anger cease from us.” Words we say at the night office of the Church, Compline, every single day of the year. Let’s make it our prayer today. If within our soul we can find any traces of that “abomination of desolation” that Our Lord speaks about today, then let’s banish it! Mortal sin, and just as importantly, the attachment to mortal sin, any sin, must be rooted out and destroyed once and for all. Today. Before the year ends. Before our life ends.

Yesterday we celebrated the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin, another feast of Our Lady when the Mother of our Saviour appears in our lives to guide us, to be our shining light, our beacon, Guide of the Wanderer, Star of the Sea. When you look around the world, and see nothing but terror attacks, threats, death, confusion, when you’re confused and don’t know the right way, place yourself under her protection. Many years ago, she appeared to St. Catherine Labouré in the city of Paris and warned of the calamities that would one day come upon that city: “"The moment will come,” she said, “when the danger will be enormous; it will seem that all is lost; at that moment, I will be with you; have confidence... have confidence. Do not be discouraged. I shall be with you." Keep your Rosary beads in your hands, and ask your Mother in heaven to guide you to her side, always walking in the right direction. Always towards her divine Son, and never away, down the wrong path. Ask her to pray for you “now”, in this life, that you will see all the opportunities God gives you to do good. Ask her to pray for you so that you may have a happy death. A death where you can peacefully give up the ghost, and cheerfully go to your judgment with a clear conscience. Don’t fear what’s going on in the world, be afraid of what’s going on in your own soul. Don’t worry about the end of the world, worry about the end of yours. “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.”

 Sermons from the Chaplain