Thursday, 24 June 2010

Happy 'Summer Christmas'

I’ve a small tendency to talk about what an Extraordinary Privilege it is attend a daily Tridentine Mass, so much so that someone commented recently, ‘you’d think you were talking about cocaine, not a Mass. Steady on old girl!’
But here I go again…Today, a congregation of 15 came from far and wide to attend a private Tridentine Latin Mass in  Brompton Oratory.Today is the magnificent feast of The Nativity of St. John the Baptist, our ‘Summer Christmas’. After all, the Archangel Gabriel said ‘many would rejoice in the birth of St. John the Baptist’. This was owing to St. John the Baptist’s being ‘the prophet of the Highest; thou shalt go before the Lord to prepare His ways. Alleluia.’ (Gradual Jerem. i. 5,9) During Mass, part of the gradual stirred me; ‘before I formed thee in the bowels of thy mother, I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee’. Before his conception, St. John the Baptist was destined to prepare souls for the coming of Our Lord and to proclaim Jesus.


PS - When I was growing up in Ireland, religious education sometimes involved teaching more about the paganism that was the precursor to St. Patrick, rather than the religion he brought. And here was the video when as a teenager, I first learned a cogent account of St. John the Baptist. It probably remains the most Catholic education some souls of generation ‘Modern Ireland’ have had. Visuals, including the proliferation of stubble on St. John the Baptist’s cheeks will offend traddie Catholic sensibilities…avert thine eyes…!

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