Wednesday, December 09, 2009

4th Sunday of Advent - yayness

For the 3rd Sunday of Advent - Gaudete!

Rejoice! It's Gaudete Sunday coming up! :)

Rorate Caeli ...

Jesus, Mary, I love You; Save Souls!


Monday, December 07, 2009

Beethoven's Heiligenstadt Testament

I was enthralled when I read this:

The Heiligenstadt Testament (translation)

For my brothers Carl and [Johann] Beethoven

Oh you men who think or say that I am malevolent, stubborn, or misanthropic, how greatly do you wrong me? You do not know the secret cause which makes me seem that way to you. From childhood on, me heart and soul have been full of the tender feeling of goodwill, and I was ever inclined to accomplish great things. But, think that for six years now I have been hopelessly afflicted, made worse by senseless physicians, from year to year deceived with hopes of improvement, finally compelled to face the prospect of a lasting malady (whose cure will take years or, perhaps, be impossible). Though born with a fiery, active temperament, even susceptible to the diversions of society, I was soon compelled to withdraw myself, to live life alone. If at times I tried to forget all this, oh how harshly I was I flung back by the doubly sad experience of my bad hearing. Yet it was impossible for me to say to people, "Speak louder, shout, for I am deaf." Ah, how could I possibly admit an infirmity in the one sense which ought to be more perfect in me than others, a sense which I once possessed in the highest perfection, a perfection such as few in my profession enjoy or ever have enjoyed.--Oh I cannot do it; therefore forgive me when you see me draw back when I would have gladly mingled with you.
My misfortune is doubly painful to me because I am bound to be misunderstood; for me there can be no relaxation with my fellow men, no refined conversations, no mutual exchange of ideas. I must live almost alone, like one who has been banished; I can mix with society only as much as true necessity demands. If I approach near to people a hot terror seizes upon me, and I fear being exposed to the danger that my condition might be noticed. Thus it has been during the last six months which I have spent in the country. By ordering me to spare my hearing as much as possible, my intelligent doctor almost fell in with my own present frame of mind, though sometimes I ran counter to it by yielding to my desire for companionship. But what a humiliation for me when someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone standing next to me heard a flute in the distance and I heard nothing, or someone heard a shepherd singing and again I heard nothing. Such incidents drove me almost to despair; a little more of that and I would have ended me life -- it was only my art that held me back. Ah, it seemed to me impossible to leave the world until I had brought forth all that I felt was within me. So I endured this wretched existence -- truly wretched for so susceptible a body, which can be thrown by a sudden change from the best condition to the very worst. -- Patience, they say, is what I must now choose for my guide, and I have done so -- I hope my determination will remain firm to endure until it pleases the inexorable Parcae to break the thread. Perhaps I shall get better, perhaps not; I am ready. -- Forced to become a philosopher already in my twenty-eighth year, oh it is not easy, and for the artist much more difficult than for anyone else. 'Divine one, thou seest me inmost soul thou knowest that therein dwells the love of mankind and the desire to do good'. Oh fellow men, when at some point you read this, consider then that you have done me an injustice; someone who has had misfortune man console himself to find a similar case to his, who despite all the limitations of Nature nevertheless did everything within his powers to become accepted among worthy artists and men. 'You, my brothers Carl and [Johann], as soon as I am dead, if Dr. Schmidt is still alive, ask him in my name to describe my malady, and attach this written documentation to his account of my illness so that so far as it possible at least the world may become reconciled to me after my death".
At the same time, I declare you two to be the heirs to my small fortune (if so it can be called); divide it fairly; bear with and help each other. What injury you have done me you know was long ago forgiven. To you, brother Carl, I give special thanks for the attachment you have shown me of late. It is my wish that you may have a better and freer life than I have had. Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience; this was what upheld me in time of misery. Thanks to it and to my art, I did not end my life by suicide -- Farewell and love each other -- I thank all my friends, particularly Prince Lichnowsky's and Professor Schmidt -- I would like the instruments from Prince L. to be preserved by one of you, but not to be the cause of strife between you, and as soon as they can serve you a better purpose, then sell them. How happy I shall be if can still be helpful to you in my grave -- so be it. -- With joy I hasten to meed death. -- If it comes before I have had the chance to develop all my artistic capacities, it will still be coming too soon despite my harsh fate, and I should probably wish it later -- yet even so I should be happy, for would it not free me from a state of endless suffering? -- Come when thou wilt, I shall meed thee bravely. -- Farewell and do not wholly forget me when I am dead; I deserve this from you, for during my lifetime I was thinking of you often and of ways to make you happy -- please be so --

Ludwig van Beethoven


October 6th, 1802

Taken from


Little Baby Jesus, Christmas Preparation

December, the month dedicated to the Divine Infancy
Second Sunday of Advent
St. Nicholas - Bishop, Confessor
"The More You Honor Me, The More I Will Bless You."
DEVOTION to the Infant Jesus of Prague is devotion to the Child Jesus. It is veneration of the Son of God, who in the form of an infant chose a stable for a palace, a manger for a cradle, and shepherds for worshipers.Our Savior grants special graces to all who venerate His sacred Infancy. The image of the Child Jesus known as the "Infant Jesus of Prague" was in reality of Spanish origin. In the 17th century, this beautiful statue was brought by a Spanish princess to Bohemia and presented to a Carmelite monastery. For many years this statue has been enshrined on a side altar in the Church of Our Lady of Victory in the city of Prague. It is of wax, and is about nineteen inches high. It is clothed in a royal mantle, and has a beautiful jeweled crown on its head. Its right hand is raised in blessing; its left holds a globe signifying sovereignty.
So many graces have been received by those who invoke the Divine Child before the original statue that it has been called "The Miraculous Infant Jesus of Prague." We read the following in an old book printed in Kempt: "All who approach the miraculous statue and pray there with confidence receive assistance in danger, consolation in sorrows, aid in poverty, comfort in anxiety, light in spiritual darkness, streams of grace in dryness of soul, health in sickness, and hope in despair.
"No colic is so painful, no fever so violent, no malady so dangerous, no peril so great, no tumor so malignant, no insanity so raving, no complaint so irritating, no assault of Satan so furious, no pestilence so infectious, no swelling so serious, as not to be dispelled or cured by this blessed Child. The Holy Infant puts an end to enmities, frees prisoners, saves those who are condemned to death, brings obstinate sinners to repentance and blesses childless parents with offspring. In short, He is become all to all."
In thanksgiving for the numerous graces and cures received, the miraculous statue at Prague was solemnly crowned on the Sunday after Easter, in 1655.
What is said of the original statue may be applied also to the images of the "Little King" which are venerated everywhere, in churches and chapels, homes and schools, monasteries and convents the world over. From small beginnings, this devotion has grown to great proportions, so that it is almost as universal as the Church itself. The Divine Child attracts an ever-increasing number of clients, who appeal to Him in every need.
-- From a publication of the Benedictine Convent of Perpetual Adoration -Clyde, Missouri. 31st edition, February, 1960. Imprimatur and Nihil ObstatJanuary 20, 1960.

Besides the use of the Advent wreath, a number of traditions exist which are designed to help the Christian family, especially the children, in their preparation for the feast of Our Lord's Nativity.

Among public practices of this kind is the custom of holding a novena before December 25. In the Latin countries of Europe and South America, this novena is held as an evening devotion in church, with prayers and benediction of the Blessed Sacrament (Novena del Nino). In Central Europe it is a novena of Masses which are said early in the morning.

In the spirit of this ancient tradition, families could add a small feature to their daily Advent prayers to bring out the character of the novena. One suggestion might be to use the famous "O Antiphons," which in themselves form a kind of liturgical novena within the Divine Office. A good English translation may be found in the pamphlet, Family Advent Customs, by Helen McLoughlin (The "O Antiphons" or "Greater Antiphons" are also found in the traditional St. Andrew Daily Missal following the Third Sunday of Advent. See below.)

For grown-up members of the family and for older children there could be no better way, of course, to make this novena than daily attendance at Mass, if possible.

Another custom, which originated in France but spread to many other countries, is the practice of having the little children prepare a soft bedding in the manger by using wisps of hay or straw as tokens of prayers and good works. Every night a child is allowed to put into the crib one token for each act of virtue or devotion performed in preparation for Christmas. Thus, the figure of the Christ Child will find on Christmas day an ample supply of tender straw to soften the hardness of the manger's boards.

An old Catholic custom is the writing of "Christmas letters" by the small children. These letters, addressed to the Child Jesus (not to Santa Claus), are written or dictated by the little ones sometime before Christmas. They contain their wishes concerning presents, petitions for various intentions and a promise of sincere effort to please Our Lord in preparation for Christmas. When they go to bed, the children put their letters on the windowsill, from where "angels" take them during the night to bring them to the Child Jesus in Heaven. This charming custom helps the parents to impress on the minds of their little ones the importance of a sincere spiritual preparation and at the same time acquaints them with their children's desires and wishes for particular presents. Parents who favor this custom will often be deeply touched then they discover that some of their children put more stress on spiritual graces than on mat! erial gifts, even on an occasion like this.

Finally comes Christmas Eve, the day of immediate preparation. An atmosphere of joy and solemnity pervades the house. It is on this day (and not before) that the Christmas tree and all other decorations should be put up. The hearts of the children are filled with the spirit of the day, which alternates between devotion and happy excitement.

With a little effort on the part of parents, the activities of Christmas Eve could be organized into an inspiring unit of prayer, work and celebration. A division of tasks and a spirit of teamwork will heighten the joys of the day. According to ancient traditions, the evening meal might be arranged as a festive occasion. For the last time, the Advent devotion is held, and a little prayer or song might be included which expresses the thought of the glorious vigil, like this ancient prayer-hymn, inspired by the Introit of the Rorate Mass:

Dews of Heaven, bring the Just One,
Clouds may rain Him from above!
Thus the nations, still in darkness,
Cried for mercy, peace and love.
Open, earth, and grow the flower
Radiant with grace and power!
Lift your hearts, the time is near:
Christ the Lord will soon appear.

God the Son, in human nature
Was made flesh and dwelled on earth;
Life and light, in grace abundant,
He bestowed of priceless worth.
Men rejoice, exult with gladness;
Do not fear, dispell your sadness.
Raise your hearts, the time is near:
Christ the Lord will soon appear.


December 17
O Wisdom, Who didst come out of the mouth of the Most High, reaching from end to end and ordering all things mightily and sweetly: come and teach us the way of prudence.

December 18
O Adonai, and Leader of the house of Israel, Who didst appear to Moses in the flame of the burning bush, and didst give unto him the Law on Sinai: come and with an outstretched arm redeem us.

December 19
O Root of Jesse, Who dost stand for an ensign of the people, before Whom kings shall keep silence, and unto Whom the Gentiles shall make their supplication: come to deliver us, and tarry not.

December 20
O Key of David and Sceptre of the house of Israel, Who dost open and no man doth shut, Who dost shut and no man doth open, come and bring forth from his prison-house the captive that sitteth in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 21
O Dawn of the East, Brightness of the Light Eternal and Sun of Justice, come and enlighten them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.

December 22
O King of the Gentiles and the Desired of them, Thou Cornerstone that dost make both one, come and deliver man, whom Thou didst form out of the dust of the earth.

December 23
O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Expected of the Nations and their Saviour, come to save us, O Lord our God.

- From -
"Devotion to the Infant Jesus of Prague" booklet - - is available in our Store - - for 65¢ ea.
2010 Liturgical Calendars are available also for only $9 - a great spiritual gift.
Another great gift idea, from our friends at "Blessed Margaret Family Help Center" - - is the book "The Hook and I" - a Catholic 12-Step program to overcome any addiction and to grow in sanctity - available from their website and in our Store -
Sincerely in Christ,
Our Lady of the Rosary Library
"Pray and work for souls"


Friday, December 04, 2009


... Without music, life would be a mistake ...

That was a silly statement to make, but here goes my night post, I had to post it:

SSO was brilliant tonight.

Beethoven is a genius.

I love his Symphony No. 7, especially the second movement, Allegretto.

Here's a link to watch Herbert Von Karajan conducting Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op. 92.

If I had more time, I would find out which orchestra is playing with Von Karajan in the link above (or is it the other way around, I'm getting tired, so that's why my sentences can't come out right), but the night is coming down on me, and it is off to dreamland where I pray, my dearest guardian angel, JMJ, my soul to keep.

Jesus, Mary, I love You; Save Souls!


Our Preparation for Christmas

I post this post ... for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, one more week to Gaudete Sunday, two more weeks to the 4th Sunday of Advent, approximately three more weeks to Christmas!!


Quotable Quotes

... for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

cum sitis mali ex abundantia enim cordis os loquitur

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, sed dulcis pro patria vivere, et dulcissimum pro patria bibere. Ergo, bibamus pro salutae patriae.
"It is sweet and right to die for the homeland, but it is sweeter to live for the homeland, and the sweetest to drink for it. Therefore, let us drink to the health of the homeland."

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori:
mors et fugacem persequitur uirum
nec parcit inbellis iuuentae
poplitibus timidoue tergo.
(Quintus Horatius Flaccus) Horace's Odes III, 2.13


How to Tell Stories to Children