Thursday, May 30, 2013

Saturday, May 25, 2013


Now comes the most special part of the Mass, when the bread and the wine will be changed into the true Body and Blood of Jesus.

The priest will make the sign of the cross over the bread and wine and repeat the words that Jesus said at the Last Supper when He said, "This is my Body," and "This is my Blood."  Jesus then said, "Do this in memory of me."  And so we obey Jesus' command and we do this at every Mass.

When the priest lifts up the Sacred Host and the Sacred Chalice, let us lift up to God the Father, along with Jesus, our own little selves, with all of our little sacrifices and gifts of love.  Just as the little white Host is small, we too are small and humble.  But when we are one with Jesus all our gifts to God are beautiful to Him.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


At the Sanctus, the bell is rung to make us remember that the most important and holiest part of the Mass has begun, when Jesus, through His priest, will change the bread into His real Body and the wine into His real Blood.

When we say "Sanctus" or "Holy," we repeat the praise and adoration of the angels in heaven to God.  Jesus is God made man.  He sacrifices His Body and pours out His Blood, so He is a man; but He is also God.  We eat His Body and drink His Blood so He is a man with flesh and blood; but we also receive God Almighty in Holy Communion.

When we say "Hosanna in excelsis," or "Hosanna in the highest," we are repeating what the people said when Our Lord entered Jerusalem as the Messiah or Savior.  Jesus is also coming now to our altars as our Lord and Savior.


Meditation for the Ninth Day: On the Fruits of the Holy Ghost

The Gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to Divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Ghost, speaking through the Church, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with true joy and consolation and are known as the fruits of the Holy Ghost. These fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, "to serve Whom is to reign."

Friday, May 17, 2013



Meditation for the Eighth Day: On the Gift of True Wisdom

Embodying all other gifts, as charity embraces all other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of Wisdom it is written: "...all good things come to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands." It is the Gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies our hope, perfects charity, promotes the practice of virtues in the highest degree, and makes us to appreciate the beauty and treasures of our holy Catholic Faith. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things Divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a Divine sweetness according to the words of Our Savior: "Take up thy cross and follow Me, for My yoke is sweet and My burden light."




Thursday, May 16, 2013


Meditation for the Seventh Day: On the Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, according to the mind of the Church, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles taught by the Church, and enlivened by Knowledge and Understanding, to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as Religious, as parents, as members of the Church, and as Christian citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. "Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth."


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Meditation for the Sixth Day: On the Gift of Understanding

Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy Religion as taught to us by the Apostolic hierarchy of the Church. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them. It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and through them to be quickened to a newness of Life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to "walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God."


Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Meditation for the Fifth Day: On the Gift of Knowledge

The Gift of Knowledge enables the soul to know those truths essential to our salvation as taught by Holy Mother Church and thereby to evaluate created things as to their true worth--their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of mere creatures, reveals their emptiness, and makes clear their sole purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. "Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it."


Monday, May 13, 2013


Meditation for the Fourth Day: On the Gift of Fortitude

By the Gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample underfoot human respect, and to endure without complaint, the slow martyrdom of an even lifelong tribulation. "He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved."


Sunday, May 12, 2013


Meditation for the Third Day: On the Gift of Piety

The Gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake, persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the saints, the Church and its visible Head, and our parents and superiors. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.


Saturday, May 11, 2013


Meditation for the Second Day: On the Gift of Fear

The Gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of Hell, but from the sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our Heavenly Father. It is fear that is the beginning of true wisdom, detaching us from the worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. "They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls."



Now the priest is about to begin the most important part of the Mass, when God will change, through the priest's words and actions, the bread into the true Body of Jesus and the wine into the true Blood of Jesus.

Because this part of the Mass is so important, the priest says a prayer right before he begins this part.  This prayer is called the Preface.

In the Preface, the priest thanks and praises God for all the good blessings He has given us.

At this part of the Mass, think of all the good things you have in your home; your parents, family, home, food, clothing.  Think of your friends and the school you go to.  Think of your religion and the sacraments and the saints.  They lead you to heaven!

Friday, May 10, 2013


For the daily prayers of the Novena, go to :

Meditation for the First Day: On the Holy Ghost

Only one thing is important--eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared--sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will and inflames the heart with the love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for "the Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us."



In the name of the +Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Opening Hymn

Come Holy Ghost, Creator blessed, and in our hearts take up Thy rest!
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid, to fill the hearts which Thou hast made, To fill the hearts which Thou hast made! To fill the hearts which Thou hast made!

Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost, I consecrate to Thee my body with its senses, and I beg of Thee to employ them for the greater glory of God. Holy Ghost, I consecrate to Thee my eyes, that they may look only upon my Jesus. Holy Ghost, I consecrate to Thee my ears, that they may be attentive only to Thy Divine inspirations. Holy Ghost, I consecrate to Thee all my senses, that they may serve me only to love Jesus and to sacrifice myself for Him. Holy Ghost, I consecrate to Thee my heart with all its affections, that captivated alone by the charms and the delights of Thy love, it may ever find in Thee peace, truth, strength, light, and all Thy gifts and fruits, that loving Thee every day more and more, and making Thee loved by many souls, and by the whole world, were it possible, Thou mayest also love me more and more, and make me holy with all those that I love. Amen.



Heavenly Father, through the merits of Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, bestow on me the grace of the Holy Ghost in this my petition (here silently make your request).

Prayer to the Holy Ghost

O Holy Ghost, Soul of my soul, I adore Thee, I love Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee. Enlighten, guide, strengthen, console me. Inspire me what I ought to do, and command me to do it. I promise to be submissive in everything that Thou permittest to happen to me; only show me Thy holy will, and fill me with Thy grace and Thy love to refuse Thee nothing, no matter how difficult it may be. I abandon myself entirely to Thee through Mary. Strengthen my will to carry out all my resolutions, and give me the grace of perseverance. Teach me how to pray. Grant me the grace to pray with unlimited confidence of being heard, according to God's holy will. Give me true humility of heart. Increase and strengthen my faith in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Make me an ardent adorer and lover of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Strengthen my love and confidence in our Blessed Mother. Holy Ghost, I offer Thee the loving Heart of Jesus to repair for all my offenses and negligences. I consecrate myself unreservedly to Thee, through Mary, Thy Immaculate Spouse. I place all my trust in Thee. Help me to make Thee better known and loved throughout the world. Give me an intense zeal for souls, to console Jesus. Amen.

Closing Hymn

O Comforter, to Thee we cry, Thou heavn'ly Gift of God most high;
Thou fount of life and fire of love, and sweet anointing from above... (twice)
In the name of the +Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.


Thursday, May 9, 2013


At the Mass on Ascension Thursday, we have the chance to witness another beautiful ritual full of meaning in the traditional Rite.

The Paschal Candle, which we blessed and lit at the Easter Vigil, represents the Risen Lord, shining His divine light in our human darkness.  For forty days, we have kept the candle lit during Mass to symbolize the earthly presence of Christ's physical and glorified body for forty days on earth.  During those forty days, the Risen Lord continued to teach His Apostles, giving them more and more spiritual light and knowledge (again, symbolized by the flame of the candle).

But on Ascension Thursday, we lost sight of the visible, physical Body of the Lord.  He Himself plainly says so, "...I go to the Father and you shall see me no longer." (Jn 16:10)

So, after the Gospel is read on Ascension Thursday recalling His Ascension into heaven, we extinguish the Paschal Candle to represent that absence.  We see Him no more according to the flesh.

Of course we know that He is still with us in His true and real, physical Body and Blood in the Eucharist, but under the appearance of bread and wine.  That is why the Paschal Candle is not lit during Benediction between Easter and the Ascension, because while Our Lord's true Body and Blood are exposed to our eyes under the appearance of bread, we do not deal with symbols anymore, as the flame is.

The Paschal Candle is not lit for requiem Masses or penitential Masses like on Rogation days because of the sadness of those occasions.

Just like the two disciples in Emmaus who saw the Lord "in the breaking of the bread," we continue to see the Lord in His Eucharist with the eyes of faith.  A good reminder for this Year of Faith.  We don't see, but we hear.  He said it ("This is My Body"), we believe it (faith).

Wednesday, May 8, 2013



happens to be the very first novena made by the first Christians!

Pope Leo XIII

In the year 1897, Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical (Divinum Illud Munus) on the Holy Ghost.  He said that so many Catholics were so ignorant about the Holy Ghost that they might repeat what was said to Saint Paul when he asked believers if they had received the Holy Ghost, "We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost!" (Acts 19:2).

The Pope wanted pastors to correct this, and to promote among the faithful a knowledge of and a devotion to the Holy Ghost, who is the soul of the Church.  Just as a body is dead without a soul, the Church, the Body of Christ, cannot live without the Holy Ghost.

Christ ascended into heaven in order to send us the Holy Ghost.  Our salvation, and all our works here on earth, depend on the grace of the Holy Ghost. 

Pope Leo was very conscious of this as he tried to accomplish two great goals of his papacy; 1) the restoration of Christian values in secular society, which by his time had been eroded by a century of revolutionary ideas and 2) the reconciliation of all those who had broken unity with the Church of Rome through heresy and schism.

Aren't those two goals valid for today?  If Pope Leo was concerned about the weakening of Christian values in society back in 1897, imagine his horror if we lived in 2013!
The First Novena

The first novena, in fact, was a novena to the Holy Ghost.  Before the Lord ascended into heaven, He ordered the Apostles to stay in Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Ghost (Acts 1:4-5) and so the Apostles stayed together in prayer (Acts 1:14).  Joining them in prayer was the Blessed Mother and other disciples, male and female.

Counting from the evening of Ascension Thursday till the night before Pentecost, this period of prayerful waiting for the grace of the Holy Ghost makes nine days/nights.  Hence, novena, from the Latin word for nine.

It normally takes nine months in the womb for a child to be born.  During those nine months, the mother, father and the rest of the family wait and prepare.  So it is with all the graces we ask for.  They are given to us from the Father, through the merits of Jesus Christ, through the agency of the Holy Ghost.  We need to prayerful wait and prepare ourselves to ask for and receive these graces.  A novena is an effective way of doing this.
The First Papally-Mandated Novena

Up to 1897, many popes had recommended and encouraged different novenas, giving some of them indulgences under certain conditions.  But Pope Leo XIII was the first to mandate a novena, and this was to the Holy Ghost.

He says in paragraph 13 of Divinum Illud Munus : "Wherefore, We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a Novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday, in all parish churches, and also, if the local Ordinaries think fit, in other churches and oratories."

The emphasis added is mine, to show that the Holy Father did not simply recommend, but ordered this novena to be said.  "Whit-Sunday" is an older name for Pentecost Sunday. 

Notice that Pope Leo expects this to be said every subsequent year.  Let us fulfill his wish!


Now let's take a look at the wonderful indulgences attached to this novena.  Again, from the Pope's encyclical :

"To all who take part in this Novena and duly pray for Our intention, We grant for each day an Indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines; moreover, a Plenary Indulgence on any one of the days of the Novena, or on Whit-Sunday itself, or on any day during the Octave; provided they shall have received the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and devoutly prayed for Our intention."

A "quarantine" is a period of forty days; so the Pope is saying seven years and seven 40-day periods of remission of temporal punishments due to sin.  A Plenary Indulgence is a full remission of temporal punishments.  Only God knows how these indulgences are effectively applied to our souls.  Also, the indulgences we gain in this novena can be applied to the souls in Purgatory.

The Octave refers to the eight days after Pentecost.  This means that, having completed the novena and the conditions necessary for gaining a Plenary Indulgence, we can gain that even on a day within the Octave, or on Pentecost Sunday itself.  The usual conditions for gaining a Plenary Indulgence are 1. to do the indulgenced act (in this case the novena), 2. to be free of all attachment even to venial sin, 3. to confess and receive communion, especially on the day one gains the Plenary Indulgence, but also 20 days prior or after and 4. to pray for the intention of the Holy Father (one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be minimally, though 6 each is the tradition).

If one cannot fulfill the conditions for a Plenary Indulgence, a Partial Indulgence can be gained if one is in the state of grace, completes the indulgenced act and is sorry for even venial sins.

So generous is the Pope in this matter that any prayers at all, private or public, made daily to the Holy Ghost during the Octave of Pentecost up to Trinity Sunday inclusive shall enjoy the same benefits under the same conditions.

What if I cannot legitimately make it to a church or oratory?

The encyclical states that, if a person truly, for a valid reason, cannot make it to a church or oratory to join in this public novena, he or she can make the novena privately as long as they fulfill the other conditions needed for gaining the indulgence.

Since we do not have daily Mass at the friary in the Extraordinary Form; since we do not have Mass even in the Ordinary Form on Saturdays, most of this novena has to be prayed privately in your homes.  So you have a valid reason for saying this novena privately in your homes.  But I strongly recommend that you do them as a family, together at the same time.

We will say the novena publicly in our chapel on the days we do have Mass in the Extraordinary Form.

What is the Novena?

I will have copies made for distribution after Ascension Day Mass, and I will also post the novena daily on this site.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013


This year, Anabelle Basto crowned our Lady, Queen of the May!

Our four angels throwing flowers to Our Lady's altar during the traditional Chamorro hymn, "Gi langet yan gi tano'..."  ""In heaven and on earth..."

All our angels : Anabelle and Christabelle, Kida and Gianna; and our two archangels Ian and William.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


The Rogation Days take their name from the Latin word "rogare" which means "to ask."

There are two kinds of Rogation Days; the Major Rogation is a one-day event, April 25.

But then there are the Minor Rogations, which are the three days prior to Ascension Thursday.  The Ascension of Jesus to heaven gave the Apostles, and to the Church, this sad feeling that we would not see the physical face of the Lord anymore.  But the Lord assures His Apostles, and us, that He is just a prayer away.  "Ask," the Lord says, "and you will receive."

So the Rogation Days were days of asking the Lord for a good harvest or the protection of crops.  There would be a procession through the fields, with the priest blessing them.  The Litany of the Saints was chanted, so Rogation Days were also called the Litanies; Major Litanies (April 25) and the Minor Litanies (before Ascension).

On Tuesday, May 7, at 630pm, we will have the Minor Litanies at the Friary then Holy Mass.  I will bless the four corners of the Friary property as we process.


Last Friday, May 3rd, we had our May crosses blessed.  Before 1960, there were two feasts of the Holy Cross; one on May 3rd, which was later removed from the calendar, and September 14 which remains.

Still, there is a traditional blessing of crosses on May 3 and we took advantage of it.

The crosses are dressed in flowers to remind us of the Life-giving Cross, the Tree of Life.  They were meant in olden days to be put in fields and vineyards and other places for protection of crops and of life.  Although few of us are farmers anymore, we always need protection.


Next, the priest turns around and says to us, "Pray, brethren" or "Orate, fratres."

"Brethren" means "brothers and sisters."  The priest is speaking to all of us.

He is asking us to pray that the sacrifice he is making, and that we are making with and through the priest, will be acceptable to God the Father.

Are you sending to Jesus, through the priest, your own sacrifices?

The times your parents tell you to do something, and although you would rather play, you obey them?

The times you ask your parents to buy you something you would like, and they cannot buy it, and you understand?

The times your brother or sister may not be nice to you, but you are still nice to them?

Those are all kinds of sacrifices, and God loves them, but especially when you give them to Jesus at Mass.

Because Jesus made the biggest sacrifice of all.  He died for you and me on the cross. That is what we make present today in every Mass.