St. Symeon the New Theologian
Sunday, October 12, 2014, 12:00 PM

st symeon the new theologian 207x300 St. Symeon the New TheologianBy what boundless mercy, my Savior,
have you allowed me to become a member of your body?
Me, the unclean, the defiled, the prodigal.
How is it that you have clothed me
in the brilliant garment,
radiant with the splendor of immortality,
that turns all my members into light?
Your body, immaculate and divine,
is all radiant with the fire of your divinity,
with which it is ineffably joined and combined.
This is the gift you have given me, my God:
that this mortal and shabby frame
has become one with your immaculate body
and that my blood has mingled
with your blood.
I know, too,
that I have been made one with your divinity
and have become your own most pure body,
a brilliant member, transparently lucid,
luminous and holy.
I see the beauty of it all, I can gaze on the radiance.
I have become a reflection of the light of your grace.

St. Symeon the New Theologian (949 – 1032)
Excerpt from A Neglected Masterpiece of the Christian Mystical Tradition by Father John A. McGuckin:

The Byzantine saint and poet Symeon the New Theologian (949–1022) is one of the Christian world’s greatest mystics, if such a term can properly be used of ancient writers. It is here applied for the sake of convenience, and for the purpose of unveiling the author, as it were, who is not only a visionary of the highest order within the Eastern Orthodox tradition, but equally one of the Christian world’s most lyrical and rhapsodic writers. It is a startling fact that it is only in recent years that his works have become available in English translation, and a sadder one that his name is still largely unknown to a wider public who would otherwise undoubtedly be interested in a spirituality suffused with light and hope and one of the most profound senses of the mercy and compassion of God. The situation of neglect is comparable to finding something of the quality of the works of San Juan de la Cruz still awaiting an edition.

Amazon’s St. Symeon page with works translated into English:
St. Symeon

Lagniappe – Dawn Rodgers & Eric Wyse
Sunday, October 12, 2014, 7:00 AM

This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! ~ Psalm 118:24

Wonderful Merciful Savior

Wonderful, merciful Savior
Precious Redeemer and friend
Who would have thought that a lamb could
Rescue the souls of men
Oh, You rescue the souls of men

Counselor, Comforter, Keeper
Spirit we long to embrace
You offer hope when our hearts have
Hopelessly lost the way
Oh, we hopelessly lost the way (more…)

Sacred Music – Part Three
Saturday, October 11, 2014, 9:00 AM

Third of four episodes of the BBC’s series on Sacred Music.
Byrd & Tallis: Singing the Lord’s song in a strange land

Feast of St. Francis
Sunday, October 5, 2014, 7:00 AM

Seigneur, je vous en prie

~Francis Poulenc (1948)

Lord, I beg Thee, let the burning and gentle force of Thy love pervade my soul
and withdraw it from all that is beneath Heaven,
that I might die through love of Thy love,
since Thou didst deign to die through love of my love.

For the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

Sacred Music – Part Two
Saturday, October 4, 2014, 12:00 PM

The second of a four-part series on Sacred Music presented by the BBC: Palestrina and the Popes.

September 30 – St. Jerome
Tuesday, September 30, 2014, 7:00 AM

“Jerome (in Latin, Eusebius Hieronymus) was one of the most important scholars of the early Christian Church. His translation of the Bible into Latin would become the standard edition throughout the Middle Ages, and his viewpoints on monasticism would be influential over the centuries. (more…)


“Ecclesiastical rank does not make a man a Christian. The centurion Cornelius was still a heathen when he was cleansed by the gift of the Holy Spirit. Daniel was but a child when he judged the elders. Amos was plucking blackberries when in a moment he was made a prophet. David was only a shepherd when he was chosen to be king. The least of his disciples was the one whom Jesus loved most. My brother, sit down in the lower place… ”

St. Jerome, Letter 14 to To Heliodorus, a Monk


Sept 29 – Feast of the Archangels
Sunday, September 28, 2014, 7:00 AM

“The liturgy celebrates the feast of these three archangels who are venerated in the tradition of the Church. Michael (Who is like God?) was the archangel who fought against Satan and all his evil angels, defending all the friends of God. He is the protector of all humanity from the snares of the devil. Gabriel (Strength of God) announced to Zachariah the forthcoming birth of John the Baptist, and to Mary, the birth of Jesus. His greeting to the Virgin, “Hail, full of grace,” is one of the most familiar and frequent prayers of the Christian people. Raphael (Medicine of God) is the archangel who took care of Tobias on his journey.”


(Alas, I can’t translate Han Chinese, but the words in English follow: ~gm)

Ye watchers and ye holy ones,
Bright seraphs, cherubim and thrones,
Raise the glad strain, Alleluia!

Cry out, dominions, princedoms, powers,
Virtues, archangels, angels’ choirs:
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O higher than the cherubim,
More glorious than the seraphim,
Lead their praises, Alleluia!

Thou bearer of th’eternal Word,
Most gracious, magnify the Lord.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Respond, ye souls in endless rest,
Ye patriarchs and prophets blest,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

Ye holy twelve, ye martyrs strong,
All saints triumphant, raise the song.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

O friends, in gladness let us sing,
Supernal anthems echoing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One.
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Please Pray for the Church in Greece
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 1:09 PM

Greek Hierarchs: The State Has Deceived the Church

St. Demetrios church 300x201 Please Pray for the Church in GreeceBad news from Greece:

“For the first time in the modern history of Greece, a law has been passed that abolishes freedom of expression and introduces legal liability for an accusatory speech, which is one of the main components of pastoral practice… At the same time, the judicial and legal protection of homosexual orientation, which is a perversion of the human nature and physiology, was introduced.

“The enacted law contradicts many clauses of the Greek Constitution…”

~ Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus

“In Metropolitan Seraphim’s view, after adoption of the new law, the Church of Greece will be obligated to abolish the Committee on Heresies of the Holy Synod; since, for calling someone a heretic one may face persecution for ‘fomenting religious strife.’

Also making statements in a similar vein is one of the most authoritative hierarchs of the Church of Greece from Thessaloniki, Metropolitan Anthimos, who said, ‘We are against an expansion of Islam in our city.’ In his interview with Greek television, made a number of tough statements:

‘We are against the presence of Islam in Thessaloniki. We have already lost so much… When the Turkish minister entered the Church of Holy Great Martyr Demetrius of Thessaloniki in our city, he announced at once: ‘Here is a suitable mosque for Turks.'”

c/o Jerusalem Channel TV

Sacred Music – Part One
Saturday, September 27, 2014, 9:42 AM

The first of a four-part series on Sacred Music presented by the BBC.

Update from Iraq and Syria – How to Help
Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 10:53 AM

iraqi refugees cnewa Update from Iraq and Syria   How to HelpOne to One: The blog of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association provides a wealth of concrete information about the church’s relief activities in Iraq and Syria. In addition to providing tangible goals we can act on, the site also serves as an inspiration for Christians wishing to create their own aid projects.

If you wish to donate to CNEWA (and dislike the idea of entering financial information online—I know I do), you can send a check to the address below; they’ll acknowledge your gift with a letter. Since CNEWA provides care to several countries (Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria), specify the country you wish to support on the check. Bear in mind that although a remnant of Iraqi Christians remain in Iraq, many displaced Christians have landed in Jordan and Syria.

1011 First Avenue
New York, NY NY 10022-4195

Web site:

Phone Number: (212) 826-1480.

CNEWA is a ministry of the Roman Catholic Church. I welcome information about aid programs from other front-line Christian groups that are offering direct emergency aid, and a physical presence, to our persecuted brethren.

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