08 February 2009

Septuagesima Sunday

Thanks to the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer at Papa Stronsay, here is a good reflection as we enter the Septuagesima season:

Lament of the exiled Adam and his sons


Excidit e paradiso voluptatis Adamus,
Domini praeceptum,
amaro cibo intemperanter degustato,
damnatusque fuit terrae
Unde desumptus fuerat colendae,
Suoque panni per sudorem multum comendendo;
Nos igitur temperantiam appertamus,
Ne velut ille extra paradisum ploremus,
Sed intus admittamur. ...

Because he broke the commandment of his Lord,
and was led by intemperance to taste a food
which was to be one of bitterness to him,
Adam was banished from the paradise of delight,
and condemned to till the earth
whence he himself was taken,
and to eat his bread in the sweat of his brow.
Let us, therefore, covet temperance,
lest we, like him, we may have to weep out of paradise;
let us be temperate and enter heaven.

God, my Creator, took dust from the earth,
quickened me with a living soul,
graciously made me the king 

of all visible things on earth,
and gave me fellowship with the angels;
but crafty Satan, 

making the serpent his instrument, 
allured me with food, 
banished me far from the glory of God,
and made me a slave to death in the bowels of the earth:
but Thou, O God, art my Lord, and full of mercy:
Recall me from exile.

Being deceived by the craft of the enemy, 
I, miserable man,
violated Thy commandment, O Lord;
and being stripped of the garment
which Thy divine hand had woven for me,
I am now clad in the leaves of the fig-tree, 

and with a skin garment;
I am condemned to eat a bread 

for which I must toil with the sweat of my brow
and the earth is cursed, 

so that it may yield me thorns and thistles:
But do Thou, 

that in after-times tookest flesh from the Virgin,
recall and restore me to paradise.

O paradise! Most worthy of all our reverence,
beautiful beyond measure, tabernacle built by God,
joy and delight without end,
glory of the prophets, and dwelling of the saints;
may thy prayers, the sound of thy leaves,
obtain for me from the Creator of all things,
that thy gates, which my sin hath shut against me,
may be thrown open to me,
and that I may be made worthy
to partake of the tree of life,
and of that joy
which I once so sweetly tasted in thy bosom.


HSMom said...

This morning, on sitting at home with a sick child, I read Abbot Gueranger's excellent writings on Septuagesima. How rich is this short season between Christmas and Lent!

The question kept coming to my mind though: Why, in the Liturgical calendar followed in the Ordinary Rite, is today's liturgy simply a Sunday (the 4th?) in 'Ordinary Time'? Why has this season of Septuagesima apparently been removed completely from the 'new' Liturgical calendar? My goodness, how much is missed by so many faithful Catholics by its removal!

To my mind, there ought to have been a good and logical reason for removing it. For certainly it could not have been for a lack of valuable instruction to be found therein! I just don't understand.

But I do know that the Liturgical Calendar followed in the TLM is yet another invaluable reason for devotion to it.

(And thank you, Timman, for recommending Gueranger's The Liturgical Year. We just got it, and have to agree it is worth every penny.)

thetimman said...

HSMom, thanks. This lament is taken from a Greek usage on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. Gueranger is absolutely fabulous-- rock solid teaching, brilliant yet accessible presentation, and very moving. Food for the soul.

As for the liturgical calendar, that is one of the biggest reasons why I would go to great lengths and sacrifice to avoid the novus ordo. There is a novus ordo in town that is the gold standard of novus ordos-- in latin, ad orientem, great priest. But something is still lacking.

Please, dear novus ordo-attending readers, don't get upset with me! This is how I feel. One can be a good Catholic and attend either Mass, and the opposite is true.

But to me the n.o. is 37 years in the rearview mirror.