O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
This poem was first published in The Legion Book (London 1929), and again in G.K.’s Weekly of September 24, 1936. The poem also appeared in the Chesterton Review, May 1990: Vol. 16 No. 2.
Michael of the Morning,
Michael of the Army of the Lord,
Stiffen thou the hand upon the still sword, Michael,
Folded and shut upon the sheathed sword, Michael,
Under the fullness of the white robes falling,
Gird us with the secret of the sword.
When the world cracked because of a sneer in Heaven,
Leaving out for all time a scar upon the sky,
Thou didst rise up against the Horror in the highest,
Dragging down the highest that looked down on the Most High:
Rending from the seventh heaven the hell of exaltation
Down the seven heavens till the dark seas burn:
Thou that in thunder threwest down the Dragon
Knowest in what silence the Serpent can return.
Down through the universe the vast night falling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Morning!)
Far down the universe the deep calms calling
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Sword!)
Bid us not forget in the baths of all forgetfulness,
In the sigh long drawn from the frenzy and the fretfulness
In the huge holy sempiternal silence
In the beginning was the Word.
When from the deeps of dying God astounded
Angels and devils who do all but die
Seeing Him fallen where thou couldst not follow,
Seeing Him mounted where thou couldst not fly,
Hand on the hilt, thou hast halted all thy legions
Waiting the Tetelestai and the acclaim,
Swords that salute Him dead and everlasting
God beyond God and greater than His Name.
Round us and over us the cold thoughts creeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the battle-cry!)
Round us and under us the thronged world sleeping
(Michael, Michael: Michael of the Charge!)
Guard us the Word; the trysting and the trusting
Edge upon the honour and the blade unrusting
Fine as the hair and tauter than the harpstring
Ready as when it rang upon the targe.
He that giveth peace unto us; not as the world giveth:
He that giveth law unto us; not as the scribes:
Shall he be softened for the softening of the cities
Patient in usury; delicate in bribes?
They that come to quiet us, saying the sword is broken,
Break man with famine, fetter them with gold,
Sell them as sheep; and He shall know the selling
For He was more than murdered. He was sold.
Michael, Michael: Michael of the Mustering,
Michael of the marching on the mountains of the Lord,
Marshal the world and purge of rot and riot
Rule through the world till all the world be quiet:
Only establish when the world is broken
What is unbroken is the Word.
God our Father, who by sending into the world the Word of truth and the Spirit of sanctification made known to the human race your wondrous mystery, grant us, we pray, that in profession the true faith, we may acknowledge the Trinity of eternal glory and adore your Unity, powerful in majesty. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Saint Augustine of Hippo
Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
General Intention – Liturgy, Source of Life
That the public, prayerful celebration of faith may give life to the faithful.
In 1963 the bishops at the Second Vatican Council wrote that “the liturgy is the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is also the fount from which all her power flows.” They went on to say that the “Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations which is demanded by the very nature of the liturgy.” The celebration of the Eucharist is a sacred event that should never be treated casually.
More recently, at the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland, Pope Benedict said that the changes in the liturgy after the Council were “intended to make it easier to enter into the inner depth of the mystery.” Their “true purpose was to lead people to a personal encounter with the Lord.” “Yet,” he lamented, “not infrequently, the revision of liturgical forms has remained at an external level, and ‘active participation’ has been confused with external activity.”
Active participation in the Eucharist involves more than singing, making the responses, following the appropriate postures, or going up for Holy Communion. Those activities involve our bodies, but if our minds and hearts are not involved, they are empty activities.
Out of this concern, Pope Benedict asks us to pray for a renewal of our faith in the Eucharistthat it is “the memorial of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross” and that the elements of bread and wine truly become the Body and Blood of Christ given to us for our transformation. Our celebrations must be prayerful so that they don’t become “merely a matter of habit,” but instead truly give life to us and to all the faithful.
How can I better prepare for Mass and enter more prayerfully into its celebration?
1 Corinthians 11:23-32: Do this in remembrance of me.