Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fratres Oratorii - Sessio IV

Prayer and adoration, followed up with fellowship and good cheer: after filling the Pro. with clouds of incense, and all persevering in mental and vocal prayer, some of the fratres - Fr Rowe, Justin, Pete and I - were able to catch up afterward for a rather good Thai meal with beer and wine, concluded with conversation (and some homemade Limoncello, plus tea and sweets) at the presbytery.

I realized in my prayer truths that I have neglected: that faith - that infused intellectual supernatural theological virtue - is so potent and divine as to unite us to God, that we live already foretasting heaven on earth if God be in our soul, and that the one thing necessary is to aspire toward union with God in foretaste of our union with Him forever in heaven. I must not cease to nourish my soul by mental prayer, else my spiritual life die of inanition.

And as a completely unexpected bonus, Justin called me over to the organ as we packed up after the hour of prayer, and played and got me to sing along with a Wesley hymn that is quite Catholic and evangelical in the best sense: "And can it be that I should gain / an interest in the Saviour's Blood?". What a pity Wesley didn't find his way to the Church; he would have then been most perfectly the Newman of his age. I for one find his hymns both orthodox and potent.

Casting my mind back over previous sessiones, I record the following hours spent in prayer:

* Sessio I - 6.30pm, Tuesday 20th November 2007;

* Sessio II - 6.30pm, Monday 10th December 2007;

* Sessio III - 6.30pm, Tuesday 29th January 2008;

* Sessio IV - 6.30pm, Wednesday 23rd April 2008.

Our next planned sessio, the fifth, is for the Feast of Our Patron, St Philip Neri, on Monday the 26th of May 2008: the hour of mental and vocal prayer will be held a hour earlier, at 5.30pm, to allow for sung Mass of St Philip at 6.30pm.

Once we complete the move to St Anne's, perhaps we can make the Oratory a more than monthly devotion...

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