Well, in the Church's Year of Salvation it's Quinquagesima; and in the Novus Ordo, the 7th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year B. Sigh.
Fr Kene (yay!) was again our celebrant for the Sunday Mass at Carmel; unlike the other priests, he seems to enjoy coming to say Mass for the sisters, likes the Gregorian chant they sing, even having us use the Confiteor so the sisters can chant the Kyrie as well as the Gloria (plus the Sanctus and Agnus Dei further on), and even tries singing the Collect and Preface (as to-day) so as to fit in with the generally more sacral style of Mass at Carmel. Again, though, what a sad comment on the Novus Ordo that one has to go to the monastery for Mass done without banal mediocrity much in evidence!
Given the readings for this Sunday (the Gospel from St Matthew v, 38-48 being that of the healing of the paralytic), he preached on how the Lord will extend to us His healing hand if we but pray; and how He so prizes our souls, that He wills to grant spiritual healing even over the physical healing extended to the bodies of the sick: we should therefore supplicate Him to heal our aversion to prayer and to liturgy (yes, he actually said that!), and all other wounds of our souls. Furthermore, Fr Kene observed that too often "the crowd" impedes our approach to Christ, setting up obstacles and distracting us from our highest good, which is to come nigh unto the Lord, the Divine Physician.
The sisters had evidently prepared short, sharp and arresting petitions for the Prayer of the Faithful: for the ministers of the sacrament of Penance; for those enduring atheistic tyranny; for devotion to Our Lady the Refuge of Sinners; for the bushfires and for preservation therefrom; for all the dead. That's what such petitions ought be, not longwinded mini-sermons more about propagandizing the congregation than begging God for mercy.
As usual, the ICEL paraphrases of the orations at Mass were hardly even that: but years past I obtained (largely from Fr Z's WDTPRS) literal renderings thereof, which, together with the Latin originals, I printed out onto small inserts put into my modern missal; while I only took my Breviary to Mass this morning, I did take the relevant insert with me inside its front cover, and was struck by how bad and misleading those stupid ICEL prayers are - look to just the Collect (originally that of the 6th after Epiphany) and Prayer after Communion (that of the 5th after Epiphany, with two words different):
Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, semper rationabilia meditantes, quæ tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur et factis. Per...(Grant, we beg, Almighty God, that we, meditating always on rational things, may fulfil those things which are pleasing to you by both words and deeds. Through...)ICEL: Father [no, "Almighty God" - how hilarious that late-1960's committee members rendered the address to the Deity by a term that the feminists would have already hated!], keep before us the wisdom and love you have revealed in your Son [they have taken semper rationabilia meditantes, and changed it into a reference to God's revelation in Christ - which is good, but in no way a translation]. Help us [so much for "grant, we beg"!] to be like him in word and deed [yes, to do what pleases God is to live as Christ did on earth, but that's not at all what the original actually said], for he lives and reigns... [having so rewritten the collect, they now conclude it with Qui tecum vivit... not Per Dominum...]Præsta, quæsumus, omnipotens Deus, ut illius capiamus effectum, cujus per hæc mysteria pignus accepimus. Per...(Grant, we implore you, Almighty God, that we may obtain the effect of that of which we have received a pledge by means of these [sacramental] mysteries. Through...)ICEL: Almighty God [they got this bit right for a change], help us to live the example of love [this seems to be their kindergarten version of pignus, a pledge or foretoken] we celebrate [no, what "we have received"] in this eucharist [what a dumbing down from "mysteries"], that we may come to its fulfilment [an elucidation of "effect"] in your presence [a fair enough expansion and explicitation, though not in the original]. We ask this... [again, a rubbish paraphrase: "through Christ" implies both that we ask and that God grants all through the One Mediator, Jesus our Lord]
I think my fisk of these poor attempts at prayer shews just what a crock ICEL sold us; to think that such crap has been inflicted on Roman Catholics these forty years.
The Breviary has a commemoration at Lauds of the Chair of St Peter (and of his fellow Prince of the Apostles, St Paul, under one conclusion - for these are the Christian Romulus and Remus): I recall with thanksgiving and prayer that this day, the 22nd of February, eight years ago, I was in Lismore for the episcopal ordination of my former parish priest, Geoffrey Jarrett - ad multos annos!
Oremus pro Antistite Lismorensis Godefrido:
Stet et pascat in fortitudine tua, Domine, in sublimitate nominis tui. [Cf. Micheas v, 4]
(Let us pray for Geoffrey, Bishop of Lismore*:
(May he stand and shepherd in Thy strength, Lord, in the sublimity of Thy Name.)
[* Literally, "Lismorensine High-Priest"!]