Monday, December 5, 2016

Ninth Anniversary

I began this blog (which hasn't been kept up very often for a long time now) nine years ago, on the feast of that great monastic saint, Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (σιος Σάββας γιασμένος), to whom I have since learnt is attributed the Typicon or set of directions for the liturgical rites of the Byzantine Liturgy – how appropriate for unworthy me, who often acts as M.C., directs a choir, prays the Office, etc. I was delighted to find his commemoration among the texts of the EF Mass today. May anything of good blogged here be attributed to Divine Providence through his intercession; may all the bad be forgiven me by the Lord at his prayers.

I was recently privileged to serve Mass for Fr Pius, who has recently moved to Tasmania to found a traditional Benedictine monastery with the blessing of our beloved Archbishop; to this end, I turn in prayer to St Sabbas, himself a great founder of monasteries, in the words of another famous monastic founder, Abbot Guéranger, from his masterwork The Liturgical Year (Vol. I, p. 337):

O Sabas, “thou man of desires” (Dan. x, 11)! in thy expectation of that Lord, who has bid His servants watch until He come (cf. Matt. xxiv. 42), thou didst withdraw into the desert, fearing lest the turmoil of the world might distract thy mind from its God. Have pity on us who are living in the world, and are so occupied in the affairs of that world, and yet who have received the commandment, which thou didst so take to heart, of keeping ourselves in readiness for the coming of our Saviour and our Judge. Pray for us, that when He comes we may be worthy to go out to meet Him (cf. Matt. xxv, 6). Remember also the monastic state, of which thou art one of the brightest ornaments; raise it up again from its ruins; let its children be men of prayer and faith, as of old; let thy spirit be among them, and the Church thus regain, by thy intercession, all the glory which is reflected on her from the sublime perfection of this holy state.

Amen, so be it!

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