Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wednesday of the 1st week after Pentecost - 5th Day of the Novena to St Philip Neri

A feria! I've just begun Matins... apparently, while the Holy See never created a Vigil for Corpus Christi, which begins with 1st Vespers tonight, there was an indulgence for fasting or somesuch on this Wednesday before the Feast.


For St Philip's Novena, from Fr Faber:


I do not think that any devout person can look long on St. Philip’s picture without growing somewhat afraid of him. He is the Apostle of liberty, and yet somehow not a man to take liberties with.
I. We meet with men in the world
1. Whom we admire and love — yet are not at ease with — feel untruthful with. We have an instinctive fear of their influence, and are restless when we have to do with them.
2. There is something in them which we wish away: and yet if it was away they would not be the same men, nor should we ourselves love and admire them so much.
3. It is their reality — their genuineness — their truth — not so much their truthfulness as their truth.
II. Reality.
1. A real man is a man without secrets or diplomacy.
2. His extreme simplicity, and his singleness of purpose, invest him with a kind of sternness, so that we feel rebuked in his presence.
3. Yet his heart is always full of gushing sympathies and kindness.
4. He has a sort of impatience with foolishness, insincerity, and circuitousness.
5. He sometimes tries us by the way he keeps to the one point, and slips off disguises, and walks on such a very straight road.
III. To live with such a man is an education in itself, and this is just what St. Philip was. I dare say sometimes men thought him even wooden, because he was so pertinaciously real, never unbending from his simplicity, never giving his genuineness a holiday.
1. His common sense in plans, in government, in direction: his dislike of changes, and of nonsense talked in the confessional.
2. His sternness which flashed out when any insincerity came in his way, or any making of difficulties.
3. The stress he laid on perseverance, by which he prevented liberty of spirit from degenerating into off-handness and free-and-easiness.
4. His crusade against human respect — the queer things he did himself and made his people do. All meant nothing more or less than this.
5. His mortification of the judgment also made men real, while it hindered liberty from becoming license.
Of all the things which I admire in our Holy Father I admire none so much as his reality. It is the great want of the times. It is the grace of all graces which we every one of us stand most in need of.

[Faber, Frederick William. Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects. Volume 1. “Mysteries and Festivals.” 3rd ed. London: Burns & Oates, n.d. [post 1866], pp. 369-71]

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