I stumbled across a book a few days ago: Meditations and Catechesis on the Psalms and Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer, by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI. It’s published in the UK by Catholic Truth Society, and doesn’t ship to the US. I had to get a copy through AbeBooks and they got it from Blackwell’s in the UK. (To add to the fun, my bank at first declined the transaction because it involved sending payment overseas. A phone call got them to lift the ban—for one day. Oy vey.) But I’ve got it now and it’s mine, all mine!
Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II reflects on the psalms and canticles of Lauds and Vespers.
Ahem. Back to what I was talking about. What was I talking about anyway? Oh! The book! Well, even if you can’t get hold of the book, you can still read the meditations and catechesis on the web. These took place at the general audiences held by the popes on Wednesdays. Pope St. John Paul II began the series by covering Morning Prayer (Lauds) and then covering Evening Prayer (Vespers). But he passed away before he could finish and Pope Benedict picked up where he left off. Pope St. John Paul II went through each day of the four-week Psalter and discussed each day in three parts, one part per Wednesday audience. (Pope Benedict didn’t adhere to that schedule the way his predecessor did.)
I’m sharing quotes and notes from the audiences (using the web versions rather than the book mainly because it’s easier) on Twitter using the hashtag #PsalmsJPII beginning with Lauds and going through Vespers. Join me and join in. Feel free to comment, too. Each session is also up at Storify — four, so far — so you don’t have to miss a scintillating minute of it. ;) See links below.
St. Augustine (hey, #CivDei peeps!) is mentioned quite a bit in the talks. Not surprising since he did write that Enarrationes in Psalmos thingy and he is a beloved Church Father and Doctor of the Church. I’ll be bringing special attention to the good doctor when we get to him, you can be sure of that! (What in the world is #CivDei, you say? Well, that’s a story for another day. Post in the works e’en now.)
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disciple96
Follow the project on Twitter: #PsalmsJPII
Follow my projects on Storify: https://storify.com/disciple96
The book at CTS: http://www.ctsbooks.org/morning-and-evening-prayer-meditations-and-catechesis/
The book at AbeBooks: https://www.abebooks.com/9781784690519/Morning-Evening-Prayer-Meditations-Catechesis-1784690511/plp
(Note: content at AbeBooks changes frequently. The book is available there as I type, but may be gone or replaced by a different edition at any time.)
St. Augustine’s Expositions on the Psalms, Logos/Verbum format (works with either): https://www.logos.com/product/38253/augustines-expositions-on-the-book-of-psalms
Church Fathers: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/early-church-fathers-overview-snapshot-of-the-fathers-of-the-church/
Doctors of the Church: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/doctors-of-the-catholic-church/
I know everybody–and I mean, everybody!–has been talking about the Pope renouncing the Chair of Peter. I don’t have anything profound to offer. But I would like to offer a brief Lenten prayer for the Holy Father. In fact, I did offer it on Valentine’s Day via Twitter. (Most days if you don’t see a post here–and most days you won’t–you might catch me on Twitter if only for a few moments at a time.)
Pope Benedict, Holy Father, I love you and I’ll be praying for you. God bless you now and always. Amen.
(A post for the Year of Faith) Several people have asked this question: Why does the Year of Faith last 410 days instead of 365?
Answer: Part of being Catholic is learning to think with the mind of the Church. She thinks liturgically about time, which differs from the civil (as in secular, not as in polite) measuring of time. The Church measures time from one liturgical or spiritually or historically important event (historically important to the Church, that is) to another, not a mere length of 365 days that carries no meaning beyond the amount of time it takes the earth to revolve once around the sun.
Looking further I found this quote at Catholic Culture.
“The opening and closing dates of the Year of Faith carry special significance. October 11, 2012, will mark the 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatican II, and the Vatican notes that the special year should be “a propitious occasion to make Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church more widely and deeply known.” November 24, 2013, will be the feast of Christ the King, and the CDF underlines the importance of using the year to encourage Catholics to share the precious belief in Christ as the redeemer of the mankind.”
The dates of liturgical celebrations, even the release of documents, generally correspond to a significant date on the Church calendar or in her history. Look at a few encyclicals and other publications and you’ll see what I mean. For example, here’s what you’ll find at the end of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, the Gospel of Life:
Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, in the year 1995, the seventeenth of my Pontificate.
I wrote in an earlier post that Pope Benedict XVI had announced that he would begin a series of weekly catechesis during the Wednesday audiences for the Year of Faith. At the time of my post I did not have the link to a source for those audiences. I found it just now in the news section at the Vatican website. Weekly General Audiences by Pope Benedict XVI. On that page you’ll also find the weekly Angelus address. Full texts.
Updated Nov 1 2012 to add link to Audiences. Pope Benedict XVI announced a new series of weekly catechesis during the Wednesday audiences for the Year of Faith. Below I’ve posted the first paragraph of the announcement. Read the rest of the story at the National Catholic Register or at Rome Reports. Link to weekly General Audiences, texts in full. Short video below.
From Pope Benedict XVI’s Weekly Audience, St Peter’s Square, October 17 2012
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today I will introduce the new cycle of catechesis, which will be developed throughout the Year of Faith that has just started and interrupt – for this period – the cycle dedicated to the school of prayer. With the Apostolic Letter Porta Fidei I chose this special year, so that the Church would renew its enthusiasm to believe in Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of the world, revive the joy of walking on the path that He has shown us, and witnesses in a concrete way the transforming power of the faith.
Read the rest of the story at the National Catholic Register or at Rome Reports.