Paul Z. and I arrived in snowy Buffalo last night after a nine hour trip. Father Jacob was at the airport to welcome us. You can imagine my joy when, shown to my room, the first thing I saw was an image of the Vultus Christ, the Holy Face of Christ, on the wall. After a good night’s sleep and a brief meeting to look over this evening’s Mass In Cena Domini, I was happy to repair to the chapel for a time of adoration. As I had not yet said Lauds, I did it then.
Savouring the Grace
As much as I love chanting the Divine Office in choir, there is a special unction attached to praying the Hours quietly in solitude, or alone before the Blessed Sacrament. One is free to pause frequently, to linger over a particular verse and to savour the grace concealed within it. After such experiences, one returns to the Choir Office refreshed and more attentive.
The Sacramental Word
Certain verses of the psalms and canticle, incisive and fresh in the translation of Monsignor Knox, were like sacramentals, communicating a particular grace as soon as they made contact with the “palate of the soul.”
From Psalm 50:
Have mercy on me, O God,
as thou art ever rich in mercy.
In the abundance of thy compassion,
blot out the record of my misdeeds.
My God, bring a clean heart to birth within me:
breathe new life, true life, into my being.
From Psalm 89:
And at last thy hand comes upon us in mercy,
for our correction.
Alas, that so few heed thy vengeance,
measure thy anger by the reverence we owe thee!
With such correction thou must needs assert thy power,
chasten us and make us wise.
Relent, Lord; must it be for ever?
be gracious to thy servants.
For us thy timely mercies:
for us abiding happiness and content;
Happiness that shall atone for the time when thou didst afflict us,
for the long years of ill fortune.
Look upon thy servants, thy own fashioning,
and be the guide of their posterity.
Brightly may the splendour of the Lord shine upon us!
Prosper our doings, Lord,
prosper our doings yet.