Purge this land of bitter things

I was surprised and gratified to discover that this was to the opening hymn sung at Mass in my parish this Sunday: Judge eternal, throned in splendor, Lord of lords and King of kings, with the living fire of judgment purge this land of bitter things; solace all its wide dominion with the healing of thy wings. Still the weary folk are pining for the hour that brings release, and the city’s crowded clangor cries aloud …

Laboring and resting: “On This Day, the First of Days”

Many years ago, a wise priest taught me that an excellent way to recollect myself before the beginning of Mass is to meditate on the texts of the hymns of the day. I have followed this practice now for decades and, provided the hymns are well-written and carefully selected, find it very helpful. (At Masses where the “hymns” are poorly written songs full of dubious theology, however, I find it better to ignore them altogether.) The …

Put on the Armor of Light, on St. Patrick’s Day and every day

As this article from Slate acknowledges, very few concrete facts about Ireland’s patron saint have survived. Much that we think we know is merely legend. Keeping that in mind, did you ever wonder why Saint Patrick is credited with expelling snakes (not wolves, not badgers, not even demons) from the Emerald Isle? I’m not going to dispute whether holy Padraic literally chased serpentine creatures from Ireland, but you have to admit that on a symbolic …