After introducing you to the importance of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary in my first installment Our Lady of the Great Event, and providing the First Nocturn and Second and Third Hours of Matins, and recently Lauds followed by Prime then Terce, and then Sext. Today I will share with you the beauty of the office of None, established for 3 p.m., the very hour Our Lord died on the cross.
It is my intention to console Our Lady by helping to make the recitation of Her Little Office more accessible and consoling to others in the hope that more people will pray it and realize how comforting it is to know that the Mother of God Herself, hundreds of years ago, provided this means of grace to Her children. In order to do that, I have put together the following that I will present each week so that all will eventually have access to the Little Office.
All of the prayers of the Little Office each time will be listed here with a link to the Psalms or other passages of Scripture at drbo.org for the most exact translation of the Douay-Rheims version. Each psalm will be prefaced by some thoughts from Explanation of the Psalms & Canticles in the Divine Office by none other than St. Alphonsus Liguori, translated by the Rev. T. Livius, C.SS.R., with a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from 1887. To these are added some of my thoughts on how the same psalms relate to the situation through which we are living, an age of Apostasy, which many, myself included, believe to be the Apostasy foretold by St. Paul. I have tried to organize it in such a way as to keep a smooth flow as I will treat a different nocturn each time.
Once all these installments are published, you'll see where one can pray the Little Office from Matins to Compline straight through in about 90 minutes. Nearly half of that is needed for Matins and Lauds. The "little hours" of Prime, Terce, Sext, and None require only about 7 or 8 minutes each, so all four can be said in around a half hour. These are the hours and psalms for the soldiers of the Church Militant, encouragement for the soldiers of Christ. If your schedule is very crowded and your days very busy, as mine are, and you cannot pray all of the hours, my suggestion is to pray the little hours, either all together in the morning, at noon, or any time really, or at three a.m. (Lauds), six a.m. (Prime), nine a.m. (Tierce), noon (Sext), three p.m. (None), six p.m. (Vespers) and compline just before going to bed or nine p.m.
, secretly, which is said always at the beginning of all the Hours.
V. Come + unto my help, O God.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
(Thus is said Alleluia at all the Hours throughout the year, except from Septuagesima to Holy Saturday; for then is said: Praise be to Thee, O Lord, King of everlasting glory.)
Remember, O Creator Lord!
That in the Virgin's sacred womb
Thou wast conceived, and of her flesh
Didst our mortality assume.
Mother of grace, O Mary blest!
To thee, sweet fount of love, we fly;
Shield us through life, and take us hence
To thy dear bosom when we die.
O Jesu! born of Virgin bright!
Immortal glory be to Thee;
Praise to the Father infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally. Amen.
Ant. Thou art fair.
Ant. Advent: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Ant. After Advent: Behold.
The people of God rejoice at their delivery from captivity.
The sighs of the Jews for release from the captivity of Babylon. This Psalm may be of service to sinners who wish to be delivered from the slavery of sin, and to the just who sigh for the end of their exile here on earth.
1. When the Lord shall bring forth Sion, that is, His people, from captivity, we, beholding ourselves freed, shall be filled with so great consolation, that we shall seem to be in a dream.
2. Then we shall be so full of joy that our tongue will break forth in canticles of gladness.
4. And we, too, shall say: The Lord hat wrought great things in our behalf, and for this cause we thus rejoice.
5. Deliver us, then, O Lord, from our captivity, and grant that we may be consoled, as those are consoled who dwell in the region of the South when there comes to them an abundance of water.
At the hour of None our Lord Jesus Christ cried, and gave out His soul by death (St. Matt. xxvii. 46). The same hour a knight opened our Lord's side with a spear, and smote through His heart, whereout came water to our baptism, and blood to our redemption (St. John xix. 34). And on Easter Day, He appeared the same hour to Saint Peter. (The Myrroure of Our Ladye)
When was the moment when Satan thought he had triumphed over Our Lord? Was it not when Christ died on the cross and gave up the ghost? For an instant, Lucifer believed himself the victor. But wait! This moment of apparent victory was actually the moment at which Our Lord turned the captivity of Sion into victory and it was as sudden as a bolt of lightning. In the same instant, the millennia-long intrigue of Lucifer to prevent the redemption of mankind which he thought he had won, was turned into utter and complete defeat! His plan was destroyed and we became as men consoled. Here we are again: it appears that the Mystical Body of Christ is dead and not only dead, but buried and rotted in the grave. Once again, Lucifer thinks he has won.
But wait! As a river in the south that changes direction suddenly and flows in the opposite direction; as the reapers who sowed in tears but return at the harvest with their arms full of the wheat, we shall be made joyful. Just as suddenly, at the time when nobody expects, we will become as men consoled, filled with gladness and joy. We will shout the great things that God has done for us because our captivity will have ended, our oppressors destroyed. The devil takes delight in making us give up just at the moment when victory is at hand so that he can mock us and our lack of longanimity and perseverance. We must keep sowing, though it be in tears, because, returning, we will return with joy carrying our sheaves!
Then go to Psalm 125. Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...
Man can do nothing without God.
The Jews, on their return from Babylon, wish to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the Temple, but are hindered by the incursions of their enemies; the Psalmist exhorts them to trust in God.
Regarding verses 4 to 6. After the Lord shall have given to His beloved, that is, to His people, sleep, viz., peace by means of the promised Redeemer. - Then shall appear the inheritance of Jesus Christ the Lord, an inheritance which shall consist in the multitude of the children born in His Church according to the prophecy: "Ask of Me, and I will give Thee the Gentiles for Thine inheritance (Psalm. ii. 8.) - The recompense of Christ the Lord shall be the fruit of the womb, that is, these same children shall be the recompense of Jesus Christ according to another prophecy: If He shall lay down His life for sin, He shall see a long-lived seed." (Isaias liii. 10). This is well expressed in the Greek version in this sense: The multitude of children shall be the inheritance of the Lord and the recompense of Jesus Christ, Who was properly the fruit of Mary's womb. These children, tormented by persecutions, shall be against their enemies as so many arrows in the hand of a strong man. Blessed is the man who shall see his desire satisfied by the birth of so many children; he shall not suffer confusion when he shall have to treat with his enemies before the gate of the city, that is, according to Bellarmine, at the last judgment, which shall take place at the great gate, or at the assize of the whole world, when Jesus Christ shall confound the demons, who thought to drag the entire human race down to hell.
In the previous psalm, was referenced the captivity of the Hebrews in Babylon, and our captivity under the church of darkness, the great harlot, that has overtaken all the structures of the Church. They try to build a civilization of love as one of the recent antipopes called the new world order (which was also what Queen Elizabeth I called her persecution of Catholics in England during her bloody reign). They try to build their house and keep their city, but they do so in vain because the Lord did not build it and He does not keep it! The Catholic Church is the House of the Lord which He built and keeps. It shall endure forever, but the false church shall fall. Shall those of us who are keeping our eyes upon the hand of our Master lose sleep over the situation? Should we take actions to fix the situation? No. Except in the sense that Our Lady gave us at Fatima: Do your daily duty, pray the Rosary, wear the scapular. These are our marching orders. She did not tell us to ordain bishops and priests illicitly, or to start up seminaries. What should we do? Keep on living in obedience to the laws of the Church. If we are called to the married state, we should give as many children as we can to the Lord and raise them in the Faith. They shall be as arrows in the hand of God. We need not take upon ourselves the responsibility of repairing the situation by extreme acts, rising before dawn, but we must raise our families well and provide stones with which the Lord can rebuild; arrows with which He can ward off the enemy. So when we look upon the horrors committed by the novus ordo blasphemers, when we begin to feel overwhelmed by the immense success it has had in driving the Church into the catacombs again, let us remember that they labor in vain that build it.
Then go to Psalm 126. Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...
The happiness of the just.
The Psalmist announces to the Jews, after their return from Babylon, the blessings which they will receive from God, if they keep His laws.
How appropriate that the last psalm of the little hours, all of which refer to the battle that the Church Militant is fighting for the preservation of the Faith, is a reminder that we will return from our captivity. That is, the Church, will triumph as Our Lady has told us many times over the past centuries. The Church will arise again, more glorious than ever. We can consider this psalm as being addressed to our Holy Mother the Church:
Those that walk in His ways are the faithful, the members of the Mystical Body of Christ or the Bride of Christ. This Bride of Christ shall be as a fruitful vine; like olive plants around thy table - the altar at Mass; She will grow and multiply and be restored just as the children of Job were returned to him.
The blessing of God will be seen in the multiplication of the members of the Church, and the peace that will finally come to Her and will last forever - She shall see Her children's children.
Then go to Psalm 127. Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...
Ant. Thou art fair and comely, O daughter of Jerusalem: terrible as an army set in array.
Ant. Advent: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy word.
Ant. After Advent: Behold, Mary hath borne us a Savior, Whom John beholding, exclaimed: Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him Who taketh away the sins of the world. Alleluia.
The Little Chapter - Eccli. 24: 20
In the Little Chapter, we read of the presence of Our Blessed Mother, whose presence sustains and permeates the Church like the fragrance of choicest myrrh with the sweetness of its odour. In the streets of the city, the Church, Our Lady yields her sweetness like cinnamon and aromatic balm, to encourage us and remind us of her presence.
Yet we know that we are not worthy as we stand. We have sinned against God and not kept His commands. We have taken for granted the blessings He has showered upon the Church over the centuries and have not held fast the Traditions. This is why we have been exiled and held in captivity by the great harlot, Babylon. We cannot appease God's anger by our own acts, so we must plead with Our Lady to intercede for us with her Divine Son, that we may be saved.
So end the Psalms of the daytime hours, which reflect the battle we wage against the enemies of God and His Church. Shortly we will begin Vespers, wherein the psalms raise our spirits by reminding us of the continuous presence of God among us and how we should rejoice in the knowledge that He is with us, and will be with us until the end of the world!
We may also look upon the psalms as a reflection of the ages of the Church. Matins and Lauds are full of joy and praise as were Adam and Eve in the garden before the fall. Prime, Tierce, Sext and None reflect the battle with the infernal enemy that has been going on since the fall and will continue until the triumph of Christ the King and the restoration of all things in Him, the Great Event, which we see in the psalms of Vespers.
Before and after Advent: In the streets, like cinnamon and aromatic balm, I gave forth a sweet fragrance: like the choicest myrhh, I yielded a sweetness of odor.
Advent: Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel; butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. After childbirth thou didst remain a pure Virgin.
R. Intercede for us, O Mother of God.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray. Forgive, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the offenses of Thy servants; that we, who are unable to please Thee by our own acts, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost God, world without end.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
In the next installment we will treat the Seventh Office of the Day - Vespers, which is at 6 p.m. and a very common time of prayer prayed immediately after the Angelus. I encourage you to allot time in the future to include this meaningful practice in your life for saying the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I know She'll greatly appreciate it and respond with many graces.
Karl D. Keller
Karl D. Keller is a Catholic trying to live and die as a loyal son of Holy Mother Church. A father of nine, grandfather of five (so far!), he believes all things revealed by God through His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. He rejects anything else, even if it comes from men who do not keep the Catholic Faith and pretend that they can change it. Only Catholics can hold office in the Church. His goal is to encourage others who are trying to keep the Faith not to despair, but to persevere, with the help of The Mother of God, by promoting the recitation of Her Little Office, and the apparitions in Quito, Ecuador in the 1600s, where she described herself as, Nuestra Señora del Buen Suceso, which does not mean Our Lady of Good Success, but rather, Our Lady of the Good/Great Event, referring to the Triumph of Her Immaculate Heart and the Reign of Christ the King.
¡Viva Cristo Rey!