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Friday, May 17, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 137

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Part Six: TERSE


Karl D. Keller

    There are many devotions we can practice throughout the day, but one of the most efficacious of these, besides the holy Rosary, is the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There are various versions - long ones and short ones - dedicated to Our Lady and it is the intention here to share the approved devotion with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur from over a century ago with readers. Here is presented the fourth hour of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Terce, which is actually the "Third Hour" from its name. Confused? The Church has a method to Her madness, so to speak, for 9 a.m. is considered the third hour with Prime being the first hour and Sext, which follows Terce is considered the Sixth hour. Still confused? Trust in God. Terce is actually the second of the four short offices that are often called "The Little Hours" throughout the day. Terce is most often said following breakfast before the work day begins in earnest. As always, one may say it at the appointed time or all of it at once continually with the other hours in succession.

TERCE    (9 a.m.)

   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. Today I will share with you the beauty of the office of Terce, normally said following breakfast before the full work day begins at 9 a.m. for it is considered the Third Hour of the day

    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 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.

The Hours

    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.


    Hail Mary, 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. Alleluia.

(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. The Virgin.

    Ant. Advent: Hail Mary.

    Ant. After Advent: When thou wast born.

Psalm 119
Ad Dominum
A prayer against perfidious enemies.

    David beseeches Almighty God to defend him from the calumnies of his enemies, and bewails the length of his exile during the persecution of Saul. This Psalm is suitable to every Christian who looks forward to the end of his exile here on earth.

    This Psalm, and those that follow till Ps. cxxxiii (133) inclusively, in number fifteen, are called Songs of Degrees, and in the Breviary the Gradual Psalms, from the word gradus, signifying steps, ascensions, or degrees; either because they were appointed to be sung on the fifteen steps, by which the people went up to the Temple; or that in the singing of them the voice was to be raise by certain steps or degrees; or that they were to be sung by the people returning from their captivity and going up to Jerusalem, which was seated amongst mountains. They may be understood of the degrees by which Christians spiritually ascend to virtue and perfection, and to the true Temple of God in the heavenly Jerusalem.

    What greater evil canst thou have to fear, to be given or added unto thee, O my soul, than that of a deceitful tongue? The shafts that go forth from the mouth of a man of power are so sharp and hurtful, that they are as burning coals dealing destruction all around.

    I have dwelt with the inhabitants of Cedar: my soul hath long been a sojourner: That is, I am constrained to dwell amongst barbarians; it is now a long time that my soul suffers thus sojourning as a stranger amongst them. With those who hate peace, I, who love peace have had to dwell; and if I began to speak of peace, they fought against me without cause.

    At the hour of Tierce our Lord Jesus Christ was scourged, and crowned with thorns, and scorned. The same hour after His Resurrection, He appeared to the women coming from the sepulchre; And on Pentecost Sunday the same hour He sent the Holy Ghost down to the Apostles. (Myrroure of Our Ladye)

    In these days when so few love Our Lord and His Church; when so few are close by with whom we can share the Faith; when so few are striving to keep the Traditions as the Church has done for two thousand years, sometimes we feel as King David did when he was pursued by Saul. Symbolically, we can even say that the true Catholics, the true Church, are being persecuted by the barbarians and their kings, the false popes and false bishops who have worked all these decades, no - centuries, for this day. Is there or has there ever been anyone with a more deceitful tongue than the Modernists who have taken over Rome? Is there any greater deceit than the heresies they spew forth so fast that the betray their intense hatred for the truth? What awaits these people? Here is what: Sharp arrows of the mighty One * with destroying coals of fire.

    [M]y soul hath long been a sojourner. - One of the hardest parts of keeping the traditional Catholic Faith (a redundant term) is this - that we have so little interaction with the other members of the Church Militant. We are isolated from each other and are surrounded by pagans, or muslims or protestants or atheists and on and on. The hardest part perhaps is watching the novus ordo types pretending that they are the Church, scandalizing the world with their infamous behavior and bold heresies. We know exactly how David felt when he said, Woe is me that my sojourn is prolonged! We long for the coming of our Lord to restore His Church; for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary; for a great Monarch to fight to restore the true Pope to the See of Peter. Let us not forget the first line of the psalm: When I was in trouble I cried unto the Lord and He heard me. We will continue to cry unto the Lord, we will keep our eyes upon Him as the servant keeps his eyes on the hands of his master, like the wise virgins who keep their lamps filled with oil. We will be ready when Our Lord says, Enough! and comes to restore all things.?

Then go to Psalm 119.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

Psalm 120
Levavi oculos
God is the Keeper of His servants.

    Here the Psalmist makes a just man speak, who lifts his eyes to the blessed mountains where is seated the Holy City, and whence he hopes for divine help.

    The holy mountains, whence is to come to me the succour that I hope for. The Lord wil not suffer thee to fall, when thou hast recourse to Him; nor does He sleep Who has taken thee to His keeping.

    By day thou shalt not have to fear the burning of the sun, nor by night the noxious influences of the moon.

    The first two verses are our Holy Mother Church, the Immaculate, the Spotless Bride of Christ, speaking: She has lifted up her eyes to the hills, to Heaven, knowing that Her help, her Spouse, her Lord, will come to her aid.

    The rest of the verses may be considered as the prayer of each of us, soldiers of Christ, praying for Holy Mother Church and acknowledging His care for her: In these dark days, it often seems that God is sleeping and has forgotten us. We are going through what Our Lord suffered on the cross when He cried out to His Father: My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? It seems we are abandoned, forsaken. Yet, we know that He keepeth Israel, that is, the Church and that He is her keeper and the defense upon her right hand. We know that He is not asleep, nor could He sleep as He watches our suffering. He preserves the Church and keeps her spotless, immaculate despite all the words of her enemies, posing as popes, say to the contrary!

    The sun shall not burn thee by day nor the moon by night. During the long centuries of the Church's expansion over the whole earth, her enemies never conquered her: the sun cannot burn her by day. But what of the moon? Can the moon burn? No. But what is night but the time when half of the earth is in the shadows? The night is that time when half of the earth is eclipsed and the light of the day cannot reach it. Just so the Church, although she is eclipsed by the dark shadow of the false church, the church of darkness that occupies Rome and all the world, despite that, the Church will not be harmed - she will remain the spotless Bride of Christ. The Lord will preserve her when she comes out of this eclipse just as He did when she came into it, and forever more!

Then go to Psalm 120.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

Psalm 121
Laetatus sum
Joy of the pilgrim entering Jerusalem.

    The joy of the Jews, on hearing that they are about to be released from the captivity of Babylon. Christians should by this Psalm enkindle anew their desires for Heaven.

    How strongly we can understand the suffering of the Hebrews as they awaited the Messias; as they awaited their release from the captivity that was brought about by their own sins! We ourselves are suffering the same fate. We are exiled from our churches, we have lost everything from the top down: We have no pope, no bishops in the dioceses (although we know there must be at least one bishop somewhere), almost no priests, hardly any Masses or Sacraments, the doctrine has been poisoned with the heresy of heresies - Modernism. And yet - we hope! We must hope! Especially since we know that we return to rest in the bosom of our Holy Mother the Church. We will go into the House of the Lord. Throughout the history of the Church, those called and chosen by God have ascended into heaven by being joined to the Mystical Body of Christ. We must pray - especially the Little Office and the Holy Rosary - for the things that are for the peace of the Church and those that love Her. We must pray for the salvation of our neighbors for the love of God. This is Charity.

Then go to Psalm 121.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

    Ant. The Virgin Mary was taken up to the heavenly chamber, where the King of kings sitteth on His starry throne.

    Ant. Advent: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women. Alleluia.

    Ant. After Advent: When thou wast born of a Virgin, after an ineffable manner, then were the scriptures fulfilled. Thou didst come down like rain upon the fleece, that Thou mightiest save mankind, we praise Thee, O, our God.

The Little Chapter

    The Little Chapter asks "Who is she that cometh forth...? This army set in array is the Church. Why would anyone have to ask, Who is this? Why is the Church rising? It is because right now the Church is hidden; She is out of view; She is being eclipsed by a false church, the church of Vatican II, the church of darkness; and the whole world has been fooled into thinking that that monstrosity is the Catholic Church. For that reason, when the TRUE Church, is released from Her imprisonment, when She comes out from the catacombs, no one will recognize Her! They will be in awe at Her beauty, at Her majesty. The good will rejoice, but the wicked will be in terror because they will see the very power of God in Her as a powerful army ready to avenge the innocents who have been oppressed by their enemies for so long. Just as Our Lord, Our Lady, and the Church arose from their sepulchres, so will Holy Mother Church arise and Her enemies will be scattered.

    Before and after Advent: And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem.

    Advent: There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse, and a flower shall rise out of his root, and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him.

    R. Thanks be to 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. O God, Who, by the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary, hast bestowed upon mankind the rewards of eternal salvation; grant, we beseech Thee, that we may feel her intercession for us, through whom we have been made worthy to receive the Author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.
    R. Amen.

    In the next installment we will treat the Fifth Office of the Day - Sext, which is at midday and is actually the Sixth Hour of the Day. Again, 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!

Treasures of Tradition
Friday, May 17, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 137