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Saturday, May 25, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 145

Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Part Seven: SEXT


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 fifth hour of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary: Sext, which means "six" and is actually the halfway point of the day at the height of the sun at noon. Every three hours an office is said and thus, despite the nomenclature of six, this is the actually the "Fifth Hour." Confused again? As always holy Mother Church has a method to Her madness, if you will, for noon marks 12 hours since Matins and until Matins. The sun is at its highest and, before lunch, we take time to say the Angelus and then immediately follow with the Office of Sext, the third of the four short offices called "The Little Hours."

SEXT    (Noon)

   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 and then Terce. Today I will share with you the beauty of the office of Sext, established for mid-day at 12 p.m. in conjunction with the Angelus or, during Pascaltide, the Regina Coeli. Sext, meaning "six", is considered the halfway point to midnight when Matins begins anew.

    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.


    Pray the Angelus, or during Paschaltide, the Regina Coeli

    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. We run.

    Ant. Advent: Fear not, Mary.

    Ant. After Advent: In the bush which Moses saw.

Psalm 122
Ad te levavi
A prayer against perfidious enemies.

    The people of Israel pray to the Lord to deliver them from the captivity of Babylon. In like manner does the Church, in her persecutions, implore deliverance from God.

    At Sext our Lord Jesus Christ was done on the Cross, and fed with vinegar and gall. The same hour after His Resurrection He appeared to the Apostle Saint James. (Myrroure of Our Ladye)

    This is a wonderful psalm to meditate upon due to our circumstances. We can close our eyes and imagine ourselves at the feet of Jesus our Lord, as St. Mary Magdalene did. Knowing that He will have mercy upon us, we wait patiently, our eyes fixed upon the hands of Our Lord and Our Lady. We know that they know our plight and we trust Them. And yet, we cannot help asking as the psalmist, "How long, O Lord?" We keep our eyes fixed upon their hands, glancing occasionally up to their eyes, hoping that perhaps we will find them looking down in pity upon us - Turn then most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. The powerful and the wealthy have been fighting mightily for our destruction. We are objects of contempt and shame to them. How about now, Lord? Is now a good time? No? Fiat voluntas Tua.

    And yet, our Father knows what we need before we ask it. He has given us the Church as our guide and protector. We must not think for a moment that She is week and impotent. She is an army set in array. If God does not act through Her, it is because the time is not right. Remember, that we are as a bird in the hand of St. Francis. The Church, our Mother, watches over us and keeps us from danger. Not a single bird falls from the sky without our Father knowing it. Let us thank God that he has released us from the snares of the fowler and the snare is broken. We are not in thrall to the church of darkness, though we suffer at seeing the darkness continue. Let's wait on Him with peace in our hearts. At the right moment, He will act. It is an act of humility to wait upon the Lord.

Then go to Psalm 122.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

Psalm 123
Nisi quia Dominus
The Church gives glory to God for her deliverance from her enemies.

    A thanksgiving of the Jews to God, after their deliverance from the captivity of Babylon. This Psalm is also very suitable to a soul delivered by God from some temptation.

Apocalypse Chapter 6. And the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared of God, that there they might feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days. 15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth after the woman, water as it were a flood. 16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was angry against the woman and went to make battle with the rest of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of JESUS Christ.

    ANNOTATIONS from the original Douay Rheims: Chapter 12 -

    6. The woman fled. This great persecution that the Church shall flee from is in the time of Antichrist... in which time for all that, she shall not want our Lord's protection, nor true Pastors, nor be so secret, but all faithful men shall know and follow her: much less shall she decay, err in faith, or degenerate and follow Antichrist, as Heretics do wickedly feign.

    15. To be carried away. By great persecution he would draw her, that is, her children from the true faith: But every one of the faithful elect, gladly bearing their part thereof, overcome his tyranny. At whose constancy he being the more offended, worketh malicious attempts in assaulting the frailer sor who are here signified by the rest of her seed that keep the commandments but are not so perfect as the former.

    Have we not cause to rejoice, that God and Our Lady have saved us, have drawn us out from the church of darkness and the flood of heresies that it daily spews forth from its usurped places in Rome and all the churches? How grateful should we be that we have been released or preserved from the novus ordo religion and the snares that it lays for souls? The river of heresies that has engulfed the world has spared a small remnant of faithful Catholics and we are among them! Soon the snare will be broken and we will be delivered. Truly, if God had not been with us, we too would have been swallowed up alive. Blessed be the Name of the Lord! Our help is in the name of the Lord who hath made heaven and earth. He hath saved us, his sparrows, from the snare of the fowler!

Then go to Psalm 123.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

Psalm 124
Qui confidunt
God protects the just who have confidence in Him.

    The people of Israel pray to the Lord to deliver them from the captivity of Babylon. In like manner does the Church, in her persecutions, implore deliverance from God.

    Whoever dwells in the Church (Sion), whoever remains faithful and obedient to Holy Mother Church in Her doctrine and discipline, can never be shaken. They will be as strong as a mountain surrounded by mountains. The Lord stands around the faithful remnant of Catholics, spread out and seemingly destroyed though we might appear, we are a visible body, the mystical Body of Christ. As such, we cannot be overcome. God has ordained that the enemies of the Church appear triumphant for a time, but He will leave the rod of sinners (or heretics or apostates or freemasons and Jews) over the just. He will do well unto His faithful, to them who are right of heart. Those who have practiced deception and sought to destroy us with masonic intrigue and lies, such as turn aside unto deceits, the Lord shall number with the workers of iniquity, that is, he will destroy them, and peace shall be upon the Church (Israel).

Then go to Psalm 124.
Complete the Psalm with Glory Be...

    Ant. We run to the odor of thy ointments: the young maidens have loved thee exceedingly.

    Ant. Advent: Fear not, Mary; thou hast found grace with the Lord, behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. Alleluia.

    Ant. After Advent: In the bush which Moses saw, unconsumed, we acknowledge thy admirable virginity preserved; intercede for us, O Mother of God.

The Little Chapter - Eccli. 24: 16

    The Little Chapter reiterates these truths, referring to the abode of God in the assembly of the saints and the reign of Christ in the House of Jacob, the Church, which shall have no end.

    Let us strive to be the stones with which God rebuilds His Church. Just as St. Francis of Assisi sought stones from the people to rebuild the crumbling ruins of San Damiano, so God seeks stones to rebuild His Church in our day. We must be as stones, that is, we must be there, ready to be used according to His good pleasure, whenever, wherever, however He disposes. It is not for the stone to tell the builder how to build the building. The builder chooses the stones that fit in the proper place. Let us be grateful to God that He has preserved us, and let us persevere in the Faith, so that when the time comes, He can use as as He pleases. May be make us the perfect instruments of His holy and adorable will and let us present no obstacle to Him by pretending to know better than He how to restore his Building

    Before and after Advent: And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God His inheritance: and my abode is in the full assembly of the saints.

    Advent: The Lord shall give unto Him the throne of David His father and He shall reign in the House of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.

    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, Vouchsafe to our weakness, O merciful God, the help of Thy protection that we who commemorate the Holy Mother of God, may, by the help of her intercession, arise from our iniquities. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son our LOrd, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost God, world without end.
    R. Amen.

    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.
    R. Amen.

    In the next installment we will treat the Sixth Office of the Day - None, which is at 3 p.m., the very time Our Lord died on the Cross. 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
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Vol. 24, no. 145