February 23, 2009
vol 20, no. 54
Double Feast of Saint Peter Damian, Bishop, Confessor and Doctor of the Church

WHITE Vestments

Missa "In medio Ecclesiae"

       St. Peter Damian showed remarkable piety from his childhood. Having, by chance, picked up a coin, he gave it to a priest requesting him to offer up the divine sacrifice for the soul of his father. He added to his name that of Damian his brother out of gratitude, because it was by his brother's generosity that he was able to pursue his studies. "Despising earthly riches" (Collect), he entered a monastery of Camaldolese of the Benedictine observance and soon became its abbot (Communion). "As a light of souls, he was to be placed on the candlestick" (Gospel), and became bishop of Ostia and cardinal. He rendered immense service to the Sovereign Pontiffs by his learning, he commissions as legate and many other works. Taking his share in the apostolic life of Jesus, he combated the heresy of the Simonists and died at Faenza in 1072. Leo XII gave him the title of Doctor of the Church.

       Let us imitate in his ardor for penance, St. Peter Damian, who contributed so much by his example and counsel, to spread the penitential practice of the discipline as an atonement for sin.

When God calls, will we respond?

    The life of a faithful Christian, like that of the patriarch Abraham, is neither more nor less than a courageous journeying onwards to the place destined for him by his Creator. He must put aside everything that could impede his progress, nor must he look back. This is, undoubtedly, hard doctrine; but if we reflect, for a moment, on the dangers which surround fallen man during his earthly pilgrimage, and on what our own sad experience has taught us, we shall not think it hard or strange, that our Savior has made the renouncing and denying of ourselves an essential condition of our salvation. But, independently of this, is it not far better to put our life under God's guidance, than to keep it in our own? Are we so wise or so strong, as to be able to guide ourselves? We may resist as we please, but God is our sovereign Lord and Master; and by giving us free-will, whereby we may either resist His will or follow it, He has not abdicated His own infinite rights to His creatures' obedience. Our refusal to obey would not make Him less our Master.

    Had Abraham, after receiving the divine call, chosen to remain in Chaldea, and refused to break up the home which God had bade him leave, God would then have selected some other man to be the patriarch of His chosen people, and father of that very family, which was to have the Messias as one of its children. This substitution of one for another in the order of grace is frequently forced upon divine justice; but what a terrible punishment it is for him that caused the substitution! When a soul refuses salvation, heaven does not therefore lose one of its elect: God, finding that He is despised by the one He called, offers the grace to another, until His call is followed.

    The Christian life consists in this untiring, unreserved obedience to God. The first effect of this spirit of submission is, that it takes the soul from the region of sin and death, wherein she was wasting away her existence; it takes her from the dark Chaldea, and places her in the promised land of light. Lest she should faint on her way along the narrow path, and fallen victim to the dangers which never leave her because they are within herself, God asks her for sacrifices, add these race her. Here, again, we have Abraham for our model. God loves him, and promises him the richest of blessings; He gives him a son, as pledge of the promise; and then, shortly after, tests the holy patriarch's devotedness, by commanding him to slay with his own hand this dear child, on whom he has been told to build his hopes!

    Man's path on earth is sacrifice. We cannot go out from evil except by the way of self-resistance, nor keep our footing on good ground but by constant combating. Let us imitate Abraham: fix our eyes steadfastly on the eternal hills, and consider this world as a mere passing dwelling, tent, put up for a few days. Our Jesus has said to us: 'I came not to send peace, but the sword; for I came to separate'(1)-{St. Matthew x: 34, 35} Separation, then, and trials are sure to be sent us; but we are equally sure that they are for our good, since they are sent us by Him who so loved us, that He became one of ourselves. But this same Jesus has also said: 'Where thy treasure is, there, too, is thy heart'(2)-{Ibid. vi. 21}. Christians! Can our treasure be in this wretched world? No it must be in that fair land above. There, then, must we be, in desire and affection.

    These are the thoughts the Church would have us meditate upon during these days, which immediately precede the forty of Lent. They will help to purify our hearts and make them long to be with their God. The noise of the world's sins and scandals reaches our ears: let us pray, that the kingdom of God may come to us and to those poor sinners; for God's infinite mercy can change THEM, IF He will, into children of Abraham. Not a day passes but He so changes many a sinner. He has, perhaps, shown that miracle of His mercy to us, and those words of the apostle may be applied to us: 'You, who some time were afar off, are now made nigh (to God) by the Blood of Christ'(1)- {Ephesians ii: 13}.

    We want to thank the Friends of Our Lady of Fatima for expediting these resources of the Propers. Sources: Saint Andrew Daily Missal and the Marian Missal , 1945.

Missa "In medio Ecclesiae"

INTROIT: Ecclesiasticus 15: 5
In medio Ecclesiae aperuit os ejus: et implevit eum Dominus epiritu sapientiae, et intellectus: stolam gloriae induit eum. (Ps. 91: 2) Bonum est confiteri Domino: et psallere nomini tuo, Altissime. v. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancti sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Repeat In medio Ecclesiae...
In the midst of the Church the Lord opened his mouth: and filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding: He clothed him with a robe of glory.. (Ps. 91: 2) It is good to give praise to the Lord: and to sing to Thy Name, O Most High. v. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Repeat In the midst of the Church...
Dominus vobiscum. R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Oremus. Concede nos, quaesumus, Omnipotens Deus : beati Petri Confessoris tui atque Pontificis monita et exempla sectari ; ut per terrestrium rerum contemptum aeterna gaudia consequamur. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum Filium Tuum: Qui Tecum vivit et regnat.

The Lord be with you. R. And with thy spirit.

Let us pray. Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty Got to follow the admonitions and examples of blessed Peter, Thy confessor and bishop; that by despising earthly things we may obtain eternal joys. Through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

EPISTLE: Ecclesiasticus 15: 1-6
Lectio libri Sapientiae. Qui timet Deum faciet illud et qui continens est iustitiae adprehendet illam, et obviabit illi quasi mater honorificata et quasi mulier a virginitate suscipiet illum cibabit illum panem vitae et intellectus et aqua sapientiae salutaris potabit illum: et firmabitur in illo et non flectetur: et continebit illum et non confundetur et inaltabit illum apud proximos suos, et in medio ecclesiae aperiet os illius adimplebit illum spiritu sapientiae et intellectus et stolam gloriae vestiet illum. Iucunditatem et exultationem thesaurizabit super illum et nomine aeterno hereditabit illum. Dominus Deus noster. Deo Gratias.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom. He that feareth God will do good: and he that possesseth justice shall lay hold on her, and she will meet him as an honorable mother. With the bread of life and understanding she shall feed him and give him the water of wholesome wisdom to drink: and she shall be made strong in him, and he shall not be moved: and she shall hold him fast, and he shall not be confounded: and she shall exalt him among his neighbors, and in the midst of the Church she shall open his mouth, and shall fill him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, and shall clothe him with a robe of glory. The Lord our God shall heap upon him a treasure of joy and gladness, and shall cause him to inherit an everlasting name. Thanks be to God.

GRADUAL: Ecclesiasticus 44: 1, 20
Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis placuit Deo. V. Non est inventus similes illi qui conservaret legem Excelsi.
Behold a great priest who in his days pleased God. V. There was not any found like to him, who kept the law of the Most High.

TRACT:   Psalm 111: 6-7
Beatus vir, qui timet Dominum: in mandatis ejus cupit nimis. V. Potens in terra erit semen ejus: generatio rectorum benedicetur. V. Gloria et divitiae in domo ejus: et justitia ejus manet in saeculum saeculi.
Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord: he delights exceedingly in His commandments. V. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the righteous shall be blessed. V. Glory and wealth shall be in his house: and his justice remaineth for ever and ever.

GOSPEL:   John 21: 19-24
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sequentia sancti Evangelii secundum Joannem
R.Gloria tibi, Domine

In illo tempore: Dixit Jesus Petro: 'Sequere Me.' conversus Petrus vidit illum discipulum quem diligebat Iesus sequentem qui et recubuit in cena super pectus eius et dixit 'Domine quis est qui tradit te?' Hunc ergo cum vidisset Petrus dicit Iesu Domine hic autem quid? Dicit ei Iesus 'Si sic eum volo manere donec veniam quid ad te tu Me sequere.' Exivit ergo sermo iste in fratres quia discipulus ille non moritur et non dixit ei Iesus non moritur sed: 'Sic eum volo manere donec veniam: quid ad te?' Hic est discipulus qui testimonium perhibet de his et scripsit haec et scimus quia verum est testimonium eius.
Laus tibi Christe.

The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
The continuation of the holy Gospel according to John. R. Glory to Thee, O Lord

At that time Jesus said to Peter: ' Follow Me.' Peter turning about saw that disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also leaned on His breast at supper and said: 'Lord, who is he that shall betray Thee?' Him therefore when Peter had seen, he saith to Jesus: 'Lord, and what shall this man do?' Jesus saith to him: 'So I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee? Follow thou Me.' This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say to him: He should not die; but: 'So I will have him to remain till I come: what is it to thee?' This is that disciple who giveth testimony of these things, and hath written these things: and we know that the testimony is true.
Praise be to Christ

OFFERTORY:    Psalm 92: 15
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.

Justus ut palma florebit: sicut cedrus, quae in Libano est, multiplicabitur.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.

The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall be multiplied like the cedar that is in Libanus.
Suscipe, Domine, munera quae in eius tibi solemnitate deferimus, cujus nos confidimus patrocinio liberari. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Receive, O Lord, the gifts we bring to Thee on the feast of him, by whose pleading we hope to be delivered. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever..

PREFACE   Common Preface
Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Sursum corda.
R.Habemus ad Dominum.
Gratias agamus Domino Deo nostro.
R. Dignum et justum est.

Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos Tibi simper, et ubique gratias agere: Domine sancte, Pater omnipotens, aeterne Deus: per Christum Dominum nostrum. Per quem majestatem Tuam laudant Angeli, adorant Dominationes, tremunt Potestates, Coeli, Coelorumque Virtutes, ac beata Seraphim socia exultatione concelebrant. Cum quibus et nostras voces, ut admitti, jubeas, supplici confessione dicentes:
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Lift up your hearts.
R.We have lifted them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
R. It is meet and just.

It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:

COMMUNION:   John 21: 23
Exiit sermo inter fratres, quod discipulus ille non moritur. Et non dixit Jesus: No moritur; sed: Sic eum volo manere, donec veniam.
This saying therefore went abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die. And Jesus did not say: He should not die; but: So I will have him to remain until I come.

Dominus vobiscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Refecti cibo potuque Caelesti, Deus noster, Te supplices deprecamur: ut, in cuius haec commemoratione percepimus, eius muniamur et precibus. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus,
Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
We who have been refreshed by heavenly food and drink, humbly entreat Thee, O our God, that we may be strengthened also by the prayers of him, in whose commemoration we have received them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
Forever and ever.
R. Amen.

Daily Proper of the Mass for St. Peter Damian on February 23