The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for December 17th, 2012

Resources for Christmas Mass at Dawn (Orindary and Extraordinary Forms)

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 17, 2012

This post contains resources for both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms of the Roman Rite for the Christmas Mass At Dawn.  Links to other Christmas Masses below. The Epistle and Gospel reading for the two Forms are the same. I will try to add some homilies soon.

Resources for the Christmas Vigil Mass.

Resources for Mass During the Night (Midnight Mass).

Pending: Resources for Mass During the Day.



  • Anglican Use Daily Office. ”Briefly, it is a provision for an “Anglican style” liturgy similar to the Book of Common Prayer as an ecclesiastically approved variant on the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.” More info.


  • Pending: My Notes on Isaiah 62:11-12.




In Nativitatis Domini in aurora ~ I. classis


  • Roman Missal. Important: make sure correct date is set and select the Missa secunda bubble located under the date.



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Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on Luke 2:15-21

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 17, 2012

Luk 2:15  And it came to pass, after the angels departed from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another: Let us go over to Bethlehem and let us see this word that is come to pass, which the Lord hath shewed to us.

This word. Greek,  ρημα, utterance, matter, topic, thing.

Which the Lord hath shewed to us. In the Greek ε̉γνώζισε—revealed, made known. Yea, and has given us, rather than the scribes and all others, a sign by which we shall find the Messiah that is born. Wherefore, if we, who have been invited by Him through an angel, do not visit and adore Him who is born for us, and revealed first to us, we shall be ungrateful to God, to the angels, and to Christ, and enemies to ourselves.

Luk 2:16  And they came with haste: and they found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger.

With haste, from their longing and zeal to see Christ. Hence S. Ambrose remarks, “Thou seest that the shepherds make haste; for no one seeks after Christ with slothfulness.” And Bede, “The shepherds hasten, for the presence of Christ must not be sought with sluggishness; and many perchance that seek Christ do not merit to find Him, because they seek Him slothfully.”

Luk 2:17  And seeing, they understood of the word that had been spoken to them concerning this child.

They understood—in the Greek διεγνώζισαν—they knew distinctly and with certainty. Or it may be translated, according to Pagninus, they made known; Theophylact has, they published abroad. So, too, the Syriac version; and hence it follows in verse 18:—

Luk 2:18  And all that heard wondered: and at those things that were told them by the shepherds.

The second and is not found in the Greek, the Syriac, or the Arabic version, and with this omission the sense is plainer. But, according to the Roman version, the meaning is, they wondered at the birth of the Messiah, and at the other things that were said about him by the shepherds, namely, that an angel had appeared, that angels had sung “Gloria in excelsis,” and Christ was lying in a manger, &c.

So the Gloss, Francis Lucas, and others. Lyranus, however, interprets the “and” as equivalent to “that is.” Hence it appears that the shepherds told to many what they had heard and seen respecting the birth of Christ; and that therefore many went to the crib and saw Christ; but that those only believed in Him whose hearts God touched efficaciously, while others, offended at His poverty, despised Him.  S. Ambrose assigns the reason for this—”The person of the shepherds was not despicable—assuredly the more precious in the eyes of faith, the more despicable it was to worldly wisdom. Not the schools crowded with their bands of wise men did the Lord seek, but a simple folk, that knew not how to deck out and colour the things they had heard. For simplicity is what is sought, ambition is not wanted.”

Luk 2:19  But Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart.

Pondering them in her heart—putting them together and comparing them (Greek: συμβαλλουσα)—not as Bede would have it, the prophecies made about Christ by the prophets, but the things seen and reported by the shepherds with reference to the angels—the “Gloria in excelsis,” &c., with what she had experienced herself—the annunciation of Gabriel, the prophecy of Elizabeth and of Zacharias, and the other things which she herself had witnessed and felt in herself. And this she did, first, that seeing the wondrous harmony—all things agreeing so well together—she might be the more confirmed in her faith that the only begotten Son of God was born of her. So speaks S. Ambrose. Secondly, that by the sweet contemplation of these circumstances so consonant among themselves, she might feed her mind, and look with sure hope for the rest—namely, that God would bring this work to an end, and redeem mankind by Christ. Thirdly, that in good time she might unfold all these things and narrate them in order to the apostles, and especially to S. Luke, who was destined to write of them. Observe here in the Virgin the rare example of maidenly silence and modesty, of heavenly prudence, and of the firmest faith and hope, as she wonders at the present and waits for the future. She was comparing the signs of deepest loneliness which she saw with what she knew of His Supreme Majesty, the stable with heaven, the swaddling clothes with that which is spoken of in Ps. civ., “covered with light as with a garment,” the crib with the throne of God, the beasts with the seraphim.

Luk 2:20  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

And the shepherds returned (to their flock, says Euthymius, for God would have the faithful, however exalted by Him, remain in the discharge of their several callings), glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. Hence it is clear that the shepherds remained constant in the faith and gospel of Christ—nay, exulting and jubilant in the joy of the Holy Spirit at having seen Him.

Luk 2:21  And after eight days were accomplished, that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS, which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

After the eight days were accomplished—when the eighth day from His nativity was come. That the child should be circumcised—this indicates that He was circumcised, implying that He underwent the rite, not of obligation, but freely and of His own will. For, in the first place, He was God—the Author of the law, and, therefore, not bound by the law; and, in the second place, He was not of the common generation of men, who are procreated of the propagation of sin and conceived in iniquity, says Bede, but conceived and born of the Holy Spirit, and, therefore, without original sin, for wiping out of which circumcision was instituted. For circumcision was the sign and stigma of sin, the cautery with which it was burnt out, and in Christ there was no sin, no lust. So in His circumcision Christ humbled Himself to a still greater degree than in His nativity—in the latter He took upon Him the form of man, in the former the character of a sinner.

Here are seven reasons why Christ would of His own accord be circumcised, drawn from the writings of S. Cyprian, S. Augustine, Bede, and others, and given by S. Thomas, (part iii., quæst. 37, art. 1):—First, to show the reality of His human flesh, as against Manichæus, who said that He had a phantom body, Apollinarius, who said that the body of Christ is consubstantial with the Godhead, and Valentinus, who said that He brought His body from heaven.

Secondly, to sanction the rite which God had instituted.

Thirdly, to show that He was of the seed of Abraham, who had received the ordinance of circumcision as a sign of the faith which He had in reference to Christ.

Fourthly, to take away all excuse from the Jews, lest they should not accept Him if He were uncircumcised.

Fifthly, to commend to us by His own example the virtue of obedience. Hence it was that He was circumcised on the eighth day, as the law prescribed.

Sixthly, that, having come in the likeness of the flesh of sin, He might not seem to reject the remedy by which the flesh had been wont to be cleansed of sin.

Seventhly, that, bearing the burden of the law Himself, He might free others from that burden, “God sent forth His Son made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law,” Gal 4.

S. Leo (Serm. 2 on the Nativity) adds as another reason that by this rite Christ’s character was hidden from the devil: “The merciful and Almighty Saviour, so conducting the beginning of His assumption of human nature as to hide the virtue of the Godhead inseparable from His humanity with the veil of our infirmity, eluded the craft of the enemy, who was secure in the supposition that the birth of this child, begotten for the salvation of mankind, was no less liable to His power than that of all other children who are born.”

S. Augustine (Serm. 9 on the Nativity) gives yet another reason—that putting an end to the carnal, Christ might put in its place that spiritual circumcision which consists in the mortification and cutting away of vices and concupiscence—”Christ,” he says, “took circumcision upon Himself as about to do away with circumcision; He admitted the shadow as about to give light—the figure as He that should fulfil the verity.”

Lastly, by this act He began that suffering by which He became the Redeemer and Saviour of the world. So it was that in this rite the name of “Jesus” was given Him, because He healed not our infirmities with drugs, as the physicians do, but by taking them upon Himself and making satisfaction for them to God, so earning the power of healing all the diseases of soul and of body, all our passions, temptations, sorrows, and afflictions, whether in this life or in the life to come. Art thou afflicted, then, with fear or over-scrupulousness, with anger or bitterness, with sorrow or poverty? Call upon Jesus, and thou shalt feel that He is thy Consoler and thy Saviour.

His name was called Jesus. The name of Jesus signifies the function of Saviour in its greatest fulness, inasmuch as He not only saved men Himself, but gave to His apostles and to these like them the power of saving. This is what is implied by the word Josue, or, as the Hebrews say, Jehosua. Let the faithful then remember that they are children of Jesus, and that they ought therefore to imitate Him in bringing about the salvation of souls.

Which was called by the angel (when Gabriel announced to the Blessed Virgin His conception, Luke 1:31) before He was conceived in the womb. For Christ was conceived at the end of the Annunciation, when the Blessed Virgin answered, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to Thy word.” In this sentence S. Luke gives us to understand that the name of Jesus had been decreed by God, for this Child from all eternity, to signify that He was to be the Saviour of the world.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Father MacEvilly’s Commentary on Titus 3:4-7

Posted by Dim Bulb on December 17, 2012

This post includes Fr. MacEvilly’s paraphrasing (in purple text) of the verses he is commenting upon.

Tit 3:4  But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared:

But when the goodness and singular love for men of God our Saviour shone forth (by the preaching of the Gospel),

Another motive to induce them to act compassionately, &c., is the example of God himself—” The kindness.” The Greek is, φιλανθρωπια, philanthropy. Some refer this to the Incarnation, but erroneously; for, there is question of God the Father, as he is distinguished from Jesus Christ (verse 6).

Tit 3:5  Not by the works of justice which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration and renovation of the Holy Ghost.

Not in consideration of the good works which we performed (for, there were no such works in existence), but out of pure gratuitous mercy, he saved us by baptism, wherein we are regenerated into sons of God and were made new men, through the grace of the Holy Ghost.

It was not in consideration of our just works that he saved us; for, before his
grace there were no good works, or “works of justice,” entitled to a reward; but it was out of his purely gratuitous mercy, he “saved us,” i.e., bestowed on us justification, which places us in the way of finally arriving at perfect eternal salvation, and is itself initial salvation. The means by which he has bestowed on us this justification is through the waters of baptism externally poured on us, and by the grace of the Holy Ghost, which is attached to the rite of baptism, interiorly giving us a new birth, a new spiritual essence, making us sons of God, perfectly renewing us, so that we become invested with the virtues of wisdom, faith, &c., opposed to the former vices to which we were slaves. The external instrumental cause of this renovation is baptism; the efficient invisible cause, which the external operates, is, the grace of the Holy Ghost. This passage manifestly shows that justification does not consist in the mere imputation of the justice of Christ; but that it is the inherent principle of this new life, so long as it perseveres.

Tit 3:6  Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour:

Whom God the Father has copiously and abundantly poured forth on us, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

“Whom,” i.e., the Holy Ghost, “he hath poured forth upon us,” i.e., God the Father (verse 4) hath poured forth upon us abundantly, “through Jesus Christ our Saviour,” in the sacraments of baptism and confirmation, which, immediately after baptism, was given by the imposition of hands. The entire Trinity is referred to in this verse, distinctly contributing by an operation peculiar to each person to our new spiritual existence. The Eternal Father, the Principle of the Divinity itself, is the Father of the baptized, and the Principle of his divine existence; the Eternal Son is, with the Father, the Principle of the effusion of the Holy Ghost; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father and Son, becomes the spirit of the baptized, his heart and soul, his supernatural and divine life.

Tit 3:7  That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs according to hope of life everlasting.

So that, cleansed from sin and gifted with justice through his grace, we are constituted heirs of eternal life, which we have at present, only in the certain hope of one day obtaining it.

Justification implies the remission of sin and the infusion of justice by sanctifying grace, and this holy state constitutes us the rightful heirs of eternal life, which we do not yet actually possess, but which, like the youthful heir, during his minority, we hope one day to attain, and actually enjoy.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on the Lectionary, Notes on Titus, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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