Sunday, May 08, 2016

Fr. Perrone: Primavera, springtime, children, the Blessed Virgin, irrepressible hope of faith, and grand feast days of spring

Fr. Eduard Perrone, "A Pastor's Descant" [temporary link] (Assumption Grotto News, May 8, 2016):
Primavera - literally, 'the first green' -- is Springtime. Nature shows her loveliest, maidenly beauty at this very time. The famous, mysterious paintings by Botticelli comes to mind when I see the enticing, chaste blossoms of early spring. A tree just outside the rectory show herself at the most arresting just now. That tree -- which perhaps should be removed because its jumbled roots entangle the ground and stress the rectory's basement walls -- I can't get myself to take down simply because at this very time of year she dazzles me with her beauty. Ah! the season of love! Holy Church, seizing the opportunity, makes us look upon the loveliness of the Virgin Mary, She whose month this is. Both virginal and yet maternally fruitful, Holy Mary is the apogee of created beauty, of holiness and supernatural grace. Because this is the month of Mary we have the May Crowning today and the First Communion of our children. The comeliness of innocence is difficult to speak of in words but so readily recognized when seen. Children, springtime, Virgin Mary -- the three go naturally together, as various facets of this singular, perennially youthful manifestation of beauty.

It would be easy to fall prey to pessimism or cynicism over so many bad things happening in our world these days. It's a temptation to which we must not yield, not even an inch. Just as nature obstinately puts forth her glories in spring, just as the emergence of the sun causes life daily to spring up, just so God bestows the marvels of supernatural blessings upon His undeserving children day after day. We need to pull ourselves out of any self-indulgent tendencies towards moroseness about the many things we might (justly) find worthy of complaint and, with St. Paul, look above, upon the things of heaven, rather than down upon the base, sorroful things here below. I'm not suggesting we acquire the technique of "positive thinking" -- a vain, secularist, stupid exercise -- but that we recognize the truth of stubbornly insistent goodness in prevailing over evil, of beauty over vulgarity. In terms of our faith, it's the truth of Christ's victory over the devil, even though he, in the short run, is given his allotted time and influence to fulfil his providential role in making us struggle, fight, for the truth and for the kingdom of God so that by contending with him we might merit for ourselves a place in heaven.

Be ye then of good cheer, though you will surely have a share in the woes of this life. Spring is a reminder of the good things of God and an invitation to look above the many wicked beckonings of the evil one, and to persevere in hope. The Virgin Mary is the Mother of holy hope, Mater sanctae spei. We turn to Her with confident love, She who never abandons us "unaided" (as the Memorare reminds us).

Some great days just ahead of us. Next Sunday will be Pentecost, that once minor Jewish festival forever converted into a Christian feast of momentous significance through the coming of the Holy Spirit. We will celebrate the day with full solemnity at the 9:30 Solemn High Mass with the 'Credo' Mass by Mozart. The Men's League will gather to appear before the Eucharistic Lord this Saturday at 6:30 a.m. adoring and petitioning Him for things many and untold. The Sacrament of Confirmation will be conferred not this Tuesday but one week from then -- on the 17th. Our friend, Father Aiden Logan will return here to give a talk on patriotism (a much neglected topic) on May 22 in a fundraising event for the K of C. Then, of top-drawer significance, Corpus Christi Sunday will greet us on May 29th with its stirring, inspiring prayers and chants composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. This day concludes with the Eucharistic Procession and the four-fold blessing with the Blessed Sacrament. Concerning which I want to sent out a general call to our parishioners to see if any families (or individuals) would set up and adorn the outdoor altars for Corpus Christi Sunday, altars upon which the Lord will repose. We need four such altars by four families or persons. It's an honor for anyone to undertake this, a task which is -- I think -- not too onerous and immensely rewarding. If you think you'd like to do this for the Lord and for your parishioners, please call the rectory soon and let us know. You'll be given particulars about what's to be done and what the parish will supply for you.

In fine I should mention the feast of the Sacred Heart June 3 which we will observe with all due solemnity this year, accompanied by Schubert's Mass in G Minor at the 7:00 evening Mass; the special Mass at 9:30 a.m. June 5, the day of Canonization of Saint-elect Stanislaus Popcaynski, founder of the Marians, whereupon the Schubert Mass will again be performed and the image of the Saint will be blessed, and an open banquet will be offered to all in the gym following the Mass. (More about that day later.)

For the moment, however, delight in the pleasant expectation of these joyful celebrations in these most lovely days of Primavera.

Fr. Perrone

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