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heard, the noise of the chariots ofAminadab, driven by the hands of thine own children turned traitors.1 It would have been but a just punishment, hadst thou then left this ungrateful earth, and gone to thy divine Spouse in heaven above. But, O loving Sulamitess, with all this increase of the evils of thine exile, thou gavest ear to the cries of them who willed to be ever thy faithful children; and thou remainedst for us, dear Mother, that we might receive thy teachings, and thence derive light and life.
We know it: instead of the peaceful grandeurs which thou, beautiful Queen, didst once display when thy sovereignty was undisputed; instead of choirs of exultation and triumph resounding in thy courts, we are to see thee, henceforth, as a warrior, and thy hymns are to be the songs of the camp:2 but, how beautiful are thy steps in the armour of thy pilgrimage, O thou daughter of the King! Thou art terrible as an army set in array; bat thou art, too, all sweet and comely, when, laying aside the robe of gold and all the richly varied clothing which decked thee standing at the right hand of the King's throne, thou girdest thyself, like him, with the sword, and piercest the hearts of his enemies with the arrows of thy truth and zeal.3
Turning our thoughts, for a moment, to the Greek Church, how different is the spectacle! She is motionless from the sterility that is in a branch severed from the trunk. She retains, like so many withered leaves, the ancient forms of her liturgy, which has indeed an imposing unity, but it is the unity of schism. The very Heresy, which here, in our own country, celebrates its unmeaning Supper in the Cathedrals built by our forefathers,—is it more out of place, than the lifeless Schism of the East, which so scrupulously keeps up the ancient forms, which are its condemnation, and makes a parade of 1 Cant. vi. 11, 12. 2 Ibid. vii. 1,2. 3 Ps. xlir. 6.
Vestments which sit so awkwardly on rebels? What life can the members of such a Church derive from these dead forms of worship?
No: she alone is Mother, who knows how to meet the wants of her children, for her affection tells her not to give to delicate ones the food that suits the strong. She alone is the Bride of the Lamb, who has the instinctive talent of making, in each period of time, the most of the treasure of her Spouse, the priceless Pearl he has committed to her care; and to this end, she hesitates not to modify, if need be, her dearest practices, her most cherished schemes for good; yea, and chaDges the delights and grandeurs of her queenly supremacy for the hard work of battling with the enemy of her Lord and her children.
We recognise thee, 0 Bride of Christ, by this mark, that thou now lispest with us who are weak, thou that, heretofore, didst sing so divinely with the strong; and that thou, who so long enjoyedst the peace and company of thy Spouse, art as ready and as powerful to meet and vanquish his enemies, now that they are filling his world. Thus struggling, thus labouring, and, in both, misunderstood,—misunderstood and blamed by an ever-increasing number of ungrateful children,—thou wilt not abandon them, but remainest, that thou mayst carry to the last of the elect the sacred Host, which is to unite him with the great Sacrifice. Affectionate and generous Mother! we will follow thee in thy militant career; through the laborious passes of the steep road which leads thee to thy eternal rest; we will follow thee, because thou bearest with thee the treasure of the world. The bolder the attacks of heresy, and the more insulting the neglect or blasphemies of ungrateful children,—the louder shall be the professions of our faith, the humbler our adorations, the warmer and truer the demonstrations of our love towards the sacred Host.
OF THE FEAST OF CORPUS CHR1STI.
We have, at last, reached the great Feast, which, since Monday, has kept our minds attentive. Our earth is preparing to acknowledge, by the homage of a solemn triumph, the presence of Christ, its Priest and King, in the sacred Host. Everywhere are the Faithful busy preparing the triumph, which is to be given to it to-morrow. These preparations are inspired by faith and love; and, whilst they are progressing, the Church is ushering in the great Feast by the celebration of First Vespers. Tuning her harp to the sublime antiphons of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas, she proclaims, in a chant which is worthy of the words, that her Jesus is the eternal Priest according to the order of Melchisedech, and that the divine banquet, he has prepared, brings the children of the Church around the table of the Lord, like so many young olive plants.
The limits we have been obliged to observe in this work, would require us to exclude all those portions of the Office for the present Feast, at which the Faithful generally do not assist. But as this Office, which was composed by St. Thomas of Aquin, is one of exceptional beauty, we have resolved to give it in its entirety. The magnificence of these Hymns, and Psalms, and Antiphons, and Responsories,—all of which are teeming with genuine Catholic spirit,— will furnish the Faithful with the best materials for contemplation, whereby to enlighten their minds and inflame their hearts, during the whole Octave. On each of the days of this week, they will be eager to adore that beautiful King of glory, who is going to bold his court in the midst of his people, with no other veil between himself and them, than the light cloud of the sacramental species. During these happy hours, which love is ingenious enough to steal from one's ordinary occupations, let the Faithful prefer to take, wherewith to give utterance to their sentiments, the formulas which the Church herself uses, when singing to her Spouse, in the sacred banquet of his love: not only will they there find the poetry, doctrine and gracefulness of diction, which the Bride ever has at her command, when she addresses her Beloved Jesus; but they will soon learn, by experience, that, like the divine food itself, those approved and sanctified formulas suit every soul; for these formulas of the Church adapt themselves to the several dispositions and degrees of spiritual advancement, and thus become, to each one of her children, the fittest and warmest expression of every want and desire.
The First Vespers of the Feast of Corpus Christi are exactly the same as the Second, with the single exception of the Magnificat Antiphon. By this Antiphon, 0 quam suavis, the Church declares to us, her children, how great is the sweetness of our Lord, and that it is manifested to us by the sweetness of the eucharistic Bread; but she also tells us who they are that taste this sweetness, and derive from it the fruits of salvation,—they are the souls that are led to the divine banquet by the spiritual hunger of an humble and ardent desire. With such sentiments, let us, with the immaculate Mary, magnify the Lord, who exalteth the humble, and putteth down the mighty, the proud. It is to the humblest of the daughters of Adam, that we are indebted for the Bread of heaven; it was formed, in her chaste womb, by the Holy Ghost, as we shall explain further on; but, let us, thus early, rejoice in the thought, that the Feast of Corpus Christi leads us to Mary, and bids us give her the tribute of our gratitude.
ANTIPHON OF THE MAGNIFICAT.
0 quam suavis est, Do- O how sweet, O Lord, is thy mine, Spiritus tuus! qui ut Spirit; for that thou mightest dulcedinem tuam in Alios show the sweetness thou demonstrares, pane suavis- bearest for thy children, thou, simo de coelo prsestito esu- with a Bread most sweet given rientes reples bonis, fasti- from heaven, fillest the hungry diosos divites dimittens with good things, sending inanes. away empty the haughty rich.
Deus, qui nobis sub Sa- O God, who, under the won
cramento mirabili passionis derful Sacrament, hast left us
tuffl memoriam reHquisti, a memor'al of thy Passion:
tribue, qusesumus, ita nos grant us, we beseech thee, so
Corporis et Sanguinis tui to reverence the sacred mys
sacra mysteria venerari, ut teries of thy Body and Blood,
redemptionis tuse fructum that, in our souls, we may
in nobis jugiter sentiamus. always feel the fruit of thy
Qui vivis. Bedemption. Who livest, etc
The Octave of Corpus Christi has its privileges ; the only Octaves which have greater, are the three of the Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost. It does not admit transferred Feasts: and as to the semi-double Feasts, which may occur on the Calendar, during these eight days, they are deferred till after the Octave. Double Feasts are kept; but, no matter what may be the solemnity, a commemoration of Corpus Christi is made on each at Mass, Lauds, and Vespers. Our solemnity also tells upon all the Hymns of the several Feasts which may be kept during this Octave; for, if the metre admit it, they conclude with the following doxology, which is the one used at Compline and the Little Hours of to-morrow's Office :l
1 In the Monastic Rite, it is as follows:
Gloria tibi Domine,