By the Cross her vigil keeping

Today the blog has gone quietly into overdrive (for this little blog I mean – it is all relative). My thanks to you all for taking the time to read here. People from 130 countries have visited today, which is all rather extraordinary to a little Aussie in his inadequately-austere cell in a venerable but fading monastery on the Berkshire Downs.

Recent events have shown how little the dynamics in the Church have changed this past 3 years, despite all the prospects of reform (however one might conceive it). The Body of Christ is Holy, but its individual human cells are not so perfect, still saints-in-progress—hopefully! (save for those happy few patent saints who dwell among us).

So, at the urging of Marie-Claire, might we all stop for a few seconds to offer an Ave for Cardinal Sarah and his ministry. You can do it right now…

While we are at it, let’s pray too for Pope Francis, on whose shoulders rests the cross of Church governance. The traditional prayer perhaps?

V. Let us pray for Francis, the Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and may the Lord not hand him over to the power of his enemies.

V. May your hand be upon your holy servant.
R. And upon your son whom you have anointed.

Let us pray. O God, Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in your mercy, upon your servant, Francis, whom you have appointed to preside over your Church; and grant, we beseech you, that both by word and example, he may edify all those under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

For Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, Bishop Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, and your own local bishop, you might offer another Ave.

Today also China is set to react with anger at the international legal ruling against its territorial claims; 23 people were killed in a train crash in Italy; in the Middle East and Africa, and elsewhere, Christians are dying for their faith; children are being born, and people, good and not so good, are dying and coming before the Judgment Seat. For so great a set of needs, a mere Ave can work wonders, so perhaps another one for all these intentions.

And lastly, with Satan busy at work and too often unimpeded, let us pray a Pater Noster for this troubled world of ours. If ever the power of the Cross has been needed, it is now. Which is why the Mass is worth the trouble of getting right, for there is the Cross.

Therefore, Christians, pray. After all, if we are not praying, for what, or for whom, do we really labour? So, seriously, say a prayer right now…

Rachel weeping in Ramah


[The English translation for this hymn is easily found here.]

3 thoughts on “By the Cross her vigil keeping

  1. Thank you Father for all the work, many hours, of keeping the Catholic world aware of such important happenings in our beloved Church. Once upon a time, when communication was by post, we were kept informed of the Holy Father’s affection and his teaching and special messages for the various times in the year. If his letter was long the priest would divide it in two parts which he read aloud at Mass on consecutive Sunday’s. I sometimes wonder who broke that connection and did not continue it even by another method. Would that have been when bishops started to allow variations from diocese to diocese? I wonder…God bless you.


    1. That’s one to ponder, Treasa. Some, however, might argue that we hear a little too much of popes now. Social media and the internet can make for a double-edged sword.

      Yet the Word itself is a two-edged sword, is it not, penetrating even to the division of soul and spirit? Nothing worthwhile comes easy.



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