Personal Musings: December 2011 Archives

I Will Betake Myself to Thy House

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Falling between the feasts of the Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Guadalupe, is the feast of The Holy House of Loreto. Here, then, is Caravaggio's Madonna of Loreto, an extraordinarily moving painting. Caravaggio painted it in 1604, when he was thirty-three years old.

I have visited Loreto twice in my life; once in 1975, and again in 2005. I have experienced the grace and mystery of the Holy House miraculously transported by angels to the place prepared for it by God. One of the most striking things about Loreto is the number of saints who have gone there in humble pilgrimage, desiring to adore the mystery of the Word Incarnate and to linger in the sweet presence of His Virgin Mother.

I cannot resist sharing the texts of the Proper Mass of The Holy House of Loreto, one of those lovely Masses celebrated by special grant in certain places.

Introit

This is a fearsome place:
it is the house of God, the gate of heaven;
it shall be named the palace of God (Gen 28:17).
V. O Lord of hosts, how I love thy dwelling-place!
For the courts of the Lord's house, my souls faints with longing (Ps 83:2-3).

Collect

O God, who in thy mercy didst sanctify the Blessed Virgin Mary's house
by the mystery of the Word made flesh,
and didst miraculously place it in the heart of thy Church,
grant that we may shun the abodes of sinners
and become worthy to dwell in thy own holy house.
Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord
who is God living and reigning with thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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