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As we look back on the wretched year that was 2020, let us steel ourselves for the year ahead. May the Lord God of Armies protect His people from the rampages of the prince of this world. And may the Holy Spirit enflame the faithful with His Truth, and alight our souls in our struggle to attain Heaven, and may He convict the lost of their desperate need to acknowledge Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as their one and only True King.
One of the most widely used hymns in the Church, Veni, Creator Spiritus, is attributed to Rabanus Maurus (776-856). It is used at Vespers, Pentecost, Dedication of a Church, Confirmation, and Holy Orders and whenever the Holy Spirit is solemnly invoked. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it. A plenary indulgence is granted if it is recited on January 1st or on the feast of Pentecost.
Editor’s Note: To all my friends and readers here at CatholicCyber-Militia.com (all dozen of you!), it is my prayer that AD 2020–as rough and disastrous as it was–was, in God’s often unknowable Providence, a source of spiritual growth and rich blessing for you and yours. That being said, I expect there are few people (perhaps outside Beijing and Davos) who are sad to see it go.
2021 is likely to be fraught with more dangers, uncertainty, and persecutions. The Children of Darkness, as Abp. Viganò has so aptly labeled them, will continual their triumphal march to destruction, hell-bent (literally) as many of the Children of Light with them as possible. Our task remains the same: to remain true to the King of Kings until His return in glory.
2020 is almost done. Despite all the evil which we’ve seen run rampant, our God and King is still firmly upon His Throne. We need to celebrate that critical and eternal fact! You might want to consider ending the year with an extra prayer (if not several). Might I recommend to you the Te Deum?
The Te Deum, also sometimes called the Ambrosian Hymn because if its association with St. Ambrose, is a traditional hymn of joy and thanksgiving. First attributed to Sts. Ambrose, Augustine, or Hilary, it is now accredited to Nicetas, Bishop of Remesiana (4th century). It is used at the conclusion of the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours on Sundays outside Lent, daily during the Octaves of Christmas and Easter, and on Solemnities and Feast Days. The petitions at the end were added at a later time and are optional. A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who recite it in thanksgiving and a plenary indulgence is granted if the hymn is recited publicly on the last day of the year. (CatholicCulture.org)
Below you’ll find the prayer, along with videos offering chanted forms of the prayer in both English and Latin.
O God, we praise Thee, and acknowledge Thee to be the supreme Lord.
Everlasting Father, all the earth worships Thee.
All the Angels, the heavens and all angelic powers,
All the Cherubim and Seraphim, continuously cry to Thee:
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of the Majesty of Thy glory.
The glorious choir of the Apostles,
The wonderful company of Prophets,
The white-robed army of Martyrs, praise Thee.
Holy Church throughout the world acknowledges Thee:
The Father of infinite Majesty;
Thy adorable, true and only Son;
Also the Holy Spirit, the Comforter.
O Christ, Thou art the King of glory!
Thou art the everlasting Son of the Father.
When Thou tookest it upon Thyself to deliver man,
Thou didst not disdain the Virgin’s womb.
Having overcome the sting of death, Thou opened the Kingdom of Heaven to all believers.
Thou sittest at the right hand of God in the glory of the Father.
We believe that Thou willst come to be our Judge.
We, therefore, beg Thee to help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.
Let them be numbered with Thy Saints in everlasting glory.
V. Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thy inheritance!
R. Govern them, and raise them up forever.
V. Every day we thank Thee.
R. And we praise Thy Name forever, yes, forever and ever.
V. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day.
R. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us.
V. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee.
R. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame.
Editor’s Note: Yeah, it’s been a weird year. May God be praised that it is almost over! We now approach an equally uncertain 2021, but between now and then, we celebrate God’s greatest intervention in human history! He has intervened many times throughout history to save His people. May He intervene once more in the affairs of man, and once more we pray that—at this season of Hope and Redemption—that the Divine Assistance may always be with us! From all of us here at CatholicCyber-Militia.com (that’s me, and occasionally one other guy), may you and your family receive abundant blessings this Christmas!
Blessed Fulton Sheen, pray for us! Here are some of his thoughts on this most holy of nights, taken from his book Life of Christ:
[E]very other person who ever came into this world came into it to live. He came into it to die. Death was a stumbling block to Socrates — it interrupted his teaching. But to Christ, death was the goal and fulfillment of His life, the gold that He was seeking. Few of His words or actions are intelligible without reference to His Cross. He presented Himself as a Savior rather than merely as a Teacher. It meant nothing to teach men to be goo unless He also gave them the power to be good, after rescuing them from the frustration of guilt.
The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last. …
The manger and the Cross thus stand at the two extremities of the Savior’s life! He accepted the manger because there was no room in the inn; He accepted the Cross because men said, “We will not have this man for our king.” Disowned upon entering, rejected upon leaving, He was laid in a stranger’s stable at the beginning, and a stranger’s grave at the end. An ox and an ass surrounded His crib at Bethlehem; two thieves were to flank His Cross on Calvary. He was wrapped in swaddling bands in His birthplace, He was again laid in swaddling clothes in His tomb — clothes symbolic of the limitations imposed on His Divinity when He took a human form. …He was already bearing His Cross — the only cross a Babe could bear, a cross of poverty, exile and limitation. His sacrificial intent already shone forth in the message the angels sang to the hills of Bethlehem:
Archbishop Viganò (bless him!) has rather aptly categorized the two “teams” vying for control of our world: The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness.
Team Darkness: On the March
Let’s face it: the latter half of 2020 has been looking pretty sweet for Team Darkness. Western governments are actively engaged in a contest to see who can outdo the other when it comes to suppressing freedom in general (and Christianity in particular) with ever more draconian lockdowns and restrictions on personal liberties. The astounding hubris with which the mainstream media and Big Tech are hailing the fraudulent destruction of the American electoral system must have Team Darkness cheering in the stands as well.
What’s coming next? If Team Darkness has their way, expect more of the same in 2021. Your opinions on social media apps such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter will continue to be suppressed. We will see drastic reversals in policies which for the last four years have favored (or at least been refreshingly neutral) on Judeo-Christian values such as the sanctity of life. I expect that we’ll see a dedicated effort to suppress Christian opinion (and even thought) in Big Media, Big Tech, and (may God forbid) the Deep State if Team Darkness succeeds in their power grab.
How do we Fight Back?
Prayer is an obvious first response. Continuing to maintain Christian households is essential. We must protect our families and loved ones from the assaults of Team Darkness by holding fast to what we know to be the Truth. But there’s more that we can do. We must, as Dr. Taylor Marshall puts it, “Take up space.”
What does that mean, exactly? In a nutshell, it means don’t let them push you out of the public square! Team Darkness, as the name implies, gets creeped out if too much light is shining around them. The best way to suppress those Christians on Team Light is to push them off the stage, confine them to the 21st Century equivalent of a ghetto. “Yes, let them practice their hateful beliefs (for now), but not in public! You may be against the Great Reset, and you’re free to express your opinions to your fellow like-minded bigots, but NOT in public and ONLY if you adhere to whatever rules we have mandated for you. We’d prefer very much if you NOT have any public manifestations of your faith because it makes others uncomfortable.”
Well, we’re not going to let them push us around like that! Team Darkness, you may think you’re on top right now, but the King of Kings is returning to claim what is rightfully His, and we are going to keep reminding you of that blessed fact by continuing to take up space in the public domain!
Strategies for Taking Up Space
Here are some simple ideas for implementing this strategy. Worshiping in public is at the top of the list. Keep going to Mass, and let ’em know you’re doing so! If there’s a public prayer vigil, Eucharistic procession or Rosary Rally, seriously consider participating. You are witnessing to a world that is, in the words of a beloved preacher from my pre-Catholic days, “Lost and doomed, damned and dying.”
There are additional ways you can take up space. Up until just a few years ago, these public expressions of faith would have seemed almost trivial and without the slightest whiff of in-your-face controversy. Now, in 2020 and beyond, they have the potential for making a much bolder and vitally necessary impact.
Bumper Stickers. It’s simple. It can seem cheezy. But it is a very real way to express who you are and what you believe. Most bumper stickers you see while driving are inconsequential. They might be amusing. They are often profane, if not downright obscene. But they can communicate profound truths as well. How many people driving around see stickers proclaiming that the driver is a Catholic? That they are pro-life and pro-family? Stickers which can remind the lukewarm to pray the Rosary? Stickers which remind the reader of Who Christ is, and that He’s returning soon? You can find some great ones at religious stores and on the internet. There are many on-line resources for designing your own custom-made bumper art. Do be aware of a couple of important considerations if you take up this form of automotive evangelization: First, the effectiveness of your message–your Christian witness, if you will–may well be diminished if you drive like a jerk. (“Hey, that Catholic in the Ford just cut me off and flipped me off!” No bueno.) Second, there will be people on the road who will take serious exception to your message. You may well experience unsolicited feedback, which may range from a dirty look, an obscene gesture, and perhaps even some degree of road rage or vandalism if they come upon your car and its associated message in the Walmart parking lot. Getting run off the road because you’ve proclaimed your Christianity is a form of white martyrdom, maybe…don’t blow it by responding poorly.
Yard Art. The once ubiquitous garden statue takes on new significance in these apocalyptic times. If you’re going to have yard art, why simply have a statue of some maiden pouring water out of a jug when you can have a sculpture of the Sacred Heart or Blessed Virgin proclaiming your faith to passers by in the neighborhood? The time may be coming where some Leftie Snowflake may find such a public display so disturbing that he/she/it declares it “Hurtful” (a major felony for Team Darkness) and seeks its removal. The battle for the soul of our society will take place on many fronts. Speaking of battles…
Hoist Your Colors! Do you have a flagpole or one of those little hangers for “garden banners?” Instead of hoisting the colors of your favorite sports team or one of those meaningless little “Let it Snow!” garden banners, why not put it to better use? We’re in a spiritual war. Why not hoist the battle flag of St. Michael, or the colors flown by the Catholic patriots of the Vendee? Let ’em know you’re Catholic and you’re ready to stand your ground! Many stunning and colorful Catholic-themed flags are available online. Hank Igitur, the Traditional Roamin’ Catholic, has turned his RV into a LAV (Liturgical Assault Vehicle) by flying a “Deus Vult” flag from the Crusades from his rig. Why not do something similar? It’s bold, it’s eye-catching, and it lets people know where you stand. In other words, it takes up space.
Don’t Give Up the Web! During the War of 1812, Captain Lawrence, mortally wounded as his ship slugged it out with a British man-o-war, famously uttered “Don’t give up the ship! Fight her till she sinks.” We could do to remember the Captain’s words. Don’t give up your online presence in social media. Keep posting on social media. Let an increasingly hostile world hear the truth. You may get blocked. You may get banned. No matter. Keep firing away. Don’t give up. Fight her till she sinks.