Beautiful Richmond Painting of the Day

…Beautiful prayer of the day (consecration of holy Chrism):

God our maker, source of all growth in holiness, accept the joyful thanks and praise we offer in the name of Your Church. In the beginning, at Your command, the earth produced fruit-bearing trees. From the fruit of the olive tree you have provided us with oil for holy chrism. The prophet David sang of the life and joy that the oil would bring us in the sacraments of Your love.

After the avenging flood, the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch announced Your gift of peace. This was a sign of a greater gift to come. Now the waters of baptism wash away the sins of men, and by the anointing with olive oil You make us radiant with Your joy. At Your command, Aaron was washed with water and Your servant Moses, his brother, anointed him Priest. This, too, foreshadowed greater things to come. After Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, asked John for baptism in the waters of the Jordan, You sent the Spirit upon Him in the form of a dove and by the witness of Your own voice You declared Him to be Your only, well-beloved Son. In this You clearly fulfilled the prophecy of David, that Christ should be anointed with the oil of gladness beyond His fellow men.

And so Father, we ask You to bless + this oil You have created. Fill it with the power of Your Holy Spirit through Christ Your Son. It is from Him that chrism takes its name, and with chrism You have anointed for Yourself priests and kings, prophets and martyrs.
Make this chrism a sign of life and salvation for those who are to be born again in the waters of baptism. Wash away the evil they have inherited from sinful Adam, and when they are anointed with this holy oil make them temples of Your glory, radiant with the
goodness of life that has its source in You. Through the sign of chrism grant them royal, priestly, and prophetic honor, and clothe them with incorruption. Let this be indeed the chrism of salvation for those who will be born again of water and the Holy Spirit. May
they come to share eternal life in the glory of Your Kingdom. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Baptized people are anointed with Chrism to be confirmed. Men’s hands are anointed with Chrism to become priests. Altars are anointed with Chrism to be consecrated.

The Truth is a Confusing Thing

Did Blessed Pope Pius IX weave a crown of thorns and send it to Jefferson Davis’ post-war prison cell as a gesture of sympathy?

–Keeping the anniversary of Virginia’s secession by caressing the Davis’ wartime home with my eyes, I eagerly anticipated the sight of the relic.

To my chagrin, I learned that the crown had only been temporarily displayed in Richmond. The crown resides permanently in New Orleans.

Not only that: A thoroughly well-educated young man told me that Mrs. Varina Davis wove the crown, not the Pope.

Buzzkill. (I did lay eyes on the Holy Father’s 1863 letter to East Clay Street!)

My opinion: The arguments for Varina’s having woven the crown do not convince. Could have been the Pope…

…For our meditation: the Pontifical prayer for the consecration of the Holy Chrism, used to anoint in Holy Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders…

God our maker, source of all growth in holiness, accept the joyful thanks and praise we offer in the name of your Church. In the beginning, at your command, the earth produced fruit-bearing trees.

From the fruit of the olive tree you have provided us with oil for holy chrism. The prophet David sang of the life and joy that the oil would bring us in the sacraments of your love.

After the avenging flood, the dove returning to Noah with an olive branch announced your gift of peace. This was a sign of a greater gift to come. Now the waters of baptism wash away the sins of men, and by the anointing with olive oil you make us radiant with your joy.

At your command, Aaron was washed with water, and your servant Moses, his brother, anointed him priest. This too foreshadowed greater things to come. After your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, asked John for baptism in the waters of Jordan, you sent the Spirit upon him in the form of a dove and by the witness of your own voice you declared him to be your only, well-beloved Son. In this you clearly fulfilled the prophecy of David, that Christ would be anointed with the oil of gladness beyond his fellow men.

And so, Father, we ask you to bless + this oil you have created. Fill it with the power of your Holy Spirit through Christ your Son. It is from him that chrism takes its name and with chrism you have anointed for yourself priests and kings, prophets and martyrs.