Lamentation Of England

[In this text Dominic applies the words of the lamentations of the prophet Jeremiah to the English Church. It was published in England in 1831]

The Lamentation of England

 

Dominic of the Mother of God

Passionist

 

I. X. P.

 

 

1. Recordare Domine quid acciderit nobis: intuere, et respice opprobrium nostrum.

Alas! O Lord, Sovereign ruler of the universe, thou who from nothing didst create all things, and with the power of thy arm dost preserve and uphold them; thou, who didst deign to form out of all visible creatures one more noble than the rest, to form it according to thy own image and likeness, to render it capable of knowing thee, of serving thee, of loving thee and of eternally praising thee; thou, who in thy infinite mercy didst vouchsafe to look upon this noble work of thy hands, though fallen from the right of its inheritance; who didst humble thyself to take upon thee our nature of flesh, to subject thyself to so many abjections and sufferings, yea and even unto the death of the cross: O do thou, O Lord, do thou remember us, who are of the number of these creatures. Alas! my God, shall I dare to say it? Yes, I will say it in my foolishness; pardon, O Lord, my hardihood. If faith itself, nay, if reason itself did not assure me, that thou dost never forget any one altogether and entirely, that thou beholdest all, that thou carest for all, I should be tempted to blaspheme and to say that thou has forgotten thy servants the people of England. And how, O Lord, caust thou behold our numberless miseries and not take pity upon us? How, my god, oh how can a father behold the misfortunes of his child and not be moved to compassion? Can a mother behold the infirmities, wounds, yea and the death of her offspring without melting with pity over it? And can the lord our god regard the misery of his creatures and not come to succour them? Art not thou our father, art not thou more tender than a mother, yea art though not our God? How then, o lord, thou who hast implanted in the beasts of the field such love and such solicitude for their young, and dost thou alone remain without compassion for the work of thy hands? Alas! To think such a thought were heresy, to it would be blasphemy! O how then is it that thou dost behold the miseries of thy creatures made like unto thee, formed after they own image, coming forth from the bosom of thy own goodness, that thou beholdest them; O Lord, and dost contain thy pity and dost not succour them with thy grace? We have sinned against thee, we have forsaken thee, the fountain of living waters, and we have abandoned thy holy spouse the Catholic Church ; we have hewn out for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns, which cannot afford us one drop of true consolation. We have erred, O Lord we have forfeited the title of thy children. We have no right to call thee by the sweet name of father, we who have refused to own for our mother thy holy spouse the Church : alas we confess it : it is true ; but hast thou on this account lost thy right of sovereignty, which thou hast over us? hast thou cast aside those eternal reasons, which declare thee our Sovereign Lord, our Father, our Redeemer? Have the floods of our iniquities extinguished the furnace of thy love for us? have the rivers of our sins flowed over it, or are our sins greater than thy mercies? Alas! my God what thing is this? canst thou without pity behold our griefs and not have mercy upon us? Seest thou not O Lord, by how many evils we are overwhelmed ? we are fallen into an ocean of miseries ; a tempest of vice hath drowned us; and we from the depths of the abyss are constrained to lift up to thee the voice of grief : our hands are tired with weariness; our jaws are dried up with bitter grief, we are choked in a sea of woes: How great is our confusion to behold ourselves far off from thee, deprived of thee, robbed of our title of children ! How great is our shame to behold our nakedness, our filth, and our extreme misery!

 

“Intuere et respice opprobrium nostrum.”

 

Yea, great is our shame, for great are our sins, and because our sins are great, great must also be thy mercy to pardon them. Yes, O Lord, thou wilt forgive our crimes, for they are many; thou wilt blot them out, for they are grievous.

Look but once upon us in mercy, and it is enough; behold us and we are content: regard us, and remember towards the time of thy clemency: behold our shame with the eye of thy pity:

 

“Intuere et respice opprobrium nostrum.”

 

 

 

Behold, O Lord, how our inheritance is passed into the hands of strangers; our Sacraments, which thou didst leave to us, are in the hands of heretical ministers, who abuse this sacred inheritance, which of right belongs to us, being merited and purchased for us by the shedding of thy divine blood. Our temples, those venerable churches which were built by our ancestors and dedicated to thy divine majesty which, in the happy days of old England when we were thy elect people, we used to assemble before thee, have been seized and polluted by strangers, by the followers of Calvin and Cranmer, and innumerable other heretics, who impiously blaspheme thee in their infamous conventicles. Alas my God! alas divine Jesus! alas for these holy churches erected in ancient times by the hands of thy holy saints, where thy everlasting gospel was daily announced to us! alas for these churches, in which an innumerable company of thy servants each day and each hour of the day lifted up their suppliant hands to thy divine majesty! ah! in them poor wearied sinners used to find healing medicine for their wounds, yea remedy for their sins! ah! there they ever found the ministers of reconciliation ready to admit them to the kiss of peace in the sacrament of penance. Alas most holy temples! For in you the Lord of Glory vouchsafed to dwell in the sacrament of the Eucharist as on the throne of mercy and grace: yea, O Lord, thou didst there dwell and didst mercifully listen to our vows and our entreaties. Alas ! alas ! for now is thy house become the den of wild beasts, where thy holy name and thy awful majesty is blasphemed and trodden under foot: yea in her own temple thy spouse the Church is detested, anathematised, slandered as an adulteress and unfaithful. Behold it, O Lord, behold it I beseech thee.

 

2. Hæreditas nostra versa est ad alienos, domus nostræ ad

extraneos.

 

And we poor and miserable, deprived of our inheritance, driven from our home, deprived of our churches and of our sacraments, are left as orphans to bewail our woes: yes O Lord, we are orphans, we are deprived of our mother the Catholic Church, from whose bosom we have been violently torn, deprived of thy presence from which we have separated ourselves.

3. Pupilli facti sumus absque Patre; matres nostræ quasi viduæ.

 

 

Matres nostræ quasi viduæ: yes, those churches from which we are descended, which were once famous and renowned throughout all the earth; which once had the glory to possess as their guardians and their spouses the blessed saints Augustine, Dunstan, Edmund Anselm, Thomas-a-Becket of Canterbury, Hugh of Lincoln, St. Chad of Lichfield, Swithyn of Winchester, and innumerable other saints, whom the Holy Church throughout all the earth doth honour in the tremendous mysteries: these mothers which nourished us their little children with the milk of the divine word, behold they are now left to bewail their widowhood, bereft at once both of pastors and flock. Regard, O Lord, these thy spouses, who lift up their grieving hands to the throne of thy divine majesty. Alas my God, hast thou not promised by the mouth of thy holy prophet to receive anew with open arms thy unfaithful spouses, whensoever they will return unto thee: oh then behold these thy spouses with the like mercy; regard them, receive them, succour them, embrace them in thy paternal bosom. These spouse have sinned; yes, I confess it: they have suffered themselves to be seduced by those crafty deceivers, who lay in wait for them and circumvented them; they have suffered themselves to be induced to betray their faith by which they were betrothed unto thee; but remember, O Lord, notwithstanding, that they were once at least thy spouses, that they bore thee children, dear to thee, many in number, and exalted in holiness: oh for the sake of these children at least, have mercy upon the mothers; if their misery does not move thee to compassion, at least look upon that of the poor afflicted children. Behold these thy creatures, the people of England, deprived not only as it were of father and mother, but of needful food of the nourishment of thy holy word. Thou seest, O Lord, how thy enemies have robbed us of it, and how great a price we have had to pay for it.

 

4. Aqua nostrum pecunia bibimus, ligna nostra pretio

comparavimvs.

 

 

That, however, were little to endure, that we should have to purchase what is our own, if only our enemies would give us that good as it ought to be. Ah! O Lord, thou knowest it better than I, of what kind is that food and spiritual aliment, which these thy foes administer unto us: it is a food full of poison; tis a water pure indeed in its origin, being thy sacred and divine scriptures, but polluted by their heretical interpretations. Alas, their doctrines are not sufficient either to nourish or to afford us one particle of comfort. They drag us from one precipice to another; they dash us from one rock upon another. They guide us as beasts of burden to the slaughter.

 

5. Cervicibus nostris minabamur:

 

 

As if we were so many vile cattle doomed to destruction, nor receive we any resting to our woes: Lasis non dabatur requies. Alas, worn out as we are with being thus tossed to and fro, we turn ourselves first to one quarter then to another to see if we can but find any rest, any foal, any peace to our distracted souls.

 

6. Egypto dedimus manum, et Assyriis, ut saturaremur pane.

 

 

Yes, we have turned to the infamous Conventicles of Sectaries, of Libertines, Deists, and Atheists; and wheresoever we turn we can find nothing but precipices, horrors, death, and damnation. Oh! where are those happy times fled, in which we dwelt in thy house, O Lord; were satisfied at thy table with the choicest food, and were fed with the wheat of the elect, and the wine and milk of thy holy sacraments? Ah my God, it was our forefathers who separated from the centre of unity ; and by their separation they hurried not only themselves, but us their unhappy descendants, into an abyss, of calamities.

 

7. Patres nostril peccaverunt, et non sunt, et nos iniquatates

eorum portavimus.

 

 

Yes, it was they who rejected the sweet yoke of their legitimate pastors, and subjected both themselves and us to abominable hirelings, to rapacious wolves and cruel robbers. These have usurped a tyrannical dominion over us, and as yet no one has been found to deliver us from it.

 

8. Servi dominati sunt nostri, et non fuit, qui redimeret de

manu eorum.

 

 

Alas my God, alas, it draws a fountain of tears from my eyes to declare it; but hitherto there has not been found a man burning with zeal for thy glory, who has had the courage to oppose the fury of these ravening wolves. Ah, O Lord, raise up I beseech thee some one armed with zeal and Apostolic courage who will undertake this work so holy and so necessary. And does not the whole history of the Church declare to us that thou hast raised up such men in every age: and is not England itself an evidence of the zeal with which thy ministers have besought thy divine aid, and of the perpetual fruit which has arisen from their labours? And is thy hand shortened, that thou canst not now do that which heretofore thou hast wrought, or are thy ears shut against us that thou wilt not hear us? Ah if thou wilt not hear us, at least listen unto the sighs of those many holy souls dear unto thee, who dwell amongst us and will cease not to weep and intercede for us. Listen, I beseech thee, unto the groans of so many other souls, who in far countries interest themselves in our behalf with thee: attend unto the prayers of those happy souls who have fled from this reign of sorrow, this vale of tears, to enjoy thee in heaven. Receive the supplications of our guardian angels: ah above all give ear unto the prayers of the ever Blessed Virgin Mary, who was once our beloved protectress and tender mother: shall her prayers be rejected by thee O Lord ? ah no my God I will not believe it, I cannot believe it. At least, O eternal Father, listen unto the voice of thy only begotten Son; behold his wounds that he suffered for us; behold that blood that he shed for us; by those wounds and that blood we beseech thee to have mercy upon us. Take from our hands, O Lord, those chains that oppress us: take from our shoulders that yoke of iron that hath been imposed upon us. Oh may the gates of thy mercy once more open to us: yes again vouchsafe to admit us into thy house and to thy table, that we may partake of thy Heavenly Eucharistic bread. Ah my God, seest thou not how we are waxed faint through want of this divine food? seest thou not what we have to suffer in order but to procure the least morsel of it? we must as it were put our life in danger to obtain it.

 

 

9. In animabus afferebamus panem nobis, a facie gladii in deserto.

 

We have agreed at length to separate ourselves from the rest of the people in order to enjoy the food of thy divine word from the mouth of thy lawful ministers; we have agreed to hide ourselves in the forests through the fear of the secular power: for this we leave lost the beauty of our countenance; through the want of nourishment we possess not our natural strength; we have lost all that beauty which rendered us pleasing in the eyes of thy divine majesty. Ah yes! England was once that island, that was with reason called the island of saints; ah it was that land that abounded with soothing milk for its children, with the honey of sweetness and the fruits of holiness. Oh England whither has thy beauty fled, how has thy loveliness disappeared? Ah this was the abode of all beauty, that rejoiced the whole earth! oh how it is now left destitute! her people groan, her children beg their bread, but they can find no one who gives them any thing but poisoned food. Alas! alas! unhappy England, all thy beauty is departed from thee; thou art become as one burnt up with the fury of concupiscence, and of the vices in which thou art immersed.

 

10. Pellis nostra quasi clibanus exusta est, a facie tempestatum famis.

 

 

Our matrons, who were once a spectacle of glory to the whole Church of God, how deformed are they become by their irregularities! And where are those numerous choirs of sacred virgins who were our renown? alas in their stead, we behold but monuments of infamy.

11. Mulieres in Sion humiliaverunt, et virgines in civitatibus Judah.

 

 

Where are now those holy Princes and Queens, whom the Holy Church had raised to the dignity and honour of the Saints, and who were once so venerated by us? Where is that venerable assembly of sacred Pastors, who fed us with the bread of life? where are those holy Elders, who encouraged us both by word and example? Alas! all art gone.

 

12. Principes manu suspensi sunt: facies senum non

errubueruut.

 

 

Where, oh where, are now, O Lord, those innumerable choirs of chaste youths, those colleges, those seminaries, and those sacred cloisters which were filled with thousands of boys of spotless purity? oh what consolation was there in ancient timed to behold these youths of snow-like chastity, these angels of modesty ? but oh what a source of grief it is now to behold companies of youths in this same country so different from their prototypes of old! Alas how the now range themselves under the standards of immodesty and irreligion!

 

13. Adolescentibus impudice abusi sunt: et pueri in lingo corruerunt.

 

 

Alas you ma eee them fall the victims of the blows which their own hapless9ands bave inflicted upon themselves; many are they who destroy themselves through desperation. Ah no, no longer behold we either venerable old men or edifying youths!

 

14. Senes defecerunt de portis, et Juvenes de ehoro psallentium.

 

 

Those numerous choirs that once were heard to sing the divine praises, are now still as death ; all our joy and all our mirth have ceased , it is changed into mourning and into the most bitter wailing, through the remembrance of the sweet days that are gone by, and through the sight of what we are now doomed to see.

 

15. Defecit gaudium cordis notri : versus est in luctum

chorus noster.

 

 

The crown of our glory hath fallen; no more do we hear of that Island of Saints, of those kingdoms of true piety.

 

16. Cecidrit corona capitis nostri.

 

Yea it is fallen, because we have sinned, and in our iniquities have we lost all the splendour of our brightness: all the beauty of the daughter of Sion is faded. The vineyard once elect and favoured of the Lord is turned into a wilderness. The wild boar from the woods hath come; the savage beast of the forest hath devoured it: yea, Luther, more furious than the beast of prey hath come; yea Calvin, more raging than hell, hath seized us; they have come, and they have devoured our inheritance O Lord. Other thought have they not had than to enrich themselves with our spoils, they have left our vineyard exposed to the insults of every passer by: they have taken from it its hedge, which heretofore surrounded it: the hedge of the Catholic faith, of subordination to our legitimate Pastors: and behold every wild beast hath come to make it his abode; every error hath here found a place; every unbeliever, every Atheist, here finds an asylum. Yea, this is the advantage that we have received from Luther, from Calvin, Cranmer, Knox, and the other Heresiarchs. Ah yes, our just God is angry with his vineyard, and seeing it produce nothing but thorns and thistles, he has commanded his clouds no more to rain upon it the needful shower. Leave it alone, hath he said to his ministers, leave it alone, depart. But oh my God, woe, woe, if thou dost abandon us! Vœ nobis, quia peccavimus: for this, yea for this our heart no longer findeth peace: for this is it, that our eyes are blinded no longer to behold that bright and lovely light, that enlighteneth every man that liveth in this world.

 

17. Propterea mæstum factum est cor nostrum: ideo obtnebrati sunt oculi nostri.

 

 

Yea, therefore, are we buried in darkness, and in bitterness do we rush from one precipice to another, even into the abyss of Atheism; for this, finding neither peace nor comfort, we fall into despair and even destroy ourselves. So true is it, my God, that the sinner is his own most cruel tormentor: so true it is, that in thee alone peace is to be found, and that out of thee all is darkness, distress, and anguish. Alas our eyes are melted away in floods of tears, at the sad remembrance of

the beauteous mountain of Sion that once was amongst us, and which we behold no longer. Alas! no longer can we worship at the holy sanctuaries for which England was anciently so renowned, and which once formed our sweetest comfort. Ah they are become the dens of wild beasts, they are fallen into ruins; the owl and the bat have made them a dwelling, and those which still remain, the heretics, like crafty foxes, have seized and polluted.

 

18. Propter montem Sion quia disperiit, vulpes ambulaverunt in ed.

 

 

But, O Lord, will not the sight of so many miseries move thee to take compassion upon us? Ah we behold our Holy Church enduring as the sun, whilst we the people of England change our countenance as the moon every day, and never blot out our defilements.

 

19. Tu autem domine in æternum permanebis, solium tuum in generationem et generationem.

 

Wilt thou then, O Lord, forget us for ever, wilt thou abandon us to everlasting?

 

20. Quare in perpetuam oblivisceris nostri? derelinques nos in longitudine dierurm?

 

 

Wilt thou never again turn thy eyes of mercy towards us never more wilt thou have mercy upon us? Ah great God, thou seest that the islands wait for thee; but how long, O Lord, shall they wait? shall they behold themselves, a abandoned for ever? shall they be always forgotten? Oh, my God, look upon us and behold us; regard us with the eye of thy grace; draw us again unto thee; convert us, O Lord, to thee, and we shall be converted; renew our days as they were in the beginning of our conversion.

 

21. Coverte nos Domine ad te, et convertemur ; innova dies nostros, sicut a principio.

 

 

Thou knowest, O Lord, with what eagerness we listened unto thy voice, the first and the second time that it was announced to us: when thy servant and Vicar St. Eleutherius sent the holy missionaries Fugatius and Damianus to bring to us the good tidings of salvation. And when the Holy Pope Gregory sent forth Augustin, our Apostle and peculiar patron, ah how we then gave ourselves with all our heart to follow thee! ah for thy mercy sake renew in us this sublime sight.

To thy arm, O Lord, nothing is difficult; nothing can withstand thy Almighty power, when thou willest to convert a people. What then shall I say? Ah my God, grief oppresses me, for nothing can I see but the marks of thy wrath: I am silent: I can say no more, but I raise my eyes unto thee.

 

22. Prospiciens repulisti nos: iratus et contra nos vehementer.

 

 

Other thing can I not do, than await in silence thy judgments, and wait in quiet for that salvation which cometh from thee. O my God, I adore, yes I adore thy Providence, which disposes all things with sovereign justice. I will not impiously take upon myself to dispute with thee, much less to reprove thy conduct: no, my God, it is most righteous; nor do I dare to deny it in one point. But I appeal not to thy justice, O Lord, only do I entreat thy mercy; to thus do I fly, by this do I beseech thee. Yes have mercy, O Lord, have mercy upon us, who full of grief lift up our hands to thee: yea, mercy do I beseech of thee even for those who furiously hate thee. Ah, oh Lord, they are blinded, they are ignorant: pardon them, for they know not what they do. Ah my God, pardon them I beseech thee, these poor souls for whom I pray, or else take away my life. As for me I am tired of life, I am wearied of beholding the light of heaven, whilst it but shines to shew me the miseries of my dear brethren, Ah my sweet Lord, why dost thou not shew forth towards them that mercy which I implore? Yes my God, I hope it, I will expect thy salvation, yea that mercy which cometh from thee alone. “ Salutare tuum expectabo Domine.” I do not deserve to be heard, I know it, I confess it. But at least thy divine son our Lord Jesus Christ well deserves to be heard: those wounds, which he endured for our sakes, and that divine blood that was shed for us, and that crieth better things than the blood of Abel, cannot fail to move thy pity. I know that Jesus standeth at thy right hand ever living to make intercession for us. “Semper vivens ad interpellandum pro nobis,” and canst thou deny an entrance to his prayers O Lord? no, my God, no, this is not possible: thou thyself protests that thou wilt grant all that he asketh of thee. “Postula a me, et dabo tibi gentes hæreditatem tuam, et possessionem tuam terminos terræ.” Grant then, O Lord, that the uttermost bonds of the earth may become the bounds of his kingdom, of his possession, of his church, and of his true followers: grant it, O Lord, I beseech thee, by the love of thy Divine Son ; grant it also by the love which thou barest toward Mary, his mother, and thy beloved daughter. Have mercy then on England; and behold, O Lord if thou wilt accomplish this, new temples shall be raised to the honour of thy name, and new altars: sacrifices also shall be offered acceptable unto thee, even the sacrifice of Jesus in the Eucharist; and in these holy temples shall thy infinite majesty be praised and adored; Jesus thy son shall once more be loved and praised; and Mary also shall be praised and invocated. Vouchsafe then, O Lord, to accomplish with thy powerful arm this thing, which thou hast inspired me to beg of thee. I shall never be fully happy until I behold the completion of these my desires; I shall not die contented unless I behold brought back to the fold of thy church the nations which for many years and ages have dwelt far off from thee. But if it be thy will that I die before I see this accomplished, I shall die contented only if I am assured that it shall one day come to pass after my death. Yes, O Lord, I am ready to die this instant, or to suffer the heaviest temporal calamity, on this condition, that England shall return to the true faith. I ask not O Lord, to be the instrument of so great a work, no, to thee I leave it to choose who shall be the minister of thy mercies; only do I beg of thee the salvation of my dear brethren. “Fratres meos quæro.” This alone do I entreat thee, this alone is all I desire. Comforted then by the sweet hope that thou vouchsafest to grant to me, I will remain tranquil, waiting in silence for that grace from thee which I have asked of thee, “Bonum est præstolari cum silentio salutare Dei.”

Part II.

O my adorable Creator O my Lord and my God, O my most amiable Lord Jesus, wilt thou pardon me if I again break forth from my silence? I have waited for a season, I have held my peace; years have passed away. “Transivit messis, finite et æstus, et nos salvati non sumus.” yes the year of the great Jubilee hath passeth away, during which I had hoped that my prayer would be heard:[i] twice hath the festival of Easter returned, and in the solemn celebration of each Holy Week hath thy Holy Church renewed the sad lamentation of thy Prophet Jeremiah. Yea thy Church hath again returned to supplicate thee with an oremus pro Hœreticis et Schismaticis Her ministers have lifted up their hands towards the throne of thy clemency, and their prayers have been rejected. “Apposuisti nubem, ne transeat oratio.” Ah who will give me the tears of the Prophet that I may exclaim, “Cum clamavero, et rogavero exclusit orationem meam”: O my God, thou hast rejected my prayer: for this I complain not: for who am I that I should deserve to be heard by thee? But how canst thou reject the supplication of thy Church; is not she thy beloved Spouse? does not she deserve to be heard by thee, whilst she beggeth nothing else of thee but the return of those dearly beloved children, who have been violently torn from her bosom?

Canst thou, O Lord, refuse to listen unto the prayers which are poured forth before thee by so many of thy dearly beloved saints, those holy souls who are now passed to the regions of glory, who once dwelt in the kingdom of England. Ah perchance these blessed spirits have forgotten their brethren who are still in this vale of tears? But where is their charity, which must needs grow more ardent and boundless as they approach the fountain of all love and goodness? O Mary, most amiable Mary, Mother of my Redeemer, of my Lord, of my God, wilt thou not plead our course? Ah! will Mary not pray for us’! And if she pray, how shall she be rejected? If she does not pray, I would say to her again and again, oh Mary, my beloved Mother, will you then forget that office which was imposed upon you by our Lord Jesus Christ? Ah Mary, now that you are seated in the glory of heaven, do you cease to care for our woes? are you of the number of those, who when lifted up with prosperity, quickly forget the poor and the miserable? Ah my beloved Mother, could I in that case call you by that amiable name? but the title of Mother essentially belongs to you, and by this endearing name will I call you for ever, for I know who you are: I know how full of pity is your heart, I know it by experience: but oh pardon my hardihood, I beseech you not to regard some as your sons and others as outcasts. I know that towards me you have been merciful and full of pity: I know it, I confess it: but wherefore will you not be so even towards others? wherefore will you not turn your eyes of tenderness and maternal affection towards these unhappy nations? Oh have you regarded them, have you seen in what state of spiritual misery they are placed, and has not this afflicted and touched your heart? has it not moved you to compassion? oh I cannot believe that it is otherwise. You do then pray even for these, yes Mary, you do interpose in their behalf; and if it be so, the cause is gained: I regard all as done: nevertheless I will look on and wait for the time of the Lord. But how long, tell me my beloved Mother, how long am I to wait? when will arrive the time of the divine mercies? I know that a thousand years in the presence of God are but as one day; but to me it is not so, to whom indeed the delay of but one day seems as it were thousand years. I hold it for certain that God will one day have mercy upon my dear England. But when will this day come? when, ah when, ah when will it come? shall it be in my time ? I believe and hold that it will; but when, oh when? will it be before my death? if it be so, O death why dost thou not hasten thy step, that so thou mayest also hasten this object of my hopes, this only desire of my soul ? O that I could die this very morrow, that this night might bring me the joyful news that my soul longs for! O death, death, come quickly, why tarriest thou? Why dost thou delay? O my Lord and my God, I cry unto thee, and I behold not the answer to my prayer: nevertheless will I not lose courage: I will continue to cry; I will persevere with all holy impatience, and at last I shall be heard, if it only be to silence my clamour: “Etsi non propter amicitiam, saltem propter improbitatem” Only do I grieve that I should ever have ceased my cry; that I have not for the past uttered my lamentation with that fervour which was suitable; but O Lord have compassion upon me, for when a man sees not any ray of hope, he will quickly fall into despondency. Thou tellest me to hope aginst hope; “in spem contra spem:” but thou knowest that I am not like Abraham. Ah if thou wilt revive my hopes, at least shew unto me some distant gleam of brightening light. Oh how great is my insolence! ah I know it too well! and shall I give a law to my God, to my Creator? No, No, O Lord: pardon my hardihood; but if thou art willing, little would it matter that I were esteemed insolent, provided that I obtained my desire. ‘Tis sufficient; whether my request be insolent or not, Thou wilt accomplish that which I entreat of thee. If I have just reason, to beg it of thee, thou canst not in such a case refuse it unto m: if however, I ask it without reason, and become importunate unto thee, at least my God thou must grant it to get rid of my importunity. “Etsi nou propter amicitiam, saltem propter improbitatem.” I will keep silence yet awhile, but if I see that in this next year the Holy Church must renew her lamentations without profit, I will return to my cry with even still greater instance. O my God pardon me. “In insipientia dixi.” I know that thou art justice itself; but it is not to this, that I apply, only do I implore thy mercy.


Part III.


[written in wake of catholic empncipation]


O quam bonus Israel Deus! O quam bonus, O quam bonus Israel Deus! O quam bonus! O quam bonus? O Lord, other words can I not say! O how good thou art, O my God! “Merita supplicum excedis et vota:” Yes O Lord, for thou hast infinitely exceeded the merits of him that offered his supplications unto thee! often and often have I prayed to thee for my beloved England, and now when I least expected it, I have heard the joyful news, which I so much desired, of the Emancipation of the Catholics of that Kingdom. “Merita upplicantisexedisti.” But why do I speak of merits? What merits could I have, excepting such as would cast me into Hell? Not for my deserts; O Lord, but for thy own infinite mercy hast thou wrought this work. Not as yet, however, hast thou accomplished all my desires. No, my God, too much still remains to be done. My object was not merely to witness the Emancipation of the Catholics of England alone, but the return of the entire kingdom to the bosom of the Catholic Church. This then now remains for thee to accomplish, and this thou wilt perform, not for my merits but for the infinite merits of thy divine son Jesus Christ. My heart, O Lord, will never rest content, until I behold that which I desire. Thou hast begun the good work, and do thou vouchsafe to finish and perfect it, through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever liveth and reigneth one God world without end. Amen.

 

“Soli Deo honor et gloria”

 

 

 

 


[i] In the year of our Lord 1826 was celebrated the Jubilee at Rome, it is a year in which all Christendom is invited to pray especially for the extirpation of Heresy and the advancement of the Catholic Church.

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