Thursday, May 26, 2011

Steer this little ship of thine...

It's May 26th, St. Philip's Day.

I've never been much for these rather embarrassing public displays of affection that a lot of Catholics go in for over their favourite devotions. But Philip is different. Pray to Philip Neri and you will be well looked after.

But be careful. He's a dangerous saint to know. You will get the things you need, but in ways you would never in a jillion years have thought of for yourself. He has no qualms whatever about taking your life and holding it upside down and shaking it until all your stuff has fallen out of the pockets. When he rights you again, everything will be better, but different.

Look down from heaven, Holy Father, from the loftiness of that mountain to the lowliness of this valley, from that harbour of quietness and tranquility to this calamitous sea. And now that the darkness of this world hinders no more those benignant eyes of thine from looking clearly into all things, look down and visit, O most diligent keeper, this vineyard which thy right hand planted with so much labour, anxiety, and peril.

To thee then we fly, from thee we seek for aid: to thee we give our whole selves unreservedly. Thee we adopt for our patron and defender: undertake the cause of our salvation, protect thy clients.

To thee we appeal as our leader, rule thine army fighting against the assaults of the devil. To thee, kindest of pilots, we give up the rudder of our lives; steer this little ship of thine, and placed as thou art on high, keep us off all the rocks of evil desires, that with thee for our pilot and our guide we may safely come to the port of eternal bliss. Amen.

When I came to visit Rome the first time, it was all about Philip for me. A friend of mine is a London Oratorian and was here at that time studying and gave me and a friend the tour of the Rome Oratory, Philip's rooms. At that time, I didn't have a camera that was up to taking pictures without a flash, so my photos didn't turn out very well.

But later, some other friends of ours, the Sons of the Holy Redeemer, came to Rome and got the same tour from the same friend and took much better pics.

If you come to Rome, be sure to go say thank you to Philip.


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