Saturday, May 20, 2023

My Spring Newsletter

 Dear Friends and Family,

A blessed Ascension!

Let us live as if we were already There.
Why do we on earth not strive to find rest with Him in heaven even now, through the faith, hope and love that unites us to Him? While in Heaven He is also with us; and we while on earth are with Him. He is here with us by His divinity, His power and His love. We cannot be be in heaven, as He is on earth, by divinity, but in Him, we can be there by love. ~ St. Augustine, Sermon for the Ascension

The Pentecost novena begins today, even for those who were not able to celebrate the Ascension yesterday. The Golden Sequence makes a superb novena prayer.
Veni, Sancte Spiritus,        Come, Holy Spirit,
et emitte caelitus                send forth the heavenly
lucis tuae radium.               radiance of your light.

Veni, pater pauperum,      Come, father of the poor,
veni, dator munerum         come giver of gifts,
veni, lumen cordium.         come, light of the heart.

Consolator optime,             Greatest comforter,
dulcis hospes animae,         sweet guest of the soul,
dulce refrigerium.               sweet consolation.

In labore requies,                In labor, rest,
in aestu temperies               in heat, temperance,
in fletu solatium.                  in tears, solace.

O lux beatissima,                 O most blessed light,
reple cordis intima               fill the inmost heart
tuorum fidelium.                  of your faithful.

Sine tuo numine,                  Without your divine will,
nihil est in homine,               there is nothing in man,
nihil est innoxium.                nothing is harmless.

Lava quod est sordidum,     Wash that which is unclean,
riga quod est aridum,           water that which is dry,
sana quod est saucium.        heal that which is wounded.

Flecte quod est rigidum,      Bend that which is inflexible,
fove quod est frigidum,        warm that which is chilled,
rege quod est devium.          make right that which is wrong.

Da tuis fidelibus,                    Give to your faithful,
in te confidentibus,                who rely on you,
sacrum septenarium.            the sevenfold gifts.

Da virtutis meritum,             Give reward to virtue,
da salutis exitum,                  give salvation at our passing on,
da perenne gaudium,            give eternal joy.
Amen, Alleluia.                      Amen, Alleluia.

This spring I have been privileged to be part of some Catholic podcasts.

 I was delighted to be interviewed by Bob Krebs, a fellow native of Frederick County, Maryland and currently the Director of Communications of the Diocese of Wilmington. We discussed Queen Henrietta Maria. The interview can be heard HERE.

I was also interviewed by Kristen of Catholic Exchange about the real Marie Antoinette. To
listen, click HERE.

Connor McHugh invited me to be on his marvelous podcast called Plotlines. We discussed the PBS portrayal of Marie-Antoinette, HERE. And then he invited me to join some illustrious comrades in discussing the French pretender Henri V, HERE.

Meanwhile, I have been working on the sequel to My Queen, My Love,  to be called Generalissima, Part II of the Henrietta of France trilogy. It will deal with Henriette's role in the tumult of the English Civil War. My Queen, My Love is still selling steadily and garnering some excellent reviews from bloggers and literary journals. I was really happy to receive a glowing review from royal historian Theodore Harvey at Royal World:
Most Americans are probably not aware that the US state of Maryland was originally named after Queen Henrietta Maria (1609-1669), daughter of King Henri IV of France (1553-1610) and wife of the ill-fated King Charles I of England (1600-1649). Readers seeking an introduction to this unjustly neglected historical figure would do well to immerse themselves in this charming and engaging book by Elena Maria Vidal, who appropriately enough lives in Maryland....The central importance of religion is evident from the outset. Daughter of the pragmatic convert Henri IV, the devoutly Catholic Henrietta Maria finds herself in an impossible situation as wife of the staunch Anglican Charles I in what is by then a predominantly and fervently Protestant country, with even the King's own high church Anglicanism increasingly deemed too "catholic" by some. While the author clearly shares Henrietta Maria's devout Roman Catholicism, it is to Vidal's credit that the sincerity of King Charles who believes that his Church of England is truly Catholic is depicted in a well-rounded manner. I particularly appreciated the writer's evident love of liturgical beauty as reflected in lavish descriptions of Catholic ceremonies including sacred music. Henrietta Maria's enjoyment of the secular arts, so scandalous to the dour Puritans especially her own participation in Masques, is a consistent theme as well. (Read more.)

And I was also delighted by this insightful assessment of My Queen, My Love by Laura Crockett at The History Desk:

Henriette-Marie married Charles I of England in 1625. She became his queen but was never crowned, formally. When she married Charles, she was 15. Our modern perspective tells us that is a mere girl. Nevertheless, previous ages were practical in these matters. Henriette died when she was 59. That too, is young in our eyes.  Nonetheless, she lived to a ripe age, because the average, back in the day, was 35 years.

Vidal structures the story as one of those perfect circles, wherein she begins with Marie de Medici, Henriette’s mother, and then closes the story with Marie. What is given to us, in between the Marie sections, is the story of her daughter, who lived during a crucial development era in the history of the Western world.

Henrietta Maria holding a butterfly

Please do consider leaving a review on Amazon for My Queen, My Love. Some readers have had trouble publishing positive reviews, so let me know if you have trouble.

Love and Prayers to all,

Elena at "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"

(Read more.)


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