Friday, June 29, 2007
Kelly! Who the BLEEP are YOU to question Cardinal O'Malley when HE was in Rome personally, heard the document, heard the Holy Father's explanation of it, and anyway is the bleeping ARCHBISHOP of BOSTON, you NOBODY, you!
To which I respond:
Good points! And did I tell you I talked to my Uncle Ed last night?
My Uncle Ed lives in Detroit.
In his mid-eighties, he "goes fishin" at least once a week, takes care of his lawn, likes "Wheel of Fortune" and eats TV dinners on a regular basis. He also attends Mass every Sunday. In fact, during my rather mindless chatter on the weather, sports, and other assorted topics (I realize it's difficult to imagine me chatting mindlessly) he broke in to ask one question:
"You still go to church, right? Or what?"
After a moment of silence—yes, I was silent for a moment—I replied:
"Uh...yeah. Every day."
That, in turn, silenced Uncle Ed.
"What? I thought I heard you say `every day'. I'm asking you if you still go to church!"
It took about 15 minutes to explain to my uncle that here in Boston (totally unlike there, in Detroit) it's as easy as pie to go to Mass on a daily basis.
"Well I'll be bleeped." (In some ways I take after my Uncle Ed, even though we're not really blood related.) "You know...most people I know don't go to church. Catholics, I mean. I go. But it isn't the same, you know? Funny thing, the Mass, these days."
I know what he means.
Where I live, in one of the largest Catholic areas in the world... most Catholics don't go to church either. Not even on Sundays. Which, and please don't let this spoil your day, is a mortal sin. Which, in turn (and again, I'm not trying to be a downer here) could be a one-way ticket to Hell.
"Kelly. I'm sure your Uncle is a fine man but what does this have to do with...?"
I know...sometimes I wander. But I'm not really wandering here. Because, for one thing, Cardinal O'Malley writes:
In my comments at the meeting I told my brother bishops that in the United States the number of people who participate in the Latin Mass even with permission is very low. Additionally, according to the research that I did, there are only 18 priories of the Society of St. Pius X in the entire country. Therefore this document will not result in a great deal of change for the Catholics in the U.S. Indeed, interest in the Latin Mass is particularly low here in New England.
Coupla problems here.
I told my brother bishops that in the United States the number of people who participate in the Latin Mass even with permission is very low.
In a way, he's right, given that the Novus Ordo is, in fact, the Latin Rite. As in, "Roman Catholic." But that's not, I believe, what he's saying. What he's saying is "the number of people who participate in the Indult Mass is very low."
Yeah? Well, with all due respect, the number of people who participate in Sunday Mass in any language is very low! Ergo, (if you'll all forgive the Latin), we've got a problem here.
Additionally, according to the research that I did, there are only 18 priories of the Society of St. Pius X in the entire country.
I think we may be observing the Archbishop of Boston falling for a straw man argument here...the straw man being the SSPX.
As I wrote yesterday, it seems that some folks think the Pontiff's Moto Proprio is simply a sop to get the SSPX priests back into the fold. Again, I wasn't there but you know what?
I think that's a lot of doo-hickey.
Cardinal O'Malley writes:
The Holy Father was very clear that the ordinary form of celebrating the Mass will be the new rite, the Norvus Ordo.
But by making the Latin Mass more available, the Holy Father is hoping to convince those disaffected Catholics that it is time for them to return to full union with the Catholic Church.
Maybe this makes sense, too. But the question is this: is this the sole reason for the Moto Proprio? Cardinal O'Malley implies that it is:
So the Holy Father’s motivation for this decision is pastoral. He does not want this to be seen as establishing two different Roman Rites, but rather one Roman Rite celebrated with different forms. The Moto Propio is his latest attempt at reconciliation.
I think, yes, the Holy Father's motive is a pastoral one. But to imply that the only motive is to attempt reconciliation with SSPX is a stretcher, in my humble opinion.
Gerald's quote says it quite well:
As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger [uh...the guy we now call Pope Benedict XI] continually advocated the return of the Latin language to the Mass, that Gregorian Chant be sung and that the congregation does not stand around the altar fixated on the priest but rather face, together with the priest, towards East, looking towards God. Above all he wants that this liturgy, that was celebrated for centuries, expressing the holiest that the Church possesses, the Eucharistic sacrifice, lives again and continues to develop, accompanying the life of the faithful through time.
Here's my point: (yeah, I'm almost done, sheesh)
The notion that the Pope's Moto Proprio is just another olive branch offered to a schismatic bunch is foolish, I think. The fact is, most Catholics do not go to Mass! And one reason may well be that the Mass as celebrated today lacks much of that holiness, that reverence, that says to the faithful: "This is a Sacrifice you are privileged to be a part of."
In Latin, for example, we hear "The Lord be with you," and respond "And with your spirit."
In English, we are more than likely to hear "Good morning! Peace and love to you all" and be expected to respond in any manner including "You go, Father!"
So maybe, just maybe, the Holy Father is trying to bring back the holiness, the reverence, that certainly ought to be associated with so great a Sacrifice. If he is—and I think he is—what the bleep is wrong with that?
Nothing. Just ask my Uncle Eddie. (Who, by the way, has never even heard of SSPX.)
God love you. And God love and bless Cardinal O'Malley, whose birthday we celebrate today.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
But now the good stuff from the organizers:
The Holy Rosary via live conference call is now an ongoing every evening event. People start signing in at 9:00 ET/8:00 CT/7:00 MT/6:00 PT and it begins promptly at 9:10 ET. Once in a while someone comes in late and just jumps in. Sometimes individuals use their speaker phone capabilities and family members pray along as well.
It is all to promote the Holy Rosary and pray for The Church as well as for our own personal intentions. 712-432-2222 (IOWA) Access Code: 767279 (ROSARY)
Please join in this live conference call recitation of the Holy Rosary each evening and spread the word any way you can.
Remember me, if you would, in your prayers. Thanks!
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass for the entire Catholic Church has been given to about 30 bishops from all over the world in the Sala Bologna of the Apostolic Palace by Vatican Secretary of State Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone.
Gerald's report is here.
Interesting caveat, maybe:
Safeguards to guarantee the last word to the Bishop
The Pope, who wishes to ease the access to the rite of Saint Pius V, had asked the Ecclesia Dei commission to work towards a solution since 2006. With a double objective: favoring the return of integrist communities to the Catholic Church, but also to encourage the attachment of Catholics to a liturgical tradition mishandled, in his eyes, after Vatican II.
The motu proprio should predict safeguards to guarantee the last word to the bishop, in case of a disagreement between faithful and priests on this matter.
While I understand that the bishops should have the last word on the matter, I'm hoping they won't cave to the faithful and priests. I don't think they will—certainly not all of them—and let's pray that I'm right.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
60 Million Girls Missing in Asia
This year, the United States sponsored a resolution at the U.N.’s Commission on the Status of Women that called for eliminating infanticide and gender selection. The resolution was withdrawn due to opposition from several countries, including China and India; however, the issue of prenatal sex selection was included in the final conference document.
Gender-testing kits for abortion
TORONTO -- Mail-order blood-testing kits that can determine the sex of a fetus early in pregnancy may be used for more than getting a jumpstart on deciding whether to paint the nursery pink or blue, says a doctors group. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada says the results of the early tests could be used by parents to decide whether to continue the pregnancy or abort the fetus solely based on its gender.
Of course, this should be no surprise.
Not when one recalls that the foundress of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, and her followers, were (and maybe still are) hell-bent on eliminating "blacks, immigrants, indigents," and, of course, the "socially inadequate."
To be fair...
Some—or, make that one—feminist group has come out against gender-testing. From Women's eNews we get the cheer:
Canadian obstetricians strongly condemned the use of gender testing kits for selective abortions, the CBC reported June 21. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada says early tests could be used by parents to decide whether to maintain the pregnancy or abort the fetus based on its gender, calling the practice unhealthy, discriminatory and unethical. Some prenatal tests can determine the sex of a fetus as early as five weeks.
Still, that's not nearly enough.
When are we just going to come out and admit it? Abortion (besides, among other things, being the promiscuous man's best friend) is the tool that allows too many people to be "pro-woman, pro-minority, pro-disabled," etc.
Monday, June 25, 2007
If you're like me, you receive "alerts" like this every day, or at least fairly often. (Actually, if you're like me, please go immediately to a quiet place and ask Our Lady to help you. I'll wait.)
Feel better now? Good, because I'd like to talk to you about Catholic Persecution and What We Should Do About It.
What we should do about it? We should pray for those who persecute us. We should spread out and evangelize.
We should—we must—do our bleepest to accomplish two things:
1: Get ourselves into Heaven
2: Get those who persecute us into Heaven
How do we do this?
1: We pray for ourselves
2: We pray for those who have fashioned themselves as our enemies
3: We behave ourselves and do not give scandal to any non-believer (or believer!)
4: We try to instruct those who bash us (because usually—albeit not always—they are misinformed)
5: We continue to pray
How do we not do this?
1: We do not attack those who have fashioned themselves as our enemies
2: We do not hate those who have declared themselves our enemies
Don't get me wrong.
I love the Catholic League and think Bill Donohue is one of the most courageous of men. But we're all not Bill Donohue and when we try to act as if we are, the results are sometimes not pretty.
For example, I've read or heard comments that would make a sailor blush.
I do not need to know about Rosie O'Donnell's sexual preferences. I'd rather not hear about Jay Leno's so-called marital difficulties and for Heaven's sake, spare me Joy Behar's ugly remarks. (I've never even heard of Joy Behar until today, incidentally.)
Try to understand this and you'll be a better person for it.
If you're Catholic, you're going to be bashed. Deal with it. Live with it. Try to embrace it, if you can, and above all, forgive and pray for your bashers.
For immediate help, gaze upon your nearest Crucifix. That's what He's there for.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
BOSTON, June 23 — Voice of the Faithful, the lay group formed in response to the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, is calling for the Vatican to review the requirement that priests be celibate, saying the policy may have played a role in the scandal.
Mourners in denial...
“It’s tough to keep momentum going over a long period of time,” said Bill Casey, the group’s chairman, “and I think what we need to do is to refocus our organization’s leadership and energy. What we have to do is convince the average Catholic that there is a strong continuing need for an independent lay voice in the governance of the Catholic Church.”
Now, it faces a $100,000 deficit in a budget of about $700,000, and Mr. Casey said at an April meeting that the group was in a “stuck position,” with arguments over leadership and decision-making.
“Even I, [James Post, founder] from time to time, wonder whether we shouldn’t just declare victory and say a lot’s been done in five years, the church is doing better than it was, and then let the other organizations — Call to Action, Future Church and others that really want to deal with these issues — have the field.”
“O’Malley has mastered what Muhammad Ali calls the rope-a-dope,” Dr. Post said, referring to when a boxer leans back on the ropes and lets his opponent punch him until the opponent tires out.
“They outlived what some skeptics would have said their shelf life was,” Professor Appleby said.
Friday, June 22, 2007
How do you reconcile your support of marriage with the reputation the Archdiocese of Boston has for granting swift annulments to the rich and powerful (see news of the Vatican’s overturning the annulment of Joseph P. Kennedy and subsequent commentary in newspapers and online news sources)? Comment by Mary Jo Rabe—June 21, 2007
May I respectfully suggest that Mary Jo Rabe trot over to Jimmy Akin's blog for some clarification...and to maybe consider alternative sources to Time?
Thursday, June 21, 2007
"Some way to go"
Three years ago his parish priest at Chequers, Fr Timothy Russ, disclosed that Mr Blair had discussed becoming a Catholic with him.
But Fr Russ added that Mr Blair, whose views on a range of issues from abortion to stem cell research are at odds with traditional Church teaching, had "some way to go" on important moral issues. In a new book, Fr Russ also reveals that Mr Blair even discussed the possibility of becoming a Catholic deacon, a position below that of a priest that can be held by lay people.Definitely worth praying about.
Source: UK Telegraph
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
"Human embryos and fetuses, as living members of the human species, are not raw materials to be exploited or commodities to be bought and sold."
Read about it here.
And for you W haters out there — you know who you are — there are so many blogs you can be reading and enjoying right now. Why not go to one?
Still, the Happy Ex Protestant, Tim Lockwood, seems to have found some food for thought in The Onion's latest parody entitled "New Abortion Bill to Require Fetal Consent."
He may be right. The Onion might not realize it, but it may have accidently produced a pro-life video.
Check Tim's post here.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
If you write me—especially using the email link on the left—don't you dare block my reply via a spam blocker.
I received an email from a reader. When I replied, I received the following:
I apologize for this automatic reply to your email.
To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.
If you would like to be added to my list of approved senders, please fill out the short request form (see link below). Once I approve you, I will receive your original message in my inbox. You do not need to resend your message. I apologize for this one-time inconvenience.
Click the link below to fill out the request:
Fine. I can—sorta—understand this. Sorta. (I mean, why write me without giving me an avenue to reply? Duh.)
But here's the kicker:
When I dutifully (I'm nothing if not dutiful) clicked on the "link," I was greeted with the following:
ERROR: Unable to process Allowed Sender request.
We're sorry. Because your original message to the recipient is no longer available, we cannot process this Allowed Sender request. Your message may have expired, or the recipient may have accepted or deleted it. You may wish to resend your original message, and check your email shortly thereafter for a new Allowed Sender Request message.
If the recipient chooses to allow email from your address, the message(s) that have been intercepted will be delivered immediately, and any future messages will be delivered without delay.Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Monday, June 18, 2007
A friend died last week. Then there was that wonderful Massachusetts affirmation of the Glory of the Rainbow Flag. I screwed up on a job and just to top it all off, I assisted in euthanizing (a polite word for killing) a great dog today. (I love you, Marcus.)
Did I tell you I sinned probably 18 times since my last confession (three days ago) and incidentally almost smashed a hapless pedestrian to smithereens on my frantic drive to the vet's office to do the dirty deed to the dog (who was pretty much on his way out anyway but still)?
"It's really always about you, isn't it, Kelly?"
Not really. It's about you, too. Don't you even try to tell me that you didn't have a few warts growing on your skin, so to speak, these past few days. Because I won't believe you.
And while I can't actually begin to comfort you, I can at least offer you some excellent (if I do say so myself) advice.
You say your voice sounds like a foghorn? No matter! Find a happy song (yeah I know this is enough sugar to make your teeth hurt but tough it out with me) and belt it out. If you live with other people who might find your behavior cause to call 911, hop in the shower.
(Everybody's allowed to sing in the shower. I think it's in the Constitution.)
Here. Try this. I've even added some stuff to give you a healthy dose of reality along with a much, much needed shot of fantasy.
Maestro? If you please....
Gray skies are gonna clear up (or maybe they won't but they just might)
Put on a happy face!
Wipe off the clouds and cheer up (what'll it hurt ya?)
Put on a happy face!
Take of that gloomy mask of tragedy
It's not your style (plus, it really ages you!)
You'll look so good that you'll be glad
You decided to smile (everybody likes to look good...even you.)
Pick out a pleasant outlook (forget for now the past and screw the future...look, for example, at a crucifix!)
Stick out that noble chin (do it looking in a mirror...it'll crack you up)
Wipe off that full of doubt look (while, for example, washing your face)
Snap on a happy grin (go on...do it!)
Spread sunshine all over the place (I can feel your warmth right now!)
Just put on a happy face!
(The world will thank you for it and if it doesn't, who cares? I will, and so will that Man on the Cross!)
Sunday, June 17, 2007
To aid in the recitation of The Most Holy Rosary of The Blessed Virgin Mary, a live conference style Rosary will be prayed daily beginning this Monday evening June 18th at 8:00 pm central time zone.
(Pew Lady note: that means 7:00 PM Eastern Time)
Please email email@example.com with any questions and to secure your slot. This will help the administrator reserve enough space for all who wish to pray. You will also be sent a courtesy reminder email a few hours before the Rosary begins each day.
To join the prayer, call 1-712-432-2222 (Iowa) and enter the code 767279 (ROSARY). Please say your name and the state where you live when you sign on. We will chat a little first then begin praying promptly at 8:10 pm central time. This will only cost you if this is a long distance call for you.
Please invite all you think may want to join. If this works out, we hope to have a Rosary being prayed live as a group all over the country.
Teri Henry, Kansas
Patte Gradwell, Pennsylvania
Saturday, June 16, 2007
You have been duped. We especially address those of you with homosexual tendencies. You, and your so-called "supporters," have been duped.
Not by the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Not even by the Supreme Judicial Court of this state which believes it legalized "marriage" between members of the same sex.
No, you have been duped by those of us who should have known better.
For example, you have been duped by those who supposedly are your pastors.
Time and time again, we have addressed the issue of your "right" to call you and your "partners" "married people" in the wrong way. Actually, in several wrong ways.
First, we kept harping on the threatening of the "sanctity of marriage."
This was simply bull-twanky, if you'll forgive us for using such language. As, indeed, Sunday's First Reading exemplifies, the so-called "sanctity of marriage" has been attacked for eons.
Take King David, for example.
King David wasn't a homosexual, but by giving in to his lust for Bathsheba (and, not incidentally, arranging to cover up his crime by having her husband killed) wasn't exactly what we'd call a defender of the institution of marriage. And yet, he, through his destruction of the marriage of Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, fostered a son who is part of the human lineage of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Let's talk about divorce.
It is a myth, of course, that half of American marriages end in divorce. On the other hand, marriage itself is on the decline. Men and women—heterosexual men and women—seem to prefer to co-habitate without benefit of marriage.
In other words, no one can sensibly blame the decline of real marriage on you folks. The heterosexual population has done a masterful job itself on arranging this decline without any help from you.
And about the "people's right to vote" thing...
Heaven forbid! Other states may be different—and we pray they are—but the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts recently elected a man of whom nothing was or is known...on the basis of a banal slogan: "Together, we can."
It could be said that our options were limited. Opposing our current governor was a lady who—like our current governor—supports the "right" to destroy the lives of children in the womb.
Nice state we've got here, don't we?
But, again, does the blame belong to the Governor, or his opponent, or the legislature, or the Supreme Judicial Court?
We don't think so. We believe the blame lies at our feet.
Because we didn't tell you something you really need to know:
Homosexual acts are wrong. They are sinful. They will cost you, big time.
Because we didn't tell you this—oh, sure, we might have said it in other situations but not in this debate—we duped you.
Because of our misguidance, we handed Satan a powerful weapon. Because we stubbornly focused on the "sanctity of marriage" and worse, the "right of the people to vote," we gave the Devil the opportunity to say—and with evident sincerity—"why should the people decide on what is moral?"
Boy, did we screw up. And the Devil must be laughing his guts out.
And so, my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us, even at this late date, turn to the truth.
You who believe that your homosexual activity is somehow natural and good? You are wrong. It is not good. It is evil. (And you pretty much know this, don't you?)
You who dare to align yourselves with those Americans who were once slaves in this nation are acting in a way that is beyond contempt.
And you pastors of said former slaves who actually bought into this myth...may God have mercy on your souls.
And on ours.
Because by hiding behind the "sanctity of marriage" and the "right of the people to vote" we have neatly eluded the real issue.
Sin. It's ugly. It condemns you and it condemns us.
We should have told you before.
In the most Merciful Christ,
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, Boston
Bishop George W. Coleman, Fall River
Bishop Timothy A. McDonnell, Springfield
Bishop Robert J. McManus, Worcester
N.B. I made this up. I hated doing it but felt it necessary. The Bishops' real statement can be found here.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I have no idea what this means, but knowing Dom, I expect it means good news for the A o' D.
God speed, Dom.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
"By pushing for the decriminalization of abortion as part of their platform, Amnesty International has disqualified itself as a defender of human rights," he said. "If AI is no longer willing to stand up for the most basic human right -- the right to life -- then the very integrity of the organization is called into question."
Amnesty International was founded in 1961 by Peter Benson as a defender and promoter of the inalienable rights of the human person.
Now it has joined other international organizations, such as the United Nations Children's Fund, in promoting a so-called right to abortion, at least in certain cases.
Quite simply, Catholics should not support, in any way, this organization. Actually, no Christian should support, in anyway, this organiztion.
No compromise. Period.
Sometimes following Christ is hard. Blessedly, it's worth it.
Monday, June 11, 2007
“Science is a gift of God to all of us and science has taken us to a place that is biblical in its power to cure,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, arguing for the bill’s passage. “And that is the embryonic stem cell research.”
Close, but not cigar, Nancy. Stupid, yes, but the East Coast Guy beat you out.
The Pew Lady's choice for Stupid Statement of the Week goes to Connecticut Democatic Representative Christopher Murphy. And without further ado, we have his quote:
“Being pro-life is about more than caring for the unborn. It’s about caring for the living as well.”
Can anybody top this statement in the stupidity category?
I've tried, but this is all I can come up with:
"Being a woman is about more than the ability to give birth. It's about being able to impregnate as well."
Did I come close?
Or maybe this one is a bit more obvious:
"Being an athlete is about more than caring about winning. It's about caring about being victorious as well."
Give it a go if you can!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
President Bush met with the Pontiff today and, following tradition, the two exchanged gifts.
President Bush gave the pope a Moses walking stick engraved with the Ten Commandments — one of Wilkerson's creations — during a visit Saturday to the Vatican. The president described the stick as "a piece of art by a former homeless man from Texas ... Dallas."
"The Ten Commandments?" asked the pope.
"The Ten Commandments, yes, sir," the president responded.Nice story.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
And in a related story, dogs—I'm not making this up—are, here too for the first time! [deep breaths...try to control your excitement] participating in "Gay Pride Day."
Here's something to ponder...
Owners are encouraged to dress their pooches in fur-free canine couture for the community contest portion of “Paws for Pride...”
"Fur-free?" Weird. I thought it was natural for dogs to be furred. 'Course, I also thought it natural for mates to be of the opposite sex.
And what's with the "owners" thing?
Gee...isn't it appalling to think that our four-footed friends are actually property??? Owned, like slaves, by rich masters??? Where is the retribution???
Where, in the name of justice, is PETA????
Breathlessly we're told that:
“To have them [the dogs, I think she means...not the governor and other pols. But I may be wrong.] be festive and full of pride just adds another exciting element to the event,” said Linda DeMarco, president of the Boston Pride Day committee.
My name is Kelly Clark. As a taxpaying citizen of Boston, Massachusetts, I'm paying for this crap.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Father Peyton was right. The great prayer crusader emphasized, by whatever means at hand, the necessity of prayer—especially family prayer. As he repeatedly said: "The family that prays together, stays together."
We've been reading from the Book of Tobit for the past few days...
And today's reading gives a wonderful example of a new family's prayer!
I won't go into the details of Sarah's troubles and Tobiah's love. Read the Book of Tobit for yourself, if you like. (It's a gift!)
But listen to the newlywed's prayer on their wedding night:
“Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.’
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age.”
They said together, “Amen, amen,” and went to bed for the night.
Isn't that terrific?
I don't exactly have a family—blood kin—to pray with.
Oh, I've got sisters and aunts and uncles and in-laws, but they all live far away. My "family" prayer—which I treasure—is daily Mass and the Rosary. At home, I pray by myself...and my guardian angel. But I certainly remember, as a child, praying with my parents and my sisters every night.
If you live with your family, pray together!
Grace before meals, at least, and—at some point during the day—a Rosary, or a Chaplet.
"The family that prays together, stays together."
May the family of God unite in prayer, and may Our Father continue to bless us. Amen.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Don't wait for someone to die before offering a Mass for him!
Zenit's Father Edward McNamara offers some sound reasoning for this.
In the case of the deceased in purgatory any benefit is received passively, since the soul is no longer capable of performing new meritorious acts. While such a soul is already saved, it cannot increase in sanctity but only purify those imperfections which impede its definitive entrance into glory.
A living person, however, is still capable of growing in sanctifying grace. And so a Mass offered for a person already in God's grace has the effect of offering a gift of increased grace which the person may willingly receive in order to become more Christlike.
As an intercessory prayer, a Mass offered for a person in a state of actual mortal sin may yet supply the grace necessary for repentance even though conversion is always a free acceptance of the grace that is offered.
While the Mass may be offered for other intentions as well (for instance, for those who are ill), I believe that the discourse regarding whether the Mass for the living is more powerful than for the dead lies principally in the above point regarding the possible increase in sanctity. The offering of the Mass may also assist in this increase of sanctity by helping people face their sufferings and trials more deeply united to Christ.
So while it's a good and holy thing to offer a Mass for the deceased, a living person can receive no greater gift.
Do continue to pray—and pray hard!—for the holy souls in Purgatory.
But remember those who are living and have still the opportunity to become holier.
The Mass...the Perfect Gift for any occasion.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Joe from Lynn in my last post asked to see my prayer room...here it is. It's only about 5' x 7 feet but it really dominates the upstairs area of the house I live in. Actually, anybody can make, as Joe calls it, a "prayer corner." A crucifix, in my opinion, is the only "must have."
The Wayside Crucifix is a gift from a priest who got it in Rome. The kneeler is a gift from the former rector of my church...a leftover from when the Cathedral was renovated. On your right, as you enter the room, is a holy water font (I accidently cut it off in the photo) and was also a gift. Not shown is a simple chair in the right hand corner.
I have no idea what this room was before I moved in. The house is old...built in 1847. I like to think it was originally a room reserved for prayer, but I really don't know. All I know is that when I first saw it, that seemed to be its mission.
His Holiness is cordially invited to pray here if he visits Boston. But even if he doesn't, that's okay...I pray for him in this room every day!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
I have just the room for the Holy Father!
It's upstairs, next to an actual prayer room (complete with a Wayside Crucifix, prie-dieu, and holy water font). Get this: the windows are cathedral windows! And if that's not enough, there's a small but eminently efficient kitchen that would be reserved strictly for the Pontiff! I'll even stock it with food.
(Most would, of course, be of the nuke sort since the kitchen sports a cook-top, refrigerator/freezer, and a microwave...but no oven. On the other hand, squeezed into it is a washer/dryer combo. And I'd even volunteer to iron the vestments!)
My parish is the Cathedral of the Holy Cross...the Mother Church of the Archdiocese! So, you know, I can show him around, you know. Where to vest, that sorta stuff. Plus I give a great tour of the place. We've got a crypt, you know, so he can see where the bodies are buried...so to speak.
Bonus! I happen to know where the side entrance to the rectory is—where Cardinal O'Malley lives—and can probably manage to get the Holy Father his own key!
Privacy? No problemo! I can get the Pope to anywhere he wants to go blindfolded...I mean, I know the city. No need for the Pope-Mobile once he's in my hands.
I think it's pretty much a done deal...but I only have one diplomatic question:
Certainly by the time the Holy Father gets here, Jesus of Nazareth will be out in paperback. Would it be tacky of me to ask the Pope to sign a paperback version or should I spring for the hardcover?
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Okay. I admit it. I cannot explain the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Nor do I want to even try. But I do think it's a lovely gift to meditate on the Three Divine Persons in One God.
Somebody must've said this to me, because I'd never have thought of it myself.
The thing is, upon reflection, it seems impossible to deny the rationality of the Trinity. (Bear with me here.) Given the fact that God is Love, how could He be One Person? If God is Love, and He is, then there must be an object of this Love. Love doesn't exist in a vacuum. Love demands an object. And so we have the Object—that Person Who is the Recipient—of this most Perfect Love. Can Love exist without an object of Love? I don't think so. Now what—or Who—binds the Lover from the Loved? There needs to be, again rationally speaking, a connector of sorts. A Spirit. In other words, if God is Love, then why is it all that difficult to believe—not understand, mind you, but believe—in the Most Holy Trinity?
In 15th century, Saint Andrei Rublev painted an icon.
While it depicts the angels who visited Abraham, it is often described as "The Icon of the Old Testament Trinity." To celebrate Trinity Sunday, I invite you to visit this site and, using Rublev's icon as an aid, reflect on this most wonderful God of ours.
God immortal be adored!
Friday, June 01, 2007
Anyway, have fun with this. (And remember: you're under no obligation to stick to your vote!)
P.S. I suppose one could reckon that I'm being unfair by only posting Republican potentials but I've got two good reasons for doing so...ahem:
1.) Is there any Democrat you know of who's pro-life? Didn't think so. This is, after all, a Catholic blog and therefore — many "Catholic" Democrats to the contrary — it's a pro-life one. (Which isn't to say that the candidates below are all pro-life, natch.)
2.) This was a very easy poll to post since somebody else did the work.