Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Where do you stand?"

When you can spare a few minutes—nah, do it now—listen to a homily I wished I'd heard last Sunday, by Father Phillips of San Antonio's Our Lady of the Atonement parish.

Father Phillips' blog can be found here.

H/T to Richard.

Also, Richard asks that we pray for rain in the San Antonio area. Thanks!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Obama: ironically, the one who seemed to get it at Edward Kennedy's Mass of Christian Burial

It's unlike me to ask you to listen to President Obama. Yet he was the only one who—outside those reciting the required liturgical words—to publicly pray for Senator Edward Kennedy.

He's also the only one who mentioned that the late Senator had faults. (As we all do!)

So, in this case, I beg you emulate Barack Obama, by echoing his words:

"May God Bless Ted Kennedy, and may he rest in eternal peace."

Friday, August 28, 2009

Alveda King, Father Pavone, remember Ted Kennedy

Bless us o Lord, and these thy gifts...

My friend and cooking whiz Fr. Leo Patalinghug has a cool website and is preparing to do battle with Iron Chef Bobby Flay in a Food Channel Steak Fajita contest.

That's great. But my question to you is:

Do you pray before meals? After meals? Does your family?

I was brought up to do both and to this day, even while eating alone, I still do. What do you think about this practice?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ad Orientem: Thank you, Bishop Edward Slattery, Tulsa!

I get a lot o' mail and hear many people complain about the "liturgical abuses" a celebrant commits during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Some—perhaps many—are legitimate complaints and should be addressed. Some really aren't. All, though, in my opinion, stem from the seemingly unsolvable problem of the celebrant facing the people during Mass.

I mean, think about it. Imagine yourself in the celebrant's place. All eyes on are you. Unless you're a saint—and I daresay few people are, even priests—it's only natural that in that position one is perhaps a wee bit self-conscious. "Do I look okay?" "Am I doing this right?" "Is that person in the back actually yawning?"

Which might very well lead to thoughts such as:

"Hmm...there's so many references to `the Father.' And all those male pronouns. Will women be offended? Will they blame me? I didn't write the bleeping words!" Or "Maybe if I make a little joke, you know, lighten up the atmosphere a bit?" Or "Why are they all staring at me when I wash my hands? Don't they know I feel silly doing this?" Or "I've got it! I can invite them all into the sanctuary...maybe that'll work."

And so on and so on.

It's only been about 40 years since priests facing the people became the norm.

Prior to that, priests, along with congregation, faced God! It wasn't all about the celebrant (as in, "oh, how I love the way Father Whosis makes eye-contact" or "what's with Father What's-his-name, he barely looks at us" or "when Father Blank prays, I feel like he's speaking directly to me!")

It was, or at least seemed to be, I expect, all about God. Or at least it wasn't all about how the priest's hair looked, sheesh.

In the Diocese of Tulsa, Bishop Edward Slattery is doing a good thing. From his letter:

If our conversation about the Mass is going to “make any sense,” then we have to grasp this essential truth: At Mass Christ joins us to Himself as He offers Himself in sacrifice to the Father for the world’s redemption. We can offer ourselves like this in Him because we have become members of His Body by Baptism.

We also want to remember that all of the faithful offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice as members of Christ’s body. It’s incorrect to think that only the priest offers Mass. All the faithful share in the offering, even though the priest has a unique role. He stands “in the person of Christ,” the historic Head of the Mystical Body, so that at Mass, it is the whole body of Christ—Head and members together that make the offering.

Facing in the same direction.

My thought is that many so-called (or even legitimately called) liturgical abuses can be rectified quite simply: by the celebrant and the people looking in a Singular Direction.

By remembering that the Mass isn't about the people's "feelings" or celebrant's "feelings"...but rather about his place ad persona Christi as the head—and ours as the members—of the Body of Christ.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For those o' you whose celebrants wimp out on Sunday's Second Reading...

Here's what you missed. Here's the complete reading.

Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the church,
he himself the savior of the body.
As the church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.

My question: why are girly-girl priests and feminists so eager to keep the wives out of the action when they choose the "shorter" version (which is actually four short lines less)?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pope Saint Pius X: priest of the Eucharist

We can thank God — and His servant, Pope Saint Pius X — for the opportunity for daily Communion, and for the availability of Jesus to children. From the canonization address of this amazing man:

A priest, above all is in the Eucharistic ministry: this is the most faithful portrayal of Saint Pius X. To serve the mystery of the Blessed Eucharistic as a priest, and to fulfill the command of our Savior—`do this in remembrance of me'—was his goal. From the day of his sacred Ordination until his death as Pope he knew no other path than this in order to arrive at heroism and in his love of God and to bring about a wholehearted return to that Redeemer of the world, Who by means of the Blessed Eucharist poured out the wealth of His divine love on men.

Overcoming the prejudices springing from an erroneous practice, he resolutely promoted frequent, even daily, Communion of the faithful and unhesitatingly led children to the banquet of the Lord, offering them to the embrace of the God hidden on the altars. The spouse of Christ experienced a new springtime of Eucharistic life.

The Holy Eucharist and the interior life: this is the supreme Adoration of the Real Presence and universal lesson which Saint Pius X, from the height of glory, teaches in this hour to all souls. As apostle of the interior life, he becomes, in the age of machine and organization the saint and guide of men in our time.

Pope Pius XII, on the canonization of Pope Pius X, May 29, 1954

"Show Me State" nuns enforce the 7th Commandment

Sisters Catarina and Connie spotted a young man with a rifle walking through a field near the St. Francis convent. They thought he was an illegal hunter and went to confront him. He dropped the gun, but after a few questions, he turned and ran.

Despite wearing flip-flops and a habit, Sister Catarina gave chase while Sister Connie called police. She caught up with him and asked him to stay put, but he ran into a wooded area.

Canine teams arrived and with the nun's help, they found and caught the man.

Full story here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Andrea Mitchell "mythology" on abortion funding under ObamaCare

Andrea Mitchell in today's NBC News, Washington broadcast:

Our new NBC News poll shows misinformation is heavily clouding public opinion on health care...half believe that tax dollars would fund abortions.

Dear Myth -- 'scuse me Ms -- Mitchell:

Most of us heard our Fearsome Leader's pledge to Planned Parenthood as a candidate in July 2007:

There will always be people, many of goodwill, who do not share my view on the issue of choice. On this fundamental issue, I will not yield and Planned Parenthood will not yield.

Some of us have actually read the New York Times -- don't you?

WASHINGTON — An Obama administration official refused Sunday to rule out the possibility that federal tax money might be used to pay for abortions under proposed health care legislation. Peter R. Orszag, the White House budget director, asked whether he was prepared to say that “no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions,” answered: “I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”

Andrea: you are a myth creator.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Perpetual Adoration at Saint Clement's coverage: Michael Paulson and the Globe should know better

As one commenter posted: "All in all, it's not a bad article." And it isn't. But the lead taints it from the get-go.

The adorers sit in silence before the wafer.

Come on. "The wafer?"

Michael Paulson has been reporting on religion since at least the turn of this century. There is absolutely no journalistic reason why he didn't note, in the lead, that Catholics believe that the consecrated wafer is the Real Presence of Jesus Christ. Instead, he, or his editor, chose a lead that reflects the Catholic put-down style of a P.Z. Meyer. (For quick reference only...please don't bother to read the linked post, unless you really want to.)

Other problems with the article include...

...the implication that adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is "unusual." What I think (I hope) he means is that Perpetual Adoration is rare. Adoration itself is quite common!

This comment by the Cardinal is a good one:

“For us to have the Eucharist visible for adoration is a very ancient tradition in the church, and a way to nourish people’s faith and spirituality,’’ O’Malley said. “Throughout the country, there is a renewed spirit of Eucharistic devotion, and we certainly want to encourage that here.’’

This line in the article is, at best, disturbing:

O’Malley said he occasionally participates in the practice.


There's gotta be a typo here. There is no way I can believe that any priest, in whose home and workplace resides the Real Presence of Jesus, doesn't spend at least some time every day in Eucharistic Adoration. "Occasionally?" There's no way I want to believe this comment.

Perhaps it's a question of semantics.

Perhaps. In any case, it's a joy—regardless of odd reporting—to know that, in still another place within the Archdiocese of Boston, Perpetual Adoration is taking place.

Source: The Boston Globe

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saint Lawrence, how I love you!

Today is the Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr. The readings are 2 Cor. 9:6-10, Psalm 112, and John 12:24-26.

Here is the day's commentary by Saint Ambrose (circa 340-397), Bishop of Milan and Doctor of the Church on both the Gospel passage and Saint Lawrence himself. Enjoy! (Many thanks to the good folks at the Daily Gospel.

"If it dies, it produces much fruit"

When Saint Lawrence saw Bishop Sixtus being led to martyrdom, he started to weep. It was not the Bishop's suffering that drew tears from his eyes but the fact that he was going to martyrdom without him. That was why he began shouting after him in these words:

"Father, where are you going without your son? O, holy priest, where are you going in such a hurry without your deacon? Yet you have never been accustomed to offer the sacrifice without a minister!...Test it out that you have chosen a good deacon: would you refuse to share the sacrifice of your blood with him to whom you have entrusted the administration of the Lord's blood, with whom you share the sacraments?"

Then Pope Sixtus replied to Lawrence:

I have not forgotten you, my son, nor am I forsaking you. But to you I am leaving even greater combats to undergo. I am old and can only bear a light struggle. But you are young and there remains an even more glorious triumph against the tyrant to be won by you. You will be coming shortly; dry your tears; you will follow me in three days..."

Three days later, Lawrence was arrested. He was asked to bring out the Church's wealth and treasures. He promised to do so. The following day he returned with some poor people. He was asked where the treasures were that he had to bring. He showed the poor people, saying:

"These are the Church's treasures. What greater treasures could Christ have than those of whom he said: `Whatever you have done to one of these little ones, you have one to me.'"

Lawrence showed forth those treasures an so he was the victor, for the persecutor had no desire to take them from him. But, in his fury, he caused him to be burned alive.

Saint Lawrence, pray for us.
Pope Saint Sixtus, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Please patronize my client's -- and my -- new blog!

It's called wordXross and it's all about the launching of a new computer game. Keep us in your prayers!

And don't think that the lady is about to leave her pew!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Perpetual Adoration returns to Boston after 40 years!

"Adorers are not content to be alone in adoring, loving, and serving the God of the Eucharist,” they wish “to make Him adored, loved and served by all…to erect a throne of love for Him everywhere and find faithful adorers for Him.”

St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest of the Eucharist

After four decades, Perpetual Adoration will, God willing, return to Boston...appropriately enough, at Saint Clement's Eucharistic Shrine.

From Chris Pham of CatholicTV:

The return of perpetual adoration to Boston was in direct response to the call of Pope Benedict XVI to have spaces dedicated to prayers for vocations and the sanctity of priests during the Year for Priests.

Large billboard advertisements in East Boston and Brighton, MA are currently advertising the return of perpetual adoration. The billboards show a picture of the sun shining in the sky with the caption “Sun’s rays for Your Body”. To the right of the image of the sun is an image of a monstrance which holds the Eucharist. The message reads “The Son’s rays for Your Soul”.

Watch CatholicTV August 4 at 10:30 AM, ET, or just check the archives... see and hear Father Peter Grover, OMV, rector of Saint Clement's, talk about Perpetual Adoration with lay coordinator Tim Van Damm.

Miracles do happen.

For a great read on this, check out the Boston Pilot story, here.

Planned Parenthood, South Korea: "Have more children!"

In the 1960s, the average South Korean woman gave birth to six children during her lifetime. Forty years later, South Korea has one of the lowest fertility rates in the world—slightly more than one child per woman.

Gee...I wonder why?

After years of encouraging families to have only one child, the government has done an about-face. It established a “Low Fertility Rate and Aging Society Commission” under the direct control of the president.

But as Choi Seon-jeong realizes, government policies aren’t enough. He notes that attitudes “towards marriage and having children has changed a lot among the younger generation. They think more highly of relationships with their partners and are less likely to depend for fulfillment on their children."

Choi called on “religious groups . . . to advocate respect for life, abortion prevention and positive values on marriage and parenthood, [and urge] the younger generation to form families and have children.”

And guess who Choi Seon-jeong is?

See article here.