Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Response to "The Mystery of Faith"

In the old days—okay, it was maybe a couple months ago—we prayed as if "the Mystery of Faith" was something to be proclaimed. 'Course that's probably because we were asked to "proclaim the Mystery Faith."

But never mind...things progress and straighten themselves out.

"The Mystery of Faith," which the priest proclaims after the Consecration, is the wonderful, unimaginable, yet so very true fact: that what was once only bread and wine is now the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ Himself. Right here with us! That's the Mystery of Faith!

What the lay people do is joyously respond to this statement of glorious. And it's a privilege to do so!

Let's learn how to do this properly. The best way, of course, is through chant. Learn this and enhance your elation at proclaiming our awe and wonder and gratitude to Jesus, for what He did for us.

Memorial Acclamation • 12 of 22 from Church Music Association of Amer on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ash Wednesday: why not welcome them?

It's a well-worn Catholic phrase: "they only come to get something."

You know what I mean. Folks who storm the churches on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday. A priest I know said it himself while trying to get folks to seat themselves in what might have been unfamiliar surroundings:

"It's our most crowded day...more even than Easter and Christmas."

I understand that. And I understand, in a way, the grumblings of the "regulars": where ARE they on Sundays?

But here's the thing: this is our big chance!

Yes, on Ash Wednesday and Palm Sunday, folks we've never seen in church are piling in in droves.

But is that such a bad thing?

A thought? Let's pray for those who creep into churches in order to "get something." 'Course, what they'll be getting—or so they think—something visible. Ashes, palms, what have you. Something, I think, that might just remind them—even if they don't really know it—what they've been missing.

So here's what I suggest:

This Lent? Why not pray for just one person who came into a church in order to leave it with that little smudge on her or his face? Why not "adopt a fallen Catholic?"

This is an easy one, actually. Because if somebody is urged (and may I suggest it might be our Invisible Friend, the Holy Spirit? Just askin') to creep into a church on Ash Wednesday, in order to receive that mark which marks him or her as a Christian? Wouldn't it be marvelous if that same person decides to come back again...and again...and again?

Let's not resent those who are on the (I believe) the verge of coming back. Yes, indeed, I know that ashes on a forehead aren't exactly the mark of salvation.

But maybe, in Her Wisdom, Holy Mother Church, lead by Our Savior, is giving a gentle invitation: "Come back!"

May God continue to bless you.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anti-life's lamest excuse: "there's no help for women in crisis pregnancies!"

Satan's greatest achievement is the lie. The clever lie, which, if charged with enough emotion and silliness, makes others his believers. One of the most effective:

"These so-called `pro-lifers' would sing a different tune if they were asked to actually help a woman in a crisis pregnancy!"

(Often, there's a "hah!" delivered after these and similar statements, evidently calculated to ultimately vindicate the claimant.)

To which I say: HAH!

All one needs to do is google "alternatives to abortion." The results flow in. There are literally thousands of resources, most of the free of charge, for women and men in unwanted pregnancies who do not want to go the abortion route.

One "catch" if you will...the pregnancy must NOT be "terminated."

To put it more simply, the baby MUST live.

So. If carrying an unwanted child to term is not an option, then, yes, you're right...I can't help you. But if it is, then there are plenty of people willing to help you and your baby. And I'm grateful to say that I'm one of them.

Can we stop kidding ourselves?

Can we please, please, stop with the lie that folks aren't willing to step up to the plate and help stop unwanted abortions? Because we all know that's a lie.

If an abortion is wanted, so be it. (God help us, but that's the reality.)

If it isn't, there's plenty of help to stop it and to save a child. (Thank God, that is the reality.)

May God continue to bless you.

Monday, February 13, 2012

"Physician-Assisted Suicide": just another way to get rid of the unwanted

Sorry, "Hemlock Society" but your name change may fool some folks, but it isn't fooling, for example, the Massachusetts Medical Society:

The Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians with more than 23,000 members, today voted to reaffirm its opposition to physician-assisted suicide, with its House of Delegates voting by a wide margin to maintain a policy the Society has had in effect since 1996.
Opposition to physician-assisted suicide was part of a larger policy statement that includes recognition of patient dignity at the end of life and the physician’s role in caring for terminally-ill patients. The policy was approved by more than 75 percent of the Society’s delegates.
Lynda Young, M.D., president of the Society, said that “Physicians of our Society have clearly declared that physician-assisted suicide is inconsistent with the physician’s role as healer and health care provider. At the same time we recognize the importance of patient dignity and the critical role that physicians have in end-of-life care.”

The proposed ballot question slated for November is horrendous at best, murderous as its kindest adjective.
Here's a scenario of a typical case:
John Q. is ailing. Maybe cancer, maybe a mental illness, maybe incapacitated by an accident. John Q. is, understandably, upset. Perhaps he's upset because he feels he's a burden on his relatives, or, because he's in pain, or both. Or a combination of other factors. At some point, John Q. wonders if life is really worth living.
Enter the "heroes": the Hemlock Society (nope, I'm not giving the link to the new, "more humane-sounding" name)
"John Q," they tell him—or, more than likely, his relatives who are, again, understandably, weary of John Q's pain—"tell ya what you outta do. Just ask your doc to prescribe some nice, soothing pills that'll take ya away from all this misery—and, by the way, the misery you're causing your loved ones, poor things, and hey, presto, everybody's problems are solved. You're gone, off no doubt to the [insert religion of your choice]'s promise of your reward and is everybody happy? Yes!"
So, the hapless physician—who probably doesn't want any part of this but is required by law to acquiesce to his patient's request—is forced to prescribe a deadly mixture which will put and end—with "dignity," mind you—to poor John Q who will feel obliged to take the stuff (even though at this point he may have changed his mind, but gee, wasn't he the one who brought this all on?) and, ignominiously, die.
Although the fiends who really brought this all on will deny the ignominious part…they'll say he "died with dignity."
And who's to deny the fiends their claim?
Nobody. Why? Because poor John Q's death certificate won't say "he committed suicide." No indeed! The document will claim—shamelessly—that John Q. died of cancer, or a mental illness, or maybe an incapacitating accident.
That's the picture that Massachusetts voters will be asked to condone come November.
Let's not do this. It'd be laughable...except that it's a real bill.
For more info on this egregious proposal, please visit Suicide is Always a Tragedy. Thank you, and may God continue to bless you.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dear U.S. Catholic Bishops:

My Excellent and Eminent Fathers,

It is, I understand, not up to the sheep to lead the shepherds. That said, it seems my good angel is niggling me to offer, most humbly, a few words of caution...or, requests.

First, please stay completely out of what you deem to be "politics." You're not good at it, and the Good Lord was wise in keeping this so-called "talent" away from you. What you must do, instead, is to stay with politicians who are in your flock. You're job is not to "negotiate" with Catholics who, for perhaps worldly "political" reasons or perhaps because they have been misled into wrong thinking. You're job is simple—not easy, maybe, but simple—bring them back into the Catholic Church. You may consider starting with Nancy Pelosi.

Second, please, please, abolish the "National Conference of Catholic Bishops." The organization is futile in that it has its roots in this temporal world and not in the Heavenly Kingdom.

Third, and finally: do be prepared to die, and to encourage your flock to die, rather than "compromise." Again, this is very simple, albeit not easy.

Fourth: For Christ's sake, BE CATHOLIC!

In Our Risen Lord,


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Do you understand?