Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The only true riches are those that make us rich in virtue. Therefore, if you want to be rich, beloved, love true riches. If you aspire to the heights of real honor, strive to reach the kingdom of Heaven. If you value rank and renown, hasten to be enrolled in the heavenly court of the Angels."
- Pope Saint Gregory the Great

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Musings

 A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

New translation was great this weekend. Of course there were a few glitches: slipping into the old responses out of habit. But with more practice we'll soon feel more comfortable with it. The overall effect was more reverent and solemn. The Eucharistic prayer had more "verbal weight" - if that makes sense. But one of my favorite parts of the Mass was when many people in the congregation struck there breasts three times during the words "...through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault..." It seems that changing the words has affected our actions as well. Overall, I am very pleased with the results. Hopefully, with time, it will only get better.

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Just discovered I received a comment on an older post about Mormonism. You can read the original post here, and then click below to see the comment. I don't know if it will spark a conversation, but I admire the person who made the comment. He is a 13 year old  LDS member who came to the defense of his church. Bravo!

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Advent has begun. Inevitably, our kids think of Christmas and Santa and presents. Our daughter (five years old) has the right idea though. She said, "I'm going to make a birthday card for Jesus every year for the rest of my life. Then when I get to heaven I can give him all of the cards."

Maybe we should all do that this Advent.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Now concerning the Thanksgiving (Eucharist), thus give thanks. First, concerning the cup: We thank you, our Father, for the holy vine of David Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. And concerning the broken bread: We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You made known to us through Jesus Your Servant; to You be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever. But let no one eat or drink of your Thanksgiving (Eucharist), but they who have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, Give not that which is holy to the dogs."
- Didache [The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles]

Friday, November 18, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Busy week = short list...


Does the Government Work for Us, or Do We Work for the Government? - "The government fears trade because it can’t control it. The feds would do well to remember the historical truth that where goods and services don’t move freely, armies will; and where goods and services do move freely, armies don’t."

Catholic Social Teaching: My Thoughts On The Preferential Option for the Poor and Vulnerable - "There are many ways to do good but we are never permitted to do evil."
Underpopulation—The Real Problem - "More and more Americans are waking up to the fact that the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) is involved with some of the most horrific population control programs the world has ever seen."

Obama's Catholic Strategy in Shambles - "Broadly applied, the HHS policy would amount to systemic anti-Catholic bias in government programs. And the provocation is one in a series."

ObamaCare and the Limits of Government - "Under our Constitution's system of dual sovereignty, only states have the authority to impose health and safety regulations on individuals simply because they are present. The Supreme Court has ruled many times that the Constitution denies to the federal government this type of 'general police power.'"


Does coffee break the Eucharistic fast? - [Interesting question; interesting answer.]

That Big Catholic Family Circus - "The question that seems to have been left unanswered in so many of the obituaries for Keane is quite basic: If this man’s values were at the heart of his art, then where did these values come from?"

How Does The Secular World View God? Analyzing a Remarkable Movie Clip - "...they are not so much rejecting God, as a caricature of God, a false and distorted picture of God, gleaned from selective reading of Scripture, and a selective and a distorted notion of the life of faith."

Feel free to add other links in the Comments section below...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings

A few random thoughts and ponderings to start the week...

The new musical arrangements for the Sanctus and the Gloria, which our parish has begun using in anticipation of the new Mass translation, are beginning to grow on me. But I'm afraid I still don't like them. For All Saints Day we simply chanted the Latin a cappella. As I said here previously, I really think we should try some kind of chant for the English... Just keep it simple. Why does everything we sing at Mass need musical accompaniment and clumsy melodies.

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Our son turned eight recently. A friendly older couple, who seem to have adopted our kids as surrogate grand-kids, gave him a card with five dollars in it. The following week, after Mass, they asked what he spent his money on. We told them that he had donated it to St. Jude's children's hospital. He said, "Those kids need it more than I do." It goes without saying that our friends were impressed and we had a proud parent moment. :)

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Apparently it has become fashionable in some circles to wear rosaries as jewelry, and I don't mean out of some sort of devotion, but as a fashion statement. I had read about this phenomenon recently, but over the weekend I saw some fashion "rosaries" for sale at the mall...tacky, gaudy, and in bad taste. I hope this fad passes quickly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

What's So Great About Catholicism? - "...if we look on the world through truly Catholic eyes, we will find that the fog lifts, our perspectives grow deeper, and beauty and truth beckon above the puerility of mass popular culture."

God: The Shakedown Artist For The Welfare State? - "Concern for the poor permeates Scripture, but nowhere does God set forth the means to achieve this end.  There certainly is no directive to turn to the state.  The Good Samaritan didn’t lobby the Sanhedrin to create a public bureau to aid travelers waylaid by criminals; rather, he personally paid to care for the injured man."

Obama Couldn’t Wait: His New Christmas Tree Tax - "The economy is barely growing and nine percent of the American people have no jobs.  Is a new tax on Christmas trees the best President Obama can do?"

Why We Must Stop Liberal Catholics From Handing The Church Over To the State - "For orthodox Catholics, the Church (founded on Christ) is the ultimate moral and personal authority, it supersedes the State in every area where the Church has primacy, namely, faith and morals. For liberal Catholics, however, I see only increasing evidence that the State and the liberal view of the State are their ultimate authority."


The Bible: Who Owns the Copyright? - "Look, there’s a reason why Catholics don’t read the bible in an exclusively literal sense, and haven’t since the time of Origen (+253). The Church looks at the books of scripture according to the genres in which they were written (history, allegory, wisdom, prophecy, and so on)."

Treating Jesus as a King Without a Kingdom - "Christ doesn't leave us as ecclesial consumers to choose our favorite flavor of Christianity.  He establishes Himself as the eternal Shepherd, guiding and guarding the Flock.  If we find ourselves going in a separate direction from the flock, we're going in a separate direction from the Shepherd."

Proportion, Integrity and Honesty: 3 Foundations for Church Architecture - "...a Catholic church should witness to the Catholic faith and that the Catholic faith is timeless; therefore, the church should be built to last 1,000 years."

Before and after: how to renovate a Catholic church [pictures of a beautiful renovation]

Joint ills prompt pope's use of mobile platform at St. Peter's - "Pope Benedict XVI has reached the age John Paul II was at his death in April 2005, and every stumble or step with a cane is watched for signs of impending doom."


Feel free to add other links in the Comments section below...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quote of the Week

"It is clear, therefore, that in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls…this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully."
- Pope Paul VI, Dei Verbum

Friday, November 4, 2011

This Week's Headlines

As another week comes to an end, this is your chance to top off your glass with a final helping of news, current events, and just plain interesting stuff that may not have made into the mainstream media. A chance to linger for a few more moments before we close the door on the week. Below are some links to articles, blogs, and miscellaneous happenings that caught my eye over the past few days. Sample what you like - I'll serve up more next Friday...

Breaking Bad Liturgical Habit - "[T]he “changes in the words” offer the Church a golden opportunity to confront, and then break, some bad liturgical habits that have accumulated, like unlovely barnacles on the barque of Peter, over the past several decades."

One Example of How Beautiful Church Buildings Lead People to God - "To experience beauty is to experience God. It’s why the monasteries and cathedrals of Western civilization have always been so marvelous, why places like the Sistine Chapel lure people of all different faith backgrounds to behold them."

How to handle awkward conversations with family members - "So, to be a faithful Catholic today, one must remember first and foremost that to do so means being rejected at times, even by those we dearly love, but this rejection can be a means of drawing closer to Christ — of being truly blessed."

How do Saints in Heaven 'Hear' Us? - "Ultimately, glorified Saints in heaven take up their priestly identity as the people of God. This priestly identity involves intercession and so they continue to love us and the only thing they can do is pray for us."

Pope on All Saints' Day: 'The Original Vocation of Every Baptized Person Is Holiness' - "The Pope also reflected on how today’s emphasis on the “communion of saints” continues into tomorrow’s commemoration of All Souls, which occurs every Nov. 2. This is the day when the Church prays for the souls in purgatory."

And He Will Wipe Every Tear From Their Eyes, yes, Every Tear. A Reflection on the Healing Hope of Purgatory - "Purgatory has to be. God loves us too much to leave us in our present unseemly state."

The Enchiridion of Indulgences - "The following is not represented to be an exact reprint of the Enchiridion but and accurate digest of what constitutes an approved indulgenced work by the Sacred Apostolic Penitentiary."


Sing the Dies Irae at My Funeral – A Meditation on a Lost Treasure

The Three "Reformation Day" Ironies  - "While I respect the desire to have fun without celebrating evil, I find Reformation Day to be unwittingly hilarious.  Here's why..."

Witches Are Real - "All magic is black magic because of the philosophy behind it: those involved in witchcraft seek power, and anybody who seeks power for it's own sake is bad."

Vatican Does Horrible Job of Being Anti-Science - "The Vatican signed a $1 million contract with NeoStem, and will be co-hosting an adult stem cell conference in Rome in November.  The Church supports adult stem cell research, but condemns embryonic stem cell research because it requires the destruction of the human embryo."

Top 5 Heresies I Would've Believed Without the Authority of the Church - "If God wanted us to know him, it seemed nonsensical that he would give us a system where even the most basic ideas about his nature and his will were up for grabs... Then, when I heard the theory behind the Catholic Church, it all came together."

Moral Economics 101 - "...next time you’re talking to someone about Occupy Wall Street, don’t just denounce greed. Bring up honesty, prudence, and chastity: these are as important as charity in the development of a just, flourishing economy."

Why are parents encouraged to abort Down syndrome children and banned from aborting girls? - "Since the advent of ultrasound, sex also can be diagnosed prenatally. However, the Ethics Committee for the American Congress of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) issued an opinion in 2007 that said it was unethical to use prenatal testing for sex selection. This was the same year that ACOG also recommended that all women be offered prenatal testing for Down syndrome."

The Coming Church-State Wars - "...if the Office of Human Rights has nothing better to do than spending six months investigating these nonsensical charges, it ought to be abolished. Give the taxpayers back the money these bureaucrats are wasting..."

U.S. House Reaffirms 'In God We Trust' - "The resolution, passed by a vote of 396 to 9, encourages the motto's public display 'in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.'"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quote of the Week

"The whole Church observes this practice which was handed down by the Fathers: that it prays for those who have died in the communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, when they are commemorated in their own place in the sacrifice itself; and the sacrifice is offered also in memory of them, on their behalf. If, then, works of mercy are celebrated for the sake of those who are being remembered, who would hesitate to recommend them, on whose behalf prayers to God are not offered in vain? It is not at all to be doubted that such prayers are of profit to the dead; but for such of them as lived before their death in a way that makes it possible for these things to be useful to them after death."
- Saint Augustine

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Saints Day

In Praise of the Saints
How shining and splendid are your gifts, O Lord
which you give us for our eternal well-being
Your glory shines radiantly in your saints, O God
In the honor and noble victory of the martyrs.
The white-robed company follow you,
bright with their abundant faith;
They scorned the wicked words of those with this world's power.
For you they sustained fierce beatings, chains, and torments,
they were drained by cruel punishments.
They bore their holy witness to you
who were grounded deep within their hearts;
they were sustained by patience and constancy.
Endowed with your everlasting grace,
may we rejoice forever
with the martyrs in our bright fatherland.
O Christ, in your goodness,
grant to us the gracious heavenly realms of eternal life.
(Unknown author, 10th century
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