ASK FATHER: Mini homilies at the beginning of Mass

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I have a question, it seems to be very common for priests to give a sort of mini-homily at the very beginning of Mass. This has always annoyed me very much, but I have not been able to tell if it is a liturgical abuse or something that is permitted by the Novus Ordo Missal, as I understand how strange it would be for a priest to turn around and give this briefing at the foot of the altar in the Extraordinary Form.

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal 50 states,

“After the greeting of the people, the Priest, or the Deacon, or a lay minister may very briefly introduce the faithful to the Mass of the day”.

That’s leaves a certain amount of latitude. The “very briefly” statement would seem to exclude any kind of a “mini-homily.” The intention of the Instruction seems to mean something along the lines of:

“Today we commemorate St. Christina the Astonishing, who was known to seek solitude by praying in a heated oven. May her devotion inspire our own.”

GIRM 50 doesn’t seem to allow for much more than that.

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LENTCAzT 42: Tuesday of Holy Week

LENTCAzT15Today is Tuesday of Holy Week.

So… GO TO CONFESSION!

How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/lentcazt15/42_lenctcazt2015.mp3

I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

Music today from the marvelous disk for Holy Week from St. John Cantius.

Click to buy!

You can also get a FREE copy of the CD. Learn how by clicking HERE.

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ASK FATHER: Communion twice on Good Friday?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

How do you think one should understand CIC c.917 with regard to the Good Friday presanctified liturgy? Specifically, since this liturgy takes the place of Mass for the day, and c.917 says, “iterum . . . intra eucharisticam celebrationem,” rather than, “iterum . . . intra Missam,” if one were to attend two liturgies on Good Friday, would they be permitted to receive Holy Communion at both, despite neither being a Mass?

Thank you for everything you do with this blog, and for your priesthood!

Context.  As we have seen here many times on this blog, the Code of Canon Law for the Latin Church allows reception of Communion twice in one day, but the second time must be in the context of Mass (“Eucharistic celebration”).

The Good Friday rite isn’t really a “Eucharistic celebration”.  It is certainly not a Mass.  There is reception of Communion, but there is not a Eucharistic sacrifice.

So, no, you cannot receive Communion at a second Good Friday service.  However, if you are in danger of death, then you can receive Viaticum.

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Just Too Cool: Time Lapse video of decorating a church for Easter

This is pretty spiffy, from St. John Cantius in Chicago!

39 views as I post this.

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Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made during the sermon you heard for your Palm Sunday Mass obligation?

Let us know!

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“among so many adversities”

Fr. John Hunwicke has a superb post over at his place.  He looks at today’s Collect in the Extraordinary Form.  My emphases and comments.

in tot adversis

Da quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui in tot adversis ex nostra infirmitate deficimus; intercedente unigeniti Filii tui passione respiremus.

Thus today’s ancient Collect (Grant, we beg, almighty God: that we, who among so many adversities faint on account of our weakness, may through the mediation of thy Son’s passion, get our breath back).

How extraordinarily up-to-the-moment those ancient prayers are. [Exactly.  People don’t change.  Some circumstances of life have changed over the centuries, but people are, essentially, the same. When the “reform” of the prayers of Mass was perpetrated, I think the “reformers” lost sight of this.] The Church is at this very minute under a great Satanic onslaught: she is still reeling from the wounds inflicted by the monstrous evil of pedophilia: men privileged to take the Lord into their own hands morning by morning so as to offer the immaculate oblation with the purest of hearts became … filth. [Remember the Stations of the Cross written by Joseph Ratzinger in 2005?] Demonic cunning is putting the Church’s doctrine of Marriage is under attack in some of the highest quarters of the Church. Sexual perversion is Proudly paraded before us, and woe-betide any who dissent. And, without the gates, Christians are hounded to Martyrdom by a foul and murderous superstition. Among so many adversities puts it mildly.

[NB] The new Rite retains this Collect. But [BUT!] it misses out the words in tot adversis [among so many adversities]. In the breezy and optimistic confidence of the post-conciliar years, we felt that as the Church made herself up-to-date, threw open her windows to the world, and blew her cobwebs away, old liturgical phraseology about her being besieged by afflictions was not particularly ben trovato.

Oh dear. How the chickens so carefully nurtured by the fashionable liturgists of the 1960s really are coming home to roost. One recalls the Lord’s words about the yet greater demonic infestation which can occupy the swept and garnished house.

Father is referring to the Lord’s warning in Matthew 12:

The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon here. And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none.  Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation.

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ASK FATHER: Confessor interrupted and I didn’t get to confess everything

italian confessional pilgrimsFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

This Sunday I went to Confession for the first time in ~2 years. As you always say, I tried to make a good examination of conscience.

One problem is that Father chimed in with comments or advice as I was trying to work my way down my rather long list and I have run into this before. Result: after leaving the confessional I realized that there were several sins I didn’t confess.

I am sorry to sound critical but I’m sure I am not the only person whose concentration is easily broken.

First, good for you for going to confession.  It sounds as if you did your sincere best.  Don’t worry.

If there is something pressing on you, mention it next time you go to confession, which should be regularly from now on.

That said, my Spidey Sense suggests to me that perhaps, friend, you may have been rambling a little.  In the situation where you have a well-intentioned but somewhat chatty confessor, together with a penitent who provides too much detail … well… sometimes things can go off the rails.

When people start to ramble or repeat themselves, a confessor can get the impression that there isn’t anything else of substance that needs to be confessed.

When confessing your sins, it is best to be concise.  State your sin, the number or frequency you committed it (or omitted doing what you ought), just enough circumstantial details that may exacerbate or mitigate the sin, and move on.

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Lying about Card. Burke

Both Michael Sean Winters of the Fishwrap and David Gibson of RNS posted intellectually dishonest hit pieces against Card. Burke. They purposely misread what Card. Burke said in order to put him in the worst light they could. At least I think this was purposeful. If not, then they would be just plain stupid, but we all know that that isn’t the case. Thus, they intentionally twisted what the Cardinal said to suit their ideological aims.

National Review noticed.  Here is Nicholas Frankovich’s take with my emphases and comments:

Dumbing Down Cardinal Burke

I appreciate a punchy headline as much as the next reader, but whoever wrote this one was trying too hard: “Cardinal Burke: Gays, remarried Catholics, and murderers are all the same.” It’s childish and not just overstated but false. It announces an article by David Gibson and was used verbatim by several outlets, suggesting that it originated with the Religion News Service (RNS), the agency that distributed the piece.

Gibson writes about the interview that Cardinal Raymond Burke gave to Jeanne Smits, the Paris correspondent of LifeSiteNews.com. The published text is 4,800 words. The headline that LifeSiteNews gave it is “Cardinal Burke says confusion spreading among Catholics ‘in an alarming way.’” RNS has spread a little more. [And don’t forget the Wile E. Coyote of of contemporary liberal catholicism, MSW of Fishwrap.]

Let’s look at the primary source, the interview itself. Smits at one point asked Burke about the argument that Catholic teaching on homosexuality and the indissolubility of marriage should be discounted in light of the obvious kindness, generosity, and other virtues of many people who violate the Church’s understanding of the moral law:

LSN: Among the viewpoints of Cardinal Kasper and, more recently, Bishop Bonny of Antwerp, and others, was the consideration that “faithful” homosexuals, “remarried” divorcees and non-married couples show qualities of self-sacrifice, generosity and dedication that cannot be ignored. But through their choice of lifestyle, they are in what must be seen by outsiders as an objective state of mortal sin: a chosen and prolonged state of mortal sin. Could you remind us of the Church’s teaching [NB] on the value and merit of prayer and good actions in this state?

CB: If you are living publicly in a state of mortal sin [NB] there isn’t any good act that you can perform that justifies that situation: the person remains in grave sin. We believe that God created everyone good, and that God wants the salvation of all men, but that can only come about by conversion of life. And so we have to call people who are living in these gravely sinful situations to conversion. And to give the impression that somehow there’s something good about living in a state of grave sin is simply contrary to what the Church has always and everywhere taught.

LSN: So when the man in the street says, yes, it’s true these people are kind, they are dedicated, they are generous, that is not enough?

CB: Of course it’s not. It’s like the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people . . .

. . . like the oddly sympathetic character of Don Corleone, I immediately thought. But I hear the howls of protest already, so let me suggest another analogy.

Let’s say you work for Planned Parenthood and do so with great moral conviction. And let’s say I work for the pro-life movement. I recognize that you’re warm and well intentioned, but that doesn’t change my view that your work has the effect of promoting injustice. You’re wrong. You’re nice. Those two facts coexist.

Distinguishing between sinner and sin is usually easy: The sin doesn’t define the sinner, and neither does the sinner define the sin. The David who committed adultery with Bathsheba was still, after all, David the apple of God’s eye. But the adultery he committed was still adultery. [Another point: if you commit a mortal sin by, say, theft, you have lost God’s friendship.  If you die in this state, your judgment will go against you.  If you commit a mortal sin by, say, murder or adultery or lying or sacrilege, you have lost God’s friendship.  If you die in this state, your judgment will go against you.  If commit a mortal sin by omission rather than by commission, you have lost God’s friendship.  If you die in this state….]

Our ability to think both thoughts simultaneously may be waning, although some people only pretend that they don’t understand. Their aim is to dumb down the conversation to the point that thinking has no place in it anymore. If their opponent has won the debate intellectually, what can they do? Ignore his ideas, deplore ideas generally (oh, those “doctors of the law,” those “Pharisees”!), and push sentiments (cheap “mercy,” the Catholic version of cheap grace – [In the case of RNS and Fishwrap “cheap shots”.]) that they hope will appeal to the soft-headed child in us all.

Burke’s very point was to stress the importance of maintaining the sinner–sin distinction. The headline writer blurred it and ascribed the blurring to Burke.

No one even remotely familiar with Catholic culture would find credible the assertion that a cardinal said that “gays, remarried Catholics, and murderers are all the same,” and no one with reading comprehension above the Mendoza line would see in the interview any evidence that Burke said it. [Now consider the majority of people who subscribe to the Fishwrap.] He said that any virtues possessed by the person who violates moral laws pertaining to sex and marriage no more justify the violation of those laws than the virtues of a murderer justify the murder. It’s hardly click bait, but it’s what he said.

Those who, on the left and on the right, are accused of misrepresenting Pope Francis in the media might be doing so knowingly in many cases, but representing him in a way that is indisputably fair is hard because his words are so often ambiguous. Burke is a straight shooter, by contrast. His thought and speech are linear — and, to the minds of many, compelling. If his adversaries in the media were confident that we would think his message was outrageous if we only knew what it was, they would be content to quote him accurately.

Here is a quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

A lie consists in speaking a falsehood with the intention of deceiving…By its very nature, lying is to be condemned. It is a profanation of speech, whereas the purpose of speech is to communicate known truth to others. The deliberate intention of leading a neighbor into error by saying things contrary to the truth constitutes a failure in justice and charity.” (CCC 2482, 2485)

 

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LENTCAzT 41: Monday of Holy Week

LENTCAzT15Today is Monday of Holy Week.

So… GO TO CONFESSION!

How long has it been?

Here is another 5 minute daily podcast for Lent.  They are intended to give you a small boost every day, a little encouragement in your own use of this holy season.

 http://www.wdtprs.com/lentcazt15/41_lenctcazt2015.mp3

I am providing these again this year especially in gratitude to benefactors who help me and this blog.

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ASK FATHER: Abstinence from meat difficult when living in parents’ home

florentine steakFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I would like to abstain from meat all Fridays of the year but I live with my non-Catholic parents and can’t easily get my own food every Friday, what should I do? During Lent I have been making a substantial effort not to have meat on Fridays and thanks to fortunate circumstances I have managed thus far!

Our interlocutor could be writing from Sweden. I haven’t seen that the Swedish bishops rescinded the obligation to abstain in favor of another penitential practice. I plead ignorance on that score.

That said, …

Prior to Canon Law being codified in 1917, the Church’s law was contained in a series of collections. In one of the greatest of these collections, the Liber Sextus of Pope Boniface VIII, we find 88 axioms that are known as the Regulae Iuris, The Rules of Law. These axioms provide good insight into how the Church’s law should be interpreted and applied.

Rule 6 states: Nemo potest ad impossibile obligari. No one is bound to do the impossible.

If you are young, and living with parents who provide bed and board for you, abstaining from meat (while still eating sufficiently to stay healthy) can be difficult. Whether it’s an impossibility is difficult to say from a distance. I don’t know your circumstances, the dynamics of the home.

I recommend talking about the issue with your pastor or a trusted priest. Your pastor has the authority to commute the obligation to abstain to some other pious work, if it is truly a serious difficulty. One must, of course, be respectful of one’s parents and careful not unnecessarily to waste food. At the same time, honor the Church’s law to keep Fridays a days of penance – in some way – in memory of Our Lord’s Sacrifice.

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