Was there a good point in the sermon you heard at Sunday’s Mass?
Let us know.
Was there a good point in the sermon you heard at Sunday’s Mass?
Let us know.
Now for some important news.
I am happy to report that I was greeted a few times with “YARRRR!” yesterday, once in the bishop’s office.
A footnote is offered… just one foot-note, of course… to yesterday’s Talk Like A Pirate Day.
Frequent commentator here rbtbrown wrote saying, and posting the link:
All movie pirates are a footnote to Robert Newton
This week’s Collect for Mass for the 25th Ordinary Sunday (Novus Ordo), was introduced into the Missale Romanum with the Novus Ordo but it is influenced by a prayer in the ancient Veronese Sacramentary.
Deus, qui sacrae legis omnia constituta in tua et proximi dilectione posuisti, da nobis, ut, tua praecepta servantes, ad vitam mereamur pervenire perpetuam.
OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Father, guide us, as you guide creation according to your law of love. May we love one another and come to perfection in the eternal life prepared for us.
O God, who placed all things of the sacred law which were constituted in the love of You and of neighbor, grant us that we, observing Your precepts, may merit to attain to eternal life.
CURRENT ICEL (2011):
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our
neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life.
This Collect seems to be founded on the exchange between Jesus and a lawyer:
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets’” (Matthew 22:34-40).
St Thomas Aquinas (+1274) glossed this verse in his Commentary on Saint Matthew:
When man is loved, God is loved, since man is the image of God.
Pope Francis would approve of this sort of Thomism.
In 1 John 4:21 there is a good explanation of this double precept: “This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.”
All of the Law is summed up in Jesus’ two-fold command of love of God and neighbor. The
first part of the two-fold law is about unconditional love of God. The second follows as its
We must cultivate our different loves in their proper order. God comes first, always.
A married person must love God more even than a spouse. We must never put any creature, no matter how proximate to us in our hearts, closer than the God in whose image and likeness we are made. When this logical priority is properly in place, love of God and neighbor will not conflict or compete. Each love fuels the other, when love of God is first.
Today’s Collect reestablishes that we have a special relationship with each person who lives, and not merely with God alone. People are made in God’s image. They are our neighbors, though some are closer to us than others.
But there is no person on earth who is not in some way our neighbor.
This reciprocal relationship calls to mind another act of reciprocity which the Lord teaches us: forgive or you will not be forgiven.
When our Savior taught us how to pray what we now call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), the first thing he then explained and stressed was forgiveness:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (vv 14-15).
It is often hard to forgive.
The second section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church digs into the Lord’s Prayer. When we get to the examination of “…as we forgive those who trespass against us” we read (2842):
“This ‘as’ is not unique in Jesus’ teaching: ‘You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect’; ‘Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful’; ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.’ It is impossible to keep the Lord’s commandment by imitating the divine model from outside; there has to be a vital participation, coming from the depths of the heart, in the holiness and the mercy and the love of our God. Only the Spirit by whom we live can make ‘ours’ the same mind that was in Christ Jesus. Then the unity of forgiveness becomes possible and we find ourselves ‘forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave us.’”
When it is your time to go to Your Lord, will you be well-reconciled with the neighbors you
Our time will come. Let us pray daily that we will not die without the solace and strengthening of the sacraments and an opportunity to make peace with our neighbor.
Do you have unfinished business?
At First Things George Weigel has a short piece about how Benedict XVI was right in his memorable, controversial Regensburg Lecture in 2006. He has prompted me to go back to review what Benedict said. Weigel gives a précis:
Eight years later, the Regensburg Lecture looks a lot different [i.e., it doesn't look like Benedict committed a "gaffe"]. Indeed, those who actually read it in 2006 understood that, far from making a “gaffe,” Benedict XVI was exploring with scholarly precision two key questions, the answers to which would profoundly influence the civil war raging within Islam—a war whose outcome will determine whether 21st-century Islam is safe for its own adherents and safe for the world.
The first question was about religious freedom: [Q:] Could Muslims find, within their own spiritual and intellectual resources, Islamic arguments for religious tolerance (including tolerance of those who convert to other faiths)? That desirable development, the pope suggested, might lead over time (meaning centuries) to a more complete Islamic theory of religious freedom.
The second question was about the structuring of Islamic societies: [Q:] Could Muslims find, again from within their own spiritual and intellectual resources, Islamic arguments for distinguishing between religious and political authority in a just state? That equally desirable development might make Muslim societies more humane in themselves and less dangerous to their neighbors, especially if it were linked to an emerging Islamic case for religious tolerance.
Pope Benedict went on to suggest that inter-religious dialogue between Catholics and Muslims might focus on these two linked questions. The Catholic Church, the pope freely conceded, had had its own struggles developing a Catholic case for religious freedom in a constitutionally-governed polity in which the Church played a key role in civil society, but not directly in governance. But Catholicism had finally done so: not by surrendering to secular political philosophy, but by using what it had learned from political modernity in order to reach back into its own tradition, rediscover elements of its thinking about faith, religion, and society that had gotten lost over time, and develop its teaching about the just society for the future.
Was such a process of retrieval-and-development possible in Islam? That was the Big Question posed by Benedict XVI in the Regensburg Lecture. It is a tragedy of historic proportions [NB] that the question was, first, misunderstood, and then ignored. The results of that misunderstanding and that ignorance—and a lot of other misunderstanding and ignorance—are now on grisly display throughout the Middle East: in the decimation of ancient Christian communities; in barbarities that have shocked a seemingly-unshockable West, like the crucifixion and beheading of Christians; in tottering states; in the shattered hopes that the 21st- century Middle East might recover from its various cultural and political illnesses and find a path to a more humane future.
Benedict XVI, I am sure, takes no pleasure in history’s vindication of his Regensburg Lecture. [No "I told you so!" will be forthcoming.] But his critics in 2006 might well examine their consciences about the opprobrium they heaped on him eight years ago. Admitting that they got it wrong in 2006 would be a useful first step in addressing their ignorance of the intra-Islamic civil war that gravely threatens peace in the 21st-century world.
As for the conversation about Islam’s future that Benedict XVI proposed, well, it now seems rather unlikely. But if it’s to take place, Christian leaders must prepare the way by naming, forthrightly, the pathologies of Islamism and jihadism; by ending their ahistorical apologies for 20th-century colonialism (lamely imitating the worst of western academic blather about the Arab Islamic world); and by stating publicly that, when confronted by bloody-minded fanatics like those responsible for the reign of terror that has beset Syria and Iraq this summer, armed force, deployed prudently and purposefully by those with the will and the means to defend innocents, is morally justified.
Is this jihadism and “Islamism” inherent in Islam?
Finally, I note that pundits these days are using more often the term “Islamism” in distinction from “Islam”, I suppose on the theory that “-isms” are bad iterations of a better, pure paradigm.
There comes to mind, therefore, is the traditional prayer of Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Pope Leo XIII recited before the Blessed Sacrament on the Last Sunday of October in the traditional Roman calendar, the Feast of Christ the King followed by a Litany and Benediction. This was established by Pius XI in 1925 in his encyclical Quas primas. Let’s see the prayer:
Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Thine altar. We are Thine, and Thine we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with Thee, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Thy most Sacred Heart.
Many indeed have never known Thee; many too, despising Thy precepts, have rejected Thee. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Thy sacred Heart. Be Thou King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken Thee, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned Thee; grant that they may quickly return to Thy Father’s house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.
Be Thou King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof, and call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.
Be Thou King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism, and refuse not to draw them into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Thine eyes of mercy towards the children of the race, once Thy chosen people: of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.
Grant, O Lord, to Thy Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: “Praise be to the divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to it be glory and honor for ever.” Amen.
This prayer has fallen out of favor. It doesn’t pull any punches. But I like very much the reference to Islamism.
This prayer was also recited at my home parish St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN, every Tuesday evening after the Novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help. It was great to hear the clauses roll along, recited by the whole congregation, most of whom knew it by heart, as I came to in those days. These prayers become part of you. They shape identity.
If you are interested in learning more, I have a 2009 PODCAzT about the prayer and Leo XIII’s Annum sacrum HERE.
The moderation queue is (now) ON.
Setting aside all the insignificant stuff, like referenda and indissolubility of marriage, let’s keep our eyes focuse on what really matters.
If you do nothing else, please use the exclamation “YARRRR!” (aka “ARRRR!”) at least 5 times before bedtime.
This has been a public service announcement.
Neapolitans hold their breath on the Feast of the great patron San Gennaro, St. Januarius. There is a relic of dry blood which, as the Cardinal Archbishop moves the reliquary, liqufies and visibly flows again. When it doesn’t… bad things happen, such as earthquakes.
This year, just hours ago, the blood of San Gennaro liquified again.
Here is a video:
A news account with photos HERE
St. Alphonus de Liguori wrote in Victory of the Martyrs:
The Neapolitans honor this saint as the principal patron of their city and nation, and the Lord himself has continued to honor him, by allowing many miracles to be wrought through his intercession, particularly when the frightful eruptions of Mount Vesuvius have threatened the city of Naples with utter destruction. While the relics of St. Januarius were being brought in procession towards this terrific volcano, the torrents of lava and liquid fire which it emitted have ceased, or turned their course from the city. But the most stupendous miracle, and that which is greatly celebrated in the church, is the liquefying and boiling up of this blessed martyr’s blood whenever the vials are brought in sight of his head. This miracle is renewed many times in the year, in presence of all who desire to witness it; yet some heretics have endeavored to throw a doubt upon its genuineness, by frivolous and incoherent explanations; but no one can deny the effect to be miraculous, unless he be prepared to question the evidence of his senses.
A better video, but from last year:
Over at Crisis I saw that there is a piece by the esteemed Anthony Esolen called The Serpents Return to the Irish. That seems to be the case not only in these USA but also in the “old country” itself.
I saw this at Rev. Mr. Kandra’s blog, Deacon’s Bench:
Irish bishop bows to pressure, says he will postpone introduction of permanent deacons
Protests over the proposed introduction of a male-only lay ministry [oops!] in the Catholic diocese of Killaloe have forced the local bishop to back down and postpone the move.
In a letter read out in parishes on Sunday, Bishop Kieran O’Reilly acknowledged the concerns raised by lay women and groups in the western diocese about the permanent diaconate. [permanent deacons are not lay men. They are clerics.]
The move came after Kathleen McDonnell, a member a parish pastoral council in west Clare, had criticised the move to set up the men-only lay ministry and had called on the diocese to create a ministry for all. [Good grief.]
It also provoked a poster campaign opposing the new ministry which appeared on parish noticeboards across the diocese.
It comes as over half of Killaloe’s 82 priests are now aged 66 or older and between them they minister to 56 parishes across Co Clare as well as parts of Offaly, Laois, Tipperary and Limerick.
In his letter, Bishop O’Reilly told his flock that in light of the conversations held over the past weeks: “I will not now proceed with the introduction of the permanent diaconate at this time in the diocese.” [He caved in? Only men can be ordained, so let's not have anyone ordained.]
It is understood that a number of men had already put themselves forward for consideration as candidates for training to become deacons.
Check out the rest over there.
His smacks of what happened in the Diocese of Saginaw. The late Bishop Untener didn’t want to ordain men until he could also ordain women. Guess what that did to vocations.
In my opinion, the ordination of Permanent Deacons is not solution to the lack of priests, but it’s not nothing. I don’t mean that “not nothing” to be dismissive, but the fact is that deacons cannot say Mass, absolve sins or anoint.
But to buckle under this ridiculous protest? Really?
What is going on when bishops caved in to protest pressure like this?
Pray for our bishops, friends.
Moderation queue is ON.
In the midst of disorienting news, here is orienting news.
I saw this on the Twitter feed of Fr. Nathan Siray, @frnathansiray:
“First of many…”. It warms the cockles of my beady-black heart.
Fr. Z kudos.
Fathers, we are living in interesting times. The times are going to become interesting-er yet.
It is time for you to learn the Extraordinary Form. Just learn it. Then say it.
What you do will have a terrific knock-on effect. Do not underestimate it.
Deus, qui ad unigenitum Filium tuum exaltatum a terra omnia trahere disposuisti: perfice propitius; ut meritis et exemplo seraphici Confessoris tui Iosephi supra terrenas omnes cupiditates elevati, ad eum pervenire mereamur:….
O God, who disposed to draw all things to Your Son, raised up from the earth, graciously bring about that we, having been lifted up above all earthly desires by the merits and example of Your seraph-like Confessor Joseph, may be made worthy to reach all the way to Him.
Someone had a holy sense of humor.
First and foremost:
Help each other out.
And now, my usual paragraph of thanking donors and people who have sent things from my wishlists… well… I haven’t updated for a few days. I’ve been really busy. However, THANKS. After posting this, I’ll start to update and send out some thank you notes.
However, I will say Mass for my the intention of benefactors on 20 Sept, Saturday. I include those of you who have subscribed to make an monthly donation, who make an occasional donation, or who send items, Kindle books, etc. I don’t always get a slip with the name of the person who sent items, but God knows you and I keep you in mind, whoever you are.
DY and GS, you are always on my list.