LENTCAzT 39: Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent

LENTCAzT15Today is Saturday of the 5th Week of Lent.  Passiontide is underway. Holy Week begins tomorrow.

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/lentcazt15/39_lenctcazt2015.mp3

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

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WDTPRS: Palm Sunday – The Transforming Example

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week.  The Sacred Triduum (triduum from tres dies – “three day space”) were once days of obligation when people were freed from servile work so that they could attend the liturgies, once celebrated in the morning.  In the 17th century, however, the obligation was removed under the influence of changing social and religious conditions.  As a result, the faithful lost sight of these beautiful liturgies and in general only priests and religious in monasteries knew them.

In 1951 Pope Pius XII began to restore the Triduum liturgies to prominence by mandating that the Easter Vigil be celebrated in the evening.  In 1953 Mass was permitted in the evening on certain days.  A reformed Ordo for Holy Week was issued in 1955 and took effect on 25 March 1956.   That is when the Sunday of Holy Week came to be called “The Second Sunday in Passiontide, or Palm Sunday”.  Matins and Lauds (Tenebrae, “shadows”) was to be sung in the morning.  Holy Thursday Mass was not to begin before 5 p.m. and no later than 8 p.m.  The idea was to make it easier for people to attend these all important liturgies.

The principal ceremonies of the Palm Sunday Mass include the blessing of palm branches (or olive branches in some parts of the world, such as Rome) and a procession around and into the church.  In the present Missale Romanum an interesting rubric about the procession harkens to ancient times:

“At a suitable hour the “collect” is made (fit collecta) in a lesser church or in another appropriate place outside the church toward which the procession marches.”

Here is our word “collect” used to describe a gathering of people.

Also in the rubrics there is something helpful for our understanding of “active participation”:

“Then as is customary the priest greets the people; and then there is given a brief admonition, by which the faithful are invited to participate actively and consciously (actuose et conscie participandam) in this day’s celebration.”

Those words actuose et conscie are very important.  The Second Vatican Council, when using the term actuosa participatio or “active/actual participation”, meant mainly interior participation, the engaging of the mind, heart and will.  The Council Fathers did not mean primarily exterior participation.  Exterior participation should be the natural result of interior participation: we seek to express outwardly what we are experiencing within.  While the two influence each other, there is a logical priority to interior participation, which is by far the more important.

At the end of the procession, when everyone is gathered in the church, the priest says the…

COLLECT (2002MR):
Omnipotens sempiterne Deus,
qui humano generi, ad imitandum humilitatis exemplum,
Salvatorem nostrum carnem sumere
et crucem subire fecisti,
concede propitius,
ut et patientiae ipsius habere documenta
et resurrectionis consortia mereamur.

The vocabulary of today’s Collect is incredibly complex.  We can only scratch at a fraction of what is there.

Our prayer was in older editions of the Missale Romanum and, before them, in the Gelasian Sacramentary.  In the Gelasian there is an extra helpful et: Salvatorem nostrum et carnem sumere, et crucem subire.  Wonderfully alliterative!  The editor of the Gelasian excludes a comma, which makes sense to me: qui humano generi_ad imitandum…. There may be a touch of St. Augustine’s (+430) influence in the prayer.  In Augustine humilitatis appears with exemplum on close conjunction with documentum (ep. 194.3) and with documentum and patientiae in proximity to exemplum (en. ps. 29 en. 2.7).  In the context of the Passion Augustine says: “Therefore, the Lord Himself, judge of the living and the dead, stands before a human judge (Pilate), offering us a decisive lesson of humility and patience (humilitatis et patientiae documentum), not defeated, but giving the soldier an example of how one wages war (pugnandi exemplum): …”

There are two words for “example” here: exemplum…documenta. These words appear together in numerous classical and patristic texts. Our startlingly useful Lewis & Short Dictionary informs us that our old friend exemplum means, “a sample for imitation, instruction, proof, a pattern, model, original, example….”  Exemplum is a term in ancient rhetoric, an inseparable part of the warp and weft of the development of Christian doctrine during the first millennium.

For Fathers of the Church, all well-trained in rhetoric (how we need those skills today), exemplum identified a range of things including man as God’s image, Christ as a Teacher, and the content of prophecy.   In Greek and Roman rhetoric and philosophy, an exemplum could have auctoritas, “authority”, the persuasive force of an argument.  When we hear today’s prayer with ancient ears, exemplum is not merely an “example” to be followed: it indicates a past event with such authoritative force that it transforms him who imitates it.  Today we hear humilitatis exemplum, the authoritative model of humility who is Christ – Christ in action, or rather Christ in Passion, undergoing His sufferings for our sake.  This becomes the foundational and authoritative pattern of the Christian experience: self-emptying in the Incarnation and Passion leading to resurrection.   Exemplum is augmented later in the prayer by documentaDocumentum is also a “pattern for imitation” like exemplum but also in some contexts having the meaning of “a proof”, that is, a concrete demonstration that what is asserted is true: evidence.   In this case it is a paradigm after which we are to pattern and shape our own lives.  But this pattern or model itself actually has power to shape us.  Christ transforms us the baptized who are made in his image and likeness, after his perfect exemplum, and who imitate His exempla and documenta, His words and deeds.

Consortium (from con-sors… having the same lot/fate/destiny with something or someone) classically is a “community of goods” and “fellowship, participation, society.”

Habere has a vast entry in the L&S. The common meaning is “have”, but it also indicates concepts like “hold, account, esteem, consider, regard” as well as “have as a habit, peculiarity, or characteristic.”  Habere is doing double-duty with two objects, documenta and consortia. This is why I use both “grasp” for the first application of habere and “have” for the second.  The meanings of the two different objects draw our two different senses of habere.

Patientia is from patior, “to bear, support, undergo, suffer, endure”, and it carries all its connotations as well as the meaning “patience”.  This is where the word “Passion” comes from.  Today is Second Passion Sunday.  We could say here, “examples of His long-suffering” or “exemplary patterns of His patient forbearance.”  Finally, note that nostrum goes with Salvatorem and not with carnem: caro, carnis is feminine and the form would have to have been nostram carnem.

SLAVISHLY LITERAL RENDERING:
Almighty eternal God,
who, for the human race,
made our Savior both assume flesh and undergo the Cross
for an example of humility to be imitated,
graciously grant,
that we may be worthy both to grasp both the lessons of His forbearance
and also to have shares in the resurrection.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Almighty, ever-living God,
you have given the human race Jesus Christ our Savior,
as a model of humility.
He fulfilled your will
by becoming man and giving his life on the cross.
Help us to bear witness to you
by following his example of suffering
and make us worthy to share in his resurrection
.

CURRENT ICEL (2011):
Almighty ever-living God,
who as an example of humility for the human race to follow
caused our Savior to take flesh and submit to the Cross,
graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering
and so merit a share in his Resurrection
.

More can be said about that phrase patientiae ipsiusIpse, a demonstrative pronoun, is emphatic and means “himself, herself, itself”.  Could we personify patientia to mean, “grasp the lessons of Patience itself” or even “of Patience Himself”?   That would be poetically sublime.

In the fullness of time the Second Person of the Trinity, God the Son, the eternal Word through whom all things visible and invisible were made, by the will of the Father emptied Himself of His glory and took our human nature up into an indestructible bond with His own divinity.  He came to us sinners to save us from our sins and teach us who we are (cf. Gaudium et spes 22).  This saving mission began with self-emptying (in Greek kenosis).

Fathom for a moment the humility of the Savior, emptying Himself of His divine splendor, submitting Himself to His humble and hidden life before His public ministry.   When the time of His years and His mission was complete He gave Himself over again, emptying Himself yet again even to giving up His very life.   Every moment of Jesus’ earthly life, every word and deed, are conditioned by humility.   This is our perfect example to follow, an example so perfect that it has the power to transform us.

As Holy Week begins and the Sacred Triduum is observed, come to the sacramental observance of the sacred and saving mysteries with humble self-emptying.  Make room for Christ.

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An especially virulent case of Burke Derangement Syndrome™

wile e coyote knife forkThere is an especially venomous case of Burke Derangement Syndrome™ from the Wile E. Coyote of contemporary liberal catholicism, Michael Sean Winters of National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap).

He reacted to an interview Card. Burke gave to LifeSite.  HERE

When it comes to Card. Burke it seems that there are no limits to decorum.  Winters assumes he can write any sort of trash and not commit a transgression.

You can read MSW’s hit piece yourselves, but here is the bottom line:

Card. Burke says that homosexual sex is sinful and MSW has a spittle-flecked nutty.

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ASK FATHER: Could a Bishop be consecrated with the “Usus Antiquior”?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Could a diocesan Bishop be consecrated in the “usus antiquior”?

Because, only in Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life which are under the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei is permitted to use 1962 Pontificale Romanum for ordination (cf. Instruction “Universae Ecclesiae” art. 31).

Of course a bishop could be consecrated with the older form.  I wish that were the case all the time, as a matter of fact.  The older form of consecration was much richer and more explicit in what it intended.

Permission would have to be granted by the Holy See.

Likely?

Odds are that you are more likely to win the Powerball on a day with a Blue Moon during the Transit of Venus.

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From a Father of the Church to everyone who texts and tweets

A note from a Father of the Church to everyone who texts and tweets. Tip o’ the biretta to the Laudator.

Basil, letter XII (to Olympius; tr. Roy J. Deferrari):

You used to write us little enough, but now you do not write even that little; and if your brevity keeps increasing with the time, it seems likely to become complete speechlessness.

ἔγραφες ἡμῖν πρότερον μὲν ὀλίγα, νῦν δὲ οὐδὲ ὀλίγα· καὶ ἔοικεν ἡ βραχυλογία προϊοῦσα τῷ χρόνῳ παντελὴς γίνεσθαι ἀφωνία.

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ACTION ITEM! POLL ALERT! Wisconsin Judge strikes down law requiring abortion docs to have hospital privileges

At the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel there is a poll about a recent decision of a federal judge (an Obama appointee, probably raised Catholic HERE) to strike down a law requiring that doctors performing abortions (aka infanticide) also have admitting privileges to hospitals.

After all… what could go wrong?

Click HERE for the article and voting page.

The voting box is on the sidebar.

15_03_27_poll_00

And at the time of this posting.

15_03_27_poll_01

I suspect that the readership might have some input for this poll.

15 votes, 3.93 avg. rating (78% score)
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STATIONS OF THE CROSS (audio from Fr. Z)

Many parishes and chapels will have the Via Crucis or Stations of the Cross during Lent.

What version does your parish use?  

Let’s get some titles/versions/authors and we might have a poll later on.

I have audio projects with the Way of the Cross.

Here are readings of the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross, composed by Joseph Card. Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, for the 2005 Good Friday observance at the Colosseum in Rome, St. Alphonus Liguori, and Bl. John Henry Newman.

For the one by St. Alphonsus Liguori, one version is plain, just my voice and the other is the same voice recording, but with the Gregorian chant Sequence Stabat Mater interlaced between the stations.

You can gain a plenary indulgence, under the usual conditions of confession and Communion within a few days of the work and detachment even from venial sin.  From the Handbook of Indulgences:

63. Exercise of the Way of the Cross (Viae Crucis exercitium)

A plenary indulgence is granted to the faithful, who make the pious exercise of the Way of the Cross.

The gaining of the plenary indulgence is regulated by the following norms:

  1. The pious exercise must be made before stations of the Way of the Cross legitimately erected.
  2. For the erection of the Way of the Cross fourteen crosses are required, to which it is customary to add fourteen pictures or images, which represent the stations of Jerusalem.
  3. According to the more common practice, the pious exercise consists of fourteen pious readings, to which some vocal prayers are added. However, nothing more is required than a pious meditation on the Passion and Death of the Lord, which need not be a particular consideration of the individual mysteries of the stations.
  4. A movement from one station to the next is required.

Also, I believe that if you follow the Holy Father’s Way of the Cross on Good Friday, even by television, the indulgence is available.

If the pious exercise is made publicly and if it is not possible for all taking part to go in an orderly way from station to station, it suffices if at least the one conducting the exercise goes from station to station, the others remaining in their place.

Those who are “impeded” can gain the same indulgence, if they spend at least one half an hour in pious reading and meditation on the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For those belonging to Oriental rites, amongst whom this pious exercise is not practiced, the respective Patriarchs can determine some other pious exercise in memory of the Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ for the gaining of this indulgence.

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Monthly donations: a request

I had posted this back on 3 December and 13 February (which had been “lean” days) and there was a great response.  Let’s give it another try.

I am always grateful when donations come in, either ad hoc (one offs) or on a regular, monthly basis through the subscription option (at the bottom of the blog).  I keep track of everyone’s name and remember them in my prayers and in intentions for Holy Mass.  It is important that we remember our benefactors in prayer.

That said, some days of the month have quite a few regular subscribers signed up and other days very few.   Today, the 27th of the month, is one of those days!  (There are others, too, believe me.)

There are only two (2) people subscribed for today, the 27th of the month. [It turns out that only 1 was signed up!]

If you are using the blog regularly, please consider subscribing today to send a monthly donation. That way I have steady income I can plan on, and you wind up regularly on my list of benefactors for whom I pray and for whom I periodically say Holy Mass.

Some options

UPDATE

Some of you have signed up or shifted your monthly donation. Thanks! So far…

27 March – DG, MK, MC, SB, SD, ARCLLC, DLaG, WG, MS

28 March – SS, MK, JW, TS

BTW… I had a few of my “thank you” notes bounced back to me as undelivered.  FYI

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ASK FATHER: Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit?

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I have known many people who will change “Holy Ghost” to “Holy Spirit” the moment they come across it in a prayer, about as readily as they may switch “thee, thou and thy” to “you, you, and your.” I know that changing the words of a prayer because you don’t like something is wrong, but this goes both ways. Can a person legitimately revert back to the use of “Holy Ghost” in, say, private use of the Divine Office, or public praying of the Rosary? And is there an objective superiority of the one term over the other, other than the fact that one is a clearer cognate of the Latin, while the other is more traditional and frankly more English?

As far as I’m concerned we can use both, interchangeably.

I’m pretty sure that we English speakers have traditionally used Holy Ghost because of early translations of Holy Writ, namely the King James Bible and the Douay Rheims, even though both those Bibles use both Ghost and Spirit (fewer times).  It became a matter of common parlance. People memorized traditional prayers with Ghost.  We sang hymns with Ghost.

Ghost, related to German Geist (which is used today for the Holy Spirit), in its roots is any sort of spirit.  Ghost often translated Bible Greek pneuma and Latin spiritus.

I think we should also use archaic words in our prayers, private and congregational.  Prayer should be from and of the heart, but we can use he richness of our language to express ourselves, even in solidarity with our forebears.

Any way, I don’t think all the old words are about to give up the ghost quite yet.

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ASK FATHER: Delaying baptism until after Lent

baptism ancientFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

The pastoral associate at our NO parish makes a point of insisting every year that we don’t do Baptisms during Lent, supposedly as a way of showing unity with the Catechumens. A couple of years ago, for my daughter that was born in late February, I effectively demanded the sacrament for her based on on CCC 1250, which tasks both the Church and the parents to “confer Baptism shortly after birth” without noting any exception based on the liturgical calendar. Our pastor was on my side and so obviously the Baptism occurred (during Lent, much to the PA’s chagrin). This practice of delaying the sacrament continues at our parish unless one gets the pastor involved.

The question is: Is there a tradition of such a practice as delaying Baptism until after Lent? Is such a practice documented anywhere?

In the ancient Church, baptisms most often involved adults.  They were done at the Easter Vigil, after a lengthy period of catechesis.

While it’s always good to look back to the foundations of our faith for guidance and direction, it’s also good to look at why our forebears stopped doing what they did.

baptism_01Once Christianity was legalized and being Christian didn’t automatically subject one to suspicion, probable arrest and likely execution, we could be a bit more open about how we welcomed newcomers into the faith. Coupled with Christ’s clear command to baptize, we started baptizing new believers, including children, more frequently. No longer a once-a-year event, baptism came to be relatively commonplace.

Fast forward to today. There is no prohibition in the law against baptizing during the season of Lent. None.

Canon 867 in the 1983 CIC places on parents the obligation to have their infants baptized “in the first few weeks.”

The ritual books place a preference on baptizing adults at the Easter Vigil, but even that is not mandatory.

Baptism should come when the adult has “manifested the intention to receive baptism, been instructed sufficiently about the truths of the faith and Christian obligations, and been tested in the Christian life through the catechumenate.”

Baptism. It’s not a thing to be trifled with.  It should not be delayed too long, especially out of what might sometimes be but a sentimental reason.

18 votes, 3.94 avg. rating (79% score)
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