Daily Archives: 26 January 2006

Fr. Z on Bill Bennett’s Morning in America

One of the things that keeps me a) in touch with the USA and b) sane is listening to streams of various radio and TV shows in my native land. One I particularly like is William Bennett’s Morning in America, … Continue reading

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Bp. Sample of Marquette

His Excellency Most Rev. Alexander K Sample Bishop of Marquette Photo: Upper Penninsula Catholic In all the flurry of activity in the wake of the new encyclical of Pope Benedict, let us not forget to pray for the (now) youngest … Continue reading

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A heart which sees

“The Christian’s programme —the programme of the Good Samaritan, the programme of Jesus—is “a heart which sees” Continue reading

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A chip off the old block

Consider: we can study about God and our faith. But really the object of study is a living Person, not a set of abstractions. We need the sort of knowledge of God that draws us into Him. This is a “knowledge” which reaches into us, seizes us, pulls us into itself and transforms us. To experience God’s love is to have certain knowledge, more certain than any knowledge which can be arrived at by means of merely rational examination (but not in opposition to it). Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Collect (2)

Knowledge and love are interconnected. The more you get to know a person, the more reason you have to love him (remember… love seeks the other person’s good in charity even if a person is unlikable). Reciprocally, the more you love someone or (in the generic sense of love) something, the more you want to know about him and spend time getting to know him. For example, Billy is fascinated by bugs. From this “love” for bugs Billy wants to know everything there is to know about them. He works hard to learn and thus launches a brilliant career in entomology. Given Our Creator’s priority in all things, how much more ought we seek to know and love God first and foremost of all and then, in proper order, know and love God’s images, our neighbors? He is far more important that the bugs He created. Even spouses must love God more than they love each other. Only then can they love each other properly according to God’s plan. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Post communion

By our baptism we are made capable of receiving the benefits of the “gift of our redemption”. By the spiritual (and physical) nourishment offered us in the Eucharist, we simultaneously progress toward our ultimate goal of heaven and we are strengthened for our work here. Chronologically heaven comes later. At the same time, if we desire to be spiritually healthy and later attain that heaven, we must adhere closely to the here and now. Nevertheless, our goal of heaven must always have a logical priority over what we are doing here. The “now” is important because the “later” is more important. We cannot let the present, or the world, blind us to the priority that lies in the future bliss of heaven and the spiritual realm. Our liturgy (music, art, vestments, architecture, gestures, etc.), being a foretaste of the heavenly banquet must give priority to the spiritual and not the worldly, while at the same time it embraces and transforms the world. The Eucharist is the food which changes us into what It is, rather than the other way around. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Super oblata (1)

Thus, for decades there has been nearly a maniacal effort to tear “extra” altars out of churches, even historic churches. When this was coupled with the goofy idea that the priest must face the people over a table-like altar, the result was that the main altars of churches, often placed in the back of the apse contiguous to the wall, were liturgically reformed with crowbars and jackhammers. At best they were turned into shelves for potted plants. Now, as it turns out, the whole cobbled-together historical foundation for mass facing the people has been debunked with real scholarship. Still, the damage has been done in countless older churches. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Ordinary Time: Collect (1)

Bob can “love” his Ferrari, Susie can “love” her kitty, and without doubt we all “love” baseball and spaghetti. We can talk about the different tenors of love, such as the love of benevolence, or of complacence, of enemies, concupiscence. But we are called to a special sort of love in this prayer… true charity: the infused virtue which makes it possible for us to love God for His own sake and love all those who are made in His image. This is more than benevolence or tolerance, more than appetitive desire. Love is not merely a response to some appetite, like seeing a beautiful member of the opposite sex, a well-turned double-play, or a plate of spaghetti all’amatriciana. It isn’t the sloppy gazing of passion drunk sweethearts or what we see on TV primetime. I call that luv. Real love is the adhesion of the will to an object which is grasped by the intellect to be good. Real love, the sort of love invoked in our prayer, is an act of will. This love delights in the other and is informed by a longing for the good of the other. It makes two resound with one spirit. Love, in the sense this prayer offers, is an act of will based on the work of a discerning intellect that is reshaped and informed by grace. This why we find in our prayer that phrase rationabilis affectus. Continue reading

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