Daily Archives: 12 March 2006

2nd Sunday of Lent: SUPER OBLATA (2)

Sure, it happens all the time that the priest’s all too human flaws make it difficult to see in him what God has placed upon his soul. I get complaints about priests constantly via e-mail and snail-mail. Sometimes they are about me! Regardless of how inadequate some of you might think Father is, his blessings are effective. His consecrations and absolutions are valid. And rarely, rarely, despite how it might seem in the moment, or how ignorant or thick or lazy or given to less than edifying things you think he may be, does he act in such a way that his blessings or celebrations of sacraments are not guaranteed by the Church’s authority and God’s own promises. As spotless as Holy Mother Church is, we do not belong to a Church of the pure only. The priest, however inadequate you might think yours to be, is mysteriously alter Christus. He remains the fundamental figure in the formation of the Christian faithful. Continue reading

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2nd Sunday of Lent: COLLECT (2)

The Word of God, from all eternity, is the perfect image of the invisible Father. We are made according to that image. In the Incarnation the Word became the perfect visible image of the invisible God. This perfect image, Jesus, came into the world to save us from our sins and to reveal us more fully to ourselves. He gives us the ultimate “view” or “insight” of who we are and what we are to do. In the Transfiguration the three apostles see something more of Jesus’ perfect image and it is a sight that transforms them. Remembers how Moses was transformed by and how his face shown with light after his encounters with God in the cloud of His glory (Heb. shekina) when it descended on Mt. Sinai or the tent/tabernacle (cf. Exodus 33:7ff; 34:29ff). A symbolic shekina remains in our churches even now: more than a red presence lamp a baldachin or a veil covering the tabernacle is the true sign of the Real Presence! Continue reading

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2nd Sunday of Lent: SUPER OBLATA (1)

Paul admonishes us in 2 Timothy 4:6-8:

For I am already on the point of being sacrificed; the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. Continue reading

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2nd Sunday of Lent: COLLECT (1)

One of the purposes of a season of penance is interior purification. By giving up things that are good, we take control of our appetites and passions in preparation for what is to come. We experience a liturgical diminishing in Lent so that Easter can be more joyful. Since only the pure may enter into the Beatific Vision, in order to have the joy of heaven, we must be purified of our attachments to sin and perfected in love. This purification must begin in our earthly lives and, provided we die in the state of grace, may continue purgatory. In our collect we acknowledge this necessity of purity before seeing the face of God. Our collect today points to the reason why we are taking on ourselves the yoke of penance. At the same time, our seeing the Lord and the Lord’s own image (intuitus/aspectus) transform us and make us better able to bear the burden. Perhaps a good supplement to a lenten discipline this year would also be frequent visits to a chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed for perpetual adoration. As Richard of St. Victor said: “Love is the eye and to love is to see.” Look upon Him who was pierced for us and let Him transform your spiritual landscape. He is waiting for us both within and without. Continue reading

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