Daily Archives: 7 May 2006

The Swiss Guard “Giuramento”

I thought you might like a few more shots of the ceremony for the swearing of the Swiss Guard. As I sort them out, I will add them from time to time.
The recruits in line.

Here is a view … Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Easter: Super oblata (2)

EXCERPT:By the English word “continuum” the seasoned Catholics understand “an uninterrupted whole or a series of things without a break”. Those of us who are of the Star Trek generation know that “continuum” refers to a time/space phenomenon which, though incredibly rare, figures in episodes about every other week. An imbalance in the time/space continuum will usually destroy the whole galaxy, which would be very bad. To prevent this bad thing the Captain and crew must “reverse the polarity” of a gizmo with a long name, often the big dish on the front of the ship. They have only five seconds left before the ship explodes and everyone everywhere dies. The unflinching Captain tells someone sporting a forehead with ridges or bluish skin to do an amazingly risky thing, which the first officer must passionately question. The risk works miraculously, probably because there are more episodes left in the season, and the time/space continuum is restored to its proper order. Everyone throughout the galaxy are until the next week. Now, you would think that after saving the galaxy, the galaxy saviors would get more recognition from saved. They should all be offered their own luxury resort planets or, if that sounds too much like Mormon afterlife, at least some stock options or a medal or… something. Maybe a high school named after them. I don’t get it. In any event, I digress…. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Easter: Post communion

Today’s Mass has various “pastoral” images. Two years ago we saw what the Collect really said for this Sunday: “Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, deduc nos ad societatem caelestium gaudiorum, ut eo perveniat humilitas gregis, quo processit fortitudo pastoris… Almighty and ever-living God, lead us unto the communion of heavenly joys, so that the humility of the flock may reach that place from whence the might of the shepherd came forth.” Clearly there is a thematic connection between the collect and final prayer today: gregis…pastoris. Notice the intertwined meanings of “flock, communion, society”. Both the Collect and Post communion seem to be from similar sources. Neither were in the 1962MR while the Super oblata was. I may be going out on a limb, but I am guessing they were put together by the same person. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Easter: Super oblata (1)

The once for all time Sacrifice of the Cross transcends all time and space. God makes it possible for the very same reality to be renewed and represented to the Father through the constant and faithfully fulfilled religious offering of the Church (operatio continua), which is His own mystical person continuing in this earthly realm. This bloody Sacrifice which occurred at a single point in the continuum of both time and physical space, which took place on the Cross outside the walls of Jerusalem nearly 2000 years ago, is both completed and is still taking place on our altars in all places and at all times. By this Sacrifice, Christ reversed the course of the human race, hurtling headlong into the darkness of oblivion and the hellish separation from God that sin deserves. Now all peoples of all times and places have the opportunity of salvation, even though they have no idea of whence it comes. And yet so many of those who actually know Him will blithely go on their way without so much as a “Thank you, O Lord, for the unfathomable act of self-emptying and brutal, painful death, by which you saved us from the hell our sins merited, and by which you taught us who we really are.” Many who profess His Holy Name will come to Sunday Mass and receive the very sacrament of our salvation without discerning what it is or what they do. Some will even take the Lord and head for the door to beat the parking rush. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Easter: Collect (1)

Here we have an image of the Christ as shepherd, proceeding forth in mighty resolve to lead the humble flock to the place of never-ending joys. This collect reminds me of the mosaics in the apses of ancient basilicas in Rome and Ravenna. These ancient works are wrought in tiny bits of colored stone and glass are assembled in to beautiful works of great spiritual significance. In a way, the Body of Christ, the Church, is rather like a mosaic: small members each playing a part to make a larger work, each stone (or tessera) serving to make the others more beautiful, each giving a purpose to the other as if they were members of a societas. Seen up close the individual stones are not much to look at. They can be flawed and unremarkable. But once that are placed together in an order by the hand of the artist, they make something stunning. In those apse mosaics Christ is sometimes depicted in glory with imperial trappings. On either side are often arranged apostles and saints as His imperial court, bracketed by images of Bethlehem or the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem in the manner of bookends. Often in these mosaics there are gathered beneath the feet of the glorious Christ are lines of sheep being lead to a safe green place, where there is flowing water symbolizing the river Jordan and therefore our baptism. Continue reading

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An approved consecration in China

On Sunday 7 May Fr Paul Pei Junmin (37 yrs old) will be consecrated bishop in the Cathedral of Shenyang (Liaoning, north-east China) as coadjutor to Bp. Jin Peixian, with the approval of the Holy See.
Fr Pei Junmin met … Continue reading

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The Swearing of the Swiss

Today, the anniversary of the Sack of Rome, the new recruits for the Swiss Guard swear their service to the Pope and his successors. This is also the 5th centennial year of their service. Thus, as you have … Continue reading

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