Monthly Archives: December 2006


Fr. Z is pretty tired today.  I am just checking in.

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Latin of the Urbi et Orbi

His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos read the text of the Holy Father’s Urbi et Orbi address aloud in Latin.  One might think that the Dean of the College of Cardinals would have read the message, if the Pope himself … Continue reading

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Greetings to the lonely on Christmas

Many years ago I had "hotwired" the phone of the office I working in in Rome so that I could dial out past the Vatican operator and get on Compuserve (Oh… how we thought that was cutting edge at the … Continue reading

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Translation coordination

Sometimes you have to wonder how the translations of major texts are coordinated between the different offices that cover language groups. Here are the headers for the langauge texts of the Holy Father’s Christmas sermon. ITALIAN:"Salvator noster natus est in … Continue reading

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24 December revisited

I want to make a brief visit back to 23 December for a moment and give you what I think is a fascinating entry in the Roman Martyrology for the day.  I was pretty busy and didn’t get it posted.   … Continue reading

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Urbi et Orbi: Christmas 2006

Here is an excerpt from the Holy Father’s message for the blessing Urbi et Orbi.  He is speaking directly to us, I think.  My emphasis: [D]oes a "Saviour" still have any value and meaning for the men and women of … Continue reading

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Merry Christmas to you WDTPRSers

I have been back in my home town of St. Paul and Minneapolis.  Christmas Eve has been busy.  There were no confessions here last tonight, but last night there were hoards.  This morning I drove over to a nearby parish … Continue reading

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Christmas Day

The first prayer of the Mass set the stage for our active participation in Communion. Though expressed in exalted language, it conveyed an attitude of humility before the creation of man in God’s image, the Eternal Word’s self-emptying in the Incarnation, and the possibility of our transformation both in the Eucharist to be received in the course of the sacred mysteries this day and in the happiness of heaven to come. In the second prayer, before the Eucharistic Prayer and consecration, we recognized how we sinners have need to appease God and how the God made Man, Jesus Christ was the source both of reconciliation and also of the very Mass we are participating in, the perfect form of worship renewing our completed reconciliation. In this final prayer we put book ends around our grasp of today’s meaning. We were able to partake of Communion and actively participate in Mass first and foremost because of our divine regeneration in baptism, deepened in a good reception of the Blessed Sacrament in Mass. At the same time, we see how our rebirth in the life of the Trinity in baptism aims ultimately at eternal life and our ongoing transformation in heaven. The “just as… so too” structure of the prayer shows us how the “Savior of the world born today” is the fulcrum both of all the ages of the world, born as He was in the “fullness of time”, but also of our own lives as individuals. All of the prayers today are connected by the theme of the transformation of man’s human nature from his sinful state to a state of glory in the transforming assumption of our human nature by Second Person of the Trinity who, once born, is Jesus Christ – our brother in our humanity while remaining our God in His divinity. Continue reading

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4th Sunday of Advent: COLLECT (2)

How often do we hear about something or learn a new thing and then rush to know more, to have personal experience, to see? This is a paradigm for our life of faith. There is an interlocking cycle of hearing a proclamation (such as the Gospel at Mass, a homily, or a teaching of the Church) or observing the living testimony of a holy person’s life, and by this experience coming to know and then love the content of that proclamation or living testimony. The content is the Man God Jesus Christ. By knowing Him we come all the better to love Him and in loving Him we desire better to know Him. An act of faith, acceptance of the authority of the content of what we receive, opens unto previously unknown territory, a vast depth otherwise closed to us. For the non-believer, on the other hand, a miracle is simply something inexplicable having nothing of the supernatural. For a non-believer being nice or hard working can never ascend to true virtue or holiness. For him, the content of the Faith itself (both Jesus as well as what we learn and assent to) appears to be pleasant or interesting, but in the end remains naïve or foolish.
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4th Sunday of Advent: SUPER OBLATA (2)

Here is a thought for your participation at Mass. During most of the Mass you are called upon to participate actively by receptivity: you receive the Gospel rather than reading it aloud; you receive forgiveness for venial sins in the penitential rite; you receive (not take) Holy Communion. When today’s prayer “over the gifts” or Super oblata is spoken by the priest, you participate actively by giving, by uniting your own sacrifices to those of the priest at the altar who is alter Christus. The priest (Christ the Head) invites and you (Christ the Body) respond. Pour forth your sacrifices. Put them on the paten and into the chalice, so that you, like our model Mary, can be “refilled, made complete” by what they are transformed into, the Body and Blood of the living and true God, the Christ Child who is Coming. Continue reading

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