Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome

If I have a little time in the early morning I may try to parse some of the Holy Father’s Corpus Christi sermon at the Lateran.

In the meantime, it was nice to see him preach, seated as usual, and with his miter.

It was nice to see the Roman vestments, pianetta over dalmatic, for such a Roman observance of Corpus Christi.

Here are two excerpts from the sermon I rapidly translated as they caught my ear, with a bit of my emphases and comments.

St. Leo the Great reminds us that "our participation in the Body and Blood of Christ leads to nothing other than to become that which we receive" (sermo 12, De Passione, 2,7, PL54). [And extension of what Leo says, after Augustine, that Christ became the son of Man so that we might become godlike.  Also, consider that when we eat normal food we transform it into what we are, flesh and bone.  In consuming the Eucharist, it transforms us into what It is.] If this is true for every Christian, it is so for an even greater reason for us priests.  To be the Eucharist!  Let this very thing be our constant desire and task, so that at the offering of the Body and Blood of the Lord, we accomplish on the altar, there comes also the sacrifice of our existence[The priest is both the one who offers and the one who is offered.  During the older form of Holy Mass, during the Canon after the consecration with the Eucharist is on the altar, the priest bows low asking that the Sacrifice by brought to the altar of heaven. The priest kisses the altar and then makes the sign of the Cross over the two elements and over himself.  This shows in a mysterious way the deep connection, even identity between the priest as priest at the altar, the priest as victim on the altar, indeed the priest as alter Christus with the Eucharist Lord, Viction and Priest.  They are one.] Every day, we draw from the Body and Blood of the Lord that free and pure love which makes us worthy minister of Christ and witnesses to His joy. [And I have a question about this next part...]  And this is what the faithful are waiting for from the priest: the example, indeed, of an authentic devotion for the Eucharist; the love to see him spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus as did the Cure of Ars, whom we will remember in a special way during this now imminent Priestly Year.  [Is that something people want to see?]

There is today a of a creeping secularization [Rem acu tetigit!] even within the Church, [NB: He didn't say there might be... he said there is.] which can [If we are not wary] turn into a Eucharistic worship which is formal and empty, [Interesting... here "secularization" is taken in the sense of worldly.  People who love the older forms are susceptible to this as well, if they lose the point of Holy Mass and get bound up in the particulars without looking through them to the whole point of worship, of religion... an encounter with mystery.] in celebrations deprived of that participation of heart [let's take this as that deeper inner sense that goes beyond intellectual interest alone.] which one expresses in veneration and respect for the liturgy[AH!  "veneration and respect for the LITURGY"] There is a strong temptation to reduce to prayer to superficial and hurried moments, allowing it to be overwhelmed by activites and wordly preoccupations. [We need patience.] When in a little while we will repeat the Our Father, the prayer par excellence, we will say: "Give us this day our daily bread:", thinking naturally of the bread of each day.  This request, however, contains something deeper. [He has here a little exploration of the concept of time, which flows mysteriously in the sacred action.] The term in Greek epioúsios, which we translate as "daily", could allude also to the "supersubstantial" bread "of the world to come"[There is an eschatological dimension to participation in the Eucharist.] Some Fathers of the Church saw here a reference to the Eucharist, the bread of eternal life that is given in Holy Mass, so that from now on the future world will have its beginning in us.  With the Eucharist therefore heaven becomes earth, the tomorrow of God settles into the present and time is as if embraced by a divine eternity.  [And you, in the sacred action, are also transformed.]

 

BTW.. during the coverage, you could hear the wonderful high pitched calls of the swallows, which swoop around gloriously in the Roman evening.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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42 Responses to Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop of Rome

  1. Alina ofs says:

    Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Philip-Michael says:

    Fr Zuhlsdorf,
    I think you for putting up this excerpt from Pope Benedict’s homily. I was there last night and I have not been able to stop telling people just how incredible an experience both the Mass and the Procession was. There were thousands of Seminarians, Priest and Bishops. One of the real interesting liturgical developments was that the Pope did not allow any con-celebrants, so all priests and bishop’s sat in choir at the Mass. It was really beautiful. It was great to see the bishops and priests not pre-occupied by con-celebrating and just sitting and kneeling in prayer and adoration at Mass. The Pope also wore a beautiful gold on white Roman style chasuble embroidered with gold roses. The Cope he was was equally triumphant.
    Along the procession I turned to a friend of mine and just thought how incredible a witness to the city of Rome and the world this great out-pouring of love for the Eucharist and our Holy Father really was. The press loves to hammer the Pope and such a large scale show of people lining the streets and participating really sends a strong message that Catholics don’t waiver from their traditional beliefs and that the Church is here and here to stay!
    I know that in “Sacramentum Caritatis” Pope Benedict speaks of the great role that processions play in the life of the Church – I just wonder why parishes haven’t embraced the Holy Father’s call to make use of this tradition more frequently. The last procession I was at was the “Rosary Crusade for Life” this past fall in the Archdiocese of Westminster, another great success. Everyone likes processions! We should have more.
    Last but not least, as a biretta wearer, I appreciate your birettaquette lessons. Could you possibly create a zucchettoquette?

  3. Ann says:

    Pope Benedict XVI’s words are just beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with us!

  4. Anne M says:

    And this is what the faithful are waiting for from the priest: the example, indeed, of an authentic devotion for the Eucharist; the love to see him spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus as did the Cure of Ars, whom we will remember in a special way during this now imminent Priestly Year. [Is that something people want to see?]

    Fr. Z, you asked if this is what people want? Yes, yes, yes. This is one of the things I love about our pastor who always uses slow and deliberate movements when saying Mass. It adds to the solemnity and dignity of the Mass, and his reverence and devotion for Jesus shines through everything he does. When he exposes the Blessed Sacrament for Adoration, he kneels for a long time before the altar. He also kneels in front of the tabernacle to pray before Mass, which sets a great example for all of us.

  5. Michael says:

    In the Byzantine Liturgy the, at he beginning of the Cherubic Hymn sung by the choir or congregation, which is an introduction to the Great Entrance – a solemn procession in which the gifts o bread and wine are carried from the small table in the sanctuary or side chapel to the altar, the priest says silently a long private prayer asking God to

    “enable me who am clothed with the grace of the priesthood to stand before this, Thy holy table, and celebrate the sacred mystery of Thy holy and most pure Body and Thy precious Blood”….

    “For Thou are He that offers and He that offers and He that is offered…O Christ our God”.

    The the prayer can be traced back to the eight century – the substance of the latter passage to be incorporated into the Decree on the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by the Council of Trent eight centuries later.

  6. Terth says:

    Is that what people want? YES! Give us holy priests! Let them shock us by their devotion to the Eucharist and draw us to deeper devotion! Especially at Holy Mass, let us see them “spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus,” and make us, too, adore the Lord!

    A holy, unwordly, crucified-to-the-world kind of priest in a parish is like that one teacher in school that makes learning fun for kids. This kind of priest doesn’t have to drag his flock into church or into prayer – he turns toward the Lord, and they eagerly follow!

  7. I thought what the Holy Father had to say was excellent indeed. I also thought you made some good commentary on what he had to say.

    In regards to Father’s comment of “[Is that something people want to see?]” I think that whether or not they realize they want to see it, they need to see it– to see the priest is not just running a charity, but is following a call to service he believes in.

  8. Jim says:

    “There is a strong temptation to reduce to prayer to superficial and hurried moments, allowing it to be overwhelmed by activites and wordly preoccupations.”

    The Holy Father’s sermon brings to mind the words of the Cherubic Hymn, which precedes the Great Entry in the Byzantine Liturgy: “Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, and sing the thrice-holy hymn unto the life creating Trinity, now lay aside all earthly care.” Thus, to participate in the life of the Holy Trinity by receiving the Holy Mysteries and step out of the temporal world into eternity, we must “lay aside all earthly care.”

    We must banish banality in our worship to do this.

  9. Frank H. says:

    “…to see [the priest] spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus…”

    Yes! We want to see that!

  10. Maureen says:

    Well, I don’t want priests to pause in a theatrical, ooh-I’m-holy way. But taking one’s time and having natural pauses, yes. In this hurried world, people like having to stop to take a breath, as long as somebody else makes them do it. :)

    Similarly, it’s obvious that priests need privacy as much as anyone, and there’s nothing wrong with them praying back in the rectory or whatever. But it’s a good example to have the priests sometimes pray in the pews, or for him to be seen praying in the sacristy while vesting (so the other helpers with business in the sacristy will be quieter and remember what they’re doing).

    I mean, it’s sorta like being a father. The dad sets the example. If the priest just naturally prays and is reverent, it tells everybody else that he is serious about believing in God and expects the same from the rest of the parish.

  11. Andrew, medievalist says:

    Following the example of priests…absolutely!

    Quia sermo Domini est: sacerdos meus si deli[n]querit delinquere faciet populum meum.
    [Legatine Council at York, 1195]

    People will do good or evil as their priest does. Many thanks to all out Reverend Fathers for their pastoral (and electronic) efforts!

  12. Dr. Eric says:

    Paraphrase: “Do people want their priests to be like the Cure of Ars?”

    YES!!!

    We love holy priests who sit in the Confessional for hours on end, who say the Holy Mass with reverence, who sacrifice themselves for their parishioners. We love future Saints!!!

  13. Dr. Eric says:

    Why didn’t my exclamation points show up in my post? [Wordpres automatically eliminates some multiple punctuations.]

  14. christian says:

    What is a pianetta ?

  15. Lee says:

    For my money, priests making a ten or fifteen minute thanksgiving after Mass, and encouraging their people to do the same, would be the strongest possible argument for the Real Presence.

    If we hear conversation and laughter coming from the sacristy immediately before Mass and immediately after Mass, the wonderfully well-prepared sermon on the Eucharist isn’t going to have much effect. Does one laugh either on his approach to or departure from Calvary?

    Which brings to mind Msgr Luke of St. Petronille Parish in Glen Ellyn, Il under whose administration sprang 14 vocations to the priesthood. When he built the parish church, he had a communion rail installed in a little alcove between the sacristy and the the sanctuary, and there he would be found kneeling for fifteen minutes after every Mass he celebrated, making his thanksgiving.

    By chance I encountered many years later an account of life at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, IL when he had been a student there. A fifteen minute thanksgiving after Mass was mandated for all the seminarians.

  16. Denis Crnkovic says:

    Thank you, Father Zuhsldorf, for these excerpts. I am eager to read the rest of this sermon. It is paragraphs like these that have made me reach the conclusion that every one of the Holy Father’s writings comes through him from the Holy Ghost. How else can one explain the profundity of all of the Pope’s work? I suspect that not a single one of his thoughts is made public without his fervently praying for the grace of knowledge, understanding and wisdom to convey the Truth.

    By the way, I was taken by your moving last line, “… during the coverage, you could hear the wonderful high pitched calls of the swallows, which swoop around gloriously in the Roman evening.” Your evident nostalgia for the Eternal City is well placed. One could go back to Rome in a heartbeat just to be in the same place with the Roman Pontiff and the screeching swallows.

  17. irishgirl says:

    Thank you Father Z, for printing the words of our Holy Father!

    It’s been 26 years since I’ve been in Rome-and I would have loved to have been to the Corpus Christi Mass and procession!

    I echo the comments of many of the above posters-we need holy priests!

    Hey secularists-eat your hearts out! The Catholic Church is not going away!

  18. TMA says:

    From my favorite prayer for priests:

    Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord,
    keep them, for they are Thine -
    Thy priests whose lives burn out
    before Thy consecrated shrine.

  19. Jim says:

    I want to add to my previous post about laying aside all earthly cares.

    It is the accepted custom in most Latin-rite churches in the U. S. for the congregation to engage in loud chatter before and after Mass. This clashes with the Church I entered in 1961, when the custom was the opposite. Then, before and after Mass were set aside for quiet prayer. One sees the same attitude of hushed prayer in Mexican churches and in Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches. We profess that the Lord is present on the Altar and in the tabernacle. Given that belief, isn’t worldly chatter intensely disrespectful?

  20. Irish says:

    When in a little while we will repeat the Our Father, the prayer par excellence, we will say: “Give us this day our daily bread:”, thinking naturally of the bread of each day. This request, however, contains something deeper. [He has here a little exploration of the concept of time, which flows mysteriously in the sacred action.] The term in Greek epioúsios, which we translate as “daily”, could allude also to the “supersubstantial” bread “of the world to come”.

    Psalm 101:
    1 The prayer of the poor man, when he was anxious, and poured out his supplication before the Lord. 2 Hear, O Lord, my prayer: and let my cry come to thee. 3 Turn not away thy face from me: in the day when I am in trouble, incline thy ear to me. In what day soever I shall call upon thee, hear me speedily. 4 For my days are vanished like smoke: and my bones are grown dry like fuel for the fire. 5 I am smitten as grass, and my heart is withered: because I forgot to eat my bread.

  21. Jane says:

    Yes! We need holy priests. Our former pastor was truly devoted to our Lord in the Eucharist. His Masses were reverent and moving, and he brought to us a slice of Heaven every week. His example brought my husband back into the fold after years of being out of the Church. Our new pastor is the opposite. He sails across the sanctuary without acknowledging our Lord in the tabernacle. After communion, every single person in the church is on their knees -except the pastor, who sits in his chair. During Mass he makes jokes about our devotions, his vestments, our sacramentals. (He’s been a priest only 4 years!). I think this is just a job to him. BUT, because of our former pastor, my husband and I suffer through these irreverent masses because we know Who we are there for.

  22. Michael J says:

    Christian

    A pianetta is one of those toasted sandwiches you can get from street vendors throughout Italy.

  23. Simon Platt says:

    Swallows or swifts Father? The description sounds much more like swifts than swallows. I do love those swifts.

    Now I shall go and read the rest of the post.

  24. Simon Platt says:

    “Is that something people want to see?” I’m surprised you had to ask!

    Yes, please, God send us more priests like that!

  25. Absolutely, seeing devoted priests only encourages us the laity that much more.

  26. a catechist says:

    Yes…’though I’m content to know, without seeing myself, that a priest makes a daily Holy Hour. It’s always very moving to see, the evening before an Ordination in Sioux City, Bishop Walker Nickless kneeling a long time during Adoration.

    I must admit, my gut reaction to the question was “yes!” but also how much I also want to see priests set foot in parish Religious Ed. classes on Wed. nights, at least once in a while. In some places that’s a far more rare sighting.

  27. “And this is what the faithful are waiting for from the priest: the example, indeed, of an authentic devotion for the Eucharist; the love to see him spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus as did the Cure of Ars, whom we will remember in a special way during this now imminent Priestly Year. [Is that something people want to see?]”

    Oh, most definitely! I do feel that our pastor shows his devotion to the Eucharist during Mass, he’s no phony. But if he wanted to pray longer, I’d have no objection. I recall Padre Pio gave several Masses that were 3-4 hours long and I’m sure much of that time was in adoration of the Eucharist, right?

    I am also happy that our parish has perpetual adoration available and I wish that our priests also committed one hour a week to show the parishioners what they should be doing. I am sure that they do actually go at their own leisure. I wouldn’t want to say that they don’t go at all. I would just like them to register so everyone else knows that they are doing it and I think other people would want to do it more often as well. Everyone says they want to commit to an adoration hour but then they never do sign up. It’s like they never act upon that idea.

  28. Bill in Texas says:

    “And this is what the faithful are waiting for from the priest: the example, indeed, of an authentic devotion for the Eucharist; the love to see him spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus as did the Cure of Ars, whom we will remember in a special way during this now imminent Priestly Year. [Is that something people want to see?]”

    I don’t know if this is exactly what the Holy Father meant by “waiting” (in Italian? I trust your translation, but in Italian maybe there are connotations that are different from ours in English) or what you meant by “want” but …

    Some Catholics certainly have been waiting for examples of authentic devotion that we can emulate. And it is certainly good when the Mass is not rushed. And “want” — having the alternate meaning of “lack” — yes, some have been lacking any examples of suthentic devotion.

    People (most of them) don’t clamor for good examples, but we all certainly know authentic devotion when we see it, and we certainly appreciate it when we see it.

    Our parish priest is one of those who does not rush through the Mass. He has also been, during his first year with us, correcting some things that were missing or not right, and this is bringing us back to authentic devotion. Among these corrections: He has moved the tabernacle back to its rightful place, front and center. He has the altar servers ringing the bells at the epiklesis. He has stopped the practice of interrupting the closing prayers of the Mass with endless announcements (these now appear on a large-screen monitor out in the narthex — and most of them always were in the bulletin, of course). He also indicated that he wanted a crucifix on the altar (our church, being newer, isn’t set up really well to accommodate ad orientem — he may do this some day, I guess, but it will take some doing), so our Wednesday Bible Study group passed the hat, bought one, and he placed it on the altar this morning after blessing it — now priest and people are all facing Christ during Mass. And he has extended the time for Reconciliation, starting it earlier on Saturday so that it isn’t shoehorned into a brief availability before the evening Mass — he is an excellent confessor, and he isn’t in a hurry in the confessional either.

    I mention all this by way of saying that everyone seems very appreciative of the changes he is making to restore a sense of dignity and adoration to the Mass here.

  29. Ohio Annie says:

    re: christian and michael j: the Pope is wearing a sandwich? what is a pianetta anyway? 8-) (I’m just a convert and don’t know anything)

  30. Kate M. says:

    Yes, we want to see (to experience) reverent priests. Not falsely theatrical, but truly reverent. When I am at Mass that is offered by a truly reverent priest, it inspires me to be more reverent, too.

    We had a visiting priest from Texas a while back who was so beautifully reverent that my daughters (about ten years old at the time) insisted that I take them to daily Mass.

    When a different visiting priest came, one who stepped down from the altar and used a microphone and asked the congregation (and my daughters) questions during his homily, my daughters were so turned off that they asked if they could NOT go to daily Mass that week.

    Truly reverent priests are a joy and an inspiration!

  31. Paul Haley says:

    It nearly brought tears to my eyes to see the former Cardinal Ratzinger, now the Vicar of Christ in the title of Benedict XVI, presiding over the solemnity of Corpus Christi outside the walls of the Vatican in public with all the ceremony and beauty attached to it as if saying to the recalcitrant diocese of Rome – This is the day and this is the time to honor the Body of Christ not Sunday hence! And, from comments I have seen many bystanders stopped what they were doing and reverently followed the procession – some even to its conclusion, starved as they were for the beautiful and solemn devotions that had been the standard of the Church in days gone by.

    The pope has been characterized as being under attack from all sides, even most virulently from those inside the Vatican. In days when the diabolic disorientation seems to be having its heyday, it almost seems most ironic that the SSPX and traditional Catholic groups around the world are rallying to the Pope’s defense – his supposed friends having left his side to join the modernist camp. I will not add to the Pope’s misery by recanting all the problems of the last 40 years, nor will I even speak of the 20 years in the desert for some traditional groups with origins in the SSPX since 1988. I will simply applaud him for his initiatives and beg him for even more. Viva il papa!

    Also, our priest preached a homily which said in effect that priests are ordained and exist most especially to bring the Eucharist to the people because without it we would most probably perish and never reach Heaven. He followed it up by saying priests are not ordained primarily to be social workers or as preachers but to confect the Eucharist, the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and preeminent amongst all the sacraments. As I look at the Holy Father with his eyes reverently focused on the Eucharist enclosed in the monstrance, I see a definite convergence of views between him and our priest. Why is that noteworthy one might ask? Because, dear friends, our priest was ordained by Archbishop Lefebvre 36 years ago but refused to follow the others into disobedience. May he be rewarded some time soon for his loyalty and may his brother priests in the SSPX and other traditional groups be given the faculties they need to work in the Lord’s Vineyard for the salvation of souls.

  32. Terry says:

    I think the \”God become man, so that we can become God,\” especially in connection with the Eucharist, finds its first Patristic expression in Ignatius of Antioch. It seems to be a common trope (in a non-Eucharistic sense) throughout all of the Fathers, most especially in Gregory Nazianzus.

  33. DarkKnight says:

    When I attend the TLM, I have the strong impression that Father is actually talking to Christ at various stages of the consecration. There “feels” like there is a dialog or exchange taking place that I just don’t sense in a NO.

  34. Hidden One says:

    “And this is what the faithful are waiting for from the priest: the example, indeed, of an authentic devotion for the Eucharist; the love to see him spend time in long pauses of silence and of adoration before Jesus as did the Cure of Ars, whom we will remember in a special way during this now imminent Priestly Year. [Is that something people want to see?]” [emphases added]

    Yes. I want to see it and, having seen it, all the faithful will.

  35. Maria says:

    Father, in answer to your question, let me share with you how my lukewarm faith was rekindled some years ago. A young priest arrived as assistant priest at our parish. Like many priests, he was gentle, kind and prayerful. He preached the truth in charity, visited parishioners and became a much-loved chaplain at the local Catholic school. Yet it was something else that made a huge impact on my spiritual life: his reverence and the genuine expression of pure love in his eyes as he held Our Lord in his hands during the consecration and elevation at each Mass. I am certain that Jesus drew many a soul closer to Himself through the example of this holy priest.

  36. jennifer eva says:

    When there is a holy priest that we know suffers the temptations we all do and yet can “see” Christ or begs to see Him and love and adore Him, then you are called to task especially if you (me) have been infected with the outlying culture.

    Yes it is a bonus when the one who brings you Christ, knows what he is doing so to speak. And you know this because you can’t just strip away the humanity of the priest, so I don’t know. I think I can tell the difference. Especially after homily time.

    Need less priests, more holy ones only. I’ll drive!

    JennE

  37. vexilla regis says:

    Thank you Fr Z for highlighting the Holy Father’s superb and inspired words, and thanks also for your thoughtful, incisive and moving commentary. You do far more good than you can know.

  38. Rose says:

    I watched it on EWTN and was struck by the joyful wondrous look on the Holy Father’s face so many times when he lifed his eyes to the Eucharist. A joy that was almost palpable-it was awe-inspiring.

  39. Kathy says:

    The procession began while it was still light, travelled through the dusk, and by the time they arrived it was nighttime. So beautiful. The Holy Father kneeling throughout.

  40. Tom in NY says:

    A further comment on “epiousion.” We now can be forgiven to think it could mean “daily.” Tyndale used “daily”; the AV and others through the NAB have followed. Jerome used “quotidianum,” the contraction of “quoties” and “dies.” Therefore, those who look to the Vulgate, as well as English translations, might think “daily.”
    Follow professor Ratzinger’s research to Thayer’s dictionary of the Greek NT. (I wouldn’t be able to get quickly enough to a TWNT-TDNT). “Epiousion,” from the contraction of “epi-ion” does point to tomorrow’s bread. The listeners are invited to focus on the future and relief from anxiety.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  41. margaret says:

    MOST definately, we DO need to see the priest in reverence b4 the Eucharist. We need the priest’s example to give us the freedom and courage to express our own love and devotion.As we pray in this way our faith increases and as our faith increases, our prayer becomes more fervent.

  42. q7swallows says:

    “Do the people want to see this?”

    An emphatic, resounding, fist-thumping-table, *YES!*

    - – - – - – - –

    A lesson from the newspaper business: for emphasis, surround desired text with lots of white space.

    Surround the “Text” of the Word Made Flesh with the “white space” of . . . silence. Attentive, reverent silence–not drama. The former is God-centered, the latter is man-centered and the people can tell the difference.

    There is nothing more important in this world than the Consecration so, first of all, why rush it? Secondly, a long pause at that point (and others) is an act of charity for the congregation because it takes us a few moments to:

    (1) realize what just happened, and then as it sinks in,
    (2) allow our minds to wonder at and awe Who has just appeared, and
    (3) command our bodies to conform to that perception (since we don’t have specific rubrics to impel us and must choose from a kaleidoscope of possibilities)

    Not only that, but the elongated pauses give us a “push” to orient ourselves to not only perceive Him and adore Him there but to be more receptive for the Cor ad cor loquitur that follows.

    Besides, (where applicable), it not only gives the thurifer enough time to execute his duty with calm dignity, but the smoke itself has time to decide to swirl heavenward—in front of God and everybody. Now, there’s some heady symbolism!

    Another benefit: when our little children see our priest (in cassock!) in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament on Fridays before Mass, their behavior is measurably better; they are far more collected, attentive, and less inclined to chatter during the Mass that follows because the priest has, in his own person, demonstrated the proper disposition of one-in-the-pews. Children, like most people, put more stock in actions than words. Please understand the importance of leading by example!

    Dignum et justum est!

    Enjoyed the comment on the swallows, too.