A bishop says: “the actual pastoral action of Jesus Christ… does not first demand a change of life”

fishwrapThe National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) ballyhoos heterodoxy and immoral actions.

They have a story about a commencement address delivered by the Bishop of San Diego, Robert McElroy, to graduates at Jesuit-run Santa Clara University, a member of the Graduate Theological Union of Berkeley, who made strange claims about the teaching of Pope Francis.  Although, given the locale of the talk, I’m pretty sure that very few people found anything odd about them.  McElroy said of Pope Francis’ pastoral theology…

“It demands that moral theology proceed from the actual pastoral action of Jesus Christ, which does not first demand a change of life, [ummm…] but begins with an embrace of divine love, proceeds to the action of healing and only then requires a conversion of action in responsible conscience.” [According to the variant reading of John 8:11, the Lord said to the woman taken in adultery: “Fuggedaboutit! Go and amend no more!  Take a little time to think about changing your life.”]

Noting that people are confronted with “overwhelming life challenges” that prevent them from following the Gospel, he added, “The pastoral theology of Pope Francis rejects a notion of law which can be blind to the uniqueness of concrete human situations, human suffering and human limitation.” [Is that another way of saying that, for some people, it is impossible to follow God’s commandments?  That God denies some people the grace to live according to His will?  I must misunderstand, because that would be a denial of the action of grace.  I wonder if that is an accurate reading of Pope Francis.  That would put Francis’ magisterium in direct contrast to the magisterium of the 19th Ecumenical Council, of Trent?  In the balance, I’d rather think that the bishop got it wrong rather than the Roman Pontiff.]

McElroy encouraged the school’s faculty to focus on the pope’s pastoral theology and to place it “at the very center and life of this institution.” [And they should remember to study the Pope’s theology in the context of what the Church taught before 2013.]

“It will be one of the greatest theological projects of our age to understand how this new theological tradition should be formed — how it can bring unity, energy and insight into the intersection of Catholic faith and the modern world.”  [A “new theological tradition…”]

So, what’s up here?  What’s with… “the actual pastoral action of Jesus Christ, which does not first demand a change of life, but begins with an embrace of divine love, proceeds to the action of healing and only then requires a conversion of action in responsible conscience.”

What does “responsible conscience” mean?

An example of the actual pastoral action of Christ is found in John 8.  An adulteress is brought to the Lord.  She is probably going to be stoned to death.  The Lord stops it.  He tells her to do two things: 1) to go and 2) to sin no more.  I cannot speculate about what amazing graces God poured into her heart at that moment.  I’ll wager, however, that Christ meant what He said, when he said: “καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ νῦν μηκέτι ἁμάρτανε … kai apo nun meketi hamartane… and from now on sin no more”. I have a hard time getting my mind around the notion that the “actual pastoral action of Jesus Christ”, does not first demand a change of life. I don’t think that the Lord was under the impression that every single person whom He dealt with would be the perfect person He wanted them to be thereafter without lapses (think Peter and his betrayal), but He doesn’t give me the impression that He thought people didn’t have to stop sinning. Am I wrong? “Go, and sometime down the line sin no more.” Nope. It’s not happening for me. Am I wrong? Am I missing something?

Let’s apply this.  Does “does not first demand a change of life” apply to, say, a child molester?  Does this apply to the employer who mistreats employees and cheats them of their proper wage?  Does this apply to the drug dealer who gives free smack to kids to get them hooked?  Does this apply to terrorists who recruit suicide bombers?

Fishwrap would have you think so. Don’t worry about your habitual sins. As a matter of fact, conversion is… down the line somewhere, if at all.

It seems to me that the merciful thing to do is precisely what Jesus did: Tell the sinner to “sin no more”. Then, help the sinner develop a plan of attack on the habitual sin and occasions of sin. Help the sinner get ready to face the suffering that comes from saying “no” to sin. While we recognize that not all penitents succeed every time, we don’t tell sinners that they can continue to sin.

The moderation queue is ON.

Posted in Pope Francis, The Drill | 7 Comments

ASK FATHER: What if we are alive when Christ returns?

12_12_02_JudgmentFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR
:

Is it true that we will all die? If Jesus comes at this very moment many people will be alive. Do we die before going to hell or Heaven?

First, we don’t know exactly what is going to happen, the sequence of events, when the Lord returns.  We know that, when the day of the Lord comes, “the heavens shall pass away with great violence and the elements shall be melted with heat and the earth and the works which are in it shall be burnt up” (2 Peter 3:10).  So, you tell me what’s going to happen to you in the midst of that!

We don’t know what is going to happen.

However, if we are alive in the moment of the Lord’s return… and we should reflect on this constantly… it would help if we had wide-spread ad orientem worship… whether we are alive or not will not matter too much: everyone who has ever lived is judged by the King of Fearful Majesty in both an individual, or Particular Judgment, and in a General Judgement, when all things will be laid bare and weighed with each other.

The best plan for all of us is to reflect often, even daily, on the inevitability of the Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell.

If we are prudent, we will think often about our death and think about where we would like to spend eternity.

One day, dear reader, your heart will cease its beating, you will draw your last breath, your soul will separate from your body, and you will die.

Most of us don’t know when that is going to happen.

Examine your conscience and…

GO TO CONFESSION.

Fathers, that goes double for you!

And pray pray pray that we are able to receive the last sacraments.  This is the constant prayer of Christians for many centuries in the Litany:

A subitanea et improvisa morte… From a sudden and unprovided death, spare us O Lord.”

A sudden death can be a blessing. A sudden and unprovided death – unprovided in the sense of having no recourse to the sacraments when you are not in the state of grace – is a horrifying prospect. Make plans for, provide for, the needs of both body and soul for yourselves and those in your charge.

You don’t know when your death will come, natural or not.

 

Posted in Four Last Things, GO TO CONFESSION | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

ASK FATHER: Why do priests impose hands during ordinations?

imposition of hands ordination priesthoodFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

I attended the sacerdotal ordination of 5 priests for my diocese last Saturday.

After the bishop imposed hands, other priests participating in the Mass also imposed hands on the candidates. Since priests lack the fullness of the priesthood, what is the purpose and effect of the priests’ imposition of hands on the candidates?

The imposition of hands by the priests present at the ordination symbolizes the bond of ordained priesthood that all the men share.

However, on a related note, it seems that it was once possible for priests to ordain priests. There were a number of ancient references to this and we have documentation from the medieval period. In 1400 Pope Boniface I gave permission to the Abbot of S. Osith in Essex to ordain to the priesthood. The permission was revoked in 1403. The validity of their orders was not questioned. Today, however, the Church affirms that only bishops ordain priests.

 

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Sec. Mattis on what keeps him awake at night

SecDef Mattis (USMC-Ret) on what keeps him awake at night:

We need more of this attitude in Holy Church, especially from our officers, the clergy.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Just Too Cool | Tagged | 8 Comments

‘Tis the season for ordinations

17_05_05_ordination_card_01This is ordination season in many places.  I’ve been getting news about priestly ordinations and some of it is good. While my impression is that diocesan vocations are down in the last few years, some places there is growth.

In Wichita, Kansas [HERE] we read that 10 men were ordained to the priesthood, a remarkable number today for that diocese.

And since today is Memorial Day, let us not forget that Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun is from that diocese.

Today at the site of the UK’s best Catholic weekly we read good news for the Anglican Ordinariate. Speaking of 10 men:

Cardinal Pell to ordain 10 transitional deacons for the ordinariate

The 10 men are expected to be ordained as priests next year

Cardinal George Pell is to ordain 10 men as deacons for the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham next month.

The group includes two men who are in their fifth year of studies for the priesthood and are on course to become the first clergy who have undertaken their entire formation within the ordinariate.

The other eight men are former Anglican priests who have taken a specially designed two-year course.

It is likely the 10 candidates will be ordained to the priesthood next year. They will join 80 clergy serving 50 ordinariate groups in England, Wales and Scotland.

The ordination Mass will take place on Saturday June 17 at St James, Spanish Place. The Mass will be celebrated according to the ordinariate’s distinctive liturgy, Divine Worship. Cardinal Pell, former Archbishop of Sydney and prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy, will be the ordaining bishop and will be assisted by Mgr Keith Newton, the ordinary of Britain’s ordinariate.

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham was formally established in 2011. It followed Anglicanorum coetibus, an apostolic constitution issued by Benedict XVI two years earlier, which allowed Anglicans to become Catholics while still retaining some elements of Anglican patrimony.

The Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter was later established in North America and the Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross followed suit in Australia and Japan.

What is interesting to track is how many of the ordinands are from the diocese for which they are being ordained. For example, the Diocese of Paterson also ordained 10 men this year, 8 of whom are from Poland and 2 from Columbia!

At the parish where I have helped out on weekends, people are now praying a Prayer for Vocations at every Sunday and holy day Mass. HERE

Let us pray for the newly ordained and for more sound vocations to the priesthood.

Posted in Priests and Priesthood | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

The penny dropped for another musician

The penny dropped for another musician.

At increasingly useful Crisis today I read a piece by a musician about the state of church music today.  His summary: disaster resulted from the degradation of sacred worship in Latin.   Of course it did.  In the Latin Church the loss of Latin is going to have a profoundly negative impact.

Let’s see some of what he has to say.  My emphases and comments:

Abandoning Latin Changed Liturgical Music … for the Worse
DEACON JIM RUSSELL

After 35 years as a liturgical musician, it’s amazing how little I really know about the liturgical music of the Roman Rite.

Then again, what should I expect when my earliest memories of music at Mass tend to involve now-forgotten attempts to make Ray Repp tunes, guitar-group versions of Beatles songs, social-justice-pop-folk songs, and patently juvenile compositions like “Sons of God” and “Here We Are” seem at home in the most august Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? [A good question.  Part of the problem stems from the loss of understanding of the function of music in liturgical worship.  For example, music in these USA was effectively hijacked into the disaster lane after the Council when an advisory board of the liturgy committee of the US bishops conference issued (without authority) a statement that included the catastrophic and false notion that the purpose of liturgical music was to create a truly human experience.  From that point on, with the cover this provided, music swirled ever faster down the pipe.]

When it comes to the “hermeneutic of discontinuity,” I lived the experience. Yet, despite the poverty of my personal liturgical roots, I’m convinced that things aren’t really as bad as some people today might think, in terms of the pre-Vatican II vs. post-Vatican II liturgical-music landscapes.

No. They’re actually worse. [Bingo!]

Why? Because the narrative is not really as simple as saying “we really had our liturgical-music act together before the Council, and after the Council everything collapsed.”

Rather, the more historically accurate narrative sounds like: “we really had only taken the first few baby-steps toward getting our liturgical-music act together in the decades before the Council, and then after the Council everything collapsed.”

It might be fairer to say that after the Council everything certainly changed, if not collapsed. [He’s trying to hedge here.  I’ll stick with “collapsed”.] Or at least that one specific change caused one particular collapse. I’m referring to the seismic shift in liturgical music that arose from the largely unrestrained embrace of the “vernacular” in the liturgy.

[… skipping way down…]

“Attention, All Personnel….!!”

Thus, the Church in the US was treated to the musical “M*A*S*H” unit that was first to arrive on the scene, offering not “meatball surgery” but offering “meatball liturgy.” And it wasn’t very life-saving—at all. As the Mass hemorrhaged its Latin, the wound, scarcely cleaned, received the Bandaid of the banal texts and melodies that at least initially came largely from the pop-folk era previously inaugurated by the 1957-1958 Kingston Trio smash hit “Tom Dooley.” [hence the rise of the sol-called “hootenanny Mass”] By the mid-1960s, the exuberant and carefree folk revival had given way to protest music and politics, and that volatile mix of elements gave us that visceral novelty of “now” liturgical music (so called) in the vernacular—guitars and even banjos mercilessly subjecting the faithful to everything from “Sounds of Silence” to “Let It Be” to Catholic “youth” music like “Wake Up, My People,” “Till All My People Are One,” “Allelu,” “To Be Alive,” and “Joy Is Like the Rain.”  [When Latin was abandoned the door slammed shut on the treasury of the Church’s sacred music.  There was no vernacular music!  So, there was a scramble for something, anything.  That and the fundamental misunderstanding of the role of music in worship resulted in reduction of music to the lowest common denominator (= devastation).]

Now, fifty years later, the discontinuity does indeed seem staggering. It leaves liturgical music in a sort of limbo. The legitimacy of the pre-conciliar effort to restore chant must be reconnected with the legitimacy of the post-conciliar openness to organically growing new liturgical music from that root. [This is what my mentor the late Msgr. Richard Schuler was all about at St. Agnes in St. Paul.]

How much different would things have been if there had been real continuity? Well, I’m pretty sure a young believer like me, destined to be a liturgical musician for more than 30 years, would have benefitted greatly from hearing way more Latin, more chant, more Latin polyphony—anything that would have made it clear to me that these are truly the hallmarks of our Roman-Rite tradition. In my view, it’s not merely a missed opportunity for the Mass itself, but it’s a missed opportunity for me as a Catholic.  [At my aforementioned home parish, on Saturday mornings there was a sung Mass in Gregorian chant, and the entire congregation sang the Ordinary.  There were baskets with the Kyriale at the doors.  After some years, people didn’t need then anymore.  Before Mass, the cantor would say, “Today we are singing Mass IV” (for the feast of an Apostle), and everyone would sing Mass IV.  Easy.]

Mass is not supposed to make me musically comfortable—it’s supposed to make me more holy.  [Right.]

Some may say that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I’m here to tell you: singing “If I Had a Hammer,” “Get Together,” and “Day by Day” at Mass never, not once, made me feel stronger—or holier. Let’s reclaim our rightful patrimony and try to rediscover—yet again—the liturgical music roots of the Roman Rite.

He did have a hammer and he hit the nail directly on its head.

If you want to know more about how Church music was hijacked, then make some Mystic Monk Coffee (or Tea), and download the following.

A Chronicle of the Reform: Catholic Music in the 20th Century 

This is a must-read for those who are involved in Church music (we all are) and for those who are interested in Church music (we all must be).  NB: The typos are probably a result of the scanning of the text – they aren’t in the originals.

Also, friends, remember these principles:

  • we are our rites
  • change the way we pray and you change what we believe
  • liturgical music is not an add on
  • true active participation must be actual participation rooted in active receptivity
  • liturgical music is an “integrating” element in worship
  • liturgical music must be sacred and artistic

All of this is grounds for thanksgiving for the great gift Benedict XVI gave to the whole Church: Summorum Pontificum.

UPDATE:

One of you wrote to me via email:

I appreciated your latest posting, “The penny dropped on another musician.” It mirrors my own experience and ongoing education regarding the liturgy. Unfortunately, we have the women religious to thank for the acceleration of the degradation of our liturgy as well. I ran across a recording of this “Mass,” the installation of the “Leadership Team” of the western province of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, an order that taught me in grade school. While I should not be surprised, I was still nonetheless shocked by how far these sisters gone in their attempts to dismantle the Roman Rite as prescribed by the Church.

Western Province Leadership Team Installation from Sisters of Charity of Nazareth on Vimeo.

From the very beginning, it’s just plain dreadful, but dreadful picks up speed at 03:45. From 20:15 onward the estrogen-bedraggled priest lets sister read the Gospel. Guess who preaches. More weirdness begins at 34:00 when three sisters do their “installation” thing with stoles and hugs all around.
Check out 1:07:00 for the final “blessing” and… what follows, whatever the hell that is.

UPDATE:

Well… it looks as if the Sisters deleted or “privatized” that video.

Posted in Hard-Identity Catholicism, Latin, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, The future and our choices | Tagged , , , | 33 Comments

No Garbage Post!

The other day I forgot to hit PUBLISH!  Grrrr…

Il Monsignore Illustrissimo e Reverendissimo Presidente delle Strade would have been disappointed in me.  I mean… I post a lot of garbage, but… well…

These old “no dumping” signs are all over the center of Rome.  I enjoy them immensely.

05_26_1717

26 May 1717.  300 years to the day

Among other, 26 May is my anniversary of ordination and the feast day of St. Philip Neri.

I hope I won’t be fined 10 scudi.

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Your View From The Pew: SSPX Chapel

UPDATE:

I’ve been informed that this is not an SSPX chapel, but rather an FSSP chapel!

And yet my sentiments stand.

___

I had an interesting series of texts this morning from a friend in New Jersey.

First, he sent a photo of his pew view:

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 15.58.54

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 15.59.23

The New Evangelization takes many forms, not that my sender needs a new evangelization.  He seems pretty well evangelized to me.  Well enough that he recognizes a good thing when he sees it.

I hope for the reunion.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, HONORED GUESTS, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, SSPX, The future and our choices | Tagged | 9 Comments

BLUE Pontifical Vestment and Violet Folded Chasuble Projects – UPDATE

UPDATE: 28 May:

Many of the people I have been talking to like the bronze, but the silver – so to speak – came in second.

I took the fabric and swatches into the chapel and turned on the lights.  Then I positioned them about a bit.

The bronze looks great up close, but it is harder to discern from a distance.  What really popped out was the silver.

Originally Published on: May 25, 2017

The ecclesiastical tailor in Rome, Gammarelli, informed me that the White vestments for Pontifical Mass at the Throne (PMATT) has been shipped.  We have a PMATT coming on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary (31 May) in the evening here in Madison.  The Extraordinary Ordinary will pontificate.

I am eager to see the vestments.  They have the diocesan coat of arms embroidered on the back.  The chasuble has the bishop’s arms.  When seen all together I believe they will make a favorable impression.  Eventually, additional dalmatics and chasubles will be added to the set.  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the Tridentine Mass Society of the Diocese of Madison (a 501(c)(3) organization) to make the vestments possible.

Our new campaign to help with the Blue and also to order “folded chasubles” for the Violet set.

>>HERE<<

It is time to think about blue.

I am wondering about trim.

I’ve pretty much decided that the trim will be one of these three… silver, gold or bronze.

Barring some new discovery, the trim will be one of these.  Gammarelli has the silver and the gold.  The bronze I acquired elsewhere.  I would have to get it separately and send – better, take it! – it to Rome.

Here is a poll.   Please note: I will take the results into consideration, but I will not merely take the results of the poll as my final choice.

The combox is open for those who are registered and approved.

For the trim on the TMSM Blue Pontifical Set...

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged , | 28 Comments

QUAERITUR: Can a layperson repose the Blessed Sacrament?

12_03_15_ExpositionFrom a reader…

QUAERITUR:

Our priest has asked the two laypersons who attend the last hour of Adoration if they would be willing to repose the Blessed Sacrament if he cannot be present to do so. I am one of those persons and do not believe I’m qualified to do this. In fact, I’m concerned about profanation of the Eucharist. Should I decline the request or acquiesce?

I can’t answer that for you.  As a priest, I am not a fan of this practice.  However, I can imagine a few situations in which it could be tolerated.

That said, we can consider the legislation.  There is a document called Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass (par. 82-100) that covers this situation.  This document provides that laypersons may under certain conditions – expose – and hence repose – the Blessed Sacrament in the absence of a bishop, a priest or a deacon.

The ordinary minister for Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is a bishop, a priest or a deacon. They are also the only ones permitted to give Benediction (Blessing) of the Blessed Sacrament.

However, in the absence of a bishop, a priest or a deacon (or I suppose if the cleric present is physically unable to do so – “lawfully impeded”) the following lay people are permitted publicly to expose publicly expose and publicly to repose the Blessed Sacrament:

  • an installed Acolyte
  • an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
  • a member of a religious community or of a pious association of laymen or laywomen dedicated to Eucharistic adoration who has been appointed by the local Ordinary

These people may open the tabernacle and put a ciborium on an altar or put the lunette with a Host in a monstrance. They may then, consequently, repose the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle.

So, if you are going to be involved in this, meet with the pastor of the parish where this chapel is or contact the local bishop (who will probably refer you back to the parish priest).

You cannot be an Acolyte, for only men are admitted to that ministry, but you could be an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion.

Becoming an EMHC has a process.  The pastor will know what it is.

And never… never… just assume that you can do this without checking with the pastor, just to be clear and sure.

It is not right for just anyone to do this.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

Was there a good point made during the sermon you heard for your Mass of Sunday obligation?

Let us know what it was!

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 3 Comments

Card. Müller on deaconettes: “No. Not possible.” – on liturgy: “crisis”

Raymond Arroyo of EWTN has a wide ranging interview with His Eminence Gerhard Ludwig Card. Müller, Prefect of the CDF.

One thing that caught my attention is his clear refutation and denial of the possibility of the ordination of deaconesses (aka deaconettes).

About the notion that, in the ancient Church, women had Holy Orders…

ARROYO: And what is your opinion? Did they have Holy Orders, or no?

MÜLLER: No. Not possible.

He also confirmed that Pope denied the possibility of deaconettes.

The part about deaconettes starts at about 14:00.

Also, Arroyo asks if he shares Card. Sarah’s views about a crisis in our liturgical worship.  Card. Müller thinks there is a crisis.  He doesn’t think that it is the fault of the Second Vatican Council.  He stressed the mystery of God.

 

Posted in Deaconettes | Tagged , , | 24 Comments

VIDEO: Pontifical Mass in Germany

Masses Pontifical in the traditional form of the Roman Rite must be multiplied.

To that end, here is a beautiful video of a Pontifical Mass celebrated in Germany by the Secretary of my old digs the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei“, Archbishop Guido Pozzo.

The video is well done. The editor captured many of the significant points of movement that distinguish the Pontifical Mass at the Throne. It seems to be a Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin.

We should make this a little more visible. There were 176 views when I posted this.

Here in Madison, on Wednesday 31 May, we will have a Pontifical Mass at the Throne with His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, the Extraordinary Ordinary.

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , | 7 Comments

THEY’RE HERE! White Pontifical Mass Vestments

They’re here.

The long-awaited White Pontifical set has arrived!

I invited the chancellor to help with the unboxing.

The humeral veil reveals itself.  The light on this fabric is precisely what I had hoped for.

One of the 3 dalmatics which arrived today.  Still to arrive, a couple more “plus size” dalmatics.  Then there will be others for ordinations.

Note, the diocesan coat of arms is embroidered directly into the fabric.

Two of the copes.  Eventually there will be a total of 7.  I asked for one of them to have the extra-band of braid, to distinguish the celebrant from assistants, or bishop from the assistant priest.  Note the coat of arms on the lower corners.

The bishop’s chasuble with his arms.  We also received one chasuble with the diocesan coat of arms, the first of several.  Also, there will be one with my own.

There are two tunics (which have only one bar on the back).  In addition, there is an antpendium, gremial, all the necessary parts with the chasubles, two additional pontifical dalmatics, a spare pair of gloves.

We have been waiting for these for a long time.

I am so grateful to the donors for this project!

And don’t forget the new fundraiser! Our new campaign to help with the Blue and also to order “folded chasubles” for the Violet set.

>>HERE<<

Posted in ¡Hagan lío!, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 9 Comments

WDTPRS – 7th Sunday of Easter: Ascended but still present

ascensionI won’t acknowledge Ascension Thursday Sunday.  Yesterday was the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord and Sunday is, in the Ordinary Form, the 7th Sunday of Easter.

Let’s look at the Collect for the 7th Sunday of Easter.

Supplicationibus nostris, Domine, adesto propitius,
ut, sicut humani generis Salvatorem
tecum in tua credimus maiestate,
ita eum usque ad consummationem saeculi manere nobiscum,
sicut ipse promisit, sentiamus.

There is a spiffy parallelism here in sicut… tecum and ita… nobiscum.

There seems to be here a reference to Matthew 28:20:

Et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem saeculi

RSV: “I am with you always, to the close of the age.”
DR: “I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

Adsum is the verb that gives us adesto, which is the “future” imperative (because imperative has to be future). Adsum means to “be present” in both the physical and the moral sense. Thus, it means also “to be present with one’s aid or support; to stand by, to assist, aid, help, protect, defend, sustain.” And also, “to be present in mind, with attention, interest, sympathy; also, with courage; to give attention to something, to give heed, observe, attend to; also, to be fearless, be of good courage.” In the Rite of Ordination, and today is my anniversary, when men are called to receive Holy Orders, their names are pronounced (which is the formal moment of a “calling” – vocatio) and they respond, Adsum! Believe me when I say that that “Adsum!” which candidates for Orders proclaim means all of the above!

Maiestas has an interesting entry in the Lewis & Short Dictionary. This word fundamentally means, “greatness, grandeur, dignity, majesty.” In conjunction with other words it reveals something more. For example, maiestas means the “sovereignty of the Roman people” in classical Latin. Thus, we have the term for high treason: laedere maiestatem. In English we use the same phrase: “lese majesty” also in the French form “lèse majesté”.

Consummatio is technically “a casting up or reckoning together, a summing up, a summary view” as well as a “finishing, completing, accomplishing.” Think of doing a “summation” or doing your “sums”. Or being a “consummate pianist” to indicate a pianist who in his skills and artistry is “complete.”

LITERAL TRANSLATION:
Graciously give attention to our supplications, O Lord,
so that, just as we believe the Savior of human kind
is, in your majesty, with you,
we thus may sense him, just as he promised, to be remaining with us
all the way unto the consummation of the world.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Father,
help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior
lives with you in glory
and promised to remain with us until the end of time.

CURRENT ICEL (2011):
Graciously hear our supplications, O Lord,
so that we, who believe that the Saviour of the human race
is with you in your glory,
may experience, as he promised,
until the end of the world,
his abiding presence among us. 

In the Person of the Risen Lord, the God/man, our humanity is at this very moment present at the right hand of God the Father.

When Christ ascended to the Father, our humanity ascended with Him. We are already there, but still not yet there. We must wait for the world’s consummation and final reckoning to join Them in our final state of endless contemplation of the Triune God.

Christ is still present to us.   He is with us in the Holy Eucharist, in the Words of Scripture, in the person of the priest, in the gathering of the baptized.

Christ is with us, still teaching and governing and sanctifying us in Holy Church of which He is the Head. Through and in Him we are the Body, the members, the Church.

In that time after the world and everything and everyone has been put in the balance, and everything has been submitted by Christ to the Father so that God may be all in all, Christ the Head and Christ the Body will be, as St. Augustine might put it, Christus Totus: Christ Whole and Entire.

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