ASK FATHER: Prayers for a sick pet

From a reader…

My 10 year old Golden Retriever is in rough shape. How far is too far when praying for pets? What is a Catholic to do when his pet is sick or in danger of death? Is praying appropriate?

I’m sorry for your news.  We can get so very attached to pets.  That’s why I don’t have one.

Hmmm… how might this go?

O Lord, heal faithful Fido, who has heeled so well during his life; or, if it not be Your will that this good heeler should be well healed, may his suffering end and end quickly.

There are not many occasions in which prayer is inappropriate.

Praying to be able to sin more effectively (“O Lord, please make Jenny write more clearly so I can cheat off her test,”) would be inappropriate. Praying for the truly impossible might be inappropriate as well (“St. Joseph, through your intercession, ask God to let me square this circle.”).

Praying for a situation that seems impossible is the meat and potatoes of prayer!

Praying for one’s sick pets, if done with reasonable restraint, is okay. The Lord has given human beings stewardship over the Earth and the critters that inhabit it.  Many of the good things of the Earth become dear to us. They bring us happiness.  They can help to bring us closer to God and to praise Him (which is their purpose, after all).

Offering a prayer for a sick pet, asking a priest to bless a sick pet (not to confer the sacrament of unction, mind you, but to bless, and preferably using the classic Roman Ritual) are appropriate. Having a Mass offered for a sick pet would be inappropriate. Organizing a novena and procession for a sick pet would be disproportionately inappropriate.

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Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Dogs and Fleas | 1 Comment

Church Music: sacred and… not so much

I received the latest issue of Sacred Music today.  May I recommend that you subscribe?  HERE  There is so much good, artistic and sacred music that we could use in our liturgical worship.  Alas, so much of what we hear is unworthy of both occasion and place.

Speaking of lousy music in church, I received this from reader.  It isn’t often that you see a parody song actually written out.

15_08_31 I am the bread of life verse

Posted in Lighter fare, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000 | Tagged | 2 Comments

ACTION ITEM! “Officer Down!” – Texas Deputy Murdered for being LEO

This is all over the news now. Though I am a little late on this, I ask for your prayers for the officer and his family.

From FNC:

The alleged gunman who murdered a Texas deputy unleashed 15 shots at close range, emptying the entire clip [magazine!] of his .40 caliber pistol and another bullet loaded in the chamber as he stood over the dead cop, according to Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson.


It seems that Deputy Darren Goforth, 47, was killed for no other reason than that he was a Law Enforcement Officer.

Despicable doesn’t begin to describe the adjectives running through my head.

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You might recognize one of these clerics (I saw the photo on Facebook and couldn’t resist). I think they are saying their office using phone apps.


Caption, anyone?

Posted in Lighter fare | Tagged , | 27 Comments

Your Sunday Sermon Notes

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

Let us know!

Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 5 Comments

Welcome Aboard New Registrants!

To participate in the combox here, you must be registered and approved (by me).

Since the blog is under constant attack by spammers and nefarious ne’er-do-wells, I use the “about you” field in particular to screen registrations.

Welcome aboard recent registrants! (I think I got everyone.)

james huffaker
steve reed
Mary of Carmel
FatherGordonMacRae [!]
Br. Ambrose OSB


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Nuns On The Bus III: Another tired sequel of the Magisterium of Nuns

From super-liberal RNS:

New ‘Nuns on the Bus’ tour to highlight Pope Francis’ US visit and agenda


“Obviously, Pope Francis’ message is exactly what we’ve been doing for 43 years,” Campbell said. “Having that affirmation is hugely supportive.”

But, she added, “what’s important is that we continue to do the mission regardless of how it goes,” and whatever the hierarchy says.

Does this pass the smell test?

The nuns’ mission seems to be, in fact, to piss off the hierarchy.

The Pope has said some strong things about abortion and about “gender theory”. The nuns reveal no solidarity with Pope Francis on those issues.

Will we hear a peep from them in defense of marriage and the unborn or will their silence demonstrate their fear to stand with the Church on homosexuality, fidelity to matrimony, and defense of the unborn?

I think we all know the answers.

No, they operate in terms of what is political and what promotes the Magisterium of Nuns, over and against the US Catholic Bishops.

Speaking of “the nuns”, let’s not forget the classic…


Posted in Liberals, Magisterium of Nuns, Women Religious | Tagged , | 14 Comments

My View For While: Domum

Again… back to home and hearth.


Well… home and hot plate.


Well that was pretty dreadful.

Now for Round 2.


Posted in SESSIUNCULA | 8 Comments

WDTPRS – 22nd Ordinary Sunday: images of armies

The Collect for the 22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time.  See also the 6th Sunday after Pentecost.

COLLECT – (2002MR):
Deus virtutum, cuius est totum quod est optimum,
insere pectoribus nostris tui nominis amorem, et praesta,
ut in nobis, religionis augmento, quae sunt bona nutrias,
ac, vigilanti studio, quae nutrita custodias.

With small differences this Collect is based on a prayer in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary, subsequently in the 1962 Roman Missal on the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost.  In the Anglican Church’s 1662 Book of Common Prayer for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity (The Alternative Service Book of 1980 for Pentecost 17) we find: “Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same.”

17th century English schismatics got it right.  Can’t we?  But what did we hear on Sunday for those grueling years?

Almighty God,
every good thing comes from you.
Fill our hearts with love for you,
increase our faith,
and by your constant care
protect the good you have given us.

What does the prayer really say?  Your indomitable Lewis & Short Dictionary explains that insero means “to sow, plant in, engraft, implant.”  I really like that “graft”, chosen also by the Anglicans of yore.  Going on, optimum does not mean “perfect”, but rather “best.”  I think we can get away with “perfect”, given that we are applying “best” to what God has.

In the document that governed the production of the new, current translation, Liturgiam authenticam 51 you will find:

“deficiency in translating the varying forms of addressing God, such as Domine, Deus, Omnipotens aeterne Deus, Pater, and so forth, as well as the various words expressing supplication, may render the translation monotonous and obscure the rich and beautiful way in which the relationship between the faithful and God is expressed in the Latin text.”

Today the priest invokes God as Deus virtutum, an expression in St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate Psalter (Ps 58:6; 79:5 ff; 83:9; 88;9) often translated as “God of hosts.”  Don’t confuse “host” as “army, multitude” with the wheat wafer used at Mass.  Virtutum is genitive plural of virtus,“manliness;  strength, vigor; bravery, courage; aptness, capacity; power” etc.  Jerome chose virtutum to render the Hebrew tsaba’, “that which goes forth, an army, war, a host.”  Tsaba’ describes variously hosts of soldiers, of celestial bodies, and of angels.   In the Sanctus of Mass and in the great Te Deum we echo the myriads of angels bowed low in the liturgy of heaven before God’s throne: Holy, Holy, Holy LORD GOD SABAOTH …. God of “heavenly hosts” or, as ICEL put it in 1973, God “of power and might”.  I think “O mighty God of hosts” conveys what LA 51 is saying we should have.

O mighty God of hosts, of whom is the entirety of what is perfect,
graft into our hearts the love of your name, and grant,
that by means of an increase of the virtue of religion,
you may nourish in us the things which are good,
and, by means of vigilant zeal, guard the things which have been nourished. 

Notice that we pray to God for an increase in “religion.”  I take this to refer to the virtue of religion.

Last week we saw the difference between “values” and “virtues”.  Let’s make more distinctions.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines “religion” in the glossary toward the back of the newer English edition: a set of beliefs and practices followed by those committed to the service and worship of God. The first commandment requires us to believe in God, to worship and serve him, as the first duty of the virtue of religion (cf. also CCC 2084 and 2135).   The Angelic Doctor says in his mighty Summa (II-II, 81, 1) that religion is the virtue by which men exhibit due worship and reverence to God as the creator and supreme ruler of all things.  We must acknowledge dependence on God by rendering Him a due and fitting worship both interiorly (e.g., by acts of devotion, reverence, thanksgiving, etc.) and exteriorly (e.g., external reverence, liturgical acts, etc.).  The virtue of religion can be sinned against by idolatry, superstitions, sacrilege, and blasphemy.  We creatures must recognize who God is and act accordingly both inwardly and outwardly.  When this at last becomes habitual for us, then we have the virtue of religion.  A virtue is a habit.  One good act does not make us virtuous.  If being prudent or temperate or just, etc., is hard for us, then we don’t yet have the virtue.

This petition in the Collect follows immediately from our desire that God “graft” (insere) love of His Holy Name into our hearts.  We move from the title of God the angels and saints never tire of repeating in their everlasting liturgy in heaven: HOLY, they say, HOLY, again and again forever, HOLY.  Then we beg for all good things to be nourished in us by God as He increases in us the virtue of religion leading to the proper interior and exterior actions that necessarily flow from recognizing who God truly is and who we are.

This Sunday’s Collect has images of armies.  I think it not a stretch to imagine also orchard or vine tending.  On the one hand, the God of hosts guards the good things we have.  On the other, this same mighty God is grafting love into us and then nourishing it so it can grow.

Posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged | 1 Comment

ACTION ITEM! Getting TLM things for a priest

From a priest…

I am a priest in good standing in the Archdiocese of ___. I have been trained in the offering of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, but unfortunately I do not have the means to get all the items I need. I would like to offer the EF Mass more frequently and figured you might know some donors or might be able to help. I am looking for the 1962 Travel Size Missal and about 50 of the Red Booklet Missals for the faithful.

I would like to remain anonymous, except to the donor, who I would like to thank (unless they would like to remain unknown). Thank you for your help in this matter. I am grateful to you, especially for your priestly ministry.

Okay… how do we do this?

Perhaps someone interested could commit to obtaining the items requested and I can put the two of you in touch.

Would that work?  Drop me an email.  First come, first served, as it were.


A reader wrote, saying:

I read with interest the item about the priest who can’t afford all that he needs to offer the Venerable Form more frequently.  It gave me an idea:  perhaps the priest should contact the local Knights of Columbus council.  Given the state of the Knights these days, it may be a long shot, but asking them to live up to their duty of supporting priests and promoting vocations is only asking them to be who they are supposed to be anyway.

Right!  What are they doing, anyway?

Posted in ACTION ITEM!, Mail from priests, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Leave a comment