CD of beautiful Christmas music – VIDEO

I told you about the great new Christmas music CD from the only Catholic boy’s choir school in these USA, St. Paul’s near Harvard University and posted a video about the choir.  HERE

The Christmas In Harvard Square.   It is available also in MP3.

UK link HERE

There is another video about the choir.

It’s not too late to order!

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Posted in The Campus Telephone Pole | Tagged , | 3 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 14: Mary’s reaction to the angel unfolds in three steps

Here is a 5-minute, daily podcast to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your personal meeting with the Lord.

These podcasts are a token of gratitude to my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you! Here is ADVENTCAzT 14, for Saturday in the 2nd Week of Advent.

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen! PS: The wavy flag is how I’m trying to get to Rome for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meeting in January.  This one’s on me.

http://www.wdtprs.com/adventcazt/2014/141205Advent0214.mp3

I have a little of the wonderful Advent disc by the Benedictines. You will remember that Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  They have chart topping discs. HERE

Chime in if you listened. Today I give you some thoughts from Divine Intimacy on prayer. PS: These podcasts should also available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

ASK FATHER: Will I have my pets again in heaven?

halo dog

QUAERITUR:

People have been asking me: Are there animal in heaven?  Will I have my pets in heaven?

This has probably been stirred up by something Pope Francis reputedly said recently in the press  (as it turns out, it was false reporting, but here goes):

“One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God’s creatures.”

First and foremost, this was not – good grief… do I have to write this? – a definitive statement.

The Roman Pontiff does not teach definitively, or even seriously, through interviews with journalists of any country, much less with the Italian media.

So, we can and should simply draw a line through this whole thing.

That said, animals, “brute beasts”, do not have immortal souls in the way human beings do. Do they have souls? Yes. They have their animal souls. Can they feel fear, etc? Of course they can. That doesn’t make their souls immortal. They are not proportioned to the consideration of eternal things, as human souls are.  We have our souls directly from God with no intermediary.  As St. Thomas Aquinas explains, and I think he is right, God must somehow be involved with the creation of animal souls, but they seems to have their souls through their bodies rather than directly from God.  When animals die, their souls die with them.

Could there be critters in heaven?

I suppose one way to look at it is this: If, for some reason, our eternal happiness were somehow dependent on the presence of critters in life the come, then I suppose there could be critters.

However, in the Beatific Vision, in seeing God, we will not need any created thing for our happiness. That’s pretty clear. So, there is no need for critters in heaven.  Who knows, but that leads me to think that there will not be critters around us as we contemplate the Holy Trinity in communion with the Holy Angels and each other.  Why would we?

Animals don’t have immortal souls. They don’t do things that are meritorious in the way we can. They don’t sin in the way we do. They don’t need a Savior.

That said, at the end of things Christ will submit all of creation to the Father so that God might be all in all. I have no idea what that means in regard to critters. I suppose we will see in that moment how critters fit into God’s plan for us.

In our Judgment we shall certainly be judged according to how well we carried out our role as stewards of creation. We were given all of material creation for our proper use. We mustn’t abuse critters. We can use them, but properly. If we consciously misuse them, we sin, either venially or mortally.

That said, I hope we will still be able to have steak and Cabernet.

But, let’s settle down about this and not get excited or put reason aside in favor of sentimentality. It isn’t that important.

Finally… think about this for while:

If pets can go to heaven, they can also go to hell.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, De Novissimis: Four Last Things, Pope Francis | Tagged , , , | 99 Comments

Congratulations to a long-time participant and commentator for his ORDINATION!

Today in the Diocese of Marquette the local bishop is ordaining transitional deacons including a long-time participant here and frequent commentator, now Rev. Mr. Tim Ferguson!

You know him also at the Official Parodohymnodist of this blog, famous for the lyrics of “Liturgical Blue” and the smash hits of Zuhlio.

I am sure the entire readership will join me in congratulating the diocese, the bishop and Rev. Mr. Ferguson.

Rev Mr Tim Ferguson

Posted in Fr. Z KUDOS, Just Too Cool, Non Nobis and Te Deum | Tagged | 22 Comments

WDTPRS 3rd Sunday of Advent – “the childlike dash towards the long-desired thing”

Rose vestments from the days of Fr. Finigan in Blackfen. Then came the regime change….

We are coming to the 3rd Sunday of Advent, also nicknamed Gaudete…. the plural imperative of gaudeo, “Rejoice!”. This Sunday there is a relaxation of the penitential aspect of Advent.

Yes, Advent is a penitential time, though not so much as Lent.

Remember: Real priests wear rosacea.

In the first week of Advent we begged God for the grace of the proper approach and will for our preparation.

In the second week, we ask God for help and protection in facing the obstacles the world raises against us. This Sunday we have a glimpse of the joy that is coming in our rose colored (rosacea) vestments, some use of the organ, flowers. Christmas is near at hand.

COLLECT – (2002MR)
Deus, qui conspicis populum tuum nativitatis dominicae festivitatem fideliter exspectare, praesta, quaesumus, ut valeamus ad tantae salutis gaudia pervenire, et ea votis sollemnibus alacri laetitia celebrare.

The infinitives in our Collect (expectare… pervenire… celebrare) give it a grand sound and also sum up what we are doing in Advent. L&S informs us that conspicio means, “to look at attentively, to get sight of, to descry, perceive, observe.” Alacer is, “lively, brisk, quick, eager, active; glad, happy, cheerful” and it is put in an unlikely combination with laetitia, “joy, especially unrestrained joyfulness”. At the same time we also have votis sollemnibus. Votum signifies first of all, “a solemn promise made to some deity” (we have all made baptismal vows!) and also “wish, desire, longing, prayer”. There is a powerful sentiment of longing in this prayer, God’s as well as ours. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that expecto is from ex- + pecto (pecto, “to comb”). You won’t find exspecto “look forward to”, in your L&S, but the etymological dictionary of Latin by Ernout and Meillet says it is from ex- + *specio, spexi, spectum or ex- + spicio. Therefore, it is a cousin of conspicio: God “watches” over us and we “look” back at… er um… forward to Him. This word play is clever.

Furthermore, sollemnis, related to sollus, i.e. “totus-annus“, points to something that takes place every year.  So, it basically means “yearly, annual”.  Thus, by extension it means something that takes place at appointed times, such as rites of a religious character and that which is does by custom.

LITERAL TRANSLATION:
O God, who attentively watch Your people look forward faithfully to the feast of the Lord’s birth, grant, we entreat, that we may be able to attain the to joys of so great a salvation and celebrate them with eager jubilation in solemn annual festive rites.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973):
Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving.

You decide.

With the last two week’s of “rushing” in our prayers and doing good works, we have now the added image of eager and unrestrained joy, an almost childlike dash towards a long-desired thing.

Have earthly fathers watched this scene all of a Christmas morning?

Even so should we be in our eager joy to perform good works under the gaze of a Father who watches us, a Father with a plan.

The obsolete ICEL version captures little of the impact of the Latin prayer, that is, God the Father is patiently watching his people as we go about the Advent business of doing penance and just works in joyful anticipation Christ’s coming.

NEW CORRECTED ICEL (2011):
O God, who see how your people faithfully await the feast of the Lord’s Nativity, enable us, we pray, to attain the joys of so great a salvation, land to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, WDTPRS | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

ASK FATHER: Direction of the couple exchanging vows

From a reader…

QUAERITUR:

A new (perhaps not new) trend I have witnessed at recent marriages and in social media, during the nuptial vows, is the practice of the witnessing priest standing, back to the people, at the entrance of the sanctuary, and the bride and groom standing near or on the altar steps as they exchange their vows. As a result, the couple is angled towards the priest and congregration rather than the altar, as would normally be the case. Why? I have heard it explained that this practice allows the congregation to clearly see the faces and hear the voices of the couple as they exchange vows. Another explanation is that the congregation represents the Church as it witnesses the marriage, and thus needs to see the bride and groom with clear sight.

Are there rubrics to guide the orientation of the couple during the Rite of Marriage? Is not the primary representative/symbol of the Catholic Church in the church building always Christ himself in the Eucharist? Furthermore, does not this new practice further encourage the ‘showy’, ‘theatrical’ nature of many Nuptial Masses today?

I know of nothing in the rubrics stating which direction the couple should face when they profess their vows.

I suppose that it’s left up to the discretion of the priest.

Some priests just like innovation for the sake of innovation.

Nothing in the rubrics prevents the couple from being suspended by invisible wires above the congregation a la Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and swooping in to meet each other as they exchange their consent.

Is that next? If so, I want a cool greenish sword.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity | Tagged | 30 Comments

ADVENTCAzT 13: “A type of the manly vocation”

Here is a 5-minute, daily podcast to help you prepare for the upcoming feast as well as for your personal meeting with the Lord.

These podcasts are a token of gratitude to my benefactors who donate and send items from my wishlist.  Thank you! Here is ADVENTCAzT 13, for Wednesday in the 2nd Week of Advent.

Have some Mystic Monk Coffee and have a listen! PS: The wavy flag is how I’m trying to get to Rome for the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy meeting in January.  This one’s on me.

http://www.wdtprs.com/adventcazt/2014/141205Advent0213.mp3

I have a little of the wonderful Advent disc by the Benedictines. You will remember that Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  They have chart topping discs. HERE

Chime in if you listened. Today I give you some thoughts from Divine Intimacy on prayer. PS: These podcasts should also available through my iTunes feed, though in years past I have had problems with it. Let me know how you are listening.  Through the plug in on this post? Through iTunes? Downloading?

Posted in ADVENTCAzT, ADVENTCAzT, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, PODCAzT | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

In The Wild: motorcycle edition

My new “Zed Head” mags are everywhere.

Here is a photo sent from a reader who found a way to get the image onto his motorcycle helmet.

zedhed on helmet

Posted in In The Wild | 2 Comments

FOLLOWUP: Pontifical Mass vestments

On Monday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we had a Pontifical Mass at the Throne with the Extraordinary Ordinary, His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison.

Despite the horrid weather, and despite the Packers playing Atlanta on Monday Night Football (the Packers won), we still had quite a good attendance.

We used a new set of pontifical vestments for the first time.  Something about their making HERE

Here are a few more photos, courtesy of Ben Yanke.  You get a better sense of the vestments and of the Mass this way:

14_12_08_pont_mass_01

 

14_12_08_pont_mass_02

14_12_08_pont_mass_03

Alas, the photos have been a little thin.  Maybe there will be more.

 

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Events, Just Too Cool, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, New Evangelization, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

UPDATE: Thom Peters’ extraordinary life and faith

thomas peters

Rehab using a free-standing exoskeleton

I direct the entire readership to an article in the UK’s best Catholic weekly, the Catholic Herald (recently revamped into a magazine format and for which I have a new, revamped column).

They did a story on Thomas Peters (son of the canonist) who had his blog American Papist and worked in defense of the unborn and of marriage, specially with National Organization for Marriage.  A couple years back he damaged his spinal cord in a swimming accident and is now living a whole new kind of life.

Be sure to go HERE and read.  I don’t want to give up too much of it here, but here is a sample:

Thom had been on a work retreat in Maryland and just before dinner announced that he wanted to go swimming. No one saw him for “quite some time” – until he was found floating face down in the water. His spine was wrecked and he didn’t quite get to the appropriate medical facilities fast enough. “In these cases, it’s all about how fast they treat you.” The precious “golden hour”, in which so much can be done to repair the spine, ran out. “I missed it. I totally missed it,” he said.

What followed must have been agonising. He later wrote: “It took six weeks to patch me up to a medically stable position suitable enough to transfer me to a rehabilitation centre in Washington DC. For six weeks in Baltimore, nurses and doctors battled infections and secretions to heal the damage my lungs had suffered from ingesting filthy water. I was placed in a metal halo in an effort to save my fractured vertebra. And when that effort ultimately failed, I underwent a two-day surgery to replace the damaged vertebra with a titanium cage.

The surgeons also fused my fourth and sixth vertebrae to strengthen my neck. I was intubated, given a tracheostomy, re-intubated and put back on the tracheostomy.”

But Thom never gave up.

I will add this.

When we pray for miracles, they are not always granted, although our prayers are never in vain.  However, if we don’t ask for miracles, we won’t receive them.

Pray for miracles.  Pray for a miracle for Thom!  Pray for that whole family.

May God reward you.

Posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, ACTION ITEM!, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Just Too Cool, Urgent Prayer Requests | Tagged | 3 Comments