A fine brief moment of consolation

It has been a mucky week.  We have had to cope with the "filth" of which Papa Ratzinger spoke in his famous Stations of the Cross in 2005 shortly before his election.

It has been a tough week without a lot of consolations.

As I have written before, I am not terribly sentimental in my celebration of Holy Mass.  I prefer to remain fairly workman-like.  How I wish that the word "priestcraft" didn’t also have a negative connotation!

This morning, however, I did have a good moment, something of a consolation, during Mass.  

I think I was being set up though a confluence of factors.  After all, we poor little humans depend on our senses for the signs. 

This morning it may have been the little things … sunlight still at a low angle through the windows … birds singing outside… the scent of pure beeswax candles for Eastertide … the remnants of incense… and the reading from 1 Peter…

Dearly beloved, laying away all malice, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envies, and all detractions, as newborn babes desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation; if so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet. Unto Whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honorable by God: be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priest-hood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that shall believe in Him, shall not be confounded. To you therefore that believe, He is honor: but to them that believe not, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner: and a stone of stumbling and a rock of scandal to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set. But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare His virtues, Who hath called you out of darkness into His admirable light, Who in time past were not a people; but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy.

The fourfold Alleluia concludes only after the Victimae paschali laudes.

It simply… all came together.

Of this passage from 1 Peter Venerable Bede wrote:

It is hardly surprising if someone who has never tasted the kindness of the Lord fails to avoid the filth and corruption of this world.  But if your hearts and minds have been cleansed from wickedness, then it is natural for your to long for the vital nourishment of Christ.

The gates of hell will not prevail.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Rob Cartusciello says:

    Deo gratias!

    Thank you for being a tiny lighthouse of hope in the midst of this most recent storm.

  2. ghlad says:

    Amen, father!

  3. Nora says:

    and never more than we can bear, with the help of His grace, but that makes the gifts of consolation all the sweeter.

  4. De Tribulis says:

    Thank you, Father, for posting this.

  5. JosephMary says:

    And Pope Benedict writes about how in going out into the world to do the work of evangelization, one cannot help but get their feet dirty…and thus the ‘washing of the feet’. Extrapolate that to the cleansing of the confessional for being in the world, even of not of it, is a dirty business in some ways and we cannot help but fall from time to time.

  6. wanda says:

    Thank you, Father for this beautiful post. Thanks be to God for His tender mercies, which are new every morning. Do you realize Father, that by sharing these moments with us, how much more we are able to appreciate the gift of the Priesthood? Yours as well as all Priests.
    May we remember to pray daily for our Priests and for our Holy Father.

  7. JamesA says:

    Father, thank you so much for sharing that.
    I am a first year seminarian who has already gotten a bit of a reputation for being “rigid”, and who has been depressed about the state of the Church, especially in America. We have many fine priests, bishops, and laity…but the huge numbers of bad ones, and the damage they are doing to Holy Church, often tempts me to anger and despair.
    I am so grateful for your priesthood and charism of internet evangelization. You give us hope for the future and remind us constantly that, indeed, the gates of hell will NOT prevail.
    Blessings on you always !

  8. dhgyapong says:

    Thanks for sharing that!

    We, too, had a joyous moment of consolation in our little Traditional Anglican cathedral here in Ottawa this morning. Our bishop conditionally re-ordained a young priest who has come to us from the Anglican Church of Canada. He fully expects to go through something similar again as will all our clergy with, we hope, the establishment of an Ordinariate in Canada.


  9. Rich says:

    There’s not much else to be said, so why am I leaving this comment?

  10. Archicantor says:

    I was about to ask what version of scripture you were quoting, Father. It seemed so fresh and precise! Then, of course, I realized it was Douay-Rheims. I’m so accustomed to using it as a crib for translating liturgical texts that I often forget that it is no slouch as a stand-alone English version. I’m so glad you had a moment of consolation. Perhaps it may be a small further comfort in the midst of all this to know that there are separated brethren praying for the Pope, for the Church, for unity, and for you.

  11. frdgss says:

    Like you, Fr Z, I too had a brief moment of cosolation this morning. But it was from the Office of Readings. Also from St Peter. We need these spiritual havens at the moment, especially priests who are feeling very battered and buffeted at the moment.

  12. frdgss: from1 Peter 4:12—5:14

    ἀγαπητοί, μὴ ξενίζεσθε τῇ ἐν ὑμῖν πυρώσει πρὸς πειρασμὸν ὑμῖν γινομένῃ
    ὡς ξένου ὑμῖν συμβαίνοντος,
    ἀλλὰ καθὸ κοινωνεῖτε τοῖς τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθήμασιν χαίρετε,
    ἵνα καὶ ἐν τῇ ἀποκαλύψει τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ χαρῆτε ἀγαλλιώμενοι.
          εἰ ὀνειδίζεσθε ἐν ὀνόματι Χριστοῦ, μακάριοι,
          ὅτι τὸ τῆς δόξης καὶ τὸ τοῦ θεοῦ πνεῦμα ἐφ’ ὑμᾶς ἀναπαύεται.
                μὴ γάρ τις ὑμῶν πασχέτω ὡς φονεὺς ἢ κλέπτης ἢ κακοποιὸς ἢ ὡς ἀλλοτριεπίσκοπος:
                εἰ δὲ ὡς Χριστιανός, μὴ αἰσχυνέσθω,
          δοξαζέτω δὲ τὸν θεὸν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι τούτῳ.
          ὅτι ὁ καιρὸς τοῦ ἄρξασθαι τὸ κρίμα ἀπὸ τοῦ οἴκου τοῦ θεοῦ:
    εἰ δὲ πρῶτον ἀφ’ ἡμῶν, τί τὸ τέλος τῶν ἀπειθούντων τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ εὐαγγελίῳ;
    καὶ εἰ ὁ δίκαιος μόλις σῴζεται, ὁ ἀσεβὴς καὶ ἁμαρτωλὸς ποῦ φανεῖται;
    ὥστε καὶ οἱ πάσχοντες κατὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ
    πιστῷ κτίστῃ παρατιθέσθωσαν τὰς ψυχὰς αὐτῶν ἐν ἀγαθοποιΐᾳ.

    πρεσβυτέρους οὖν ἐν ὑμῖν παρακαλῶ
    ὁ συμπρεσβύτερος καὶ μάρτυς τῶν τοῦ Χριστοῦ παθημάτων,
    ὁ καὶ τῆς μελλούσης ἀποκαλύπτεσθαι δόξης κοινωνός:
          ποιμάνατε τὸ ἐν ὑμῖν ποίμνιον τοῦ θεοῦ,
          ἐπισκοποῦντες μὴ ἀναγκαστῶς ἀλλὰ ἑκουσίως κατὰ θεόν,
    μηδὲ αἰσχροκερδῶς ἀλλὰ προθύμως,
    μηδ’ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων
    ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου:
    καὶ φανερωθέντος τοῦ ἀρχιποίμενος κομιεῖσθε τὸν ἀμαράντινον τῆς δόξης στέφανον.

          ὁμοίως, νεώτεροι, ὑποτάγητε πρεσβυτέροις.
          πάντες δὲ ἀλλήλοις τὴν ταπεινοφροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε,
          ὅτι ὁ θεὸς ὑπερηφάνοις ἀντιτάσσεται, ταπεινοῖς δὲ δίδωσιν χάριν.

    ταπεινώθητε οὖν ὑπὸ τὴν κραταιὰν χεῖρα τοῦ θεοῦ,
    ἵνα ὑμᾶς ὑψώσῃ ἐν καιρῷ,
    πᾶσαν τὴν μέριμναν ὑμῶν ἐπιρίψαντες ἐπ’ αὐτόν,
    ὅτι αὐτῷ μέλει περὶ ὑμῶν.
          νήψατε, γρηγορήσατε.
          ὁ ἀντίδικος ὑμῶν διάβολος ὡς λέων ὠρυόμενος περιπατεῖ ζητῶν τινα καταπιεῖν:
          ᾧ ἀντίστητε στερεοὶ τῇ πίστει,
          εἰδότες τὰ αὐτὰ τῶν παθημάτων τῇ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ ὑμῶν ἀδελφότητι ἐπιτελεῖσθαι.
    ὁ δὲ θεὸς πάσης χάριτος,
    ὁ καλέσας ὑμᾶς εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ δόξαν ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,
    ὀλίγον παθόντας αὐτὸς καταρτίσει, στηρίξει, σθενώσει, θεμελιώσει.
    αὐτῷ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας: ἀμήν.

    διὰ Σιλουανοῦ ὑμῖν τοῦ πιστοῦ ἀδελφοῦ, ὡς λογίζομαι, δι’ ὀλίγων ἔγραψα,
    παρακαλῶν καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν ταύτην εἶναι ἀληθῆ χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ: εἰς ἣν στῆτε.
    ἀσπάζεται ὑμᾶς ἡ ἐν Βαβυλῶνι συνεκλεκτὴ καὶ Μᾶρκος ὁ υἱός μου.
    ἀσπάσασθε ἀλλήλους ἐν φιλήματι ἀγάπης.
    εἰρήνη ὑμῖν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ. 

  13. Agnes says:

    I am also in the thick of a lot of *muck* right now. It’s no small consolation that tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday. It is no small consolation that you have the power to hold Almighty God in your hands every day, and we have the power to receive and be nourished by Him. May we be strengthened for the battle ahead. May His Mercy makes itself felt to our beloved Papa, to you and all priests, to the religious and laity, and to all the world.

    For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!

  14. Jaidon says:

    “Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy.”

    Happy Divine Mercy Sunday Fr. Z and everyone!

  15. To you Agnes and Jaidon: A blessed Divine Mercy Sunday! God is so good. We have alot to deal with today; it’s only getting worse by the moment. But “all will be well”; of that, I am sure.
    The Savior has conquered sin and death; we must cleave to Him, whether or not we are full of sin (of which only He knows for sure); He is the Lord. We must repent, do penance, and give our very best to Him, Mercy Incarnate.

  16. Maltese says:

    When it comes to the Catholic Church, I am in for a penny, in for a pound. I really don’t care about the media’s lashings, personally, but I do pray for our pope. Logically, I just know that God wouldn’t leave us without His Son, and His Son said he would not leave us without His Church. That may sound simplistic, but it is logical to me.

    Sure, the Church is full of horrific, transgressing and otherwise faithless men (even our first pope denied Christ three times), as it has been since day one, but that does not make it false.

    From a legal stand-point: imagine there is a government like our own, which has a Supreme Court, but also a Constitution. Which came first, the Court or the Constitution? Well, of course, the Constitution. Who gets to decide what that Constitution means? Well, the Supreme Court. So to with the Catholic Church. The Church, as the highest authority decides what is or what is not licit. In fact, a Church council decided which books of the bible would make it into the Canon we have today. Without a Church, there is chaos!

    You have Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, Charles Manson, all interpreting the Bible for themselves!

    Sure, there are fine examples of men using it correctly, like Dobson, but more than likely they use the power (yes the POWER) the word gives for personal aggrandizement (ala Benny Hinn).

    I mean this from the bottom of my heart: there is no salvation outside the Church that Christ founded 2,000 years ago. This may sound presumptuous at the exact time that Church is under extreme attack, but I believe it to the marrow of my bones, and I’ll die believing it, and there is no shaking me from it. I will be a martyr for it, if need be; so it is me and I am it, because I am touched by it in an inexplicable manner (which some of you are too I know). If the Church goes away, what do you have on this earth? There are now, in estimate, 55,000 protestant denominations in America alone. So, where do you turn for TRUTH? Is Christ malleable? Or, is He what He is? Would God give us His Son, but then withdraw all authority (and grace; yes, there is grace in authority) and leave us flapping in the wind, to falsely interpret things for ourselves?

    Indeed, the Church is a grace to the world, and grace is in the Church!

  17. joan ellen says:

    Thank you Fr. Z. Things will be better tomorrow. Thank you nazareth priest. Thank you Maltese. Thank you all. God is Good.

  18. joan ellen says:

    Thank you all especially means all of the priests posting on this blog. Our consolation is grace…and we get it from you mostly because of the Sacraments. Not even the angels, nor the Blessed Mother…

  19. Thanks and blessing to you, joan ellen, and to all here! May our Lord’s Divine Mercy embrace you all.
    I know sometimes I am intemperate and “off the ledge” in my comments; for that I am sincerely sorrowful if I have somehow offended or scandalized anyone. I do love our Holy Mother the Church, our Pontiff, my religious vocation and priesthood; and I do love all priests and bishops, even if I may be overly critical, at times. I am trying to work on being more kind and careful about any excoriating criticisms.
    Be assured of my prayers and remembrances in Holy Mass tomorrow. Be sure to take advantage of the wonderful grace of Divine Mercy Sunday: Holy Communion in the state of grace, in order to receive our Lord’s abundant promises.

  20. Mariana says:

    “The gates of hell will not prevail.”

    No, indeed they won’t!

  21. Agnes says:

    In another thread, Papa Z requested a prayer. Here goes:

    “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You.”

    All hell breaking loose in our lives on this particular Divine Mercy Sunday is no accident. But God is in control of all things, even if we aren’t. He is a Father who can be trusted, who upholds his promises. All we need is to trust in him, to return to him love for Love. All the politics, all the worries of the day, all the attacks – all will take their proper place if we keep our focus on the Divine Love.

    Or maybe that’s just me wearing stained glass spectacles. We need to be aware of the turmoil, but we need not be ruled by it.

  22. wanda says:

    You keep wearing your stained glass spectacles, Agnes! Thanks for your good reminder to not let the turmoil and blah-blah in the media rule our lives. There’s A Widness in God’s Mercy.

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