Your good news and Sunday sermon observations

Will you share some good news with your fellow readers?

Also, do you recall a good point from the sermon you heard on Sunday?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Good News: After a long period of trying and many negative tests, my wife and I received our Christmas present early: We’re pregnant with our first child! I ask for all of your prayers that we may be blessed with a healthy baby, and that I may be a worthy father.

  2. pm125 says:

    John the Baptist and Jesus’ highest regard for his cousin and for his message of repentance.
    … and how he is never in Manger Scenes.
    Good news is hearing many arrangements of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”.

  3. Charivari Rob says:

    Had the feeling of being very much “back home” at our own parish Sunday – a little bit of a new beginning building on the church’s new year.

    It’s been a tumultuous fall for us – events, commitments and travel have resulted in my wife and I not having Sunday Mass together in the same place two weeks running since sometime in September. It was a treat this morning to wake in our own house, go to our own parish together, and be with our parish family (some of whom we literally hadn’t seen in months) for Mass.

  4. Martha in SD says:

    After three years away from the EF (long story) our family has returned permanently!!!!! My heart sings!!!! My soul feels overjoyed!!! Now, to get my hands on a missal within my budget constraints…

    Yes, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a favorite and just “makes” the preparations that more sweet.

    Joyous Advent to you all!

  5. bmadamsberry says:

    Good news: Finally finished my undergraduate honors thesis: 115 pages on “Reconciliation: An Attempt at Bridging the Schism between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church through Theological Reflection.”

    Sermon observation: We must all imitate John the Baptizer, and prepare the way of the Lord for those that do not yet know Him.

  6. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Getting hearing aids this week. Hooray. I want to hear leaves rustle again.

  7. Supertradmum says:

    Good news is that I shall be leaving Malta in two weeks. I shall, perhaps, see snow for Christmas. Sermon yesterday was, sadly, insipid, as the priest did not want to give the whole thing in English and admitted he was giving a synopsis. This was at the Co-Cathedral. it was merely a reminder that we are in Advent, waiting for Christ to be born, as Mary waited, which is a good enough nugget upon which to chew…

  8. Philangelus says:

    The “good” news is we seem to have caught a heart problem that could have caused me to drop dead unexpectedly one day. Which is what happened to three of my cousins/second cousins this year. :-(

    I could use some prayers for my anxiety levels right now. I’m seeing a cardiologist on Thursday.

    The really amazing news is that I’ve noticed that since we’ve had priests from another parish taking care of us (while our pastor is recovering from surgery) our daily Mass attendance has doubled! This isn’t just coinciding with Advent; it’s been going on steadily for a while. I want to go to our visiting priests and tell them whatever they’re doing, please keep it up. :-)

  9. JonPatrick says:

    Finally back to our regular EF Mass after 2 weeks away (seems like 2 months!) – High Mass leading with O Come Divine Messiah and ending with O Come Emmanuel, with the Rorate Coeli Desuper chanted at the offertory. The homily contrasted how we should be preparing for Jesus birth by solitude and reflection, instead we have this manic behavior that keeps us from this necessary reflection. It particularly struck home for me that I need to get away from the busyness and spend more time in a more thorough examination of conscience.

  10. Faith says:

    Sunday’s Sermon:
    Massachusetts, as many northern states, has but two “real” seasons: Winter and RoadRepair. One season is rather short and the other one much longer.
    The season of Road-Repair teaches us patience and composure and gives new meaning to
    the phrase “You can’t get there from here.” During this season, patience is not a virtue, it’s a fact
    of life. One waits – till the pot-holes are filled in, till the bridges are reinforced, till the roads are
    seal-coated, till the overpasses are repaved. Until all this is done, the way from hither to yon is
    virtually impassable. We don’t necessarily like it, but we know its urgency.
    For without the season of Road-Repair, we would not be able to scoff at six-foot snow
    drifts, look forward to jump-starting the car, thrill to the adventure of slip-sliding our way to work, nor become such experts at the effects of road salt on auto quarter panels. We may not relish the season of Road-Repair, but we know that it’s absolutely essential to prepare us for our favorite season.
    Although the simile may limp a bit, the season of Advent for Christians is a lot like that of
    Road-Repair. Advent is a time of getting ready or preparing the way for our favorite season,
    Christmastide. It’s a time that not only tries, but builds up and reinforces our patience. Likewise,
    Advent points out that – as far as having Christmas as a goal is concerned – “you can’t get there
    from here” unless we take the time for some lifestyle repair and reconditioning.

  11. Attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Beautiful Liturgy and beautiful homily by Archbishop Listecki. “A prophet is someone who sees where there is a disconnect between the hand of God and our daily lives.” Beautiful Advent call to repentance! Thank God for a true prophet in our midst in Milwaukee! A true John the Baptizer!

  12. Tina in Ashburn says:

    My dog didn’t die of pancreatitis and jaundice after all. [Why does it seem that we can cry so much more over a pet than a human?]. I made use of a relic of Solanus Casey, and a rosary blessed on Jesus’ Anointing Stone with the old Ritual blessing, as well as two excellent vets.

    I don’t remember much about the sermon other than John the Baptist sent his followers to ask Jesus who He is to teach them who Jesus really was, and that John knew he must go away while Jesus must increase.
    I was distracted by having my son with me at the EF Mass. My son has come home on a 2 month break. I haven’t seen him this much for years, and this will be the first Christmas he has been home for years. We have talked more than ever this visit, what a comfort to me. Although he has not been practicing his Faith for almost a decade, he always accompanies me to Sunday Mass. This time, he said he only wanted to go to THIS particular EF Mass of the Canons of the New Jerusalem [an hour away]. He is very impressed by Dom Daniel and his balanced insight. I beg from all of you any prayers for my son’s return to the Faith.

    My prayers for those here too.

  13. amichel says:

    We had the interment ceremony for my mother at the Mary Memorial Garden behind the church this Saturday. Father Patrick did a really lovely job, and it was a great comfort to be able to have my family gather to honor my mother and pray for her soul. I’m very glad that she is able to have her final resting place be where she wanted.

  14. asperges says:

    Good news: Sung Mass yesterday (EF) for Dom II Adv; High Mass (EF) on Thu for the Imm. Conception (Dominican rite); next Sunday EF Mass and – for the first time in years – Vespers and Benediction for Gaudete; and news of 2 EF Masses on Christmas morning in the diocese. Deo Gratias.

  15. MyBrokenFiat says:

    Went to a church I haven’t been to in ages. Their new pastor (I think?) gave a wonderful homily. Apparently he’d locked himself out of the rectory for a few hours yesterday and was forced to take refuge in the church until another of his priest-brothers could rescue him from the cold.

    He mentioned that it gave him time to reflect on his own “advent preparedness.” Since he hadn’t been prepared to get “locked out of the rectory” he pondered the likelihood of being “locked out” of Heaven. Spending the 2+ hours with Jesus in the church was an unexpected gift that turned out to help him get his mind in order to truly prepare for the 2nd Coming… or his own meeting of Christ upon death.

    My heart leapt at such personal reflections from this priest. To acknowledge his own shortcomings highlights our own, and to find the gift of love in so “major” an annoyance (as many of us would find it) exemplifies his own desire to see Christ in all. I felt blessed to attend the mass he presided.


  16. Mom2301 says:

    We had the good fortue of hosting out of town family for a dinner party. I mangaged to make two homemade lasagnas, salad, dessert and appetizers. Nobody complained about the cooking (although the six empty wine bottles may have had an effect on their tastebuds!) We had a wonderful time together .
    Father reminded us all that Advent is a penitential season and that we must prepare for Christmas by making straight our lives through a good use of the sacraments. Most of all Reconciliation.

  17. downyduck says:

    Blessed rain all weekend here in Texas… and I heard our priest say the words to the “Ecce Agnus Dei” in the way they were written for the first time in 11 years (he is an enthusiastic ad-libber).

  18. Liz says:

    Prayers for all and congrats to CaliCatholiGuy!

    Our sermon was good, but I don’t remember it because I was distracted by the little one. Anyway, yesterday after mass father invested lots of people from our church in the Miraculous Medal. Apparently there were exactly as many medals as people wanting to be invested! It was really beautiful. This had special meaning to me because I am convinced that Our Lady and the Miraculous Medal helped us with our adoption and why we named our baby after St. Catherine Laboure.

  19. B.C.M. says:

    “Creativiity is not a quality which can be ascribed to the Mass. Innovation is right out. Beauty and sanctity is the name of the game.”

  20. SemiSpook says:

    While I’m not too terribly fond of our pastor’s delivery of his homilies, this week was an exception (and hopefully it continues). Recalling the axiom from geometry that “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”, he made the comparison that our approach for Christmas should be of the same mindset. We tend to put too much stock in everything else and not on what the real focus of the season should be, thereby convoluting that trip from point A to point B.

    The pastor did happen to make the “threat” that if people weren’t attentive to their responses with the Mass, seeing how we’re in week two of the New Translation, that meant an extra $1 in the collection per miss (and admittedly, our pastor acknowledged that he wasn’t immune from it, either).

    However, one observation that I found interesting: even though our pastor is a Monsignior, he refers to himself as Father, BUT I happened to notice he was wearing the proper cassock under his vestments (black with purple piping as is customary for a Monsignior to wear). Maybe this is in line with rubrics or a personal preference, but either way, definitely a welcome sight.

  21. Gail F says:

    I saw the outrageous hit piece on the Catholic Church that CBS Sunday Morning did yesterday. Unbelievable! Then my husband and I went to a TLM — first time my husband has ever been. I guess there are different readings, because the Gospel reading was about John the Baptist being in prison and sending word to Jesus to ask if he were really the Messiah. The homily was really great. The priest said that it was funny that John the Baptist would contact Jesus about this, considering all that had already happened, and that Jesus pretty much sent word to check the Scriptures if he needed more proof. He said that John the Baptist, like everyone else, expected all sorts of things to happen if the Messiah came — revolution, and the end of all war and all problems, etc. And we still expect that today. But what did Jesus actually say when asked? “Check the Scriptures if you can’t quite believe it.” And what happened to John the Baptists after he checked the Scriptures and was reassure? He was killed. Now obviously I am paraphrasing the whole homily, but not this part: The priest said, “Why should we expect anything different?” It put the whole CBS Sunday Morning thing into perspective. Why should we expect anything different? It’s not a bad sign. It’s just the way things are.

  22. AnAmericanMother says:

    Oh, Tina, I’m so glad your dog is better!
    I think we love them because their love is so straightforward and uncomplicated – and also because they depend upon us in a way that other humans ordinarily don’t (unless they are babies or old or very ill).
    You might enjoy this:
    C.S. Lewis – The Great Divorce ch. 12

  23. Dr. Eric says:

    I don’t have any sermon stories, but this was my first time saying the responses of the new translation. Last week I stayed home with a few of my kids who were sick and I watched the Mass on EWTN.

    But to say the responses with the congregation was edifying, even EPIII seems to have a new and holy feeling with it. I also note that because our priest has to go back to square one, all ad libbing has decreased by 98%. He didn’t even hold hands during the Our Father!

  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    Excellent homily from our brand new parochial vicar – about Advent as a time of preparation, which means fasting, prayer, almsgiving and recourse to the Sacraments — including Confession (he is a good confessor, by the way, takes it very seriously and gives good counsel). He has a fine baritone voice, so Latin Sunday (with the ordinary of the Mass chanted in Latin) went well.

  25. ipadre says:

    I had the EF yesterday and talked about the four Jerusalem’s: the Jerusalem of the Jews (of the Jews, of Jesus and place of pilgrimage); the Jerusalem of the Christians (God’s kingdom on earth in which the King will come on Christmas); the heavenly Jerusalem (of what we sing and get a foretaste in the Mass) and finally the Jerusalem of our soul (where the King of kings make His home and we must adorn it properly for His coming).

  26. From our parish bulletin yesterday:

    Christmas Day Latin Mass at Holy Ghost Church (1:30 pm) will be a solemn Mass in the extraordinary form with Fr. David Carter, Fr. John Arthur Orr, and Fr. Christopher Riehl as the sacred ministers. The Knoxville Latin Mass Schola will present a program of traditional Christmas music starting at 1:00 pm, and will sing Latin motets and sacred polyphony during the Mass itself.

    This likely will be the first EF solemn high Christmas Mass locally in the past forty years or more. Each of the three sacred ministers (celebrant, deacon, and subdeacon) for this Mass is a diocesan priest ordained in the 21st century. The fact that enthusiasm for the TLM is so heavily weighted toward the younger end of the priestly spectrum bodes well for the future.

  27. Blaise says:

    re: Henry Edwards’ post – that is a long time to fast on Christmas Day!!

    The priest at our parish preached on making our hearts ready for Jesus, referring the words of Isaiah to the need for the rough places of our hearts to be addressed and reatling this to the call of John the Baptist. Better than usual, and managed to stop after 10 minutes, rather than adding in his normal extra 5 minutes of alternative sermon completely unlinked to the previous 10 minutes.

  28. MyBrokenFiat says:

    CaliCatholicGuy – :) Blessed be God for so wonderous a gift! My prayers are with you, your wife, and your beautiful new angel. What a blessing! :) :) :)

  29. Jeremiah says:

    Well, I keep getting a little surprised when I hear complex compound sentences in Mass now, and am challenged to actually think about what the prayer is saying. I love it :)

    Our associate celebrated this weekend, and his homily was awesome, packed with explanations for all the symbolism in the readings. On top of that, he referred to the epistle as the first Pope’s second encyclical. This is also the priest who spends hours a day adoration in front of the tabernacle in our daily mass chapel.

  30. Lara says:

    Prayers sent, CaliCatholicGuy! :-)

    We had our house blessed yesterday! We’ve been waiting for quite a while because both our priests are horribly allergic to cats – and we have two. We have been blessed with a third priest and he has no allergies! Yay! It was my first house blessing and very moving for us all.

  31. SWP says:

    From my pastor’s homily at Mass this morning for the 2nd Sunday of Advent:

    “Before, we used to separate the liturgy from the Scripture, or we would make room for the Scripture during the liturgy; with the new translation, they are much more integrated. We can see now how much the liturgy borrows from Scripture. You might even say they are consubstantial with one another.”

    At which point my wife and I burst out chuckling, and then hushed ourselves when we realized we were the only ones laughing. I went up to him afterwards and shook his hand and thanked him for his brilliance.

  32. Mary Jane says:

    Homily was good yesterday – Father talked about performing our state of life duties cheerfully, and using even the most mundane tasks (from taking out the garbage to getting up & going to work) to grow in grace and holiness.

    Deo Gratias to Our Lord & Our Lady for a great blessing received.

  33. irishgirl says:

    Our TLM chapel has a new member in the person of a baby boy born on December 3rd, the Feast of St. Francis Xavier. His parents have the largest number of children in the congregation-this is their sixth (three girls, and now three boys). The new arrival will be baptized on Thursday, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, after Mass. That was the scheduled arrival date, but he came five days early!
    At the Mass yesterday the priest (who is director of the traditional seminary) focussed on St. John the Baptist and on how we should imitate him in his practice of penance and his zeal for the Faith (there was a second element in between, but I can’t recall right now). Father is an excellent preacher, and this was one of his best!
    Yesterday was also my name day (St. Barbara), and on the way out of the chapel, he wished me a Happy Feast Day-that made me feel good! I joyfully said, ‘Thank you, Father!’ and gave him a thumbs up!

  34. MikeM says:

    I went to Mass at the National Shrine this week. The homily was about the importance of preparation, including in a religious sense. The Priest urged us to set some time out each day during Advent to actually spiritually prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ.

    The choir there was fantastic yesterday.

  35. gloriainexcelsis says:

    Father, in our TLM sermon, gave us a new take on the word, “scandalize.” In Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 11, verse 6, “And blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in me.” Father said it might almost be a ninth beatitude. Christ was not speaking of scandal as we think of the word. He spoke of Himself as a “stumbling block.” How many stumble over Christ and His word? So many of the Jews did. They found His teachings to be “stumbling blocks.” That holds true, certainly today, among too many in this world, including those in His Own Church. And Father noted that those who do find Christ a stumbling block, who fall and do not rise, do so through their own fault.

  36. Supertradmum says:

    More good news, as a young friend of mine has decided to apply to the FSSPs. Please pray for him.

  37. Rob Cartusciello says:

    This Sunday I learned that the Archangel Michael appeared to Elizabeth to announce the conception of John the Baptist – just like the Archangel Michael appeared to Mary during the Annunciation.

    I also learned that the Prophet Isaiah was the immediate forerunner to the birth of Jesus.

    If either of those two statements gave you a “facepalm” moment, you know how I felt in Church this Sunday. Is there ever a point at which one can be so disgusted at the content of preaching that it is legitimate to leave Mass early?

    [Those are good points?]

  38. Elizabeth D says:

    I went to EF High Mass at Holy Redeemer Church in Madison, WI and then Bishop Morlino’s Mass at St Patrick’s Church, both part of the Cathedral Parish. Bishop Morlino preached on what the Pope said to the first “ad limina” group of US bishops, about the threats to religious freedom and the need of re-evangelizing Catholics, this message is to us too. In the parish bulletin was the news that the Cathedral parish contributed over 2 1/2 times the goal that had been set for them for the diocesan “Annual Catholic Appeal”; this is a very faithful parish (and Mass is full of a lot of well behaved little children too).

  39. Maggie says:

    On Saturday evening at the Cathedral, our wonderful Bishop, David Ricken, gave a phenomenal homily about the need to evangelize culture, live faith heroically, and help people avoid Hell. It was so bold and inspiring!

  40. JKnott says:

    Knockout sermon Sunday at our EF Mass ! Father said he also gave it at the English OF and the Spanish OF as well.
    He spoke about the blessing of being a Catholic and not taking our salvation for granted. He praised the position of the Church against the evil of abortion. He commented on how, (possibly the majority), go to Mass to experience good feelings . He gave a truly beautiful teaching on how Mass isn’t for a feel good experience and the importance of right reason and other aspeacts necessary for a true participation in the Mass, as well as the need for aceticism and the consequences of sin and a lax attitude toward Mass. His description of the Church was breathtaking. I couln’t believe I was hearing a sermon like this and it made me very sad thinking about the “gospel of nice” that is preached in most NO Masses. It may be a very long time before the corrected translation will impact the modernist chit chat. This is a wonderful young priest who, when he was asked to offer a a TLM, learned it and offers it with great exactness in every regard. The attendance has increased dramatically since it first began about 2 years about with only about 15 of us. So that’s good news I would say.

  41. Blue Henn says:

    We were given a lecture on how it is duty for us to believe in Santa Claus, for it is just another moniker for St. Nicolas, who is not only a declared saint, but an actual historical figure as well. As such, we cannot deny him. Further, I learned that he was at the Council of Nicea, and purportedly punched the heretic Arias in the nose, and was then imprisoned, which I did not know. Father also told of St. Nicolas and the dowry of the poor girls, which I had already heard. And, to make things even better, Father outlined for us how we can still see remnants of the real St. Nick in the caricature that was popularized by Coca-Cola way back when: his attire still reflects the vestments of the bishops; his hat, when straightened, comes to the point as that of a mitre; his beard reflects the clergy of the Eastern Rite; and, this was my FAVORITE part, the buckles on his shoes reflect a time when bishops would wear reliquaries on their feet as a reminder that they walk in the footsteps of the martyrs. Thus, when in the presence of the bishop, the faithful would stoop and kiss his feet. Traditions are so awesome (and less tedious) when one knows the reasons behind them!

  42. a catechist says:

    Very good news: when I go to a weekday Mass at my kid’s elementary school, it’s NOT the “Mass with Children” now. Deo gratias!!!!

    Bishop Nickless’ homily at the Cathedral of the Epiphany, Sioux City, IA: the valleys to fill in are our sins of omission, and our hills to be lowered are our sins of commission (esp. within the family). So do something about them before Christmas! He also reminded us to pray silently every day & reminded us of our final judgement.

  43. KAS says:

    Well, my pregnancy is progressing properly and we are getting more and more excited about welcoming a boy into the family. Working on my birth plan and my OB is supportive of my need to room in with my infant and not be separated. The big down side to having to have a c-section is the separation from the 2 yr old for the three days I’m stuck in the hospital….still working on that problem.

    Someone asked if I could have anything for Christmas what would I want and I realized that I am so happy with my life that there is nothing I actually want. I want a husband who loves me–got him. I want kids–have them. I want us all healthy–blessed that way too. I want the bills all paid–we manage it. I want a home–we have one and the roof leak seems to be fixed now! Cars? ours are running reliably. I sew, and I have a nice machine for that. I play autoharp and I have two different ones to play and one to loan out. I enjoy using a computer– this little laptop is older but worked very nicely. I have books to read and a printer to copy out articles to study. I just go looking at my life and it is just fine. I need nothing else. I think that opportunity to realize how good my life IS has been the best gift I could have received this Christmas.

    Now to get my gift giving stuff wrapped, labeled and mailed off.

  44. Joy says:

    Good news: My older son has decided to join the Church and began his initiation program this weekend. Prayers for his continued exuberance!

  45. RichR says:

    Sunday homily at our parish (St. Thomas Aquinas College Station, TX) was on metanoia and the need for personal examination of conscience as a catalyst of repentance and change. We actually heard the word “sin”. The focus was on Christ’s second coming (or our own individual deaths) and the need to be prepared.

    No mention of a little, cuddly baby in a manger.

  46. rollingrj says:

    There was a massive wind storm in Davis County, Utah (just north of Salt Lake City) this past Thursday morning. Where I live, two 30-foot pine trees were blown down, settling on a small truck and small car but only causing very slight to no damage. Sections of an old wooden fence (which needs to be replaced anyway) were also destroyed. Two shingles came off the roof. There was no electricity for about 13 hours.

    The story gets better. Thursday afternoon some neighbors helped extricate the vehicles from the trees, thus beginning the clean-up. On Saturday neighbors again helped put the branches and trunks near the curb for removal by the city. On Sunday the near-by stake house (remember, I live in the heart of the LDS Church), in anticipation of another wind storm, cancelled their worship service and removed about 95% of those fallen trees from the property, taking them to some collection point. All that remains are some sections of the trunks and the two semi-uprooted stumps.

    Lucky the damage was minimal, compared to others in the area. Blessed to have all the Good Samaritans this weekend.

  47. Elizabeth D says:

    That is WONDERFUL, Joy! I prayed a Memorare for him.

  48. AvantiBev says:

    Father Brendan Gibson of St. John Cantius in Chicago told us to “let the devil go to Hell by himself. He knows the way. He doesn’t need you to accompany him.” I thought that was a neat way of looking at it.

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