Sunday, November 29, 2009
In the Mass of this Sunday the whole work of redemption is set before us, from its preparation in Israel's expectancy and its effect on our present lives down to its final fulfillment. The Church, in preparing us to celebrate at Christmas the birth of Him who came to snatch our souls from sin and transform them into the likeness of His own, invokes upon us and on all men the complete accomplishment of the mission of salvation that He came to perform upon this earth.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the traditional opening prayer (or Collect) prayed: "Stir up Thy might, we beg Thee, and come." With this request to God to "stir up" His might, this day was traditionally called Stir-Up Sunday. Many families create a traditional plum pudding or fruit cake or some other recipe that all the family and guests can "stir-up." This activity of stirring-up the ingredients symbolizes our hearts that must be stirred in preparation for Christ's birth.
Collect: All-powerful God, increase our strength of will for doing good that Christ may find an eager welcome at his coming and call us to his side in the kingdom of heaven where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Jesse Tree ~ Creation
From Catholic Culture
Friday, November 27, 2009
- Indifference to the others problems, interests or needs.
- Moodiness, grouchiness or; bad attitude.
- Lack of courtesy, politeness; or consideration.
- Feelings of superiority, insecurity; or jealousy.
- Lack of planning, sincerity; or commitment.
- Sense of being used, taking advantage of; or using the other.
- Being impatient, taken for granted; or taking the other for granted.
- Not treating the other with proper respect.
- Insults, rudeness, sarcasm or; criticism.
- Ridiculing, belittling, shunning; or ignoring.
- Not listening; or not hearing what the other is saying.
- Not giving to the other, the benefit of the doubt.
- Being influenced by the opinion, thoughts, views; or feelings of another.
- Pre-judging the others intentions, or meaning or; jumping to conclusions.
- Accusing the other, bringing up old stuff, blaming; or bearing false witness.
- Needing to be right, refusing to listen, cutting the other off, hanging up.
- Not returning calls, e-mails, or letters.
- Having a position of being offensive or defensive.
- Pacifying, giving false assurance, telling the other what you think they want to hear.
- Abruptly changing the subject; or minimizing the feelings of the other.
- Contradictory words versus body language.
- A decision to listen.
- An attitude of openness to listening.
- The whole person is present listening.
- The other, knows they are being listened to.
- Clarifications and responses are given.
- Listening is for the sake of the other.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
The holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated in the United States with family gatherings and traditional foods. The Church also has a special liturgy for this day. The Entrance Antiphon sets the tone for our religious observance, "Sing and play music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph 5:19-20). Eucharist means Thanksgiving and we should be especially grateful for this most sublime gift. We hope you will enjoy some of our recipes and suggestions for this day. Let's try to celebrate as Christians remembering to be temperate as we carve the turkey and eat the pies.
The following suggested petitions would make a nice addition to our meal prayers:
That the Church throughout the world will more vigorously thank the Lord for His kindness towards His children. Lord hear our prayer.
That the government of our beloved country will never forget to praise and thank the Almighty who is the generous Giver of each gift. Lord hear our prayer.
That those who suffer may recall that God still loves them and wants to lead them to unending peace in the next world. Lord hear our prayer.
That all Americans on Thanksgiving Day will be blessed with a fresh awareness of the loving Most Blessed Trinity from whom all good things come. Lord hear our prayer.
That those Americans who have no faith in God may be touched by grace this day and seek the Creator of the universe. Lord hear our prayer.
That the faithful departed will soon gather around God's altar in paradise where they will joyfully thank Him for ever. Lord hear our prayer.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The way to "enter" into God's Kingdom "does not permit shortcuts"; rather, "every person must freely welcome the truth of the love of God. He is Love and Truth and both love and truth never impose themselves: they knock at the door of the heart and mind and, wherever they may enter, they bring peace and joy. This is God's way of reigning; this is his project of salvation, a 'mystery' in the biblical sense of the word, which is a plan that is revealed little by little throughout history." — Pope Benedict XVI
The Feast of Christ the King was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 as an antidote to secularism, a way of life which leaves God out of man's thinking and living and organizes his life as if God did not exist. The feast is intended to proclaim in a striking and effective manner Christ's royalty over individuals, families, society, governments, and nations.
Today's Mass establishes the titles for Christ's royalty over men: 1) Christ is God, the Creator of the universe and hence wields a supreme power over all things; "All things were created by Him"; 2) Christ is our Redeemer, He purchased us by His precious Blood, and made us His property and possession; 3) Christ is Head of the Church, "holding in all things the primacy"; 4) God bestowed upon Christ the nations of the world as his special possession and dominion.
Today's Mass also describes the qualities of Christ's kingdom. This kingdom is: 1) supreme, extending not only to all peoples but also to their princes and kings; 2) universal, extending to all nations and to all places; 3) eternal, for "The Lord shall sit a King forever"; 4) spiritual, Christ's "kingdom is not of this world".
— Rt. Rev. Msgr. Rudolph G. Bandas
Before the reform of the Roman Calendar in 1969, this feast was celebrated on the last Sunday of October.
Christ the King as Represented in the Liturgy
The liturgy is an album in which every epoch of Church history immortalizes itself. Therein, accordingly, can be found the various pictures of Christ beloved during succeeding centuries. In its pages we see pictures of Jesus suffering and in agony; we see pictures of His Sacred Heart; yet these pictures are not proper to the nature of the liturgy as such; they resemble baroque altars in a gothic church. Classic liturgy knows but one Christ: the King, radiant, majestic, and divine.
With an ever-growing desire, all Advent awaits the "coming King"; in the chants of the breviary we find repeated again and again the two expressions "King" and "is coming." On Christmas the Church would greet, not the Child of Bethlehem, but the Rex Pacificus — "the King of peace gloriously reigning." Within a fortnight, there follows a feast which belongs to the greatest of the feasts of the Church year -- the Epiphany. As in ancient times oriental monarchs visited their principalities (theophany), so the divine King appears in His city, the Church; from its sacred precincts He casts His glance over all the world....On the final feast of the Christmas cycle, the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, holy Church meets her royal Bridegroom with virginal love: "Adorn your bridal chamber, O Sion, and receive Christ your King!" The burden of the Christmas cycle may be summed up in these words: Christ the King establishes His Kingdom of light upon earth!
If we now consider the Easter cycle, the luster of Christ's royal dignity is indeed somewhat veiled by His sufferings; nevertheless, it is not the suffering Jesus who is present to the eyes of the Church as much as Christ the royal Hero and Warrior who upon the battlefield of Golgotha struggles with the mighty and dies in triumph. Even during Lent and Passiontide the Church acclaims her King. The act of homage on Palm Sunday is intensely stirring; singing psalms in festal procession we accompany our Savior singing: Gloria, laus et honor tibi sit, Rex Christe, "Glory, praise and honor be to Thee, Christ, O King!" It is true that on Good Friday the Church meditates upon the Man of Sorrows in agony upon the Cross, but at the same time, and perhaps more so, she beholds Him as King upon a royal throne. The hymn Vexilla Regis, "The royal banners forward go," is the more perfect expression of the spirit from which the Good Friday liturgy has arisen. Also characteristic is the verse from Psalm 95, Dicite in gentibus quia Dominus regnavit, to which the early Christians always added, a ligno, "Proclaim among the Gentiles: the Lord reigns from upon the tree of the Cross!" During Paschal time the Church is so occupied with her glorified Savior and Conqueror that kingship references become rarer; nevertheless, toward the end of the season we celebrate our King's triumph after completing the work of redemption, His royal enthronement on Ascension Thursday.
Neither in the time after Pentecost is the picture of Christ as King wholly absent from the liturgy. Corpus Christi is a royal festival: "Christ the King who rules the nations, come, let us adore" (Invit.). In the Greek Church the feast of the Transfiguration is the principal solemnity in honor of Christ's kingship, Summum Regem gloriae Christum adoremus (Invit.). Finally at the sunset of the ecclesiastical year, the Church awaits with burning desire the return of the King of Majesty.
We will overlook further considerations in favor of a glance at the daily Offices. How often do we not begin Matins with an act of royal homage: "The King of apostles, of martyrs, of confessors, of virgins — come, let us adore" (Invit.). Lauds is often introduced with Dominus regnavit, "The Lord is King". Christ as King is also a first consideration at the threshold of each day; for morning after morning we renew our oath of fidelity at Prime: "To the King of ages be honor and glory." Every oration is concluded through our Mediator Christ Jesus "who lives and reigns forever." Yes, age-old liturgy beholds Christ reigning as King in His basilica (etym.: "the king's house"), upon the altar as His throne.
Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch
Almighty and merciful God, you break the power of evil and make all things new in your Son Jesus Christ, the King of the universe. May all in heaven and earth acclaim your glory and never cease to praise you. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Encyclical on the Feast of Christ the King His Holiness Pope Pius XI December 11, 1925
Saturday, November 21, 2009
The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would bear a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Mary remained in the Temple until puberty, at which point she was assigned to Joseph as guardian. Later versions of the story (such as the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Gospel of the Nativity of Mary) tell us that Mary was taken to the Temple at around the age of three in fulfillment of a vow. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God.
The feast originated as a result of the dedication of the Basilica of Saint Mary the New, built in the year 543 by the Byzantines under Emperor Justinian I near the site of the ruined Temple in Jerusalem. Although this basilica was destroyed by the Sassanid Persians under Khosrau II after the Siege of Jerusalem (614), the feast continued to be celebrated throughout the East. The feast was celebrated in the monasteries of Southern Italy by the ninth century and was later introduced into the Papal Chapel in Avignon in the year 1372 by a decree of Pope Gregory XI. It was included in the Roman Missal in 1472. But, as the fact of the "Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary" is only a pious belief, but not a defined matter of faith, it was suppressed by Pope Pius V in 1568. As a result, it did not appear in the Tridentine Calendar. Pope Sixtus V reintroduced it into the Roman Calendar in 1585. Pope Clement VIII made this feast a Greater Double in 1597. The feast also continued as a memorial in the Roman Calendar of 1969.
Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates it as one of its twelve Great Feasts, with the first documented celebration of the feast in any calendar being the mention of the Εἴσοδος τῆς Παναγίας Θεοτόκου (Entry of the All-Holy Theotokos - i.e. into the Temple) in the 11th-century Menology of the Eastern Roman (also known as Byzantine) emperor Basil II.
For the Roman Catholic Church, on the day of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, "we celebrate that dedication of herself which Mary made to God from her very childhood under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who filled her with grace at her Immaculate Conception."
November 21 is also a "Pro Orantibus" Day, a day of prayer for cloistered religious "totally dedicated to God in prayer, silence and concealment."
Eternal Father, we honor the holiness and glory of the Virgin Mary. May her prayers bring us the fullness of your life and love. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Friday, November 20, 2009
During the thirty years of his abbacy, he had the comfort to see many walk with fervor in his steps. He never left off wearing his hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Penetrated with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, making himself a victim to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice, together with, and through the merits of the holy victim offered thereon: the dispositions in which every Christian ought to assist at it. He died on the 6th of April, 1203, and was canonized by Honorius III. in 1224. See his life by a disciple in Surius, and at large in Papebroke's Continuation of Bollandus, t. 1, Apr. p. 620. Also M. Gourdan in his MSS. Lives of Illustrious Men among the regular Canons at St. Victor's, in Paris, kept in the library of MSS. in that house, in fol. t. 2, pp. 324 and 814.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
One assumes that The New York Times would have been glad to receive an Op-Ed article from the new Archbishop of New York.
The Archdiocese of New York is responsible for a very important part of the city's educational, medical, and charitable life. The newspaper refused to print it. Such censorship only whets the appetite to know what was thought not fit to print. There are many items that the Times, which claims to publish everything that's fit to print, has printed although they were not fit. There were, for instance, its mockery in 1920 of Goddard's hypothesis that rocket propulsion can take place in a vacuum, a denial of Stalin's forced famine in Ukraine and a whitewash of his show trials by its Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty, its advocacy of Fidel Castro, and its benign regard for the Soviet spy Alger Hiss. So there had to be some journalistic equivalent of a cerebral stroke to make the editors of the Times unable to print Archbishop Dolan's words.
Visit the Catholic Education Resource Center at http://www.catholiceducation.org/.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
we ask Your blessing on those
You have called to priestly ministry.
May they, above all, be faithful and passionate
followers of Your beloved Son, Jesus.
May they be compassionate, as Jesus was,
toward all who seek spiritual comfort
May they open wide their hearts
to all in need of Your merciful embrace.
May they be teachers, as Jesus was,
steeped in Your Word and teaching, on fire
with it, and breaking it open for all who are
hungry for Your holy and transforming Word.
May they be prophets, as Jesus was,
speaking courageously for what is right and
true, proclaiming Your kingdom to all in need
of Your grace and giving voice to all Your
children, especially the poor and marginalized.
May they be prayerful, as Jesus was,
hearts burning within them and set upon You
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
may they be the voice of praise and thanksgiving,
and of faith, hope, and love to all in their care.
St. John Vianney, beloved priest of God, pray
for us and for all your brother priests.
Library Document: "Dear Congressman Kennedy"
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by Marcus C. Grodi
I am a former Protestant minister. Like so many others who have trodden the path that leads to Rome by way of that country known as Protestantism, I never imagined I would one day convert to Catholicism.
By temperament and training I’m more of a pastor than a scholar, so the story of my conversion to the Catholic Church may lack the technical details in which theologians traffic and in which some readers delight. But I hope I will accurately explain why I did what I did, and why I believe with all my heart that all Protestants should do likewise.
One of the more commonly shared experiences of Protestant converts to the Catholic Church is the discovery of verses “we never saw.” Even after years of studying, preaching, and teaching the Bible, sometimes from cover to cover, all of a sudden a verse “we never saw” appears as if by magic and becomes an “Aha!” mind-opening, life-altering messenger of spiritual “doom”! Sometimes it’s just recognizing an alternate, clearer meaning of a familiar verse, but often, as with some of the verses mentioned below, it literally seems as if some Catholic had snuck in during the night and somehow put that verse there in the text!
Dr. Kenneth J. Howell, PhD, Howell, a former Presbyterian minister and seminary professor, entered the Catholic Church in 1996.
As I knelt in St. Peter’s Cathedral at daily Mass, my heart struggled to know what God wanted me to do. The past year had opened my eyes to the beauties of the Mass and to the truths of the Catholic faith, but I just could not become a Catholic. How could I give up what I had worked so hard to achieve? Now that I was successful in what I had always wanted to do, wouldn’t it be foolish to walk away from it all? And what if my wife would not or could not follow me in my spiritual journey, should I jeopardize my marriage or put our children in confusion? I simply didn’t know what to do or where I was going in my life.
That day the Mass was the same as I had come to know it over the past year. What had seemed foreign and strange was now precious and inviting. So inviting was it that I felt as if a gigantic magnet was drawing me into something greater than myself. When we came to the Communion Rite, the priest held up the host for all to see and said these words, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Happy are those who are called to his supper!”
He is a example of the extreme courage we as Pro-Life Catholic Christians must follow. The political climate in Mexico at the turn of the 20th century is frighteningly similar to the current political climate in the US.
We must continue to pray, fast and courageously bear faithful witness to the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death.
His feast day is November 23.
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