Thursday, December 15, 2011

The New Ark of the Covenant--Fourth Sunday of Advent

“Unless Yahweh builds the house, in vain do its builders toil over it” (Psalm 127:1). This is an enduring warning to all who aspire to grand projects–whether presidents or peace activists! Its radical wisdom echoes through the familiar annunciation story of the fourth Sunday of Advent: God prepares to rebuild the house of David (Luke 1:32f) by taking up residence in the womb of the homeless woman Mary.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Collects of Advent--The Journey to Bethlehem Continues

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of the Resurrection.

Third Sunday of Advent

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 and to celebrate them always with solemn worship and glad rejoicing.

Second Sunday of Advent

Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company.

First Sunday of Advent

Grant your faithful, we pray, almighty God, the resolve to run forth to meet your Christ with righteous deeds at his coming, so that, gathered at his right hand, they may be worthy to possess the heavenly Kingdom.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Zeal for Your House Consumes Me: On Hairy Knees and Bra Straps

How true is this?!!!

Zeal for Your House Consumes Me: On Hairy Knees and Bra Straps: I know this is the South. I know this is summer therefore the temperatures are analagous to those in the jungle. I know we've come through...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Liturgical Renewal as Envisioned by Vatican II

I want to highly recommend an article in the August-September 2011 issue of Inside the Vatican magazine. It was written by Justin Soutar and its full title is "Missale Romanum, Third Edition: Liturgical Renewal as Envisioned by Vatican II."

Mr. Soutar provides one of the best explanations that I have seen to date about the Missale Romanum that we will begin using the First Sunday of Advent this year.  The entire article is well worth the read; however, here is one excerpt:

"In the last 45 years, the sweeping liturgical and other reforms of Vatican II have been generally misinterpreted as implying a radical change in the nature of the Mass and of the Church.  Celebration of the liturgy in Latin, strict adherence to the prescribed rubrics, the concept of the Mass as sacrifice, and the dignity of the priesthood (in the case of the liturgy)--the Church as the Bride of Christ with infallible teaching authority, preserving and handing on the deposit of faith (in the case of the Church)--all of these have become old-fashioned, 'pre-Vatican II ideas, replaced with an 'anything goes' mentality in 'the spirit of Vatican II.'  The Mass is no longer seen as the Church's worship offered to God but as a celebration of human togetherness subject to the whims of the local community.  Similarly, Vatican II transformed the Church from a monarchy into a democracy, so it's now up to the individual Catholic to believe and live as he pleases, regardless of official Church doctrine and laws.  This unfortunate heresy known as 'the spirit of Vatican II' has done catastrophic damage to the faith of millions of Catholics.  It has even spawned an opposite myth adhered to by some traditionalist Catholics that the entire Second Vatican Council was heretical and its reforms null and void."
Elsewhere in his article, Mr. Soutar reminds us, as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy, "that we're supposed to worship God the way He wants to be worshiped, not the way we want to worship Him.  This is because liturgy is not our work but our participation in God's work of redemption."

A truly wonderful article!

Justin Soutar is the Catholic author of forty-plus published articles on pro-life issues, the Pope & his message, American politics and elections, terrorism, the Middle East, and other topics in a wide variety of publications, both online and in print.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"What The World Needs Now Is..."

In his 1931 “social” encyclical Quadragesimo anno,  Pope Pius XI wrote:

“Wherefore,” to use the words of Our Predecessor, “if human society is to be healed, only a return to Christian life and institutions will heal it.” For this alone can provide effective remedy for that excessive care for passing things that is the origin of all vices; and this alone can draw away men’s eyes, fascinated by and wholly fixed on the changing things of the world, and raise them toward Heaven. Who would deny that human society is in most urgent need of this cure now?

Minds of all, it is true, are affected almost solely by temporal upheavals, disasters, and calamities. But if we examine things critically with Christian eyes, as we should, what are all these compared with the loss of souls? Yet it is not rash by any means to say that the whole scheme of social and economic life is now such as to put in the way of vast numbers of mankind most serious obstacles which prevent them from caring for the one thing necessary; namely, their eternal salvation."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Why Praise and Worship Music May Be Praise, But Not Worship

While Father Christopher Smith "paints with a pretty broad brushstrokes" in his comments on The Chant Cafe blog about praise and worship music in the liturgy, his points are generally very well made and worth serious consideration.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Universe Brimming with Fruitful Spiritual Life: Reflecting Transcendence in the Liturgy

Bishop James D. Conley, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Denver, provides an exceptional reflection on the new translation of the Roman Missal which we begin using the First Sunday of Advent this year.

In an excerpt from his address at the Midwest Theological Forum, quoting Father Roman Guardini, Bishop Conley says:  "...the liturgy aims to create a new world for believers to dwell in. A sanctified world where the dividing lines between the human and the divine are erased. Guardini’s vision is beautiful: 'The liturgy creates a universe brimming with fruitful spiritual life.'  The new translation of the Mass restores this sense of the liturgy as transcendent and transformative   The new translation reflects the reality that our worship here joins in the worship of heaven.  And also from Pope Benedict XVI:  'The essential matter of all Eucharistic liturgy is its participation in the heavenly liturgy. It is from thence that it necessarily derives its unity, its catholicity, and its universality'.”

The entire article is well worth reading!  Thank you, Bishop Conley!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Greeting Christ

George Cardinal Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, served as chairman of the Vox Clara Committee, formed to oversee the new translation of the Roman Missal.  In the June 2011 issue of Columbia (the Knights of Columbus' monthly magazine), Cardinal Pell provides an excellent and succinct explanation of the new greetings that will be used at the beginning each Mass when the use of the new translation of the Roman Missal begins in the United States the First Sunday of Advent this year.