Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
Each morning, right after fulfilling my chivalric duties of devotion, I spend a minimum of fifteen minutes reading. Usually the author who receives my undivided attention at this time is Monsignor Ronald A. Knox (Eton, Oxford). During World War II and the German bombings of industrial and municipal centers, Monsignor Knox had the opportunity to retire to the countryside of England to work on his translation of the Bible. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? So it is amazing how the Holy Spirit sees things, most often, differently.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
It is tempting to think we are past this sort of thing. But we aren't. We have "one holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church" comprised of well over a billion people (and growing) that proclaims the truth and reality of the doctrine of Original Sin. So, when we take one last sip of coffee, fold the paper, turn the lock, and head off to work, we don't worry about the statuary at the parish. Or our priest(s). Or how well the ushers might handle the breaking-in of disruptors during either a major feast celebration or even a Saturday evening "There's-that-guy-in-his-bermuda-shorts" Vigil Mass.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Exult, all creation around God’s throne!
Jesus Christ, our King is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation!
Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
radiant in the brightness of your King!
Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever!
Rejoice, O Mother Church! Exult in glory!
The risen Savior shines upon you!
Let this place resound with joy,
echoing the mighty song of all God’s people!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Friday, April 22, 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
“The priest is a man anointed by tradition to shed blood, not as the soldier, through courage, not as the magistrate, through justice, but as Jesus Christ, through love. The priest is a man of sacrifice; by it, each day, reconciling heaven and earth, and by it, each day, announcing to every soul the primordial truths of life, of death, and of resurrection.” - Father Henri-Dominique Lacordaire, O.P.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Let’s see now: we’ve got a Sunday night series on one of the most corrupt and tawdry families in Church history, the Borgias, with popes, cardinals, bishops, and priests, all part of this big, happy family; we’ve heard non-stop for a decade about abusive priests, (albeit a small minority) and lax bishops who reassigned them; we’ve got front page stories of priests who embezzled money from their parishes; and I saw one not long ago about a priest arrested for DUI.
Yes, all this is scandalous, sinful, sickening, and criminal.
But, it is not new.
Popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, nuns, brothers are human.
That means, we are sinners.
Granted, when one of us falls, it hurts and shocks more. People rightly expect their spiritual leaders to practice what we preach. When we don’t, we’re hypocrites. And we know what Jesus thought about hypocrites.
But, this is not new.
If you think it worse today than in the past, I ask you to consider the solemn days we will observe next week, Holy Week: Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
Keep reading here.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
When our Lord describes his generation, what simile does He use? He says in Luke 7,32:
Monday, April 11, 2011
Friday, April 08, 2011
Thursday, April 07, 2011
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Monday, April 04, 2011
WE LIVE OUR LENT LIKE THE APOSTLES who beg Jesus, “Increase our faith” (Lk 17: 5). Christ makes clear that the amount of their faith does not matter. For with “faith the size of a mustard seed” they can carry out the most astonishing miracles. What the Lord reveals is that the “quantity” of our faith is not as important as actually living by faith.
The way faith works
So what does the request “increase our faith” really signify? It means that the apostles, through their encounter with Jesus Christ, have come to recognize there is something lacking in their lives for which Jesus is the Answer. This is the way faith works. Faith does not start inside us; it starts outside us. It starts from something that gets our attention and engages our reason, our heart, our freedom. These Twelve have been with the Lord as he cured the sick (Lk 7: 1-10), raised the dead (Lk 7: 11-17; Lk 8: 49-56), forgave sins (Lk 7: 36-50), calmed storms on the sea (Lk 8: 22-25), cast out demons (Lk 8: 26-39; Lk 9: 37-43), multiplied loaves for the multitudes (Lk 9: 10-17), and taught in powerful parables. “The essence of faith,” writes Pope Benedict XVI, “is not that I meet with something that has been thought up, but that here something meets me that is greater than anything we can think of for ourselves.”
Witnessing the countless wondrous works of Jesus Christ brings the apostles to a realization of their own powerlessness. They see in Jesus something that they do not possess in themselves. And they want to possess it. Even more, they want to be totally possessed by the Author of such wonders. Along with the apostles, we come to see that we do not simply have needs; we are need. To be human is to be boundless, expectant awaiting for the Infinite to come close to our life and to claim it. That is what the miracles of Jesus mean. That is what they promise. The need in our life does not invent this Exceptional Presence, but rather it enables us to acknowledge it. Those who do not perceive need to this degree do not feel the urge to reach faith.
Living by faith
The cry “increase our faith,” then, is really a plea that we be able to experience our need more deeply, sincerely, completely. It is a prayer that asks: When faced with my need – with the need that I am – do not let me be embarrassed by it, or make excuses for it, or deny it, or turn to self-reliance to try to deal with it. May my awareness of my neediness simply move me to confide myself to You with humility and trust. For “confidence” means “with faith.”
Our request for greater faith is an appeal to learn how to use whatever faith we have to its greatest advantage. Thus, to live by faith is to give up living by things that “we can think up for ourselves.” It means that we no longer want to live according to our own ideas, our emotions, or our preconceptions. If I am serious about living by faith, then I am resolved not to live by my anger, my whims, or my urges. I am not going to live impulsively or impetuously. I am not going to be ruled by self-assertiveness, but rather I am going to live according to the will of Another: “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1: 21). “Faith,” Pope Benedict XVI tells us, “demands our whole existence, understanding, our will, our feelings, our love. It requires letting go of ourselves. It affects every domain of our existence, our whole self.” In this way, “faith is a perishing of the mere self and a resurrection of the true self.”
I still remember a story a seminarian told in a preaching class I taught several years ago. There was a prolonged drought in the Midwest, and the local priest asked his people to pray hard all week for rain. At the end of the week, they were to gather in a field near the church to thank God for hearing their prayers. The priest asked the people to bring with them items that represented their faith in God. The parishioners brought Bibles, statues of saints, rosaries, and crucifixes. But one little girl showed that she had the most faith of all. She brought an umbrella.
Rev. Peter John Cameron, O.P.
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Father Cantalamessa showers us with so many wonderful points of light in this homily. I care to draw out a couple with the following ramblings...
Link here and please go to the complete version of Father Cantalamessa's 2nd Lenten Homily – very powerful and very deep (though we know that people do not want to venture any deeper than where they are at…) but I wanted to bring out a point on baptism that has always stayed with me and yet I have had trouble putting words to it.
"But what is this love which has been poured into our hearts in Baptism? Is it a feeling of God for us? A benevolent disposition of His towards us? An inclination? Something, that is, intentional? It is much more than that; it is something real. It is, literally, the love of God, namely the love that circulates in the Trinity between the Father and the Son and that in the Incarnation assumed a human form and in which we now participate in the form of "indwelling." "My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23).I felt all of this being baptized as an adult – being in a state of rapture - "in the vortex of love taking place now, ...” This is why, for me, baptism is as much about the role, responsibility and reverence of the church partnering with the parents and godparents as it is for the child – almost in a sense, baptism is not about the child at all – and this is why I cringe a bit with certain emphasis when wanting infants baptized. (I am not opposed to infant baptism – I just feel that we want to make sure to continue to flame the fire of His Love in the hearts of the body of Christ who are presenting the infant and not put it out with the waters of baptism.) I would venture to say that not one single infant when grown can say that they, at baptism, experienced any of this love. We so often reflect a worry over hell (from a negative sense) that we individually and collectively demonstrate what Father Cantalamessa says in this meditation, that most of us can’t or haven’t gotten our hearts (let alone our minds) around God’s love for us and the ramifications that this love (passive - by way of receiving - not reaching) for ourselves and all of humankind. And it is only in receiving this love that we can even approach the great commandments;
We become "participants in the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4), that is, participants of divine love. We find ourselves by grace, explains Saint John of the Cross, in the vortex of love that has always taken place in the Trinity between the Father and the Son,  better still: in the vortex of love taking place now, between the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, risen from death, of whom we are the members."
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind,
and with all your strength.
The second is this:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 30-31).
Obviously there are movements like Cursillo (as well as AA) that have helped people with the sense of God’s love for them, however in the broad scope very few people have had that experience (or been able to give witness to their experience) and that is what Father Cantalamessa is referring to in this homily.
I also wanted to share this notion of "indwelling" as it is not about an indwelling that comes from within us but rather an indwelling in Christ. As we reside in Christ we have Christ indwelling in us. So there is a vast chasm between the secular psychological understanding of this and the reality as we know it to be from a biblical knowledge.
This bears out in this homily as well when Father Cantalamessa quotes Duns Scotus referring to the Incarnation. This indwelling comes from outside to embrace and reside in among us from the beginning.
So we must accept that our sciences such as psychology are but a “pharmakos” – they are often cures but at the same time they are often poisons.
I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Reflecting on all things, just as we never forget to breathe, we should remember: Lk 11:29-32:
There is something greater here as Father Cantalamessa draws it out for us in his meditation on God’s love for us.While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”