Sunday, March 31, 2013

When Love Penetrated Hell

It is a blessed Easter morning. He is risen.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote a beautiful reflection on the Shroud of Turin. He says, "Dear brothers and sisters, in our time, especially after having lived through the past century, humanity has become particularly sensitive to the mystery of Holy Saturday. The concealment of God is part of contemporary man's spirituality, in an existential almost subconscious manner, like a void in the heart that has continued to grow larger and larger."

But today, it is the first day of the week, and the tomb is empty. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Between the lines

Here's an article that speaks to a problem I bet you haven't noticed much: children being too religious.

Yeah. It's a thinly veiled attack on Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular (note that most of the symptoms and terms used involve Catholic imagery). It is how the media works to subtly undermine faith. Imagine what they would've thought of the Fatima children!

These types of attacks will continue to grow in the coming months and years. Children will need their faith to persevere.


Children with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), for example, may rigidly repeat holy verses, say Hail Mary’s or focus on other rituals less out of a deeper sense of faith but more as an expression of their disorder. “It looks positive but could be negative,” says Stephanie Mihalas, a UCLA professor and licensed clinical psychologist.
Such ritualistic behavior, she says, may also reflect a child’s way of coping with anxiety, and in reality could be no more spiritual than fanatical hand washing or dreading to walk on cracks. “These kids fear that if they don’t obey their religious rules perfectly,” explains Carole Lierberman, MD, a psychiatrist in Beverly Hills, “God will punish them.”
The article states that religion's role is one of "comfort and joy." That is, perhaps, one aspect. There is no mention of eternal salvation or of the deeper issues of life.

Monday, March 25, 2013

A lesson "in new things and old"

The Parable of the Net from the Book of Matthew, chapter 13:

"Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just. And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old." (Emphasis added)

When one thinks of the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and the Novus Ordo Form of the Mass, they could be likened to treasures in a storehouse (the Roman Catholic Church). One does not forsake a treasure because it has long been a treasure, correct?

When you see the scribes of today attempting to suppress an 'old' treasure, you can be sure they are not acting from instruction in the kingdom of heaven, but from some other type of instruction.

For more context, Chapter 13 of Matthew is chock full of the parables of our Lord Jesus.

Here is an example of this venerable treasure, which is being celebrated every Sunday: Mass in Extraordinary From begins.

FTA:  "The New Order of the Mass is great but doesn’t fill the needs of everyone as we sometimes imagine," he said. "There is room in God’s house for different forms of worship, even in the Mass."
He noted the people celebrating the Mass "tend to be all ages and walks of life, not just older people like might be expected. Actually they tend to be younger and professional.

"Anything that builds up the church and brings people to Mass is, I think, very fruitful for the kingdom of God," Father Mahoney said.

Verrrryyy interesting. According to Father Mahoney the EF Mass brings people from all walks of life, particularly those who "tend to be younger and professional."

Just the type of folks that would help keep a parish healthy and growing.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pope Francis!

Our new Holy Father is Pope Francis I. Wow! Argentina. Wow!

Here and here and here for info on the former Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio. He has a  Facebook page, too. A special mass will be said for the new Pope at 7 p.m. EST on EWTN.

He is known for humility. A quote: Cardinal Bergoglio said there is a temptation to speak about "the spirituality of the lay person, of the catechist, of the priest, etc., with the serious danger of losing the Gospel's originality and simplicity. And once we lose sight of the common Christian horizon, we face the temptation of being snobs ... of being attracted to that which entertains and fattens, but not that which nourishes nor helps us to grow." 

UPDATE: And here are his first words to the world:

"Brothers and sisters, good evening.
"You know that the duty of the conclave was to give a bishop to Rome. It seems that my brother cardinals went almost to the end of the world to get him. But here we are.
"I thank you for this welcome by the diocesan community of Rome to its bishop. Thank you.
"First of all, I would like to say a prayer for our bishop emeritus, Benedict XVI. Let us all pray together for him, let us all pray together for him so that the Lord may bless him and that the Madonna may protect him."
(The new pope then prayed the "Lord's Prayer", the "Hail Mary" and the "Glory Be" with the crowd in Italian).
He then continued:
"And now, let us start this journey, bishop and people, bishop and people, this journey of the Church of Rome, which leads all the Churches in charity, a journey of fraternity, of love, of trust among us.
"Let us always pray for us, one for the other, let us pray for the whole world, so that there may be a great fraternity. I hope that this journey of the Church that we begin today and which my cardinal vicar, who is here with me, will help me with, may be fruitful for the evangelization of this beautiful city.
"Now, I would like to give you a blessing, but first I want to ask you for a favor. Before the bishop blesses the people, I ask that you pray to the Lord so that he blesses me. This is the prayer of the people who are asking for the blessing of their bishop.
"In silence, let us say this prayer of you for me."
(After a few seconds of silent prayer, he then delivered his blessing).
He then concluded:
"Now, I will give you and the whole world a blessing, to all men and women of good will. Tomorrow I want to go to pray to the Madonna so that she protects all of Rome. Good night and have a good rest."